Wine Communicators Australia Update
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WCA Update: 2 September 2016 

WCA news
University of Adelaide held an "On the Couch" event with wine industry experts to explore the challenges and opportunities facing the sector today, Monday 29th August.  Hosted by Marni Ladd, the University of Adelaide's Wine Business Program Director, panellists Nick Ryan, Gabrielle Leonello and Paul van der Lee discussed topics.

The message was clear, that wine consumers are seeking a full winery experience, not only at Cellar Door but at every touch point, with social media being a critical factor in the marketing mix. 

In a paper produced by Paul van der Lee, summing up the 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, held in Adelaide in July and attended by 1,200 delegates, highlights included:

  • Export sales showing signs of recovery and improved profitability after years of decline under the influence of grape oversupply and a strong Australian dollar
  • 2016 National grape crush was up 6% on the previous vintage
  • 2016 Vintage Report released by Wine Australia, the Winemakers Federation of Australia and Wine Grape Growers Australia shows that the amount of premium grapes sole for more than $1500 per tonne rose to 7% of the variety's total crush this year, with red grapes showing the strongest performance.
  • "Overall the average price paid for red wine grapes increased 13% to $651 per tonne and white wine grapes grew 12% to $398."
  • The key driver of these increases in export demand is predominately from Asian markets, especially China
  • One of the key to success of Australian wine has been its aptitude for innovation, and The Wine Technical Conference program left no doubt that there is much more scope for innovation in the Australian Wine Industry
Building on the success of their recent panel event on the challenges facing the Australian Wine Industry, the University of Adelaide have launched a Wine Business Series series of short course programs in Executive Education.

Running from late September to the end of October, the 1-2 day programs presented by industry experts provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the critical aspects of wine business today.  Designed for those currently working in the wine or related industries, or for anyone with an interest in wine business, completion of these programs will count towards a Graduate Certificate in Wine Business.  For more details click here.


Awards news
Entries are starting to role in for the WCA Awards.  If you would like to enter or know somebody you would like to nominate for these Awards click here.

Categories include:

Entries close 16th September.  Winners are announced and presented at a gala event, at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney on Tuesday, 8th November

Young Gun of Wine are calling for all Winemakers to enter their awards.  Going into their 11th year, there are some evolutions to the Young Gun of Wine whereas the judges had invited a shortlist of winemakers to submit for the competition, wine producers now enter themselves or can be nominated for the competition.  If you are looking to enter or know somebody you wish to nominate, click here.  Entries close 16th, September.

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation is seeking entries to The Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship which is worth $5000 for full time study or $2500 for part time study.  In addition to the financial component, the scholarship winner is invited to steward at the 2017 Sydney Royal Wine Show, which is a great networking opportunity.  For entry details click here.

WCA events
2016 WCA Royal Adelaide Wine Show Awards Lunch 
Being held on Friday, 30th September at the Ridley Centre, Adelaide Showgrounds.  

Book your tickets today so you don't miss out on this premier lunch event on the South Australian calendar. 

WCA Victorian Chapter Catch Up

In an attempt to increase networking with fellow wine people, the WCA Victorian Chapter is holding regular catch-up drinks.  The next catch up is being held, Thursday, 22nd September at The Imperial Hotel between 5.30pm - 8.30pm.  Bring a bottle of wine to share and meet some like minded industry folk.  Email should you wish to attend.

2016 WCA Royal Melbourne Wine Show Lunch
After a successful event last year it is on again - this years "Jimmy and the hidden gems".  Held Friday, October 21st, guests will enjoy amazing food (from Blakes Feast), matched with the 2016 Jimmy Watson winner, trophy winning wines and high scoring hidden gems!  An event not to be missed.

Book your tickets here.

Other events
Barossa Gourmet Weekend is fast approaching, 2- 4th September 2016.
Mudge Wine Festival runs for a whole month, from 9th September - 3rd October.
Capricorn Food and Wine Festival, Central Queensland is being held 16 - 18th September.
Taste Orange, Sydney, 22 - 23rd September.


Industry news
In a recent article published in, it was reported that growing demand from Asia markets, particularly China, has driven strong growth in Australian wine exports. It is speculated that China could overtake the US as Australia's biggest wine export market thanks to the growing Chinese middle class' thirst for Australian wines.  More details here.

Weekend reading
Here are a few interesting articles we found online:
McGuigan:  The WET Rebate should be cut from bulk wine immediately (
How Wineries are getting sold and still keeping their souls (
Geelong champagne expert and publican in running for Vin de Champagne Awards (
Private equity pursues Accolade Wines (


Digital Wine Communicator
New Wine Writer
Best Wine Website or App
Best Feature Articles
Best Wine Book
Best Wine Publication
Best Wine Educator

Award sponsors
The Drinks Association
Calabria Family Wines
Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Treasury Wine Estates

Presentation night sponsor
Riedel Australia

2016 Royal Adelaide Wine Show Luncheon

Friday - September 30th
VIP Tasting
11.30am - 12.30pm
12.00pm - 3.30pm

Ridley Centre
Adelaide Showgrounds


2016 Royal Melbourne Wine Show Luncheon

Friday - October 21st
12.00pm for 12.30pm

124 Langford Street, North Melbourne




Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Treasury Wine Estates
Wine Australia
Wine Ark

Accolade Wines

Dig + Fish


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