Emergency response capability
Most technical issues experienced by Australian grape and wine producers can be quickly resolved through the AWRI’s troubleshooting service and/or the provision of robust technical information to producers, suppliers and/or regulators. However, other issues have the potential to have a widespread negative impact on the quality and integrity of Australian wine, and affect the perception of Brand Australia in the marketplace. Previous cases have shown that the financial losses associated with industry technical emergencies have been substantial, but these financial losses were small compared to the potential threat to the global image of Australian wine if such issues are not properly addressed and quarantined. The AWRI is uniquely positioned to identify emerging technical issues being faced by the grape and wine industry, and to rapidly and confidentially resolve those technical issues. In order to effectively deal with a range of potential industry emergencies, the AWRI will maintain a depth and breadth of capabilities in such disciplines as microbiology, chemistry, oenology, viticulture and engineering. This project enhances the productivity of AWRI’s technical problem solving service, which acts as an ‘early warning radar’ for industry-wide problems. It formalises the process whereby the AWRI can, in the case of a viticultural or oenological emergency, launch a front-line emergency response service. The service is underpinned by analytical instrumentation, notably mass spectrometry, which is the reference analytical method for taint and contamination investigations.