eNews – March 2012

Bothersome Brett

Terroir revisited

On the wood

A question on tartaric acid use

Web-based tool to monitor grape maturity

Tell consumers about your Pinot G Style

Measure grape colour and tannin fast this vintage

Ensure your grapes and wine are smoke-free

New head for Commercial Services

International congress on wine and health: 2013

Changes to Wine Australia export requirements

Recent literature

Bothersome Brett

Are you having problems controlling Brett in the winery despite using best practice control methods? If you are using concentrations of molecular SO2 above 0.625 mg/L and you are still experiencing ‘Brett-blooms’, your wine may be affected by a sulfite-tolerant Brettanomyces strain. Send us a sample.

Your sample will form part of the AWRI’s research to develop strategies that can future-proof our industry against outbreaks of this sulfite-tolerant spoilage yeast.

If you are not routinely calculating molecular SO2 yielded after a sulfite addition, and you are Australian grape and wine sector member who pays a Wine Grapes or Grape Research Levy, don’t forget you have free access to an online molecular sulfur dioxide calculator at the practical solutions page of AWRI’s website.

To send us your sample, please contact Dr Chris Curtin for further information or to obtain a Brett barrel sampling kit.

Terroir revisited

Just love your Pinot Noir, but think it lacks just that bit of distinction? It could be the yeast you are using or perhaps you could benefit from more experimentation in the winery. Delegates of the International Cool Climate Symposium held recently in Hobart learnt some new winemaking techniques in a workshop aimed at Pinot Noir winemakers.

2011 Jimmy Watson Trophy winner, Nick Glaetzer (Frogmore Creek Wines), showed that simple wine processing methods and the use of newly developed non-conventional yeast strains can have a large impact on wine style. Nick showed that dabbling with the winemaking process can lead to interesting wines; stem and fermented skin inclusions, cold soaking and blending different varietals are all steps that the winemaker can choreograph.

The workshop showcased a new breed of hybrid wine yeasts developed at the AWRI. The faithful Pinot Noir standard yeast, RC 212, took a backseat to AWRI Fusion (a new hybrid yeast available from Mauri Yeast Australia), with Fusion winning hands-down in wine tasting preferences.

Use of the new hybrid yeasts is an easy tool for winemakers looking to ‘dial in’ innovative aromas and flavours to their wines. The non-conventional yeasts used in this workshop are available commercially:

Lallemand supply Enoferm Level 2 TD (Torulaspora delbrueckii), AWRI 1375 and AWRI 1176 (Saccharomyces bayanus)

Mauri Yeast Australia supply AWRI Fusion (Saccharomyces cerevisiae x Saccharomyces cariocanus hybrid) and AWRI 1503 (Saccharomyces cerevisiae x Saccharomyces kudriavzevii hybrid).

Contact Jenny Bellon for more information.

On the wood

Are you sure which wood is acceptable for use in winemaking in Australia? The AWRI and Wine Australia have recently received enquiries. According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the State and Territory health commissions, acacia cannot be used for wine barrels and that FSANZ should be consulted before using any timber other than oak. FSANZ can be contacted by phone on 06 6271 2286 or by http://www.foodstandards.gov.au

A question on tartaric acid use

The AWRI was asked recently whether DL tartaric acid can be used in Australian winemaking. The interpretation of the specifications for additives in the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code now suggests that winemakers can use L tartaric acid, D tartaric acid or a racemate or enantiomer mixture for winemaking in Australia. So what do you use?

The AWRI advises winemakers to continue to use L tartaric acid for acid adjustments in winemaking in order to avoid the formation of unpredictable calcium DL tartrate crystalline deposits that are more likely to occur when using D or the racemic tartaric acid. If you have any queries, just contact the AWRI Winemaking Services team by email or by telephone on 08 8313 6600.

Web-based tool to monitor grape maturity

The AWRI is looking to develop a new web-based tool for analysing grapes and managing grape maturity data. Grape quality decisions could be made in an objective manner as this tool aims to allow users to measure tannins, phenolics and colour in grapes. It would also offer data analysis and storage functions for more typical grape maturity measures.

To make sure the final product is as relevant to industry needs as possible, we need input from you!

Please click on the link below to access our survey on your current grape analysis practices and your interest in various aspects of the product we are developing.

Responding to the survey should take less than 10 minutes of your time and all respondents who provide contact details (this is optional) will go into a draw to win a year’s subscription to the new service. We’d appreciate receiving your response by 9 March 2012.

This is an exciting development and your contribution means a more practical tool will be available to grape and wine producers.

Click here to start the survey.

Tell consumers about your Pinot G Style

Now is the time to ensure your Pinot G wine doesn’t get left on the shelf in 2012. Your customers can tell at a glance what style of wine is in the bottle by using the Pinot G Style Spectrum on your label. Whether your style is crisp and racy or luscious and powerful, consumers will instantly know what style of wine to expect, and how to find more of the styles that they like. Already used on bottles sold in Australia, USA and New Zealand, the Pinot G Style Spectrum is proving a valuable communication tool.

So, what’s the next step? To have your wine assessed on the scale and for a step-by-step guide, visit our website or contact Commercial Services on 08 8313 6600 or pinotGstylespectrum@awri.com.au.

Measure grape colour and tannin fast this vintage

Need to quickly know the colour and tannin measurements in your grapes this vintage? Now you can. Same day results for grape quality analysis means faster decision making and improving your operations.

The AWRI Commercial Services now offers a modified Somers method for determining anthocyanins and phenolics, and also includes tannins on grape samples using a standard UV-Vis spectrophotometer.

Save time and costs by combining the grape colour and tannin assay with other grape maturity analyses. Further details on the various combinations of vintage analyses available including brix or baume, pH, titratable acidity, laccase activity and yeast assimilable nitrogen can be found here.

Please contact AWRI Commercial Services for more information on the new assay, and on sampling and transportation of grapes.

Ensure your grapes and wine are smoke-free

Think your grapes have been exposed to smoke? Don’t leave it to chance – have your grapes, juice or wine samples analysed for a range of free phenols which may impact on quality.

Research at the AWRI has demonstrated that some phenolic compounds such as guaiacol, 4-methylguaiacol, cresol and syringol are responsible for off-flavours and aromas caused by exposure to smoke. The AWRI Commercial Services is able to analyse grape, juice and wine samples for a range of free phenols.

Frozen grape samples can now be transported to the AWRI without a Plant Health Certificate from those areas not affected by Phylloxera. A copy of the AWRI Grape Material Movement and Declaration Form should be completed and sent with any samples.

AWRI Commercial Services is again offering smoke taint analysis for affected grapes at a reduced rate in order to support those affected by bushfires. Please contact Randell Taylor for more information or the AWRI Commercial Services website has further details on smoke taint analysis.

New head for Commercial Services

The AWRI’s Managing Director announced today the appointment of Dr Eric Wilkes to head up the AWRI’s Commercial Services group. Eric takes over the role vacated by Dr Vince O’Brien, who has accepted the role of AWRI’s Business Development Manager.

Vince, who has done a great job developing Commercial Services over the past four years into a lean and responsive successful business, was selected from a very strong field of internal and external candidates for the Business Development Manager’s position.

Eric has had a great deal of experience in managing technical projects and analytical facilities in the wine industry, and most recently in the role of AWRI’s Research Manager – Industry Applications, and he will be a great asset to both the analytical team and the project team within the AWRI’s Commercial Services group. Eric and Vince will assume their new roles on Monday, 5 March.

International congress on wine and health: 2013

The wine and health debate has never been more intense. The Fifth International Congress of Wine and Health will be held next year, and the proceedings from the fourth congress are now available.

The aim of these triennial congresses is to showcase recent research efforts in order to increase our understanding of the biological, medical and societal effects of wine. It also aims to provide direction for new research efforts into the effects of moderate wine consumption on human health, as well as to inform public health policy. The congress topics include epidemiology, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases, and nutraceutical and societal aspects. The fifth conference is to be held in Australia in 2013, hosted by the AWRI, immediately following the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference.

The proceedings from the fourth international congress, held in Friuli, Italy on 3-6 October 2010 (hosted by the University of Padova) are now available from the John Fornachon Memorial Library and from the Journal of Wine Research.

Changes to Wine Australia export requirements

Wine Australia has changed its requirement for the tasting of all wines that are exported. In the past, every consignment of wine over 100 litres exported from Australia needed to be evaluated sensorially by Wine Australia. As part of our service to our clients, the AWRI Commercial Services on-forwarded, at no charge, wine to Wine Australia for tasting.

As this requirement no longer exists, our clients now only have to send to the AWRI two bottles of each product to be exported for analytical testing instead of the four sent previously. The export approval analysis requirement still remains for all consignments of wine over 100 litres exported from Australia.

Recent literature

John Fornachon Memorial Library at the AWRI delivers journal articles and loans books to Australian grapegrowers and winemakers. Books can be searched and requested via the Library catalogue – or you can email us with your request.

  • To order AWRI staff publications and articles from Technical Review please contact the Library
  • Articles and books on specific topics can be searched for and ordered via the Library Catalogue
  • To request a Literature search on a specific topic contact the Library via email or telephone (08) 8313 6600.

Recent AWRI staff publications

Bartowsky, E., Costello, P., Krieger-Weber, S., Markides, A., Francis, I., Travis, B. Influence of MLF on the fruity characters of red wine: bringing chemistry and sensory science together. Wine & viticulture journal 26(6): 27-33; 2011.

Borneman, A.R., Desany, B.A., Riches, D., Affourtit, J.P., Forgan A.H., Pretorius I.S., Egholm, M., Chambers, P.J. The genome sequence of the wine yeast VIN7 reveals an allotriploid hybrid genome with Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces kudriavzevii origins. FEMS yeast research 12(1): 88-96; 2012.

Borneman, A.R., Bartowsky, E.J. Comparative genomics in the wine bacterium Oenococcus oeni. Microbiology Australia 32 (4): 174-176; 2011.

Borneman, A.R., McCarthy, J.M., Chambers, P.J., Bartowsky, E.J. Functional divergence in the genus Oenococcus as predicted by genome sequencing. PLoS ONE 7(1); 2012.

Chambers, P. From omics to systems biology: towards a more complete description and understanding of biology. Microbiology Australia 32 (4): 174-176; 2011.

Coulter, A. Post-bottling spoilage – who invited Brett? Practical winery & vineyard 33 (1): 30-37; 2012.
Curtin, C., Borneman, A., Chambers, P.J., Pretorius, I.S. Winning at snakes and ladders. WBM (January/February), 18-25; 2012.

Dry, P. Root pruning and covercrops combine to control vigour. Australian & New Zealand grapegrower & winemaker (576): 29-30; 2012.

O’Brien, V., Johnson, D. Opportunities to improve winemaking profitability. Wine & viticulture journal 27(1): 18-21; 2012.

Parker, M., Osidacz, P., Baldock, G.A., Hayasaka, Y., Black, C.A., Pardon, K., Jeffery, D.W., Geue, J.P., Herderich, M., Francis, L. The contribution of several volatile phenols and their glycoconjugates to smoke related sensory properties of red wine. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry DOI: 10.1021/jf2040548: 2012.

Schmidt, S.A., Dillon, S., Kolouchova, R., Henschke, P.A., Borneman, A.R., Forgun, A.H., Chambers, P.J., Pretorius, I.S. Happy marriages and how to avoid getting stuck with the wrong partner. Practical winery and vineyard 33 (1): 6-7, 9-10, 12-14; 2012.

Stockley, C. More to the story of alcohol consumption and cancer. Australian & New Zealand grapegrower & winemaker (576): 45-46, 48-49; 2012.

Stockley, C. Alcohol and human health – sorting out the facts. Wine & viticulture journal27(1): 68-69; 2012.

Ting, C.S.C., Borneman, A.R., Pretorius, I.S. Wine-omics: new platforms for the improvement of yeast strains and wine quality. Benkeblia, N. Omics technologies tools for food science. Chapter 14: 339-365; 2012.

Varela, C., Schmidt, S.A., Borneman, A.R., Krömer, J.O., Khan, A., Chambers, P.J. The Australian Wine Yeast Systems Biology Consortium. Systems Biology: a new paradigm for industrial yeast strain development. Microbiology Australia 32 (4): 151-155; 2011.

Winter, G., Henschke, P.A., Higgins, V.J., Ugliano, M., Curtin, C.D. Effects of rehydration nutrients on H2S metabolism and formation of volatile sulfur compounds by the wine yeast VL3. AMB Express 1(36): 11p.; 2011.

Disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is comment of a general nature only and is not and nor is it intended to be advice on any specific technical or professional matter. In that the effectiveness or accuracy of any technical or professional advice depends upon the particular circumstances of each case, neither the AWRI nor any individual author accepts any responsibility whatsoever for any acts or omissions resulting from reliance upon the content of any articles. Before acting on the basis of any material contained in this publication, we recommend that you consult appropriate technical/professional advisers.