Australian Wine Research Institute appoints new leader

Tasmanian farmer turned viticulturist Mark Krstic has been appointed the next managing director of the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide, South Australia.

Krstic, who takes up the managing director’s position from a role as general manager of business development at the AWRI, will succeed Dan Johnson, who has led the AWRI since 2011 and is taking up a new position at Macquarie University in Sydney from February 1.

The AWRI board conducted a global search for the new managing director before appointing Krstic.

AWRI chair Louisa Rose said Krstic’s connections and experience would make him an outstanding leader for the Australian grape and wine industry’s research organisation.

“Dr Krstic was the stand-out candidate due to his wealth of experience in grape and wine research, knowledge of the wine industry and outstanding leadership and commercial business skills,” she said.

“Dr Krstic combines a research background in viticulture and oenology with deep understanding of the issues facing Australian grape and wine producers.

Raised on a family farm in Tasmania, Krstic completed undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania in Hobart before working in viticulture research positions with the CSIRO and Victorian Government. He joined the AWRI in 2012.

“While maintaining a focus on the AWRI’s core areas of strength, Dr Krstic’s strong viticultural background aligns well with the ‘grape to consumer’ direction that the AWRI Board has been working towards in recent years and views as a focus for research and collaboration into the future,” Rose said.

The AWRI is located at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus Waite Campus, 7km southeast of the centre of Adelaide.

The campus has the largest concentration of research expertise in the Southern Hemisphere in plant, food and agricultural sciences and hosts nationally significant research organisations including CSIRO, Australian Grain Technologies and the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility.

Dr Krstic said the opportunity to lead the AWRI was humbling and exciting.

“At a time where our industry is facing incredible opportunities and challenges, the importance of world-class grape and wine science and a strong technical support base to help Australian grape and wine producers succeed cannot be overstated,” he said.

“The AWRI is a unique organisation filled with talented people working with Australian Grape & Wine, Wine Australia, state and regional bodies, investors, collaborators, producers, suppliers and other organisations to support a prosperous and sustainable Australian grape and wine industry.

“It will be an honour to lead such a wonderful team.”