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.
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.
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.
Australia is a geographically large and diverse country, with grape and wine producing regions situated in diverse climatic zones, and consequently, different regions express large differences in their Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) priorities. In addition, the extension and adoption messages for particular research outputs need to be tailored for the region concerned. For this reason, the AWRI established a network of regional nodes in order to address regional RD&E. priorities; the Riverina, Tasmania and Hunter Valley nodes being the subject of this report. The report covers the period from I November 2013 to 30 June 2014. The work reported, comprising Outputs and Activities largely directed by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC), focuses on extension and facilitated adoption of technologies which had been previously developed, and on extending existing A WRI flavour research projects via the Tasmania node. As such, this period represented a strong opportunity to extend work to a wider Australian wine industry audience, and a total of 30 workshops and seminars were staged across four states, with each event strongly attended by industry personnel. This achieved or exceeded the project's Output targets.
SenseAsia 2014: The Asian Sensory and Consumer Research Symposium, was held in SingEx, Singapore from 11th – 13th May, 2014 and attracted 268 delegates from 32 countries. It was the first sensory conference to be held in the Asian region focussing on the consumer. The research symposium consisted of oral and poster presentations and the topics covered included: • Basic processes: psychophysics and physiology • Developments in measures of food hoice/preference • Developments in sensory measures • Sensory science and health • Food choice and consumer behaviour • Cross-cultural influences on food choice • Sensometrics • Sensory and consumer research into non-food products • Applications of sensory methods This travel grant enabled Dr. Julie Culbert to attend the symposium and participate via a poster presentation entitled “Consumer Preferences for French Champagne and Australian Sparkling Wine” as well as provide an opportunity to gain new knowledge and network with expert researchers in the field of sensory and consumer science.
This travel report details outputs from attendance at the 65th American Society of Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) National Conference and 39th ASEV Eastern Section Annual meeting, held at Austin, Texas, from 23 to 27 June 2014. In addition to attending and giving a presentation (Walker et al. 2014) at the annual meeting, two symposia were attended. They were the ‘Water Use Efficiency’ Symposium and ‘Winemaking for Challenging Environments Symposium’. An overview of each Symposium program is presented in this report, plus highlights of selected presentations from the main conference program. Attendance at the meeting enabled networking with leading grape and wine researchers from the US and other countries. This included discussions with collaborators at UC Davis enabling existing collaborations to be progressed and new collaborations to be discussed.
A new web-based program, Know Your Numbers, Know Your Risks (KY#), was developed and launched to Riverland growers on the Riverland Wine internet portal. This program supersedes other tools available to the sector, to benchmark vineyard inputs and costs, and assess economic viability of businesses. The program supports growers’ decisions on profitability for their whole farm, varieties and individual patches using a simple input process of readily available information. It delivers a meaningful, true net farm profit or loss figure, not distorted by cash flow or tax considerations, and contains costs and income matched to a specific crop year.
Latest work lead by Dr Fuentes with collaborations with colleagues in Australia and Chile was presented at the 29th International Horticultural Congress 2014. Specifically, four oral presentations and one poster were delivered in the following symposia: • Two oral presentations at the Sustaining Lives, sub-section: Water Scarcity, Salinisation & Plant Water Relations for Optimal Production and Quality; • One oral presentation to the Production and Supply Chain symposia:sub-section: Education, Research Training & Consultancy; • One oral presentation to the Sustaining Livelihoods, sub-section 4thInternational Symposium on Tropical Wines & International Symposium on Grape and Wine Production in Diverse Regions; • One poster in the posters section with five minutes oral presentation.