Global experts announced in Australian Cabernet Symposium line-up

Phil Brodie. Image courtesy Australian Cabernet Sauvignon Symposium

The Australian Cabernet Sauvignon Symposium (ACS) yesterday revealed the names of nine global Cabernet experts who will present on day one of the 2024 event, which will take place in Coonawarra and Margaret River on 1 February.

With experts hailing from France, Hawke’s Bay, the Napa Valley, Scotland, Adelaide, Coonawarra and Margaret River, the 2024 ACS will explore and showcase the latest global developments in Cabernet in the fields of wine research, viticulture and winemaking, focusing on the theme ‘Supporting Cabernet Sauvignon into the Future’.

ACS committee chair Dr Catherine Kidman said that the committee is thrilled to have secured two highly regarded international keynote speakers – with one presenting live from each ACS venue.

“It’s a great coup to have Fine Wines and Terroir consultant Rodrigo Laytte, who has extensive experience consulting for wineries across the Napa Valley, Chile, Mexico and Bordeaux, accept our invitation to present from Margaret River.  He will share his views on how these regions are adapting to climate change through the lens of premium Cabernet production,” she said.

“We are also delighted to have Phil Brodie from Te Mata in Hawke’s Bay, renowned for crafting New Zealand’s benchmark red, Coleraine, join us live from Coonawarra to explore his team’s search for the Holy Grail of Cabernet.

“They will join seven other global Cabernet experts who will present on topics ranging from carbon neutral wineries of the future, the latest Cabernet statistics and trends, state of the art vineyard irrigation systems, rootstocks and methoxypyrazines, predicting berry cell death and shrivel; and the past, present and future of Cabernet Sauvignon. With Cabernet being the world’s most planted variety, it’s a must attend event for the Australian wine community. It also provides an unparalleled opportunity to network with fellow Cabernet producers and suppliers in support of a prosperous future for the noble grape variety in Australia.”

The 2024 Australian Cabernet Symposium presenters on day one are as follows.

  • Rodrigo Laytte (France) – Fine Wines and Terroir Consultant, former International Technical Director for Moët Hennessy Wine Division and former Technical Director at Château Kirwan, Grand Cru Classé de Margaux.
  • Phil Brodie (NZ) – Senior Winemaker at Te Mata in Hawke’s Bay, famous for crafting one of New Zealand’s most revered reds, Coleraine.
  • Vanya Cullen OAM (Aus) – Chief Winemaker at Australia’s first 100% carbon neutral winery, Cullen Wines, and a pioneer of biodynamic and organic practices.
  • Professor Stephen Tyerman (Aus), a plant physiology researcher from the University of Adelaide who will explore predictors of cell death and berry shrivel and key learnings for Cabernet producers.
  • Kym Anderson AC (Aus), George Gollin Professor Emeritus at the University of Adelaide and founding Executive Director of its Wine Economics Research Centre, and Vice-President of the American Association of Wine Economists and Co-Editor of its Journal of Wine Economics.
  • Dr Vinay Pagay (Aus), senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide and co-founder of Athena IR-Tech.
  • Roger Boulton (USA) presenting via video – Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Enology and Chemical Engineering Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis.
  • Ross Sanders (AUS/UK) presenting via video – Research Scientist – Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate, Diageo Scotland and Heriot-Watt University.
  • Trevor Durling (USA) presenting via video – Chief Winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyard, renowned for crafting the legendary Napa Valley Cabernet, Georges de Latour.

For more information on their presentation topics, visit

Traditionally hosted by Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated (CGWI) in Coonawarra, for the first time the 2024 ACS is being presented in association with Wines of Western Australia (WoWA) and sees the joining of forces of Australia’s premier Cabernet Sauvignon producing regions, Coonawarra and Margaret River. Delegates can attend the triannual event from either Parker Coonawarra Estate in South Australia or Margaret River HEART in Western Australia.

On day one, presentations and masterclasses will be simulcast live to and from both venues, followed by dinners in both states. Day two, occurring in Coonawarra only, consists of an ag-tech field demonstration tour where attendees can see the latest in viticultural innovations out in the field.

To book tickets and for more information about the Australian Cabernet Symposium, visit


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