Last week’s Adelaide Oval seminar convened by the Wine Grape Council SA (WGCSA) was a great success. An estimated 200 growers and other interested industry supporters applauded the State Council for presenting a range of interesting speakers and topics.
Thirty-five growers from the Riverland were in the audience. Several of the presentations were outstanding. Peter Bailey’s presentation of wine facts from the Wine Australia Corporation’s data warehouse provided enough indicators for growers in the audience to want to learn more and to think more carefully about the industry and the markets it operates in.
The subject matter was interesting enough for growers to consider moving out from behind the farm gate and understanding more about relationships in the value chain.
Similarly, Sandy Hathaway’s presentation about the outcomes of her survey of 16 major wineries was interesting. In general terms her message was a sobering one, reflecting some of the indicators from Peter Bailey’s earlier presentation. The displacement of C grade from Australian wine offerings both domestically and internationally is of real concern to our growers because of the trickle-down effect when this fruit is substituted for D and E grade product.
The presentation by Shane Tremble of Woolworths was a real eye-opener and probably the most popular of the morning presentations. In discussions with Shane he has indicated the Woolworths door is open for discussions about the possibility of Woolworths liquor outlets providing opportunities for display, promotion and retailing of more Riverland wine products.
Riverland Wine EO Chris Byrne has indicated if there is strong interest from growers the association will make arrangements for several of the presentations to be screened in the region in the coming weeks. The seminar was video recorded and podcasts are available on the WGCSA website. Further details will be published in this column in coming weeks.