Milestones in our development
Ever embarrassed by an endless wine list, by too many grape varieties or styles? And how to pronounce them?
Software development and production was undertaken by XVT Solutions.
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19 July 2010
Under a heading "Friendly opinion" wine industry analyst Tony Keys (The Key Report - 5 August 2010) published material we earlier submitted regarding the debate on who represents "cool climate", and what is "cool climate" in Australian viticulture. We argue the competing demands of the National Cool Climate Wine Show (held in Bathurst, NSW), the International Cool Climate Wine Show (held on the Mornington Peninsula) and the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (to be held in Tasmania in 2012) are a recipe for consumer confusion. Having mapped 5,400 vineyard locations throughout Australia, we read of many absurd attempts to attach the label to vineyards in almost all regions across the country.
Leadership is needed at a national level, and is lacking. We criticised an otherwise excellent report of the Australian Wine & Brandy Corporation (AWBC) in which they stated "the cooler climate areas are all regions except the three warm inland areas (Riverland, Riverina and Murray Darling-Swan Hill)". I was subsequently advised by the AWBC that they were "not official definitions but merely terms of convenience to assist with or simplify the reporting of over 60 GI regions" and that it was "by no means a reflection of our marketing programs".
We re-iterate the need for establishing consistency and clarity for consumers and industry, whether for statistical reporting or marketing, and to build an industry that must have clear diversity to meet different demands of pricing and quality in various markets domestically and internationally. As before, we call on the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) or the AWBC to lead the way, and offer our assistance with mapping the country's vineyards, regions, and climates.
Tony Keys wrote that "Dick may be disappointed that big chunks have been chopped out" but my full report can be read on our Regions page.
There are five volumes of telephone-book-sized mapbooks used by emergency services in Victoria. Data provided by VineFinders will ensure vineyard, cellar door and winery assets are better found, recognized and protected when emergency services are needed. The first to include such data is the Central book published this month. The North-West Book will follow in October.
16 March 2010
Wine Industry Tasmania has accessed VineFinders databases to obtain 54 fields of information on 301 Tasmanian locations from A Wing-and-a-Prayer Vineyard to Zenith Vineyard.
1 March 2010
VineFinders has recently visited the Adelaide Hills to update its database of locations in the Adelaide Hills which have one or more of the attributes of a vineyard, cellar door, winery, negociant operation, brewery, cidery or distillery. Now we have:
Detailed on-ground research by VineFinders in every wine region continually reveals an industry much larger than the industry itself recognises.
1 December 2009
Feedback from users led to our search entry portal and results table undergoing the first major re-engineering. Highlights include:
Hazard reduction burns and high-intensity regeneration burns have the potential to significantly taint finished wines from vineyards with smoke exposure at critical times for flavour development. Using the VineFinders database of 305 Tasmanian vineyards producing crops in 2009, Forestry Tasmania created a vineyard layer in their geographic information system (GIS) so that the location of vineyards will be taken into account in fire program planning. Congratulations to Forestry Tamania for this initiative, which follows the similar Victorian job Vinefinders did in February 2008 (see below).
24 October: AGE & SMH "Traveller" section
25 September: Vinefinders - the story of one Man & his GPS
17 September: Meadowbank Estate - Spring 2009 Newsletter
An initiative of ex-Hobartian Dick Friend, it is the culmination of 7-years research recording the GPS-co-ordinates of all those locations across some 84 identified wine regions a gargantuan feat but, as Dick said, someone just had to do the arduous research! So have a look at the site, and your friends can use it to join you at Meadowbank Estate when you next book a table or function!" - www.meadowbankwines.com.au:
1 September: Winewriter Graeme Phillips in "The Mercury"
26 August: “Much more sophisticated and focused than dear old Google”
18 August: Huon Hooke says "Maps make sense of everything, including wine regions"
Evocative writing on the evolution of the Tasmanian wine since 1823 by Tassie's leading food & wine writer Graeme Phillips, matched by the cartographic brilliance of Martin von Wyss (vWMaps) with topography, climate and varietal information, results in an edible map of the island. VineFinders provided the precise locations of the 225 major vineyards, cellar doors, fruit wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries and the map reveals where Tassie’s gourmet food is sourced as well. This comprehensive touring guide is also essential reference material, an education and/or a handsome wall map. Read more or purchase online from www.australianwinemaps.com
Along with blogger Phil Jennings - www.winepunters.com - Dick Friend was interviewed by the ABC's Tim Cox regarding the impact & benefits of VineFinders for the Tasmanian wine industry. The 15-minute story is entitled "Two men with a passion for wine - 23/07/2009". Hear it http://blogs.abc.net.au/tasmania/2009/07/a-passion-for-wine.html
"Everyone is familiar with the Hunter and most people automatically head up there when they want a wine tourism experience. But here we are, almost two hours closer to Sydney... so the easier we can make it for people to find us, the better" - so said Southern Highlands Vignerons Association president Philip Martin, of Pulpit Rock Estate, in an enthusiastic endorsement of the VineFinders mapping engine in a comprehensive article on p3 of the Southern Highland News (22/7/09)
MapData Sciences provides dynamic mapping of Australia’s vineyards, cellar doors, wineries, distilleries and breweries interrogating VineFinders' massive databases and delivering results by category, region, variety, township, or postcode. Pan and zoom to your planned destination, select a vineyard and, by clicking on the car icon, get turn-by-turn directions! The mapping engine is a powerful demonstration of the business and consumer services of the pre-eminent Australian provider of web-enabled spatial solutions - visit www.mapds.com.au
A series of 1:100,000 maps covering regional Victoria (& parts of southern NSW) will be enhanced with data from VineFinders. Spatial Vision will begin launching these maps late in 2009, for the benefit of the tourism and recreational marketplace. Spatial Vision is a leading provider of geospatial solutions, services and products, including the all-important map books for the Victorian Government Emergency Services. For availability, visit www.spatialvision.com.au
Availability of Limestone Coast fruit from the 2009 vintage of Kreglinger's Norfolk Rise Vineyard at Mount Benson, has been emailed to vignerons in selected SA wine regions. Appropriately, Norfolk Rise is our Featured Vineyard (see details at right) for November. Jealously protecting vignerons from spam and yet providing an information service is a delicate balance. We do not sell our contact data for mass mail-outs of junk mail or junk email, but do provide tailored messages of commercial interest and relevance to vignerons and the email bounces from the constant address/ISP changes mean this is a sensible way of validating our records. Keeping them in shape is like painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge...
A massive road trip to "ground-truth" data through some inland NSW wine regions Pericoota, Gundagai, Riverina, Hilltops, Cowra, Bathurst, Orange, Mudgee & New England and Queensland's Granite Belt, preceded a couple of days' rest for VineFinders' Dick Friend on the Gold Coast Hinterland, before preceding to update our records for the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, North Burnett, South Burnett, Somerset Valleys & Scenic Rim, before returning to NSW to travel down the coast through the Northern Rivers, Hastings River & Central Coast to re-orient at Greenwich on Sydney's North Shore. Then on through the Southern Highlands,and the Shoalhaven & South Coast, re-entering Victoria through the eastern end of the extensive Gippsland Zone, and back to Melbourne armed with a mountain of data to refresh records from earlier trips!
From our database of over 70 vineyards in the Pyrenees wine region, we've provided the precise locations of a selection of them for publication in a new brochure promoting wine tourism in the region. In association with cartographers vWMaps, we're poised to rapidly map all regions with your choice of road, township, topographic or other features along with vineyards, cellar doors, wineries, breweries and distilleries from our database.
VineFinders’ Dick Friend discussed his travels through Victoria to produce the “The Wine Map of Victoria by Max Allen” and, on screen, displayed Victoria’s 6 official wine zones with precise maps, matching his audience’s personalities to zonal wine characteristics. In the “green” corner were the cool, reserved Western Victorian Rieslings, adjoining the “hot, productive” North-West Zone, the all-rounders in the “red” Shiraz zone of Central Victorian, the mature “orange” Muscats of NE Vic, the urbane “yellow” Chardonnays of Port Phillip, and the maritime “blues” of Gippsland. But with the limitations of the six official Zones, each of the 20 official Wine Regions and two Sub-Regions were “visited” before each participant enjoyed some wine and took home a copy of “The Wine Map of Victoria by Max Allen” to ensure they could enjoy the VineFinders maxim: “Less time wasted, More wine tasted!”
AAA Tourism is the national tourism data body for the RAC clubs & NRMA, providing the state clubs with their listings for accommodation, activities, parks, and points-of-interest (POIs). To rapidly upgrade their listings of wineries, they contracted VineFinders to provide and/or verify the physical addresses of selected vineyards, cellar doors, wine showcases, fruit wine producers and distilleries in all states, and to provide the precise latitudes and longitudes for each POI. The information will become available to motoring club members through their publications, and online in route-planning applications.
Victoria's Department of Sustainability & Environment (DSE) are to be congratulated for taking positive steps to ensure hazard reduction burning does not cause the devastasting flavour problems in wines from vineyards exposed to smoke. 20,000 tonnes of grapes in the King & Alpine Valleys were lost last year, in a problem first noticed in 2003. The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) can test batches of fruit, as well as finished wine, for some of the unwanted flavonoids, but with thousands of them, it's difficult science.
VineFinders has provided data on 1700 Victorian vineyards with address and contact information, and grape varieties planted, and in collaboration with cartographic specialist vWMaps has produced regional mapping files. These have been licensed to the Victorian Wine Industry Association (VWIA) who will work with DSE to minimise the risk of smoke taint by timing the hazard reduction burns according to regional varietal and seasonal parameters.
Plans by the Macedon Ranges Vignerons Association (MRVA) to establish a Phylloxera Exclusion Zone (PEZ) went awry with the discovery of the vine louse in a Rochford vineyard at Romsey in early January. VineFinders had been collaborating with the MRVA through 2007 to identify and map every vineyard in the official GI region, and had located over 150 unique vineyards down to hobby size. The region is precisely mapped on The Wine Map of Victoria, but in lay terms extends from around Mt Gisborne (some 40 kms NW on the Calder Freeway from Melbourne) westward to the Daylesford & Spa Country regions, northward towards the Bendigo and Heathcote wine regions, and is somewhat eastward of the Hume Highway.
The DPI attempts to control transfer of plant & soil material to restrict spread of the insect, declaring a 5km perimeter around the affected vineyard. Is it enough? VineFinders re-doubled our efforts to complete a vineyard register. The DPI is confident it can contain the outbreak. There's a lot at stake and, while Macedon doesn't contain the bigger corporate players, it does have quality producers such as Virgin Hills, Hanging Rock, Granite Hills and Bindi...
Find of the week - Judith Elen, Food Detective, Weekend Australian, 29-30 Sept
The most comprehensive overview of wine regions, vineyards and cellar doors ever produced in Australia. Amazingly detailed, it’s in full colour, is double sided and has a listing of 800-plus cellar door, wineries and vineyards keyed into the map, descriptions of Victoria’s diverse regions and sub-regions and break-out maps showing the state’s topography, climate and most widely-planted grape varieties - Graeme Phillips, The Mercury, 9 Sept
Placing them all placing them on a single road map is a daunting task.
Using Victoria's varied terrain as the background, the map gives insight into the regional differences of the vineyards. The locations of all the wine sites were collected over five years by a team which used advanced mapping equipment at the sites.
The Wine Map of Victoria may be purchased online at
or at retail outlets throughout Victoria and in major centres in other states. Click on the marker nearest your location, then zoom in to the highest resolution using the slider at top left to get your street view of the nearest outlet.
This website provides Google Maps of 40 Australian wine regions showing the locations of 700 cellar doors, which can be printed off for your winery tour. Vignerons or interested parties can add entries to promote their vineyards regions. The site was built by web enthusiast Matt Hayward, but was consuming too much wine appreciation time. VineFinders plan to populate the site with the 4,500 vineyards on their dB. Watch it develop at www.AustralianWineRegions.com
Award-winning wine writer Max Allen provides regional intelligence in this fascinating exploration of the location, concentration & character of Victorian vineyards throughout the Vic wine regions from the Muray Darling (Mildura) in the NW to the Gippsland Zone in the SE, and from Henty in the SW to Rutherglen in the NE. It also shows those unfortunate wine producers who don't fit in to any of the wine regions! Topographic and road overlays enhanced by climatic info & wine varietal concentrations make this essential reference material for all wine buffs. Max Allen has selected the best wine producers from the 1700 Victorian vineyard locations in the VineFinders database. A steal at $14.95, you can order the map online from www.australianwinemaps.com
Listings of some 1600 vineyards, cellar doors and wineries and a further 100 Victorian regional wine showcases and industry organizations, have been provided along with physical addresses and electronic addresses, contact information, their Wine Zone, Region & Sub-region, Opening Hours, Grape Varieties, Affiliations and Latitude & Longitude.
The trial site enables users to get maps scaled to contain their nominated Australian township and the nearest five vineyards entered in the Sydney-based MapDS server, using Tasmanian data supplied by VineFinders to populate the information fields. The trial may be viewed at http://clientsvr.mapds.com.au/vinefinder/search.aspx
VineFinders was able to expand the size of the known industry by 50%, due to diligently researching the extent of vineyard plantings in the Apple Isle. As part of data-gathering for the ABS, as well as for understanding the size of the industry and communicating with it, the state government found it most cost-effective to contract VineFinders for the task.
Harvest edition 2005
Australian Wine Selector magazine (circulation: 100,000+; readership 320,000) chose David as one of ten of the Australian wine industry’s ‘shining lights’ in their Harvest edition, the first of 2005, for innovations in adopting new technologies to increase wine tourism.
VineFinders created its first map of vineyard locations with the assistance of Geometry, the company that produced GNAF - the Geographic National Address File. GNAF addresses are numbered according to the distance in kilometers from the start of a road, assisting electronic mapping and replacing the confusing and inconsistent RMB (road-side mail box), RSD (road-side delivery) numbers and the need for local knowledge of property names.
“Are We There Yet? How to Navigate the Wine Trail” is the penultimate chapter of the conference book eventually published as “Global Wine Tourism; Research, Management & Marketing” (editors: Carlsen & Charters, 2006). Details…
Magellan Perth-based producer of Satellite Navigation Devices and a series of regional travel maps were licensed to use VineFinders intellectual property to produce CD or SD cards containing vineyard locations on a state-by-state basis, to be called MapSend Wineries of Australia.
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