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Taste for learning

THE WA Wine Industry Association has opened a new education facility in Perth’s northern suburbs, the first in a series of planned metropolitan satellite centres aimed at improving the public’s knowledge of wine.

Using an existing space within Mirrabooka retail operation Chesterfield Cellars, the centre will cater for the growing demand for wine courses and ease the pressure of the association’s long-running facility at its Showgrounds headquarters.

The move to Mirrabooka preceeds the possibility of at least two other Perth satellites and follows the establishment of another wine education centre in Singapore.

WAWIA chief executive Tamara Stevens said the education side of the association helped stimulate demand for its members’ products as well providing a valuable income stream for the industry body.

Ms Stevens said education had proved popular and the association realised there was room to grow the market beyond 1500 students a year.

“We have never advertised the Claremont classes and we are turning people away,” she said.

The association has been involved in education since 1966 when 2933 people paid 60 cents each to attend a tasting session at the Perth Royal Show.

The Mirrabooka centre’ s inaugural lecturer will be Langdon Farrelly, an executive certificate teacher from Edith Cowan’s wine courses who has worked in the industry for the past eight years, mainly in retail and more recently as WA brand manager for Petaluma.

Mr Farrelly will be catering to a younger audience than his predecessors as the industry attempts to embrace a new generation.

“You see it in a retail sense because consumers are learning more about wine younger,” he said.

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