Page 1

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 · Volume 28 Number 1

INDUSTRY SUSTAINABILITY • Could cold-active proteases from Antarctic fungi replace bentonite? • Comparing natural wine and organic and biodynamic viticulture • Regional focus: Great Southern • Tasting: Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris • Profile: David Botting

WISA winner

Chairman’s Award

2011


Novatwist

TM

30 x 60

Novatwist is the first premium plastic screw cap closure for wine and spirit bottles. Novatwist can be hand or machine applied to BVS finish glass or PET bottles and has a sleek, no external thread appearance. Now held in stock nationally by Plasdene Glass-Pak. • Excellent preservation of flavours and freshness • Vast stock colour range • Printing opportunities • 100% recyclable • Manufactured by Novembal, a Tetra Pak company

Plasdene Glass-Pak is the exclusive distribution agent for Novatwist in Australia

www.plasdene.com.au

Sydney Brisbane Melbourne Hobart Adelaide Perth Hunter

Ph: (02) 9773 8666 Ph: (07) 3256 6100 Ph: (03) 9480 3222 Ph: (03) 6272 8312 Ph: (08) 8340 2666 Ph: (08) 9456 5544 Ph: (02) 4035 9500

www.novatwist.com

Free Call: 1800 252 709 Free Call: 1800 256 610 Free Call: 1800 650 632 Free Call: 1800 333 733 Free Call: 1800 896 998 Free Call: 1800 783 222 Toll Free: 1300 650 005

Fax: (02) 9773 8899 Fax: (07) 3256 6800 Fax: (03) 9480 6793 Fax: (03) 6272 5560 Fax: (08) 8340 3600 Fax: (08) 9456 2966 Fax: (02) 4035 9799


Publisher: Hartley Higgins General Manager: Elizabeth Bouzoudis Editor Sonya Logan Ph (08) 8369 9502 Email Associate Editors Gary Baldwin Mark Krstic Markus Herderich

Fax (08) 8369 9501 sonya@winetitles.com.au Peter Dry Armando Corsi

Editorial Assistance Lauren Jones, Write Lane CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Gayle Baldock Andrew Cheesman René Bezemer Cassandra Collins Jean-Baptiste Diéval Peter Dry James Erskine Paul Fenn Lulie Halstead Hildegarde Heymann Cathy Howard Leigh Francis Markus Herderich Liisa Kautto Mark Krstic Christine Mayr Greg O’Keefe Robyn Peterson Paul Petrie Renata Ristic Louisa Rose Irina Santiago Mark Smith Albert Stöckl Dion Turner Steven Van Sluyter Kerry Wilkinson

Toby Bekkers Stéphanie Begrand Johan Bruwer Ben Craw Antonio D’Onise Susan Ebeler Paul Evans Nuredin Habili Yoji Hayasaka Helene Hopfer Jane Faulkner Walter Gubler Dan Johnson Ursula Kennedy Tony Keys Helena Nevalainen Ulrich Orth Mango Parker Wayne Pitt Rhys Robinson Mark Rowley Sandra Savocchia Mark Sosnowski Florent Trouillas Maurizio Ugliano Stéphane Vidal Patricia Williamson

Advertising Sales: Nicole Evans Ph (08) 8369 9515 Fax (08) 8369 9529 Email n.evans@winetitles.com.au Production and Design: Nathan Grant Administration: Esme Parker Subscriptions One-year subscription (6 issues) Australia $77.00 (AUD) Two-year subscription (12 issues) Australia $144.00 (AUD) To subscribe and for overseas prices, visit: www.winebiz.com.au The Wine & Viticulture Journal is published bi-monthly. Correspondence and enquiries should be directed to Sonya Logan.The views expressed in the Journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Journal or its staff.

Sonya Logan, Editor

V

intage 2013 is now under way for many! And, in many parts of Australia, heat has once again played havoc with the harvest and, for some, even fire. For those in the latter category, this issue contains two articles that will be of particular interest. The first article is a summary the key results from smoke taintrelated research undertaken by The University of Adelaide and AWRI in recent years (page 40), including the responses of different grape varieties to smoke exposure. This is followed by this issue’s report from the Australian Wine Research Institute where the authors bring us up to speed on what else it has been doing in pursuit of developing strategies to identify smoke exposure and a deeper understanding of smoke taint Although bushfires have been a feature of the Australian landscape for thousands of years, the higher summer temperatures and reduced rainfall forecasts under climate change have experts predicting they will increase in frequency and severity in the coming years. This means that bushfires and their management are going

to have a significant effect on the sustainability of vineyards into the future, highlighting the importance of ongoing research to improve our knowledge of the effect of smoke on grapes and wine. To this end, we now have the Centre for Expertise in Smoke Taint Research, located at Irymple in Victoria’s Murray Valley, which will ensure a national collaborative approach is taken in this area. The main focus of this issue is on ‘industry sustainability’ as it pertains to all aspects of the wine production process – winemaking, grapegrowing and business and marketing. Under this banner, besides smoke taint, this issue also features articles on alternatives to bentonite and traditional cold stabilisation, the difference between natural wine and organic and biodynamic viticulture, soil health, the carbon tax and its cost to the industry, and strategies for improving vineyard viability. Enjoy reading these articles and more in this issue while you take a break from vintage activities or before they reach full swing. Best wishes for vintage 2013.

Cover: David Botting, chief viticulturist at Burch Family Wines, Western Australia’s largest family-owned boutique wine company, who is leading an ambitious vineyard development program based on biodynamics. See story page 75. Photo: Mark Smith

Regular features

News Opinion Wine Australia WFA ASVO Tony Keys AWRI Report

6 9 11 13 14 15 42

Alternative Varieties Industry profile Regional report Super Wines Varietal report Tasting

62 75 77 84 86 90

Don’t miss a Subscription is free and easy! Visit www.winebiz.com.au to sign up today.

Address 630 Regency Road, Broadview, South Australia 5083

thing!

Telephone and Fax Ph (08) 8369 9500 Fax (08) 8369 9501

Email

General Editorial Subscriptions Advertising

info@winetitles.com.au sonya@winetitles.com.au subs@winetitles.com.au widsales@winetitles.com.au

Website www.winebiz.com.au Printed by Newstyle Printing, Adelaide, South Australia. Adelaide ISSN 1838-6547 © Winetitles Pty Ltd, 2012. All rights reserved

A snapshot of wine business, research and marketing content gleaned from international wine media sources, with a focus on Australian news and content. Distributed to over 10,000 subscribers (and growing) daily

4

www. wi n e b i z.com.au

Win e & V iticultur e Jo ur na l

JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


I n t h i s i s s ue

R E G U L A R F E AT U R E S

c o n t en t s

V I T I C U LT U R E

9 OPINION (James Erskine): Natural wine a treasure to the Australian industry

47 What’s in a name? The difference between natural wine and organic and biodynamic viticulture

11 WINE AUSTRALIA (Andrew Cheesman): Making the most of last year’s ‘green shoots’

50 Working towards building sustainable and viable wine businesses

13 WFA (Paul Evans): We must reject continuing focus on price

53 Soil health – ‘the only show in town’

14 ASVO (Paul Petrie): Industry innovation acknowledged in inaugural ASVO Awards for Excellence 15 KEY FILES: 2012 - the year in review and what it means for 2013

54 Context and content in grapegrowing sustainability systems: a process 56 The role of other fungi related to Eutypa lata in eutypa dieback disease of the grapevine 59 Australian Shiraz Disease: an emerging virus disease of Vitis vinifera cv. Shiraz

W I N E M A K I N G

20 In search of clarity: do cold-active proteases from Antarctic fungi provide alternatives to heat-stabilisation with bentonite?

62 Perth Hills winery sings praises of Furmint

24 Alternative chilling process crystalises for Barossa winery 28 The cooler the better: The effects of storage temperature and packaging type on the sensory and chemical properties of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon 34 Volatile sulfur compounds and ‘reduction’ odour attributes in wine: An update on why some wines ‘stink’, others have ‘complex mineral aromas’, and what winemakers could do about it

business & marketing

64 Turnaround case study of a medium-scale Riverinabased vineyard 66 The short-term effect of thecarbon tax on Australian wine 68 It takes two to make regional brands stick with tourists 72 Wine Intelligence: Consumer trends in the wine industry for 2013

40 Varietal response to smoke exposure 42 AWRI REPORT: Seeing through smoke

REGIONAL REPORT

81 Great Southern, Western Australia pr o fi l e

75 David Botting: BD by design

VA R I E TA L R E P O R T

86 Bringing out the best in increasingly popular Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio V2 8N 1

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

5


N E W S

Wine Australia and GWRDC merger a step closer

T

he Winemakers’ Federation of Australian (WFA) and Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) have welcomed the news that the Federal Government has approved the wine industry’s proposal to merge the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) and the Wine Australia Corporation (Wine Australia). The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, announced the approval of the merger on 10 December. “The new authority will enable important links between the investment initiatives and functions of the GWRDC and Wine Australia under a unified strategy,” Ludwig said. “The industry supported proposal will improve service delivery and provide greater efficiencies.” It is expected that the new single body will commence in July next year, once the passage of legislation needed to implement the merger passes through Parliament. The merged body will perform the existing functions of the GWRDC and Wine Australia - including marketing, research, development and extension, and compliance activities - without change to the structure or amount of levies that currently fund both authorities. The merger was recommended earlier in 2012 by the WFA and WGGA following extensive consultation with industry across the country. The merger aligns with the Australian Government’s 2012 Rural Research and Development Policy Statement, including the broader policy to reduce the number of government statutory agencies and authorities. “By creating a single body with a single pathway to industry we believe we will achieve a clearer alignment of strategy across all facets of what is a diverse industry as well as greater efficiency and even better service delivery,” said WFA president Tony D’Aloisio. “We have been well served by Wine Australia and the GWRDC over many years, but this new structure will be even more attuned to the industry’s future needs in a changing and volatile international environment.” WGGA chairman Vic Patrick stressed the importance of maintaining all existing functions and objectives of the current bodies within the merged entities. “In particular we have stated, on behalf of the industry, that the commitment of research funds to strictly funding research and development, currently overseen by the GWRDC, needs to be maintained,” he

6

www.win eb i z .c om.au

said. “R&D is vital if Australia is to retain its pre-eminent role in the international market and its reputation for innovation.” The necessary legislation to create the merger is currently being drafted with both WFA and WGGA part of a working group tasked to focus on the detail of the legislation, transition arrangements and the selection process for the inaugural chair. New partnership for wine and tourism Meanwhile, Wine Australia has signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tourism Australia. The agreement, which came into force on 1 January, will see the two Australian Government agencies partner to promote wine and tourism in key international markets such as China, the USA, UK and Canada as well as Australia. Collectively, wine and tourism contribute around $140 billion annually in economic value. As part of the MoU, Wine Australia and Tourism Australia will partner on a range of marketing activities such as advertising and consumer promotions, digital marketing, public relations, and, special events. Wine Australia’s chairman George Wahby said the obvious synergies between the wine and tourism sectors meant a close alliance was vitally important. “Our partnership with Tourism Australia is a very exciting prospect for the wine industry as we move the promotion of wine firmly into the lifestyle sector through a combination of wine, food and tourism,” Wahby said. “Both wine and tourism are sectors of great significance for Australia in terms of exports, their economic contribution and jobs, particularly in regional economies. “Our partnership is an important opportunity, not only for both the tourism and wine sectors but for Australia, with two government agencies working together to align funds and strategies to support non-mining, sustainable, regional development.” Tourism Australia’s managing director Andrew McEvoy said the partnership followed new research which showed that Australia’s high quality wine and food offerings were key selling points for international visitors. “Recent findings from our consumer demand research in 11 key tourism markets indicate that Australia’s food and wine are an important part of the W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Tony D’Aloisio.

Vic Patrick.

George Wahby. visitor experience but are not necessarily something that visitors know a lot about before they arrive here,” McEvoy said. “By partnering with Wine Australia there is a greater opportunity to highlight Australia’s world-class wine experiences as a further motivating factor for people to travel to and through Australia. “Regional areas can especially benefit from the tourism opportunities offered by Australia’s wine experiences, especially when matched with our fine food offering,” he said. V28N1


N E W S

New body to promote Nero d’Avola S ome of Australia’s Nero d’Avola producers met early in the new year to discuss the formation of a group aimed at improving their understanding of how to grow and make the variety and better educating consumers about the wine. The meeting was held at the Star of Greece restaurant at Port Willunga, just south of Adelaide, over a meal of whiting and a few glasses of Nero d’Avola and was attended by representatives of Ducks in a Row, Bassham Wines, Amadio Wines, Ricca Terra Vineyards, Bekkers Wine, Amadio Wines and Brash Higgins Wine Co. Other producers to have expressed an interest in the formation of the group include Chalmers Wines, Staffordshire Lane, Bellwether Wines and Wine by Brad. Spokesperson for the fledgling group, Ashley Ratcliff, viticulture and winery manager for Yalumba’s Oxford Landing who also owns Ricca Terra Vineyards in the Riverland, said all the Nero d’Avola producers contacted to date had shown “a lot of interest” in the formation of the group, and plans were under way to establish a national register of producers to allow all of them to be contacted. “The meeting at the Star of Greece was the first time the group had met, although 35 Nero producers met for dinner at the recent Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. It was

the strong interest displayed at this dinner that stimulated our meeting at the Star of Greece,” Ratcliff said. “Nero d’Avola is a challenging variety to grow. It is also relatively unknown to the consumer. So, I guess a collaborative approach towards the growing, making and marketing of Nero d’Avola makes better sense than going at it alone,” he said. Ratcliff said once all Nero d’Avola producers in Australia had been contacted, an official launch of the group, whose name is yet to be determined, would be planned. A tasting and a Nero d’Avola technical seminar had also been proposed. He said that although the finer details of the function and role of the group was still being determined, improving producers’ understanding of how to grow and make Nero d’Avola and educating consumers about it was at the fore. Strengthening ties with Sicilian viticulturists and winemakers had also been discussed. Although a leader for the group was yet to be confirmed at press time, wine writer and current chief of judges of the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show, Jane Faulkner, had indicated she would be interested in the role. The next meeting of the group had not been set at press time, but Ratcliff said Nero d’Avola producers interested in being involved were welcome to contact him on mobile 0411 370 057.

Wine bottle trends – the shape and colour of things to come

D

espite a number of changes in bottle preferences over the last five years, the Australian wine industry has, overall, remained traditional in its approach to glass packaging, according to leading glass packaging supplier O-I Australia. Maria Armstrong, wine marketing manager for O-I Australia, said the biggest changes in bottle preferences by its winery clients was in colour and weight. She said that although antique green continued to be the most popular choice across multiple wine categories, arctic blue’s popularity was increasing and had been adopted by many wine brands with low alcohol content as well as lightly spritzed wines. www.woodshield.com.au Armstrong said O-I’s lightweight wine bottle range Lean+Green® had been enthusiastically adopted by Australian wine producers since its launch in April 2009. “Our 360 gram Lean+Green claret bottle is now our best-selling bottle; five years ago it wasn’t even an option with its predecessor weighing more than 450 grams,” Maria Armstrong told the v. “Our Lean+Green range now accounts for more than one third of our sales and is used by more than 60 Australian wine brands so this has been a huge shift in the market.” Armstrong said that with regards to shape, the claret bottle had continued its dominance over the last five years. However, O-I’s marketing and design teams had worked with many customers to create proprietary bottle shapes. Such designs included Peter Lehmann Wines’ claret and Brown Brothers’ burgundy bottles. She said that in addition to shape, many brands were using embossing and debossing, for example, in the form of logos, to create brand differentiation in the marketplace, providing a “tactile and unique experience” for the consumer. Distinct bottles of this type had been developed for McLaren Vale-based winery Wirra

V2 8N 1

Wirra for its Church Block wine and Barossa Valley winemakers. The latter was developed by O-I and Vinpac International in response to requests from Barossa winemakers for a bottle that was unique to the region to establish a stronger, more visible link between the area and its wines. The antique green 750mL Premium Claret BVS bottle features the word ‘Barossa’ in debossed bold text along the side and to date has been adopted by Chateau Tanunda. Armstrong said the wine industry continued to demand a higher number of smaller format bottles and sub-300mL single-serve bottles, such as Brown Brothers recently launched 275mL moscato range.

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

7


N E W S

P OSTS & P L A U D I TS

New EO for Wine Victoria Rachael Sweeney has joined Wine Victoria as its new executive officer. Sweeney was formerly project director of the Regional Capitals Australia Secretariat, an organisation that works to develop regional capitals across Australia. In this role she assisted in the start-up phase, establishing the membership base, governance structure and policy direction for the organisation. Sweeney was formerly a senior communications consultant for government relations agency Socom Pty Ltd, where she worked on behalf of interest groups on engagement activities with the Victorian government and departmental ministers. She also oversaw strategic communications and community engagement within the Regional Rail Authority. “We are delighted to have Rachael on board at Wine Victoria,” said Stephen Strachan, chair of Wine Victoria. “Rachael combines her passion for regional communities with a strong background in government relations and the board looks forward to working closely with her to make sure the industry’s voice is heard.” Wine Victoria was formed in late 2011 as the successor to the Victorian Wine Industry Association (VWIA) to represent the interests of the Victorian wine industry and advocates on behalf of the sector at a state and, where appropriate, federal level. Wadewitz joins Shaw + Smith Adam Wadewitz has been appointed senior winemaker at Shaw and Smith. Wadewitz, 35, is an oenology graduate from The University of

Adelaide and has worked in the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, the Hunter Valley, France, Chile and the US. He was most recently employed at Best’s in Victoria’s Great Western region where he made the 2012 Jimmy Watson Trophy winner, the 2011 Best’s Bin 1 Shiraz. Wadewitz was joint dux of the 2009 Len Evans Tutorial, a finalist of the Gourmet Traveller WINE 2010 Winemaker of the Year, a finalist of the 2011 Young Gun of Wine and has judged at the Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra capital city wine shows. At Shaw and Smith, Wadewitz will work closely with founding winemaker Martin Shaw on both Shaw + Smith Adelaide Hills wines and the Toldpuddle Vineyard wines from Tasmania’s Coal River Valley. The first vintage of Tolpuddle Vineyard wines, a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the 2012 vintage, will be released in late 2013. New chair for 2013 Margaret River Wine Show The Margaret River Wine Industry Association (MRWIA) has announced that Philip Rich, of Melbourne, has been appointed the new chair for the Margaret River Wine Show, following in the footsteps of previous chairs John Hanley (2002 and 2003), Brian Croser (2004-2006), Huon Hooke (2007-2009) and Iain Riggs (2010-2012). Rich is the founder and a partner in Melbourne’s Prince Wine Store and has written a monthly wine column for the Australian Financial Review Magazine since 2009. He judges regularly at numerous wine shows around Australia.

“Philip has been a leading light within the Australian wine show scene for many years so when we were looking for a new chair his name was always at the fore,” said Edward Tomlinson, of Lenton Brae, and the present head of the MRWIA wine show committee. “Not only does he have a great palate which is well recognised, he is a great ambassador helping to guide and develop wine shows as an integral part of the Australian wine industry, so in that regard we are extremely lucky to secure his services." The Margaret River Wine Show will be held on 19-21 November. ASVO honours industry excellence The Australian Society of Viticulture & Oenology held its inaugural Awards for Excellence in Adelaide in November acknowledging Australia’s most innovative viticulturists, winemakers and researchers. The viticulturist of the year award, aimed at honouring an outstanding viticulturist involved in the development of a novel and significant viticultural innovation or the introduction of a novel viticultural practice over the previous five years, was presented to Amy Richards, of Treasury Wine Estates. Brown Brothers’ Wendy Cameron was named Winemaker of the Year, an award which recognises a practitioner within the industry who has demonstrated technical mastery over various aspects of winemaking. The awards for best viticultural and oenology papers of the year went to Victor Sadras, of the South Australian Research and Development Institute, and Rob Bramley, of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, respectively.

Letter to Editor As a grower and wine proprietor from Mudgee, New South Wales, I fully endorse Tony Keys’ commentary in the NovemberDecember 2012 issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal (‘Gongs, comments and egos’). Over the past 10 years we have struggled to establish a viable enterprise and have long supported the local wine show and been pro-active with most of the ‘recognised’ wine critics. The cost of this ‘marketing’ effort has been substantial. In my experience, Tony is correct in stating the awards from the local show are of little market value. Our visitors to our burgeoning cellar door generally dismiss these awards as parochially quaint – but not a reason to invest in a particular wine unless, of course, it is a trophy winner. In fact, Huon Hooke was a guest at our show a few years ago and described

8

www.win eb i z .c om.au

our region’s wine as ‘quaint’, and goes a long way to explain his fixation on any region outside of New South Wales, despite writing for the Fairfax group. Regarding Tony’s comments on wine writers, I again find myself in total agreement. Ten years ago it was common to observe visitors coming to the cellar door with Halliday’s compendium, or cuttings from the wine press, but not anymore. Perhaps the buyers have switched to the social media, or online commentaries, or maybe they have become cynical and wonder how a wine critic can rate a winery or wine when they have never set foot on the vineyard or tasted the vintage. Bravo, Tony Keys, your commentary is stating current reality. Phil Moore

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


O P I N I O N

Natural wine a treasure to the Australian industry By James Erskine, Jauma Wines, Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Email: info@jauma.com

Drawing on his recent presentation at the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology’s Sustainability and Efficiency in the Winery seminar, held in Adelaide in November, former sommelier turned winemaker James Erskine defines what is meant by ‘natural wine’, why making it appeals to him and challenges the reasons for making standard winemaking additions.

T

here is no such thing as an unnatural wine, as all wines, bar those produced utilising concentrate, are produced from fresh grapes. The term ‘natural’ was coined by the media to describe wines produced in the cellar with as little artefact of human influence as possible e.g., no yeast additions, acidification, tannin adds, filtration, fining, none or minimum sulfur additions. It is important to clearly define the difference between wines that have been vinified without additions (natural wines) and wines that have been vinified in a specific manner in order to produce alternative styles of table wines, as these alternative styles are often grouped incorrectly and confused with natural wines. Popular alternative styles that all have classic origins and millenia of heritage are being trialled the New and Old World over and include oxidised, flor yeast styles, referred to as yellow or orange wines, where a white grape variety is fermented on skins to produce a finished orangecoloured wine. In continental Europe natural wine tends to refer to the creation of wines with as little artefact of human intervention as possible with an anti-sulfite epicentre. In Australia, natural wine tends to refer to wines that show as little human intervention as possible, but with an epicentre on avoiding acidification. Most so-called Australian natural wines contain sulfites, generally first added at bottling. Internationally, natural wine producers choose to differentiate their wines from the genera of so-called technically correct wines. This does not mean that classic wine faults, such as Brettanomyces and aldehyde, are lauded by natural wine producers, but that the key goal is drinkability and to produce wines that show the least human artefact. Although there is no natural wine movement in Australia per se, there are a few producers raising similar queries and utilising similar practices to question the technocratic dogmas taught in tertiarylevel wine schools about how to make and how to define good wine. Many of these individuals are oenology and science graduates but, like any good scientist,

V2 8N 1

James Erskine, of Jauma Wines, based in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills, believes the Australian wine market is all the richer for the arrival of natural wines. they are curious to test the hypothesis of their field. There is no doubt that a strong understanding of wine biochemistry assists in the production of better wines for those who work with and without additions in the cellar. For me, the most exciting wines tend to come from those who make their decisions with their palates, not their tools of analysis. In my view, the most interesting wines are made by individuals who can clearly express their own stylistic preferences of a variety and place with continuity year in, year out. This is what always excited me as a waiter and sommelier - chasing those wines in blind tastings that sung of the place from whence they came, but even more strongly from the essence of the hand that created them. Do wines produced without additions, therefore, better reflect terroir? No. For me, terroir is not just the taste of a geophysical place, but also the flavour of cultural preferences that evolve in and amongst specific regions, individuals and teams. These cultural preferences, or non-geophysical terroir, are strongly W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

influenced by a region’s education facilities, arts scene, food preferences and population mix. For example, many South Australian winemakers are trained and raised in a technically demanding environment where wine science plays both a major economic and educational role. Those who have the best palates are those who are first to pick up on ‘faults’ rather than focus on perhaps palate feel, complexity and purity. This is their terroir and, therefore, this is the story that is told through the wines currently produced. Personally, I prefer wines in which I cannot see the influence of added acid, obvious oak or fining. But, as an individual who has spent a large portion of adult life working as a waiter in a restaurant, I am strongly aware that other people prefer wines such as those previously described. It all comes down to the drinking experiences we have had in the past, who has influenced us in the formation of our evolving palate and the cultural norm of the region in which we learn to drink and, ultimately, what tastes good to each individual drinker. ▶ www.winebiz. com . au

9


O P I N I O N

To summarise what is exciting about Australia’s natural wines, it is that they have raised many questions among wine producers and drinkers, alike. Their popularity has arrived at a time when many consumers wish to be aware of what is in their foods and wines. Let it be clear that there are many wines that have been produced in Australia over many years that have been produced with very little intervention in the cellar. However, the term ‘natural’ is relatively new. In 2010, I would have said there was a rift between some of the more outspoken members of the technical side of the Australian winemaking community and those who were labelled ‘natural’. Suddenly, there was a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ in wine. Today, I can comfortably say that these tensions have diminished and the Australian wine market is all the richer for the arrival of those who begged to question the idea of right and wrong. To the question of acceptance of socalled natural wines and wines that have been fermented in alternative styles, it is simplest to introduce an analogy to the appreciation of music. Some music takes a little getting used to, or needs someone to hold your hand during your introduction to explain to you why the composition is like it is and the evolution of its origin. If all we listen to is pop music then finer, more detailed pieces can be challenging to grasp. But, once you begin to grasp the subtle nuances, a return to pop can be disappointing, although the genre has its place. Our taste preferences for music, food, art and wine are culturally shaped but flexible. It is important that we provide the room as consumers, restaurateurs, tasters and wine retailers for diversity in styles, as there is always a right time for every style of wine and someone who will love and desire it. With diversity comes options, with options comes excitement, and I wish to live in the most exciting and creative place in the world. PARADIGM QUESTIONS Acidification As an Australian who spent much of my formative time as a wine drinker outside of Australia, the Australian winemaking fraternity has instilled its own cultural paradigm, or national 'cellar palate’, where there is a reliance on added acids (usually tartaric) to `tighten and lift’ the palates of our wines. However, if you grow up in a world of added acid it can be hard to see the obvious. Decanter journalist Andrew Jefford conducted some basic research looking into the average total acidities (TA) of red and white wines internationally and found Australia to continually record some of the highest. The addition of acids to wines in order to create better free:total

10

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

sulfite equilibria is irrefutable, but many Australian winemakers feel the need to add acid to their wines to enhance the palate-feel. Unfortunately for me, not all, but enough of these wines express the mouthfeel of the added acid more than the wine, and decrease my drinking enjoyment and my wish to return to drink a second glass. Tartaric acid may provide lift to the mid-palate, but to the detriment of the wine’s flow across the palate, i.e., the wine becomes hard. This, I believe, is what some restaurant guests refer to as `bitey’. YEAST ADDITIONS I have huge respect for the Australian Wine Research Institute and the work it has done in increasing our understanding and interest in the roles of yeasts in wine ferments. If you are looking for clean, reliable, mono-expressive yeasts for your wine, then cultured yeasts are a great product. I am looking for as much diversity of flavour and texture as possible in every ferment. Therefore, I rely on indigenous yeasts and whatever decides to call home in each of the corners of our winery. Some vineyards seem to have a propensity to harbor higher populations of volatile acidity, producing bacteria, which should be trialled before embarking on large harvest volumes without yeast additions, although this seems to be apparent in white but not red wines. FILTRATION AND FINING The Australian wine show system gives three points out of 20 for the way a wine looks. Therefore, a wine with a lees or protein haze cannot be a gold medal wine. Many consumers are scared of hazes, or sedimentary cloud, but others are not deterred and some excited. Interestingly, a friend recently produced a beautiful Chardonnay, which he decided to bottle without filtration or fining. His racking was not perfect and he was very nervous about the effect this sediment may have on the palatability of his wine. The solution? Run a sample through a centrifuge and taste the wine. The mutual conclusion was that the centrifuged wine lacked the palate play and was, hence, less interesting. Interestingly, however, I have seen some wines that have had a lees cloud and looked fantastic but with time opened in the glass and developed a cheesy character, decreasing my overall enjoyment of the wine. Again, run your own bench trials and see over a few days where the wine heads and make your own decision. The other side to filtration and fining that has been driven by the wine show model is the discouragement of tannins in white wines (phenolics), although the disdain towards phenolics has greatly diminished W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

across the Australian wine show system in the past few years. I have a penchant for tannins in all forms in the wines I drink. Even some of my favourite Rheingau Riesling producers look for phenolics in their Rieslings. In my view, it is the tannins that bind to the palate, increasing the drinking sensation post-swallowing, and also bind to food aromatic compounds and flavours, which lead to exciting food and wine combination sensations. OXYGEN INGRESS DURING RED WINE FERMENTS The rise in popularity of the ferment pump-over in Australia is a little like the introduction of micro-oxygenation to the wines of Bordeaux and Cahors. Yes, the wines are softer and darker due to the polymerisation of tannins and binding of anthocyanins, but this process encourages many tannins to drop out, leaving wines with structure based on added acid and wood. Is it acid that really gives longevity to wines, or is it tannins, or a combination of both? My gut feeling is that those wines that are not so heavily pumped over will be less supple and less dark in colour, but will age better. Here, you may raise questions about reductivity, but I have produced wines from many different blocks and am yet to see one reductive ferment. We do not pump over any ferments, but we do not have yeasts with high added nitrogen requirements and propensities to reduce. SULFITE ADDITIONS Sulfite additions play a very important role in Australian winemaking. I have trialled, and continue to trial, preservativefree wines in my own cellar as I personally do not have a pleasant reaction to sulfites. I also have a curiosity about them. I do marvel at what a wonderful tool sulfites can be to clean up aldehyde in barrel-aged wines and to tighten palates. I used to work as a wine steward at Penfolds’ Magill Estate restaurant, where there is a wonderful collection of vintage wines to explore and I still wonder just how much free sulfur was in any of the wines there over 10 years of age; something else is stabilising the ageing process. The most important reason for me for adding sulfur to my wines in Australia is to limit the risk of aldehyde formation during shipping. In Australia, refrigerated shipping in small volumes is completely unaffordable, even though, as a good friend reminds me, a lettuce costs one dollar and is delivered to a fine restaurant in a refrigerated van, yet it is a challenge to find people who will ship a $50 bottle of wine to the same restaurant chilled. To comment on this article email: WVJ sonya@winetitles.com.au V28N1


W I N E A U ST R A L I A

Making the most of last year’s ‘green shoots’ By Andrew Cheesman, Chief Executive, Wine Australia

Wine Australia chief executive Andrew Cheesman looks back on the opportunities that arose in 2012, and assesses the projects the corporation will manage in 2013.

W

ith the festive season over and the tinsel packed away, the New Year provides an opportunity to reflect on the year that was and make plans for the year ahead. The last 12 months continued to present significant challenges for the wine sector. As we have come to learn in recent years, these challenges have triggered a need for the industry to innovate, adapt to changing market conditions and positively position the quality and diversity of Australian wine around the world, to build profitable and sustainable price points. ORGANISATIONAL TRANSFORMATION AND NATIONAL REFORM For Wine Australia, the need to innovate and adapt has meant a continued transformation to better position the organisation to take a leadership role and to tackle the many challenges facing the industry. Last year, Wine Australia

introduced a number of changes to the way it operates to ensure we focus our efforts and resources on initiatives that deliver the most value for our levy payers and industry partners. Some of the major changes that have been well received by the wine sector include: •A  dapting the industry’s approach to wine export approvals, following extensive industry consultation, to replace mandatory export tasting of all wines and labels with a more rigorous auditing presence to deliver a comprehensive and modern regulatory system. • Introducing progressive changes in our marketing approach by replacing the ‘one size fits all’ market programs membership and offering activity over and above our core strategic investment on a user-pays basis, which gives far greater reach for the industry’s marketing efforts; provides a more equitable, cost-effective approach for our

Also manufacturers of

• S G Spur Pruners • Single Side Pruners • Vine Cane Sweepers • Hydraulic Power Packs • Double Acting Cutter Bars

partners; and removes barriers to entry for smaller producers. • Collaborating with other national, state and regional industry bodies to deliver national reform that will see Wine Australia merge with the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) to better align wine sector investment and priorities. We acknowledge the broad industry support for this reform and we are working with the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA), Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA), GWRDC and the wider industry to achieve this outcome. HIGHLIGHTS Other highlights for 2012 include: • continuing to evolve the position of Australian wine through trade and targeted consumer activity, social media, marketing, communications and events, to recapture excitement about the category

SUMMER TRiMMing

AUSTRALIAN MADE PRUNERS

For further information visit our website at www.spagnolo.com.au or contact: Ph (03) 5021 1933 Fax (03) 5021 5233 Email sales@spagnolo.com.au Mildura Victoria Australia V2 8N 1

Summer Trimming • Smooth cutting action • Unique quick-change blade system • Sizes available from 600mm to 2100mm • Cutter bars can be used for summer trimming and winter pruning

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

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

www.winebiz. com . au

11


W I N E A U ST R A L I A

While we still have some way to go to address the challenges impacting on profitability, some of which are largely beyond the wine industry’s control, we need to ensure we are in a position to take advantage of the emerging sustainable opportunities over the next 12 months. and positively position Australian wine • establishing the regional prospectus, which enables national, state and regional investment in an aligned marketing strategy • undertaking the inaugural A+ Australian Wine Celebration – the centrepiece of our domestic program – to increase consumer engagement and create excitement about Australian wine. We are building on the success of this event to deliver a month-long celebration in April 2013 called Aussie Wine Month • hosting 151 influential sommeliers, buyers, wine educators and media as part of the Visitor Program, in collaboration with industry partners, to showcase Australia’s regions and wines • running educational programs in all our markets and boosting our engagement with sommeliers, educators, consumers and other influential members of the trade to showcase the diversity, quality and value of Australian wines through the Sommelier Immersion Program, A+ Australian Wine Schools, A+ Australian Wine Specialist program, masterclasses and tastings • hosting stands at high profile trade events, including ProWein, in Germany, and Vinexpo, in Hong Kong – Europe’s and Asia’s premier wine trade events • expanding our online and social media strategy to reach consumers and influencers via Sina Weibo – China’s biggest and most popular social media platform • collaborating with Tourism Australia to deliver greater alignment in the

promotion of Australian wine and wine tourism • improving the content and format of information and statistics provided to industry and introducing new ways to raise awareness about relevant analysis available to winemakers and grapegrowers •p  articipating in a number of influential global forums and organisations, including Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), International Organisation of Vine and Wine, and the World Wine Trade Group, and contributing to free trade agreement negotiations to address market access issues •u  pgrading our industry website (www. wineaustralia.com) to make it easier for our levy payers to access the information they need to make informed business decisions. CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM While there are still challenges ahead, we started to see some ‘green shoots’ last year, delivering cause for cautious optimism. As an industry, we need to take advantage of these emerging opportunities, which include: •m  ore balanced inventory levels in Australia •a  4% increase in the average value of Australian wine per litre for both bottled and bulk wine •d  ouble digit growth in both value and volume for bottled wine exports to China and the emergence of China as the number one ranked market for Australian wine exports >$7.50 per litre

• we continue to outperform the market in the UK and remain the number one category in volume and value, with double digit growth in the above £7 price point in the UK off-trade and strong growth in the on-trade • double digit growth in some of the higher priced segments in the US • value growth in the domestic market being driven by producer-owned brands. THE YEAR AHEAD While we still have some way to go to address the challenges impacting on profitability, some of which are largely beyond the wine industry’s control, we need to ensure we are in a position to take advantage of the emerging sustainable opportunities over the next 12 months. Our focus will be on working with the industry to do this by: • building the reputation of Australian wine through an effective marketing strategy that includes a global program of education, engagement and promotional initiatives targeted at consumers, sommeliers, buyers, importers, distributors, wine educators, journalists, wine commentators and other influencers in key markets. We will also be working with industry partners to leverage a $2.1 million Australian Government funding boost through a major campaign in key markets • protecting the reputation of Australian wine by providing export assistance and a credible and comprehensive regulatory system • improving market access for Australian wine by addressing trade barriers • working with the industry to progress the merger between Wine Australia and the GWRDC • delivering relevant wine sector intelligence to assist the industry with business decisions • improving communication with the wine sector to ensure Wine Australia is an open and transparent organisation that listens to and acts on feedback and delivers relevant services for levy payers and industry partners. There’s a big job ahead in 2013, but we stand ready to work with the wine sector in pursuit of a prosperous new year. WVJ

Can’t find someone…………

Searchable Wine Industry PERSONNEL PHONEBOOK To access phonebook visit your Wine Industry Directory ONLINE* at www.winebiz.com.au *Available only to those who have purchased/subscribed to the Wine Industry Directory

12

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


W FA

We must reject continuing focus on price By Paul Evans, Chief Executive, Winemakers’ Federation of Australia

WFA has several points to reinforce to the Australian National Preventative Health Agency, following the release of its draft report about the imposition of minimum pricing on alcohol.

T

he recent release of the Australian National Preventative Health Agency’s findings on proposals to impose minimum pricing on alcohol was both pleasing and worrying. At the heart of the report was a conclusive rejection of the concept, which was welcome. WFA argued strongly in its submission that the idea simply did not pass the public interest test required for the Federal Government to take it any further, and ANPHA agreed. Its recommendation was that the government not proceed down the minimum pricing path – and it is most unlikely that the government would ignore this advice. However, in stating that the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) is a “concern” from a public health perspective and calling for the government to reappraise it, the ANPHA made it clear that it still sees price manipulation as a legitimate lever to drive consumer behaviours around alcohol misuse. That is surprising. If ANPHA could not justify a public interest case that supports using cost via minimum pricing to deal with alcohol abuse, it is hard to see how another pricing mechanism – in this case, higher taxes – is going to be any different. I should add that the proposals referred to in the ANPHA report would see $900 million to $1.5 billion of extra tax money taken from the wine sector. There are also two specific points of concern. The first is that such a recommendation was well outside ANPHA’s brief. The Agency was only tasked to investigate the public interest case around minimum pricing, yet, decided to comment on other matters which were not a part of its terms of reference, and on which it did not seek submissions. If asked, we would have made it very clear that the wine industry is unanimous in rejecting any increase in total tax take from wine, or any changes to the taxation system that are not in the best interests of the industry or the economy. We would have presented evidence to support that view.

V2 8N 1

Of greater concern, however, is that ANPHA’s recommendation assumes that price is the answer to dealing with alcohol misuse and gives oxygen to those who share this view, which flies in the face of the available evidence. As we have pointed out strongly and regularly, the relationship between alcohol price, consumption and rates of misuse remains an area of contention within the research and demands further analysis.

the product for its alcohol content or concentration. This also makes it clear that consumer behaviour around wine is different from normal commodities and other alcohol categories. The relationship between the price of wine and consumption rates is more complex, and this must be taken into account. Not surprisingly, ANPHA could provide no direct evidence to suggest that wine

ANPHA could provide no direct evidence to suggest that wine consumption and its pricing is a driver of youth binge drinking, hazardous and harmful drinking patterns and anti-social behaviour, or that it is more highly representative as a contributor to social costs. For each study that says there may be a link, another says otherwise, particularly for heavy drinkers who are not price sensitive. It is very clear, however, that forcing up prices will unfairly impact on ordinary consumers, driving some to beer and spirits, and that subsequent changes in purchasing patterns will impact on wine producers and may jeopardise the future of an industry just beginning to recover from the toughest economic conditions in a generation. We stated this clearly in our initial submission to the inquiry and in our response to ANPHA’s draft report, and we will continue to make the point to the key people in Canberra. We also provided two examples that challenge the concept that wine drinkers consume more when prices are low. The first is an analysis of recent AC Nielsen data on long-term off-premise wine sales trends showing that although relative prices have been falling over many years, wine drinkers are consuming fewer standard drinks, while choosing to pay more per standard drink. A reasonable assumption from this data is that the majority of wine drinkers do not consume W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

consumption and its pricing is a driver of youth binge drinking, hazardous and harmful drinking patterns and anti-social behaviour, or that it is more highly representative as a contributor to social costs. The second example relates to the lowest-priced wine format, cask wine. While the retail price of casks has declined relative to other alcohol categories in recent years, there has been a large and sustained yearon-year fall in sales volume. Despite the price advantage of casks, their sales are falling. Lower priced alcohol is not a problem if it is not abused. Our focus must be on changing a cultural attitude that excessive alcohol consumption is acceptable, even to be encouraged and applauded in certain circumstances. As WFA has constantly stated, winemakers support long-term investment in strategies that attempt to address these cultural attitudes, making people think about their drinking choices and the influence they have on others. It is also evident that we need to keep reminding the government and health agencies that evidence clearly shows moderate wine consumption actually has health benefits – a point the ANPHA neglected WVJ to acknowledge in its draft report. www.winebiz. com . au

13


A S V O

Industry innovation acknowledged in inaugural ASVO Awards for Excellence By Paul Petrie, President, Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology

G

uests from across the wine sector joined me and master of ceremonies Peter Hayes in presenting the 2012 Australian Society of Viticulture & Oenology Awards for Excellence at the ASVO gala dinner in Adelaide on 21 November. Winners were selected from a field of Australia’s most innovative viticulturists, winemakers and wine industry researchers. Amy Richards, from Treasury Wine Estates, received the ASVO Viticulturist of the Year Award. Sponsored by Bayer CropScience, this award honours an outstanding viticulturist involved in the development of a novel and significant viticultural innovation or the introduction of a novel viticultural practice over the previous five years. Wendy Cameron, from Brown Brothers, received the ASVO Winemaker of the Year Award. Sponsored by Lallemand Australia, this award recognises a winemaker within the industry who has demonstrated technical mastery over various aspects of winemaking. The award for Best Viticultural Paper of the Year was presented to Victor Sadras, from the South Australian Research and Development Institute, while the Best Oenology Paper of the Year Award went to Rob Bramley, from CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems. Both these awards, sponsored by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, were judged to have the most significant potential impact on the industry by an industry-based panel. During the dinner the ASVO also announced that Associate Professor Peter Dry, viticulture consultant with the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), had been named a fellow of the ASVO. Fellows are distinguished industry figures who have been long-standing professional members of the society, and have provided outstanding and meritorious contribution to industry through a combination of scientific, educational and ASVO roles. Peter is held in high esteem both within Australia and the international community and the ASVO is pleased to be able to honour his extensive contribution. The Efficiency and Sustainability in the Winery seminar, held on 21-22 November, was a great success. The program included four sessions with the first covering cold stability. Session presenters comprised Julian Alcorso,

14

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

Pictured at the ASVO gala dinner in Adelaide were (from left) Peter Dry, who was named a fellow of the ASVO; master of ceremonies Peter Hayes; Wendy Cameron, of Brown Brothers, who was named ASVO Winemaker of the Year; Rob Bramley, from CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, who accepted the award for best oenology paper; Kate Harvey, of the Grape & Wine Research & Development Corporation, which sponsored the awards for best oenology and viticultural papers of the year; Victor Sadras, who received the award for best viticultural paper of the year; Vladimir Jiranek, who was acknowledged for his editorship of the Australian Journal of Grape & Wine Research; Jason Amos, from Lallemand Australia Pty Ltd, which sponsored the winemaker of the year award; ASVO president Paul Petrie; Amy Richards, of Treasury Wine Estates, who received the Viticulturist of the Year Award; and Hugh Armstrong, of Bayer CropScience, which sponsored the award. from Winemaking Tasmania, who spoke about the use of electrodialysis; Manuel Travers, from Spain, who discussed continuous contact stabilisation use in Europe; and Eric Wilkes, from the AWRI, who coverd carboxymethyl cellulose. The second session – titled Challenging the Winemaking Norms - included James Erskine, from the Adelaide Hills-based Jauma Winery, who presented his views on low intervention winemaking, and Robin Brockett, from Scotchmans Hill based in Geelong, who spoke of his experiences using innovative mechanical harvesting technology as a substitute for hand picking. The third session was titled Embracing New Winemaking Technology and featured Toby Barlow, from St Hallets, in the Barossa Valley, who compared juice flotation to cold settling, and Luke Wilson, from Yalumba, who spoke about cross-flow lees filtration. The final session, Improving Quality and Efficiency Through Innovation, heard Dennis Taylor, from the University of Adelaide, speak on Smart Bungs, and John Ide, from Yalumba, speaking about automated barrel handling. Each session was followed by enthusiastic participation in discussions between seminar delegates W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

and presenters. Proceedings for this seminar are now being compiled and should be available later in 2013. Following the 32nd ASVO annual general meeting we were pleased to announce that Kristy Bartrop (NSW) and Vlad Jiranek (SA) have been newly elected to the ASVO board and join Mark Krstic (VIC) and Bob Dambergs (WA, QLD & TAS) who have retained their positions. The board re-elected myself as president, Alan Hoey as vice-president and Mark Gishen as treasurer. The ASVO is pleased to announce that three scholarships are available to assist students to attend the IX International Symposium on Grapevine Physiology and Biotechnology in La Serena, Chile, from 21-26 April 2013. The scholarships will support students who demonstrate superior academic achievement, involvement in student affairs, community service and the Australian wine industry. Applications will be considered by the finance committee and should be submitted by the 1 February. An application form can be downloaded from the ASVO WVJ website: www.asvo.com.au V28N1


K E Y

F I L E S

2012 - the year in review and what it means for 2013 By Tony Keys

Tony Keys reviews the notable goings-on of 2012 in the Australian wine industry and what they may bode for the year ahead.

T

he Australian wine industry enters 2013 quietly, almost stealthily. It’s not bad or negative; it’s cautious. The optimists can proclaim it’s going to be a great year (isn’t it every year?) but isn’t the childish proclamation becoming tedious? The reality is the Australian wine industry has been a battered body over the past five years, the result of the false bonhomie that existed during the previous seven years. Put simply, greed had attracted too many snouts to the trough. A year is a short time in the business of wine and the events of 2012 will not necessary be the sole indication of what is to come in 2013. The good part is that the gentle, cautious approach which has been instilled in many due to the previous five years’ battering suggests that whatever the coming year brings will be dealt with in a sensible, calm and business-like manner. Fortunately, the game of wine is a game no longer. Before trawling through 2012, it’s worth casting minds back to 2007, the zenith of the modern era of wine production and exports. It was the year that saw 785 million litres of wine worth just over $3 billion leave Australian shores. Despite the smugness and selfcongratulatory attitude that much of the industry displayed at that time there were signs in the figures presented showing weakness. The average price of bottled wine was declining and more notice of that, rather than brushing it aside, should have been taken. However, it was still $4.77/litre. Hindsight in 2012 shows it was a good price and one the industry would like to return to. As this article was written before the export results for the full calendar year were published, the latest set for the end of September 2012 is referred to here. Solace can be taken in the 2012 part figures along with cautious hope for 2013 in that although exports are collectively below 2007, their recovery from the dark period from 2008 to 2011 is notable.

V2 8N 1

Volume has declined and continues to do so. The total export value is now well below $2 billion with $3 billion not seemingly possible in the near future despite the promise of China. Fortunately, and worth noting is that the average bottle price has risen to $4.42/litre, up from a low of $4.06/L in 2008, while the bulk price is running at $1.03/L, up from the depressing 94 cents/L in 2010. All is looking good for the coming years and

0.43 cents in November and the Euro sounded the bell in November 2007 at 0.60 cents. In mid-December 2012 the US/ Australian dollar was running at $1.055, the UK pound just over 65 cents and the Euro just over 80 cents. It really has taken the best part of five years before Australian wine exporters have faced up to the fact of the strong Australian currency.

…total export value is now well below $2 billion with $3 billion not seemingly possible in the near future despite the promise of China. Fortunately, and worth noting is that the average bottle price has risen to $4.42/litre, up from a low of $4.06/L in 2008, while the bulk price is running at $1.03/L, up from the depressing 94 cents/L in 2010. All is looking good for the coming years and history will show the new era started in 2012. history will show the new era started in 2012. I have full confidence the Australian wine industry will continue its upwards progress throughout 2013. Towards the end of 2007 Australian wine companies were getting themselves into quite a state over currency. The Australian dollar had reached a heady 92 cents against the US dollar in October. The UK pound hit W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

In December 2012, chief executive of Australian Vintage Neil McGuigan made a statement to the press in which he told the industry to stop whining about the high Australian dollar and do something to win global market sales. It was one of the simplest, most direct and honest statements a senior member of the industry gave in 2012 and was greatly needed. Australian Vintage has made www.winebiz. com . au

15


K E Y

F I L E S

huge strides in its share price during the year from just under 28 cents in mid-December 2011 to 48 cents in midDecember 2012. This is an achievement to be proud of, bearing in mind that back in 2007 the share price went from over $3 to under $2; it has surprised many that Australian Vintage didn’t collapse during the previous five years. McGuigan is a consummate marketer and the company has made much of winning Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition for the third time in four years (previous wins occurred in 2009 and 2011). It’s also the only company to

In 2012 the Royal Melbourne Wine Show made the decision that it was to move from marking wines out of 20 to marking wine out of 100. It appears a reasonable move but the committee turned it into a farce of Christmas pantomime proportions saying judging would be conducted using the 20-point scoring system, which would then be mathematically adjusted to the 100-point score. To do this they turned to a maths formula concocted by Chris Hatcher, chief winemaker for Wolf Blass. Let’s not waste space reproducing it here. The point is, if judges have not the wit or

Within the TWE portfolio sits Penfolds…the jewel in the crown. It can also be considered the jewel in the Australian wine crown with TWE just the curator of the brand. Its abuse under Fosters and several other previous owners was deplorable. [David] Dearie deserves full credit for recognising the potential of the brand and it’s easy to predict good times ahead for Penfolds. win the award three times in the 43-year history of the award. Huon Hooke, writing in The Sydney Morning Herald, also did some straight talking, pointing out how a company can win the award by loading certain sectors, in this case Semillon. There aren’t many Hunter-style Semillon wines in this world. Therefore, if Australian Vintage floods the sector it scoops the pool and gets the award. There have been other Hooke articles throughout 2012 that hit the uncomfortable truth. Also changing format throughout 2012 were various Australian wine shows and one assumes, as evidence suggests, they will continue to change and tighten categories, classes and formats during 2013. The biggest debacle in 2012 - the one that, for me, really demonstrated just how farcical and industry self-indulgent the show system is – came courtesy of the Royal Melbourne Wine Show.

16

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

ability to take a briefing on the scoring system that any show requires and then adapt to it, do they really have the intellect to judge wine? No matter, the Melbourne Wine Show continues and will do so for many years to come. It and all wine shows need to be tweaked each and every year; let’s make 2013 the starting point. Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) promotes itself as the world’s largest pure play wine company; it’s an impressive boast. 2012 saw greater definition of where the company is going, with the next five years hopefully showing increased growth and profitably. Although TWE is a collection of wine companies, many of which have long and illustrious histories, in its current form it has only existed since May 2011 when it was borne out of the brewer Fosters. It hit the market debt free with a share price of $3.30. In March 2012 the share price passed $4 and then passed $5 for W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

the first time in September. Since then until mid-December it has wavered between $5.20 and $4.75. TWE’s chief executive is David Dearie who took over the job in June 2009. It’s not been the easiest of jobs and it appears it has taken Dearie until 2012 to get a handle on what is required and how to go about it. However, there remain anomalies about TWE that are hard to understand; on one hand, it appears Dearie wants a sophisticated wine company dealing in the luxury goods sector but, on the other, it looks as if he is happy to follow suggestions from marketing people. Sometimes it appears Dearie confuses the two. Early in 2012 the company launched a new wine brand, Be, in the US. Its launch message was: “targets sophisticated women who seek a more chic, stylish yet casual approach to wine. Styles are Chardonnay, Riesling, pink moscato and Pinot Grigio.” What nonsense! Sophisticated, intelligent women enjoy wine as it is. Women trying hard to be sophisticated but lacking the required IQ and failing may be tempted. Within the TWE portfolio sits Penfolds and, truly, it is the jewel in the crown. It can also be considered the jewel in the Australian wine crown with TWE just the curator of the brand. Its abuse under Fosters and several other previous owners was deplorable. Dearie deserves full credit for recognising the potential of the brand and it’s easy to predict good times ahead for Penfolds. During 2012, Penfolds’ senior winemaker Peter Gago was bestowed the Institute of Masters of Wine/The Drinks Business 2012 Winemakers’ Winemaker Award. There was a down side when its new releases came with stiff price hikes. As difficult it was for regular buyers not to be able to acquire the wines they love, the hard fact is global demand is pushing prices up and it would be irresponsible of TWE not to take advantage of it. In June 2012, in an outrageous move that can only be admired, TWE launched a limited edition, hand-blown glass ampoule containing 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon. Just 12 were made with a retail price of around $168,000 each. Expect more Penfolds stunts during 2013, although there is class and crass. Dearie and team need to recognise the line before it is crossed. The makeup of the TWE board also changed in 2012 - a watering down of the Melbourne club combined with the introduction of the kind of international reach that benefits an international company. Current non-executive director Paul Rayner took over the chair V28N1


K E Y

from Max Ould. New to the board is Ed Chan, based in Hong Kong, who is vice-chairman of the Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand Group. He also has Chinese retail experience: from 2006 to 2011 he was president and chief executive of WalMart China. Another new appointment was Michael Cheek, an American with vast experience in the alcohol drinks sector as former chairman of Finlandia Vodka and a non-executive director for Glenmorangie, along with other senior roles. The Australian new to the team was Garry Hounsell, another who has wide experience including chair of PanAust and director of Qantas Airways, Orica, Dulux Group, Ingeus and Nufarm. In November Dearie gave a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce business briefing in Sydney which included, “This also leads me on to a wine industry myth that, frankly, needs to be put to rest – that smaller, family-owned vineyards are the lifeblood of our industry. That they, and only they, contain the ‘real’ winemakers and that ‘big wine’ is bad.” He also pointed out that collectively the family-owned wineries produced more cheap wines than TWE. Mitchell Taylor, chief executive of Taylor’s Wines and the current chair of the Australian First Families of Wine (AFFW), became defensive and provided this statement: “I think the Family group will present us as an alternative to the corporate brands. We are the multi-generational owners of some of the best assets in the Australian wine industry.” There is, of course, room for big companies, mid-range family concerns and the extremely small one-brand concerns. There is no room for petty in-fighting, however. If the AFFW continues to point the finger of blame at the large corporate for all that ails the Australian wine industry, it must accept retaliation. As this article shows, the large Australian wine companies have and continue to evolve. It’s up to the members of the AFFW to keep pace with them. Members of the AFFW will argue differently but 2012 wasn’t a standout year, in my opinion, but 2013 looks very promising. In the words of Mitchell Taylor: “AFFW is very excited about the China trip we have been planning for some time. The Chinese respect tradition and family and a number of our wineries have been in that market for several years. We believe that the Chinese market is quickly evolving into a very discerning and education ‘hungry’ market and we believe that AFFW can tell that quality story of Australian wine. We have translated our successful Heart & Soul book into Mandarin and are looking at promoting AFFW via the Chinese social media. Our recent alliance with the Nuance group at international duty-free airports is another way we are focussing on the Chinese tourists visiting this country. The umbrella of the AFFW will help launch a lot of brands that the new Chinese buyer has not heard of.” I have no hesitation in saying that under the ownership of Constellation Brands what is now Accolade Wines suffered and, in turn, so did Australian wine collectively. Since being acquired by Sydney-based CHAMP Private Equity and under the guidance of chief executive Troy Christensen, Accolade has changed quite dramatically. The sudden and unexplained departure of Christensen in November leaves a feeling of unease, perhaps putting all the positive forward moves made in 2012 in jeopardy for 2013. One of the major company initiatives during 2012 was Treasury Wine Estates moving its UK bottling requirements to Accolade Wines’ facility at Bristol, in the west of England. In turn, Accolade Wines transferred its packaging requirements to TWE facilities in Australia. Business wise, this was a smart move but the down side was loss of bottling line jobs in Australia. Accolade, like Australian Vintage, has tackled the UK market full on and appears to have found some resolution. V2 8N 1

F I L E S

TWE and Pernod Ricard, via Jacobs Creek, have taken the route of losing sales volume to keep margin. During the first nine months of 2012, Australian wine exports to the UK declined a further five percent to 243 million litres on a moving annual total basis. It should be noted that in the high year of 2007, the total volume of exports to the UK was just 290 million litres but they were valued at $985 million. Now, they are only worth $243.14 million. Before assuming a shocked expression, bear in mind that in 2007 most exports were in bottles, whereas now the majority is shipped in bulk. Australian wine still accounts for around 20% of UK off-sales. It is my estimation that volume will decline further in 2013 but possibly and, hopefully, the value will increase. Other major international Australian wine brands, such as Jacob's Creek and Yellowtail, have had a difficult 2012 and seen sales volume fall. Yet, both are very proactive in identifying the issues and are developing strategies that should show results in 2013. My year in review is nearly complete and there is little mention of the excitement of China, nothing on the achievements of the good old Aussie battler, the little guy taking on the world, and so on. I am fully aware that many small wineries have made great strides. The point of focussing on the above five and the AFFW is that they represent Australia in a global context and Australia needs to play globally for the survival of all. Chapters could be written on Wine Australia, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and the other bodies. Keeping it short, they have done well in 2012 and I’m expecting further progress in 2013. Wine writing continues to disappoint. There are a few good writers, several poor ones and the available space to practise the craft continues to reduce. I fear it will deteriorate further in 2013. For me, the most important and dangerous issue of 2012 was the gathering strength of the health lobby and the possible ramifications it might have on the wine industry. That said, you may be wondering why I haven’t covered the subject in greater depth. It’s because the depth of the subject is so great it can’t be folded into a round-up of the year. Nor is it an issue that many involved in the production of wine give enough consideration to. It will become a major issue in 2013 and we will deal with it and hopefully keep its more ludicrous aspects in check. To my mind, overall 2012 was a good year for the Australian wine industry and 2013 holds a huge amount of promise. I wish WVJ you well in all your wine endeavours.

Where Cutting Edge Meets Sustainability Save Production Costs by Multitasking Slashing production costs & your carbon footprint GL 4K

Product of Italy

For more information, please contact Jurg Muggli on 0409 572 581 Phone: 08 9433 3555 >> Fax: 08 9433 3566 Email: jmuggli@fischeraustralis.com.au >> Web: www.fmg.bz.it

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

17


I N D U ST R Y E V E N TS

T A L K & T A ST E

The allure of Iberian beauties By Jane Faulkner1 and Louisa Rose2 1 Wine writer, chief of judges - Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show 2 Head of winemaking, Yalumba, chair - Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show

The vinous benefits that Portuguese winegrape varieties have to offer Australian producers should be explored, as was discussed at a recent technical seminar linked to the 2012 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show.

A

lbarino. Arinto. Mencia. Gouveio. Louriero. Bobal. Verdejo. Recognise any of these Iberian varieties? Maybe a couple? If not, all were identified as having enormous potential for our diverse landscape at the recent 2012 Talk & Taste technical seminar, linked to the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. The theme for this year’s Talk &Taste, titled ‘The Alternative Route. Who’s driving it?’, focussed on Iberian varieties such as Tempranillo and Albarino, but with a particular emphasis on Portugal. For many reasons, Australian grapegrowers and winemakers have neglected Portuguese varieties. And why? “Well, for one reason, we have been so Francocentric,” said keynote speaker Dr Peter Dry, viticulture consultant at the Australian Wine Research Institute. He opened the session by posing the question: Why should we be interested in Iberian varieties at all? Notwithstanding the role of rootstocks, Dry argues that such varieties from the Mediterranean are more suited to our climatic conditions. With the ongoing presence of global warming, such varieties offer better heat and drought tolerance. He describes Arinto, the high acid white variety that thrives in Portugal’s Vinho Verde region, as Riesling for a hot climate. Imagine not having to acidify a white wine in a warm vintage. He also outlined why the aforementioned and other Iberian varieties should be considered: apart from being a largely unexploited genetic resource, they possibly could produce lower alcohol wines, hence, good flavour at lower brix, while the whites are full of texture and savouriness. Plus, they offer a diversity of styles with a greater range of flavours that might be more suitable to emerging markets, such as China. Also, our tastes are changing. There is a demand for more savoury wines without the fruit punch. Dry has been excited by alternative varieties since the early 1970s, while working as a research officer at the South Australian Department of Agriculture. Amusingly, he apparently made the first Chardonnay in 1971: let’s not forget that Australia’s most widely planted white variety was once deemed alternative. He said of the 139 varieties listed in the 2012 Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory, only 10 percent were Iberian, excluding Garnacha (aka Grenache) and Mataro (aka Mourvedre) compared with French varieties at 30%. However, two dominate: Verdelho and Tempranillo, while the rest remain minuscule. “I love Tempranillo and that variety is the next great thing in red wine. While originally from Spain, it has many synonyms; moving into Portugal, Tinta Roriz as it’s known in the north, and as Aragones in the south,” says Dry. “And our Verdelho comes from Madeira; it’s not the same as Verdelho on the (Spanish) peninsula.” What’s also fascinating about Portugal is that it has the highest varietal density in Europe with about 340 varieties, 250 of which are unique to that country.

18

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

Attendees at the Talk & Taste seminar held in Mildura as part of the recent Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show heard about the suitability of Iberian varieties to Australia’s climatic conditions. It was also noted that these varieties had the potential to produce lower alcohol wines, and met a growing demand for more savoury wines. An update on the seven Iberian varieties that Dry highlighted as having the most potential in Australia: There are now two new clones of Albarino available from Yalumba Nursery, although there is a waiting list; Arinto is not yet available; Goveio (known as Godello in Spanish) has been in the CSIRO collection since 1989, but only two producers are known to have plantings; since 1986, Loureiro has been on the national register of varieties and clones, but there are no known plantings, same with Bobal; Mencia is here; and Verdejo will soon be available. It’s a start. Yalumba Nursery’s Albarino is known as Alvarinho in Portugal. In 2008, there was confirmation that Australia’s original plantings were, in fact, Savagnin, a variety mostly grown in France’s Jura region where it makes the outstanding vin jaune – a style similar to sherry. Dry suggested if there had been more than one clone of Savagnin, the misidentification may never have happened. In concluding, he urged growers and winemakers “not to be biased against a variety by past evaluation and that traditional winemaking practices in the region of origin may not allow the full potential of a variety to be expressed. Finally, don’t forget the importance of introducing multiple clones”. Dry added that “there only needs to be one excellent wine to indicate the potential of a variety”. Yet, grappling with a new variety takes time and understanding; at first, there is a desire or need for evaluation on its own to gauge how it grows, where best it grows, crop levels and, all importantly, the taste. The most salient point to come out of all three sessions at the Talk & Taste seminar was

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


T A L K & T A ST E

Major award winners in the 2012 Alternative Varieties Wine Show Best Wine of Show S.C. Pannell 2008 Nebbiolo Best Red Wine S.C. Pannell 2008 Nebbiolo Best White Wine Saltram Winemakers 2012 Fiano Best Italian Red Varietal Cirami Estate 2012 Lagrein Best Italian White Varietal Saltram Winemakers 2012 Fiano Best Spanish Varietal Tahbilk 2011 Marsanne Best Certified Organic Wine Award Bassham 2012 Lagrein that Portuguese wines are almost always a blend. It’s all about melding the desirable characters of different varieties to make a more harmonious whole. Australian producers are somewhat myopic when it comes to blending, implying a mono-varietal is superior. Yet, that’s not necessarily true. Session two, under the heading ‘From Spain to Portugal, McLaren Vale and beyond’, brought together winemaker and Portuguese wine importer Michael Wren and First Drop ownerwinemaker Matt Gant, who expounded the virtues of blending. Each year, Wren works vintage in Portugal with ex-pat Aussie David Baverstock, head of winemaking at Esporao, while Barossa-based Gant has worked in both Spain and Portugal. Both agree in the strength of those country’s blends. The tasting comparison highlighted excellent varietals, such as the 2010 Dona Paterna Albarino and 2010 Mayford Tempranillo from Porepunkah, yet, the blends were more complex, defined and complete. The final session brought together Australia’s leading Spanish and Portuguese wine importer Scott Wasley, from The Spanish Acquisition, with Gabrielle Poy, retail wine manager at Melbourne’s City Wine Shop and the European Group, plus Tony Harper, wine writer and owner of Brisbane’s Craft Wine Store. The trio discussed the way the best Iberian wines have balanced acidity, tannins and phenolics with aromas and flavours that make the wines edgy and exciting. Such wines match brilliantly with our varied cuisines, whether Mediterranean-inspired or Asian. Wasley, Poy and Harper touched on the language barrier often associated with any new or unfamiliar wine or variety. Some varieties are difficult to pronounce, such as Alfrocheiro, Trincadeira and the wonderful Verdejo, which is not Verdelho. It’s worth noting that many of the blends are known as Tinto (as in red) or Branco (white) and while a region may hint at what the make-up is, such as the very appealing Assobio Douro Tinto 2009 that was tasted, what does it matter if the wine is excellent? For the varietally obsessed, hailing from the Douro, the Assobio blend comprises traditional port grapes Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca. Still, there is no way around the language, although familiarity makes for easier drinking. That’s where Harper and Poy come in. They are able to talk about these wines with their customers, or just simply say ‘this wine is delicious with that dish. Try it.’ In a country respected for its port, a tradition that goes back several hundred years, it is only in the last 10 or so years that Portugal has started to make an impression on the world vinous stage with its table wines. Wasley has the most extensive selection of Portuguese wines, although he only started importing them in late 2008. Now, Michael Wren showcasing his imports at restaurants and outlets means more exposure to these unique and intriguing reds and whites. Becoming familiar V2 8N 1

I N D U ST R Y E V E N TS

with these new wines and varieties just takes time and an openminded attitude. Appropriately, Dry ended his keynote address by admirably quoting from one of Portugal’s greatest writers, Aquilino Ribeiro: “O pior dos crimes é produzir vinho mau, engarrafá-lo e servi-lo aos amigos.” In other words, the worst crime is to produce bad wine, bottle it and serve it to friends. That’s something everyone at the Talk & Taste, and the wider wine community, can appreciate. All the wines featured at the Talk & Taste seminar are available in Australia, comprising: • 2010 Dona Paterna Albarino • 2009 Esporao Branco Reserva • 2009 Boas Vinhas Dao Tinto • 2009 Assobio Douro Tinto • 2011 First Drop Touriga • 2010 Mayford Tempranillo • 2010 S.C.Pannell Tempranillo • 2009 First Drop JR. Gantos Quinta do Sul McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon and Touriga • 2011 Quinta do Ameal Loureiro • 2010 Niepoort Redoma Branco • 2010 Palacio de Fefinanes Albarino • 2008 Luis Pato Baga and Touriga Nacional • 2010 Quinta do Vallado Douro Tinto • 2009 Quinta do Vallado Touriga Nacional • 2005 Quinta de la Rosa • 2009 Avanthia Mencia. The Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show and Talk & Taste seminar are held each year in the first week of November, WVJ in Mildura. For more information, visit www.aavws.com.au

BIOCELLULASE W

For improved maceration and settling

BIOPECTINASE 200AL For de-pectinisation and clarification

BIOREDASE

Pectinase/cellulase optimised for colour extraction

BIOCHARD

Pectolytic enzyme optimised to reduce phenolics

DELTAFINE

Isinglass finings for improved clarification

Flavours & Ingredients We offer a full range of food grade flavours, colours and application notes for RTDs and coolers etc.

DELTAGEN Australia Pty Ltd 31 Wadhurst Drive Boronia Vic 3155

Phone (03) 9801 7133 Fax (03) 9887 0019 Email : info@deltagen.com.au Web: www.deltagen.com.au

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

19


winemakin g

H E A T ST A B I L I S A T I O N

In search of clarity: do cold-active proteases from Antarctic fungi provide alternatives to heat-stabilisation with bentonite? By Robyn Peterson, Liisa Kautto, Steven Van Sluyter and Helena Nevalainen Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, 2109 Biomolecular Frontiers Research Centre, Macquarie University, Sydney, 2109 Email: robyn.peterson@mq.edu.au

In a recent project partly funded by the GWRDC, researchers at Macquarie University screened fungi from Antarctica in the ongoing search for a cold-active protease as an alternative to heat stabilisation of wine with bentonite. Proteases active at low temperature and low pH were discovered, but had limited effect against the main haze-producing proteins thaumatin and chitinase under winemaking conditions. The problem of haze

T

he vast majority of white table and sparkling wines are not protein stable and are treated with bentonite, a type of clay, to prevent the development of unattractive haze. However, bentonite fining is a crude and rather inefficient way to make wines acceptable to consumers due

to a reliance on imported mined bentonite, interference with filtration and membrane technology, wear on equipment, and the production of hazardous waste. How could this situation be improved? Enzymes are natural, biodegradable molecules produced by all organisms. They have evolved to catalyse reactions in their natural environment, whether

that is cold, hot, acidic or alkaline. We can use enzymes from other organisms to our advantage, but the challenge is to find the appropriate enzyme that can function with the required substrate in a particular process. Enzymes that hydrolyse proteins are called proteases. There are currently no viable alternatives to bentonite in wine clarification, but the most promising are protease additions in

Bag-in-Box Reborn...

The NEW generation pack from

Tel: +61 2 9698 1355 www.irwinandsheehan.com.au 20

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


H E A T ST A B I L I S A T I O N

winemakin g

Figure 1. Schematic depicting the screening of Antarctic fungi for protease activity effective against the haze-producing proteins. combination with heat treatment of the grape juice. However, heat treatment is not ideal because it consumes energy and may reduce wine quality. A ‘fix all’ solution to the bentonite problem and heat treatment could be a cold-active protease that is effective under normal winemaking conditions. Where to find these enzymes? Antarctic fungi produce cold-active enzymes The Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences at Macquarie University has a collection of fungi from Antarctica that have been used successfully in the discovery of coldactive enzymes for other industries (e.g. lipases for use in detergents). Survival of fungi in Antarctica is inextricably linked to the secretion of cold-active enzymes that break up organic material in the environment, which the fungi can then absorb as a nutrient source for growth. The secreted enzymes have evolved to operate under cold conditions, a feature that is lacking in the enzymes of fungi from more temperate and tropical regions. Funding provided by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) assisted researchers at Macquarie in a screening program of the Antarctic fungi for coldactive proteases as an environmentally sound alternative to bentonite fining for the production of haze-free wine. The task was to seek an enzyme to remove haze-producing proteins, capable of operating under winemaking temperatures (10-15°C) and acidic conditions (pH 3-4). Screening fungal candidates for the job Protease activities of the fungal isolates were screened using agar plate assays carried out at low temperature and low pH. The agar plates contained V2 8N 1

skim milk as a protein source, resulting in a cloudy appearance that was cleared by secreted proteases, thereby forming halos around the fungal colonies. Twentyfour isolates from about 200 screened fungi were found to have particularly high protease activity at low temperatures and low pH, and were selected for further study. A flow diagram for the screening process is presented in Figure 1. The selected fungal isolates were grown in an acidic liquid culture medium containing minimal salts and skim milk to specifically encourage acidic protease production. The majority of the Antarctic species thrived in liquid culture, and enzyme activity assay revealed coldactive, acidic protease activity in the fungal culture supernatants. The challenge of grape juice The supernatants from the liquid cultures were incubated with grape juice for two to five days at 10ºC and 20ºC to determine the ability of the proteases secreted by the isolates to degrade the haze-producing grape juice proteins. The extent of proteolysis was determined by protein electrophoresis, with particular attention to a reduction in the strength of the protein bands representing chitinase and thaumatin, the two main hazeproducing proteins (Figure 2A, see page 22). Here is where a major challenge arose. Although cold-active, as acidic protease activity had been exhibited by the isolates against other protein substrates, the problematic hazeproducing proteins in grape juice were more difficult to defeat. Proteases secreted by several isolates caused a slight degradation of chitinase and thaumatin after five days incubation at 20°C. However, of these, only a few were able to cause any effect at 10°C; a Phialophora species caused a minor reduction of the molecular weight of chitinase, a Phoma species W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.seguin-moreau.fr www.seguinmoreau-icone.com Graeme Little

Mobile: +61 (0)437 060 943 glittle@seguinmoreau.com.au

Dan Eggleton

Mobile: +61 (0)438 824 493 deggleton@seguinmoreau.com.au SEGUIN MOREAU AUSTRALIA Post Office Box 5 Hindmarsh, South Australia 5007 Tel.: +61 (0)8 8406 2000 Fax: +61 (0)8 8406 2001 admin@seguinmoreau.com.au

www.winebiz. com . au

21


winemakin g

H E A T ST A B I L I S A T I O N

Figure 2. Protein electrophoresis used to determine degradation of the main haze-producing proteins chitinase and thaumatin (indicated by arrows) by secreted proteases of the Antarctic fungi. (A) Duplicate controls of grape juice without enzyme treatment; (B-D) Triplicate samples of grape juice incubated for two days at 10°C with supernatants of Antarctic fungi Phialophora, Phoma sp1 and Phoma sp2, respectively; (E) Triplicate samples of grape juice incubated for 10 minutes at 60°C with supernatant of Chrysosporium. MW: Molecular weight of protein in kilodaltons. M: Molecular weight marker. caused a very slight degradation of both thaumatin and chitinase, and another Phoma species caused a slight degradation of thaumatin (Figure 2BD). Even though the proteases were functioning in an acidic environment and cold temperatures, substantial reduction of the haze-producing proteins was not achieved at winemaking temperatures.

A little heat-assistance Not to be defeated, minimal heatassistance to the proteases of the Antarctic fungi was provided. Considering that the lowest temperature that currently available proteases can act against the haze-producing proteins is 65°C, any advance on this aspect would be beneficial in terms of energy savings,

provided that the enzyme was able to decrease the haze. Consequently, the supernatants of the Antarctic fungi were also tested for protease activity against the grape juice proteins using a 10-minute incubation period at 45°C, 55°C and 60°C. Here, success was found. A Chrysosporium species (Figure 3)

FOOD DIAGNOSTICS

Tailored for wineries Semi-automated - Ideal for small to medium sized wineries

Automated - Ideal for medium to large sized wineries

Tests Available

• • • • •

Easy to use Compact Reduced cost per test Wide test menu Little maintenance

• • • • •

Acetic Acid

Lactic Acid

Ammonia

Malic Acid

Copper

Potassium

Ethanol

Total Antioxidants

Glucose / Fructose

Total SO2

Iron

1 calibration per harvest Robust and reliable 24hr technical support 12 month warranty Consistant performance

• • • • •

Randox Food Diagnostics, 30 Cherryvalley Road, Crumlin, County Antrim, BT29 4QN, United Kingdom

T +44 (0) 28 9442 2413

F +44 (0) 28 9445 2912

AV1091 Food Diagnostics - Wine Viticulture Journal - From Grape to Wine DEC12.indd 1

22

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

170 wine tests per hour Fully automated analyser with walk away capacity Minimises contamination 24hr technical support Minimal daily maintenance

E enquiries@randoxfooddiagnostics.com

• • •

Minimal technical expertise required Compact, bench top analyser, also offered as floor standing unit 1 calibration per harvest

I www.randoxfooddiagnostics.com

14/12/2012 16:30

V28N1


H E A T ST A B I L I S A T I O N

winemakin g

secreted proteases that caused some degradation of thaumatin and chitinase at 55°C, and substantial degradation of these recalcitrant proteins at 60°C (Figure 2E); a clear improvement on currently available proteases. Mass spectrometry of the culture supernatant of the Chrysosporium species revealed a dominant serine protease that appears to be responsible for the degradation of thaumatin and chitinase at elevated temperatures. The serine protease could be of interest in the future for accelerating protein degradation in grape juice, in combination with mild heat treatment. Towards an enzymatic solution to haze removal

Figure 3. An Antarctic Chrysosporium species that was found to secrete a novel serine protease capable of degrading chitinase and thaumatin at 60°C. This is a lower temperature than required for currently available proteases effective against the haze-producing proteins.

While the novel serine protease discovered did not tick all the boxes, it represents an improvement to currently available proteases by reducing heat requirements for wine stabilisation. With the current technology, it may be possible to further improve on the properties of this protease by using protein engineering or directed evolution techniques to produce an enzyme tailored for winemaking. WVJ

Like many of the world’s great wines, we’re made here too.

Maurivin is proud to be a part of Australia’s winemaking landscape. Our complete range of yeast and fermentation aid products (including ) are developed and manufactured on the same soil as our outstanding vineyards – Australian soil. At Maurivin we look forward to continuing a tradition of innovation and partnership with Australia’s winemakers and the great wine they produce.

V2 8N 1 Maurivin_2011_MAIN_7SEPT.indd 1

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

maurivin.com +61 (0)2 9684 8691

23

www.winebiz. com . au 2:30 PM 8/09/11


winemakin g

C OLD ST A B I L I S A T I O N

Alternative chilling process crystalises for Barossa winery By Sonya Logan

Two alternatives to the traditional but time-consuming and costly method of cold stabilisation were presented at a seminar titled ‘Efficiency and Sustainability in the Winery’ held late last year by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology. One of these was continuous cold stabilisation using the contact process which drew on Dorrien Winemaking’s trial of a Della Toffola PolarCryo unit. Sonya Logan spoke with Dorrien’s winery operations manager Julie Montgomery to find out more.

C

hilling is the traditional method used by the wine industry to achieve tartrate stability and is still the most common. However, an increasing number of alternatives are emerging and one Barossa Valley winery believes it may have found one that achieves results comparable to chilling but in much less time. Dorrien Winemaking began exploring alternatives to chilling when it recently moved some of its winemaking operations to a new site with limited refrigeration capacity. Its aim was to not only find a more rapid and energyefficient method of cold stabilising wine that required less use of cream of tartar, but one that was more energy efficient than the existing refrigeration system. Having previously looked at other alternatives and deeming them to have their limitations, Dorrien turned to continuous tartrate stabilisation technology manufactured by Della Toffola. “Della Toffola is one of our equipment suppliers and we knew they made a continuous stabilisation unit so we

The Della Toffola PolarCryo continuous tartrate stabilisation unit being trialled by Dorrien Winemaking in the Barossa Valley.

ISECO Engineering Services Pty Ltd Specialist Refrigeration Consultants

723 Burwood Road Hawthorn East Victoria 3123 Australia

iseco.com.au email: iseco@iseco.com.au tel: (03) 9882 7340 fax: (03) 9882 7339

With over 12 years of specialist winery engineering experience We provide reliable and impartial engineering design and review services for a range of winery size and type: • Energy Audits OEH Energy Saver panel member • Winery & tank farm refrigeration capacity • Australian Refrigeration Standard AS 1677 Compliance audits

24

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

• Brine and glycol system design • Cold rooms, grape & must cooling • Hot water systems design • Compressed air design

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

• Advice on alternative refrigerants and how to reduce winery refrigeration carbon emissions • Engineering support for Clean Technology Investment Program grant applications

V28N1


HELP YOUR YEAST TO REVEAL THE POTENTIAL OF YOUR GRAPES

A new generation of yeast protection :

Increase yeast vitality

Increase yeast ethanol tolerance

Highest levels of sterols in the Lallemand GoFerm product range.

PATENTED IN EUROPE AND AUSTRALIA

Improves yeast aroma precursor use

Lallemand Australia Pty Ltd: phone : +61 (0)8 8276 1200 email: australiaoffice@lallemand.com Lallemand Oenology: Natural solutions that add value to the world of winemaking / www.lallemandwine.com


winemakin g

C OLD ST A B I L I S A T I O N

Dorrien Winemaking's winery operations manager, Julie Montgomery.

talked to them about getting one over for us to trial,” explained Dorrien’s winery operations manager Julie Montgomery. Although Della Toffola’s PolarCryo system still involves chilling, it comes with its own refrigeration unit so does not need to draw from external plants. Furthermore, Montgomery said, the refrigeration unit is extremely energy efficient compared with the winery’s existing plant. Dorrien has been trialling the PolarCryo system since August 2012, and so far has been impressed by the results. “This is the closest thing I’ve seen that achieves the same results as the traditional stabilisation method, and it does so a lot faster and more efficiently,” said Montgomery. “That’s because it’s basically the same process as traditional cold stabilisation; it just happens more quickly. And, the impact on the wine is the same as the traditional system too, which is good because some other alternatives can alter the wine.” Montgomery said the first couple of months of the trial involved getting the operators “up to speed with the

OAK Perfection

Since the beginning, Saury has operated on the basis that grain is the most important determinant of barrel quality. Today, the cooperage still applies this theory to each and every barrel, growing into a modern, efficient and quality focused cooperage while maintaining its status as a maker of the finest grain oak barrels in the world.

For further information, please contact Kauri NZ Tel: 0800 KAURIWINE AUS Tel: 1800 127 611 NZ Fax: 04 910 7415 AUS Fax: 1800 127 609 Email: winery@kauri.co.nz Web: www.kauriwine.com

26

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


C OLD ST A B I L I S A T I O N

running of the unit and looking at other related areas of improvement for our business”. Now nearing the end of the trial, the winery still has some numbers to crunch, particularly in relation to energy consumption, before giving the unit its final tick of approval, but as far as speed and quality are concerned, the PolarCryo unit has proven itself on both reds and whites. And, having replaced the unit’s in-line micro-filter with a crossflow filter, Dorrien is now able to cold stablise and filter ready for bottling in one step, saving time and reducing the number of staff required to get to that point from two to three to just one. So far, Dorrien has used the unit, which can currently process upwards of 30,000L in a single run, to process mostly Sauvignon Blanc in whites and Shiraz and Cabernet in reds. “We’re finding the wines are stable and that they’re coming out of the crossflow filter ready for bottling. “The traditional cold stabilsation method can sometimes take up to two weeks for a wine to get down to temperature. With the PolarCryo unit we can achieve cold stabilisation in less than two days, with little or no potassium bitartrate required. And there’s no need to warm the wine poststabilisation.”

tank rental

winemakin g

The traditional cold stabilsation method can sometimes take up to two weeks for a wine to get down to temperature. With the PolarCryo unit we can achieve cold stabilisation in less than two days, with little or no potassium bitartrate required. “The unit currently requires fairly large volumes to start; we’d like to get it down to 9000L,” Montgomery said. She said if the final number crunching resulted in the winery ultimately purchasing the PolarCryo system, Dorrien would put as much wine as it could through the unit. “There might be some very small batches of less than 9000L that we won’t be able to run through it but even if we have to cold stabilse those the traditional way, we’ll still be drawing a lot less energy than if we were processing all the wines that way,” she said. WVJ

Montgomery said that although the unit took several hours to get wine down to the required temperature, once that was reached, it was capable of a throughput of up to around 10,000L per hour. Dorrien is currently working with Della Toffola to implement further modifications to the unit, including automating more of its operations, such as its use of inert gas to better manage dissolved oxygen levels in the wine as it passes through the PolarCryo and crossflow units. The company is also looking to improve the unit’s flexibility in terms of the minimum volume required for small batch runs.

Australian distributor for

processing equipment

Available in various sizes for 1 year contract terms • Heavy Duty Construction • 304 Stainless Steel • Offset Top cone with Rubber Seal Lid • Sudmo Vac/Vent • JMA inswing outswing door

• Cone mount lockable sample cock • Cone mount 50mm racking outlet • 50mm sump outlet • Keystone butterfly BSM male • 600 brine jacket

• 25 inlet outlet fittings • Flat and cone bottoms • Reinforced floor with stainless legs • Insulation Optional

Jury Road, Berri SA. Ph 08 8582 9500 Ivan 0429 697 219 David 0408 001 020 Mark 0408 822 434 E jma@jmaeng.com.au www.jmaeng.com.au

V2 8N 1

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

27


winemakin g

W I N E P R E S E N TAT I O N

The cooler the better

The effects of storage temperature and packaging type on the sensory and chemical properties of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon By Helene Hopfer, Susan E. Ebeler and Hildegarde Heymann, Department of Viticulture & Enology, University of California, Davis. Email: hhopfer@ucdavis.edu

The deteriorating effects of high storage temperatures on the sensory and chemical properties of wine are widely known, but high storage temperatures increase wine oxidation even more when combined with wine packaging solutions with high oxygen ingress rates.

C

onserving wine is as old as winemaking itself, owing to the fact that humans have always tried to conserve food and beverages over a longer period of time without dramatically changing the sensory and/or chemical properties of the product. This can be termed shelf life, which is officially defined as “ … the length of time a product may be stored without becoming unsuitable for use or consumption."1. Today, several options are available to winemakers to package their products, differing in price, ecological footprint, performance and storage capabilities. These options include the traditional glass bottle with a natural cork, or closure alternatives such as technical corks, fully synthetic corks, glass stoppers and screwcaps with different liner materials, as well as glass bottle alternatives including plastic bottles and metal cans (e.g., stainless steel bottles) and bottle alternatives such as bag-in-box (BIB). One way to differentiate among all of these options is the amount of oxygen that is able to travel through the

packaging into the wine over time often expressed as oxygen transfer rate (OTR). Metal cans and screwcapped bottles lie at one end of the OTR range, with reported values of between 0.0002-0.09mg/L/month, while allplastic packaging configurations, such as bag-in-box or plastic bottles, lie on the other end of the range, with reported oxygen permeabilities through the multi-polymer films of between 0.02-1.00mL/m2/day(atmospheric pressure)2. In several studies plastic wine packaging materials (including polyethylene terephthtale (PET) bottles and BIB containers) was shown to lead to faster ageing of wine, resulting in lower amounts of free and total SO2, total phenols and anthocyanins, and higher oxidation product formation3-5. Similarly, changes in the sensory characteristics of the studied wines included an increase in oxidised descriptors and decreased floral, fruit and fresh vegetal notes4,5. Besides the important roles of packaging and oxygen6 in wine

conservation, storage temperature is probably the most influential factor on the sensory properties of wine7-10. This is due to the fact that chemical reactions speed up with increasing temperature; as a rule of thumb, an additional 10°C increases the reaction speed by a factor of two (Arrhenius’ law). In general, the higher the storage temperature the less fruity, fresh vegetal and floral aromas are perceived, with a simultaneous increase in age-related attributes, such as sherry, nutty, bruised apple, vinegar, tobacco, canned vegetal, flinty, and dried fruit descriptors. This is true for white and red wines, and was shown for ‘aromatic’ varieties such as Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, as well as Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and red wine blends9,11-13. Past studies have shown the impact of storage temperature and packaging type on the shelf life of wine separately, so we conducted an experiment where we looked at both parameters simultaneously, using

Air to Water Liquid Chillers

A new generation of efficient and intelligent chilling • • • • • • • •

High energy efficiency, even on part load Low refrigerant charge for reduced carbon footprint eDrive™ variable water flow for energy savings Intelligent climatic control that continuously optimises power consumption Lightweight, durable construction with a compact footprint European designed and made Glycol option to -10°C 20kW 1000kW Up to 46°C ambient

Neosys™ Ecolean™

13 23 50 heatcraft.com.au

28

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


W I N E P R E S E N TAT I O N

unoaked Chardonnay (CH) and Cabernet Sauvignon (CS) wine14,15. Materials and methods We chose five packaging types commonly used in the wine industry, including 750mL green glass bottles with three types of closure and two 3L bag-in-box containers: • ‘ naco’: natural cork, AC-1HS, ACI, Fairfield, California, US • ‘syco’: synthetic cork, Classic+, Nomacorc LLC • ‘screw’: Aluminum Stelvin ROTE screwcap with tin-PVDC liners, Federfin, Italy & Oenoseal, France • ‘ bib’: DuraShield 34S, Scholle, Nohlake, Illinois, US, filled under normal oxygen atmosphere • ‘ map’: DuraShield 34S, Scholle, Nohlake, Illinois, US, filled under reduced oxygen atmosphere. In these five packaging configurations we stored unoaked Chardonnay (vintage 2010) from Monterey County, US, and Cabernet Sauvignon (vintage 2009) from the Central Coast, US, at three constant temperatures for a period of three (for the Chardonnay) and six months (for the Cabernet Sauvignon). We chose temperatures of 10°C, representing a cool wine cellar storage; 20°C, representing room temperature storage common among consumers; and 40°C, representing bad practice storage, for example, experienced during shipping, as reported by Butzke (2012)16. At the end of the storage period we used two different trained sensory panels (CH panel: eight females, four males, 21-68 years old; CS panel: nine females and one male, 21-60 years old) for a descriptive analysis of the wines, including aroma, flavour, taste, mouthfeel and colour attributes. Chardonnay (CH) results Storage temperature was the major driver for significant differences in aroma, taste, mouthfeel and colour attributes found by the panel in the Chardonnay wines. An additional packaging effect was only observed at the highest storage temperature of 40°C. Generally, with increasing storage temperature, the panellists rated fruit, peach, citrus aromas and hot/warming mouthfeel significantly lower, while the descriptors musty, vinegar, oxidised and bitter were, significantly, scored higher. Wines stored at 40°C were also significantly less light and more yellow in colour than wines stored at 10°C or 20°C, as determined by the panel. V2 8N 1

The different packaging types significantly affected the attributes of oxidised aroma, hot/warming mouthfeel, lightness and yellow colour, indicating different formation rates of chemical compounds responsible for the observed sensory changes, whether the wine was packaged in a glass bottle or a BIB. A graphical representation of the sensory differences among the studied Chardonnay wines is shown in Figure 1, (see page 30). A principal component analysis (PCA) biplot was created based on the panel’s ratings of the significant sensory descriptors. In a PCA, samples are positioned according to similarity; the closer they are to each other, the more similar they are, the farther apart they are, the more different they are. So, all samples stored at 10°C (dark blue) are located close to each other in the bottom right corner of the plot, the samples stored at 20°C (in dark green) are grouped together in the top right corner, while the 20°C BIB samples (CHbib20, CHmap20) are located in between the other 20°C samples and the three 40°C bottle samples (CHnaco40, CHsyco40, CHscrew40) in the top middle of the plot, indicating an intermediate sensory profile for the two 20°C BIB samples (CHbib20, CHmap20) i.e. between the 20°C and 40°C samples. The two BIB samples stored at 40°C (CHbib40, CHmap40) are the most different wines in the study, as indicated by their position in the far left of the plot. Overlaid onto this sample plot are the significant sensory attributes (in black italic). Wines stored at 10°C and 20°C were mainly described by the high ratings in ‘citrus’, ‘fruit’ and ‘peach’ aromas, ‘hot/warming’ mouthfeel, ‘light’ (L*) and ‘slight green’ (a*) colour. In contrast, ‘musty’, ‘vinegar’ and ‘sulfur’ aromas and ‘bitter’ taste were rated highest in the wines stored in bottles at 40°C (CHnaco40, CHsyco40, CHscrew40), with significant lower ratings in fruit-related aromas. The attributes ‘oxidised’ aroma and ‘yellow colour’ (b*) were scored highest in the two BIB samples stored at 40°C (CHbib40, CHmap40), indicating their importance for describing the sensations the panellists experienced when tasting these heavily oxidised wines. Cabernet Sauvignon (CS) results Similarly to the Chardonnay, the trained sensory panel found significant differences in aroma, flavour, taste, mouthfeel and colour attributes for the Cabernet Sauvignon wines. W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

winemakin g

Were you ready last Vintage? Suppliers of Climaveneta Chillers MTA Chillers Phasefale Chillers

Winery Refrigeration Solutions BRINE & PIPE SYSTEMS • Packaged Brine Chillers • Brine Reticulation Systems • Stainless Steel Pipe Work • Copper Pipe Work • ABS & PVC Pipe Work • Process Lines • Compressed Air Lines SERVICE • Planned Maintenance • Repairs & Breakdowns • System & Application Solutions

REFRIGERATION • Refrigeration Plant • Coolrooms • Barrel Store Cooling • Neck Freezer Upgrades • Plant Upgrades CONTROL • Temperature Control • Humidity Control • Network Based & Single Tank Control Systems

Phone: (03) 9773 6459 Fax: (03) 9773 6435 Email: brian@serchill.com.au Web: www.serchill.com.au www.winebiz. com . au

29


winemakin g

W I N E P R E S E N TAT I O N

Most sensory attributes differed significantly among the wines due to storage temperature. Similarly to the Chardonnay experiment, with increasing storage temperature fruit-related as well as ‘fresh veggie’ and ‘floral’ descriptors decreased significantly, while ‘canned veggie’, ‘earthy’, ‘soy sauce’, ‘dried fruit’, ‘oxidised’ and ‘brown flavours’ were rated significantly higher in the samples stored at higher storage temperatures. All taste and mouthfeel attributes (‘bitter’, ‘hot’ and ‘viscous’) increased with elevated Figure 1. Principal component analysis biplot of the sensory analysis data for the Chardonnay wines, showing the five different packaging types (natural corked glass bottle (‘naco’), synthetic corked glass bottle (‘syco’), screwcapped glass bottle (‘screw’), bag-in-box filled under normal oxygen atmosphere (‘bib’), and bag-in-box filled under reduced oxygen atmosphere (‘map’). Samples are colour coded according to their storage temperatures (10°C = blue, 20°C = green, 40°C = red). Sensory attributes shown are significantly different (P≤0.05).

ENHANCE YOUR WINE QUALITY AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND!

FermControl Nothing provides a better source of supplementation for yeasts. • Maximises aromas & flavours • Gives clean & healthy ferments • Increases ageing potential • Adds value & saves costs • Reduces copper use • Minimises additive use • Eliminates DAP

Add FermControl, nothing else! FermControl is designed as a complete one pouch solution for all fermentations, eliminating the need for any other product(s) to be used whether at rehydration or during fermentation. For further information, please contact Kauri NZ Tel: 0800 KAURIWINE AUS Tel: 1800 127 611 NZ Fax: 04 910 7415 AUS Fax: 1800 127 609 Email: winery@kauri.co.nz Web: www.kauriwine.com

30

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


W I N E P R E S E N TAT I O N

storage temperature, and wines were found to be less red and more yellow in colour when stored at 40°C. The packaging configuration had a stronger impact on the sensory properties of the Cabernet Sauvignon than the Chardonnay, resulting in significant differences between the three bottle treatments and the two BIB treatments. In all BIB treatments, descriptors characteristic of an aged wine were rated higher than in the corresponding bottle samples, indicating a faster ageing of the wine when stored in a bag-in-box. These wines were also lighter and less red in colour, and were rated lower in all attributes with the exception of ‘soy sauce’, ‘dried fruit’, ‘brown flavours’ and ‘oxidised’. In the PCA biplot shown in Figure 2 (see page 32) samples were separated by both storage temperature and packaging configuration. Along the first axis (PC 1) samples were separated based on their storage temperatures, with all 40°C samples on the left hand side and the 10°C and 20°C on the positive PC 1 axis. Packaging configuration was the separating factor along the second axis (PC 2), with all

BIB samples (CSbib and CSmap) located at the bottom of the plot (negative PC 2 axis), screwcap bottles (CSscrew) on the positive PC 2 axis, and the natural and synthetic corked bottles (CSnaco and CSsyco) positioned in between the two former groups, with the exception of the natural cork bottles stored at 40°C (CSnaco40), which were perceived very similarly to the screwcap bottles (CSscrew) by the trained panellists. While the BIB samples (CSbib40, CSmap40) and the synthetic corked bottles (CSsyco40) stored at 40°C were mainly described by the descriptors ‘molasses/soy sauce’, ‘dried fruit’, ‘brown flavours’ and ‘oxidised’, the two remaining bottle samples at 40°C (CSnaco40 and CSscrew40) scored high in the attributes ‘earthy’, ‘woody’, ‘spicy’ and ‘canned veggie’. All 40°C samples were more yellow (b*), less light (L*) and less red (a*) in colour. Samples stored at 10°C and 20°C were mainly characterised by high scores in ‘black pepper’, ‘chemical’, ‘fresh veggie’, ‘floral’, various fruits (‘grapefruit’, ‘cherry’, ‘red fruit’), ‘bitter’ taste and ‘hot/warming’ mouthfeel, with lower ratings in the BIB samples compared with the bottled ones. This

winemakin g

could be explained by some kind of flavour scalping (i.e., selective removal of aroma compounds from the wine by the plastic packaging), which was shown in previous studies for both multi-layer plastic films and wine stoppers17-19. Conclusions Based on our and previous findings, choosing the ‘right’ wine packaging becomes even more important the higher the anticipated storage temperature. While at lower temperatures no significant sensory differences were found among the different packaging types (bottles with natural cork, synthetic cork and screwcaps and bag-in-box with and without reduced oxygen concentration during filling) for both the Chardonnay and the Cabernet Sauvignon wine, when stored at a high temperature of 40°C the various packaging types aged the wines differently. Although not tested, the results from the high temperature storage could be used for an estimation of longer storage times at lower temperatures.

The Complete Package - Rinsing, Pre-evacuation/gas, Filling, Cork/Screw cap, PVC shrink capsuling, P.S. labelling Our company offers the complete packaging solutions: • New equipment supply • Line design • Second hand machinery • Installations • After sales service • Manufacturing of bottle & carton conveyors • Manufacturing of bottle change parts Servicing Apsol, Barida, Bertolaso, Bieffe, Cavagnino & Gatti, Cames, Cobert, Durfo, Fimer, Robino & Galandrino, SBR, SMB Technik, S.T.S., UTCh

For all your packaging requirements contact:

Fast and ACCURATE results for wine analysis with the Thermo range of Gallery and Arena Discrete Analysers • Compact design occupies a small footprint and is fully self-contained. • Flexible loading capacity up to 45 samples or 30 reagents simultaneously. • All necessary steps are automated, providing a walk-away time up to two hours.

Contact John Camilleri or Mick Franks: 5 Edison Drive, Golden Grove, South Australia 5125

Ph: +61 8 8251 5055 Fax: +61 8251 5099 Email: info@wineindustryservices.com Web: www.wineindustryservices.com V2 8N 1

• Up to 200 results per hour with automatic pre and post dilution capability.

Thermo Scientific Gallery Photometric Analyzer

For more information on this product, contact us by email: daniel.hoger@thermofisher.com www.thermofisher.com.au 1800 333 110 Moving science forward

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

31


winemakin g

W I N E P R E S E N TAT I O N

9 Robinson, A.L.; Mueller, M.; Heymann, H.; Ebeler, S.E.; Boss, P.K.; Solomon, P.S. and Trengove, R.D. (2010) Effect of simulated shipping conditions on sensory attributes and volatile composition of commercial white and red Wines. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 61:337–347. 10 Makhotkina, O.; Pineau, B. and Kilmartin, P.A. (2012) Effect of storage temperature on the chemical composition and sensory profile of Sauvignon Blanc wines. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 18:91–99. 11 Skouroumounis, G.K.; Kwiatkowski, M.J.; Francis, I.L.; Oakey, H.; Capone, D.L.; Duncan, B.; Sefton, M.A.; Waters, E.J. and Peng, Z. (2005) The impact of closure type and storage conditions on the composition, colour and flavour properties of a Riesling and a wooded Chardonnay wine during five years’ storage. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 11:369–377. 12 Bueno, M.; Culleré, L.; Cacho, J. and Ferreira, V. (2010) Chemical and sensory characterisation of oxidative behaviour in different wines. Food Research International 43:1423–1428. 13 Kwiatkowski, M.J.; Skouroumounis, G.K.; Lattey, K.A. and Waters, E.J. (2007) The impact of closures, including screw cap with three different headspace volumes, on the composition, colour and sensory properties of a Cabernet Sauvignon wine during two years’ storage. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 13:81–94.

Figure 2. Principal component analysis biplot of the sensory analysis data for the Cabernet Sauvignon wines, showing the five different packaging types (natural corked glass bottle (‘naco’), synthetic corked glass bottle (‘syco’), screwcapped glass bottle (‘screw’), bag-in-box filled under normal oxygen atmosphere (‘bib’), bag-in-box filled under reduced oxygen atmosphere (‘map’)). Samples are colour coded according to their storage temperatures (10°C = blue, 20°C = green, 40°C = red). Sensory attributes shown are significantly different (P≤0.05). References 1 Guillet, M. and Rodrigue, N. (2010) Shelf life testing methodology and data analysis. In: Food Packaging and Shelf Life, Robertson, G.L., Ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 31–53. 2 Reeves, M.J. and Malcolm, R. (2010) Packaging and the shelf life of wine. In: Food Packaging and Shelf Life, Robertson, G.L., Ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 231–257.

Fu, Y.; Lim, L.T. and McNicholas, P.D. (2009) Changes on enological parameters of white wine packaged in bag-in-box during secondary shelf life. Journal of Food Science 74:C608–C618. 5

6 Dimkou, E.; Ugliano, M.; Dieval, J.B.; Vidal, S.; Aagaard, O.; Rauhut, D.; Jung, R. (2011) Impact of headspace oxygen and closure on sulfur dioxide, colour, and hydrogen sulfide levels in a Riesling wine. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 62:261–269.

3 Mentana, A.; Pati, S.; La Notte, E. and Del Nobile, M.A. (2009) Chemical changes in Apulia table wines as affected by plastic packages. LWT - Food Science and Technology 42:1360–1366.

7 Marais, J. and Pool, H.J. (1980) Effect of storage time and temperature on the volatile composition and quality of dry white table wines. Vitis 19:151–164.

Ghidossi, R.; Poupot, C.; Thibon, C.; Pons, A.; Darriet, P.; Riquier, L.; De Revel, G. and Mietton Peuchot, M. (2012) The influence of packaging on wine conservation. Food Control 23:302–311.

De La Presa-Owens, C. and Noble, A.C. (1997) Effect of storage at elevated temperatures on aroma of Chardonnay wines. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 48:310–316.

4

8

We are suppliers of traditional and specialty glass packaging and closures. 100% NZ owned and operated with over 25 years experience in the industry. We will go the extra mile to assist you in your packaging needs.

14 Hopfer, H.; Ebeler, S.E. and Heymann, H. (2012) The combined effects of storage temperature and packaging type on the sensory and chemical properties of Chardonnay. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60 (43):10743–10754. 15 Hopfer, H.; Buffon, P.A.; Ebeler, S.E. and Heymann, H. The combined effects of storage temperature and wine packaging on the sensory, chemical and physical properties of Cabernet Sauvignon. J. Ag. Food Chem. submitted. 16 Butzke, C.E.; Vogt, E.E. and ChaconRodriguez, L. (2012) Effects of heat exposure on wine quality during transport and storage. Journal of Wine Research 23:15–25. 17 Peyches-Bach, A.; Dombre, C.; Moutounet, M.; Peyron, S. and Chalier, P. (2012) Effect of ethanol on the sorption of four targeted wine volatile compounds in a polyethylene film. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60 (27):6772–6781. 18 Silva, M.A.; Jourdes, M.; Darriet, P. and Teissedre, P.-L. (2012) Scalping of light volatile sulfur compounds by wine closures. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60(44):10952– 10956. 19 Capone, D.L.; Skouroumounis, G.K.; Kwiatkowski, M.J.; Barker, D.A.; McLean, H.J.; Pollnitz, A.P. and Sefton, M.A. (1999) Absorption of chloroanisoles from wine by corks and by other materials. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 5(3):91–98.

Free phone: 0800 287 486 Address: 177 - 179 Montgomerie Road, Airport Oaks, Auckland info@endeavourglass.co.nz www.endeavourglass.co.nz

Endeavour Glass Packaging Ltd.

32

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


A UNIQUE YEAST PRODUCTION PROCESS

43® 71B®

BDX® CLOS™ CROSS EVOLUTION® CY 3079® HPS® ICV D254®

ICV D47®

Nouveau Monde DDB Toulouse - Crédit photo : Ze - Retouche : Thierry Delestre

QA23® Rhone 2056® Rhone 2226® THE EXPERTISE OF A YEAST PRODUCER FOR WINEMAKING

For more than 25 years, Lallemand has been selecting the best winemaking yeasts from nature. The ever-more challenging conditions of fermentation have propelled Lallemand to develop a new production process for these natural yeasts (100% natural and non-GMO). Since 2006, the YSEO® process has optimized the reliability of alcoholic fermentation and reduced the risks of fermentation off-flavours.

Lallemand Australia Pty Ltd: phone : +61 (0)8 8276 1200 email: australiaoffice@lallemand.com Lallemand Oenology: Natural solutions that add value to the world of winemaking / www.lallemandwine.com


winemakin g

AROMA REDUCTION

Volatile sulfur compounds and ‘reduction’ odour attributes in wine An update on why some wines ‘stink’, others have ‘complex mineral aromas’, and what winemakers could do about it By Maurizio Ugliano, Jean-Baptiste Diéval, Stéphanie Begrand and Stéphane Vidal Nomacorc France, Domaine de Donadille, Av. Yves Cazeaux, 30230 Rodilhan, France. Email : m.ugliano@nomacorc.be

This article summarises recent findings on the chemistry of certain volatile sulfur compounds involved in reduction aromas in wines, such as cabbage, burnt rubber and struck flint, and possible strategies for controlling their occurrence with a focus on closure selection. Introduction

prone to ‘reveal’ reduction after a period of bottle storage. This article is aimed at providing an update on recent findings regarding the chemistry of certain volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) involved in reduction, their sensory contribution, and possible closure strategies for controlling their occurrence in wines.

R

eduction is a term often used during wine tasting to designate odour attributes including rotten egg, sewage/putrefaction, cabbage, burnt rubber and struck flint. The occurrence of such odour characters can be detrimental to wine quality, both because they are generally considered unpleasant, but also due to the fact that, in some cases, even moderate degrees of reduction can decrease the intensity of fruity attributes (O’Brien et al. 2009, Ugliano et al. 2012a, Lopes et al 2009, San Juan et al 2011). In recent years reduction has attracted significant interest in the wine science community, as well as in the wine media. One report from a major wine competition indicated that in the period 2006-2008 approximately 28% of wine faults were related to ‘reduction’ (Goode and Harrop 2008). The debate on closures and wine quality has further boosted interest in ‘reduction’, as closures with lower oxygen permeability seem to be more

Volatile compounds involved in ‘reduction’ and their origin in wine The occurrence of ‘reduction’ in wine has been associated with the presence of different low molecular weight VSCs, including H2S, methyl mercaptan (MeSH), ethyl mercaptan (EtSH), and dimethyl sulfide (DMS). The origin of reductive VSCs in wine is complex, and their occurrence and concentration depends on multiple factors. Generally speaking, in the life of a wine it is possible to distinguish certain phases where reduction occurs to a greater extent (Table 1). Yeast fermentation is frequently associated with the occurrence

of reductive off-odours, particularly due to the production of H2S by the yeast. Although the ‘reduction’ perceived during fermentation can be very intense from a sensory point of view, most wines at the end of fermentation exhibit low levels of perceived ‘reduction’, and typically low H2S concentrations. Anecdotal evidence indicates that, during further processing and storage of wines in the cellar, for example during tank or barrel maturation with or without lees, reductive characters might reoccur and require specific intervention to be eliminated. Generally speaking, under the conditions commonly adopted in the modern wine industry, most wines are bottled without any sensorially-detectable reductive off-odour. However, it has been long known that, during its storage in bottle, wine can develop reductive aroma characters again which, from a sensory point of view, appear to be more complex, with descriptors ranging from struck flint to cabbage and rotten egg. This second stage of formation of reductive aromas is of particular concern for winemakers

Table 1. VSCs mainly involved with reductive off-odours during different stages of the winemaking process. Winemaking step

Chemical compound(s) involved

Influencing factors

Fermentation

H 2S

Yeast, available nitrogen, must turbidity, presence of elemental sulfur

Mercaptans

Yeast strain, available nitrogen. Others unknown

H2S and mercaptans

Storage on yeast lees, degree of oxygen exposure

H2S and mercaptans

Presence of appropriate precursors; presence of natural antioxidants (e.g. glutathione), oxygen exposure, others not known

DMS

Concentration of precursors (S-methyl metionine); storage temperature

Post-fermentation

Post-bottling

34

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


AROMA REDUCTION

as it occurs in the finished product that is delivered to consumers. Several factors are implicated in the occurrence of this post-bottling ‘reduction’, some of which will be discussed in this article. One important aspect to keep in mind is that, because the amount of oxygen that is consumed by the wine is typically greater than the amount of oxygen entering the bottle (for example, through the closure), conditions inside a wine bottle are mostly reductive. Indeed, once the excess oxygen coming from the bottling process is consumed (usually after two to three months), concentrations of dissolved oxygen in a bottle are very low, typically in the parts per billion range. When wines with an intrinsic tendency to develop ‘reductive’ attributes are exposed to such a low oxygen environment, the risk of ‘reductive’ off-odours becomes greater. Studies carried out at the Australian Wine Research Institute in collaboration with Nomacorc have shown that the concentration of H2S and MeSH can increase relatively quickly in some wines, in some cases exceeding its estimated aroma threshold (Figures 1 and 2 (see page 32)) (Ugliano et al. 2011 and 2012a). In the vast majority of cases, lower oxygen exposure in the bottle obtained by decreasing the degree of oxygen ingress through the closure resulted in faster accumulation and higher concentrations of H2S and MeSH from three months onward (375mL bottles were used in this study). One interesting aspect to highlight is the variability existing across wines with regard to the patterns of accumulation of these two VSCs, as well as the maximum concentrations attained. For example, H2S concentration increased quite rapidly in the Shiraz wine from the Barossa Valley, and the maximum value (barely above H2S odour threshold) was observed after 180 days in bottle, after which concentration declined. Vice versa, in the case of the Sauvignon Blanc wine, H2S concentration consistently increased from 90 days onward, and maximum values were observed after 360 days in bottle, when this compound was largely above its odour threshold. Likewise, MeSH pattern of accumulation and maximum values were highly variable, with the Shiraz wine from Virginia showing much higher formation of this compound during bottle ageing. On the basis of these data, several observations can be made: • Wines differ largely in their ability to develop reductive VSCs, which seems in agreement with the frequent observation that certain wines are more prone than others to develop reduction. • There are much higher chances that H2S and MeSH will occur at higher concentrations in wines that receive low V2 8N 1

winemakin g

a

b

c

Figure 1. Evolution of H2S in Shiraz wines from (a) Barossa and (b) Virginia and in Sauvignon Blanc (c) during bottle storage with different levels of oxygen exposure. Red line indicates odour threshold in red or white wine. exposure to oxygen during bottle storage. •A  lthough H2S and MeSH show, in general, a similar response to oxygen (e.g., higher accumulation at lower oxygen exposure), different patterns of accumulation of these two compounds are observed within the same wine. This suggests that while they might respond in the same way to an external factor, such as oxygen exposure, they are probably formed from different precursors. •T  he influence of oxygen exposure on W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

H2S and MeSH is wine dependent. For example, the Sauvignon Blanc and, to a certain extent, the Shiraz wines from the Barossa Valley responded to a change in oxygen exposure for H2S but less for MeSH, while the opposite could be said for the Shiraz from Virginia. • Another VSC, namely DMS, was also measured in these wines. This compound was not affected by oxygen, but in the case of the Barossa Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc, higher concentrations were observed after bottle ageing (data www.winebiz. com . au

35


winemakin g

AROMA REDUCTION

not shown). This is consistent with the fact that DMS accumulation during bottle ageing depends on viticultural and fermentation practices, but not on oxygen exposure (Ugliano 2012b). However, the combination of high DMS and MeSH levels can contribute to reductive notes and mask fruity aromas (San Juan et al 2011). a

The chemistry of oxygen and reductive VSC: who is the key player? The data in Figures 1 and 2 confirm the existence of a close relationship between the degree of oxygen exposure of a wine and the probability that the same wine will develop higher levels of VSCs, potentially involved in ‘reduction’. Generally speaking, wines exposed to little oxygen develop higher concentrations of VSCs such as MeSH and H2S. Because wines also contain oxidised forms of mercaptans, namely disulfides, it was suggested that under a ‘reductive’ environment, such as the one existing in a bottle sealed with a very tight closure (e.g., a screwcap), these disulfides would be reduced to their corresponding mercaptans (Limmer 2005). However, while MeSH evolution in the bottle is clearly influenced by oxygen exposure, it is disulfide, namely dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), that shows virtually no response to oxygen, indicating that DMDS might not be a suitable precursor to MeSH (Figure 3). The fact that increasing oxygen exposure resulted in a decrease in MeSH but did not influence DMDS evolution also implies that under wine conditions MeSH is not converted to DMDS, even when the wine is exposed to substantially higher amounts of oxygen. Most likely, when wine is exposed to oxygen, VSCs with a thiol function, such as H2S and MeSH, are trapped by the quinones formed through the oxidation of phenolic compounds such as catecols (Figure 3). In any case, the observation that wines differ in their capacity to generate ‘reductive’ VSCs in the bottle supports the hypothesis, formulated by some authors (Godden et al 2005), that ‘reduction’ is somewhat ‘hidden’ in the wine itself, and that oxygen exposure in the bottle, when too low, can create the conditions to ‘reveal’ such hidden potential. Nevertheless, contrary to previous hypotheses, oxidised forms of mercaptans such as DMDS seem not to contribute to this hidden pool of reductive compounds. By the way, it is worth remarking that in no case we have observed, bottling concentrations of DMDS which could account for the amount of MeSH formed during bottle ageing. The question of which wine components are able to generate reductive VSCs

36

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

b

c

Figure 2. Evolution of MeSH in Shiraz wines from (a) Barossa and (b) Virginia and in Sauvignon Blanc (c) during bottle storage with different levels of oxygen exposure. Red line indicates odour threshold in red or white wine. such as MeSH and H2S during wine bottle ageing remains, therefore, to be answered. Recent studies have suggested that sulfur-containing amino acids, such as methionine and cysteine, could give MeSH and H2S respectively under wine conditions (Pripis Nicolau et al. 2006). Alternatively, compounds such as MeSH and H2S can be loosely bound to several wine components, for example carbonyl compounds, to be released at a later stage. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Managing oxygen exposure to influence reductive characters – the role of the closure The lack of a clear understanding of which precursor compounds are able to generate the main reductive VSCs MeSH and H2S prevents winemakers from being able to identify wines that are more prone to develop reduction. Nevertheless, the fact that the degree of oxygen exposure can effectively modulate the formation of VSCs V28N1


AROMA REDUCTION

suggests that winemakers who are willing to control their formation in wines could take advantage of winemaking tools and practices allowing adequate management of oxygen in wines. Nowadays, several different types of closures are commonly used in the wine industry, some of which allow controlling the degree of oxygen exposure in the bottle. Figure 4 shows the effects of different closures on the sensory properties of several red wines after a period of bottle ageing. The closures used for the various wines covered a range of oxygen transmission rates (OTR) varying from very low (microagglomerated cork) to low (similar to natural cork) to medium to mid-high. Some wines showed a tendency to develop reduction in the bottle, as can be observed for the Bordeaux Superieur and the Saumur Champigny. In these cases, the use of closures in the very low or low OTR range increased intensity of ‘reductive’ characters, whereas a higher permeability allowed better expression of ‘confectionary’ and ‘spicy’ aromas. Other wines, on the contrary, did not show reduction, confirming once again that the occurrence of this attribute is wine dependent. In these cases the use of closures with different OTR mainly influenced ‘confectionary’, ‘spicy’ and ‘red fruit’ attributes. These data show how, by applying different levels of oxygen exposure in the bottle, different wines could be created. Clearly, the outcomes of oxygen exposure are winedependent and, as previously discussed for H2S, certain wines are more affected than others by oxygen. In spite of this complex scenario, however, the fact that several ‘attractive’ sensory attributes, including ‘spicy’ and ‘red fruit’ characters, could be enhanced by increasing the degree of oxygen exposure indicates that winemakers should explore strategies of controlled oxygen exposure, including closure selection, as one tool to diversify wine styles. Degrees of ‘reduction’ and wine quality: from ‘rotten’ to ‘mineral’ Further interesting developments in the areas of reduction, VSC and wine quality could come in the near future by studies on the role of H2S as a precursor to some powerful aroma compounds. Among these, certain thiols such as benzyl mercaptan, 2-methyl-3-furanthiol and furfuryl thiol, can contribute to roasted coffee, smoky, struck flint and empyreumatic aromas in several red and white wines (Marchand et al. 2000, Tominaga et al. 2003). For example, furfuryl thiol, characterised by smoky and roasted coffee aromas, is a key aroma compound in certain Pomerol red wines (Marchand et al 2000) as well as in V2 8N 1

winemakin g

Figure 3. Schematic representation of the factors potentially responsible for the influence of oxygen on the formation of MeSH, and relative importance.

Figure 4. Initial specifications and odour profiles after a period of bottle ageing of three red wines with closures allowing different oxygen ingress. Asterisks denote descriptors that were significantly different. Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Vallée in France (Mateo Vivaracho et al. 2011), and plays a central role in the aroma of aged Champagne (Tominaga et al. 2000). It has been proposed that some of these compounds, in particular benzyl mercaptan, contribute to wine ‘minerality’, a complex and hitherto rather undefined character that nevertheless features quite prominently in the wine media, guides, blogs, etc. It has been proposed that H2S could participate in the formation of benzyl mercaptan, furfuryl thiol and thiazoles during cellar and bottle maturation through different pathways, some of which remain to be elucidated. W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

This hypothesis would imply that, under conditions that will have to be established, a certain degree of ‘reduction’ is needed to generate these complex aroma nuances, further reinforcing the interest in winemaking practices that allow control over the degree of oxygen exposure of the wine during cellar and bottle maturation. However, the distance between positive, complex ‘mineral’ characters and negative ‘reductive’ characters could be quite short, as it was observed that some ‘mineral’ wines can also exhibit negative ‘sewage’ and ‘wet dog’ attributes (http://www.liendelavigne.org/FR/ Rapports/2011-04/Mihnea_Ballester.pdf). www.winebiz. com . au

37


winemakin g

AROMA REDUCTION

REFERENCES Godden, P.; Lattey, K.; Francis, L.; Gishen, M.; Cowey, G.; Holdstock, M.; Robinson, E.; Waters, E.; Skouroumounis, G.; Sefton, M.; Capone, D.; Kwiatkowski, M.; Field, J.; Coulter, A.; D’Costa, N. and Bramley, B. (2005) Towards offering wine to the consumer in optimal condition - the wine, the closures and other packaging variables: a review of AWRI research examining the changes that occur in wine after bottling. Wine Ind. J. 20(4):20-30. Goode, J. and Harrop, S. (2008) Wine faults and their prevalence: data from the world’s largest blind tasting. Proceedings of Les XXes Entretiens Scientifiques Lallemand. Limmer, A. (2005) Suggestions for dealing with post-bottling sulfides. Aust. NZ Grapegrower & Winemaker 476:65-74. Lopes, P.; Silva, M.A.; Pons, A.; Tominaga, T.; Lavigne, V.; Saucier, V.; Darriet, P.; Teissedre, P.-L. and Dubourdieu, D. (2009) Impact of oxygen dissolved at bottling and transmitted through closures on the composition and sensory properties of a Sauvignon Blanc wine during bottle storage. J. Agric. Food Chem. 57:10261-10270. Marchand, S.; de Revel, G. and Bertrand, A. (2000) Approaches to wine aroma: release of aroma compounds from reactions between cysteine and carbonyl compounds in wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 48:4890-4895. Mateo Vivarancho, L.; Zapata J.; Cacho, J. and Ferreira, V. (2010) Analysis, occurrence, and potential sensory significance of five polyfunctional mercaptans in white wines. J. Agric. Food Chem. 58:10184–10194. O’Brien, V.; Francis, L. and Osidacz, P. (2009) Packaging choices affect consumer enjoyment of wines. Wine Ind. J. 24(5):48-54. Pripis-Nicolau, L.; de Revel, G.; Bertrand, A. and Maujean, A. (2000) Formation of flavour components by the reaction of amino acid and carbonyl compounds in mild conditions. J. Agric. Food Chem. 48:3761-3766. San-Juan, F.; Ferreira, V.; Cacho, J. and Escudero, A. (2011) Quality and aromatic sensory descriptors (mainly fresh and dry fruit character) of Spanish red wines can be predicted from their aroma-active chemical composition. J. Agric. Food Chem. 59:7916–7924. Skouroumounis, G.K.; Kwiatkowski, M.J.; Francis, I.L.; Oakey, H.; Capone, D.L.; Duncan, B.; Sefton, M.A. and Waters, E.J. (2005) The impact of closure type and storage conditions on the composition, colour and flavour properties of a Riesling and a wooded Chardonnay wine during five years storage. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 11(3):369-384. Tominaga, T.; Guimbertau, G. and Dubourdieu, D. (2003) Role of certain volatile thiols in the bouquet of aged Champagne wines. J. Agric. Food Chem. 51:10161020.

Figure 5. Odour profiles of two rosé wines after a period of bottle ageing with two closures allowing different oxygen ingress. Asterisks denote descriptors that were significantly different. In a recent study carried out on rosé wines made with Cinsault grapes, a variety largely used in southern France to produce high quality rosé wines, we observed a clear influence of closure oxygen permeability on the balance of reduced, mineral, and fruity aromas (Figure 5). In this case, two closures allowing very low (Nomacorc Select 100) and low (Nomacorc Select 300) oxygen ingress were used. With the closure allowing very low oxygen ingress, Rosé 1 was characterised by significantly higher mineral and empyreumatic (smoky/ roasted) characters after only four months of bottle ageing, while a low oxygen ingress

38

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

resulted in higher fruity aromas. In no case were the wines described by the panel as being ‘reductive’. Conversely, when rosé 2 was kept under a closure allowing very low oxygen ingress, ‘reduction’ rather than ‘mineral’ became a dominant attribute, while more intense fruity attributes were observed at low oxygen ingress. These data indicate that ‘mineral’ characters can be piloted by means of oxygen ingress in the bottle. They also confirm once again the importance of matching closure OTR and wine composition to achieve specific wine style that are attractive to modern consumers. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Ugliano, M.; Dieval, J.-D.; Siebert, T.E.; Kwiatkowski, M.; Aagaard, O.; Vidal, S. and Waters, E.J. (2012a) Oxygen consumption and development of volatile sulfur compounds during bottle aging of two Shiraz wines. Influence of pre- and post bottling controlled oxygen exposure. J. Agric. Food Chem. 60:8561–8570. Ugliano, M.; Henschke, P.A. and Waters, E.J. (2012) Fermentation and post-fermentation factors affecting odour-active sulfur compounds during wine bottle storage. In: Flavor Chemistry of Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages; Qian, M., et al.; ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC. Ugliano, M.; Kwiatkowski, M.; Vidal, S.; Capone, D.; Siebert, T.; Dieval, JB.; Aagaard, O. and Waters, E.J. (2011) Evolution of 3-mercaptohexanol, hydrogen sulfide, and methyl mercaptan during bottle storage of Sauvignon blanc wines. Effect of glutathione, copper, oxygen exposure, and closure-derived oxygen. J. Agric. Food Chem. 59:2564–2572. Ugliano, M.; Kwiatkowski, M.J.; Travis, B; Francis, I. L.; Waters, E. J., Herderich, M.J. and Pretorius, I.S. (2009) Post-bottling management of oxygen to reduce off-flavour formation and optimise wine style. Wine WVJ Ind. J. 24(5):24-28. V28N1


Storage Tanks

BUY OR RENT

– Tanks up to 24,00 0 litre still available to rent – Manufactured capacity still available for 2013 vintage Products available: • Destemmer Crushers • Membrane Presses • Conveying Systems • Incline & Continuous Drains

• Rotary Screens • Receiving Bins • Platforms & Walkways • Open Fermenters

28–34 Neptune Terrace · Ottoway · South Australia 5013 Phone (08) 8447 3911 · Fax (08) 8447 1088 · Email fmc@fmiller.com.au

For more information on our wide range of products visit www.fmiller.com.au


winemakin g

S M O K E

TA I N T

Varietal response to smoke exposure By Renata Ristic and Kerry Wilkinson, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide. Email: renata.ristic@adelaide.edu.au

This article summarises the key results from major smoke taint-related research undertaken by The University of Adelaide and AWRI in recent years.

T

he incidence of bushfires resulting in vineyard exposure to smoke has increased in Australia and the US, Canada, South Africa and elsewhere, typically where wine regions are situated in hot climates. Some countries, including Australia, also employ prescribed burning programs to manage the risk of bushfires, and this can also result in vineyard exposure to smoke during the berry ripening period. Smoke exposure can be detrimental to grape and wine quality, with wines made from heavily smoke-affected grapes exhibiting a range of undesirable smoky and ashy characters. In some cases, this has led to a significant reduction in wine quality and, consequently, financial losses for grape and wine producers. In 2009, The University of Adelaide established a smoke taint research project investigating the effects of vineyard exposure to smoke on the quality of grapes and wines and, in particular, evaluating the capacity of viticultural and winemaking techniques to ameliorate smoke taint in wines. This project was funded by the Australian Research Council as a Linkage Project, in which the cash and in-kind contributions of four industry partners - the Yalumba Wine Company, Brown Brothers, Treasury Wine Estates and the Department of Primary Industries and Resources of South Australia - were leveraged for government funding. The research team comprised Dr Kerry Wilkinson, Dr Renata Ristic, Professor Stephen Tyerman, Dr Sigfredo Fuentes and Dr Roberta Bei, from The University of Adelaide, Dr Daniel Cozzolino, from the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), and Louisa Rose, chief winemaker from the Yalumba Wine Company. In the first year of the project, a range of winemaking techniques were evaluated, including different yeast strains for fermentation of smokeaffected grapes, the effect of duration of skin contact time (i.e., rosĂŠ vs. redstyle winemaking), and the addition of oak chips or tannins. These trials

40

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

found that while different yeast strains did modify the sensory properties of smoke-affected wines to various degrees, none could completely mitigate smoke taint. Furthermore, reduced skin contact lessened the intensity of smoke attributes, while additions of oak and tannins increased wine complexity, allowing the smoke taint to be partially masked (Ristic et al. 2011). The fruit used in the winemaking trials comprised Shiraz grapes sourced from a vineyard located in Victoria and exposed to smoke from bushfires in 2009, and Grenache grapes sourced from a vineyard in the Barossa Valley. The Grenache grapevines were exposed to straw-derived experimental smoke approximately seven days after veraison, following experimental conditions developed by Kennison and colleagues (Kennison et al. 2008). Field experiments conducted in Western Australia on Merlot grapes indicated that seven days post-veraison was the most critical development stage for smoke uptake; with successive applications of smoke to Merlot grapevines yielding wines with the highest intensity of smoke taint (Kennison et al. 2009). Anecdotal evidence from industry following the 2009 Victorian bushfires suggested that the intensity of smoke taint detected in wine might be dependent on grape variety, with Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon thought to be more susceptible varieties than Shiraz and Merlot. Smoke-affected grape samples were collected from a number of regions and exposed to smoke for different durations. Chemical and sensory analysis revealed considerable variation in the concentrations of smoke-derived volatile phenols and the intensity of smokerelated sensory attributes for different grape varieties. The varietal response of grapevines to smoke exposure, therefore, remained unclear. In 2010, an extensive trial involving seven grape varieties was conducted to investigate the physiological and biochemical responses of different W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

grape varieties to smoke exposure. Three white varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and four red varieties, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, grown in either the Adelaide Hills or at The University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus were utilised. Grapevines were exposed to straw-derived experimental smoke approximately seven days after veraison for a duration of one hour. A range of viticultural and physiological measurements were performed on control and smoke-affected grapevines to characterise grapevine physiology. Smoke exposure was found to cause stomatal closure, resulting in reduced photosynthesis. While some varieties, e.g., Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, recovered relatively quickly, others, particularly Merlot, required almost two weeks to fully restore stomatal function. However, no differences in vegetative growth, leaf area or pruning weight were observed between control and smoked grapevines; albeit very small differences in berry weight and yield were observed for all varieties. Furthermore, the rate of sugar accumulation was similar across all varieties. This was in contrast to previous findings reported by Kennison and colleagues (Kennison et al. 2009), who observed lower total soluble solids content in fruit harvested from smokeaffected Merlot grapevines, compared with control grapevines. While vegetative growth and fruit load were not affected by smoke exposure in the varietal trial, the sensitivity of Merlot to smoke exposure was expected to be reflected in berry and/or wine compositional differences. Wines were made from fruit harvested from control and smokeaffected grapevines of each variety, and the extent of smoke taint assessed chemically by quantification of volatile phenols and their glycoconjugates (Dungey et al. 2011, Parker et al. 2012) and sensorially by descriptive analysis (DA). The concentration of guaiacol glycoconjugates present in the control V28N1


S M O K E

fruit ranged from 37µg/kg (for Sauvignon Blanc) to 602µg/kg (for Shiraz). Levels were considerably higher in smoke-affected fruit, ranging from 253µg/kg (for Pinot Noir) to 1978µg/kg (for Shiraz). Control wines ranged from 8µg/L (Pinot Gris) to 334µg/L (Shiraz), while levels in smokeaffected wines ranged from 111µg/L (for Pinot Noir) to 1480µg/kg (for Shiraz). The glycoconjugate pool remaining after fermentation was considered a potential source of additional guaiacol that could be released with time as wine ages. Guaiacol, which is still considered a key marker of smoke taint, was present in control Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz wines. Guaiacol levels ranged from very small amounts (less than 2µg/L) in smoke-affected Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc wines, to 20µg/L in Cabernet Sauvignon and 26µg/L in Shiraz wines made from smoke-affected grapes. Based on compositional data, i.e., the high concentrations of guaiacol and its glycoconjugates, the intensity of smoke taint was expected to be highest in smoke-affected Shiraz wines. Descriptive sensory analysis was performed using a sensory panel comprising 12 trained judges convened from staff and students from The University of Adelaide and AWRI. The panel assessed the intensity of a range of smoke-related sensory attributes, including ‘smoke’, ‘cold ash’ and ‘burnt rubber’ aromas, ‘smoky’ flavour and ‘ashy aftertaste’. Wines were also rated for the intensity of ‘fruit’ aroma and flavour. Red wines were found to exhibit a higher intensity of smoke taint; Cabernet Sauvignon was the most smoke tainted, followed by Pinot Noir, Merlot and Shiraz. Among the white wines, Pinot Gris was considered the most affected, then Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay (Figure 1). Interestingly, the ‘fruit’ aroma and flavour of smokeaffected Shiraz, Merlot and Chardonnay wines were not significantly diminished. This might indicate that the flavour complexity of certain grape varieties may influence the perception of smokerelated sensory attributes. The results demonstrate the limitations in predicting the sensory impact of smoke taint in wines from grape and wine compositional data. This can be partially attributed to the presence of volatile phenols, particularly guaiacol, as natural components of some grape varieties. Furthermore, there was no apparent correlation between the concentration of individual volatile phenols or guaiacol glycoconjugates and the intensity of smoke taint in wines. For example, Shiraz contained relatively high V2 8N 1

TA I N T

winemakin g

Figure 1. Mean ratings for smoke-related sensory attributes. Each value is the mean score from three fermentation replicate wines that were presented to 12 judges in two replicate sessions. concentrations of guaiacol compared with the other varieties studied, but the increase due to smoke exposure was only three-fold. In contrast, the greatest increases in volatile phenol content occurred in Pinot Gris (30 x) and Merlot (20 x). Further work is, therefore, required to ascertain the background levels of volatile phenols that occur naturally in different grape varieties before benchmark values can be suggested for the assessment of smoke taint in different grape varieties. We have previously demonstrated the capacity of certain winemaking techniques (Ristic et al. 2011) and methods of amelioration (Fudge et al. 2011, Fudge et al. 2012) to mitigate the intensity of smoke taint in wines, but the glycoconjugate pools remaining in wines after treatment can allow the taint to return as a wine ages. As such, further research is also required to better understand the biochemistry involved in the glycosylation and metabolism of smoke-derived volatile phenols and their glycoconjugates. Acknowledgements In addition to the industry partners mentioned in the article, the authors thank Nepenthe, Adelaide Hills, for its generous in-kind contributions through the provision of the trial site and fruit, and accommodation of researchers’ activities in the vineyard. We would also like to thank Yoji Hayasaka, Kerry Pinchbeck, Anthea Fudge and the Australian Wine Research Institute’s Commercial Services Laboratory for performing grape and wine analysis, W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Andrew Markides of Lallemand, Australia, for the provision of yeast and winemaking consumables, and members of the sensory panel for their invaluable contributions and enthusiasm during the wine sensory studies. References Dungey, K.A.; Hayasaka, Y. and Wilkinson, K.L. (2011) Quantitative analysis of glycoconjugate precursors of guaiacol in smoke-affected grapes using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry based stable isotope dilution analysis. Food Chemistry 126:801-806. Fudge, A.L.; Ristic, R.; Wollan, D. and Wilkinson, K.L. (2011) Amelioration of smoke taint in wine by reverse osmosis and solid phase adsorption. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 17: 41-48. Fudge, A.L.; Schiettecatte, M.; Ristic, R.; Hayasaka, Y. and Wilkinson, K.L. (2012) Amelioration of smoke taint in wine by treatment with commercial fining agents. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 18: 302-307. Kennison, K.R.; Gibberd, M.R.; Pollnitz, A.P. and Wilkinson, K.L. (2008) Smoke-derived taint in wine: The release of smoke-derived volatile phenols during fermentation of Merlot juice following grapevine exposure to smoke. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56:7379-7383. Kennison, K.R.; Wilkinson, K.L.; Pollnitz, A.P.; Williams, H.G. and Gibberd, M.R. (2009) Effect of timing and duration of grapevine exposure to smoke on the composition and sensory properties of wine. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 15:228-237. Parker, M.; Osidacz, P.; Baldock, G.A.; Hayasaka, Y.; Black, C.A.; Pardon, K.H.; Jeffery, D.W.; Geue, J.P.; Herderich, M.J. and Francis, I.L. (2012) Contribution of several volatile phenols and their glycoconjugates to smoke-related sensory properties of red wine. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60:2629-2637. Ristic, R.; Osidacz, P.; Pinchbeck, K.A.; Hayasaka, Y.; Fudge, A.L. and Wilkinson, K.L. (2011) The effect of winemaking techniques on the intensity of smoke taint in wine. Australian Journal WVJ of Grape and Wine Research 17:S29-S40. www.winebiz. com . au

41


A W R I

Seeing through smoke By Mango Parker, Gayle Baldock, Yoji Hayasaka, Christine Mayr, Patricia Williamson, I. Leigh Francis, Mark Krstic, Markus Herderich and Dan Johnson The Australian Wine Research Institute, PO Box 197, Glen Osmond (Adelaide) SA 5064, Australia Managing director Dan Johnson

As a result of bushfires and controlled burning, winemakers and grapegrowers are seeking more information about the effects of smoke on ripening grapes, wine composition and sensory qualities. What is the relationship between smoke taint and smoke exposure? How does smoke interact with grape and vine development? Research at the AWRI has led to the development of strategies to identify smoke exposure and a deeper understanding of smoke taint. This new insight is being used to provide advice and assistance to grape and wine producers. The smoking gun

P

revious research into bushfire smoke and other contaminants has led AWRI scientists, working alongside researchers at The University of Adelaide and Victorian Department of Primary Industries, to identify various volatile phenols that are now known to be significant in the development of smoke taint characteristics. In recent reports1,2, the AWRI discussed how volatile phenols are converted to non-volatile glycosides (phenolic glycosides) in the vine. These phenolic glycosides play a key role as precursors for volatile phenols in wines: they can be released by enzymatic or acidcatalysed hydrolysis, causing smoke taint characteristics. How, exactly, the volatile phenols in smoke are absorbed into the grapevine in the first place is yet to be determined. As a result, it is not possible to prevent the uptake of volatile phenols from smoke during bushfires or other smoke events. There have been various attempts to manage smoke taint3. Concentrations of free volatile phenols from smoke have been reduced in wines by using reverse osmosis4 and fining agents such as activated carbon5. Although these strategies have reduced the impact of smoke taint, they have not been able to solve the problem: they cannot remove smoke taint characters completely. Also, these processes are not selective and, in some instances, they can affect desirable aroma compounds. Moreover, the nonvolatile glycoside-bound phenols remain in the wine. What is the role of volatile phenols in smoke taint? Using wine made from grapes exposed to bushfire smoke between 7 February and 14 March 2009 in the Yarra Valley, Victoria, AWRI researchers investigated the

42

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

At a glance In a country with frequent bushfires and controlled burns, grapegrowers and winemakers are worried about the possible consequences of smoke exposure on their grapes. Can this lead to an undesirable smoke taint? Research into volatile phenols and non-volatile phenolic glycosides suggests that phenolic glycosides do play a part in the ashy aftertaste by releasing free volatile phenols in the mouth. The AWRI is investigating the best methods for detecting smoke exposure in grapes, and quantifying phenolic glycosides as smoke marker compounds is proving advantageous. Analysis of phenolic glycosides and measurement of volatile phenols in grapes and wines is leading to improvements in the ability to distinguish between smoke and non-smoke affected wines. Collaboration between the AWRI and the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the DPI’s Centre of Expertise in Smoke Taint Research (CESTR) has improved the knowledge base of compounds in smoke-affected wine and will enhance the response in support of grapegrowers and wine producers in the advent of a bushfire. relationship between smoke-derived volatile phenols and negative sensory characters6. Table 1 shows that the control wines from non-smoke affected grapes had low or undetectable volatile phenol concentrations. In wines made from grapes exposed to smoke, the concentration of guaiacol (a compound found in many oaked wines) was above its reported odour detection threshold value, as was p-cresol. o- and m-cresols (also found in oaked wines), present at concentrations approaching threshold. These results concluded that guaiacol and the cresols were indicators of smoke exposure and could be major contributors to smoke taint. The three control wines were made from non-smoke affected grapes grown in the Coonawarra, in South Australia, the Yarra Valley, in Victoria, and the Adelaide Hills, in South Australia, respectively. The other red wines were smokeaffected wines from the Yarra Valley, in Victoria. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Sensory effect The next stage was sensory evaluation. To corroborate the sensory significance of guaiacol and the cresols, the AWRI’s sensory panel determined their odour thresholds in a red wine, and also compared the odour (perceived by the nose) and ‘taste’ thresholds (i.e., the perceived flavour) of guaiacol additions to the same wine. The base red wine had low levels of volatile phenols, with no detectable concentrations of o-, p- or m-cresols. Figure 1 provides the panel’s best estimate thresholds for the volatile phenols. m-Cresol has the lowest aroma threshold value in red wine (20µg/L), comparable to that of guaiacol. The ‘taste’ (flavour) threshold for guaiacol is 27µg/L, which is similar to its aroma threshold (23µg/L). Comparing the thresholds of these volatile phenols with their actual concentrations suggested that guaiacol and m-cresol were likely to be important contributors to the aroma of smoke-affected red wine. V28N1


A W R I

Table 1. Concentration of free volatile phenols in red wine from 2009 bushfires (μg/L, adapted from Parker et al. 20126), in comparison to previously reported sensory thresholds. guaiacol

Syringol

4-methyl syringol

4-methyl guaiacol

phenol

o-cresol

p-cresol

m-cresol

Cabernet Sauvignon

3

4

nda

nd

2

nd

nd

1

Pinot Noir

6

15

4

6

6

6

2

4

Pinot Noir

6

10

2

1

nd

2

nd

1

Variety Control wines

Smoke-affected wines Pinot Noir

12

6

3

3

17

8

5

6

Pinot Noir

18

21

8

6

18

10

5

8

Pinot Noir

8

11

3

4

17

8

5

5

Shiraz

36

20

12

9

26

6

3

3

Pinot Noir

15

18

4

3

15

6

4

7

Pinot Noir

23

22

5

3

52

11

6

9

Pinot Noir

10

16

3

1

22

5

4

5

Pinot Noir

16

18

7

2

33

11

6

8

Pinot Noir

7

14

4

2

1

6

4

3

Cabernet Sauvignon

16

23

5

5

29

6

3

7

Shiraz

35

23

3

4

17

6

2

2

Chardonnay

7

10

4

4

13

6

4

6

Pinot Noir

55

26

9

10

44

26

6

13 8

Cabernet Sauvignon

31

16

10

5

40

9

4

Shiraz

27

15

3

1

43

3

1

9.5

570

Sensory Detection thresholds

b

b

10000

c

21

d

7100

e

31

e

3.9d,10

2 e

15d, 68e

Table 1: Notes a not detected. bOdour detection threshold in aqueous 10% alcohol at pH 3.27. cTaste detection threshold in water8 d Odour detection threshold in water9. eOdour detection threshold in aqueous 10% alcohol10 Further analysis revealed that guaiacol and m-cresol were indeed significant volatile phenols associated with both ‘ashy’ aftertaste and smoke aromas, as were the compounds 1-methylsyringol, 1-methylguaiacol, phenol and o-cresol. This confirmed the discovery that guaiacol and the cresols were the most likely contributors to smoke taint and suggested that other phenols present below their individual thresholds could offer enhancing effects. Further verification was achieved by spiking a base red wine with volatile phenols at concentrations found in a smoke-affected wine. The spiked red wine was described as similar to the actual smoke-affected wine, but it was reported to lack intensity in lingering ash flavour and aftertaste. This suggested that there are additional compounds that create smoke taint in red wine which are responsible for the production of the ‘ash’ flavour and aftertaste. The role of grape metabolites, phenolic glycosides Research into smoke-affected grapes and wine has also revealed significantly elevated levels of phenolic glycosides. These phenolic glycosides are grapevine metabolites formed by glycosylation (enzymatic addition of various sugars) of volatile phenols from smoke; these glycosides can be cleaved during fermentation and wine ageing to release free volatile phenols. As non-volatile compounds they do not have a direct effect on aroma properties in their own right but, as outlined below, recent work has shown they can have a surprising role by releasing flavour during tasting. Sensory effect of phenolic glycosides The AWRI flavour chemistry team prepared glycosides of guaiacol, m-cresol and syringol and added them separately to a model wine. V2 8N 1

Figure 1. Odour and taste threshold values of guaiacol and cresols in red wine. In a formal sensory assessment, guaiacol and m-cresol glycosides produced a marked ‘ashy’ aftertaste, or lingering ashy flavour compared with a control model wine (Figure 2, see page 44). Also, m-cresol glycoside produced a noticeable medicinal flavour, while the syringol glycoside produced no significant effect compared with the control wine. In a further experiment, samples of expectorated wine were collected for chemical analysis, which confirmed the presence of the free volatile phenols and suggested that they had been released in the mouth. The AWRI concluded that salivary enzymes in the mouth were hydrolysing the glycosidic bonds and releasing the free volatile phenols, which are then discernible retro-nasally. Phenolic glycosides do play a part in the residual ‘ashy’ aftertaste and

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

43


A W R I

together with their non-volatile glycosides, imitated smoke taint the best and produced the most significant effect on the sensory properties of the reconstituted smoke-tainted wine. Smoke detection The AWRI has concentrated its efforts on developing strategies to detect and measure smoke exposure in grapes. These strategies include providing advice and assistance to grapegrowers and winemakers regarding harvesting after a smoke event. This is important since it is not currently possible to prevent the uptake of smoke compounds in grapes and vines; it is also not possible to fully remove key phenols and their glycosides from smoke-affected wines. Phenolic glycosides used as smoke markers

Figure 2. Aroma and flavour intensity scores from a trained sensory panel assessing glycosides of smoke-related phenols added to a model wine.

Based on the following observations, phenolic glycosides complement existing smoke markers, free phenols: • in a model experiment, after a grapevine is exposed to smoke, the amount of volatile phenols taken up by grapes is related to the intensity and duration of that smoke exposure11 • the volatile phenols in grapes are rapidly metabolised into their more stable and non-volatile glycosidic forms (phenolic glycosides)1,12. Smoke-induced glycosides persist and accumulate in grapes until harvest12 • phenolic glycosides are easily extracted into wine and act as a pool of precursors to release volatile phenols over time, during fermentation, ageing and storage1,13 • the presence of phenolic glycosides in wine is specific to smoke exposure of grapes and has not been attributed to barrel ageing, unlike free volatile phenols in wine which are also extracted from barrels. Can we reduce the risk of producing smoke-affected wine?

Figure 3. Burnt or ashy aftertaste rating of reconstituted wines. Sample name

Description

Base wine

No addition

All vol

Volatile phenols matching the concentration of phenols of an actual tainted wine (Shiraz from 2007 bushfires)

Low gly

Low glycoside-isolate addition (equivalent to 500µg/L syringol gentiobioside)

High gly

High glycoside-isolate addition (equivalent to 1500µg/L syringol gentiobioside)

Low gly + All vol

Low glycoside-isolate and all volatile phenols addition

High gly + All vol

High glycoside-isolate and all volatile phenols addition

Tainted wine

Actual smoke tainted wine: 2009 Shiraz, Yarra Valley

contribute to ‘smoky’ flavours by releasing free volatile phenols in the mouth. How volatile phenols and non-volatile glycosides imitate smoke taint To test the significance of phenolic glycosides for ‘ashy’ aftertaste and ‘smoky’ flavour in red wine, a base wine was spiked with volatile phenols and phenolic glycosides to simulate a real smoke-affected wine (see Figure 3). It was confirmed that phenolic glycosides contribute to the taint characters: a ‘smoky’ aroma and a ‘burnt’ and ‘ashy’ aftertaste. The combination of different volatile phenols,

44

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

The AWRI undertook a comprehensive survey of baseline levels of volatile phenols and their phenolic glycosides in samples of control grapes and un-oaked laboratory-scale wines. In collaboration with industry partners, samples were collected from 11 grapegrowing regions and five major varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Shiraz. Volatile phenols were measured over two vintages to statistically determine upper limits of their natural abundance. It was possible to determine whether the samples were smoke-affected if the concentrations of volatile phenols or phenolic glycosides present were higher than their upper limits. Figure 4 illustrates the guaiacol and total phenolic glycoside concentrations (sum of six selected glycosides) of grapes and wine samples suspected of smoke exposure. In grapes, according to their total phenolic glycoside concentration, 36 out of 136 samples were classified as smoke-affected. According to their guaiacol concentration, only 17 of the samples were correctly identified as affected. Of six samples containing total phenolic glycosides at concentrations exceeding 100µg/kg, all were incorrectly diagnosed as ‘not smoke-affected’ by guaiacol alone, indicating how important phenolic glycoside analysis is as a means for detection of smoke exposure. Meanwhile, 50 wines out of 150 samples were classified as smoke-affected according to their total phenolic glycoside concentration, while only 13 were classified smoke-affected by the free guaiacol measurement.

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


A W R I

Identifying smoke exposure By analysing phenolic glycosides and measuring volatile phenols in grapes and wines, rather than relying on the existing guaiacol and 4-methylguaiacol measures, the ability to diagnose smoke exposure in grapes and wine has been enhanced. This should lead to significant improvements in the Australian wine sector’s ability to distinguish between non-smoked and smoke-affected samples. Into the future The method used for the quantification of phenolic glycosides in grapes and wine (HPLC-MS/MS method) has been validated and the AWRI is in the process of expanding its capacity to analyse larger numbers of grape and wine samples. For more information about the analysis of phenolic glycosides in grapes and wine, contact Randell Taylor at the AWRI on (08) 8313 6618 or Randell. Taylor@awri.com.au The AWRI is also collaborating with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the DPI’s Centre of Expertise in Smoke Taint

Figure 4. Guaiacol and total phenolic glycoside concentrations of grapes and wine samples suspected of smoke exposure. Research (CESTR). The aim is to use the analytical methods described here for the quantification of volatile phenol glycosides in smoke-affected grapes and wine. It is hoped that the collaboration will increase and enhance joint knowledge about compounds present in

smoke-affected samples at a more rapid rate. A symposium held in Melbourne in 2012 brought together researchers and industry members from Victorian grapegrowing regions (a summary of the presentations can be found on the AWRI website14). ▶

Winemakers bottling for winemakers With ten winemakers working across six sites, Portavin is close to market and transport hubs, saving time, money and the environment. Portavin – caring for your wine from tank to shelf

Adelaide Auckland (08) 8447 7555 (09) 582 0090

Margaret River (08) 9755 0500

Melbourne (03) 9584 7344

Perth Sydney (08) 9437 1033 (02) 9722 9400

www.portavin.com.au portavin@portavin.com.au

V2 8N 1

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

45


A W R I

In addition, the AWRI is working with DPI/CESTR to enhance a bushfire emergency response plan for the wine sector, which will ensure a rapid and co-ordinated response to support regional wine producers if there is a major fire and/or smoke event. Acknowledgements The Australian Wine Research Institute, a member of the Wine Innovation Cluster in Adelaide, is supported by Australia’s grapegrowers and winemakers through their investment body, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, with matching funds from the Australian government. The authors gratefully acknowledge the invaluable contributions of Dr Cory Black, Kevin Pardon, Adrian Coulter, Con Simos and Randell Taylor, of the AWRI, and Dr David Jeffery, of The University of Adelaide. They also wish to thank Sharon Mascall, Elizabeth Beattie and Rae Blair for their editorial assistance. References 1 AWRI publication #1270. Hayasaka, Y.; Baldock, G.A.; Parker, M.; Pardon, K.H.; Black, C.A.; Herderich, M.J. and Jeffery, D.W. (2010) Glycosylation of smokederived volatile phenols in grapes as a consequence of grapevine exposure to bushfire smoke. J. Agric. Food Chem. 58:10989-10998. 2 AWRI publication #1179. Hayasaka, Y.; Baldock, G.A.; Pardon, K.H.; Jeffery, D.W. and Herderich, M.J. (2010) Investigation into the formation of guaiacol conjugates in berries and leaves of grapevine Vitis vinifera L. Cv. Cabernet Sauvignon using stable isotope tracers combined with HPLC-MS and MS/MS analysis. J. Agric. Food Chem. 58:2076-2081. 3 AWRI publication #1031. Simos, C. (2008) The implications of smoke taint and management practices. Aust. Vitic. (1):77-80.

Fudge, A.L.; Ristic R.; Wollan, D. and Wilkinson, K.L. (2011) Amelioration of

4

smoke taint in wine by reverse osmosis and solid phase adsorption. Aust J. Grape Wine Res. 17:S41-48. 5 Fudge, A.L.; Schiettecatte, M.; Ristic, R.; Hayasaka, Y. and Wilkinson, K.L. (2012) Amelioration of smoke taint in wine by treatment with commercial fining agents. Aust J. Grape Wine Res. 18:302–307. 6 AWRI publication #1358. Parker, M.; Osidacz, P.; Baldock, G.A.; Hayasaka, Y.; Black, C.A.; Pardon, K.H.; Jeffery, D.W.; Geue, J.P.; Herderich, M.J. and Francis, I.L. (2012) Contribution of several volatile phenols and their glycoconjugates to smoke-related sensory properties of red wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 60:2629-2637. 7 Ferreira, V.; Lopez, R. and Cacho, J.F. (2000) Quantitative determination of the odorants of young red wines from different grape varieties. J. Sci. Food Agric. 80:1659-1667. 8 Burdock, G.A. (2002) Fenaroli’s Handbook of Flavour Ingredients 4th Edition ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton. 9 Czerny, M.; Christlbauer, M.; Christlbauer, M.; Fischer, A.; Granvogl, M.; Hammer, M.; Hartl, C.; Hernandez, N.M. and Schieberle, P. (2008) Re-investigation on odour thresholds of key food aroma compounds and development of an aroma language based on odour qualities of defined aqueous odorant solutions. Eur. Food Res. Technol. 228:265-273. 10 Jounela-Eriksson, P. and Lehtonen, M. (1981) Phenols in the Aroma of Distilled Beverages. In The Quality of Foods and Beverages Volume 1. Chemistry and Technology; G. Charalambous, Ed.; Academic Press: New York. 167-181. 11 AWRI publication #1165. Kennison, K.R.; Wilkinson, K.L.; Pollnitz, A.P.; Williams, H.G. and Gibberd, M. R. (2009) Effect of timing and duration of grapevine exposure to smoke on the composition and sensory properties of wine. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 15:228-237. 12 AWRI publication #1267. Dungey, K.A.; Hayasaka, Y. and Wilkinson, K.L. (2011) Quantitative analysis of glycoconjugate precursors of guaiacol in smoke-affected grapes using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry based stable isotope dilution analysis. Food Chem. 126:801-806. 13 AWRI publication #1085. Kennison, K.R.; Gibberd, M.R.; Pollnitz, A.P. and Wilkinson, K.L. (2008) Smoke-derived taint in wine: The release of smoke-derived volatile phenols during fermentation of Merlot juice following grapevine exposure to smoke. J. Agric. Food Chem. 56:7379-7383. 14 http://www.awri.com.au/industry_support/victorian_node/smoke-taintsymposium-2012/

WVJ

Grow straight up to here without any hand training, hand spraying or hand weeding. Vines grow naturally straight inside GroGuards without any hand training or pruning. No need to touch the vines until they run along the wire! What's more, GroGuard's waterproof Zip-Safe seal protects vines from herbicide spray so you can control weeds from a tractor. GroGuard's legendary strength and reliability are backed by a 3-year guarantee. You can use and re-use each GroGuard on successive plantings. GroGuard makes vineyard establishment cheaper and easier! Freecall 1800 644 259 www.groguard.com

GRO winetitle 1211.indd 3

46

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

14/12/11 11:24 AM

V28N1


NATURAL V ITIC ULT URE

vi t icu l t ure

What’s in a name? By Toby Bekkers Consultant and viticulturist. Email: toby@tobybekkers.com

Toby Bekkers explains the difference between natural wine and organic and biodynamic viticulture.

I

t would be hard to find a more controversial topic in wine circles at the moment than natural wine. The use of the word ‘natural’ is particularly unsettling to many conventional producers, as they perceive that it infers that all other wine is somehow unnatural. Like many discussions about biodynamic and organic farming, there appears to be little room for many people to find middle ground. Organic and biodynamic viticulture may well share some of the philosophies of the natural wine movement, but let’s be clear from the outset: these are two distinct things. Organics and biodynamics are farming systems; natural wine is a winemaking philosophy.

Natural winemaking is the term loosely used to describe wines made by (generally) small producers with a minimalist approach to winemaking intervention. However, ask a dozen natural winemakers what practices define natural winemaking and you’ll likely get as many answers. An absence of additions such as yeast, tannin and acid seem to fall firmly on most lists. More flexible seem to be the use of hand picking and the use or omission of sulfur. Good powers of observation and a desire to farm more sensitively are fairly universal traits. There is a general assumption that the fruit used will have been produced organically or biodynamically, although, as we will see,

Conventional

WIN EB AR of ort nsp tra nd ga lin

ACKS LR RE

Flexibil ity f or s tac kin g, ha nd

arrels wine b

Proudly designed and manufactured by JOHN FALLAND AUSTRALIA “Setting Standards Since 1961” Moppa Road South, Nuriootpa, SA 5355 Ph: (08) 8562 1533 Fax: (08) 8562 2103 Email: john@jfallandaust.com.au Website: www.jfallandaust.com.au

• Fabricated 20 years ago and still popular • Over 270,000 made for over 1200 wineries • Stack five high with your forklift • Lifetime galvanized finish • Competitive prices • Reg Design No 117931

these definitions are somewhat unsteady also. As is the case for farming systems, the motivations for adoption of natural winemaking practices vary widely between practitioners. Some espouse perceived health benefits, some target a market segment that has concerns about the use of preservatives in wine, while others lament the perceived industrialisation of wine. The more cynical observer might add standing out from the crowd and marketing purposes to this list. However, the most common motivator, it seems, is the belief that natural wines are able to better express the terroir of the vineyard from which they come. Furthermore, natural

or

Barrel Master

• Superior rack on rack stack system • Simple, uncluttered design • Visible & easy rack locating system • No weight on barrels • Static or barrel rolling options • Reg Design No 154262

New Zealand sales and distribution: KAURI NEW ZEALAND LIMITED Ph: 04 476 0105 Fax: 04 476 0161 PO Box 17-385, . Karori, Wellington.

V2 8N 1

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

47


vi t icu l t ure

N AT U R A L V I T I CU LT U RE

Organic and biodynamic viticulture may well share some of the philosophies of the natural wine movement, but these are two distinct things: organics and biodynamics are farming systems; natural wine is a winemaking philosophy.

viticultural advice

wines uphold a producer’s desire to make what he or she sees as different, more interesting wines. Indeed, many natural wine producers are capable of producing interesting, flavourful wines. However, critics are quick to observe that many exhibit winemaking faults such as microbial instability, cloudiness and oxidation. These faults, in my opinion, constitute a masking of terroir rather than an enhancement just as surely as poor organic farming and sub-standard fruit does. Ultimately, it is not just the philosophy that counts, it’s also the implementation. I think it’s a problem for the better natural wine producers if natural wines require a recalibrated set of assessment criteria in the defence of overt faults that are unacceptable to most drinkers, purely because they are natural wines. At first glance, there appear to be overwhelming similarities between the philosophies of natural wine and organic, biodynamic and other forms of sustainable viticulture. In reality, these names encompass an extremely diverse range of practices. It is a highly individualised segment of the wine industry where producers must be careful not to make any assumptions about what these descriptions mean. Biodynamic and organic farming, in one sense, are well described, especially so in the form of certification. In a legal sense, these terms are related to specific standards that can be audited for compliance. In practice, it’s more complicated. Many producers identify with organic farming, but choose not to follow the certification path for a variety of reasons. Does natural wine require certified organic or biodynamic fruit to have credibility, or is uncertified fruit from these systems okay? Some would say yes, others no. Added to this is the complication of the individual interpretation of each producer. Biodynamic farmers, for example, implement the system in vastly different ways depending upon the outcome sought, their level of experience and the climate within which they work. By way of example, some focus purely on soil health, others place a greater importance on the timing of activities; some view soil cultivation as essential, others not. This highlights the difficulty many have with generalised terms, particularly the term ‘natural’. There is no clear definition and the terms start to become used interchangeably for different things. Just like comparing mobile phone plans; without a standard definition, understanding the content is pretty difficult. Is all natural wine the issue of organic/biodynamic fruit? In most cases, the answer will be yes. Is wine made from organic or biodynamic fruit necessarily a natural wine? No. Expression

Scholefield Robinson provides a range of services to grape growers, including:

• • •

Managing productivity & quality.

• •

Review of vineyard business financials.

Management & due diligence reviews.

Winegrape fruit condition & quality assessment. Pest & disease management, review of spray programs & a range of diagnostic services for problem solving in the vineyard. Assistance with decision making (water purchase, grape contract negotiation).

expert advice practical solutions

48

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

Ph (08) 8373 2488 srhs@srhs.com.au www.srhs.com.au

If both natural winemakers and organic/biodynamic farmers seek to best express terroir, is this a realistic expectation? How might the choice of farming system and winemaking deliver on this objective? In the vineyard In the case of farming system, I believe organic or biodynamic systems offer one way to uncover hidden quality potential in the vineyard. I have written about this before in more detail, but I offer these few examples by way of illustrating the point: Consistency: It is well accepted that improving soil structure, porosity, organic matter content and biological function has the potential to buffer the effect of extreme weather events. In my view, it is not unreasonable to observe that this can reduce seasonal variation and buffer the effects of extreme weather in particular seasons. Opportunity of expression: I contend that greater complexity in a natural system offers more opportunity for the vine to interact uniquely with its environment. For example, it is widely accepted that soils rich in biological diversity differently liberate minerals from the soil in a form readily available to the plant. In my view,

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


NATURAL V ITIC ULT URE

this more stable, modulated access to nutrients can enhance the expression of subtle differences between vineyard sites. It won’t override basic viticulture faux pas like poor site selection, but does offer another layer of complexity in good vineyards. If one accepts that terroir is a unique signature of place, then additional layers of complexity within the viticultural system must go some way to enhancing or further defining that expression. Attention to detail: In the absence of a quick fix, attention to detail in well farmed organic vineyards is second to none, and undoubtedly accounts for some of the benefits cited by good producers. Good farmers of any persuasion are generally good observers. In the winery Natural winemaking theory contends that minimal intervention enhances terroir, or sense of place. Gentle handling, indigenous yeast and no additions are all intended to produce a wine in its most unadulterated form. As a philosophy this is admirable, although, in practice, the results can be highly variable. For some, traditional measures of quality such as clarity and intensity may be willingly sacrificed in the quest for vibrancy and an exploration of

V2 8N 1

different wine styles. However, in my view, faulty examples are a retrograde step. There is little point in investing the time and energy in the vineyard if the result is faulty or unsaleable. Oxidation, for example, is not - in my opinion - an expression of terroir. In short, natural winemaking can be used as a tool for the expression of terroir, but only in the right hands (and minds). Attention to detail In all aspects of viticulture and winemaking, those with the right motivations, experience and attention to detail are those that stand out from the crowd. Biodynamics or organics are also powerful tools in the right hands. They may be just an excuse for lazy farming in others. Likewise, the natural winemakers who farm carefully, on the right sites, with the right experience and a cool head in the winery are generally those who produce the better wines. They use their skills and attention to detail to push the boundaries and know where the limits are. It is unfortunate for these better producers that some within the category do not seem to be willing to recognise the limits of what is possible. Both natural winemaking and organic/

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

vi t icu l t ure

biodynamic farming offer an opportunity to produce wines of interest for the consumer. Clearly, they are not the only way to achieve this aim and it would be foolish to suggest otherwise. What they do offer is another layer of interest for the market and a method of farming that rewards good observation and carefully considered land management. So long as the product speaks for itself in terms of quality and consumer acceptance, then these systems are of value. However, they are to our detriment if they become a shield for lazy farming and poor winemaking. To my mind, if the name of a system becomes the focus of what’s important rather than the outcome, then there is a great danger for the better producers in any category: that their categorisation becomes a negative association in the mind of the consumer rather than a positive one. Communicating very clearly the aspirations, goals and practices of a brand has never been more important, because the use of any all-encompassing tag probably has a finite life. In time, what you thought it represented may morph in the public consciousness into something with which you can no longer associate. WVJ

www.winebiz. com . au

49


vi t icu l t ure

SO I L H E A LTH

Working towards building sustainable and viable wine businesses By Cathy Howard

Cathy Howard writes that sustainability for agricultural businesses integrates three main goals: environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity. To illustrate successful sustainable management practices, Cathy presents De Bortoli Wines and Taylors Wines as case studies. Introduction

I

n 2012, I attended a Building Farm Business Capacity Workshop run by the Department of Food and Agriculture Western Australia (DAFWA), which was jointly funded by the Federal Government Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (DAFF). At the start of the strategic planning process, each attendee worked on developing his or her vision for their business. The vision developed for Whicher Ridge Wines is that, “Our business is profitable, flexible, financially sound and environmentally sustainable. It successfully anticipates and responds to changes in climatic and economic environments, and is able to take advantage of new sales and marketing opportunities as they arise”. The key word and underlying theme in our vision statement is ‘sustainability’. The very broad principle of being sustainable is that we must meet the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. For agricultural businesses, sustainability integrates three main goals: environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity. For us to work towards becoming a sustainable farming business, we have been looking at a number of specific strategies that take into account our topography and soil characteristics, our climate, pests, the availability of inputs both on-farm and off-farm, as well as our specific quality and production goals for our wine business. A major starting point for us is developing a ‘healthy’ soil, as this is a key component of sustainability in any farming business. A healthy soil will produce healthy plants (in our case, both vines and pasture) that have optimum vigour and are less susceptible to pests and diseases. Another one of our goals is to maximise our use of natural,

50

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

Compost turning at De Bortoli Wines in Victoria's Yarra Valley. renewable, and on-farm inputs, such as our winery waste. There are a number of vineyards and wine companies to draw inspiration and ideas from in Australia in relation to sustainable management practices. I contacted two of these: De Bortoli Wines, in the Yarra Valley, and Taylors Wines, in the Clare Valley. Sustainable vineyard management practices: De Bortoli Wines De Bortoli Wines started its composting and compost tea process in the spring of 2008 and Rob Sutherland has been involved in the project from its inception. The main reason the company chose to invest in the process was to grow the best grapes it can, but it was also to fully utilise a winery waste product, grape marc, while also improving the environmental sustainability of the business for the long term. The decision to make compost and compost tea followed on from extensive research on the internet, W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

which led to a three-day course at Soil Foodweb International Australia (SFI) and a meeting with Dr Elaine Ingham. As Sutherland explained, undertaking the course allowed him “to understand how to use biology for farming a lot more than what I had been taught in the past. SFI also taught us how to make the best compost and compost tea possible”. SFI then provided the advice to De Bortoli to set-up, implement and monitor the first few batches of compost. Sutherland recommends undertaking specialised training prior to undertaking a composting or compost tea operation in a vineyard. Specialised training is needed to make compost and compost tea to gain an understanding of what you are trying to do and the results that you are getting from your monitoring checks. For Sutherland, the monitoring of the composting process is an essential part of managing the composting system. By quantifying and qualifying certain physical, chemical and biological parameters, he can gauge how the composting process is tracking, as well as being able to prove that the change V28N1


SO I L H E A LTH

in vineyard management practices and the use of compost is leading to significant improvements in soil health. During the drought, De Bortoli Wines used the compost as mulch under vine for young vines at a rate of one cubic metre of compost for every 20-25 metres of vine row. The compost is now broadcast at a rate of five tonnes per hectare across the entire property. It was not just the introduction of compost and compost tea in the vineyard that changed, but also some management practices. Sutherland continued: “There are many components to the change in management philosophy that we undertook and, as is usually the case, the simplest ones are often the most rewarding. Soil compaction is a big thing for us; a poor soil structure will not allow the air and water needed for the soil microbiology to do their thing, so controlled traffic for us has been a big win. We have designated travel rows and non-travel rows. We have measured the differences in these rows and found that non-travel rows at critical periods in the year are softer. This then allows the biology in the teas and compost to get established in the soil much easier. We have also measured large increases in soil fungi and earthworms, which are important key performance parameters for us”. “We have seen the soil pH move to 6.9 on average, organic matter maintain a level of 5.4% and, interestingly, a shift from the nitrate form of nitrogen to the ammonium form, which vines prefer, due to the soil becoming more fungal. We still need to work on increasing nematode numbers in our soil to help with the nutrient cycling,” Sutherland said. The composting and compost tea set-up was initially quite expensive to install and establish. De Bortoli Wines already had front-end loaders onsite, which could be utilised for making the compost piles, as well as a compost spreader (which had cost approximately $29,000). The winery purchased a compost turner (approximate cost $50,000) and two compost tea brewers (approximate cost each of $11,000). According to Sutherland, De Bortoli Wines certainly has made a return on its investment. It makes approximately 1500 tonnes of compost a year for about $25,000 ($15-20/tonne). In comparison, at 2008 prices to purchase the same amount of compost of a similar quality and tested for the right biology, would have had a landed cost of $140/tonne, equating to a cost of $210,000. Sustainable Vineyard Management Practices: Taylors Wines Taylors Wines is a wine company that has taken a systematic approach to environmental management to “act responsibly for future generations”. The company has achieved ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management system (EMS) at the winery in the Clare Valley and across all of its Australian sales offices, and has received a number of environmental awards along the way. I contacted Cherry Stowman in regards to the company’s use of mulch, compost and a soil conditioner called TPR. According to Stowman, “The Taylor family views environmental stewardship as very important and, at the same time, see this as an important tool for ensuring the health of our vineyards”. Taylors Wines has been using straw mulch and composted products under vine since the early 2000s. The use of the soil conditioner TPR was introduced in 2010. The main reasons that Taylors Wines uses the combination of mulch, compost and TPR in its vineyards is that it improves soil carbon levels which, in turn, improves soil water holding capacity, nutrient availability and microbial activity. The use of mulch has the added benefits of lowering soil temperatures during summer and suppressing weed growth. TPR is a slow-release soil conditioner produced by Tarac, and is a blend of aged steam-distilled grape marc and other V2 8N 1

vi t icu l t ure

One of two compost tea brewers that have been purchased by De Bortoli at a cost of $11,000 each.

CROP PROTECTION

NEW OSPREY modular design bird netting machine. Simply add extra components to suit the size and style of your vineyard. Order as a FALCON, EAGLE or TREE BUILD. FROST-STOPPA portable anti-frost wind machine 1-3 H. No planning permit required. External heat can be added.

VINE

COLLARD green trimmers, pre-pruners and leaf removers.

MAINTENANCE

BOISSELET undervine weeding/mowing, de-budding and cane sweeping. Mobile 0408 241 998.

LANGLOIS mechanical vineyard cane stripper 3km/hr.

Tatura Engineering P/L

Contact Alex Carter Ph 0408 241 998 Email acarter@tateng.com.au

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.tateng.com

www.winebiz. com . au

51


vi t icu l t ure

SO I L H E A LTH

around the estate on a rotational basis following a five-year cycle. It is not easy to quantify the savings in vineyard management costs that flow from using the mulching, composting and TPR, but Taylors Wines is seeing improved water efficiency, vine canopy health and crop yields. Measurements of yield components show an improvement in bunches per vine and berries per bunch, not just increased berry size. One trial of mulch compared with no mulch showed an ongoing yield improvement of 15-20% in the mulched blocks, with the same irrigation applied to all treatments. The main ongoing cost is freight to deliver the various materials to the vineyard. Conclusions

An example of the fungi found in the compost tea being made by De Bortoli.

Taylors Wines have been using straw mulch and composted products under vine since the early 2000s. The use of the soil conditioner TPR was introduced in 2010 to improve soil carbon levels which, in turn, improves soil water-holding capacity, nutrient availability and microbial activity. production concentrates. It has a high carbon content combined with trace minerals, which provides nutrients for both soil microbes and vines. Taylors Wines broadcasts the TPR across vineyards after harvest using a purpose-built spreader, purchased in 2008 for approximately $40,000. The compost used in the vineyards is purchased from suppliers such as Jeffries (the winery waste, such as grape stalks and skins, are recycled through Tarac).

52

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

There are various ongoing soil improvement programs at Taylors Wines. Thick mulch applications are used in sections of its vineyards with shallow soils and where low vigour is an issue. Reapplication of the mulch is required after three to five years. Compost is applied annually to moderate vigour areas as a way of maintaining soil health, and evaluation of this regime is ongoing. With the TPR application, the plan is to spread it W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

As wine businesses plan for being viable, sustainable businesses into a future with changing climates and increasing pressures to be environmentally, socially and economically responsible, this article should provide some food for thought for all of us. For Whicher Ridge Wines, one of our main strategic goals is to improve the health of our soils using a sustainable, biological process such as composting, along with making some changes to our management practices in the vineyard and across the entire farm. This will contribute to our long-term sustainability and viability as an agricultural business. The transition to sustainable agriculture for many businesses normally requires a series of small, realistic steps. Economics and specific goals influence how fast or how far the businesses can go in the transition. It is important to realise that each small decision can make a difference and contribute to advancing the entire system further on the ‘sustainable agriculture continuum’. The key to moving forward is the will to take the next step. For more information, visit: soilfoodweb.com.au debortoli.com.au/environment/ biological-farming; taylorswines.com.au/sustainability/ environment; tarac.com.au/agriculture/soilconditioner jeffries.com.au Cathy Howard is winemaker and, together with husband Neil, proprietor of Whicher Ridge Wines, near Busselton, in Western Australia, and has been making wine for the past 18 years. She also consults part time to some WVJ wineries in the Geographe region. V28N1


SO I L H E A LTH

vi t icu l t ure

Soil health – ‘the only show in town’ By Ursula Kennedy, University of Southern Queensland. Email: ursula.kennedy@usq.edu.au

Management practices of the Misty River vineyard, in the Granite Belt region of Queensland, have been undergoing several changes in recent years, as Ursula Kennedy explains.

S

oil is the only show in town’. That is the belief of Davydd Westlake, owner of Misty River vineyard, in Queensland’s Granite Belt region. His vineyard, located near Ballandean and situated at approximately 700m elevation, comprises true decomposed granite soils with high quartz content, which are traditionally low in water-holding capacity and inherently low in fertility. In recent years, Westlake has been changing the way he manages the Misty River vineyard. He is establishing sustainable practices with a view to a future of carbon accountability. One of his primary goals has been to ‘get it right’ from the ground up. The site was a tomato and stonefruit farm prior to its planting to vines in 1995, and since then, the soil has never been cultivated. Weeds and grasses along the vine row have historically been controlled by monthly applications of herbicides, and the inter-rows slashed to maintain a ‘park-like’ appearance. Now, volunteer growth is encouraged to flourish across the vineyard. One species dominating the volunteer vegetation is hare’s-foot clover (Trifolium arvense). This plant has been valuable in aiding soil structure, adding organic matter and assisting water infiltration - important in this region, which can be subject to wet weather mid-summer. Trifolium arvense naturally dies off pre-veraison, lowering the amount of competition for water and nutrients at this important time of the season. Herbicide use has been reduced to only a few applications during the ripening phase. A herbicide is formulated in-tank using one-third the normal rate of glyphosate with molasses and fulvic acid. This is typically used by biological farmers to limit longterm pressure on populations of fungi and microbes adjacent to rootzones. One long-term project being undertaken on the site is to increase the very low soil carbon levels. Soil carbon values of one percent, which are typical on this vineyard, would be of concern in most agricultural crops, but exceptional wines around the world are produced from similar soils. It is not commercially sensible to try to double the soil carbon levels to what may be perceived by many to be acceptable.

V2 8N 1

A Chardonnay vine in the Misty River vineyard during the 2012-13 season, with hare’s-foot clover visible on the vineyard floor. However, compost and mulch additions are being made to small areas of low vigour soils as required to address this. It is believed that, in time, increases in soil carbon will come from healthy vine roots exchanging carbohydrates to healthy colonies of bacteria to make previously unavailable minerals and nutrients available. The future direction for floor management of the Misty River vineyard will be to investigate sheep for grazing of weeds. Dorper are the breed of choice, as they are adaptable and relatively low maintenance and it is believed they will not graze up high (i.e., the vine canopy). The sheep will also provide benefits of manure for the vines, and possibly aid catering for post-harvest celebrations. Above the ground, the canopy is managed to maximise vine balance. Over spring and early summer, vines are shoot thinned not only to achieve optimal fruit and foliage balance and open the canopy to assist spray penetration, but also to set spur positions to aid pruning the following winter. Shoots are retained, which will result in well-positioned spurs come pruning time. Even though these shoots may not be fruitful, they will help to maintain a neat, open vine framework and will make pruning faster and more efficient. W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

The current season has been one of the best in recent years. Disease pressure has been low due to a dry start to the season, and only two lightbrown apple moth (LBAM) larvae have been seen. Should LBAM become more prevalent, a spray of Dipel may be applied. No hard pesticides have been used in the vineyard for a number of years, with changes to vineyard floor management maintaining harbour for beneficial insects. With a healthy cropset boding well for good yields, fine weather prevailing and lower inputs adding up to an improved bottom line, 2013 is looking like a good year at Misty River. Resources http://www.wfa.org.au/resources/1/Carbon_price_ overview.pdf http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/farmingmanagement/organic-farming/organic-viticulture/ organic-viticulture-manual/soil-management http://www.crcv.com.au/viticare/vitinotes/Viti-Notes/ vineyard%20activity%20guides/Vineyard%20activities%20 04%20Measuring%20organic%20carbon%20in%20soil.pdf http://www.bfa.com.au http://www.greenharvest.com.au Higa, T. and Wididana G.N. The concept and theories of effective microorganisms http://www.infrc.or.jp/english/KNF_Data_Base_Web/ WVJ PDF%20KNF%20Conf%20Data/C1-5-015.pdf www.winebiz. com . au

53


vi t icu l t ure

S U ST A I N A B I L I T Y

Context and content in grapegrowing sustainability systems: a process By Irina Santiago, Johan Bruwer and Cassandra Collins, The University of Adelaide. Email: irina.santiago@adelaide.edu.au

As part of a three-year project, PhD candidate lrina Santiago is investigating the assessment and adoption of sustainability in vineyards, visiting wine regions where the main sustainability programs are in place. This project is co-funded by The University of Adelaide and GWRDC.

T

he everyday use of the word ‘sustainability’ misleads the understanding of its meaning in many situations. Not surprisingly, it is no different in grapegrowing. What makes one vineyard more sustainable than another? How can we define what constitutes sustainably-grown grapes? Some people will automatically link it to organic agriculture. Some people will think about environmentally friendly vineyards. Some people will think about the profitability of the grower. Few people will think about the contribution a vineyard brings to its community. Even fewer people will perceive the concept systemically, using the triple bottom line approach linking economic, environment and social effects. To determine if a vineyard is sustainable, an assessment method needs to be in place. If you are not able to measure your performance, you will not be able to manage or improve it. Many sustainability programs for viticulture have been created worldwide since the late 1990s, proposing assessment models to improve growers’ sustainability. Examples include Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE), in Oregon; Lodi Rules and California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, in California; Integrated Production of Wine (IPW), in South Africa; Sustainable Wines of Chile; Sustainable Winegrowing in New Zealand; and McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Australia. Sustainability assessments in viticulture are commonly represented by the perfect intersection between economic, social and environmental components (or profit, people and planet) (see Figure 1). However, the answer to what makes a vineyard sustainable depends on who is asking the question, their beliefs and background and, most importantly, it depends on the context of vineyard location and the assessment timeframe. Figure 1 assumes that sustainability is achieved when there is an ideal and harmonic balance between social, economic and environment components. However, when sustainability programs assume the triple bottom line approach, it is essential to note that the result of the assessment only represents one point in time from a collection of variables set by the program. Programs will then differ from each other in how they deal with the yearly snapshots that they get from their vineyard members. The LIVE, Lodi Rules and IPW systems have, for instance, technical committees that meet regularly in order to adapt chemical threshold requirements from season to season, or in the case of unexpected events such as higher disease pressure due to a wetter season. After interviewing more than 60 grapegrowers and those in vineyard or winery management positions in Australia, the US and South Africa, it seems clear that the greatest source of misunderstanding of the concept of sustainability arises from our attempts to answer the question, “what makes a vineyard more or less sustainable?” This is because, to be accepted, the answer needs

54

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

Figure 1. Triple bottom line approach: sustainability assessment. to be based on measures that are usually just one snapshot taken for a single yearly assessment, and environmental, economic and social dimensions are dependent variables and subject to trade-offs (Figure 2). Grapegrowing is a management or cultural activity. Investments and operational decisions are constrained by the amount of money available, and driven by the fruit quality the grower wants to, or is able to, achieve. Growers make their decisions based on their situation. Managers of a vineyard site with a specific disease pressure as a consequence of past reliance on heavy use of agrichemicals might discover that the need to increase biodiversity areas could be part of their solution to minimise disease pressure. However, because of the investment made to increase areas of biodiversity, the new tractor with bigger tyres to avoid soil compaction won’t be purchased in that same year. This is an example of a trade-off in vineyard management operations that is difficult to capture through system assessments, because an improvement in a specific area might not compensate for a bad result in areas that did not receive the same amount of attention/investment/ improvement due to the initial operational decision (in this case, investment in biodiversity).

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


S U ST A I N A B I L I T Y

Grape production is a business driven by many different factors that are often beyond the grapegrower’s control. For instance, it is difficult to accept that a sustainability program might consider a vineyard less sustainable if, in a specific year, the amount of water used for irrigation (and consequently, electricity) is higher due to a series of heatwaves. Or, the opposite could be true: increased amount of sprays in a wet season of high fungal disease pressure. When the expected outcome of vineyards is grape production, is it more important to meet the objective of continuous improvement (often misinterpreted as synonymous with simply reducing inputs) each year than using the amount of water, electricity and fungicides requisite to save the crop? Is it possible to have a definitive result in terms of vineyard sustainability, assuming that all regions and vineyards will invest similarly? Can we set ultimate benchmarks and simply assume that if a vineyard scores below some of the benchmarks it is automatically classified as unsustainable? Despite these real difficulties, it is possible to measure sustainability and to measure performance in terms of social, environmental and financial outcomes. Unfortunately, the continuous improvement concept can be self-defeating when the measures taken become more important than the objective of helping growers to improve their overall long-term sustainability. Assessment systems themselves need to adapt and continuously improve to be able to embrace the concept of context over time. Figure 2 proposes to illustrate sustainability as a replacement to Figure 1. This new diagram shows the constant dynamic between economic, social and environmental outcomes having to make trade-offs throughout the process, with sustainability as the ultimate objective. In this way, sustainability is re-defined as the continuous pursuit of equilibrium between economic, social and environmental variables and their trade-offs over time. The context in which each program is developed needs to determine the key assessment indicators that will be used to measure the sustainability of its members. Therefore, each program needs to weigh the importance of the chosen indicators based on

V2 8N 1

vi t icu l t ure

Figure 2. Proposed illustration for sustainability assessments. the potential impact of each variable within their own context on the sustainability of the grapegrowers and their region. As such, sustainability is best understood and implemented at a regional level, with the regional context driving the appropriate content and weighting of the relevant variables over time. WVJ References Elkington, J. (1998) Partnerships from cannibals with forks: The triple bottom line of 21stcentury business. Environmental Quality Management 8(1):37-51. BĂśhringer, C. and LĂśschel, A. (2006) Computable general equilibrium models for sustainability impact assessment: Status quo and prospects. Ecological Economics 60(1):49-64.

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

55


vi t icu l t ure

P E STS & D I S E A S E S

The role of other fungi related to Eutypa lata in eutypa dieback disease of the grapevine By Wayne M. Pitt1, Florent P. Trouillas2, Walter D. Gubler2, Sandra Savocchia1 and Mark R. Sosnowski3 National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678, Australia 2 Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA 3 South Australian Research and Development Institute, GPO Box 397, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia 1

In addition to Eutypa lata, which causes eutypa dieback, other species in the Diatrypaceae family including Cryptovalsa, Cryptosphaeria, Diatrype, Diatrypella and Eutypella, are pathogens of grapevines in Australia. In the study described here, upon inoculation, diatrypaceous fungi caused disease symptoms (lesions) at sites of infection and colonised grapevine wood, often in advance of visible symptoms. Remedial management for eutypa dieback advocates removal of diseased wood, as well as 10cm of healthy tissue in advance of disease symptoms. The study showed this strategy is sufficient for management of these other diatrypaceous species. Furthermore, pruning wound protectants that have been shown to be effective against eutypa dieback are similarly efficacious against these other species. Introduction

E

utypa lata was originally described from apricots in South Australia and thereafter as a pathogen of grapevines, causing deadarm disease, now known as eutypa dieback. The pathogen, which is a member of the Diatrypaceae family, is spread by airborne fungal spores that infect fresh pruning wounds. The disease slowly destroys vascular tissue, leading to the formation of wedge-shaped cankers in cordons and trunks, and eventually kills the vine. Foliar symptoms, which are caused by phytotoxins produced by the fungus, include stunting of shoots, shortening of internodes and necrosis and cupping of leaves (Moller and Kasimatis 1978). While E. lata was once thought to be the sole cause of eutypa dieback, both in the US and Australia, recent surveys have shown that a number of other species in the Diatrypaceae family similarly occur on grapevines (Mostert et al. 2004, Trouillas and Gubler 2004, Trouillas et al. 2010). In Australia, Trouillas et al. (2011) reported seven species within the Diatrypaceae family both from grapevines and other woody hosts, with a further five species found only on other hosts such as poplar, ash and acacia. These included species of Cryptovalsa, Cryptosphaeria, Diatrype, Diatrypella, Eutypa and Eutypella. There is a need to determine the pathogenicity to grapevines of the diatrypaceous species collected from grapevines and other hosts around

56

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

vineyards throughout Australia, and determine how the virulence of these species compares with that of E. lata. This information will be used to ensure management strategies recommended for eutypa dieback are effective for all causal fungal species. Materials and methods Seventy fungal strains comprising nine species within the Diatrypaceae family, collected from grapevines and other hosts throughout Australia, were used in this study. They included Cryptovalsa ampelina, Cryptovalsa rabenhorstii, Diatrypella vulgaris, Eutypa lata, Eutypa leptoplaca, Eutypella citricola, Eutypella microtheca, and species of Diatrype and Cryptosphaeria. In trial I, conducted at the Waite Campus of The University of Adelaide, one-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon rooted cuttings were inoculated with fungal cultures of each species. Using a sterile drill bit, a wound (one per cutting) of approximately 5mm in depth was created in the middle of the main stem of healthy grapevine rootlings. Agar plugs (5mm in diameter) were removed from the margins of actively growing cultures using a sterile cork borer and inserted into each wound (Figure 1a), which was then sealed with petroleum jelly and wrapped with Parafilm (Figure 1b). Sterile agar plugs were used as controls. Nine months after inoculation, rootlings were removed from the soil, bark was W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

removed from stems and the extent of staining or discoloration (lesions) measured. To determine the extent to which diatrypaceous fungi were able to colonise wood, rootlings were then surface sterilised in 2.5% sodium hypochlorite for 10 minutes and rinsed in sterile distilled water. Wood pieces (approximately 2mm discs) were taken at 10mm intervals up to 100mm above and below the inoculation point and transferred to agar. Following seven to 10 days of incubation at 23ºC under fluorescent light, cultures were identified using colony morphology, and the distances fungi were reisolated, above and below the point of inoculation, were recorded. In trial II, conducted at the NWGIC, Wagga Wagga, one-year-old cuttings of Cabernet Sauvignon were similarly inoculated with diatrypaceous fungi. Eighteen months after inoculation, rootlings were removed from the soil and the total lesion length and colonisation distance in wood assessed for each fungal strain as described previously. Trials were conducted using a completely randomised design. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare differences in mean lesion lengths and colonisation distances between species with means separated using Tukey’s test or least significant difference (P=0.05). Results Inoculations of one-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines with V28N1


P E STS & D I S E A S E S

vi t icu l t ure

a

b

c

d

Figure 1. (a) inoculation of Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines with agar plug with fungal mycelium, (b) wound wrapped with parafilm, (c) lesion development on main stem, and (d) lesion development in cross section. diatrypaceous fungi were seldom accompanied by foliar symptoms, with only three vines; all inoculated with E. lata, displaying any foliar symptoms characteristic of eutypa dieback. However, at sites of inoculation, lesions were observed as stained or discoloured wood (Figures 1c and 1d), subsequent to a nine to 18-month incubation period. In trial I, the lengths of lesions caused by the various fungi differed significantly between species. Mean lesion lengths ranged in size from 16mm for E. leptoplaca, to 24mm for E. lata (Figure 2a, see page 58). In trial II, additional strains and species were tested, but results were similar, with significant differences again obvious between species. Mean lesion lengths ranged from 10mm for Cryptosphaeria sp., to 36mm for E. lata (Figure 2b, see page 58). In both trials, E. lata produced the longest lesions, while those V2 8N 1

produced by Cryptosphaeria sp. were the shortest. Diatrypaceous fungi also colonised grapevines, with strains being reisolated and identified from lesions. The extent of colonisation varied between species. Mean colonisation distances ranged from 16mm for Cryptosphaeria sp., to 53mm for E. lata and E. microtheca (Figures 2a and 2b). In both trials, E. lata colonised wood to the greatest extent, although E. microtheca behaved similarly in trial I. Eutypella citricola, C. ampelina and E. leptoplaca followed thereafter, while Cryptosphaeria sp. proved least able to colonise wood. In many cases, diatrypaceous fungi were reisolated from asymptomatic wood in advance of disease symptoms. Colonisation of wood by E. lata and E. microtheca exceeded lesion length by 29mm, while E. leptoplaca, E. citricola, and C. W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

ampelina advanced to 15mm beyond lesion length (Figures 2a and 2b). However, some individual strains were found to colonise wood to a much greater extent, with one strain being reisolated more than 70mm in advance of disease symptoms. Discussion In this study, we performed pathogenicity experiments on V. vinifera grapevines using diatrypaceous species collected in and around Australian vineyards. Results of the two pathogenicity trials showed that all nine species of fungi acted as pathogens, producing necrotic lesions on oneyear-old potted Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines. In addition to causing lesions on grapevines, all species tested were reisolated from grapevines subsequent to a nine or 18-month incubation period, with nearly 85% of strains reisolated www.winebiz. com . au

57


vi t icu l t ure

P E STS & D I S E A S E S

a

of eutypa dieback (Sosnowski et al . 2008), and recent studies have shown that the majority of fungicides that are effective against E. lata are also efficacious against many other diatrypaceous species (Gramaje et al . 2012). Acknowledgements

b

This work was achieved through joint collaboration between the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), University of California, Davis, and the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC). The Winegrowing Futures Program, a joint initiative of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC), SARDI and the NWGIC, provided additional funding. The authors thank Helen Nicol for statistical assistance. References Gramaje, D.; Ayres, M.R.; Trouillas, F.P. and Sosnowski, M.R. (2012) Efficacy of fungicides on mycelial growth of diatrypaceous fungi associated with grapevine trunk disease. Australasian Plant Pathology 41:295–300. Moller, W.J. and Kasimatis, A.N. (1978) Dieback of grapevines caused by Eutypa armeniacae. Plant Disease Reporter 62:254–258. Mostert, L.; Halleen, F.; Creaser, M.L. and Crous, P.W. (2004) Cryptovalsa ampelina , a forgotten shoot and cane pathogen of grapevines. Australasian Plant Pathology 33:295–299.

Figure 2. Mean lesion lengths ( ) and colonisation distances ( ) of diatrypaceous fungi on Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines, (a) nine and (b) 18-months after inoculation. Means followed by the same lowercase or uppercase letters are not significantly different. Bars represent the 95% confidence interval of the mean.

Sosnowski, M.R.; Creaser, M.; Wicks, T.; Lardner, R. and Scott, E.S. (2008) Protection of grapevine pruning wounds from infection by Eutypa lata . Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 14:134–142.

from grapevine wood in advance of disease symptoms. Although a few vines inoculated with E. lata expressed foliar symptoms characteristic of eutypa dieback, no symptoms whatsoever were observed following inoculations with other diatrypaceous species. This study has important ramifications for the management of these species. Remedial surgery, which involves pruning out all infected material, has been the method of choice for managing eutypa dieback and other grapevine trunk diseases, such as botryosphaeria canker (Sosnowski et al . 2011, Úrbez-Torres 2011). However, failure to remove all infected material has been shown to result in recurrence of symptoms such that for eutypa dieback, the recommended approach to managing the disease advocates the removal of an additional 10cm of healthy tissue

Sosnowski, M.R.; Lardner, R.; Wicks, T.J. and Scott, E.S. (2007) The influence of grapevine cultivar and isolate of Eutypa lata on wood and foliar symptoms. Plant Disease 91:924–931.

58

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

beyond the margin of visible lesions (Sosnowski et al . 2007). The results of the current project suggest that this recommendation will also be sufficient for the management of the other diatrypaceous fungi mentioned in this study. While the removal of infected material is the best way to manage eutypa dieback and other grapevine trunk diseases, prevention of infection is a more economical strategy. If possible, growers should refrain from pruning in the rain or within 36 hours of rainfall, prune early in the season when spore numbers are low or later in the season when wounds heal faster with the onset of higher temperatures, and minimise the size and number of pruning and reworking wounds. The use of fungicides and paints to protect pruning wounds from infection by E. lata has also been successful in reducing the incidence W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Sosnowski, M.R.; Wicks, T.J. and Scott, E.S. (2011) Control of eutypa dieback in grapevines using remedial surgery. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 50:S277–S284. Trouillas, F.P. and Gubler, W.D. (2004) Identification and characterisation of Eutypa leptoplaca , a new pathogen of grapevine in Northern California. Mycological Research 108:1195–1204. Trouillas, F.P.; Pitt, W.M.; Sosnowski, M.R.; Huang, R.; Peduto, F.; Loschiavo, A.; Savocchia, S.; Scott, E.S. and Gubler, W.D. (2011) Taxonomy and DNA phylogeny of Diatrypaceae associated with Vitis vinifera and other woody plants in Australia. Fungal Diversity 49:203–223. Trouillas, F.P.; Úrbez-Torres, J.R. and Gubler, W.D. (2010) Diversity of diatrypaceous fungi associated with grapevine canker diseases in California. Mycologia 102:319–336. Úrbez-Torres, J.R. (2011) The status of Botryosphaeriaceae species infecting grapevines. WVJ Phytopathologia Mediterranea 50:S5–S45. V28N1


P E STS & D I S E A S E S

vi t icu l t ure

Australian Shiraz Disease: an emerging virus disease of Vitis vinifera cv. Shiraz By Nuredin Habili Waite Diagnostics, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide. Email: nuredin.habili@adelaide.edu.au

S

hiraz (syn. Syrah) is a popular premium vine variety throughout the world and is no doubt an icon of the Australian wine industry. At the same time it is one of the most susceptible varieties to viruses. Worldwide, Shiraz is suffering from two major diseases. The first is Shiraz Disease, which only occurs in South Africa and Australia. It is known that Grapevine Virus A is associated with Shiraz Disease. The other disease of Shiraz is called Syrah Decline, which occurs in France and California. As yet, the causal pathogen of the latter disease, if any, is not known. This article discusses Shiraz Disease. What are viruses? These agents are sub-microscopic pathogens that live inside the plant cell and cause symptoms in the host (grapevine) by making use of the cellular components following invasion. No chemical spray is effective against them. Most viruses of the grapevine are not transmitted by mechanical tools. The two major vehicles for their spread are humans, via the distribution of infected cuttings and rootlings to viticultural regions, and insects, primarily mealybugs. However, once the source material is tested and known

At a glance Worldwide, Shiraz suffers from two major diseases: Shiraz Disease, which occurs in South Africa and Australia, and Syrah Decline, which occurs in France and California. Shiraz Disease is known to be associated with Grapevine Virus A (GVA). The incidence of GVA and Shiraz Disease is on the rise in Australia. Testing for GVA should be carried out if Shiraz is going to be top worked to Vinifera rootstock or American hybrid rootstock which are symptomless.

V2 8N 1

Figure 2. Nuredin Habili (left) and John Randles inspect symptoms of Shiraz Disease in Vitis vinifera cv. Sumoll vines (Adelaide, July 2012). Note the vines in the background are dormant. to be free of viruses, producers can have confidence in the performance of the propagation material, rather than experience the potentially disastrous consequences that may follow the spread of various viruses throughout a vineyard. For example, in September 2012, the Shiraz vineyard at McLaren Vale depicted in Figure 1 (four-year old Shiraz on 16-year-old Chardonnay rootstock), which was riddled with Grapevine Virus A (GVA), had to be destroyed as it was not commercially productive. In Australia, the incidence of GVA and its associated disease, Shiraz Disease, is on the rise. In the autumn of 2012, Waite Diagnostics received diseased Shiraz samples from the Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley and McLaren Vale. GVA belongs to the genus Vitivirus, which comprises a series of virus species that carry either A, B, D, E and F after ‘Grapevine virus’. GVC no longer exists as it was found to be grapevine leafroll-associated virus 2 (GLRaV-2). Other red varieties that are sensitive to GVA include Merlot and a lesser-known Spanish variety called Sumoll (Figure 2). W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Figure 1. Shiraz Disease on vines in McLaren Vale, June 2012, where Shiraz was grafted on virus-infected Chardonnay. Chardonnay is tolerant to GVA, the causal virus. The only other country with Shiraz Disease is South Africa, where it was first reported in 1985 by Corbett and Wiid. In Australia, it was first reported in 2001 (Habili and Schliefert 2001, Habili and Randles 2004) in an ownwww.winebiz. com . au

59


vi t icu l t ure

P E STS & D I S E A S E S

Table 1. Symptomless varieties from Australian vineyards tested positive for GVA.

Table 2. Mealybug and scale insect vectors that have been reported to transmit GVA. Country/year

Occurrence in Australia

Helper viruses

Year

Vector Common name

Vector species name

State

Chardonnay

SA

2010

Apple Mealybug

Phenacoccus aceris

France, 2012

No

Chardonnay/Ramsey

Vic

2008

GLRaV-1, GLRaV-3

Chardonnay/Paulsen

Vic

2008

Vine mealybug

Planococcus ficus

South Africa, 1990

No

GLRaV-3

Chardonnay

WA

2009

Heliococcus bohemicus

Italy, 2006

No

1

GLRaV-1, GLRaV-3

Riesling

SA

2010

Soft scale

Italy,1997

No

GLRaV-1

Semillon

Neopulvinaria innumerabilis

Long tailed mealybug

Pseudococcus longispinus

Italy,1997

Yes

GLRaV-1, GLRaV-3

Pseudococcus affinis

Italy,1995

Yes

GLRaV-3

Plum scale

Parthenolecanium corni

France, 2008

Yes

GLRaV-1, GLRaV-3

Citrus mealybug

Planococcus citri

Italy,1997

Yes

Variety

NSW

2009

Viognier MP1968

SA

2011

Rousanne

WA

2010

Verdelho

SA

2011

Fiano

SA

2009

Menindee Seedless

Vic

2009

Cabernet Sauvignon

all

Since 2000

Bohemian mealybug

Tuber mealybug

1

a different species is present

symptomless in most varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon. It is worth noting that there are some differences between the Shiraz Disease in both countries. The main difference is that in Australia, Shiraz Disease does not kill vines, while in South Africa the affected vines die within five years following planting. Symptoms of GVA

Figure 3. Restricted spring growth in Shiraz, a symptom of Shiraz Disease. Shiraz was grafted on infected Chardonnay rootstock. The vines in the background tested negative for GVA and are growing normally. rooted Shiraz vine (clone BCRV 12) growing in the Coombe Vineyard at the Waite campus of The University of Adelaide. Incidentally, this row of Shiraz is growing next to a row of Cabernet Sauvignon (clone SA125) which is infected with GVA but not showing symptoms. Why is it that only Australia and South Africa appear to have Shiraz Disease? This is to do with the variant groups (biotypes) of the causing virus (GVA) present in these countries. There are three biotypes of GVA (I-III), of which biotype II is associated with Shiraz Disease and appears to occur in both countries (Goszczynski and Habili 2011). There has not been a detailed study on the distribution of these three biotypes in Australian grapevine varieties. The latent biotypes I and III, which are probably common in Europe, do not show symptoms on Shiraz (Syrah). One study in Germany (Ipach and Kling 2008) observed a 47%

60

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

incidence in GVA virus amongst grapevines, but it appeared to have a very low impact on the overall health of the vine. During the 19th century, many vine cuttings were imported into Australia from the Cape of Good Hope (Cape Town) in South Africa: “The bulk of the colonies’ new vine cuttings, however, came from the thriving fruit basket colony of South Africa. Traders calling at the Cape of Good Hope to stock up on fresh foods and crop seeds, before leaving on the long and perilous haul across the Indian Ocean to Australia, often included a handful of vine cuttings and grape seeds in their purchases.” (Source: http://www.nicks. com.au/Index.aspx?link_id=76.620) Therefore, there may have been a few imported cuttings from South Africa that were infected with the type II variant of GVA. In fact, it was most probably not Shiraz itself, but a tolerant variety that does not show GVA symptoms that might have introduced the virus into Australia (Table 1). We have evidence that GVA exists as W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

The most obvious symptom in the spring is restricted or delayed growth (Figure 3), a symptom that can also be caused by other pathogens like Eutypa. Molecular testing by PCR, which specifically detects all biotypes of GVA, will determine whether the culprit is GVA or not. Another symptom that occurs in spring is the necrosis of primary buds. It is not known how the virus attacks the buds. Secondary buds (lateral) usually remain healthy and may eventually replace the necrotic buds, but the berry yield will be much lower with a reduced wine quality. In Shiraz Disease, the vine berry yield keeps decreasing each year and may reduce by 98% in four to five years compared with healthy Shiraz vines growing next door as controls. At this stage, the few infected berries that are hanging on the canopy are hard in texture and will not be mechanically harvestable. The most pronounced symptom of GVA appears in late autumn in the form of a remarkable bright red colour in the canopy which persists through to the winter (Figures 1 and 2). The coloured leaves remain on the canopy until pruning time and if dropped, they will leave the petioles behind. The reddening is similar to leafroll virus disease symptoms, although in most leaves the green-vein pattern typical of leafroll virus is lacking. Another symptom at this time is the development of semilignified wood on canes which appears as green islands (Figure 4). V28N1


P E STS & D I S E A S E S

vi t icu l t ure

How GVA spreads? GVA appears to spread either by humans or by its natural insect vectors. In many grape varieties, vines that have tested positive to GVA do not appear to show any symptoms of this virus, in particular in the white grape varieties (Table 1). These are then spread via propagation of vine cutting material, as they are not specifically tested for this virus. Depending on the market/winery demand, these varieties may be top worked a few years down the track with a ‘healthy’ Shiraz bud, a practice that Waite Diagnostics doesn’t recommend unless both rootstock and scion undergo complete virus testing. It is important to remember to have pre-existing rootstocks fully tested for viruses before undertaking any top working activity. The other major vector for the spread of GVA in vineyards is by insects. These insects have piercing/sucking mouthparts that thrive on the nutrients in the phloem tissue. The vectors of GVA are either scale insects or mealybugs. Those species that have experimentally been tested to act as vectors are listed in Table 2. In a vineyard in the south east of South Australia, we observed the natural spread of GVA and grapevine leafroll virus type 1 at the same time in a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. However, we could not find any mealybugs present on the aerial parts of the vines. The mealybugs may be hiding on the root system in the soil similar to what is happening in New Zealand, where remnant roots act as reservoirs for both virus (GLRaV-3) and its main vector citrophilus mealybug (Pseudococcus calceolariae) (Bell et al. 2009). Natural spread of GVA in South Africa is more common than in Australia. This is probably related to the presence of a more active insect vector species. It may also be related to the rapid spread of its helper virus, GLRaV-3 (Table 2), which is the most aggressive Ampelovirus known. Most vines showing GVA symptoms in South Africa are also infected with GLRaV-3 as well as GVA.

Figure 4. GVA infected Shiraz canes show uneven lignifications in autumn. The cane on the left is healthy. Take home message

II of GVA should be made mandatory. Any cutting due for export that tests positive for this biotype of GVA must be discarded.

• Testing for GVA should be carried out if Shiraz is going to be top worked to an existing Vinifera rootstock or any American hybrid rootstock which are symptomless. •R  esearch is required to find out, a) how widespread GVA-II is, and if there are a range of biotypes in Australia and b) which insect vector (scale or mealybug) is primarily responsible for spreading this virus in Australia. •N  o doubt Australia has some of the cleanest vine propagating material in the world. It has limited phylloxera infestation and almost no fanleaf virus. International buyers of bud wood and rootlings, like China and India, turn to Australia to meet their increasing demand for certified vine propagating material of superior quality. The importing governments require special phytosanitory testing to be done prior to the delivery of cuttings. Often these regulations are either obsolete or are irrelevant to the vine pathogen status list of the exporting country. If any cutting is going to be exported, testing for the type

References Bell, V.A.; Bonfiglioli, R.G.E.; Walker, J.T.S.; Lo, P.L; Mackay, J.F. and McGregor, S.E. (2009) Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 persistence in Vitis vinifera remnant roots. Journal of Plant pathology 91:527-533 Corbett, M.K. and Wiid, J. (1985) Closteroviruslike particles in extracts from diseased grapevines. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 24: 91–100. Goszczynski, D.E. and Habili, N. (2012) Grapevine virus A variants of group II associated with Shiraz disease in South Africa are present in plants affected by Australian Shiraz disease, and have also been detected in the USA. Plant Pathology 61: 205-214 Habili, N. and Schliefert, L. (2001) The increasing threat of Grapevine Virus A and its association with Restricted Spring Growth in Australia. The Australian Grapegrower & Winemaker 455: 22-26. Habili, N. and Randles, J.W. (2004) Descriptors for Grapevine Virus A-associated syndrome in Shiraz, Merlot and Ruby Cabernet in Australia, and its similarity to Shiraz Disease in South Africa. The Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker 488: 71-74. Ipach, U. and Kling, L. (2008) Grapevine virus A in Rheinland-Pfalz: Vorkommen und Bedeutung für den WVJ deutschenWeinbau. Gesunde Pflanzen 60:63-66.

VINEYARD CANE RAKES • Very efficient at raking canes and debris • Rake and mulch in one pass • Single or double sided with swing back protection system

An innovative solution for processing pruned canes from the vineyard floor

V2 8N 1

SUPERIOR HEDGING SYSTEMS

 Hedger Bar Systems  Cane Rakes  Masts and Mounting Systems Designed and manufactured in AUSTRALIA by Whitlands Engineering Call 1800 702 701 for a colour brochure/DVD or to find your nearest dealer

• Affordable modular system - add as you go • Available in four lengths and multiple configurations • Medium or heavy duty • Between the post and minimal pruning systems • Easy mounting to tractor with hydraulic masts • Versatile – Use or pruning or trimming • Robust construction, low maintenance

www.whitcovinquip.com.au

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

The extra edge in productivity and canopy management

www.winebiz. com . au

61


vi t icu l t ure

ALTERNATIVE VARIETIES

Perth Hills winery sings praises of Furmint By Sonya Logan

I

t was after tasting some Tokaji from Hungary that Perth Hills wine growers Ron Waterhouse and Christine Smart decided to supplement their existing plantings of Verdelho, Merlot, Semillon, Grenache and Shiraz with some Furmint and Harslevelu – the blending partners in Tokaji - on their 10acre property at Bindoon. Importing the necessary cuttings through South Australia, their initial plantings were on a small scale, to say the least, with just seven vines of each variety going in the ground – the Furmint in a bottom paddock that previously producing oranges and the Harslevelu in soil formerly growing proteas. Waterhouse, a former engineer with his own consulting company, and Smart, a former export clerk with a large food producer, met in Perth in 1989 and purchased their property in the early 1990s with a view to establishing a small vineyard and a winery before retiring gracefully. After planting four acres of vines to supplement the few older vines on the estate, their plans were turned upside down in 1994 when they were involved in a serious car accident in which they were both severely injured. Brain injuries to Waterhouse ended his professional engineering career and it was while recovering from these injuries and searching for “something to give us an advantage” to increase sales for the fledgling winery that led he and his partner to plant Furmint and Harslevelu. “Right from the start the vines were plagued by mildew,” Waterhouse recalls of the Furmint. Thinning buds and leaves for disease quickly became routine as part of the vines’ management and the plantings that were to follow. Around the turn of the century, Waterhouse and Smart had enough Furmint and Harslevelu to produce a 15-litre batch of each for tasting and evaluation. Of the Furmint, Waterhouse said: “Before the wine was even stabilised and settled we had friends who wanted to buy it.”

62

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

Briery Estate’s Ron Waterhouse says Furmint grows leaves that can be up to twice the size of a hand. But, he said that due to the sugar content and size of the batches, it was decided to blend the Furmint with the Harslevelu. “Until our Furmint and Harslevelu yields reach 1000L of each, they will continue to be blended. Then, a single varietal liquer will be made from each. Furmint is a very sweet, aromatic grape.” Briery Estate today has around 250 Furmint vines, mostly in decaying granite, which it uses to produce both the Harslevelu Furmint blend, labelled Fermento, and a Tokaji style which, like Tokaji from Hungary, comprises around 70 percent Furmint. Around half its Furmint production is bottled in the Fermento, while the rest goes to make the Tokaji style. “Both (Furmint and Harslevelu) have worked extremely well for us,” Waterhouse said. “We don’t get much rain. This season is the first we’ve had in a long time which has brought significant rain; it’s hard to keep diseases under control in those conditions,” he said, adding that Furmint was prone to botrytis. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Ron Waterhouse Like all Briery Estate’s vines, its Furmint has learned to live without irrigation, which has proved to be a blessing given the groundwater supplies have seemingly diminished. “My test well used to be dry to about one metre; now it’s dry at 3m. V28N1


ALTERNATIVE VARIETIES

vi t icu l t ure

FURMINT By Peter Dry Viticulture Consultant The Australian Wine Research Institute Background Furmint (pronounced fir-MINT) is the main variety of the legendary Tokaji Aszú (Tokay) wines of the Tokaj-Helyalja region of eastern Hungary. Tokay was first made in 1650 and is said to be the first wine made from botrytised grapes, possibly two hundred years before Sauternes. It is also used for dry wine. There are about 4000ha of Furmint in Hungary, almost all of it planted in Tokaj. Furmint might have originally come from Austria as long ago as the 13th century where it has been a minor variety ever since—but now undergoing a modest revival. It is more important in both Slovenia and Croatia (where it is known as Moslavac or Šipon) and also grown in the Crimea (Ukraine), possibly in Albania and in South Africa. It has been shown by DNA profiling to be a half-sibling of many other varieties including Chardonnay and Riesling. There are more than 100 synonyms listed in the Vitis International Variety Catalogue. Furmint was probably introduced to Australia by James Busby in the 1830s and has been found as odd vines in plantings of other varieties in Victoria. There were three wine producers listed in the 2012 Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory (published by Winetitles www. winebiz.com.au). Viticulture The two wines produced by Briery Estate using Furmint grapes – the Fermento is a Furmint-dominant blend with Harslevelu and is an off-dry style. My neighbour’s domestic windmill water supply, which used to be three to four metres down, is dry at 30m now,” explains Waterhouse. He says the lack of irrigation also benefits flavour development in the Furmint. “We don’t get the big juicy crops so the flavours are quite intense.” Waterhouse grows his Furmint on a four-wire vertical trellis where the vines are pruned to four arms – two either side of the trunk – to yield around five kilograms of fruit per plant. “We could produce far more than that. I would think with irrigation we could achieve 15kg per plant. But, we’re only looking for 5kg. “Furmint has large leaves – twice the size of your hand. And they’re thick and hairy, particularly on the underside. “The bunches are large, straggly and often have Hen and Chicken. We tend to let them go past maximum ripeness to achieve more sugar and taste.” Waterhouse describes his Fermento as an off-dry style. “I think it’s quite tasty. It tastes like nothing else that I’ve tasted. It’s pleasant like a Sauvignon Blanc but the taste is completely different. It’s quite drinkable after five years and even better after 10 years. Most of Briery Estate’s production is sold through its cellar door where Waterhouse says his Fermento has been met with positive customer feedback. Given the consumer reaction to both the Fermento and the Tokaji style, Waterhouse says he hopes to soon expand his plantings of both Furmint and Harslevelu by around 100 WVJ vines of the former and 50-60 of the latter. V2 8N 1

Budburst is early to midseason and maturity is mid-season to late. Growth habit is very erect and vigour is moderate to high. Bunches are small to medium, loose to well-filled with medium berries with thin skin. Yield is generally low (said to be due to poor fruitset). It can be spur-pruned. In Hungary it is said to require warm sites with well-drained soils. There are conflicting reports on its susceptibility to fungal diseases: for example, susceptibility to powdery mildew is low to high. Most reports suggest low tolerance of botrytis, not surprising given that it is used for Tokay where the botrytised (aszú) grapes hang on the vine until as late as November, shrivelling and retaining high acid levels. Wine For the wines of Tokaj, Furmint is used together with the more aromatic variety Hárslevelu—the best wines are fresh and luscious with medium alcohol (around 12%), good acidity, richness and lingering flavours of quince, dried fruits, marmalade, toffee and honey. When used for dry wines, Furmint can be intense with good acidity: common descriptors include citrus, pear and stonefruits. Dry wines from several countries have attracted favourable comments in recent times. It has been said to combine the pungent aromatics of Sauvignon Blanc, the richness and oak-friendliness of Chardonnay and the minerality and acidity of Riesling. This is based on an extract from the manual developed for the Research to Practice on ‘Alternative varieties: emerging options for a changing environment’ (Tassie, L., Dry, P.R. and Essling, M. 2010). For further information on this and other emerging varieties, contact Marcel Essling (marcel.essling@awri.com.au; tel. 08 8313 6600) at The Australian Wine Research Institute to arrange the presentation of this Research to Practice program in your region.

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

63


business & marketing

VINEYARD VIABILITY

Turnaround case study of a medium-scale Riverina-based vineyard By Ben Craw, senior manager, and Paul Fenn, analyst PPB Advisory, Sydney, NSW. Email: BCraw@ppbadvisory.com

The future of a family-owned vineyard in the Riverina looked uncertain until certain strategies were implemented to improve its financial performance.

P

PB Advisory was engaged to perform a viability assessment and strategic review of a vineyard in the Riverina. The operation had approximately 185 hectares under vine. The property was not integrated (no winery onsite), although the business was party to a five-year supply contract with a local winery, with an option for a further five years. Historically, the vineyard was a profitable operation, but due to succession issues, a revaluation of real property in 2012 and a rain-affected 2012 vintage, the future of the business was uncertain. The operation at a glance is displayed in Table 1. Due to the business showing signs of underperformance, a succession proposal and a requirement for additional finance, PPB Advisory was engaged to independently: • identify risks to the operating performance of the business • make an assessment of management’s capability • have succession planning discussions to determine the future management structure of the business • seek a co-operative solution between the vineyard and its financier by reducing the risk profile of the operation • determine and assess options for the business and its financier. Strategic concerns

Financiers are primarily concerned with whether a business holds enough assets to repay its current debt. The vineyard in this case study was attempting to diversify its offering and reduce the reliance of the business on grape income. To facilitate this plan and to transfer the business to new management, the operation needed access to further finance. The following factors are some of the key items considered in PPB Advisory’s review. These lessons may apply to other growers.

64

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

Table 1. Riverina winery valuation in 2012 at a glance. Item

Approximate figures

Land value

$3.5 million (FY11 valuation = $6.5m)

Debt level

$4.5 million

Turnover

$1.3 million

Year in, year out EBITDA

$500k

Annual interest charge

$330k

Grape supply contracts The company was party to a fiveyear grape supply contract, with an option to extend for another five years. This contract was attractive due to the stability of income and reduction in risk that it provides. The following scenarios were available to the grower and were discussed as part of the company’s overall debt reduction strategy: • Enforcement and sale of the vineyard by a lender – vineyard management had negotiated the supply contract at a higher price than the regional average. Under any enforcement scenario by a lender, this supply contract could have been terminated by the winery. • Voluntary sale of the property by the family – the presence of a first right of refusal and an assignment clause within the grape supply contract meant that, under sale of the property, the winery would have to agree to the identity of the incoming purchaser. If this is not achieved, there is a risk that the grape supply contract is terminated by the winery and the value of the property reduced as a result. In certain circumstances this can be a risk in an exit or sale. • Subdividing and part sales - a proposed subdivision or sale by management to reduce debt was reassessed due to the impact this would have on the earning potential of the vineyard as a whole, and the effect that this could have on the current grape supply contract. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Driving earnings growth and sustainability At the time of the strategic review, the vineyard had a forecast interest cover ratio of 1.5 times and debt exceeded the value of available assets. A debt build-up to fund continuing business operations meant that the annual cost of interest was constraining the vineyard’s ability to increase earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA). The following strategies and options were central to the review: • Approaching the lender to re-classify temporary lending facilities (the company’s $400k overdraft facility) to permanent debt on a lower interest rate. This provided the business with a lower cost of funding and more accurately categorised debt. The nature of grapegrowing means that some form of short-term finance is required and, so, an appropriate overdraft must remain in place. Part of PPB Advisory’s negotiations involved a request for a new overdraft facility of $200k to fund working capital. This proposition was tabled with the vineyard’s lender as part of a broader suite of initiatives. • The vineyard operators wanted to make the vineyard less reliant on grape income. Various off-farm initiatives, which management’s children were responsible for initiating, were proposed to become part of the business operations once succession was finalised. The V28N1


VINEYARD VIABILITY

business required finance to increase the scope and potential contribution from these off-farm initiatives. The initiatives included caravan accommodation for seasonal pickers in the region, leasing a portion of the property to a neighbour, and increasing the scale of contract vineyard operations for other local properties. Diversifying income sources can reduce the risk profile of a vineyard and make proposals for future lending more viable. To this end, cellar door performance can be utilised to reduce the reliance on key sales channels and reduce supply chain risks. PPB Advisory’s role was to assess the potential contribution from the initiatives and package a proposal to the financier in order to support the vineyard’s expansion plan. Forecasting and budgeting When assessing performance and liaising with lenders, vineyard operators should consider: • preparing a budget that gives lenders confidence in the operation and the ability of management to stick to budget • t hat the ability to document historically accurate budgets will provide comfort to lenders regarding the accuracy of future budgets • presenting a plan to drive earnings growth with sufficient detail to warrant consideration by a lender. This is especially the case if finance is required in order to expand operations. Succession planning At the time of PPB Advisory’s strategic review, the husband and wife team leading the operation were considering retirement and passing control to their children. Up until this point, the father had been responsible for the majority of bookkeeping and vineyard operations. Putting in place a succession plan to roll forward debt facilities required an assessment of the operating and financial abilities of the children. The plan required the company’s accountant to commit to providing a greater level of assistance in the first 12 months of the transition. Any transfer of debt facilities will require agreement from a financier and for the new operators to illustrate their capabilities. When considering succession, careful planning is required to negotiate capital gains tax and potential stamp duty liabilities or other financial impacts. Options and the path forward In order to reduce the vineyard’s debt to an appropriate level, the operators were faced with a difficult situation. Options tabled included: • s ale and leaseback of the property • s eeking an equity injection into the business • refinancing the debt with an alternative lender • mothballing part of the vineyard to minimise losses • s ubdividing and selling part of the vineyard • leasing one block to a neighbour and earning rental income • raising or diversifying the level of off-farm income. The options available all had positive and negative implications, which were the subject of discussion between the vineyard operators and their lender. PPB Advisory’s review attempted to clarify and provide insight around the risks of each scenario and ensure that both parties had sufficient information to positively progress forward. The result On the basis of discussions held and the content of the strategic review, the vineyard: V2 8N 1

business & marketing

•p  ut forward a workable plan to reduce the vineyard’s reliance on grape income to incorporate a higher level of off-farm income. The lender supported certain parts of this campaign and extended finance to complete identified projects. • a n original proposition to sell a productive block was shelved, and replaced by a strategy to sell a nonproducing block. Proceeds from this sale will be directed to repayment of long-term debt facilities. • reclassifying the company’s overdraft facility (approximately $400k) as long-term debt at a lower interest rate. This reduced the annual interest burden on the operation and is expected to assist the vineyard financially this season. In exchange for additional shortterm finance (a new $200k overdraft facility), the vineyard operators provided the bank with additional security; their un-mortgaged holiday home. PPB Advisory has been engaged to perform a 12-month independent monitoring role in order to provide the lender with confidence in reported figures and management’s operational capability. Disclaimer Due to confidentiality requirements, PPB Advisory is not able to divulge the name and certain details of the review. This article is a discussion of the process and key factors in WVJ the turnaround of this case study vineyard.

Graphic Language D

E

S

I

G

N

Is your brand working for you? Need a new private label? Exporting wine to China, USA or EU? We have vast experience in tailoring brands to suit the target market. Let us help you to boost your profit margins with considered, effective label design. Call us at Graphic Language Design – we’d love to talk to you! First Floor, 181 Halifax Street, Adelaide 5000, South Australia T +61 8 8232 3577 F +61 8 8232 3566 E info@gldesign.com.au

communicate. collaborate. create www.gldesign.com.au

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

65


business & marketing

CARBON TAX

The short-term effect of the carbon tax on Australian wine By Mark Rowley, Industry Analyst, Wine Australia

A

s of 1 July 2012, the Australian Government began pricing (in the form of a tax) the carbon emissions of Australia’s top 500 carbon emitters. Although the amount of carbon that Australian wineries emit falls below the threshold to qualify for the tax directly1, many producers of key inputs of wine production will be subjected to the tax. Analysis by Wine Australia forecasts total costs to the Australian wine sector to increase by up to 0.86 percent in 2012-13, increasing by 0.08 percentage points for a total increase of 0.94% by 2014-15. To put this additional cost in practical terms, the carbon tax would amount to approximately 2.5 cents of an average shipment of wine at A$2.69 free on board (FOB) per litre2. All business models will be affected to a varying degree, but this analysis only examines changes at an industry aggregate level only. Only the short-term effects of suppliers passing on costs3 to the sector are taken into account in this analysis and there is no attempt to forecast longer-term price and behavioural changes. However, in the medium to long-term, participants in the wine production supply chain will adapt to the tax regime and moderate their behaviour to minimise the effect of the tax. Where possible, price forecasts are taken from Commonwealth Treasury modelling, while estimates are used for other inputs. Effect on winegrape production The major inputs for winegrape production that are affected by the carbon tax are electricity, fuel and mechanical harvest costs. The input shares (see Table 1) are calculated as an average for the entire Australian industry and, for example, take into account that harvesting by hand picking will not incur significant additional price increases. Overall, the cost of winegrape production in Australia is expected to increase by 0.7% in 2012-13, increasing to 0.8% in 2014-15. Chemicals and fertilisers have been included in Table 1 to highlight that the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has forecast the price of this input to be unaffected by the carbon tax, primarily because its price is set by international markets. The price increases for fuel and electricity are sourced from ABARES, while the input shares were based on data collected in the Regional Vineyard Benchmarking Report commissioned by Wine Grape Growers Australia. Under the carbon pricing scheme, farmers will be exempt from any reductions in the currently applicable fuel tax rebate, but wineries may not be. Fuel used by heavy onroad transport will be exempt from a carbon price in 2012–13. The government has legislated for an effective carbon price on fuel used by heavy onroad transport from 2014–15. Therefore, farmers and processors will face increased costs for freight in 2014–15. For this analysis to measure the total effect of the carbon tax on Australia’s wine sector, the additional growing costs are assumed to be passed onto the wineries. ABARES provides the following commentary on the actual consequences in regards to winegrape pricing: “Processors [wineries] are likely to pass on some of their additional costs to farmers, resulting in lower cash receipts for farm goods. The extent to which processors will pass their costs

66

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

Table 1. Effect of carbon tax on winegrape production’s key inputs. Input Share

Price Increase

Total cost increase

2012-13

2014-15

2012-13

2014-15

Electricity

5%

9.7%

9.5%

0.5%

0.4%

Fuel

5%

4.6%

5.1%

0.2%

0.2%

Chemicals and fertilizer

5%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Harvesting

10%

0.5%

0.6%

0.1%

0.1%

0.7%

0.8%

Sum

Table 2. Effect of carbon tax on winemaking’s key inputs. Input Share

Price Increase

Total cost increase

2012-13

2014-15

2012-13

2014-15

Electricity

5%

9.7%

9.5%

0.49%

0.48%

Freight

11%

0.0%

0.7%

0.00%

0.08%

Bottles

8%

2.5%

2.5%

0.20%

0.20%

Other packaging

5%

1.0%

1.1%

0.05%

0.05%

Grape production/ purchase

18%

0.7%

0.8%

0.13%

0.14%

0.86%

0.94%

Total

on is driven by a range of interacting factors, including elasticity of final demand; the market structure of the industry; and the international competitiveness of Australian production on world markets. “The scenario, assuming processors pass 100% of their carbon price–related costs back to agricultural producers, is a worstcase scenario for farmers. In reality, it is unlikely that processors will be able to pass back all their cost increases to agricultural producers…” Effect on wine production Total costs for wineries are expected to increase by 0.86% in 2012-13 and increase to a total of 0.94% by 2014-154. The major inputs in producing and selling wine that are affected by the carbon tax are electricity (accounting for a 5% share of input costs), freight (11% of costs), bottles (8% of costs) and ‘other packaging’ (5% of costs). Each of these inputs will increase in price by a varying degree, as forecast in Table 2. Each input’s share is the estimate for the entire sector. For example, the analysis took into account that a significant proportion of wine is sold in bulk and will not be subject to the increasing price of bottles. The lack of information on bottle manufacturers’ carbon emissions and electricity and gas usage makes it difficult to

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


CARBON TAX

determine the price increase attributable to the carbon tax. However, estimates from the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia forecast that, “The cost of a new, empty wine bottle is likely to rise by about 1 to 2 cents from a current price of around 40-60 cents”. Factors that may determine the extent to which cost increases are passed on to wineries include: • Trade exposure and substitutability: Wineries that export have the option to bottle in-market. A more aggressive pricing strategy may add further incentive to send more bottling overseas • Government credits: More credits allocated by the government due to the trade-exposed nature of their business should negate the need to pass on the higher costs directly associated with the tax • Excess supply: in the bottle manufacturing sector • Manufacturers Assistance: The glass container manufacturing sector in Australia has been classified as moderately Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed (EITE), which may result in assistance (free allocation) from the Federal Government. This would lower the manufacturers’ costs that could be passed on to clients.

With these factors considered, it is unlikely that Australia’s glass manufacturers will be passing on the entire cost imposed on them. Costs passed on to consumers Australian wineries will have the opportunity to pass on this cost to consumers. To what extent this is possible is unknown, and will be determined by elasticity of demand of the final product, both domestically and internationally, and the wineries’ ability to absorb costs. Factors determining the extent of cost price through to consumers include: •S  ales ratio (domestic/export): Price increases may be more difficult internationally due to competitors not being subject to tax. Furthermore, the domestic market is open to international competition •B  uyer power: Coles and Woolworths have issued statements that they will not be increasing payments to counter-raise costs due to the carbon tax. However, this does not necessarily mean suppliers cannot achieve higher prices •L  ow historical costs pass through: Wine price inflation has lagged behind that of actual inflation and other alcoholic

business & marketing

beverage inflation over the past five years. This indicates that passing on increased costs to the consumer may prove difficult. Although the impact of the carbon tax on the Australian wine sector is expected to be relatively low compared with other industries, the sector’s exposure to trade and current low level of profitability indicate that the new tax will be a significant impost to many businesses. To mitigate some of this pressure, the government has specific programs in place to help industry. Information about these programs can be found in ‘Securing a Clean Energy Future’ and by contacting the Winemakers' Federation of Australia. It is recommended that producers do further research into the help available and carbon reduction techniques to assist with the transition to a low carbon future. References 1 The biggest wineries in Australia emit less than a quarter of the 25,000 tonne threshold 2 A$3.24 FOB per litre was the average value of exported wine in 2011 – regardless of container type 3 The analysis assumes all costs associated with the carbon tax are passed on to customers unless stated otherwise. The degree to which will vary by input. 4 Note: the 2014-15 is the total increase, not an additional increase on top of the first increase.

WVJ

Precise piston driven dosing • Compact unit • Results in minutes •

HI 84500 Sulfur Dioxide Mini Titrator Hanna Instruments understands that small variations in sulfur dioxide content can have a significant impact on the subtle qualities of wine. With that in mind, we designed the HI 84500; a simple, fast and affordable mini automatic titrator designed for testing free or total sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels in wine. It can even test red wines which are often difficult to test with manual methods because the colour changes are hard to see. The HI 84500 incorporates a precision piston dosing pump for accuracy and repeatability, automatic stirrer control, WVJ graphic mode with exportable data and both a high and low range setting. tel: 03 9769 0666 email: sales@hannainst.com.au web: www.hannainst.com.au

V2 8N 1

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

67


business & marketing

B R A N D I N G

It takes two to make regional brands stick with tourists By Ulrich R. Orth1 and Albert Stöckl2 1 Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Germany, and University of South Australia, Adelaide. Email: uorth@ae.uni-kiel.de 2 Burgenland University, Austria

Consumers’ emotional attachment to a brand is an emotion-laden, target-specific relationship that develops over time, which a large international applied research project has aimed to clarify.

S

elling wines to visitors touring a region is good business. Continuing to sell the wines to those visitors once they have returned home is even better. But what does it take to make a brand1 ‘stick’ with visitors, to emotionally attach them to the brand and make them loyal buyers, possibly even willing to pay a premium? Offering a good wine helps, of course, but quality wines can be found in many regions around the world. Should wine managers perhaps look beyond their businesses and join forces with tourism managers? Collaboration is a touchy subject, often involving personal issues, and hard facts are needed to support this decision. A large international applied research project aimed to generate those insights and to clarify what – exactly – attaches consumers emotionally to regional wine brands. Specific objectives included

establishing the extent to which the tourism experience contributes, and what elements of the experience play a role in forming attachments. Consistent with recent consumer psychology research, the study focussed on emotional attachment as an emotion-laden, target-specific relationship between a consumer and a brand that develops over time. Previous findings suggest that a consumer’s emotional attachment to a brand is important to consider, as it translates into a higher likelihood for repeat purchase and willingness to pay. Known or suspected drivers of attachment include consumer affective experiences (e.g., involving the focal brand) and their cognitions (judgments of the brand’s benefits). Figure 1 shows the model investigated by researchers. In essence, it views emotional attachment to regional wines

as an outcome of tourists’ experiences when visiting the region and their evaluation of the wines. Anticipated consequences include greater loyalty and willingness to pay (WTP) a price premium. Testing the model relationships involved surveying 3553 visitors to 15 regions in eight countries on four continents (Figure 2). Key to collecting this sample was collaborating with regional wine and tourism associations, and with researchers from France (Tatiana Bouzdine-Chameeva and François Durrieu, Bordeaux Management School; Joëlle Brouard and Damien Wilson, ESC Dijon), Italy (Alessio Cavicchi, University of Macerata; Monica Faraoni, University of Florence; Cristina Santini, University of Florence), Spain (Mikel Larreina, Deusto Business School, Bilbao; Carmen Rodriguez-Santos,

Figure 1.

68

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


B R A N D I N G

business & marketing

Figure 2. Participating regions. University of Leon), Switzerland (Benoît Lecat, HEC Geneve), the US (Janeen Olson, Sonoma State University), Hungary (Attila Pesti, NDA), and Australia (Roberta Veale, University of Adelaide). Researchers randomly intercepted study participants at local tourism attractions and asked them to complete a paperand-pencil questionnaire available in six languages. Incentives sponsored by wine and hospitality businesses and organisations enticed tourists (40 years of mean age, 58 percent females) from around the world to indicate their responses to a variety of psychometric and socio-demographic measures. As can be seen in Figure 3 (see page 70), consumers exhibited varying attachments to wines from the region they visited. While some regions (e.g., Tuscany and Adelaide Hills) were successful in creating strong attachments to their wines, others were not. Remarkably, well-known wine regions are among both the ones relating to strong and the ones exhibiting weak attachments, raising the question of ‘why’? To explore this issue, Figure 4 (see page 70), details how visitors evaluated their touristic experiences with a region according to seven key elements: arts and culture, culinary offers, landscape, tourism and hospitality services, quality of life, locals, and price quality ratio. The results indicate that – in full accordance with the distinct positioning of tourism destinations – the regions vary considerably in the experience they provide to visitors. Some are recognised as providing above-average culinary or cultural experiences, whereas others are recognised for their scenic landscapes or customer-centred services. While visitors’ evaluation of their experience are undoubtedly revealing, the question remains what – if any – relevance they have for marketing regional wines. The answer lies with establishing the affective quality of touristic experiences, and relating it (implicitly, per regression analyses) to visitors’ attachments V2 8N 1

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.sanderson.net.au

www.winebiz. com . au

69


business & marketing

B R A N D I N G

Figure 3. Emotional attachments by region.

Figure 4. Touristic experiences by region.

70

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


B R A N D I N G

business & marketing

Table 1. Pleasure determinants. Region Total

Tourism and hospitality services

Quality of life

Landscape

Locals

0.15

0.14

0.08

0.08

Adelaide Hills

0.33

Wachovia

0.34

Burgenland

0.15

Napa + Sierra Foothills

0.46

Sonoma

Arts and culture

Price-quality ratio

Explained variance

0.08

0.05

0.18

0.18 0.13

.025

0.21

0.18

0.20

0.27 0.15

0.33 0.22

0.21

Tuscany Burgundy

Culinary offers

0.04

0.34

0.19

0.34

Geneva

0.25

0.23 0.22

0.15

0.32 0.34

0.38

Rioja

0.48

0.26

Ribera del Duero

0.18

0.07

Bordeaux Eger Tokaj Markken

0.22 0.43

0.05 0.23

0.34

0.24

0.41 0.22

to regional wines. Table 1 shows what perceptions drive the pleasure visitors experienced while visiting a region, across regions and for each destination separately. For example, the pleasure tourists experienced when visiting the Adelaide Hills they attributed to enjoying the high living standards and culinary delights. Pleasure experienced in other wine regions traced back to a different set of touristic experiences, yielding a fine-grained image of how destinations are positioned in their quest for visitors. Table 2, finally, shows that the touristic experience – through pleasure – contributes to consumers’ attachment to the region’s wines. Both strength and magnitude of the effect vary by region. For visitors to Australia’s Adelaide Hills, the pleasure they experienced during their visit increased their attachment to the region’s wines by 23%, whereas no effect emerged for Spain’s Ribera del Duero. In addition, pleasurable touristic experiences in the Adelaide Hills explained 20% of consumers’ attachment to the wines beyond any attachment created through wine characteristics. In other words, the (pleasurable) visit to the wine region creates 20% of the strength of a bond between the visitor and the regional wines; the rest can be attributed to wine and personal characteristics. Importantly, attachment exerted a strong influence on loyalty (coefficient: .67) and even a modest influence on willingness to pay (coefficient: .29). In other words, if firms succeed in attaching consumers more strongly to their brand (e.g., by a psychometric unit of one on a five-point scale), loyalty increases by a unit of .67 and WTP increases by .29. These findings attest to the importance of emotional attachment as a key marketing outcome. At least four managerial implications emerge from this research: • The proven effect of pleasurable tourism experiences on attachment to the region’s wines highlights the need for collaboration between wine and tourism managers. • B oth parties would be well-advised to examine – specifically for their region – what elements of the tourism experience contribute to making a visit pleasurable. Communicating and reinforcing those elements will not only provide the destination with a V2 8N 1

0.34

0.27 0.29

0.31

Table 2. Effect of pleasure on attachments. Region Total

Touristic experience

Variance explained

0.26 (0.07)

0.29

Adelaide Hills

0.23 (0.05)

0.20

Wachovia

0.25 (0.06)

0.24

Burgenland

0.50 (0.24)

0.53

Napa + Sierra Foothills

0.20 (0.03)

0.18

Sonoma

0.33 (0.10)

0.28

Tuscany

0.12 (0.02)

0.02

Burgundy

0.37 (0.13)

0.33

Geneva

0.19 (0.06)

0.06

Rioja

0.24 (0.05)

0.28

Bordeaux

0.12 (0.01)

0.50

Eger

0.42 (0.17)

0.40

Marche

0.27 (0.07)

0.28

more unique position, but will additionally aid consumers forming attachments to the regional wines. • The finding that touristic experiences complement the development of attachments based on wine characteristics provides firms with an edge over competitors holding a product-centred view only. • Given the strong positive effects of attachment on loyalty and WTP, focussing on attachment assists stakeholders in creating longer-lasting ties between customers and their brand, ultimately swaying preferences in their favour. ENDNOTE The term ‘brand’ is used to capture consumers’ summary impressions of a region’s wines in accordance with the regional umbrella brand concept, rather than a corporate or firm view of a brand. 1

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

WVJ

71


business & marketing

W I N E I N T E LL I G E N C E

Consumer trends in the wine industry for 2013 By Lulie Halstead Chief Executive, Wine Intelligence. Email: info@wineintelligence.com

Human beings’ tribal instincts have been fostered by mass communications and new technology, writes Lulie Halstead, drawing on her recent presentation to delegates at the Wine Industry Outlook Conference in Melbourne, and says that wine producers have unprecedented opportunities to expand their markets by considering trends, local tastes and customs.

I

t’s often said that social media has transformed our lives. We look back at the pre-internet era and it seems like a part of ancient history, played out in black and white. Life without mobile phones seems unfathomable. But have we fundamentally changed as a result of this technology? Now that information is instantly obtainable, and we can connect with virtually anyone on the planet simply by touching a piece of glass, are our instincts and desires being reshaped? It’s a question that anyone in the marketing business – for wine, or any other consumer good – ought to be asking. To arrive at an answer, we should first go back to the earliest times and the earliest human societies. We describe these groups as tribes. The first tribes were essentially based on kinship and familial links. As we evolved, tribes came to represent shared beliefs – people who didn’t always agree on everything, but were linked by a common set of interests, and who could support one another, and enjoy one another’s companionship. If that sounds familiar, think of how Facebook operates today. Our list of friends (averaging 120 per member, according to the company) is essentially a tribe. But it’s not our only tribe. Technology means we can belong to many tribes: if, for example, we decide to ‘like’ the Facebook page of Brown Brothers winery (36,970 likes at the time of writing), or follow its Twitter feed (as around 2835 people do), we join another tribe. We can join as many as we like. The need to belong to a tribe is one of our most basic human characteristics, starting out as a survival mechanism. We can break this down further: human beings are driven by a need to conform, to explore, and to look for rewards. These are our basic motivations, and in the wine category we can find plenty of examples of how they play out. We conform in several ways. Sometimes it looks a little like herd mentality: suddenly Australian Chardonnay was the wine to be seen drinking; later, Pinot Grigio was setting the pace. Trends can start quickly in the wine business, but sometimes it takes consumers a long time to change their drinking habits. During recent Wine Intelligence consumer research in Australia, we asked consumers how their eating and drinking behaviour had altered over the past year. The most common response was that they were doing nothing different. Wine offers consumers plenty of opportunities for exploration. This is particularly true of wine drinkers who are more engaged with the category. Seeking out a rare Penfolds Bin label or stumbling upon an exciting new winery in Margaret River will both tick the box, but it may be something as basic as trying an unfamiliar varietal for the first time.

72

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

People want transparency from their governments, and the companies they buy from. In New York City, you can stand outside a Domino’s Pizza restaurant and read real-time reviews of its food and service, Tweeted by diners. As for seeking rewards, this is where wine really comes into its own, at all levels. Wine has played a role, throughout history, as a beverage for feasts and celebrations, when we want to reward ourselves and others. That’s still the case today. But when we pour ourselves a bracing Semillon at the end of a hectic working day, or sip a juicy Shiraz with a loved one in front of a DVD, we’re rewarding ourselves too. While human behaviour has not fundamentally changed, there are new consumer trends we can see in the global marketplace. All can be traced back to our prehistoric instincts in one way or another, and many have been accelerated by technology. But let’s be clear on that point. Technology, in and of itself, is not the trend. It’s merely something that enables trends, and enhances certain activities. We’ve identified nine consumer trends in 2013 in all. Let’s examine three of them here. Transparency We live in an information age. Brand owners shouldn’t assume that they can control the information that’s available about their products, because consumers are seeking some of it for themselves. Anyone who chooses to be untruthful about their product, or tries to hide important information from the public, risks being brought down to earth with a crash. People want transparency from their governments, and the companies they buy from. In New York City, you can stand outside a Domino’s Pizza restaurant and read real-time reviews of its food and service, Tweeted by diners. What’s flashed across the giant

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


W I N E I N T E LL I G E N C E

business & marketing

Fusion

Piggy Bank Wines donates 50p for every bottle sold to a charity voted for by consumers on its Facebook page. screen in the street isn’t always favourable. Online retailers have realised, too, that they need to include negative feedback on their sites, as well as more positive reviews. In the wine category, consumers don’t necessarily understand – or want to understand – the full picture about how their wines are made, and what goes into them. It would take a brave winemaker indeed to go into detail in his or her marketing about vineyard fungicides, or use of sulfur dioxide. But we should expect consumers to ask more awkward questions about such topics, and be ready with the answers. In markets like China, where counterfeit products and food scandals are part of everyday life, transparency is more than just a marketing nicety. Already there is a wine brand that features a barcode on its label which, when scanned, gives consumers a full account of how it has made its journey in the supply chain.

There’s no doubt that the internet has helped break down cultural and geographic barriers, dramatically accelerating a process of internationalisation that has been going on for centuries. We observe the way consumer habits are blurring between East and West, and call it fusion. Some examples are familiar: you can eat fine Chinese cuisine in a restaurant in Sydney, while Australian wine is gaining a following in Shanghai. There are 3598 branches of McDonald’s in Japan, and some superb sushi restaurants in New Jersey. In the world of food and drink, boundaries are being blurred all the time. Blurred, but not broken down altogether. Brand owners still need to think about local tastes, customs and even religious beliefs. That’s why there’s a vegetarian McDonald’s in Amritsar, in northern India. It’s also why there’s a seaweed flavour of Pringles in Vietnam. For wine producers, the fusion trend presents unprecedented opportunities to expand their market. But we need to think hard about how our products meet local needs. Australia’s experience in China is already making this point. The headlines have been all about how Lafite and other classed growths from Bordeaux have conquered the market. Yet, for most consumers, the reality is not a life of top-notch claret. Indeed it seems that New World countries, like Australia, make wines that are more in tune with the popular palate and may even be engineered to suit local tastes. Consumers, and human beings generally, are complex, and it’s pointless to pretend that everything they do is predictable. Yet, the study does demonstrate that, despite mass communications and new technology, we’re still recognisable as the same species that emerged from the African plains 200,000 years ago and began organising itself into tribal groupings. We share the motivations and desires of those early ancestors, even if the world WVJ we’ve created has changed.

The Pacifix Muselet • Plain plaque • Printed plaque

Feel good Wine is a product that’s largely about reward, as we’ve discussed ... and, by extension, self-indulgence. But can buying it make the world a better place too? We’re not suggesting that consumers should be on massive guilt-trips about their wine indulgence (assuming, of course, they’re drinking moderately and responsibly, not harming themselves or the people around them). But if there’s a chance to make them feel good about their purchase, whether it’s wine or anything else, shouldn’t we take it? The 'feel good' factor may yet have an impact on the kind of packaging that’s used for wine. Bulky bottles, and materials that aren’t practical to be recycled, already offend the sensibilities of some environmentally-conscious consumers. And we're also seeing wine producers do more to help worthy causes, sometimes with the help of social media. Piggy Bank, a wine range from Guy Anderson, donates 50p to charity for every bottle sold. Consumers get to vote for one of three chosen charities, so they also have a direct say in where the money goes. Once £10,000 has been raised, the money is donated in proportion to how people have voted in a Facebook poll, and the process begins again. Millione, a sparkling Italian rosé, was established purely as a fundraising exercise for ActionAid, helping children in Sierra Leone. A target of £1 million has been set, and by November 2012 funds had broken through the £100,000 barrier. The range will be extended in 2013 with Casa Millione, a Spanish wine expected to sell in Europe and the US. V2 8N 1

• Plaqueless • Plain or coloured wire • Fast delivery • Precision component • Australian made

Proudly made in Australia by D.J. Young Pty Ltd

710 High Street Kew East VIC 3102

Telephone: +61 3 9859 4468 Fax +61 3 9819 7357 e-mail: sales@pacifix.com.au

www.pacifix.com.au

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

73


nions News WFA Wine Australia ASVO Richard Smart AWRI Regional Reports Profiles Winemaking Technology New

What

READERS

culture Marketing Innovation Key Files Opinions WFA Wine Australia Wine

SAY

egional Reports AWRI Profiles Technology

OUR

Business ASVO Richard Smart Varietal Reports AW The recent Wine & Viticulture Journal News Viticulture Marketing Key Files Opinions Winea Business subscription surveyWFA uncovered number of Innova

positive Reports comments.Varietal Here areReports just a News few we Viticult VO Richard Smart Varietal Reports Winemaking Wine Australia AWRI Regional wanted to share with you. Thank you to all Market y Files WFA Technology Innovation ASVO Richard Smart Winemaking Wine Australia Profiles Wine Business Opinions that took the time to complete the survey. ews AWRI Technology Viticulture Key Files WFA Marketing Innovation ASVOCongratulations Richard Smart to Winemaking Cameron Wine AtkinsAustralia who Profi the lucky winnerReports of our 12 ine Business Varietal Reports Regional Reports Opinions Profiles Regionalwas Reports Varietal Winemak month subscription. Winetitles culture Wine Business Marketing Technology Innovation Key Files Opinions News WFA Wine Australia ASVO Richard Sma appreciates your feedback and WRI Regional Reports Profiles Winemaking Technology News Viticulture Marketing Innovation Files Opinions WFA Wine where Key possible, will respond to Austra “Love it - please suggestions for specific content New ine Business ASVO Richard Smart Varietal Reports AWRI Regional Reports AWRI Profiles Technology keep it coming” and online enhancements. culture Marketing Key Files Opinions WFA Wine Business Innovation ASVO Richard Smart Varietal Reports Winemaking W Sonya Logan, editor. stralia AWRI Regional Reports Varietal Reports News Viticulture Key Files WFA Technology Innovation ASVO Richa Australiawhich Profiles Wine toBusiness Opinions Marketing News AWRI Technology Viticulture Key Files WF mart Winemaking “It’s a greatWine magazine, I started rketing Innovation Richard Smart Winethis Australia Profiles Wine Business Varietal Reports Region read asASVO a student and still now” Winemaking “I find a much greater depthKey publication thanMarketing the eports Opinions News ASVO Technology Viticulture Files WFA Varietal Reports Innovation Richard Sma “It is the best magazine in terms of quality popular wine journals” nemaking Regional Reports Opinions AWRI Wine Australia Profiles Profiles Regional Reports Varie of Wine editorialBusiness content and is more than just a “Have really the News last 2WFA to 3Wine issues. advertorial like some ofWine the other industry Marketing Technology ports Winemaking Viticulture Business Innovationenjoyed Key Files Opinions Australia AS publications available” chard Smart AWRI Regional Reports Profiles Winemaking News Marketing Innovation Key Fi Not sure why,Technology just enjoyed theViticulture mix of articles!” nions WFA Wine Business ASVO Richard Smart Varietal Reports AWRI Regional Reports AW “Keep Wine up theAustralia good work” ofiles Technology News Viticulture Marketing Key Files Opinions WFA Wine Business Innovation ASVO Richard Smart Varie up the good work. This magazine is proving to be the most appropriate source of ports “Winemaking Wine AWRI Regional“Keep Reports Varietal Reports News Viticulture Key Files WFA Technolog Thank you forAustralia your big effort. current viticultural best practice” “Love harder hitting journalism I’m Richard always looking vation ASVO Smartforward Winemaking Wine Australia Profiles Wine Business Opinions Marketing News AWRI Technolog “I thinkWine Wine &Business Viticulture Varie like Tony KeysWinemaking - more please” to reading” culture Key Files WFA Marketing Innovation ASVO Richard Smart Wine Australia Profiles have a good spread “ Broad Reports cross section of Profiles wine business issues. It is also a useful WineWinemaking Viticulture Wine Busine ports Regional Opinions Regional Reports Varietal Reports of articles” Business student resource. Quality publication a broad range ofSmart AWRI Regional Repor rketing Technology Innovation Key Files Opinions News WFA Winecovering Australia ASVO Richard industry topics” ofiles Winemaking Technology News Viticulture Marketing Innovation Files Opinions WFA Winegood Australia Winechange Business AS “TheKey current mix is pretty - never chard Smart Varietal Reports AWRI Regional Reports AWRI Profilesgame!” Technology News Viticulture Marketing Key Fi a winning nions WFA Wine Business Innovation ASVO Richard Smart Varietal Reports Winemaking Wine Australia AWRI Region “ The Alternative varieties column “High eportsis Varietal News Viticulture Key Files WFA Technology Innovation ASVO Richard Smart Winemaking W . thoroughReports and educational stralia Profiles News reports” AWRI Technology Viticulture Key Files WFA Marketing Innovation AS I enjoyWine readingBusiness the Profile Opinions page Marketing technical “It’s Regional a great toolReports to see what is New chardtoo Smart WineatAustralia Profiles Wine Business Varietal Reports Opinions in fact.Winemaking The statistics the happening within the industry, worthwhile too” Marketing Varietal Reports Innovation Richard Smart Winemaking Wine Busine end is always VO Technology Viticulture Key Files WFA any new technologies egional Reports Opinions AWRI Wine Australia Profiles Profiles Regional Reports and Varietal Reports Winemaking Viticult “Industrywideperspectivereflecting or developments within the ine Business Marketing Technology Innovation Key Files Opinions News WFA Wine Australia ASVO Richard Smart AW newandemergingvarietals; industry” egional Reports Profiles Winemaking Technology News Viticulture Marketing Innovation Key Files Opinions WFA Wine Austra marketsandtechnicaland “Your journal has aTechnology New ine Business ASVO Richard Smart Varietal AWRI Regional Reports AWRI Profiles viticulturalbestpractice” “a good blendReports of research culture Marketing Key Files Opinions WFA Wine Business Innovation ASVO Richard Smart Varietal opinions, Reports Winemaking W variety of topics, information and current Regional Reports Varietal Reports News Viticulture Key Files WFA Technology Innovation ASVO stralia AWRI “Good industry etc”Richa in one place” mart Winemaking Wine Australia Profiles Wine Business Opinions Marketing News AWRI Technology Viticulture Key Files WF summary of news “GoodWine Australia Profiles Wine “I loveVarietal the varietal of Business rketing Innovation ASVO Richard Smart Winemaking Reports Region

About

the

“More of the saMe!”

“Well balanced journal as it is”

“High quality grape growing issues”

“BECAUSE IT IS INDUSTRY RELEVANT” quality

“Quite a balanced journal”

“Good industry coverage and interesting articles”

coveraGe

good

innovation

reports but most of

opinion” eports and Opinions Profiles Regional Reports Varietal Reports Winemaking Viticulture Wine Business Marketing Technolog up to date information” all I am simply made vation Key Files Opinions News WFA Wine Australia ASVO Richard Smart AWRI Regional Reports Profiles Winemak

to feel ‘connected’ “It News seems to be the most useful “Verygoodbalance Viticulture Marketing Innovation Key Files Opinions WFA Wine Australia Wine Business ASVO Richard Sma betweenviticulture to the industry” andoenology” practical magazine know” rietal Reports AWRI Regional Reports IAWRI Profiles Technology News Viticulture Marketing Key Files Opinions WF

chnology

ine Business Innovation ASVO

Richard Smart Varietal Reports

Winemaking Wine Australia

*Readership survey July 2012

AWRI Regional Repor

rietal Reports News Viticulture Key Files WFA Technology Innovation ASVO Richard Smart Winemaking Wine Australia Profi

ine Business Opinions Marketing News AWRI Technology Viticulture Key Files WFA Marketing Innovation ASVO Richard Sma nemaking Wine Australia Profiles Wine Business Varietal Reports Regional Subscribe by: Reports Opinions News ASVO Technolog culture Key Files WFA Marketing Varietal Reports Innovation Richard Winemaking Wine Business Regional Repor W:Smart www.winebiz.com.au/wvj

nions AWRI Wine SOLUTIONS Australia Profiles PROVIDING TO THE WINE INDUSTRY

74

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

E: subs@winetitles.com.au W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

T: +618 8369 9522 V28N1


PROFILE

BD by design By Mark Smith

David Botting, chief viticulturist at Burch Family Wines, Western Australia’s largest family-owned boutique wine company, talks about his love of unconventional vineyard management and his involvement in one of the Great Southern’s most ambitious vineyard development programs.

D

avid Botting loves Western Australia’s south-west corner. It mightn’t show in his body language after a working day that has included a 10-hour drive from Busselton to Margaret River, Mount Barker and back again, but you can surely tell by the tone of his voice and the thoughtful nature of his conversation that he’s totally absorbed by the challenges of his job here. Botting is chief viticulturist at Burch Family Wines, Western Australia’s largest family-owned boutique wine company. It owns two of the state’s best-known premium wine brands, MadFish and Howard Park. A third was added to the company’s portfolio when principals Jeff (chief executive) and Amy Burch (general manager) joined forces with French Canadian Pascal Marchand to create the Marchand and Burch brand. Vast distances are nothing new for Botting. This affable bloke from Busselton grew up in Mount Gambier, South Australia. He has spent more than 30 years living and working in wine regions far removed from the bright lights and nine-to-five humdrum of life of the city. Indeed, since Burch and Marchand formed their partnership in 2006 and began producing their small but discrete range of super premium Burgundy and Western Australian wines, even periodic visits to France have become part of the job. “You know, I’m really excited by what we’ve managed to create and develop here in the Great Southern,” says Botting as he examines a handful of locally brewed compost. “Every day that I visit the region, I find I’m discovering something new and interesting.” In anyone else’s hands, Botting’s little bit of sweet-smelling, dark organic matter would seem quite unremarkable. But this is no unique management regime; it’s the fuel that’s being used to drive one of the Great Southern’s most ambitious vineyard development programs. Three sites play key roles in the program. One is located six kilometres east of Mount Barker and is called the Mount Barrow Vineyard. Long-established fans of the property’s wines would know it better as the Scotsdale Vineyard. The change of name V2 8N 1

David Botting with the compost that is being used on one of the Great Southern’s most ambitious vineyard development programs due to its commitment to biodynamics. happened a couple of years back to enable the company to separate the vineyard’s regional identity from its Denmark-based winery on Scotsdale Road. The second site – called Gibraltar Rock – is privately owned by a Perth surgeon and located just 12km away in the Porongurup Ranges. A decade or more ago, it was called Karrivale. The third is a recently acquired 40-year-old Cabernet vineyard that has been the long-term source of grapes for Howard Park’s flagship Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon. What makes the company’s vineyard development program so ambitious is its commitment to biodynamics. Biodynamic viticulture has its roots firmly fixed in the W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

principles of farming and agriculture put forward in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner. The Austrian philosopher and educator developed his ideas at a time when much of Europe was still recovering from the ravages of war and struggling to provide the agricultural produce it needed to rebuild the continent. Steiner regarded the farm as a single unified entity comprising many interrelated parts. Beyond that, the Austrian proposed it was also part of a wider system of lunar and cosmic rhythms that influenced the growth and decay of all living things. Botting’s interpretation of biodynamics comes with far less dogma and is much www.winebiz. com . au

75


PROFILE

The biggest issue facing the 200ha biodynamic Mount Barrow property, which features a planted area of close to 60ha of Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, is wind. But, David Botting says “we can live with it”, thanks to an innovation developed especially for the site comprising kilometres of hand-made, green wind cloth that has been erected on the windward side of every fifth row in the most exposed blocks. more concerned about modern-day notions of sustainability and vineyard terroir. “My approach here is all about genetic diversity,” he explains. “Sustainability for us means that this land has to be a viable working environment that can sustain a whole range of living things. That means creating less of a monoculture and more of a range of biodiversity of life forms. Composting is an important part of that process. It’s not there just as a soil conditioner or to help with water retention. “The worst thing that can happen here is not an outbreak of disease or an invasion of pests, but that we’d follow the rule book of conventional vineyard management. We’ve got to get over much of the current conversation about clones and rootstocks, for instance. There’s no one top-performing clone – whatever the variety might be – and there’s no silver bullet. “The vines on our Mount Barrow Vineyard, for instance, are all on their own roots. That’s been a deliberate choice. We don’t see any compelling reason to use rootstocks. In fact, much of the selection of rootstocks that has taken place to date in places like Australia and New Zealand has been based on increasing vineyard capacity. Our goal here is to build for quality of production, not volume. Slow and steady, rather than fertilise into oblivion.” Botting, along with David Burch, group vineyards manager, has been responsible for charting the biodynamic course of the Mount Barker development since day one. He and his vineyard team turned

76

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

its first sod back in late 2004, the year Botting joined Howard Park after working for renowned viticulturist and industry consultant, Di Davidson. Botting says the project was preceded by a 10-year period of ‘just quietly looking around’ at what was going on in cool climate wine regions like the Great Southern. With a planted area of close to 60ha of Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, the 200ha Mount Barrow property is clearly set well apart from the pocket handkerchief league of the vast majority of Australian and New Zealand biodynamic vineyards. Its unconventional management practices go hand in hand with an unconventional aspect: vines there look south towards the ocean, some 50km away. “You get to work with the sun on your back and, of course, there’s a great view, but the site comes with its challenges,” Botting admits. “The biggest issues we face come with the wind. Even though we’re quite a distance from the coast, and situated 380m above sea level – the highest of any vineyard in Western Australia – our vines really get a battering at times. That’s posed real problems for flowering and fruitset in our Chardonnay, and it also limits early shoot growth in our Riesling. But we can live with it now, thanks to a new innovation we’ve developed especially for this site.” Botting points towards the many kilometres of green wind cloth he’s had erected on the windward side of every fifth row in the most exposed blocks of the Mount Barrow Vineyard. Literally handmade for the job, the metre-high cloth is retained in place by a system of wires and fabric eyelets that allow it to be lifted into its defensive position in early spring. It is collapsed into position directly underneath vines during summer to allow sea breezes to provide both welcome cooling effects and maximum air circulation through canopies. Botting says a more permanent structure would have mitigated problems with wind during spring, but may have created other problems during the rest of the growing season. He gives credit to researcher Dr Peter Dry for the idea. The innovation was born out of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation funded research on wind effects on grapevines he worked on with Dry in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills. A pattern of declining annual rainfall in the region is also a cause for concern. Botting says this part of Western Australia has been experiencing a long-term drying trend, with 580mm now the average figure for the last 30 years rather than the 700mm that was more commonplace a century ago. As if that wasn’t enough of a W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

challenge, much of the viticultural land in these parts – including the Mount Barrow site – is lean and gravelly, with little or no water-holding capacity. Botting anticipated the issue prior to planting. All 60ha of his company’s vines are irrigated by a network of 0.4L/hr drippers located 400mm underground. Rather than simply dropping water on the surface of the soil – and losing a portion of it to the evaporative effects of sun and wind – a meagre amount is periodically applied directly at the rootzone. The practice encourages vines to send feeder roots to greater and greater depths during their early years of establishment, thus ensuring plants become much more drought tolerant over time. Botting admits his Antipodean practice of vineyard irrigation – as unconventional it may be – doesn’t exactly conform with accepted biodynamic practice in the Northern Hemisphere. But he believes it does need to remain a part of his company’s strategy if the site is to be managed in a way that is genuinely sustainable. He says there is a huge chasm between using water to drive high yields and using it to prevent vines from keeling over in the region’s harsh environment. Besides, Botting is prepared to doff his hat towards Burgundy in a variety of other ways. All operations in high-density plantings, for example, are done manually, from putting out compost to carrying grapes after hand picking. Thinning back to one bunch per shoot is carried out rigorously by hand in order to achieve a targeted yield of one kilogram of fruit per vine. Botting explains the high-density Mount Barrow plantings fall within the range of 6000 to 7000 vines per hectare. Instead of being mono-clonal, rows are poly-clonal, a little more in line with the traditional ‘selection massale’ practised in French vineyards. “We’ve actually brought into the country through quarantine three different clones of Pinot Noir from Burgundy, specially selected by Pascal,” he says. “They’re not French vine improvement, public release stock. Rather than plant our selections on a row-by-row basis, we’ve established a carefully considered diverse range of clones within randomised block designs; essentially mixing up clones within blocks, but in carefully replicated ways so that we still know what they are and can monitor their genetic variations.” It’s little wonder Botting takes occasional 10-hour road trips in his stride. The more you think about what he’s up to these days in the Great Southern, the more you understand this man is on a trip of a different kind… the journey of a lifetime. V28N1


re g i o na l rep o r t

Great Southern land By Mark Smith

Members of Western Australia’s Great Southern wine region grapple with several production challenges, but many are achieving great results from a range of varieties, particularly Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon.

T

here are two ways of getting to the heart of viticulture in Western Australia’s Great Southern region. One is by road, heading southeast of Perth via State Route 30 and venturing into any of the vineyard cellar doors that can be found around Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and Porongurup. The other begins in Berkshire, England, with a young agricultural college graduate looking to make a fresh start in a new land. The first is a four or five hour drive from the city. The second has been the journey of a lifetime for Bouverie Vineyard owner, Tony Smith. Now in his 70s, the one-time jackaroo and founder of Plantagenet Wines is regarded as one of the grapegrowing pioneers of the Great Southern. Indeed, Smith has the rare distinction of being honoured as a patron of the Australian wine industry. The title was bestowed upon him in 2001 by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia. Smith says today’s Great Southern – particularly around the small township of Mount Barker, 50km north of Albany – is a far cry from the sleepy hollow it was in 1965 when he first moved there from New South Wales. Barely five years after sailing to Australia as a ‘£10 Pom,’ Smith and his wife Alison arrived to find agriculture in the region still in its infancy. Much of the countryside had remained heavily forested until the 1950s and the coming of the bulldozer. Raising sheep and cattle or growing apples – sometimes combined into mixed farming operations – had since become the typical pattern of land use. The Smiths’ Bouverie property is at Denbarker, almost halfway between the coastal town of Denmark and Mount Barker further inland to the north. From the outset, the couple toiled long and hard in its ancient soils. Very soon, it became clear they needed to diversify the beef, wool and fat lambs business they were establishing. And they weren’t the only ones in the region to find farming a challenge. Barely two kilometres away, Tony and Betty Pearse were drawing the same conclusion. Smith recalls that diversification into grapegrowing was practically thrust upon his neighbours. “Back in 1955, visiting University of V2 8N 1

Bouverie Vineyard owner Tony Smith, the founder of Plantagenet Wines, is regarded as one of the grapegrowing pioneers of the Great Southern and says the region today is a far cry from the sleepy hollow it was in 1965 when he first moved there from New South Wales, particularly around the small township of Mount Barker. California viticulture professor Harry Olmo identified the Great Southern as a region with significant potential for producing high quality, light to medium-bodied table wines,” he explains. “When the region’s apple industry was in danger of collapse in the early 1960s, the State Government decided to review Olmo’s findings. It established a grape industry committee in 1963. Within two years, a research paper prepared by the University of Western Australia’s Dr John Gladstones added weight to Olmo’s findings a decade earlier.” Upon receiving Gladstone’s advice, state viticulturist Bill Jamieson and the Department of Agriculture began focussing their attention on Mount Barker and the surrounding countryside. In 1965, department officers successfully negotiated a 10-year lease for a parcel of land on the Pearses’ Forest Hill property, 18km west of the township. The following year, one hectare each of Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon were added to its gravelly loams, more than a century after early settler and St Werburgh’s founder George EgertonWarburton planted the region’s first vines. Now one of the Great Southern’s prime W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

vineyard sites, Forest Hill would offer its industry newcomers a fresh set of demands for resources. The Pearses had no knowledge or experience of wine and viticulture. But they proved to be fast and skillful learners. The wet spring and early summer of 1966 waterlogged their vines and resulted in a very poor strike rate. More favourable seasons followed the next year. In 1967, the site was successfully replanted and the Department’s trials were finally under way. Forest Hill’s first vintage in 1972 – widely celebrated by the industry in late 2012 – marked the starting point of a 40year Riesling odyssey in the Great Southern that continues today. When Angela and Tony Smith came to plant their two hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz in 1968, the experimental nature of the work at Forest Hill required Bouverie Vineyard and developments like theirs to soldier on without help from the Department of Agriculture. But with time came successful patterns of viticulture that could be followed by others, like Alkoomi’s Lange family, and the Roches, at Frankland River. Smith says that Bill Jamieson and the Swan Valley winemaker that assisted him, Dorham www.winebiz. com . au

77


re g i o na l rep o r t

Alex Taylor, of Poachers Ridge, says Marsanne and Viognier appear only marginal propositions in Mount Barker and locations further south, saying it has taken him 10 years to get Viognier established. Mann, played key roles in helping to shape the region’s first wines. Today, the Great Southern lives up to its name by encompassing an area of land almost 150km north to south, 100km east to west, and comprising five sub-regions. According to figures held by Wine Australia, the industry in 2010 had more than two dozen varieties bearing fruit in its 2800 hectares of vineyards. Shiraz headed the list (636ha), with Cabernet Sauvignon (512ha) next in line. More recently, the region’s vineyard area is believed to have declined slightly due to the removal of vines, some planted as part of managed investment schemes. One source estimates the reduction may have been as much as 10 percent of the area surveyed in 2010. Visitors to the region will find the Great Southern’s dominant soil types are remarkably similar to those of Margaret River, 360km northwest of Mount Barker. Geologically, they are either lateritic gravelly sandy loams (marri hardwood country) or sandy loams (karri country) derived directly from weathered granite. Most are typically brown to grey-brown in colour, with the percentage of clay varying from one site to another. Soil fertility is moderate at best. The classic wine varieties of northern Europe do seem well suited to the region’s combination of ancient soils and mild to warm climate. Mediterranean selections such as Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Vermentino are also represented, but only in tiny amounts after recent establishment. These may pose fresh demands on growers. Already, the Rhone Valley white varieties of Marsanne and Viognier appear only marginal propositions for Mount Barker and locations further

78

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

south, according to Alex Taylor, at Poachers Ridge. “It has taken us 10 years to get Viognier going here,” he explains, pointing out its propensity for producing small leaf canopies on his site. “The cool evenings here also draw out its ripening period. Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling are much easier to grow and ripen. Their wine quality here is excellent and, of course, they have great ageing potential.” Albany and Denmark on the coast possess the region’s most strongly maritime-influenced climates. Denmark, with its mean maximum January temperature of 25.9ºC and relative humidity during the growing season of around 75% is marginally warmer and more humid than the former whaling station, but that doesn’t tell the full story, according to Yilgarnia’s Peter Buxton. “Each day between 11.00am and 1pm, we get a sea breeze here in Denmark,” he notes. “We can be among the warmest parts of Western Australia when there’s a hot northerly blowing, but a 40ºC start to the day can become 22ºC by 2-3.00pm. Generally, temperature variations here on the coast are quite low. Meanwhile, our average October-April rainfall is only about 350mm,” Buxton said. Vineyards further north of Albany and Denmark show greater continentality and the increasing temperature variability that is associated with it. Frankland River, in the northwest of the region, is furthest inland and experiences the Great Southern’s warmest and least humid ripening seasons. Its mean maximum January temperature of 28.1ºC is almost two degrees warmer than Mount Barker, some 90km to the W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

southeast. Rainfall around 310mm is typical for a Frankland River vineyard during its growing and ripening seasons. Surprisingly, Mount Barker’s October-April rainfall is the lowest of the five sub-regions, averaging out to just 287mm per year. Indeed, the mountain itself is something of a surprise. It is barely a bump on the landscape. Vineyards nearby typically have altitudes within a range of 180-250 metres. In general, the region’s highest vineyards are located among the Porongurup Ranges, or the Porongurups, as they are known more colloquially. Their 310mm average rainfall might be a little more than for Mount Barker, but the climate across these northern facing slopes is still very favourable and even slightly warmer on elevated blocks. The reason is clear-cut, according to Howard Park viticulturist David Botting. “Our Gibraltar Rock Vineyard, in the Porongurups, sits right up against some ancient granite slopes that are almost 1.5 billion years old,” he explains. “That huge mass of rock creates a very interesting mesoclimate. As the granite warms up during the day, it captures heat and re-radiates it into the nearby vineyards, providing some slight temperature increases that reduce frost risk, while maintaining relatively low levels of humidity, around 54%. It is quite distinctive; really ideal for Riesling,” Botting said. As far as pests and diseases are concerned, the greatest threats are little different from those experienced by vineyards in eastern states. Botrytis bunch rot and powdery mildew, in particular, take their toll in some seasons, especially during autumn when there can be periods of high rainfall or high humidity. The former disease is most widely reported among Riesling vineyards. The variety’s thin-skinned, tightly-packed berries make it very susceptible to botrytis and other forms of rot. Interestingly, downy mildew is a fairly recent arrival in the Great Southern, as it is in the rest of the state. The disease was only detected for the first time in a commercial Western Australian vineyard in 1998. Not so new are the myriad bird species that contribute to disease risk by damaging ripening berries just prior to harvest. Young vines are most susceptible to damage by African black beetles (Heteronychus arator). The risk remains for about two seasons after planting out, beyond which vines become too woody to be damaged. Garden weevils, meanwhile, offer ongoing but intermittent concerns for growers. “All things considered,” remarks West Cape Howe managing director Gavin Berry, “the Great Southern is a fantastic place for growing vines. With a little bit of vine manipulation, you can get great results from a range of varieties. In the case of Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, you can make some terrific wines. They’re both bloody good.” V28N1


re g i o na l rep o r t

The 13ha Galafrey Vineyard at Mount Barker produces a range of estate wines that are marketed proactively as ‘dry land’ or ‘dry grown.’ “We don’t believe it’s necessary,” says vineyard manager Nigel Rowe of irrigation. “We are not chasing big yields here, so we simply rely on Mother Nature to provide us with water.”

Access to quality water the key to growth By Mark Smith

Remoteness from Perth and lack of critical mass has led several Great Southern wine producers to think cleverly about managing their businesses.

I

t has been almost 60 years since pioneering viticulturist and University of California professor Harold Olmo made his assessment of Western Australia’s potential for table wine production and concluded that the Great Southern was eminently suitable for grapegrowing. Today, proof of the veracity of his research is everywhere to be seen, from award-winning Great Southern wines to vineyard expansions that have seen the industry there approach 3000 hectares. All that noted, there is little doubt that one of the major problems the Great Southern has had to face during its brief but exciting history has been its lack of a critical mass. The truth is the region still only accounts for about a quarter of Western Australia’s vineyard area, and less than two percent of the nation’s vines. Ambitious vineyard developments set up under managed investment schemes have done little to improve the situation. Similarly, changes in company ownership and management have also seen the removal of vineyards. Indeed, some analysts have noted that there is likely to have been a net decline in vine plantings in the Great Southern in recent years due to industry re-structuring. V2 8N 1

Frankland Estate winemaker Brian Kent says machine harvesting is becoming more and more commonplace in the Great Southern and believes the quality of the fruit has improved accordingly. A low population base – just 60,000 inhabitants spread across a handful of small regional centres – and the Great Southern’s remoteness from Perth compound the issues related to critical mass. For producers already well established in the industry, the tyranny of distance looms large when W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

it comes to matters of logistics. While many of the region’s vineyards are lowyielding and supply fruit to premium and super premium wine brands, machine-harvesting is becoming more commonplace and is often regarded as far more efficient and reliable than handpicking. ▶ www.winebiz. com . au

79


re g i o na l rep o r t

Rob (left) and Angelo Diletti, of Castle Rock Estate, in the Porogurups, have been water-wise from the day planning for the 11ha site began.

Alkoomi vineyard manager Rod Hallett manages a complex and extensive system of drains, water collection channels and holding dams and has found it is possible to move diverted rainwater to Alkoomi’s storage dams without the use of pumps. “We used to do hand-picking all the time in the early days, but it has just become too difficult for us,” observes Frankland Estate winemaker Brian Kent. “Out here, you can’t just pick up the phone on the day you need them and arrange for 40 people to arrive in your vineyard for a day’s work. If you try going ahead with a smaller number of pickers than you really need, harvesting in the early morning can drag out and you end up with sensitive varieties like Riesling coming out of the vineyard during the heat of the day. That only oxidises the fruit. I think the reality here is that we now get better fruit quality under machine harvesting conditions.” It is not unusual these days to find the springtime operations of shoot thinning and trellis wire lifting being carried out

80

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

by casual labourers. Sometimes they are sourced from the ranks of backpackers touring the region. On other occasions, they might be visa-carrying immigrants who have recently fled war-torn countries. Equipment failure is never welcomed in the wine industry, but in the Great Southern it can have wide-reaching consequences. “You have to be fully self-sufficient, to be able to do everything yourself in the vineyard and the winery, or at least do it with minimal reliance on outside help,” says Kent’s near neighbour, Alkoomi vineyard manager Rod Hallett. The one-time panel beater is clearly good with his hands. More importantly, he is not averse to using them to help fabricate onsite vital spare parts or W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

purpose-built equipment such as undervine weeders. “If a pump breaks down out here, you need to be able to fix it yourself on the spot,” Hallett says. “You can’t make a service call to Perth unless you’ve had three or four pumps break down.” If there is a key word that describes producers in these parts, it’s that they are resourceful. Nowhere has that been more evident than in the development of new and varied strategies to cope with the region’s double-whammy of declining natural rainfall and increasing levels of groundwater salinity, both at least in part attributed to the de-forestation that has taken place in the region over the past 30 years. Indeed, if one accepts recent climate change modelling, conditions for growers in the Great Southern may see the evolution of a triple-whammy. Unlike Margaret River, which is expected to see average growing season temperatures rise by about 0.25ºC, climate change projections for sites around Frankland River and Mount Barker in the central north of the region indicate increases of 1.5ºC by 2050. Evaporation rates are also set to climb. If correct, budburst, ripening and harvest periods are all likely to be affected significantly. That brings into question whether the current key varieties there, particularly Riesling, will remain appropriate in the future. This range of regional concerns has added interest and purpose to longstanding discussions there about vineyard irrigation and appropriate water management. Among those most vocal in their disdain for watering vines are the Tyrer family, at Mount Barker. Their 13ha Galafrey Vineyard was established by the late Ian Tyrer in 1977. It produces a range of estate wines that are marketed proactively as ‘dry land’ or ‘dry grown.’ “Only our Chardonnay, Merlot and one block of Riesling have ever been irrigated on this property, and that was when they were young,” explains vineyard manager Nigel Rowe. “These days, we don’t irrigate at all. Sure, we’ve got a storage dam but I’ve never seen the pump working. It hasn’t been used in years. We don’t believe it’s necessary. We are not chasing big yields here, so we simply rely on Mother Nature to provide us with water. Our reward is high quality, high intensity grapes. “In the old days, we used to rotary hoe and clear every second row. These days, we have rye grass in the inter-rows. When it’s cut, we try to get the mower to throw it under the vines to build up a bit of mulch to retain moisture there. Our Riesling V28N1


re g i o na l rep o r t

struggles a bit, especially in getting a good canopy; so does Cabernet Franc, but then our Chardonnay grows like a weed.” Bouverie Vineyard’s Tony Smith remembers the old days, too, and things were certainly different. “During the early years of Plantagenet Wines, our vineyard was unirrigated,” Smith recalls. “Eventually, we put drippers on during the 1980s. But even today, I’m not so sure you need irrigation. January and February is the struggle period. When we do use it, we try to replicate rain events. Instead of watering once a week for an hour, we water once a month for 12 hours, which would be similar to having a couple of inches of rain. Sure, at times, we can get a little basal leaf loss or a little desiccation, but when we’ve looked at the roots on our old vines, we find they’re down around two metres, effectively drought-proofing them. I think we’ve become cleverer in other ways in the use of our water than we were in the old days.” Any careful examination of the Great Southern will reveal there is no limit to the cleverness that is applied to water management. At places like Alkoomi, West Cape Howe Wines and Castle Rock Estate, roof tops and car parking facilities now have a dual role, that of providing increased and more efficient water catchment during periods of normal precipitation. Castle Rock Estate owner Angelo Diletti has been water-wise from the day he began planning his 11ha site in the Porogurups. Inter-row plantings of cover crops are nothing new here. The area between his vines has never been cultivated. “It’s all grassed and mowed, so that soil erosion and surface evaporation are less of a problem,” Diletti explains. “Across most of the vineyard, we have planted the rows with a slope of two degrees and waterways at the end. Being on the edge of a hillside means that we’ve got a gully behind us – essentially what would be the start of a creek – and we also collect water from there. We have now got three dams on the property, so we are okay for water.” Frankland River’s Alkoomi Wines has had to do more than simply capture the run-off from natural rain events. The surrounding sub-region is generally troubled by rising soil salinity. In addition to managing a complex and extensive system of drains, water collection channels and holding dams, vineyard manager Rod Hallett has had to learn to closely monitor the property’s everchanging water quality. With some very astute planning and the aid of a GPS V2 8N 1

Tony Smith, of Bouverie Vineyard, says the clearing of vast areas in what is now Western Australia’s wheat belt during the mid-1950s to mid-60s resulted in a loss of around 100mm of winter rainfall in the Great Southern region during that period. device and contour maps, he has found it is possible to move diverted rainwater to Alkoomi’s storage dams without the use of pumps. Various underground water courses compromised by salinity have also been identified. With significant amendments to existing infrastructure, these salt streams are now being managed effectively, thus reducing the risk of contaminating higher quality irrigation water already held in storage. “There’s a finite amount of water available in this region, so all our drippers here deliver two litres per hour,” Hallett notes. “That’s a lot less than many other vineyards around the country would be using.” Gladly, all is not gloom and doom for potential growers thinking about entering the industry. Tony Smith says that while he has witnessed first-hand a significant worsening in rainfall patterns and soil salinity, it appears human activities can have both negative and positive effects, all within a short space of time. Carefully targeted remediation into the future may bring surprisingly quick remedies. “In the mid-1950s to mid-60s, the clearing of vast areas of Western Australia in what is now the state’s wheat belt resulted in a falling away of rainfall in an area roughly southwest of a line from Geraldton to Hopetown on the south coast,” he notes. “In our region, that amounted to a loss of around 100mm of winter rainfall over that 10-year period. In the late 1990s, the planting of blue gums south of a line west to east from Manjimup through W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Frankland to the Stirling Ranges has resulted in an increase of winter rain south of Muirs Highway. This is the road that connects Manjimup to Mount Barker. Our rainfall at Denbarker over the last 10 years has been around 60mm more per year than for the previous 10 years. “Soil salinity in our area has gone down 40 percent as well. Dams on Bouverie dug for trout production and selected for their relatively high salinity – around 1000mS/cm – are now holding water that is less than 600mS/cm, which is almost irrigation quality. The changes have been quite striking, both in magnitude and in the rate at which they have taken place,” Smith said. Similarly, Yilgarnia owner Peter Buxton says he also has good news for anyone considering investments in the Great Southern’s wine industry. He believes nearby Bornholm – midway between Denmark and Albany in the deep south of the Great Southern – could support significant future development in viticulture. He has been waiting for someone to make the first move in tapping the area’s potential. “It’s known that there is certainly plenty of good quality water under the ground there,” he points out. “In fact, there’s a whole coastal strip down there where there’s water. There are also blue gums there, and they are very good indicators of soil fertility. You wouldn’t get high yields as a result of bores being sunk there, but you would get very good fruit quality. Right now, I reckon the best wine sub-region around WVJ here isn’t even growing grapes.” www.winebiz. com . au

81


re g i o na l rep o r t

Great Southern Riesling: blended for quality By Mark Smith

The Great Southern wine region and Riesling have only recently formed a successful partnership, but it’s a love affair that will continue to deepen.

W

hat are your favourite grape varieties?” someone once asked noted UK wine critic Jancis Robinson during an online chat session. “Riesling,” replied the Master of Wine. “And your favourite blends of grapes?” added the inquisitor. “Riesling and Riesling,” she shot back. “Riesling blended with Riesling would be pretty good.” Smart answer. Riesling blended with Riesling can produce superb wines, given a well-chosen vineyard site and favourable growing conditions. To find the proof, one only needs to visit a handful of producers in Western Australia’s Great Southern. Grapegrowers and winemakers there have discovered Germany’s classic white grape really does produce top-notch wines when there’s some genetic diversity in the plant material being grown in their vineyards. The winning formula for wine show success, five-star ratings and mega point scores in blind tastings does appear to be a blend of readily identifiable clonal selections like D2V3, 198Gm and 239Gm and those simply recorded as McWilliams, Pewsey Vale, or ‘unknown’. Indeed, the latter descriptor is likely to be the one most commonly quoted if you seek data from renowned Great Southern Riesling producers. These must surely include Alkoomi, Burch and Marchand (formerly Howard Park), Castle Rock, Duke’s, Ferngrove, Forest Hill, Frankland Estate, Galafrey, Oranje Tractor, Plantagenet and Xabregas. “We certainly don’t know what clone ours is; we got the cuttings from Tony Smith’s Plantagenet Vineyards in the mid-1990s,” says Oranje Tractor’s Pamela Lincoln. Ask Tony Smith, and he’ll explain his earliest plantings date back to the 1960s and came from an unknown selection, sourced from Houghton Wines, in the Swan Valley. Try advancing the investigation and it’s likely you’ll draw a complete blank. Western Australia’s first Riesling vines – including those brought to Houghton – probably entered the industry in the 19th century from Europe

82

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

via South Africa. Vast expanses of hot desert country and various quarantine laws are likely to have made importation of plant material from eastern Australia something of a challenge 100 years ago. Talk Riesling with the variety’s aficionados and many will argue it is the region’s stylish Riesling wines that added the word ‘great’ to Great Southern. True that may be in the case of white varieties, the reality is that Riesling and the Great Southern have been connected only relatively recently. The first varietal wine produced can be traced to the 1972 Forest Hill Riesling grown in Mount Barker. Widespread critical acclaim for the region’s Riesling has really only evolved since the Federal Government passed legislation in 2000 to prevent Riesling being used as a generic term. The initiative undoubtedly has helped remove some of the confusion that had been built up in the minds of consumers used to seeing the word Riesling on bulk wines of dubious origin and quality. Despite being one of the two grape varieties considered best suited to the region by US viticulture professor Harry Olmo back in 1955, Riesling remains under-represented in Great Southern vineyards. According to data kept by Wine Australia, there were just 202 hectares of it bearing fruit in 2010, around seven percent of the region’s total planted area. More than twice that area is devoted to Chardonnay and, indeed, to Sauvignon Blanc. Surprisingly, there is also more Semillon in the Great Southern – 250 hectares – than there is Riesling. Granted, producers like Peter Buxton, at Yilgarnia Wines, outside Denmark, will tell you consumers in Australia largely under-appreciate both Semillon and Riesling. The fact remains that Riesling in the Great Southern is capable of producing a much more diverse range of wine styles than Semillon, from sparkling to still table wines; from dry to off-dry and sweet table wines. Practically all can be found in the premium and super premium sectors of the retail market. Buxton’s own support for Semillon over Riesling should come as no surprise for anyone familiar with both the region and the varieties. Located on W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Lee Haselgrove, of Forest Hill, is one of a handful of Great Southern viticulturists who in recent years have rationalised their existing vineyard plantings to sites and vine selections that work well together. the southern coast of Western Australia, Denmark has a climate that is strongly maritime-influenced. Many of the great Riesling vineyards of the world are subject to the strong climatic influences of continentality and the high diurnal differences that result from warm days and cold nights during ripening and harvesting months. Buxton’s planting decisions were made on the basis of almost 20 years’ experience. Employed by the Department of Agriculture, he spent the late 1960s and early 1970s helping company principals plan vineyards throughout Margaret River and the Great Southern. “Like most typical Australian wine regions, we’ve got Riesling, Chardonnay, Semillon, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon all planted in the same postcode,” muses Forest Hill vineyard manager Lee Haselgrove. “How ridiculous is that? Can we really expect to be good at everything?” Haselgrove is one of a handful of Great Southern viticulturists who has spent considerable time and money in recent years paring back existing vineyard plantings to sites and vine selections that V28N1


re g i o na l rep o r t

work well together. The former South Australian joined Forest Hill in 2007. Among his first tasks was the removal and re-location of a small block of Riesling that had been planted on sand in the decade after the property’s original owners – the Pearse family – moved on in 1989. “The vines should never have been put there,” Haselgrove explains, “so we hired an excavator, dug them all up and moved them to a more suitable site where they have been replanted in 3.5m rows with 1.5m vine spacings.” Today, the Mount Barker property has three discrete Riesling sites. Block 1 contains the Great Southern’s oldest Riesling vines, planted in 1966 and 1967. Block 2 was planted in 1975, while a yet-to-be-named block was established in 2009. All are cane pruned and bunchthinned in spring to produce more open, evenly displayed leaf canopies and targeted crop yields of around 2-3 tonnes per hectare. “Managing a dry grown vineyard obligates us to consider the entire soil volume that is available to vine roots,” Haselgrove says. “Our goal is maximise that volume and improve soil conditions in terms of its physical structure and biological activity. We gave up using herbicides here in 2006 after seeing the adverse impacts chemicals have on the biological activity in the soil. Since 2007, we have been broadcasting large volumes of our own composted material. We also cultivate some blocks to force vine roots to extend deeper into the earth. For the first 20 years of its life, the majority of the vineyard was cultivated under vine. I believe that had a major effect on forcing the roots to find their own moisture and nutrients. As a result, the vineyard never looks like it needs water in the way that many irrigated sites do during summer.” When Judi Cullam and Barrie Smith established their Isolation Ridge Vineyard at Frankland Estate in 1988, irrigation was very much a part of its management strategy. Roughly 50km northwest of Forest Hill Vineyard as the crow flies, this part of the Great Southern is significantly warmer and drier than Mount Barker. Dry grown viticulture can be a challenge, especially in raising young vines. Almost 25 years on, drip irrigation has largely been left out of Frankland Estate’s management strategies. In its place is a program of intensive organic vineyard management designed to increase biodiversity and soil fertility. Mid-row cul­ti­vation and a variety of compost­ing and mulching tech­niques are very much in evidence. V2 8N 1

Duke’s Vineyard owner Ian Ranson has developed a somewhat unorthodox response to vigour in managing his 13-year-old Riesling vines via VSP incorporating two pairs of cordons. “We haven’t actually removed our irrigation,” explains winemaker Brian Kent. “We would just prefer to work without it in the belief that it helps produce better and more interesting wines. We do irrigate occasionally, as we did in the very dry summer of 2011. Our vines really suffered that year, and the Riesling had very short shoots early on. Our irrigation system wasn’t really up to scratch, but luckily we got rain in January, which brought everything back to life again.” Since 2001, Frankland Estate has developed a reputation for organising renowned international Riesling tastings. It also produces three impressive single vineyard wines. Each Riesling is high quality, yet quite distinctive in the way that it reflects the uniqueness of its site and growing conditions. The vineyards are all located within 25km of each other, close to the Frankland River. As a body of water, it may not be especially impressive, but the river’s role in viticulture here is critical. Essentially, it acts as a heat exchanger, bringing cooling breezes from the Southern Ocean up into the valley and surrounding countryside. In spring, the river reduces the threat of frosts by channelling cold air away from vineyards towards the coast. Those moderating effects over summer are particularly beneficial for Riesling, not just at Frankland Estate but also at nearby Alkoomi, Ferngrove and Netley Road Vineyard. The latter has a history that is almost as long and as glorious as Forest Hill. Formerly owned by the Roche family and established on the farming property of Westfield, Netley Road Vineyard was planted in 1966, W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

making it one of the oldest vineyards in the Great Southern. Old Riesling vines – indeed even whole vineyards – are few and far between in the Porongurup Ranges east of Mount Barker. Viticulture did not arrive on these rugged granitic slopes until the late 1970s. And while Millinup Estate, Jingalla and Karrivale pioneered the sub-region, the excellent Rieslings of Castle Rock Estate and Duke’s Vineyard carry the torch for the variety in the current decade. According to Dr John Gladstones, this part of the Great Southern is truly unique. He describes a dense layer of cold air settling on the valley floor at the end of the day and becoming trapped in place by projecting hills around it. This cold air can then be overlaid by warm night air, ensuring less temperature variability or extremes of temperature during the ripening period. Duke’s Vineyard owner Ian Ranson has developed a somewhat unorthodox response to vigour in the sub-region. His 13-year-old Riesling vines are managed via a VSP arrangement that carries two pairs of cordons. On the advice of growers in South Australia’s Clare Valley, spur pruning is favoured over cane pruning. “You often end up with some long and ugly spurs,” he admits, “but we’ll usually come along in spring and remove some of those.” That, in part, explains the Great Southern’s outstanding success with Riesling. It’s not just Riesling blended with Riesling that produces the best wines. It’s Riesling blended with rigorous vineyard practices that are committed to quality. That’s a secret to success that’s really no WVJ secret at all. www.winebiz. com . au

83


TO P D R O P S

Ravensworth 2012 Riesling Two single-vineyard Rieslings recently took out top honours at major Australian wine shows. The 2012 Ravensworth Riesling was named best wine of the 2012 Canberra International Riesling Challenge, while Jim Barry Wines’ 2012 The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling was named best table wine of the National Wine Show of Australia. To find out why these two patches of grapes impressed the judges we asked their producers to provide us with some background on their making. LOCATION OF VINEYARD

T

he vineyard is located 5km south of Murrumbateman, in the Canberra District GI.

THE VINEYARD SITE The vineyard is on a gentle slope, with a north to south aspect over a ridge across two blocks. The site has an elevation of 620m. The surrounding land is undulating, with soils of duplex and decomposing granites. The mean January temperature is 20.4°C. Annual rainfall averages 600mm, with 25mm per month in spring and summer. Frost risk is high, but the vineyard is protected from wind due to being on a ridge. THE VINES The vineyard of 0.5ha was planted in 1998 to what is thought to be clone Giesenheim 198 on own roots. The vines rows are spaced 2.7m apart with vines at 1.5m. The vines are trellised to a VSP with double wires. VINE MANAGEMENT

Drip irrigation is applied around flowering at 20L/vine, depending on the weather. Shoot thinning is conducted as required. Green mulch is applied under vine and the natural grass is mown. The vines are spur pruned. An early season application of Declan or Captan, sulfur and copper every 10-14 days helps with pest and disease management, as do botrytis sprays at flowering. AVERAGE YIELD OF VINES 6-8 tonnes per hectare THE WINEMAKING PROCESS Vintage 2012 started well, with 25-40mm of rain during early season, turning mostly dry during flowering. Fruitset was good, but the bunch count was low with a crop estimate at veraison of 7t/ha. The weather deteriorated in late February, and a severe hail storm hit the vineyard from the south, dumping 2-3cm wind-driven hailstones

84

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

in a period of two minutes. The result was most of the leaves on the eastern side of the vines being removed, plus damage to each bunch. Over the following days, Rovral spray was applied but the grapes looked like they would fall apart. A week later, another Rovral spray was applied just before a large weather system moved through New South Wales, dumping 250mm of rain over four days. As no disease progressed, nets were applied. The grapes were hand harvested on 21 March 2012, picked into 10kg lugs. We harvested 2.5t of grapes, but each bunch had to have shrivelled fruit removed. The fruit was weighed and chilled to 6°C overnight before being whole bunch pressed, cold settled and enzyme and sulfur dioxide added. The juice analysis was 11oBaumé, pH2.91 and TA 13.2g/L. Pressings were fined with PVPP at 0.01g/L and kept unfermented in the reefer. The free run juice was racked to the fermenter with DV10 yeast added. FermControl yeast hulls were added at 8oBaumé and 4oBaumé (200ppm and 100ppm, respectively). The juice was fermented to dryness (less than 0.2g/L) over 10 days, before being chilled on lees with the addition of 50ppm PVPP, 30ppm ascorbic acid and 50ppm SO2. The wine was chilled to less than 1°C for 12 days, then filtered via a micron pad filter (plate and frame) with the addition of coldsettled pressing juice. SO2 was topped up to 20ppm free and filtered via a 0.7 micron cartridge and sterile membrane on the bottling truck. PRICE OF WINE RRP$20/bottle. WHERE SOLD Via the website, ravensworthwines. com.au RECENT AWARDS Best Canberra District Riesling, Best Riesling in Australia and Best Wine of Show in 2012 Canberra International Riesling Challenge. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

WHAT MAKES THIS WINE SO SPECIAL? The Canberra District has a good climate for Riesling, with cold nights and generally warm, dry days during the season. We tend toward very high acidity with low pH and high TA, so care is needed in balancing the acid. We track between 4-15g/L residual sugar, always using reserve juice rather than arrested ferment. In the winery, having control over fruit temperature prior to processing has given us a good tool in phenolic management. We are leaning toward more, if not total, whole bunch processing in future years. We don’t use additions other than enzymes for settling, neutral yeasts and natural nitrogen, PVPP for fining and ascorbic acid or SO2 for oxidation management. V28N1


TO P D R O P S

Jim Barry Wines 2012 The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling We asked Jim Barry Wines to provide us with the background on the making of the wine which was judged best table wine at the 2012 Dan Murphy’s National Wine Show. LOCATION OF VINEYARDS

T

he Lodge Hill vineyard is situated on the eastern ranges of the township of Clare, in the Clare Valley, South Australia. THE VINEYARD SITE At 480 metres above sea level, the Lodge Hill vineyard is one of the highest points in the Clare Valley. The original intention was to devote the entire Lodge Hill vineyard to premium Riesling. However, further investigation of the site showed a very different soil profile on the small north-facing slope. Warmer than the rest of the property, it was decided that it was the perfect place to plant Shiraz. The soil in the Riesling vineyard, on the southern side of the crest, is brown loam over a layer of clay and slate bedrock that is about 900 million years old and has cracked just off the vertical, so that water can drain freely through it. The Clare Valley has a mean January temperature of 21.9°C with an average of 195 frost-free days per annum. Annual rainfall is 634mm, with 199mm falling between October and March. During the growing season, the region has around 8.8 sunshine hours per day. Evening breezes from the Spencer Gulf cool the vineyards down quickly, thus, preserving acidity and mineral flavours in the wine. THE VINES The Riesling vines in the Lodge Hill Vineyard are between nine and 33 years old, planted on their own roots and the clone is GM198. There are 12 hectares of Riesling on the property currently, with new clonal material planned to be planted in the coming years. There are 1500 vines per hectare, with the vines spaced at 3.66m x 1.83m in the older plantings and 3m x 1m in the younger ones. The vines are trained to VSP trellising system with cling wires and lifting wires employed. V2 8N 1

VINE MANAGEMENT The vines are drip irrigated, and are fertigated early in the season to develop strong cane growth, with supplementary irrigation applied during summer as required to make sure that the vines do not experience any water stress. The canopy is set up to allow for dappled shade of the fruit and this is achieved through a combination of wire lifting, shoot tipping and under-vine skirting to achieve a ballerina effect. The vineyards have a nitrogen-fixing cover crop sown over winter to help replenish the soil nutrients, which is then slashed and thrown back undervine to aid in mulching. Trials with the use of composted grape marc as mulch are under investigation. The vines are machine pruned with a hand clean-up, with the aim of getting around 40-50 buds per vine, subject to vine vigour. A vigiliant spray program is followed in accordance with the guidelines set out by the AWRI in its ‘dog book’. The major disease pressure in this part of the Clare Valley is powdery mildew. Insecticides are not used in the Jim Barry vineyards. AVERAGE YIELD OF VINES 8-9 tonnes per hectare THE WINEMAKING PROCESS The vineyards are machine harvested during the cool of the night. Sulfur sprays onboard the machine harvesters are employed during the harvesting process. The grapes are transported to the winery within 30 minutes of being picked and are destemmed, crushed and chilled into our central membrane press. Typical analyses of the free run juice from this vineyard would be 11-12°Baumé, pH2.8-3 and TA 7-8.5. Only free run juice is used for this product. The cloudy juice is then clarified using the flotation process. The clear juice is racked away from the ‘floats’. The floats are then processed via our cross-flow filter with the juice lees option. These clarified floats are then combined with the clears. W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

The clear juice is then warmed to 18°C and innoculated with a mixture of cultured yeast strains. Fermentation takes place around 14°C once fermentation has started. The ferment is allowed to warm to 20°C for the final phase of fermentation to avoid any attenuated characters. Once the balance between natural acidity and residual sugar has been reached, the cooling is turned on and bentonite is added. Once the wine is chilled down the wine is racked and sulfur dioxide added. The wine is blended from its several components, fined as a whole and then heat and cold stabilised, prior to final filtration. PRICE OF WINE RRP$22/bottle. WHAT MAKES THE BLOCK SPECIAL This block of fruit is special due to the intense flavours and natural acidity that vines push into the fruit. The site and variety match seems to be well-suited to the production of premium Riesling, and the block has a history of producing award-winning wines. www.winebiz. com . au

85


varie t a l rep o r t

Bringing out the best in increasinglypopular Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio Australia’s crush of Pinot Gris, or Pinot Grigio as it is also known in this country, has undergone a spectacular rise in recent years, from just 2094 tonnes in 2004 to 57,078 tonnes in 2012. Now our sixth most important white grape variety, the industry’s intake of Pinot Gris/Grigio overtook Riesling in 2009 - and the gap has continued to increase in the three years since. The producers behind the top three Australian Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio in our recent tasting (see results starting on page 90) provide some insight into how some of the better examples of the wines are being made today. Antonio D’Onise Winemaker Windowrie Central Ranges, New South Wales Wine: 2012 Windowrie Family Reserve Pinot Gris (RRP$25.00/bottle) VITICULTURE Fruit for this wine is estate grown just outside of Orange, New South Wales. The site has an elevation of 610m and has a slope that faces north-east. The soils on the site comprise basalt-derived loams with large amounts of weathered shale. The average minimum and maximum temperatures for the 2011-12 growing season, as taken from our weather station, were as follows: Min Max October 7.5 21.1 November 11.4 26.1 December 11.7 24.5 January 14.2 27.8 February 14.8 26.5 March 11.7 24.2 April 7.2 22.7 There are 20.8 hectares of Pinot Gris (clone D1V7) planted on this site. The vines are grown on a VSP trellis with two foliage wires. In 2011-12, the vines received 0.5ML/ha of irrigation applied via drippers. Much of the water was applied from November onwards and at key phenological stages (flowering and veraison). A permanent vegetative sward is maintained between the rows and a layer of mulch is applied through slashing the sward. Vines are barrel pruned then followed by a hand clean-up to leave around 36 buds per vine. There was quite a lot of powdery mildew and botrytis pressure during the 2011-12 season, but the fruit was quite clean. In the future, we are considering shoot thinning and multiple harvests of these vines. Our biggest challenges in producing quality Pinot Gris are tight bunches and not extracting too much colour and phenolics, hence, we are looking at berry size manipulation. At harvest we look for ripe flavours such as pear, citrus and green apple, and balanced natural acidity. A typical analysis of the Pinot Gris at harvest: Baume 12.5-13 TA 7-8g/L pH 3.3 The Pinot Gris yields an average of 6-8t/ha.

86

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

Windowrie winemaker Antonio D’Onise. WINEMAKING The fruit was machine harvested at night at 12.4Be and delivered to the winery as soon as possible. No sulfur was added in the vineyard to allow for passive oxidation (colour and phenolic minimisation). The fruit was then destemmed and chilled to 10ºC at pressing and pectolytic enzyme and SO2 added at the juice tray. There was no use of a crusher, with the pressing made with the intention of rapid extraction. The press cut (approximtely 550600L/tonne) was made diligently when colour was evident in the juice tray. The pressings were kept and hyperoxidised but not used in this wine. Acidification and fining occurred on the juice in-tank. Clarification was achieved through cold settling. The juice was then racked and warmed to ferment with Laffort X5; the ferment was held at 0.5-1Be for 24 hours. The juice was fermented to dryness, microbial activity ceased with a preservative and the tank sealed with frequent monitoring for sulfide development. Six months’ ageing on full lees occurred with no stirring. Post-maturation, a rapid process of fining and acid and bentonite trials and additions took place with the intention of preparing the wine for bottling immediately once the palate weight and texture had developed in tank. The wine was then filtered and cold stabilised with CMC in order to maintain the trialled acid structure.

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


varie t a l rep o r t

Premium Estate Bottlers A view across the Michelini vineyard in Victoria’s Alpine Valleys. Of the total 34.4ha of vines planted on the site, Pinot Grigio comprises 1.3ha, which was planted in 2005 on 101-14 rootstock. Photo: Jamie Durrant. MARKETING The 2012 Windowrie Family Reserve Pinot Gris is one of five wines that form the Family Reserve range - Windowrie’s flagship tier of wines. These wines are made only in vintages when the winemaker deems the grape quality high enough for this range. These wines are sold primarily via the cellar door and in a number of restaurants across New South Wales.

Proudly

Greg O’Keefe Winemaker Michelini Wines Alpine Valleys, Victoria Wine: 2010 Michelini Pinot Grigio ($17.50/bottle at cellar door) VITICULTURE

Australian Wine Industry

All the fruit for the Michelini Pinot Grigio comes from the company-owned vineyard near Porepunkah, nestled between Bright and Mount Buffalo, in the Buckland Valley. The site has very old, dark red duplex soils on ancient river terraces that form a ring around Mount Buffalo which allow for moderate vine vigour. The elevation of the site is around 325m and has very little slope and does not experience a lot of wind. Temperature data for Bright at a 319m elevation shows that the mean maximum temperature for February is 29.5ºC, while the minimum is 11.4ºC. The mean annual rainfall is 1133mm with almost 50% falling during the growing season (October to April). In spring, the site averages seven days with a daily minimum less than or equal to 0ºC. Of the total 34.4ha of vines planted on the site, Pinot Grigio comprises 1.3ha. Planted in 2005, the clone is D1V7 which is on 101-14 rootstock. Rows are orientated east-west and are 3.0m apart; vines are spaced at 2.0m intervals to give 1500 vines/ha. The vines are trained on a single cordon and cane pruned to 40 buds per vine. Fruit is typically thinned after fruitset to allow an even spread along the canes and avoid crowding at the head to allow the fruit to dry out better after a rain event. The vines are irrigated weekly over the peak of summer using a drip irrigation system with water drawn from the Buckland Valley, which also provides water for the overhead sprinklers for frost protection in spring. The rows are mowed regularly during spring to keep the grass down and vines are trimmed to allow for a manageable ▶ canopy for disease control and leaf/fruit exposure. V2 8N 1

supporting the

labeling & packaging systems tailored to meet the needs of all sized wineries • Competent, friendly & professional & packaging requirements both before & on site • All Line Speeds 3000 bottles bottles per hour • All pressure sensitive label applications • Cork / Screwcap / Crown Seal / Lux / & WAK cap closure capability • Supply of all dry goods can be arranged - inc. bottles, corks, caps, cartons, dividers, pallets & shrinkwrap if required • HACCP / OH&S accredited • All facilities Food Safety registered • Bottle Sparging available • Australian Certified Organic

For further information contact Premium Estate Bottlers Pty Ltd 121 Strickland Rd Bendigo Vic 3550 Ph 03 5441 8266 Fax 03 5441 8033 Email operations@premiumestatebottlers.com.au

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

87


varie t a l rep o r t

– still quite pale in colour but with developed honeydew melon notes on the nose. It is rich and textural on the mid-palate with a clean acid finish and long flavour. Accordingly, our tasting notes recommend drinking within two to three years of vintage on its own or with risotto. MARKETING

Pipers Brook chief winemaker René Bezemer. The spray regime depends on the season, however, in addition to the usual copper and sulfur applications, botrytis sprays are always applied at 10% capfall and 80% flowering in case of a difficult wet autumn period. As the fruit ripens, there is a noticeable blush colour in the fruit (hence the name). As with most varieties we look for ripe fruit flavour without excessive sugar and some acid balance to retain a more traditional Italian Grigio style. Fruit is typically harvested in the second week of March - soon after the Pinot Noir is picked for sparkling wine - at around 8 tonnes/ha. The 2010 Pinot Grigio was picked at 12.5 Baume, 7.4g/L TA and pH3.49. WINEMAKING Processing is quite similar to Pinot Noir for sparkling wine since, in both instances, we are trying to minimise colour and phenolic pick-up in the juice. Fruit is machine harvested early in the morning into twotonne bins without SO2 addition and delivered to the winery some 30km away in Myrtleford at 6.00am at 10ºC. After weighing the truck, the fruit is tipped into a 15-tonne Diemme tank press and a sparkling wine pressing cycle is selected. Pectic enzyme is added to the press tray and the pressings cut taken at around 550L/tonne with a total extraction of around 750L/tonne without cooling to allow PPO enzymes to drop out any colour. Only free run juice is used for the Michelini Pinot Grigio. After testing for red colour (which has not been a problem to date), the juice is fined with tartaric acid, gelatine and PVPP before racking and addition of EC-1118 yeast to commence fermentation, which takes around two weeks at 15ºC. Bentonite is added mid-ferment and the fermentation aerated for 24 hours at 3Be to deal with any sulfide issues and allow for a strong finish to fermentation. After testing for dryness, in late March SO2 is added at around 80ppm and the wine is allowed to settle. In preparation for bottling, the wine is filtered through coarse diatomaceous earth to the cold stabilising tank, and assessed for further fining as required. After testing for heat and tartrate stability, the wine is filtered through Cuno 40 then Cuno 70 sheets to tank prior to bottling onsite using a mobile bottling plant. The wine can often appear innocuous at first – quite pale in colour, subtle hints of fig and melon on the nose and not a great deal of flavour, with a ring of acidity on the finish. However, after a year or two in bottle, the wine takes on a new persona

88

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

In 1982, the Michelini family - Emo and his sons Ilario and Dino - planted 16.7ha hectares of vines in Victoria’s Alpine Valleys to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for sparkling wine on contract, and 10 years later doubled, this to include 10ha of Merlot. Following construction of its cellar door in Myrtleford, the Michelini brand was developed to embrace Italian varietal wine styles, particularly those from the region that Emo originated from in 1949. Accordingly, Pinot Grigio was chosen amongst a number of suitable varieties and part of the original vineyard was re-planted. The wine is bottled in 750mL antique green premium burgundy under screwcap. It is mostly sold through the cellar door and in hotels and restaurants in the local area, as well as through a distributor in Melbourne and the Emo Michelini wine club. Dion Turner, Winery Manager René Bezemer, Winemaker Rhys Robinson, Viticulturist Dan Gregory, Marketing Pipers Brook Vineyard Pipers Brook, Tasmania Wine: 2012 Ninth Island Pinot Grigio (RRP$22.50/bottle) VITICULTURE Pipers Brook has vineyard sites located between 41 and 42 degrees south of the equator, which share similar climatic characteristics to those located in southern France, northern Italy and Spain and northern California and Oregon. These sites are located at Pipers Brook, on Tasmania’s north coast, and a short distance away on the banks of the Tamar River. The slightly warmer-than-average temperatures of the Ninth Island vineyards on the banks of the Tamar River and the difference in soils make these vineyards ideal for producing varietals such as Pinot Grigio, which thrives in the coolest of climates like northern Tasmania. The lengthy, slow ripening helps preserve and concentrate the fine but very expressive flavour spectrum of Pinot Grigio. The grapes for our Ninth Island Pinot Grigio are sourced from both the Pipers Brook and Tamar Valley. The 20ha planting ranges in age from 14-25 years old; the two clones planted are E6V3 and D1V7 and are all on own roots. They typically yield 6-7 tonnes/ha. The elevation of the sites, which are gently undulating and predominantly face north and east, varies from 80-120m above sea level. The mean January temperature at the sites is 18.3°C, the average annual rainfall is 680mm, while winds mainly prevail from the north-west during the growing season. The vines are planted in a mixture of ferrosols (volcanic soils) in our Pipers Brook vineyards and brown chromosol and vertosol soils (black cracking clays) in our Ninth Island vineyards in the Tamar Valley. Both soil types have excellent water holding capacity, offering a steady supply of moisture and nourishment to the vines throughout the growing season. Our Pinot Grigio was harvested in late April from lowcropping vines. These vines are grown on a mixture of cane and spur pruned vertical shoot-positioned trellises, which helps to expose the ripening bunches to the sun, thus achieving full ripeness and well-balanced flavours.

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


varie t a l rep o r t

The Pipers Brook winery and cellar door.

WINEMAKING Our aim in making this wine is to preserve and maximise all the natural, cool, maritime flavours and aromas distinctive of Pinot Grigio from our regions. The grapes are cold machine harvested at night with a typical analysis of 11.8 -12Be and <9.0g/L TA and transported to the winery where they are carefully destemmed, then crushed using full protective handling techniques that avoid any juice oxidation or browning. Some skin contact imparts flavour intensity, helping to create a more complex, rich and vibrant style, which also retains a soft pigment inherited from the skins and remains in the finished wine. The juice undergoes analyses and taste assessment and should taste so good it is a shame to ferment, and only then is left to settle and clarify. Clean racked and fermented slowly at cool temperatures in stainless steel vats, we maximise the retention of fresh fruit flavours and aromas. The resultant wine is bottled early under screwcap, producing a style that is intensely aromatic and perfumed, vibrant with tropical fruit and rich, with a well-integrated crisp acid finish. A typical analysis at bottling is: 13% v/v, <3.2pH and <8.0g/L TA.

the national accounts and also via direct winery sales. Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland (particularly) have found a consistent and growing interest in this wine in recent years. We believe that the Pinot Gris/Grigio category is experiencing great growth at the moment, and this is coupled with Tasmania’s trendy cool climate allure. Our labelling has remained quite consistent over the past 10 years. We feel that the imagery and texture of this label appropriately represents the mystique and purity of all that is WVJ Ninth Island.

Now farmers can read Australasia’s leading farm dealers and products magazine AUSTRALASIAN FARMERS’ & DEALERS’ JOURNAL

ON LINE

NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE FOR MORE READERS AND INCREASED BUSINESS

Simply go to

Visit www.afdj.com.au today to view your copy online

www.afdj.com.au

MARKETING Ninth Island Pinot Grigio forms a very strong part of the Ninth Island range, which was established in 1994. Together with all the Ninth Island wines, the Ninth Island Pinot Grigio is regarded as a fresh, ‘fruit forward’ style of wine that drinks very well by itself, but also in the company of light seafood and white meat dishes. Currently our sales distribution of this wine is predominantly (65%) through independent retailers and restaurants/bars across Australia. The remainder of our stock is offered through V2 8N 1

AUSTRALASIAN FARMERS’ & DEALERS’ JOURNAL

subscriptions NOW For AVAILABLE ONLINE

t/04d04258/40-12

The VSP trellis has predominantly 2.2m row spacings and 1.5m vine spacings and two sets of foliage wires, which are lifted once each every season. Mechanical pre-prune is carried out followed by hand spur or cane pruning to leave approximately 24 buds. The main challenge is getting the right fruit exposure, as too much can be detrimental. Dam water is used to drip irrigate the vines once a week when warm weather prevails. Cover crops of native grasses and low water requirement grasses are used to maintain access into the vineyard year round and to prevent erosion.

call Cathy onREADERS (03) AND 9888 4822 FOR MORE INCREASED BUSINESS

AUSTRALASIAN FARMERS’ & DEALERS’ JOURNAL Visit www.afdj.com.au today to view your cop

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

89


T A ST I N G N OT E S

Much diversity in Australian Pinot G It was 2004 when we held our last tasting of Pinot Gris/Grigio, when these wines were still regarded as ‘alternative’. Since then, plantings of the variety have exploded to such a degree that Australia’s crush of the grape now well and truly eclipses that of Riesling. Our recent tasting of 23 Australian Pinot Gris/ Grigio provides a snapshot of how these wines are being made eight years on. As the results showed, whether a wine is labelled Gris or Grigio does not guarantee the style in the bottle.

T

he number of styles of Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio currently being made in Australia is as diverse as the various types of bottles in which they are presented to consumers. This was one of the major discussion points among the panellists who tasted their way through 23 Australian Pinot Gris/Grigio for the Wine & Viticulture Journal’s latest tasting. The panellists were Hahndorf Hill Winery owner and winemaker Larry Jacobs, K1 by Geoff Hardy winemaker Shane Harris and Thorn Clarke assistant winemaker Anna Broms. Australian Pinot Gris/Grigio producers were invited to submit their wines to the tasting. For some off-shore comparison, the tasting also included two Pinot Grigios from Fruili, Italy, and the wine judged best Pinot Gris/Grigio in Winestate magazine’s latest Wine of the Year Awards, the 2011 Waipara Hills Equinox Pinot Gris from New Zealand. In general terms, the tasting panel agreed that the wines from the 2012 vintage were better-made overall, with those from 2011 a little more hit and miss. “The current vintage wines were quite good. Most of them tended towards the Grigio style, with perhaps a few on the fence. With regards to the 2011 wines, I’m not sure where a lot of them are heading. Stylistically, they seem a bit confused, but amongst them are some very fresh wines,” remarked Jacobs. He said whether the wines were labelled Pinot Gris or Grigio was no guide as to the style inside the bottle. “Whether the label states it is a Gris or Grigio, it is not a good indicator of what you’re going to get. There’s a very clear lack of understanding among the producers behind these wines of what the difference is between a Gris and Grigio style. And, if the winemaking fraternity is confused, goodness knows how they expect the public to understand it. Pinot Gris/ Grigio is an important varietal in Australia now and it is important that we get it right. From the day they start pruning, winemakers should decide what direction they’re going in. “We (Hanhndorf Hill Winery) do a lot of group tastings involving wine consumers

90

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

Larry Jacobs, owner and winemaker for the Adelaide Hills-based Hahndorf Hill Winery, and Anna Broms, assistant winemaker for the Barossa Valley-based Thorn Clarke and, INSET (top), Shane Harris, K1 by Geoff Hardy winemaker, made up the tasting panel who nosed and sipped their way through two dozen wines from Australia labelled either Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio; INSET (bottom): A selection of the various bottles shapes and colours represented in the line-up of Pinot Gris/Grigio. and we ask them specifically about their knowledge of the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio. It is very clear there is a lack of understanding of what the difference is. Very rarely someone will say that one is the French style and the other is the Italian style but we’re only talking about 0.5% of them.” Harris also commented on the “divergence in the fruit spectrum” among the Gris/Grigio in the line-up. “Some of them are trying to make a Gris or Grigio style but the rest just have a neutral or classic dry white character, and a couple of the 2012s were too sweet for me,” he said. “We almost need a third definition of Australian Gris and Grigio to include that classic dry white style which although is imminently drinkable is neither Grigio or Gris.” The panellists agreed that if oak was to be used in Grigio/Gris, it should be subtle. “If you’re going to put Pinot Gris in oak, W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

put it in old oak just to give it some structure; don’t let it overpower the wine,” said Broms. The panellists also agreed that the divergence in styles of Pinot Gris/Grigio in the line-up seemed to run through to the packaging, which may add to the confusion among consumers about what to expect from these wines. “The colours and shapes are all over the shop,” noted Broms. “There’s a need to brand the bottle to give these wines an identity because there’s currently not any agreement among producers; there’s no packaging symbol that talks to the consumer and says “I am a Gris’ or ‘I am a Grigio’. The panel named the 2012 Ninth Island Pinot Grigio and 2012 Windowrie Family Reserve Pinot Gris the best of the current vintage, while of the 2010 and 2011 wines, the 2010 Michelini Wines Pinot Grigio and the 2011 Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio from Italy WVJ stood out. V28N1


T A ST I N G N OT E S

Ninth Island 2012 Pinot Grigio Tasmania 13.0% v/v RRP$22.50 Best of vintage 2012: Pale straw in colour with hints of copper and grey. A delicate, floral nose with white flowers, apple blossom, pear, herbal and citrus notes. Crisp, elegant and well-balanced palate which has bracing acidity, good length and texture. Hint of caramel sweetness on the back palate, together with pear, crisp apple and herbal notes. “A great Grigio style,” noted one taster.

Livio Felluga 2011 Pinot Grigio

Windowrie 2012 Family Reserve Pinot Gris Orange, New South Wales 12.5% v/v RRP$25.00/bottle Best of vintage 2012: Clear, pale copper pink in colour. Fresh nectarines, ripe red apple, citrus characters and stonefruit on the nose. Nice acid on the palate which is crisp and elegant, has good length, nice phenolics and citrus notes. Good balance of fruit and acid. “Closest to a Grigio style in the line-up,” said one taster.

Michelini Wines 2010 Pinot Grigio Alpine Valleys, Victoria 13.5% v/v RRP$17.50/bottle Best of vintages 2011-10: Youthful in colour - light gold with green glints. Fruit tumble of apple, pear, vanilla and citrus on the nose which is creamy. Restrained oak on the palate which is elegant, has lovely balance, great texture and youthfulness. This wine suggests its maker had good understanding of the variety.

Hahndorf Hill Winery 2012 Pinot Grigio

Kellermeister 2012 Rambling Ruins Pinot Gris

Adelaide Hills, South Australia 13.0% v/v RRP$25.00/bottle

Eden Valley, South Australia 13.0% v/v RRP$22.00/bottle

Pale straw in colour. Full, ripe nose featuring apple, pear, nectarine, gooseberry, snow pea and orange blossom. Crisp acidity on the palate which has a hint of sweet pear and good length. A couple of the tasters thought the wine was reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. A clean, fresh and well-made wine.

Pale straw in colour with some green tints. Aroma of fresh green apple, sliced pear, grapefruit, banana, mango and tropical fruits. Grigio style in the mouth. Palate is super crisp, with some gentle texture on the back palate. Some phenolics evident.

Heartland Wines 2012 Pinot Gris

David Hook Wines 2012 Pinot Grigio

Langhorne Creek, South Australia 13.5% v/v RRP$20.00/bottle

Hunter Valley, New South Wales 11.5% v/v RRP$18.00/bottle

Michelini Wines 2012 Devil’s Creek Pinot Grigio

Pale straw in appearance. A full nose of lychee, white pear and tropical fruits. Broad palate with good length, acid and texture with a hint of sweetness. Moderately unctuous. “Perhaps a more Gris style,” noted one taster. “Clean and without fault but somewhat out of balance and overripe,” noted another.

Clear straw to golden yellow in colour. Citrus nose with pear, almond husk/meal, wet straw and hints of green apple. Palate is linear, fresh, has good length and nice ferment characters. Acid is disjointed.

Friuli, Italy 13.0% v/v Best of vintages 2011-10: Almost bright gold in colour. Green apple, pear, citrus and floral characters on the nose, as well as vanillin, melon, apple blossom and baked apple and hints of toffee. Lovely balance on the palate between fruit, texture and acid. Good length and freshness with honey and floral notes; a hint of creaminess.

V2 8N 1

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Alpine Valleys, Victoria 13.0% v/v RRP$10.00/bottle Pale straw to gold in colour with green hints. Funky, overripe nose with red apples, caramel, pineapple, hints of fresh cut grass and some H2S. Palate is also funky and has very good texture, but is awkward and has overt acid.

www.winebiz. com . au

91


T A ST I N G N OT E S

Thorne Clark 2012 Sandpiper Pinot Gris

The Pawn Wine Co 2012 Caissa Pinot Grigio

Eden Valley, South Australia 12.5% v/v RRP$17.00/bottle

Adelaide Hills, South Australia 13.5% v/v RRP$20.00/bottle

Colour is clear and pale copper. Nice pepper and spice and boiled lolly on the nose, as well as cider apple. Palate has good length and is surprisingly crisp and austere, yet refreshing and cleansing. Nice texture and acid backbone. Hints of pear and apple.

Pale copper pink in colour and clear. Tight and closed on the nose initially but, with a bit of coaxing, revealed itself to be vibrant with fresh apple and citrus characters. Fresh and textural on the palate which is elegant and zesty. Good length with citrus characters and some toffee and perhaps a little too much texture on the back palate. Alcohol perhaps a little high.

Rob Dolan Wines 2012 Pinot Gris

Bay of Fires 2012 Pinot Gris

Nottage Hill 2012 Pinot Grigio

Yarra Valley, Victoria 13.5% v/v RRP$25.00/bottle

Tasmania 13.5% v/v RRP$34.99/bottle

South Eastern Australia 12.5% v/v RRP$10.99/bottle

Bright colour which is light pink, almost rose. Almost savoury nose with some ripe red apple notes, lemon butter, fennel, basil and a hint of oak; lacks some freshness, fruit expression and left. Palate is quite savoury, textural and up-front; nice acid with oak notes. Somewhat disjointed.

Pale straw to light gold in colour with green hints. Ripe apple skin, tropical notes, wet straw, pear, bath salts and talcum powder on the nose. Big palate with good interplay between fruit, acid and structure; approaching a salty, mineral quality.

Pale straw in colour. Quite a straightforward style. Tight and closed on the nose with a delicate mix of fresh flowers and green apples; white pear, apple blossom, citrus notes and hints of ferment characters also noted. Palate is linear, upfront, fresh and cleansing; good texture and weight; restrained fruit characters.

Sidewood Estate 2012 Pinot Gris

Te Aro Estate 2012 Minnie & Elsa Pinot Grigio

Pipers Brook 2011 Pinot Gris

Adelaide Hills, South Australia 13.5% v/v RRP$24.00/bottle Straw gold in colour with a hint of pink. Full nose with ripe apple, stonefruit and dried apricot characters. Overt acid on the palate which is somewhat disjointed but it is fresh and super cleansing. Aged characters evident.

92

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

Barossa Valley, South Australia 12.5% v/v RRP$22.00/bottle Light gold in colour. A funky/herbal nose. Palate has good balance, length structure and mouthfeel. “Just the right amount of texture,” said one taster. Sweet varietal fruit evident along with orange peel. Solids ferment likely in the making of this wine. Perhaps lacks some fruit and freshness for a 2012 vintage. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

Lerida Estate 2012 Pinot Grigio Canberra District 11.2% v/v RRP$24.50/bottle Pale straw in colour. Nose features citrus characters including lemon, as well as apple blossom, and apple and pear skin. Palate is zesty and crisp with elegant fruit, good acid and length and delicate texture. “A good Grigio style,” said one taster. Another taster noted a slight spritz on the palate which highlighted a lemon sorbet character.

Tasmania 13.5% v/v RRP$30.00/bottle Light gold in colour and still youthful looking. Full nose of aniseed, vanillin, pear, quince, mineral notes, wild fennel, citrus peel and creamy oak. Creamy vanillin and almond notes on the palate which sits well with the fruit; some pear and orange peel with a caramel aftertaste. “A Gris style that has been pulled in a Grigio direction,” noted one taster.

V28N1


T A ST I N G N OT E S

Reschke 2011 Pinot Gris Wrattonbully, South Australia 11.8% v/v – Vino Lok RRP$23.00/bottle Premature ageing evident in the straw colour of this wine. Nose is tight and reminiscent of a savoury, Old World style; some old oak, matchstick and citrus evident – perhaps lacks freshness. Well-handled acid in the mouth but the palate is non-descript and finishes a touch short with a sour note on the back palate. “Seems to fall on the fence between a Gris and Grigio,” one taster noted.

Provenance Wines 2011 Tarrington Pinot Gris Henty, Victoria 13.0% v/v RRP$27.00/bottle Bright, gold and youthful in colour. Nose features apple skin, white and green pear, cherry blossom and citrus – all very subtle but blend well. Slightly savoury palate with some apple, pear and hints of oak, citrus and honey. Fresh and very well-balanced with good structure. Perhaps not true to style but a good drink nonetheless.

Heartland Wines 2011 Pinot Gris Langhorne Creek, South Australia 12.5% v/v RRP$20.00/bottle Bright, mid-straw in colour. Nose features baked apple, ripe pear, quince, hazelnut, lemon rind and grapefruit. Full and unctuous on the palate, yet has a crisp and almost racy finish. Good weight, texture and length with a toffee note on the finish, but somewhat hot.

Pinnaroo Wines 2011 Partner Select Pinot Gris

Sirromet Wines 2011 Vineyard Selection Pinot Gris

Waipara Hills 2011 Equinox Pinot Gris

Cowra, New South Wales 12.7% v/v RRP$20.00/bottle

Granite Belt, Queensland 13.7% v/v RRP$21.00/bottle

New Zealand 14.5% v/v

Deep straw to gold in colour. Savoury nose with some apple, wet sack and slight oak characters. Full, textural and creamy palate with a good balance between savoury notes, acid and tannin. Lacks some freshness.

Deep straw to gold in colour. Nose is full and features ripe nectarine, apple, white pear, and citrus characters. Palate has good balance and length and is fresh with great mouthfeel. Lovely acidity. Pear and citrus notes evident.

Eugenio Collavini Villa Canlungo 2011 Pinot Grigio

Sirromet Wines 2010 Le Sauvage ‘The Wild’ Pinot Gris

Friuli, Italy 12.5% v/v

Granite Belt, Queensland 12.5% v/v RRP$55.00/bottle

Bright, light straw to gold in colour. Savoury, baked apple and spice on the nose. Palate is reminiscent of an Old World style, featuring some savouriness and citrus notes. Good mouthfeel, balance and length and nice acid and phenolics. One taster thought this wine lacked freshness.

V2 8N 1

Light straw in colour. Good, vibrant fruit on the nose, including pear and stonefruit, but is perhaps dominated by wood; honey notes evident too. Appealing, sweet fruit in the mouth; savoury palate with good texture and balance. Nice phenolics and acid structure with sweet honey and citrus notes and a hint of oak.

Deep straw to brown in colour. Nose is oak-dominant with some delicate fruit bubbling through. Palate is savoury and also oak-dominant with creamy notes. Nice acid and texture, but lacks direction. One taster said it was Chardonnay-like.

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

www.winebiz. com . au

93


For classified bookings contact: Nicole Evans (08) 8369 9515 widsales@winetitles.com.au

C l a s s ifie d s

MALLEE POINT NURSERY STAINLESS STEEL BINS - FOR SALE

Orders taken for 2013 plantings NOW.

2 X BINS AVAILABLE. EACH APPROX 30m3 CAPACITY. SUIT AS RECEIVAL HOPPER, FERMENTER, ETC. 500mm DIAMETER AUGER WITH 3KW MOTOR. Price: $7,500 each + GST

Phone 02 6968 1086 Fax 02 6968 1786 Mobile 0428 690 208 PO Box 438, Yenda, NSW 2681

PHOTOS & DIMENSIONS: www.wineryplant.com EMAIL: enquire@wineryplant.com TEL: 0409 339 599

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

brucethegrafter@gmail.com www.brucethegrafter.com

Dedicated to covering all aspects of winemaking and technology, viticulture, wine business and marketing – from vine to market. Subscribe today at www.winebiz.com.au or call (08) 8369 9500

Online Pdf

Print

Wine &

Viticulture

Journal

now available

whenever you want

ArchiVed Online Articles – seArch by key WOrd. altERNatIVE VaRIEtIEs

V I t I C u lt u R E

Italian inspiration for novel Nero d’Avola making

Va R I E ta l R E P O R t

Putting the sparkle in sparkling rosé In keeping with the approaching festive season, this issue’s tasting featured sparkling rosés, 28 in all, ranging from non-vintage examples through to one from the 2003 vintage. the tasting panel identified the top wine or wines from the non-vintage entries, those from the 2012 to 2009 vintages and the 2008 to 2003 vintages (see page 102-106 for the complete results), with the producers behind three of those wines revealing what went into their making.

By Brad Hickey, Brash Higgins Wine Co., McLaren Vale, South Australia

Mclaren Vale-based Nero d’avola producer Brad hickey travelled to sicily, in Italy, in 2011 to investigate local growing and vinification of the variety. In addition to collecting ideas about how to maximise Nero d’avola’s potential on home soil, Brad was inspired to use amphorae as a winemaking technique.

W

need to find information on oak, pruning or the AsVO? type in your topic of choice to locate previously published articles.

hen I moved to McLaren Vale six years ago, after a decade spent buying wine for restaurants in New York City, I started thinking about new varieties we could plant on our vineyard that would not only thrive in McLaren Vale, but make for interesting drinking as well. The drought years had been making life hard, even for our Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon plantings, and we felt we needed to find some better suited grapes to bring onboard. Nero d’Avola fitted the bill. In 2009, Brash Higgins obtained some of the first cuttings of the Sicilian red winegrape Nero d’Avola available in Australia from Binjara Vine Nursery (formerly Chalmers Nursery), in Euston, New South Wales. Nero d’Avola is drought and heat tolerant to a certain degree, ripens late and thrives in its native Mediterranean climate, so it seemed like a good fit for coastal McLaren Vale and our evermounting heat and water issues. VItICultuRE 2009-2010 In October 2009, we dedicated a halfhectare research block on our Omensetter

Vineyard to Nero d’Avola. Soils in this block are relatively shallow (40-50cm) red brown clay loam over a deep, soft marl limestone. In the winter of 2009, we asked Dr Nuredin Habili, of Plant Diagnostics, at the Waite campus of The University of Adelaide, to perform a virus test on our Shiraz rootstock, which was planted in 1997. The results came back affirmative to graft Nero d’Avola. Field grafting was conducted later, using two buds per vine on the Matura 1 clone from the Matura Group, in Italy. The clones grew exceptionally well, exhibiting great vigour and not needing any irrigation until the first week of December, followed by small amounts on a regular basis until midFebruary. Vines were trained on a single cordon trellis, and the cordon was filled by February 2010. We noted that foliage was prone to powdery mildew.

Josef Chromy Wines in tasmania’s tamar Valley. Jeremy Dineen Winemaker/general manager Josef Chromy Wines tamar Valley, tasmania Wine: Pepik NV sparkling Rosé (RRP$27.00/bottle)

2010-11 The first fruit bearing year, we pruned the lateral growth hard from the main cordon back to basal buds. Vines grew strongly, with many double buds providing two shoots per node. These were shootthinned back to one shoot per node. A lazy ballerina trellising system was used,

VItICultuRE Fruit for the Pepik NV Sparkling Rosé is estate-grown from our vineyard at Relbia, 15km south of Launceston, Tasmania. The vineyard contains 61ha of vines and has an elevation of 85-170m with north and north-east facing slopes. The soils range from deep, black, selfmulching clay to shallow brown clay with high gravel content. The mean January temperature for the area is 16.7°C. It receives an average of 679mm per annum, with 94 rains days. The vines enjoy 1050 heat degree days, and 1758 sunshine hours (October-April). The average age of the vines in the vineyard is 13 years, which are on a mixture of own roots and rootstocks. The blend for the Pepik is usually Pinot dominant with some Chardonnay. The Pinot clones planting in the vineyard comprise D2V5, D5V12, G5V15, G8V3, G8V7, H7V15, 115 and 114.

Mclaren Vale’s Brash higgins obtained some of the first cuttings of Nero d’avola available in australia from Binjara Vine Nursery (formerly Chalmers Nursery) at Euston, in New south Wales in 2009 and planted half a hectare. V27N6

W i n e & V i t i c u lt u r e J o u r n a l N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 2

www. win e b iz . c o m . a u

67

V27N6

The Chardonnay clones are I10V1 and Penfolds. The vines are trained to Scott-Henry and VSP trellises and have a vine density of 3220 per hectare and 2415 per hectare, respectively. All vines are crown thinned every year. Shoot and/or bunch thinning is carried out depending on the year. The amount of drip irrigation, which is sourced from our on-farm dam and nearby river, depends on the season. A permanent sward is grown in the midrows to reduce erosion with farm-produced composts also applied. The vines are mainly hand cane-pruned with limited mechanical spur pre-pruning carried out. Botrytis is the biggest disease risk to the vines, which yield an average of 11.5 tonnes per hectare. WINEMaKINg The hand-picked Pinot Noir is whole bunch pressed, giving a free run of usually 500L/tonne and pressings of 200L/tonne. The hand-picked and/or machine-picked Chardonnay is pressed to 500L/t free run and 200L/t pressings. The pressings are fined separately while the base juices are settled and combined prior to the primary ferment. Malolactic fermentation is not carried out. W i n e & V i t i c u lt u r e J o u r n a l N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 2

Josef Chromy Wines winemaker and general manager Jeremy Dineen. The juice is cold stabilised, partially heat stabilised and cross-flow filtered. The secondary ferment is commenced in tank and bottled when the viable cell count has reached its target (tirage ferment approximately 15°C). The wine is bottle aged for 12-18 months prior to disgorging. The dosage liqueur contains Pinot Noir table wine to ensure a consistent salmon pink colour. It is dosed to contain a final sugar content of ▶ 10-12g/L. www. win e b iz . c o m . a u

99

Only available to subscribers. Visit www.winebiz.com.au/wvj T: +618 8369 9500 F: +618 8369 9501 E: subs@winetitles.com.au W: www.winebiz.com.au

PROVIDING SOLUTIONS TO THE WINE INDUSTRY

94

www.w i n eb i z .c om.au

W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur n a l JANUARY/FEBR uARY 2013

V28N1


YOU CARE FOR THE CONTENT. WE CARE FOR THE FILLING AND PACKAGING.

YOU CARE FOR THE CONTENT. WE CARE FOR THE FILLING AND PACKAGING.

It is the packaging that ultimately makes fine vintage wines perfect. As one of the leading manufacturers of machinery in the field of beverage engineering, KHS sets the standard in all vintages now and in the future with its flexible, modular design of labeling and packaging solutions. Talk to us about your individual requirements.

KHS Pacific Pty. Ltd. | PO Box 378 | 1 - 3 Freight Road | Tullamarine Victoria 3043 | Phone: (03) 9335 1211 | Fax: (03) 9335 1331 info@khspacific.com.au | www.khs.com

BEVERAGE FOOD NONFOOD


Melbourne

Adelaide

New Zealand

FOR ALL YOUR

CRUSHING AND PRESSING NEEDS

Puleo Destemmer Crushers

Puleo Pneumatic Presses

Models from 5 ton to 130 ton per hour

Models from 10hL to 320hL

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

Completely stainless steel, PLC for both traditional and sparkling wine programs and automatic door, optional automatic washing system available Available in both open and closed tank models

Mori Destemmer estemmer Crushers

Mori Lift Cage Hydraulic Press

Models available with productions of 5, 8, 10 and 15 Tons/hr

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

Variable Speed unit with rubber destemming pegs Crushing unit can be removed for destemming only Optional Motorised Hopper and Polypropylene Cage available

For further details, contact us on: Melbourne 59 Banbury Rd, Reservoir Ph. 1300 882 850 Adelaide 12 Hamilton Tce, Newton Ph. 08 8365 0044 New Zealand 4c Titoki Place, Albany, Auckland Ph. 0800 699 599 E. sales@winequip.com.au www.winequip.com.au www.winequip.co.nz

Wine & Viticulture Journal  

January/February 2013 edition