LITTLE headway has been made in diversifying Australia’s mix of wine grape varieties, a conference heard.
Noted wine economist from the University of Adelaide, Professor Kym Anderson, gave insights into worldwide wine industry trends during a conference in Port Macquarie on Wednesday.
“Australia as a whole is becoming more like France as a whole but Australia is much more homogenous across regions than France,” Professor Anderson told the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economists Society annual conference this week.
“I don’t think it is a good thing we are becoming more homogenous, but whether it is a good thing on average for Australia to look like France, is an open question.”
Professor Anderson said cross-regional varietal differences within Australia were much less than was the case within other countries, which suggested there was plenty of scope to explore alternative varieties.
He acknowledged it was always going to be gamble every time a variety was removed and replaced with another.
“It’s a very challenging industry to make a buck out of,” he said.
Professor Anderson was part of a symposium with a focus on the Australian wine industry in Australia.
He reported insights gleaned from a new resource which reveals what wine grape varieties are grown where in the world, and offers winemakers data which could be used to make critical decisions such as to adapt to climate change.
The 2010 database compiled by researchers at the University of Adelaide includes 520 regions in 44 countries.
About 200 delegates are progressing key issues for the agriculture, mining and environment sectors during the conference at the Glasshouse.
The conference ends today.