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Chinese connection increases wine exports

A new Chinese wine education program could pave the way for increased Barossa export opportunities, according to Rowland Flat vigneron and winemaker, John Curnow.

Curnow hosted a group of International Wine Business Certificate students on their first week to South Australia last week, touring key wine businesses and even hand-picking some Shiraz grapes.

“At the end of the day, all of these people will be instrumental in some form in wine and hospitality business,” Curnow, who owns 1847 Wines, said.

“They will be able to make decisions about what goes on the wine list or in stores and our hope is that they will remember this experience and choose Barossa wines. It’s all about getting them familiar with the Barossa.

The group of about 15 sommeliers, wine lecturers and hospitality students spent five days in South Australia, firstly touring labeling and cork factories in Adelaide.

On Wednesday they traveled to Kangaroo Island, before heading to the Barossa to visit Orlando Wines and chat with four local winemakers at the Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre on Thursday.

“We also picked and crushed about 450 litres of Shiraz (grown on the 1847 Wines estate). In about 18 months, when the wine has been aged and bottles, they’ll get a nice reminder of their time here,” Curnow said.

“Apart from the educational experience this has been a great eye-opener for them, an opportunity to really get in touch with what winemaking is all about.”

The students finished their Australian tour with a visit to the Yarra Valley in Victoria.

“The Australian Certificate was one of the eight countries students could study under the International Wine Business Certificate,” Academy of Wine Singapore president and program co-ordinator, Tommy Lam said.

“Australia seems to be very popular so we’re planning to do the next tour in six months,” Lam said.

“Now days students don’t just learn in the classroom, it’s about that real live experience – smelling the soil, understanding the grapes, meeting the people.

“I think each person will tell at least 100 people about their experience so that will be good for the Australian wine industry.”

The Leader, Wednesday, 20 February 2008



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