Australian wine exporters have little direct influence over Chinese consumers because the wines are sold through distributors and retailers. Direct mass advertising is expensive as China’s media landscape is highly fragmented. This project demonstrates that targeting Chinese tourists in Australia can enhance exports by converting the tourists into long-term Australian wine fans and word-of-mouth ambassadors. Chinese tourists used their positive tourism experience to imbue their image of Australian wine, especially at wine-congruent locations such as vineyards and restaurants. However, upon returning to China, the effects decayed over time. Hence, follow-up marketing efforts are needed to stop or slow the decay.
This project has laid the groundwork for a soil quality monitoring service that can be used by grape growers to assess the health status of their soils to help them manage this resource. The most appropriate set of indicator tests (a minimum dataset, MDS) to characterise soil quality was identified and published as two companion review papers in the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. The MDS was used as a standardized tool to build a database of regional soil datasets for Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Yarra Valley and Murray Darling hosted on the website: www.soilquality.org.au as part of a national cross-industry soil monitoring database. The MDS and the standardized sampling methods were adopted by Treasury Wine Estates, Peter Lehmann and the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association in 2014 which will expand the regional benchmarking databases into the future.
The Cellar Door as Catalyst for Wine Consumption Changes and Multiplier of Sales in the Australian Wine Market
This project develops a better understanding of wine consumers’ purchase and consumption patterns before, during and as a consequence of their visits to winery cellar doors. This three-stage study found that the cellar door is a powerful catalyst to invoke change(s) in wine consumption. Cellar door visits influenced purchase during the visit, but the influence extended over the six months tracked after the visit. The effects differed between those unaware of the winery before visiting and those already aware. Visitors who bought more at the winery, bought less in the first three months, but then bought more in the following three months.
Extensive interview and survey data was collected and analysed using the Technology Acceptance Model
(TAM2) to identify the drivers of adoption for two vineyard and two winery technologies. Perceived
usefulness was a key driver for all of these technologies, with business scale and outlook (i.e. if the business
was expanding, staying steady or contracting in size), attitudes to productivity, social norms and grower or
winemaker age also emerging as important. It was found that grapegrowers and winemakers sought and
used more sources of information when considering high involvement, important or risky technologies,
than when considering more routine, low involvement technologies. Networks of other grapegrowers and
winemakers were found to be key sources of information and a strong influence on the decision making
and adoption of technology. A framework that ties these results and concepts together to guide the design
of an extension strategy is presented.
Australia’s place in the world’s wine markets by 2030: empirical economic analysis of wine globalisation
This project set out to improve our understanding of the economic and market consequences of supply and demand trends in – and of various shocks to – the winegrape and wine markets in Australia and abroad in recent years and prospectively to 2030. The project resulted in several times the promised outputs including 10 industry journal articles, 11 economics journal articles, 3 books, 2 chapters in other books, 4 large databases, 19 other publications, and 40 presentations at conferences and workshops in Australia and abroad. The outputs covered a wide range of issues including impacts of possible changes to alcohol consumption taxes, regional consequences of shocks, effects on competitiveness of recent and prospective real exchange rate movements, effects of developments in China, the evolving varietal distinctiveness of wine regions in Australia relative to the rest of the world, R&D’s role in Australia’s wine industry growth, and lessons from history for Australia’s latest wine industry boom-slump cycle.
All objectives have been achieved and the Transitionary Activities are complete. Specifically; • extension activities were conducted through the AWRI Nodes, including enhancements to the Research to Practice module on Refrigeration with the addition of case studies developed by the Riverina Node; • a proof of principle metagenomics study was successfully completed, demonstrating the effect of winemaking intervention on the genetic diversity of wild wine fermentations; • work on the formation and fate of sulfidic off-aromas in bottled red wines has been completed, highlighting the potential to positively impact on wine quality through oxygen management in and copper additions to rotary fermenters; and • the acquisition of approved capital items and small capital items has been completed.
Organic and biodynamic viticulture is forecast to grow at over 11% per annum yet there is little information on the benefits or otherwise that can be attributed to these systems of grape production. With industry funding, a six year trial at McLaren Vale in South Australia investigated the changes in soil health, fruit production and wine quality. Organic and biodynamic production led to improved soil quality, with more soil organisms including much greater earthworm populations. Wine quality was also improved, but in the absence of price premiums, this was achieved at a financial penalty to the grower through reduced yields and increased production costs.
Everard Edwards presented a paper entitled “The effects of sustained deficit irrigation and re-watering on root production and turnover in warm climate viticulture” at the 1st International Symposium on Grapevine Roots in Rauscedo, Italy. He also presented two posters, “Rootstock conferred vigour is a driver of crop water use efficiency” and “Investigating the genetic mechanisms of salinity tolerance in grapevine rootstocks” Attending the symposium provided an excellent opportunity for the author to keep abreast of current developments in grapevine root research, make/renew contacts that may facilitate future collaboration and emphasize the Australian expertise in this area to an international audience. In addition, the author's presence in Italy was utilised to make additional visits to potential research collaborators at the University of Bologna. A report on the symposium was provided to the Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker for future publication.
Australia and South Korea Free Trade Agreement: Understanding and Opportunities in the South Korean Wine Market
By eliminating the 15% import tariff, the imminent Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) will bring about opportunities for Australian wine exporters to enhance its competitiveness in the domestic Korea market. This project triangulated qualitative findings from Korean wine businesses with quantitative surveys with Korean consumers to distil the changing nature of the Korean wine market in the new era of bilateral trade relations. The findings suggest that Australian exporters need to capitalise on a small window of opportunity leading to, and shortly beyond, the signing of the KAFTA to increase importers and consumers’ preference for Australian wine. Six key recommendations serve to guide Australian exporters’ engagement with Korea in the post-KAFTA era.
The McLaren Vale Wine Region has an impressive record of innovative schemes and practices which promote a sustainable grape growing and wine production industry and care of the environment. Leadership is provided through McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (MVSWA) and McLaren Vale Grape, Wine and Tourism Association (MVGWTA). The Region is recognised for these achievements within Australia, but has no formal means of using this reputation when marketing overseas. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) environmental management standard, ISO 14000, could provide official certification that would be recognised internationally.
The aim of this project was investigate the feasibility of developing a consortium model for an Environmental Management System (EMS) based on the ISO 14000 standards and the feasibility of seeking certification to ISO 14001. The investigation consisted of four stages: research into conformity certification organisations in Australia and their attitudes towards certification of a consortium and a search for any examples of certification of a consortium; interviews with key informants, typically wine and travel writers from outside McLaren Vale; a pilot focus group session with grape growers from McLaren Vale and recommendations for an EMS for the MVGWTA consortium.