Posts Tagged WERC

Wine and Astonishment – the new thinkpiece by Andrew Jefford

Let’s make wine strange again! So says Andrew Jefford in this original and well written paper, published as a Working Paper in the University of Adelaide’s Wine Economics Research Centre.

Wine market expert Andrew Jefford gave a rousing and original speech to the Wine Communicators of Australia at the National Wine Centre on 29 May 2012. This article entitled Wine and Astonishment is an edited version of that speech.

Jefford wants us to rethink our attitudes to wine. In recent years he says, wine has become so familiar that we now take it for granted. “There are dangers in that familiarity… The aim is to make wine strange for us again.” Wine he says – “there is no thing like it”.

The worst thing in his eyes is “the failure to be astonished by wine: a wine-worldliness, if you like. This knowingness, this taking –for-granted of the landscape of the wine world, does wine a disservice.”

Jefford delves into the philosophical significance of astonishment, and also examines the ‘being of wine’, as opposed to the existence. Are we so distracted by the ubiquitous existence of wine now, as we are surrounded by it, that we have forgotten the essence of being…

It’s a cracking read, with some delicious philosophical mindbenders, but as Jefford puts it, it is in layman’s terms, clearly explained and leads you through a journey of reflection on the value of wine in our lives.


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Prof. Anderson looks at Georgia as an emerging wine-exporting country

On 24 June 2012 Professor Kym Anderson spoke at the AAWEICABR workshop in Avellino, Italy, entitled Technology and Innovation in the Wine Industry.

He talked about the Georgian wine industry in a presentation entitled: ‘Is Georgia the next ‘new’ wine-exporting country? The roles of traditional vs. new technologies and trade alliances’. To see his presentation go to the WERC Events page.

Georgia has been producing and exporting wine for thousands of years, and until the trade embargo in 2006, the lion’s share went to Russia. Advantages include low labour and viticultural land costs by Western standards and recognition of Georgian GIs by the EU. The Ukraine is currently the largest importer of Georgian wine but there is potential in the rest of the CIS countries and Europe as well as Asia.

Professor Anderson’s presentation offers great insights into Georgia’s place in the global history of wine markets and its potential. Yet another wine-producing country to watch with interest!

Professor Anderson is Executive Director of the Wine Economics Research Centre of the University of Adelaide.

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Crush 2011! Key wine industry facts presented by Prof. Kym Anderson

Professor Kym Anderson of Wine2030 and the Wine Economics Research Centre gave a fascinating and informative presentation at the plenary session of the Crush 2011: The Grape and Wine Science Symposium in Adelaide, entitled ‘Wine’s globalization: New opportunities, new challenges for Australia’.

The Crush 2011 symposium, organised by the Wine Innovation Cluster, brought together top wine and grape researchers from all over Australia and overseas, from universities, research institutes, industry and government to present the latest cutting edge research, to network and to foster future collaborative opportunities. The University of Adelaide had a strong attendance, as did the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the University of South Australia, Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC), South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), and other universities and institutions around Australia and overseas. Inspiring talks were provided in the plenary session at the National Wine Centre by GWRDC Chairman Rory McEwen, Kym Anderson, John Brooks of Zork, Mark Thomas of CSIRO Plant Industry, Keren Bindon of AWRI and Rebekah Richardson of Pernod-Ricard Pacific.

Professor Anderson gave an insightful and concise summary of the challenges facing Australia’s wine industry today, essentially:

• Profits of wineries have nose-dived

• Winegrape prices fell sharply in 2009, 2010 and in 2011

• Bulk wine exports 47% in 2010-11, up from 15% 1996-2003

• Import share of domestic wine sales has risen from 3% in 2001 to 15% in 2010-11 (NZ, France, Italy)

• Volatility of weather is not expected to lessen

Trade is a huge consideration for the Australian wine industry, with 66% of our wine production exported in 2009. Meanwhile the world market for wine has got tougher with the strong Australian dollar, fashion swing away from our wine in the traditional markets (UK, US, Germany), strong competition from other global producers, oversupply of wine in Europe, the growth of supermarket power in wine sales, environmental concerns, and so on. Plus wine is being targeted in a number of countries including Australia with regard to negative health implications, including rising taxes and regulations.

However! Globalisation has a long way to go and there are huge opportunities as wine expenditure grows around the world, particularly in Asia, dominated by China. Furthermore, in terms of the average price of bottled still wine imports, five of the top 10 countries globally are Asian so there are profits to be made!

The data behind Kym’s presentation are from a new compendium of global wine statistics, downloadable as a free e-book at or in Excel format at

Kym Anderson is the Executive Director of the Wine Economics Research Centre, University of Adelaide, and a member of Wine2030, University of Adelaide.

Details of the Crush 2011 symposium including full programme and abstracts may be found at

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Wine2030 reaches out to the Gold Coast

Wine2030’s Nicola Chandler (aka Tigs) took the Wine2030 message to the Gold Coast, talking to Bond University’s wine studies students, (click here to go to for the full article and beautiful campus photos), seeing what they are learning and opening them up to a new source of information and contacts. Nicola attended Steve Knight’s wine studies course at Bond, kicking off the class with a presentation showing the key areas of the University of Adelaide that are involved in wine research.

Nicola is mostly involved with Wine2030 and the Wine Economics Research Centre so these sources were her focus. She highlighted examples of research ongoing at the university and the amazing resources open to researchers and students in Adelaide, including the University of Adelaide’s Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Sciences Laboratory at the Waite campus. She also showed the students some juicy statistics from the recently released Global Wine Markets, 1961 to 2009: A Statistical Compendium, produced by the Wine Economics Research Centre.

The importance of social media in sharing wine research and encouraging information flows formed the second half of the talk to the students – the use of Twitter, blogging, websites, and a whole new approach to sharing information in addition to traditional media. Social media opens so many more doors in expanding the audience and enriching research and communication. Social media makes research more accessible. See Tig’s Ten Commandments for Engaging in Social Media for a simple guide to approaching this area. Please feel free to share the commandments and all feedback welcome!

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Decanter wine writer Andrew Jefford promotes the Global Wine Markets statistical compendium

Andrew Jefford, wine writer for Decanter magazine, writes about the Wine Economics Research Centre’s recent release, Global Wine Markets, 1961 to 2009, A Statistical Compendium in an article entitled: “Jefford on Monday: All The Figures That’s Fit To Print“.

Jefford picks out juicy snippets from the burgeoning compendium, making you want to delve deeper and questioning your assumptions about the shape of the world wine market. How dependent are France and Italy on wine exports? Which countries’ wine markets are most dominated by large wine companies? What is the per capita wine consumption in Australia? Or the UK? All of these answers are freely available in this valuable statistical resource.

Full information on the compendium is freely available in pdf or Excel format by chapter from the WERC website at this page.

The full pdf is free to download from the University of Adelaide Press and you may also order the hard copy for just AUD35.00.

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Australia’s evolving role in the world’s wine markets

On 8 June 2011 Professor Kym Anderson of the Wine Economics Research Centre of the University of Adelaide spoke to the Barossa Next Crop Leadership Program at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide about Australia’s evolving role in the world’s wine markets. He outlined the main challenges to Australia’s wine industry today – falling winery profits, falling winegrape prices, rising bulk wine exports as a share of the total, and rising imports of wine as a share of domestic sales. He provides great insight into the underlying reasons and looks at the potential for this industry going forward.

Rounding off his presentation, the take-away messages were:

*      Boom/bust/slow-recovery cycles are normal for the wine industry

*      But the present one involved a more sudden and severe downturn than expected due to rapid acreage expansion in previous 15 years plus drought, and then GFC, strong A$, strengthened competition from other wine-exporting countries

*      Vine-grubbing in Australia and the EU is easing the over-supply, and growth in Asian wine imports is boosting demand

*      Climate change may require vignerons to alter their varietal mix and/or moving to higher latitudes and altitudes

*      If Australia switched to volumetric wine tax, expect quality upgrading

*      But climate change and tax change will hurt irrigated areas most, as is greater competition from lower-cost exporting countries

*      Foreign investment could put a floor on vineyard and winery asset values in Australia

*      More investment in innovation is vital (R&D and promotion)

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Global Wine Markets, 1961 to 2009: A Statistical Compendium

Global Wine Markets, 1961 to 2009: A Statistical Compendium

This comprehensive and expertly researched publication provides detailed global wine statistics – a must-have reference for anyone working in, or even just interested in, the wine industry.

The University of Adelaide’s Wine Economics Research Centre has produced this latest edition in a major revision, expansion and update of the preceding compendia.

The complete pdf version of Global Wine Markets, 1961 to 2009: A Statistical Compendium may be downloaded free of charge from the University of Adelaide Press, and a hard copy may be ordered for A$35.00 plus postage.

Overviews of key sections (PDF), charts (PDF) and tables (PDF and Excel) are available from the Wine Economics Research Centre.

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