Experimental winery opens in Wagga Wagga

1 JANUARY 2003

The art of wine-making will be given an innovative boost at the opening of the $1.73 million Stage III of the CD Blake Experimental Winery at the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at CSU Wagga Wagga.

The art of wine-making will be given an innovative boost at the opening of the $1.73 million Stage III of the CD Blake Experimental Winery at the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at Wagga Wagga today.
 
NSW Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said the facility is a world class resource that will expand the research capacity of the iconic National Wine and Grape Industry Centre.
 
The centre is a partnership between the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Charles Sturt University and the NSW Wine Industry Association.
 
"The experimental winery will be used for a variety of purposes including teaching, training and the production and evaluation of experimental wines to assess the impact of viticultural or winemaking practices on the final wine flavour," Mr Macdonald said.
 
"This will help make the quality of NSW wines even better and build our reputation as a first-class wine producing State.
 
"The NSW Government is proud to be a key supporter of this vibrant, valuable and growing industry that supports up to 20,000 jobs.
 
"Regional NSW is home to some of Australia's premium and best known wine growing areas.
 
"NSW currently exports around half a million bottles of wine every day to more than 100 countries around the world."
 
The facility is a joint initiative between the NSW Government and Charles Sturt University (CSU), with the Government investing $500,000 in the current expansion in addition to previous support of $2 million for capital works that was matched by CSU.
 
Vice-Chancellor and President of CSU Professor Ian Goulter said the CD Blake Experimental Winery will be a very important facility for the Australian and NSW wine-making community.
 
"It is a further demonstration of the partnership between Charles Sturt University, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the NSW Wine Industry Association," Professor Goulter said.
 
The Director of NWGIC Professor Jim Hardie said the facility will be a cradle of great innovation in the Australian wine industry.
 
"The CD Blake Experimental Winery allows us to test and compare, on a small scale, the effects of grape growing conditions, vineyard management practices and new ways of making wine," Professor Hardie said.
 
NSW Wine industry – Fast facts
  • NSW accounts for one third of Australia's $5 billion wine industry – with the majority of our wines going to export. We have nine of the Top 20 wine exporters and some of the finest winemakers in the world here in this State.
  • NSW is the second biggest wine producer following South Australia, producing about 27% of the national production and 33% of Australian export wine sales, amounting to $895 million.
  • Currently NSW exports about half a million bottles of wine per day to more than 100 countries.
  • NSW bottled wine sales have grown 12.6% in the last 12 months.
  • This means an increase in domestic revenue of $6.6 million in 2008 to reach $59 million.
  • Further, NSW Wine's growth has outstripped the State's growth, with NSW total sales of bottled wine in the same period only growing by 5.8%.
  • The NSW wine industry continues to act as a significant agricultural industry in the State, employing close to 20,000 people if we include associated retail and wholesale businesses.
  • The wine and grape industry contribute 7% of the State's GDP by value and is second only to the wheat industry amongst the agricultural commodities.

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