Winery's future prosperity boosted by students

Friday, 6 December 2002

Like all businesses, the famed Paulett's Winery in the Clare Valley keeps one eye constantly on planning for future prosperity. Now five top students from the University of Adelaide's Department of Horticulture, Viticulture and Oenology (HVO) have really given Alison and Neil Paulett something extra to think about. They've provided the winery with five business plan options for the next three years as part of their course in Winery Business Management.

The five students presented a brief overview of their proposed business plans at a ceremony at the University's Waite campus. The course uses a real winery to challenge students to bring together their new knowledge and training, and prove they have the skills to play their part in the ongoing success of our wine industry.

Alison Paulett said the winery was pleased to offer the students access to the information they needed and to have a different, fresh perspective to add to their planning.

"We're thrilled to work with the students," she says. "They have really opened our eyes to new ideas and added support to some ideas we already have. It's great to see that sort of enthusiasm going out into the industry."

Three of the top five students are from overseas, two hailing from the US and one from the UK. The top-scoring student overall (undergrad and postgrad) was Randal Heinzen from California.

All five students, including top-scoring Bachelor of Wine Marketing student Tom Mazzei, say the experience of working in a real-life situation is invaluable.

"Halfway through this project I could really see everything I've been studying coming together and I thought yes, I'm ready to graduate and start work now," says Tom.

The students come from both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Course organisers Dr Johan Bruwer, Senior Lecturer in the Department of HVO and Mr Bob Gilliver of the Adelaide Graduate School of Business see that mix as important.

"This is a really serious course for our wine marketing and wine business management students," Mr Gilliver says, "and it is the last step towards completing either a Bachelor of Wine Marketing or a Graduate Diploma in Wine Business. The students have to produce a three-year business plan which includes proving the financial viability of the marketing and management strategies proposed."

Dr Bruwer says, "This focus on real-life situations and emphasis on rounded skills is vital to the industry's future and to the individual success of these graduates. It is very important for us that our graduates are 'industry-ready' after completion of this course.

"Our winemakers are internationally recognised for their quality and we are seeing the same recognition now for our graduates in wine business and marketing," he says.

So, what's in Paulett's future? You'll have to ask Alison and Neil next time you stop by to take in the magnificent cellar door view of the Polish Hill River Valley that all five students found so irresistible.


Contact Details

Dr Johan Bruwer
Business: +61 8 8313 6764

Mr Bob Gilliver
Business: +61 8 8313 4580