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Conferences Tackle Tough Questions For The Wine Industry

Industry conferences to cover the most important issues

By Mark McKenzie - 2nd December 2002 - Back to News

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Back to back wine industry conferences on the 5th and 6th of December will cover the most important issues currently confronting the Victorian wine industry – how grape growers can meet winemakers tightening quality requirements, and the economic outlook for the industry over the next two to three years.

The Victorian Wine Industry Association’s two day Winegrape Quality Conference and Victorian Wine Industry Outlook Conference Programmes are designed to tackle the most important economic issues currently facing Victorian winegrape growers and winemakers.

The first of the back to back Conferences – "What Do Winemakers Want? Producing Quality Grapes For Quality Wine" - covers the key issues surrounding what grape quality winemakers expect their growers to deliver, at a time of tightening selection criteria. With red grape surplus’s already evident and growers under increasing pressure to lift quality or lose their supply contracts, the Conference programme is extremely timely – bringing together an eminent panel of Australia’s leading viticulturists, grape quality researchers, winemakers and industry consultants to discuss winegrape quality measurements and management.

VWIA Chief Executive, Mark McKenzie, said the Winegrape Quality Conference will bring growers "fully up to speed" on the latest research on grape quality and viticultural techniques for quality winegrape production.

"We believe this conference is extremely important, because with so many more tonnes of grapes from across Victoria now available to wineries, winemakers are becoming far more selective about what they buy and which growers they buy from. Into the future wineries will only be giving long term contracts to growers they know can deliver optimum quality fruit, so for many contract growers it is vital that they adopt the best viticultural practices possible – to ensure their fruit has a market. And as quality improves winery owned vineyards will also need to continually lift their fruit quality if their wines are to compete in the market. This conference really is a must-attend event for anyone who grows or buys winegrapes in Victoria!"

The second Conference day – the Victorian Wine Industry Outlook Conference - will assess the major trends in the Victorian industry, as well as the effects of the national oversupply of red winegrapes. The Conference will examine the most recent data on national grape supply and its likely impact on Victorian producers; the outlook for the Murray Valley wine regions; and a region by region analysis of the grape utilization trends for Greater Victoria for each of the major varieties.

Other Outlook Conference topics include - reviews of the major domestic wine market trends; an analysis of niche export market opportunities for small to medium scale Victorian wineries; the financial performance of Victorian vineyards; and the key issues affecting the future viability of wineries. The highlights of a recently completed Report on Future Employment Trends and Skills Needs of the Victorian Wine Industry will also be featured.

The Conferences are being staged at the Victoria University Convention Centre at 460 Ballarat Road, Sunshine – close to the Western Ring Road. Full Programme and Registration details can be found at or by calling conference managers ICMS on (03) 9682 0244.


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