Media Releases

Wine industry benefits from $0.5 m state government grant

The Australian Wine Research Institute was delighted to announce its application to the South Australian state governments Premiers Science Research Fund was successful. The AWRI, which submitted the application on behalf of the Wine Innovation Cluster, will be awarded a $533,745 grant over three years to significantly develop its yeast research program.

Wine yeast does not just act as a fermenting agent in wine production; it plays a critical role in creating the flavour and aroma of wine, and a choice of wine yeast strains allows winemakers to predictably create wine with desirable sensory properties for specific target markets.

Managing Director, Professor Sakkie Pretorius, said the grant will enable us to purchase a new set of four bioreactors and a high-throughput fermentation instrument, required to develop new yeast strains. He said, This grant will boost our research program and allow the AWRI and its collaborators to rapidly and simultaneously characterise new yeast strains.

AWRI Business Development Manager, Dr Dan Johnson, said This grant will enable AWRI to create a fully-integrated discovery platform for the development of novel wine yeast strains. AWRI has a good track record in this area, and will now be able to generate many more leads for downstream development. He said the grant was also a reflection of the capability of the Wine Innovation Cluster to work across the grape and wine value chain and produce meaningful outputs for industry.

Specific targets of the AWRI yeast research program are to produce yeast strains that: (i) produce lower alcohol wine, (ii) extract/produce more flavour and aroma compounds and (iii) can complete ferments under significant environmental stress.

Further information:
Dan Johnson
Business Development Manager
Tel: 08 8303 6600

Rae Blair
Group Manager Communication and Information Services
Tel: 08 8303 6838

More information on AWRIs activities can be found on our website:

(You can download a copy of this media release here)