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Vineyard to keep Adelaide at leading edge of wine research

Sunday, 24 June 2001

Glenthorne Farm - the former CSIRO property at O'Halloran Hill in Adelaide's southern suburbs - is being handed over to Adelaide University by the State Government for use as a vineyard and wine research facility.

The 200 hectare property was bought by the State Government from the Commonwealth in 1998 after it had been vacated by the CSIRO's Division of Health and Human Nutrition.

Welcoming the decision today, Adelaide University Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary O'Kane said that the University had agreed to establish a commercial vineyard at Glenthorne in partnership with BRL Hardy.

"The partnership agreement between the University and BRL Hardy - two of the icons of the South Australian wine industry - will strengthen South Australia's position as an international leader in wine research and education," she said. "This is a strategic, long-term investment based on sound financial principles and an assessment of the future needs of the Australian wine industry.

"In addition to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment at the Waite campus, the University will now have access to a large commercial vineyard managed by one of the world's fastest-growing wine companies. This will be a tremendous advantage in ensuring that the University and the South Australian wine industry stay at the forefront of viticulture and oenology research and education."

Professor O'Kane said most of the land would be put under vines and some research facilities would also be located on the site.

"We expect that the vineyard will begin to generate income for research from the third vintage," she said. "We have entered into a long term contract with BRL Hardy for the management of the vineyard and sale of the fruit, more than 50% of which will be available to other winemakers."

Angus Kennedy, BRL Hardy's Operational and Technical Director said that the vineyard development would benefit the entire South Australian wine industry.

"This initiative is effective in that a number of parties will benefit from the project over a number of years. We are looking forward to working closely with Adelaide University for the betterment of the South Australian wine industry," he said.

Professor O'Kane commended the State Government, the Commonwealth and the CSIRO on working together to produce an agreement which would deliver long-term economic benefits to the State. She also paid tribute to the University's Deputy Chancellor, vigneron and Executive Chairman of Petaluma Ltd., Brian Croser, for his role in negotiating a new future for Glenthorne.

Professor O'Kane said the University was aware of local residents' concerns about the future of the property and would be consulting them about the vineyard plans.

"We are seeking planning approval for the vineyard which will include an extensive buffer zone around the site," she said. "We will be working closely with BRL Hardy to minimise noise and inconvenience to the local community. BRL Hardy has extensive experience in developing and operating vineyards in an urban environment, and we will be making available the University's full research resources to ensure responsible environmental management of the site."

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