eNews – September 2013

The AWRI’s new five-year work plan: industry success a priority

Nominations open for AWRI Board positions

Regulation updates

Tannin and phenolic measurement moves into the cloud

Organics and biodynamics: witchcraft or crafting with nature?

Put your name on the ballot now: 2014 AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment Courses

The AWRI tutored tasting series: World Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Sydney a great success

WineHealth 2013 – key messages

Attend a live seminar from your desk

AWRI researchers winning prizes for their work

Recent literature

The AWRI’s new five-year work plan: industry success a priority

The AWRI’s new RD&E plan for 2013-2018 was launched at the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in July 2013. The plan is the result of a wide-ranging consultation process with the Australian grape and wine sector and other stakeholders during which a large number of potential RD&E activities were proposed, refined and prioritised.

The plan provides a clear direction for future activities and a starting point; it will evolve in line with emerging opportunities, changes to industry priorities and needs, and be delivered to the extent that available funding permits. Activities as identified in the plan formally commenced on 1 July 2013. Printed copies of an executive summary of the plan will be distributed to all levy payers with the AWRI’s Annual Report, however, an electronic copy is available now by clicking here.

The plan is segmented into Themes and Projects, which align with broad priorities identified in the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) Strategic Research, Development and Extension plan 2012-2017 and other relevant industry and Government strategic directions. The AWRI Board believes that the projects in this plan will support the industry resilience needed to deal with current challenges, and enhance industry’s flexibility to adapt to further inevitable change.

As always, the AWRI’s priority is to support the long-term success and sustainability of the Australian wine sector through technical excellence and innovation, not just for the next five years but far into the future.

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 2013. The AWRI’s Constitution provides that there will be not less than seven nor more than 11 Directors. Six of those directors are nominated and/or elected by organisations that pay the Wine Grapes Levy. Nominations close on Friday, 27 September 2013 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, in addition to their other duties and responsibilities, provide a ‘coalface’ perspective to 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 2013 and further information will be published at the time.

Successful candidates will take office on 1 January 2014 for a term of three years.

All Wine Grapes Levy payers will be sent an explanatory letter and nomination form in the first week of September. Nominations close on Friday, 27 September 2013 at 5:00 pm. Further information on the AWRI Board and the nomination/election process can be found here.

Regulation updates

Health warning labels for China

The Chinese National Food Safety Standard GB2758-2012 came into force on 1 August 2013. This means that a warning statement is now mandatory on labels for all alcoholic beverages in China. The required warning statement, as outlined in the standard, should read ‘excessive drinking is harmful to health’ (or similar). The warning should, of course, be in Chinese (Mandarin).

Alcoholic tolerance for the UK market

In addition, confirmation has been received that the Australian industry’s long held view regarding alcohol tolerance in the European Union market is correct. The alcohol tolerance is 0.8% alc./vol. between the control analysis and the actual alcoholic strength of Australian wines imported into the European Union. This applies to both bulk and packaged wines. The actual alcohol strength may be indicated on the label in percentage to a tenth of a unit.

Allergen labelling in Croatia

In related news, Croatia has now officially joined the European Union as its 28th member state. The European Union Export Market Guide will be updated as soon as confirmation is received of the translation for the allergens statement.

Tannin and phenolic measurement moves into the cloud

The AWRI has launched an improved and expanded online tool which allows producers to monitor grape maturity, track active ferments and follow wines as they age, to achieve specific target profiles. This web-based tool allows grape and wine producers to upload, analyse and benchmark data in a secure online environment.

The AWRI has extended the Tannin Portal to bring to producers the WineCloudTM. Producers can use their own equipment to measure colour, phenolics and tannins in red grapes, ferments and wines. Users now have the ability to understand the potential of their grapes and wines and to benchmark them against others from around the world. It also helps winemakers to better understand the impact of different processes and make informed decisions in real time. For more details, please contact the AWRI or register at http://www.thewinecloud.com.au.

Organics and biodynamics: witchcraft or crafting with nature?

Are you curious about organic or biodynamic practices but don’t know where to start? The AWRI has just released a new Research to Practice workshop module titled ‘Sustainable viticulture: a comparison of organic, biodynamic and conventional practices’ that will provide some of the answers.

The AWRI and Luke Johnston, PhD candidate, have teamed up to compare the effects of organic, biodynamic and conventional viticulture systems on soil properties, vine physiology and grape and wine quality, which will be presented in a one-day workshop. The first of its kind, this training module presents the latest research and critically compares common viticulture practices with un-conventional thinking.

Research to Practice workshops are designed to facilitate practical training for grape growers, winemakers and associated personnel; convey the latest research findings; and improve the levels of adoption of best practice management techniques. These workshops are delivered by experts and with a focus on practical messages.

Other RtP workshops include:

  • Managing grapevine nutrition in a changing environment.
  • Integrated pest management for changing viticultural environments.
  • Alternative varieties – emerging options for a changing environment.
  • Winery wastewater management.
  • Laboratory quality control practices.

For more information on this and other workshops, please contact Marcel Essling or telephone (08) 8313 6600.

Put your name on the ballot now: 2014 AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment Courses

If doing the AWRI’s Advanced Wine Assessment Course has always been on your ‘bucket-list’, now is the time to make sure your name is listed on the ballot. Two AWAC courses will be held in 2014 and entries for the ballot are now being received. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to be part of one of the most popular wine education courses in Australia and the world! Click here to find out more about the AWAC Course or register your details. If you have already registered and wish to enter the ballot click here.

Ballot strictly closes Monday, 24 February, 2014.
AWAC 33: Tuesday, 27 May – Friday, 30 May, 2014
AWAC 34: Monday, 2 June – Thursday, 5 June, 2014
LOCATION: Adelaide
COURSE FEE: $4,500 Including GST per course

The AWRI tutored tasting series: World Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

For Australian winemakers to be internationally competitive, it is important to keep abreast of what the rest of the world is doing successfully. How do we compare and how can we remain innovative and competitive? This tasting event will examine: the classic and changing face and styles of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir table wines available to consumers in the world market; classic benchmarks; world competitors; and where styles are heading…..information which will help keep Australian producers at the forefront of what is happening with these two noble varieties.

This comprehensive tasting will be led by two of Australia’s finest winemakers and capital city show judges, Tom Carson and Iain Riggs. Two one-day events are scheduled to be held at the AWRI in Adelaide: 28 and 29 November 2013.

This tasting session on ‘World Chardonnay and Pinot Noir’ is third in a series, and follows on from the success of the other two tasting sessions previously held by the AWRI: ‘Sparkling wines of the world’ and ‘Wines of France’ – here is what others who attended had to say:

“This is an excellent means to steer and diversify Australian winemaking styles and well worth it… please continue these courses”

“Brilliant course”

“Well worth it”

“The best tasting I have ever been to”

To register your place for this event, complete the registration form now. This form and the program can be found here.

If you have any questions please contact Francesca or Con or on (08) 8313 6600.

Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Sydney a great success

The 15th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, held in Sydney in July this year, delivered on all fronts. It was the largest gathering in Australia of wine and grape professionals from all aspects of the industry, interacting over the course of a week, and delegates left buoyed by the wide range of presentations and activities on offer. Many AWRI staff members were involved in developing the formal program, running the workshop program, giving presentations and/or running workshops, managing the poster display and presenting posters. The team also put together a stand at the trade exhibition which had the theme ‘Sample our science’. It was fantastic to meet with so many industry members at the stand who were able to test their noses on faults and aromas as well as a Sauvignon Blanc made with new wine yeasts (not released yet). Visitors to the stand also met with AWRI researchers to discuss a range of topics covering viticulture, sensory, wine aromas and compounds, and winery operations. Congratulations to Suzanne Angas from Gatt Wines, who is the winner of the AWRI’s iPad prize draw.

Webcasts of all formal presentations are exclusively available to registered AWITC delegates at http://www.awitc.com.au until 1 November 2013, after which time the webcasts will be made available to all Australian grape and wine producers who pay the Wine Grapes or Grape Research levies via the AWRI website.

WineHealth 2013 – key messages

The seventh in the series of WineHealth International Wine and Health conferences, WineHealth 2013 was held in Sydney on 18-20 July, 2013. There were eight sessions comprising 28 presentations covering aspects from public health to the latest human clinical studies in young and ageing populations on cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia, for example. The data presented strengthened the evidence base for light to moderate wine consumption to be considered as a legitimate component of a healthy diet and lifestyle for the general population. Key messages from the presentations include that light to moderate wine consumption can decrease the risk of death in general, irrespective of increasing age, as well as specifically death from cardiovascular disease in both men and women compared to abstainers. The inclusion of light to moderate wine consumption in the daily diet can also decrease the risk and onset of cognitive decline and dementia, and might actually decrease, rather than increase, the risk of death from certain cancers.

For more information, please contact Creina Stockley, Health and Regulatory information Manager, who was the Chair of the WineHealth 2013 Scientific Advisory Committee.

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

Date Topic Presenter
10 September 2013 Vines for the times: Proactive and reactive canopy management techniques Catherine Kidman (Treasury Wine Estates)
12 September 2013 Climate trends and changes for Australian wine regions Darren Ray (Bureau of Meteorology)
17 September 2013 Management of eutypa dieback in grapevines Mark Sosnowski (South Australian Research & Development Institute)
24 September 2013 Recent advances in yield forecasting: rapid, reliable estimation tools Greg Dunn (National Wine and Grape Industry Centre)
1 October 2013 Advances in phylloxera detection and management with rootstocks and quarantine Kevin Powell (The Department of Environment and Primary Industries Victoria)
8 October 2013 The effects of metals on the evolution of volatile sulfur compounds during wine maturation Marlize Viviers (The AWRI)
15 October 2013 Rootstocks for Australian conditions Rob Walker (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)
22 October 2013 Thinking outside the bottle: Insights on how Chinese consumers choose wine Patricia Williams (The AWRI)
29 October 2013 Challenges of climate change in the vineyard: coping with the next 50 years Everard Edwards (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

AWRI researchers winning prizes for their work

In the last AWRI eNews, it was advised that AWRI Research Scientist, Dimitra Capone, had been named as a finalist in the 2013 SA Science Excellence Awards sponsored by The Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology (DFEEST). It is great to now announce that Dimitra won the Early Career STEM Professional – Life and Environmental Sciences Award on Friday 16 August 2013.

Further recognition to the work being undertaken by the AWRI chemists came through the receipt of an ‘Outstanding Poster Prize’ for the poster ‘Determination of the potent flavour compound rotundone in grapes and wine using MDGC-MS and membrane assisted solvent extraction’ by AWRI Senior Scientist, Tracey Siebert, and AWRI Technical Officer, Sheridan Barter. Tracey presented this poster at the 37th International Symposium on Capillary Chromatography and 10th GCxGC Symposium (Palm Springs, USA).

Several staff and students of the AWRI also took home poster prizes awarded at the 15th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference chosen from the 106 posters on display:

Prize Poster title Authors
Best General Wine Production poster Automating fermentation control with computer simulation Richard Muhlack, Neil Scrimgeour, Peter Godden
Best Oenology (Wine) poster Proctase – a viable alternative to bentonite for protein stabilisation of white wines Matteo Marangon, Steven Van Sluyter, Ella Robinson, Neil Scrimgeour, Richard Muhlack, Helen Holt, Elizabeth Waters, Peter Godden, Paul Smith
Best Oenology (Microbiology) poster Development of a micro-scale microbiological screen for compatibility of yeast and bacterial strains in MLF Caroline Abrahamse, Eveline Bartowsky
Best Oenology (Chemistry) poster Microwave maceration of Pinot Noir: phenolically equivalent, aromatically distinct (AWRI-supervised student) Anna Carew, Natoiya Lloyd, Dugald Close, Robert Dambergs
Best student poster Intrabunch variability of rotundone concentration in Vitis vinifera cv. Shiraz wine grapes at harvest (AWRI-supervised student) Pangzhen Zhang, Nathan Scarlett, Damien Sheehan, Snow Barlow, Mark Krstic, Markus Herderich, Kate Howell

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 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 publications

(1541) Johnson, D. Tune in…and keep up! WBM (June): 28-29; 2013.

(1542) Holt, H., Cozzolino, D., McCarthy, J., Abrahamse, C., Holt, S., Solomon, M., Smith, P., Chambers, P.J., Curtin, C. Influence of yeast strain on Shiraz wine quality indicators. International journal of food microbiology 165 (2): 302-311; 2013.

(1543) Stockley, C. Australia to host international wine and health conference in 2013. Australian & New Zealand grapegrower & winemaker (594): p. 6; 2013.

(1544) Cowey, G., Essling, M. Adapting to difficult vintages. Australian & New Zealand grapegrower & winemaker (594): p. 26; 2013.

(1545) Essling, M. Ask the AWRI: Vary strategies for successful weed management. Australian & New Zealand grapegrower & winemaker (594): p. 36; 2013.

(1546) Hoxey, L., Stockley, C., Wilkes, E., Johnson, D. What’s in a label? Wine & viticulture journal 28 (4) : 38-41; 2013.

(1548) Cordente, A.G., Curtin, C.D., Varela, C., Pretorius, I. S. Flavour-active wine yeasts. Applied microbiology and biotechnology 96 (3): 601-618; 2012.

(1549) Ristic, R., Pinchbeck, K.A., Fudge, A.L., Hayasaka, Y., Wilkinson, K.L. Effect of leaf removal and grapevine smoke exposure on colour, chemical composition and sensory properties of Chardonnay wines. Australian journal of grape and wine research 19 (2): 230-237; 2013.

(1550) Curtin, C.D., Langhans, G., Henschke, P.A., Grbin, P.R. Impact of Australian Dekkera bruxellensis strains grown under oxygen-limited conditions on model wine composition and aroma. Food microbiology 36 (2): 241-247; 2013.

(1551) Dry, P., Longbottom, M., Essling, M. Is there a need for improved vineyard assessment for fruit grading? Wines & vines 94 (7): 52-55; 2013.

(1552) Gawel, R., Van Sluyter, S.C., Smith, P.A., Waters, E.J. The effect of pH and alcohol on perception of phenolic character in white wine. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture doi: 10.5344/ajev.2013.13016: 1-14: 2013.

(1553) Dry, P. Marzemino. Wine & viticulture journal 28 (4) : p. 63; 2013.

(1554) Holdstock, M. Ask the AWRI: Snapshot of oak-related queries. Australian & New Zealand grapegrower & winemaker (595): p. 68; 2013.

(1555) Leske, P.A., Francis, I.L., Hunt, D. Sensory Evaluation. (eds) Bulleid, N., Jiranek, V. Australian Winemaking. Trivinum Press, Adelaideonline: http://www.trivinumpress.com.au/SEN: 35 p.; 2013.

(1556) Bartowksy, E.J., Fleet, G.H. Malolactic Fermentation. (eds) Bulleid, N., Jiranek, V. Australian Winemaking. Trivinum Press, Adelaideonline: http://www.trivinumpress.com.au/MLF; xx p.; 2013.

(1557) Fudge, A.L., Wilkinson, K.L., Ristic, R., Cozzolino, D. Synchronous two-dimensional MIR correlation spectroscopy (2D-COS) as a novel method for screening smoke tainted wine. Food chemistry 139 (1-4): 115-119; 2013.

(1558) Cozzolino, D., Cynkar, W.U., Dambergs, R.G., Shah, N., Smith, P. In situ measurement of soil chemical composition by near-Infrared spectroscopy: a tool toward sustainable vineyard management. Communications in soil science and plant analysis. 44 (10): 1610-1619; 2013.


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.