By Andy Young

The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), which offers research and technical support to Australia's wine industry is celebrating its 60th birthday today.

After starting with just a handful of employees in 1955, AWRI now employs 115 scientists, winemakers, viticulturists and technical staff, all of whom are working for the benefit of the Australian grape and wine producers.

Commenting on the milestone, AWRI managing director, Dr Dan Johnson, said: "The AWRI is proud of the scientific achievements that have underpinned the Australian wine industry's success over the past 60 years. It's no accident that Australian wine has a global reputation for excellence and innovation."

"In the end all of the science comes down to supporting our wine community to make wines that consumers want to buy and enjoy drinking."

"Many people and organisations have contributed to the AWRI's 60-year history. I'd like to thank past and present staff and directors, our funding bodies (in particular the Australian Grape and Wine Authority) and our scientific collaborators across the world."

"Most importantly, I thank the grapegrowers and winemakers of Australia and their representative bodies for their continuing support. We look forward to working with them on the next 60 years of scientific breakthroughs."

Some of AWRI's key achievements over the last 60 years include its world-first research on wine closures that led to the widespread adoption of screwcaps and solving the spoilage issues that plagued the industry in its early days exporting wine.

When AWRI started around 127,000 tonnes of grapes were crushed and a high percentage of these were made into fortified wines. Now around 1.7 million tonnes are crushed and are used across a wide range of wine styles and varieties.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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