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Do Australian wines lack a sense of place?

Well-known UK wine and food writer and broadcaster Andrew Jefford has taken a year-long position at the University of Adelaide to research Australia’s wine regions.

As senior research fellow at the university and Winewriter in Residence to the Australian Wine 2030 research network, Jefford will undertake research and write a book about how great Australian vineyard sites differ from each other and from those elsewhere in the world.

Jefford says some Australian winemakers needed to be “a bit braver” in allowing regional characteristics to shape their wines.

“Australia’s astonishing wine success overseas has been built on consistency, strong brand marketing, its newness, to some extent fashion, and the clarity and straightforwardness of the wine,” Jefford said. “The Australian industry needs to deliver more if it wants to maintain and strengthen its position. A sense of place is the guiding principle of gastronomy and fine-wine creation the world over. There is an Australian vanguard which appreciates that, but it’s still missing from the typical Australian export wine.”

Jefford says the strong “Australian approach” to winemaking is ripe for evolution.

Jefford is known for his writing and broadcasts about different places in the world and the foods, drinks and scents associated with them. He has won many awards for his work including three Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards in the last three years.

Over the past 20 years he has led a highly successful career as a writer and broadcaster in the UK including many years with the Evening Standard and BBC Radio Four and, currently, the Financial Times, Decanter, World of Fine Wine and Waitrose Food Illustrated.

He has written a number of books including The New France; Peat Smoke and Spirit: a Portrait of Islay and its Whiskies; and Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course.

As Winewriter in Residence at the university, he will also take part in lectures, industry meetings and conferences as part of Wine 2030.



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