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Completed Projects

McLaren Vale Wine Region ISO14001 – scoping study for consortium certification

  • Date Completed: 2014-12-05
  • Project Supervisor: Santiago-Brown, Dr Irina

The McLaren Vale Wine Region has an impressive record of innovative schemes and practices which promote a sustainable grape growing and wine production industry and care of the environment. Leadership is provided through McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (MVSWA) and McLaren Vale Grape, Wine and Tourism Association (MVGWTA). The Region is recognised for these achievements within Australia, but has no formal means of using this reputation when marketing overseas. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) environmental management standard, ISO 14000, could provide official certification that would be recognised internationally.

The aim of this project was investigate the feasibility of developing a consortium model for an Environmental Management System (EMS) based on the ISO 14000 standards and the feasibility of seeking certification to ISO 14001. The investigation consisted of four stages: research into conformity certification organisations in Australia and their attitudes towards certification of a consortium and a search for any examples of certification of a consortium; interviews with key informants, typically wine and travel writers from outside McLaren Vale; a pilot focus group session with grape growers from McLaren Vale and recommendations for an EMS for the MVGWTA consortium.

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Cost benefit analysis of winegrape rootstock research, development and extension

  • Date Completed: 2014-07-31
  • Project Supervisor: Martin, Greg

The Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) invests in and directs research, development and extension (RD&E) along the whole value chain ‘from vine to glass’ to enhance the profitability, competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian wine sector. Between 2000 and 2014, AGWA (formerly the Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation) funded 26 rootstock related research and development (R&D) projects with a value of $18.6m (2014 real dollars i.e. adjusted for inflation), present value terms (5% discount rate). AGWA funding contributed about half of the total, with most of the balance coming from CSIRO Plant Industries. AGWA commissioned an independent evaluation of investment into rootstock related R&D. Readers should note that investments made prior to 1 July 2014 were made by GWRDC, but are referred to as AGWA investments.

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Participation in Macrowine 2014, Macromolecules and secondary metabolites of grapevine and wine, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 7-10 September 2014

  • Date Completed: 2014-09-15
  • Project Supervisor: Nimi, Dr Jun

The travel grant provided by the authority allowed Dr Jun Niimi to attend the Macrowine 2014 conference and give the oral presentation titled “Sensory attribute differences in Cabernet Sauvignon wines of varied provenance can be discriminated with mid-infrared spectroscopy”. The travel gave the opportunity to gain new knowledge on wine metabolomics analyses that are being researched across the world and the chance to network with established researchers and keynote speakers of the field. The conference covered topics that were broadly categorised for the oral and poster presentations included: • Chemistry and chemical analyses of grape and wine macro-molecules and metabolites • Origin and destination of macromolecules and metabolites: From biosynthesis and modification to impact in wine • Towards integration: From systems biology to chemical profiles to sensory perception

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Attendance at 7th International workshop on Grapevine Downy and Powdery Mildew June 2014

  • Date Completed: 2014-09-01
  • Project Supervisor: Hall, Barbara

Barbara Hall attended the 7th International Workshop on Grapevine Downy and Powdery Mildew in Vitoria, Spain, 30th June – 4th July 2014, and presented a paper on current research into fungicide resistance. Overall, 2 invited lectures, 33 submitted papers and 20 submitted posters were presented, covering findings on epidemiology, resistance and breeding, forecasting, disease detection and management of the two diseases. An outline of the program is available at Information has been presented at project meetings (SAR1204) and personally to colleagues. A joint article from all six Australian attendees will be submitted to an industry journal. Existing links were strengthened and new links established between Australian and international researchers.

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Mapping the decision influencers along the wine industry supply chain

  • Date Completed: 2014-03-01
  • Project Supervisor: Goodman, Dr Steven

Wine marketing research has focused on that which influences consumers in their choice of wine. This project looks at what influences a distributor or On / Off-premise retailer to stock / sell a wine. This research investigates the three key exchange points along the wine supply chain (winery/distributor, distributor/On-premise and distributor/Off-premise) in three markets (Australia, USA and China). The practical findings can be used by wine marketers to guide the way they design and present their offer in different markets, to align with the influencers of the supply chain decision makers and the different segments within those groups. All papers published from this research are available at

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Travel to 6th International Symposium on Phylloxera: Rootstock perspectives

  • Date Completed: 2013-11-30
  • Project Supervisor: Smith, Dr Harley

Harley Smith attended the sixth International Symposium on Phylloxera at the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne de du Vin in Bordeaux, France. Currently, phylloxera is a considerable threat to viticulture in most parts of the world leading to use and development of phylloxera tolerant or resistant rootstocks. Research in rootstock breeding and the biology of phylloxera was presented at the meeting. In addition, research on rootstock breeding for resistance to other pests, including nematodes, as well as abiotic stress was presented. Harley Smith presented preliminary results on the genetics of phylloxera and nematode resistance in grapevine, which is currently funded by Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) project CSP 1304. In addition, Harley Smith met with key researchers in rootstock breeding at the meeting.

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Understanding Chinese sensory preferences for varied wine styles and the language used to describe them

  • Date Completed: 2014-12-31
  • Project Supervisor: Corsi, Dr Armando

This projects aims to understand both the Chinese consumer use of language to describe wines, grape varieties and flavours, and to measure the preferences existing Chinese wine drinkers have for the above. This is the first study to scientifically validate the lexical equivalence of Chinese and Western taste descriptors. It also refutes many commonly accepted notions regarding the breadth of the Chinese lexicon. This study validates the research protocol making it possible for further research to be conducted on other Australian wine styles and in other emerging wine markets that possess different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

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Assessment of Fungal Rots of Grapes and their impacts on Wine Quality

  • Date Completed: 2014-10-16
  • Project Supervisor: Steel, Professor Christopher C

This project investigated techniques to differentiate three bunch rot pathogens, Botrytis cinerea, Aspergillus and Penicillium. Estimates of total fungal biomass examined chitin and ergosterol content of infected tissues. Laccase enzyme activity was variable, B. cinerea produced more laccase than either Aspergillus or Penicillium. Isolates of Aspergillus produced elevated levels of gluconic acid and had low glycerol:gluconic acid ratios. Chemical measures of off flavours and aromas using GC/MS provided an indicator of bunch rots; this technique offers an opportunity to more accurately establish bunch rot thresholds for contamination. Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FT-IR) with appropriate modelling was able to discriminate between grapes infected with Aspergillus, Botrytis or Penicillium.

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A simple guide to LEAN for the wine industry

  • Date Completed: 2014-10-08
  • Project Supervisor: Palousis, Nick

The Lean Guide offers a practical introduction to lean production concepts and techniques for Australian wineries. This guide will help wine businesses implement practices to improve their productivity, reduce their costs and improve their business resilience. During consultation with industry, the need for a simple guide to the lean technique was identified as one way of improving profitability in the wine sector. While some wineries have already sourced information about ‘Lean’ production principles, primarily through consultants or other sources, and then adapted the principles to their own circumstances, there is a view that many of these existing resources focus on the methods and language (e.g. jargon) rather than the outcomes, and this is barrier to uptake. The development of this Lean Guide is intended to provide the wine industry with a tool that will allow all scales of operation to understand adopt and benefit from the principles of ‘Lean’ manufacturing.

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Understanding and managing the timing of berry ripening and the flavour-ripe/sugar-ripe nexus

  • Date Completed: 2014-06-30
  • Project Supervisor: Davies, Dr Christopher

The primary aim of this project was to further our understanding of berry ripening and how its onset and progression are controlled by endogenous plant growth regulators (PGRs). The knowledge gained was used to develop and test methods for manipulating the timing of veraison/harvest using exogenous PGRs in both laboratory and field settings. We have demonstrated the ability to delay ripening and harvest time and increase ripening synchronicity through PGR application while maintaining similar wine sensory properties. In addition, experiments were conducted to get a better understanding of the influence of harvest time versus sugar levels on wine flavour/aroma volatiles.

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