eNews – May 2012

Avoid costly miscalculations

Lowering alcohol

Seminar sends smoke signals

What’s on?

Managing mint

New in-house style specification boosts Pinot G

What’s wrong with that bottle of wine?

Breathing space for allergy labelling

80 sparkling wines to taste before you die?

Feedback provides direction

CMC now approved for tartrate stabilisation – but how effective is it?

Recent literature

Avoid costly miscalculations

Do you need to be good at maths to calculate your winemaking additions correctly? Not necessarily.

The AWRI helped a winemaker recently who had made an unfortunate measurement error when adding a particular winemaking additive. The reason why winemakers don’t necessarily need to be good at maths is because there is a very useful and practical winemaking calculator available from the AWRI website, which removes the sweaty nervousness that can come when doing such calculations and additions during vintage. For the record, the AWRI Winemaking and Extension Services Team have had a fair share of these in vintage 2012.

Lowering alcohol

Various strategies in the vineyard and winery can reduce the alcohol level in your wine and keep your customers happy. An AWRI Fact Sheet summarises what can be done to lower the alcohol levels in your wine.

High alcohol levels in wine can negatively affect flavour, attract high taxes in some export markets, and, in the context of public health, are of growing concern. The AWRI has produced a fact sheet which provides practical information on a range of approaches that can be adopted by grapegrowers and winemakers to adjust alcohol concentration. The information was gathered from the collective expertise of grapegrowers, viticulturists, winemakers and scientists, and is based on experience and review of current scientific data.

This fact sheet, covers viticultural practices; fermentation and winemaking practices; and post-fermentation practices and processing technologies that can affect alcohol concentration. Additionally, sensory impacts and consumer preferences related to wines containing elevated levels of alcohol are also summarised. This document has been updated to include AWRI’s latest findings on the relationship between grape maturity, alcohol concentration and consumer preferences.

Seminar sends smoke signals

Will you have to deal with smoke taint in your grapes and wine? The big guns in smoke taint research in Australia will speak at a seminar to be held in Melbourne in June, coordinated by the Victorian node of the AWRI.

Presenters at the seminar include researchers from the AWRI; DPI Victoria, Centre of Expertise in Smoke Taint Research; Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University; The University of Adelaide, Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia; and the Director – Planned Burning, DSE, Melbourne.

The seminar will be held on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, in the Fig Room, Ground Floor of the Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens (13 Spring Street, Melbourne).

Thiss event is open to all within the Australian wine industry, the research community and all those involved with controlled burn activities within public land management agencies such as DSE.

To attend please RSVP to Mark Krstic by Friday, 15 June. Also, please advise if you require parking on the day, as the AWRI is organising a special rate with a car park close to the venue. This parking fee, at the designated car park, will be refunded for those Australian wine industry members who attend this event.

What’s on?

Want to know what’s on for grape and wine industry members, but never quite sure where to look? A new website has been launched that lists seminars, workshops, roadshows, conferences, courses, etc. for grape and wine professionals held all around Australia.

Searching for events is easy. Go to the website and put in your region, or event name, or search by date, and all events that match that criteria come up. Or simply browse the entire list or events calendar.

Go to: http://www.grapeandwineevents.com.au

The website is backed by members of the National Wine Extension and Innovation Network.

For further information, contact Con Simos by email or telephone 08 8313 6600.

National Wine Extension and Innovation Network members are:

The Australian Wine Research Institute
Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia
Department of Primary Industries Victoria
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation
National Wine and Grape Industry Centre
Primary Industries and Resources South Australia
South Australian Research and Development Institute
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Wine Australia
Wine Grape Growers Australia
Winemakers Federation of Australia

Managing mint

Do your customers really love the minty, eucalyptus flavor and aroma of your red wines, or do they want to see less of it? Research from the AWRI, just published, shows that eucalyptus leaves in grape harvest bins play the largest role in giving minty/eucalypt flavour to wine.

The AWRI found that if a small quantity of eucalyptus leaves or bark were included in a ferment, a ten-fold increase in eucalyptol levels was found in the wine compared to grape berries alone. The AWRI also found that grape leaves or stems (from vines grown in close proximity to eucalyptus trees) in the tank can give rise to substantial amounts of eucalyptol. The study was done in a cool climate Shiraz vineyard close to eucalyptus trees that frequently produces wines with high eucalyptol levels. The results show that management of non-grape material in harvested fruit will allow good control of this flavour in wines.

(AWRI publication #1356 Capone, D.L., Jeffery, D.W., Sefton, M.A. 2012. Vineyard and fermentation studies to elucidate the origin of 1,8-cineole in Australian red wine. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60 (9): 2281-2287.)

New in-house style specification boosts Pinot G

Many producers have approached the AWRI wanting to classify their Pinot Gris/Grigio (Pinot G) wine for their own internal use. Is that of interest to you?

Here’s a new option for producers interested in understanding more about the style of their Pinot G wines. If you have a Pinot G wine that you’d like classified, just for your own interest and without extending it to the labeling device, this can now be done in a simple streamlined way using the PinotG Style Spectrum concept.
This new option complements the full Pinot G service which includes the label graphic and the right to tell the world about your classification result; and this will continue to be the most popular way to access the Spectrum.

A PinotG Style Spectrum classification for internal company use only can be obtained for $290. Here’s the fine print: the classification result provided under this new option must be kept confidential for internal use only, and may not be communicated to third parties externally.

For more information about the Pinot G Style Spectrum, or to organise classification of your wine, contact Commercial Services by email, telephone on 08 8313 6600 or visit the AWRI website.

What’s wrong with that bottle of wine?

Variability of wine once it is in the bottle is frustrating and can be costly. Potential damage to your brand reputation will mean you will open and check bottled wine just to be sure. Does this sound familiar? There is now a technology that will allow bottled wines to be assessed without removing the bottle closure.

The AWRI receives a number of enquiries each year from wine producers who have issues with the variability of their products due to poor storage conditions, insufficient care taken by distributors and retailers through the supply chain and variability during bottling. Sometimes, a large proportion of bottles are unsaleable due to high sulfur dioxide (SO2) depletion, microbiological contamination, elevated colour development or oxidative sensory characteristics.

The AWRI, in conjunction with Angove Family Winemakers, has used the BevScanTM technology to screen samples of a commercial red wine that were exhibiting random patterns of oxidation during storage. The AWRI was able to identify those bottles that had acceptable development characteristics, allowing the mobilisation of stock for overseas markets.

The BevScanTM is an analytical instrument that can be used to identify spectral differences between wines, non-destructively. Wines which appear to be damaged by oxidation, accelerated development or contamination during storage and distribution can be analysed in-bottle. Using Vis-NIR spectroscopy, matrix differences in wines can be identified, categorised and quantified rapidly.

Typically, when such a problem is suspected, a number of bottles of the wine are subjected to sensory assessment and/or chemical analysis. While this approach makes it fairly simple to identify a variable oxidation problem, producers are still left with the difficult task of sorting saleable from unsaleable stock. In most cases, the expense of opening, assessing and re-sealing all bottles cannot be justified. Often, producers are forced to recall stocks of wine from overseas markets and either undertake a costly re-processing exercise or dispose of the stock entirely.

BevScanTM has been shown to be a valuable tool for screening and classifying wine stock impacted by random patterns of oxidation non-destructively. By using this tool, Angove Family Winemakers has been able to mobilise otherwise worthless stock and supply their customers with wine which tastes the way the winemaker intended.

Further information can be obtained from the Fact Sheet, or contact Neil Scrimgeour by email or telephone 08 8313 6600.

Breathing space for allergy labelling

The deadline for mandatory allergens labelling of milk and egg has been pushed back to 1 January 2013 instead of 1 July 2012.

Wine Australia was advised by industry sources that a meeting held between the European Commission and member States this week supported a proposal to extend the effective deadline for mandatory allergens labelling for milk and egg to 1 January 2013 instead of 1 July 2012. The proposal must still go through the official parliamentary processes before the proposal is officially adopted. The Australian Government is seeking urgent confirmation on this issue. Industry sources are confident that this proposal will succeed.

The UK Wine and Spirit Trade Association advised this means that southern hemisphere wines produced during the 2012 vintage and then shipped to the EU will not be subject to label change. It will also give the Commission time to publicise the decision in authorised languages for each member state prior to implementation.

Further updates will be provided as soon as possible.

80 sparkling wines to taste before you die?

Hot on the heels of two oversubscribed ‘Wines of France’ tastings, the AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment team are organising a ‘Sparkling wines from around the world’ tasting. If you want to know more about sparkling wine styles, then join the tasting.

For Australians to be internationally competitive it is important to know what the rest of the world is doing successfully and how our sparkling styles compare. Attending this session will give you the opportunity to evaluate 80 sparkling wines from around the world. The AWRI hunts high and low to get the best possible list of wines which show the diversity of this category. The majority of these wines will be sourced internationally, and the AWRI has started early with the first shipment leaving the UK last week. Two events will be scheduled: 29 and 30 November 2012 to be held in Adelaide at the AWRI. If you are interested, let the AWRI know now.
Also, if you have tried anything of interest lately and think it should be part of the tasting line-up, let the AWRI know (and where to buy).

To register your interest send an email to awac@awri.com.au, the AWRI will be taking registrations soon. Further information can be obtained from the AWRI website.

This won’t be a fizzer!

Feedback provides direction

Feedback received through an industry survey has provided valuable information to develop a new web-based tool (the Grape Portal) for analysing grapes and managing grape maturity data. Industry members provided information on typical vineyard monitoring and measurement practices for grape maturity across Australia.

Many thanks to everyone who responded to the survey. In all, an impressive 115 responses were received. Congratulations go to Greg O’Keefe from Michelini Wines in Myrtleford (Alpine Valley), who is the lucky recipient of a year’s free annual subscription to the tool for 2013.

Development work is expected to start soon. It is intended that the tool will be used to store and analyse standard grape maturity measures, but also provide practitioners with the ability to measure tannins, phenolics and colour in grapes, during ripening and harvesting periods.

This is an exciting development for grape and wine producers and will provide a second measurement tool alongside the existing Wine (Tannin) Portal. The AWRI will continue to seek contributions from industry members during development, to ensure the delivery of a practical and cost-effective tool for grape and wine producers.

CMC now approved for tartrate stabilisation – but how effective is it?

Would you like to know how it will perform with your wines and what are the practical implications? Here is your chance to be involved in a benchmarking trial to find out.

Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) has now been approved for use in winemaking in Australia. Many different forms of CMC are available in the marketplace from a range of suppliers, but there is limited objective data on the comparative performance of these products and their potential impact on winemaking operations.

AWRI Commercial Services are launching a CMC performance benchmarking trial in the second half of the year to assess the performance of CMC as a viable alternative to tartrate stabilisation.

Still wines will be treated with a range of CMC products from different suppliers to quantify their performance and determine which wine types are best suited to their application and the practical impacts of winery process such as filtration. Results will be made available to paying participants.
Wineries interested in being involved in this study should contact Eric Wilkes by email or by telephone on (08) 8313 0892 for further details.

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

(1373) Carrau, F. M., Medina, K., Farina, L., Boido, E., Henschke, P. A., Dellacassa, E. Production of fermentation aroma compounds by Saccharomyces cerevisiae wine yeasts: effects of yeast assimilable nitrogen on two model strains. FEMS Yeast Research 8 (7): 1196–1207; 2008

(1374) Cozzolino, D., Cynkar, W.U., Shah, N., Smith, P.A. Quantitative analysis of minerals and electric conductivity of red grape homogenates by near infrared reflectance spectroscopy Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 77 (1): 81-85; 2011.

(1375) Vilanova, M.; Siebert, T.E.; Varela, C.; Pretorius, I.S.; Henschke, P.A. Effect of ammonium nitrogen supplementation of grape juice on wine volatiles and non-volatiles composition of the aromatic grape variety Albariño. Food Chem. 133 (1): 124–131; 2012.

(1376) Abrahamse, C., Bartowsky, E. Inoculation for MLF reduces overall vinification time. Australian & New Zealand grapegrower & winemaker (578): 41-46; 2012.

(1377) O’Brien, V. Capitalising on tartrate stabilisation. Australian & New Zealand grapegrower & winemaker (577): 62-64; 2012.

(1378) Stockley, C. Rules and regulations on the move. Australian & New Zealand grapegrower & winemaker (578): p. 60; 2012

(1379) Bizaj, E., Cordente, A. G., Bellon, J. R., Raspor, P., Curtin, C. D., Pretorius, I. S. A breeding strategy to harness flavor diversity of Saccharomyces interspecific hybrids and minimize hydrogen sulfide production. FEMS Yeast Research. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2012.00797.x; 2012.

(1380) Cozzolino, D., Cynkar, W., Shah, N., Smith, P. Feasibility study on the use of attenuated total reflectance mid-infrared for analysis of compositional parameters in wine. Food research international 44 (1): 181-186; 2011.

(1381) King, E.S., Johnson, T.E., Bastian, S.E.P., Osidacz, P., Francis, I.L. Consumer liking of white wines: segmentation using self-reported wine liking and wine knowledge. International journal of wine business research: 24 (1) : 33-46.; 2012.

(1382) Capone, D.L., Jeffery, D.W., Sefton, M.A. Vineyard and fermentation studies to elucidate the origin of 1,8-cineole in Australian red wine. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 60 (9): 2281-2287; 2012.

(1383) Capone, D.L., Black, C.A., Jeffery, D.W. Effects of 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol precursor concentrations from prolonged storage of Sauvignon Blanc grapes prior to crushing and pressing. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 60 (13): 3515-3523; 2012.

(1384) Stockley, C. Is it merely a myth that alcoholic beverages such as red wine can be cardioprotective. Journal of the science of food and agriculture DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.5696: 7 p.; 2012.

(1385) Curtin, C.D., Borneman, A.R., Chambers, P.J., Pretorius, I.S. De-Novo assembly and analysis of the heterozygous triploid genome of the wine spoilage yeast Dekkera bruxellensis AWRI1499. PLoS ONE 7 (3): 1-10; 2012.

(1386) Bartowsky, E., Costello, P., Krieger-Weber, S., Markides, A., Francis, L., Travis, B. Using Malolactic Fermentation to enhance fruity characters in red wine: Sensory and chemistry. Chassagne, D; Gougeon, R.D. Wine active compounds 2011 : Proceedings of the Second Edition of the International Conference Series on wine active compounds. 111-113; 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.