Communication and awareness-raising activities
Communication with the Australian grape and wine community is an essential aspect of the AWRI’s activities, helping to maximise benefits from investments in research, development and extension by promoting awareness and adoption. This project develops new content and manages the delivery of information and knowledge to Australian grape and wine producers in formats designed for easy understanding and practical adoption. Communication outlets include the AWRI website, industry journals, the AWRI Annual Report, Technical Review, electronic newsletters and social media.
The AWRI website is a major platform for communicating with stakeholders including grape and wine producers, students, potential employees and the general public. More than 177,525 visitors accessed the AWRI website during the year with more than 604,635 page-views. Frequently asked questions in the winemaking resources section were among the top-visited pages. Updates to content during the year included the latest research results on smoke taint (particularly following early-season smoke exposure), restructured information on sustainability and viticulture, new sections on vineyard management practices and brown marmorated stink bug biosecurity, new and updated fact sheets and research updates on projects conducted under the AWRI’s 2017-2025 RD&E plan. The website was also used to communicate with levy payers about the AWRI Board election and to promote events including seminars, workshops, tastings and webinars.
eBulletins and eNews
Twenty-two eBulletins were delivered to approximately 3,280 subscribers during the year (Table 1).
Five issues of the AWRI’s electronic newsletter, eNews, were distributed to an audience of more than 3,560 subscribers. This publication provides a range of information to AWRI stakeholders, including upcoming events, new information resources and research updates.
Social media and video content
The AWRI’s Twitter account reached approximately 3,940 followers, around 100 more than the previous year. The AWRI’s Facebook presence grew by more than 370 likes during the year to reach 1,871. The AWRI’s YouTube channel offers AWRI webinar recordings and other AWRI video content. The number of subscribers more than doubled from 1,042 in 2019/2020 to 2,442 and the channel attracted more than 123,430 views, up by more than 500% from the previous year, split between 53,499 views of webinar recordings and 69,933 views of demonstration or animated videos.
Much of the increase in YouTube traffic could be attributed to the increased focus on video content that continued during the year, building on the previous year’s successful pilot project, with four new videos produced. Three were demonstration videos, covering the topics of protecting vineyards from frost, conducting small-lot fermentations for smoke taint assessments and conducting sensory assessments of potentially smoke-affected wines. The fourth was an animated video, produced in the lead-up to the National Bushfire Conference, to convey the importance of rigorous sensory methods when assessing wines for smoke taint.
For the past 66 years, the AWRI has produced a printed annual report as its formal report to Australian winemakers and grapegrowers. Since 1999, the annual reports have also been made available on the AWRI’s website. The AWRI publishes a summary of the annual report in the Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker and offers to deliver an annual presentation to the board or executive of each major state-based winemaking body. This formal activity complements the wide range of other extension and communication activities undertaken by AWRI staff members throughout the year.
The AWRI’s bi-monthly publication, Technical Review, publishes abstracts of recently published grape and wine science literature and technical articles authored by AWRI staff. Technical Review is available to grape and wine producers via the AWRI website or a small number of hard copies. A total of 1,079 articles featured in the Technical Review Current Literature section were requested by and provided to readers during the year.
The AWRI contributes regular articles to Wine & Viticulture Journal and Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, while also contributing to other Australian and international industry journals.
The AWRI is regularly approached by national and international media for comment on technical issues related to wine. Four media releases and one joint industry statement with Australian Grape & Wine were prepared and distributed, with 41 media interviews conducted during the year.