How a career in wine could un-cork a world of opportunity

South Australia (SA) is undoubtedly the wine capital of Australia. Home to 18 wine regions, and boasting over 200 cellar doors, South Australia is a premium wine tourism destination, with a booming industry that looks set to continue growing.

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In 2019, the wine industry contributed over $45 billion annually to the Australian economy, with SA producing almost half of the country’s wine.

Now, the State has been recognised once again on the world stage, with three South Australian cellar doors named in the world’s top 50 vineyards. The World’s Best Vineyards Awards have been created to boost the wine tourism industry and showcase the diversity of emerging destinations. Held for the first time virtually in July, the awards saw Penfolds Magill Estate named as the top Australian vineyard, coming in at number 24, followed by Henschke at a close 25, with D’Arenberg rounding up the Australian winners at 35, a first top 50 placement for the McLaren Vale Cellar Door.

With such a strong industry presence in South Australia, and a reputation for being a world-class wine region, a career in wine is an exciting and rewarding profession. A recent IBIS world report forecasted a 2.3% increase in the wine industry in Australia between 2020 and 2025, meaning more jobs will become available and an increased need for skilled workers.

In a 2019 survey conducted by Wine Australia of SA wine businesses, almost half (48%) of respondents experienced difficulty recruiting skilled staff. When asked what professional development would be necessary to ensure the success of the next generation of wine professionals, over 40% of participants expressed a need for marketing and business education, including key skills in client relationship management, social media strategy and sales training. 

Working closely with business and industry, the Adelaide Business School looks to meet the needs of both the wine industry and aspiring wine professionals, by providing specialised wine business programs. 

Master of Wine Business graduate Emily Zegar used her degree to kick-start an international career in wine marketing. Hailing from Oregon, Emily studied wine business in South Australia, undertook a marketing internship in Hong Kong and now works as a Sales and Brand Manager for a bespoke winery in her home state of Oregon.

I wanted to gain experience from wine industry figures who had a different outlook and approach to the sale, marketing, branding and distribution of wine globally. The University of Adelaide offered a Masters degree heavily integrated with the Business school but with its entire focus on the wine industry. I couldn’t think of a better pairing to pursue.Emily Zegar, Master of Wine Business Alumni

With the wine industry booming in South Australia and set to continue making an impact both nationally and internationally, there has never been a better time to pursue a career in wine.

If you’re interested in starting your career in Wine Business, visit our Wine Business website for more information on our programs and industry partners.

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