Small Farms

Wine conference wraps up with eye to future

The final day of 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Adelaide today will see a focus on the future of grape and wine production.

Sessions will cover the latest scientific results, technologies to improve productivity and the Australian wine industry of the future.

Prof. Robert Fitch from the University of Sydney will present the newest applications for robotics in agriculture – a field that is changing rapidly and has enormous potential. He will explain how a combination of sensors, data analytics and automation is likely to transform agricultural production in the near future.

Prof. Roger Boulton from the University of California, Davis, USA will explore opportunities for improving the design of future wineries.

He will focus on environmental impact, process efficiency, winemaking precision and maximising the value of wine-grapes.

He will also present examples of technologies that can be integrated into existing wineries to improve productivity. Prof. Boulton’s presence at the conference is sponsored by Treasury Wine Estates.

Yalumba Chief Winemaker, Louisa Rose, will present a vision of what the Australian wine industry will look like in 2050 in terms of production, consumer engagement, and industry structures and systems.

UK wine writer, Dr Jamie Goode will challenge the audience to think deeply about the social impacts of our product and what more the wine community could be doing to ensure that wine retains its social licence.

In the final presentation of the conference, to tie the whole event together, Mark McCrindle from McCrindle Research will provide a roadmap to help the wine community navigate the ‘megatrends’ that are transforming Australia, explaining their effects on the business and consumer landscape.

At the start of this final day, conference chairman Dr Dan Johnson said “This year’s AWITC has exceeded expectations across all fronts, with a sold-out trade exhibition, high quality presentations and excellent audience participation and feedback. I’d like to thank all of the speakers, committee members, staff and volunteers that have contributed to such a positive event for the Australian wine community”.

Other speakers include:

  • Prof. Peter Høj, University of Queensland, ‘Scientific opportunities that will disrupt’
  • Dr Mark Whitty, UNSW Australia, ‘Next generation yield prediction technologies’
  • Ryan Hodgson, Accolade Wines, ‘Designing and implementing efficient production systems’

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