eNews


eNews – November 2013

Smoke taint questions after early bushfires

Ferment Simulator available

Ferment rescue revisited

Toby Bekkers elected to the AWRI Board

Explore the world of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Brett, there’s no place to hide

Small batches with high quality

Consumer Oriented Design

Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference webcasts available

Attend a live seminar from your desk

Two updates from the OIV

Recent literature

Smoke taint questions after early bushfires

The recent fires in NSW have caused some grapegrowers to become concerned about the possibility of smoke taint issues. It is important to remember that the sensitivity of wine grape varieties to smoke uptake depends on the grapevine growth stage. In general, the smoke uptake potential is low through flowering up to the point when the berries are pea size.

Once the berries are pea size, the potential becomes variable (low to medium risk of smoke uptake) and remains variable through the onset of veraison up to three days post-veraison. From seven days post-veraison to harvest, most wine grape varieties are highly sensitive to smoke taint.

While the above risk assessments are true in general terms, there are many grape varieties that have not been individually assessed for their smoke uptake potential at the various grapevine growth stages. Consequently, if a vineyard has been exposed to smoke sometime after the point when the berries are pea size, it is advisable to sample the vineyard two weeks prior to the harvest date and conduct a small-lot ferment. The wine resulting from this small-lot fermentation can be subjected to sensory assessment and chemical analysis in order to gauge the potential risk of any smoke taint that might arise from the smoke exposure.

The AWRI’s website provides links to a range of resources on smoke taint as well as further information about the susceptibility of grape varieties.

Ferment Simulator available

The AWRI Ferment Simulator is a new tool that allows winemakers to monitor and predict the performance of their ferments. Extensively trialled over the past three vintages, the Simulator is now freely available to Australian levy payers via the AWRI website.

The Simulator can predict a fermentation outcome based on as few as five baume readings. It will raise an alert if a ferment is heading off track, and multiple ferments can be monitored via a ‘traffic light’ display. The impact of ferment management strategies can also be modelled in advance to assess their impact. Temperature adjustments, tank agitation or additions of nutrients can all be considered within the Simulator’s ‘What if?’ analysis. Finally, the tool also allows for the tracking of winery refrigeration load and energy costs.

Download the AWRI Ferment Simulator and user guide here and get familiar with it before vintage 2014. Any questions or feedback? Contact: Dr Richard Muhlack (richard.muhlack@awri.com.au or 0448 027 273).

Ferment rescue revisited

Stuck or sluggish fermentations can affect wine quality, tie up resources and generally make the busy vintage period harder than it needs to be. They can be a particular problem during vintages affected by hot weather or heat waves. While steps can be taken to lower the risk, most winemakers will encounter a stuck fermentation at some point. When they do, a rescue mission is needed.

The AWRI has provided a restart procedure for rescuing slow or stuck fermentations since 1999. The procedure has recently undergone a thorough review, with input from microbiologists, winemakers and yeast suppliers. The procedure now includes the latest knowledge from both research and practical experience.

The new method can be found on the AWRI website. Additional resources on preventing and managing stuck fermentations are also available.

Toby Bekkers elected to the AWRI Board

The AWRI is pleased to announce that, from a field of four very strong candidates, Toby Bekkers has been elected as a small producer representative on the AWRI Board. Toby is a viticulturist, consultant and wine business manager based in McLaren Vale, SA. He and his wife, Emma, own and operate Bekkers Wine and vineyards. Toby is a graduate of the 2009 ‘Future Leaders’ program and he has served on the Board of the McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association. Toby’s term of office commences on 1 January 2014.

For each of the medium and large producer categories, only one nomination was received, so elections were not required. Brett McKinnon of Orlando Wines and Louisa Rose of Yalumba Wine Company were therefore re-elected to the AWRI Board.

Explore the world of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

The latest in the AWRI’s tutored tasting series, World Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, is just a few weeks away. With one place available in the 28 November session and a handful of places in the 29 November session, time to register is running out.

The tasting is led by two dynamic and talented winemakers, Iain Riggs of Brokenwood Wines, and Tom Carson of Yabby Lake. Iain is Chairman of Judges of the Royal Sydney Wine Show and coordinator of the Len Evans Foundation. Tom has chaired the National Wine Show in Canberra and will be the Chairman of the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards in 2014. Tom is also is the most recent winner of the Jimmy Watson Trophy for the 2012 Yabby Lake Block 1 Pinot Noir – the first time the coveted trophy has been won by a Pinot Noir wine.
Explore the classic and changing face of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir table wines available to consumers across the world market. The course will include benchmarks, world competitors and new stylistic directions.

To snap up one of the last few places available, complete the registration form and return it ASAP. For more information, email awac@awri.com.au or phone Virginia Phillips or Con Simos on (08) 8313 6600.

Brett, there’s no place to hide

Sometimes a winery doesn’t realise that Brett has taken up residence until a major spoilage issue occurs. This can be expensive to manage and can cause significant brand damage. The new Brett Audit service offered by AWRI Commercial Services is designed to help prevent unhappy Brett surprises.

The Brett audit service takes a comprehensive approach to searching for Brett and assessing potential risk. Past issues and current practices are assessed, and swabs are taken from up to 100 locations around the winery. Results of the assessments are reported along with recommendations to mitigate any issues found.

To find out more about this service, refer to the Winery Brett Audits factsheet or contact Dr Tina Tran (tina.tran@awri.com.au or 8313 6600).

Small batches with high quality

Interested in making a small batch of wine to try a new method of winemaking? WIC Winemaking Services offers a specialist small lot winemaking service based at the purpose-built winemaking facility on the Waite Campus, Urrbrae SA. It provides high quality contract winemaking of small- and pilot-scale wines for research and commercial projects to aid the Australian wine industry. Wines can be made in volumes from 20 L to 1000 L. For more information, contact WIC Winemaking on 08 8313 6600 or WIC.WinemakingServices@awri.com.au, or visit the WIC Winemaking Services website.

Consumer Oriented Design

The AWRI is partnering with the South Australian Government to conduct a pilot program on consumer oriented product design in the wine industry. The program aims to showcase how to develop unique business offerings, meeting customer needs on attributes other than price. Participants will attend a series of workshops and work collaboratively with suppliers and researchers to identify customer-focused design solutions. The program is designed to create tangible outputs that could include new business models, new product categories or new customer experiences. For more information on the program, which will take place initially in McLaren Vale, read the program flyer or contact Vince O’Brien (vince.obrien@awri.com.au or 8313 6600).

Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference webcasts available

Webcasts of plenary presentations at the 15th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, held 13-18 July 2013 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, are now available to all levy players. Please visit http://www.awri.com.au/industry_support/online_videos/awitc_2013/ for access.

Attend a live seminar from your desk

Have you joined in on one of the AWRI’s webinars yet? All you need is a computer connected to the internet to participate. Don’t miss this year’s series of live and interactive webinars presented by the AWRI researchers and industry guests. Webinars will cover a diverse range of topics across viticulture, winemaking, climate and consumer insights. They provide an excellent opportunity to hear up-to-date research results and to ask the presenter questions.

Each webinar consists of a presentation followed by a Q&A session and is held on a Tuesday or Thursday at 11:30 am Australian Central Time (Adelaide, GMT+9:30). The webinar program is free to attend, but registration is required. To register or to find out more details on the full webinar program, visit the website.

Upcoming events

Two updates from the OIVTwo items of interest to Australian grape and wine producers have recently been received from the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV). These are: a proposed Chinese standard for Ochratoxin A levels in wine and a new comprehensive list of grapevine varieties.Proposed Chinese standard for ochratoxin A
Ochratoxin A (OA) is a toxin produced by certain fungi belonging to the genera Aspergillis and Penicillium. There is limited information on the conditions that favour the development of infection in grapes. The incidence of contamination of grapes and wine with OA is perceived to be infrequent and irregular. Australia has not established a limit for OA in wine.The People’s Republic of China is in the process of drafting a food safety standard on the level of ochratoxin A in wines. This proposed standard is currently at the public consultation stage on the website of the Minister for Health of the People’s Republic of China (www.moh.gov.cn) and was notified to the SPS Committee of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 12 August 2013. The Chinese draft standard includes, point by point, the OIV standard on ochratoxin A in wines and sets a limit at 2 ?g/L. This is the same limit that applies to Australian wines exported to the European Union and Canada. Therefore, it is not anticipated that this newly established Chinese limit will be problematic for Australian exporters to China.List of grapevine varieties
The OIV has recently published a new version of its list of varieties and their synonyms. This publication contains a total of 35 official national lists. When all of the lists are combined and identical entries removed, 4,020 names of different vine varieties are included, although some are repeated with different names or spellings.The OIV is considering expanding the type of information included in this list. Additions could include, for example, specifying the use of vine varieties, separating clones in another list, noting the species to which each vine variety belongs, and finally, regrouping varieties which are identical on a genetic level under the same international code. More information on the list of varieties can be found on the OIV website.Recent literatureJohn 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 the Library with your request. A list of recent AWRI publications follows.

  • 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 publications1559 Muhlack, R. It’s time to power up. WBM (August): 39-41; 2013.1560 Dry, P. Ask the AWRI: Vines: Is an oldie necessarily a goodie? Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (596): p. 57; 2013.1561 Varela, C., Chambers, P., Johnson, D. Trials turn up new strategies for softening the kick in wine. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (596): 70-73; 2013.1562 Carew, A.L., Smith, P., Close, D.C., Curtin, C., Dambergs, R.G. Yeast effects on Pinot noir wine phenolics, color, and tannin composition. J. Agric. Food Chem. 61 (41): 9892-9898; 2013.1563 van Sluyter, S.C., Warnock, N.I., Schmidt, S., Anderson, P., van Kan, J.A.L., Bacic, a., Waters, E.J. Aspartic acid protease from Botrytis cinerea removes haze-formation proteins during white winemaking. J. Agric. Food Chem. 61 (40): 9705-9711; 2013.1564 Pojer, E., Mattivi, F., Johnson, D., Stockley, C.S. The case for anthocyanin consumption to promote human health: A review. Comp. Rev. Food Sci. Food Safety 12 (5): 483-508; 2013.1565 Stockley, C. Key messages from WineHealth 2013 – International Wine and Health Conference. Wine Viti. J. 28 (5): 16-18; 2013.1566 Borneman, A., Herderich, M., Johnson, D. The DNA of innovation. Wine Viti. J. 28 (5): 52-56; 2013.1567 Dry, P. Tinto cao. Wine Viti. J. 28 (5): p. 77; 2013.1568 Kidman, C.M., Dry, P.R., McCarthy, M.G., Collins, C. Reproductive performance of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (Vitis Vinifera L.) is affected when grafted to rootstocks. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 19 (3): 409-421; 2013.DisclaimerThe 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.

Date Topic Presenter
12 November 2013 Post bottling effects of early oxygen exposure during red winemaking Martin Day (The AWRI)
19 November 2013 Optimising your laboratory for the best results Eric Wilkes (The AWRI)
21 November 2013 Delayed pruning of grapevines: a tool to manage the effect of climate change on fruit quality and harvest compression Paul Petrie (Treasury Wine Estates)
26 November 2013 Benchmarking regional vineyard soil health Ian Porter (The Department of Environment and Primary Industries Victoria)
28 November 2013 Managing heat events in your vineyard Mike McCarthy (South Australian Research & Development Institute)
3 December 2013 Thinking outside the bottle: Insights on how Chinese consumers choose wine Patricia Williams (The AWRI)
5 December 2013 Great wines begin in the nursery Nick Dry (Yalumba)
10 December 2013 Greenhouse gas emissions in vineyards Mardi Longbottom (The AWRI)