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Industry backs GWRDC plan


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September 2012: Issue 584

Contents features



Spring vineyard management


Is there value in adding tannin?


Wine presses and crushers


Climate change and the Tassie Wine Cluster


Oak alternatives


Ask the AWRI: Malolactic fermentation


Bottling and labelling

129 Education



Wine analysis during crushing and pressing


Managing winery wastewater


Crushing the myths about pressing


The world in a basket

sales & marketing


My view: George Willcox


Industry backs GWRDC plan


Ex-WFA chief to guide Wine Victoria


Wine buying cues: a wine shelf experiment


$200k needed to secure against disease


Port: international guests at wine tastings


Germplasm consolidation considered


Wineries benefit from shared bottling plant


ASVO excellence awards now open


Label Q&A: TypeSpace


Variations lead to radical vineyard solutions


City sellers


Regional round-up: NZ, South Island


business & technology 127 WCA: wine education for consumers


Vineyard management in Margaret River


Reddaway: clearing stocks for cash


Tracking lost irrigation water


Today's students, tomorrow's workers


Letter to the editor


Green future for NZ graduate


Ben Rose: objecting to rating values


Sales trends reflect variety


Warming effect on yield studied in Barossa


Appointments and accolades


Grapegrower in Profile: Matt Duggan


Sustainable pest control in a warmer climate

The United Grower Sponsored by





Industry backs GWRDC plan


ndtab ou what’s new out k there? i a l t e r n at


vineyard management in Margaret River

WISA winner

Chairman’s Award





Vineyards dominate this inspiring and unusual view of the Fleurieu Peninsula painted by artist Brian O’Malley.

5 on the grapevine 30 grapegrowing 79 winemaking 135 export snapshot 136 looking forward 137 marketplace classifieds


In this issue September Publisher and Chief Executive Hartley Higgins Managing EDITOR Elizabeth Bouzoudis EDITOR Grahame Whyte Editorial advisory board Dr Jim Fortune, Denis Gastin, Dr Steve Goodman, Prof. Jim Hardie, Dr Terry Lee, Paul van der Lee, Bob Campbell MW, Prof Dennis Taylor and Mary Retallack Editorial Kellie Arbuckle Contributors Danielle Costley, Melanie Reddaway, Blair Hanel, Jen Barwick, Mike Stone, Jeni Port, Peter Bailey. Advertising Sales Chas Barter Circulation: Melissa Smithen Production Chris Nicholls Subscription Prices Australia: 1 year (12 issues) $77.50 (inc. GST) 2 years (24 issues) $145 (inc. GST) New Zealand, Asia & Pacific: 1 year (12 issues) $110 (AUD) 2 years (24 issues) $210 (AUD) All other countries: 1 year (12 issues) $174.50 (AUD) 2 years (24 issues) $339 (AUD) Students (Aus only): 1 year (12 issues) $66 (inc. GST) Winetitles Pty. Ltd. 630 Regency Road, Broadview, South Australia 5083 PO Box 1006, Prospect East South Australia 5082 Phone: (08) 8369 9500 Fax (08) 8369 9501 Printing by Lane Print Group, Adelaide © Contents copyright Winetitles Pty Ltd 2012.

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

4 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Welcome to Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker’s spring viticulture issue. Whether it’s an established, old-vine operation or younger plantings, spring brings a flurry of activity as new growth appears, to herald the excitement of a new season. In September, special attention is given to pruning completion in frostprone areas, as well as soil management and irrigation maintenance. For many viticulturists, spring brings the hazards of pest and disease control to the forefront. For this reason, we have presented extensive analyses of what to look for and how to tackle any problems that may arise in your vineyard. Staying one step ahead is vital, so planning is a key element to ensure everything is covered.

Also in this bumper issue, we keep you up to date with news from our industry, including the very latest on the significant GWRDC Five-Year Plan. Industry leaders have been overwhelmingly positive in their reactions to this plan. I recommend our article (page 18) on James Freckleton and Yalumba’s synch ronised viticultural and winemaking approach, with its aim of achieving continuous improvement in wine quality all the way from the vineyard to point of sale. This co-operative venture shows how improvements can be made when we all work together and communicate well. Happy reading! Grahame Whyte Editor

Contributors Danielle Costley has worked as a journalist throughout the Australasian region for more than 15 years. After working as a TV writer and business journalist on the east coast, Danielle was lured to the Margaret River wine region in 2000, where she began her career as a wine journalist. This month, Danielle looks at spring vineyard management in Margaret River (page 30).

Chris Herden is a business, arts, entertainment and travel writer, as well as a board member of the management committee of the Queensland Writers Centre. He has discovered a valuable bonus of being a contributor is the great wine advice and tips picked up from winemakers, viticulturists and industry people he has interviewed. This month, Chris talks to vineyard managers about spring vineyard management issues, on page 62.

Melanie Reddaway is a chartered accountant and works at the University of Adelaide Business School where she is also undertaking a PhD, on the management accounting practices of small and medium-sized wineries. She says ‘when she grows up’ she aims to be the go-to girl for wine industry accounting theory. In the meantime, Melanie contributes a bimonthly column on issue around finance and accounting. This month’s instalment is on gaining some cash from old stocks of wine (page 128). Editorial submission guidelines: We invite your editorial submissions to Please send Word file with left-aligned text, without any formatting. In research papers, leave tables and images in Word document for layout purposes only, but remember to send them all as attachments. Tables, graphs, charts: separate Excel attachments of each graphic element are required. Photo requirements: clear, bright photos of at least 300dpi resolution, sent as separate JPEG files. Full titles and names are needed for everyone in photos. We cannot guarantee publication of material that does not meet these quality standards.

September 2012 – Issue 584

on the grapevine Wine companies reject calls for floor price on alcohol The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Premium Wine Brands have rejected calls from a responsible drinking lobby group for a minimum price on alcohol. The Australian National Preventative Health Agency told a Government inquiry last month that a floor price on alcohol would help curb alcohol-related problem. The agency proposed a minimum price of $1.30 a standard drink (or 100ml of wine), which would see the cheapest 750ml bottle at $9.75, and the cheapest four-litre cask at $52. In submissions to the ANPHA Issues Paper Exploring the Public Interest Case for a Minimum Price for Alcohol, the WFA and PWB say a floor price will hit moderate drinkers and would fail to reduce rates of heavy consumption. “At PWB we see the minimum (floor) price for alcohol being out of step with both the objectives of Government policy on reducing harmful consumption of alcohol,” the PWB statement said. WFA’s chief executive Paul Evans said there was no clear research to suggest a floor price would deter heavy alcohol consumption. “WFA argues that there is no clear consensus in the relevant research that a minimum price would reduce harm.” WFA says more analysis is needed before the proposal can be considered further.

McLaren Vale set to tweet on International Grenache Day One of South Australia’s iconic wine regions, McLaren Vale, has come up with a novel way to help celebrate International Grenache Day. A number of the region’s wineries have joined forces to organise the International Grenache Day tweet up, on Friday 21 September. Visitors and locals are invited to attend the Vale Inn Taphouse in McLaren Vale where they will be able to sample different styles of Grenache wines from a range of the region’s producers. “We’re hoping people will tweet their friends about the event, as well as post tweets in the lead up to the event but, just as importantly, also tweet about their experiences on the night,” McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism CEO Peter Ali said. “McLaren Vale is renowned for its Grenache grapes – as well as other wine varieties – so it’s only fitting that we celebrate this special day.” The event will take place from 5-7pm on 21 September at the Vale Inn Taphouse, on 5 McMurtie Road, McLaren Vale. Entry is free.

Tyrrell’s gets the nod from Halliday For more than 150 years the Tyrrell family have been making some of the Australia’s greatest wines at their historic Hunter Valley vineyards. Accolades from industry leaders in recent times include Winemaker of the Year and Winery of the Year which was awarded by Gourmet Traveller WINE and The Big Red Wine Book respectively, but it’s their world famous Semillons and Chardonnays that have helped Tyrrell’s become the most awarded winery in the country for their white wines. Both their legendary Vat 1 Semillon and the Vat 47 Chardonnay are household names with wine lovers both in Australia and around the world and have received over 1750 trophies and medals between them to date. This outstanding performance has once again been recognised by the highly respected Australian wine critic James Halliday in his newly released 2013 Australian Wine Companion in which he has more than 70,000 tasting notes. “We are thrilled that James has once again recognised Tyrrell’s as one of the top wineries in Australia,” managing director Bruce Tyrrell said. “Not only has Tyrrell’s been awarded a red five Star Winery rating for the seventh successive year but 14 of the 27 of our wines reviewed have received the outstanding score of 94 or more points.”  

September 2012 – Issue 584

what’s online Union threatens to take winemaker to court A union is planning Federal Court action against multinational winemaker Accolade Wines over plans to shut a Reynella bottling plant that will cost 175 workers their jobs. The decision was announced last month after Accolade struck a deal with Treasury Wine Estates to outsource bottling and packaging to a plant in the Barossa Valley. United Voice represents 120 of the workers at the Reynella site and says the company decided to close the plant more than three months before workers were told in July. The union's secretary David Di Troia says Accolade has breached employer agreements registered with Fair Work Australia, reports ABC News.

AGL wine at show slammed Wines entered by coal seam gas explorer AGL won a gold and four bronze medals at the 2012 Hunter Valley Wine Show, prompting a blistering attack from Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association president Andrew Margan. Margan, the chief of Margan Family Wines, said AGL’s wine show participation was an attempt to put a pleasant façade on coal seam gas developments that threatened the beauty, tourism and agriculture of the Hunter. reports the Newcastle Herald.

More cuts loom as bottle giant blames local market THE world's leading glass packaging supplier, Owens-Illinois, could again be forced to shrink its Australia operations, leading to potential job losses, as the US manufacturing giant cites a sluggish local beer and wine market and protracted major customer and union contracts for the uncertainty hanging over its business, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Australia’s wine industry portal by Winetitles Australia’s wine industry portal by


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



my view

An agenda for pleasing people some of the time George Willcox

A WISA survey conducted with exhibitors after the WineTech 2010 trade fair yielded some very candid remarks. It was felt by the majority of respondents that the 2007 event was a better affair, with greater numbers of decision makers visiting the show. This may have been due to delegates’ reduced capital expenditure, or conference attendance allocations. That having been noted, the supply industry is optimistic about a great event next July, when we partner again with the Wine Industry Technical Conference in beautiful Darling Harbour. Exit polling of both the delegates and exhibitors next year will provide input to strengthen the conference and exhibition in years to follow. As long as the wine industry suffers, so will many of its suppliers. In discussions with WISA members and other suppliers this year, we have learned that due to wine industry ‘crises’ that started before 2010, some of them have reduced their involvement in the wine industry by diversification into other sectors, while others have simply closed their doors. Adding to this issue is the legacy of examples whereby misdirected research on products and processes in the Australian wine industry has led to frustration and waste and, in some cases, fruitless repetition (or perhaps to be more kind, re-validation) of previously executed development activity. As with businesses, associations such as WISA have to work with fewer resources to deliver more benefits. Looking for inspiration in the trade press, my attention was drawn to two articles this year, published in the Wine and Viticulture Journal, one by Dan Johnson and Vince O’Brien (of AWRI) (Jan/Feb), and another by consultant Peter Hayes (May/June). The AWRI article pointed to opportunities to increase profitability in the winery. One of its proposals was that saving of 5-10% in packaging costs (which itself accounts for more than a third of winery operations’ costs) could make for a significant impact on overall profitability. Recent off-shore packaging activity on the part of two of Australia’s largest wine companies has seen those savings come to pass. The impact of such predictable decisions has significant impact on the Australian suppliers of

6 Grapegrower & Winemaker

labour and goods. Some will benefit (e.g., container liner bag suppliers, European and South American suppliers of drygoods), whilst some Australian suppliers will suffer (e.g., closures, cartons and glass). So, how to make for a better and more vibrant future for both winemaking and suppliers? Peter Hayes’ piece, “Adopt, adapt or innovate?” advocates an R&D open innovation environment. Peter had previously referred me to a paper “Reinventing R&D in an open innovation ecosystem” (Helmut Traitler, Heribert J. Watzke, and I. Sam Saguy). Published in the Journal of Food Science, it made for very interesting reading. It cites the example of, among others, Nestlé, whose innovation partnerships (INP) and sharing-is-winning model (SiW) was utilised as a paradigm-shifting driving force for the reinvention of R&D. Nestle’s implementation has the potential to deliver quantifiable lifts in enterprise profitability and shareholder returns.

“Change before you have to,” and “Be candid with everyone.”

concerning wine industry needs, not simply ‘wishes’ or ‘wants’ • Create strategic relationships whereby suppliers and winemaking can work collaboratively (open innovation) • Create industry-endorsed mechanisms through which members can demonstrate technical credentials of products and services. The sub-committee starts its work this month. Meeting the above tenets will mean hard work on the part of all. However, the reinvigoration of goals and objectives of this newly reformed subcommittee, along with the motivation and dedication of its members, will no doubt inspire results. So I refer to the quotes by Jack Welch, featured in this article, hoping that we may succeed with our program, by ensuring the goodwill, sacrifice, encouragement, mutual trust, and candour by all involved. (There have been many stumbling starts to such engagements in the past. We still waste time and money. You need only to consider the short history and present status of the now-fabled Murray Darling Basin Plan and the illegal immigration policy deadlock). I finish with a quote from Margaret Mead: “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.

Jack Welch Former CEO, General Electric

WISA will contribute to a similar effort, by the re-establishment its technical and innovation sub-committee, made up of five enthusiastic members. We believe it will be one lever to help bridge what some see as a customersupplier disconnect. The committee’s charter is based on the following four tenets, which were distilled from its members’ brainstorming sessions: • Create an environment whereby the exchange between manufacturers, suppliers, winemakers and consumers is addressed • In this environment, the acquisition of robust technical information

George Willcox, executive officer of Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) September 2012 – Issue 584

Industry backs GWRDC plan The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker presents an overview of the new GWRDC FiveYear Plan and seeks reactions from a variety of industry figures on issues raised in this key document. Kellie Arbuckle

IMPROVING SUSTAINABLE processes to make wines that match consumer preferences in key markets will be the research focus of Australian wine for the next five years. The Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation released its Strategic Research, Development and Extension Plan last month, outlining where winemaker and grapegrower levies and government funds will be invested from 2012-2017. The money will be geared towards four programs, with each encompassing a range of specific strategies aimed towards making the Australian wine sector more profitable, competitive and sustainable. The first program will focus on the environment and sustainability, and will address issues surrounding climate

change, pests and diseases, natural resources and minimising carbon emissions. Consumers and markets is the focus of the second program, which provides a strong emphasis on the pathway to market for research, while the third program will address ways to improve products and processes, in the vineyard and the winery, to produce higher quality wines in an economic and sustainable manner. The final program will look at extension and application, and will seek to ensure that all research GWRDC invests in can be used by its levy payers for innovation. In the plan, the GWRDC identifies drivers for change as being export opportunities, particularly in east Asian

The plan seems much more marketfocused ‌ which is something I think they should be congratulated for. Stephen Strachan Wine Victoria chair

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news countries, and consumer desire for authenticity in the bottle and the story (including the move towards low-alcohol wines). Other drivers include the high Australian dollar, overcoming trade barriers in new and emerging markets, and the issues regarding supermarkets and buyers-own-brands. Grapegrower & Winemaker spoke with six key individuals who represent various sectors of the wine industry to get their thoughts on the plan.

industry’s number one risk and that we need to be all over it. The problem for the GWRDC is that it’s very difficult to be clear on the boundaries as for what is research and what is advocacy, particularly in this area. But from an industry perspective, we need to see more investment here. At the same time, I give full credit to the GWRDC for listening and responding.

James Gosper




Wine Australia general manager, market development

Lawrie Stanford Wine Grape Growers Australia executive director

The fact that the GWRDC has listed biosecurity as a main priority is a positive thing, as it means we’re very much in sync with each others’ plans. The consultation process undertaken for this plan was comprehensive and inclusive, and there is clear evidence that the GWRDC has listened to what industry has said and responded accordingly. It seems to have made wise judgements in analysing which priorities have had attention from funding in recent times and which ones represent gaps. Also very pleasing is the focus on market access for winegrapes. And what’s notable is that we’re talking about adoption rather than extension. The only issue is the question of whether or not it will be taken up. In five years’ time, I hope that the industry will be well setup for managing both endemic diseases and protecting itself from overseas incursion. I also hope that industry is more aware of what quality measurements are useful and can utilise them more to match supply with market requirements, which is important to us because that’s one of the most important ways of dealing with oversupply.



Stephen Strachan

8 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Former Winemakers’ Federation of Australia CEO, now Wine Victoria chair and Gaetjens Langley director

The latest GWRDC Five-Year Plan is a real step up. I like the way they’re going about identifying a smaller list of key program areas and the way they’re looking at short-listing projects. The plan seems much more market-focused and to reflect the fact that markets are changing and we need to change with it, which is something I think they should be congratulated for. The issue of alcohol and health needs a stronger emphasis. My view has always been that alcohol and health is the

I think the plan is a good step in the right direction. We believe the GWRDC should be working very closely with Wine Australia on research into consumer insights, given that we are investing industry’s money in the marketplace and we understand where the areas are that are needed for further research when it comes to consumer and trade insights. The real happiness will come with GWRDC backing our expressions of interest and putting funding behind what we see as priorities.

Kym Ludvigsen Australian Vine Improvement Association chairman

The emphasis on rootstock health is a pleasing aspect of this plan. It is essential that the rootstocks we use in our vineyards are of the highest health possible. There has been an increase in the level of trunk diseases found in many new vineyard plantings, and a casual association has been noted between the number or rootstocks used and an increase in the prevalence of trunk diseases. The need for rapid disease elimination techniques to be refined for Australian conditions that provide high health planting material is a requirement that should be included in this strategic plan. Micro-shoot tip therapy is thought to eliminate most viruses but this needs to be tested. Further research into rapid techniques for propagation are required where a small number of high health grapevines can produce large numbers of propagules in a short period to meet industry demand when it is required.

Paul Henry Wine Hero director

The plan has a solid enough foundation, but I don’t really feel it addresses contemporary challenges from a marketing perspective: new consumer September 2012 – Issue 584

The plan: 2012-13 The GWRDC will invest more than $21.9 million in RD&E on activities outlined in its annual operational plan 2012-13 – the first under GWRDC’s new five-year Strategic Research, Development and Extension Plan 2012–2017. Here is a summary of the projects planned for 2012-13:

Program 1 Environment and sustainability Biosecurity: GWRDC will support a review of the Industry Biosecurity Plan to ensure the wine sector is prepared for any prioritised pest incursion. Climate change and adaptability: The focus will be the implications of warming temperatures on grape and wine quality and associated risk management strategies, to allow wine regions to adapt to climate change. Vine balance and yield variability: GWRDC will focus on identifying environmentally sustainable inputs in the vineyard that will result in sustained longterm production that is consistent with grape quality.

Pest and disease management: GWRDC will focus on how to improve and implement management practices that reduce inputs and improve the bottom line of producers without compromising grape quality or production. Improving spray efficacy: GWRDC will focus on best-practice spray programs and innovation in spray management practise that lead to increased spray efficacy, while mitigating the environmental and social impacts that are often associated with pest and disease control.

Program 2 Consumers and markets Consumer insights: Developing a better understanding of what attributes consumers and potential consumers of Australian wine find desirable and why. Market access: Maintain market access in existing markets and improve market access in developing domestic and overseas markets.

Program 3 Improving products and processes Objective measures of quality: Efforts will concentrate on identifying key attributes of wine quality and the drivers of these attributes. The information generated will form the foundation for developing quality metrics and identifying viticultural and winemaking practices that deliver fruit and wine to quality standards. Packing and transport: Research in this area will build on the knowledge generated in other programs to develop novel and improved practices and processes from the vineyard through to the point of sale. In 2012-13 the focus will be on the impact of transport on wine quality.

Program 4 Extension and adoption Adoption strategies: Increase the rate of adoption of R&D outcomes in the Australian wine sector, from the initial project design to the extension of the results in R&D. For more information, visit:

creation; retail platforms and distribution management; price and image positioning; education (consumers, markets, growers and producers) and regulation around health and wellbeing. This may well be that marketing as a discipline doesn’t readily offer up the seemingly required pre-cursor: ‘What is the researchable question?’ Simply put, successful marketing – particularly at a country or regional generic level – is often more about promotion, positioning and key relationship management than about research. Perhaps the impending merger of the GWRDC and Wine Australia will bring these two positions into closer relation. Beyond that, the whole idea that production should be marketfocused and consumer-led has a liberating, democratic ring to it, but in Australia’s mature industry phase – searching for answers around scale and sustainability – I would be tempted to argue otherwise. This is not hubris, but rather the committed realisation that we may be better off ensuring ‘what we offer’ is better understood, available and appreciated, than by researching the cyclical and subjective turn of market or consumer preference.

Liam Heslop Winemaker, Lowe Wines and Future Leader

The plan signals a move in focus from production-driven to market-driven research – a move in the right direction, particularly with its focuses on extension and information delivery, and environment and communities. It is also interesting to note some areas of research like germplasm and vineyard profitability don’t fit the traditional short-term objectives of research. In my view, short-term profitability of vineyards has more to do with the greater industry structure and its interaction with volatile and highly competitive markets, rather than the efficiency of processes in the vineyard. September 2012 – Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Ex-WFA chief to guide Wine Victoria restructure Kellie Arbuckle

THE FORMER BOSS of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia will oversee the restructure of Wine Victoria after taking on the honorary role as the association’s chair. Stephen Strachan resigned from the WFA in April to become director of Adelaide-based wine industry advisory firm Gaetjens Langley. He has also stepped into the role of chair of Wine Victoria, formerly known as the Victorian Wine Industry Association. His appointment with Wine Victoria is expected to last for about 12 months, in which time he will manage the reshuffle of the organisation. “I’m looking to get the organisation back up and running, to be clear of what our roles are, and to work through the

process of bringing regions and members into the organisation,” Strachan said. “I want to see Wine Victoria become successful again.” Strachan replaces Chris Pfeiffer, who had been chair of Wine Victoria from 2001-2003 and again from 2008-2012. As part of the organisation’s restructure, Strachan will seek more engagement with the Victorian government, the WFA and Wine Grape Growers Australia. He said a major priority will be to consult with regions on a new funding model. Prepared by Wine Victoria, the model proposes that wineries pay a single levy based on tonnage to their regional association, to be passed on to Wine Victoria. Strachan hopes the funding

model will be in place by next month. “The key will be having regional support. We believe it’s highly desirable that wineries pay the levy because if they don’t, then this organisation (Wine Victoria) doesn’t function.” Strachan said the ultimate goal is to create a funding model that would see the establishment of one single levy that would cover regional, state and government wine associations. Another key issue Strachan wants to tackle in his time with Wine Victoria is the contentious alcohol and health matter. “We want to demonstrate to our State Government that we are an industry that is proactive around responsible consumption of our product,” he said.

Industry slams DrinkWise audit as false and misleading Kellie Arbuckle

TWO OF AUSTRALIA’S biggest wine companies have hit back at a new report that claims their products have failed to display voluntary health warnings. Accolade Wines and Pernod Ricard say an audit on the alcohol industry’s uptake of DrinkWise messages contains false allegations and is based on a limited sample size. The audit, commissioned by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), suggests that fewer than one in six (39 items) carried one of the DrinkWise consumer information messages out of the total sample of 250 products. Even when they are present, 98 per cent of the warnings take up less than 5 per cent of the label, the study by the IPSOS Social Research Institute found. But Accolade Wines national public relations manager Anita Poddar says some of the information in the report is wrong. “The IPSOS audit is not accurate as our Berri products were listed as not having DrinkWise messaging when in fact they do. The messaging is right next to the tap,” Poddar said. She said it was hard to understand how the message was missed as the DrinkWise message is right next to a life-size wine glass showing what a standard drink of that particular wine would look like – a separate voluntary

10 Grapegrower & Winemaker

initiative set up by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia to help people assess how many standard drinks they are consuming. The audit has also been criticised for its timing, which comes just 13 months after DrinkWise introduced the consumer messages on alcohol products, including the ‘get the facts’ message. The message could be used by companies alone or with three other messages: ‘kids and alcohol don’t mix’; ‘is your drinking harming yourself or others?’; or ‘it is safest not to drink while pregnant’. Poddar said the audit is premature, as wineries are still rolling out vintages with the new labels. “Another 12 Accolade products were ‘audited’ but, until we find out from FARE what they were, we cannot know if they were wines from older vintages, which did not have DrinkWise messaging, or if other mistakes were made.” Both IPSOS and FARE defend the findings in the audit. “FARE and IPSOS stand by the accuracy of the DrinkWise audit. The IPSOS DrinkWise audit is an independent and objective audit, and the results speak for themselves,” FARE media relations manager Jeremy Henderson said. Premium Wine Brands (PWB) legal and corporate affairs director Kate Thompson

criticised the basis of the report, saying it was a review of shelf stock rather than the full supply chain analysis. She said the report also wrongly accuses two of PWB’s products of not having the pregnancy pictogram. “We are very disappointed with FARE’s decision to publish this report, which is based on a limited sample size, contains factual errors and may significantly understate the level of industry uptake of the initiative,” Thompson said. “As with any significant change involving a complex supply chain, changing all of our labels to include DrinkWise’s consumer information labels will take some time. As an industry, we are currently working with DrinkWise and the Federal Government to ensure that the roll out of this initiative progresses as quickly as possible and within the timeframes advised by Government.” WFA chief executive Paul Evans said the report highlights an opportunity for more wine companies to embrace voluntary health warning labels. “The report shows that a strong foundation exists for the industry to increase participation in the voluntary labelling initiative,” Evans said. Both Accolade and PWB have contacted FARE asking for a correction and for more information on the other products that were audited. September 2012 – Issue 584

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Funds of $200k needed to secure industry against disease Wine players show willingness to help protect industry from internal and external biosecurity threats. Jen Barwick and Kellie Arbuckle

AUSTRALIA’S KEY GRAPEGROWING body has set a target of attaining $200,000 over two years from the nation’s major wine producers to establish the industry’s biosecurity defences. Wine Grape Growers Australia last month made an appeal to the major wine players, including the large warm inland grower associations and the larger managed investment schemes, seeking monetary support to help the association maintain its industry management of biosecurity. WGGA executive director Lawrie Stanford said there has been genuine support from the industry for a back to basics approach. “I’ve had some replies and most of them indicate support, but what they’re looking for is a business plan and that’s the approach I’m going to take,” Stanford said. “The plan is to do an audit of what we need to do in terms of industry management. This will mean defining carefully what biosecurity elements need to be managed and what biosecurity is. “A part of this plan will be thinking about what form of ongoing and sustainable funding there can be for

12 Grapegrower & Winemaker

biosecurity management and put them into place. But, before we can do that we need seed funding.” WGGA is hoping to gain funding in the order of about $200,000 – with half provided in 2012 and the other in 2013. Stanford said the monetary assistance is needed to allow WGGA to update and maintain policy that is needed to protect the Australian wine industry from endemic diseases already in the country, and threats from exotic pests and diseases. “Winemakers are not a natural part of WGGA’s constituency but, since they often have vineyards, it is necessary to go outside our usual fundraising arrangements to harness the resources we need to do this job properly,” Stanford said. “We welcome GWRDC’s recent commitment to make biosecurity one of its top-four research priorities. However, their funds will only go to answering research questions around biosecurity and not the industry management functions at a national level.” As part of the Federal Budget, the Plant Biosecurity Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) – which the Phylloxera and

Grape Industry Board of South Australia (PGIBSA) is a member of – received $29.5 million in funding over the next six years to undertake research to improve biosecurity in agriculture. It is believed that research into phylloxera and wider biosecurity threats for viticulture could benefit from this funding boost. Australian Vine Improvement Association president Kym Ludvigsen said more investment in biosecurity was clearly needed. A long-term advocate for a nationally available and funded germplasm collection of Australia’s grapevines, Ludvigsen also warns that without better biosecurity at an exotic pest level, disease such as Pierce’s Disease could be devastating. “I’d like to see the $2 share growers get from the national winegrape levy raised to help fund a national germplasm collection,” he said. “Diseases like phylloxera we understand and know how to react to. Diseases like Pierce’s Disease – which even the Americans don’t know how to control – the potential effect of something like that is extremely concerning.”

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Research body considers consolidation of germplasm collections Kellie Arbuckle

A RECOMMENDATION ON the number of grapevine germplasm collections needed to support Australia’s vine improvement goals could be made before the end of the year. The Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation will meet next month to discuss the future of Australia’s germplasm collections, with the potential of establishing a National Clean Plant Network, after its board commissioned a review about 16 main collections. The GWRDC board commissioned Scholefield Robinson, Hamilton Viticulture and Tassie Viticulture in June to undertake the review to determine the status of the collections. These include the collections at SARDI, CSIRO and AVIA as well as private, state and some regional vine improvement collections. Scholefield Robinson principal consultant Prue McMichael said the review will seek to collate specific information about each collection of rootstocks, clones and cultivars. “This includes what knowledge exists in terms of their original and current name, entry time, confirmed identity, health status (when last virus-tested) and traceability,” Dr McMichael said. She said now was the right time for the industry to investigate the issue and make informed decisions about the future of the collections for the benefit

of vine improvement, biosecurity and satisfying industry demand. “The maintenance of these collections is extremely expensive and there isn’t an adequate income stream because few people are demanding planting material at the moment. “We also have the situation where DAFF Biosecurity no longer provides the industry with a detailed summary of grapevine material that has been imported. We probably have many duplicates in collections but, once entered, they do not all maintain the same name. “And then there’s the big question of who should fund the main collections

– this is a decision for industry and the GWRDC.” In making its recommendation, the board is expected to look at existing germplasm collections in other horticultural industries, including citrus, almond, pears and apples. “Collections change in nature, purpose and demand, so I think now is a good time to decide how the industry wants to manage collections in the future and who should pay for them.” The review ties in with the GWRDC’s recently released Five-Year RD&E Plan which, under the Environment and Sustainability Program, features a clause on Grapevine Germplasm. AVIA chairman Kym Ludvigsen, who has been vocal in his concerns about the state of Australia’s germplasm collections for several years, said it was a step in the right direction. “The emphasis on rootstock health is a pleasing aspect of this plan,” Ludvigsen said. “There has been an increase in the level of trunk diseases found in many new vineyard plantings, and a casual association has been noted between the number or rootstocks used and an increase in the prevalence of trunk diseases. “A unique opportunity exists to improve the rootstock available to industry at this time.”

Korean Wine Challenge 2012 South Korea, a wine market now largely overlooked by the Australian industry, is back on its growth path that was temporarily reversed in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. Imports were up by 17 per cent by volume and 6% in value in 2011 and the market has strengthened further in 2012. Australia, however, is losing market share, due to a number of factors – the exchange rate, the lack of a Free Trade Agreement that most of our competitors now have with Korea and the suspension of promotional activities in the market by

14 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Wine Australia. Australia now has less than 6% market share in volume terms and less than 5% in value. The results of the 8th Korean Wine Challenge, held in June, may help win back trade and consumer attention, however. This year there were 596 entries, from 14 countries. Chile, which commands almost a quarter of imports in both value and volume terms, had 235 entries (40% of total), underling the strategic value of the Korean market for Chilean producers and the positive acceptance of Chilean wines among Korean consumers. Australia had

the second highest number of entries (71), followed by Italy (67) and France (46), but a stellar performance by Eden Valley winery, Gatt Wines, saw Australia dominate the medal tally. Australian entries won 11 of the 36 gold medals, and eight of them were won by Gatt Wines; the others were won by d’Arenburg, Ferngrove and Farmer’s Leap. Australia won all five gold medals awarded to Shiraz entries, four of them won by Gatt. Chile ranked second, with seven gold, followed by France with four, and Italy and US tied with three each. September 2012 – Issue 584

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ASVO Awards for Excellence open for nomination The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) proudly launched its awards for excellence at its recent seminar in Mildura, aimed at recognising professional excellence in viticulture, winemaking and research. ASVO members are invited to apply for these awards, which will reward those individuals who have demonstrated technical and industry excellence in their field of expertise. The ASVO is offering three award categories to recognise dedicated wine indust r y professiona ls: ‘Paper of the year’ is sponsored by the GWRDC and is open to all scientific papers published in the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. The ‘Viticulturist of the Year’, sponsored by Bayer CropSciences, and ‘Winemaker of the Year’ awards are open to all financial ASVO members at the date of the award submission. Members may enter themselves or be nominated by a third party. “I invite you to enter in the ASVO Wine Industry Excellence Awards,” ASVO president Paul Petrie said. “I wish you all the very best and look forward to congratulating all the entrants, and the winners, on 21 November at a dinner at Enoteca, in Adelaide, as part of the ASVO Sustainability and Efficiency seminar.”

Simon Robinson, of CSIRO, David Darlow, of Buller Wines, Paul Boss, of CSIRO and Sam Brooke, of TWE.

Diane Stewart AV&M, Cath Kidman Wynns Coonawarra and Peter Dry AWRI.

Judith and Patrick Iland, of Patrick Iland Wine Promotions and Renata Ristic, of the University of Adelaide.

Andrew Bales, of Bruker Optics, and Helen and Bruce Henderson of the Barossa Valley.

Seguin Moreau oak men, Graeme Little, Benoit Verdier (Seguin Moreau France) and Daniel Eggleton.

16 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Joel Veenhuizen and Julie Mortlock, of De Bortoli Wines, and Stuart and Georgina Wareham, of Galli Estate.

September 2012 – Issue 584

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Significant variations in an iconic Coonawarra vineyard lead to radical solutions A synchronised viticultural and winemaking approach aims to achieve continuous improvement in wine quality, from vine to point of sale. Grahame Whyte

ACCORDING TO JAMES Freckleton, there’s an old notion that vineyard managers run vineyards, winemakers make wine, and marketing and sales staff look after brands. The up-and-coming young vineyard manager at Yalumba is adamant that this is an approach that all stakeholders in the progressive wine world will need to move beyond, if they are to remain relevant in the modern commercial environment. “For Yalumba, collaboration has played a key role in driving quality improvement in our vineyards,” Freckleton said. Driving quality is his passion, as he so clearly outlined through a fascinating case study at the recent ASVO conference in Mildura, Victoria. The theme of the ASVO conference was ‘Objective measures of grape and wine quality’. Freckleton shared his team’s discovery of the benefits of ironing out vineyard variability, and used the company’s Menzies vineyard as a prime example of this success. “The Menzies brand was established in 1987 and in 1994 we bought the vineyards where that fruit was coming from. We have only got two very small sites in Coonawarra,” Freckleton said. The huge variability within the Menzies vineyard was something they were aware of from the beginning, although the team probably didn’t appreciate just how variable it was until plant cell density maps highlighted the magnitude of the problem. “The maps tell you exactly where the variation is,” Freckleton said. “It is far more pronounced in those older blocks that were planted in 1975 compared with the younger plantings, though we certainly see variation in them as well. “In past years, management of such variability was not a huge factor – but then we decided to get on top of it. And that’s probably where the change flows from.”

18 Grapegrower & Winemaker

The Yalumba team looked at creating new performance criteria and decided to measure themselves as part of a tangible effort to improve the quality of their company’s wine by starting in the vineyard and involving essential personnel in key processes.

Facing the challenges Challenges included an irrigation valving system that was very inconsistent, with over-irrigated and under-irrigated sections. “We had a minimal amount of soil moisture monitoring equipment and what we did have was difficult to interpret, multiple people were coming up with different ideas on what that data was telling us,” Freckleton said. “There was no ‘in house’ grape laboratory. Samples were travelling 400km and our winemakers were working with information that was often a week old. “On-ground vineyard staff integration was fairly minimal. We were probably being somewhat precious with our information sharing with staff, and our training needed to be ramped up.” Quality variability was unacceptable – with very high variations in yield and canopy – so there was a significant challenge to make every post a winner. On the positive side, Yalumba had Cabernet Sauvignon vines – iconic for the region – growing in Terra Rossa over limestone. They had an adequate supply of good quality water from the local aquifer. “Quality from the vineyard was good, despite little intervention and, although we weren’t achieving that consistently, it gave us confidence that we should be able to have an impact,” Freckleton said. “We had significant block data, and clonal and rootstock combinations were extensive as a result of a direct relationship with our Yalumba Nursery, although we weren’t fully maximising

A glimpse of the future There is a powerful lesson here, should the Yalumba team take on a new site for a future vineyard. “We would learn as much as we possibly could about the soil and the soil variations,” vineyard manager James Freckleton said. “We see substantial variation across relatively small areas – there’s a really strong correlation between soil depth and plant cell density, so where our high vigour lies in a deep soil type, the shallow soils produce a lower vigour. “So, we’re fairly confident we can produce an irrigation system to suit our soil types.” Then Yalumba would give some serious thought to clone selection, depending on where the new vineyard was. If it was in Coonawarra, Yalumba would obviously consider Cabernet clones from the Yalumba Nursery. Prior to that, the winemakers in the team would look at what was needed and what suited the winery. Irrigation design would be extremely important, along with soil surveys and the choice of planting material, then the team would proceed with confidence to build an irrigation system suited to the soil types. In fact, Freckleton would prefer to have a great soil with variations rather than a lesser soil with no variations. “I think we have probably got the opportunity to make a more iconic wine with the better soil. It’s probably the harder way to go but I think we would always take the option that gave us the highest potential.” our resource,” he said. “Most importantly, we had a vineyard, winemaking and marketing team that recognised the potential, established a team and allowed us to collectively try to achieve the goal of improving our quality. “We decided we wanted to measure ourselves, in a way which is probably fairly subjective. “We looked at the major wine show performances – these were Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney. We had entered those wine shows with the same frequency since 1990, so we thought we could see how we were going with gold, September 2012 – Issue 584

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news silvers and trophies. We also looked at our brand growth as we thought it was very important that we were looking at enhancing our profitability and maximising the resources we had at our disposal.” Plant cell density (PCD) maps were used to assess the substantial difference in vigour. “We could see that but we were probably surprised at the extent of the variability in those vineyards,” Freckleton said. “That led to us to look at how we were actually taking our samples, and how effective those samples were,” he said. “Twenty per cent of our samples were taken from high-vigour sites, 45% from low-vigour sites and 35% from mediumvigour sites.”

High Baumè variation “The Baumè variation between each of the sites ranged from 12.6 to 15.5 – a variation of nearly 3˚Baumè across that block – so the problem was that we were highly likely to achieve a result that was going to be misleading. “There were picking variations, we split harvested the different sections and the low-vigour parcel was downgraded in the winery in our vintage classification, because it didn’t stylistically meet our brand objectives. “The higher-vigour parcel met our brand objectives without compromise – I think the reason for that is that there was a very wide range of Baumès represented in the low-vigour, section, while in the high-vigour section there was not much over about a Baumè difference between

Yalumba Menzies vineyard in Coonawarra and the iconic Menzies wine.

the sampling locations. “If we had that same vigour again we would split it into three parcels – high, medium and low. Probably the low-vigour section would have been at its optimum at about two weeks earlier in that case.” Based on the PCD maps, the team made immediate improvements (BandAid solutions) to reduce variability – extra drippers, in-line taps, and blankedoff drip lines – plus improved pruning

Establishing onsite laboratory “Other key improvements included onsite analysis. We set up our own little lab to measure pH, TA and Baume. “The luxury of this is that we can go and take samples whenever we want. If we’ve got a rainfall event or a heat event that we figure may influence our grape quality in some respect, we can just go and take a sample and see how we’re getting on. “Then we can make an informed decision that we didn’t have the ability to do previously. “Obviously the lab is very important in how we schedule our fruit as well. “We installed a variable speed drive pump – a simple fix to a significant problem of over- and under-irrigating. A lot of that was due to the fact that we needed to put on about 6ha of water to run our pump to its capacity, so we needed a pump that could ramp down and water our smaller valves as well. “We installed moisture monitoring sites in every one of our irrigation valves

James Freckleton of Yalumba’s Menzies Vineyard.

20 Grapegrower & Winemaker

techniques, but probably by far the biggest influence was straw mulch. “We only applied it to the low-vigour sections and it cost in the order of $3000 per hectare to do that,” Freckleton said. “But as you only need to reapply about every three to four years and the fact that it actually doubled the yield in those areas whilst actually improving the quality, that $1000 a year investment was pretty insignificant.”

September 2012 – Issue 584

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and we needed a system that five people could interpret and all come up with the same conclusion. “The data we were working from before was really difficult to interpret.” The team wanted something that was simple, clear and concise and supervisors needed the confidence to act on the information. “We needed to establish a closer liaison with our winemaking team. We are trying to ensure iconic wine, a $40plus product, so we needed a routine we could all stick to, to ensure that we were all there to make sure we were making the right decisions,” Freckleton said.

Weekly winemaker visits “We established a routine for weekly visits – much like sampling, we provided the winemakers with up-to-date data and were always organised when they were down here,” he said. “We involved more key vineyard staff in the process, this gets back to what I was talking about earlier where we were probably being a little precious with information sharing with our staff, so now it involves a vineyard manager the viticulturist. Where possible, our supervisors come around with us when we’re looking at the fruit because essentially, they are the ones who are going to be implementing what we decide to do anyway. “Tasting the grapes together and learning what was influencing the decisions is something that builds up over the years. Just by asking a lot of questions and having the ability to taste the fruit with the winemakers, I learned a hell of a lot. “Obviously we’re building up a lot of

knowledge, we are learning what it is that is influencing the winemaker’s decisions by tasting the fruit with them. “It’s important to ensure you’re going to be scheduling the grapes at the right time and picking your blocks at the optimum. “You need to understand the winery’s capacity and limitations, so having up-todate data, you can see a real lineal effect of how your blocks are progressing and when they should be ready. Obviously, the winemakers being down once a week were making an informed decision of when those blocks should be picked.” The way forward for the Yalumba team is in how they are redeveloping their vineyards. The latest project involves drilling down to limestone, to ascertain depths and make sure there is a direct correlation between soil depth and vine vigour, since this will influence irrigation designs. Using 10m x 10m or 100m² soil sampling grids – standard soil samples were 75m x 75m, or 5625 m² – gives an intensive look into those grids and the team discovered a direct correlation. This work led to PCD maps with irrigation overlays that will influence future valve design. “One key thing the winemakers really put to us is that we had a great clonal and rootstock resource but essentially those volumes weren’t really matching vat sizes, so what we decided to do, in conjunction with our nursery manager, was plant numerous well-performing clones at our disposal through the Yalumba Nursery in eight-tonne lots and evaluate them long term,” Freckleton said.

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Kerrie Treacy in the vineyard lab.

22 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2012 – Issue 584

Obviously we’re building up a lot of knowledge. We are learning what it is that is influencing the winemaker’s decisions by tasting the fruit with them.

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James Freckleton, Yalumba vineyard manager

“So we can marry that up and make commercial-size lots – and not compromising by having to make some sort of fruit salad of clones. “We have also planted two new French clones in another site that we will be extensively evaluating as well. “This will obviously drive what we do in the future – the other advantage of having multiple clones and rootstocks is that it doesn’t cost any more to plant, but it gives the winemaker the opportunity to build complexity into his or her wines, so we’ve got multiple clones and rootstock combinations. Some stand up ahead of others in given seasons. “Our future direction comes back to our planning process and involving all the key stakeholders from the vineyard to the sales and marketing team. “Defining pre-existing and future volume requirements is key to knowing what our target products will be in that given season. Working through annual promotional activities with our sales and marketing team, reviewing each block to determine specifications – this is where we are at now. “We need clear and concise boundaries for everyone to work within. “Vineyard tasks are organised for every individual block, including canopy management, maximum and minimum yields, pruning criteria, trial work, irrigation management, pest and disease strategy, logistics and wine quality feedback. We try to hold these meetings as close as possible to our classification tastings, so the feedback is current.”

The iconic Menzies label The team’s vision was focused strongly on a quality product – Menzies Cabernet. Yalumba winemaker Peter Gambetta looks for structured depth and tannin in the fruit for the Menzies label, rather than primary fruit. “We are looking for ripeness but not the jammier fruit characters – we want savoury structure,” he said. “We’ve been making Menzies since 1987, and have been taking fruit from the Coonawarra since the 1960s. “Terra Rossa makes a lot of difference – it’s fantastic! September 2012 – Issue 584

“Getting regular information and samples once a week is helpful. As we get close to vintage we sample twice a week. The onsite lab makes a difference for an isolated vineyard that is 400km from the Yalumba winery at Angaston,” Gambetta said. Once the machine harvested fruit parcels arrive, destemming and crushing occurs and then winemakers use 8-tonne fermenters. “We inoculate with active dry culture or cultured yeast as we are crushing,” Gambetta said. “A rigorous fermentation scheme uses two systems of cap management – either floating cap (8t) or headed down (16t), with submerged caps pumped over as well. “The floating caps are pumped over or pulse air is used with a blast of nitrogen that triggers the spontaneous release of carbon dioxide that breaks the cap. “Ferment is conducted at 28-30˚C during the first 5-6˚ drop in Baumè and then we ferment at conventional temperatures. “Some parcels receive skin contact up to five to seven days after primary fermentation. Then all wines are pressed and transferred to oak hogsheads for malolactic fermentation. With Menzies we use around 40% new French and a portion of first-use American oak. “Having our own cooperage is fantastic – we build our own barrels with varying fire regimes,” Gambetta said.

Conclusion Back in the vineyard, Freckleton concluded that communication between all stakeholders – no matter where they fit in the supply chain – is critically important. “Stakeholders must be provided with the knowledge and the opportunity to add value to the enterprise,” he said. “Collaborat ion, i nvest igat ion, integration and review are the hallmarks for wine quality and brand sustainability. “The key point is that stakeholders are probably going to have the knowledge, but they have to be provided with the opportunity to further improve quality in the vineyard.”

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Grapegrower & Winemaker


regional round-up

Savvy sailing down south Producers from New Zealand’s south embrace new concepts and ventures Kellie Arbuckle


shelves and help vegan or vegetarian consumers feel confident about their wine choice.” Blackenbrook is one of less than 5 per cent of wine producers in New Zealand who make vegan wines with accredited sustainable practices. The first wines to be labelled with the logo include Blackenbrook Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Riesling 2012, Pinot Gris 2012 and rosé 2012.

Blackenbrook goes veg

matter what the season – year in, year out – in the pursuit of excellence. It is great to be rewarded for those efforts,” he said. Now in its 59th year, the Royal Easter Show is New Zealand’s oldest wine show and is held in high regard.

Brightwater sweeps floor at wine show Ursula Schwarzenbach proudly displays vegetarian-approved labels on her wine.

Family-owned Blackenbrook Vineyard has become the first vegetarian wine producer in the South Island approved by the New Zealand Vegetarian Society. Increasing demand from wine buyers in New Zealand and in Japan prompted the decision to go veg, according to Daniel Schwarzenbach, owner and winemaker of Blackenbrook. “More and more consumers want to know exactly what’s in their wine and how it was made,” he said. “The vegetarian logo will be a fantastic tool to set our wines apart on the wine

Brightwater Vineyards took away three prestigious awards at the Royal Easter Wine Awards presentation in March, including the coveted trophy for Champion Wine of Show. Winning the judges over was the winery’s Lord Rutherford 2009 Barrique Chardonnay, which was also named Champion Chardonnay of Show. The evening climaxed for the winery when its winemaker, Tony Southgate, was named Winemaker of the Year. Southgate said the award was both an honour and a privilege. “This really is a testament to the dedication and passion put in by the small team at Brightwater Vineyards. We try to make the best wine we can, no

Tony Southgate was recently announced Winemaker of the Year at the Royal Easter Wine Awards.

Gewürtz-ed Blackenbrook Vineyard is working to challenge some of the myths and prejudices about Gewürztraminer – an aromatic variety known to thrive in Alsace and New Zealand.




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Blackenbrook Gewürztraminer. Photo: Blackenbrook Vineyard.

The Saint Clair family from left to right is: Harvey Grono, Dave Grono, Julie Ibbotson, Kate Ibbotson, Tony Ibbotson, India Ibbotson, Judy Ibbotson, Neal Ibbotson, Sarina Ibbotson, Ayla Shaw, Jack Shaw, Mark Shaw.

information sheet to restaurants around Blackenbrook Vineyard has prepared MARLBOROUGH New Zealand and will also have it a basic information sheet titled available for download from their ‘Gewürztraminer – the fresh Dimension website. to New Zealand Fine Dining’ designed to Wine commentator Yvonne Lorkin educate wait staff and consumers about says customers are often afraid to order a the variety. Saint Clair Family Estate has taken home Gewürztraminer, for reasons as basic as “The typical comments we hear is the Best Nation Trophy NZ 2012 for the that they’re not sure of how to pronounce that it only works with spicy foods, second year in a row at the San Francisco it. that it’s really floral and something International Wine Competition in the US. “It’s an education thing. If people only women would drink – all these This year’s competition, now in its are taught that it’s okay to ask for a stereotypes are incorrect and it’s time 32nd year, saw a record number of entries, ‘Gewürztraminer – and perhaps even we gave Gewürztraminer its true place with more than 455 wines coming from showing in brackets on wine lists how on the New Zealand wine menu,” says 1300 wineries across 29 countries. to pronounce it – this would help people Daniel Schwarzenbach of Blackenbrook. Seventeen countries received a Best of 3 1 0 7 7 _ v 1 C R T _ N u f a r mH . p d f Pa ge 1 1 8 / 0 6 / 1 2 , 1 1 : 0 8 AM feel freer to experiment.” Blackenbrook will send the Nation award, including New Zealand,

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September 2012 – Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker


regional round-up with Saint Clair making its contribution by winning two Double Gold awards for its Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Sauvignon Blanc 2011 and its Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block Sauvignon Blanc 2011. The show awarded 13 Double Golds to the Sauvignon Blanc varietal, with eight of these coming from Marlborough. “It is a thrill to see Saint Clair on the top for two consecutive years at America’s largest and most prestigious competition,” Saint Clair managing director Neal Ibbotson said. “This is a tribute to the team effort and a reflection of an ongoing commitment to quality and open-minded viticulture.”

Young grower scoops viti award Marlborough viticulturist Matthew Duggan took the honours at the regional Markhams Young Viticulturist of the Year competition in July, improving on his third placing last year. Duggan, who works for Treasury Wine Estates at Matua Valley, took out the award against six other local wine industry hopefuls and another from Nelson. Participants competed in a range of skill sets – from wine taste-testing, pruning, budgeting and machinery handling – as well as speech. Duggan’s speech, which explored the suitability of growing Grüner Veltliner, impressed the judges and earned him the Certificate for Best Speech. He also took out the overall Certificate for Best Theory Competitor. “Winning t he Ma rlborough competition has endorsed that I am definitely on the right track. The competition has been great for my professional development,” Duggan said. Duggan features as the Grapegrower in Profile in this month’s issue on page 46.


Liquor for winos A New Zealand winemaker and his mate have opened a new liquor store that offers customers tastings of high-end wines, premium spirits and local beers. Known as Wino’s Liquor, the idea is the brainchild of Two Rivers founder and winemaker Dave Clouston and his friend Clive MacFarlane, who together opened the store in Blenheim just before the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival early this year. The wines on offer are mostly premium wines from smaller New Zealand producers as well as alternative varieties. Wino’s Liquor tastings and on-premise sales coordinator Sheena Thomson said

26 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Wino’s Liquor.

there was strong consumer demand to taste wines from around the globe. Up to 40 people can participate in the tastings, which take place in the shop on Wednesday evenings throughout winter. Some of the tastings to date: Spanish Wines, with Sophie Cotter of Saint Vincent’s Cave; Beer Options, with Geoff Griggs; Earth, Wind, and Skye – Whisky Tasting, with Bart Burgess (Malts of Distinction); and Nick Romans (Long Cloud Wines and Spirits).

The best of wine tourism The hunt is on for the best wine tourism ventures in the South Island. Christchurch – South Island, a member of the prestigious Great Wine Capitals Global Network, is calling for nominations for the third annual Best of Wine Tourism Awards, which honour outstanding wineries and other tourismrelated businesses in the network’s cities and wine regions. This year, a new category – for architecture and landscapes – has been added to the existing four categories to recognise the unique landmarks that wineries and vineyards create in the region. The other entry categories are: wine tourism restaurants, innovative wine tourism experiences, wine tourism services and sustainable wine tourism practices. Each category award winner of the Christchurch – South Island awards is presented to the international judging jury for consideration for an international award, this year being held in Florence, Italy, at the Great Wine Capital Global Network’s AGM in early November. Last year’s international winner for Wine Tourism Services, Appellation Central Wine Tours, from Central Otago, says winning at both national and

international level in consecutive years has given their business a huge boost in an area of the wine industry that doesn’t traditionally have any system for recognising excellence. “The Best of Wine Tourism awards gave us an opportunity to reflect on our business and what we have achieved, while re-emphasising to us the importance of working closely with everyone in the industry and continually working to promote the entire region for its wines and as a destination,” said Wendy Johnston, of Appellation Central Wine Tours. “The fact that it is an international award gives even more credibility to what is achieved. Winning has also been fantastic for our staff who feel proud of who they work for, the success the business has achieved and their contribution to that success.” Other winners in previous years have included Yealands Estate Wines, in Blenheim, Melton Estate, in Christchurch, The Old Glenmark Vicarage, Waipara, Allan Scott Family Winemakers, in Blenheim, and Northburn Station, in Cromwell. With so many of the South Island’s great wineries offering a first-class visitor experience, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism industry partnership manager. Caroline Blanchfield is keen to ensure they receive recognition. “Wine tourism is a great way to learn about the people, culture, heritage, and customs of an area. “We have some excellent wineries and wine tourism businesses in the regions and our visitors really love the whole experience – tasting wine at the place where it’s made and meeting the people who produce it. “I strongly encourage the owners and managers of wineries and wine tourism September 2012 – Issue 584

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regional round-up ventures to put their names forward for these awards so they can get the accolades they so richly deserve,” Blanchfield said. The Great Wine Capitals Global Network is an international network of major wine-producing regions which aims to promote tourism, education and business exchange. Christchurch – South Island is a central hub uniting the five South Island wine regions of Marlborough, Nelson/ Tasman, Waipara Valley, Canterbury and Central Otago. These regions account for approximately 65% of New Zealand’s total vineyard area and 75% of exports. They were selected to join the network three years ago following a Christchurch City Council-led bid for inclusion. Other members of the prestigious network include Bordeaux, Cape Town, Florence, Mainz, Mendoza, Porto, BilbaoRioja and San Francisco-Napa Valley. Only one wine region from each country can become a member of the global network.


Misha expands brand presence Misha’s Vineyard has announced a distribution expansion into eight markets around the world. In the Northern Hemisphere the new markets are the Scandinavian countries of Denmark and Sweden through GastroWine, and across in the important US market, Misha’s Vineyard will be represented by Vindagra USA. These are markets that have been identified as key focus areas for building the New Zealand wine brand, with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) just announcing an investment of $2.1 million for activities in the US, northern Europe and China. Misha’s Vineyard is already represented in China through Jebsen Fine Wines, and participated in a roadshow in May across China and Hong Kong, which was supported by NZTE working alongside trade organisation

New Zealand Winegrowers. Other markets include British Columbia, Canada, where Misha’s Vineyard joins the portfolio of Terrarosa Imports. Closer to home, distributors have been appointed in the Maldives, Fiji and the Cook Islands. Misha’s Vineyard has also changed its representation in Australia to increase its presence particularly, in the on-premise sector and has announced an exclusive distribution relationship with Fesq and Company across the states of Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales (including ACT) and Queensland. “Finding any distributor willing to increase their portfolio in these tougher trade conditions is certainly no easy task,” said Andy Wilkinson, who owns Misha’s Vineyard with his wife Misha. “But finding the right distributor is even harder and since it’s one of the most critical decisions a wine producer makes with their brand, it’s one you can’t compromise on.”

Climate variability the main challenge Mike Stone

Grapegrowers need management solutions for dealing with climate variability rather than just climate change. In a presentation to a Mildura seminar last month, Victorian Department of Primary Industries senior climate specialist Graeme Anderson told winegrape growers to expect greater seasonal variability than had been the case historically. “The next 30 years are set by what’s already in the atmosphere, and dealing with climate variability is going to be critical,” Anderson said. “What’s going to be different to the past are some underlying trends of variability – each decade is becoming slightly warmer; we’re still breaking records for periods of cold, but twice as many for heat and this trend is expected to continue,” he told the audience of around 70 winegrape growers from the Murray-Darling region. The Mildura seminar was presented by Murray Valley Winegrowers in association with the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, GWRDC and NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Focus on variables “A 1˚C increase in average temperature over the next decade might not seem much, but for western Victoria it’s the equivalent of farming 100 kilometres to the north,” Graeme Anderson explained.

28 Grapegrower & Winemaker

However, the Victorian DPI climate specialist urged growers to focus on the management of climate variables rather than averages. “In Victoria, 2005 was one of our warmest years, but we suffered a February blizzard that killed thousands of livestock – that’s the variability factor that farmers have to deal with. “The modelling is good at telling us about averages and general directions, but we have to be better prepared at dealing with events as they happen. “Learning lessons from the past 10 years would be more useful than trying to predict the next 10 years. At the peak of the drought, growers were dealing with things not seen before in their lifetime. On top of managing with less water growers were dealing with government policies, water markets and rising water costs. We’ve emerged stronger, with more management tools in our kit.”

Tough time for hard decisions Anderson believes that the biggest, hardest decisions are often made during tough times, but that a more logical approach is to implement vineyard risk management strategies in periods between extreme climate events. Strategies could include choice of varieties, altering vineyard mix, canopy management, irrigation systems upgrade and perhaps even spreading

risk by locating vineyards in a number of different climate zones. However, he notes that big decisions often come with big price tags. “Scientists can always find solutions to farming in any climate, but from a business perspective, can crops still be produced and sold profitably?” Anderson is upbeat about horticulture’s future. “Humans are amazing. Just look at the last decade of extreme drought, threatened catchments, cuts in water allocations, spiralling water prices and individual weather events that no-one predicted, yet most people got through. There’s a certain amount of attrition in rural businesses every decade.” The climate specialist advised growers to tap into networks, solve problems as they occurred and learn from them. “It’s the lessons learnt that will equip growers better for managing climate variability. The last decade has shown how adaptive growers can be at managing variable seasons. However, there have also been situations when an unwelcome climate event or season has knocked rural businesses for six. While it’s natural to hope for weather patterns to return to normal, just make sure you have a plan of attack should the current unsettled pattern continue. As they say… climate trains the boxer, but weather throws the punches.” September 2012 – Issue 584

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grapegrowing Vineyard management in spring – Margaret River Danielle Costley

THE vines have been pruned, the cover crops sown and the trellises maintained, but with spring now knocking on the door, it’s time to get serious with the growing season upon us. Spring is the favourite time of year for Redgate Wines vineyard manager Brett Ganfield, as the vineyard is humming with vitality and the anticipation of the challenges and rewards of the upcoming growing season and harvest. Located in the Margaret River subregion of Wallcliffe, this 18-hectare vineyard is in close proximity to the Indian Ocean, yielding around 140 tonnes annually. The vineyard is planted to Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. All varieties are trellised to a single cordon wire that is vertically shoot positioned (VSP) with the help of two foliage wires on each side of the canopy. The vines are pruned to an average of 24 buds per vine, with a plant spacing of 1.8m and a row width of 3m, giving a vine density of 1850 per hectare. According to Ganfield, pruning is an extremely important activity as it is the key to achieving desired yield and ideal ratio of fruit to canopy to optimise flavour development and minimise disease potential. “We use a mix of cane and spur pruning that is alternated across the different blocks of vines to renew ageing cordons and keep the vines in good shape. We aim to renew the cordon every five years or so,” he says. “We undertake some careful leaf removal near the fruit zone on the side of

Preveli vigneron Greg Home at his Rosabrook vineyard.

30 Grapegrower & Winemaker

the canopy that does not receive full sun and carefully remove unfruitful shoots to minimise canopy congestion and shading. This allows ambient light into the canopy and permits air circulation and fungicide penetration into the fruit zone and the inner canopy.” Spring time promotes a hive of activity in the vineyard as the sap starts to flow in the vines. The cover crop – which is ‘direct drilled’ every few years to replenish the seed bank – experiences a rapid growth due to the warmer weather. “This cover crop provides a blanket of organic matter on the soil surface to moderate heat extremes and minimise soil erosion due to heavy rains,” Ganfield says. “It is also a valuable source of organic carbon for micro-organisms in the soil, which make nutrients available to the vines. “No cultivation or tillage is used, as it breaks down the soil structure, leaving it prone to erosion events.” This mid-row crop of predominately clovers and ryegrasses is mulched along with the vine prunings, with a large 3PL flail mower that is fitted with hammers that break down all of the prunings into small pieces. This facilitates the movement of workers in the vineyard, who will be shoot thinning and wire lifting through to late spring and into summer. It also reduces the amount of large pieces of debris that can harbour diseases or get tangled in the bird netting. The mulching is done when the soil has dried out enough to get the machinery onto the site to minimise soil compaction. Margaret River is often subjected to wind and hail damage during spring – a result of the strong gales that sweep across from the Indian Ocean. “Wet weather can be challenging, as it may mean that mulching or mowing and herbicide or fungicide applications need to be delayed due to unfavourable weather,” Ganfield says. “These heavy spring rains can also result in high disease pressure, which arises from possible hail-damaged shoots and wet weather that promotes botrytis and compromises spray efficacy. “Based on the results of soil tests taken after harvest and before the end of spring, our nutrition program may start with a

HOW TO REDUCE VINEYARD MAINTENANCE • do not over-spray, as it can kill off beneficiary insects in the vineyard • a good pruning program that allows for maximum ripening with good fruit buds will save you money in the long term • follow the weather forecast religiously • don’t cut corners, as this usually impacts on quality – the better the fruit quality, the better the wine • keep your vineyard clean and maintained year round, as this ultimately will reduce maintenance costs in the long-term, such as fencing and netting requirements • invest in bird nets, as bird pecking is highly undesirable in fruit quality.

liquid calcium product sprayed onto the ground. We will use a boomless nozzle, which will adjust our base saturation of calcium on the soil colloid into the desired range of 68 per cent,” says Ganfield. “Humic acid and soil microbial blends may be included at the same time to help with nutrient cycling in the soil.” Other nutrients needed are foliar applied by inclusion with the regular sulfur, copper and systemic fungicides that occur every seven to 14 days, depending on weather. A fungicide resistance management strategy is in place at Redgate to ensure certain chemical groups and modes of activity are rotated each season, or replaced all together with a new fungicide. Ganfield says the winery closely monitors climatic conditions to access when and what to spray, so as not to spray something that is unnecessary. “By minimising spraying, we are saving money and limiting the impact on the environment. A jar test is a very good idea to access compatibility of the tank mix. I like to have at least four sulphur sprays applied in the time from budburst September 2012 – Issue 584

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grapegrowing to 40 days post-burst. This means we undertake an average of one application every 10 days,” he adds. “We find that this process will minimise powdery mildew infection that is very difficult to control later in the season if allowed to take hold early.” Typically, the Redgate vineyard will need boron, iron, potassium and some nitrogen and micro-nutrients in the form of a fish and kelp emulsion. The nitrogen can be reduced as needed to avoid excessive vegetative growth. Ganfield has found boron sprays to be useful in controlling vigour in some varieties, as it will limit nitrogen influence. “Some nutrition is applied through the irrigation system, usually humic acid, fish and kelp emulsion and possibly potassium. But I will always jar test for compatibility,” he stresses. “No nutrition is applied to the foliage during flowering as it can abort pollination.”

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32 Grapegrower & Winemaker

“Obviously, different vineyards have different characteristics, climate and requirements, but we are finding that our spray and nutrition program works well for our vineyard, based on soil results regularly taken throughout the year,” Ganfield says. Further inland in the Rosa Brook sub-region is Preveli winery, a six-hectare boutique vineyard that produces Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Vigneron Greg Home is a firm believer that vineyards require ongoing care and maintenance to truly succeed. “I conduct periodic soil tests for PH and phosphorus levels, as well as lime additions and, if necessary, rock phosphate. We also undertake regular maintenance of clover and ryegrass in mid-rows, leaving the cut fairly high until late spring,” Home said. “We will leave a carpet that protects the vineyard from heat waves and works at water loss. We choose to ‘grass off’ under the vines and do not use any glyphosates in our vineyard.” The grapes flourish on the rich alluvial soils that the Rosa Brook region is renowned for, providing a rich diversity of birdlife that control the insects. “It is so important to keep your soils alive, which is why we do not do any soil tillage. We also find that by sowing cover crops between the vines, we are effectively providing organic matter for the soil to help it thrive.” According to Home, a good spray program combined with canopy foliage wire lifting is essential. “When the buds start to become very woolly in appearance as the bud scales open, it is important to conduct early sulfur spraying,” he said. “We also rotate the usage of demethylation inhibitor (DMI) fungicides at this time.” While it is important to have a good spray program in place to combat fungal disease, Home cautions vineyards on the risks associated with over-spraying. “Be careful with your spraying program, as over-spraying can kill off beneficiaries in the vineyard, such as ladybirds and spiders. I also find that birds such as water fowl, ducks and ibis can do a terrific job at cleaning up insects,” he urges. “Spring is also the time that we carry out shoot thinning and check canopies for signs of powdery and downy mildew outbreaks. “Bird nets are an absolute necessity in a small vineyard such as ours, which is why we are currently finessing our bird nets and canopies. Not only is bird peck highly undesirable in fruit, but it also produces inferior flavours in wine,” he said. Both vignerons agree that regular vineyard maintenance such as spraying, netting, cover crops, weed control and soil testing is essential. Obviously, weather conditions play a major factor in terms of disease pressure and fruit quality, but by putting in the hard yards throughout the year the benefits will far surpass the effort.

Vineyard manager Brett Ganfield from Redgate Wines pruning in the Wallcliffe vineyard, in Margaret River.

September 2012 – Issue 584

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Tracking lost irrigation water This article, reprinted from US magazine, Practical Winery & Vineyard, highlights research aimed at enhancing irrigation efficiency in northern California, where rain rarely falls during the growing season. Eve-Lyn S. Hinckley

DURING THE MONTHS that northern California grapevines are growing (April through September), very little rain falls. Only during the vines’ dormant months (October through March) does most of the rainfall occur. Thus there is a cyclical disconnect between the supply of and demand for water resources necessary to sustain vines. Unless they have reliably producing wells, growers must capture and store rainfall or divert stream flow into surface reservoirs each year, and then hope that they have enough water stored to make it to harvest. In years of low rainfall or particularly high temperatures during the growing season, winegrowers can be vulnerable to water shortages or crop losses. Since this vulnerability may increase as climate change affects temperature and precipitation,1,2 understanding how much water is lost per irrigation event and exploring how current irrigation methods can be modified to maximise efficiency and minimise losses are critical to a successful harvest. For example, in the November/December 2008 PWV, winemaker Jennifer Williams, of Spottswoode Estate Vineyard (St. Helena, CA), discussed the reality of water limitation, and

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stated that she and others were pushing toward more innovative, sustainable irrigation practices.3 The need to understand water limitation and inform alternative approaches led to the research question addressed in this study: What path does irrigation water take through soils, and how much water is lost below the rooting zone? To address the question, elemental sulfur applied as a fungicide was used as a tracer to quantify the water lost in cracks (having little or no contact with vine roots) compared with water that interacted with the soil matrix (accessible to vine roots). Although vines are the targets for applied sulfur, broadcast spraying coats the entire vineyard, including the soil. Initial study of the fate of sulfur upon application to the vineyard revealed that it oxidises immediately to sulfate on the soil surface.4 This finding is consistent with several previous studies of sulfur application to agricultural systems.5,7 In vineyards, accumulated sulfate on the soil surface can be transported through the soil profile during irrigation events, and, more likely, dormant season rain storms.8 In ecosystem science, the study of reactive elements such as sulfur can provide a ‘chemical label’ for the water that carries them. By studying the chemical transformations of applied sulfur, it is also possible to infer the residence time of the sulfur-carrying water in the soil.

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At the Napa County vineyard where this study occurred, and in many other agricultural settings, the cracks on the ground surface are caused by the clay mineralogy and physical properties of the soil. Regular vineyard practices, such as weekly irrigation (causing wetting and drying of the soil) and use of salts such as magnesium chloride to decrease dust on vineyard avenues, also contribute to crack formation (Figure 1). In many cases, cracks can extend vertically for several centimeters through the soil profile, allowing for speedy passage of water, bypassing the vine roots.

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Figure 1. Cracks on the surface of a Carneros vineyard, Napa Valley (pen shows scale)

September 2012 – Issue 584

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grapegrowing Using sulfur as a tracer of water losses In this study, the sulfur chemistry of precipitation, irrigation water, leachate (water measured below the vine rooting zone during irrigation events), and soil water (water measured below the vine rooting zone during rain storms) were tracked for three years at a vineyard site of Robert Sinskey Vineyards, located in the Carneros region of Napa County. Measurements were made in a 3.7 acre (1.5 hectare) block planted with Dijon 114 Pinot Noir grafted onto 101-14 rootstock, aligned in rows perpendicular to the dominant slope with 1.8m vine spacing. When this study began, the vines were 16-years-old. Each year, the winegrowers seeded a dormant season cover crop (including rosa, trifolium, and triticale species) to increase soil nutrients and decrease erosion. To capture leachate and soil water below the rooting zone of the vines, instruments called lysimeters were installed throughout the vineyard block (see Figure 2). Two types of lysimeters were used: zero-tension, which act as pans that passively collect water moving vertically through the soil, and tension, which extract water from the soil matrix with the application of a vacuum. Zerotension lysimeters captured leachate during irrigation events. Tension lysimeters collected soil water during rain storms that saturated soils. All water samples were analysed in the laboratory for sulfate concentration, and the isotopic composition of sulfate. The isotopic composition of an element like sulfur refers to chemical differences at the atomic level. The isotopes of sulfur used in this study were atomic weights 32 (the most abundant) and 34.Knowing the isotopic composition of sulfur in a soil or water sample is useful because the value changes based on the source of sulfur (sulfur in rainfall compared with applied SO) or with modification by microbes (for example, if they eat sulfate to produce hydrogen sulfide, a sulfur



Figure 2. Zero-tension lysimeters ready for installation. (B) Tension lysimeter. (C) Reinforced soil trench at Robert Sinskey Vineyards, showing two installed zero-tension lysimeters (circled), and installation hole for tension lysimeter, marked by a pink flag.

gas). These values are expressed using delta notation (ᵟ) and in units of per mil, denoted by ‰. Based on studying the isotopic values of different samples, one can piece together the path sulfur took through the soil, and the water in which it was dissolved. The hypothesis driving this research effort was that sulfate dissolved in irrigation and precipitation waters

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36 Grapegrower & Winemaker


entering vineyard soils would have a different chemical and isotopic composition than sulfate that had been in the soil for an extended period of time, potentially getting transformed by microbes. Changing the isotopic composition of sulfate changes the signal of the water carrying it, and provides a tracer to differentiate between new water (precipitation and irrigation water that


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September 2012 – Issue 584



Take out the Guess Work


crack flow

vine and microbe available water


0.4 m

Figure 3. Diagram of hypothesised water and sulfur movement through vineyard soils.

moves rapidly through cracks) and old water (water stored in the soil matrix, available to vine roots and microbes). Figure 3 shows a diagram of this water flow hypothesis.

Major findings Results showed dramatic differences in sulfate concentration and isotopic composition of the vineyard water inflows and outflows, enabling differentiation of major hydrologic pathways in the soil. Figure 4 (page 38) shows the range of sulfate concentrations and corresponding isotopic values measured. In general, water captured in the subsurface as leachate during irrigation had low sulfate content (4.5mg SO42--S L-1) and low isotopic value (7.7‰), similar to irrigation water. In contrast, soil water captured under saturated conditions was more than twice as high in sulfate concentration (13.7mg SO42--S L-1) and isotopic value (13.5 0.1‰). These results indicate that during irrigation events, a substantial amount of leachate resulted from irrigation water that had flowed through the cracks, and had little contact with vine roots or the soil matrix, which would have resulted in higher values. Measurement of leachate volumes in the zero-tension lysimeters allowed us to quantify the amount of water moving through cracks during irrigation events (the amount of irrigation water lost). Figure 5 (page 38) shows the volumes of water captured during four- and eight-hour irrigation events. By calculating the likely volume of a wetted cone beneath a drip emitter, these measured volumes could be scaled to the total water lost. Results showed that at least 10% of irrigation water was lost below the rooting zone of the vines. Given the instrumentation used in this study was not designed to capture flow through gopher burrows, this calculation probably underestimates the flux of water off-site.

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What does it all mean? In other agricultural settings, such as California’s Central Valley, a grower would want to flush at least 10% of the irrigation water below the rooting zone to remove solutes that would damage the crop. Regions like the Central Valley suffer from poor-quality irrigation water, under-irrigation (not watering enough to flush solutes from the soil), and deep accumulation of salts in the soil profile.10 However, in Napa County vineyards, these issues are not a relevant management concern, while conserving the most water possible is. Comparing the sulfur ‘signature’ of the inflow and outflow waters provided evidence that water is lost in cracks during irrigation events. The immediate capture of water in zero-tension lysimeters and subsequent measurement of volumes collected provided further confirmation of irrigation water’s speedy path. This September 2012 – Issue 584

MEA Grapegrower & Winemaker


grapegrowing surface to act more like a soaker hose, or even buried, and berms could be built up near vines to improve structure and reduce the development of cracks. Instead of rapidly taking the path of least resistance through cracks, water would then saturate into soil pores where it could become available to vine roots. Another modification to water delivery observed in a particularly water-limited hillside vineyard is running smalldiameter PVC pipes from the ground surface to the rooting zone of each vine and sending irrigation water through narrow tubing directly where it is needed. There are drawbacks to these alternative water delivery methods, however. In the first case, tangling or clogging of drip lines on the ground surface could occur, and they could interfere with floor management and cultivation practices, and in the second, placing PVC pipe next to each vine would

study supports exploring alternatives to standard water delivery methods (such as drip irrigation), and pursuing methods of recapturing low-solute leachate to irrigate at a later date, thereby extending limited resources.

How can winegrowers reduce water losses?

18 16


Applied sulfur provided a useful and novel tracer for following water through vineyard soils and separating hydrologic flow paths through cracks (losses) and the soil matrix (storage). The findings in this research point to the importance of considering water and nutrient flow through cracks and exploring alternative approaches to standard irrigation practices in areas where they are prevalent.

This research was funded by an EPA/ STAR fellowship and Geological Society of America Grant to E.S.H., and Stanford University funds to Pamela Matson. Special thanks to Debby Zygielbaum and Kirk Grace of Robert Sinskey Vineyards for hosting this research.

12 10 Irrigation water Precipitation Storm event soil water 8−hr Irrigation leachate 8−hr Irrigation soil water 4−hr Irrigation leachate

8 6 4

Take-home message



δ34 S−SO 4

Microbial influence or change in sulfur source

Although alternatives to drip irrigation and treatments to reduce soil cracking were not evaluated explicitly in this study, several management approaches can help reduce water application and losses. Informal discussions with Carneros winegrowers have confirmed that many of these approaches are already in trial in vineyards with cracking soils. One way to increase the retention of irrigation water in the soil and reduce the amount needed per event is by changing how water is delivered. For example, drip lines could be closer to the soil

be very labor-intensive, and potentially expensive. Recapture and reuse of low-solute leachate losses may be an easier approach than the aforementioned alternatives. In vineyards where a drainage system such as tile drains is already in place, outflow could be recaptured for redistribution during a later irrigation event, reducing some of the immediate losses. At the vineyard used in this study, reclaiming the 10% of irrigation water used during the growing season would have provided an additional irrigation event at 4L/hr for four hours.






Contribution of stored sulfate




2− 4

(mg L

70 −1



Figure 4. Sulfate concentration vs. isotopic signature of different vineyard source and outflow waters.

References 1. Cahill, K.N. and C.B. Field. 2008 “Future of the wine industry: Climate change science.” Practical Winery & Vineyard March/April: 1-9.


Lobell, D.B., K.N. Cahill, and C.B. Field. 2007 “Historical effects of temperature and precipitation on California crop yields.” Climatic Change 81: 187-203.


3. Heald, E. and R. Heald. 2008 “Spottswoode Vineyard cultivates green tradition.” Practical Winery & Vineyard November/December: 16-22.

Hinckley, E.S. 2009 “Biogeochemical and Hydrologic Sulfur Dynamics in an Agricultural System.” PhD dissertation, Stanford University.


1600 1400 1200

low average high

Nor, Y.M. and M.A. Tabatabai. 1977 “Oxidation of elemental sulfur in soils.” Soil Science Society of America Journal 41: 736-741.


Slaton, N.A., R.J. Norman, and J.T. Gilmour. 2001 “Oxidation rates of commercial elemental sulfur products applied to an alkaline silt loam from Arkansas.” Soil Science Society of America Journal 65: 239-243.


Volume (ml)


Slaton, N.A., S. Ntamatungiro, C.E. Wilson, Jr., and R.J. Norman. 1998 “Influence of two elemental sulfur products applied to an alkaline silt loam on rice growth.” In: R.J. Norman and T.H. Johnston (Eds.), Rice Res. Ser. 1998 Res. Ser. 460 (pp. 326-329). Arkansas Agric. Exp. Stn., Fayetteville, AR. 7.

800 600

Hinckley, E.S., C. Kendall, and K. Loague. 2008 “Not all water becomes wine: Sulfur as an opportune tracer of hydrochemical losses from vineyards.” Water Resources Research 44: doi:10.1029/2007WR006672.


400 200 0



Figure 5. Volumes of leachate water measured in zero-tension lysimeters during four and eight hour irrigation events.

38 Grapegrower & Winemaker

9. Black, T.A. and D.R. Montgomery. 1991 “Sediment transport by burrowing mammals, Marin County, California.” Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 16 (2): 163-172.

10. Oster, J.D., I. Shainberg, and I.P. Abrol. 1996 “Reclamation of salt-affected soil.” In: M. Agassi (Ed.), Soil Erosion, Conservation, and Rehabilitation (pp. 315-352). New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. September 2012 – Issue 584

Letter to the editor posts per hectare, we replaced around I am writing to you regarding an 400 broken posts. This is after 25 years article I read on page 60 of the August of machine harvesting, plus all other edition of the Grapegrower & Winemaker routine vineyard activities, and after 25 magazine. The article is titled, ‘Casella years the breakage level is less than 5%. wines switches to steel trellis solution’. So this equates to less than 1% every five I am astounded by the opening line years … or 0.2% per year! that: “it is an industry accepted average In a properly established vineyard, … that between 5-15% of pine posts break post breakages during the harvest during harvest each year”. operation should always be less than 1%. Who says this is an industry standard For example, in one hour of harvesting or, more the point, an industry accepted at 3km/h, in a vineyard with a 1.8m vine standard? As a grapegrower and harvest spacing, a post every three vines and 3m contractor, I would be seeking legal row spacing, you would traverse over 555 action against any harvest contractor for posts each hour of harvesting. damages of this level! Our family has I maintain that in this same hour of owned a contract harvesting business in harvesting, breakages should be less than the Barossa and Eden Valley for well over five and preferably zero or one or two 25 years. We employ staff to operate our posts. But your article indicates that it machine like most other contractors, yet would be acceptable to break between 27 we aim and have a standard of less than and 83 posts per hour. So a broken post 1% post breakages during the harvest every 43 seconds to two minutes and 13 operation. seconds! If this is an “accepted industry In our own vineyard that we have standard”, it is no wonder grapegrowers machine harvested for 20-25 years, we across the country are suffering financial recently did broken post replacements difficulties, let alone the mountains of for the first time ever in several blocks. D P 1 5 6 0 _ G W_ 1 3 0 x 1 8 5 . p d f Pa ge 1 1 8 / 0 7 / 1 2 , 3 : 2 2 broken treated pine posts that must be Across 15 hectares, with around 600

building up. Now, what is the cost of replacing that broken post? A neighbour of mine recently made an insurance claim for broken posts due to harvesting, and his cost per post replacement was around $25 per post – plus the cost of the post itself. Thus, based upon the article, a harvesting contractor has the standard set “by someone” of causing $950 to $2900 per hour of trellis damage. Now, what is your harvest contractor charging you per hour – and what other options exist in your region? For each broken post per hour by your contractor, it is worth $35 per hour extra in hiring a better contractor! Any harvest contractor that breaks 5-15% of posts per harvest operation should be never be hired again and have compensation sought from them. It is not an industry standard, it is a sign of poor harvesting practices. Ben Zander Angaston, SA


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

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September 2012 – Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Vineyard owners can lodge an objection to rating values when values have decreased

Ben Rose

I have read your articles for some time and notice that you are a certified practising valuer (CPV). I have just received my shire annual statement of rates and believe that I am paying too much. What can I do about this?

The shire/council rates are a part of the framework to ensure that every land owner pays for the services that are provided for them by their local municipality. Each state/territory has a different way of determining how each property is rated and some shires/ councils use different methods within a state. Most are, however, based on the value of the property and although you cannot lodge an objection to the level of your rates, you can object to the level of value of the property on which the rates are based. Those that are not based on the level of the value of the property are considered an annual charge. Most notice of rates have three levels of value shown as site value or land value, capital improved value or improved value and net annual value or assessed annual value. The site value is generally defined as the market value of the land in its present state (as you see it) excluding any improvements made on the land, however it may include improvements to the land such as site filling or clearing. The capital improved value is generally defined as the total market value of the land plus buildings and other improvements, but excluding any value of any business operated on the land. The net annual value/assessed annual value is the current value of a property’s net annual rent. In Victoria by law, net annual value must be at least five per cent of the capital improved value for commercial property and exactly 5% of capital improved value for residential property while in Tasmania the assessed annual value is at least 4% for rural and



residential properties, while for commercial properties it will reflect the net rental value which is considered to be greater than 4%. In most jurisdictions the period within which to lodge an objection to the value used for rating is 60 days from the issue of the rates notice, or by the date listed on the notice as being the closing date for objections. There are other circumstances where a supplementary rates notice may be issued, but this is not so much an objection as the requirement for a re-valuation due to some change in the property characteristics. As with the rating procedure, each jurisdiction has a different format used for objection to the value used for rating purposes, but generally the details are shown on the back of the notice of rates. The most important item for an objection is the reason why you believe the value used is incorrect, and this is best supported by evidence of sales of similar properties. As all of you are no doubt aware, the value of vineyards and wineries (and some other property classes) has dropped over past years and some shire/councils have not transferred the drop in value on to their ratepayers. In many cases vineyards are showing no added value above land values, which may have also dropped in some areas. It can be difficult for a non-valuer to obtain the relevant information on sale prices, and this is where a CPV comes in handy. All valuers will have a database or access to a database of sales that can be used for rating objections of any type, be it vineyards or wineries, or residential properties and everything in between. Most valuers will be happy to assist you with the lodgement of an objection to your rating value and provide the sales evidence you may need to support your application.

Ben Rose is the principal advisor of Performance Viticulture ( and manager – rural and agribusiness at Opteon Property ( He has always been involved in wine and viticulture, growing up on the family’s Rising Vineyard in the Yarra Valley outside Melbourne. Ben graduated with first-class honours in Agricultural Science at Melbourne University and established Performance Viticulture in 1997. He is now also a certified practising valuer specialising in wine industry assets, specialist rural properties and agribusiness valuations. Phone: 0418 836 773 or email:

more jobs more winery positions more viticulture positions more industry positions MORE OFTEN… and listed with DailyWineNews

For further information contact Andrew Dawson at or by phoning +618 8369 9500 or post your ad online at

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40 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2012 – Issue 584

Warming enlarges stomata in Shiraz Victor Sadrasa, Amelia Montorob, Martin Morana, Pedro Aphaloc

TWO ASPECTS OF projected warming are important in viticulture: the increasing incidence of heat waves and the gradual increase in average temperature. In response to heat waves, wellwatered Shiraz increased stomatal conductance and transpiration1. When ambient temperature in heated treatments was increased by 4-5oC in relation to controls, evaporative cooling reduced the difference in canopy temperature between treatments to 1oC or less2. Figure 2. Frequency distribution of stomata size in Shiraz leaves developed under elevated In response to long-term warming temperature in comparison with controls. Adapted from reference (6). trends captured in field studies using open-top chambers, we also found that elevated temperature increased stomatal conductance of References 1 Soar, C. J., Collins, M. J. & Sadras, V. O. Irrigated Shiraz vines up-regulate well-watered Shiraz3. To further probe for mechanisms, we gas exchange and maintain berry growth under short spells of high maximum measured stomata density and stomata dimensions (Figure 1). temperature in the field Funct. Plant Biol. 36, 801-814 (2009). Leaves developed under warmer conditions had similar stomata 2 Sadras, V. O. & Soar, C. J. Shiraz vines maintain yield in response to a 2-4oC increase in density, but longer and wider stomata (Figure 2). Maintenance maximum temperature at key phenostages. Eur. J. Agron. 31, 250-258 (2009). of high stomatal conductance and evaporative cooling are 3 Sadras, V. O., Montoro, A., Moran, M. A. & Aphalo, P. J. Elevated temperature important mechanisms that protect, within limits, Shiraz altered the reaction norms of stomatal conductance in field-grown grapevine. Agric. Forest Meteorol. (2012). canopies from heat damage. With improved weather forecasts, Author affiliations: aSouth Australian Research and Development Institute, Waite irrigation shortly before a heat wave seems to be practical tool Campus, Australia, bInstituto Técnico Agronómico Provincial, Albacete, Spain, to reduce canopy damage. Larger stomata favouring evaporative c University of Helsinki, Finland cooling is a previously unnoticed mechanism that is likely to contribute to the adaptation of Shiraz in warmer futures.

Acknowledgements This work was funded by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Complementary State NRM Program. We thank T. Hebberman for vineyard management and the technical input of R. Bubner and S. Fuentes.

Reap the benefits of the best fruit Figure 1. Stomata on the surface of Shiraz leaf. Stomata density (number per mm2), size (length and width) and degree of opening regulate transpiration hence contributing to evaporative cooling and vine adaptation to elevated temperature. September 2012 – Issue 584

Bayer CropScience Pty Ltd ABN 87 000 226 022 391-393 Tooronga Rd, Hawthorn East, Vic. 3123 Technical enquiries: 1800 804 479 Basta® is a registered trademark of Bayer. * When used as directed. BCH0394/TF_A

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Study explores warming effect on grapevine yield in the Barossa Yield response to warming ranges from moderate reduction to large increase. Victor Sadras and Martin Moran

AS PART OF the project, ‘A window into hotter futures', funded by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, we established three field experiments that combined two temperature treatments, plus four varieties in experiment 1, two fruit loads in experiment 2 and two water regimes in experiment 3. Controls were compared with vines heated using open-top chambers described elsewhere.1,2 The own-rooted varieties in experiment 1 were Cabernet Franc clone Penfold 58 planted in 1988, Chardonnay clone 277 planted in 1995, Semillon clone LRC147 planted in 1989 and Shiraz clone NSW 15 planted in 1997. Experiment 2 used Shiraz (clone 1654) on Paulsen 1103 rootstock planted in 2004; fruit loads were untreated controls and thinned vines, where two-thirds (2011) or half (2012) of bunches were removed at phenological stage E-L 32. Experiment 3 used own-rooted Shiraz clone 1654 planted in 2004; water regimes were fully irrigated and water deficit after veraison. Temperature at mid-canopy level in the heated treatment was increased by 0.7-1.6oC in relation to controls. This compares with worst-case scenario modelling that predicts warming about 1.5-2oC by 20503.


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Acknowledgements This work was funded by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Complementary State NRM Program. We thank T. Hebberman for vineyard management and the technical input of R. Bubner.


1800 888 137 or (08) 8391 1688

Figure 1 compares the yield in heated and control vines. A total of 20 pair-wise comparisons results from the combination of seasons, varieties, water regimes and fruit loads. Significant effect of temperature was observed in six out of 20 cases, significant interaction of temperature and other sources of variation in four cases, and lack of temperature or interaction effect in 10 cases. The yield response to temperature was asymmetric: yield reductions were smaller and largely not significant compared with the larger and often significant yield enhancement. The effects of warming on plant growth and yield depend on the prevailing temperatures of each particular location: warming is more likely to reduce yield in hot locations and more likely to enhance yield in cool locations. The Barossa Valley, where we conducted our experiments, is an intermediate region in comparison to the Riverland, a characteristic hot region, and the Coonawarra, a cooler region. However, the hot tail in the frequency distribution of seasonal temperature in the Barossa overlaps with the cool tail in the Riverland, and the cool tail in the Barossa overlaps with the hot tail in the Coonawarra4. Hence, interpretation of the yield responses in these experiments, and extrapolation to other environments needs to consider both the background temperature and the frequency distribution of thermally contrasting seasons in particular locations. In the first season of treatments (2009-10 for experiment 1, and 2010-11 for experiments 2 and 3), we found no effect of temperature on yield in any of the three trials whereas the largest temperature effect was recorded in 2011-12. These seasonal differences are associated with two factors. Firstly, bunch number is the main source of variation in grapevine yield and this trait is largely defined in the previous season, hence the lack of yield response to temperature in the first season of treatments. Indeed, bunch number response to temperature accounted for 92 per cent of the variation in yield response to temperature in our study. Secondly, the effects of warming on plant growth and yield depend on the background temperature. The spring was cool in 2010 compared with 2009 and 2011. During this period, current season inflorescences and flowers develop and fruitset is established, and the inflorescence primordia of next season are formed. Hence, warming substantively enhanced the formation of inflorescence primordia during the relatively cool 2010-11, as reflected in the number of bunches and total yield in two out of three experiments in 2011-12. In conclusion, future warming in intermediate regions like the Barossa will possibly cause moderate yield reduction to considerable yield increase depending on the temperature in the previous and current season

Victor Sadras and Martin Moran, SARDI, Waite Campus

September 2012 – Issue 584

Yield heated (kg per vine)


exp. 1


exp. 2

Cab Franc 2010

Shiraz, thinned 2011

Cab Franc 2011

Shiraz, unthinned 2011

Cab Franc 2012

Shiraz, thinned 2012

Chardonnay 2010

Shiraz, unthinned 2012

Chardonnay 2011 Chardonnay 2012 Semillon 2010 Semillon 2011


Semillon 2012 Shiraz 2010

exp. 3 Shiraz, irigated 2011 Shiraz, deficit 2011 Shiraz, irrigated 2012 Shiraz, deficit 2012

Shiraz 2011 Shiraz 2012






Yield control (kg per vine) Figure 1. Comparison of fruit yield between vines exposed to elevated temperature and untreated controls in three experiments in the Barossa Valley. Yield was measured in 21 vines (3 replicates x 7 vines per replicate per treatment). The diagonal line represents lack of difference between treatments; data below the line indicate reduction in yield and data above the line indicate increase in yield in response to warming. Error bars are two standard errors.


Sadras, V. O. & Soar, C. J. Shiraz vines maintain yield in response to a 2-4 oC increase in maximum temperature at key phenostages. Eur. J. Agron. 31, 250258 (2009).


Sadras, V. O., Bubner, R. A. & Moran, M. A. A large-scale, open-top system to increase temperature in realistic vineyard conditions. Agric. Forest Meteorol. 154–155, 187–194 (2012).




Sadras, V. O. & Petrie, P. R. Climate shifts in south-eastern Australia: early maturity of Chardonnay, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon is associated with early onset rather than faster ripening. Austr. J. Grape Wine Res. 17, 199-205 (2011).

Webb, L. B., Whetton, P. H. & Barlow, E. W. R. Modelled impact of future climate change on the phenology of grapevines in Australia. Austr. J. Grape Wine Res. 13, 165-175 (2007).

ASVO Awards for Excellence open for nomination The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) proudly launched its awards for excellence at its recent seminar in Mildura, aimed at recognising professional excellence in viticulture, winemaking and research. ASVO members are invited to apply for these awards, which will reward those individuals who have demonstrated technical and industry excellence in their field of expertise. The ASVO is offering three award categories to recognise dedicated wine industry professionals: • ‘Paper of the year’ is sponsored by the GWRDC and is open to all scientific papers published in the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research • ‘Viticulturist of the year’ sponsored by Bayer Crop Sciences and ‘Winemaker of the year’ which are open to ASVO members. • The ‘Viticulturist of the year’ and ‘Winemaker of the year’ awards are open to all financial ASVO members at the date of the award submission. Members may enter themselves or be nominated by a third party. “I invite you to enter in the ASVO Wine Industry Excellence Awards,” ASVO president Paul Petrie said. “I wish you all the very best and look forward to congratulating all the entrants, and the winners, on 21 November at a dinner at Enoteca, as part of the ASVO Sustainability and Efficiency seminar.” September 2012 – Issue 584

Take the smarter approach to crop safety Bayer CropScience Pty Ltd ABN 87 000 226 022 391-393 Tooronga Rd, Hawthorn East, Vic. 3123 Technical enquiries: 1800 804 479 Basta® is a registered trademark of Bayer. BCH0394/TF_C

Grapegrower & Winemaker




Implementing a successful spray programme relies on a number of factors, including good preparation, planning and management. It is equally important to understand the ideal spray timing for certain products in order to achieve optimal results. Applying fungicides too late in the disease cycle will likely result in poor control, an increased risk of developing disease resistance and a reduced return on your investment.

Some systemic products such as RIDOMIL GOLD PLUS have both protectant and post-infection properties. As per the label, RIDOMIL GOLD PLUS is a highly effective preventative spray for downy mildew and would ideally be applied as such. However, it is often used following an infection period. Timing here is critical. For RIDOMIL GOLD PLUS to be most effective it needs to be applied within a few days of the infection period, well prior to any visible symptoms. The incubation period for downy is temperature dependent and a single oilspot from a primary infection may take weeks to develop. After this primary incubation period, a mild humid night is all that is required for a secondary infection. This is when the vineyard becomes visibly covered in oilspots. This secondary infection is often the first notably visible sign of downy infection and by this stage the ideal timing for sprays has long gone. Phosphorous acid is also a systemic, post-infection fungicide, however it is not effective when applied preventatively. It is effective only when applied within a few days after a downy infection period. Note that phosphorous acid cannot generally be applied to grapes destined for export wine. Last season, the CropLife Resistance Management Guidelines for strobilurins (Group 11) has changed to limit their use to no more than two sprays. Strobilurins have been an important part of spray programmes for many years. This isn’t cause for unnecessary reaction. It is important that we utilise other products available to ensure we don’t over rely on any one particular ‘mode of action’ group. REVUS (Group 40) was registered for downy mildew control in 2011 and is listed in the AWRI Dog Book for use up to the end of flowering (refer to for the most up to date version). As an alternative mode of action to a strobilurin, REVUS could be tank mixed with THIOVIT JET (Group M2) or TOPAS (Group 3) for control of both powdery and downy mildew over the critical spring growth period up to the end of flowering.

Richard Lillingstone B.Ag.Sc. M.Oen Technical Lead - Viticulture Syngenta Crop Protection - 0407 868 697 For details, please call the Syngenta technical product advice line on 1800 067 108 or visit 44 Grapegrower & Winemaker

From TLC to chainsaw Senior winemaker at Buller wines David Darlow talks about the ongoing challenges of nurturing some of the oldest vines at the company’s Beverford vineyards, in northern Victoria. “THIS VINEYARD WAS planted in 1951. We converted to drip irrigation in 1996, though it was originally flood irrigated. The cordons are very low – over the years, on this subtle slope, we have had quite a significant soil migration. “The plus here is the fruit – it’s very stable, very consistent,” senior winemaker at Buller wines, David Darlow, said. “There is no problem with vigour, so what we concentrate on in the pruning of these very old vines is to make sure we deter congestion, which is going to cause disease problems down the line,’’ Darlow said. “We’ve done a lot of pruning cuts by electric pruning, because in the past a lot of the spur positions have migrated quite a long way up from where they were intended to be. I suspect a lot of this was pruned for a number of years with hand-held pruners, with the cuts being too hard and they were going for the easy option, the second-best option, and now we’re left with reduced options. However, we’ve got to make sure we encourage even growth. “The good thing is, we’ve got no problem with vigour, no problem with fruit quality and uniformity, assuming that we are actually pruning spurs upwards and not downwards on this very low trellis. We don’t really have a lot of problems with health and disease, assuming we are following spray regimes correctly.”

I’m not sure about the exact science of these vines, but they are so old it would take a nuclear bomb to kill them. David Darlow Buller Wines

Eutypa can be clearly seen, with nearby apricot orchards contributing to it. “Eutypa dieback has probably been here forever, but because these are original plantings, there is no grafting, so there is no problem finding alternative pathways as they push to express the growth. To manage this, we go from the trunk and start again, remove the actual cordon affected by Eutypa and apply some cinesole and lay new canes.” The vineyard also has a significant termite problem. “Since we are not really keen to apply pesticide to control the termites, we will have to research options to control that naturally,” Darlow said. “In terms of Baume, if we’re at the critical stage where we’ve got Baume at 13 and we want to be making key decisions, we are quite happy that the Baume differential between the top and the bottom (of the block) is comfortably within 1Be, which is very good for these old vines. “You can see the trellis doesn’t mean anything – if you’ve had a post leaning one day, the vine’s growing into the post. It’s not as if you can push it back! “But vigour’s good – last year’s internode length from the spur tells the story of the growth pattern. We had quite a warm spring last year and we are hoping to have a lot more fruiting buds going into this season.

September 2012 – Issue 584

Buller Wines senior winemaker David Darlow in the Beverford vineyard with Cabernet Sauvignon vines.

“It’s very important that the floor beneath the cordon is uniform, that we keep everything growing up – we are not on VSP, it’s just a single cordon, so the vines will grow up and sprawl over, then we will go along and clip it with shears so we can get the speckled light to the grape bunches and keep the airflow going through to reduce humidity.” One key aspect of running this vineyard is that the soil is sandy loam. “If we get 10mm of rain you can’t get on the land for two days. Last year we got 30, 40, 50 or 60mm of rain and couldn’t get on for 10 days – you can’t access it, you can’t get a tractor on here. You can’t get any machinery here, so you need to make sure you have got the natural deterrents for powdery, downy and subsequent botrytis, which are things like clearing the canopy, clearing the floor, relieving congestion and achieving better penetrability with any fungicides which you need to apply – these are the key tasks,” Darlow said. “What we have experienced here with Cabernet Sauvignon is a cycle of vegetative growth. There is no problem with growth here, it’s a lot stronger but the vegetation is crowding the ability to maintain fruitful bud numbers. The vines are huge, they just go on forever. “The little block down here that was pruned, we have literally chainsawed and rewired – and relaid canes – that’s a work in progress. “These vines are a result of chainsawing the two side cordons and leaving a selection of buds from which to grow out from 2012-13 from which we would have more options in 2013 to lay more canes. “In hindsight we probably should have laid a double cordon to actually displace the growth, but the time and money was not there.” Vines that were cut back to the bone have compensated with strong growth, as the crew aimed to have more options to lay more permanent canes, through chainsawing the previous year and also rewiring. Since they grow so thickly, there is no need to tie down, which also avoids strangling vines. “Where possible, we’ve tried to train the new canes as true as we can from the upright trunk position within its given 2.5 meter vine spacing, in order to facilitate even distribution of water and nutrients to the vine. Some old vines, however, have trunks that September 2012 – Issue 584

have migrated somewhat diagonally which encroach on the next vines space. You have to be a bit creative,” Darlow said. “We have some done some replacements with Cabernet grafted on Schwartzman which is good for sandy soil and for termite resistance,” he said. “I’m not sure about the exact science of these vines but they are so old it would take a nuclear bomb to kill them.”

Safe all round* Bayer CropScience Pty Ltd ABN 87 000 226 022 391–393 Tooronga Rd, Hawthorn East, Vic. 3123 Technical enquiries: 1800 804 479 Basta® is a registered trademark of Bayer. *When used as directed. BCH0394/TF_B

Grapegrower & Winemaker


grapegrowing grapegrower

Matt Duggan is a New Zealand viticulturist for Treasury Wine Estates (TWE),

based in Marlborough, and recently won the honours at the regional Markhams Young Viticulturist of the Year competition. After finishing school in Lower Hutt, Duggan moved to Dunedin to study a Bachelor of Science (Microbiology) at Otago University, before he started working for a global biotechnology company. In 2009, Duggan completed a graduate diploma in Viticulture and Oenology. Since then, he has worked with Delegat’s Wine Estate (DWE) and TWE in viticultural and technical supervisory roles.

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

I was studying in Dunedin when my family moved to Marlborough. In 2006, half-way through my degree, I was unsure what career path I wanted to pursue, so I took some time off to reflect and assess the direction I wanted to head in. During this time I worked a vintage at Villa Maria in Marlborough, in the lab. Working closely with the winemakers and viticulturists sparked my passion for the industry and provided me with the career direction I was seeking. I then returned to Dunedin to finish my Microbiology degree before undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology, which I completed in 2009. I started my career with DWE in the same year and I was initially employed as a graduate, but quickly moved into the role of technical supervisor. Today I find myself in the role of technical supervisor at TWE and absolutely love it! What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most or get the most satisfaction from?

I am thoroughly enjoying the challenges my role at TWE is giving me and the opportunities to build up and develop my own management skills and style to complement my technical viticulture background. I am constantly trying to upskill in all areas of viticulture, from vineyard operations through to seasonal planning and technical ability. Who do you think is the most influential person in the Australasian wine industry today?

The pruners! With the supply-demand curve starting to move in a positive direction, achieving the required tonnes to meet demand is paramount to maintaining good relationships with buyers and, ultimately, consumers. If we can’t meet that demand, someone else will. We don’t want all the hard work of our marketers and sales people to go to waste because we can’t meet the demand they have generated. In the vineyard it’s crucial that we get the job done right from the start, at pruning time. What is your favourite time in the vineyard, and why?

The first day of harvest always has something special about it. Standing on

46 Grapegrower & Winemaker

the back of a truck as the gondola dumps the first load, the smell of ripe fruit coupled with the sense of anticipation, of what is to come over the following weeks, just seems to get that buzzing feeling going. I love it! Tell us about your most winetasting experience.


A Bledisloe cup of Shiraz versus Syrah – a taste-off between Australian Shiraz and New Zealand Syrah that I took part in as part of my university studies – at that stage I was a relative novice when it came to winetasting, but the fine detail of the New Zealand wines left me with a lasting appreciation of the elegant and delicate wines New Zealand is capable of producing. What do you like to do when you’re not working in vineyards?

I am a very active person and I enjoy a wide array of sports: rugby, fishing, free diving, spear fishing, golf, cricket – anything that gets me active and having fun! I also enjoy socialising with friends and family, especially when it comes to occasions where we are sharing good food and wine.

“It is a great way to keep informed and up to date on the latest industry trends and news. It allows insight into the industry around Australasia, and exposure to areas of the industry that may otherwise go unnoticed by individuals in their own small sections of the local wine industry,” says Duggan about Grapegrower & Winemaker.

What keeps you awake at night?

My son, Jacob. He’s 10 months old. Need I say more? How do you de-stress after vintage?

Fishing and diving, followed by a feed of fresh seafood and a few brews with friends and family. What was the last big-ticket equipment purchase you made for your business? Would you recommend the equipment to colleagues?

I’m going to say something that I haven’t purchased personally, but would wholeheartedly support my company buying in the near future: the KLIMA. The KLIMA is a stripper and mulcher in one that can be used on cane pruned grapevines, significantly reducing pruning costs. What has been the best business decision you’ve made for your business?

Accepting my role with the company (TWE) as technical supervisor. I have only been with the company for less than six months, so my most significant business decisions are yet to come.

From a research and development perspective, is there one single piece of research in the wine industry that has really influenced you or your directions in viticulture?

Not so much in current R&D, but the ability to look back and apply old viticulture practices (not widely used in Marlborough) such as split canopy trellising systems (Scott Henry, Smart Dyson etc). Some people get caught up in particular ways of doing things and when those ways fail them they begin looking for new ways to do things. Often if we are wise, we can recognise that someone, somewhere, has probably encountered the same challenges we currently face and may have already developed a solution. The Ark question. The world is flooding – which two wines (white and red) would you take onto the Ark?

A rounded Marlborough Chardonnay with a nice hint of oak due to the fact that I would be wanting to take a barrel, rather than just one bottle. Who knows how long I will be on the Ark, right? As for a red, the finest Hawkes Bay Syrah I could get my hands on, also by the barrel! September 2012 – Issue 584

spring vineyard management 130-year-old Grampians vineyard delays pruning Due to the threat of late frosts, Tom Guthrie of Grampians Estate at Great Western, Victoria, keeps a close watch on the weather forecasts at this time of the year. With temperatures potentially plummeting below freezing it is necessary to delay pruning on the old Shiraz vines at Grampians Estate, at Great Western, until September. A local contractor, Andrew Toomey is employed to implement the spray program and keep the vineyard maintenance ticking along. He is well versed with vineyard needs since he boasts a strong wine industry heritage. His father Mike was a former vineyard manager at Seppelt Great Western many decades ago and, coincidentally, Andrew is now taking care of the Grampians Estate vineyard, which includes vines that were part of the old Seppelt Garden Gully vineyard – the source of some iconic Seppelt wines. There are always plenty of jobs to do in the springtime and Toomey keeps an eye out for any problems. He reckons it’s all about staying one step ahead. Pruning is left until mid-September to avoid potential frost damage. “The last time we had a really cold snap was back in 2009,” Toomey said. “Especially down in the valley, the frost is much heavier. We’ve had a couple of good years since then.” Frost control measures include slashing the mid-row and doing a weedicide run in the vine row to reduce growth of grass and weeds and effectively lower the level of freezing air to below the sensitive new buds.

Grampians Estate vineyard diary Prior to budburst: • complete Shiraz pruning • weedicide vine lines • slashing for frost control.

Budburst to flowering: • slashing for frost • early sprays to target powdery/phomopsis – aim for four sprays at 14-day intervals.  

Flowering/fruitset to veraison: • slash as required to reduce frost risk at this site until early November • spray to target powdery/downy/botrytis • treat Riesling for botrytis • aim for two-three sprays during this period at 14-day intervals.

Tom Guthrie from Grampians Estate with viticultural contractor, Andrew Toomey in the vineyard at Great Western.

This also allows the sun to shine on the ground for a bit of welcome warmth. Budburst is expected around mid-September and early sprays will be applied on a fortnightly cycle to inhibit any encroachment of powdery or phomopsis, starting a couple of weeks after budburst. Locals consider that the frost risk runs through until Melbourne Cup Day, or the first week in November – and these very late frosts have the potential to bring substantial damage. “With an early frost there is still potential to recover,” Toomey said. “So we continue with the slashing program,” he said. “And with these very old vines, there’s a fair bit of eutypa or dieback. There’s a patch there that’s actually on rootstocks – they grow a lot better than the block near the winery. “As far as nutrition goes, we like to grow on the lean side – it’s pretty good fruit here. “We don’t water them much, we might give them a couple of waterings during the season, that’s all.” September 2012 – Issue 584

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spring vineyard management

Sustainable pest control – now and in a changing climate With warmer temperatures potentially promoting changes in vineyard pest impacts, pest control becomes more important than ever. Linda Thomson, Michael Nash, Angela Corrie, Ian Smith and Ary Hoffmann

Summary Increased temperature associated with climate Pest & change may lead to changes in vineyard Disease pests, including in their distribution, generation and emergence times. While we have tools at our disposal to assist in predictions, information from growers remains crucial to understanding these changes and their implications for the industry. There are lots of natural enemies in every vineyard and there is no doubt that these make a major contribution to pest control: how large is in the hands of growers. Natural enemy contribution to pest control under climate change can be enhanced by continued commitment from growers for their support with sensitive chemical use and provision of resources.

Insect pests: • affect production costs and crop loss the profile of mite pests is lower now than in the past • effects often go unrecognised and indirect effects are underestimated – especially effects attributed to viruses transmitted by pest vectors • industry has invested significantly in sustainable control of pests by natural enemies • there are lots of natural enemies in every vineyard – there is no doubt that natural enemies DO make a

major contribution to pest control, depending on management • pest and natural enemy distributions and life histories may change with climate change • natural enemies can offer protection when pest pressures are unpredictable, including during exotic incursions.

Sustainable pest control – now Pests: Analysis of economic data on the cost of pest and disease control and production loss confirms what growers know – diseases are the biggest problem (and cost) in growing grapes, but pests also make a substantial direct contribution. Lightbrown apple moth is the most important insect pest, followed by weevils, trunk insects, mealybugs and scale all of which can have a severe impact in some regions or in particular seasons (see Table 1). Viruses vectored by insects, especially leafroll viruses, increase the potential impact of insect pests. For example, the most widespread virus in Australian and New Zealand grapevines are the group of viruses called grapevine leafroll viruses (GLRaVs): several GLRaVs are spread between vines by mealybugs and scale, increasing the cost of these insects to the industry and highlighting the importance of effective control. A single mealybug may transmit leafroll virus to a healthy plant. Leafroll is one of the most important virus diseases of grapevines, with infected vines less

vigorous than healthy vines, significant yield loss (up to 30-50%) and effects on fruit including delayed ripening. Production may be influenced without grower awareness as infected vines do not always show symptoms (Fuchs 2007).

Natural enemies A diverse range of natural enemies contributes to control of vineyard pests (Figure 1) with hundreds of natural enemies of insect pests present in well managed vineyards. Predators are perhaps the most visible reminder of pest control activity: these include spiders stalking prey on the ground and in the canopy, stretching huge webs between rows to tiny webs within developing bunches, ground beetles (carabids), large rove beetles (staphylinids) on the ground and tiny mite-eating rove beetles in the canopy, colourful ladybird beetles (coccinellids), a range of predatory flies including the fascinating hoverflies (Syrphidae) appearing to fly yet stationary as they ‘hover’, while predatory midges (Cecidomyiidae), swarms of brown and green lacewings are seen around lights on a summer evening, along with predatory bugs, and even some predatory thrips. Predatory mites are tiny, like their prey ,but are essential to the control of bunch, bud, blister, rust and twospotted mites. Most parasitoids are really small and hence less obvious pest control agents in the vineyard. For example, Trichogramma, the egg parasitoid of light




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spring vineyard management Table 1. Mean national economic impact of vineyard pests (derived from Scholefield et al. 2010). Pest Industry Rank

Financial Estimate Rank

1,2, 4


Fungal diseases* LBAM Viruses/transmissible organisms


– Garden weevil named


Trunk Insects Fig longicorn and elephant weevil




Mealybugs and scale


Mean national economic impact $m/annum 191









severe but localised impact in WA



Severe but localised impact Hunter Valley, Langhorne Creek (etc?)






* Downy and powdery mildews and botrytis.

brown apple moth, is one of the world’s smallest insects yet can achieve high levels of parasitism of eggs laid. There many other wasp parasitoids attacking eggs, larvae and pupae of vineyard pests, and also fly parasitoids like the tachinid fly attacking lightbrown apple moth caterpillars. The predatory potential of some common vineyard residents can be unrecognised: recent video analysis from New Zealand confirmed European earwigs as important predators of lightbrown apple moth larvae in the canopy (Frank et al. 2007) and ants are predators of lightbrown apple moth eggs. A couple of examples demonstrate the high diversity of natural enemies that can attack a single pest in a vineyard. Lightbrown apple moth has 26 different parasitoid species attacking eggs, caterpillars and pupae in addition to a long list

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of predators: spiders, earwigs, ladybird beetles, predatory bugs, carabid beetles, staphylinid beetles, brown and green lacewings and ants. A recent detailed survey of scale in vineyards revealed a similarly wide range of natural enemies: green lacewings, ladybird beetles, larvae of other beetles such as the Carabidae, wasp egg parasitoids and predators and another surprising predator, the scale-eating caterpillar of the moth Mataeomera dubia (Rakimov 2010). Predators and parasitoids not only have potential to decrease the need for pesticide applications, but are especially important in control of the pests that are difficult to access. Light brown apple moth are protected in their webbed leaf rolls and in developing bunches; adult scale and mealybugs not only hide under bark or in fence posts, but also have protective outer coverings which are difficult for pesticides to penetrate; cane boring larvae of weevils and other trunk borers are protected within canes. For much of their lifecycles, mites are protected under leaves or in leaf buds.

Increasing abundance and diversity of natural enemies in the vineyard There are two essentials to increasing the role natural enemies can play in pest control in a well-managed vineyard: limiting chemical stress and providing resources. Pest control is provided by chemicals and natural enemies HOWEVER … “Chemical control of the pests and diseases can be potentially hazardous for predators” (Nicholas et al. 2007) and there are many observations linking pest problems with pesticide use, such as “Outbreaks of scale and mealybug are encouraged by overuse of insecticides which reduces predatory insect populations "(beneficials)" (GWR 08/04). Decreased predation of lightbrown apple moth eggs is seen with increased chemical stress (Figure 2a, see page 52). Though the use of chemicals may be necessary, chemicals differ in their impacts on beneficials, including natural enemies and selection of chemicals known to have less impact, while still providing pest control, will support increased natural enemy populations. There are many sources of information on chemical effects on beneficials and we have provided a tool for grower use to provide easy access to this diverse information on a website of chemical data (IMPACT for viticulture: Invertebrate Management of Potential Agro-Chemical Toxicity: maximising your beneficial bugs, at ( manage) together with a recently published Innovators Network Factsheet† ‘Pesticide impacts of beneficial species’ and published information (Thomson and Hoffmann 2006a; 2007).

Resources By providing resources such as shelter, overwintering sites, alternative hosts and food sources from pollen and nectar,

September 2012 – Issue 584




Figure 1. Common natural enemies occurring in vineyards (a) a small spider waits in a leaf web, (b) predatory ladybird beetle Cryptolaemus montrouzieri: especially valuable mealybug predator (‘mealybug destroyer') but also eats other pests (c) a parasitoid of lightbrown apple moth pupae. (Photos: Clare D’Alberto and Michael Nash).

vegetation can influence invertebrates present not only in the vegetation itself, but also in the vineyard. Opportunities for provision of resources include vegetation in the vineyard midrow, woody vegetation planted adjacent to vines as ‘insectaries’, shelterbelts or remnants or even at the wider landscape scale. As invertebrates affected by vegetation include natural enemies controlling vineyard pests, vegetation has the

potential to lead to increased numbers of natural enemies within the vines and improved pest control (Thomson and Hoffmann 2006b, 2008, 2010a) (Figure 1b). There are many opportunities to increase vegetation within and around a vineyard, and analysis shows that the increase in abundance of natural enemies within the vines can potentially cover the cost of establishing vegetation, with benefits resulting from 100m of vegetation being


as high as $8000 (Thomson and Hoffmann 2010b). However, care needs to be taken to ensure that vegetation does not harbour pest invertebrates and birds. Midrow and undervine planting can also provide resources for invertebrates, increasing the abundance of natural enemies and control of pests such as lightbrown apple moth (Fig. 1c) (Thomson et al. 2009; Innovators Network Factsheet † Native cover crops in viticulture).

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spring vineyard management Sustainable pest control in a changing climate

Current pests as future pests To consider the potential impact of grape pests under a changed climate, there are three questions we might ask: • will there be changes in distribution? • will there be changes in vine and pest phenology such that more damaging interactions will potentially occur? • are there potential changes in vines that make them more vulnerable to attack?

Distribution Predictions of changes in distribution of both pests and natural enemies are

egg predation (arcsine transformed)



Thomson & Hoffmann 2006

0.60 0.40 0.20 0.00 -0.20

egg predation (arcsine transformed)

Temperature is a principal determinant of where an organism can live, hence, it is anticipated that climate change will bring direct changes in pest distributions and changes in natural enemy distributions as insects respond to temperature changes (Thomson and Hoffmann 2010c). There may also be changes in pest and natural enemy life cycles (generation times, times of emergence) in response to temperature, and changes in abundance of invertebrates in response to shifts in vine management including the potential adoption of new varieties, clones or rootstocks, changes in water availability and management potentially leading to changes in vine ‘stress’ and implications. Management may also be affected by increasing industry and external demands for ‘sustainability’ and reduced ‘environmental footprint’ increasing pressure on the industry for changes including reducing chemical input and increasing non-crop vegetation.






8 10 12 chemical metric




















0.0 No vegetation adjacent

Remnant vegetation adjacent

Shelterbelt vegetation adjacent






Thomson et al. (2009) Thomson & Hoffmann 2010 Fig. 2. Lightbrown apple moth egg predation in the vine canopy increases with (a) decreased chemical toxicity, (b) with shelterbelts of remnant vegetation adjacent to the vineyard and (c) with midrows planted to native grasses.

are predicted from current distributions, there is a need for accurate current distribution records. Two examples illustrate the impact of good records on outcomes for the industry, lightbrown apple moth and mealybugs. Due to its

possible using current distribution data and models. The models can help predict where pests will occur in future and model predictions are improved by direct measures of the temperature limits of the organisms. As future distributions

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September 2012 – Issue 584

economic importance in grapes and other crops and availability of extensive records, lightbrown apple moth was one of the early pests selected for modelling (Sutherst 2000). This early exercise and subsequent work by us indicates that its pest status may decrease in some areas (Thomson and Hoffmann 2011). In contrast, mealybug records are sparse. The three species commonly occurring in vineyards are often recorded simply as ‘mealybugs’, hence, accurate mapping of the distribution of each of the species is difficult. Our field surveys (2011-2012) observed mixed populations at all sites visited, with a minimum of two species at most sites. Mealybugs are an economic problem in grape vines not Figure 3. Correlative modeling of lightbrown apple moth distribution (a) current (from Sutherst only because of direct damage to the crop 2000) and (b) predicted (Thomson and Hoffmann 2010c). and costs for their control, but also their role in transmitting grapevine leafroll viruses. Overseas, ‘mealybugs have Development time, emergence time especially the number of generations pest become increasingly important vineyard and number of generations per year breeds in a year and their emergence time pests – a result of their direct damage (Table 2, page 55). Some pests like fig Distribution changes may not be the to the vine, their role in transmitting longicorn have one generation per year. only or even the most important affect grapevine leafroll viruses and the cost for There may be a narrow window for control of climate change on vineyard pests. their control ...’ (Kent Daane, IPM Davis of these types of pests depending on the Climate (especially temperature) not only California). Input from growers has the presence of the most susceptible stage. influences where a species can live, but potential to greatly improve knowledge of Other pests have multiple generations also phenologies and entire life cycles. occurrence of each species, contributing per year and this can mean variation Insect development time is determined 2 7 5 3 Ca p t a n 1 3 0 x 1 8 5 _ G. p d f Pa ge 1 1 4 / 0 8 / 1 2 , 1 1 : 0 4 : 4 1 AM to accurate current distributions and in appearance of the vulnerable stage by temperature leading to changes in life hence, accuracy of future predictions. for control, as well as more generations cycles with implications for pest control,

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spring vineyard management for pest build up in the future. Longtailed mealybug currently has 3-4 generations per year, depending on temperature, so that crawlers will be emerging at different times. For some pests, different species may have different life cycles: the most commonly occurring scale (71% of vineyards recently surveyed Rakimov 2010), grapevine scale (Parthenolecanium persicae), has a single generation per year, with nymphs emerging in different regions from October to November, whereas the soft brown scale (Coccus hesperidum) has several generations per year, 4-5 in northern Australia but only 2-4 in southern Australia. Soft brown scale occurs in 9% of the vineyards surveyed by Rakimov (2010): what would be the consequences of a wider distribution of this multivoltine scale? Lightbrown apple moth can have two to five generations per year, depending on region. This is reflected in costs of control: currently growers in Tasmania report cost of control $23/ha/year compared with $80/ha/year in the warmer Riverland (GWR 08/04). How much will control costs rise if the number of generations in Tasmania is increased? Timing of chemical applications to the most vulnerable or exposed stage of a pest is important for successful treatment. For mealybugs, mites and scale, the newly hatched first instars or ‘crawlers’ can be accessed while dispersing. Fig longicorn and vine borer larvae are exposed before tunnelling into vine canes, and spraying targets black vine weevil adults in the window following emergence and before egglaying. Control will be enhanced by accurate knowledge of life cycles at different locations. For some pests with a single generation each year (Table 2) the adult stage is the most vulnerable stage, while for others, emerged larvae or nymphs can be the most vulnerable. If access for control is limited or control is improved by targeting vulnerable stages, knowledge of local emergence times may be required.

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A suite of other effects may result from changes in generation time. Overall abundance of pests may increase if there are more generations. Changes in both generation time and emergence time may result in pests becoming associated with a different stage of crop development, especially if changes in crop phenology do not synchronise with those of the pest. Accurate monitoring and pest-keeping records will become more important in detecting these changes and keeping the industry informed of potential problems.

Vine stress There is clearly potential for climate change to induce changes in vines that will increase their vulnerability to pests. Stressed vines may be more susceptible to trunk boring insects. This suggests that research into optimising irrigation benefits on vine growth may have added benefits of protecting vines from trunk insects. Our preliminary modelling, using available pest records, indicates that rainfall may have a strong influence on potential distribution of trunk boring pests, including fig longicorn, elephant weevil, vine weevil and common auger beetle. The economic impact of trunk boring insects is greatest in ‘warm dry’ regions. Does this suggest the impact may become greater under the hotter and drier conditions predicted with climate change in many regions?

Exotic pests Climate change is predicted to lead to an increase in number of successful invasions (beyond what might be expected due to increased travel). Four insect pests are recognised as high priority security pests of viticulture, two mealybugs (vine and grape) and the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS). The impact of the GWSS is due to its role as a vector of the devastating Pierce’s Disease. Exotic threats to vineyards can occur because of the arrival of a new pest carrying a new disease, or due to replacement of one pest by another within a complex. Comparison of an Australian native mealybug, longtailed mealybug, to one of the potentially invasive exotics, the vine mealybug Planococcus ficus illustrates this latter point. Vine mealybug is a highly successful invader originating in the Crimea but now a major pest throughout Europe and the Americas. Longtailed mealybug has been resident in California since at least 1933; it remains limited to central coast vineyards, where it has three generations a year. In contrast, the vine mealybug was first identified in California in the Coachella Valley in the early 1990s. It has since spread into California’s San Joaquin Valley and central coast regions, with new infestations reported each year. Vine mealybug’s 4-7 generations per year in much of California’s grapegrowing regions are resulting in rapid population growth, making it particularly damaging and difficult to control. It is also potentially a more efficient vector of leafroll viruses, with viruses now of more concern in regions where vine mealybug occurs (Daane et al. 2008).

Final remarks Progress towards an accurate predictive framework for future changes in economically important vineyard pests under climate change and other drivers will require accurate information on current pest distributions and current outbreaks. This means accurate pest monitoring and record keeping along with support services for pest identification. Accurate records may allow potential changes in pest life cycles to be detected with implications for shifting control recommendations. Awareness of current pests provides some protection from exotic pest incursions. Information from growers is crucial to understanding pest changes. Addition to distribution data will greatly improve the accuracy of prediction of distribution changes and monitoring will improve our understanding of changes in emergence

September 2012 – Issue 584

Table 2. Summary of trunk insect and weevil life history information commonly occurring in vineyards (data from references listed). Pest

Life cycle



Fig longicorn

Single generation


Larvae 4-5 weeks before tunnelling

Fruit tree and vine borers

Single generation

Late spring-summer

Larvae before tunnelling into wood?

Black vine weevil native of Europe, now confirmed Victoria, Tasmania and WA

One generation every 1-3 years

Mid-November-late December

Window of 3 weeks to apply chemicals when adults emerge to prevent egg laying

Lightbrown apple moth

2-5 generations


Chemical application most effective after eggs have hatched but before caterpillars > 3-5 mm when they start building shelters

Grapevine scale*

Single generation


As mobile nymphs (‘crawlers’)

Soft brown scale*

In northern Australia four to five overlapping generations per year, while in the southern States there may be 2 to 4 generations per year


As mobile nymphs (‘crawlers’)

Longtailed mealybug

3-4 generations


As mobile nymphs (‘crawlers’)

Vine mealybug§

4-7 generations in California


As mobile nymphs (‘crawlers’)

*Rakimov 2010. §Daane et al 2008

time and generation time. At the same time, natural enemy contribution to pest control under climate change, as currently, can be enhanced by continued commitment from growers for their support with sensitive chemical use and provision of resources.

their investment body. † Innovators Network Factsheets can be accessed at the GWRDC website http:// www.gwr



Daane, K. M., Cooper, M. L., Triapitsyn, S. V., Walton, V. M., Yokota, G. Y., Haviland, D. R., Bentley, W. J., Godfrey, K. E. and Wunderlich, L. R. (2008) Vineyard managers and researchers seek sustainable solutions for mealybugs, a changing pest complex. California Agriculture, 62: 167-176.

Frank, S.D., Wratten, S.D., Sandhu, H.S. and Linda Thomson (primary author, email Shrewsbury, P.M. (2007) Video analysis to determine, Michael Nash, how habitat strata affects predator diversity and predation of Epiphyas postvittana. Biological Control Angela Corrie, Ian Smith and Ary Acknowledgements 41, 230-236. Hoffmann, Bio21 Institute, Zoology This research was funded by the Grape Fuchs, M.F. (2007). Grape leafroll disease. Cornell Department, University of Melbourne, and Wine Research and Development 3 1 0 4 8 _ v 1 C R T _ N u f a r mH . p d f Pa ge 1 1 4 / 0 6 / 1 2 , 9 : 3 University 1 A M Integrated Pest Management. www. Parkville VIC, 3010 Corporation with support from Australia’s grape_leafroll.pdf grapegrowers and winemakers through

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September 2012 – Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker


spring vineyard management GWR 08/04 (2010) Final Report Assessment of Economic Cost of Endemic Pest & Diseases on Australian Grape & Wine Industry. Nicholas, P., Magarey, P. and Wachtel, M. Eds (2007) Diseases and Pests. Grape Production Series Number 1.Winetitles, Adelaide. Rakimov, A. (2010) Aspects of the biology, ecology and biological control of soft scale insects (Coccidae) in Australian vineyards. PhD Thesis Zoology Department, University of Melbourne. Scholefield, P., Loschiavo, A., Morison, J. and Ferris, M. (2010) True cost of pest and disease. Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 38th Annual Technical Issue: 6-9. Sutherst, R.W. (2000) Pests and pest management: impact of climate change. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. Thomson, L.J., Danne, A., Sharley, D.J., Nash, M.A., Penfold, C.M. and Hoffmann, A.A. (2009) Native grass covercrops can contribute to pest control in vineyards. Australian Viticulture, 13: 54-58. Thomson, L.J., Nash, M. A. and Hoffmann A.A. (2009) Select low-impact chemicals to benefit natural insect enemies. Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower &Winemaker, 37th Annual Technical Issue: 17-20. Thomson, L.J. and Hoffmann, A.A. (2006a) Field validation of laboratory-derived IOBC toxicity ratings for natural enemies in commercial vineyards. Biological Control, 39: 507-515. Thomson, L.J. and Hoffmann, A.A. (2006b) The influence of adjacent vegetation on the abundance and distribution of natural enemies in vineyards. Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 51: 36-42. Thomson, L.J. and Hoffmann, A.A. (2007) Natural enemies of vineyard pests: enhancing natural enemy populations using IOBC ratings to help select pesticides. Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 516: 26-27. Thomson, L.J. and Hoffmann, A.A. (2008) Vegetation increases abundance of natural enemies of common pests in vineyards. Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 36th Annual Technical Issue: 34-37. Thomson, L.J. and Hoffmann, A.A.(2010a) Natural enemy responses and pest control: importance of local vegetation. Biological Control, 52: 160-166. Thomson, L.J. and Hoffmann, A.A. (2010b) Cost benefit analysis of shelterbelt establishment: Natural enemies can add real value to shelterbelts. Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 554: 38-44. Thomson, L.J. and Hoffmann, A.A. (2010c) Potential pest and natural enemy responses under climate change. Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 563: 30-32. Thomson, L.J. and Hoffmann, A.A. (2011) Trunk insects and weevils under climate stress and climate change. Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, 572: 64-70.

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56 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Awl nematode discovered in South Australia There are many nematode parasites of grapevine roots besides rootknot nematode, and the effects on vines are little understood. G. E. Walker

AWL NEMATODE (Neodolichodorus sp.) was detected in soil from two vineyards situated about 105km south-east of Adelaide, South Australia. The first vineyard had 12-year-old Chardonnay vines on own roots, while the second vineyard (situated about 8km from the first) had four-year-old Chardonnay vines on various rootstocks. As this was a new finding, and these large nematodes have high potential to be damaging, more detailed sampling was conducted in late autumn to determine the nematode distribution within these (drip-irrigated) vineyards. Related nematodes are known to be highly damaging overseas to a range of vegetables, field crops, turf and ornamentals; they damage roots, stunt plants and are favoured by moist, low-lying soils. The nematode was detected in 7 per cent of soil samples collected from the first vineyard, and the low population level detected (five nematodes per 100g of soil) was not associated with growth reduction of vines. However, higher population levels (up to 246 nematodes per 100g of soil; 46 nematodes per gram of roots) were detected in the second vineyard from an oval-shaped area of depressed vine growth identified over nine rows of vines on Paulsen 1103 rootstock. Similar areas of reduced vigour were not observed in adjacent vine rows in the same vineyard planted on Kober 5BB and Richter 99 rootstocks; the nematode was detected at a lower population (65 per 100g of soil) in soil from Kober 5BB, but was not detected in soil from Richter 99. Soil type over most of this vineyard is a loamy sand (86% sand, 10% silt, 4% clay; pH 7.6); vines had been planted on Richter 99 in heavier sandy clay loam soil at one end. Oats, field peas and lucerne had been grown before the field was redeveloped as a vineyard. There was an inverse relationship (correlation coefficient -0.67) between Awl nematode population and vine vigour, indicating that this nematode could be depressing vine growth in this second vineyard. Other plant parasitic nematodes were also present in these samples, however, their populations were either below estimated damage thresholds (stubby-root, spiral and lesion nematodes), or were lower on low-vigour vines (ring nematode). Soil pits were dug in representative rows for each vigour category; no relationship was found between the depth of sandy topsoil and vine vigour, and no other obvious cause for the depressed growth (other than the awl nematode population) could be found. A second sampling (in May) at the same vineyard similarly demonstrated a significantly higher Awl nematode population in low-vigour (109 per 100g of soil) compared with medium- and high-vigour vines (69 and 67 per 100g of soil respectively), indicating that the relationship was consistent and repeatable. However, a September sampling demonstrated that populations were low (14-19 per 100g of soil) in spring, and that autumn to early winter sampling dates were better for assessing differences in Awl nematode populations. These findings suggest Awl nematodes are damaging to vine growth. Populations over about 1 nematode per gram of soil may inhibit vine growth. G. E. Walker, senior research officer in Plant and Soil Health (Sustainable Systems), South Australian Research and Development Institute. Email: greg.

September 2012 – Issue 584

Top 10 tips for effective spraying AWRI senior viticulturist Marcel Essling

1. Use winter dormancy as a time for equipment maintenance so when things kick-off, everything is in good working order. This includes checking the spray unit calibrations. 2. Review your spray program from the previous season and ask yourself how it performed. If control of one disease or pest wasn’t adequate, how can it be improved next time? The three T’s rule of applying the right treatment at the right time using the right technique still holds true. From dormancy to harvest, vineyards go through a lot of changes. Accurately measuring the unit canopy row is important in determining the correct water volume to apply. Be prepared to modify the spray unit set-up in response to vine size and target (e.g. the bunch zone). Water and air volume as well as nozzle size and direction may need to change from one spray to the next. 3. You’ll most likely have a strategy in mind for how key pests and diseases will be managed before the season begins. This isn’t written in stone and

can be changed in response to weather conditions. This means shortening or stretching the spray interval in response to disease pressure. 4. Have a way to check your coverage. Test strips, florescent dye and particle film technology can tell you about your coverage and whether you are hitting the target. 5. Follow the label directions. Pesticide chemical labels contain important information about how to safely use products in accordance with legal requirements. When choosing chemicals, it goes without saying to consider the requirements of your grape purchaser and if you’re growing grapes for export, follow the recommendations in the AWRI’s ‘dogbook’. 6. An awareness of the potential for spray drift from your operations is important. Drift risk increases as temperature increases and decreases as relative humidity increases. Delta T (ΔT) is a measure that captures the combined effects of temperature and humidity, and indicates if conditions are suitable for spraying.

7. The impact your spray program might be having on beneficial insects can be easily tested using the CESAR Impact for Viticulture tool developed by the University of Melbourne. What you do to manage one pest may have consequences you didn’t think of. 8. Take care to match the water volume (before concentrate spraying) to the canopy size and keep in mind that some products need time to be absorbed into plant tissue in order to be effective. 9. Check the quality of the water you are mixing with (turbidity and pH are important) and before mixing different products, consult the manufacturer or on-seller for guidance. 10. Vineyard pests and diseases can develop resistance to some of the chemicals we apply in certain situations. Follow the strategies developed by CropLife Australia which are set out at the back of the AWRI’s ‘dogbook’ and if you suspect that you may have a resistance issue, contact your local Department of Primary Industries representative or the AWRI for further assistance.

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Insecticide September 2012 – Issue 584

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Grapegrower & Winemaker


spring vineyard management

Vineyard management a challenge during 2012 growing season Unusually cool summer weather brought a raft of problems to Marlborough vineyard managers. We look at how one viticulturist faced these issues as the seasons progressed. Stuart Dudley

Marlborough 2012: Pest and disease overview Marlborough had one of the coolest summers on record with the months of December, January and February all recording record or near record low temperatures and sunlight hours. Regular rains and a few new pest and disease challenges kept viticulturists on their toes. Knowing that Marlborough is cool enough in a normal year, a further 10% reduction in growing degree days did create a nervous finish to the season with frosts never far away. There were key times throughout the year where growers had to adapt and adjust to the way the season evolved.

Early season: September to November The start of the season was generally unsettled with regular rains, however, on the bright side it was frost-free, which is always the first hurdle. To begin the season many growers, especially those that had high disease pressure the previous year, are now using prebudburst application of lime sulphur, helping in cleaning up overwintering spores, as well as improving control of the erenium mite (blister mite). Once the buds burst, conditions were cooler than normal and shoot growth was relatively slow. Protection from both powdery and downy mildew could be obtained by regular protectant applications. The slower growth meant it was relatively easy to maintain cover on emerging tissue. It is crucial at this time before flowering to maintain cover as often fungal infections can be starting without showing symptoms until later in the season. Powdery mildew is everpresent and begins its life cycle at this time of year, often going unnoticed. The lower Awatere Valley was exposed to an early season threat, the Cape Campbell weta. Although they have been present for a few years, this season they were more widespread, causing damage by feeding on buds as they emerge, creating devastating losses for affected growers. There is work being done on how best to protect from this emerging

58 Grapegrower & Winemaker

threat, with the best option at present being the use of plastic guards on trunks, which they cannot climb.

Flowering: December-Early January The most challenging time in relation to crop protection in vintage 2012 was flowering. In recent memory Marlborough has had warm, relatively dry temperatures over the flowering period (late November through all December). This has effected two things; firstly reduced moisture in bunches leading to lower disease pressure, and secondly, the crucial time of risk (cap-fall) is short. This was not the case in 2012, with flowering taking three to four weeks (early December to January) in some varieties, including our flagship Sauvignon Blanc. The main question being asked by growers was what sprays to apply and when. Typically protectant sprays are applied at the beginning (5%) and end (80%) of capfall. My belief is that during a long flowering it is best to apply your protectants when they can best do their job ‌ protect. You are better to apply a protectant spray prior to an infection event, rather than hold off for a predetermined physiological growth stage to occur.

Although some botryticides on the market do claim to have eradicant properties, all indicate they are most effective before an infection has occurred. There were large Botrytis infection periods on 14-15 December and again on 29-31 December, therefore the most effective time to apply protectant sprays was just before these infection events. Unfortunately for many, this meant working through the Christmas holiday period

Mid Season: January-March Although December had a long and at times damp flowering, one benefit was that due to a poor fruitset, bunches remained looser than normal. For me, this does more for reducing disease pressure than any spray. Previous years have seen some blocks come under immense pressure from berries squeezing one another, splitting and becoming infected with botrytis. As well as this, often pre-bunch closure sprays were not put on in time and poor coverage was attained inside bunches. The pre-bunch closure spray represents the last time any product can get inside bunches, which is where most botrytis infections in Marlborough begin. I am

September 2012 – Issue 584

an advocate of going in early to ensure coverage, as often growth is moving very quickly and it is easy to miss the opportunity. This however was generally not an issue in 2012 due to the lack of berries leaving generally open bunches. Powdery mildew pressure through the middle of the season is always high in Marlborough, 2012 was especially so. Humid overcast conditions, little wind and low sunlight were typical from December to March. This meant that powdery mildew was ever-present and care needed to be taken to maintain cover. For me this is not necessarily a Figure 1. Growing degree days for Blenheim (courtesy Plant and Food Research, NZ). matter of the product as much as the timing. We have organic blocks situated created the primary infection. As many Downy mildew has not historically across the region and they had very growers had dropped appropriate downy been a problem in Marlborough; however little powdery incidence, as the timing mildew protectants out of their program with the regular rain events there was of sprays was done correctly. Conversely, due to historically low infection risk concern in the district of localised the worst outbreaks I saw came from they found themselves exposed: another outbreaks. Typically we do not have blocks that were using “conventional” example of needing to react to what the the warm humid nights which promote sprays, but allowed too long a period season is putting in front of you. the secondary infection cycle, as any between applications. There does seem humidity is usually coupled with a drop to be an over-confidence by some people in overnight temperatures. However, in the amount of time and control some Late season: March-May 2012 was again the exception and some synthetic fungicides give and often this Coming into March, it was evident that growers did encounter downy mildew is where blocks have problems. The use the crops were well behind their usual infection. Although the symptoms were of DMIs after symptoms are detected is physiological stage. Veraison was up 3 1 0 2 9 _ v 1 C R T _ F a r mo z A . p d f Pa ge 1 2 0 / 0 7 / 1 2 , 1 1 : 1 1 AM seen typically later in the season, I think a concerning trend and may limit their to two weeks behind in some areas, the large rain event at the end of December efficacy in future years. meaning that growers again needed to be

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September 2012 – Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker


spring vineyard management


Risk index




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Figure 2. Botrytis infection periods (Bacchus model) over flowering in Marlborough 2011-12 (graph courtesy

aware of maintaining cover for a longer period than usual. I generally do not place a lot of faith in late season sprays, especially as by this stage most bunches have closed and getting sufficient coverage to control bunch Botrytis can be difficult. Marlborough was lucky in that there were only two significant Botrytis infection periods through March and April. Although there were numerous rain events, they were accompanied by warm winds which dried canopies quickly. Some growers did choose to use late season sprays for the extra peace of mind, especially knowing that the grapes were going to hang out for longer than usual. The reduced set did lead to lighter crops and lower returns; however, there was a silver lining in that the majority of blocks were able to reach target brix in a very cool year, where if they had higher yields they would have struggled to ripen fully. The end result was highly concentrated fruit that reached maximum ripeness resulting in excellent quality across all varieties. Overall it was a season that ended well, given the challenges presented and the weather throughout the middle of the growing period. It really emphasised the need for growers to be able to adjust to the season, and not rely on a spray program that is produced pre-season for a “normal year”. It also showed that having good weather leading into harvest can make all the difference. Marlborough was lucky in the way that numerous forecasted rain events did not arrive in April, allowing us to hang the fruit out. These rain events did affect other parts of the country and when the elements are against you, even the best viticultural practice cannot keep your crop clean. Often a smart picking decision is the best tool you have. Below I have bullet pointed in order some of the key components I feel help to maintain a healthy crop.

60 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Soil management • Ensure your vines are growing in healthy living soil. It is the weakest vines in the poorest areas that show disease symptoms first. These areas are often the point from which disease will spread. • Reducing variability. Variable blocks make the timing of sprays difficult and you often end up having to compromise on timing. Having varying degrees of ripening through a block also makes the picking decision difficult.

Canopy management • Fungi do not like dry conditions. Allowing airflow around bunches and inside canopies assists at keeping things dry. Shoot thinning and leaf plucking go a long way to assist in this. • Having space around bunches also allows any spray applications to reach their target.

Timing • Understand the life cycle of the disease you are targeting to ensure you are applying the correct product at the most effective time. In almost all cases this is prior to an infection period. • Ensure you are maintaining cover of the vines during crucial stages where there is increased risk of infection particularly shoot elongation and capfall. • Be aware of the effect of temperature and moisture on any products you may be applying. It may be sensible to wait for a warm /cool day depending on what you are applying. • Understand the growth stages of your vine.

Modelling • In Marlborough, the Plant and Food Research Centre has developed a botrytis modelling program, which can help by making predictions

on diseases development, and indicating how different management techniques may reduce this development. • Other disease models should be used to show how much pressure your crop is coming under. After a significant event for downy, powdery or Botrytis you should go into the field and monitor for visual symptoms.

Application • Water rate: ensure that you are using a sufficient water rate to gain thorough coverage. There is no “right” answer here; it depends on your sprayer type and the way it is set up. The best way to work this out is by doing trials on your own equipment. • Adjuvants: there are many of these on the market. Ensure what you are using suits the purpose and has proven efficacy. • Mixing: ensure that products are well mixed before application. Also ensure that the tank mix is at the correct pH, as some products can degrade quickly if added to a tank with unsuitable pH.

Product choice • Try to understand products' mode of action, as this will indicate when they are most effective. • Know a product’s limitations. There are very few magic bullets out there and incorrect use of some products can lead to issues with resistance. • Understand the regulations around the use of some products and what use restrictions your wine company may have. • I feel you are better to spend your money on good products early in the season, rather than relying on expensive yet comparatively weak products late season. September 2012 – Issue 584

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spring vineyard management

Springtime brings life to vineyards This is the season when the vineyard wakes from its winter sleep and for the grapegrower that means there is plenty to do. Chris Herden

Spring signals a time of transformation, a time when the wine Materials estate snaps out of its winter dormancy and handling the first flowering buds swell and burst into life. For the grapegrower it’s also one of the busiest times; he needs to move at the same quick pace as the first flush of spring’s growth. The to-do list includes mowing the spring grass, keeping weeds and pests at bay and training the young shoots. There are many tasks that need to be done in preparation for the warm months ahead. “We’re well ahead of the trend and by the time we hit spring, we are ready to run,” says Geoff McCorkelle, technical viticulturist for McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Winery near Griffith. “When pruning has finished, our sprayers are ready to go. By springtime, spraying is already done and our stocks and chemicals are already secured - this all happens in May. Winter for us is as busy as the growing season, it’s just the nature of the work that changes.” The maintenance of Hanwood’s sprayers and harvester is carried out during winter. Machinery such as presses and destemmers are stripped down, checked through and cleaned at the end of the previous season. “Most of our spring preparation is done well in advance. The equipment, the whole spray system and filling stations, are all cleaned and ready to go so that by the time spring comes, the harvester is ready and we don’t have to worry about it. If we get a dirty spring, like we have the last couple of years, we’re flat out spraying. We’ve had severe powdery mildew, botrytis fungus and downy mildew in the past two years. The 2011 vintage was a particularly challenging one - the spray intervals, frequency and product choice was critical.” With the region having such a low average rainfall (more consistent showers occur during the winter months), grapegrowing in the Riverina has a high reliance on efficient irrigation.

62 Grapegrower & Winemaker

“The irrigation system starts to kickin in late winter if it’s a dry start to the season, which is good because a dry spring means we can drive the whole operation by irrigation. If we do get a wet spring, phomopsis can be a problem on the disease front.” Volunteer species of weedy mixes and rye grass fill the midrows at Hanwood Estate. A pasture mower cuts these back to a ground cover. A thick layer of rice straw, which is tenacious and longlasting, goes undervine along with the selfgenerating mulch and some knockdown herbicides. During winter, organic matter is laid out across the entire growing area at about 10 tonnes per hectare. “There is no wire lifting here, we let the vines sprawl,” McCorkelle says. “We don’t ‘shoot thin’, we tend to do our crop load manipulation at the pruning stage.” “We have a contract supplier for all our chemicals, stock is held in depot and we get it as we need it, but it is all ordered in advance. We run a big organisation and we need to be organised so that the arsenal is all charged up, the magazine is loaded and we’re ready to fire the big guns as needed.” The Justin Vineyard at Frankland River in Western Australia had its first plantings in the 1960s and has a reputation for supplying premium brands. Richard Bateman, who oversees the day-to-day management of Justin’s 89 hectares of vines, has a detailed springtime checklist of the tasks that need to be done before and after budburst. It all begins with the postprune clean-up and mulching of canes. “We repair and calibrate our fungicide sprayers, have the tractors serviced in preparation for the season’s spraying and we do a pre-season check of irrigation pumps and all infrastructure, including fertiliser injection facilities. The frontend loader and forklift must be running well, readily available for handling bulk deliveries. Loading areas need to be free of obstructions and drivers notified of delivery areas and potential hazards, namely wet ground where bogging is possible.” Bateman adopts a minimalist approach

to herbicide usage, with applications at key times during early and mid-spring to control weed growth. “At springtime our undervine herbicide and selective broadcast fertiliser applications are done,” he says. “Our chemicals and fertilisers are delivered in bulk for the season because much of this is applied during spring’s pre-flowering. These are stored in accordance with occupational health and safety (OHS) and hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) specifications and we have separate storage areas for wet and dry fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. Bateman is constantly on the lookout for powdery mildew flag shoots, mites, weevils and earwigs following budburst. “Of course, prevention is always better than cure,” he says. “There are always the potential pest and disease problems at this time of year and you need to be proactive, flexible, and have the ability to deal with a situation quickly and effectively.” He says a permanent midrow sward of turf and wild perennials is grown and then mulched back under the vines as a weed suppressant to aid the soil’s moisture retention. “The dry summers here result in the midrow drying off and subsequently there is minimal undervine weed growth.” The Justin Vineyard irrigation system is flushed in spring and any needed repairs are carried out. Foliage wires are lowered for the new growth and there is always machinery maintenance and calibration to be done. Some springtime vineyard safety and maintenance tasks deserve a special mention. “Such as replacing or recharging spray tractor cab filters prior to spraying and double checking all relevant safety gear is in stock, still viable and operational.” Vine growth during spring in the Riverina wine region of New South Wales is vigorous due to a dry semi-arid climate. The day temperatures during the cooler months are still reasonably high, so for grapegrowers in this region, jobs normally done in spring start much earlier.

September 2012 – Issue 584

News in brief NSW secures new AWRI node The Australian Wine Research Institute has announced the establishment of a second node in regional NSW. The new node will be based in the Hunter Valley and is expected to benefit NSW wineries with applied research projects in the fields of oenology, process optimisation and viticulture. Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association president Andrew Margan worked closely with the AWRI to establish the node in the Hunter Valley. “The presence of the AWRI in the Hunter Valley will facilitate increased adoption of R&D outcomes by wine businesses in the Hunter/Mudgee/ Orange wine regions. The aim is to achieve outcomes of improved wine quality, productivity and sustainability for wine and grape producers through the application of those technologies,” Margan said. The AWRI’s Hunter Valley node will be based at the Keith Tulloch Winery and will start operations this month.

WCA to run Royal Adelaide Wine Show Tickets are now on sale for the Royal Adelaide Wine Show Awards luncheon which, in 2012, comes with two big new announcements.

Delivering the keynote address at this year’s event will be James Halliday, one of Australia’s most respected wine commentators. And, for the first time yet, this year’s event will be run by the Wine Communicators of Australia – the first time since the not-for-profit organisation transitioned from the South Australian Wine Press Club. The awards luncheon and VIP tasting will take place at the Adelaide Showgrounds on Friday 12 October. Now in its 135th year, the Royal Adelaide Wine Show (RAWS) is one of the pre-eminent events on the Australian wine show circuit, attracting over 2,800 entries. Chair of judges, Sue Hodder and winner of the 2011 WCA Wine Media Cadetship, Jessica Henderson will also speak at the event. For more information, visit www.

Red win for Château Tanunda Château Tanunda’s 100 Year Old Vines Shiraz has won Best Dry Red Wine of The Show at the Berlin Wine Trophy 2012. The Shiraz took out the top gong from among 4,500 entries and 30 countries at this year’s show. “I am absolutely thrilled that our delicious old vine wines from the New

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World are winning such coveted awards in the Old World’,” said proprietor John Geber. “The continual critical acclaim on three continents makes me very proud and is a tribute to the team behind the growing and making of our wines.”

Research body seeks new executive director The Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation is seeking a new executive director to steer an effective merger of the company with Wine Australia. Making the announcement in late July, GWRDC chairman the Hon Rory McEwen said a senior executive was needed to manage the transition of Wine Australia and the GWRDC, which is targeted for 1 July 2014. “Grape and Wine Australia must have the board and management skill set to manage this significant investment and the new executive director will assist the GWRDC board in articulating to our key stakeholders the required board and management competencies,” McEwen said. Outgoing executive director Mr Neil Fisher has accepted the position as CEO of BSES, the principal provider of research and development to the Australian Sugar industry.

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spring vineyard management

drumMUSTER acts to save the last drop If wasting good wine is a sin, then letting expensive insecticides and fungicides go to waste can also be considered a major no-no. drumMUSTER not only recycles empty agvet chemical containers, but teaches the right practice involved with cleaning containers and getting the most out of every last bit for grapegrowers. The program has helped hundreds of viticulturists around the country, including Margaret River Wine Industry Association’s 2011 Excellence Award winner James Harris. Harris is the manager at KarriBindi Wines, a 32 hectare vineyard south of the Margaret River that mainly produces white winegrapes for Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay and Semillon. Harris said drumMUSTER went a long way into making his practices more sustainable. “drumMUSTER is something I’ve been using pretty much since I’ve been in the industry for the recycling and removal of drums,” he said. “The drum inspectors always seem to comment that our drums are clean. It seems a lot of guys take them there with residue in the bottom because they’re just too lazy to wash them out.” Harris said after spending thousands of dollars on chemicals every year, it just made sense to use every last drop. “I live on the vineyard with my young family and I want to make sure that all the chemicals are used correctly and the containers are clean,” he said. “The ease of convenience for me is great, when I go up the tip and I’ve got 20 containers to take up, I just bring them in and sign the paperwork.” drumMUSTER collects and recycles pre-cleaned, eligible chemical containers from more than 760 collection sites around Australia. During its 13-year existence the program has collected and recycled more than 19.8 million drums. That’s nearly 25,000 tonnes of hazardous waste. “There are a lot of people out there

KarriBindi Wines viticulturist James Harris.

who just dump their containers, they dig a big hole and bury them and I just really disagree with that,” Harris said. “I think drumMUSTER’s great, it’s a good service.” Before taking your drums away to be collected, there are a few things to check beforehand. Make sure containers are cleaned, dry and free of any chemical residue. Plastic containers should be delivered whole with their lids removed to aid in drying and inspection. There’s no need to cut, puncture or tamper with the plastic drums to help them dry. As long as they’re free of chemical residue, they’re ready to be recycled. Once collected, the containers are shredded and transformed into practical items such as plastic cable covers and cement reinforcing bar chairs. Grapegrowers can return their empty agvet chemical containers at waste transfer stations, depots and drop-off points. To find your nearest site, visit: or call 1800 008 707.

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64 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2012 – Issue 584

New-approach fungicides for Australian viticulture TWO ‘NEW APPROACH’ fungicides are available this spring to simplify management of major fungal diseases and help winegrape growers to set up the crop for a potentially improved 2012-13 vintage. One is a combination of effective protectant and curative fungicides to shield vines against a broad spectrum of fungal infections, the other a highly effective new chemical against powdery mildew. Duplex WG’s new formulation of Captan plus metalaxyl provides both protectant and curative action against downy mildew, black spot, grey mould and phomopsis in grapevines. Crop Care business manager for horticulture Kerrie Mackay said the company had developed Duplex WG to provide growers with a practical way to follow the industry’s recommendations for preventing and managing downy mildew. Mackay said that Captan was regarded as a low-cost, effective protectant fungicide in vineyards, with activity against a broad spectrum of diseases – downy mildew, blackspot, phomopsis cane and leaf blight, and grey mould in grapevines. “It also has low risk of resistance, so is useful in fungicide-resistance management programs,” she said, adding that metalaxyl had worked well for growers as a postinfection fungicide, killing out downy mildew oil spots if timed correctly and preventing further spread of the disease. As water-dispersible low-foam granules,

Duplex WG is very easy to measure, mix, apply and store. Mackay said trials in Australian vineyards with a history of downy mildew had proved the new product’s effectiveness. “Duplex WG provided similar control of downy mildew to the current standard protectant/curative grape fungicide Ridimol Gold MZ, with the added benefits of controlling a broader spectrum of important grapevine diseases plus a shorter withholding period.” The other ‘new approach’ fungicide now on the market from Crop Care is Vivando, the first commercial fungicide in the world to be developed from the benzophenone group of fungicides (Group U8). Its active ingredient metrafenone has proved to be highly active against grape powdery mildew, adding another effective option to spray programs, and an alternative to help grapegrowers to manage strobilurin resistance. Mackay said that Vivando provided more uniform protection of both leaves and berries, so was ideal for use during the critical period from 10cm shoot length and during the five weeks after fruitset – to protect the young berries when they are most susceptible, and when potential for loss is greatest. “With its active protective vapour phase, Vivando remains present in the airspace around clusters immediately after treatment, and for up to 14 days after treatment. The levels of Vivando are of sufficient concentration to

Leaves showing typical downy mildew oil spots – Crop Care’s new formulation Duplex WG provides the most practical way for growers to follow the industry’s recommendations for preventing and managing downy mildew.

protect the clusters from powdery mildew attack,” she said. Following submission of a range of studies on the effects of Vivando on beneficial insects, Vivando was considered safe to use in IPM programs – its ‘no grazing withholding period’ also means that vineyards treated with Vivando can be grazed. Crop Care recommends applying Vivando as part of a protective schedule, with the number of applications limited to no more than two consecutive sprays 7-10 days apart, before changing to an alternative fungicide group – and applying no more than four applications of Vivando each season.

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Grapegrower & Winemaker


spring vineyard management

New fungicide offers exciting alternative for viticulture A new fungicide that provides long lasting protection from powdery mildew is now available for Australian grapegrowers. DuPont Talendo fungicide was recently released, following excellent results in high pressure sites at Pemberton and the Yarra Valley. Talendo-treated sections recorded virtually no infection compared with adjacent untreated areas. While the untreated control areas had very high incidence of disease, the

Talendo-treated part of the trial showed little to no powdery mildew symptoms and demonstrated a better result than other fungicide options. According to DuPont crop protection technology leader ANZ, Brendan Ahern, Talendo fungicide offers an exciting new product to prevent powdery mildew. “Talendo, as a group 13 fungicide, will be a welcome addition to spray programs as it controls powdery mildew strains resistant to other fungicide classes like

Crop safety is a key and Talendo has been tested in field trials in Australia, New Zealand and the EU over many years in a range of climatic conditions without any negative effects on fruit quality or wine production.

triazoles and strobilurins,” Ahern said. “It’s important that this new chemistry is available to growers for the long term, and there are a number of strategies implemented to encourage the longevity of the product.” “Talendo should be applied as a preventative before powdery mildew is present in the field, and should not be used more than three times per crop and no more than two sequentially.” “Talendo protects against disease by preventing new infections and reducing existing spore load. Talendo features translaminar, vapour and local systemic activity, which mean the leaves and bunches in your vineyard are well protected.” The minimum recommended spray interval is 14 days and it can be utilised over a wide range of crop stages, and has a withholding period of 28 days. Crop safety is key to any product and Talendo has been tested in field trials in Australia, New Zealand and the EU over many years in a range of climatic conditions, without any negative effects on fruit quality or wine production. The fungicide is an excellent option in integrated pest management (IPM) programs as it has proven to have minimal impact on a range of key beneficial insects and earthworms and has low toxicity to honey bees. DuPont Talendo fungicide comes in an easy to use liquid formulation for better mixing and handling. Talendo is applied at 25mL/100L and comes in a 5L container designed to treat 20ha of grapes (at a water rate of 1000L /ha). Spray with Talendo to achieve premium protection from Powdery mildew. For more information, visit:


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66 Grapegrower & Winemaker



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September 2012 – Issue 584

Bayer scoops Australian Business awards in innovation and marketing excellence The Australian Business Awards annually recognise organisations that demonstrate the core values of business excellence, excellence of service, social and environmental contributions. “We are delighted to acknowledge Bayer’s achievements in the agricultural industry and congratulate them on their success in the innovation and marketing excellence categories in 2012,” program director of The Australian Business Awards Tara Johnston said. Organisations are selected upon innovative business processes, product development, enterprise, corporate responsibility and overall commercial success.  Bayer was recognised in the innovation category for its achievement in integrated pest management (IPM) and in marketing excellence for ‘The Growers Edge’. Bayer aimed to work with growers and other input providers to develop innovative solutions that led to the development of a tailored IPM program built around the insecticides Belt and Movento and the active release of beneficial insects. Richard Mulcahy, CEO of AUSVEG said, “It’s been incredibly rewarding working with growers, partners and other agricultural companies including Bayer to develop an IPM strategy to combat diamondback moth in head-forming brassica crops. Together, we are bringing more productive solutions to Australian farmers. “The results of this strategy have been impressive and we look forward to continuing the innovative work with Bayer and our partners,” Mulcahy said.

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Growers gain significant savings from use of awardwinning Observant soil moisture monitoring solutions GRAPEGROWERS CAN BE the next agriculturists to benefit from using Observant’s water monitoring and management solutions. Cotton and corn growers that have moved across to Observant solutions are already realising significant savings across associated labour, fuel, mileage and water loss costs as a result. Observant’s systems are being used across Australia by crop growers to remotely monitor soil moisture levels in their crops and manage their water intake. The Observant systems can be integrated into existing irrigation equipment like probes, weather stations, pumps systems and water channel equipment. With Observant Global, grapegrowers can: • monitor all types of equipment through one online dashboard • see a snapshot of how the whole system is working • check battery status or engine fuel levels • manually open/close irrigation bays

• set up automated irrigation schedules • set up triggered alerts via SMS or email • create custom reports and benchmarking • log faults and resolution • track energy and water consumption. Observant’s solutions meet growers’ demands for a flexible, simple, reliable, affordable method to remotely manage the equipment supplying water to their crops and measuring the moisture in the soil. Growers alike will no longer have to physically visit their crops and drive around their land, but use simple and reliable monitoring to give them a single viewpoint of the moisture in the crops soil. The Observant systems give growers, sometimes in some of Australia’s most isolated areas, a solution to remotely manage a large range of irrigation equipment using wireless communications. Monitoring and managing water systems can be as flexible as looking at a smart phone or logging

into Observant Global via the web. Matthew Pryor, CEO of Observant said, “Our talented team is committed to ongoing research and development in providing our customers with flexible and simple solutions to manage their water resources”. At the recent Irrigation Australia awards night in Adelaide, Observant was crowned winner of the Irrigation Australia 2012 New Product Innovation award. Trevor LeBreton, general manager of Irrigation Australia, acknowledged Observant’s contribution to the agribusiness and water management industries. “We were delighted to present Observant with this award for their innovative approach to new product development,” LeBreton said. “This recognition was due in large part to the considerable benefits the businesses using Observant systems are reaping.” More information at begin_of_the_skype_highlighting

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68 Grapegrower & Winemaker

September 2012 – Issue 584

Removing vine soil mounding is first step to redirecting beneficial rainfall Changing vineyard floor management to reduce rootzone salinity under supplementary saline drip irrigation produces visible results. Soil management

Rob Stevens1 and Tim Pitt 2

Summary A PPL IC AT ION OF SA L I N E supplementary irrigation with drippers caused salt to concentrate in the soil under the vine near the drip line. We increased leaching of these soils by removing soil mounded under the vine and redirecting rain falling on the soil in the mid-row towards that under-vine. These changes to vineyard floor management reduced the salinity of soils under the vine and the salt concentrations in grapevine leaves and fruit.

Introduction In many of Australia’s wine-producing regions, rainfall supplies the vine’s water needs in all but mid-summer. Drip irrigation supplements rainfall in summer. Groundwater is a common source of irrigation water and often it is saline. Irrigation with saline water can increase soil salinity which, in turn, raises the concentrations of sodium and chloride ions in the leaves and fruit, and reduces vine performance. With supplementary irrigation, rainfall supplies the water to leach salts. Elevated soil salinity indicates that rainfall is insufficient to flush salts from the soil. In a vineyard suffering salinity damage we observed high levels of salt in the soil immediately under the vine, but low levels in the mid-row. We hypothesised that increasing the amount of rain leaching soil under the vine and reducing that leaching the soil in the mid-row would reduce soil and vine salinity.

Methods and materials At the close of the 2010 vintage, a field trial was established in Padthaway, South Australia, to test whether changes in vineyard floor management could reduce salinity in a Chardonnay vineyard which received supplementary saline drip irrigation (EC 2.3dS/m). These changes were: to remove the soil which had been mounded under-vine (-UV mound); to form a mound of soil in the midrow (+MR mound); to apply calcium to the soil under-vine (+Ca(NO3)2); and to cover the surface of soil in the mid-row soil with September 2012 – Issue 584

Table 1. The effects of treatment (T) and sampling date (S) in MM/YYYY on the average salinity (ECe) of the top 0.4m of soil under the vine. Values followed by different letters are significantly different (P=0.05). Treatment Sample date







P value








<0.001 (T)








<0.001 (S)








0.010 (TxS)

plastic (+MR plastic). The six treatments represent various combinations of these changes as follows: A. Control D. +MR Plastic B. -UV Mound E. -UV Mound / +MR Mound / +MR Plastic C. +Ca(NO3)2 F. -UV Mound / +MR Mound / +MR Plastic / +Ca(NO3)2. Treatment effects were quantified by measuring the soil salinity, the concentrations of sodium and chloride in vine leaves and fruit, vine growth, yield and fruit quality.

Results and discussion At the start of the 2011 vintage the salinities of soils in all treatments were equivalent, excepting treatment C (Table 1). At the end of the 2011 vintage, the salinity of soils in treatment F, 1.2 dS/m, was less than that in the control, 1.7 dS/m. At the beginning of the 2012 vintage the values of soil salinity in treatments B, E and F were less than that in the control treatment. In the 2011 and 2012 vintages, the sodium concentrations in leaves from treatment F were less than those in the control. In 2012, the sodium concentrations in leaves from treatments B, C, D and E were also less that that in the control. The chloride concentrations in leaves from treatments B, E and F were less than those in the control treatment in the 2011 and 2012 vintages. In 2012, the chloride concentrations in treatments E and F were

less than that in treatment B (data not presented). The concentrations of sodium and chloride in the juice from treatment E were below those in the control in the 2011 vintage. The concentration of sodium in treatment F was below that in the control in the 2011 vintage. Treatments did not affect the values of vine leaf area index, yield, juice Brix, pH, and titratable acidity in the 2011 vintage (data not presented). All of the changes to vineyard floor management in this trial reduced the values of one or more salinity parameters in one or more vintages. The treatments which affected more of these parameters more often were those with a combination of removal of the soil mounded under the vine, mounding of soil mid-row and covering mid-row soil with plastic, that is treatments E and F.

Acknowledgements The CRC for Irrigation Futures and the National Program for Sustainable Irrigation provided financial support for this study. This paper was presented at the Irrigation Australia conference in Adelaide in June, 2012. Rob Stevens and Tim Pitt, South Australian Research and Development Institute, PIRSA, Adelaide, South Australia.

Grapegrower & Winemaker


spring vineyard management

Field measurements of soil salinity under irrigated grapevines using five different methods Results of instrumentation trials of five different technologies for in-situ measurements of soil salinity are presented from a threeyear program conducted at a commercial vineyard in the South Australian Riverland. Dr Andrew Skinner

Introduction The 1.06 million square-kilometre Murray-Darling Basin in south-eastern Australia contains 71 per cent of Australia’s irrigated crops and pastures, accounting for 41% of the nation’s gross value of agricultural production (Australian Bureau of Statistics 1992). Rising salinity levels at the western outflow end of the catchment are a serious cause for concern (Jolly et al., 1997). Hundreds of tonnes of salt per day have historically entered the bottom reaches of the Murray River in South Australia alone. Tree clearing for agriculture has resulted in widespread dry-land salinity, but irrigation areas alongside the river have exacerbated this problem. Plants increase soil salinity by extracting fresh water from brackish water during transpiration, leaving salts behind to accumulate in the soil. The use of already-saline irrigation water on perennial crops necessitates the addition of a ‘leaching fraction’ to the amount of irrigation water applied; this extra water is designed to flush toxic salts out below the crop rootzone. Such rootzone

leaching has the unintended consequence of putting pressure on local aquifers, leading to mobilisation of groundwater towards the river at the lowest point at the landscape. This adds further salt to the river water, which is in turn recycled further downstream onto other crops and other aquifers. Monitoring the build-up of salt in soils under irrigated agriculture has, however, been far more complicated than the measurement of salt in the irrigation water itself.

Methods and materials Soil salinity technologies tested in this three-year trial work included a solarpowered soil solute vacuum system from UMS Germany, an electronic ‘WET’ sensor from Delta-T in the UK, a 90cm-long ‘EnviroPro’ buriable ‘capacitance’ sensor, and both automatic and manually sampled FullStop wettingfront detectors (WFDs). Given the medium-term nature of salt accumulation in soils irrigated with brackish water, the most economical solution was found to be manually read


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70 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Results and discussion As expected, the amount (and salinity of) water applied determines the amount of salt added to the top 40cm and the amount of salt leached below 40cm. The wettest and driest treatments showed the least salt, presumably because the former leached the most salt out and the latter added the least salt in the first place. The intervening three treatments all showed EC exceeding 3dS/m (about 10 times the EC of the irrigation water), with the time to reach peak EC being delayed with reduced irrigation application as it takes longer to add the salt and longer to leach it. Additionally, the trials found a longterm saline perched water table at 3.5m depth and 6.5dS/m EC under this 0.5ha block of irrigated Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. This paper was presented at the Irrigation Australia conference in Adelaide in June 2012.

Dr Andrew Skinner, Measurement Engineering Australia (MEA), Magill, South Australia


Skinner, A.J. and Lambert, M.F. (2010). ‘An automatic soil salinity sensor based on a wetting front detector.’ IEEE Sensors Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 1, p245-254, January 2011.

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wetting-front detectors. These capture a soil solute sample as free water at a fixed soil matric potential between 0-3kPa, with zero energy consumption and a very modest capital outlay. Trials with the manually read WFDs were conducted at two depths (0.2m and 0.4m) having irrigation application rates of 4.6, 3.2, 1.9 and 1.2L/hr, while the fifth (‘dry’) treatment receives normal irrigation until fruitset then is turned off.

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September 2012 – Issue 584

The United Grower September 2012 The newsletter of Wine Grape Growers Australia

The United Grower

is produced by

for the winegrape industry Sponsored by

WGGA proudly acknowledges its associate members – Retallack Viticulture, Vitibit Pty Ltd, AHA Viticulture, Advanced Viticulture, Challenger Wine Trust, Bayer CropScience, Woodshield Pty Ltd, SCE-Energy Solutions, Vine Sight, and Battery World Melrose Park.

Address: Level 1, Industry House, National Wine Centre Corner Botanic and Hackney Roads Adelaide, SA 5000 Telephone: (08) 8133 4400 Facsimile: (08) 8133 4466 Email:

Measuring up to consumer preference Objective measurement of desirable, fit-forpurpose grape/wine characteristics rather than "quality measurements" is a theme that unifies the vineyard operator, winemaker and wine marketer. Objective measurements reveal the sum result of these people’s work and they define the place in the market for all types and styles of wine, without the prejudice that the term ‘quality measurement’ introduces. Vineyard operators, winemakers and wine marketers are a part of the value chain and their inter-relationship explains why the objective measurement of grape/wine characteristics is important. Consumers drink any given wine because its characteristics appeal. If winemakers are doing their job, they will understand what these characteristics are and produce the wine accordingly. In turn, winemakers will seek fruit that best delivers these characteristics and if growers are doing their jobs, they will produce fruit with the soughtafter characteristics. In a physical sense, the translation of characteristics from fruit through to the consumer’s palate is complicated by complex science and losses in translation in the production chain. But the good news is that a lot is understood about desirable characteristics – the primary need at the moment is applying the knowledge. Winemakers do not produce for consumers out of altruism and neither do growers produce fruit for winemakers this way. What

is required is a reward for doing so. Most frequently, this reward comes in the form of the price (and profitability). Price ‘signals’ make the value chain work. Unfortunately, price is not only set by grape or wine characteristics. We all know supply and demand has a lot to do with it. Nevertheless, if price signals work, supply and demand is sorted – appropriate prices for desired, fit-for-purpose characteristics mean they will be produced with demand motivating supply. Problems arise when the price signals are not right. Supply and demand then gets out of balance. Supply that exceeds demand is every reason why the signals need to be corrected by rewarding the sought-after characteristics compared to taking advantage of oversupply generally to pay generally depressed prices because it is possible. There is not only the positive reward of getting desirable grape/wine characteristics by identifying and rewarding them but negative consequences are also avoided. Just one of the negative consequences is the cost of a winemaker’s intervention required to convert poorly specified fruit into targeted wine production. Greater success in planned production can be achieved at less cost by specifying and rewarding desired grape characteristics that are fit-for-purpose to wines tailored to consumer preference.

Keep the date of the 2012 WGGA AGM free Members and interested parties are advised of the fourth WGGA Annual General Meeting to be held on the morning of Thursday 8 November 2012, starting at 10.30am, at a venue to be announced. The meeting will confirm the previous AGM minutes, consider the accounts and relevant reports, confirm the Executive Committee for the upcoming year, appoint an Auditor for 2012-13 and deal with any other business or presentations. The latter will include the proposal of constitutional amendments for members to approve. September 2012 The United Grower 1

Committee and staff news

Your WGGA executive committee's views Victor Patrick (chair) Electoral zone: South Australia (voting member) “High quality vintage in SA but total value of crop similar to last four years.”

Justin Jarrett (deputy chair) Electoral zone: New South Wales/Queensland (voting member) “The need for all parties to understand their roles in the supply chain and to receive their fair share of the rewards seems to be lacking in the Australian wine industry.”

Bob Bellato

Kerry Smart Electoral zone: Greater Western Australia (voting member) “Growers and winemakers need to be familiar with the soft, savoury, easy drinking reds coming in from Italy, Spain and Chile at sub $20 as those wines have the potential to achieve significant market share unless we can respond with similar local, food-friendly styles.” Electoral zone: New South Wales/Riverina (voting member) “With the extremely dry and frosty winter across much of the Riverina, vintage 2013 could be well below the average.”

Kym Ludvigsen Electoral zone: Greater Victoria/Tasmania (voting member)

Simon Berry

“Activating the National Grapevine Biosecurity Committee is critical for our industry’s future. A critical task is to ensure the security of Australia’s grapevine germplasm for future generations.”

“Bud-burst imminent ... no real signs in SA of significant changes in vineyard areas. Need another average national vintage supported by more profitable wine sales to lift grape prices. Still many tonnes being sold below production costs.”

ANDREW WEEKS Electoral zone: South Australia (voting member)

Dennis Mills Electoral zone: Murray Valley (voting member) “The dollar continues to create problems for our industry. Is it time to take action to restrain the high Australian dollar?”

Email: Electoral Zone: Riverland (voting member) “It is a good time for growers to show faith in their national organisation by taking up membership. While there is guarded optimism in the industry, it is an opportune time to build for the future.”

Lawrie Stanford (executive director) (non-voting member) “Now is the time for all good men and women to join the party.”

Opinion piece

Objective quality measures are bunk If, after reading that provocative title, you are still reading this article, you deserve further explanation. The use of the term ‘quality’ is not productive because in the context of ‘quality measures’, quality is not what is measured. Every speaker at the recent ASVO seminar on objective quality measures dismissed ‘quality measurement’ with the statement ‘what is quality anyway?’ Precisely. Quality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It is

undefinable by others. What is definable is the grape/wine characteristics the consumer responds to when they seek their preferred wine. Let’s agree that what we are talking about is not ‘objective measurement of quality’ it is ‘objective measurement of grape/wine characteristics that are fit-for-purpose to a consumer preferences in any given wine style’. The other problem with the concept of measuring quality is that it is exclusive. It sets the belief that the only valid wine business

2 The United Grower September 2012

is the top end and that anything else is worthless. Fact is, the majority of wine consumption is not top end. Any wine is sought because it has a set of characteristics that appeal. Characteristics are the key for each and every wine type. Just to be clear … ‘objective quality measures’ are bunk but ‘objective measures of grape/wine characteristics’ aren’t … far from it. Lawrie Stanford, WGGA Executive Director.


A cautious view of an industry turnaround for growers $1,200

20% 18%





$/tonne (bars)


12% $600


10% 2011


8% 2011


Change in 2012 (dots)


6% 4%


2% $0



Warm Inland


Figure 1: 2012 winegrape price outcomes by major growing districts. Sources: 2012 Winegrape Purchases: Price Dispersion Report, Wine Australia Corporation.


Winegrape price (nominal terms)

Winegrape price (real terms)


70% 60% 50%

$700 $600


$500 30%

$400 $300


$200 10%


Warm inland winegrape price compared to cool 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012


Warm prtice comapred to cool (bars)


$/tonne (lines)

Together with the first positive price outcome for Australian wine exports for many years, at a 4% rise in the fob $/litre price in 2012, Wine Australia Corporation’s 2012 Winegrape Purchases: Price Dispersion Report provided some positive news for winegrape prices in the 2012 harvest. The national average winegrape price improved 11% driven mainly by price improvement in reds and warm inland fruit. This has been heartening news and cause to hope for a turnaround but for the reasons outlined in the July United Grower, there is reason to believe that winegrape price improvement is more about seasonal factors than in the underlying supply/ demand fundamentals that would signal a turnaround. Until there is a trend in these positive outcomes (another year at least, or depending on how many years you think are needed for a ‘trend’ to form) growers need to be cautious about thinking there is a return to better times for growing. The 2012 winegrape price dispersion data (Figure 1) was interesting in that warm inland prices showed the largest percentage price increases (up 19%, reds 22% up and whites 16% up [the latter two not shown]) compared to cool-temperate price increases (up 12%, reds up 17%, whites up 2% [the latter two not shown]). Circumstantial evidence for seasonal influences is the more substantial rises in red prices, where the reds have had poorer seasons than whites over the last two seasons and will be shorter supply. On the same reasoning however, it may have been expected that cool-temperate prices would have improved more than warm due to the lower proportions and therefore shortage of higher-grade fruit out of the last two seasons. So what might explain this? Firstly, prices are historically low. Figure 2 shows that the national average winegrape price is very low. Prices in 2011 and 2012 are at the level they were 25 years ago – back when there was a vine pull scheme because they were so low. Broken down by warm versus cool, a useful way to look at why warm prices improved


Figure 2: National average winegrape prices and warm-cool comparisons. Source: ABS, price utilisation reports, price dispersion reports, WGGA analysis.

more than cool in 2012, is to look at what warm inland prices were as a proportion of cool-temperate prices (the bars in Figure 2). A pattern emerges from this comparison. In times of high demand (eg when prices were growing around 1993/1994 through to around 2000/2001) warm

prices were closer to cool. This is because the strength of demand exhausted the availability of preferred cool-temperate fruit and drove up the price of warm fruit that was needed to fill the gap. On the other hand, in times of low demand, when prices were falling between 1989 to 1993 and

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generally after 2001, cool-temperate fruit is taken in preference to warm, because of its favourable price/quality ratio when prices are depressed. As a result, the less sought-after warm fruit experienced a price collapse relative to cool and their prices are a smaller proportion of cool prices. Figure 2 shows that prices have been depressed in general since the turn of the century and warm prices are even more so compared to cool. This provides a part of the answer to why warm prices may have grown more relative to cool in 2012. They simply improved from a much lower base in absolute and relative terms (see Figure 1). The dismally low state of winegrape prices requires a check to see if the 2012 price improvements restored profitability. The conclusion is that it doesn’t appear to be so at the national average level. In dealing with averages, the following analysis will mean that above-average operators may have been profitable and that below-average operators will be much less profitable than indicated – this needs to be kept in mind. The analysis provided in Table 1 shows returns per hectare for the major growing areas. Yields for these areas come from Australian Bureau of Statistics production data in 2010 and 2011 and are estimated for 2012 from the 2012 WFA Vintage Report (the ABS data will not be available until later this year), prices come from price dispersion reports and costs of production data have been provided by grower contacts. Tying down the latter will always be elusive because it is hard to know what is included and what isn’t. For example, is it just operating costs or are depreciation, overheads, interest on debt, or own-wages included? It is understood, nevertheless, that the costs in Table 1 include operating costs and overheads, including interest

Table 1: Winegrape profitability by major growing districts 2010




t/hectare* Warm inland

















Warm inland

















Warm inland

















Warm inland

















Classic cool climate $/tonne

Classic cool climate $/hectare

Classic cool climate Cost of production/hectare

Classic cool climate

Returns compared to break-even return per hectare Warm inland

















Classic cool climate

WI = Warm inland, CT = Cool-temperate, CCC = Classic cool climate * estimated in 2012

and wages, but will not include extra costs for water in times of drought. The analysis of average returns per hectare (Table 1) shows that warm and cool districts have not achieved cost of production in any of the last three years. On the other hand, classic cool climate has been ahead of cost in all three years although arguably, margins may not have great in the last two. While warm returns rebounded in 2012, driven in equal parts by price and yield improvements, and arithmetic average of the three seasons suggests they have levelpegged with cool in profitability. All of this says that very early signs of a turn-around may exist but it still needs to be confirmed as a fundamental turn-around rather than just a seasonally driven variation.

Moreover, the depression in prices is deep and broad. A small segment of the industry working in the very high end is the best off. It is up in the high end also that green shoots are sprouting but it is a long way up to get air for the larger segment of growers. A revival will inevitably come but ‘when’ may be important to survival for anyone with depleted assets. Due consideration should be given to when is the best time to bank on an industry revival.

Now is the time to join WGGA In more ways than one, now is the time to join WGGA. 30 September 2012 is a critical date by which to take out membership, in order to take advantage of some special offers that are available. For new members, WGGA has negotiated discounts on subscriptions to both the ANZ Grapegrower & Winemaker and the GrapeGrowers and Vignerons magazines as well as a discount on Max Allen’s new

book, ‘The History of Australian Wine’. Renewing members go into a draw to win one of two copies of Max’s book. The foremost reason is of course, that by doing so the national voice of growers is strengthen on key issues such as biosecurity and vine health, improving market access through initiatives such as negotiating maximum residue limits and making the industry’s Code of Conduct more effective in ensuring fairer purchasing arrangements.

4 The United Grower September 2012

WGGA membership categories are available to growers, associations, suppliers and students – so there’s an affordable membership category for everyone. It is noted that while all of South Australia, the Riverina and the Murray Valley are well represented in WGGA through direct and indirect membership, around 40% of Australia’s 6,750 growers are not. There is therefore considerable upside in potential memberships that can be taken out.

Progress on setting MRLs for phosphorous acid in wine Phosphorous acid (PA) is the cheapest fungicide available for the effective control of downy mildew in grapes in Australia. It has been widely used in the Australian wine industry since it was first registered in the late 1980s. However, the product is not registered in China, and does not have a maximum residue limit (MRL) set and this means it has been unavailable to most growers who grow winegrapes for exported wine. In 2011, WGGA and WFA jointly funded a project to negotiate phosphorous acid MRLs in two key markets, Canada and China. Canada has subsequently instituted a series of temporary permits until more permanent MRLs are established.

To help facilitate the Chinese negotiations, a delegation representing WFA, WGGA and WAC visited China in July 2012. With the assistance of the Australian Embassy and DFAT, there were productive meetings with a number of relevant officials. The meetings were considered to be successful by the Australian delegation – demonstrating the benefit of collaborative delegations. Australia was able to make its case for the use of PA, which was well received and understood. The Chinese officials noted that Australia has a reputation world-wide for producing safe, high quality wine, and that safety for human ingestion is a priority for them. The Chinese explained that there had never previously been the need to deal with MRLs

on imported products but Australia was invited to submit an application. This work should also pave the way for setting MRLs for other chemicals. WGGA and WFA have prepared a submission re phosphorous acid and arranged for a translation into Chinese. It will be sent with a letter from the Australian government seeking approval. The WFA and WGGA delegates, Tony Battaglene and Simon Berry, were funded to negotiate a PA MRL through the WGGA Phosphorous Acid fund, while the Wine Australia funded their representative. WFA and WAC also represented wine issues on the trip.

Brief history of career in industry to date: Wine buyer, staff educator and writer for retail, sales and marketing and general management roles for wineries including Balgownie Estate, Stonier & Mitchelton, General Manager of North East Valleys Wine Group and Consultant to wineries across Vic and S.A.

end of the market the narrowing of the retail environment causes winemakers to become more conservative and is a more significant challenge for specialist fruit.

Member Profile Simon Grant

Occupation: My business in Nth East Victoria works with wineries and growers to find the right fruit for the right application and as an independent third party bridges the gap between grower practicalities and winery outcomes. Vineyards: Red Acre is a newly planted Nebbiolo and Tempranillo vineyard in Beechworth at an altitude between 560-590m. Destination of fruit: Own use.

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How do you view the oversupply issue? Viability of vineyards in the Nth East is intrinsically linked to the quality of the site, varieties planted, scale and management skill. This and the ability to build constructive winery relationships provide the opportunity to succeed. It has been very positive that in addition to the reputation for alternative/ specialist varieties we have recent examples of local growers being ‘discovered’ for the quality they achieve. Specifically, the implications of ‘oversupply’ for cool climate regions is linked to the end use. If commercial bulk wine is your fruit's destination then cost of production almost ensures you won’t be profitable and is unlikely to be in the foreseeable future. If bulk prices rise will demand fall? For the upper

Where to from here? From an industry standpoint we need to address issues such as uniformity of legislation governing grower winery relationships across States ensuring basic rights for both parties. It seems odd this is yet to be adopted as the vast majority of wineries and growers understand implicitly the benefits of working together to common goals etc and embrace the idea of the entire supply chain remaining profitable. While WGGA and WFA have declared their support we still await Government to act. With good research being done around the impacts of bushfire smoke, the fundamental issue of the timing of ‘prescribed’ burns remains. The sooner this emotional issue becomes simply a question of the resources required to burn outside the growing season, the sooner we can get back to dealing with the normal headaches of growing, making and selling wine.

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What’s happening at WGGA on your behalf? Biosecurity

WGGA is evaluating how to establish industry structures and resources that will best manage its obligations to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed and other biosecurity hot-topics such as the National Phylloxera Management Plan and the fate of germplasm collections. The GWRDC is complementing this effort with research projects called for through the current submission process in the four top research priorities identified in the five year plan, including biosecurity. WGGA is collaborating with Plant Health Australia in a funding submission to the GWRDC to put in place some important building blocks for the wine sector’s biosecurity preparedness.

The Code of Conduct

WGGA continues to question the effectiveness of the Code. With the release of the revised Code in November 2011, a key date approaches to judge its effectiveness in terms of the target agreed between WFA and WGGA for more winemaker signatories. It has to be said that reaching the target (25 of the top 100 winemakers) does not look likely in the time set for this to occur (30 December 2012). A report from the Code’s secretariat (the Accord Group), which receives and processes complaints, shows that in harvest 2012, there were four complaints – one by a winemaker over the sale of fruit (resolved), a grower complaint over price (resolution facilitated) and a grower dispute about rejection in the vineyard (where an independent determination was facilitated and a Breach of Code complaint has subsequently been made – unresolved at this time).


WGGA has been actively collaborating in making funding submissions in three of the GWRDC’s top four priority research areas – biosecurity, adoption and objective quality measurement.

Objective winegrape measurement

Working closely with the National Measurement Institute, the commonwealth government’s regulator of trade measures, an AWRI survey of industry practices and attitudes has been conducted and is expected to guide policy and priorities on this issue.

Market Access

Simon Berry, WGGA Executive Committee member, accompanied an industry delegation to China by the WFA and WAC to meet with Chinese officials that have responsibilities for wine maximum residue limits (MRLs). MRLs for Phosphorous Acid were discussed. As the first face-to-face negotiations with China on this issue, good understanding and a general plan of action was agreed.

Industrial relations

On the behalf of participating wine industry organisations, SAWIA is reviewing the Wine Industry Award 2010, as a part of Fair Work Australia’s review of the modern awards. Input from a panel of key growers, coordinated by WGGA, has been committed to the process.

Knowledge and Capacity Development

WGGA and the WFA are jointly briefing the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) on the design of research into the financial performance of winegrape growing businesses. This research was funded by the Federal government in the last budget. The goal of the work will be to provide insights into the adjustment process the industry is widely acknowledged to require.

The proposal to merge GWRDC and WAC

The joint proposal by the industry’s advocacy organisations, WGGA and WFA to merge the two statutory bodies, GWRDC and WAC, has passed through the consultation phase. Industry wishes have been documented in a proposal to the Minister, Sen the Hon Joe Ludwig, for his consideration. The submission to the Minister reports that support for the merger comes from by far the majority of industry but that there are clear qualifications to this support which need to be addressed in the new legislation and organisation structure. Principle among these is that R&D funds be quarantined for research and development and not be used in marketing.

The Grape and Wine Policy Forum

The first meeting of this Forum, proposed by WGGA and jointly planned with the WFA, is imminent. The Forum will be the first formalised national policy body for policy formation. It will have three representatives from the WFA Board, three from the WGGA Executive Committee plus the two executive officers. It will identify and describe unified wine sector policy positions to present to the respective advocacy bodies for adoption.

WGGA Decision Network

A solid core of younger viticulturists and growers now network to promote winegrape growing and to have input into national grower decision-making. More young growers are sought – see for details.

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Renewed WGGA website one year old A comprehensive, nation-wide list of winegrape growers simply does not exist and WGGA is constantly challenged in its ability to reach growers. In these circumstances, comes clearly into focus. An on-line presence means WGGA can provide information in a timely manner, it means WGGA is ‘open for business’ 365 days a year, it responds to the increasing practice of sourcing information through on-line search functions rather than through hard-copy, and websites are resource- and environmentally-friendly. A year has passed since a re-developed site was launched in July 2011 and we are pleased with the outcomes while recognising more development is required. The history of users accessing the site is shown in the accompanying illustration. The site also allows us to get some direction on grower interests. The accompanying user history suggests strong interest in realtime harvest feedback during the months of February to May. Recent activities on the site has included –

Users of WGGAs website, 2011-12

900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0

Jul 2011

Aug 2011

Sep 2011

Oct 2011

Nov 2011

Dec 2011

building a members-only facility, providing a feedback tool for grower views on the proposed merger of WAC and the GWRDC, promoting the newly formed WGGA Decision Support Network for younger growers and viticulturists, and notifying growers of the WGGA 2012-

Jan 2012

Feb 2012

Mar 2012

Apr 2012

May 2012

Jun 2012

2017 Strategic Plan and 2012-13 Annual Operating Plan, immediately when approved by the Executive Committee. While happy with progress on www.wgga., the achievements are still modest and any feedback is welcomed. Kelly Bonser, WGGA

CCA-treated posts discussed In 2011, the GWRDC hosted a meeting in Adelaide between wine sector and forestry industry representatives to address an apparent absence or contradictory information about the use and end-life disposal of CCA-treated posts. As an invitee to this discussion, WGGA sought industry feedback and collected the views from relevant regional association personnel covering roughly a third of the area of vines in Australia. Out of this activity, the GWRDC have undertaken, in collaboration with the timber industry associations, to create a Fact Sheet to provide sound advice on the use and disposal of CCA-treated timber posts in vineyards. Feedback provided to WGGA revealed several points of interest. Breakage during mechanical harvesting was rated as a significant issue with the

choice of posts. The use of CCA treated posts is extensive with the advantages over the alternatives being that they are relatively cheap, effective, robust, reliable, durable and stronger. Among the alternatives were steel, cypress, ACQ-treated and recycled plastic posts. Responses were mixed about the level of awareness of issues to do with the use and disposal of CCA treated posts. Recycling (on-farm, between farms and regions, offfarm) was rated as an effective disposal mechanism. Some issues nevertheless constrained recycling such as broken posts, the uneconomic nature of moving posts to Phylloxera Infested Zones and less demand in times of industry downturn (although bushfires in recent years opened up some opportunity). Solutions raised to address the various issues, included the following:


• Manufacturers bore a responsibility to be more proactive on in the disposal of CCA-treated posts. For example, assistance with identifying and implementing disposal options, defining pathways for correct disposal and developing CCA extraction techniques. • Solutions to disposal included; the use of Ocloc to deal with broken posts, wider use of alternatives, disposal as kiln fuel, reselling through nurseries, commercial co-ops for re-selling, regional stockpiles (properly set-up, for example with covering to stop leaching of chemicals). • Promoting the advantages of alternatives. • Lowering the price of ACQ (Ammoniacal Copper Quaternary) treated posts (which are 10-20% more expensive that CCAtreated). • Improve harvester technology to reduce breakage.


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winemaking Is there value in adding tannin to wine? Rachel Hanlin and Mark Downey

Recently published work conducted in collaboration between grape and wine researcher Dr Mark Downey, from Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department of Primary Industries (DPI), and research oenologist Dr Jim Harbertson, from Washington State University (WSU) in the US, has found that many tannin additions to wine may be unjustified. Downey and Harbertson reported that commercially available oenological tannins contained as little as 12 per cent and up to 48% tannin and had little impact on wine when added at recommended addition rates. While recommended addition rates were too low to impact on the measurable amount of tannin in wine, excessive addition rates with a measurable impact on wine had a negative impact on sensory character. As part of the joint collaboration, renowned sensory scientist Hildegarde Heymann and post-doctoral student Giuseppina Parpinello, from the University of California at Davis (UC

Davis) in the US, conducted sensory analysis on Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines made in Washington State with tannin additions. A range of oenological tannins composed of both condensed and hydrolysable tannins were added at different concentrations to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines. Exogenous tannins are added to wine for a range of reasons, to stabilise colour, to modify mouthfeel, or to mask green characters or other faults. Recommended concentrations for tannin additions are quite small, around 50-300mg/L compared with the levels of tannin observed in red wines, which can range from 50-1900mg/L. In most cases these exogenous tannin addition rates are low. When considered together with the low proportion of tannin present in the oenological tannins (12-48%), very little tannin is added to wine at the recommended addition rates. Downey and Harbertson found that when added at

Dr Mark Downey from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries with the high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometer at the Mildura laboratory.

recommended rates, oenological tannin addition had no effect on measured levels of tannin, anthocyanins, polymeric pigments or sensory character of the wine. In excess, there was a measurable increase in the concentration of tannin in the wine and large polymeric pigments. There was also a decrease in the

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winemaking concentration of anthocyanins, possibly related to the increase in large polymeric pigments. For sensory characters, the addition of tannin at excessive rates increased the perceived colour intensity for all but one of the added tannins, which had lower colour intensity. Despite an increase in tannin concentration at excessive rates, there was no difference in astringency, but an increase in earthy flavours, bitterness and sour flavours, and a decrease in sweetness and viscosity. Downey and Harbertson found that the differences observed in the sensory character of the wine were not differences in astringency, suggesting that the threshold for an increase in tannin astringency was quite large, whereas the threshold for aroma difference was quite small. To impact on astringency, a large amount of tannin would need to be added to wine, but this could significantly impact on negative characteristics. However, the wines used in this study had a reasonable base level of tannin at around 500mg/L. The addition of oenological tannins to wines with a low level of tannin may have a more significant impact and benefit

Dr Jim Harbertson from Washington State University preparing tannin standards at the DPI Mildura laboratories during his most recent collaborative exchange in May 2012.

on astringency. Exogenous tannins are one of the many tools available to winemakers in Australia, but previous research has shown that they are used without a clear understanding of their impact. Some winemakers consider their addition essential, while others consider tannin addition more of an insurance policy. However, the true

contribution of exogenous tannin to wine quality is largely unknown and undocumented and tannin addition may be an unnecessary added cost to wine producers. The majority of tannin in wine is extracted from grapes during the winemaking process, but our understanding of how tannin is extracted from grape berries and the exact


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September 2012 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Issue 584

contribution of grape tannin to wine quality is still unknown. Some of the gaps in our understanding of grape tannin are; which tannin structures in grapes are extracted into wine and how do they interact with other compounds in the wine to impact on wine quality? How does tannin structure influence different astringent parameters of mouthfeel? Does tannin structure influence the chemical reactions between tannins and anthocyanins that are important for wine colour and ageing stability? The ongoing collaboration between Downey and Harbertson aims to tackle some of these questions with the help of collaborators from UC Davis, Constellation Wines US and E&J Gallo Winery, California. One of the challenges the research groups face in addressing these questions is generating pure tannin standards of known structure and composition that can be used to study tannin interactions with other compounds and sensory analysis. The difficulty in generating pure tannin standards is separating the complex mix of grape tannins into individual compounds, but with the help of Dr Mark Kelm, a research chemist from Constellation Wines US, and a series

Peta Faulkner, senior technical officer at the Victorian Department of Primary Industries collecting separated tannin standards from a preparative HPLC at the Mildura laboratory.

of exchanges to DPI Mildura over the past few years, Harbertson and Downey are working on generating a range of tannin standards. Most recently in May 2012, Harbertson spent three weeks at the laboratories at DPI Mildura to continue experimental work designed to further our understanding of grape tannin interactions. The results from the most recent exchange will soon be

published, but in the mean time, the next set of experiments and exchanges are already being planned. The ongoing collaborations between DPI and WSU have led the respective institutions to sign a formal agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding, which allows them to collaborate in a way that pools resources and knowledge with a positive impact on the depth of research.

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Climate change and the Tasmanian Wine Cluster Research explores the reactions of wine clusters to changing environmental conditions as interest in this area intensifies. Dr Jeremy Galbreath

Climate change is an acknowledged concern for Australia winemaking, yet its effects appear to be diversely distributed across the country. For example, Galbreath (2011a, 2012) finds that the Margaret River wine region may benefit from some of the effects of climate change, while some regions in eastern states may suffer more ill-effects (Webb et al. 2010). The evidence that we do have on how Australian wine producers are responding to climate change is limited mainly to Western Australia (Galbreath 2011a, 2012) and the dominant wine-producing regions of the eastern-states, including South Australia and Victoria (Galbreath 2011b; Park et al. 2012; Webb et al. 2010). Given that stakeholders in the wine sector – and, importantly, consumers of wine – appear to be viewing wine producers’ response to climate change (and from a broader perspective, the natural environment) as increasingly important, my interest was in exploring the extent to which wine clusters in Australia are addressing the matter as a group. In this article, to supplement previous findings, insight into how Tasmanian wine producers are addressing climate change is presented.

The method Research demonstrates that clusters (clusters are groups of businesses in the same sector that share geographic proximity) are inordinately successful as groups due to social interaction, direct observation of competitors, scale efficiencies, and better access to information. However, perhaps the key contributor to cluster innovation and success is knowledge exchange (Porter, 2000). To assess knowledge exchange on the climate change issue, all businesses involved in wine production in the Tasmanian wine cluster were included to receive a study survey, based on names drawn from the Winetitles’ annual Australia and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory. However, importantly, as the production of wine is increasingly identified with ‘place’, I categorised wine businesses by their respective sub-clusters. In Tasmania, there are seven recognised sub-clusters: Coal River Valley, Derwent Valley, East Coast, Huon/Channel, North West, Pipers River, and Tamar Valley. Thirty-eight surveys were received, yielding a nearly 40 percent response

rate. Two businesses had to be eliminated because they were located outside of the seven identified sub-clusters, resulting in 36 survey responses used for analysis. In the survey, respondents were asked a series of questions. First, I asked respondents to assess the degree to which they had exchanged knowledge about climate change with wine businesses in other sub-clusters in Tasmania (where knowledge exchange levels were ranked on a four-point Likert scale from ‘no exchange’ to ‘very high exchange’). Secondly, a list of 16 mitigative and adaptive actions that have been identified as appropriate responses to climate change in the Australian wine industry were listed, and participants were asked to assess the level to which they agreed/ disagreed that they had successfully implemented any of the actions (on a seven-point Likert scale from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’).

The results To test the general pervasiveness of knowledge exchange on climate change, I calculated the proportion of firms, by subcluster, reporting any level of knowledge

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exchange to the total number of subclusters in the sample (n=7). The average proportion of knowledge exchanged across the sample is .31. The intensity of knowledge exchange appears to be mixed. More specifically, respondents were asked to rate the intensity of knowledge exchanges from 0 (‘no exchange’) to 3 (‘very high exchange’). Taking into account knowledge exchanges across all sub-clusters, for those businesses not exchanging any knowledge (0), the average proportion is .69. For very little exchange (1), the average proportion is .15. For moderate exchange (2), the average proportion is .11. For very high exchange (3), the average proportion is .05. The results suggest that, when examined across all sub-clusters, less than half of wine businesses in Tasmania are exchanging knowledge on the climate change issue. To test if businesses in certain subclusters are exchanging more knowledge than businesses in other sub-clusters, I first classified each respondent business by its corresponding sub-cluster, including their knowledge exchange ratings. I then calculated the proportion of exchange across each sub-cluster, using this value to create a matrix for analysis in ORA, Carnegie Mellon’s social network analysis software. Figure 1 demonstrates the results of the network analysis. As can be seen, this analysis graphically reveals knowledge exchanges of businesses in each sub-cluster, and whether these exchanges are internal or external to the sub-cluster. However, to statistically compare sub-clusters, the proportion of exchange within the sub-cluster (intra-exchange) was examined relative to the proportion of exchange with the other sub-clusters (inter-exchange) across each sub-cluster. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests were conducted to detect statistical differences in the proportions. In all cases, no statistically significant differences were found (Coal River Valley, p=0.62, Derwent Valley, p=0.68, East Coast, p=0.28, Huon/ Channel, p=0.49, Pipers River, p=0.68, Tamar Valley, p=0.37; NB: North West was not calculated as no exchanges were recorded). The findings suggest that companies are not exchanging more knowledge about climate change within their sub-cluster relative to other subclusters. Lastly, mitigative actions (those actions designed to curtail and reverse climate change through carbon footprint management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions) and adaptive actions (those actions that seek to take advantage of new opportunities resulting from climate change or to adjust to detrimental climate change impacts) were September 2012 – Issue 584

Figure 1. Network analysis. Note: line thickness represents intensity of knowledge exchange.

assessed. As for mitigative actions, 90% of respondents are reducing the extent to which they use agrichemicals (which reduces greenhouse gas emissions). Further, more than half of the respondents have some form of environmental management system, which aids in the monitoring and control of greenhouse gas emissions. Alternatively, 61% of respondents are sequestering carbon (e.g. through planting trees or shrubs), which enables them to further mitigate climate change. As for adaptive actions, there is a clear effort being made to manage water resources; namely, in the form of conserving water use in wineries (53%), water efficiency techniques in the vineyard (87%), and the use of technology to monitor water applications to vines (55%). On the other hand, some of the more highly discussed adaptive actions in the wine industry are receiving less attention. For example, less than 25% of respondents are attempting to grow or source grape varieties better suited to hotter temperatures. However, given Tasmania is a cool climate region, this finding should be put in perspective. Also, there is evidence to suggest that some wine businesses are attempting to mitigate the risk of climate variability by purchasing land or sourcing grapes from locations less vulnerable to these risks.

Conclusion On the whole, wine businesses exchanging knowledge on climate change within and between Tasmanian wine sub-clusters appears to be relatively weak. Given the high profile nature of the climate change issue, particularly in the wine industry (given its high reliance on climatic conditions), one might expect to find more significant results. However, a few of the respondents acknowledged that climate change might not be a risk in Tasmania—at least not a significant one. For example, one respondent said: ‘(It is) very hard for us to say climate change appears to be occurring’, while another stated ‘You missed the option of the climate cooling over the next decade or more as suggested by several solar scientists!’ Lastly, another respondent claimed, ‘we may never have to think about changing things in [Tasmania] to counteract global climate change. Alternatively, it may impact us on a more positive perspective’. This, in part, could explain lower levels of knowledge exchange relative to, for example, more significant, pressing issues, such as how to economically sustain a wine business in current market conditions. As for response to climate change, there is evidence to suggest that wine producers in the various Tasmanian wine sub-clusters are looking to be good Grapegrower & Winemaker


winemaking stewards of the natural environment, while implementing actions that will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (i.e., curtail climate change). The implementation of adaptive actions was, however, generally less common. One explanation for a lack of findings here might be due to respondent perceptions that climate change is not likely to have an overly disruptive force on wine production in Tasmania. In addition, previous studies suggest that implementing adaptive actions in the wine industry can be very costly, and can take several years (if not decades) to achieve economic returns (Galbreath 2012). Hence, in the context of this study, Tasmanian wine producers could be hesitant to expend scarce resources on actions that adapt to climate change, particularly if short-term gains cannot be realised. In conclusion, the results of this study confirm previous wine industry findings in Australia and abroad: impacts of climate change depend on location. Therefore, wine producers and various supporting industries are cautioned not to generalise affects, but rather to assess climate change impacts by location, including regional, macro, and micro-level considerations. This would especially be the case before making costly, and potentially long-term impacting decisions on production practices and new product development. For further information and a copy of the full report of this study, please contact the author at:

Dr Jeremy Galbreath, Curtin Graduate School of Business, Curtin University, Western Australia.


Galbreath, J. 2011a. Margaret River study explores climate change response. Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, February (Issue 565): 54-56. Galbreath, J. 2011b. To what extent is business responding to climate change? Evidence from a global wine producer. Journal of Business Ethics, 104: 421-432. Galbreath, J. 2012. On the relevancy of climate change to business: Evidence from the Margaret River wine region of Australia. American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) Working Paper No. 107. Available at org. Park, S.E., Marshall, N.A., Jakku, E., Dowd, A.M., Howden, S.M., Mendham, E., & Fleming, A. 2012. Informing adaptation responses to climate change through theories of transformation. Global Environmental Change, 22: 115-126. Porter, M.E. 2000. Location, competition and economic development: Local clusters in a global economy. Economic Development Quarterly, 14: 15-34. Webb, L.B., Whiting, J., Watt, A., Hill, T., Wigg, F., Dunn, G., Needs, S., & Barlow, E.W.R. 2010. Managing grapevines through severe heat: A survey of growers after the 2009 summer heatwave in south-eastern Australia. Journal of Wine Research, 21: 147-165.

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Toby Barlow, senior winemaker/site manager, St Hallett Wines, Barossa Valley.

Toby Barlow takes top honours at AWAC 2012 The Australian Wine Research Institute and the Royal Adelaide Wine Show have awarded Toby Barlow, senior winemaker at St Hallett, Dux of the 2012 Advanced Wine Assessment Course. The AWRI’s 2012 AWAC was held at the Adelaide Showground in June. Over four challenging days, 30 participants evaluated a diverse range of more than 320 wines under simulated wine show conditions. Lectures were presented by staff from AWRI and contributions were also provided from 12 leading wine show judges, journalists and winemakers. “Dux is awarded to the AWAC participant who is, statistically, the most highly reliable, consistent taster and who possesses the ability to clearly articulate with confidence the attributes and quality of wines tasted,” AWAC coordinator Con Simos said. “Toby Barlow is a worthy recipient of the award of Dux.” The Dux of AWAC is offered a position as an associate judge at the next Royal Adelaide Wine Show. Chair of judges of the Royal Adelaide Wine Show, Sue Hodder said. “The wine show system supports the continued development of quality Australian wine. Therefore, it is essential that show judges are well trained and skilled wine assessors. The Royal Adelaide Wine Show supports the development of quality assessors and we are delighted to accept Toby as an associate judge for the next show.” Barlow completed an undergraduate degree in philosophy before he discovered a passion for wine while planting a vineyard in the Strathbogie Ranges in 1996. He has since acquired a Graduate Diploma in Oenology from the University of Adelaide and has completed vintages in France, the US, New Zealand, Hunter Valley and north east Victoria. Barlow was winemaker at Mitchelton for seven years before moving to St Hallett in the Barossa in 2007. “The AWAC is a rare opportunity in a competitive industry to solely focus on wine assessment technique and building understanding of wine quality differentials that influence judging. The course has certainly positively impacted my tasting style in the winery tasting lab,” Barlow said. “One of the most valuable lessons was to focus on being present with the wine in the glass while constantly cognisant of the factors that could be affecting your perception at the point of tasting.” The delivery of the elite AWRI AWAC continues to be an important career development opportunity for those who wish to strengthen their knowledge in wine show judging and improve or benchmark their sensory skills. Over 930 participants have completed the program since 1992. Enquiries about the course can be made to Virginia Phillips at:

September 2012 – Issue 584

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ask the Malolactic fermentation issues explored Each year the AWRI’s Winemaking and Extension Services team receives numerous queries regarding problems associated with malolactic fermentation (MLF). Some of the more common questions and responses are discussed here.

What are the main wine compositional parameters that inhibit MLF?

Alcohol, pH, temperature and sulphur dioxide are the main wine compositional factors that determine the successful induction and completion of MLF. Each has a range, over which MLF is favourable, but outside of their respective ranges MLF becomes increasingly difficult or inhibited. Because these factors essentially work synergistically it is difficult to consider them independently of each other. This means that as one or more parameters becomes increasingly unfavourable, MLF will become increasingly difficult (i.e. the factors are additive). Conditions for MLF are more favourable at higher pH and become less favourable at lower pH. However, it must be remembered that wines are more susceptible to spoilage at high

pH (favours growth of spoilage lactic acid bacteria, such as Pediococcus) and SO2 becomes more toxic at low pH, as the SO2 equilibrium shifts to provide more molecular SO2. Therefore, a pH in the range 3.3–3.5 represents a balance between low and high pH. Within this pH range, the free SO2 should be less than 5–10mg/L and the total SO2 should be less than 30–40mg/L. The addition of a maximum of 50mg/L total SO2 before crushing is considered not to adversely affect MLF. The absolute lower limit for MLF is around pH3.0 when all other factors are highly favourable. It is important to note that some strains of yeast produce significant concentrations of SO2 and this needs to be taken into consideration along with added SO2 (i.e. choose a low SO2-producing strain if other inhibitory factors are also present). Furthermore, some strains of

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yeast produce more SO2 when significant diammonium phosphate (DAP) has been added. Although all SO2 exists in the bound form (mostly to acetaldehyde) immediately after fermentation, the total SO2 is still inhibitory to MLF because bacteria metabolise the acetaldehyde fraction, releasing the SO2 as inhibitory free SO2. Although the optimum growth temperature for lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in grape juice is around 30°C, as the ethanol concentration increases the optimum temperature falls sharply due to the increased toxic effects of ethanol at higher temperatures. Consequently, the optimum temperature for Oenococcus oeni growth and malic acid metabolism in wine is in the 18–22°C range, with the lower end being recommended if the alcohol is 14% v/v or higher. Inoculation temperature is most important because


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Favourable and unfavourable conditions for MLF: Parameter



Free SO2 (mg/L)



Total SO2 (mg/L)



Alcohol (%v/v)



Temperature (°C)

18 – 22

<16, >25


3.3 – 3.5


Note that if any one parameter is on the cusp of being unfavourable, MLF will be slow even when all the other parameters are favourable. If all parameters are nearing unfavourable conditions, the risk of inducing successful MLF is greatly reduced.

it is the growth stage that is most sensitive to sub-optimal temperature; once growth has occurred, MLF can continue down to around 16°C but at a much lower rate. In addition to the parameters mentioned above, pesticide residues from the vineyard can also inhibit the development of LAB, with the effect being enhanced by the presence of ethanol. High residual copper can also pose a problem. When is the best time to inoculate with malolactic bacteria?

Traditionally, MLF occurs, or is induced, shortly after the end of primary fermentation and can produce wines with great complexity and structure. However, there is now increasing interest in inoculation of the malolactic bacteria at the start of, or during, the alcoholic fermentation (AF). Co-inoculation, or inoculation during AF, can overcome MLF problems associated with high ethanol levels and reduced nitrogen content at the end of AF. Early inoculation generally also results in a shorter overall fermentation time, which can lower the risk of spoilage by other micro-organisms such as Lactobacillus, Pediococcus and Brettanomyces species. Shorter overall fermentation time also means wines are available for racking, fining and SO2 additions sooner. However, there are also possible risks associated with early inoculation, including inhibition by high SO2 added during harvest, transportation, crushing or clarification, undesirable or antagonistic interactions between yeast and/or bacteria (strain compatibility is most important), stuck AF and possible production of off-odours, such as acetic acid from LAB simultaneous metabolism of citric acid and glucose. The latter problem is generally only observed if yeast inoculation fails. Early inoculation might be considered for wines intended for early release, wines that might be more susceptible to microbial spoilage, or wines which might have a history of Brettanomyces growth during, or after, post-fermentation MLF. However, it should be noted that temperature control is required if early inoculation is used, as high fermentation temperatures can be detrimental to both the bacteria and the yeast.

LAB are sensitive to SO2 so the addition of bacteria in the case of early inoculation should be delayed until yeast activity becomes noticeable (typically 18–24 hours or more) if SO2 has been added, in order to allow the yeast to bind up the free SO2. Given the possibility of yeast/bacteria interactions, suppliers of these micro-organisms should be consulted before trying early or co-inoculation in order to obtain the yeast–bacteria combination least likely to cause issues. Finally, it should be noted that the flavour profile of a wine resulting from early inoculation can be different to that resulting from post-fermentation MLF. I’m thinking of co-inoculating with yeast and bacteria this year. My ferments usually go up to 32°C, will this be OK?

No! Temperature in excess of 25°C slows the malolactic fermentation and increases the risk of bacterial spoilage and increased volatile acidity. Temperatures above 25°C become particularly inhibitory when the alcohol concentration is greater than 10% v/v. The temperature should be 16–25°C at the start of fermentation and kept less than 25°C once the alcohol reaches approximately 10% v/v. Note that the optimum temperature for O. oeni in wine is in the range 18–22°C, as indicated above. I have a wine that has unfavourable wine compositional parameters. Is there anything I can do to maximise the chances of completing MLF?

We have found that preparation of a MLF starter culture using a protocol that acclimatises the bacteria to the harsh wine conditions provides the highest chance of a successful MLF. Freeze-dried bacteria can be used, however, suppliers should be consulted on choosing a malolactic bacteria strain that is most compatible with the fermentation yeast used. A protocol that sets out the steps required to adapt a freeze-dried bacteria culture for harsh conditions is available on the AWRI website: w w w. a w r i . c o m . a u /i n d u s t r y_ s u p p o r t /w i n e m a k i n g _ resources/frequently_asked_questions/mlf-starter-culture/ What change in titratable acid can I expect after MLF?

Malic acid is a diprotic acid, meaning it can dissociate to give two protons in solution (which can be titrated), but lactic acid is only monoprotic and dissociates to give only one proton. Therefore, for each molecule of malic acid converted to lactic acid, two previously available protons are replaced with only one available proton. Consequently, the contribution of lactic acid to the titratable acidity (TA) will only be half that of the previous contribution by malic acid, if all the malic acid is converted to lactic acid. Now, each gram per litre of malic acid contributes 1.12g/L to the

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September 2012 – Issue 584

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titratable acidity (TA) expressed in terms of tartaric acid. Assuming practically all of the malic acid is converted to lactic acid, the TA (expressed as tartaric acid) will drop by 1.12 ÷ 2 = 0.56g/L for each g/L of malic acid that was originally present in the wine. So, if a wine starts with 2g/L of malic acid, the TA would be expected to drop by 0.56 x 2 = 1.12g/L after MLF, whilst the TA would be expected to drop by 2.24g/L if 4g/L of malic acid had been present before MLF. In practice, other factors may influence this relationship, such as the formation of additional lactic acid from the utilisation of sugars, or the precipitation of potassium bitartrate. At what level of malic acid can MLF be considered complete?

Generally, it is best to aim for a malic acid result of ‘not detected’, which is usually <0.05g/L by enzymatic analysis. However, a result of 0.1g/L or less is low enough for the MLF to be considered

virtually complete. Whilst any detectable level of malic acid indicates the presence of a substrate for LAB growth, there are also other substrates present, including pentose sugars, glycerol and other organic acids. Citric acid, for example is metabolised at a slightly slower rate than malic and so waiting an extra week or measuring residual citric acid can be useful. Once citric acid becomes undetectable MLF can be considered complete. Note that VA slightly increases as citric is being metabolise by around 0.1 g/L (acetic acid is a product of citrate metabolism) and diacetyl can also be transiently smelt during this stage. Should I sterile filter at bottling a red wine containing residual malic acid?

Sterile filtration followed by sterile bottling is the best way of ensuring no microbiological activity occurs after bottling. This treatment removes all bacteria (and yeast) and should ultimately have little, if any, negative effect on

the sensory properties of the wine if performed properly. If a winemaker does not want to sterile filter, then the wine should be highly clarified by settling, racking and tight pad filtration, and the pH and SO2 concentration should be such that >0.6mg/L of molecular SO2 is present in the wine just after bottling. For example, if the pH is 3.5, then the free SO2 concentration should be at least 30mg/L. The wine should be checked for any viable micro-organism a couple of weeks after bottling by plating on appropriate media. Where can I find out more?

Further information on malolactic fermentation can be found on the AWRI website under Research & Development > Grape and wine production > Yeast, bacteria and fermentation > Malolactic fermentation ( research_and_development/grape_and_ wine_production/yeast_bacteria_and_ fermentation/malolactic-fermentation/).

Australian wine book wins international prize An Australian book on the scientific principles regarding viticulture practice has won received international recognition. The book ‘The Grapevine: from the science to the practice of growing vines for wine’ has won an Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) prize in the viticulture section of the OIV 2012 book awards. Written by four of Australia’s leading viticulture scientists — Dr Patrick Iland, Dr Peter Dry, Dr Tony Proffitt and Professor Steve Tyerman – the book was judged as providing a comprehensive review of the literature and its application to the practice of grapegrowing. Each year the OIV awards prizes to books that have made a significant contribution to the knowledge of a particular discipline and that are judged to be the best books published in each discipline for that year. Iland and Dry are past lecturers in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, the University of Adelaide. Iland now writes and publishes educational wine books, and is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide. Peter Dry is an adjunct associate Professor at the University of Adelaide and a viticulture consultant at the Australian Wine Research Institute. Proffitt is a viticulture consultant based in Western Australia and lectures in the Department of Environment

90 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Authors Dr Peter Dry, Dr Tony Proffitt, Dr Patrick Iland and Professor Steve Tyerman.

and Agriculture at Curtin University. Tyerman, one of the world’s leading researchers in vine physiology, is the chair of viticulture in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, at the University of Adelaide.

The book targets scientists, students and practitioners and anyone involved in viticulture and winemaking. While it focuses on theory, it also contains practical aspects of growing vines for wine. September 2012 – Issue 584

essential oenology

Wine analysis during crushing and pressing pH and TA

Greg Howell

Introduction There are a number of different tests that are done on juice and must at the time of crushing and pressing. These tests are explained here, with some new developments in tests and equipment noted.

Testing during crushing and pressing The main analyses performed during the process of crushing and pressing grapes are well established. There are typically (in alphabetical order): • pH • sulfur dioxide, free and total (measured in units of mg/L) • titratable acidity, TA (measured in units of g/L of tartaric acid) • total soluble solids, TSS (units in Brix or Baumè) • yeast assimilable nitrogen, YAN (measured in mg/L of nitrogen). Other tests may be done depending on the season and areas of particular interest to the winemaker. Some examples of other tests include Botrytis cinerea analysis (this has been very common in some regions in the past few years), colour and malic acid. Equipment used will depend upon the size of the winery facility, available budget, amount of grapes treated per day and the number of tests done per day.

New developments TSS (Brix and Baume) There are now a number of portable electronic instruments available for this test. They are quite reasonably priced and, being portable, the testing can be done at the crusher or press. This can be a blessing or a curse, as these devices are quite delicate. From our experience these devices come in either Brix or Baumè measurement mode, but not both. Again it will depend upon the winery as to which unit of measurement they prefer. Refractometers are also used extensively. Being a portable instrument (in fact they typically will fit in a pocket) they are very handy devices as well. The traditional hydrometer is still widely used with the -2-10˚ and 10-20˚ Baumè the most popular of those that we sell. September 2012 – Issue 584

The ever-reliable pH meter is a very popular and versatile instrument for measuring both pH and TA. The meters of all brands that we have used or tested are very robust, particularly when used as a bench top instrument in the laboratory. Some portable units can be used onsite at the crusher or press but great care needs to be taken as if they are dropped, they will be most likely damaged. The main developments in this technology have been in electrode design. There are several now on the market that are well designed for use in the proteinrich grape juice environment. There are several descriptions for these – double junction, annular ring intermediate junction, double bridge, etc. The key design feature is that the juice/wine does not enter the inner section of the electrode. The traditional general purpose design that uses a ceramic frit is not recommended by us for use in wine as some components, particularly protein, can get into the inner section and cause problems such as clogging up the frit and causing inaccuracies. Although some manufacturers claim that this type of electrode can be cleaned and made good this has not been our experience. The price tag of around $200-300 for a good double junction type electrode should be seen as a normal consumable expense. In our busy labs we use the best and typically get six months usage per electrode. The message: don’t be afraid to replace the electrode at least annually if you find performance is waning.

Sulfur dioxide The traditional Rankine apparatus is widely used throughout Australia. Although this is a wet chemistry and manual method we still recommend it as the best alternative. Once set up there are very few running costs except for the chemical consumables, these being quite inexpensive. This is not a portable instrument and samples should be taken to the winery lab for testing.

YAN This has become a more popular test over the last 10 years and is quite easy to perform, but does require a spectrophotometer and the use of test kits. The price of a basic spectrophotometer is now less than $200 - this price having come down considerably over the past decade. Many smaller wineries are now utilising this equipment and are able to

get YAN results for themselves instead of sending out to a consulting lab. Using YAN results helps considerably in making decisions about the level of yeast nutrient needed per batch of fruit. This ability in turn should assist in reducing the number of problem ferments experienced in a winery.

Botrytis testing The last three vintages have seen an enormous amount of testing done for Botrytis infection. This has not been across all regions but certainly the Eastern States have had quite an issue with this fungus. The jury still seems to be out as to the most effective way to evaluate the level of Botrytis infection in grapes. In Australia the tests that have been used included: • vineyard estimates of per cent of Botrytis infection • the white plate method • laccase testing • ELISA testing (QuickStix dip sticks). There does not appear to be good correlation between these techniques and research is ongoing as to the best way forward. One interesting method that is being used in Spain and now in the US is to monitor gluconic acid by utilising test kits and a spectrophotometer. Botrytis is the only organism of any interest that produces gluconic acid. In some Spanish wineries limits are set on the acceptable levels of gluconic acid with payments being tied to the levels of this acid in fruit at the weighbridge. This is a very simple test (similar to measuring malic acid, done now in lots of wineries) and one that provides an accurate result in real units, not on an arbitrary scale as laccase testing does. This is not new technology, having been done for many years in French wineries as well. Trials will be performed in our labs this coming vintage using gluconic acid as a marker for Botrytis infection.

Conclusion There are some new developments in testing of juice and must at the crushing and pressing stage of wine production. One area where more work need to be done to provide sound and usable results is in the checking for Botrytis. Gluconic acid testing may well be a more useful technique than those currently employed. Greg Howell is managing director and founder of Vintessential Laboratories which operates ISO 17025 accredited consulting wine laboratories in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland. He can be contacted by email on Grapegrower & Winemaker



Managing winery wastewater for vintage and non-vintage periods Mitchell Laginestra

Introduction Treatment of wastewater at wineries presents a significant challenge, since: • winemaking uses approximately 2-2.5L of water for every litre of wine produced (with the used water generated from cleaning, residuals drainage, CIP operations, tank cleanouts, filter washing, etc, ending up as wastewater) • waste streams are extremely variable in volume and quality (with peak flows and contaminant concentrations occurring during vintage). The variability requires ongoing monitoring to ensure the plant is performing to environmental requirements. Coupled with stretched budget and resources, treatment can present a daunting task when it comes to system maintenance and catering for vintage peaks. Wastewater characteristics and final disposal of the treated effluent will dictate the type of treatment system required.

Wastewater characteristics Winery wastewater contains a variety of contaminants, which must be treated prior to release to the environment. During vintage, which runs for only three to four months each year, the contaminant concentration and volume of wastewater increases significantly (typically over 80% of the annual wastewater is produced during this time). For the rest of the time wastewater is significantly lower in strength and volume.

Table 1. Winery wastewater characteristics: vintage vs. non-vintage. Parameter

Vintage period

Non-vintage period

BOD, mg/L

2,500 – 7,000

800 – 1500



6 – 10

Suspended solids, mg/L

500 – 1500

200 – 800

Nitrogen, mg/L Total phosphorus, mg/L

20 – 75 10 – 20

5 – 25 5 – 10

75-90% reduction (also reducing other contaminants). This is achieved by biological degaradation in the presence of oxygen, by aerobic microorganisms, which convert the matter to inert solids, new cells and carbon dioxide. Biologically-treated effluents are typically suitable for irrigation (which is the most common form of treated effluent disposal). Filtration downstream of the biological process will further reduce contaminants (mainly aimed at suspended solids) and potentially enables a wider use for the effluent (cleaning of non-wine production areas and washdown). There is no panacea for winery wastewater treatment, and what is the best one for the operator is site specific, and dependent on the following factors: • effluent quality requirements (i.e., what the effluent is used for, which dictates how clean the effluent needs to be) • space availability including buffer requirements • budget – capital and annual • technical capability and skill of

operators – treatment systems require checking and maintenance. They do not operate by themselves. However, different treatment systems have different operational requirements. Wineries are often located in rural locations with space and, consequently, lagoon treatment systems are common, followed by irrigation of effluent on vineyards. This is not always the case, and there are many mechanical systems, which are generally perceived as easier to implement with minimal footprint. However, there are a number of incidences where both types of systems are not performing (or minimal treatment is practised), and poor quality wastewater is irrigated, which presents an environmental risk. Poor treatment performance generally occurs during vintage (when loads are higher). In terms of designing the system to cater for variability, the key issues involve overcoming diurnal flow variations and contaminant variation between seasons. While lagoon systems are very forgiving, and can handle hydraulic variations, the vintage period

Wastewater treatment There are several broad options for treatment of winery wastewater, including: • physical/chemical processes (e.g., settling tanks, filtration, pH correction) • mechanical biological processes (activated sludge, trickling filtration, anaerobic digestion, etc) • lagoon and natural systems (biological processes, including anaerobic and aerobic ponds, and wetlands). Lagoons or mechanical processes aim to reduce the organic matter (measured as BOD - biological oxygen demand) and well-designed systems can achieve

92 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Figure 1. Lagoon treatment systems may need an aeration boost during vintage.

September 2012 – Issue 584

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winemaking Table 2. Comparison of lagoons vs. mechanical systems Lagoon treatment

Mechanical systems

General description

• Aerobic lagoon (2-4m deep), followed by maturation pond / lagoon (1-2m deep)

• Activated sludge bioreactor with mechanical aeration, settling tank


• • • • • •

• Capable of achieving significant BOD reduction, and high nutrient reduction • Small footprint • Easier to control odours


• Effluent quality inferior to mechanical – not capable of removing large proportion of nutrients • Large footprint (some 30 x mechanical systems) • Algae can impact on effluent quality • Odour can be an issue if not maintained • Additional oxygenation during vintage

• • • • • •

High capital cost compared to lagoons High operating costs, particularly during vintage High sludge generation High power consumption Requires skilled operator Requires pH correction

Ancillary requirements

• Large earthen ponds • Stable embankments • Mechanical aeration during vintage

• • • • •

Concrete or steel tanks Chemical dosing system Mechanical aeration Settling system Frequent sludge disposal regime

Applications – why you would choose this system

• • • •

Land availability, remote to cellar door Budgetary constraints Low effluent quality requirements (irrigation only) Limited resources to allocate to operations and maintenance • Limited power availability

• High effluent quality for re-use (large area irrigation and high quality required for other applications) • Limited land available • Adjacent compost operations or suitable applications for high sludge disposal rate

Operational requirements

• General checking/monitoring • Periodic desludging • Algae minimisation to prevent irrigator blockage

• Constant checking and monitoring • Daily to weekly sludge wasting

Typical requirements for vintage treatment

• Boost oxygenation through mechanical aeration or provide anaerobic treatment at front end

• Either provide additional aeration capacity (high/low for vintage/non-vintage) or provide anaerobic digestion as pre-treatment.

presents greater contaminant loading, and unless additional treatment is introduced, then effluent quality can deteriorate, resulting in odour generation. For mechanical systems, it is important to design for vintage BOD (by providing additional aeration). However, hydraulic variation can be an issue and flow balancing is important (often combined with pH correction, as the biomass in mechanical systems is sensitive). For aerobic lagoons, unless there is sufficient oxygenation capacity, dissolved oxygen can fall to low levels, and septic conditions occur (where odorous gases are produced). Overcoming this issue might involve installation of additional mechanical aeration units at the onset, and throughout the vintage period. An alternative to additional aeration might include implementation of an anaerobic system (degradation of organic matter in the absence of oxygen – involving longer detention times and deeper lagoons > 4m). This provides an opportunity to obtain a beneficial by-product – methane-rich biogas, product of anaerobic degradation, which can be used to generate electricity.

Simple to operate Capable of achieving significant BOD reduction Minimal sludge generation Natural pH buffering Low capital cost Low energy

Anaerobic ponds are designed to cater for high organic loading, so are suitable for wineries during vintage. Covering of anaerobic lagoons is becoming more common place in other industries (typically for control of odours and collection of biogas for power generation). Anaerobic systems can lie dormant for long periods of time (non-vintage) but could also be used to cater for residuals from wastewater treatment (aerobic stage) or even external waste streams. Management of residuals from wastewater treatment is often neglected in design of systems. Lagoons and mechanical system both generate sludge (although lagoons need only to be desludged every three to five years, mechanical system create significantly more because of energy input and biomass reproduction rate). Residuals generated from wine production (marc and lees) present another issue, and unless dealt with within a short period of time, can result in odours. Land spreading is typically employed for disposal, but there are limitations and organic loading of land can be an issue. However, they are biodegradable, and consequently

there is an opportunity to stabilise via an anaerobic system (same as that used for wastewater). A comparison of lagoon treatment and mechanical systems is outlined in Table 2.

Sustainable operation Today, it is common in industry to seek sustainable solutions for all activities. Whilst there are a number of definitions, sustainability is generally achieving appropriate environmental, economic and social outcomes. There are broad opportunities to achieve a largely sustainable operation at wineries through: • treatment of wastewater to produce an effluent quality for irrigation (making use of the wastewater, optimising the treatment plant operation and regarding it as a resource rather than waste disposal) • application of residuals by-product for compost production to provide a beneficial organic resource which may be used to improve soil qualities. Re-use of winery wastewater is certainly possible after treatment. The extent of treatment is largely dictated

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September 2012 – Issue 584

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Figure 3. Wineries – the sustainable approach.

by the intended usage which defines the effluent quality requirements. Irrigation of vineyards or woodlots are typical uses for recycled effluent, with other potential uses of the reclaimed water including washing of concrete areas, service water for heating and cooling and landscape irrigation. Each of these typically requires a higher standard of treatment than provided by lagoons, and with greater cost implications.


Conclusions There is no panacea for winery wastewater treatment. There are a range of aspects to consider and this should be developed on a site-specific basis. Lagoons are cheaper and simpler to build and operate, compared with mechanical wastewater treatment systems. However, there are limitations, including a lower standard of effluent, algal blooms impacting on effluent quality and neglect in desludging (also impacting on effluent quality). Whilst lagoon systems are very forgiving, the vintage presents much greater loading, and unless additional mechanical aeration capacity is introduced, then effluent quality can deteriorate. Wastewater treatment involves a cost, but there is a satisfaction from adopting sustainable principles and treating the effluent to a standard which allows re-use – either through irrigation of vineyards or general washdown.

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September 2012 – Issue 584

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Grapegrower & Winemaker



Using your egg is a natural for this down to earth winemaker An ancient wine vessel from Georgia makes it into the 21st Century as the latest in simple, stylish technology. Grahame Whyte

GOURMET TRAVELLER’S YOUNG winemaker of the year in 2010, Tom Shobbrook of Shobbrook Wines in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, has a simple philosophy when it comes to making wine. “I try to grow the best fruit I can and then make wine without any additions,” Shobbrook said. “We don’t use any lab equipment – we use a glass and rely on my palate,” he said. “We do check to make sure our sugar levels aren’t too high – it’s all about taste and flavour.

“There is a press and bottling machine that’s powered by electricity but everything else in the winery is done by gravity.” Utilising these very simple and traditional techniques, Shobbrook is fermenting white wine in the latest Australian-made ceramic fermenter, the Magnum675. “We’ve got three at the moment and another three coming. We started with 43-litre vessels in Sydney three years ago, in a project looking at what would happen with Hunter Valley Semillon fermented on different levels of skin

A work of art Ceramic craftsman Phil Sedgman is based in beautiful Byron Bay. “From what I have seen, the wine industry is very competitive and winemakers are seeking different ways to improve their wines,” Sedgman said. He uses slipcasting to create unique egg-shaped wine fermentation vessels which are kiln fired at 1260ºC, allowing optimal wall thickness of 11-12mm. The result is an inert, robust vessel that allows developing wine to move naturally. “The shape is derived from the golden mean and a section of the hyperbolic cone and coincidentally resembles the

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terracotta qvevris used by Georgian winemakers for thousands of years. “Our magnums are practical and can benefit any winemaker, but our market research suggests strong interest from specialty winemakers. “Now we’re making one a week and have installations all around Australia. We’ve also improved our production systems in anticipation of the 2013 harvest season,” he said. The Magnum675 costs $5600 and the smaller Magnum43 is $650. More info at

contact, from nothing through to 100 percent skins, to see what the flavour profiles were like,” he said. But, why ceramic? “It’s something from the earth – and there’s a very delicate micro-oxygenation from the porous nature. “Because of the temperature they are fired at they shouldn’t leak. “They are very strong vessels, we can transport them around on a trailer – unless you stick a forklift through them or break them, they should last forever.” Although the ceramics have only been used above ground so far, Shobbrook is keen to experiment with underground fermentation. And the current brew? “It’s really fine and delicate,” Shobbrook said. “It’s kept everything beautiful and lean, nice and tight, and you do see a slight chalky character as well. “After nine months, the results are great. “Stainless steel taints wine – it’s not inert. And it changes temperature very quickly. “Glass is inert and clay and stainless aren’t – clay seem to be slightly more insulating. In our ceramics you’ve got warm wine at the top and it’s moving down through circulation.” Shobbrook’s Riesling will go to topend restaurants, cafes, bistros and independent bottle shops in Melbourne, as well as small export markets including the US and Japan. Pricewise, how does ceramic compare? “To buy the same vessel in stainless – an imported stainless steel tank costs about $1200 – if you get that in Australia with very good quality you’re looking at somewhere around $3500, and we are paying about $5600 for ceramic,” Shobbrook said. “A 600L wine vessel in oak would be about $4500, though with narrower staves they can be as little as $2500. “And you can get concrete vessels too, but transport is an issue – they are very heavy.” Adelaide Hills’ Lucy Margaux winemaker, Anton van Klopper is making three wines in the Magnum375 – September 2012 – Issue 584


Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and a red Pinot Gris on skins. He is also using smaller ceramic vessels to make dessert wine from Sauvignon Blanc bunches dried on straw before pressing and fermenting. “Every vessel has a flavour – stainless is a bit metallic and wood broadens things out,” van Klopper said. “But ceramic definitely does tighten things up – they almost have a chalky flavour.”

Wine writer Huon Hooke expressed surprise at the Natural Selection Theory approach to winemaking, when he said: “With [Sam] Hughes, van Klopper and [James] Erskine, Tom is part of NST, who do some way-out stuff, like fermenting white wine on skins in ceramic ‘eggs’. They packed the eggs in various soils – just to see if it made any difference”. In this fast moving, techno world, it seems ceramic has muscled its way into being the bright new kid on the block.

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Winemaker Tom Shobbrook, left, with ceramic craftsman Phil Sedgman in the Barossa Valley.

There’s no shortage of gold in this medal tally Last month the Hunter Valley’s top wines were unveiled at the 2012 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show with small family owned producers Meerea Park and De Iuliis taking out top honours. Meerea Park Terracotta Semillon 2006 (RRP $30) was awarded the Petrie-Drinan Trophy for Best Dry White Wine of the Show and De Iuliis Steven Vineyard Shiraz 2011 (RRP $40) took out the Doug Seabrook Memorial Trophy for Best Dry Red Wine of the Show. Another of the Hunter’s dark horses yet most colourful winemaking personalities, Mike De Iuliis has once again gone above and beyond winning the trophy for Best Dry Red of Show for the De Iuliis Steven Vineyard Shiraz 2011, an apt tribute to his commitment to the NSW wine industry. With a focus September 2012 – Issue 584

on single vineyard winemaking and an innovative marketing approach, De Iuliis is certainly one to watch. International Judge Lisa PerrottiBrown MW said, “Having judged a number of Australian wine shows by now, I have to say that in my experience the Hunter Valley Wine Show 2012 ranks amongst the best organised and judged. But a show can’t be great without great wines, so I’d like to particularly thank the Hunter producers for making some very impressive wines in recent years. The unique styles of Shirazes, Semillons and Chardonnays have especially been a pleasure to judge, and believe me I don’t say that at every show. The best wines demonstrated purity, perfume and elegance as only the Hunter Valley can achieve.”

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Crushing the myths about pressing Gerri Nelligan

Freddie (fledgling winemaker) is buying his first kit and he’s got plenty of experienced Crushes & winemakers giving Presses him advice. He’s on to presses and crushers – ‘What’s the best?’ he asks. ‘How long is a piece of string?’ is the reply. There’s no simple answer. It all depends on the size of your crush, your ‘hands-on vs mechanism’ philosophy – and the size of your wallet. Then, there’s the ‘it just works for me’ factor …

Picardy Wines, Pemberton, WA Picardy Wines’ Dan Pannell uses a Vaslin Bucher Delta de-stemmer/crusher, and says it’s ideal for his purposes. “We’re all hand-picked here, so we wanted something which would de-stem gently and leave as many whole berries as possible. I’d used another brand elsewhere which was a mincer, so I knew what I didn’t want,” he said. “I want gentleness and whole berries, especially in the reds, as I want a slower ferment. So I really use it as a de-stemmer rather than a crusher. “And with the whites, I want a nice clean fruit split for juice extraction – but again, treating them gently, so I run it really slow. “That’s the only way we ever use it. We bucket in by hand, doing three tonnes an hour max and never working it hard for a gentle, controlled result.”

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The Delta’s flexibility also makes it ideal for small, hands-on winemaking operations, Pannell says. “Everything is adjustable – rotation speed, angle – which allows you to cater for different varieties and levels of ripeness,” he said. “And the right crusher for hand-picked fruit is different to one for machineharvesting. There it’s just acting as a separator, whereas mine is having to get the fruit off the bunches.” Pannell says there is one thing he’d change – in a perfect world. “We were lucky to get this when technology had already changed enough and I don’t think they’re offering a lot more now – nothing that meets our needs any better. In fact, this one seems to have been designed by a winemaker rather than an engineer – it just seems to work right,” he said. “The only change I’d make would be the must pump. This one does rip the berries a bit, so a more gentle one would be good. But at $18,000 ... ”

Bloodwood Wines, Orange NSW Flexibility is also high on the needs list of Bloodwood winemaker Stephen Doyle, and he found that in Enovenato presses and crushers. They obviously work for him, as six years ago he replaced his original equipment with a second round of the same. “They’re pretty flexible. The electronic controls let you use pre-programmed

cycles or pressure regimes, or set your own according to the vintage and condition of the grapes,” Doyle said. “There are various settings within cycles and you can change all the elements to get the extraction rate you’re after, varying as you go along to make it suit what you’re working with and towards. “That comes from experience with your fruit, of course, so having the set programs also makes it a good one to start with.” Doyle said he chose his Enovenato equipment for a number of reasons. “It was a size thing – it fits my operations. Also good reviews and word of mouth, and I’d seen them in action,” he said. “And it’s reliable. I’ve had this lot for six or seven years now and had no dramas. But then all our fruit is hand-picked, so if you’re not putting in secateurs and lizards etc you’re not going to have problems – what we do is pretty gentle.” He does have one reservation. “The only criticism I’d make of presses generally is they’re designed to look good but are difficult to clean. They could do a lot more in internal design to make them easier to wash out – that should be the next development. “So while this one will last until I drop dead, if they design one that’s easy to clean I’ll buy it.”

September 2012 – Issue 584

Delamere Vineyard, Pipers Book, TAS For Shane Holloway of Delamere Vineyard, size really matters. Time is of the essence in a Tamar Valley harvest, and pressing capacity makes it easier to beat the weather. “I bought a new press this year, specifically because it was bigger,” Holloway said. “We’d been using a one-tonne Velo bought with the property but we’ve increased production significantly, and the price of contract processing meant it was cheaper to buy a press. Historically we’ve always used Bucher but found most on the market too big, so we bought a five-tonne Puleo and got something with all the bells and whistles at a really good price.” They’ve had no regrets. “Because we do so much sparkling base we were looking at a tank press and it certainly offered all we wanted,” Holloway said. “You can program it to run as gently or hard as you like; doing both table and sparkling, we really need that flexibility. It’s infinitely programmable, and we can set the programs we want and pretty much leave it. I really can’t fault it.” The larger machine has impacted positively on Delamere’s entire operation. “Matching the press to the capacity and potential growth of our business was important and has given us way more control,” Holloway said. “It’s had a profound influence on the way we pick. Previously we’d have smaller crews and count the number of presses we could do in a day, whereas we’re now able to use a bigger crew and get through the blocks faster. “That’s really important in Tasmania, as the weather can be very fickle. When weather events happen we need to get the grapes in very quickly but previously we didn’t have the capacity to process it all.

“That meant a lot more potential for loss and bigger compromises in the vineyard to get it all off. Blocks that may have gone for table were brought in for sparkling simply because of the time factor. “Now decisions are made purely on the potential of the fruit.”

Brancott Estate, Blenheim, NZ Brancott Estate winemaker Patrick Materman says that for a large-scale operation like theirs, pneumatic bag presses are the way to go. “They’re gentle, they’re efficient and you can change the cycle for the type of fruit you’re putting through and the styles you’re making. Those are the important factors in choosing a press,” he said. “Ultimately, we’re trying to make the best wines we can and bag presses are pretty much the industry standard. “We do have basket presses in our Church Rd winery, but they have quite limited throughput for the scale we’re operating on. For the high-end material, though, absolutely we consider them. We’ve also got a coquard champagne (basket) press, which we use for our premium Methode Champenoise.” Materman said that while they’re happy with the equipment they’re currently using, they’re always keen to see what new technology can offer. “We do look at new technology – this year, rotary drum filters. The new ones do away with the filtering medium and reduce the waste stream, and are non-oxidative in terms of juice handling. “We’re always interested in what’s coming out but it comes down to the costs of installation and the payback period. And of course we also need to justify it on a quality basis.”


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For further information, please contact Kauri Lavina winemaker Tim Whitrow removed the crusher from his Puleo machine and instead uses it as a de-stemmer only. Combined with conveyor table sorting, the result is pure whole berries ready for the fermenter. September 2012 – Issue 584

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Grapegrower & Winemaker


winemaking New range of pneumatic presses, New models crushers & a selection of grape equipment

Delamere owners Shane Holloway and Fran Austin replaced their one-tonne Velo with a five-tonne Puleo this vintage, and say the increased capacity has allowed them to now make harvesting decisions based purely on fruit potential.

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Gently is also the way to go for Lavina winemaker Tim Whitrow. Like Pannell, he de-stems rather than crushes – in fact he’s ditched his crusher. “We’re going for quality, not volume, so we’re slow and gentle with our fruit,” he said. “It’s hand picked, then goes onto a conveyor and into a de-stemmer - a very gentle, variable speed Puleo with soft rubber tips. “We’ve removed the crusher and instead the fruit goes onto a vibrating sorting table, which takes out insect matter and unshot berries. It moves onto a second sorting table where a blower takes out leaf matter and then via conveyor into a bin. The result is pure whole berries that haven’t been crushed, which then go into an open fermenter.” Whitrow said it’s imperative that the process is gentle. “It’s such a critical time in the life of the wine, with so many factors that determine – very quickly – how the wine is shaped. It’s like the developmental years in a child,” he said. “So to have the equipment to control the direction of the wine is very important, as is the ability to vary for every batch. The Puleo also destems very cleanly, with very few berries shot to waste or stems sent over the sorting table.” The only crushing Whitrow does is literally manual, via a weekly foot stomp in the open fermenters to crush the

whole berries – it’s time consuming but achieves far better results. “So machinery-wise, it’s really just about destemming for us. That’s why the crusher’s in the shed.” Whitrow said the Puleo was chosen primarily for its variable spindle speed. “It gives us options in terms of the individual fruit batches – thick-skinned Cabernet, for instance, can go through quicker, whereas with thinner-skinned Grenache and whites you dial it right back and go very gently,” he said. “That and the rubber tips were the reasons we went for this unit - and the ease of cleaning. It literally has two clips and you can pull the thing apart in 30 seconds.” (We can imagine what Stephen Doyle is thinking now!) When it comes to pressing, Whitrow says his preference is a basket press. “It’s a lot more effort because you don’t get the initial extraction you get from a bag press, but there’s more control over the tannins from the skins and seeds,” he said. “There’s a lot of debate over bag or basket press but I’ve found you get a lot of seed laceration with the bag, which releases a lot of bitter tannins you don’t want. “But then it’s all relative: for our highend wines we’re looking for gentleness, protection against oxygen and slow, long extraction with tannin control. If we were doing 10,000 tonnes, that equipment simply wouldn’t be viable.” September 2012 – Issue 584


The world in a basket A middle-of-the-range basket press has been selected by a prominent Hunter Valley winery as the press of choice for making stylistically distinctive white wines.

Kellie Arbuckle

MUCH HAS BEEN written about the values of basket pressing. With a history dating back hundreds of years, it is often synonymous with tradition, which many winemakers believe works as a unique marketing cue. When it comes to quality, some makers believe that the basket press is the most gentle on the grapes. Some say it’s an economic alternative for those who don’t want to fork out bucket loads for a pneumatic press. For Tyrrells Wines, choosing the right press certainly boils down to the latter two points. The winery recently bought a Mori 130FL hydraulic basket press after sensing that its old English basket press, which was more than 100-years-old, had run its course. The new press arrived in December, just in

time for the 2012 vintage. Tyrrells senior winemaker Andrew Spinaze said the overarching decision to buy the press was an underlying desire to produce small batches of premium whites that evoke a touch of experimentation. “From a quality base, we see it as an improvement in style – it allows us to experiment,” he said. Spinaze uses the Mori on Tyrrells’ white wines, including the Belford Chardonnay ($40) and Johnno Semillon ($60). “Fresher fruit characters and aromatics are more evident in the finished wine. Normally with Semillon, you use a pectic enzyme to clarify the juice,” he said. “The clarity of juice from the basket

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September 2012 – Issue 584

press means I eliminate using enzymes, but has enough solids in the juice to give added texture to the finished wine.” He says the biggest advantage of the Mori is the higher recovery of free-run juice. “We’re not getting any pressings at all – it’s all free-run juice. If it was a normal press, we’d be downgrading about 10 per cent of the load to pressings, whereas here we’re recovering this as more premium juice. Convert that back to what you’re selling the wine for and it’s quite a big saving.” “Compared with pneumatic presses, the Mori also results in less solids, a slightly lower pH and increased TA (total acidity). The colour in the juice is slightly paler, which is also a positive.” In searching for a new basket press, Spinaze sought to find a press that would allow him to increase the number of loads per day. “Some of the prices were outrageous and many have too many bells and whistles that aren’t required. I couldn’t justify the recovery cost of it. That’s when we looked at the Mori.” To replace the same capacity (2.5 tonnes) basket press, prices ranged from $30-130,000, Spinaze says. He says the Mori, at $36,000, offered value for money. “In a normal shift we can do up to seven loads of 2.5t of crushed white must, which is double what we were doing before with the old press.” “What you get for a more expensive basket press is a more robust machine, but if you’re paying around $35,000 and you look after it well, it will do the job.” Spinaze hopes to purchase additional basket presses in the future to use on Tyrrells’ white wine portfolio.

Wine drinkers happy to hit the bottle, at least for now, according to new packaging report UK wine consumers are surprisingly adventurous in their choices of wine packaging, which could eventually mean the traditional 75ml bottle may lose its stranglehold on the market. But even though millions of regular drinkers have bought wine in formats like bag-in-box, Tetra Pak, plastic bottles and smaller sizes of glass bottle, the traditional 75ml option is still by far the most popular choice, according to Wine Intelligence research, with almost three quarters of consumers buying it regularly. More than half of all wine drinkers occasionally buy bag-in-box wines, and Tetra Pak wines have been purchased at some point by 13% of consumers. But only a small minority of these consumers opt for these formats more than once a month. Almost four in 10 wine drinkers have bought plastic (PET) bottles of wine, and the format clearly has some appeal as more than half of these consumers report buying the format on a regular basis. Consumers base their decisions on a wide range of factors, including value for money, portability and environmental credentials. However, occasion and product image are the most important. Wine Intelligence’s associate director for publishing, Graham Holter, said consumers’ open-mindedness had parallels with how screw caps were embraced a decade or so ago, although the industry needed to give consumers reasons to switch from familiar glass bottles.

Tyrrells senior winemaker Andrew Spinaze with the new Mori basket press.

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September 2012 – Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker



Oak alternatives – what’s new out there? Roundtable

Australia was one of the first countries in the world to dabble and experiment with oak alternatives for flavour enhancement of wine. Driven by exceedingly low price points, winemakers needed effective tools to give the wine structure without outlaying price per litre fortunes. As oak alternatives are still not talked about much in the wine community, Blair Hanel has posed some questions to four winemakers from different winemaking areas.

Andrew Higgins – McWilliams Wines – senior winemaker Hanwood

Joanne Nash – McPhersons Wines – winemaker

Geoff Thompson – FUSE Wine Services– general manager

Jade Woods – AVL Buronga Hill – senior red winemaker

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

Higgins: We prefer various suppliers that have a track record, a link or history in oak barrel production. Look for annual benchmarking of chips in bench trials and then achieving good result when theory is put into practice in the cellar. We like to work with companies that want to understand our winemaking styles and ensure they are providing

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products that can enhance and improve the quality of these wines. R&D is important in that it shows a commitment to continuous evolution and improvement in this dynamic industry. It typically is part of a good supplier’s philosophy but a high quality product that works with our wines is paramount. Nash: The Oak Solutions evOAK range is for me the first point of call when looking at oak regimes. Not only do they know their products extremely well, they are able to offer very good advice

depending on the end style you wish to achieve. Also they offer a wide range of alternatives and various toastings, types and profiles, making them a bit of a one-stop shop, if you like. Thompson: I look for quality, price, service and the range of products available – and the consistent delivery of these. I’m currently using evOAK, Seguin Moreau, Boise, BarriQ, Nacional, AP John and Creative Oak. R&D is important, as is technical support. Easy to use trial kits also make a difference when assessing product options.

September 2012 – Issue 584

winemaking Woods: Good ongoing working relationships with experienced suppliers, as is trialling the products ourselves in our own wines. Tasting trials are conducted by at least six to eight winemakers onsite. We use a number of different suppliers. Research and development also considered. Product consistency is a crucial priority for us and certain suppliers deliver on this. Gone are the days that cooperages are using the offcuts and shavings from barrel production to make alternatives for the wine industry. What major changes have you seen in this trend and what quality enhancements are now offered from suppliers?

Higgins: Use of tighter-grained material. Toasting technology to deliver repeatable flavour profiles. Ability to use different adjunct types and sizes to suit maturation requirements. Nash: The quality of staves and chips from Oak Solutions is very good. Again, you get what you pay for, however, with the various profiles, toastings and alternatives available, and also the constant drive for quality wine at lower price points, suppliers have no choice other than trying to keep up with market demands. Thompson: The consistency of quality year in, year out has improved, so my confidence in supply and the resulting impact on the wine has, too. The use of process controlled toasting technology and a focus on quality control have been integral to this improvement. The resulting range of alternatives with specific toasting profiles provides great options for building complexity into wine. Woods: I have personally been to one of the oak solutions cooperages in Missouri, US. Nothing goes to waste. Every part of the oak is used in production somehow.


The toasting methods were interesting (convection and infrared). You can see how the consistency in products is achieved and maintained. The packaging and manual handling of products have improved for the customer, particularly with the evOAK products that we use.

Thompson: It’s exactly that – making the best quality possible to a price point. We are coping well mixing it up between barrels, both new and old, along with barrel inserts, Flextank and stainless tanks with planks or chips depending on the quality of the fruit and the program to be supplied.

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

Woods: No barrels are used at our site. The oak alternatives that we use add structure and balance to our fruit-driven wines.

Higgins: Percentage of new oak use across wines, as a general rule, is decreasing due to style change in the market. Final target wine price point will drive the inputs you can afford in a wine but you cannot just change your oak program overnight. The need to be more selective in the oak you use to achieve the desired impact of flavour and tannin weight is paramount in these wines. So a good relationship with the suppliers, understanding of toasting and grain profiles to enhance is necessary. Refine what you do and trial on a small scale to improve as often as possible. Nash: I am the first to admit that there is nothing like the oak of a new barrel to seduce any winemaker, however unfortunately for the majority of price points I am trying to achieve, new oak barrels are out of the question. So thinking outside the square and using combinations of oak staves and chips is the only way to go. Staves also vary in quality and like most things you get what you pay for, so bench trials are invaluable here. They may take a bit of time to set up, but they are worth it in the long run and allow you to put together blend recipes for oaking regimes, depending on the style you are wanting to produce.

STAVES Staves have evolved from the traditional 6ft wooden slats in the late 1980s to early 1990s, to now offering more refined pieces of oak at around 90cm in length. How are your staves positioned in the tanks? Are oak companies now offering more unique ways of installing and handling these products?

Higgins: On larger tanks using circumferential rings, we use Moxon design. In smaller tanks, <30kL, we are just throwing them in. Nash: We tend to use the Oak Solutions fan systems, as they are OH&S-friendly and are not overly heavy to remove once they are soaked in wine. We weld stainless lugs around the inside of the tanks, position good quality stainless steel chains through the lugs and then attach the fans to these. Once you have the system set up in a tank, the fans are simple to move in and out of tanks. Thompson: It depends on the tank size. For small tanks, the planks are simply placed in the tank. For larger stainless tanks, I prefer the planks on a fan system that can be attached to lugs welded to the base of the tank. Woods: We use a combination of stack systems (better for manual handling with regards to installation/removal), fan systems and loose planks in tank.

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September 2012 – Issue 584

The Quality Alternative What new initiatives and profiles are currently offered in the forms of staves?

Higgins: Forest and grain selection; different toasting styles; U stave style for increased surface area – I have not trialled these; larger width staves 18-23mm (barrel dimension). Nash: The evOak tank staves offer various toastings and profiles, so you can blend the oak regime you are after in-tank to receive the result you are after. The Latitude Series and the High Extract Series are definitely my first ports of call. Thompson: The vast and ever-increasing range of toasting options available – from convection/fire/infrared to the various high extract products, as well as toasting profiles designed to mimic the typical Burgundian, Bordeaux and Rhone style of barrel toasting. Staves designed for lower rate/longer time maturation provide great results when well managed. Woods: Quick planks are a steady performer for AVL – Buronga Hill Winery. Oak extraction levels vary when maturing wine on staves – are you using MOX to complement this maturing?

Higgins: MOX is used across most reds matured on oak alternatives. Nash: Yes we certainly do use MOX when maturing wine on staves. Nowadays, we seem to turn current vintage reds around faster than ever, and MOX is a great way of speeding up the process and replicating barrel maturation. Thompson: Yes – MOX at a low rate on planks enhances the integration of the oak and improves the wine structure. Woods: No.

CUBES Cubes, dominoes or beads, as they are commonly named, are used widespread in winemaking nowadays. Please tell us the benefits of using these, and at what time of the wine cycle you may be likely to make this addition – fermentation, ageing and maybe finishing?

Higgins: More of a short maturation or white ferment alternative. Could be used as a finishing tool, but extraction is slower than chips due to size. Nash: We use cube tubes as barrel inserts and these are great, as they are easy to insert and remove from the barrels without becoming a tangled mess and leaving half of it remaining in the barrel. Also. they come in all different profiles, so you can choose the ones you want. Thompson: They provide a more complex extraction of oak tannin and flavour, as they’re not toasted all the way through – more like a barrel stave. I use them for ageing when an extended contact time is possible. Woods: We do not use any of the above at present.

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CHIPS AND POWDER At what stage of production are you using oak chips and do you change rates for certain varietals?

Higgins: We are using chips for maturation and finishing. Rates change depending on the reason for use – maturation rate for complexity, maturation rate for masking undesirable characters or a high rate for a finishing oak bomb. Nash: We add oak chips at the crusher to ferment on, and we would use chips on lower price point programs where staves are cost-prohibitive. Rates are slightly adjusted for varietals, however the combination or blend of chips is definitely altered depending upon the variety and stylistically what you are trying to achieve. Graeme Little

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September 2012 – Issue 584

Dan Eggleton

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Grapegrower & Winemaker


winemaking Thompson: Red and white fermentation, red maturation and finishing – depends on the variety and style/quality that I’m aiming for – the rates and types of oak change for different varietals. Woods: Fermentation, maturation and finishing. Yes, we change our rates for different varietals. Do you see any major differences in extraction levels between small and large chips?

Higgins: Yes – faster extraction on smaller sizes. Nash: It is all about time when it comes to the size of the chip/plank. If you need a quick bang for your bucks oak influence, then use a smaller chip, if you have a bit more time, go larger. Larger chips certainly integrate better, and extract slower and I believe provide overall finish if you have the time.

Oak powder has now been available for many years and is considered a secret weapon by many. How do you view oak powder as an additive and what are you trying to achieve using this procedure?

Higgins: We use oak powder to lay down a low level oak base on lower quality material. But we prefer to use maturation alternatives and match better to the individual wines and style target with timing either during or after MLF. Nash: Sorry, we don’t use oak powder very often as it blocks up the filters and makes it harder to process the wines. Thompson: Oak powder is a tremendous tool for red fermentation for batches that need ‘green’ characters alleviated. Woods: We do not currently use oak powder.


Thompson: Small chips provide a more rapid aggressive extraction so I only use them for red fermentation.

Do you use barrel inserts to increase the life of the barrel? If so, what results have you been seeing?

Woods: Yes. Smaller chips give more initial extraction. Given certain time frames, larger chips are just as effective.

Higgins: I used inserts as a small-scale trial media. They have inherent handling issues that I believe outweighs their benefits. I prefer to use tank and MOX.


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Nash: Barrel inserts are a great way to add oak at a relatively low price point, and still get the benefits of maturing wines in barrels. It is also a great way to add complexity to a blend as you can adjust the oak character simply by altering the type of oak you add. Having seen some excellent results on local Cabernet and Shiraz, this is definitely a regime I will use in the future. Thompson: Yes, they are a great costeffective way to extend barrel life. There is a broad range of options available and excellent blend complexity can be achieved by varying the type of insert used across a wine batch. Woods: We do not have any barrels.

SUMMARY Oak alternatives are not going away any time soon. The general consumer usually expects to find oak aromas and tannins in wine. Winemaking protocols and practices are ever-changing to suit the customers’ demands and, as we’ve seen in this roundtable, the use of oak alternatives highlights the impeccable research and development that has been carried out over the last decade to help winemakers make educated decisions.


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September 2012 – Issue 584


Winemakers Xoak up soft wine A new range of French oak alternatives that impart delicate flavours to wine is now available to makers Down Under.


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Page 1

The easiest way to impart rounded French oak characters

Kellie Arbuckle

AUSTRALIAN WINEMAKERS WILL have more options in the way they use oak with the introduction of Chêne and Cie products on home turf. Producers of Taransaud barrels Chêne and Cie have just brought their French oak alternative range to Australia and New Zealand. The range, which covers fermentation, barrel rejuvenation and tank maturation, is being marketed under the XtraChêne brand and includes two key products: the XtraChêne Stick 22.90 and XtraChêne Xoakers. Australian and New Zealand representative Gordon Grant said the XtraChêne range uses oak drawn from the same matured materials used for Taransaud barrels, which allows for added quality. “XtraChêne use the best timber from a log; straight grain with no knots, with no off-cuts or waste materials in any product that will come in contact with wine,” Grant said. In the US, the XtraChêne Xoakers and the XtraChêne Stick


From the stave mills of Chene and Cie comes a range of the finest French oak products. XTRACHÊNE offers greater winemaking flexibility using oak that is fully traceable. The provenance of every piece of oak can be STICKS 22•90 traced back to not only the forest it came from but to the very tree from which it was harvested. Natural maturation of staves over a minimum of 24 months ensures that any bitter wood components have been leached prior to OAK CHIPS processing. The staves are toasted in state-of-the-art food-grade convection ovens, using specific ‘time and temperature’ formulas, to produce unique flavour and aroma profiles. XTRACHÊNE products deliver the complexity of French oak maturation with a range of cost-effective, flexible options suited to fermentation and maturation in either tank or neutral barrel.


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


XTRA CHÊNE Scott Harvey of Scott Harvey Wines, in the Napa Valley. September 2012 – Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker



BARREL ALTERNATIVES When a barrel becomes too expensive, winemakers need alternative oak options that deliver the “fine oak touch.” Toneleria Nacional Premium Oak is the solution – our combination of fine grain oak and unique hot-air toasting delivers structural finesse and elegance with discreet aromatic expression, just like a barrel.

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110 Grapegrower & Winemaker

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22.90 are among the most popular of the XtraChêne range. The Xoakers are a 2.5cm ball-shape, designed for precise, uniform additions of oak to neutral barrels. Used for fermentation and maturation, the Xoakers contribute complex oak characters that round and soften the wines. “Their shape is designed to impart oak character as close to new a barrel treatment as possible,” Grant said. “They’re ideal for extending the life of a neutral barrel by adding 20-50 Xoakers per HL and are packaged in 500g (approximately 75 Xoakers) food-grade plastic bags.” Scott Harvey, owner and winemaker of Scott Harvey Wines in the Napa Valley, has been using Xoakers for the past 10 years on his red wines because of the delicate character they impart. “I like them because they are surfaced smooth and leave a soft oak extract flavour,” Harvey told Grapegrower & Winemaker. He said the Xoakers are also easy to use, since they go through the bung hole. “I can control the exact amount of oak I want by the number of balls per barrel. A big wine with high extraction may get 55 to 60 balls per barrel, while a lighter wine will get 45 balls per barrel. They go in after the first racking and stay in the barrels for about a year. After I’m done with them, I bag them up and sell them in our tasting room for a BBQ additive.” Prior to using the Xoakers, Harvey was using internal barrel staves and oak chips. The problem, he said, was that the alternatives left a ‘coarse’ flavour in the wine. In the US and Europe, the most popular XtraChêne product is the XtraChêne Stick 22.90. These square French oak sticks, at 900mm x 22mm x 22mm are ideal for tank maturation and provide 40 per cent greater transfer of oak compounds when compared with a standard oak stave. Grant says the sticks, with five toasting options, offer winemakers flexibility, from bulk blends to premium small batch production. “With convection there are three choices: light, medium and medium plus. Quattro – a combination of convention and a fire toast, while the premium version, terroir, is 100 per cent fire toast,” Grant said. “The terroir is specifically suited to high quality wine production and is at the leading edge of oak alternatives. It is complementary for both white and red maturation.” The sticks have holes drilled in each end and can be secured in tank by cable or with a weighted ‘diamond’ device, available from XtraChêne. They are packaged in a food-grade plastic film and there are 40 to a bag. Grant says the XtraChêne Sticks also offer value for money. “Used as one to four sticks per hectolitre, they are a very cost-effective method of acquiring balanced and long-lasting oak flavour,” he said. The XtraChêne Stick 22.90 ranges between $5-5.60 per stick, while a 500g packet of Xoakers (75 Xoakers in a pocket) is $28-30. For more information, contact Gordon Grant: 0417 813 248.

September 2012 – Issue 584

An alternative approach to measuring dose rates for wood pieces Andrei Prida and BenoĂŽt Verdier

Introduction THE USE OF oak wood pieces is a practice by which it is possible to impart a given quantity of oak wood compounds to wines in order to obtain certain oenological results, such as enhancing woody flavours, increasing complexity, volume and structure. This operation enables winemakers to get the benefits of oak for low and medium range wines, which could not be aged in barrels because of the price barrier. The impact of wood compounds obtained from alternatives not only depends on the type of products (size, grain size, etc), the origin of wood (French oak, American oak, etc), the toasting (light, medium, etc), but also on the quantity of wood which is put into contact with the wine. The quantity of oak (dose) may vary a lot according to the type of result required. HCad-130x185-2011.pdf



The way of calculating the wood dose differs between the various alternative products. The dose is generally expressed in g/L for small wood pieces (powders, chips). This approach is commonly accepted and provides consistent results, whereby winemakers find a correlation between the oak intensity and the quantity (in grams) of oak they have used. In contrast, for big wood pieces (staves) two types of wood measuring co-exist. One of them is using the g/L approach, while the other is the calculation of the area of wood in contact with wine as a percentage of the total volume of wine. This latter approach is linked to the analogy with barrel ageing. Thus, winemakers frequently talk about the percentage of contact area of the new barrel (or of new wood) to express the dose of oak. Since the internal area of a

2:07 PM

225L barrel is about 2m3, 100% of a new barrel is equal to 0.0089m2/L. In cellar practice, winemakers seldom use doses equivalent to 100% of a new barrel, but rather 30-50%. What is the base of this type of calculation? The calculation, based on contact surface, reflects the hypothesis of proportionality of wood compounds migration according to the wine-wood contact area. The basis of this hypothesis is the very low penetration of wine into wood by its surface. In other words, independently of the wood thickness, the wine will always penetrate at the same (rather low) depth in wood and extracts the same quantity of wood extractives. The experience we have with barrels shows that this is certainly true as far as barrel ageing is concerned. It has been proven that there are









September 2012 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker


winemaking two phases in the extraction of wood compounds during wine ageing in barrels. The first phase corresponds to a progressive hydration of wood by wine (approximately four months), while the second phase is a stationary phase during which the depth of penetration remains constant. The speed of liquid penetration into wood is a limiting factor for the extraction of wood compounds (Kadim 1999). The depth of wine penetration into wood is about 2-4mm; there are various estimates of such penetration according to the methodology used. For example Feuillat (Feuillat et al.) estimated this layer by measuring the humidity, which was considered as a marker of penetration. The extraction of wood compounds takes place in this thin, moistened area. It is known that the face exposed to wine is the least penetrable (the direction is perpendicular to the radial cut). This leads to a slow extraction of wood compounds during barrel ageing. Indeed Prida (Prida and Puech 2008) found that the quantity of whisky lactones in the moistened layers was still about 35-50% (in comparison to new oak) after two years of barrel use. This means that the migratory flow of

f ine

wood compounds can quite accurately be described by the law of mass transfer and this flow is directly proportional to the wine-wood contact surface. Is it the same as far as staves are concerned? The use of staves involves their immersion into wine. Yet it is well known that wood permeability to liquids depends on the direction of penetration. It reaches its maximum in the longitudinal direction, which corresponds to the direction of the sap circulation in a living tree. In contrast, it is very low in the direction perpendicular to the radial cut (barrel stave cut) – the face exposed to wine when using barrels. Therefore the different stave surfaces (end, length, etc) immersed in wine are not equivalent in terms of penetration depth. When using staves of different geometry, we will lose the proportionality of extraction rate in relation to the contact area. Let’s look at an example, i.e., the comparison of a thin and a thick stave (twice as thick), both of equal lengths and widths. If we calculate the total surface of both staves, the values are similar, since the only difference comes from the surface of the stave extremities (the contact area will be slightly bigger with

Figure 1. Stave of 18mm stave used for wine ageing and then cut lengthwise.

the thicker stave). In order to calculate the percentage of extraction over the contact surface, the wine must penetrate into the whole surface of the stave at a similar low depth. Taking into consideration the anisotropy of wood, this is probably not the case. On the contrary, the wine will probably penetrate deeper into the wood in the longitudinal direction. The


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112 Grapegrower & Winemaker

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September 2012 – Issue 584

simple observation of staves used for wine ageing then cut lengthwise shows that wine penetrates into the heart of wood (Figure 1). In this case, the quantity of extracted wood compounds will be much higher with a thick stave than with a thin one. If total penetration is considered, a thick stave will produce twice as many extracted compounds as a thin stave because the mass of a thick stave is double that of a thin stave. In the current study, we are trying to answer the question about the penetration rate of wine into a stave and its interaction with wood. If it is low, the extraction should be proportional to the surface, whereas if it is high, the extraction should be proportional to the mass of wood.



Wood after extraction

Loss in wine










total furfural

Figure 2. Balance of wood extractives.

Equipment and methods Staves of 7mm and 18mm (Seguin Moreau, Cognac, France) were used in the study. Both types were made of French oak with medium toasting. These staves were macerated in wine (Domaine de Chiroulet, Vin de Pays des CĂ´tes de Gascogne, Tannat, 2011 vintage) separately (two individual tanks) for 7mm and 18mm, the doses being 10g/L of stave in both cases (two staves/hectoliter for 18mm and five staves/hectoliter for 7mm). The staves were immersed in wine in April and removed in November, therefore a total contact time of seven months. Pieces of 4cm were sawn off each stave, the samples were mixed together and ground down to a 0.5mm powder. This procedure was required in order to obtain an average sample and reduce the effects of a possible toasting heterogeneity. The wood powder was soaked by shaking (300 tours/min.) by the model wine solution (12%v/v pH3.5) during 24 hours. The extracts were analysed by HP-SPME-GC-MS according to the

Carrillo method (Carrillo et al. 2006) for main compounds arisen from wood toasting: furfural, furfuryl alcohol, 5-methyl-furfural, guaiacol, and vanillin. After wine maceration (seven months), the staves were removed from the wine. A 4cm long piece was sawn from the central part of each stave. This time, we did not use the extremities since there might have been too many compounds because of the lengthwise penetration of wine into the wood. This way we avoided the artifact risk of the trial. The wood pieces were ground down, extracted and analyzed following the method described above. Finally the wines obtained during trials were also analysed using the same protocol.

Results We reviewed the compounds distributed between the liquid (wine) and the solid phases (wood after maceration) and compared them with the quantity of wood compounds before maceration. Given the absence of furfuryl alcohol in wood and its appearing in wine

through the reduction mechanism for furfural, we defined the total furfural as a sum of furfural and furfuryl alcohol. Its concentration was compared with furfural amount in wood. The balance of compounds shows us that the sum of compounds after maceration (wine and wood) is lower than their initial amount in wood before maceration. This fact could be explained by the transformation of such compounds in the wine medium and corresponds to the conclusions made by Spillman (Spillman et al. 1997, Spillman et al. 1998) about the evolution of furfural and vanillin, and also to the phenomena reported by Nonier (Nonier et al. 2006), which pointed out the interaction between wood aldehydes and wine phenolics. The amount of wood extractives (after extraction) in wine, in wood and losses due to transformation are shown in Figure 2 (example of a 7mm stave). All amounts were expressed in percentage of initial concentration in wood before maceration.

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winemaking One can see that the rate of loss of compounds in the wine medium is spectacular, except for guaiacol, which seems to be stable. The furfural, 5-methylfurfural are very affected (loss of about 90%) by the wine medium, while there is just 50% of loss for vanillin. If we only focus on the extraction of wood compounds (Figure 3), one can observe that the 7mm staves contain less than 5% of the initial concentration of wood compounds, while the 18mm staves contain 2-20% of the initial concentration depending of the analysed molecule. This study shows that during maceration of staves in wine, the wood loses a significant proportion of its extractives. If we consider the amount of wood extractives leached by wine (difference between extractives in wood before and after maceration), we find approximately the same amounts for 7mm and 18mm staves taken at an identical dose (10g/L), a small discrepancy arising only from a slight difference between extraction rates for these two types of staves (Figure 4). On the other hand, if we consider the dose of staves in percentage of surface (example of thin and thick staves), we have almost 2.5 times as much equivalent barrel surface for the 7mm stave than with the 18mm. This means that a winemaker who takes into consideration the contact area would in practical terms use a dose of 2.1 staves (7mm) to reach the result obtained with two staves of 18mm in terms of wood extraction, and must have made a mistake with the doses. This leads to a very important error as far as oak extraction and oenological results are concerned.



18 mm










Figure 3. Percentage of extractives in wood.



18 mm

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0





Figure 4. Percentage of extractives leached in wine.

Conclusions This trial shows that the way of expressing the wood dose for staves in g/L is closer to reality in oenological terms than that expressed in terms of contact surface. This result is conditioned by the phenomenon of a very deep penetration of wine inside the stave (in all three directions: radial, tangential and longitudinal) and consequently by a significant extraction of wood compounds (80-95%) during the stave maceration; this phenomenon is different to those observed when using barrels. The use of surface area still makes sense if the winemaker always works with the same type of stave. For example, by doubling the number of staves per hectolitre, he or she also doubles the surface area. However this approach is no longer

114 Grapegrower & Winemaker

accurate if the winemaker uses different types of staves and in particular staves of different thickness. In this case the use of the g/L approach is essential and enables the winemaker to avoid making errors of dosage and therefore oenological mistakes. Andrei Prida, head of research and development, Benoit Verdier, sales director and alternative products manager, Seguin Moreau, Merpins, Cognac, France.


Carrillo, J., Garrido-Lopez, A., Tena, M., 2006 Determination of volatile oak compounds in wine by headspace solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, Journal of Chromatography A, 1102, 25–36

Feuillat, F., Perrin, J.R., Keller, R., « Simulation expérimentale de « l’interface tonneau ». Mesures des cinétiques d’imprégnation du liquide dans le bois et d’évaporation de surface  » Journal International des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin, 28, 3, 227-245, 1994 Kadim, D. Mannheim, C.H. 1999, Kinetics of phenolic extraction during aging of model wine solution and white wine in oak barrels, American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 50, 1, 33-39 Nonier, M.F., Pianet, I., Laguerre, M., Vivas, N., Vivas de Gaulejac, N., 2006 Condensation products derived from flavan-3-ol oak wood aldehydes reaction 1. Structural investigation. Analytica Chimica Acta, 226847, 76–83 Prida, A., Puech, J.L. 2008, Diffusion of oak extractives and wine impregnation during oak barrel aging of wine. In: Wine Active Compounds Congress Proceedings, Beaune, France, 221-223 Spillman, P., Pollnitz, A., Liacopoulos, D., Pardon, K., Sefton, M., 1998, Formation and degradation of furfuryl alcohol, 5-methylfufuryl alcohol, vanillyl alcohol, and their ethyl ethers in barrel-aged wines. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 46, 2, 657-663 September 2012 – Issue 584

sales & marketing How do country of origin, closure type and label style affect purchase decisions? Just what does it take to convey quality to wine buyers? An international ‘wine store’ experiment looks at how consumers select their preferred wine styles at point of sale. Dr Roberta Veale, Prof. Pascale Quester and Dr. Michael Proksch.

Introduction Research has established the power of extrinsic wine ‘cues’ on consumers’ evaluation of quality and their willingness to pay a price premium. This international study investigated the influence of a realistic combination of five extrinsic cues and one intrinsic cue on consumer expectations of wine price and quality via an experimental design. Alternative wines were presented in a simulated wine store display in five countries. Results show that extrinsic cues tested consistently influenced consumer opinions more so than the intrinsic cue tested. Specifically, awards, traditional style labels and Old World origins are all likely to induce higher quality ratings and price premiums, both locally and internationally. Consumers form opinions of product quality (pre-purchase and post-purchase), through their evaluation of both intrinsic and extrinsic cues (Bredahl 2003). An intrinsic cue is any product attribute inherent to the product itself, such as the alcohol level in wine or the engine capacity of a car. In contrast, extrinsic cues can be altered without changing the objective quality. While intrinsic cues should be more powerful than extrinsic in swaying consumer opinions, because they actually change it in a measurable and objective way, consumers often misjudge these attributes prior to purchase. They may even misjudge them in terms of their effects on quality postpurchase (Alba 2000; Kardes, Kim and Lim, 2001). The role of extrinsic cues in shaping wine buyers’ perceptions of quality is particularly important for Australian winemakers who rely on international sales across a wide and diverse range of geographical markets. Competition from other New World wine producers such as Chile, Argentina and South Africa makes achieving sales and profit targets ever more challenging, even in more established markets. In order to avoid wasting considerable resources championing wine attributes that are poorly understood or considered unimportant by potential buyers (Alba and September 2012 – Issue 584

Hutchinson 2000; Park, Mothersbaugh and Feick 1994), wine marketers need to understand those cues that really impact quality and price expectations. Extensive research conducted in Australia and internationally suggests that consumers are able to, basically, discriminate ‘good’ from ‘bad’ wines. Indeed, they often cite ‘taste’ and ‘variety’ as the important attributes influencing their assessment of wine quality and subsequent purchase decisions. However, research has also established that many extrinsic factors can actually be more influential (Veale 2008; Veale and Quester 2009a, 2009b; Verdu-Jover et al. 2004). Specifically, Australian research has demonstrated that taste rated a poor third (behind country or origin and price) in determining consumers’ quality ratings (Veale and Quester 2009b) in a comprehensive sensory experiment. This is perhaps not so surprising, given many empirical studies demonstrate the overwhelming impact of extrinsic cues on consumers’ taste evaluations, across a wide variety of other food products, such as beef, orange juice, and breakfast bars (Aaron, Mela and Evans 1994; Becker 2000; Bredahl 2003; Grunert 1997; Pechmann and Ratneshwar 1992). Specific to wine, research reveals that the following extrinsic attributes can be expected to significantly influence consumer evaluations of wine quality: country of origin, where Old World producers such as France and Italy are generally believed to produce better quality wines as compared to New World sources (Veale and Quester 2009b); shelf position (horizontality and verticality), where (generally) positions that are

‘central’, ‘higher rather than lower’ and ‘right rather than left’ have been found to generate higher sales (Valenzuela and Raghubir 2009); awards, where wines receiving prizes are likely to be more highly regarded by consumers (Orth and Krska 2002); label style, where design and personality have been found to be influential (Boudreaux and Palmer 2007) and bottle closure, where the traditional cork closure is associated with better quality in many markets (Orth and Krska 2002). Hence, these extrinsic attributes, at levels replicating those found in wine products commercially, were deemed

Respondent in Beijing pricing wine bottles.

Table 1. Summary of attributes and levels tested. Attribute


Country of origin

France, New Zealand (Aust), Chile

Closure type

Cork, screw cap


Gold medal winner, no medal

Label style

Traditional (European heritage style), modern classic, cartoon/fun

Shelf position

Top (left, middle, right), middle (left, middle, right), bottom (left, middle, right)


Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz

Held constant

Year (2007), alcohol level, etc.

Grapegrower & Winemaker


appropriate for testing. Grape variety was chosen as the one intrinsic cue included in the study as it has been found in previous research to be a significant factor in wine evaluation and choice (Orth and Krska 2002; Verdu-Jover et al. 2004). Much of the past research in this area has used a limited number of product cues (and levels within each) and relied on virtual presentations, pictures or descriptions of various product offers. This study differs significantly because the conjoint analysis fractional factorial experimental design enabled respondents to see actual physical representations of ‘real’ wine bottles. The selected cues were therefore displayed at commercially realistic levels with subsequent analysis enabling the quantification of the most desired (and least desired) level for each attribute (Hair, Anderson, Tatham and Black 1995) and the relative importance overall of the attribute to the assessment. Through this analysis, the combined influence of a taste-oriented intrinsic cue (grape variety) with that of the extrinsic cues was explored. As is typical in a retail wine store environment or supermarket, the respondents were not given the chance to actually taste any of the wines presented; forcing consumers to use the cues provided to form a quality and price determination in relation to the wines they assessed. Country of origin and label style, for example, are expected to exert substantial influence on wine perceptions. However, their influences may be tempered by the presence or absence of an award or shelf position, or differences in varietal preference. To the authors’ knowledge, such a comprehensive range of realistic cues has never been tested simultaneously, across numerous international locations. In this research, duplicate experiments were conducted in Australia (Adelaide), Singapore, Germany (Kiel), the US (New York) and China (Beijing). The overall sample size was 653 respondents, with each country comparably represented. When using full profile conjoint

Example of ‘Cartoon/Fun’ Label Style.

116 Grapegrower & Winemaker

analysis, ‘quality’ or expectation of ‘price’ is derived from respondent judgment of intrinsic and extrinsic cues as measured by the rating or price given to each bottle of wine assessed. The outcome is a set of additive part-worth ‘utilities’ derived from the quality scores that are basically index numbers, corresponding to regression coefficients, measuring how valuable or desirable a particular product feature is to the respondent (Dean 2004). The ordinary least squares regression (OLS) approach to ratings-based conjoint analysis is commonly used for this analysis as it offers a straightforward, yet robust, method of deriving the different utility values for each respondent (Hair, Anderson and Tatham 1987). The most meaningful way to interpret the resulting utilities is to analyse the ‘gaps’ between utility levels within each attribute (Hair, et al. 1995). A high range value (gap) between utility levels within an attribute indicates that the participants believe that change within that particular feature has significant impact on their overall assessment of that offer. In other words, attributes with greater ranges are those used most by respondents to differentiate between profiles and have higher levels of relative overall importance in their determination of the given quality rating (Hair, et al. 1995). In summary, attribute ‘average importance’ values reveal the comparative importance (in percentage terms) of each attribute to respondents’ rating of quality and utility values show which attribute levels are preferred and which respondents seek to avoid (Hair, et al. 1995; Kupiec and Revell 2001).

Results Although as expected, results showed variations across the markets explored, results were surprisingly consistent. In all the countries explored, extrinsic cues consistently exerted approximately equal or substantially more influence on consumers’ quality and price perceptions than variety. Importantly the link between price and quality was once again confirmed, but with some

Example of strongly favoured ‘Classic Label Style’.

Example of Quality Ratings (1 = lowest, 9 = Highest) and choices for ‘P’arty, ‘H’ome and ‘G’ift

interesting twists. For example, country of origin was found to be a critical aspect to quality and price perceptions for all; however, while the Chinese, Americans and Singaporeans perceived the quality and the price to both be driven by a source location, the Germans, being Old World citizens saw price to be a little inflated as compared to quality expectations. However, all perceived the French wine to be substantially better and worth more than the New World alternatives. As expected, awarded wines and those with cork closures also enjoyed a slight halo for quality and price; although there were more significant differences in impressions across countries. For example, as expected, this made less difference to Australians than to other buyers such as the Chinese and the Americans. Preferences for variety were a little mixed also, but overall Cabernet Sauvignon was more desirable compared with Shiraz or Merlot. However, by far the most powerful influences to both price and quality, in every location, were label style and shelf position. Generally any type of colourful/fun/ cartoonish label was associated with wines that are low quality and cheap; even a cork closure and French origin could not overcome this. Whereas, a traditional Old World type label seemed to signal higher quality and an associated price premium irrespective of location award or closure type, for example. In the case of shelf position, it was found the higher shelf and right hand positions were not the most positive with utility levels suggesting that the highest indexes were seen on the left and top shelf positions weren’t necessarily better than September 2012 – Issue 584

quantification of the importance of such things as label style, when consumers are considering a relatively wide range of other credible wine product extrinsic attributes. Additionally, it shows the considerable opportunities that potentially exist for making sure the combination of attributes presented to wine buyers is as complementary as possible.

Acknowledgements The University of Adelaide, Wine2030 Research Network (for research funding). Inga Lidums and Salmon Studio (for work on the development of the 27 labels used in the experiment).


Aaron, J. I., Mela, D. J. & Evans, R. E. (1994). The Influences of Attitudes, Beliefs and Label Information on Perceptions of Reduced-fat Spread. Appetite, 22(1), 25 - 37. Example of prices given (RMB) by Chinese respondent.

the lowest. While it may be premature to conjecture without due replication, these results show the importance of understanding local consumer biases. While labels are controllable, the shelf position is unlikely to be, particularly in international markets. Hence, the importance of a synergistic combination of controllable extrinsic cues respective to packaging decisions cannot be underestimated. This short summary represents a few insights into what was an extremely comprehensive study incorporating assessment of respondent knowledge and wine involvement and a number of other potentially important moderating variables. But, even these few insights demonstrate that while each market has its own distinct consumer profiles, some beliefs are apparently generalisable in nature and strongly held, irrespective of geographical location and cultural variations. While packaging has always been understood to be important, this research has allowed the

Acebron, L. B. & Dopico, D. C. (2000). The importance of intrinsic and extrinsic cues to expected and experienced quality: and empirical application for beef. Food Quality and Preference, 11, 229 - 238. Alba, J. & Hutchinson, J. W. (2000). Knowledge calibration: what consumers know and what they think they know. Journal of Consumer Research, 27(2), 123 - 156. Alba, J. W. (2000). Dimensions of Consumer Expertise ... or lack thereof. Advances in Consumer Research, 27, 1 - 9. Becker, T. (2000). Consumer perception of fresh meat quality: a framework for analysis. British Food Journal, 102(3), 158 - 176. Boudreaux, C. A. & Palmer, S. E. (2007). A charming little Cabernet, Effects of wine label design on purchase intent and brand personality. International Journal of Wine Business Research, 19(3), 170 - 186. Bredahl, L. (2003). Cue utilisation and quality perception with regard to branded beef. [Taste]. Food Quality and Preference, 15, 65 - 75. Dean, D. H. (2004). Evaluating potential brand associations through conjoint analysis and market simulation. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 13(7), 506 - 513. Grunert, K. G. (1997). What’s in a Steak? A crosscultural study on the quality perception of beef. Food Quality and Preference, 8(3), 157 174. Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L. & Black, W. C. (1995). Multivariate Data Analysis with Readings (Fourth ed.): Prentice-Hall International Inc. Heslop, L. A., Cray, D. & Armenakyan, A. (2010).

Cue incongruity in wine personality formation and purchasing. International Journal of Wine Business Research, 22(3), 288 - 307. Kardes, F. R., Kim, J. & Lim, J.-S. (2001). Consumer Expertise and the Perceived Diagnosticity of Inference. Advances in Consumer Research, 19, 409 - 410. Keown, C. & Casey, M. (1995). Purchasing behaviour in the Northern Ireland wine market. British Food Journal, 97(1), 17- 20. Kupiec, B. & Revell, B. (2001). Measuring consumer quality judgments. British Food Journal, 103(1), 7 - 22. Ophuis, P. A. M. O. & Trijp, H. C. M. V. (1995). Perceived quality: a market driven and consumer oriented approach. Food Quality and Preference, 6, 177 - 183. Orth, U. R. (2008). Holistic Package Design and Consumer Brand Impressions. Journal of Marketing, 72(May), 64 - 81. Orth, U. R., Campana, D. & Malkewitz, K. (2010). Formation of Consumer Price Expectations Based on Package Design: Attractive and Quality Routes. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 18(1 (Winter)), 23 - 40. Valenzuela, A. & Raghubir, P. (2009). Are Top-Bottom Inferences Conscious and Left-Right Inferences Automatic? Implications for Shelf Space Positions. Paper presented at the HEC Paris and INSEAD Fontainebleau. Veale, R. (2008). Sensing or Knowing? Investigating the influence of knowledge and self confidence on consumer beliefs regarding the effet of extrinsic cues on wine quality. International Journal of Wine Business Research, 20(3), 352 - 366. Veale, R. & Quester, P. (2009a). Do Consumer expecttions match experience? Predicting the influence of price and country of origin on product quality in international markets. International Business Review, 18(2), 134 - 144. Veale, R. & Quester, P. (2009b). Tasting quality: the roles of intrinsic and extrinsic cues. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing Logistics, 21(1), 195 - 207. Verdu-Jover, A. J., Montes, F. J. L. & FuentesFuentes, M. d. M. (2004). Measuring perceptions of quality in food products: the case of red wine. Food Quality and Preference, 15, 453 - 469.

Dr Roberta Veale, The Business School, Marketing, Faculty of the Professions, The University of Adelaide Prof. Pascale Quester, deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president (academic), The University of Adelaide, South Australia Dr. Michael Proksch, researcher and lecturer at Christian-Albrechts-University and University of Applied Sciences, Kiel, Germany.

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September 2012 – Issue 584

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sales & marketing

International guests at wine tastings Jeni Port columnist

Australian winemakers are a competitive lot. Seems every week a producer is hosting a wine tasting putting his or her own wines up against the best in the world. The other week, Cape Mentelle celebrated 30 years since its famous Jimmy Watson Trophy win with a tasting of its 1982 Cabernet Sauvignon. To add spice or interest or something, a host of 1982 Cabernets was also put forward, including Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou. Along with two sommeliers, I was the only wine writer to attend. How come only one member of the media, asked the organisers? Wasn’t the lure of Mouton and Ducru and Mount Mary and John Riddoch and, of course, Cape Mentelle, attractive? In a couple of weeks, Wolf Blass chief winemaker Chris Hatcher will host a master blend classification, in which the wine media will be asked to classify 30 of the world’s best Cabernet Sauvignons including, of course, first growths. The tasting will be followed by a slap-up dinner at Vue de Monde to launch the 2012 Wolf Blass luxury collection of wines. What exactly is to be achieved by all of these competitive tastings is not clear. Is there a psychological advantage for a winemaker in putting his or her wines up against some of the world’s best? Or is it a massive risk? Originally, I’m sure the idea made sense. Australian wines were hitting the world stage and making inroads into the British and US markets. To be able to benchmark Aussie wines against the French and the Italians and the Yanks said to the world, “Our super-premium wines deserve to sit among the best in the world”. These days, I suspect it’s a different story. “In all honesty,” says one leading Victorian-based wine marketer, “I think now it’s so wine writers and trade turn up at tastings. “It’s practically impossible to get writers and trade to attend events and so

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wine companies are looking for any edge they believe their event can provide. “For some trade and sommeliers I think it’s about bragging rights, being able to say they tasted expensive European wines. Am I a cynic?” Undoubtedly wine writers and sommeliers love to brag about what they taste. Wine is most definitely a competitive sport for many who write about and sell the stuff, just take a dip into the Twitter-verse. But get us to a tasting on the merit of the Aussie wine, not the big stars, otherwise you are promoting someone else. When I see an invitation offering the big guns of wine against an Aussie lineup, I ask: Is this tasting for me or for readers of my columns? Sometimes, it is unashamedly about me. Yes, I do want to taste some great wines. Mostly it’s about the latter. Should winemakers ask themselves a similar question? “If a winemaker is inspired by a particular wine in the creation of his or her own, then that becomes part of the story,” observes a leading South Australian wine marketer. “If they are confident to put their wine against the inspiration (wine) - without asking for scores - then that is a good way of illustrating the journey. Inspiration versus imitation is the key here.” There’s clearly a trick to putting on an international extravaganza. Marketers are such a smart bunch. There’s t he ‘little Aussie battler’approach: the Aussie wine is always priced against a more expensive international. There’s the ‘first among equals’ approach: the Aussie wine is always from a good year, the international a lesser year. And there’s the cork versus screwcap: the Aussie looks fresh and vital while the international is at the mercy of the unpredictable cork. Often, the number of corked bottles is commented on. There’s the knockout punch: make a statement by putting the first release of your new premium wine up against the big guns. Take that!

There’s the power of the great Aussie palate: producers rely on our Aussie palates doing their wines proud. Many tasters simply don’t have the breadth of experience to judge the big name internationals. Or, if they do, the Aussie looks brave, a David amongst the giants. There’s the no news is good news approach: with no ‘new’ news to announce, an international tasting can get coverage for a local producer. Finally, there’s the halo effect: just mentioning your wine in the same company as international stars rubs off. Or does it? If you are a producer planning to show a wine in tandem with the greats, you had better be confident . . . and not only about the wine. “Not all brand owners have the bravery it takes for this sort of tasting,” says the Victorian wine marketer. “Winemakers have to be prepared to put their wines up for comparison, they have to accept that people may choose to like other wine styles more than theirs and some winemakers and brand owners don’t have the strength to do this. “Part of it,” she adds, “is how you frame the tasting – explaining there are no winners or losers, taste is a very personal thing and everyone will like different flavours and it’s a learning experience”. Getting a quorum for a wine tasting should be more than chumming the waters with attractive titbits that entice. Is the story strong enough, with or without the internationals? Just for the record: I went to the Cape Mentelle Cabernet tasting and got a good story. The ‘82 Jimmy Watson winner is going on pour at a Melbourne restaurant so there will be people interested in the news. I turned down the fabulous Wolf Blass tasting. In my view, classifying 30 Cabernets not of your choosing has no great interest to the average wine reader. I’m sure I’ll receive the new ‘luxury’ releases in due course anyway. Still, I’m sure there was some pretty swish wine and food to be had on the night … September 2012 – Issue 584

Wineries benefit from shared bottling facility Beelgara Estate is sharing its modern bottling facility with wineries looking to streamline processing and packaging. Kellie Arbuckle

WINERIES FROM THE east coast are taking up an offer by one of Bottling & Australia’s largest wine companies to use its labelling new state-of-the-art bottling plant. Earlier this year, Beelgara Estate installed a fully integrated Bertolaso bottling plant at its Riverina site, adding another service to its existing packaging operations, which already consists of two bottling plants – one for cask and one for bottles. Beelgara Estate managing director Peter Toohey said the Bertolaso plant provides speed and efficiency, reducing costs that can be translated into savings for wineries using the service. “The new line has a 6000 bottle per hour capacity and is proving a real hit with our production team, as well as

September 2012 – Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker


sales & marketing

our external contract packaging clients who are located both in and out of the Riverina,” Toohey said. Beelgara also offers contract processing, winemaking and packaging services for table wines and cask wines, as well as wine-based products, including fortifieds. Toohey says the aim of Beelgara is to act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for wineries looking to streamline winemaking and

packaging logistics. “It’s not just about putting wine in a bottle – it’s about receival, packaging and logistics,” he said. Beelgara is located in the village of Beelbangara, just outside Griffith, in the heart of NSW’s Riverina district. It is about 550km south west of Sydney, or one hour by plane. Toohey says the location is also a

major drawcard. “Because we’re located between Sydney and Melbourne, and there’s a straight run up to Brisbane, we’re a wellplaced distribution hub,” he said. “You’re not just saving in packaging, it’s the logistical savings, too. We want to help mime the logistical savings that are generally lost in trying to manage the logistical side of the business alone.” One winery to recently sign up with Beelgara for its bottling services is Broken Gate. Based in Melbourne, Victoria, Broken Gate is a small, family-run wine business that produces wines from fruit sourced from regions in South Australia and Victoria. Broken Gate winemaker and founder Josef Orbach says the company switched its bottling service provider to Beelgara after encountering quality problems with other companies. “Beelgara’s sterile environment is one of the best. This gives us peace of mind to know that we won’t have any contamination of foreign objects landing in our wine bottles,” he said. “Beelgara’s approach is pretty much state-of-the-art and with that comes speed and price. And price is king in this

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September 2012 – Issue 584

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sales & marketing environment.” Orbach says Beelgara also provide flexibility. “It’s nice to know they receive wine 24 hours a day, quickly get it into their tanks from the truck and then immediately start on analysis,” said Orbach, whose wine was previously bottled by companies in the state where the fruit was grown. “This means the wine isn’t sitting around for lengthy periods of time and we have a fast fill, which means you have better control over the quality of wine and of course it delivers a price advantage, which they pass on. That’s their attraction.” In the Grapegrower & Winemaker’s latest review of the Top Australian wine companies, published in April, Beelgara came in at number 23 by volume. The company crushes between 7000-9000 tonnes of its own wine, each year, and now, with the latest bottling plant addition, has a capacity to process more than 12,500 tonnes. In 2001, the Toohey family, with the support of local growers, purchased the winery and renamed it Beelgara Estate after its winery vineyard, which was established in 1930. Fruit is sourced from the Riverina, as well as cool climate vineyards in the Hilltops, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra and the Yarra Valley.

WISA prepares for Supplier of the Year dinner OVER THE PAST five years, Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) has held its annual Supplier of the Year event, a gala black tie dinner, where winners are selected in four categories: Innovation, Environment & Sustainability, Export and the Chairman’s Award, in addition to the overall Supplier of the Year Award. “The race is on to find contestants as we speak, so that by the time the dinner rolls up on 18 October, we will have made our selections,” WISA executive officer George Willcox said. “Every year presents challenges in attracting entries, often because understandably, suppliers are focusing on keeping their businesses profitable, but the increased exposure that comes with these awards definitely make entering worthwhile,” he said. “So as you may imagine it behoves us to keep our eyes and ears open to seek out these supply heroes. The dinner is a fabulous night and with an anticipated increase in numbers, the event will be held at the Adelaide Festival Centre this year.

“The event has been goldsponsored by the generosity of Accolade Wines, Donaldson Walsh Lawyers, and Australian Wine Business Magazine. “Just as importantly, with WineTech coming up next July at Darling Harbour, we are in membership renewal mode at present. WISA members receive a discount on their floor space outlay, which, for a large footprint site, can offset membership fees for a year or two,” Willcox said. Winetitles last year took out the Chairman’s Award (see front cover of this issue for award logo). WISA chair Matthew Moate said there was a real benefit for suppliers to stand up and be counted and the WISA Supplier of the Year Awards provided the perfect avenue for this. “This being my second year as WISA chairman, I am looking forward to the bigger format of the event this year and recognising those offering products and services that ensure the Australian wine industry remains world class.”

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September 2012 – Issue 584

Australian Packaging Covenant commends O-I’s sustainability reporting Leading glass container maker, Owens-Illinois, Inc. has received a 4.3 rating from a possible 5, from the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) for its annual report, recognising O-I’s strong commitment to product stewardship. The annual reporting process enables APC signatories to demonstrate their yearly progress against key performance targets, and how they have contributed to the overall objectives and goals of the APC. Australian Packaging Covenant chief executive Stan Moore commended O-I for its report’s transparency and for achieving important environmental objectives. “O-I has been an active supporter of the APC and the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines. The success of the APC is directly related to the actions of our signatories and O-I’s efforts are very commendable,” Moore said. “The company has demonstrated achievement through its dedication to adopting the sustainable packaging guidelines, the recovery and recycling of glass packaging into new glass containers in a closed-loop cycle, and

Sustainability in action at the Owens-Illinois bottle manufacturing facility in Adelaide.

continuous improvement of their design and manufacturing processes. “O-I continues to be a significant partner to the APC and remains well positioned to make major inroads in packaging resource recovery, both directly and through their customers.” “Submitted in March, our report highlights some of the key environmental initiatives our business has undertaken,” said Brian Slingsby, general manager, O-I Australia.

“Our annual report’s high rating, cements our position as a leading Australian manufacturer at the forefront of developing and implementing sustainable business practices to reduce our impact on the environment and surrounding communities.” O-I Australia has been a participant and supporter of the APC (formerly the National Packaging Covenant) since 2001. A copy of O-I’s APC annual report can be viewed at

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Grapegrower & Winemaker


sales & marketing label design


Taking the concept to the battleground

TypeSpace creative director Cherise Conrick graduated with an Honours Degree in Visual Communication from the University of South Australia in 2000. She worked for numerous design studios around Adelaide for clients of varying sizes within the wine, arts and business community before establishing TypeSpace in 2007. Conrick is a past president of the South Australian chapter of the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) and past AGDA national councillor. She has taught as a sessional lecturer at the University of South Australia in design, mentors young designers and is also a committee member of the Contemporary Collectors benefaction group of the Art Gallery of South Australia. The following answers have been supplied by Conrick and Daniel Hartwig, proprietor of Barossa winery Chaffey Bros Wine Co.

What inspired you to work in design and what aspect of label design do you enjoy the most or derive the most satisfaction from?

Conrick: I had an interest in art from a very young age which developed into a wider appreciation of art and design. I became a designer as it allowed me to work in a field I am interested in, where I can be excited and passionate about design. I enjoy the collaborative working relationship with clients and suppliers – there is always the excitement of sharing with the client the process of creating a new product together. What was the inspiration or key branding message behind this particular label?

Hartwig: Growing up in the Barossa Valley there has always been a challenge to try to explain the unique personality of our wines. We strive to give each of the Chaffey Bros. wines a unique personality and to convey our message of why the wine is special to us. The brief we gave Cherise centred around the names we had in mind for the wines. Our Eden Valley Riesling gave us the opportunity to correct a common misconception that Riesling is sweet, old fashioned or simply not cool. NOT YOUR GRANDMA’S RIESLING states the message that this wine will be a dryer style, crisp and modern. The vibrant green gives a hint of the luscious zesty fruit flavours that Eden Valley Riesling delivers. Conrick: Chaffey Bros. Wine Co. wanted to present what they considered the best wine varieties of the Barossa

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region in a contemporary way. They wanted to have bold shelf presence with a high quality wine whilst maintaining a sense of humour – a reflection of their personality. Drawing inspiration from eye charts and the bold shapes within letterforms, a graphic sculptural typographic solution was created. What technical specs were used in the production of the label, i.e., printing technique, processes and colours?

Conrick: Printed offset two colours with spot high build UV gloss screen on Killer White uncoated stock with an underlaminate. In your opinion, what are the most important labelling concepts to impact on wine sales and marketing success?

Hartwig: A wine must have shelf presence, particularly if it is a new brand trying to gain new listings or establish market share. There is a sea of labels in big stores and it is a challenge to stand out. A quick test for us is to establish if the wine is able to be identified from across the room. Our design language is built around the ‘retina burn’ bold typographic style and minimal usage of colours that ‘pop’. Shelf presence is also important for on-premise venues as there are many venues that display wines on shelves, fridges or Enomatics. The ‘what are they drinking at that table?’ effect is what we strive for. I think it is important to ensure the label gives the right impression as to

September 2012 – Issue 584

what the bottle contains. There must be a link to the wine otherwise you can end up with two disjointed concepts; in effect a piece of artwork on the outside and another totally different one on the inside! Conrick: The personality of the wine product has become very important. People need to feel connected to the products they purchase. A wine is now not just a beverage but an extension of a personality. It can reflect status, experience or interests. There needs to be careful consideration to convey a clear and consistent message at all times through all media. Wine companies need to do more than make wine – they need to create an ‘experience’. Have you seen many trends in label designs over the past decade and what labelling trends do you see emerging into the future?

Conrick: Where previously there was the restriction of size, materials, bottles and embellishments, the design opportunities for packaging are now endless. With consumers becoming more aware of the impact of packaging on the environment, there may be a

to New tles i t e Win 12 in 20

greater emphasis on environmentally conscious design and production in the future. To what extent do countries respond differently to labels and/or wine marketing images?

Hartwig: A large amount depends on how the name of the wine or the humour involved translates. For example it is unlikely our Riesling would work in some parts of Asia as it is possibly too edgy and, with an obscure name, you never know. The best thing to do when someone says it won’t work is ask, ‘why not’? A lot of the time ideas simply haven’t been tried and people often base their assumptions on outdated misconceptions. Conrick: All people experience in different ways. There are cultural and environmental differences to consider. But it is important to consider the similarities as well as the differences. There seems to be a current trend in the Asian market for more traditional European-styled label design. This seems to correlate with the fact they are a relatively new wine market and Europe is the oldest wine market. If you considered the Australian market

a decade or more ago you would find similarities in design to what is currently seen in Asia. I imagine as the market develops, and there is more confidence and understanding of the product, you may see a regional and a wine personality evolution in design. The younger generation wine consumer will also push this change. How can label designers overcome the challenge of helping a wine bottle stand out as the market becomes increasingly congested?

Hartwig: Help the client understand why buyers pick up particular bottles of wine and forget the idea that you can sell your story via the back label text. You really have to sell your story in a fleeting glance across a shelf or wine list. Take the concepts to the battlefield and test how they perform in the fridge and on the shelf. Ask someone to see if they can find it based on its name. Conrick: Be individual, thoughtful and creative – and keep it simple. People recognise when a product lacks substance, so strive to create strong concepts with attention to detail. Attention to detail sets apart the good design from the great.

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Email: Ph: +61 8 8369 9500 September 2012 – Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker


sales & marketing

City sellers Winemakers are joining forces and venturing to big cities in an effort to boost customer relations and sales Kellie Arbuckle

As Francis Boon was once quoted, ‘If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain,’ so too rings true for wineries and their customers. An increasing number of wine producers are packing their wares and setting themselves up in capital cities to gain better brand exposure and access to market. Several cellar doors have either relocated or opened over the past three years in Adelaide alone, including Tomich Wines, in Unley, Salena Estate, in Paradise, Tidswell Wines, in Norwood and Amadio Wines, in Felixstow. According to Dr Steve Goodman, senior marketing lecturer at the University of Adelaide, the idea is seemingly consistent: why wait? “If you have a million people in Adelaide and 25,000 people visit Clare each year, then why wait? Why not come to the city and try to talk to 500,000 people?” Goodman said. “Opening up in the city offers wineries that might not be able to get their wines stocked in Dan Murphy’s an opportunity to sell direct. The more people who see a brand in the marketplace, the more likely they will buy that brand when they’re making a purchase.” Of course, establishing a cellar door in a city is not for everyone. The cost of setting up in a city and overcoming liquor licensing hurdles can be prohibitive. Such was the case for McLaren Vale winery Aramis Vineyards. Owner Lee Flourentzou had big ambitions for his brand when he opened up a cellar door restaurant called Spoon, on Gouger Street, in the heart of Adelaide’s China Town. The idea was to bring the Aramis experience to people in the city which, according to Flourentzou, it did. “From a marketing perspective, I got great exposure, excellent reviews and I managed to pick up some business from overseas,” he said. But the business was unsustainable. Flourentzou reflects on the venture and believes he was ahead of his time for Adelaide, describing the crowd as

126 Grapegrower & Winemaker

The New Generation Hunter Valley boys in a Melbourne bus stop line-up, from left, David Hook, Andrew Thomas, Rhys Eather, Nick Paterson, Mike De Iuliis and Andrew Margan.

conservative at the time. He made the decision in December last year to pack up, ditch the restaurant and relocate the cellar door to Mile End, about 10 minutes west of the city. “It’s a great concept, but a lot of the time it costs money and has no return. If I were to do it again, I’d be very cautious about where I’d put it.” But it’s not just individual producers having a crack at the cityscape. Winemakers are increasingly banding together and creating unique consumer and trade-focused events to promote their wines and region. At the end of the day, the bill is equally split. New Generation Hunter Valley is a prime example. Started by Thomas Wines winemaker Andrew Thomas in 2009, New Generation Hunter Valley is Thomas (or “Thommo”), Nick Paterson, of Dogliani Winemaking, Mike De Iuliis, of De Iuliis Wines, Andrew Margan, of Margan Wines, David Hook, of David Hook Wines and Rhys Eather, of Meerea Park. Known for their quirky secret ‘pop up’ wine bars, where the location is only disclosed at the last minute, the New Gen boys have gained a reputation, not only for their wines, but for their unusual approach to marketing wine. “When people think of the Hunter they often think of the big familyowned companies. We wanted to present ourselves in a less serious light because we’re not the usual suspects,” Thommo said. “People often associate wine tastings with snobbery. But we have light music going and a relaxed, fun atmosphere where people can taste 20-25 wines. The take-home message is that while we’re serious about our wines, we don’t take the whole thing too seriously. And that’s

why people like it.” Thommo estimates membership in Thomas Wines alone has jumped about 20 per cent since New Gen was founded in 2009, along with some reasonably good sales. “At end of day, the region as a whole will benefit from us getting the message out there. The other good thing about having six brands is that you’re sharing the costs.” Goodman says small producers would benefit from a cooperative approach. “With the pressure in trying to find route to markets, that’s where the whole idea of a cooperative approach actually has merit,” he said. Wine associations are another example of this cooperative approach. Wine Tasmania brought a whole bunch of its producers to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane last month as part of Tasmania Unbottled – a consumer and trade-focused event that aims to promote the quality and diversity of Tassie wines. “With Tasmania Unbottled, we aim to promote the region as a whole and to facilitate opportunities for our wineries to get sales both to trade and also directly to consumers,” Wine Tasmania CEO Sheralee Davies said. “If a wine producer is going to a city and trying to make appointments with trade, it’s an overtly commercial approach whereas if we go as a group it’s a softer approach so the trade doesn’t feel as much pressure.” Davies says a trend of wineries to hone in on their target market is emerging. “As an industry we’re getting a bit smarter in the way we present our wines. We’re becoming more cluey in terms of what our targeted trade and consumers want, and we’re tailoring ourselves more to those targets.” September 2012 – Issue 584

business & technology Wine education for consumers Jeffrey Wilkinson

As an organisation whose raison d’être is communication and whose motivation is to ‘engage, connect, learn, inspire’, it is hardly surprising that Wine Communicators of Australia believes strongly in quality wine education. We also know that education comes in many forms and that, when it comes to wine, people learn at the table, the cellar door, retail outlets, through books and wine columns, online (increasingly) and by taking courses. Each pathway is important, but to be truly valuable each must be done right – a bit like making wine. Visiting wine cellar doors is often the first (sometimes tentative) step for wine lovers who want to develop a deeper knowledge of what they are buying. Up to this stage, many consumers know they like wine, and may have a small repertoire of favourites, but powers of critical wine appraisal are not yet within their grasp. Information provided by friendly and well-trained staff at the cellar door should not only be about selling the features of a winery’s own portfolio, it should be a part of providing consumers with a deeper understanding of the region of which the winery is a part, and what makes the whole concept of wine enjoyment unique and special. It is an opportunity to engage the consumer. Interesting, entertaining, even challenging winery newsletters, websites and social media then provide an excellent opportunity to connect with consumers, long after the cellar door visit that made the first impression. With a bit of work and creative thinking, a winery can create fresh and dynamic educational opportunities. Just keep it authentic! Recent research shows that the winery website will really

only leverage sales if a strong connection with the consumer has previously been achieved. Consumers will rarely just drop in on a winery’s website to purchase wine. Increasingly, consumers prefer the broad-based specialist wine sales websites with discount offers, and free delivery for making purchases. However, educational work done previously by the winery can lead to an emotional brand attachment, and can steer the final choice of wine purchased. The traditional specialist wine retailer still provides an excellent educational opportunity for those consumers who are seeking out higher level product knowledge and tastings. Though thinner on the ground than in years gone by, these retailers operate in a fiercely competitive environment and education must be part of their offer. It is impossible for them to compete on price, so they need to be a trusted intermediary on wine knowledge, and their personalised service and customer intimacy make this an ideal way for consumers to develop confidence and learn. Wine appreciation courses have been transformed by the online world. Consumers now have the chance to join a wine tasting group online, with bottles purchased in advance. They learn from the presenter and compare tasting comments with ‘class mates’ who may be thousands of kilometres away. This channel will continue to develop, but will never replace the personalised wine tasting presented by an articulate and competent professional to a small group of interested, but not necessarily expert, wine lovers. Increasingly we are seeing this type of wine educational event set

as an extra curricular part of a nonwine experience, such as a corporate development retreat or annual staff conference. Employers are seeing the benefit of conveying some serious wine knowledge to inspire their teams. In Australia, the annual spring release of wine books is welcomed by consumers and the book trade alike. Australians love wine books, almost as much as they adore their cooking and gardening books, and they continue to be a popular source of wine education, particularly if they are well designed and illustrated with expertly shot photos of our spectacular wine country. The best of them serve as an important reminder to wine lovers of the pleasant memories spent in friendly and engaging winery cellar doors. Australia is blessed with numerous excellent wine writers, led by WCA’s patron, James Halliday AM. Halliday has written more than 30 wine books and is recognised as one of the world’s best wine writers. You can hear Halliday and enjoy an excellent lunch accompanied by trophy winning wine when he presents the keynote speech at WCA’s Royal Adelaide Wine Show Awards lunch in Adelaide on Friday 12 October. Bookings at And while on the subject of us, I should point out that WCA also is in the education game. Each year we provide professional development opportunities for wine communicators through a stimulating calendar of events such as Consumer Insights, Vintage Report lunches, the WCA Annual Lecture, webinars, State Chapter tutorials and a stimulating Great Debate that examines contemporary wine business issues.

Western Australian wine industry celebrates export success Western Australian winemakers are celebrating improved international interest in the state’s premium wines. A recent release of export figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) demonstrate an increase in both per-litre price points and sale volume of Western Australian wine across targeted international markets. Asian export markets have enjoyed growth, estimated at $9.2 million, with the per-litre price of Western Australian wine rising from $4.83 in 2010/2011, to $5.55 in 2011/2012. September 2012 – Issue 584

Wine sales to China demonstrated considerable growth of $7.2 million AUD on last year; peaking at an all-time high of $13.7 million AUD. The per-litre price of Western Australian wine in China also increased from $5.04 per litre in 2010/2011 to $6.38 per litre in 2011/2012. The Hong Kong market, regarded as the gateway for wine exports to Asia, experienced growth of $1.0 million AUD. The United States and United Kingdom, traditional markets for wine export, remained relatively steady. Wines of Western Australia, the state’s

peak body representing wine producers, confirms these results as a reflection of the state’s continued engagement with critical export markets. “The latest figures suggest that key strategy initiatives are most definitely beginning to gain traction,” said Aymee Mastaglia, General Manager, Wines of Western Australia. “Asian markets are increasingly regarding wine and wine education as necessary features of a modern cosmopolitan lifestyle; making Asia an attractive and exciting prospect for our state’s premium wine producers.” Grapegrower & Winemaker


business & technology

Clearing stocks for cash (without cannibalisation) Using clever marketing to offer great value offerings is a useful way of clearing out old stock to realise cash – without compromising sales of current releases.

Melanie Reddaway Business columnist

I CHAT TO a lot of wineries that are holding on to ageing stocks. Often there are lots of odds and ends, and substantial costs have been attributed to those wines from production and subsequent storage, but the market prices are falling depressingly low. From an accounting point of view, I’m always harping on about the need to ensure you are earning a sufficient margin but my tune starts to change when we’re talking about old stock. Those odds and ends you’ve got sitting in your shed or, worse still, in paid storage, are costing you money. If you’re not actively selling a particular product, and you know the price isn’t going to go up in the future, then it’s time to consider the cost of that wine as sunk and just focus on recovering the maximum amount of cash back into your working capital. However, even as an accountant, I know it’s not as simple as just dumping those wines into your normal sales channels at bargain-basement prices, because you risk cannibalising regular sales. Buyers can flock to the cheaper offerings, bypassing current releases. To help us negotiate this minefield of wanting to clear out old stock to create space and realise cash without compromising sales of current releases, I’ve invited a friend and colleague, Teagan Altschwager, to be a special guest co-author of this month’s column. Teagan teaches Marketing Communications and International Marketing at the University of Adelaide and is currently undertaking a PhD looking at branded marketing events in the wine industry. We’ve got some great suggestions for alternative ways to clear old stocks. But wait! Before we get started on suggestions for clearing old stocks, I want

128 Grapegrower & Winemaker

to highlight an important accounting issue. If your business is subject to banking covenants, then you need to have a think about the effect that clearing old stocks from your balance sheet will have on any ratios you are required to report to your bank. Selling those stocks will involve transferring their recorded value from inventory in your balance sheet to cost of goods sold in your profit and loss statement, and it might see you realise an ugly-looking loss. This can have a nasty effect on asset and profit-related ratios. While I can’t imagine many bank managers having a problem with you clearing old stocks to generate more cash, I would still strongly advise that you discuss the reporting implications with your accountant and/or bank manager before you proceed. With that disclaimer out of the way, here are our suggestions:

If you’re not actively selling a particular product, then it’s time to focus on recovering the maximum amount of cash back into your working capital.

Support a school or community group fundraiser Why not give your kid’s school or sporting group a call and offer to provide discounted cases of wine to support a fundraiser? Explain you’re looking to clear space so you can offer them some museum release wines at the extreme discount of $X per case. Give them a suggested selling price of $Y per case that will earn them a worthwhile cut. Just keep in mind that you might be setting

a precedent – if the fundraiser goes well they’ll probably be hoping you’ll repeat the generosity in the future. So if you don’t have loads of this sort of stock around and you won’t be in a position to offer them discounted current releases, make it very clear that this is a once-only offer (but maybe you could introduce them to friends who might like to have a clear-out next year?)

Email the dead-ends from your mailing list You know all those people who joined your mailing list when they visited your cellar door, but haven’t bought anything since? Why not email that group a list of clearance wines and see if you can convert them to buyers?

Team the older wines with your newer wines If you’re still really happy with the quality of your older wines, why not come up with some package deals? A mixed dozen made up of current releases bundled with discounted older wines could add up to look like a great value offering.

Use the wines for promotional deals Another way of teaming your old stocks with your current releases is to offer them as promotional incentives. For example, you might post on your winery’s Facebook page that the first 20 cellar door visitors to buy a case from the current release range this weekend will receive a special museum release three pack. Yes, this does mean you’re giving away the stock, but if it generates additional sales of your current releases, then it might be worth your while. Note, however, that this suggestion is only useful if you don’t anticipate selling out your current releases. It’s not unusual to come across wineries that have excess old stocks sitting in storage, but they’ve got their production levels right since then and will comfortably sell their current releases without too much drama. If this is you, then we’d suggest there’s no benefit in giving away your old stock to accelerate the sale of your current stocks. September 2012 – Issue 584

Today’s students, tomorrow’s workers DE M A N D F OR VITICULTURE and oenology graduates from Charles Sturt Education University is ongoing, with a recent survey showing that about 98 per cent of graduates are employed in full-time work. Based at Wagga Wagga, in New South Wales, CSU has traditionally attracted Europeans to its wine courses, along with their Australian counterparts. But according to Peter Torley, viticulture professor at CSU, there are now more students coming from Asia. “There has been strong interest in the viticulture and wine courses from Asia over the last few years. This interest has mainly focused on our post-graduate courses (masters or doctoral programs),” he said.” Grapegrower & Winemaker spoke with three students who are currently undertaking a wine-related degree at CSU about their course and their plans for the future. Name: Bithika Saha Home country: Bangladesh Course: Master of Philosophy on lowalcohol wine. Why did you choose this particular wine course?

Nowadays, low-alcohol wine is a widely discussed issue in the wine industry due to health and social factors. Besides this, it will increase wine acceptability to people. The process through which alcohol is reduced from wine may affect its taste and flavour. That is why sometimes consumers avoid tasting lowalcohol wine. What career do you want to pursue in the wine industry? Why?

is the biggest challenge and opportunity for Australian wine industry. Now the minimum alcohol content of wine in Australia is 4.5%. If this low-alcohol wine can be made popular to consumers, it will reduce health and social problems regarding alcohol. Name: Maihemuti Kare Home country: Xinjiang, northwest China Course: PhD in viticulture. Why did you choose this particular wine course?

To learn the strategic methodologies and techniques in grapevine management and to solve critical problems in relation to fruit and wine quality. What career do you want to pursue in the wine industry? Why?

I want to pursue a research opportunity relating to the environmental effect of grapevine root growth and carbohydrate reverse. What do believe is the biggest opportunity and challenge for the Australian wine industry?

There is a great opportunity for the Australian wine industry as it has a long winemaking history and it is quite a well-known wine brand. However, the wine industry in Australia at the moment is facing a challenge on how to keep a balance between winemaking and vine management. What do you plan to do at the end of your degree/for your career?

I am planning to find a research job that is associated with horticulture, particularly in Australian viticulture. The reason I chose the Australian wine industry is because of the shortage of viticulturists and graduates. Moreover, many are not

willing to work in the countryside after graduation. Hence, as a viticulturist, it is my responsibility to take this task to develop the vine industry. Name: Navideh Sadoughi Home country: Iran Course: PhD in viticulture Why did you choose this particular wine course?

Wine is a unique product of fermentation that has been produced from a long time ago, but the exact chemical and biochemical reaction is still unknown in some aspects. What career do you want to pursue in the wine industry? Why?

I want to investigate the impact of ripe rot on the chemistry and sensory properties of grape and wine quality. Wet and warm conditions during summers favour the development of several fruit rots of grape. These diseases can be very critical if it established in a vineyard. One of the most common bunch rot is ripe rot, but there is little information on ripe rot that is caused by Colletotrichum. These berries have the bitter flavour which survives through fermentation and impacts on wine quality – but the chemical nature of the taints is still unknown. What do you plan to do at the end of your degree/for your career?

I am sure that I will apply for postdoctorate study. It doesn`t matter which area, but I would prefer a new area of food technology, so I can improve my knowledge about my world. I really enjoy my study and my life in Australia, and Australian people are really friendly and helpful. As such, I will probably continue my education here.

My interest is to research food chemistry and food technology. I have a plan to stay Australia permanently, so I will seek employment here. I am interested in research, so I will search employment in the research and development department of the food industries. This degree gives me a preliminary idea about different techniques and equipment used to measure different parameters of wine. So I will be able to work in a research team of wine or any other drinks (juice/ soft drinks) industry. What do you is the biggest opportunity and challenge for the Australian wine industry?

I think the alcohol adjustment of wine September 2012 – Issue 584

Charles Sturt University PhD students Saha Bithika, Navideh Sadoughi and Mahmut Kare.

Grapegrower & Winemaker


business & technology

Green wine the future for NMIT graduate BEN BURRIDGE BELIEVES the New Zealand wine industry has a big future in organics – and he intends to be part of it. “I can see myself in a few years owning my own organic vineyard somewhere around Marlborough,” he says. “There’s a lot of potential for organics and it’s a really nice way to make wine.” For now though, Burridge is content learning all he can as a cellar and vineyard hand at Wither Hills winery in Blenheim, where he has worked since graduating from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology’s Diploma in Viticulture and Wine Production and winning the Wither Hills’ Scholarship for high achievement in 2011. “I work in the winery but I’m also out in the field a lot driving tractors and getting about on farm bikes,” he says. “I’m able to experience the whole process of the wine production, from growing and harvesting the grapes to making the wine.” Burridge’s interest in organics was sparked while studying at NMIT and spending time on a student work placement at Huia – an organic winery in Marlborough. “Organics is a growing market and it’s good for New Zealand’s image and good for the land and our health,” he says. “NMIT had quite a big focus on organics because they try and show us all the different ways of producing wine and the different philosophies that go into


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130 Grapegrower & Winemaker

making it and doing viticulture.” He is passionate about it now, but viticulture was not a career Burridge initially considered. After leaving school in North Otago, he gained a double degree in Management and Art from Otago University with the intention of working in the corporate world. “I thought I’d be a corporate CEO making millions of dollars. As I got older, I could see that working in an office wasn’t for me – I wanted to be more land-based and more specialised in my career.” It was while travelling overseas to countries including Italy, that he realised the potential for the New Zealand wine industry – particularly in organics. “I want to be in an industry that’s dynamic, where you’re making a range of products of different qualities,” Burridge says. “There are several wine regions in New Zealand, growing different varieties of wine so there are lots of options. It’s also one of the few industries in New Zealand you can work in organics as well so that was a big draw card.” With the NMIT Diploma completed, Ben is now completing a further year of study plus summer school to gain a Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology through Lincoln University under the pathway agreement with NMIT. He says NMIT’s viticulture program appealed to him because a lot of the training is practical and hands-on, it offers excellent

work experience opportunities and is in an ideal location. “The main thing is the course is in the biggest wine-producing region in New Zealand. You can get connections and network so easily, there’s just so much going on with wine. If you’ve got a passion for it, it’s an awesome place to be. I learned heaps of practical skills at NMIT and got loads of experience – it has made me more employable. When you graduate you’ve done a vintage, you’ve got your work experience and your certificates - so you’re ready to go.”

Adelaide Uni to replace undergraduate wine marketing course THE UNIVERSITY OF Adelaide is developing a new agricultural marketing degree after it announced it would phase out its undergraduate wine marketing course over the year. The University’s School of Agriculture Food and Wine said it would not accept intakes into its undergraduate Bachelor of Wine Marketing and Diploma of Wine Marketing programs past 2 September, citing a fall in student numbers as the main reason. In reaching its decision, the university consulted with several wineries and bodies in the wine industry, including the Wine 2030 Advisory Board, Wine Australia, Wine Grape Growers Australia, Serafino Wines, Wirra Wirra and Yalumba. “Feedback demonstrated that the industry preferred postgraduate courses. On the basis of that, we are now in

discussions with the faculty of professions where the business school is located for something that would be more credible, adapted and suitable for the Master of Wine Marketing course,” said Pascale Quester, the university’s deputy vicechancellor and vice president academic. Head of school and professor of genetics Mike Wilkinson said the headcount into the undergraduate wine marketing degree had fallen from 36 in 2010, 25 in 2011, to 17 in 2012 – all including part-time students. He said new agricultural marketing degree, which could be in place by 2014, would service the wine industry at an undergraduate level and would be based at the North Terrace campus. Current students enrolled in the undergraduate wine marketing degree will not be affected. September 2012 – Issue 584

Riverina embraces young talent The Riverina wine industry is working to support young grapegrowers through a new program that could inspire them to stay on the land. Kellie Arbuckle

FIFTEEN YOUNG WINEGROWERS from the Riverina will have a chance develop their business farming skills this month as part of a new leadership program. The Riverina Wine Grapes Marketing Board has designed a two-day course called the Next Bunch to support growers aged 18-35 in the early stages of their grape farming career. The course, which is being funded by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, will give participants the opportunity to meet with some of the current industry leaders and learn skills relating to conflict management, negotiation, time management and communication skills. The group will also be given an insight into current issues and opportunities from guest speakers in the program. RWGMB industry development officer Kristy Bartrop said it was important to support younger growers early in their career to give them confidence that might have been discouraged after the recent spate of low prices and disease pressure. “The region’s growers have experienced a lot of pressure in recent times and the Next Bunch program will provide the skills needed to conduct a viable winegrape growing business,” Bartrop said. The program will also include a full qualification in horticulture or a similar course, as determined on an individual basis. Each participant will have the capacity to individually select what course they would like to achieve and what they will need to attain the qualification. Participants will also have a chance to get active in the RWGMB and other local associations. Bartrop said the program will provide skills that growers might not learn on the land. “Many young people in the Riverina have left school and taken up work on their parents’ vineyard, which has likely been family-owned for several generations. The chance to receive a formal qualification and gain the skills required to participate in regional associations and boards will help the next generation of growers to broaden their skills and, hopefully, inspire them to stay in the industry,” she said. The RWGMB received funding for the program after designing the course in a way that addresses regional issues and submitting an application to the GWRDC.

China shows sweet tooth for Aussie wine THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN wine industry is tapping into the tastes of the increasing segment of international students in the state. Nearly 300 students visited the National Wine Centre last month for a free tasting of some of Australia’s finest sparkling, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Developed by the National Wine and Education Training Centre, Wine Australia and Study Adelaide, the International Student Wine Tasting event aimed to educate students about Australian wine and encourage them to explore different wine regions while they study. NWETC marketing officer Marcia Burnett said 60 per cent of the students were from Asia, with many showing a preference for Australia’s sweeter and lighter styles of wine. “The sparkling Moscato and sparkling wines seemed to be highly preferred over Chardonnay, Cabernet and Shiraz,” Burnett said. “They were asking how to open a bottle of wine, how to store the wine, and they wanted to know more about the varieties grown and the regions.” Wine Australia regional director, Australia and emerging markets Aaron Brasher said the tasting would hopefully provide a catalyst for the students to travel to some of the regions and share their experience with their family. “This event will help international students to appreciate and develop a taste for the quality of our wines and give them the confidence and knowledge to be able to choose a top local drop and share it with their friends and families when they return home from their Australian educational adventure,” Brasher said.

Pathways to a wine science or viticulture degree Wine industry focused education and training Structured Courses in 2012: • Diploma of Wine Technology • Diploma of Production Horticulture (Viticulture) • Certificate II & III in Food Processing (Wine)

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September 2012 – Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker


business & technology

Sales trends reflect variety This article follows on from last month’s article in the Grapegrower and Winemaker magazine by Peter Bailey on the results of the 2012 Australian winegrape crush. Figure 1 summarises the crush by key variety. This article will look at the demand side of the equation, examining some wine varietal trends in both the domestic and export markets. The Australian off-trade market is the single largest market for Australian wine. Figure 2 illustrates bottled still wine sales by varietal in the domestic off-trade market. The category accounts for roughly a quarter of all wine sales in Australia1. In the 12 months ended March 2012, Sauvignon Blanc (up 11% by volume) consolidated its position as the number one varietal after eclipsing Chardonnay just four years ago. Chardonnay sales continued to decline but the rate of decline at 2% was the lowest in at least the last seven years2. Shiraz (up 14%) grew strongly and was the third most popular varietal by volume and second by value. Sales of the second most popular red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon also grew but at a lower rate of 4%. Off lower bases, sales of Pinot Gris/ Grigio (up 23%) and Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc (up 9%) grew at strong rates. Meanwhile, Shiraz blends (down 6%) and Merlot (down 2%) recorded declining sales. There was positive news for Riesling with sales increasing for the first time in at least seven years. Analysing the sales data over a longer timeframe reveals that most of the current year performances are a continuation of longer-term trends, with the exception of Chardonnay and Riesling. Most bottled still wine varietals have grown over the past seven years – this is a partial reflection of the long-term trend of consumers moving away from soft-packs and to bottled still wine. Figure 3 illustrates that among the white varietals, there has been a substitution within the top four varietals. Chardonnay and Riesling sales have declined at the expense of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc. However, the decline of Chardonnay is slowing and Riesling sales seem to have stabilised and are now recording some growth. Dry whites have also been declining, with this most likely due to re-labelling some as Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc. Also, the growing popularity of Pinot Gris/Grigio off a very low base means the varietal has only recently become a top-five white varietal. The trends among the top red varietals are a little less obvious. The major shift has been consumers preferring

132 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Chenin Blanc Traminer Viognier Grenache Ruby Cabernet Verdelho Petit Verdot Pinot Gris Pinot Noir Riesling Muscat Gordo Blanco Colombard Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Chardonnay Shiraz

6% -14% -20% -9% -11% -24%

Change in tonnage in 2012 % = Growth in current period

13% 39% -6% -3% 31% 7% 0.02% -2% 15% -4% -6% 16% -50










Tonnes ('000s)

Figure 1. 2012 Australian crush by variety. Source: Winemakers’ Federation of Australia. 1%


MAT March 2012 MAT March 2011 % = Growth in current period


Pinot Gris/Grigio Shiraz blends



-2% 0%

Cabernet Merlot


Cabernet Sauvignon


Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc






Sauvignon Blanc 0











Value (million dollars)

Figure 2. Bottled off-trade sales by varietal. Source: Nielsen

straight Shiraz instead of Shiraz blends (the increase in straight Shiraz easily offsets the decline in blends). Cabernet Sauvignon, after a few lean years in 2009 and 2010 is growing strongly again, while Merlot has been on a volatile downward trajectory. The growth in Cabernet Merlot was not quite enough to offset the decline in straight Merlot sales. Wine Australia collects varietal data on Australian wine that is exported (exports accounted for a 61% share of all wine sales 2011). During 2011-12, total Australian exports declined by 2% to 713 million litres. Figure 4 illustrates that a decline in Shiraz exports was a major contributor to the overall volume decline, perhaps a partial reflection of a 21% decline in the Shiraz crush in 2011 (see

Figure 5). Chardonnay exports declined at a lower rate of 1%, with supply less an issue in 2011, when the Chardonnay crush increased by 23%. Exports of most of the major varietals declined in 2011-12. This comes after the stock clearing that took place in 2010-11 and a series of lower crushes. However, varietals including Muscat Gordo Blanco (up 47%), Pinot Gris (up 9%) and Sauvignon Blanc (stable) performed better due to a combination of an increased production base and increased popularity in key markets. Figure 6 below shows key supply and demand statistics by variety. Along with the exports and domestic sales outlined above, the average price of winegrape purchases is included. Shifts in the September 2012 – Issue 584


Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay


Sauvignon Blanc Riesling

$40 $20 $0 -$20 -$40



2008 2009 2010 Year ending March


Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Merlot Merlot Shiraz blends


Annual change in value (million dollars)

Annual change in value (million dollars)


$20 $15 $10 $5 $0 -$5 -$10 -$15 -$20





2009 2010 Year ending March



Figure 3. Change in value of off-trade sales by varietal. Source: Nielsen.

supply and demand balances will result in changes in prices paid for each variety. For example, Moscato sales are growing strongly in key international markets. Australian wineries have identified this trend through sales data and feedback from customers and have been seeking to meet the consumer’s demand. As a result, exports of wine made from Muscat Gordo Blanco3 have increased by 47% to 13 million litres. The increased demand for Moscato has contributed to the prices paid to growers for Muscat Gordo Blanco grapes increasing by 16% to $407 per tonne in 2012. It is essential to monitor trends in both the supply and demand of varieties. Growers and wineries who stay ‘in tune’ with the consumer and market dynamics will have a better chance of making successful business decisions. For further information, contact Wine Australia’s Wine Sector Intelligence (WSI) team on: or call 08 8228 2010.

 ther categories include soft-packs, sparkling wine O and fortified in the off-trade and the total on-trade category.


This compares the 12 months ending March period only.


 uscat Gordo Blanco is the primary Muscat variety M grown in Australia that can be used for making Moscato labelled wine.


Incremental growth in 2011-12


Pinot Noir


Muscat Gordo Blanco


Sauvignon Blanc




Pinot Gris




Cabernet Sauvignon









100 Volume (million litres)




Figure 4. Australian wine exports by varietal. Source: Wine Australia.



Cabernet Sauvignon


Pinot Gris








Sauvignon Blanc

Muscat Gordo Blanco

Pinot Noir



Petit Verdot







Figure 5. Change in 2011 Australian crush. Source: Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.

Crush (2012) Tonnes ('000s)


Riesling Colombard

References 1

Petit Verdot

Purchase Price (2012)


Average price ($/t)

Domestic off-trade sales (MAT March 2012)


Value (million)


Exports (2011-12) Volume (ML)




















Cabernet Sauvignon



























Sauvignon Blanc








47% -10%









Muscat Gordo Blanco**


















Pinot Noir









Pinot Gris









Petit Verdot


















Figure 6. Supply and demand measures by variety. * Domestic sales are for Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc. ** Domestic sales are for Moscato. Source: Nielsen. September 2012 – Issue 584

Grapegrower & Winemaker


appointments and accolades Sacred Hill expands distribution channels New Zealand winery Sacred Hill Vineyards is looking to strengthen distribution channels in New Zealand, Australia and the US with the launch of Sacred Hill Wine Company. Sacred Hill Vineyards has appointed four senior executives to the sales and distribution company, which was launched in July. The appointments include Glenn Cunningham as global sales and marketing direction, Murray Burgess as national sales manager, Emiliano Parini as national key accounts manager, and Dale Wright as fine wine and on-premise director. Sacred Hill Vineyard’s managing director David Mason said the company is excited to welcome the four new senior members to the Sacred Hill family. “These roles are pivotal to the ongoing success and growth of our business and we look forward to further growing our domestic market and exploring international growth opportunities,” he said.

Halliday gives Kilikanoon top credit One of Australia’s most respected wine judges James Halliday has scored Clare winery Kilikanoon the highest of accolades, naming it Winery of the Year in his 2013 Wine Companion. “Kilikanoon has travelled in the fast lane since its establishment in 1997, gaining five-star status in the 2004 Wine Companion, five red stars in the ’08, moving to the ultimate red star/red name in 2012. This placed it among the best 100 wineries in Australia, yet this year (2013) it surpassed its prior history with 12 of its wines receiving 94 points or above,” said Halliday. Kilikanoon had a strong line-up in this year’s rating with 17 wines scoring above 92 points. Kilikanoon winemaker Kevin Mitchell said the accolade was an achievement for the winery and the Clare region. “This announcement is not only an achievement for Kilikanoon but testament to what is possible in the Clare Valley with 11 Clare wines – Shiraz, Riesling, Cabernet, Grenache and Semillon – rated 92 points or above,” Mitchell said. Kilikanoon was established in 1997 by Mitchell, with grapes from the two vineyards owned by Kevin and his father Mort. The winery specialises in producing wines with strong regional and varietal definition.

134 Grapegrower & Winemaker

Hungerford Hill Wines appoints new national sales manager

Hunter Valley winery Hungerford Hill has appointed Christopher Balfour as national sales manager. Balfour has had a long career in the wine and spirits industry, starting with his family’s liquor store in Adelaide, moving to Penfolds as a sales rep, then to Remy Martin, Maxxium and then Suntory in sales management roles, in Sydney. In these positions he has worked with brands such as Charles Heidsieck, Piper Heidsieck and Blue Pyrenees. Balfour is based in Sydney and will be responsible for growing wholesale sales throughout Australia.

Accolade and TWE enter bottling pact Two of Australia’s major rival wine companies have entered a reciprocal bottling and packaging agreement – a move that will see 175 jobs lost at the historic Reynella bottling facility. Accolade Wines and Treasury Wine Estates made the announcement in July that Accolade Wines would bottle for TWE at its Bristol bottling plant, in the UK, and TWE would bottle for Accolade in Australia. Accolade Wines chief executive Troy Christensen said the agreement would improve the efficiencies of both wine companies and would increase production at Accolade Park by 30 per cent. At the same time, Christensen said the decision was not taken lightly, with about 175 jobs at the Reynella bottling and distribution centre to be made redundant. “We were faced with the difficult realisation that the best option for our business, and for the Australian industry, was to ensure that the most efficient facilities were fully utilised even if they were not our own,” Christensen said. “All employees made redundant will receive their full redundancy entitlements and further support in the

form of outplacement services to help find new jobs.” TWE CEO David Dearie said the arrangements would strengthen both companies’ position for future sales growth. “These new arrangements will enable us to better capitalise on our resources and state-of-the-art facilities in the regions where we can best leverage the benefits,” Dearie said. About 20 of the redundancies relate to a separate arrangement where Accolade Wines will outsource its Reynella warehousing and distribution to MacKenzie Hillebrand’s facilities at Outer Harbor, South Australia.

Robert Oatley Vineyards appointed distributor Robert Oatley Vineyards will this month take up the reins as the exclusive distributor of Charles Heidsieck Champagnes in Australia. Charles Heidsieck, founded in 1851, is recognised as the producer of some of the Champagne region’s most exceptional and sought-after wines. “We are thrilled to be entering into a partnership with Robert Oatley Vineyards in Australia”, said Cécile Bonnefond, the company’s president. “We have exciting plans for Charles Heidsieck in the coming months and we look forward to working closely with the team at Robert Oatley Vineyards to make these champagnes more accessible to Australia’s discerning consumers”. It is expected that, in the custody of Robert Oatley Vineyards, Charles Heidsieck’s flagship Brut Réserve and Rosé Reserve champagnes, the Vintage Brut and Vintage Rosé, and the House’s acclaimed Blanc des Millénaires, will all become increasingly available in a number of Australia’s fine restaurants and wine shops from this month.

Pellenc boosts sales team Vineyard machinery specialists Pellenc Australia has transferred its sales and marketing manager, Thomas Deville, to its Adelaide base from the factory in France. Previously based in the group’s head office in Pertuis, Deville has been overseeing sales in the Southern Hemisphere for the past six years. He will continue to monitor South Africa and New Zealand from his new Australian base, but will have more time to spend on the ground in Australia.  Deville is already well-known to many in the Australian wine industry, having made several trips per year during the past six years and due to his earlier stint with the company in the mid 1990s. September 2012 – Issue 584

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

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

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

Highlights â&#x20AC;&#x201C; year ended July 2012 Key statistics Total



Volume ML



Value $AM (fob)



Destinations (by value growth)


Growth ($Am)

China, Pr



Hong Kong









Germany, Federal Republic




% point change

Glass bottle

Container type (by volume)









Alternative packaging1




% point change

Still wine by colour (by volume) Red







% point change

Red still wine



White still wine






Wine style (by volume)







Price points (by volume)


% point change

$A2.49/L and under 2



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



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



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



$A10.00/L and over



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



South Australia



Prepared: August 2012, updated monthly 1 Alternative packaging includes flagon, tetra, PET and other packaging types 2 The growth in this segment is due to growth bulk shipments as more Australian wine is being packaged overseas for a combination of reasons, including economic, environmental and scale rationale together with meeting the requirements of some customers. The change in share represents percentage point change in share between the current twelve month period compared to the preceding 12 month period. Based on data compiled from the AWBC Wine Export Approval System. Average Value ($AUD) calculated on FOB value. Free on Board (FOB) value includes production and other costs up until placement on international carrier but excludes international insurance and transport costs. Data is based on wine shipped from Australia to the country of destination - in some instances, wine is then transshipped to other countries for consumption.




McLaren Vale



Barossa Valley



September 2012 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Issue 584

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

Grapegrower & Winemaker


looking forward 2012 Australia & New Zealand

looking back

September 17-19 (JD) Barossa Wine Show Barossa, SA.

26 (JD) Vin de Champagne Awards. Sydney, NSW.

17-21 (JD) Hunter Valley Boutique Winemakers Show. Maitland, NSW. Email:

26-27 (JD) Yarra Valley Wine Show. Healesville, VIC.

Winemaking Products Technical Seminar 17 O'Leary Walker, Clare, SA. Contact: Paul Mazzoletti, 0407 830 333 18 Roaring Forties, Barossa, SA. Contact: Paul Mazzoletti, 0407 830 333 19 Serafino, McLaren Vale, SA. Contact: Craig Mathews, (08) 8383 0333 20 Hollicks Winery, Coonawarra, SA. Contact: Greg Smith, 0429 797 643

29-1 October (JD) Australian Inland Wine Show. Swan Hill, VIC.

18-19 (JD) Australian National Wine & Beer Show 2012. Waite Campus, University of Adelaide, Urrbrae, SA. 18-20 Henty Machinery Field Days Henty, NSW. 19-20 Riverland Field Days Barmera, Riverland, SA. 20-25 (JD) Australian Fortified Wine Show Rutherglen, VIC. 20-25 (JD) Rutherglen Wine Show Rutherglen, VIC. 20 (JD) Swan Valley Wine Show Swan Valley, WA. 22 Seduction by Tastebuds Lunch Taltarni Vineyard, VIC. 24-28 (JD) Australian Cool Climate Wine Show. Murrumbateman, NSW. 24 Fesq & Company Trade Day Melbourne Melbourne, VIC. 24-25 (JD) NSW Wine Awards Sydney, NSW. 26-27 (JD) The James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge. Healesville, VIC. Email:

136 Grapegrower & Winemaker

29 Tour de Rutherglen. Rutherglen, VIC.

October 2-4 Elmore Field Days. Elmore, VIC. 2-4 (JD) Qantas Wine Show of Western Australia. Mount Barker, WA. 4 (JD) Geographe Wine Show 2012 Bunbury, WA. 6-7 Glenrowan Winemakers' Weekend Savour the Australian Flavour. Glenrowan, VIC.

International August 17-20 World Food Moscow Moscow, Russia. 19-22 China Brew 2012 - China Beverage 2012. Beijing, China. 20-22 BioFach America 2012 Baltimore, USA. 25-27 Cape Wine 2012 Cape Town, South Africa. 25-27 Vindaba - South African Wine Tourism. Cape Town, South Africa. JD = judging date

For a comprehensive list of events, visit

We step back in time to see what was happening through the pages of Grapegrower and Winemaker this month 10, 20 and 30 years ago. September 1982 Within six months the WA Government will require labels on all beer, stout, wine and cider to carry information on its alcohol content. Low calorie alcoholic drinks also will be required to state the calorific value, the amount of carbohydrate and protein they contain. Labelling for spirits will follow later. Health Minister Ray Young said the move was in response to demand from people seeking a lower alcohol product so they can enjoy drinking without getting drunk.

September 1992 Robert Geddes, executive officer of the Wines of The Riverina Promotion Committee, is the third Australian to be admitted to the prestigious Londonbased Institute of Masters of Wine. Brain McWilliam, chairman of the Wines of The Riverina, said: “Robert’s award is evidence of the Riverina’s determination to gain recognition for the region. It will add creditability and visibility to our message both internationally and nationally where we need a person with international experience of a wide variety of wine marketing and promotion techniques.”

September 2002 A grapegrower from South Australia’s Riverland has filed an action in the District Court against Southcorp claiming the company broke a promise by refusing to buy her grapes. According to a recent report in The Adelaide Advertiser, the grower, Michelina Festa, who owns a vineyard at Renmark, claims she had an oral agreement with Rosemount Estates which promised to take her whole crop as long as she wanted. Festa now claims that agreement was broken when Rosemount was bought out by Southcorp last year.

September 2012 – Issue 584

Marketplace VINE GRAFTING Bruce Gilbert 0428 233 544 Brian Phillips 0417 131 764 fax 03 5025 2321

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Grapegrower & Winemaker


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online 138 Grapegrower & Winemaker

DailyWineNews e-newsletter • WineJobs • Archived articles • Buyers’ Guide • Wine Industry Directory online • Vintage reports • Wine show calendar

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September 2012 – Issue 584

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Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker  
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