Wine research, tasting and cellar management – all part of the job!

Tuesday 23 Jan 2018

A new calendar year is always a time for new beginnings, a fresh start and looking to the future.

This is precisely the case for the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre as it welcomes the appointment of its new director, Professor Leigh Schmidtke.

The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre is an alliance between Charles Sturt University (CSU), the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the NSW Wine Industry Association.

“I’m really very pleased to have been appointed to this position and look forward to building on the success of the Centre to-date,” Professor Schmidtke said.

“It is a very exciting area to be working in at present, working collaboratively with our research partners at the University of Adelaide, the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and the Australian Wine Research Institute, supported by Wine Australia. We will examine ways which will ensure the ongoing sustainability of the wine industry in Australia.

“Charles Sturt University has a proud history of wine production, vineyard management and award winning wines, so it’s also an added asset for the Centre to have the Cellar Door located on campus in Wagga Wagga and working alongside us and supporting our efforts to promote not only CSU wine, but the Australian wine industry more broadly,” Professor Schmidtke said.

Professor Schmidtke spoke about his role and what he’s looking forward to in this video:

Highlights from Professor Schmidtke’s extensive career prior to his appointment include:
- Associate Professor in wine science at CSU,
- Chemist/microbiologist with Southcorp Wines,
- Associate lecturer in microbiology with the University of Tasmania, and
- Microbiologist with the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development and Industry), Professor Mary Kelly has welcomed Professor Schmidtke’s appointment and congratulated him on his new role.

“As Acting Director over the last 15 months, Professor Schmidtke has played a pivotal role in laying the foundations for a strong start to 2018, and we wish him all the very best in his work leading the Centre,” Professor Kelly said.

In acknowledging the challenges and opportunities of the role, Professor Schmidtke remarked, “Tasting wine is an added benefit of the job, and isn’t something I need to be directed to do!”


Media contact: Aaron McDonnell, 0427845830

Media Note:

Please contact CSU Media for interviews with Professor Schmidtke who is based on the Wagga Wagga campus.