The theme for the two full-day workshops for Riverland Winegrowers and Winemakers is just that: Getting on with Business. For almost ten years now, the term ‘ongoers’ has been used to describe those who have made the conscious decision to ‘tough it out’ and be ready for the new era. The ball began to roll back in 2005 when the State Government worked with Riverland Growers to shine a spotlight on cost of production. It was NOT a pretty sight for the majority and there were many prepared to chant: ‘get big or get out’. Some were fortunate to be in a position to do so and some 300 winegrowers have withdrawn with the majority of them confiding ‘it was the best thing I ever did’.
For the thousand or so, still growing grapes and making wine it’s been a case of getting on with business. That’s the key word, business. Some have grown their enterprises, some have diversified, some have ‘gone organic’ others have experimented with alternatives. Most have come to ‘Know their Numbers’ better than they did previously. Risk management is talked about. Riverland Wine is becoming better known for its value and the region is highly regarded for its contribution industry organisations large and small, R&D agencies, Government at all levels and export markets.
The content for the two workshops is almost finalised and the ‘acceptances’ from contributing guest presenters and participants is filling quickly. This has taken longer than first guessed so the first workshop has been slotted back to Friday, May 27 at Berri with the second most likely to be Friday, June 24 at Waikerie or possibly Kingston / Barmera. The ‘promised’ invitations with all the details will be in letter boxes next week.