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Completed Projects

Cellar Doors and So Much More

  • Date Completed: 2014-03-03
  • Project Supervisor: Orth, Professor Ulrish

Prof Orth is an internationally successful researcher in the areas of ethics and retail design. Prof Orth conducted a series of regional (SA) industry and academic workshops focused on effectively managing Customer touch-points from wine packaging and label styles to cellar door atmospherics. Importantly he also participated in a number of ‘short’ interviews providing brief insights into these areas (see AGWA website). He also engaged with research colleagues at the UoA Business School, the Waite campus and UniSA, where he is also collaborating on GWRDC funded projects in addition to mentoring PhD and other higher research degree students.

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Building a professional network with tannin researchers in the US and presentation at the 65th ASEV National Conference in Austin, Texas

  • Date Completed: 2014-07-14
  • Project Supervisor: Faulkner, Ms Peta

The award of this travel grant provided Ms Peta Faulkner from the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) the opportunity to attend the 65th American Society of Enology and Viticulture National Conference in Austin, Texas (USA) from the 23rd – 27th June 2014. Ms Faulkner presented research outcomes from a GWRDC funded project investigation tannin structure at an Enology – Wine Tannin Chemistry session alongside collaborators Dr Rachel Kilmister (DEPI) and Dr Jim Harbertson (Washington State University). Attendance at the conference facilitated discussions and the cultivation of collaborative networks that will be incorporated into current methodology and research projects on tannin research.

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Participation at the 18th International symposium GiESCO, Porto, Portugal

  • Date Completed: 2013-09-30
  • Project Supervisor: Collins, Dr Cassandra

GiESCO is an internationally renowned conference focussed on both basic and applied viticultural topics.

Started as a European group by Alain Carbonneau and colleagues, GiESCO originally focused on training systems and ecophysiology, and has since evolved to encompass these themes plus basic and applied viticulture.

The 18th GiESCO in Porto was unique in that it allowed attendees to visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ALTO DOURO WINE VALLEY and PORTO HISTORICAL CENTER, and to know the latest advances in Viticulture and Portuguese wine production.

This was a unique opportunity for me to present the results from my research to an international viticultural community, to interact with renowned viticultural researchers and to establish contacts that will hopefully lead to collaboration and/or further research in the viticultural field.

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Participation to the 18th International Symposium GiESCO 2013 (Group of international Experts of vitivinicultural Systems for CoOperation). Porto – Portugal

  • Date Completed: 2013-11-01
  • Project Supervisor: De Bei, Dr Roberta

To participate to the 18th International Symposium GiESCO 2013 (Group of
international Experts of vitivinicultural Systems for CoOperation) from July 7th to
11th at the “Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto” – Portugal.
• To present the innovative canopy management tool, the “canopy architecture App”
that the University of Adelaide has developed with results obtained from the GWRDC
funded project “UA 08/03”.
• To visit the world’s renowned Douro wine Region in Portugal
• To visit Prof. Javier Tardaguila at La Rioja University, Spain, to discuss and review
on the previous GWRDC funded project (GWT 1117) outputs, to discuss the potential
extensions of the collaboration and review papers to be submitted to the Australian
Journal of Grape and Wine Research.
• To present a seminar on the results obtained during my stay at the University of La
Rioja in 2012 at the same university

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Process efficiency in winery operations: a broad review of potentially beneficial techniques and technologies

  • Date Completed: 2014-05-30
  • Project Supervisor: Palousis, Mr Nick

This project investigated potential opportunities for improved process efficiency from the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries, using five key measures to evaluate efficiency; production speed, labour efficiency, materials efficiency, energy efficiency and water efficiency. The following six opportunities were identified as having the greatest potential for improving process efficiency in the wine industry were: measurement of metrics, automation, cross flow filtration, fermentation efficiency, cold stabilisation techniques and continuous process systems. Out of these, measurement of metrics and automation are likely to have the greatest impact for improving winery process efficiency across the full process chain. This is because much of the process efficiency technology found in FMCG industries is readily available for use in the wine industry, for example, cross flow filtration and process automation efficiencies. Delays in implementation are not due to the availability of technology, but are due in part to capital availability, lack of knowledge on efficient practices (such as contact cold stabilisation) or uncertainty about what the costs benefits are for increasing process efficiency. The largest process efficiency difference between wine and FMCG industries is not technology based, but rather, a difference in management focus. Many of the leading FMCG companies have a core business focus around process efficiency and continuous improvement. This requires an understanding of current process efficiencies through measuring metrics, analysing these metrics and improving these processes. Every winery is different and every process efficiency opportunity will be different; it is only after analysing current winery process efficiencies that these opportunities for individual wineries can be fully understood and the benefits realised. Understanding current process efficiencies should be seen as key to improving business efficiencies. Undertaking these steps can lead to significant cost savings for the business particularly in regards to resources, materials and production speeds. This will require a change in paradigm for many wineries, but is necessary to ensure they remain profitable in the changing business environment.

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Vineyard Irrigation – delivering water savings through emerging technology

  • Date Completed: 2014-04-30
  • Project Supervisor: Hornbuckle, Dr John

Increasing costs associated with water and energy use and reduced water availability will see the Australian wine industry face major challenges in the coming years. Water use productivity improvements will continue to be critical to the industries long term survival and new methods and techniques for monitoring crop water use from the plant to the regional level will be important for benchmarking and improving water use productivity across the industry. This project developed and investigated the use of new emerging satellite water use monitoring technology combined with on-ground weather station data and seven day forecast reference evapotranspiration data for providing irrigators with estimated actual and forecast crop water use information using a range of information delivery platforms from mobile phones to web based platforms.

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Sustainable Recycled Winery Water Irrigation based on Treatment Fit for Purpose Approach

  • Date Completed: 2014-06-09
  • Project Supervisor: Kumar, Dr Anu

A dramatic increase in wine production over the last two decades in Australia and other wine producing countries has led to the need for sustainable management of winery wastewater to meet environmental concerns. The end use of the winery wastewater is the most important factor to consider when deciding on treatment options. The best choice will include consideration of critical issues such as: chemical oxygen demand (COD), quality of the wastewater (including pH, Na and K levels) and Federal/State regulations, amongst others. Any treatment must be ‘fit for purpose’. If wastewater could be rapidly used for irrigation, only minimal treatment (e.g. dilution of salts by shandying the winery wastewater) may be required. However, if it is necessary to reduce the BOD/COD to control odour a balance needs to be found between an adequate level of treatment and storage of wastewater (that may cause an odour nuisance) versus the cheaper option of rapid disposal on the land through irrigation. Guideline values for key indicators of recycled winery wastewater quality for on-site and off-site disposal were developed during this investigation.

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Rapid Measurement of Sulphur Dioxide in the Winery

  • Date Completed: 2013-06-30
  • Project Supervisor: Shapter, Prof Joe

In this work, an amperometric biosensor has been designed for the fast detection of sulphite in aqueous solutions. A sulphite oxidation peak at is observed using cyclic voltammetry and exhibits a linear peak increase with sulphite concentration. A calibration curve (current versus sulphite concentration) was produced to characterise the biosensors. However, the complex wine solutions revealed no observable signal indicating that the polyphenols and/or proteins present in wine inhibited the electron transfer. With the use of polymer films, control of pH, gold nanoparticles and/or enzymes and proteins, it was hoped that the design may be improved increasing the stability and signal. However, work to date has not been successful in getting the sensor to work in wine or other beverages.

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Delivering chloride and sodium excluding rootstocks for quality wine production

  • Date Completed: 2014-04-30
  • Project Supervisor: Walker, Dr Rob

Salt in irrigation water and soil is a concern in some Australian wine regions. Strategies for maintaining long term performance of grapevines in saline environments include use of salt excluding rootstocks to which wine varieties of choice are grafted. Performance of eight different rootstocks with a range in vine vigour was assessed in a salt affected region with Shiraz as scion. The rootstocks were 140 Ruggeri, 1103 Paulsen, 110 Richter, Ramsey, 101-14, Merbein 5489, Merbein 5512 and Merbein 6262 (hereafter referred to as M 5489, M 5512 and M 6262). Rootstock M 6262 was a relatively poor chloride (Cl‾) excluder. Wines of M 6262 contained 482 mg/L Cl‾ in 2012 and were characterised as having Salty taste and a perceived thickness of the wine on the palate (Viscosity), whereas wines of M 6262 contained 384 mg/L Cl‾ in 2013 and were not characterised as having Salty taste or Viscosity. Sodium (Na+) concentrations in wine from all rootstocks were relatively low (under 40 mg/L). Hence, Salty taste detection for red wines, based on the methods used in this study, occurred at wine Cl‾ concentrations of between 384 and 482 mg/L. The other seven rootstocks were similar in capacity for Cl‾ exclusion from grape juice, but there were differences between the rootstocks in final concentrations in wine (all under 175 mg/L Cl‾). A salt tolerance index (STI) for the various rootstocks was calculated based on yield, leaf area index, grape juice Cl‾ and Na+ concentrations and wine colour density. Best STI was obtained for M 5489, 110 Richter and 140 Ruggeri rootstocks and the lowest for M 6262.

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Advanced grapevine genetics for varietal improvement

  • Date Completed: 2014-05-16
  • Project Supervisor: Thomas, Dr Mark

This project was successful in using advanced genetic approaches for both strategic and applied grapevine research. The methods developed resulted in the creation of a mutagenized grapevine population for gene function studies and the discovery and linking of DNA markers to key agronomic and berry traits. Crucial to the success of the project was the use of microvine material that flowered quickly and had a short generation time. The DNA markers were further developed and used to determine if marker-assisted selection (MAS) was possible for speeding up the process of producing new grapevine varieties. Over 8,000 young grapevine seedlings in a glasshouse were screened with DNA markers for mildew resistance, flower sex and
berry colour and over 1,200 that passed the DNA screen were planted in the field for evaluation. The DNA markers accurately predicted the phenotype of the plants in the field. This first generation of powdery and downy mildew resistant selections displayed no evidence of mildew in the field in a no-spray vineyard. To identify elite selections within the 1,200 vines, assessment of agronomic performance and berry and wine attributes was initiated with both white and red selections found to have variation in yield and diverse wine flavours.

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