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Supporting Cabernet into the future

By Wednesday 3 January 2024January 19th, 2024No Comments

Global Cabernet experts will speak at the Australian Cabernet Symposium (ACS) being held in Coonawarra and Margaret River in February.

The first day of the event – Thursday 1 February – will see presentations and masterclasses simulcast live to and from both venues, followed by dinners in both states.

The second day will consist of an ag-tech field demonstration tour in Coonawarra where attendees can see the latest in viticultural innovations out in the field.

ACS committee chair Dr Catherine Kidman says that with experts hailing from France, Hawke’s Bay, the Napa Valley, Scotland, Adelaide, Coonawarra and Margaret River, the ACS will explore and showcase the latest global developments in Cabernet in the fields of wine research, viticulture and winemaking, focusing on the theme ‘Supporting Cabernet Sauvignon into the future’.

The keynote speaker in Margaret River is Rodrigo Laytte from France who consults to wineries in Napa Valley, Chile, Mexico and Bordeaux. He will share his views on how these regions are adapting to climate change through the lens of premium Cabernet production.

Coonawarra will hear from Phil Brodie from Te Mata in Hawke’s Bay, renowned for crafting New Zealand’s benchmark red, Coleraine.

They will join seven other global Cabernet experts who will present on topics ranging from carbon neutral wineries of the future; the latest Cabernet statistics and trends; state of the art vineyard irrigation systems; rootstocks and methoxypyrazines; predicting berry cell death and shrivel; and the past, present and future of Cabernet Sauvignon.

“With Cabernet being the world’s most planted variety, it’s a must-attend event for the Australian wine community,” Catherine Kidman says.

“It also provides an unparalleled opportunity to network with fellow Cabernet producers and suppliers in support of a prosperous future for the noble grape variety in Australia.”


Rodrigo Laytte (France)
Fine wines and terroir consultant, former international technical director for Moët Hennessy Wine Division and former technical director at Château Kirwan, Grand Cru Classé de Margaux.

Phil Brodie (NZ)
Senior winemaker at Te Mata in Hawke’s Bay, famous for crafting one of New Zealand’s most revered reds, Coleraine.

Vanya Cullen OAM (Australia)
Chief winemaker at Australia’s first 100 percent carbon neutral winery, Cullen Wines, and a pioneer of biodynamic and organic practices.

Professor Stephen Tyerman (Australia)
A plant physiology researcher from the University of Adelaide who will explore predictors of cell death and berry shrivel and key learnings for Cabernet producers.

Kym Anderson AC (Australia)
George Gollin Professor Emeritus at the University of Adelaide and founding Executive Director of its Wine Economics Research Centre, and Vice-President of the American Association of Wine Economists and co-editor of its Journal of Wine Economics.

Dr Vinay Pagay (Australia)
Senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide and co-founder of Athena IR-Tech.

Roger Boulton (USA)
Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Enology and Chemical Engineering Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis. Presenting via video.

Ross Sanders (Australia/UK)
Research scientist – Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate, Diageo Scotland and Heriot-Watt University. Presenting via video.

Trevor Durling (USA)
Chief winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyard, renowned for crafting the legendary Napa Valley Cabernet, Georges de Latour. Presenting via video.

Traditionally hosted by Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated (CGWI) in Coonawarra, for the first time the 2024 ACS is being presented in association with Wines of Western Australia (WoWA) and sees the joining of forces of Australia’s premier Cabernet Sauvignon producing regions, Coonawarra and Margaret River.

Delegates can attend the triannual event from either Parker Coonawarra Estate in South Australia or Margaret River HEART in Western Australia.


Photo: Rodrigo Laytte.


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