Succession plans hot Summit topic

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

“Succession planning can be a difficult conversation for families,” Barossa Grape and Wine Association viticultural development officer Nicki Robins said.

BGWA is working with the Wine Grape Council of SA to deliver this year’s 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.

BGWA surveys revealed 30 per cent of local growers would leave the industry in the next five to 10 years.

“If not family succession, then growers have other options including sale of their property,” Ms Robins said.

“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.”

The Summit will also explore the future integrity of SA’s wine regions.

Master of ceremonies 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 Mutual Trust’s Brad Simmons and Finlayson’s Lawyers’ Will Taylor.

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 the 2017 Summit is “Growers Lead the Way”.

WGCSA chair Heather Webster said the program, which also reviews domestic and export market trends, case studies for success in China, and examples of innovative business models, would inspire growers to think strategically about their business and the future of their industry.

Also providing market analysis at the Summit will be Rabobank’s Tim Hunt, Seppeltsfield's Warren Randall, Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Brett McKinnon and Treasury Wine Estates’ Kirstie McCosh.

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

This story Succession plans hot Summit topic first appeared on Barossa & Light Herald.