Governor of NSW undertakes virtual tour of National Wine and Grape Industry Centre

8 JULY 2020

Governor of NSW undertakes virtual tour of National Wine and Grape Industry Centre

Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, and Mr Dennis Wilson met with University leaders as part of a Regional Community Outreach Program.

  • Charles Sturt University hosts virtual tour by Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales and Mr Dennis Wilson.
  • The meeting has highlighted the research of the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre from vineyard to glass.
  • The Centre supported the wine sector in the aftermath of the bushfires providing expertise and research to help growers and winemakers.

Research at Charles Sturt University and the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) has been highlighted during a virtual tourby Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, and Mr Dennis Wilson on Friday 3 July.

While they couldn t be there in person the Vice-Regal couple met with Charles Sturt Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor John Germov, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) Professor Heather Cavanagh, NWGIC Director Professor Leigh Schmidtke and Winemaker Johnny Clark using Skype, as part of a Regional Community Outreach Program to the Wagga Wagga and Junee areas.

Professor Germov said the University was honoured to host the visit to highlight its role in supporting our regional communities, particularly during tough times.

Charles Sturt University helps our region to flourish by training highly skilled graduates and providing applied research that contributes to the economic, social and environmental sustainability and well-being of these communities,” Professor Germov said.

This role has been evident during the challenges of bushfires and COVID-19. Its been heartening to see the positive contributions of our staff and graduates in supporting our wider community.”

Professor Schmidtke said the visit was also an opportunity to show how the NWGIC, an alliance between Charles Sturt, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the NSW Wine Industry Association, conducts research from vineyard to the glass.

Our research aims to improve vine health and disease management, find solutions to the negative impacts of a changing climate and develop more environmentally friendly methods and products,” Professor Schmidtke said.

Importantly this work is carried through to the bottle in our winery so we can understand how vineyard management practices, disease pressure, and climate impact on grape and wine composition and enjoyment of the final product. 

Were focused on delivering solutions throughout the value chain to reduce costs and improve sustainability.”

Professor Schmidtke said the value NWGIC expertise and Winery facilities came to the fore in the aftermath of the summer bushfires.

We were pleased to be able to conduct small-scale ferments of smoke-affected grapes at the Charles Sturt Winery so growers could make better decisions about the viability of harvesting their grapes.

Our researchers also took quick action to hand harvest smoke-affected grapes for further research to correlate the chemical finger prints of smoke exposure with sensory analysis.

This will equip industry with more information to manage similar bushfire events in the future,” Professor Schmidtke said.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Professor Leigh Schmidtke contact NWGIC communications officer Ms Emily Malone on 0439 552 385 or email emalone@csu.edu.au

Photo caption: Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, and Mr Dennis Wilson undertaking their virtual tour of the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre.

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Wagga Wagga Agricultural Science Charles Sturt University NWGIC