High degree research students through the University of Adelaide’s Central Career Services get access to unique programs. One such program is the ‘Brand Ambassador Program’ where students are selected from the university to participate in the program, link with, network and learn about various businesses in South Australia. GFAR PhD student Livia Padilha was recently selected to participate in this program and visited a leading winery near Adelaide. She shares her experience in this blog.
The University of Adelaide’s Central Career Services, on behalf of Barristers Block Premium Wines targeted wine and agribusiness high degree research students to participate in the ‘Brand Ambassador Program’. I was lucky to be selected and to enjoy a full day visit, which included getting to know Barristers’ daily operations, wine making process and their use of social media marketing tools.
The family-owned business started in 1997 with vineyard first plantings in Wrattonbully and later in Woodside in the Adelaide Hills. Today, the company has a balanced portfolio of excellent red, white and sparkling South Australian wines, such as Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Shiraz.
During our visit on a beautiful sunny day in the Hills, we walked through Barristers’ vineyards, watched how different pruning processes are done, and learn about their importance in the wines’ quality. After lunch, Barristers’ winemaker Anthony Pearce conducted a tasting section and, from the business owner Jan Siemelink-Allen, we learned about main business activities, company’s exports and their communication with clients. We learned that besides all their wine production and cellar door services, the winery also hosts functions (e.g., weddings and events), with catering and beautiful accommodation facilities.
Besides the full activity day, we had a chance to learn more about this SA local business and we will be featured on the winery website as Barristers’ Block ambassadors. This program will allow students to participate in special events the winery holds, such as cellar door visits and trade fairs.
I found the visit particularly interesting from a consumer behaviour perspective, getting to know an Australian local business that brands so well its provenance. I have also experienced how a business can start building loyalty to its brand, and very cleverly so, by joining efforts with a local University and making a bridge between industry and academia. Especially in an international context, building links with students in the field, who might be in their home countries in the future, is a pragmatic way to initiate these connections.