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New Tafe partnership aims to boost NSW wine industry

RYDE College’s budding Sommeliers will be assisting the NSW wine industry in helping to get more NSW wines into the State’s restaurants thanks to an new partnership between TAFE NSW – Northern Sydney Institute (NSI) and industry employer association, Restaurant and Catering NSW (R&C NSW).

On behalf of the NSW Wine Industry and Department of State and Regional Development, the joint research project aims to determine the percentage of NSW grown and bottled wines currently appearing on the State’s wine lists.

The project, under the guidance of professional statistical consultant Chelsea Wise, will then monitor how NSW wine producers change their approach to selling wines to the restaurant industry over the course of three years to improve that percentage.

Those enrolled on Ryde College’s Sommeliers and Wine Studies courses from February 2007 will play a key role in compiling data from no fewer than 150 wine lists supplied annually by R&C NSW to ascertain such information as grape varieties and origin.

The annual project reports will then be available for purchase by the wine industry to assist in identifying market opportunities and resulting in getting more NSW wines on to the State’s dining tables.

Clive Hartley, Senior Headteacher, Food and Beverage at Ryde College, admitted the benefits of involvement in the project for both staff and students were comprehensive.

He said: “The project is a great opportunity for our students to analyse a good cross section of wine lists. This will make it easier for them to eventually produce their own list. We are also keen to provide research and statistical information which can be used by both the restaurant and wine industry.”

Restaurant and Catering NSW is a non-profit employer association representing over 2,400 members, consisting of restaurateurs, caterers and industry suppliers, throughout NSW and ACT.

Robert Goldman, R&C NSW Chief Executive, added: “For a number of years this organisation has been trying to secure a quality partner such as TAFE NSW – Northern Sydney Institute and Clive Hartley at Ryde College to get a research project underway to learn the penetration of NSW wines on restaurant wine lists.

“NSW produces a broad range of quality product consistent with the diversity of the various growing areas in the state.

“The objective of the research is to help formulate new strategies aimed at increasing the percentage of NSW wines in restaurants by developing different programs to impact on the ‘selling in’ of NSW wine product as well as change perceptions held by restaurateurs and sommeliers who make the purchasing decisions.”

The first set of project results are expected to be distributed by the end of April 2007.

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