Fifteen visionary businesses that have introduced ground breaking developments in Australia's wine sector have been declared finalists in the coveted 2017 Wine Industry IMPACT Awards.
The annual awards, presented by Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA), showcase excellence in improving the competitiveness and capability of the nation's grape and wine industry while developing exciting new consumer experiences.
Industry experts judged this year's finalists from nominations in categories including grape growing, winemaking, engineering, packaging, distribution and logistics, marketing and communications and tourism. Two of the companies have also been named in a new Start-Up category recognising emerging ventures featuring outstanding products, processes or services.
Winners of the prestigious Wine Industry IMPACT Awards will be announced at a gathering of Australia's leading wine sector identities at the Adelaide Town Hall on Thursday 19 October.
Two of the finalists represent leading examples of innovation in wine tourism. This is "... a great recognition but also opportunity for the wine tourism industry in Australia", as commented by professor Marianna Sigala, Director of the Centre of Tourism & Leisure Management (CTLM) at the University of south Australia. According to her "In the increasingly digital and experience economy, wine tech innovation is not any more a luxury but a necessity to meet the increasing and sophisticated expectations of the always connected wine tourists that are searching, selecting and evaluating wine experiences through websites and mobile wine applications. Technology applications empower and enable wineries, cellar doors and wine tourism destinations to not only target and penetrate a new international market but also to gather critical market intelligence that they can use to design and deliver personalised meaningful wine tourism experiences. Wine lovers also increasingly use wine technology applications for actively engaging participating in wine (tourism) production and marketing. Wine enthusiasts use crowdfunding and online websites to co-fund wine projects, become wine makers as well as consult others where and what wine experiences to select by sharing online their reviews and comments. Wine tech innovation and applications can increase the efficiency but also effectiveness of wine tourism related firms and destinations. Thus, wine organisations need to develop their skills and abilities in using and integrating technologies into their business operations, while policy makers and trade associations need to support wine tech innovation for empowering their sectors and supporting entrepreneurship and competitiveness into their regions. A brilliant example of regional support for developing wine tech is the case of http://www.lawinetech.com/ in France"
The categories and finalists of the 2017 Wine Industry Impact awards are:
Grape Growing Category partnered by Bentleys SA
Winemaking Category partnered by DW Fox Tucker Lawyers
Packaging Category partnered by Australian Vintage Ltd
Distribution and Logistics Category partnered by MGA Insurance Brokers
Engineering Category partnered by Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Marketing and Communications Category partnered by Australia's Wine Business Magazine
Tourism Category partnered by AV Plus
Start Up Category partnered by Harding Wealth Management
WISA Executive Officer, Matthew Moate, said a 70 per cent increase in entries for this year's Wine Industry IMPACT Awards demonstrated the quest for excellence in an industry meeting increased demand for quality Australian wine in domestic and export markets.
"With this increased participation and competition for the awards, the process of choosing finalists has been very robust," he said.
"The Australian grape and wine industry along the complete supply chain is continuing to develop innovative and exciting products and solutions that will ultimately enhance consumer engagement with our wines and tourism experiences.
"We expect around 400 industry leaders to attend the prestigious awards presentations in October to celebrate the achievements of all entrants and finalists.
"We are also pleased to announce that Anna Hooper, Head Winemaker and General Manager of Cape Jaffa Wines, will lead the awards ceremonies at the Adelaide Town Hall. Anna is one of the nation's most talented and inspiring winemakers with a passion to showcase the best in our industry."
Photo caption: Highlight from 2016 Wine Industry IMPACT Awards