Samples required to benchmark new method to test for laccase

Vintage 2011 will be remembered as one of the wettest on record, the conditions of which were conducive for a number of diseases during the growing season, most notably ‘Botrytis’. Winemakers contacted the AWRI’s Winemaking and Extension Services Team for technical advice and assistance on processing Botrytis-affected fruit and winemaking strategies to best manage the negative effects of laccase. One in five calls received during the 2011 vintage related to Botrytis and laccase; there was a specific requirement from winemakers relating to methods of testing and subsequent interpretation of results.

In response to the issues encountered it became obvious that there was a requirement to develop a laccase method targeted at Australian conditions. The AWRI undertook a thorough review of laccase analysis and has recently developed a new assay.

The next stage is to conduct proof of performance trials from Botrytis-affected grape and wine samples from the 2012 harvest. To benchmark and to further refine the new assay, the AWRI needs to collect as many samples as possible.

If you can supply samples and participate in this program, please contact the AWRI’s Winemaking and Extensions Services on (08) 8313-6600 or by email.