Blazing bushfires and hellish heatwaves Big growth in mini-bonds I donâ€™t use enzymes becauseâ€Ś
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March 2014: Issue 602
Optimising pruning wound protection for the control of eutypa dieback Yalumba’s young lady sets the bar for future viticulturists
68 Filtration 73
Barrels, racks and handling
Bottle design and innovation
Export, insurance and finance
Wine scientists smoke out vital data from bushfire 'research opportunity'
Coonawarra viticulturist taps into centuries of
Women proving their point in the wine industry
6 My view - Australia’s export performance
in 2013 7
Blazing bushfires and hellish heatwaves strike
New research, new yeast, new selection tool
Australia’s top wine regions
Ask the AWRI
Big growth opportunities in mini-bonds
I don’t use enzymes in my winery because…
How much will exchange rates affect wine
Adelaide researchers head 'over the ditch' for
export prospects? 18
Australasian yeast meeting
Regional Roundup: South Australia
Closure trials show volatile sulfur compound formation can still cause a stink
business & technology
New Zealand set for success in 2014
Major biosecurity step taken towards
Get a taste for this fine needle work
protecting Australia's vineyards
Shiraz grape juice draining from the tip truck just before tipping the grapes into the receival bin for crushing at Patritti Wines. Picture: Ben Heide. www.benheidephoto.com
5 87 88 89 90
what's online export snapshot looking forward advertiser index marketplace classifieds
In this issue March Publisher and Chief Executive Hartley Higgins Managing EDITOR Elizabeth Bouzoudis EDITOR Andrew Mole email@example.com Editorial advisory board Dr Jim Fortune, Denis Gastin, Dr Steve Goodman, Dr Terry Lee, Paul van der Lee, Bob Campbell MW, Prof Dennis Taylor and Mary Retallack Editorial Stephanie Timotheou Contributors Danielle Costley, Mary Retallack, Kym Anderson Advertising Sales Chas Barter firstname.lastname@example.org Circulation: Melissa Smithen email@example.com 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)
AUSTRALIA’S primary producers have, for generations, been forced to live and work as price takers rather than price makers. At the premium end, and in niche operations, these fortunate few have always been able to withstand the pressure and stick to their guns on farm-gate values. Now, however, the never ending battle between the grass roots producer and the big players in the market has well and truly come home to roost for grapegrowers. Particularly those grapegrowers operating in the nation’s warm, inland areas. The latest word out of SA’s Riverland is catastrophic. Anecdotally it has been reported some growers may have harvested their last crops but in circumstances such as these there is always a lot of emotion. Belted by the GFC, the wine glut, international competition, the dollar, drought, occasional f lood, soaring input costs and now untenable grape prices, many are saying enough. As far as Grapegrower & Winemaker has been able to discern, the most active players in the grapevine industry are those commissioned to pull vines and clear fields. While some strategic thinkers may be quietly rubbing their hands and seeing this contraction as good news for the long-term management of the glut, there is an even darker side to this problem.
First and foremost is the wellbeing of the families involved. Some of which have been growing grapes for 100 years or more. If they get out now, they are unlikely to return and all that history, expertise and passion will be lost – forever. And if processors and big brands find they have further tightened their grip on grape prices then vintage 2015, or ’16 or anytime still to come will not necessarily be good news for grapegrowers. So the ripple effect goes far beyond the big companies, and the supermarkets who now rule the wine industry, because not only are workers suffering, so are their immediate families and then the communities in which they live. This kind of damage tears the emotional and social fabric, often beyond repair. While governments run around offering all kinds of support packages none address the real lives of growers and their families. It would be the final tragedy if they just slipped through the cracks of big business and became pathetic statistics at Centre Link.
Andrew Mole Editor Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker firstname.lastname@example.org
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Contributors Greg Howell is the founder and managing director of Vintessential Laboratories which sells winemaking supplies Australia-wide and operates wine testing laboratories in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. He is a regular contributor in Grapegrower & Winemaker, providing winemakers with essential technical advice.
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Kym Anderson is the George Gollin Professor of Economics and foundation executive director of the Wine Economics Research Centre. He was also foundation executive director of the Centre for International Economic Studies at the University of Adelaide, where he has been affiliated since 1984. He has been a non-executive director of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and is currently a ministerially appointed member of the South Australian Wine Industry Council. www.winebiz.com.au
March 2014 – Issue 602
on the grapevine New scholarships to promote wine education Wine education and research has been given a boost with a new scholarship funded by the Grosset Gaia Fund for University of Adelaide oenology or viticulture postgraduate students. Two new scholarships will be available for students enrolling in a Master of Oenology or Master of Viticulture coursework program at the University of Adelaide. They are worth $19,000 over 18 months with $12,500 paid in the first year and $6500 in the second year. The Grosset Gaia Fund was established by Grosset Wines founder and owner Jeffrey Grosset in 2009 as a capital fund to donate its income to charitable organisations
supporting youth, arts and the environment. Highly regarded internationally for his Clare Valley premium wines, Jeffrey Grosset is a graduate of the University of Adelaide, completing a Diploma of Agriculture in 1973 and Diploma in Oenology in 1975. “Australian wine producers have the opportunity to re-establish themselves as world leaders in wine quality and innovation, thereby addressing the otherwise uncertain nature of our future,” Grosset said. For the full report visit Grapegrower & Winemaker’s blog: www. grapegrowerandwinemaker.wordpress. com
Drayton’s Winery set to make huge savings after switching to solar power Drayton’s Family Wines at Pokolbin, NSW, recently installed one of the Hunter’s largest solar power systems – a project expected to save the family-operated winery up to $83,000 a year in energy costs. For six generations Drayton’s has been producing some of the Hunter Valley’s finest wines, with the latest installation expected to lay the groundwork for future generations to continue the family legacy. Parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Industry Bob Baldwin visited the vineyard to switch on the company’s new 200 kW system.
“I congratulate Drayton’s Family Wines for investing in this large solar field array and other energy saving measures,” Baldwin said. “As well as helping the company’s bottom line, this investment is socially responsible as it is helping Australia reduce its carbon emissions. “Drayton’s Family Winery expects the measures will reduce its emissions intensity by an impressive 68.5 per cent.” General manager John Drayton said he hoped the $445,164 project – which was partly funded by a grant of $222,582 – will encourage other wine producers in the region to invest in energy saving measures.
Brown Brothers celebrates 125 years of top wine The formula of Brown Brothers’ 125-year success has been innovation, leadership and development passed down through four generations. To celebrate the milestone the winery held a weekend event featuring a booked out Valentine’s Day lunch, music festival and grape crushing ceremony. Third generation family member Ross Brown told the Border Mail its innovation could be traced back to when his Scottish great-grandfather planted the first vineyard in 1885. “There’s a culture of innovation that’s not just stuck in the back of a business plan,” he said. March 2014 – Issue 602
“You can actually track innovative things which have happened in each generation.” Addressing more than 80 guests, Ross’ brother John said the early years had been difficult with Australians preferring beer and spirits, but European immigration after War World II saw that change. “I came along at the beginning of a wave and during my whole career of wine making right through until today, it’s been a wonderful industry to be in,” he said. Today the company has five vineyards across Victoria and has received more than 40 gold medals and 10 trophies for its wines in the past year. www.winebiz.com.au
what’s online Grapegrowers worry about rot as SA gets wet After weeks of extreme heat in South Australia some areas are now flooding, causing fear among the wine industry. Grapegrowers are worried their fruit will split and become vulnerable to disease. Wine grape consultant Richard Hamilton said conditions are perfect for the fungal infection Botrytis, reports the ABC.
Jacob’s Creek struggles as Pernod Ricard returns slight increase in half year sales Pernod Ricard saw a slight sales increase in the UK but said Jacob’s Creek struggled in a wine market that is “highly sensitive to promotion” in the first half of the year. In Europe sales grew 4 per cent while global sales were flat thanks to tough times in China, where sales plummeted 18 per cent in the first half of the year, reports Harpers.
Crittenden wins wine name game against Woolworths Wine industry veteran Garry Crittenden has won a significant victory against Woolworths, with the retail giant agreeing to stop using a budget wine label he said was frequently mistaken for one of his products. Crittenden, whose family has made wine on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula for 30 years, has spent the past seven years fighting with Woolies over its in-house brand named Crittenden & Co, reports The Australian.
.com.au Australia’s wine industry portal by Winetitles Australia’s wine industry portal by
Daily Wine News is a snapshot of wine business, research and marketing content gleaned from international wine media sources, with a focus on Australian news and content. To subscribe visit www.winebiz.com.au/dwn. Grapegrower & Winemaker
my view Australia’s export performance in 2013 Wine Australia acting chief executive Andreas Clark takes a look at our wine industry on the world stage and finds some positive signs in a tough market. IF last year’s wine export performance is anything to go by, the operating environment for wine exporters remains challenging. While the average value of Australian wine exports continued to rise last year, exports declined overall by 6 per cent to 678 million litres and were valued at $A1.76 billion. The average value of exports increased by 1 per cent to $A2.59 per litre, due mainly to a 3 per cent increase in the average value of bottled wine to $A4.58 per litre. The overall volume decline was predominantly at the lower-end of the market with exports at under $A5 per litre declining by 7 per cent to 610 million litres. In contrast, exports above $A5 per litre increased marginally to 68 million litres. An 11 per cent decline in red wine exports (to 382 million litres) more than offset a 2 per cent increase in white wine exports (to 282 million litres). While the volume of red wine exports has declined, the average value for both bottled and bulk red exports increased over the same time period. The decline in red wine exports is being driven by a number of factors including: • A general decline in red wine sales in the UK off-trade market. • Bulk red exports to the US fell 9 million litres, driven by large crops there over the past two years. • Wineries paid higher prices on average for red wine grapes over the past two years, which implies red wine was produced at a higher cost. At the same time, global wine production increased, placing more pressure on global bulk wine prices and reducing Australia’s competitiveness. • Some exporters are holding onto red wine stocks and waiting for the benefits of a lower Australian dollar to potentially flow through.
PRICE CONCERNS The decline in bottled wine exports across higher price segments in many of our major markets is a concern and shows the industry has a long way to go to improve returns for winemakers and grapegrowers and achieve long term profitability.
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While the volume of exports at $A10 per litre and above decreased nearly 7 per cent to 14.9 million litres, the value was stable at $A291 million. The $A10-$11.99 per litre price range held the greatest share at 34 per cent, however, the $A20-$49.99 per litre segment accounted for the greatest value share at 25 per cent. The above $A50 per litre segment recorded the strongest value growth. While exports were down in four of our top five markets, there were some positive developments showing our efforts to create greater awareness of the quality, diversity and regionality of Australian wine is achieving cut-through – although there’s a big job ahead. Wine exports to the US were down, however, the average value increased for the first time in seven years. In Canada, wine exports increased 7 per cent to 51 million litres, with the average value of bottled exports up 1 per cent to $A5.11 per litre. In the UK, the average value of exports increased, with bottled wine up 2 per cent to $A3.82 per litre and bulk wine up 4 per cent to $A1.06 per litre. Despite ongoing challenges in the market, the Australian wine category remains number one in the off-trade, with sales increasing in a declining market.
CHINESE CHALLENGE Exports to China experienced a double digit drop, with a significant decline in bottled exports at the end of last year. This was in keeping with a slowdown in the imported wine market across the board, mainly due to austerity measures introduced by the Chinese government at the end of 2012 to curb spending by government bodies on luxury goods such as premium imported wines. Most of the major source countries have been impacted with France, the number one supplier, experiencing the biggest downturn (down 12 per cent to $60 million) in the past six months. Despite this, Australia remains wellplaced in China, second behind France, and is achieving the highest average value among the Top 10 importing countries. China remains the biggest destination for Australia’s premium wines above $A7.50 per litre. Wine Australia is working with industry to build on this through our www.winebiz.com.au
Choppy seas: Andreas Clark says export volumes were down but the average value of Australian wine kept rising.
global program of educational and promotional initiatives including: • Savour Australia late last year. • The widely publicised Australia Today 2014 Wine Australia Roadshow, held across the US and Canada earlier this year. • The successful Australia Day Tasting in London at the end of January at which the European wine trade heralded the category as a new era for Australian wine. • The Wine Australia Seminar and Grand Tasting Roadshow across China in April. • Aussie Wine Month across Australia in May.
DOLLAR NO SILVER BULLET Although a lower Australian dollar will assist exporters, it will not be a panacea and we can’t pin all our hopes on something over which we have no control. Instead the sector needs to focus on long term, consistent investment in activities building the reputation of the category in our major markets. Educational programs and other initiatives that best support industry’s return to sustainable profitability and restoring value in underlying assets will continue to be our focus. The industry is working collectively to ensure greater global awareness of the quality and diversity of Australian wine, to help improve returns for grape growers, winemakers and all in the value chain. Contact: Andreas Clark. Phone: 61 8 8228 2000. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org March 2014 – Issue 602
news Blazing bushfires and hellish heatwaves strike Australia’s top wine regions Recent bushfires and heatwaves across Australian wine regions sparked widespread fears of crop loss and smoke taint. Stephanie Timotheou spoke with WGGA executive director Lawrie Stanford, vineyard owners and regional associations to find out exactly what happened.
AUSTRALIA has been on fire from coast to coast and many of the nation’s key wine growing areas were caught between the flames and record heatwaves. This was coming on the back of October’s frosts, reduced yields and poor fruitset. Some of the biggest wine regions came within metres of what could have been a devastating outcome. Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) executive director Lawrie Stanford said bushfires in particular tend to be localised in their effects and damage depends on a vineyard’s geographical location and topography. While there were few reports of excessive damage, Stanford said grapegrowers have raised concerns about smoke taint, which was not immediately apparent. “The effects were minor however a couple of vineyards were scorched,” he told Grapegrower & Winemaker. “Luckily bushfires don’t tend to rip through vines but there is certainly damage that can occur.” Stanford said the heat will have an effect on yields and the 2014 vintage, but not as much as the low prices being offered for wine grapes. “Now growers are getting into the vines we’ll have a better ability to work out how much effect heat and bushfires have had but at this stage it is too early to give an exact figure,” he added. Most regions across the nation were affected, but in different ways, from crop loss to shrivelled and burnt fruit.
BAROSSA VALLEY AND EDEN VALLEY, SA The Barossa had several bushfires, the largest striking the eastern area of Eden Valley. Approximately 25,000ha were burnt through surrounding grazing country and scrub. Under difficult conditions the Country Fire Service (CFS), farmers and local communities responded to the fire threat and by 20 January it was considered contained. Growers and winemakers reported the fire was to the east of vineyards and March 2014 – Issue 602
Close call: Grant Burge came into close contact with the fires. Photo: Trent Burge.
winemaking facilities so most escaped any damage. The blaze travelled quickly and fortunately didn’t create large amounts of smoke. According to the Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA) the winds were strong and blew to the north which meant there was little smoke over vineyards in the Valley. “Grapegrowers and winemakers were grateful of the tireless work of the CFS and all volunteers in protecting the vineyards, winemaking facilities and cellar doors,” BGWA chief executive officer James March said. The BGWA continued to support grapegrowers and winemakers and liaised with the Australian Wine Research Institute to obtain up-to-date information on managing vineyards through the week’s heatwave – with temperatures in SA peaking at 45.2C – in the lead up to the 2014 vintage. While some reported minor crop losses, wineries in the path of flames, such as Grant Burge and Bethany Wines, managed www.winebiz.com.au
Fires travel through Krondorf near Lily Farm Road. Photo: Trent Burge.
to dodge the fire – saved by a change in wind direction. Grant and Helen Burge thanked the CFS and MFS crew, as well as Barossa locals who worked hard to extinguish the bushfire on their grazing land at Krondorf. “We are very lucky our homes, winery, cellar door and vineyards were not affected,” Burge said. “It has been a very humbling experience to see firsthand the widespread community spirit and the willingness of others to help. “Our thoughts are with all those affected by the Flaxman Valley and Eden Valley fires.” Contact: Barossa Grape & Wine Association. Phone: 61 8 8563 0650. Email: email@example.com
CLARE VALLEY, SA In mid-January the CFS advised the region a serious bushfire was burning at Bundaleer North, approximately 16km north east of Georgetown. Grapegrower & Winemaker
Fizzled fruit: Shrivelled grapes at Kilikanoon Wines’ crop at Port Germein, Clare Valley. Photo: Lauren Waldhuter, ABC Rural.
Smoke was visible in the Clare Valley and Gilbert regions including the areas of Mallala, Windsor, Port Wakefield and Blyth. Kilikanoon Wines viticulturist Troy Van Dulken said the heatwave reduced his crop at Port Germein by a third and brought on harvest a week earlier than usual. “The extreme heat meant the fruit didn’t reach true maturity,” he said. “Some of the grapes have been sunburnt and look like raisins and we’re going to have to drop about 40 tonnes on the ground.” He said despite the heat and fires in the area, he was happy the Kilikanoon team still managed to pick 230-odd tonnes of good quality fruit. Contact: Troy Van Dulken. Phone: 61 429 094 267. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
COONAWARRA, SA January’s heatwave didn’t appear to have a serious effect on grapes in the Coonawarra.
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Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated president Allen Jenkins was optimistic despite the cooler period in November and December which followed a wet October. He said because it was so cold, the yields were now looking more moderate, which helped the region get through the heat. Jenkins said there were some illeffects of the mercury rising. “There is a bit of damage around but it’s not across the board,” he added. “Generally most of the Coonawarra has come out of the heat extremely well.” Vines in shallow soil and older vines with Eutypa fungus were among those affected by the heat; however access to good quality groundwater was crucial and made a big difference. Wrattonbully, 19km north of Coonawarra, reported burnt vines and slight foliage burn but Wrattonbully Wine Industries Association chairman James Freckleton said this was not a big problem for the region. “The winter rains carried into spring which set up the canopies really well and this helped greatly with the heat.” www.winebiz.com.au
Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated vice president Daniel Newson told Grapegrower & Winemaker the first week of heatwaves was the most challenging with much of the region breaking long-standing temperature records. “Due to long term weather warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology, most growers in the region were well prepared for the heat that came,” he said. “We cope with heatwaves in Coonawarra with the very cool nights we receive, even after extremely hot days. “Around 6pm the winds swing to the south and cool the region down which brings quick relief.” Overall the canopies throughout the region are in good shape leading into harvest and no significant crop loss was reported. Contact: Allen Jenkins. Email: email@example.com. Daniel Newson. Phone: 61 427 850 022. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org March 2014 – Issue 602
Kilikanoon Wines viticulturist Troy Van Dulken said the heatwave brought on harvest a week earlier than usual. Photo: Lauren Waldhuter, ABC Rural.
MCLAREN VALE, SA Fortunately McLaren Vale grapegrowers and winemakers weren’t affected by the bushfires seen elsewhere and the region remains positive about the coming vintage. While the effects of the heatwave weren’t as serious as expected, there had been some yield loss through sunburn in key varieties including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Tempranillo which may cause shortages. Reported yield loss varies from less than 1 per cent to more than 15 per cent according to the McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association. “The current heatwave has occurred as vineyards were going through veraison where they change colour,” CropWatch McLaren Vale’s James Hook said. “This is a critical time of the season because grapes become more susceptible to heat damage and sunburn as they soften. “During the heatwave peak maximum temperatures recorded were above 43C and night temperatures didn’t cool vines down, staying above 25C from January 13-17.” March 2014 – Issue 602
He said fortunately grapegrowers had a seven-day weather warning which gave them the chance to water before the heat kicked in. Contact: Stacey Richardson. McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association. Phone: 61 8 8323 8999. Email: email@example.com
RUTHERGLEN, VIC Winemakers of Rutherglen (WOR) chairman Damien Cofield said while the warm weather pushed the harvest forward, ongoing high temperatures leading into February were not a worry to grapegrowers in the region. All Saints Estate in Wahgunyah began harvest seven to 10 days earlier than last year. Vineyard manager Paul Heard said luckily the region didn’t experience bad winds, which saved the vineyard from damage or crop loss. “We’ve all had to adjust our management and there are measures put in place like good use of irrigation and www.winebiz.com.au
canopy management to maintain good leaf cover over fruit especially during the warmer months,” he said. WOR executive officer Judy Tanner Doyle said most vignerons in the region reported they were holding up well, as Rutherglen is used to extreme heat. “It has a lot to do with good preparation and viticulturists in Rutherglen are always well-prepared for the heat around this time of year,” she said. “Nobody in the region has been directly impacted by the fires and while we did see signs of smoke in early February, it was distant enough to not have caused smoke taint.” Tanner Doyle said unlike most regions across Australia, Rutherglen viticulturists didn’t report any signs of burnt vines and shrivelled grapes. “This is due to the preparation vignerons have done given they are familiar with this sort of heat.” Contact: Judy Tanner Doyle. Phone: 61 2 6033 6301. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Grapegrower & Winemaker
news SWAN VALLEY, WA Harris Organic Winery owner Duncan Harris said the Swan Valley region suffered two heatwaves – one in December and the other in January where temperatures reached 45C. He said while the weather was uncomfortable, most vineyards coped well due to adequate soil moisture. “This was because of the great early spring rains after a drier-than-usual winter,” he added. “Some dry grown vineyards showed signs of stress, but well-maintained vineyards showed resilience.” There were minor fires in and around the region, but they were not big enough to generate reports of smoke taint or damage. Harris said some vineyards suffered grape sunburn, particularly in rows with a north-south orientation. “Due to the hotter conditions, most winemakers are finding their fruit requires picking on average two weeks earlier than usual.” Contact: Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association.
Phone: 61 (0)430 622 130. Email: info@swanvalleywinemakers. com.au. Duncan Harris. Phone: 61 8 9296 0216. Email: dunca n@ha r risorga nicwine. com.au.
RIVERINA, NSW Riverina Wine Grapes Marketing Board industry development officer Kristy Bartrop said the region’s grape haul would probably be down about 10,000 tonnes. She said vineyards in the region have noticed sunburnt f ruit and damaged leaves due to the length of the heatwave. “Riverina is not normally this hot and considering the heatwave went for an extended period of time, unfortunately there wasn’t much the viticulturists could do to prevent the damages,” she said. “Ir rigation systems have been running constantly and some vineyard owners have used the odd chemical to prevent sunburn.
“Most are reluctant to do anything else because they’ve simply outlaid a lot of money already.” While vineyards seem to be coping well, January and February’s heat combined with frost and hail in late 2013 has reduced yields but Bartrop said this won’t greatly affect the 2014 vintage. “All we need is a bit of a flood in March and we’ll be right as rain,” Bartrop said. “Some people lost a lot from sunburn and there were some vineyards where all the leaves were burnt which means the berries aren’t ripening. “Riverina produced 300,000 tonnes last year but this year I don’t think we’ll quite make it which is unfortunate.” Contact: Kristy Bartrop. Phone: 61 4 2271 7573. Email: email@example.com. For information and advice on what to do post-heatwave, visit www.wgga. com.au or contact your local wine industry association.
Hardys sets its sights on being a social media star – just like Nike HARDYS Wine is ramping up its investments in Instagram, YouTube and Vine in attempt to race ahead of its rivals in the social media space and become the ‘Nike of wine brands’. Sebastian Joseph writing for marketingweek.co.uk said the drinks maker is integrating its social media efforts with print, outdoor and press activity after previously using the discipline in isolation. Hardys has spent the past two years studying Nike and Disney’s strategies to set it apart from what it claims are the “light touch efforts” of rival wine brands using social networks for event promotions and contests. Key elements from the strategy are being pushed through a below-the-line campaign, created in partnership with DeVries Slam, to champion the revival of Chardonnay. Joseph said the stereotype of Chardonnay being an unfashionable wine has given way to a more stylish image in recent years, pushing Hardys
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to educate consumers about the grape’s revival and inject a humorous tone into its marketing. It is using Vine to promote the brand’s revamped personality online and also as a cost-effective way to move into the online video space. Two clips, the first of which launched in mid February, will use distinct visuals with the brand planning to decide which one resonates better with fans later in the year. Vine content will initially be brandled rather than Chardonnay focused, before ramping up around the latter the closer it gets to Chardonnay Day (23 May). The learnings will also help inform the brand’s YouTube strategy. Hardys is developing a comedy series for the platform centering on a group of characters passionate about Chardonnay but who like to drink it in underground circles. The company has declined to give further details on the show but said it will be promoted on Facebook and Twitter. www.winebiz.com.au
Gabby Golding, digital manager at Hardys’ owner Accolade Wines, said the brand had found it challenging “sussing out” what platforms such as Vine and YouTube are capable of because there are a lack of case studies in the wine industry. It is working with 50 Instagramers who will produce content from a popup wine bar due to launch in the coming weeks. Hardys is also planning to erect a social wall in the space to expand the reach to people who can’t attend. Content from the influencers will also appear on the Hardys’ Grapevine, a social aggregator the brand has set up to boost its SEO performance and provide a more informal place for visitors beyond its standard website. The test-a nd-lea r n approach to digital has also led to the brand dabbling in real-time marketing as well as exploring how it can use mobile, particularly through gamifcation. March 2014 – Issue 602
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Big growth opportunities in mini-bonds With banks less inclined to invest in wineries a new product – the mini-bond – is starting to take off as a new form of cash raising for wineries and other enterprises. NAKED Wines, which funds independent winemakers from around the world – including Australia – set out to raise £3 million with its first mini-bond release. And ended up closing the offer when it oversubscribed at £6.25 million. What is more impressive was it took less than three weeks late last year to surpass the maximum subscription level of £5 million. The funds raised will be invested in independent winemakers over a minimum of three years, enabling them to finance the production of new fine wines in the next stage of the development and the growth of the Naked
Wines group. Naked Wines reportedly has 120,000 subscribers and has backed 43 producers around the world. So instead of wineries or wine businesses raising money through a bank loan or venture capital, should they try a mini-bond? Writing in Meininger’s, Andrew Rosenbaum discovered mini-bonds are potentially a tool “uniquely suited to the needs of the wine industry”. Before its mini-bond success, Naked Wines, t he London-based crowd funded wine distributor, previously received most of its funding through venture capital provided by Germany’s WIV Wein International.
At a glance: • It took Naked Wines less than three weeks late last year to surpass the maximum subscription level of £5 million. • Those who bought into the minibonds may receive a cash payment in interest on the investment, or they can receive wine instead. • The success of mini-bonds depends on the strength of the relationship between the company and the customer base.
WINE BY SAM Sam Plunkett, whose Wine By Sam is located in Victoria’s Strathbogie Ranges says he is not sure he would have a wine life without Naked. “Being a part of the Naked family is the foundation of our winery,” Plunkett said. “It is a long list of wins for us, including that the Naked world gives us access to two precious things – customers and cash,” he said. “Other things (a terrific winery, good fruit and a love of winemaking) I have easy access to, but it is the Naked world that lets us say yes to opportunities which come our way – to lease the winery, to buy a piece of equipment or bring in an unusual parcel of grapes and make a funky wine. “There is a culture of collaboration and co-operation around Naked Wines which we have embraced in our business, including working this way with our growers and winery team, by share farming grape growing and encouraging our winery team to make wine for themselves. “I find this difficult to explain; of course the people who drink our wine are customers, but the funding that comes our way from these customers makes for a relationship somehow more like supporters. “I’ve always enjoyed making good wine, but there is an extra emotional motivation to do a good job and repay the ‘Naked family’ for their extraordinary support.”
12 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
GROOM WINES Daryl Groom is an internationally acclaimed winemaker – some of his wines have been served at both the Oscars and the Emmys. Groom has been making wine for more than 35 years and been named winemaker of the year an amazing eight times. His track record encompasses wineries such as Krondorf, Saltram, Peter Lehmann and Kaiser Stuhl. He worked with Penfolds for eight years during which time he oversaw the making of Penfolds’ legendary Grange. One of Groom’s first vintages – the 1986 – was arguably one of the top three Granges made, scoring 98 points from Wine Spectator and Robert Parker. He “loves” making (and drinking) Shiraz, which he describes as “silky, sexy and simply delicious and the greatest value of all red wines”. Those who bought into the mini-bonds may receive a cash payment in interest (7 per cent) on the investment, or they can receive wine instead (to the value of 10 per cent). Rosenbaum says the success of Naked Wines heralds an important new funding opportunity for winemakers all over the world. “With bank funding under pressure from the difficult economic context and a wave of new regulations, mini-bonds offer a chance for winemakers to get funding from a more appreciative source – their own clientele,” he said.
MINI-BONDS FIT WINEMAKING “Mini-bonds would seem to fit the business models of winemakers very well,” explained John Cowie, a partner in Corporate Finance at the London-based accountancy and consulting firm Reeves, which has advised on several mini-bond issues. March 2014 – Issue 602
“Mini-bonds work because the loyal supporters of a company are prepared to invest a bit in it, and to get at least part of the repayment in what the company produces.” Cowie told Rosenbaum winemakers have exactly this kind of loyal following, and that “you would expect those who love a wine to be willing to use the bond issue to get it for less – just as many wine buyers are willing to pay for wine futures while that year’s grapes are still being grown.” The success of mini-bonds depends on the strength of the relationship between the company and the customer base, because mini-bonds aren’t really a financial investment. From that point of view, the risk level is quite high. Bonds like these aren’t listed on a stock exchange and so cannot be traded. But as a report from researcher Capita www.winebiz.com.au
Registrars points out, in the current climate of low interest rates and tight bank lending, this kind of bond issue is particularly attractive. “Vouchers, loyalty points, and free products are often offered along with, instead of, interest payments,” says the report. “This can make them even more attractive to loyal customers.”
MARKETING BONUS And they function as an excellent marketing device as well as just raising money, Cowie added. “By offering price incentives on products as well as asking for investment, mini-bond issuance almost invariably attracts new customers.” “What makes this kind of structure particularly interesting for the issuer is the cost of the product supplied to pay interest is lower than the interest payment would be – in other words Grapegrower & Winemaker
Clarke is new CEO at TWE
HEARTS & BONES Stuart Pym began his winemaking career in 1983 at his family winery in Margaret River. Today, with 31 years’ experience, working at Vasse Felix, Voyager Estate, Devils Lair & Stella Bella just to name a few, Pym is acutely aware of the relationship between winemaking and cash flow. As to why he is looking forward to making wines with Naked Wines he says it will allow him to get back to what he originally got into the industry for – making great wines. Growing grapes and making wine is something Pym is very passionate about, and something he spends most of his time (and money) pursuing. “My passion is wine, every aspect of it,” he says. “I love drinking great wine from around the world, I love making great wine, and I love working in my vineyard on the weekends. “The ultimate test for the wines we make is whether or not we drink and enjoy them at home."
when customers use their wine credits the product supplied costs less than the amount paid on the bill. So the company makes money at both ends.” In other words a winemaker who provided bottles instead of interest would supply them at full retail price, not at the cost, and so could take advantage of that kind or arbitrage. Naked Wines founder Rowan Gormley said the highest-quality wines require more time to mature, so we require a longer-term source of funding in order to give the winemakers the financial assistance they need. For the purposes of the bond issue, Gormley defines a ‘fine wine’ as one needing more than a year to mature. Naked Wines will invest the funds in California, South Africa and Australia. Capita Registrars noted that with the rapid growth of issuance of this type,
14 Grapegrower & Winemaker
investors will become accustomed to this kind of offer. Which will make it easier for a wine producer to issue mini-bonds – clients won’t need a long introduction to them to take them up. “What is special about mini-bonds,” the Capita report states, “is that they provide companies with an alternative means of raising debt while also engaging with customers, investors, employees and members of the general public. “Better engagement with consumers is bound to benefit consumer-facing firms of this kind.” * Finance and insurance feature Starts Page 83 Contact: Peta Jecks. Phone: 61 (0) 405 173 772. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.winebiz.com.au
AUSTRALIA’S largest wine producer Treasury Wine Estates has gone for new blood with the appointment of Michael Clarke as managing director and chief executive officer. Clarke joins TWE with more than 20 years’ senior leadership experience, and an outstanding track record at some of the world’s iconic consumer goods companies. But no experience in the wine industry. At Kraft Foods he was president of its European business and sat on its global operating board. At Coca-Cola, where he spent more than 12 years, Clarke held a number of senior executive roles, including running the Northwest Europe & Nordics business unit. He also led Coca-Cola’s South Pacific and Korea business unit for five years, during which time he was based in Sydney. Most recently Clarke was CEO of the UK publicly listed Premier Foods Plc, where he led a significant turnaround of that company. Speaking on Clarke’s appointment, TWE chairman Paul Rayner said his work on some of the world’s leading brands was “second to none”. “In addition, he has extensive agribusiness and consumer drinks experience. In short, he has proven leadership ability and a track record of consistently driving improved business results." Clarke said he looked forward to the opportunity of returning to Australia and leading TWE and its portfolio of iconic wine brands. “I recognise TWE, like most companies, has its challenges but I believe the opportunities are immense, and I look forward to working with my colleagues across the business to ensure these are fully realised,” he added. Clarke will join TWE this month with March 31 his formal start date subject to the necessary visa approvals.
Lord of the estate: New TWE boss Michael Clarke brings a global resume to his new role as CEO at Treasury Wine Estates.
March 2014 – Issue 602
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How much will exchange rates affect wine export prospects? Researchers Kym Anderson and Glyn Wittwer assess exchange rates – the industry’s silver bullet – and discover a softer Australian dollar is only part of the financial jigsaw. A lot more stars need to align before our wine is playing on a level field.
ALL industry participants are aware that exchange rate movements affect their bottom line. A high Australian dollar (AUD) makes it more difficult for exporters to compete in overseas markets – it also makes it easier for foreign suppliers to compete in Australia’s domestic market. And for those firms that also produce abroad, they get less AUD when they transfer their profits to their Australia base. No-one knows how exchange rates will move during, say, the next five years. Even if there were good forecasts of the value of the US dollar or UK pound in AUD, they would be insufficient. What matters as well are: • The bilateral exchange rates relevant to Australia’s other key markets (e.g. China). • Those relevant to our New World and Old World competitors. Even then, projecting how those different rates affect the world’s wine markets is not something that can be done on the back of an envelope. Projecting market outcomes is less prone to avoidable errors if it is done with a formal model of economic behavior in those various markets. To that end we have revised, expanded and updated a global model first developed by Wittwer, Berger and Anderson (2003) to project the wine markets of its 44 countries plus seven residual country groups. We use the model to analyse the impacts of two alternative sets of changes in real exchange rates (RERs, that is, net of inflation differences) on markets to 2018: no change from the baseline of 2011, and a half-way return from 2011 to 2009 rates for all but China and India. In both scenarios we also assume there continues to be a gradual trend toward premium wines and away from non-premium wines in traditional markets. The other major development expected to affect the world’s wine trade is growth in China’s import demand, so we consider two possibilities there as well (high and low import growth). Full details of the model and its various other assumptions are available in Anderson and Wittwer (2013). What follows is a summary of the main findings as they affect Australian producers and exporters. The projected impacts of those changes on real AUD producer prices in the sector are shown in Table 1. If RERs in 2018 were to be the same as in 2011, Australia’s non-premium grape and wine prices would be even lower than in 2011. By contrast, projected super-premium and iconic still wine prices would be more than 40 per cent higher. If, on the other hand, RERs were to return half-way toward what they were in 2009 – which is close to what has happened already since 2011 – and China’s imports continued to grow rapidly, real producer prices in Australia would be above 2011 levels for most grape and wine types, especially for super-premium+ wines. The extent of those rises would be somewhat but not substantially less if China’s import growth were slower. The lower Chinese import growth scenario assumes the growth in disposable incomes in China is one-quarter less than in the high-growth scenario, its RER ceases to appreciate, and capital
16 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Table 1: Projected real producer price changes in Australia, 2011 to 2018 (per cent) No RER changes
RERs return half-way to 2009 rates High Chinese import growth
Lower Chinese import grow
Iconic still wine
Non-premium wine Commercial-premium
Table 2: Projected changes in volume of production in Australia, 2011 to 2018 (per cent) No RER changes
RERs return half-way to 2009 rates High Chinese import growth
Lower Chinese import grow
Iconic still wine
investments in domestic grape and wine production grow twice as fast as in the base scenario. Even if there were no changes in RERs, Australia is projected to expand its output by 2018 for all wine types except non-premium (Table 2). For commercial-premium and super-premium, the increases are 8 per cent and 15 per cent; but, with a reversal in RER trends, those output increases would be 13 and 18 per cent, respectively, unless China’s import growth was much slower in which case they would be one percentage point less. In these scenarios, production grows in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, thanks to an assumed growth in grape and wine productivity of 1 per cent per year in all countries. The income, population and preference changes together mean that global consumption volumes grow over the period to 2018 for all but non-premium wine, but least so for commercial-premium. The percentage increases in consumption are very similar in the three scenarios for the Old World and Japan, but are somewhat more in the UK, China and especially the US in the altered currencies scenarios versus the scenario with no changes in RERs. In all scenarios the consumption growth is concentrated in the US, Brazil and especially China, while there are substantial declines in nonpremium consumption in the Old World. (Projections for wine-trading regions are in Table 3). In terms of volumes, world trade would be 6 per cent higher in
March 2014 – Issue 602
Table 3: Projected change in global wine imports and exports, 2011 to 2018 No RER changes
RERs return half-way to 2009 rates High Chinese import growth
Lower Chinese import grow
(a) Exports (ML) Australia
Other New World
Table 4: Projected change in Australian wine exports, 2011 to 2018 No RER changes
% rise in volume (ML)
% rise in real value
High Chinese import growth
Lower Chinese import grow
% rise in volume (ML)
% rise in real value
WORLD (b) Imports (ML)
RERs return half-way to 2009 rates
All sources: Authors’ model results
terms, the increase ranging from 20 per cent to 50 per cent over 2011 values in USD. Australian producers of non-premium wines (and thus grapes) cannot be excited by these projections, however, because their exports are projected to fall in all but the most optimistic scenario. This is partly because only a small fraction (between onequarter and two-fifths) of the increased volume of imports by China from Australia is projected to be non-premium wines – hence they account for even smaller fractions of the value of those sales.
2018 than in 2011 if RERs were unchanged, and slightly more or less than that in the alternative scenarios. Virtually all of the increase is due to China’s import growth. In terms of the real value of global trade, the projected ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS upgrading of qualities demanded in most markets means that The authors are grateful for funding support from Australia’s China accounts for only about one-third of the growth in the value Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation. of global imports. In all three scenarios the value of global wine This paper draws on Anderson and Wittwer (2013). Views trade rises by about one-sixth (last row of Table 3). expressed are the authors’ alone. If RERs did not change from 2011 to 2018, Australia’s exports to all destinations other than Asia would decline, and in aggregate Contacts: volume would be no more than in 2011 (Table 4). firstname.lastname@example.org By contrast, if exchange rates settled at half-way back to those email@example.com of 2009, Australian total annual export volumes would increase to become as much as one-eighth more than in 2011 (but somewhat References Anderson, K. and G. Wittwer (2013), ‘Modeling Global Wine Markets to 2018: less under slower import growth by China). Changes, 4The 0 3final 2 M rows e t aofr Table e x 8 48show, x 1 8however, 5 1that2the 0 1impact 4 - 0 of 2 -the 1 3 TExchange 1 5 : 5 Rates, 5 : 1Taste 9 + 1 1 : 0 0and China’s Import Growth’, Journal of Wine Economics 8(2): 131-58. Wittwer, G., N. Berger and K. Anderson (2003), ‘A Model scenario on total exports from Australia is much greater in value of the World’s Wine Markets’, Economic Modelling 20(3): 487-506, May.
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March 2014 – Issue 602
Grapegrower & Winemaker
Regional Roundup: South Australia March is always a hectic month in the wine industry and if grapegrowers and winemakers aren’t getting down and dirty during harvest, they’re playing host to festivals, revisiting their history and toasting new beginnings. Stephanie Timotheou takes a look at the latest happenings in South Australia from the Limestone Coast to the Barossa.
Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council launches new project THE Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council (LCGWC) has announced a new, year-long project dubbed the Soil Stewardship Program which is funded by the GWRDC. LCGWC chairman Brendan Provis said the project will give four members of the viticulture and winemaking community an opportunity to study soil-related issues in different parts of Australia. “They will also have the opportunity to evaluate how those learnings can benefit
our own soil environment,” he said. AWRI senior viticulturist and recipient of the 2012 Limestone Coast Sustainability Leaders Award Mardi Longbottom said the aim of the project is to build the capacity and expertise of the group which will support adaptation and sustainability in the region. “It is a fantastic opportunity for the leaders of the region to experience innovation with practice in various other regions and industries,” she added.
“The Limestone Coast has a wealth of talent and resources in its people and this program will assist them to take their skills to the next level.” A group of passionate individuals will travel to WA, Adelaide, the Barossa, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek throughout the project. Contact: Ulrich Grey-Smith. Phone: 0429 499 355.
Young viticulturists graduate from Barossa’s 2013 Next Crop Leadership Program BAROSSA’S 2013 Next Crop Leadership Program celebrated its second graduation in January after successfully mentoring 22 of the region’s grapegrowers through a range of business, communication and management skills. The graduation, held at The Farm function centre, took the Barossa Next Crop alumni to 43 since the program was established in 2011. Barossa Grape & Wine Association viticultural development officer Nicki Robins said the nine-month course, partly funded under the GWRDC Regional Program, was designed to better equip the region’s grapegrowers with the skills and confidence to take on leadership roles. “The 2013 program has been very successful," Robins said. “Although the participants were highly challenged and out of their comfort zones during each session, their feedback to us was that they really value the program.” While there remains strong interest for another Next Crop program in 2014, Robins said plans will see a stronger focus on the existing graduates next year.
Graduation celebration: 22 viticulturists and vignerons graduated from Barossa’s 2013 Next Crop Leadership Program in January.
“We want to develop ways to extend the learning of leadership and new skills of our current graduates,” she said. The students used the graduation to present the projects they had been working on during the course which reflected the group’s mission: through leadership over the next five years,
develop and grow strong industry networks within the region, building upon their Barossa heritage of fine wines using sustainable practices. Contact: Nicki Robins. Phone: 61 8 8563 0650. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coonawarra’s largest solar unit installed at Katnook Estate ANOTHER winery has joined the solar family with the instalment of a 90kW solar photovoltaic (PV) unit at Katnook Estate in the Coonawarra. It is expected to reduce the company’s carbon emissions by 94 per cent, resulting in savings of $48,000 in energy costs per year. 18 Grapegrower & Winemaker
This was the major cornerstone of a project supported by the Commonweath Government’s Clean Technology Investment Program. As part of the company’s $440,000 investment Katnook Estate also insulated its wine tanks, installed a power factor correction unit and set up www.winebiz.com.au
a state-of-the-art refrigeration system with a heat capture function. Senior winemaker Wayne Stehbens was instrumental in designing and overseeing the project and said it was an integral part of the company’s commitment to constant improvement in all facets of the business. March 2014 – Issue 602
“Working with innovative, efficient technology gives us great confidence that Katnook will not only improve wine quality but reduce the impact of production on our stunning local environment,” he added.
Independent of the grant, Katnook Estate invested further by installing a 10kW solar PV system to supply all power needs to its limestone cellar door and functions areas, and an air harvester to transfer the cool night air
into the barrel room to minimise the refrigeration load. Contact: Wayne Stehbens. Phone: 61 8 8737 0300
Seppeltsfield releases 100-year-old Tawny THE Barossa’s Seppeltsfield Winery has unveiled its 1914 100-year-old Para Vintage Tawny which is set to be the most sought after vintage since the inaugural 1878 release. The Tawny was officially presented in February at the winery’s cellar door where wine lovers had the opportunity to taste the drop for $30 a sip. With less than 250 litres available for sale world-wide, the Tawny can be purchased for $1500 per 375ml bottle or $500 per 100ml. The wine is a blend of red grape varieties including Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro and was fortified through the addition of grape spirit. Given the added historical significance
of 1914 with the beginning of World War I, Seppeltsfield will also bottle a limited number of commemorative sets in collaboration with the Australian War Memorial. Seppeltsfield managing director Warren Randall believes the world and the estate itself are still realising the international treasure-status of the Centennial Collection and 100-year-old Tawny in particular. “The 1914 will signify a revaluation of the stock to better reflect its place as one of the rarest and most precious liquids in the world,” he said. Contact: Chad Elson. Phone: 0409 980 135. Email: email@example.com.
History in a bottle: Seppeltsfield’s 375ml 100 Year Old Para Vintage Tawny dating back to 1914.
Kangaroo Island wines wow the crowd at Cellar Door Wine Festival WINE lovers couldn’t go wrong with three days jam-packed with thousands of local drops and the Cellar Door Wine Festival delivered just that. From February 14-16 more than 9000 people - up 30 per cent on 2013 walked through the doors of the Adelaide Convention Centre and got a taste of what South Australia has to offer foodies and wine lovers alike. The Kangaroo Island wine region was among 14 other South Australian wine
regions to showcase their wines. More than 170 wineries, breweries and food producers also offered tastings including new releases not available in retail outlets. The Islander Estate Vineyards has participated in the past two events and general manager Yale Norris said it is a great way to promote Kangaroo Island as an up and coming wine region. “It’s also a great way to expose our brand to lots of wine enthusiasts from the Adelaide region,” he added.
“I don’t get much time to visit other regions so it’s great to be able to check out all the great wines being made in South Australia, all in one location.” Norris also participates in the festival to raise awareness on why Kangaroo Island is a great place to grow grapes and produce wine.The Islander Estate Vineyards was joined by Sunset Winery, also representing Kangaroo Island. Contact: Yale Norris. Phone: 61 885 539 008. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
Your Vineyard Your Voice
The Newsletter of Wine Grape Growers Australia
Vintage 2014 – low production and prices At the time of writing in early February, the 2014 harvest was getting underway and conditions seemed to be conspiring against winegrape growers. Desperately low warm inland indicator prices combined with low production have presented a double-hit for winegrape growers. The all-important outcome for profitability, dollar revenue per hectare, will plummet under the strain of these two outcomes. Notwithstanding the fact the emerging lower yields will logically induce prices higher than the current indicator prices, it is nevertheless highly unlikely in the current economic environment, that any price improvement will outweigh the downward impact on revenue from fewer tonnes. Pre-harvest conditions were not at all ideal with mid-October frosts in some locations, a cool-to-cold fruit set period that reduced vine fruitfulness and January heat waves that further reduced production capacity through desiccation of berries and caused a number of bushfires near vineyard regions, raising concerns about the potential of smoke taint. Australia’s growers have learnt a lot about managing vineyards in warmer conditions over the last decade, particularly during the recent drought spell, and have been able to some extent to manage the impact
Growers question commercial practices in the industry of this season’s hot conditions. This is, at least, good news for quality. Nevertheless, the announcement of devastatingly low indicative prices for warm inland fruit, in mid-December 2013, would have led to some growers thinking twice about applying water, at a cost, to crops that would not return enough income to pay for the water. Moreover, low prices for some years have led some growers to reduce crop inputs, including fertiliser, meaning that in these cases, the vines will be less resilient in the heat. In addition, as the harvest has commenced in some regions it has now become apparent that actual yields are well down on initial estimates. How much is still being discovered and it is still early days. Nevertheless, yield declines of 20% on expectation have been commonly reported to WGGA. Poor fruit set was rated as the biggest influence but in a cumulative sense the successive heat waves do appear to be taking a toll and this effect may exceed that of the former by the end of vintage. Notification of cooler-temperate indicator prices (required by the industry’s Code of Conduct to be made in mid-January)
have not come to WGGA’s attention but, anecdotally, it does not seem that these prices have not suffered as much as warm inland prices. The warm inland indicator prices represent a ‘wine grape crisis’ for these regions. The Murray Valley and Riverina in particular have been galvanised into action by concerns about poor commercial practices observed in their regions. The regional associations are also discussing with WGGA a number of initiatives at the national level. These include advocating for adjustment packages, assessing the influence of the WET Rebate on winegrape prices, wine market development, reviewing the Code of Conduct and its effectiveness and improving supply and demand information. Meanwhile, WGGA’s activities at a national level on addressing problems in the industry that impinge on price include initiating a review of the Australian Wine Industry Code of Conduct, promoting the concept of objective measurement systems for establishing winegrape prices, investigating the drivers of slow supply adjustment and agitating for improved terms of trade. While we cannot do much about heat waves, frosts and other seasonal events, we can work to improve the commercial operating environment for growers and reduce the “doublewhammy” effect.
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WFA Expert Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly The WFA action agenda, devised in response to their commissioned independent Expert Report and released in December 2013, has received a mixed reception from growers. This article sets out WGGA’s response, based on the views of our members.
For example, the action agenda includes little that is substantial to deal with overproduction. This is despite the Expert Report clearly identifying the major drivers of slow supply adjustment. WGGA believes these identified drivers should be more actively responded to in the action agenda.
WGGA applauds the evidential approach taken by WFA to the important issue of lack of profitability in the industry. The Expert Report is insightful and WFA’s stated intention to repeat topical analysis of this quality in the future is welcomed.
The identified drivers of slow supply adjustment involve both winemakers and growers. Commensurate with this, both winemakers and growers need to bear the burden of this adjustment. In WGGA’s view this is not reflected in the action agenda. A case in point is the WFA position on the WET Rebate (see below).
WGGA finds much in WFA’s action agenda to agree with. The areas of agreement include the following. • The commitment to the WGGA-WFA Joint Policy Forum for facilitating unified industry policy. • Maintaining the current position on an ad valorem basis to wine, albeit that a long-term commitment to this position is not given. • The concept of growing demand, as well as reducing supply, to achieve ‘balance’ in the sector. • Support for an industry-owned National Vineyard Database and foundation data collections. • An evidential approach to policy on wine and health. Nevertheless, on the fundamental topic of supply and demand, the imbalance of which has done so much to undermine the position of Australian wine on world markets, WGGA believes there are some fundamental shortcomings in WFA’s position. WGGA asserts that growers, not just winemakers, are casualties of the current lack of profitability in the industry. This fact receives little recognition in the expert review and indeed, the Actions too often load growers with the burden of adjustment.
Nevertheless, WGGA supports the commitment made in the action agenda to commissioning research into some key factors (that were identified by WGGA in its submission to the Expert Review) that may assist more rapid adjustment in the national vineyard in times of over- and under-supply. The research topics include: • ways to reduce the cost of vineyard turnover and removal, • greater ﬂexibility in vineyard management, • technical priorities to support improved quality, • alternate uses and markets for winegrapes. WGGA also supports the importance of addressing under-demand for Australian wine. However, WGGA believes the action agenda fails to address demand for wine that is most in oversupply – C, D and E grade wine. There is no defined strategy for improving the market prospects for this category of product. Improving the market prospects of this fruit and wine may go beyond classic marketing to include product innovation, product development, alternative uses for fruit, packaging and so on. Additional areas of concern include the following
• The WET Rebate. WFA’s action agenda, while not directly excluding growers from eligibility for the rebate if they convert their grapes to wine for sale, will nevertheless effectively do so by restricting Rebate access to packaged,labelled wine only. WGGA believes that if the WET Rebate exists, growers should be able to access it. Before making any changes, more evidence is needed to establish the case for such changes lest the cost of the disruption they will cause outweighs the benefit. • Innovation The proposed actions fail to address the potential of product innovation and development to recapture lost revenue. Not all loss of profitability is price degradation, some is product choice that can be addressed through product innovation as opposed to marketing. • Market signals through objective measures WFA rejected the opportunity to improve the market signals that guide marketbased industries like the wine sector. Widespread adoption of objective measurement systems for winegrape payments could bring about a leap forward in commercial competitiveness by vastly improving market signals (see article elsewhere in this United Grower). Finally a note of agreement on organisational reform to bring about aligned and coordinated advocacy from WGGA and WFA. WGGA’s efforts to work with WFA on this over the last three years are a matter of record. WGGA supports WFA’s intent to continue considering this issue in its on-going work program.
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Urgent need for systems to qualify desired grape attributes Great wine is made in the vineyard and grape growers deserve clear and specific definitions of what constitutes great grapes. This simple argument leads to the need for identifying and describing desired grape attributes for different wine styles. Objective measurements will describe sought-after grapes that make sought-after wine and will result in payments that reward a grower’s ability to meet optimal prescribed measures. WGGA sees this as a triple win – for growers, to confidently pursue fruit that will fetch optimum prices; for winemakers, to be offered grapes in close accordance to their preferences for specific wine styles and lower costs of production; and ultimately for consumers, through improved understanding by winemakers of what they value in the wine they drink. Note that the idea here is not regulation – it is about stimulating and steering good business in the wine industry. Overregulation will damage a differentiated product like wine – a product that is constantly reinventing itself to attract the consumer. But there’s the rub – each new style has to be described so it can be supplied. There is a general understanding in the industry that there needs to be measurement of wine and winegrape characteristics to describe how you get a thing as subjective as quality which something that is too ambiguous to be measured directly. A survey of various wine industry stakeholders has shown a strong desire for such improved measurement systems to exist. In May 2012, The Australian Wine Research Institute, in collaboration with Wine Grape Growers Australia and the National Measurement Institute, collated survey responses from almost 300 grape sellers and grape buyers about the measurement of grape quality in the Australian wine industry. The report, released in September 2012, showed that 60 per cent of recipients believed that grape sampling procedures and measurement methods could be improved.
WGGA believes the wine industry urgently needs to implement such objective measurement systems, encouraging grapes that are ‘fit for purpose’ in terms that are clearly understood by grape growers and wine producers. Such systems will save expense and increase profitability for everyone in the Australian wine industry. WGGA insists these changes need to be put into action as soon as possible. It is vital winemakers design meaningful indicators for what they want from grapes – which, in turn, reflects what a consumer wants from the wine they drink. Clear communication in this matter, on a product-by-product basis, will help produce more fruit suited to the wines selling in the marketplace, ultimately meaning greater uptake of wines, less waste and greater profitability for all in the industry. However, there is presently reluctance from the Winemakers Federation of Australia to promote this idea – despite some of its members openly supporting the concept. This is a mistake, as other significant international wine competitors have already identified the merits of objective winegrape measurements and are acting on them. For example, Gallo in California – a major winery has been using objective measures since 1990. Moreover, Gallo used much of the research funded in Australia by AWRI to develop a grape quality index for selecting or rejecting fruit prior to harvest.
The measurement systems were clearly built into the grape purchasing contract, which increased confidence between the two parties, and ultimately led to improved quality. Rob reports that he saw an immediate change in grape growing and preparation for picking, with higher grape quality received in subsequent vintages. Rob asserts that it was clearly understood by the growers that they would make more money if they met the clearly defined and measured standards. He believes such a system needs to become an industry standard. WGGA says the current system of ad-hoc, sometimes disputed classifications and payment structures for winegrapes is a hindrance to progress particularly in warm inland vineyard regions, the largest growing and production areas in our wine industry. Creating a meaningful set of objective measurements for grapes from Australia’s warm inland areas is within reach – and it can be a crucial tool in developing stronger contracts for fair trade and more secure pricing of winegrapes, as well as better quality fruit for winemakers that meets consumer expectations and preferences.
What is grapegrowing worth?
Still, even Gallo hasn’t yet taken the next step of using the index as a market signal to forge meaningful business relationships with growers. This is where Australia must act swiftly, to ensure a more valuable index is installed to improve fruit selection systems ahead of international competitors.
The value of grapes (all uses) in 2012 was approximately $1 billion – similar to sugarcane and about a third of fruit (all types of combined). An estimate for the value of winegrapes in 2012 is $880 million. This places winegrapes in about tenth place on a list of Australian crops by value.
Fledgling efforts are being made to this end already. Rob Hunt, formerly of Boar’s Rock in McLaren Vale, believes he has a set of objective measures that can work to benefit all stakeholders in the Australian wine industry. Implemented over three years before Rob left Boar’s Rock, his system embraced a broad variety of measurable grape qualities, with different attributes
A decade ago, in 2002, the value of winegrapes (unadjusted for inflation) was $1.3 billion which would have rated it at sixth place on the 2012 list.
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When converted to wine, the value of winegrapes translates to over $4 billion in wine sales revenue. Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABARES, WGGA estimates
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WGGA business at a glance… WGGA activities • With a new government installed in Canberra, WGGA is busy seeking appointments with the new parliamentary members as well as reacquainting with old. Discussions about the parlous state of warm inland winegrape prices is high on the agenda at this time.
WGGA Associate Members
• The ﬁrst Viticulture Biosecurity Industry Reference Group is being established. The Industry Reference Group will assist in developing and overseeing the industry’s winegrape biosecurity arrangements and policies by providing practical, grassroots perspectives on biosecurity matters to the WGGA and WFA and the National Viticulture Biosecurity Committee.
• Vine germplasm - WGGA is project managing a working group which will pull together a detailed plan for how the nation’s germplasm resources can be sustainably managed in the future. Industry consultations are planned for the next few months and a stakeholder group will sign-off on the plan for approval by the WGGA and WFA executive committee and board respectively. Business plan writing is expected to occur in the first half of the year with the implementation phase hoped for in the second half and into early 2015. • The merger is on. After the necessary bills were enacted on 13 December 2013, the Minister, The Hon Barnaby Joyce, stated that the new industry statutory body, the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA), will commence on 1 July 2014. To ensure this happens, the chief officers and Chairs of the four national organisations are meeting regularly to deal with transition arrangements for the GWRDC and WAC going into the AGWA, the minister is seeking nominations from WGGA and WFA to appoint a selection committee for
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the Directors of the new organisation and the Minister is considering his appointment of a Chair in discussion with industry. Both the Chair and the Directors of AGWA will be appointed before the organisation’s commencement, with all Directors appointed in a ‘consultant’ capacity prior to the date of commencement. The consultants will be engaged to appoint the AGWA chief executive officer and assist with preparations for establishing the Authority in readiness for the 1 July 2014 commencement date. Publications • Hard copies of the Biosecurity Manual, developed by Plant Health Australia with GWRDC funding, have been printed and will be circulated
initially through a regional roadshow program currently being organised. Contact us if you wish to know more. This is an on-farm manual designed to be thrown into the glove box of the ute to assist grape growers (wine, table and dried) to reduce the risk and/or respond to incursions (pests and diseases from outside Australia) or outbreaks (pests and diseases within Australia). Electronic copies of the manual will also be available for download at www.farmbiosecuirty. com.au • The National Winegrape Grower Book is also available through WGGA. If you are a WGGA member contact us today for your FREE copy of this statistical profile of winegrape growers in Australia. Non-members can purchase for $15. NEW on our website • Members can view the latest Australian Grape & Wine Statistics via our website. • Outcomes from the Wine Industry Award review came into effect in January and resulted in an amendment to Clause 27.2 (d) – most notably, the definition of ‘vintage’. Link to SAWIA if you’re on the WGGA site or go direct to SAWIA for more information (www.winesa.asn.au). • ED Blog Perhaps you’d like to comment? The WGGA executive director has a few things to say about the benefits of objective measurements in sorting out supply and demand influences on winegrape price from quality rewards. • Smoke taint WGGA, together with Mark Hamilton from Grope Hamilton Lawyers, have provided some guidance on how to approach concerns about smoke taint damage to fruit. Visit our website for a downloadable document.
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grapegrowing New Zealand set for success in 2014 After last year’s bumper harvest grapegrowers and winemakers have been eager to get straight into the vineyard for a better vintage in 2014. Stephanie Timotheou spoke with New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive officer Philip Gregan and 2013 New Zealand winemaker of the year Chris Scott who gave us the lowdown on what we can expect from Kiwi producers this year.
THE NEW ZEALAND wine industry has been buoyed by a successful 2013 which can only mean one thing – 2014 is set to be bigger and better. The wines from vintage 2013 have delivered on the hype which surrounded harvest – one which is likely to be remembered as a stellar vintage in many winegrowing regions across the country. According to New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive officer Philip Gregan, the quality of last year’s vintage has set the platform for strong export sales in 2014 and is a positive going into a new season. “Looking forward the industry is optimistic about the prospects for another high quality vintage this year,” he said. “A focus on quality ahead of quantity is always a mantra and it needs to be again in 2014. “Wineries and growers have built a strong reputation for New Zealand as a quality producer and each vintage needs to add to this reputation.” Following an impressive budburst and flowering, Gregan said extensive crop thinning has been conducted preveraison, indicating the message has been “taken to heart”.
MARKET OUTLOOK AND THE NZ DOLLAR The 2013 vintage has helped re-supply the market following a short 2012 vintage. Gregan said North America will likely become the largest market for New Zealand wines in 2014, overtaking Australia. “This will be a highly significant development in the history of the industry’s export endeavours and will provide a platform for growth in the second half of this decade,” he added. “Sauvignon Blanc will remain the cornerstone of the industry’s export success however the growing success of varieties such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris and fuller bodied reds – particularly in markets such as China – indicates underlying support for a broad range of New Zealand wines in key markets.” The value of the New Zealand dollar is an ongoing challenge for exporters,
24 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Happy harvest: New Zealand Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan said the country’s grapegrowers and winemakers are in for a ripper year.
with the renewed strength against the Australian dollar another issue to be addressed. However according to Gregan, the industry has a much broader range of export markets than in previous years which has increased market options for exporters. He said the strong New Zealand dollar appears to be something exporters need to “learn to live with”.
A WINEMAKER’S PERSPECTIVE Church Road Winery senior winemaker and 2013 New Zealand winemaker of the year Chris Scott said last year was Hawkes Bay’s driest season in more than 70 years, with less than half the average rainfall over the growing season. “Following a very cool summer in the 2011/2012 growing season, crop levels www.winebiz.com.au
were low resulting in wine quality being high across a range of varieties,” he explained. “Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were the stand out varieties for us at Church Road and we are eager to see what 2014 holds.” Last year’s warm season and regular rainfall means crop levels are up across the board and increased thinning work has been required to maintain quality this year. Spring had a subtropical feel with high humidity and warm nights which meant viticulturists around the region were busy trimming, mowing and leaf plucking right up to the New Year. While this was the case in late 2013, Scott said the vineyard is now drying out and canopy growth is well under control. March 2014 – Issue 602
All smiles: Church Road Winery senior winemaker Chris Scott showing off his 2013 New Zealand winemaker of the year award.
“While we’ve had cooler weather recently including one very unseasonal 5C night, growing degree days (GDD) are still above average and most were predicting a harvest start date about five days early,” he said. “Historically seasons with an early accumulation of GDD play to Hawkes Bay’s key red wine strengths. “Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah give us good tannin and flavour ripeness with moderate sugar levels
and produce well balanced wines so everyone has their fingers and toes crossed for another high quality red wine vintage in 2014.” Scott said the winery will crush around 3500 tonnes this year, all of it sourced from Hawkes Bay. “Cha rdonnay will remain our key white wine variety while Merlot Cabernet blends will be our biggest red volume,” he added. “We had our first good crop last year
and the wine is looking great so we are looking forward to doing it all over again this year.” Contact: Philip Gregan. Phone: 64 9 306 5555. Email: email@example.com. Chris Scott. Phone: 64 27 673 2518. Email: Chris.Scott@pernod-ricard.com.
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
Major biosecurity step taken towards protecting Australia's vineyards WGGA is making the running with its appointment of a specialist to create a blueprint for the biosecurity of the grape industry into the future – and by partnering other players in the same industry to present a united front.
PIERCE’S Disease is just one of at least 15 high priority pests under watch by the grape industry. Yet the CRC for Plant Biosecurity has recently estimated if it struck the Barossa Valley alone the clean-up bill could stretch to $4.2 billion – over 20 years. Wine Grape Growers Australia’s (WGGA) national winegrape biosecurity program coordinator Rachel Barratt said that equated to a levy of $50 per tonne for every tonne crushed in the Valley – for the next two decades. Pierce’s Disease is a bacterial Disease caused by Xylella fastidiosa. This bacterium lives in the water-conducting system (xylem) of the grapevine and is spread from plant to plant by sap-feeding insects. The characteristic symptom of Pierce’s Disease in grapevines is leaf scorch. Leaves become yellow around the leaf margins or between the veins. The outer leaf area may dry suddenly while the rest of the leaf remains green. Affected leaves are less vigorous and smaller than healthy leaves. Leaves dry progressively over a period of days to weeks and concentric zones of discoloured and dead tissue are seen. The whole leaf may shrivel and drop leaving only the leaf stalk attached. Diseased stems often mature irregularly, with patches of brown and green tissue. Flower clusters on infected vines may set berries but these usually dry up before reaching maturity.
NO CURE As of today there is no known cure. Barratt said while this might be an extreme example Pierce’s Disease is already widespread in North and Central America and is making inroads into South America. “Which is why biosecurity is becoming so important today, not just in the wine grape industry but across much of agriculture,” she said. “With increasing volumes of imported produce, much of it from areas with diseases currently unknown in Australia, getting the frontline organised now is crucial.
26 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Rachel Barratt says management mechanisms need to be more effective and this is the biosecurity challenge facing all sectors of agriculture.
“There is also the challenge of climate change, and even so many people moving around within any given industry, including wine, from state to state and country to country the risks of spreading anything are increasing.” Barratt runs the environmental consulting agency Consilius after a successful career, most recently as strategic director for the former SA Department for Water and before that as manager of a variety of SA government projects including Water for Good, Mt Lofty Ranges Watershed Protection Office, and Communications and Community Engagement with the EPA. She brings with her a Masters in Environmental Management from the University of Adelaide, a degree with a double major in geography and biology and a post graduate diploma in Futures Studies. Announcing her appointment late last year, WGGA chairman and long-time winegrape grower Vic Patrick said the association had taken a major step towards ensuring the future security of Australia’s grapegrowing businesses. www.winebiz.com.au
KEY PROJECTS By helping to increase the protection of Australian vineyards against biosecurity threats – from both outside our borders as well as potential domestic problems. Patrick said during the next 12 months Barratt will be responsible for initiating a number of important projects to secure a sound biosecurity management structure in the winegrape growing sector. In particular, she will be setting up the industry’s Winegrape Biosecurity Industry Reference Group to drive industry policy and strategy. The group will work with other industries and government through agencies such as the National Viticulture Biosecurity Committee and establishing long-term sustainable funding for the function. Barratt said her role is about working with industry “to develop biosecurity priorities”. To that end she said she hopes to partner other sections of the wider grapegrowing industry to better March 2014 – Issue 602
long term manage protocols and any problems. “Management mechanisms need to be more effective and this is the biosecurity challenge facing all sectors of agriculture for all issues,” Barratt added. “The citrus industry, grains and now Aus-Veg are all going down this path as it gains greater recognition,” she said. “It has become even more urgent as a result of the changing nature of the relationship between government and industry. Where once a state or federal agriculture department would be expected to manage, and pay for, control program, increasingly that responsibility is being shifted back onto industry.
WORKING TOGETHER “If we can’t work together to minimise the risk of any outbreak then it will be the industry, and the grassroots producers, who are going to have to pay. “We need to have in place a strategic set of information systems, communication protocols and action plans. “Look at fruit fly. That is a classic example of how well a range of industries, and the wider community, can unite behind a problem and help control it.”
Patrick agreed, noting WGGA was the wine sector signatory to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed with Canberra and has now taken a lead role in progressing biosecurity on behalf of all grapegrowers in Australia – including winemakers with their own vineyards. He also said WGGA has made significant progress despite resource constraints. “We need the support of the whole sector to make this work – including from our research organisation the Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation (GWRDC), which has identified biosecurity as a priority area in its latest five year plan,” Patrick said. “It’s a difficult time for growers,” he added, “and the costs of a potential biosecurity event could be the final blow for many growers. “You only have to look at the Papaya Fruit Fly outbreak in Queensland to see just how much a major pest or disease outbreak can cost an industry.” The direct costs to growers from the Papaya Fruit Fly experience in the mid1990s is estimated to have been $27-$46 per hectare for each of up to 12 sprays a season and disinfestation of $79$100 per tonne. The costs of disrupted markets were not calculated. Indirect
costs through various agencies were up to $55 million covering eradication and research to develop control measures. All up, the estimated cost could have been $160 million. “We want to make sure we never have an outbreak like that through wise investment in prevention, strategy development and awareness activities,” Patrick said. WGGA executive director Lawrie Stanford said “Rachel has a very strong background in program development and strategy, and as such, is well-positioned to establish our industry biosecurity arrangements”. “Rachel has been working as an independent consultant providing strategic and business development advice which is exactly what we need in this role.” Barratt agreed if the industry gets the job right she will never be heard of again. “When your biosecurity officer is in the headlines it’s too late, you’ve got a problem,” she said. Contact: Rachel Barratt. Phone: 61 8 8133 4405. Email: email@example.com.
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
15/09/11 11:37 AM
grapegrowing PIERCE’S DISEASE Pierce’s Disease is a bacterial disease caused by Xylella fastidiosa. This bacterium lives in the water-conducting system (xylem) of the grapevine and is spread from plant to plant by sap-feeding insects. The characteristic symptom of Pierce’s Disease in grapevines is leaf scorch. Affected leaves are less vigorous and smaller than healthy leaves. They dry progressively over a period of days to weeks and concentric zones of discoloured and dead tissue are seen. The whole leaf may shrivel and drop leaving only the leaf stalk attached. Diseased stems often mature irregularly, with patches of brown and green tissue. Flower clusters on infected vines may set berries but these usually dry up before reaching maturity. There is no known cure. INFECTION AND SEVERITY Leaf symptoms vary with the grapevine species and cultivar. Grape varieties such as Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon show regular zones of progressive leaf margin discolouration and drying. Discolouration and scorching in the variety Thompson Seedless occurs in sectors of the leaf rather than as rings around the margins. Symptoms are usually more obvious in grapevines already stressed by high temperatures or drought conditions. Climatic differences between regions can affect the timing and severity of the symptoms but not the type of symptoms.
glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis). Glassy-winged sharpshooter is an exotic plant pest.
In the first growing season after being infected only one or two canes may show symptoms. Symptoms gradually spread along the cane from the point of infection to the tip and more slowly towards the base of the cane. Some or all of the fruit clusters on the infected cane may wilt and dry out. Tips of canes and roots may die back. In the following year some canes may fail to bud out. New leaves are yellow and older leaves appear scorched. Infected vines may grow at a normal rate but the quantity of new growth is less than that of healthy vines. In late summer leaf scorching symptoms reappear. In later years infected grapevines develop late and produce stunted yellow shoots. HOSTS The bacterium Xylella fastidiosa affects a wide host range of agricultural and ornamental plants. Some hosts are symptomless. INSECT VECTORS All sucking insects feeding on xylem sap are potential vectors of Xylella fastidiosa. An insect vector of major concern is the
SPREAD Pierce’s Disease is transmitted by grafting infected propagation material onto healthy rootstocks and by sap-sucking insect vectors. Pierce’s Disease is not transmitted through contaminated pruning equipment or by seed transmission. CONTROL There is no cure for Pierce’s Disease. Prevention is the best option for the management of Pierce’s Disease. Removal of infected vines and vector control are used in California to reduce disease spread. ACTIONS TO MINIMISE RISKS Your vineyard management should include: • Sourcing propagation material of a known high health status from reliable suppliers. • Regularly monitoring for glassy-winged sharpshooter. • Investigating sick vines. • Practicing on-farm biosecurity to prevent entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. • Ensuring all staff and visitors are instructed in and adhere to your on-farm hygiene practices. • Keeping records. Information courtesy of NSW Department of Primary Industry.
STAGES OF INFECTION Pierce’s Disease can kill grapevines by blocking the plant’s water conducting system. Susceptible grapevines cultivars can die within one to two years of the initial infection.
28 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
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Optimising pruning wound protection for the control of eutypa dieback Researchers Matthew Ayres, Trevor Wicks, Eileen Scott and Mark Sosnowski say options are needed to prevent pruning wound infection and their three-year trials are looking for those answers. EUTYPA dieback, caused by the fungus Eutypa lata, is a major grapevine disease in cool climate wine regions of Australia (and globally), threatening the sustainability of vineyards and causing considerable economic loss to the $8.3 billion Australian wine industry. The fungus infects vines through pruning wounds and colonises wood tissue causing dieback of cordons, stunting of green shoots, leaf distortion, poor fruit set, uneven berry ripening and, if not controlled, eventually kills vines (Carter 1991). The only method of controlling eutypa dieback, once established in vines, is to remove all infected wood tissue from the vine using remedial surgery (Sosnowski et al. 2011). A more efficient and cost effective control method is to prevent entry of E. lata into the vines by protecting pruning wounds. Currently only three pruning wound treatments are registered in Australia for the control of eutypa dieback; Greenseal, a paint containing tebuconazole fungicide, Garrison Rapid, a pruning wound dressing containing iodocarb and cyproconazole fungicide, and Vinevax, a Trichoderma-based biological control. More options are needed for growers to prevent pruning wound infection, particularly with treatments that can be applied with sprayers in vineyards where the hand-application of wound dressings is not economically viable. A three-year project to address these gaps was funded by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) and involved researchers at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) in collaboration with the University of Adelaide. The recently concluded work involved vineyard and greenhouse trials to assess a range of treatments and application rates to support label registration. In addition, spray machinery commonly used in Australian vineyards was evaluated for effectiveness in the large-scale application of pruning wound treatments.
METHODS Evaluation of pruning wound treatments Two vineyard trials to evaluate pruning wound treatments were established at the Nuriootpa Research Centre, Barossa Valley in 2010 and repeated in 2011 In Trial 1, one-year-old canes on Cabernet Sauvignon vines were pruned to two buds then, using a paintbrush, wounds were treated with Folicur, Scala, Cabrio or Shirlan at 2, 5 and 10 times the rate registered for other grapevine diseases (Table 1). Controls, positive (inoculated) and negative (non-inoculated), were treated with sterile distilled water (SDW). Wounds were inoculated twice with 500 spores of E. lata from 1-6 days after treatment to maximise infection. In Trial 2, canes on Shiraz vines were pruned as above, and wounds were treated with the alternative natural treatments of Serenade (a formulation of Bacillus subtilis) (2ml/L), garlic juice (50ml/L) or lactoferrin (50g/L) and compared with Folicur and Cabrio at 1 or 2 times the current label rates. Controls and inoculation were as for Trial 1. Treated canes were harvested 12 months later and returned to the laboratory for assessment. Bark was removed from each cane,
30 Grapegrower & Winemaker
the wood was surface sterilised in bleach and rinsed in SDW. Canes were cut into segments taken from each side of the margin between live and dead wood tissue. Wood segments were placed onto agar plates and incubated for seven days then assessed for presence or absence of E. lata. Efficacy was based on the mean percent recovery (MPR) of E. lata from the treated canes by isolation on agar. Data are presented as mean percent disease control which was calculated as the reduction in MPR as a proportion of the inoculated control. To generate extra data to support vineyard trials towards product label registration and to evaluate products at a range of inoculum doses, three detached cane assay (DCA) experiments were conducted as described in Ayres et al. 2011. Four commercial fungicide formulations; Folicur, Scala, Cabrio and Shirlan, were each applied by paintbrush to wounds on 20 canes at 1, 2, 5 or 10 times the current label rate (Table 1). The following day, wounds were inoculated with either 500 (DCA 1 & 2) or 200 spores (DCA 3). Three days later, a second inoculation of 500 spores was applied to wounds in DCA 1. Positive and negative controls were included. Spray application of pruning wound treatments Three field trials were established in McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and the Adelaide Hills on Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo vines, respectively, in 2010 and repeated in 2011. Commercial sprayers, including air-blast, air-shear, fan, recycle and purpose-built machines, were evaluated for their ability to apply wound treatments for control of eutypa dieback (Figure 1). In each trial, Folicur was applied at 0.6, 1.5 or 3 ml/L with a water spray volumes ranging from 200â€“960 L/ha. In both years, Folicur (3 ml/L) was applied with a paint brush for comparison, along with positive and negative controls. All wounds (except for negative controls) were inoculated twice with 500 E. lata spores from 1-4 days after treatment. Treated canes were removed 12 months later and returned to the laboratory for assessment as described above. Table 1. Pruning wound treatments evaluated in field trials and detached cane assays. Product Fungicides
Tebuconazole (430 g/L)
Bayer Crop Science
Pyrimethanil (400 g/kg)
Bayer Crop Science
Fluazinam (500 g/L)
Crop Care Australasia Pty Ltd
Bio-fungicide (Bacillus subtilis) (2mL/L)
Fresh garlic juice (5mL/100mL)
Lactoferrin (99.9 per cent) (5g/100mL)
MG Nutritionals Australia
N/A not applicable
March 2014 â€“ Issue 602
Spray coverage was assessed using water-sensitive papers (WSP) placed throughout the vines (Figure 2). Using an image processing program (Image J), spray coverage on wounds was quantified for each spray treatment.
RESULTS Evaluation of pruning wound treatments In Trial 1 in 2010/11, E. lata was recovered from 86 per cent of inoculated control canes and 6 per cent of naturally infected (non-inoculated) canes. When applied at 2-10 times the label rate for other grape diseases, Folicur reduced infection by 59-88 per cent; Shirlan by 21-58 per cent; Scala by 33-53 per cent and Cabrio by 10-12 per cent (Figure 3). In 2011/12, E. lata was recovered from 53 per cent of inoculated controls and 4 per cent of naturally infected canes. When applied at 2-10 times the label rate, Folicur reduced infection by 83-87 per cent; Shirlan by 8-31 per cent; Scala by 31-71 per cent and Cabrio by 72-75 per cent. In Trial 2, E. lata was recovered from 92 per cent of inoculated control canes and 8 per cent of naturally infected canes in 2010/11. Lactoferrin, garlic juice and Serenade provided 14, 8 and 7 per cent control, respectively and Folicur and Cabrio provided 35-46 per cent and 18 per cent control, respectively. In 2011/12,
Figure 1. Recycle sprayer applying Folicur to pruning wounds in a field trial.
E. lata was recovered from 55 per cent of inoculated controls and 13 per cent of naturally infected canes. Lactoferrin, garlic juice and Serenade provided 65, 52 and 31 per cent control, respectively, and Folicur and Cabrio provided 57-60 per cent and 49 per cent control, respectively. In DCA 1, E. lata was recovered from 95 per cent of controls inoculated with 1000 spores per wound. When applied at 1-10 times the recommended label rate for other grapevine disease, Folicur provided 47-100 per cent control; Scala 5–58 per cent control; Cabrio, 63–100 per cent control and Shirlan, 53–100 per cent control of E. lata (Figure 4a). In DCA 2, E. lata was recovered from 95
Figure 2. Water-sensitive paper cards placed at four fixed positions on a post and random positions within the pruning wound zone.
per cent of controls inoculated with 500 spores per wound. When applied at 1-10 times the recommended label rate, Folicur provided 63-100 per cent control; Scala, 42-84 per cent control; Cabrio, 74–100 per cent control and Shirlan 42–100 per cent control of E. lata (Figure 4b). In DCA 3, E. lata was recovered from 35 per cent of controls inoculated with 200 spores per wound. Shirlan and Cabrio provided complete control of E. lata at all rates evaluated (Figure 4c). Folicur provided between 86 and 100 per cent control of E. lata at all application rates. Scala was not effective at label rate, but provided between 43 and 100 per cent control at 2-10 times the label rate.
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1800 008 707 | www.drummuster.com.au 1800 008 182 | www.chemclear.com.au March 2014 – Issue 602
Grapegrower & Winemaker
80 control (per cent)
control (per cent)
80 60 40 20 0
60 40 20
5x 10x Shirlan
Figure 3. Mean percent control of infection of pruning wounds on Cabernet Sauvignon vines by Eutypa lata in trial 1. Fungicides were applied at 2, 5 or 10 times the recommended label rate for foliar application to grapevines (Table 1). A 100
control wounds and 5 per cent of the naturally infected wounds. Coverage and disease control provided by the fan and recycle sprayers is shown in Figure 5. In Coonawarra in 2010, E. lata was recovered from 84 per cent of the inoculated controls and 3 per cent of the naturally infected wounds. When applied with a paint brush, Folicur provided 89 per cent control. The air-blast, fan and air-shear sprayers provided 72-92, 31-62 and 68-88 per cent coverage, respectively, and 25-47, 27-45 and 35-48 per cent disease control, respectively. In 2011, E. lata was recovered from 51 per cent of the inoculated control wounds and 12 per cent of the naturally infected wounds. Coverage and disease control provided by the fan, air-blast and recycle sprayers are shown in Figure 5. In the Adelaide Hills in 2010, E. lata was recovered from 96 per cent of the inoculated controls and 15 per cent of the naturally infected wounds. When applied with a paint brush, Folicur provided 63 per cent disease control. The fan and home-engineered cordon sprayers provided 23-81 and 53-83 per cent coverage respectively. The fan sprayer provided 15-22 and 19-39 per cent disease control when Folicur was applied at 1.5 and 3 ml/L, respectively. The home-engineered cordon sprayer provided 33-65 per cent control when Folicur was applied at 3 ml/L. In 2011, E. lata was recovered from 60 per cent of the inoculated control wounds and 13 per cent of the naturally infected wounds. Coverage and disease control provided by fan, recycle and cordon sprayers are shown in Figure 5. Regression analysis of data for all spray trials combined showed a correlation (R2 = 0.5) between disease control and spray coverage.
control (per cent)
2x 5x Folicur
2x 5x Scala
2x 5x Cabrio
2x 5x Shirlan
2x 5x Folicur
2x 5x Scala
2x 5x Cabrio
2x 5x Shirlan
control (per cent)
control (per cent)
2x 5x Folicur
2x 5x Scala
2x 5x Cabrio
2x 5x Shirlan
Figure 4. Mean percent control of Eutypa lata infection using a detached cane assay following inoculation of a) 1000 (2x500), b) 500 and c) 200 spores. Fungicides were applied at 1, 2, 5 or 10 times the recommended label rate for foliar application to grapevines (Table 1).
Spray application of pruning wound treatments In McLaren Vale in 2010, E. lata was recovered from 69 per cent of the inoculated controls and 2 per cent of the naturally infected wounds. Folicur provided 94 per cent control when applied with a paint brush. The fan, air-shear and recycle sprayers provided 6-25, 71-85 and 51-83 per cent coverage, respectively, and 1-20, 40-49 and 44-93 per cent disease control respectively. In 2011, E. lata was recovered from 86 per cent of the inoculated
32 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Although the rate of natural infection, indicated by recovery of E. lata, never exceeded 15 per cent, vines are, in normal practice, exposed to infection over their lifetime. However, to ensure sufficient infection in the vineyard to compare efficacy of fungicides, all wounds were inoculated with 1000 spores, which is 100 times the number estimated to infect pruning wounds naturally (Carter and Moller 1971). This resulted in recovery of E. lata of up to 96 and 55 per cent from inoculated controls in 2010/11 and 2011/12 respectively. Nonetheless, even at these un-naturally high inoculum levels, treatments such as Folicur provided high (up to 94 per cent) levels of control. DCAs allowed us to reduce the inoculum dose to more closely reflect natural disease pressure (e.g. 35 per cent recovery of E. lata from controls inoculated with 200 spores/wound) and obtain a more realistic evaluation of the efficacy of fungicides. Three of the four fungicides evaluated controlled eutypa dieback. Permits and label extension are currently being sought for the use of Folicur (tebuconazole) and Emblem (fluazinam) as pruning wound protectants against E. lata. Under moderate disease pressure in 2011/12, the â€œnaturalâ€? products, garlic, lactoferrin and Serenade, controlled infection by E. lata in the vineyards as effectively as fungicides. These may
March 2014 â€“ Issue 602
400 L/ha 600 L/ha
HP = hand paint
200 L/ha 400 L/ha 600 L/ha
equivalent to that of treatments applied with a paintbrush. Other sprayers provided some control, but water spray volumes of at least 600 L/ha were required. In this research, all treatments were applied to pruning wounds on the day of pruning. Further work is needed to determine their curative and preventative properties to provide decision support for timing of application. A new project funded by GWRDC aims to address this, the timing of natural spore production in the vineyard and the susceptibility of pruning wounds to infection throughout the pruning season. Both trunk diseases, eutypa and botryosphaeria dieback, will be targeted in this research. Contact: Matthew Ayres Phone: 61 8 8303 9659 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HP = hand paint
Sprayer Figure 5. Mean percent coverage (a) and disease control (b) provided by sprayers evaluated in vineyard trials in 2011. Folicur was applied at 10 times the recommended label rate for foliar application to grapevines (Table 1) except for recycle sprayers that applied Folicur at 2, 5 or 10 times label rate.
provide alternatives for organic vineyards or to reduce chemical inputs towards sustainable integrated pest management. Commercial sprayers were effective in
applying pruning wound protectants, some more efficient than others. The best control was achieved using recycle sprayers and the cordon sprayer, which provided control
Ayres MR, Sosnowski MR and Wicks TJ (2011) A rapid technique for evaluating treatments for eutypa dieback control. Wine and Viticulture Journal 26(6), 50-53.Carter MV (1991) The status of Eutypa lata as a pathogen. Monograph â€“ Phytopathological Paper No. 32. (International Mycological Institute, Surrey, UK).Carter M V and Moller W J (1971) The quantity of inoculum required to infect apricot and other Prunus species with Eutypa armeniacae. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture and Animal Husbandry 11, 684-686.Sosnowski MR, Wicks TW and Scott ES (2011) Control of Eutypa dieback in grapevines using remedial surgery. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 50, S277-S284.
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GRO2014 winetitle 1211.indd March â€“ Issue 602 3
11:24 AM Grapegrower14/12/11 & Winemaker 33
Yalumba’s young lady sets the bar for future viticulturists She’s only 25 years young but Brooke Howell is already keen to be a role model for aspiring viticulturists to show what they can achieve if they put their mind to it. Stephanie Timotheou caught up with Barossa-based grapegrower to discuss how she got into the industry, her career at Yalumba and what the future holds. A LITTLE bit of work experience went a long way for Yalumba viticulturist and technical officer Brooke Howell. The 25-year-old Angaston local thought she knew a bit about the wine industry but it was a week’s work experience at Grant Burge’s Illaparra Winery which proved a turning point in her life. After seeing the not-so-glamorous duties of working in a cellar, she decided to take up a bachelor of science (viticulture) degree (with honours) at the University of Adelaide. Having grown up around some of the world’s most famous wines and vines, Howell said working in viticulture was
the perfect choice and presented many opportunities.
LIFE AT YALUMBA With academic qualifications under her belt Howell managed to score a position in Barossa and Eden Valley for Yalumba. A role in which she seemed to have been thrown in headfirst. “Everyone remembers my first year at Yalumba as the year vintage almost didn’t come due to the endless rain,” she explained. “That was followed by a year of drought. “Then we had frost in October. “Followed by another hot spring and summer.
“Our vineyards cover many different soil types, planted with different varieties, so managing each one as a consequence of that type of weather keeps things interesting.” Howell said her role as a viticulturist not only allowed her to learn in Yalumba’s Barossa and Eden Valley vineyards, but she's also had exposure to the warmer and cooler climates of the company’s Riverland and Limestone Coast vineyards. “Yalumba is a fantastic company to work for – the culture of a family-owned company is amazing and the people are incredibly supportive.”
Graduates are grinners: Brooke Howell at Barossa’s 2013 Next Crop Leadership Program graduation in Nuriootpa.
34 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY IN THE FIELD Technology plays a big part in Howell’s role and she has been busy embracing new and understanding old techniques during her short time at Yalumba. The company previously used Gbugs as a soil moisture monitoring tool. These were gypsum blocks with a logger that had to be physically downloaded in the field. According to Howell, Yalumba has now moved with the times by investing in hi-tech equipment to make the job easier. “We’ve now moved to a new automated system where soil moisture levels can be read on a smart phone or iPad anywhere, anytime,” she said. “We have also installed time lapse cameras that take images every 30 seconds.” The cameras capture what is happening to vine canopies over time and the photos are then collated into a short video to show how the canopy fares over the entire growing season. Howell said this saves a lot of time as she no longer has to take an individual photograph on a regular basis. Temperature sensors are also placed in the vineyard to frequently log temperature and relative humidity. “This makes it easier to keep tabs on what is really going on in the vineyard rather than relying on visual cues,” she said. “We have also moved away from cultivating the mid rows to protect the soil structure – instead we use a permanent mid row sward that self-seeds every year.” In addition to this, Yalumba is investigating machinery that has less impact on the ground to minimise soil compaction. The company’s overall sensitivity to the environment, its protection and
If there’s one thing I have taken away from my experience so far, it’s never being afraid to ask questions and challenge yourself and your peers
sustainability has become increasingly heightened over the years and according to Howell, Yalumba is conscious that everything it does in the vineyard impacts its surroundings. “We make a big effort to plant native vegetation every year and this season we invested in a recirculation sprayer to minimise off-target spray drift,” she said. “We have also moved towards softer chemicals and our irrigation efficiency has improved from furrow irrigation to low volume drip.”
BAROSSA’S NEXT CROP GRADUATE In late January Howell was one of the 22 graduates to complete Barossa’s 2013 Next Crop Leadership Program. Graduating from the course has been her biggest achievement – so far – and the exposure she gained over the nine-month program has opened the door to many opportunities. “Having just graduated from the leadership course, I hope to take on a leadership role in some capacity in the future and make the most of every opportunity that comes my way,” she said.
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March 2014 – Issue 602
“I have developed leadership skills and gained a deeper understanding of what personal and professional leadership entails. “One of the things which resonate with me most is the process behind decision making and how this can be applied in a leadership capacity.” The course also taught her the principles of effective communication and the importance of this in both business and personal relationships. Howell said the skills she obtained from the course will help throughout her career and she would recommend aspiring viticulturists to participate in the next program. “The participants are the upcoming leaders of the Barossa wine industry so it is important to support and encourage one another,” she said. “It opens up so many channels to ensure we are able to participate at a regional, state and national level.”
WHERE TO FROM HERE While Howell is only scraping the surface, she’s optimistic about a bright future. “I chose to study viticulture because I love the outdoors, there are multiple avenues and plenty of opportunities to travel,” she said. “If all goes well I would like to venture into vineyard management in the future.” Her best advice to young viticulturists in her position is to utilise networks as everyone in the industry has an opinion or a story to tell and from which they can learn. She also suggested being an active listener as it helps to pick up some “real pearls of wisdom” from the more experienced members of the wine industry. Contact: Brooke Howell. Phone: 61 8 8565 3203. Email: email@example.com.
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
With vintage in full swing, finding enough hours in the day for many growers is a huge challenge. Even so, it’s also worth considering the benefits that come from making time available during harvest to gauge your crop’s health.
When results are so visual and the memory is still fresh, taking time to establish what worked well and what didn’t, will help shape your vineyard plans for next season. Of the many challenges growers faced this year, powdery mildew has been right up there. So if your powdery mildew control wasn’t everything it should have been, I’d suggest you think about the following points. Start reviewing powdery mildew control at harvest by recording the incidence, severity and location of the disease. Taking pictures and recording voice memos with your smart phone is a quick way of capturing this type of information. Determine if the disease is widespread or in isolated areas which may have their own microclimate. Note if the mildew was on the rachis (the main stem that runs down through the cluster of grapes), the berries or in the top of the vine canopy. See if you can identify any particular part on the canes where infection started and take photos. This may help identify a distinct point in time for infection which corresponds with a weather event or spray application. Hot spots within a block should be noted along with canopy density at the infection site, which can indicate whether inadequate spray coverage may have been the problem. Gathering this kind of information with a note book or smart phone will mean you’ll be able to sit down at a later date and compare your observations with your spray records to work though what has happened. You’ll be able to evaluate details like spray product selection and results. Product quality or accessibility for example are sometimes issues. The spray interval may have been too long due to the weather or mechanical breakdown, or the sprayer may not have been set up correctly for the canopy or crop load. Getting in the habit of documenting these details during harvest is a great idea. And having all the relevant information in front of you will result in a much more effective spray program next season.
ChemClear to help wine and grapes SOUTH Australia’s winemakers and grapegrowers will have the opportunity to get rid of their agricultural chemicals as ChemClear gears up for a statewide collection. The program is calling on all winemakers to register their unwanted chemicals for the collection. So far more than 16,000 litres/kilograms of obsolete product has been registered. More than 3000 L/kg of chemical already logged on the booking line falls into the free-collection category as a 4c per litre levy has been applied on these chemicals at the point of sale. The remaining 13,000 L/kg are from unknown and historic manufacturers or companies not participating in the ChemClear and drumMUSTER stewardship programs. A fee-per-litre for disposal will be applied to these chemicals as they sit outside the stewardship program’s scope and therefore no levy has been paid to support their collection and disposal. The booking line is set to close on March 28 with a planned April/May collection. ChemClear’s last collection in South Australia saw more than 7000 L/kg of product collected in May 2011. About 3000 L/kg of Group 1 chemicals were collected for safe disposal from 44 waste holders, while the figure for Group 2 products was just shy of 4000 L/kg thanks to contributions from 35 users. ChemClear national program manager Lisa Nixon said they hope to collect even more product than in 2011. “South Australian chemical users have shown tremendous commitment to reducing their unwanted chemicals in the past,” she said. “I think we can expect the same enthusiasm when we make our trip across the state later this year.” “There is a growing awareness of the impact of positive and negative rural practices on the environment in the agricultural industry so agvet chemical users should ensure they take all reasonable steps to dispose of their waste effectively and environmentally.” Ninety eight per cent of the chemical collected is used as an alternative fuel source in the manufacturing of cement. Most of the material is destroyed in kilns which reach temperatures in excess of 1800C. To register your unwanted chemicals for ChemClear’s next run call the hotline on 1800 008 182 or visit www.chemclear.com.au. Contact: Chris Davis. Phone: 61 2 6230 4799. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, unravelling the mysteries of the season can be complex, so be sure to seek professional advice for your specific situation.
Scott Mathew Technical Lead, Syngenta email@example.com 0428 225 597 For details, please call the Syngenta technical product advice line on 1800 067 108 or visit www.syngenta.com.au 36 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
Coonawarra viticulturist taps into centuries of learning Managing 900ha for Wynns in the heart of the Coonawarra is proving just the first step in a long journey for Nuffield Scholarship winner Stuart Sharman, opening his eyes to a new (and old) world of opportunity. Story next page
Mr Improvement: Wynns Coonawarra vineyard manager Stuart Sharman has travelled the world to advance his understanding, and future use, of continuous improvement as a viticultural practice. March 2014 â€“ Issue 602
Grapegrower & Winemaker
grapegrowing NUFFIELD scholar and Wynns Coonawarra Estates vineyard manager Stuart Sharman has been on a powerful professional journey over the past two years. And the lessons he has brought back to the Lower South-East vineyard are so profound he predicts their changes will be inter-generational. Since receiving his Nuffield Scholarship in 2012 (sponsored by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation), Stuart has crisscrossed the globe, calling into Japan, the Netherlands, India, Ukraine, Qatar, Turkey, France, the US, Germany and Italy. Initially travelling as part of the Nuffield Scholarship group and later on his own, Sharman’s focus was on the role and application of continuous improvement (CI) management in viticulture. “The agri-political leg of the scholarship tour was pretty heady stuff when we went from Washington to Geneva and saw firsthand the international policy makers at work,” Sharman said. “We have been implementing and applying CI practices at Wynns for the past three years, and you can see the benefits from practical problem solving and time management to engaging the 30-member viticulture team,” he said.
LONG-TERM SUCCESS “At Wynns we have 900ha of vines – mostly Cabernet and Shiraz – and while things are a bit tough in the wine industry right now, the foundation for long-term success is well established. “Brand strength and our market footprint are irreplaceable and will help maintain us while the market and other forces beyond our control sort themselves out.” Coming from a farming background, Sharman always wanted to stay within primary industry and saw viticulture as a challenging career in a dynamic industry which was on a real high when he signed on with Wynns in 1998. And while the markets may have changed since those early days, Sharman said it is that change which is helping drive major overhauls of the production chain with new practices such as CI. He said the philosophy was already being used in manufacturing and processing and if it worked there, the logical next step was to carry it into the vineyards.
“The company (Wynns is part of the Treasury Wine Estates group), was looking for pilot sites and so our lower South-East Vineyards team volunteered to be one,” Sharman said. “The beauty of CI is that it is not quarantined to corporates or even smallto-medium enterprises – it is just as relevant for a sole operator,” he said. Sharman said the Nuffield Scholarship and the extensive overseas travel have also provided him with a new appreciation of Australian viticulture.
FINAL REPORT He has now completed a final report on the role and application of CI management principles in viticulture, which he says demonstrates CI’s natural fit and value to viticulture. CI is a deliberate decision by businesses to address; measure and remove waste from business activities. “The over-arching philosophy of CI is to develop a culture where open-minded thinking and challenging the norm, is encouraged and rewarded,” he said. “The principles of employee problem solving, measuring performance, waste identification and elimination and clarity of reward for effort are all management tools encouraged by CI.” Though traditionally used in line manufacturing, Sharman said his travels to the Old World viticulture regions in Italy, Germany and France revealed that CI principles has been employed for many years, in some cases hundreds of years. “The major wine houses of Europe did not arrive to the point where they currently are ‘by fluke’. If you can’t measure it you can’t improve it and all Europe’s observations are driven by measurement,” he added. “This isn’t the sort of thing you can turn around in five years or so, like all change it takes a lot of effort and you really have to have a handle on that. “This really is an inter-generation concept, some of the places I visited in France, for example, were making changes they were projecting 50 years out and more. “But somewhere you have to take that first step and that’s what we are doing at Wynns. “I think this was probably one of the biggest surprises for me – once I started looking, asking questions and seeing firsthand how people managed their
vineyards I could see CI was certainly not a new concept to them. “Many of the Old World vineyards have been using these or similar principles for a very long time – and so have many vineyards in Australia. “Australian viticulture can definitely be considered one of the leaders in employing and using CI principles to their ultimate benefit. “It’s not about making dramatic changes. It’s small, focused changes and building the capacity of staff with the right skills and work environment to make changes where needed.
MATURED VIEW “My view of Australian viticulture has definitely matured. I see it as an innovative and highly capable sector producing amazing wines – with fewer ties to history and perhaps less mystique than other regions around the world,” he said. The Nuffield Scholarship has also broadened Sharman’s awareness and interest in agri-politics and agri-business. “Really, one of the biggest surprises from this whole experience was to see the levels of government and trade support the US and EU provide to their agriculture sectors compared with Australia,” he said. “The fact we still compete at a global level is a credit to the innovation and ability to adapt in Australian agriculture,” said Sharman. Overall, Sharman described the Nuffield Scholarship experience as immeasurable and said he highly recommended it. “One of the greatest benefits has been meeting and becoming part of a network of people who share the same headspace as you – we are all interested and passionate about the rural and agriculture sector.” “It’s also well and truly sowed the seeds in me to ask more questions, seek more answers at a deeper or broader level – and with a greater degree of confidence, especially having had such a broad interactive experience throughout the world,” he said. Sharman’s report is currently being assessed by Nuffield and will be available on GWRDC’s website shortly. Contact: Stuart Sharman. Phone 61 8 8736 2281. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The beauty of CI is that it is not quarantined to corporates … it is just as relevant for a sole operator 38 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
Wine scientists smoke out vital data from bushfire 'research opportunity' Making the most of a bad situation Victorian winegrape researchers tapped into the damage wrought by smoke from a nearby bushfire and have incorporated it into an ongoing study program on this major challenge for growers.
CONDITIONS during an actual bushfire during 2013 will be replicated this year in controlled vineyard plots as part of a study into the effect of smoke on wine production. Smoke taint has cost Victorian winegrape growers and winemakers more than $300 million in lost production and downgraded quality over the past six years. Through the trial, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) scientists from the Centre for Expertise in Smoke Taint Research at Mildura in northern Victoria hope to get a greater understanding of the effect of differing smoke intensities and exposure periods on wine grapes. “The data they will be using to mimic bushfire conditions was collected during a bushfire event by smoke detectors being trialled as part of smoke taint research,” DEPI wine industry project officer Ricky James said. “The units allowed the collection of real-time smoke data from an actual fire event in a nearby vineyard. “We have been able to measure and log the smoke intensity over time and it is this data that will be used to replicate smoke levels and conditions in a controlled environment.” Wine from the trial plot grapes will be produced at DEPI’s Mildura winemaking facility with the aim of quantifying the effect of different smoke intensities and lengths of exposure in that vintage. The Centre for Expertise in Smoke Taint Research is a Victorian Government initiative. It is home to a comprehensive research and development program that will significantly improve the wine industry’s knowledge of how smoke impacts wine. “The Victorian wine industry is a vital part of the state’s agricultural sector and it is critical we address the threat posed by smoke taint,” Dr Ron Prestidge, the executive director of farming systems research with DEPI, said. “Through this collaborative project we aim to assist the
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
Women proving their point in the wine industry THAT’S right – more and more women are being encouraged to join the wine industry. And they should be according to success stories Anna Hooper and Mardi Longbottom. With their industry track records both are tangible proof females can do a “man’s job” whether it’s vineyard management or technical roles. Last month Grapegrower & Winemaker spoke with Retallack Viticulture’s Mary Retallack, a firm supporter of more women getting into the winemaking and viticulture industries. Hooper, who works as a winemaker for Cape Jaffa Wines, has been in the industry for 20 years and handcrafts the company’s produce using a combination of new and old techniques with her husband Derek. She has drawn on her experiences at a number of world-renowned French wineries across Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley.
HOPPING TO SUCCESS In 2012 Hooper won the South Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award and was overwhelmed with how many people acknowledged her win. She said her career-long ambition is to investigate how sustainability credentials are measured and marketed compared with global competitors, as well as looking at drivers of environmental leadership in small to medium wine businesses. Hooper was inspired to work in the industry from a young age after growing up watching her mother, who worked in a winery. “My occasional visits to her work remained in the back of my mind,” she said. “I think it was the aromas of fermenting wine and the culture of the industry which made an impression on me.” By the time Hooper was old enough to make an informed career decision, winemaking presented a different prospect to the norm. While she was encouraged to keep her options open, Hooper knew winemaking was the career path she’d pursue in the long term and she hasn’t looked back. The petite dynamo has done it all from driving a 30-tonne forklift to travelling the world on sales and education-related trips. While she enjoys her current role, Hooper is also passionate about the
40 Grapegrower & Winemaker
In the field: Mardi Longbottom amongst the vines. Her ambition is to show the diversity of roles in the grape and wine sector.
environment and would like to continue to work on improving the environmental credentials of Cape Jaffa Wines. “At the same time I’d like to see our whole industry embrace the opportunities around using sustainability to our competitive advantage.”
THE PERKS Hooper said women should not be discouraged to build a career in the wine industry as the support from experienced winemakers and producers is phenomenal. “Each region has a tight-knit wine community and they all work together really well,” she added. “The more experienced wine producers are always available to help and mentor the younger ones and the larger producers are also very open to sharing information with smaller producers. “This collaborative approach and willingness to share ideas is one of the strengths of the Australian wine industry.” Through her experience as an employer, Hooper hasn’t yet found a job a woman can’t do. Her main advice to other women is not to undervalue themselves and to “just give it a go”. “It would be great to see more women stepping up into leadership roles within the industry,” she said.
SHARING EXPERIENCES AWRI senior viticulturist and private consultant Dr Mardi Longbottom has been actively involved in the wine industry since 1992 and started on her family’s vineyard at Padthaway in the Limestone Coast. Since then she has held positions with Wingara Wine Group, Nepenthe www.winebiz.com.au
Delivering the message: Anna Hooper at the podium during the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award Shine Luncheon.
Viticulture and has worked on projects alongside Treasury Wine Estates, the Limestone Grape & Wine Council and independent growers. She has also influenced many young viticulturists-in-training by lecturing at the University of Adelaide. In 2013 Longbottom was runner up at the South Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award alongside Hooper, which she said was an honour. Her career-long ambition is to show the diversity of roles in the grape and wine sector with the aim of facilitating discussion about potential careers. “The Rural Women’s Award has enabled me to take a broader perspective of our industry and consider some of the future challenges we face,” she added. “It has given me a platform to share my own experiences in the wine industry and to encourage others to take a risk. “The award also opened new networks for me both within the wine industry, across other agricultural sectors and with people working rurally and regionally in other professions.” With a diverse range of positions available in the wine industry, Longbottom said there’s nothing a woman can’t do (or learn). She will continue to encourage women young and old to study viticulture and become part of the growing wine community in Australia and the rest of the world. Contact: Anna Hooper. Phone: 61 8 8768 5053. Email: email@example.com. Mardi Longbottom. Phone: 61 8 8313 6600. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. March 2014 – Issue 602
ERO Barrel Pruner…versatile, effective and efficient CALL it what you will – barrel pruning, winter pruning or pre-pruning – the name doesn’t matter so long as the job gets Pruning done. Which in today’s market means having a machine that is built to last, simple to operate and provides a clean and tidy result. FMR managing director Chris Clifford says “enter the ERO VSL Barrel Pruner range, which ticks all of these boxes”. Clifford says the ERO is designed and manufactured in Germany, but is a range customised and ideally suited for Australasian conditions and requirements. He says the ERO can also be specified to suit a wide range of vineyards and canopy styles. “The VSL Barrel Pruner is designed to work in both spur or cane pruned vineyards with an easily adjusted barrel depth,” Clifford says. “That allows this machine to be configured with just two or three discs on each barrel for ‘topping’ to quickly remove the tops of canes and the tendrils connecting to the top wire which makes the process of stripping out canes much quicker and easier and reducing costs from manual pruning contractors,” he says. “Alternatively the VSL can be configured with up to 14 discs per side for full spur pruning.
Roll out the barrel: The ERO VSL Barrel Pruner is German designed and made but a range customised and ideally suited for Australasian conditions and requirements.
“Disc units are modular to make changing the number of units quick and easy.” Clifford says the VSL works with counter rotating shearing discs which cut the cane at the desired height. The exposed shearing discs allow
the pruning operation to commence before leaves have fallen without risk of blocking the pruner. He says individual hydraulic motors on each barrel provide an even and reliable driving force. The two barrels are opened with an electronic button at
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
Roll out the barrel: The ERO VSL Barrel Pruner is German designed and made but a range customised and ideally suited for Australasian conditions and requirements.
the beginning of each row and at each intermediate post. The lower disc on each barrel is equipped with a fine tooth saw blade instead of the regular large toothed disc to provide a finer and cleaner cut. “A ‘coat hanger’ style suspension
system allows the VSL to pivot freely to allow for canopy variation as the tractor moves up the row,” he adds. “The VSL can operate on the ERO ‘Multi-Mast’ system which provides significant savings for vineyards that are already using the ERO vine trimmer
and/or defoliator as the mounting mast and joystick are interchangeable between machines. “The VSL HD is designed specifically for Australian conditions and offers a double-drive system that rotates the upper barrels at a lower speed to
Owen McCarron 0419 006 100 42 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
perfection in the vineyard When it comes to ultimate reliability and effectiveness in the vineyard, the ERO Vine Trimmer and Roller Defoliator will enable you to achieve exceptional results. Key features & benefits include: Vine Trimmer • Fast, clean cutting with hardened stainless steel blades • Gas shock break-away systems for impact protection • All sliding surfaces protected with Teflon bushes for long life • Trim vines at high ground speed • Available with wide range of custom options to suit various canopy styles including shoot lifters, adjustable lower cutters and skirting only configuration Roller Defoliator • Patented counter-rotating roller system removes leaves without damage to bunches • New steel fan for improved suction and cleaning • Available in single and double row configuration or with roll-over system for one side defoliating only • Operates at ground speeds up to 7km/hr!
For more information or to request a demonstration or proposal, please contact cam on 0407 634 945
ViTiculTuRE. iT’s all WE DO. AUSTRALIA: 1800 269 773 oR vISIT www.fmRgRoUp.neT.AU | new ZeALAnD: 0800 367 583 oR vISIT www.fmRgRoUp.Co.nZ
grapegrowing eliminate blocking and reduce wear and the lower disc unit which is equipped with a saw tooth blade at a high speed to process larger canes and provide a clean finishing cut. “The VSL HD can also be equipped with side saws which provide clean and fast cutting of horizontal growth. When it has been fitted with its side saws it can be configured to operate as a single pass box hedger or as a simple barrel pruner with side saws. “This is a substantial saving over traditional machinery available which require a minimum of two passes to achieve a ‘box hedged’ finish.” The innovative design and positioning of the barrel discs prevents the cutting of wires during the pruning operation. The VSL HD is mounted on a centremounted mast which is equipped with an electronic joystick to provide hydraulic side shift, lift and angle adjustment on the go. The side cutters are mounted to the barrel pruner on a parallelogram suspension system which allows them to move independently around vines and trunks and break-away in event of impact. The VSL HD is also equipped with a shear bolt break-away device for
protection of both machine and canopy in the event of impact. Hydraulic requirement to operate even the fully-specified VSL HD is only 40lt/min, meaning the machine can be operated without the need of a power pack on most tractors. “In summary, for those looking to prune their vineyard with a simple, reliable and cost effective machine, which is easy to operate and provides an excellent clean result in a single pass, the ERO VSL Barrel Pruner range from FMR Group has an option to suit,” Clifford says. “ERO vineyard equipment, along with a full range of other vineyard equipment products from FMR Group, is available through leading vineyard equipment dealers throughout Australia and New Zealand. For more information or to request a quote or your nearest dealer details please contact FMR Group Australia on 1800 269 773 or FMR Group New Zealand on 0800 367 583 Contact: Chris Clifford. Phone: 64 3 572 5150. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vinevax solution MOST viticulturists and vineyard managers are well aware of the problems caused by fungi or moulds such as the mildews and botrytis on the vine canopy but may be less familiar with diseases caused by wood invading fungi. At ground level the collar and root rots caused by Phytophthora and Armillaria may have been experienced, with the former more than likely confined to poorly drained areas in the vineyard, but there is another group of fungi which can cause vine decline in established vineyards. Damage caused by injury from breakage or pruning, especially after major restructuring procedures in older vines, allows fungi such as Eutypa lata and Botryosphaeria stevensii to enter the woody tissues. It may be two or three seasons later before symptoms appear but usually the early symptoms of stunting, wilting and die back in the cane caused by these organisms progress into the main structure of the vine resulting in the condition known as dead or dying arm disease.
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44 Grapegrower & Winemaker
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23 Galleghan Street, Hexham NSW 2322 Ph: (02) 4964 8818 www.agpride.com.au AFTER HOURS: Jamie FaulknerLance 0408 Hills 272514 Lance Hills 0418 923017 0418 923017 Email: email@example.com
March 2014 – Issue 602
for wood-invading fungi pathogens Cylindrocarpon, Rhizoctonia, Although horticulture has at its disposal Pythium and Fusarium. a wide range of chemical fungicides, very Vinevax, registered in Australia, few, if any, have proven successful in harnesses bio-protective properties of eliminating fungal pathogens once they Trichoderma into practical products to have become well established within the help the vineyard woody tissue of manager contain roots or vines. and control these Many fungi economically have suppressive damaging vine or antagonistic diseases. properties towards Vinevax pruning other fungi and wound dressing harnessing this can help maintain bio-activity can vine health during offer a solution vine pruning when for the problems Major problem: This picture shows a wounds are at high of protection and diseased vine, suffering Eutypa. Damage risk of pathogen control of this type caused by injury from pruning allows fungi invasion. of disease. such as Eutypa lata and Botryosphaeria Vinevax bioScientists stevensii to enter the woody tissues. dowel implants s t u d y i n g can be used to help Trichoderma fungi, control woody tissue disease in whole and after the initial 1950s discovery that it re-constructed vines aiding faster return of attacked and killed other fungi, have vines to high health and productivity. identified strains with activity against the Contact: wood-disease causing fungi David Gale. Phytophthora, Armillaria, Eutypa and Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Botryosphaeria, as well as root disease
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
Close shave: Its manufacturers claim Pellenc’s new TRP precision pruning machine is a genuine alternative to hand pruning.
Precision pruning with Pellenc’s TRP Pellenc’s latest in novat ion in viticultural pruning is the TRP precision pruning machine, which the company says offers a true alternative to hand pruning. A step-up from barrel pre-pruning and hand clean-up, the TRP can “drastically reduce” pruning time when compared with the standard pruning rate of 50 hours/hectare (dependant on the age and condition of the vine, grape
46 Grapegrower & Winemaker
variety and root stock). Peter Stephens, Seven f ields, Mundulla, SA, made use of the TRP for pruning in 2013. “It saved us around 40 per cent of our normal pruning time (barrel prepruning and hand clean-up) and the results were close and neat,” Stephens said. “It pruned evenly and closer to the cordon results in a larger number of
smaller, evenly distributed bunches,” he said. “It also optimises air f low and spraying due to the more even vine growth.” The TRP is made up of a chassis and four cutting modules: two variable angle side modules and two cordon tracking modules. C o r don t rack ing adj u s t s automatically according to the driver’s
March 2014 – Issue 602
initial setting, thanks to the visionics system. The variable angle side modules cut as close as possible, regardless of the configuration. The TRP also operates with electrical energy, meaning lower operating costs due to the significant reduction in tractor engine speed. The electricity also enables the cutter modules to reach rotational speeds of 4000rpm, resulting in excellent cutting quality, even on thicker branches. It benefits from cordon following by visionics, a system used and perfected by Pellenc’s research and development division. This tracking device automatically adjusts according to the driver’s initial settings, to the nearest half centimetre, making it a system which ensures much higher work quality than that of manual operation and greater vine protection. The TRP operates from the Pellenc Multiviti Chassis or a Pellenc multifunction tractor. Pellenc can also provide clients with its Australian designed and manufactured Double Cordon pruning equipment, which can be configured to suit different vineyards and needs.
March 2014 – Issue 602
Extensive in-built adjustment allows for different cordon spacing. In a single pass you can prune: • Above the top and bottom cordons. • Above and below the top cordon and above the bottom cordon. • Above and below both cordons. Other key features of the TRP include: • Automated control system enables a full day’s work. • Work during the day, at night, in fading light and in rain. • For safety, in the event of an accident or mistake, the user can immediately take control of the machine. • Impact-proof design. In addition to the TRP, Pellenc also has a wider range of pruning options, including its semi-automatic pruning equipment which works quickly, even in dense vegetation. The artificial vision system with automatic post detectors and optional automatic cordon following offers greater vine and post protection, enabling users to work at up to 8km/h and giving excellent cutting and mulching quality. Pellenc’s semi-automatic pruning equipment works well because it adapts easily to standard tractors.
The machines are designed to feed foliage through the mulching head and strip canes from wires. The canes are then mulched into manageable pieces. The lower precision cutters work the cordon and simulate the cutting action of secateurs. Labour costs are dramatically reduced when using these pre-pruners as they eliminate the need to remove canes from foliage wires, and the lower precision cutters have precut spurs cleanly. Contact: Louise Fraser. Phone: 61 8 8244 7700. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for more stories on precision pruning? Search our Grapegrower & Winemaker article archive at
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winemaking New research, new yeast, new selection tool Jessica Berlese-Noble, Céline Raynal, Anthony Silvano, Daniel Granes, Caroline Bonnefond, Anne Ortiz-Julien and Bruno Blondin report on the development of a new wine yeast combining low SO2, H2S and acetaldehyde production with high fermentative performance using a new selection tool. SULFITES are widely used in oenology. However, there is a tendency to reduce their use and control their final amount. Apart from being added to musts or wines, sulfites can also be produced by wine yeasts in varying amounts during alcoholic fermentation, which can lead to a delay of the onset of malolactic fermentation if desired, and to a lack of control of the final concentration of sulfites. Furthermore, sulfites are precursors for the synthesis of sulfide, a highly undesirable by-product. Although wine yeasts differ widely in their capacity to produce these sulfur compounds, the molecular basis of such differences is not known. We undertook a genetic study to identify the molecular basis of these properties. Using a quantitative genetic approach, two loci impacting SO2 and H2S production were mapped. Dissecting the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) led to identifying two alleles of the genes MET2 and SKP2 responsible for the differences in sulfur-compound production between two wine yeast strains. A functional validation demonstrated their involvement and highlighted the strength and the extent of their control over the phenotypes, as well as SO2 and H2S production. The transfer of those alleles through breeding offers great opportunities for further wine yeast improvement, and a new wine yeast has already been selected using molecular marker-assisted selection.
INTRODUCTION The demand for new wine yeast enhanced for specific technological properties has steadily increased in recent years. The growing knowledge and the development of new technologies offer new opportunities for developing wine yeasts. Clonal selection, genetic engineering and evolutionary selection can be implemented, but hybridisation is the most common technique utilised for such improvements. Furthermore, breeding does not require the intervention of genetic manipulation and results in natural, non-genetically modified (non-GM) yeasts. However, this method requires knowledge of the molecular basis of the properties of interest. The technique of quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping
48 Grapegrower & Winemaker
At a glance: • Sulfites are precursors for the synthesis of sulfide, a highly undesirable by-product. • Although wine yeasts differ widely in their capacity to produce these sulfur compounds, the molecular basis of such differences is not known. • Demand for new wine yeast enhanced for specific technological properties has steadily increased in recent years. • Understanding the molecular basis of the phenotypic diversity of wine yeasts is a first step towards breeding strategies for improving the technological properties of yeasts.
has recently been expanded for those applications. This method consists of, for example, identifying a link between one or several regions of the genome and a phenotypic variation in a microorganism. Once this region has been identified, it is then possible to direct its transfer from one yeast strain to another to combine several properties of interest. In this study, we tried to identify the region of the genome responsible for numerous oenological characteristics, particularly sulfite production. Although sulfites are widely used in oenology for their numerous technological properties (e.g., their antimicrobial, antioxidant and antioxydasic properties), the current trend is to reduce their use and control their final amount. High levels of sulfites in wines can lead to a negative sensory impact, can induce a delay at the onset of malolactic fermentation (MLF) and can be responsible for health concerns. Sulfites are also likely to be produced by wine yeasts in significant amounts during alcoholic fermentation (AF). Wine yeasts are able to produce from a few mg/L of sulfites to more than 90 mg/L, depending on the fermentation conditions and the yeast strain. Sulfur dioxide is an intermediate metabolite in the sulfate assimilation pathway, leading to sulfur amino acid synthesis. Under certain conditions, it may be synthesised in excess then excreted into www.winebiz.com.au
the medium. Furthermore, sulfites are precursors for the synthesis of sulfide, a highly undesirable by-product. Although the sulfate assimilation pathway has been widely studied, little is known about the parameters that influence sulfite production, and the molecular basis responsible for the differences between yeast strains has not yet been identified. One of the most relevant SO2 binding compounds is acetaldehyde, which has very high binding properties and is usually found in high concentrations in wines. Acetaldehyde typically accounts for 75 per cent of the bound SO2 in white wines and 50 per cent in red wines. Its reactivity and ability to bind with sulfites explain to a large extent why wines need varying amounts of SO2 and why sulfur dioxide management is important in winery operations and to post-bottling stability. The ability to control the production of acetaldehyde by wine yeast is, therefore, an important parameter to consider with sulfite content in wines. The purpose of this study was to develop new oenological yeasts combining several phenotypes of interest, such as low SO2/ H2S/acetaldehyde production and high fermentative properties. The original approach was the use of new genetic tools, leading to non-GM yeast.
STRATEGY FOR YEAST IMPROVEMENT: BREEDING ASSISTED BY MOLECULAR MARKERS Two wine yeasts presenting complementary properties of interest were selected for this study. The JN10 strain is very robust, able to complete the fermentation in such harsh conditions as low/high temperatures and highly clarified must, while the JN17 strain has low nitrogen requirements, presents a balanced volatile compound profile, and produces low amounts of SO2, acetaldehyde and H2S. QTL mapping was undertaken to identify the regions of the JN17 yeast strain genome linked to the phenotypes of interest: low SO2 and low H2S. Through a combination of phenotypic and genotypic datasets, we succeeded in pointing out a region of the XIV chromosome that is linked to the sulfite production. In this region, we actually identified two genes of the sulfur metabolism pathway, MET2 and SKP2. March 2014 – Issue 602
Figure 1. General strategy of directed breeding assisted by quantitative trait locus markers
Once the molecular markers linked to the properties of interest have been identified, it is possible to transfer them from one strain to the other through directed breeding. In our study, we managed to transfer the low SO2/H2S property from the JN17 yeast strain to the JN10 yeast strain while retaining all the good oenological properties of the JN10 yeast strain. In parallel, we succeeded in transferring two other phenotypes of the JN17 parental strain (low acetaldehyde production and low nitrogen requirements). Our intent was to achieve two main objectives: • Transfer the phenotypes of interest from the JN17 yeast strain to the JN10 yeast strain by following the presence
of molecular markers at each stage of hybridisation. • Maintain the major part of the JN10 yeast strain genetic background by backcrossing each generated haploid hybrid with the JN10 parental strain. Figure 2 explains the development of the new yeast strain through this backcrossing cycle strategy. After four cycles of breeding, more than 93 per cent of the JN10 yeast strain genome was restored, and we validated the transfer of all the targeted phenotypes coming from the JN17 yeast strain: low SO2, low H2S, low acetaldehyde production and low nitrogen requirements. From this fourth-generation hybrid, a new step of selection began in order to obtain the best strain combining the properties of this hybrid and satisfying such
Figure 2. New yeast strain development through backcrossing cycles. March 2014 – Issue 602
Grapegrower & Winemaker
M333_DMA35_2010_BRIXBAUME_59x272Strip.indd 1 11/02/2014 14:05
winemaking oenological behaviour as strong fermentative capacity, resistance to extreme temperatures, interesting sensory traits, etc.
reliable fermentation activity, with no off-flavour or volatile acidity issues.
LABORATORY CHARACTERISATION TO SELECT THE FINAL YEAST STRAIN
PILOT-SCALE TRIALS WITH LALVIN ICV OKAY® YEAST
All strains issuing from the fourth cycle of backcrossing were thoroughly characterised at lab scale in different oenological conditions. The goal was to validate the positive properties of the JN10 yeast strain remained, but also that generated yeasts showed an improvement in the phenotypes of interest. One yeast (named Lalvin ICV oKay®) was selected and retained for the final characterisation steps. The kinetics and the final wine analysis confirm the improved yeast obtained through breeding retained the positive traits of one of the parental yeast strains (JN10), including strong and
The trials were carried out at the INRA Experimental Unit of PechRouge in France. The objective was to compare the Lalvin ICV oKay® yeast with a reference yeast. Fermentations were performed on juices from three different grape varietals: Merlot, Syrah Rosé and Maccabeu. The Merlot was obtained through the flash détente technique – the pressing of the treated grapes and racking under cold static conditions. The Syrah Rosé and Maccabeu were pressed and racked after cold settling. The yeasts were rehydrated using Go-Ferm Protect® and inoculated at a rate of 25 g/hL. When needed, nutrients were added in the form of organic and complex nutrients at the one-third point of AF. The Merlot fermented at temperatures ranging from 22C to 25C. The Syrah Rosé and Maccabeu were fermented at 18C. MLF was carried out with Lalvin VP41® at 1 g/hL. The fermentation kinetics were monitored as well as the SO2, H2S and acetaldehyde production. As shown in Figure 6, in each case the new yeast (Lalvin
Figure 3. Fermentation kinetics performed at laboratory scale on a Chardonnay must fermented at 20ºC in isothermal conditions.
Table 1. Classic oenological parameters measured at the end of alcoholic fermentation (laboratory scale).
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50 Grapegrower & Winemaker
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Table 2. Must analysis of the three different varietals after sulfiting the juice.
ICV oKay®) performed better than the reference yeast. The lag phase was also shortened, showing good vitality and fermentation activity until the late stage of the fermentation, avoiding any risk of stuck or sluggish fermentation. During AF, we measured the SO2 in the wines and validated the non-production of SO2 by the Lalvin ICV oKay® yeast compared to the reference yeast (figure 7).
SENSORY CHARACTERISATION Four different comparative trials were carried out at the Institut Coopératif du Vin (ICV), France, experimental winery to get information on the sensory profile obtained from different grapes varieties and
vinification strategies: • A Merlot red must from the flash détente treatment followed by pressing and clarification through juice vacuum filtration. • A Syrah rosé must from direct pressing with pectolytic enzymes and a 20-hour cold settling. • A Grenache rosé must from a 4-hour skin maceration followed by pressing with pectolytic enzymes and a 20-hour cold settling. • A Chardonnay must from direct pressing with pectolytic enzymes and a 20-hour cold settling. Different yeasts from the ICV range were compared under the same AF conditions.
Figure 5. Example of fermentation kinetics on Maccabeu grapes comparing the Lalvin ICV oKay® yeast with the reference yeast. March 2014 – Issue 602
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Figure 4. Validation of the transfer of phenotypes of interest coming from the JN17 yeast strain (laboratory scale).
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winemaking The yeasts were rehydrated using Go-Ferm Protect® and inoculated at a rate of 30 g/hL. When needed, nutrients were added in the form of organic and complex nutrients at the onethird point of AF. The Merlot fermented at temperatures ranging from 18C to 22C. MLF was carried out with Lalvin Elios 1® at 1 g/hL inoculated after two rackings following the end of AF. The two rosés and the Chardonnay were fermented at 18C. Kinetics were monitored and sensory characterisations were performed with the ICV quantitative descriptive sensory analysis (QDSA) method (Granès et al. 2010) and analysis of negative sulfur
off-compounds (e.g., H2S, methanethiol and ethyl mercaptan) were done on wines, two months after bottling.
MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION On the thermo-vinified Merlot, analysis of the malic acid concentration after inoculation with Lalvin Elios 1® was carried out three times per week and shows (figure 8) the interaction with the Lalvin ICV oKay® yeast was the most efficient. 5.2 Sensory profiles All comparative trials showed a tendency for Lalvin ICV oKay® to: • Produce fewer sulfur off-flavours. • Show more aromatic complexity with a blend of amylic and fruity sensations. • Have a positive balance between fore-mouth volume and acidity. • Reduce bitterness. Figures 9 and 10 illustrate the results of trials on the sensory profiles of Chardonnay and Grenache grapes.
ANALYSIS OF SULFUR OFF-COMPOUNDS Figure 6. Key fermentation parameters in pilot trials comparing the Lalvin ICV oKay® yeast with the reference yeast.
The sulfur off-compounds H2S, methanethiol and ethyl mercaptan were measured two months after bottling. Taking into account the yeasts that had fermented, the grape variety and the must analysis, the statistical analysis shows the main factor impacting the levels of these molecules was the grape variety. Nevertheless, Lalvin ICV oKay® yeast was found to be significantly different from all the others and produces fewer of the sulfur off-compounds analysed. Then taking into account the threshold of these molecules, we converted their concentration into “odour units.” Figure 11 illustrates some of the results obtained.
Figure 7. Total SO2 production during alcoholic fermentation in three wines comparing Lalvin ICV oKay® yeast with the reference yeast.
Figure 8. Duration of malolactic fermentation in a thermo-vinified Merlot
52 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Understanding the molecular basis of the phenotypic diversity of wine yeasts is a first step towards the utilisation of breeding strategies for improving the technological properties of yeasts. In this study, we were able to identify the molecular basis responsible for the phenotypic variation in the production of sulfites in wine yeasts. A global approach, combining a physiological study, a transcriptomic analysis and QTL research was implemented. The study shows the combination of two genes, MET2 and SKP2, is responsible for the phenotypic variation observed between the two parental strains. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated these genes are also involved in the phenotypic change of other characters of
Table 3. Must analysis just before yeast inoculation.
March 2014 – Issue 602
technological interest, such as the production of SO2, H2S and acetaldehyde. So far, genetic studies have focused on controlling the production of H2S, but the proposed solutions (i.e., reduced sulfite reductase activity) had the disadvantage of greatly increasing the production of SO2 (Cordente et al. 2009, and Linderholm et al. 2008). Subsequently with the QTL method, many other wine yeasts could be improved following the same procedure, as a significant number of oenological yeasts currently on the market have one or more of these defects. Now, the Lalvin ICV oKay® yeast obtained with this method has demonstrated remarkable qualities. All the trials with Lalvin ICV oKay® yeast conducted worldwide over the past two years have shown its production of SO2, H2S and acetaldehyde is almost null, and the resulting wines can express their full aromatic potential while respecting the market demand for wines with low SO2 content.
Contact: Jason Amos, Lallemand. Phone: 61 8 8276 1200. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bely, M., J. M. Sablayrolles, and P. Barre. 1990. Description of Alcoholic Fermentation Kinetics: Its Variability
Jessica Berlese-Noble, Lallemand SAS, 19, rue des Briquetiers, 31702 Blagnac, France. Céline Raynal, Lallemand SAS, 19, rue des Briquetiers, 31702 Blagnac, France. Anthony Silvano, Lallemand SAS, 19, rue des Briquetiers, 31702 Blagnac, France. Daniel Granes, Institut Coopératif du Vin, La Jasse de Maurin, 34970 Lattes, France. Caroline Bonnefond, Institut Coopératif du Vin, La Jasse de Maurin, 34970 Lattes, France. Anne Ortiz-Julien, Lallemand SAS, 19, rue des Briquetiers, 31702 Blagnac, France. Bruno Blondin, Montpellier SupAgro, 2, Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, France
References and Bibliography:
Ambroset, C., M. Petit, C. Brion, I. Sanchez, P. Delobel, C. Guérin, H. Chiapello, P. Nicolas, F. Bigey, S. Dequin, and B. Blondin. 2011. Deciphering the Molecular Basis of Wine Yeast Fermentation Traits Using a Combined Genetic and Genomic Approach. G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics. 1(4):263281.
and Significance. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 41(4):319-324. Casalone, E., C. M. Colella, S. Daly, E. Gallori, L. Moriani, and M. Polsinelli. 1992. Mechanism of resistance to sulfite in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Current Genetics. 22(6): 435-440. Cordente, A. G., A. Heinrich, I. S. Pretorius, and J. H. Swiegers. 2009. Isolation of sulfite reductase variants of a commercial wine yeast with significantly reduced hydrogen sulfide production. FEMS Yeast Research. 9(3):446-459. Deutschbauer, A. M.,and R. W. Davis. 2005. Quantitative trait loci mapped to singlenucleotide resolution in yeast. Nat Genet. 37(12):1333-1340. Donalies, U. E., and U. Stahl. 2002. Increasing sulfite formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by overexpression of MET14 and SSU1. Yeast. 19(6):475-484.
Figure 9. Sensory profile for 2012 Chardonnay fermented with three different yeasts (ICV R&D).
Eschenbruch, R. 1974. Sulfite and Sulfide Formation during Winemaking – A Review. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 25(3):157-161. Eschenbruch, R., and P. Bonish. 1976. The influence of pH on sulfite formation by yeasts. Archives of Microbiology. 107(2):229-231. Granès, D., L. Pic-Blayteron, J. Negrel, and C. Bonnefond. 2010. Method for a Common Language, Quantitative Descriptive Sensory Analysis. Practical Winery and Vineyard Journal. Sept./Oct. 2010. Hansen, J., and M. C. Kielland-Brandt. 1996. Inactivation of MET2 in brewer’s yeast increases the level of sulfite in beer. Journal of Biotechnology. 50(1):75-87. Linderholm, A. L., C. L. Findleton, G. Kumar, Y. Hong, and L. F. Bisson. 2008. Identification of Genes Affecting Hydrogen Sulfide Formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74(5):1418-1427. Marullo, P., M. Aigle, M. Bely, I. Masneuf-Pomarede, P. Durrens, D. Dubourdieu, and G. Yvert. 2007. Single
Figure 10. Sensory profile for 2012 Grenache Noir Rosé fermented with three different yeasts (ICV R&D).
QTL mapping and nucleotide-level resolution of a physiologic trait in wine Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. FEMS Yeast Research. 7(6):941-952. Ribéreau-Gayon, P., D. Dubourdieu, and A. Lonvaud. 1998. L’emploi du dioxyde de soufre dans le traitement des moûts et des vins. Traité d’oenologie. Dunod/Lavigne. Rossignol, T., L. Dulau, A. Julien, and B. Blondin. 2003. Genome-wide monitoring of wine yeast gene expression during alcoholic fermentation. Yeast. 20(16):1369-1385. Thomas, D., and Y. Surdin-Kerjan. 1997. Metabolism of sulfur amino acids in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 61(4):503-532. Thornton, R. J. 1985. The Introduction of Flocculation into a Homothallic Wine Yeast. A Practical Example of the Modification of Winemaking Properties by the Use of Genetic Techniques. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 36(1):47-49. Wainwright, T. 1970. Hydrogen sulfide production by yeast under conditions of methionine, pantothenate or vitamin B6 deficiency. Journal of General Microbiology. 61(1):107-119. Yoshida, S., J. Imoto, T. Minato, R. Oouchi, Y. Kamada, M. Tomita, T. Soga, and H. Yoshimoto. 2011. A novel
Figure 11. Comparison of dosages of sulfur off-compounds in trials of four different grapes (2012 ICV R&D). March 2014 – Issue 602
mechanism regulates H2S and SO2 production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yeast. 28(2):109-121.
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ask the Can 'Brett' affect white wines? Adrian Coulter
IT IS well known Brett spoilage can occur in red wines, however, can Brett spoilage also occur in white wines? The short answer is “yes”! The first case of Brett spoilage in a white wine investigated by the AWRI was in 2000, and there have been occasional cases investigated since then. However, an unusual trend has occurred recently with six cases of Brett in white wine investigated in the past six months. The level of 4-ethylphenol (4-EP), responsible for the Band-aid® aroma associated with Brett growth, ranged from 77 to 1320 µg/L in these wines. How can Brett off-flavour occur in white wines?
4-EP and 4-ethylguaiacol (4-EG), the two main compounds associated with Brett, originate from two hydroxycinnamic acid precursors: p-coumaric and ferulic acids. These acids are found in both red and white grapes. So, given the precursor compounds for 4-EP and 4-EG are present in white wines, there is potential for 4-EP and 4-EG to be generated if Brett grows in a white wine. What white varieties have you seen Brett problems in?
Chardonnay is the white variety most frequently affected by Brett characters. The six cases of Brett in white wine investigated in the second half of 2013 were all Chardonnay wines. Brett has also occasionally been observed in Riesling and in sparkling base wines where Chardonnay has been a component. Why can I see Brett characters when the level of 4-ethylphenol is quite low?
For two of the six white wines investigated last year, the level of 4-EP was 77 µg/L in one and 168 µg/L in the other. Many tasters would not recognise red wines with these levels of 4-EP as being ‘Bretty’, so why are such levels recognisable in white wines? A large part of the answer lies with the 4-EP to 4-EG ratio (4-EP:4-EG). If the amount of 4-EG relative to 4-EP is increased, the wine is rated higher for
‘Brett’ characters (Curtin et al. 2008). That is, the threshold of 4-EP is decreased in the presence of increasing 4-EG concentration. The six Chardonnay wines investigated in 2013 had high levels of 4-EG relative to 4-EP, which amplified the sensory effects of the 4-EP. What is responsible for the recent increase in Brett in white wines?
This is a difficult question to answer, but some possibilities are listed below: • Riper fruit: Higher average temperatures might increase ripeness, resulting in higher pH and phenolic content in the fruit. With increasing phenolic content, there would be an increase in the level of the volatile phenol precursors. With higher pH, sulfur dioxide (SO2) is less effective at controlling Brett. Riper grapes and higher alcohol levels might also increase the likelihood of residual sugar in wines, favouring Brett growth. • ‘Natural’ winemaking: An increasing trend to make ‘natural wines’, where there is limited, or no, use of SO2 at the crusher and during ageing increases the likelihood of Brett growth and also other micro-organisms. • Storage on yeast lees: Barrel-fermented Chardonnay wines are often stored on lees; this will increase the total nitrogen content, helping to support any possible Brett growth. • Adaptability: It might be that Brett is becoming more adapted to the generally harsher conditions of white wine (e.g. lower pH, higher SO2). • Chardonnay winemaking: Techniques commonly used when making Chardonnay wines may increase risk of Brett. For example, using skin contact time to achieve texture may extract more volatile phenol precursor compounds and putting wines through malolactic fermentation can leave them susceptible to Brett growth while SO2 levels are low. • Lower thresholds: There is a learning effect with repeated exposure to the aroma of Brett, so perhaps over time industry personnel are becoming more sensitive.
How can I control Brett growth in white wines?
Control of Brett in white wines is approached the same way as with red wines. Control can be achieved by implementing a range of winemaking strategies that aim to reduce the population and proliferation of Brett. Areas to be addressed include general cleaning and sanitation, management of residual nutrients (G+F and nitrogen), sulfur dioxide (at least 0.6 mg/L molecular) and pH (pH and SO2 are inextricably linked), turbidity/clarification and barrel management (Coulter et al. 2003). All these winemaking aspects should be addressed concurrently as part of a holistic approach.
CONCLUSION Note that, like Saccharomcyes, Brett like oxygen, so take extra care during any rackings or transfers, and be on guard after any of these processes, as exposure to air (oxygen) will stimulate Brett growth. Always test wines for free AND total SO2, as any observed increase in the level of bound SO2 is nearly always a warning sign of either oxidation and/or yeast growth. Sometimes the yeast growth is Brett, so acting early, as soon as a larger-thanusual increase in bound SO2 is observed, can help to avoid a bigger problem later. Contact: For more information, contact the AWRI Winemaking Services team at email@example.com or 08 8313 6600.
REFERENCES: Coulter, A.D.; Robinson, E.; Cowey, G. Francis, I.L. Lattey, K. Capone, D. Gishen, M. Godden, P. (2003) Dekkera/Brettanomyces yeast — An overview of recent AWRI investigations and some recommendations for its control. Proceedings of a seminar organised by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology, held 10–11 July 2003, Tanunda, SA: Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology; 2003: 41–50. Curtin, C.; Bramley, B.; Cowey, G.; Holdstock, M.; Kennedy, E.; Lattey, K.; Coulter, A.; Henschke, P.; Francis, L.; Godden, P. (2008) Sensory perceptions of ‘Brett’ and relationship to consumer preference. Proceedings of the 13th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, 28 July to 2 August 2007: 207–211.
Brett like oxygen, so take extra care during any rackings or transfers, and be on guard after any of these processes, as exposure to air (oxygen) will stimulate Brett growth. 54 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
I don’t use enzymes in my winery because… Greg Howell, Vintessential Laboratories and Blandine Lefol, Oenobrands France look at the reasons why some winemakers use enzymes in winemaking and others don’t and do a little myth busting on enzyme usage.
At a glance: • Enzymes increase the yield per tonne of grapes and reduce the amount of lees that has to be treated or disposed of. • Enzymes are available in either liquid or granular form and so can fit into any processing scheme, no matter how big or small the operation. • Enzymes reduce filtration problems, release aromas, help extract colour from skins and break down other long chain polysaccharides such as glucans.
UNDERSTANDING exactly what enzymes actually do, and why so many winemakers find them an indispensable tool in their winemaking toolbox, is the first step in understanding what they can do for you.
MYTH 1 THEY PROVIDE NO BENEFITS Winemakers who use enzymes observe the production of increased quantities of free-run juice and more compact lees and notice that this occurs much more quickly compared to natural settling. The addition of the enzymes increases the yield per tonne of grapes and reduces the amount of lees that has to be treated or disposed of.
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Greg Howell: Low vineyard yields are a great opportunity to use enzymes to help increase overall production levels.
Blandine Lefol: Enzymes have helped produce better quality wines since they were introduced more than 50 years ago.
This occurs because the addition of an enzyme breaches the grape skin walls, providing more juice and breaking down the pectins, thereby giving better and faster settling. One winemaker we spoke to recently is keen to use enzymes and understands the benefits they can bring. But he is also having trouble convincing his winery’s owner (an accountant by trade) the slight extra cost will increase their overall wine production. And reduce some of the problems the winemaker is currently having with filtration issues. The boss is signing invoices for extra filter media without complaint but can’t see the benefit in using enzymes to reduce the filtration issues at the start of the process. A Rapidase trial is being undertaken and we look forward to reporting the results post-vintage.
MYTH 2 THEY ARE TOO EXPENSIVE The question that should really be asked is what is the cost compared to the benefits that are obtained from the use of any enzyme product. Commercial enzymes are a high quality manufactured good and the best manufacturers will provide high purity products that have been tested and validated for use. As such there is obviously a cost to produce these high quality goods, however it is minimal compared to the documented benefits in production. This vintage, vineyard yields in some regions are well
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MYTH 3 IT’S A WASTE OF MY PRECIOUS TIME Although it does add an extra step to the winemaking process, adding enzymes to juice or wine is a fast and very simple process. Enzymes are available in either liquid or granular form and so can fit into any processing scheme, no matter how big or small the operation. The addition of enzymes then can be as simple as measuring out and pouring some solution out of a bottle into juice or wine – hardly a time consuming task. The real time waster (and where extra costs can also arise) can be the filtration process, particularly if the wine is cloudy or contains pectins that can clog filters or slow down the filtration process. It has been demonstrated in many trials – in both wineries and in research institutes – that the use of pectolytic enzymes can make the filtration step much quicker and easier than without enzymes, as removing the pectins makes the wine much easier to filter.
MYTH 4 I DON’T WANT TO ADD ANYTHING UNNATURAL TO MY WINE
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down for various reasons such as lack of water, poor fruit set, extreme heat and frost. With low vineyard yields it makes even more sense to get the best yield from whatever fruit is brought into the winery. Of course this is a great opportunity to use enzymes to increase that yield.
Enzymes are naturally occurring proteins and are found in all living systems. Also known as “nature’s catalysts”, without enzymes, all biological processes in the world would grind to a halt. Everyone understands it is the yeast that magically turns sugar in grape juice into ethanol and so makes wine, but fewer people understand that it is the enzymes found in yeast that actually make this magic happen. The commercially available enzymes used in winemaking are simply purified enzymes (predominantly pectolytic enzymes) which are the end product of fermentation of a
March 2014 – Issue 602
nutrient broth by strains of fungal species such as Aspergillus niger, under very hygienic and controlled conditions. The best manufacturers of enzymes will be quality accredited and should be able to provide any documentation, such as Certificates of Analysis, Certificates of Conformance, MSDSs etc, that can demonstrate good hygienic and sterile manufacturing conditions and packaging regimes.
MYTH 5 THERE’S NO BACKUP SUPPORT FOR ME A good supplier of winemaking enzymes should have the expertise to be able to: • Recommend the best enzyme for the purpose. • Provide protocols for the best usage of any particular enzyme product. • Assist with trials in the winery to get the best from the enzymes. • Have backup laboratory support. • Run seminars or training sessions outlining the latest developments in enzyme applications. • Have a trusted source of products that have been validated in trials worldwide.
CONCLUSION A number of winemakers we talk to don’t see the need to use enzymes in their winemaking and have given us several reasons why they don’t use them. Instead they put up with filtration problems, decreased yields and colour issues that could easily and cheaply be prevented with the use of natural enzyme products. The use of enzymes helps enormously to make wine more easily by increasing yield, reducing filtration problems, releasing aromas, helping to extract colour from skins and breaking down other long chain polysaccharides such as glucans. Enzymes have made the job of winemakers much easier and helped produce better quality wines since they were introduced into the winemaking process more than 50 years ago. Greg Howell is the founder and managing director of Vintessential Laboratories which sells winemaking supplies Australia-wide and operates wine testing laboratories in Queensla nd, Victoria a nd WA. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. More articles on related topics are available on at www.vintessential.com.au/ resources/articles/ Blandine Lefol is the brand manager for Oenobrands winemaking products and is actively involved in the R&D of new and existing products. She is a technical specialist in Rapidase Enzymes, Anchor Yeasts and DSM Wine ingredients. She holds a degree in biochemistry and studied oenology in Toulouse, France. She has been a winemaker and technical specialist for 10 years. Contact: Blandine.Lefol@oenobrands.com.
Looking for more stories on enzyme usage? Search our Grapegrower & Winemaker article archive at
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Adelaide researchers head 'over the ditch' for Australasian yeast meeting University of Adelaide Research Fellows Michelle Walker, Joanna Sundstrom and Tommaso Liccioli together with students Simon Dillon, Danfeng Long, Trung Nguyen, Ee Lin Tek and Jin Zhang report on the “Yeasts: Products, Discovery and more”.
YEASTS: Products, Discovery and More 2013 (YPD) was held at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand last November 2013. The combined meeting of the Australasian Yeast Network and the New Zealand Microbiological Society Special Interest Group attracted 63 delegates, predominantly from Australia and New Zealand, but also invited speakers from Europe and the US. The meeting program incorporated seven plenary speakers, 30 seminar presentations and a research poster display. Conference themes covered cell and systems biology of both medically and industrially relevant yeast with many reports specific to alcoholic fermentations, including wine, beer and bioethanol production. Wine ecology was also well represented. Specific topics included yeast breeding, stress adaptation, ecology and evolution, genetic and protein inheritability, genome organisation and cellular metabolism. The meeting’s small size strongly encouraged networking and lively discussion with other researchers and
delegates were able to keenly engage with conference exhibitors. Jan Singer, the proprietor of Singer Instruments, came from the UK to demonstrate the latest cutting edge equipment for yeast micro-dissection, an essential tool for yeast geneticists.
GENETICS, BREEDING AND TOOLS FOR YEAST STRAIN IMPROVEMENT Professor Richard Gardner (University of Auckland) gave an overview of conventional yeast breeding, in his seminar “Breeding better wine yeast”. He discussed his group’s strategy of using standard yeast breeding methods in conjunction with molecular markers (pieces of DNA known to be associated with particular characteristics or traits), to develop novel yeast strains with improved oenological properties. This group’s focus is on using these techniques to improve white wine yeast strains, with particular emphasis on improvements to yeast cold tolerance as well as improved yeast derived aroma characteristics of the final wine from Sauvignon Blanc juice.
Presentations from Professor Gardner’s group were also made in winemaking focus sessions. For example, Margarita Santiago highlighted the link between IRC7 gene expression and thiol release during Sauvignon Blanc fermentation in her presentation “4MMP production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae”. Dr Rebecca Deed’s poster “Improvement of commercial wine strains for Sauvignon Blanc fermentation through backcrossing” illustrated how commercial wine yeast strains, identified as tolerant to low temperature and high sulfite conditions, were successively bred to introduce desirable traits for Sauvignon Blanc fermentation. This type of performance targeting resulted in novel yeast strains with reduced ‘off’ aromas and increased thiol production. Genes (fragments of DNA that code for proteins) targeted included IRC7450, encoding a ß-lyase for increased production of 4MMP (boxwood aroma) and pad1, a variant of PAD1 that does not result in the production of phenolic offflavours such as the aroma of clove. Miguel Roncoroni (PhD student:
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Gardner group) presented a highly relevant and informative talk on “Mapping genes of oenological importance in commercial winemaking yeast”. This talk described the generation of 96 wine yeast strains derived from breeding together two commercial wine yeast strains, Enoferm M2 (similar to AWRI 796) and Zymaflore F15. The complete DNA sequences (genomes) of these 96 strains were subsequently determined. The 96 strains were then used to ferment Sauvignon Blanc juice and the production of various aroma compounds in the finished wines was measured. Comparison of the 96 genomes to data collected from the fermentation, allowed the identification of links between specific DNA sequences (from either Enoferm M2 or Zymaflore F15) and particular oenological traits (e.g. the level of production of a particular aromatic compound). This is known as mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTLs). By understa nding which DNA sequences will give yeast particular desirable traits, researchers can more easily select strains likely to have these desired traits rather than needing to
Team yeast: University of Adelaide researchers visit Soljan Wine Estate (from left): Simon Dillon, Tommaso Liccioli, Ee Lin Tek, Michelle Walker, Danfeng Long, Jin Zhang and Joanna Sundstrom).
test hundreds – or thousands – of strains. For example in this presentation, the genes linked to traits such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) release and the production of several beneficial volatile compounds was identified. Chien-Wei Huang, of the same group, gave a presentation entitled “Identification
of yeast genes responsible for low H2S production in wines” which also utilised the 96-strain set, along with a second cross between Zymaflore F15 and E4. To illustrate the power of this QTL technique in more detail, this research identified three genes (DNA sequences), MET2, MET5 and MET 10, as contributors to low H2S production.
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winemaking The MET2 gene from strain M2 (or E4) was responsible for low H2S production and normal levels of SO2. H2S levels could be reduced even further when the MET5 gene from strain M2 (or E4) was also present. Inheritance of the MET10 gene from strain E4 resulted in no H2S during fermentation and reduced ‘off-aromas’ methional, carbon disulphide and methyl thioacetate in the finished wine. However, strains carrying this gene inherited from strain E4 produced high levels of SO2 and grew slowly on sulfate as the sulfur source. In summary, these 96 yeast strain populations will prove to be very useful resources for further research to identify DNA sequences responsible for conferring additional traits aiding yeast breeding programs to specifically ‘tailor’ yeast to meet the requirements of winemakers. Professor Ed Louis (University of Leicester, Leicester, UK) gave a plenary seminar “Exploring genetic and phenotypic variation in Saccharomyces yeasts” describing how whole-genome sequencing of hundreds of isolates from different geographical areas around the world, has revealed an enormous degree of genetic variability in wild isolates, including new gene families which are absent in laboratory strains. Specific combinations of genetic variants were found within distinct populations, which may be adapted to their respective geographical/ecological niches. Professor Louis highlighted the potential application for generating new industrial yeast strains, by breeding different yeast species together, to develop strains with attributes which do not occur in the current population. Also highlighted was the recent identification of QTLs responsible for various phenotypic traits relevant to industrial applications. Examples included ethanol tolerance (MKT1, SWS2, APJ1) and ethanol
Taste of research: Danfeng Long, Ee Lin Tek and Jin Zhang sampling a pint of Hallertau No 2 beer.
production (SSK1, GPD1, HOT1, SMP1). Whilst some phenotypic traits are linked to single QTLs or genes, others are multi-gene traits which are more difficult to analyse. Further studies into wild yeast isolates and understanding ‘genotype to phenotype’ (how DNA sequences influence a strains particular good and bad attributes), will also help to develop improved yeast strains for industry.
WINE MICROBE ECOLOGY A HOT TOPIC Wine ecology is currently very topical, with the role of fruit flies as ‘vectors’ and yeast-derived volatiles (which are similar to those found in rotting fruit), as a mechanism behind the mutualistic (beneficial) coevolution of these two species being explored in a number of presentations. Dr Catrin Guenther (Dr Matthew Goddard’s group, University of Auckland) presented a fascinating seminar entitled “Does chemical attraction drive the coevolution of yeasts and fruit flies?” The group is curious to know whether
yeast volatile production has evolved as a means of attracting fruit flies (Drosophila) to grapes that are spontaneously fermenting. The theory is that this would be beneficial to the yeast as they could ‘piggy back’ on the flies (which feed on the yeast), and be transported to other regions thereby dispersing the yeast more widely. The flies also benefit as they are reportedly better able to reproduce in fermenting fruit. Dr Guenther showed differing levels of attractiveness between flies and various Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, with those more ‘attractive’ yeast more successfully dispersed than ‘unattractive’ yeasts. Work is continuing to identify which particular volatiles, including the combinations and concentrations, which are the attractants and repellents of Drosophila. So far more than 200 volatiles have been identified by dynamic headspace GCMS as fly attractants. This area of research was also touched on by Professor Kevin Verstrepen, whereby he speculated on the biological role of esters, such as ethyl acetate and isoamyl acetate, in beer. He showed an intriguing video of virgin female Drosophila being attracted to beer volatiles. Furthermore, yeast derived ester fly attraction, relied upon the presence of the yeast alcohol acetyl-transferase Aft1p, which is involved in ester production. A seminar presentation by Sarah Knight (PhD student: Goddard group) and a poster presentation by Samuel Lam (Honours student: Dr Kate Howell’s group, University of Melbourne) discussed their research into microbial populations associated with vineyards and/or Drosophila from within vineyards and wineries. Sarah Knight’s presentation focused on the identification of yeast microbial populations, using microsatellite genotyping, isolated from vineyard soil, spontaneous fermentations and native
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winemaking innovation Throughout Australia and NZ
Cross words: Miguel Roncoroni (PhD student: Gardner group, University of Auckland) giving his presentation at the YPD 2013 conference.
plants, from three geographically distinct regions of New Zealand. No differentiation between species was found from the different biological samples taken from within one geographic region. She proposed that insects move species between locations within a region. Conversely, when comparing differentiation between geographic regions, population differentiation was observed. This directional migration of some populations was suggested as a consequence of transporting grapes between the different regions. Sam Lam’s poster entitled “Yeasts associated with Drosophila in Australian vineyards” involved collecting Drosophila from Victorian vineyards and wineries and isolating yeast attached to the Drosophila, to identify the yeast species located in these vineyards and wineries. The two most common species of fly, identified morphologically, from the vineyards were D. melanogaster and D. simulans and the most commonly associated yeasts, identified by DNA sequencing of the ITS rDNA region, were Metschnikowia pulcherrima, Pichia membranifaciens and Hanseniaspora valbyensis. The yeasts Hanseniaspora uvarum and Torulaspora delbrueckii were also found, associated with large numbers of Drosophila located near grape waste piles near wineries. Interestingly, the common fermentation yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was not isolated from any Drosophila in the study.
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YEAST PRODUCTS, A THEME CONTINUED BEYOND THE CONFERENCE SCENE The theme of ‘yeast products’ was continued in the social program with Dr Richard Gardner (University of Auckland) exhibiting a Sauvignon Blanc wine with enhanced varietal character, produced from a newly bred wine Saccharomyces strain. Delegates were also treated to an in-depth tour of the Soljans Estate Winery, a third generation winery in Kumeu, and the Hallertau Brewbar. In conclusion, conference attendance is invaluable for Australian research. Discussions, particularly those informally, enable the development of new research ideas and promote sharing of knowledge and new collaborations which enhances scientific research. Members of the WMMB group thank the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and YPD 2013 for financial assistance to enable attendance at this conference. Contact: Michelle Walker Phone: 61 8 8831 30402 Email: email@example.com March 2014 – Issue 602
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Closure trials show volatile sulfur compound formation can still cause a stink The book has not been closed on closure trials and Australian Wine Research Institute scientists Neil Scrimgeour and Eric Wilkes report on the latest research about the key drivers in the shelf life of wine.
• Closure trials continue to provide important information on factors influencing wine oxidation, shelf life and formation of volatile sulfur compounds. • Concentrations of undesirable volatile sulfur compounds in wine experience peaks and troughs over time in bottle. • Closure oxygen transfer rate (OTR) can have a significant impact on wine development over time.
SINCE its initial ground-breaking closure trial in 1999, the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) has conducted a number of major commercially-funded closure trials. And these have provided further understanding of the impacts of closure selection on wine development in bottle and the importance of factors such as total package oxygen (TPO) and storage temperature on shelf life. From the beginning, these closure trials have sought to understand the complex relationship between the wine matrix, oxygen introduced at bottling, oxygen transmission rate (OTR) through the closure, free SO2 concentration and the development of volatile sulfur compounds. To date the following concepts have been established: • High levels of oxygen introduced at bottling (TPO) can result in a dramatic reduction in shelf life (sometimes
Volatile sulfur compound
Threshold (µg/L) rotten egg, sewage-like
nd - 56
rotten cabbage, burnt rubber, putrefaction
nd - 16
nd - 11
blackcurrant (at low levels), cooked cabbage, asparagus, canned corn, molasses
nd - 474
nd - 980
10.0 MeSH conc. (µg/L)
At a glance:
Table 1. Three important volatile sulfur compounds in wine and their aroma threshold levels. Common concentration ranges reported in published literature and seen at the AWRI are provided.
Figure 1. Simplified sulfur chemistry reaction scheme including indicative aroma detection threshold levels
reducing it to less than six months). • In commercially bottled wines with well controlled TPO, evolution of wine style is typically driven by the closure OTR, especially with longer term storage periods (>1 year). • White wines are more susceptible to oxygen introduced at bottling and through closure permeation than red wines, resulting in more pronounced
impact on wine style. Numerous closure trials have shown oxygen ingress (OTR) is one of the key drivers in determining how a wine will develop after bottling and, ultimately, its expected shelf life. However, understanding of how volatile sulfur compounds form and evolve under different wine closures is still developing. A significant number of volatile sulfur
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MAXIMUM AROMA PROTECTION
compounds are found in wine, and the three listed in Table 1 are ones shown to be significant in closure studies. While at low levels they can add complexity to a wine, generally they are considered undesirable.
2.0 H2S conc. (µg/L)
REVERSIBLE COMPOUNDS 1.5
Figure 2. DMS concentration changes in red wine under different closure types over 36 months. Error bars indicate minimum and maximum values for each closure type (Highlighted area shows DMS detection threshold of 20-25 µg/L) 16 14
Free SO2 loss (mg/L)
12 10 8" 6 4 2 0
15 DMS conc. (µg/L)
Figure 3. Free SO2 decline in red wine under different closures across 36 months of storage. Error bars indicate minimum and maximum values for each closure type. (Dotted line represents nominal end of shelf life (10mg/L free SO2))
Free SO2 loss (mg/L)
The simplified reaction scheme in Figure 1 outlines how sulfur containing compounds are inter-related in wine. An important point to note is the balance between oxidised sulfur compounds (OSCs – which have lower sensory impact) and thiols (which have greater sensory impact) is reversible, dependent on the amount of available oxygen and the presence of metals. Even when compounds are present in their oxidised form (with minimal sensory impact) a change in conditions can drive re-formation of the more potent thiols, impacting negatively on wine aroma. In numerous closure trials, dimethyl sulfide (DMS) has been the dominant sulfur-containing compound, with levels typically approaching the aroma threshold (20-25 µg/L) after one year in bottle. Figure 2, which presents data from the current AWRI red wine closure trial, shows over the first six months of the trial, the DMS levels decreased as the oxygen introduced at bottling was utilised in oxidation reactions. After this point, the DMS levels increased, representing a different phase in the wine chemistry; related, at least in part, to the relatively slow introduction of oxygen through the closure. Wines under closures with lower OTRs, such as screwcaps, have consistently exhibited higher levels of DMS, suggesting the higher levels of oxygen introduced through higher OTR closures are involved in conversion of DMS into other components.
DMS conc. (µg/L) Figure 4. Correlation of free SO2 loss between 6-months and 36-months with DMS concentration in red wine under different closures after 36 months
64 Grapegrower & Winemaker
Free SO2 levels in closure trials invariably show a rapid downward trend over the first six months of storage, as the oxygen introduced at bottling (headspace oxygen and oxygen entrained in the closure) drives oxidative reactions in the wine. After that point, the reduction in SO2 is primarily driven by the closure OTR. Figure 3 shows SO2 data from the current red wine closure trial. It can be seen that wine under screwcaps typically loses less SO2 over time, due to the inherently lower OTRs, with wine under the other closures showing variable performance, depending on closure type and supplier. It should be remembered SO2 does not March 2014 – Issue 602
H2S conc. (µg/L)
Figure 5. Correlation of free SO2 loss between 6-months and 36-months with DMS concentration in white wine under different closures after 36 months
interact directly with oxygen but rather with a range of oxidised wine components at the end of a chain of chemical reactions. As such, it is not surprising the graph after the six-month time point does not present a smooth curve, as the SO2 concentration is dependent not only on the available oxygen but also on the depletion of other wine components in the oxidation process. This interdependence of SO2, oxygen and other wine components can be seen in the relationship with DMS. Figures 4 and 5 show the strong relationship between DMS concentration and the loss of free SO2 through each closure between six months and 36 months for the current red wine and most recent white wine closure trials. The loss of free SO2 between bottling and 6 months storage is predominantly due to the TPO at bottling, rather than the closure OTR. Both hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and methanethiol (MeSH) also appear to be influenced by the closure used to seal the wine, with noticeable differences over 36 months in both white and red wine trials (Figures 6 to 9). In the red wine trial, levels of both of these compounds were largely undetectable for the first 12 months of storage, but then increased during the second 12 months before again dropping during the third 12 months of storage. In the white wine trial, different patterns emerged, with MeSH levels increasingly significantly during the latter stages of storage. This highlights the fact these important sulfur containing compounds are strongly influenced by the wine matrix and its individual chemical components.
DMS conc. (µg/L)
For further information, please contact Kauri 0
Figure 6. H2S concentration changes in red wine under different closure types over 36 months. Error bars indicate minimum and maximum values for each closure type (detection threshold of 1 µg/L shown by dotted line). March 2014 – Issue 602
NZ Tel: 0800 KAURIWINE NZ Fax: 04 910 7415 Email: email@example.com
AUS Tel: 1800 127 611 AUS Fax: 1800 127 609 Website: www.kauriwine.com
Grapegrower & Winemaker
MeSH conc. (µg/L)
0.9 natural cork technical cork alternatives screw-caps
Figure 7. MeSH concentration changes in red wine under different closure types over 36 months. Error bars indicate minimum and maximum values for each closure type (detection threshold of 1.5 µg/L shown by dotted line)
Free SO2 (mg/L)
25 20 15 10 5 0
Figure 8. H2S concentration changes in white wine under different closure types over 36 months. Error bars indicate minimum and maximum values for each closure type (detection threshold of 1 µg/L highlighted)
CONCERNING TRENDS While these results relate only to the specific trial wines, the trends observed should concern winemakers. H 2S levels can be seen climbing above the sensory detection threshold of 1 µg/L under all closures for both red and white wines at some point during storage. Levels of MeSH approach the sensory detection threshold in the red wines, but increase dramatically beyond this limit in the last 12 months of the white wine trial, suggesting another transition in the wine chemistry has occurred. H 2S changes may be related to sulfide precursor production
and chemical pathways becoming more active once all of the oxygen introduced at bottling has been consumed. The exact nature of the relationship between H 2S and oxygen is not as clear as it appears with DMS. Interestingly though, the closures showing the smallest increases in H 2S over the latter period of both the red and white wine trials have the highest OTRs, suggesting the additional oxygen permeating through the closure may be involved in chemical reactions which suppress the production of H 2S. This is consistent with the trend seen with the DMS data. A different trend is apparent for MeSH in the white wine trial (Figure 9), where higher levels are observed with wine under higher OTR closures. MeSH levels seen in the white wine trial are, on average, six times higher than the sensory threshold of 1.5 µg/L and therefore likely to play a role in the aroma profile of the wine. Sensorially, it is surprisingly difficult to see the influence of these sulfur compounds on the aroma and f lavour attributes rated through expert sensory panels, even though they are all at or above the sensory detection threshold. In red wines, these odorous sulfur compounds can be masked at these levels, but there is still a risk they may increase over time and start to significantly affect the aroma and flavour of the wine. It may also be the case that soon after wine is poured the compounds interact rapidly with oxygen in the air, reducing their impact in sensory trials. Sensory data from the red wine closure trial were analysed using principal component analysis (PCA). The PCA plot in Figure 10 shows the aroma and flavour attributes of red wine can be strongly influenced by closure type. Wines on the right (PC1) show higher levels of development, specifically with Port/ Bruised apple aroma and higher Brown colour. These wines also display higher levels of the Dark fruit and Cooked fruit attributes, and are correlated weakly with higher wine colour density, hue and OTR. The wines on the left exhibit lower levels of the developed attributes, but higher levels of the Medicinal/pine attribute, which is an inherent attribute of the base wine. Wines under the screwcaps and technical corks are closely grouped together, but wines under the natural cork and alternative closures show marked differences in development.
SIGNIFICANT IMPACT The ongoing closure trials highlight closure choice can have a significant impact on the aroma and flavour of wines, with
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Figure 10. Principal component analysis (PCA) plot showing relationship between aroma, flavour and chemical attributes for red wine under different closures after 24 months of storage
the degree of variability between closure manufacturers being much greater for some closure styles than others. It is also clear the development of sulfidic compounds in wine is a particularly complex and non-linear process. Levels of these compounds progress through major peaks and troughs over time in bottle. Interestingly, the magnitude of these changes at some points during the wineâ€™s life can be greater than the difference introduced by the choice of closure. These trials are a reminder it is important, as a minimum, to understand closure OTR and its potential impact on flavour development, generation of undesirable volatile sulfur compounds and shelf-life. It is true closure performance is not the only factor determining how a wine will develop in bottle, with wine composition, metal content and production history all contributing. However, the differences in the performance of different closures (even those of the same style from different manufacturers) can have a significant impact on the wine and choice of packaging is therefore an important decision for the future of the wine. This article presents an overview of the general trends seen in the AWRIâ€™s most recent commercial red and white closure trials. The full trial results highlight the significant differences between closures from different manufacturers and styles and are available to the commercial contributors of each trial. The red wine closure trial is still in progress, with wines currently undergoing testing after 36 months in bottle. Anyone interested in accessing data from this trial should contact AWRI Commercial Services at commercialservices@ awri.com.au or on (08) 8313 6600.
Fine Grain Barrels Since the beginning, Saury has operated on the basis that grain is the most important determinant of barrel quality. Today, the cooperage still applies this theory to each and every barrel, growing into a modern, efficient and quality focused cooperage while maintaining its status as a maker of the finest grain oak barrels in the world.
Contact: Neil Scrimgeour. Phone: 61 8 8313 6600. Email: email@example.com.
Looking for more stories on wine closures? Search our Grapegrower & Winemaker article archive at
www.winebiz.com.au/gwm March 2014 â€“ Issue 602
AUS Tel: 1800 127 611 AUS Fax: 1800 127 609 Website: www.kauriwine.com
Grapegrower & Winemaker
Have cutting-edge filtration, will travel With a new filtration designed in Australia for Australian conditions 3M Purification is offering the wine production industry a ‘next generation’ opportunity. 3M PURIFICATION is driving innovation within the wine industry with its Sanitary High Filtration Flow Housing (SHFW). The company’s Australia and New Zealand marketing operations manager Brendan Rumbel says SHFW has been developed as a result of 3M Purification’s extensive experience in the Australian wine industry. He says it was also designed in Australia for local conditions by the 3M engineering team. “Designed for both wine and water applications in the winery market it has proven effective in export loading, high speed bottling and high volume process water,” Rumbel says. “With a complete sanitary design the housing is fabricated from 316 stainless steel and the cartridge is constructed from polypropylene, which is approved by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for use in the food and beverage market,” he says. “The SHFW offers a number of advantages over traditional ‘candlestick’ filtration, including: • A compact housing means a smaller footprint within the production facility. • High dirt loading capacity for longer cartridge life. • High flow rates mean less cartridges required and quicker change out times. • Absolute rating guarantees 99.9% particle removal at specified sizes. “The high-flow cartridge is specifically designed to deliver high flow rates per cartridge. “While flow rates will depend on the
The SHFW: Designed for both wine and water applications in the winery market with a genuine local connection.
level of filtration required, our 30kl/hr at 1um per 60” cartridge commonly provides pre filtration significantly reducing the load on downstream filters.” Rumbel says a ‘twist to lock’ motion ensures a positive seal is achieved at installation and makes changing the cartridge a simple process. He says cartridge change outs can be made by one person without tools or lifting equipment in less than five minutes. “Having the housing in a horizontal orientation ensures that any potential OH&S risks are minimised,” he adds. “The housing itself can be connected through either a 3” or 4” tri-clover connection. “With the optional connection kits, including gauges, a turnkey solution is available. The sanitary high flow is also provided with both forklift tine pockets and lifting points making it a mobile solution for filtration wherever it is provided on site.” He says field trials have provided up to a 30% reduction in overall filtration costs in the applications of:
• Water filtration – the high flow has been used in place of larger automated systems, greatly simplifying the process and removing the need for costly maintenance and membrane replacement. • Pre filtration to existing bottling and export loading facilities. In one export loading application the overall cost saving was in excess of 30%. • Tanker loading/unloading. • DE removal – 100% removal with a 5 micron cartridge at 30000l/hr. • Tartrate crystal removal.
NEWS FLASH A 10” version providing flow rates up to 6kl/hr will be launched this year providing pre filtration for smaller packaging lines as well as a broad spectrum of other applications. Contact: Brendan Rumbel. Phone: 1300 367 362. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Easy on. Easy off. PERLFLO by Australian Perlite | www.ausperl.com.au | 1300 765 925 68 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
Messy business: Separator Technology Solutions has helped wineries in the US overcome the need for dangerous products such as diatomaceous earth in the filtration process.
Separating the spectacular from the risky EVERYTHING seems to be the Holy Grail today – from football grand finals to rock and roll (sometimes both together). So it is easy to see the expression will have lost a smidgin of impact the next time you hear it. But when it comes to the wine indust r y, Sepa rator Tech nolog y Solutions’ (STS) Ashley Whittington says his company seems to have pulled one right out of the Grail hat. In downtown San Miguel, California, where they know a fair bit about wine, Castoro Cellars (along with Peltier Station of Lodi) have done something
a lot of wineries would give half their next vintage for. Whittington says they have gone filter-powder free for the past two vintages. “And if that, by wine industry standards, is not as Holy Grail as it goes for occupational health and safety then it would be hard to know what is,” he says. “Filter powders such as diatomaceous earth (DE), while a mainstay of filtering/ clarifying wines, are carcinogenic. “And when airborne are potentially hazardous to the health of anyone inhaling the fine powder.
“Used in rotary vacuum and bulk filtration, a significant portion of these very light, but abrasive, powders become airborne the moment a winery employee begins pouring them from their container. Once inhaled, the particles are transported to the lower respiratory tract and can potentially cause long-term respiratory damage including airway remodelling.” Whittington says for at least 20 years wineries have mandated eliminating, or at least minimising, the use of these powders, but until recently none have achieved reliable and financially viable options.
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The savings make sense
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Filtration Separation Purification With over three generations of knowledge and skills we have dealt with projects on many different levels. The team consists of people who we believe will be a benefit to any project due to their previous experience and valuable
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Until recently. He says with the primary focus being employee safety, eliminating the need for these filter powders presents significant cost savings as well.
“The cost of the powders can add up, but it is their processing and waste disposal which is the serious financial burden,” Whittington adds. “As a 10,000-plus tonnes winery,
Castoro Cellars has actually achieved that Holy Grail for employee safety for its 2012 and 2013 vintages by eliminating filter powder use – of any kind,” he says. “Through the implementation of the STS 200 System, a uniquely modified centrifuge system, and integrating its use with their existing cross-filter, Castoro has gone DE-free. “In early 2012 owner Niels Udsen adopted the innovative STS system with the goal of not only cutting cost and waste as well as increasing yield, quality, and value but most importantly on improving employee safety. “Working closely with winemaker Tom Myers and winery manager Dave McHenry, Udsen was able to combine the STS 200 capabilities with their existing cross-flow to maximise yield, quality, and value of their wine, all without the need for filter powders and rotary vacuum filter processing. “And happier and safer employees. “Talk about hitting the Holy Grail – for his business and the industry,” Whittington says. Contact: Ashley Whittington. Phone: 61 (0)439 329 997. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Separator Technology Solutions High performance... without the high price
Major International Clients Include: • Constellation Wines – USA • Distell – Sth Africa
Separator Technology Solutions Pty Ltd Ashley Whittington E: email@example.com P: +61 3 9016 4330 W: www.sts200.com
STS 200 72 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
Oh, what a feeling Casella Wines has for its forklifts THE Riverina’s Casella Wines isn’t just an outstanding success story of the Australian wine industry; it’s also a textbook example of how to Barrel racks manage rapid growth without sacrificing quality. & handling The family-owned winery’s major growth since 2000 has included the addition of a bottling line which can process 36,000 bottles per hour – the fastest wine bottling line in the world. And Liftek’s Chaise Staltare says Toyota forklifts have been the material handling equipment solution of choice for Casella Wines at its Yenda winery throughout its rapid expansion. Staltare said Casella has 69 Toyota forklifts at work in the winery at present. “The Toyota forklifts range from 2.5 tonne to 8 tonne capacity and help to meet a material handling challenge which at peak times can see 50 shipping containers a day leaving the Riverina winery,” Staltare said. “Casella Wines was among the first companies in Australia to take on Toyota’s widely praised 8-Series forklifts,” he said. “The numbers of which are now growing to account for a steadily increasing proportion of its forklift fleet.” Casella purchasing officer David Bastianon agreed, saying most of the Toyota forklifts are dual fuel LPG/petrol units. “But we also have some diesel models and recently we’ve added a couple of battery-electric forklifts,” Bastianon said. “The majority of the Toyota forklifts are at the one site,” he said. “They are split between our various departments such as warehouse, bottling, inventory, cellar, maintenance and waste management.” “All our departments are busy, but in the bottling area the forklifts are operating 24 hours a day and the Toyotas in our cellar also work around the clock during vintage. Mind you, the other areas have a pretty hectic single daily shift to deal with.” In such a busy environment Bastianon said Casella Wines needs its employees to be multi-skilled, resulting in a workplace where
ExtEnd thE lifE of your winE barrEls
approximately 150 staff operate the forklifts as their duties require. It’s not just their numbers which make Toyota forklifts such a familiar sight at the Casella Wines premises. They have been part of the business long before the winery’s Yellow Tail success became part of international marketing history. “Our oldest Toyota forklift, a 5FD70, has clocked up 15,000 hours over almost 12 years,” Bastianon said. “It’s a seven-tonne capacity machine that we use as an allrounder throughout the winery. “When it’s not moving empty shipping containers it has a 360 degree Cascade rotator attached for tipping grapes.” Bastianon lists safety and reliability among the most important forklift characteristics he looks for, along with low running costs and a long, effective working life. “There are other factors which come into consideration such as employee acceptance in terms of being comfortable with operating the equipment,” he said. “We’ve found the Toyotas have better hydraulic speed and they’re a better driving forklift – better to operate so the operators like them. “The reliability issue is extremely important to us. We’ve had no major breakdowns so the winery doesn’t have to worry about forklifts causing production down time. “We keep buying Toyotas because they’ve never let us down.” Casella Wines initially purchased three Toyota forklifts,
TOYOTA INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT T
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40 High St Avoca VIC 3467 Phone/Fax: +61 3 5465 3340 Mobile: 0409 083 587 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org March 2014 – Issue 602
26-28 Altin Street GRIFFITH NSW 2680 Ph: 02 6964 3328 Fax: 02 6964 4334
Grapegrower & Winemaker
Three times 20: Casella Wines initially purchased three Toyota forklifts, thinking that would be enough to suit its needs. As the company’s export and local success continues to set records, there is every chance the current fleet of 69 Toyota forklifts will grow
thinking that would be enough to suit its needs. As the company’s export and local success continues to set records, there is every chance the current fleet of 69 Toyota forklifts will grow. With a long history in the industry, Liftek has serviced Griffith and the wider area since 1995. After working in the material handling industry for more than 15 years, Vince Staltare saw an opportunity to start his own business and Liftek was born. Using industry knowledge and the philosophy “if you look after others they will look after you” Staltare has successfully built the business into Toyota Industrial Equipment’s largest NSW satellite dealer and Karcher’s largest stockist of domestic and industrial equipment.
74 Grapegrower & Winemaker
In 1999 his son Chaise joined the business completing his automotive qualification. Chaise Staltare now works predominately in the sales and administration areas of the business, further strengthening the experience and knowledge Liftek offers. Today father and son are both actively involved in all aspects of the business, with Vince’s valuable industry experience and Chaise’s fresh and innovative ideas and “can do” attitude creating a recipe for success. Liftek is based in Griffith and is a dealer for Toyota Industrial Equipment and suppliers of Karcher Cleaning Products, JLG Access Equipment, Drive-In and Pallet Racking, Agip Oils and Lubricants and Ducted Vacuum Systems. “We offer a full back up service on all
products sold and endeavour to get our customers up and running as quickly as possible,” Chaise Staltare added. “We understand how costly down time is and our factory trained technicians are able to source parts and repair all makes and models of material handling products and cleaning equipment. “Also, we currently have more than 100 forklifts in our hire fleet, ranging from one to 50 tonnes and including petrol, LPG, diesel and electric units. “We also have a wide range of Karcher Cleaning Equipment for short or long term hire.” Contact: Chaise Staltare Phone: 61 2 6964 3328 Email: email@example.com.
March 2014 – Issue 602
How wine barrel cleaning can impact the ageing process Wine Barrel Cleaning director Murray McDonald writes that thinking you have done a good job of cleaning, and getting the job done right, are two entirely different outcomes. And one of those outcomes could be bad news for your next vintage. AS you read this, many winemakers are most likely experiencing the vintage rush. Once the grapes are ripe for the picking the winemaking process kicks into full gear. In Australia, vintage is normally around February to April, whereas for colder climates, such as in New Zealand, June can be the peak time for vintage. For many wineries, the ageing process is the next biggest phase in the winemaking process. How a wine is stored and for how long depends on a number of factors including whether it’s red or white, what types of grapes have been used, the wine region and specific winemaking styles. Wine barrel cleaning is something normally pushed to the side amongst the fast-paced vintage season, but it is important to understand the way a barrel or tank has previously been cleaned will impact the quality of wine once vintage is over and the wine is placed in its vessel of choice for ageing. Here are three key ways barrel cleaning can have an impact on the ageing processes:
1. TRAPPED OLD WINE When many wineries think of barrel cleaning, pressure washing is normally the first method that comes to mind.
March 2014 – Issue 602
After pressure washing, hot water is another traditional factor to the wine barrel cleaning process. However, pressure washing and hot water, although common, won’t provide a “deep clean”. Hot water at 50-55C and pressure washing will take residue off the surface of a barrel, but won’t completely sterilise it. This results in old wine being trapped within the pores of oak. For a new batch of wine, this can impact the ageing process, with the old wine seeping into the new and altering the taste. After a hot water rinse, the water can be seen to run clear, but when a method, such as high pressure and high temperature steam is dispersed through the barrel on that same barrel, the water runs with visible, stale wine.
2. YEAST AND BACTERIA It’s important your barrel cleaning method of choice doesn’t just hit the surface of a barrel. Hard to reach areas, including deep within the wood and barrel crevices can start to build up yeast and bacteria. When the barrel becomes moist from the new batch of wine, the old built up reside then mixes in with the new batch. A pressure washer that is hooked up
to a high temperature steam machine can ensure yeast and bacteria are blasted from crevices, and because stream is a vapour it can get deep inside the wood where water can’t reach. Many wineries have a pressure washer. To achieve this type of results, look for a steam generator that can be fitted to your existing system.
3. IT’S NOT JUST BARRELS Stainless steel vats and tanks are also susceptible to influencing the ageing process of wine if not cleaned properly. Tartrates and other residue substances commonly cling to the walls of a storage tank. To ensure all residue is eliminated, without using chemicals, high temperature steam at around 130C-plus can melt tartrates and the condensation allows for it to drain out the bottom of the tank. Although vintage is such a busy time of year, when it comes to the ageing process, you will want to have deep cleaned your barrels to ensure it is ready for your new batch of hard work. Contact: Murray McDonald. Phone: 61 3 9482 4900. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grapegrower & Winemaker
sales & marketing Orora offering an integrated service – and it comes on a global platform Created by the demerger of Amcor, packaging specialist Orora has quickly built a strong wine industry focus – from closures and bottles to cartons for transport – which can be customised right down to glass embossing inside and out.
THE Orora Group has developed into a one-stop shop option for the wine industry in both Australia and New Zealand. It offers nearly 30 different standard bottle types – and six different glass colours – with bottle volumes ranging from 375mL to 1.5L. A company spokesman said custom bottles in any size, shape and colour can also be supplied. He said Ororoa’s three glass furnaces are located in Gawler, SA on the fringe of the Barossa Valley. This facility is designed to manufacture large batches of each bottle type, with each furnace holding 750 tonnes of glass – or enough to make 1.5 million bottles from each
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batch. “This production capacity produces more than 650 million bottles per year and we supplement that by importing smaller volumes of the custom bottles or bottle types we don’t make at our Gawler plant,” the spokesman said.
INTERNAL GLASS EMBOSSING “Bottles at Orora can be manufactured with customised internal embossing on the glass while the external surface of the bottle is smooth to allow labelling,” he said. “Inter nal embossing provides winemakers with the ability to differentiate their product with this distinctive design capability and is ideal as an anti-counterfeiting measure.
“Embossing and debossing may also be applied to any external surface of a bottle, including the neck, shoulder, label panel and base. “It’s an ideal way to create an individual bottle design to support your branding efforts.
GLASS LIGHT WEIGHTING “The installation of our newest glass furnace has allowed us to re-engineer many of our standard bottles to reduce their weight. “For example, we’ve reduced the weight of our most popular bottle from 500g to 330g, a reduction of more than 30 per cent, while retaining strength and performance.
March 2014 – Issue 602
New twist on QR codes Orora’s dedication to the wine and spirit industry is building a closer connection between producers and consumers. QR codes are a popular way to increase consumer interaction. Use your smart phone to scan the QR code, and you’ll notice a whole new twist on
1300 2 ORORA www.ororagroup.com email@example.com
engaging consumers - unveiling additional product and brand information. Recognising this, Lark Hill Wines partnered with Orora to develop Australia’s first QR code on a wine screw-cap. Contact us to discuss Orora’s innovative approach to supporting your business.
sales & marketing
“This reduces the energy and raw materials required to make each bottle and the energy required to transport them along the supply chain, but requires sophisticated manufacturing engineering processes and knowledge. “Beyond our standard bottle range, we can create completely customised bottle shapes for our customers to further enhance their brands. “Any shape, size and design is feasible.”
PRODUCT RANGE Orora’s range of standard wine bottles includes: • Claret Wine Bottles • Burgundy Wine Bottles • Sparkling Wine Bottles • Riesling Wine Bottles • Fortified Wine Bottles The spokesman said Orora’s design and engineering team can design a custom glass bottle to suit virtually any technical and/or marketing need. This includes innovative shapes, embossing and debossing.
CLOSURES He said as a diverse closures supplier across Australia and New Zealand, Orora also delivers a range of aluminium and plastic closures to some of the region’s “most loved beverage brands”. “With a focus on product integrity, functionality and innovation, our closures business has decades of experience in working with brand owners to create closures which integrate into their business with ease,” the spokesman said. “As well as the wine industry – still and sparkling – we also
support • • • • •
other markets, including: Spirits Beer and cider Ready-to-drink (RTD) Juices Functional drinks and water
SERVICES “Orora also offers a range of support services to ensure the packaging we produce is fit for purpose, performs as it should and ultimately helps our customers’ businesses to grow.” • Design Management Orora can manage the entire closures design process – from graphic development by its in-house innovation and design team through to production. Specialist print management software also enables the entire pre-press process to be managed online. • Engineering Services Orora can recommend, sell and install capping machinery for its customers, which is supported by its technical know-how. • eBusiness Capabilities iReplenishment is Orora’s proprietary online packaging store. It enables fast stock replenishment and easy order management. • Global Technology Alliance
NEW AUSTRALIAN AGENTS: Wine Industry Services 5 Edison Drive, Golden Grove SA 5125 Contact Peter Cole 0402 376 060 or John Camilleri 08 8251 5055 www.wineindustryservices.com
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A new era in packaging Introducing Orora - a company steeped in more than 145 years of packaging, moving forward with new vitality and a fresh approach. Orora is focused and committed to wine and spirit producers; the premium product offering spans glass bottles, aluminium beverage cans, Stelvin速 wine closures, display cartons and corrugated shipping boxes. Our team of dedicated experts are committed to supporting the continual growth of your business.
1300 2 ORORA www.ororagroup.com firstname.lastname@example.org
sales & marketing
Partnerships with global technology suppliers brings worldclass closure innovations direct to our customers. • Integrated packaging approach In Australia and New Zealand, Orora offers a broad product range across primary, secondary and tertiary packaging. This gives its customers the benefit of an integrated packaging supplier. Orora distributes the Amcor Stelvin range of screw caps and overcaps in Australia and New Zealand. The range includes a broad offering, with the Stelvin focus on quality and innovation delivering differentiation and protection for your wines and spirits. “Supplying some of Australia and New Zealand’s finest wineries, Orora has a distinct understanding of local market requirements,” the spokesman said. “This is supported by a keen focus on product quality and brand awareness – all while remaining price competitive,” he added. “With one local state-of-the-art production facility in Dudley Park, SA, Orora also offers products from Amcor’s global Stelvin manufacturing operations. “Couple this with a global approach to innovation and knowledge share, you can rest assured your closure solution is truly world-class. “So whether you’re simply after Stelvin closures or a fully integrated packaging solution for your wine, Orora really is your one-stop packaging partner.” Contact: Australia: 61 3 9811 7111. New Zealand: 64 9 980 5500.
Bohemian Crystal Tops
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80 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
business & technology Get a taste for this fine needle work Just when you thought the world had more than enough wine gadgets, another one comes along. Meininger’s editor Felicity Carter speaks with Greg Lambrecht, inventor of the Coravin, the system that’s taking the wine world by storm. WHAT have oil wells and artificial hips got to do with making wine easier to use and enjoy? The answer lies in people with inventive minds focused on other industries who have quietly sought to revolutionise the way consumers interact with wine. We owe the ubiquitous Teflon-coated Screwpull corkscrew to a Texan called Herbert Allen whose background lay in designing drills for the oil industry. A keen collector, Allen responded to a challenge from his wife in 1975 who was frustrated with the inefficiency of the family corkscrew. Nearly four decades later, Greg Lambrecht, an American inventor of medical equipment, has come up with a device that not only makes the Screwpull and every other corkscrew nearly redundant; it also solves the age-old problem of what to do when you want some wine, but don’t feel like drinking a whole bottle. Past systems of wine preservation have included rubber bungs that supposedly seal the bottle air tight, but don’t, to plain old refrigeration. The Coravin 1000, a handheld gadget retailing for $299, tackles the problem from a completely different angle. Basically, the wine lover never opens the bottle at all. Instead, a hollow needle is pushed through the cork. Argon, an inert gas, is pumped into the bottle and the resulting air pressure forces wine back through the needle. After the required amount of wine has been released, the needle is drawn back through the cork. The argon left acts as a seal between the wine and any air, preserving the wine from oxidation. The cork then reseals itself. The process can be repeated until the bottle is finally emptied. And, claims the inventor, every time the wine is extracted, it will be as fresh as the first time – even if years have passed between the first and last sip.
MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY “I started in needles, which is important for the story,” explains Lambrecht. A biomedical engineer, he has developed artificial hips, knees, heart valves and cardiac catheters – and plenty of needles. “I developed a needle system for accessing the blood stream for people who have leukaemia or kidney failure.”
He became, he admits with modesty, “very good at needles”. Lambrecht comes from an engineering family. His grandfather, who had a strong influence on him during his southern California childhood, had designed weapons during World War II. “He came to me when I was 12 and said, ‘you seem like a good kid. We’ve made enough weapons, but we’ll never have enough medicine or power’.” The advice stuck with Lambrecht, and he decided to work on nuclear energy, and enrolled at MIT. After working in Japan, he realised nuclear energy was so politically unpalatable, that “it would not be possible in my lifetime, so I might as well give this medicine thing a try.” He began working with medical implants and devices from the age of 23. Today, he runs a spinal implant company. But alongside the inventing, he was also enjoying wine. When his wife became pregnant 13 years ago, she stopped sharing wine with him, and “I had all this wine and this bottle in my hand and I looked at it, and thought – there must be a way. But as soon as I pulled the cork, I’d exposed it to oxygen and it was deteriorating.” Lambrecht is nothing if not dedicated. For a full 13 years, he spent his spare time in his basement, perfecting the device that became the Coravin. “I experimented with different gases,”
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March 2014 – Issue 602
Grapegrower & Winemaker
business & technology he says. “I used argon, nitrogen, helium, mixtures...” He also tried many different types of needles, testing different shapes, sizes and gauges. After that came experimentation with different types of wine. What if Pinot Noir was more subject to oxidation than other varieties, he asked himself. Could a single needle work for all different types of wines? “I tried wines from all over the world, from vintages going back to 1961, to make sure my system didn’t have an impact on a single wine that I wouldn’t be aware of,” he said. Lambrecht says he would buy a half case of wine at a time to test. First he would pierce one bottle. Then one month later, he’d open a control bottle and compare the wines. “My sons would scramble the bottles and I’d try to say if I could tell which one was which.” At six months he’d try again with another bottle. Then a year later he’d test again with a new control. After five years, he had six bottles of wine being tested against one another. Soon he was making devices for his friends. “I started the company in 2011 and raised a small amount of money, and then in 2012 raised more money and hired a wonderful CEO, Nick Lazaris” says Lambrecht. “After the first six years of testing it at home with my wife and younger son, I brought it out to Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and winemakers,” he said. “I’d take their own wines and have them taste it.” Soon, he had Robert Parker trying the system. Then the staff at Wine Spectator. Then Jancis Robinson, who wrote “I cannot fault Coravin technically and I can easily see its applications for restaurateurs who would like to offer particularly fine wines by the glass.” Eric Asimov, writing in the New York Times, discovered the device was allowing at least one New York restaurant to offer rare wines by the glass. “Since midAugust, when he began using the Coravin
focus solely on the US market for the first year, to ensure restaurants knew how to use it, they were discovered that around 35 per cent of people coming to the Coravin website were from Europe, China and Hong Kong. “It’s about three times as fast as I thought. The overseas interest has really shocked me,” says Lambrecht. “We realised the international interest was really strong, so we’re working to bring it to Europe.” But isn’t designing a wine gadget a bit trivial compared to nuclear energy and spinal implants? Lambrecht vigorously denies that. “If you interact with something that people are passionate about, you can affect their lives,” he said. “Wine is as big a passion as somebody’s health. It’s amazing how much people love and appreciate their wine.” He says he also loves healthcare, because of the ability to impact people’s lives, and he will never leave the medical field. “I still have my spinal implant company, which I love. I will make sure I have one consumer product and one medical product going for the rest of my life.” He may make more than wine lovers and restaurateurs happy – his system must be music to the ears of cork producers. The Coravin doesn’t work on screwcaps or synthetic corks. “I think of the cork as the best-tested preservation of all time,” he says. “There is no sealing system that has been tested for 250 years with anything near the degree of the success of cork. The Coravin is leaving the cork in place to do its job.” At the price of super-premium wine today, any way to make a bottle last longer or go further seems set to do well. Unless, of course, there’s a genius out there working on a way to make the bottle itself redundant.
All the publicity has meant the Coravin, which was only launched commercially in July, has had an unexpected response. Although Lambrecht’s company decided to
Contact: www.coravin.com. This story first appeared in Meininger’s Wine Business International.
The needle: Coravin’s 1000 is a handheld gadget retailing at $299, which basically means the wine lover never opens the bottle at all.
at the NoMad, Mr Pastuszak has built a list that now includes about 30 wines that you might never expect to see sold by the glass,” he wrote. “Want to try a 1996 Château-Grillet, a rare and unusual white wine from the northern Rhône made in minute quantities? A bottle will cost you $525, but you could have a glass for a mere $110.” He notes while the price may seem astronomical, what you get is about a quarter of a bottle.
Boost your direct sales • Mobile friendly shopping cart for smartphones • Simpler Wine Club allocations and CRM • Make sales from your tablet while on the road • See customers’ spend history at the POS • Know who your most loyal customers are • Recover lost sales due to abandoned carts Introducing VinSuite Direct-to-Consumer for Australia and New Zealand. Available from VINx2 Winery Software. www.vinx2.com or (03) 9015 9625 82 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
Vintage solution to a cash flow crisis Turning a capital investment into a tax-friendly rental agreement is giving winemakers and wineries an easier way to upgrade their oak barrels and access to the finest French oak to meet demand for premium wines. IN THE current wine industry climate, many wineries are looking for innovative ways to reduce capital investment in depreciating assets. Barrel Finance & Logistics (BFL) sales manager Jason Baylis says wineries should not be investing scarce capital in barrels when that money could be better spent in exports, sales and marketing, brand development or even in the vineyard. Baylis said a key part of the BFL service is its ability to finance the supply of a winery’s barrels. He said rather than dealing with multiple invoices in different currencies, BFL can tailor a rental package to suit business cash flow requirements. “By amortising the significant cost structure of new barrel purchases over a monthly, multi-year payment schedule, wineries are much better positioned to plan
Export, insurance & finance
and manage their annual cash flow cycles,” Baylis said. “It makes no more sense to buy all of your barrels outright than to purchase a vehicle or other depreciating asset with working capital,” he said. “With many ‘virtual wineries’ and even major producers reducing capital holdings in land, vineyards and even wineries, the BFL model makes a lot of financial sense. “We have been financing wine barrels for more than 10 vintages now and currently have in excess of 20,000 barrels under rental with our most popular product our standard three-year rental model. “Over the past couple of years we have also diversified into winery equipment, which this year has really taken off. “But our newest product would be a 12-month rental option for wine barrels which simply helps spread the cost of barrels over a one year term without substantial finance costs.
“We have found that there has been an increase in barrels made from French oak due to wineries wanting to make more premium wines and the use of larger vessels such as puncheons has been popular. “We have always been well represented in South Australia’s McLaren Vale because we are located there but over the past year our biggest growth area has been Victoria, in particular the Yarra Valley.” In 2013 BFL financed just more than 6400 barrels and this year aim to finance closer to 8000 barrels, with a big increase in equipment finance. That’s a long way from year one, when the then-fledgling business handled just 1140 barrels. When the rental term on a BFL financed barrel ends Baylis said nearly all customers take up the option to buy the barrel for a small nominal fee which is agreed to at the outset of the contract. He said the sourcing of wine barrels at
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630 Regency Road Broadview South Australia 5083 www.winebiz.com.au March 2014 – Issue 602
AUDIT • TAX • ADVISORY 1300 138 991 www.bdo.com.au
Grapegrower & Winemaker
business & technology
Investment options: Barrel Finance & Logistics (BFL) sales manager Jason Baylis is fast-tracking wineries into the best barrels for the job without significant upfront demands on a business cash flow.
vintage can be a time consuming and expensive exercise. Dealing with multiple barrel cooperages, different price lists, foreign exchange rates, customs clearance and delivery schedules means a lot of phone calls and emails – a logistical nightmare. “Our barrel logistics service makes things simple. All winemakers have to do is choose the barrels they need,” Baylis said. “From there we can: • Negotiate the best possible prices on their barrels, • Place the orders for them, • Insure the barrels in their winery, • Secure foreign exchange cover, • Communicate with the coopers in relation to outstanding orders and keep the Winemaker posted on expected delivery dates, • Attend to the Cooperage invoices – they will come directly to us, • Organise and pay for customs clearance, duty and ultimate delivery to their winery, • Liaise with the cooper and/or insurer if any problems are experienced with the barrels
“We come across a lot of times where a winemaker will want X amount of barrels but it’s just not in his budget,” he said. “In an environment when it seems the industry is getting back on its feet and the demand for premium Australian wines is out there globally the main influence besides fruit is oak. “We therefore have seen a jump in French oak sales but this doesn’t always equate to what the finance guys have budgeted for. “So why not spread the costs of the barrels over three years, allowing you to buy the oak you want and get it now?” Barrels can be sourced from wherever the winemaker wants with BFL independent and working with coopers around the world. As well as barrels, BFL offer equipment such as crushers and fermenters as well as racks, bungs, grape picking bins and more. “If you can move it we can look at financing it for you,” Baylis said. “With clients in every winemaking region in Australia and New Zealand, the flexibility of our services is considered second to none,” he added. “Save yourself barrels of time and money by dealing with us. Our business model is simple – you get to deal with one company, one invoice and one currency for all your barrels and equipment. “We also give you an alternative to dealing with banks and other finance companies who don’t understand the wine industry by working closely with you to structure a finance deal best suited to your needs and cash flow. “With flexible terms we give you the option to make lump sum payments or even finalise the deal without incurring any penalties. “And we use the barrels and equipment as security so there is no need for us to take security over your business or personal assets.” Baylis said renting or leasing equipment takes the strain off your cash flow. And it usually means a tax advantage and a healthy balance sheet. He said rental payments don’t usually appear as balance sheet liabilities. Instead, they are treated as an operating expense and may have taxation advantages. “As an expense item, these payments can also fall outside of annual capital budget allocations. This may mean improved balance sheet ratios,” he said. “If this idea appeals, then check with your accountant or legal advisor, and if it’s right for you, we’re ready and waiting.” Contact: Jason Baylis. Phone: 61 8 8323 6701. Email: email@example.com.
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84 Grapegrower & Winemaker
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March 2014 – Issue 602
Professional indemnity for contract winemakers Steve McInerney, an MGA insurance broker based in the heart of the wine-rich Clare region, says many grapegrowers and winemakers are not fully aware of their exposure to legal action – and the hefty bill which comes with it. EVEN IF YOUR business follows all codes, regulations and best practices, mistakes and errors can still occur. And when a failure, omission or error causes financial loss to a third party, they may come after you for damages. Under the Trade Practices Act (1974), you and your business may be found liable for this mistake – even if the act was not intentional. Professional indemnity insurance protects professionals against claims of negligence made against them by a client. This type of insurance is available to professionals across a broad range of industries and covers the costs and expenses of investigating, defending and/ or settlement of a legal claim. Professionals are legally held to a higher degree of skill and care than ordinary people. If others suffer a loss that can be attributed to a specialist’s failure to
uphold professional standards, then they risk being sued for a breach of professional duty. Adding to the mix – and the risk – the definition of ‘professional’ has broadened in recent years. Because of this professional indemnity insurance is now being taken out by workers across a wide range of industries. Any professional person providing services is regarded by their client as an expert and is therefore open to a claim being made against them. Also, losing any claim against you can result in enormous costs and expenses to the professional winemaker and their business. Some claims take as many as five years – or more – to settle, leaving a large bill for court costs and legal expenses. Even when successful, defending a claim can still be incredibly costly.
Losing any claim … can result in enormous costs – even when successful, defending a claim can still be incredibly costly Professional indemnity is a complex and specialised area of insurance. If you want to know more about the professional indemnity policies and conditions relevant to your profession, you should contact a registered insurance broker with experience in this area. Contact: Steve McInerney. Phone: 61 8 08 8841 4200. Email: Steven.McInerney@mga.com.
Some spills are worth crying over At MGA we understand that your winery requires specialist covers and that no two businesses are the same. It’s that ‘hands on’ approach that sets us apart from the crowd.
We specialise in: • Contamination, spoilage & leakage • Property covers • Museum & maturing stock cover • Exports & product recall • Professional Indemnity cover • Public & Products liability • Vineyard & farm insurance covers • Management liability Contact MGA for a quote. It costs nothing to compare.
www.mga.com Ph: 1300 642 000 Branches throughout South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia
March 2014 – Issue 602
Grapegrower & Winemaker
business & technology
Insure right or you might just ensure a personal disaster says BDO THERE are a number of sobering facts and figures when it comes to the level of underinsurance that currently exists in Australian households. According to TNS Research “investigating the issue of underinsurance in Australia’ (August 2005) 60 per cent of Australian families with dependents will run out of money within 12 months if the main income earner dies. According to the same research only 4 per cent of Australians have adequate levels of life insurance to cover their income needs for 10 years or more.
BENEFITS OF LIFE INSURANCE AND HOW MUCH TO HAVE If you have a home loan or personal debts your life insurance proceeds will assist with payment of the debt so that the full value of your assets will be passed onto your dependents. Typically families have debt which has been used to purchase the family home. If the main income earner dies, the
loan repayments will still need to be made even though the salary your family has relied upon is permanently unavailable. The lender may require the outstanding loan to be paid and this could only be achieved by selling the family home. To avoid these problems the main income earner should have sufficient insurance to discharge the home loan and any other debts such as credit cards debt and hire purchase arrangements. The amount of life insurance you have should also provide a lump sum that can be invested so you can provide your family with ongoing income to enable them to meet their living expenses. In order to work out the amount insured you will need to work out the annual family living expenses, education costs of your children, household bills and other living expenses. Once this has been worked out you then need to determine how long you would like
your family to be financially supported. So once you know the level of your current debt and the amount you wish to provide your family with an ongoing income over the desired time period you can then calculate the amount of life insurance you might need. With the right advice your family can receive a lump sum to clear current debts and enough after tax income to meet ongoing family living expenses. Contact: Tony Simmons Partner – Private Wealth, BDO Phone: 61 8 7421 1417 Email: email@example.com.
Looking for more insurance articles, visit the Grapegrower and Winemaker article archive at:
Our purpose is to provide buyers the best choice and sellers the best opportunities when dealing with Australian Bulk Wines.
POST - PO Box 1039 • Kent Town • South Australia 5071 OFFICE - 5 / 5-7 Union Street • Stepney • South Australia 5069 CONTACT - Ph +61 8 8363 5188 • Fax +61 8 8363 6188 • firstname.lastname@example.org
www.austwine.net.au 86 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
Australian Wine Export Market Snapshot The Australian Wine Export Market Snapshot is prepared by Wine Australia and provides the latest key statistics on exports of Australian wine. Updated monthly, the snapshot looks at the movement in total volume and value
for the past 12 months and then drills down into more detail such as the top five destinations by value growth, movements in container type, colour, winestyle, and price point, and the top five varietal and regional label claims on bottles.
The main purpose of the report is to provide some high-level trends for the Australian wine category. For more information please visit www. wineaustralia.com/winefacts, email to info@ wineaustralia.com or ring 08 8228 2010.
Highlights â€“ year ended February 2014 Key statistics Total Volume ML
Value $AM (fob)
Destinations (by value growth)
United Arab Emirates
% point change
Container type (by volume)
% point change
Still wine by colour (by volume)
% point change -2.4
Wine style (by volume) Red still wine
White still wine
Price points (by volume)
% point change
$A2.49/L and under 2
$A2.50/L to A$4.99/L
$A5.00/L to A$7.49/L
$A7.50/L to A$9.99/L
$A10.00/L and over
Top five varietal label claims on bottles (by volume)
Shiraz and Shiraz blends
Chardonnay and Chardonnay blends
Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon blends
Merlot and Merlot blends
Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc blends
Top five regional label claims on bottles (by volume)
South Eastern Australia
NOTES & DEFINITIONS Prepared: Februray 2014, updated monthly Alternative packaging includes flagon, tetra, PET and other packaging types The growth in this segment is due to growth bulk shipments as more Australian wine is being packaged overseas for a combination of reasons, including economic, environmental and scale rationale together with meeting the requirements of some customers. The change in share represents percentage point change in share between the current twelve month period compared to the preceding 12 month period. Based on data compiled from the AWBC Wine Export Approval System. Average Value ($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.
March 2014 â€“ Issue 602
Disclaimer: While Wine Australia makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and currency of information within this report, we accept no responsibility for information, which may later prove to be misrepresented or inaccurate, or reliance placed on that information by readers. Provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 apply to the contents of this publication, all other right reserved. For further copyright authorisation please see the www.wineaustralia.com website
Grapegrower & Winemaker
looking forward 2014
looking back 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. March 1984 The Murray Valley Table Grape Growers Council has expressed its concern regarding export inspection procedures to the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industry and State Departments of Agriculture. Council president Neville Kirwin said a telex had been sent requesting urgent action be taken to remedy problems being experienced in South East Asian markets. “The main problems occurring are with immature fruit and small berry size,” he said. “Along with this goes misleading and confusing labelling leading to a lack of confidence in the Australian product.”
March 1994 The quality of soil in Australia’s vineyards, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria, are not up to scratch according to a visiting South African viticultural and oenological soils expert. Kobus Louw, manager of soil science at the Stellenbosch Viticultural and Oenological Research Institute, said the condition of soils in Australia was similar to that in South Africa, meaning it was “not too good”. He said tillage and bad irrigation practices had led to the greater salinity of the soils in Australia.
March 2004 The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia’s extensive political and media campaign seeking targeted reform of the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) had achieved its initial objectives during the first weeks of its campaign. The WFA lobbied for an exemption from WET on the first 600,000 litres of domestic sales by a winery. WFA chief executive told Grapegrower and Winemaker the campaign continued to gain positive momentum.
Australia & New Zealand March 15 Lilo’s & Processo Whitfield, VIC. www.dalzotto.com.au
23 Waipara Valley Wine & Food Festival Waipara, NZ. www.waiparawineandfood. co.nz
22 Dal Zotto Wines & Hedonistic Hiking Whitfield, VIC. www.hedonistichiking.com.au
April 4-13 Adelaide Food and Wine Festival Across the state, SA. www. adelaidefoodandwinefestival.org 4-13 F.O.O.D Week (Food of Orange District) Orange & surrounding Shires, NSW. www.orangefoodweek.com.au 5 Brass & Wine Stanthorpe, QLD. www.robertchannonwines.com 5-6 Canberra District Wine Harvest Festival Canberra & Region, ACT. www.canberrawines.com.au 5 Dal Zotto Wines & Hedonistic Hiking Whitfield, VIC. www.hedonistichiking.com. au 5-6 Elevated Taste - Grazing the Granite Belt Granite Belt, QLD. www.granitebeltwinecountry.com.au/ pages/elevated-taste
5-6 Harvest Festival at Shaw Vineyard Estate & Flint in the Vines Murrumbateman, NSW. www.shawvineyards.com.au 6 Anderson’s Mill Festival Smeaton, VIC. www.andersonsmillfest.org.au 11-12 Coonawarra After Dark Weekend Coonawarra, SA. www.coonawarra.org 11-13 Dal Zotto Wines & Hedonistic Hiking - Victorian Alps & Vineyards Various locations King Valley, VIC. www.hedonistichiking.com.au 12-13 A Little Bit of Italy in Broke Broke, NSW. www.littlebitofitaly.com.au 13-15 Fine Food Queensland Brisbane, QLD. www.finefoodqueensland.com.au
International March 20-22 VIINIEXPO 2014 Helsinki, Finland. www.messukeskus. com/sites2/Viiniexpo/en
27-30 Wine Masters Challenge - XVI World Wine Contest Estoril, Portuga. www.winemasterschallenge.com
20-22 Wine & Winemaking - International Specialised Wine Exhibition Odessa, Ukraine. www.expodessa.com/english/ wine
28-29 International Wine Tourism Conference & Workshop Tbilisi, Georgia. www.iwinetc.com
20-22 WinExpo, WineTech & WineSalon Ukraine Kiev, Ukraine. www.expodessa. com/winexpo
28-30 Ottawa Wine & Food Festival (Spring Edition) Ottawa, Canada. www.ottawawineandfoodshow.com JD = judging date
22 Meininger’s International Wine Conference 2014 Düsseldorf, Germany. www.meiningers-conference.com 23-25 ProWein 2014 Düsseldorf, Germany. www.prowein.de
CD = closing date For a comprehensive list of events, visit www.winebiz.com.au/calendar
24-26 Sirha Moscow 2014 Moscow, Russia. www.sirha-moscow.com
88 Grapegrower & Winemaker
March 2014 – Issue 602
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Grapegrower & Winemaker
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WINE PRESS SERVICING • Preventative maintenance & breakdown repairs for all makes and models. • 24/7 coverage during vintage
Bruce Gilbert 0428 233 544 Brian Phillips 0417 131 764 fax 03 5025 2321
• Large inventory of spare parts. • Membrane replacement. • PLC upgrades and design improvements. Electrical & mechanical expertise.
Grapes for Sale Canberra district grapes renowned for award winning wines. www.canberragrapes.net.au
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• Dripmaster Dripper Pipe 17mm 1.6L / hour @ 60 spacings - $0.25+gst/m neg. Average row length approx 400m • Used CCA Treated Vineyard Posts 2.4m x 3-4”- $1.50 +gst. Bundled and strapped for transport
Tom Stephens 0428 443 263
Ph 1800-227866 Fax (08) 8260 2387
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95 x 95 x 300 2 Lt Milk carton size
• Permanent canopy or throw over net • Fully UV stabilised • Cable, wire and all canopy supplies in stock
OBLOMOV TRADING CO. PO Box 207, Rozelle, NSW 2039 Phone (02) 9660 6845 Fax (02) 9518 8372 e-mail: email@example.com
Visit our website at: www.otcobirdnet.com.au
Quality Grapevines Paul Wright PO Box 180 Mt Pleasant South Australia 5235 Ph 08 8568 2385 www.vinewright.com.au March 2014 – Issue 602
you want it? we got it. We offer a complete range of core, high-grade winemaking equipment, including presses, pumps and filters, crushers/destemmers, as well as tanks, botte, amphorae, eggs, stills, refrigerators and bottling equipment. Australian and New Zealand Winemakers provides quality advice and support, with in-house technicians providing specialist installation and training. All backed with almost 50 years winemaking industry experience.
ausnzwinemakers.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | ph: (03) 9924-4060 | @AusNZWinemakers
Great Range of Quality
Borelli monoblocs Automatic monobloc ďŹ llers with Filling, rinsing, corking and screwcapping options available. Fillers available from 6 to 40 heads with capacity of 1000 to 16000 bottles per hour
Enos Euro Labellers Automatic labelling systems for up to 2500 bottles per hour, suitable for adhesive labels for front and back label and year sticker, both on round and square bottles.
Bottle Rinsers Tardito 20 head automatic â€“ up to 1500 bottles per hour Smaller 2 head units also available
S/Steel Bottle Fillers
Bench Units Electric or Electric/Pneumatic
4 & 6 head Bench or Freestanding Units Available as Gravity Fed or with Electronic Float for Pump Control
For further details, contact us on: Melbourne 59 Banbury Rd, Reservoir Ph. 1300 882 850 Adelaide 12 Hamilton Tce, Newton Ph. 08 8365 0044 New Zealand 4C Titoki Place, Albany, Auckland Ph. 0800 699 599 E. email@example.com www.winequip.com.au www.winequip.co.nz
Published on Mar 12, 2014