|The first Advanced Wine Assessment Course (AWAC) was held 25 years ago in August 1992. AWAC 44 is being held this week and this course will welcome the 1160th AWAC scholar to the judging system. The AWRI congratulates all past scholars of AWAC and thanks all AWAC guest judges who have provided their time, skill and experience to prepare the next generation of wine show judges.
The AWAC was the brainchild of Brian Croser AO, and was born in collaboration with the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia. The early courses were led by Peter Leske (then Leader of the AWRI’s Extension Services), renowned winemaker and AWRI Council member Geoff Weaver and Dr Terry Lee, AWRI Managing Director. First known as the AWASC (S for ‘Short’), its objective was to provide formal, intensive training in wine evaluation and judging techniques to wine industry members and thereby develop a larger, more professional pool of wine show judges and associates.
Over its 25-year history, the AWAC has proven to be an important contributor to the development of the Australian wine show system. Course participants gain an appreciation of the fundamentals of wine quality, are exposed to a wide range of Australian and international wine styles, and learn skills and techniques to judge large numbers of wine, quickly and reliably. The AWAC has been held in two states and at five different locations over the years, and is now based at the AWRI in Adelaide.
The AWAC, in partnership with regional and national wine shows, now awards an outstanding candidate in each course the position of dux. The recipient of this award is fast-tracked to an associate judge position at a national wine show. Information on how to become a wine show judge can be found in this FAQ.
The course has also led to development of an electronic wine show management system, ShowRunner. Originally developed for AWAC scoring, this system has now been expanded to include all aspects of running a wine show and is being used by more than 20 wine shows across Australia in 2017.
As it celebrates the AWAC’s 25th birthday, the AWRI would like to thank the many past and present staff who have assisted with the running of the course over the last 25 years.
To attend the next AWAC course in June 2018, register your interest here.
|The AWRI’s new research, development and extension (RDE) plan for the period 2017-2025 is now available from the AWRI website and will be distributed to levy payers in early December. The plan was developed through a wide-ranging industry consultation process and details 5 major themes and 21 subthemes. Projects under each subtheme will be developed and refined through Annual Operating Plans. A list of current projects is available here. The themes and subthemes within the plan align with broad priorities identified in Wine Australia’s Strategic Plan and other relevant industry and government strategic directions.
The plan, which formally commenced on 1 July 2017, provides a clear direction for the AWRI’s RDE activities. Over time it will evolve in line with emerging opportunities, changes to industry priorities and needs and available funding. Industry feedback on the plan throughout its life is welcomed and actively sought. For more information, please contact Ella Robinson on 08 8313 6600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Yevgeniya (Yevi) Grebneva, a joint PhD student with the AWRI and Geisenheim University in Germany, has recently completed a vintage in Germany looking at the influence of environmental and vineyard factors on the characters that develop in aged Riesling. This collaborative project is part of the ‘BAG’ alliance (Bordeaux, AWRI, Geisenheim), and in previous years has looked at differences in temperature and light exposure in Riesling vineyards in the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley.
The vineyards of Geisenheim University are in the Rheingau region of Germany, situated on a gentle slope on the northern banks of the Rhine river about 60 kilometres west of Frankfurt. These vineyards underwent treatments to alter canopy light exposure followed up with small-scale winemaking in the university winery. Yevi has recently returned to Adelaide with her German Riesling trial wines, and presented some of her data at the Crush grape and wine symposium. She will spend three years at the AWRI delving into aged Riesling character, and uncovering what Australia and Germany can learn from each other when it comes to how vineyard conditions affect how Riesling ages.
Vintage is approaching, and it is time to start thinking about upskilling vintage lab staff and making the most of available technology for 2018. AWRI Commercial Services will hold vintage workshops in early 2018 in Adelaide, the Barossa and Griffith to cover a range of vintage-specific skills for lab staff and winemakers.
Each workshop will be conducted in two parts. The first part will focus on the laboratory, with content aimed at new vintage casual staff, covering general wine laboratory skills and vintage-related analyses. The second part will focus on using the AWRI Ferment Simulator. This session will be relevant to both lab staff who may be entering ferment data, and winemakers who may need to use and interpret the data.
The Ferment Simulator session will be conducted in a computer suite, allowing participants to work hands-on with the Ferment Simulator as they learn. Participants will also have the opportunity to bring their own historical ferment data to work with if they wish.
Each part of the workshop will be conducted over a half day. Tickets cover both sessions but are transferable, so it is possible to send one person to the lab skills session and a second person to the Ferment Simulator session, using the same ticket.
Cost: $500 per ticket – includes lunch.
AWRI Research Scientist, Agnieszka Mierczynska-Vasilev, has recently returned from China after being one of fourteen Australians selected to participate in the Australia-China Young Scientist Exchange Program. Run by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, Agnieszka spent two weeks in China for the exchange program, and has returned to the AWRI with new research networks and prospects for collaboration. Agnieszka has also just been announced as a winner of a prestigious 2018 Endeavour Research Fellowship!
During her time in China, Agnieszka met a number of excellent researchers from China Agricultural University and Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University. There were some with whom she had a lot in common in terms of research interests, which helped quickly identify collaborative opportunities. The program was also a great opportunity to meet and develop relationships with the other emerging Australia research leaders involved in the exchange. While in China, Agnieszka also discussed the possibility of exchange programs between AWRI and China Agricultural University and Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University for staff and students, as well as the possibility of joint PhD supervision programs in the field of wine chemistry.
The Endeavour Scholarship will allow Agnieszka to initiate a research collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, which will involve:
Recently published AWRI research has improved understanding of how ‘reductive’ aromas, such as those described as ‘rotten egg’, ‘onion’ and ‘garlic’ are released from precursor compounds in wine post-bottling. This work is important because while the precursors that determine the concentrations of ‘reductive’ sulfur compounds during fermentation are well defined, their roles in wines post-bottling have not been as clear. Results showed that the amino acids cysteine and methionine did not produce large concentrations of H2S; however, glutathione was associated with small increases of H2S, especially when present in combination with copper. Methylthioacetate and dimethyldisulfide made major contributions to methanethiol (MeSH) concentrations in both red and white wines, with up to 20% conversion of methylthioacetate to MeSH and up to 70% conversion of dimethyldisulfide to MeSH. Ethylthioacetate produced up to 39% ethanethiol (EtSH) in wines post-bottling. The presence of copper significantly affected the abilities of glutathione and dimethyldisulfide to produce H2S and MeSH, as well as the rate of H2S and MeSH formation. Wine pH also had a significant impact on MeSH and EtSH formation from the thioacetates.
The full paper detailing these results is accessible via the AWRI library: Bekker, M.Z., Wilkes, E.N., Smith, P.A. 2017. Evaluation of putative precursors of key ‘reductive’ compounds in wines post-bottling. Food Chem. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.10.123
The pre-vintage period is a great time to check out the AWRI Ferment Simulator and make plans to use it in vintage 2018. This free app, released last year, brings powerful algorithms for predicting ferment behaviour into a new online platform designed for ease of use on both desktops and mobile devices. The Ferment Simulator stores all ferment-related data (baume, temperature, juice analysis, pump-overs, additions and any other analysis performed). It provides warnings if ferments are progressing too slowly or too fast and allows modelling of possible corrective actions. A digital archive of ferment data allows users to search back through their ferment history, view old ferments and compare performance. New features have been added for 2018 including the prediction of peak fermentation rate, increased sampling frequency and a number of usability improvements. The Ferment Simulator is available as a free module on the WineCloud. For more information and to register for an account, visit the AWRI’s Ferment Simulator webpage.
Nine new titles have recently been added to the AWRI’s Grape and Wine eBook Collection, with topics covering management of grapevine viruses, wine barrels, sustainable viticulture practices and understanding the sensory experience of tasting wine. To review the latest titles, visit the AWRI website and browse the two platforms. Access to the collection is reserved for Australian growers and winemakers who pay the Grape Research or Winegrape levy. For further information on using the collection, please consult the online guides or contact the AWRI information services team.
Accessing the latest AWRI publications is easy. Visit the AWRI Publications web page to:
A list of AWRI publications published since the last eNews is included below:
1954 Smith, P., Schulkin, A., Dambergs, R., Kassara, S., Barter, S., Solomon, M., Birchmore, W., Bevin, C., Francis, L., Bindon, K. Assessment of relationships between grape chemical composition and grape allocation grade. Dry, P. (ed.) 2017. Searching for the sweet spot – the quest for optimal yield and quality. Proceedings ASVO seminar, Mildura, Victoria, 24-25 July, 2014. Adelaide, SA; Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology. 16-19; 2016.
1955 Sadras, V.O., Bonada, M., Moran, M.A., Petrie, P.R. Vines and wines in a warming climate. Dry, P. (ed.) Searching for the sweet spot – the quest for optimal yield and quality. Proceedings ASVO seminar, Mildura, 24-25 July, 2014. Adelaide, SA; Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology. 50-54: 2016.
1956 Bindon, K., Varela, C., Holt, H., Williamson, P., Francis, L., Kennedy, J., Herderich, M. Relationships between harvest time and wine composition in Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon. Dry, P. (ed.) Searching for the sweet spot – the quest for optimal yield and quality. Proceedings ASVO seminar, Mildura, Victoria, 24-25 July, 2014. Adelaide, SA; Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology. 63-66; 2016.
1957 Wang, J., Capone, D.L., Wilkinson, K.L., Jeffery, D.W. Chemical and sensory profiles of rosé wines from Australia. Food Chem. 196: 682-693; 2016.
1958 Sternes, P.R., Costello, P.J., Chambers, P.J., Bartowsky, E.J., Borneman, A.R. Whole transcriptome RNAseq analysis of Oenococcus oeni reveals distinct intra-specific expression patterns during malolactic fermentation, including genes involved in diacetyl metabolism. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 257: 1-5; 2017.
1959 Hodson, G., Wilkes, E., Azevedo, S., Battaglene, T. Methanol in wine. BIO Web of Conferences 9(02028): 1-5; 2017.
1960 Williamson, P.O., Mueller-Loose, S., Lockshin, L., Francis, I.L. More hawthorn and less dried longan: the role of information and taste on red wine consumer preferences in China. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. DOI: 10.1111/ajgw.12309: 1-12; 2017.
1961 Bonada, M., Petrie, P.R., Edwards, E.J., McCarthy, M.G. The impact of winter drought on vine growth and wine quality. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (644): 41-43; 2017.
1962 Condé, B.C., Bouchard, E., Culbert, J.A., Wilkinson, K.L., Fuentes, S., Howell, K.S. Soluble protein and amino acid content affects the foam quality of sparkling wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 65(41): 9110-9119; 2017.
1963 Godden, P. Ask the AWRI: Sooty mould. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (645): 30-32; 2017.
1964 Schmidt, S., Borneman, A., Kolouchova, R., McCarthy, J., Bellon, J., Herderich, M., Johnson, D. Spoilt for choice: picking the right yeast in a vibrant market. Wine Vitic. J. 32(5): 35, 37-38; 2017.
The AWRI acknowledges support from Australia’s grapegrowers and winemakers through their investment body, Wine Australia, with matching funds from the Australian Government. The AWRI is a member of the Wine Innovation Cluster in Adelaide, South Australia.