This report includes three parts: • Summary of GiESCO 2015, submitted for publication to Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker • Paper presented at GiESCO 2015 • Abstract of seminar presented at Institut de la Science de la Vigne et du Vin (Bordeaux)
Incubator initiative: Phosphorus speciation in waste biomass streams: Working towards closing the P loop in wine production
Australian vineyard soils are naturally low in phosphorus, an element essential to the functioning of all life-forms. In most vineyards, occasional additions of mineral phosphorus fertilisers are used to enhance grapevine growth and production but a more sustainable approach can be taken through optimal management of leaves, pruning and grape marc, which can result in the majority of P being recycled backed into the vineyard. However, since phosphorus availability is controlled by the forms of phosphorus rather than total amount of P present, this project examined the P forms present and the changes in P composition in the main waste biomass forms over a full season. The amount of P potentially returned to the vineyard was considerable relative to fertilisation rates and was a combination of directly (immediately) plant available and more stable (slow released) forms, which differed between plant part and was also influenced by the phosphorus status of the vine.
Evaluating the viability of process sensor technologies for measurement of sugar levels during fermentation
A number of commercially available process sensors for monitoring Baume in wine fermentations were subjected to field trials during 2015. Results show that some sensors can be successfully applied in a process environment, but no single sensor technology tested can provide reliable and accurate Baume data for white and red ferments. Financial modelling shows that the implementation of in-line sensors could provide a payback period of nine months for very large wineries but up to three years for smaller wineries. Potential benefits of introducing these sensors include reduced labour resources, lower analytical costs, fewer quality downgrades and increased ferment tank capacity.
Incubator initiative: Mapping of genes responsible for yeast-derived modulation of colour in model red wine
Yeast influences the development of red wine colour during winemaking and its stability during bottling and storage. Thus, understanding the yeast genetic mechanisms regulating such phenomena will contribute to consistent wine quality. A sequenced set of 96 progeny derived from a genetic cross of two commercial wine strains was used to unravel the genetic basis of yeast-derived colour modulation of model red wine. Colour differences have been genetically linked by Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping to regions of chromosomes 8 and 15. Further work is required to characterise the identified genes which may modulate wine colour through the adsorption of red pigment on yeast biomass.
Australian wine exporters have little direct influence over Chinese consumers because the wines are sold through distributors and retailers. Direct mass advertising is expensive as China’s media landscape is highly fragmented. This project demonstrates that targeting Chinese tourists in Australia can enhance exports by converting the tourists into long-term Australian wine fans and word-of-mouth ambassadors. Chinese tourists used their positive tourism experience to imbue their image of Australian wine, especially at wine-congruent locations such as vineyards and restaurants. However, upon returning to China, the effects decayed over time. Hence, follow-up marketing efforts are needed to stop or slow the decay.
This project has laid the groundwork for a soil quality monitoring service that can be used by grape growers to assess the health status of their soils to help them manage this resource. The most appropriate set of indicator tests (a minimum dataset, MDS) to characterise soil quality was identified and published as two companion review papers in the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. The MDS was used as a standardized tool to build a database of regional soil datasets for Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Yarra Valley and Murray Darling hosted on the website: www.soilquality.org.au as part of a national cross-industry soil monitoring database. The MDS and the standardized sampling methods were adopted by Treasury Wine Estates, Peter Lehmann and the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association in 2014 which will expand the regional benchmarking databases into the future.
The Cellar Door as Catalyst for Wine Consumption Changes and Multiplier of Sales in the Australian Wine Market
This project develops a better understanding of wine consumers’ purchase and consumption patterns before, during and as a consequence of their visits to winery cellar doors. This three-stage study found that the cellar door is a powerful catalyst to invoke change(s) in wine consumption. Cellar door visits influenced purchase during the visit, but the influence extended over the six months tracked after the visit. The effects differed between those unaware of the winery before visiting and those already aware. Visitors who bought more at the winery, bought less in the first three months, but then bought more in the following three months.
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.
Australia’s place in the world’s wine markets by 2030: empirical economic analysis of wine globalisation
This project set out to improve our understanding of the economic and market consequences of supply and demand trends in – and of various shocks to – the winegrape and wine markets in Australia and abroad in recent years and prospectively to 2030. The project resulted in several times the promised outputs including 10 industry journal articles, 11 economics journal articles, 3 books, 2 chapters in other books, 4 large databases, 19 other publications, and 40 presentations at conferences and workshops in Australia and abroad. The outputs covered a wide range of issues including impacts of possible changes to alcohol consumption taxes, regional consequences of shocks, effects on competitiveness of recent and prospective real exchange rate movements, effects of developments in China, the evolving varietal distinctiveness of wine regions in Australia relative to the rest of the world, R&D’s role in Australia’s wine industry growth, and lessons from history for Australia’s latest wine industry boom-slump cycle.
All objectives have been achieved and the Transitionary Activities are complete. Specifically; • extension activities were conducted through the AWRI Nodes, including enhancements to the Research to Practice module on Refrigeration with the addition of case studies developed by the Riverina Node; • a proof of principle metagenomics study was successfully completed, demonstrating the effect of winemaking intervention on the genetic diversity of wild wine fermentations; • work on the formation and fate of sulfidic off-aromas in bottled red wines has been completed, highlighting the potential to positively impact on wine quality through oxygen management in and copper additions to rotary fermenters; and • the acquisition of approved capital items and small capital items has been completed.