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Learn from the best: Even Bakke at the Waite Campus during his visit to South Australia as part of the University of Adelaide’s Visiting Winemaker Program.

Learn from the best: Even Bakke at the Waite Campus during his visit to South Australia as part of the University of Adelaide’s Visiting Winemaker Program.

UNIVERSITY of Adelaide viticulture and oenology students benefitted from the expertise of two European winemakers who visited the Waite Campus in March. Stephanie Timotheou caught up with French entrepreneur Even Bakke during his first trip to Australia’s biggest wine producing state.

University of Adelaide students got a taste for the French wine industry when Clos de Trias owner and winemaker Even Bakke visited Australia’s future winemakers and viticulturists.

Californian-born Bakke, who runs his southern France business in the Ventoux region was this year’s Walter, Carew and Richard Reynell Fellow and didn’t hesitate to hop on a plane to help broaden the students’ exposure to international winemaking practices and wine styles.

The Walter, Carew and Richard Reynell Fellowship was established in 1975 to honour the contribution of the Reynell family to Australian winemaking and to perpetuate the memory of two sons lost through World War I and World War II.

It underpins the Visiting Winemaker Program at the University of Adelaide by which a highly acclaimed winemaker from outside of Australia spends up to four weeks working with students.

Bakke was joined by James Wood, the winemaker for Domaine Vintur in France. Wood has more than 20 years of experience under his belt, both on the retail and production side of the wine trade.

Together Bakke and Wood worked with third year and masters students undertaking red winemaking projects in the university’s winery.

Senior oenology lecturer Paul Grbin said the contribution of the fellowship to the university’s programs was significant as it provided an important international viewpoint on grapegrowing and winemaking.

“It allows our students as well as our staff to gain a detailed insight into different regions around the world,” he said.

“As well as advising students during the planning and execution of their practical winemaking projects, the visiting winemaker conducts extensive tastings of international wines for students and staff and meets with the Australian wine industry.”

Bakke said it was an honour being selected as this year’s visiting winemaker as it gave him a chance to give his perspective of the global wine industry and bounce ideas off the students to make them “think outside the box”.

During his stay Bakke also got the chance to explore South Australian wine regions including the Barossa, Clare, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra.

Since he’d never been to Australia, he said it was a good opportunity to visit vineyards across the state and see what was happening here.

While education and training is vital in an industry which is rapidly growing, Bakke said it was important to allow students to also figure things out on their own.

“My best advice is don’t spoon-feed them. If they are going to make mistakes let them do it during their studies because once they get out into the real world, there’s no room for error,” he said.

“The students – and anyone for that matter – will learn from their mistakes and having a winery where they can practice and progress presents great opportunities for future leaders of the industry here in South Australia.”

During his visit Bakke delivered three formal lectures on his experience in California and France and held a regional tasting of 140 different wines.

“We tend to get comfortable in our own little parts of the world so it was a win-win situation for all.”


Dr Paul Grbin

Phone: 61 8 8313 7302

Email: paul.grbin@adelaide.edu.au


Even Bakke

Phone: 33 (0)4 90 28 16 53

Email: even@closdetrias.com