Great Wine Capitals

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (15:09): Today, I rise to speak about a recent visit to the Riverland by members of the prestigious Great Wine Capitals global network. This is a world-renowned network of wine and industry leaders. I joined network members in the Riverland, including Napa Valley president, Clay Gregory; dean of the Wine and Spirits Academy at Kedge Business School in Bordeaux, Jacques-Olivier Pesme; and the general manager of the Monverde Wine Experience Hotel, Miguel Ribeiro from Portugal.

We met at Banrock Station and conducted a workshop there, which was attended by some of the great minds within the wine industry as well as tourism operators. It was all about collaboration and clustering, which this government is very supportive of. As the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, I see that as a pathway forward, not only for generating interest and development within the primary industry but also as a great way for regions to build strength and knowledge and to remain relevant. We know that when we have economies of scale or economies of populations, they create strength because there is strength in numbers.

During the workshop at Banrock Station—the now great, world-renowned Banrock and Wetland Centre at Kingston on Murray—there were a couple of luminaries in the room. One of the success stories was, obviously, Whistling Kite Wines. The Barich family were recently awarded the Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Award for their sustainable wine practices.

As a member of the Great Wine Capitals global network, Adelaide and South Australia join a group of international cities whose wine regions are recognised as significant economic and cultural assets. The Great Wine Capitals group came to Banrock and we travelled from Banrock to Waikerie before we hopped on the Caudo River Express, which is a great addition to the Caudo family's stable of tourist attractions, including their cellar door and their great property on the river at Hogwash Bend, just below Waikerie.

The members of the Great Wine Capitals network said that they had been to McLaren Vale, they had been to the Barossa and they had been to Clare, but the Riverland wine experience was something they had never experienced before. In all their travels around the world, the Riverland offered a unique experience. That is something I say to everyone in this house: anyone who ever wants to have a unique wine experience, come to the Riverland.

One of the other benefits to our wine regions and wine companies is being able to learn from international best practice within the wine industry. Our state is strengthening its reputation and its ties and outcomes with other Great Wine Capitals members. It is about coming together, sharing knowledge and a collaborative model, and recognising some of the world's best practices, just as they do in Bordeaux, Porto and the Napa Valley. They are the world's great wine centres, just as we are here in South Australia.

We know that here in South Australia the very best of South Australia's wine industry is always showcased right around the world. Experiences that sit alongside the wine really excite international tourists. When they come to South Australia, we have so many diverse wine experiences that really are something to behold.

There are 10 wine capitals of the world. The network's other members are Bilbao in Spain, Bordeaux in France, Mainz in Germany, Mendoza in Argentina, Porto in Portugal, San Francisco and Napa Valley in the US, Valparaiso in the Casablanca Valley in Chile, Verona in Italy and Lausanne in Switzerland. I must say that the Riverland's wine region is the engine room of the wine industry in the country. It is a critical part of the wine industry, just like the network of wine industries is here in South Australia.

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