2020 will be remembered as a challenging year to say the least, but the challenges faced this year have thrown a harsh light on considering what we need to plan for in the future.
The upcoming online series ‘Australian wine: winning the long game’ will bring together global and local experts and practitioners who will discuss the sector’s risks, opportunities, vision and – importantly – a plan for it.
The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) and Wine Communicators of Australia have joined forces to deliver a dynamic program that features technical information and case studies to explore how to plan for what will impact the way that we grow, make and sell wine in the years to come.
Lynda Schenk, Executive Officer Wine Communicators of Australia, said, ‘Wine businesses today are confronted with the threat of fire, drought, rising energy prices, disease and climate change (among other things). Consumers are seeking out businesses whose practises offer a reduced footprint combined with a wellbeing focus.’
The series aims to explore just that, with panels that will discuss topics from climate change to biosecurity, vineyard design to data-driven decision making, sustainability in the vineyard to sustainable businesses – and if consumers care about sustainability.
ASVO President, Brooke Howell said, ‘Drawing on the expertise from within the wine sector and the experiences of others, attendees will gain a greater understanding of our impacts locally and globally, gain strategies to mitigate these risks, improve the environment through winegrowing and making practices, and better communicate these messages to customers and consumers.’
Headlining the event is Sophie Taylor-Price a sustainability consultant and Landcare Australia Ambassador who will present the cases for urgent climate action and also for optimism. Presenters from the Australian wine sector include 2018 ASVO Viticulturist of the Year Colin Bell, Nuffield Scholar Marty Gransden and 2019 graduate of the Future Leaders program Hayley Purbrick from Tahbilk Winery.
Australian wine: winning the long game
Starts: Monday 29 June 2020 (12pm AEST)
Ends: Wednesday 1 July 2020 (5pm AEST)
Location: Streamed to your home or office
Registrations are open online here.
Session 1: Winning the long game
Setting the scene for the seminar, wine sector leaders will provide their perspective on the critical questions: how did we get here, what is the current state of play and how will we win the long game?
Session 2: Towards a sustainable future - mitigating climate change
The wine sector is a small player with regard to its role as a greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter. However, it’s important to understand the sources, quantum and opportunities to reduce our emissions, along with our impacts on climate change and the importance of climate change in our overall sustainability strategy. This session will provide an update on our GHG emissions footprint, the simple and innovative ways in which vineyards and wineries are reducing emissions, the business case for emissions mitigation and an exploration of CO2 capture in brewing.
Session 3: Adapting to a changing climate
The Australian wine sector has been experiencing and adapting to climate change at a rapid rate both on the ground and in research. This session will showcase the capacity for rapid adaptation in the vineyard and a range of research, tools and resources to support further adaptation and future planning, including the new Climate Atlas of regional climate modelling and climate scenario modelling for viticulture. Professor Manfred Stoll joins the session to share an overview of climate change research from Geisenheim University in Germany
Session 4: The changing landscape
This session will address tackling some of the sector’s challenges, beginning with one of the biggest threats – water scarcity. The session will then switch gears to focus on biosecurity, the impacts of climate change on grape pest and disease threats and adapting to a future where vineyards are managed using limited chemical control options.
Session 5: Fire – impacts, monitoring, remediation and managing the message
In the summer of 2019–20, numerous Australian wine regions were affected by fire. Australia has a strong track record of research into the effects of smoke on wine and, more recently, monitoring smoke and remediating smoke-affected wine. This session brings together the researchers at the front line of smoke research and will also discuss how to best communicate the messages about fire, smoke and wine.
Session 6: Making our wine businesses sustainable
The main game for all of us is to ensure our businesses are sustainable. This requires a 360-degree view of all aspects of the business and its operating environment. Session 6 will explore the challenge of accessing finance in a changing climate, the benefits of diversity in the workplace, defining the value proposition and working towards sustainability at the business and regional level and the importance of business agility when responding to crises.
Session 7: Do consumers care about sustainability?
‘Sustainable wine’ is a nebulous but expanding category. New insights into consumer knowledge and preferences will be discussed including Marcus Ihre from System Bolaget, Sweden, which is spearheading the sustainability category. The panel session will be joined by producers who will discuss their approach to communicating sustainability in the marketplace.
Session 8: Doing it differently
Session 8 focuses on ‘doing it differently’. Change starts in the vineyard, from vineyard design to variety choices and soil management – grape and wine quality is the end-goal. Rob Glastonbury will give us insight into winery-based data-driven decision-making. In a future where we are all doing it differently to survive, how can we capitalise on this and tell more impactful stories?
Session 9: The keys to success
The final session of the seminar will bring back our visionary leaders. Armed with the results of an audience poll, the panel will gaze into the crystal ball and give us their insights into the risks we face in the future and their vision for the research, the technology and the skills we will need to win the long game.