To further accelerate wine industry education, innovation, and research, a new partnership has been formally announced between the University of Adelaide and KEDGE Business School in Bordeaux, France.

Dean of the Adelaide Business School Professor Mark Gabbott says the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) – signed at the National Wine Centre with Professor Jacques-Olivier Pesme, Director of the KEDGE Wine & Spirits Academy – signals a new era for wine industries in South Australia and the nation.

The international partnership will benefit not only the wine sector but 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.

An outcome of the Great Wines Capitals initiative, the MoU signals the intention for the two business schools to create and deliver innovative education and collaboration opportunities to support wine business, tourism, and export growth.

“Through this partnership, the Adelaide Business School has opened the door to Bordeaux, one the world’s most renowned wine regions,” says Professor Gabbott.

“The partnership will provide our local industries with opportunities to learn from, and network with, the world’s leading wine business experts.

“As this partnership grows, so too will its potential, providing our current and future students with an unparalleled offering. Knowledge sharing and research collaborations ensure endless possibilities,” Professor Gabbott says.

“The University of Adelaide is pleased to play its part in reinforcing Adelaide’s place among the Great Wine Capitals of the world.”

Professor Pesme says KEDGE is thrilled to connect and collaborate with the University of Adelaide.

“While Adelaide and South Australia are highly respected for the quality of their wines, Adelaide is also recognised as an Australian leader in the business of wine,” Professor Pesme says.

“For students looking to receive a truly global education, the partnership between our business schools represents a unique opportunity, which will benefit the industries in both Adelaide and Bordeaux.”

The collaboration between the University of Adelaide and KEDGE also leverages the South Australian State Government’s French Engagement Strategy, deepening ties with Bordeaux and promoting opportunities for greater collaboration and knowledge transfer in wine as well as tourism, food and research.

The signing of the MoU followed the South Australian Government’s announcement that internationally celebrated winemaker Peter Gago, chief winemaker at Penfolds and wine science alumnus of the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus, has been officially appointed to the role of Adelaide/South Australia’s Great Wine Capitals Global Ambassador – elevating the state’s membership in the prestigious network.

The inaugural ambassadorship will support the advancement of South Australia’s wine story and help drive the promotion of the state’s premium wine reputation in international markets and amongst key industry stakeholders, worldwide.

The Global Ambassador Program – an initiative of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network – 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.

The South Australian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Leon Bignell, says: “Peter Gago’s appointment as South Australia’s Great Wine Capitals Global Ambassador will further help support and promote our wine credentials both within the network and across the globe.

“Equally, I’m delighted to see the partnership that’s been announced between the University of Adelaide and KEDGE Business School, Bordeaux.

“The partnership builds our connection with international counterparts to foster the growth of our wine industry, helps to benchmark ourselves against international standards and promotes cross-cultural understanding and knowledge sharing – providing a real point of difference for our state in wine education.”

Peter Gago says he’s honoured to be chosen as the State’s inaugural Great Wine Capitals Global Ambassador.

“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,” Mr Gago says.

The Great Wine Capitals Global Network links international cities who demonstrate excellence in grape and wine production, a commitment to research and development, and support for education and wine tourism services.

The global network includes the internationally renowned wine regions of San Francisco/Napa Valley (US), Bordeaux (France), Bilbao/Rioja (Spain), Cape Town (South Africa), Mainz/Rheinhessen (Germany), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal), Valparaìso/Casablanca Valley (Chile), and newest member, Verona (Italy). Adelaide/South Australia joined the network on 1 July 2016.

Adelaide/South Australia’s membership to the network is a collaboration between Brand South Australia, Primary Industries and Regions SA, the South Australian Tourism Commission and the South Australian Wine Industry Association.

This story was first published in Leading Agriculture magazine.