The Adelaide Hills Wine Region is home to 52 cellar doors, most of which are owned and operated by family companies offering a range of experiences for visitors. Developing and providing resources that will enhance the visitor experience and promote the region to encourage greater visitation and maximise business opportunities is a priority. The IWINETC is a leading international conference that provides a forum for information sharing, networking, product selling and direct interaction with the host region's wine tourism offerings. As a speaker, I can provide an international audience (comprising media, travel agents and industry) with information about South Australia's wine tourism offering, while concurrently learning about other region's wine tourism development to enhance by own knowledge.
Viticultural production systems in California and Australia share many similarities. Sustainability in its broadest sense is a core focus in both production environments, and lessons learned are regularly traded between the countries. Dr Glenn McGourty, an extension specialist with the University of California (Davis), has broad-ranging viticultural expertise as a winegrape grower and researcher. His recent visit to Australia, funded by industry through Wine Australia, acted as a catalyst for several regional groups to access his expertise in conjunction with workshops and field days. Over his three week visit, about 280 industry personnel and students heard Glenn speak on topics such as Organic and Regenerative Viticulture and Frost Mitigation. Feedback from attendees was very positive, and the potential for changes in management practice, as a result of the forums is strong. Strong bilateral research links have also been forged, with the intention of ongoing information exchange between investigators undertaking similar programs in the two countries.
Simonit and Sirch is an Italian company that has developed a method of soft pruning, based on the methods developed in France by Guyot and Poussard. They focus on training vineyard staff to prune according to their method. Their work has been widely recognised and they are now working with major vineyards across Italy and France, and broadly across Europe, South Africa and in the U.S.A. The project was designed as a pilot to introduce soft pruning techniques to selected vineyards and to create broader awareness across four of Australia’s cool climate wine producing regions.
Travel to 18th Reinhardsbrunn Symposium on Modern Fungicides and Antifungal Compounds, Friedrichroda, Germany, April 24-28 2016
Mrs Barbara Hall, Senior Research Scientist, Plant Health and Biosecurity, SARDI, attended the 18th Reinhardsbrunn Symposium on Modern Fungicides and Antifungal Compounds, held in Friedrichroda, Germany, April 24-28, 2016. This symposium, held every three years, draws together fungicide scientists from academia, research institutes and industry. It is the main forum for scientists to present, listen to and discuss the latest research and information on all aspects of fungicide use, from development to efficacy and resistance management. This was preceded by a visit to the global headquarters of the Bayer Crop Protection division at Monheim, where discussions were held on new compounds and resistance testing in viticulture.
Development of rapid and sensitive molecular diagnostic tools to detect trunk disease pathogens from environmental and plant materials
Dr. Regina Billones-Baaijens travelled to Canada in March – June, 2016 to undergo training on new molecular techniques and conduct collaborative research with Dr. Jose R. Úrbez Torres at the Summerland Research and Development Centre (SuRDC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, British Columbia. This travel was financially supported by a National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) Research Fellowship Grant; a Wine Australia Travel Bursary with in-kind contribution from SuRDC. The output of this travel will contribute to one of the objectives of a current Wine Australia-funded project, SAR1205 ‘Practical management of grapevine trunk diseases (GTD)' and the newly approved project, SAR1601 'Grapevine trunk disease management for vineyard longevity in diverse climates of Australia'. These projects aim to ascertain spore dispersal of GTD pathogens and to determine the climatic conditions that favour the release of these pathogens. The new project also aims to quantify levels of GTD pathogens in nursery propagation material and determine different stress conditions that trigger disease expression in vineyards. The three month collaborative research period at SuRDC included hands-on training on (a) DNA macroarray; (b) Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR); and (c) specificity test and qPCR optimisation of Eutypa dieback (ED) and Botryosphaeria dieback (BD) multi-species primers developed for the GTD project (SAR1205). The DNA macroarray and ddPCR are rapid and specific tools for the identification, detection and quantification of plant pathogens. The training at SuRDC has resulted in enhanced skills in the development of rapid and accurate molecular tools for the detection and quantification of GTD pathogens in the environment. In addition, experience was gained to optimise and troubleshoot molecular assays that will fast track the analyses of spore trap samples collected for the spore trapping studies in Australia. The skills gained in Canada will allow researchers at the NWGIC to adopt these DNA-based diagnostic tools for future GTD research subject to the availability of equipment. The transfer of technologies between Canadian and Australian researchers builds on collaboration established through previous exchanges between the countries by Drs Urbez Torres and Mark Sosnowski (SARDI) and will contribute to the development of control strategies for grapevine trunk diseases that is considered a serious threat to the sustainability of both wine industries.
The European Grapevine Moth (EGVM), Lobesia botrana, has been identified by the grape and wine industry as an exotic pest threat of high priority. Present throughout Europe and North America, it can cause significant harvest losses by feeding on grapevine flowers and fruit. This project developed a robust, rapid and easy-to-use molecular identification method for L. botrana, based on PCR and RFLP analysis of mitochondrial genes. In addition, a method for extracting DNA from the moth at all stages of its lifecycle (egg, larva, pupa and adult) was developed. These procedures were combined to form a new National Diagnostic Protocol for molecular identification of the European Grapevine Moth Lobesia botrana, which currently awaits review. Once nationally endorsed, this protocol will allow identification of EGVM in the event of an incursion and facilitate a rapid response by the grape and wine sector.
This report presents findings from a qualitative study of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority’s “mentoring circles” in Barossa and McLaren Vale. Focus group interviews were conducted with members of both groups in June 2015 to explore participants’ experiences with group-based mentoring during the circles’ first year of activities. The study results demonstrate the benefits of diverse group membership (i.e., a range of ages, backgrounds, and organisational contexts) and a strong mentor to guide participants’ thinking about a range of business decisions. The benefits to participants’ personal and career development, including the extension of personal industry networks, are key outcomes of the group-based mentoring activities.
Everard Edwards presented a paper entitled “Multi-seasonal effects of warming and elevated CO2 on the physiology, growth and production of mature, field grown, Shiraz grapevines” at the ClimWine 2016 conference in Bordeaux, France. He also presented a poster, “Multi-seasonal effects of warming and elevated CO2 on grape and wine composition of mature, field grown Shiraz grapevines”. Attending the conference provided an excellent opportunity for the author to develop a broad understanding of the latest thinking in Europe on how the wine industry is dealing with climate change as the meeting had a wide range of speakers from economists, through viticultural and oenological researchers to industry representatives. There was significant interest in the Wine Australia-funded work presented, due to its unique capacity to combine both climate warming and elevated CO2 impacts in a single experimental system. In addition, the author's presence in Europe was utilised to make additional visits to existing research collaborators at INRA Bordeaux and potential future collaborators at SupAgro Montpellier, France and the Hochschule Geisenheim University, Germany. A report on the symposium will be provided to the Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker for future publication.
Presentation at the 9th Annual AAWE Conference – “The use of big data to develop an understanding of the link between consumer preference, climate and demography”
Alastair Reed attended and presented at the 9th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists between the 27th and 31st of May 2015, in Mendoza, Argentina. This conference offered a broad scope for presentations, ranging from regional economic overviews, historical vignettes, through to intricate data-driven modelling of buying and production trends.
Characterisation of wine avoiders and how to transition avoiders to consumers in the Australian, Canadian, US, UK and Indian markets
For too long, wine companies have been promoting their wine brands to customers who already consume wine. Although important, this results in cannibalisation of brands and sharing the existing number of consumers amongst different wine companies. This report outlines that a large number of people who currently drink alcohol but avoid wine are actually aspirational about drinking wine. Recommendations are provided to assist businesses to reach these new customers, including where consumers do not like the taste. The discovery of new wine customers around the world is one of the most exciting of the last decade. The full report is available to Australian grape and wine research R&D levy payers by emailing Anne Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org.