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September 2013

Dollar’s drop to lift land values Cracking down on downy mildew Softening the kick in wine


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September 2013: Issue 596

Contents 40


Downy mildew - still some sting in the tail of strobilurins


Organic control options a dark future for light brown apple moth


WGGA news


Pests and diseases


Ask the AWRI


Vineyard machinery


New twists in an old story


64 Irrigation 81

Oak alternatives


Riverina winery’s history of success


Bottling and packaging


Trials turn up new strategies for softening


Education and training

the kick in wine

news 6

My View: Innovate or pay the price


Softer dollar puts some promise in land values


Why take a punt on a year’s hard work


New products and services

sales & marketing 88

Australian on-premise wine: what influences


Full press on wine tax


Wake up Canberra we need you


Relationships key to China success


WFA goes for broke


Now it’s carbon zero closures


Regional Roundup: Canberra


Label Q&A: Nina Chalmers


Wine industry welcomes weaker dollar

wine buying decisions?


business & technology 96

Going in the right direction for Geographical Indicators


At Warburn Estate it never rains – then it pours


Look out for grapevine red blotch-


Learning by doing, tasting and travelling

associated virus


Export snapshot


NZ growers make hay while drought ravages

16 September 2013

Dollar’s drop to lift land values Cracking down on downy mildew Softening the kick in wine





This spectacular shot of sunrise over Patritti's Blewitt Springs Shiraz vineyard is courtesy of Patritti Wines winemaker Ben Heide.

5 on the grapevine 26 grapegrowing 66 winemaking 100 export snapshot 101 looking forward 102 marketplace classifieds


In this issue September Publisher and Chief Executive Hartley Higgins Managing EDITOR Elizabeth Bouzoudis EDITOR Andrew Mole Editorial advisory board Dr Jim Fortune, Denis Gastin, Dr Steve Goodman, Prof. Jim Hardie, Dr Terry Lee, Paul van der Lee, Bob Campbell MW, Prof Dennis Taylor and Mary Retallack Editorial Stephanie Timotheou Contributors Beverley Prideaux, Ed Merrison, Blair Hanel Advertising Sales Chas Barter Circulation: Melissa Smithen Subscription Prices Australia: 1 year (12 issues) $77.50 (inc. GST) 2 years (24 issues) $145 (inc. GST) New Zealand, Asia & Pacific: 1 year (12 issues) $110 (AUD) 2 years (24 issues) $210 (AUD) All other countries: 1 year (12 issues) $174.50 (AUD) 2 years (24 issues) $339 (AUD) Students (Aus only): 1 year (12 issues) $66 (inc. GST) Winetitles Pty. Ltd. 630 Regency Road, Broadview, South Australia 5083 Phone: (08) 8369 9500 Fax (08) 8369 9501 Printing by Lane Print Group, Adelaide © Contents copyright Winetitles Pty Ltd 2013.

All Rights Reserved. Print Post Approved PP535806/0019 Articles published in this issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker may also appear in full or as extracts on our website. Cover price $8.25 (inc. GST)

4 Grapegrower & Winemaker

It is always a little overwhelming to take on a new position knowing you are not just doing your own job, but providing the voice for so many people in so many roles in something as important to Australia as its wine industry. But it is a challenge I look forward to as I expand my career in primary industry into yet another sector. Even in the few weeks I have been at Grapegrower & Winemaker I have found people in that sector to be just as friendly and welcoming as they are across the board in agricultural Australia. They share the same problems – the weather, the dollar, globalisation, too much government interference, or not enough, and the never ending battle with rising costs. Yet against it all grapegrowers and winemakers battle on, with the loyalty of their customers, the support of new technology and the astonishing work of teams of dedicated research scientists in the field and in the laboratories. Here at Grapegrower & Winemaker the gap between editions has seen a

complete overhaul, with me replacing editor Grahame Whyte and Stepahnie Timotheou joining us as journalist after Kellie Arbuckle accepted an offer to move into wine marketing following three years with the magazine. And we have kicked off our first issue with a vineyard focus, here and in New Zealand, looking at perennial problems such as powdery mildew and light brown apple moth as well as celebrating the success of long-term enterprises and how they have made it through to the third generation. So we look forward to working with you all in the issues ahead and my email is always open to suggestions for stories or information about any event which is of interest to the wider grapegrowing and winemaking community.

Andrew Mole Editor Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker

Contributors Ed Merrison, an international wine, culture and business journalist, takes a look at the Australian dollar, where it’s going and what this means for grapegrowers and winemakers around the country. In this month’s issue on Page 18 he writes signs the dollar may remain lower for longer are being greeted with cautious optimism by the Australian wine industry.

Steve Goodman is a senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Adelaide and in between supervising a number of PhD students in a range of wine-related topics – and sitting on the Grapegrower & Winemaker editorial advisory panel – has found the time to report on the trends which affect the on-premise market in Australia. His story appears on Page 88.

Blair Hanel has been working in the wine industry for almost 30 years and has a background in production, winemaking, engineering and sales. Vintages in South Australia, Victoria, NSW and France have enabled him to assess many forms of production values. This month, starting on page 59 he reports on two wineries and the technology they are using to improve their production.

September 2013 – Issue 596

on the grapevine

what’s online

WFA goes for broke with industry review The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia is pinning the industry’s hopes on a proposed set of actions to help restore its profitability. It is also hoped the 33 actions recommended by the WFA report will lift asset values. And stakeholders now have a chance to have their say with the actions going online for feedback. The Australian wine industry has been a success story in what Australia can achieve with globally competitive quality and export-led initiatives. However, in recent times it has been doing it hard due to a number of factors on both the supply and demand sides. WFA’s actions are based on an expert review which it commissioned and, importantly, on the collective experience of its board and other industry organisations such as Wine Australia. “This is the most significant body of work the industry has undertaken in many years,” WFA President Tony D’Aloisio said. “Unless we restore industry profitability and lift asset values to acceptable levels, the industry will not make the most of the opportunities it has and there could be continued adverse impacts on jobs and growth in regional Australia.” Full story Page 15,

Central NSW a must-do food and wine journey Central NSW Tourism has launched a new Food and Wine Discovery Trail to promote central NSW wineries. The Discovery Trail crosses 11 council boundaries and features more than 60 tasty stops on five different tour routes. Perfect for the independent traveller who wants to fill their boot with goodies, it includes well-known foodie hotspots Orange and Mudgee, as well as Bathurst, Millthorpe, Canowindra, Cowra, Grenfell and Forbes. “Enjoying local food and wine is a big part of daily life in central NSW and the trail features a variety of award-winning producers, winemakers, restaurants, cafes, farmers markets and foodie events along the way,” said Central NSW Tourism executive officer Lucy White. At the touch of a button travellers can now access the free Food and Wine Discovery Trail at the new website, along with great travel and accommodation deals. A few must do’s include hot-air ballooning over Cowra at sunrise ending with a champagne breakfast; trying the ‘appscato’ sparkling at Orange’s Small Acres Cyder; Logan Wines cellar door in Mudgee and Taste Canowindra, a food, wine, art and music experience.

Lowe Wines - winner of 2013 Inland NSW Tourism Award Mudgee’s Lowe Wines has been named the winner of the 2013 CountryLink Inland Tourism Awards in the category of Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries. The CountryLink Inland Tourism Awards are held annually to acknowledge excellence in tourism in the four NSW regional tourism areas of Central, Inland, Murray and Riverina. Lowe Wines was announced the winner from a list of finalists at the award night in Moree. “This is a great surprise,” said Lowe Wines’ owner David Lowe. “There is an extremely high calibre of tourism operators in inland NSW and we were happy to be named a finalist, let alone winning. It’s fantastic.” “Our strategy over the years has been to build the tourism experience. Destination NSW released its Tourism Taskforce report which recognises wine and food culture is a high priority for regional NSW.”

CORRECTION: In last month's Facebook marketing paper, we accidentally left out the name of the lead author, Rebecca Dolan, a PhD Candidate at the University of Adelaide, researching social media and wine marketing. Dolan has worked with Dolan Family Wines and Treasury Wine Estates. Email An updated version of the research paper is available at September 2013 – Issue 596

Top wine company destroys $33 million worth of white wine

Treasury Wine Estates plans to destroy more than half a million cases of wine due to the bottles exceeding their expiration date. More than $33 million worth of wine will be lost according to CEO David Dearie. That total will include 500,000 to 600,000 cases of white wine that failed to move off the shelves as fast as company executives expected. The brands to be eliminated are primarily sourced from the US, however there are also wines from other countries of origin. More than 80 per cent of the wine being destroyed sells for less than $10 a bottle, reports The Press Democrat.

New Zealand wine exports to the UK drop two per cent

New Zealand wine exports to the UK slipped by two per cent in value in the year to June 30, according to New Zealand Winegrowers. The body added that volume declines were significantly greater and said growth opportunities now lie away from its traditional export markets in the UK and Australia. In its 2013 annual report, New Zealand Winegrowers said the markets will bounce back with the 2013 vintage, as they remain priority destinations for New Zealand wine. Nielsen figures show New Zealand is down 1 per cent in the UK offtrade and down 1 per cent in value at £315 million, reports Off Licence News.

Industry wants more from germplasm report

Australia has some of the world’s most unique collections of grapevine material and are held in germplasm collections. The Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) released a report into the management of those genetic collections found at three of the country’s most valuable germplasms in South Australia. GWRDC executive director Dr Stuart Thompson said the aim of the report was to categorise and understand what grapevine material was available, reports ABC News. Australia’s wine industry portal by Winetitles Australia’s wine industry portal by


Daily Wine News is a snapshot of wine business, research and marketing content gleaned from international wine media sources, with a focus on Australian news and content. To subscribe visit Grapegrower & Winemaker


my view Innovate or pay the price Wine identity Peter Hackworth delivers some home truths about the shape of the Australian wine industry and what it must do to take full advantage of slowly-recovering prices to build a viable future. AFTER A DECADE of drought and a 50 per cent decline in grape income, the gradual lift in prices in the past two years has brought some relief to grapegrowers. Hope is being boosted by the falling $AUD, down 15 per cent against the $US since mid-April. Surely then, if the dollar keeps falling the upward trend will continue? The rapid drop in the dollar's value after its float in 1983 was a significant factor in the 1980’s boom. But we face a very different world today. In the ’80s a combination of factors, not just the exchange rate, propelled the demand which continued until the end of the century. ‘Put another shrimp on the barbie’ propelled Australia from No 78 on the ‘most desired’ vacation destination list for Americans to No 7 in just three months and we stayed in the top two for the next two decades.

STARS ALIGNED The world was infatuated with us, but we’ve struggled to find a campaign as engaging ever since. The US economy was booming, as was Britain’s, which after a decade of restructuring under Thatcher, achieved annual growth of more than 4 per cent for the last years of the ’80s. The UK government also liberalised retail liquor laws and supermarkets invested heavily in off-licence outlets. It is five years since the GFC struck but those two markets in particular are yet to recover, constraining demand. In the ’80s Australian wine was a different product; fruit-driven with consumer-friendly labels and quality which over-delivered on all price points. We had a product the world wanted – and wanted to emulate. And of course it did.

PERFECT STORM While the stars lined up in the ’80s it was a ‘perfect storm’ in the early years of the new century which sparked the downturn. Industry had successfully lobbied government in 1993 for accelerated depreciation of vineyard assets and managed investment schemes took full advantage. Few opposed it at the time, few support it 10 years later. Our competitors were surging, aided by significantly lower production costs

6 Grapegrower & Winemaker

At a glance: • We face a very different world to that of 30 years ago. In the ’80s a combination of factors, not just the exchange rate, propelled the demand which continued until the end of the century. • Australian wine was a different product; fruit-driven with consumer-friendly labels and quality which over-delivered on all price points. We had a product the world wanted – and wanted to emulate. And of course Chile, Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand did just that. • Global competition may also restrict the full benefits of a falling dollar flowing back to wineries, with concerns being expressed overseas distributors may push for lower wholesale prices.

and later, currency advantages. In the UK the market power of Sainsburys and Tesco was proving impossible to resist and the price discounting downward spiral began. With that, it became popular for the international media to criticise Australian wine as industrial. Domestically the café culture was flourishing, powered by the popularity of celebrity chefs and skyrocketing interest in new foods.

NEED FOR INNOVATION Once again we need the stars to align if the current apparent upswing is to be sustained. Some things we have no control over, such as exchange rates and weather. But innovation is one we can control, and should commit to as a priority. Vineyard innovation in particular has the potential to deliver benefits through the whole value chain. But has there been a major advance since regulated deficit irrigation? We need additional research to facilitate the next major step in vineyard efficiency to create the opportunity for the industry to once again lead the innovation stakes. But of course innovation costs, and inevitably means more money from industry. It may seem counterintuitive to be discussing higher research (and marketing) levies but isn’t that critical if any recovery is to be sustained?

We need to exploit the opportunities infrastructure upgrades such as the NBN can offer, e.g. more effective remote monitoring and management, infield robotics and more immediate engagement with customers.

WORLD LEADER Australia is still a world leader in viticulture research but many believe that is changing – and not for the better. In SA for example there are now only 6.2 people working on viticulture research – and only 1.2 on irrigation. How can we expect innovation to emerge in such an environment? We need to start talking about increasing research (and marketing) levies to take back the initiative. But we also need to look at how research dollars are administered and allocated; there may be as much frustration about that as there is about the lack of research outcomes. The warning signs can be seen in the car industry. Australian-based producers have been gazumped by the Japanese and Koreans. Toyota is known as a producer of high quality cars across all price points. There’s a lesson in their commitment to innovation. Peter Hackworth is part-time executive officer of the Wine Grape Council of SA and was previously CEO of the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board for nine years. This column presents his personal views and not necessarily the views of the Wine Grape Council of SA. Email Peter Hackworth at peter.hackworth@ September 2013 – Issue 596

Softer dollar puts some promise back in land values It hasn’t been just wine itself which has suffered in recent times. The land values of vineyards have also been doing it tough, in some cases having been more than halved. But there are signs of light at the end of the tunnel according to the experts. Gaetjens Langley directors Toby Langley and Stephen Strachan say the Australian dollar is bringing nothing but good news for the country’s wineries and grapegrowers. But the Adelaide-based wine industry brokers and advisers also agree any relief the exchange rate has to offer will take at least six months – and more likely a year to translate in an improved outlook for the wine industry. And its impact will be a trickle down benefit, reflecting where the market currently stands for both wineries and commercial grape blocks. Langley said the market at the high end the market is recovering. Not as strong, he admitted, as a major player recently going to almost $80,000 a hectare for a vineyard. “That was a significant one-off deal as part of a strategic purchase and there are still a lot of factors at play in the wider market,” Langley said. That includes soaring production costs, particularly power. Driven by both the carbon tax and a supply-demand imbalance he said wineries are being hit hard.

SOARING COSTS Two years ago one property on their books was paying electricity costs of $15.70 per tonne processed. This year that had hit $27 per tonne and looks as though it might still be rising. “Even if you have a property in an A-grade region if it is only producing C-grade fruit their values are compromised,” he said. “Australia has around 60 wine regions September 2013 – Issue 596

AT A GLANCE: • Two years ago one property on their books was paying electricity costs of $15.70 per tonne processed. This year that had hit $27 per tonne and looks as though it might still be rising. • Strong regional brands command a premium – so long as they are producing a good product. Even in these pedigree regions asset values can vary widely, depending on vineyard quality, wine quality and brand strength. • Banks remain a drag on the immediate progress of the wine industry. The trading environment is still tight and banks are being even tighter when it comes to supporting acquisitions with debt financials.

but your average consumer, who in the end plays a big role in setting retail values, would be hard pressed to name more than five to 10 of them. “So those are the regional brands which command a premium – so long as you are also producing a good product. “And even in these pedigree regions asset values can vary widely, depending on vineyard quality, wine quality and brand strength.” Strachan said the banks also remained a drag on the immediate progress of the wine industry. He said the trading environment is

We are always looking for new buyers and right now I would say there has been a bit of a resurgence in the market. Because we are the Barossa I think we are a bit luckier than other regions and we still have good US and Chinese interest here. Some properties are still taking longer to sell than anyone would like but there is always someone inquiring and with grape prices going up that should also help.

Peter Fairweather Barossa Real Estate, Tanunda, South Australia still tight and the banks are being even tighter when it comes to supporting acquisitions with debt financials. “They really want to see some light at the end of the tunnel before taking on further exposure,” Strachan said. “The wine industry has just gone through six or seven tough years and even at the best of times this is not an easy business to get into,” he said. “There are no overnight successes here. Just the time it takes to mature your vines, to build a brand and to establish good connections between your business and the consumer takes a lot of hard work. “I would reckon you are looking at a minimum 10 years to getting somewhere as a wine producer and probably more like 15 or 20. “Most of the big brands are multiGrapegrower & Winemaker


news generational. There are plenty of 20-year overnight successes but I can’t think of any two-, three- or five-year success stories.”

FEWER BUYERS Langley said while there are buyers around, there is normally only one or two for each property or business sold, not the big numbers from a decade ago. He did say the more sophisticated commercial producers and the wineries are doing a bit of cherry picking in the market, with grapegrowers looking to expand and maximise economies of scale The wine industry seems to be feeling a bit better about itself, with some good long-term contracts about, especially for Cabernet and Chardonnay, but that hasn’t trickled through to prices for land and vineyards. Right now they are half the price they were in the heady days – areas we saw selling at $60,000 are battling to make $30,000. In Western Australia we actually separate the price of the land from the vines and/or the vineyard because the value of the land is always strong. Most of our interest is from the eastern states although there is some Asian inquiry. But despite all the talk I think only two properties have sold to Chinese buyers in the past 10 years.

Brian Moulton Acton South West, Margaret River, Western Australia

and wineries securing supplies. “Of course there is also the offshore interest in the market, wanting grape production to take back to their countries and bottle and market their own products there,” he said. “The Chinese are on everyone’s tongues these days, and there has been some criticism about the risk to the integrity of Brand Australia but in our view the right Chinese partner can add substantially to a winery’s prospects. “As a rule, they have a much better distribution model into their own market We have seen a dramatic increase in sales since February although prices are still low. The falling dollar has also helped with potential overseas buyers, and this area also appeals to them because of its easy access to Melbourne. The bulk of our market has been foreign money but just lately we are getting more local inquiry and I think people are realising prices aren’t going any lower so if they are going to get into the market they’d better do it now. At any one time we would only have three or four properties listed at most, it’s not as if the whole Yarra Valley is for sale, and all the ones we have are under contract. There are some coming up in the spring I know of and it will be interesting to see where the market is by then.

Mark Sutherland RT Edgar, Yarra Valley, Victoria

than anyone here trying to set up from scratch.” Toby Langley. Phone: (08) 8364 5600. Email: info@

‘We have sold a few properties lately and are still selling some. At the moment we are finding the Australian market is our strongest with the Chinese taking a bit of a back seat. But either way, prices haven’t improved at all and are just bouncing along at what we hope is the bottom of the cycle. Good properties have good interest but if the vines shouldn’t have been planted the property is worth land value only.

Alan Jurd Jurd’s Real Estate, Cessnock, NSW Business is steady enough both sides of the river but prices simply aren’t improving. In fact I would say in my patch, Riverina and northern Victoria, the market has actually softened a bit. The interest we do have is more for the vines than for wineries and while I have a few blocks on our books there has not been much demand. I went to a sale the other day, for a stone fruit block, and there wasn’t a single bid.

Liam Ryan Landmark Swan Hill, Victoria

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8 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596

nothing but the fruit


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Full press on wine tax With the tobacco industry under an intensive taxation assault, and knowing whichever government is installed the goal will be more tax revenue, Murray Valley Winegrowers Mark McKenzie is demanding status quo for wine. MURRAY VALLEY WINEGROWERS (MVW) is calling on the new government in Canberra to publicly support the status quo in wine-tax policy. MVW ran a campaign of direct communications with candidates in local seats before the election to reinforce the message any change in the wine tax would prove catastrophic for local growers and wineries. MVW chief executive Mark McKenzie said the recently-announced steep tax hike on tobacco and the fact all political parties were looking for savings or extra revenue to balance the budget meant there was a real danger the shelved recommendation of the Henry Tax Review for a change to a volumetric tax on the alcohol content of wine would be introduced. “We are very fearful the government may follow the path favoured by the antialcohol lobby and Treasury bureaucrats to increase the price of wine by bringing in a volumetric tax on wine – as applies to beer and spirits,” McKenzie said. “Such a move was explicitly ruled out by previous Federal treasurer, Wayne Swan, but the Rudd government’s recent move to ramp up tobacco tax shows changed tax rates are not necessarily off the table.”

McKenzie said the Australian wine industry already had the highest taxed wine amongst our international competitors. “The Australian wine industry already contributes almost $700 million to the Government’s net tax revenues, but with the industry still struggling to overcome a decade-long downturn, a higher tax on wine reduces consumer demand and dramatically shrinks the economic base of the Australian wine industry would be absolutely catastrophic.” MVW is warning any move by the Government to alter either the wine tax system or lift the rate of the tax above the current 29% is guaranteed to have a disastrous impact on the winegrape sector in the Murray Valley. Modelling shows a volumetric tax at the same tax rate as full-strength beer would lift the price of a 4-litre wine cask from $15 to $38, and significantly lift the price of bottled wines in brands using Murray Valley wine grapes such as Hardys, Jacobs Creek and Lindemans. The sales impact on cask wine sales would be enormous as they still account for more than 30 per cent of domestic wine sales.

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At a glance: • There is a danger the next Federal Government may introduce the shelved recommendation of the Henry Tax Review for a change to a volumetric tax on the alcohol content of wine, rather than the current value-based wine tax. • The Rudd government’s recent move to ramp up tobacco tax shows that changed tax rates are not necessarily off the table. • Industry modelling shows a volumetric tax on wine at the same tax rate as full-strength beer would increase the price of a standard 4-litre wine cask from $15 to $38 Industry research shows nationally more than 300,000t of wine grapes would no longer have a viable market as the higher prices sharply alter consumer buying patterns. In the Murray Valley, it is estimated 100,000 tonnes would no longer be required. Vineyards would become unsaleable and bank debt could not be paid off – creating a rash of grower and winery bankruptcies. “The question we are asking politicians is very simple,” McKenzie said. “Do they want a successful Australian wine industry or not?" Contact: Mark McKenzie, Murray Valley Winegrowers. Phone: (03) 5021 3911. Email: mark.mckenzie@



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Vineyard & Orchard Sweepers • Single and double sided • Spring-loaded head enables it to glide around posts and vine trunks. • Optional hydraulic lift, tilt and side shift cylinders. • Ideal for cleaning up uneven terrain • Durable powdercoated finish September 2013 – Issue 596

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Wake up Canberra – we need you With the election over and a new Government installed in Canberra Grapegrower & Winemaker asked some of the wine industry’s shakers and movers what would be on their Federal wish list if they had the Prime Minister's ear.

Spiralling labour and business costs are another high priority and will take concerted effort across a number of portfolios. Paul Evans, WFA chief executive


lection comment from The Winemakers Federation of Australia’s primary expectation of the incoming Government is it will continue to support our industry and recognise both our economic importance and the pressures we face in the current environment. They can do so by immediately increasing funding to critical Government agencies working with WFA to improve market access and reduce market barriers. Securing new Free Trade Agreements is one example where more attention and resourcing are required. Similarly, we are disappointed recent requests to boost funding for the successful Export Market Development Grants program have not been heeded. The grants are widely used by our industry. Spiralling labour and business costs are another high priority and will take concerted effort across a number of portfolios. For example, just take a look at hourly rates for staff working at cellar

12 Grapegrower & Winemaker

doors over the weekend compared to comparative roles overseas and you can see why our wineries remain such a highcost destination for both domestic and foreign visitors. The Government will also be a key partner in delivering the reform agenda we are about to announce, and which you may by now have read about. This work is in response to an expert review into industry dynamics which has revealed a number of drivers behind a significant decline in sector profitability and an ongoing mismatch between the supply and demand. We will be asking Canberra for its support across a number of policy areas, including tax, retail power and the need to grow the demand opportunity. The incoming Government also needs to reassess the significant amount of taxpayer money invested in a public health lobby challenging wine’s social licence and its accepted place in society. Research is important but many of these government-funded activities are little more than lobbying exercises to restrict our trading rights. Our strongest single message to Canberra is to continue resisting the internal and external pressures to increase wine taxation either to collect more revenue or in a misguided attempt to address issues with alcohol abuse. Neither can be justified if all the issues are properly considered and the publicinterest test is applied. Policy changes must be based on evidence, not rhetoric. Funding for industry specific R&D needs to be increased and we must ensure public sector cutbacks do not lead to the loss of the key Foundation Data vital to wine industry planning. We also look forward to the merger of Wine Australia and Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation to create the new Australian Grape and Wine Authority being finalised. The legislation passed the House of Representatives and swift passage through the Senate was expected, but it lapsed when Parliament was prorogued. The Bill will have to be reintroduced and considered by both Houses, but we are confident it will be again have all-party support.

There needs to be a better way of assessing the impact of any change by the Government before initiating regulations which impact on business. Brian Smedley SA Wine Industry Association chief executive.


n addition to the matters addressed by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, which we support, the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) would also raise the following issues for a new Federal Government to address.

COST OF BUSINESS The high cost of conducting a business remains a continuing discussion point. This year a 2.6 per cent adjustment to wages, 0.25 per cent to superannuation, 1 per cent more for casuals, significant increases to electricity and water costs and other input costs requires a focus on reducing or minimising costs for businesses.

CLIMATE CHANGE This issue is impacting on the wine industry and there is a need to have a focus on engaging with the industry on projects that will prepare its future for a changed climate. With continuing evidence of warmer September 2013 – Issue 596

news and drier periods and indications of earlier/shorter/compressed vintage periods, the industry will need to adapt to these changing circumstances and government can assist the industry.

CUTTING RED TAPE There needs to be a better way of assessing the impact of any change by the Government before initiating regulations which impact on business. In SAWIA’s view it appears proposals can be approved through a Cabinet

process with little understanding of the real impact upon business. While there may be good reasons to avoid consultation, a lack of knowledge about the impact on a business of a proposal is of great concern and usually results in implementation consequences that could be avoided.

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS The laws covering workplaces are causing concern and need to be reviewed, including the matters contained within awards.

For a market-driven sector such as wine, the things government can do largely revolve around creating a wine market in which growers can operate with ease and profitability Lawrie Stanford WGGA executive director


s a national organisation Wine Grape Growers Australia is clearly interested in what a Commonwealth government can do for it in facilitating an effective winegrape market in which growers can be profitable. In general terms, WGGA is satisfied the Australian wine sector is largely a market-driven sector with little direct intervention from government. Nevertheless, governments clearly influence us all in many indirect ways and WGGA is not short of lists of things it seeks from government. The following areas are of key interest for WGGA.

MAXIMUM RESIDUE LIMITS WGGA is active in negotiating Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) in wine for phosphorous acid (Phos Acid). This is an effective and relatively cheap anti-fungal applicant in the vineyard. However, its use is frequently precluded by winemakers because in a few key markets there are no limits set for traces of Phos Acid in wine, and the default position becomes zero. Ironically, Australia’s domestic limits are well below those of most markets with limits. We are not the problem, the absence of limits in other markets is. Canada and China are the most important markets in this respect. Access and assistance from two Canberra departments is key – namely

14 Grapegrower & Winemaker

the departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests, and have been instrumental so far. Their assistance should continue and enabled to speed up what is a lengthy and expensive process.

CODE OF CONDUCT The seller-buyer relationship between growers and wine producers is governed by a voluntary code of conduct jointly created by WGGA and Winemakers Federation of Australia. As a voluntary code it suffers from lack of wine producer signatories. While there are positive signs of life with recent sign-ups growing to 33 from a mere six two years ago, WGGA and WFA continue working to make the code effective. However, the code is not meeting its own targets for signatories and this leads WGGA to the position government assistance might be needed in the form of a mandatory code. Via the ACCC, the Commonwealth is taking an interest in the topic of retailer market power. Unhealthy wielding of market power by wine producers is exactly the thing which motivated the code. In a virtuous circle, growers call for greater consistency in policy by government and by wine producers on codes for commercial behaviour.

WINE TAX Tax on wine is an important area of

With the recent introduction of Workplace Bullying while we do not argue against the need to deal with the issue, such matters should involve the employee taking reasonable steps to resolve their concerns first rather than the law allowing direct referral to the Fair Work Commission. The real prospect of an employee being able to lodge multiple claims under Federal and State law needs to be addressed to limit one action in one jurisdiction at a time.

policy, and practice, affecting growers via the flow-through affects from wine to grape inputs. Moreover, Canberra has had a reform agenda for tax in general but including wine. WGGA’s policy on wine tax emphasises an evidence-based approach. In the first instance, evidence is frequently cited for moving from an ad valorem tax, as the WET is, to a volumetric tax, to be equivalent to the other alcohol beverages – denies the evidence, in most respects, wine is a different alcohol beverage and needs to be taxed differently. Secondly, evidence cited for tax as an instrument to curb alcohol abuse is frequently flawed. More to the point, such a social experiment would impose devastating disruption on the wine sector and undermine its commercial effectiveness. WGGA stands ready to work with the government on a range of policy reforms, more worthy than tax, which strengthen market signals and facilitate wine sector growth, to the benefit of industry, regional communities and government coffers.

NATIONAL VINEYARD DATABASE WGGA is a strong proponent of creating an industry-owned National Vineyard Database (NVD) and is working closely with the other national organisations to achieve it. An NVD is an essential foundation to the number one priority of WGGA – establishing whole-of-industry arrangements for biosecurity. There is simply a need to know where and what vineyards are, to deal with biosecurity preparedness and responses. An NVD will also provide the industry with a cost-effective and adaptable vineyard statistics collection. However, government assistance is needed to cover off on the essentials for creating an industry-owned NVD – lists of vineyards, compulsion and privacy provisions. September 2013 – Issue 596

WFA goes for broke with industry review A proposed set of actions to help restore the profitability of Australian wine businesses and lift asset values was today released to the industry for feedback. The Australian wine industry has been a success story in what Australia can achieve with globally competitive quality and export-led initiatives. However, in more recent times, the industry has been doing it hard due to a number of factors on both the supply and demand side. The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has distributed a set of actions to help improve industry settings aimed at assisting its members to restore profitability and asset values. The WFA’s actions are based on an expert review which it commissioned and, importantly, on the collective experience of its board and other industry organisations such as Wine Australia.

SIGNIFICANT WORK “This is the most significant body of work the industry has undertaken in many years,” WFA President Tony D’Aloisio said.

“The Federation’s work on the actions goes beyond the basics of yields, prices and patterns of demand, to look at the core question of whether our structures, processes and policy settings are appropriate to sustain individual and collective profitability in the long term,” he said.

SUMMARY HEADINGS There are 33 specific actions which are grouped under seven summary headings as follows: • Growing demand for Australian wine both domestically and internationally. • Hastening the correction to the supply base. • Working with national wine retailers and the competition regulator on fairness, transparency and equity in the domestic wine market. • Reforming the wine equalisation tax rebate to support regional communities. • Monitoring the future of wine tax policy. • Promoting responsible consumption and an appropriate regulatory framework.

• Securing the funding to support the recommended actions in partnership with industry and Government. “The proposed actions cover the most pressing areas where we believe the greatest difference can be made,” Mr D’Aloisio said.

BIGGEST INITIATIVE “It will be the biggest marketing initiative ever undertaken by the Aust ralia n wine indust r y a nd represents an example of how our sector needs to invest in the market opportunities and will be a precursor to further initiatives. D’Aloisio said the WFA actions will now be subjected to wider review by its winemaker members and other stakeholders. The consultation period on the actions and expert review run until Friday 18 October. The WFA Actions and Expert Review report, how to provide feedback and supporting documents can be found on the WFA website at

Oak Solutions Group Mark Roberts, Oak Specialist 04 0920 0737

September 2013 – Issue 596

Grapegrower & Winemaker


regional round-up

Canberra goes for a new image Four Winds Vineyard just barrelling along WHEN SOMETHING REACHES the end of its intended life that’s usually it. But not for wood, and especially not in a winery. One winery at Murrumbateman (just up the road from Canberra) has made sure that what was supposedly “past it” is now writing a new chapter both for the timber and also the winery. Four Winds Vineyard’s new cellar door has utilised old, repurposed materials; wooden picking bins for cladding, wine barrel furniture, a Canberra red-brick wall, wine bottle windows and even a second-hand shipping container. “As an operating farm and vineyard, we (Four Winds Vineyard) wanted to use material that had reached the end of its useful life in the vineyard and re-use them in the construction of our new cellar door,” business manager Sarah Collingwood explained.

BARRELS TRANSFORMED “We had a lot of barrels which had reached the end of their life-cycle just when the idea for the cellar door was being conceived and they have now been transformed into light-fittings, stools, tables, bench tops and bar tops. “Similarly with our wooden picking bins – these have now been superseded and we have been left with beautiful aged hardwood perfect cladding for the cellar door,” she said. Dan Humberstone, from Edmonton Carpentry, constructed the building, and said one of the hardest parts of the project was working with the timber from the picking bins. Many of them had sat in the weather for 40 years and were warped, bowed and twisted. Although this presented challenges it has also gave the building a character and texture which fits well with the Riesling and Shiraz blocks in which it sits. Construction of the cellar door was co-funded by Federal T-QUAL grants, aimed at stimulating sustainable economic growth in the tourism industry.

MATCHED FUNDING By providing matched funding to large and small-scale tourism projects, the program aims to increase Australia’s supply of quality tourism products and experiences. The program actively encourages private sector investment in the development of Australia’s tourism

16 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Canberra wineries in a spin The Canberra District Wine Industry Association has decided to ramp up its market presence and signed on with Sydney-based PR company White Ink. Previously known as Winestream Communications, White Ink provides media communications for Australian and international wine companies. Managing director Kylie White said their “first task has been to identify initiatives which can increase the awareness of the region amongst local and interstate consumers”. She said they are already working on a series of events and activities which will hopefully achieve this even though the partnership is still in its early days. First cab off the rank will be a soft launch for new initiative “Canberra Wine Month”. That kicks off next month and is set to run through to the first weekend in November. Events on its calendar include Wine Roses and All That Jazz. The Jazz gig has been running for a few years but will now have a Canberra ‘consumer event’ bolted on as well as bringing together other wine related events in the region including the Murrumbateman Moving Feast and International Riesling Challenge. Contact: White Ink. Phone: (02) 9439 1633. Email

industry products, services and experiences. Four Winds Vineyard received $110,000 to co-fund the project through this grant program. The vineyard was established by Graeme and Suzanne Lunney. Daughters Sarah Collingwood and Jaime Crowe, with husbands John Collingwood and Bill Crowe, have now joined them. Duties are shared although John specialises in managing the vineyard, Sarah manages the business and while Bill and Jaime make the wine. The 13.75ha vineyard was established in 1998 with plantings of Shiraz, Cabernet, Riesling, Merlot and Sangiovese.

Initially the primary focus was to supply quality grapes to local and interstate buyers. However, small amounts of wine were made from the outset. Wine production has since increased significantly and now forms the major portion of grape use from the vineyard. The wines have been awarded many medals and the 2007 Riesling was included in the NSW Top 40 wines and the 2005 Shiraz in the Top 100 NSW wines for 2008. Contact: Sarah Collingwood. Phone: 0402 278 371. Email: hello@ September 2013 – Issue 596

20,000 litres under the wine You’ve heard the one about the heavy drinker who died after falling into a vat of whisky? He had to get out three times for toilet breaks before he finally drowned. Well if you have ever wondered what you might see – apart from your life flashing before your eyes – when you tried the same trick wonder no more. Canberra’s Lark Hill Wines

has used a twist of technology – and some fibre-optic time on YouTube – to take us all to the bottom of a wine tank. And unravelled the mystery of what happens in those murky depths when the wine is mixed with dry ice pellets for that essential touch of inert gas. Unfortunately we can’t actually show you on this page, but go to larkhillwine. for a front row view from the bottom of the tank. Lark Hill’s Chris Carpenter,

Like a winery in a china shop Family owned Canberran wine producer Shaw Vineyard Estate (SVE) has reached a milestone with the official ‘opening’ of its cellar door – in China. Its new wine shop is a joint venture with Suntay Wines, located in Haikou on Hainan Island, otherwise known as ‘China’s playground’. The cellar door and wine shop are groundbreaking moves by an Australianbased family-owned winery and are only marketing wines produced by Shaw Vineyard Estate.

who joined the family’s winemaking team in 2002, said they used a Go-Pro underwater camera to capture the fizzing maelstrom when dry ice meets wet wine and science is unleashed. “It’s quite mesmerising – and you get the soundtrack as well, which you wouldn’t have picked up if you had gone into the tank yourself,” he said. Contact: Chris Carpenter, Lark Hill Wine. Phone: (02) 6238 1393. Email: larkhill@

The launch was also a first for Hainan Island and pulled a big crowd of both Chinese and Australian representatives. Heading up the Shaw Vineyard Estate team was CEO Graeme Shaw, who was joined by Suntay principal Chen Hao and SVE China representative Andrew Ng along with businessmen from Haikou, Shanghai and Guangzhou. SVE has carefully executed its export strategy, focusing on China, which it entered just five years ago. It has quickly built demand for its

wines and there are well-advanced plans for two more SVE cellar doors in Shi Jia Zhuang in Hebei province and Changzhi in Shanxi province. But the expansion doesn’t stop there as SVE has its sights on opening a warehouse at Guangzhou in Guangdong province to supply direct to smaller wine shops and selected hotels. Shaw said the “launch was a great opportunity to put a ‘face to the brand’.” Contact: Shaw Vineyard Estate. Phone: (02) 6227 5827. Internet: www.

THE ART LIVES ON... The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. —Aristotle Our barrels are works of art, crafted with expertise and perfection to honour wine. Partner with Tonnellerie Quintessence to create your masterpiece. 185x130.indd September 20131– Issue 596

9:04 PM Grapegrower & 8/9/11 Winemaker 17

news At a glance:

Wine industry cautiously welcome$ weaker dollar

• The currency’s apparent stabilisation around $US0.90 has been hailed as good news by exporters and gives hope of a domestic boost • The Australian dollar has come down steadily since the start of May, when it stood at $US1.03 • NAB expects another rate cut by the end of the year and sees the dollar ending the year at $US0.86 – and falling as low as $US0.80 by the close of 2014 • Wine Australia says given hedging strategies by major exporters, we need to see a prolonged period of a falling Australian dollar for it to have a major impact on the wine sector.

Ed Merrison does the rounds as our wine industry slowly moves out from under the economic storm clouds of a rampant Australian dollar and sluggish export demand. Signs the dollar may remain lower, for longer, are being greeted with cautious optimism by the Australian wine industry. The currency’s apparent stabilisation around $US0.90 has been hailed as good news by exporters and gives hope of a domestic boost, though some warn it should not be taken as a quick fix for the sector’s challenges. “The global economy has got itself to a reasonable level, which means the old triggers and influences should return and the Australian dollar should revert to being seen as a risk currency,” Rabobank senior analyst Marc Soccio said. “I think there’s cause for optimism, and winemakers should have to contend with a lower dollar over the longer term,” he said. Neil Findlay, NAB head of agribusiness for southern Australia, agreed. “It’s a positive outlook for the dollar, particularly from the winery perspective. It has the potential to make them more competitive in export markets, and may open markets for those who have been more domestically focused with the dollar above parity.” The Australian dollar has come down steadily since the start of May, when it stood at $US1.03. And the economic picture grew bleaker in August, prompting some to forecast further weakening ahead. Both the Reserve Bank of Australia and Treasury trimmed their growth

18 Grapegrower & Winemaker

forecasts in August, a month in which the RBA cut its benchmark cash rate target to 2.5%. NAB expects another RBA rate cut by the end of the year and has revised down its AUD forecasts accordingly. The bank now sees the dollar ending the year at $US0.86 and falling as low as $US0.80 by the close of 2014.

There’s a cause for greater optimism and we’re seeing that … it takes a bit longer to flow through but with time, if the dollar stays lower for longer, Australian winemakers will be all the better for it

Rabobank also expects the Aussie to weaken further in the longer term, albeit with an interim level towards the mid-to-high 90s against the US dollar, coming down again once a sustainable US recovery seems assured and the Federal Reserve calls a halt to its policy of quantitative easing.

“Certainly there’s a cause for greater optimism and we’re seeing that. In terms of earnings and competitiveness, it takes a bit longer to flow through but with time, if the dollar stays lower for longer, Australian winemakers will be all the better for it,” Soccio said. Though still too early to call, Soccio pointed to a potential benefit for domestic sales, if a rise in prices of premium imported wines results in lower demand. In addition, the New Zealand dollar appears to be holding its value more than its Australian counterpart, which could provide some support to the price of New Zealand wines in the Australian market, notwithstanding the effect of higher supply from a record 2013 vintage across the ditch. “With a lower Australian dollar in relation to the Euro and New Zealand dollar, it gives Australian products more protection from import competition,” said Soccio. The impact of the weaker currency has been “almost immediate” for Berton Vineyards in the Riverina. “It will take about three to four months to flow through to the bottom line, but we’ve already been able to increase some prices, particularly in the UK,” Bob Berton said. “That’s our strongest market and one in which we’d been holding prices down.” Berton added the lower dollar creates vital impetus, making it viable again to push forward into export markets. September 2013 – Issue 596

“The confidence is twofold. It’s both a pricing confidence and confidence the wines have stayed in Europe, the UK and US despite the high dollar, so there’s a demand for them. We didn’t want to be tested, but we’ve been tested and haven’t been found wanting.” Peter Lehmann Wines chief executive Jeff Bond likewise also welcomed the relief of a lower dollar, but cautioned against complacency. “For a significant boost we want to see the currency remain well below $US0.90. It needs to be down in the low 80s to get a sustained benefit, and we need to be below 50 pence against the pound and at 60 euro cents. There’s some cautious optimism around the recent reversal, but we’ve got to be aware the currency is still too high,” said Bond. He also warned key structural issues remain in export markets, and Australia should not rely on the exchange rate “to do the heavy lifting”. “We need Peter Lehmann Wines to be a sustainable business at parity with the US dollar,” he added. “That’s been a bit of a mindset change for us; and others like us. It’s been a hard time over the past four years or so, but we’ve made structural, longer-term adjustments. We’ve got to continue what we’re doing and fronting up to those markets; we’ve got to continue to invest and look long term.” Wine Australia echoed Bond’s note of caution. Chief executive Andrew Cheesman said the change in the dollar did not alter the organisation’s key objective of achieving sustainable profitability and restoring value in underlying assets held in the sector. “Given hedging strategies by major exporters, we would need to see a prolonged period of a falling Australian dollar for it to have a major impact on the wine sector,” Cheesman said. “A sustained easing of the AUD no doubt has the capacity to improve our competitiveness and may assist exporters return to some markets. However, we should not fall into the trap of thinking a weaker Australian dollar will be the wine sector’s quick-fix solution to the challenges of the past few years.” Nevertheless, the prospect of greater consumer exposure to Australian wines, both at home and overseas, should not be overlooked, according to Simone Furlong of Leeuwin Estate. “Obviously with a weaker Australian dollar and the strengthening of the US economy, we’re seeing an increase of interest in our wines, and we’re also seeing an increase in both domestic and inbound tourists visiting our cellar door looking for a high-end wine experience.” If cheaper wine prices overseas aren’t September 2013 – Issue 596

Hopefully the buck doesn’t stop here No Australian export has been immune from the extraordinary and sustained strength of the Australian dollar but research shows the wine industry took a severe beating at the hands of the exchange rate. Updated research by the University of Adelaide and Monash University reveals how much the high-value Australian dollar (AUD) harmed the Australian wine industry in recent years, and how exports could grow if the recent AUD devaluation is sustained. In a project funded by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC), University of Adelaide School of Economics Professor Kym Anderson and Monash University’s Dr Glyn Wittwer mapped data using a newly revised and updated model of the world’s wine markets. “Producers are well aware of the debilitating effect of the high AUD relative to the US$, UK Pound and Euro,” Anderson said.

WORST RESULT “However, our results suggest exchange rate changes during 2007-11 reduced super-premium wine prices in Australia by one-fifth, more than in any other Southern Hemisphere wine-exporting country,” he said. “We can also use the model to project wine exports over the next five years. Those prospects depend very much on both subsequent exchange rate movements and China’s wine import growth.” Anderson says with the recent drop in the AUD, the Australian wine industry will be much better positioned to compete internationally, especially in China as its demand for wine imports increases. “Wine consumption is forecast to increase faster than production in China over the next five years,” he said.

EXCITING POTENTIAL “If Australia invests as much as other wine exporters in that market, and the AUD doesn’t rise again, our results suggest China’s share of Australia’s wine export earnings could rise from 13 per cent in 2012 to as much as 28 per cent by 2018.” GWRDC executive director Dr Stuart Thomson said this research offered an important insight into the Australian wine industry. “This data about international wine demand and global exchange rates will help Australian wine businesses better understand future opportunities, which helps to support a competitive Australian wine sector,” he said. A paper titled, A global macroeconomic perspective on the Australian wine industry, has been uploaded at Contact: Professor Kym Anderson, University of Adelaide. Phone: (08) 8313 4712. Email:

enough, the lower dollar should see overseas enthusiasts drinking more wine here as well. That optimistic tone was reinforced by Tourism Australia, which witnessed a 5% rise in international visitors last year in spite of the currency’s strength. “The recent fall in the Australian dollar will be welcome news to many international visitors, as it means a bit more money in their pockets,” said Tourism Australia media relations manager Leo Seaton said. But if the dollar abroad is good news for the Australian wine industry, at home its access to the public dollar is not mgoing so well. It managed to secure only a miserly 2.1

per cent of the $10.73 million handed out in Canberra’s 2013/14 LandCare grants. Of that Victoria’s Macedon Ranges Vignerons Association scooped the viticulture pool with two $44,000 grants. One is $44,000 for managing nutrition for sustainable grape production in the Macedon Ranges and the other $44,000 will be invested in integrated and improved pest management. In South Australia the Eden Valley Wine Grape Growers received $50,600 – the largest single grant to viticulture – to investigate winery wastewater management for sustainable production. The bulk of the money went to projects associated with broadacre production – both cropping and livestock. Grapegrower & Winemaker


Your Vineyard Your Voice

The Newsletter of Wine Grape Growers Australia

September 2013

Coping with code conundrums It is interesting to note the current media reporting on codes of commercial conduct in Australia. In May 2013 Coles was reported in The Australian newspaper to be upset with Coca-Cola, one of its multinational suppliers, for being charged three times as much for Coca-Cola’s famous fizzy drink compared to some Asian destinations. It seems the same problem was occurring with wine and shampoo. This reporting is on the back of two major investigations by the ACCC into this subject area and finalising a code of conduct between retailers and multinational manufacturers. At the same time, Coles “hosed down the ACCC’s concerns supermarkets were bullying suppliers” (meaning, local suppliers). Wow, kettle and pot? And what were the ACCC concerns? The ACCC was reported to be in receipt of a significant number of allegations about big supermarket ’chains in Australia abusing their market power.

Reluctant suppliers It also reported suppliers were reluctant to speak to the ACCC for fear of consequences. The picture which emerges is a chain of allegations about abuse of market power – multi-national suppliers of local retailers, local retailers of local manufacturers/suppliers and local manufacturers/suppliers of growers. Funny thing is – they all see codes of conduct as a part of the solution. All of this should sound familiar to the wine sector. For example, spurred on by a history of

alleged undue exercise of market power by local manufacturers of wine, winegrape growers have a Code of Conduct with wine producers which was collaboratively devised by WGGA and the WFA. And the word now is WFA is seeking a code of conduct with retailers. In addition, both growers and winemakers recite, in one form or another, reluctance to complain because of the consequences with the respective parties they deal with. So how is the Australian Wine Industry Code of Conduct (the ‘Code’) going? Surprisingly well. Over the past year, of the four and a half years it has existed, winemaker signatories have increased by something approaching four-fold.

Devil in the detail This means 26 new signatories in just 12 months. In reality however, a full 17 of these happened in one month, June 2013. This outcome comes close to meeting the first of a two-phase target for signatories set by the Code’s creators. The target of the first phase was for 25% of the top 100 wine producers to sign, the second was for 50%. Of the total 33 signatories at June 2013, 21 are members of a generously-interpreted top 100 wine producers (120 actually). While this approaches the first phase target for the number of signatories, it is six months late and there’s only six months left to achieve another 29 signatories from the top 100 to achieve the second-phase target. Winemakers can take heart at the number of their peers becoming signatories and they should follow the lead.

Level 1, Industry House, National Wine Centre Cnr Botanic and Hackney Roads, Adelaide, SA 5000 Telephone (08) 8133 4400 Fax (08) 8133 4466 Email Website

Moreover, research into the reasons why some winemakers decline to the sign the Code reveals in most instances, the reasons are based on ignorance about the Code – either about its existence or what it requires. The requirements are just basic good commercial practice under which most winemakers already operate.

Promoting The Code Being a non-signatory should be an indicator of intent to behave badly rather than a statement about ignorance. A little effort by non-signatory winemakers to research what the Code is really about should allay any concerns. Growers being offered contracts can help to promote the Code by being knowledgeable about the Code themselves, asking the buyer if they are a signatory and ensuring their contracts are consistent with the Code’s requirements. To assist growers, the list of signatories can be found on the WGGA website WGGA congratulates winemaker signatories on their initiative and their support for good commercial practice in the industry. WGGA also encourages growers to give preference to these wineries as purchasers. Unfortunately, the analysis of Code signatories shows meeting the second target (50 of the top 100 wine producers) is looking like a stretch. In addition, more than half the WFA board, the same board which approved the Code are not signatories. It goes without saying, of course, winemakers supporting a Code between themselves and the retailers would do well to have their own house in order, lest they appear hypocritical.

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Things happening in biosecurity management Although not highly visible, considerable progress has been made over the past few months to consolidate the arrangements for managing biosecurity in the wine sector. Highlights include: • The National Viticulture Biosecurity Committee (NVBC) has formed and met twice. David Lowe has been appointed as chair. Ongoing secretariat funding for the next 12 months is being negotiated with GWRDC. • A framework and terms of reference have been developed for a national Wine Biosecurity Industry Reference Group (WBIRG) and members are currently being recruited. • WGGA has funded a national winegrape biosecurity officer for 12 months. The position was advertised in late July and by the time this newsletter gets before you, an appointment may have been made (check our website for updates).

• An updated draft of the Viticulture Industry Biosecurity Plan has been prepared by PHA and is currently being reviewed by stakeholders. This document is a cornerstone of industry’s ability to respond to pest or disease outbreaks and provides important reference information for industry planners. A user manual follows in this project. The NVBC is cross-industry (winegrapes, table grapes, dried fruit, nurseries) and cross-jurisdiction (federal, state, industry organisations) – but does not have onfarm industry members. Its membership enables it to facilitate the development of consistent biosecurity policy across grapegrowing jurisdictions, and provide input into biosecurity R&D priorities, industry preparedness and response capability relating to all grapevines.

The WIBRG is being formed to provide an on-farm perspective on biosecurity and to inform wine sector policy. It will provide a consultation forum on national biosecurity matters for the WGGA and WFA executive committees and will take a leading advisory role in the development of on-farm awareness, surveillance, preparedness and on-theground responses to biosecurity incursions. It may also deal with some issues not in the NVBC charter. The National Winegrape Biosecurity Officer, will support the WBIRG, liaise with the NVBC and other stakeholders, prepare an industry awareness strategy and assist in securing longterm sustainable funding for industry biosecurity arrangements.

National winegrape biosecurity committee structure. National Biosecurity Committee (DAFF)

Plant Health Committee (DAFF)

Grape and Wine RDC

Domestic Quarantine Market Access Working Group (DAFF) Role: Development of domestic market access conditions for plants and plant products in Australia

Joint Policy Forum

WFA Board WGGA Executive Committee

National Viticulture Biosecurity Committee (industry) Role: Strategic leadership on grapevine biosecurity issues/focal point for scientific and technical advice on grapevine biosecurity

Winegrape Biosecurity Industry Reference Group Membership: WGGA, WFA, industry members, invited guests on specialist issues




WGGA Annual General Meeting – lock in the date The 2013 WGGA annual general meeting will be held on the morning of 13 November in Adelaide. Further details will be announced by

mail and in wine industry media. All industry stakeholders are welcome to attend and will hear about the past year’s achievements and future plans.

Members are especially encouraged to attend and will have the opportunity to interact with the executive committee, which will be in attendance.

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Regional perspective on adjustment WGGA is a national organisation and naturally it takes a national perspective on supply and demand balances. Feedback from the regions nevertheless highlights the fact national analysis does not always reflect the circumstances of individual regions.

After 2007-08 however, what was reported was strictly winegrape-producing areas so for some regions the loss of vines between 2007-08 and 2011-12 will be inflated by the reporting of nonwinegrape producing vines in the first year of the period but not subsequently.

This article is an attempt to provide a regional perspective on supply-demand balances by reporting regional supply adjustments from Vineyard Survey evidence.

This goes some way to explaining the first standout observation from Illustration 1. Murray Valley Swan Hill vineyard area losses were off the scale, at roughly 12,500ha in all.

The Vineyard Survey is the industry’s national viticulture statistics collection, albeit that the 2012 collection was the last one and there is no longer a national viticulture statistical collection.

This can be partly explained by the significant dried fruit industry in the area. Nevertheless, winegrape area loss is likely to be significant.

While these production statistics are only half of the supply-demand picture required to accurately reflect balance or otherwise, it does provide feedback on the occasional regional opinion that ‘we have adjusted production in our region and supply and demand is in balance’. Not all regions have been reported, although they are available in the Vineyard Survey statistics for the interested reader to find themselves. To simplify the analysis here, the reported regions are those which account for 95% of the total national vineyards in the start year 2007-08. An additional simplification is the aggregation of the smaller Greater Victoria regions (outside Yarra Valley, Goulburn Valley, Heathcote and King Valley) into ‘Greater Victoria Other’. This analysis reports the supply adjustment since 2007-08 and captures 96% of the total contraction in the national vineyard since 2006-07 when contraction first started’ The data reported here shows adjustment has varied between regions.

Area loss between 2008 and 2012 It needs to be noted in 2007-08, the Vineyard Survey collected statistics on all vine varieties from which winegrapes were sourced – including vines producing dried and table grapes.

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Reflecting their sizes, the warm inland districts were prominent in regional supply adjustment. Nevertheless, only two of the three warm inland regions contracted – Murray Valley Swan Hill and the Riverland. On the other hand, the Riverina expanded and showed the largest expansion among the reported regions. In the Riverina, the total winegrape vine area grew by 1,700 hectares over the reported period.

After Murray Valley Swan Hill, as the region with the most likely highest contraction, came a clutch of regions with next highest number of hectares lost, all of between a 1,000 to 2,000 hectares each. These were the Riverland, the Hunter, Greater Victoria Other, Mudgee and Langhorne Creek. Thirteen more regions declined by between 150 to 1,000 hectares. The expansion in the Riverina raises the fact that not all regions contracted in the reported period and each of Eden Valley, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully, Orange and Heathcote expanded between 2007-08 and 2011-12. On the other hand, after taking a trend for lower tonnages per hectare into account, tonnages declined despite the hectare increases in each of the Riverina, McLaren Vale and Orange. Regrettably, the space available in this newsletter is insufficient to expand on the additional analysis that is possible from the data but the interested reader can view the full report on WGGA’s website, at

Net loss in total area (ha) between 2008 and 2012 -2000








Murray Darling Swan Hill Riverland Hunter Mudgee Langhorne Creek Cowra Great Southern Margaret River Coonawarra Adelaide Hills Greater Victoria - Other Currency Creek Swan District Padthaway Yarra Valley Clare Valley Goulburn Valley Tasmania Barossa Valley Geographe Heathcote Orange Wrattonbully McLaren Vale Eden Valley Riverina

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National controls for refractometers For the past two years, the National Measurement Institute (NMI) has been working with wine sector stakeholders to develop the metrological control infrastructure for refractometers which measure sugar content of grapes. The development and introduction of controls for these measures is part of a wider initiative to ensure refractometers used to determine winegrape prices based on sugar content are accurate, traceable and comply with the requirements of national measurement legislation. New arrangements will be introduced from 1 January 2014 to ensure everyone in the industry receives a fair price for their grapes based on sugar content, including: • Requiring new refractometers sold to the wine grape industry for use in trade on or after 1 January 2014 have a certificate of approval certifying compliance with the national standard NMI M 9. • Newly-installed refractometers are verified in accordance with a national

test procedure (NITP 15.3, Part 1) and instruments in use are re-verified. • In-field audits occur by Trade Measurement Inspectors, of both servicing licensees who perform verifications and of the accuracy of refractometers used in trade. The new national standard for refractometers (NMI M 9) and the new national test procedure for verification (NITP 15.3) are expected to be published by NMI and available on the NMI website (www. from mid-September. NMI is also liaising with a number of stakeholders who wish to be appointed as servicing licensees (to allow them to verify refractometers) or make reference standards of measurement (certified sugar solutions), which will be used in the verification process.

Transitional arrangements (grandfathering)

winegrape prices on or after 1 January 2014, will need to apply to have these instruments ‘grandfathered’. Grandfathering of existing refractometers will involve verification by a servicing licensee and permanent marking with the following information: • • • • •

NMI classification Measuring range Measurement unit Serial number Pattern approval number

A list of servicing licensees who will be able to verify refractometers will be made available on the NMI website (www. and communicated to stakeholders soon. To apply for grandfathering or for any general comments and enquiries, please contact NMI Policy Officer, Ms Roselle Mailvaganam on (02) 8467 3832 or roselle.

Wineries wanting to continue using existing refractometers to determine

Good to see you at WineTech 2013 A big thank you to everyone who stopped by the combined WGGA/WFA stand at the WineTech Conference in Sydney. It was great to put faces to names and to meet so many who were interested in hearing more about WGGA and our program for the next 12 months. We received positive comments about WGGA and WFA sharing the stand and the hope the two peak bodies would continue to align on important issues. The outcomes from being present were better than expected with a number of new members joining up at the exhibition and some great feedback from growers. The popular topics of conversation were a national database, biosecurity and the Code of Conduct. The winner of the competition for all those who visited our stand was Jason Cappello from Griffith, NSW, who wins 1kg of Flint Fungicide (RRP $270) which was generously donated by Bayer (thanks Hugh Armstrong). Nikki Zorzi, WGGA


2013-14 WGGA membership A reminder of the special membership offers available for joining WGGA before 30 September 2013. This year, all new and re-joining memberships before 30 September receive: • 50% off subscriptions to Grapegrower and Winemaker • 20% off subscriptions to Wine Business Monthly (new subscribers only) • A free VineBiz CD and manual (while stocks last) • Entry into a prize draw to win a hard copy of the Winetitles Wine Industry Directory with online access In addition, new members subscribing before 30 September receive: • A free trial copy of Wine Business Monthly (WBM) If you are a winegrape grower or have an interest in seeing the winegrape sector prosper, we urge you to consider joining WGGA now. Membership categories cater for all – there is General (growers and winemakers), Affiliate (industry associations), Associate (anyone with an interest in winegrape growing) and Student memberships are available.

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Grower behind the brand

Grower: Teresa Gibellini winery: Larry Cherubino wines Brands: Larry Cherubino wines winemaker: Larry Cherubino Teresa Gibellini is the trusted grape grower for Peter and Cathy Wiese who own the Osprey Point Vineyard, a supplier to Larry Cherubino Wines. Osprey Point was originally planted in 2002 and is situated on the border of Wilyabrup/Yallingup in the Margaret River wine-growing region. We talked to Teresa about her relationship with Larry Cherubino Wines. How do you ensure you deliver to the winemaker’s specifications? “The relationship I have with Larry is based on trust, mutual respect and a common goal – quality fruit which showcases the characteristics of a specific site and region. “I deliver fruit to the winemaker’s specifications by firstly ensuring vine balance, vine health and attention to soil health – a good spray program ensures clean fruit. “Fruit is tested and tasted regularly during the ripening period and picked first and foremost on flavour and then sugar and acid levels on a date specified by the winemaking team.”

How does the winemaker communicate their needs in terms of characteristics? “A fruit contract ensures we have a clear outline of what is required and the parameters of the tonnage, Baume and acid levels as well as price. “The specifics of the fruit characteristics which are not as measureable are communicated during on site visits, as are the logistics of harvest time and delivery.” What are the benefits of providing fruit with the characteristics Larry Cherubino Wines require? “The benefits of providing fruit with those characteristics are primarily stability and security – not having to worry about selling fruit on an open market. “That stability gives us time to improve the fruit coming off of the vineyard without having to worry about changing our fruit style. It lets us get the best out of the site.”


Does Larry Cherubino Wines offer any special incentives to get the characteristics they require? “We have a tasting post-vintage to see how the wines have shaped up. When I can taste those flavours we have been striving to achieve in the vineyard then I feel I have done my job well. “It is so important at that stage to get feedback from the winery, which gives us a clear direction for the coming season. “I also get to taste the wines from the other wineries I am involved with and this gives me a direct comparison and benchmark for quality in that same season. “Viticulture and winemaking are two streams of science ‘joined at the hip’. Those involved in growing fruit take just as much pride in the finished product as the winemakers do and have as much passion for quality products. “Just as Larry expects me to deliver in the vineyard I have the same belief in him to turn our fruit into something special.”


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grapegrowing At Warburn Estate it never rains – then it pours Beverley Prideaux writes from the rich Riverina that one of Australia’s great family-run wineries has spent years on a seasonal rollercoaster which has finally seen it record that long-awaited ‘average’ season. THE flurry of movement and machine noise of vintage might be gone. And apart from pruners in the vineyards and the occasional forklift or truck, Warburn Estate is outwardly quiet. But those laid back appearances are deceptive. Inside the NSW winery great wines are being created, plans are being formulated and the tasting room is a veritable hive of activity as blends are chosen and serious decisions made. And some of the toughest calls are being made by the third generation of this family-owned enterprise which brought its traditional winemaking skills from Italy in 1952. Giuseppe and Maria Sergi migrated with their young family and within a few years Guiseppe and his son Antonio began growing grapes on their farm at Tharbogang. In no time their passion for their product drove them to the forefront as pioneer winemakers in the region. Today grandson Antonio is carrying on this proud family tradition. Short back and sides: The scene might be tranquil as Warburn Estate’s vines lie in their winter dormancy but the pruners were coming.

40,000 TONNE CRUSH Set in the heart of the Riverina region Warburn is now one of Australia’s most significant wine producers, with more than 1000ha under vine, a crush capacity of 40,000 tonnes and tank storage for 35 million litres of wine.

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26 Grapegrower & Winemaker

A big business which its owners are happy to say “remains a private company, maintaining its winemaking independence along with the ability to quickly respond to market demands and client needs”. Chief winemaker Carmelo D’Aquino said there “are seldom quiet times in a winery”. “For us winter is an important time to catch up and prepare for the coming vintage, both at the winery and in the vineyard,” he said. “Overall 2013 was a good, average season. Warmer than usual but dry, and without the wet and humid weather of the previous two years. “Consequently, the crop was clean and flavours were good and that will be reflected in the new wines.” At Warburn years of drought were followed by near-record drenchings in 2011 and 2012, with the sudden rise in humidity forcing growers to change their spray programs to suddenly control mildews which hadn’t been seen for years. “Our vineyards are spread from 10km west of Griffith to 30km east and based on what we see in the vineyards so far, this season may be a little earlier than usual. “For us the distance and spread across the region is good because it helps to insulate against disasters.”

MASSIVE FLOOD DAMAGE Such as two years ago when 50 per cent of the big Yenda vineyard was flooded, 3000 tonnes of fruit simply washed away and the irrigation infrastructure was extensively damaged. When the water finally receded Yenda needed a lot of recovery and repair work, impacting on the overall winter management program. “The floods dislodged much of the drip hose so it had to be relocated, and after being under water for several days, the steel components in the irrigation system needed replacing due to rust. Even the pumps had to be serviced,” D’Aquino said. Hot on the heels of the wet – literally – was the extreme heat in the 2012-13 summer forcing Warburn to implement more recovery programs to make the vines more resilient to heat stress.

September 2013 – Issue 596

3 2 6 4 6 _ v 1 C R T 1 3 F a r mo z . p d f

At a glance:

Pa ge



• Giuseppe and Maria Sergi migrated from Italy in 1952 with their young family and within a few years began growing grapes on their farm at Tharbogang. Today a third generation has joined the running of the family business. • Set in the heart of the Riverina region Warburn is now one of Australia’s most significant wine producers, with more than 1000ha under vine, a crush capacity of 40,000 tonnes and tank storage for 35 million litres of wine. • Two years ago 50 per cent of Warburn’s big Yenda vineyard was flooded, 3000 tonnes of fruit simply washed away and the irrigation infrastructure extensively damaged.

“Warburn Estate vineyards are drip irrigated, a method we have found to be water saving and convenient as the system can be set up on timers,” D’Aquino said. “It allows us to apply water at the correct times and in the required quantities based on vine uptake but also makes it easier for adjustment to design water programs to address heat waves. “We also use nutritional management to make the vine more resistant to heat stress. We are researching and altering the watering programs and looking into the advantages and costs of sun screens.”

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After leaf fall and before pruning starts trellising will have been inspected for machine damaged posts and wires, a fact of life in today’s hi-tech vineyards where machine harvesting is standard practice across the huge Riverina holdings. Those repairs also have to be completed ahead of pruning for the safety of workers. When faced with more than 1000ha to get ready for spring teams of workers descend on the fields each winter – working in all weather – to set the vine structure which will carry the summer crop. Plans, as well as canes, are being laid down for the coming vintage. “The vines are pruned with saw pruners and then any remaining dead wood is cleaned up and the bud count corrected for final vine balance,” D’Aquino said. “The previous season doesn’t affect the pruning technique significantly, but the vines are assessed annually for any finetuning.” And back in the winery, some of the whites will be in the last stages of preparation for bottling, ahead of the reds from earlier vintages which have been aging to suit consumer demand in a varied marketplace. “Although it is too early for predictions, so far the 2014 vintage is on track for another good result,” he added. “And from a winery perspective, as the Australian dollar settles back, we expect overseas markets to pick up as well.” Meanwhile the tasting room is busy with potential buyers looking at wines and finalising forward orders for the potential of those yet-to-be-bottled vintages.

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September 2013 – Issue 596

Grapegrower & Winemaker


2 0 / 0 6


Tassie vineyards get expansion boost Stephanie Timotheou

Tasmanian vineyards and wineries will share $1.2 million in state government funding to help them expand existing operations. The Vineyard and Orchard Expansion Program will be enhanced by a further $1 million of private capital which will help provide a further 60 jobs in the industry. Gala Estate Manager Adam Greenhill said the grant will help expand its vineyard up to 15ha to run their bigticket machinery on a more cost-effective basis. “The market is going to get very competitive as our industry develops in Tassie, so we are very lucky to be given the grant so that we can take the next step and expand,” Greenhill said. “I was lucky enough to get my application in and from when it was announced, we worked on it immediately to ensure we didn’t miss the boat.” Gala Estate received $74,182 in funding and Greenhill said this will enable the vineyard to begin its expansion project

I just hope there is going to be regional marketing and funding to help develop the industry in Tasmania along with the expansion.

sooner than expected. “In a way, the finance incentives have persuaded me to expand, whereas I probably would have left it for a few years if this grant didn’t come about. “I just hope there is going to be regional marketing and funding to help develop the industry in Tasmania along with the expansion.” Wine Tasmania Chief Executive Officer Sheralee Davies welcomed the announcement of the first recipients to the grant. “This program has supported wine producers wishing to expand their

vineyard area, recognising the capital intensive nature of viticulture and the delayed timing in generating income from new vines,” Davies said. Other businesses funded in the first round are: • Pooley Wines - $28,200 to add a further 4ha • Riversdale Estate - $78,800 for 13.5ha • Frogmore Creek - $46,800 for 6.5ha • JM & VL Bresnehan - $16,800 for 4ha Tasmanian Economic Development minister David O’Byrne said the funding will help capitalise on the increasing demand for premium Tasmanian products. “Fruit and wine are two very important sub-sectors of food and agriculture, prioritised in our economic development plan,” O’Byrne said. “The businesses selected for the grants presented a clear case for growth and were able to demonstrate there is a market for extra products to be generated.”

New job management system makes big savings HARVEST AND SPRAY contractors in New Zealand are this year achieving significant gains in how they operate their business. They are using an adaptation of the GPS guidance system already used by the majority of fertiliser-spreading trucks in New Zealand. The system, developed by New Zealand company TracMap, has a cloud-based scheduling and job management tool, linked to an in-cab display. What makes the TracMap system different is how easy ‘technology bunnies’ find it to use says managing director Colin Brown. As a result he said it makes achieving universal adoption across a business quite straightforward. “We aim to achieve 80% functionality for 100% of staff,” Brown said. “The system was first piloted by several vineyards in New Zealand for the 2012 harvest, and as a result around half the harvesters in the country implemented it for the 2013 harvest. “The feedback the company received as a result has prompted us to invest considerable resources into further modifying the system to suit the specific needs of the viticulture industry,” he said. The company also used the recent AWITC conference in Sydney to launch the product into the Australian market. What it provides is a simple and reliable means of tasking vehicles to harvest (or spray) specific rows in specific blocks on a specific vineyard, and automatic mapping of the work done. The in-cab display makes it easy for drivers to see where they

28 Grapegrower & Winemaker

A TracMap unit installed in a vineyard tractor.

should be, and identify which rows have been treated. “Most of our customers reported paying for the system in the first month due to not having any missed rows during harvesting,” Brown said. The company reports considerable interest following the WineTech expo, and has already secured a number of orders in Australia for installation over the coming months. Contact: For more information visit

September 2013 – Issue 596


Look out for grapevine red blotch-associated virus The University of Adelaide researcher Nuredin Habili has put the Australian wine industry on alert for a damaging new virus spreading through US vineyards. caused by any of the grapevine leafroll Most severe LR viruses are transmitted GRAPEVINE RED-BLOTCH ASSOCIATED viruses, and red blotch (RB) disease by mealybugs while GRBaV in the US is virus (GRBaV) is a DNA virus (genus: caused by the newly described GRBaV. spread by a specific leafhopper vector. Geminivirus) which was first detected in It appears sugar is reduced more Cabernet Sauvignon grafted onto the 10114 rootstock in California by UC Davis HOW LR AND RB DISEASES DIFFER significantly in GRBaV infected vines (up to three units of Baume) than in LR researchers in 2008. There are three major differences between infected vines. Genetically its closest relative is a leaf symptoms produced in red varieties virus named Chickpea chlorotic dwarf by the Leafroll (LR) viruses and GRBaV: Syria virus. 1 The veins in LR infected vines remain WHAT SHOULD WE DO TO STOP In California, yearly spread of GRBaV green while they turn red in GRBaV RED BLOTCH DISEASE? has been observed in declining vineyards affected vines. Because it is a newly-described virus, of various varieties. The age of these 2 In LR the leaf margins turn backwards no diagnostic tests have been previously vineyards varies between one and 20 while in GRBaV these remain flat. available to determine whether GRBaV years. 3 The red colour in LR affected leaves has been introduced already into Generally, most red vine varieties react is uniform while in GRBaV it appears Australia despite our strict post-entry to pathogen infections by displaying red blotchy with large islands of green (see quarantine laws. leaf colour as a sign of stress, which is Figure 1). A first step for testing for this virus particularly obvious late in autumn. Another major difference is the mode in Australia has been to develop a PCR Two examples of a particular type of transmission of these viruses in the assay for infection. 2 7 5 3 Ca p t a n 1 3 0 x 1 8 5 1 2 0 1 3 - 0 8 - 1 5 T1 4 : 0 1 : 3 4 + 1 0 : 0 0 of reddening are leafroll (LR) disease vineyard. So far Waite Diagnostics has tested

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September 2013 – Issue 596

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Red Blotch


more than 200 samples from 30 varieties and found them to be negative. However, since a number of our superior vine clones have been imported from UC Davis, the occurrence of this virus in Australia cannot be ruled out and a survey of vineyards needs to continue. If you possess a wine grape clone which has been imported from UC Davis, or if you observe a symptom similar to the one in Figure 1, please send samples to Waite Diagnostics, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Urrbrae, South Australia. If you live interstate make sure you ask us for a copy of our

Accreditation Permit which should accompany your samples. A copy of a Plant Health Certificate approved by your local Department of Primary Industries should also be enclosed with your sample. For further information and the price list please visit www. We are committed to remaining vigilant for GRBaV and with your assistance we can reduce the risk associated with this virus becomes established in Australia. Contact: Nuredin Habili, Waite Diagnostics, The University of Adelaide. Email: Phone: 0403 126 805.

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Don’t come the raw prune with us Snip goes the secateurs might not conjure up quite the same imagery as click goes the shears but that didn’t stop more than 30 passionate pruners vying for glory in the Clare Valley. Competitors came from around the state – and interstate – in hot pursuit of the Wolf Blass aggregate shield. Clare Region Winegrape Growers Association’s executive officer Anna Baum said her group has hosted the past two events since its revival and was already planning 2014. Baum said in addition to local teams and competitors McLaren Vale, Victorian sides from Great Western and Taltarni Wines northwest of Ararat, also made the trip. She said Clare Valley corporate and private vineyards were well represented on a day “just set up for pruning” after a dry summer. “The Kilikanoon Individual Rod and Spur was the first event, and was run in five heats,” she said. “After a welcome smoko our pruners lined up for the Electrocoup Individual Spur, with just as many heats, but the pruners were flying in this event compared with them morning session. “But the highlight of the day was the Taylors Team Speed Spur with 12 teams – double the 2012 number – going flat out across two heats. “Judges were going just as hard to compile the results and it was great to see the Valley Allstars (Ryan Longmire, Brett Smith and Scott Victor) take the 2013 crown. “Well done to Ryan Longmire from Ackland Vineyard Services, Clare Valley, who also retained the Wolf Blass aggregate shield.”

RESULTS Electrocoup Individual Spur 1st

Ryan Longmire


(Clare Valley)


James Brooksby


(Clare Valley)


Jeff Elliott


(Great Western, Vic)

Kilikanoon Individual Rod and Spur 1st

Ryan Longmire


(Clare Valley)


Jeremy O’Donald


(McLaren Vale)


Brett Smith


(Clare Valley)

Taylors Team Speed Spur 1st

Valley Allstars


Ryan Longmire, Brett Smith, Scott Victor (Clare Valley)


Annies Lane 2 1/2 men


Ben Peters, Vin Kelly, Jimmy Brooksby (Clare Valley)


Seppelt Snippers


Jeff Elliott, Malcolm Boatman, Patrick Hall (Great Western, Vic)

CUT ABOVE: In the Electrocoup Individual Spur Jimmy Brooksby, Annies Lane, Clare, Ryan Longmire, Ackland Vineyard Services, Clare and Jeff Elliott, Seppelts Great Western.

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18/04/2013 September 2013 3:01:42 – IssuePM596

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NZ growers make hay while drought ravages Grahame Whyte

VINTAGE WAS AN exciting time for New Zealand growers in 2013. While farmers were suffering from one of the worst droughts on record, winemakers were delighted at the dry weather during ripening, particularly those in Hawke’s Bay. NZ Winegrowers chief executive officer, Philip Gregan said most winemakers were ecstatic. “The drought is bad news for the pastoral farmers but good news for grapegrowers,” Gregan said. “It’s a real contrast,” he said. “There will be winners and losers (with global warming). “It would seem it’s going to open up opportunities for New Zealand grapegrowers – it will be interesting to see. “I think there was probably a lot less spray used this year. There was less disease pressure, and probably less need for canopy thinning and those sorts of things. “I think overall it made for a pretty easy year in the vineyard. The remarkable thing this year was the drought was so widespread and persistent for so long.” Gregan said the late rain during the ripening period in some areas such as Wairarapa and further south failed to dampen enthusiasm. “If it had been a normal year, that rain would have had some impact,” he said. “But given the season was relatively early – not extremely early, but relatively early – and given there was little disease pressure and wineries could harvest when they wanted, the reality was by the time that rain arrived, 90% or more of the grapes had been harvested, so that was good. “There was a little bit of autumn frost

Report confirms drought worst in nearly 70 years A comparative study on the 2013 drought released by the NZ Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms it was one of the most extreme on record for New Zealand. The 2013 drought was also one of the most widespread, with only the drought of 1972-73 which affected Wairarapa, Tasman, Otago and Southland coming close to its geographical impact. The report said the cause of the drought was not El Niño, but in fact slow-moving or ‘blocking’ high pressure systems over the Tasman Sea and New Zealand during summer. Commissioned by MPI and undertaken by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), the study looked at two sets of data records – NIWA’s gridded Virtual Climate Station Network which goes back to 1972, and longer-term station records going back to the early 1940s. Calculations of a drought index known as potential evapotranspiration deficit (PED) which measures estimates of soil water content showed 2013 was the worst drought since 1972, and particularly serious for the North Island. The longer-record station calculations indicated in some regions it was the most severe drought since 1945-46. The areas most affected this time were southern Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Central North Island, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, and parts of the north and west of the South Island. NIWA principal scientist Brett Mullan said the July 2012-May 2013 PED accumulation was the worst since 1972 in one-third of the North Island. “Previous severe droughts occurred in 1972-73 and 1997-98, both El Niño years,” he said. “This latest drought was different, being related to persistent high pressure centres over New Zealand during summer – a trend increasing according to century-long pressure records.” A copy of the report can be found at

damage in some places, but in the scheme of things, it was not so important. “The winemakers get very excited when a good vintage comes along like this. They can see the fruit coming in with very little disease, lovely and clean, great flavours – they get pretty excited about what’s going to end up in the bottle. “They had a pretty relaxed vintage in

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most areas and now they are looking to preserve what nature has delivered. “With the great weather, the potential exists for another good-sized harvest next year. There’s a long way to go of course, with spring frosts, cool flowering – all those things can intervene – but they’ve certainly set the vines up for a pretty good year ahead.”


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September 2013 – Issue 596

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Grapevine research leads PhD candidate to South America With the support of the GWRDC and the ASVO, The University of Adelaide PhD candidate Marcos Bonada reports on the IX International Symposium on Grapevine Physiology and Biotechnology in Chile and his visit to the National Institute of Agricultural Technology of Argentina (INTA).

to budburst on field growing vines With a history of more than 50 years, THE IX INTERNATIONAL Symposium on permanently affect shoot morphological INTA is a federal agency in charge of the Grapevine Physiology and Biotechnology features (e.g. diameter of primary xylem generation, adaptation and diffusion of in Chile covered key grapevine research vessels) and growth, which may lead to technologies, knowledge and learning areas; from applied physiology to changes in plant hydraulic conductance procedures for the agriculture, forest and molecular biology. and water budget of this cultivar. agri-industrial activities. And it focused on new techniques to Attendance to the Grapevine Chile Focused mainly on viticulture and increase the present understanding of 2013 symposium and the visit to INTA enology, Mendoza’s research station vine physiology. at the last stage of my PhD candidature has more than 60ha of vineyards, lab During the symposium I presented have given me the ideal opportunity to facilities and an experimental winery on “Elevated temperature and water show my findings and make and renew where researchers and students perform deficit accelerated berry mesocarp cell contacts to facilitate future joint research. their research. death and shrivelling, and decoupled Contact: Marcos Bonada. Email: With fellow PhD student Eugenia sensory traits in Shiraz berries”. Aiming Galat (INTA Mendoza) I was able to at anticipating the effects of warmer and discuss common aspects of our projects drier climates, this work summarises investigating the effects of warming and part of my first year of research (Bonada References Bonada, M., Sadras, V.O., and Fuentes, S. (2013a) water deficit on vines. et al. 2013c, Bonada et al. 2013b, a), Effect of elevated temperature on the onset and Where my focus is Shiraz in Australia, under the main supervision of Associate rate of mesocarp cell death in berries of Shiraz and Chardonnay and its relationship with berry shrivel. Eugenia’s target is the Argentinian Professor Victor Sadras (SARDI). Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 19, flagship-cultivar Malbec. Participation at the symposium gave 87-94. Under the supervision of Dr Perez me the opportunity to present research Bonada, M., Sadras, V.O., and Fuentes, S. (2013b) Peña (INTA), Professor Markus Keller to an international scientific community Effects of elevated temperature on mesocarp cell (Washington University), and Victor including more than 300 participants death and shrivelling in Shiraz and Chardonnay berries. Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower and Sadras, she is seeking to understand the from around 30 different countries. Winemaker February, 35-36. effects of short spells of high maximum During the visit to Mendoza, the core Bonada, M., Sadras, V.O., Moran, M.A., and Fuentes, temperature on vine phenology, growth wine region of Argentina, I met with S. (2013c) Elevated temperature and water stress and development. local researchers from INTA for further accelerate mesocarp cell death and shrivelling, and 3 7 5 6 F l u t e 8 8 x 1 8 5 _ G G W 1 2 0 1 3 0 3 2 0 T 1 5 : 5 8 : 2 5 + 1 1 : 0 sensory 0 decouple traits in Shiraz berries. Irrigation Preliminary results of her research discussions about my project and strengthen Science In press. revealed heat waves occurring close networks for future collaboration.

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38 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596

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Still some sting in the tail of strobilurins Researchers Trevor Wicks, Barbara Hall and Doug Wilson want grapegrowers to understand strobilurin resistance, and the strategies they can follow for continued use of these valuable fungicides against powdery and downy mildew. THE strobilurin group of fungicides – including Amistar, Cabrio and Flint ¬– are the only fungicides controlling both powdery and downy mildews on grapes. With some providing more effective control of downy mildew than others. Strobilurins have been used in Australia for at least 10 years, and generally have provided good control of these two major grape diseases. Since their introduction, growers have been advised to always include other products in programs which include strobilurins, applying no more than 2-3 strobilurin sprays per season, and confining them to around flowering. The reasons for this are: • Research has shown the most effective time to apply strobilurins is during flowering. • Restricting their use to a few sprays per

season reduces the risk of strobilurinresistant strains of fungi developing in Australian vineyards.

STROBILURIN RESISTANCE OVERSEAS AND IN AUSTRALIA In overseas vineyards, resistant strains of both downy mildew and powdery mildew have developed within a few years of strobilurin use. This resistance appears suddenly, often without warning, and normally in isolated areas of vineyard blocks. Strobilurins remain effective in other areas, so the resistance can be described as an “on/off” situation rather than a gradual loss of performance. Strobilurin-resistant strains of powdery mildew have now been found in Australian vineyards but no strobilurinresistant downy mildew has been detected.

HOW DOES RESISTANCE DEVELOP? • The use of fungicides does not induce resistance in the fungus population. • Resistant or insensitive spores of fungi occur naturally in the environment. • It is only after regular use of the same fungicide or fungicide group that insensitive fungi survive and multiply, causing significant loss of control by that fungicide. lt’s important to look closely at some of the Australian situations where strobilurinresistant strains have developed.

FIRST CASE - LENSWOOD RESEARCH CENTRE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA The first confirmed Australian case of strobilurin-resistant powdery mildew was in Chardonnay vines at Lenswood Research Centre in the Adelaide Hills,

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Mandatory droplet spectrum requirements

A hot topic for discussion at many of the viticulture meetings I’ve attended recently has been the use of crop protection products in accordance with expanding legal requirements. As many of you would be aware, labels for newly registered products and labels for products that are already registered (but have recently been updated) are including additional information. Often this information relates specifically to droplet size and is aimed squarely at minimising off-target drift resulting from use of spray equipment. So under the general instructions section on these labels it is increasingly common to see more detail on how these products are to be applied with a mandatory droplet size or range being specified. An example of what might be seen on a label could be; Ground Application Only: Apply as a spray in a minimum of 400 L of water/ ha using equipment delivering a MEDIUM spray quality. Given these directions are on these labels and the label is legal document, spray operators clearly have a responsibility to show they have taken all appropriate steps to ensure they have followed label directions. The question many people are asking at the meetings is how do I know the droplet size of my spray unit? Calibrating spray equipment is relatively straightforward and growers will know their water volumes, speed of travel and spray pressures. Droplet size however is not so straightforward and it’s not something a grower can really determine easily on-farm. To that end you will have to rely on the information you are given by your spray equipment supplier or nozzle manufacturer. If you haven’t already done so, I would strongly recommend growers contact their supplier to discuss what options they have and ensure their equipment complies with label directions. It would also be a very good idea to document and record the information you are given to show you have taken the appropriate steps to conform to legal requirements. Keep that information with your spray records. Whilst this may seem like more work and more formalities, it will give you piece of mind and may even advert that spray drift situation which will be good news for everyone.

Scott Mathew Technical Lead, Syngenta 0428 225 597 For details, please call the Syngenta technical product advice line on 1800 067 108 or visit 42 Grapegrower & Winemaker

At a glance: • Even though strobilurin-resistant strains of powdery mildew have been detected in Australian vineyards, this important group of fungicides will continue to provide useful control of powdery mildew – provided they are restricted to one or two sprays per season, and they are always mixed with another non-strobilurin fungicides registered for powdery mildew. • Powdery mildew resistant to strobilurins can be controlled by using three or more fungicides of different activity in spray programs. • No strobilurin-resistant strains of downy mildew have been detected in Australian vineyards. When used for downy mildew control, strobilurins should always be tank mixed with a powdery mildew fungicide from a different activity group. • Strobilurins are most effective when applied at the start of flowering. A tank mixture of a strobilurin such as Cabrio with an alternative product such as Filan applied at this stage will control powdery mildew, downy mildew and Botrytis bunch rot. • New fungicides such as Flute, Talendo and Vivando – with different modes of activity – increase the range of alternative products available for use in resistance management.

where strobilurin had been used since 2000. Resistance was detected in 2010/11 in a trial where strobilurins had not been applied according to recommendations. On reflection, everything was done incorrectly: • Strobilurins were not applied until powdery mildew was well established in the vines. • Strobilurins were applied in four consecutive applications. • Fungicides with different modes of activity were not always used in the spray program. By 2010/11, neither Amistar nor Cabrio controlled powdery mildew, while sprays of different activity groups remained effective. This was in contrast to previous trials, where programs including strobilurin around flowering provided good control of powdery mildew. Samples of powdery mildew were collected from the various treatments, and sent overseas for testing for the marker gene indicating strobilurin resistance. The results showed a high level of resistant genes in powdery mildew collected from the Amistar and Cabrio sprayed areas – compared with low to nil amounts in powdery mildew collected from unsprayed plots, and from vines never treated with these fungicides.

NURIOOTPA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA A similar situation developed in Chardonnay vines at Nuriootpa in the 2011/12 season. Poor powdery mildew control occurred when strobilurinresistant strains developed after four consecutive applications of either Amistar or Cabrio. In contrast, good to complete control of powdery mildew was achieved with similar applications of tebuconazole and other non-strobilurin fungicides. Downy mildew developed at both the Lenswood and Nuriootpa sites in the 2011/12 season, but was well controlled in areas sprayed with strobilurins – indicating strobilurin fungicides still have an important place in grape spray programs.

September 2013 – Issue 596

The pre-bunch closure combination for serious botrytis management Experienced grape growers know the combination of SWITCH® and PROCLAIM® at pre-bunch closure will save real headaches later in the season.

Talk to your local distributor today about Syngenta’s solutions. For further information please call the Syngenta Technical Product Advice Line on 1800 067 108 or visit our website at au. The information contained in this document is believed to be accurate. No responsibility is accepted in respect of this information, save those non-excludable conditions implied by any Federal or State legislation or law of a Territory. ® Registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company. AD12/314


STROBILURIN-resistant powdery mildew in Chardonnay grapes where strobilurins had not been applied according to recommendations.

THE LESSONS LEARNED? These two cases showed strobilurinresistant strains of powdery mildew can develop quickly, and can result in significant crop loss if only strobilurin products are applied in a season. To avoid crop losses due to the development of fungicide resistant strains, powdery mildew spray programs need to be carefully planned and include several activity groups.

STROBILURIN fungicides will continue to provide useful control of powdery mildew – provided their use is restricted to one or two sprays per season, and they are always applied as a mixture with another registered powdery mildew fungicide with a different mode of activity.

different combinations of product and spray timing. Many of the spray programs included one or two applications of Cabrio at flowering – either alone, or with the first flowering-spray tank-mixed with Filan. The reasoning behind this was Cabrio at flowering is one of the most effective sprays for controlling downy mildew; however it was uncertain how these applications would impact on powdery mildew control.



The strobilurin-resistant powdery mildew in Chardonnay vines at both Lenswood and Nuriootpa provided an ideal opportunity to evaluate different spray programs for controlling resistant strains. In the 2011/12 season, a number of different fungicides were evaluated – in

• In untreated Chardonnay vines most leaves and bunches were severely mildewed, with severity values of 93% developing on bunches. • In vines treated with sulphur before and after flowering – plus two applications of either Cabrio or Flint at flowering – the sulphur sprays

44 Grapegrower & Winemaker

provided good control of leaf powdery mildew, but the strobilurins did not control bunch infection. • Better control of bunch infection was achieved when the first floweringspray was a tank mix of Filan and Cabrio. • Similarly effective powdery mildew control was achieved in programs where the first two sulphur sprays were replaced with either Vivando or Legend. • Other programs including Legend, Filan, Prosper or Vivando and sulphur also provided good control of powdery mildew on leaves and bunches.

NURIOOTPA TRIAL Tank mixtures of Filan and Cabrio as the first flowering-spray, followed by a single Cabrio application were evaluated in programs with the first two sprays being either sulphur, Vivando or Legend. All programs included sulphur as the final two sprays. • In the unsprayed vines, powdery mildew developed extensively, with more than 70% of leaves and bunches diseased. • All of the trialled spray programs provided complete, or almost complete, control of powdery mildew.

OTHER TRIALS • Powdery mildew was controlled where Talendo was applied before and after the Filan/Cabrio flowering sprays, with sulphur and Rubigan included in the program. • Another new fungicide Flute provided good control of powdery mildew when

September 2013 – Issue 596

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Talk to your local distributor today about Syngenta’s solutions. For further information please call the Syngenta Technical Product Advice Line on 1800 067 108 or visit The information contained in this document is believed to be accurate. No responsibility is accepted in respect of this information, save those non-excludable conditions implied by any Federal or State legislation or law of a Territory. ® Registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. ™Trademark of a Syngenta Group Company. AD13/492

grapegrowing applied twice in programs including a total of six fungicide applications, and various combinations of other fungicides such as sulphur, Prosper, and Cabrio.


application with an effective powdery mildew fungicide from a different activity group – to prevent resistant strains from building up and causing economic losses. A number of powdery mildew fungicides are suitable mixing partners for the strobilurin flowering-sprays. Filan, for example – the product we used in many of our trials – has excellent activity against powdery mildew as well as Botrytis bunch rot. As a result, three major diseases – powdery mildew, downy mildew and Botrytis bunch rot – are controlled with a tank mix of two products applied at the one time of flowering. Another is Flute, a new fungicide shown to provide excellent control of powdery mildew when applied in two sprays around flowering, and reported overseas to control strobilurin-resistant strains of powdery mildew.

downy mildew control. A new project funded by GWRDC is investigating resistance in Australian vineyards. A collaboration between scientists from SARDI, Charles Sturt University, Curtin University, DAFWA, AWRI, University of Adelaide and industry partners, the project aims to provide comprehensive information on the fungicide sensitivity of the three key pathogens affecting Australian vineyards – powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis – and their distribution. This information will contribute to improved fungicide-resistance management strategies through collaboration with CropLife, agrichemical companies and the industry. Maintaining the effectiveness of all fungicide groups will contribute significantly to reducing the economic and environmental impact of disease in Australian viticulture for the future.

These trials showed strobilurin-resistant powdery mildew can be controlled by a spray program including three or more fungicides, each with a different mode of activity. The trials also showed including a strobilurin fungicide at flowering to control downy mildew does not compromise the control of powdery mildew in resistant situations – provided the strobilurin is applied with an unrelated fungicide. Strobilurin fungicides will continue to provide useful control of powdery mildew – provided their use is restricted to one or two sprays per season, and they are always applied as a mixture FUTURE RESEARCH with another registered powdery mildew The development of strobilurin-resistant fungicide with a different mode of strains of downy mildew in Australian activity. vineyards may be the next challenge. Trevor Wicks, formerly South Australian Research According to recent visiting Cornell Further work needs to be done in and Development Institute (SARDI). Barbara Hall, Senior Research Scientist – Horticulture Pathology, University professor Dr Wayne Wilcox, this area – particularly to determine the SARDI. Doug Wilson, Research & Development it is common practice for many US appropriate mixing partners and spray Coordinator, Nufarm Australia Ltd. (03) 9282 3 2 6 4 5 _ v 2 C R T 1 3 We K n o w . p d f Pa ge 1 1 4 / 0 8 / 1 3 , 1 0 : Projects 3 6 A M 1427. 0427 806 386. grapegrowers to tank mix any strobilurin timings when using strobilurins for

Viticulture Talk to your CRT Local Bloke about controlling black spot, downy mildew and botrytis this season. Your CRT Local Bloke can help you protect your grapevines from fungal diseases with Cavalry® Weatherguard. Containing 720 g/L chlorothalonil and a superior surfactant system, Cavalry Weatherguard spreads and sticks over the treated area to provide lasting disease control. • Longer lasting protectant activity for a broad spectrum of diseases • Minimal impact on beneficial insects and mites • Group M5 fungicide with multi-site activity for resistance management. XAVIER_RHL32645_0813 XAVIER_RHL32645_0813

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46 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596

Rookie supplier scoops the pool as a Brown Brothers grapegrower Broadacre farmer Bryan Ellis expanded his business to include winegrapes and in just a few years has gone from fledgling vines to crowning glory as the provider of high-quality grapes to one of Victoria’s most established and high-profile brands.

Grapegrower Bryan Ellis is a genuine Mr Ninety Percenter. Running 60ha at Colbinabbin in Victoria, north of Heathcote, he said 90 Taking advantage of the famed local Cambrian soils in 1999, when he planted his per cent of his success is due to the deep first vines, Bryan Ellis is now 90 per cent Shiraz with varieties including Cabernet red Cambrian soils in which he grows and Merlot making up the balance of his 60 ha vineyard. his vines. Ellis’ daughter Raelene and husband Paul Flanagan also tap into the premium Of which 90 per cent are dedicated grape production to bottle their own Ellis Wines boutique label, with neighbour Guy to Shiraz, the signature variety of the Rathjen filling the role as winemaker. region. But even Mr Ninety Percenter admitted Experience has shown Ellis 7.5 tonnes of grapes to the hectare is the magic mark – to being 100 per cent “stunned” when he he says if you go beyond that your quality is the first thing to suffer. was named the 2013 Brown Brothers Ellis Farms also made a major capital investment with the purchase of a Pellenc grower of the year. grape harvester equipped with Selectiv’ Process in 2011. Ellis said the initial outlay Not least because he has only been was a big call for a small commercial grower to make but the lift in fruit quality had supplying the 124-year-old Brown more than justified the spend. Brothers for the past two years while 1 0 4 8 _ v 1 C R T _ N u f a r mH . p d f Pa ge 1 1 4 / 0 6 / 1 2 , 9 : 3 1 AM other growers are long-term suppliers

At a glance: •

• •


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• May be mixed with oils to control mites in vines prior to bud-burst Available in an easy to handle 15kg bag. Talk to your CRT Local Bloke or email and find out how Microthiol Disperss can benefit you.

There’s always better value at CRT.

September 2013 – Issue 596

Grapegrower & Winemaker



and have not been so lucky. A lifelong broadacre farmer, Ellis only took advantage of the famed local soils in 1999 when he planted his first vines, with varieties including Cabernet and Merlot making up the balance of his vineyard.

“And we are all about quality, not quantity, at Ellis Farms and the 70 tonnes we deliver to Brown Brothers is amongst the best we do,” he said. “But I am the first to admit we were incredibly lucky in getting the land we have because a good part of it is the pick of the Cambrian soils along the ridge in our area. “There is a lot of talk about these soils, and a lot of people lay claim to having some, but the real thing is not as common as many would have you think.” Ellis said with 90 per cent in the ground beneath his feet, the rest of his success is down to a mix of management and technology. And said William Francis, his vineyard manager for the past two years, was playing a key role in the progress of Ellis Farms as a serious player in the winegrape market. Ellis Farms also made a major capital investment with the purchase of a Pellenc grape harvester equipped with Selectiv’ Process in 2011.


“I’ve been farming 45 years but it was a long time before I saw the opportunity to try winegrapes,” Ellis said. “Before that it was cereals, livestock and we even grew tomatoes for Heinz until they upped stumps and moved to New Zealand,” he said. “We don’t grow as many of them these days but we do have our own processing facility where we turn them into semidried tomatoes for the export market, Japan in particular.” Brown Brothers has been a regular Especially as his daughter Raelene and buyer in the Heathcote region for many husband Paul Flanagan were accessing years but only went after the grapes on their fair share to bottle their own Ellis Ellis Farm in 2012. Wines boutique label, with neighbour In between Ellis had been hawking Guy Rathjen filling the role as winemaker. his grapes around a variety of smaller “Experience has shown us 7.5 tonnes operations but once the quality of his of grapes to the hectare is the magic mark fruit was established he found his annual MAJOR INVESTMENT – go beyond that and your quality is the production of 450 tonnes simply did not Ellis said the initial outlay was a big call 3 2 6 4 1 _ v 3 C R T 1 3 F a r mo z . p d f Pa ge 1 1 4 / 0 8 / 1 3 , 1 0 : 0 5 AM first thing to suffer,” Ellis said. go far enough. for a small commercial grower to make

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48 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596

but said the lift in fruit quality had more than justified the spend. He said he believed it not only contributed to his success with the Brown Brothers award, it also increased the amount of his grapes purchased by the company. “The Selectiv’ Process machine is equipped with an on-board, high frequency linear de-stemmer and sorting table which allows our fruit to be delivered to the winery virtually MOGfree and ready for the fermenter or press,” Ellis said. “Our grapes were handpicked by contractors before we got the Pellenc and now we have neighbours asking us to help pick their fruit,” he said. “It was never our intention to contract with the machine, but the demand has been so great, it has been hard to refuse. “And the extra income has been helpful in justifying the machine’s purchase.” Pellenc Australia managing director Louise Fraser agreed there has been a lot of interest in the machine, with many people commenting on the quality of the fruit. Fraser said it has also had an impact on other growers in the region, with some wineries insisting on an improvement in fruit quality, based on what they have seen from the Selectiv’ Process machine’s output.


areas, with one for Tasmania, another for King Valley and the third, of course, for Ellis’ Heathcote region. Being named Brown Brothers grower of the year is more than “But for me the biggest thrill of the night was hearing Ross just the title. Brown thanking us for the quality of fruit we are supplying him The prize includes a two-week trip to the US and, as Ellis and his business.” said, “it also means they will take our grapes next year”. Contact: Bryan Ellis, Ellis Farms, Colbinabbin. Phone: 0407 Brown Brothers is also planning a new label series to 3 2 8 8 8 _ v 1 CRT 1 3 Du p o n t . p d f Pa ge 1 1 3 / 0 8 / 1 3 , 1 2 : 2 5 PM 843 700. celebrate the success of some of its specialist grape producing

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September 2013 – Issue 596

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Organic control options a dark future for the light brown apple moth With its significant potential for economic damage to grapevines and fruit, a paper by researcher Russell Moss analyses strategies for deterring this invasive pest. spring generation can feed on the flowers The light brown and newly-set berries and the summer apple moth is a pest generation feeds on the fruit as well as native to Australia but moving into the clusters before bunch can now be found in Pests & closure. New Zealand, the UK diseases When the caterpillars hatch they roll and US and Ireland. the plant leaves and form a web of silk LBAM is a leaf roller around the leaves and fruit. about 9mm long, pale brown and the adult This webbing forms a shelter within males have dark brown/black splotches which they can feed on the leaves of the on the back of their wings (figure 1). plant. The earliest LBAM instars feed on The moth is seldom seen during the the abaxial leaf surfaces at the shoot tip. day as it is most active at dusk and dawn. The first instar (growth stage) is The moth lays eggs in spring and summer approximately 1.5mm and the last instar in batches of about 30-50 at a time. can reach 10mm in length (figure 2). There are approximately three The stage of growth of the caterpillar generations of LBAM per year. can be roughly determined by the The winter generation can cause a area of the plant on which it feeds. problem for grapevines at budburst, The caterpillars move from the top of as the caterpillar can crawl onto the D P 1 5 6 0 _ G W_ 1 3 0 x 1 8 5 . p d f Pa ge 1 1 8 / 0 7 / 1 2 , 3 : 2 2 shoots to the bottom of shoots as they vine and eat the developing shoots. The

progress through their life stages. LBAM is polyphagous and has the ability to feed on more than 2000 susceptible host species. The main vineyard issue presented by LBAM comes from its invasion of the fruit. By boring into fruit LBAM provides wounds susceptible to infection by Boytrytis cinera, Aspergillus and Aectobacter (Nicholas et al., 2007).

BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS CONTROL Bacillus thuringiensis var. Kurstaki is a Bt subspecies is a naturally occurring insecticide which attacks LBAM and leaves its natural enemies unharmed. However, Bt is not selective, as it may have detrimental effects upon native PM butterflies.

Soil good enough to bottle. Raise a glass to Kocide® Opti,™ featuring the BioActive™ copper technology. This technology has created a copper that is so active, you only need to apply a fraction of the amount of copper than other fungicides, to protect against Downy mildew. Which means your soil and the surrounding environment will be better off. What’s more, Kocide® Opti™ has the same fantastic mixing and handling benefits as Kocide® Blue Xtra.™ To find out more, visit

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ALWAYS REFER TO THE LABEL BEFORE USE. Copyright © 2012 E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates. All rights reserved. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPontTM, The miracles of science®, Kocide®, OptiTM and XtraTM are trademarks or registered trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates. Du Pont (Australia) Ltd. 7 Eden Park Drive, Macquarie Park NSW 2113. ACN 000 716 469. DP1560/GW

50 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596

Bt is a gram positive bacterium which, when consumed by LBAM, interferes with digestion and the insect soon dies of hunger after consumption of Bt. Bacillus thuringiensis has been the focus of a large amount of research. However a lot of this research has been negative towards the effectiveness of Bt. In fact, many farmers find the effectiveness of Bt to be variable at best. Bailey et al. (1996) found Bt was relatively ineffectual in controlling LBAM because the larvae would stop feeding on Bt-treated leaves and find unaffected leaves instead. Further, this study suggests the exposure of Bt to ultraviolet light causes a rapid degradation of the bacterium. Further, the Bt half life is about two days (Beegle et al., 1981). However with the development of more effective UV stabilisers and UV tolerant mutant Bt strains, Bt sprays may become more effective.

PHEROMONE MATING DISRUPTION Pheromone mating disruption is exactly as it sounds. The female LBAM

releases natural bio-chemicals, known as pheromones, which attract male mates. When an abundance of these pheromones are released into the environment, it disrupts this communication and makes it difficult for the males to find mating partners. This will eventually lead to the male moth dying without having reproduced. This pheromone has been recommended by the US Department of Agriculture as a means of control of the recent invasion of LBAM in the US. Further, these pheromones are selective and don’t affect natural enemies of the pest. Suckling and Shaw (1995) found high doses of a Lepidopteran pheromone can confuse the male LBAM and reduce mating. In turn, the reduction in mating has caused a significant reduction in the LBAM population when compared to a control. However, some believe pheromone disruption is not viable as it interferes with LBAM monitoring systems. These LBAM monitoring systems use attracticides in the form of pheromones. By emitting large amounts of pheromones into the

At a glance: • The leaf-rolling light brown apple moth is a native pest but has spread its trail of destruction as far afield as New Zealand and the UK and US. • The winter generation can cause a problem for grapevines at budburst, as the caterpillar can eat the developing shoots. The spring generation feeds on flowers and newly-set berries and the summer generation feeds on the fruit as well as moving into clusters before bunch closure. • LBAM’s main threat in the vineyard comes from invasion of fruit. By boring into the fruit it provides wounds susceptible to infection by Boytrytis cinera, Aspergillus and Aectobacter • Although conventional means of LBAM control are effective, they can have detrimental effects on unintended targets, including beneficial insects and humans. • The organic methods which have been presented have not only have been shown to be effective to varying degrees, but have also been shown to have a solid scientific and ecological foundation.

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Grapegrower & Winemaker 51 19/08/13 1:07 PM

grapegrowing environment for mating disruption, it would likely render these pheromonebased monitoring systems irrelevant. Contemporary pest management strategies (IPM) call for pest monitoring and action based upon detection of a pest or disease so if you can’t monitor for LBAM due to the release of lepidopteran pheromones, it would become difficult to follow this rule.

HABITAT MANIPULATION Habitat manipulation is a simple concept which involves a complex ecosystem. The success of classical bio-control methods for pest mediation is less than 10% (Gurr & Wratten, 2000). However, by using habitat manipulation you can enhance the native beneficial organisms and success rate of bio-control can be vastly greater. By creating an environment conducive to the natural enemy of a pest, you theoretically increase the enemy population within an area in which it they are agronomically beneficial. Steve Wrat ten (persona l communication, 2011) uses the acronym SNAP (shelter, nectar, alternative food and pollen) when describing an effective habitat manipulation program for

increasing beneficial biota. The use of flowering plants to provide resource subsidies for parasites of a given pest has been the focus of many publications. Research has shown planting a flowering plant such as alyssum or buckwheat in the inter-row spaces of a vineyard can effectively increase the population of Dolichogenidea tasmanica, a parasitoid of LBAM larvae (figure 3) (Berndt & Wratten, 2005; Berndt et al., 2002). New Zealand vineyard research found planting buckwheat in the interrow spaces can increase the number of parasitoids (D. tasmanica). However, this research also examined the rate of parasitism of the leaf roller and found no significant difference between the parasitism rates of the control and the buckwheat sown rows. But this study also found when a second generation of D. tasmanica was produced there were significantly more females than in the first generation. This greater proportion of females provides a greater possibility of increased LBAM parasitism (Berndt et al., 2002). Berndt et al. (2006) conducted a study which examined parasitism rates of LBAM in two Marlborough vineyards in

Eggs laid on leaves after spraying are killed

Eggs already on leaves at spraying are killed Controls caterpillars

which buckwheat had been sown down the inter-rows. It found an increase in the parasitism rate of more than 50% in the buckwheat sown plots when compared to the control. Researchers also found an increase in parasitism, but were unable to demonstrate if it had a significant effect on the LBAM population due to an unexpected end to the study, brought on by a severe drought preventing a second flowering of buckwheat. A 2005 experiment examined the relationship between the provision of alyssum flowers to D. tasmanica and the longevity, fecundity and sex ratio of the population. It has shown when female D. tasmanica had access to the nutritional subsidies of alyssum, their lifespan increased, on average, seven times more than female parasitoids which did not have access to the flower. Also, male D. tasmanica had an average lifespan increase of three times when they had access to alyssum. The study also found an increase in fecundity; however this is likely due to the increased lifespan, as the parasite had more time to attack their respective hosts. Furthermore, the study demonstrated

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52 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596

by providing D. tasmanica with a flower source they were able to equilibrate the sex ratio between the insects (Berndt & Wratten, 2005). Amongst producers who do plant inter-row buckwheat it is common practice to sow buckwheat every 10 rows. This practice is largely due to a study conducted by Scarratt et al. (2008) which demonstrates D. tasmanica can venture as far as 30m from the food source, buckwheat. Therefore, because the average distance between vineyard rows in NZ is 2-3m buckwheat, at most, should be planted every 10 inter-rows. As shown by this research, it is possible to decrease LBAM through increased parasitism due to the inclusion of a flowering plant. However, grape growing is a business and like any business must examine the economic impact of employing this pestmanagement strategy. Fortunately Dr Sam Scarratt monitored the proportion of grape bunches at harvest which were infested with LBAM during a three-year study. This revealed the clusters which came from the buckwheat-sown treatment were below the economic threshold for LBAM infestation (<5%).

In this study the bunches harvested within the control treatment were found to be above the acceptable proportion of LBAM infestation (>5%) (Figure 6) (Barnes et al. 2010).

CONCLUSION Although conventional means of LBAM control are effective, they can have detrimental effects on unintended targets, including beneficial insects and humans. In the past, organophosphates were the industrially preferred method of LBAM control. However these highly-effective means of chemical control are rapidly being removed from the market with more stringent environmental protection legislation. But the organic methods presented have not only have been shown to be effective to varying degrees, but also to have a solid scientific and ecological foundation. It would be prudent for the grapegrower to understand the ecosystem within which they work and to prepare management strategies which effectively diminish a pest issue beneath the economic threshold without causing detriment to the greater ecosystem.

There will never be one right solution to any issue in the vineyard. Therefore, it would benefit the grapegrower to examine all of the options available and to choose the method(s) which most appeal to their ethos, finances and particular issue. Habitat manipulation for LBAM control has not only been shown to be effective in diminishing LBAM vineyard populations, it has diminished the population below the accepted economic threshold. This illustrates by sowing buckwheat every 10 rows in a vineyard, relatively low-cost option; you can effectively and economically control LBAM while having a positive impact on the ecosystem. This practice should not just be considered exclusive to organicallyfarmed vineyards, as it is simply an effective means of pest control. Contact: Russell Moss, Viticultura Consulting, Cromwell, New Zealand. Phone: +61 707 291 1748 Email: jamesrussell.moss@lincolnuni.

Acknowledgments: The author would like to thank Dr. Steve Wratten for his enthusiastic review of this work.

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September 2013 – Issue 596

Grapegrower & Winemaker



New twists in an old story When the Interwinery Analysis Group gathered in Adelaide recently for a mid-year think tank Vintessential Laboratories Greg Howell got their undivided attention with his Botrytis presentation.

At a glance: • A common grey, fuzzy mould, botrytis on grapes is known widely as “grey rot” and occurs with prolonged wet weather. • The growth of botrytis on the skins of grapes can, in some instances, lead to infection by other species. Penicillium and Aspergillis niger are two relatively common organisms that can subsequently develop. This unfortunate condition is known as “vulgar rot”. • Even worse, the skins of the berries can split and microbes invade, growing on the sugars released. Subsequent fermentation can give rise to acids, particularly acetic acid. This condition is 3known 1 7 9as 6 “sour _ v 2 rot”. CRT 1 3 UPL _ Un . p

Botrytis cinerea is a common mould which occurs on many fruits. If you have ever seen strawberries with a grey fuzzy mould on them, that is Botrytis cinerea. It is the most common bunch rot in grapes(1), and as in strawberries produces a grey fuzzy mould growth. The conditions (unfortunately well known to viticulturists) required for botrytis growth are primarily wet weather. Of course this does not occur in all seasons or all regions, but it can be devastating when it does, such as in 2011.


famous botrytised sweet wines(2). The growth of botrytis on the skins of grapes can, in some instances, lead to infection by other species. Penicillium and Aspergillis niger are two relatively common organisms which can subsequently develop. This unfortunate condition is known as “vulgar rot” (2). Worse still, the skins of the berries can split and microbes such as yeasts and bacteria can invade, growing on the sugars that are released. The subsequent fermentation which may occur can give rise to acids, particularly acetic acid. This condition is known as “sour rot” (2).

The grey fuzzy growth caused by botrytis on grapes is known widely as “grey rot” and occurs with prolonged wet weather. BOTRYTIS AND WINE In certain circumstances, particularly The metabolite produced by botrytis and when wet weather is followed by dry most widely discussed is the oxidative days, botrytis can form what is known enzyme laccase, which can cause df Pa ge 1 1 3 / 0 8 / 1 3 , 1 2 : 0 5 PM as “noble rot” which gives rise to the browning of red wines.

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54 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596

metabolised during fermentation or However, there are many other wine aging(2). problems caused by botrytis which Methanol is, of course, a nasty seem to be have been ignored compound and its concentration is or neglected by oenologists and limited by law. winemakers – until now. These other metabolites include: • Glucans HOW IS BOTRYTIS MEASURED? • Glycerol (up to 25g/L) In Australia the laccase activity test(5) • Gluconic acid (up to 5 g/L) is widely used for the presence of • Methanol botrytis. • Off flavor compounds This test has some serious As well as producing these compounds, drawbacks; in fact a study is underway botrytis can cause fermentation by the AWRI to investigate issues with problems as it uses up nutrients this analysis method. and oxygen(3) in the juice normally The laccase test is also limited as utilised by the yeast for the primary it only looks at one parameter when fermentation. in fact botrytis can cause many issues Of the above metabolites, the long in wine. chain polysaccharide glucans can be There is another simple test problematic as they can cause serious commonly used and known to many issues with filtration operations(2). as the white plate test. Glycerol, while fairly innocuous, A sample of must or wine is left can also be a problem, not just due overnight (on a white plate) to see if to increased viscosity but more so browning occurs. because of the sweetness perception – This is obviously only qualitative it is about 70% as sweet as glucose(4). and does not tell a complete picture of Gluconic acid is an oxidation what is going on. product of glucose metabolism caused primarily by botrytis. What other techniques are It does add to the overall acidity of available? 3 2 8 2 4 _ v 2 CRT 1 3 UPL _ Un . p d f Pa ge 1 1 3 / 0 8 / 1 3 , the wine as importantly it is not further Other tests that can be used include:

1 2 : 1 3


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September 2013 – Issue 596

Grapegrower & Winemaker


grapegrowing • Gluconic acid by enzymatic analysis (now available from Vintessential) • % incidence Botrytis by ELISA test strip • Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen (YAN) • Glucans • Glycerol • Methanol • Acetic acid • Ethanol As can be seen from this list there are a number of good tests available to monitor the impact of Botrytis cinerea. In particular, gluconic acid is an important metabolite and has been used for many years in other wine producing countries (such as Spain, France and the US) as a marker for botrytis infection. One winery in Spain uses this test on parcels of fruit and reduces payments to growers if the gluconic acid level is above 0.6 g/L and rejects fruit on the basis of higher results(6). Due to interest initially from our Test Kit distributor in the US, a gluconic acid test kit is now available from Vintessential. ELISA based test strips have been developed to test for the presence of Botrytis. One such device commercially available in Australia (from Vintessential) is the Envirologix Quickstix strips and reader. One great advantage of these test strips is the result is in % incidence botrytis and can be directly correlated to vineyard monitoring results. This test has been used in our labs now for several years.

If grey rot is present on grapes test the following: • Gluconic acid • % Botrytis incidence by Quickstix • Laccase This will give a solid base for further decisions on the parcel of fruit concerned. If the Gluconic acid is >0.5g/L, or vineyard monitoring shows a high % botrytis incidence, also test for: • Glucans • YAN This strategy is quite simple, gives a much better overall picture than laccase testing alone, and should be easily achievable in most current winery laboratories.


5. Iland, P, et al; Monitoring the winemaking process from grapes to wine: techniques and concepts, Patrick Iland Wine Promotions, Campbelltown, SA, 2004, p88

Below is a suggested testing strategy we have developed to better monitor the impact of botrytis:

Greg Howell is founder and managing director of Vintessential Laboratories, with consulting wine laboratories in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. He can be emailed at or visit, which has a number of articles on related topics.


1. Margalit, Y; Concepts in Wine Chemistry, The Wine Appreciation Guild San Francisco, 2004, p369 2. Zoecklein, B.W, et al; Wine Analysis and Production, Aspen, New York, 1995, pp62-67 3. Boulton, R.B, et al: Principles and Practices of Winemaking, Springer, New York, 1996, p218 4. Margalit, Y; Concepts in Wine Chemistry, The Wine Appreciation Guild, San Francisco, 2004, p184

6. Santos, J; Enartis Vinquiry, Windsor, USA, personal communication

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September 2013 – Issue 596

ask the Vines: Is an oldie necessarily a goodie? Grape and wine producers often seek to understand the value of ‘old’ vines. Here are answers to two questions on this topic the AWRI is often asked. Q. Is there any evidence old vines make better wine than young ones?

A. There is no hard evidence to support the proposition old vines produce better wine than young vines. The issue is clouded because vine age per se cannot, in general, be readily separated from both the genetic material and the vineyard management system. ‘Old’ vineyards in Australia tend to be managed differently to ‘young’ vineyards. For example, in the Barossa, the former are generally ungrafted, non-selected or mass selected, vines on low trellises with no or limited irrigation etc. whereas the latter are typically clonally-selected, perhaps grafted onto rootstocks, on higher trellises with more irrigation and so on. Therefore, because an ‘old’ vineyard produces ‘better’ wine, or a different style, to a ‘young’ vineyard, may be much more a consequence of these other factors than vine age alone. Until someone does that definitive experiment where the only variable is vine age, we will not know for sure. However, there might be some characteristics possessed by ‘old’ vines which may enable them to consistently produce better wine than ‘young’ vines. For example, it is generally observed ‘older’ vines are more balanced and more in harmony with their environment, having had more time to develop a larger mass of permanent wood, particularly if cordon-trained. They might also have a more exploitative root system. More wood will mean more carbohydrate reserves and it is known these reserves are not only important in spring but also during ripening. Furthermore, the root system probably plays a major role in the determination of vine balance. Another point to consider is that, in many cases, ‘old’ vineyards are found on the best sites and thus have been retained because they have been successful. There might have been other vineyards planted at the same time as the existing old ones but because they were not successful for one reason or another they were pulled out and the land remained vacant – until someone came along much later and planted a ‘new’ vineyard on that less-desirable site. So, until an experiment is conducted where the only variable is vine age, it’s all speculation. September 2013 – Issue 596

Can you catch the Chardonnay clone? Q: I have some old vines in my vineyard, is there a way to identify the Chardonnay clone?

A. Unfortunately, without accurate documentation from when the vines were first propagated, there is no simple and reliable method for the identification of individual grape clones. Clones are selected on desirable attributes such as phenology (bunch architecture and weight, berry size etc.), productivity, flavour, aroma or disease resistance or other performance characteristics. However, the evaluation of grapevine physical attributes to identify a specific Chardonnay clone from the many possibilities would be difficult and unreliable. Some clonal differences may be due to virus load, and the virus status of a vine can be an indication of the clone. The clones identified by Waite Diagnostics

as having a specific virus ‘finger print’ are: Cabernet Sauvignon (clone SA125), Chardonnay (clone Mendoza [Gin Gin]), Viognier (clone HTK and 1968 Montpellier) and Merlot (clone D3V14). While the genetic identification of Vitis vinifera varieties is possible through DNA analysis, researchers around the world are still developing methods to help in the genetic identification of clones. At the AWRI, genome assembly and comparative genomic analysis are beginning to shed light on the relationship between Chardonnay clones and how genetic variation gives rise to phenotypic variation. Hopefully, we will soon have genetic markers allowing us to distinguish between grapevine clones in a simple and reliable test. Grape and wine producers can seek additional information through contacting the Australian Wine Research Institute on email: au or phone: (08) 8313 6600. Grapegrower & Winemaker



Get on top of downy mildew now For grapegrowers in southern NSW, south-east South Australia and most of Victoria the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a greater than 80 per cent chance of rainfall to the end of October exceeding the long-term median. Climatic conditions driving this outlook include a negative Indian Ocean Dipole, a neutral-to-cool tropical Pacific and warm sea surface temperatures around much of Australia. Syngenta South Australian (southern) territory sales manager Warren Burgess said the industry needs to be aware and able to respond to these potential developments. “Meteorological predictions are an important tool in our management and decision making process,” he said. “If this forecast is realised, it means the probability of conditions conducive to the development of downy mildew are more likely to develop. “While we have a range of products to deal with this disease, I think growers also look to us for advice on the most cost-effective solutions. “And there’s no doubt when it comes to downy mildew prevention is better than cure.” Burgess said in the past growers have seen high downy mildew pressure cause extraordinary demand for curative fungicides, which can be expensive in comparison to a robust preventative program. He said in its submission to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary

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Medicines Authority, Syngenta demonstrated REVUS has efficacy equal to or better than industry standards when used on grapevines for the prevention of downy mildew. “I see REVUS as a superior ‘new generation’ protectant,” Burgess added. “It binds quickly to the waxy cuticle of the leaf and moves through the leaf surface,” he said. “Unlike traditional protectant fungicides like mancozeb, copper, captan and metiram, once locked in, REVUS is rainfast. “Important lessons have been learnt in the past two years, especially in 2010/2011 when downy mildew pressure was extreme.

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“In light of the current forecast, I’d recommend growers review their spray program now, with a focus on a proactive management strategy.” REVUS should be applied at 10 to 21 day intervals as part of an integrated Downy Mildew control program before the first sign of infection. It is important to note the shorter intervals should be used during periods of rapid vine growth or when conditions are more conducive to downy mildew development. Spray intervals of more than 14 days should only be used once significant new growth had ceased. Contact: Warren Burgess. Email:

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September 2013 – Issue 596

Easing the crush at harvest time This month Blair Hanel looks at two different wineries, one in New Zealand and the other in South Australia, to see how each has implemented new crushing/de-stemming and pressing initiatives into processing. The first interview is Blenheim’s VinLink Winery, in the heart of the Marlborough region on the South Island where Dave Pearce and his team built a greenfields site and evaluated Vineyard their crushing and pressing requirements. machinery The second interview visits Shaw and Smith, a premium wine producer in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. In vintage 2013 this business installed a new de-stemmer and sorting line to handle ultra-premium fruit. Dave, can you give us a bit of the history, how did you get involved with the VinLink project and how did VinLink itself come about?

DP: VinLink is the result of a partnership between two North Island businesses already involved in the contract winemaking space. They worked on the idea for several years and felt there was an opportunity to start a Marlborough company 100% committed to processing for its customers. In other words there was no stake in fruit, juice, wine or broking, just working for the client. I came onto the project in July 2012 at the point we were starting the construction phase and have overseen the building of the winery, staffing, systems and now the successful 2013 vintage. This was a massive project to undertake – how did you decide to use Della Toffola as your main provider for the fruit processing equipment for the new VinLink Winery?

DP: I’ve come from a winemaking background having used the traditional mix of French, German and Italian crushers and presses, but not Della Toffola. Our North Island owners have both had experience with DT and more than anything it was the combination of price, simplicity, speed and effectiveness that convinced them DT was the best option.

Dave Pearce – General Manager Winery: VinLink Marlborough Location: Blenheim, South Island, New Zealand Project: New winery/contract processing plant for Vintage 2013


Please give us an overview of the equipment purchased.

DP: We have three grape receival lanes coming off one large ramp split into 3 x 25 tonne tipping bins. Each tipping bin tips into a DT 100 tonne per hour de-stemmer- crusher then must pump. The must is fed to 6 x DT central membrane presses linked to each de-stemmer. Juice is transferred via DT heat exchanges and is warmed for batch flotation. The fridge and heating plant is also DT. Our other major investment is the DT CFKN 130m2 ceramic membrane cross-flow filter. How many tonnes were actually put through the new facility for 2013?

DP: We put through 11,000 tonne which was less than our goal but apparently still making it the biggest first vintage in a New Zealand winery.

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DP: 3 x NDC 100 Della Toffola de-stemmer crushers. How was the overall performance in regards to tonnage throughputs?

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As industrial a setting as you can find at any modern winery, the Della Toffola at VinLink has achieved an optimum processing rate of 25 tonnes per hour per lane – and can do it continuously if necessary.

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De-stemming performance – what was the separation of the Rachis like?

DP: The de-stemmers have no problems producing clean fruit. Have the de-stemmers been easy to clean?

DP: Very easy to clean indeed.

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With regards to the Della Toffola central membrane presses: What were the sizes of the membrane press installed?

DP: 3 x 200HL PEC and 3 x 240HL PEC Della Toffola Presses. How did you assess the overall performance of the central membrane presses in relation to the points below: PLC ease of use?

DP: Extremely easy to use – our operators loved the touch screens. Overall Yields?

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DP: Very good and considering the low pressures and short press times quite remarkable. Juice quality?

DP: Very good. There’s always a cloud over the cleaning aspects of the central membrane presses – how did you rate the cleaning process?

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DP: Yes, it’s difficult to clean well, particularly in our case as they are suspended high over the marc bay, but I’ve found all membrane presses hard to clean. What important factors have you learnt from the whole experience and what simple significant steps could you share with our readers in evaluating their crushing and de-stemming requirements?

DP: I do have a few thoughts from seeing the odd mistake over the years: • Fruit receival should be designed like a cone; the truck on the ramp is at the smallest point and should be the limiting factor. Every step thereafter should be of larger and larger capacity in order to keep to the optimum processing rate you set. Any hold-ups get caught up by the next step in the process or you’re going to be stopping harvesters when you have the slightest problem. • It’s very easy to limit intake capacity to the bare minimum and justify it on the short period we use it for. This year we had a very tight vintage in Marlborough and as a result VinLink took in fruit in a condensed timeframe. The design criteria for our intake was “all in in two weeks”. Many folks would have laughed at that six months ago but it’s probably paid for a few of those presses already. • Remember where your money comes from. In our case it’s very obvious because if we don’t bring in our client’s fruit we obviously don’t make a processing fee. It is no different though in any winery, more so if that winery owns the fruit. Always make sure you can get the vintage in in a comfortable timeframe, no matter what. It is complete lunacy that most wineries skimp on receival when risk management dictates it’s one of the most critical parts of the business. • I recall the story of a local contract winemaker having to forklift a client’s Range Rover (holding his space) off his receival ramp during a particularly trying vintage. Adequate and effective fruit receival set-ups may take some of the fun out of vintage but they’re worth it. September 2013 – Issue 596

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grapegrowing What key performance indicators influenced you in purchasing the new Bucher Vaslin Oscillys and what other equipment did you have purchase to feed and exit the machine?

Adam Wadewitz – Senior Winemaker

AW: We were looking to get whole berries from bunches and leave over-ripe and under-ripe berries behind.

Winery: Shaw & Smith Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia

How does this de-stemmer differ in production from the standard de-stemmers on the market?

Project: Whole bunch processing with the new Bucher Vaslin Oscillys De-stemmer

AW: It uses the weight of the bunch to pass down the de-stemmer – as opposed to being pushed along by fingers/ beaters. How does it work exactly – I know there is a “two part” operating procedure to the machine with the de-stemming function, then the rollers?

AW: Bunches are received at the top of the machine, bunches slide along two de-stemming cages which oscillate back and forth at an adjustable speed. Berries plus stems fall onto a screen that allow berries to fall through into bin (to be fork lifted to fermenter) and stems are carried away to back of machine by rollers falling into a separate waste bin.

How has the performance been over your cross reference of varieties?

When it comes to cleaning, how hard or easy is it?

AW: Definitely variable across varieties and even blocks – oscillation speed allows for appropriate adjustment.

AW: Easy and robust.

Did you manage to measure the amount of waste removed and the cleanliness of the de-stemmed fruit?

AW: Definitely, although there may have been a risk of leaving too many berries on the rachis’ if you had small berries on bunches and running the Oscillys slowly.

AW: The waste was minimal, but the fruit sample was outstanding

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62 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596

Della Toffola’s state-of-the-art installation at VinLink has three grape receival lanes coming off one large ramp split into 3 x 25 tonne tipping bins.

How did the Delta Oscillys fit into the existing fruit receival area?

AW: Fairly well, all moveable and flexible - the fall of the winery floor does need to be considered when looking at purchasing this type of equipment. Does the Delta Oscillys need a constant feed – much like the traditional de-stemmer?

AW: Yes, very important and harder to get right then a traditional de-stemmer –

some blockages at the top of the Oscillys were an initial problem. Has it lived up to your overall expectations?

AW: It’s a good machine and will continue to evolve Do you see this type of technology taking off in the Australian and New Zealand wine industries?

AW: I think like everything with wine,

you will need to know what suits your winery and your situation. This machine will definitely work for some situations. Blair Hanel, HANEL Consulting, has been working in the wine industry for almost 30 years with a background in production, winemaking, engineering and sales. Vintages conducted in South Australia, Victoria, NSW and France have enabled him to assess production values and ideas. His passion lies in establishing benchmarks for Australian wineries so they can strive to make the best wine by minimising water and waste, and establishing world’s best practise concepts. Blair can be contacted on 0447 815 482.


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Grapegrower & Winemaker



Plan your irrigation with satellite technology Vineyards can now make the most of the space race by tapping into the massive amount of data being generated Irrigation by satellites – those unseen eyes in the sky. With satellites from NASA, Japan, the EU and even Australia circling the globe and endlessly recording images of earth’s surface the database provides everything from historic imagery to real time mapping. Data which Prohort’s Paul Guertsen says can provide a valuable resource for generating an assessment of “spatial differences in vegetative growth at specific points in time”. Guertsen said vineyards can build a profile of average conditions both for specific times and throughout the year. “Specifically, this imagery allows you to match irrigation to crop performance, showing where it is falling down,” he said. “This has already been used extensively, and successfully, in the nut

industry and with vineyards so reliant on irrigation will deliver the same valuable analysis. “It means growers will be able to link average crop growth assessment to irrigation system performance.” Guertsen said the process involves collection of imagery from specific times of the year from a sequence of recent years or across a range of specific wet, dry and average seasons for processing to generate both season specific and average crop vigour assessment. He said with good individual block crop history and irrigation information, the average crop vigour can be generated for specific crop types. At the same time it can also be used to simply exclude specific years for individual blocks or used to identify productivity trends for specific seasonal conditions. “Data is initially processed at farm scale before being re-processed at individual block scale according to requirements,” Guertsen said. “The resulting maps show the spatial

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patterns in average crop and inter-row growth from specific times,” he said. “Using a process such as this allows for detailed assessment of systems operations and site variations. “And better understanding of continued next page

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Know More Control More September 2013 – Issue 596


Rory McCuaig began his horticulture career in 1993 employed as an apprentice

and working as an amenity horticulturist in Australia and Europe. He returned to Australia in 1998 and enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Science at Charles Sturt University from where he branched out to the Hunter Valley, Canberra and several NSW districts in various roles from senior operator to vineyard management. Today he works with Agrium providing advice to growers in multiple wine-growing regions around NSW.

machinery. A fleet of Fendt tractors would be one collective direction I made, the other was a high-quality pre-pruner with attachments to suit the vineyard in question. So long as the budget allows, I always encourage my clients to make the best investment possible.

What inspired you to work in viticulture and how have you got where you are now?

My grandfather was a farmer and I’ve met some very encouraging professionals along the way. Realistically I’ve always had a passion for growing “food” and wine fits nicely into that category. Devoting my time and energy to the wine industry over the past 14 years has given me the experience I needed to work as a multi-district viticulturist.

What has been the best business decision you have made for your business?

Corporate sponsorship. My role with Agrium allows me to service clients in more than six NSW districts, nearly all of them cool climate, which allows me to see many vineyards and get to know the business models of every one of them. I tailor my service to suit them and I think both the immediate industry benefits from it as much as I do.

What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most, or get the most satisfaction from?

Drinking the finished product at bottling. I also like to see “my” growers with a smile at the end of the season. I really enjoy that. Who do you think is the most influential person in the wine industry today?

There are so many people whose roles are so important I don’t think anyone could really single just one of them out.

What do you like to do when you’re not working the in vineyard?

What is your favourite time in the vineyard and why?

Actually being at home, spending time with my dog and enjoying the countryside with friends and family.

Spring and autumn. Spring because it’s probably the best time to work out if your vines are vegetatively balanced (and then do something about it). Autumn is a great time for reflection on the past vintage – and a great time to photograph the colours. Tell us about your most memorable winetasting experience?

A University wine tasting many years ago, there were also numerous dinners I attended in the Hunter Valley which were memorable. Not only was the wine an eye opener, but the company was also enjoyable. Museum chardonnays were a highlight, stretching from the mid 1980s to the late ’90s vintages.

from previous page production variations allows greater target specific locations for further field investigation, or the division of blocks into zones for targeted monitoring, assessment or management. “At the same time, in addition to this continuously growing catalogue of archive satellite imagery, it is also possible to co-ordinate the planned September 2013 – Issue 596

What keeps you awake at night?

Getting to sleep is not such a problem but snapping awake at 3am wondering if I’d shut the irrigation off is. It’s a rude shock and it’s very hard to drop off again after that. How do you de-stress after vintage?

A hot bath, cigar and single malt whiskey. And the Seychelles, there’s always the Seychelles. Trouble is it’s a long flight to get there. What was the last big ticket equipment purchase for your business and would you recommend the equipment to colleagues?

Because my role is to service clients at the “whole of farm” level, I do advise on

capture of new imagery. “If you have areas where you know you should have a better crop, for example, and the only variable is irrigation, this satellite imagery will show you.” Contact: Paul Guertsen, Prohort. Phone: 0407 658 105. Email: paulg@

From a research and development perspective is there one piece of research which has really influenced you, or your directions in viticulture?

Not one piece no. But many, many put together which forms an approach to viticulture for the future. I think that research regarding cool climate effect on berry composition is the most interesting, because it’s so important to produce exactly the characters in the fruit that the winemakers want. This will vary for fruit to go to different markets of course but being able to disseminate how to achieve this is what drives me in my career. The Ark question. The world is flooding so which two wines (red and white) would you take onto the Ark?

Let’s see, lately I’ve been very impressed by a couple of Hilltops Cabernets and Shiraz. For white, well I can’t beat Chalkers Crossing Chardonnay from Tumbarumba fruit. It is really outstanding.

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Grapegrower & Winemaker


winemaking Riverina winery’s history of success Grahame Whyte catches up with the third generation of the Miranda Wines family and discovers while the structure may have changed over the years the passion for producing fine wines remains just as strong BY THE TIME the first issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker appeared in December, 1963, Miranda Wines had already been in business for more than a quarter of a century. Today third-generation winemaker Sam Miranda said he looked forward to seeing new issues of the magazine. “Every copy I get I read from front to back,” he said. “You will read something and then follow it up on the website and follow up products. “It’s more the snippets of information you get as you go through ¬the articles which are very informative. “Grapegrower & Winemaker is the industry network magazine and as far as my winery knowledge and keeping up to date with things, 85 per cent of it would come through the magazine.” Sam’s grandfather Francesco started the family winery business in 1939.



Jim, Lou and Sam Miranda share a moment outside Miranda Wines back in 1998 before both Lou and Sam set up on their own – but still flying the family flag.

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“We knew him as ‘Pop’, Miranda said. “When the war started he was interned and sent to Darwin where the local guards said ‘you’re Italian,¬ you know how to make wine’ and basically, that’s how he got started. “On his return to Griffith he made wine for the local Italians and migrants. It was the same time as the De Bortolis and Rosettos were also establishing themselves. “My father, Sam snr was the oldest of the brothers. He was born in 1939 and started in the business straight from school. “He would load the ute and trailer up with flagons and travel the country until the wine was sold, then come back and load up again. “They had a few vineyards along the way, but the focus was definitely on making wine. “I remember visiting Dad during vintage working the pot still – the spirit was used around the region to make fortified wines.”

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September 2013 – Issue 596

Next generation: Sam Miranda and family, from left, are Arabella, Rachel, Ellegra, Sam and Caterina. He is hoping there is another generation of Miranda winemakers amongst his children.

After the war, many Europeans migrated to the area to work for the new soldier settlers who were given plots of land in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA). By the ’50s and ’60s the hardworking Italians were buying up the farms on which they had originally worked. As well as grapes a large quantity of fruit and vegies was being grown in the region. The migrants wanted wine they were used to in the old

The winery was crushing up to 30,000t at its peak – it was in the top 10 wineries in the 80s and 90s. country, so De Bortolis, Rossettos and Miranda were kept busy supplying them with table wine. The domestic market was more into drinking fortified wines, such as port and sherry. “The family obviously grew but Dad was always in marketing and sales, while the other two brothers were involved in the production side,” Miranda said. “The big one I guess was the launch in 1977 of the Golden Gate brand ¬ that was when the love affair with America started, with sparkling, passion pop and similar wine products. “Together with the fortified wines, they were the main products for Miranda through the ’70s.” At its peak the winery was crushing up to 30,000t of grapes, September 2013 – Issue 596

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Cellar scene: The crowd was getting into the festival spirit at a cellar door function at Sam Miranda Wines.

putting it in the top 10 wineries through the ’80s and ’90s. In the ’80s Miranda was focused on premium table wines and purchased the Barossa winery in 1992 to establish Miranda Barossa, then the King Valley winery in 1997. “And then the glut came along and things got tight,” Miranda said. “With the family moving into the third-generation, my sister and I started getting involved in the early ’90s, and in 2003 the family decided to sell the business to McGuigan Simeon. “That’s when I purchased the King Valley winery from the family and Lou, the youngest

We didn’t have the global pressures that we have nowadays. I have had my own winery for 10 years now and my focus has been regional,¬ purely the King Valley. of my father’s brothers, purchased the Barossa winery. “From that point on we have gone on our own paths. “Miranda still exists as a brand under the Australian Vintage portfolio and Uncle Lou and I are the ones still involved in the industry with our own brands. “Lou’s is called Lou Miranda estate and I’m called Sam Miranda. Obviously the family business has been a big part of my life and the legacy continues. “I can remember running around jumping off tanks as a young kid and working on bottling lines and driving forklifts before you were allowed to, back in those days. “And now Dad is always there as a mentor. I speak to him almost daily and he wants to know what I’m up to

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September 2013 – Issue 596

and how I’m doing. He’s always asking ‘how is your cash flow’? “Lou has got his daughters involved and yes, we’re all under our own steam now, but Dad’s been a big influence, that’s for sure. “He still has a lot of fond memories of his years of hard work in the industry and still has a lot of contacts in the industry,” Miranda said. “We also have strong family ties with the De Bortolis and the rest of them,¬ we were all growing up in the same industry,” he added. “I think Miranda Wines was at the forefront of the wine Industry business in its era. In many ways Miranda was at the cutting edge with the West Coast cooler style of wines. “We didn’t have the global pressures that we have nowadays. I have had my own winery for 10 years now and my focus has been regional,¬ purely the King Valley. “We are selling wine through Marks and Spencer in England at the moment and that came about through them being sent out into the regions to find new regional wines. “And it’s branded as King Valley. It’s about working out what a region does best and focusing on it. “For us that’s more the Italian styles ¬ Sangiovese, Prosecco, Nebbiolo.” Contact: Sam Miranda. Phone: (03) 5727 3888. Email: info@

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Grapegrower & Winemaker



Trials turn up new strategies for softening the kick in wine AWRI has taken a holistic approach to developing and testing for the reduction of alcohol in wine. Several viticultural and fermentation practices show promise for the production of quality reducedalcohol wines. In this paper, presented at the Crush 2012 symposium, Cristian Varela, Paul Chambers and Dan Johnson summarise findings, and highlight the potential value of combining strategies for reducing alcohol concentration in wine. THE ROLE OF alcohol in society, both in Australia and internationally, is under review. Wine is not immune to these concerns and the likely market impacts. While full-bodied, rich wines responded to a large market following, shifts in attitudes not only from consumers are likely to be manifested through new legislative and tax barriers on products with traditional levels of alcohol and increased demand for products with lower alcohol levels. Evidence of this trend can be seen in the attitudes of major retailers in the UK such as Sainsbury’s who have said “by

2020, we’ll double the sales of lighter alcohol wine and reduce the average alcohol content (ABV) of own brand wine and beer”. This emerging demand for lower alcohol (including modified alcohol) products presents a compelling opportunity to proactively engage with both societal trends and an economically attractive category. Growing quality grapes in warmer and drier climates has led to rich, full-bodied wines with ripe fruit flavour profiles. Extending the time before harvest – and increasing grape maturity – enhances rich, ripe fruit wine flavour and wine

colour intensity, and decreases unripe green and vegetal wine flavours. However, greater maturity can lead to higher sugar concentration which in turn leads to wines with elevated alcohol content. High alcohol concentration can negatively affect wine flavour through, for example, ‘hotness’ and lack of balance can increase costs in countries where taxes are levied according to alcohol concentration. Increasingly, health concerns linked to alcohol consumption shape both national and international public health recommendations to lower the alcohol

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September 2013 – Issue 596

At a glance:

Alcohol content and consumer liking. Wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes harvested at five different maturities showed a range of alcohol concentrations from 11.8% v/v to 15.5% v/v. Consumer preference was similar for wines containing 13.6% v/v to 15.5% v/v indicating that harvesting earlier could deliver a wine that consumers prefer or like just as much as a fuller and hotter style wine and which contains 2% v/v less alcohol.

content of alcoholic beverages, including wine, and the taxation regimes associated with such products. A number of approaches and technologies are available for producing wines with lower alcohol, and indeed a range of lower-alcohol wines is already available on the market. A holistic approach to producing lower-alcohol wines can be undertaken to ensure the lower-alcohol product delivers desired sensory attributes such as ‘texture’, ‘fullness’ and ‘warmth’; attributes associated with superior quality. There are several strategies across the value chain for reducing alcohol concentration in wine including: • Viticultural practices such as decreasing the leaf area to fruit weight ratio in order to lower sugar concentration in the berry, and harvesting earlier therefore picking grapes with lower sugar content. • Fermentation and winemaking practices including blending of earlyharvested low sugar grapes with

grapes with greater maturity and use of wine yeast inoculation strategies and yeast strain selection to produce less alcohol. • Post-fermentation practices and processing technologies, which include wine blending of high and low alcohol wine, and physical removal of alcohol after fermentation. For more details on strategies to decrease ethanol concentration in wine see AWRI publication #1214 Controlling the highs and the lows of alcohol in wine and AWRI factsheet Reducing alcohol levels in wine available on the AWRI website (

MATURITY TRIAL Delaying harvest can produce grapes not only with fuller flavour but also having reduced green characters; considered especially true for Cabernet Sauvignon and related varieties. It is commonly assumed wines made from such grapes will be preferred by consumers. However, this is not necessarily the case.

• Major retailers in the UK such as Sainsbury’s have said “by 2020 we’ll double the sales of lighter alcohol wine and reduce the average alcohol content (ABV) of own brand wine and beer”. • Increasingly, health concerns linked to alcohol consumption shape both national and international public health recommendations to lower the alcohol content of alcoholic beverages, including wine, and the taxation regimes associated with such products. • A number of approaches and technologies are available for producing wines with lower alcohol, and indeed a range of lower-alcohol wines is already available on the market. • Choosing the right yeast strain can impact on ethanol yields in the final wine. Commercially available wine yeast (S. cerevisiae) strains show very similar alcohol production efficiencies. • Generating GM low-alcohol yeasts has proven the concept yeast can play a significant role and inspired the development of non-GM lowethanol strains. In addition, nonconventional strains have been identified which show great potential for producing wine with reduced alcohol concentration.

In a sequential harvest trial, undertaken by the AWRI, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were picked at five sequential maturities to deliver wines with a range of alcohol contents from 11.8% v/v to 15.5% v/v. Although overall fruit flavour, dark

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winemaking fruit characters, viscosity and hotness increased with maturity and red fruit flavour and green characters decreased with grape ripeness, consumer preference did not increase with maturity. In fact, consumers liked wines with 13.6% v/v as much as wines with higher alcohol up to 15.5% v/v (Figure 1). Results from this study indicate harvesting earlier could deliver a lower alcohol wine consumers prefer, or like equally to fuller and hotter style wine.

Combination of strategies for reducing alcohol levels in wine. Combining early harvest, nonconventional yeast and non-GM low-ethanol strains in sequentially inoculated ferments might reduce alcohol concentration in wine from 15% v/v to 8.7% v/v.

YEAST STRAIN DEVELOPMENT Choosing the right yeast strain can impact on ethanol yields in the final wine. Commercially-available wine yeast (S. cerevisiae) strains show very similar alcohol production efficiencies. The AWRI found the variation between the strains producing the highest and the lowest ethanol was 0.5% v/v. For example, AWRI796 was the lowest ethanol producer showing 0.4% v/v less alcohol than the widely used EC1118 strain. However, while these differences using commercially-available yeast are small, AWRI has been able to prove the selection of yeast strain can have a significant reduction in alcohol content.

To prove this, AWRI approached this task in several ways: genetically modifying (GM) yeast metabolism; ‘persuading’ yeast to produce less ethanol using non-GM means; and exploring the potential of naturally occurring nonconventional yeast strains. In order to produce less alcohol, yeast metabolism has to be rewired so carbon from sugar is redirected to metabolites other than ethanol. AWRI generated and evaluated more than 40 different GM yeasts in order to find the most efficient way to reduce ethanol formation. Glycerol overproduction was the most effective strategy tested, with two

strains, AWRI2531 and AWRI2532, able to reduce ethanol by 2.4% v/v and 3.5% v/v, respectively. Although these strains effectively reduce wine alcohol concentration they also produce higher amounts of acetaldehyde and acetoin, metabolites which can negatively affect the sensory properties of the resulting wine. These unexpected side-effects indicate how interconnected yeast metabolism is and highlight the need for studying yeast metabolism holistically. Applying a systems biology approach to wine fermentation, AWRI looked at all layers of yeast metabolism and identified potential genes responsible for

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September 2013 – Issue 596

the overproduction of acetaldehyde and acetoin in the low-ethanol GM strains. Preliminary work deleting potential target genes in the low-alcohol strain AWRI2531 indicates the flavour profile of wine made with this strain has improved dramatically. Therefore, it is likely AWRI can develop a low-ethanol GM strain which does not negatively affect wine sensory attributes. These GM strains are used for proof of concept purposes and not intended for commercial release. Developing non-GM low-alcohol yeast strains is more challenging. Based on the knowledge gained from the AWRI’s work on GM yeast strains, a strategy was developed which enabled researchers to ‘convince’ yeast to produce higher amounts of glycerol, without using gene manipulation. Two strains generated in this way produced wines with ethanol content down by 1.5% v/v and 3.5% v/v. However, the wines had sensory faults similar to what was observed for the GM strains including elevated acetaldehyde and acetoin concentrations. Since the system’s biology approach applied to low-alcohol GM strains helped identify genes which might reduce the formation of these unpleasant volatile compounds, AWRI is now evaluating non-GM strategies to target these genes and generate low-alcohol non-GM strains which don’t impact negatively on wine flavour. Non-conventional wine yeasts (nonSaccharomyces strains) are usually present during wine fermentation and therefore can influence wine aroma and flavour. In fact, non-conventional yeasts are widely used for enhancing complexity and flavour profile. Therefore, it is not surprising research has mainly focused on characterising the production of volatile compounds by non-conventional yeast. However, since their metabolism is

different to S. cerevisiae strains, nonconventional yeasts also have the potential to produce wines with lower alcohol concentration. AWRI evaluated 50 different nonconventional yeasts for their ability to metabolise sugar with reduced ethanol yields. One strain was identified able to produce wine with 0.9% v/v less ethanol in sequential inoculation trials: where grape juice is inoculated with the nonconventional yeast first, so it can remove some sugar, and then inoculating a S. cerevisiae wine yeast later to finish the fermentation. AWRI is currently evaluating the flavour profile of wines made using this strategy.



Cristian Varela, senior research scientist, Paul Chambers, research manager biosciences and Dan Johnson, managing director, The Australian Wine Research Institute, PO Box 197, Glen Osmond SA 5064. Email:

Taking a holistic approach from the vineyard through to the winery has the potential to deliver quality wines with lower alcohol levels. However, the work to assist producers to achieve ultimate alcohol levels has only just begun. AWRI’s maturity trial has been important in understanding the consumer preference of wines made with grapes of different maturities. Similarly, generating GM low-alcohol yeasts has proven the concept yeast can play a significant role and inspired the development of non-GM low-ethanol strains. In addition, non-conventional strains have been identified showing great potential for producing wine with reduced alcohol concentration. The next steps are to test the complementary approaches in a single vintage trial. In principle, all strategies described in this paper could be combined, potentially reducing alcohol concentration in wine by more than 6% v/v (Figure 2) without the addition of major costs to the wine production process.

This work is funded by Australian winemakers and grapegrowers through their investment agency, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation. AWRI is a member of the Wine Innovation Cluster. The contributions from many AWRI staff members, past and present, representing a diverse range of disciplines to tackle this issue are acknowledged: Darek Kutyna, Adrian Coulter, Keren Bindon, Richard Gawel, Creina Stockley, Richard Muhlack, Peter Dry, Leigh Francis, Helen Holt, Patricia Williamson, Markus Herderich, Sakkie Pretorius, Paul Henschke, Simon Schmidt and Anthony Borneman.

References and suggested further reading

AWRI publication #1113. Varela, C., Kutyna, D., Henschke, P., Chambers, P., Herderich, M., Pretorius, I.S. Taking control of alcohol. The Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Journal (2008) 23(6): 41-43. AWRI publication #1214. Varela, C., Chambers, P.J., Coulter, A., Dry, P.R., Francis, I.L., Gawel, R., Muhlack, R., Henschke, P.A., Stockley, C.S., Herderich M.J., Pretorius, I.S. Controlling the highs and the lows of alcohol in wine. The Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Journal (2010) 25(4): 14-19. AWRI publication #1364. Varela, C., Schmidt, S.A., Borneman, A.R., Krömer, J.O., Khan, A., Chambers, P.J. & The Australian Wine Yeast Systems Biology Consortium. Systems Biology: a new paradigm for industrial yeast strain development. Microbiology Australia (2011) 32(4): 151-155. AWRI publication #1461. Varela, C., Kutyna, D.R., Solomon, M., Black, C.A., Borneman, A., Henschke, P.A., Pretorius, I.S., Chambers, P.J. Evaluation of gene modification strategies to develop low-alcohol wine yeasts. Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2012). 78: 6068-6077. Bindon, K., Varela, C., Kennedy, J., Holt, H., Herderich, M. Relationships between harvest time and wine composition in Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon 1. Grape and wine chemistry. Food Chemistry (2012). Accepted

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Why take a punt on a year’s hard work? Treasury Estates microbiologist Alison Soden told the recent Interwinery Analysis Group seminar spoilage tracks a wine’s potential from the vineyard to packaging and its management is a critical part of a successful vintage Effective spoilage management requires control of the organisms that will cause a reduction in wine quality to the extent it fails to meet expectations – that of a fault-free product which best typifies the variety and intended style. Both winemaker and consumer will be the losers, with the winemaker also running the risk of damaging brand loyalty. Spoilage can start in the vineyard, but this presentation focuses on management of wine during maturation and packaging. Methods of organism detection are outlined, and some methods specific for the isolation or enumeration of Brettanomyces are discussed. Monitoring of equipment may be considered secondary by many, but some cleaning validation checks are also highlighted as these can be part of a winery HACCP plan and are useful when new chemicals or procedures are trialled and the intention is to sanitise equipment rather than just clean it. Monitoring of bottling and bulk transport of wine are also considered as the expansion of the low-alcohol, sweet wine segment has increased the potential for post-packaging spoilage.






At a glance: • Maintain wine quality and meet consumer expectations • Early detection and control of spoilage organisms is vital • Control soiling and maintain equipment efficiency • Ensure a hygienic, healthful working environment is maintained grape juice and vinegar and the focus of spoilage management is to prevent the deterioration of wine by organisms which can cause faults such as haziness, an increase in volatile acidity and associated undesirable esters or even ropiness and mousiness. Perhaps most evident to the consumer is yeast re-fermentation in bottle of residual sugar to produce haziness and gassiness, so the contents gush when opened. If sufficient pressure is built up and the bottle has a weakness, breakage can also result and the consumer is at risk of injury. Although this is a rare occurrence the increase in the low-alcohol, high residual-sugar segment of the market has required more exacting quality control and the adoption of Velcorin sterilant by some packagers.

It is beneficial to control soiling in the winery and prevent the build up of spoilage organisms on equipment. This can help maintain the efficiency of mechanical equipment and also prevent against cross contamination of organisms passed from contaminated to clean wine by ineffective cleaning and sanitation. Accreditation standards such as GMP, HACCP and BRC may require sanitation checks on bottling or winery equipment to validate cleaning effectiveness.

STAFF SAFETY It is important to maintain a hygienic and healthy working environment for staff, as, for instance, microbial build up on floors can be a slip hazard and proliferation of mould in the cellar can exacerbate allergies or asthma. Most wineries don’t have fullyequipped microbiological labs or a staff microbiologist, but screening for spoilage microorganisms can start with secondary measures. Wines can be monitored for deterioration by checking for a decrease in free sulphur dioxide or increases in turbidity or volatile acidity. Sensory assessment is sometimes the first sign of trouble, for instance the detection of Brettanomyces off-flavour during routine tasting, but, sensory

A first-class facility is a key ingredient to producing top quality wines. The Safe, Durable & Ultra-Clean Flooring Solution. Every year Wineries in Australia spend millions of dollars repairing or replacing failed concrete cellar floors. Winery floors that are not properly maintained offer an ideal breeding ground for wild yeast and bacteria. Standard concrete has little resistance to acids and salts. Roxset SE is an anti-microbial range of resin flooring, specifically designed to give a seamless, impervious, slip-resistant result. ROXSET SE meets with stringent Export, OH&S and HACCP requirements. Our experienced and talented team can transform your production and cellar floors with minimal disruption to your day to day operations.

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September 2013 – Issue 596

Alison Soden completed a PhD on non-Saccharomyces yeast at the AWRI in 1998 and then went to E&J Gallo winery in California to work on wild ferments and yeast propagation. She returned to Australia in 2003 to take the position of group microbiologist for Treasury Wine Estates, and spend summers cultivating organisms for fermentation and then the rest of the year seeking them out for destruction. Soden is one of the coauthors of Patrick Iland’s micro book and has come to the realisation micro-organisms rule this planet.

detection often means the spoilage is already further advanced than desirable. If microbiological spoilage is suspected the winery may go ahead and detect and enumerate the responsible organism as part of the control strategy. For some wineries the control measures are always the same – clean tanks and equipment and filter or sulphur the wine, but knowing whether the problem is due to bacteria, yeast or mould can allow a more targeted approach (i.e. ullage) management to control aerobic bacteria and yeast, or filtration to a grade sufficient to remove spore forming bacteria. Turbidity increases for instance can be due to precipitation of wine components and a simple check under the microscope can determine whether there is a bug problem or a chemical instability. If an organism is present in sufficient number in turbid samples or surface films then direct microscopy can be used. An alternative is fluorescent staining of organisms collected on a membrane which serves as a rapid check for viability via a concentration step. If plating facilities are available then an accurate count of culturable organisms can be obtained and a membrane filtration step used to process a large sample volume to detect organisms present at too low a concentration for detection via direct microscopy. There are also selective and differential media to screen for particular organisms of interest such as Brettanomyces or Zygosaccharomyces yeast or lactic and acetic acid bacteria. It is also possible to skip the plating step and DNA type directly from wine samples.

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winemaking APPROPRIATE SAMPLING REGIME Sampling and testing procedures for micro checks need to be reproducible and the samples taken must adequately represent the product or process of interest. Wine deliveries should always be treated as if they are contaminated, and, preferably tested for live organisms. Used barrels should be sanitised before use and monitored after filling for Brett growth. Hygiene audits on topping equipment can reveal inadequate cleaning and sanitation and specific points of organism harbourage and potential contamination. Any micro samples taken should be processed as soon as possible after collection to ensure accurate, quantitative results. Samples left for hours until the end of a shift to be brought to the lab, or left in the fridge overnight, will not be representative.

WHAT TO MONITOR Routine monitoring can be as simple as sensory assessment of stored wines complemented by chemical analysis and plating if available. Most wineries review red wine in barrel on a regular schedule as this is the wine most at risk from Brettanomyces spoilage or oxidation and volatile acidity increase in the presence of air.



TESTS? BETTER READ THE ARTICLE. As Greg Howell’s article articulates, these two new tests are clearly better at detecting Botrytis cinerea and potentially saving your vintage: • Vintessential’s Enzymatic D-Gluconic Acid Test kit (spectrophotometer required); • Envirologix QuickStix kit for Botrytis (Envirologix optical reader optional). Both are now available from Vintessential. Victoria. Queensland. Western Australia. To order, just call 1300 30 2242, email or visit

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When barrels are being emptied it is important to assess each one by nose for VA, Brett off-flavour or even TCA (cork taint character from mouldy wood) before they end up in a blend. Once the blend is in tank more comprehensive analysis can be made to determine if filtration or sulphuring is required before the wine is returned to barrel. Barrel-topping wine must be checked for spoilage before use to ensure contaminants are not spread to other barrels, as an ullaged barrel or container often used to store topping wine is at greater risk of spoilage than a full barrel. Equipment checks are also recommended as part of a complete winery audit scheme to ensure chemicals and cleaning procedures are appropriate and effective.

BRETT SAMPLING STRATEGY An individual’s sensitivity to Brettanomyces off-flavours varies, so, if spoilage monitoring is left to winemaker assessment it is essential the taster is sensitive to Brett flavour. It is preferable to use more than one taster, and, if sensitivity is in doubt the AWRI can assist with off-flavour recognition and threshold testing. If a large number of barrels is to be screened composite samples combining aliquots from several barrels can be taken. Effective Brett monitoring requires sampling at regular intervals to check for changes and it’s important to note storage temperatures and parameters such as alcohol content, residual sugar or variety can influence susceptibility to spoilage. You may need to prioritise susceptible wines and increase sampling frequency in warmer weather or warmer spots in a storage area such as the top layer of stacked barrels.

TO STIR OR NOT Yeast and bacteria tend to stratify in barrel and accurate enumeration is only possible if barrels are stirred before sampling. However, stirring has some drawbacks as it’s labour intensive and may not be desirable when barrels are being left to settle as part of a racking program. If a decision is made to sample from the top of a barrel without stirring it’s important to be mindful numbers may be lower than those of a stirred barrel. It is also important to sanitise sampling equipment between wines so as not to promote cross contamination. 19/08/13 1:35 PM

September 2013 – Issue 596

PLATING There are specific microbiological media available for Brettanomyces plating which screen out most other organisms permitting the selective enumeration of this yeast. Also available are liquid-based tests not requiring a micro lab or trained personnel. Sniff Brett and Oxoid Brettanomyces/ Dekkera broth are available commercially as an alternative to traditional plating and contain not only selective agents but the precursor for 4-ethyl phenol (4-EP) production. Up to 20 ml of wine can be added to directly to the vial and then it is left to incubate for up to 10 days. If live organisms are present the media becomes hazy and evolution of the bandaid or medicinal 4-EP smell confirms the presence of Brettanomyces. The test is not really quantitative and 4-EP detection is not always obvious, but manufacturersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; provide some estimation of Brett numbers and suggested control strategies based upon how quickly the test goes hazy.

GENETIC IDENTIFICATION FROM WINE Many food industries now rely on genetic based tests to improve accuracy in identification and reduce the time required to get a result. PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) based tests for certain yeast including Brettanomyces and Zygosaccharomyces and bacteria including Oenococcus, Pediococcus and Acetobacter are now available commercially and permit enumeration directly from wine samples without the often lengthy incubation step. The Scorpions genetic detection panel is available as an outsource test from Advanced Analytical and the Vineo Brettanomytest kit and PCR equipment for in-house testing is available from Bio-Rad.

4-EP/EG 4-Ethyl phenol (4-EP) and 4-Ethyl guiaicol (4-EP) are the principal signature metabolites of Brettanomyces/Dekkera as no other organisms can produce these compounds in wine. Together they are responsible for the characteristic odours and flavours described as Band-aid, medicinal, barnyard, horsy, clove-like or smoky. Quantification of these chemicals is a relatively expensive outsourced test for most wineries, and, if above sensory threshold and detectable by nose, the wine could September 2013 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Issue 596

Grapegrower & Winemaker


winemaking be considered already compromised. 4-EP detection confirms Brettanomyces activity, but detection of viable cells is also required to determine whether the population is still active and action should be taken.

MONITORINGOF EQUIPMENT Consider many of the routine tasks in the winery can contribute to crosscontamination and adequate sanitation is required between uses. Some examples of equipment harbouring and dispersing spoilage organisms between vessels are dip tapes and dry ice baskets, top sampling devices, mixing equipment such as rummagers and barrel sampling equipment such as valenches or hoses. Chemical or heat sanitation of tanks, transfer lines or topping equipment is recommended between batches of wine and hot water, ethanol or sulphur dioxide solutions are useful for dipping hoses and small equipment between uses.

HYGIENE MONITORING There are some other options for microbiological testing in the absence of a micro lab.

Dip slides are nutrient, agar-coated plastic paddles used to check surfaces or liquids for contaminants. Simply dip or press the agar surface to the liquid or equipment to be checked for bugs and incubate at room temperature. Once the organisms have grown on the agar surface, recognition of yeast, mould or bacteria colonies is possible and counts can be estimated. Some other tools available to the food industry to evaluate equipment cleanliness are protein and glucose swabs. They may have limited value in the

winery however as glucose and protein concentrations are fairly low in finished wine. Glucose is a good indication of grape juice residue however. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) bioluminescence is a popular hygiene check as it’s cheap, easy to perform and gives instantaneous results. ATP is the energy molecule of all living cells and its detection via surface swabbing indicates the presence of food residues and micro-organisms. This check allows immediate verification of sanitation processes and subsequent re-cleaning if the test fails.

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September 2013 – Issue 596

PACKAGING Spoilage by yeast and bacteria can negatively affect the wine during storage and potentially after bottling for some susceptible wines. If spoilage organisms, predominantly the winemaking yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are present after packaging then the potential for spoilage remains. The risks increase in wines of low alcohol and high residual sugar, which provide a hospitable environment for yeast growth and are prone to re-fermentation if yeast makes it into bottle or container. Appropriate checks include filtration monitoring and frequent sampling of packaged product to check for live yeast generally by fluorescence microscopy or plating, either directly after packaging, or 24 hours later, which allows time for die off of some contaminants. Re-fermentation can also arise in susceptible wines filled to bulk containers for export. Filtration while filling these containers is often used and adequate filtration should be verified by filter monitors left to drip while the container fills, or the micro analysis of holdback samples. Containers experiencing yeast growth during transport may need rework such as filtration and sulphur dioxide additions upon receival or if re-fermentation is extreme the container can expand to a point making it dangerous to handle and may require destruction. Contact: Dr Alison Soden Group microbiologist, Treasury Estates Email:

September 2013 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Issue 596

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Shift that surplus stock Established in 2003 with the launch of The Wine Liquidation Centre, Destiny Wines is today a well-known Melbournebased wine wholesaler. It is also a retailer specialising in the sale of surplus wine. Using an extensive network including online wine stores, wine retailers and hospitality buyers, Destiny Wines can quickly and quietly move large quantities of surplus wine while protecting values

and brand integrity in the broader consumer market. Destiny’s Danielle Heyman said some of Australia’s most high-profile wine producers and distributors – along with boutique wineries in Australia and New Zealand – use their services to help move excess stock. “Destiny Wines is not a broker,” she said. “We purchase the wine outright and

payment is made directly to the winery so excess stock can quickly be turned into cash. “If you have surplus wine you want to move, we would be happy to detail how Destiny Wines can help.” Contact: Destiny Wines, 100 Cromwell Street, Collingwood. Phone: 1300 667 602 or 0418 555 655 or visit www.

Success Neo ideal for integrated pest management Dow AgroSciences’ Success Neo kills caterpillars without harming beneficial predators and its long-lasting properties mean farmers don’t have to spray as often. Success Neo is based on a naturallyoccurring active ingredient which poses minimal risk to people and animals. The active ingredient spinetoram is derived from a soil bacterium. The withholding period is three days, so Success Neo is ideal for growers selling into export markets. Greg, who is in charge of farm supply sales for Gatton Elders in Queensland,

said when Success Neo is applied to the top of a leaf it will move through and still work on eggs which hatch on the underside. He also said it has good residual activity in mature leaves and is safe on beneficials such as ladybeetles. Success Neo belongs to the Group 5 family of chemicals and when the temperature is below 20C growers can go as long as 10 days between sprays. Contact: Dow AgroScience, Locked Bag 502, Frenchs Forest. Phone: 1800 700 096 or visit

New IECEX approved high-precision hazardous area scales National Weighting and Instruments’ new Sartorius Signum Ex Series has received the latest IECEX approval for hazardous area and explosion proof scales. The Signum Ex Series combines the high-precision and accuracy of a laboratory balance with its industrialscale rugged design and longevity. It comes in a painted or stainless steel finish and is built to withstand overloads of up to 300kg. The manufacturer claims it is also

resilient to large side shocks and lateral vibration. Its internal calibration function also ensures accuracy for long periods. The Signum Ex’s user-friendly interface helps reduce the risk of inputting errors. Other features include: • Large backlit LCD • 28-key keypad • Product data memory • Zero and tare keys • Counting and check weighting/

monolithic high-precision weighting system • Connectivity (fits into existing infrastructure – RS232, RS422 and RS485) The following certificates are available: IECEX zone 1/21/2/22. Contact: National Weighting and Instruments, 11/5-11 Agosta Dr, Laverton North. Phone: 1300 669 162 or visit www.

Warburn Estate turns to ROXSET Warburn Estate has turned to ROXSET to provide a hygienic and durable floor finish for its wine-finishing area. In parallel with meeting best practice standards Warburn installed ROXSET to better control chemical and acid resistance. Its makers claim it is an impervious surface with features such as: • OH&S and AQIS food safe accreditation • Non-slip surface • Expansion joint ceiling and coving detail • Impact and thermal resistance for

80 Grapegrower & Winemaker

barrel areas • Bunded wash bays, entrances and press areas • Sealing around equipment footprints • Protected coatings to drains Warburn Estate opted for a 4-6mm system across 1100sqm with 300ml coving around the tank footings/plinths. This will provide protection from common corrosive acids such as citric, tartaric and lactic. Contact: ROXSET, Unit 16, 19-23 Bridge Street, Pymble. Phone: 1800 769 738 or visit

September 2013 – Issue 596

Oak alternatives offer flexible approach Oak alternatives provide winemakers with options, often too many options, as a key part of the flavour enhancement of wine. And they come with a variety of price levels offering variety of outcomes. But to find out just who is using what, and why, Grapegrower & Winemakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grahame Whyte talked to three winemakers from different regions.

September 2013 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Issue 596


The participating winemakers are Tom Newton, group white winemaker, Accolade Wines, Reynella, South Australia; Janice McDonald, senior winemaker, Howard Park, Great Southern and Margaret River, Western Australia and Tony Bish, chief winemaker, Sacred Hill Wines, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

Grapegrower & Winemaker


oak alternatives

Tom Newton Janice McDonald

With all the new oak alternatives in the market today, how have you decided what suppliers to put your trust in? Which suppliers are you currently using? Is research and development considered as a major priority when looking at purchasing alternatives?

NEWTON: The suppliers we are using produce an oak which has repeatedly performed well in bench trials, imparts an oak character that meets the style requirement of wine, is of consistent quality and performs to expectation in tank. End game is how the wine tastes. What form it takes or how it is made is of secondary consideration. We source from a number of suppliers (including evOak, Suber Laforte, Stavin, Nadalie, Seguin Moreau) and have our own produced through a local roaster. McDONALD: Firstly the term oak alternative is misleading as the wood used is oak and not some other wood. Perhaps barrel alternative is a better term. I tend to work with the suppliers who also supply our oak barrels, although not exclusively. If I trust in the quality of the oak barrels they provide, I expect that the same quality will be expressed in their oak alternatives. If you mean the research and development of the supplier, the answer is no. Our decisions are made on the basis of using a number of different suppliers’ barrel alternatives in similar wines in volumes of 5-20kL and assessing the outcomes. From these trials we make decisions for the following year. A small stick in a 750ml bottle and tasting after two weeks does not give a true indication. BISH: Trial and error over many years has enabled us to narrow in on oak alternatives that work best for our fruit and winemaking styles. Consistency of product in regards to aroma and

82 Grapegrower & Winemaker

flavour profile each brings is essential. We currently are using Taransaud, Boise France, Laffort Nobile, Stavin and Quercus. We regularly review wines in tank with oak alternatives to rate performance and suitability. Gone are the days that cooperages are using the offcuts and shavings from barrel production to make alternatives for the wine industry. What major changes have you seen in this trend and what quality enhancements are now offered from suppliers?

NEWTON: Poorly seasoned oak generally results in a poor product, imparting raw, sappy planky flavours and harsh drying tannins in the final wine. The move away from offcuts and shavings is probably part because of this and in part because of the sheer volumes of alternatives being used. McDONALD: The current offerings are custom made for the purpose and the suppliers are truly focused on delivering a quality product. Ten years ago this was not the case, with the exception of a few early providers. Today’s offerings include oak types, toasting and firings to enhance specific characters such as vanilla, mocha, spice, etc., shapes and sizes and a means of securing into the tank or barrel BISH: There has been a sea change in quality of oak alternatives over the past 20 years. Clearly this is an important market sector now, and producers are recognising the quality requirements of wineries and have responded with vastly improved products compared to the early days. We now see a variety of oak alternative formats from barrel inserts, stave fans, cubes etc. Toast levels are far more controlled, and we are seeing great consistency from year to year from good producers.

Tony Bish

Australia was one of the first wine-producing countries to adopt the oak alternative trend due to declining average price points for wine. How are you coping with the ever- increasing challenges of trying to make quality wine at ever-decreasing price points, utilising a mixture of oak alternatives and barrels for oak enhancement?

NEWTON: The type of oak used comes back to $RRP and wine COG’s needed to turn a profit. The high cost of oak barrels is what has driven the use of alternatives. We tend to use either alternatives or barrels. As alternatives have become more mainstream oak suppliers are providing better products and we have gotten better at using alternatives in terms of achieving the desired impact, structural support, fruit enhancement and flavour depth/complexity. McDONALD: Our use of oak is largely related to price point. The best wines are matured in 100 per cent barrels and then a mix of barrels and barrel alternatives as the price point drops. Having said that, the quality of the offerings is very high and the options extensive, which does facilitate the use of a greater percentage of barrel alternatives at higher price points, but always in combination with barrels. There is a definite “barrel alternative” character to wine made in tank with oak. The key is determining how this character will evolve in the wine with time in bottle. BISH: It certainly seems that we are required to produce more (quality) for less return, and the ongoing effects of the global financial crisis are not helping. We need to be very aware of our cost of goods, and certainly oak alternatives have an important role to play in assisting us to produce premium oaked wines at September 2013 – Issue 596

oak alternatives affordable price points. This is coupled with driving grape quality of course. Oak barrels are still preferred for higher price points, however the cost of these along with all the associated costs of handling, maintaining and temperature controlled storage necessitate significantly higher returns to justify usage. Staves have evolved from the traditional 6ft wooden slats in the late 1980s to early 1990s, to now offering more refined pieces of oak at around 90cm in length. How are your staves positioned in the tanks? Are oak companies now offering more unique ways of installing and handling these products?

NEWTON: Our preferred method of positioning staves in tank is via tank rings. This allows staves to be slotted into rings mounted on the wall of the tank, suspending the staves above the lees and allowing regeneration of the planks using a hot water wash to remove tartrates and residual lees. McDONALD: They are not secured although I have in the past welded lugs into the tanks on which to secure the fans. Yes, oak companies are doing more but the complicated systems of the past seem an unnecessary cost, lack flexibility and make tank cleaning more time consuming. The use of staves in very large tanks can become an occupational hazard where large numbers need to be added and remove. Our winery is not that large so this is not an everyday problem. BISH: We have welded fixing points to the inside of tanks allocated to oak alternative wine storage. We can then secure oak stave fans with stainless steel chain to these fittings. The time taken to install or remove oak alternatives has significantly reduced with innovation from suppliers. What new initiatives and profiles are currently offered in the forms of staves?

NEWTON: As described above. Suppliers now offer different source areas, oaks

with longer seasoning, different toast levels (untoasted to heavily charred), temperature regimes and toasting methods (fire, infrared, coffee roasters) which create a wide range of flavour profiles. McDONALD: Oak types, oak styles, specific forests, a variety of firing and toasting – so much choice which is a modern day problem of life BISH: There are staves with grooves and profiles to increase surface area in wine contact. These are under evaluation to determine cost benefit. Oak extraction levels vary when maturing wine on staves – are you using micro-oxygenation (MOX) to complement this maturation?

NEWTON: MOX is used as a tool to soften aggressive grape tannins, reduce sulphides and to help mature wine in a less anaerobic environment. Oak extraction and flavour profile is ensured by selecting the right oak, using the right amount of oak and time in maturation. McDONALD: Yes, and I like to get a certain amount of oak in very early to take advantage of the interaction of fermentation with the oak, be it on skins or pressed. BISH: Yes, we are using MOX in conjunction with maturing red wines with oak alternatives. This gives us better oak integration and assists to evolve tannin structure for wines that are more often than not destined for relatively early release. Cubes, dominoes or beads, as they are commonly named, are used widespread in winemaking nowadays. Please tell us the benefits of using these, and at what time of the wine cycle you may be likely to make this addition – fermentation, ageing and maybe finishing?

NEWTON: Benefits are lower cost, ease of use and faster oak flavour pick up/extraction rate (than staves). Oak

character and quality can be as good as staves. They are used at all stages of the winemaking process depending on the wine and the effect required. Tend to achieve better integration the earlier in the process the alternative is used. Tannin and flavour integration changes and improves with time. McDONALD: I do not routinely use them BISH: We use cubes in commercial Chardonnay tank ferments and lees stir through the following maturation period with great success. In reds, we only add oak alternatives after pressing off and age in tank with MOX. We like the lower rate of impact that cubes have over chips, and find we can get a better integration of oak over a longer period.

Winebiz online Buyers’ Guide Equipment, Supplies & Services for the wine & grape industry 84 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596


At what stage of production are you using oak chips and do you change rates for certain varieties?

NEWTON: Generally use chip in fermentation for background flavour enhancement (e.g. can give a “peach” lift to Chardonnay) and tannin structure (in red). Use higher rates in red than white and higher char in red than white. Often the only oak we use in some lower quality blends where obvious oak character may not desired. McDONALD: We use oak chips during fermentation and at a standard rate across Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. I don’t tend to use them on Pinot Noir. BISH: We use quality chips in bags for our earliest release wines where we have limited production times. Rate varies according to variety, vintage and percentage of wine oaked. Usually oaked tanks are blending components, rather than oaking all tanks. Do you see any major differences in extraction levels between small and large chips?

NEWTON: Experience faster extraction in smaller chips, often with higher levels of harsher tannin. McDONALD: We only use small chips. BISH: Yes, small chips give faster oak impact due to increased surface area. Oak powder has now been available for many years and is considered a secret weapon by many. How do you view oak powder as an additive and what are you trying to achieve using this procedure?

NEWTON: The major issue with oak powder is the sawdust character that often imparted in the wine. The dust can also be a nuisance factor and cause operational problems, blocking valves, etc. The positive is the forward, high impact oak character (not always well integrated). McDONALD: I use oak dust in addition and during fermentation, both raw and toasted. Raw in an endeavour to reduce vegetative/ green characters and toasted to bring some sweetness and complexity of oak flavour and tannin early in the winemaking process BISH: We have not used oak powder, so cannot comment. Do you use barrel inserts to increase the life of the barrel? If so, what results have you been seeing?


11:40 AM

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It simply means more control for the winemaker and more affordable French oak finesse. For full details contact Gordon Grant on +61 417 813 248 or via email at or visit

NEWTON: We have trialled barrel inserts to increase the life of a barrel. Have not experienced characters which match the flavour of a barrel, but using oak alternatives in this way gives the opportunity to work the wine and oak in a more controlled way, resulting in better integration and texture. McDONALD: No. I have used in the past but they are quite fiddly and do not suit our winemaking process BISH: Oak barrel inserts are a great way of adding impact to older barrels, but carry with them the consequential cost of barrel handling and storage. So although a better quality result can be obtained than oaking up a tank, there is a significant cost difference. Tricking up old barrels is only viable if the barrels are properly cleaned and maintained. It’s a case of finding the right oak strategy for each wine and price point that works best. September 2013 – Issue 596


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Barrel experience offers quality oak alternative The oak alternative demands an understanding of wood for wine and driven by price points this developing market is attracting a lot of attention

THERE ARE A number of advantages a premium barrel manufacturer brings to the production of oak alternatives. Including an understanding of wood for wine, the effects of natural maturation of oak, quality timber selection, continuity of quality, a rigid quality control regime and R&D. The Chêne & Cie Group has invested heavily in developing a stave alternative which provides oak transference to a wine in similar fashion to a barrel stave. The Stick 22.90 is the result of a major development undertaking by its R&D team and via its innovative shape, provides a number of advantages over the traditional stave utilised by competitors. Measuring 90cm long, the real variance and advantage is in the 22mm x 22mm square profile. The shape is designed to optimise the anatomical potential of the oak wood for both fermentation and ageing, by allowing woody notes to be gradually and harmoniously released. The directional exposure of the oak vessels (radial, longitudinal and tangential) can affect the relative speed and overall quality of extraction. The Stick 22.90 has a radial surface area 1.6 times larger than a standard tank stave insert. The wood’s compounds are released the fastest through the radial section, since the trunk’s vessel and fibres are cut perpendicularly and are open to exchanges. These vessels function as ‘transport’ channels for the trees water and nutrients. Wine in contact with the Stick 22.90 will penetrate the entire length of the vessel and gradually be infused with the wood’s compounds. One Stick 22.90 contains 40% more oak than a traditional French oak stave, imparting more wood compounds during the maturation phase. In reality the dry extract (i.e. the total compounds transferred to the liquid) is 40% higher than a tank stave insert due to the larger surfaces available for exchange offered by the radial sections, which further exposes the wood’s vessels

AT A GLANCE: • Chêne & Cie Group has invested heavily in developing a stave alternative which provides oak transference to a wine in similar fashion to a barrel stave. • The shape is designed to optimise the anatomical potential of the oak wood for both fermentation and ageing, by allowing woody notes to be gradually released. • In reality the dry extract (i.e. the total compounds transferred to the liquid) is 40% higher than a tank stave insert due to the larger surfaces available for exchange. to the wine. Due to the square profile, the Stick 22.90 promotes gradual diffusion, with the extractable compounds located at various depths in the wood. The external surface of the stick is smaller than a traditional tank stave insert (approximately 20% less) allowing thorough integration of wood and wine. It shows aromatic complexity allowing for the full expression of the fruit characters, supplements the wines structure and shows harmonious fruit/ oak characters on the pallet.

September 2013 – Issue 596

sales & marketing Australian on-premise wine: what influences wine buying decisions? This paper is one in a series from research funded by the GWRDC to examine the decision influencers along the wine supply chain. Previous papers have discussed the Chinese and US markets. They are available through the University of Adelaide Wine 2030 Research Network – wine2030. For details contact Dr Steve Goodman and Dr Cullen Habel

88 Grapegrower & Winemaker

opportunity to taste the wines. And while ‘food matching’ is the number 2 in influence it clearly isn’t the chef’s choice (lowest influence). ‘Margin’ is the next major influence – and the qualitative work showed that is made up as much of what can be charged for the wine as the price point itself. Brand is a low influencer – one lower than the ‘lack of retail availability’, which also has an influence on the margin opportunities. When we begin segmenting the market, we see there are some differences when looking to sell into different states. Figure 2 shows the results comparing states. In South Australia, ‘region/origin’, ‘food matching’ and ‘aged/vintage’ wines are more of an influence than NSW, Victoria or Queensland. NSW and Queensland On-Premise outlets are more influenced by ‘margin’ and ‘lack of retail availability’ than their southern counterparts. Victoria had a much lower influence of ‘match to food’ than other states and a number of lower influencers than the NSW market. What we do see from this is the need to examine the market you are looking to sell wine into and see how your offer lines up with the intended business customers’ decision influencers. The type of restaurant, not surprisingly many would say, has a number of attributes which vary in their influence. It is important is to quantify what these differences are and then equally as important is to take them into consideration when putting the offer together. Family/casual restaurants are much more influenced by ‘margin’ and ‘variety’ than fine dining. Consider this: Is there an opportunity to work a second label and generate more opportunity for margin? If you are targeting family/casual dining do you have ‘the’ 100 90 80

Relative importance (%)

ON-PREMISE IS SEEN by so many as the path to building their wine brand (or even just selling some wine). The lack of retail oligopoly means there are so many more decision makers and so much more chance to sell wine than in a retail market dominated by big retailers, big buying groups and big distributors with access to the lucrative sales volumes. Understanding the On-premise market then becomes of paramount importance. Too often, the wine trade market is divided in two – On and Off Premise. This research has looked at trying to understand both markets more and this paper presents some of the results from the Australian On-Premise data. The research approach has been covered in detail in previous papers, (Goodman 2012 – Australian Data; Goodman and Altschwager 2012 China Data; Goodman and Habel 2013-US Distributors. Contact author for details) so a brief outline here only. An experimental design was used to ask those involved in the US On-Premise trade the question, ‘what influences your decision when buying in a new wine’. The method used is called Best: Worse, where people are asked, across a series of tables, to nominate which ‘1’ of the available choices ‘Most’ influences their decision, and which’1’ least’. There are a number of strengths to this – notably, the fact it is not a rating, it is a ‘best’ and ‘worst’, as such it is comparable across cultures, ages, genders. Most is most and least is least, whereas scoring on a 1-7... some people’s 5 is someone else’s 7 (See Goodman 2009 and Cohen 2009 for a full description of the method). It gives you clear insights into the strength of the influencers, twice as much or three times as much, rather than a difference between 4.2 and 4.7 – something which carries very little practical implication. It means generating simple On Premise Attributes bar graphs generates outputs 1 Margin where differences (and possible 2 Lack of retail availability opportunities) can be quickly 3 Contribution to menu printing identified. 4 Table ‘talker’/ On Table Promotion Figure one shows the results 5 Press write ups and reviews at the national level with some 6 Medals and Awards won 7 Vintage/aged wine expected results and some 8 The distributor contradictory (at least at face 9 Match to food on menu value). 10 Chef’s choice The taste of the wine comes 11 Grape variety 12 Listing Fee/Rebate paid by out as the number one influence distributor – highlighting the importance 13 Origin/Region not of good product, but of 14 Brand ensuring those involved in 15 Tastes good (manager or the restaurant setting have the sommelier likes)

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0







14 7 Attribute








Figure 1. Australian on premise retailers. (n=244)

September 2013 – Issue 596


100 New South Wales (n=84) Victoria (n=61) Queensland (n=53) South Australia (n=20 Other states (Total n=25 NT=2, TAS=6, WA=13, ACT=4

Relative importance of each attribute


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8 Attribute











8 Attribute








Figure 2. Influncers by state. 100 Fine dining (n=65)


Family/casual (n=120)

Relative importance of each attribute

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0





Figure 3. Influencers by restaurant type.

flavours of the season. It is an area big wine companies dominate because of issues such as this and other things including ‘contribution to menu printing’, ‘rebates’ and the popular ‘brands’. Fine dining is more influenced by ‘food matching’ and interestingly ‘aged wines’. This offers the smaller producer an avenue to market with cellar releases – which in many cases are unsold stock from previous vintages (3-4-5 years older). As marketers, as researchers and as educators – the one thing we repeatedly say is ‘get to know and understand your customers’. Every time we look at data like this that message is reinforced, over and over and over. No, the research does not give you the magic bullet of ‘do this and you’ll be right’. Marketing and business don’t work September 2013 – Issue 596

like that. What it does is gives you the insight into the different types of customers you will approach and an insight into what is more (or less) likely to influence their decision. The bizarre thing is so much of it, once you’ve looked at the numbers in the cold light of day, has a story which is, on some levels, ‘intuitive’. Use results from good research to confirm what you think, change it if need be – or even just act as an agent for thinking and discussion – with the intent you are likely to help your success if you do. Steve Goodman, senior lecturer in marketing at The University of Adelaide Business School, specialise in Wine Business Research. steve.goodman@adelaide. Cullen Habel, independent market research consultant and adjunct lecturer in marketing and market research at the University of Adelaide – www. .

National 03 9555 5500 SA & WA Sales 0401 560 550 NSW Sales 0447 020 313 Email Grapegrower & Winemaker


sales & marketing

Relationships key to China wine success Portavin general manager Tony Royal spent nearly 30 Bottling & years developing his relat ionship w it h packaging China – a networking investment now paying off with spectacular business results. From zero Chinese exports in 2006, Portavin currently bottles and exports more than 70 containers of wine – about 1 million bottles – to mainland China every month. The company almost doubled its exports over the past three years – shipping just 40 containers in 2010 – to become the largest exporter of Australian

winemakers to China. Giving it a significant slice of a seriously large pie. Australia is currently the secondlargest bottled wine exporter to China, with 15 per cent market share in value and 13 per cent volume in the imported wine market. China has been the fastest-growing export market for Australian wine for several years, with today’s winners reaping the rewards of long-game networking and relationship building between the two countries in recent decades. Royal credits Portavin’s growth to the “networks of influence” made accessible by Adelaide-based The Australia China

Development Company (TACDC) and its Chinese contacts. He engaged the strategy consultancy in 2006 knowing business with China requires a great deal of bureaucratic know-how, plus personal connections, to smooth the way. Royal worked for many years to develop his Chinese literacy and contacts, travelling there regularly since the 1980s to visit friends, favourite vineyards and to establish cohesive relationships with government and business associates. In a standout visit in 1996, Royal visited Beijing, Qingdao and Yantai and the wineries of Shandong Province, including Great Wall, Dynasty and Dragon Seal

The Pacifix Muselet • Plain plaque • Printed plaque • Plaqueless • Plain or coloured wire • Fast delivery • Precision component • Australian made Proudly made in Australia by D.J. Young Pty Ltd 710 High Street Kew East VIC 3102 Telephone: +61 3 9859 4468 Fax +61 3 9819 7357 e-mail: sales@pacifi 90 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596

wineries, which left a deep impression and signs of the growth of the Chinese wine industry and consumer to come. Ahead of his time, with a vision of a prosperous Australia- China wine trade, Royal made annual visits from 1996 to 2002. During these years he observed the resurgence and growth of the wine and agribusiness sectors and witnessed firsthand a major transformation of the country. Today, with more than 50 active Chinese clients, Portavin expects further growth in the Chinese market’s thirst for Australian wine. The latest industry data showed continued growth, but at a slower pace,

with the number of Australian wine exporters growing 10 per cent to 1395 for the year ending March 2013. While the market saw major declines in the sale of cheap wine to China, exports at the top end have seen doubledigit growth – although the rate of growth is starting to slow. “Exports to China in the above $A7.50 ($US7.06) per litre grew 28 per cent, but the growth rate has slowed from an average annual rate of 43 per cent over the previous five years,” Wine Australia market development general manager James Gosper said. “The average value in exports to China increased 18 per cent to $A5.85 ($US5.50)

per litre,” he added. With organisations such as Wine Australian and TACDC supporting fair prospects for Australian wine exports in years to come, Portavin said it would make every effort to expand the opportunities for Australian winemakers in China. Contact: Tony Royal. Phone: (08) 8447 7555 Email: Tony Royal is a qualified Oenologist (1982) and before establishing Portavin SA worked as chief executive officer of Oeneo Australasia Pty Ltd for eight years (previously Seguin Moreau Australia). After graduating from Roseworthy College in 1982, Tony had an extensive career working in key winemaking roles within Southcorp and Mildara Blass for 14 years before joining Seguin Moreau Australia.

Location, location, location, location, location, location Since 1989, Portavin has grown to become Australasia’s leading independent wine services supplier. Our six sites – now including Sydney – are close to market and transport hubs, saving time, money and the environment. Portavin - caring for your wine from tank to shelf.

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sales & marketing

Now it’s carbon zero closures Sugar cane might be the cornerstone of the rum industry but it’s about to play a key role in the future of the carbon-free wine closure business.

AT A GLANCE: • While its focus is always on engineering solution for sustainable wineries Select Bio brings a difference to the market as it will be 100 per cent recyclable and made using renewable, plant-based materials. • The new closure mirrors Nomacorc’s current portfolio by preventing spoilage and waste from wine faults such as oxidation and reduction. • The technology’s plant-based polymers are derived from sugar cane, contributing a negative carbon footprint value. Incorporating these polymers into the formulation offsets positive emissions from conventional raw materials in the product. • It will have the same look and feel as the standard Select Series, including serrated ends, chamfered edges, custom side printing and optional custom end-printing.

Nomacorc, one of the world’s leading producers of alternative wine closures, has now introduced the world’s first zero carbon footprint wine closure. Select Bio, made with plant-based polymers derived from sugar cane, was unveiled to the bottling industry during the major global wine trade show Intervitis Interfructa in Germany earlier this year. The company says while its focus is always on engineering the best closure solution for sustainable wineries and their wines, Select Bio closures bring a different option to the market as they will be 100 per cent recyclable and made using renewable, plant-based materials. The closures also mirror Nomacorc’s current Select Series portfolio in oxygen management performance. Normacorc principal scientist Dr Olav Aagaard said Select Bio would minimise the environmental impact of wines by preventing spoilage and waste from wine faults such as oxidation and reduction. He said by consistently delivering the right amount of oxygen into the bottle using a carbon neutral closure, sustainabilityminded wineries will now be able to deliver their wines just as they intend.

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September 2013 – Issue 596

“The use of plant-based materials provides extra benefits in end-of-life disposal scenarios, including recycling and incineration,” Aagaard said. “So when evaluating a closure’s carbon footprint, its susceptibility to spoiling wine and the environmental impact of end-of-life disposal, Select Bio is the solution which fully addresses all three aspects of the closure’s life cycle. “It is especially well-suited for organic and biodynamic wines, which minimise the use of sulfites for wine preservation. “Through our patented co-extrusion process, Select Bio has the ability to control oxygen ingress, reducing a wine’s susceptibility to spoilage due to oxygen mismanagement while improving post-bottle aging and bottle-to-bottle consistency.” Aagaard said the technology’s plant-

September 2013 – Issue 596

based polymers are derived from sugar cane, which, due to its renewable nature, contributes a negative carbon footprint value. He said incorporating these polymers into the formulation fully offsets positive emissions originating from conventional raw materials in the product. The Select Bio Series will include three distinct products, Select 100, Select 300, Select 500, each with different oxygen ingress levels. It will have the same look and feel as the standard Select Series, including serrated ends, chamfered edges, custom side printing and optional custom endprinting. Being commercially trialled through a series of Nomacorc customers, the company said it expected the full portfolio to be available for general release for the 2014 bottling season. Company chief executive officer Lars von Kantzow said with the new range “not only are we able to serve wineries seeking a more reliable and sustainable packaging solution, but we can take an important first step towards our goal of minimising the use of fossil-based energy and materials across our entire range of products”.

The NomaSense oxygen analyser is a portable meter designed specifically for the wine industry to measure and control the total amount of oxygen in wine, particularly during bottling.

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Grapegrower & Winemaker


sales & marketing label design


Little piece of paradise

Nina Chalmers has degrees in both fine arts and journalism and as director of Graphic Language Design combines her skills as both a designer and communicator to create some of the world’s; not just Australia’s, most successful wine labels. That success includes awards as far afield as the San Francisco International Wine Competition, the largest, most influential wine competition in the US. Working with senior designer Julie Capurso, who portfolio extends from wine labels to websites, Chalmers has been able to build up a successful niche business in a diverse and competitive market. What inspired you to work in design, and what aspect of label design do you enjoy the most satisfaction from?

painting and the overall effect is visually appealing, memorable and timeless.

Creativity has always been a part of my makeup and studying fine arts at uni was a natural choice for me. As an art director it has always been enormously important to me that designers I work with have formal training and knowledge of the history of art and design. Anyone can learn to use computer design packages, but an extended training in the basics of drawing is really essential for a timeless, memorable design to evolve. It is the creative act of conceptualising and brainstorming a wine label design from a client’s brief with my senior designer Julie Capurso which makes my work an absolute pleasure. When the brand we’ve designed for a client tells their story and becomes a reality beyond their imagining, that’s gold.

What are the most important labelling concepts to impact on wine sales and marketing success?

What was the inspiration or key branding message behind this particular wine label?

Fully understanding the target market for the brand is always top of mind for the GLD design team. For a new brand in the market, it’s the label that will need to stand out amongst its competitors. If the wine is worth buying again, the visual needs to be memorable enough to hold the market appeal. It’s also important for the client to have a plan for how long they want a brand to be in the market. Some set out with an entry level, five-year plan, and for them, a quirky label following current trends is perfect. However, if the brand is to stand the test of time, a more classic and enduring conceptualisation is required.

This intricately illustrated story of uninhibited delight for the brand Arcadia was selected by the client from our Ready to Wear portfolio of wine labels. The brand name comes from Arcadia, the imagined paradise featured in Greek and Roman poetry in which people were believed to enjoy the perfect life. When our clients first travelled to Kendenup in WA, they believed they’d discovered their own piece of rural paradise so it was a great fit. The amazing views of the Stirling Ranges inspired them and their Arcadia became “a place to enjoy good wine, good food and good friends”.

Have you seen many changes in label designs over the past decade and what labelling trends do you see emerging into the future?

What are the technical specs used in the production of the label, i.e., printing technique, processes and colours?

Obviously different cultures would have varied responses to design cues such as colour and number symbolism, for example. That’s why it is so crucial a designer is hungry to discover as much as possible about the target market and the story behind a brand.

Because of the hand-painted illustration, the label had to be printed in four colour process. However, the image is framed with an elegant lick of gold ink, lifted with a high build for added tactile appeal. This feature is echoed in the treatment of the brand name which is complemented by sophisticated, fresh white typography on black paper. An overall grain has been applied to the label to enhance the sense of a watercolour

94 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Well, I’m pleased the ‘critter’ labels are getting a rest. Wine label design fashions come and go and the current trends seem to be leaning more towards the classic, elegant and sophisticated. The basic concept of an original and exquisitely illustrated label will stand the test of time, but even the best-known brands need a tweak here and there over the years to keep them looking fresh – particularly when it comes to the typography. With regards to future trends, well the ceaseless instant gratification of electronic media makes branding and advertising to new generations difficult. It almost seems like the only way forward for branding may be to go back to the basics of design and fine art. To what extent do countries respond differently to labels and/or wine marketing images?

How can label designers overcome the challenge of helping a wine bottle stand out as the market becomes increasingly congested?

It is a challenge. Besides understanding the target market, the most important factor is for the designer to listen to what their client has in mind, consider their budget and even who they have selected to print the labels. From there it’s possible to map out a strategy in collaboration with their client to overcome the stumbling blocks of a flooded market.

September 2013 – Issue 596

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business & technology We are going in the right direction for Geographical Indicators Andreas Clark, Wine Federation of Australia acting chief executive writes there are two sides to the use of legislated management of Geographical Indicators. I refer to the article Loss of Integrity for Geographical Indicators included in last month’s Australian and NZ Grapegrower and Winemaker. Contrary to the assertions made by the author, the protection afforded to registered geographical indications for wine in Australia remains as strong as ever. Under the Wine Australia Corporation Act, a person commits an offence, and faces a possible term of imprisonment of up to two years and a maximum fine of $20,400 for an individual or $102,000 for a body corporate, if the person sells, exports or imports wine with a false description and presentation. A wine label will be regarded as being false if it includes a registered geographical indication (GI) and the wine did not originate in that region. This is a very strict rule. Put simply, a registered geographical cannot be used on a label, however incidental the use and despite it being clear from the context that the GI is not being used as an indication of origin, if the wine is not from that GI. For example, a back label reference that “our winemaker trained in Burgundy” is not permitted unless the wine is from Burgundy. Some indeed may argue that this is too strict. The Act, however, sensibly, provides some very limited exceptions. It allows for homonymous use – Vin de pays de la Principauté d’Orange is a registered GI for France and Orange is of course a

registered GI for Australia. This exemption makes is clear a wine from Orange in NSW can be labelled as such without being in breach of the Act – a sensible outcome. The Act also allows for the name of the individual who made, or previously made, sold, exported or imported a particular wine or the address of the winery at which the wine was manufactured to be included on a label despite the name or

address including a registered GI. So anyone with a surname Hunter, Darling, Southern, Swan, Hastings, Peel for example can continue to put their name on a label without breaching the Act. Finally, the Act allows for a wine label to include a word that is a registered GI but is also a common English word provided the word is not being used to indicate the wine is from the particular GI and the label indicates the origin of the wine and the word is being used in good faith. This section was included in 2010 to implement the EU-Australia Wine Agreement. In the past Germany had registered GIs of ‘Lay’ and ‘Held’ (since omitted from the Register) but without this exemption a simple phrase such as “for best drinking we recommend you lay this wine down for several years in your cellar” would breach the Act . Similarly, Port is now a registered GI but this exemption allows the continued use of the word port if used for other purposes, for example, this wine is from the region Henty near the city of Portland (or town of Port Fairy). To conclude, our framework for protecting GIs is robust, reasonable and sensible supported by ongoing and vigilant enforcement through Wine Australia’s auditing program. Contact: Andreas Clark, Wine Australia. Phone: (08) 8228 2000. Email:

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96 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596

Organic wine China’s second best seller China’s second best-selling wine is organic Chateau Auguste Merlot 2010, priced at ¥368.00 (67 AUD). According to a report by the Drink Business, the wine is selling like “hot cakes” on Chinese online wine retailer Wangjiu. Consumers are raving about the “soft, silky tannins” and love the fact that it is organic.

Hong Kong: gateway to China’s ‘unquenchable thirst’ Due to the removal of wine tariffs in 2008, Hong Kong has emerged as a regional wine trade and distribution hub for China. Hong Kong imports more than $1 billion in wine from around the globe and the total value of wine exports has jumped 200 per cent since tariffs were removed.

New York wine seller launches in China New York-based merchant and auctioneer Zachys has launched an online retail business in Hong Kong, reflecting the steady growth in wealthy Chinese

customers who demand quality wines. has partnered with Vinitaly International to debut a selection of fine Italian wines.

Technology launched to taste wine without pulling the cork A new wine gadget developed by US manufacturer Coravin has been released, allowing wine lovers to access ‘any wine, any time in any quantity’ without having to remove the cork. The Coravin Wine Access System allows users to withdraw a desired quantity from a sealed bottle via a hollow needle which pierces the foil and cork. The cork reseals itself naturally and the wine continues to evolve without exposure.

Delectable brings cutting edge tech to wine lovers The latest iPhone application Delectable helps consumers discover new vintages and remember wines they’ve tasted. The app claims to possess a “keen understanding of wine’s inherent complexity”. The image recognition technology identifies wine by a photograph being taken. It allows users

to tag friends, add locations, assign ratings and make notes. The app has over 2 million bottles in its database and all data is analysed to impart useful information to the consumer.

Wines for Dummies Vision Wine and Spirits have brought out a new range of wine targeted at the younger generation who are looking for a fun, quirky and appealing drop. Wines for Dummies follows a similar concept to the ‘For Dummies’ books with the familiar yellow and black colour scheme and a label informing consumers about the varieties.

Napa technology hosts webinar on retail wine trends On September 5, developer of the WineStation Intelligent Preservation and Dispensing System, Napa Technology hosted a webinar for the grocery and retail wine trade. It explored how consumers influence the way wine is sold in retail environments. The webinar, titled The Changing Wine Aisle: Retail Wine Trends reviewed the evolution of retail wine sales and provided insights and best practice tips from industry leaders.

FAQ: Where can I find information about exporting my wine?

• LOOK in your 2013 Wine Industry Directory from page 436 to find “Distributors - Export” and from page 440 to find companies that offer “Export Services” • LOOK in your 2013 Wine Industry Directory from page 8 to find a statistical summary of 2012 Australian Wine Exports and 2012 New Zealand Wine Exports from page 22.


September 2013 – Issue 596

VISIT • Select the option “Distributors - Export” or “Export Services” from the Buyers’ Guide categories listed to view companies that offer these services VISIT to view a statistical summary of 2012 Australian Wine Exports

To order your copy: Ph: +618 8369 9509 E: Visit:

Grapegrower & Winemaker


business & technology

Learning by doing, tasting and travelling There’s nothing like hands-on experience – plus some extensive tasting and smelling – when it comes to making the most out of your wine studies. Inigo Auzmendi

A GROUP OF viticulture a nd w i nema k i ng students from Charles Education Sturt University (CSU) has had a learning & training experience of a lifetime during a recent trip to Europe to study some of best established cool-climate winemaking regions in the world. As part of a group of 35 students and academics from the School of Engineering at Changins in Switzerland, and California Polytechnic State and Cornell universities in the US, they smelt and tasted their way through winemaking and grapegrowing regions in Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria and Germany. Among the CSU students was Master of Viticulture and Oenology student, Katherine Brown.

She is studying through the University’s School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences by distance education and is part of Australia’s Brown Brothers winemaking family

Stand in history

Katherine Brown.

“I really learnt the value of ‘learning by doing’. To stand in a 400-year-old terraced vineyard in Switzerland and be shown the effects of different pruning techniques and soil types meant far more to me than seeing the pictures in a textbook,” Brown said “I travelled and lived with likeminded enthusiasts for vine growing and winemaking from around the world, aged from their twenties to sixties, who were there to learn, critique and taste great wines. “A fascinating part of the tour was Slovenia, as none in the group, including the Swiss, had been there or knew any of their wines. We were surprised they had been making wines for centuries and were pretty sophisticated in their production methods.” Dr Inigo Auzmendi, a research fellow with the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at CSU in Wagga Wagga, supervised the CSU tour group to Europe. “Our students visited vineyards and wineries and tasted wines from the slopes of the Alps to the Mediterranean coast across Hungarian plains and Slovenian forests,” Auzmendi said. “We wanted to show them the full scale of conditions for grape and wine production as well as regions not well known in Australia,” he said. “Sharing the trip with students from other parts of the world will help them to build an international network of contacts.”

Global experience Brown noted most of their studies at CSU are focused on Australian wine production, which was to be expected. “But to look around the world and see what our competitors are doing is such a great experience for Australian businesses entering the global wine market,” Brown said. The CSU group was supported by CSU Global, a program to increase international study experiences for CSU students. Through its School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences, CSU offers bachelor degrees in viticulture, wine science and wine business as well as a Master of Viticulture and Oenology. Students can complete their studies by distance education while working in the wine industry. Inigo Auzmendi, National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at CSU. Phone/fax: 02 6933 4082. Email:

98 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2013 – Issue 596

Education the key to cellar door success Sydney Wine Academy is providing a boost where it counts – at the cellar door – by training a new generation of graduates with specialised industry and customer skills Any viable business starts with sales. And anchoring sales success are crucial skills in customer service and, of course, wine knowledge in this industry is the basis of all meaningful customer engagement. The Sydney Wine Academy works with the wine industry from the cellar door through to wholesale and retail. Course director Clive Hartley says the reality is that wherever you are on the supply chain that knowledge is the key to success. He said without sound knowledge of wine from the ground up the customer experience is diminished. “The globally-recognised Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is now the by-word in the Australian wine landscape,” Hartley said. “It is also now is a pre-requisite in employing staff for many major wine companies both here overseas,” he said. “The Sydney Wine Academy is the most successful wine knowledge educator in the country and provides education in four different awards, from a foundation level to the coveted diploma. “That diploma has currently has 40 applicants and competition is fierce to make the cut.” Hartley said as a previous winner of the worldwide WSET Educator of the Year, the Sydney Wine Academy has been the ‘go to’ organisation for household names such as Coles Liquor, Woolworths Liquor Group, Treasury Wine Estates and William Grant and Sons. He said companies are beginning to realise without staff education their

We customise our approach for each organisation and can utilise wines from the client portfolio and combine those wines with international wines. We can even supply competitors’ wines to provide a benchmark and highlight differences in quality and style market position can be compromised and competition at present is unforgiving in a tough market. “At the Sydney Wine Academy, we customise our approach for each organisation and can utilise wines from the client portfolio and combine those wines with international wines,” he said. “We can even supply competitors’ wines to provide a benchmark and highlight differences in quality and style. “The Sydney Wine Academy has developed the WSET Plus approach where we overlay Australian wine knowledge with the WSET global approach to compare wines side by side. “The key to our success is linking the business of wine to profit. “After all, at the end of the day, it is sustainability of a winery which counts and that means sales – and lots of them. “It is no longer good enough, or viable, to just have a great product, it is about the story of the wine, the production and the knowledge behind the flavours and aromas that speak to the consumer”.

The Sydney Wine Academy provides solutions nationally which can find the lecturers delivering training in any state, with the current network of courses in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Sydney on a regular basis. Hartley is passionate about wine education and says supporting their clients is the key to their success. “And providing flexible solutions is what sets the Sydney Wine Academy apart from pack,” he added. “We believe we make a significant difference in the lives of our students and businesses alike”. Contact: Phone (02) 9448 6301 or visit www.sydneywineacademy.


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September 2013 – Issue 596 Telephone: + 61 2 9448 6369

Grapegrower & Winemaker


Australian Wine Export Market Snapshot The Australian Wine Export Market Snapshot is prepared by Wine Australia and provides the latest key statistics on exports of Australian wine. Updated monthly, the snapshot looks at the movement in total volume and value

for the past 12 months and then drills down into more detail such as the top five destinations by value growth, movements in container type, colour, winestyle, and price point, and the top five varietal and regional label claims on bottles.

The main purpose of the report is to provide some high-level trends for the Australian wine category. For more information please visit www., email to info@ or ring 08 8228 2010.

Highlights â&#x20AC;&#x201C; year ended July 2013 Key statistics Total



Volume ML



Value $AM (fob)



Destinations (by value growth)


Growth ($Am)

China, Pr



Hong Kong



New Zealand










% point change

Glass bottle

Container type (by volume)









Alternative packaging1




% point change


Still wine by colour (by volume)







% point change

Red still wine



White still wine






Wine style (by volume)







Price points (by volume)


% point change

$A2.49/L and under 2



$A2.50/L to A$4.99/L



$A5.00/L to A$7.49/L



$A7.50/L to A$9.99/L



$A10.00/L and over


0.2 Share

Top five varietal label claims on bottles (by volume)


Shiraz and Shiraz blends



Chardonnay and Chardonnay blends




Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon blends



Merlot and Merlot blends



Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc blends



Top five regional label claims on bottles (by volume)



South Eastern Australia



Prepared: August 2013, updated monthly 1 Alternative packaging includes flagon, tetra, PET and other packaging types 2 The growth in this segment is due to growth bulk shipments as more Australian wine is being packaged overseas for a combination of reasons, including economic, environmental and scale rationale together with meeting the requirements of some customers. The change in share represents percentage point change in share between the current twelve month period compared to the preceding 12 month period. Based on data compiled from the AWBC Wine Export Approval System. Average Value ($AUD) calculated on FOB value. Free on Board (FOB) value includes production and other costs up until placement on international carrier but excludes international insurance and transport costs. Data is based on wine shipped from Australia to the country of destination - in some instances, wine is then transshipped to other countries for consumption.

South Australia






McLaren Vale



Riverland blends



100 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Disclaimer: While Wine Australia makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and currency of information within this report, we accept no responsibility for information, which may later prove to be misrepresented or inaccurate, or reliance placed on that information by readers. Provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 apply to the contents of this publication, all other right reserved. For further copyright authorisation please see the website

September 2013 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Issue 596

looking forward 2013 Australia & New Zealand

looking back

September 16-18 (JD) Barossa Wine Show. Barossa, SA. 16 Fine Wine Partners Festival – Sydney. Sydney, NSW. 16-17 (JD) Hunter Valley Boutique Winemakers Show. Maitland, NSW. 17 13th Champagne National Master Class Series. Perth, WA. 17-19 Henty Machinery Field Days. Henty, NSW. 18 Fine Wine Partners Festival – Brisbane. Brisbane, QLD. 18-19 Riverland Field Days. Riverland, SA. 19-24 (JD) Australian Fortified Wine Show. Rutherglen, VIC. 19-24 (JD) Rutherglen Wine Show. Rutherglen, VIC. 20 (CD) ActewAGL Canberra Regional Wine Show. Canberra, ACT. 20 (CD) Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. Mildura, VIC. 21 Go Grazing. Mudgee, NSW.

27 AWRI Seminar (Barossa Valley). Barossa Valley, SA. industry_support/courses-seminarsworkshops/events 27 (CD) North East Victorian Wine Challenge. Myrtleford, VIC. 28-29 Murrumbateman Moving Feast. Murrumbateman, NSW. 29 September-2 October (JD) 2013 Royal Adelaide Wine Show-Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of South Australia. Wayville, SA. 30 (CD) Wheatbelt Midwest Wine Show of WA & Wandering Wheatbelt Wine Awards. Wandering, WA. 30 September-1 October (JD) Hawke's Bay A & P Wine Awards. Hastings, NZ.

October 1-3 Elmore Field Days. Elmore, VIC. 1 (CD) New England Wine Show. Glen Innes, NSW. 1-3 (JD) Qantas Wine Show of Western Australia. Mount Barker, WA. 2-3 34th Australian National Wine & Beer Show 2013. Urrbrae, SA.

21 Seduction by Tastebuds Lunch. Moonambel, VIC.

2-3 Geographe Wine Show 2013. Bunbury, WA.

23-27 (JD) Australian Cool Climate Wine Show. Murrumbateman (Canberra Region), NSW.

3 Royal Adelaide Wine Show Seminar. Adelaide Showground, SA.

23 (CD) Kiama Regional Wine Show. Kiama, NSW.

4 (CD) Clare Valley Regional Wine Show. Clare, SA.

24 (CD) 2013 Australian Small Winemakers Show. Stanthorpe, QLD. 25 AWRI Seminar (Clare Valley). Clare Valley, SA. support/courses-seminars-workshops/ events September 2013 – Issue 596

JD = judging date CD = closing date For a comprehensive list of events, visit

We step back in time to see what was happening through the pages of Grapegrower and Winemaker this month 10, 20 and 30 years ago. September 1983 A survey conducted by the Sunraysia Table Grapes Association, Robinvale Table Grapes Association and Victoria Grape Growers and Export Association shows production of table grapes will outstrip the market. According to secretary of the Victorian Grape Packers, G.J. Laird, growers should question the wisdom of transferring from dried to table grapes, or growing grapes especially for the trade. The survey covered Victorian/ New South Wales border regions and extended to include lower Darling River areas.

September 1993 A natural method of protecting white and sparkling wines from unsightly haze has been developed by an Australian researcher. The work is of great significance to the world wine industry, which now spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually treating wines to prevent haze, which is caused by the heat instability of the grape proteins that occur naturally in wine. The research was described last month to the 206th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Chicago, Illinois, by Dr Elizabeth Waters, a research biochemist at the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide.

September 2003 Marilyn Arnold has been appointed to the newly-created position of executive officer for the Adelaide Plains Wine Region (APWR), which represents more than 40 grapegrowers and wine producers in the district. Dr Joe Ceravolo of family wine company St Andrews Estate and president of the APWR, said the association had a business plan ready to roll out and had been looking for the right person to make it happen. “It is a fantastic opportunity to link Marilyn’s extensive contacts and experience in the South Australian food industry – particularly global efforts – with our region’s premium grapes and wine,” he said. Grapegrower & Winemaker


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September 2013 – Issue 596

Grapegrower & Winemaker now available whenever you want PRINT



ARchIvEd ONLINE ARTIcLEs – sEARch by kEy wORd viti-talk

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July 2011

– Issu

e 570


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596 september 13  
596 september 13