Applications open for Great Wine Capitals knowledge exchange program

Applications are now open for the 2024 Outbound Knowledge Exchange Bursary Program, enabling South Australia’s wine industry professionals, researchers, and academics to travel abroad to learn from international industry experts.

Clare Scriven, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development in South Australia said that the exchange was an opportunity to cement South Australia’s global reputation as a leading producer of premium wine.

“Not only do our wine industry people bring back invaluable knowledge and experience for the benefit of our wine industry, but the bursary program is also a way for us to confirm South Australia’s standing as an international leader in wine,” said Scriven.

“Membership of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network acknowledges South Australia as Australia’s premier wine state, producing more than 80% of the nation’s premium wine from some of the oldest vines in the world.”

“I am delighted that South Australia can take a leadership position within the network to further facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration through the outbound knowledge exchange bursaries. The knowledge shared, and gained will be extremely valuable in keeping our state positioned as one of the finest wine regions in the world.”

The exchange program is made possible by Adelaide, South Australia’s membership of the Great Wine Capital Global Network (GWCGN) whose 12 member regions all open their doors to bursary winners from the other prestigious wine region members.

The GWCGN members are Adelaide, South Australia; Bilbao/Rioja (Spain); Bordeaux (France); Cape Town/Cape Winelands (South Africa); Hawke’s Bay (New Zealand); Lausanne (Switzerland); Mainz/Rheinhessen (Germany); Mendoza (Argentina); Porto (Portugal); San Francisco/Napa Valley (US); Valparaiso/Casablanca Valley (Chile); and Verona (Italy).

Eight bursaries were awarded last year:

  • Viticulturalist, Tony Hoare of McLaren Vale’s Beach Road Wines travelled to San Francisco/Napa Valley to investigate their water conservation methods with Ashley Ratcliff, from the Riverland’s Ricca Terra Wines, also travelling to Napa Valley with interest in their technology used for sustainability during drought and extreme heat.
  • Marcell Kustos went to both Portugal and South Africa for a new and old-world perspective on cellar door experiences and destination involvement.
  • Charles Matheson travelled to Cape Town and the Swartland wine region as well as Napa Valley. Syuzanna Mosikyan visited Bordeaux, Mainz and Verona to investigate acceptance of gene-edited grape varieties for a rapidly changing environment.
  • Adelaide University PhD candidate, Yanina Giorano went to Rioja in Spain to present at the International Congress on Grapevine and Wine Science before travelling to Verona University as part of ongoing collaborations between that institution, Adelaide University and the Australian Wine Research Institute.
  • Thomas Bartholomaeus from the Barossa’s Torbreck Vintners went to Verona to learn more about soft pruning old vines while Shirley Fraser, also from the Barossa Valley went to Portugal’s Women in Wine Expo held in early May this year.

The bursary program is a professional development opportunity for the participating individuals, and their learning experiences are intended to serve the state’s wine industry. Each of the eight recently gave presentations on their trips and learnings to about 60 wine industry professionals at the National Wine Centre.

The exchange bursary program is coordinated by the Great Wine Capital’s steering committee which includes representatives from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), South Australian Tourism Commission, South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) and the University of Adelaide.

For more information on the Great Wine Capital Outbound Exchange Bursary program go to:

Applications for the bursaries will close Friday 23 August 2024 at 5.00pm ACST.

The steering committee also administers the Best of Wine Tourism Awards which is also now open for applications, closing Friday 12 July 2024. More information on the wine tourism awards can also be found at

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