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Australian Winegrape Conference to look beyond 2005

Following their biggest, and possibly hardest, vintage on record, Australia’s inland regions will host the third Australian Winegrape Conference in Mildura on 17 November at a crucial time for the Australian wine industry.

Although the industry has kicked some impressive goals over the past 10 years, there are many industry participants who are now nursing the legacies of that success. An explosion in plantings has caused over supply, other countries have lifted the competition bar, expanding wine businesses have been the ruin of others and winegrape prices have nosedived. But there’s optimism that the industry may have emerged from the bottom of the cycle.

The Australian Winegrape Conference, sponsored by Australian Viticulture and its sister publication the Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, will focus on what’s in store for the industry beyond 2005 given its current state of upheaval.

The speakers will include Jamie Odell of Foster’s Wine Estates, who will give an insight into what the future holds for the world’s largest premium winemaker; Stuart McGrath-Kerr, who will present the latest supply/demand equation; Michael Walton, from leading market research company AC Nielsen, who will examine the increasing influence of supermarkets on the global wine industry; and Ciatti Australia, which will share some thoughts on the international bulk wine phenomenon.

The Australian Winegrape Conference, entered a new phase in 2003 when the major inland regions combined to organise the event. The 2005 conference is again being presented as an undertaking of Murray Valley Winegrowers’ Inc., Riverland Winegrape Growers’ Association and Riverina Wine Grapes Marketing Board under the banner of Wine Grape Growers’ Australia Inc.

For further information contact the Helen Healy Organisation, phone (03) 5021 5100 or mobile 0417 556 821.

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