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MAY/JUNE 2013 · Volume 28 Number 3

VINEYARD INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGY • New & emerging technologies for vineyards • Supermarket wine sales - sinner or saintly saviour? • Tony Keys: Gently does it - processing premium Chardonnays • Does ageing affect rootstock performance? • Tasting: $20-40 Chardonnay

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

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Editorial Assistance Lauren Jones, Write Lane CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Christopher Arnaud Magali Bes Katherine Brown Andrew Cheesman Chris Dyson Paul Evans Sigfredo Fuentes Hildegarde Heymann Cathy Howard Allison Kelly Tony Keys Ed Merrison Remi Niero Tim Pitt Mark Rowley Jean-Michel Salmon Rob Stevens Tom Ward

Roberta De Bei John Blackman Soline Caille Peter Dry Marie-Helene Ducasse Richard Fennessy Richard Halstead Tony Hoare Dan Johnson Michael Kelly Jasmine MacDonald Mike McCarthy Paul Petrie Joel Pizzini Anthony Saliba Alain Samson Stephen Tyerman Luke Warner

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Sonya Logan, Editor


he day before sitting down to write this overview of this issue of the Journal, the city of Adelaide, in which our office is located, recorded its warmest May day since 1921, peaking at 31.1°C. Meanwhile, Sydney was enjoying its longest late-season hot spell in 26 years - only once in 150 years of records has the city had such warm conditions this late in the year - while many other regions were experiencing unseasonably warm weather and no rain for the month of May. I couldn’t help but think this weather was serving to underline the importance of the work being done by the multi-national Vineyard of the Future (VOF) initiative to develop and test new and emerging technologies to mitigate the effects of climate change on grapevines, some of which are featured in this issue of the Journal. The theme of this issue is ‘vineyard innovations & technology’ for which we asked one of the VOF’s leading researchers in Australia to describe some of the techniques developed

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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: 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.

through the various research institutions involved in the initiative that will soon be available to growers (page 38). This issue also has a particular focus on Chardonnay, starting with Cathy Howard’s look into how the variety is being processed for premium, top-end offerings, which revealed some interesting trends (page 20). This is followed by a report from Charles Sturt University on its research into consumer perceptions of commercial Australian Chardonnays under $15 (page 64) and our tasting of $20-40 Chardonnays (page 73). Tony Keys presents his views on supermarkets and their influence on wine sales off the back of the South Australian proposal to introduce wine on supermarket shelves (page 13), while Tony Hoare continues his look into how to optimise ‘hang time’ in the vineyard (page 51). Enjoy these and many more in this issue while I contemplate whether to drag my shorts and t-shirts from out the back of my wardrobe!

Cover: A  n octocopter mounted with imaging cameras, which is being trialled by the Chilean arm of

the Vineyard of the Future (VOF) initiative. Images and videos captured by the cameras can be used to analyse changes within vine canopies due to environmental factors. For this and other techniques being developed and trialled by the VOF to help mitigate the effects of climate change on grapevines, turn to page 70. Photo: Sigfredo Fuentes

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MAY/JUNe 2013


I n t h i s i s s ue


c o n t en t s


8 ASVO (Paul Petrie): Registrations now open for Tech Conference

38 New and emerging technologies for the vineyard: the Vineyard of the Future initiative

10 WINE AUSTRALIA (Andrew Cheesman): Shifting the perception of Australian wine 11 WFA (Paul Evans): Credible research tells the real health story 13 KEY FILES: Supermarket wine sales: sinner or saintly saviour?


16 INTERNATIONAL PINOT CELEBRATION: Jasper Morris on Mornington Pinot and a transcript of Ted Lemon’s speech on the concept of ‘noble place’ in New World winegrowing

46 Changes in the performance of grafted and ungrafted vines with ageing 48 Spanish trial compares mechanical defoliation and crop thinning for yield management 51 Hangtime – optimising harvesting timing: Part 2


56 ALTERNATIVE VARIETIES: Verduzzo – a ‘crazy’ white

20 Gently does it – processing premium Chardonnays

business & marketing

58 Proficiency testing for wine analysis 63 Little joy in vineyard real estate market 64 Consumer-sensory evaluation of Australian Chardonnay 67 Australian wine drinkers remain patriotic 69 WINE INTELLIGENCE: Cashing in on the wine tourism experience 23 Science award leads to cold soak trial 25 Assessing a new crusher aimed at delivering wines with improved polyphenols and flavours 33 AWRI REPORT: Grape quality assessments: a survey of current practice V2 8N 3


71 $20-40 Chardonnay

W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

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Over to industry to consider findings of review into Australia’s grapevine germplasm collections The findings and recommendations of an independent review into Australia’s grapevine germplasm collections have been presented to the wine industry’s peak industry bodies - Wine Grape Growers Australia and the Winemakers' Federation of Australia for theirconsideration. Commissioned by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, the review was conducted by Scholefield Robinson Horticultural Services over the past six months. It investigated the current status of existing Australian grapevine collections and ‘best practice’ management of genetic resources by other industries The review found that there are approximately 900 different grapevine varieties in Australian collections, some of which are pre-phylloxera heritage material and probably unique to the country. It also concluded that the current resourcing of grapevine germplasm collections through cutting sales and government agency support was not sustainable in the long term. The continued lack of industry funding would likely result in the closure of collections to the public, less accessibility of varieties with high-health status, and more private importation. The review suggested that two types of collections were necessary to meet the current and future needs of the grape and wine sector: a germplasm repository of all varieties and a highhealth collection containing only in-demand varieties and clones. It recommended a business model to maintain and financially sustain the collections into the future, although details of this model were not divulged at press time.

The volume of Australian wine exports grew 2% to 719 million litres (valued at A$1.85 billion) while the average value for bottled wine was also up 2% to A$4.43 per litre and bulk wine up 1% to A$1.02/L. Exports to the US above A$7.50/L increased 2% to 4 million litres with this growth spread over a wide number of exporters. Of the 171 companies exporting at this price segment, 111 recorded growth. “For those wine producers that have continued to support the US, the premium wine message is starting to achieve cut through, although there is still significant work to be done,” said Wine Australia’s general manager of market development, James Gosper. The report also showed that exports to Canada in the above $10/L segment grew 2% with this growth shared by almost two-thirds of the 200 exporters in the market, while exports to China dropped by 3% overall, driven by major declines at lower price segments. However, exports to China at the top end continued to achieve double digit growth, although the rate of growth has slowed. In the above A$7.50/L segment, exports grew by 28% but the growth rate slowed from an average annual rate of 43% over the previous five years. The average value in exports to China increased by 18% to A$5.85/L. “The growth in wine exports at higher price segments in markets such as the US and China and the increase in the number of companies exporting wines are both positive indicators for the Australian wine sector, but the industry remains cautious,” Gosper said. “In the US, we’re starting to see a real change in sentiment. Not only are the top wine commentators and distributors talking more positively about Australian wine, but exports have increased at the higher end, albeit off a smaller base,” he said.

Australian wine exports and exporter numbers grow

Grant to assist producers to be climate change ready

The number of Australian wine exporters is increasing and bottled wine exports to major markets such as the US are growing across higher price segments, according to the latest export figures released by Wine Australia in April. The number of wine exporters for the year ending March 2013 increased by 10 per cent from 1274 to 1395 with China recording the largest number of exporters (927), ahead of the UK (274), Canada (264), the US (218), and Germany (115).

The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) has secured a grant as part of the Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Futures Extension and Outreach Program (CFFEOP) that will enable the latest relevant research on climate adaptability by various agencies to be packaged and fast-tracked to the nation’s grape and wine producers “With this grant, the AWRI is able to deliver a targeted program of climate adaptability information to grape and wine producers in Australia,” said Mardi Longbottom, AWRI viticulturist

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W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l MAY/JUNe 2013

and the person responsible for driving the grant application said. “The grant will enable dissemination of current technical information about greenhouse gas emissions, carbon storage and the Carbon Farming Initiative to stakeholders of the Australian grape and wine sectors and support them to achieve best management practice,” Longbottom said. The AWRI received $750,484 (ex GST) out of a total of $21.3 million awarded to 24 projects under the first assessment phase of the CFFEOP. Latest edition of industry ‘bible’ now available The 31st edition of the recentlyreleased Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory includes for the first time a comprehensive listing of Australian grapegrowers. The listings are the result of a national grapegrower survey undertaken in 2012 which involved canvassing growers from the databases of Directory publisher Winetitles, which also publishes the Wine & Viticulture Journal, and engaging the support of a range of grower associations. The survey received support from Wine Grape Growers Australia, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and the Riverland Winegrape Growers Association. “This survey was aimed at assisting in the development of an Australian National Vineyard Database, which is currently lacking but is critical for assisting decision-making for medium to long term industry planning, and addressing potential biosecurity risks,” Winetitles publisher Hartley Higgins said. The 584-page 2013 Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory lists wine producers, grapegrowers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, universities and other education facilities, writers, wine publications, organisations, events and wine shows and industry personnel. Purchasers of the WID receive access to the WID Online, and can search listings via Winetitles website ( The WID is available from Winetitles for A$110.55 in Australia, A$112.50 in New Zealand and A$135.00 overseas. For details contact Winetitles on phone (08) 8369 9500, fax (08) 8369 9501, e-mail or online at V28N3


Letter to the Editor


he March-April 2013 issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal had several articles and a tasting on reduced alcohol wines. Great! I always say that giving consumers a real choice in wine styles is a good thing. Surely there is a market for wines with flavour and finesse to match either certain foods or certain lifestyles. Back to work after lunch? No worries…a glass of the 12% red, thanks. Have to drive? A glass of 8% Chardonnay then. There is also a niche market for the big stuff as well. Maybe it’s a bit un-PC to say so, but it’s true. You can sneer and say, “that’s just under-developed palates liking big, sweet flavour, or old palates needing massive intensity to taste anything”. But, insulting one’s clients’ intelligence, age or culture is something I wouldn’t dream of. Yet, that is what so many of our winemakers and wine writers do. How often have we heard the claim, “we all used to make big wines and now the best producers make lighter, more elegant styles”? This is total rubbish, as a check of the alcohol on the wines these people used to make reveals. Very, very seldom are we talking 15%v/v, and with reason; they couldn’t get ferments dry regularly. Often those struggling for ripeness

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choose to harvest for exactly the same reasons as they always did: cropping levels, trellis, vine health, region, weather, etc. Let’s face it, picking late risks rain, rot, stuck ferments, reduced yield, etc. I’d love to make wines at 13.5%v/v; hardly a challenge fermentation wise. But, I choose not to for style reasons. Even here in Rutherglen, there has been exceptionally few higher alcohol wines made over the last 20-40 years. In some sub-regions, there have been even fewer. Here at Warrabilla Wines, we put correct alcohol levels on our wine labels as we feel we have a duty of care to our customers. It’s also a bit of a guide for them in relation to what to expect the wine to be like in terms of flavours, mouthfeel and longevity. The natural preservatives in wine are alcohol, tannin and acid. My wines have heaps of all three! Mature tannins are also the signature of late harvest red styles. Sure, you could argue that they don’t show the characters of less ripe fruit. I’d say that is a good thing! I must admit, I do find the ‘health’ aspect of lower alcohol wines intriguing. Surely people are smart enough to work out how big a glass they want, or how many? I have tequila

W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

in my cupboard and don’t feel the slightest obligation to finish a bottle in a sitting. It opens up the debate that if low alcohol is good, maybe no alcohol is better. As a winemaker, I wouldn’t go there. Maybe in the interest of fairness, the Journal could look at higher alcohol wines too. Ask questions like, just how do you keep ferments going at 16% plus? Find out what viticultural factors aid an early mature harvest. Talk about yeast nutrition, styles, the risks and benefits, the costs. I often get asked, usually by those keen to emulate our style but end up in more trouble than an effluent farm duck, “mate, what yeast do you use?” But, there’s way more to it than that! I’d better disclose my interest: this year, 90% of Warrabilla Wines harvest comprised reds with an average alcohol greater than 16%v/v (max. 17.4%v/v) all dry, all naturally fermented. If it’s not your cup of tea, I really couldn’t care less. It’s a niche market. I don’t pretend my style is superior to anyone else’s - just different. And, like the low alcohol wines, the difference is a good thing. Andrew S. Smith, Winemaker Warrabilla Wines, Rutherglen, Victoria

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Registrations open for Tech Conference By Paul Petrie, President, Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology


he Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology is pleased to report that registrations for the 15th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference (AWITC) and the WineTech trade show are progressing well. As a part-owner of the AWITC, this event is a key part of the ASVO calendar for 2013. It promises to be an exciting and informative week for anyone involved in the grape and wine industry, through catching up with old and new colleagues, sharing ideas and hearing some of the foremost experts present on topics relevant to us today and in the future. Please put the dates in your diary: 1318 July 2013, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour. This is an event not to be missed! Current ASVO members are eligible for a further 10 percent discount on registration. If you are not already an ASVO member, early bird subscriptions for the ASVO have just opened – so sign up now and receive an even bigger discount. The ASVO is also looking forward to sponsoring some of the events at the AWITC; these include a prize for the best presentation in the Fresh Science sessions on the Monday of the conference. The speakers in the Fresh Science sessions are selected from the abstracts submitted for the poster session, which aims to showcase a range of intriguing research from talented industry members. The technical posters will be on display throughout the event -

please visit the AWITC website for more details ( The ASVO is also looking to support the Into the Wine Light session. This is an entertaining introduction to future industry members and their projects in grape and wine research. It will involve 10 students, using one slide each to answer the questions: what are you researching, and why does it matter? This is a social event, including drinks and nibbles and plenty of opportunities for interaction between speakers and the audience. Workshops will be held from Saturday 13 July through to Thursday 18 July and places will be allocated on a first-comefirst-served basis (44 workshops to choose from); another good reason to get your registration in early. International and local suppliers to the grape and wine industry, including the ASVO, will be exhibiting at WineTech 2013 - the Australian wine industry trade exhibition. Open to delegates from the evening of Sunday 14 July through to Wednesday 17 July, it is a ‘must-visit’ for anyone interested in the latest technology and services to support wine businesses. Seminar proceedings distributed The proceedings from the ‘Making the best out of difficult vintages’ seminar have just been distributed to delegates. This seminar focussed on managing disease-affected fruit in the winery. The proceedings include papers by Gary Baldwin (Wine Network), Peter Hayman

(SARDI), David Morrison (international wine consultant based in Europe), Bala Rengasamy (Delegat’s Wine Estate, NZ), Kathy Evans (Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture) and Paul Baggio (Della Toffola Pacific). Topics included correcting faults, evaluation of commercially available laccase testing, automated berry sorting, and innovative processing technology. If you didn’t attend the seminar, you can still order a copy of the proceedings from the ASVO website or by contacting Chris Waters ( Student scholarships The ASVO is pleased to announce that five students have been successful in gaining scholarships to attend the IX International Symposium on Grapevine Physiology and Biotechnology (Grapevine, Chile 2013) in La Serena, Chile. These awards have been made available as part of the successful XIII ISGPB that was held in Adelaide in 2008. The ASVO acted as secretariat for this symposium and published the conference proceedings as a special issue in the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. The ASVO scholarships will support Marcos Bonada and Sally Foletta, who will make oral presentations at the symposium, while Johannes Scharwies, Darren Wong and David Contreras Pezoa will make poster presentations. We wish these students well in their WVJ travels to Chile.

2013 Edition OUT NOW


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To order your copy: Phone: +618 8369 9500 Email: Visit:

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur na l MAY/JUNe 2013



Shifting the perception of Australian wine By Andrew Cheesman, Chief Executive, Wine Australia

Interest in Australian wine is re-igniting in the US, and Wine Australia is poised to capitalise on every opportunity.


ustralia’s inaugural global wine forum, Savour Australia 2013, will be held in Adelaide from 15-18 September. Wine Australia will bring together some of the world’s most influential wine trade partners for the event including sommeliers, distributors and retailers; leading wine and lifestyle media; top Australian winemakers and captains of industry. Savour Australia will be the most comprehensive exploration of Australian wine ever undertaken. It will challenge the commonly held perceptions of Australian wine, uncover the business case for Australian wine, and showcase Australia’s role as a significant player in the global market through Landmark tastings, themed lunches and dinners, and discussions that will highlight wines rarely shown and themes seldom explored. The aim of the forum, and regional visits that will run before and after the event, is to deliver an unprecedented immersion into Australia’s food, wine, lifestyle and landscape and, in turn, invigorate interest in and drives sales of Australian wine in the major international markets of the US, UK and China. The forum will be an important step in the delivery of the sector’s marketing strategy, providing an opportunity to further dispel myths about the Australian wine category and raise greater awareness about the quality and diversity of our wine offer, which has largely been obscured by the rapid growth in our commercial wine offer and actions taken through a period of chronic oversupply. The forum will also be the launch pad for the joint Tourism Australia and Wine Australia global consumer campaign to build a higher premium perception of Australian wine and develop our food and wine offering to be more relevant to the decision-making process for travel to and within Australia. Together with our wine community, Wine Australia has been implementing a marketing strategy to build a stronger perception of the quality and diversity of our wine offer in international markets. Many of our activities with trade and other key influencers focus on leading with our best and raising awareness of the quality of our wine through our educational platforms such as the A+ Australian Wine School


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and Sommelier Immersion Program, Landmark and other themed tastings and masterclasses, trade fairs, consumer events, our Visitor Program, relationship building and communication strategies. Wine Australia recently launched its Market Programs Prospectus User-Pays Activities 2013-14, which provides a range of partnership opportunities for Australian wine producers and brands and state and regional bodies to jointly invest in the promotion of Australian wine locally and in our global markets. The prospectus can be viewed at under ‘market programs’. Australia’s strategy to build a stronger perception of the quality of Australian wine is achieving cut-through in the emerging market of China. China’s demand for premium wine continues with strong growth across higher price segments, and the above A$10 per litre segment delivering double digit growth. China is the biggest destination for Australian bottled exports above A$7.50 per litre, ahead of Canada and the US, while the average value of Australian bottled wine exports to China is above that of France. For producers that continue to support the UK and US markets, the premium wine message is starting to achieve cut-through, although there is still significant work to be done. In the UK off-trade, sales of Australian wine at entry price points are in decline, however, there is strong growth at higher price points, with the above £7 per bottle segment and the above £10 per bottle segments both achieving double digit growth. In the UK on-trade, Australian wine is under-represented compared with our key competitors, thus offering an opportunity to gain share in this market segment. In the US, the conversation about Australian wine is changing for the better. On the back of Wine Australia activities, including the recent Next Chapter trade tasting in San Francisco and New York, there have been numerous articles written by key influencers with extremely positive messages about the category. For example, leading sommelier Paul Greico recently stated: “Australia is the most exciting New World wine country on the planet”. W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

High profile commentator Harvey Steinman wrote: “The range of (wine) styles in Australia is a lot wider than most casual observers know. Having been exposed on repeated visits to Australia to the extensive selection available there, I can attest that, even at the peak of Australia’s popularity here, we mainly saw a relatively narrow slice of this range." Chuck Hayward, from JJ Buckley Fine Wine, stated in a recent article: “We never saw a decline in sales because we had a diverse selection, we knew the category and we never stopped promoting Australian wines”. Kristen Wolfe Bieler, of the Beverage Media Group, wrote: “Today, the dark cloud hovering over Australian wine appears to be lifting and a growing number of retailers are reporting renewed Hayward-like enthusiasm for the category. Australia’s bottled US imports halted decline in 2011, posting 18% growth in the $20-30 category. Sales were up 33% in the $16-20 range in the first quarter of 2012." Leading sommelier Rick Bakas was quoted as saying: “Don’t call it a comeback. Australia has been producing world-class wine for decades, thank you.... To list all of Australia’s hidden gems would actually take hours”. Furthermore, Wine Spectator’s Matt Kramer said: “Australia has got the goods. Their job is to get them to us”. In recent years, Australian producers have reallocated supply to the more profitable markets and channels within Asia and, as a result, Australian wine representation in markets such as the US has reduced significantly. Kramer’s comments are correct: the interest in Australia wine is re-igniting in the US. It remains the biggest premium import wine market in the world and it is important that we take to market the diverse range of wines available. The emerging Asian markets, given their proximity, emerging middle class, population and growing cultural interest in wine, is an exciting prospect. The sector needs to continue to explore the opportunity in these markets with caution. Supplying one-off opportunities is currently prevalent, however, brand building in long-term sustainable markets, and channels within markets is the priority. V28N3


In addition, the global supply of fine wine in markets is tightening. There have been significant vineyard removals in the EU over the past three years, some structural adjustment in Australia, minimal new plantings occurring during a period of oversupply and three successive below average yielding vintages in most parts of the

world. Throughout this period, global wine sales continued to grow. The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) recently reported that global stock levels are at the lowest level of the past 37 years. More balanced global inventories, tightening global supply, renewed interest in key markets and strong growth in emerging

markets point towards opportunity. A longterm commitment by our wine community to the existing value-based sector marketing strategy and a considered approach to allocating supply to competing market opportunities will convert opportunity into long-term sustainable business: that is an WVJ exciting outlook.

Credible research tells the real health story By Paul Evans, Chief Executive, Winemakers’ Federation of Australia

Messages to young people about responsible alcohol consumption are being heard, as shown in the findings of the recent National Drug Strategy Household Surveys.


ne of the confusing aspects of the escalating debate around alcohol use, alcohol misuse and alcohol-related harms in Australia is the overwhelming array of data and analysis on the subject. Some reports are more robust than others and, unfortunately, an increasing number look more like media stunts than serious grounds for public policy development. When you take a detailed look at the more credible research, the situation we are dealing with – for good and bad – becomes somewhat clearer. If everyone could focus on that picture, we might be able to make a difference, rather than just headlines. No-one can deny that we have an increasing problem with a small minority of mainly younger people who drink to excess then choose to engage – or are incapable of avoiding – violent and/or socially unacceptable behaviour. It’s quite rightly a real issue of concern among parents and for those who serve on the front line of emergency services and policing. A disturbing finding of the recent National Drug Strategy Household Surveys (NDSHS) was a significant increase in the number of people who said they had been victims of alcohol-related physical abuse. What the NDSHS figures also show, however, is that many of the messages we are trying to get across to young people are being heard. Between 2007 and 2010, for example, the number of 12-17 year olds abstaining completely from alcohol increased. Over an even longer timeframe, the percentage of those aged over 14 who have never had a full serve of alcohol nearly doubled between 1991 (6.5%) and now (12.1%). V2 8N 3

Similar trends are revealed in the recent Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drug Survey (ASSADS). Between 1999 and 2011 the number of 16-17 year olds considered current drinkers (because they had consumed alcohol in the previous seven days) dropped from 51% to 33%. For those aged 12-15 years, the fall was from 28% to 11%. That 11% of 12-15 year olds are consuming alcohol at all remains a real concern, but it does not hide the fact that we are heading in the right direction and Australia is – despite what many in the public health arena constantly claim – becoming less tolerant of under age drinking. Of particular note from the ASSADS is that the most common source of alcohol for 12-17 year olds is their parents (32.9%) and the second most common location for consuming it is the home (30.1%) – not far behind parties (34.3%). Given those figures, DrinkWise’s decision to focus industry-funded public awareness campaigns on how children are influenced by the drinking decisions of their parents makes good sense. Unfortunately, a number of single-minded critics choose to dismiss this as ‘industry spin’, rather than the kind of messaging that gets to the heart of the issue and invests in the long-term cultural change we need to alter values and behaviours. So, what are the priorities for the wine industry in the health and alcohol debate? The first is to acknowledge that we have a clear responsibility to reduce alcoholrelated harm. However, while our level of responsibility may be no less or more than other alcohol categories, it is different. Let me explain: we know that wine is the preferred alcoholic beverage for young W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

adult women in their 20s and 30s and we, therefore, should be at the forefront of spreading the message that it is safest not to drink during pregnancy. To that end, I am pleased by the industry’s response to WFA’s joint pregnancy labelling initiative with DrinkWise, and by the figures in the NSDHS that show a significant fall since 2007 in the percentage of women drinking while pregnant or breastfeeding. A more challenging issue is our responsibility to increase levels of moderate consumption among older Australians. Again, we know that wine remains the preferred alcoholic beverage for Australians over the age of 40 and that 10-15% of these consumers drink at levels that pose a risk to their long-term health. Our focus must be on educating them that while moderate wine consumption can be beneficial, too much is going to present them with risks. That means providing information in a way that empowers older Australians to make better consumption choices about wine’s role in a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. Another priority is to build a body of research that is relevant to the debate and reinforces the wine industry’s reputation for fact-based advocacy. It is clear that the amount of Australianbased research on the drivers behind at-risk consumption, wine’s role in alcohol-related harm and misuse, and how we can encourage more moderate wine consumption behaviours is insufficient and has significant gaps. WFA is currently finalising its plans to develop a strategic research capability on these key issues and I hope to have more to say to industry on this matter over the WVJ coming year. www.winebiz. com . au






The Canberra International Riesling Challenge is a unique opportunity for Riesling producers to showcase their product. The Challenge has become an internationally–recognised wine show, and is the largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.


SEMINAR ON RIESLING EXCELLENCE Friday 11 October 2013 Hyatt Hotel Canberra

RIESLING MASTER CLASS Friday 11 October 2013

The 14th Canberra International Riesling Challenge, attracts wines from Riesling producing countries around the world. Judging is conducted on a regional basis which highlights the individual characteristics unique to the wines’ location in the world.

Albert Hall Canberra

EXHIBITORS AND PUBLIC TASTING Saturday 12 October 2013 Albert Hall Canberra

Ken Helm, AM Chairman Canberra International Riesling Challenge


Bookings for the Seminar and Master Class are essential as spaces are limited. For more information, visit or email




Supermarket wine sales: sinner or saintly saviour? By Tony Keys

Wine businesses that can see their way clear to work within the large supermarkets’ retail parameters can reap the rewards.


he minimum wage that Fair Work Australia set from 1 July 2012 was $606.40 per week, or $15.96 per hour. The Australian Bureau of Statistics calculated that the average weekly total earnings for all employees in the country in November 2012 amounted to $1080.30. The average weekly wage in Melbourne in 19671 was $88. Using this as a guide for metropolitan Australia and transferring the $88 to the Australia Reserve Bank inflation calculator, this would equate to $996 in 2012. Therefore, in 46 years, the average income has remained roughly the same. The average weekly shopping basket for Melburnians in 1967 cost $23. In 2011, it cost $158. Putting it another way, in 1967, 29 percent of the family income (properly one wage) was spent on food. In 2011, it was around 14.5% of one person’s average weekly wage. However, the era of cheap food may be coming to an end. A recent report from Citigroup suggests food inflation could increase as much as 5% this

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year. With supermarkets (and domestic residences) facing a 17% increase in electricity costs along with further increases for other utilities, the cost of food will have to rise. There are many factors that go into compiling these figures and it should also be considered that in 1967, far fewer women worked to contribute to the household income. No matter the public thoughts on the evils of supermarket groups, they have contributed to lowering food prices, widening choice and extending shopping hours to meet public demands. Supermarkets are, in the main, profitable businesses paying regular dividends and increasing shareholder value. One Woolworths share at the end of July 1993 cost $2.87. The fact that Woolworths shares were trading in mid-April 2013 at around $34 makes its own clear statement. Plus, dividends have been good and consistent through that period. I would wager that many

who criticise supermarkets have chunks of their super invested in them. It cannot be denied that supermarkets have contributed to the downsizing of rural communities via forcing more productive farming methods, resulting in less people needed to work the land. However, do they outweigh the development of farming machinery that do the work of 10 men in half a day? I hear no rants against John Deere, which may have done more to oust workers from the land. The point of the rant against supermarkets from consumers and industries alike is often a fury against something not fully understood. Supermarkets around the world have grown to the size they are via carnivorous cannibalism of their own kind. Governments of any political hue have allowed them to mutate. It really is a waste of breath in 2013 bemoaning what should have been dealt with from

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the early 1980s onwards. The fact that Woolworths and Coles control around 70% of Australian expenditure on food for the home is testament to the weakness of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the past three decades. The story is not that different in other western democracies. In the UK, four groups dominate the grocery sector (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s). It is said these four hold around 75% of the grocery market. Following these leaders, there are groups such as Co-op, Lidi, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Aldi. Collectively these groups are referred to as the multiple grocer channel. In the calendar year 2012, Australia exported 256 million litres of wine to the UK (bulk and bottled). The multiple grocer channel accounted for 130.5 million litres, or 14.5 million cases of the total, worth £848 million at retail prices. The ease of buying wine in UK supermarkets has also led to increased wine consumption from an average of 0.31 litres (per person aged over 14) in 1957, to 3.52 litres in 2007. This period also represents rapid supermarket growth, so the correlation cannot be ignored. Supermarkets are here to stay, but it is unwise to think of them as moribund. They have got to the size and operating efficiency enjoyed in 2013 via rapid evolution of their business models. Their constant fear is a rival acquiring them; their ambition is to acquire the rival. The issue facing Coles and Woolworths in Australia is how they manage growth. As ineffective as the ACCC has been, even it would baulk at one taking over the other. Both Coles and Woolworths have become heavily involved in petrol retailing. Woolworths operates more than 300 licensed venues and 460 affiliated retail liquor outlets across Australia via a joint venture with the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH). Coles is part of the Wesfarmers group and also has hotels (around 90), mainly in Queensland where they are needed, because retail bottleshops have to be attached to a hotel and Coles has more than 200 in the state. To the angst of many in the wine industry, Woolworths has ventured into areas of wine where industry folk reckon they should not be. Vinpac International operates in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale offering bottling, winemaking, laboratory and warehouse and despatch services.


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In the early 21st century, can the shambolic running of the Australian wine industry or the collapse of many long established UK wine retailers all be the fault of the supermarket? 'No' is the simple answer, if the industry or trade puts ego aside and indulges in selfcritical examination. Barossa Valley-based, Woolworthsowned Dorrien Estate is a contract winemaker, but also has its own brand sold exclusively via Cellarmasters, a direct selling wine club also owned by Woolworths. Langton’s Auction House also sits under the Woolworths umbrella. As expansion in the core business of selling groceries and liquor via conventional stores in the domestic market becomes constrained, sideways movement has to be expected. Where it was once considered smart to show off the power of the supermarket, the groups have cannily realised that consumers are coming to dislike large generic brands, although they do like the cheaper prices they generate. The current thinking is to make minimum fuss when acquiring another company; do not do away with the branding and keep a distance. In the UK, Tesco has bought Giraffe (a child-friendly restaurant group) for £48.6 million and a reported 49% stake in the upmarket coffee chain Harris & Hoole. By comparison, over the past 30 years, the majority of the wine industry and the wine trade have bumbled along and arrived at where they are in the 21st century more by accident than design. The history of Australian Stock Exchange-listed company BRL Hardy, first absorbed into Constellation Brands with a dual listing on the New York Stock Exchange, is a prime example. Constellation Brands’ stewardship was a fiasco, the end result being the once great Australian wine company was bundled off to private equity company CHAMP at a knockdown price. Re-launched as Accolade Wines, it appears to be sorting itself out. Although, at the time of writing, CHAMP has been searching for a chief executive for Accolade for six months and that is not a good omen. The marriage of Southcorp and Rosemount meant ‘tears before bedtime’ from day one. The collapse into the arms of Fosters started the death knell ringing. As an observer, Fosters’ handling of its wine division was tearjerking, interspersed with hysterical laughter. As with Accolade, it is the new W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

beginning reincarnated as Treasury Wine Estates that holds promise for the future. Since the mid-1980s, UK wine retailers have disappeared at a rapid rate. In no particular order, Victoria Wine, Peter Dominic, Unwins, Threshers, Augustus Barnett, Bottoms Up, Fullers, Davisons and Oddbins are but few of the names that have disappeared. In the early 21st century, can the shambolic running of the Australian wine industry or the collapse of many long established UK wine retailers all be the fault of the supermarket? 'No' is the simple answer, if the industry or trade puts ego aside and indulges in selfcritical examination. Dealing with supermarkets is not easy and requires an approach and understanding that often doesn’t suit the temperament of those more used to creating than selling. Following are three views on dealing with Woolworths, specifically Dan Murphy’s. It’s about the same for dealing with Coles. The only way I could elicit honest opinion is by offering anonymity. For the marketing person, the pros are: • good exposure of the brand to lots of people who otherwise may not have exposure to the same • fine wine section allied with Langton’s gives people premium product with reinforcement of secondary market figures • slick marketing machine with online ordering capability and delivery Australia wide • work closely with brands and visit regions. The cons: • expensive either in stock or dollars for promotions in the marketing collateral • others associate the brand with ‘mainstream’, so it loses the attractiveness that exclusiveness can afford • restaurants less likely to list wines they see out at sharp prices in chains • relies to a degree on in-store managers and staff to hand sell or recommend the wine, as there are so many wines available • pressure to work directly with them (cut out distributors) is increasing and has potential to alienate distributors V28N3


• producing a wine specifically for a particular chain has potential to alienate other chains, independent stores and restaurants • pressure to reduce price point due to their buying and distribution power • sometimes slow to respond to communications. A wine business account manager I spoke to said: “In a nutshell, Woolworths’ store distribution means that it dictates what goes on in the off-premise marketplace. It represents about 65% of most medium sized wineries’ business. Woolworths must make its margin in every instance (30% minimum, especially on promotional products), so this must be considered when dealing with them. If you are not doing business with Woolworths, you are not a volume business or you are struggling. It has the ability to move huge volumes of stock quickly, but advertising with them is expensive." For the chief executive of a medium sized producer, the pros are: • with more than 200 stores nationwide, if you want distribution off-premise then you have to be doing business with them • you know where you stand with them; they want to do business with you and tell you what they need. It’s up to you if you agree or not. If they like you and they get behind you, they can move a lot of stock • if you work direct with them on special projects (exclusive) it’s a good cash-flow option. Payment is 60 days. With the acquisition of Langton’s, Cellarmasters, Cellar Force, etc, their distribution and the opportunity is massive. The cons: • because they are so big, there's a lot of competition to get promoted • promotion in their catalogue can be expensive • need to follow up in-store to make sure you get the most out of the promotion. If working through distributors that are lazy, they can seriously affect how much business you are doing • again, if working via a distributor, the margins can be tight. Distributors ask for a minimum 30% margin and Woolworths claims 30-34% margin • being able to contact Woolworths and speak to your account manager is almost impossible, as they are so busy. It appears 90% of the Australian wine industry has worked out how to deal with supermarkets both domestically and overseas. Therefore, what is the fuss surrounding South Australian supermarkets selling wine? Foodland and the Independent Grocers Association have approached the State Government to introduce draft legislation to Parliament that will result in a new category of liquor licence. One has to wonder why V2 8N 3

they need another, as it already has 11 on offer. Apparently the existing full licence is very expensive. The focus of the legislation is to allow supermarkets in excess of 400 square metres of floor space to retail bottled wine. As would be expected, argument against the proposal is coming from independent wine retailers who have some justification in the possible loss of sales to their business, however, that is the independent looking after the independent, not the consumer. Another group bleating on about the damage to community, hoping it will conceal the self-interest, is the Australian Hotels Association which says it was not consulted and it is unfair, as the State Government is curtailing its promotions and opening hours, etc, but are giving free rein to the ‘big guys’. It cannot be denied the grocers also have self-interest at heart, and their


reversed. Making any alcohol more freely available is going to stir an already turbulent vortex of opinion. The SA Attorney-General John Rau is in support of the new licence. Rau sees buying a bottle of wine with some groceries on the way home as a civilised thing to do. He does not visualise teenagers pre-loading on bottles of Shiraz before they go clubbing. The point of debate regarding alcohol is price. In mid-April, Dan Murphy’s was offering around 100 red and white wines under $5 a bottle (excluding cask). Coles’ First Choice retail stores stock close to 40 red and white wines under $5 per bottle. Many from both companies are under $4; less than a cup of good coffee in much of Australia. One has to question the worth of such sales. Are they attracting those

It may change buying patterns, but it is naive to think South Australians could drink more local wine at higher prices because it would be available in the local supermarket. statements of how good it will be for South Australian wine and that it will be a lifesaver to the local industry are weak. It may change buying patterns, but it is naive to think South Australians would drink more local wine at higher prices because would be now available in the local supermarket. In fact, almost every aspect of this issue is weak. Consider this statement from the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) in the Wine in Supermarkets Discussion Paper and Draft Legislation Submission paper released 1 March 2013, “SAWIA neither supports nor opposes the proposal to allow the introduction of a supermarket licence”. If the above arguments are weak, what is the real problem with increasing retail licences? Moving to a subject that is of great importance and will come to dominate the future of all alcohol in western countries is the health, violence and cost to community aspect. There is a lot of pressure on alcohol (including wine) producers to curtail advertising, implement warnings on labels and be more responsible for the damage their product is said to cause. Health and alcohol-fuelled violence is the political stance the South Australian opposition is taking; it would no doubt be the same if the parties’ roles were W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

interested in wine as opposed to those interested in obtaining alcohol at the lowest possible price? If Australia’s two leading wine retailers would refuse to sell wine below $5 a bottle and cask pro rata, would this not be seen as taking a step forward without the need for government intervention such as introducing a minimum price per unit of alcohol or raising taxation, maybe even following the tobacco rout and insisting on plain packaging? It would, but neither company is likely to advocate such a move and there are plenty of producers who are prepared to supply the wine at the suitable price. In this respect, there is more than an acceptable percentage of the wine industry prepared to risk the wrath coming its way. It also shows the supermarkets are happy to let the wine industry bestow injury upon itself to benefit their own needs. The role of wine in supermarkets, especially in the UK where the licence is held within the store, is to attract footfall. It is part of the whole and has to perform as such. It has long been the downfall of the wine trade that many involved think it is a superior product and should be treated as such. REFERENCE 1 The Victorians, by Tony Dingle, published 1984 by WVJ Fairfax, Syme & Weldon Associates.

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pin o t ce l e b ra t i o n

Jasper Morris on Mornington Pinot Continuing our coverage of the International Pinot Noir Celebration held in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula earlier this year, journalist Ed Merrison presents his exclusive interview with Burgundian wine expert and keynote speaker and chief facilitator Jasper Morris. The author of books such as White Wines of Burgundy and the more recent Inside Burgundy, and a buying director at Berry Bros & Rudd, Morris caught up with Merrison between tasting sessions at the Pinot Noir Celebration. This is followed on page 18 by a transcript of the show-stopping speech by Ted Lemon, winemaker for Littorai, in the US, and Burn Cottage, in New Zealand, in which he addressed the challenges of the New World in crafting unique wines with a sense of place. What do you see as the attractions of Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir?

superior to the clones that most New World Pinot places first started planting.

I love the fact that they show balance, a word I keep coming back to. These are, relatively speaking, elegant wines. If you say ‘Australian Pinot’ to someone out there in the world, they really are not going to think of elegance as the first thing. I had a concept, just looking at the map before coming here, that it would be relatively flat land, but it’s not. So, all the different contours have a role to play and the sea breezes are, clearly, absolutely vital. I love the way the fruit is spread evenly across the palate. Another feature that I was unaware of before I came here was the ‘local’ clone, the MV6 clone, and that it is so vastly

How compelling is Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir to consumers? In terms of the prices they retail at here, it’s great value. Not all of them, every time, but when you think of the people who are big enough to have three ranges – entry level, main estate and then single vineyard, typically the entry level $20 to $30, estate between $40 and $50 - that’s really competitive against imports. If, however, you think about exporting the wines to other markets where it’s

Pictured during the recent sixth biennial International Pinot Celebration is keynote speaker Jasper Morris.


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W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013


pin o t ce l e b rat i o n

a level playing field against wines from anywhere, then they’re going to look that little bit more expensive, particularly with a strong Australian dollar. The pricing here seems to me to be very fair. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it stretching upwards from here in the near future, with the proviso that it’ll be good to keep some entry-level things really affordable. What I do see is that people don’t really differentiate from one vintage to another and that’s going to be a bit of an issue when 2011 comes along, because that clearly is much less good. Now, you can manage that a little bit by declassifying so that the wine you end up with at one level is actually not too far off the pace because it’s what would normally be at another level. But if you only make one wine, I think that’s going to be tricky to shift 2011 at the same price as the ’10. What steps do winemakers need to take for the Mornington Peninsula to earn a reputation for world-class Pinot Noir? One factor you have to bring in with the Mornington is that anyone who’s any good is pretty much selling

everything at cellar door, or in Melbourne and Sydney. A few of them do a little bit of export but they don’t really need to, whereas in New Zealand, for example, they all desperately need to export because there are no New Zealanders to drink the stuff. So that changes things. It means [Australian Pinots] aren’t seen nearly as much overseas. What you need to be doing is making the wine you feel is the best wine that you can make with the raw material that you’ve got. And making sure you’ve got the vineyard in a good place and run in a good way to give you the best chance of having good raw material. It’s still early enough that people are still working through that. How do you see the future playing out for Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir? In the Mornington, I think you’ve arrived at something that is coherent, and will get better as more vines get older and more people think closely about their vineyard sites. There is an issue in that an awful lot of it is on own roots and probably phylloxera


will come one day. But if it does come, it won’t be all bad because it means that people will actually be able to replant in a configuration that they now know is the right one for the land, whereas initially so much of it was experimental; people didn’t really have much idea of where to go. Why else should Australia be excited about Mornington Peninsula wine? The Chardonnay’s really good here. I think at the moment Chardonnay is being really badly made back home in Burgundy. Various other places have made the wines too alcoholic, too rich, too clunky, including in Australia in the past, and there’s needed to be a reinvention. And the Mornington sits in exactly the right place for that reinvention. The volume that’s made is so small and drunk locally, so it’s not going to have an impact on the world stage. But if it were me, I would be looking to go much further with Chardonnay and not so far with Pinot Gris. That’d be the direction I’d WVJ take the white winemaking.

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The concept of ‘noble place’ in New World winegrowing By Ted Lemon

Ted Lemon is proprietor and winemaker at Littorai, in California, and winemaker at New Zealand’s Burn Cottage. He began his career by living, working and studying oenology in Burgundy for four years. He left for California and worked in the Napa Valley and then later as a consultant to wineries from Oregon to Monterrey County. He and wife Heidi started Littorai in 1993. The wines come from what he calls the true North Coast, the coastal hills of Sonoma and Mendocino counties. He began working with the Sauvage family at Burn Cottage Vineyard in Central Otago in 2002. This is an edited version of the speech Ted gave as a guest of the recent Mornington Peninsula International Pinot Noir Celebration 2013.


n the introduction to Roger Dion’s extraordinary work History of the Vine and Wine in France from its Origins to the 19th Century, originally published in 1959, Dion explains that in the 16th century the wines produced from the area around Paris were considered equal to the very best of Champagne. In Dion’s research, average temperature, average summer sunlight hours, frequency of spring frost and humidity were all slightly in favour of the Paris region. Dion is shocked that in a country where the vine enjoys the greatest prestige, the public is utterly ignorant of this important past. Dion states: “Perhaps this ignorance is an effect of this very prestige. We would rather find that the virtues of French vineyards are the gift of natural privilege, a particular heavenly grace bestowed upon the earth of France. It is as if there was more honour for our country in receiving its viticultural fame from Heaven rather than from the toil of men, a viticultural fame in which our ancestors found a subject of collective pride even before the notion of a French nation existed. “From this flows so many illusory arguments and facile

explanations, filling the commonly accepted notions of viticultural history. A great success, when it is the fruit of long and hard work, makes the latter vanish.” As a young man living in Burgundy, these words struck me like thunder. There was a great and forgotten wine in Paris? So the great terroirs are not set in stone. They reflect human cultural, economic, political and agronomic history. A single detour here or there and the great sparkling wine of France could have come from the region of Paris. Great terroir does not exist. It is built. It is built from millions of blocks of historical, cultural, economic, scientific and agronomic pieces. If terroir is a human construct, why not become a carpenter? If, in the course of time, the pre-eminence of certain famous viticultural regions is due to that same history, that position will change across the history that we are in the act of building today. This may sound like a call to defiance of today’s most famous regions, but that is not the point. Dion’s words had freed me. Great dirt is neither sentimental nor xenophobic. Thus, when I returned to the US from France, I had understood



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what I now call the concept of noble place. This concept, which lies at the origin of all the great viticultural regions, is not only distinct from the notion of terroir, but precedes it. Noble places, ready to reveal their secrets, are hidden all over the temperate regions of the earth. They lie hidden in European vineyards that were once famous but now lie forgotten. And they lie hidden in the virgin regions of the so-called New World. Rather than us presuming to have terroir, let us challenge ourselves by asking instead, do I have a noble site? Finding a noble place is only the first step in the winegrowing process. One cannot create unique wines that are faithful to their noble sites in the New World without training. One must first have an education in terroir-based tasting and such an education remains largely based on European wines. Without this, New World great terroir wines are not possible. I look forward with enthusiasm to the day when a library of New World terroir wines is available to us all. While we acknowledge the important training that Europe provides, it is time for the day of the disciple to die. Remember that great terroir is composed of historical, cultural, economic, scientific and agronomic components. There will never be pure, great and true New World terroirs until we accomplish the aesthetic and cultural parts of building the edifice. I would like to suggest some guidelines for this process: Look inward. Yes, I know that the wine writers will complain you already don’t know enough about Old World wines. Do not measure all things against the Old World. And, above all, do not see Burgundy as a measuring stick. We must be like Odysseus, lashing ourselves to the mast of the ship in order to resist the siren song of the maidens of Burgundy. Discover the biology of terroir. The history of 20th century European viticulture is the history of growing amnesia to the biological dimension of terroir. Look at most viticultural textbooks from the 20th century and you will find the only biological element to be the vine itself. The rest is all chemistry and photosynthetic pathways. There is nary a worm in sight. Yet from what derive the limestones that made Burgundy famous? Living creatures. In the 20th century, Europe nearly forgot that the biology of terroir is as important as the chemistry. We are destroying vast areas of New World viticulture to an outdated and dangerous model. Marlborough, The Russian River, Napa Valley, Monterrey County and other regions are monocultural wastelands. This must not continue. Practise alternative forms of agriculture. Regardless of how one might feel about biodynamic agriculture, there is a veritable à la carte menu of extraordinary alternative agricultural practices available now: organic, permaculture and agro-ecological agriculture. Stop planting vines. Plant companions. Some speak of “keeping things as natural as possible”. Agriculture is not natural. To promote natural balance, healthy ecosystems and thereby site-specificity in agriculture requires that we actively promote agronomic health through bio-diversity. Learn to taste in a new way. Jacky Rigaux, in Burgundy, is doing some very interesting research regarding how we taste for site signature. This work relates directly to having a terroir-based education. He calls it “la dégustation géo-sensorielle” – geosensory tasting – and claims that earlier generations of Burgundian tasters were not interested in the details of aromas but that notions like “sapidité”, “texture” and “la bonne salive” were essential to understanding the difference between crus. This is a thoughtprovoking contrast to our latter-day focus on aromas. This view sees aromas as fleeting and secondary. Give up being a winemaker. Become a student of terroir. Have the confidence to listen and allow the site to speak to you and to discover its uniqueness. Make a place for the mystery of wine in your cellar. We often make knowing pronouncements about the potential evolution of the wines we taste. Maybe we are all wrong. V2 8N 3

Ted Lemon


Photo courtesy Littorai

As a corollary to giving up being a winemaker, give up additives. This does not require you to become a 'natural' winemaker; it is a path of evolution. Make it a point to stop acidifying. You will be amazed how it will focus your attention like a laser on better vineyard husbandry and alternative cellar practices. Most importantly of all, abandon the quest to make great Pinot Noir. Your job is to craft wines that are the most honest, crystalline expression of their place and then let others decide if they feel that WVJ your efforts are worthy.

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Gently does it – processing premium Chardonnays By Cathy Howard

The winemaking techniques used in Australia to produce top-end Chardonnay has evolved for the better over the past decade, as Cathy Howard learns when talking to winemakers in Margaret River, Mornington Peninsula and the Adelaide Hills.


n researching the topic of processing Chardonnay, I discovered an article by Huon Hooke (Cool calm and respected, Sydney Morning Herald, June 2012), which summed up where Australian winemakers had come from with Chardonnay wine styles and where they are heading. Hooke wrote: “For the past decade, I believe, Australia is second only to Burgundy in Chardonnay. We have pared back the fat, oaky, buttercup-yellow, oily, alcoholic Chardonnays of yesteryear and we are making finer, more balanced, more drinkable and age-worthy wines than ever before. The oak is barely noticeable - as it should be. The alcohol is moderate: 12.5-13.5%v/v compared with the former 14-14.5%v/v. Hand-in-hand, the natural acidity is higher and wines are less likely to be routinely acidified. Site selection is also having a desired effect: instead of broad wines from warm to hot regions, the


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finest Chardonnays now come from cooler regions�. So, what has changed in how we are processing our top Chardonnays? When I was first involved with making premium Chardonnay table wines in the Barossa Valley in the 1990s, the processing technique most widely used at that time was for the grapes, which were usually machine harvested, to be crushed into either a must tank or press, where the must would receive extended skin contact time prior to pressing. Depending on the desired juice turbidity, pectolytic enzyme may or not have been added, and the free run and pressing portions were kept separate. When I contacted winemakers in the Margaret River, Mornington Peninsula and Adelaide Hills regions to discuss the processing techniques that they are using for their premium, top-end Chardonnays, I found that not only are

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

they using different processing techniques to what was routinely used a decade ago, but interestingly, the specific type of Chardonnay clone is influencing how some of them are harvesting and processing their grapes. To give you a quick snapshot of the types of Chardonnay clones planted around Australia, the most widely planted Chardonnay clone in Australia is probably I10V1, a Californian clone from the UC Davis collection imported into Australia in 1969. There are plantings now of the Burgundy or Bernard clones 76, 95, 96 and 277, and the Gingin or Mendoza clone. Clones 1, 3 and 5 are planted in small quantities, but are not considered to be of high quality, and the Penfolds 58 clone is also planted but not widely used since the introduction of the Bernard clones. The Gingin clone is the Chardonnay clone most associated with



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

The type of Chardonnay clone seems to be influencing how some of Australia’s winemakers are currently processing their premium, top-end Chardonnays. Photo courtesy Flying Fish Cove Winery, Margaret River. Margaret River. This clone is prone to developing millerandage, also known as ‘hen and chicken’. Xanadu Wines, Margaret River, with chief winemaker Glenn Goodall Xanadu Wines processes approximately 180 tonnes of Chardonnay, and of this total crush, 2% is for its Stevens Road Chardonnay (RRP$65), 4% is for its Reserve Chardonnay (RRP$85), 30% is for the Xanadu Premium Chardonnay (RRP$29), and the balance is for its entry level wines. The Gingin clone is the only clone used for the three top wines. The aim is for maximum flavour intensity in the juices, while still retaining natural acidity, which the Gingin clone provides. Xanadu has found that in the better blocks, the flavour generally develops earlier, allowing the retention of plenty of natural acidity, and the wine production team is able to harvest these blocks at less than 12.5 Baume. The grapes are hand-picked, and whole bunch pressed on the same morning. The aim with the pressing cycle is to separate V2 8N 3

the skins and juice as quickly and gently as possible. The press is set on an automatic, gentle pressing cycle. Free run cuts are made at about 500-550L/tonne, depending on taste, with the free run and pressings kept separate. Only the free run portion is destined for the top three wines. No enzyme or sulfur dioxide (SO2) is added to the settling free run tank. Some juices are racked to barrel, and others go to barrel with full solids for ferment. All juices destined for the top three Xanadu Chardonnay wines are 100% barrel fermented by natural yeasts. Vasse Felix, Margaret River, with general manager and chief winemaker Virginia Willcock Vasse Felix processes approximately 300 tonnes of Chardonnay, with around 10% of this destined for the Heytesbury Chardonnay (RRP$60). Picking time is crucial for achieving the optimal balance between Baume (and, therefore, potential alcohol), natural acidity and fruit flavour. Chardonnay grapes destined for the W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013


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Hand-picked Chardonnay from the 2013 vintage is loaded into a press ready for whole bunch processing. Photo courtesy Flying Fish Cove Winery, Margaret River. Heytesbury wine are from 42 separate sections (blocks, or parts of blocks), and these selections are made up of grapes from eight different clones. The processing technique is varied to suit each clone and each of these individual parcels is kept separate throughout the production process. Tailoring the processing technique to match the clonal characteristics has come about through extensive trial work undertaken over the past few years. For instance, the Gingin clone is hand-picked and whole bunch pressed due to its powerful fruit flavours, yielding juices with flavours and structures with more finesse. Other clones that are more delicate and restrained in flavour are machine harvested. If they are hand-picked and whole bunch pressed, they end up being too light and lean. These machine harvested parcels receive minimal skin contact, maybe around four hours in total (a combination of the time taken to harvest the section in the vineyard and the time taken to transport the grapes to the winery). The hand-picked fruit is cooled overnight in a coolroom down to 12-15oC, then whole bunch pressed the next morning using a champagne pressing cycle with minimal rotations. The free run and pressings are separated, with the free run going straight to barrel after pressing. The machine harvested fruit is axial fed into the press and drained immediately, the aim being to separate the juice from the skins as soon as possible. The program chosen does not start rocking or rotating until at least five tonnes of must is in the press. Minimal enzyme additions are made at the crusher, the aim being to achieve higher juice turbidity. The free run and pressings are kept separate, with the free run juice settling in-tank overnight to 24 hours, then racked to barrel to a required turbidity level (as high as 800NTU for juices with more intense flavours, down to 150-200NTU for the lighter, more elegant juices). For Vasse Felix, tailoring its processing technique to suit each section and each Chardonnay clone means that the


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winemakers are getting the very best out of each individual section. A lot of work has gone into carrying out trials and finding the best match for each of its 42 sections, but general manager and chief winemaker Virginia Willcock says the end result has been worth it. Ten Minutes by Tractor, Mornington Peninsula, with assistant winemaker Jeremy Magyar Ten Minutes by Tractor processes approximately 30-40 tonnes of Chardonnay each year. The top Chardonnays are the single vineyard wines - the McCutcheon and the Wallis - which are made in most years (RRP$65). The juice separation process is a very important part of the wine styles. The grapes are hand-picked, and depending on the fruit temperatures upon receival at the winery, they are either processed later in the morning following picking, or go to the coolroom overnight to bring the fruit temperature down to 15oC. The grapes are whole bunch pressed, using the cremante cycle on the winery’s Vaslin Bucher press. It is a long cycle, up to five hours if needed, and has minimal rotations. The free run and pressings portions are not kept separate, and are combined in the same tank. The last 50% of pressings is considered 'pure gold' in terms of the phenolic content, which is an important component of the style. No enzyme or sulfur are added to the juice once in-tank. After two days of settling and cooling, the juice is mixed and transferred to barrel, and natural yeasts are allowed to ferment in-barrel. Shaw & Smith, Adelaide Hills, with senior winemaker Adam Wadewitz All of the Chardonnay processed at Shaw & Smith is destined for the M3 Chardonnay (RRP$42). The focus starts in the vineyard by ensuring that the fruit coming through the door meets the winery’s fruit specifications. There are three major vineyards providing grapes for M3, which are planted to a number of Chardonnay W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

clones, mainly the Bernard clones (76, 95, 96, 277). Once in the winery, the focus is on processing the grapes and juices gently. All of the fruit is hand-picked into slotted picking bins, which are then placed in the coolroom overnight to cool down. The following morning, the fruit is whole bunch pressed using a champagne press cycle with minimal rotations. The free run and most of the pressings are combined, with the last 10% of the harder pressings kept separate. No enzyme is added to the settling juice, and the juice is treated oxidatively with no sulfur additions. The juice, including all solids, is transferred into barrel, and natural yeasts are relied upon to complete fermentation, although sometimes there is a need to inoculate with cultured yeasts. CONCLUSIONS Overall, there has been a focus in the past 10 years or so on refining top-end Chardonnay wine styles, making them more elegant. To achieve this goal, winemakers are modifying how they process the grapes, taking a ‘gently does it’ approach. There is also a trend with the premium Chardonnays to harvest the grapes earlier, before too much natural acidity has been lost, and more winemakers are using natural yeasts. The most interesting development to discover has been the tailoring of the harvesting and processing techniques to suit the specific Chardonnay clone. Shaw & Smith senior winemaker Adam Wadewitz summed it up well by saying that he sees “exciting times ahead for Chardonnay in Australia, with the key being to get to know the specific sites and tailoring the winemaking to suit each batch”.

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 19 years. She also consults part time to some wineries in the WVJ Geographe region. V28N3

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Science award leads to cold soak trial By Richard Fennessy, Wine Research Officer, Department of Agriculture and Food WA

Richard Fennessy was recently awarded the $22,000 Viticulture and Oenology 2013 Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, principally funded by the GWRDC, which is supporting a 12-month project that seeks to provide winemakers with information on the merit of cold maceration given certain varieties and regions, while considering winery inputs and logistics. We asked Richard to provide us with some background to the project and further details on how it will be carried out.


s pre-fermentation cold maceration more suited to certain climates or varieties for the production of premium red wine? Having worked at wineries in cool and warm climates within Australia and overseas, I have always been interested in the amount of conjecture over this technique and the differing opinions from winemakers when discussing the value and suitability of pre-fermentation cold maceration. Pre-fermentation cold maceration, or ‘cold soak’, is a commonly practised

winemaking technique for premium red wine production. It involves the aqueous extraction, as opposed to the alcoholic extraction, of colour compounds and aroma and flavour precursors from the skins into the must at low temperatures, prior to the onset of primary fermentation. Wines made with this technique tend to be perceived as more fruit-forward and complex, with increased colour intensity. To the best of my knowledge there has not been any published research in Australia nor internationally that

investigates both the influence of climate and variety on the effectiveness of pre-fermentation cold maceration of which this trial will address. This trial was selected as the winner in the viticulture and oenology category of the recent 2013 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The GWRDC is the principle sponsor of this award category and funding received under this grant will cover operating costs for the 12-month project, which began in March 2013. ▶

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Pictured checking temperatures of small lot ferments, Richard Fennessy will investigate the influence of climate and variety on the effectiveness of pre-fermentation cold maceration.

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Richard Fennessy is presented with the $22,000 Viticulture and Oenology 2013 Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry by CSIRO chief scientist Dr Kim Ritman at the ABARES Outlook 2013 conference. Photo: Steve Keough Photography The main benefits to the Australian wine industry that this trial aims to achieve are to: • improve wine quality through matching variety and region to the use of a cold soak, to achieve wines of greater colour, aroma intensity and varietal distinction • improve winery efficiency by means of avoiding unnecessary inputs such as refrigeration and heating when the desired outcome is most likely unachievable. Also, logistically identify whether committing fermentation vessels for extended periods of time to allow for a cold soak will be beneficial • with a changing climate, understand the relationship of climate and the efficacy of this technique which may potentially provide winemakers with a tool for managing red wine quality in unseasonal years. The trial will involve the three most widely planted red varieties in Australia: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These varieties, picked in 90kg lots, will be sourced from two distinctly different climatic regions in Western Australia: Swan Valley (warm climate) and Great Southern (cool climate). Utilising the wine laboratory at the Bunbury office of the Department of Agriculture and Food, wines will be made using two protocols; first, a standard red winemaking process representing a control and, secondly, adding a five-day cold soak to the standard process. Wines will be made in three replicates, which will yield approximately nine x 750mL bottles per replicate. A sensory panel of winemakers will be formed in the latter half of the year to conduct a detailed sensory assessment of the wines for difference testing and profiling purposes. These results will be complemented by chemical analysis on parameters such as colour density, hue, anthocyanins, phenolics and tannins. The combination of these results will demonstrate the effectiveness of a cold soak to improve wine quality based on climate and variety variables. The extension component of this trial will involve presentations at numerous industry workshops, publication of results in industry WVJ journals and a full report posted on the GWRDC website.

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013


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Assessing a new crusher aimed at delivering wines with improved polyphenols and flavours By Christophe Arnaud1, Remi Niero1, Alain Samson2, Soline Caille2, Marie-Helene Ducasse3, Magali Bes2, Jean-Michel Salmon2 1 Pellenc SA, Route de Cavaillon, 84120 Pertuis, France 2 INRA, UE 999, Domaine de Pech Rouge, 11430 Gruissan, France 3 IFV, Domaine de Pech Rouge, 11430 Gruissan, France

Although not due for release in Australia until WineTech in Sydney in July, local winemakers have already shown much interest in Pellenc’s new dynamic crusher, Extractiv’, which is designed to improve extraction of phenolic compounds and flavour precursors. Introduction


n winemaking, the aim of crushing is to split open grapes to extract the pulp and juice without crushing the seeds, in order to promote maceration as soon as winemaking begins and throughout fermentation. The initial maceration step facilitates contact between the juice and yeast contained in the bloom covering grape skin. Crushing enables this initial juice-skin maceration and ensures the start of alcoholic fermentation. The technological process of crushing, therefore, should consist of splitting open the grapes without affecting the seeds as well as any stems or MOG (material other than grapes), which could release or spread substances that are undesirable for wine quality if crushed (particularly galloylated procyanidins in seeds likely to significantly increase the bitterness of finished wine). A traditional crusher comprises a grape reception hopper under which two finely notched rollers (lobe, cylindrical microtooth or conical microtooth rollers) turn and split open the grapes. Spacing between the cylinders is often variable, making it possible to adapt crushing to the grape size of each variety. A new dynamic crusher developed by Pellenc aims to make it possible to fully crush all the grapes passing through it by transferring energy to each grape and moving it towards a fixed crushing plate. This new concept not only makes it possible to separate the spacing adjustments on traditional crushers with rollers, but also results in increased output rates, enabling its integration into existing operating lines. It also makes it V2 8N 3

Table 1. Characteristics of the crushers tested and characterisation of the musts obtained after 700kg of destemmed Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were fed through them (2011 harvest). Type of crusher tested

Spacing between rollers (mm)

Feed rate (T h-1)

Percentage of juice after crushing (%)

Percentage of open berries (%)


Pellenc dynamic

Not applicable





Lobe rollers






Cylindrical microtooth rollers






Conical microtooth rollers






possible to split open grapes according to their ripeness and not their size. In order to better assess the potential applications for this new technology, the INRA de Pech-Rouge experimental unit (Gruissan, Aude), in partnership with Pellenc, tested the dynamic crusher during the 2010 and 2011 harvests. This article presents a summary of the large amount of data acquired during these experiments. THE CRUSHING PERFORMANCE Pellenc’s dynamic crusher, Extractiv’, is different to traditional crushers in its design (Figure 1a and 1b, see page 26). Fruit is fed into a hopper (1), which discharges into a wheel fitted with blades (2). As the wheel rotates, it casts the berries against the outer plate (3) of the crusher. This action splits open the grapes without crushing the seeds, stems or MOG. The crushed fruit falls under the crusher with gravity (4). The wheel speed can be adjusted to achieve the crushing intensity desired by the user. In contrast, classic crushers of similar size are based on rotating roller systems (Figure 2, see page 26). W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

The Extractiv’ offers high harvest output rates, without affecting the crushing quality achieved. Tests carried out on Syrah delivered crushing rates of more than 97% at an output range of 1024 tonnes per hour (Figure 3, see page 28). Comparisons of the performance of each of the crushers based on similar feed rate values (around 18t/h-1) showed the dynamic crusher achieved not only the highest percentage of crushed berries, but also the largest percentage of juice after draining, and a high total polyphenol index (TPI) (Table 1). When the appearance of the fruit after crushing was compared, the grapes crushed by the dynamic crusher had a very different appearance to the grapes obtained using the other traditional crushers. In fact, berries appeared fully opened by the Extractiv’ crusher, while they were just crushed by the other crushers. Closer examination of the berries to determine how open they were showed that in the case of extreme use of the Extractiv’, the fruit was completely www.winebiz. com . au


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grapes, a simple adjustment in crusher rotation speed not only made it possible to reach particularly high fruit crushing levels, but also vary the amount of draining juice after crushing (Figure 4, see page 28). This ability to open berries enables better extraction of the components in the skin and adjacent cell layers (mainly polyphenolic compounds) during the maceration stage after crushing.

Extraction through maceration during alcoholic fermentation was assessed for one harvest (destemmed Carignan harvest) as crushed by either the Extractiv’ or a conical microtooth roller crusher, the latter having the most similar crushing characteristics to the former, and compared with destemmed, uncrushed fruit. Although the fermenting speeds reached were very similar (Figure 5, see page 28), the uncrushed grapes had the longest fermentation time, and the grapes crushed by the Extractiv’ the quickest. This observation is consistent with the improved release of pulp from the grapes. In terms of the development of colour intensity (CI) during fermentation (Figure 6a, see page 28), it is noted that the extraction trend line for the dynamic crusher method was significantly above the lines for the uncrushed method and the crushed by conical microtooth roller crushers method. The gradual increase in colour intensity up to the seventh day was due to the gradual migration of polyphenols from the skin to the juice under the combined action of temperature and alcohol. The difference in extraction observed from the dynamic crusher method supports the hypothesis that the skin and adjacent cell layers have improved access to the surrounding juice using this method. From the seventh day of maceration, the fall in colour intensity observed is probably due to co-pigmentation phenomena. At the end of maceration (tenth day) the colour intensity from all the different tests was the same, whether for free-run, press or blended wines (data not shown). The dynamic crusher thus results in quicker colour extraction, without affecting the final intensity of the extraction at the end of the maceration stage. However, after alcoholic fermentation had finished and prior to bottling, color intensity increased for the dynamic crusher method, which continued for six months after bottling (Figure 6b). The same results were achieved for the extraction of red pigments, which represents the largest percentage of colour intensity (data not shown). Therefore, we focussed our study on the extraction of various specific pigments during these stages. After discolouration of the anthocyanins by sulfites (SO2), the pigments analysed were those resulting from the reaction of anthocyanins with other components, including tanninanthocyanin complexes. These derived pigments became a lot more stable over time (Figure 7, see page 28). ▜

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013


Figure 1. Diagram of Pellenc dynamic crusher: (a) crusher in working configuration, (b) crusher in cleaning configuration, (c) crusher in working configuration installed on a continuous grape crop sorting line.

Figure 2. Different crushers tested: (a) cylindrical microtooth roller crusher, (b) conical microtooth roller crusher, (c) lobe roller crusher, and (d) Pellenc dynamic crusher. emptied of its pulp and, as a result, the skin was practically free and totally open to the surrounding area. At lower dynamic crushing intensities, berries were only slightly opened. This is effective on the entire harvest, regardless of berry size, given berries have the same ripeness. Tests carried out during the 2011 harvest at a constant feed rate of 14t/h-1 showed that on Grenache


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Figure 3. Percentage of grapes opened after crushing according to feed rate.

Figure 4. Influence of the rotation speed of the Pellenc dynamic crusher on the percentage of open berries (a) and the percentage of free run juice (b) after crushing. Grenache grapes, 2011 harvest.

 : Destemmed uncrushed fruit  : crusher with conical microtooth rollers  : Pellenc dynamic crusher.

 : Destemmed uncrushed fruit  : crusher with conical microtooth rollers  : Pellenc dynamic crusher.

Figure 5. Demonstration of a fall in density for the 10 days of maceration. Carignan grapes, 2010 harvest.

Figure 6. Development of colour intensity (CI): (a) for the 10 days of maceration, (b) after alcoholic fermentation and bottling. Carignan grapes, 2010 harvest.

 : Destemmed uncrushed fruit  : c rusher with conical microtooth rollers  : Pellenc dynamic crusher. Figure 7. Development of derived pigments resistant to sulfite discolouration: (a) for the 10 days of maceration, (b) after alcoholic fermentation and bottling. Carignan grapes, 2010 harvest. Thus, these pigments are generated much faster when the Extractiv’ is used compared with processing by the other crushers. This generation of complex pigments indicates that the Extractiv’ crusher enables more tannins to be extracted, thus promoting the production of more tannin-anthocyanin complexes when alcoholic fermentation is finished,


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resulting in the increased colour intensity of the wine after bottling (Figure 6b). With regard to the gradual enrichment of the must with tannins during the maceration stage, a higher extraction of tannins was seen for the dynamic crusher (measured by total polyphenol index) (Figure 8a, see page 30), without the index reached at the end of maceration actually differing W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

between the three methods. However, during wine maturation after alcoholic fermentation and bottling, the fruit crushed with the Extractiv’ had a higher total polyphenol index than the other methods, indicating a higher extraction of tannins that is likely to combine with anthocyanins and thus intensify the colour of the wine (Figure 8b). ▶ V28N3

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 : Destemmed uncrushed fruit  : c rusher with conical microtooth rollers  : Pellenc dynamic crusher. Figure 8. Development of the Total Polyphenol Index (TPI): (a) for the 10 days of maceration, (b) after alcoholic fermentation and bottling. Carignan grapes, 2010 harvest.

 : Destemmed uncrushed fruit  : crusher with conical microtooth rollers  : Pellenc dynamic crusher. Figure 9. Combined development of colour intensity (CI) and the shade or tone of wines from the end of alcoholic fermentation, after bottling, and five months later. Carignan grapes, 2010 harvest. The colour development of the three wines also varied significantly according to the type of crushing carried out (Figure 9). As the wines matured after purification, then bottling, a reduction and stabilisation in colour intensity were typically observed (see Figure 6), accompanied by a deepening in the shade of the wine. These changes were due to the original anthocyanins in the grape being replaced by derived oligomeric and polymeric pigments, which modified the initial light red colour of the wine to more orange and brick red tones, producing an increase in the absorbance of the wines at 420nm. Wine produced from crushing with the


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Extractiv’ had the strongest colour intensity of all the methods tested five months after bottling. This result is consistent with the fact that extraction performed by the Extractiv’ is more comprehensive than with a classic crusher, and acts on all the phenolic compounds likely to react during the maturation of wine in the bottle. In February 2011, the wines produced by the three methods were presented to a panel of 20 trained judges to rate them for colour, flavour and aroma. Two sessions on vocabulary generation and training were held beforehand. The analysis itself was carried out in three sessions, with scoring done twice. The W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

products were presented according to a Latin square design at operating temperatures of between 13.5°C and 16°C, first individually and then comparatively, and always in clear glasses. The results are shown in Figure 10, see page 32). In terms of visual criteria, wine from the destemmed harvest fed through the Extractiv’ differed from the other two methods due to its darker, more purple tone, while the wines from the uncrushed grapes or roller crusher were lighter and more pink in colour. In terms of aroma, the three methods differed on three different axes: the Extractiv’ method was characterised by notes of cream/butter, while the uncrushed method tended towards notes of leather, while the harvest crushed by conical microtooth rollers had vegetal notes. In terms of taste, few differences could be observed between the crushing methods, whereas the wine from the uncrushed method was significantly less astringent. Conclusion Using destemmed red grapes we were able to study a new concept in crushing called ‘dynamic’, which is physically different from crushers currently in existence. Its unique concept results in high fruit output rates for its small size (up to 24 tonnes per hour) which means it can easily be built into continuous grape processing lines. When compared with other classically designed crushers, it can be seen that the resulting berries appear much more open with greater extraction of the pulp and juice, V28N3

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increasing the exchange surface area between the skin and juice, thereby releasing it all from the skin into the surrounding area. In addition and in contrast to roller crushers, which tend to close the grapes to extract the pulp from them, the Extractiv’ crusher opens the grapes, exposing a larger contact area between the layers beneath the grape skin and the juice. As the skin is impermeable, this ability of the crusher to open grapes enables better breaking apart of the grape skin during the maceration stage, leading to the increased release of polyphenols. This increased release of polyphenols produces a more purple, darker coloured wine, as well as faster stabilisation of the colour in the bottle. These observations suggest that depending on the technology used, the crushing stage may have a significant impact on the subsequent extraction of polyphenolic compounds during the maceration stage, with a strong final influence on the sensory quality of the finished product. Therefore, these results open up new opportunities in terms of the application of this crusher in separation and fraction techniques in pursuit of WVJ precision winemaking.

Figure 10. Principal component analysis (PCA) of visual data (red), flavour data (purple) and aroma data (green) of the wines produced by winemaking in the liquid stage of the musts obtained after crushing by Pellenc dynamic crusher, crusher with conical microtooth roller or without crushing. Carignan grapes, 2010 harvest.

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Grape quality assessments: a survey of current practice By Mardi Longbottom, Con Simos*, Mark Krstic and Dan Johnson *Corresponding author. Email: The Australian Wine Research Institute, PO Box 197, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia Managing director Dan Johnson

There is room for improvement in winegrape assessment procedures according to a new survey, detailed in this report. With responses from grape and wine producers throughout Australia – with various roles in grape production, supply and purchase – the survey indicates that there is industry-wide support for a standardisation of assessment methods and procedures to ensure consistency, accuracy and transparency for all.


ew people in the Australian wine industry would argue against rewarding growers for growing high quality fruit that meets winemakers’ specifications – helping wineries to produce great wines that secure higher retail prices.


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But the way that grapegrowers are rewarded and the measures used to assess their grapes can be problematic. A lack of objectivity, transparency and standardisation concerning assessment can lead to disputes in the transaction process.

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Figure 1. Primary activities of survey respondents (left) and tonnes of grapes sold in a typical year by respondents who sell winegrapes (right).

AT A GLANCE A national survey of grape and wine stakeholders has found little change in the methods used to assess grape quality over the past 10 years. While respondents were generally happy with the categories of assessment in place, the majority (68 percent) agreed that a standardised approach to assessment methods and to vineyard and weighbridge sampling would increase their confidence in the system. Results from the survey indicate that fruit grading and payment processes could become more transparent and there would be further benefits, including increased efficiency, if the Australian wine sector were to adopt a more standardised, industry-wide approach. Additional benefits may also include quantifiable and repeatable results, transparency and the avoidance of disputes. A number of respondents also felt that greater clarity and transparency would improve grower-winery relationships and enable growers to respond better to winery requirements. The survey, however, also indicated high levels of trust between grape buyers and sellers, suggesting that constructive relationships are the foundation of assessment procedures in the Australian wine sector.

transactions and contractual arrangements between buyers and sellers. Different wineries apply these assessment tools and methods to varying degrees to guide their decision-making around harvest timing and fruit handling. As a result, ultimately, these decisions have an impact on the potential wine style that can be achieved. Assessment measures are often used as a proxy to define fruit ‘quality’ or, in a contractual situation, to determine ‘closeness to specification’. They are key factors in any ‘deal’ struck between grape buyers and sellers: they are used as a basis for remuneration. In May 2012, The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI),


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the Australian Government’s National Measurement Institute (NMI) and Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) conducted a national survey of their stakeholders in order to better understand the measures and assessments of grape ‘quality’ used in grower-to-winery transactions. The aim was to find out whether grape buyers and sellers were satisfied with current practices and whether there were any opportunities for improvement. The data would also be used to identify priorities for further, targeted research to support grape buyers and sellers in their application and management of assessment procedures. Finally, the results would help to determine extension, education and communication priorities within the Australian wine sector to ensure assessment procedures are clear, accurate and transparent. The survey demonstrated that most grapegrowers and buyers do use measurement criteria to assess various components of fruit composition, and that this occurs at various stages from the vineyard to post-fermentation. Interestingly, although growers and grape purchasers expressed satisfaction with the type of methods and measures currently being used to assess fruit grade or quality, they were less satisfied with how such assessments were performed. The survey indicated that there was overwhelming support for the standardisation of sampling and measurement protocols across the Australian wine industry. Survey details An electronic survey was developed and distributed via a national database to stakeholders in the Australian grape and wine sector. The survey was available online for approximately five weeks and in that time more than 350 responses were collected. Responses that were incomplete and did not proceed past the first stage – requesting participant demographics – were removed from the dataset for the purposes of data analysis. This left 294 responses which were analysed and are presented in this report.

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013



Table 1. Aspects of juice composition and pest and disease assessment that could be most improved (% respondents). Numbers of respondents: for grape juice composition, 188 producers and 109 purchasers; for pests and diseases, 183 producers and 109 purchasers. Assessment of juice composition (%)

Assessment of pest & disease (%)





Sampling technique




















Who responded? Survey responses came predominantly from grapegrowers (40%), winemakers (40%), and viticulturists (14%). The remaining 6% came from grape buyers, grower liaison officers and grape purchase or supply officers. These statistics demonstrate that grapegrowers and winemakers were equally represented. Respondents were asked to list their primary activity as a ‘buyer’ of grapes, a ‘seller’ of grapes or as both a ‘buyer and seller’ of grapes. Depending on their choice, respondents then answered questions relevant to their activities (i.e., either buying, selling or both) rather than their occupation. Of the respondents who reported their primary activity as grape ‘sellers’, 91% also reported their occupation as ‘grapegrowers’. For ease of interpretation in this report, therefore, the terms grape ‘sellers’ and ‘growers’ are used interchangeably. Responses came from 55 of Australia’s 65 wine geographical indication (GI) regions. Further analysis indicated, however, that hot inland regions, i.e., the Murray Darling (Victoria and NSW), the Riverina (NSW) and the Lower Murray (SA), were underrepresented given the relatively high proportion of growers in these regions (31% of Australian growers) and their contribution to grape production (51% of Australian grape production), (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010). Responses were collected from a range of small and large enterprises (Figure 1). Grape ‘buyers’ were made up of winemakers (67%), growers and viticulturists (16%) and grape buyers and grower liaison officers (16%). Of the respondents who indicated that they were involved with both the buying and selling of grapes, approximately half were winemakers (54%), 36% were growers and 15% were viticulturists (Figure 1). V2 8N 3

Wine Analysis



Grape assessment procedures and measures The majority of grapegrowers (sellers) and buyers reported that a range of methods were used to assess grape juice composition, as well as pests and diseases. In the case of grape juice composition, 95% of grapegrowers and 96% of buyers reported that assessment took place; in the case of pests and diseases 95% of grapegrowers and 99% of buyers reported that assessment methods were in use. The most common measures included yield (tonnes), sugar (Brix/Baume), pH and titratable acidity (TA). These measures have not changed in importance since an earlier industry survey, despite predictions that other parameters, such as colour, could become more important (DeGaris et al. 2001). Many respondents (both buyers and growers) to the survey also reported that taste and other subjective methods of grape assessment (e.g. visual appearance) were commonly used to assess relative grape quality grades. In terms of their satisfaction with the procedures used to assess grape juice composition as well as pests and diseases, respondents were asked which processes could be most improved: sampling technique or measurement? Responses from both growers and buyers strongly supported the need to improve sampling in the vineyard and the way that methods were used to measure each of the quality attributes (Table 1). In some cases, respondents included additional comments and observations. These included questions about the consistency of the procedures used, as well as the reliability and robustness of instrumentation such as refractometers, and the relevance of colour assessment. There were also concerns about the degree of subjectivity and lack of detail provided in field assessments. It was also suggested that agreed scales could be introduced, which could be used by independent assessors. These responses – equally representing the

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Figure 2. The number of businesses that grapegrowers sell their fruit to (% respondents) (top) and the contractual relationship for growers who sell to only one buyer (63 respondents, results given in percentages) (bottom). views of grapegrowers and winemakers (as buyers and sellers of grapes) - indicated wide support for a standardisation of assessment procedures. Communication between growers and grape purchasers

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Generally, both grapegrowers and buyers were satisfied with assessment procedures relating to grape juice composition, pests and diseases (Table 2). Responses were similarly positive for both categories of assessment. The results did indicate, however, that there was room for improvement in the consistency of communication. The survey

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013



Table 2. Respondent satisfaction with assessment procedures for grape juice composition and pests and diseases (% of respondents). Numbers of respondents: for grape juice composition, 172 respondents (128 growers + 44 winemakers); for pests and diseases, 169 respondents (124 growers + 45 winemakers). Assessment procedure Grape juice composition

Pests and diseases




71 %

29 %


91 %



76 %

24 %


73 %

27 %


91 %



78 %

22 %

found that the procedures used for the assessment of juice composition are mostly communicated in writing (70%), while for pests and diseases, procedures are more likely to be communicated verbally (66%). This suggests that a more standardised approach to communication is required in the case of pest and disease levels in the vineyard and at the weighbridge, given the variation in methods used by grape purchasers for this important assessment criterion. There was a general dissatisfaction among respondents concerning the lack of communication about results and feedback relating to assessments. It was reported that grape buyers “communicate the results, NOT the procedures”, and one respondent wrote: “if necessary it [the communication of procedures] is verbal, but generally it is not communicated”. The general feeling was that feedback of results by the purchaser is critical in order to change or improve practices and meet assessment criteria. Relationships between grape sellers and buyers More than half of grapegrowers reported that they sold to only one or two businesses. There was also a significant proportion (19%) that sold to more than five businesses (Figure 2). Of the growers who only sold to one business, 59% reported that they did not have a formal supply contract with their winery or grape purchaser (Figure 2). There was a similar response from growers who sell to two businesses; the majority did not hold a formal supply contract (data not shown). Although this result may seem surprising and suggest a need for more formalised contractual arrangements, it is also encouraging; it reflects there is a high level of trust between grape sellers and buyers. In the case of growers who only sold to one business, buyers mostly visited between two and five times during the year. For growers who sold to two businesses, the frequency of visits by the buyer who bought the most (the majority purchaser) was similar (two to five times during the year). The timing of vineyard visits started V2 8N 3

at dormancy and increased in frequency towards harvest, irrespective of the number of purchasers. Clarity and transparency The results indicated that there is industry-wide support, equally from grape buyers and sellers, for more consistency and clarity in the application of assessment methods and in the communication of outcomes. Such procedures play a key role in grape supply and supporting buyer-seller relationships that are productive, constructive and profitable; they are also integral in the production of high quality wines that target particular markets. Respondents did not call for the introduction of additional analytical techniques; instead, they saw a need for greater rigour, clarity and transparency in the application of existing techniques. There was strong support for a standardisation of assessment procedures, equally among the grapegrowers and winemakers (representing grape buyers and sellers) who responded to the survey. Clarity and transparency can also be supported through further extension, communication and research activities, ensuring that the assessment methods in place are applied equitably for the benefit of all. Acknowledgements This work is funded by Australian winemakers and grapegrowers by their investment body, Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, with matching funding from the Australian government. The AWRI is a member of the Wine Innovation Cluster. The authors thank Peter Dry for his review, and Sharon Mascall-Dare and Rae Blair for their editorial assistance. ReferenceS Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010 (http://www. DeGaris, K.; Leamon, K. and Krstic, M. (2001) Sampling for quality parameters in the vineyard and at the weighbridge - current practice. Australian Grapegrower & WVJ Winemaker 444:42-43. W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013 Graeme Little

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New and emerging technologies for the vineyard: the Vineyard of the Future initiative By Sigfredo Fuentes1*, Roberta De Bei2 and Stephen D. Tyerman2 1 University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, VIC 3010, Australia. 2 School of Agriculture Food and Wine and Waite Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, Plant Research Centre. Waite Campus, PMB 1 Glen Osmond, 5064, SA, Australia. *Corresponding author. Email:

The Vineyard of the Future (VOF) initiative, led by The University of Adelaide, has developed and tested new and emerging technologies in an effort to find adaptive tools to mitigate the effects of climate change on grapevines. Introduction The viticulture sector and wider agriculture industry are highly vulnerable to climate change, therefore, high levels of adaptive responses are required and expected (Anderson et al. 2008, Howden et al. 2003). These adaptive responses will rely on accurate determinations

of the magnitude of climate change effects on productivity and quality of winegrapes (Webb 2008). In a warming climate scenario, accompanied by increasing frequency and severity of climatic anomalies such as heatwaves, water use might increase in an attempt to reduce heat and water stress (Deitch 2009, Hayman et al. 2009). A double

warming effect can also be produced due to a compression of phenological stages in grapevines, resulting in early harvest within hotter months (Webb 2008). An increased need for irrigation could also be exacerbated due to reductions in precipitation in grapegrowing regions, such as California, Chile, Europe and Australia (Orang et al. 2008, Snyder et

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This paper discusses some of the techniques that will soon be available to growers to assess spatial and temporal changes in soil moisture, canopy growth and architecture and plant water status. al. 1996, Webb 2008). Furthermore, the most worrying effects for the viticultural industry around the world are the global geographic shifts in land and climate suitability for agriculture, which in the Southern Hemisphere will be southwards (Hannah et al. 2013, Webb et al. 2012). Some adaptive responses have already been identified, such as yield compensation strategies to account for reductions in quality, shifting sites of vineyards, and variety substitution (Webb 2008). However, there are a number of irrigation and canopy management techniques that can be applied to ameliorate the effect of climate change on existing varieties and winegrowing regions. Traditional monitoring of plant growth and physiological variables involves discrete frequency in sampling (i.e., for irrigation scheduling). This method will likely miss important processes in the viticultural crop cycle, especially in the event of climatic anomalies, which reduce the response time of amelioration management techniques. Developing and testing new and emerging technologies are the main focusses of the Vineyard of the Future (VOF) initiative, which is led by The University of Adelaide, in an effort to use novel techniques to find efficient mitigating or adaptive tools to the effects of climate change on grapevines. The VOF technologies are based on the intensive monitoring of spatial and temporal variations of soil–plant–atmosphere factors. A great volume of data collection also requires more robust and complex analysis methods to explain the effects of climate change on plant physiology, phenology, growth, water status and balance between the reproductive and vegetative organs, which are critical for quality grapes. Within this system, management strategies such as irrigation techniques, canopy management, canopy sprays, shading materials and new varieties can be tested to find the most effective adaptation. The VOF idea has already spread to other viticultural regions around the world. Countries such as Spain (La Rioja, Professor Javier Tardaguila, The University of La Rioja), US (California, Dr Martin Mendez, E.J. Gallo Winery) and Chile (Talca, Professor Samuel Ortega-Farias and Dr Carlos Poblete-Echeverria, The University of Talca) are now participating in the VOF initiative. This paper discusses some of the techniques developed within the framework of the VOF that will soon be available to growers to assess spatial and temporal changes in soil moisture, canopy growth and architecture and plant water status. The techniques involved are mapping 2D and 3D soilwetting patterns, cover photography for leaf area index (LAI) and architecture assessment, infrared (IR) thermography and near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. This work in relating the shortrange remote sensing techniques constitutes an additional step forward in the implementation of these technologies as an automated routine technique for physiological vineyard assessment from proximal sensing and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) platforms, such as drones and robots. V2 8N 3

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Figure 1. Advanced Integrated Vineyard Monitoring and Logging System (AIVMLS). Description of new technologies for the vineyard

Figure 2. Snapshots taken at the beginning (a and d); middle (b and e) and end (c and f) of an irrigation event (five hours) of surface drip using WPA©. Distance in a, b and c is from the vine trunk (inter-plant) and for d, e and f is from the emitter (inter-row). Red triangle shows the position of the drip. Image modified from Fuentes et al. (2006).

The research that is currently being undertaken within the international VOF uses the Advanced Integrated Monitoring and Logging System (AIVMSL) approach that is represented in Figure 1.

presented and released in late 2013 and will help growers to target irrigations and fertigations to areas within the rootzone of maximum water and nutrient uptake, avoiding excessive irrigations and losses of fertiliser for more economically and environmentally efficient management.

New in-soil monitoring techniques

New plant-based technologies and techniques

Soil wetting and nutrient patterns A wetting pattern analyser (WPA®) program has been created by the Australian arm of the VOF to characterise 2D and 3D soil wetting and nutrient patterns (Figure 2) within the rootzone (Fuentes 2005, Fuentes et al. 2003, Fuentes et al. 2006). This tool has recently been incorporated into the Irrimax™ software from Sentek Pty Ltd Australia (capacitance soil moisture and salinity probes). The software will be

Infrared thermography and automated analysis Infrared (IR) thermography applied to vineyards has been proposed as a tool to estimate plant water status since 2002 (Jones et al. 2002, Stoll and Jones 2005, Stoll and Jones 2007). Some research has also focussed on the use of IR to assess the incidence of diseases in grapevines (Stoll et al. 2008). However, the bottleneck of this technique was the lack of automated infrared thermal image analysis programs. The Australian


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Figure 3. Infrared thermal image (left) from a grapevine canopy and automated nonleaf material discrimination technique (right) proposed in Fuentes et al. (2012).

Figure 4. Infrared thermal and hyperspectral cameras mounted on an octocopter at the Chilean VOF.

Figure 5. Micro-electronic modulated spectrophotometer (MEMS) used for rapid water status assessment of grapevines (Thermo scientific). Figure 6. Upward-looking picture taken using an iPhone 4S (left) and the CanopyLAI® application developed (right). VOF group proposed an automated analysis method to assess plant water status (Figure 3) that can be applied to analyse changes within canopies due to environmental factors, disease incidence (Fuentes et al. 2012a) or smoke contamination from bushfires (Fuentes et al. 2012a). This new analysis


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method can be used on images and videos obtained from an unmanned aerial vehicle, such as octocopters (being trialled by the Chilean arm of VOF) (Figure 4). Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy The University of Adelaide has demonstrated that grapevine water status can be measured nondestructively using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy techniques. The Australian VOF combined NIR spectra of leaves W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

(in which the regions around 1200, 1450 and 1930nm are associated with the presence of water in the sample) and more established techniques of measuring the plant water status using midday stem water potential, to develop models for the prediction of water potential based on the spectral signature of leaves only (De Bei et al. 2011). Results have shown good agreements between both techniques offering a new tool for irrigation scheduling (Figure 5). Current research has been undertaken to use this technique in an automated fashion through short range remote sensing on a vehicle. Canopy architectural assessment using cover photography The cover photography technique to measure canopy architecture parameters using gap analysis algorithms does not require expensive instrumentation, but does offer accurate results, comparable to other techniques that use expensive instrumentation (e.g., AccuPAR Ceptometers, LiCOR 2000– 2200) (Fuentes et al. 2008). Our research has applied this technique to grapevines and an automated video analysis method has been developed. This method allows the use of this technique with robots (Fuentes et al. 2013). Also, the algorithm has been applied for the development of a smartphone and tablet application that allows obtaining images, analyses them and sends canopy architecture and leaf area index information to be mapped (Figure 6) (Fuentes et al. 2012b). Further developments of imaging techniques are using high-end security cameras attached to extendable towers that can be attached to an ATV or permanently installed in the vineyard. These can be used to detect disease, growth rate and grape maturity completely remotely. Grape berries’ living tissue assessment A novel berry tissue assessment technique and analysis has been developed, which disclosed the link between grape berries’ living tissue and berry shrivel (Figure 7, see page 44) (Fuentes et al. 2010). This technique can be used to investigate the link between cell death and the development of flavours and aromas in berries that might be favoured in certain grapevine cultivars by mesocarp cell death. This technique has also been used to assess the effects of elevated temperatures on the onset and rate of berry cell death in cultivars, such as Shiraz and Chardonnay (Bonada et al. 2013). Further research has been conducted to V28N3

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develop in-field technology to assess berry cell death non-destructively using hyperspectral cameras and impedance spectrometry (Dr Roberta De Bei, Sigfredo Fuentes, Professor Tyerman, Professor Javier Tardaguila). CONCLUSIONS New techniques resulting from the VOF initiatives described in this paper are currently being tested in commercial vineyards in Australia and Chile as part of a beta testing stage. Some of these techniques will soon be commercially available to growers to be applied in the field (e.g., WPA and CanopyLAI). In the meantime, the international VOF is currently working on other emerging technologies with exciting preliminary results that will add to the newlydeveloped tools. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Figure 7. Berry cell death analysis using Matlab® programming techniques for image analysis (Fuentes et al. 2010).

We acknowledge important funding contributions to the Australian VOF from the Waite Research Institute (WRI) of The University of Adelaide and the Wine2030 program from the same university.

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procedure for estimating the leaf area index (LAI) of woodland ecosystems using digital imagery, MATLAB programming and its application to an examination of the relationship between remotely sensed and field measurements of LAI. Functional Plant Biology 35(10):1070-1079.

Anderson, K.; Findlay, C.; Fuentes, S. and Tyerman, S.D. (2008) Viticulture, wine and climate change. Commissioned Paper for the Garnaut Climate Change Review, June, accessible at www.

De Bei, R.; Cozzolino, D.; Sullivan, W.; Cynkar, W.; Fuentes, S.; Dambergs, R.; Pech, J. and Tyerman, S. (2011) Non-destructive measurement of grapevine water potential using near infrared spectroscopy. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 17(1):62-71. Deitch, M.J. (2009) Hydrologic impacts of small-scale instream diversions for frost and heat protection in the California wine country. River research and applications 25(2):118. Fuentes, S. (2005) Precision irrigation for grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) under RDI and PRD, University of Western Sydney, Australia.

Jones, H.G.; Stoll, M.; de Sousa, C.; Manuela Chaves, M. and Grant, O. (2002) Use of infrared thermography for monitoring stomatal closure in the field: application to grapevine. Journal of Experimental Botany 53(378):2249-2260.

Fuentes, S.; Rogers, G.; Conroy, J.; OrtegaFarias, S. and Acevedo, C. (2003) Soil wetting pattern monitoring is a key factor in precision irrigation of grapevines. IV International Symposium on Irrigation of Horticultural Crops 664:245-252. Fuentes, S.; Rogers, G.; Jobling, J.; Conroy, J.; Camus, C.; Dalton, M. and Mercenaro, L. (2006) A soil-plant-atmosphere approach to evaluate the effect of irrigation/fertigation strategy on grapevine water and nutrient uptake, grape quality and yield. V International Symposium on Irrigation of Horticultural Crops 792:297-303. Fuentes, S.; Sullivan, W.; Tilbrook, J. and Tyerman, S. (2010) A novel analysis of grapevine berry tissue demonstrates a variety-dependent correlation between tissue vitality and berry shrivel. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 16(2):327-336.

Fuentes, S.; De Bei, R.; Pech, J. and Tyerman, S. (2012a) Computational water stress indices obtained from thermal image analysis of grapevine canopies. Irrigation Science 30(6):523-536.

Hannah, L.; Roehrdanz, P.; Makihiko, I.; Shepard, A.; Shaw, M.; Tabor, G.; Zhi, L.; Marquet, P. and Hijmans, R. (2013) Climate change, wine and conservation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Fuentes, S.; De Bei, R.; Pozo, C. and Tyerman, S.D. (2012b) Development of a smartphone application to characterise temporal and spatial canopy architecture and leaf area index for grapevines. Wine & Viticulture Journal (6)56-60. Fuentes, S.; Palmer, A.; Taylor, D.; Zeppel, M.; 3 6 2 7 Q M_ A d _ 1 3 0 x 9 0 Whitley, R. and Eamus, D. (2008) An automated

Howden, M.; Ash, A.; Barlow, E.W.R. and Booth, T. (2003) An overview of the adaptive capacity of the Australian agricultural sector to climate change options, cost and benefit. Canberra.

Fuentes, S.; Poblete-Echeverria, C.; OrtegaFarias, S.; Tyerman, S.D. and De Bei, R. (2013) Automated estimation of leaf area index (LAI) from grapevine canopies using cover photography, video and computational analysis methods. Australial Journal of Grape and Wine Research, accepted.

Bonada, M.; Sadras, V. and Fuentes, S. (2013) Effect of elevated temperature on the onset and rate of mesocarp cell death in berries of Shiraz and Chardonnay and its relationship with berry shrivel. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 19(1):87-94.


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Orang, M.N.; Scott Matyac, J. and Snyder, R.L. (2008) Survey of irrigation methods in California in 2001. Journal of irrigation and drainage engineering 134(1):96-100. Snyder, R.; Plas, M. and Grieshop, J. (1996) Irrigation methods used in California: grower survey. Journal of irrigation and drainage engineering 122(4):259-262. Stoll, M. and Jones, H.G. (2005) Infrared thermography as a viable tool for monitoring plant stress. XIV International GESCO Viticulture Congress, Geisenheim, Germany, 23-27 August 2005, 211-218. Stoll, M. and Jones, H.G. (2007) Thermal imaging as a viable tool for monitoring plant stress. Journal International Des Sciences De La Vigne Et Du Vin 41(2):77-84. Stoll, M.; Schultz, H.R. and BerkelmannLoehnertz, B. (2008) Thermal sensitivity of grapevine leaves affected by Plasmopara viticola and water stress. Vitis 47(2):133-134. Webb, L.; Whetton, P.; Bhend, J.; Darbyshire, R.; Briggs, P. and Barlow, E.W.R. (2012) Earlier winegrape ripening driven by climatic warming and drying and management practices. Nature Climate Change 2(4):259-264.

Hayman, P.T.; Leske, P. and Nidumolu, U. (2009) Webb, L.B. (2008) Climate change and winegrape Climate change and viticulture. Informing the 2 0 1 3 - 0 4 - 2 4 T1 0 : 0 0 : 4 5 + 1 0 : 0 0 decision-making at a regional level. quality in Australia. Climate research 36(2):99. WVJ




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Changes in the performance of grafted and ungrafted vines with ageing By Rob M. Stevens1*, Tim Pitt2, Chris Dyson2, and Michael G. McCarthy2 1 Former employee of the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI/PIRSA) 2 Present employees of SARDI/PIRSA *Corresponding author. Email:

A long-running Shiraz rootstock trial conducted by SARDI in the Coonawarra has tested whether ageing affected rootstock performance by comparing the yields of vines at three to six years of age with those at 24 and 25 years of age.


rafting is used to extend the range of conditions under which winegrape cultivars can be successfully grown. The stocks, which are cultivars that contain American species of Vitis in their parentage, can have higher tolerances to biotic and abiotic stresses than winegrape cultivars, which have solely Vitis vinifera in their parentage. Stocks have other roles in addition to conferring tolerance






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to stresses. At sites that are overly favourable to Vitis vinifera, they can be used to reduce vigour. In Europe, grafted vines have sustained the winegrape industry for well over a century. The industry was originally based on vineyards planted to ungrafted vines. In the late 19th century these vineyards were ravaged by phylloxera. The industry recovered after vineyards were planted to grafted vines. Europeans have a long experience in the use of rootstocks. Most of Australia is phylloxera-free. Outside of phylloxera infested areas, well over 50% of vines are ungrafted. Australia has a fairly short history of experience with most of the rootstocks currently in use. Interest in rootstocks began to surge in the late 1960s. During the next two decades, more than 70 rootstock cultivars were imported by government research agencies. In South Australia, more than 40 statistically designed comparison trials had been established by the late 1980s (Cirami and McCarthy 1988). Evaluation of these trials was generally completed within 10 years of planting. Unlike Europeans,

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Australians have little knowledge about the longer-term performance of rootstocks under local conditions. We tested whether ageing affected rootstock performance by comparing the yields of vines in a Shiraz rootstock trial at three to six years of age with those at 24 and 25 years of age. The trial was located on terra rossa soil in Coonawarra, South Australia. It was planted in 1986 on land that had not previously been planted with vines and consisted of 10 replicates of 10 rootstock genotypes, including own roots (Table 1). Each plot consisted of three adjacent vines in the same row. All measurements were undertaken on the central vine. Stevens et al. (2011) contains more information about the vineyard. The average yields of the younger vines are shown in Figure 1. The yields were equivalent. In the analysis of the data set comprising the mean yields in 19891992 and 2010-11 seasons, inclusion of measurements from Petit Verdot produced an unacceptable decay in the sensitivity and it was removed from the analysis. This analysis is shown in Figure 1. Yield trends

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Table 1. The rootstock genotypes in Shiraz (clone BVRC12) rootstock trial at Coonawarra.

Figure 1. The effect of rootstock genotype on yield of Shiraz vines. Vine age, three to six years and 24-25 years . Bars with different letters are significantly different at P = 0.05. See text about absence of lettering above values for Petit Verdot. changed over time. In the older vines, the yields from vines on own roots and 5C Teleki A6V18 were greater than those on 5C Teleki 8344, 101-14, 5C Teleki 8343, 420A, 1616 and Petit Verdot. For the set of rootstocks in this trial, these results show that ageing changes the effect of rootstock genotype on yield. It is unclear whether ageing is affecting other rootstock trials. The project received financial support from grapegrower and winemaker levies and the Australian Government through the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.



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References Cirami, R.M. and McCarthy, M.G. (1984) Rootstock evaluation in South Australia. Proceedings of the Second International Cool Climate Viticulture and Oenology Symposium, Auckland, New Zealand 45-47. Stevens, R.M.; Pitt, T.R.; Dyson, C.; Pech, J.M. and Skewes, M. (2011) Salt tolerant rootstocks for long-term sustainability in the Limestone Coast. Final report to the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation. Project number: SAR 09/03. [accessed 12 March 2013]. WVJ



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Spanish trial compares mechanical defoliation and crop thinning for yield management By Sonya Logan


rop thinning and early defoliation have shown to be effective in regulating grape yields in a recent Spanish trial comparing the two methods when performed mechanically. The trial was carried out on Tempranillo by researchers from the Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino and Instituto di Frutti-Viticoltura in a commercial vineyard in Ollauri, in La Rioja, Spain, in 2007 and 2008. The results were published in the Australian Journal of Grape & Wine Research last year. It evaluated the effectiveness of the two mechanical methods in regulating yield and their effect on yield components, as well as grape and wine composition compared with an unthinned, non-defoliated control.

The Tempranillo vines were trained to a VSP trellis and planted in 1996 on 110 Richter rootstocks in clay-loam soil. The vines were spur pruned to 12 nodes per vine on a bilateral cordon and shoots slightly trimmed before bunch closure in July. No irrigation or fungicide sprays were applied. Treatments comprised mechanical defoliation at pre-flowering and fruitset, and mechanical thinning at bunch closure and the beginning of veraison. Mechanical defoliation was carried out using a Collard tractor-mounted, pulsed air leaf remover, which uses compressed air to tear whole leaves or sections of leaves off. Driven at approximately 0.5km/hour, the airshear machine was positioned close to the canopy and removed the leaves

around the basal 0.6m of the fruiting zone. Two passes, one each side of the canopy, was made using the leaf remover. Mechanical thinning was performed with a New Holland over-row grape harvester fitted with two pairs of bow rods operating at 470 beats/minutes and driven at approximately 3.0km/h. The height of the harvester and the position of the bow rods were set so that the fruiting zone was not hit by the rods, with the thinning occurring due to the vibration of the canopy. All treatments were harvested on the same date, with the yield and bunch numbers per vine recorded. In the mechanically-thinned treatment, bunches were classified as either ‘undamaged’ (less than 5% damaged

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Table 1. Influence of mechanical early defoliation (MS) at pre-flowering and fruitset, and mechanical thinning (MT), at bunch closure and veraison on Tempranillo yield components in 2007 and 2008 (n=25). Treatment

Yield/vine (kg)

Bunches/ vine

Bunch weight (g)


Fruitset (%) †

Berry weight (g)

Bunch compactness (rating) ‡































MD at pre-flowering















MD at fruitset
















MT at bunch closure













MT at veraison




































Analysis of variance p-values Treatment Treatment † year














0.011 n.s.





0.001 <0.001

Means values (n=25) within columns designated by different superscript letters are significantly different by the Student-Newman-Keuls test (P<0.05). †Fruitset was estimated using the method proposed by Poni et al. (2006). ‡Bunch compactness was visually assessed using the code 204 of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV 2009b), which ranks 'berries in grouped formation with many visible pedicels' as 1 and 'misshapen berries' as 9. –, data not measured; n.s., not significant. Source: Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 18:344­352, 2012. berries), ‘partially-dried’ (between 5% and 80% of damaged berries) or ‘dried’ (more than 80% damaged berries). Only the undamaged bunches were counted to give an estimate of the average bunch weight. The leaf-to-fruit ratio (total leaf area per yield, TLA/Y) was calculated for each vine. Berry number and weight, bunch compactness and visual assessment of botrytis bunch rot were also assessed. The results of the trial revealed that the yield per vine declined by 35-42% on average in the mechanically-defoliated (MD) treatments, and 52% in the mechanically-thinned (MT) treatments in 2007 particularly, with a trend towards a reduced yield in 2008. There were no significant differences in yield between the timing of the MT treatments. However, the effectiveness of MD at pre-flowering as opposed to fruitset did vary between seasons (Table 1). The researchers noted the MD treatments appeared to be more effective in achieving yield regulation consistently over the seasons, adding that the large differences in the yield reduction between both seasons in the MT vines was due to the ineffectiveness of the treatment in 2008, suggesting more research was needed on machinery set-up to achieve effective crop regulation. Compared with the control, the number of bunches per vine was lower in the MD and MT vines in both years, but there was no significant difference in the number of bunches per

vine between either method, nor were there any differences observed in the timing of either (Table 1). Fruitset declined and the number of berries per bunch in the MD treatments was reduced by an average of 27% compared with the control vines over the two seasons. Discrepancies between seasons on the effect of the timing of MD on fruit was also observed. Although bunch weight declined in the MD vines in both seasons compared with the control, it did not vary in the MT vines, except at veraison in 2007.

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Bunch compactness significantly decreased in the MD vines in both seasons, but berry weight was not affected with the exception of the MD at fruitset in 2007 when bunch weight fell compared with the control (Table 1). Conversely, the MT treatments affected the number of berries per bunch, and berry weight and compactness differently over the two seasons. Looser bunches were noted in 2007 as well as 28% less berries in the MT treatment at bunch closure and 47% less berries in the MT treatment at veraison compared with the control (Table 1). The researchers said the reduction in berry number per bunch was likely due to the shaking of bunches that occurs during the MT method, resulting in some berries dropping on the ground or parts of bunches detaching. The researchers also noted that the decline in berry number per bunch in both the MD and MT treatments led to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;looserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; bunches, which was particularly significant given Tempranillo is prone to yield large and tight bunches even in dry areas of Spain. The benefit of this was revealed in the 2008 season, during which 102mm of rain fell in June and July during berry formation. The incidence of botrytis was substantially lower in both MT and MD treatments in this season â&#x20AC;&#x201C; between 1.2% and 1.9% in all the treatments compared with 14.6% in the control. The researchers highlighted that the incidence of botrytis in the MT vines was significantly lower than that of the control despite the partial damage of some berries and the fact that no fungicides were used. They said this reduction could be explained by a trend towards reduced berry numbers per bunch, even though there was not a variation in bunch compactness. The total leaf area per vine (TLA) at harvest was not affected by MT compared with the control in both seasons. For example, in 2007 the TLA in the control, MT bunch closure and MT veraison was 5.1m2/vine, 5.7m2/vine and 5.8m2/vine, respectively. This led the researchers to suggest that the harvester did not remove a significant proportion of leaves and that bunch microclimate was not significantly altered. In the MD vines, because of the growth response of the vines to the treatment, TLA was not affected either (4.7m2/vine in MD pre-flowering and 5.3m2/vine in MD fruitset in 2007). However, the researchers noted that bunch exposure and canopy porosity may have improved substantially during berry formation and ripening in the MD vines. A companion study showed that 95% of the TLA was removed by the same model of leaf remover at pre-flowering and 60% at fruitset compared with the control, highlighting the capacity of the leaves to recover from the early MD. With respect to the total leaf area-to-yield ratio, this increased or remained the same in both MD and MT vines due to the combination of no changes in TLA and a reduction in crop. The trial also showed that grape and wine composition from both the MD and MT methods improved, with the researchers concluding that both had played an important role in enhancing total soluble solids in berries and, hence, the concentration of alcohol in the wine. Colour and phenolic traits were also superior in the MD wines compared with the MT wines in 2008, with the researchers concluding that although both treatments had improved grape and wine composition, the early MD appeared to give better results than MT at any given cropload. Reference Tardaguila, J.; Blanco, J.A.; Poni, S. and Diago, M.P. (2012) Mechanical yield regulation in winegrapes: comparison of early defoliation and crop thinning. Aus. J. Grape Wine Res. 18:344-352.


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Hangtime - optimising harvest timing: Part 2 By Tony Hoare

Hoare Consulting, PO Box 1106, McLaren Flat 5171 South Australia. Email:

Following on from his article in the March-April issue of the Journal, Tony Hoare continues his review of the various factors that affect winegrape maturity to assist growers in predicting the optimum harvest date of their crops. In this article he looks at winegrape berry components and their development during veraison, the skills required to predict harvest dates, and harvest timing.


t’s what happens to berry components during hangtime that makes the difference to final wine quality. Understanding the response of winegrapes to seasonal conditions during late veraison will assist in deciding the optimal harvest date. With the arrival to Australian vineyards of new varieties, especially the late ripening Italian red varieties such as Aglianico and Nero d’Avola, developing an understanding of how these varieties ripen will allow them to be seen as wines that are a

true reflection of their terroir and full potential. Much information about berry ripeness can be gained through scientific measurement of parameters such as sugar, acidity, pH, colour concentration, yeast assimilable nitrogen, etc. Predicting harvest date using these figures to track maturity on a chart is ideal for organising harvest logistics and gives the ability to prioritise multiple blocks. Just as important are the qualitative assessments of flavours, aromas and physical ripeness that can only be seen and tasted by visits to the vineyard. Winegrape assessments by winemakers and their grower representatives in the vineyard close to harvest are just as important as the measurable factors. All aspects of berry ripening are as important as each other and need to be considered in conjunction with each other and the seasonal conditions during hangtime. Finding the balance between all the factors is the key to predicting the optimal harvest date. Winegrape berry components and their development during veraison

The memories of a ‘hanger’, like this one by former North Melbourne player John Dugdale, can last a lifetime. Likewise, mistimed hangtime results in lasting bitter disappointment at what could have been. Grapegrowers and winemakers can also relate to this feeling and understand the importance of optimising hangtime to ensure a memorable vintage. V2 8N 3

Sugar Sugar accumulation in winegrapes begins at phase 3 of berry development. The rate of sugar accumulation is dependent on many vineyard factors. Crop load, canopy size, soil moisture, daily temperature and wind are some of the major factors. Bindon et al. (2008) found that the ripening process was characterised by an initial sugar increase followed by a plateau. If there are no limiting vineyard factors then the concentration of sugar generally increases at a rate of 1 Baume per week in cool climates, based on my W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

observations. Sugar production is reliant on photosynthesis. Any factors reducing the ability of a vine to photosynthesise will also impact on sugar production in berries. The optimum temperature range for photosynthesis is 18-33°C (Allan 2006); outside this range sugar accumulation occurs at a slower or less efficient rate. Water deficit, wind, heat stress and heavy crop loads can delay sugar ripening in winegrapes. Maintenance of irrigation, canopy leaf health and a moderate daily temperature will optimise sugar production in winegrapes. Tracking the development of sugar accumulation can be done with a refractometer or hydrometer. Tartaric and malic acid Tartaric and malic acid influence wine quality through their concentration in balance with other components of a wine. Tartaric acid is at its highest concentration at the beginning of veraison and declines gradually with the increase in berry size (Winter et al. 2004). A rapid decline is a sign of overexposure of winegrapes to sunlight and heat stress. Plotting the decline in the concentration of tartaric acid in berries using random bunch sampling and titration is a useful tool for predicting the optimal harvest date. Depending on the wine style desired by the winemaker, the concentration of tartaric acid is an important factor in relation to sugar concentration and flavour. Malic acid is used by the plant as fuel for metabolic production. It declines as veraison progresses, and the final concentration prior to harvest will have a significant affect on wine quality. Malic acid in red grape varieties and some white varieties is usually converted to lactic acid in the process of malolactic ▶ fermentation in the winery. www.winebiz. com . au


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The concentration of both acids will influence the mouthfeel of a wine and the expression of flavour and aroma compounds. Canopy management and vine balance are critical elements in preserving the natural acidity of winegrapes during hangtime. Canopy maintenance during late maturity, particularly through irrigation to maintain available water to vines, is critical. A water-stressed vine will respond by gradual defoliation leading to greater bunch exposure to sunlight. This leads to a more rapid ripening and loss of the sugar acid balance as well as potential flavour development, especially with white varieties. Maintaining a canopy during ripening not only maximises hangtime for optimal ripening; it will allow greater flexibility with the winery for harvesting dates. Berry turgidity (shrivel) Berry shrivel is often an area of contention between growers and winemakers. Growers view shrivel as a loss of yield while, in some instances, winemakers see shrivel as a sign of optimal ripeness and potential wine quality. Berry shrivel can be used to concentrate flavours in red winegrape varieties or some white varieties destined for desert style wines. Berry volume is a function of water entry through phloem, xylem and water loss through transpiration and backflow (Rogiers et al. 2006). Shrivel in berries is a sign of the level of berry ripeness, sunburn, primary bunch stem necrosis or mechanical damage to the peduncle or pedicel. Berries begin to shrivel during the late ripening stage as they begin to degrade after reaching optimal ripeness. Berry shrivel can be exacerbated by water and heat stress causing dehydration of the berry. Optimal berry turgidity will maximise yield and, generally speaking, fruit quality. Ripening berries at full turgidity with skin bloom intact will assist in attaining optimum yield with varietal flavour and aroma expression. Depending on the degree of shrivelled

berries and the variety, overripe characters can result in ‘jammy’ wines with reduced varietal flavour and aroma expression, potential high alcohols or residual sugar. Thinner skinned varieties such as Shiraz are prone to ‘bagging up' or softening as they reach full maturity. Berry shrivel can have implications at harvest by making it more difficult to dislodge berries from the bunch stalk (peduncle) when using a machine harvester. This can lead to a higher level of vine and trellis damage when attempting to harvest the fruit. Berry shrivel can also be a sign of bird damage or berry split caused by late season rain or disease damage from powdery mildew or botrytis. In these instances, berry shrivel can be a negative influence on wine quality as volatile acidity is likely to be higher in damaged berries. This can be detected by smelling the bunch for ‘vinegar’ and by the presence of vinegar flies in the vineyard around bunches. Machine harvesters can be calibrated to leave severely shrivelled bunches behind on the bunch stalk at harvest or be separated using selective harvesting technology on harvesters and in berry sorting technology in the winery. Skin colour Skin colour is also a sign of winegrape maturity. The colour change from green to yellow in whites and green to red in red varieties heralds the start of veraison. Uniformity of berry colour within bunches is influenced by fruitset which, in turn, is influenced mainly by seasonal weather around flowering, nutritional balance, incidence of trunk diseases such as Eutypa lata and other less common factors. It is also directly influenced by sun exposure which, in turn, is influenced by vine balance, canopy management and trellis arrangement. During the period of hangtime, the management of skin colour development in both red and white varieties is critical for maximising wine quality. Generally, for aromatic, dry table

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wines, winemakers will monitor winegrape colour in white varieties and aim to avoid darker yellow or brown colouration. Brown colouration is generally seen as a sign of overripe, over-exposed fruit. This results in increased phenolic content which adds a textural character, and sometimes is associated with increased bitterness in wines and a change in flavour profile from delicate and subtle fruit organoleptic characters to more pronounced tropical fruit and nutty characters. Some white wine varieties have enhanced flavour profiles with increased skin colour and phenolic content. Fiano, Greco and Viognier are white varieties that seem to have more ‘developed’ yet desirable tropical flavours when skin colour has been affected by sun exposure. It is winemakers’ personal choice as to the level of development of skin colour they prefer to suit their wine styles’ desirable flavour profiles. Red colour development in red winegrape varieties relies on the production of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins Anthocyanins are the colour compounds in red winegrape varieties produced in the grape skin. The optimum temperature for their production is 1727°C. They are produced by berries at stage 3 of berry development, known as veraison, and are quite often used by wine companies as a measure of wine quality. In some instances, the concentration of red winegrape colour has been used to grade fruit quality, value and allocate winemaking resources. Red winegrape colour can be assessed through berry sensory analysis. The degree of ripening can be assessed by rubbing berry skins between thumb and finger to evaluate the ease at which colour is released from the skin. The easier the skins degrade and release colour, the closer the berries are to optimal colour ripeness.


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Red winegrape colour is critical for production of premium red wine, so optimising colour production and harvest timing in the vineyard are critical. Tannins Grapevine tannins are polyphenlic compounds produced in the seedcoats and skins of winegrapes. Tannins are an important factor in wine quality influencing the astringency, bitterness, colour stability and ageing ability of the wine (Hanlin and Downey 2008). Tannin production in both skins and seeds begins before veraison. Tannin concentration increases in skins as ripening progresses and declines in seeds (Bindon 2013). It has been found that regional and site differences have a more significant impact on the pattern of tannin accumulation than variety or season. Environmental factors such as temperature, soil, irrigation and nutrition determine the pattern of tannin accumulation (Hanlin and Downey 2008). Higher tannin concentrations, in particular higher skin tannin proportion, is correlated with higher commercial wine allocation gradings (Kennedy and Kasasara 2011). Berry sensory analysis is a useful tool in assessing the optimal time for harvesting based on tannin ‘ripeness’. Harvesting of red varieties with ‘unripe’ tannins can result in undesirable mouthfeel characteristics in wine. Skills required for predicting harvest date Maturity sampling provides the quantification of sugar, acid and pH levels during berry development, while berry sensory analysis and physiological monitoring provides the sensory and visual assessments. In combination, these assessments can allow accurate prediction of harvest dates to maximise winegrape quality and desirable wine

Harvesting of red varieties with ‘unripe’ tannins can result in undesirable mouthfeel characteristics in wine. characteristics. Communication between the grower and winery is the other important aspect in winegrape maturity to ensure optimal harvest timing. Maturity sampling Maturity samples for biochemical testing of Brix, TA and pH are only as accurate as the sampling procedure and its representation of the area of winegrapes. Collecting a representative sample to ascertain an accurate maturity analysis requires a good understanding of a block. Smaller blocks generally have less variation and can be sampled more easily than larger blocks. Vine age can be a factor with older blocks and can have more variation than younger blocks. This is largely due to the prevalence of trunk diseases such as eutypa, esca and botrysphaeria which affect individual vines at different rates. Most wineries will require a minimum of three maturity

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samples for assessment prior to harvest. Sampling 3-4°Brix prior to harvest is ideal and will allow the fruit maturity to be tracked and ample notification be given to organise harvest logistics. Plant cell density (PCD) mapping can be used to separate out areas of vineyard to ensure a representative bunch sample is collected for analysis. Yield estimate Accurate yield estimates will expedite the intake of fruit into a winery. If yield is under estimated then fruit can remain unpicked in the vineyard until fermenter space and harvesting can be organised. Depending on the season, this delay can result in fruit being left unpicked and past its optimum. Berry sensory analysis Berry sensory analysis was developed to judge berries for their degree of maturity and suitability for a market segment.

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Part quantitative and part qualitative, this analysis assesses berries after veraison for wine style suitability. It uses the following grape factors for assessment: • absence of negative characters, e.g., pest and disease damage • physical appearance, e.g., berry turgidity • sugar concentration • acidity • pH • herbaceous aromas • floral aromas • fruity aromas • colour intensity and persistence • phenolic quality and quantity. Berry sensory analysis is the ideal ‘hangtime’ assessment tool. It is recommended to begin testing at 1 or 2°Brix below the target sugar level in cooler climates and 2°Brix in warmer climates. Intervals for testing depend on the climate in the lead-up to harvest; the warmer the weather, the more frequent the testing, which can mean intervals of three days. Workshops are held within various Australian wine regions for berry sensory analysis by request and a reference book is also available. It is an invaluable workshop for developing an understanding of the maturity of winegrape components. Contact your local regional grower organisation for details. Liaison between grower and winery Communication between a grower and winery can have a significant effect on winegrape quality. For growers, being proactive during this busy time is recommended as winemakers and their representatives are usually stretched.

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Communicating any issues, good or bad, as early as possible will allow the winery to make the necessary adjustments to maximise the harvest date and end wine quality. Speaking of Grapes and Wine is a book developed in McLaren Vale for use by winemakers and growers to foster better communication. Harvest date - harvesting options for optimising fruit Exclusion of over-ripe and under-ripe fruit As little as 5% of under-ripe fruit can drop overall wine quality by as much as one to two grades. Selective harvesting can be done by hand or machine to maximise fruit quality benefits achieved during ‘hangtime’. Before organising harvesting, the uniformity of a block should be assessed and this can be done on a seasonal basis at flowering using plant cell density (PCD) maps. PCD maps accurately identify vigour boundaries and allow for selective harvesting to maximise sections of the vineyard where variation occurs. Tracking the maturity of sections of vineyard using vigour boundaries to select for harvesting allows for not only maximisation of fruit quality at harvest, but also identifies areas requiring different management for the following season to improve uniformity. The most cost-efficient and easiest vineyards to manage are generally the most uniform. Selective harvesting can now also be achieved through harvestmounted sorting machines, hand-picking or sorting tables in wineries. While this technology allows the winery to compensate for lack of uniformity in the vineyard, it is an added expense that they would prefer to avoid if possible. Segregating any extreme sections of ripening within a block can improve fruit quality by as much as two grades. Harvest logistics In a perfect world, all winegrapes would be harvested at maximum flavour and aroma development to satisfy winery specifications and consumer sensory expectations. This would be done despite constantly changing seasons and yield fluctuations. The decision when to harvest is generally made by winemakers or their grower liaison in conjunction with growers. Harvest lead time is variable depending on seasonal weather, winery capacity, harvest logistics and fruit condition. Implications of harvest date The 12 months of good work by a grower and optimal seasonal weather can be wasted if the harvest date is not predicted accurately. Harvesting too early or late can have a major affect on wine quality. A matter of days can make a significant difference. The implications of an inaccurate harvest date results in issues for both winery and grower with short and long-term ramifications. For the winery, there can be a reduction in winegrapes that meet product specifications. Lower quality winegrapes can cost wineries market share and brand reputation. There is only so much that a winery can do to counteract the wine quality issues caused by unripened or over-ripe winegrapes. This is usually at the expense of the winery, although it is not uncommon for some wineries to make growers pay for additions of grape concentrate and tartaric acid to rectify a fruit maturity issue. Wineries can then be left with a product that doesn’t fit into their range which can result in the need to ‘quit’ wine on the bulk market, usually at a loss. In the short term, an incorrect harvest date can lead to reduced winegrape payments for growers, wineries with wines they cannot sell and soured grower/ winery relationships. In the future, predicting optimum winegrape harvest date may use computer modelling to match climatic information with vine information. Already, genetic markers have been identified as predictors of berry ripeness. Handheld or machine-mounted spectrophotometers are also being used for colour and phenolic assessment prior to harvest. There will always be new technology and adoption will depend on a number of factors. In the meantime,

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013



vi t icu l t ure

Downey, M.; Harvey, J. and Robinson, P. (2003) Analysis of tannis in seeds and skins of Shiraz grapes throughout berry development. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 9(1):15–27. Hanlin, R. and Downey, M. (2008) Tannin accumulation during grape berry development. Australian Viticulture 12(2):70-71. Kennedy, J.A.; Hayasaka, Y.; Vidal, S.; Waters, E.J. and Jones, G.P. (2001) Composition of grape skin proanthocyanidins at different stages of berry development. J. Agric. Food Chem. 49(11):5348-55. Ojeda, H.; Deloire, A.; Carbonneau, A.; Ageorges, A. and Romieu, C. (1999) Berry development of grapevines: Relations between the growth of berries and their DNA content indicate cell multiplication and enlargement. Vitis 38: 145-150.

In the future, predicting optimum winegrape harvest date may use computer modelling to match climatic information with vine information. Photo: Kellie Arbuckle. the tools available currently should allow predicting an optimal harvest date with some degree of accuracy.

Bindon, K. (2013) Relationships between harvest time and wine composition in Vitis Vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon 1. Grape and wine chemistry. Food Chemistry 138 (2-3):1696.


Coombe, B. (1992) Research on development and ripening of the grape berry. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 43(1):101-110.

Allan, W. (2006) Practical aspects to improve fruit ripening in Shiraz from veraison - Barossa Valley. In: ASVO Seminar Proceedings ‘Finishing the Job Optimal Ripening of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz’, p22-25.

Huang, X.M. and Huang, H.B. (2001) Early postveraison growth in grapes: evidence for a two-step mode of berry enlargement. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 3(7):132-136.

Ristic, R. and Iland, P.G. (2005). Relationships between seed and berry development of Vitis vinifera L. cv Shiraz: Developmental changes in seed morphology and phenolic composition. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 11(1):43-58. Rogiers, S.; Hatfield, J. and Keller, M. (2004) Irrigation, nitrogen, and rootstock effects on volume loss of berries from potted Shiraz vines. Vitis 43(1):1-6.

Further reading Winter, E.; Whiting, J. and Rousseau, J. (2004) Winegrape Berry Sensory Assessment in Australia. Winetitles. Speaking of Grapes and Wine: A communication guide for McLaren Vale grapegrowers and wineries. (2007) Published by McLaren Vale Grape, Wine and Tourism Association and the Co-operative Research Centre for Viticulture.


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Alternative varieties

Verduzzo - a 'crazy' white By Joel Pizzini, Pizzini Wines, King Valley, Victoria

Specialising in the production of both French and Italian wine varieties, family-owned Pizzini Wines decided to take the plunge and grow Verduzzo in the mid-1990s to complement the existing Italian varieties it was already growing in Nebbiolo and Sangiovese.


erduzzo is a crazy white variety that is considered to be the ‘red drinker’s white’. It is traditionally grown in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in northern Italy. It is not the most important variety of the region, but Verduzzo can create some wonderful styles with great mouthfilling texture, complexity and long ageing capabilities. The variety typically makes two distinct styles, dry and sweet. Ramandolo is the synonym for the sweeter versions, which are generally picked late. Bunches are partially dried prior to processing to retain the sweetness and the minimum allowable alcohol. A diverse range of foods can be served with Verduzzo. In 1994 we grafted over a few vines in short rows with Verduzzo at the end of one of our vineyards. This was initially used to develop more buds to then graft to a larger vineyard and to experiment with winemaking. We had little knowledge of growing Verduzzo when we took the plunge to produce it, but we had great faith in the King Valley’s diverse climate and soils and its ability to produce a wide range of varieties and wine styles. It is the cool nature of the King Valley coupled with dogged determination that we hoped would help the variety prosper. As we already had Nebbiolo and Sangiovese developing, we were looking for a different Italian white variety to complement the range. At the time, there was not the access to the bud material compared with other alternative varieties in Australia. We had come across Verduzzo in the Yarra Valley at the Bianchet family winery, and remember that their version was a great style of the variety and aged extremely well. For the first few years we produced Verduzzo, it was just enough to make about 80 litres of wine to explore the potential and the styles it could make. The first feature we found was its amazing tannin structure, especially once fermentation was halfway through; the tannins are very astringent and quite reminiscent of light red varieties. It wasn’t until 2001 that Pizzini Wines released its first commercial Verduzzo. Viticulture We eventually produced enough buds to graft an area of about 1ha of vines. The original vines were Sauvignon Blanc on Schwarzmann rootstock. The vines are planted on the river flats of the watershed of the King River, where the soil is a sandy clay loam. The vines are planted 2m apart and the row spacing is 3m. The vines were trained on a double cordon and spur pruned to two-bud spurs and the foliage trained in a VSP fashion, with about 25% of canes allowed to hang down to allow airflow and sunlight to pass through the canopy. After veraison we passed through the vineyard and removed some of the excess shoots from around the clusters and the crown, mainly to improve sunlight penetration through the canopy and to aid hand-harvesting. For the past few years we have observed that by training the vines this way, they produce a lot of water shoots and the yields were inconsistent and showing a slight biannual production. To control this tendency, last season we top-worked the vines to lay


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Pizzini Wines viticulturist Fred (left) and winemaker and Joel Pizzini. down new canes. The vines were retrained to an arched cane trellis system with 100% vertical shoot positioning. Verduzzo has good botrytis resistance, but trellising in this way helped to space the fruit and allowed the clusters to hang freely. Airflow through the canopy was also improved and, as the size of the canopy was reduced, it made hand-picking much easier and quicker because the colour of the grapes are similar to the leaf colour. Winemaking Budburst for Verduzzo is generally in the first week of October and harvest is generally in the first or second week of March. In the first two years of production we harvested by machine, mainly because of the ease and staffing. We soon changed once we saw the effect on the resulting wine. The variety has a strong tannin level and the extra extraction from the mechanical harvesting resulted in very mouthfilling, dry tannins that then needed to be balanced with heavy fining and sweetening prior to bottling. Now we only handpick. When deciding to harvest we are mainly looking for maturity in the tannin profile, freshly cut pear notes with crunchy texture and 11.8-12.5 Baume.

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013


Alternative varieties

The Verduzzo grapes are then picked into slotted picking bins and transported to King Valley Wines (a contract winemaking facility) to go into the coolroom where the wine is then made. The grapes stay in the coolroom for 24-48 hours at 5oC. This cools the fruit to aid the reduction of the astringency and extraction of the tannins. The grapes are pressed to receive a free run cut at 550L/t. The pressings are rarely used and are generally blended to make a dry white wine. There is no sulfur or enzyme added during the processing of the Verduzzo grapes or juice. Once the juice is pressed, a portion of the juice is transferred to barrels for wild ferment. The balance is racked after 12 hours and then warmed for fermentation. Initially the juice is seeded with the yeast Lallemand CY3079, as this yeast is not a reliable fermenter but gives great mouthfeel, richness and texture. We reseed four to five days later with EC1118 to aid the completion of fermentation. Once the fermentation is dry, sulfur is added and the wine lees stirred weekly for the first two months before being slowly reduced as we see the palate developing and softening. The barrel portion is also stirred and allowed to partially go through malolactic fermentation; this is used for the edge of complexity it gives to the wine. The stirring of the lees has become an important technique in naturally softening the palate and giving the wine more roundness and complexity while maintaining varietal character. The barrel portion contributes to about 7-10% of the blend and seems to be the last piece of the puzzle. It finishes off the palate, giving the wine length and complexity and taming the tannin structure. Bottling is generally scheduled for September or October, depending on how the wine is maturing and developing. The wine is then aged in bottle for three to four months prior to release. However, those who wait and age their Verduzzo are greatly rewarded. It has the capability to age in a way very similar to Riesling, developing a golden colour with lovely honeyed characters, soft, generous mouthfeel and round textured tannins. Over the years we have also experimented with a late harvest style. We have only produced this style in two vintages. We kept the fruit on the vines until they reached 14 Baume, then processed the grapes and stopped the fermentation with about 65g/L of residual sugar and an alcohol of 11%v/v. Although 2008 was the last time we made the sweet version, it is still developing and changing into a lovely, unique, late-harvest wine. Verduzzo is a great food wine. It cries out for foods like prosciutto-wrapped figs, or pears with warm blue cheese. It has the texture and creamy richness to go with the V2 8N 3

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Verduzzo Friulano By Peter Dry Viticulture Consultant The Australian Wine Research Institute Background In Australia, this variety is known simply as Verduzzo (pronounced ver-DOOTZ-oh) but it is more correctly known as Verduzzo Friulano because there is more than one Verduzzo in Italy. For example, Verduzzo Trevigiano is a distinctly different variety. Synonyms of Verduzzo Friulano include Ramandolo, Ramandolo Dorato, Verdùz and Verdùç (Slovenia). It is an old variety, mainly grown in Friuli in north-east Italy, particularly in the eastern province of Udine. It is also found in the Veneto. Verduzzo Friulano has been in decline in recent decades, down from 2400ha in 1980 to 946ha in 2010. There are at least eight producers of ‘Verduzzo’ wine in Australia—in the King Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, Orange and Hunter Valley. Viticulture Budburst is mid-season, and maturity is mid-season to late. Growth habit is semi-erect and vigour is moderate. Bunches are small to medium, winged, well-filled with toughskinned medium berries that are green-yellow or gold depending on exposure. Flesh is juicy and slightly aromatic. Yield is regular and moderate. In Italy it is said to require cane pruning, to be tolerant of cold and well adapted to different environments, so long as the soil is neither too fertile nor moist. In high potential sites, good canopy control and bunch thinning may be required to achieve adequate ripening. Verduzzo Friulano has low to moderate susceptibility to powdery and downy mildews and is tolerant of botrytis bunch rot due to its thick, tough skin. Seven clones are available in Italy with variation in intensity of honey and floral characters in wine. Wine In Friuli, Verduzzo Friulano is used for varietal wines, both dry and sweet and occasionally sparkling, in at least eight DOCs including Lison-Pramaggiore and Colli Orientali di Friuli. In DOCG Ramandola the wines are mainly sweet, from vineyards in the hills above Nimis at 380m elevation. The lesser-quality Verduzzo Trevigiano ripens later and may be blended with Verduzzo Friulano in some DOCs. Dry wines range from fresh and fruity with citrus characters to full bodied, fruity and honey-like. Sweet wines from late harvested or semi-dried fruit may be the best wines: they have slightly astringent tannins and are lightly herbal with more honey character with age. In dry wines this astringency may be too pronounced. In Australia, dry wines have been described as light, refreshing, textural, fruity and floral.

For further information on this and other emerging varieties, contact Marcel Essling (; tel. 08 8313 6600) at The Australian Wine Research Institute to arrange the presentation of the Research to Practice program on Alternative Varieties in your region.

likes of veal scaloppini and lightly roasted quail. Its robust and slightly spicy nature gives it the power to be matched even with mild curries. The sweet version loves toffee crème brûlée with roasted hazelnuts. Verduzzo is an exciting white Italian variety and has plenty of opportunity to be developed in cool regions and regions that need varieties that have natural disease resistance. It’s an exciting variety to make, where the winemaker really needs to think and manage the techniques required to create the variety with complexity and WVJ stimulation. W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

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

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Proficiency testing for wine analysis By Luke Warner, Chairperson, Interwinery Analysis Group. Email:

Luke provides some background on the Interwinery Analysis Group, which provides quality management to enable confidence in winery laboratory results, demonstrates how the group’s statistical reports identify questionable results, and shares some of its findings on recent alcohol analyses. The Interwinery Analysis Group


he Interwinery Analysis Group (IWAG) is a not-for-profit proficiency testing provider that supports wineries and wine testing facilities in Australia and the rest of the world. Run by a volunteer committee of laboratory staff from wineries throughout Australia, IWAG formally commenced in 1983 and this year enters its 30th year of operation. Currently, IWAG has more than 200 members from every winemaking region in Australia as well as several from New Zealand, France, Israel, Denmark, UK, South Africa and America, making it the world’s largest proficiency testing provider of its type. Fundamentally, IWAG’s proficiency program is a quality management tool that gives technicians, winemakers and customers a level of confidence in laboratory results. The program involves up to 200 wineries and wine testing laboratories around the world that analyse duplicate wine samples concurrently a total of six times per year. In each round, laboratories are

free to test the wine samples for up to 19 wine analytes, meaning IWAG is therefore able to accommodate smaller operations that may not be interested in analysing the full suite of 19 analytes. Rounds of testing always run for seven consecutive days (Thursday to the following Wednesday) during which time laboratories can analyse the wine samples and submit results via a portal on the IWAG website. About a week following submission, a confidential statistical report is made available to members allowing them to compare their analytical results to those submitted by other laboratories. These reports allow laboratories to identify questionable results, investigate all sources of possible error and immediately initiate corrective action. Membership of IWAG costs $350 per year which includes samples for six rounds of testing (12 bottles), access to statistical reports, the forum and past seminar presentations, and free attendance to two seminars per year.

Interpreting the statistical reports In the statistical reports, each analysis is graphed in a similar fashion to the one shown in Figure 1 (in fact, this graph was taken from the latest IWAG round of proficiency testing and depicts alcohol). The results for sample A are plotted on the x-axis against the results for sample B on the y-axis. Each pair of results is symbolised as a dot, or a sunflower symbol where more than one lab has identical results for both samples. As can be seen in Figure 1, result pairs can fall within one of three distinct areas: within the ellipse, outside the ellipse but on the 45o line and neither within the ellipse or on the 45o line. Interpretation of the graph is simple and critical to participation in proficiency testing. It is important to review the graph in conjunction with the results that were submitted to IWAG and the numerical statistical data included with each graph. That way, members are able to determine whether their results fall within the 95% confidence ellipse (blue dot) or not (green and red dots). ▶

Scorpions Wine Spoilage Microbe Diagnostic Despite best practice methods, microbial contamination can still occur during wine production. However, rapid and early detection of spoilage microbes before they negatively affect wine is now possible through the Scorpions™ detection system available through ETS Laboratories. Allowing winemakers the opportunity to intervene and prevent spoilage, the Scorpions™ system utilises a quantitative PCR method to reliably detect and quantify specific wine spoilage microbes at levels down to 10 cells/mL. Suitable for wineries of all sizes, the Scorpions™ assays been available in Australia since 2009 and remain the most advanced, real-time, PCR-based analyses for the detection of wine spoilage organisms. The latest version utilises true multiplex capabilities to detect Brettanomyces, Zygosaccharomyces and Saccharomyces in a single analysis. In addition, six different categories of bacteria, including twelve Lactobacillus, five Pediococcus and six Acetic Acid bacteria species, are detected with the new bacteria assay.


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O Ideal result Result pairs symbolised as blue dots or sunflower symbols lie within the 95% confidence ellipse for that analysis. Results within this area are close to the group mean.

O Random errors A random error often indicates a source of human error with typically one result usually being correct and the other erroneous. This could be due to sample preparation or some sort of oversight during the analysis (e.g., evaporation of ethanol from leaving a sample on the bench for a long period of time). It is usually difficult to determine what happened after the event and is, therefore, important to have systems in place that prevent it from happening in the first instance.

O Sy  stematic errors

(or bias in measurement)

A systematic error indicates that the results differ significantly from the group mean and are most likely due to errors somewhere in the ‘system’. These errors are the most dangerous because analysis of a duplicate sample will give the same result, leading to a false sense of security. Standards and, more importantly, spikes are useful in determining the source of these problems which are usually reagent, equipment, method, calibration or training based. Spikes are a more useful tool in this instance because sometimes the problem is matrix related and analysis of an aqueous standard solution will not always isolate the problem.

Figure 1. An example of a graph from a statistical report demonstrating the different areas where results might lie, and their interpretation (note that graphs in statistical reports consist of only blue dots – other colours were used here to demonstrate and provide interpretative information about the different areas of the graph).

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Alcohol analyses One of the most important analytes in wine and by far one of the most reported among IWAG members during testing rounds is alcohol. Alcohol analysis is important for many reasons including taxation, labelling requirements and sensory characteristics. The Australian Food Standards Code (Standard 2.7.1) says that in Australia, for alcoholic beverages containing 1.15-6.49%v/v alcohol, the maximum allowable tolerance for the label alcohol is ±0.5%v/v. For alcoholic beverages with more than 6.50%v/v alcohol, the tolerance from the label can be a maximum of ±1.5%v/v. For wine producers exporting to other countries, these tolerances are often a lot tighter – in some cases down to 0.8%v/v for wines containing up to 20%v/v alcohol (Europe). From the last seven years of IWAG testing (2006 to April 2013), considerable information regarding alcohol analysis has been observed including the adoption of new methods by the industry, trends in methods of analysis and the accuracy of those methods. This article aims to bring to light some of those observations and how a proficiency testing program may be able to assist wineries to measure analytes as accurately as

possible to conform to legal and labelling requirements. For the first IWAG round of 2013 (February), the range of reported results for alcohol from 148 members was 1.68%v/v. Given that range is greater than the maximum allowable tolerance for wine alcohol content in Australia, at least one or more participating members from that round of testing was able to easily identify and rectify any questionable results. NIR technology, such as the Alcolyzer from Anton Paar, has always been a popular choice for wineries to analyse the alcohol content of their wines. For IWAG members who report results for alcohol, the NIR method of determination has jumped from 42% of total submissions in 2006 to 63% of total submissions in April 2013. As NIR has become an increasingly popular method of determining the alcohol content in wine, the relative error (coefficient of variation) over the years has decreased to reflect this. Conversely, in 2006, 40% of the members who submitted results for alcohol stated their method as being distillation (distillation followed by hydrometry, density meter, refractometry or pycnometry). In April 2013, this number had dropped by more than half to only 17% of total submissions. NIR technology allows laboratories to

measure the alcohol content of their products quickly and accurately, hence the adoption of this method by the industry. Examination of the relative errors of the various methods of alcohol analysis since 2009 showed, unsurprisingly, that NIR delivers the lowest relative error: NIR (1%CV), FTIR (1.2%CV), distillation-hydrometry (1.7%CV), distillationdensity meter (1.9%CV), ebuliometer (2.3%CV). In Australia, it is a requirement for NATA accredited laboratories to participate, as often as practicably possible, in a range of proficiency testing programs. Though not NATA accredited itself, the IWAG committee is working to achieve ISO 17043 Proficiency Testing accreditation. Participation in proficiency testing programs alone does not guarantee improved lab performance. Only by combining regular proficiency testing rounds with a sound lab quality management system can a winery laboratory be confident that it is making correct production decisions.

For further information about IWAG, visit Join now and receive a free copy of 'Microbiological analysis of grapes and wine: techniques and concepts', by Patrick Iland, Paul Grbin, Martin Grinbergs, Leigh Schmidtke and Alison Soden in conjunction with IWAG. WVJ

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Little joy in vineyard real estate market By Colin Gaetjens, Wine Industry Valuer, Gaetjens Pickett Valuers

Colin Gaetjens summarises the vineyard and winery real estate market in Australia over the past 12 months, highlighting some of the significant vineyard and winery sales, and offers a somewhat radical idea on how the industry may have avoided a depressed vineyard market.


ince March last year, vineyard and winery asset values, in the main, have remained depressed with more sellers than buyers. Sellers who needed to achieve a result could only do so with price as the motivating factor, although in a couple of instances there was a good match of intrinsic value with the sale result. Probably the most significant sale was of a large vineyard holding in the Barossa Valley which sold to a major winery group for around $71,500 per hectare in October 2012, and this was without water (I am constrained in revealing the names of the parties). On a watered basis, this is probably around $80,000/ha for a premium Barossa vineyard, which we think is pretty reasonable, particularly for the vineyard size which was over 150ha of plantings. At around the same time another reasonably large vineyard of similar characteristics sold for around $50,000/ha. It shows that sales are property specific and if a buyer wants something that fits the requirement a decent price will be paid. Just prior to this issue of the Journal going to print, the Aucklandbased Delegat’s Group, whose stable includes the Oyster Bay brand, announced it had bought the assets of Barossa Valley Estate out of receivership for $24.7 million. The sale included a 5000-tonne winery, a 41-hectare vineyard in the Barossa Valley, grapegrower contracts and inventory and brand. A detailed analysis of the sale, which settles at the end of June, reveals basically an asset purchase at ‘normal’, in-use intrinsic values such as might have been the case in the mid-2000s. To put it another way, the asset location and quality, which attracted three strong bidders, was such that little or no discount needed V2 8N 3

to be sacrificed by the vendor to achieve a sale. Recently, the holding of Kilikanoon, in Seppeltsfield, also in the Barossa Valley, was purchased by Warren Randall for an undisclosed sum and it is understood that Chinese interests have taken a stake in Torbreck Winery. It gives a good indication that the right assets and businesses in A-grade regions are in demand. The Boar’s Rock wineries in Margaret River, Waikerie and McLaren Vale were all sold, finally, around October 2012. The Margaret River sale wound up being a bit of a joint venture and is difficult to analyse, but Waikerie made approximately $7 million for a 30,000-tonne winery and McLaren Vale a bit over $6 million for a 10,000t winery but with extensive additional barrel stores and ancillaries. The small Parker Coonawarra Estate winery and vineyard recently sold after being on the market for some time. We suspect that the property component and brand realised around $6 million but at the time this issue of the Journal was going to print there had been no confirmation. It is a premium brand in a well-placed position in the heart of Coonawarra but doing small volumes. The Kangarilla Road winery facility sold to a Chinese consortium. It was a well-equipped, 3000t winery facility with vineyards and the sale price was approximately $5 million. The Kangarilla Road winery label was not part of the sale and will relocate to a new cellar door on an adjoining property to continue on. Chinese interests also purchased a large Rutherglen vineyard and winery – Rutherglen Estates – with the vineyard realising around $12,000/ha for more than 200ha with the total sale price including the winery of around $6.7 million. W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

There are a number of smaller winery businesses on the market at the present time and a large number of vineyards but the rate of sales is relatively slow. Good branded businesses are hard to come by and we are finding a reasonable level of interest from local and Chinese buyers, but it takes a long time to match a buyer and seller. Other than the sale mentioned earlier, there is not a lot of joy to report in the vineyard market. A couple of properties in Coonawarra have sold for less than $30,000/ha and around the nation the general prospect is that unless you have an A-grade vineyard it is hard to realise anywhere near replacement cost, reflecting the ongoing value constraints of low grape prices. Given the large retreat in our export markets, sending a lot of wine back home to be sold with the consequent scaling back of the output of many larger companies, none of this is a great surprise. While our dollar continues at current levels it is hard to see a lot of change and, ultimately, a lot of vineyard probably still needs to be removed. While we generally abhor controls of any sort, it is interesting to contemplate what the result might have been if we had a planting permit regime whereby the whole industry might agree that it is sustainable at, say, 130,000ha and every vineyard collectively provided a levy to provide some exit capital for 20,000ha to come out of production. Beyond that, anyone wanting to plant a vineyard would need to purchase a planting right from someone else so that the total vineyard area remained reasonably constant. Radical idea? Absolutely, but at the moment everyone is feeling the pain WVJ and there is no end in sight. www.winebiz. com . au


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Consumer-sensory evaluation of Australian Chardonnay By Anthony J. Saliba*1,2, Hildegarde Heymann3, John W. Blackman1 and Jasmine B. MacDonald2 1 National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, Charles Sturt University, Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2678 2 School of Psychology, Charles Sturt University 3 Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis *Corresponding author. Email:

A project has revealed that in spite of the apparent reduction in interest in Chardonnay by consumers in recent years, there are some styles that they are still finding appealing.


hardonnay is an important variety for the Australian wine industry. The apparent reduction in consumer interest in the varietal in recent years has been described as the ‘Chardonnay Challenge’, because every region is at least somewhat exposed to the sudden and substantial drop in Chardonnay sales, and research and analysis is needed to understand, first, why this is happening and, secondly, whether something can be done to address the decline in sales. As part of the ‘Attitudes, drivers of consumption and taste preferences: A focus on Chardonnay’ project, we examined consumer perceptions of Chardonnay, sensory aspects, consumer preferences and other factors to understand the ‘Chardonnay Challenge’. Here we report on the sensory and consumer results. Study 1: Sensory evaluation Materials and methods Twenty-one Australian Chardonnay wines, currently commercially available, were chosen for the study. The choice of wines was based on diversity and representation of a broad range of regions, along with sales data to inform what was consumed. The wines represented a substantial proportion of the Chardonnay sold in Australia for under $15 per bottle (see Table 1) and, broadly, can be considered as an approximation of Australian Chardonnay styles in that price bracket. A 12-member sensory descriptive panel (six men and six women, ranging in age from 21-50 years) smelled and tasted all the wines in the study and through consensus created a list of descriptors that characterised the sensory attributes of the selected wines.


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In the evaluation stage, the wines were served in blocks of seven wines, with three blocks constituting a replication. All wines were evaluated in triplicate during the nine sessions in the NWGIC sensory laboratory.

Table 1. Codes, origin, vintage and approximate price, of wines used in the study. Wines (all prices are approximate; cc = cool climate):

Results and discussion


Victoria 2009 ($22)

The statistical analyses indicated that all attributes except lemon/lime and grapefruit significantly discriminated among the wines. W11 and W12 (both unwooded) had the highest perceived intensities of confectionary, tropical fruit and melon. These two wines and W4 were also the highest in perceived intensities of green apple, peach and apricot. The wines with the highest perceived fresh vegetative aromas were W2 and W19, and both of these wines came from cooler growing areas (Orange and Tumbarumba, respectively). W8 had the highest perceived honey aroma, followed by W3, W15 and W20. The wines that had the highest perceived butter aromas were W3, followed by W8, W13, W16, W20 and W21. Wines high in perceived vanilla were W21 and W20 and the wine with the most perceived straw aroma was W20. Wines highest in oak aroma were W20, followed by W21 and W19, and the wines with the highest perceived char/smoky aromas were W19, followed by W20. The sourest wines were W13 and W19, followed by W20. The bitterest wines were W17 followed by W21, W16 and W13. W5 was the sweetest, followed by W12 and then W11. The most astringent wine was W19, followed by W16 and then W13. The wine with the creamiest mouthfeel was W5, followed by W8. The canonical variate analysis (CV) loading and scores plots (Figures 1a and 1b) show that the 95% confidence intervals (CI) for W12 and W13 overlap and that


Orange 2009 ($12; cc)


Yarra Valley 2010 ($26)


Griffith 2010 ($7)


South Eastern Australia 2010 ($10)


South Australia 2010 ($11, unwooded)


South Australia 2010 ($9)


Adelaide Hills 2010 ($16; cc)


South Eastern Australia 2010 ($9)


Orange 2010 ($16; cc)


Western Australia 2010 ($14, unwooded)


South Eastern Australia 2011 ($4)


South Australia 2009 ($13)


South Eastern Australia 2010 ($10)


South Eastern Australia 2010 ($9)


Adelaide Hills 2009 ($16; cc)


South Eastern Australia 2010 ($9)


Riverland 2010 ($8)


Tumbarumba 2009 ($17; cc)


Hunter Valley 2006 ($48)


Riverland 2009 ($10)

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

these wines are highest in green apple, tropical fruit, melon and confectionary. Simultaneously, these wines were low in oak, butter and vanilla. W19 was astringent, bitter and sour but had similar oak and char flavours to wine 16. Wine 16 did not differ from W20 and W3, and these wines did not differ from W21. W5 had the creamiest mouthfeel and was also high in vanilla and butter. V28N3


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Figure 1a. Canonical variate analysis loadings for CV1 and CV2.

Figure 1b. Canonical variate analysis scores for CV1 and CV2.

Figure 2. Dendrogram of the Ward’s Hierarchical Clustering of the significant wine means. A five or six cluster solution is indicated.

Figure 3. Principal component analysis biplot of sensory descriptors, wines and mean consumer liking.

The cluster analysis (Figure 2) shows that a six cluster solution is sensible. Cluster A contains W19, W16, W21 and W20 which, with the exception of W3, is similar to the left side of the CVA score plot. Cluster B contains W11 and W12, which is similar to the right side of the CVA scores plot. W5 occupies its own Cluster C. Cluster D contains W18, W17, W4 and W14, which occupy a space below W5 and to the left of W11 and W12 on the CVA scores plot. Cluster E contains W7, W6, W2, W10 and W15; most of these products are to the south of the middle line on the CVA plot. Cluster F contains W3, W8, W13, W9 and W1 and on the CVA scores plot these wines tend to occupy a middle ground – neither high nor low in the rated attributes. The sensory results show a broad range of styles, with the cluster analysis suggesting at least five distinct styles. While at least some of these styles appear to have sensory characteristics that would appeal to consumers, this was not taken for granted. Wines that represent each of the styles were chosen and used in consumer testing reported in the next section. V2 8N 3

Study 2: Consumer preference mapping In Australia there has been a steady decline in consumption of Chardonnay wines. The aim of this section was to determine whether the Chardonnay styles identified in the previous section were liked by consumers. Using the sensory data already reported, wines that represented the entire set of wines evaluated in the sensory descriptive analysis were chosen. A total of seven wines were needed to represent the five styles because some of the styles were broad and could not accurately be represented by a single wine. Materials and methods A total of 134 regular consumers of Chardonnay tasted and rated all seven wines. The sample was reasonably balanced for gender and age, according to known distributions of each variable. ▶

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Table 3. Consumer demographics of cluster groups for three-group cluster analysis. Number of consumers





Years of drinking

Glasses per W/E

All consumers








Cluster 1








Cluster 2








Cluster 3








Consumer group

Table 2. Correlation of product attributes to principal components of the sensory product map. Sensory attribute






Green apple















Tropical fruit






Fresh vegetable

































Creamy mouthfeel



Results Defining the sensory product space Principal component analysis was used to describe the sensory product space within which the products are found. Figure 3 (see page 65) shows the product space and the attributes that describe the product space. Only the first two dimensions of the product map are shown here. Assuming a correlation coefficient of 0.70 or greater represented a strong correlation between the product attribute and the principal component axes, the product sensory space can be defined in the first dimension as confectionary tropical fruit flavour in the positive direction and oaky flavour in the negative direction. The second dimension of the product map was not very well explained,


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Figure 4. Mean preference scores for consumer clusters for the different wines. but was characterised by a sour and fresh vegetable flavour in the negative direction and a creamy mouthfeel in the positive direction. Most of the wines were clearly distinguished in the first dimension of the product map, which explained about 53% of the variance in the data. Table 2 shows how the different sensory attributes correlate with the first two product dimensions of the map. Consumer analysis - clustering Using XL-stats’ AHC cluster analysis method and selecting auto-clustering, five groups were defined. The analysis was redone to create three clusters, as two of the initial cluster groups - 2 and 4 - were very small (eight and six consumers in each group, respectively). The resulting three-cluster grouping was used for the preference mapping analysis. Three consumer clusters were identified using the cluster analysis method. Figure 4 summarises the mean liking scores of the products for the different clusters. Table 3 characterises the demographics and wine consumption patterns for the consumer groups and the percentage of consumers within each cluster. Cluster 1 was the largest group and was highest in wine enthusiasm. Cluster 2 was lowest in wine knowledge, while Cluster 3 had a high proportion of females. These clusters appear fairly crude and not well explained by the macro variables reported here, so it is likely that there were other variables that would help explain the illustrated consumer segmentation. The creation of sophisticated segmentation based on W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

flavour preference was not the aim of this work and such work still occupies researchers who are yet to discover many absolutes. For the purposes of this work, preference mapping was undertaken to determine whether there were consumer segments that liked the taste of some Chardonnay styles. The results shown in Figure 4 clearly show Chardonnay wine styles that are substantially liked by a large range of consumers. The most favoured wine style overall was represented by the South Eastern Australian 2011 wine, characterised by ripe tropical, melon, peach, confectionary aromas with some sweetness and negligible oak influence. The unwooded Western Australian Chardonnay was the second most favoured. The wines with significant oak influence - Orange 2009, South Eastern Australian 2010 and particularly the heavily oak-influenced Adelaide Hills 2009 wine - had the lowest overall preference. As well as char and oak attributes, these wines were, not surprisingly, also perceived as the most bitter and astringent. Conclusion The sensory data suggested that there were styles that would appeal to consumers, and this was confirmed by consumer data. There can be no doubt that the source of the ‘Chardonnay Challenge’ is NOT the currently made styles. That is, there are clearly some styles that appeal to consumers from a taste viewpoint. The relative lower overall preference scores for wine with obvious oak influence, combined with a relatively small consumer cluster that prefers this style of wine, suggest that the Australian wine industry may still currently produce too much of this style of Chardonnay based on demand (though we note that oak influence has already appeared to decrease in the last five years). In the July/August 2013 issue of Wine & Viticulture Journal, we will discuss the results from a descriptive analysis using commercially available international Chardonnay, allowing the comparison of Australian styles to those produced in WVJ our main competitor countries. V28N3


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Australian wine drinkers remain patriotic By Mark Rowley, Industry Analyst, Wine Australia


he imported wine category continues to play a significant role in the wine market in Australia. Over the last decade, Australians have embraced wines from around the world, most significantly Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and, to a lesser extent, table and sparkling wines from France and Italy. This article takes a closer look at trends in wine imported to Australia from each of these three key suppliers, as well as from the rest of the world. New Zealand has experienced phenomenal growth since 2007. However, Figure 1 illustrates that the volume of New Zealand wine imports may have peaked. In the year ended February 2013, total wine shipments from New Zealand declined by 2%. The decline was driven by a reduction in bulk wine shipments, some of

which are destined for retailers’ own brands. An 18% decline in New Zealand wine production may have been a contributing factor to the fall in bulk wine imports from the country. With wine production in New Zealand expected to rebound in 2013, bulk imports from the country may rise in the next 12 months. The decline in bulk wine shipments more than offset an increase in bottled wine shipments, which grew by 7%. While the volume of New Zealand bottled imports has increased, the average value has fallen, from a peak of $9/litre in 2006 to $6.68/L in 2013. While New Zealand wine imports have stabilised, French wine imports have grown strongly. The growth has been aided by a strong Australian dollar making French wines, especially Champagne, more affordable. Figure 2

Figure 1. New Zealand wine imports by segment. Source: ABS

shows that French wine imports were affected by the global financial crisis but have grown strongly since mid-2009. In the year ended February 2013, sparkling wine imports from France increased by 16% to 6.4 million litres and bottled still wine imports increased by 34% to 6.8 million litres. Historically, sparkling wines were the leading French imported wine category, however, imports of French still wines now exceed French sparkling imports. There has been a surge in Italian wine imports over the past six months (Figure 3, see page 68) hitting a peak of 8.3 million litres in February 2013. This has been driven by an increase in imports of Italian still bottled wine. On the other hand, growth in Italian sparkling wine imports has been flat in recent years, as Australian consumers have increased their consumption of Champagne. ▶

Figure 2. French wine imports by segment. Source: ABS

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Figure 3. Italian wine imports by segment. Source: ABS

Figure 4. ‘Other’ wine imports by segment. Source: ABS

Figure 4 illustrates imports from the rest of the world (excluding New Zealand, France and Italy). In recent years, imports from the other supplier countries have largely been used to plug shortfalls in Australian wine production. This was most prominent in 2008 when there was a spike in bulk wine imports following the low, drought-affected 2007 Australian vintage. However, over the past year, there has been growth in bottled imports, most notably Chilean white wine and Spanish reds. Despite the increasing popularity of imported wines

in Australia, by world standards we are still patriotic wine drinkers. For every bottle of imported wine an Australian consumes, he or she will also consume roughly four more bottles of Australian wine. While the rise in imports has been helped by the strong Australian dollar, it also demonstrates that Australian consumers are engaged in wine and actively seeking different and exciting wines. In the long term, this competition should spur Australian wineries to produce more distinctive and creative wines to go alongside Australia’s already vast range of diverse regional and varietal offerings. WVJ

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Cashing in on the wine tourism experience By Richard Halstead Chief Operating Officer, Wine Intelligence. Email:

New World wineries, including those in Australia, are increasingly investing in their cellar door operations and maintaining quality interactions with their visitors once they have returned home, whether locally or abroad, underpinning the link between wine and the adjacent lifestyle categories of food and tourism.


t started with a trip. Over the past few weeks I have been hard at work on a study for a consortium of producers in an Old World region. Consumer awareness levels for the region are okay, but could be better – it’s not one of those marquee names that trip off the tongue. When profiling those consumers in different countries who are aware of the region, there is a strong correlation between those people who currently drink wine from it, and those who have visited the region at some point in the past. It’s obvious, right? If you have memories of a place because you have been there, you are generally more involved than someone who has never visited (unless, perhaps, you had the holiday from hell). One of the recurring themes we see as wine market researchers is the connection that consumers make between places they have been on holiday and the wine they like to drink. This is particularly true of second tier regions or source countries, which have a harder time getting visibility in wine shops and among media influencers. Let’s take this analysis one step further. The wine drinking moment tends to share space in consumers’ minds with feelings they get when on holiday: relaxation, indulgence, social pleasure. At the end of a long, rainy day of work and/or caring for children, revisiting this feeling can be an important therapy. Therefore, it could be assumed that the connection between the sense of place, and the feelings that go with it, forms one of the central planks of a brand equity ‘house’ that the wine category can build in the consumer consciousness. Here’s the thing: if the connection between your love of wine from Region P and the fact that, once upon a time, you had a nice holiday there is so obvious, why aren’t wineries with sufficient scale throwing all their resources into developing tourism? Why

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Visits to wineries are just as much about the broader lifestyle experience – be it food, socialising, or simply spending time outdoors in a pretty setting – as they are about appreciating wine. aren’t wine regions and tourism promotion bodies acting more in concert? Clearly, some thinking along these lines is happening already. Wineries in Australia, the US and other parts of the world are investing in their cellar door operations, and making efforts to maintain a connection with their visitors once they have returned home. The link between wine and the adjacent lifestyle categories of food and tourism is also part of the intellectual underpinning of Wine Australia’s forthcoming Savour Australia conference, to be held in Adelaide later this year. Findings from a recent Silicon Valley Bank survey of US cellar door operations also boosts the business case for wine tourism. The study found that the typical US winery got around 14,000 visitors last year, an increase of 8 percent from the year before. Visitors to marquee regions such as Sonoma and Napa spent more than US$100 per visit on average, which on a back-ofan-envelope calculation gives revenue of around US$1.5-2 million a year for your typical Sonoma/Napa tasting room. Perhaps more significant was the ‘quality’ of the interaction. According to the W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

Silicon Valley study, 6% of visitors (which, remember, would include a significant proportion of existing members) signed up on the spot to the winery’s wine club. Those wine club members then went on to spend US$448 (Sonoma) or US$583 (Napa) on average, per year, for the next two years. Late last year a team of Wine Intelligence researchers started to investigate the business of wine tourism as part of a long-term project to try to get a better grasp of how brand equity is built in the wine category. Our first project was to look in more detail at how wine tourism worked in Australia, which, along with California, has perhaps the most well developed network of cellar door tourism in the wine world. What we found backs up some of what we suspected: that the winery visit is just as much about the broader lifestyle experience – be it food, socialising, or simple spending time outdoors in a pretty setting – as it is about appreciating (and buying) wine. Spend levels in Australia are not quite at the level seen in Napa, but there is also a different dynamic at work: the ‘tourists’ are often locals, many of whom come several ▶ www.winebiz. com . au


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Wine tourism: the Aussie rules Take a cross-section of visitors to an Australian winery on any given Saturday. At first glance, they are who you would expect to see: older, prosperous couples and friendship groups, into their wine and food. Most of them are there to taste and buy wine. On closer inspection, a few surprises become visible: not many of the visitors are genuine tourists from out of town – aside from the odd tour group, most are locals. Select a visitor at random, and it’s likely that they have visited this winery at least once in the past year - probably several times. As our research team from Wine Intelligence spent more time talking to winery visitors, and finding out more about them (we did an online survey of 1000 Australian adults last November, and followed it up with some interviewing at wineries earlier this year), it became clear that the dynamics of a winery visit go well beyond the straightforward ‘taste ‘n’ buy’. While most visitors taste, or drink, wine on their visit, 20 percent do not. While most visitors leave with at least one bottle to take home, a quarter of them don’t actually buy wine on their visit. Over 40% of visitors eat a meal whilst there, and about a third buy some other food product to take away – perhaps cheese or olive oil. In the interviews, we started to discover that visitor motivations run far beyond the wine itself. Some go for the beautiful views and memories of previous visits; others are looking for a full gastronomic experience – a decent meal, some good wine, and perhaps some local produce to take home. Some of our interviewees talked about coming simply because it was an enjoyable day out, the staff were pleasant and the food was good. Is all the effort worth it from the winery’s point of view? It would appear so. More than 70% of respondents to the survey said they changed their buying patterns as a result of the visit, and almost the same proportion said they told their friends about the experience.

For more information, see Wine Intelligence’s Wine & Tourism Report, available from

times a year, and often bring friends from out of town (for more details on this study, see 'Wine tourism: the Aussie rules' on this page). Wine Intelligence has spent a lot of time in China recently on several research and development projects for winery owners and government bodies (including Australia). While there I was struck by another relevant connection to this debate about tourism and brand equity, this time between the rapid economic development of some of

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the world’s most populous countries, the growing wealth of their vast consumer populations, and their need to start to take on some of the behaviours and cultural trappings of ‘Western’ consumers. Exhibit A in this new behaviours list might be the acquisition of high profile consumer goods, such as prestige fashion items (a Louis Vuitton handbag), electronics (an iPhone) and cars (a BMW). Once these milestones have been reached, Asia’s newly-minted consumers are setting out as tourists to find things that are more aesthetically rewarding (although still involving a lot of shopping). Chinese consumers, in particular, have upped the ante in recent years; according to the UN World Tourism Organisation, Chinese tourists are now the biggest single source of tourism income on the planet, spending US$102 billion in 2012 while travelling abroad. In some ways, these spectacular spending numbers are a bit of a one-off. Many of these Chinese tourists are venturing abroad for the first time, and have carefully planned shopping lists that involve purchasing all the items that carry a hefty consumption tax at home, plus a long list of gifts for relatives and friends. On future trips, there may not be a pressing need to take home lots of stuff if they already own it. Instead, the archetypal Chinese tourist will start to seek out experiences, as well as goods. This is where wine, as well as food, other types of drinks, the arts, and other ‘experience economy’ categories, can really cash in. One of the reasons Wine Intelligence is so interested in tourism is that we strongly believe that Chinese consumers will follow the pattern set by other nationalities when they possess the resources to travel, and the motivations to get more involved in wine. I will leave you with an anecdote that I hope illustrates, in a small way, how these cellar door connections work on a practical level. Last year, Andrew, one of my colleagues at Wine Intelligence, and his wife visited the Penfolds winery in the Barossa Valley, and participated in one of the blending workshops held there. He brought back with him some great pictures and stories about creating his ideal GSM blend, and about the history of Penfolds and its values. Despite the fact that I have been working in the wine industry for more than a decade (I know, I am still a relative newbie) I was moved by his experience, and have since gone out of my way to explore the Penfolds range, and try some of its more iconic brands, particularly the Bin 138 GSM. I am looking forward to being able to visit the winery one day, and try my hand at blending. I am sure that other people to whom Andrew related his experience would be similarly motivated. The punchline: of the 12 people who attended the blending workshop, WVJ he and his wife were the only non-Chinese in the room.

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013


V arie t a l rep o r t

Making premium Chardonnay shine This issue’s tasting comprised 36 Australian Chardonnays with recommended retail prices of between $20-40 (see page 73). The producers behind three of the top-rated wines provide some insight into how they are approaching these premium offerings. Katherine Brown Brand Manager Brown Brothers King Valley, Victoria Wine: 2009 Brown Brothers Patricia Chardonnay (RRP$39.90/bottle) VITICULTURE The fruit for the 2009 Patricia Chardonnay came from two vineyard sources. Brown Brothers’ Whitlands vineyard is the first of these sources. The Whitlands vineyard is a true cool climate vineyard situated in the King Valley at an elevation of 800m. The mean January temperature (MJT) for the site is cool at just 19oC with an average growing season rainfall of 541mm (Oct-Apr). The 2009 growing season was warmer and drier than average with an MJT of 21.7oC and a growing season rainfall of 413mm. The Chardonnay block is 2.15ha in size and was planted in 1989, making it one of the oldest plantings on the site. The row orientation of this block is northsouth and the planting density is high at 5882 vines per hectare at a row and vine spacing of 1.7m x 1m. The clone planted is I10V1, which is on Schwarzmann rootstock. The management of this block is intensive. The block is arch cane pruned and, due to the 1m vine spacing, only one cane is left per vine. We aim for 10 buds per cane when pruning, which is adequate to achieve our target yield of 2-2.5kg/vine. The trellis system used is VSP and the vineyard is generally trimmed two or three times during the growing season. A shoot thinning pass at 10cm shoot length is conducted if necessary. Due to the high growing season rainfall the block is dry grown. Whitlands features deep, free-draining, red volcanic soils which are fertile. Because of this, nutritional inputs are minimal. A permanent sward is maintained in the inter-row and, due to the acid nature of the soils, lime is applied based on soil analysis. Given the high growing season rainfall, disease management is important and is one of the vineyard’s key challenges to ensure a quality end product. The main pest and disease challenges are botrytis and powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is V2 8N 3

generally controlled by applying sulfur at 10-14 day intervals early in the growing season. Botrytis is managed, first, by ensuring an open canopy through shoot thinning, trimming and leaf plucking (if required). These practices increase air movement through the canopy which we have found is critical if botrytis is to be controlled. If rain occurs during flowering then we will apply botrytis fungicides at flowering and pre-bunch closure. Apart from sourcing fruit from our own company vineyards, we also source small parcels of Chardonnay from grapegrowers throughout Victoria. When looking for potential Chardonnay sources we predominantly look for growers in cooler sites like the Yarra Valley, Yea, Mornington Peninsula and Macedon. The 2009 Patricia contained just one other fruit source, which was supplied by a grower in the Yarra Valley. The site is on the valley floor and, therefore, is a slightly warmer site compared with our Whitlands vineyard. The clone selections in this vineyard comprise Mendoza and P58 with both blocks on own roots. Both blocks are spur-pruned to achieve 16-20 buds per vine with a target yield of 2- 3kg/vine. The canopy management practices employed are similar to our own with both shoot and bunch thinning used if necessary to control yield. Due to the warm seasonal conditions a small amount of irrigation was applied to the vineyard. Despite the warm conditions the fruit held up well due to a strong canopy. Small amounts of sunburn were noticed at harvest, however, as the block is hand harvested we had the ability to leave damaged fruit on the vine. We pick a large amount of Chardonnay for sparkling from the Whitlands vineyard, so seeing flavour development and an acid drop for the table wine are key indicators that the fruit is ready. Citrus fruits and mineral acid are typical attributes that we see here. The Yarra Valley source exhibits more stone fruit and the Mendoza clone carries a grapefruit acid backbone. A typical analysis of the Chardonnay at harvest: Baume 12-12.5 pH 3.15-3.20 TA 8.5-9.5g/L W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

Brown Brothers’ brand manager Katherine Brown. WINEMAKING In making the Patricia Chardonnay, the fruit source is very important as we are trying to achieve a finished wine with acid length and elegance, so that the wine looks fresh and lively after bottle ageing. All parcels are hand-picked and whole bunch pressed with different treatments applied to each, so we can build complexity and interest. Varying levels of solids are used along with wild and inoculated ferments. All parcels are fermented in French oak barriques with around 20% new oak used in combination with older oak. A small amount of lees stirring on some parcels is carried out post-fermentation. Malolactic fermentation is only undertaken on some parcels and these are selected after primary fermentation for their suitability. The wines are left on lees without sulfur for as long as possible to allow some yeast breakdown. This adds a nutty, textural element. Once sulfured, the wines are left on lees for 10 months to mature. Not all parcels or barrels will make the Patricia wine, so blending and selection can take some time and this is a team effort from the winemakers. The style of this wine has evolved over time, like most Australian Chardonnays, with minimal handling, increased solids use, less new oak and less malolactic ▶ fermentation being the main changes. www.winebiz. com . au


V arie t a l rep o r t

Swinging Bridge winemaker and proprietor Tom Ward. MARKETING The 2009 Chardonnay is part of Brown Brothersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; flagship range, known as Patricia. Named after the matriarch of the Brown family, Patricia Brown, this wine shows the best of vineyard and winemaking skills from the vintage. Each year, the wines are only released if they meet high standard benchmarks and national show system awards. The Patricia range of wines is available in fine wine stores domestically, the UK, NZ and Asia. Tom Ward Winemaker/Owner Swinging Bridge Orange, New South Wales Wine: 2011 Swinging Bridge Reserve Chardonnay (RRP$32/bottle) VITICULTURE The fruit for this wine is sourced from a vineyard in the Orange region on the slopes of Mount Canobolas. The vineyard has an elevation of 910m and has a north-east aspect that allows optimal sun exposure at sunrise to dry the morning dews out (and, therefore, better control disease). Rows are planted in a northsouth direction on a VSP trellis that undergoes two wire movements during the season. The vines are trimmed as deemed necessary, which can be up to three times a season. We try to maximise sunlight into the canopy while trying to avoid fruit burn. The fruit is thinned depending on the year with the aim of yielding between 7-8 tonnes/ha. It was an extremely cold year in 2011 with the fruit not harvested until 21 April. It was hand harvested after frequent visits to the vineyard in the preceding weeks. We look for a change in fruit characters from grapefruit to the white peach spectrum. The fruit was disease free. A typical analysis of the Chardonnay at harvest:


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Michael Kelly, of Margaret Riverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Della Fay, with eldest son Ryan. Baume TA pH

13.5 8.2g/L 3.34

WINEMAKING This was the first year that we had dealt with this vineyard. As this batch was destined for our new Reserve program, we tried to give it every chance to express itself. The wine was whole bunch pressed to tank. We allowed it to settle and then started fermentation. After the commencement of fermentation, the wine was transferred to barrel. It finished fermenting and was allowed to go through malolatic fermentation. It was sulfured and left in barrel for nine months. Lees stirring was initially weekly before progressing to monthly. All barrels were made of French oak, of which 40% were new and the rest were one and two-year-old oak. MARKETING This was the first wine to be released in our Reserve range, so we were determined to have a wine that would place us well in the market. The wine was released with the opening of our new cellar door that is situated in the refurbished old general store in town. The wine is sold predominately through our cellar door and via on-premise outlets mainly in Sydney and Brisbane. This wine has had great success in wine bars with it being poured by the glass. It has a distinctive style and represents what is so exciting about Orange Chardonnay.

The moderating influence of this body of water on ripening is quite significant; typically, we harvest our Chardonnay some two to three weeks after our neighbours. All the Chardonnay is the Gingin clone, as we refer to it here in Western Australia. This clone is characterised by small bunches with hen and chicken (small and large berries). Planted on moderately heavy clay soil, all the vines are on their own roots and trained to a VSP trellis with a row and vine spacing of 3.5m x 1.8m. The vines receive minimal trimming and no irrigation. A permanent cover crop of rye and oats has been established between rows and is regularly mowed. All the vines are cane-pruned by hand to give each vine two canes, or 20 buds in total. Typically, the Chardonnay is cropped at 4t/ha. A typical analysis of the Chardonnay at harvest: 14 Baume TA 8g/L pH 3.3-3.4 WINEMAKING

Michael and Allison Kelly Della Fay Margaret River, Western Australia Wine: 2012 Della Fay Chardonnay (RRP$30.00/bottle)

The hand-picked fruit is whole bunch pressed after a night in the coolroom. Minimal pressings are used in the juice blend. After settling overnight, the juice is racked to warm up, innoculated and left for 24 hours. After fermentation starts, the juice is pumped into barrels. This particular wine was matured in 100% new French oak from Alliers. Typically, we would rather have 75% new and 25% one-year-old oak. Lees were stirred fortnightly for the first six months, with the wine staying in barrel until February then racked, filtered and bottled. Typically, we wait 18-20 months before releasing the wine.



The Chardonnay for this wine is sourced from our Caves Road vineyard, at Yallingup, in Margaret River. The vineyard is 14 years old and planted adjacent to our 3ha dam.

Della Fay produces 2000-3000 cases of wine per annum. This is split between two whites - Vermentino and Chardonnay - and three reds - Shiraz, Cabernet and Nebbiolo.

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013




Tasting provides snapshot of the $20-40 Australian Chardonnay offering A little over two years ago, the Wine & Viticulture Journal held a tasting of $14-19 Australian Chardonnays. We thought it was time their higher-priced counterparts were put to the test to get a snapshot of the range of styles on offer within the $20-$40 bracket.


he recent evolution of Australian Chardonnays away from rich, golden, overt and oak dominant styles to lighter, less oak-driven and elegant examples has been highlighted in a recent blind tasting of 36 wines priced from $20-40 conducted by the Wine & Viticulture Journal. The challenges of the infamous rain-affected 2011 vintage were also evident, with few of the 18 wines submitted to the tasting from that year rating highly in the eyes of the judging panel. Steve Meyer, senior white winemaker for Orlando Wines, Tash Mooney, of winemaking consultancy Wine Architect and winemaker for Fox Gordon, and Phil Lehmann, winemaker for Barossa Valley-based Teusner Wines made up the tasting panel. The wines were submitted to the tasting in response to an invitation from the Journal to Australian Chardonnay producers. Steve Meyer said that although

some of the wines were “a bit tired”, the wines from the 2012 vintage were “reasonably consistent and fresh”. “I saw a lot of the newer style Chardonnay in the line-up,” Phil Lehmann added. “There was some good barrel age which was evident but not dominant; just supportive and there to add complexity. “Many of the characters in these wines were in the citrus and mineral spectrum , yet still have plenty of flavour. There weren’t too many of the older mango and peach style – probably only about 20%.” Lehmann said the 2012 Chardonnays were indicative of a much riper year given their richer palates. Tash Mooney agreed that many of the 2012s were “quite ripe”. She said it was clear from the wines from 2011 that it had been a difficult vintage. “It is obvious that winemakers tried hard to work with what they had but a lot the wines showed evidence of residual sugar,” she said.

Phil Lehmann added that he thought the 2011 Chardonnays were lacking in mid palate richness but seemed to have more “nuances”. Although there were only eight wines from the 2009 and 2010 vintages combined, Mooney noted that there were some “really nice wines in there”, with the panel agreeing that the best wine of the tasting had come from these years in the 2009 Brown Brothers Patricia Chardonnay. The panellists were unanimous in their selection of both the 2009 Brown Brothers Patricia Chardonnay and 2010 Stella Bella Chardonnay as the stand-out wines from these two vintages. Although they weren’t quite as agreed on the picks of the bunch from the 2012 and 2011 vintages, there was consensus for the 2012 Bleasdale Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, 2012 Della Fay Chardonnay (these two wines representing quite different styles) and 2011 Swinging Bridge Reserve ▶ Chardonnay.

Tasting panellists (from left) Steve Meyer (Orlando Wines), Tash Mooney (Wine Architect and Fox Gordon) and Phil Lehmann (Teusner Wines). V2 8N 3

W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

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Bleasdale 2012 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay Langhorne Creek, South Australia 13.1%v/v - screwcap RRP$20.00/bottle Best of 2012: Medium straw in colour with a nice green hue. Delicate and elegant nose which has a good balance of oak to fruit; nice lemon pith and charry oak with fruit in the greener lettuce-type spectrum. One taster thought the nose was a bit cheesy. Palate is also balanced, has a lovely citrus cut and acid line and long, mouth-watering flavours.

Brown Brothers 2009 Patricia Chardonnay

Della Fay 2012 Chardonnay Margaret River, Western Australia 13.5% v/v - screwcap RRP$35.00/bottle Best of 2012: Medium straw in colour with yellow hues. Powerful nose showing fresh oak and classy fruit, with toast, nutmeg, melon, citrus and yellow peach characters. Lovely acid drive and integration in the mouth; oak a bit dominant but the wine has great depth.

Swinging Bridge 2011 Reserve Chardonnay Orange, New South Wales 13.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$32.00/bottle Best of 2011: Pale to light green straw in colour with gold hints. A rounded nose of ripe fruit, including white peach and citrus, nice cedary oak and some aged complexity. Nice fruit sweetness and nuttiness in the mouth and good mid-palate definition. Palate is creamy, soft, tight, balanced and has good complexity. Finishes dry with good oak phenolics.

Stella Bella 2010 Chardonnay

Bass River 2012 Chardonnay

13.0% v/v – screwcap RRP$39.90/bottle

Margaret River, Western Australia 13.0% v/v – screwcap RRP$32.00/bottle

Gippsland, Victoria 12.5% v/v – screwcap RRP$28.00/bottle

Best of 2009-10: Good colour for a four-year-old wine – deep to mid straw yellow. A clean, flinty, toasty and generous nose with cashews and melon; delicious, classy toasty oak which is well integrated with the elegant, cool climate fruit. A complex, quite robust and mouth-watering palate featuring melon, fig, nuttiness and charry toast, some mid-palate sweetness and very long flavours. “A classy wine,” said one taster. “Quite alluring and ageing well,” said another.

Best of 2009-10: Light golden straw in colour with green hues. “Great colour for its age,” said one taster. Harmonious, integrated and creamy nose featuring citrus, cashew, melon, lime and cheese cloth characters. Fresh citrus on the palate as well figs, cashews and integrated toasty oak; good acid line. One taster thought it could do with a touch more mid-palate punch. A well made wine that will keep improving. “An overt and complex, ‘stylish’ oaked style,” said one taster.

Mid-straw in colour. A rich and full nose featuring creamy toast and cashews, lifted pineapple/tropical notes, toffee, honey, and melon; lees stirring evident. Tight acid on the palate, although one taster thought the acid was a bit sweet and sour. Quite balanced and good complexity. “A fuller, older style,” said one taster.

Lambert Estate 2012 A Thousand Words Chardonnay

Draytons 2012 Chardonnay

M. Chapoutier Australia Tournon 2012 Landsborough Vineyard Chardonnay

Barossa Valley, South Australia 14.5% v/v – Diam


Pale to mid straw in colour. Floral and elegant nose with peach, nectarine and oatmeal, some pink grapefruit and citrus/tropical notes and a nice char of oak underneath. Palate lacking a bit of fruit. Soft and creamy palate with some nutmeg spice and evidence of residual sugar.


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Hunter Valley, New South Wales 12.5%v/v - screwcap RRP$20.00/bottle Medium straw in colour with a green hue. Tight and delicate nose with lemon citrus and floral characters and a lovely balance of oak. Tight, ripe restrained palate with a lemon pith character. Chalky finish.

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Pyrenees, Victoria 13.5$v/v - screwcap RRP$25.00/bottle Light golden straw colour with a hint of green. Fruit characters on the nose are obscured by yeast and wax type ferment aromas. Creamy, full palate with tight acid. Slightly grubby and dry finish. V28N3


Bimbadgen Estate 2012 Chardonnay

Lofty Valley 2012 Ascent Chardonnay

Hunter Valley, New South Wales 12.5%v/v - screwcap RRP$24.00/bottle

Adelaide Hills, South Australia 13.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$30.50/bottle

Bright, light golden straw in colour. Some greenness on the nose with floral and citrus characters, including jasmine and white nectarines. Yeasty notes somewhat close the nose. Palate is clean and fruit-dominant with a bit of bitterness.

Medium deep straw in colour with yellow hues. A full, nutty, sweet nose featuring melon, butterscotch, toffee and a hint of charry oak; some VA and oak evident. Textural palate with toasty oak, cashews, melon, citrus and some sweetness. “More of an old-fashioned style Chardonnay,” said one taster. “A bit one-dimensional,” said another.

The Lane Vineyard 2012 Block 1A Chardonnay

Tamar Ridge 2011 Chardonnay

Adelaide Hills, South Australia 13.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$32.00/bottle Bright pale green straw in colour. Clean, delicate, creamy, nutty and floral nose with suggestions of lees work; not overt. Wine is tight and very fresh with some minerality – “Chablis-like,” noted one taster. A relatively simple, unoaked wine that is beautifully made.

Higher Plane 2011 Chardonnay 12.5%v/v - screwcap RRP$35.00/bottle Light golden straw in colour. Nose features charry toast, vanilla, marzipan, nougat and butterscotch. Sweet melon and peach on the palate; a rich and powerful wine. Lacks minerality and fruit.

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Tasmania 13.4% v/v - screwcap RRP$26.90/bottle Medium straw green in colour. Toast, vanilla and citrus notes on the nose, as well as white peach; nice mineral and barrel-aged complexity. Palate is clean, fresh and soft with melon and peach characters, vanilla and toast.

Mount Monument 2011 Chardonnay Mount Macedon, Victoria 12.5% v/v - Diam RRP$34.00/bottle Golden straw in colour. Ripe and fat nose featuring tropical, buttery, melon and char characters. Sweet, fat and fleshy palate which is ripe and big. Older Australian style Chardonnay. “A big style done well,” noted one taster. W i n e & V iticultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

Spring Vale 2012 Chardonnay Tasmania 12.4% v/v - screwcap RRP$22.00/bottle Pale green straw in colour. Primary fruit on the nose, including citrus, peach, Jonathan apples and some tropical notes; shows some richness. Ripe and round palate with upfront fruit, including peach, and apple-like acid. “A nice easy drinker,” described one taster.

d’Arenberg 2011 Adelaide Hills Lucky Lizard McLaren Vale, South Australia 12.2% v/v - screwcap RRP$27.00/bottle Light golden straw in colour. Attractive, friendly, creamy, fruit-forward nose featuring guava, mango and citrus characters; oak is very light or absent. Ripe palate but the acid is a bit out of balance.

Manyara 2011 Chardonnay Adelaide Hills, South Australia 12.5% v/v - screwcap RRP$25.00/bottle Light to mid straw in colour. Quite a developed, forward nose dominated by secondary aged characteristics. A soft and aged palate.

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Ferngrove 2011 Chardonnay

Tower Estate 2011 Chardonnay

Frankland River, Western Australia 14.5% v/v - screwcap RRP$20.00/bottle

Hunter Valley, New South Wales 12.5% v/v - screwcap RRP$30.00/bottle

Bright and vibrant pale green colour. Elegant fruit on the nose, including citrus and lemon, as well as spice and fine-grained charry wood. Tight palate of cedar, toast and cinnamon, although the alcohol is a bit prominent, giving it a bitter finish. Hint of residual sugar. Nice mouthfeel. “Should age well and is probably on the way up – nice one,” noted one taster.

Light green gold in colour. Nicely integrated fresh oak and fruit. Elegant style of lemon pith and ripe peach with a good creamy lees character. Palate is fresh, lemony and clean with a lovely citrus backbone and good acid drive. “A great drinker,” noted one taster, although the other two tasters thought there was an indescribable character that was holding this wine back somewhat.

Killerby 2011 Chardonnay

Draytons 2011 Reserve Chardonnay

Margaret River, Western Australia 14.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$30.00/bottle Light green to gold in colour. A complex, integrated and stylish nose featuring citrus, toast and toasted cashews; slight herbal and onion notes. A nutty and balanced palate which has a nice acid line. A slightly hard and dry finish. Alcohol possibly a bit high.

Juniper Estate 2011 Chardonnay Margaret River, Western Australia 13.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$35.00/bottle Light golden green straw in colour. Nose is quite integrated and complex with some nice cashews, creaminess, char and oak hints; a bit closed, dusty and clumsy. Forward palate but lacks some fruit sweetness and minerality.


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Hunter Valley, New South Wales 12.5% v/v - screwcap RRP$30.00/bottle Light to mid golden green straw in colour with dissolved CO2 forming bubbles on the surface. Strong tropical fruit on the creamy nose but it is starting to look tired. Palate is broad and a touch sweet and alcoholic. Firm finish.

Ferngrove 2011 Orchid Diamond Chardonnay Frankland River, Western Australia 14.00% v/v – screwcap RRP$25.00/bottle Bright colour of pale green straw. Lemon, spice and nutmeg on the nose along with integrated toasty oak, toasted cashews and white peach. Powerful flavours on the long palate. An oak-dominant style but a classy wine. Phenolic finish.

Banks Road 2011 Chardonnay Geelong, Victoria 12.7% v/v - screwcap RRP$28.00/bottle Light straw in colour with a hint of dullness. Butterscotch and caramel on the nose which is somewhat oxidised. Aged and tired flavours on the palate.

Philip Murphy Estate 2011 de la Maison Chardonnay

Lofty Valley 2011 Single Vineyard Chardonnay

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria 13.5% v/v – Diam RRP$34.95/bottle

Adelaide Hills, South Australia 13.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$26.50/bottle

Mid gold colour with brown tints. Overt and somewhat green nose which looks a little developed. Sweet and sour on the palate.

Golden straw in colour with an orange hue. Oaky and full nose with some creaminess. Broad palate which is also oak dominant. Lacks freshness and finesse.

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Spring Vale 2011 Reserve Chardonnay Tasmania 13.4% v/v - screwcap RRP$40.00/bottle Light straw in colour with a hint of green. Delicate, complex and balanced nose featuring apple, strawberry and stewed quince; some lees work evident. Nice fullness on the palate which is balanced, rich and has a nice acid line. Good phenolics and dry finish.

Bendooley 2011 Chardonnay Southern Highlands, New South Wales 12.6% v/v – screwcap RRP$28.00/bottle Bright colour of light golden straw. Nose is creamy, soft and rich with bright tropical fruits, including melon, pineapple and peach, and a hint of lychee and muscat. “Pleasant if not classic aromas,” noted one taster. Sweet palate but not particularly varietal.

Mount Gisborne 2010 Chardonnay

Mallani 2010 Chardonnay

Macedon, Victoria 13.5% v/v – screwcap RRP$28.00/bottle

South Gippsland, Victoria 13.5% v/v – screwcap RRP$22.00/bottle

Light golden straw in colour. A complex, aged, cheesy nose with some melon, shortbread and butterscotch. Yeasty and sweet fruit characters on the palate which is complex but is perhaps past its peak.

Light golden straw in colour. Fairly complex nose of citrus, melon and toast as well as some slight cheesiness and underlying toffee; a bit closed. Good flavours on the palate, including fresh citrus and complex yeast.

Den Mar Estate 2009 Chardonnay

Mount Monument 2009 Chardonnay

Hunter Valley, New South Wales 14.0% v/v – screwcap RRP$28.00/bottle Light to mid golden straw in colour. Some creaminess and oak on the nose which is charry but not dominant; flavours are secondary. Flint and citrus fruits in the mouth with a sweet mid-palate. The sugar and acid balance is not quite right but the palate has a nice creaminess.

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Macedon Ranges, Victoria 13.5% v/v – Diam RRP$34.00/bottle Golden orange straw in colour. Overt toffee on the nose along with some mango and guava; possible oxidation. Palate is somewhat phenolic and dried out. Probably past its prime.

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Tower Estate 2011 Bowyer Ridge Adelaide Hills Chardonnay Hunter Valley, New South Wales 12.0% v/v – screwcap RRP$30.00/bottle Bright colour of pale straw. Nice lees work evident on the delicate nose which features floral, vanilla, spice and melon characters. “A fairly mineral style,” thought one taster. Palate a bit hollow and lacks some fruit and freshness. Acid finish.

Highland Heritage Estate 2010 Chardonnay Orange, New South Wales 12.6% v/v – screwcap RRP$20.00/bottle Mid straw in colour with a slightly dull hue. Mostly secondary flavours on the nose with some floral and fruit aromas, including charry toast, vanilla, toffee, tropical peach, melon and mango. Soft and round palate with ripe peach; salty, slightly hot.

Micelli 2009 Olivia’s Chardonnay Mornington Peninsula, Victoria 13.5% v/v – screwcap RRP$30.00 Bright pale straw. A VA lift on the nose, which is creamy and complex. Orange peel on the palate with some nice tannin; a bit sweet and sour.

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PROducts & services

Latest design in vine trimming technology offers flexibility to suit Australian vineyards


he varying row widths, canopy styles and grape variety requirements in Australian vineyards can often mean traditional vine trimmers are not as flexible as they could be. However, the modular design of the Profilmatic vine trimmer, by the Frenchbased Collard company, provides great flexibility in achieving desired cutting lengths since it is married to an innovative frame that is able to achieve width adjustments from 400-2000mm, has a vertical hydraulic height adjustment of 500mm, along with a range of cutting element angle adjustments, giving operators the ability to trim to the canopy shape they require. Dennis Hutton, of Collard dealer Ausvine Machinery based in Margaret River, said Profilmatic vine trimmers offered proven reliability and cutting efficiency, resulting

in lower tractor/man hours and reducing operating costs. “Not only does it offer exceptional cut quality, at high ground speeds and in vigorous growth, but the Collard rotary trimmer is the fastest trimming system available,” Hutton said. The modular design of the Profilmatic, which is available in models to suit half row to multi-row applications, allows for the addition or removal of blades to achieve required cutting lengths. “We also actively embrace individual customisation to customer requirements,” Hutton said. For further information visit www., or phone Dennis Hutton, Ausvine Machinery, on 0427 663 330, Ben Stephen, Vinetech Engineering, on 0439 666 500, or Clark Skinner, AV&M, on (08) 8562 2222.

The modular design of the Collard Profilmatic vine trimmer provides great flexibility in achieving desired cuttings lengths.

ERO Grapeliner 6000 series harvesters the pick of the bunch A number of new features, along with the reliability and strong reputation of the ERO brand, made the 6000-series Grapeliner the harvester of choice for both corporate and contractors for the 2013 harvest. The 6000-series, designed and manufactured in Germany, boasts the features of the previous SF200 but incorporates a raft of new standard features and options. The ERO remains the only harvester on the market that is able to offer a destemming system in conjunction with an unloading conveyor, a feature that is attracting a substantial amount of interest as the demand for improved sample quality increases. The large winery style de-stemmer, which has been well proven on the SF-series harvesters, is capable of

producing an outstanding result while being simple and low-cost to maintain. For steep or terraced vineyards, the ERO Grapeliner comes into its own with the ability to harvest at slopes over 40 degrees. Combined with the ability to turn in its own length (4.5m), this capability makes the ERO harvester the most manoeuvrable and versatile machine around. Its auto-steer function allows the operator to concentrate on fine tuning harvesting functions rather than on steering the machine up the row. A comprehensive yet intuitive computer operating system with full colour touchscreen makes the control of operating parameters simple and straight forward. The 6000 series also features a 40km road speed to get between blocks fast, and

The ERO Grapeliner 6175 during the 2013 harvest in Marlborough, New Zealand. an automatic central greasing system which saves having to climb into a wet and sticky machine in the middle of the night to grease it. For further information contact FMR Group on 1800 269 773 (Australia) or 0800 367 583 (New Zealand), or email or visit

New Felco 820 delivers on power and innovation Swiss company Felco has released its new Felcotronic 820 to the Australian market. Entirely designed, developed and manufactured in Switzerland, the Felco 820 is a powerful, fast, reliable and easy-tohandle electric pruning shear that offers a number of innovative features. It is recommended for a wide range of pruning applications from arboriculture to forestry work. Its large 45mm cutting capacity makes it ideal for use on mature


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trees in orchards and for vineyard rejuvenation. The Felco 820’s powerful straight drive mechanism ensures clean, accurate cuts with no twist, regardless of cutting diameter. The curved cutting head ensures that the tool is not pushed back when making larger cuts, reducing operator fatigue. Rapid opening and closing ensures time-saving and productivity. A new feature of the Felco 820 is halfW i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l MAY/JUNe 2013

opening on the go. Simply double-pressing the trigger activates the semi-open blade, saving valuable time with small and medium-scale cutting. This gives highly accurate control of blade movement and eliminates the need to switch between an electric pruning shear and a saw. The Felco 820 is now available at Felcotronic Dealers nationally. For more information contact Felco on 1800 730 257 or visit V28N3

Passage to India Australian Wine Industry Study Mission to India

Join hosts, Wine Australia on an exclusive study mission to India, developed specifically for the Australian wine sector. Supported by Austrade India and Winetitles Publications, the 7 day/8 night mission takes participants deep into the heart of New Delhi and Mumbai where visitors will be able to gain a deep understanding of the on and off trade channels, distribution, logistics and wine education in India. A trip to the famous local wine region of Nashik will also provide an opportunity for companies to meet with local wineries and regional associations to understand the Indian wine sector’s prospects, and to identify how Australia can be involved. All appointments will be arranged by Wine Australia representatives in Australia and India, and an experienced local translator and Wine Australia representative will be present for the duration of the mission.

When: 24th November – 1st December, 2013 Where: New Delhi, Mumbai and Nashik Cost: $4,150* excluding GST. The program includes the following: •

Meetings with gate-keepers, media, trade, local wineries and industry associations in all cities

Pre-market briefing in New Delhi and Mumbai

Market tours in New Delhi and Mumbai

Winery/vineyard tours in Nashik

Translator where required

8 nights B&B accommodation in 5 star hotels in Mumbai and New Delhi.

Airport transfers

Air-conditioned transportation

All appointments confirmed by Wine Australia

Hosting by Indian and Australian based Wine Australia representatives

*International and domestic airfares, lunches, dinners, drinks, passport, visas, insurance and other ancillary expenses are not included in this cost and must be purchased separately.

Final bookings must be received by September 30th, 2013. For more information, please refer to or contact: Ali Lockwood Email: Telephone: (08) 8228 2064



New Zealand





Microfiltration of still and sparkling wines.

Automatic control of flow rate, pressure and regeneration cycles.

Utilising high surface area/flow rate for longevity of filter media

Can be used with coarse, polishing or sterile cartridges

1000 – 10,000L/hr



Excellent value, available in Semi Auto and Automatic versions.

Ease of operation via touch screen display.

Wide bore 1.8mm Capillaries for turbid wines

9.5 – 95m² systems



• Microfiltration Tangential System delivering the highest filtration quality.

“No backflush” system allowing constant filterability.

Membrane manufactured in PVDF.

Fully automated system.

Surface area of 23m2 per membrane.

69 – 830m² systems

Extremely low operating pressure.

Pressurised system for sparkling filtration.




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.


Wine & Viticulture Journal  

May/June 2013 edition

Wine & Viticulture Journal  

May/June 2013 edition