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, 13 roadshow seminars and 31 workshops were held in winemaking regions across Australia. Workshop topics included spray application, addressing regional challenges, Shiraz and Pinot Noir winemaking treatments and smoke taint. A total of 1,037 participants attended seminars and workshops during the year.
Sixteen webinars were presented to a total of 626 attendees – almost double the previous year’s number of attendees. In addition, webinar recordings were viewed more than 3,500 times on the AWRI’s YouTube channel. Webinars covered a wide spectrum of topics including heat stability, spray application, frost management and remediation of volatile sulfur compounds. The portfolio of presenters was equally diverse, with just one-quarter of all sessions presented by AWRI staff and the remainder presented by researchers from a range of organisations and industry personnel.
Educational courses and events
Three Advanced Wine Assessment Courses were held at the AWRI during the year, with 16 participants in each course. A one-day wine judging course was held for 16 Institute of Masters of Wine students in November 2017 and a one and a half day abridged course was delivered for the Barossa Grape & Wine Association in May 2018. At each tasting course, participants used the ShowRunner software platform. Two Research to Practice modules, on grapevine nutrition and alternative varieties, were also presented.
Support for Wine Communicators of Australia
The AWRI provided technical support and hosting for 13 WCA webinars and continued to enhance and support the WCA website. New functionality added to the website included integration of the online store with the WCA accounting system and set-up of automated follow-up emails. Events were coordinated and managed across three states, including three national wine show lunches and several smaller state-based events.