TIM Coelli, from Twisted Gum Wines in the Granite Belt, is still in a mild state of shock after scooping the award for the best research paper at the 2012 Annual Conference of the European Association of Wine Economists.
The 29th annual conference was held in the city of Viseu, in the beautiful wine region of Dao in Portugal.
The title of the award-winning paper was The Technical Efficiency of Wine Grape Growers in the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia, which was joint work with Orion Sanders from the Australian Bureau and Agricultural and Resource Economics.
The study was motivated by a desire to look at the capacity for these irrigated wine grape producers to improve their performance in the face of the growing pressures from reduced grape prices and increased water prices. It used ABARES survey data to estimate statistical production frontiers so that they can measure the technical inefficiency of wine grape growers (performance gaps between average and best producers), scale economies (to determine the best farm size) and the degree to which water is being used in an economically optimal way.
Passionate about continually improving viticulture methods, Mr Coelli spoke highly of the conference.
"It was a fantastic opportunity to hear up to date and informed insights from speakers from many of the top wine producing countries. Plus the study tour to Dao vineyards and wineries was of particular interest to me, since the Dao region is very similar to the Granite Belt region in Australia, with high altitude and granite soils producing stylish food friendly wines in both regions," he said.