Thursday, June 7, 2012


Prof. Tim Coelli (left) and Prof. Boris Bravo-Ureta from Chile inspect the wine cellar at Casa de Santar in Dao, Portugal.
We get so excited when our operators achieve outstanding results. Today was no exception, after the receiving the news that Tim Coelli, from Twisted Gum Wines (who is still in a mild state of shock) scooped the award for the best research paper at the 2012 Annual Conference of the European Association of Wine Economists (EuAWE).

The 29th annual conference was held in the city of Viseu, in the beautiful wine region of Dao in Portugal last week (May 30 to June2).  (Ed note - sounds wonderful!)

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 (ABARES).  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.

The study uses 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. 

Tim, an Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of Queensland, takes a very 'hands-on' approach to research. With wife Michelle (an agricultural scientist), he owns and operates Twisted Gum Wines, a boutique Granite Belt wine producer that specializes in the production of single vineyard, dry grown (unirrigated) wines.

Their vineyard management features the extensive use of mulching and careful canopy management, which has begun to reap dividends with their wines receiving a number of awards in recent years, from Winestate Magazine and the Royal Queensland Wine Show, among others.

Passionate about continually improving viticulture methods, Tim spoke highly of the EuAWE conference.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to hear up to date and informed insights from speakers from many of the top wine producing countries, including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and the USA.  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.

For further information, see