dâ€™Arenberg embraces wine science Planning provides for a successful harvest
The AWRI introduces WineCloud
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October 2012: Issue 585
Previntage vineyard planning
Previntage winemaking preparation
Making wine … or making a winery?
Yeasts and enzymes
Cabernet explored at Margaret River
NTU vs wine filterability index
Impacts in wine from harvesting method
Pectolytic enzyme preparations compared
Winemaker profile: David Lloyd
Innovations sought in wine microbiology Low-carbon refrigeration systems
Bottling and labelling
WineCloud provides future direction
My view: Terry Morris
Tax office targets wine producers
106 Benchmarking a continuous tartrate
d’Arenberg: science from vineyard to winery
WFA sets agenda for change
Industry pays tribute to Ron Potter
SAWIA environmental awards
South Australian crush survey 2012
Regional Roundup: NZ, North Island
sales & marketing
Why Chinese on-premise choose the wines they carry
Crop forcing improves quality in California
Ask the AWRI – best time to harvest?
Understanding vineyard chemicals
Improved vineyard biosecurity and hygiene
Burning issue: smoke impact in vineyards
Planning provides for successful harvest
Port: Wine science − do we need to know?
Label Q&A: Azahara
Wine from the backyard
Photochemistry: impacts of bottle weight and colour
business & technology 122 Wine club operators benefit from new
Trapping helps eradicate Indian mynas
Annual review of organic focus vineyards
Misha’s expands to a wider world
Electrostatic sprayer hits the spot
Appointments & accolades
wrdc GRAPE AND WINE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
14 OctOber 2012
d’Arenberg embraces wine science Planning provides for a successful harvest
The AWRI introduces WineCloud
Chester Osborn in d’Arenberg’s new wine immersion centre at McLaren Vale. Photo: Grahame Whyte
5 on the grapevine 34 grapegrowing 65 winemaking 127 export snapshot 128 looking forward 129 marketplace classifieds
In this issue October Publisher and Chief Executive Hartley Higgins Managing EDITOR Elizabeth Bouzoudis EDITOR Grahame Whyte email@example.com Editorial advisory board Dr Jim Fortune, Denis Gastin, Dr Steve Goodman, Prof. Jim Hardie, Dr Terry Lee, Paul van der Lee, Bob Campbell MW, Prof Dennis Taylor and Mary Retallack Editorial Kellie Arbuckle Contributors Chris Herden, Gerri Nelligan, Danielle Costley, Max Marriott, Jeni Port, Steve Goodman.
I am sure everyone is busy in the vineyard at this time of the year as we move with confidence into a new season of growth. Much of the growth of our industry can be attributed to a strong underpinning from our wine science people – everyone from laboratory staff to leading researchers. This issue reflects a wine science theme as a way of acknowledging the success of this partnership with wine, science and technology. I particularly recommend our cover story on the enthusiastic way d’Arry and Chester Osborn have assessed the latest scientific developments across the generations. It’s not science for the mere sake of it, but rather a clear and determined approach to integrating appropriate
scientific developments that suit the ethos of their highly successful d’Arenberg label. We also introduce WineCloud, The AWRI Grape Portal which utilises an extensive database to allow the measurement and comparison of a range of attributes in grape samples, and present research that looks at the vital role played by pectinases and how they increase free-run juice yields and aid clarification and settling of juice in the winemaking process. I trust you will enjoy reading this issue of Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker as much as we have enjoyed preparing this material for you. Grahame Whyte Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising Sales Chas Barter email@example.com Circulation: Melissa Smithen firstname.lastname@example.org Production Chris Nicholls Subscription Prices Australia: 1 year (12 issues) $77.50 (inc. GST) 2 years (24 issues) $145 (inc. GST) New Zealand, Asia & Pacific: 1 year (12 issues) $110 (AUD) 2 years (24 issues) $210 (AUD) All other countries: 1 year (12 issues) $174.50 (AUD) 2 years (24 issues) $339 (AUD) Students (Aus only): 1 year (12 issues) $66 (inc. GST) Winetitles Pty. Ltd. 630 Regency Road, Broadview, South Australia 5083 PO Box 1006, Prospect East South Australia 5082 Phone: (08) 8369 9500 Fax (08) 8369 9501 email@example.com www.winebiz.com.au Printing by Lane Print Group, Adelaide © Contents copyright Winetitles Pty Ltd 2012.
All Rights Reserved. Print Post Approved PP535806/0019 Articles published in this issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker may also appear in full or as extracts on our website. Cover price $8.25 (inc. GST)
4 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Contributors Chris Herden is a business, arts, entertainment and travel writer, as well as a board member of the management committee of the Queensland Writers Centre. He has discovered a valuable bonus of being a contributor is the great wine advice and tips picked up from winemakers, viticulturists and industry people he has interviewed. This month, on page 70, Chris talks to talks to four winemakers about the value of using custom crushing facilities.
Steve Goodman is senior lecturer in marketing and program director higher degrees by research at The University of Adelaide. He is supervising a number of honours and PhD students in wine-related topics of tourism, cellar door servicescape, organic consumption, social media and management strategy. Steve also sits on the Grapegrower & Winemaker editorial advisory panel. On page 109, Steve looks at how Chinese on-premise establishments select wines. Contact Steve on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com stevegoodmanwine Jeni Port is a Melbourne-based wine writer, author and wine judge and a monthly columnist in Grapegrower & Winemaker. She is also the longest serving wine writer at The Age and the author of several books including Choosing Australian Wines and Crushed By Women: Women and Wine. On page 112, she poses the intriguing question about whether we really need to know about the wine science behind our favourite beverage.
October 2012 – Issue 585
on the grapevine Winemakers urged to adopt pregnancy warnings AUSTRALIAN WINEMAKERS HAVE been urged to display pregnancy warnings and broader consumer information messages on their wine bottles and containers as soon as operationally possible. The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia extended its push for winemakers to embrace the warning messages after it announced a partnership with DrinkWise Australia last month. The partnership will give all winemakers the opportunity to get involved quickly, at no cost. The DrinkWise campaign is comprehensive. Label messages will be supported by a retail point-of-sale campaign as DrinkWise works with government to provide educational materials to consumers in outlets where alcohol is sold, including cellar doors. The core campaign message encourages consumers to ‘Get the Facts’ from the DrinkWise website (www.drinkwise.org.au), which provides evidence-based information on alcohol to help people make informed choices. This core message can be used on labels or in conjunction with either the internationally recognised pregnant lady pictogram or the text message, ‘It is safest not to drink while pregnant’. WFA’s three largest members – Accolade Wines, Treasury Wine Estates and Premium Wine Brands – have begun incorporating the joint messaging and will be more than 50 per cent compliant by the middle of 2013. Other winemakers and producers will now have the opportunity to get involved in the same campaign. WFA chief executive Paul Evans said the move reflected the wine industry’s genuine commitment to support initiatives designed to promote appropriate alcohol consumption through education. “Label changes are complex for winemakers because of the wide range of brands, styles and vintages, as well as the time delay between production, bottling, cellaring and eventual sale,” he said. “But as the peak industry association we are committed to encouraging our members and all winemakers to embrace this campaign as quickly as possible.” DrinkWise Australia is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, funded by voluntary contributions from the alcohol industry, that promotes responsible alcohol consumption.
Australian wine triumphs at international awards THREE PROMINENT AUSTRALIAN wineries celebrated top honours in September at the awards dinner of the world’s most rigorously judged independent wine competition– the International Wine Challenge, in London. Building on its award success earlier this year, McGuigan Wines took home the trophy for White Winemaker of the Year, while Angove Family Winemakers won the trophy for Champion White Wine 2012 with its Vineyard Select Clare Valley Riesling 2006. Barossa winery Kalleske also triumphed, taking home the trophy for Biodynamic Wine of the Year for its Clarry’s GSM 2011. Now in its 30th year, the 2012 International Wine Challenge (IWC) was hosted by IWC co-chairmen and wine experts Charles Metcalfe and Tim Atkin MW, and saw the unveiling of 41 awards. Thorough systems and scrupulous judging are integral to the success and international credibility of the IWC, which is led by a team of world-renowned wine experts working with 400 judges drawn from the wine world. Each gold medalwinning wine is blind tasted at least three (and up to six) times. Metcalfe said the aim of the IWC was to recognise excellence and help wine drinkers source some of the world’s best wines. “The credibility of the IWC logo is testament to the competition’s unrivalled professionalism and meticulous judging processes. IWC medals help to take the risks out of buying wine, and point consumers towards quality wines at all prices and in all styles,” Mecalfe said. The IWC hosts the largest wine competition in the world with over 9000 wines entered each year. October 2012 – Issue 585
what’s online Geelong gets rid of phylloxera The Geelong wine region has officially been declared free of the serious grapevine pest phylloxera for the first time since it was discovered in the region in the 1870s. Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said Victorian Government surveys had confirmed that all vineyards in the region were now free of phylloxera, a significant achievement for Geelong’s wine industry. He said as a result, the Geelong wine region had been included in the Phylloxera Exclusion Zone (PEZ), a new expanded zone which encompasses the four previous PEZs in place in Victoria, reports the Stock & Land.
Wine areas need protection Laws to protect the character of the McLaren Vale area have passed Parliament’s Upper House but there are concerns over how soon the state Government can review the protections. The Government introduced legislation to protect McLaren Vale and the Barossa Valley from urban sprawl in September last year. Under the Bills, no new residential development would be allowed outside town boundaries in both districts. The Barossa Valley Bill is still being debated. During a debate Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire asked Minister Gail Gago if a requirement in the Bill to review township boundaries within five years could mean the government could start a review within a year. Ms Gago replied this was “possible but it would be highly unlikely”, reports the Herald Sun.
French up in arms French wine producers are preparing a defence against the possibility the EU may allow US imported wines to be called chateau or clos. The decision will be taken as part of a wider meeting on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms at the European Parliament in Brussels on 25 September. French producers say that allowing American wine producers to sell their wines in Europe using the French words château or clos would be an attack on French heritage – and competitive advantage, reports Decanter.
.com.au Australia’s wine industry portal by Winetitles Australia’s wine industry portal by
Daily Wine News is a snapshot of wine business, research and marketing content gleaned from international wine media sources, with a focus on Australian news and content. To subscribe visit www.winebiz.com.au/dwn. Grapegrower & Winemaker
my view Time to inspire consumers to discover value and enjoyment in Australian wines Terry Morris
The Australian wine industry is in a very parlous state in the domestic market, mainly because of the Coles/Woolworths market dominance and the high AUD$, along with the massive imports from New Zealand and now Europe. I think there are things we can do. We have to go back to the drawing board a bit. I wrote to the powers that be, and I suggested that what they really need to be doing is going into regional areas and getting people to start up wine and food clubs. This would be a good way to educate people to the joys of Australian wine – and at the same time improve the social fabric of the community. Most residents of regional areas are interested in learning about wine and food – you only have to look at the ratings of the food shows on TV to realise the potential. But like all things, you have to break down the barriers and a local wine and food club would be a great start. I believe it’s an area of huge need and opportunity. If the wine Industry bureaucrats just tried they would be surprised at how successful it could be in creating a whole new level of consumers. You would be educating them about how good Australian wine is, what the regions are, what to look for, what the traditions are. It might take five years but it wouldn’t cost a lot to do. I think that this is one thing we should be doing. Think back to the days of Jimmy Watson and the beefsteak and burgundy clubs, when people coming through the universities were being educated about wine. Regionality is the thing – it’s an area where we can educate Australians about the wonderful diversity of the Australian wine industry. You are not going to get that through the supermarket chains, where they put their own branding first. We need to inspire consumers to discover the value and enjoyment in Australian wines and we especially need to reach new consumers in the over-20 market. It is more difficult here, being a Queensland-based winery, with a general lack of knowledge about Queensland wines. There is simply not an understanding of the quality of wines we produce in Queensland, so we are working to improve that situation.
6 Grapegrower & Winemaker
But we’re going OK – our cellar door and restaurant are doing very well and we are gaining traction in the domestic marketplace. We’re increasing our sales through purchasing some smaller country hotels at what we consider good value. This gives us the opportunity to really promote our own wines in those hotels, with Sirromet the only on-premise wines. And the result is that people are coming back and buying more and more of our product. In the bottle shops we give our
wines pride of place, though we sell other wines of course. How much difference can we make? The statistics are pretty impressive: if we can get every wine drinker in Queensland to drink just two bottles of local wine a year the industry will increase ten-fold – and that is a lot of jobs and investment. Of course, industry challenges will remain in export markets – it doesn’t look like the Australian dollar is about to lose its strength in the short term.
Regionality is the thing – it’s an area where we can educate Australians about the wonderful diversity of the Australian wine industry.
And China will be a big factor. What happens there will have widespread impacts. I go over to China once a year – we do business in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing – and send about 20 containers over there every year. Japan also offers a lot of potential for Australia. 2012 vintage was wonderful, fortunately – we haven’t had a bad vintage in 13 years, the Granite Belt seems to be able to come up with the goods year after year. The Chardonnay is impressive and the Cabernet is again excellent. Terry Morris is Sirromet Wines owner and founder.
October 2012 – Issue 585
Tax office targets wine producers with audits Kellie Arbuckle
WINE PRODUCERS ARE being urged to check they are claiming the correct tax benefits after changes to the Winery Equalisation Tax were introduced into Federal Parliament. Changes to the WET came into effect on 19 September following concerns by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia that some producers were ‘double-dipping’ into rebates on the same quantity of wine. The new changes prevent a wine producer from claiming a rebate for wine used in manufacture, unless the previous producer or supplier provides a notice that a previous producer is not entitled to the rebate on that wine. According to accountancy firm, BDO, the changes come at a time when the Australian Taxation Office is focusing its audit activity on small businesses, including wineries. “The Commissioner of Taxation Michael D’Ascenzo announced in late July as part of the ATO’s 2012-13 compliance program, that the WET would be a focus,” BDO tax and advisory senior manager Ryan Wilton said. He said now was the time for wineries to take steps to ensure they are receiving the correct tax entitlements, so they are prepared if they are audited. “This is the first time we’re really seeing the ATO crack down and look at the way producers are claiming the WET, particularly because it’s an area that people do get wrong,” Wilton said.
October 2012 – Issue 585
“The impact of the ATO audit activity should serve as a reminder to all in the industry to ensure they are doing the right thing, have all their documentation in place and seek advice if in doubt. “For larger producers it puts up to $500,000 at risk through the rebate system and for smaller producers, many of whom survive off the rebate, it may impact on their future viability.” BDO recently presented a seminar to wine producers in McLaren Vale on the changes to the WET and the ATO’s process of auditing wine producers. While the ATO claims the audits are random, Wilton says new producers or producers who are claiming a large WET rebate are more likely to be targeted. “They say they are random but our experience tells us that they aren’t,” Wilton said. He said it was common for audits to focus on ensuring the seller is the producer; ensuring the correct price is used for calculating the WET payable and refundable; ensuring that appropriate records are kept, such as valid quotes; and reviewing the different WET calculation methods to ensure the right method is in the right circumstances. The rebate scheme entitles a wine producer to a rebate on their WET payments up to a maximum of $500,000 per financial year. The amendments also cover New Zealand wine, as New Zealand producers
Tips to reduce the risk of an audit • Ensure your records are up to date e.g. current quotes • take out audit insurance • have sufficient evidence that you have created a commercially distinct product if claiming the WET rebate when blending • ensure adequate BAS calculations are kept • keep up to date with changes in legislation and ATO alerts • seek an ATO private ruling if circumstances are complex • if in doubt seek assistance from your tax agent • or contact bdo.com.au for more information.
qualify for the rebate under reciprocal trade arrangements.
Grapegrower & Winemaker
Direct Print Selective science – from the Bottles vineyard to the winery Celebrating 100 years of land ownership, d’Arenberg speaks with Grapegrower & Winemaker about how science has influenced their business over the past century. Kellie Arbuckle
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8 Grapegrower & Winemaker
WINERY AND VINEYARD practices have changed dramatically since the early 1900s, when horse-drawn carts and kerosene-powered production areas were considered modern for their time. Advances in science and technology, along with breakthroughs in research, have given winemakers and growers the ability to produce higher quality wines using a fraction of the time and labour. For one McLaren Vale winery, science in viticulture and vinification has been embraced to the same extent as some traditional techniques. That winery is none other than d’Arenberg, which, having marked 100 years of family ownership in 2012, is well positioned to reflect on some of these changes. “It’s amazing how rough and ready it was in those days. Winemaking was very much a hit or miss business, but it was pretty stable stuff,” says Francis (d’Arry) Osborn, managing director of d’Arenberg. d’Arry started work on the farm at the ripe age of 16. It was the 1930s and times were tough. Yet, by the time he was 30, he had taken over full management of the property, known as Bundarra vineyards. d'Arry says some of the most significant advances in science and technology occurred in the 1950s, starting with the introduction of power to the production area. “Before that, we had our own kerosene lighting plant. Our fridge was powered through kerosene. It was very efficient and cheap, too,” he said. In 1951, grid electricity was connected to the winery and electric generators replaced an old kerosene-run Delco generator. d'Arry says the introduction of tools to measure sulphur in wine was also a significant scientific development for the wine industry. “We were making white wines that were all cloudy and I was selling the wine to Emu Wine Company for overseas export and a mate of mine said, ‘It’s lactic! You’ve got to get some sulphur in there, quick, quick!’” d’Arry recalls. www.winebiz.com.au
“And of course a fella called Walter Ware – Wally Ware, we used to call him – came up with this sulphitometer.” This was used to measure the amount of sulphur in the wine, ensuring there was enough to stop bacterial spoilage and prevent oxidation, but not so much it would affect the flavour and complexity of the wine. Developments in yeast control and malolactic fermentation were also embraced by d’Arenberg, along with sophisticated refrigeration. “Dr Bryce Rankine did important research on yeasts – he understood that getting a yeast culture going only lasted a week before a wild yeast would take over,” d’Arry said. The vineyard was another area of fundamental change. Horses were used until the late ‘50s to pull the burner – the incinerator on wheels they used to burn all the cuttings. This method was replaced in ’61, when d’Arry bought a rotavator on a diesel tractor. Instead of burning the cuttings, the rotavator chopped them up. Newer versions of harvesters, crushers and presses were also embraced for their efficiency and speed. “In those days everything was handpicked, so the reds would come in heat of day whereas now you can machine pick and deliver in the cool of the night,” d’Arry said. Machine harvesters were introduced from America to Australia in the ‘70s. According to d’Arry, the machines, in their infancy, would strip off all the leaves as well as the fruit. “Today, the machines are very sophisticated. They’re all run on hydraulics and you can speed all the various bits up and slow them down.” d’Arry’s son, Chester, started working in the vineyard when he was in primary school. After graduating from an Oenology degree at Roseworthy in ’83, he became chief winemaker at d’Arenberg, where he incorporated new science and technology while remaining faithful to the tried and tested techniques. October 2012 – Issue 585
Printed Wine Tasters
d’Arry Osborn reflects on a century of family winemaking. Chester Osborn engages in alchemy as he produces a blend at the new d’Arenberg wine immersion centre.
Perhaps one of the most traditional methods d’Arenberg has stuck with is basket pressing. Today, d’Arenberg have several basket presses, including one hydraulic Coq press that is more than 100 years old, eight handmade presses and a Bromley Tregonning press. Chester believes basket pressing, although labour intensive, is more beneficial compared with modern machines, due to its gentle pressing action on the grapes. Using homemade science, d’Arenberg have also found a way to basket press their wines without allowing oxidation in the whites. This is achieved by using a large plastic bag which encases the whole basket – and some dry ice. Staying true to his minimal intervention philosophy, Chester has also taken to using gentle crushers with rubber rollers, which he opens up to allow for whole-berry fermentation on the reds. Racking and fining are also generally excluded from the winemaking process. “We gave up racking any reds in 2004. Maybe 0.5 of a percent we would rack if it’s a slow ferment and it’s a bit smelly,” Chester said. Practices in irrigation and cultivation have also changed dramatically at d’Arenberg. According to d’Arry, about 124ML of bore water was used to irrigate 60 hectares in the ‘60s, whereas today d’Arenberg has about 120ha and only uses just 60ML to irrigate. Irrigation methods have evolved from moveable sprinklers to drip irrigation in October 2012 – Issue 585
the late ‘80s. That all changed again in the ‘90s when Chester realised irrigation hadn’t worked in his favour. “I started reading quite a bit and it became pretty obvious – the more you irrigate the more dilution you get. So I came up with only irrigating in winter to imitate natural rainfall in drier years, or in early spring or late December after grape cell division and enlargement is complete.” About 16 years ago, Chester also made the move to stop cultivation. “Part of the reason was that you’d go to dig a hole in the middle of the vineyard and realise there wasn’t a vine root. So there was no point in cultivating,” Chester recalls. After three years of not cultivating, he said the soil had a greater volume and water-holding capacity, which allowed the vines to be less dependent on irrigation. And if there’s one piece of science advice that Chester completely disregards, it’s to do with nitrogen. “I see it as the evil monster,” he said. “Every time you’re adding nitrogen to the soil, it’s charged particles. And every time it rains, they go through the soil and they drag out micronutrients with them that you’ll never get back again. So you can actually really ruin a soil with the addition of excess nitrogen. “So I say that fertiliser or water is like growing the vine hydroponically. You can grow tomatoes like that and they just taste like nothing, but you grow your own and they taste fantastic.” www.winebiz.com.au
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
Change agenda includes new thinking Smarter pricing strategies and innovative routes to market must be part of the change agenda for Australian wine. That message will ring loud and clear when the industry gathers in Melbourne for the biennial Winemakers’ Federation of Australia Wine Industry Outlook Conference on October 23 and 24. The program will include a keynote address on how important it is to be strategic in your approach to pricing and the presentation of WFA-commissioned research mapping the scope and performance of expanding online sales channels. “Our focus is not on the need to change but the way to change if we are to establish a platform for success and sustainability across the sector,” WFA chief executive Paul Evans said. “We have put together a comprehensive program examining the shifts in global competition, consumer sentiment, sales channel options, markets and marketing that impact on us all. “As the wine supply cycle begins to turn, everyone involved with making and
marketing wine needs to be clear about where Australia’s future success lies and how their businesses are positioned.” Leading wine writer, educator and critic Jeremy Oliver will guide proceedings during the conference and will moderate a major panel discussion on day one focusing on how successful wine businesses will look and act in the future. “As in 2010, when we first expanded Outlook to two days, we have sought to get the right mix of big picture thinking and hands-on skills development,” Evans said. “I think the workshop program on day two offers something for everyone.” Workshop options include a marketing bootcamp, financial survival advice and strategies for building winning brands or turning a website into an online cellar door. Beijing-based distributor Campbell Thompson will deliver a plenary address on the ins and outs of the China market, then host an interactive Q&A workshop. The day one program will mix hard data from Rabobank and Nielsen with insights from international presenters Mike Paul, Chris Savage and Lulie
Halstead, who was voted the standout presenter at Outlook in 2010. Paul, a leading wine consultant who represented Southcorp when it became the UK wine market leader by value, will revisit his 2007 prophecy that Australia’s success would be its undoing because it was too easy for others to replicate. Savage, who directs all environmental compliance efforts for the world’s largest family-owned winery, E&J Gallo, will examine the growing social pressures on wine’s legitimacy. And Halstead, the CEO of strategy consultants Wine Intelligence, will present new insights on how social and cultural drivers underwrite consumer demand for wine and the opportunities this presents for marketing wine as more than just another fast-moving consumer good. The Change Agenda will be held in the Melbourne Conference & Exhibition Centre. Further information and online registrations are available on the conference website, which can be accessed via the WFA site at www.wfa.org.au.
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10 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 – Issue 585
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Wine industry pays tribute to inventor Kellie Arbuckle
The Ron Potter Research Centre
TRIBUTES HAVE POURED in for Ron Potter, a towering figure in the Australian wine industry, who passed away last month, aged 83. Potter, who received an OAM in 2006, died peacefully at Griffith Base Hospital on Wednesday, 19 September after a short battle with illness. As the founder of A&G Industries, Potter is credited with inventing the Potter drainer and fermenter, which revolutionised wine fermentation techniques in the 1970s.
“As an industry person, I’ve known Ron for a long, long time,” Lee said. “He was a very nice guy. He was very good to talk to and very interested in what was going on.” This kindness was reflected in Potter’s contribution to CSU, where he donated a lot of his spare time and equipment to setting up the winemaking course for future winemakers. “It doesn’t matter where you go, you will always find the influence of people who have either been educated at Roseworthy (in Adelaide) or the Ron Potter Centre. “Ron Potter has had an enormous contribution – not only to the Australian wine industry, but the world’s wine industry, too.”
The Potter Fermenter In 1972, Potter patented a winemaking tank which became known as the Potter drainer and fermenter. The design dated from as early as 1962 and was initially installed by Wynn Winegrowers at Yenda, NSW, in 1969. Dr Terry Lee, editor of the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, says the Potter Fermenter revolutionised fermentation techniques in the global wine industry. “Ron will mostly be remembered for his contribution to winemaking innovation,” said Dr Lee, who knew Potter for the past 25 years. “All operations that were required by hand labour were suddenly done by gravity, thanks to Potter’s invention. It made the separation of juice or fermented wine away from skins and seeds so much easier. One guy could run one of these fermenters.” Made from stainless steel, Potter’s fermentation tanks could take up to 30 tonnes of fruit, according to Dr Lee, who first spotted the tank at a winery in California in 1975. He says Potter will also be remembered for his contribution to education, particularly at Charles Sturt University, at Wagga Wagga.
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12 Grapegrower & Winemaker
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Potter’s son Chris said despite his father’s stunning success in business, it was his passion for his family and the outback that defined him most. “He wasn’t an empire builder, his success was more about supporting his family and his employees, who were like an extended family,” he said. “He had a great love of farming – especially horses and cattle – and he loved following the explorers’ footprints. “He tried to find the dead centre of Australia a number of times and once went on an expedition to find the end of the Lachlan River.” Born in Young, but spending his formative years in Queensland, Potter came to Griffith in 1952 to take up a role as a viticulturist with the then NSW Department of Agriculture. Two years later, he joined Miranda’s as a winemaker and after a decade at the fledgling company, started his own business – A&G Engineering. McWilliam’s Wines chairman Doug McWilliam said Mr Potter was a goliath of the industry, a humble businessman whose word was his bond. “He was nothing short of a wine engineering guru and a real innovator,” McWilliam said. “He was a man of his word – when you did business with him, you didn’t need lawyers, you just needed a handshake.” He is survived by wife Fran, children Wendy, Chris, Julie and Jenny, their respective partners Kerry, Julie, David and Murray, his 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. October 2012 – Issue 585
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Wineries awarded for commitment to environment Kellie Arbuckle
HENSCHKE CELLARS, TAYLORS Wines and Cape Jaffa Wines have been honoured for their commitment to environmental excellence and leadership at an awards ceremony in Adelaide. More than 100 people gathered at the National Wine Centre on Friday 21 September for the inaugural Environmental Excellence Awards, held by the South Australian Wine Industry Association. This year’s theme centered on Land and Biodiversity and sought to recognise the achievements and innovations of SAWIA members in good environmental practice, leadership and inspiration. The winner in the large business category was Taylors Wines; other finalists in this category were Orlando Wines and Treasury Wine Estates. The finalists in the small to medium category were Cape Jaffa Wines, Wirra Wirra Vineyards and Henschke Cellars. Prue Henschke accepted the award on behalf of Henschke Cellars, which was judged as the winner for their innovative and holistic approach on vineyard floor management and native flora establishment to increase biodiversity. The judges also awarded Cape Jaffa Wines a Certificate of Merit for biodiversity enhancement of native flora and fauna in their locality. The SAWIA Environmental Excellence Awards for 2013 will have a theme topic of either water/waste, or carbon/energy.
Anne McLennan from Cleggett Wines and Scott Measday from Host Plus.
Mark Shaw from Ballast Stone Estate Wines and Stuart McNab from Treasury Wine Estates.
Vic Patrick from Wine Grape Growers Australia, Christy Schulz from Turkey Flat Vineyards, Kirsty Balnaves from Balnaves Coonawarra and Will Taylor from Finlaysons.
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14 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 – Issue 585
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South Australian Winegrape Crush Survey State Summary 2012 State and regional overview The total crush of South Australian winegrapes in 2012 was 698,005 tonnes. This was an increase of 15,334 tonnes above the 2011 harvest; with the top three regions being – the Riverland 59% (411,529 tonnes crushed), Barossa Valley 7.4% (50,899 tonnes crushed) and Langhorne Creek 7.0% (48,651 tonnes crushed). The Riverland increased its production by 7.7% on the 2011 figures, as well as Langhorne Creek, up by 23%; whilst production was down for McLaren Vale by 30%, Adelaide Hills by 21% and Barossa Valley by 18%. The regions in the South East saw production at – Wrattonbully up by 35%, Padthaway up by 12.6% and Coonawarra down by 8.4%. The total estimated purchase value of the crush was $420 million, up by $60 million (14.3%) from 2011. The average purchase value per tonne across the state increased on 2011 figures by 7.2% (up $41 per tonne) to $607 per tonne. The average purchase values for nearly all the major varieties increased, whilst Sauvignon Blanc decreased by $27 per tonne to $620 per tonne.
After a challenging 2011 harvest, growers applied appropriate controls for pest and disease management. All regions reported low yields, except for the Riverland and Adelaide Plains where yields were high. The overall quality of the 2012 vintage has been summed up as “excellent” and “the vintage of the century”, with good quality fruit, intense colours and flavour.
Varietal overview The red crush was 416,582 tonnes; the white crush was 281,423 tonnes. Among the white varieties, Chardonnay accounted for 20.3% (152,737 tonnes) of the production, down from 2011 by 31.7%, with Colombard up by 8,115 tonnes (26.8%) and its close rival Sauvignon Blanc down by 2,602 tonnes (9.8%). Of the red varieties, Shiraz accounted for 28.9% (201,540 tonnes) of the crush, with Cabernet Sauvignon second at 17% (118,385 tonnes). Across all varieties, the proportion of purchased versus winery grown fruit was similar to 2010 and 2011 at 73%.
Vineyard plantings Planting data derived from the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board’s vineyard register shows that there were 76,589 hectares planted to vines in South Australia as at 30 April 2012. This represents a net decrease in the total area of 94 hectares since April 2011, compared to decreases in 2011 of 557 hectares and 1,600 hectares in 2010. There was a total of 354 hectares (<1% of the total area) planted in spring 2011 (including top-working and replants). There were more than 68.6% new plantings of red than white varieties, compared with an equal split in 2008. The top 4 most planted varieties were all red varieties – Nebbiolo (81 ha), Merlot (61 ha), Sangiovese (22 ha) and Zinfandel (22 ha). Sauvignon Blanc (20 ha) was the most planted white variety followed by Muscat Gordo Blanco (17 ha). There were a total of 3,626 growers registered with the Board as at 30 April 2012. 2,113 growers (58.3%) have properties smaller than 10 hectares and account for 12% of the total vineyard area, while 126 growers (3.5%) have properties larger than 100 hectares (in
0 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Actual tonnage 315,482 406,387 371,533 471,313 494,205 482,157 678,821 707,151 653,535 920,194 898,165 904,022 575,111 816,868 730,904 681,578 682,671 698,005 Historical grape crush 1995-2012
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October 2012 – Issue 585
news the same region) and account for 38.7% of the vineyard area.
Projections for future supply and requirements Supply projections are included in the survey report, together with the wineries’ estimates of future demand and committed intake, which are collected in this survey. Production for 2013 for South Australia is estimated at 835,000 tonnes. Approximately 698,000 tonnes is either winery grown fruit or already contracted, indicating there may be a potential surplus of 137,000 tonnes of fruit next year. The estimated supply of grapes for South Australia in 2017 is around 845,000 tonnes. This estimate is based on the assumption of a return to “normal” growing conditions. It does not take into account any residual effects of disease pressures water allocations, quality or industry restructuring initiatives driven by consumer demand. This could result in an oversupply of nearly 273,000 tonnes,
Limestone Coast - other Adelaide Hills Wrattonbully Clare Valley
Eden Valley Currency Creek Adelaide Plains
SA - other
Fleurieu zone - other
Coonawarra Padthaway McLaren Vale Langhorne Creek
Crush by region pie chart.
as winery demand for 2017 as reported in the survey is only 572,000 tonnes. It is important to note that due to uncertainty
in the market place, an increasing number of reporting wineries were unable to estimate demand beyond 2013.
Rabobank reveals latest global wine trends Kellie Arbuckle
AUSTRALIAN WINERIES SHOULD tread cautiously in China and brace themselves for another large vintage, according to Rabobank senior analyst Marc Soccio. Speaking at the South Australian Wine Industry Association’s annual luncheon, Soccio flagged concerns over the long-term outlook for of growth in the Chinese market. He said there has been an explosion of importers in the Chinese market that is not sustainable. “China is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but the big question is will the economic slowdown affect consumption of wine and to what degree?” Soccio said. “We’re starting to see mounting pressure on a lot of manufacturing industries in China which will ultimately have an effect on wages and spending on business entertainment which drives so much of the market. “Growth in wine imports has slowed somewhat – the market still appears to be growing at double-digits but it’s nowhere near the levels that the market has been growing at over the past few years.” He added there has been an explosion of importers in the Chinese market that is not particularly supportive of building brands in the long run. “How sustainable is the growth of importers into that country and how much can suppliers rely on the unconventional channels that they access going forward?”
18 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Drawing on recent weather patterns and past statistics, Soccio raised concern over the possibility of production exceeding 1.7 million tonnes in 2013. “Vintage 2013 is certainly something everyone is turning their minds to and the big question is can the Australian wine industry handle more supply?” Soccio said.
China is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but the big question is will the economic slowdown affect consumption of wine Marc Soccio Rabobank
“Other than Western Australia, seasonal conditions across south eastern Australia have been very good and there’s every possibility that given a www.winebiz.com.au
little uptick in grape prices last year that producers are looking to boost production this year. “I’d say it’s not sustainable – there’s still a lot of supply out there that struggles to meet the market and provided the dollar stays at current levels, there will be constraints on competitiveness and profitability.” Soccio also spoke about the state of global wine trends, noting that wine stocks have tightened in both Europe and California over the past 18 months, while the impressive export performance of the Argentinean industry is increasingly being threatened by significant inflationary cost pressures and structural deficiencies in their currency that are conspiring to squeeze profitability. In the US, there are some signs that consumers are starting to buy at higher price points, but the focus on value is still alive and well, and the ability to raise prices remains limited. In the Australian domestic market, Soccio said the light New Zealand 2012 wine harvest could allow some respite to the Australian wine industry from Kiwi imports, with less discounting pressure likely. Soccio said New Zealand suppliers would continue to look to prioritise the Australian market given the especially favourable currency pairing and strong consumer demand. October 2012 – Issue 585
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New Zealand Winegrowers annual report reveals strength of industry Stuart Smith
“What path should the New Zealand wine industry take to ensure its future success?” New Zealand must continue to focus on its competitive advantage in premium wine. That competitive advantage has survived oversupply intact and rich opportunities still exist for premium New Zealand wine in both established and developing markets; but the industry must guard against strategic threats and operating weaknesses. “What role should New Zealand Winegrowers play in that future?” New Zealand Winegrowers’ priority role is to protect the industry’s competitive advantage from threats and weaknesses. Its secondary role is to support profitable growth. These are the headline findings of the major Strategic Review presented by PricewaterhouseCoopers to New Zealand Winegrowers in late 2011.
It may seem obvious to state that the future of New Zealand wine depends on its reputation for premium products. But after several years during which the wine industry has been pushed and pulled in different directions, it is invaluable to have that objectively and rigorously re-affirmed. Beyond the headlines, the Strategic Review provided fact-based reassurance that the reputation of New Zealand wine remains strong and identified the markets where New Zealand wine can prosper. It also delivered the national body with a clear blueprint for its ongoing role. Fundamentally, the New Zealand wine industry and its national body are on the right track. There are risks to be guarded against and some activities need to be refocused. Action needs to be taken to position the industry to take best advantage of new opportunities in the future.
While there is much to be accomplished the goal is clear: to make New Zealand renowned around the world for its exceptional wines.
Demand keeps building Globally, consumers continue to respond to the vibrant, distinctive qualities of New Zealand wines and our compelling brand propositions. Demand for New Zealand wine has continued to build in the face of difficult international market conditions. In the past year, international sales reached a record value ($1.18 billion, +8% on last year) and volume (178.9 million litres, +16%). Despite accounting for less than 1% of global wine production, New Zealand is now the world’s 10th largest exporter by value and 11th exporter by volume. New Zealand is second only to France in terms of the average price at which its wines are sold. In terms of economic contribution
www.winebiz.com.au Winegrape Berry Sensory Assessment in Australia by E. Winter, J. Whiting and J. Rousseau
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October 2012 – Issue 585
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news to our nation’s economic prosperity, wine is now New Zealand’s 8th most valuable export sector. Bottled wine continues to make up the core of New Zealand wine exports with packaged shipments accounting for nearly $1 billion in export earnings. The volume of bottled wine exported this year is greater than the total of all wine sales at home or abroad as recently as 2006. Bulk wine exports have grown at an even faster rate in line with global trends. Unpackaged wine accounts for 35% of all New Zealand wine shipped abroad – up from 31% last year. But unpackaged shipments have slowed noticeably in recent months and are expected to reduce significantly over the coming year. Australia is New Zealand’s premier market for wine. Exports to our transTasman neighbour now total $380 million; 32% of total export value. Bottled exports have been the major driver of growth in the past year. The United Kingdom imports a greater volume of New Zealand wine than Australia but value is lower ($284 million) due to the weak pound and large proportion of bulk wine exports. Bulk wine has now become the norm for popular premium wine imports from all countries into the UK. Despite this, New Zealand has maintained its high average price in the UK (£6.33 per bottle). The market in the USA continues to perform strongly for New Zealand wine. Exports to the USA now exceed $250 million, and the Strategic Review identified the major opportunities in this market. There have been growing volumes of bulk wine dispatched to this market in the past year, but a majority
of these shipments are destined for producer-owned rather than retailerowned brands.
While there is much to be accomplished the goal is clear: to make New Zealand renowned around the world for its exceptional wines.
Significant opportunities continue to be developed beyond the top tier of markets. Exports to Canada lifted 20% in the past year to over $70 million. The
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China opportunity has been identified by both PwC and NZTE as a significant one for the sector. This year there was another step forward with exports rising 50% to $25 million as brand owners capitalised on the opportunities opened by the New Zealand China Free Trade Agreement. Significantly, there have been no bulk shipments to this market in the past 12 months and the average FOB price is a high $11.47 per litre. Despite the positives, New Zealand’s overall FOB price per litre has continued to decline gradually. The average value of all exports is $6.58 per litre (-7%). Packaged wine has experienced a smaller decline, and now averages $8.45 per litre down 3% on 2011. Increased bulk wine exports have played a major role in the fall in the return per litre, but the strong NZ dollar is also an influence. This is not just because it reduces the value of transactions priced in US dollars or UK pounds; it also drives offshore buyers to offset their weak currencies by packaging in their home markets. Declining FOB prices do not necessarily equate to price erosion in the market. While deep discounting does occur from time to time, this is far from the norm for New Zealand wine. In fact, the Strategic Review showed our average price in-market has been surprisingly resistant despite bulk wine and the recent global financial turmoil. Looking forward we expect the small 2012 vintage will significantly reduce the volume of bulk wine exports in the year ahead. Nevertheless, the desire of powerful retailers to capture more value in the supply chain suggests they will
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news remain a component of the New Zealand wine proposition into the future. Accepting that unpackaged wine exports are here to stay does not mean that the wine sector should be any less concerned about the implications of this trade. Exporting unbranded wine essentially transfers value and brand control from producers to distributors and retailers. In addition, the fact that bulk wine is not subject to New Zealand’s stringent regulations once it leaves our shores also presents an element of risk. New Zealand Winegrowers has been pushing to ensure that bulk wine can only be exported to offshore facilities that are audited to the same standards as New Zealand packaging facilities. The decision now rests with the Government. It is hoped that government will ensure all wine bearing the New Zealand brand offers the same guarantee of integrity and quality, wherever it is packaged.
Supply gets tighter Vintage is always a central part of any wine year. In 2012, despite a late and cool season, we expect overall quality to be excellent as most regions benefited from
benign autumn conditions. Supply, however, will be tight in a market where demand has continued to grow. The harvest of 269,000 tonnes was down 18% (59,000 tonnes) on the previous year while wine production of 194 million litres will be well below last year’s sales total of over 240 million litres. With stocks of past vintages in short supply as well, it is clear that New Zealand will not be able to satisfy global demand for its premium wines. Responding to the smaller vintage, average grape prices recovered somewhat to $1,315 per tonne. The increase will be welcomed by growers but it is unlikely to ease the economic pain they are experiencing as lower yields more than offset the current year’s price rebound. Increased tension between supply and demand will likely result in further grape price rises in the coming vintage. Given more normal yields, this will hopefully be sufficient to bring financial sustainability back to hard-hit growers. In the meantime, however, there are still many hard months of investment and risk in the vineyard before this prospect can become a reality. On the winery side, the reduced
vintage will mean many wineries will face difficult choices between provisioning hard-won shelf space in established markets and allocating limited stocks towards new opportunities. This represents a dramatic turnaround from just two or three years ago when wineries were struggling to find the markets for the increased supply from the 2008 and 2009 vintages. Supplies of wine available for unbranded bulk exports will be scarce and wineries will look to entrench premium price positions. Investment in new vineyard plantings has been on hold for the last four years and the availability of planting material for any major developments is limited at present. As a result, supply capacity will be constrained in the medium term with any increase in production (above 2011 levels) heavily dependent on the weather and on the discipline of the industry. Events of recent years have taught the value of strict yield management; this is a lesson that should not be forgotten in times of more constrained supply. New investment in vineyard development will be necessary in the future, but it must be founded on sound planning and not speculation. The 2008
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24 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 – Issue 585
vintage is a vivid illustration of just how delicate the balance between supply and demand can be.
Protect and grow Last year’s annual report gave a very clear message. The world in which growers and wineries operate has changed and the wine industry needs to take stock of the new environment to make informed decisions about the future. The Strategic Review found that New Zealand wine industry was well positioned for the future. Protecting New Zealand’s competitive advantage in high-priced premium wine exports and growing the valuable opportunities that exist in USA, China and Europe were considered essential to the wine industry’s future. New Zealand Winegrowers was found to be an effective organisation that measured up well against its peers. A new strategic focus around the concepts of “protect” and “grow” was recommended for the national body and 10 new or extended activities were proposed. Putting the recommendations of the Strategic Review into effect has been the major focus for New Zealand Winegrowers
since the report was delivered. Already, the national body has created a national vineyard register to accurately track production trends; restructured and reprioritised its marketing and research functions; initiated a new brand audit for New Zealand Wine; developed a promotional platform for the industry’s sustainability positioning; petitioned the Government to bring the Geographical Indications Act into force and institute controls on bulk wine exports; and established a high-level working group to examine industry governance arrangements. Social responsibility is an area where major new investment has been agreed. While wine is a beverage that should be enjoyed in good health and moderation, harmful consumption of alcoholic beverages is an area of serious concern. As an industry, wine needs to become more proactive in its commitment to responsible drinking. To that end, a new social responsibility strategy has been approved and a major consumer-facing initiative is in development.
ones for our sector. Since 2008 important lessons have been learned by all participants in the industry and these will not be forgotten. But now the New Zealand wine industry is entering another phase in its development. Recognising this, New Zealand Winegrowers invested in the Strategic Review and a new Strategic Plan is in place as a result. The post-Strategic Review initiatives already underway illustrate the commitment of New Zealand Winegrowers to leading the industry forward within the framework of a new plan. Now we are firmly focused on the issues and opportunities of the future rather than the challenges of the past few years. The Board is confident the new plan provides a clear path forward for New Zealand wine, our wineries and our growers. As such, New Zealand Winegrowers is well positioned to serve and lead the industry through the next phase of its evolution.
A new phase The past few years have been challenging
Stuart Smith is chair of New Zealand Winegrowers.
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Presentation dinner a highlight of NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show Judge notes that some of the best and most innovative wineries are small, or boutique, winemakers who have a passion for the wines they produce. SOME OF THE state’s top winemakers and representatives from the wine industry gathered at Forbes Services Club last Saturday for the NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show presentation dinner. The dinner featured the presentation of 16 trophies from the wine show, held in August each year in Forbes. Guests included award-winning winemakers from the Hunter Valley, the Riverina, Southern Highlands and Central Tablelands, as well as locals keen to sample some of the trophy wines. NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show chairman Alistair Lunn said the Forbes-based committee was very happy with the interest in the August show and last weekend’s presentation dinner. Lunn said 573 wines from 99 wineries were entered in this year’s show, which concluded with a wine tasting evening for the public on Friday, August 24. He said while the quantity of entries was down slightly, the quality was again high. “It has been a particularly hard couple of seasons for winemakers and our entries this year were down a bit, reflecting this,” Lunn said. “All wine shows across the industry have noticed this, but ours seems to be holding up relatively well. “The good wines were still there, which was very pleasing, and the spread of medals was similar to previous years,” Lunn said. Lunn’s comments were echoed by chief judge, Andrew Thomas. In his recent judges’ report, Thomas noted that some of the best and most innovative wineries are small, or boutique, winemakers who have a passion for the wines they produce. While many of the trophy winners could not attend last Saturday’s presentation dinner, winning vignerons Tertini from Mittagong (Best Boutique White Wine and Best Riesling), Lillypilly from Leeton (Best Sweet Wine of Show), Leogate Estate (Best Red and Best Young Shiraz) and Winburndale,
Judy Childs presented the trophies for Best Boutique White and Best Riesling to Tertini’s Robert Kay.
26 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Bathurst (Best Boutique Red and Best Shiraz 2009 and older) were present to collect their awards. “It was probably one of our best representations from winemakers for several years,” Lunn said. “All in all we were very pleased with the interest and thought the event went quite well. ”There were 16 trophies altogether and seven were presented on the night,” he said. Lunn said the organising committee would hold its annual general meeting in November and would then consider expressions of interest from local charitable organisations looking to benefit from the show’s fundraising. “We’ll see how much was raised from the event and then start looking for interested people and charities to support,” he said. Lunn said organisations should make their request for support in writing to the NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show secretary at PO Box 132, Forbes 2871.
Mark Woods of Leogate Estate receives the trophy for Best Red of Show from Amcor’s Jason Thomas.
Fred and Di Collie with Jenny and Mark Watts, the Small Winemakers Wine Show panel steward, at the presentation dinner.
October 2012 – Issue 585
Island in the sun
New Zealand's North Island wineries are setting high benchmarks with new promotional activities. Kellie Arbuckle
Albariño wins trophy on debut
rows, and a herd of Belted Galloways graze on unplanted land. “The current expansion is not just about processing more quantity, it is also about investing in the equipment and technology to take a huge step up in quality,” Fraser said.
A New Zealand winery has picked up a trophy for its Albariño at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards. Based in Kumeu, about 20 minutes from Auckland, Coopers Creek Vineyard is the first New Zealand winery to win a trophy for its Albariño, which was sourced from a vineyard in Gisborne. Albariño is widely planted in northwest Spain and Portugal, where it is recognised as their best and most fashionable white grape varietal. The Albariño 2012 joins the Coopers Creek Select Vineyards range, a set of new wines including Coopers Creek Arneis, Grüner Veltliner, Viognier, award-winning Montepulciano, Syrah and Malbec. 2012 Albariño.
Major expansion at Murdoch This year is a significant vintage for Martinborough wine producer Murdoch James Estate, as it marks the first year using a new state-of-the-art winery. A major investment at the beginning of 2011 has translated into huge expansion in the vineyard, winery and visitor facilities at Murdoch James Estate. Murdoch James Estate founder Roger Fraser says the expansion comes as a result of three years of hard work in export markets, which has resulted in a rapid increase in distribution. “We will export more wine in the next 12 months to the Asian market than we have exported in total over the past three years,” Fraser said. Martinborough is located at the bottom of the North Island and makes less than 1 per cent of New Zealand’s wine. Fraser planted Syrah and Pinot Noir in 1986, and named the vineyard after his father, Murdoch James (Jim) Fraser. While the recent expansion increases the footprint of the winery significantly – it is about three times larger – Murdoch James Estate remains committed to sustainable practices. Native plantings around the vineyard are partnered with sheep to mow the grass between vine October 2012 – Issue 585
UK promotion for Martinborough
Eight Martinborough producers banded together to promote their current releases and some older vintages in London last month. Ata Rangi, Brodie Estate, Ca mbridge Road, Craggy Range, Coney, Escarpment, Martinborough Vineyard and Te Kairanga presented their wines to the public, trade and press from 22-25 September. The public was also able to taste the wines at a two-day event, hosted by Oz Clarke, Tim Atkin and Olly Smith, while producers presented three seminars on the district’s wines.
The Boutique Wine Show, aimed mainly at the UK trade, was the next engagement. Preceding the trade tasting, a press event, hosted for the Circle of Wine Writers, was held to provide robust discussion on the region 30 years on, based on Martinborough Pinot from 2006, 2008 and 2009. Larry McKenner of Martinborough New Zealand said the event was wellreceived by both wineries and trade. “Overall the Martinborough district was very happy with the whole range of events and is enjoying the new friendships and business relationships established,” he said.
Chardonnay takes top honours at Bragato An Auckland Chardonnay has been awarded Champion Wine of Show at this year’s Romeo Bragato Wine Awards. Grown by Brett Donaldson, the Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2011 won the coveted
Martinborough producers promoting their wines in London, last month. www.winebiz.com.au
Grapegrower & Winemaker
regional round-up Bragato trophy, the Bill Irwin trophy for Champion Chardonnay and the Sustainability trophy. Villa Maria company viticulturist Oliver Powrie praised Donaldson’s commitment to growing quality fruit. “Despite the challenging growing conditions of heavy rain, peat soils and a high bird population, Brett has provided us with great fruit to make this wine,” Powrie said. The Bragato Wine Awards recognise grapegrowers for viticultural excellence and are held each year as part of the Romeo Bragato conference.
Te Mata brand evolution
a series of ‘out of the box’ food and wine experiences set throughout Hawke’s Bay, which will debut next month to celebrate the start of summer and will be followed by a winter event in June 2013. Kelly Dwen of Hawke’s Bay Tourism said the event is already generating a lot of interest. “F.A.W.C. is already generating considerable consumer and industry interest and we firmly believe it will be very well received and attended by discerning consumers and a generation of F.A.W.C!ers will be created,” Dwen said. The summer series will be held from 2-11 November at various Hawke’s Bay locations, starting at Craggy Range winery.
Annual vintage selection revealed As part of a brand evolution, Te Mata Estate has just launched a collection of five wines designed by their variety. In March, the winery refreshed Te Mata Estate’s classic appearance, for the first time in 16 years, with a new logo, new branding and new capsules. The new look has been designed to reflect Te Mata Estate’s focus on quality, its history and its future. The first newly designed wines, launched on 1 October, were Estate Vineyards Merlot/Cabernets ’10, together with Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc ’12 and Estate Vineyards Gamay Noir ’12. Te Mata has also refreshed its case outers to express the new logo and brand identity. Established in 1896, Te Mata Estate is a family-owned winery that produces wines from its Hawke’s Bay vineyard.
The Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association has announced the 12 red wines selected to represent the region’s 2010 vintage. Now in its third year, the annual vintage selection serves to provide a snapshot of a particular vintage and helps to chart the evolution of Gimblett Gravels wines on a vintage by vintage basis. Responsible for the selection is Sydney-based Master of Wine Andrew Caillard. His selection of wines for the
2010 annual vintage comprises: Blended reds (Bordeaux varieties): • Babich Irongate Cabernet Merlot • Babich The Patriarch Cabernet Merlot • Craggy Range Sophia Merlot Cabernet • Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot Malbec Cabernet • Mission Estate Jewelstone Merlot Cabernet Franc • Newton Forrest Cornerstone Merlot Cabernet • Sacred Hill Brokenstone Merlot • Sacred Hill Helmsman Cabernet Merlot • Villa Maria Reserve Merlot Syrah: • Crossroads Winemakers Collection Syrah • Mills Reef Elspeth Syrah • Trinity Hill Homage Syrah Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association chairman Nick Aleksich said this was by far the most challenging selection process. “The majority of the nominated wines are already gold medal and/or trophy winners in their own right. To have so many quality wines in the running is a fantastic position to be in – testament to our special terroir and dedication of our members,” Aleksich said. A limited number of 2010 annual vintage selection packs will be sent out to key wine media and influencers around the world for review.
New ‘out of box’ event Hawke’s Bay will next month launch a new event that will give participants a chance to get up close and person with chefs, food producers and winemakers. Food and Wine Classic, or F.A.W.C., is
The 12 red wines selected by Andrew Caillard MW for the 2010 Annual Gimblett Gravels Vintage Selection.
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NEW 2013! Australian Grapegrower Listings Contact Kate on +618 8369 9521 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 28 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 – Issue 585
GRAPE AND WINE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Newsletter of the GWRDC. Published bi-monthly
Accurate irrigation scheduling nearer than you think Water scarcity in Australia and climate change were the main drivers for the development of the GWRDC-funded project: ‘Integrating the carbon and water economies of grapevine for optimal management in challenging environments’, undertaken within the Wine Innovation Cluster over the past four years by University of Adelaide researchers Stephen Tyerman, Roberta De Bei and Sigfredo Fuentes as well as researchers from SARDI (Mike McCarthy), CSIRO (Everard Edwards and Brian Loveys) and AWRI (Daniel Cozzolino). In this article, the University of Adelaide researchers explain the advantages of using Near Infrared (NIR) technology in vineyards, which they have trialled at Yalumba Oxford Landing Estate in the Riverland and at Wynns Coonawarra. One of the objectives of this project was to develop new irrigation monitoring techniques to improve irrigation scheduling. NIR spectroscopy has been trialled as a non-destructive technique for measuring the water status of grapevines. Current methods that are available to assess vine water status using plant-based sensors are expensive and time consuming and require a significantly high level of knowhow for their use and data interpretation. In the NIR spectrum of a leaf there are wavelengths that are strongly influenced by the amount of water present. NIR spectra from grapevine leaves can be calibrated against the more conventional vine water status measurements obtained using the Scholander pressure chamber. With specific statistical interpretation and analysis, plant water status can be calibrated and verified against the pressure chamber. For the wine industry, NIR offers a novel, easy to use, non-destructive and quick approach for vine water status monitoring throughout the season that allows growers to make informed decisions for both irrigation and canopy management. Currently, reliable calibrations are available for Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz in different environments, including the Riverland
Figure 1. Near Infrared analyses of vine stem water potential.
and Coonawarra, to relate NIR spectral readings to stem water potential. The main advantages of NIR spectroscopy are: that there is minimal sample preparation the speed of analysis (less than one minute per sample) it is non-invasive it does not suffer from operator errors, as there are fewer steps in an analysis it is cost-effective to analyse a single sample or large batches of samples that other leaf characteristics can be determined simultaneously, provided that there are appropriate calibrations. NIR spectroscopy is already being used in the wine industry for a variety of applications, the most common being in winery laboratories for the determination of alcohol, colour and pH. In addition to grape and wine analysis, NIR has been extended to other applications such as soil and plant analysis. The prediction of nutrients in grapevine petioles as a tool for vineyard fertilisation management has been reported. Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus can be predicted by NIR spectroscopy in grape petioles.
Since the NIR instrumentation can be used for multiple assays, this technique can also offer the flexibility for growers to use the same instrument for more established measurements, such as leaf chlorophyll content, berry sugar, anthocyanins and phenolic content, carbohydrate content in leaves and trunks, among others, which will increase the cost-benefit ratio of the proposed technique.
Further reading: Cozzolino, D.; Esler, M.B.; Dambergs, R.G.; Cynkar, W.U.; Boehm, D.R.; Francis, I.L. and Gishen, M. (2004) Prediction of colour and pH in grapes using a diode array spectrophotometer (400–1100nm). Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy 12(2):105–111. Blatt C.R.; Sinclair P.J.; Batten G.D.; Blakeney, A.B. and Welsh L.A. (1995) Preparation and analysis of grape leaf and petiole samples by NIR spectroscopy. HortScience 30(4):880. Gishen, M.; Cozzolino, D. and Dambergs R.G. (2010) The analysis of grapes, wine, and other alcoholic beverages by infrared spectroscopy. Handbook of Vibrational Spectroscopy. De Bei, R.; Cozzolino, D.; Sullivan, W.; Cynkar, W.; Fuentes, S.; Dambergs, R.; Pech, J. and Tyerman, S. (2010) Non-destructive measurement of grapevine water potential using near infrared spectroscopy. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 17:62–71.
wrdc GRAPE AND WINE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
STAR shines light on smoke taint risk The Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA) has developed an interactive web-based smoke taint risk management tool called STAR (Smoke Taint Risk calculator). DAFWA grape and wine project manager Glynn Ward says the tool’s purpose is to reduce the incidence of smoke taint in grapes and wine by predicting the seasonal grapevine growth stages and calculating the risk of smoke taint for key varieties in Australian grapegrowing regions. The computation model behind STAR was developed in collaboration with crop modellers from the School of Plant Biology at The University of Western Australia, with input from the Department of Environment and Conservation and Wines of Western Australia and funding from GWRDC. ‘Together, we integrated existing knowledge into the STAR model, to help us understand smoke taint and better predict and manage its risks; this information was gained from research and field trials, observations and literature,’ Ward said. How smoke is taken up by grapes and how smoke compounds enter the wine and influence sensory perception and consumer acceptance is a complex problem that is still being researched, says Ward. ‘At a glance, the tool will help land managers to make informed decisions about scheduled burns, and it will assist growers to manage vineyards in order to reduce the exposure of grapevines to smoke at sensitive growth stages,’ Ward said. Research has revealed that grapes’ sensitivity to smoke uptake varies according to the vine’s phenological stage and is variety dependent. For example, Merlot is most sensitive to smoke uptake between veraison and harvest, while Cabernet Sauvignon is at most risk when grapes are at pea size. Also, phenology
Figure 1. STAR’s smoke taint risk profile for multiple varieties grown in Margaret River in 2011-12.
is driven by temperature, which varies between seasons, regions and vineyard locations. Ward explained that the STAR model has used observed phenology records for previous seasons from several commercial vineyards, and weather records to determine the degree days (a measure of heat accumulation) between growth stages. ‘STAR draws on information from field trials examining Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, which were exposed to smoke at specific density and time periods during key phenological stages. The smoke taint risk factors were subsequently determined from chemical and sensory analyses of the resultant wine. STAR integrates this data to produce a graphic time-series of predicted smoke taint risks,’ Ward said. STAR users can tailor the information
it provides to suit their vineyard, area or region of interest. For example, a dropdown box allows growers to select the weather station closest to their vineyard, and individual or multiple grape varieties can be profiled, giving a cumulative smoke taint risk assessment for varieties planted in different proportions if required. Risk profiles associated with different future weather scenarios can also be calculated. ‘A temperature off-set is included to enable individual vineyards to adjust for the temperature difference between their location and the weather station. Growers can also enter into STAR their current season phenological observations for a chosen vineyard, which assists the model to fine-tune the risk profile,’ Ward said. For further information about STAR, contact Glynn Ward, glynn.ward@agric. wa.gov.au
Wine industry events website launched The National Wine Extension and Innovation Network has launched the Grape and Wine Events website, www. grapeandwineevents.com.au, to provide industry with a one-stop shop about what’s on, where and when.
The website provides information about free and paid events, how to register for the event and who to speak to for further information. Finding out what's on is easy. You can search by your region, the event name or date and all events that match your criteria
come up. Or you can simply browse the entire list or events calendar. For further information, contact Con Simos, AWRI Group Manager – Industry Development and Support, email email@example.com or telephone (08) 8313 6600.
R & D at Wor k
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Rootstock review will help identify future research opportunities GWRDC recently commissioned John Whiting, of John Whiting Viticulture, to conduct an external review of rootstock breeding and associated research and development in the viticulture and wine industry. A cross-section of industry representatives, including growers and nursery operators, and researchers in Australia and internationally were consulted to examine six main components of rootstock use, covering aspects of germplasm, nursery production, selection and management, research and development, breeding and information management. Other related issues included the performance of major selection traits associated with salinity, low water supply, potassium uptake, vegetative growth, grape and wine quality and the propagation of grafted vines. The review also aimed to provide a summary of industry attitudes to rootstock breeding, and evaluate the current use of rootstocks in Australia, noting developments since the last comprehensive review undertaken in 1994. In addition, the review assessed the relevance and significance of the current CSIRO Plant Industry rootstock breeding program. While some grapegrowing regions in Australia are planted entirely on rootstocks, overall, Australia has had a low adoption rate compared with around 70% of vineyards planted to rootstocks worldwide. ‘Winegrape growers in many other Australian regions only considered rootstocks as useful for pest-related problems and could not justify paying the additional cost for grafted vines,’ Whiting reported.
‘In more recent times attitudes have begun to change, with many growers identifying the advantages of rootstocks for non pest-related issues and being prepared to pay the cost for good quality grafted vines. It takes about one extra year to pay back the additional investment in rootstocks, without factoring in potential improvements in yield and quality,’ he wrote. Other important feedback from growers said that many believe future plantings will include progressive replanting of existing vineyards, rather than establishing new green-field sites. Nematode build-up is expected to drive the replanting efforts, as well as the removal of under-performing blocks, changes to scion varieties and clones, and generational change through improvements in irrigation, trellises and production techniques. The outcomes of Whiting’s review will assist GWRDC to identify research gaps in this area, and determine the most valuable potential investments in future projects relating to grapevine rootstocks. The report suggests three areas for any future R&D investment into rootstocks by GWRDC, namely: • developing rapid screening techniques to select rootstocks with appropriate characteristics and, where gaps in rootstock performance are identified, undertake introductions or targeted breeding to address those gaps. maintaining rootstock (and scion) source vines as ‘high health status’ and ensuring that the status is maintained through to the purchaser of the planting material • ensuring relevant field evaluation information is available to assist in the selection of rootstocks for vineyard plantings
‘Current economic conditions have constrained wide-spread replanting but it is expected that there will be an increased need for replanting over the next 10 or more years. As replanting increases, the sector needs to be ready with an appropriate selection of rootstocks that are highquality, healthy planting material,’ said GWRDC Chair, the Hon Rory McEwen. ‘However, any proposed future investment by GWRDC in grapevine rootstocks would need to be considered against potential investments in other areas to ensure the best possible return on investment for our levy payers,’ Mr McEwen said.
The outcomes of a recent rootstock review will greatly assist GWRDC to identify critical research gaps and determine the most valuable future projects.
Dip into stream of wastewater information A wealth of information about winery wastewater management is available to grape and wine producers on GWRDC’s website, at www.gwrdc.com.au/www GWRDC recognised the wine sector’s need for knowledge about managing and recycling winery wastewater and commissioned research, including the projects undertaken by Dr Anu Kumar
w w w.g w r d c .c om . au
of CSIRO. Communications projects were developed to integrate and share information about improved wastewater management and water reuse. Contained within the brochures, reports and other resources available in PDF from the web page is information about winery wastewater treatment, recycling the treated water in vineyards and using
other sources of recycled water. The winery wastewater resources kit contains a user-friendly electronic library of reports, fact sheets, case studies and spreadsheet calculators. Access the kit from the web page, or download it as a ZIP file to save onto a computer for immediate use.
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People in Research Anu Kumar Environmental steward helps clean up Australian winery wastewater Over the past decade, Dr Anupama (Anu) Kumar, principal research scientist at CSIRO in Adelaide, has focussed her research on the characterisation of winery wastewater from different sources, identified key performance indicators and assessed the effect of land-based applications of wastewater. Born and raised in India, Kumar says her inspiration for a career in environmental health came from ‘wanting to make a difference and be environmentally responsible’. In the 1990s, Kumar took the opportunity to complete her PhD qualification at Macquarie University in Sydney and at the Centre for Ecotoxicology, part of the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation. She graduated in 1996. In 1997, Kumar moved to Adelaide to take up a teaching position at the University of South Australia. ‘I really enjoyed teaching, but I was still keen to undertake new scientific challenges. In 2002, I joined CSIRO, a career change that has provided me with many opportunities to work in multidisciplinary research teams. All of my work to date has been focussed on environmental sustainability,’ Kumar said. A post-doctoral fellowship working on a project to assist Filipino scientists manage pesticide contamination led to a project in
Ground Floor, Industry House cnr Botanic & Hackney Roads Adelaide SA 5000 PO Box 610, Kent Town SA 5071 Telephone ( 08) 8273 0500 Facsimile (08) 8373 6608 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.gwrdc.com.au Disclaimer: The Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation in publishing this newsletter is engaged in disseminating information, not rendering professional advice or services. The GWRDC expressly disclaims any form of liability to any person in respect of anything done or omitted to be done that is based on the whole or any part of the contents of this newsletter.
CSIRO principal research scientist Dr Anu Kumar has focussed her research career on environmental sustainability, with special applications in managing winery wastewater.
the rice-growing areas of NSW. From there, Kumar realised that the growing viticulture industry in Australia required active engagement to address environmental impact and waste management issues. ‘My first GWRDC-funded project in 2002 was to determine the terrestrial and aquatic ecological effects of winery wastewater on ecosystem health, in order to establish the safe limits for winery waste discharge. This was a project that led to more questions than answers,’ Kumar said. The management of winery wastewater is a complex problem with no single best solution, Kumar says. At that time, as now, considerable pressure was being placed on irrigators and agricultural producers to improve water-use efficiency and better utilise alternative water supplies, such as storm water and recycled wastewaters for irrigation purposes. Through active collaboration with the wine industry and with further GWRDC funding, Kumar undertook another project in 2007 to provide an integrated ‘systems approach’ to sustainable wastewater management for wineries across Australia. ‘The practice of irrigation of pastures, woodlots and grapevines with treated
recycled winery wastewater and land treatment of recycled winery wastewater is becoming more common as a means to treat, dispose or recycle wastewater,’ Kumar said. During 10 years of research, Kumar has observed the adaptation of industry policy towards a ‘reduce and reuse’ approach to winery wastewater through seeking to improve the environment. She notes there has been a concerted effort to extend the technical knowledge and tools to industry. Currently, Kumar’s research focus remains on recycled winery wastewater quality improvement for irrigation reuse, which she says is a keystone to the wine sector’s environmental sustainability. This involves working in cooperation with wineries in the Barossa and McLaren Vale, as well as the research centres, on the reuse of minimally-treated wastewater and the long-term impacts of using recycled water on soils, crops (including vines) and wine quality. Also, Kumar is leading another GWRDCfunded project, working in collaboration with AWRI senior engineer Karl Forsyth. A series of case studies is being produced to promote wide-scale integration of cleaner production practices in the Australian wine sector. The intention is to identify a large number of technologies and methods that can be used to streamline, reduce, reuse and recycle winery wastewater. ‘The research outcomes will contribute to the long-term protection of natural resources, reduce the Australian wine sector’s environmental footprint and reduce greenhouse gas generation. The project will contribute to a more sustainable industry covering wineries of all sizes, which will in turn benefit the broader community. The reuse of wastewater due to general water scarcity will have a positive impact on grape, crop and pasture production, and is a positive marketing opportunity,’ Kumar said. ‘The Australian wine sector has been proactive in promoting environmental stewardship over the past decade. We should leverage from the knowledge and skills within the wine industry by identifying regional champions who are passionate about maintaining and promoting the clean and green image of the sector,’ Kumar said.
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Crop forcing improves winegrape quality in warm climates Information gleaned from a ‘crop forcing’ vineyard trial in Fresno, California, US shows good promise for improving winegrape quality from the San Joaquin Valley and other warm climates by managing vines to shift the grape-ripening period from hot summer months to cooler months later in the growing season. This article was previously published in Wines & Vines (US), August 2012. Jon Tourney
At the 14 August Fresno State Grape Day presented by the California State University, Fresno, Department of Viticulture and Enology, CSUF viticulture professor Dr. Sanliang Gu provided an update about a crop-forcing trial in a Cabernet Sauvignon block of the campus vineyard. Cabernet clusters on control vines that developed under normal season conditions had completed veraison and were within two weeks of harvest. In contrast, crop-forced (CF) vines in the same rows had clusters of small green berries that likely will be harvested in November. In recent years CSUF viticultural research has focused on methods to improve winegrape quality to enhance the demand for—and reputation and prices of—San Joaquin Valley grapes. More than 60% of California’s winegrape production comes from warmer regions such as the San Joaquin Valley, however this represents just 25% of the state’s crop value. Temperature is one of the most important factors influencing grape development and quality such as development of phenolic compounds, colour and acidity. As Gu explained, “In many of the world’s grapegrowing regions, the vines go into dormancy about the time of, or just after, harvest. Here in Fresno, when we typically harvest the vines still go for two to three more
months of the growing season before they go into dormancy.” Grapes in Fresno typically ripen in July and August, when daily average low and high temperatures range from 68° to 98°F (July) and 66° to 97°F. (August). In contrast, October average temperatures range from 53° to 80°F. Gu said with CF, the flowering to veraison period is shorter, occurring during the warmer summer months. But most importantly, the ripening period is longer, with veraison to harvest shifted into the cooler months from September to November. CF takes advantage of grapevine physiology by which a vine can bear fruit more than once per year if the compound buds are forced out of dormancy. Gu has been conducting trials since 2009. Recently, Gu reported on the successful trial outcomes regarding methods for vine management and timing of crop forcing; he also provided grape quality and chemistry data from the 2011 harvest comparing CF fruit with control fruit. In 2011, CF shifted veraison from July 25 to Sept. 26, and harvest from Sept. 1 to Nov. 18. CF fruit had smaller berries, lower pH and higher titratable acidity (TA) at veraison and at harvest compared with control fruit. CF fruit at harvest had lower Brix and pH, but higher TA and malic acid as well as higher amounts of skin anthocyanins, tannins and total
phenolics than the control fruit. Gu noted that overall yields are lower for CF fruit—6-6.5 tons per acre compared to an average of 7.5 tons per acre for control fruit. He believes an average of 5-6 tons per acre would be a good range for CF fruit to achieve good quality parameters.
Fine tuning CF management During the first two years of trials in 2009 and 2010, a range of crop-forcing periods was studied in which vines were stripped post-bloom at intervals as short as every seven days from May through July. CF in May was still too early for significant quality improvement. Waiting until July was too late, as one year green berries were damaged by frost in early December. Gu has concluded that CF during June is the best time to achieve favorable conditions for ripening and quality. In 2011, shoots were hedged and first growth clusters were removed June 24, about six weeks post-bloom. Trials in the initial years also examined different degrees of vine hedging and stripping ranging from six to two nodes per cane. The best treatment for the Cabernet trial appears to be hedging growing shoots to six nodes per cane and removing summer laterals, leaves and primary clusters. Another issue is nitrogen (N) management for CF vines to maintain vine vigor and yield. Trials in
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Clusters of crop-forced Cabernet Sauvignon have small green berries in August and likely will not be harvested until November, in contrast to control vine clusters in the same row that have completed veraison and are within two weeks of harvest. www.winebiz.com.au
October 2012 – Issue 585
Avoid another rotten season For many wine producers, latent botrytis infection is a threat to every vineyard every year, and the crop is most vulnerable at 80% capfall. Luckily, that’s also when the best treatment available is at its most effective. Teldor 500 SC Fungicide is the best in its class at preventing botrytis developing and protecting the premium quality of your fruit. Bad things can happen to those who wait, so use Teldor to make sure the rot can’t set in.
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grapegrowing 2011 indicate that N applications through the drip system timed before and after CF at proper intervals can prevent N deficiency in CF vines and maintain vigor. “Vine transpiration temporarily stops when the vine is stripped, but this hasn’t been a problem, because our growing season is so long,” Gu said. Gu and his research crew also are working on one of the main management challenges, finding a mechanical or spray method to hedge and remove clusters for CF, so it can be economically viable in larger acreage vineyards. Gu believes Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the easiest and most suitable varieties for CF. He is also conducting trials with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel, and this year began testing Sangiovese and Pinot Noir. He said, “I’m excited about working with Pinot Noir this year, and so far it’s looking beautiful. With CF, I’m hoping Pinot Noir can be grown more in the San Joaquin Valley.” He observed that CF should be used with mature vines that have adequate vigor to support the process. Based on his research to date, Gu said, “Our worries about adequate vine fruitfulness are gone, and yield is not a concern, as we are getting consistent yields year-to-year
from CF vines. All we’re doing is just physically shifting the fruit development and ripening to later in the season.” The CF research at CSUF also has other potential benefits beyond the San Joaquin Valley: • It could enable expansion of winegrape production, and the planting of more cultivars, in regions considered too warm for quality winegrape production. • It could be a tool to adapt to global climate change. • It can be used to produce a crop after primary clusters are destroyed by spring frost, if the remaining growing season is long enough. • It could aid in grapevine breeding by synchronizing bloom and development periods between cultivars that grow at different seasonal rates. • It can be used in campus and teaching vineyards to enable students to see all stages of vine and fruit development at the same time, or in a short period, in the same vineyard.
Kennedy provides department update The biennial Fresno State Grape Day featured updates from faculty and student research projects as well as tours of department facilities including the
Fresno State Winery, the wine sensory lab and the V.E. Petrucci Library that houses research and information materials available for viticulture and enology students and the wine and grape industry. Department chair Dr. Jim Kennedy updated attendees on the V&E department and program that has grown in enrollment to 200 undergraduate students. The department now has approval to begin a formal internship program with class credit to enable all students to gain industry experience by the time they graduate. “For those of you in the industry who would like to mentor students, our internship program now offers more opportunities to partner with our program,” Kennedy said. In spite of budget constraints, the department has received approval and is conducting searches for two new faculty positions—a winegrape viticulturist and a wine chemist. In addition, Fresno State Winery has an opening for a business and marketing specialist. Kennedy also said that the campus vineyards would begin a replanting process next year, starting with a 20-acre block. Vineyard redevelopment will provide new teaching opportunities with more winegrape varieties and a new raisin vineyard.
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5:07 PM October 14/09/12 2012 – Issue 585
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ask the Timing of harvest is a key decision for winemakers When is the best time to harvest?
The best time to harvest is when the compositional characteristics of the fruit are optimal for winemaking purposes, i.e. sugar, acid, colour, flavour and aroma, to produce a desired style of wine for the market. This is usually achieved by regular sampling and testing of grapes in the weeks leading up to harvest. Why do the results from vineyard sampling near harvest sometimes differ to results in winery tanks?
The differences in observed and actual results might be a result of the natural variation that exists within the vineyard. Developing a robust sampling strategy that is able to best deal with this natural variation is critical to ensure that growers and winemakers are able to capture their ideal grape compositional parameters. What causes variation in the vineyard?
Variation in a vineyard may be either temporal (season-to-season or throughout a season) or spatial (vine-to-vine within a vineyard, bunch-to-bunch within a vine, or berry to berry within a bunch). Spatial variability might enter a vineyard through differences in soil type, crop load, vine size, cluster position and exposure to sunlight (Wolpert et al. 1980). How can I check my vineyard variability?
There have been significant advances over the past decade in the development of precision viticultural tools that have helped to characterise and quantify the extent of this variation within vineyards through the use of yield monitoring on harvesters, plant cell density (PCD), electromagnetic (EM) induction sensing, etc. (Proffitt et al. 2006). This knowledge, if available, has been important in determining where samples need to be collected to account for this inherent spatial variation in
vineyards. Even with this information, deciding what to sample (berries or bunches) and how many positions across the vineyard, or ‘harvest unit’, to sample is critical in determining overall accuracy and how representative this sample is. This requires some knowledge of statistics, and in particular the term ‘variation’ and its quantification. One way of quantifying variation is to express the standard deviation of a population as a percentage of the mean of the population. This is termed the per cent coefficient of variation (%CV), and is a useful way of expressing the variation observed in a population. In practical terms, if a single vineyard was sampled in 10 locations and sugar or o Brix levels measured in each of the 10 samples, the following numbers might be observed:
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38 Grapegrower & Winemaker
This concept of variation is important, because there might be a situation where the mean is the same for two separate vineyards, but the variation can be greater in one compared to the other. To illustrate this, the two vineyards might have a mean sugar concentration of 23.3 oBrix, but one has a range of 21.1 – 24.8 (as per above; %CV=3.4), and the other has a range of, say, 19.6 – 27.0 (%CV=6.8)—imagine the potential berry flavour profiles differences between these two vineyards. Perhaps green negative characters persist in the lower oBrix berries, resulting in a delay of harvest until there is an absence of those negative flavour compounds. However, this would occur at a much higher berry ripeness than a less variable, more uniform, population. Also logically, when there is a more variable population,
In this case, the mean (described as the sum of all the measurements divided by the total number of measurements recorded) would be 23.3, the range (lowest to highest number) would be 22.1 – 24.8, the standard deviation would be 0.79 and the %CV would be (0.79/23.3 x 100 = 3.4%). In real terms, if the whole vineyard were to be harvested at this time (before the grapes were able to ripen any more) there is a 95% chance that it will end up in the winery tank at a oBrix level somewhere between 21.7 and 24.8. But in practice, growers and winemakers collect samples from 10 random locations, combine them into an individual pooled sample, process and measure once, ending up with a single figure of around 23.3, but with no idea of the variation around this result.
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Why do we need to know the variation?
sampling is undertaken more intensively to have the same level of confidence in the mean result than for a less variable population. What is better to sample: berries or bunches?
The key take home message is that it probably doesn’t matter! Berry to berry variation is typically higher than that observed among bunches. As long as the selected sample is truly representative, with no bias introduced, and sampling approximately twice as many berries as bunches, the end result should be very similar. This is something that can be tested and refined by growers or winemakers by conducting similar experiments to determine the levels of variation within their particular sampling and testing protocols.
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October 2012 – Issue 585
Do the differences extend to other compositional parameters such as pH, TA, anthocyanins, etc.?
While much of the discussion to date has focused on sugar (oBrix), it is important to note that other compositional parameters (e.g. pH, titratable acidity, anthocyanins, etc.) differ in their variance within the same vineyard. Compositional parameters such as titratable acidity and anthocyanin (colour) concentration in red wine grapes are much more variable than that observed in either oBrix or juice pH. Table 1 shows a summary of the typical between-vine variance (%CV) for each key wine grape compositional parameter and an example of a mean and typical standard deviation. The %CVs listed in Table 1 were remarkably consistent across a range of different winegrape varieties and across a range of different growing regions and seasons. The lower %CVs observed in both oBrix and pH compared to those observed in TA, colour and phenolics suggests that separate sampling strategies may need to be considered depending on which compositional parameters are being measured. Another important trend to note is that these compositional attributes tended to become less variable as ripening advanced, indicating that grapes tend to become more uniform as ripening advances. This makes physiological sense as the accumulation of sugar and phenolic compounds, and the loss of organic acids tends to slow down as ripening advances.
Table 1. The typical vine-to-vine variability in winegrape compositional parameters at harvest, with an example of a mean and the standard deviation. These results are representative of various research work conducted throughout southeastern Australia over the past 20 years for the varieties Chardonnay, Semillon, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache.. Compositional parameter
Colour (mg/g FW)
Phenolics (au/g FW)
limits to industry practitioners. When sampling for oBrix, in the absence of having detailed precision viticultural spatial data, a 20-bunch sample can provide an estimate of the mean for most vineyards (>84% of vineyards) with a 3.5% level of doubt (or error) or less. In sampling for total anthocyanins, a 40-bunch sample can provide an estimate of the mean for most vineyards (>84% of vineyards) with a 7.6% level of doubt (or error) or less. Finally, although appropriate sampling strategies can be designed to obtain an accurate estimate of compositional attributes for a particular parcel of grapes, post-harvest changes might also occur in compositional parameters such as pH, TA and anthocyanins, and these need to be recognised in So what does this all mean for practical sampling in the vineyard? understanding where errors occur between observed and actual The development of a sampling strategy based on a detailed results in the real world (Krstic et al. 2001 and Krstic 2003). understanding of the variability in each winegrape Contact Mark Krstic at the AWRI for further information (email: compositional parameter is critical in delivering practical D P 1 5 6 0 _ G W_ 1 3 0 x 1 8 5 . p d f Pa ge 1 1 8 / 0 7 / 1 2 , 3 : 2 2 PM email@example.com) and accurate estimates within particular confidence and error
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October 2012 – Issue 585
Grapegrower & Winemaker
Biopest delivers powdery mildew control for De Bortoli When De Bortoli’s Yarra Valley viticulturist Rob Sutherland was looking for an effective chemical to control powdery Products mildew, he turned to Biopest, a uniquely & services formulated paraffinic oil recently registered for this purpose in Australia and also certified by BFA for use in organic vineyards. The extensive De Bortoli vineyards in the Yarra Valley incorporate many principles of biological farming, including use of best practice harm minimisation chemicals and placing a high emphasis on soil management techniques using aerobic compost, compost tea and cover crops that benefit soil structure and nutrient sustainability. De Bortoli’s had a vineyard block that was south facing and steep with limited access during wet Spring weather. With carry over powdery mildew spores from the previous season they used Biopest to control and provide protection during the difficult growing season of 2010/2011 with great success. A total of seven Biopest sprays were applied at a rate of 1% (water rates commenced at 250L/ha and finished at 750L/ha), starting on 8 September and finishing at bunch closure on 23 December. A range of other sprays were applied for powdery control after bunch closure as Biopest is only registered for use up to bunch closure.
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Successful powdery mildew control on Pinot Noir grapes grown at the DeBortoli Yarra Valley vineyard, December 2010.
Minor levels of powdery mildew were detected at harvest, mainly on leaves and the odd berry but all grapes were accepted by the winery with no adverse effects from either powdery mildew or the Biopest itself, which was a particularly good result given the challenging growing conditions of the 2010/11 season. Biopest now forms an integral part of the preventative fungicide program at De Bortoli, with three to four Biopest sprays applied early in the season. “Biopest fits perfectly with our strategy of using environmentally friendly chemicals while ensuring control of a difficult fungal disease. As an added bonus Biopest also assists with the control of any mealybug or vine scale we have in the vineyard,” Sutherland said. For further information on Biopest contact SACOA’s viticulture specialist Robert Hayes on 0488 355 335.
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Chinese to spend $2 billion buying drinks online by 2014 ONLINE ALCOHOL SALES in China will reach $2 billion (or 13 billion RMB) by 2014, a new study by Beijing-based Analysys International suggests. According to the website TechinAsia, Analysys International is predicting growth of 200 per cent from 2011 by the end of this year. Currently, online sales account for just 1 per cent share of drink sales across the country. Although the overall figure for 2014 may sound hefty, it actually only breaks down as around $3 per person per year and is spread between generalist online retailers such as Tmall to online grocers like Walmart-controlled Yihaodian to extremely specialised websites such as Jiumei and Jiuxian. The fact the latter two start-up websites recently managed to secure major funding ($15.8 and $32 million respectively) is an indicator of growth expectations placed in the two companies. Smaller specialist firms such as the wine-only retailer Moooton and VIP sales site TasteV are also expected to get a look in. La Journée Vinicole
October 2012 – Issue 585
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Understanding vineyard chemicals Understanding agrochemicals is essential for ensuring optimal efficacy and cost effectiveness of vineyard spray programs. Trevor Wicks & David Braybrook
are frequently mistakenly referred The market is well supplied with Fungicide mobility to as “systemics”. Most have limited numerous products, ranging from the Fungicides can basically be grouped systemic movement inside the plant. older chemistry now supplied under into two categories; those that move into Some only diffuse into the waxy many generic brands to many newer plant tissue and those that sit on the cuticle of a plant while others move products. Despite numerous field days surface. through several layers of cells from and chemical presentations, growers are Surface acting or contact fungicides one side of the leaf to the other and are often uncertain on how to best utilize the remain on the plant surface after known as “translaminar” fungicides. available chemistry to meet their own application and only move with Few fungicides are true systemics (the needs. Differences in regional and site redistribution by rain, irrigation or dew. phosphonates being the exception) pressure, seasonal variation in weather They can be washed off sprayed tissue moving up and down in the water conditions, changing requirements to and must be reapplied to protect new and food conducting plant tissue. As meet quality specifications, MRL issues, growth that develops after a previous they are absorbed into plant tissue, OHS issues, impacts on beneficial application. These include fungicides most penetrant fungicides are rain fast species, requirements for adjuvants, cost such as copper and wettable sulphur within a few hours of application. – all influence decisions. and spray coverage is critical with these Some fungicides also produce a High disease pressure over the fungicides. They can also be referred to gaseous phase that controls or suppresses past two seasons has highlighted the as “residuals” as after application some a disease beyond the site of the initial importance of understanding the way products remain on the plant surface as deposit. Sulphur and some of the DMI that the chemicals work against the target visual residues. and strobilurin fungicides are known to pest or disease as well as their potential Penetrant fungicides are absorbed 3 1 1 6 4 CRT 2 0 1 2 _ v 1 - 1 Du . p d f Pa ge 1 1 7 / 0 7 / 1 2 , 1 : 5 1 PM have this activity. movement within and around the vine. into plant tissue after application and
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42 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 – Issue 585
Mode of action
Fungicide application timing
Fungicides are classified on how the active ingredient affects the fungal pathogen, also referred to as the “activity group”. Knowledge of this is particularly important in developing sound fungicide resistance management strategies. Fungicides differ in the way they kill or inhibit the growth of fungal pathogens and few fungicides control all the main grape diseases. Some fungicides will act on only one site within the fungal pathway. For example, fungicides such as azoxystrobin and pyraclostrobin belong to the strobilurin group, that control both powdery and downy mildews by inhibiting fungal respiration, resulting in inhibition of spore germination and fungal growth. Other fungicides attack multi-sites, inhibiting essential enzyme functions within the fungus and are known as group “M” fungicides. Examples include coppers, sulphur, captan, chlorothalonil, dithianon and mancozeb.
Fungicides should be used either as protectants or as early curatives. Protectant or pre-infection fungicides need to be applied before a pathogen infects and basically form a surface barrier to prevent new infections. If used after an infection has occurred these fungicides may reduce the rate of spread provided the spray intervals ensure coverage of all susceptible plant tissue is maintained. Early-post infection (early curative) fungicides will move into the plant tissue and stop the infection provided they are applied soon after infection occurs ie. 2-3 days after infection and before any disease symptoms are observed. Ideally they should still be applied before an infection occurs. Many growers mistakenly consider these fungicides to be “eradicants” which means they can “kill-off” disease after symptoms have developed. Applying fungicides when high levels of disease exist will also promote the development of resistant populations. Over fifty different fungicides are listed in the recent AWRI “Dog book” of agrochemicals registered for use in Australian viticulture. This list probably doubles when the different formulations from various manufacturers are considered. Growers need to consider not just the price of the product but understand how these products differ and their modes of action to decide on the most appropriate product to use.
Fungicide resistance Fungicide resistance has become an increasing issue in many vineyards after two seasons of high disease pressure. Examples are strains of downy mildew resistant to metalaxyl and related fungicides that have developed in some vineyards in the Hunter Valley and more recently in Victoria. Strains of powdery mildew resistant to the strobilurins have also recently been detected in a few vineyards in SA, Vic and WA. Other cases of resistance in Australian vineyards include strains of Botrytis resistant to iprodione and strains of powdery mildew resistant to the DMI fungicides.
Trevor Wicks, formerly SARDI, Plant Research Centre, Hartley Grove, Urrbrae, South Australia. David Braybrook, Research & Development Solutions, Wonga Park, Victoria.
Resistance management strategies The development of resistance is difficult to predict so strategies to delay its development should be put in place before the problem arises. Some fungicides are more prone to the development of resistance than others and these are the ones that are often co-formulated or recommended for use as a tank mix with another fungicide of a different activity group. To minimise selection pressure on the pathogen population, “at risk” fungicides should be used sparingly. The development of powdery mildew strains resistant to the strobilurin fungicides is of concern as resistance to this fungicide group can occur suddenly. Overseas work has shown that increasing the rate applied does not control the resistant strains. As the strobilurins are still providing effective control of downy mildew in Australia, when used they should always be tank mixed with the registered rate of another powdery mildew fungicide.
Formulation Most fungicide products consist of a mixture of the active ingredient, inert materials, surfactants and other materials to assist with mixing in the spray tank and spreading and sticking onto the plant surface. Some fungicides are produced in different formulations and in all cases the proportion of the active ingredient is shown on the label. Formulations such as wettable powders (WP) consist of finely ground solid particles of the active ingredient with inert materials and spreaders. In recent years many fungicides have been formulated as dispersible granules (DG) to reduce the level of dust often associated with wettable powders. Liquid formulations consist of emulsified concentrates (EC) which are oil based liquids, suspoemulsions (SE) which are suspended solids in an emulsion droplet, flowables (F) and suspension concentrates (SC) which are finely ground dry active ingredients suspended in water.
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October 2012 – Issue 585
Grapegrower & Winemaker
Improved vineyard biosecurity and hygiene practices John Whiting
Summary The Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has been leading the rezoning of some Victorian Phylloxera Risk Zone (PRZ) areas into a Phylloxera Exclusion Zone (PEZ). The process commenced in the early 2000s in the Henty wine region and the Wimmera area of western Victoria and has since expanded to cover the wine regions of the Grampians, Pyrenees, Bendigo, Heathcote, Geelong, Macedon Ranges and Sunbury. The rezoning process has followed national protocols, where vine roots in all vineyards in an area are inspected for the presence of phylloxera. In addition, details on biosecurity and hygiene practices are collected from the grape producer prior to the inspection, to determine the potential risk of phylloxera being moved into the vineyard. If found to be free of phylloxera over a three-year period, the area can be nominated for PEZ status.
Method The questions provided to producers were taken from the standard survey form produced under the National Phylloxera Management Protocol (http:// www.gwrdc.com.au/webdata/resources/ files/ Appendix1questionnaire.pdf) and covered practices described for other industries in Biosecurity Manuals developed with Plant Health Australia. The vineyard hygiene and biosecurity information was also collected at the end of the three-year survey period to determine what changes had occurred. In recent years, additional questions were provided to producers to gain more information on vineyard hygiene and biosecurity practices, but this report is limited to questions that were asked across all the surveys. Data were analysed using a chisquared test between paired comparisons and a Fisher’s exact test to determine significance levels.
Results and discussion Over the past eight years, useable information was provided from 542 out of 886 vineyards in the survey areas, a response rate of 61.2%. With a response rate below 80%, the data only reflects the practices of the respondents
44 Grapegrower & Winemaker
and cannot be extended to represent the practices of the total population of producers. Some of the hygiene and biosecurity practices surveyed relate to the regulations for the movement of host materials into a PEZ, but most are additional practices that producers should consider implementing as part of standard management practices (much like occupational health and safety practices). The surveys have shown that the imposition of regulations associated with a PEZ were initially only likely to affect a relatively small proportion of producers (between 5 and 15%, depending on the region). The regions that indicated 15% of producers were moving host materials into the PEZ were those surveyed early in the process. With the progressive expansion of the previous Western PEZ, many of the source vineyards will now be part of the new Victorian PEZ, further reducing the number of producers affected by the regulations. The mean vineyard size was 8.4 hectares but many of the vineyards were small, with 43% covering less than 2 hectares. The vineyards were a mix of commercial vineyard/wineries, vineyards only and hobby vineyards and the majority were established in the 1996-2000 period. The vineyard hygiene and biosecurity practices surveyed have been grouped according to the main activities conducted in a vineyard (Table 1).
Vineyard management During the rezoning process, there has been increased adoption of the use of vineyard biosecurity signage, the use of footbaths and the provision of washdown areas (Table 1). Signage has been provided by DPI and other sources and is common in commercial vineyards, but less so with hobby vineyards. Footbaths are made available in about one-third of the vineyards, but observations suggest they are not always used to optimum effect. For example, growers do not always use freshly made chlorine solutions and boots may not be soaked for the required 30 seconds. The installation of wash-down areas was quite low www.winebiz.com.au
at the start of the rezoning process and, whilst a significant increase has occurred, less than 20% of respondents currently use them. There has been no change in access to vineyards, most likely because fencing and gates are usually put in place during vineyard establishment and are unlikely to be modified later.
Off-farm labour The use of off-farm labour heightens the biosecurity risk, particularly if the labourers work on other vineyards (potential to t ransfer pests and diseases) and there are no cleaning procedures in place for labour entering a vineyard (no disinfestation of pests and diseases that happen to be carried by labourers). Between the surveys, there was a significant decrease in the use of off-farm labour but no change in the proportion of the labour that had worked on other vineyards (Table 1). The latter result relates to the continued use of labour teams which often operate out of central areas, e.g. Melbourne, and which can cover a range of vineyard regions, including those in PRZs, PEZs and Phylloxera Infested Zones (PIZs). Producers need to be aware that labour teams could be working in a PIZ one day and in a PRZ or PEZ the following day and implement procedures to minimise the potential transfer of phylloxera. There has been a significant increase in the use of cleaning and disinfestation procedures for off-farm labour working in vineyards. However, producers only needed to use one practice to be counted in this category and one practice is usually not enough to ensure maximum biosecurity protection. The most common ‘cleaning’ practices were footbaths, the cleaning of equipment (e.g. secateurs) and asking labour teams to wear clean clothing when commencing work in a vineyard.
Machinery and equipment Machinery and equipment used in vineyards are capable of picking up phylloxera and other pests and diseases and creating a biosecurity risk if moved to another vineyard in an uncleaned state. The surveys found there was a October 2012 – Issue 585
Table 1. Changes in adoption of vineyard hygiene practices during phylloxera rezoning in Victoria. Start of rezoning (first survey)
End of rezoning (second survey)
Impact on biosecurity
Vineyard management Restrict access to vineyard
Have a wash-down area
Use off-farm labour
Labour worked on other vineyards
Use cleaning protocols with labour
Steam clean equipment
Don’t clean equipment
Machinery and equipment
Contract mechanical harvesters Use contract harvesters
Steam clean harvesters
Heat room harvesters
Don’t clean harvesters
Training Undertaken some phylloxera training
*NS = not significant. ^ (+) = positive i.e. improved biosecurity, (-) = negative (see discussion)
significant decrease in the sharing of vineyard equipment, which reduces the risk of spreading pests and diseases (Table 1). However, responses did not show any significant change in the two cleaning practices evaluated. There was a decrease in the proportion of respondents that didn’t know if machinery and equipment had been cleaned, but it was not significant. This indicates there is room for improving the adoption of cleaning practices.
Contract mechanical harvesters Mechanical harvesters have been shown to carry phylloxera and have been implicated in its spread in the past. Other pests and diseases (e.g. mealybug and vine scale) could also potentially be spread, so practices to clean and disinfest harvesters are appropriate. Questions were only asked about contract harvesting, as it was assumed producers with private harvesters only operated on their own properties and that contract harvesters operating over large areas were a greater risk for spreading pests and diseases. There was a significant decrease in the use of contract mechanical harvesters between the two surveys (Table 1), which helps reduce the biosecurity risk. However, there were no significant changes in the proportion of respondents using several cleaning and disinfestation techniques. The questionnaires were provided to grape producers rather than the contractors, so in some cases the producer may not have been aware of the cleaning and disinfestation practices being used by the contractor. Some of the contract harvesters only move within one phylloxera zone, so there are no regulatory obligations to disinfest machines. In order to minimise the risk of spreading any unwanted pest or disease, it would be preferable to have all harvesters undergo some form of disinfestation; however disinfestation procedures aren’t readily available for many pests and diseases. October 2012 – Issue 585
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
Spring is a particularly busy time in the vineyard with many tasks needing to happen at once. Canopy management is critical for meeting fruit quality parameters and ensuring effective disease management. Increased sunlight penetration and airflow reduces disease pressure and open canopies assist with spray coverage. Canopy management often relies on people working in the foliage, lifting wires, shoot thinning and de-suckering. Running all these tasks simultaneously can be challenging with a number of OH&S issues to consider including vineyard re-entry periods following spray applications. The re-entry period can vary greatly between products and should be considered when choosing which products to spray when. REVUS for example allows for vineyard re-entry once the spray has dried, whereas other products can require substantially longer (e.g. up to a 7 days or more).
Product labels and spray diaries require that the amount of product applied is calculated using the “dilute water volume” concept, which will be expressed as a product rate per 100L water. It is very important that this is not confused with how much water the spray unit actually happens to put out. “dilute water volume” is purely theoretical and used to measure of the size of the canopy which determines the amount of product required per ha (or per 100 metre of vine row). Vines put on a substantial amount of growth during Spring and it is important to adjust the “dilute water volume” accordingly during this period to ensure sufficient product is applied. This period is critical for effective powdery and downy mildew control for the season. Whilst more is not necessarily better, less is not necessarily cheaper if disease gets established - so it is important to get it right. Sulphur (THIOVIT JET) exhibits a linear dose response curve, meaning more is better in this instance. This can be easily used to your advantage. Choosing the highest label rate early in the season when disease pressure is high and matching this to the correct “dilute water volume” will help ensure optimal powdery mildew control. It is reasonable to expect that 600g/100L of THIOVIT JET will be more effective at keeping powdery mildew in check than 200g/100L. An effective spray programme early in the season greatly reduces the chance of seeing a “post-holiday” powdery infection, which means a more enjoyable festive period and good start to the New Year.
Training Training of producers and staff in the recognition and treatment of pests and diseases is an important element of biosecurity. In the first survey, producers were asked to indicate if they had ever undertaken any such training, but in the second survey they were asked about training during the period of the project. The results indicated a decrease in the proportion who had undertaken training (Table 1), but this may reflect the short time period for capturing the data compared with the first survey which had no time frame. Most of the ‘training’ was via presentations at local grower meetings, but a few indicated that they attended more formal training offered through DPI.
Conclusions Little information is available about the adoption of biosecurity practices in the grape industries. The surveys reported here have demonstrated improvements in vineyard hygiene practices that contribute to improved vineyard biosecurity. Most of the adoption of hygiene practices has been on a voluntary basis, as there are no regulations controlling biosecurity practices within a phylloxera management zone and a relatively low proportion of producers move phylloxera host materials into a PEZ. The demonstrated improvements in some hygiene and biosecurity practices have occurred over the relatively short period of the project. Other practices have revealed no significant change and, where adoption rates are low, provide a basis for activities to engender further change. Some practices that were only evaluated in recent surveys, such as recording visitors to vineyards and providing information to vineyard visitors, had low adoption rates, so they should also be included in any program of activities to improve biosecurity practices. It is unreasonable to expect 100% adoption of hygiene practices because some will not be applicable in certain situations. For example, the use of wash-down bays only applies to producers that move machinery and equipment onto their property and will not be required by a self-contained enterprise where no machinery or equipment moves onto the property. The information gathered during this project will also be a useful benchmark for any future biosecurity surveys. The grape industries are yet to produce a Biosecurity Manual as many other industries have done in conjunction with Plant Health Australia. Thus there is no concise publication for grape producers to refer to which details appropriate biosecurity practices and provides guidelines on how to set them up. As a guide producers can access Biosecurity Manuals for other industries at http://www.planthealthaustralia.com.au/go/phau/ biosecurity.
Acknowledgements Greg King, DPI Victoria, assisted with providing information from the initial questionnaire to producers. Sincere thanks are extended to all producers that contributed to the surveys. John Whiting, DPI Victoria, PO Box 3100 Bendigo DC Vic. 3554
Richard Lillingstone B.Ag.Sc. M.Oen Technical Lead - Viticulture Syngenta Crop Protection email@example.com - 0407 868 697 For details, please call the Syngenta technical product advice line on 1800 067 108 or visit www.syngenta.com.au 46 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 – Issue 585
A burning issue: the impact of vineyard exposure to smoke Researchers take a closer look at smoke taint in grapes through wildfire events and prescribed burnoffs, and the biochemical and physiological responses of grapevines to such smoke exposure. Kerry Wilkinson and Renata Ristic
SINCE 2003, VINEYARD exposure to smoke has been reported in wine regions in Canberra, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, following either bushfires or prescribed burning. The Black Saturday bushfires, which caused extensive and prolonged smoke exposure to vineyards in several Victorian wine regions, provide a recent example. Wines made from smoke-affected grapes can exhibit varying degrees of smoky, ashy characters, but when the intensity of smoke-related sensory attributes becomes objectionable, the resulting decline in product quality has significant financial implications for grape and wine producers. In 2009, the University of Adelaide established a new research project specifically aimed at addressing the ongoing issue of vineyard smoke exposure and smoke tainted grapes and wine. The research was funded as an Australian Research Council Linkage Project, a scheme which supports research and development projects which are undertaken collaboratively between higher education researchers and industry. Four industry partners participated in the project; the Yalumba Wine Company, Brown Brothers, Treasury Wine Estates and the Department of Primary Industries and Resources of South Australia jointly invested the required cash contribution. Yalumba also contributed in-kind support, which comprised access to vineyards for the purpose of field trials, the provision of fruit for winemaking trials, and technical expertise in viticulture and winemaking. The combined value of these contributions was leveraged against ARC grant funding, on a dollar for dollar basis, to finance the three-year project. The research team, led by Dr Kerry Wilkinson, included Dr Renata Ristic, Professor Stephen Tyerman and Dr Sigfredo Fuentes from the University of Adelaide, Dr Daniel Cozzolino from the Australian Wine Research Institute, and Louisa Rose, chief winemaker from Yalumba Wine Company. The project sought to better understand the biochemical and physiological responses of grapevines to smoke exposure and, most importantly, to offer the Australian wine industry practical solutions to mitigate the incidence or severity of smoke taint. This was achieved through a series of experimental trials conducted in the vineyard, the winery and the laboratory, the aims and outcomes of which are described below. The vineyard and winemaking trials necessitated the application of smoke to grapevines in the field. This was achieved using purpose-built smoke tents similar to those used in the landmark research of Dr Kristen Kennison (Department of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Western Australia). Smoke was generated from the combustion of dry straw and pumped into smoke tents which enclosed the grapevines. A range of viticultural, physiological, chemical and sensory measurements were then applied to grapevines, fruit and/or wines, to investigate the impact of grapevine smoke exposure. Defoliation of vines does not mitigate the severity of smoke exposure. The influence of leaf removal before and after grapevine exposure to smoke, on the accumulation of smokederived volatile compounds in grapes and wine, and therefore October 2012 – Issue 585
the suitability of this viticultural management practice as an amelioration method, was evaluated. Leaf removal had a beneficial effect on wine aroma, enhancing the intensity of ‘fruit’ attributes, which resulted in reduced (albeit still noticeable) ‘smoke’ characters in wines corresponding to grapevines subjected to leaf removal after smoke exposure, as compared to wines deriving from grapevines exposed to smoke, but not subjected to leaf removal. In contrast, leaf removal prior to smoke exposure did not mitigate the severity of smoke taint. Overall, the limited benefits resulting from defoliation postsmoke exposure were not considered sufficient to warrant the implementation of such a practice as a strategy for managing smoke exposure.
Grape variety influences susceptibility A varietal trial involving seven different grape varieties, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, was conducted to investigate
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
grapegrowing Grape maturity influences the perceptibility of smoke taint
the physiological and biochemical responses of different varieties to smoke exposure. A range of viticultural and physiological measurements were performed on control and smokeaffected grapevines, including infrared thermography, near-infrared spectroscopy, porometry, water potential and canopy/bunch characterisation. Additionally, cell viability of fruit was assessed at maturity. Following smoke exposure, the photosynthetic capacity of grapevines was reduced, due to stomatal closure. Whereas most varieties recovered within a few days, smoke-affected Merlot grapevines took approximately two weeks to fully recover. Berry development and sugar accumulation were also monitored, but no significant differences were observed between smoked and control grapevines for any variety. However, significant differences were observed in the chemical composition and sensory profiles of wines made from control and smoke-affected fruit. Results indicated that wines made from fruit harvested from smoke-affected Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Gris vines were most heavily tainted, suggesting these varieties may be more susceptible to smoke exposure.
A maturity trial was subsequently conducted to investigate the effect of berry ripeness on the development of smoke taint in wine, using four grape varieties, Shiraz, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Varietal and maturity differences were observed, with regards to chemical and sensory data. Differences in the concentration of volatile esters, alcohols and acids associated with fruit aroma and flavour were observed between varieties, but also between control and smoke-affected wines, indicating the intensity of fruit attributes may influence the perceived intensity of smoke taint. The results also highlight the effect of skin contact time on the extent of smoke taint; i.e. red wines were found to be more heavily tainted than white wines.
Winemaking techniques influence the intensity of smoke taint in wine A series of trials were undertaken to investigate the effect of different winemaking techniques on the concentration of smoke indicator compounds (i.e. volatile phenols) and the perceived intensity of smoke taint
in wine. Control and smoke-affected grapes were fermented according to two different winemaking techniques: a typical red wine style method and a rosé style method (involving low temperature handling and processing of grapes and reduced skin contact time). The duration of skin contact was found to significantly influence the concentration of smoke derived volatile phenols and the intensity of smoke-related sensory attributes. This was attributed to reduced opportunity for extraction of smoke components from grape skins and explains the differences observed in the degree of smoke tainting for red and white wines in the maturity trial. Smoke-affected Shiraz grapes were also fermented with eight different yeast strains which affected the intensity of smoke, albeit to a lesser extent. The addition of oak chips and tannin during fermentation of smoke-affected grapes enhanced the complexity of wines, thereby reducing the perception of smoke taint.
Commercial fining agents can mitigate the severity of smoke taint Winemaking trials were undertaken to evaluate the capacity of a range of commercial fining agents to ameliorate
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smoke taint in wine. Two products were found to significantly reduce the levels of smoke derived volatile phenols and smoke related sensory attributes in smoke-affected wines, with little or no impact on wine colour: an activated carbon (FPS, Vason, Verona, Italy) and a synthetic mineral (BA/S-00-1A, Life Material Technologies Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand). Of these, the activated carbon was most effective, reducing volatile phenol levels by approximately 50-70%, at the addition rates employed. Sensory analysis indicated perceptible differences between treated and untreated wines; i.e., a reduction in the intensity of ‘smoke’ and ‘cold ash’ aromas, ‘smoky’ flavour and ‘ashy’ aftertaste, and enhanced ‘fruit’ aroma and flavour. However, glycoconjugate forms of guaiacol remained after fining treatment, suggesting that the taint might return slowly with time, and that treated wines may thus have reduced aging potential.
Mid-infrared spectroscopy offers a rapid analytical tool Following a bushfire, there is often increased demand for chemical analysis of fruit and juice samples suspected of
being smoke tainted. In some instances, winemakers reported waiting up to four weeks for the results of commercial analyses to be returned, by which time fruit had been harvested and processed. This highlights a specific need for rapid analytical methods for detecting smoke taint, to give winemakers the opportunity to make informed processing decisions, within the time constraints of vintage. UV/Vis/NIR/MIR spect roscopic techniques were evaluated as rapid methods of smoke taint analysis. Spectroscopic analyses were applied to experimental (control and smokeaffected) wines produced in the first two years of the project, as well as smoke-affected wines sourced from industry and commercial (i.e. untainted) wines. MIR spectroscopy, combined with principal component analysis and linear discriminant analysis, showed potential as a rapid analytical technique for screening smoke tainted wines, with 60 to 70% of wines being correctly classified. Classification rates were affected by the extent of smoke taint, as well as qualitative differences in wine composition due to grape variety and oak maturation, but refinement of the predictive model based on a larger,
broader sample set, should improve classification rates.
Conclusion The Australian wine industry is worth approximately $A2.0 billion in domestic sales and $A3.0 billion in international sales, but the recurrence of bushfires near wine regions threatens the financial viability of grapegrowers and winemakers. The outcomes of this research project will now enable grapegrowers and winemakers to better assess the extent to which smoke-affected fruit is tainted, so that more informed decisions can be made regarding whether or not to harvest fruit, and how to process fruit and wine to mitigate the severity of smoke taint. Kerry Wilkinson and Renata Ristic, The University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Waite Campus, Glen Osmond, South Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (08) 8313 7360.
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
Bayer’s The Grower’s Edge: Helping Grape Growers get ahead In a competitive market place, having a technical or information edge can mean the difference between a high quality fruitful crop and a potential disaster. Bayer’s ‘The Grower’s Edge’ online service keeps you on the front foot with industry and disease pressure information to support you in the success you strive for. Launched in 2009, The Grower’s Edge is evolving to become a dynamic source of information for the wider industry.
information, The Grower’s Edge allows all relevant information to be kept close at hand and easily accessible for quick and accurate referencing.
Keeping you on the front foot The hub of The Grower’s Edge is a personalised website (PURL). Within this, you can source weather information from a selection of nearby weather stations. It is the only online tool that uses live weather data to give you real time alerts for powdery mildew and downy mildew threats. Delivered via email and SMS, you are notified when conditions are conducive to costly disease threats within your local area. These alerts put you in the best position to act before the threat of disease becomes a potential disaster for your crop. The Grower’s Edge can also be a good tool for agronomists to share with their customers when disease pressures are rife. According to Hugh Armstrong, Bayer CropScience Market Development Manager – Viticulture, the disease models and alerts are one of the most popular features of The Grower’s Edge. “They have even been responsible for saving crops in some situations.”
The weather module includes a daily forecast and observations that are updated every hour from your selected weather station
Informing your plans Featuring a comprehensive product database of Bayer viticulture products, The Grower’s Edge also gives you a recommended timing and usage guide. Knowing what product to use and when ensures you have the best possible crop protection plan that suits your conditions and growth stage. Martin Gransden, Viticulturist – Cumulus Estate Wines stated, “As a large operation we see The Grower’s Edge as another tool in our toolbox. I find it particularly useful from a cross-referencing point of view.” A compliant spray diary function allows you to input your spray data, save it and print entries straight from the site. The Grower’s Edge also features the only online compatibility database within the viticulture segment. Acting as another touchpoint for
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Rewarding your efforts At Bayer, we know that gaining the edge in a competitive market goes beyond sourcing information solely on crop protection products. The Grower’s Edge provides regular industry and business-related information through newsletters, peer-to-peer sharing and tangible rewards. “Through The Grower’s Edge, Bayer aims to bring solutions; quality expertise and information, not trinkets”, Darryl Stretton, Bayer CropScience Product Manager – Viticulture said. Learning opportunities such as study tours and one-on-one time with industry experts are some of the recent rewards offered to members. There are more exclusive rewards planned in the coming months.
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We recently organised a competition open only to members of The Grower’s Edge to join a study tour to Bundaberg, Queensland. As Martin Gransden explained, “The opportunity to extend our knowledge of practices and issues within the larger horticulture industry allows us to be more innovative in our vineyard management approach and gives us a competitive edge over our competitors. The tour was a huge success and highlighted that the issues viticulturists face are common across all other perennial horticultural businesses.”
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pre-vintage planning Planning provides for a successful harvest Gerri Nelligan
Christmas is over, New Year is all partied out, so it’s time to think about harvesting, right? Wrong. Because for most producers, preparation for harvest starts months before the first grapes start ripening.
Good staffing the key Matt Connell’s harvest preparation starts in around September and, as both winemaker and general manager at New Zealand’s Central Otago producer Akarua Wines, it’s not surprising that barrels are the first task on the list. “We start looking at barrels for the coming year, at how much fruit we’re going to have and whether we need to buy more. That gets me thinking about pruning and setting up for the next season,” Connell said. “The vineyard is an important element for us, and we set it up to make sure the fruit that comes of each particular block is going to produce the wine we want. So we have a management meeting and plan cropping levels, look at how many barrels we’ll need for the wine we’re going to produce and finally how many staff we’ll need for vintage. And straight away we start advertising.” While they have eight fulltime vineyard workers of their own, Connell describes staffing as “a major element of our vintage planning”. “It’s all handpicked, so we hire a lot of casuals over vintage. We rely on a core bunch of regulars from the
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local community and because we’re predominately Pinot Noir we also try to get people from the northern hemisphere with the right experience,” he said. “We get a lot of backpackers around Central Otago as well, and work with a local recruitment company, but some years it’s still a nightmare when labour is really tight. “And we’re ultra-premium, so we need people with attention to detail. I don’t hire people without experience in the winery either. It makes it easier and keeps my permanent staff happy too, because they fit into the team better. Everyone is happier and that makes for a better vintage – personality conflicts can make it really difficult. “And if people are happy in the winery and the vineyard, they spread the word that Akarua is a great place and we continue to get better staff – which definitely helps make better wine.” Equipment is another major part of Connell’s planning, from tractors and bins to major infrastructure. “If we need new equipment we need to sort out when it’s going to be put into the winery. Tanks or refrigeration you want in before Christmas, well in advance of the harvest,” he said. “We make sparkling wine as well and start a bit earlier for that, which gives us a chance to test all the gear and get the processes going properly. That works really well for us. “That said, you can do the best planning in the world – and you have to – but then the unforeseen happens, like your refrigeration goes down. That’s where having really good staff is key. You need jacks of all trades; a group of people able to deal with those situations, rather than relying on one or two key people.”
Liaising with the winemakers
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52 Grapegrower & Winemaker
As owner-manager of boutique ACT producer Wily Trout, Robert Bruce has also learned that forward planning is imperative to a smooth harvest. “You’ve got to start planning early. We’ve got around 16 hectares and five varieties, so there’s quite a bit to co-ordinate,” he said. “I’d generally start in early January, organising the contractor. We used to do our own but our machine got old, so rather than replace it we thought we’d try a contractor. It worked really well and we’ve continued to use the same person, www.winebiz.com.au
who is very good. “Cost-wise it’s difficult to tell with machine picking. You’ve got the capital cost of your own machine in comparison to using a contractor – but he’s got more up to date machinery. And the machinery you’re using is important. We’ve known our contractor for quite a while and know their gear, but we adjust it a lot to ensure the fruit’s coming off easily. It’s good equipment so as long as its being adjusted properly to the job.” Maintenance on equipment like picking bins, trailers and tractors is next on the check list, along with thorough cleaning. “Cleanliness is the most important factor in preparing equipment for harvest,” Bruce said. “It has to work properly, of course, but we’re dealing with a food product so we’re really meticulous with cleaning. Bins, harvester, etc, all have to be cleaned properly before harvest, even though they were cleaned properly after the last one. You’ve got to make sure it’s squeaky clean.” Then it’s on to that constant – the harvesting crew. “We rope the family in, so we just have to organise them to be there. The more notice you give them, the more they can plan around it,” Bruce said. “It really boils down to people who know how to handle the tractor – teaching someone new never works.” As harvest looms closer, Bruce says the focus changes to co-ordination with the winery. “We’re liaising with the winemakers continually as to what we’re going to produce, the styles and the best time to pick for flavour,” he said. “From there it’s a continual process of keeping everyone in the loop: we’ll prime the contractor and the family that it’s probably going to be X date, then when it’s all go we just do it. It’s basically a day for each variety – or a night for the whites if it’s hot. “Because we’re small, it’s not a complex co-ordinating process – and when you’ve done it for 10 years or so, it gets to be routine. You know what steps to take and what order to take them in, and it all comes together quite well.”
Considering the practicalities Gil Rogers wears three hats at the Barossa Valley High Eden-based Gatt Wines – October 2012 – Issue 585
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Gil Rogers and his right-hand person, Sonya Day, checking harvested grapes in Gatt Wine’s Siegersdorf, Barossa vineyard.
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viticulturist, vineyard manager and production manager. With an annual crush of 200-300 tonnes and vineyards 30kms apart to deal with, that means his harvest planning starts way in advance. “You start thinking about harvest the day after you finish the previous year, reviewing your vintage plan while it’s fresh in your mind and making notes for the next year,” he said. “Post-fruit set you have an indication of the volume you’re going to have and the variety mix for the individual blocks, and you try to get everything organised by January. “Then post-veraison you reassess crop levels, variety mix, do tentative picking dates based on the baume flavour parameters and liaise with the winery about fermentation space – you may have to start earlier on one variety so you don’t get fruit that’s too ripe waiting for space. Once that’s set you can start thinking about the practicalities.” Rogers always has the most critical factor – the harvesting contractor – arranged well in advance, so he can move on to the nuts and bolts jobs. “You check that tractors and trailers are serviced and registered, ensure you have enough bins cleaned and sterilised, have weighbridge facilities checked, and book your handpicking gang to suit the tonnages your winery requires on any given day,” he said. “At least a month before vintage, you should have all your gear in place, all staff in place, and all procedures and OH&S requirements in place – in time to start maturity testing and flavour assessment. Then you sit on your bum until the winemaker tells you to start picking.” While Gatt Wines’ fruit is about 50/50 hand and machine picked, and the latter is all contracted, Rogers says they’re particular about the machinery used. “We go and watch the machines working, check them over and meet with the operators before we contract. We spend a lot of time explaining what we want: you don’t spend 12 months growing quality grapes to have a machine come and mess them up,” he said. “The machines they use are of critical importance. We’re currently using a Gregoire tractor tow machine and are delighted with the results: it’s exceptionally gentle on both the vines and grapes. But most of the current machines are pretty good and it really comes down to the skill of the operator – their ability to assess the variety, trellis and spread of fruit, and then set the machine up accordingly. That’s what makes a great operator. “You also need skilled people on the ground. We pick 320 tonnes of fruit into half-tonne bins, and for every bin we know the variety, the row it’s from, the weight, temperature, picking time and the baume test before it leaves the property. We use Ezy-Sis as a total winery/vineyard computer recording program and we can follow a half-tonne of fruit all the way through to the barrel. “That’s how you get quality. Our wines sell at $25-$250 a bottle and we can track each right back through to 100m of individual fruit row. That’s really important when you’re talking high-end wines, and also saves a lot of time if you have a problem.”
Setting up for vintage begins at pruning
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54 Grapegrower & Winemaker
For Andrew McIntosh, viticulturist & partner at Yarra Valley producer Helen’s Hill Estate, preparation for harvesting starts with pruning. “We’re cool climate and high-end product, so the set up for our coming vintage is critical and pruning is the first step. Using data and experience from the previous season(s), we set up cropping levels appropriate for each variety via bud numbers for spur or cane pruning, depending on production requirements and product quality,” he said. www.winebiz.com.au
October 2012 – Issue 585
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Yarra Valley producer Helen’s Hill Estate uses a new Pellenc 8590 harvester, which has simplified pre-harvest planning.
“Quality is the primary driver, with fine-tuning for volume outcome, and we’re after low tonnage, so follow through the season with ongoing shoot and later on fruit thinning. Three to four weeks following bud burst we shoot thin to achieve balanced crop levels and, from bunch numbers and size, guestimate the crop size. Then preveraison we may do even more crop level management with fruit thinning.” From there, McIntosh says, the process moves to the winemaker’s decision on timing of harvest, as his new Pellenc 8590 harvester has negated much of his previous pre-harvest planning. “Most of the planning issues we used to have over the harvest are gone: you don’t have all the hassle of organising pickers, you can pick day or night – and when you want to,” he said. “This year, for example, we had three inches of rain forecast for the end of the week. Normally we would have had to start picking at the beginning of the week, as it would have taken four to five days, but we were able to pick that in about 12 hours. So we were able to wait
and optimise the fruit quality – for less $1000 in active costs. “And most importantly, the quality is at least as good as handpicking. We’ve done a comparison between the two and proved that the machine produces an incredibly clean, wholesome product. “One of the main factors is the picking head, which is mobile and so moves to maintain centrality to the cordon. The result is an even action that’s incredibly gentle on the vines and fruit, and gives you undamaged whole berries. “The ‘smart system’ head allows the operator on-the-go adjustment of picking parameters of speed, pinch, acceleration rate, amplitude and frequency, and these fine-tuning components allow you to adjust the picking rate and intensity and achieve optimum use of the onboard SP (selective process separation system). The machine will even regulate the speed, say going up a hill, to maintain the same level of production – and will do that automatically. It’s a superb piece of machinery and brilliant technology.” McIntosh said having the machine ready to go when the fruit is ready
provides unprecedented flexibility, again allowing for maximisation of ripening and quality. The fact that it works 30-35% faster than conventional machine harvesters is a bonus. “This year was the most stress-free harvest we’ve ever had: the machine was quick, effective – both cost and time-wise – and the product was equal to handpicking. Together with the flexibility in timing, that enabled us to achieve exceptional quality in our fruit. “So while it was expensive, it’s absolutely worth it. And while its primary role is harvesting, it’s a multifunction tractor which can be used with a pruner, sprayer, and wirelifter, so you can use your capital throughout the year. Given that we can pick for about $70-$80 tonne, compared with handpicking at $400-$600 tonne, in about four years the machine will pay for itself. That’s a pretty good return on investment. “It’s one of the few machines I’ve ever bought which has exceeded all expectation, and we are never going back to handpicking again.”
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56 Grapegrower & Winemaker
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Trapping helps eradicate Indian mynas from vineyards The Murrumbateman community is working hard to eliminate Indian mynas, with concerns the problem pest could pose a similar threat to the starling. Kellie Arbuckle
THEY’RE NOT THE vicious gulls or crows that attack in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller Bird The Birds, but the Indian control myna is not a force to be reckoned with. First introduced to Australia in 1892 to control insect pests in Melbourne, the Indian myna is an aggressive bird that has since spread throughout southeastern Australia, particularly in Canberra and the Murrumbateman, in NSW, and Victoria’s Yarra Valley. It is now estimated that there are some 250 Indian Mynas per square kilometre in the urban area of Canberra, alone. This is a 150,000 feral population, outcompeting our native birds and arboreal mammals for nesting sites, preying on eggs, chicks and mammal young. Known for its yellow beak and chocolate brown body, the Indian myna is today classified as one of the world’s most invasive pests. But it’s not just nesting hollows where these nasty birds are having an impact. Over the past decade, Indian mynas have wreaked havoc in vineyards during the ripening season, causing tremendous damage to grapes and resulting in monetary losses to vignerons. In an effort to remove Indian mynas from vineyards, the Murrumbateman
Landcare Group (MLG) has been setting up traps in vineyards in the ripening season, from March to April. Jacqui Stol is the chair of the MLG and has been involved in the trapping program since its inception in 2006. She says the program is having a tremendous effect on reducing Indian myna numbers in vineyards. “The vignerons in the Murrumbateman district have been delighted that the number of Indian mynas attacking their grapes over the 2012 ripening season were considerably reduced from the year before. It would seem they are getting on top of the problem as, while they trapped over 100 birds in 2010-11, they only caught 25 in the 2011-12 season,” Stol said. Stol admits the numbers are modest when compared with starlings which, in 2009 alone, were thought to be the prime cause of $120 million lost in the wine and grape industry by pest birds. She says the Indian myna has the potential to cause the same extent of damage as the starling. “In 2000, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature declared the Indian myna among 100 of the world’s most invasive species, so the loss to growers could be very significant.” She says early intervention of the pest bird is critical in ensuring numbers don’t get out of control.
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“The Indian myna is an emerging pest, but they’re not yet at hugely high impact numbers, hence the reason we’re trying to get onto them early,” Stol said. “The problem with pest animals is that by the time they’re impacting on your grapes, they’re out of control (numbers wise). That’s the problem with starlings – you can never completely eradicate them because they’ve skyrocketed in numbers. “So the aim of the trapping program is that you can keep numbers to manageable levels so they don’t become a real cost and burden to the growers.” According to Bill Handke, president of Canberra Indian Myna Action Group, traps are the most effective way of removing Indian mynas from vineyards. “Mynas don’t scare easy, so any of the tactics that grapegrowers might use to try and scare off birds, such as cockies, just won’t work; after once or twice, they work out it’s just a bluff,” Handke said. The traps have two feeding chambers, one with a tunnel for the myna to walk through, where it is attracted by bait (such as dog food). The myna is then gassed with carbon monoxide. More at: www.indianmynaaction.org.au.
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58 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 – Issue 585
Annual review – Organic Focus Vineyard Project Running selected New Zealand vineyards on a half-organic, halfconventional basis has allowed for an interesting comparison of the costs, benefits and disadvantages of each method. Max Marriott
Background The Organic Focus Vineyard Project began in 2011 with the selection of three conventional, (non-organic) established vineyards across the prominent New Zealand winegrowing regions of Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and Central Otago. The three selected vineyards were from Mission Estate, Wither Hills and Gibbston Valley Wines, respectively. The project requires that half of each of these vineyards is run organically, with the remaining half run under the existing conventional regime. Under a three-year timeline (the time needed to convert and gain organic certification), all observations, results, financials and practices are made
conditions and sites, there is an opportunity to assess the viability of organic regimes across quite varied areas. The project intends to help those already interested in organics, by providing step-by-step information courtesy of the vineyard managers, but also attempts to convince those on the fence (or even the anti-organic) of the virtues and benefits of adopting an organic regime.
Financials and observations completely transparent and available to all interested parties, with numerous field days and an annual review that collates all of the information for comparison. The aim of the project is to make organic viticultural practices more accessible to the interested grower and debunk (or not) some of the myths surrounding higher financial and capital costs. This is not so much a scientific experiment as a real life, real time, practical excursion into the vineyards to provide some answers – and questions – for further research. By looking at three vineyards across three different wine regions, with markedly different
A week ahead of the Romeo Bragato Conference, vineyard managers and committee members of the Organic Focus Vineyard Project assembled in Marlborough for the annual review. The forum provided everyone with an opportunity to discuss the results and observations of the first growing season, the systems in place, the challenges and the financial costings. The interpretation of the financial costings, especially the comparisons between the organic and conventional systems – and the reasons for these differences – was more important than the actual figures themselves. The Mission Estate vineyard in Hawkes Bay was actually the vineyard
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October 2012 – Issue 585
Grapegrower & Winemaker
grapegrowing used in the pilot programme, which was conducted as a kind of feasibility study before the Organic Focus Vineyard Project began in its current form. Thus, unlike the Marlborough and Central Otago vineyards, there were no establishment costs associated with the Hawkes Bay vineyard for year one of the project. Establishment costs primarily take into account those expenses associated with conversion to an organic regime, namely preparation for undervine cultivation, which includes raising irrigation, staking young vines and staking irrigation risers/ valves (to trigger the sensor arm on the undervine cultivator blade). All vineyards involved in the project independently decided to use undervine cultivation, as opposed to mowing or other forms of weed suppression. Because there were no establishment costs associated with the Mission Estate vineyard, it provided a unique opportunity to compare the comparable running costs between an organic and conventional system. The differences were very minimal. In fact, organic management ended up costing less per hectare, at an average of $8,078/ha versus $8,299/ha for conventional. The cost differences occurred in two areas; pest and disease management cost less for the organic regime, with repairs and maintenance costs higher. The repairs and maintenance costs were actually higher for the organic regimes across all three regional sites, usually as a result of damage caused by the undervine weeder implement. It’s thought that as the project continues, these costs will diminish
60 Grapegrower & Winemaker
as awareness and experience with the equipment grows. As expected for the first year of conversion, the costs for the organic regimes were higher for both the Marlborough and Central Otago vineyards. For both vineyards, establishment costs comprised a significant proportion of the differential. At Wither Hills, in Marlborough, due to issues with the vigour of an organic Pinot Noir block (on a low-vigour rootstock), a substantial amount of extra labour was involved in canopy and crop management, which contributed to a skew
in the costings data. However, as a result, handharvesting was significantly cheaper for this block. Weed and pest control was substantially dearer for both organic blocks, attributed to greater incurred costs from undervine cultivation. The average cost per hectare for the organic blocks was $9,295/ha, versus $6,504/ha for the conventional blocks. In Central Otago, the School House vineyard of Gibbston Valley Wines experienced a similar results trend to Marlborough, though less exaggerated. Establishment costs were higher, for the reasons already highlighted, which also includes the ongoing task of rock removal; with every undervine weeding pass, the blade and disc invariably kick out all manner of rocks and stones. Again, with time, the severity diminishes, but it’s a requirement to follow up any undervine weeding pass with a rock pass to minimise damage to mowing equipment. Irrigation and trellis repairs were greater in the organic system – consistent with the other two vineyards – with weed and pest control also higher for the organic system. The canopy spray regime was identical for both organic and conventional blocks, both in terms of what was sprayed and the costings. The higher cost for the organic weed and pest control was attributed partly to the inter-row cultivation (for sowing cover crops), but also to the higher per hectare rate for undervine cultivation when compared to weed spraying. The average cost per hectare for the organic blocks was $12,092/ha, versus $11,104/ha for the conventional blocks. www.organicfocusvineyard.com October 2012 – Issue 585
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Electrostatic sprayer hits the spot A vineyard sprayer that works on the premise of ‘opposites attract’ has been given the thumbs up by one of Australia’s most respected winemakers. COMMONLY USED FOR table grapes in Chile and the US, the on-target sprayer is now gaining Vineyard technology traction in the Australian winegrape industry. It features a spray nozzle that uses an electrical charge to create a fine mist of positively charged droplets which are attracted to the negatively charged surfaces of the plant, resulting in thorough coverage. Brian Croser, winemaker at Tapanappa Wines, has been comparing the machine against his air blaster for the past eight years, after a prototype was made specifically for his 1.5m vineyard rows. He says the advantage of the on-target sprayer is that it provides coverage in hard-to-reach places at small volumes. “What attracted me to this is that it’s so targeted and doesn’t require high volumes of spray material,” said Croser, who bought the machine in 2004. “We tested it against the air blaster using fluorescent dye and found it gave a much more thorough coverage, whereas with the air blaster, I struggled to get the spray on the backside of the bunches and the underside of the leaves.”
Potential for huge water savings Australasian distributor Greg Marshall, who designed the prototype for Croser,
interest is growing and he is planning to hold more demos this month throughout Victoria and South Australia.
So how exactly does it work?
The on-target sprayer is best suited to vineyards with narrow rows.
says the on-target sprayer is capable of savings of up to 90 per cent on water usage. “A conventional sprayer wastes more than 40 per cent of chemicals due to runoff and drift. Drops are large and they drip off the plant,” Marshall said. “With on-target sprayers, charged particles wrap around crops like magnets, providing full coverage and reducing drift. The small droplet size and electrical attraction nearly eliminates runoff.” As a result of increased coverage, repeat applications are reduced, leading to savings in money, diesel, labour and chemicals, making them an idea choice for growers looking for a sustainable option. They are also less noisy due to a rotary lobe blower, making them socially acceptable. Marshall, who has been providing demonstrations of the machine in Australia over the past season, says
“Chemical is fed through a jet and as it leaves the jet, it is sprayed out through the nozzle where it picks up the air. As it leaves the air, it picks up an electrical charge which is positively charged. “Because positive particles repel each other, when it hits the plant, it provides an even coating because the droplets don’t hit each other. They don’t form larger droplets that fall to the ground – they hit the plant, which is naturally earthed.” The on-target sprayer ranges in price according to type and size. For a single row, the machine would require about five spray nozzles per head (of which there are four), and would cost about $28,000. For sloping blocks where you can fit the machine to the back of a tractor or for the smaller vineyard (about 10ha), the cost is about $40,000 – the most popular. Croser says the machine would be best suited to vineyards with narrow rows. The only limitation, he says, is the need to ensure nozzles are clean and still working properly because they are so fine. “It’s not high maintenance, it’s just a task that needs to be attended to. We clean the nozzles thoroughly after every spray,” Croser said.
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October 2012 – Issue 585
Demand remains high for vineyard data services Vineyard managers discover that the information available and the number of devices or machinery that can be controlled remotely is almost limitless. Starting out from very humble beginnings, back in 2004, after initially working from a small garage workshop in his home, Dr Dave Rankin, the founder and managing director of Christchurch high tech company Indigo Systems has set about revolutionising the New Zealand viticulture sector. The company provides access to real-time environmental information direct from the field, as well as having web-based control of remote irrigation systems and other critical machinery. The range of information, technology and support services provided by Indigo Systems is changing the way vineyard managers operate and run their businesses. The ability to access realtime data gives viticultural managers to ability to make fast, accurate and effective decisions to enhance overall crop quality. At the heart of the Indigo technology is their longrange radio transmitters which
Another new Indigo system being installed, this time in Marlborough, to monitor vineyard water pressure and flowrate.
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
pre-vintage planning have been developed in-house after many years of development and testing. The advantage for their clients is that the radio system and data transmission operates on a free to air spectrum, so sending and receiving of data is free, unlike many of the other more common wireless communication services in the market. As the system is not reliant on cellular communications to transmit data, the Indigo technology is often deployed into remote and challenging geographic areas where the existing communications infrastructure is very limited. Dr Rankin and his team have set about establishing a number of regional wireless communication networks, or hubs, throughout regions of New Zealand, as well as Australia and the United States, enabling their clients to view critical information to enhance crop production. One such client who has been successfully using the Indigo’s technology and network infrastructure is Constellation Brands. Constellation Brands operates a number of vineyards, mainly in Marlborough and the Hawkes Bay, as well as having a large number of contract growers based throughout New Zealand. Constellation Brands South Island viticulture manager Peter Rogge said Indigo Systems was a key business partner of Constellation Group. “The benefits of the technology have had a big impact on the efficiency of our grapegrowing operations,” Rogge said. “Previously, much of the information that was gathered from the vineyard was a labour intensive process – now with the help of Indigo, the information is automatic and in real time. “We can now also view what is
happening at all of our sites and that of our contract growers throughout the country, making information sharing so much easier. “We’re keen to explore other ways that we can use their network to refine our business operations and improve productivity.” The wireless network is essentially a collection of radio transmitting devices which can both send and receive information. Each radio device establishes a communication link between other radios within the network to transmit information back to a central receiver, or collection point. The radio signals do not follow any set specific communication pathway back to the central base station. This ensures that the communication links are always open and the network is highly resilient with high levels of redundancy built in. A key feature of the Indigo network is its simplicity and the ability to expand the network as the clients business requirements change and evolve. Indigo Systems can provide anything from environmental monitoring, to pump automation and alarming, plant health, irrigation control and vehicle tracking for sprayers, mowers and harvesters. The information available and the number of devices or machinery that can be controlled remotely is almost limitless. Indigo Systems has experienced huge growth in the types of applications and the data that is transmitted over their network, which has seen their network footprint grow rapidly to cover more and more areas of rural New Zealand. Dr Rankin says the market demand for vineyard data services shows no signs of slowing down.
Cool Climate Shiraz Symposium ORANGE WILL PLAY host to this year’s National Cool Climate Shiraz Symposium later this month. The two-day event, to be held from 24-25 October at the NSW Department of Primary Industry’s training facility, aims to facilitate improvement in the viticulture and winemaking of cool climate Shiraz. The first day of the symposium will see a number of well-known winemakers and consultants provide presentations on various Shirazrelated topics, while day two will include a half-day tour of Orange Shiraz vineyards, from 600-900 metres elevation. Presenters include Peter Nixon from Dan Murphys, Tim Kirk from Clonakilla in Canberra, Nick Glaetzer from Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers in Tasmania, Dr Jim Hardie from Ecovinia, and Philip Shaw from Philip Shaw Wines. The Cool Climate Shiraz Symposium is the second of a series of varietal symposiums hosted by the Orange Region Vignerons’ Association, the first being the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Symposium.
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October 2012 – Issue 585
winemaking WineCloud provides future direction for winemakers
At a glance What is it?
Neil Scrimgeour and Eric Wilkes
TRADITIONALLY, WINEMAKING HAS always included analysis of grapes and wine at various stages in the winemaking process and producers use this information to help drive their winemaking decisions and ultimate wine style. Many of these attributes, measured in both the vineyard and the cellar, are generally measured using methods developed many years ago by the pioneers of the industry and their use has only changed marginally over time. Very rarely are new analytical measures adopted broadly, unless they are designed to tackle a particular problem or mitigate risk associated with fruit damage or wine degradation. The way this information is used by wine producers is extremely variable. In many cases, paper records are filled and filed away and never see the light of day again. A number of the larger and more sophisticated wineries use a variety of electronic systems and tools to capture and store this information. A robust approach would be to interrogate and compare data on a regular basis, ensuring that subsequent vintages are less troublesome and more informed decisions can be made. Another shortcoming of many production systems is that information gathered by producers is generally considered and analysed in isolation: grapes assessed in the vineyard for certain perceived characteristics; ferments evaluated for nutrient levels to ensure rapid and complete conversion of sugars; wine blends analysed for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and oxygen levels prior
to bottling. The real challenge with this information (and this is where the real power of the data lies) is in aggregating and linking these data together, so that key patterns, trends and impacts can be seen. Real intervention at an early stage of the process can then be used to guide (informed) winemaking decisions and achieve targeted outcomes, either in terms of wine style or efficient processing. For a number of years, The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) has been developing the concept of a sophisticated, multi-functional and multi-purpose tool that could be used by wine producers to harness this power and support modernday winemaking in a realistic and meaningful way. We call this vision The WineCloud. The WineCloud is a web-based platform that will contain a series of multi-functional process support and analysis tools, each designed to provide winemakers with additional capability and value in a distinct area or process. The first two modules to be made available through this platform are the AWRI’s Grape and Wine Portals.
Introducing the AWRI’s Grape Portal The AWRI Grape Portal utilises an extensive database and user-friendly interface to measure and compare a range of attributes in grape samples. It is a multipurpose tool that will allow producers to input, upload, analyse, interpret and securely store grape maturity data for more efficient monitoring and management of viticultural processes and improving
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The WineCloud is a web-based application that allows users to store, analyse and benchmark grape and wine attributes. It is a multi-purpose tool that will allow producers to track colour and phenolics data, as well as basic information collected on a regular basis in the vineyard or winery.
Why would I use it? The Grape Portal can be used to monitor maturity development in the vineyard, support more efficient management of viticultural processes and help improve logistics associated with harvesting time. The Wine Portal can be used to make real-time decisions on the winemaking process and as a means of achieving specific targeted style outcomes. It also allows producers to objectively access the impact of changes to the winemaking process.
What type of data can be uploaded? Producers can upload vineyard and winery data on tannins, phenolics, anthocyanins and pigmented tannins, as well as basic analytical information such as pH, TA, alcohol, Brix etc.
How can I start to use it? Access to the WineCloud is managed by the AWRI’s Commercial Services Team. There are a range of options available, depending on the anticipated level of use and number of modules selected. Contact them on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
Figure 1: The welcome screen for the new AWRI Grape Portal.
Frequency – No. samples in database
20 10 0
60 80 100 Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen (YAN) – g/L
Frequency – No. samples in user’s dataset
logistics associated with harvesting time and winery processing operations. It will also provide direct access to relevant context-sensitive information generated internally by the AWRI through research activities for all industry levy-payers. For those producers who wish to understand their most prized asset in greater detail, there is an optional component which allows users to generate and analyse their own colour, tannin and phenolics data in red grapes. This capability has been developed through the AWRI’s Industry Applications team, with a brand new rapid method involving UV-Vis measurement and application of complex algorithms to determine the level of anthocyanins, phenolics and tannins in the grape homogenates. These data can then be viewed in relation to standard grape maturity measures such as pH, TA and Brix. All of this is supported by a suite of graphical tools which allow grape maturity trending for multiple analytes, comparison of grape profiles and benchmarking of grape attributes against those at a similar stage of sugar maturity from other regions or vintages. The AWRI has developed the colour, tannin and phenolic measurement capability because levels of these attributes in red grapes are well acknowledged to be important in determining the perceived quality of the final wine product. A number of small-scale vineyard trials, conducted by the AWRI’s Tasmania Node, have highlighted the impact that soil type, clone, rootstock selection and weather patterns can have on colour, tannin and phenolics in red grapes during ripening. The ability to measure and easily compare these aspects from year to year during ripening could be used to manage the harvest period more effectively and to target a particular maturation window and phenolic profile in the grapes. It also makes the assessment of vineyard trials much easier
Figure 2: Benchmarking of yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN) levels in a user’s dataset against those found in samples from the same region.
as it allows the direct comparison of these important parameters and other commonly measured analytes. One particular study was carried out to determine the influence of five clones and four rootstock types on Pinot Noir maturation at a site in the Coal River Valley, Tasmania, in 2009 and 2010. Results showed that the choice of both clone and rootstock was important
for colour (anthocyanins) and tannin development in the grapes. The clone type had a more significant effect than rootstock on the rate of ripening and resultant phenolics within a particular vintage. The impact of rootstock selection varied with the vintage. This is just one example of the kind of information that can be generated simply and easily using the AWRI Grape Portal.
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October 2012 – Issue 585
O AK Perfection Since the beginning, Saury has operated on the basis that grain is the most important determinant of barrel quality. Today, the cooperage still applies this theory to each and every barrel, growing into a modern, efficient and quality focused cooperage while maintaining its status as a maker of the finest grain oak barrels in the world.
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12 11 10 9
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13 12 11 10
Rootstock effects on ripening
Figure 3: The effect of five different clone types and four rootstocks on ripening during 2009 and 2010.
The AWRI Wine Portal The AWRI Wine Portal has been available commercially (as the Tannin Portal) since its introduction in 2010. This was originally launched to provide winemakers with a simple and rapid method to access tannin, phenolic and colour information for red ferments and finished wines. In late 2011, the tool was extended to include additional measures (free anthocyanins and pigmented tannins) that provide insight into the colour stability of red wines over time. Users of the AWRI Wine Portal have benefited from the extensive database of wines that has been built up (currently over 10,000 samples), allowing them to benchmark the attributes of their wines against others by a combination of vintage, variety and region. Due to the rapid feedback that the tool can provide for winemakers, users are utilising the tool to make real-time decisions on the winemaking process and as a means
Principles of Wine Marketing
of achieving specific targeted style outcomes in their wines. It is also allowing producers to much more objectively access the impact of changes to fermentation methodology and other process modifications. To coincide with the release of the WineCloud, the AWRI has updated and refreshed the look and feel of the AWRI Wine Portal, to provide the same degree of functionality and the same user-friendly interface as the AWRI Grape Portal. This includes the ability to generate fermentation trends and compare profiles of individual wine blends, for colour and phenolic data, as well as basic winemaking analytical information, such as pH, TA, alcohol etc. An example of the capability of this tool is its use in a number of trials that have been undertaken in the last 18 months to identify key winemaking processes and variables that have the ability to impact on colour, tannin and phenolics in red wines and to quantify the extent of that impact. The data have highlighted the potential for some maceration techniques to be used to significantly influence resulting wine style and function. This is particularly important for development and retention of stable colour in the wines, especially in demanding vintages when the full potential of the fruit needs to be extracted to maintain winemaker and consumer expectations.
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68 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Figure 4: Comparative profiling of five key attributes across five wine samples.
October 2012 â€“ Issue 585
Pigmented tannin (AU)
Figure 5: The impact of various winemaking treatments on resultant stable (pigmented tannin) colour and unstable (free anthocyanins) colour in red wines. Extended maceration shows comparatively high levels of stable colour and low levels of unstable colour.
Future challenges Among the future challenges for winemaking in Australia is how to extract the most value from meaningful process information. If this can be achieved in a simple and rapid way, the full potential of the fruit can be harnessed for optimal outcomes in the wine. Wine producers should not underestimate the importance and value of process understanding and its role in
Figure 6: A screen shot from the dashboard of the newly designed AWRI Wine Portal.
allowing the winemaking to be controlled in a meaningful way to achieve targeted outcomes in wine style. Tools such as the WineCloud have an important role to play in supporting the generation of valuable data in realtime and allowing the patterns, trends and impacts to be discovered. Armed with extended knowledge of grape composition and the impact of different winemaking techniques, deficiencies or
desired attributes in fruit composition can realistically be addressed or harnessed for maximum impact. Those who are interested in accessing the WineCloud should contact the AWRI Commercial Services’ team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on (08) 8313 6600. Neil Scrimgeour, Eric Wilkes, The Australian Wine Research Institute, PO Box 197, Glen Osmond, SA 5064 Email: email@example.com
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Maurivin_2011_MAIN_7SEPT.indd October 2012 – Issue 585
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Making wine … or making a winery? Grapegrower & Winemaker talks to four winemakers to gauge their opinions on the value of utilising custom crushing facilities. Chris Herden
For the farmer who has plenty of grapes but no winemaking skills, or the winemaker who needs extra space to handle expanding production, using someone else’s winery facilities makes sound economic sense. The ‘custom crush’ option enables potential wine producers to engage in an industry where the cost of doing business continues to rise. “To establish a winery is a very costly exercise – it’s a preference we would prefer to avoid,” says Marty O’Flaherty from Rockbare Winemakers. Rockbare’s exclusive range of Chardonnay and Shiraz is processed at Project Wine (formerly the Langhorne Creek Winery), a state of the art grape processing, winemaking and storage facility located on a 50-hectare site in Langhorne Creek. The client-based operation has more than tripled in size since it was established in 1999 and currently crushes as much as 10,000 tonnes per vintage. It is strategically positioned within an hour’s drive from some of South Australia’s best known wine regions. “Essentially Project Wine allows us the flexibility of having a winery without the headaches and costs associated with owning one,” says O’Flaherty. “We plan our fruit intake and wine specifications
with them. It’s literally akin to having our own winery without the hassle of dealing with administration, human resources and maintenance, and this allows us to invest more in fruit contracts, oak purchases and, most importantly, marketing our brands. Plus we know exactly how much each tonne of fruit will cost to process.” Not having to oversee a winemaking facility also allows O’Flaherty more time out in the vineyard. “We have pretty much unlimited access to the facility,” he says. “Once we’ve made our winemaking decisions we are free to put our energy elsewhere into the business.” Sometimes a virtual winemaker will wangle a deal with an established winery which has more capacity than it needs for its own production. According to Project Wine director and senior winemaker Paul Zerella, legitimate custom crush facilities operate in a more rigid manner. “There are a number of wineries who say they provide contract processing but this is often simply a way of filling up their facility and spreading their costs. While many of these wineries have the equipment to provide what is required,
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70 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Naturaliste Vintners’ senior winemaker Bruce Dukes assessing maturity of 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. “We place special emphasis on trying to understand the wine matrix.”
they often don’t have the expertise or the mindset.” Zerella’s wine business experience is vast as is his dealings in custom crush practice. As managing director he presided over the rebirth of the Haselgove Wines brand and the development of the contract processing business known as the McLaren Vale Custom Crush. He says Project Wine’s clients decide to what degree they want to be involved in the winemaking protocols but most make a deliberate choice to leave the winemaking to the Project Wine team and concentrate their efforts and resources in developing and marketing their wine brands. “We have some larger customers who process their grapes and take the resultant juice/wine to their own facilities but the majority of our customers are grape crushing to bottle-ready wine, which includes analysis, additives, filtration and storage. Many have their own winemakers regularly on site directing Project Wine staff. Others prefer our team to manage the style, and some limit their input to vintage intake and bottling specifications.” October 2012 – Issue 585
Authentic custom crush operations go well beyond the basic extraction of juice. The range of services on offer often includes storage facilities, laboratory analysis and tasting rooms for the clients and their customers. Some even go as far as to provide packaging and brand marketing advice. “With a number of our clients we also provide a sales route, with market access developed by our jointly owned sales and distribution arm, Vinternational.” “Having round-the-clock access to your fruit, ferments and wines is essential for peace of mind,” says Rhyan Wardman, chief winemaker at Indevin, New Zealand’s largest independent contract winemaking company. The Indevin wineries in Marlborough, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay receive fruit from most of New Zealand’s grapegrowing regions. For Wardman, providing the client transparent, real-time information is the key to custom crush service. It is important that all the processes are fully auditable as compliance to quality control, food standards and retail codes should also be part of the service provided. “We cater for all, no priority or preference is given to any client over another and we start the planning process well in advance of the vintage. Due to the vagaries of vintage, there has to be a degree of flexibility in the winemaking process and with daily meetings and tastings between the client and the Indevin winemaker we find we are able to change a plan accordingly.” Another contract crusher, Naturaliste Vintners, places special emphasis on understanding the wine matrix and so offers its customers in the southwest wine regions of Western Australia a viticultural consultation service. “Our best performing clients are those who have a seamless integration of viticultural management with their winemaking objectives,” says Bruce Dukes, Naturaliste Vintners’ senior winemaker. His winemaking training is underpinned by a background in agricultural science. “We encourage our clients to focus on farming the fruit for the intended wine style. We get a clear design brief from our clients and then validate it by onsite visits to make sure that the vineyard has the capacity to meet the client’s style and quality objectives. No client is required to play second fiddle to other operations and each project is costed out and presented long before any fruit has been delivered.” Dukes too has suggestions of what winemakers should look
Receiving Pinot Noir grapes at Indevin. “We certainly see the demand for our services increasing in the years to come as winemaking costs, compliance costs and the flexibility of custom crush become more apparent,” says Rhyan Wardman.
for in a custom crush facility, as the cheapest option may not be the best. “Matching batch sizes to process equipment and tanks is a good starting point. Is the winery clean? Do the tanks suit my project? Is the barrel storage area well insulated and with appropriate temperature and humidity control?” The winemaker’s contract should indicate what form of communication platform is to be established. Dukes has seen custom crush services become more popular, particularly during the past decade. Capital equipment and compliance costs are ever increasing (along with a distinct lack of funding options associated with building a winery) which has led to a growing awareness of the advantages of outsourcing the winemaking to dedicated professionals. “Not having millions of dollars tied up in wineries frees many producers of significant financial and management resources, which enables them to focus on their core business of growing grapes and selling wine.” Marty O’Flaherty is clearly not fazed at being labelled a 'virtual' winemaker. “We are indeed a real wine company, with real brands, real growers on mostly long-term contracts, and a large holding of real oak vessels,” he says. “Call me a pseudo-winemaker if you like, I seriously don’t mind because it works.”
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
Cabernet explored during Margaret River workshop The latest clonal research, the importance of extended grape maturation and factors that influence tannin production are just some of the topics covered at the recent Cabernet Sauvignon workshop in Margaret River. Danielle Costley
THE UNIVERSITY OF Western Australia’s (UWA) Professor Michael Considine kicked off proceedings at the August 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon workshop in Margaret River with a discussion on his latest research into defining the genomic basis of clonal identity in the grapevine. “Today’s genomic sequencing technology is able to read every base pair of DNA that makes up an organism. It can then sort the data to form a meaningful genetic map, such as the genes responsible for diseases in plants and animals,” Considine said. “When applied to grapes, this technology can clarify cell signalling and metabolic pathways underlying fruit development, as well as predict how those pathways are modified by microclimate and common viticultural practices. “The whole-genome approach has the power to identify single point mutations in important gene regions, such as flavour biosynthesis. This genomic knowledge will have a significant impact on our understanding of grapevine biology, viticulture and enology. “We hope to secure further funding which will allow us to identify traits in the Houghton clones that can identify the
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72 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Cape Mentelle winemaker Rob Mann and the AWRI’s Dr Paul Smith took participants through a Cabernet tasting at the workshop, which was held at the Margaret River Education Campus winery and looked at the changes in tannin structure in the wines.
genes. For instance, is it just the clone or the DNA that we want expressed?” There was overwhelming support from growers for continued research into the Houghton clones, which are the predominant planting in WA. However, Considine says a national partner is required for this scenario to occur. While clonal research was a hot topic at the workshop, the importance of extended grape maturation also attracted a lot of interest from the 100 or so participants. When Howard Park Wines’ chief viticulturist, David Botting raised the question of whether or not to extend grape maturation, he stressed that while this practice is often undertaken with healthy, balanced vines, it may actually be required in otherwise healthy, but over or undercropped vines. “Whether or not to extend grape maturation depends entirely on vine and grape condition, season, and wine quality objectives. It may be of no point in unhealthy, stressed vines or in extreme seasons. For example, 2006 in Margaret River was too cold and there was not enough sugar accumulation, secondary metabolism or methoxypyrazine (IBMP) degradation. In contrast, in 2007 it was too hot and sugar accumulation was possibly too fast,” he said. “Undercropping vines, due to declining fruitfulness or excessive shoot thinning, tend to need extended maturation to reduce green characters, rather than increase flavour and colour. “Achieving vine balance and efficient ripening and maturity should be the primary goals, rather than relying on extended maturation to overcome problems in the vineyard.” The Australian Wine Research Institute’s Dr Paul Smith then led the wine discussion in a new direction by discussing the factors that influence tannin production in Cabernet Sauvignon. “Cultural perceptions about the effect of vineyard
October 2012 – Issue 585
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winemaking management, such as low yield, low vigour and small berries, may be associated with improved wine phenolic composition. But this is only under certain conditions and is not necessarily causal,” he said. “Cabernet has an extended period of ripening, which leads to moderate to high tannins, which contributes to astringency and ageing potential.” To determine the acceptability of different Cabernet styles to consumers, a central location test was conducted in Sydney with 104 red wine drinkers who buy bottled wine in the $10-$20 price bracket. The consumers were separated into groups by age: 18–35; 36–50; and 50 plus. “Interestingly, none of the groups liked the leaner, greener styles. Wines in the 13.5% alcohol bracket were the preferred choice. It was at this point that a plateau was seen and ‘liking’ of the wines did not improve. These results suggest that winemakers may opt not to chase those later, riper characters,” Smith said. The AWRI also studied the phenolic profile of a 50-year-old Cabernet from Wynn’s and found that yeast can have a huge influence on grapes. “After three to four years, no anthocyanins were present in the wine and the wine colour density hadn’t collapsed. This is because of the pigmented tannins, which remained steadily level over the years as the wine continues to age,” Smith said. “Even in the 50-year-old wine, we found that wine tannin concentration is not related to the wine age and did not drop with time. We believe this has to do with the structural rearrangement of those tannins when they soften over time; it is not to do with ageing – the tannins merely change their shape, conformation and evolve over time.”
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74 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Understanding consumer perceptions on Cabernet Sauvignon was the closing discussion at the workshop, with results suggesting that while consumer confidence is at a seven-year low, Australia is now on par with average global confidence levels. Nielsen Pacific’s executive director, Michael Walton said the market outlook is one of caution and restraint. “Nearly two in three Australians say this is not a time to buy the things they need and want, however, spending on affordable indulgences remains strong, and premium products continue to trade well,” he said. Over the past five years, the wine market has shown strong resilience on the back of stable consumption. Whilst Australia is growing at less than 1% in value in the last year, WA sales are up over 3% – making it the strongest performer in retail sales growth nationally.
The whole-genome approach has the power to identify single point mutations in important gene regions, such as flavour biosynthesis. Prof Michael Considine, University of Western Australia
“The more expensive wine products have performed well in an otherwise fairly flat market,” he said. It comes as no surprise to learn that Australians are enthusiastic consumers of online and social media content, and online recommendations are a trusted source. “What we have today is a set of people whose default position is not the hierarchy, but the network. This network is people who are looking horizontally, rather than vertically for information – it is open, flexible and decentralised,” Walton said. “Online usage and social media occasions are increasing. Consumers now have access to community networks, retailer networks, food websites and wine forums and can start online Cabernet conversations.” Since 2007, the off premise market has grown by $1.4 billion and destination formats by $2.2 billion in retail turnover. Walton says that new websites and strong consumer metrics (including a reputation for ‘best prices’) are driving this share shift, which has seen a steady decline in the convenience share over the past three years. “The bulk of the decline in convenience share coincides with the decline in total market liquor retail turnover growth. In 2002, it was a 97% market share, whereas today this figure has dropped to 69%.” Currently, WA Cabernet has a 40% share of the over $20 market. By concentrating on improving on this standout style for the region, WA has the potential to increase its market share by a mere 1%, which amounts to $810,000 in Australian retail sales for the $10–$20 price bracket.
October 2012 – Issue 585
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NTU vs wine filterability index – what does it mean for you? Paul Bowyer, Greg Edwards and Amelia Eyre
Introduction THE BLOCKAGE OF sterile filtration media, either rapidly or slowly via an exponential decline, can occur during wine bottling, even though the wine meets a pre-bottling turbidity specification suitable for the chosen filtration media. This article will explore the relationship between turbidity and the filterability of wine.
Background Turbidity is used as a means of assessing the particulate level in a wine (visual clarity) and therefore its suitability for bottling. There are many potential suspended components in a liquid, such as silt, yeast, bacteria, amorphous and crystalline materials that cause turbidity. A commonly used threshold for bottling is ≤1 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU). If a wine has an NTU ≤1, it is deemed suitable for bottling in terms of how it will present in the bottle and its low likelihood of fouling filtration media, specifically sterile membranes. If the pre-bottling NTU >1,
and the wine is to be sterile filled, then it is recommended that the wine receives extra filtration. This may be crossflow filtration in the cellar or depth filtration on line, depending on the severity of the problem and the cost to the owner of the wine. A nephelometer (turbidity meter) measures the extent that light is scattered by any suspended particulate in the sample. This method of analysis is used when bottling wine as a means of estimating how the suspended material may block filtration media, but does have some limitations. For example, two wines may have similar turbidity values but the nature of the suspended material is different. The first wine may contain very fine particles which rapidly block and create a film on the filtration media, rendering it unable to complete the filtration task. The other wine may have larger particles, which create a film on the filtration media, but do not totally block the media. Therefore, filtration is able to continue, albeit at a reduced efficiency.
There is surprisingly little in the way of published research literature that covers the relationship between filtration fouling and turbidity in wine. Roger Boulton published an article in 2001 in which he states specifically that “fouling of wines on membrane filters is not related to their clarity” (Alarcon-Mendez and Boulton 2001). Since clarity is typically expressed as turbidity (NTU), this is an important statement. He also points out the strong influence of temperature on fouling in an earlier publication, that is cooler temperatures will typically produce reduced filterability (La Garza and Boulton 1984). Czekaj, López and Güell (2000) indicate that membrane fouling is mainly caused by colloidal components of the wine. When they analysed two wines with similar colloidal (macromolecular) content but different turbidity, they found that the wine with the higher turbidity caused greater membrane fouling. After further filtration treatment of the wine with the higher turbidity, to reduce its turbidity
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to the same as that of the lower turbidity wine, it was still found that this treated wine had a much greater membrane fouling potential. It was stated that this may be due to a difference in polyphenol concentration between the two wines. El Rayess et al. (2011) states that macromolecular compounds such as polysaccharides, phenolics and proteins are major causes of membrane fouling. Given the variation in polysaccharide structures (viz. pectins, mannoproteins and glucans), this is of particular relevance to wine producers who do not use pectolytic enzymes, add mannoprotein to their wine or perform lees ageing, as these practices will contribute to higher levels of pectins and mannoproteins and potentially higher fouling rates of filtration media. When Botrytis is a problem during vintage, such as that experienced during the 2011 vintage in South Australia, there is an increased risk of increased glucan levels being produced. This knowledge made it possible to predict that red wines from certain areas in 2011 would very likely present filtration difficulties. Blue H2O Filtration advised its customers of this increased risk. Many filtration problems were circumvented through preventative
filterability analysis. Perhaps the most relevant statement comes from a 2003 paper by Vernhet, Cartalade, and Moutounet, where the authors maintain that membrane fouling will correlate more consistently with colloidal size rather than turbidity, and that this explains variations in wine filterability.
Filterability index (FI) as a measure of filtration media fouling Given that the major concern is the ability of a wine to pass through a sterile membrane (typically defined as 0.45 microns in Australia), it is important to use a test that demonstrates how the wine will block the filtration media over time, such as a filterability index test. This test is relatively simple to perform, yet it is a rare practice in Australian wineries and third party contract bottling companies. The equipment required is simple and inexpensive (Figure 1a), yet this process is somewhat labour-intensive, requiring an operator to be present throughout the testing protocol. This approach is not suitable in high throughput facilities. Fully automated equipment is available, yet this can be cumbersome to use and can require a large volume of wine for measurement, for example, the Begerow BECO Liqui-
Figure 1. Different types of apparatus for measuring FI: (a) manual equipment; (b) semiautomated equipment.
Control filterability unit requires 3L of wine for a filterability assessment and our experience has shown that it is difficult to drain when not all of the wine is used for the test. It also poses a challenge to keep clean. A good compromise is semi-automated equipment, such as the Tecnoelettric Filterability Tester available through Blue H2O Filtration (Figure 1b). This combines the robustness of the manual method with the ease of computerised monitoring of the
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October 2012 â€“ Issue 585
Grapegrower & Winemaker
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analysis and recording of results, achieved through the use of a balance and computer data collection. In essence, once the test has commenced, the operator can walk away and the results are recorded, plotted and archived in real time. Filterability index (FI), as defined by Laurenty in 1972 (as referenced in Table 7.6, Boulton, et al. (1999), is tested by passing wine through a 0.45 μm membrane filtration media, at constant pressure, and timing how long the membrane takes to filter two volumes, typically 200mL (T200) and 400mL (T400) in seconds. Thus, FI = T400 – 2 x T200. (Note: the Tecnoelettric Filterability Tester measures the time taken to filter 200g and 400g of wine, ignoring the density of the wine). If the wine is perfect in terms of filterability the ratio of T400 to T200 will be 2:1, and so FI = 0. Since a wine will usually have some fouling components, T400 will typically be more than double T200. In this case an index is generated by the calculation, and this can be used as a de facto measure of wine filterability. Sometimes this value is multiplied by a factor of 1.66, but since this is a constant it is of no great significance in calculating the final result. By setting some nominal FI thresholds, filterability measured in this way can then be used to determine whether a wine requires some form of pre-filtration, either in the cellar, prior to being sent to the bottling line, or in line, during the bottling process. Laurenty recommended that if the FI <20, then the wine would be considered to be filterable. Importantly, the measurement of filterability must use the same membrane as is being used on the bottling line for meaningful results. For example, filterability analyses made using nylon membranes cannot be relied upon if polyethersulfone membranes are being used at bottling. Also the membrane porosities need to be comparable between
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the test apparatus and the media that will be used during the bottling process. It is also possible to use the filterability measurement to test the efficiency of different grades of depth (pad) filtration media. As a comparative exercise, a wine was examined for both turbidity and filterability, and then subjected to various grades of depth filtration, on a lab scale, to determine the effectiveness of the depth filtration to remove wine particulates. The results are given in Table 1 and Figure 2. The control wine prior to any filtration had a turbidity of 25 NTU and failed filterability testing. When passed through coarse grade pad material (Becopad 550), NTU was reduced to 0.97, which is within bottling specification, yet the FI was 84, which is far greater than the FI bottling threshold of 20. When the control wine was subjected to slightly tighter filtration (Becopad 450), turbidity dropped to 0.58 NTU and FI to 18, both of which indicate suitability for bottling. When a Becopad 220 was used to undertake a second filtration post the Becopad 550 filtration, turbidity dropped further to 0.54 NTU and FI to 13. Becopad 450 onto Becopad 220 yielded turbidity of 0.45 NTU and FI 6.1. These results demonstrate the importance of the filterability measurement. If the wine had been put through coarse filtration in the cellar, 1.2
NTU threshold for bottling
Filterability Index (FI)
2010 Barossa Shiraz Becodisc grade
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Table 1. NTU and FI data for a 2010 Barossa Shiraz with different Becodisc depth filtration applied.
FI threshold for bottling 0.2
Wine post 550 pads
Wine post 450 pads
Wine post 550 then 220 pads
Wine post 550 then 220 pads
Figure 2: Wine NTU and FI for a 2010 Barossa Shiraz after filtering through different grades of pad.
78 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 – Issue 585
it would have been able to meet the sterile membrane bottling specification of turbidity ≤1 NTU, but it would have caused a lower filtration rate due to fouling of the filtration media. This is due to the wine’s filterability being well above the bottling FI threshold of 20. The likely result would be premature exhaustion of any depth medium in place, but also potentially blocking of the final membrane or membrane prefilters. This would prove costly in terms of both filtration media and downtime on the bottling line. The implementation of a filterability protocol would have identified the poor filterability of this wine in time to avoid bottling difficulties. Vinpac International, in collaboration with Blue H2O Filtration, has recently developed a filterability analysis protocol that is based on the filterability appartus manufactured by Tecnoelettric. This analysis will become a core component of Vinpac’s laboratory activities, specifically where sterile filtration has been requested by the customer. This allows a measurement of filtration fouling ability to be determined, rather than relying on turbidity alone. This is important as some of the substances that can cause filtration fouling, such as glucans, are
Table 2. NTU and FI data for a series of wines analysed by Vinpac International. Vintage
Key Outside turbidity specification (>1 NTU) Outside filterability specification (FI >20) Outside both turbidity and filterability specification
soluble in wine and do not contribute to a measurement of filterability based on turbidity. In developing this filterability protocol, some interesting comparisons between turbidity (NTU) and filterability (FI), as presented in Table 2, have come
to light and warrant further discussion. Wines 11-16 in Table 2 exhibit an interesting conundrum: turbidity is above the bottling specification, but filterability is acceptable. These wines would currently not be deemed acceptable for
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bottling even though they would cause no significant problems in regards to membrane fouling. Conversely wines 1-10 would have been deemed suitable for bottling as they have turbidity values of ≤1 NTU, but filterability is not acceptable. This is clearly shown by wine 7, where the turbidity is within specification, but the FI is extremely high. It could be expected that this wine would foul the membranes quite rapidly. Identifying and preventing wines like those marked in green in Table 2, from being bottled in their present state, provides benefits to both the bottling company and the producer. The primary reason why Vinpac International is implementing filterability measurement as part of its quality assurance programme is to ensure that the filtration operation runs smoothly during bottling, reducing the risk of product degradation.
FI threshold for bottling
15 10 5 0 Control
Wine additive influence on FI In addition to known indigenous fouling components that can be found in wines as a result of natural occurrences and standard winemaking practices, such as polysaccharides and polyphenols; certain exogenous additives are known to cause membrane fouling to greater or lesser extents. Examples of such additives include gum arabic, tannins, mannoproteins and, more recently, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). CMC (Bowyer et al. 2010), which is a potassium bitartrate crystallisation inhibitor that was recently added to the Australian standard for wine production, can contribute to a reduction in the filterability of a wine. This is illustrated in Figure 3, where a highly filterable wine (Control FI = 0.7) was dosed with different rates of CMC, being 50ppm, 100ppm (the standard legal CMC dosage) and 300ppm. The wine’s filterability index increased due to the increased colloidal loading from the CMC additions. Therefore, if a wine has a borderline
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Figure 3. Wine FI as a function of CMC content in a highly-filterable wine.
filterability result (eg FI = 19) adding CMC to provide cold stability protection may well generate filtration problems, by pushing that wine over the bottling FI threshold of 20. This is more likely to be the situation if the manufacturer’s recommendations for the use of their CMC product have not been followed. That is, manufacturers recommend that additions of CMC must be made to a heat stable wine at a minimum of 48 hours through to 5 days prior to final filtration and bottling. If this practice is not adhered to, CMC could be removed during filtration causing clogging of the filtration membranes. This raises another question for the winemaker: how much of the added CMC remains and will this be enough to stabilise the tartrate in the wine? Based on this information, it would be important to assess the CMC product being used, with regard to its behaviour on wine filterability as measured by FI, prior to making an addition to the wine.
Summary Turbidity, as a measure of wine filterability, does not provide a complete determination of how the wine will interact with the filtration media during the bottling process. A far superior method of determining wine filterability is the measurement of a wine filterability index. This must be done using membrane discs of identical material to that which the wine will be subjected to on the bottling line. This technique can also be used to optimise cellar filtration choices, to reduce a wine below the filterability threshold of FI <20. Filterability measurement is also a useful technique to evaluate the filterability impact of wine additives, such as gum arabic, tannin, mannoprotein and CMC. In implementing a wine filterability measurement rather than relying on turbidity as an indicator of a wine’s filterability, Vinpac International is ensuring that filtration processes during bottling will operate more efficiently, requiring less downtime due to filtration blockage.
References Alarcon-Mendez, A. and Boulton, R. (2001) Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 52(3), 191-197. Boulton, R.B, Singleton, V.L., Bisson, L.F., and Kunkee, R.E. Principles and Practices of Winemaking, p 308, Springer Science + Business Media, Inc, New York (1999). Bowyer, P. K., Moine, V., Gouty, C., Marsh, R. and Battaglene, T. (2010) The Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker, Issue 558, 65-68. De La Garza, F., and R. Boulton (1984) The modelling of wine filtrations. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 35, 189-195.
T: 08 8561 0600 F: 08 8561 0681 E: email@example.com www.vinpac.com.au
Czekaj, P., López, F. & Güell, C. (2000) Journal of Membrane Science, 166, 199–212. El Rayess, Y., Albasia, C., Bacchinc, P., Taillandier, P., Mietton-Peuchote, M. and Devatinee, A. (2011) Journal of Membrane Science, 385– 386 (2011) 177– 186 Vernhet, A., Cartalade, D. and Moutounet, M. (2003) Journal of Membrane Science, 211, 357-370.
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October 2012 – Issue 585
Machine harvesting versus handpicking:
impacts on tropical and green characters in Sauvignon Blanc wines Paul Kilmartin
Introduction CONTINUED IMPROVEMENTS IN mechanical harvesters mean that an acceptable level of wine quality is readily achieved with most grape harvests. Indeed the speed with which the grapes can be mechanically harvested means that the crop can be brought in at its optimum, in addition to cost savings to the labour involved in handpicking. At the same time, the effects of oxidation with machine-harvested grapes have been linked to a loss of grape quality (Arfelli et al., 2010), and the ability to sort out unwanted grapes and non-grape material is seen as a further issue in favour of manual harvesting (Handbook of Enology, 2006). This can lead to the view that the best quality wine can only be obtained by the handpicking of grapes, if the added cost can be justified. With many wine styles, this could well be true, but in the case of Sauvignon Blanc wines with intense tropical/fruity and green characters, an exception to this rule has been found. Sauvignon Blanc wines with intense tropical and passionfruit characters typically have high levels of the varietal thiols 3-mercaptohexanol (3MH) and 3-mercaptohexyl acetate (3MHA) (Tominaga et al. 2000). These varietal thiols were indeed found to be important in surveys of commercial Sauvignon
Blanc wines undertaken at the University of Auckland (Benkwitz et al., 2012a). A feature of many of the more intensely flavoured wines is a combination of high tropical/passionfruit characters with a strong green edge, where additional wine aroma compounds will make an impact. However, when we turned our attention to the sub-regions of the Marlborough grapegrowing area, looking to define different styles of Sauvignon Blanc wines, some problems arose. For her PhD study in 2008, Sara Jouanneau, supervised by Dr Laura Nicolau, obtained grape bunches from across the Marlborough region, and sent these back to Auckland for consistent smallscale winemaking. This was needed to avoid the impact of variable winemaking practices, and to examine what was specific to the grape source. Instead of 3MH concentrations averaging in the thousands of ng/L, as obtained in past surveys of commercial wines (Benkwitz et al., 2012a; Mateo-Vivaracho et al. 2010), the 3MH levels ranged from 122 to 1235 ng/L, and remained untypically low in further Sauvignon Blanc wines made from handpicked grapes. To overcome this problem in 2009 and 2010, Jouanneau moved to juices obtained from the commercial harvesting and pressing operation, following from mechanical harvesting of the grapes.
Higher varietal thiol levels were found in the wines, and Jouanneau completed a wide survey of the Marlborough subregions for several classes of aroma compounds. The results of this study have been accepted for publication (Jouanneau et al. 2012), and among the findings are an indication that 3MH levels across Marlborough can be higher in some years than others. Also wines from the southern Awatere valley, wellknown for greener aroma characters, did not show higher concentrations of the methoxypyrazines usually associated with these aromas. We will return to this issue later in the article, but note here that these grapes need to travel the greatest distance by truck, from vineyard to winery, compared to grapes coming from the other Marlborough sub-regions.
Harvesting trial At the same time Laura Nicolau remained convinced from Jouanneauâ€™s first trial year that there was something important for Sauvignon Blanc wine aroma in the handling of the grape samples, and that this should be investigated in future projects. And so we set up a harvesting trial in 2010 to look at wine composition from grapes taken at different points in the harvesting process. Five sets of grape and juice samples from five Marlborough vineyards were included in the study.
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3MH "grapefruit/ passion fruit" per.thresh. 60 ng/L
Wine A Wine B Wine C Wine D Wine E
Wine 3MH (ng/L)
3000 2000 1000
Juice A 420
Hand-picked Harvester Winery Hopper Free Run Pressed to 1 Bar
Figure 3. Left: 3MH concentrations in the five sets of Sauvignon Blanc wines at five harvesting points; right: wine 3MH versus juice 420nm absorbance across the 25 samples.
IBMP "green pepper" per.thresh. 2 ng/L
20 Wine A Wine B Wine C Wine D Wine E
linalool ( μ g/L)
The wines made from juices that had been mechanically harvested produced higher 3MH concentrations in some cases, but a number of exceptions were noted (Figure 3). All of the pressed to 1 bar juices produced wines with 3MH concentrations less than 750ng/L, and confirmed results from a previous pressing trial where lower 3MH values were seen with wines made from heavily pressed juices (Patel et al. 2010). Most of the wines made from handpicked grapes were low in 3MH content, with the exception of one sample that produced an unusually high value (wine D in Figure 3). Further low 3MH wines were also observed, particularly when the juice samples were found to be subject to some oxidation and browning, given by a higher 420nm absorbance (Figure 3). At the same time it needs to be recognised that some juices do not have the potential to produce high thiol wines, regardless of how the grapes are processed. Similar trends were seen with the acetate ester 3MHA, of particular importance to young Sauvignon Blanc wines and wines stored under cooler conditions (Makhotkina et al. 2012). The state of juice oxidation has been examined in a further harvesting trial undertaken in 2011, in which different sulfite additions were made to Sauvignon Blanc juices at harvest, with the finding
Figure 2. Left: Grapes and juice being transferred into a truck for transport to the winery, and right: tipping into the winery receival hopper.
Wine aroma results Varietal thiols
Figure 1. Left: Thomas Allen collecting grapes and juice from a mechanical harvester in April 2010; and right: pressing the 15kg grape lots at a water pressure of 2.5 to 3 bar for 20 minutes.
Firstly 15kg of handpicked grapes were taken immediately prior to mechanical harvesting of the fruit, and a second 15 kg harvester sample was taken as the grapes and juice came off the mechanical harvester (Figure 1). A third 15kg sample was taken as the grapes were tipped from the truck into the receival winery hopper (Figure 2), and were also pressed off using an 80L basket press (Figure 1). Two more samples were taken from the commercial pressing operation, the first a free run juice and a final pressed to 1 bar sample. The juices were then cold settled for 36 hours, and were inoculated with Lalvin yeast strain, EC1118 Saccharomyces cerevisiae, at 0.2g/L, in triplicate 750mL green wine bottles. A rubber bung and 100µL plastic pipet tip filled with glass wool was inserted for CO2 release during fermentation. The subsequent wines were analysed for varietal thiols, as reported earlier (Allen et al., 2011), and for a wide range of compounds that make an important contribution to the aroma of Sauvignon Blanc wines, including methoxypyrazines, terpenes, C6-alcohols, higher alcohols and esters (Benkwitz et al., 2012b).
Wine A Wine B Wine C Wine D Wine E
linalool "fruity/ citrus/ floral/ lavender" per.thresh. 25 μg/L
Hand-picked Harvester Winery Hopper Free Run Pressed to 1 Bar
Harvester Winery Hopper Free Run Pressed to 1 Bar
Figure 4. Left: 2-methoxy-isobutylpyrazine (MIBP) and right: linalool concentrations in the five sets of Sauvignon Blanc wines at five harvesting points.
that much lower 3MH concentrations were obtained in mechanically harvested juices with either nil or a small (c. 30 mg/ kg) additions of SO2. In the present trial, the variable air exposure during truck transport prior to sampling at the winery hopper and variable sulfite gradients throughout the truck load could have www.winebiz.com.au
influenced the 3MH formation capacity of the individual juice samples. On the other hand, the concentration of a further important varietal thiol, 4-mercapto4-methylpentan-2-one (4MMP), was not greatly affected by the choice of harvesting method and sampling point (Allen et al., 2011). October 2012 – Issue 585
Methoxypyrazines and terpenes It has been previously shown that the main methoxypyrazine found in Sauvignon Blanc wines, 2-methoxy-isobutylpyarzine (MIBP), is highly water soluble and is readily extracted from grapes to must (Roujou de Boubee et al., 2002). In the present trial the concentration of MIBP was very similar regardless of harvesting point and the method of grape harvesting (Figure 4). Even heavy pressing to 1 bar did not raise the methoxypyrazine concentrations. Likewise similar concentrations were obtained across the harvesting points for the terpenes, of which only linalool was present at concentrations close to the perception threshold of 25µg/L (Figure 4).
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Fatty acids, higher alcohols and esters A lack of consistent differences from harvesting method and sampling point was observed with further aroma compounds, including fatty acids like octanoic acid, and many of the higher alcohols, ethyl esters and acetate esters present in the wines. Results for isoamyl alcohol and isoamyl acetate are presented in Figure 5, two compounds that were found at concentrations well above their respective perception thresholds.
isoamyl alcohol "whiskey / malt / burnt" per.thresh. 30,000 μg/L
Wine A Wine B Wine C Wine D Wine E
1e+5 5e+4 0
hexyl acetate (μg/l)
Hand-picked Harvester Winery Hopper Free Run Pressed to 1 Bar
3MH "banana / fruity" per.thresh. 50 μg/L
Wine A Wine B Wine C Wine D Wine E
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Hand-picked Harvester Winery Hopper Free Run Pressed to 1 Bar
Figure 5. Above: isoamyl alcohol, and below: isoamyl acetate concentrations in the five sets of Sauvignon Blanc wines at five harvesting points.
C6-alcohols and associated acetate esters The situation was very different with the C6-alcohols, responsible for green and grassy aromas in many wines. Even more so than with 3MH, there was a marked increase in the concentration of the C6-alcohols for wines made from grapes that had been through the mechanical harvester, compared to very low values for wines made from handpicked grapes. In the case of hexanol, values below the perception threshold October 2012 – Issue 585
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of 1100µg/L were seen in the wines made from handpicked grapes, while the perception threshold was exceeded with all of the remaining wines (Figure 6). Even higher levels were seen in wines made from the heavily pressed juices, and this trend went counter to the 3MH case, where lower values were seen with the “pressed to 1 bar” wines (Figure 3). The values for hexanol obtained here can be compared to averages in the range of 2500 to 3000µg/L for commercial New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wines made predominantly from machine harvested fruit (Benkwitz et al. 2012a). For this study, the sensory panel gave the descriptor 'bourbon' to hexanol and 'apple lolly/candy' to hexyl acetate. Very similar trends were seen with a further C6-alcohol, cis-3-hexenol (at times called ‘leaf alcohol’). It has been noted in the past that higher levels of cis-3-hexenol can appear in musts that include grape leaves (Joslin et al., 1978). The acetate esters corresponding to these two C6-alcohols, namely hexyl acetate and cis-3-hexenol acetate, mirrored their C6-alcohol counterparts in showing increases in concentration in moving from handpicked to machine-harvested samples, and to higher levels with the heavier pressed juices (Figure 6). These acetate esters thus followed a different trend to the other acetate esters, such as isoamyl acetate (Figure 5) analysed in the present study. In considering which compounds contribute to the greener characters in Sauvignon Blanc wines, more attention should be given to the C6-alcohols in wines made from machine harvested fruit. The contribution of the C6-alcohols, noted for grassy aromas, may match or even exceed that due to the methoxypyrazines, described as capsicum. Further contributions to greener characters can also come from certain
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Figure 6. Above: hexanol, and below: hexyl acetate concentrations in the five sets of Sauvignon blanc wines at five harvesting points. October 2012 – Issue 585
Grapegrower & Winemaker
winemaking varietal thiols (stalky/box tree), and from dimethyl sulfide (canned asparagus) in older wines. During longer periods of truck transport, particularly if sulfite levels become depleted, juice oxidation may lead to the formation of greater quantities of C6-aldehydes in the juices and ultimately C6-alcohols in the wines. This may apply to some wines made in Marlborough from grapes sourced in the Awatere Valley, where longer transport times to the winery are typically required.
Conclusions The method of harvesting, machine harvesting versus handpicking, and the sampling point in the commercial pressing operation, had varying effects on the levels of aroma compounds in Sauvignon Blanc wines. Some compounds were present at similar concentrations regardless of harvesting method and pressing conditions, such as the methoxypyrazines, 4MMP, fatty acids, terpenes, higher alcohols and their acetate esters. The compounds that were lower in concentration in the wines made from the hand-picked grapes were the C6-alcohols and their acetate esters and in most cases the varietal thiols 3MH and 3MHA. Higher values of the C6-alcohols were found in wines made from the heavily pressed juices. To obtain a Sauvignon Blanc wine with intense tropical and green characters, machine harvesting of the grapes would be favoured, so long as adequate protection of the juice from oxidation is ensured through the use of adequate sulfite applications, to maintain higher varietal thiol levels. While this study has focused on Sauvignon Blanc, many of the trends observed above can be expected in other wine varieties.
Acknowledgements The winemaking and aroma analyses reported above were undertaken by Thomas Allen, Sara Jouanneau, Leandro Dias Araujo and Mandy Herbst-Johnstone at the University of Auckland. We also thank Villa Maria Estate and Maryvale Vineyard for Sauvignon Blanc grape and juice samples, along with Claire Grose for assistance with fermentation of the experimental wines at the Marlborough Wine Research Centre in Blenheim. Paul Kilmartin, Wine Science Programme, School of Chemical Sciences, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
References Allen, T., Herbst-Johnstone, M., Girault, M., Butler, P., Logan, G., Jouanneau, S., Nicolau, L., and Kilmartin, P.A. 2011. Influence of grape harvesting steps on varietal thiol aromas in Sauvignon Blanc wines. J. Agric. Food Chem. 59:10641-10650. Arfelli, G., Sartini, E., Bordini, F., Caprara, C., and Pezzi, F. 2010. Mechanical harvesting optimization and postharvest treatments to improve wine quality. J. Int. Sci. Vigne Vin. 44:101-115. Benkwitz, F., Tominaga, T., Kilmartin, P.A., Lund, C., Wohlers, M., and Nicolau. L. 2012a. Identifying the chemical composition related to the distinct flavour characteristics of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wines. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 63:62-72. Benkwitz F., Nicolau. L., Lund. C., Beresford. M., Wohlers. M., and Kilmartin. P.A., 2012b. Evaluation of key odorants in Sauvignon Blanc wines using three different methodologies, J. Agric. Food Chem. 60:6293-6302. Handbook of Enology: The Microbiology of Wine and Vinifications. 2006. p. 302304. Joslyn, W.S. and Ough, C.S. 1978. Cause and fate of certain C6 compounds formed enzymatically in macerated grape leaves during harvest and wine fermentation. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 29:11-17. Jouanneau, S., Weaver, R.J., Nicolau, L., Herbst-Johnstone, M., Benkwitz, F., and Kilmartin, P.A. 2012. Sub-regional survey of aroma compounds in Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wines, Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 18:329-343.
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86 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Makhotkina, O., Pineau, B., and Kilmartin, P.A. 2012. Effect of storage temperature on the chemical composition and sensory profile of Sauvignon Blanc wines, Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 18:91-99. Mateo-Vivaracho, L., Zapata, J., Cacho, J., and Ferreira, V. 2010. Analysis, occurrence, and potential sensory significance of five polyfunctional mercaptans in white wines. J. Agric. Food Chem. 58:10184-10194. Patel, P., Herbst-Johnstone, M., Lee, S.A., Gardner, R.C., Weaver, R., Nicolau, L., and Kilmartin, P.A. 2010. Influence of juice pressing conditions on polyphenols, antioxidants and varietal aroma of Sauvignon Blanc microferments, J. Agric. Food Chem. 58:7280-7288. Roujou de Boubee, D., Cumsille, A. M., Pons, M., and Dubordieu, D. 2002. Location of 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine in Cabernet Sauvignon grape bunches and its extractability during vinification. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 53:1-5. Tominaga, T., Baltenweck-Guyot, R., Peyrot des Gachons, C., and Dubourdieu, D. 2000. Contribution of volatile thiols to the aromas of white wines made from several Vitis vinifera grape varieties. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 51:178-181.
French exports post double-digit growth in 2012 FRANCE IS ON track to yield impressive export sales in 2012, with value exports already nearly 15 per cent up on last year. Over the first half of this year, some 5 billion euros worth of French wines and spirits were exported worldwide; by the end of July, this figure had hit the 6 million-euro mark, a rise of almost 15 per cent on the same period in 2011. The leading performers this year are Bordeaux, whose export sales by value rose by 300 million euros (+31 per cent), and Cognac, up 200 million euros (+20 per cent). The excellent 2009 and 2010 Bordeaux vintages allowed the region to surge upwards while demand for Cognac continues to be fuelled by spirit-thirsty Asian drinkers, amongst others. La Journée Vinicole www.winebiz.com.au
October 2012 – Issue 585
Barrel rejuvenation benefits from the latest technology K& K Su peroa k proprietor John Kerekes says his team has started utilising a more Products rejuvenation & services complex method for used barrels, using dry steam. “We realised that simple reshaving does not always give the desired results – of course this is determined by the age and maintenance of the barrels as well,” Kerekes said. “So experiments with an industrial dry-steam machine look very promising. “Once we receive the barrels we clean them with high-pressure dry steam to remove all bitter tannins and dissolve all tartrates. “We rinse the barrels with a special solution to eliminate all odours, kill mould if necessary, then rinse again with high-pressure hot water. “We only use about 5-10 litres of water for all applications.”
The barrel is then dismantled and reshaved, with repairs made to any staves that are cracked or blistered. Then they are sanitised with dry steam again if necessary. “Following this process, the barrel is spanking clean and rehydrated, with the pores of the staves cleaned and opened,” Kerekes said. “We fit different thickness planks cut and toasted from new stave-quality oak on a stainless steel ring, then seal the barrel,” he said. “We can also polish it outside – so the barrel will smell, taste and look like new. The price is reasonable and Western Australia winemakers could save a lot of money, since it would cost only a fraction of the cost of a new French oak barrel and could last another four years, depending on the thickness and number of new toasted planks fitted.” More information: John Kerekes on 08 9573 6475 or email superoak@ Cellastac’s efficient palletised bottle storage system, cuts labour costs, provid bigpond.com.
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Comparison of effect of four commercial pectolytic enzyme preparations in Muscat Gordo Wine industry research looks at the vital role played by pectinases and how they increase free-run juice yields and aid clarification and settling of juice in the winemaking process. Simon Kinley
Introduction Enzymes are now commonly used in wineries around the world to perform a range of tasks but the most common type used in winemaking is pectinase. There are many different brands of pectinases available, but which performs the best in the winery? A major Riverland winery ran production-scale trials to compare their current pectinase enzymes with three competitors. The results of these trials are presented later in this article to help other winemakers make the best choice for their operation. But firstly, let’s look at where pectin comes from and how pectinase enzymes work.
Where does pectin come from? Figure 1 illustrates the composition of grape skin, showing the middle lamella that mainly consists of pectin.
How do pectinases work? Pectinase enzymes degrade pectin in grapes to: • increase free-run juice yields, and • aid clarification and settling of juice. They can improve filtration by decreasing the juice’s viscosity and by promoting the agglomeration of small particles in both settling and flotation systems. Figure 2 illustrates the various cleaving points of pectin lyase, pectin methylesterase and polygalacturonase on a pectin chain. Pectin levels in grapes vary significantly and depend on the cultivar, ranging from 0.6 to 2.6 grams per litre (Amerine and Joslyn, 1951). The Muscat Gordo cultivar typically has high pectin levels, so presents a significant challenge for pectolytic enzymes. It was for this very reason that a major Riverland winery chose that cultivar for their 2012 production-scale trials. (The winery crushes more than 130,000 tonnes each vintage, with some 10,000 tonnes of this being Muscat Gordo.) Results from this trial are outlined below to illustrate the performance between different pectin enzyme preparations currently available. The winery conducted all trials and results independently in their laboratory.
88 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Outer, primary cell wall with random cellulose microfibrils in pectin
Middle lamella between cells – mostly pectin
The outer cell wall is made of cellulose microfibrils embedded in a matrix of pectins, hemicelluloses and proteins. In woody tissue, this wall also contains lignin. The inner secondary cell wall is composed of pectin and some lignin. The middle lamella, which binds the cells together, is made mainly of pectin.
Inner, secondary cell wall with regular cellulose microfibrils embedded in pectin and hemicellulose
Figure 1. Enzymes in Juice Production, D.Madden, ‘In a jam and out of juice’, 2001.
Mode of action of the main pectolytic enzymes
PECTIN LYASE (PL) PECTIN METHYLESTERASE (PME)
endo POLYGALACTURONASE (PG)
Galacturonic acid Carboxylic acid Methyl group Figure 2. ‘Enzymes in winemaking’, K. Lourens, Wineland, South Africa, 2004. www.winebiz.com.au
October 2012 – Issue 585
Rowe Scientific 2012 Muscat Gordo Trial results
The winery compared four different enzyme preparations as follows: • Optivin 5XL Plus (supplied by E.E. Muir & Sons) • Pectin Enzyme B • Pectin Enzyme C • Current pectinase enzyme The aim was to determine the difference in performance in two core areas by each of these enzyme preparations: namely yield per tonne of fruit and time taken to reach a pectin negative lab result. Free run and pressing volumes were added together to give the total yield per tonne of each enzyme. Typical lab results for both free run and pressings of all 2012 fruit are presented in Figure 3.
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Figure 3 - Average 2012 Muscat Gordo analysis from this winery. Temp
Average free run analysis
Average pressings analysis
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Extraction rates between enzyme preparations All enzymes were applied to juice at the manufacturer’s recommended rate, and were added at the crusher via a dosing pump. Figure 4 illustrates the yield differences between the four different enzyme preparations. Pectinase enzyme B had the lowest yield and was therefore used
The Densito always shows the result within seconds directly in the measurement units you choose. Densito gives you reliable measurement results easily. Just immerse the sampling tube, pull the trigger and read the final result! Call your local Rowe Scientific Office to find out more.
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Figure 4. Percentage change in juice yield of Muscat Gordo fruit.
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Figure 5. Free run pectin negative result times (hours). October 2012 – Issue 585
ADELAIDE 08 8186 0523 BRISBANE 07 3376 9411 HOBART 03 6272 0661 MELBOURNE 03 8795 7771 PERTH 08 9302 1911 SYDNEY 02 9603 1205
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
winemaking as the base point for this comparison. The current supplier’s enzyme and pectinase enzyme C produced 3-4% more juice than Enzyme B but the Optivin ®5XL Plus produced yield increases of 9% compared to the lowest yielding enzyme.
Optivin 5XL Plus
Pectin stability comparison between enzyme preparations Pectin-stability tests were used to measure the time taken to stabilise batches of juice with the four different enzyme preparations. Tests were performed on both the free run and the more difficultto-stabilise pressing fraction. The pectinstability test involves mixing five millilitres of juice with 10ml of 80% ethanol; the lab assigned a pass result when a juice sample flocculated, leaving a clear solution at that hour. The times illustrated in the tables are the average times taken to achieve this stability. Figure 5 illustrates the difference in free run pectin negative results, while Figure 6 illustrates the difference in pressing results. Significant variation in the free run results were observed between the current enzyme and the three other enzyme preparations tested. The current enzyme took twice as long to generate a pass result with the free-run juice. More differences
were observed in the pressing results. The current enzyme took around 2.5 hours, Enzymes B and C took between 1.5 and two hours, while Optivin 5XL Plus only took an hour to achieve a pass result. Simon Kinley, E.E. Muir & Sons technical sales manager for winemaking and brewing. email@example.com
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90 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Figure 6. Pressings pectin negative result times (hours).
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References Amerine, M. A. and M. A. Joslyn. 1951 Table Wines. The technology of their production in California. Berkeley, CA. University of California Press. Lourens, K. Nov 2004 Enzymes in winemaking, Wineland, South Africa. Madden, D. 2001 In a jam and out of juice, Enzymes in juice production.
British wine snobs learning to love screw tops and boxes BRITISH WINE BUFFS have ditched their snooty attitude towards screw tops, boxes and pouches, according to research which shows that alternatives to the traditional cork and glass bottle are increasingly popular options for consumers. As many as four in 10 (39 per cent) wine drinkers now agree that wine in a box or a pouch is as good quality as bottled wine, while just 26 per cent think that boxed is inferior, according to the study by the research company Mintel. Meanwhile, screw tops are seen as even less of an issue for wine lovers, with just 17 per cent claiming not to trust screwcap quality wine. Chris Wisson, senior drinks analyst at Mintel, said: “Recent years have seen many wine drinkers reappraising their perceptions and use of wine in differing formats and packaging styles. Boxed wine has the added advantage of the wine keeping for a longer period of time than in a bottle, facilitating more flexible usage and encouraging moderate drinking. Reducing wastage, boxed wine provides an ideal solution in a market which is both environmentally and cost conscious.” Globally, an estimated 10 per cent of still wines are sold in cartons but wine producers have recognised growing consumer enthusiasm for wines packaged in more convenient, lightweight formats. The Guardian
October 2012 – Issue 585
The Hunter Valley’s newest winery is an inspiring and confident architectural statement.
Building a new winery is a labour of love A Hunter Valley family demonstrates its commitment to the wine industry by designing and building a winery and cellar door at Pokolbin.
Background Leogate Estate Wines, established by Bill and Vicki Widdin, is situated in Pokolbin, New South Wales and has a single vineyard with 60ha under 40-year-old vines, producing Semillon, Chardonnay, Verdelho, and Shiraz. Originally planted by the late Len Evans of Rothbury Estate in the 1970s, the vineyard was purchased by the Widins in two parts in 2008 and re-amalgamated. Mick Burgoyne was appointed vineyard manager in early 2009. Under his leadership, the vineyard team has rejuvenated the old vines so that they are now producing quality fruit equal to the best in the country. Major awards from the NSW Small Winemakers Show: Trophies to the 2011 Leogate Estate Western Slopes Reserve Shiraz for Best Shiraz and for Best Red Wine of the Show; gold medal to 2011 Leogate Estate The Basin Reserve Shiraz, also in the final taste-off. The 2011 Western Slopes was also awarded the 2012 Winewise Trophy for Best Shiraz; the first time for some years that a Hunter Valley red has won a nationwide trophy. What inspired you to Brokenback Vineyard?
Why did you decide to establish your own winery?
We quickly found that there is little profit in grape production. This led to having our first vintage, in 2009, made under contract. Being farmers – and for better or worse – we prefer to do our own thing. For the 2010 and 2011 vintages, we rented the winery area in the Tempus Two Building and purchased all the winery plant and equipment from the Roche Family. We thus entered the winemaking business. What was the inspiration behind the design of your stunning cellar door?
Vicki and I have previously built a house or two, and have seen a few cellar doors elsewhere. We took the view that the main objective was to make the atmosphere as welcoming as possible.
What considerations did you take into account for the winery building?
Vicki and I have always been both wine lovers and associated with the country (Black Angus cattle), firstly in Orange and, for the last 20 years, in the Tamworth district. Our farm business is called
We found that the Tempus Two Winery was much admired in the Hunter Valley, so although we designed a larger building, we followed the Tempus Two set out closely.
October 2012 – Issue 585
Zeals Pastoral Co. We have a stud with 400 registered breeders and a commercial herd with 3,000 breeders. Growing wine grapes is a short farming step from cattle and fodder production.
What role did your winemaker play?
Our winemaker, Mark Woods, was very much involved personally with the relocation of the plant and equipment, and was particularly instrumental in bringing the new winery into operation. How did you approach the task of selecting an architect?
Vicki was the designer of the cellar door in toto. Who drew up the building plans?
The building plans were first drawn up by John Banson, a Tamworth building and home designer and myself, refined by Bill Bryan, and finally adapted by Peter Sweeney of Eco Enterac. What was involved in the process of transferring ideas from the preferred design (i.e. Tempus Two) to your own actual design?
Once we decided that the Tempus Two Winery set out was as good as we could aim for (i.e. that we could not identify any better design to suit our plant and equipment), winemaker, Mark Woods and I worked on our 2000 square metre winery shed with the builder, Eco Enterac of Tamworth, who has built a great many larger sheds, including woolsheds and wheat storage sheds, to plan the placement of each item of plant (including the crush, the press, tanks and vats) and continually reassess the Grapegrower & Winemaker
winemaking New range of pneumatic presses, New models crushers & a selection of grape equipment
Classic features grace the courtyard at Leogate Estate Wines.
structural strength of the roof (from which the pneumatic vat plunger had to hang from a long, heavy beam), the walls and the concrete floor. One particular addition, at the instigation of our Tamworth engineer, Bill Bryan, was the use of wooden battens to separate the exterior wall custom orb from the insulation bats within, creating a natural barrier to heat transfer. We shall be able to assess the energy saving from this measure during the summer months. I should mention that the 10-tank waste water management system was installed by Fred Seymore of AWTS. Fred has designed and installed several similar systems for other wineries and we are very pleased with the outcome here. How long did the project take?
Around nine months. For the winery
building we commissioned Eco Enterac of Tamworth who build many large sheds for grain, wool, etc. They did a great job, particularly with the insulation. For the cellar door we engaged Lance Murray, a local upmarket house builder. Again we were very pleased with Lance’s contribution towards the outcome. How much did it cost?
The two buildings with the fit out, winery plant and equipment, plus landscaping – in excess of $6 million. What advice would you give to someone setting out to build a new winery?
Firstly, don’t fall in love with rural life, and do not become a committed agriculturist. However, if you must go ahead, choose a great vineyard – which is the essential, irreplaceable, ingredient of good wine. How did you ensure that everything would work in practice?
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Leogate Estate winemaker Mark Woods was deeply involved in building the new winery. www.winebiz.com.au
Mark Woods was like a terrier during the winery construction, on site every day and available to help resolve, from the perspective of the eventual operational winery, every construction issue as it arose. After construction of the shed we turned to assembling the winery. Sylcam Stainless dismantled and reassembled the plant (this transpired to be an enormous job) and reinstalled the brine lines, Clements Refrigeration reinstalled the refrigeration machinery, and Mark personally moved every barrel and piece of loose equipment using our farm truck (with the cattle crate removed!). The refrigeration plant and the new brine lines worked first time. Mark’s close participation in the entire project was priceless. More at www.leogate.com.au. October 2012 – Issue 585
Cool Climate Shiraz Symposium Aussie’s now smart wine buyers Scholarships to ease burden ORANGE WILL PLAY host to this year’s National Cool Climate Shiraz Symposium later this month. The two-day event, to be held from 24-25 October at the NSW Department of Primary Industry’s training facility, aims to facilitate improvement in the viticulture and winemaking of cool climate Shiraz. The first day of the symposium will see a number of well-known winemakers and consultants provide presentations on various Shiraz-related topics, while day two will include a half-day tour of Orange Shiraz vineyards, from 600-900 metres elevation. Presenters include Peter Nixon from Dan Murphys, Tim Kirk from Clonakilla in Canberra, Nick Glaetzer from Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers in Tasmania, Dr Jim Hardie from Ecovinia, and Philip Shaw from Philip Shaw Wines. The Cool Climate Shiraz Symposium is the second of a series of varietal symposiums hosted by the Orange Region Vignerons’ Association, the first being the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Symposium.
AUSTRALIANS ARE BECOMING more knowledgeable, confident and experimental in their wine tastes, while keeping a sharp eye on prices, new research suggests. New research from Wine Intelligence says today’s Aussie wine consumers have a broader repertoire of wine styles, varieties and countries of origin compared with two years ago, thanks to a greater choice in the wine aisles, in part due to the growing presence of imported wines on bottle shop shelves. At the same time, price and promotions are growing in importance as drivers of purchase, and Australians are increasingly turning to technology to help them source the wines they want at the best prices. According to the Australia Internet and Social Media Report, about 40 per cent of Australian wine drinkers – about 4.5 million individuals – regularly access the internet to check wine information, chiefly prices and availability. They are also increasingly using their smartphones and tablets in the wine aisle, and in restaurants, to understand more about their purchase than they’re being told on a shelf talker or wine list.
THE ROYAL AGRICULTURAL Society of NSW Foundation is searching for students who are passionate about forging careers in the Australian wine industry who need funding assistance to make their dream a reality. The Graham Thorp Scholarship, created in honour of the past Chairman of the Sydney Royal Wine Committee (19841990), is the first in what’s planned to be a suite of Sydney Royal Wine scholarships. The scholarships have been made possible after the Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show partnered with the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation with a view to assist the development of Australia’s next generation of wine industry leaders. The Graham Thorp Scholarship offers $5000 for fulltime study and $1500 for part-time study. The successful scholarship recipient will also be provided with the opportunity to steward at the 2014 Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show. Online application forms can be found at www.rasf.org.au. Applications close 15 November and the scholarship will be awarded in February 2013.
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www.tonnelleriequintessence.fr 185x130.indd 1 October 2012 – Issue 585
8/9/11 9:04 PM Grapegrower & Winemaker 93
is the winemaker and proprietor of Eldridge Estate, in the Mornington Peninsula, and has more than 35 years of winemaking experience under his belt. His winery was recently awarded the 2012 Riedel Decanter Mamba award in London for the best Australian Pinot Noir on sale in London.
What inspired you to work in winemaking and how have you got to where you are now?
What do you like to do when you’re not making wine?
I was inspired to where I am now in three stages. The first was growing up in Adelaide immersed in a wine culture. The second was at university when I did a residential course at Charles Sturt University and saw the beautiful mix of art and science that is winemaking. The third phase was when I discovered how perfect the Mornington Peninsula was for someone in love with Pinot Noir, Gamay and Chardonnay.
Wendy and I love travelling and taking photos. When this involves watching great tennis, it’s a near perfect time.
Who do you think is the most influential person in the Australasian wine industry today?
I don’t see anyone as having the influence or power that individuals did last century. The new age of social media and the rise of the sommelier have diversified influence. Which of your wines do you most enjoy making and why?
I like all three wines – Pinot Noir, Gamay and Chardonnay – as they provide specialist challenges. The key to each is the fruit on the vine and gaining an understanding of the flavours and sense of place. What is your favourite time of year in the winery and why?
My favourite time in the winery is when the wines emerge from being ugly ducklings to showing their true expression of the vineyard and variety, usually in October to November. Tell us about your most memorable winetasting experience.
My most memorable wine-tasting experience was with my wife, Wendy. We were visiting Domain Blain Gagnard in Chassagne-Montrachet and tasting wine with Claudine and young Marc-Antonin. Rattling about in the background was another person who I suspected was JeanMarc. Although we started speaking in English we seemed to drift into French. Eventually Jean-Marc joined us and what was supposed to be a relatively quick visit turned into nearly three hours with some stunning examples of great Chardonnay and much fun conversation being had.
94 Grapegrower & Winemaker
What keeps you awake at night?
Wind and heavy rain. How do you de-stress after vintage?
I don’t find vintage stressful. Generally speaking, I’m quite a relaxed person. What was the last big-ticket equipment purchase you made for your business? Would you recommend the equipment to colleagues?
The last big ticket item was an electric forklift. I have many allergies that cause an asthma-type response and LPG fumes from my old forklift gave me a lot of grief. What has been the best business decision you’ve made for your business?
Stay small and stay in charge. Which export markets are of most interest to you and what do you think is the key thing that will help you succeed in that market?
As a small, some would say micro, producer, I don’t see export as an important piece of our business. However, we do get asked to supply wine to some foreign markets. We recently won the Riedel Decanter Mamba Award for having the best Australian Pinot Noir available in the UK. It was a great feeling to see others appreciate our wine, but the reality is that the English can buy quite good Premier Cru Red Burgundy for the same price or cheaper. What do you think of the Australian wine show system? Do you enter wine shows? Why/why not?
I think we have a super wine show system but it’s not perfect. I still hear of examples where the latest set of judges are driving a style that I don’t like. Placing this stylistic criticism aside, I think the Australian wine show system still provides a way to benchmark your wines and, for young winemakers, I think that is essential.
What do you think is the Australian wine industry’s biggest challenge and what is your solution to the problem?
The biggest challenge for the Australian wine industry is to not be an industry but to see ourselves as primary producers. It is about growing good fruit, sustainably and profitably. From a research and development perspective, is there one single piece of research in the wine industry that has really influenced you or your directions in winemaking?
The AWRI’s work on Brettanomyces was pioneering and very useful. I guess on an equal status would be the AWRI research into wine closures and my subsequent shift to screwcaps in 2002. The Ark question. The world is flooding ... which two wines (white and red) would you take onto the Ark?
Simple – a Chardonnay, like our 2005, or a Pinot Noir, like our 2003. But, if there was not a Pinot on the shelf because all my greedy friends had beaten me, a seven-year-old Gamay of excellence. I have been reading Grapegrower & Winemaker since the ‘70s. In fact, I think one of my photos graced the cover in about 1982. What I love is the range of articles that cover personal anecdotes through to research scientist advice, mixed in with information provided by equipment suppliers. October 2012 – Issue 585
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Innovations sought in wine microbiology Researchers seek to identify wine yeasts with robust fermentation performance. Vladimir Jiranek and Paul Grbin
A vintage free of the frustration of problem fermentations is certainly not the norm Yeast & for many wineries. Our enzymes most recent survey (late 2010) of winemakers who collectively represented almost 25% of national wine production by volume revealed that an average of 8% of fermentations suffered from problems that were linked to the microbiology of the process. A simple extrapolation to the value of the wine involved, even at the most basic quality, implies many tens of millions of dollars of wine at risk every year. At risk of downgrade and at risk of not realising the full value potential of the grapes from which these wine are produced. The Wine Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology Laboratory at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus has long been seeking ways to avoid such problems and in fact to extract ‘value-adds’ from wine microbiology. Our work focuses on providing the industry with reliable workhorses, both yeast and bacteria, that get the business of alcoholic and malolactic fermentation done quickly and efficiently. Exploiting these organisms to tailor wine composition or to effect fermentation success in the face of specific challenges is also a high priority. Examples of research outputs to be discussed here include wine yeast with robust fermentation performance, fructophilic yeast and enzymatic properties of lactic acid bacteria. This work represents some of the outcomes form GWRDC projects UA 05/01 (Better wine through novel and better informed application of microbiology) and UA 05/05 (Overcoming inefficient utilisation of fructose as a cause of problem fermentations).
The challenge with non-GM techniques is their imprecision and unpredictability of outcomes and therefore the need to find the sought after strain from amongst the population of undesired strains – like a needle in the haystack. We have addressed this challenge with our colleagues at the AWRI by developing high throughput microfermentation systems that allow us to screen many hundreds of candidate strains in a short time frame (Liccioli et al. 2011). Fermentations are performed in a (0.3–2.0mL) 96-well plate format and utilise robotic liquid-handling systems (Figure 1) and a spectrophotometer able to scan the 96 wells of such plates. In this way individual candidate strains can be monitored for growth (increase in culture density) whilst the supernatant can be analysed for the components of interest (residual sugars, ethanol, etc). The fact that performance of strains on such a small scale translates well to the more traditional 250mL shakeflask configuration for laboratory fermentations is critical and means the system can be used with confidence for preliminary screening of large
numbers of potential new strains or a wide variety of conditions. Applications include the identification of promising strains from large collections or libraries whether they are: i) produced through hybridisation of parents with desirable but complementary properties, ii) libraries of mutants where a specific improvement (e.g. greater ethanol tolerance) is sought, iii) isolates from adaptive evolution experiments or in fact iv) collections of isolates from vineyards or wineries where novel contributions to wine composition are of interest. We have applied this screening system to interrogate the publically available yeast deletion library to identify genes that are critical to the completion of an extended fermentation of a high sugar grape juice. This library contains in separate, defined wells of 96-well plates one mutant (deletant) of each gene in the yeast genome whose deletion is not lethal. This represents some 4500 deletions of genes out of a possible 6800 genes. Even though such libraries are constructed in a laboratory yeast, they still represent an excellent opportunity to identify genes that are vital to high sugar fermentation. Once
Finding the needle in the haystack In some instances, there is a perception that the industry or consumers would prefer not to use genetically modified (GM) organisms in the production of wine. Whilst such GM organisms are an invaluable tool for proof-of-concept and gaining a fundamental understanding of the yeast and bacteria used in winemaking, our work on the generation of improved strains is largely being achieved by nonGM means, even if GM organisms may well be embraced by the global wine industry in the not too distant future.
96 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Figure 1. Liquid-handling robots such as that depicted above with an 8-channel pipettor head is being used to facilitate the conduct and analysis of micro fermentations (0.3–2.0mL) in 96-well plates. This approach permits the screening of hundreds of candidate strains of yeast or bacteria as well as numerous growth conditions (nutrition, temperatures, etc) in a rapid and efficient manner. www.winebiz.com.au
October 2012 – Issue 585
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Putting Darwin’s idea to work for winemakers Any population of the same organism will contain individuals that differ in the degree of capability in a given attribute – e.g. some of us are taller or faster runners than others. Similarly, some individual yeast cells within the population of the same strain are able to ferment more quickly or are more tolerant of stresses such as a limitation of assimilable nitrogen or growth at low pH. If the appropriate selective pressure is applied these better suited individuals are more likely to survive and reproduce, thereby
Fructose concentration (g/l)
identified the same genes can be deleted from a wine strain to ensure the same outcome for fermentation holds true in wine yeast. In this way we have identified around 100 genes that are essential to allowing yeast to complete a wine-like fermentation. Knowing the identity of these genes and their function has allowed us to identify the cellular processes that might be important in identifying or generating superior yeast – processes such as effective transport of sugar into the cell or the ability to cope with the conditions typical of fermentation. A detailed report of this work is imminent.
PAR 3 7 9 11
Figure 2. Fructose utilisation from a defined medium by a commercial wine yeast (PAR) compared to four numbered candidate strains produced via adaptive evolution. The candidates were isolated after an extended, continuous incubation in a defined medium contain limited concentrations of fructose (~ 5g/L) as sole carbon source. The plot shows the kinetics of fructose utilisation during batch fermentation of a medium containing both equimolar amounts of glucose (not shown) and fructose.
progressively becoming more common in the population. If such selective pressure is applied for many generations, it is not only possible to select for fitter variants that already exist in the population but also to allow time for spontaneous mutations to occur and for increasingly fitter variants to arise. This process of applying a specific selective pressure over an extended time
is termed ‘directed evolution’ or ‘adaptive evolution’ since the population actually evolved to be more competitive in the applied environment. From the point of view of strain optimisation, this method has the advantage of not necessarily requiring knowledge of the genetic or physiological basis for the attribute in question – it merely requires the ability to
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98 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 – Issue 585
Directing wine styles using non-Saccharomyces yeast Sofie Saerens, Kristine Bjerre, Annicka Bunte, Mansour Badaki, Lars Bo Corfitzen & Hentie Swiegers Non-Saccharomyces yeast have been part of winemaking for thousands of years but the advent of commercial active dried wine yeast of Saccharomyces cerevisiae inoculated at high cell numbers have inevitably suppressed the ability of these yeast to express their special characters in wine. However, the recent development of commercially available strains of specially selected nonSaccharomyces yeast has given winemakers the opportunity to better harness these microorganisms in order to improve wine quality. This study looks at Torulaspora delbrueckii (PRELUDE), Pichia kluyveri (FROOTZEN) and Kluyveromyces thermotolerans (CONCERTO). All three yeasts result in an increase in the palate weight / mouthfeel of the wine with Torulaspora contributing the most, followed by Kluyveromyces and then by Pichia. These yeasts also have special flavour impacts on wine in different directions with Pichia being most suitable for tropical fruit expression in white wines, Torulaspora for complex, savoury, caramel and cooked plum expressions in red wines and Kluyveromyces for blackberry, blackcurrant and plum expression in red and rosé wines (Figure 2.) Kluyveromyces is also special in the sense that it can produce lactic acid, adding to the smooth acidity of the wine, a feature that can be beneficial in warm, low-acid regions.
The mechanism by which these nonSaccharomyces yeast improve the mouthfeel of wines is not well understood. However, Comitini et al. 2011 has shown that nonSaccharomyces yeasts in general result in a much higher expression of polysaccharides in wines with Torulaspora giving the highest concentrations when co-fermented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It could also be that non-Saccharomyces yeasts have special interactions with polyphenolic compounds and tannins, potentially assisting polymerisation but this has not been proven. Further scientific research is needed to understand this area better.
results indicated that Kluyveromyces has a significant effect on the production of ethyl octanoate (complex, fatty, brandy-like flavour) and on ethy butyrate (fruity, berry-type flavour).
The effect of flavour compound production by non-Saccharomyces yeast is relatively well studied. In the case of Pichia kluyveri, the yeast was specifically isolated for its ability to release the fruity volatile thiols from grape derived precursors (Anfang et al. 2009). Other papers indicated that Torulaspora delbrueckii can result in lower volatile acidity production when co-fermented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Bely et al. 2008).
Sofie Saerens, Kristine Bjerre, Annicka Bunte, Mansour Badaki, Lars Bo Corfitzen & Hentie Swiegers. Chr. Hansen, Bøge Allé 10-12, Hørsholm, 2970, Denmark. Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have investigated the ability of Kluyveromyces thermotolerans to produce flavour compounds. Pure strains were inoculated in synthetic grape juice and after fermentation the volatile aroma compounds were measured. Kluyveromyces could only ferment up to 9% alcohol. The
It is clear that the application of nonSaccharomyces yeast in modern winemaking is here to stay as these microorganisms, which have been part of winemaking for thousands of years, significantly contribute to improving the quality of wine and thereby help make wine a more pleasurable experience for consumers.
Angang, N., Brajkovich, M., Goddard, M.R. 2009. Co-fermentation with Pichia kluyveri increases varietal thiol concentrations in Sauvignon Blanc. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 1–8. Bely, M., Stoeckle, P., Masneuf-Pomarède, I., Dubourdieu, D. 2008. Impact of mixed Torulaspora delbrueckii– Saccharomyces cerevisiae culture on high-sugar fermentation. International Journal of Food Microbiology. Volume 122, Issue 3, 20 Pages 312–320 Comitini, F., Gobbi, M., Domizio, P., Romani, R., Lencioni, L., Mannazzu, I., Ciani, M. 2010. Selected nonSaccharomyces wine yeasts in controlled multistarter fermentations with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Food Microbiology. Volume 28, Issue 5, Pages 873–882
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For further information, please contact: Amanda Tanga email@example.com
Opportunities to tailor wine composition In addition to research focusing on yeast and efficient fermentation, we have also
100 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Total sugar concentration - GLU + FRU (g/l)
identify an appropriate selective pressure or environmental trigger. In work with AWRI we used continuous growth in a medium of limited fructose content as the basis for the evolution of a wine yeast with improved capacity to utilise fructose (Liccioli 2010). Fructose of course is the sugar that along with glucose constitutes the bulk of the fermentable sugar in grape juice. The challenge for most wine yeast strains is that they are glucophilic and utilise fructose less effectively. This can be the basis for a stuck fermentation or at very least ensures fructose, which is 1.4 times sweeter than glucose, is the predominant residual sugar in wine. Initial characterisation of such evolved strains under laboratory conditions (defined media) demonstrates that they do in fact exhibit enhanced fructose utilisation. Thus they deplete the fructose from a mixed sugar fermentation in about 82% of the time taken by the parental strain (Fig 2). Further characterisation of these promising isolates is taking place using grape juices and musts of various compositions. A further evolved strain produced by our group is FM16-C7 H, the first reported evolved wine yeast (McBryde et al., 2006), notable for its superior fermentation robustness. This strain was derived from the commercial strain L2056 through repeated batch fermentations. In this case, viable yeast from a completed fermentation of a defined medium of high sugar content were momentarily propagated aerobically before acting as the inoculum for the next batch fermentation. The process was repeated some 70 times over almost a year. Yeast produced from this experiment were able to complete fermentation in almost half the time of the parental strain. We have since been characterising this yeast in pilot wine fermentations. Typically its performance varies between that of matching and outperforming the reference strain, EC1118. Such variability highlights the impact of the unique conditions in each fermentation (e.g. juice composition). In the example in Fig 3, FM16-C7 H completed fermentation of a Semillon juice in about 12 days compared to over 15 days for the parent and EC1118. We are currently in the process of commercialising a derivative of FM16-C7 H, while we continue to utilise the adaptive evolution technique to develop further optimised strains.
Semillon 2012 10L 150
EC1118 L2056 FM16-C7
Time elapsed (h) Figure 3. Fermentation of a 2012 Semillon juice by evolved strain FM16-C7 H compared to the parental strains L2056 and the reference strain EC1118.
undertaken extensive characterisations of wine lactic acid bacteria (LAB), with the aim of increasing the knowledge of their influence over the sensory properties of wine. Specifically, LAB have been screened for a range of enzyme activities that might modify sensorily important substrates in the wine (Grimaldi et al., 2005, Matthews et al., 2006). One class of enzyme that has received particular attention are the esterases. These enzymes effect the hydrolysis or synthesis (or both) of esters, a class of volatile compounds responsible for some of the fruity or floral aromas in wine. Initial work demonstrated the marked ability of whole cells to hydrolysis artificial ester substrates. Included were substrates related to the undesirable ester, ethyl acetate, whose aroma is reminiscent or nail polish remover and deemed a fault at excessive concentrations. The potential therefore exists to modulate the ester profile of wine through the addition of biomass of selected LAB strains, identified as rich in specific esterases. Current work examines purified esterases from a range of strains (e.g. Sumby et al., 2009). Again the enzymes were variously effective against artificial and natural substrates and, importantly, were at least partly tolerant of the low pH and temperature and high ethanol contents typical of wine (Sumby et al., 2012). Thus the EstA2 esterase from Oenococcus oeni synthesised ethyl butanoate and ethyl hexanoate from the corresponding substrates, whereas when supplied with these esters, both were hydrolysed, as was ethyl octanoate. When malolactic fermentation (MLF) trials were performed in wine with O. oeni strains previously shown to have low esterase activity, they tended to www.winebiz.com.au
produce wines with a higher level of total esters. These results suggest that selective use of LAB strains or enzymes purified from these, represent a tool for modulating wine aroma profile.
Ongoing research The above yeast and bacterial projects are part of a current GWRDC funded project UA 1101: Innovative Microbials for Winemaking Excellence, which seeks to expand the characterisation of the developed microbial tools to include wine-like conditions ahead of making these available to the Australian wine industry.
Vladimir Jiranek and Paul Grbin, School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, The University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond South Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
References Grimaldi. A., E. Bartowsky, V. Jiranek (2005) A survey of glycosidase activities of commercial strains of Oenococcus oeni. Internat. J. Food Microbiol. 105:233-44. Liccioli, T. (2010) Improving fructose utilization in wine yeast using adaptive evolution. PhD thesis, The University of Adelaide. Liccioli, T., T.M.T. Tran, D. Cozzolino, V. Jiranek, P.J. Chambers, S.A. Schmidt (2010) Microvinification â€“ How small can we go? Appl. Microbiol. Biotech. 89:1621-1628. Matthews, A., P.R. Grbin, V. Jiranek (2006) A survey of lactic acid bacteria for enzymes of interest to oenology. Aust. J. Grp. Wine Res. 12: 235-44. McBryde, C., J.M. Gardner, M. de Barros Lopes, V. Jiranek (2006) Generation of novel wine yeast strains by adaptive evolution. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 57:423-30. Sumby, K.M., P.R. Grbin, V. Jiranek (2012) Ester synthesis and hydrolysis in an aqueous environment, and strain specific changes during malolactic fermentation in wine with Oenococcus oeni. In review. Sumby, K.M., A.H. Matthews, P.R. Grbin, V. Jiranek (2009) Cloning and characterization of an intracellular esterase from the wine-associated lactic acid bacterium Oenococcus oeni. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 75:6729â€“35. October 2012 â€“ Issue 585
Designing a low-carbon refrigeration system makes good sense This research paper prepared by Amertec on carbon footprint reduction aims to assist in identifying issues and enabling compliance with the new Carbon Tax legislation introduced into Australia in July 2012. Rocky Moyes
THE REC E N T LY INTRODUCED Carbon Tax directly affects the wine industry that relies heavily on cooling, Refrigeration chilling and heating systems that typically consume between 40-60 per cent of a wineries total electrical consumption. The high energy input demand required to operate the refrigeration and heating systems that ensure consistent quality during fermentation, cold stabilisation and maturation may also have a mixture of refrigerant compounds that have high ozone depletion and global warming potential (ODP and GWP). When you add all this up it means these existing systems, which consume more power and have higher ozone and global warming potentials than new technology and other available refrigerants are directly affecting your carbon footprint. In other words your carbon emissions are directly tied and assessable under the Carbon Tax legislation. The basis for the Carbon Tax is your carbon emissions or your carbon footprint. Fossil-based fuels that are so broadly used to manufacture chemicals, produce energy and are consumed during manufacturing processes that we take for granted in our everyday lives, leave a traceable carbon footprint. There may be a number of refrigeration and heating systems currently in use at your winery that contain refrigerant compounds or gases that are part of a worldwide reduction scheme and, as such, maximum production quotas have been established and agreed upon under worldwide protocols and agreements. It has been widely reported that the cost of these refrigerants have increased upwards of over 300-400% per kilogram since the introduction of the Carbon Tax in Australia in July 2012. The import levy cost and equivalent carbon pricing on refrigerant is calculated on each refrigerants GWP rating, combined with worldwide protocols and the capped production targets that will reduce supply of many commonly used refrigerants creating a financial burden and level of unacceptable risk. October 2012 – Issue 585
The following Refrigerants Reference Table 1 provides some insight into the issues and the basis for calculating the equivalent carbon pricing levy on refrigerants that you may be using in your brine chilling systems. The ODP and the GWP must be taken into account when budgeting for the operation, maintenance and repairs of your refrigeration and heating systems. Likewise any capital expenditure or the selection of new or replacement equipment must ensure the maximum operating efficiency and electrical consumption (coefficient of performance or COP) when decisions on a design are made to meet the requirements of air conditioning and refrigeration systems for the purpose of any cooling and heating process including the storage of your products.
Refrigerants Reference Table 1 Common refrigerants and ODP and GWDP are indicated below. • ozone depletion potential (ODP) of a chemical compound is the relative amount of degradation it can cause to the ozone layer • global warming potential (GWP) is a measure of how much a given mass of a gas contributes to global warming. GWP is a relative scale
which compares the greenhouse gas to carbon dioxide where GWP by definition is one.
Formulating an approach to designing a low carbon footprint system All wineries must have confidence in their chilling and heating systems to operate economically, reliably and uninterrupted all year round, especially during the summer harvest when services and resources are put under very high demand. Peak efficiency of your equipment must be available to ensure a successful vintage. There are a number of areas for consideration (see Tables 2 and 3) however four key areas in any design concept can be summarised as follows: 1. remove any refrigerant that has an ODP rating 2. select refrigerants with low and preferably no GWP rating 3. select refrigerants that consume less power with a high refrigeration output (high COP) 4. select systems that require minimal refrigerant charges are pressure tight and easy to maintain and operate. Reference Table 2 and 3 on the above four points relating to refrigerant and power
Ozone depletion potential (ODP)
Global warming potential (GWP)*
R-404A (44% R-125, 52% R-143a, 4% R-134a)
R-407A (20% R-32, 40% R-125, 40% R-134a)
R-407C (23% R-32, 25% R-125, 52% R-134a)
R-410A (50% of R32 and 50% of R125)
R-717 Ammonia - NH3
R-718 Water - H20
R-744 Carbon Dioxide - CO2
Refrigerant R-22 Chlorodifluoromethane
R-502 (48.8% R-22, 51.2% R-115)
*Note this table uses rounding methods and may not accurately reflect the exact GWP rating used to calculate the Commonwealth Government of Australia’s Carbon tax. More at: www.environment.gov.au www.winebiz.com.au
Grapegrower & Winemaker
winemaking Typical refrigerant analysis brine chilling systems Table 2 Below is a comparison of refrigerants used on many winery sites using direct cooling or secondary glycol and brine cooling applications. They are typical of most refrigeration systems with high ODP and GWP, for comparison we have provided two options on a properly designed low carbon foot print system/s to meet the same requirements.
Typical energy consumption analysis brine chilling systems Table 3 A comparison of the two (2) existing brine chilling systems using HCFC R22 providing a total of 261 kilowatts of cooling capacity compared with an Ammonia system of the same 261 kilowatts of total cooling capacity.
is ample opportunity to reduce financial and Carbon Tax reporting burdens on your business. The implementation of some simple strategies to monitor and assess your exposure will allow proper planning and prioritisation of capital and resources to be undertaken. A reduction in your power
The benefit of assessing your existing refrigeration and heating systems to lower or totally removing ODP, GWP of refrigerants at your site has many advantages. Each system and site, including the systems and processes employed, need careful evaluation as there Qty. kg
GWP Tonnes Each
GWP Tonnes Total
HCFC R22 HFC R 404A
Indirect Chiller (Glycol Brine)
OPT. A HFC R 407C HFC R 134 A
Indirect Chiller (Glycol Brine)
OPT. B Greener Option R717
Direct & Indirect (Glycol Brine)
*The COP is a measure of the energy efficiency of the system expressed as a ratio. The higher the ratio the more efficient the system is. It is calculated by dividing the rate at which heat is added or removed from a process or facility (i.e. the capacity output expressed here in Kilowatts of Refrigeration divided by the electricity power input or absorbed power).
Refrigerant Type and Quantity
Approx. Capacity at -6 degrees Leaving Brine Temp.
Total Absorbed power at 100% load kW approx.
GWP Tonnes of carbon equiv.
*COP kWr/kW Ratio
# 1 Air Cooled package brine chiller
HCFC R22 30kg
#2 Central plant design air cooled brine chiller
HCFC R22 305kg
Equipment @ 40 Celsius ambient
Total Ammonia System
*Note: Power consumption is 45 % lower with Zero ODP & GWP.
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Experts in Temperature Control
Low Carbon Low Energy
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www.amertec.com.au 102 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 â€“ Issue 585
Typical winery refrigeration system.
consumption will also provide a lower carbon footprint that forms a large part of the recently implemented Carbon Tax legislation. Electrical consumption is easily reduced by in excess of 30% with the careful evaluation and the selection of high efficiency refrigeration units/ systems, (improved COP) heat recovery systems, variable speed drives, control point optimisation and operational control systems that reduce power consumption whilst still maintaining all temperature requirements can also be accomplished economically.
Typical winery refrigeration package unit.
There a number of federal and state government incentives and government grant programmes that provide financial assistance to companies that take the initiative in reducing their carbon footprint.
your t& n i r p t o o F n o Carb er w o P r u o y e Reduc Costs Latest
Further information, links and calculators for estimating your carbon emissions and electrical consumption, visit: www.amertec.com.au Rocky Moyes is the director of Amertec.
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PH 08 8524 4988 FAX 08 8524 4988 MOB 0418 835 331 October 2012 – Issue 585
Proven filtration and stabilisation technology
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Recently trialled in New Zealand with outstanding results, the Polar System is an inline on-demand continuous tartaric stabilisation technology providing significant operational savings through reduced energy use, cleaning costs, water usage and waste management stream. All Della Toffola equipment is backed up with expert local technical and engineering support, in addition to a wide range of spare parts. Contact us today and find out how Della Toffola can help you produce higher quality wines, make the winemaking process more efficient and environmentally friendly.
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Benchmarking a continuous tartrate stabilisation system Warren Roget
Introduction In the face of ever-rising electricity costs, proactive wineries seek to understand the drivers of their power consumption and look to new technologies and/or processes to offset rising costs. With refrigeration typically responsible for 50-70% of power consumption in wineries, it is a clear focal point for potential efficiency gains, both from the efficiency of the plant itself and the winemaking processes that draw heavily on refrigeration. Potassium bi-tartrate stabilisation is an operation that receives a high level of scrutiny, as it is known to be one of the heaviest users of refrigeration. During late 2011, The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), in collaboration with Della Toffola Pacific and The Yalumba Wine Company, undertook an evaluation of a Continuous Tartrate Stabilisation (CTS) system designed to remove potassium bi-tartrate (KHT) from wine. The purpose of this evaluation was not to prove the concept: this is well established with numerous CTS units operating throughout Europe, but rather to collect robust information on the operational performance of the CTS system. The aim was to compare traditional cold stabilisation methods with the CTS system, analysing both the economic and environmental costs associated with each method. The trial was set up using the same base wine treated via the CTS system and the traditional cold technique. The performance of each technique was then assessed against a number of different key performance/ operational parameters including: • power consumption • water consumption • wine losses • labour requirements • processing duration • sensory impact.
Trial design The CTS system consists of four primary functional components: the heat exchanger, the refrigerated scraped surface chiller, the crystalliser and the filter trains. The layout of a typical CTS arrangement is shown in Figure 1. Additionally the CTS is equipped with a mixing tank that can be utilised to seed the stabilisation process with crème of tartar (CoT), either in the dry powder form, or by reusing previously collect tartrate. During processing, wine enters the system through a counter current heat exchanger which recovers energy from chilled product leaving the system. The wine then passes into the scraped surface chiller equipped with its own direct expansion refrigeration system. The chilled wine then enters the crystalliser tank which is designed to propagate and precipitate the KHT crystals which then fall to the bottom of the chamber. The system recirculates upon itself, via a conductivity sensor, until the wine complies with a predetermined conductivity set point. When the wine is deemed stable, it is then passed through parallel filter trains to ensure any suspended KHT crystals are removed before the wine is re-warmed as it exits the system via the heat exchanger. The filter trains consist of
October 2012 – Issue 585
Scraped surface chiller.
method, where the wine is refrigerated for three days at -4ºC, and inspected for crystallisation. Additionally, sensory difference testing confirmed that there were no differences in the sensory properties of the treated wines. Given the difference in the batch sizes, it was essential Mixing tank. to scale the key operational parameters to enable a true comparison. The results of both processes, scaled to 65,000L are Filtration. Heat exchanger. summarised in Table 1. These results show that CTS provides an extremely significant advantage over typical cold stabilisation methods in terms of a 95% reduction in processing duration and an 83% reduction in power consumption. The reduced power consumption can be attributed to the heat recovery that is undertaken when discharging the Control panel. stabilised wine, but also to the short processing duration. A very significant component of the power Figure 1 - A 10,000L/h continuous tartrate stabilisation associated with the typical cold stabilisation system, with key components labelled. method can be attributed to holding the wine cold for days or weeks at a time, not just the direct refrigeration energy, but the power a hydrocyclone prior to cartridge filtration to required for the reticulated brine system. remove the larger suspended solids. Inline Figure 2 shows the power consumption, The claimed key advantages of the CTS conductivity specifically the current on all three phases system are: sensor. during steady state operation. Here it can be • improved operational efficiencies resulting seen that refrigeration unit cycles to maintain from on-demand technology the wine set-point temperature, however it is not • shorter processing time required to run continuously to achieve this. The peak • reduced power consumption current draw, when the refrigeration unit is operating, is • reduced wine losses approximately 105A, and the baseline current draw, without • reduced oxygen pick up. refrigeration, is approximately 20A. While there is scope to The evaluation was conducted utilising a 2011 Pinot Gris, and approximately 65,000L of wine was available to process using the CTS. In assessing the CTS unit against a typical cold stabilisation process, a typical process needed to be defined from the diverse range of processes used across the industry. Input was sought from several medium and large wineries, and this information was used to identify a typical cold stabilisation method. This process involved: • refrigeration plant and brine reticulation system • insulated tank fitted with agitator • wine set-point temperature of -4ºC • agitation for three days • Must Chilling • settling duration a minimum of four days • Tank Cooling • brine set-point temperature of -8ºC and dead band • Barrel Stores adjustment +/- 1ºC • Portable Chilling • seeding additives: none used. • Air Conditioning This process was evaluated using a 6,400L volume of the identical wine. While smaller than ideal, it was dictated by Designed in Australia production requirements. Manufactured in Australia
WINERY REFRIGERATION PACKAGED BRINE CHILLERS
For Australian Conditions
Summary of results The CTS and the typical cold stabilisation methods both yielded wines with commercially acceptable levels of cold stability, as determined by the AWRI Commercial Services Laboratory Table 1 – Representative trial results when scaled to 65kL Performance metrics
‘Typical’ cold stabilisation
Processing time (h)
~ 95% reduction
Power consumption (kWh)
~ 83% reduction
~ 23% reduction
~ 21% reduction
Wine losses (L) Labour requirements (h) October 2012 – Issue 585
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
winemaking practice heat recovery with the typical cold stabilisation method, the reality is that it is extremely difficult to schedule the subsequent operations to be timed accordingly. The wine loss using the two methods was comparable, with the CTS likely to offer a 20% reduction in wine loss through permanent installation and inf rast ructure/standa rd operating procedures to handle the wine held up in the filters at the end of processing. The labour requirements for both methods were comparable, however the CTS has the ability to operate automatically when permanently installed, meaning labour requirements will reduce considerably compared to these trial conditions. A key advantage is that the stabilisation and the filtration are being conducted concurrently, essentially removing an additional processing operation associated with the typical cold stabilisation The water use associated with the CTS was assessed, however, due to the small batch size processed relative to the full cleaning operation performed, the results were not representative of real world conditions. It is expected that the water use of the CTS would be
Figure 2 – Measurement of the current draw (Amps) of the CTS during operation.
comparable to that of the typical cold stabilisation when the corresponding filtration operation is included in the assessment. An important consideration when interpreting these results is to take into account that the specific (per kL) power consumption, water consumption, wine losses and labour requirements are likely to decrease as the CTS batch size increases, and the performance relative to the typical cold stabilisation will further improve. A less tangible benefit of the CTS is the operational advantages potentially resulting from the shorter and more defined processing duration. This enables the further optimisation of production schedules, with a likely flow-
on benefit of reduced production costs. Additionally, the CTS has the potential to be used as a continuous process in line with packaging operations, rather than the batch process of the traditional method, with the associated benefits of eliminating a unit operation. Overall, the CTS has been validated to offer an alternative to the energy intensive process of typical cold stabilisation, offering very significant advantages in terms of energy requirements and processing time. Warren Roget is the technical manager, commercial services at The Australian Wine Research Institute. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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October 2012 – Issue 585
sales & marketing Why Chinese on-premise choose the wines they carry Steve Goodman and Teagan Altschwager
This is a paper in a series presenting results from research funded by the GWRDC that examines decision influencers amongst trade customers and distributors on which wine to buy in, promote and represent. The research is investigating distributors, on and offpremise buyers in Australia, China and the US. Previous papers have presented results from Chinese distributors and off-premise (Goodman & Altschwager 2012) as well as Australian distributors (Goodman 2012) along with a brief review of the literature (Goodman 2012) and background to the research, so it is not replicated here (those papers can be accessed through https:// www.winebiz.com.au/gwm/view/).
Key wine cities studied Data in China was collected from the three key wine cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, with approximately equal responses from each location. Pen and paper questionnaires were administered to distributors, retailers and on-premise wine buyers – this paper presents the off-premise data. Demographic and descriptive data were gathered and then a choice experiment using the BestWorse choice method was used (Cohen 2009). In that, respondents are presented with a series of tables comprised of a number of choices. In each table they are
asked to nominate which one influenced their decision the ‘Most’ and which one influenced their decision the ‘Least’. Not all attributes are in each table, but each is presented the same number of times and appears ‘against’ each other attribute evenly. Analysis involves a count of the number of times an attribute (decision influencer) was scored as ‘Most’ and then subtracting the number of times it was scored ‘Least’. A standardisation technique is applied that converts the B-W score into a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 is the #1 influencing attribute, and the remaining scores essentially show the percentage comparison of the particular attribute being #1. It gives a comparison that shows the power of the various attributes on the decision being made. Figure 1 shows the results from the China on-premise sample, where, similar to the overall off-premise results, Brand is the number one influencer on choice. Vintage or aged wine was the second biggest influence, offering an avenue for those looking to export and target this segment to offer something from their own ‘museum’, in fact this was shown to be more of an influencer than the third and fourth more ‘traditionally’ thought of – ‘margin’ and the manager/sommelier liking the taste. This possibly highlights the opportunity to be developed in attending the market and opening up not
just current wines, but old ‘museum’ stock for tasting by management, sommeliers and even wait staff in an attempt to gain entry for a listing. Figure 2 shows the differences in influencers for the different response locations. Whilst ‘Brand’ is number one across the three, we see that there might be benefits to be had from emphasising or tailoring the offer to increase success dependent on the location. In Beijing and Shanghai, ‘margin’ and ‘vintage/aged wine’ were more of an influence than in Guangzhou, as were ‘grape variety’ and ‘medals’ – although the latter two had a lesser overall influence. In Guangzhou we see much more of an influence, almost double, of the taste acceptance, liking, by the manager or sommelier. Clearly this indicates the need to have your wine opened and shown to management and staff in Guangzhou. The ‘listing fee or rebate’ paid by the distributor exerts much more influence than the other two markets, as does the origin of the wine – which qualitative insight there showed preference in Beijing for Bordeaux, and for Cabernet (Merlot) if the wine was from other markets. This suggests a ‘Shiraz-first’ entry strategy into Beijing may benefit from having Bordeaux blends front and centre in Beijing. We see differences in the influencers at the level of Chinese or western fine
Retail price point
Point of sale material
Press write ups and features
Medals and awards won
70 60 50
Like the taste (manager/staff)
Winery staff visit
Figure 1. ‘What influences your decision to stock a new wine?’ – Chinese on-premise (n=362) October 2012 – Issue 585
Grapegrower & Winemaker
sales & marketing dining (Figure 3). Whilst brand is again the most important influencer on choice, the data show an opportunity to modify and adapt your offer to the segment you are targeting. Western fine dining is far more influenced by ‘margin’, ‘manager likes’ and ‘grape variety’ than Chinese fine dining – not a surprise for anyone in the wine trade, but interesting to see again that ‘vintage or aged wine’ is much more an influence to the Chinese fine dining segment – continuing the signal that this offers wineries an opportunity to work closely with this segment and provide sought after value. The challenge of ‘matching food on the menu’, which is more of an influence for fine dining Chinese on-premise, has long left wine producers puzzled. Qualitative insights gave several recommendations and support for Australian wine as matching ‘across the table’ rather than with individual plates. Given the nature of a fine dining Chinese meal (and even more casual fare), where ‘balance’ is made up across several dishes rather than
the European approach within one plate, this may be an avenue for exploitation by the Australian winery. What all the data we have seen using this choice experiment approach shows us is there are opportunities to examine who you are trying to sell to (and with) and modify your approach so you are more in line with their sought value. The data so far has highlighted a number of opportunities for Australian wineries, small and large, to present to the Chinese market in a manner that fits the demand of the supply chain. Further analysis will be undertaken to look at the difference by restaurant size, within ‘style’, and other facets such as volume and margin. Steve Goodman is Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Program Director Higher Degrees by Research at The University of Adelaide Business School. His research involves wine choice and supply chain decisionmaking. Author of Principles of Wine Marketing, he is currently supervising a number of Honours and PhD Students in wine-related topics of Tourism, Cellar Door Servicescape, Product Bundling, Social Media and Management Strategy. For updates across these areas – email@example.com. au or facebook.com/stevegoodmanwine. Copies of previous papers are available @ http://www.adelaide. edu.au/wine2030/research/fields/
60 50 40
Teagan Altschwager is a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide Business School, where she is researching the concept of Brand Events and Marketing in the Wine Sector. She conducted the data analysis for this work. Teagan.altschwager@ adelaide.edu.au
References Cohen, E (2009) ‘Applying Best-Worse scaling to wine marketing’, International Journal of Wine Marketing, 21(1) Goodman, S and Altschwager, T, (2012) ‘What influences the Chinese Distributor’s choice on what winery to represent?’ Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker Journal, April Goodman, S and Altschwager, T, (2012) ‘What influences the Chinese Off-Premise market choice?’ Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker Journal, June Goodman, S, (2012) ‘What influences a distributor’s decision on who to represent?’ Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker Journal, January Goodman, S (2012) Principles of Wine Marketing, Winetitles, Adelaide
Retail price point
Point of sale material
Press write ups and features
Medals and awards won
10. Grape variety
11. Customer request/enquiry
12. Brand 13. Origin/region
14. Like the taste (manager/staff)
15. Winery staff visit
Figure 2 – Differences between retailer location - Beijing (n=120), Shanghai (n=121), Guangzhou (n=121)
Retail price point
Point of sale material
Press write ups and features
Medals and awards won
Chinese fine dining
Western fine dining
10. Grape variety
11. Customer request/enquiry
13. Origin/region 14. Like the taste (manager/staff)
15. Winery staff visit
Figure 3 – Differences between restaurant type – Chinese fine dining (n=21), Western fine dining (n=91)
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October 2012 – Issue 585
Horses for courses gives Sirromet Wines a win at Birdsville Grahame Whyte
AMID THE DUST and colour of another successful Birdsville race day, a Queensland winery was backing winners throughout the weekend. Two of the winery’s marketing department crew from Brisbane jumped behind the wheel for the long drive to the outback town that attracts thousands of racegoers – including those who take the fast track and fly in – for the famous annual Birdsville Cup, on the edge of the Simpson Desert in central west Queensland. Stacked in the back of the truck were winery banners, portable bar, wine barrels and pallets of wine and when they finally arrived after an epic 23-anda-half-hour drive, it was time to start work rather than relax. Luke Swenson and Simone Pelly immediately set up banners and flags and got ready to serve the wine lovers among the thirsty crowd. Domestic sales manager at Sirromet Wines, Michael Muza said Sirromet was the new wine partner for the iconic event. “Our wines were served exclusively inside the track from public bars and at the Sirromet trackside marquee hospitality area,” he said. Sirromet’s involvement in the annual event included wine tastings for the public at the Birdsville Hotel’s traditional pre-race activities. “Sirromet featured their Vineyard Selection 187ml PET wines in a Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz and our Love My Sweet Fruity White and Red 187ml PET wines at the hotel, with great results,” Muza said. “Punters loved them and the publican was impressed with how much quicker, easier and more convenient the 187ml PET’s where when serving so many people.” Sirromet sold over 2200 bottles across the week’s festivities.
Birdsville’s population boom The population of Birdsville, located 1600km west of Brisbane, swells from 100 to about 6000 during race week, with many visitors accommodated at the town’s caravan park or camping on the banks of the Diamantina River. “It’s a coup for Sirromet to be involved because this one of Australia’s most famous outback events, with a unique October 2012 – Issue 585
First past the post at Birdsville races is Sirromet Wines.
and proud tradition,” said winery owner Terry Morris. “People fly into Birdsville in light aircraft from all around the country, so it’s a great opportunity to introduce our wines to new customers, on top of the branding and public relations benefits.” The Sirromet Trackside Marquee was limited to 170 guests on each day of the event and included a package featuring a range of Sirromet wines, beer, plus gourmet dining with cuisine prepared by South Australian chef Simon Burr, full trackside views and access, complementary racebook, giveaways, door prizes, Sky Channel coverage and live music. Sirromet also conducted wine tastings at the Birdsville Hotel the day before the races, among a range of other activities including ‘beach’ cricket. And what was the response like from the punters? “Awesome,” Pelly said. “The wines were extremely well www.winebiz.com.au
received and fantastic feedback was given from all that were there!” How did she cope with the heat and dust while trying to look cool? “It wasn’t actually too hot at all, and the dust is just part and parcel of this iconic event – just something we had to work with,” she said.
Winery partnerships In the past 12 months Sirromet was also wine partner at major events including the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament, Gympie Music Muster, Brisbane Roar’s home A-League soccer games at Suncorp Stadium, the Caxton Seafood Festival in Brisbane, and Summafieldayze on the Gold Coast. Sirromet has won more than 550 medals and awards since opening in 2000. The winery headquarters is located at Mount Cotton near Brisbane, and the company also has vineyards at Ballandean on the Granite Belt. Grapegrower & Winemaker
sales & marketing
Wine science: do we really need to know? Jeni Port columnist
“Do you think the average wine lover talks about and really understands whole bunches?” The young sommelier posing the question at a recent wine tasting (dealing, at the time, with a particularly goodlooking Shiraz from central Victoria) looked terribly intense as if posing a question for the ages. If it was five years ago he might have been asking about Pinot clones, 10 years ago it would have been oak, 15 years ago pH numbers. One wine critic in attendance considered the burning question. “Probably not.” End of discussion. Is there a disconnect between the science of winemaking and the enjoyment of wine? Probably. We need one to enjoy the other, but most winemakers – and writers and sommeliers – keep the science message simple for fear of alienating drinkers. But as British self-taught chef, Heston Blumenthal, has discovered, science can be sexy . . . and profitable. So, while the average wine lover probably doesn’t understand whole bunches, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be talked about. Don’t underestimate the willingness of drinkers to learn. We saw it at the 2011 Mornington Peninsula International Pinot Noir Celebration when subjects like whole bunches, carbonic maceration, oak toasting levels and fermentation temperatures – all the nerdy stuff – were freely discussed by winemakers and non-winemakers alike. Guest speaker Allen ‘The Burghound’ Meadows was blown away by the audience’s level of knowledge and participation. No doubt it will be a similar story this coming February when the sixth International Celebration is held with Jasper Morris, MW, at the helm. The Pinot Noir grape has indeed been a great little ambassador for wine science. The annual Stonier International Pinot Noir Tasting (SIPNOT) is always a sold-out affair filled with passionate wine novices. The upcoming Pinot Palooza (www.pinotpalooza.com.au) in Melbourne is being heavily promoted
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to movers and shakers as well as wine upstarts. Now a McLaren Vale winemaker who’s definitely more into Shiraz than Pinot, he is bringing some winemaking 101 science lessons to his annual trade day fairs with his distributor, red + white. Michael Fragos of Chapel Hill says the idea is to show samples of his winemaking trials to the trade because, “They often hear winemaking terms without having seen or tasted them first hand”. He’s right. This year, his tasting themes were oak, ferment temperatures and whole bunches. His ongoing wine quest? To invest his McLaren Vale Shiraz with greater finesse and interest. Fragos has been presenting his wine trials for some years. In 2010 the trial dealt with the curly question of ‘to filter or not to filter’, in addition to four alcohol trials. His down-to-earth manner and refreshing honesty make the classes incredibly rewarding – if only more winemakers were prepared to be quite as open and relaxed. In a 2010 Sydney Morning Herald interview Fragos was quoted as not only supporting but also constructively criticising the McLaren Vale Shiraz style. “In McLaren Vale, we tend to get fruit weight and richness every year but we could improve texture, style and balance. Ideally, the end result would be more food-friendly wines and more enjoyable wines,” he said. Bravo. Fragos was not only aware of some of the shortcomings of modern McLaren Vale Shiraz but he used wine science terminology – fruit weight, richness, texture – in a way everyone can understand. This year, Fragos had in his sights the great Australian habit of adding acid and tannin to wine, for a habit it most surely is with many winemakers. “Adding acid and or tannin was something you did because you did,” he said.” Which brought us to the hottest topic www.winebiz.com.au
going round these days: whole bunches. The use of whole bunches can be one way of retaining tannin in wine, naturally. How did Fragos go about making the subject not only intelligible but entertaining? He kept the message simple. He produced two McLaren Vale Shiraz, produced from grapes off the same vineyard block and fermented in single fermenters. Wine A contained 100 per cent crushed and de-stemmed grapes. Wine B contained 25 per cent stems, a nice starting point in the whole bunch debate. Both wines were hand plunged, however the whole bunch was definitely plunged more gently. Adding stems had its advantages he explained in that they helped leach out water and could lower, ever so slightly, a wine’s alcohol. They also had a down side. “The stems are black at the finish of fermentation so they absorb colour,” he said. “And if the stems aren’t ripe and are green the wines get hideous green sappy characters. So we need mature stems, brown stems...” It was all pretty straight forward, with no massively complicated technical terms employed. The two wines helped substantiate his discussion points: the de-stemmed wine was soft, less tannic and definitely more fruity while the whole bunch wine was all structure. There was the essence of whole bunches demystified. With tastings like this, the trade, wine writers and sommeliers become more educated and eventually that education filters down to the consumer. But why stop there? As the popular Pinot workshops at SIPNOT and the Mornington Peninsula International Pinot Noir Celebration attest, there is a hungry group of wine drinkers out there ready, willing and dead keen to learn more about the how and why of wine science. So is the average wine lover ready to talk about and really understand things like the role of whole bunches? You bet. October 2012 – Issue 585
South Africa's bulk exports soar as cost cutting promotes bottling offshore Previously published at www. journee-vinicole.com, this interview explores the current state of play in the South African wine industry, from issues around the impact of increasing bulk exports, supply and demand, as well as production cost increases. Sharon Nagel
Background International wine broker, the Ciatti Company, set up a South African office in 2005. Based in Stellenbosch, it focuses on bulk wine brokering deals within South Africa though also exports to Europe – working mainly with the large bottling firms located in Germany, France and the UK – and more recently to the United States and Canada. Its annual trade volumes range from 20 million litres to a peak of 55 million in a surplus year, averaging 20 to 25 million litres. Vic Gentis heads up Ciatti’s South African and European operations from Stellenbosch and La Journée Vinicole asked him to describe the current situation for South African trade in bulk wines. The 2012 crop in South Africa is set to be 8 percent up on last year. What impact is this likely to have on trade in South African wines?
The increase will probably be about 7% but that is not a huge fluctuation on last year. We are very lucky in that we have not had any major natural disasters like the earthquake in Chile where there was a huge loss in volume. For the past five to seven years, we have had fairly stable crops. We are not a huge producer country. We are roughly the same size as Chile and slightly smaller than Australia, with about 1.35 to 1.4 million tonnes of grapes. So a 7% increase on those kinds of volumes is not really significant, certainly not as much as it would have been on the Italian, Spanish or French harvests for example. We also have a big brandy market so in the event of a large surplus, some wines get absorbed into distilling. Our prices and our exports always depend on the exchange rate with our customer markets. We are fairly lucky this year: the rand versus the dollar and the euro is far more favourable than it was last year. How does the production increase pan out?
The 7% harvest increase actually breaks down into significant drops for the smaller private wine estates in the coastal regions, whereas the bulk wine regions had in some cases quite major increases of between October 2012 – Issue 585
15-20%. We do see trading between those two local sections because the private estates need more wine. With markets on the rise, I don’t think the production increase is going to have a major impact. How would you describe the stock situation currently in South Africa?
Definitely there are still a lot of white wines available. The harvest breakdown is probably 65% whites to 35% reds, which is obviously the opposite to some countries such as Chile. Our biggest plantings are Chenin Blanc, Cabernet and Colombard. As we have had a short to imbalanced supply on reds, I don’t think the increased Cabernet is going to be a problem. Certainly varieties like Chenin Blanc and Colombard and generic white wines – even in some cases the more entrylevel Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc – could become a problem later in the year. This all hinges on the exchange rate. We are not a big supplier country but if the rand strengthens we could be sitting on a surplus of whites by the end of the year. Where is demand coming from currently?
Over the last two months we have been getting more and more enquiries, even from people in countries like Spain. People who were looking previously at countries such as Spain, Chile and Argentina for whites are definitely looking more at South Africa now. Even Spanish suppliers are looking at importing generic whites from South Africa to supply their other markets. At this moment in time it’s very much “touchy-touchy, feely-feely” to see what’s about. One of the big issues is, what is Spain going to be trading at and what is the size of the 2012 northern hemisphere crop? Production costs are rising in South Africa, for what reason?
Most of the fungicides, chemicals, enzymes, etc., that are used in winemaking or wine production are still imported. Over the last three to four years we have had huge increases in our local electricity costs from Eskom – 35-40% rises annually. Fuel hikes have also had a big impact as a lot of www.winebiz.com.au
Photo courtesy Wines of South Africa.
wines are still transported by road and a lot of winery equipment – tanks, presses – is imported from France or Italy, for example. Our local consumer price index may well increase by 5-6% annually but our costs go up by anything from 25-45% and even more. This is also mirrored in the plantings. New plantings have definitely slowed down and producers are in survival mode at the moment. Are the increases in production costs being passed on down the chain?
No, they’re not, pricing has remained fairly stable. A lot of the wines are still on the same pricing as in 2002/2003 and sometimes lower. The market dictates the price. In certain markets we have even seen producers delisting wines they supply to big supermarket chains because they cannot meet the pricing requirements any longer. They are losing money. Market players won’t disappear but there will probably be a switch from private producer to supermarket own brands. Demands on support services such as advertising material were just too high. This is reflected in Grapegrower & Winemaker
sales & marketing the increase in bulk exports which rose by 20% over the last year to Europe, while packaged exports decreased by 15%. Overall there is a 2% increase in exports but the wines are coming out in bulk and being packaged in country of sale. In South Africa there is just one supplier of glass which makes glass very expensive. Even imported bottles are expensive. At the moment, we cannot compete with bottling costs in Europe so even private labels such as First Cape are being bottled in Europe. First Cape’s bottling plant is standing dormant at the moment. The wines are being exported to Germany and bottled there because it’s cheaper. So bulk wines are not necessarily entry level but cover a broad range?
South African wines are pretty well regulated. Ten or fifteen years ago, entry-level and problem wines were being exported in bulk. Nowadays there are very strict regulations on exports: they have to be certified or, if they are uncertified generics, they have to go through organoleptic tastings and chemical analyses by the wines and spirits export board. Ciatti exports oak-aged premium quality wines that are bought for first class passengers on airline companies in Germany, for instance. Probably 80% of the wines we export are of really good commercial quality – which is true of Ciatti in general – 5-10% are of a very high standard and the remaining 5% are entry level. South Africa has been working to improve its image as a quality wine supplier. Will the expansion of bulk sales damage these efforts?
I don’t think so. I think it’s a case of economics. There will always be bulk
exports for buyers’ own labels. The increase in South Africa is more due to private labels and even private estates exporting in bulk because it is more competitive to bottle in Europe. A normal size container will hold 24,000L of bulk wine compared with just 9,000L of bottled wines. That’s a big difference. A lot of the bulk increase is not due to more bulk wines going into buyers’ own brands. Do you think this trend will continue in the future?
It depends on the exchange rate. As soon as it becomes viable to bottle in South Africa, companies will definitely start doing so. Nobody wants to have a dormant bottling line. It’s not as if all bottling has stopped in South Africa. It’s usually a borderline case. Most European countries are massively targeting Asia. Is this the case for South Africa?
It’s a market that has grown in interest for South Africa. Most producers still find it very difficult to get into the Asian market because they don’t really know it very well. In cooperation with the Department of Trade & Industry in South Africa, WOSA recently organised a tour into Asia, specifically the Chinese market. A lot of South African producers went on that tour to investigate the market and try and get in there. It is certainly a market of interest because of the population and consumption growth but I would say that it is individual estates and producers who have successfully entered the market. Overall, it is not a huge market for us and it certainly has not grown significantly over the last four or five years in the way that Sweden has. Over the last seven or eight years, Sweden has grown from zero to between 6 and 8 million litres.
Other markets we are really looking at now are the US and Canada. The rules and regulations in each state have always been very daunting but the market is certainly growing. One of our major drawbacks in the US is that we are not well known. South Africa is far away from the US and is not like Australia where a lot of US citizens have travelled and know the country. In addition to this, Australia has done a good marketing exercise in the US. Africa is also a significant target market for South Africa. Are exporters successfully opening up new African markets?
At Ciatti we are not in Africa at all. It is definitely a market of interest that we could look at focusing on soon. There is certainly growth in Africa as a market and growth in wine. If you look at a lot of countries which were previously either French or Portuguese colonies, they are all wine-drinking countries, specifically red wine as well. Other companies such as Pernod Ricard and Distell are definitely sharpening their act in Africa. Pernod Ricard has created a whole new subSaharan section within their company and made a lot of appointments, which means they are looking very seriously at that market. How is the domestic market faring?
The domestic market is growing, but very slowly. It is very price-oriented and traditionally a beer-drinking country. There is a large section of unemployed people but as this situation changes, youth are aspiring more to western ideals and western culture and that includes drinking good brands, not just in wine but also in whisky, spirits and other drinks. How do you see the prospects for bulk exports out of South Africa for 2012-2013?
I see them as pretty good. As the rand has weakened against other currencies from last year, we see more and more interest in South Africa. The one big question mark regards the economic situation in Europe, which is our biggest market. The big question for us in the US market is what is happening in Chile. It seems that Chile actually had a bigger crop in 2012 than everybody expected and that there is more wine available there. It is a lot closer to the US than us, so the shipping costs are cheaper. So there is increased interest and we are pretty positive. If we can open up other markets like Russia, which is always interested in generics and the cheaper whites for base wines for sparkling wines, and if we can make inroads into China, I think we have pretty good prospects for the future.
Photo courtesy Wines of South Africa (WOSA).
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Which other regions are exporters focusing on?
October 2012 – Issue 585
Azahara – the blossom of the orange
Fifty Design owner Teri Cooper graduated from The Surrey Institute of Art and Design (UK) with a degree in Packaging Design and Graphics. She then went on to live in Chicago for two years, where she worked for a highly regarded design firm, gaining first-hand experience on projects such as Jim Beam brands and Geyser Peak Winery. On returning home to the UK, she set up her own business, producing label designs for a collection of UK wine importers which include brands such as Cranswick, Freixenet and Wingara. Today, Cooper works from a little arts and crafts cottage near Stonehenge, where she lives with her family and various pets. The answers below have been supplied by Teri Cooper, in relation to the label design of Azahara, by Deakin Estate.
Have you seen many trends in label designs over the past decade and what labelling trends do you see emerging into the future?
What inspired you to work in design and what aspect of label design do you enjoy the most or derive the most satisfaction from?
To what extent do countries respond differently to labels and or wine marketing images?
With more wines emerging from many wine regions around the world with great label designs, it has become more difficult to differentiate between brands. This has given rise to more niche-driven, themed and concept-oriented labels to the boutique handcrafted wines with hand-finished labels. Wineries are now working with designers to carry the art of winemaking onto the outside of the bottle and engage the consumer. Technology is also playing its part in diversifying the label market, with huge strides being made in the innovation of new inks, papers, printing, sustainability and the introduction of consumer interaction with smartphone technology.
The Deakin Estate Brut was frequently voted best sparkling in the $10 price point in Australia, but consumer uptake was still low. It needed a new direction to stand alone as a premium quality, highly regarded sparkling wine. The Deakin Estate vineyards grow alongside several orange orchards and the inspired name Azahara (meaning blossom of the orange) was given as a starting point. I was given creative licence and, like a child in a sweet shop, I got to work.
History is playing less and less of an important role in the world of wine label design, as there is a general trend toward a more image-led, consumer-controlled market. Even in France and Italy, where the country was the brand, there has been a noticeable shift away from the traditional legacy-driven style to a more contemporary label. The UK and US markets are split in two directions – the older generation leaning to the more stately, prestigious designs, and the younger, more experimental consumer looking for a more edgy and eclectic style. The Asian market, despite recent rapid growth, remains quite immature, with customer preferences being driven by advertising and top producers running huge campaigns to build brand awareness. Consumption here mainly centres on entertaining and gift-giving, with purchase power given to those labels representing suitable levels of prestige, status and respect.
In your opinion, what are the most important labelling concepts to impact on wine sales and marketing success?
How can label designers overcome the challenge of helping a wine bottle stand out as the market becomes increasingly congested?
It has been said that a wine label is not only the voice of the wine, but the voice of the winemaker, the estate workers and the winery as well. It is vehicle to tell their story. Just as a dust jacket can persuade us to read the book, a label must persuade us to drink the wine.
The label is the most important variable in the success of marketing the wine to the consumer. Distribution will put the bottle on the shelf but, if it is not attracting the right attention, that is where it is going to stay. There is so much visual noise when you stand in
I collected packaging from an early age and was inspired by my grandfather, who would often place in my hands some wonderful little package of massproduced art. It intrigued me how someone would be compelled to choose one object over another when placed next to it on a shelf. What was the inspiration or key branding message behind this particular label?
October 2012 – Issue 585
front of a shelf in a supermarket or your local wine retailer it is difficult to stand out from the crowd. It is a designer’s job to create a label that attracts attention, has brand equity and is also memorable. Once a consumer picks up the bottle, decides to buy and then takes it home, the design also has to be such that they will remember it for next time.
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Wine from the backyard The owner of a popular Adelaide wine bar has traded his bottle opener for a couple of secondhand barrels to produce a unique aromatic Grenache. Kellie Arbuckle
K NOCK I NG OF F AFTER a busy Saturday night behind the bar Bottling & to trek home and press wine from midnight labelling til dawn wasn’t what Travis Tausend had in mind when he set out to make his first wine. As the owner of Cork Wine Cafe, in the heart of Adelaide’s China Town, Tausend has always had an interest in wine. In earlier years he worked as a waiter at a Brisbane restaurant where he was exposed to fine wines almost daily. Wanting a change, Tausend and his wife Michelle packed up and moved to Adelaide, where they have been living and running the cafe for the past four years. Focusing on organic hard-to-find wines meant Tausend quickly became friends with people already making and
spruiking wine in South Australia. One of those friends was a vigneronturned cheesemaker, Jen Pedder who last year, suggested they buddy-up and make a wine. “I always wanted to make wine and when the opportunity arose, it seemed like a logical progression to try and have a crack at it,” Tausend said. The wine was fittingly called Friend Experiment No 1, with the back label reading ‘care attention love’ – words that were to be reflected in the winemaking process. With the help of Dowie Doole viticulturist Dave Gartelmann, Tausend obtained a tonne of Grenache grapes from section of vineyard at Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. In choosing the grapes, Tausend’s only real desire was that they came from a sustainable vineyard.
“I really want people to give a crap about the earth that they farm. Farming can be pretty abusive if you do it in the wrong way, and I prefer people to have a bit more respect for the place where they’re growing because, at the end of the day, that’s their livelihood.” The style wasn’t to be a bold fruitdriven Grenache that McLaren Vale is known for. Rather, Tausend sought to produce a Grenache that was expressive, light and aromatic. He wanted a wine with a savoury edge, with characters true to the region’s terroir. “We thought we’d champion Grenache as aromatics rather than its fruitiness. We wanted to make Blewitt Springs Grenache with no additions – no tricks. I’m a big believer that you shouldn’t try and idealise a style from somewhere else,” he said.
The NEW generation pack from
Tel: +61 2 9698 1355 www.irwinandsheehan.com.au 116 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 – Issue 585
“McLaren Vale has this opportunity, especially in the cooler spots, to make some of most beautiful wines in the world. We can proudly call them McLaren Vale wines – not Rhone. Grenache can be something that is so unique to this part of the world and that’s why we chose it.” Borrowing their friends' winemaking equipment, Tausend set up a mini winery in the backyard shed of Pedder's city apartment. The intervention was to be kept to a minimum and most of the work done by hand. “We literally just wanted to get in there, handpick it, handdestem it, foot crush, basket press it and barrel it,” he said. Challenging people's tastes and provoking thought was also fundamental in making the wine. “I want to push it out of the boundaries and make wines that are a bit odd and different – not because they’re odd and different, but because I want to make the winemaking process as simple as possible, which means the wines end up a little bit funky or a bit stinky on the nose.” Tausend is selling the wine at Cork for $45 a bottle or $10 a glass. The Grenache represents the start of a new chapter for Tausend, who says the process, while laborious, is the most rewarding thing in the world. “It’s a tiring and scary process. You’re sitting there looking at this wine that you’ve crushed which is potentially spoiling, and you’re praying the ferment kicks off. But I’ve learnt how to get my hands dirty and make wine, and it’s the most addictive thing in the world.” He’s now in the process of sourcing fruit for his next wine, Friend Experiment Number 2 – a wild-fermented Riesling which will be released next year.
Cork Wine Cafe owner Travis Tausend with his debut Grenache, Friend Experiment No 1.
Offering versatile service for the following • Wine bottling and packaging • Laboratory analysis • Wine storage and warehousing • Freight management • Packaging support • Labelling and reworking solutions • Bulk wine storage All delivered in a friendly and professional environment in the Clare Valley town of Auburn on the Main North Rd. Enquiries to Kent Johnstone PO Box 390, Clare SA 5453 Ph 08 8849 2340 Fax 08 8849 2360 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bottlingdynamics.com.au
October 2012 – Issue 585
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The iron(III) tartrate photochemistry of wine: impacts of bottle colour and weight Dr. Andrew C. Clark and Dr. Daniel A. Dias
Summary THIS ARTICLE SUMMARISES the latest findings on the iron(III) tartrate photochemistry of relevance to wines. This specific photochemical process can cause tartaric acid to fragment and induce colour changes in wine. It demonstrates the wavelengths of light relevant to such photochemistry, as well as the compositional impacts of the wine matrix. Finally, under the conditions adopted, more protection was offered by darker bottles of heavier weight.
Effects of exposure to light Most wine will have little exposure to light while it is in tank or barrel. The majority of exposure to light will occur after bottling, and in retail outlets or in domestic situations where artificial fluorescent lighting generates energy at low visible and near UV wavelengths.
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For wine to undergo spoilage by light it needs a component that is able to absorb the energy of the light and consequently drive spoilage reactions. It is in this manner that photochemical agents can lead to the conversion of sulfurcontaining amino acids to off-smelling compounds (Maujean and Seguin 1983), or the production of coloured compounds from wine phenolic compounds (Dias et al. 2010, 2012, Maury et al. 2010). The components of wine that have been implicated in this photochemical role are riboflavin (or vitamin B2) (Majean and Seguin 1983, Mattivi et al. 2000) and metal ions in combination with wine organic acids (Clark et al. 2007). The focus in this article will be on the second photochemical system comprising of metal/organic acid complexes and follows on from our past research in this area (Clark et al. 2007, Maury et al. 2010).
Such metal organic complexes have been actually utilised in photography in the past, including the use of iron(III) citrate in the production of blue prints such as that shown in Figure 1 on page 119. (i.e. see the reference list for a link on how to make your own blue prints). In blue prints, the iron(III) citrate absorbs light and converts the iron(III) to iron(II), and the iron(II) is then able to form a blue colour, or prussian blue to be exact, with another component in the photographic mix (that is, potassium ferricyanide â€“ not to be confused with the related potassium ferrocyanide salt used in blue fining). Other photography emulsions have actually utilised iron(III) tartrate systems (Ware 1999). Metal ions and organic acids are abundant in all wines. The metal ion most implicated in wine photochemical processes is iron, which can exist in
October 2012 â€“ Issue 585
Figure 1. Blueprints utilise iron(III) citrate photochemistry
two different redox forms of iron(II) and iron(III), whereby iron(III) contains one less electron than iron(II). It is generally accepted that it is the iron(III) form of the iron that is photoactive. The source of iron in wine is varied and typically ranges from 2-20mg/L, with an average around 5mg/L. Modern winemaking equipment (i.e. utilising stainless steel) means that iron contamination in wines is much lower than it often was in the past when less inert iron containing alloys came into contact with wine. The main organic acids in white wines consist of tartaric acid, malic acid and to a lesser extent lactic acid, succinic acid and citric acid. The organic acid is important in the photochemical process as the iron cannot undergo efficient light induced redox transitions (that is, from iron(III) to iron(II)) in the absence of the organic acid. Given that all wines will contain at least some iron and organic acids regardless of their variety, source and/ or age, all have the potential to undergo photochemical spoilage processes. Of interest in our current research was the identification of the components of the wine matrix that were most critical to the photochemical process, as well as identifying the wavelengths of light that allowed the most efficient photoactivity. Finally, the impact of wine bottle colour and bottle weight on the photochemical process was to be ascertained. Studies
were initially conducted in a model wine system to simplify the number of wine components able to interact with the light. The model system consisted of 12%(v/v) ethanol at pH3.2 with tartaric acid (~3-4g/L) and also with 5mg/L of iron present. The light source used in this study was a xenon-arc lamp (that simulates the solar light spectrum) and irradiation was performed for 30 minutes and temperature held at 45°C. Upon exposure of the model wine system to the light from the 150W xenonarc lamp (at a distance of 140mm), a small amount of the tartaric acid was converted to glyoxylic acid, which essentially involves the tartaric acid molecule breaking in half. No glyoxylic acid production occurred without added iron and/or without exposure of light to the model wine system. Therefore, it was evident that iron(III) tartrate is indeed photoactive in wine conditions. Given that both the original iron(III) tartrate and glyoxylic acid are largely colourless, no change in colour of the model wine was evident after initial light exposure (Figure 2). Despite the chemical name, the ‘glyoxylic acid’ actually contains an aldehyde group, as well as an acid group, and consequently can bind sulfur dioxide, the main preservative of wine. Its action in binding sulfur dioxide is of similar efficiency as acetaldehyde, whereby it
Figure 2. Glyoxylic acid – a fragment of tartaric acid that can generate colour in wine. October 2012 – Issue 585
Organic acids and metal ions are known photoactive agents that have been utilised in photography in the past. Wavelengths of light below 520nm (i.e., ultraviolet and visible components) cause photoactivity of iron(III) tartrate in wine conditions. The photoactivity results in the production of a pigment precursor. A lower dissolved oxygen concentration decreases the photochemical yield of the pigment precursor. Darker coloured bottles of heavier weight give greater protection against iron(III) tartrate photoactivity and associated negative affects on wine quality.
will be essentially completely bound in the presence of some free sulfur dioxide. This means that the light exposure of the wine has the potential to lower the main preservative and thereby limit the shelflife of the wine. In the absence of sulfur dioxide, glyoxylic acid can react with grape skin-derived phenolic compounds (i.e., catechins) and produce yellow coloured compounds in the wine (Es-Safi et al. 2000). These pigments have been identified as xanthylium cation pigments and are responsible for the yellow colour in the lower sample shown in Figure 2. When formed at higher concentrations or in the presence of pulp-derived wine phenolic compounds, they adopt a more brown appearance rather than yellow. This reaction will be more pronounced in white wines produced from heavier pressed grapes than in wine produced from light pressings because the skinderived phenolic compounds are extracted to a higher extent in heavier pressings. Although the yield of glyoxylic acid from a solution of iron(III) tartrate is low, it does not take the production of much glyoxylic acid to cause significant binding of sulfur dioxide or produce significant quantities of the coloured compounds. For example, a wine with 5g/L tartaric acid would only require 1.5% conversion of the total tartaric acid to glyoxylic acid in order to fully deplete 30mg/L free sulfur dioxide. For most wines, this would be the near complete removal of the wine’s preservative. These results demonstate that iron(III) tartrate photochemistry has the potential to impact on white wine quality, either through the consumption Grapegrower & Winemaker
sales & marketing
120 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Figure 3. Impact of oxygen concentration on wine photochemistry.
modify the composition of light falling upon the wine. From the result in Figure 4 we can see that the Flint and Arctic Blue bottles allow most light through to the wine at wavelengths above 300nm. The remaining bottles have differing intensities of light transmission but with regard to the critical wavelength region of 300-520nm, the lowest light transmission is by the Amber bottles, followed by Antique Green and then finally by the French Green bottles. Interestingly, all the bottles allow at least some light of wavelengths
below 520nm into the wine. Therefore, complete protection of the wine from iron(III) tartrate photochemistry is not possible regardless of which colour bottle is utilised, however, the darker bottles shown above would appear to be the most effective at limiting the photochemistry. To assess the impact of bottle weight on the transmission spectra, the Flint and Antique Green bottles were investigated. Both these bottle colours are readily available in both light and heavy weight variants. Although classified by weight, these bottles also differ by
Demonstrated photoactive region
of the main preservative, and/or through the production of undesirable brown colouration. An experiment was conducted to ascertain the important wine components that could impact on this iron(III) tartrate photochemical process. As a result of the light exposure, 0.43mM of glyoxylic acid was produced in the control sample, which equates to 2% conversion of total tartaric acid to glyoxylic acid and would have the potential to bind 28mg/L free sulfur dioxide. Interestingly, lowering the dissolved oxygen concentration in the sample, by purging with argon, also lowered the yield of glyoxylic acid to 0.18mM, inferring that oxygen is important in the photochemical process for the cleavage of tartaric acid. The impact of oxygen on the light exposure effect can be further illustrated by Figure 3. Chardonnay wine was bottled in Flint bottles (i.e., three bottles with ‘high oxygen’ and three bottles with ‘low oxygen’) with different levels of total packaged oxygen (i.e, ‘low oxygen’ = ~4mg/L, and ‘high oxygen’ = ~ 7mg/L), and the head-space of the ‘high oxygen’ sample was aerated daily. Both wines were exposed to 16 hours of irradiation (160W at a distance of 400mm) and eight hours of darkness at identical temperatures (30°C) over 18 days. As is evident in the picture the wines with higher oxygen at bottling were much browner in colour than the equivalent wines without oxygen. In fact, the wines with low oxygen had little development in colour over the irradiation period and hence oxygen would appear to be a critical component for the photochemical colour development in white wine. Further studies were conducted to assess which particular wavelengths of light were critical for the formation of glyoxylic acid from the iron(III) tartrate solution. The results showed that the wavelengths of light between 200-520nm could generate glyoxylic acid from iron(III) tartrate, and that the wavelengths between 300-520nm were more efficient. The latter wavelength range included near UV light, that is 300-380nm, and also some visible light, at 380-520nm which corresponds to violet/blue light. Figure 4 highlights the photoactive region of the spectrum whilst also illustrating the transmission spectra for different coloured wine bottles. On this graph a transmittance of 0% means that the actual bottle is absorbing all the light and that none will reach the wine inside the bottle. A transmittance above 0%, means that the wine bottle will allow at least some of the incident light through to the wine. In effect, the bottles themselves act as filters of incident light and thereby
Flint Arctic Blue French Green Amber Antique Green
500 Wavelength (nm)
Figure 4. Transmission spectra of different coloured bottles www.winebiz.com.au
October 2012 – Issue 585
glass. Current research is investigating the impacts of light intensity, temperature during irradiation and sulfur dioxide depletion during irradiation. Further details on these experiments and results can be found within Clark et al. (2011).
Glyoxylic acid conc (mM)
Acknowledgements This work was supported by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC, project UM0902). The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre is a partnership between Charles Sturt University, DPI NSW and the NSW Wine Industry Association.
Dr Andrew C. Clark, National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, Charles Sturt University, Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2650. email@example.com Dr. Daniel A. Dias, Metabolomics Australia, School of Botany, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, 3010, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sample Figure 5. Impact of bottle colour and weight on photochemical glyoxylic acid production.
the thickness of the glass depending at which position the glass is measured on the bottle. However, for the midsection of the bottle, the glass thickness is around 2mm and 3mm for the light and heavy weight bottles, respectively and regardless of colour. Figure 4 shows that there was negligible difference in the transmission spectra of the Flint bottle based on the weight of the bottle. Whilst for Antique Green there was a significant difference in the transmission spectra. In the critical wavelengths of 300-520nm, the heavy weight bottle had at least 30% less light transmitted than for the light weight bottle, which was consistent with the relative thickness of the bottles. Using the Flint and Antique Green bottles, an iron(III) tartrate system was irradiated and the amount of glyoxylic acid produced was monitored. The results in Figure 5 show negligible difference between the glyoxylic acid generated with the Flint heavy and Flint light weight bottles. Alternately, the heavy weight Antique Green bottle produced around a third of the level of glyoxylic acid as in the light weight Antique Green bottle. Such a result is consistent with the transmission spectra in Figure 4 and the thickness of the light and heavy weight glass. The comparative amount of glyoxylic acid generated in the Flint and Antique Green bottles is more difficult to reconcile based merely on the transmission spectra, which would suggest much higher levels of glyoxylic acid in the October 2012 – Issue 585
Flint bottles compared to the Antique Green bottles. However, it would appear that the production of glyoxylic acid by the iron(III) tartrate photochemistry may be governed by a limiting reagent when produced at high rates, such as in the Flint bottles. The limiting reagent may be molecular oxygen that impacts on glyoxylic acid photochemical formation but becomes limited in the Flint bottle samples due to high rates of tartaric acid degradation. Further work is required to enable prediction of the amount of glyoxylic acid produced for a given bottle colour, thickness and experimental conditions (i.e., dissolved oxygen concentration, light intensity). In any case, these results clearly demonstrate lowered glyoxylic acid production in the darker coloured bottle and also lowered glyoxylic acid produced in the thicker variant of the darker coloured bottle. In conclusion, we have shown that iron(III) tartrate is a photoactive system in wine conditions. As a consequence, a product can be generated that can shorten the shelf-life of the wine, and also contribute to detrimental colour changes. The photochemical process for glyoxylic acid production from iron(III) tartrate is reliant on the presence of dissolved oxygen. It has also been shown that UV light as well as short wavelength visible light (300-520nm) can induce the photochemical process, and wine would be given more protection from the photochemical process from darker coloured bottles with a thicker wall of www.winebiz.com.au
References Blue print instructions: http://chemistry.about. com/od/colorchemistryprojects/a/How-To-MakeBlueprint-Paper.htm (12 September 2012) Clark, A. C., Dias, D. A., Smith, T. A., Ghiggino, K. P. and Scollary, G. R. (2011) Iron(III) tartrate as a potential precursor of light-induced oxidative degradation of white wine: studies in a model wine system. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 59: 3575-3581. Clark, A. C., Prenzler, P. D. and Scollary, G. R. (2007) Impact of the conditions of storage of tartaric acid solutions on the production and stability of glyoxylic acid. Food Chemistry 102: 905-916. Dias, D. A., Smith, T. A., Ghiggino, K. P. and Scollary, G. R. (2010) Ultraviolet light – A contributing factor to pigment development in white wine. The Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Journal 25(3): 52-61. Dias, D. A., Smith, T. A., Ghiggino, K. P. and Scollary, G. R. (2012) The role of light, temperature and wine bottle colour on pigment enhancement in white wine. Food Chemistry 135: 2934-2941. Es-Safi, N.-E., Le Guerneve, C., Fulcrand, H., Cheynier, V. and Moutounet, M. (2000) Xanthylium salts formation involved in wine colour changes. International Journal of Food Science and Technology 35:63-74. Mattivi, F., Monetti, A., Vrhovsek, U., Tonon, D. and Andrès-Lacueva, C. (2000) High-performance liquid chromatographic determination of the riboflavin concentration in white wines for predicting their resistance to light. Journal of Chromatography A 888: 121-127. Maury, C., Clark, A. C. and Scollary, G. R. (2010) Determination of the impact of bottle colour and phenolic concentrations on pigment development in white wines stored under external conditions. Analytica Chimica Acta 660: 81-86. Maujean, A. and Seguin, N. (1983) Contribution a l’étude des “gouts de lumière” dans les vins de Champagne. 3. Les reactions photochimiques responables des “gouts de lumière” dans le vinde Champagne. (Sunlight flavours in the wines of Champagne. 3 – Photochemical reactions responsible for sunlight flavours in Champagne wine). Sci. Alim. 3: 589-601. Ware, M. (1999) Cyanotype. National Museum Photography, Film and Television. West Yorkshire, UK. pg. 27, 153. Grapegrower & Winemaker
business & technology
Wine club operators benefit from new e-commerce technology Introduction of Blackboxx e-commerce attracts interest from Australian wineries. Kellie Arbuckle
IT STARTED AS a couple of guys writing wine reviews for a Canadian magazine and led to the formation of Canada’s largest monthly wine club. Formed in 2008, WineCollective provides members with international wines, tasting notes, food matches and tasting tips. Powering the wine club is BlackSquare, a company that provides e-commerce technology specifically for the global wine and spirits industries. What makes the relationship between BlackSquare and WineCollective unique is that they are both owned and run by the same people. In setting up the WineCollective, directors Matthew Protti and David Gluzman were quick to find the need to develop a more efficient way to handle its e-commerce which, with
more members joining, was becoming increasingly unmanageable. Together, Protti and Gluzman tailor made e-commerce technology, known
Australia has the world’s most dynamic wine market, after the US. Matthew Protti
as Blackboxx, to suit their needs at WineCollective – specifically, they wanted to engage and empower wine
club members while removing excess administration and time costs. Being wine club managers of WineCollective and developers of Blackboxx also means Protti and Gluzman are able to fix inefficiencies with the technology as they find them. It is this element that sets Blackboxx apart from other e-commerce systems for wineries. It’s also an element that has allowed BlackSquare to develop Blackboxx as a product for other wine club operators, whether they are wineries, retailers or distributors. Protti says there were three specific factors that drove BlackSquare’s launch efforts into Australia. “Australia has the world’s most dynamic wine market, after the US. It has mature direct-to-consumer practices,
Blackboxx is a powerful way to build our brand, to connect with customers, and to duplicate the experience they enjoy in person at our cellar door.”
Create that vineyard experience in your customers’ homes! Wine club members are your most loyal customers and make up a majority of wine ecommerce purchases. Create a VIP club experience and watch the efficiency of word of mouth advertising about your brand.
Learn more at www.Blackboxx.biz 122 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Jenny, Cellar Door Manager - Gemtree Vineyards (Adelaide)
Saves You Time
Implement a solution that isn’t a time-waster. Batch process orders in addition to ecommerce one-offs.
Our solution exists in the cloud, so you’ll never need to install something on a computer.
Find out what they really thought of that Merlot or Chardonnay! Segment customers based on preferences.
Fulfilling orders takes time. By focusing on batch orders from your wine club you can save money, time and effort! It is that simple.
October 2012 – Issue 585
BlackSquare co-owner David Gluzman at Gemtree Vineyards cellar door in McLaren Vale.
favourable regulations and a tradition of wine clubs,” he said. Prior to launching BlackSquare in Australia, Protti and Gluzman travelled to Australia and met with several wineries to find out how they used wine clubs. What they found was a number of wineries heavily reliant on inefficient marketing, such as telephone marketing and mass email lists. The duo returned later, this time to showcase BlackSquare. “Australian wineries we met with quickly saw that Blackboxx gave their marketing a unique level of power and user experience. They wanted that ability to do intelligent, targeted e-commerce that would resonate with their best, most loyal winery customers without resorting to discounts or ‘spammy’ selling,” Prott said. A number of Australian wineries are now signing up with BlackSquare, among them Gemtree Vineyards, in McLaren Vale, Villa Tinto, in the Barossa, ArtWine in the Adelaide Hills and Vinteloper. Gemtree Vineyards cellar door manager Jenny West switched to Blackboxx to build on her existing customer database
and to sell wine via a wine club. “When we were introduced to Blackboxx we were all very impressed by the features it offered, the ease by which customers could place their order and continue to receive wine without the extra paper work, and the convenience for us with any follow-ups to the customer or payments,” West said. Prior to using Blackboxx, members would simply order wine online via the Gemtree website. While not a complete failure, what was lacking was regular connection with customers. “Through Blackboxx we are able to keep a regular connection to our customers and, in turn, they are able to add their comments and view our products to make their selections and see the benefits of being more than just a wine buyer. It is more personalised,” West said. “It is very important to have a solid e-commerce system, as so much consumer shopping is now done online. Our wine is accessible to anyone, at anytime, anywhere – and there is no middleman.”
Craggy Range and Rothschild’s announce partnership in New Zealand The Peabody family, owner of New Zealand’s Craggy Range Winery, has announced a strategic partnership with Benjamin de Rothschild and his family to produce high quality Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The partnership will produce wines under the Rimapere label, a brand name derived from the indigenous Maori language of New Zealand meaning ‘five arrows’. The five arrows are a symbol of the five branches of the Rothschild family, one of the world’s most famous winemaking families. In announcing the partnership, Terry Peabody said, “We are delighted to develop an association with such a revered wine family and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship. It is also a significant endorsement of the reputation of New Zealand, and the Marlborough region to have attracted such a distinguished wine family. We look forward to Rimapere becoming one of the region’s most prestigious wine brands in the years to come”. October 2012 – Issue 585
Benjamin de Rothschild has also announced the purchase of a 26-hectare vineyard on Rapaura Road, in the heart of Marlborough’s iconic “golden mile”, home to some of the region's greatest wines. “This spectacular vineyard will become the home of the Rimapere brand, and represents my family’s long term commitment to our partnership and expanding our prestigious international wine portfolio,” he said. The first wine that will released by the partnership in September, will be the 2012 Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc, made from grapes grown in the Rapaura sub-region of Marlborough’s legendary Wairau Valley. The wine will be distributed through the extensive international distribution networks established by both Craggy Range and Compagnie Vinicole Baron Edmond de Rothschild. This wine, and those to come, will be made under the direction of the Craggy Range winemaking and viticulture team. www.winebiz.com.au
ARE YOU STILL REQUIRING CELLAR HANDS OR LAB. ASSISTANTS for the 2013 VINTAGE? The popular WINE EXPERIENCE INTERNATIONAL Program enables young people, from many countries, who are wishing to gain an opportunity to acquire additional practical experience towards their Career objectives. These qualified young people are seeking a period of about three months work and are available for the 2013 Vintage. For further information contact:PO Box 3093 KEW, Victoria 3101 Ph (03) 9818 2395 – FAX (03) 9818 7255 Email: email@example.com Web: www.agriculturalexchange.com
Grapegrower & Winemaker
business & technology
Misha’s Vineyard expands its distribution to a wider world MISHA’S VINEYARD RECENTLY recently announced several new Transport markets for distribution as they build their & freight distribution footprint across the world. Their new northern hemisphere markets include Denmark and Sweden through Gastro-Wine – a company that has predominantly focused on luxury food items and is now expanding into premium wines. Across in the United States, one of the most important markets for New Zealand wine and forecast to become New Zealand’s biggest export market for Pinot Noir, Misha’s Vineyard will be represented by New York based Vindagra USA. The US, northern Europe and China are all markets that New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has identified as those with the most opportunity for the growth of New Zealand wine over the next few years. NZTE will fund brandbuilding programs across these markets, working alongside trade organisation, New Zealand Winegrowers. “We already have distribution in Hong Kong and China and by adding these new export countries we now have a presence in the same markets that will be the focus of investment and activity from NZTE,” said Misha Wilkinson, director of Misha’s Vineyard Wines. “One of the things we look for when we choose new distribution partners is not only their ability to access the appropriate sectors of the market, which in our case is predominantly the on-premise and independent wine retailers, but also their capabilities in terms of administration and logistics. “For example we wanted to change our distribution in Australia to give us greater coverage of the market. Fesq & Company seemed an ideal choice for us as they demonstrated they had great relationships with the trade and also provided very strong back office capabilities through their administration and distribution partner, Cottenham Services,” she added. Cottenham Services uses specialist logistics providers for their domestic warehousing and transport requirements, as well as the import shipping from various ports in New Zealand. These specialist partners include JF Hillebrand,
124 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Pallets of Misha’s Vineyard wine being loaded from the bottling plant to go to the warehouse. Photo: Tim Hawkins
one of the most respected international freight forwarders for beverage in Australia, and Elite Wine Logistics that provides specialist wine logistics, including warehousing and transport in NSW and QLD. JF Hillebrand Oceania operations
supervisor Gavin Brock said the company was committed to offering Misha’s Vineyard a tailored logistics solution into their new distribution areas. “Based on transit times of up to 50 days for European destinations, it is important
Dan Dineen helps getting Misha’s Vineyard wine from tanker to the bottling line at Vinpro – the primary bottling line in Cromwell, Central Otago. Photo: Courtesy of Misha’s Vineyard www.winebiz.com.au
October 2012 – Issue 585
Kaylene Thompson, logistics manager for Mainfreight’s Cromwell branch. Mainfreight is responsible for warehousing of Misha’s Vineyard wine as well as domestic freight in New Zealand. Photo: Tim Hawkins
that their wine arrives in the best possible condition,” Brock said. “With recent shipments to the US, Canada, Australia and Denmark, we make sure to utilise the fastest transit options and have also insulated their cargo with our unique VinLiner container insulation system that helps minimise thermal shocks. “We look forward to continuing to help Misha’s Vineyard grow their great brand in these new markets and congratulate them on their success.” To further extend their reach across the Asia Pacific region and particularly the five-star hotel market, Misha’s Vineyard has also appointed new distribution partners in the Maldives, Fiji and the Cook Islands. “Given we have a focus on the luxury market with our wines, particularly across Asia, one of the things we put into place over two years ago was a warehouse facility in Singapore,” said Andy Wilkinson, who owns Misha’s Vineyard with his wife Misha. “Having a warehouse in Asia means we can ensure the wines we’ve shipped to Singapore are in perfect condition. We’re able to provide wines to our Singapore and Malaysian distributor and those from around the southeast Asia region within hours or days rather than the month it usually takes to ship wine from New Zealand.” Misha’s Vineyard The High Note 2008 Pinot Noir has been selected for a Riedel glass tasting event which will be conducted by Georg Riedel himself in November in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam – an export market Misha’s Vineyard added last year. Misha’s Vineyard is located in New Zealand at the edge of Lake Dunstan in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago. More at www.mishasvineyard.com. October 2012 – Issue 585
Misha's winemaker Olly Masters at the bottling hall. Photo: Tim Hawkins
Grapegrower & Winemaker
apps and accolades McLaren Vale winemakers awarded for leadership
Dr Smart has four degrees, including a PhD and a Doctor of Agricultural Science, and has championed a range of improvements in viticulture. The Lifetime Achievement award has only been offered twice before, both times to distinguished winery proprietors, in 2011 to Miguel Torres of Spain and in 2012 to Sir George Fistonich of New Zealand. In accepting the award, Smart said he was grateful for the recognition of the role of viticulture and viticulturists in wine production.
Yellow Tail takes home Grand Gold at MUNDUS VINI 2012
Two McLaren Vale winemakers were recognised last month for their commitment to leadership at the 2012-13 Industry Leaders Fund presentation in Adelaide. Oliver’s Taranga director and winemaker Corrina Wright received a $14,000 grant to go to Harvard Business School, while Chapel Hill CEO Marc Allgrove received a grant towards the highly regarded Company Directors course at the Australian Institute of Company Directors. McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association CEO Peter Ali said it was excellent to see two of the region’s leaders being rewarded for their commitment to regional and state development. “Both Corrina and Marc are very proactive within the region and we look forward to seeing the positive influences they will both no doubt make in the region after they complete their respective courses,” Ali said. The South Australia’s Industry Leaders Fund offers grants of up to $50,000 for aspiring leaders.
Vine doctor wins lifetime achievement award Australian viticulture guru Dr Richard Smart has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Wine Challenge for his contribution to the wine industry.
126 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Yellow Tail has been awarded the Grand Gold Medal – the highest award possible – at the Great MUNDUS VINI International Wine Awards for its 2005 Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon. The same wine was also named Best Dry Red of Show at the awards, which is the largest officially recognised wine competition in the world, which saw more than 6000 wines entered from around the world. Gold medals were also awarded for the 2010 Yellow Tail Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2010 Yellow Tail Reserve Merlot. The MUNDUS VINI judging panel is made up of German and international oenologists, wine analysts, wine retailers, sommeliers, restaurateurs and wine journalists. The wines are evaluated and awarded points based on appearance, smell, taste and harmony/ overall impression. No more than onethird of wines entered are given awards that range from gold, silver and bronze.
Awards showcase quality of WA wine Margaret River’s Watershed Winery cleaned up the top titles at this year’s Perth Royal Wine Show, taking out Best Wine of Show and Best West Australian Wine. Watershed Winery won the awards for its Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, which also took out the winning prizes for Best Red Table Wine, Best West Australian Dry Table Wine, Best Cabernet Sauvignon and Best 2010 Vintage Dry Red Table Wine. Swan Valley’s Houghton Winery followed took home the award for Most Successful West Australian Exhibitor while the award for Most Successful West Australian Exhibitor processing
under 300 tonnes went to Rockcliffe (formerly Matilda’s Estate). There were 2235 entries (slightly down on last year’s 2290 total) this year, from 346 exhibitors across Australia.
Hensel awarded Riverland Winemaker of the Year Accolade Wines’ Berri-based senior white winemaker Peter Hensel has been recognised as the JMA Engineering Riverland Winemaker of the Year for his contribution to the region’s wine industry. Award judges nominated Hensel for his excellence in winemaking over a number of years and for his commitment to the Riverland. Hensel said he was shocked and delighted at the acknowledgement of his peers. “I think it’s very much a recognition of a team effort and I’d also like to recognise the support of my mentor, Accolade Wines’ chief white winemaker, Tom Newton,” Hensel said. Hensel joins a number of other prominent Riverland winemakers who have previously won Riverland Winemaker of the Year, including Accolade Wines’ Paul Kassebaum (inaugural winner in 2001), Bill Moularadellis, Kevin Pfeiffer, John Angove, Eric Semmler and Tony Ingle.
Clare Riesling wins top ong Knappstein Enterprise Winery has picked up the award for Wine of the Year for its 2012 Hand Picked Riesling at the South Australian Wine Awards. The wine, made in the Clare Valley, outshone 1000 wines entered from other South Australian regions including Eden Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Fleurieu Peninsula and the Barossa Valley. Knappstein winemaker Glenn Barry said the timing of the accolade coincided well with the campaign, launched by the Clare Valley Winemakers Association, to build awareness of the Clare Valley as the ‘Heart of Australian Riesling’. “Winning Wine of the Year with our 2012 Knappstein Hand Picked Riesling is a fantastic opportunity to further shine the spotlight on the Clare Valley and of course our own team couldn’t be more delighted,” Barry said. Please advise updated appointments and accolades information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 2012 – Issue 585
Australian Wine Export Market Snapshot The Australian Wine Export Market Snapshot is prepared by Wine Australia and provides the latest key statistics on exports of Australian wine. Updated monthly, the snapshot looks at the movement in total volume and value
for the past 12 months and then drills down into more detail such as the top five destinations by value growth, movements in container type, colour, winestyle, and price point, and the top five varietal and regional label claims on bottles.
The main purpose of the report is to provide some high-level trends for the Australian wine category. For more information please visit www. wineaustralia.com/winefacts, email to info@ wineaustralia.com or ring 08 8228 2010.
Highlights â€“ year ended August 2012 Key statistics Total Volume ML
Value $AM (fob)
Destinations (by value growth)
Germany, Federal Republic
% point change
Container type (by volume)
% point change
Still wine by colour (by volume) Red
% point change -0.9
Wine style (by volume) Red still wine
White still wine
Price points (by volume)
% point change
$A2.49/L and under 2
$A2.50/L to A$4.99/L
$A5.00/L to A$7.49/L
$A7.50/L to A$9.99/L
$A10.00/L and over
Top five varietal label claims on bottles (by volume)
Shiraz and Shiraz blends
Chardonnay and Chardonnay blends
NOTES & DEFINITIONS
Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon blends
Merlot and Merlot blends
Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc blends
Top five regional label claims on bottles (by volume)
South Eastern Australia
Prepared: September 2012, updated monthly 1 Alternative packaging includes flagon, tetra, PET and other packaging types 2 The growth in this segment is due to growth bulk shipments as more Australian wine is being packaged overseas for a combination of reasons, including economic, environmental and scale rationale together with meeting the requirements of some customers. The change in share represents percentage point change in share between the current twelve month period compared to the preceding 12 month period. Based on data compiled from the AWBC Wine Export Approval System. Average Value ($AUD) calculated on FOB value. Free on Board (FOB) value includes production and other costs up until placement on international carrier but excludes international insurance and transport costs. Data is based on wine shipped from Australia to the country of destination - in some instances, wine is then transshipped to other countries for consumption.
October 2012 â€“ Issue 585
Disclaimer: While Wine Australia makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and currency of information within this report, we accept no responsibility for information, which may later prove to be misrepresented or inaccurate, or reliance placed on that information by readers. Provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 apply to the contents of this publication, all other right reserved. For further copyright authorisation please see the www.wineaustralia.com website
Grapegrower & Winemaker
looking forward 2012 Australia & New Zealand
October 15-16 (JD) Marlborough Wine Show. Marlborough, NZ. www.winecompsnz.wordpress.com
27 (JD & PD) The West Australian Alternative Variety Wine Show. Wandering Brook Estate, Wandering, WA.
15-17 (JD) McLaren Vale Wine Show. McLaren Vale, SA. www.mclarenvale.info/ projects/wine-show-2012
28 (JD) The Wheatbelt Midwest Wine Show. Wandering Brook Estate, Wandering, WA.
15-19 (JD) Sydney International Wine Competition. Blue Mountains, NSW. www.top100wines.com 16-18 Australian National Field Days. Orange, NSW. www.anfd.com.au 17-18 (JD) New England Wine Show. Glen Innes, NSW. www.newenglandwineshow.com.au 17-19 (JD) Victorian Wines Show. Broadford, VIC. www.victorianwinesshow.com.au 18 Australian Cabernet Symposium. Penola, SA. www.coonawarra.org 18-20 (JD) 2012 Blackwood Valley & WA Boutique Wine Show. Blackwood Valley, WA. www.blackwoodvalleywine.asn.au 18-21 Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations. Coonawarra, SA. www.coonawarra.org 18 Sydney International Wine Competition - Judges' Farewell Dinner. Katoomba, NSW. www.top100wines.com 18 WISA Supplier of the Year Awards 2012. Adelaide, SA. www.wisa.org.au 20-23 (JD) 2012 Australian Small Winemakers Show. Stanthorpe, QLD. www.asws.com.au 20-21 Murrumbateman Field Days. Murrumbateman, NSW. www.mfdays.com 23-24 (JD) Australian Sparkling Wine Show. Marysville, VIC. www.marysvillefestival.com.au 23-24 WFA Wine Industry Outlook Conference - "The Change Agenda". Melbourne, VIC. www.wfa.org.au 24 WFA WineSkills Conference - "The Change Agenda". Melbourne, VIC. www.wfa.org.au 26 WCA Melbourne Wine Show Luncheon. Melbourne, VIC. www.winecommunicators.com.au
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AWRI Workshop & Seminars 30 AWRI Workshop, Hobart, TAS. 30 AWRI Seminar, Mornington, VIC. 31 AWRI Seminar, Gippsland, VIC. www.awri.com.au/industry_support/ courses-seminars-workshops/events 30-31 (JD) Limestone Coast Wine Show. Coonawarra, SA. www.limestonecoastwine.com.au 31 October - 1 November (JD) Clare Valley Regional Wine Show. Clare, SA. www.clarevalleywinemakers.com.au
November 1 AWRI Workshops (Launceston, TAS & Yarra Valley, VIC.). www.awri.com.au/ industry_support/courses-seminarsworkshops/events 5-7 (JD) Air New Zealand Wine Awards. Auckland, NZ. www.airnzwineawards.co.nz
International October 16-18 InterBev 2012. Nevada, USA. www.interbev.com 19-22 MEGAVINO. Brussels, Belgium. www.megavino.be 21-25 SIAL Paris. France. www.sialparis.com 25-28 Wine, Food & Good Living. Helsinki, Finland. www.finnexpo.fi 27 October-4 November Basel Wine Fair 2012. Basel, Switzerland. www.baslerweinmesse.ch 31 October-4 November EXPO DRINK & WINE. Bucharest, Romania. www.targdevinuri.ro JD = judging date
For a comprehensive list of events, visit www.winebiz.com.au/calendar
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. October 1982 Penfolds Wines has entered a contract to sell its Magill vineyards for $2.5 million. The deal was announced by the managing director of Adelaide Steamship, John Spalvins. Penfolds is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sydney brewer Tooth and Co which in turn is controlled by Adelaide Steam. The vineyard has been sold to Mr J. J. Roche and N. L. Stocks, both for SA for housing development. Spalvins said the sale of the Magill property, which consists of about 90 hectares plus the 140-year-old winery, had been negotiated with due regard to its heritage.
October 1992 Charles Sturt University will export its winegrowing expertise by establishing a course in Portugal next year. Offering the Associate Diploma of Applied Science (Winegrowing) in Portugal is a little like selling sand to the Arabs, according to CSU wine science lecturer Andrew Birks. He said that while Portugal had an international reputation for its ports and table wines, the winegrowing course had a great deal to offer because of its practical approach to the winemaking process.
October 2002 The Australian wine industry has become the first in the world to introduce a national environmental strategy. ‘Sustaining success’ was officially launched on 22 August at the National Wine Centre by its patron, noted environmentalist and wine industry identity Dr Barbara Hardy. Initiated by SA Wine and Brandy (SAWB), the strategy was developed over two years with input from various industry organisations, wine companies and other contributors. SAWB president Vic Patrick said the current challenge for the wine industry was to increase the rate of adoption of ecologically sustainable practices through all aspects of its operations. October 2012 – Issue 585
Marketplace FOR SALE - VINTAGE PROCESSING EQUIPMENT Contact (08) 8524 4025
WINE PRESS SERVICING • Preventative maintenance & breakdown repairs for all makes and models. • 24/7 coverage during vintage • Large inventory of spare parts. • Membrane replacement. • PLC upgrades and design improvements. Electrical & mechanical expertise.
03 9455 3339 • www.rapidfil.com.au
NEED VINES OR
MEMBRANE PRESS - DIEMME, 8,000 litre with axial feed DESTEMMER - BUCHER VASLIN Model E4 AUTOMATIC BERRY SORTING SYSTEM MISTRAL 100 NG by VAUCHER BEGUET VIBRATING CONVEYER for manual grape sorting – BUCHER VASLIN (Length: 3 metres)
Grafted vines, vinifera and rootstock now available.
We also do contract Field Grafting and changing varieties
Ph 0408 140 729
BIRD NETTING Bruce Gilbert 0428 233 544 Brian Phillips 0417 131 764 fax 03 5025 2321
• Permanent canopy or throw over net • Fully UV stabilised • Cable, wire and all canopy supplies in stock
OBLOMOV TRADING CO. PO Box 207, Rozelle, NSW 2039 Phone (02) 9660 6845 Fax (02) 9518 8372 e-mail: email@example.com
Visit our website at: www.otcobirdnet.com.au
Does your bottling line need servicing or upgrading? • BevTech is an established business with 20 years of experience in the bottling and packaging industry. • Specialising in overhauling, repair and tuning of Filling and Labelling machines. • Supply of German made spare parts for your Krones machine. • We import and install top quality new and second hand German made bottling equipment. • 24/7 after sales service. A FREE, no obligation site visit for a machine assessment or any other support you might require can be arranged.
Service and consultancy for Bottling & Packaging
P: 03 5427 4874 F: 03 5427 4924 M: 0400 136 529 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are agents for:
Quality Grapevines Paul Wright PO Box 180 Mt Pleasant South Australia 5235 Ph 08 8568 2385 www.vinewright.com.au
Vine / Tree Guards Cane Support Tabs
Qualified vintage staff e staff for you! We hand pick th
65 x 65 x 480 Most popular vine size
95 x 95 x 300 2 Lt Milk carton size
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Staple around for bushier trees 75 diameter x 420
• Low cost protection against spray, rabbits, wind etc. • Long field life of18 months plus • Available in white poly coated cartonboard • Suit vines, trees, olives, citrus etc • Supplied flat in boxes • Just square up and ready to go • Comes with indent cane holder
Talk to us... email@example.com +61 8 8374 0077 October 2012 – Issue 585
Ph 1800-227866 Fax (08) 8260 2387
www.streamlinecartons.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org Supplying vine growers for the past 8 years
Grapegrower & Winemaker
Real estate Padthaway property offers viticultural opportunities Padthaway wine region is one of five which make up the famed Limestone Coast zone in southeast South Australia. Over 4000 hectares of wine grapes have been planted since the 1960s, when studies revealed that the soils and climate of this distinct area, straddling the Riddoch Highway at the township of Padthaway, were perfect for winegrape production. Major Australian wine producers were quick to participate and have been taking up Padthaway fruit ever since. The main varieties are Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Australian subsidiary of International wine producer Pernod Ricard currently leases two of the most significant and well-known corporate vineyard holdings in Padthaway. These leases expire in 2013. The vineyards have been owned since 2003 by Belvino Investments, previously the Challenger Wine Trust, which has a portfolio of 4,300 ha of vineyards in Australia and New Zealand. Colliers International is appointed to seek new tenants for the vineyards currently known as Lawson’s Vineyard and Richmond Grove Vineyard. Both vineyards are substantial assets in themselves: Lawson’s comprises over 168 hectares of vines and Richmond Grove comprises over 315 hectares. The vineyards are well established and feature some very early plantings with most development occurring in the early 1990s. Long-term production records show relatively even, above average yields. The predominant varieties are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The operations are supported by abundant licensed water supplies (339ML and 643ML respectively) and excellent improvements.
The dynamic aspect of the Padthaway region is that it can produce high-grade grapes for such brands as Orlando’s Lawsons Shiraz, and equally, it can profitably produce lower value grapes from higher yields per hectare to meet the $10 bottle range. This makes Padthaway one of the most versatile viticultural regions in Australia and an exciting, relatively untapped, export story for South Australia. This is an excellent opportunity for wine producers, exporters and investors to secure an economic long-term supply for sought after varieties. Contact Colliers International’s Tim Altschwager (+61 408 814 699) for more information.
03 6331 6118 First Floor, 187 Brisbane St, Launceston, TAS www.tasmanianruralproperty.com.au
FOR SALE BY EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST IRON POT BAY WINES VINEYARD
We currently have a number of quality vineyards and wineries located in the renowned King Valley region available for purchase. For further information please contact Ph: 03 5722 2663 23 Baker Street, Wangaratta Vic 3677 OPEN 7 DAYS www.garrynash.com.au
First time ever offered for sale. Long standing established Vineyard producing outstanding award winning cool climate wines. Situated at Rowella in the renowned Tamar Valley, Tasmania.
Area 10.75ha-5.25 ha Vines Plant, machinery & wine stock Adjacent cottage on 0.3ha ROD’S FINALLY RETIRED.
John Hewitt M: 0458 711 122 John.email@example.com
130 Grapegrower & Winemaker
October 2012 – Issue 585
Tasmanian cool climate vineyard offers lifestyle plus HERE IS A wonderful opportunity to purchase a proven cool climate vineyard, with an established and respected label – and the first time this property has ever been offered for sale. The hard work has been done establishing the brand which is so important in the marketplace. This is currently a profitable business but there is potential to leverage off the Iron Pot Bay name to increase the profit substantially. Iron Pot Bay Wines is an ongoing business with a proven track record and offers an opportunity to purchase a premium product in Australia’s most southern cool climate environment. This multi-award winning vineyard has developed into one of the best known labels in Tasmania and is well recognised around Australia. Situated at Rowella in the renowned Tamar Valley, Tasmania, as a member of the Tamar Valley Wine Route it is close to major tourist attractions such as Narawantapu National Park, Notley Fern Gorge, Tamar Island Wetland Walk, Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre, Seahorse World, Platypus House and Lavender House. The property is approximately 10.75ha, with 5.25ha planted under vines, and a further 2ha of land suitable for further vine plantings or other agricultural activities. A second property which shares a boundary with Iron Pot Bay Vineyard is also being offered for sale exclusively to potential purchasers of the vineyard. It boasts a historic cottage constructed in 1907 by Alexander North, with art nouveau interior wood features and has enormous potential as either accommodation or for a picturesque cellar door location. Expressions of interest will be considered for the vineyard, wine stock, plant and equipment and the adjacent house and land. Expressions of interest close 25 October, 2012 at 5pm. For further information, contact John Hewitt at Landmark Harcourts Tasmania on 0458 711 122.
Limestone Coast Vineyards FOR LEASE
Riddoch Highway, Padthaway, South Australia Two large commercial vineyards in the Padthaway region of South Australia’s Limestone Coast zone.
Limestone Coast Padthaway Wine Region Robe Wine Region Coonawarra Wine Region Wrattonbully Wine Region Mt Benson Wine Region
Kingston Cape Jaffa
Leased to Pernod Ricard ROBE Wrattonbully Pacific, expiring 30 June 2013 Coonawarra • Currently known as PENOLA ‘Lawsons Vineyard’ and ‘Richmond Grove Vineyard’ BEACHPORT Nangwarry • Both properties are developed to Kalangadoo irrigated vines with plantings of 168 hectares and 315 hectares respectively MOUNT • Most plantings were established between GAMBIER 1989 and 1996 with some original 1968 Shiraz plantings • Licenses allow for 339ML and 643ML of permanent water for vineyard irrigation • The operations are supported by extensive and valuable infrastructure •
This is an excellent opportunity for wine producers, exporters and investors to secure an economic long term supply for sought-after varieties.
Tim Altschwager 0408 814 699 08 8305 8844 Nick Dean 0411 267 136 08 8305 8860 This enchanting property includes 5.25ha of established vines.
October 2012 – Issue 585
Grapegrower & Winemaker
Available for Lease from July 2013, either as a whole or separately. www.colliers.com.au/500187941
FROM GRAPE TO THE BOTTLE
REFRIGERATION MONOBLOCS Europe’s leading refrigeration supplier now in Australia Kreyer are specialists in manufacture of products for temperature controlled processing of grape juice, fruit juice and wine. All products are made in Germany and carry a 2 year warranty and a 24 hour customer support service. Kreyer’s range includes ‘MCK” and ‘Chilly Max’ monobloc chillers and heaters for all sized wineries as well as the unique ‘Kreyopack’ range with built in tube n tube for fast and efficient temperature control. Also available are individual and multi tank temperature control systems. KREYOPACK 9-100KW Cooling Capacity
MCK 18-85KW Cooling Capacity
Tank Control Systems with Digital Thermometer
CHILLY MAX 6 – 11KW Cooling Capacity
For further details, contact us on: Melbourne 59 Banbury Rd, Reservoir Ph. 1300 882 850 Adelaide 12 Hamilton Tce, Newton Ph. 08 8365 0044 New Zealand 4c Titoki Place, Albany, Auckland Ph. 0800 699 599 E. firstname.lastname@example.org www.winequip.com.au www.winequip.co.nz
Solenoid Valves and simple control boxes with BUS interface
Published on Oct 23, 2012