How climate change & millennials may transform your favourite drop

A shifting climate isn’t the only threat to the traditional wine industry – new types of consumers (millennials) have business adapting to a new world of wine.

According to economics expert Professor Jeff Gow, a new generation of drinkers are seeking alternative options such as organic or more ‘earth-friendly’ wine.

“Climate change is the canary in the coal mine, driving changes in varieties, which combined with new consumer tastes will change business models,” he said.

“Non-traditional wine production is increasing at 30-40 per cent a year, and although it’s currently a small part of the Australian market it’s expected to grow significantly over the next few decades as seen in the large USA and Europe markets.”

The University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) Professor Gow is part of an international research collaboration examining how different global markets have reacted to the evolving situation, focused on consumer demands, grower responses and industry eco-certifications.

His work with Stockton University Associate Professor (Environment & Sustainability) Daniel Moscovici will be the focus of an upcoming Queensland Wine Producer workshop in Stanthorpe.

The talk will bring together producers from the Granite Belt to look at business sustainability and environmentally-friendly grape production.

Associate Professor Moscovici is in Australia as a visiting scholar through the prestigious Fulbright exchange program based in the USA.

USQ students are set to benefit, with Associate Professor Moscovici developing teaching material for the University’s Wine Science major, Master of Sustainability Science, and specialisations in Sustainable Development.

“I chose to visit USQ to collaborate with great scholars from around the world working in wine economics like Professor Gow, and then also to help local producers find their environmental and sustainable potentials as the industry evolves,” Associate Professor Moscovici said.

Together, Professor Gow and Associate Professor Moscovici are conducting the next stage of their research, building towards a worldwide producer project.

“We’ve already examined consumers thoughts on wine and eco-certifications in the US, Australia, Chile, Italy, France, Netherlands and South Africa,” Associate Professor Moscovici said.

“We’re now turning to producers, and the Stanthorpe workshop this week will double as a pilot project to see how the consumer and grower perspectives differ.”

Two men, wine and glasses on the table
USQ economics expert Professor Jeff Gow and Stockton University Associate Professor (Environment & Sustainability) Daniel Moscovici