eNews – September 2014

Nominations open for AWRI Board positions

Crossflow queries

Survey to steer climate program

New Fellows Appointed

Allergen updates for the UK and Brazil

Messages from vintage 2014

Spring events across NSW and Victoria

A winner and a runner-up in the 2014 SA Science Excellence Awards

Recent literature


Nominations open for AWRI Board positions

Nominations are sought for three levy payer-elected Director positions on the AWRI Board, which will become vacant on 31 December 2014. The AWRI’s Constitution provides that there will be not fewer than seven nor more than eleven Directors. Six of those directors are nominated and/or elected by organisations that pay the Wine Grapes Levy (levy payers). Nominations close on Friday, 26 September 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Levy payers in the small (<2,000 tonnes), medium (2,001-50,000 tonnes) and large (50,001+ tonnes) producer categories are called on to nominate suitably qualified candidates for the vacant positions.

This is an excellent opportunity for an interested candidate to become involved in the Australian wine industry’s own R&D organisation and provide a ‘coalface’ perspective on the direction and priorities of the AWRI’s research, development, extension and commercialisation activities.

In the event that more than one nomination is received for a particular category, an election will be held. Levy payers in that particular category will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred candidate. If an election is necessary, it will be held in October/November 2014 and further information will be published at the time. Successful candidates will take office on 1 January 2015 for a term of three years.

All levy payers will be sent an explanatory letter and nomination form via email in the first week of September. Nominations close on Friday, 26 September 2014 at 5:00 pm. Nomination forms and further information on the AWRI Board and details of the nomination/election process can be found on the AWRI website.

Crossflow queries

From time to time the AWRI helpdesk takes an enquiry that goes something like this: “My wine was very difficult to filter via crossflow, what could be the cause?” It is a good question as most wines do fly through crossflow filters, primarily due to the way the continuous flow filter has been engineered. It seems, however, that some wine components and instabilities can actually block or slow crossflow filters down, and it’s the shape and size of the material that creates the blockage.

Both calcium tartrate crystals and polysaccharides can cause blockages or slow crossflow filters down. Polysaccharides, whether they are acting alone or in combination with other colloids, can substantially increase the time required to crossflow filter a wine. The best remedial treatment in this case is to use a suitable enzyme to break the polysaccharides down. A simple test that can determine if a wine contains high levels of polysaccharides is available on the AWRI website.

Another important point to note is that crossflow filters are not a replacement for membrane filters. Yeast and bacteria can pass through crossflow filtration and later cause instability problems in packaged wine. Winemakers planning to use crossflow filtration immediately prior to bottle are recommended to include a membrane filter in series after the crossflow to avoid microbial instability problems.

For further assistance regarding filtration difficulties or other winemaking issues, contact the AWRI helpdesk on 08 8313 6600 or winemakingservices@awri.com.au.

Survey to steer climate program

In July, the AWRI launched a new extension program ‘Opportunities in a new climate’. This program, supported by the Australian Government, will deliver tailored information to the grape and wine sector on climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon storage and the Carbon Farming Initiative/Emissions Reduction Fund. Presentations from the launch event and from a subsequent workshop are now available from the program webpage.

Planning is now underway for the events and resources that will be provided across Australia’s wine regions. Please help optimise this process by completing a five minute survey.

If you have any questions about this survey or the program being delivered, please contact Mardi Longbottom on 08 8313 6600 or viticulture@awri.com.au

New Fellows Appointed

Two new Honorary Fellows have been appointed at the AWRI in recent weeks, Associate Professor Peter Dry and Professor Sakkie Pretorius.

Associate Professor Peter Dry, who has worked at the AWRI as Viticulture Consultant for the past six years, is retiring from that position this month. Peter is a highly respected viticulturist with a long history of involvement in the research and education activities of the Australian wine sector. Peter will stay on as an AWRI Emeritus Fellow and remain involved in several of the AWRI’s viticulture extension activities.

Professor Sakkie Pretorius, a former Managing Director of the AWRI and currently Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at Macquarie University, will continue his formal association with the AWRI as an AWRI Honorary Fellow. Sakkie is a well-known microbiologist who has been at the forefront of wine yeast microbiology and molecular biology over the past two decades. The appointment will strengthen the links between the AWRI and Macquarie University, which are collaborating on a number of wine-relevant research projects, including the synthetic biology/Yeast 2.0 project announced earlier in 2014.

Allergen updates for the UK and Brazil

Updated information on allergen labelling has recently come from the UK and Brazil.

Changes to rules in UK

The UK Food Standards Agency has recently issued technical guidance to help small and medium-sized businesses comply with new rules on allergen labelling and information, which take effect later this year. The guidance is being published following a public consultation. From 13 December 2014, food businesses in the UK will have to follow new labelling rules.

Concerning wine, item 24 of the guidance states:

In the case of wine and wine fining agents derived from egg and milk, EU Regulation No.579/2012 will need to be considered. In determining whether egg and milk fining agents are still present in wine, they should not be found at the limit of detection (<0.25 mg per litre) as indicated in EU Regulation No. 579/2012. Where egg or milk fining agents are not detected at these levels, they are exempt from the allergen labelling requirements. The full guidance can be found at: http://multimedia.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/guidance/allergen-labelling-technical-guidance.pdf.

Brazil: Draft Legislation for Mandatory Allergen Labelling

Brazil has notified the World Trade Organization of draft legislation that will make it mandatory for pre-packaged foods (including alcoholic beverages) to contain warnings of allergenic ingredients. The draft indicated nine allergenic ingredients but, unlike EU regulations, does not include mustard, celery, sesame, lupin or molluscs. The legislation will also make it mandatory to state if a product contains or does not contain gluten, and indicates a minimum font size will apply. The draft legislation is currently only available in Portuguese online. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

For further information on regulatory matters, please contact Steve Guy (AGWA) on steve.guy@awga.net.au or Creina Stockley (AWRI) on Creina.Stockley@awri.com.au.

Messages from vintage 2014

In the July/August edition of Wine & Viticulture Journal, the AWRI report presented a summary of technical trends from vintage 2014. Weather-related issues were prominent, with frosts, heatwaves and bushfires all featuring across Australia’s wine regions. On the regulatory front, new limits on manganese copper and iron concentrations for wines exported to China were the biggest issue. The full article is now available online here.

The knowledge gained via the helpdesk during vintage 2014 and previous vintages will feed into future events and communications, helping industry to deal with similar issues next time they occur. In particular, the AWRI’s current workshop ‘Adapting to Difficult Vintages’ provides tools for both viticulturists and winemakers to manage the types of weather-related issues encountered during vintage 2014. For more information, contact the helpdesk team on winemakingservices@awri.com.au or 08 8313 6600.

Spring events across NSW and Victoria

A number of AWRI events are happening across NSW and Victoria in September and October, including field days, workshops, and seminars. Details of all events can be found on the AWRI events calendar along with links to online event registration.

Vine Health Field Days will be held as part of the NSW Dept of Primary Industries Viticulture Skills Development program:

4 September – Griffith (Griffith Exies Club)
5 September – Irymple (DEPI)

Three Grapevine Nutrition Workshops will be held as part of the same program:

16 September – Orange (Charles Sturt Vineyard & Cellar Door)
18 September – Hunter Valley (Tuscany Estate Resort)
21 October – Canberra (Four Winds Vineyard & Cellar Door)

Two AWRI Grape and Wine Roadshow Seminars are coming up in Victoria. Dates and regions are confirmed, but the rest of the details are work in progress. Keep an eye on the events calendar for updates.

24 September – Geelong
25 September – Macedon/Sunbury (Grange at Cleveland, Lancefield)

For more information about AWRI events, phone 08 83136600 or email events@awri.com.au.

A winner and a runner-up in the 2014 SA Science Excellence Awards

Winners of the 2014 SA Science Excellence Awards were recently announced at a gala dinner at the Adelaide Town Hall. The AWRI’s two nominees, Josh Hixson and Marlize Viviers were very successful, with Josh winning the Life and Environmental Sciences category, and Marlize named runner-up in the Physical Sciences, Mathematics & Engineering category. Josh was recognised for his work understanding tannins in grape marc and how feeding grape marc to ruminant animals can help reduce emissions of methane. Marlize was recognised for her research into ‘stinky’ sulfur compounds in wine. Congratulations to both!

The SA Science Excellence Awards acknowledge the achievements of science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals and teachers who are making an outstanding contribution to society both nationally and internationally.

Recent literature

The John Fornachon Memorial Library at the AWRI delivers journal articles and loans books to Australian grapegrowers and winemakers. Publications can be searched and requested via the Library catalogue – or you can email the AWRI 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 publications

1636 McRae, J.M., Kirby, N., Mertens, H.D.T., Kassara, S., Smith, P.A. Measuring the molecular dimensions of wine tannins: comparison of small-angle x-ray scattering, gel-permeation chromatography and mean degree of polymerization. J. Agric. Food Chem. 62 (29): 7216-7224; 2014.

1637 Cowey, G. Ask the AWRI: the ABCs of filtration and what works for you. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (606): p.60; 2014.

1638 McRae, J., Smith, P. Closure selection and pH influence on red wine color and tannin during bottle aging. Wines Vines 95 (6): 64-66; 2014.

1639 Coulter, A., Cowey, G., Dry, P., Essling, M., Holdstock, M., Stockley, C., Simos, C., Johnson, D. Vintage 2014 – trends from the AWRI helpdesk. Wine Vitic. J. 29 (4): 34-36; 2014.

1640 Dry, P. Albariño. Wine Vitic. J. 29 (4): p. 60; 2014.

1641 Johnson, D. Opportunities in a new climate. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (607): p. 7; 2014.

1642 Longbottom, M. Adaptation, mitigation and innovation in a changing climate. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (607): p. 16; 2014.

1643 Longbottom, M. Ask the AWRI: Viticulture and greenhouse gas emissions. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (607): p. 54; 2014.

1644 Ruiz-Garcia, Y., Smith, P.A., Bindon, K.A. Selective extraction of polysaccharide affects the adsorption of proanthocyanidin by grape cell walls. Carbohyd. Polym. DOI:10.1016/j.carbpol.2014.07.024: 48 p.; 2014.

1645 Stockley, C.S. Chair of WineHealth 2013 scientific advisory committee. Nutrition and Aging 2(2-3): 77-79; 2014.

1646 Scholey, A., Benson, S., Stough, C., Stockley, C. Effects of resveratrol and alcohol on mood and cognitive function in older individuals. Nutrition and Aging 2(2-3): 133-138; 2014.

1647 Jolly, N.P., Varela, C., Pretorius, I.S. Role of non-Saccharomyces yeasts in wine production. Wines Vines 95 (7): 52, 54, 56; 2014.

1648 Albertin, W., Panfili, A., Miot-Sertier, C., Goulielmakis, A., Delcamp, A., Salin, F., Lonvaud-Funel, A., Curtin, C., Masneuf-Pomarede, I. Development of microsatellite markers for the rapid and reliable genotyping of Brettanomyces bruxellensis at strain level. Food Microbiol. 42: 188-195; 2014.

1649 Bizaj, E., Curtin, C., Cadež, N., Raspor, P. Interactions between industrial yeasts and chemical contaminants in grape juice affect wine composition profile. Food Technol. Biotechnol. 52 (2): 222-231; 2014.

1650 Dry, P., Dry, N. Carignan – the unmasking of an imposter. Wine Vitic. J. 29 (4): 49-52; 2014.

1651 Marty, P. Sparkling wine production in the southeast of England. Wine Vitic. J. 29 (4): p. 60; 2014.

1652 Kidman, C.M., Dry, P.R., McCarthy, M.G., Collins, C. Effect of rootstock on nutrition, pollination and fertilisation in ‘Shiraz’ (Vitis Vinifera L.). Vitis 53 (3): 139-145; 2014.


The AWRI acknowledges funding from Australia’s grapegrowers and winemakers through their investment body, the Australian Grape and Wine Authority, with matching funds from the Australian Government. The AWRI is a member of the Wine Innovation Cluster in Adelaide, South Australia.


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.