By Andrew Spence – The Lead
An international association of wine cities across the world has announced Adelaide as its newest member.
The South Australian capital’s inclusion in the exclusive Great Wine Capitals Global Network will give it greater international exposure and create collaboration opportunities within the wine industry.
Home to iconic brands such as Penfolds, Hardys, Jacobs Creek and Wolf Blass, South Australia is Australia’s leading wine state, producing 50 per cent of all bottled wine and almost 80 per cent of premium wine.
The Great Wine Capitals Global Network is an international association of members whose wine regions are recognised as significant economic and cultural assets.
Established in 1999, there is only one member from each of the world’s major wine producing nations and Adelaide’s appointment was supported unanimously.
Adelaide will join Bilbao / Rioja (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Cape Town / Cape Winelands (South Africa), Mainz / Rheinhessen (Germany), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal), San Francisco / Napa Valley (USA) and Valparaìso / Casablanca Valley (Chile) as one of the Network’s exclusive members.
The network aims is to “heighten the wine experience for everyone who visits its regions and cities, and to support their members themselves to make the most of their extraordinary culture, heritage and geographical virtue”.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill made the announcement at the San Francisco Food and Wine Reception, a Showcase of South Australia, in the United States this week.
“South Australia excels in producing premium wine and providing exceptional wine tourism. These industries are crucial for our economic growth and creating jobs in our regions,” Weatherill said.
Penfolds Chief Winemaker and Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment Ambassador Peter Gago said becoming a Great Wine Capital made perfect sense.
“It’s very exciting and timely to witness Adelaide joining such a well-respected global wine network. I believe our South Australian wine and food industries and culture will benefit greatly from the opportunities this will create – now and into the future,” Gago said.
There are 18 wine regions in South Australia, including the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast and Riverland.
More than 200 cellar doors are within an hour’s drive of the city centre of Adelaide.
The state is best known for full-bodied red wines such as shiraz and cabernet sauvignon and top quality white wines including riesling and chardonnay.
In 2014–15, South Australia’s wine industry generated almost $1.8 billion in revenue, with $1.2 billion of this from wine exports.
The 2016 vintage is almost complete with almost all regions reporting high quality red and white grapes and strong yields.
Penfolds, one of the State’s best known labels, and the maker of famous South Australian shiraz Grange, was recently named the World’s Most Admired Wine Brand in a poll of almost 200 international industry experts.
Mr Weatherill said the State Government was firmly committed to the State’s wine industry with one of the key economic priorities being Premium Food and Wine produced from our Clean Environment and Exported to the World.