8th International Cool Climate Symposium for Viticulture and Oenology (ICCS)

Event:8th International Cool Climate Symposium for Viticulture and Oenology (ICCS)
Delegates:330 delegates from more than 14 countries
Destination:Hobart, Australia
Duration:31 January ‒ 4 February 2012

Tasmania reinforced its cool climate winemaking credentials to the world in February 2012 when it attracted some of the most respected wine experts in the global field for the 8th International Cool Climate Symposium for Viticulture and Oenology (ICCS).


More than 330 delegates – representing viticulture, winemaking, research, marketing, media and consumption – convened for this important industry symposium, the eighth in a series which commenced in the USA in 1984.  


Wine Tasmania CEO Sheralee Davies said she was delighted Tasmania’s competitive bid to host the symposium was successful. 


“Our selection as this year’s host reinforces the increasing global attention the Tasmanian wine sector is attracting and provided the opportunity to show people a little more of our island,” Ms Davies said.


“Tasmania is the only Australian state where its entire grape production is genuinely cool climate and both our grapes and bottled wine consistently generate some of the highest prices in the country.  Whilst Tasmania’s wine production represents less than half a percent of Australia’s total, our wines are punching considerably above their weight. 


“We were thrilled to host the 8th ICCS.  It was an unrivalled opportunity to have so many of the world’s most respected wine experts together at one event, with many of them visiting Tasmania for the first time,” she said.


Delegates were treated to an impressive line-up of speakers, including a keynote presentation from Jancis Robinson OBE, MW – widely regarded as one of the greatest wine writers and educators in the world and also advisor to Queen Elizabeth II on the royal wine cellar. Jancis was joined by a raft of Australian and international experts across viticulture, oenology and marketing.


“It was an excellent opportunity for local winemakers to discuss innovation, new research findings and exchange ideas with some of the world’s leading wine industry players,” Ms Davies said.


The importance of the wine sector to Tasmania’s future was highlighted through an opening address delivered by State Premier, Lara Giddings, in which she identified wine as a priority sector for the government’s Economic Development Plan.


“It is a major contributor to tourism in the state and also plays a key role in building the Tasmanian brand for premium food and beverages.  We will continue our support and facilitation of this important industry sector which, like much of our local produce, leads the world in quality,” Ms Giddings said in a media release.


The ICCS provided a platform to reveal the results of a major Tasmanian-led $1.8 million research project into improving the quality of cool climate wines globally, supported by AusIndustry.


“This was the first research project of its kind conducted in Australia – a three-year investigation into vineyard management and winemaking techniques to improve cool climate pinot noir and sparkling wines.  


“The ICCS provided a solid platform from which to share some of the preliminary findings of this valuable research project and further details will be disseminated throughout the wine sector in the coming months,” Ms Davies said. 


Attracting so many international and national delegates provided Tasmania with a unique opportunity to showcase not only the State’s wine, but its food, spectacular natural environment, vibrant community and excellent investment potential.


“To complement the formal program we held a range of social events, workshops and field trips, providing visitors with a showcase of Tasmania’s outstanding wines, together with food, arts and natural culture,” Ms Davies said.


“Delegates had exclusive access to the Museum of Old & New Art for the welcome reception and three themed wine and food dinners as part of a restaurant showcase. The major gala dinner was held at Wrest Point, and featured world-renowned chef and Tasmanian ambassador, Tetsuya Wakuda, alongside some of our island's top chefs to showcase our fresh local produce and a selection of our best cool climate wines. The gala dinner also featured a presentation by Professor Brian Schmidt, 2011 Nobel Laureate and Pinot Noir vineyard owner and winemaker.


“The feedback from delegates has been overwhelmingly positive, in terms of the formal and social program, Hobart’s facilities and ease of access as well as Tasmania’s wine, food and natural surroundings,” she said.    


The Tasmanian wine sector and the broader economy have already and are expected to continue to realise benefits resulting from the ICCS, with more than 200 people attracted to travel to Tasmania to attend the event. A series of media articles have already been written and a number of investment enquiries have been received as a direct result of this global event.

The feedback from delegates has been overwhelmingly positive, in terms of the formal and social program, Hobart’s facilities and ease of access as well as Tasmania’s wine, food and natural surroundings.

Wine Tasmania CEO Sheralee Davies