The staging and conduct of extension programs
Australia’s reputation as a technologically advanced producer is underpinned by this project, which facilitates the early awareness of current research findings and premiumisation opportunities, amongst industry personnel. The project also fosters technology adoption and practice change, which leads to premiumisation and increased competitiveness.
This project will use the AWRI’s recognised position as a leader in the planning and delivery of wine industry extension and industry outreach programs across Australia, which have proven to be successful in supporting the rapid adoption of new and improved production and management techniques and technologies. Those events include the roadshow program, Regional Program, state-based extension (nodes), and the delivery of content with collaborative partners.
Roadshow seminars and workshops
During the year, 17 roadshow seminars and 33 workshops were held in winemaking regions across Australia. Workshop topics included spray application, addressing regional challenges, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon winemaking treatment tastings and smoke taint. A total of 1,223 participants attended these events in 2018/2019.
During the year the AWRI commissioned First Person Consulting to survey people who had attended AWRI extension events to understand the level of adoption and practice change occurring based on the content presented. The survey covered all the AWRI’s extension events including the roadshow seminars and workshops and the more recent winemaking treatment workshops which have been held over three consecutive vintages.
The winemaking treatment workshops were very popular, attracting more than 600 attendees over the past three years, with many positive testimonials collected from these events. Of the people who had attended one of these tasting events, 58% indicated they had changed a practice based on information they had seen presented at that workshop. Further survey data showed that of people who attended an AWRI seminar or workshop, 82% of respondents had adopted a new practice or changed their existing practices.
Fifteen webinars were presented to a total of 610 attendees in 2018/2019. Webinar recordings were viewed more than 9,500 times on the AWRI’s YouTube channel, almost three times more than the previous year. Webinars covered a wide spectrum of topics with a focus on viticulture this year, including biosecurity, vine balance, salinity, antitranspirants, trunk disease, water management and climate forecasting. The portfolio of presenters was equally diverse, with just one-quarter of all sessions presented by AWRI staff.
Educational courses and events
Three Advanced Wine Assessment Courses were held at the AWRI during the year, with 16 participants in each course. An abridged course was delivered for the Barossa Grape and Wine Association in May 2019. At each tasting course, participants used the ShowRunner software platform. The project team was also involved in presenting a range of other events including viticulture content and sensory masterclasses and delivered a number of lectures and presentations.
Support for Wine Communicators of Australia
The AWRI provided technical support and hosting for 11 WCA webinars and continued to enhance and support the WCA website.