Those who attended the recent wine industry summit held by the Wine Grape Council of South Australia are likely to be pleased to have made the effort. It seems that the attendance was higher than last year, and while some of the speakers made an encore appearance, it was an interesting update.
Some of the noteworthy presentations included:
- Marc Soccio from Rabobank related global market trends, with special focus on USA and China, where he believes there is scope for improved trade in premium wines.
- Kym Anderson, economist with the University of Adelaide spoke about potential once the benefits of free trade agreements and the more favourable currency start to flow through.
- A panel discussion assessed the current state of the industry. This can best be described as “continuing tight trading conditions, but signs of improvement”.
- The results of the recent survey from winemakers were presented, with a common theme emerging that wine companies “desire to pay sustainable (grape) prices, but the market does not always allow that”.
- A presentation of vineyard values from Stephen Strachan, Gaetjens Langley compared the range of vineyard values in different regions;
- Michael Pascoe entertained sections of the crowd with some aspects of the bromance he has going with the federal treasurer.
- Paul Evans from the Winemakers’ Federation presented the 2015 vintage report.
Overall, it is recognised that while trading conditions are still very hard, there are some signs of improvement. The challenge to industry members is to make the most of the potential and capitalize on favorable conditions to help industry recovery as soon as possible.