Page 1


Prep for vintage with fungal and heatwave management New invention: the Wine Baa Considering concrete for fermentation New Winetitles Insights report

The “Specialist” Tractors 4 - SERIES



PRUNNERS & TRIMMERS GEPPS CROSS 08 8139 7222 SUMMERTOWN 08 8390 3017 NARACOORTE 08 8762 0123


9090XD Side Conveyor System

9090XA 9090XAO The 2-Bin Destemmer System “Opti-Grape� Destemmer System

Up to 60-tonnes per Ha with any length rows. [MOG sample: 0-1]

Up to 20-tonnes per Ha Shorter Rows Bin Capacity - 3.22m3 MOG sample: 0]

Up to 8-tonnes per Ha Shorter Rows Bin Capacity - 3.2m3 Sorting Setting: Infinite

Contents January 2018

Issue 648


The cover Ready your snips because the 2018 vintage is just around the corner.

Prep for vintage with fungal and dry weather management New invention: the Wine Baa Considering concrete for fermentation

Features 18 What’s the right spray?:

The best spraying options for keeping fungal disease at bay

37 Time for tank repairs?: Abseil toward efficiency

44 Fermenting positive effects on colour, mouthfeel and fruitiness

News 8

My view

10 Wine Australia and CSIRO sign $37 million investment agreement


8 Regulars 6

What’s online


Say that again


Ask the AWRI

22 How to deal with soaring temperatures: Managing heatwaves in Riverina vineyards

50 Vinehealth Australia

28 Rain brings mixed fortunes for SA wine regions



68 Testing Times 81 Calendar Marketplace classifieds

Winemaking 40 “Grouse tips’ for maintaining winery machinery 51 Solid solution:

making a case for concrete and ceramic vessels in the winery

56 A fresh perspective:


Young Gun – Yuri Berns

61 Gains in speed, labour and gas consumption for winemakers


Business & Technology 72 WET – Time to put your grape supply contracts in place 74 Shiraz brand power 78 Preserving nature: Tahbilk’s innovative eco-approach

22 4 Grapegrower & Winemaker

78 January 2018 – Issue 648

From the Editor Publisher And Chief Executive Hartley Higgins General Manager Elizabeth Bouzoudis Editor Hans Mick Editorial advisory board Denis Gastin, Dr Steve Goodman, Dr Terry Lee, Paul van der Lee, Bob Campbell MW, Prof Dennis Taylor, Mary Retallack and Corrina Wright

Hans Mick Editor

Welcome to 2018! The grape and wine sector enters the New Year with change in the air. Crucial aspects of the Wine Equalisation Tax, including changes to the producer rebate and reporting requirements for buying wine under quote, have come into force on January 1. Export grant applications under the Australian government’s $50 million dollar industry support package have now also opened. Overseeing this process will be new federal agriculture minister, David Littleproud, after Barnaby Joyce gave up the portfolio to focus on Infrastructure and Transport. In vineyards, bunches of winegrapes are forming this month ahead of what promises to be a bumper harvest, despite the latter months of 2017 bringing extreme conditions to a number of regions: frosts in SA’s Padthaway, Victoria’s Grampians and NZ’s Central Otago; scorching temperatures in NSW’s Riverina. Wet and steamy conditions resulting from late seasonal rains affected a number of areas, including SA wine regions, bringing with it the challenge of managing fungal disease. In this January issue of Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker, viticulturist Sam Bowman takes us through a range of fungicide spraying options that could be worth considering. The NSW DPI, working with the Bureau of Meteorology, also outlines strategies for growers to manage heatwave events. We also feature a new invention that could revolutionise vineyard slashing: the so-called Wine Baa, which offers an innovative approach to agisting sheep. For wineries needing tank repairs, we provide insights into safety requirements

and look at a new method: abseiling technicians. There are tips for pre-vintage winery maintenance, including a few ideas from ‘left field’. Winemakers will also learn about a newly-developed yeast, autolysate – to improve red wine quality, the benefits of using concrete and ceramic vessels for fermentation, and find out more about dissolved gas management systems. The AWRI shows how big data could help the industry learn more about the fermentation process through a handy new app. Offering a fresh perspective is our ‘young gun’, Yuri Berns, who at 29, has just become the new president of WA’s Swan Valley Winemakers. In our regular ‘My View’ column, wine communicator and educator, Gill Gordon-Smith, discusses how wine professionals need to stay on top of shifts in communication, while sharing her excitement about where she sees the industry heading. In this issue, there’s timely information on how the recently enacted WET reforms will affect those about to sign on the dotted line for grape supply contracts, and revealed is the latest research showing which of our Shiraz brands are doing it right when it comes to sales and marketing. We feature too, the first inclusion of our brand new report, Winetitles Insights. This regular feature compiled from data supplied by Wine Australia and Wine Industry Directory, will help growers and winemakers stay across the latest sales and production trends. We hope you enjoy this and more inside.

Editorial Camellia Aebischer Advertising Sales Suzanne Phosuwan Production Simon Miles Circulation: Brooke Bradshaw Winetitles Media ABN 85 085 551 980 630 Regency Road, Broadview, South Australia 5083 Phone: (08) 8369 9500 Fax: (08) 8369 9501 @Grape_and_Wine Printing by Lane Print Group, Adelaide © Contents copyright Winetitles Media 2017. 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) Subscription Prices Australia: 1 year (12 issues) $79.95 (inc. GST) 2 years (24 issues) $150 (inc. GST) New Zealand, Asia & Pacific: 1 year (12 issues) $114 (AUD) 2 years (24 issues) $217 (AUD) All other countries: 1 year (12 issues) $190 (AUD) 2 years (24 issues) $349 (AUD) Students (Aus only): 1 year (12 issues) $66 (inc. GST)

January 2018 – Issue 648

Grapegrower & Winemaker


what’s ONLINE Sunraysia cleaning up after storm Sunraysia residents are cleaning up after thunderstorms and 90 km/h winds battered the region. Mildura SES has received more than 200 calls for assistance. While the shed at Chateau Mildura has been blown over, most grapevines in the region remain unscathed. Source, Sunraysia Daily.

New hybrid tractor tyre due in vineyards soon The hybrid track tyre first seen at Agritechnica four years ago looks set to be available in Australia by the end of next year. Constructed as a tyre with a flexible inset sidewall, the PneuTrac runs as a normal tyre when inflated but is designed to run when deflated to create a larger footprint and reduce compaction. Source, The Weekly Times.

Cask wine’s days are numbered The head of the country’s largest liquor retailer has warned the classic silver pillow is doing it tough, as Aussies increasingly shift to drinking “less but better”. BWS chief executive Guy Brent said the cask wine category had been declining by around 5 per cent annually. “Cask wine as a category is declining,” he said. Source, News.

Heritage vineyard irrigation gets recognition At the International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) triennial conference held in Mexico in October 2017 the Bleasdale Vineyards floodgate, nominated by Irrigation Australia Limited, was accepted for inclusion in the ICID heritage irrigation structure register. Source, Winetitles.

Say that again The synergistic relationship between the wine and tourism industries is especially exciting and rapidly evolving. John Bennett, page 12.

By comparing the DNA of different grapevines we identified a specific gene that is associated with sodium exclusion from shoots. Jake Dunlevy, page 17.

In an ideal world, it would be great to avoid the use of chemicals in vineyards and I think the wines would be all the better for it. Sam Bowman, page 18.

I was working near a vineyard and I was watching the tractors go up and down the vineyard mowing the grass and I thought there has to be a better way to utilise that large amount of land. David Robertshaw, page 30.

In wineries, preventive maintenance is an ineffective waste of money for the 82% of failures that are random. Ian Jeffrey, page 41.

We made a few bubbles here and from then on I really didn’t look back. That kind of got me hooked. Yuri Berns, page 57.

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 6 Grapegrower & Winemaker

If grapes are sold to a winemaker pursuant to retention of title clause, then it is extremely likely that the winemaker will not be able to satisfy the 85% Ownership Requirement. Mathew Brittingham, page 72.

January 2018 – Issue 648

Winetitles Insights With this New Year edition of Grapegrower and Winemaker, we are introducing a new report Winetitles Insights. Compiled from data supplied by Wine Australia and the Wine Industry Directory, this regular report will feature industry sales and production insights to keep growers and winemakers informed on the latest trends.

Key performance indicators point to a positive outlook for the Australian wine sector:

AUSTRALIAN WINE EXPORTS AUSTRALIAN WINE EXPORTS Value of exports over time (A$ billion) 2.5 2.3 2.1 1.9 1.7 1.5





2.5 2.3 2.1

1.9 .9 1.7

.7 1.5



Value of Value exports timeover time ofover exports DOMESTIC Value MARKET Average value of exports of exports over time (A$ billion) (A$ billion) Value of exports over time (A$ per litre) (A$ billion) (A$ billion) 6.00 1.04 2.5 Domestic off-trade market 2.5 1.02 2.3 (A$ billion) 2.3 4.00 1.00 2.1 4.0 0.98 2.1 1.9 3.0 0.96 2.00 1.9 1.7 Bottled (RH-axis) Bulk (LH-axis) 2.0 0.94 1.7 1.5 0.92 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 20170.00 1.0 1.5 2012 12 months 2013 2014 2015 20162016 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2017 2017 2012 201312ended 2014 2015 September months ended September 0.0 12ended months ended September 12 months September months ended September Australian12 wine Imported wine


MAT To 03/09/17

MAT To 04/09/16

DomesticDomestic off-trade off-trade market market Domestic off-trade market by category (A$ billion) (A$ billion) Domestic off-trade market Domestic off-trade (A$ billion) market (A$ billion) (A$ billion) National winegrape crush (tonnes million)

4.0 2.0 4.0 1.5 3.0 3.0 1.0 3.0 .0 2.5 2.0 2.0 0.5 2.0 0.0 .0 1.0 1.0 1.5 1.0 .0 0.0 0.0 1.0 wine ImportedImported wine Australian wine wine 0.0 Australian .0 0.5 Australian wine Imported wine Australian wine Imported wine MAT To 04/09/16 MAT To 03/09/17 MAT To 04/09/16 MAT To 03/09/17 MAT To 04/09/16 MAT To 03/09/17 0.0 MAT To 04/09/16 MAT MAT To 04/09/16 MAT To 03/09/17 2012 2013 2014 2015To 03/09/17 2016 2017 VINTAGE VINTAGE Financial year VINTAGE NTAGE VINTAGE National National winegrape crush crush winegrape National average purchase price of winegrapes (tonnes million) (tonnes million)crush National winegrape ($ per tonne) National winegrape crush (tonnes million) (tonnes million) 2.5 2.5 600 2.5 2.0 .5 2.0 550 2.0 1.5 .0 1.5


.5 1.0 .0 0.5

.5 0.0


500 1.5 1.0 1.0 0.5 450

0.5 0.0 400 2012 0.0


• The value of Australian wine exports increased for the fourth Average value of exports consecutive year and the growth rate accelerated in the last 12 (A$ per litre) months, up by 13 per cent 1.04 • The average price for bottled exports continued a long-term 1.02trend while for bulk wine increased for the second upward consecutive 1.00 year • There0.98 was strong growth in all export price points, from entrylevel/commercial wines through to Australia's finest wines 0.96 • Export growth was strongest for premium wines reflecting Bottled (RH-axis) Bulk (LH-axis) 0.94 demand for premium Australian wines in most increased regions around the world 0.92 • In the domestic off-trade market,2014 the growth rate in2016 Australian 2012 2013 2015 2017 wine sales accelerated in the last 12 months while for imported 12 months ended September wines it slowed • In the domestic off-trade market, wine are poised to Average value ofred exports Average value of sales exports Average value exports overtake white wine sales, driven by strong growth in Shiraz, (A$ per of litre) (A$ per litre) Average value of exports (A$Pinot per litre) Cabernet Noir. Chardonnay is making 6.00 1.04 1.04 Sauvignon and (A$ per litre) 1.04 Domestic off-trade marketgrowth by category a comeback, recording close to double-digit at $20 6.00 or 1.04 1.02 1.02 (A$ billion)Blanc in this price more 1.02 per bottle and outselling Sauvignon 1.02 1.00 4.00 1.00 point2.0 1.00 4.00 1.00 0.98 0.98 • Global 1.5wine supply in 2017 is estimated to be at the lowest level 0.98 0.98 since1.0 1961 but the Australian winegrape crush was the highest 0.96 2.00 0.96 Bulk (LH-axis) Bottled (RH-axis) Bulk 0.96 2.00 level0.5 in over aBottled decade(RH-axis) providing an opportunity for (LH-axis) Australian 0.96 0.94 0.94 Bottled the (RH-axis) Bulkdemand (LH-axis) Bottled (RH-axis) Bulk wineries to support increasing global for(LH-axis) premium 0.94 0.94 0.92 0.0 0.00 0.92 wines 0.92 0.00 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 0.92 • Australian winegrape prices increased for the third consecutive 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 12 months ended September months ended September year and the tightening of12global supply suggests there will be 12 months ended September 122018 months ended September further upward pressure in

2.0 1.5 2.0 1.0 1.5 0.5 1.0 0.0 0.5 0.0

2014 2015 2016 2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015 Financial year Financial year 2014 2015 2016 Financial year Financial year Financial year

January 2018 – Issue 648

2017 2016 2016 2016 2017

2017 2017 2017

4.00 2.00 0.00

6.00 6.00 4.00 4.00 2.00 2.00 0.00 0.00

MAT To 03/09/17

DomesticDomestic off-trade off-trade market by category market by category (A$ market billion) (A$by billion) Domestic off-trade category Domestic off-trade market by category (A$ billion)(A$ billion) National average purchase price of winegrapes ($ per tonne)

500 450 400


600 550 550 500 500 450

2013 2012 2012 2012 2013

2.0 1.5 2.0 1.0 1.5 0.5 600 1.0 0.0 0.5 550 0.0


450 400 400

MAT To 04/09/16 MAT To 03/09/17 MAT To 04/09/16 MAT To 03/09/17 MAT To 04/09/16 MAT To 03/09/17 MAT MAT 2012To 04/09/16 2013 2014To 03/09/17 2015 2016 Financial year


National National average average purchasepurchase price of winegrapes price of winegrapes ($ per tonne) ($ per tonne) National average purchase price of winegrapes National average purchase price of winegrapes ($ per tonne) ($ per tonne) 600 600 550 550 500 500 450 450 400 2012 400


2013 2012 2012 2013

2014 2015 2016 2017 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Financial year Financial year 2014 2015 2016 2017 Financial year Financial year Wine Australia, IRI-Aztec Sources: Grapegrower & Winemaker


my view

Selling wine with words Wine educator and communicator Gill Gordon-Smith shares her infectious enthusiasm for the industry and her excitement over where it’s headed.


n anyone’s book I have had an interesting and pretty good year. Passing the Vinitaly International Academy Ambassador exam & winning WCA Wine Educator of the Year was awesome, but taking home the WCA Communicator title found me… speechless. Seriously, I hadn’t factored that one in at all and my acceptance speech was definitely not something I had ‘prepared earlier’. There were so many who deserved the accolade and many more who hadn’t entered at all, but someone goes home with the title and this year it was me and I am truly honoured and humbled. Once the reality had set in and I was feeling a little more comfortable with the idea, I started to question how we communicate about wine these days and the channels we use to get our message across to consumers. It’s a totally different 8 Grapegrower & Winemaker

wine world now and there are so many distractions, diversions and noises that disrupt the messages we try to send about who we or what our brands are, where we fit in the new order and how we feel about change in the marketplace. The reality is, things have shifted and in order to move forward we have to accept that communication takes many forms, across many platforms and we may have to access more than the usual suspects. Some of us are natural communicators and others would rather do anything else, but it is what the wine industry is all about, a conversation with the consumer. As wine professionals today we need to send our messages across more than one channel and learn to sell wine with our own words, telling our unique stories. It’s not enough to stand up and describe the wines at a tasting event, people want to engage with our true story and for longevity, it can’t be faked.

January 2018 – Issue 648

There are so many new words that have been added to our lexicon, and so many new stories being told. Alternate varieties, organic, bio-dynamic, sustainable, natural and minimal intervention wines have shaken up the status quo and left some feeling a little uncomfortable, but have provided others with inspiration and a seat at the table. The thing I love about Australian wine is that we can celebrate the traditional and embrace the new at the same time, we don’t have to choose sides, we can truly have it all. How we talk about those wines and the tribes we belong to or relate to make this a ‘multi-cultural’ industry. Dan Sims of REVEL - bottle shop concepts curates events such as ‘Game of Rhones’ and ‘Pinot Palooza’ featuring both new and traditional brands. These are wine experiences that speak to a wide and increasingly engaged audience. Mike Bennie and the Rootstock crew are speaking to a new generation of wine drinkers including food & wine professionals and totally engaging, educating and learning with them. These events are perfect vehicles for telling stories, changing culture and offer an opportunity for winemakers to engage at ground level with their customers.

The thing I love about Australian wine is that we can celebrate the traditional and embrace the new at the same time I’ve personally experienced the amazing atmosphere at Rootstock and had some wonderful conversations with my tribe and great discussions with those not as convinced. We’ve all managed to keep it civil, have a lot of fun and sold some wine in the process. I don’t have a beard and am not under 30 and I have always felt welcome. Every Friday night at Fall from Grace we showcase a small producer, building learning and engagement through tastings, encouraging winemakers to get feedback and connect with the consumer, telling their story to an audience. Over the last seven years this has proved an invaluable opportunity for many producers as they grow, drawing in interested consumers in a relaxed environment and creating a sense of community. It’s coal-face to face feedback from consumers who are confident to call a spade a shovel if required and will tell their truth about your wine. Wonderful stuff. I am excited about the future of the Australian wine industry in all its forms. I’ve just been in Verona at wine2wine talking about the ‘New Australians’- Italian Influence on Australian taste, where I showcased some of the Italian native varieties influencing McLaren Vale. Other topics included digital marketing, apps, Instagram, influencers, marketing to millennials, future of wine, wine tourism, the Chinese market and education. Throughout the conference and the other presentations, given by some global movers and shakers, I was proud that it is noticed that we speak about Australian Wine as a whole entity through Wine Australia and their trade and educational programs, even though we have our stylistic and regional identities. The complex Italian industry with its regional infighting does not and is finding it harder to get a cohesive message across. It is always a work in progress but people are excited about what we are doing here and about our premium wines. They hear through multiple channels and the messages are getting through. To paraphrase Maya Angelou: ‘People don’t always remember what you said but they do remember how you made them feel’. Sell your wine with words but tell your own, authentic story. January 2018 – Issue 648

Grants now open • $10m of international wine tourism grants • $1m of wine export grants

APPLY NOW at Export and Regional Wine Support Package Phone (08) 8228 2000 Email

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Wine Australia and CSIRO sign $37 million investment agreement A 5-year $37 million co-investment agreement was signed on December 13 between Wine Australia and the CSIRO. The agreement will benefit the Australian grape and wine sector and consumers alike, with research into areas such as winegrape quality, climate adaptation and disease resistance under the microscope. The agreement, which will run from 2017 to 2022, covers research and development activities that reflect a high level of strategic alignment between the two partners, allowing for longer term strategic investments that will benefit levy payers and the whole Australian wine sector. “CSIRO has worked with Wine Australia since its inception to deliver solutions to problems facing the Australian grape and wine community,” said CSIRO Agriculture and Food Research Director Dr Lynne McIntyre. “This new co-funded collaborative agreement recognises the importance of developing innovative solutions to the economic and environmental challenges facing the Australian wine sector over

the next 30 years, and will build on past achievements, as well as utilising exciting new technologies.” Key grape and wine sector priorities to be addressed under this agreement include: • developing and evaluating new winegrape varieties with robust disease resistance • breeding new rootstocks with greater tolerance to pests, salinity, heat and water stress • producing wines with unique flavours from grape varieties bred specifically for Australian conditions • developing new strategies to

manage harvest timing and alleviate compressed ripening and harvest windows caused by climate change • new digital technologies to better estimate yield, crop condition and grape quality, and • future proofing Australia’s grapevine germplasm. Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said he was delighted to continue the longterm partnership with the CSIRO. “Growers and winemakers will also benefit from better vineyard management tools, and an ongoing source of excellent planting material for the Australian winegrowing community,” said Clark. Under the strategic partnership agreement, Wine Australia will contribute $19 million and CSIRO $18 million towards the priorities. This agreement is the second in a series of bilateral partnerships between Wine Australia and major research institutions under a new research and development funding framework.

Glyphosate life extended for five years The European Union has extended the life of popular herbicide, glyphosate (also known as Roundup) for the next five years. Charles Sturt University Emeritus Professor Jim Pratley from the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation is happy to see the life of the herbicide extended. “While the action to ban the herbicide has been taking place on the other side of the world, there is always a spill-over effect to Australia,” said Pratley. “The loss of glyphosate to Australian farmers would be devastating. This herbicide has enabled farming to address totally the soil erosion disasters of 30 years ago through conservation farming techniques. “In the past crop seedbeds were prepared by the plough, this is all done today with one application of 10 Grapegrower & Winemaker

glyphosate and then the crop is sown into undisturbed soil. Withdrawal of glyphosate therefore would threaten conservation farming and take us back to the ‘bad old days’. Nobody wants that. “Glyphosate is also used by local governments for roadside weed control and it is the most common herbicide for

households as well. On the one hand stopping those uses would help preserve the efficacy of glyphosate by reducing the build-up of weed resistance to this herbicide. On the other hand, other herbicides are generally less-safe than glyphosate and so there is no gain in doing that,” he said. January 2018 – Issue 648

Barnaby Joyce replaced as Ag Minister

David Littleproud and Peter Doneley testing pest exclusion fencing near Longreach.

On December 19, Queensland MP David Littleproud was appointed as the Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. Littleproud takes the reins from Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who has changed roles in a recent cabinet reshuffle to become Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. “He’s a very capable man. I mean he’s had 20 years’ experience in agribusiness,” said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Littleproud. “He really does understand agriculture very well, both at a practical level and at a financial level.” Littleproud grew up in Queensland’s Maranoa district and owns a small family business in the agriculture sector. WFA chief executive, Tony Battaglene, said Littleproud had an extensive knowledge of the wine industry from his close association with growers and producers in his own Queensland

Export grant applications now open Now is the time to review guidelines for the $50m Export and Regional Wine Support Package Export Grants which opened their applications on 2 January, 2018. The grant program has $1 million of funding for small and medium wine businesses to claim reimbursement for specific export promotion expenses incurred on or after 1 January 2018. Applicants can make a claim of up to AU$25,000 for 50% of eligible expenses related to promotion of their wine product for export to China, Hong Kong, Macau and/or the USA. The grants will be accessed on a first come, first served basis. Administered by Wine Australia, the wine export grants are a component of the $50m package which aims to grow the Australian wine sector by driving demand for wine exports and showcasing Australia’s wine tourism to the world. A key objective of the wine export grants is to increase the collective wine export value of grant recipients by 7–8 per cent annually by 2019–20. Keep in mind that: • A reimbursement grant is only offered to small and medium wine businesses looking to export (or already exporting) to China, Hong Kong, Macau and/or the USA. January 2018 – Issue 648

• Businesses can claim reimbursement of up to AU$25,000 for 50% of specific export promotion expenses incurred on or after 1 January 2018. • Businesses must have an aggregated turnover of less than AU$20 million and export turnover of less than AU$5 million during the financial year immediately preceding their application. • A business can only claim once. • A business can only claim expenses that haven’t been funded or reimbursed by a third party other than Wine Australia. • The grant program is capped at AU$1 million, with funding accessed on a first-come, first-served basis. • Eligible activities may include expenses related to promotional activity (costs of travel, participation at trade fairs, marketing etc.) incurred in China, Hong Kong, Macau and/or the USA. If you are unsure about which program you should apply for, or have any questions about how to apply, please email grants@ or phone (08) 8228 2000. Alternatively, you may wish to review the FAQs on the Wine Australia website. More information about the wine export grants is available at erwsp.

electorate that includes the growing and vibrant Granite Belt region. “Mr Littleproud will be a strong supporter of the Australian wine industry and an excellent advocate for Australia’s agricultural industries. We look forward to working with him to continue to bring prosperity and sustainability to the Australian wine industry and its rural and regional communities,” said Battaglene. Joyce will be taking on the new role just as the government rolls out its new $75 billion infrastructure program which he will oversee. John McVeigh will become the Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government while Bridget McKenzie who will become Minister for Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications. The WFA believes that rural and regional Australia will be well-served by these “outstanding representatives”.

Kilikanoon sells 80% to Changyu On December 12, Clare Valley newspaper, The Northern Argus, reported that Kilikanoon Estate Pty Ltd had sold 80% of its shares to pioneers of the Chinese wine industry, Chateau Changyu. Despite the majority takeover, it’s reported that plenty of locals will still remain on board. “They are the perfect partner for us. We are very flattered to be chosen, it’s wonderful,” chief winemaker Kevin Mitchell told The Northern Argus. “There is great potential for us at Kilikanoon. They really are the ideal partner for us.” Mitchell will remain winemaker and Warrick Duthy stays as managing director – both will also continue as shareholders in the business. Bruce Baudinet, along with Duthy, would remain on the board of Kilikanoon Estate Pty Ltd alongside Chinese partners. In light of the exchange, Nathan Waks has exited as a shareholder, alongside a number of other majority shareholders including the company secretary, David Adams. Adams will be succeeded by Clare local, Stephen Freeman. The majority share sale gives Kilikanoon a strong business backing and a direct entrance to the Chinese market. Grapegrower & Winemaker



Suffering from success The New Zealand wine industry has continued to show solid financial metrics in 2017, with growth in tourism and exports. However, The 2017 wine industry benchmarking and insights survey report, entitled Ripening Opportunities, has shown that the country has not been utilising its popularity as well as it could be when it comes to international visitors. “The synergistic relationship between the wine and tourism industries is especially exciting and rapidly evolving,” said John Bennett, ANZ commercial & agri general manager. “Wine tourism, both domestic and international, remains a key growth market for Kiwi wineries and is particularly accessible to smaller producers. And the tourism outlook is bright on a number

of fronts including airline arrivals and spend, notably with China becoming our most important tourist market.” The report, prepared by Deloitte and ANZ Bank, tracks the financial results of 45 survey participants accounting for 56% of the industry by litres of wine produced, and 41% by export sales revenue generated. Deloitte partner, Peter Felstead, said that, in general, the survey results show that profitability increases with size, however there are exceptions. “Small producers experience greater premium price points on average compared to their larger counterparts,” he said. In total, 254 million litres of wine were exported in 2017, accounting for $1.66 billion in export revenue.

Export volumes of New Zealand wine to the ‘big three’ markets (Australia, the UK and USA) grew 19% over the previous year to top 200 million litres for the first time, in 2017. Meanwhile, other offshore markets also grew in volume while experiencing a 34% higher price point than the ‘big three’ markets. Overall, the solid financial performance of the New Zealand industry paves the way for wine businesses of all sizes to take advantage of opportunities for growth, including through new and emerging export markets, growth in wine tourism, and other opportunities presented by digital channels. To read or download the full report, Ripening Opportunities, go to www.

Improving the cellar door experience Craggy Range opened their brand new cellar door last month, following a major refit project enhancing the customer experience. The cellar door underwent a six week refurbishment, gutting the space and starting again, focusing on enhancing the customer experience rather than the traditional tasting format. What customers can now look forward to is a more relaxed and intimate approach of seated tastings. Craggy Range general manager, Aaron Drummond saw firsthand how this style of cellar door was operating successfully within the Californian wine regions of the Sonoma and Napa Valleys and after trialling the seated tasting format, it was incorporated into the design of the refit. “The US wine industry is much further 12 Grapegrower & Winemaker

advanced in delivering a great customer experience. Our visitors can still enjoy the more traditional tasting at the bench/ bar, but for those that are interested in learning more about the wines, sitting down in a relaxed environment and tasting with the staff is a much more interesting and enjoyable experience,” said Drummond.

With the reopening of the cellar door a new bites and platter menu will be on offer. The cellar door is located in the same area of the Giants Winery as it has always been and will be open from 10am-6pm, seven days a week over the summer months. The project was designed as the first stage of a two part redesign for the cellar door, followed by the Terroir by Craggy Range restaurant in winter 2018. The refurbishment project is led by Paul Izzard, from Izzard Design; featured as one of the guest judges on TV’s The Block NZ.

January 2018 – Issue 648

on the grapevine

Business leads flourish in China Australian wine took centre stage at the recent ProWine China fair in Shanghai. Forty brands from 20 wine regions in partnership with 22 exhibitors were showcased at the Wine Australia stand during the November event. “As the wine trade business between China and Australia becomes more frequent, we can see that a growing number of Chinese consumers are showing great interest in wine, and their knowledge is improving a lot, which demonstrates our efforts and education work have achieved great results,” said Sam Chen, a Wine Australia certified educator. On the first two days of the fair, Chen and David Hua, another Wine Australia certified educator, delivered tasting classes on key red and white varieties and diversified Australian Shiraz. The classes provided an opportunity for stand visitors to learn more about the history, key grape varieties and regions of Australian wine as well as their diversity. All the wines tasted at the on-site classes were showcased at the stands. “I really think that Australian wine has a very high level of acceptance among the consumers,” said James Teng, Head of Wine – Asia at Hakkasan Group. “As a sommelier, one of the easiest wines to recommend to our guests is Australian wine. People are very familiar with Australian wine and they know that Australian wines are food-friendly, for Chinese food as well.”

Sommeliers like Teng have been involved in education programs at ProWine, organised by Wine Australia and presented by Robert Geddes MW. The classes were delivered through Sommelier Press, a somm-targeted influencer in China. Public education extended to masterclasses held by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) that featured global classes on Cabernet and Shiraz. These were delivered at both ProWine and at a business forum on Women and Wine in China. Through better education and exposure to Australian wine, business opportunities and personal connections are flourishing for exhibitors. Willa Yang, who is the head of market

at Wine Australia said he’s seen a growing interest in premium Australian wines from trade visitors. “ProWine China is one of the most professional and influential trade shows on the calendar. We’ve had incredibly positive feedback from our exhibiting partners who told us that they received strong business leads,” said Yang. During the three day ProWine China event (14–16 November), more than 14,000 visitors attended, an increase of over 14 per cent from 2016. There were around 700 wines and spirits exhibitors from 33 countries along with 17 country pavilions and 3 region pavilions.

Kiwi nominated for top global wine role New Zealand Winegrowers has welcomed the New Zealand government’s nomination of Dr John Barker as a candidate for the role of Director General of the International Organisation of Vine & Wine (OIV). Barker is a lawyer and consultant specialising in the wine sector. He has represented New Zealand as an expert delegate at the OIV for 12 years, and was President of the OIV’s Law and Economy Commission from 2009 to 2012. He is the primary external counsel to New Zealand Winegrowers and advises clients throughout the wine world. The OIV is the inter-governmental scientific and technical reference body for wine. Based in Paris, with 46 members accounting for more than 85% of global wine production and nearly 80% of world consumption, it is sometimes called the ‘UN of wine’. January 2018 – Issue 648

“[John] is an ideal candidate. He has deep understanding and expertise in the global vine and wine sector built on 20 years of experience,” said Philip Gregan, chief executive officer of New Zealand Winegrowers. “At a time when the global trade environment is rapidly changing, [John] would bring a keen appreciation of the importance of international cooperation to the role.

“[John] has been at the forefront of major technical, policy and trade developments that have supported the success of the New Zealand wine industry. He has a unique global perspective from his experience across many grape and wine producing countries and his leadership roles in the OIV and other international wine sector organisations. Gregan said that the New Zealand wine sector fully supported Barker’s vision of an inclusive OIV. The current Director General, JeanMarie Aurand of France, steps down from his role in December 2018, after serving a five year term. The election will be held in July 2018. If elected, Dr Barker would be the first person from outside Europe to hold the role.

Grapegrower & Winemaker


movers & shakers

Seppeltsfield’s new distribution deal The Barossa Valley’s iconic wine estate, Seppeltsfield, has announced a new distribution partnership with Oatley Fine Wine Merchants (OFWM), to commence in March 2018. Seppeltsfield, established in 1851 by the Seppelt family, will be represented by OFWM in Australia in all states and territories. “We love where OFWM have come from, developing their business with an emphasis on the on-premise model, family-owned wineries and a principle of service, service, service”, said Seppeltsfield Proprietor, Warren Randall. “The incredible success of the Rosemount brand, which the Oatley family established, was built from an on-premise model.” The partnership will bring Seppeltsfield’s Barossa red and white wines to the wholesale trade for the first time ever in the estate’s 166 year history. Despite its now substantial vineyard

Tasmanian wine visitors up A record number of wine tourists have flocked to Tasmania over the past year, according to the state’s peak industry body, Wine Tasmania. “Tasmania may be small in terms of its wine production, but it is certainly making a significant impact in terms of its wine value and growing global reputation, as evidenced by visitor numbers,” said Sheralee Davies, Wine Tasmania’s chief executive officer. “Not only is the overall number of visitors to Tasmania growing strongly, the percentage of these visitors choosing to call in to a cellar door during their stay is growing even more quickly. “The latest tourism figures for the year to June 2017, show that 284,453 interstate and international visitors called into a cellar door, representing 22% of all visitors”, she said. Davies recently launched the 2018 Wine Trails Around Tasmania guide, which aims to help visitors discover the island’s 70 featured cellar doors. Wine Australia said previous editions of the free publication had been enormously popular, reaching more than 250,000 people through printed and interactive digital versions.

14 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Seppeltsfield’s old vines in the Barossa Valley. Photo: Camellia Aebischer

ownership, Seppeltsfield has only ever offered a range of still and sparkling wines from its cellar door in the Barossa and the estate has been known more so in the wholesale trade for its cache of fortified wine antiquities. Celebrating a homecoming of the Seppeltsfield brand, the winery will expand from its current cellar door focus with Oatley national distribution, initially

releasing three Barossa regional wines. Further collections will be added in late 2018. Seppeltsfield was separated from Treasury Wine Estates in 2007, the property now under the majority ownership of winemaker Warren Randall. In the 10 years of private ownership, Randall has developed its vineyard holdings on the ‘Western Ridge’ of the Barossa Valley and restored the winery’s heritage listed buildings, including the prized 1888 Gravity Cellar. “It is quite remarkable that one of Australia’s oldest and most iconic wine estates has never released a Barossa still wine range into the market. It is an understatement to say that it has been a long awaited release,” said Randall. Seppeltsfield will announce further details of their first tier of Barossa wines in January next year.

The best cellar doors in Marlborough The Wine Marlborough Cellar Door of the Year final was held at Brancott Estate Cellar Door and Restaurant in late November. On the night, Bladen and Hunter’s Wines were announced as joint winners of the title with Wairau River coming in third place. Alongside Bladen, Hunter’s Wines and Wairau River, the finalists included Hans Herzog and Johanneshof Cellars. Bladen owner, Dave Macdonald, also took out the title of the Wine Marlborough Cellar Door Personality of the Year alongside Brancott Estate Cellar Door and Restaurant host Kimberly Matthews. Both Dave and Kimberly received a mystery shop score of 100%. “It was time to not only celebrate the top cellar doors, but also the individuals that make someone’s visit absolutely brilliant,” said Harriet Wadworth,. Wine Marlborough marketing and communications coordinator. “We have such an amazing team of cellar door hosts in Marlborough which the very close scores represented. It’s great to know that when visitors come to our cellar doors, they are getting a world class experience,” she said. Finalists for the Cellar Door of the Year title were mystery shopped on criteria the hosts had set themselves along with Wine Marlborough.

They were put through their paces with a quick-fire buzzer round that included questions about the region, other cellar doors, wine tourism and general information visitors may ask for. The standard was very high across the board, with very little separating those near the top. As well as an accolade to celebrate as a company, Wine Marlborough also awarded the staff with prizes for them to enjoy as a team. “We are so immensely proud to receive the 2017 Cellar Door of the Year award. It was very stiff competition! “We would have to be one of the smallest cellar doors in the valley and I’m thrilled that we can still provide a service and experience that can match the larger wineries. Hopefully this means a very busy season for us,” said Bladen owner, Chris Macdonald. As well as the top cellar doors, tourists and locals can visit 32 others, with 10 offering winery restaurants and another eight offering platters and small bites. Domestic visitors spent a total of $230.46 million in Marlborough to year end March 2017, while International visitors spent a total of $138.48 million in Marlborough to year end March 2017, an increase of 7% on the previous year.

January 2018 – Issue 648

MEP becomes Metrohm In response to changes in the ownership structure of the company and the successful expansion of its business operation, MEP Instruments will change its name to Metrohm Australia and Metrohm New Zealand. From January 1, 2018 the distributor of leading analytical technology solutions will be operating under the name of Metrohm – its sole parent company. The change reflects the close integration of the Australian and New Zealand operation under the global Metrohm brand. Metrohm is the global market leader in the fields of titration and voltammetry, and a trend-setting innovator in ion chromatography, online analysis and laboratory automation, NIR Raman spectroscopy and electrochemical solutions for research and training. MEP Instruments Australia and New Zealand was established by Metrohm Switzerland together with Anton Paar Austria nearly 20 years ago to strengthen support and service for their customer base in these countries. The tremendous success over the past years and the enthusiastic acceptance by the scientific community in the region have led to the decision to change the name to Metrohm to reflect the commitment to the growing customer base in the region and to establish Anton Paar Australia and New Zealand as a separate entity. “While our company name is changing, the core elements of the organisation will remain the same,” said Reto Broger, managing director of MEP. Along with the name change, the company will adopt the corporate identity, including logo and visual identity of the parent Metrohm AG. The changes will be effective per January 1, 2018, from which date business activities will be undertaken with the new corporate name. All MEP/Metrohm office addresses and phone numbers will remain the same across Australia and New Zealand. Websites: Metrohm Australia: & mep. Metrohm New Zealand: & mep.

For further information, please contact Kauri AUS Tel: 1800 127 611 Email:

January 2018 – Issue 648

NZ Tel: 0800 KAURIWINE Website:

Grapegrower & Winemaker


ask the

Volatile Acidity Analysis of volatile acidity (VA) was probably the wine industry’s first measure of wine quality and is routinely used as an indicator of wine spoilage. This column looks at some of the questions AWRI helpdesk staff commonly receive about VA. What exactly is volatile acidity? Volatile acidity is a measure of the low molecular weight (or steam distillable) fatty acids in wine and is generally perceived as the odour of vinegar. Winemakers are usually most concerned with acetic acid, which accounts for more than 93% of steam distillable acids in wine (Buick and Holdstock 2003). However, other contributors include carbonic acid (from carbon dioxide), sulfurous acid (from sulfur dioxide), lactic, formic, butyric and propionic acids. Sorbic acid is also steam distillable and will contribute to the VA if it has been added to wine. Rather than conducting a steam distillation, many wine laboratories just analyse for acetic acid. Acetic acid is not the full story though, as ethyl acetate can affect the sensory perception of VA. Ethyl acetate (EA) is typically perceived as the odour of nail polish remover.

What is the sensory threshold for VA? Corison et al. (1979) reported the sensory thresholds for acetic acid and EA in a red table wine as 0.74 g/L and 0.16 g/L, respectively. These authors also reported the rejection thresholds for acetic acid and EA as 0.9 g/L and 0.115 g/L, respectively, for the same red wine. Work conducted at the AWRI found the threshold for acetic acid to be about 0.7 g/L in a red table wine. Ribéreau-Gayon et al. (2006) indicate that VA is not easily detected below 0.72 g/L, but above this level wine aroma starts to be affected and flavour starts to deteriorate, such that at acetic acid levels of 0.90 g/L and above, the wine has a noticeable ‘harsh’, ‘bitter’ and ‘sour’ aftertaste.

Why is VA obvious in one wine but not in another, similar wine with the same level of acetic acid? VA is more easily detected if a small amount of EA is also present, and in some cases EA aroma can dominate. Consequently, if two wines have the same concentration of acetic acid but one of them has an elevated level of EA, then the VA can be perceived to be elevated in the wine with the higher level of EA. In addition, VA intensifies the taste of the other acids and tannins present in 16 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Ethyl acetate (EA) is typically perceived as the odour of nail polish remover. wine, but can be masked by high levels of sugar. This can also explain why VA might be perceived in a wine with a relatively low level of acetic acid but not noticed in another wine with a higher level of acetic acid (Zoecklein et al. 1995).

What is a ‘normal’ level of VA? Data collated from AWRI Commercial Services’ database of analytical results from the 2000–2008 vintages show that the average VA value for red table wines during this period was 0.60 g/L. The average VA value for white table wines was 0.43 g/L for the same vintages (Godden and Muhlack 2010). More recent, unpublished data from the same source suggests that the average acetic acid levels in red and white table wines may have decreased, with current levels approximately 0.05 g/L lower than those quoted above.

What are the main sources of VA? Yeast produce small amounts of acetic acid during fermentation as a by-product of normal metabolism. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) can cause a slight increase in acetic acid concentration, if malolactic fermentation is conducted, due to metabolism of citric acid. Small amounts of acetic acid and EA are also produced by acetic acid bacteria (typically Acetobacter sp.) during storage of wine in oak barrels. Unless membrane filtered, red wines always contain some Acetobacter. These bacteria are obligate aerobes (i.e. they have an absolute requirement for oxygen) and produce small amounts of VA whenever the wine is exposed to air, such as during racking and when barrels are topped (Ribéreau-Gayon et al. 2006). These sources of VA, which are attributable to typical winemaking processes, lead to the ‘normal’ levels of VA indicated in the previous answer. However, other circumstances can lead to elevated levels of VA. For example, aerobic yeasts

can grow on the surface of wine in ullaged tanks, producing varying concentrations of EA and acetic acid, depending on the species. Aerobic yeasts use ethanol as a substrate and typically also produce high levels of acetaldehyde (Sponholz 1993). LAB, such as species of Lactobacillus, can produce acetic acid from growth on both hexose and pentose sugars, while species of Pediococcus can also produce acetic acid from growth on pentose sugars. While uncontrolled growth of LAB can lead to high levels of acetic acid, their growth does not lead to the production of EA. However, uncontrolled growth of Acetobacter can lead to high levels of both acetic acid and EA. Like the aerobic yeasts, Acetobacter can multiply and spoil wines that are exposed to air via the oxidation of ethanol, so wine vessels must be kept full and well-sealed to avoid this spoilage. Damaged fruit, caused by fungal disease or bird attack, and the associated increased populations and growth of indigenous microorganisms, can also lead to elevated levels of VA, even before inoculated yeast have had time to establish (Coulter et al. 2008). For further information on volatile acidity, please contact the AWRI helpdesk on or 08 8313 6600.


Buick, D., Holdstock, M. 2003. The relationship between acetic acid and volatile acidity. AWRI Tech. Rev.(143): 39-43. Corison, C. A., Ough, C. S., Berg, H. W., & Nelson, K. E. 1979. Must acetic acid and ethyl acetate as mold and rot indicators in grapes. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 30(2), 130-134. Coulter, A.D., Henschke, P.A. Simos, C.A. Pretorius, I.S. 2008. When the heat is on, yeast fermentation runs out of puff. Aust. N.Z. Wine Ind. J. 23(5): 29-33. Godden, P. Muhlack, R. 2010. Trends in the composition of Australian wine. 1984–2008. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (558): 47–61. Ribéreau-Gayon, P.; Glories, Y.; Maujean, A; Dubourdieu. 2006. Handbook of Enology Second Edition Volume 1: The Microbiology of Wine and Vinifications. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd: 59, 191, 238. Sponholz, W.R. 1993. Wine Spoilage by Microorganisms. Fleet, G.H. ed. Wine microbiology and biotechnology. Singapore: Harwood Academic Publishers: 395–420. Zoecklein, B.W., Fugelsang, K.C., Gump, B.H. and Nury, F.S. 1995. Wine analysis and production. New York: Chapman & Hall: 197.

January 2018 – Issue 648


Vines in the Riverland. Photo by Camellia Aebischer.

Discovery to cheer up salty vines A

recent discovery by Australian scientists is likely to improve the sustainability of the Australian wine sector and significantly accelerate the breeding of more robust salt-tolerant grapevines. With funding from Wine Australia, a team of scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology at the University of Adelaide and CSIRO Agriculture and Food identified genes expressed in grapevine roots that limit the amount of sodium – a key component of salt – that reaches berries and leaves. The research has been published in the journal New Phytologist. “Berries that contain too much sodium may be unsuitable for wine production and this can lead to vineyards remaining unpicked, resulting in financial losses for vineyard owners,” said co-first author of the study, Dr Sam Henderson, from the University of Adelaide. “We set out to determine why some grapevines accumulate salt and others January 2018 – Issue 648

don’t, and found a specific mutation in a sodium transport protein found in grapevine roots, which prevents it from working effectively. This leads to more salt leaking into the shoots of vines from the soil.” While low levels of salt can improve the flavour of wine, in excess it can lead to unpalatable tastes, reduce fruit yield and damage the long-term health of grapevines – a problem experienced in premium wine regions around the world. In Australia’s broader agriculture, food and wine sectors, issues caused by salinity have been estimated to cost in excess of $1 billion each year, but this new research could be a game changer. “By comparing the DNA of different grapevines we identified a specific gene that is associated with sodium exclusion from shoots,” said co-first author Dr Jake Dunlevy, from the CSIRO. “This discovery has allowed us to develop genetic markers that are being used to breed more salt-tolerant grapevine

rootstocks, allowing new genotypes to be screened at the seedling stage rather than through lengthy and expensive fieldbased vineyard trials,” he said. Dr Liz Waters, Wine Australia’s general manager for research, development and extension, said that traditionally winegrape rootstocks have been developed overseas in the US and Europe. “This new research supports a breeding program to combine multiple beneficial traits in grapevines using conventional breeding, to develop robust rootstocks specifically for Australian conditions and support the local wine sector’s sustainability well into the future,” said Waters. The research was led by Dr Mandy Walker, from the CSIRO, and Professor Matthew Gilliham, from the University of Adelaide, who are continuing to collaborate on additional factors that will further improve grapevine salt tolerance, such as the exclusion of chloride. Grapegrower & Winemaker



What’s the right spray? Fungal Management

The best spraying options for keeping fungal disease at bay

As the spray season winds down, viticulturist Sam Bowman offers a fresh look at cover spray targets for Australian vineyards, and the options for what to use and when to use it to get the best results.


ungicide spraying in is a necessity in all Australian vineyards to keep disease at bay. One thing we don’t pat ourselves on the back enough for is how low input our spray programmes are in comparison to the rest of the world. In 2016 I travelled to Tuscany and spent two days visiting vineyards. They were two weeks from harvest and many growers had performed 20 cover sprays. Perhaps it was because of the downturn in grape prices over the last decade but Australian growers have become savvy on how to use a minimal amount of chemical and avoid disease. A large number of growers in many South Australian regions are unintentionally following organic spray programmes to keep costs down. Over the last few years I have seen a rise in biological approaches to viticulture with some great anecdotal reports coming from difficult growing regions that have opted for bacterial sprays with some remarkable results. The work of nutritional farming leaders such as Bruce Tainio and Graeme Sait suggest that disease has a direct correlation with the acidity of plant sap and if kept within ideal parameters for the plant species, common diseases such as the ones we face in viticulture will fail to manifest. The sap pH theory and biological measures need more 18 Grapegrower & Winemaker

research but are exciting prospects in reducing our dependence on chemicals. In an ideal world, it would be great to avoid the use of chemicals in vineyards and I think the wines would be all the better for it. As the spray season comes to an end, it’s good to refresh what we are targeting, what to use and when to use it.

Powdery mildew It is important to avoid excessive vigour and manage canopies to encourage air movement through the vine to enable effective application of protective sprays. Open canopies allow good sunlight interception which will naturally lower the risk of infection. Wettable sulphur is still the most widely used control method in Australia and if coverage is maintained, can be effective as a protectant. Wettable sulphur will fume most effectively from about 18°C. As there is a gap from 10 degrees when the infection will occur to 18 degrees before volatilization occurs, other modes of action should be employed. Sulphur coverage should commence from budburst at 10-14 day intervals until other modes can be utilized. Up to 80% capfall, there are many chemicals that will provide

January 2018 – Issue 648



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effective control and some systemic activity to provide protection in lower temperatures and provide coverage in periods between rains and cover sprays. Difenoconazole (Digger), hexaconazole (Viva), metrafenone (Vivando) and spiroxamine (Prosper 500

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EC) all offer great protection at lower temperatures and some systemic activity. After 80% capfall, pyraclostrobin (Cabrio) can be used for effective control up to berries pea size and products such as Legend can be used up to EL 34 (pre-veraison). In warmer regions that typically have spring temperatures above 18 degrees, sulphur at rates of 3-6kg/ha will provide adequate coverage given that canopy penetration and sprayer operation is all sufficient. If temperatures look to be persistently below 18 degrees, a different mode of action should be utilized. Always be sure to rotate the groups each season to avoid resistance. For those growers certified for organics, sulphur can still be utilised as can products such as ecocarb which is a potassium bicarbonate product.

Downy mildew Downy Mildew spores over winter in the soil for 3-5 years and become active under conditions which exhibit 10mm of rain, temperatures over 10 degrees for a 24-hour period. Most regional weather stations can indicate whether a primary event has occurred making decisions regarding sprays for Downy protection much easier. If a 10:10:24 occurs with shoot growth below 10cm the risk is relatively low, beyond this a spray programme should be in place. There are two main choices for Downy control, preventative (preinfection) and eradicants (post-infection). Most of the preventative cover sprays reside in the M group chemicals and contain copper-based sprays and mancozeb products. These should be utilized before events of conducive conditions and as they just provide a protective barrier, should be used as close as possible to the predicted rain events. If an event has occurred, a post infection spray should be used within five days of the primary infection event. If oil spots have appeared by the time the spray is employed, a ‘bag test’ should be used to determine the control of the infection. Once berries have reached pea size, the risk of crop loss from a downy infection is reduced although canopy loss late in the season can result in defoliation and delay ripening.

January 2018 – Issue 648



Organic growers face challenges with downy mildew due to the increasing concern of the environmental effects of copper. The use of copper hydroxide and sulphate is limited to 8kg/ha per season. I’ve performed petiole and soil tests across a dozen regions this season and copper levels are high in nearly every environment from warm to cooler regions. With the environment in mind all growers should aim to reduce these inputs by utilizing the monitoring equipment available in their region.

Botrytis and light brown apple moth There are two ways botrytis infects grapevines, from a latent infection between flowering and bunch closure and by an opportunistic wound at berry softening. Latent infections infect the developing berry at flowering but the activity is limited by anti-microbial chemicals known as “stilbenes”, as the berry develops, stilbenes are depleted in concentration and the infection develops usually around 8 baume in sugar concentration. Infections from berry softening onwards can be caused by damage from rain, hail or vineyard pests such as Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM). Managing LBAM is important for both of these infections as not only can they spread Botrytis spores into the developing bunch, they can also create a point of infection once sugars increase in the berry. January 2018 – Issue 648

The key spray periods for Botrytis control are at 80% capfall and up to EL 29 fungicides such as Switch, Solaris and Custodia are popular amongst growers at these stages. The control of LBAM up to EL 31 is vital for effective botrytis management. Products such as Proclaim and Avatar can be used up to berries pea size to ensure control as the bunch enlarges and the opportunity to clean out the pests and trash from the bunch zone is lost. Organic growers have options such as DiPel which are proven biological controls and can be used very close to harvest to control vine moth caterpillars. These products are safe to use and have reduced effects to beneficial populations which make them a great option for all vineyard situations.

Cultural practices Spray penetration is assisted by opening up the canopy and ensuring good airflow through the vineyard, this will naturally reduce disease pressure and should always be the starting point in any fungicide programme. Shoot thinning and trimming will ensure good spray penetration. In areas of high botrytis risk it’s always a good idea to use some water sensitive paper at least once through the season to ensure the spray is targeting the outside and inside of the canopy including all sides of the developing bunch. As many plant pathogens infect via the stomates, it is crucial to cover the underside of the leaves.

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How to deal with soaring temperatures Managing heatwaves in Riverina vineyards After hot and dry winter and spring seasons, winegrape growers in the Riverina region of New South Wales have been offered insights into how best to handle extreme heatwave events. A series of recent workshops brought together the experience of the NSW DPI, Bureau of Meteorology and researchers looking at vineyard management strategies.


eatwave management was the hot topic at three recent workshops for Riverina winegrape growers. NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) viticultural development officer, Adrian Englefield, said management options and technologies were available through the joint NSW DPI/Wine Australia Riverina Regional Program 2017–18.

“Growers were keen to discuss the viticultural practices we recommended to mitigate extreme heatwave events,” Englefield said. “Improved water use management during heatwaves, weather forecasting tools, technology to predict heatwave events and measurement of vine stress were explored.”

Thermal imagery is a useful tool for growers to assess different heatwave management techniques on crops.

22 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Gary Allan from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said growers could access BoM resources to better forecast and understand Australian weather extremes. “Year-to-year climate variability is influenced by major climate drivers, including El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Index in the Pacific Ocean,” Allan said. “Typically, El Nino years in Australia are associated with warmer than average temperatures and below average rainfall, while La Nina years are cooler and wetter than average. “Warming trends observed since the 1960s show La Nina years have become warmer than El Nino years were up to the 1960s, consistent with overall increases in maximum and minimum temperatures. “In the 21st century, climate extremes, including heatwaves, are expected to increase in intensity, frequency and duration. “There’s an increased probability of severe heatwaves occurring from early spring through summer and well into autumn.” BoM resources of use to winegrape growers: MetEye meteye/, part of the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System, helps users visualise local weather observations and forecasts for any Australian location. Map Viewer, w w aust ra l ia/cha r ts/v iewer/i ndex .sht m l delivers interactive, computer generated seven-day weather forecasts for a range of parameters including surface pressure and rainfall, temperature and surface winds. Weather conditions can be viewed at three hourly intervals for the first three days and six hourly intervals for the following four days. Heatwave Service for Australia www. January 2018 – Issue 648


BARREL PRUNER VSL Left to right: Brett Pringle, Garry Allan, Michael Forster, Sally Foletta, Chelsea Jarvis, Brian Bortolin (WGMB)

shtml operates during the warmer months of the year. The service shows locations and severity of heatwaves in three day intervals, out to seven days ahead. University of Melbourne PhD candidate, Chelsea Jarvis, provided extra insights through her work, which is looking at the influence of El Nino, through ENSO and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), on temperature and harvest dates in Australian wine-growing regions. “IOD exerts greater temperature influence than ENSO and was found to be more critical to wine-grape phenology timing,” Jarvis said. “When ENSO and IOD occur together during the same season, extreme temperatures and weather are more likely. “ENSO phases alone have little effect on maturity timing for winegrowing regions in Australia, except in the Hunter Valley. “La Nina phases have greater influences on maturity timing than El Niño phases, usually delaying ripening due to cool, wet weather.” University of Melbourne PhD candidate, Sally Foletta, discussed vineyard management strategies to reduce canopy and bunch temperatures through irrigation management and considerations for the use of sunscreen products with growers. “It’s important to reduce incoming solar radiation, increase transpiration cooling and aim to have a full soil-water profile before a heatwave,” Ms Foletta said. Thermal imagery is a useful tool for growers to assess different heatwave management techniques on crops. The technology is readily available for use on most mobile devices. Workshop discussion outlined the role of varietal susceptibility to heatwave damage. Understanding whether varieties are isohydric or aniosohydric can help guide management practices to alleviate negative impacts from heatwaves. Typically Chardonnay, Shiraz, Semillon January 2018 – Issue 648

and Riesling are considered isohydric varieties, which are conservative in their use of soil water through early stomatal closure during hot weather. Aniosohydric varieties, which are less sensitive to stress and use more soil water before stomatal closure during heatwaves, include Grenache and Tempranillo. The Yield’s microclimate sensing and 7-day prediction system was presented to growers by Brett Pringle. The company has combined hardware, data analytics and user-friendly apps to tailor technology to user requirements for planting, fertilising, irrigation, crop protection and harvesting operations. A free app developed by The Yield is available from the App Store and Google Play. The app analyses public weather data to provide a seven-day evapotranspiration forecast as a simple water balance visual, with rainfall, temperature and wind activity. To aid irrigation decision making during 2018 heatwaves, NSW DPI and Edaphid Scientific installed new sap flow meters and dendrometers, which measure tiny changes in trunk diameter, at two Riverina vineyards. Coupled with soil moisture information and canopy temperature and humidity sensors the demonstration aims to monitor vine stress under different irrigation schedules. For more information and to view live data visit NSW DPI Grapes website, www. grapes NSW DPI thanks Wine Australia and the Wine Grapes Marketing Board (WGMB) for supporting the Riverina Regional Program and 2017-18 workshops; and Michael Forster from Edaphid Scientific for contributing to the new monitoring system. Post-vintage workshops will be confirmed next year with vineyard fungicide and weed resistance issues in the agenda.

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Estimating the impact of Xylella in Australia A Xylella fastidiosa incursion could cost Australia’s wine grape and wine-making industries up to $7.9 billion over 50 years, according to a new report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). The disease, also known as Pierce’s Disease, is an ongoing problem in wine regions like California’s Napa Valley. Acting ABARES Executive Director, Peter Gooday, said the report assessed a range of scenarios for the wine grape and winemaking industries and the expected benefits to these industries of keeping Australia free of Xylella fastidiosa and its vectors. “Xylella fastidiosa is a pest of worldwide significance and unfortunately there is no cure once a plant is infected,” Mr Gooday said. “Our assessment included hypothetical scenarios where Xylella arrives in Australia and impacts on a number of different wine growing areas. “That assessment found that if it entered and established in Australia, it could cost the Australian wine grape and winemaking industries between $2.8 billion to $7.9 billion over 50 years. “It also found that if Xylella was to appear in a region, but was contained within that region, the aggregate impact on the wine

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24 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Pierce’s Disease in the Napa Valley. Photo courtesy Vinehealth Australia.

industry would be a fraction of the impact of an uncontrolled spread. “For example, containing the outbreak to either the Lower Murray or Swan Hill regions of the Murray Darling could avoid losses estimated between $2.0 billion and $2.6 billion, on a NPV basis.” The Economic impacts of Xylella fastidiosa on the Australian wine grape and wine-making industries report highlighted a number of key issues relating to the risk the bacterium poses for Australia. This includes the likelihood of Australia’s habitat being highly suitable for an incursion of Xylella and its insect vectors and the benefits of remaining free of Xylella, as international experience suggests that successful eradication is unlikely. “While the quickly-spreading bacterium is not yet present in Australia, Xylella is Australia’s number one priority plant pest,” said Robyn Cleland, acting first assistant secretary of the Plant Biosecurity Division. The full report is available on the ABARES website at www.

January 2018 – Issue 648

Rain brings mixed fortunes for SA wine regions



Rains provided a blessing and a curse for vignerons in South Australia ahead of the 2018 vintage. In an article originally published by The Lead in November, Andrew Spence compiled the prospective vintage from regions around the state.


alls of between 15mm and 55mm last month have refreshed vineyards at the end of the flowering season in many of South Australia’s 18 wine regions. However, the timing of the rain in other areas has growers scrambling to apply protective covers to ward off disease. Yields look like they will be slightly down on the bumper 2017 harvest, which saw a six per cent rise in the volume of grapes produced for a 13% rise in farm gate value to $658 million and overseas exports valued at $1.47 billion. Despite the lower forecast, leading regions of Barossa, McLaren Vale and Clare Valley are all on track for solid vintages, provided the weather remains kind. But growers in the Limestone Coast region of Padthaway are counting the cost after a late frost bit into about 30% of the area’s vineyards on November 4. Some “patchy” damage has also been reported in the Coonawarra. Adelaide Hills, Limestone Coast and Langhorne Creek growers have been kept busy more recently protecting their crops against fungal diseases such as downy mildew, powdery mildew and botrytis, which can thrive in wet and steamy conditions. South Australia is consistently responsible for 50% of Australia’s total production and more than 75% of its premium wine. It is home to worldrenowned brands including Penfolds, Hardys, Jacob’s Creek and Wolf Blass.

Barossa Valley Shiraz grapes from the Barossa and Eden valleys are the most in demand in Australia, averaging about $2300 a tonne in 2017 compared with a national average of $765. The variety accounts for about two thirds of plantings in the Barossa.

January 2018 – Issue 648

Vigneron Anthony Scholz grows Shiraz grapes in the northern Barossa for 11 wineries. He said things were looking “very good” following about 20mm in late November. “We had good rainfall until early October and it was dry since then until last week,” Scholz said at the time. “The flowering went through in a couple of days with that warm weather before the rain and they’re large bunches but we’ll wait and see if that stays the case once the fruit sets. “Last year was 30% above average but this year I would say it is on average. “It’s a good solid crop at this stage and if it stays dry like they are forecasting and we can supplement them with a bit of moisture when they need it I think it will be a very good vintage but we’ve certainly got a long way to go.”

McLaren Vale Like the Adelaide Hills and Barossa, McLaren Vale was hit by a hailstorm in late October but vineyard damage was limited across all the regions because the hail came before flowering. Agronomist and McLaren Vale winemaker James Hook said favourable weather conditions including about 25mm of rain in late November had things on an even keel for a good season with average yields. He said an absence of problems so far had the vale on track for an average year, “which is not a bad thing”. “It was a really good winter but spring has been dry until the rain last week so everything is in really good condition,” Hook said. “They are now just finishing flowering so we are really at the halfway point. “The main thing to be concerned about now is heatwaves – having long periods

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grapegrowing Clare Valley

The 2018 vintage is looking promising for The Adelaide Hills

above 35C particularly when overnight temperatures don’t cool off.”

Adelaide Hills

Falls of about 40mm in the Adelaide Hills in late November had many growers busily applying protective sprays on their vines to guard against disease. Adelaide Hills Wine Technical Group Co-ordinator and viticultural consultant Richard Hamilton said things were looking good but the following few days could be tricky with warm and steamy conditions on the back of heavy rainfall and the potential for more rain. “This weather we’ve had […] has meant everyone is working very hard to make sure they’ve got cover in place or a spray

program to control any diseases as they occur,” he said. “In wet and steamy conditions the moulds and mildews can get going quite fast. “Also, because we’re flowering at the moment, botrytis becomes an issue so it’s a very difficult period at the moment. “At this stage the fruit potential is average to above average so it’s looking bright, it’s just that if we could have avoided [November’s] weather it would have been better and everyone would be a bit more relaxed but this is just a reminder to apply standard protection and stay on top of things.”

A frost and hail free spring and a moderate 16mm of rain in late November had Clare Valley grapegrowers looking forward to a high quality vintage, particularly for its flagship varieties of Riesling and Shiraz. Clare Valley Grape Growers Association President and Kilikanoon Vineyard Manager Troy Van Dulken said things were on track to begin picking in early February following a late vintage this year. “The rain [in November] was nice, the Riesling and Shiraz had just finished flowering so there were no ill effects and there was not enough rain to be of any concerns with fungus either,” he said. “We’ve been lucky with the weather so far, it’s been a pretty stellar start to the season. The soil moisture’s been pretty good and that half inch of rain last week was pretty handy and it looks like we might get another half an inch later this week and that would be just nice for us too. “It probably won’t be as big a crop as last year given the wet weather we had in 2017 but it looks to me like it’s going to be very similar to 2016 at the moment and that was a cracker of a year for us up here. “If it stays around average rainfall for the next couple of months and we don’t have any real stinking heatwaves through January then I think we’re in for a pretty good year.”

Spring frosts will likely impact cooler climate regions

26 Grapegrower & Winemaker

January 2018 – Issue 648

Coonawarra Like much of the state’s South East, the rich Cabernet Sauvignon strip of the Coonawarra received more than 40mm of rain in late November. Another wet winter has helped the region’s aquifer recover from previous dry years. Balnaves of Coonawarra Vineyard Manager and Coonawarra Vignerons Association President Peter Balnaves said there had been some “patchy” frost damage across the region, which was difficult to quantify at this stage. “Because of the coolness of the winter the season is probably running about 10 days late, which is not seen as a bad thing because it means we move the peak of the fruit ripening out of the warmest part of the year by a margin,” Balnaves said. “Flowering is just occurring now and with the rainfall we had [in November] there’s very fast growth and canopies are forming quite quickly – it’s just a combination of having 40-odd millimetres of rain followed by some warmer weather before and after but it’s good to see that our peak flowering period in the middle of this week looks as though will be in dry conditions, which is always an advantage.

Because of the coolness of the winter the season is probably running about 10 days late, which is not seen as a bad thing – Peter Balnaves

“Bunch numbers seem to be around that long-term average at this stage.” The South East is one the state’s latest grape harvest area’s with the bulk of Coonawarra Cabernet grapes often not picked until April. “We don’t want to see heat spikes – it makes it very difficult to manage in terms of irrigation and trying to ensure there’s no fruit damage from excessive heat. If we could stay below 35C and have some nice dry conditions going through that would be great,” Balnaves said.

Riverland The Riverland is Australia’s largest

wine region, accounting for about 55% of South Australia’s annual production. It is also one of the first South Australian regions harvested with picking on track to commence in late January. The region had strong rainfall in late November with 55mm falling in Loxton and 28mm recorded in Renmark. Riverland Wine Executive Chair Chris Byrne said flowering had finished and while the outlook was positive it was too early to give crop estimates. “The vines are looking remarkably pretty and healthy – we had a lot of rain [recently] and that’s not just freshened everything up it’s given it a real boost,” he said. “We had very good following winds to dry it out and fairly reasonably contained temperatures so there won’t be a lot of disease risk as a result of the rain so by and large everyone’s fairly happy at the moment.” Byrne said the need to put strategies in place to prepare for prolonged periods of heat in December and January would be crucial to the crop’s success.

Padthaway The Limestone Coast region of Padthaway typically grows about as many

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Grapegrower & Winemaker



grapes as McLaren Vale but it is unlikely to reach those levels in 2018 following a November 4 frost that affected up to 30% of Padthaway’s vines. The late frost, which also caused extensive vineyard damage in western Victoria, followed by about 50mm of rain during flowering has Padthaway grape growers cursing their luck. Padthaway Grape Growers Association President Andrew Bryson said the full extent of the hail damage would not be known for some time. However, he conceded that the overall tonnage in 2018 would almost certainly be down.

“There are areas where we’ll get nothing off but there’s other areas where the frost has hit the top of the canopy and the inflorescence is still OK so it’s still got potential there for a good crop,” Bryson said. “We’ve just got to wait and see what’s going to set. “Everything was going along nicely and we thought we had got out of jail with frost this year because it hit quite late. “Everyone was thinking the risk had passed and wasn’t really expecting it in November but this is the beauty of agriculture, you think you’re all right and then all of a sudden bang, it sneaks up on you.” The heavy rain resulted in Padthaway vignerons busily spraying their vines to protect them against disease. “We didn’t need that rain […] after the frost but people have just got to keep on top of their spray programs,” Bryson said. “We don’t want any more surprises, we just want fine, warm to hot weather from now on, we don’t need heatwaves but we don’t really want any more big rain events either.”

Langhorne Creek The eastern Fleurieu region of Langhorne Creek is a quiet achiever and often produces more grapes than the Barossa to be the second largest region in the state behind the Riverland. Langhorne Creek Wine Region Grower Committee Chair Phil Reilly has 360ha of vines on the western edge of the region and recorded about 50mm of rain in late November after a dry few months. His vines had finished flowering before the rain hit and was then busy applying protective sprays. He said while “two inches of rain is never timely once you’ve got canopy on the vines” it had freshened up his vineyards. “It’s probably just late enough not to affect the bunches for downy mildew, botrytis could be an issue going forward but at this stage it’s too early to say,” Reilly said. “The quality should be very good this year following that dry spring, which has done a world of good following a couple of wet winters. “I don’t think we’re going to get any huge tonnages but everything’s very healthy and I would say we are probably looking two weeks early so we’ll start picking our sparklings in very late January and our whites in February followed by the reds.” “It’s an early Easter and I always believe that leads to an early vintage.”

28 Grapegrower & Winemaker

January 2018 – Issue 648

Artificial Intelligence to help wine profits flow Artificial Intelligence has been making waves in many industries and is increasingly affecting life as we know it. Now the New Zealand wine sector is getting in on the act, with researchers developing a computerised system to make earlyseason predictions on vineyard grape yields.

Estimating the yield as soon as possible allows marketers to know how much wine will end up being produced. “Grape growers and wineries spend a lot of money trying to predict their grape yield each year,” said Jaco Fourie, optics and image processing team leader at Lincoln Agritech. “This currently involves hiring a large number of workers to manually sample grape bunches.” Lincoln Agritech, which is a research and development company owned by Lincoln University, is working on creating a more convenient system that uses electronic sensors to accurately count grapes. “The sensors will capture and analyse grape bunches within individual rows, and assess the number, sizes and distribution of grape bunches,” said Fourie. “We’ll then feed this data into computer algorithms, which have been designed by the University of Canterbury, to predict grape yield at harvest time.” New data will be added to the system each year, leading to continuous improvements in the model’s accuracy, with the system’s predictive power improving over time as more data is gathered under different conditions. Fourie said profitable wine production depends on early knowledge of the grape yield that is likely to be harvested each season. “Estimating the yield as soon as possible allows marketers to know how much wine will end up being produced.” The main focus of grape varieties for the study has been Sauvignon Blanc, with team later planning to identify how much technology development will be needed for Pinot Noir. The project has been jointly funded by the NZ Ministry of Business, Innovations and Employment and New Zealand Winegrowers, while collaborating partners include Plant and Food Research at Lincoln University, the University of Canterbury, CSIRO (Adelaide) and local growers in the Marlborough region.

Looking for more articles, visit the Grapegrower and Winemaker article archive at: January 2018 – Issue 648

Follow the AWRI’s withholding periods Production of grapes for wine destined for export requires a carefully planned spray program. When selecting crop protection products, growers need to ensure their application will not result in a residue that’s unacceptable to Australia’s major wine markets. With the size of vineyards generally increasing, the grapevine growth stage can be variable across vineyards and indeed, can even vary significantly within blocks. So, when assessing grapevine phenology for the purpose of applying agrochemicals, growers should base their spray timing assessment on the most advanced vines in the block. This will minimise the possibility of residues at harvest. Countries Australia export’s wine to often have different, lower, or no maximum residue limits (MRL’s) for the chemicals we are allowed to use in Australia. Unplanned or accidental use of the wrong product could have costly consequences. The best place to secure the latest information on MRL’s is the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI). They are doing a great job of keeping us all updated! The AWRI publishes Agrochemicals Registered For Use in Australian Viticulture (commonly known as the ‘Dog Book’). The Dog Book lists the active constituents registered for use and includes tables of recommended products for each active ingredient. The Dog Book also contains the latest AVCARE resistance management strategies. Members of the Australian wine industry who would like to receive a copy of the latest Dog Book’ can contact the AWRI on 08 8313 6600 or email AWRI Helpdesk. A pdf version of the Agrochemical Booklet 2017-2018 is also available for download. Alternatively, all the information is included in the AWRI’s Agrochemicals app, available for free download from iTunes or Google Play. Electronic versions of the Dog Book (pdf, online search and app) are updated regularly. To keep in touch with all changes as they happen, growers can sign up for the AWRI’s free eBulletin.

Vine Talk is compiled by Dave Antrobus, Syngenta Solutions Development Lead 0429 133 436

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Save time and your vines New invention: the Wine Baa What can a social worker bring to the wine industry? An outsider perspective – but probably not the one you’re thinking. Camellia Aebischer sat down with David Robertshaw who has invented a device that may well revolutionise slashing season as we know it.


hile watching a tractor pass up and down the interrows of a McLaren Vale vineyard, David Robertshaw had an idea. 10 prototypes later and Robertshaw is just about to release his new product – the Wine Baa. The Wine Baa is a lightweight plastic snout guard that stops sheep from being able to reach up and access hanging grape leaves or bunches. “I was working near a vineyard and I was watching the tractors go up and down the vineyard mowing the grass and I thought there has to be a better way to utilise that large amount of land,” said Robertshaw. “I’ve typed ‘sheep in vineyard’ into google more times than I can count now.” Despite his practical viticulture focused invention, Robertshaw comes from a community sector background and has been a social worker for the past 10 years. His aunt owns a small hobby 30 Grapegrower & Winemaker

AT-A-GLANCE: Dolly the sheep head “I spent a week calling people trying to get a mould of one to get a plastic dummy but I couldn’t get anyone to do it. I was looking on gumtree and found a guy doing taxidermy and said ‘if you’re doing any sheep I’ll buy one off you’ and he said ‘I happen to be doing one right now.’ “Most people are freaked out by it but growers don’t care, which is good.” vineyard in Victoria, so winegrowing isn’t too foreign. Robertshaw’s aunt who is an agricultural scientist also runs sheep in her vineyard, which wasn’t where he initially got the idea, but initially helped solidify the invention. Agisting sheep in the vineyard can have plenty of direct financial and practical benefits which you can read more about on page 34 of the November edition of Grapegrower and Winemaker.

So, what is it and how does it work? The Wine Baa snout guard attaches to a sheep’s head using a single strap of flexible plastic that can be secured quickly in one swift movement. The head brace has been designed specifically (by Robertshaw and designer Robbie Wells of 4D Design), for ease of use so that growers can attach the guard to his flock without a hassle. January 2018 – Issue 648

This way they’ll be able to keep sheep there all year round and not worry about the costs of moving.

Much like a ratchet strap, the guard is designed with a quick release function so that it can be removed and reused each season. The snout guard is counterbalanced using specifically placed weights so it blocks the sheep’s mouth when its head is angled upward trying to reach for the grapevine. When the sheep’s head is tilted downward, the mask lifts up to allow the sheep to graze on shrubs and grass.

“We’ve adjusted it slowly to sit with the natural angle of the sheep’s head, then added in the scoop so that when the sheep puts its head down it pushes up allowing the animal to graze.” Having the device means sheep can be run past budburst through to veraison without damaging the vines. “If there’s no one with sheep in a neighbouring paddock you have to truck them in and truck them out during on and off seasons. This way they’ll be able

to keep sheep there all year round and not worry about the costs of moving,” said Robertshaw. Currently the product is being tested on sheep in Langhorne Creek, SA and at the time of interview in early December, they’d been wearing the guards for around a month. “When it’s first placed on their head they shake quite vigorously for about 30 seconds to a minute, then they settle down and it might be a bit weird, then they get

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Grapegrower & Winemaker



used to it,” said Robertshaw. “Within a day they’ll be getting used to it but after that they’re not bothered at all. They kind of get a little freaked out by each other for the first hour or so like ‘who is this guy with a face mask, is it Bane, I don’t know.’” “You only need them on during budburst and spring, so maybe 4-5 months, and that’s not enough time to really worry about growth of the animal or problems with the mask not fitting,” he said. Robertshaw is currently looking into fabric or leather inserts for the pressure points where the mask sits on the sheep’s face to offer comfort should this be an issue.

The benefits Cost savings calculated by Roberstshaw with the help of the Entwine program data are as follows: Estimated cost saving • One slashing pass for 1ha at 0.5 hour/ ha at $60/hour= $30ha • One herbicide pass 1ha at 0.5 hour/ha at $60/hour= $30ha • (hourly rate includes labor, fuel, repairs, maintenance and depreciation) With an estimated savings of 12 slashing passes and four herbicide passes, there is an approximate benefit of $480 in gross savings/ha per year. At $22 per muzzle with a minimum life span of five years, growers are looking at around $4.40/year maximum. With an estimated seven sheep per ha, at an agistment fee of $15.60 each per year, the net benefit would be $558.40 per year per ha. Greenhouse gas reductions based on 12 slashing and four herbicide passes at 5L of 32 Grapegrower & Winemaker

diesel per ha pass equates to a 0.21 CO2 emission reduction. *We understand that different vineyards have different requirements and these figures would not be applicable to all. “Just from speaking to viticulturists I know that there’s less soil compaction, it’s good for the biohealth of the soil, there’s less chemicals and the waste from the sheep is good for nutrients. There are cost savings too, and being more responsible with land use, I guess those are the big ones,” said Robertshaw. Going ahead with the project solo has been a steep learning curve, but he’s enlisted the help of experts like Lisa Warn from Lisa Warn Ag Consulting and Mark O’Callaghan from Wine Network Consulting, along the way to bring validity to the idea. Stacking up the Wine Baa to other options like classical conditioning for sheep (e.g. forcing a negative association like feeling sick with eating grapevines) or vineyard automation, the product has some significant cost saving advantages. Robertshaw explained a popular study in the USA where sheep were reactively fed lithium chloride to create a sick feeling whenever they consumed a part of the grapevine. “Problem is, say you have 100 sheep and they’re all ‘successfully treated,’ all they have to do is see one sheep eat the vine again and the whole process is undone. It’s not something that has been picked up because people would have to monitor the sheep constantly. “Sheep have died from doing it too,” he said. “I saw in France they’re using robots for autonomy but that’s also very costly.”

The cost Each guard is listed above at a price of $22 but Robertshaw mentioned that he’s hoping to get the price as low as possible. “I’m hoping that this article will show interest and I can get some feedback on this stuff, then I can make the next step,” which will be to place his first bulk production order and begin distribution through his online platform. “[I’m] planning for it to be for all online sales […] so that I can keep the cost down,” he said. “I’m hoping to keep things at around $20 but I want to get it as low as I can.” It all depends on how well the pre-sale interest goes, but Robertshaw is hopeful for a price under $20 per piece if the interest he gains is significant enough. “If I get presales of hundreds of thousands I can probably get the price down, but if I have to go in and purchase the first order myself it’ll be a smaller run and come up around $20.”

How do you get one? First things first, for those keen on the product, register your interest on the Wine Baa website at This will give Robertshaw a good idea on who is interested, and keep you in the loop on distribution dates and cost. The product wasn’t ready for this year’s slashing season, but will launch to the USA for the northern hemisphere’s spring, next year – provided everything goes to plan. Australian growers can get their hands on a Wine Baa in 2018 which leaves plenty of time to prepare the vineyard for a switch from fuel powered to grass fed.

January 2018 – Issue 648

w w w.v i nehea lt

Xylella: impact on Australian vines I

n the June 2017 issue, Suzanne McLoughlin, Vinehealth Australia’s Technical Manager, reported on the International Symposium on Xylella fastidiosa, where a range of international experts shared their knowledge and experience dealing with Australia’s number one exotic plant pest. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has since completed a study of the likely economic impacts of Xylella fastidiosa on the Australian wine industry. We present an extract from the report on page 34 and 35.

The issue By now, most growers have heard of Xylella fastidiosa – Australia’s number one exotic plant pest. Xylella, a bacterium that disrupts water flow in plant xylem, is a major threat as it has been reported to infect more than 350 plant species,

many of which do not show symptoms with infection. Xylella infection in grapevines is known as Pierce’s Disease, with grapevine death resulting within a few years of infection. Xylella is inherently difficult to control and there are no known treatments to cure diseased plants. Xylella is transmitted by a range of sapsucking vectors, the most well-known of which is the glassy-winged sharpshooter. Although this sharpshooter species is not present in Australia, our native insects could serve as vectors for the bacterium. Until now, very few economic studies have been undertaken to quantify potential impacts of Pierce's Disease on the Australian grape and wine industries. The ABARES new report: Economic impacts of Xylella fastidiosa on the Australian winegrape and winemaking industries, reveals the likely economic impact of an incursion – up to $7.9 billion over a 50-year timeframe.

Are we ready? Based on international experience, four key factors must intersect for Pierce’s disease to be a threat – the pathogen, suitable host plants, vectors and various environmental and cultural factors. The ABARES model assumes the presence of the pathogen, vectors and grapevines as hosts and uses different environmental scenarios to model the likely economic impact for the Australian wine industry. Despite the difficulty in making predictions with any level of certainty, what is clear, is that an incursion would be significant for wine, as well as for a range of other plant industries. Vinehealth Australia will examine Australia’s preparedness for an incursion in a future issue of Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker Magazine. 33

Economic impacts of Xylella fastidiosa on the Australian winegrape and winemaking industries An extract of the ABARES report The modelling ABARES approached the analysis by mapping the maximum extent of an incursion. Uncertainty about habitat suitability warranted three scenarios of progressively smaller areas: • Scenario one: all existing winegrape growing regions. • Scenario two: Scenario 1 areas with an average minimum winter temperature above 1.7°C (note from Vinehealth Australia; cold curing has been attributed to reducing Xylella levels). • Scenario three: Scenario 2 areas in close proximity to riparian vegetation. Two spread rates between vineyards were adopted based on habitat suitability: 10 percent a year (highly suitable) and 4 percent a year (partially suitable). Vineyard suitability depended on whether minimum winter temperature was: above 4.5°C (highly suitable); between 1.7°C and 4.5°C (partially suitable); or below 1.7°C (unsuitable). In scenario 1, all vineyards were deemed highly suitable, while Scenarios 2 and 3 assumed a mix of highly and partially suitable vineyards. The potential economic impacts for affected vineyards were assumed to comprise adjustment costs and foregone gross margins. Adjustment costs, largely replanting costs, in turn depended on expected gross margins and future winegrape prices. Three vineyard profitability groups were defined to reflect replanting decisions, those with: (i) negative gross

Pierces Disease, courtesy University of California.

margins; (ii) positive gross margins, but replanting is not profitable; and (iii) positive gross margins and replanting is profitable. Growers are likely to replant if they expect it to be profitable in the long run. Thus, only group (iii) makes this decision while others exit the winegrape growing industry. The analysis also considered a scenario in which government intervenes to restrict movement of the disease between regions. Rather than assuming Xylella appears in all regions (as in the three maximum extent scenarios mentioned above), this alternative scenario reflects

Xylella appearing in a region and being contained. The benefits of containment (that is, the costs avoided) were estimated for two ABARES catchment land-use areas – Murray Darling and Lower Murray. Both offer high habitat suitability. Given the sensitivity of replanting decisions to expected prices, two winegrape prices were used: the low prices that prevailed in 2014–15 and prices that were 25 per cent higher. Cost estimates for all scenarios were expressed in present values terms using a real discount rate of 7 percent, with impacts developing over 50 years.

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The results Estimates of the economic impacts of X. fastidiosa on the winegrape industries ranged from $2.8 billion (Scenario 3 – the more likely outcome) to $7.9 billion (Scenario 1) over 50 years at 2014–15 prices. The large range suggests that the extent to which Australian conditions are likely to suit the disease and its vectors is likely to be a major determinant. The impact was shared across the wine industry, with around three-quarters borne by the winemaking industry. Higher wine grape prices intensify the impact on winegrape growers, but lessen the impact on winemakers. This is because winegrape growers incur larger gross margin losses and spend more on replanting, as it is more profitable to do so. In turn, higher replanting rates means that winegrape production is less affected, thereby lessening the impact on wine makers. Xylella poses a threat to the productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of Australia’s wine industry. While there is uncertainty about which winegrape areas would be affected, nearly all (98 percent) vineyards could be partially or highly affected if only winter temperature thresholds matter.

The future The results demonstrated that if Xylella can be contained within a region (as was the case in the Temecula Valley in California), then the aggregate impact on the wine industry would be a fraction of the impact of an uncontrolled spread. For example, the ABARES results found that containing a potential outbreak to either the Murray Darling or Lower Murray regions could avoid losses (excluding containment costs) between $2.0 billion and $2.6 billion on a net present  value basis. However, containment costs are likely to be substantial.

Glassy-winged sharpshooter, Reyes Garcia III, USDA Agricultural Research Service, courtesy

In the United States, for example, these were around $US50 million a year in 2013, implying a $0.7 billion cost over 50 years on a net present value basis. However, ongoing measures to reduce the risk of Xylella entering Australia are likely to be more cost-effective than implementing eradication or containment programs were it to enter. International experience suggests that successful eradication is unlikely. Nonetheless, were it to enter, enhancing early detection capacity for cost-beneficial eradication would be prudent. Prevention activities are likely to cost less than the costs and losses associated with an eradication campaign in the event of an incursion. While not estimated in this study, the losses associated with an eradication campaign would be much less than the corresponding losses of a containment program—estimated to be around $0.3 billion for the most likely scenario.

“It would be prudent to invest in improving early detection capacity to increase the likelihood of the costbeneficial eradication of the pathogen, given the significant cost and losses associated with a containment program, and the uncertainty around its success. The uncertainty around the success of eradication and containment (if eradication fails), and the significant costs of a containment program and extensive losses of an uncontrolled spread (if containment fails) collectively imply there is significant pay off for investment in measures to reduce the likelihood of entry,” the report concludes. To view the full ABARES report visit xyella-impact-report


Healthy vines campaign announced for tourists Vinehealth Australia is rolling out its Wine Tourism Biosecurity Program for South Australian cellar door, marketing and tourism staff in wine regions this January. Increased tourism to South Australian regions creates opportunities for the spread of pests, diseases and weeds on visitors’ shoes, clothing and vehicle tyres. Keeping tourists out of vine rows is the best way to keep vines safe. The program will arm cellar door and tourism staff with important tools to protect vines from devastating pests such as phylloxera. The foundation of the Wine Tourism Biosecurity Program is a state-wide training program for every cellar door in South Australia.

Training will be delivered between January and March 2018. There will be individual site training at cellar doors with high tourist visitation numbers and group training at regional Visitor Information Centres for smaller cellar doors. The program will include: • What are the key biosecurity risks for cellar doors? • What should cellar door and tourism staff say to tourists about biosecurity? • What simple biosecurity initiatives can cellar doors implement to reduce the risks? • What tools can Vinehealth offer to support cellar doors? • How can cellar doors make vine health part of the consumer experience?

An example of the Wine Tourism Biosecurity signage being offered to cellar doors.


“We have some of the oldest grapevines in the world in South Australia. Our state is free of phylloxera and many of the other pests and diseases that have decimated wine regions around the world. But increased trade and tourism means increased pest and disease risks,” said Vinehealth Australia CEO Inca Pearce. “Phylloxera is a particular risk as there are phylloxera infested zones in New South Wales and Victoria. Tourists could walk through a phylloxera infested vineyard and, unknowingly, pick up the tiny insect on their shoes or clothing, then be in a phylloxera-free vineyard in another region or state the same day. “The best way to avoid the spread of pests, diseases and weeds is to keep tourists away from vines, or to ensure their footwear and clothing is safe before entering vine rows.” Research has shown that conversations about the health of vines are not occurring with tourists. “There is a huge opportunity to educate the community about the precious vines that create the wines they enjoy, and how visitors can help keep those vines healthy,” Inca said. The Wine Tourism Biosecurity Training Program is stage one of a comprehensive campaign, which also includes: 1. A public awareness campaign to be launched in early 2018. 2. Beautiful tourist-friendly signage for cellar doors, to educate visitors about their role in keeping vines healthy. 3. The creation of six ‘best practice’ cellar door sites in South Australian wine regions featuring purpose-designed tourist signage, and Vinehealth Cellar Door Kits with footwear disinfestation equipment, shoe covers, rubber boots and educational materials. “This is an exciting campaign that has received resounding support from wine regions across South Australia. This will set a precedent for vine health campaigns in Australia,” Inca said. “The Wine Tourism Biosecurity Program in particular will create a legacy for regions, with knowledge passed on to key people in each region to continue training cellar door and tourism staff. We want vine health to become part of every conversation in wine regions around Australia.” The program is funded by Vinehealth Australia and Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA), with additional support from the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA).


Material Handling & Safety

Time for tank repairs? Abseil toward efficiency

Did you know that working anywhere higher than two meters from the ground means the area must be compliant with Australian and New Zealand safety standards? Camellia Aebischer spoke to Adam Goble from NZ Access about his new business: abseiling technicians.


dam Goble has been climbing stuff for the past 13 years. His new company, NZ Access, offers specialist access services to companies needing repair work, and they’ve recently picked up some unlikely clients: wineries. “We’ve only just started getting into the wine industry because my wife’s family live in Marlborough and I’m starting to meet their family and the wine industry so we started providing them some innovative solutions,” said Goble. NZ Access use climbing equipment to abseil and access areas of the winery that often require scaffolding – like big tanks and machinery. The company provides services in inspections, engineering, repairs, gas detection, welding, and rescue. “Traditionally they scaffold the tanks out when they need to do January 2018 – Issue 648

work on them but now we’re doing it all by industrial abseiling. “We can do the access and do the work. You’ve got to get two companies to work together to use scaffolding but we’re offering a full solution,” he said. Goble has a team of workers who are trained in both their trade, as well as abseiling. This gives him a unique position to offer a convenient solution, and help educate businesses about safety practises. “That’s what I’m getting at too because some wineries have equipment of their own. Some have a lot of harnesses and height safety stuff but they might not be using it in the right ways. “There’s a lot of information I want to get out to people.” Winemakers are often working in risky spaces on catwalks or

Grapegrower & Winemaker


winemaking TAKE SAFETY SERIOUSLY: It’s a rare occurrence, but fatal accidents can happen in and around the winery. See this accident report from the United States Department of Labour, filed in 2011. Accident: 201023314 - Employee Dies Of Asphyxia After Fall Into Wine Tank Report ID: 0950615 -- Event Date: 04/20/2011 At approximately 7:06 p.m. on April 20, 2011, Employee #1, an assistant winemaker at with Ancien Wines Winery, was transferring red wine from a small portable tank to a larger wine tank (10 ft high and 5 ft in diameter). The procedure included purging the larger tank and displacing oxygen with argon gas to prevent wine spoilage. Nitrogen gas was also used to inflate the rubber seal of the tank’s floating lid after the wine transfer was completed. When Employee #1 failed to return his service truck to the employer’s house after regular working hours, the employer tried unsuccessfully to reach Employee #1’s cell phone. The employer then proceeded to the winery and found Employee #1 unconscious inside the tank. He died of asphyxia.

platforms in and around the winery. Many new wineries are built to compliance, but older ones can be riddled with safety risks if the structure hasn’t been brought up to code. NZ Access offer wineries education on how to better utilise what they have through their onsite ‘toolbox talks’. “We might come and spend 20 minutes talking to the wine

team and tell them how to inspect their harnesses and how to care for them, where to put anchor points and how to use equipment. “For a really low fee we can come round and for guys putting themselves in exposed areas we can come and have a chat and refresh them.” “That’s really something I’d like to push,” said Goble. NZ Access began in February last year, and has been accumulating clients rapidly since. It all started with Goble’s past working offshore. “When I first started I was working in oil and gas on the maintenance crews offshore – doing paintwork and cable running. All industrial abseiling,” he said. “Now, people are recognising [industrial abseiling] for smaller wineries and stuff that’s not so large.” Goble explained that anything over two metres that needed to be scaled has to meet safety compliance. If a winemaker was to try and fix a leak at the top of a two metre high tank and had an accident, they could void an insurance claim. “Anything more than two metres in an exposed area you need to have a suitable means of protection. It doesn’t take much – two metres can cause death or serious injury,” he said. Working at a height isn’t the only risk in a winery. Tanks will occasionally need internal repairs, which means working in confined spaces. Goble is firm about warning workers to think twice before entering. “The atmosphere could be contaminated, the space could be contaminated, and then you have no means of getting the person out safely. If someone does have an accident in there how do you get them out?” That’s where training comes in handy. NZ Access are currently working with wineries like Giesen and Cloudy Bay on repairs and safety compliance. The small team of qualified industrial abseiler technicians can drop in to fix just about any situation, which can save a mint on scaffolding hire and time. For those interested in finding out more about safety compliance, contact SafeWork Australia or visit your state’s workplace safety website for small business self-assessment tools.


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South Australia

For further information, please contact Kauri

Western Australia

AUS Tel: 1800 127 611 Email: small-business-safety


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38 Grapegrower & Winemaker

NZ Tel: 0800 KAURIWINE Website:

January 2018 – Issue 648

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‘Grouse tips’ for maintaining winery machinery What are the best practices for pre-vintage maintenance? Retired consultant mechanical engineer Ian Jeffery shares some thoughts on potential winery maintenance based on his extensive research in the area, including a few ideas from ‘left of field’.


hile the wine industry has undertaken extensive viticulture and oenology research it has undertaken little research into winery maintenance. But Australian mining and mineral processing has undertaken extensive research into maintenance. These are the thoughts of an engineer with 12 years’ winery maintenance and 25 years’ mineral processing maintenance experience. The approach is to extrapolate mineral processing maintenance research to wineries while taking full consideration of the uniqueness of the wine industry.

user friendly, mark my words, it will be neglected & not used properly. Buy Australian!

‘Grouse tips’ This is not a few ‘grouse tips’ for pre-vintage maintenance but a suggested paradigm shift and whole order of magnitude maintenance improvement for most Australian wineries.

Long-term grouse tips Suggested long-term “grouse tips” are: 1. Train your team in current maintenance best practices (TRAIN not ‘half train’) 2. Implement condition monitoring (oil sampling, vibration analysis, thermography [under $10,000 in instruments, $1,000 to 2,000 per year expenditure) 3. Purchase a CMMS (Computerised maintenance management system) costing under $20,000 (the last one I purchased cost $12,600). It’s a user-friendly system designed by tradesmen and engineers for use by tradesmen and engineers. If it is not 40 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Type B graph

January 2018 – Issue 648

4. Undertake streamlined RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance) which is a one man job; hire or train a tradesman to do this work plus full time maintenance planning 5. Implement a Lean programme, either in parallel with 1 to 4 above, or following on after 1 to 4 implementation, dependent on your maintenance team’s competence and performance.

Relevant Maintenance Research Research indicates that High Infant Mortality Failures (HIMF) are probably the cause of 60% to 70% of all winery breakdowns. Probably HIMF will dominate the first 3 to 4 weeks of vintage. 80% of winery failures are likely to be random and 20% are age related/predictable failures. These conclusions are based on the 1961 to 1968 research by UAL and subsequent research (refer to graph and supporting detail in the box below


Bearing failure test results – running 30 deep groove ball bearings to failure

Failure rates with equipment being restarted after repair is high. This is highly likely for equipment start-ups at the beginning of vintage. Two comments pertinent to the wine industry follow. (Both comments come from Ron Moore’s book Making Common Sense Common Practice [1]) “Knowing that a job has been done right in a manufacturing plant, consistent with your expectations and standards, is essential for ensuring manufacturing excellence. Installation and start-up practices that set high and are then verified through a process for validating the quality of the work done, or commissioning, are an essential element of this process this point is reinforced by recent studies, which indicate that you are between seven and 17 times more likely to experience safety and environmental incidents during start-up and shutdowns. (And by inference seven to 17 times more likely to introduce defects into your processes and equipment during start-up and shutdown).” “Considerable process inefficiency can occur as equipment is failing or when being restarted after repair. This is particularly true when a commissioning process is not in place to ensure adequate and proper repair. For example, according to the Electric Power Research Institute, over 50% of the failures in fossil power plants occur within one week of start-up and last for one week.” This research established approximately 18% of failures are age related failures suited to preventive maintenance techniques. For the remaining 82% of failures (random failure modes) predictive maintenance and CON MON (condition monitoring) are the best strategies. In wineries, preventive maintenance is an ineffective waste of money for the 82% of failures that are random. Equipment particularly prone to high infant mortality failures (HIMF) includes electronics, pneumatics/compressed air, hydraulics and some bearing failures. (Most bearing failures are type D random failures). My assessment is many refrigeration failures will also be HIMF. Note: the low HIMF of the US Navy (29%) and US Navy submarines (6%). This is due to the US Navy maintenance culture. (Disciplined attention to detail well managed maintenance.) This indicates that with proper maintenance training and resourcing wineries could reduce HIMF from 60 to 70% of total winery breakdowns to below 20%. There is a perception/belief in some wineries that HIMF results from poor maintenance. This is usually not true. Investigations indicate poor maintenance is responsible on average for 30% of HIMF. January 2018 – Issue 648

The other main causes are poor design and manufacture and poor operations. 34% of all premature bearing failure is attributed to fatigue [2], possibly the result of a defect in the material the bearing is manufactured from, possibly a fault in the manufacturing of the bearing. Approximately 16% of all premature bearing failures are caused by incorrect mounting/poor maintenance work [2].

Reducing winery maintenance costs Reducing winery maintenance costs using the four long-term “grouse tips” given previously is not a five minute job. Below is a graph of costs associated with a typical MSO

For further information, please contact Kauri AUS Tel: 1800 127 611 Email:

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Grapegrower & Winemaker



(Maintenance Strategy Optimisation) programme (initial increase in maintenance costs, breakeven after 2 years followed by significant savings years 3 to 5 year [and steady annual increases in savings if it’s part of a continuous improvement programme]). This graph depicts the solution to a maintenance challenge one to two orders of magnitude greater than winery maintenance. Notwithstanding, is there any reason why a winery cannot achieve similar success? Note: the graph shows a high level of ‘Autonomous Maintenance’ (maintenance by the equipment operators). Beware, autonomous maintenance needs to be an addition to the normal maintenance team activities. Retrench part of your maintenance team and hand some of their maintenance to your cellar hands and bottling operators at your peril. The result of this action in the vast number of cases has been disaster.

Wine Industry Suppliers Association (WISA) maintenance webinars WISA plan to produce a series of 20 one-hour webinars on winery maintenance challenges. The webinars will be made available on the WISA Wine Portal. These will deal with challenges such as • Reducing (or eliminating) Vintage HIMF (High Infant Mortality Failures) • Purchasing the correct CMMS (Computerised Maintenance Management Software) and making maximum use of its capabilities • Implementing CON MON (Condition Monitoring) and Predictive Maintenance • Introducing streamlined RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance) and MSO (Maintenance Strategy Optimisation), including templates for one-person fast implementation • Implementation of LEAN and TPM, including the correct implementation of autonomous maintenance 42 Grapegrower & Winemaker

These webinars are being produced by me with assistance from Matthew Moate, WISA’s CEO. They are planned to be launched in the near future. These webinars will be an expanded version (approximately double) of the two-day winery maintenance workshops I have been running from time to time.

Conclusion My assessments are: • High Infant Mortality Failures (HIMF) are probably 60 to 70% of all winery plant and equipment failures • It is highly probable HIMF dominate the first 3 to 4 weeks of vintage • It is likely 80% of all winery plant and equipment failures are random and 20% are age related predictable life failures. I am convinced detailed research into winery plant and equipment failures will prove these assessments are correct. WISA Wine Portal winery maintenance webinars are recommended as tools to: • Train winery teams in winery maintenance best practices • Contribute to improved winery availability, reliability and productivity and hence profitability (and indirectly contribute to wine quality).


[1] “Making Common Sense Common Practice”, Ron Moore, ButterworthHeinemann Ltd, 2004. [2] “Top 5 reasons for Premature Bearing Failure”, Acorn Industrial Services Limited, 2017 [3] “Reliability-centred Maintenance (RCM II)”, John Moubray, ButterworthHeinemann Ltd, 1991’ Ian Jeffery is a retired consultant mechanical engineer with over 45 years’ experience in mineral processing, winery and food engineering. His major areas of expertise are maintenance best practices and project management. Winery experience includes eight years as engineering manager at Orlando Wines and three years with Worley Parsons Consulting. His 20 years plus mineral processing experience includes titanium & zirconium, copper, tin, coal and uranium processing.

January 2018 – Issue 648

New stats reveal changes in wine consumption and production A new e-book of statistics about global wine and other beverage consumption and production has revealed how wine markets have recovered since the end of the most recent global financial crisis. The new digital publication has been released by the University of Adelaide and is available as a free download. Global Wine Markets, 1860 to 2016: A Statistical Compendium, and the database the e-book draws from, provide a comprehensive range of statistics that are comparable across countries. “Asia has become an important consuming region, which has stimulated wine production in China. In terms of volume, China already rivals that of Argentina, Australia, Chile and South Africa,” said one of the authors, worldrenowned wine economist and University of Adelaide Professor Kym Anderson. The added data also communicates the speed of the emergence of new wine markets. In addition to the inclusion of statistics up to 2016, the compendium provides another century of historical data to enable comparisons between the current and previous globalisation wave. “Until recently, most grape-based wine was consumed close to where it was produced, and mostly that was in Europe,” said Professor Anderson. “The latest globalisation wave has changed that forever. Now more than two-fifths of all wine consumed globally is produced in another country.

“As incomes have grown, new consumers have come on to the scene, resulting in changes in eating and drinking habits and a broadening of tastes. This has led to large wine producers teaming up with large retail distributors to make their products easily available to new consumers in the UK and other wine-importing countries.” The new compendium updates the authors’ 2011 e-book, which was downloaded more than 75,000 times and covers the period from 1961 up to 2009. The new e-book not only includes more recent wine market statistics (up to 2016) but also covers other beverages including beer, spirits and soft drink. The e-book and database are expected to appeal to a wideaudience, including those in the wine industry, in addition to policy makers, health professionals and academics. Some of the world’s leading wine economists and historians have contributed to and drawn on the ebook’s database to explain long-term trends and cycles in national wine production, consumption and trade. Their analysis will be available in an upcoming book entitled, Wine Globalization: A New Comparative History, edited by Kym Anderson and Vicente Pinilla (Cambridge University Press), available for purchase online in January 2018. e-book free download: titles/global-wine-markets/ Database download:

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Fermenting positive effects on colour, mouthfeel and fruitiness Fermentation

Development of a new, innovative, specific yeast autolysate to improve the quality of red wine

chemical characterization  of  the  specific  yeast  autolysate  (MEX-­‐WY1)   Whether it’s wild or natural, yeasts are an integral part of the winemeaking process. Julie Mekoue-

Nguela1,2, Anthony Silvano1, Jose-Maria Heras1, Marion Schiavone1,3, Eveline Bartowsky4 and pecific yeast   strain  Sieczkowski with  special  p1arietal   mannoprotein   roperties  INRA evidenced   by  atomic   force  minstitute, icroscopy  delve   Nathalie from Lallemand andpFrance’s agricultural science into the impact of yeast autolysates on red wine quality. esearch   conducted   in   partnership   with   INSA   Toulouse,   atomic   force   microscopy   (AFM)   was   used   to   e   properties   of   the   MEX-­‐WY1   cell   wall   in   comparison   to   another   wine   yeast   strain   of   Saccharomyces   Introduction tannins and anthocyanins early on, thus improving the colour and (WY2)   that   displayed   strong   mannoprotein-­‐producing   (Schiavone   et   al.,   2014).   WY1  advances was   have provided Consumer demand for fruity red wines with intense colourcapacity   and mouthfeel of red wine. Recent scientific good mouthfeel continues to grow. Aging on lees is a widespread more precise tools for characterising wine   adhesive,   and   due   to   its   high   mannoprotein   content   and   the   length   of   its   mannoprotein   chains   stretched  yeasts and their traditional winemaking technique aimed in part at reducing products, leading to the development of a new yeast autolysate ell   wall,  astringency it   interacted   strongly   while with   increasing the   lectin  body Concanavalin   for   its   specific   to   link  properties with   based on an and bitterness and aromaticA,   used   (MEX-WY1) with uniqueability   mannoprotein length and complexity. Aging on lees can also help stabilise the innovative combination of a special strain of Saccharomyces esidues.    

colour of red wines. During this step, winemakers reap the many cerevisiae (WY1) and a specific inactivation process (MEX). well known benefits—including the release of mannoproteins— provided by adding dead or dying autolyzed yeast (Rodriguez Physico-chemical characterisation of the specific et al., 2005). To avoid the inconvenience of traditional aging yeast autolysate (MEX-WY1) on lees, a practice has developed over the past 15 years where n innovative  inactivation  process  combined  with  a  unique  yeast  strain  leading  to  an  original  autolysate   specific inactivated yeasts are added to promote the release of Specific yeast strain with special parietal mannoprotein ic  properties   polysaccharides (Guadalupe et al., 2007, and Rodriguez-Bencomo properties evidenced by atomic force microscopy et al., 2010). The concept that certain polysaccharides can bind In recent research conducted in partnership with INSA with tannins and thereby reduce the astringency of wines has Toulouse, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to characterise olysis  conditions  and  thermal  or  physicochemical  inactivation  procedures  were  applied  to  the  WY1  yeast   been around for a number of years. properties of the MEX-WY1 cell wall in comparison to another ts  high  content   and  study long  that chain   mannoproteins.   Following   several  swine creening   and  o the  lab,   a   that displayed A recent focused on the interactions between yeast strain ofptimizations   Saccharomycesin   cerevisiae (WY2) mannoproteins and grape or wine polyphenols was conducted strong mannoprotein-producing capacity (Schiavone et al., 2014). ysicochemical   treatment   was   selected   (MEX   process)   for   its   ability   to   disrupt   yeast   and   to   release   high   at the INRA Montpellier (research unit Science Pour l’Oenologie) WY1 was particularly adhesive, and due to its high mannoprotein weight   parietal   mannoproteins.   Figure  in1  solution shows  between transmission   microscopy   images   from   (Mekoue et al., 2016). Interactions grape electron   content and the length of(TEM)   its mannoprotein chains stretched over skin tannins with an average degree of polymerisation of 27 and the cell wall, it interacted strongly with the lectin Concanavalin  obtained  through  a  classic  thermal  process  (Fig.  1.A  =  SWYT-­‐WY1)  in  comparison  to  the  MEX  treatment   yeast parietal mannoproteins led to the formation of finite-sise A, used for its specific ability to link with mannose residues. MEX-­‐WY1).    The  autolysates   btained   through   hermal   and  physicochemical   treatments   had  process very  different   submicronic aggregatesothat were stable over ttime and remained An innovative inactivation combined with a unique in suspension. These findings support the hypothesis that yeast strain leading to anworiginal autolysate with specific es.  Although  thermally  inactivated  WY1  yeasts  maintained  a  certain  cellular  integrity  and   ere  more  than   mannoproteins released by specific inactivated yeasts can help properties ble,  physicochemical   inactivated  yeasts   using   the   MEX  Itprocess   more   components   ere   80%   improve the taste of red wine by binding with tannins. is likely released   Various autolysis conditionsthat   andw thermal or physicochemical that using this type of product in mannoproteins) at the inactivation applied WY1 yeast to release ze   exclusion   chromatography   (SEC)   c(high onfirmed   that   the   MEX   soluble   fraction   cprocedures ontained  were a   high   level  toothe f   high   beginning of the winemaking process will limit aggregation of its high content and long chain mannoproteins. Following weight  polysaccharides  compared  to  the  classical  thermal  process  (several Figure  2screening ).   and optimisations in the lab, a specific physicochemical treatment was selected (MEX process) for its ability to disrupt yeast and to release high molecular weight                    1.A:  SWYT-­‐WY1                                                                  1.B:  MEX-­‐WY1   parietal mannoproteins. Figure 1 shows transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images from autolysates obtained through a classic thermal process (Fig. 1.A = SWYT-WY1) in comparison to the MEX treatment (Fig. 1.B = MEX-WY1). The autolysates obtained through thermal and physicochemical treatments had very different appearances. Although thermally inactivated WY1 yeasts maintained a certain cellular integrity and were more than 60% insoluble, physicochemical inactivated yeasts using the MEX process released more components that were 80% soluble. Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) confirmed that the MEX                       Figure 1: Microscopic (TEM) images of yeast derivatives produced soluble fraction contained a high level of high molecular weight either with a classical thermal process (A, SWYT-WY1) or a specific polysaccharides compared to the classical thermal process inactivation (B, o MEX-WY1). Microscopic   (TEM)  process images   f  yeast  derivatives  produced  either  with   a  classical   thermal  process  (A,  SWYT-­‐ (Figure 2).

WY1) or  a  specific  inactivation  process  (B,  MEX-­‐WY1).  

44 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Sieczkowski Formatted: C January 2018 – Issue 648


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OD 280  



Figure 2: Size exclusion chromatography of SWYT-WY1 and MEX-WY1 Figure 2:  Size  exclusion  chromatography  of  SWYT-­‐WY1  and  MEX-­‐WY1  soluble  fractions     soluble fractions

Interactions with  phenolic  compounds  at  the  beginning  of  fermentation   4  

Evidence of  the  interactions  of  the  new  autolysate  with  polyphenols  :  

In a  lab-­‐scale  study,  the  inactivated  SWYT-­‐WY1  yeast  and  the  MEX-­‐WY1  autolysate  were  added  at  the  beginning  of   fermentation   and   compared   for   their   ability   to   interact   with   red   polyphenols.   Fermentation   was   conducted   in   a   synthetic   must   medium   in   the   presence   of   a   pool   of   polyphenols   extracted   from   red   grape   must   after   3   thermovinification.   Bovine   serum   albumin   (BSA)   precipitation   tests   were   conducted   on   the   resulting   wines   to   evaluate  interactions  with  polyphenols  (Boulet  et  al  2016).  Absorbency  differences  at  280  and  520  nm  (OD  280  and   OD  520)  between  the  untreated  and  BSA-­‐treated  wines  indicate  the  amount  of  tannins  and  pigments  the  protein  can   precipitate.  The  capacity  of  polyphenols  to  precipitate  protein  directly  affects  the  astringency  of  red  wine.  Figure  3   OD  280   shows   less  2   precipitation   of   these   compounds   in   treatments   using   SWYT-­‐WY1   inactivated   yeast   compared   to   the   control.  This  effect  is  more  marked  in  the  case  of  the  specific  autolysate  MEX-­‐WY1.         OD  520  


2 1  





0 0   30   MEX-­‐WY1  total  concentraOon   (g/hL)  



30 (>10  kDa)   30  (<10  kDa)   MEX-­‐WY1  total  concentraOon  (g/hL)    

Figure Evaluation of BSA-precipitable tannins 280 nm) after with whole  MEX-­‐WY1   Figure   4:  E4: valuation   of  BSA-­‐precipitable   tannins  (OD  280   nm)  after  (OD polyphenol   interactions   polyphenol interactions with MEX-WY1 soluble fraction soluble   fraction  (A),   low  molecular  w eight  whole (<  10  kDa)   and  high  molecular   weight   (>  10  k(A), Da)  slow oluble  fractions  (B).  MEX-­‐ molecular weight kDa) and high molecular weight (> 10 kDa) soluble WY1   soluble  was   added  f(< or  10 interaction   experiments   at  an  equivalent   concentration   of  total   MEX-­‐WY1  of  30  g/hL.     fractions (B). MEX-WY1 soluble was added for interaction experiments at   an equivalent concentration of total MEX-WY1 of 30 g/hL. Evaluation  of  the  MEX-­‐WY1  specific  autolysate  during  red  wine  production   The  final  step  in  this  study  was  to  evaluate  the  performance  of  the  MEX-­‐WY1  specific  autolysate  under  red   winemaking  conditions.   polyphenols and the soluble fraction of the yeast autolysate To  study  the  effect  of  adding  the  specific  autolysate  MEX-­‐WY1  under  large-­‐scale  production  conditions,  numerous   Sieczkowski Nat…, 14/12/2017 10:48 AM (MEX-WY1-S) a sdose thehapplication ofvarieties   30 g/in  different   trials   wFormatted: ere  conducted   at  at pilot   cale  (1  hrate L)  and  equivalent production  scale  to (50-­‐200   L)  on  various  grape   Centered hL gof theareas   total MEX-WY1. (stirred atstandard   ambient grape   rowing   in  both   hemispheres.  FAfter or  each  t24 rial,  th he  contact objective  was   to  compare   red  wine  production (control)   with  MEX-­‐WY1  samples autolysate  (addition   of  30  g/hL  at  the  band eginning   of  alcoholic   fermentation)  under  the   temperature) wererate   centrifuged the supernatants same  winemaking  process.  Fermentation  kinetics  were  monitored  and  the  resulting  wines  were  analyzed  at  different were analysed. Total Polyphenols (TP) and Total Red Pigments stages  (post-­‐alcoholic  fermentation,  post-­‐malolactic  fermentation,  and  post-­‐stabilization).  Batch  homogeneity  was   (TRP)by  mwere using UV-visible checked   easuring  determined classic  physicochemical   parameters.   The  colour  ospectrophotometry, f  the  wines  was  evaluated  through   spectrophotometry   and  by  measuring  ttannins ristimulus  values   (CieLab).   The  wines  were   subjected  to  awere  post-­‐stabilization   and BSA precipitable and polymeric pigments sensory   analysis  and  taccording he  saliva  precipitation   index   (SPI)  assay.     determined to the procedure described by Boulet et   al. (2016). Absorbency differences at 280 (∆A 280) between the Fermentation  kinetics  in  the  numerous  trials  were  not  affected  by  the  addition  of  MEX-­‐WY1.    The  effect  of  MEX-­‐WY1   untreated wines indicate the amount of tannins on   colour  stability  and and  wBSA-treated ine  sensory  are  described   below.       and pigments the protein (BSA) precipitated.   Interactions between polyphenols and MEX-WY1 soluble   components did not lead to visible aggregation and precipitation. Effect  on  the  colour  of  red  wine     a tsmall decrease theat  TP TRP indexeswas  observed   In  Only numerous   rials,  the  ameasurable ddition  of  the  specific   autolysate  Mof EX-­‐WY1   the  band eginning   of  fermentation   to   have  aobserved  positive  effect  (around on  wine  colour.   n  example   hown  i6 n  F% igure   which  shows   the  colour  the (parameters  L,  a,  b) was 5 A% of TPis  sand of5,  TRP) between

measured in  P(synthetic inot  Noir  wines  from   trials  + conducted   in  New  Zealand   (Marlborough   2016).  samples The  wine  from  the   control must polyphenols alone) and ,  the fermentation  using  MEX-­‐WY1  had  a  darker,  redder  colour.  The  ΔE  calculated  based  on  the  three  parameters  was  4.7. after interactions. It  is  widely  recognized  that  a  trained  professional  is  able  to  detect  an  average  ∆E  of  3  in  red  wine.     BSA precipitation determination showed a lower precipitation     Figure 3: Evaluation of BSA-precipitable tannins (OD 280 nm) and   of tannins with the addition of the whole MEX-WY1 soluble fraction pigments (OD 520 nm) in a model red wine fermented with or without Figure  3:  Evaluation  of  BSA-­‐precipitable  tannins  (OD  280  nm)  and  pigments  (OD  520  nm)  in  a  model  red  wine     (Fig. 4 A) compared to the control. This would suggest a reduction the addition fermented   of SWYT-WY1 MEX-WY1 yeastoproducts. Sieczkowski Nat…, 14/12/2017 10:48 AM with  or  or without   the  addition   f  SWYT-­‐WY1  or  MEX-­‐WY1  yeast  products.     Formatted: Centered of astringency with the addition of the specific autolysate. The    





very low PT and TRP decrease indicated the formation of stable

Understanding the  action  mechanism  of  MEX-­‐WY1  

Interactions with phenolic compounds at the complexes with high molecular weight tannins and pigments. Further experiments  were  undertaken  at  lab-­‐scale  in  order  to  determine  the  mechanism  of  action  of  MEX-­‐WY1     This stabilisation of polyphenols in solution by MEX-WY1-S could beginning of fermentation autolysate  interactions  with  polyphenols.  Interactions  experiments  were  performed  in  a  synthetic  must  with  added  

Merlot grape  skin  polyphenols  and  the  soluble  fraction  of  the  yeast  autolysate  (MEX-­‐WY1-­‐S)  at  a  denable ose  rate  ecolour quivalent  stabilisation during fermentation and a reduction Evidence ofAfter   the autolysate with in astringency, as their complexation with autolysate’s soluble to  the   application  of  of 30  gthe /hL  of  interactions the  total  MEX-­‐WY1.   24  hnew  contact   (stirred  at  ambient   temperature)   samples   were   centrifuged  and   (TRP)  were   would make tannins unavailable to interact with polyphenols : the  supernatants  were  analysed.  Total  Polyphenols  (TP)  and  Total  Red  Pigments   components determined   using  UV-­‐visible   spectrophotometry,   and  BSA  precipitable   tannins  yeast and  polymeric   were   proteins that are involved in astringency perception. In a lab-scale study, the inactivated SWYT-WY1 and pigments   salivary

determined according  to  autolysate the  procedure  dwere escribed  added by  Boulet  eat t  al.  the (2016).   Absorbency  differences   at  2To 80  (∆identify A  280)   the MEX-WY1 beginning of the specific soluble component involved in these between   the  untreated   BSA-­‐treated  wfor ines  their indicate   the  amount   f  tannins  and   pigments   rotein  (BSA)   fermentation andand   compared ability to ointeract with red the  pinteractions, MEX-WY1-S was fractionated into low (< 10 kDa) precipitated.     polyphenols. Fermentation was conducted in a synthetic must and high (> 10 kDa) molecular weight fractions and interactions Interactions   between   polyphenols   and   MEX-­‐WY1   soluble   components   did   not   lead   to   visible   aggregation   and   medium in the presence of a pool of polyphenols extracted from with polyphenols were performed. The MEX-WY1-S autolysate precipitation.  Only  a  small  measurable  decrease  of  the  TP  and  TRP  indexes  was  observed  (around  5  %  of  TP  and  6  %   red grape must after thermovinification. Bovine serum albumin was   able to reduce tannin precipitation after BSA addition. This of  TRP)  between  the  control  (synthetic  must  +  polyphenols  alone)  and  the  samples  after  interactions.  

(BSA) precipitation tests were conducted on the resulting wines

would indicate a lower precipitation with salivary proteins, thus

compounds in treatments using SWYT-WY1 inactivated yeast

macromolecules are mainly composed of mannoproteins with

to determine the mechanism of action of MEX-WY1 autolysate

The final step in this study was to evaluate the performance specific autolysate under red winemaking

BSA precipitation  determination  showed  a  lower  precipitation  of  tannins  with  the  addition  of  the  whole  MEX-­‐WY1   to evaluate interactions with polyphenols (Boulet et al 2016). a lower astringency. When fractionated, the high molecular soluble   fraction   (Fig.   4   A)   compared   to   the   control.   This   would   suggest   a   reduction   of   astringency   with   the   addition   Absorbency differences at 280 and 520 nm (OD 280 and OD weight components were more effective regarding the reduction of  the  specific  autolysate.  The  very  low  PT  and  TRP  decrease  indicated  the  formation  of  stable  complexes  with  high   520) between the untreated and BSA-treated wines indicate the of tannin precipitation. (Fig. 4 B). molecular  weight  tannins  and  pigments.  This  stabilization  of  polyphenols  in  solution  by  MEX-­‐WY1-­‐S  could  enable   amount of tannins and pigments the protein can precipitate. The Thus, these studies have demonstrated the role of colour   stabilisation   during   fermentation   and   a   reduction   in   astringency,   as   their   complexation   with   autolysate’s   capacity of polyphenols precipitate protein directly affects the that   macromolecules in MEX-WY1 autolysate in wine quality soluble   components   would   make  to tannins   unavailable   to   interact   with   salivary   proteins   are   involved   in   astringency of red wine. Figure 3 shows less precipitation of these improvement, specifically colour stability and astringency. These astringency   perception.  

To identify  the  specific  soluble  component  involved  in  these  interactions,  MEX-­‐WY1-­‐S  was  fractionated  into  low  (<   compared to the control. This effect is more marked in the case of unique properties, obtained through the combination of a special 10   kDa)   and   high   (>   10   kDa)   molecular   weight   fractions   and   interactions   with   polyphenols   were   performed.   The   the specific autolysate MEX-WY1. yeast strain and a specific inactivation process. MEX-­‐WY1-­‐S   autolysate   was   able   to   reduce   tannin   precipitation   after   BSA   addition.   This   would   indicate   a   lower   Understanding action of MEX-WY1 Evaluation precipitation   with   salivary  the proteins,   thus  mechanism a   lower   astringency.   When   fractionated,   the   high   molecular   weight   of the MEX-WY1 specific autolysate during red Further experiments were tundertaken at lab-scale in(Fig.   order wine production components   were   more  effective  regarding   he  reduction  of  tannin   precipitation.   4  B).     Thus,   these   studies   have   demonstrated   the   role   of   macromolecules   in   MEX-­‐WY1   autolysate   in   wine   quality   interactions with polyphenols. Interactions experiments were of the MEX-WY1 improvement,   specifically   colour   stability   and   astringency.   These   macromolecules   are   mainly   composed   of   performed in a synthetic must with added Merlot grape skin conditions. mannoproteins  with  unique  properties,  obtained  through  the  combination  of  a  special  yeast  strain  and  a  specific   inactivation  process.    

46 Grapegrower & Winemaker

January 2018 – Issue 648

treatment without  MEX-­‐WY1.  Both  wines  underwent  a  blind  sensory  analysis  by  an  expert  panel  trained  in  win

texture  and  structure  descriptors  (La  Rioja,  Spain,  March  2017).  The  panel  found  that  the  addition  of  MEX-­‐   WY1  significantly  improved  the  five  descriptors  that  were  assessed:  greater  freshness,  more  volume/roundnes enhanced  tannin  structure  and  concentration,  and  better  length.  Thus,  the  mechanisms  and  interactions  obser   the  model  studies  above  have  an  impact  not  only  on  wine  astringency,  but  also  other  taste  characteristics  rela   the  wine’s  mouthfeel  and  structure.   Figure  6:  Wine  colour  as  determined  by  CieLab  measurements  (L,  a,  b    parameters)  in  Pinot  Noir  wines  (Marlborough,     Sieczkowski Nat…, 14/ New   of  fermentation)  and  Control  fermentations.     Zealand,  2016)  from  MEX-­‐WY1  (MEX-­‐WY1  added  at  the  beginning   Deleted:           Control Effect  on  the  sensory  qualities  of  red  wine   (fruitiness,  mouthfeel,  overall  quality)         MEX-­‐WY1   using  the  specific  autolysate  MEX-­‐WY1  demonstrated  that  several  sensory  characteristics  of  red  wine  can  be   Trials     improved:  reduced  astringency,  better  overall  mouthfeel,  and  a  riper,  fruitier  aromas.         Significant  reduction  in  astringency:     -­‐     The     Saliva  Precipitation  Index  (SPI)  measures  the  reactivity  of  salivary  proteins  to  polyphenols  in  wine  and  it  is  a  good     estimate   of  wine  astringency  (Rinaldi  et  al.,  2012).  Figure  6  shows  SPI  of  Grenache  wine  made  with  the  Thermo  Flash   Figure 5:   Wine colour as determined by CieLab measurements (L, a,   process,  known  to  promote  significant  phenolic  extraction,  which  can  lead  to  pronounced  astringency.  We  can  see   b parameters) (Marlborough, New Zealand, 2016) Figure Taste analysis by an expert panel (La   Rioja, Spain, March 2017) Figure  in 6:  Pinot Wine  cNoir olour  wines as  determined   by  CieLab   measurements   (L,  a,  b  parameters)   in  7: Pinot   Noir   wines  (Marlborough,   wine  f(MEX-WY1 ermented  added with  MEX-­‐WY1   has  significantly   lower  and SPI  compared   ith   the  acnalysis   ontrol   (38  evxpert   ersus   52).   This   from that   MEX-WY1 the beginning of fermentation) of awCabernet (Paso Robles, California 2016) made either Figure   7:  Taste   by  afn   panel   (La  Rioja,   Spain,   March   2017)   of  a  Cabernet   Sauvignon   (Paso   Rob Sieczkowski Nat…, 14/12/2017 10:47 AM New  Zealand,   2016)  from  Mat EX-­‐WY1   (MEX-­‐WY1   added  at  the  beginning   of  fermentation)   and  Sauvignon Control   ermentations.   Control fermentations. with the  2  specific MEX-WY1 addedDeleted: atEX-­‐WY1   a rateadded   of 30g/hL California   016)   made  autolysate either  with  the   specific  autolysate   M at  a  rate  at of  the 30g/hL  at  the  beginni difference   d irectly   c orrelates   w ith   r educed   a stringency   i n   t he   M EX-­‐WY1   w ine.       ... [1]   beginning of fermentation (MEX-WY1 without (Control fermentation   (MEX-­‐WY1  ttreatment) reatment)  or  wor ithout   (Control   treatment)      


treatment) -­‐ Enhanced  fruit  maturity:   60   Effect  on  the  sensory  qualities  of  red  wine  (fruitiness,  mouthfeel,    overall  quality)   In  a  number  of  the  winery  trials,  some   unexpected     Fruit   maturity   differences  in  aroma  were  noted,  including  fruit  maturity  aUn 50   vegetal   and  grass  characteristics.   For  cean   xample,   2016)  wine  made  from  F Control   Témoin   Trials  using  the  specific  autolysate  MEX-­‐WY1  demonstrated  that  several  sensory   characteristics   of  red  wine   be   Cabernet  Sauvignon  (Bordeaux,  France,   4   conditions,  either  with  the  addition  of  the   harvested  and  fermented  under  the  same   specific   autolysate  MEX-­‐W MEX-­‐ WY1   improved:   reduced  astringency,  better  overall  mouthfeel,  and  a  riper,  fruitier   aromas.   MEX-­‐WY1     40   a  rate  of  30g/hL  at  the  beginning  of  fermentation  or  not,  showed  different  aroma  sensory  profile  (Figure  9).  Bo   3   wines  were  assessed  by  a  panel  of  second-­‐year   student  enologists  (DNO  Toulouse,  March  2017).  The  MEX-­‐WY1 30   -­‐ Significant  reduction  in  astringency:   treatment  produced  a  significant  difference  (10%  confidence  level)  in  “fruit  maturity,”  i.e.  more  mature  fruit  n Vegetal   red/black     compared  to  the  control.  The  control  w2   ine  was  considered  to  be  slightly  Fruity   more  v(egetal   and  ftruit)   he  MEX-­‐WY1  wine 20   have   red/black  fin   ruit   otes.     it  is  a  good   The  Saliva   Precipitation  Index  (SPI)  measures  the  reactivity  of  salivary  proteins   to  mpore   olyphenols   wnine   and     1   Flash   estimate  of  wine  astringency  (Rinaldi  et  al.,  2012).  Figure  6  shows  SPI  of  Grenache   wine  made  with  the  Thermo  

10 process,  known  to  promote  significant  phenolic  extraction,  which  can  lead  to  pronounced  astringency.  We  can  see   0   that  wine  f0   ermented  with  MEX-­‐WY1  has  significantly  lower  SPI  compared  with  the  control  (38  versus  52).  This   difference  directly  correlates  wSPI   ith  reduced  astringency  in  the  MEX-­‐WY1  wine.             Control   MEX-­‐WY1     60  


Fruity (amylic)  

50 Figure 6: Saliva Precipitation Index (SPI) measured in Grenache wine   (France, Côtes du Rhône, 2016). The only variable was the addition of Figure  6:  40   Saliva  Precipitation  Index  (SPI)  measured  in  Grenache  wine  (France,  Côtes  du  Rhône,  2016).  The  only   the specific autolysate at 30g/hL at the beginning of fermentation in the   Spicy   Sieczkowski Nat…, 14/ variable   was  compared the  addition   of  Control the  specific   autolysate   at  30g/hL  at  the   beginning  of  fermentation  in   the  MEX-­‐WY1   MEX-WY1 treatment to the without MEX-WY1.   30   FigureM8: Aroma analysis by a panel enologists Font:9.5 pt   of second-year studentFormatted: treatment  compared  to  the  Control  without   EX-­‐WY1.   2017) of aenologists   Cabernet Sauvignon (Bordeaux, Figure  8:  A(Toulouse, roma  analysis  bFrance, y  a  panel  oMarch f  second-­‐year   student   (Toulouse,   France,  M arch   2017)  of  a  Cabernet   Sieczkowski Nat…, 14/   20   Sauvignon  France, (Bordeaux,  2016) France,  made 2016)  made   with   the  specific specific  autolysate   MEX-­‐WY1   added  (30g/hL)   at  the   beginning  of   with the autolysate MEX-WY1 added (30g/ To study the effect of adding the specific autolysate MEXFormatted: Normal -­‐ Overall   i mprovement   i n   t he   m outhfeel   a nd   s tructure   o f   r ed   w ine:   fermentation   (MEX-­‐WY1   treatment)  o(MEX-WY1 r  without  (Control   treatment)  or without hL) at the beginning of fermentation treatment) 10   WY1 under large-scale production conditions, numerous trials   (Control treatment)  

were conducted at 0   pilot scale (1 hL) and production scale (50   SPI   200 hL) on various grape varieties in different grape growing   areas in both hemispheres. For each trial, the objective was Summary   to on the three parameters was 4.7. It is widely recognised that a Control   MEX-­‐WY1     H compare trained professional is able to detect an average ∆E of 3 in red     standard red wine production (control) with MEX-WY1   F Recent   research   has   given   us   a   much   better   understanding   of   how   yeast   and   phenolic   compounds   interact   in   red   autolysate (addition rate of 30 g/hL at the beginning of alcoholic wine.   wine,   enabling   us   to   better   characterize   the   biochemical   and   biophysical   properties   of   yeast   with   unique   wine   fermentation) under the same winemaking process. Fermentation Effect on the sensory qualities of red wine (fruitiness, Figure  6:  Saliva  Precipitation  Index  (SPI)  measured  in  Grenache  wrelevant   ine  (France,   Côtes  dW u  e  Rhhône,   2016).  the   The   only   characteristics.   ave  described   development   of  a  specific  yeast  autolysate  with  unique  wine  sensory   kinetics were monitored theof  resulting were atbeginning   mouthfeel, overall impacting   properties.   A   yeast   autolysate   (MEX-­‐WY1)   was   prepared   from  Sieczkowski a   wine   yeast   with   distinctive   characteristics.   Nat…, 14/12/2017 10:47 AM variable   was  the  aand ddition   the  specific  wines autolysate   at  3analyzed 0g/hL  at  the   of  fermentation   in  tquality) he   MEX-­‐WY1   Studies  using  m odel  grape   must  revealed   the  involvement   of  mannoproteins   in  the  soluble   fraction  opt f  the  autolysate   different stages (post-alcoholictreatment   fermentation, post-malolactic Trials using the specific autolysate MEX-WY1 demonstrated Formatted: Font:9.5 compared  to  the  Control  without  MEX-­‐WY1.   in  the  formation   of  stable  complexes   that  acharacteristics re  contributing  to  color  of stabilization   and  reduction   wine  astringency.     fermentation, and post-stabilisation). Batch homogeneity was that several sensory red wine canNat…, bein  improved: Sieczkowski 14/12/2017 10:48 AM   Winery  trials  demonstrated  that  addition  of  the  specific  autolysate  MEX-­‐WY1  at  the  beginning  of  fermentation  had  a   checked by -­‐measuring classic physicochemical parameters. The reduced astringency, better overall mouthfeel, and a riper, Formatted: Normal Overall  improvement  in  the  mouthfeel  and  structure  of  red  positive   wine:   effect  on  wine  sensory  characteristics  such  as  colour,  mouthfeel,  and  fruitiness  in  red  wine.   fruitier colour of the wines was evaluated through spectrophotometry aromas.     MEX-­‐WY1  - has  Significant been  released  as  creduction ommercial  product,   OPTI-­‐MUM  REDTM.   and by measuring tristimulus values (CieLab). The wines were in astringency:   subjected to a post-stabilisation sensory analysis and the saliva The Saliva Precipitation Index (SPI) measures the reactivity of The  research  work  described  in  this  article  is  from  a  collaboration  between  INRA/Montpellier  Supagro,  LISBP/INSA   precipitation index (SPI) assay. salivary proteins to polyphenols in wine and it is a good estimate Toulouse  and  Lallemand.         Special  acknowledgement   to  Master  student   Elissa  Abi  Habib.   Fermentation kinetics in the numerous trials were not affected of wine astringency (Rinaldi et al., 2012). Figure 6b shows SPI   by the addition of MEX-WY1. The effect of MEX-WY1 on colour of Grenache wine made with the Thermo Flash process, known Authors   stability and wine sensory are described below. to promote significant phenolic extraction, which can lead to H Julie  Mekoue-­‐Nguela1,2,  Anthony  Silvano1,  Jose-­‐Maria  Heras1,  Marion  Schiavone1,3,  Eveline  Bartowsky4,  Nathalie   1 F pronounced astringency. We can see that wine fermented with Sieczkowski   1  Lallemand   SAS,  19,  Rue  des   briquetiers,   31702  Blagnac,   France  SPI compared with the control Effect on the colour of red wine MEX-WY1 has significantly lower In numerous trials, the addition of the specific autolysate (38 versus 52). This difference directly correlates with reduced MEX-WY1 at the beginning of fermentation was observed to astringency in the MEX-WY1 wine. have a positive effect on wine colour. An example is shown  in - Overall improvement in the mouthfeel and structure of red wine: Figure 5, which shows the colour (parameters L, a, b) measured Apart from the reduced astringency observation, most of the in Pinot Noir wines from trials conducted in New Zealand trials demonstrated an overall improvement in the perceived (Marlborough , 2016). The wine from the fermentation using wine structure and mouthfeel. Figure 7 shows the results of a MEX-WY1 had a darker, redder colour. The ΔE calculated based sensory analysis on a 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles,

48 Grapegrower & Winemaker

January 2018 – Issue 648

winemaking Central Coast, California) where a MEX-WY1 treatment was compared to a control treatment without MEX-WY1. Both wines underwent a blind sensory analysis by an expert panel trained in wine texture and structure descriptors (La Rioja, Spain, March 2017). The panel found that the addition of MEX-WY1 significantly improved the five descriptors that were assessed: greater freshness, more volume/roundness, enhanced tannin structure and concentration, and better length. Thus, the mechanisms and interactions observed in the model studies above have an impact not only on wine astringency, but also other taste characteristics related to the wine’s mouthfeel and structure. - Enhanced fruit maturity: In a number of the winery trials, some unexpected differences in aroma were noted, including fruit maturity and vegetal and grass characteristics. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon (Bordeaux, France, 2016) wine made from grapes harvested and fermented under the same conditions, either with the addition of the specific autolysate MEX-WY1 at a rate of 30g/hL at the beginning of fermentation or not, showed different aroma sensory profile (Figure 9). Both wines were assessed by a panel of second-year student enologists (DNO Toulouse, March 2017). The MEX-WY1 treatment produced a significant difference (10% confidence level) in “fruit maturity,” i.e. more mature fruit notes, compared to the control. The control wine was considered to be slightly more vegetal and the MEX-WY1 wine to have more red/ black fruit notes.

Summary Recent research has given us a much better understanding of how yeast and phenolic compounds interact in red wine, enabling us to better characterise the biochemical and biophysical properties of yeast with unique wine relevant characteristics. We have described the development of a specific yeast autolysate with unique wine sensory impacting properties. A yeast autolysate (MEX-WY1) was prepared from a wine yeast with distinctive characteristics. Studies using model grape must revealed the involvement of mannoproteins in the soluble fraction of the autolysate in the formation of stable complexes that are contributing to color stabilisation and reduction in wine astringency. Winery trials demonstrated that addition of the specific autolysate MEX-WY1 at the beginning of fermentation had a positive effect on wine sensory characteristics such as colour, mouthfeel, and fruitiness in red wine.

MEX-WY1 has been released as commercial product, OPTIMUM REDTM. The research work described in this article is from a collaboration between INRA/Montpellier Supagro, LISBP/INSA Toulouse and Lallemand. Special acknowledgement to Master student Elissa Abi Habib.

Authors Julie Mekoue-Nguela1,2, Anthony Silvano1, Jose-Maria Heras1, Marion Schiavone1,3, Eveline Bartowsky4, Nathalie Sieczkowski1 1 Lallemand SAS, 19, Rue des briquetiers, 31702 Blagnac, France 2 UMR 1083 Sciences pour l’Œnologie, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro, Université de Montpellier, 34060 Montpellier, France 3 LISBP, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INRA, INSA, 135 avenue de Rangueil, 31077 Toulouse, France 4 Lallemand Australia, 23-25 Erudina Ave, Edwardstown, SA 5039, Australia


Boulet, J.C., Trarieux, C., Souquet, J.M., Ducasse, M.A., Caille, S., Samson, A., Williams, P., Doco, T., and Cheynier, V. (2016). Models based on ultraviolet spectroscopy, polyphenols, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides for prediction of wine astringency, Food chemistry 190: 357 363. Guadalupe, Z., A. Palacios, and B. Ayestaran (2007). Maceration enzymes and mannoproteins: a possible strategy to increase colloidal stability and color extraction in red wines. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55:4854 4862. Harbertson, J., Kennedy, J., & Adams, D. (2002). Tannins in skins and seeds of cabernet-sauvignon, syrah and pinot noir berries during ripening. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 53, 54–59. Mekoue Nguela J., Poncet-Legrand C., Sieczkowski N., and Vernhet A. (2016). Interactions of grape tannins and wine polyphenols with a yeast protein extract, mannoproteins and b-glucan. Food Chemistry 210:671 82. Rinaldi, A., Gambuti, A., and Moio, L., (2012,). Application of the SPI (Saliva Precipitation Index) to the evaluation of red wine astringency, Food Chemistry 135 (4):2498–2504 Rodriguez, M., J. Lezaun, R. Canals, M. C. Llaudy, J. M. Canals, and F. Zamora (2005). Influence of the presence of the lees during oak ageing on colour and phenolic compounds composition of red wine. Food Science and Technology International, 11:289 295. Rodriguez-Bencomo, J.J., M. Ortega-Heras, and S. Perez-Magarino (2010). Effect of alternative techniques to ageing on lees and use of non-toasted oak chips in alcoholic fermentation on the aromatic composition of red wine. European Food Research and Technology, 230:485 496. Schiavone M., Sieczkowski N., Castex M., Dague E., and François J. M. (2015). Effects of the strain background and autolysis process on the composition and biophysical properties of the cell wall from two different industrial yeasts, FEMS Yeast Res. Mar, 15(2).

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January 2018 – Issue 648

Solid solution Making a case for concrete and ceramic vessels in the winery Fruit driven and full of colour are two easily achievable descriptors for winemakers who experiment with fermenting, storing or ageing wine in concrete and ceramic vessels. Camellia Aebischer reports.


eeking a true expression of the fruit for his wines, winemaker Damon Koerner looked away from oak barrels. After some research, the winemaker at Koerner in the Clare Valley, SA settled on a product that was twice as expensive, but would last a lifetime: a Magnum 675. The use of concrete or ceramic for fermentation vessels is not new to the global wine scene. Fermenting in alternative materials like ceramic, concrete, stone, or clay has been practiced throughout Europe for centuries. “Try some Rhone or Ribera del Duero wines, they have a lot of experience under their belt regarding using concrete, Australia is mostly still fairly new to the use of concrete,” said Uffe Daniel Deichman, winemaker at Poppelvej in McLaren Vale, SA. For those considering different storage and fermentation options, there are a few areas where concrete or ceramic will make an impact on your wine.


Microoxygenation Just like wood, concrete, ceramic and cement are porous materials. This means they breathe and allow oxygen to enter the ferment/wine. In the Argentinian study, the microoxygenation levels in wines

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The inside of a used oak barrel – as I’m sure any winemaker knows – is where the pigment from the wine goes to hide. Cast your eye over any old halved wine barrel and there will be a signature stain buried deep into the wood. There are other factors in the winemaking process that lead to colour loss, like stirring of lees, acidity, maceration and fermentation. The colour of a wine can be adjusted using chemicals if necessary, however, processing wine in concrete or ceramic vessels removes the need for them. A study by Argentinian researchers Federico Casassa, Santiago Sari, Martin Fanzone, and Marcelo Franchetti used Malbec stored in three different vessels (a stainless steel tank, concrete container and oneJanuary 2018 – Issue 648

year-old French oak barrel) to measure the effect of phenolics on wine stored in each vessel. The outcome of the research found that wines stored in concrete boasted a much richer colour when compared to oak and stainless steel. The wines in concrete had much higher levels of microoxygenation. This created a tendency toward more anthocyanins, tannins, and polymeric pigments, which all contribute to a deeper colour.


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aged in concrete were found to be three times higher than those aged in stainless steel. Furthermore, when compared to the wines aged in oak, levels were still significant, at twice as much. Ceramic is a much denser material, and through Koerner’s use of his ceramic eggs, he has found potential for slightly lower levels of micoroxygenation. “We played around with seven different varieties and I sort of found that they’re better with the lighter style reds. “Some of the more full bodied varieties can get a little reductive and edgy, [because] there wasn’t enough micro oxygenisation going on,” he said. Some wineries will choose to have their vessels sealed with wax or other food grade products. This can inhibit the material’s breathability, but still retains its thermal mass benefits (detailed later).

Flavour Due to its liquid-to-solid state, concrete has the ability to be moulded in to a variation of specific shapes and sizes. The most common three tend to be the egg, square tank, and round tank. During fermentation, the egg shape is thought to have an advantage in that the bubbling movement of the liquid circulates the solids (lees, seeds, skin, etc.) freely through the juice, imparting a different flavour. Some winemakers believe this helps take the ‘edge’ off the wine, for a more rounded out finish. “I guess ultimately the vessel is not interfering with the wine being made at all,” said Koerner. “I think the fact that the egg has no edges, there are so many 52 Grapegrower & Winemaker

chemical reactions going on inside the wine as it matures etc. “I think the stainless steel tank with the edges interfere with that reaction. I find that the wines in stainless can taste a bit edgy. A vessel with no edges has a constant movement that isn’t interfered with and it creates a nice weight and texture and nice pure characters,” he said. “The thing I love about them the most is the freshness and the liveliness and the expression of the varietal fruit. “You’re not getting any flavour from the ceramic, whereas with oak you get the oak flavour. They’re very pure and delicate.” Echoing Koerner’s sentiments, Deichmann favours the fluidity of a round vessel. “The shape of the egg helps the lees to be in constant movement and contact with the wine,” he said. “The concrete doesn’t [add] flavour to the wine as a barrel does.” “We don’t believe that a barrel is ever really neutral,” said Deichmann, meaning that the flavour of a wine aged in oak will never truly show its neutral taste, as there have been additions from the oak. Deichmann adds that another important factor in deciding on concrete is the temperature, saying that it’s a lot more consistent in its temperature than barrels or stainless steel tanks.

Cost and convenience Keeping the temperature down naturally is an easy way to save on refrigeration costs. The nearly un-limited lifespan of a concrete or ceramic vessel also means large cost savings

January 2018 – Issue 648

I guess ultimately the vessel is not interfering with the wine being made at all. - Damon Koerner

over oak, which deteriorates and changes effect over time. You can read a full breakdown on the cost of oak on page 45 of the November edition. Koerner mentioned that the ceramic eggs are “about twice as expensive as oak but technically should last forever”. “To be honest if I was going to get concrete, I would get some concrete tanks because the eggs are bloody expensive,” he said. “You can get bigger tanks for the same price as a small egg.” Koerner currently has nine ceramic eggs to play with, with delicate 2cm thin walls. Even at that thickness he said they hold the temperature well so there’s no need for chilling plates. January 2018 – Issue 648

“We have them in a cold room for temperature control [that] doesn’t get above 17°c.” Concrete and ceramic are conductors of energy, and therefore will absorb heat just as they will absorb cold. However, because they both have good thermal mass temperatures, will change very slowly and give the winemaker time to react before something spoils. Wikipedia explains thermal mass as follows: A large thermal mass within the insulated portion of a house can serve to “flatten out” the daily temperature fluctuations, since the thermal mass will absorb thermal energy when the surroundings are higher in temperature than the mass, and give thermal energy back when the surroundings are cooler, without reaching thermal equilibrium. This is distinct from a material’s insulative value, which reduces a building’s thermal conductivity, allowing it to be heated or cooled relatively separate from the outside, or even just retain the occupants’ thermal energy longer. It’s important to remember that concrete isn’t a particularly good insulator, it’s just slow to transition. Wood products are better insulators, but the harder the wood, the less effective its insulating properties are. This is because it has less air pockets. The oak used for winemaking is hard and dense, but it needs to be this way for stability and minimal absorbency. It seems that each material’s property is different, but yields a similar result: keeping the temperature of the wine stable. However, where the two differ greatly is convenience in cleaning and moving. Efficiency comes in size, and movability. Big tanks hold more wine which means less insides to wash out post-bottling, and their sheer weight makes them a fairly permanent structure in the winery – so no shifting, topping, rotating etc. For more information on the ceramic eggs from Byron Bay visit For more information on concrete tanks visit com. Please note that Grapegrower & Winemaker has no interest in promoting these brands.

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Predicting outcomes Learning about ferments from big data AWRI project engineer Tadro Abbott, and Group Manager for Commercial Services, Eric Wilkes, reveal the benefits of a new web app, the AWRI Ferment Simulator. Fermentation is a natural process involving living organisms. Winemakers try to control it as best they can, taking steps to keep the yeast happy and produce the desired wine style. To some extent, however, they still have to leave the yeast alone and wait and see the end result. It’s part of the magic and wonder of winemaking but also represents a major source of variation and risk; not only to style and quality, but also to production efficiency. Long ferment times put pressure on tank space and stuck or sluggish ferments can require a huge amount of effort to correct. The AWRI Ferment Simulator was re-released as a web app this vintage and was trialled by around 50 winemakers. The app uses sophisticated algorithms to predict the outcomes of individual ferments. It also allows winemakers to model the effects of potential corrective actions such as temperature changes or nutrient additions. This helps winemakers make better decisions and gives tighter control of the natural process of fermentation while at the same time providing visual tools for monitoring and recording fermentation performance. This is an exciting new development from a process control perspective, but from a research perspective also provides a valuable new source of data. During vintage 2017 approximately 650 ferments were logged through the Simulator. When aggregated anonymously, this dataset provides new insights into ferment performance at winery scale, under real winery conditions. These insights will then feed into the technical support provided by the AWRI to industry and also guide future research.

Assessing the Simulator’s performance Analysis was carried out to assess the Simulator’s performance in predicting ferment outcomes. For each fermentation, an algorithm prediction score was calculated based on the root mean square error (RMSE) 54 Grapegrower & Winemaker

between the simulated ferment curve generated based on initial data points and the real Baume data for the full fermentation time. A prediction score < 25 was considered a good fit, and 81% of all ferments met this criterion. The prediction score also provided information about how good the fit was, with lower scores indicating a better fit. A chart of the prediction scores for all ferments tracked this vintage is shown in Figure 1. The median score was 14, which is very encouraging. As the dataset grows with more data from winery-scale fermentations, the model will be developed to further improve this performance.

Understanding which factors affect ferment duration The ferment durations (time to 0 Baume) for red and white ferments are shown in Figure 2. Red ferment durations were fairly normally distributed around the median of seven days. White ferments had a median duration of nine days but a much wider, skewed normal distribution, with several going beyond 20 days. The data were analysed to look for correlations between a number of parameters (grape variety, type of yeast inoculation, DAP addition, initial SO2 content) and the deviation between the desired length of the ferment as input by the winemaker and the actual duration. This gave the best indication of whether a ferment was running more quickly or slowly than the winemaker’s ideal, though it should be noted that ferment duration is not necessarily the way all winemakers judge and plan ferments. Others may be guided more by peak Baume drop per day or some other factor. In future, it is hoped to incorporate more flexible targets for ferment performance as options in the Ferment Simulator. It should also be noted that the data shows correlation, but does not necessarily demonstrate the cause of the differences. The relationships observed are intended to provoke thought and further

investigation. As the dataset grows, more correlations will come to light and greater confidence may be had in the observations. The deviation between the desired and actual duration of all ferments was normally distributed around zero deviation. Of the ferments simulated, white ferments had a higher chance of running faster than planned, while red ferments were more likely to be slower than the winemaker’s target. A breakdown by the major varieties from the dataset is shown in Figure 3, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot ferments showing greater tendency towards sluggish ferments than other varieties. The timing of the ferment also seemed to play a role in ferment performance, with ferments starting in early to mid-vintage more likely to be faster than planned, and ferments beginning towards the end of vintage more likely to be slower. A difference was also seen between ferments inoculated with propagated yeast and those inoculated with active dry wine yeast (ADWY) (Figure 4), with ADWY inoculated ferments having a higher propensity to finish more quickly than the winemaker’s target, while propagated yeast ferments had a higher propensity to be slow. Additions of diammonium phosphate (DAP) also had a significant effect, with a reduction in the number of slow ferments seen with a total DAP addition between 100–200 ppm, and an increase in the number of rapid ferments seen with total additions >200 ppm, as might be expected (Figure 5). There was no difference in performance between ferments starting with 0–10 ppm of free SO2 compared to 10–20 ppm free SO2 (Figure 6). It was not until free SO2 was >20 ppm that an influence on ferment performance became apparent.

Conclusions The results shown highlight some of the ways in which the data from the Ferment Simulator can be used to gain greater insights into ferment performance and potential drivers of fermentation issues. January 2018 – Issue 648


The data were analysed to look for correlations between a number of parameters (grape way all winemakers judge and plan ferments. Othersinitial may be more by peak Baume variety, type of yeast inoculation, DAP addition, SOguided 2 content) and the deviation



drop per day somelength other factor. In future, is hoped incorporateand more targets between theor desired of the ferment asitinput by thetowinemaker theflexible actual duration. for ferment performance as options in thea ferment Fermentwas Simulator. should also be This gave the best indication of whether runningItmore quickly ornoted slowlythat than

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Predic�on Score

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in the observations.

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the winemaker’s target. A breakdown by the major varieties from the dataset is shown in 40%towards Figure 3, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot ferments showing greater tendency 10%

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Percent of Ferments

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propagated ferments higher togood be slow. of diammonium (Figure 6).classed Itpropensity was not free SObetween was >20 ppm that an compared 10–20 ppm free SO asprediction atogood fityeast between the simulation and the provided data. 2had 2Additions score below 25a was asuntil aBaume fit the 12 simulation and the provided Baume phosphate (DAP) also had a significant effect,data. with a reduction in the number of slow ferments influence on40% ferment performance became apparent. 35%




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August 2017


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August 2017 4. Number of days deviation from desired ferment duration, broken down by inoculation Figure Figure 3. Number days deviation from desired ferment duration, Figure 4. Number of days deviation from desired ferment duration, Figure 3. Number of daysof deviation from desired ferment duration, broken down by grape variety. strategy. Good performance was classed as finishing within ±2.5 days of the desired duration (time <-6 <-2.5 Good >2.5 >6 was classed as broken down by grape variety. Good performance broken byainoculation performance was classed as Good performance was classed as finishing within ±2.5 days of the desired duration (time to 0 Baume). to 0 Baume). Red down indicates rapid ferment,strategy. while blueGood indicates a sluggish ferment. Figure 4. Number awithin ofrapid daysferment, deviation from desired ferment duration, broken by inoculation Red indicates while indicates a sluggish ferment. finishing ±2.5 days ofblue the desired duration (time to down 0 Baume). Red finishing within ±2.5 days of the desired duration (time to 0 Baume). Red strategy.indicates Good performance classedwhile as finishing within ±2.5 a days of the desired duration (time a rapid was ferment, blue indicates sluggish ferment. indicates a rapid ferment, while blue indicates a sluggish ferment. 100% to 0 Baume). Red indicates a rapid ferment, while blue indicates a sluggish ferment. August 2017 Technical Review No. 229 13 90% 100% 90% 80%


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80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30%

70% 60% 60% 50% 50% 40% 40%

30% 30% 20% 20% 10% 10%


0% 0%

10% 0%

0-99 ppm n=395

100-200 ppm n=92

>200 ppm n=39

0-100-99 ppmppm n=257 n=395

10-20 ppm 100-200 ppm 20-30 ppm n=163 n=34 n=92



Free SO2



30-40 >200 ppmppm n=15 n=39


<-6 desired <-2.5 ferment Good >2.5 >6 Figure 5. Number of days deviation from duration, broken down by total DAP

addition. Good performance was classed as finishing within ±2.5 days of the desired duration (time <-6 <-2.5 Good >2.5 >6 Figure 6. Number of days deviation from desired ferment duration, broken down by free SO2 Figure 6. Number of ferment, days deviation desired ferment duration, to 0 Baume). Red indicates a rapid while bluefrom indicates a sluggish ferment. concentration in pre-ferment juice concentration analysis. Good performance was classed finishing within ±2.5 Figure 5. Figure Number5.ofNumber days deviation from desired ferment duration, broken down by total DAP of days deviation from desired ferment duration, broken down by free SO2 in pre-ferment juiceasanalysis. days of the desired duration (time to 0 Baume). Red indicates a rapid ferment, while blue indicates addition. Good performance classed finishing within days of the desired durationas (time broken down bywas total DAPas addition. Good±2.5 performance was classed Good performance was classed as finishing within ±2.5 days of the a sluggish ferment. 14 Technical Review No. 229 August 2017 to 0 Baume). Red indicates a rapid ferment, while blue indicates a sluggish ferment.


finishing within ±2.5 days of the desired duration (time to 0 Baume). Red indicates a rapid ferment, while blue indicates a sluggish ferment. Technical Review No. 229

The larger the dataset becomes, the more detailed information will be available. Eventually it should be possible to break down the data by individual varieties in individual regions, with different yeast strains, etc. Australian wineries are encouraged to consider using the Simulator for vintage 2018, both for the immediate predictive benefit in the winery, and as a way of contributing to stronger fermentations for January 2018 – Issue 648

August 2017

desired duration (time to 0 Baume). Red indicates a rapid ferment, while blue indicates a sluggish ferment.


The results shown highlight some of the ways in which the data from the Ferment Simulator

the whole Australian wine industry. funds from the Australian government. can be used to gain greater insights into ferment performance and potential drivers of The Ferment Simulator can be The AWRI is a member of the Wine fermentation issues. as ThealargerInnovation the dataset becomes, thein more detailed information will be accessed by all Australian wineries Cluster Adelaide, SA. available. Eventually it should be possible to break down the data by individual varieties in free module of The WineCloud at https:// individual regions, with different yeast strains, etc. Australian wineries are encouraged Tadro Abbott, Project Engineer: tadro. to consider using the Simulator for vintage 2018, both for the immediate predictive benefit in the winery, and as a way of contributing to stronger fermentations for the whole Australian Acknowledgements

The AWRI’s communications are This article originally appeared in the wine industry. supported by Australia’s grapegrowers AWRI’s Technical Review and winemakers through investment The their Ferment Simulator can be accessed by all Australian wineries as a free module of The body, Wine Australia, with WineCloud atmatching


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young gun

A fresh perspective Young Gun: Yuri Berns When Sittella winemaker Yuri Berns finished his last day of high school on a Friday, he didn’t expect to be dragged into a vineyard by his father the following Monday morning. Camellia Aebischer spoke to the new Swan Valley Winemakers president about how he got from A to B and what’s next for Perth’s closest wine region.


t 29 years of age, Yuri Berns has just stepped into his new role as president of the Swan Valley & Regional Winemakers Association (Swan Valley Winemakers). Berns is the winemaker at Sittella Winery in the Swan Valley, WA, where around 40% of their production is sparkling wine. Before Berns took an inkling to winemaking, the winery at Sittella produced mostly still wines. His penchant for sparkling had developed at a young age while traveling through Italy and France on family holidays. “I just took an interest in it, I don’t really know why,” he said.

Having a fondness for wine helped Berns enter the winemaking profession. Like all teenagers, he was uncertain about his future after high school. “I had two days off – Saturday and Sunday – and dad said ‘what are you doing?’ and I said ‘I don’t really know’ and he said ‘you’re coming to work with me’, so I went into the vineyard on Monday.” While cutting his teeth at Sittella, Berns brought in an influence toward production of sparkling wines. “We made a few bubbles here and from then on I really didn’t look back. That kind of got me hooked, the sparkling side of the wine industry,” he said.

Moving up Making wine for Sittella over the next four years filled the penchant, but soon enough a desire to experience new regions took hold. “I worked here and in Napa Nalley Clos Pegase in 2008. When I came back I went and started university.” During his studies, Berns was also fortunate enough to win the Vin de Champagne award. “That was my first trip to Champagne as a semi-professional. From then on I’d always wanted to work in Champagne – that’s something I’ve wanted to do before I died. At that time if I didn’t do I wouldn’t have died a happy man,” he said.

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January 2018 – Issue 648

Winemakers Colby Quirk (right) and Yuri Berns (left), hosting Lim Hwee Peng at Sittella.

“Post-uni, I won a scholarship through Curtain University and I met a grower in Champagne and I’d made a relationship with him. Then in 2013 I finally did a vintage with him.” Between the scholarship and a vintage in Champagne, Berns worked down in Margaret River at Howard Park before returning home to the Swan Valley, at Sittella, to push forward the sparkling wine program. The sparkling at Sittella is unusual for its region, as the Swan Valley’s climate isn’t typical for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Currently, Berns gets fruit in from Pemberton and the Porongurups for their cuvee and blanc de blancs, and makes a house wine using Chenin Blanc from their vineyards. “Mum and Dad started it but the whole program [really] started when I got back from uni in 2012. We wanted to push the boundaries on warm climate sparkling fruit,” Berns explained. “We were joined by winemaker Colby Quirk and we both had an interest. Obviously along with Mum and Dad we wanted to sort of push WA sparkling to gain some sort of awareness. “I certainly wanted to put WA on the map.”

Promoting home Berns can see the value that the Swan January 2018 – Issue 648

We made a few bubbles here and from then on I really didn’t look back. That kind of got me hooked. Valley region has to offer being situated only 15 minutes from Perth’s central business district. Now he’ll be influencing promotion of the region in a new role with the Swan Valley Winemakers. “I went there to join the executive committee and also the show committee. The Swan Valley wine show is an integral part of the region’s marketing in terms of creating awareness of products and the wineries. “That’s the main reason I wanted to get involved. For the benefit of the Swan Valley and the love of the region.” Although he didn’t join with an intention to become president, Berns’ love must have been apparent because in late November, he was elected by the board. Berns said that he’s a little nervous, but excited to see what he can make happen in his two-year term.

“Something I’m really passionate about for the region is obviously trying to create better quality wines, but also talking more about finding regionality and unique sites within the Swan. “Talking about the region from that point of view first, then obviously what else it has to offer from wine tourism. “It’s fairly multidimensional. It makes wine, grows food, has breweries, distilleries, etc. “In terms of creating awareness of that, being so close to a capital city, people find that a major advantage. Berns is aware that the branding of the Swan Valley is crucial to increasing tourism and interest. It has to stand out and make a unique impact. “The council has been working hard at rebranding the region over the last five or 10 years and they’ve done a good job at that but from the wineries’ point of view talking about what we do best and what’s unique to the region is what I want to make people aware of,” he said. Though this will be his first term as president, Berns previously served the last term as vice president, so he has plenty of background knowledge. Between advocating for the Swan Valley region and working on Sittella’s sparkling house style, hopefully Berns can squeeze in two days off here and there. Grapegrower & Winemaker



Where's the limit? Drinking guidelines around the globe Several countries have recently reviewed and substantially changed their alcohol drinking guidelines. Dr Creina Stockley, health and regulatory information manager at the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) examines the differences among countries’ recommendations and considers whether the scientific evidence is being interpreted differently in different countries.


here is no single international standard for safe alcohol drinking levels. Worldwide, approximately two billion people consume alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer and spirits. In Australia, alcohol consumption has decreased in the past 25 years, consistent with other developed countries. Currently approximately 35.8% of the Australian population (aged 14 years and over) drinks alcohol at least once per week, and 5.9% of the population drinks alcohol daily (AIHW 2017). In 2013/14, Australian alcohol consumption comprised 41.3% as beer, 37.5% as wine and 19% as spirits (ABS 2015).

Effects on human health from alcohol consumption A large amount of research has been conducted on the health effects of alcohol consumption, particularly in relation to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive dysfunction and dementia, and cancer, which are referred to as noncommunicable diseases. A key finding is that the effects of alcohol are dosedependent, with the effects of low to moderate consumption being quite different from those of heavy consumption. The following points summarise current

knowledge in this field (Stockley and Johnson 2017): • Consumers of light to moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages have lower risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive dysfunction and dementia, and all-cause mortality than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers. • The relationship between alcohol consumption and risk of cancer is complex. For some cancers, any alcohol consumption increases the risk. For other cancers, heavy drinking increases the risk and for some cancers there is a reduced risk or no association with alcohol consumption. In addition, the cumulative effect of other lifestyle choices associated with alcohol consumption contributes to the occurrence of cancer. Of all lifestyle factors related to cancer, the attributable risk for tobacco is approximately 20.1%, physical inactivity 5.6%, body mass 3.9% and alcohol 3.1% (Begg et al. 2007, Begg et al. 2008), where the combination of tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption leads to a more than doubling of risk for cancers causally related to both tobacco and alcohol (Arriaga et al. 2017). • Polyphenolic compounds present in

wine, fruits and vegetables have many positive effects in the human body and may act in synergy with other dietary components, including alcohol. • Consuming alcohol as part of a Mediterranean-style diet combined with other healthy behaviours (nonsmoking, healthy weight, regular exercise) is additive to the protection provided by the other healthy behaviours against the major noncommunicable diseases.

Role of guidelines At least 37 countries have recommendations on drinking levels considered ‘minimum risk’ for men and women. Official guidelines on alcohol consumption are usually produced by a government, public health body, medical association or non-governmental organisation, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), to advise on levels of alcohol consumption considered ‘safe, ‘responsible’, or ‘low risk’ to human health. The WHO’s low risk responsible drinking recommendations of 2001 are: • Women should not drink more than two 10 g drinks a day on average; • For men, not more than three 10 g drinks a day on average;

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January 2018 – Issue 648

• Try not to exceed four 10 g drinks on any one occasion; and • Don’t drink alcohol in some situations, such as when driving, if pregnant or in certain work situations and abstain from drinking at least once a week. Men or women who consistently drink more than these recommended levels may increase risks to their health. While the definition for moderate consumption is relatively consistent in the medical literature based on a level above which the risk of all-cause mortality increases (approximately 20 g alcohol [two 10 g drinks] per day for both men and women) there are some significant differences between countries’ guidelines. These often reflect prevailing views on the culture and role of alcohol in society, the prevailing government, and broader health promotion efforts (Stockley and Harding 2007). In some countries recommendations about alcohol drinking may be part of broader nutritional or dietary guidelines. In others, there can be stand-alone recommendations that focus exclusively on alcohol, such as in Australia, or alcohol consumption can be addressed under the umbrella of a national drugs or addiction strategy or a strategy to address non-communicable diseases. Guidelines are usually intended to form the basis for the development of future policies and community materials on the health effects of alcohol consumption. They also aim to establish clear advice for the general population on how to avoid or minimise the harmful health consequences of drinking too much alcohol.

January 2018 – Issue 648

Changing guidelines In the past two years, three countries have reviewed and considerably changed their alcohol drinking guidelines, namely, The Netherlands in 2015, the UK in 2016 and France in 2017. The USA also recently reviewed its alcohol drinking guidelines but did not appreciably change them. The primary changes to the Dutch, UK and French alcohol drinking guidelines are as follows: New Dutch guidelines The Dutch Guidelines for Healthy Eating of 2015 now recommend that men and women not drink alcohol, or at least drink no more than one 10 g standard drink per day (70 g/week). The previous guidelines from 2006 recommended limiting alcohol consumption to one standard drink per day for women and two standard drinks for men. New UK guidelines It is now recommended in the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking

Guidelines of 2016 that men and women drink not more than fourteen 8 g standard drinks per week (112 g/week) and, to keep health risks to a low level, spread consumption evenly over three or more days. The previous guidelines from 1995 recommended not regularly drinking more than two to three 8 g units/day for women and three to four 8 g units/day for men; this is equivalent to up to 168 g/week for women and up to 224 g/week for men. The UK Chief Medical Officers’ advice for men and women who wish to keep their short-term health risks from a single drinking occasion to a low level is to limit the total amount of alcohol drunk on any single occasion, to drink more slowly, drink with food, and alternate alcoholic drinks with water, for example. New draft French guidelines In France, the Santé Publique France has recently recommended for men and women that no more than 10 standard alcoholic drinks be consumed per week

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winemaking (100 g/week), and that no more than two standard drinks be consumed per day. The current guidelines (from 2011) recommend that men not exceed 30 g/ day or 210 g/week, and 40 g on any one occasion and women not exceed 20 g/ day or 140 g/week, and 40 g on any one occasion. New US guidelines The US alcohol drinking guidelines are a part of its Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015-2020). This currently states that if alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation—up to one 12 g drink per day for women and up to two 12 g drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age; this equates to up to 84 g/week for women and up to 168 g/week for men. Review of Australian guidelines In May 2016, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) commenced a review of the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol which were published in 2009. The guidelines currently recommend that men and women drink no more than two standard drinks per day, and no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion. The NHMRC subsequently invited the provision of citations of relevant published studies on the health risks and/or benefits of alcohol consumption in the general population and during pregnancy and breastfeeding “to ensure that the [new] guidelines accurately reflect the latest evidence on drinking alcohol and health outcomes”. Public consultation on the new draft guidelines is scheduled to commence in mid-2018.

Has the evidence base for guidelines changed? The differences seen among different countries’ recommendations, exemplified by those of Australia, France, The Netherlands, UK and USA, suggest that as the scientific evidence is not different in different countries, it is perhaps being differently interpreted. The scientific evidence relating to both abusive and moderate alcohol consumption is itself not sufficiently consistent to produce precise recommendations for safe drinking for every alcohol consumer. There are many factors that influence a definition of low risk alcohol consumption for a specific population group, including age, body mass index, ethnicity, family history, mental and physical health, and the use of medications. Rather than the scientific evidence base for alcohol drinking guidelines having changed recently, perhaps it is the 60 Grapegrower & Winemaker

focus that has changed. This change could be three-fold as follows: 1. There has been a change in focus away from individual consumer factors and influences on blood alcohol concentration (BAC), such as age, body mass index, gender and associated effects, good and bad, on human health; 2. There has also been change in focus away from pattern of consumption towards amount; and 3. There has been a change in focus towards risk of death over a lifetime, adding the risk of death from shortterm harms together with that from longer-term harms, and the focus of long-term harms has also changed away from cardiovascular diseases towards cancers (Cao and Giovannucci 2016).

Put into context It appears that the role of light to moderate alcohol consumption in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death throughout the developed world, is currently being downplayed in many government guidelines internationally. Instead, the risks of certain cancers and alcohol-related violence and associated health and societal harms are being given more prominence when guidelines are being developed, as evidenced by the new Dutch, UK and draft French guidelines. The NHMRC is currently evaluating available evidence from the past decade on the short and longer-term health effects of alcohol consumption, in order to allow Australians to make informed decisions regarding their drinking habits. A further important factor is blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which has been neglected in many countries’ recent recommendations to its alcohol consumers. A return to guidelines that enable alcohol consumers to understand what amounts and patterns of alcohol consumption influence their BAC and its associated short- and longer-term health effects would serve governments and consumers alike well.

Next steps… The definitive experiment to determine association is a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study but no long-term experimental study of alcohol consumption on risk of any chronic disease has ever been performed. In September 2016, however, the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism received funding to conduct such a study, focusing on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Its aim is to better determine the strengths of relationships observed to date

in epidemiological studies, the results of which will undoubtedly shape subsequent alcohol drinking guidelines.

Acknowledgements This article is an update of an article provided to AIM Publications in November 2016.  


Arriaga, M.E., Vajdic, C.M., Canfell, K., MacInnis, R., Hull, P., Magliano, D.J., Banks, E., Giles, G.G., Cumming, R.G., Byles, J.E., Taylor, A.W., Shaw, J.E., Price, K., Hirani, V., Mitchell, P., Adelstein, B.A., Laaksonen, M.A. 2017. The burden of cancer attributable to modifiable risk factors: the Australian cancer-PAF cohort consortium. BMJ Open. 2017 Jun 14;7(6): e016178. doi: 10.1136/ bmjopen-2017-016178. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2015. 4307.0.55.001-Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2013-14. Available at: ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4307.0.55.001 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2017. National Drug Strategy Household Survey. Available at: Begg, S., Vos, T., Barker, B., Stevenson, C., Stanley, L., Lopez, A. 2007. The burden of disease and injury in Australia 2003. Cat. No. PHE 82. Canberra: AIHW. Begg, S., Vos, T., Barker, B., Stanley, L., Lopez, A.D. 2008. Burden of disease and injury in Australia in the new millennium: measuring health loss from diseases, injuries and risk factors. Med. J. Aust. 188: 36-40. Cao, Y., Giovannucci, E.L. 2016. Alcohol as a Risk Factor for Cancer. Semin. Oncol. Nurs. 32: 325-331. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health & Human Services. 2015. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020. Available at: guidelines/appendix-9/ Department of Health. 2016. UK Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines. Available at: system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545937/ UK_CMOs__report.pdf Nutrition Center. 2015. Guidelines for Healthy Eating. Available at: http://www.voedingscentrum. nl/professionals/schijf-van-vijf/naslag-richtlijnenschijf-van-vijf.aspx Santé Publique France. 2017. Avis d’experts relatif à l’évolution du discours public en matière de consommation d’alcool en France. Available at: Avis-d-experts-relatif-a-l-evolution-du-discourspublic-en-matiere-de-consommation-d-alcoolen-France-organise-par-Sante-publique-Franceet-l-Inca Stockley, C., Johnson, D. 2017. WineHealth 2017 – Navigating the health effects of alcohol consumption. Wine Vitic. J. 32(3): 26-30. Stockley, C.S., Harding, R. 2007. Communicating through government agencies. Ann. Epidemiol. 17: S98–S102. World Health Organization. 2002. The World Health Report 2002. Reducing risks, promoting healthy life. Available at: whr/2002/en/ World Health Organization. 2001. Brief intervention: For hazardous and harmful drinking. Available at: WHO_MSD_MSB_01.6b.pdf?ua=1%20

Additional wine and health resources are available on request from the author. January 2018 – Issue 648

Gains in speed, labour and gas consumption for winemakers Membrane contactors for management of dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide Automated dissolved gas management systems using membrane contactors for gas transfer have recently been introduced to the Australian wine industry. They potentially allow for faster and more precise dissolved gas adjustment and reduced gas consumption. In this article, AWRI Senior Engineer, Simon Nordestgaard, reviews how they work and compares them with alternatives.


embrane contactors facilitate mass transfer bet ween two fluids. For wine gas management, wine flows on one side of the membrane and a gas (or vacuum) flows on the other side. Wine doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pass through the membrane because the membrane is hydrophobic (waterrepelling) and has very small pores (0.03 Îźm). Gases diffuse through the membrane into or out of the wine depending on the operating conditions.

The basic principles are illustrated in Figure 1. In Figure 1a there is more carbon dioxide (CO2), oxygen (O2) and nitrogen (N2) in the wine than in the vacuum stream, so these gases diffuse out of the wine through the membrane into the vacuum stream. In Figure 1b, there is more CO2 in the gas stream than in the wine, so the CO2 diffuses from the gas stream into the wine. O2 and N2 are still removed from the wine since they are at higher levels in the wine than in the gas stream. By using

a combination of the approaches shown in Figure 1a and Figure 1b it is possible to adjust wine CO2 concentration down or up to a set level (including full carbonation) while removing a large proportion of O2 and N2, all in a single pass. Dissolved gas management systems for wine that use membrane contactors (e.g. Figure 2) are now being built by K+H, PTI Pacific (which builds systems for 3M) and Juclas. While there are differences between the systems, they all use Liqui-

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winemaking THEORY Partial pressure: The pressure exerted by a single component of a gas mixture. Dalton’s law: The total pressure exerted by a gas mixture is equal to the sum of the partial pressures of the individual gases in the mixture. P = pCO2 + pO2 + pN2 Henry’s law: Each gas dissolved in a wine exerts a partial pressure proportional to its concentration, at equilibrium. p*CO2 = HCO2 . x*CO2

p*O2 = HO2 . x*O2

p*N2 = HN2 . x*N2

The driving force for addition or removal of each gas from a wine in a membrane contactor is the difference between the partial pressure exerted by the gas species in the wine (according to Henry’s law) and the partial pressure of that same gas species in the gas/vacuum strip stream. The direction of diffusion being from the side with the higher partial pressure to the side with the lower partial pressure. Henry’s law constants (H) are temperature dependent. They have higher values at higher temperatures meaning that the same concentration of a dissolved gas exerts a higher partial pressure at higher temperatures (i.e. it is less soluble and can be more easily removed).

Figure 1. Illustration of gas transfer in a membrane contactor

Cel membrane contactors (Figure 3). Liqui-Cel membrane contactors are manufactured by Membrana, which was purchased in 2015 by 3M. The membranes are in the form of very thin hollow fibres (microporous tubes with an outer diameter of 300 μm) knitted together in an array that is wrapped around a central distribution/ collection tube. The gas or vacuum flows through the inside of the fibres and the 62 Grapegrower & Winemaker

wine flows across the outside of them. The arrangement of tightly bundled thin hollow fibres provides a large surface area for efficient gas transfer without a large wine pressure drop.

History and adoption Membrane contactors suitable for industrial gas transfer applications were introduced in the mid-1990s. They

have been trialled in wine applications by German and French research organisations since the mid-2000s. There has been significant commercial adoption of the technology recently, with more than 50 new installations for wine gas management in Europe, most of them in Germany. In Australia, while the use of membrane contactors for wine gas management is new, the same membranes have been used here for dealcoholisation since the mid2000s. Membrane contactors are used in the Memstar process to remove alcohol from the permeate stream coming from a reverse osmosis separation of wine. The membrane contactor step is referred to as evaporative perstraction and is performed against strip water instead of against a gas/ vacuum. It is also possible to dealcoholise wine directly with a membrane contactor without prior RO separation, albeit with some loss of volatiles, particularly when larger reductions in alcohol are made (Diban et al. 2008)

Sensory and chemical impacts Carbon dioxide concentration has a major impact on wine taste irrespective of the technology used to add or remove it. Red wines are typically bottled with lower levels than white wines, and semisparkling and sparkling wines have much higher concentrations. The method of introduction of CO2 with membrane contactors is quite different from other carbonation techniques. It involves bubbleless diffusion. There have been suggestions that this technique results in bubbles that are finer and more like those in a bottle-fermented sparkling wine than with other in-line carbonation methods. This is questionable. While there may be bubble differences immediately after carbonation conducted using a membrane contactor compared to another in-line carbonator, it seems likely that the bubble dynamics will be the same after CO2 equilibration in a bottle for weeks or months prior to consumption (unless there is some influence of different N2 concentrations – see later section). Finer bubbles in high quality Champagne wines are mainly a consequence of these wines having lost CO2 during ageing (LigerBelair 2004); bottle-fermented wines may also have higher levels of surfaceactive chemicals that influence bubble dynamics. Loss of aromatic compounds is a potential issue occasionally raised in discussions about gas management. Blank and Vidal (2012) demonstrated that there were negligible losses of esters and some other aroma compounds during treatment of a model wine solution with a membrane contactor and verified this January 2018 – Issue 648

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Figure 2. Automated dissolved gas management system using a membrane contactor (K+H)

further using theoretical analysis. This suggests that loss of desirable aroma is unlikely to be an issue when adjusting wine dissolved gas concentrations with a membrane contactor. Some very volatile reductive aroma compounds like hydrogen sulfide may be removed to some extent. Oxygen levels in wine after processing with membrane contactors can sometimes be quite low. There is anecdotal evidence that if they are used in conjunction with some new bottling lines that achieve very low O2 pick-up, the low overall O2 level could lead to reductive characters developing in-bottle for some wines. To counteract this risk, the K+H system has a mode where O2 can be added to a target level. Membrane contactors are being used successfully in Europe for dissolved gas adjustment, but as with any relatively new technology, it would be prudent for Australian wine companies to perform side-by-side trials against existing treatment methods to assess the sensory effects prior to adoption.

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Automation Sensors to measure CO2 and O2 concentration in the exiting wine are a typical feature of automated membrane contactor systems. They facilitate control to a set-point (e.g. Figure 4). Optical O2 sensors are relatively cheap but CO2 sensors can contribute significantly to overall system cost. CO2 sensors can also sometimes overstate the CO2 concentrations at low concentrations, depending on the concentrations of residual O2 and N2 and whether the sensor compensates for the partial pressures that these gases exert. If a unit is to be used in a single pass it is important that the CO2 and O2 in the wine exiting the system are always at the correct concentration irrespective of fluctuations in January 2018 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Issue 648

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Figure 3. Liqui-Cel membrane contactor module cut-away showing the flow path of liquid/wine (Membrana/3M)

Figure 4. Control screen on a dissolved gas management system (K+H)

wine flow rate, temperature or other conditions, particularly if the system is installed directly on a bottling line. Fast CO2 sensors are important in this regard. Systems sometimes also employ other control features to manage feed fluctuations. For example, the K+H system employs a mathematical model of gas exchange so that it can adapt to changing feed conditions before the sensors on the wine outlet would detect them. A common criticism of many traditional carbonators is their poor ability to react to changes in conditions. Membrane contactors with advanced control systems seem to offer an alternative and perhaps lend themselves better to CO2 sensors because gases are dissolved immediately without bubbles, and they remove N2 and 64 Grapegrower & Winemaker

O2 that can influence CO2 sensor accuracy. Other aspects of some membrane contactor systems are also automated. These include verification of membrane condition, and membrane cleaning, drying and conservation. Flow meters, pressure sensors and temperature probes are amongst the other instrumentation included to automate operation. It is possible to buy much cheaper membrane contactor systems with less automation, but given some of the complexities of working with membranes manually, this may be a false economy.

Process timing, unit sizing and cost Wine must be well filtered before it is introduced into a membrane contactor.

Pre-filtration to at least 5 μm particle size is the absolute minimum requirement specified by the membrane manufacturer (Membrana/3M 2016), but system suppliers generally specify tighter limits. For example, K+H specifies a minimum pre-filtration requirement of 1 μm . The tight filtration requirements are understandable given that the membrane module consists of an expensive tightly wrapped bundle of 300 μm microporous fibres. The pre-filtration requirements of membrane contactor systems limit when the technology can be used to late in the winemaking/packaging process. Systems are generally designed to be used in a single-pass (as opposed to during recirculation on a tank). To avoid creating an extra step and to get the most use out of the machine it may be best to place the system in-line with another process, such as on the outlet of a cross-flow filter or on a bottling line. For dedicated packaging facilities receiving wines from off-site, the best place to put a system may be directly on the bottling line as opposed to at the point of tanker off-load. Off-loads are typically performed at higher flow rates than bottling lines, which would require larger systems. Furthermore, facilities may not be certain of the clarity of the wine until after unloading. Gas management systems should be sized by suppliers based on specific processing requirements (e.g. desired wine flow rates, temperatures, inlet and outlet CO2 and O2 concentrations). In Australian trials, it was observed that the K+H unit shown in Figure 2 could carbonate a white wine from 0.95 up to 1.7 g/L (9°C) at >18,700 L/hr and could carbonate a base white wine up to 9.1 g/L (0°C) at 8,000 L/hr but was only able to decarbonate a still red wine from 1.3 to 0.5 g/L (12°C) at 4,000 L/hr. These examples illustrate that if a system is not designed around the required application, it may be over-, or more importantly under-sized. It also suggests that larger systems may generally be required for removal of gases to low levels as might be common in red wine production or in preparation for bagin-box packaging or bulk flexitank filling. The cost of a membrane contactor system is dependent on the specific design, but as an indication, the unit shown in Figure 2 was approximately $180,000. A similar capacity unit from another manufacturer was a similar price.

Membrane cleaning and lifespan There are some restrictions on the chemicals that can be used for cleaning membrane contactors. For example, caustic solutions can be used but some common proprietary cleaning solutions cannot be because they January 2018 – Issue 648

contain additives that would damage the membranes. Solvents and surfactants need to be avoided as they can wet-out the membrane (remove its hydrophobic nature) and oxidising agents like chlorine, hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid will also shorten membrane life if used too frequently. Water temperature must never exceed 85°C during hot water sanitisation. System suppliers should be consulted for specific cleaning procedures. Guidelines can also be found on the Liqui-Cel website (Membrana/3M 2016). Membrane life will depend on the specifics of use, including cleaning procedures, but a typical lifespan of 3-5 years has been suggested in discussions with suppliers.

Nitrogen, ‘fobbing’ and bottling line speed Membrane contactors remove N2 at the same time as they remove O2 and add/ remove CO2 (except when N2 is used as the strip gas, in which case N2 is added not removed). K+H has suggested that this N2 removal may reduce ‘fobbing’ (foaming over) during bottling. It advises that a German customer has been able to increase its average bottling line speed by 10% by installing a membrane contactor system on its vacuum fill line because of reduced fobbing. The customer is bottling large quantities of white wine at 15°C to a specification of 1.5 g/L CO2 to meet the requirements of a major retailer. Prior to installation of the membrane contactor the company had to add CO2 in tank to a slightly higher level than 1.5 g/L to counteract losses during bottling and fobbing was experienced (1.5 g/L is close to the solubility limit of CO2). K+H believes that this is not just due to the bubbleless introduction of CO2 with membrane contactors but also due to N2 removal Nitrogen is mentioned in Australian wine packaging guidelines (WFA 2015) as being one cause of fobbing during filling and the issue is also recognised in soft drink manufacture, where the water used is de-aerated for this and other reasons. Air (N2 and O2) provides nucleation sites on which CO2 bubbles can form (Steen 2006, Molony 2014). N2 is commonly used in wine production for sparging so it is conceivable that it may be present in wine at reasonably high concentrations relative to its solubility. For bubbleless CO2 introduction and/or N2 removal to have an influence on bottling line speed, fobbing needs to currently be speed limiting. From discussions with a couple of Australian bottlers, it appears that fobbing does not generally limit line speed for nominally still wines, but that it does for semi-sparkling and sparkling wines, so there may be an opportunity for improvement when packaging those wine January 2018 – Issue 648

Figure 5. In-line spargers/gas injectors: (a) standard, and (b) with elements to promote turbulence prior to a large surface area sinter tube and gas supply from the outside (simplified concept drawings only - partly based on models sold by W.E. Ware & Co. and WEMS)

types. It would be good to independently verify whether these improvements can be realised. From a research perspective, dissolved N2 is interesting because there does not appear to even be basic data published on typical N2 concentrations in wine, let alone whether these concentrations can influence bubble dynamics during packaging or consumption.

Comparison with existing sparging/gas injection practices Introduction of N2 and CO2 via sinters is the current method of making small adjustments to O2 and CO2 concentration. The sinter surface area is much smaller than with a membrane contactor and the pore size is much higher (typically around 15 μm, compared with 0.03 μm in a membrane contactor). Bubbles of gas are injected and gas exchange occurs at the surface of the bubbles as opposed to in the pores of a membrane. When wine is sparged with N2 to remove O2 and CO2, the dissolved O2 and CO2 diffuse into the N2 bubbles and leave in the bubbles at the top of the tank. Just as with a membrane contactor, removal of dissolved gases is faster at higher temperatures. Sparging can be performed in-line during transfers and during pumping recirculation of a tank or it can be performed directly in tank via the tank valve or a drop-in sparger. Sparging directly in a tank is easier to set up since no pump and hoses are needed, but it is likely to be slower. The increased agitation that occurs in-line (during transfer or recirculation) tends to create and distribute a larger number of small bubbles with a greater bubble surface area for gas transfer. A typical in-line sparger that costs around $300 is illustrated in Figure 5a. Another in-line sparger design with a larger sinter surface area and elements to create turbulence is illustrated in Figure 5b. Designs like that shown in Figure 5b are more expensive (and therefore not used as often), but still cost less than $1,000 and allow for faster gas adjustment and lower gas consumption (Allen 1991). Wilson (1985) showed that

sinter pore size also influences sparging efficiency with 2 μm being more efficient than 15 μm at the same gas flow rate, presumably due to smaller bubbles being released with the 2 μm sinter. However, 15 μm sinters are most commonly used in the wine industry. This may relate to difficulties in achieving sufficient gas flow rate through finer sinters, either due to the size of the pores or clogging of those pores. In support of this theory, staff at one winery noted that they had removed the sinters in many of their sparging fittings altogether because of difficulties in getting enough gas through. Sinters do have some advantages over membrane contactors for gas adjustment. They are much cheaper to buy and can work with turbid wine. Generally, gas usage with a sinter is higher (Blank and Vidal 2012) and the time to reach the desired level of CO2 and/or O2 can be long and/or hard to predict. It can also involve separate steps of injection of N2 and CO2 to achieve specifications for both CO2 and O2 .

Automated sparging/gas injection systems More sophisticated approaches to using sinters for gas management have also been developed. Around 2012, Parsec introduced a system with an O2 sensor that is used to control gas injection via a sinter and achieve a set O2 level. At the end of 2017 it introduced a system with two sinters and both CO2 and O2 sensors (Figure 6, CO2 and O2 sensors not shown). These systems can be operated in recirculation mode on a tank or in a singlepass arrangement. For recirculation on a tank, the CO2 and O2 and sensors are placed on the wine inlet to the machine. CO2 and N2 are injected via the sinters and the system automatically stops once the set-point for the tank has been reached. When the device is used in a single pass, the CO2 and O2 sensors are placed on the wine outlet from the machine and these measurements are used to manipulate the injection of CO2 and N2. The obvious question when using a machine like this in a single pass with Grapegrower & Winemaker


winemaking O2 and CO2 sensors on the outlet only a short distance after injection of bubbles of CO2 and N2 is how representative will the dissolved gas concentrations measured at that point be? Will more gas exchange occur after the sensors and will the sensor measurements be influenced by the bubbles? Parsec advises that its system has an auto-compensation mode that takes into account post-sensor gas transfer. It also employs at least 10 m of hose between the two gas injection sinters and in some instances an additional valve to improve dissolution of CO2 before passing to the second sinter for N2 injection. The Parsec systems are cheaper than the membrane based contactor system. The single sinter O2-only adjustment system costs around $40,000 and the two-sinter system that can adjust both CO2 and O2 costs approximately $100,000. How well these systems perform in comparison with a membrane contactor based system could only be definitively determined by independent trials.

Conclusions Figure 6. Automated dissolved gas management systems using sinters instead of a membrane contactor (Parsec)

Automated dissolved gas management systems are new options for the Australian wine industry that potentially offer gains in speed, labour, and gas consumption.

FINEWELD STAINLESS STEEL Manufacturers of Quality equipment for the Wine Industry > Storage and Settling Vats > Variable Capacity > Transportable Tanks > Grape Receival Bins > Conveyor Systems > Installations > Valves > Manways > Fittings 66 Grapegrower & Winemaker

17 TOVA DRIVE CARRUM DOWNS VICTORIA 3201 Ph: 03 9775 0339 Fax 03 9775 0338 Email: January 2018 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Issue 648

The 2017 Winery Engineering Association National Conference and Exhibition featured the latest membrane filtration technology.

This paper provides a summary based on observations at initial Australian winery trials of one membrane contactor system and from discussions with several suppliers. The Australian industry will no doubt learn more about the technology as equipment is trialled and adopted further. Future trials could further study performance and investigate topics like the influence of removing N2 on fobbing.


To discuss the technology or share thoughts or experiences please contact Simon Nordestgaard (simon., 08 8313 6600).

References and further reading

Acknowledgements The author thanks the staff of K+H, 3M, PTI Pacific, Winequip, W.E. Ware & Co., WEMS, Parsec, Wine Energy, Romfil, MEP Instruments, and the wineries/ bottlers involved with trials of the K+H system for their help and advice. In particular, Dr Andreas Blank of K+H is thanked for his technical advice. The AWRI’s communications are supported by Australia’s grapegrowers and winemakers through their investment body Wine Australia, with matching funds from the Australian Government. The AWRI is a member of the Wine Innovation Cluster in Adelaide.

January 2018 – Issue 648

Readers should undertake their own specific investigations before purchasing equipment or making major process changes. This article should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any of the products described. Manufacturers should be consulted on correct operational conditions for their equipment, including cleaning procedures. Allen, D.B. 1991. A new twist in sparging. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (334): 55-57. Blank, A., Vidal, J-C. 2012. Gas management by membrane contactor: Ester and higher alcohol losses, and comparison with porous injector. Bulletin de l’OIV 85: (971-973): 5-14. Blank, A., Schmidt, O., Vidal, J-C. 2012. Anleitung zum gasmanagement bei wein. Das Deutsche Weinmagazin (12): 22-27. Blank, A., Schmidt, O., Vidal, J-C. 2013. Knoff hoff: Membrananlagen zum gasmanagement. Das Deutsche Weinmagazin (20): 14-19. Date, S. 1990. Mathematical model for CO2 stripping using sparging. Williams, P.J., Davidson, D.M., Lee, T.H. (eds). Proceedings of the 7th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference: Adelaide: Winetitles: 268-269. Diban, N., Athes, V., Bes, M., Souchon, I. 2008 Ethanol and aroma compounds transfer study for partial dealcoholization of wine using membrane contactor. J. Mem. Sci. 311: 136-146. Gill, C.B., Menneer, I.D. 1997. Advances in gas control technology in the brewery. The Brewer 83(2): 77-84. Liger-Belair, G. 2004. Uncorked: the science of champagne. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.

Membrana/3M. 2016. Design & operating conditions for Liqui-Cel extra-flow membrane contactors + Cleaning guidelines. http://www. l i q u i c e l . c o m /te c h n i c a l - re s o u rc e s /st a r t u p operating-guides.cfm. Molony, R.H. 2014. Carbonation and bottling debugged. cbktot5.pdf. Sander, R. 1999. Compilation of Henry’s law constants for inorganic and organic species of potential importance in environmental chemistry. Version 3. Schmidt, O., Ulbrich, J., Waidelich, G. 2008. Verfahren zur optimierung der gehalte an gelösten gasen sowie der alkoholreduzierung: Völlig losgelöst. Das Deutsche Weinmagazin (5): 20-25. Steen, D.P. 2006. Carbon dioxide, carbonation and the principles of filling technology. In: Steen, D.P., Ashurst, P.R. (eds). Carbonated soft drinks: Formulation and manufacture. Blackwell Publishing. Waidelich, G. Vidal, J-C. 2014. Eight years of experiences in gas management in wine with membrane contactors. Proceedings of Mempro 5, 9-11 April 2014,Toulouse, France. WFA. 2015. Wine packaging guidelines. https:// w w w.w f a . o r g . a u /a s s e t s / t e c h n i c a l - a n d packaging/WFA-Wine-Packaging-GuidelinesMay-2015.pdf. Wiesler, F. 1996. Membrane contactors: An introduction to the technology. Ultrapure Water May/June: 27-31. Wilson, D.L. 1985. Sparging with inert gas to remove oxygen and carbon dioxide. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (256): 112-114. Wollan, D. 2010. Membrane and other techniques for management of wine composition. Reynolds, A.G. (ed). Managing wine quality, volume 2: Woodhead Publishing: 133-163.

Grapegrower & Winemaker



What’s present in wine doesn’t pass the test Testing Times Greg Howell, from Vintessential Laboratories, provides another instalment of the ‘recent problems that we have seen’ and explains how solutions have been found. MLF and holidays Would you think there is a connection between vacations and malo-lactic fermentation (MLF)? Here is an example of such a connection. Recently we received a problem sample of wine that had not completed MLF. The winemaker, who had been away for a winter holiday, had added a large dose of sulfur dioxide to the wine to stop the MLF, which was already underway. Upon return to the winery he tested the wine for malic acid by TLC and discovered that MLF was still incomplete. He then tried, unsuccessfully, to restart the MLF before coming to see us. We advised that the key parameters of

pH, free and total sulfur dioxide, alcohol and malic acid should be determined as it is important to know these accurately. Our tests showed that there was still considerable malic acid (over 1 g/L) and that the pH was relatively high. So far so good. However the sulfur dioxide content was at the upper limit of suitability for re-inoculation. Most importantly the alcohol content was around 16% - the MLF bacteria were up against some pretty difficult conditions, particularly the high alcohol content and relatively high sulfur dioxide levels. A suitable MLF bacterial strain that could tolerate high alcohol content and relatively high sulfur dioxide was needed, and as the wine was going to be difficult to get through MLF, a careful, planned and time-consuming approach to MLF was required. An easier way for the winemaker to take a winter holiday would be to use co-inoculation of yeast and MLF bacteria, instead of sequential inoculation of the MLF bacteria. A high potential alcohol is a warning sign that sequential MLF will struggle and that the use of a co-inoculant bacteria will make the fermentation of the malic acid much easier. The main advantages of co-inoculation include starting the MLF whilst the level of alcohol is low, the bacteria gaining access to nutrients in the must that have not yet been chewed up by the yeast in the primary fermentation, having low sulfur dioxide levels and finally, removing the need to heat the wine, as it will already be at a reasonably high temperature due to the yeast fermentation.

Greg Howell

Create magic Anchor yeast

Alchemy III and Alchemy IV



IA ES SEN Email Phone 1300 302 242 (Australia-wide) 68 Grapegrower & Winemaker








Sucrose testing in sparkling base wine Two samples of wine with the same name were received from another customer and the request was to test each sample for glucose and fructose - the sugars that are present in grapes and that decrease in concentration during yeast fermentation. The results showed that both samples had minimal glucose and fructose. As a consulting laboratory, we simply test what we are requested to do. To assist our customers we provide free sample bottles and labels. Samples usually arrive with a box ticked as to what testing is required, so we do the testing and report the results. However in this case our keen-eyed staff picked up a few clues that the two samples of wine were most likely a sparkling wine base before and after cane sugar (sucrose) had been added at the tirage stage. Sucrose is normally added at this point in the production of sparkling wine, producing a total sugar content typically of around 24 g/L to give the required amount of carbon dioxide after the second yeast fermentation in the bottle.

January 2018 – Issue 648

Christina Bos, Vintessential Laboratories NSW state manager with the HPLC used for Patulin analysis

The winemaker was contacted and asked if this was the case. Yes, indeed it was and they agreed that they actually needed the wine tested for glucose, fructose and sucrose. Not surprisingly, the total sugar content was around the expected level in the mid-20s. Although sucrose is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose, sucrose doesn’t cleave to these two monosaccharides under normal testing methods hence the need to know the content of all three sugars. Without knowing the total sugar content of a sparkling wine base, it is impossible to determine the correct amount of sucrose EasyTest for sucrose to add during tirage, to ensure a successful secondary fermentation. If we had simply reported glucose and fructose as originally requested, the winemaker may have been under the impression there was little sugar in the wine and added another dose of sucrose. This would have fermented in the bottle, producing more carbon dioxide than required with the related increase in pressure in the bottle - not a good outcome. So the lesson here is to make sure when testing sparkling base that total sugars, including sucrose, are tested prior to the secondary fermentation.

As we are now testing more apple cider and apple juice, we are also regularly testing for patulin by HPLC. This is a great analytical technique for separating out multiple compounds and detecting them at very low levels. Some producers test for the presence of patulin prior to processing every batch of apple juice. The level of patulin in apple products, including juice and cider, is widely regulated around the world. As recently as this year, two Australian apple juice products had to be removed from supermarket shelves in Hong Kong due to elevated patulin levels. The levels we are talking about are very low, with most overseas markets specifying upper limits of 50 ug/kg (50 ppb). This level does vary depending upon the apple product produced, and in some markets the level is much lower for products destined for babies and infants. For example it is 10 ppb in apple juice for infants in the EU. As previously mentioned, the production of craft cider is strong and still growing. This is one analysis that cider makers should be aware of. And remember, it comes from mouldy fruit clean fruit won’t have patulin. So don’t panic, but be aware it is a regulatory requirement in many countries.

The presence of the mycotoxin Patulin

Vintessential Laboratories are dedicated to helping our customers discover production problems early, understand them, and then fix them. At our five laboratories around Australia we test hundreds of samples every week, so there’s hardly a problem we haven’t seen. Every month we bring you some of the recent problems that have been sent to us and explain how, working with our clients, we managed to help solve them. Greg Howell founded Vintessential Laboratories in 1995; he can be contacted by email on More articles on related topics are available on the Vintessential website: resources/articles/

The beauty of working with fermented beverages is that there always seems to be something new to learn. Recently we have learned a lot about patulin - a mycotoxin (a toxic fungal metabolite) that is produced by certain moulds such as Penicillium and Aspergillus. These moulds can grow on many fruits and are commonly found on apples. The presence of patulin in foods is undesirable and regulated in many countries, due to its toxic nature. And worryingly, patulin is heat stable and therefore not destroyed by pasteurisation, so early detection is imperative. January 2018 – Issue 648

Grapegrower & Winemaker


business & technology

Costly lesson for damaging neighbour’s vines Vineyard chemical spray destruction lands $7m negligence payout Wine industry lawyer Mark Hamilton, from Grope Hamilton Lawyers, examines a case before Victoria’s Supreme Court, which resulted in a massive payout to a vineyard owner who suffered extensive damage from spray drift.


ifteen or 20 years ago, you would have thought that it was bound to happen, but after all these years and warnings to farmers adjoining vineyards, one was tempted to think that neighbouring farmers had got the message – that you can’t just spray unless you are 100% certain it won’t drift onto neighbouring vineyards. Neighbouring farmer, Rodney Hayden, apparently hadn’t got this message, but has now learnt it the very hard way, after the Supreme Court of Victoria, in Riverman Orchard Pty Ltd (ACN 087 671 118) v Hayden [(2017) VSC 379], awarded the neighbouring vineyard owner, Riverman Orchards Pty Ltd, $7 million in damages for past and future loss of income and on account of the need to rehabilitate the vines including replacement of the trellis and irrigation infrastructure. I am not aware of any other case where there has been such damage that it was necessary to engage in this level of capital repair and replacement. Normally, chemical spray damage pay-outs have been limited to loss of a year’s crop, and maybe partial loss of the next year’s crop. It appears that in October 2013, Mr Hayden, was growing a crop of vetch hay in a block immediately to the north of a neighbouring vineyard, and had sprayed the vetch block during the week prior to the 70 Grapegrower & Winemaker

plaintiff’s director, a Mr Tony Caccaviello, noticing what he initially wondered was frost damage, but which turned out to be chemical spray damage, caused by a mixture containing 2,4-D, glyphosate and metsulfuron-methyl. This was applied by Mr Hayden’s brother on 30 September 2013. The chemicals involved are toxic to grapevines, and never used in vineyards. The court found that the spray drifted onto the plaintiff’s vineyard, and the resultant damage and loss of crop, occurred as a consequence of the negligence of the defendant in spraying in the manner it did. The issue of what damages to award then revolved around whether it was necessary for the plaintiff to replace or retrain the vines, with the resultant installation of new trellis and irrigation, or whether it would minimalise its loss by doing nothing. Mr Hayden said that replanting or retraining, and associated trellis and irrigation replacement, was not necessary. In July 2017, the court found that the plaintiff had suffered loss of $6,543,626.10, plus $704,587.66 in interest including the

cost of rehabilitating the land, the loss of grape sales, the cost of re-establishing the vineyard, and the future loss of grape sales while the vineyard regrew. The time for appeal lapsed in August 2017 without an appeal being lodged. One can only shake one’s head at the farmer’s conduct in using highly toxic chemicals in windy conditions where the chemicals would drift over a neighbouring property; particularly a neighbouring property with an intensive permanent horticultural crop with expensive infrastructure and a long establishment period. The chemicals must have been applied at a high rate. The farmer needed, as all farmers do whose farms abut or are near vineyards, to get proper external professional advice to establish a written spraying program including spraying and chemical guidelines, timing and wind conditions. As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. Mark Hamilton is a leading Australian wine lawyer with substantial practical industry experience through Hamilton’s winery. He can be contacted on (08) 8231 0088 or 0412 842 359 or by email at au. Website: www.gropehamiltonlawyers. January 2018 – Issue 648

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business & technology

WET – Time to put your grape supply contracts in place1 For 2018 and future vintages, 85% of wine must originate from grapes owned prior to crush. Mathew Brittingham, tax and revenue partner from Finlaysons Lawyers, provides his insights.


nder the recently enacted WET reforms, winemakers will only be potentially eligible to claim producer rebates on a parcel of wine they produced, if at least 85% of that parcel, as a packaged product fit for retail sale, originated from unprocessed grapes owned by the winemaker before the winemaking process commenced. This condition is the first leg of the 85% ownership of source product requirement (85% Ownership Requirement), which winemakers will need to satisfy in order to be potentially eligible to claim producer rebates. That requirement will apply to the 2018 vintage, regardless of whether the wine from that vintage is sold before or after 1 July 2018, and also to later vintages.2 To satisf y that requirement, winemakers will therefore, among other things, be required to own fresh unprocessed grapes prior to crushing. Accordingly, when the Tax Office audits a winemaker’s claim for producer rebates on 2018 and later vintages, one of the first things the Tax Office will investigate is whether there is any evidence that proves that the winemaker owned the grapes, which constituted 85% of the wine to which the producer rebate claim relates, prior to crushing. 72 Grapegrower & Winemaker

The Tax Office has indicated that such evidence may be found through weighbridge documents, tax invoices and production records. However, by far and away the clearest way to demonstrate a change of ownership will be through a properly drafted grape supply contract.

Grape supply contracts should be in place for 2018 and later vintages In most cases, formal grape supply contracts will determine when ownership of the grapes supplied passes from the grower to the winemaker. Accordingly, to satisfy the first leg of the 85% Ownership Requirement, grape supply contracts will need to contain terms which clearly show that the ownership of the grapes passes from the grower to the winemaker prior to crushing. By way of example, such terms may provide that title to the grapes will pass to the winemaker at the time they are loaded onto the truck at the grower’s vineyard. Alternatively, they might provide that ownership passes to

the winemaker immediately following weighing and assessment. It will therefore be prudent, and certainly best practice, for winemakers to have formal grape supply contracts, which contain such terms, in place prior to the commencement of the 2018 vintage. That way, if a winemaker’s producer rebate claims in relation to sales of its 2018 or later vintages are audited, the winemaker should have sufficient evidence to prove that they owned the grapes prior to crushing.

Payment terms and retention of title It is reasonably common for grape supply contracts to provide that grapes will be supplied on a retention of title basis, with such retention of title extending the wine produced from those grapes. If grapes are sold to a winemaker pursuant to retention of title clause, then it is extremely likely that the winemaker will not be able to satisfy the 85% Ownership Requirement. That is because both the Courts3 and the Tax Office4 have indicated that in such circumstances title will not pass until full payment for the grapes is made, which will inevitably occur after crush. This issue is causing a great deal of January 2018 – Issue 648

concern in the industry, given grapes are generally sold on a deferred payment terms. However, winemakers should be able to overcome this issue. That is because, there are ways in which a winemaker can provide security for payment of the grapes, without a retention of title clause. For example, the winemaker can grant a security interest in the grapes in favour of the grower pursuant to the PPSA regime. Alternatively, the winemaker could provide charges over assets they own other than the grapes, or even director’s guarantees. However, each grape supply arrangement will have its own unique issues and complexities, and it would therefore be advisable to seek advice as to the best way to provide for security of payment where title passes before that payment is made.

Pooling grapes or wine likely prevent 85% ownership of source product being satisfied Another related issue of which winemakers should be aware, is that even if they put a grape supply contract in place which allows them to own the grapes that will be used to make their wine, prior to crushing, they will still likely fail the

One of the first things the Tax Office will investigate is whether there is any evidence that proves that the winemaker owned the grapes. 85% Ownership Requirement if they pool those grapes, or the wine made from those grapes, with other winemakers grapes or wine. In that case, the winemaker would not be able to prove that 85% of their aliquot share of the wine produced was from grapes they owned before crushing. That is because the winemaker could not state with certainty that the wine they received after pooling was definitively from their own grapes, and not from a co-contributors grapes. In addition, it could be argued that, under such circumstances, the winemaker lost ownership of their grapes (wine) at the moment they were (it was) pooled.5 Not being able to satisfy the 85%

Ownership Requirement would mean that the winemaker would not be entitled to claim producer rebates with the wine so produced from the pooled grapes or wine. Please contact the author Mathew Brittingham on (08) 8235 7458 or mathew. if you require any further information in respect of any of the points raised in this article. © Mathew Brittingham 2017 Tax & Revenue Partner Finlaysons Lawyers +618 8235 7458 1 Disclaimer: The material and opinions in this article should not be used or treated as professional advice and readers should rely on their own enquiries in making any decisions concerning their own interests.

The 85% Ownership Requirement may also apply to 2017 and earlier vintages sold after 1 July 2018 in certain circumstances. 2

See Hardy Wine Co Ltd v Tasman Liquor Traders Pty Ltd (2006) 95 SASR 2. 3


PSLA 2013/1 (GA) at [4].


Farnsworth v FCT (1949) 78 CLR 504.

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business & technology

Shiraz brand power Opportunities await exporters using a fresh approach to key markets In the second article in this series, wine researcher Peter McAtamney continues his look at the major wine styles, this time focusing on Shiraz. He examines the most successful brands in terms of online search, powered by Wine Searcher, and on-premise listings in Australia, the UK and US markets, using Wine Business Solutions’ proprietary research.


hat is a brand? By my definition at least, it is a name with sufficient franchise that potential customers will actively seek it out. On that basis, online search has to be a very good test of any brand’s strength. Wine Searcher has over 25 million visitors a month. They carry nearly a million offers from 90,000 merchants globally including the likes of Dan Murphy’s. Looking at the most searched for brands tells us little, however, as the likes of Domaine de la Romanee Conti win that race every time. (Aspiration is one 74 Grapegrower & Winemaker

thing. Sales, another…) Looking at which wines constitute the ‘best value’ on Wine Searcher (the nexus of ‘most searched for’, ‘highest rated by critics’ and ‘average price’) is a lot more instructive. Yangarra, owned by Jackson Family Wine Estates, wins where Shiraz is concerned. Searches from US-based customers that end up on Australian merchant pages will have no doubt affected the result. It is still significant that they beat all. This US giant really shows how to do it in terms of a model that, from grape to glass, adds more value than any other.

That Hardys are second shouldn’t be surprising. That business has a long history of underpricing some of its best wines. It’s very difficult to build salesforce confidence in selling premium product at the same time as chasing cost leadership. Meerea Park would not be well known to many South Australian readers but they have a strong direct business. DtC is not a zero-sum game. DtC champions like Rockford and The Lane, for example, are also very strong in the local on-premise. From a regional stand point, the stand out is that the heavily ‘wine engaged consumer’ who searches for wine on January 2018 – Issue 648

Old Media + New Media For 74% of Advertisers, It’s a Package Deal Let’s face it advertising media decisions are a constant challenge for SME’s, especially “new media” or digital options. A USA local advertising survey shows 74% of Advertiser’s believe combined digital and legacy media (TV, Radio and Press) works best. Only 3% of respondents surveyed said they are buying only digital media. *

So next time you are planning a new product or service marketing campaign, why not book the ideal Winetitles Media marketing mix PRINT + DIGITAL - with Australia’s leading wine industry journal Grapegrower and Winemaker, and the industry’s digital daily news digest Daily Wine News.

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*Source: Borrell’s Annual Survey of local advertisers; April-June 2017

business & technology

Figure 1 – Wine Searcher Top 20 ‘Best Value’ Shiraz Wines Available through Australian Merchants

Figure 2 –Top 20 Most Listed Shiraz Brands in the Australian On-Premise – Source WBS Research

76 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Wine Searcher clearly has a bias for McLaren Vale over the Barossa. In the Australian on-premise, however, it is the complete opposite. So even though the offer on wine lists has become hugely more eclectic and esoteric in recent years driven by sommeliers, Shiraz remains that largest and fastest growing red wine category on-premise. Listings increased by a massive 25% last year driven by the most successful ‘wine brand’ in Australia – ‘Barossa Shiraz’. Another key thing to note when comparing the Wine Searcher Top 20 with the Australian on-premise Top 20 is the emergence of the Canberra District driven by Clonakilla but also capitalised upon by the likes of Alex McKay’s Collector Wines. Canberra District Shiraz provides the complete counterpoint to Barossa Shiraz and this is clearly why Canberra is the fastest growing major wine region in Australia, according to our research. It is also notable that two of the strongest brands in the on-premise, Torbreck and Clonakilla, have done it themselves. Realising that there are a limited number of trade customers for wines at these prices, they were able to manage them more intensively and build their brand more effectively using their own sales people. Pepperjack, however, is the outright winner in the Australian on-premise, where Shiraz in concerned, as it is in the off-premise. It is the classic example of what can happen when you don’t seize glaring opportunities. There were at least ten medium sized Barossa wine businesses (a number of which are sadly no longer in the owners’ hands), who should have nailed the $22 per bottle retail Barossa Shiraz opportunity. I even had distributors ringing me at one stage asking me, “where is it - we can’t find it?” Treasury Wine Estates, who are generally absent in the on-premise in Australia (note that the Penfolds brand barely makes it into the Top 20), were able to simply walk in and take it via Pepperjack. It is very different story, however, for TWE in the US. With a large salesforce to have to pay and a three-tier system that favours suppliers with scale, TWE have made Penfolds the most listed Australian wine brand on-premise in that market. As the other large Australian listed companies are guilty of, however, they have also loaded a lot of low quality wines onto wine lists at price points that not even their US competitors Constellation and Gallo are interested in. This is the single biggest strategic challenge that Australia faces and a January 2018 – Issue 648

Figure 3 –Top 20 Most Listed Shiraz Brands in the US Independent On-Premise Channel – Source, WBS

large part of the reason that Australia remains the fastest falling country brand on-premise in the world’s largest wine market. The US has had its own issues with Shiraz / Syrah that it is still in the process of sorting out. Taking Australia’s lead in the early 2000s, many thought that Shiraz belonged out in places like Lodi where they grow old vines and Zinfandel with huge concentration and high alcohol. Most have since worked out the Central Coast (Monterey, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara) makes more sense for a variety that arguably achieves it best expression in the Northern Rhone. The final and perhaps most important thing to notice about the US is the prices achieved. At average price $96 per bottle vs $89 in Australia you can still make good money (substitute the WET for the US Importer margin and you end up about even). The issue is that most of the best importers are yet to list an Australian brand. The UK is a completely different story. Not all UK on-premise wine categories are a complete pile of you-know-what but unfortunately, Shiraz is. At an average listed price of just $A36, it’s not an opportunity that most of our clients would want a bar of. Even Wirra Wirra’s play in this space is made to order to sell through a short supply line. Ben Glaetzer’s Shiraz is the only quality, regionally branded wine in the Top 20. Do we blame the supermarkets, suppliers or importers and wholesalers? Having spent many years working this market, I’m inclined towards the latter but Australian naivety feeds into their hands. For too long there has been over reliance on Nielsen data. Australia may still be the leader in grocery by a long way, but French and Italian wine imports are each worth three times those of Australia’s. There is a fantastic premium wine market in the UK and it is one of the most important for most of Europe’s most prestigious wine regions. Clearly this is not the way to go about addressing that opportunity. So, while Shiraz may be king in Australia, far bigger opportunities await but only if the approach to these major markets is completely reformed. About the author – Peter McAtamney is principal of Wine Business Solutions, a consulting company dedicated to helping wine business owners build better businesses – peter@winebusinesssolutions.

Figure 4 –Top 20 Most Listed Shiraz Brands in the UK On-Premise – Source WBS Research

January 2018 – Issue 648

Grapegrower & Winemaker


business & technology

Preserving nature Tahbilk’s innovative eco-approach Growing up as the fifth generation in a historic winemaking family, Hayley Purbrick wanted to mix her love of the outdoors with the family business. Her atypical path has led the winery to be known as one of the ‘greenest’ in the country.


ayley Purbrick is proud to be fifth generation of one of Australia’s oldest wine-making families. The winery environment manager is bringing youth, passion and high-tech strategies to also make the historic Tahbilk vineyard among the most environmentally friendly in the country. Established in 1860, Tahbilk in the Nagambie Lakes region of central Victoria is one of Australia’s most historic family owned wineries, purchased by the Purbrick family in 1925. Purbrick lives and breathes the winery – the people in it, the people who visit it and the land, foundations and history on which it was built. While she chose a slightly different path to carrying on the winemaking tradition, she is still very much connected to Tahbilk Wines and its future. “I tried winemaking when I studied 78 Grapegrower & Winemaker

agriculture, but for only a short period. A lot of it can be in the lab and the cellars whereas I would much prefer to be outside,” she said. “I might have been better suited to a viticultural role – that’s probably why I always worked in the vineyards and with the gardeners. “I have just always loved the earth and the environment and subsequently married a farmer. I feel a deep connection with the Australian bush.” Purbrick pursued her passion first through study, obtaining degrees in agricultural management, commerce and marketing and working with accounting firm Ernst & Young before returning to the family business in 2009. Just as she had always loved, Purbrick found herself back at the winery working alongside its viticulturists and wider staff base to research, develop and implement

strategies to reduce Tahbilk’s carbon footprint. “Without the ‘h’ Tahbilk or tabilk-tabilk actually means ‘place of many waterholes’ to the local Aboriginal people,” Purbrick said. “Tahbilk itself in 1860 was a part of the overland track between Melbourne to Sydney and was a stopping place for sheep on the way to Sydney because of the amount of water here.”

All about balance A place of many waterholes still rings true to Tahbilk today. The winery, comprising more than 1200 hectares, spans an 11 kilometre frontage along the Goulburn River and eight kilometres of permanent backwaters and creeks, which also forms part of a wetland ecotrail. “This means we are actually in a unique position, the vast amount of water creates January 2018 – Issue 648

a meso-climate in our region of Nagambie Lakes that means our climate is three degrees cooler than anywhere else in the Goulburn Valley,” Purbrick explained. “The amount of water and vegetation here controls our moderate growing climate, affecting the quality of our fruit. If we want to continue producing our high quality products we need to keep giving back to the environment.” Tahbilk has already put many initiatives in place that have reduced its carbon emissions permanently by 25%, with an additional 10% achieved in 2016. “This has included composting our grape and winery waste back into the vineyards as well as all food waste from our cafe,” Purbrick said. “We have installed a 100 kilowatts of solar on our warehouse roofs and we have just commenced implementing a ’lean’ program internally that will help us reach our goal to be a carbon neutral business by 2020.”

Offsetting emissions Going carbon neutral means reducing your greenhouse gas emissions where possible, using offset units to compensate for the remainder and achieving net zero emissions. To help Tahbilk achieve this, they have partnered with the Goulburn Broken Indigenous Seed Bank, among other organisations, to plant 150 hectares of biodiverse plantings to offset their own emissions. “Once we get there it’s about sustaining the carbon balance and ongoing continuous improvement - that is why we have been working with staff across the board to implement this and show how small changes can get us there,” Purbrick said. “It’s really been about behaviour change which can always be challenging,

January 2018 – Issue 648

particularly in the beginning. But I have found it’s been something positive in the way that’s inclusive of all staff, everyone can make a small change and straight away see its impact. “Sometimes making changes in the environmental space can even be seen as a cost burden on a business, but not for us. I have seen such a positive cultural shift here throughout the journey. “It’s not about committing to environmental outcomes at the detriment to profitability outcomes. It’s about people embracing this because they care about the environment. That has been the major shift here and I feel it’s a much more authentic message, it’s really exciting to see so many people passionate about this.” Purbrick said the next area of focus for Tahbilk was water and the energy efficiency associated with pumping water from various points off the river and around the winery and through their dripper irrigation system. “Energy is our biggest emission, making up 60% of our total emissions,” Purbrick said. “We are currently looking at technology around microclimate sensing – it looks at a range of factors including soil moisture, temperature, humidity and what’s transpiring and uses all of the data to help you make decisions on how and where to water and how much. “It could really help us to find efficiencies in this space and reduce our energy emissions.”

A positive mindset Outside of the winery, Purbrick is also helping to inspire ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ within small towns, primarily working with her local community of Deniliquin in New South Wales. However, her social enterprise, known as Big Sky Ideas, was created with the intention of tackling

challenges around small town decline right across Australia. “I started Big Sky Ideas in 2015 in response to research about small towns being in decline and that this was an inevitable part of life,” Purbrick said. Through Big Sky Ideas and with Tahbilk staff, Purbrick works to help people turn challenges into opportunities by inspiring them to think innovatively and really challenge their assumptions. She said it was about teaching people that an open mind can lead to changing your perception around what is possible, which in turn can turn the problem or challenge around. “There really is nothing better than seeing people excited about participating in life,” Purbrick said. “As someone once said to me – if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me!”

Facts about the Goulburn-Murray In addition to its major industries, Goulburn-Murray Water’s region is home to an increasingly diverse range of agribusinesses. This includes a large number of wineries, with the Goulburn Murray region home to some of the country’s best. Grapes in this area date back to the 1850s with some of the oldest Shiraz and Marsanne vines in the world growing on the Tahbilk Estate. With more than 3000 vineyards and 25,000-plus hectares of vines across the state, many of these wineries rely on rural water supply to grow their product. Wineries contribute significant value to the Victorian agribusiness sector and exports. In fact, wine exports are worth $197 million per year and there are about 1.5 million visits to Victoria’s 800 wineries each year.

Grapegrower & Winemaker


winery profile

Keeping it in the family Brothers to continue the Dal Zotto legacy Brothers Michael and Christian Dal Zotto have purchased the family’s Dal Zotto Wines from parents Otto and Elena, marking the first change of hands the winery has seen since the first vines were planted over 30 years ago. Paying homage to their Italian roots, the Dal Zottos have been pioneers of Prosecco in Australia. They were the first to commercially plant Prosecco varieties in the country, beginning with cuttings from Otto’s home town of Valdobbiadene – a cool climate, wine-producing village near the Veneto region and the home of Prosecco. Patriarch Otto Dal Zotto said the transition of the business to the second generation will ensure a smooth succession plan for the family-owned winery, as his two sons focus on expanding the business. “This changing of hands is a natural progression for our family business and the journey we have been on since we first released our wines in 1993 and planted Prosecco in 1999, and it comes at a perfect time as we celebrate 24 years of the winery next year,” said Dal Zotto. Otto and Elena will still play a role

in the business but will now leave the major decision-making to sons Michael and Christian. Christian will continue to oversee the marketing and sales for Dal Zotto Wines, while Michael will continue in his role as chief winemaker and chief executive officer. “Prosecco is part of our family history – I learned the art of making Prosecco from my father, and he learned it from his father, so we’re really proud of our heritage,” said Michael. “The greatest lesson I have learnt about Prosecco is focusing on simplicity and minimising the process. Over the next three years, we want to see the Dal Zotto name become synonymous with Prosecco and vice versa.” In 2017, Prosecco production accounted for 50% of the Dal Zotto business with 40,000 cases distributed across Australia.

Christian Dal Zotto Photo: Izzy Wedgwood

80 Grapegrower & Winemaker

There are now plans to increase production by 30% in 2018, and 15% each year after that. Dal Zotto also produces a variety of other styles including Barbera, Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio and Arneis, and they grow Prosecco vines on seven separate sites across the King Valley in Victoria’s high country.

From tobacco farming to Prosecco planting: a family history Otto Dal Zotto arrived in Australia in 1967 as an immigrant with the hope of utilising the winemaking skills he had learned from his father in his northern Italian home town. However, on arrival he first saw an opportunity for tobacco farming and planted tobacco in Cheshunt near the King Valley until the 1980s. But as the tobacco industry entered a sharp decline, he decided to invest in the grape industry purchasing 60 acres of land in the King Valley and planting Barbera and Nebbiolo. On a visit back to Valdobbiadene to see family, Otto noticed consumption of Prosecco in his home town was changing. It was no longer a bulk wine and was increasingly gaining popularity as a high end bottled wine. This sparked an idea to trial the variety in Australia, where Prosecco wasn’t well known or a popular drink of choice. An Italian immigrant in Adelaide had brought Prosecco cuttings legally through quarantine in 1990. In the mid-1990s Otto sought to acquire some of the cuttings and in 1999 the first Prosecco grape was planted at the Dal Zotto winery. In 2004 the first Dal Zotto Prosecco vintage was released, with limited quantities produced. The Prosecco proved to be such a success that they had to restrict the sales to three bottles per person. Dal Zotto continues today to be a popular drink of choice for Australian consumers as one of the country’s leading producers of Prosecco. January 2018 – Issue 648

calendar Australia & New Zealand

looking back

January 11 Coonawarra Vignerons Cup, Penola Racecourse, Penola, SA,

19-21 Gold Coast Food & Wine Expo, Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, Gold Coast, QLD,

13 Cape Jaffa Seafood & Wine Fest, King Drive, Cape Jaffa, SA,

21 Live Music in the Vines: The Bairns, Angas Plains Wines, Langhorne Creek, SA,

15-19 Tasmanian Wine Show, Hobart, TAS, 18 Coonawarra Vignerons Cup, Penola Racecourse, Penola, SA, 18 The South Coast Wine Show, Mollymook, Ulladulla, NSW,

26-28 Crush Wine & Food Festival, Various wineries & venues, Adelaide Hills, SA, 27 2018 Taste Eden Riesling Festival, Angaston, SA,

February 2-4 Festivale 2018, Launceston, TAS, 5 A Day on The Green, Leconfield Wines, McLaren Vale, SA, 9-11 Canberra Food & Wine Expo, National Convention Centre, Canberra, ACT, 10 Marlborough Wine & Food Festival 2018, Brancott Vineyard, Blenheim, NZ,

10-11 Mornington Peninsula International Pinot Noir Celebration, RACV Cape Schanck Resort, Mornington Peninsula, VIC, 11 Marlborough Wine & Food Festival 2018 13 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, Auckland, NZ, 16-18 Shakespeare in the Vines, Sevenhill Cellars, Sevenhill, SA, 18 Declaration of Vintage, Murray Street, Tanunda, SA,

10 Taste the Limestone Coast Festival, Naracoorte, SA,

International January 16-18 SIVAL, Angers, France, 26-27 Niagara Icewine Festival, Scotiabank Convention Centre, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada,

29-31 Millésime Bio 2018, Montpellier Exhibition Centre, Montpellier, France, 31-3 February Enovitis in Fieragricola, Verona, Italy,

February 5-6 Salon des Vins de Loire, Angers Exhibition Centre, Angers, France,

14-17 BioFach Germany 2018, Exhibition Center, Nürnberg, Germany,

12 China Wine & Spirits Awards 2017 - Best Value, Hong Kong,

14-17 ExpoVin Moldova 2018, Moldexpo International Exhibition Centre, Chisinau, Moldova,

12-14 VinoVision Paris, Paris Expo Porte de Versailles Showground, Paris, France,

14-17 World Wine Meetings Global, Hôtel du Collectionneur, Paris, France,

January 2018 – Issue 648

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. January 1988

Study shows SA still top wine producer South Australia produced almost 60% of Australia’s wines last financial year despite a drop of about 1000 hectares of vineyards, an Australian Bureau of Statistics study has shown. The study, on grape production in Australia during the 1986-87 financial year shows that SA was the only state to increase its production of grapes for making wine. January 1998

New wine course the nation’s first Australia’s first postgraduate course specifically directed at business management in the wine industry has been introduced by the University of Adelaide. The Graduate Diploma in Wine Business was launched at the Adelaide campus of the university with the assistance of Brian Croser, president of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, Dr Larry Lockshin, director of the Australian Centre for Wine Business Management, and Mary O’Kane, vicechancellor of the university. January 2008

Gen Y and Bobos: the changing face of marketing Generation Y consumers want to be taken seriously. Although they are a group that doesn’t consume much wine they are willing to learn and don’t want to be disrespected. This is something cellar doors should be very aware of because gen Ys can communicate with each other very quickly. If, for example, a wine tasting experience doesn’t stack up, the word will spread via internet blogging and networking websites and via the mobile phone.

Grapegrower & Winemaker



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Grapegrower & Winemaker - Issue 648 - January 2018  
Grapegrower & Winemaker - Issue 648 - January 2018