Tony Spawton – a living wine marketing legend

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 17 August 2012



Bruwer, J. (2012), "Tony Spawton – a living wine marketing legend", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 24 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Tony Spawton – a living wine marketing legend

Article Type: Viewpoints From: International Journal of Wine Business Research, Volume 24, Issue 3

Tony who is Welsh-born, came to live permanently in Australia in 1969. At the time, the Australian industry was facing many problems similar to today (i.e. a grape-growing sector in chaos, a high dollar value curbing dried fruits exports, the influx of cheap grapes into the industry benefitting from the “white wine boom”, and the adoption of wine as a preferred drink by women, albeit in 5 litre BIBs).

At the time Roseworthy College (now part of The University of Adelaide) was preparing a career for some of Australia’s leading winemakers who understood that commercial success was not only guaranteed by the fact that they could make outstanding wines, but that irrespective of their artisanal skills, the product had to find a customer who was prepared to pay for it. This signaled the birth of wine business management (albeit in the form of only one course in the Oenology degree initially).

In short, the discipline of wine marketing which has been a unique feature of the Australian wine industry since the late 197Os, owes much of its development to the pioneering efforts of Tony Spawton. He was instrumental in developing much of the contemporary wine marketing curriculum whilst at the Roseworthy College in the mid-1980s.

Tony’s enthusiasm, knowledge and skills are legendary and he used these to grow research outputs to present wine marketing strategies in most of the emerging New World wine export industries while also contributing to the re-emergence of former export powerhouses such as Spain and Portugal. Testimony of his contribution in this field worldwide was the bestowment of the OIV’s Merit Award in 2011 in due recognition for his outstanding work within the international vine and wine sector. In the academic arena, his work also resulted in a host of academic and trade journal publications, personal development programs, committee chairmanships, and so on.

Despite formally “retiring” from full-time academia in 2009, Tony remains very active, as always, and is currently teaching some courses in the under- and post-graduate wine business programs at The University of Adelaide in Australia.

Johan Bruwer

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