University of Melbourne : Careers Guide 2012
MAKE IT HAPPEN Master of Agribusiness or Master of Wine Technology and Viticulture Bachelor of Agriculture or Bachelor of Commerce FIRST DEGREE GRADUATE STUDY OPTIONS FEEDING THE FUTURE » Toby Yap » Master of Wine Technology and Viticulture » E xport and sales, Langmeil Winery » Proprietor, Tomfoolery Wines Toby’s day job at Langmeil Winery in South Australia’s Barossa Valley involves developing tailored production, packaging, marketing and export sales strategies for the Asia–Pacific region, along with reinforcing established export partnerships and fostering potential new business. By night he works on his own company, Tomfoolery Wines, a boutique wine brand he formed in partnership in 2004. Toby explains that Tomfoolery Wines’ focus is on small-parcel production of handcrafted wines across varying varietals and blends. “ Due to the nature of small-batch premium wine production, our wines are only selectively distributed through aspirational restaurants and independent retailers.” Toby grew up in a wine-making family and consequently had more than 15 years industry experience, but he wanted to take on formal study to extend his capabilities as a fully rounded wine professional. “ I chose the Master of Wine Technology and Viticulture to gain greater knowledge in the theory and application of wine science,” he says. “ The course offers a subject mix that has a broad spectrum of topics from viticulture, oenology and production through to agribusiness and environmental sustainability. Due to full-time work, travelling professionally four months of the year and operating my own business, it was essential to find a degree that not only had relevant course subjects, but also catered to my lifestyle.” estimate for the number of current wine drinkers there is about 150,000. This shift in Australia’s export market means a change in the types of wine made, with the U.S. and Indian markets creating a demand for New World-style wines. The opportunity to target very specific export markets, along with the growth of big retailers partnering big brands backed by large companies, means that smaller wine producers will do best with a recognised point of difference to fill the gaps in supply. They will also benefit from teaming up with specialist retailers using the internet to target niche tastes. (An example of a very specific export outlet is the emerging Indian luxury hotels market.) The impact of rising temperatures is also forcing change in the industry. Professor Snow Barlow from the University of Melbourne has led a team looking at the vintage records collected over the past three decades in more than 40 vineyards. They found that grapes ripened, on average, two days earlier each year for the past 15 years. In Coonawarra, South Australia, a region famed for its cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, farmers are har vesting their grapes 3.5 days earlier. As well as early ripening, a warming climate will also affect the characteristics associated with specific wines. For example, the molecules that make the grassy flavours of New Zealand ’s Marlborough sauvignon blanc are not expressed as much in warmer climates, Prof. Barlow says. Wine growers with grapes that are vulnerable to climate change will have two choices, he says: ‘’You can either change the style of wine you make, or move.’’ Brown Brothers, a Victorian family-owned wine company, has said climate change was one of the main reasons it bought land in Tasmania. Prof. Barlow says a warmer climate could lead to exciting new styles of wine. The process will be helped by advances in wine science that take producers closer to identifying the molecules that give wines their unique characteristics, and the climate conditions that favour their development. “ That gives us much more information about where to go if we want to produce wines with those qualities,” he says.