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Completed Projects

Effective use of interactive media: A pathway for wine brand growth

  • Date Completed: 2016-02-28
  • Project Supervisor: Goodman, Dr Steven

This research explores how wine brands communicate to consumers via Facebook. It investigates how online communication facilitates customer engagement. The results show a large disparity between the content delivered by brands, and the times in which wine consumers are more likely to engage. While wine brands appear to post most content from 5 to 7pm, users are most likely to engage prior to midday. Similarly, the greatest number of posts are delivered on Thursdays, however Facebook fans were found to engage more over the weekend; at a time closely aligned with wine purchase and consumption The results also demonstrate a very low level of engagement among fans. On average, only 10% of Facebook fans engage with the brand. This finding indicates that brands have not been successful in facilitating high levels of engagement amongst fans; the work presented here is intended to assist wine brands increase this effect.

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Adoption of grape and wine R&D outputs. Who, what and why?

  • Date Completed: 2015-12-31
  • Project Supervisor: Hill, Megan

Extensive interview and survey data was collected and analysed using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM2) to identify the drivers of adoption for two vineyard and two winery technologies. Perceived usefulness was a key driver for all of these technologies, with business scale and outlook (i.e. if the business was expanding, staying steady or contracting in size), attitudes to productivity, social norms and grower or winemaker age also emerging as important. It was found that grapegrowers and winemakers sought and used more sources of information when considering high involvement, important or risky technologies, than when considering more routine, low involvement technologies. Networks of other grapegrowers and winemakers were found to be key sources of information and a strong influence on the decision making and adoption of technology. A framework that ties these results and concepts together to guide the design of an extension strategy is presented.

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Organic acid metabolism and the control of grape berry acidity in a warming climate

  • Date Completed: 2015-12-31
  • Project Supervisor: Ford, Assoc Prof Christopher

The objective of this project was to identify potential targets for the manipulation of organic acid profiles in grapes, with a long-term goal of minimising the impact of climate change on grape must acidity. Transgenic grapevines were developed to better understand how acidity is regulated within berries and leaves. New metabolic models were generated from field- and chamber-based temperature experiments and from cultivars with inherently different acid profiles. These demonstrated correlative links between organic acid and amino acid metabolism. Therefore altering nitrogen supply may provide a relatively straightforward means for manipulating berry acid levels, warranting further investigation.  

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Incubator initiative: Breeding drought and heat tolerant grapevine using epigenetic tools

  • Date Completed: 2015-09-30
  • Project Supervisor: Rodrigues Lopez, Dr Carlos

Plants have acquired the ability to prime their genomes after environmental stress, enabling a faster and stronger response to future environmental cues. This is most immediately tangible for long-lived crops such as grapevine. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism by which plants control their responses to stress. Such epigenetic memory could be used for breeding purposes. We used MC-Seq to determine the genomic regions showing DNA methylation changes in grapevines during/after heat, drought and combined heat/drought stress. A total of 13,968 genes were identified as differentially methylated between control and stressed plants. The methylation status of 233 of these genes was maintained after physiological recovery and was deemed to reflect epigenetic memory of stress

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Identity and ecophysiology of glycogen accumulating organisms in winery wastewater

  • Date Completed: 2015-09-30
  • Project Supervisor: Onetto, Cristobal

Winery wastewater (WWW) samples containing Glycogen Accumulating Organisms (GAO) were analysed using NanoSIMS (nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry). The main objective of this study was to observe the effect of nitrogen addition on the carbon metabolism of WWW bacteria. Incubations with different ratios of stable isotope labelled substrates were performed prior to analyses. Images showing the intracellular 15N and 13C enrichment of GAO were obtained. Significant differences were observed in the 15N and 13C levels of GAO incubated with different carbon:nitrogen ratios.

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Incoming Scholars Program

  • Date Completed: 2014-12-01
  • Project Supervisor: Waters, Chris

The ASVO organises and conducts seminars on specialised topics to promote education in viticulture and oenology.The purpose of inviting international scholars to Australia is to allow them to interact with researchers and industry, giving an international perspective, and to present at the ASVO seminar in Adelaide. The aim of the Adelaide seminar was to present some of the latest viticultural and winemaking research findings, as well as some new and existing techniques and management options that could help growers to improve fruit quality and vineyard profitability at all production price points; a key component in improving the profitability of winegrape production in Australia. This report summarises the activities and key outcomes presented by both scholars at the seminar.

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Participation in the 11th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium Gothenburg Sweden 23-27 August 2015

  • Date Completed: 2015-08-31
  • Project Supervisor: Bastian, Assoc Prof Susan

The Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium is an international meeting of sensory and consumer scientists held biannually. The award of this travel grant permitted University of Adelaide academic, Associate Professor Sue Bastian to; 1. attend and present two posters in the 11th  Symposium in  August  2015; 2. meet  with  her collaborators; and 3. network with other scientists.

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Improving the tannin composition of grapes

  • Date Completed: 2015-06-30
  • Project Supervisor: Walker, Dr Mandy

This project used genetic manipulation of grapevines as a proof of concept to improve the tannin composition of winegrapes. The efficiency of the system for producing transgenic grapevines was significantly improved and used to alter expression of three key genes of the tannin synthesis pathway. This resulted in altered tannin content and composition in leaves and grapes from the transgenic grapevines. Depending on the gene targeted, the tannin composition was selectively altered in skins or seeds of the berries. Micro-scale fermentation of grapes from the transgenic vines was used to assess the impact on wine colour and tannin.

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Identifying vineyard and winery management practices that impact on tannin extraction

  • Date Completed: 2015-06-30
  • Project Supervisor: Kilmister, Dr Rachel

The effect of harvest date, fermentation temperature and canopy management on tannin extraction was investigated to assist in viticultural and winemaking decisions to manage tannin levels in wine. Tannin extractability was determined in Shiraz grapes harvested at six different times during ripening in two seasons and fermented at three different temperatures. The effects of thirteen vineyard floor and irrigation canopy management treatments on tannin extractability were also determined on seven different sites

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2015 In Vino Analytical Scientia Symposium

  • Date Completed: 2015-07-23
  • Project Supervisor: Wilkinson, Dr Kerry

This travel grant enabled Dr Kerry Wilkinson to attend the In Vino Analytica Scientia Symposium (between the 14th and 17th July, 2015) and to visit collaborators from the University de Castilla Le Mancha, in Albacete Spain (on the 20th and 21st July, 2015). The symposium was held in Mezzacorona in Italy and focussed on: Chemical analysis and composition of grapes, wines and spirits; Chemical and biochemical reactions; Metabolomics, chemometrics and authenticity of products; and sensory analysis. Attendance at the symposium provided an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge of recent advances in grape and wine research, as well as to disseminate recent research findings, via a poster titled ‘Understanding consumer preferences for Australian sparkling wines vs. French Champagne’. The conference also provided numerous networking opportunities, during which new and existing collaborations were pursued. Importantly, the trip also afforded an opportunity to visit and meet with the research group of Professor Rosario Salinas (University de Castilla de Mancha, Albacete, Spain), for the purpose of discussing ongoing collaborative research into the influence of foliar applications of oak extract and oak volatiles to grapevines on fruit, leaf and shoot composition; work also presented in poster form at In Vino Analytica Scientia.

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