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Dawn of new era for wine industry
A NEW era in Australia's wine industry dawned
on July 1 when the sector's two statutory bodies
merged to create the Australian Grape and Wine
It replaces the Grape and Wine Research and
Development Corporation and the Wine Australia
Corporation, with the move designed to streamline
marketing, export regulation and research and
development efforts for Australia's $3.4 billion wine
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the single
statutory body would work to increase returns to
grape producers and winemakers, improve market
access and reduce regulatory burden.
"The legislation to replace Wine Australia and the
GWRDC and transfer functions and staff into AGWA
passed Parliament in November last year," Mr Joyce
A team of acting directors, headed by chairman
Brian Walsh, has been appointed to get the author-
ity up and running.
Andreas Clark has been appointed acting chief
executive officer, having filled the role of Wine
Australia acting-chief executive from September
2013, and has previously held a number of senior
management roles with Wine Australia since 2006.
"The acting appointments are initially for three
months to allow for the early establishment of the
authority," Mr Joyce said. "I'm confident that this
board of directors are the right people for the job,
representing a blend of experience necessary to lead
the new organisation through its infant stage."
Based in Adelaide, the new authority brings
together research and development functions and
marketing and export regulation functions following
a proposal by key industry bodies, the Winemakers'
Federation of Australia and Wine Grape Growers
The authority will have a budget of $34.7 million
in 2014-15, with about $11.5m to be provided by
federal government as matching funds for research
and development in accordance with relevant
The authority's membership on an ongoing basis
will be finalised following the initial establishment
Acting directors have been selected from across
Australia, including Victorian Eliza Brown, the
first female director and board member of Brown
Brothers Wines; Casella Wines managing director
John Casella, from NSW's Riverina; former WFA
president Brian Croser; John Forrest, Vic; Ian
Henderson, Qld; Janice McDonald, WA; and Kim
Dean Willoughby, grower liaison officer at
Treasury Wine Estates, judging.
MORE than 120 grape growers and
viticulture trade and industry
attended the inaugural Barossa
Pruning Expo held at the Nuriootpa Research
The Expo, organised by the Barossa Grape
and Wine Association and the Barossa VitiTech
Group, comprised educational workshops, a
trade show featuring leading brands such as
Pellenc, Felco, Electrocoup, Bahco, FMR and
Rossi -- and a pruning competition.
The pruning competition, offering $10,000
worth of prizes, was hotly contested.
Fifth generation Light Pass grower Jim
Boehm took home the first prize of a pair of
Electrocoup pruning shears in the Individual
Rod and Spur event, while Ryan Longmire
from Clare Valley won a pair of Pellenc
Lixion pruning shears in the Individual Spur
It was a thrilling win for Jim, whose
grandfather's pruning trophy from the 1930s
still takes pride of place on his mantelpiece
The team event was won by the "Valley
All Stars" from Clare; second was "Max
Workforce" and third "Henschke's" Mike
Weber, Alex Watt and Ron Tscharke.
The Barossa Pruning Expo is another step in
the BGWA's efforts to enhance the Barossa's
reputation as the leader in the wine industry,
and to build stronger relationships with
growers and industry suppliers, said BGWA
viticulture development officer Nicki Robins.
"The Barossa Pruning Expo is an example
of the BGWA's strong focus on helping
growers optimise financial returns. We are
dedicated to ensuring the Barossa is produc-
ing the highest quality fruit from vineyards
that are financially and environmentally
sustainable long into the future," she said.
The Expo featured case studies of best-
practice vineyard pruning methods, and
provided a forum to present and discuss
'remedial' pruning practices to manage
Barossa stages its
first pruning expo
Jim Boehm, Rod and Spur winner.
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