Page 1

October 2013


Where next for our wine?

The science of the wine lab

White wine aroma optimisation YEARS

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October 2013: Issue 597

Contents features


Get ready to regulate your ripening


Trunk disease and cover crops at top of Queensland agenda


GWRDC news


Healthy soils a foundation for good wine


Bird control


Managing powdery mildew under threat of fungicide resistance

55 Harvesting 58

Vineyard technology

74 Crushing 77 Yeasts

De Bortoli upgrades harvest machinery


Vine Sight the industry’s hindsight


84 Refrigeration 90

Winery construction


Bottling and packaging


If there's a schedule then stick to it


Transport and freight


It all tastes Greek to me – or will soon


Avoid crushing disappointment


Winemaker profile – Franco D’Anna


White wine aroma optimisation


Fermentation at your fingertips

news 6

My view – Supermarket plan is shelved


Roundtable – Where to now for wine?


National propagation standard is in business


Grape growers refuse to be crushed


Regional Roundup: Victoria


grapegrowing 26 34

sales and marketing 95

Glass provides a window on the future


New technology is a corker

business and technology

Biochar applications in a King Valley vineyard


Holy ship. Look how much wine we import

Talk about the pick of the crop


Plan for heat damage in transit and storage






15 OctOber 2013


Where next for our wine?

The science of the wine lab

White wine aroma optimisation YEARS




The indicator solution for a sulfur dioxide determination lends a splash a colour to any laboratory. Photo courtesy of Eric Wilkes Photography.

5 on the grapevine 26 grapegrowing 63 winemaking 109 export snapshot 110 looking forward 111 marketplace classifieds


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

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

4 Grapegrower & Winemaker

The Wine Federation of Australia (WFA) has taken what it describes as a significant step towards securing the industry’s long-term sustainability with the recent launch of its Proposed Industry Actions for Sustained Profitability. It would seem the one thing everyone can agree on right now is the wine industry is in trouble. Too many grapes and too much wine. So Grapegrower & Winemaker invited WFA to join our Roundtable discussion and stake its claim alongside outspoken industry legend Wolf Blass and Melanie Moschio from Whistler Wine in the Barossa. Their responses to our 14 questions make interesting reading. But they are just the tip of the iceberg because every stakeholder in the grape and wine industry has until October 18 to register their own views of WFA’s blueprint. We invite you to turn to Page 7 and see what you think of the thoughts from the big and the small and encourage you

to have a say in your own future and officially register your thoughts with WFA. This issue was planned to have a scientific focus and although we were caught unawares with the release of the WFA plan we still found time to invite one of the wine industry’s most prominent laboratory scientists to give us his opinion about a range of issues confronted between wine coming into the lab and bottles going out of the winery. It makes fascinating reading and begins on Page 63. We hope you enjoy the October issue and as always, if you feel you have a story to share, or a question you want answered, please let us know at editor@ Andrew Mole Editor Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker

Contributors Erika Winter has a PhD in Plant Physiology. In 2000 she became an accredited training provider at the Victorian Department of Primary Industries and wrote the training manuals and presented the courses “Research to Practice® Winegrape Quality Management” and “Berry Sensory Assessment”. In 2004 she founded GrapeLinks Viticultural Knowledge Management and has co-authored Precision Viticulture. Erika is now working in long-term benchmarking studies in Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Sangiovese. Geoff Linton “discovered” wine, and a passion for it, as an undergraduate, and was more than happy to convert this newfound love into a career. He joined Yalumba in 1974 and most recently has been responsible for its technical and research work, assuming responsibility for laboratory activities and the development and certification of quality management and food safety systems. He served as a board member with AWRI and remains a member of the Wine Industry Technical Advisory Committee. As chief executive of Wine SA Brian Smedley is responsible for the overall governance, leadership and staff of the association. He was appointed in January 2008 and before joining the wine industry held numerous positions relating to legislative compliance (primarily employment law) and delivers those services with an emphasis on superior customer service. Past experience in the private sector involving medium and large employers has provided a strong foundation for him to make his mark in the SA wine industry.

October 2013 – Issue 597

on the grapevine

what’s online

Simei competition winners Congratulations to Duncan Harris (WA) and Steve Lubiana (Tasmania) who were the winners of our Win a Trip to Simei Grapegrower & Winemaker and competitions. Thank you to all who participated, especially those who also took the time to answer the questions which formed part of the competition’s entry conditions. The feedback provided has given us an insight into a range of business and equipment enhancements which will assist business owners, growers, wineries, managers and general staff to improve their daily operations. Most who entered the Grapegrower & Winemaker competition indicated there is a need to replace vineyard and winemaking equipment to maximise efficiency of their operations and to ensure premium quality of their grapes and wine.

Get set for Simei-Enovitis 2013 The Tergeo Project of Unione Italiana Vini will have its first convention on 15 November at Simei-Enovitis 2013, the most important showcase of the latest innovations in the wine, oil and beverage sectors. The exhibition is also a long-awaited occasion for a professional debate on the subject of sustainability, which is the focus chosen by the organisers for 2013. The choice of sustainability as a leading theme follows a path that has been pursued by Unione Italiana Vini for several years and has materialised with Tergeo, a project of collection, qualification and diffusion of innovative, technological and management solutions to improve the sustainability of wineries. Tergeo involves the different players who make up the production chain at all levels – the wineries with their requirements, the suppliers with technological responses, the scientific community with research works and experimentations – to assist in a cultural, as well as organisational, evolution and in the subsequent investments in innovative technologies and production processes, which are consistent with the priorities given by the global market. The first Convention of the Tergeo Project will be staged from 10am – 1pm in the Gemini Room of the Stella Polare Congress Centre at Fiera Milano. The convention is dedicated to the 200 participating wineries and to all the industry partners, which includes key research institutes and technology suppliers. A spokesman said the conference will cover from the vine to the wine on the table, always with the sustainability approach. “Simei-Enovitis 2013 also features a busy program of workshops as well as a series of seminars which will cover every link in the wine production chain,” he said. Further information is available from, and www. Contact: Laura Bresciani. Phone: 347.0400858. Email:

Chemical engineering of sustainable winemaking

Professor Roger Boulton will lead this three-day course at Melbourne University, covering the application of chemical engineering principles to the effective production of high value wines and the design and operation of sustainable wineries, in an era of reduced water availability. The course is designed to give winery managers, winery engineers, winemakers and those involved in the development of new and existing wineries, examples of emerging and applied technological developments, and the engineering basis of their design and operation. It will run from December 2-4 inclusive. Roger Boulton is Stephen Scott Professor of Enology and Chemical Engineering in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis. For the past 10 years his focus has been in the design and development of the new teaching research winery at UCDavis – the first built and certified as a LEED platinum facility. In 2000 he was named among “the 50 most influential people in the US wine industry”. In the past 10 years, his focus has been in design aspects and development of the new teaching research winery at Davis. This was the first winery to be built and certified as a LEED Platinum facility (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). It is the highest scoring building of its kind at any university. With its advanced wireless network monitoring and controlling its 150 fermenters, research wines can now be made reproducibly and precisely. Contact: Julie Mattingley, program coordinator. Phone: +61 3 9810 3248. Email: October 2013 – Issue 597

David Dearie out as Treasury Wine Estates’ CEO Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has ousted chief executive David Dearie after the wine producer was forced to destroy thousands of litres of product in the US. In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, TWE said Dearie would leave with immediate effect and will be replaced by non-executive board member Warwick Every-Burns on an interim basis, reports The Australian.

Australians’ drink choice shifting from beer to wine Wine is on track to overtake beer as the nation’s drink of choice. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show the average person is drinking 44 fewer standard drinks of beer than they were in 2008. Wine consumption is up by an average of seven glasses per person over the same time period. The ABS found the average person consumes 331 standard drinks of beer each year compared to 304 glasses of wine, reports ABC News.

Exports set to soar as China chooses Aussie wine Australian wine sales to overseas buyers are expected to grow and China’s insatiable thirst for local drops is helping drive the rosier outlook. Export earnings for wine are forecast to increase by almost 10 per cent in 2013/14, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). Executive director Paul Morris said China imported very little wine from Australia 10 years ago but the country had grown to become the third-largest destination for local reds and whites, reports Geelong Advertiser. Australia’s wine industry portal by Winetitles Australia’s wine industry portal by


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


my view Supermarket plan shelved – but change is needed says wine boss Wine SA boss Brian Smedley has strong views about the collapse of an SA government proposal to allow the sale of SA-only wine on the shelves of independent supermarkets throughout the state. He told Grapegrower & Winemaker what he felt went wrong and what still needs to be done.

The South Australian Wine Industry Association remains committed to an overhaul of the state’s liquor laws. But not with a patchwork approach of a bandaid here and a piece of sticking plaster there. Wine SA chief executive Brian Smedley said the failure of the State Government’s plan to get South Australian wines on the shelves of independent supermarkets is likely to be the first step, not the last, in the change South Australia needs. As the state’s wine peak industry body Smedley said Wine SA’s original submission to North Terrace in March neither supported nor opposed the plan. “However, the longer the government took to make its decision the more many of our members became opposed to the concept,” Smedley said. “There was nothing wrong with the intent of the proposed amendment to the laws, giving SA wineries greater exposure on the shelves of the independent supermarkets,” he said. “But it quickly became just as apparent the government could not legislate to enforce the spirit of the proposed changes and was unable to provide the detail everyone needed to fully understand the outcomes.

DUOPOLY JUGGERNAUT “The reality is; whatever the plans at the outset, that over time the independents would start to stock different wines on their shelves and it would open the floodgates for Coles and Woolies.” Australia’s juggernaut duopoly remained silent throughout the debate because the state government’s plans were a win-win for them. If the laws changed and wines went onto supermarket shelves it would only be a matter of time before the big players followed suit. If the laws didn’t change then the duopoly’s stranglehold on wine mass retailing would remain in place. Smedley admits the thought of supermarket wine prices mirroring those of Europe, where bottles of wine can be had for little more than 1 euro would be disastrous for not just South Australian

6 Grapegrower & Winemaker

wineries but the whole industry. He said the growing presence of ‘no brand’ wine in duopoly outlets, just like home brands on supermarket shelves, is a concern. To expand that impact even further would be akin to letting the genie out of the bottle. And there would be no putting it back. “You can go into chain liquor shops now and you will find plenty of brands you know, and know well,” Smedley said. “But you can also look around and see brands you know nothing about, and for the industry that is an issue,” he said.

WINE ‘EXPERIENCE’ “So we met with the government about a month before it scrapped the independent supermarket proposal to try and identify what they were really trying to do and how they would do it. We also relayed producer concerns about how they would police the South Australian-only policy.” Smedley also believed one of the tragedies of the changing face of wine marketing is the loss of the “wine experience”. He said the cellar door experience, and the specialist wine shop, provide more than just buying bottles of wine. “They are places you can go and taste the wines, hear what the winemaker is trying to achieve and even get advice about which wines will go best with whatever meal you might be preparing. “Or wines which would be ideal as a gift, or a thank you. “There is that concept of a total approach which you will never get walking along an aisle and picking a bottle of wine and putting it in your trolley next to a carton of milk and a cauliflower.” Smedley said both he and his members were also concerned in a sales world dominated by supermarkets 12 months down the track the margins would start being squeezed.

PAYING FOR PROFITS He said supermarkets are all about two things – profits and making those profits by offering value to customers by

Strong views: Wine SA chief executive Brian Smedley says there is a genuine need for SA’s licensing laws to be overhauled for the benefit of everyone, from wine producers to consumers.

squeezing the returns of their suppliers. “What if Coles and Woolies moved wine onto their shelves and still ran their liquor stores with beer and spirits? “The value of all the small wine brands would be very quickly down valued. “There were simply too many unresolved questions in the draft Bill. “What we really need, as I have said, is to review the State’s liquor laws and at this point, that really means a bi-partisan approach so when the a new government comes in next March, regardless of which party it is, the progress can continue. “Most crucially, we need to understand who the new laws will advantage and/or disadvantage; and they need to protect the long-term future of the South Australian wine industry. “This government has tried to get that up and running, with, we are sure, the best of intentions, but now is the time to really think this through and get it right for everyone.” Contact: Brian Smedley, Wine SA. Phone: 61 8 8222 9277. Email: admin@ October 2013 – Issue 597


Australian wine – where to next? With serious fanfare the Wine Federation of Australia (WFA) has released its blueprint for the industry’s future. Now it is looking to hear what everyone involved in that industry – from the vineyard to the bottle shop and exporter’s office – thinks of it. And wants to hear any good ideas which could be incorporated into wine’s rescue package.

THIS MONTH GRAPEGROWER & WINEMAKER invited WFA chief executive Paul Evans, outspoken industry legend Wolf Blass and Melissa Maschio from Whistler Wines representing the small, grassroots wineries to join our Roundtable and give us their take on the real value of Industry Actions for Sustained Profitability. Do you think the WFA report has pinned down the issues facing the Australian wine industry or are there issues that need to be addressed and are not?

WFA: The biggest issue facing the industry is a lack of profitability and declining asset values and this is what both the Expert Review and the WFA Actions have focused on. They cover areas most in the sector would see as crucial to future commercial success – increasing demand, dealing with oversupply, reforming the WET rebate, working with retailers on a fair and transparent domestic marketplace and continuing to address the alcohol and health debate so we can protect wine from ad hoc regulatory intervention. These are the issues that will make a difference. WB: Stage 1 has been set with a new WFA Board, chairman and chief executive officer. Stage II is legislation for an amalgamation of WFA with Wine Grape Growers Association, which is before parliament for ratification in November and I understand there is bipartisan support for this proposal. Stage III – Following Stage II the new board must press the issue that all other wine organisations, Wine Australia, Wine Research & Development Corporation and Wine & Brandy Corporation should all be under one umbrella to eliminate red tape and bureaucratic split agendas. The report is focusing on: • Oversupply – in my opinion there is up to 250,000 tonnes of cheap bulk wine supplied overseas, creating a bad image. • Cheap importing of Sauvignon Blanc October 2013 – Issue 597

– about 14 per cent of our domestic consumption comes from New Zealand. • There are more than 520 wine producers in New Zealand. • The Wet rebate which has been misused. • The major issue of lack of profitability. Establishing a fair, balanced structure with the major domestic retailers Coles and Woolworths who control approximately 80 per cent of the marketing power and I estimate their private labels could be up to 18 per cent of the market.

Winemakers’ Federation of Australia

Proposed Industry Actions for Sustained Profitability – Your Views?

August 2013

MM: All issues have been articulated in the report. You see this as a significant report, but is it too little, too late?

WFA: Like many others in the industry, WFA recognises for all the enormous strengths of the Australian wine industry there are changes needed to our structures and approach if we are to be as globally competitive in the future as we have been in the past. The work from WFA is absolutely vital in developing a coordinated and fully funded response to our challenges that cover a number of different industry and policy areas. It’s not too late but we need to act quickly. WB: It is never too late. The Wolf Blass Foundation has put forward suggestions to the previous WFA chief executive, who at the time was also a member of the Foundation, suggesting restructuring of the wine organisations. Fortunately newly-appointed WFA chairman Tony D’Aloisio AM has responded immediately with the setting up of an independent review committee tasked with preparing a significant report on coordination, consultation and strategy development from all parties involved, including the incredible figure of more than 2500 registered winemakers from boutique, small, family, overseas and corporate. The past decade’s statistics show a gain of 122 producers per year. The problems speak for themselves – 617 producers in 1991, 1800 in 2004, 2572 in 2013.

MM: Time will tell, however it is better to take the actions proposed rather than sit back and do nothing. Should the wine industry be left to market forces, with the survival of the fittest?

WFA: As an industry body we see it as our job is to get the settings right then let our members compete and grow their businesses. We help set the framework. They do the hard work which goes with competing in domestic and international markets. WB: The Independent Expert Blueprint reports its findings and recommendations which have now been analysed and digested. Further questions and strategies have been formulated by the WFA Board to move forward, hopefully with a powerful sense of resilience. A fretful fact for example is exports are down 62 per cent, 36 per cent since 2007. Profitability has been crushed and now approximately 40 per cent of the producers control 90 per cent of the market share. There are daily reports on vineyard sales, wineries on offer, overseas investments, insolvency investigation, borrowing vs. assets, share placements with institutions on a discount basis and bailouts and fundraising issues. (Ref Gaetjens Langley or www.wineryforsale. The new powerful WFA will Grapegrower & Winemaker


roundtable put in place a framework which must include a promotional levy on all makers to support an export drive. There is no room for expanding the domestic market – it is saturated. The duopoly and own brands, wine clubs online, cellarmaster, clean skins etc. Where do we go from here? I see joint ventures, amalgamations, co-operation between regions and winemakers to produce a long-term strategy in developing special brands, designer packaging and a move to look at export markets in South East Asia, Asia, Pacific Rim, Japan and China – marketing in the price range of $20-$25 per bottle retail. MM: That would be another option; however I don’t think that would be in the interests of the industry or the country if we are looking for a sustainable income. With the exchange rate already improving do you think this still needs to be taken into account in wine’s future?

WFA: The falling dollar is a significant help to the industry but there are no silver bullets. The industry needs the dollar to stay at present levels, and ideally drop further, for a number of months before the impact flows through the production and supply chain. Even then, being more competitive on price will not be enough. We also need to re-engage in key markets with consumers, distributors and gate-keepers and remind them on the diversity and value of the Australian offering compared to our competitors.

WB: I believe the $A will stay between US95 cents to $US1 range, considering the strength of our Australian financial commercial structure versus the rest of the world. The $A value will not be enough to shift our surplus. We have the quality in our favour; we compete successfully and consistently at overseas wine exhibitions against our competitors. Promotional funding is needed otherwise nothing will happen. MM: Yes it still needs to be addressed as the dollar will continue to fluctuate. Is there any way to ever correct the issue of supply and demand or is this wishful thinking? Every time a market value goes up, in almost any industry, supply is right behind until it reaches the point where it surpasses demand. How could wine be different and turn that around short of single-desk marketing or a reserve price scheme?

WFA: Supply/demand balance is always difficult, but the particular issue for the wine industry is, as the Expert Review found, low profitability is being driven by a “significant oversupply and under-demand in C and D grapes/ wine”, which has a distorting impact on the pricing of other grades. The result is up to 70 per cent of total current production is uneconomic. There is some evidence market forces are addressing this situation, but the process needs to be accelerated. To help future decision making from grape growing businesses we will continue our analysis of vineyard profitability

and make this data available to the industry so it and its financial partners can decide on what’s right for them – whether to change business models, to improve quality or to exit the industry altogether. With WGGA, we will also look at researching where necessary on reducing the cost of removing unprofitable vineyards or improving vineyard quality. Again, this will help support those growers by providing more information and choices on how best to respond. WB: We have allowed production to outgrow the demand and we have not warned investors of the problems lying ahead since 2005. Riding on the rainbow of never-ending success stories, export market growth continued year by year at 10 – 20 per cent. Now 70 per cent of our current production is unprofitable. There is no easy solution – we have to change business models, remove vineyards, exit the industry and remove tax incentives to enter the wine and grapegrowing industry. MM: I’m not sure there is a one-off fix for all time. We do however need to be in a position to react to market changes when the need arises. From your perspective what is the single biggest thing holding back the wine industry? Are there too many wineries or is there a fundamental problem with Australian wine and the rest of the world?

WFA: The single biggest problem is the lack of profitability for many in the

The biggest issue facing the industry is a lack of profitability and declining asset values and this is what both the Expert Review and the WFA Actions have focused on.

8 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597

industry and the subsequent impact on asset values. The cause is a structural mismatch between the supply and demand for our wine. That is why the Actions make recommendations on both the supply and demand side to bring the market back into better balance. Only then will we see margins recover. WB: Refer point 5. One of the fundamental problems is selling bulk wine by desperate Australian wine exporters to unscrupulous wine merchants to generate cash flow. Almost 50 per cent of our production sells between .50cents and $1 per litre. This destroys our image against top Australian brands working hard on promotions to keep the quality and presentation up. The Australian wine portfolio is confusing the consumer. I believe brand building is the key word in achieving success against the rest of the world.

wine promotion centre in Shanghai just a drop in the bucket or a viable plan?

WFA: It is a viable plan, but only one small part of a co-ordinated strategy needed by individual companies and Brand Australia as a whole if we are to maximise the potential of the China market. WB: If we don’t do it other wine countries will. Promoting and investing with Tourism Australia is critically important. Brand Australia is the start. In 15 years China will become the largest winegrowing nation. Australia should be producing products which target Chinese women to entice them to participate socially with wine. Produce a flirtatious bottle shape or a wine similar to the pearl wine with which the wine industry enticed Australians away from beer in the ’50s and ’60s. It helped the Baby Boomers change from a hillbilly country to a coffee life style society.

MM: Our consumption volumes for Australia have increased, however we will never be in a position to sell everything locally so we must also rely on exports. The growth in labels is great for local tourism and I wouldn’t like to see that discouraged, however there may be a possibility of stronger Australian branding on all exported product which would also provide a better focus on Australian wine on the shelves around the world.

Unlike many processing and manufacturing industries which have overcome Australia’s rising cost base by moving offshore, is wine the type of business which can be contracted out to low-cost nations?

With a country as large and diverse as China, is the investment in a $1.5 million

WFA: Individual companies will continue to review their cost structures and opportunities to work with others

October 2013 – Issue 597

MM: $1.5 million doesn’t sound like a lot of money in a country that size, so I guess that is just for the building and that the marketing expenses will in fact be much higher? I can’t really comment unless I hear the full story.

to capture efficiencies. However, they will also take into account quality control issues and supply chain certainty when they consider the options such as moving offshore. Ultimately, it will be an individual business decision but my personal view is that I don’t think moving offshore will be a typical response in the wine sector. WB: Cheaper bottling costs and moving bulk wine means the inability to control the quality, sterility and oxidisation process as well as not being able to have control over packaging and label design. WFA should have the power of limited export approval. What price, what quality, and to whom. This hard decision must be considered and approved for the sake of our long-term survival as a quality winemaking nation and for the sake of our economy. MM: Unlike other manufacturing businesses, our product must be sourced from Australia and then converted to wine before it can be shipped to lowercost nations for aging, bottling, labelling and packaging thereby reducing the benefits of reduced labour costs. One action which would make cellar door sales more profitable would be the removal of the wage loadings for staff employed outside of 9am-5.30pm on weekdays. My understanding is most other countries do not add loadings thereby giving them an advantage. If there were no loadings, we would see greater employment and greater profitability.

Grapegrower & Winemaker



The past decade’s statistics show a gain of 122 producers per year. The problems speak for themselves – 617 producers in 1991, 1800 in 2004, 2572 in 2013.

WFA’s plan also calls on Canberra to double the level of funding to Export Market Development Grants and reform the eligibility criteria for receiving grants. Has that been impacting on business?

WFA: In its last two Pre-Budget Submissions WFA asked the Government to double the overall EMDG program allocation and re-open applications to those exporters who have exhausted their access to the program for specified target markets, including removal of the sevenyear timeframe. We are disappointed this has not happened, as it has limited the wine industry’s ability to access what is a very valuable scheme. WB: A new government, new policies. Hopefully we will get independent senator Nick Xenophon and others politicians from Tasmania and the Clare wine region to support a different level of export market development fund. Likewise support to challenge the Wet Tax and its rebate issue of 29 per cent, in particular the export wine group organisation from NZ. MM: We could not consider applying for the grant as we are not in a position to spend $20,000 in the first two years and then $20,000 annually ongoing. In our case wine distributors from other countries visit us and we make the sale and then visit each market only every two years. I guess larger companies have the capacity to make use of the EDMG grants for seven years. Reducing the amount of spend required would help smaller companies and I am sure that extending

10 Grapegrower & Winemaker

the number of years the grant is applied to more than seven years would also assist. The same goes with tax. The national debt is much higher than when the wine industry really took off. With Canberra looking to save money where do you think wine fits in the scheme of things?

WFA: While well aware of the Government’s Budget pressures, we have argued strongly and with success in Canberra against any increase in total tax revenue from the wine sector. Such an increase is not justified, particularly when an important export-oriented industry is working its way out of a tough period and laying the groundwork for its future sustainability. WB: Tax; the new government would not be stupid enough to handle an export oriented industry with contempt, an industry employing 60,000 people within the structure by ignoring the future and sustainability of viticulture. MM: I’ve always thought it unfair that WET is applied to wine as an added tax; however I doubt the anti-alcohol lobby or government will want it removed. The cost to business to collect and forward taxes is also a burden on business. WFA also plans to support national retailers in the development of a “Buy Australian First” campaign to regain market share and re-engage Australian consumers. If wine needs to re-engage domestic markets how did it lose them in the first place? Would a tariff barrier help or hinder the industry?

WFA: Wine is competing in a crowded

market place against all manner of new beer, spirits and non-alcoholic products, not to mention imported wine on the back of a high Australian dollar. We are all aware of the dominance of NZ Sauvignon Blanc, in particular. We need to remind Australian wine drinkers of just how diverse and exciting the local offering is, and non-wine drinkers what they are missing. Tariffs are not something WFA would contemplate. WB: With more than 30,000 labels confusing the consumer WFA should look at label integrity analysis. Not only look at what is in the bottle but also have control of the design of labels – acting in our best interests of integrity, quality and image globally. Shelf placing at the super chains must clearly identify imports, our brands and major quality Australian company brands. Currently the consumer is confused, what is what etc. MM: Imports are such a small part of wine consumption in this country and it also builds palate development. I wouldn’t have thought it important, at this stage, to worry about a Buy Australia First campaign locally. Why not look at a Buy Australia branding campaign for all wines exported? We could look at removing the WET rebate for wines imported. Where do you see the next step for our wine industry? Is the domestic market big enough to provide its bread and butter returns with export adding the cream on top or does it need to really snare more export markets? October 2013 – Issue 597

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I’ve always thought it unfair that WET is applied to wine as an added tax; however I doubt the anti-alcohol lobby or government will want it removed.

WFA: The review process has clearly demonstrated the past success of the Australian industry was built on export performance and growing demand in key export markets is critical to its future success. Of course some wineries will only ever focus on the domestic market, and the key is to find their niche in it. The vast majority, however, will be looking to regain share and margin in traditional markets such as the US and the UK, maximise the potential in emerging markets such as China, and position themselves in Asia and the rest of the world. Most of the work will be done by these individual companies, but there is also a crucial supporting role for Wine Australia and WFA to play. WB: The reality is clear. There is no increase possible on the domestic market. We must look to control discounted products, remove the NZ 29 per cent tax rebate, increase awareness through promotion and seek to regain traditional markets in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and most importantly the US. TWE, Orlando-Castella and other major family companies should spend time, money and managerial efforts to rebuild what we have lost in the past four years. I am convinced with professional and financial PR support we can get our share back. MM: With Whistler being a small business, export is the cream. Within the industry however I believe we need

12 Grapegrower & Winemaker

to build our export markets. We and the world know Australian wine is comparable or better than wines from other countries so it is a matter of having it available at an affordable price. Unlike most agricultural products, wine is a luxury, not an essential food. Just as the wool industry through the 1990s was faced with a massive stockpile of overproduction, from which it still has not fully recovered, should wine follow the Treasury Wine Estates lead and start destroying the surplus rather than trying to trade its way out of the current market?

WFA: We are a diverse industry made up of many individual businesses. Each has to make its own decisions based on the evidence before it about future opportunities and challenges. At the industry level, WFA is advocating a number of Actions on both the supply and demand side to address the oversupply issue. We believe they will make a difference and help recapture share and margin in our key markets. WB: I do not believe wine is a luxury, it has become very much a part of the Australian lifestyle. There is no room for domestic expansion – surplus will have to be destroyed. But with regard to TWE the question should be do you carry bad quality stock and further diminish the goodwill of shareholder investment? The CEO made the right decision – remove old stock for distillation purpose. For the brand we should change the packaging, increase the quality of the product, uplift

the retail price structure and change the distribution network in the US. The writedowns should have been done before the demerger in 2011 – ex Foster’s. There is a positive point of view to clarify the situation. Without a fully co-ordinated and fully cooperating distribution system like Beringer in the Napa Valley nothing positive would have eventuated. The US will be part of our ability to recapture profitability and get Australian wine back on the shelves. Perhaps that will reduce the oversupply issue. MM: Each company needs to make its own business decisions on what happens to its product. I’m just glad this is not a decision Whistler is forced to make. In one paragraph, what is your gut feeling about WFA’s Actions?

WFA: Not applicable. WB: The Board has taken fantastic initiatives and must continue to work at being united, making tough decisions without individual ego trips. MM: I am encouraged by the fact WFA has undertaken, and is undertaking, the research which enables it to look critically at the status and future of Australian wine. We know we have a product which both Australians and the rest of the world enjoy and will purchase and I believe WFA is the one organisation which can influence government and, working with members, develop a new strategy for exporting our product. October 2013 – Issue 597

National propagation standard is in business IF YOU ARE in the market for grapevine cuttings you now have access to a national standard for grapevine propagation material. It follows completion of a project funded by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC). And what it means is people purchasing grapevine propagation material sold under the standard can now be assured about the cutting’s identity, its health status and that it meets certain physical specifications. The Australian Standard for Grapevine Propagation Material, AS 5588:2013 was developed by Standards Australia in

consultation with representatives of the grapegrowing, winemaking and nursery industries, researchers and government. It was then adopted after support from all of the organisations represented. The standard, which sets a new benchmark for the industry, builds on, and enhances, the schemes of best practice and traceability previously used. “GWRDC is pleased the wine sector has come together to develop a robust, scientifically valid national standard for grapevine propagation material,” GWRDC general manager Kate Harvey said. “All the key parties came together and we appreciate their contribution to the

development of the standard,” she said. The standard sets minimum requirements for: • Establishing and maintaining the variety, provenance (origin and selection history) and health of grapevine propagation material • Classification of material according to fitness for the purpose of propagation and/or vineyard establishment • Documentation, including traceability, classification and labelling of propagation material. Contact: To purchase a copy of the standard visit

Wine industry trifecta: rural women of the year Wine industry women are shining with representation at both state and national levels. Grapegrower & Winemaker editorial panellist Mary Retallack is about to hand over her Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural (RIRDC) Woman of the Year national crown. Hopefully — she said — to Anna Hooper, the winemaker from Cape Jaffa Wines who won the South Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award earlier this year. Hooper will represent SA at the presentation dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra on 16 October when the 2013 winner will be announced. Retallack, a third-generation

viticulturist and managing director of Retallack Viticulture, has worked in vineyard management, technical, research, consultancy, training and extension roles both within Australia and overseas. She was one of the youngest nonexecutive directors to be elected to the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Australian Wine Industry’s Future Leaders Program. She wishes to encourage women to be involved in the wine industry in a range of roles and especially viticulture. Most importantly she said she wants to ensure women who are at the top of their game do not leave the industry.

Hooper’s award ambition is to investigate how we measure and market our sustainability credentials compared with global competitors, as well as looking at drivers of environmental leadership in small to medium wine business. The Rural Women’s Award presents both the winners and runners-up, with many other benefits aimed at supporting emerging female leaders. Australian Wine Research Institute senior viticulturist and private consultant Mardi Longbottom was SA runner up in 2013. Her award ambition is to show the diversity of roles in the grape and wine sector with the aim of facilitating discussion about careers within this sector.

New Zealand wine exports hits record high Competition between New Zealand and Australia is an ongoing given – from tiddlywinks to the high-stakes world of wine exports. And once again, just like the All Blacks, the Kiwis have come out on top. The New Zealand Winegrowers annual report has revealed Kiwi exports in the past financial year reached an alltime high. Its total export value saw a 3 per cent rise to $1.21 billion while Australia – not too far behind, but still behind – managed a 2.7 per cent lift. New Zealand’s 2013 vintage produced 345,000 tonnes of grapes – up a whopping 28 per cent on the previous year. In the year to June, the report also found freight on board values around the globe increased. Figures show: October 2013 – Issue 597

• • • • •

The US rose 13 per cent to $284m Canada rose 10 per cent to $78.2m China rose 6 per cent to $26.9m Hong Kong rose 11 per cent to $20.5m Germany rose 25 per cent to $9.5m Although New Zealand’s export value reached a record, volumes exported actually dropped 5 per cent because of 2012’s smaller grape crop. Volumes exported in Australia also went backward, down 2.1 per cent. New Zealand Winegrowers deputy chairman Steve Green said the fall in export volume was a predictable consequence of his country’s smaller vintage. “The small 2012 grape crop meant wine was in short supply and wineries took the opportunity to improve their positioning in the market,” he added. “Winemakers have welcomed the more

normal 2013 harvest as the improved supply will facilitate renewed export growth in the year ahead.” According to Green, major growth opportunities are outside the country’s traditional markets of the UK and Australia, which slipped 2 per cent in value. “The longer-term trend towards market diversification is undeniable,” he said. “To generate volume and value growth, producers need to navigate complex and sometimes chaotic markets which have not been fully developed up to this point.” Australia ranks fourth amongst the world’s Top 10 wine exporters in the average value of bottled wine exports behind New Zealand, France and the US. Contact: Steve Green. Phone: +61 3 445 3480. Email: Grapegrower & Winemaker



Griffith says goodbye to wine industry pioneer Stephanie Timotheou

WINE INDUSTRY LEGEND Louis Delpiano, a pivotal figure in the history of Australian winemaking, died on June 23. The man, who introduced Riccadona and Rosso Americano Vermouth to Australia when he arrived as a migrant in 1956, was 84. Riccadona is a fruity Italian sparkling wine while Rosso Americano Vermouth is a red. Delpiano spent his formative years as a winemaker in Spain and Argentina before making the move to Australia and discovering the potential in Griffith. He found his first job with McWilliams and later with De Bortoli. Riverina Winemakers Association president Les Worland said Delpiano was an active member in the Griffith community and helped many people achieve their goals. “He had a great history in winemaking and many contacts overseas, which was a big advantage to wineries and vineyards in the region,” Worland said. “Although he had a busy schedule he always made time to visit other wineries to show them the sort of equipment available from overseas.” Worland described Delpiano as an innovator who always looked for something modern and efficient to assist the industry.

Which also led him to bigger things and he soon became a contract winemaker for a variety of companies including Casella Wines, Toorak Wines, Calabria Wines, Westend Estate and Warburn Estate. His son Gary described his father as a generous man who always assisted people when they needed a helping hand. “He liked to do things his own way but he was a wonderful friend to the people he valued,” he said. “Anytime someone needed something, he would always come through – he never sought recognition – all he wanted was the recognition of his family.” According to Westend Estate managing director Bill Calabria, winemaking infrastructure here was basic in the ’60s and ’70s and Delpiano was one of the first to import state-of-the-art equipment. “Back then grapes were unloaded with a pitchfork and every aspect of winemaking was done manually,” Calabria said. “When I look back at what he contributed to the wine industry and the Riverina region when information on winemaking was hard to access, it has made me appreciate the efforts he went to. “Not only did he help me, but he helped other winemakers grow to where they are today.” Calabria said Delpiano will also

be remembered for giving a number of winemakers a kick-start and the confidence to succeed. “I can count at least four familyowned winemakers who are in the Top Ten of Australia’s largest wineries now, with thanks to Delpiano.”

Vintage year for Barossa drumMUSTER Barossa Valley winemakers don’t have to wait to recycle their empty and clean agvet chemical containers. And of course they wouldn’t just chuck them onto the property rubbish pile. Or, shudder; even think about tossing them into the nearest creek bed. Thanks heavens there has been some recent changes to the local drumMUSTER program. Now the Barossa Council will be staging not one, not two, but hundreds of drumMUSTER collection days a year to cater for the more than 750 grapegrowers supplying the Valley’s 200 wineries. With the massive new roster at the Nuriootpa dump growers can now drop off their drums five and half days a week instead of just twice a year. South Australian drumMUSTER consultant David Jesse said the new

14 Grapegrower & Winemaker

collection site would be a great asset to local growers. “Drums can now be delivered to the Transpacific Transfer Station on Pine Drive in Nuriootpa during normal opening hours,” he said. “This site is well known to most local farmers as they have using it for disposal of other waste.” David said the Barossa Council has been a pioneer in this type of essential waste management as it had been collecting chemical drums since 1989 – a decade before anyone had heard of drumMUSTER. “Since drumMUSTER has been serving the region, more than 84,000 drums have been collected,” David said. “That represents more than 105 tonnes of material recycled into new things again.” Growers can drop off their drums

at the site during normal opening times, 8am-3pm Monday to Friday and 8am-11.30am on Saturday. Remember to rinse all drums and remove lids before delivering. Pierce metal drums to allow drying after rinsing. Since drumMuster picked up the running from operations such as the Barossa Council it has collected a staggering 22 million drums (give or take 100,000) nation-wide. Which represents more than 27,000 tonnes of waste avoiding landfill (and the local creek) and being recycled into new and useful things again, such as plastic cable covers, wheelie bins and pipes. For further information on the drumMUSTER program, call 1800 008 707 or log on to Contact: David Jesse. Phone: 0409 834 113. October 2013 – Issue 597

Grapegrowers refused to be crushed Kondinin Group-ABC Rural Australian Horticulturist of the Year Ashley Ratcliff was not going to let drought or tradition stand in his path of success as he set about turning the grapegrowing industry on its head Ricca Terra Farms might only be 33ha in Barmera, in the heart of South Australia’s Riverland, but it is an incredibly productive little patch of dirt. But owners Ashley and Holly Ratcliff could hardly have picked a worse time to strike out on their own as SA was about to plunge into its worst drought in living memory – along with most of the rest of the country. However the Australian Horticulturist of the Year was not going to let as little thing like that get in his way. Which might also explain how just days after his national recognition Ratcliff received the JMA Engineering Wine Industry Award at the Riverland Wine Show. It is an industry accolade typically awarded to winemakers but was altered this year to recognise Ashley’s dedication to region. An employee of the Hill Smith family for the past 11 years, apart from running his own vineyard Ratcliff also oversees all winery and vineyard operations for the Oxford Landing Estates winery in Moppa and vineyard near Waikerie. Ricca Terra Farms is today producing as much as 800 tonnes of wine grapes every year to supply high-profile brands such as Yalumba, Accolade Wines, Salena Estate, Wine by Brad and Bellweather Wines. Ashley said the Riverland is today the largest winegrape growing region in Australia. But size and volume is no defence against drought, high input costs (such as irrigation water and power) and the low demand for winegrapes – all serious challenges to the viability of Ricca Terra Farms. The solution for Ashley and Holly has been to seriously bite the bullet and increase the scale of their vineyard holdings. A move they are confident will give them their best opportunity to survive the current downturn and remain viable in the industry.

properties,” Ashley said. “There is no doubt our greatest challenge by far since 2003 has been drought,” he said. “With temporary water prices exceeding $1000 for a megalitre for irrigating our vineyards at the peak of the dry it became far and away our single largest input cost. “And it was having a significant negative impact on the business, its profit and our long-term viability.” So the couple also began investigating alternative measures to mitigate the impact of drought beyond the purchase of expensive – and temporary – water. They ended up focusing on three main areas which they said have helped them build robust management strategies to manage input costs and drought which were: • Understanding the benefits of drought tolerant rootstocks: The use of some drought tolerant rootstocks (Ramsey

At a glance: • Ricca Terra Farms is today producing as much as 800 tonnes of wine grapes every year to supply high-profile brands such as Yalumba, Accolade Wines and Salena Estate. • Size and volume is no defence against drought, high input costs and low demand but that did not stop owners Ashley and Holly Ratcliff increasing the scale of their vineyard holdings. • Research on drought tolerant rootstocks has been discouraged in vineyards due to potential wine quality issues but Ashley’s work won him the 2006 Science and Innovation Award for Young People.

ECONOMIES OF SCALE “We felt by increasing our economies of scale we would be better positioned and we were fortunate enough to be able to expand by acquiring some neighbouring October 2013 – Issue 597

Barmera grapegrower and now Australian horticulturist of the Year, Ashley Ratcliff celebrates his success with wife Holly at the awards ceremony in Melbourne.

Grapegrower & Winemaker


news and Ruggeri) has been discouraged in vineyards due to potential wine quality issues. Ashley undertook trial work to evaluate the benefits of drought-tolerant rootstocks when irrigated with significantly less water. His findings showed commercial crop levels could be achieved with the application of less water. In addition the application of less water to vineyards grafted on rootstocks such as Ramsey and Ruggeri actually improved wine quality. This research work won him the 2006 Science and Innovation Award for Young People. All new vines at Ricca Terra Farms are now only planted on drought tolerant rootstocks. • The use of more suitable grape varieties: The core varieties at Ricca Terra Farms, as in most Australian vineyards, are Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. These varieties originate from the much cooler regions of Europe and therefore it could be questioned if they are best suited for a hot climate such as the Riverland. Ashley and Holly investigated if there were better-suited grape varieties which would flourish in hotter climates. An investigation which took Ashley to Sicily, which has a similar climate to the Riverland, where he found varieties such as Nero d’Avola, Grillo and Vermentino all which perform exceptionally well in the heat. On his return to the Riverland the Ratcliffs planted all three varieties

16 Grapegrower & Winemaker

We felt by increasing our economies of scale we would be better positioned and we were fortunate enough to be able to expand by acquiring some neighbouring properties

In addition, Ashley is a committee member of the Australian Alternative Variety Wine Show and has made many presentations to winemakers and growers on alternative/climate change grape varieties. • Using mulch to conserve soil moisture: Ricca Terra Farms secured a Woolworths LandCare grant to investigate potential water saving properties of mulch when applied to the ground under the vine. The results of this trial demonstrated up to a 30% saving could be made without sacrificing yield or quality.


at Ricca Terra Farms and observed their performance in Australia. They found they not only grew extremely well, they were also better suited to the extremes of a South Australian summer, meaning they were less prone to sunburn damage compared with traditional Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. To promote these potential ‘climate change’ varieties, Ashley helped form the Riverland Alternative Wine Group (of which he is the current chairman) and is encouraging other growers to plant these new varieties. Today companies such as Yalumba, Orlando and Angoves are successfully making and selling wines from ‘climate change’ varieties.

On the back of expansion and a successful transition to their climate-changing grapes, the production plan for Ricca Terra Farms has four goals: • Grow the standard grape varieties (Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay) which meet customer needs while returning a positive return on investment. • Grow alternative grape varieties and develop brands to promote Ricca Terra Farms and the Riverland. • Seek new opportunities to grow the business, such as new vineyard purchases or collaborative farming. • Develop a culture which provides a safe work environment and protects the surrounding environment. Contact: Ashley and Holly Ratcliff. Phone: 0411 370 057. Email: aratcliff@

October 2013 – Issue 597

regional round-up

Victoria's firsts, new faces, new events Cremant wine a first for Glenrowan region One of Glenrowan’s most innovative winemakers has proved it actually is possible to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Auldstone Cellars’ winemaker Michael Reid has spent the past 10 months churning out the first Cremant for the Glenrowan region. The vineyard was faced with a cool year and a slow ripening – plagued by wet weather and the threat of botrytis – but this didn’t delay Reid’s plan to create something special for wine punters across the state. It all began when he decided to earlypick a batch of his Chardonnay for a sparkling base. Friend and assistant Gary Scholz, who owns a nearby vineyard with Chenin Blanc vines, joined forces with Reid as they co-fermented a blend of 70/30 Chardonnay-Chenin Blanc. The fermentation was completed in 2012 with vintage French oak and Chardonnay puncheons inoculated for malolactic fermentation. Both Reid and Scholz took turns stirring the lees for nine months until the wine was tiraged at Anderson’s winery and left on lees for a further 10 months before disgorging half of it. Reid described the wine as having a “velvety, creamy palate with delicate lingering flavours of apple and peach”. “It is a classic Loire Valley Cremant and since the French don’t own the name that is what we called it,” he added.

The Methode Champenoise Cremant is new to a region known best for its fullbodied reds and fortifieds. The wine is only available at the cellar door or by mail order. Contact: Auldstone Cellars. Phone: (03) 5766 2237.

Cheers to 30 years at Hanging Rock Winery

Gary Scholz (left) and Michael Reid (right) toasting to success

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Hanging Rock Winery, and to celebrate it will be launching a beef brand at the end of the year in conjunction with its cellar door. John and Ann Ellis made the move to Newham in 1983 when their daughter Ruth was just three years old. Today she is sales and marketing manager for the business and is living the dream her parents began when they moved to the Macedon Ranges to make sparkling wine and Heathcote Shiraz. She said after processing 1000 tonnes

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in the mid-2000s, Hanging Rock Winery made the decision to cut the business back and focus on the initial goal. Her brother Rob rejoined as a winemaker after working in Burgundy, Champagne, South Africa, Oregon and the Barossa Valley. “It’s now the four of us with a handful of great staff members making the wine we love and we enjoy every bit of it,” Ruth said. After years of hard work and dedication, the winery is now ready to take on a new venture with the launch of Hanging Rock Beef using its herd of Speckle Park cattle. Managing director John now spends more time managing the vineyards so sees exciting innovation with both sides of the business sharing the winery’s milestone with dinners across the country. Contact: Hanging Rock Winery. Phone: (03) 5427 0542. Email: hrw@hangingrock.

From left: John, Ann, Ruth and Robert Ellis



For further information visit our website at or contact: Ph (03) 5021 1933 Fax (03) 5021 5233 Email Mildura Victoria Australia 18 Grapegrower & Winemaker

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Vineyard & Orchard Sweepers • Single and double sided • Spring-loaded head enables it to glide around posts and vine trunks. • Optional hydraulic lift, tilt and side shift cylinders. • Ideal for cleaning up uneven terrain • Durable powdercoated finish October 2013 – Issue 597

Tahbilk wins 2013 RAS President’s Medal Tahbilk – Victoria’s oldest family-owned winery – has topped some of Australia’s most famous farming dynasties to be named best agricultural producer by the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW. The winery was presented with the $10,000 cash prize and the prestigious silver heritage president’s medal at a gala dinner attended by Australia’s top food and wine lovers at Sydney Showgrounds. The journey to becoming a president’s medal finalist began at the Sydney Royal Wine, Dairy and Fine Food Show where from a pool of 108 products, just six were chosen to compete for the prestigious accolade. Tahbilk made the shortlist after claiming the Harry Davies Memorial Perpetual Trophy at the 2013 Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show. Chief winemaker Alan George said winning the award was enough to “put a spring in your step”. “Competing with producers beyond the wine industry puts the president’s medal in a different league and for the team behind Tahbilk wines, winning it is more than a little exciting,” said George. “When you’re given an award like this it’s very satisfying; it makes the job that much more worthwhile to do.” RAS president Glenn Dudley congratulated Tahbilk on being named ‘best of the best’ in

October 2013 – Issue 597

Heathcote’s inaugural Regional Wine Show It’s been a busy year for the Heathcote wine region, as it held the first Regional Wine Show to celebrate the quality and diversity of Victoria’s wine region. Sanguine Estate was awarded the Heathcote grand terroir trophy for demonstrating the From left: RAS of NSW committee highest quality and style chairwoman Lyndey Milan, Tahbilk director consistency across three Mark Purbrick, his wife Tina Purbrick and Shiraz wines, spanning a RAS president Glen Dudley. minimum of four vintages for a single wine label. Its winemaker Mark Hunter was thrilled to receive the prestigious prize, as well as trophies for best Shiraz and best young Shiraz. “I simply didn’t expect to win even one trophy – it’s a wonderful result and incredibly humbling,” Hunter said. In addition to the main prize, five major trophies were also awarded and the winners were: • Best Shiraz – Sanguine Estate Progeny Shiraz 2012 • Best single vineyard wine – Heathcote Winery Wilkins Shiraz 2010 • Best museum Shiraz – Heathcote Winery Mail Coach Shiraz 2008 • Best older Shiraz – Heathcote Winery The Wilkins Shiraz 2010 • Best young Shiraz – Sanguine Estate Progeny Shiraz 2012. Contact: Henry Screen. Phone: 0411 418 468

Grapegrower & Winemaker


news Australian agricultural production. “The president’s medal recognises producers who create the highest-quality products using sustainable practices which are crucial to the future of Australian agriculture,” Dudley said. Contact: Tahbilk Winery. Phone: 03 5794 2555. Email:

Wine Victoria welcomes new member to its team Liz O’Connell is the newest face on the Wine Victoria team after seeing an opportunity for the organisation to make a positive change in the industry. O’Connell is the company’s new marketing consultant and has previously held senior national and international roles in the food and wine industry for more than 20 years. She believes the biggest issue facing wine today is losing the PR war against the anti-alcohol lobby in Australia. For 10 years O’Connell worked in the US where she held the position of vice president of corporate affairs at Foster’s Wine Estates America. She was also active in various industry associations including chair of Wine Australia US and as a member of the Wine Council of the California Wine Institute.

Winners are grinners. From left: Denise Wilkins (Heathcote Winery), Stephen Wilkins (Heathcote Winery), Tony Hunter (Sanguine Estate), Mark Hunter (Sanguine Estate).

Contact: Wine Victoria. Phone: 0422 067 858.

Mornington Peninsula Melbourne Roadshow Two hundred wine lovers flocked to Comme restaurant in downtown Melbourne for a wine tasting experience with Mornington Peninsula vignerons. Where 27 wineries put their best foot forward, showcasing a range of current release and aged wines. Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association executive officer Cheryl Lee said the event received positive feedback

from the public, as well as the 120 trade members who attended. “The Mornington Peninsula Roadshow will more than likely be an annual event due to the great comments we’ve had – and we are still deciding where to hold it next year to ensure it will be just as popular as this year.” The wineries involved include Crittenden Wines, Darling Park Winery, Dexter Wines, Even Keel Wines, Foxeys Hangout, Hurley Vineyard, Jones Road, Kooyong, Massoni Wines, Merricks Estate, Miceli, Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove, Moorooduc Estate, Ocean Eight, Paradigm Hill, Paringa Estate, Phaedrus, Prancing Horse Estate, Red Hill Estate, Scorpo Wines, Stonier Wines, Stumpy Gully Vineyard, Ten Minutes by Tractor, T’Gallant, Willow Creek Vineyard, Yabby Lake Vineyard. Contact: Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association. Phone: (03) 5989 2377

Looking for more stories on regional round-ups? Search our Grapegrower & Winemaker article archive at

Spray Application: Doing it Better How can you get better spray coverage? Do you know how to save on chemical costs? These workshops will provide the latest information on new technologies, practices and regulations that affect your spray practices. A practical demonstration will explain how you can improve spray penetration and deposition. Leading spray application experts from USA and New Zealand will discuss the spray application issues that affect your vineyard.

Pokolbin Wed 2 Oct 2013 Griffith Thurs 3 Oct 2013 Paringa Wed 9 Oct 2013 Kingston Thurs 10 Oct 2013 Nuriootpa Fri 11 Oct 2013

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Milawa Thurs 7 Nov 2013 Yarra Glen Fri 8 Nov 2013 Wrattonbully Mon 11 Nov 2013 Murrumbateman Tues 12 Nov 2013 Stanthorpe Thurs 14 Nov 2013

For more information on these must attend workshops, visit 20 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597



October 2013


Newsletter of the GWRDC. Published bi-monthly

People in research Tracey Siebert – from part time to PhD Collaboration and industry engagement are the formula for Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) senior scientist Tracey Siebert’s career success – and satisfaction. Twenty seven years ago Tracey joined AWRI as a casual lab assistant role in what was then called Extension Services. And started part-time study on a Science Technician’s Certificate. “The AWRI was much smaller than it is today, but I thoroughly enjoyed the workplace and the location – it’s a beautiful spot to come to work too,” Tracey said. After just two years the opportunity of a full-time position in a pharmaceutical laboratory lured Tracey away until a fulltime position opened up with AWRI’s ‘flavour team’ and she jumped at the opportunity.

“I do think this level of collaboration and industry support, in terms of funding and investment, is quite unique to the wine industry in Australia – from what I’ve seen overseas and hear from visitors coming here many are quite envious of our situation.”


TASTE OF SUCCESS She said AWRI’s ‘flavour team’ work has, and is having, a big influence and role in a range of research projects in the Australian wine industry. “There has been, and continues to be, a massive amount of work going into the flavour and aroma areas of wine science internationally. “A few years before I started we saw a big leap forward in this area and things have continued to evolve quite rapidly since then – especially in the types of compounds we can now analyse for.” However, Tracey said the ‘easy ones’ had now been identified so the science has had to move up a few more notches and focus on the unknown compounds which contribute important flavour which are at ‘trace levels’, such as rotundone. The project leading to the discovery of the pepper compound rotundone is by far her favourite. And, it’s no wonder considering she had the privilege of being the first person to “sniff it out at the end of the GC sniff column”.

HISTORIC MOMENT “That was just pure luck though –– I was alternating every five minutes at the sniff column with my other team member

Mango Parker, as the full rotation goes for about 50 minutes. “About 45 minutes into the run, I looked up and said you’re not going to believe this but I smell black pepper. “And, with a lot more work, especially in purifying and separating out the exact compound from wine and grapes, we eventually got the mass spectrum of that compound… and it moved on from there.” Tracey described the rotundone discovery as a huge team effort, as is the vast majority of her work and research undertaken at the AWRI. She said the flavour group works with all the teams across AWRI. “And it goes both ways, we wouldn’t be getting the level of results the industry needs if it wasn’t for the close interaction of different specialists with different areas of expertise,” she said. “The team work and collaboration in AWRI and outside in the industry, with SARDI, CSIRO, and universities, gives us access to vineyards, equipment and expertise we don’t have here and it’s one of the most enjoyable aspects of our work, I must say.

Tracey has just started the next phase in her career, starting a PhD which will look at the apricot aroma and flavour in wine, with a particular focus on Chardonnay and Viognier. “There’s a little bit of work that’s been done on this particular aroma but at the moment, the general consensus is it’s caused by the compounds called gamma lactones,” she said. “However, that doesn’t really match up to the aroma thresholds of these compounds – that is how much of the compound you need in wine to smell it and what the lactone compounds are capable of generating. “I don’t believe the lactones are enough by themselves… so there must be more to it.” When it comes to combining work and study Tracey has been there, done that, completing her technician’s certificate and Bachelor of Science while managing work and family. With her three children now either in high school, university or working, she says she’s at the best time of her life to undertake the PhD and getting to do it for work makes it even better. “I have already done a lot of the different techniques that will be involved with this project but I have never done it all for one project from start to end; and never been the driver either – so am really looking forward to seeing it develop.” Tracey’s PhD will be undertaken together with UniSA and some funding will be provided through a UniSA Industry Partnership Initiative. Otherwise, this project is funded as part of the GWRDC core funding agreement with AWRI. For further information, contact Dr Liz Waters, GWRDC Program Manager, liz@




Breeding breakthroughs just around the corner The next 10 to 20 years will be one of the most significant periods of discovery for the global winegrape industry, according to CSIRO principal research scientist Ian Dry. Dr Dry and fellow CSIRO principal research scientist Dr Mark Thomas are part of the team of CSIRO researchers leading Australian advances in grapevine breeding and genetics. Their current research project – ‘Identification and markerassisted selection of genes for reducing the susceptibility of new winegrape cultivars to fungal pathogens’ – is a prime example of their cutting-edge work. “The big discoveries are happening now and there’s much more to come – I believe the next 20 years will be one of the most significant periods of discovery for the Australian and global winegrape industry,” Dr Dry says. “It’s an exciting time. We now have the methods, the tools, the technology and the knowledge to go further than we’ve gone before… and we can do it all a lot smarter and a lot more rapidly.” The advances in DNA sequencing - in particular, the mapping of the grapevine genome - have opened the door for new discoveries in grapevine breeding – through genetic transformation and marker assisted selection (MAS) research. Drs Dry and Thomas were part of the first team of researchers – in collaboration with the National Institute for Agronomic Research, in France – to successfully transfer two resistance genes, one for powdery mildew (MrRUN1) and another conferring resistance to downy mildew (MrRPV1) from the wild American grape species Muscadinia rotundifolia into several premium grape cultivars.

PYRAMID GENES Since then, they have been able to trace the inheritance of disease resistance genes in several wild cultivars and are now working to ‘pyramid’ additional resistance genes from other wild cultivars to help create a grapevine with more durable resistance to downy and powdery mildew, which currently costs the wine industry millions of dollars. MAS allows researchers such as Drs Dry and Thomas to test seedlings for the presence of specific DNA sequences associated with resistance genes or other specific traits such as aroma, flavour or even physical characteristics such as bunch architecture and yield. But just as importantly it’s dramatically reduced the cost, time and space previously associated with breeding trials. “We’re now undertaking work on the first generation of our MAS powdery and downy resistant vines – with 1000 vines (about 50 per cent divided between red and white) now planted,” Dr Dry says. “We’ve also done the first small-scale winemaking with our white varieties – and early results are promising.”

NEXT TARGETS Dr Thomas will carry out winemaking trials on the red varieties in the 2014 vintage. He also plans to move several of the new MAS varieties to other trial vineyards with more challenging climate and environments – to test their continued resistance to downy and powdery mildew. Dr Dry’s focus will be to further investigate the powdery and downy resistance genes expressed in the Chinese Vitis species V. romanetii and V. amurensis. Successfully introducing the two genes, MrRUN1 (resistance to Erysiphe necator], and MrRPV1 (resistance to Plasmopora


Fast track: The micro-vine begins to flower at 30cm tall and moves from seed to flowering to berries in six months.

viticola) from the wild American grape species Muscadinia rotundifolia into a Vitis vinifera was a huge breakthrough, says Dr Dry. “However, it’s like an ongoing arms race between pathogen and plant – you make it resistant to one particular pathogen but another strain may arise to undermine the plant’s defences somewhere else,” he says. “We hope by introducing a pyramid of disease-resistant genes from several wild species into the one plant it will ensure longlasting defence against potential new pathogens.” Also assisting in the rapid delivery of this research has been the development of the micro-vine.

BIG LITTLE SUCCESS Dr Dry says the identification and now specific selection for the dwarf gene, which naturally occurs in Pinot Meunier – has produced vines that begin to flower when only 30cm tall and move from seed to flowering to berries in six months. It means the breeding and evaluation of new varieties, which once took 25-30 years using traditional methods, can now be done in 10 years – or less. “It means we’re growing two generations in one year, fitting significantly more vines in a glasshouse and it flowers prolifically a bunch can be grown at every tendril – which makes it perfect for rapid breeding,” he says. “The other neat thing about the dwarf mutation is it contains one tall and one dwarf gene. “So through selective breeding it is easy to regenerate a tall vine back out again in limited time and, in theory, one day with all the additional new resistance genes and whatever else we may be selecting for.” Breeding a vine tolerant to Botrytis cinerea, is more difficult as it's a fungal that is necrotrophic, which means it grows on dead or dying tissue and there’s no known resistant gene,” he says. “Instead, research suggests the secret might lie in being able to open up the bunch to reduce humidity and disease potential. “So we will begin looking to identify the genes responsible for bunch architecture, which will then allow for us to start selecting for open bunches.” For further information, contact Dr Liz Waters, GWRDC Program Manager,

R & D at Wor k



Global model charts our future wine exports New economic research by the University of Adelaide and Monash University will help the Australian wine industry better understand and plan for future export opportunities. The GWRDC-funded research project has revealed the real cost the high-value Australian dollar (AUD) has had on our wine industry. It also exposes the potential for export growth if the recent devaluation of the AUD is sustained. University of Adelaide School of Economics Professor Kym Anderson and Monash University’s Dr Glyn Wittwer completed the research, which mapped data using a newly revised and updated model of the world’s wine markets. “Producers are well aware of the debilitating effect of the high AUD relative to the US dollar, UK pound and euro,” Professor Anderson says. “However, our results suggest exchange

rate changes during 2007–11 reduced super-premium wine prices in Australia by one-fifth, more than in any other Southern Hemisphere wine-exporting country,” he says. “We can also use the model to project wine exports over the next five years. Those prospects depend very much on both subsequent exchange rate movements and China’s wine import growth.” Professor Anderson says with the drop in the AUD, the Australian wine industry will be much better positioned to compete internationally, especially in China as its demand for wine increases. “Wine consumption is projected to increase faster than production in China over the next five years,” he says. “If Australia invests as much as other wine exporters in that market, and the AUD doesn’t rise again, our results suggest China’s share of Australia’s wine export earnings could rise from 13 per cent in

2012 to 20+ per cent by 2018.” GWRDC executive director Dr Stuart Thomson says this research offers an important insight into the Australian wine industry. “This analysis of international wine demand and global exchange rates will help Australian wine businesses better understand future opportunities, which helps to support a competitive Australian wine sector,” Dr Thomson says. Professor Anderson presented preliminary results at the opening session of the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Sydney in July, and a revised paper titled “A global macroeconomic perspective on the Australian wine industry”, is available at: wine- econ/pubs/working_papers. For further information, contact general manager Kate Harvey. Email: kate@gwrdc.

Top 10 tips for effective spraying An effective spraying program includes putting the right preparation and plans in place before the season gets underway. Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) senior viticulturist Marcel Essling says the three Ts rule of applying the right treatment, at the right time and using the right technique also hold true. Marcel has supplied the following Top 10 to help growers achieve optimum results this season: 1 Use winter dormancy to undertake equipment maintenance, this includes checking the spray unit calibrations. 2 Review your spray program from the previous season and consider how it performed. If control of one disease or pest wasn’t adequate, think about how it might be improved next time? 3 Be prepared to modify the spray unit set-up in response to the season’s changes including vine size and target (e.g. the bunch zone). Consider water and air volume, as well as nozzle size and direction. Accurately measuring the ‘Unit Canopy Row’ is important in determining the correct water volume to apply. Before concentrate spraying, remember that some products need time to be absorbed into plant tissue in order to be

w w w.g w r d c .c om . au






effective. (See further reading). The pre-season strategy for managing key pests and diseases needs to be adaptable in response to weather conditions, including shortening or stretching the spray interval in response to disease pressure. Check the spray coverage. Test strips, florescent dye and particle film technology will confirm whether the sprays are hitting the target. Follow the label directions. When choosing chemicals, consider the requirements of your grape purchaser. If you’re growing grapes for export, follow the recommendations in the AWRI’s ‘Dogbook’ (http://www. content/uploads/ agrochemical_booklet.pdf) Be aware of the potential for spray drift from your operations. Drift risk increases as temperature increases, and decreases as relative humidity increases. Delta T (ΔT) is a measure that captures the combined effects of temperature and humidity, and indicates if conditions are suitable for spraying. (See further reading). The impact your spray program might be having on beneficial insects can be

easily tested using the CESAR Impact for Viticulture tool, developed by The University of Melbourne (www.cesar. 9 Check the quality of the water you are using for mixing (turbidity and pH are important). 10 Vineyard pests and diseases can develop resistance to some of the chemicals applied in certain situations. Growers are advised to follow the strategies developed by CropLife Australia, which are set out at the back of the ‘Dogbook’. If you suspect you may have a resistance issue, contact your local Department of Primary Industries representative or the AWRI for further assistance. Further reading: au/webdata/resources/files/GWR_070_ Spray_Application_Fact_Sheet_FINA L_ WEB.pdf spray_dilute_volumes.pdf GWRDC is hosting a series of Spray Application Workshops across the country in October and November 2013. For further information visit au or contact Adrian Loschiavo, GWRDC program manager




Rotundone research a winner at WineTech PhD student Pangzhen Zhang was awarded best student viticulture poster at the recent 15th Australian Wine Industry (AWRI) Technical Conference. And he did it for new research suggesting sunlight exposure and temperature could affect the expression of pepper flavour compounds in Shiraz. Pangzhen, in the second year of a PhD at the University of Melbourne, earned the poster prize with his paper ‘Intra-bunch variability of rotundone concentration in Vitis vinifera cv. Shiraz wine grapes at harvest’. “It was an incredible honour to be awarded this prize, in front of so many researchers and industry professionals,” Pangzhen says. The paper highlighted the first-year results of a two-year project, partly funded by GWRDC, which is studying the effects of environmental and viticulture management practices on rotundone accumulation in Shiraz grapes. Though only half of the data had been analysed at this time, Pangzhen noted in the poster differences in rotundone concentration between different parts of grape bunches may be related to exposure to sunlight and berry temperature. The paper also suggests rotundone accumulation might be affected by the distance from berry to vine vegetative organs, such as stems and leaves.

The field experiments were conducted in a commercial Shiraz vineyard at Mount Langi Ghiran in the Grampians wine region of Victoria and in partnership with AWRI and the University of Melbourne, who jointly supervised the research project. The project used five sampling points in each of the three vineyard zones, identified by vine vigour (using plant cell density maps), slope (using digital elevation maps) and soil characteristics (EM38 survey). The grape bunches, which were collected close to the commercial harvest date, were then divided into four: top south, top north, bottom south and bottom north – dependent on the berries’ position in the bunch and bunch orientation. The berries were then analysed separately for rotundone, as well as standard grape parameters, including Brix, pH, TA, total anthocyanins and total phenolics. Pangzhen says the results from 2012 show the ‘top south’ berries have the highest concentration of rotundone among the four groups, in all three zones. The ‘bottom north’ berries showed the lowest concentration of rotundone. “We did a number of research experiments simultaneously and we are still processing the past season’s data but we hope to have more interesting findings come out of the project in the future,” he says.

University of Melbourne PhD student Pangzhen Zhang, who won the best student viticulture poster at the 15th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in July.

Final reports now available:

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 Website 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.


MU 08/02

Environment - genotype interactions and the physiological processes determining fruitfulness and yield in grapevines

GWT 1010

Comparison of bitter rot bunch rot fungi in the USA and Australia and associated study tour

GWT 1213

Attendance at IWPMB 2013 to further an existing study into rootstock chloride exclusion

UM 0901

Developing tools for predicting responses of viticultural pests and their natural enemies under climate change: modelling management and extension

NWG 1103

Attitudes, drivers of consumption and taste preference - a focus on Chardonnay

GWR 1112

Review of Grapevine Germplasm Collections in Australia (SUMMARY)

UA 06/04

New grape and wine chemistry research initiatives to bring long-term benefits to the Australian wine industry

SAR 1002

Assessment of Vulnerability to Climate Change across Australia’s Wine Regions

GWR H1004

Use of exogenous tannins during extended maceration to enhance colour stability and potential longevity of Pinot Noir

GWT 1309

Proteomic analysis of abiotic stresses in grapevine

SAR 0901

A window into hotter and drier futures: phenological shifts and adaptive practices

grapegrowing Biochar applications in a King Valley Vineyard Grapelinks’ Erika Winter, Stony Creek Vineyard’s Stephen Lowe and NECMA’s Lachlan Campbell have been exploring the benefits of carbon-rich biochar and its potential long-term value to the wine industry. BIOCHAR IS A stable, carbon-rich type of charcoal made by pyrolysis of organic materials, such as wood or crop waste, in a low oxygen environment. The benefits of biochar to improve agricultural soils have been known to the Amazonian farmers for centuries and were investigated scientifically since the turn of the century (1). material on the Information technology and international research outcomes relevant for Australia has been compiled by CSIRO (2) and HAL (3) and an Australian/NZ Biochar Researchers Network provides web-based information on various biochar projects. The Victorian North East Catchment Management Authority (NECMA) was granted funding by the Victorian State Government in 2012 to produce biochar from wood based waste streams and to establish biochar field sites. NECMA’s mobile biochar generator (Fig. 1) is capable of producing several tonnes of biochar per day on farm, with existing farm machinery and skills adhering to the state regulations of biochar production (3). There is a surge in vineyard experiments with biochar worldwide: The Swiss Delinat Institute has trials in the Valais, France, Spain and Italy (4), in the US the Sonoma Biochar Initiative has

At a glance: • Biochar generated from local willow waste was applied at 0.7 and 1.4t/ha to an N deficient, herbicide-treated Merlot vineyard, also containing controls and biochar with additional fertiliser, the same treatment was undertaken in a section of vineyard with under-vine growth. • Leaf health was better with biochar throughout the season, in particular where undergrowth was allowed, possibly as the biochar contained 0.33% N and other nutrients. The combination of fertiliser and biochar resulted in the healthiest leaves. • Due to leaf loss in the control bunch zone, temperature comparisons could not directly be related to the biochar. • In vines with undergrowth, biochar had no effect on YAN, but in herbicided plots it enhanced the effect of fertiliser on YAN.

started a vineyard field trial and New Zealand funds on-site investigations into the effect of biochar on the nutrient poor soils in Central Otago. The King Valley vineyards have an eight-year record of on-farm benchmarking in 15 sites, (5, 6) which provide a valuable database for on-farm trials. In the past two seasons low soil nitrogen was suspected in several vineyards from the measured low yeast assailable nitrogen (YAN) in grapes. Allowing under-vine growth helped to minimise herbicide use, and ameliorated

MATERIAL AND METHODS The biochar (av. particle size 6mm) used in the trial was generated from local willow waste. It was applied eight weeks after budburst in a Merlot vineyard of expected nitrogen deficiency in three

Figure 2. Biochar particles on the herbicided undervine strip in the trial vineyard 11A are pictured at eight weeks after budburst.

Portable power: A mobile biochar generator on location. Photo: Courtesy of NECMA

26 Grapegrower & Winemaker

soil and bunch zone temperatures but competing vegetation depleted grape YAN (7). In these vineyards it was considered of interest to investigate the potential of biochar alone or with nitrogenous fertiliser to improve grape quality.

October 2013 – Issue 597

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grapegrowing replicate plots encompassing four vine plants each at a rate of either 0.7t/ha or 1.4t/ha under-vine in a 1m wide strip, either in herbicided rows (Fig. 2) with interrow grass sward (11K) or in rows where undergrowth was allowed (14K). Other biochar plots in herbicided or vegetated rows additionally received 20kg/ha ammonium nitrate pellets. Each trial plot had an untreated control and a fertiliser only variant. The vineyard was located at 250m altitude with N/S rows of 13-yearold Merlot clone d3v14 on Teleki 5a rootstocks. Vines were spur pruned and trained on Smart Dyson canopies with differential canopy management as described in (6, 8). The vines were not irrigated. Rainfall from October to veraison (30.1.) was 100 mm and from veraison to harvest (22.3.) only 155 mm. The season had a very hot spell in January and also above long term average February and March temperatures.

1400 Degree hours below 15OC

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Herbicided control

Herbic. +.7 t/ha biochar

Vegetated control

Veget. +.7 t/ha biochar

Figure 3. Accumulated degree hours below 15°C (blue) and above 35°C from veraison to preharvest measured by Tinytag dataloggers in a biochar trial




28 Grapegrower & Winemaker

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Biochar is expected to partly reduce daytime heat under-vine by absorbing some of the radiation to its black surface, such as slate, which was shown to possess five times the thermal reflectivity of bare red clay (10). It was of interest to see whether small dispersed black biochar particles had any effect on bunchzone temperatures. In the present study the bunchzone degree hours below 15C in the ripening period were only slightly less in the presence of 0.7t/ha biochar. Heatloads were lower in biochar enriched plots than in the respective herbicided or vegetated controls (Fig. 3) but this was more likely caused by the documented leaf loss in the controls in


1 JAN 2013


Figure 4. Canopy at veraison of the herbicide treated Merlot (11A) and with the addition of 0.7 t/ha biochar under-vine (11B).

Temperature (OC)

Bunchzone temperatures in a representative vine of each treatment were monitored hourly with Tinytag electronic data loggers (Hastings, Port Macquarie) from December to pre harvest. From the downloads the additive cold hours below 15C and heat degree hours as well as the bunch zone’s time in the beneficial bracket of 15-35C were assessed. Leaf cover east and west, cane lignification and leaf health on 20 shoots per treatment was recorded at veraison and again pre harvest. Grape sensory quality attributes were measured pre harvest by Berry Sensory Assessment (9) and grape Brix, pH, TA and YAN were assessed by Vintessential, Dromana.

Figure 5. Bunchzone temperatures measured hourly in canopy 11A (herbicided) orange line vs 11B (0.7t/ha biochar added) black line.

this hot period. In the herbicided control sections the effect of the hot spell in early January was clearly visible at veraison with leaf cupping and yellowing (Fig. 4-11A), and in the plots where 0.7t/ha biochar as added, wilting was less severe (Fig.

4-11B). This may, due to the scarcity of rain, rather than pointing to a likely water absorption and slow release by the biochar as described in (11), be due to the 0.33% N and traces of K and Ca (0.15 and 0.13%, respectively), in the biochar October 2013 – Issue 597

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LEAF HEALTH In the herbicided vineyard plots the control had a consistently replicated low leaf health rating assessed shortly before harvest compared to the biochar treatment. Evidence had been gathered in (3) that biochar increased the water use efficiency of crops in water-limited situations. Whether in the present study the 155 mm rain that fell from veraison to harvest was better retained for plant use in the plots where biochar had been added under-vine or whether it was the added nutrition from biochar cannot be

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(Earth Systems, pers. comm.). Diurnal temperature curves showed a lot of similarity between herbicided and biochar added plots early in the season. However as of 17 January the effect of heat and drought generated differences between bunch zone temperatures with hotter afternoons and cooler nights in the control, in particular towards the end of the season (Figs. 5 and 6). This was confirmed by photography and a lower pre-harvest western side leaf count to be due to leaf loss on the afternoon sun side. The vegetated control had, over the entire observation time, even pre-veraison, high heatloads in the bunchzones, associated with low leaf health (Fig. 7, left side), in contrast, with 0.7t/ha biochar much better leaf health was observed, which was best with additional fertiliser (Fig. 7-right side) at the pre harvest assessment.

7 MAR 2013

Figure 6. Diurnal bunchzone temperatures over a hot period in canopy 11A (herbicided) vs 11B (0.7t/ha biochar added).

determined in this on-farm trial. Nitrogen availability from biochars has been shown to vary widely depending on the method of pyrolysis and type of feedstock (3). Green waste derived biochars have been reported to contain approximately 0.25% N. The biochar used herein was slightly richer in N and thus may have improved leaf health. The addition of fertiliser improved leaf health ratings almost reaching those of the biochar treatment. The leaf health in the biochar and fertiliser treatment was similar, however there were more leaves in that treatment. Most leaves and the highest average

leaf health rating was observed in the fertiliser plus 1.4t/ha biochar plots.

YAN MEASUREMENTS Low nitrogen availability will reduce photosynthesis, lead to leaf yellowing and may cause low colour and aroma in grapes and stuck ferments (12). In the herbicided sections (Fig. 8) the YAN values of the control were unnaturally high per litre of grape juice as the grapes were not very juicy due to the heat exposure. An increase in the biochar concentration increased the YAN in particular in conjunction with fertiliser,

Figure 7. Canopy pre harvest of the non-herbicide treated Merlot (14A right) and with 0.7 t/ha biochar and fertiliser (14C left)

30 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597

Powerful protection from Downy Mildew inside and out.

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




13.1 13.3 overheated

32 Grapegrower & Winemaker


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herbicide control

herb + .7 t/ha biochar

herb + 1.4 t/ha biochar

herb + herb +.7 t/ha herb + fertilliser biochar + 1.4 t/ha biochar control fertiliser fertiliser

vegetated control

vege + .7 t/ha biochar

vege + vege + .7 t/ha fertiliser biochar + control fertiliser

Figure 8. Yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN) and Baume in grapes of a N-deficient vineyard.

3.5 Pulp maturity

BSa rating (4=fully mature)

BSA in Merlot Berry Sensory Assessment (9) in herbicided Merlot revealed a generally higher aromatic judgement in grapes from the 0.7t/ha biochar plots compared to the hotter control grapes. Very low skin maturity and unripe seeds were observed when vegetation competed with heat affected vines, however the addition of biochar improved skin and seed maturity either by itself or due to the effect of the canopy (Fig. 9). Enriched biochar has shown to improve phenolic maturity in grapes in a trial in Switzerland where Pinot noir grapes from a biochar/compost treatment had a 10% higher phenolic content compared to the controls (13). Incorporating biochar into compost for use in viticulture would serve a fertilising and carbon enriching function, substantially contributing to soil health. The enhanced stable carbon fraction, would help to improve microbial function, water holding capacity, pH and soil borne disease suppression. The limited data of this on-farm pilot study pointed to possible improvements of canopy health and some berry quality parameters through biochar. The utilisation of local dead wood or cane prunings made into charcoal on site as for this study, additionally enriched with a local waste stream like pig manure would be worthwhile of further investigations in a financially difficult climate that often leads to low fertiliser use and also in view of the potential to sequester carbon waste and thus mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Contact: Erika Winter. Phone: 61 3 9561 8511. Email: au.



YAN (mg/L grape homogenate

also here the fertiliser only control was higher than expected due to the high sugar ripeness and low juice content. In the herbicided sections grapes from the biochar plus fertiliser treatments had the best YAN and good acid retention. In the grapes from vegetated undervine situations (Fig. 8) 0.7t/ha biochar did not improve YAN in the grapes, possibly the beneficial effects of biochar had been used by the under-vine vegetation. In all plots, one application of fertiliser did not bring the grapes in this N-deficient vineyard to acceptable YAN levels. It would be of interest to assess the combined effect of biochar and fertiliser in herbicided vineyards to possibly improve YAN, retain acidity and delay sugar ripeness whilst enhancing aromatic maturity.

Pulp aroma

Skin maturity

Seed maturity


2.5 herbicide control

herb +.7 t/ha biochar

vegetated control

vege +.7 t/ha biochar

Figure 9. Berry Sensory Assessment of selected grapes from the biochar trial.

References: 1

Biochar for Environmental Management. Eds. J. Lehmann and S. Joseph, Earthscan, London, 2009.

2 Biochar for agronomic improvement and greenhouse mitigation, CSIRO Flagship Sustainable Agriculture Brochure, 2010. 3 Cox, J. Biochar in Horticulture: Prospects for the use of biochar in Australian horticulure. HAL report. ISBN 978 1 74256 349 7, 2012. 4 Biochar in European Viticulture. Niggli, C. and Schmidt, H.P. Ithaka Journal pp 250-261, 2012 5

Benchmarking King Valley Shiraz from 2005 to 2008. Winter, E. and Lowe, S. Australian Viticulture Jan. /Feb. pp 63-66, 2009.


Canopy management offers solutions to variable climate. Winter, E. and Lowe, S. The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker 573, pp 38-41, 2011.

7 Under-vine management research reveals fruitzone temperature controls. Winter, E. and Lowe, S. The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker 574, pp 37-42, 2011b.


Happy grapes make good wine. Winter, E., Lowe, S., Bulleid, N., Braybrook, D. and Aldridge, M. The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker 553, pp16-21, 2010.

9 Winegrape Berry Sensory Assessment in Australia. Winter, E. Whiting, J. and Rousseau, J. Winetitles, Adelaide, 2004 10 Radiative and thermal effects on fruit ripening induced by differences in soil colour. I Stoll, M. StĂźbinger, M. Lafontaine, M. Schultz, H. n: VII International Terroir Congress ( Ed. C. van Leeuwen) 52-57, 2008. 11 A review of biochar and its use and function in soil. Sohi, S.P., Krull, E., Lopez-Capel, E. and Bol, R.In: Advances in Agronomy, Ed. D. Sparks, pp 48-82, Elsevier 2010. 12 Implications of nitrogen nutrition for grapes, fermentation and wine. Bell, S.-J. and Henschke, P.A. Aust. J. Grape and Wine Res.11 (3), pp 242295, 2005. 13 Biochar in vineyards, Niggli, C and Schnidt, H.P, Ithaka Journal pp 318-322, 2010.


The authors are grateful for Southwind Vineyard for volunteering the sites for this study. October 2013 – Issue 597

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Talk about the pick of the crop Braud has only been in Australia for 15 years but working with its parent company Case New Holland has quickly established itself with one of the grape industry’s most successful harvesters BRAUD HAS ABOUT 15 models of its wine harvest machinery in France. But only one of them is normally marketed here. Which Braud Australia managing director Angelo Di’Cesare said was more than enough – particularly since Braud started customising its New Holland 9060 for Australian conditions. Braud arrived in Australia in 1998 with its one model and that was also its worst year of sales. Since then there has been no looking back, with 2011, 2012 and this year all being record sales years. Even better, Di’Cesare said the first Braud sold here – now with more than 17,000 hours on the engine – is still going as well as they day it arrived. “Since the model was specifically modified for Australia that success has carried the design to the US market and also Spain,” Di’Cesare said. “We also launched annual schools in 1990 for new and existing Braud customers and they have been so successful they are still going strong 23 years down the track,” he said. “What the machine basically does is use its rods a different levels to shake the canopy and grapes and juice drop into sealed soft plastic baskets, which wrap around the vine trunks forming a seal.

Keeping count: Braud’s row tracking system – RTS - shows the operator which rows have been picked, day or night in full colour.

“Bottom fans suck out leaves and canes (mog) for the first cleaning and the baskets carry grape and juice and drop it onto the conveyor.


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“As they fall leaves and canes are drawn by the top fans and ejected in the second cleaning. “The conveyor then drops grapes into bin or a side discharge conveyor, which drops grapes onto a bin towed behind a tractor. “Our basket conveyor moves at same speed as travel speed of machine which means the baskets are stationary to the vine trunks so there is no scuffing/damage to trunks and they form as close a seal around trunks as possible.” Di’Cesare said Braud was also the only machine on the market using the soft basket collection system. He said it was important to understand grapes and juice in each basket are carried by those baskets to the top of machine and then dropped onto the conveyor. “There is no rolling or maceration of grapes as they slide off

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Talk to your local distributor today about Syngenta’s solutions. For further information please call the Syngenta Technical Product Advice Line on 1800 067 108 or visit our website at The information contained in this document is believed to be accurate. No responsibility is accepted in respect of this information, save those non-excludable conditions implied by any Federal or State legislation or law of a Territory. ® Registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company. AD13/569.



Now is the time to be ‘on the alert’ and looking for any scattered individuals or patches of weeds that have survived the season’s herbicide applications.

The appearance of annual ryegrass resistant to glyphosate is often acknowledged as the biggest industry threat in terms of weed control measures. Resistant populations have been identified in the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Margaret River, Great Southern WA and Manjimup. If the history endured by our broadacre farming counterparts is any guide, these isolated populations are most likely the ‘tip of the iceberg’, or at the very least a timely warning of what could be just around the corner if we don’t act now. Looking longer term, having a resistance test done is the best way to conclusively establish the status of your weeds. Your agronomist will be able to help you send off a sample. Most likely though, if you see annual ryegrass that you suspect has developed resistance to glyphosate, you will want to act immediately to stop these weeds from setting viable seed. There are options you can implement. SPRAY.SEED is registered for use under established grape vines (when the vines have brown bark) and can be used to reduce viable seed set of any annual ryegrass populations. If you use this technique, ensure that you achieve thorough coverage of the annual ryegrass whilst avoiding contacting the crop foliage with the spray. Use high herbicide and water rates on established weeds. The use of low drift or shrouded nozzles will help prevent off target damage. Controlling weeds under vine is important and it is also critical to manage those weeds that may be present in the inter row area. Slashing inter row weeds close to the ground to chop off developing seed heads is another option. When timed well, this can also be very effective, but beware, the weeds can re-grow with follow-up rain or irrigation.

the fishplates onto belt or bucket conveyor systems, which then carry the fruit to top of machine as in other brand harvesters,” Di’Cesare said. “In some machines the grapes are dropped into a collection box from a primary conveyor, which then allows a second conveyor to pick up the grapes and any remaining juice, and carry them to top of machine,” he said. “Which possibly caused maximum maceration/damage, resulting in excess juicing (exposure of juice to air in which oxidation of juice begins earlier) which is not beneficial, particularly in quality white wine production “If the bins are fitted with a destemming/processing system, there is a further step, before the grapes go into bin with a perforated conveyor effectively only allowing the individual grape berries and juice to fall into bin

REMOVING ALL MOG “Any berries which remain the grape stalks continue on the perforated conveyor to soft plastic fingers which separate the berries from the stalks.” Di’Cesare said the advantage of destemmers on the grape harvester bins was that virtually all mog is removed. He said that meant the mog would not contaminate the natural flavours of the grapes/juice in the bin, which was “particularly beneficial to protect expensive quality grapes”, to give them the best opportunity to make top quality wine. “Braud will harvest approximately 33 per cent faster for same head speed as others in the marketplace,” Di’Cesare added. “Overall our technology means you lose fewer grapes and less juice with less maceration/oxidisation/pulping,” he said. “Our harvester runs the C-Bus electrical system, has the incredibly innovative RTS night/day vision and is supported by the global Case New Holland (CNH) group. “Quite simply no other grape harvester has this intensity of knowledge, experience and on-going research and development and our producers get to benefit from all of that.” Contact: Angelo Di’Cesare. Phone: 61 8 8139 7200. Email:

Looking for more stories on harvesting? Search our Grapegrower & Winemaker article archive at

Focussing our attention back on the issue of longer term weed management, rotating herbicides with different modes of action is a key principle in preventing or minimising the development of herbicide resistance in the first place. Alternating the use of glyphosate (Group M) with different herbicide groups is widely recommended to preserve its usefulness for controlling vineyard weeds. Addition of residual products such as Stomp, simazine, Zoliar and even some of the older products like amitrole into the herbicide program will reduce the reliance on glyphosate into the future.



more jobs more winery positions more viticulture positions more industry positions MORE OFTEN… and listed with DailyWineNews For further information contact Andrew Dawson on or by phoning +618 8369 9523 or post your ad online at

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October 2013 – Issue 597

The proven combination for serious botrytis management Experienced grape growers know the combination of SWITCH® and PROCLAIM® with flexible application timing will save real headaches later in the season.

Talk to your local distributor today about Syngenta’s solutions. For further information please call the Syngenta Technical Product Advice Line on 1800 067 108 or visit Product labels and usage directions should be followed for the application of any product referred to in this publication. The information contained in this brochure is believe to be accurate. No responsibility or liability is accepted in respect of this information and those non-excludable conditions implied by and Federal or State legislation or law of a Territory. ® Registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. TM Trademark of a Syngenta Group Company. AD13/730



Get ready to regulate your ripening CSIRO Plant Industry researchers Christopher Davies, Christine Böttcher and Paul Boss have been exploring the complexities of ripening and the role of PGR in the process. GRAPE BERRY DEVELOPMENT is a complex and yet rapid process as considerable changes in morphology and metabolism occur in the transition from flower to ripened berry. The changes in berry development are driven by changes in gene expression that are largely coordinated by plant growth regulators (PGRs). The transition into ripening is a particularly important stage in berry development that is largely controlled by changes in PGR levels. As the timing of ripening is crucial to determining harvest time an understanding of the initiation of ripening and how its progression is controlled is an important issue. Knowledge of this process can be used to manipulate ripening to the advantage of the grape and wine industries. There are a number of historical examples, reaching back to ancient Egypt, of man altering fruit ripening

through manipulating the levels of PGRs.

PGR MECHANISMS We have been studying the mechanisms of PGR action in grapes and developing methods to use this knowledge to manipulate berry development, and in particular ripening, for the benefit of the Australian grape and wine industries. The PGRs present in berries are involved in many processes including berry set, berry expansion (comprising cell expansion and cell division) and the in the control of the timing and progression of ripening. In regards to ripening PGRs can be divided into two groups, those that can advance or promote ripening and those that can delay it (reviewed by Böttcher and Davies 2012). PGRs that are involved in promoting ripening, and whose application can advance ripening, include the gas ethylene, abscisic acid (ABA) and

castasterone (CS). Apart from acting as positive regulators of ripening these three PGRs are also involved in the plant’s response to stress. The application of these agents to berries at suitable times before veraison can advance ripening. While ABA and CS are easy to apply by spraying, ethylene, being a gas, is much more difficult to handle in a field situation. The synthetic ethylene-releasing compound (2-chloroethyl) phosphonic acid (CEPA), which can be sprayed as a liquid, is used instead.

WIDE AGRICULTURAL USE All three of these reagents are used in horticulture and in some cases in agriculture. The timing of application is important to the effect gained. For ABA the window of opportunity

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October 2013 – Issue 597

is reasonably broad. Ethylene (as CEPA) can advance berry ripening when applied 2-3 weeks before veraison but it can significantly delay ripening when applied earlier. The delay in ripening caused by early applications of CEPA is due to the ethylene it produces inducing the accumulation of another PGR which delays ripening as is outlined below (Böttcher et al. 2013). The delaying of ripening by early CEPA treatments has led us to develop another route to advance ripening. The appl icat ion of aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG, a naturally occurring amino acid) at the time when CEPA delays ripening results in the advancement of ripening (Böttcher et al. 2013). AVG is known to reduce ethylene biosynthesis in plants. The advancement of ripening, and therefore, harvest, could be useful in regions with short growing seasons due either to the risk of disease pressure from rain or lack of light and heat later in the growing season.



called auxins, which are usually involved in plant growth through promoting cell expansion, are negative regulators of ripening. Levels of the endogenous auxin, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), normally steadily decrease after fruit set and have to reach low levels before ripening can commence (Böttcher et al. 2010). Thus DELAYED RIPENING auxin application is a possible method Certain PGRs are also responsible for 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 for delaying ripening and harvest. delaying the onset of ripening. PGRs

The metabolism of auxins in berries is increasingly better understood and this knowledge has been very useful in developing and tailoring treatments to control berry ripening. The manipulation of auxin levels is a common practice in plant and fruit production, for example to control preharvest fruit drop in apples. Numerous synthetic analogues of IAA PM have been made to increase the stability

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October 2013 – Issue 597

Grapegrower & Winemaker


grapegrowing of these auxins to make their use in the field more practicable. One of these synthetic auxins is 1-napthalene acetic acid (NAA) which, when applied during the pre-veraison period, can delay ripening by several weeks or more (Figure 1, Böttcher 2011a, b, 2012). In some cases these treatments have been shown to slow the rate of sugar increase and synchronise ripening in addition to the delaying effect. Auxin treatments to delay ripening are equally effective in the white and red varieties that have been tested.

EFFECTS ON WINE The effects on wine flavour can be studied through GC-MS analysis of headspace volatiles and through sensory analysis. Despite quite long delays in harvest time only relatively minor differences in berry aroma and flavour have been detected so far in most wines made from these fruit but particular PGR treatments do offer the prospect of altering berry metabolism and hence wine sensory properties. A number of benefits to the industry could arise from the use of PGRs to manipulate berry development.

The costs of the reagents used in treatments, and the levels used are very modest, some reagents are already registered for use in grapes and many others are widely used in other crops. The manipulation of berry and hence wine character independent of yield could increase grape and wine value without a need to reduce production levels. Controlling harvest timing could also alleviate some of the issues associated with increasing temperatures due to climate change. Possible benefits include the mitigation of harvest season compression problems, improved winery intake scheduling, optimisation of harvest timing for maximum fruit quality, reduced fruit wastage and the manipulation of fruit composition (sugars, flavour compounds). Contact: Christopher Davies. Phone: 61 8 83038628. Email: christopher.davies@

Acknowledgements: This work was partly funded by Australia’s grapegrowers and winemakers through the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation with additional funding from the Australian Federal

Government. CSIRO Plant Industry is part of the Wine Innovation Cluster. The authors would like to acknowledge the technical support of Dr Crista Burbidge and Ms Katie Harvey.


Böttcher, C., Keyzers, R.A., Boss, P.K. and Davies, C. (2010) Sequestration of auxin by the indole-3-acetic acid-amido synthetase GH3-1 in grape berry (Vitis vinifera L.) and the proposed role of auxin conjugation during ripening. J. Exp. Bot. 61: 3615-3625. Böttcher, C., Boss, P.K. and Davies C. (2011a) Acyl substrate preferences of an IAA-amido synthetase account for variations in grape (Vitis vinifera L.) berry ripening caused by different auxinic compounds indicating the importance of auxin conjugation in plant development. J. Exp. Bot. 62: 4267-4280. Böttcher, C., Harvey, K., Forde, C.G., Boss P.K. and Davies C. (2011b) Auxin treatment of pre-veraison grape (Vitis vinifera L.) berries both delays ripening and increases the synchronicity of sugar accumulation. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 17: 1-8. Böttcher, C. and Davies, C. (2012) ‘Hormonal control of grape berry development and ripening’ In: The Biochemistry of the Grape Berry, H. Gerós M. M. Chaves, S. Delrot (eds) (Bentham) eISBN: 978-160805-360-5. Böttcher, C., Boss, P.K. and Davies C. (2012) Delaying Riesling grape berry ripening with a synthetic auxin affects malic acid metabolism and sugar accumulation, and alters wine sensory characters. Funct. Plant Biol. 39: 745-753. Böttcher, C., Harvey, K.E., Boss, P.K. and Davies, C. (2013) Ripening of grape berries can be advanced or delayed by reagents that either reduce or increase ethylene levels. Funct. Plant Biol. 40: 566-581.

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October 2013 – Issue 597

Trunk disease and cover crops at top of Queensland agenda Trunk disease is now well and truly on the Queensland agenda and a new regional program being launched next month will help target research and is designed to protect the state’s diffrerent geographical and climatic conditions.

THE LATEST ADVICE on identifying and managing trunk disease in vineyards will launch Queensland’s GWRDC Regional Program this year. Queensla nd Wi ne I ndust r y Association (QWIA) president Jim Barnes said there was growing national attention and conversation happening around this issue, and it was time Queensland also considered the issue. “In early November, we plan to conduct a trunk disease vineyard survey as well as a practical workshop on the Granite Belt and, depending on numbers, in the South Burnett region as well,” Barnes said. The survey and workshop will be jointly presented by South Australian

Research and Development Institute’s plant and soil health research scientist Mark Sosnowski and the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC).

OTHER WORKSHOPS NWGIC has conducted several similar workshops across Australia’s wine regions in the past 12 months, which aim to provide growers with the most up-to-date information on trunk diseases and their management, but also offer opportunities for growers to interact directly with researchers, and to discuss these issues and their experiences with each other. Similar workshops are also planned in NSW, South Australia and Tasmania

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later in the year as part of the GWRDC Regional Program. “We can already see some visual evidence that there is trunk disease here in a few Queensland vineyards, but it’s critical that growers get all the latest advice before they start making changes in their vineyards,” Barnes said. A three-year project looking into what varieties of cover crop best suit the Queensland wine regions will also begin as part of the 2013-14 Regional Program. “The QWIA is made up of several very unique geographic zones. We have wine regions that are best described as high rain and coastal, another region

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Grapegrower & Winemaker


grapegrowing It’s definitely not a simple matter of being able to adopt the new or accepted viticultural practices from established winegrowing regions

well received but it highlighted the unique environmental challenges of this region, so we’re keen to continue looking into this topic and generate some specific • In early November there will be a Queensland-focused findings,” Barnes trunk disease vineyard survey in said. Queensland as well as a practical A third workshop is yet to be finalised, workshop on the Granite Belt and, but Jim said a follow-up to an excellent depending on numbers, in the presentation from Dr Roberta Veale, South Burnett region as well senior lecturer and program director • There is already some visual Master of Wine Business program at The evidence trunk disease is in University of Adelaide’s Business School, Queensland vineyards so it is critical could be on the cards. growers get all the latest advice “We had some great feedback from that’s quite cool and dry,” Barnes said. Roberta’s presentation, on using your “It’s definitely not a simple matter of before they start making changes website to build virtual cellar doors – being able to adopt the new or accepted • A three-year project looking into and if there’s more to learn from her work viticultural practices from established what varieties of cover crop best than I’m pretty sure members would be winegrowing regions, where a lot of suit the Queensland wine regions interested,” Barnes said. this research work has already taken will also begin as part of the 2013-14 “Our members are spread out place. The varieties of cover crop that Regional Program and most are considered small wine work for them aren’t necessarily best producers, not to mention the distance practice for local conditions here,” he between us and the major centres for said. “It’s also a great opportunity to forge winegrowing and education in the networks with external organisations and southern states,” he said. ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES strengthen the ties between the regions “So seminars and field days offer our The project follows on from a low-input within Queensland as well as regional members the best form of access to catch viticulture presentation conducted and state industry bodies.” up, hear what everyone’s doing here in recently in the Granite Belt by cover crop Contact: Jim Barnes. their own vineyards and learn what’s expert, Chris Penfold from the University Phone: 61 7 4684 1383. happening in terms of innovation and of Adelaide. 3 1 1 3 9 _ v 1 C R T _ N u f a r m3 . p d f Pa ge 1 2 5 / 0 6 / 1 2 , 1 2 : 5 3 PM Email: extension work in the other states as well. “The presentation by Chris was really

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October 2013 – Issue 597

Healthy soils a foundation for good wine Steve Capeness from City-Farm Organics knows a thing or two about healthy soils, and how to help those which aren’t and his take-home message is as simple as it gets – M4. become integrated into the “ecology” It has been long established the best of the vineyard, creating greater wines come from balanced, healthy vines environmental diversity and stability. growing in healthy soils. The goal could be anything from These soils are easily penetrated by • improving quality and environmental roots, are well-drained and aerated while stewardship (green credentials and holding adequate water for vine needs, marketing edge), reducing long-term have adequate supplies of all nutrients input costs, going biological/organic, and support a varied population of more control over weeds, diseases and beneficial micro-organisms (Waite, insect pests or just personal choice and NWGIC cited in 8). • satisfaction. This certainly describes a ‘healthy soil’ and hopefully most growers are now aware healthy soils are achieved through ARE WE THERE YET? a balance of the chemical, physical and Monitoring with periodic soil and tissue biological components. tests allows us to manage the soil health The ‘three-legged stool’ of soil health process commencing with a baseline for is a neat concept which can get quite soil parameters followed by a periodic • complicated the more you get into the overview of progress towards specific implementation. goals. One approach to getting started is Without information, it’s difficult to to look at improving matter, minerals, make timely and economic adjustments microbes and monitoring. to our cultural practices with 3 2 6 4 5 _ v 2 C R T 1 3 We K n o w . p d f Pa ge 1 1 4 / 0 8 / 1 3 , 1 0 : 3 6 Ideally, soil health practices should confidence.

At a glance: Ideally, soil health practices should become integrated into the “ecology” of the vineyard creating greater environmental diversity and stability. Soil health is a neat concept that can get complicated the more you get into implementation. One approach is to look at improving matter, minerals, microbes and monitoring. The community of organisms that lives in the soil plays many important roles in the successful functioning of agricultural ecosystems. AM

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October 2013 – Issue 597

Grapegrower & Winemaker



beneficial soil microbes, especially widepositive flow-on impacts on soil physics diameter hyphal fungi like AMF (4, 6, 8). and chemistry. A minimum target of 2.4 per cent SOC In soil health terms, real soil fertility (4 per cent organic matter) is required to is often based around the levels of COVER YOUR SOILS enable the establishment of a functional organic carbon, calcium (in relation to Australian research shows using soil food web (5). magnesium), sulphur and plant-available a quality composted-mulch and/or The community of organisms that phosphate. introducing an appropriate cover crop lives in the soil plays many important These key soil fertility parameters are or permanent sward is an excellent longroles in the successful functioning of often the most logistically difficult and term investment in soil and plant health agricultural ecosystems. expensive to fix and maintain at optimum (1, 3, 8, 9). This community consists of bacteria, levels and the initial corrections are best The benefit of mulches in vineyard fungi, protozoa, nematodes (beneficial done during the soil preparation phase of establishment was demonstrated in 2002 predators of microbes and pathogenic), vineyard establishment. with Shiraz rootlings (1). earthworms, arthropods and other Getting the base cations (calcium, Within six months the mulched organisms. magnesium, potassium and sodium) in rootlings had doubled in size; without Their value lies in the role they play proper balance will not only produce a the mulch the vines were still only in the decomposition of organic matter, more friable soil but will help to stabilise half way to the wire. Mulch reduced soil structural improvement, cycling of soil pH within an ideal range. environmental stress on young vines nutrients, disease and pest suppression Proper soil balancing is about the and by first harvest, bunch numbers and as a reservoir of plant nutrients. ratios as well as the amounts of these had doubled and grape-yields tripled The microbial community is most base cations so be sure to make the compared to un-mulched vines (1). beneficial to the grower when it is correct choice for your soil conditions. Coarse textured compost is the most diverse, abundant and active (4, 5, 11). Friable, well-aerated soils support appropriate for use as mulch. It should Apart from initial soil preparation beneficial microbial activity and teamed have larger woody particles, which help and deep-ripping, try to avoid cultivating with an “ideal soil pH” improves humus water and air reach the soil easily (3). vineyard soils wherever possible to retain production and makes essential nutrients The cyclic growth and decay of the SOC and enhance microbial diversity more plant-available. perennial grass root system provides a especially mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). regular contribution of organic material Reducing or eliminating herbicide deep within the A-horizon is broken CARBON MEANS LIFE use, particularly under-vine applications down by fungi and cellulolytic bacteria Soil organic carbon (SOC) is food for a 3 1 7 9 6 _ v 2 CRT 1 3 UPL _ Un . p d f Pa ge 1 1 3 / 0 8 / 1 3 , 1 2 : 0 5 PM will help to retain SOC and protect many to form humus (8, 9). diverse and active soil biology that has

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44 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597

3. Fahey, D (2009) Compost for Wine – a case study

Some ideas for consideration when Growing grassy cover crops or swards from Tyrell’s Wines, Hunter Valley NSW. Compost for Soils NSW, Office of Environment and Heritage proposing a soil health program: with extensive fibrous root systems was • Take representative soil samples for a shown to increase hot-water extractable 4. Granett, J., Huisman, O.C. and McGourty, J. comprehensive soil chemistry report (2003) Compost and Mulch Demonstration Project, carbon by 73 per cent, improving soil Mendocino County. Use of Compost and Mulches and if possible mark these sampling aggregate stability and hence waterfor North Coast Vineyards. California Integrated spots so you can re-sample in 18-24 holding capacity as well as increasing Waste Management Board, Californian Environmental months to check progress. soil microbial activity (8). Protection Agency, California, USA • Re-mineralise the soil to improve Annual ryegrass growing in the 5. Ingham, E.R. (2000) Certified Soil Foodweb Adviser cation balance and soil pH, optimise interrow during autumn and winter training manual. Soil Foodweb Incorporated, Corvalis, Oregon. USA. phosphorus levels and increase increased phosphorus solubility and organic carbon. calcium and magnesium levels over a 6. Smith, D. (2007) Management of soil structure and mycorrhizal populations in vineyards using • Introduce an appropriate cover crop or 6-year study. cover crops. Project Number: CRV 02/03, Final permanent sward that is dormant in Annual ryegrass is ideal for an report to Grape and Wine Research & Development summer. interrow sward because it dies out in Corporation, CRC for Viticulture, Adelaide. • Use under-vine mulches from grape summer, leaving behind a ground cover 7. Stafford, J. 2008. Native grasses in the vineyards, marc or green waste sources wherever residue that doesn’t compete with the viewed on 09-06-10, < vineyards/nativegrasses/ possible. Avoid raw manures. growing vines (8). • Use cultivation and herbicides A native grass cover crop system 8. Weckert, M. (2010) Cover crops and compost in vineyards – opportunities for improving soil health. strategically or eliminate altogether. has been successfully established and Spring vine health field day, Pokolbin. National Wine Contact: Steve Capeness, City-Farm managed in South Australia’s Eden and Grape Industry Centre, Charles Sturt University, Organics. Phone: 0422-523126. Email: Valley region by Henschke vineyards. Wagga Wagga, NSW. The key benefit with native grasses 9. Weckert, M. (2010) Soil biology; cover crops and is that they provide good cover in low how important is soil for good wine? National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, Charles Sturt University, fertility soils while entering dormancy in References: Wagga Wagga, NSW. 1. Buckerfield, J. and Webster, K. 2002. Recent early spring just as the vines are starting research with compost mulches. Ecoresearch 10. Whitelaw-Weckert M.A; Rahman L; Hutton R; to use soil moisture. Coombes N (2007). Permanent swards increase soil newsletter. Low solubility mineral fertilisers are microbial counts in two Australian vineyards. Applied better utilised by native grasses and have 2. Anon., 1998. Cover Cropping in Vineyards. A Soil Ecology 36, 224-232. been shown to help out-compete exotic Grower’s Handbook (1998), Publication 3338, 11. Zady, M 2010, Give life to your soil, Australian & weeds that prefer more soluble forms of Division of Agriculture and Natural resources, Univ. 3 2 8 2 4 _ v 2 CRT 1 3 UPL _ Un . p d f Pa ge 1 1 3 / 0 8 / 1 3 , 1 2 : New 1 3 Zealand P M Grapegrower and Winemaker, June, of California. Issue 557, pp. 69-72. nutrients (7).

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October 2013 – Issue 597

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Managing powdery mildew under threat of fungicide resistance Several spray programs are being trialled to assess optimum ways to overcome the growing issue of strobilurin resistance in vineyards write researchers Shane Trainer and Hugh Armstrong. IN AUSTRALIAN VINEYARDS, powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator) is a fungal disease requiring diligent management practices to ensure clean fruit come harvest time. In recent times growers have needed to contend with the first recorded strobilurin resistance reported in South Australia. The development of resistance to any group of single-site fungicides can be accelerated in a vineyard if consecutive applications are applied to an established powdery mildew population, especially if repeated use has occurred in previous years. This situation occurred in a trial station in South Australia in 2011 and a gene known to be associated with powdery mildew resistance was detected. This use pattern is far from how these products were intended to be used when they were introduced over 10 years ago. The development of fungicide resistance to powdery mildew is not new in Australia, with early reports of problems with Group 3 (DMI) chemistry being noted in the early 1990s.

NEW GUIDELINES Growers also need to manage the available chemistry within tight export application windows.

46 Grapegrower & Winemaker

At a glance: • The development of resistance to any group of single-site fungicides can be accelerated in a vineyard if consecutive applications are applied to an established powdery mildew population. • Growers also need to manage the available chemistry within tight export application windows. • Strict alternation of chemical groups is seen as an important recommendation, as it gives growers who have responsibly used this chemical group the option of continuing use while reducing the selection pressure on the group.

Prior to the 2012 growing season, resistance management recommendations published by Croplife Australia were altered for strobilurin chemistry (Group 11) to reflect this change in the powdery mildew landscape. The recommendations were based on experience from other crops and also

international knowledge of powdery mildew resistance. These resistance management recommendations include two new stipulations for this chemistry group: • If applied alone, Group 11 fungicides should be used in strict alternation with fungicides from an alternative chemical group for the control of powdery mildew in grapes. • Alternatively, where Group 11 products have been routinely used for many seasons, field research indicates there is an increased risk of powdery mildew resistance to Group 11 fungicides occurring. To ensure continued protection against powdery mildew in these circumstances, mix Group 11 fungicides with a registered rate of a compound from an alternative chemical group for the control of powdery mildew in grapes.

ALTERNATING CHEMICALS Put simply, the two alternatives could be interpreted as: strictly alternate chemical groups or tank-mix strobilurins with a product from another chemical group if this group has been overused. Strict alternation of chemical groups

October 2013 – Issue 597

Since there was not a lot of local trial data demonstrating product efficacy when used in alignment with the revised CropLife recommendations, Bayer CropScience (as the manufacturer of products that are now subject to these guidelines) considered it important to research both options.



02/11/2012 13


Inflorescence visible

1% flowering

80% capfall

Application interval Crop stage Untreated control No strobilurin Strobilurin alternation Strobilurin tank-mix








Strobilurin + Carboxamide


Strobilurin + DMI

*All products applied at the registered rate for powdery mildew. Carboxamide Group 7, DMI Group 3, Strobilurin Group 11.

90 80


Incidence Severity

45 40











20 b

10 0



b Untreated

No strobilurin Strobilurin alternation Spray programs


Infected leaf area (%)


Table 1. Spray program details.

Incidence (%)

is seen as an important recommendation, as it gives growers who have responsibly used this chemical group the option of continuing use while reducing the selection pressure on the group. Compared to the superseded recommendation (which recommended a block of two strobilurins before alternating to the next group), this recommendation effectively reduces the time between the application of a strobilurin and the application of the new chemical group by half. For growers who have overused the Group 11 chemistry, a tank-mix with a product from another chemical group may be a viable option, as it uses two modes of action to provide efficacy against powdery mildew.

Strobilurin tank mix


Figure 1. Control of powdery mildew on leaves at harvest when treated with different spray programs over flowering. *Programs with the same letter do not significantly differ (P=.05, Duncan’s New MRT). Incidence data Log transformed, original means presented. Letters of separation relate to incidence data.

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GRO winetitle October 2013 – 1211.indd Issue 597 3

11:24 AM Grapegrower14/12/11 & Winemaker 47

grapegrowing Table 2. Spray program details. Date


Application interval Untreated control No strobilurin Strobilurin alternation Strobilurin tank-mix

















Strobilurin + Multi-site

Strobilurin + DMI

*All products applied at the registered rate for powdery mildew. Amines Group 5, DMI Group 3, Strobilurin Group 11, Multi-site Group M2.



a Incidence Severity

Incidence (%)


25 20

40 15 30 10

20 10 0

b Untreated control



No strobilurin Strobilurin alternation Flowering programs

Strobilurin tank mix

Infected leaf area (%)


5 0

Figure 2. Control of powdery mildew on leaves when treated with different spray programs over flowering. *Programs with the same letter do not significantly differ (P=.05, Duncan’s New MRT). Original means presented. Letters of separation relate to incidence data.

If you want It done properly

delegate It

During the 2012 grapegrowing season, three replicated trials – two in South Australia and one in Western Australia – were completed during flowering. The Lenswood site in South Australia and the Western Australian site had returned positive results for the G143A mutation (associated with powdery mildew target site resistance) following DNA testing in the 2011 growing season. Vines from the other site located in South Australia had routinely received Group 11 applications for many seasons and therefore this site was considered an increased risk for Group 11 resistance. The aim of these trials was to evaluate the efficacy of Flint fungicide when used according to the revised CropLife strategy for Group 11 chemistry on powdery mildew resistant populations. International data collected against confirmed resistant populations is also presented.

AUSTRALIAN TRIALS In the Margaret River growing region of Western Australia, Chardonnay grapes were treated by the grower with his standard spray program until the start of the trial. At inflorescence visible, 1% flowering and 80% capfall, grapes were treated with one of the following programs: no strobilurin, strobilurin

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48 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597

Table 3. Spray program details. Date










Application interval Untreated No strobilurin




Actin disruption


Strobilurin alternation



Actin disruption



Strobilurin tank-mix



Strobilurin + Carboxamide

Strobilurin + Actin disruption


*All products applied at the registered rate for powdery mildew. Amines Group 5, Carboxamide Group 7, Strobilurin Group 11, Multi-site Group M2, Actin disruption Group U8.

100 90

Bunch Severity


80 70 Severity (%)

alternation or a strobilurin tank-mix, which were compared to an untreated control (Table 1). Following the final trial application, the grower recommenced the standard spray program through to harvest. At harvest, powdery mildew had developed on leaves and was assessed. The results are presented in Figure 1. Data from the Margaret River trial shows that all spray programs provided significantly better control of powdery mildew incidence than not applying a program over flowering. All programs (no strobilurin, strobilurin alternation and a strobilurin tank-mix) resulted in equivalent powdery mildew incidence. These programs all resulted in less than 5% leaf incidence and 0.25% leaf area infected. In the Barossa Valley region of South Australia, Chardonnay grapes were treated by the grower with sulphur for the first spray. At approximately 14-day intervals for four sprays, grapes were treated with one of the following programs: no strobilurin, strobilurin alternation or a strobilurin tank-mix. All three treatment programs were compared to an untreated control (Table 2). Following the final trial application, plots were left untreated until harvest. By 18 January, powdery mildew had

60 50 40 30




20 10 0

Untreated control

No strobilurin

Strobilurin alternation

Strobilurin tank mix

Figure 3. Control of powdery mildew on bunches when treated with different spray programs over flowering. *Programs with the same letter do not significantly differ (P=.05, LSD) Original means presented. Letters of separation relate to severity data. All treatments recorded >99% incidence, data not presented.

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October 2013 – Issue 597

Grapegrower & Winemaker


grapegrowing Table 4. Program details for South African trials at Robertson and McGregor. Date


Application interval









Crop stage

5 cm shoots

30 cm shoots



12 mm berries


No strobilurin






Strobilurin alternation






Strobilurin tank-mix (co-formulation)


Strobilurin + DMI


Strobilurin + DMI


*All products applied at the registered rate for powdery mildew. Amines Group 5, DMI Group 3, Strobilurin Group 11.



Incidence severity


Incidence (%)


10 8

30 6

25 20


15 10

Infected leaf area (%)



5 0

Untreated control

No strobilurin Strobilurin alternation Flowering programs

Strobilurin tank mix


Figure 4. Control of powdery mildew on bunches when treated with different spray programs at Robertson. * Programs with the same letter do not significantly differ (P=.05, Duncan’s New MRT). Incidence data square root transformed, original means presented. Letters of separation relate to incidence data.

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Zinc Deficiency

Mang Deficiency

Iron Deficiency

Magnesium Deficiency

developed on leaves and was assessed. The results are presented in Figure 2. Data from the Barossa Valley trial shows that all spray programs provided significantly better control of powdery mildew incidence than not applying a program following a single sulphur spray. All programs (no strobilurin, strobilurin alternation and a strobilurin tank-mix) resulted in equivalent powdery mildew control. At Lenswood in South Australia, Chardonnay grapes were sprayed five times at regular intervals up until berries were pea-sized with one of the following programs: no strobilurin, strobilurin alternation or a strobilurin tank-mix. All three treatment programs were compared to an untreated control (Table 3). By midDecember, powdery mildew had developed on leaves and was assessed during February. The results are presented in Figure 3. Data from the Lenswood site shows that all spray programs provided significantly better control of powdery mildew severity than not applying a program (untreated control). No differences in disease severity were recorded between programs of no strobilurin, strobilurin alternation, and strobilurin tank-mix applications.

South African trials

As a result of decreased performance of strobilurins in South Africa, it was decided to test powdery mildew spray programs following the resistance management recommendations developed by the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC is a specialist technical group of CropLife International). These trials had the same aims as the Australian trials – to evaluate powdery mildew incidence in grapes treated with one of the following programs: no strobilurin, strobilurin alternation or a strobilurin tank-mix. All three treatment programs were compared to an untreated control (Table 4). Trials at Robertson and McGregor were conducted on powdery mildew populations with known resistance to strobilurins. Both trials were assessed on 21 December 2009. The results are presented in Figures 4 and 5. All programs significantly reduced the incidence of powdery mildew when compared to the untreated control. No significant differences in disease incidence were recorded between programs of no strobilurin, strobilurin alternation and stobilurin tank-mix applications. The programs all recorded severity below 1%. All programs recorded significantly less powdery mildew than the untreated control. All programs (no strobilurin, strobilurin alternation and a strobilurin tank-mix) recorded similar incidence of powdery mildew in bunches. These programs all recorded severity below 2%.

The verdict Australian and South African trials conducted on grape powdery mildew populations known or suspected to be resistant to strobilurin chemistry have shown that, when used according to the CropLife Resistant Management strategy for Group 11 chemistry, strobilurins remain effective tools for powdery mildew control. However, if tank-mixing is the program of choice, then there are further considerations before selecting a tank-mixing partner, such as:

50 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597


50 Incidence Severity


8 7

Incidence (%)











10 bc

5 0

Infected leaf area (%)







No strobilurin Strobilurin alternation Flowering programs

Strobilurin tank mix


Figure 5. Control of powdery mildew on bunches when treated with different spray programs at McGregor. * Programs with the same letter do not significantly differ (P=.05, Duncan’s New MRT). Original means presented. Letters of separation relate to incidence data.

• Is the combined cost of the products prohibitive? • Is there also resistance (reduced sensitivity) to the tank-mix partner? • Are the mixtures compatible? Alternation of chemical groups is likely to be an option with fewer potential downsides when deciding on a spray program. With careful management, the

different fungicide groups all have a valuable place in managing this disease. Shane Trainer is a senior development specialist at Bayer CropScience, where Hugh Armstrong is the market development manager for viticulture. Both have many years’ experience in viticulture and conduct extensive trial work into the management of fungal diseases in grapes. Contact: Shane Trainer. Phone: 61 438 619 989. Email:

Chardonnay wine grapes, Powdery mildew, Berry infection. Jindong, Western Australia, 2011.

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ORGANIC CROP PROTECTANTS PTY LTD 61 Turrella St, Turrella NSW 2205 Australia Telephone: 1800 634 204 October 2013 – Issue 597

NSW/WA/SA James VIC/TAS Scott QLD Andrew

0408 025 139 0488 717 515 0448 016 551

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Organic inputs for disease management in organic blocks Organic Crop Protectants Gary Leeson writes with many areas coming off warm winters and heading into wet springs disease management strategies need to already be in place You also need to make sure you use With a warmer-than-usual winter a registered organic sulphur and if you and predictions of a wet spring, sorting choose to go with petroleum oil, once again out your organic disease management check it is AWRI and registered organic program for 2013-14 should be a priority. • The two, four, six and eight weeks with one of the internationally-accredited If you are already an organic grower after budburst is the critical time for certifiers such as ACO or NASA. then you will probably have a robust powdery mildew control. Currently there are only a handful of plan, particularly if you went through • A few changes to the AS6000 sulphur products approved due to the the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. Standard may require you to just need for the sulphur formulation to meet However, a few changes to the AS6000 tweak things a little. new AS6000 Organic Standards. Standard may require you to just tweak • Botrytis tends to be less of an issue You need to check with your certifier things a little. in organic vineyards due to the on this. Obviously you have done your usual reduced vigour of the canopy, leaf You also need to be aware some flag-shoot removal and have been plucking, and generally more natural petroleum oils do not meet European monitoring for the usual suspects – standards, particularly CAS number powdery and downy mildew and sap resistance. 64742-54-7. sucking pests such as bunch mite, blister In 2008 the EU banned a number of mite, scale and mealy bug. petroleum oils due to lack of toxicology If you have all attend Peter Magarey’s SULPHUR OPTIONS data in accordance with Article 24a of AWRI talks and were awake during Plant Wettable sulphur works best under Regulation (EC) No 2229/2004. Pathology classes you would have heard elevated temperatures above 25C-30C. I believe this is why withholding about the two, four, six and eight weeks If you have chosen to use sulphur you periods of 60 days has been applied to after budburst is the critical time for need to be cognisant it plays havoc petroleum oils in wine grapes. powdery mildew control. with pollinators such as bees and other So the decision is what should you spray? beneficial insects including predatory If the weather is cool and overcast, mites. CRACK DOWN FAST I recommend Ecocarb (potassium So if you have consistent trouble with If a downy mildew event arises it is bicarbonate) because unlike wettable bunch or blister mite I would consider important you get on top of the infection sulphur it is not temperature dependant swapping to Ecocarb early on. as early as possible. for its efficacy. If you use wettable sulphur with Over the past three seasons grower Recent trials have also confirmed the petroleum oil the effect can last for feedback suggests success using Ecocarb combination Horti Oil, clearing up 3 7 5 6 F l ofuEcocarb t e 8 8 with x 1 8a 5potassium _ G G W - weeks 1 2 so 0 1 take 3 - 0that 3 - into 2 0 Taccount 1 5 : 5 8when : 2 5 + with 1 1 : Synertrol 0 0 silicate is also very effective. working through withholding periods. 95-100 per cent of oil spots within hours

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52 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597


Damage done: A case of late season botrytis shows the extent of the problem. Effective botryticides are limited in organic vineyards with only Eco-protector regisetered for control but not suppression.

of application. Obviously spray timing is critical for targeting oil spots, so close monitoring of leaf wetness and degree hours to target the secondary infection is the key. The only AWRI and Organic Registered option is copper spray and once again you need to be aware of what is registered for use. Cupric hydroxide is the only Registered Organic approved compound but once again the type of formulation can impact on its acceptability under organic standards. Recent changes brought about by

Dangerous signs: Powdery mildew looks like a sprinkle of angel dust across leaves in the vineyard.

AS6000 mean further restrictions on the amount of elemental copper have been implemented. Elemental copper levels have come down from 8kg/year to 6kg/year in line with European standards. You might think this is restrictive but remember it is elemental copper and not the compound. OCP has a simple conversion table on hand for growers to use to convert formulated cupric hydroxide to elemental copper. Numbers will differ depending on whether there are any wetters, stickers or other adjuvants added to the formulation.

The only other disease to really concern yourself with is Botrytis. Botrytis tends to be less of an issue in organic vineyards due to the reduced vigour of the canopy, leaf plucking, and generally more natural resistance. The use of seaweed extracts have also been shown to increase rachis stretch in bunches which increases air movement and reduces the chances of berry slitting. Effective botryticides are limited in organic vineyards with only Eco-protector (potassium salts of fatty acids) APVMA registered and Organically Registered for the control (not suppression) of Botrytis. Recent research by Dean Metcalf has also shown applying biologics such as Trichoderma koningii Td67 at flowering for latent infection and Trichoderma harzianum Td81b for late infections has demonstrated significant reductions in berry losses due to the disease. Contact: Gary Leeson. Phone: 612 9599 8767. Email: Looking for more stories on botrytis? Search our Grapegrower & Winemaker article archive at

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October 2013 – Issue 597

NSW/WA/SA James VIC/TAS Scott QLD Andrew

0408 025 139 0488 717 515 0448 016 551

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Bang, bang, I (sort of) shot you down Seeing a flock of marauding birds descend on your vineyard is heartbreaking but with the right planning – and a hell of a noisy scare gun you can solve the problem even if you aren’t there When it comes to vineyards just before harvest the only good bird is a scared bird. Even better, a terrified bird. And if someone lets off a couple of booming, gas-fired bangs in your left ear when you least Bird control expected it, chances are you wouldn’t stop until you had crossed the border. At which point the bird becomes someone else’s problem. Which is exactly what E.H. Cambridge and Co is all about with its range of gas scare guns. Based at Mt Barker in the Adelaide Hills, Anne Cambridge said her family business has been supplying gas guns to the grape industry since 1967. And she said these days the vineyard owner gets a hell of a lot more bang for their bucks – and bird – with the latest technology in gas guns. “When our family first started, scare guns they were fired by carbon, and then flint but today we use piezo ignition,” she said. Piezo is a small, spring-loaded hammer which hits a generator. This sudden forceful detonation produces a high voltage and subsequent electrical discharge, which ignites the gas. “Of course back in the ’60s we didn’t have the advantages of options such as reliable timers,” she added. “These are a big plus if you are an absentee vineyard owner.


You can set the gun to start it firing from sunset to sundown, and you can choose how often you want it to go off. “You can also have a rotating stand, so every time the gun fires it turns in a new direction just in case a few smart birds decide you are shooting at someone else and not them.” Scare guns are being sent to every corner of Australia (Anne said they are just as effective on ducks, kangaroos and emus) but the biggest demand is from vineyards and orchards. The Exid double shot scare gun – which retails at $710 – is the most popular model because the concept has been around for a long time. Other models include the single shot and multi shot and they all fit the optional extras. The single on-off timer has the ability to pre-program the activation (on) and deactivation (off) time for the scare gun – for one sequence per day (minimum 10 hours; maximum 18hours) during a period of several months. The operator can manipulate how many series of shots occur within a time period and how often during the day these occur – depending on local council restrictions if they apply. “The Exid Rotomat is the ideal accessory for all mechanically operated (single, double, triple) EXID cannons,” she said. “We also stock the Guardian-2 which functions with propane. Sound intensity can be regulated by the attached telescopic cannon and its regulating tap allows detonations with a preset frequency of three to 30 minutes. A timer is also available as an optional extra, with a minimum of 10 hours and maximum of 18 hours of operation. “The Guardian also has a Rotomat stand.” Contact: E.H. Cambridge & Co. Phone: (08) 8391 1688. Email: Web:

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October 2013 – Issue 597

LEDA propels its customers into new era of harvesting Mildura-based LEDA Custom Farm Equipment has turned years of experience in the olive industry into a major success story in winegrape harvesting – and an Australian-made success at that.

LEDA Custom Farm E q u ipm e nt has produced Australia’s only locally built selfpropelled (SP) grape Harvesting harvester. The H-Series P16 has hit the market and according to LEDA’s Tia Higgins has performed brilliantly in its first season of harvesting. She said by working with the knowledge of systems that have worked well on the current generation of machines, and then incorporating the latest technologies, LEDA has developed a SP harvester which is “intuitive to use and picks quickly, efficiently and cleanly”. The P16 also incorporates the latest in CANbus technologies allowing greater flexibility for custom programming. And as LEDA has full in-house programming, nothing is too hard. “With its 6.5-inchl colour TFT screen showing everything the harvester is doing at a glance, it also allows full control over the machine from the cabin,” Higgins said. “The joystick is field proven and has super high reliability, allowing comfortable and complete control of the machine,” she said.

At the same time the head is amazingly quiet and smooth, with almost no vibrations felt in the machine. “Quality products are of the highest priority at LEDA and quality assurance checks are performed at every stage of production, on every section of the harvester,” Higgins added. “From the fabrication to the assembly, and electrical to hydraulics, everything is checked,” she said.

AUSTRALIAN MADE “Once complete, every P16 undergoes thorough operation testing and adjustment and LEDA takes pride in providing the customer with a qualityguaranteed, Australian made product for Australian conditions.” LEDA produces all its machinery in Buronga, NSW, on the Murray River near Mildura. Each harvester can be, and often is, designed and built to customer requirements or requests. With an in-house 3D drafting department, LEDA can demonstrate the custom design

before it is manufactured. Higgins said the company actively seeks out Australian-made parts for its harvesters, “meaning you get high quality parts and help the country at the same time”. “Being locally owned and operated, LEDA is also able to provide a one-on-one partnership with the customer,” she said. “And more importantly, during harvest LEDA has a 24-hour backup service, on all makes of grape harvester, to keep those machines running when they are needed the most,” she said. Contact: Tia Higgins. Phone: 61 3 5021 1366. Email:

DESIGNING QUALITY “During design all facets of usage and maintenance are taken into account, and by combining years of experience and Australian ingenuity in our design team and workshop, the LEDA P16 is super reliable, easy to operate and even easier to maintain. “Mechanically, electrically and hydraulically this machine is designed around the operator’s convenience. “With full perimeter handrails and easy access ladders, the LEDA H-Series P16 is both extremely safe and very comfortable to access the top deck for wash-down and maintenance.” Higgins said picking, which is what the machine is all about, is so much easier with the Next Generation Mk IV picking head. With simple adjustments she said the head can be set up to suit almost any trellis. October 2013 – Issue 597

Grapegrower & Winemaker



De Bortoli upgrades harvest machinery Riverina-based De Bortoli Wines is in the middle of a massive overhaul - in the vineyards and in production - and that includes the acquisition of a Gregoire G9-330 grape harvester. De Bortoli Wines has continued its massive investment program with the purchase of a new generation Gregoire G9-330 grape harvester. That follows its $15 million spend on a massive solar-powered overhaul of one of its bottling lines and power use in its production area. When their G9-330 arrives in time for the 2014 harvest it will make the Riverina winery the first in Australia to have the new model. De Bortoli Wines has been using Gregoire tow behind and self-propelled harvesters for more than 15 years. Farm manager Gavin Calabria said when making the decision to buy a new harvester De Bortoli needed to consider harvesting and pruning as they will be doing both jobs with the new machine. Calabria said having the cabin on top, over the row, was “very important for full row pruning”.

Even better, he said, was the “spacious, super-quiet cabin”. “Another major reason we were happy to stay with the Gregoire was the guarantee of backup support we have through Griffith-based dealer Serafin AgPro. “You don’t expect anything to go wrong, but if it does Serafin has good 24/7 service and a mammoth range of spares to ensure any downtime is kept to a minimum,” Calabria said. “We have been extremely happy with the reliability and the low maintenance costs of the machines we have been using and with the subtle changes of the new model are sure we will be just as satisfied,” he said. “One of the attractions of the new G9 over, say, our G140SW, is its truly ergonomic cabin, which still has the side training seat which is an asset to teaching drivers without the need to

VITICULTURE We’ve got you covered Sunlight into Wine: A Handbook for Winegrape Canopy Management

hang precariously off to one side. “Add to this the new Mecatronic canbus electronics and the familiar centre cab position is what the operators prefer for all round visibility and control. “The new floating head, floating conveyor was also a big plus from what we have seen in other Gregoire machines working in Griffith as it was a superior pick and operators were achieving faster ground speeds when the need to keep ahead of the Mother Nature arose.” Contact: Gavin Calabria. Phone: 61 2 6966 0100 or au/contact-us.html.

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Vine Sight the industry’s hindsight The dark underbelly of the current wine industry is vineyards being pulled out – and not replaced. It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Vineyard technology

TOM STEPHENS WENT to university where he was taught viticulture and how to grow and nurture grapevines.

However, not one lecturer mentioned anything about pulling them up. So when he finished working on a 200ha vineyard at Cowra in NSW back in 2009, Stephens was looking for a new

opportunity – and a challenge. Which is when he dreamt up Vine Sight – a sort of now you see ’em, now you don’t business. Because Stephens and Vine Sight are in the business of pulling out vines. And while it’s good for him, but not necessarily for some people in the industry, business is booming. The Vine Sight team is on the road all week, every week, chewing its way through hectare after hectare of vines across NSW, Victoria and SA. Such is their reputation for speed of destruction they have had inquiries from as far afield as WA and even New Zealand. “We have a formula,” Stephens said. “First we go through and roll up all the irrigation and as much of the wiring as we can and then we attack each row to rip up the vines and posts. “We stack all the posts which can be re-used and everything else is pushed into piles and burnt,” he said. “When the fire is over we sift the ashes for any wire which had been too entangled in vines and that is sold off for scrap metal. “Some owners want to keep the posts as we have only cleared land for them to plant new vines but most are getting out of the game so often we will buy them and recycle them into other vineyards or

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I would like to say most of our work is to make way for new plantings but in truth most is for people who have had enough and are getting out farming industries.” Stephens had to be an innovator when he launched Vine Sight because there was no specialist equipment for pulling vines out. So he got together with an engineering shop and cooked up all sorts of machinery – from a hydraulically-driven wire spinner to pull up irrigation to heavy duty machinery to pull vines and posts. Vine Sight might have gotten off to a slow start but once word spread about a specialist removal business Stephens said they have not stopped. “We average about 5ha a week but have done up to 15ha in a week as a rush job, and I put on some extra workers to meet that deadline,” he said. “I would like to say most of our work is to make way for new plantings but in

truth most is for people who have had enough and are getting out. “More than once we have gone to do one vineyard and one, or more, neighbours have booked us to do their places as well. “Then they turn the land to something else, like grazing.

“A lot of our work is in the winter, but it also picks up in spring when people who have been drifting along reach budburst and have to decide if they will go another year – or just go.” Contact: Tom Stephens, Vine Sight. Phone: 0428 443 263. Email: tom@

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October 2013 – Issue 597

Grapegrower & Winemaker




Don’t get tangled up in spray technology With the exception of the organic vineyards, everyone has to spray. It seems a simple concept but there are just so many ways it can go wrong if you haven’t got the right equipment and the right program.

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EARLY SIGNS OF this year’s wine grape vintage have started to show, with budburst in some of the major SA and WA winegrowing regions due to the warmerthan-average start to spring. Which has quickly prompted an earlier-than-usual flowering. Mr Nozzles’ Robert Perrin said once buds are in a state of enforced dormancy, they only need sufficiently high temperatures in order to burst. But of course he cautioned there was also the ever-present danger of low temperature injury to bursting buds and young shoots. “The effect of temperature is paramount,” Perrin said. “Higher temperatures in the latter part of winter will advance the time of budburst and the number of buds bursting per day is strongly correlated with mean air temperature on the day,” he said. “Irrespective of climate and seasonal conditions, the order of budburst of different varieties tends to be maintained. “For example, Cabernet Sauvignon always burst relatively late.” Perrin said budburst dates are positively correlated with soil temperature in the root zone. A soil temperature of 25C will obviously lead to earlier budburst than 12C. He said this relationship had implications for vineyard site selection and soil management. “Because well-drained, stony or calcareous soils warm up faster in spring than wetter, clay soils,” he said. “Such sites are preferred to extend the length of the growing season and to increase the depth of ripening. “Difficulties will arise in trying to maintain an optimal spraying program in diverse weather conditions to stimulate uniform budburst after dormancy to ensure uniform flowering and maturity.” He said chemical drift is undesirable for economic, environmental and safety reasons. In the worst-case scenario growers can find themselves in court if spray drift damages sensitive crops on a neighbour’s property. “The environmental effects of spray drift are equally costly and unacceptable,” Perrin said.

“Regardless of how accurately an application is made, the possibility of drift is always there but you can minimise it by selecting the right equipment and using sound judgment when applying chemicals,” he said. “Your goal should be to eliminate offtarget movement of chemical, no matter how small it may be. “There are plenty of nozzles on the market claiming to reduce chemical drift but which one is right for you? “Larger droplets will reduce drift potential, but they may also reduce the effectiveness of the chemical application so one nozzle will seldom be the best choice across all situations.” Nozzles, however, are relatively inexpensive, but they will probably be the most important sprayer component you buy. Spray drift management is now everybody’s business and adopting a drift-management strategy is a timely and appropriate move for all chemical applicators Perrin said. “Whatever nozzle you choose, the chemical label is still the law and must be followed,” he said. “If a chemical label says the chemical should not be applied above a specific wind speed and you proceed, even with low-drift nozzle technology you could be breaking the law. “Understand drift and take steps to avoid it by using effective management strategies in different spray application situations. “Operators should be using modern air induction nozzles to consistently produce the correct droplet quality. “And should be monitoring the weather conditions with a reliable instrument such as a Lechler Pocketwind IV handheld weather meter.” Perrin said staff at Mr Nozzle will help with enquiries on spraying technology and equipment trouble shooting. He said his business stocks everything the sprayer needs, from simple nozzles to fittings, filters, hose, pumps, spare parts, tanks, valve sets, spray rate controllers and monitors and GPS guidance, all with Australia wide delivery. Contact: Robert Perrin. Phone: 61 8 8262 9676. Email: au. October 2013 – Issue 597

PCA makes vineyard management as easy as ABC AUSTRALIA HAS VINEYARDS in every corner of the country – including the backblocks of the Northern Territory. And on vineyards in every one of those grape regions Pastro Custom Ag (PCA) has some of its specialist award-winning equipment at work. From its Weedseeker Selective Spot Spray System to the PCA six tonne fertiliser spreader. An amazing hit rate for a company which has only been in business since 2008 but to which founder John Pastro brought more than 20 years in the manufacturing and agricultural industries and 15 years in the specific design and manufacture of spray equipment. Pastro said he recognised a niche in the ag machinery industry to provide the market with customised, high-quality farm equipment and machinery. “We already had a strong spraying background but my team and I also had the expertise and know-how to custom build and modify equipment to suit any farming requirement,” Pastro said.

The Pastro Custom Ag spreader has been specifically designed to spread all types of fertiliser and manure below the skirting height of grapevines.

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Grapegrower & Winemaker


grapegrowing SPECIALTY MARKET “Today we specialise in vineyard, orchard and broadacre sprayers, fertiliser spreaders, trimmers, de-suckering units and much more,” he said. “We also carry out machinery and pump services, repairs, modifications and supply a complete range of spray parts and pumps. “Our products are built strong and reliable and I think that, and the specialist performance of our gear, are the hallmarks of the PCA brand.” Customers obviously agree. Peter Morath from Kingston Vineyards said “right from the start John was interested in what we wanted, not just telling us what we needed”. “He was keen to provide us with the best possible unit that satisfied our John Pastro said vineyard sprayers are the specialty at PCA as each unit is custom built to suit the farm-specific requirements and terrain. needs and met his high quality structural standards, and all at a competitive price,” Morath said. “We have been more than happy with the unit and the quality WIDE RANGE of workmanship, hence our interest in other pieces of equipment, He said with several optional extras available, and using the in particular the spreader we have just ordered,” he said. highest-quality components and hardware, the machines offer “John’s attention to detail and care for providing what the some of the best value on the market, and include the following buyer is looking for is first class.” features: Pastro said vineyard sprayers are the specialty at PCA as • 2000-6000 litre tank capacity each unit is custom built to suit the farm-specific requirements • Boom sizes to suit two- or three-row configuration and terrain. • Single or tandem suspension axle • Optional shielded domes • Hydraulic width adjustment • Hydraulic height adjustment • Standard or three-point linkage drawbar Pastro said PCA’s Weedseeker Selective Spot Spray System would help grapegrowers save up to 80 per cent on chemical costs with its high accuracy sensors spraying only weeds and not stubble. “You only have to fix it to existing spray booms and start counting the savings,” he added. “The PCA 6-cubic metre fertiliser spreader has been specifically designed to spread all types of fertiliser and manure below the skirting height of grapevines, resulting in reduced fruit damage. This unit is strong, reliable, and durable and includes the following standard features: • 4-10 cubic metre capacity • Hydraulic drive • Hydraulic open/close door • Conveyor belt • Dual-door discharge (optional) 3000 Series Tractor • Single or dual-axle configuration 31.4- to 43.2- horsepower* • Discharge elevator (optional) • On/off In-cab controls It’s a difference you can tell from Gilbert Motors the moment you sit down—this is • Heavy duty frame Strathalbyn Pty Ltd not a tractor as usual. Experience • Power Pack the difference with: 34 High St, Strathalbyn • Optional side-discharge conveyors and side-discharge p 08 8536 2066 reflectors − Choice of 31.4- to 43.2horsepower* (23.4 - 32.2 kW) “It’s all about the right product for the right job and − Choice of variable transmissions understanding the conditions under which many grapegrowers operate,” Pastro added. − Two pedal control speed on selected models “The more reliable and the more accurate each machine is *The engine horsepower information is − Standard power steering the faster it pays for itself and the more it gives those producers provided by the engine manufacturer to − Comfortable operator station be used for comparison purposes only. a good grip on their input costs.” Actual operating horsepower may be less. Contact: John Pastro. Phone: 61 2 69643888. Email: sales@

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62 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597


If there's a schedule then it's not rocket science to stick to it Yalumba technical manager Geoff Linton is all about harmony in wine production but is the first to admit things sometimes get a little heated – and always caught in the middle is the laboratory. Late delivery can set the dominos falling all the way to the retail counter unless people keep their cool. IT’S FAIR TO say at times the relationship between lab and bottling can become somewhat “stressed” as the laboratory bottling approval process is the last stage in the wine preparation activity before release to bottling. Last-minute bottling program changes or late preparation of wine can lead to quickly rearranged laboratory work priorities ie “stress”. Bottling lines these days mean either lots of personnel or lots of expensive kit, so not operating to schedule is not acceptable in today’s era of tighter and tighter margins. However, laboratory staff must not be subjected to undue pressure to complete work as a result and well understood and published turnaround times for laboratory work go a long way to rectifying this. In this presentation I’ve taken the approach of including in the laboratory group those working predominantly in the “packaging laboratory” as well as those more typically thought of as laboratory staff ie the wine chemistry and microbiology technicians. It’s an approach I particularly favour as I believe Grape ad 90hx185 24/9/13 11:16 AM this larger group brings benefits through

increased opportunities for laboratory staff to move into differing roles and broaden their skill sets, interest and involvement. My approach to this topic will be to analyse this relationship in terms of what the laboratory brings to the bottling process, in particular how it relates to the final bottled product and I plan to explore this relationship, at least initially, in terms of the customer perceived value.

WHAT DOES THE CONSUMER PERCEIVE AS VALUE? To my mind they expect the following criteria to be met: 1. A stable wine – a wine that isn’t, or doesn’t become, cloudy or contain deposits or otherwise “spoil”. Remember no consumer willingly purchases a cloudy wine so in order to clear the first commercial hurdle a wine must be stable in the distribution system. 2. The wine must taste right and present with the flavours as the winemaker intended (so the preparation for Page 1 bottling and the process itself must

At a glance: • Lab staff must not be subjected to undue pressure to complete work and well understood and published turnaround times for lab work go a long way in rectifying this. • No consumer willingly purchases a cloudy wine so in order to clear the first commercial hurdle a wine must be stable in the distribution system. • Within the chemistry and microbiology laboratories, options for efficiency gains abound with the introduction of rapid automated analyses. • Complaints are generally opportunities, and every effort should be made to make the experience a turnaround for the customer and to improve the production process.

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not cause deterioration). 3. The consumer also expects their fair share of wine and wants it to be safe to consume and without agrochemical residues, leachables from plastic packaging or packaging equipment and with the minimum winemaking additives (and those additives used are of an appropriate level of purity). 4. They expect labels to be honest in describing the wine and carry the mandatory information. 5. They expect all of the above at best cost. 6. In a container which works – screw caps and corks must function to expected norms, labels not fall off and generally maintain the package presentation. So which of these criteria does the laboratory impact on? Well to my mind, all of them.

WINE STABILITY This includes microbial stability, CIP processes, wine chemistry and appropriate additives. Let’s first address microbial stability. Typically the laboratory is charged with monitoring the microbiological quality of the final wine in tank before packaging then releasing the wine if it meets specification and then monitoring the bottling process itself. Usually if a wine fails to meet its prebottling specification, the consideration of the steps required to bring the wine into specification, or not, is the responsibility of the winemaker. Though I imagine in

64 Grapegrower & Winemaker mep_wine_1301_59x272.indd 1 18/01/2013 09:55

many (many) cases the laboratory staff will provide valuable input as well. In addition, the original setting of this micro-specification, whether based on filterability or an assessment of the micro bio-load, is usually the task of the lab/tech staff often in conjunction with winemaking staff. If the laboratory uses online micro processes such as epifluorescent techniques, to monitor bottling performance, the laboratory staff can be faced with making decisions or at the very least suggestions as to the cause of any out of specification result and the appropriate action to bring the nonconforming wine back into specification. As part of the micro stability, the laboratory is generally charged with monitoring the performance of the bottling CIP processes – the laboratory may have also designed those processes. The criterion I’ve called wine chemistry includes protein stability, metal stability and cold stability as well as SO2/alcohol/pH conformance testing. Again the laboratory is involved in the testing to ensure conformance before release to bottling and then monitoring the bottling process itself. The laboratory’s involvement extends beyond just the performance of the test to specification – usually extending to both settling the specification and the selection of the analytical methodology in the laboratory. Finally for stable wine, the laboratory is charged with ensuring the appropriate level of winemake additives before October 2013 – Issue 597

release to bottling – again the laboratory’s involvement may have extended beyond just performing the test and checking against specification to the selection of test methodology and it may also include the setting of specification though in my experience this is more generally the responsibility of the winemaking staff.

BEST CONDITION This includes flavour stability, appropriate dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, appropriate storage and transport regimes and first off/last off samples. By “best condition” I mean the wine has passed from a storage tank through the bottling process with its flavour characteristics intact and protected from aberrant, future change brought about as a result of the bottling process. The principle factors that effect this flavour stability over which the laboratory staff have influence is the dissolved gas level monitoring, particularly oxygen levels and specifically the total package oxygen (TPO). While the debate continues on the appropriate dissolved oxygen (DO) levels for varying wine styles, it is appropriate to set minimum quantifiable targets based around experience and pursue these single-mindedly. Remember the differentiation between DO and TPO is important in the post vacuum cork world of today as unprotected headspaces under screw caps can leave significant levels of in-pack oxygen. DO as TPO is not the only critical gas whose level influences flavour – dissolved carbon dioxide (DCO2) is likewise critical and the lab is involved with testing both before and during packaging. There are emerging opportunities for online measurement of both DO and DCO2 and these are reducing the laboratory’s role somewhat. The temperature regimes to which packaged wines are exposed are critical for the long-term flavour profile stability and while there is a dearth of published information on the acceptability or otherwise of certain temperatures, this does not negate the need to understand the exposure regimes packaged wines are experiencing. Remember the use of screw cap closures means the previous inbuilt indicating measure of pushed corks is no longer available so wines undergoing significant thermal degradation may appear externally to be OK. Laboratory staff, particularly in the packaging lab, should be involved in monitoring the temperatures packed wines are exposed to during transport and storage in warehouses. Finally to the use of “first off” and “last off samples” – I believe these are critical quality processes for ensuring consistent packaging performance and their prompt analysis in the laboratory for early detection of untoward bottling conditions (resulting in turbidity, dilution, colour change) will yield valuable results and must be part of every winery quality management system.

LEGAL COMPLIANCE Here we are dealing with contents, winemake additives, food contact compatibility, agrochemical residues, food safety plan and process improvement towards deliver of these. We all are consumers of packaged goods and know paramount to our individual purchases is a need to be confident full measure accompanies each purchase. Within the winery packaging environment, the driving need is to ensure compliance to the weights and measures legislation in each relevant market (no easy feat considering the breadth of global markets). Typically, the laboratory involvement with this process is in the setting of the performance expectation on the bottling line October 2013 – Issue 597

Grapegrower & Winemaker


winemaking and the selection and performance testing of the equipment used. In the selection process it is important to remember the measuring device, particularly if a gravimetric determination is made, must be pattern approved (trade approved) by the National Measurement Institute (NMI). In addition, it is often the laboratory’s responsibility to schedule regular performance verification (i.e. calibration) of the measuring equipment by a certified external provider and the routine internal performance testing using standard weight testing. In addition to the content compliance requirements, laboratory staff are often involved with the compliance testing or scrutiny of certificates of compliance for winemake additives to ensure those purchased comply with purity standards specified in the ANZ Food Standards Code and, of course, are non-tainting. Laboratory staff should also be involved in the verification of the food contact status of synthetic components of bottling equipment and of the packaging materials themselves (this includes both compliance to specified migration limits and absence of sensory modification). My reasoning here for lab involvement is based on experience as often the supplier information is of such poor quality repeated discussion with them is required to finally elicit the appropriate compliance information so deep technical knowledge of the criteria is required. Most winery laboratories do not have the capability to test for agrochemical residues, so this testing program is typically run externally. However, the laboratory staff typically administers the testing program and therefore sees involvement in the selection, collection and despatch of samples for the external analysis, the selection of the external provider and the relaying of information regarding the

completed analyses. The Food Standard Code requires all Australian food-handling facilities to have a food-safety program and within the winery environment this is typically provided as a HACCP based plan. Typically the laboratory involvement in developing and maintaining this program is extensive; particularly the microbiological control of the bottling processes (as well as other processes e.g. the quality of supplied water to the cellar activities). Laboratory involvement with ongoing monitoring of the efficiency of rinsers and, particularly if water rinsing is practiced, the microbial status of the rinsing medium can be extensive. Finally, although not truly a legal compliance issue, the laboratory staff may become involved in process-improvement strategies to better meet legal compliance – the need for this can be developed from current performance data gathered as part of the typical testing performed on the bottling line. Examples of this type could include recommendations for the use of check weighers, online monitoring for contents by x-ray and vision analysis with capability to replace the more manual online inspection.

COST ASSESSMENT This requires us to reassess the value of ongoing systems, including raw material assessment, hidden costs and laboratory scheduling and automation. Once a monitoring program is in place and functioning well it is easy to allow it to roll on; gathering data which may no longer be of value, or indeed add to knowledge. So, with each program designed to monitor a bottling production process comes a responsibility to set a timeframe for the program to run before a critical re-evaluation of the benefits delivered or risks avoided or moderated. Without this

process, systems can run on needlessly, insidiously, adding to wastage. In my experience, this is particularly important for packaging materials where it is easy to slip into repetitive testing at the “goods in” stage even though it is more appropriately performed during the manufacturing cycle for the raw materials. What was a risk minimising process initially ultimately ends up adding cost often without commensurate real benefit. Within the chemistry and microbiology laboratories, options for efficiency gains abound with the introduction of rapid automated analyses whether enzymatic sequential analyser or based on FTIR/ spectroscopic technology. On the flip side of the advantages of these automated technologies, comes increased complexity leading to greater problem solving demands being placed on the persons charged with monitoring proficiency and providing maintenance for the equipment. The final “challenge” (or opportunity) are the increasingly available online systems – these mean samples from the bottling line will not need to come to the laboratory but are analysed in situ in real time – current technology exists DO, DCO2, turbidity, alcohol, density and others. However, these systems must be maintained and calibrated – a task that can default to a laboratory team member, this can be a hidden cost for the laboratory. Finally, in terms of operational cost management of laboratories I’d like to mention scheduling. While we have seen great advances in cellar productivity in developing tightly-scheduled activity, there has, in my experience, been little use of this in day-to-day operations within the laboratory environment. The reason for this is that the cost of the laboratory resource is relatively small, at least compared to the operational cost

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of either the cellar or the bottling line, so the focus has been on increased efficiency in these areas. No doubt some of this focus has added cost to laboratory operations, for example smaller bottling batches run more frequently and this has resulted in more bottling batch approvals i.e. more work for laboratory staff.

PACKAGING THAT WORKS This covers the online QA, audit role, raw material specifications, sample sets and packaging development. Thankfully, the (very) historical approach to quality control with technicians running about in lab coats inspecting the work performed by others is well and truly passed. Modern quality objectives designed to ensure quality is “built in” rather than “inspected in” see the operator performing the work carrying responsibility for the quality assurance processes associated with that work. However, in this model the role of the quality technician – in this case the packaging laboratory staff – is not absent but remains a vital cog in the team developing the quality parameters, the testing regimes and the specifications for performance. Lean, continuous improvement (CI) or six sigma are processimprovement strategies well established in the larger bottling facilities and delivered by staff with expertise in these areas. But the role of the technician in smaller facilities can be to fill this gap, as often here those at the operational level may need to be guided towards adopting a quantitative rather than a qualitative approach and can lack good understanding of statistical sampling techniques and application of these in setting the acceptable quality levels and the testing methodologies for the wines being produced. In addition to playing a role in developing these QA processes, the packaging laboratory technician is often involved in auditing the existing QA process and, as mentioned previously, should play a vital role in the critical re-evaluation of ongoing QA processes to ensure they continue to deliver the desired outcome. Packaging raw materials need to be supplied against specification and when developing these specifications consideration has to be taken of both the supplier’s manufacturing capability and the need for the performance and consistency in the goods to ensure their fitness for use. Again a strong role for the packaging laboratory technician exists in the development of these specifications and the technician needs to play a brokering role in balancing the supplier’s capability versus perceived need. Furthermore, the setting of acceptable quality levels for the defect schedule of raw material specifications needs to be realistic and strategic and

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winemaking must form part of every specification. Having set an agreed specification for goods at arrival, the process for verifying those goods conform is another role that can default to the packaging laboratory. The phrase “default to” is used purposely because in most instances this process is better performed by others – either by the supplier who then presents the goods with a certificate of compliance or by the staff responsible for the purchase (for example in the case of labels where their intimate involvement with the design process sees them as the appropriate person to inspect at goods arrival) or performed online (in the case of low speed production). Whatever strategy is involved, it is important the technician involved understands the balance between risk and cost and every task is reviewed on this basis. Another role for the packaging laboratory is the collection of “sample sets”. These are samples drawn from the line for immediate and long-term performance evaluation. The sample is tested progressively over 12 months, with a small number held over for long-term availability. Typical testing involves cork extraction forces or screw cap opening torques and sensory evaluation. Corkclosed samples are tasted against blind randomised bottles closed by screw cap. Finally, those in the packaging laboratory are often intimately involved with the packaging development process. Often proposals for new materials have to first clear technical performance before the marketing strategy can be developed though it is sometimes better to gauge marketing acceptability before too much effort is input in determining technical performance to avoid unnecessary wasted activity.

LESS SPECIFIC ‘STUFF’ There is a lot of ‘stuff’ in the industry from advice and safety nets to customer complaints. In terms of this relationship

Passion turns into passionate career Geoff Linton has almost 40 years’ experience in the wine industry having joined Yalumba as a winemaker in early 1974 (which he describes as “not a particularly exciting vintage”). Growing up in Queensland he “discovered” wine, and a passion for it, as an undergraduate student, and was quickly more than happy to convert this newfound love into a career. Early on he specialised in the making of sparkling wines, then a relatively new field for Yalumba. In more recent times Geoff has been responsible for technical and research at Yalumba, a role which has seen him also assume responsibility for laboratory activities, the development and certification of quality management and food safety systems and the implementation of WHS systems. Earlier this year he moved to a part time consulting role at Yalumba to enable him to pursue external private consulting. He served as a board member with the Australian Wine Research Institute for many years and remains a member of the Wine Industry Technical Advisory Committee.

there is a plethora of interactions much less structured but less no less important. Although the internet is a powerful information entity it makes sense to seek information from a staff professional and I regularly see this relationship. Typical examples might see a bottling line team member turn to the chemist for information of a new cleaner or a new polymer in a bag-in-box film. Likewise with microbiology knowledge – certainly it makes sense to involve the science professional in these decisions. In a way the laboratory, as well as providing a system to approve and release a wine to bottling and support the bottling QA process, acts as a safety net to the packaging process, providing a valuable and detailed slant on the QA process and on alternative best practice knowledge gained through networking in seminars such as this one today. Finally, although customer complaints are best dealt with by someone with an upfront presence such as the winemaker there are times when a detailed technical input is required to analyse the root

cause of the problem and convert it into a customer-digestible response which can be delivered by the winemaker. It is appropriate to remember customer complaints are generally opportunities, and every effort should be made to make the experience a turnaround for the customer and an opportunity to improve the production process.

GUARD AGAINST Some things are potential problems and should be guarded against, including data gathering, and inadequate experimental write-up Finally, a word of warning about the pitfalls of gathering data and not converting this data into knowledge. In this day of sophisticated databases it is easy to develop and entrench systems that gather data – consider for example the data an operator may log for the turning torque on screw caps as this test is conducted on line. As well as providing objective evidence this quality parameter has been assessed at the agreed levels and adequate control has be made, there is

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merit in extracting knowledge by “mining” this data. From this particular data set, it may be possible to assess the performance variability and to see if there are any underlying relationships affecting this variability. The tragedy of this failure to convert data into knowledge is exacerbated when often 90 per cent of the effort has been gathering the data yet its value is lost by not expending that last 10 per cent of effort. On a similar level another short-fall occurs when trials and experiments are not fully documented. Often these are well-documented at the initiation of the project and the data gathered during the course of the trial is well documented and knowledge is gained through the analysis of this data as it were “on the fly”. However, because time is money and always short, it is too easy to rely on the informal knowledge gathered.

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CONCLUSION So the relationship between laboratory and bottling can be a bit challenging, but a good understanding of each other’s service needs and capabilities can lead to an efficient and rewarding relationship. After all we need to always remember we’re both on the same team and ongoing success is our mutual goal. Contact: Geoff Linton. Phone: 61 8 85613 208. Email: glinton@


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It all tastes Greek to me – or will soon

Stephanie Timotheou catches up with the second generation of the Jim Barry Wines family, hears about the emerging third generation – and of Assyrtiko, an historic Aegean grape variety now being grown at Clare. PETER BARRY, EXECUTIVE winemaker and managing director of Jim Barry Wines, has literally grown up with Grapegrower & Winemaker. His first vintage was in 1977 – just 14 years after Grapegrower & Winemaker was established. “That vintage was when my father Jim – also an avid reader – purchased my first subscription of the magazine,” Barry said. And 27 years down the track he still looks forward to that monthly trip to the letterbox and his new copy. “Grapegrower & Winemaker is a fantastic publication and I have always been able to find interesting articles which I have learned something from,” he added. “It has never failed to make me think about industry issues a little deeper than I might have and over the years we have retained many copies in our library so we can refer to them. To this day all members of our vineyard team receive a subscription to the magazine and I believe it gets them thinking and keeps them in touch with new developments.”


ALWAYS ONWARDS Jim Barry Wines was founded in 1959 and as it celebrates its 54th birthday it is also celebrating its future. Which Barry said includes their work with Assyrtiko – a Greek grape variety which came from the rich, volcanic-ash



soil on Santorini and quickly spread throughout the Aegean archipelago. He said they have imported the first cuttings of this variety to produce white wine. “While we are still some way off producing the wine, watching the

The patriarch: Jim Barry in the family’s winery at its Clare headquarters

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Picture perfect: An aerial shot of the Barry family’s Lodge Hill vineyard shows a verdant splash across the rolling, sun browned Clare region.

While we are still some way off producing the wine, watching the vineyard develop is an absolute thrill

vineyard develop is an absolute thrill,” Barry said. “I relate this feeling to the first time I tasted unwooded Sauvignon Blanc in 1979 – my father was at the forefront of this wine style and it is exciting to be in this position with Assyrtiko.” It is clear the now multi-generational

Barry family are all about grabbing every opportunity to achieve something that little bit different. Barry’s sons Tom and Sam have already hitched their stars to the family bandwagon and released their first wine – The Barry Brothers – under the Jim Barry brand established by their grandfather.

“They created a modern take on the classic Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon blend,” Barry said. “I gave them the opportunity to develop their own wine without any interference from ‘their old man’ and they have done me very proud.” While the business is still flourishing,

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October 2013 – Issue 597

Family tradition: Peter Barry is today the man at the helm of Jim Barry Wines, and mentoring the next generation, with Tom Barry already an award winner.

I gave them the opportunity to develop their own wine without any interference from ‘their old man’ and they have done me very proud its biggest achievement so far is achieving international recognition for its wines.

BUILDING THE BRAND Barry said his family worked hard to first build their brand in Australia, and then around the world and the results are there to confirm that success. “Creating Riesling is also an annual highlight for us at the winery,” he added. “My family and I are passionate about this variety and always look forward to seeing what we can do with it each vintage.” Despite its continued success, Jim Barry Wines knows you are only as good as the next release. Which is why, after 54 years, the family is still experimenting, trying to improve and attempting to make more interesting wines. “The future will be fantastic – it was a great thrill for me to welcome my two sons into the industry and they enjoy it as much as I do. “We have wonderful vineyard resources in Clare and Coonawarra, which we have established over the past 50 years, so in a sense we are sharing a similar celebration to Grapegrower & Winemaker.” Contact: Peter Barry. Phone: 61 8 8842 2261. Email: jbwines@ October 2013 – Issue 597

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Flash détente an explosive option for winemakers New flash technology really offers winemakers more bang for their bucks and is starting to make inroads into world wine production according to Geoff Price WITH THE VALUE of the Australian currency finally falling – making Australian wines more competitive – Australian winemakers will be looking to re-establish their wines on world market. According Australian Beverage Systems owner Geoff Price warns our wines will have to move newly-developed competitors off the ‘supermarket shelves’. And said this competition won’t be just about price. “During the recent challenging period in Australia, competition has emerged from South America, South Africa and even the Old World wines have made changes,” Price said. “Part of the change has been in production with the take-up of ‘flash détente’ technology,” he said. “It has provided dramatic increases in quality and consistency in wines from these competitors, with a strong flash détente challenge to the traditionalists.”

FLASH DÉTENTE PROCESS Flash détente was adapted to wine production by INRA in France more than 20 years ago. The technology rapidly heats red grape must to a high temperature after which the heated must is passed into a vacuum, causing the grape to explode. That is the ‘flash’. And the explosion of the grape cells

At a glance: • Part of the change has been in production with the take-up of ‘flash détente’ technology. • The technology rapidly heats red grape must after which the heated must is passed into a vacuum, causing the grape to explode. That is the ‘flash’. • The FDT liquid phase fermentation does not require the head space as is usual for normal red wine fermentation, so there are considerable tank and space and cost savings. near the skin releases the characteristic flavour of the grape variety. Yet the seeds remain intact, meaning green tannins are not released. The must can then be pressed off into liquid phase juice and sent to a normal tank or barrel for fermentation. Price said as with many innovations, development takes a little longer as other integrated technology emerges. “Enter Pera Materiel, Florensac, France. Pera took on the flash détente idea and developed the heating process to a new level,” he said.

STRIP WATER The most interesting part of the process is the strip water. When captured and tasted by winemakers, enlightenment was provided into what makes some regions and terriors so different. It also identifies defects. Pyrazine character, the vegetal green capsicum flavor, is totally extracted with the strip water. But if the winemaker thinks the wine requires some vegetal flavour, it can be added back at an acceptable level.

PROCESS VARIATION Once the winemaker has a flash détente (FDT) setup, a wide variety of styles of wine can be made. This includes wines with full flavour at lower alcohol levels. Pera oenologist, Jean-Luc Favarel, has been working with many winemakers at Pera FDT installations around the winemaking world. With the adjustments available in the FDT process, the winemaking teams continue to find new styles. “Fermentation of liquid phase must in tank, or on skins, or perhaps fermentation after 24 hours of skin contact, or in barrel – the options are huge and creative winemakers just keep finding new styles with the new toy,” Price said.

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Early harvest Australia has seen vintages shortened. Winemakers waiting for seed ripeness can take some pressure off by putting under ripe grapes through the FDT process. In wet years additional water is extracted with the strip water which can be discarded or added to overripe fruit later in the vintage.

Clean wines “As the FDT process very effectively homogenises the grape must, there less of a chance of faults that need fixing,” Price said.

Tradition “There is a school of thought FDT produces wines that all taste the same,” he said. “Well, that may well be the traditionalist speaking, having yet to open up their minds. FDT wines are more fruit driven, with soft tannins, rich colour and generous mouth feel.”

Production Price suggested the continuous press will also have a new life in a winery that installs FDT. Although several large wineries have opted for multiple pneumatic membrane presses as the preferred pressing system operations. At various rates per hour the FDT can run for 24 hours per day. “Specialised red fermenters are not required, since FDT achieves maximum extraction within 48 hours. “The FDT liquid phase fermentation does not require the head space as is usual for normal red wine fermentation, so there are considerable tank and space and cost savings. There are also fewer wine transfers required during vintage. “For the winemaker, FDT provides new options in blending artistry.

FDT wine “FDT wine may not produce the complexity; etc that wine buffs waffle on about. “What FDT does produce however, is wine that is rich, fruit driven and generous, with soft tannin and very drinkable – the wine-buying customers will enjoy it.” Contact: Geoff Price. Phone: 0407 842 244. Email: price.

October 2013 – Issue 597

Avoid crushing disappointment WITH HARVEST PLANNING not far away one of the most crucial parts of the process is the membrane in your wine press. CE Bartlett marketing executive Matt Brown said with wine press membranes standard equipment for many Australian made presses making sure you don’t run the risk of downtime at vintage with a failed bladder. Brown said Bartletts also produce replacement equipment for European presses, where they regularly exceed the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s specifications. He said after evolving from the canvas goods business is began almost 60 years ago, Bartletts has been working with the wine production industry for more than 25 years and is now one of Australia’s leading industrial textile fabricators. “The CE Bartlett team understands in an industry where the quality of processing equipment is vital to a winery’s success, that peace of mind your presses will not have down time is an essential component,” Brown said. “Every one of our membranes is manufactured using the latest computer cutting and precision welding methods,” he said. “In most cases Bartlett will probably already have a pattern for your membrane in our extensive database of makes and models of presses. “However, if you have an uncommon press we can accurately provide a custom made membrane from your old membrane. “Each Bartlett bladder is manufactured using world class fabric capable of tolerating massive amounts of flex, combined with the strongest abrasion properties possible. “This is the reason most Australian wineries and an increasing number of US and NZ wineries rely on a Bartlett membrane for their presses – backed by a three-year warranty, you won’t find a business that better understands yours than CE Bartlett.” To arrange a no obligation quote contact the CE Bartlett sales office on 1800 115 440. Contact: Matt Brown. Phone: 61 3 5339 3103. Email:

Grapegrower & Winemaker


winemaking winemaker

What inspired you to become a winemaker and how have you got to where you are now?

My family has been involved in the wine trade since the early 1960s so I was taught to appreciate it from an early age and I guess I have just progressed from there. In the late 1990s we decided to plant vines on our farm in the Yarra Valley. I was supposed to help out for two weeks – and never left. I happily traded an inside job to work outside and have loved it. Mario Marson was my early mentor and I guess I couldn’t have had a better teacher. My inspiration came from making really good wine by getting all aspects of the business right without taking shortcuts. Who do you think is the most influential person in the Australian wine industry?

In my opinion James Halliday has been the champion of Australian wine. He has done so much for our industry and especially the Yarra. His legacy will never be surpassed in my lifetime. Which of your wines do you most enjoy marking, and why?

Of all the varieties, Chardonnay would have to be the most enjoyable. In the winery, it is so versatile. Every batch, every clone we treat separately depending on where we want the wine to sit on the palate. Low solids, high solids, full solids, brown, oxidised and turbid would describe how we make it and how versatile it is. When we treat Chardonnay so many ways it never gets boring. You can do almost anything to it and it will always amaze in the end result. Chardonnay begs for patience with elevage. What is the favourite time of year in your winery and why?

Harvest most definitely. We work hard but try to enjoy ourselves as well. Normally, it will be the boys plus an international winemaker. Days are spent making wine while nights are generally all about enjoying good food and wine. We take it in turns to cook and try to taste a broad spectrum of Australian and international wines. The time I stop enjoying harvest is the time I give up winemaking. Tell us about your most memorable winetasting experience?

A few years ago I did a harvest on Mt Etna

76 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Franco D’Anna

started in the family liquor store at 13. By 21 he was the chief wine buyer while completing a bachelor of commerce at Melbourne University. From where he turned his attention to Charles Sturt University’s viticulture course, while helping to maintain the family’s newly planted vineyard. Today he is the viticulturalist and winemaker at Hoddles Creek Estate and attributes his traineeship at Coldstream Hills for the rigorous hygiene practices he learnt to be fundamental in the winery. in Sicily. I did a tasting at Passopisciaro with different Nerello Mascalese wines from the same producer with varying aspects, altitudes and lava flows. Each wine was unique and full of character. To try these different crus from 550m to 1000m was fascinating. What keeps you awake at night?

Stuck ferments. We don’t even joke about them during the day in the winery. As most of our ferments start naturally, they like to take their time to complete so it’s always a stress. What was the last big-ticket equipment purchase you made at your winery?

A bottling line. Like most winemakers before they had a bottling line, I didn’t want the responsibility of running such an important process. Since we have installed it, my life is so much easier. Instead of getting 10 wines ready at once, we bottle when we want to and when the wines look their best. What has been the best business decision you’ve made for your winery?

We treat our suppliers and customers how we want to be treated. We pay our bills on time and make sure growers are looked after. Business is a big circle, we all need to make money along the chain to be sustainable. Which export markets most interest to you? What is the key thing which might help you succeed there?

The Asian markets are the most interesting, especially Japan. Not only are they close to Australia, they share the same values in business as we do. Hoddles Creek wines normally sell out quickly so we are able to only really target one or two export markets. I love going to Japan, the food and culture is so different to anywhere in the world. We try and build relationships with agents and their customers in each market. What do you think of the Australian show system?

Nothing is ever perfect in life, and the show system is far from it. We do enter the majority of shows; I think it is important to support the system. Seeing how much work people such as Steve Webber, David Bicknell and Jane Faulkner put into the show system gives me faith for the future.

What do you think is the Australian wine industry’s biggest challenge? And what is your solution to the problem?

Our biggest challenge over the years has been the image of Australian wine overseas. We have long championed the ‘sunshine in a bottle’ image without highlighting real wines with provenance and interest. The wheel is turning and I think we are gradually highlighting we do make interesting and individual wines. To change this perception we need time and decent investment from all stakeholders. From an R&D perspective is there one single piece of research in the wine industry which has really influenced you or your directions in winemaking?

Yes, future decisions on planting and winemaking have evolved around the implications of climate change. People such as Dr Mark Krstic from the AWRI have really challenged us to change the way we think in all aspects of our farm. The Ark question. The world is flooding so which two wines (white and red) would you take into the Ark?

Domaine Raveneau Chablis Les Clos 2006 and Passopisciaro Contrada “R” Rampante 2010. October 2013 – Issue 597

White wine aroma optimisation Yeasts & enzymes

A grape is not always as good as the next grape so despite the best efforts of the viticulturist, researchers Karien O’Kennedy (Laffort South Africa) and Maryam Ehsani and Vincent Renouf (Laffort France) write the winemaker will need to weave a few spells to ‘express magic in a bottle’

THE CHALLENGE FOR a winemaker is to allow a specific quality of grape juice to achieve its full potential as a wine and to maintain this potential for as long as possible during its life span. Throughout the winemaking process, winemakers can combine their expertise with a range of oenological products in order to achieve the best result possible. Not all grapes are of equal quality, however, so while it is true the best grapes in the world need little intervention, others may require more “work” in order to express magic in a bottle. This article highlights five key decisions winemakers can make and which can have a significant influence on the final quality of white wine.

ENZYME SELECTION FOR SKIN CONTACT, SETTLING AND FLOTATION The use of enzymes forms an integral part of winemaking and there are a variety of enzymes available to winemakers – in both liquid and granulated forms. Enzymes from various suppliers differ from each other in terms of their pectinase content (especially polygalacturonase levels), overall concentration and sideactivities. One of these side-activities, cinnamoyl esterase (CE), can be detrimental to white wine aroma (Chatonnet et al., 1992, Barbe, 1995). Phenolic acids occur naturally in grape juice in two forms – as an ester with tartaric acid (coutaric, fertaric and caftaric acids) and in a free form (coumaric, ferulic and caffeic acids. Oelofse et al., 2008). Cinnamoyl esterase in commercial pectinase preparations can convert the esterified phenol acids to their free form, which are toxic to many microorganisms. Wine yeasts overcome this toxicity by converting these free hydroxycinnamic acids to less toxic components via decarboxylation, forming 4-vinylphenol from p-coumaric acid and 4-vinylgaiacol from ferulic acid. Wine yeasts with the ability to form these volatile phenols above their sensory threshold (770 µg/L) are referred to as POF positive (Phenolic Off-Flavour) yeasts (Canal-Llaubéres, 2010), while those forming volatile phenol concentrations October 2013 – Issue 597

At a glance: • The use of enzymes forms an integral part of winemaking and there are a variety of enzymes available to winemakers – in both liquid and granulated forms. • Phenolic acids (especially caftaric acid) and the flavonoids (catechin and epicatechin) play a particular role in final wine aroma. • The choice of yeast strain can significantly influence the final aroma profile of white wines as yeast strains differ greatly in their ability to produce flavour-active compounds. • Wine aroma can change significantly during ageing. The aroma compounds diminishing first are those most susceptible to oxidation. below their sensory threshold are referred to as POF negative yeasts. Above their sensory threshold, volatile phenols are responsible for the loss of freshness and fruity character, and in worst case scenarios, medicinal smells in white wines. Unless the cinnamoyl esterase side activity has been removed by enzyme purification, it is always present in

commercial enzymes. The higher its content in the particular enzyme used, the greater its negative impact on wine aroma. Most commercial wine yeasts are POF positive, so careful consideration must be given to the selection of enzymes when using these wine yeasts. The use of purified enzymes, however, limits the total vinyl phenol content to below their aroma thresholds, even if POF positive yeasts are used. The Laffort range of white wine enzymes offers three CE purified granulated enzymes (Lafazym® CL, Lafazym® Press and Lafazym® Extract) and one purified liquid enzyme (Lafazym® 600 XL).

JUICE FINING BEFORE FERMENTATION Phenolic acids (especially caftaric acid) and the flavonoids (catechin and epicatechin) play a particular role in final wine aroma. These compounds are capable of oxidising and forming quinones, which can capture certain aromas, especially volatile thiols (Nikolantonaki, 2010). When these phenolic compounds are oxidised pre-fermentation, the quinones formed can be eliminated by another thiol naturally present in grape juice, namely glutathione.

Figure 1: Glutathione concentrations of wines from a Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc must treated with Polymust® Press (600 ppm), Polymust® V (400 ppm), Polymust® Org (400 ppm) and Vegecoll® (150 ppm) respectively.

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winemaking This phenomenon occurs before the alcoholic fermentation (AF) yeasts have revealed the aromas, but the reaction undoubtedly results in a considerable loss of glutathione. Ultimately, the resulting wine is very fragile and particularly susceptible to oxidation. When must is handled under strict inert conditions, the phenolic compounds are not oxidised and the glutathione is preserved. During AF, reductive conditions allow these compounds to remain stable and allow the yeasts reveal the varietal aromas. Af ter fermentation, however, exposure to oxygen (transfer to barrels, blending, stabilisation and filtration) may cause the phenolic compounds to form quinones. This will result in “time bombs” capable of capturing aromas and causing the wine to have an orange tinge, or at worst, undergo pinking. The only option for preventive elimination of phenolic compounds is the use of a specialised fining agent on the juice. This prevents the formation of quinones during settling, whilst also preserving the glutathione content in the must (Moine et al., 2012). Traditionally, juice fining products include casein, PVPP and occasionally isinglass (fish fining agent). In recent years, concerns over allergen-free and organic products have led suppliers to develop alternative fining agents and plant proteins were subsequently recognised as the most viable option. The first plant protein fining agents to be evaluated were extracted from wheat or pea. Due to allergy issues, wheat proteins did not provide an adequate solution (gluten), while the first pea proteins used, presented an unacceptable odour, taste and sometimes susceptibility to oxidation. Since then, oenological demands have led suppliers to improve the quality of their products and other plant proteins have also been evaluated. Recently, Laffort has commercialised a protein extracted from potatoes, called patatin and is marketing this as Vegecoll® (Gambuti et al., 2012). Laffort offers a wide range of products such as Polymust®, Polylact® and now also Vegecoll®, which are all suitable for the treatment of juice before fermentation. Depending on the final destination of the wine, animal protein free, allergenfree and organic options exist.

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Figure 2: The aromatic index of 4MMP in wines from a Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc must treated with Polymust® Press (600 ppm), Polymust® V (400 ppm), Polymust® Org (400 ppm) and Vegecoll® (150 ppm) respectively.

YEAST SELECTION The choice of yeast strain can significantly influence the final aroma profile of white wines (Cordente et al., 2012) as yeast strains differ greatly in their ability to produce flavour-active compounds. Amongst the positive contributors are volatile thiols, imparting fruity aromas to wine (Dubourdieu et al., 2006). The chemical compounds 4-mercapto4-met hylpenta n-2-one (4M M P), 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3MH) and 3-mercaptohexyl acetate (3MHA) are characterised by the aromas of boxwood, grapefruit and passion fruit respectively. 4MMP and 3MH are present in grapes in a precursor form, conjugated to cysteine or glutathione (Capone et al., 2010; Peyrot des Gachons et al., 2002; Tominaga et al. 1998). During fermentation, yeasts take up these precursors and cleaves them to release free volatile thiols into the wine. Yeast strains differ in their ability to release and convert these volatile thiols (Howell et al., 2004; Swiegers et al., 2006). Another group of compounds that greatly influence wine aromas are esters. An ester is a bond between an alcohol and a fatty acid (Sumby et al., 2010). Ethyl esters are comprised of ethanol and medium chain fatty acids (MCFA’s) and acetate esters are comprised of acetyl-CoA and ethanol, or other complex alcohols derived from amino acid metabolism. Various factors influence yeast ester formation during fermentation, such as the amount of substrate in the must, the concentration of the co-substrates (acetyl-CoA and alcohol), must turbidity, must nutrient status, fermentation temperature, the availability of oxygen and, most importantly, the genetic

Figure 3: Volatile thiol concentrations of a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (France) comparing Dynastart® and the new formulation, Superstart Blanc. (Aromatic index: Concentration of the aroma compound in the wine, divided by its sensory threshold)

ability of the yeast strain conducting the fermentation (expression of acyltransferase and esterase genes). It has also been suggested ethyl ester formation by yeast strains is a way to detoxify the must from MCFAs toxic to the fermenting yeast (Cordente et al., 2012). Winemakers have a wide range of yeasts from which to choose in order to achieve a desired wine style and selecting the appropriate yeast strain is therefore an important consideration to be made. For example, a thiol-enhancing yeast such as Zymaflore® X5 is suitable for the production of Sauvignon Blanc, whereas an ester forming yeast such as Zymaflore® X16 is more suitable for the production of aromatic Chardonnay. Within the Laffort yeast range, Zymaflore® X16, VL1 and VL2 are all categorised as POF negative strains that will not produce volatile phenols above their sensory threshold, even if enzymes containing cinnamoyl esterase are used. October 2013 – Issue 597


white wine yeasts

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winemaking YEAST NUTRITION The concentration of aroma compounds produced by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is, along with the other factors previously mentioned, a function of nutrient availability. During fermentation, yeast utilises nutrients to produce an array of volatile compounds such as esters, higher alcohols, volatile fatty acids, carbonyls and sulphur compounds. In many viticultural regions the natural nutrient composition of grape juice is considered sub-optimal, and this may contribute to a variety of problems such as stuck or sluggish fermentations and the formation of undesirable offflavours (Blateyron et al., 2001, Henscke and Jiranek, 1993, Mendes-Ferreira et al., 2009, Sablayrolles et al., 1996). To alleviate these problems and to optimise wine aroma, additional yeast nutrients are often supplemented to the juice before, or during, alcoholic fermentation. The make-up and quality of the yeast nutrient and the timing of addition all play a vital role in its effect on wine aroma, as has been reported in various studies (Winter et al. 2011, Ugliano et al., 2007, Curtin et al., 2011).

Figure 4: 3MH and 3MHA concentrations of a 2012 Merlot rosé (France) comparing Dynastart® and the new Superstart Blanc. (Aromatic index: Concentration of the aroma compound in the wine, divided by its sensory threshold)

It has been proven the use of Laffort Dynastart® during rehydration greatly enhances the volatile thiol concentrations of wines, whilst reducing the concentrations of negative sulphurlike off odours and volatile acidity (Ehsani et al., 2012). The observed increase in concentration of 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3MH) and 3-mercaptohexyl acetate (3MHA) may

reflect a chemical or biochemical change in the media, leading to a greater stability of the thiols or enhanced bioconversion of the cysteine conjugates by yeasts. This year (2013) Laffort is introducing Superstart Blanc – another specialised rehydration nutrient for the enhancement of positive volatile thiols in white wines. Very clear settling reduces the longchain fatty acid content of grape musts,

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October 2013 – Issue 597

which can lead to an increased production of volatile acidity by yeasts (Marullo, 2010). Volatile acidity (VA) formation is, amongst other factors, also related to the sugar concentration of the must. Because Dynastart® and Superstart Blanc are sources of sterols and long chain fatty acids; they increase the fermenting yeast’s osmo-tolerance, which results in lower VA formation. Proper yeast nutrition is also important during fermentation. The use of a complex yeast nutrient such as Nutristart® provides the yeast with optimal amounts of organic and inorganic nitrogen, as well as vitamins and minerals. Pantothenate is an important vitamin in the yeast’s sulphur metabolism and despite the presence of sufficient nitrogen, a shortage in pantothenate can lead to the formation of H2S (O’Kennedy and Reid, 2008). It also plays an important role in acetate ester production. Adequate amounts of pantothenate are therefore necessary for wine aroma optimisation. The use of an organic nutrient such as Nutristart® OrganiQ is advised in certain winemaking conditions. The important fact to remember is “more is not always better.” Extensive pure DAP additions at the wrong time during fermentation can have negative effects on wine aroma (Ugliano et al., 2007).

AROMA PROTECTION – THE GLUTATHIONE FACTOR Wine aroma can change significantly during ageing. The positive aromas often diminish and negative aromas may start to form. The aroma compounds diminishing first are those most susceptible to oxidation. Volatile thiols of Sauvignon Blanc are examples of aroma compounds that rapidly decrease with ageing. A recent approach to wine aroma preservation involves the use of glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant with a high redox potential (even higher than ascorbic acid), which occurs naturally in grapes. It protects 4MMP, 3MH and 3MHA against oxidation by binding to quinones (oxidised form of phenols). It was found the addition of 10 mg /L pure glutathione at bottling significantly slowed the rate of decline in wine aroma as well as the yellowing of wine colour. It also reduced the formation of ageing aromas: sotolon and phenyl acetaldehyde (Lavigne et al., 2007). The addition of pure glutathione, however, is not legally permitted. There are several products aimed at increasing wine’s glutathione levels. Laffort FreshArom® (the evolution of Bioarom®) is a specific inactivated yeast-based product, rich in glutathione and the





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Figure 5: A comparison of the glutathione content and total reductive power of FreshArom® and 4 different commercial products.

October 2013 – Issue 597

T H E R E I S A N A R T T O G O O D W I N E. A N D A S C I E N C E .


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winemaking precursors for glutathione production (cysteine and N-acetyl-cysteine). Its addition during the first third of fermentation enhances the final glutathione content and increases the stability of the volatile thiols and the longevity of wines.

CONCLUSIONS Winemaking consists of a series of steps. Each step requires a calculated decision by the winemaker. A good winemaker is one making informed decisions and taking the necessary precautions to protect and possibly enhance the quality delivered by the viticulturist. Various winemaking practices influence white wine aroma. This article focused only on the importance of enzyme choice, the option to remove phenolic compounds in the juice phase, yeast choice, optimal yeast nutrition and the role of glutathione in the protection of wine aroma. Contact: Karien O’Kennedy. Phone: +27 21 882 8106. Email:


Barbe C. (1995). Recherches sur les activités estérases contaminants des préparations pectolytic. Applications technologiques. Thèse de doctorat de l’universitéde Bordeaux 2, n°348. Blateyron L., Sablayrolles J.M. (2001). Stuck and slow fermentations in enology: statistical study of causes and effectiveness of combined additions of oxygen and diammonium phosphate. J. Biosci. Bioeng. 91,184-189 Canal-Llaubéres R-M. (2010). Enzymes and wine quality. In: Managing Wine Quality Vol. 2, 93-132. Capone D.L., Sefton M.A., Hayasaka Y., Jeffrey D.W. (2010). Simple and rapid analyses of precursors to wine odorant 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol using HPLC-MS/ MS – resolution and quantitation of diastereomers of

3-S-cysteinylhexan-1-ol and 3-S-glutathionylhexan-1ol. J. Agric. Food Chem. 58, 1390-1395 Chatonnet P., Barbe C., Canal-Llaubères R., Dubourdieu D. and Boidron J-N (1992). Incidence de certaines préparations pectolytiques sur la teneur en phénols volatils des vins blancs. J. Int. Sci. Vigne Vin, 26 (4), 253-269. Cordente A.G., Curtin C.D., Varela C. and Pretorius I.S. (2012). Flavour active wine yeasts. Appl. Microbiol Biotechnol. 96, 601-618 Curtin C.D., Bellon J.R., Bartowsky E.J., Henschke P.A., Chambers P.J., Herderich M.J. and Pretorius I.S. (2011). Harnessing AWRI’s yeast and bacterial research to shape ‘Next-Gen’ Chardonnay Part 2: Influence of yeast, nutritional management and malolactic fermentation. Wine and Viticulture Journal 26(2), 15-24 Dubourdieu D., Tominaga T., Masneuf I., Peyrot des Gachons C and Murat M.L. (2006). The role of yeasts in grape flavor development during fermentation: the example of Sauvignon blanc. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 57, 81 – 88 Ehsani M. Puente V. and van der Westhuizen T. Ensuring high quality wine production through the use of Dynastart® in yeast rehydration. http://www.laffort. com/en/laffort-news Gambuti A., Rinaldi A., Moio L., 2012. Use of patatin, a protein extracted form potato, as alternative to animal proteins in fining of red wine. Eur. Food Res. Technol. DOI 10.1007/s00217-012-1791-y Henschke P.A., Jiranek V. (1993) Yeasts — metabolism of nitrogen compounds. In: Fleet GH (ed) Wine Microbiology and Biotechnology, Harwood Academic Publishers, Chur, Switzerland, 77–164 Howell, K.S., Swiegers J.H., Elsey G.M., Siebert T.E., Bartowsky E.J., Fleet G.H., Pretorius I.S. and De Barros Lopes M.A. (2004). Variation in 4-mercapto4-methyl-pentan-2-one release by Saccharomyces cerevisiae commercial wine strains. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 240, 125-129. Lavigne V., Pons A. and Dubordieu D. (2007). Assay of glutathione in must and wines using capillary electrophoresis and laser-induced fluorescence detection: Changes in concentration in dry white wines during alcoholic fermentation and aging. J. Chromatography A, 1139(1), 130–135. Marullo, P. Yeast selection for wine flavour modulation. In: Managing Wine Quality Vol.2, 293-345 Mendes-Ferreira A., Barbosa C., Falco V., Leão C. and Mendes-Faia A. (2009). The production of

hydrogen sulphide and other aroma compounds by wine strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in synthetic media with different nitrogen concentrations. J. Ind. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 36, 571-583 Moine V., Murat M.L, Arfeuillère C., Thibon C. 2012. Collage des jus de presse blanc – Influence sur leurs teneurs en composés phénoliques en glutathion et précurseur d’arômes. Revue des œnologues, 139, 45-47 Nikolantonaki M. Incidence de l’oxydation des composés phénoliques sur la composante aromatique des vins blancs, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, 2010. Oelofse A., Pretorius I.S. and Du Toit M. (2008). Significance of Brettanomyces and Dekkera during winemaking: A Synoptic Review. S. Afr. J. Enol. Vitic., Vol. 29, No. 2, 128 - 144 O’Kennedy K. and Reid G.C. (2008). Yeast Nutrient Management. The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 537, 92-100 Peyrot des Gachons C. Tominaga T. and Dubourdieu D. (2002). Sulfur aroma precursor present in S-glutathione conjugate form: indentification of S-3-(Hexan-1-ol)glutathione in must from Vitis Vinifera L. cv. Sauvignon blanc. J. Agric. Food Chem. 50, 4076-4079 Sablayrolles JM, Dubois C, Manginot C, Roustan JL, Barre P (1996). Effectiveness of combined ammoniacal nitrogen and oxygen additions for completion of sluggish and stuck wine fermentations. J. Ferment. Bioeng. 82, 377-381 Swiegers J.H., Francis I.L., Herderich M.J. and Pretorius I.S. (2006). Meeting consumer expectations through management in vineyard and winery: the choice of yeast for fermentation offers great potential to adjust the aroma of Sauvignon Blanc wine. Wine Industry Journal 21, no.1, 34-42. Sumby K.M., Grbin P.R., Jiranek V. (2010). Microbial modulation of aromatic esters in wine: current knowledge and future prospects. Food Chem. 121, 1-16 Tominaga T., Peyrot des Gachons C., Dubourdieu D. (1998). A new type of flavor precursors in Vitis vinifera L. cv. Sauvignon blanc: S-cysteine congugates. J. Agric. Food Chem. 46, 5215-5219. Winter, G., Henschke P.A., Higgins V.J., Ugliano M. and Curtin C. (2011). Effects of rehydration nutrient on H2S metabolism and formation of volatile sulphur compounds in wine. AMB Express 1:36 (1-11) Ugliano M., Henschke P.A., Herderich M.J. and Pretorius I.S. (2007). Nitrogen management is critical for wine flavour and style. Wine Industry Journal 22 (6), 24-30

Fermentation at your fingertips In the digital age every decision is just a click away and the field of fermentation is no exception, with apps now available to help winemakers and oenologists on the spot. The phone and fermentation have never shared a close history but that’s all about to change with the latest e-tools on the digital market. Lallemand now has several electronic tools available to the winemaker and oenologists with its Lallemand Wine App available for iPhone, iPad and Android users. The current version has been updated and the design adapted to embrace rapidly-changing hardware and software to optimise user experience. The app provides finger-touch access to all fermentation products supplied by Lallemand. The wine yeasts and bacteria, their

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nutrients and protectors and enzymes are all listed and you can find the best products for your wine and recommendations for varietal pairings. The Lallemand Wine App can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or from Google Play. Two new electronic tools are also available on the internet. The wine bacteria sensory profiling can be found at: http://tools. la l lem a ndw i /w i ne -bac ter iasensory-profiling/en/index.html. This interactive tool is in response to growing demand from wine producers who recognise the contribution of selected wine bacteria to the sensory profile of their products.

Based on the sensory objectives desired for the wine and the specific winemaking conditions, winemakers can get recommendations regarding the most appropriate wine bacteria and instructions on their utilisation with the help of this new tool. And the bacteria wheel at http://tools. la l lem a ndw i /w i ne -bac ter iawheel/en/ will help calculate MLF feasibility, learn about bacteria nutrition and how to use co-inoculation and learn about wine bacteria and its influence on wine style. Contact: Jason Amos. Phone: 61 8 8276 1200. Email: jamos@lallemand. com. October 2013 – Issue 597

Download our new application to consult the complete catalogue of our products, grape varietal and yeast pairing, useful winemaking tools and a library with protocoles and articles. Look for the LALLEMAND WINE APP on the App Store

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Try our new interactive tools on our web site to facilitate your decision when choosing your wine bacteria.


Chill out man, Tri Tech is on the way There’s nothing worse than a not enough refrigeration - or none at all - at peak production time but one Melbourne-based business is offering a low-cost solution for the short- or long-term. THERE’S NOTHING GUARANTEED to get winemakers hotter under the collar than not being able to keep things cool. Especially at the peak of vintage when demands on refrigerating capacity can be Refrigeration all over the shop and too often result in a meltdown. Which is why Tri Tech Refrigeration and its process chillers need to be on the speed dial. Offering a full range of water-cooled and evaporative-cooled industrial process chillers for short term hire, long term lease or hire/purchase, Tri Tech sales and engineering manager Jannie Howard said her company can deliver the technical expertise to solve complex refrigeration requirements. In a hurry and for anything from the crisis rescue operation to short- and long-term solutions. “Wine is one of our specialties and we are doing a lot of business in that market because of the capacity of our units,” Howard said. “Instead of trying to use machines which don’t have genuine industrial capacity Tri Tech gives wineries a purpose-built alternative,” she said. “Our chiller applications range from chilled water (with a

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close approach) to glycol requirements for processing plants in a wide range of industries and air-conditioning applications. “Ranging from 100kW to 3000kW, our fleet of relocatable liquid chillers can have a replacement unit up and running at your business within a day or two. “Just recently we had a major milk processor in northern Victoria go into shutdown on a Sunday and it was back up and running on the Tuesday – that’s how quickly we can get the job done.” Howard said for bigger wineries Tri Tech was able to help out when unexpected work caused overload demand on electrical supplies. For smaller wineries without those systems she said Tri Tech can provide a short-term chiller system to get them through production. Tri Tech designs and manufactures its chillers using the latest in industrial chiller technology to ensure the highest efficiency, optimum control and safety. That also means the most flexible solutions – even a turn-key solution, including associated equipment such as hoses and pumps. “For big companies who don’t have capital budgeting for major outlays using a Tri Tech solution would go under their maintenance line meaning they are not faced with a wrangle with accounting to solve their problems,” Howard added. “As each unit comes with its own PLC (programmable logic controller) system it is able to also manage power peaks and troughs as you can often see a winery suddenly jump from 100kW to 2000kW before dropping back to 500kW,” she said. “That puts a real strain on systems not designed to handle it. “Our technology uses ammonia refrigerant, providing superior thermodynamic qualities compared to any other refrigerants. “Our low ammonia charge systems, minimises ammonia on site to very low levels and with water-cooled units the complete ammonia charge is contained entirely within a sealed acoustic enclosure. “There is also an ammonia gas detection system installed to Australian Standards. “That’s a pretty good package with no capital outlay, low cost and no more maintenance and service charges.” Contact: Jannie Howard. Phone: 61 3 9465 0099. Email:

October 2013 – Issue 597

Fast, energy-efficient cold stabilisation According to wine industry consultant Ian Jeffery there are two chilling options on the market which wineries must consider if they are serious about getting the best result at the least cost CHILLING IS THE traditional and most common method of achieving tartrate stability. This article is about two improved cold stabilisation systems achieving the same results as traditional stabilisation – but in a fraction of the time and cost.

DELLA TOFFOLA POLARCRYO This PolarCryo system has wine for cold stabilising entering the system at 20C, being cooled to -5C and exiting as cold stabilised wine at 18C. Wine is cooled from 20C to 2C in the first heat exchanger (HX) by passing against -3C cold stabilised wine (no refrigeration is required in this stage). An automatic metering unit then doses the wine with tartrate crystals before it is cooled from 2C to -5C in a second heat exchanger. The second HX is a scraped surface cooler. Wine then passes through a

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crystalliser and filter and then through the first HX exchanger exiting the unit as 18C cold stabilised wine. The system cools the wine down by 25C – 18C without any refrigeration and 7C with refrigeration. Theoretically, for the specified ‘ambient’ wine temperature the unit achieves a 72 per cent reduction in cold stabilisation energy use.

BURONGA COLD STABILISATION SYSTEM This design has a theoretical reduction in cold stabilisation energy used of 55 per cent. In a Rowland Flat winery the design was for 15C ‘ambient’ wine to enter the HX and exit at 9C. It is cooled in the primary wine to wine HX from 15C to 3C and in two wine/ammonia HXs from 3C to -3.5C. This gives a theoretical reduction in

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energy use for cold stabilisation of 66 per cent. Rowland Flat winemakers requested cold stabilisation that cooled wine to -3.5 C in three days and held it at that temperature a further three days. The system was to be installed in FRIG 4 (113,000 and 227,000 litre fermenter and storage tank area which would cold stabilise 70 per cent of the finished wine). The existing traditional cold stabilising system cooled wine to -2.5C in two days. The proposed design of three heat exchangers (HX) in series was a significant change to traditional cold stabilisation. As with the PolarCryo the Buronga design reduces electrical power costs for cold stabilisation to one third the power cost of traditional cold stabilisation. Contact: Ian Jeffery. Phone: 61 8 8562 2869 or 0418 622 865. Email: robjef@

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Grapegrower & Winemaker



Five times the result for half the size When wineries need to whistle up some urgent overload space during vintage IRS Refrigeration is one of the first numbers they reach for – and this year there is even more good news. Instead of two for the price of one, wineries now have the choice of one instead of two. Because when it comes too refrigerated containers to handle any overload during vintage why go for the traditional fourpallet model when IRS Refrigeration’s new Reefer model can handle up to 20 pallets. For just about the same price as the traditional, lighter load model. And IRS can deliver this new option anywhere in Australia – at any time. IRS managing director Jeff Millar said the new 21’ Palletwide Reefers are designed for maximum cargo load and constructed to meet individual customer requirements. “We have been working in this industry for more than 30 years and this is an outstanding new product on the market,” Millar said. “At the same time we have the best gear for all refrigerated storage environments for all products – and in all conditions,” he said. “That includes modified containers configured to your exact requirements. We will find innovative and cost-effective solutions to every situation. If your perishable products are temperature sensitive at more than 20C or less than -20C then IRS Refrigeration containers will do the job.

“In a nutshell, the Reefer two-pallet wide refrigerated container is designed for a maximum cargo load. “These energy efficient ‘high cubes’ are wider, higher and longer than any other container available.”

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE Millar said whether you need a container for transport or to

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October 2013 – Issue 597


be a blast freezer, or produce ice in-container, IRS has the expertise to make it happen. He said if you need easy access, and extra security after hours is required, IRS will also install the most suitable doors and security. “But since we received our first Palletwide Reefers I have been very excited about their versatility and potential impact in the industry,” Millar added. IRS Refrigeration also provides services for remote locations, including short-term and long-term temperature controlled storage environments, and zone-two refrigerated containers. In addition to refrigerated containers, the company specialises in container sales and hire, container modifications

SPECIFICATIONS: Internal Length Internal Width Internal Height Door Opening Width Door Opening Height Cargo Access Height Cubic Capacity Tare Weight (including machinery) Max Payload

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and site huts. At Edinburgh Parks in SA, IRS Refrigeration recently completed a major expansion project with the design and installation of commercial refrigeration, process rooms and freezer rooms for a large service provider to the mining, and oil and gas industries. Although the winery industry is a major component of its business, the company currently provides services in remote locations to clients in the mining and oil and gas sectors, with installation, repairs and services for refrigeration and

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air-conditioning in camps.

REEFER FEATURES • Proven Carrier Thinline 69NT40 541403 machinery. • Double stacked Deck Beam storage capability with cargo securing devises (load locks). • (500kg even load distribution) Suitable for 1165 x 1165 x 150 pallets x 10. • Heavy duty reinforced T floor to withstand multi fork lift entry, coupled with aluminium scuff linings to side walls to minimise damage.

• Internal safety release to rear cargo door. • Low voltage internal lighting installed. “That’s the other big advantage. By using just one container instead of two there are significant savings in power and transport as well,” he said. “Just look at these specifications to get a feel for what it has to offer you and your business: Contact: Jeff Millar, IRS Refrigeration. Phone: 61 8 8447 8800. Email: jeff.millar@

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Hot diggety dog Winery construction

When De Bortoli Wines decided to go green with its bottling line restructure there was no scrimping on costs and its massive new solar powered project has put it in a class of its own PEOPLE MIGHT BE moaning about the carbon tax – but not at De Bortoli Wines. Already planning a major $10 million restructure of a bottling line and wash down at its Griffith, NSW, winery, De Bortoli was able to access a further $5 million of Federal funding. It was part of Canberra’s Clean Technology Investment Program (Cleantech). Which De Bortoli environment, health and safety manager Lindsay Gullifer said allowed the company to expand its project with a whole-of-business concept to gain significant energy savings. With the project complete the sun is providing the company with 12,000 litres of water heated to 90°C – and is expected to do that for 80 per cent of the year. A secondary project is using photovoltaic (PV) collection to help drive the winery’s electricity needs, particularly in its refrigeration areas. The Apricus hot water system covers 400 square metres of roof above the bottling line and is the largest solar thermal installation in the Australasian wine industry. Apricus com mercial/tech nical

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manager Bryan Moss said his company’s solar collector converts the sun’s energy into heat as opposed to PV panels which covert the sun’s energy into electricity. Moss said the evacuated tubes above the bottling line absorb the sun’s energy and the heat inside the evacuated tube is carried via copper pipes to the insulated manifold, which contains a copper heat exchanger. “An electronic controller measures the temperature of water in the manifold and compares it to the water in the bottom of the storage tank,” Moss said. “If the manifold temperature is higher, the controller switches on a circulation pump which brings the solar heated water back down to the storage tank,” he said. “Throughout the day, the controller switches the pump on and off to continuously heat water in the storage tank.” Moss said the project was seen as an opportunity to not only increase efficiency of the production line, but also design the new plant with energy efficiency in mind. This included wall and ceiling

At a glance: • The solar project is providing the company with 12,000 litres of water heated to 90C – and is expected to do that for 80 per cent of the year. • Its hot water system covers 400 square metres of roof and is the largest solar thermal operation in the Australasian wine industry. A secondary project is using photovoltaic (PV) collection to help drive the winery’s electricity needs. • The project was seen as an opportunity to not only increase efficiency of the production line, but also design the new plant with energy efficiency in mind. • The extended $15 million program – which should pay for itself in seven years – covers changes to filtration, power factor correction, solar hot water and PV, lighting upgrades and upgrading the packaging area.

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insulation, high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning, condensing boilers, a 230kw photovoltaic solar system and the 200kw Apricus solar thermal plant. De Bortoli’s state-of-the-art solar thermal system has 3000 Apricus evacuated tubes to preheat the condensing boilers to dramatically reduce their gas consumption. Moss said the Apricus evacuated tubes were a perfect fit for this site because of their built-in frost protection (-15C rating without glycol) and high temperature performance. “The collectors have also been mounted on a 37° pitch to maximise solar performance during the winter months,” Moss added. “After commissioning, the system was powered on from 8am with a starting water temperature of 20°C,” he said. “The system achieved 12,000 litres of storage at a temperature of 71°C by 3.30pm. “And that was on a day when the ambient temperatures only ranged between 10.9°C and 19.9°C so you can imagine how efficient this will be come summer.” De Bortoli’s Gullifer said the driving force behind the original project was to install a bottling line that was efficient and modern. Gullifer said the aim was to replace one of the current lines that was at its use-by date and the extended $15 million program – which is expected to pay for itself within seven years – covers changes to filtration, power factor correction, solar hot water and PV, lighting upgrades and upgrading the packaging area. He said while the switch to solar hot water and PV does not impact through an increase in production it has allowed De Bortoli to utilise energy from the sun to replace non-renewable resources. “The use of both these technologies

should seriously decrease power and gas usage but there was a fair bit involved to get the job done,” Gullifer said. “To install the PV and hot water required some engineering work and strengthening of the sheds on which it was to be installed,” he said. “One shed was sufficiently strong the other required some fairly significant additions of braces, which was only achieved after some very colourful language on the part of the engineering crew doing the actual work. “De Bortoli has a number of transformers on its site and an analysis of power usage for each showed where we would get more bang for our bucks in lowering energy usage.

Gullifer said the installation of the new bottling line and hi-tech power equipment will ensure the customer is receiving a product produced and packaged “at the highest standard we can achieve”. “This water will be used to wash our packaging equipment and while we do not yet have any firm numbers on real savings that will be carried out over the next 15 months to allow us to evaluate the systems installed and report to Cleantech.” Contact: Bryan Moss, Apricus Australia. Phone: 0424 797 085. Email: Website: w

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Grapegrower & Winemaker



Tellurian goes the whole hog The family-owned vineyard in the Heathcote region got the vines in, got the business going and now has completed the package with its architecturally-designed winery which is already-proving its value. TELLURIAN WINES AT Heathcote, Victoria, got a few vintages under the belt before the Hopkins family decided to go the whole hog and construct a state-of-the-art winery. With the first vines only going in during 2002 and building up to today’s 22ha Tellurian general manager Daniel Hopkins said they had a bit of time up their sleeves to work out what they really wanted. And yes, he admitted there were “a few bells and whistles” in the new winery but the focus was still on a design and construction that would be there for the long haul. It might be their first winery but it was just as much a first for Melbourne-based architect Ermin Smrekar’s business e+ architecture.

The winery is … a great combination of technology and design, with some of the more traditional winemaking practices

He brought his more than 50-years of experience to the commission – along with his reputation for approaching every job with a strong commercial attitude and awareness. “My underlying philosophy and design approach is founded on the basis architecture must not only be functional but must also be admired and enjoyed,” Smrekar said. Hopkins said clearly the architect enjoyed his first winery because he is already working on his second. “Our winery was several years in the planning but once we

got going it started in August 2011 and was up and running in February 2012 in time for vintage,” Hopkins said. “The core of our 100-tonne crush capacity is our three 5000-litre French oak fermenters and six stainless steel lined concrete fermenters,” he said. “We used the first of those in the 2012 vintage and are just in the process of finalising the others for 2014. “We just wanted to see how they would work and have been very happy with the outcome.”

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On the job: Tellurian Wines founder Ian Hopkins on the job in the winery. It’s come a long way since the first vines were planted just 11 years ago.

Hopkins said their choice of a ‘rookie’ architect (by winery standards anyway) was made a lot easier because his father Ian, who founded Tellurian, works in the building industry as an engineer so he knew Smrekar’s work and liked it. “Ermin was keen to roll his sleeves up with our project and dad really knew his work in the commercial space and had a high opinion of him so between them we came up with the great facility we have today.” “The winery is located at the entrance to our Tranter Rd vineyard, on the western slopes of the Mt Camel Range, and is a great combination of technology and design, with some of the more traditional winemaking practices,” Hopkins added. “Tellurian Wines vineyards overlook the township of Toolleen and our original vineyard was planted in 2002 with 7.7ha of Shiraz vines,” he said. “The ancient 500-million-year-old Cambrian soils of the Heathcote region, combined with viticultural practices which focus on optimising fruit quality from each vine, provide the base building blocks for our wines. “We also work closely with the Touhey family vineyard on the eastern side of Mt Camel who grow Shiraz grapes which are blended with fruit from our estate vineyard for the Tellurian Heathcote Pastiche Shiraz. Grapes for our Viognier, Marsanne, Grenache and Mourvedre are sourced from selected vineyards in close proximity to Toolleen and we work closely with these growers to ensure vineyard management and harvesting practices yield optimum quality fruit for each of the wines.” Contact: Daniel Hopkins. Phone: 61 (0) 431 004 766. Email:

ITS NO SECRET... ENERGY COSTS ARE RISING There is no better time to research innovative ways to save money in your home or business. Apricus specialise in providing high quality, high efficiency hot water solutions for all domestic, commercial and industrial applications. Demand Quality. Demand Performance. Demand Apricus.

DE BORTOLI NOW LOVING THE SUN WITH APRICUS De Bortoli’s state of the art solar thermal system utilises 3,000 Apricus evacuated tubes to preheat the condensing boilers to dramatically reduce their gas consumption. The installation is located in Bilbul, NSW and is the largest solar thermal plant on a winery in Australasia. After commissioning, the system was powered on from 8am with a starting water temperature of 20°C. The system achieved 12,000 litres of storage at a temperature of 71°C by 3.30pm. Ambient temperatures were 10.9°C - 19.9°C. Find out more and view photo gallery on the Apricus Australia website.

Get a free quote today by visiting: or calling 1300 277 428

October 2013 – Issue 597

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Sun technology reigns at De Bortoli

It’s one thing to switch to solar power but quite another to make sure the technology and the link to the grid save you money instead of becoming a financial burden. DE BORTOLI WINES’ Griffith, NSW, winery is now home to the largest solar photovoltaic generator at an Australian winery. The 230 kiloWatt solar PV array, completed last month, is a big step forward for the solar industry. Solar Project’s David Buetefuer said unlike the domestic market, commercialscale solar is relatively undeveloped in Australia. But he said increasingly his company is finding the wine and food production sector are demanding durable, quality turnkey solutions to reduce their power costs over the long term. “Designing an industrial grade solution means more than 95 per cent of the solar panels and a large portion of the balance of electrical system available in the Australian market doesn’t meet our quality baseline for consideration,” Buetefuer said. “For these winery projects, each client has chosen to invest a little extra in up-front capital costs to ensure their project is designed and project-managed correctly and components have been

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selected to maximise their long term returns,” he said. Buetefuer also warned anyone looking at solar photovolataics have to also be cautious.

COSTLY MISTAKES He said there are many cases in some power networks in Australia where small commercial energy users have ended up worse off after installing solar panels. “You really need to know the regulations that govern connections,” Buetefuer added. “It’s worth being picky about who delivers your project, the advice they provide and the components they supply. “Many solar suppliers today are simply sales machines with no appreciation of the complexities of project management and engineering /technical expertise. “Some electricity users who are unlucky and don’t ask the right questions can end up on a detrimental tariff structure, negating the investment in solar panels, or even resulting in a higher electricity bill. “We’re happy to provide expert

advice to Australian grapegrowers and winemakers considering solar, particularly regarding how the distribution network will treat them after solar has been installed.” As part of the official commissioning of de Bortoli Wines solar array on October 17, a cluster meeting will also take place in the morning for local wineries and other businesses looking at becoming more sustainable. It will be headed by Jo Polkinghorne, facilitator for Sustainable Advantage in NSW. The Solar Project will also host an event in the afternoon for larger consumers of power (300Mw+ or annual power bill of more than $120,000). The Solar Project has also recently completed a similar sized project at d’Arenberg winery in McLaren Vale, and is due to construct another 200kW facility for another SA winery before the year is out. Contact: David Buetefuer. Phone: 0426 830 607. Email: david@thesolarproject.

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sales & marketing Glass provides a window on the future In the wine bottle industry recycling is king and Stephanie Timotheou reports as the technology improves so does the percentage of cullet being used in the new generation of environmentally friendly, lightweight bottles. WHEN YOU ARE producing 1.4 million glass containers a day, five days a week, recycling Bottling, suddenly becomes very big – and very serious – business. labelling & In just two years O-I’s South Australian packaging plant at West Croydon ‘rescued’ a staggering 380,000 tonnes of waste glass – known as cullet – from landfill. And most of it has finished up in Australia’s wine industry. O-I Australia’s spokesperson Simone Stella said postconsumer cullet accounted for 26 per cent of total Australian sales – but including internal cullet this figure shot up to 44 per cent. “It is possible to use higher percentages of cullet in the production of glass packaging and where contaminant-free cullet is available at reasonably competitive prices,” she said. “And we’re committed to recycling it.” Stella said using cullet leads to significant environmental benefits, including the reduction of energy-use and CO2 emissions. “Every 10 per cent of recycled glass used in production cuts carbon emissions by about 5 per cent and reduces energy use around 3 per cent,” she added.

At a glance: • In two years O-I’s South Australian plant ‘rescued’ a staggering 380,000 tonnes of waste glass – known as cullet – from landfill. • Every 10 per cent of recycled glass used in production cuts carbon emissions by about 5 per cent and reduces energy use around 3 per cent. • One company is working to cut energy consumption 50 per cent, reduce CO2 emissions 65 per cent and achieve 60 per cent recycled content in containers globally. • Seven bottles 18 to 30 per cent lighter than their predecessors have been adopted by more than 75 Australian brands. “It also reduces the amount of raw materials – including sand, limestone and soda ash – which must be extracted, transported and used in production.” US-based Owens-Illinois (O-I) and French-based Saverglass, are constantly implementing strategies to eliminate their carbon footprint.

Graphic Language DESIGN

Is your brand working for you? Need a new private label? Exporting wine to China, USA or EU? We have vast experience in tailoring brands to suit the target market. Let us help boost your profit margins with effective, memorable label design. Call us or visit our new studio, we’d love to talk to you! Tel +61 8 8232 3577.

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sales & marketing

RAISING PERCENTAGES According to Wines and Vines, recycling is an integral part of the glassmanufacturing process and at Global Package LLC in Napa, California, an estimated 30-50 per cent of every wine bottle has been recycled. “Using 2007 as a baseline, our 10-year

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goals include cutting energy consumption by 50 per cent, reducing total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 65 per cent and achieving 60 per cent recycled content in containers globally,” Stella said. During 2011/2012, O-I Australia implemented 10 energy-saving projects focused on compressed air utilisation, lighting, combustion efficiency and furnace efficiency. These projects resulted in enough energy savings to power around 590 Adelaide homes for one year. She said packaging design is another key component of O-I’s overall commitment to product stewardship. “O-I Australia’s container design, innovation, new product development and total packaging solutions team understands the impact of design on product stewardship and has been using it to enhance environmental outcomes for more than a decade,” Stella added. “Every year we review our product portfolio for design, size and lightweighting improvements. “Light-weighting glass has been aggressively pursued and in the last financial year 10 projects focusing on light-weighting were successfully completed.”

The reduction in packaging has led to savings in CO2, water, energy use and transportation.

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LEAN, GREEN AND LIGHTWEIGHT Almost 145 million containers were subsequently light-weighted and a reduction of almost 3000 tonnes of glass packaging achieved. With its continued support for ecofriendly practices, O-I launched its Lean+Green wine bottle range in 2009. This includes seven products between 18 to 30 per cent lighter than their predecessors and since its launch the product has been adopted by more than 75 Australian brands. “The reduction in packaging has led to savings in CO2, water, energy use and transportation,” Stella said. O-I North American vice president of wine sales Sean Gallagher said every kilogram of cullet used in its manufacturing process replaces 1.2kg of raw materials which would need to be extracted from the earth. International manufacturer Saverglass, with its head office in Adelaide, has also jumped onto the eco-friendly bandwagon with its release of Eco-Design in 2010. The range includes bottles for wines and spirits with relatively lightweight glass while maintaining the requirement for design quality. Saverglass US president Franck Collet told Wines and Vines the company is

reducing its environmental impact and its use of natural resources in more than one way. “As additional eco-friendly decisions, we’ve installed rainwater-recovery tanks to reduce the consumption of drinking water and are saving energy by using

regenerators in our furnaces,” he said. “We are also reducing air emissions with low-NOx burners, have installed electro-filters and are having a gradual changeover to natural gas.” Contact: O-I Australia. Phone: +61 3 9236 2488. Email:

FAQ: Where can I find someone to buy my grapes?

VISIT • Select the option “Brokers (Grape) & Grape Sales” from the Buyers’ Guide categories listed to view companies that offer these services

LOOK in your 2013 Wine Industry Directory from page 409 to find “Brokers (Grape) & Grape Sales”


October 2013 – Issue 597

VISIT • Easily locate wineries that are using selected Varieties in their production • Scroll down to “Variety” search option, select the variety you are trying to sell and hit the search button • Refine your search further by adding “State”, “Zone” and/or “Region” options to your search REmEmBER to login first so that you can access the Australian Wineries Advanced Search* *Australian Wineries Advanced Search available only to those who have purchased the Wine Industry Directory (purchase includes annual subscription to WID Online)

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

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sales & marketing label design


Gotta be hip Scott Richmond is a designer at Percept Brand Design; a Sydney based agency offering high quality visual communications from corporate to brand design. Scott studied at St. George Design Centre in Sydney and has worked in the industry both internationally and locally for a number of years. He has been part of the Percept team since 2009 and was the lead designer of the Hippie wine label project, produced for WA’s VinPro Wines.

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 us, design is the art of creating a visual aesthetic for the purpose of telling a story. Helping our clients bring their story and brand message to their audience is both challenging and rewarding. The variation between clients and industries makes every day interesting. In particular, principles of applying design to a 3D format of packaging and seeing it come to life on shelf is extremely rewarding. What was the inspiration or key branding message behind this particular wine label?

The brief behind the Hippie wine range

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was to create a brand that would appeal to the baby boomer market. The goal was to create a product range that had personality whilst retaining a trustworthy quality. The name Hippie creates a sense of fun and energy. This inspired us to create a range of images that are vibrant and iconic to the ’60s and ’70s. The vector graphics are balanced with a hand-drawn logotype and crafted typography. This blend of graphic and type, tied together with the production techniques gives the labels a modern approach that has great ‘shelf shout’. What are the technical specs used in the production of the label, i.e. printing technique, process and colours?

The label was produced on a matt stock, printed in CMYK plus spot with a raised varnish. The varnish on the main graphic and typography give the design punch. The combination of matt stock with the gloss of the raised varnish adds to the sensory experience of the brand in touch and sight, adding an extra dimension to the labels. The split label further enhances the label to give it a premium and specialised feel.

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

There has been a strong trend to break from the ‘traditional’ wine labels and in the past years we have seen an introduction of brighter colours and graphics to appeal to a wider audience. Socially, wine has gained a wider appeal across a range of demographics, expanding the market and creating the opportunity for a diverse range of label styles. To what extent do countries respond differently to labels and/or wine marketing images?

There are a range of different things to consider when developing wine labels or any brand in different markets. Social, cultural and current trends all have an influence. We have seen an emerging trend for ‘Australian’ looking products in the overseas market to gain the perception of a premium quality product.

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?

In a saturated market, having the right ‘shelf shout’ that appeals to the target is really important. The brand and label design needs to speak to the intended audience and represent its price point. For example a classic wine with a higher price point may choose to use a simplified sophisticated design to appeal to a particular category.

Gaining ‘shelf shout’ is important, as well as speaking to the right audience. For example, the Hippie range evokes emotion in the customer – the bright punch of colour jumps out off the shelf which is testament to its success. Contact: Scott Richmond. Phone: 61 2 9544 3200. Email: scott@

October 2013 – Issue 597

New technology is a corker In the metal corner is Screwcap – the undisputed heavyweight champion of the closure industry. In the challenger’s corner is the former champion Cork, taking the first steps in what would be the mother of all comebacks.

At a glance: • Haselgrove said it was seeking the best closures to allow its wines to age gracefully in bottle and be pure-flavoured and expressive when opened. • Its cork decision has been partly pragmatic and partly technical. The company says it is listening to the market and delivering quality wine in the required packaging. • China is a fair part of Haselgrove’s growth business and cork in that market is simply a requirement. • According to a 2011 survey by Tragon Corp, 93 per cent of US wine drinkers believe cork conveys an image of quality.

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BESIEGED BY SCREWCAPS for years, cork is staging something of a comeback in the Australian wine industry – as the benchmark for premium labels. The latest to make the switch is McLaren Vale’s Haselgrove. And it is being driven by demand from China, one of its key export markets. Haselgrove specialises in small-batch wines designed to reflect individual terroirs, wines the company’s chief executive officer Ryan Kinghorn describes as “premium” (the top bottlings sell for $A100 on the domestic market). Kinghorn said his company’s wines “need the very best closures that will allow them to age gracefully in bottle and be pure-flavoured and expressive when they are opened”. Haselgrove had been using screwcaps for all its wines. But now it has turned to Amorim and

its corks for many of those wines. Why the switch? Because China is an increasingly large market for Haselgrove, and China has made it clear that it prefers cork.

PREMIUM POSITION To use any other closure Kinghorn said “would not position my product as a premium wine in that market” He agreed the move has been “partly a pragmatic decision, partly a technical one”. “I believe in listening to the market and delivering quality wine in the required packaging,” he said. “China is a fair part of our growth business and cork in that market is simply a requirement. “Haselgrove sells wine, not closures, and what a market demands I supply. Trying to educate the Chinese, for

Grapegrower & Winemaker


sales & marketing example, to use screwcaps, is not problem I need or a fight I need to pick. “Globally all the top end stuff is corked and even our research tells us the perception is cork means quality. “We are battling France for business, they undercut us in price, they produce beautiful wines and it is all under cork.” Kinghorn said he had also been encouraged by Amorim’s focus on innovation, and the rise in cork quality in recent years. “The quality of corks produced today far exceeds what was available in the past. “We believe Amorim is the leader in innovation in quality improvement, so we are confident using cork, not only for export markets, but also for our domestic reds.” Amorim’s Adelaide-based national sales and marketing manager Tim Stead said Kinghorn came to him to get a comprehensive understanding of what progress had been achieved in cork.

MARKET RESEARCH Stead said it was largely due to market research and consumer feedback Kinghorn believed Haselgrove needed to transition back into cork. “However, he also needed some reassurance this would not inadvertently create other problems for their products,” Stead said. “Haselgrove Wines ended up distributing all their products to China under cork and also released a series of domestic products under cork,” he said. “Now after 18 months or so in bottle, Haselgrove is convinced switching to cork was the right move for these products. “And we believe they plan to broaden their use of cork in the future.” Stead said Haselgrove uses a mix of Amorim Twin Tops and Natural Wine Corks for China exports and high grade natural wine corks for premium domestic reds, Amorim sparkling cork for its sparkling range and new 750mL Jachmanns Apple Cider and an embossed Amorim Top Series stopper cork completed the packaging of their limited release vintage port.

Technology changes everything THE PAST 15 years have seen revolutionary changes in the cork industry. Just like any modern manufacturing industry, each step of the production chain has been optimised to ensure efficiency and accuracy. From robotic production lines to digital scanning sorting machines, there has been little expense spared. An endless cycle of critical quality checkpoints using state-of-the-art equipment, sophisticated laboratories, high-speed cameras and laser-accurate detectors each serve a vital role in meeting the decreasing tolerances of the wine industry. Tim Stead said Amorim alone injects $A8.6 million each year into product research and development. The outcomes of which he said have been significant discoveries in what we know about cork and its relationships with wine, “The release of data and new technologies for the improvement of the industry at large, and the launch of multiple new, ground-breaking products further enhance the relationship between wine and cork,” Stead said. “The advances don’t just stop at the factories. “This year Amorim’s Top Series stopper unit released a series of sales and marketing tools accessible online and via iPhone and Android apps. “Which allow packaging decision makers to conceptualise and personalise their own stopper cork using 3D rotating imagery for an extensive range of cap materials including wood, plastic, glass and metal in all sizes and shapes. “Yes, the cork industry receives criticism about being ‘ancient’. “While we don’t apologise for using a raw material that literally grows on trees and has been harvested sustainably for centuries, we do dispute the notion the cork industry is stuck in the past. “We are very much a dynamic industry with our eye on the future and our investments and actions show this. “And, as the only truly sustainable closure on the market, we believe a strong cork industry is in everyone’s best interest.” Contact: Tim Stead, Amorim. Phone: 0408 800 206. Email: tim.stead@amorimcork.

Winebiz online Buyers’ Guide Equipment, Supplies & Services for the wine & grape industry 100 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597

Haselgrove’s decision is the latest in a noticeable trend from screwcaps back to the tradition of cork. And not just in Australia. In New Zealand, where winemakers are more devoted to screwcaps than anywhere, Sacred Hill in Gimblett Gravels has returned to cork for its Special Selection range.

AGEING THE KEY For winemaker Tony Bish it’s the suitability of cork for wines made for long ageing that is the key. He was also another winemaker acknowledging the significant increase in cork quality in the past decade. An increase which, for him, was the deal clincher. Amorim’s Adelaide-based national sales and marketing manager Tim Stead said Klein Constantia in South Africa returned to cork for its 2010 Perdeblokke Sauvignon Blanc, having bottled the wine under screwcap from 2006-09. Stead said the winery’s premium Sauvignon Blanc, was aged on the lees for around 10 months and then-winemaker Adam Mason disliked the “slight whiff of sulphide” he got on opening it under screwcap. “He argued ‘changing the winemaking

to suit the closure was letting the tail wag the dog’,” Stead said. “Mason told the winery ‘by bottling under screwcap, we lowered the quality of the wine’.” Cape Point, which turned to screwcap in 2010, has also returned to cork, as has

Napa Valley’s Rutherford Hill, which cited both technical and environmental reasons for its decision. “Nothing ages wine better than real cork,’ winemaker Steve Rued said. “And as a sustainable winery, cork is the natural choice for Rutherford.”

FAQ: Who will help me sell my wine? VISIT • Select the option “Brokers (Wine) & Wine Sales” from the Buyers’ Guide categories listed to view companies that offer these services VISIT • Click “List all »” to view all Distributors • Refine your search by adding “State/Country” and/or “Agencies” (brand names the distributor currently handles) RememBeR to login first so that you can access Distributors*

LOOK in your 2013 Wine Industry Directory from page 409 to find “Brokers (Wine) & Wine Sales”, from page 533 to find “Distributors” and from page 541 to find “Retailers”


October 2013 – Issue 597

VISIT • Click “List all »” to view all Retailers • Refine your search by adding “State/Country” and by flagging “Accepts samples?” (send samples to wine buyer/address listed) RememBeR to login first so that you can access Retailers* *Distributors and Retailers available only to those who have purchased the Wine Industry Directory (purchase includes annual subscription to WID Online)

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

Grapegrower & Winemaker


sales & marketing ‘SWEATING WINES’ In Australia, Barossa Valley-based Rusden Wines has turned its back on five years of screwcap trials and decided it will use cork for all its wines in future. Winemaker Christian Canute said “it has become clear cork is best for our wines”. “Our wines are handmade; and bottled without fining or filtration. Under screwcap I have noticed the wines ‘sweat’, producing overly dominant, reductive characters; a problem we have never had under cork.” Sommeliers confirmed, Canute said, the wine under screwcap was reductive and also had a lot of bottle variation. Canute said he saw Rusden losing customers because of these problems, and when further laboratory analysis confirmed screwcap was the cause – and when the entire 2009 vintage of Rusden Driftsand Grenache/Shiraz was affected – he made the switch. Stead said in China, estimates suggest nearly 100 per cent of wine-drinkers believe screwcapped wine looks cheaper and less desirable for gift-giving. “And according to a 2011 survey by Tragon Corp, 93 per cent of US wine drinkers believe cork conveys an image of quality,” Stead said. In Europe, France, Spain and Italy and the most demanding cork countries. Contact: Ryan Kinghorn, Haselgrove. Phone: (08) 8323 8706. Email:

In China estimates suggest nearly 100 per cent of wine drinkers believe screwcapped wine looks cheaper and less desirable for gift-giving

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102 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597

business & technology Holy ship. Look how much wine we import from those Kiwis Wine Australia’s wine sector intelligence manager Peter Bailey writes that even as the local wine industry battles to consolidate its production and marketing as a nation we last year imported a whopping 85 million litres.

At a glance: • Australia imported 85 million litres of wine in 2012-13 which represented around 16 per cent of our total wine sales. • The imported share is up 400 per cent in a decade but the rate of growth is now slowing dramatically, down to just 2 per cent in the 201213 financial year. • The absolute volume growth in imports in the current year of 1.7 million litres was the lowest since 2003-04.

THE IMPORTED WINE category continues to play a significant role in the wine market in Australia. In recent years Australians have embraced wines from around the world – most significantly Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. This article takes a closer look at the imported wine category by examining the growth in the sector, the main wine styles, container types, and the key importer countries. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we imported 85 million litres of wine in 2012-13. This represented around 16 per cent of total wine sales in Australia. While the imported share is four times what it was a decade ago, the rate of growth in imports in the current year of just 2 per cent was considerably lower than the compound average

annual growth rate of 17 per cent over the previous 10 years. Furthermore, the absolute volume growth in imports in the current year of 1.7 million litres was the lowest since 2003-04 and only a fraction the 16 million litres growth achieved in the previous year. White wine is clearly the major imported wine style with a two-thirds share of all wine imported by Australia in 2012-13. Reds accounted for an 18 per cent share with sparkling wine at 14 per cent while other styles such as fortified wine accounted for the remaining 2 per cent. While white wine was the driver of much of the growth in imports during the past decade, the volume of white imports declined 3 per cent to 56 million litres in 2012-13 (see figure 2). This was the first decline since 200001.

90 23% 80


Volume change in current year % = rate of change in current year Compound annual growth rate from 2001-02 to 2011-12 = 18% 17%




Volume (million litres)

60 54% 50


26% 22%








0 2001-02












Figure 1: Volume of wine imported by Australia over time. Source: ABS.

104 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597

Chile 1%

Germany 1%

60 50 Volume change in 2012-13

30 20



10 0


-3% -10

White wine

Red wine

Sparkling wine

Fotified and other wine

Figure 2: Volume of wine imported by Australia by wine style, 2012-13. Source: ABS.

9 million litres, a 10 per cent share. French imports were predominantly sparkling wine (a 48 per cent share), with smaller shares of red wine (31 per cent) and white wine (18 per cent). In contrast, red wine was the leading Italian wine style (with a 39 per cent share), followed by sparkling wine (31 per cent) and white wine (26 per cent). The only other source countries to exceed 1 million litres were South Africa (3 million litres) and Spain (2 million litres). South African imports were primarily

Argentina 1% Portugal 1%

South Africa 4%

% rate of change in 2012-13

40 Volume (million litres)

More than offsetting the decline in white wine imports were increases in sparkling and red wine imports. Sparkling wine imports increased 18 per cent to 12 million litres and red wine imports increased by 12 per cent to 15 million litres. Just over 80 per cent of wine imports were in glass bottles and around 20 per cent were shipped in bulk and other containers. Bottled wine imports grew by 6 per cent to 69 million litres, offsetting a 13 per cent decline in wine shipped in bulk and other containers to 16 million litres. While all red wine imports were in glass bottles, only 72 per cent of white wine was with the other 28 per cent in bulk and other containers. New Zealand continues to be the major source of imported wine in Australia, well ahead of France and Italy (see figure 3). In 2012-13, Australia imported 51 million litres of wine from New Zealand, representing a 60 per cent share of total imports. However, imports from New Zealand decreased by 7 per cent, the first decline after growing for 11 consecutive years. The New Zealand share of imports has fallen from a peak of 69 per cent recorded in 2009-10. Not surprisingly, 90 per cent of New Zealand imports were white wine. Imports from France increased by 25 per cent to 14 million litres and accounted for a 17 per cent share. Italian imports grew by 24 per cent to

white wine (82 per cent) while in contrast Spanish imports were mainly red wine (70 per cent). While imports have grown significantly over the last decade, the market share of imports in Australia is relatively low compared to some other major wine producing countries. For example, imports account for 25 per cent of the wine market in France, 35 per cent in New Zealand, 43 per cent in the US and 73 per cent in Germany. Contact: Peter Bailey. Email: peter.

Other 2%

Spain 3%

Italy 10%

France 17%

New Zealand 60%

Figure 3: Major sources of the volume of wine imported by Australia, 2012-13 October 2013 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Issue 597

Grapegrower & Winemaker


business & technology

Plan for heat damage in transit and storage – or pay the price The Australian summer is wine’s toughest time when it comes to shipping and storage as temperatures soar and Stephanie Timotheou writes years of hard work is potentially at risk W e a t h e r show forecasts summer is only weeks away – and the mercury is already rising fast. Which means wine in transit and storage is

At a glance: • Distributors around the nation have also implemented strategies using state-of-the-art equipment to ensure wine is delivered to consumers in the best possible condition. • The latest technology has the ability to monitor the temperature of wines during transit and storage – from producer to consumer. • Pallet volumes are stored between 15C and 17C year round in temperature-controlled warehouses, the ideal level for optimum storage. • While small shifts in temperature will not affect wine, it was likely large spikes or drops could cause the product’s quality to decrease.

Transport & freight

wine at risk. And not just for people accidentally leaving a few bottles in the back of the car as it converts to an oven in the driveway or car park. It is also a significant, and annual, concern for distributors and cellar doors. Those few wineries bold enough to tackle the extremes of the NT – where temperature is rarely below 30C – must be Australia’s most cautious when storing wines. But distributors around the nation have also implemented strategies using

state-of-the-art equipment to ensure wine is delivered to consumers in the best possible condition. The latest eProvenance technology has the ability to monitor the temperature of wines during transit and storage – from producer to consumer. eProvenance chief executive officer Eric Vogt said when wine is exposed to high temperatures for extended periods chemical reactions begin to degrade colour, aroma and ageing ability. His company’s website claims “transporters generally don’t provide end-to-end temperature controlled conditions”.

EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT Vogt said eProvenance could help manage the temperature of vehicles in an effective way.


The Chemical Engineering of Sustainable Winemaking Course leader: Roger Boulton

This 3-day course covers the application of chemical engineering principles to the effective production of high value wines and the design and operation of sustainable wineries, in an era of reduced water availability. The course is designed to give winery managers, winery engineers, winemakers and those involved in the development of new and existing wineries, examples of emerging & applied technological developments, and the engineering basis of their design and operation. Contact: Julie Mattingley Program Coordinator T: +61 3 9810 3248 E: Apply online: winemaking/ 106 Grapegrower & Winemaker

• Searchable • Easy to use • Wine industry personnel ONLINE PHONEBOOK VISIT to Access* *Wine Industry Personnel Phonebook available only to those who have purchased the Wine Industry Directory (purchase includes annual subscription to WID Online) Published by:


To order your copy: Phone: +618 8369 9509 Email: Visit:

October 2013 – Issue 597

The Wine Advocate Robert Parker agreed eProvenance had a proven technology solution to help rectify the Peace of mind: Kent Brown said his company monitors all vehicles and pallets with data units to measure pallet temperature externally and internally.

industry-wide problem “This huge step forward in the conservation and protection of wine needs to be adopted by all purveyors of fine wine at every level - from the winery to the broker, the importer to the wholesaler and of course to the retailer,” Parker said in his bi-monthly newsletter. WineWorks Australia general manager Kent Brown said the Adelaide-based distributor keeps wine stored between 15C and 17C year round in temperature-controlled warehouses. “This is the optimum climate for wine stored at such large volumes and obviously changes as people store single bottles in cellars,” Brown said. “The pallet volumes we store at a major facility for the SA wine industry serves to ensure the wine is kept in the best condition possible.” For local and interstate transportation a mix of ambient and refrigerated vehicles are used, however this is dependent on how long the product is in transit as well as weather conditions. To maintain product’s quality, WineWorks monitors all vehicles and pallets with data units to measure pallet temperature externally and internally. “In the 10 years we have been moving wine for the industry, we have never had a complaint or issue in regards to the wine spoiling or being adversely effected by temperature,” Brown said. “We only use express transport and ensure the vehicles are constantly moving and not parked or exposed to the vagaries of the weather.”

TEMPERATURE SPIKES While small shifts in temperature will not affect the wine, Brown said it was likely large spikes or drops could cause the product’s quality to decrease. “It could even affect the balance of the wine which the winemaker worked so hard to achieve, not giving the consumer a true reflection of what he and his team were attempting to do.” This is mainly the result of poor storage conditions, Brown added. “In the peak of summer where it can reach 50C in some parts of Australia before plunging to 20C degrees overnight – this is where the wine has a high chance of spoilage.” Although distributors are tackling the issue on a much larger scale, wineries in the warmer regions are also taking action to protect its wine. Red Centre Wines – 180km north of Alice Springs – is one of the few wineries operating in the NT. Owners John and Shirley Crayford are extremely cautious when it comes to protecting their wines from heat damage. This is essential, considering the state is too hot, dry and tropical for serious viticulture and winemaking.

RED HOT RED CENTRE John and Shirley established Red Centre Wines and Red Centre Farm in 1988 and store their wine in temperature controlled rooms at 18 to 22C. “You simply can’t store wine at room temperature in the Northern Territory because it’ll go off before you know it,” he said. “I’ve been making wine for 25 years and protecting your wine October 2013 – Issue 597

Hot topic: Kent Brown, in his warehouse, says his company WineWorks monitors temperature around the clock to ensure no product is damaged by excessive heat, or heat spikes.

from heat damage has proven to be a very important thing.” John said wineries and vineyards must also ensure their overseas exporters have preventative measures in place for heat damage. “People have to make sure their wine is being taken care of, especially when it comes to international exports,” he said. “When wine is left in the heat for long periods of time, it cooks, therefore changing its taste, aroma and colour. “Unfortunately this is something you can’t control when dealing with overseas exporters and if people drink your wine which has been left in the heat, it automatically gives you a bad reputation. “This is why it is so important to know who you are dealing with and how they transport your wine.” The winery, located in Ti Tree, previously had a small planting of Shiraz, Ruby Cabernet, Riesling and Chardonnay however John pulled the vines out 12 years ago. He said growing these grape varieties were not viable and now, the winery’s main focus is on mango wines. Contact: WineWorks Australia. Phone: +61 8 8382 8882. Email:

Our core services include:

• National logistics service • Warehousing, including pick/pack, inventory management, container destuff and kitting • Temperature controlled storage environments in Victoria and Queensland • Metropolitan & Regional chain and on premise/retail delivery • RF based warehouse management software

Grapegrower & Winemaker


business & technology

Where there’s wine to be moved there’s always a way to work it out WineWorks is all about getting wine from point A to point B in peak condition whether it’s to the next city, the next state or around the world. In just nine years WineWorks has established itself as the premium logistics and warehousing provider to the SA wine industry. General manager Kent Brown said its temperature controlled warehouses are the ideal year round facility for wine storage. He said WineWorks is not just about being a service provider, the business is focused on being “an integrated business partner”. “And that means we are dedicated to delivering great service and cost savings through modernised processes and providing solutions to problems,” Brown said. “With our extensive experience across all fields of logistics and warehousing it enables us to work with our clients to develop best-fit solutions for their

businesses,” Brown said. “Our common goal is to get their products to their destination in the same condition their winemakers intended,” he said. Warehouse manager Paul Bickley agreed saying with its express transport to all states WineWorks ensures a client’s product is not just in the market when it needs to be, it gets there in the best condition. “WineWorks can provide storage solutions for your wine in our premium temperature controlled warehouses,” Bickley said. “Those warehouses are optimised to sit within the 15-20C range all year round,” he added. “We cater for both high turnover and long-term storage, designed to enable our clients to store their wine in the ideal conditions with a cost saving.

“Our premises are secure and monitored 24/7 with updated security software, cameras and alarms to guarantee the safety of your year’s hard work. “With experienced and industrytrained warehouse staff WineWorks will ensure your products are well looked after.” Wi neWork s log ist ics a nd administration manager Simon Beard said the company offers a choice of “costcompetitive freight in both ambient and refrigerated vehicles” to meet client needs. “We ensure your product is in the market when it needs to be and in the best condition,” Beard said. Contact: Kayla Hall. Phone: 61 8 8382 8882. Email: au.

WE TAKE CARE OF YOUR PRECIOUS WINE WAREHOUSING • Premium storage - Temperature controlled & 24/7 monitored security.

REWORK • Labelling for export, repacking, over stickering, wax caps.

TRANSPORT • Premium express transport services in ambient & refrigerated vehicles. • Online transport & stock management system.

EXPORT • Insulated container packing service. P +61 08 8382 8882 F +61 08 8382 8884 26 Aldershot Road Lonsdale, SA 5160 108 Grapegrower & Winemaker

October 2013 – Issue 597

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

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

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

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



Volume ML



Value $AM (fob)



Destinations (by value growth)


Growth ($Am)

China, Pr



New Zealand



Hong Kong










% point change

Glass bottle

Container type (by volume)









Alternative packaging1




% point change


Still wine by colour (by volume)







% point change

Red still wine

Wine style (by volume)



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


0.1 Share

Top five varietal label claims on bottles (by volume)


Shiraz and Shiraz blends



Chardonnay and Chardonnay blends




Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon blends



Merlot and Merlot blends



Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc blends



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

Top five regional label claims on bottles (by volume)



South Eastern Australia



South Australia






McLaren Vale



Riverland blends



October 2013 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Issue 597

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

Grapegrower & Winemaker


looking forward 2013 Australia & New Zealand

looking back

October 15-18 (JD) National Cool Climate Wine Show. Bathurst, NSW.

22-23 (JD) The Marlborough Wine Show. Marlborough, NZ.

16-17 Australian Wine Industry Environment Conference. Adelaide, SA.

23 Grape and Wine Roadshow - AWRI New England Seminar. New England, NSW. courses-seminars-workshops/events

16-17 (JD) Geelong Wine Show. Geelong, VIC. 16-18 (JD) New England Wine Show. Glen Innes, NSW. 17-19 (JD) 2013 Blackwood Valley & WA Boutique Wine Show. Blackwood Valley, WA. 17-25 Orange Wine Week. Orange, NSW.

24-26 Australian National Field Days. Orange, NSW. 24 Grape and Wine Roadshow Adapting to Difficult Vintages - AWRI New England Workshop. New England, NSW. courses-seminars-workshops/events 24-25 (JD) North East Victorian Wine Challenge. Myrtleford, VIC.

17 WISA Supplier of the Year Awards 2013. Adelaide, SA.

26 Jazz in the Vines Hunter Valley. Hunter Valley, NSW.

18-27 Ararat Golden Gateway Festival. Ararat, VIC.

26 Master & Apprentice Dinner. Taminick, VIC.

18-20 Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations. Coonawarra, SA.

26-27 Unwined Western Australia. Subiaco, WA.

19-20 Artisans of Barossa Cellar Door Day. Tanunda, SA. events/meet-the-artisans.php 19-22 (JD) 2013 Australian Small Winemakers Show. Stanthorpe, QLD. 19 Blue Pyrenees Avoca Cup Races. Pyrenees Region, VIC. 19-20 Murrumbateman Field Days. Murrumbateman, NSW. 19 Riverland Wine & Food Festival. Riverland, SA. 21-23 (JD) McLaren Vale Wine Show. McLaren Vale, SA. projects/wine-show-2012 22-23 (JD) Australian Sparkling Wine Show. Marysville, VIC.

110 Grapegrower & Winemaker

26 Wheatbelt Midwest Wine Show of WA & Wandering Wheatbelt Wine Awards. Wandering, WA. 26 Wine Blending Seminar. Murrumbateman, NSW. 27 Lake Breeze Picnic 13. Langhorne Creek, SA. 27 Sunbury Wine & Food Festival 2013. Sunbury, VIC. 28-30 (JD) Limestone Coast Wine Show. Coonawarra, SA. 29 Grape and Wine Roadshow Adapting to Difficult Vintages - AWRI Gippsland Workshop. Gippsland, VIC. courses-seminars-workshops/events JD = judging date CD = closing date For a comprehensive list of events, visit

We step back in time to see what was happening through the pages of Grapegrower and Winemaker this month 10, 20 and 30 years ago. October 1983 The Federal Government’s decision to reduce the excise on grape spirit in fortified wines from $2.61 a litre of alcohol to $1.50 a litre has sparked mixed reactions from wine and grape industry people still reeling from the initial budget announcement of the impost. Some sections of the industry continue calling for total elimination of the excise while others tacitly accept the new rate, but want the method and timing of collection changed.

October 1993 Innovations in modern technology now enable two people on opposite sides of the world to hold simultaneous wine tastings using personal computers. Members of the Bacchus Wine Forum hail from the UK, the US, Europe, South Africa and Asia Pacific and hold regular on-line wine tastings. Last month the forum’s agenda included Australian Chardonnay Week. World-wide members were linked together to simultaneously taste an agreed set of Australian Chardonnays and exchange comments via computer.

October 2003 Australian grapegrowers in the major inland irrigated regions of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Valleys are faced with proposed water restrictions this year and will need sound strategies for optimising production. The cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture (CRCV) has responded to this difficult situation with a project that utilises CRCV grapevine yield simulation software to assist growers with managing water restrictions. According to CRCV technical applications manager Ian Atkinson, the current and anticipated restrictions are severe and could adversely impact on hundreds of growers. October 2013 – Issue 597

Marketplace Increase your cellar door sales

by adding a traditional English cider under your own label. Our cider is made using traditional Somerset cider apples and is preservative free. Expressions of interest call David on 0418336191




Vine Industry Nursery Assoc.



• Permanent canopy or throw over net • Fully UV stabilised • Cable, wire and all canopy supplies in stock

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Vine / Tree Guards Cane Support Tabs 65 x 65 x 480 Most popular vine size

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Streamline Cartons



New Zealand



Puleo Destemmer Crushers

Puleo Pneumatic Presses

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Premium destemmer crusher with electronic variable speed for cage and shaft speed adjustment. Sliding adjustable crushing rollers, and optional draining hopper available

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S/Steel Drain Plate with forklift pockets The lift cage allows easy & quicker removal of the drain plate with cake Available in 80cm, 95cm and 130cm S/Steel cage sizes

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