South Australia’s best of wine goes global

Image Kimbolton Wines Facebook

South Australia’s wine producers and wine tourism operators will be in the global spotlight, with the chance to be recognised among the world’s best and to travel abroad to learn from international industry experts.

Applications are now open for both the 2024 Best of Wine Tourism Awards – a key annual awards program for the sector, and the Outbound Knowledge Exchange Bursaries – a program returning for the first time post-pandemic which sees local wine industry professionals, researchers and academics traveling to other Great Wine Capitals to learn directly from international experts in their field. Both opportunities are made possible through Adelaide South Australia’s membership of the Great Wine Capital Global Network (GWCGN).

The Best of Wine Tourism Awards recognise the role wine tourism has in strengthening the regional economy through innovation, sustainability, and service excellence. All 12 members of the GWCGN run parallel awards, with local category winners going on to compete in the Global Best of Wine Tourism Awards which are judged by an international jury.

In last year’s global awards held in Argentina, a South Australian wine tourism experience – “Grapes for Good” started by Langhorne Creek based Kimbolton Wines – was named a 2023 Global Best of Wine Tourism winner.

Categories for the 2024 Best of Wine Tourism Awards are: winery accommodation; architecture and landscape; art and culture; innovative wine tourism experiences; wine tourism restaurant; wine tourism services; and sustainable wine tourism practices. With a continuing emphasis on sustainability, each of the shortlisted award entries will be considered for the sustainable wine tourism practices award.

The Outbound Knowledge Exchange Bursary program, valued at $18,000, will give three South Australian wine industry representatives the opportunity to travel to one or more of the other 11 Great Wine Capitals: 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). It aims to enable local industry to gain experience and expertise in their chosen field and share their learnings upon their return to the state. In past iterations of the program, successful participants have learned about AgTech innovation, cellar door best practice, and the effect of heating events on vineyards.

Wine industry professionals with expertise in tourism, sustainability, winemaking and viticulture, research and academia are encouraged to apply for a bursary to fund their travel and share their learning experience on return. Travel is to be taken between September 2023 and February 2024.

Both the awards and outbound exchange program are 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), University of Adelaide and University of South Australia.

Award entries and bursary applications close on Friday 11 August 2023.

For more information, see Best of Wine Tourism Awards and Outbound Knowledge Exchange bursary program.

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