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Led by journalist, wine writer and author Katie Spain as Master of Ceremonies, the 2024 Australian Cabernet Symposium will showcase a stellar line-up of Australian and international experts who are all passionate about the world of Cabernet Sauvignon.

With experts hailing from France, Hawke’s Bay, the Napa Valley, Scotland, Adelaide, Coonawarra and Margaret River, the 2024 ACS will explore and showcase the latest global developments in Cabernet in the fields of wine research, viticulture and winemaking, focusing on the theme Supporting Cabernet Sauvignon into the Future.

We’re thrilled to have an international keynote speaker join us live at each ACS venue – French fine wines and terroir consultant Rodrigo Laytte who will present from Margaret River HEART; and New Zealand’s Phil Brodie, senior winemaker at Te Mata in Hawke’s Bay, who will be based at Parker Coonawarra Estate. All presentations and masterclasses will be simulcast live to and from both venues.

They are among nine global Cabernet experts who will explore topics ranging from carbon neutral wineries of the future, the latest Cabernet statistics and trends, state of the art vineyard irrigation systems, rootstocks and methoxypyrazines, predicting berry cell death and shrivel; and the past, present and future of Cabernet Sauvignon. All followed by an interactive Q&A session with the live presenters.

The 2024 Australian Cabernet Symposium day one presenters are as follows.


Rodrigo Laytte (France) – Fine Wines and Terroir Consultant, former International Technical Director for Moët Hennessy Wine Division and former Technical Director at Château Kirwan, Grand Cru Classé de Margaux.

Rodrigo has extensive Cabernet experience worldwide and has been working as a consultant for wineries in Napa Valley, Chile, Mexico and Bordeaux, among other regions. He will share his views on how these regions are adapting to climate change through the lens of premium Cabernet production.

Rodrigo will be presenting live in Margaret River.

Phil Brodie (New Zealand) – Senior Winemaker at Te Mata in Hawke’s Bay, famous for crafting one of New Zealand’s most revered reds, Coleraine.

He will explore the search for the Holy Grail at Te Mata with particular reference to Coleraine, and his perspective on the past, present and future of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Phil will be presenting live in Coonawarra.

Kym Anderson AC, George Gollin Professor Emeritus at the University of Adelaide and founding Executive Director of its Wine Economics Research Centre, and Vice-President of the American Association of Wine Economists and Co-Editor of its Journal of Wine Economics.

Kym will present his latest insights from analysis of statistics on Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, with a focus on Coonawarra and Margaret River.

Kym will be presenting live in Coonawarra.

Vanya Cullen (OAM) – Chief Winemaker at Australia’s first 100% carbon neutral winery, Cullen Wines.

A pioneer of biodynamic and organic practices, award winning winemaker and respected wine show judge, Vanya will share the Cullen story, key learnings for Cabernet Sauvignon, and how the Margaret River winery is preparing for the future.

Vanya will be presenting live in Margaret River.

Dr Vinay Pagay, senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide and co-founder of Athena IR-Tech.

He will present on the challenges of vineyard irrigation and how they motivated the development of Athena’s irrigation scheduling sensors. He will share his findings from Coonawarra and various trials around South Australia.

Vinay will be presenting live in Coonawarra.

Professor Stephen Tyerman, an award-winning plant physiology researcher from the University of Adelaide, will explore predictors of cell death and berry shrivel and how an innovative “berry breathalyser” that monitors ethanol production in berries can indicate cell death before shrivel.

Stephen will uncover key learnings for Cabernet producers.

Stephen will be presenting live in Coonawarra.



Roger Boulton (USA), Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Enology and Chemical Engineering Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis.

Roger will present on the self-sustainable, zero-carbon, LEED Platinum Research Winery at UC Davis and what it means for precision in research winemaking and the future of Cabernet Sauvignon.


Trevor Durling (USA), Chief Winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyard, renowned for crafting the legendary Napa Valley Cabernet, Georges de Latour.

Trevor will explore Napa’s heritage and a timeline of Cabernet Sauvignon through Beaulieu Vineyard. Trevor is the fifth chief winemaker in the winery’s 120-year history.


Ross Sanders (AUS/UK), Research Scientist – Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate, Diageo Scotland and Heriot-Watt University who will share the findings of his research into the effect of rootstock on grape rachis composition, specifically in relation to methoxypyrazines.


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