Everard Edwards presented a paper entitled “The effects of sustained deficit irrigation and re-watering on root production and turnover in warm climate viticulture” at the 1st International Symposium on Grapevine Roots in Rauscedo, Italy. He also presented two posters, “Rootstock conferred vigour is a driver of crop water use efficiency” and “Investigating the genetic mechanisms of salinity tolerance in grapevine rootstocks” Attending the symposium provided an excellent opportunity for the author to keep abreast of current developments in grapevine root research, make/renew contacts that may facilitate future collaboration and emphasize the Australian expertise in this area to an international audience. In addition, the author's presence in Italy was utilised to make additional visits to potential research collaborators at the University of Bologna. A report on the symposium was provided to the Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker for future publication.
Australia and South Korea Free Trade Agreement: Understanding and Opportunities in the South Korean Wine Market
By eliminating the 15% import tariff, the imminent Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) will bring about opportunities for Australian wine exporters to enhance its competitiveness in the domestic Korea market. This project triangulated qualitative findings from Korean wine businesses with quantitative surveys with Korean consumers to distil the changing nature of the Korean wine market in the new era of bilateral trade relations. The findings suggest that Australian exporters need to capitalise on a small window of opportunity leading to, and shortly beyond, the signing of the KAFTA to increase importers and consumers’ preference for Australian wine. Six key recommendations serve to guide Australian exporters’ engagement with Korea in the post-KAFTA era.
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.
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.
Participation in Macrowine 2014, Macromolecules and secondary metabolites of grapevine and wine, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 7-10 September 2014
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
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 http://gdpm2014.com/scientific-program. 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.
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 http://www.adelaide.edu.au/wine-future/research/fields/
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.
Understanding Chinese sensory preferences for varied wine styles and the language used to describe them
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.
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.