Earlier this month I attended the NSW Wine Industry Innovation Forum. The forum serves as an opportunity for the NSW Wine Industry to engage key personnel, across many technical disciplines and all regions to capture their perspective on the current research, development and extension needs for the NSW Wine Industry. While these events are always a great platform for Australian Vignerons, as a vigneron myself, I always listen to the technological and industry developments for growers with a keen ear.
The priorities for grape growers highlighted at the forum align with many of the goals Australian Vignerons is working towards improving. Grape prices, better recognition and measurement of objective quality measures and the need to maintain and improve access to agrichemicals. It was good to see that as an industry we are aligning our goals so we can better work together to achieve outcomes for growers.
Other highlights of the forum included:
Interestingly, one of the most critical issues to emerge at the forum was the absence of a younger generation of Viticulturists studying at university. Enrolments in Viticulture degrees at a university has declined in recent years with Curtin University in WA cancelling the degree after only 11 people enrolled one year. As an industry, this is definitely an area we need to work on if we are going to sustain our world-leading grape growing practices and standards.
Overall it was a fantastic event and grape growers have a lot to be excited about. We will keep you up to date with the latest developments to come out of the forum as they come to hand. Perhaps in the meantime have a chat to teenagers around you about viticulture, you never know, you may inspire their future career!