Media Releases

State government grant of $9.5 m supports wine and grape research and development

The South Australian Government has recognised the importance of the wine industry with $9.5 m in funding that will allow the development of a Wine Innovation Cluster, located on the Waite Precinct in Urrbrae. This Cluster will bring together the leading R&D groups for the wine industry, which will underpin the industry for the next phase of growth.

The purpose built state-of-the-art facility (Wine Innovation Cluster) will be a new home for The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), will include space for Provisor Pty Ltd (the major national research facility), SARDI Viticulture staff, and grape and wine scientists of The University of Adelaide and will link to the existing CSIRO Plant Industry building. The Wine Innovation Cluster will have the following features to make it an asset for all Australian wine industry research.

  • A collocated multidisciplinary research capacity to develop practical tools for whole of chain management of colour, tannin, aroma and flavour features in grapes and wine which contribute to wine quality.
  • Collocation of AWRI, Provisor and UA analytical chemistry equipment with CSIRO analytical laboratories to develop a world-leading analytical chemistry cluster with a grape and wine focus.
  • Strong linkages among viticultural researchers with access to shared sites.
  • Development of multiple-user laboratories for grape and wine sample preparation for chemical analysis.
  • Collocated fermentation laboratories with Multi-Scale fermentation capabilities.
  • Space for visiting researchers to access the facilities — domestic and international.
  • Joint operation and development of sensory facilities.
  • A capacity to develop metabolomics for use in grape and wine research.

Collocation of these grape and wine R&D and innovation leaders will ensure national-scale, unified and collaborative direction of direct benefit to the Australian wine and grape industry.

The Australian Wine Research Institute, celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2005, has outgrown its existing facility with older parts of the building near to ‘falling apart’. “We welcome the State Government’s support of providing appropriate accommodation for the AWRI. This funding has secured AWRI’s presence in South Australia, and also facilitated an opportunity for closer collaboration with other wine and grape R&D providers”, said Professor Sakkie Pretorius, Managing Director of The Australian Wine Research Institute. “We have been serving the national wine industry for 50 years and these new facilities will assist Australia to maintain its wine leadership role. The Wine Innovation Cluster will be able to accommodate and attract the brightest scientists from Australia and around the world to apply their skills for Australia’s benefit.”

For further information: Sakkie Pretorius, Managing Director, or Rae Blair, Manager – Communication and Information Services, The Australian Wine Research Institute (tel: 08 8303 6610, email: