Adelaide joins the Great Wine Capitals Global Network »

Juan María Sáenz de Buruaga welcomes Adelaide’s quality wines and winemakers

By Robyn Lewis
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Vineyards at McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia

Vineyards at McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia [©South Australian Tourism Commission]

Valparaiso, Casablanca Valley, Chile - a member of the Great Wine Capitals
Porto, Portugal - a member of the Great Wine Capitals
Porto, Portugal - a member of the Great Wine Capitals
Great Wine Capitals - a world body of great wine producing regions


Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, has accepted the Great Wine Capitals Global Network’s invitation to become the network’s ninth member, joining an exlusive group of premium wine-producing regions around the world. 

Adelaide, home of Australia's National Wine Centre, the country’s major industry representative and of wine research organisations, is the gateway to 18 wine regions of South Australia, most of which are within one or two hours' drive from the city. 

Viticulture and winemaking have been practiced in the region practically since the founding of the colony. Vineyards were first planted in the 1840s at Magill Estate in what is now part of the city, and in the area north of Adelaide which came to be known as the Barossa Valley.

Today, it is reported that South Australian wineries produce almost 80% of the country’s premium wine and half of Australia’s bottled wine.

In his announcement of Adelaide’s acceptance of membership, South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill stated, “South Australia excels in producing premium wine and providing exceptional wine tourism. These industries are crucial for our economic growth and creating jobs in our regions.... Being a member of the Great Wine Capitals will ensure these industries continue to grow.”

Juan María Sáenz de Buruaga, president of the Great Wine Capitals said, “I wish Adelaide a warm welcome as a new member of our organization. I am sure that your commitment to producing quality wine, supporting wine tourism and promoting education and research in the wine sector will be a great contribution to the continued success of the network.”

Melbourne was formerly a member, but let its membership lapse circa 2010 for reasons unknown, allowing Adelaide to become Australia's representative in this exclusive group. Christchurch in New Zealand was also a member prior to the devastating earthquake of 2011, from which it has now largely recovered. Firenze, Tuscany is another former member. 

Benefits of membership of the GWC Network

Catherine Leparmentier Dayot, Permanent Secretary of the GWC Network, based on Bordeaux, cites many benefits of membership of the GWC, including being considered as international experts in wine tourism, being promoted as an exclusive wine destination, networking and sharing expertise with other countries and wine regions, and participating in international programs such as the Best Of Wine Tourism contest.

Locally, benefits can also include improving local networking between the different local wine and tourism organisations and other synergies; academically, producing information and contributing worldwide to the dissemination of content and intelligence on wine tourism, and practically, strengthening and supporting the emergence of wine tourism as a key factor of success for the wine industry. 

Local wine and tourism businesses will be able to access international benchmarking on best wine tourism practices, participate in Business Delegation programs in the GWC regions, improve products and services by sharing experiences and networking, and receive global showcasing at a number of forums. 

In all this is regarded as a coup for Adelaide, and long overdue recognition of Australia in general and South Australia in particular as a major wine-producing nation and state.

About the Great Wine Capitals Global Network

 Founded in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network is an alliance of nine internationally renowned cities and wine regions:

  • Adelaide | South Australia (Australia)
  • Bilbao | Rioja (Spain)
  • Bordeaux (France)
  • Cape Town | Cape Winelands (South Africa)
  • Mainz | Rheinhessen (Germany)
  • Mendoza (Argentina)
  • Porto (Portugal)
  • San Francisco | Napa Valley (USA)
  • Valparaiso | Casablanca Valley (Chile).

These cities and wine regions share a key economic and cultural asset: their internationally renowned wine regions.

It is reportedly the only network encompassing the so-called “Old” and “New” worlds of wine and has developed and introduced several initiatives, notably the ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ awards with the objective of achieving excellence in tourism, business services and education.


For more information visit »


  • Adelaide (SA)

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April 02nd, 2016
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