The Marshall Liberal Government in South Australia is investing nearly $5 million in a project to help develop no- and low-alcohol wines.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham, who visited Adelaide Hills winery Nepenthe on Monday to launch the initiative, said the investment would give a boost to “cutting edge science and create high-quality products”.
“South Australia is without doubt the Australia’s wine state – this project will position our wine industry to deliver a world-class product and unlock access to significant market opportunities,” Minister Basham says.
“No- or low-alcohol wine products are becoming increasingly popular and it’s predicted the sector could create more than 500 jobs and add tens of millions of dollars a year to South Australia’s economy.
“The South Australian wine sector has faced a range of global challenges over the last two years, with the diversification of the marketplace vital in meeting those issues head-on while harnessing changing consumer demand.”
The first step in the delivery of this project will be the establishment of a research facility at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus.
“This will be the only trial scale facility in Australia and will provide a significant competitive advantage for the South Australian wine industry,” Minister Basham says.
The project will be delivered in partnership with Wine Australia, the Australian Wine Research Institute and the University of Adelaide
“Wine Australia is pleased to be part of this collaborative initiative to help companies innovate in an exciting growing market opportunity for the sector,” Wine Australia CEO Dr Martin Cole says.
AWRI managing director Dr Mark Krstic agrees, adding that investing in this exciting new product category will capitalise on its significant growth potential in domestic and export markets.
“This funding will enable industry to undertake pilot-scale production of new no- and low-alcohol products and better understand the market opportunities in this consumer segment,” he says.
University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj AC says: “We are delighted to be part of this State Government supported initiative bringing together three world-class organisations to make South Australia a leader in low- and no-alcohol wine research and product development.”
Minister Basham says other components of the project would research process and sensory optimisation of the products and closely examine the market to unlock future opportunities.