Succession planning hot topic at SA Grape Grower Summit

Succession planning for family vineyard businesses and the future integrity of South Australia’s wine regions will be hot topics for discussion at the fourth annual SA Wine Grape Growers Summit on 28 July in Barossa.

“Succession planning can be a difficult conversation for families,” says Viticultural Development Officer for Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA), Nicki Robins.

BGWA is working with the Wine Grape Council of South Australia (WGCSA) to deliver this years’ Summit, and both organisations are keen to ensure vineyard owners understand all the options available to them to make the right decisions for their situation, particularly when exiting the industry.

Surveying by BGWA has revealed 30% of local growers will leave the industry in the next five to 10 years.

“If not family succession, then growers have other options including sale of their property. But have they spoken to their neighbours – or even employees? And is leasing or collaboration an option? For Barossa, generational farming is the fabric of our region and part of our unique story. We’re hoping to explore different options through the experiences of local growers and Summit presenters,” said Nicki.

The Summit will also explore the future integrity of SA’s wine regions. MC Phil Redman will facilitate a discussion between generational grape growers Adrian Hoffman, Fiona Habermann, Chris Canute and Ed Schild about their thoughts for the future – and what lessons can be learned from the past to ensure SA’s wine regions thrive into the future.

Adding their professional perspective to the topic will be Brad Simmons, Family Office Executive, Family Wealth Expert and Family Business Advisor at Mutual Trust – and Will Taylor, Partner and Head of the Wine Business Unit at Finlayson’s Lawyers. They will explore different models and options for succession of a family vineyard business.

Held at the Barossa Arts and Convention Centre in Tanunda, the theme for 2017 Summit is “Growers Lead the Way”. WGCSA Chair Heather Webster says the program, which also reviews domestic and export market trends, case studies for success in China, and examples of innovative business models, “will inspire growers to think strategically about their business and the future of their industry”.

Also providing market analysis at the Summit will be Tim Hunt, General Manager, Research Food and Agriculture at Rabobank; Warren Randall, General Manager of Seppeltsfield Wines; Brett McKinnon, Global Operations Director at Pernod Ricard Winemakers, and Kirstie McCosh, Global Head of Marketing Services, Insights and Innovation at Treasury Wine Estates.

Registrations for the 2017 South Australian Grape Grower Summit on Friday 28 July are now open at

The WGCSA is the peak body for South Australian grape growers, funded through a voluntary levy paid on all wine grapes sold from SA vineyards.

The BGWA is responsible for promoting the Barossa brand globally and domestically, communicating the Barossa Vision through its people and places.

Media enquiries:
Nicki Robins
Viticultural Development Officer
Barossa Grape & Wine Association | p: 8563 0650 m: 0426 252 396

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