07 Jul 2023

South Australia’s best of wine goes global

Kimbolton Wines, Fleurieu Peninsula
Kimbolton Wines, Fleurieu Peninsula

South Australia’s wine tourism operators and wine producers will be in the global spotlight, with the chance to be recognised among the world’s best and to travel abroad to learn from international industry experts.
Applications are now open for both the 2024 Best of Wine Tourism Awards – a key annual awards program for the sector, and the Outbound Knowledge Exchange Bursaries – a program returning for the first-time post pandemic which sees local wine industry professionals, researchers and academics traveling to other Great Wine Capitals to learn directly from international experts in their field.
Both opportunities are made possible through Adelaide South Australia’s membership of the Great Wine Capital Global Network (GWCGN).
The Best of Wine Tourism Awards recognise the role wine tourism has in strengthening the regional economy through innovation, sustainability, and service excellence.
All 12 members of the GWCGN run parallel awards, with local category winners going on to compete in the Global Best of Wine Tourism Awards which are judged by an international jury.
In last year’s global awards held in Argentina, a South Australian wine tourism experience – ‘Grapes for Good’ started by Langhorne Creek based Kimbolton Wines – was named a 2023 Global Best of Wine Tourism winner.
Categories for the 2024 Best of Wine Tourism Awards are: winery accommodation; architecture and landscape; art and culture; innovative wine tourism experiences; wine tourism restaurant; wine tourism services; and sustainable wine tourism practices. With a continuing emphasis on sustainability, each of the shortlisted award entries will be considered for the sustainable wine tourism practices award.
The Outbound Knowledge Exchange Bursary program, valued at $18,000, will give three South Australian wine industry representatives the opportunity to travel to one or more of the other 11 Great Wine Capitals: Bilbao/Rioja (Spain); Bordeaux (France); Cape Town/Cape Winelands (South Africa); Hawke’s Bay (New Zealand); Lausanne (Switzerland); Mainz/Rheinhessen (Germany); Mendoza (Argentina); Porto (Portugal); San Francisco/Napa Valley (US); Valparaiso/Casablanca Valley (Chile); and Verona (Italy). It aims to enable local industry to gain experience and expertise in their chosen field and share their learnings upon their return to the state. In past iterations of the program, successful participants have learned about AgTech innovation, cellar door best practice, and the effect of heating events on vineyards.
Wine industry professionals with expertise in tourism, sustainability, research and academia, winemaking and viticulture are encouraged to apply for a bursary to fund their travel and share their learning experience on return. Travel is to be taken between September 2023 and February 2024.
Both the awards and outbound exchange program are coordinated by the Great Wine Capital’s steering committee which includes representatives from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), South Australian Tourism Commission, South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA), University of Adelaide and University of South Australia.
Award entries and bursary applications close on Friday 11 August 2023.
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said wine is a major tourism drawcard to the state, and that’s why programs which put our wine tourism operators in the spotlight are so important. 
"Our wine and wineries are a key attraction for domestic and international tourists – we know last year, one fifth of all interstate visitors visited a winery during their trip and prior to the pandemic, more than one third of all international visitors," Minister Bettison said.
"With the iconic Kimbolton Wines and Zoos SA joint visitor experience taking out a Global Best of Wine Tourism Award in 2023, I hope this encourages wine tourism operators across the state to enter in the 2024 awards. There is no shortage of excellence in our industry, and I wish all entrants for the awards and the outbound knowledge exchange program every success." 
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Clare Scriven said membership of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network acknowledges South Australia as Australia’s premier wine state, producing more than 80% of the nation’s premium wine from some of the oldest vines in the world.

"The awards are an opportunity to celebrate the South Australian wine industry and our people who drive the standards to which others aspire," Minister Scriven said.
"I am delighted that South Australia can take a leadership position within the network to further facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration through the outbound knowledge exchange bursaries. The knowledge shared and gained will be extremely valuable in keeping our state positioned as one of the finest wine regions in the world."

For more information and to enter the 2024 Best of Wine Tourism Awards as well as the Great Wine Capital Outbound Exchange Bursary program visit adelaidegreatwinecapital.com.au