This project enables the AWRI, together with its joint venture partner the University of Adelaide, to offer a specialist small-lot winemaking service with a primary target market of the research community and a secondary focus on commercial clients. The service provides research organisations with the ability to outsource all their winemaking needs both during and outside vintage.
WIC Winemaking Services processed 250 research wines (6-100 kg) and 3 commercial (1-2 tonne) batches of wine during the 2021 vintage, made up of 22% white wines (20% in 2020) and 78% red wines (80% in 2020). One client accessed the pro-rata service for blending, filtration and bottling. The busiest weeks in the winery were the last week of February and the first two weeks of March, approximately a week earlier than previous years. The peak plateaued towards the end of March and then a slower but steady intake occurred in April. Coonawarra fruit that was forecast to begin arriving after Anzac Day and into May all ripened earlier than expected and all fruit had been received by 24 April 2021. There will be a record number of agrochemical studies in the second half of the calendar year, which will provide an ongoing stream of work to complement bottling operations.
During the year WIC Winemaking Services again expanded its capability, conducting some small-scale beer brewing trials for an external client. It is hoped that this type of diversification will help support a sustainable business model for WIC Winemaking Services into the future, particularly if demand for winemaking services declines.
Con Simos, John Gledhill