The man behind Australia’s most famous wine has been given the task of promoting premium wines from his home state to the world.
Penfolds' chief winemaker Peter Gago has today been appointed South Australia’s inaugural Great Wine Capitals Global Ambassador a year after South Australia joined the international organisation.
The Ambassador Program will see the appointment of wine and tourism leaders from each member city, opening the possibilities for collaboration and boosting the profile of the network.
Home to iconic brands such as Penfolds, Hardys, Jacobs Creek and Wolf Blass, South Australia is the country’s leading wine state, producing 50 per cent of all bottled wine and almost 80 per cent of premium wine.
Gago said Adelaide’s Great Wine Capital membership presented many exciting possibilities for its wine regions.
“Elevating the state’s wine profile on an international stage increases the exposure for our premium wine labels and raises the bar for us as a wine capital – we’re now benchmarking against regions like Bordeaux and this gives us the opportunity to learn from their experience and insights,” he said.
Innovation and research
Last year, the Royal Institution of Australia awarded Gago a prestigious Bragg Membership for his contributions to the science of winemaking.
Penfolds produces Grange, the nation’s most celebrated wine.
A new partnership was also formed between the University of Adelaide and KEDGE Business School in Bordeaux, France, to further accelerate wine industry education, innovation and research.
The international partnership will also extend to students, teachers and researchers with opportunities to participate in joint projects as well as study tours and overseas exchange programs with the internationally-acclaimed French wine region.
According to the Organisation of Vine and Wine, Australia was the world’s fifth largest wine-producing nation in 2016 behind Italy, France, Spain and the United States.
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.
In 2014-15, South Australia’s wine industry generated almost $1.8 billion in revenue, with $1.2 billion of this from wine exports.
Caleb Radford is a senior writer with The Lead, South Australia