By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News

Wine Australia last week released its Annual Report 2014-2015, highlighting the major achievements from the past year.

Wine Australia chair, Brian Walsh, said: "Our first year was a year of achievement for Wine Australia, following the merger of Wine Australia Corporation and Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.

"As well as consulting widely to develop our five-year Strategic Plan, we continued to support a prosperous Australian grape and wine community by investing in research and development (R&D), promoting our wines in the international and domestic markets, disseminating knowledge, encouraging research adoption and protecting the reputation of Australian wine. 

"This work provides the foundation for the commercial success of our grape growers and wineries as we continue to invest in elevating the awareness of Australia’s fine wines."

Highlights from 2014–15 include:

• Research undertaken in established and emerging markets to understand current perceptions of Australian wine by trade and consumers.

• An estimated 25,000 people enjoyed Savour Australia, a program of epicurean events and experiences, when Australia was the theme country at the 36th Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s preeminent trade and consumer wine event.

• A renewed focus on making comprehensive data sets available to allow grape and wine businesses to make more informed, evidence-based business decisions. Relevant foundation data was collected through the inaugural Wine Sector Survey, which replaced four surveys, streamlined costs and made it easier for wineries and growers to participate.

• A ‘wine flavours card’ was developed, drawing on a three-year R&D study into Chinese consumer tastes and attitudes to wine that will allow Australian wine companies to better target emerging Chinese wine drinkers.

• Audits of wineries, wine traders and wine packaging facilities found a high level of compliance with legislated record keeping requirements.

• A smart phone application for the assessment of powdery mildew advanced to beta testing. 

• A record number of applicants sought to ‘be next’ and participate in Future Leaders 2015, the development program for those in the grape and wine sector who have demonstrated the potential to be next in leading Australian viticulture and wine to long-term success.

To view the annual report, visit the Wine Australia website.

The Shout Team

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

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