Chinese venture

Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA) is launching a Barossa wine school in mainland China and Hong Kong, opening at the end of the year.

The BGWA-developed school will be an Australian first that focuses on educating Chinese students only on the Barossa wine region.

Potential partners in the school are Hong Kong’s Asia Wine Service and Education Centre (AWSEC) and a Beijing-based company called Ease Scent - another leading registered wine educator in China.

Mr Stephen Mack, chief executive officer and wine educator of AWSEC and Ms Wendy Qi, from Ease Scent, have visited the Barossa to experience this region’s wine community first-hand.

The BGWA and the Barossa Wine Show committee saw merit in immersing Stephen and Wendy in the Barossa and the recent Barossa Wine Show was a great introduction.

They also visited Barossa wineries and had face-to-face meetings with numerous local wine industry representatives.

Lucy Anderson (Asia) and Paul Henry (Australia), from Winehero who specialise in strategic planning, brand development and promotion of Australian wines have assisted in the development of the Barossa wine school concept.

Tyson Stelzer, author, publisher, wine writer and teacher, drafted with the wine school curriculum and played an integral role in the development of the syllabus.

The wine school idea began from a BGWA ‘think tank’ and from this developed a formal document called, ‘The Barossa Chapters’.

The wine school syllabus was then based on ‘The Barossa Chapters’ and each of the seven chapters became a teaching module. The first module, an overall introduction to the Barossa wine region, can be followed by either some, or all, of the other chapters or various combinations of the chapters as students further their learning. 

Other educational training aids for the new wine school will include videos, booklets and teacher resources all with content collated using Barossa wines, people and places.

James March, Communications and Marketing manager of BGWA said, “this is a very exciting time for the Barossa wine region as a whole.

“In the future, there could possibly be opportunities for us to grow and move into other markets around the world such as India or Russia for example, but right now we are working hard to perfect the wine school in mainland China and Hong Kong before we take the next step,” Mr March said.

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