A common theory in current innovation literature, and one that this paper supports, is that spatially defined industry clusters provide incubation for ‘competitive advantage’. It is the heightened interaction between ‘actors’, the intense vertical integration and concentration of resources that creates enclaves of innovation within which activity is leveraged in an efficient and productive manner. A less studied aspect of such activity, however, is the structural and organizational inertia that may result as imperatives of cluster participants dislocate from those of their host industry. A sector in which this is becoming apparent is the Australian wine industry. It appears that as the international wine landscape consolidates the industry’s operating paradigm is shifting from a national approach to one based on a nexus of global/local priorities and serviced by prominent industry clusters. Such a paradigm is creating an escalation in tension between nationally focused industry bodies and the firms to which they cater.