Great Wine Capitals of the World Global Network

Thursday, 26 August, 2004
James Marburg
International wine assembly to attract key world wine industry representatives to Melbourne.

The international wine spotlight will be on Melbourne in November when it hosts for the first time, the annual General Assembly of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.

The Great Wine Capitals Global Network was established in 1996 by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce with the aim of establishing cooperation on cultural, economic, academic and viticultural matters between the member cities. Melbourne is the only Australian city invited to be a member of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, joining other prestigious wine cities such as Bilbao Roija, Bordeaux, Cape Town, Florence, Porto, San Francisco and Santiago.

The Assembly will be held at the Sofitel Hotel from 7 to 11 November, 2004 and is a working meeting of international wine industry representatives with the aim of developing a wide range of strategies and initiatives for the Victorian and International wine industry. International delegates include senior representatives from the cities of Bordeaux and other network cities and a representative of the Mayor of San Francisco. It is also an opportunity for members of the Victorian and Australian wine industry to gain substantial knowledge and information as well as to make valuable contacts.

Victorian  Minister for State and Regional Development , John Brumby, said membership of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network reinforces Melbourne's reputation as a world-class food and wine centre.

"The decision to hold the General Assembly in Melbourne is a great endorsement of Victoria's reputation as a premier wine producer, and confirms Melbourne's position as the heart of Australia's wine industry," Minister Brumby said.

During the General Assembly, international delegates will have the opportunity to tour some of Victoria's major wine regions.  

The Assembly's program of events and forums is also a unique opportunity for members of the local wine industry to exchange ideas and innovations regarding wine tourism, business development, viticulture and viniculture.

The program includes a Wine Tourism Forum, which provides an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and create networks for local wine industry operators involved in tourism, as well as restaurateurs and accommodation operators. The Wine Tourism Forum will feature respected business futurist Ross Honeywill as the keynote speaker. The Wine Tourism Forum is to be held on Wednesday, November 10 from 9am-12pm at the Sofitel in Melbourne. Members of the wine and tourism industries are encouraged to attend.

Ms Florence Raffard, the Vice President of the office of Tourism in Bordeaux who will be attending the assembly as part of the official party, believes the assembly will bring tangible results for the Network as well as the local Victorian wine industry.

"The Wine Tourism Forum will be a unique and rare opportunity to network with a range of winer industry participants from all over the world and is a chance to learn from the work of others in the industry", said Ms Raffard.

An education and research forum is also to be held, on the topic of 'Terroir' the winemakers' art of combining soil types, climate and grape varieties to produce a desired result. This is to be run by Dr Mary Cole, a senior lecturer on Wine Technology and Marketing at Monash University, and will feature presentations by a Terroir expert. This session is to be held in the Yarra Valley on November 11, from 9am to 4pm.

The program for the General Assembly has been designed to appeal to local wine industry participants as well as the international delegates who are expected to attend.

Minister Brumby said "These forums are a terrific opportunity for those in the local industry to learn about further developing their product and their businesses. We are trying to make this event an effective tool for enhancing the wine industry in Victoria".

More than 100 international delegates and many more local industry participants are expected to attend the General Assembly and to take the opportunity to visit Victoria's leading wine regions.

Richard Schlackman, the representative for the Mayor of San Francisco, who will be attending, said Melbourne was looked upon by the other network cities as the leader in the marketing and development of winery tourism.

"Having the Assembly in Victoria is a fantastic opportunity to showcase not only the abilities and skills of the Victorian Industry, but also the depth of knowledge and experience present within the Network," he said.  

Other members of the Great Wine Capitals Network who will be attending include the General Director of the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce, Dominique Babin; the Executive Director of the Napa Valley (San Francisco) conference and visitors bureau, Beth Carmichael and many others.

As part of the General Assembly, the international Wine Tourism Awards Ceremony for "The Best Of" international wine tourism will also take place in Melbourne. Entries for the "The Best Of" awards close on September 3.

To receive further information on the Great Wine Capitals General Assembly and any of the forums and sessions, see  
or please contact ICMS+61 3 9682 0244

For further media inquiries please contact:
James Marburg or Gavin Davis; Royce Pty Ltd
+61 3 9639 2300