Strong international demand for Australian wine and a significant increase in the value of the national winegrape crush have created ideal conditions for renewed investment in infrastructure and technology in the industry.
Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA), the peak body for the grape and wine supply sector, said by embracing new technologies and advanced production concepts, growers and wineries could enhance quality and global sales of the premium product.
WISA executive officer Matthew Moate said the positive outlook for the industry provided a perfect springboard to build capability and competitiveness.
“Our wine industry is continuing to benefit from a stable Australian dollar and strong international demand, largely driven by China,” Matt said.
“The 2017 National Vintage Report showed a five percent increase of the national winegrape crush to 1.93 million tonnes, and a 13 percent surge in value to A$1.22 billion.
“There was also a seven percent increase in the average price per tonne across all varieties, the best outcome since 2008.
“This continued positive trajectory is further enhanced by a A$50 million export and regional wine support package from the Australian Government with a focus on growing exports and wine related tourism opportunities in the sector.
“Taking aboard all of these factors, it is a perfect time for growers and winemakers to increase engagement with the supply sector to identify emerging and proven solutions to reduce the cost of production and to drive demand.”
WISA is participating in the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento from 23 to 25 January.
“The aim of our participation in the Symposium is to connect with overseas market leaders to expose latest developments and high tech solutions to Australian grape and wine producers,” Matt said.
“By facilitating further engagement with successful overseas suppliers to bring their business to the Australian market, WISA can support investment in innovation that will enhance the quality, competitiveness and sales of our premium wines.”
WISA’s call for new investment in infrastructure and technology is supported by some of Australia’s top wine producers.
Robert Taddeo, operations director for Pernod Ricard Winemakers, producer of iconic Australian brand Jacob’s Creek, said: “Wine undergoes a range of value adding processes encouraging producers to take advantage of new technologies and services along the supply chain.
“We will continue to seek and evaluate such opportunities to improve our business and acknowledge WISA as a vital organisation to build collaboration between grape and wine producers and the supply sector.”
Australian Vintage Limited also recognises a unique opportunity to increase investment in world’s best practice in winemaking.
John Kontrec, site manager for Australian Vintage Ltd, said: “Through our engagement with WISA, we continue to identify new technologies and services that will improve our own capability and that of the broader wine industry.
“The pace of innovation globally offers significant opportunities to improve manufacturing environments.
“WISA’s participation in the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in the United States is a demonstration of its professional status as a conduit for innovative overseas suppliers to enter our market and engage with producers.”