Grape expectations for wine as new CEO appointed

11 October 2021
  • Minister Littleproud announced the appointment of Dr Martin Cole as new CEO of Wine Australia
  • Dr Cole is an internationally recognised food scientist with over 20 years’ experience in research management across government, academia, and industry. 

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud has today announced Dr Martin Cole as the new CEO of Wine Australia, commencing 15 November 2021. 

Minister Littleproud said the engagement of a new CEO will provide certainty for the organisation after a period of significant challenges, including COVID-19, drought and bushfires.

“Under Dr Cole’s leadership, Wine Australia will continue to deliver on its mission to support a competitive wine sector, growing domestic and international markets and protecting the reputation of Australian wine,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Demand for Aussie wine continues to grow both here and overseas, and Wine Australia is crucial in promoting Australian wine internationally as some of the safest, most sustainable and highest quality wine in the world.

“Dr Cole was head of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide and brings a wealth of scientific and leadership experience to the position. 

“I have no doubt he will continue to support the organisation on its journey toward the wine industry’s Vision 2050 which guides the sector’s focus over the next three decades.”

“I’d also like to thank former CEO, Andreas Clark, who finished in July 2021 after 15 years of service to Wine Australia, including 8 years as CEO. 

Mr Clark led the organisation through its transformation from the Wine Australia Corporation and its merger with the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, in 2014” Minister Littleproud said.

“During his time as CEO, Mr Clark provided leadership to deliver strong growth in the value of wine exports through the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, while also responding to significant challenges including drought and the 2020 bushfires.”

“I’d also like to thank Steven Weinert for his stewardship in the acting role since July”, Minister Littleproud said.

Wine Australia Chair Dr Michele Allan said, “We are delighted to welcome Professor Cole to this role, after what’s been a highly competitive recruitment process.

“With his broad range of skills and experience, we know he’ll be a great asset to the Australian grape and wine community, and we look forward to continuing to deliver results for our levy payers under his leadership,” Dr Allan said.

“I’d also like to join the Minister in thanking Steven Weinert for his work as the Acting CEO following Andreas’ departure. He has provided significant support to the Board during this time and it’s been greatly appreciated”. 

Fast Facts:

  • Dr Cole is an internationally recognised food scientist with over 20 years’ experience in research management across government, academia, and industry. He has held senior leadership positions at the CSIRO and US National Centre for Food Safety and Technology, and has a proven track record of developing lasting business partnerships for commercial outcomes.
  • Australia’s wine grape growers, winemakers and wine tourism operators contributed over $45 billion to the Australian economy in 2019-20, including $2.8 billion in wine exports, and aim to contribute $100 billion to the economy in 2050.
  • In 2019-20 there were an estimated 6,251 wine grape growers with a vineyard area of 146,244 hectares and a gross value of farm gate production totalling $1.15 billion.
  • In 2019-20 there were an estimated 2,361 winemakers, who produced 1.2 billion litres of wine 
  • The 2020-21 grape harvest was the biggest on record, producing a total of 2.03 million tonnes of wine grapes with an estimated farmgate value of $1.56 billion. 
  • In 2019-20 the wine industry directly employed an estimated 69,000 people and indirectly employed 163,790.