Research & development

Current projects

Program 1 – Environment and sustainability

The aim of this program is to ensure that the sector is resilient in the face of a variable and changing climate, production challenges posed by pests and diseases, increased pressure on and scarcity of natural resources, and a need to demonstrate and adopt production practices that minimise our environmental footprint.

1.1 Climate Adaptability

This strategic theme aims to provide the sector with the information and tools it needs to remain resilient to the challenges posed by a continually variable and changing climate. Such challenges include extreme events of heat, rainfall, frost, hail and smoke. Research under this theme will also aim to provide strategies to reduce the use of energy, water and other resources and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
SAR 1304 Cost-effective viticultural strategies to adapt to a warmer, drier climate Dr Mike McCarthy SARDI Keith Hayes
DPI 1202 Impact of elevated CO₂ and its interaction with elevated temperature on production and physiology of Shiraz Dr Ian Goodwin DEPI, Victoria Keith Hayes
SAR 1302 Managing the impacts of climate change rainfall decline on vine balance and root activity Dr Mike McCarthy SARDI Keith Hayes
CSP 0902 Enhanced varieties and clones to meet the challenges of climate change and deliver lower alcohol wines Mr Peter Clingeleffer CSIRO Plant Industry Keith Hayes
UA 08/03 Integrating the carbon and water economies of grapevine for optimal management in challenging environments Dr Mike McCarthy SARDI Keith Hayes
Dr Victor Sadras SARDI
Professor Steve Tyerman University of Adelaide
Dr Daniel Cozzalino AWRI

1.2 Germplasm (grapevine)

This program focuses on evaluating and identifying rootstocks, varieties and clones that produce desirable wine styles, while possessing a number of other essential properties such as tolerance to drought, heat, salt, soil-borne pests and diseases.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
UA 1402 Breeding drought and heat tolerant grapevine using epigenetic tools Dr Roberta de Bei University of Adelaide Liz Waters
Dr Carlos Rodrigues Lopez University of Adelaide
CSP 1307 Fast Phenomics: grapevine trait characterisation in the field Dr Rob Walker CSIRO Plant Industry Liz Waters
CSP 1302 Genetic and mechanistic characterisation of rootstock traits conferring abiotic stress tolerance to grapevines Dr Mandy Walker CSIRO Plant Industry Liz Waters
CSP 1304 New Rootstocks for Australian Conditions Dr Peter Clingeleffer CSIRO Plant Industry Liz Waters
CSP 1306 Genetic transformation of grapevine to test significant abiotic stress and pest resistance genes Dr Mandy Walker CSIRO Plant Industry Liz Waters
CSP 1301 Identification and marker-assisted selection of genes for reducing the susceptibility of new winegrape cultivars to fungal pathogens Dr Ian Dry CSIRO Plant Industry Liz Waters
CSP 1303 Towards elite mildew resistant selections suitable for industry use Dr Mark Thomas CSIRO Plant Industry Liz Waters
CSP 1305 Climate change ready varieties and management technologies that reduce GHGs in the vineyard Dr Mark Thomas CSIRO Plant Industry Liz Waters
SAR 1303 Assessing clonal variability in Chardonnay and Shiraz for future climate change Dr Mike McCarthy SARDI Liz Waters

1.3 Vineyard profitability

Managing an efficient vineyard in a sustainable way is essential to ensure that it remains viable in the longer term. This program is focused on identifying environmentally sustainable inputs into viticulture and technologies that will allow reductions in vineyard labour and input costs.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
UA 1303 The development of a low-input undervine floor management system which improves profitability without compromising yield or quality Mr Chris Penfold University of Adelaide Keith Hayes
NWG 1301 Optimising grape quality and value to improve vineyard profitability and sustainability Professor Alain Deloire Charles Sturt University Keith Hayes
MU 1401 Accurate and early yield predictions through advanced statistical modelling Dr Steven Van Sluyter Macquarie University Keith Hayes
DPI 1401 Improved yield prediction for the Australian wine industry Dr Greg Dunn DPI NSW Keith Hayes
CSP 1401 Understanding and manipulating small signalling molecules to affect the yield/flavour (‘quality’) nexus Dr Christopher Davies CSIRO Plant Industry Keith Hayes
CSP 1402 Evaluating and demonstrating new disease resistant varieties for warm irrigated regions Dr Mark Thomas CSIRO Plant Industry Keith Hayes
CSL 1401 The yield: quality nexus. Substantiating similarity in the patterns of variation in grape yield/vine vigour and indices of fruit quality Dr Rob Bramley CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences Keith Hayes
CSP 1202 Improving industry capacity to manage the yield and wine quality relationship through understanding the influence of vine carbon balance on berry composition Dr Everard Edwards CSIRO Plant Industry Keith Hayes
UA 1207 Optimising vine balance in Australian vineyards: developing a toolbox for industry to ensure best practice, sustainability and profitability Dr Cassandra Collins University of Adelaide Keith Hayes
DPI 1102 Harnessing soil biological functions to improve grapevine management for a sustainable industry Associate Professor Pauline Mele Department of Primary Industries Keith Hayes
DPI 1101 Setting benchmarks and recommendations for management of soil health in Australian viticulture Dr Jacqueline Edwards Department of Primary Industries Keith Hayes
UA 1102 The relative sustainability of organic, biodynamic and conventional viticulture Dr Cassandra Collins University of Adelaide Keith Hayes
SAR 0902 Managing vineyards rootzone salinity and maximising water saving by sub-surface irrigation techniques Dr Mike McCarthy SARDI Keith Hayes

1.4 Pest and disease management

The prevention and control of endemic pests and diseases cause significant economic cost to the grapegrowing community in terms of labour, chemicals, fuel and lost productivity. There will be a renewed focus on the benefits of maintaining and improving biodiversity in and around the vineyard, and mitigating environmental and social impacts that can be associated with pest and disease control.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
DEP 1301 Risks and management of exotic and endemic Phylloxera Dr Kevin Powell Department of Environment and Primary Industries (Victoria) Keith Hayes
PGI 1201 Sampling strategies for sensitive, accurate and cost effective detections of Phylloxera for quantifying area freedom status Mr Alan Nankivell Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia Adrian Loschiavo
SAR 1205 Practical management of grapevine trunk diseases Dr Mark Sosnowski SARDI Keith Hayes
UQ 1201 A generic approach to improving spray coverage Dr Andrew Hewitt University of Queensland Keith Hayes
SAR 1204 Understanding fungicide resistance in powdery and downy mildew Ms Barbara Hall SARDI Keith Hayes

1.5 Biosecurity

GWRDC will contribute to ensuring the wine sector is prepared in the event of an exotic pest incursion, in particular a high-priority one. A key focus will be on reviewing the Industry Biosecurity Plan, developing diagnostic tests and ensuring adequate training for field identification.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
DEP 1302 Developing and updating diagnostic protocols for key viticulture industry high-priority exotic pest threats Dr Mallik Malipatil Department of Environment and Primary Industries (Victoria) Keith Hayes
CSE 1301 Rapid molecular DNA identification method for the European invasive grapevine moth Lobesia botrana Dr Wee Tek Tay CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences Keith Hayes
SAR 1201 Developing a threat-specific contingency plan for the exotic pest angular leaf scorch Dr Mark Sosnowski SARDI Keith Hayes

Program 2 – Consumers and markets

The Australian wine sector will be competitive if it produces the wines consumers want, if those wines are produced in a profitable and sustainable manner, and if those wines are accessible.

2.1 Consumer insights

Developing a better understanding of what attributes consumers and potential consumers of Australian wine, domestically and internationally, find desirable or, more simply, why consumers choose (or don’t choose) Australian wine is the aim of this program.

Research in this area will focus on pre-competitive insights and it will be closely linked with research in the other program areas, so that the sector can develop tools to deliver what consumers want.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
UA 1206 'Advance Australia Fair?' Determining the country of origin associations for Australian wine in emerging and established markets Dr Roberta Veale University of Adelaide Kate Harvey
NWG 1202 Characterisation of wine avoiders and how to transition avoiders to consumers in the Australian, Canadian, US, UK and Indian markets Professor Anthony Saliba NWGIC Kate Harvey
USA 1204 The cellar door as catalyst for wine consumption changes and multiplier of sales in the Australian wine market Dr Johan Bruwer University of South Australia Kate Harvey
UA 1204 Effective use of interactive media: A pathway for wine brand growth Dr Steven Goodman University of Adelaide Kate Harvey
UA 1203 Context and wine composition effects on Australian wine consumer mood and liking Dr Sue Bastian University of Adelaide Kate Harvey
USA 1203 They came, they liked, and they buy when they go home: Harnessing inbound tourists for wine export Dr Armando Corsi University of South Australia Kate Harvey
USA 1202 China Wine Barometers (CWB): a look into the future Professor Larry Lockshin University of South Australia Kate Harvey
USA 1201 Understanding Chinese sensory preferences for varied wine styles and the language used to describe them Professor Larry Lockshin University of South Australia Kate Harvey
USA 1101 Understanding Asian market demand using international students in Australia Professor Larry Lockshin University of South Australia Kate Harvey

2.2 Market access

This theme is focused on ensuring that market access is maintained and improved for Australian wines in the domestic and overseas markets.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
AWRI 2.2.4 Increasing Australia's influence in market access, safety, regulatory and technical trade issues Mr Con Simos AWRI Kate Harvey
AWRI 2.2.1 Collecting and disseminating information regarding agrochemicals registered for use and maximum residue limits in Australian viticulture Mr Con Simos AWRI Kate Harvey
WFA 1201 Market access impediments and opportunities for the Australian wine sector Mr Tony Battaglene Winemakers’ Federation of Australia Kate Harvey
UA 0903 Mapping the decision influencers along the wine industry supply chain Dr Steven Goodman University of Adelaide Anne Duncan
USA 1301 Australia and South Korea Free Trade Agreement: Understanding and Opportunities in the South Korea Wine Market Associate Professor You-il Lee University of South Australia Kate Harvey
UA 08/04 Australia's place in the world's wine markets by 2030: empirical economic analysis of wine globalisation Professor Kym Anderson University of Adelaide Kate Harvey

Program 3 – Improving products and processes

In the vineyard, establishing objective measures of grape quality will make it easier to define the relationship between grape quality and vine yield, and to develop viticultural practices that achieve vine balance while optimising quality and yield. These same quality measures are also required for more precise specifications for supply arrangements and more streamlined processing of fruit at the winery. New winemaking practices and processes and improved packaging and transport strategies that achieve the wine sector’s aim to meet consumer demands for wine quality also require a greater understanding of the drivers of wine quality.

3.1 Objective measures of quality and assessment systems

Being able to objectively define and measure grape and wine quality, beyond the basic parameters of sugar, acid and colour, is essential to being able to manage and improve products and processes in a timely manner.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
NWG 1401 Metal ion speciation: Understanding its role in wine development and generating a tool to minimise wine spoilage Dr Andrew Clark NWGIC Liz Waters
CSP 0905 Understanding and managing the timing of berry ripening and the flavour-ripe/sugar-ripe nexus Dr Christopher Davis CSIRO Plant Industry Liz Waters
UA 1002 Organic acid metabolism and the control of grape berry acidity in a warming climate Dr Christopher Ford University of Adelaide Liz Waters
CSU 1301 Determination of thresholds for bunch rot contamination of grapes and techniques to ameliorate associated fungal taints Professor Christopher Steel NWGIC Liz Waters
UA 1202 Objective measures for powdery mildew Dr Eileen Scott University of Adelaide Liz Waters
CSP 1201 Grape quality parameters that influence wine flavour and aroma Dr Paul Boss CSIRO Plant Industry Liz Waters
AWR 1202 Assessment of relationships between grape chemical composition and grape allocation grade Dr Paul Smith AWRI Liz Waters
UA 1205 Objective measures of Australian sparkling wine style and quality Dr Kerry Wilkinson University of Adelaide Liz Waters
AWRI 3.1.1 Identification and origin of volatile compounds responsible for important wine sensory attributes Dr Leigh Francis AWRI Liz Waters
AWRI 3.1.3 Flavour precursors: contribution to wine aroma, in-mouth sensory properties and flavour release Dr Leigh Francis AWRI Liz Waters
AWRI 3.5.3 Formation and fate of positive and negative sulfur compounds Dr Paul Smith AWRI Liz Waters
AWRI 3.1.4 Factors effecting wine texture, taste, clarity, stability and production efficiency Dr Paul Smith AWRI Liz Waters
DPI 1402 Identifying vineyard and winery management practices that impact tannin extraction Dr Ian Goodwin Department of Primary Industries Liz Waters
CSP 1001 Improving the tannin composition of grapes Dr Simon Robinson CSIRO Plant Industry Liz Waters

3.2 Germplasm (yeast and bacterial)

Fit-for-purpose yeast and bacterial germplasm will be a key ingredient in the efficient production of superior wine at a range of price points. This theme will be closely linked with and complement the consumer research undertaken in Program 2: Consumers and markets.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
AWRI 3.2.5 Safeguarding and realising the potential of the Australian wine microbial germplasm collection Dr Eveline Bartowsky AWRI Liz Waters
UA 1405 Mapping of genes responsible for yeast-derived modulation of colour in model red wine Dr Michelle Walker University of Adelaide Liz Waters
UA 1302 Fit-for-Purpose Yeast and Bacteria via Directed Evolution Professor Vladimir Jiranek University of Adelaide Liz Waters
AWR 1301 Enhanced winemaking outcomes and wine style diversification through provision of fit-for-purpose yeast starter cultures Dr Markus Herderich AWRI Liz Waters
AWR 1302 Defining the nutritional drivers of yeast performance and matching yeast to must Dr Markus Herderich AWRI Liz Waters
AWR 1303 Efficient and reliable malolactic fermentation to achieve specification wine style Dr Markus Herderich AWRI Liz Waters
AWR 1305 Identifying wine relevant genetic markers in wine bacteria to isolate robust MLF strains Dr Markus Herderich AWRI Liz Waters
UA 1301 Developing a fundamental understanding of the microbiological treatment of winery wastewater Dr Paul Grbin University of Adelaide Liz Waters
AWR 1304 Ensuring the continued efficacy of Brettanomyces control strategies for avoidance of spoilage Dr Markus Herderich AWRI Liz Waters

3.3 Process efficiency

This theme will build on the knowledge generated in the Objective measures of quality and assessment systems theme 3.1 to develop novel and improved practices and processes from the vineyard through to the point of sale. It is closely linked with activities in theme 1.3.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
AWRI 3.3.2 Influencing wine style through management of oxygen during winemaking Dr Paul Smith AWRI Liz Waters
UT 1301 Improved red wine process efficiency and product quality through enhanced phenolic extraction by Controlled Phenolic Release (CPR) and Berry Pricking Dr Anna Carew Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture Liz Waters
AWR 1401 Evaluating the viability of process sensor technologies for measurement of sugar levels during fermentation Dr Neil Scrimgour AWRI Liz Waters
AWR 1307 Removal of lees from underneath wine to reduce wine movements and tank cleaning Dr Simon Nordestgaard AWRI Liz Waters
AWR 1203 Maximising quality bulk wine transport Dr Simon Nordestgaard AWRI Liz Waters
UA 1304 Translation of ‘Whole-of-Production-Chain’ Wine Science Research to Industry Outcomes (opportunities for lower alcohol) Prof Vladimir Jiranek University of Adelaide Liz Waters
2XE 1302 A simple guide to LEAN for the wine industry Mr Nick Palousis 2XE Liz Waters
2XE 1301 Life-cycle cost analysis of wine processing to identify major opportunities for process efficiency improvements Mr Nick Palousis 2XE Liz Waters
2XE 1303 Process efficiency in winery operations: a broad review of potentially beneficial techniques and technologies in other industries Mr Nick Palousis 2XE Liz Waters
TWE 1301 Novel fining agents to heat stabilise wine Dr Vanessa Stockdale Treasury Wine Estates Liz Waters

3.4 Vineyard characteristics

This theme focuses on assisting and encouraging informed decision making by grapegrowers and winemakers through access to high-quality and objective national and international statistics and analysis.

Program 4 – Extension and adoption

The Australian wine sector is faced with the challenge of capturing comparative advantage through constant innovation in grape and wine production techniques, packaging technologies and various route-to-market strategies. A key area for GWRDC is to build wine sector skills and capabilities to accelerate the adoption of R&D outcomes through the grape and wine value chain.

4.1 Adoption

The value of GWRDC’S investments is only truly realised when R&D outcomes are taken up and effectively implemented.

GWRDC will focus on supporting a clear pathway to market for R&D, from the initial project design to the extension of the results of the R&D.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
DPI 1201 Adoption of grape and wine R&D outputs. Who, what and why? Ms Megan Hill DEPI, Victoria Adrian Loschiavo
GRP 1311 GWRDC Regional Plan - Riverland Mr Chris Byrne Riverland Wine Industry Development Council Keith Hayes
GRP 1310 GWRDC Regional Plan - Queensland Mr Thomas Honnef Queensland Wine Industry Association Anne Duncan
GRP 1309 GWRDC Regional Plan - Western Australia Mr Keith Pekin Wines of Western Australia Liz Waters
GRP 1308 GWRDC Regional Plan - Greater NSW and ACT Mr Stuart McGrath-Kerr NSW Wine Industry Association Anne Duncan
GRP 1307 GWRDC Regional Plan - SA Central Dr Lian Jaensch Langhorne Creek Grape and Wine Incorporated Liz Waters
GRP 1306 GWRDC Regional Plan - Limestone Coast Mr Ulrich Grey-Smith Limestone Coast Grape & Wine Council Inc Adrian Loschiavo
GRP 1305 GWRDC Regional Plan - Murray Valley Ms Liz Singh Murray Valley Winegrowers’ Inc Adrian Loschiavo
GRP 1304 GWRDC Regional Plan - SA North Mrs Nicki Robins Barossa Grape & Wine Association Keith Hayes
GRP 1301 GWRDC Regional Plan - Riverina Mrs Kristy Bartrop Wine Grapes Marketing Board Anne Duncan
GRP 1303 GWRDC Regional Plan - Tasmania Mr David Sanderson Wine Tasmania Keith Hayes
GRP 1302 GWRDC Regional Plan - Greater Victoria Dr Mark Krstic Wine Victoria Incorporated Keith Hayes

4.2 Developing people

Building and securing the skills and knowledge of individuals, organisations and enterprises across the value chain is essential to sustaining Australia’s productivity and competitive advantage internationally.

GWRDC will play a pivotal role in guiding the implementation of the revised National Primary Industries Research, Development and Extension Framework – Wine Sector Strategy, which aims to support the development of the next-generation researchers and future industry leaders.

Project No Project Title Project Supervisor Agency AGWA R&D Program Manager
GWR 1402 Thought Leaders, Innovators and Game Changers : Alumni Symposium Anne Duncan Australian Grape and Wine Authority
GWR 1401 Leadership Development in the Wine Industry : Thought Leaders, Innovators and Game Changers Anne Duncan Australian Grape and Wine Authority
GWR 1310 Wine Industry Mentoring : Pilot Project - Barossa Valley Anne Duncan Australian Grape and Wine Authority
GWR 1309 Wine Industry Mentoring : Pilot Project - McLaren Vale Anne Duncan Australian Grape and Wine Authority
AFF 08/01 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture Ms Maree Finnegan Department of Agriculture Adrian Loschiavo

4.3 Evaluation

Evaluating the impact of RD&E investments and reporting to stakeholders on performance are part of GWRDC’s core business. We will continually assess the performance of programs and projects against our strategies and stakeholder priorities, and report regularly to our primary stakeholders.