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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013 · Volume 28 Number 5

WINERY INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGY • WineTech 2013 highlights – new toys for wineries & vineyards • Screwcap damage levels greater than cork taint • Why do people avoid consuming wine? • Understanding fungicide resistance in Australian vineyards • Tasting: Semillon & Sauvignon Blanc blends


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altERNatIVE VaRIEtIEs

V I t I C u l t u R E

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

Italian inspiration for novelPutting the sparkle in sparkling rosé Nero d’Avola making By Brad Hickey, Brash Higgins Wine Co., McLaren Vale, South Australia

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

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

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

Vineyard to Nero d’Avola. Soils in this block are relatively shallow (40-50cm) red brown clay loam over a deep, soft marl limestone. In the winter of 2009, we asked Dr Nuredin Habili, of Plant Diagnostics, at the Waite campus of The University of Adelaide, to perform a virus test on our Shiraz rootstock, which was planted in 1997. The results came back affirmative to graft Nero d’Avola. Field grafting was conducted later, using two buds per vine on the Matura 1 clone from the Matura Group, in Italy. The clones grew exceptionally well, exhibiting great vigour and not needing any irrigation until the first week of December, followed by small amounts on a regular basis until midFebruary. Vines were trained on a single cordon trellis, and the cordon was filled by February 2010. We noted that foliage was prone to powdery mildew. 2010-11 The first fruit bearing year, we pruned the lateral growth hard from the main cordon back to basal buds. Vines grew strongly, with many double buds providing two shoots per node. These were shootthinned back to one shoot per node. A lazy ballerina trellising system was used,

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

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

Josef Chromy Wines in tasmania’s tamar Valley. Jeremy Dineen Winemaker/general manager Josef Chromy Wines tamar Valley, tasmania Wine: Pepik NV sparkling Rosé (RRP$27.00/bottle) VItICultuRE Fruit for the Pepik NV Sparkling Rosé is estate-grown from our vineyard at Relbia, 15km south of Launceston, Tasmania. The vineyard contains 61ha of vines and has an elevation of 85-170m with north and north-east facing slopes. The soils range from deep, black, selfmulching clay to shallow brown clay with high gravel content. The mean January temperature for the area is 16.7°C. It receives an average of 679mm per annum, with 94 rains days. The vines enjoy 1050 heat degree days, and 1758 sunshine hours (October-April). The average age of the vines in the vineyard is 13 years, which are on a mixture of own roots and rootstocks. The blend for the Pepik is usually Pinot dominant with some Chardonnay. The Pinot clones planting in the vineyard comprise D2V5, D5V12, G5V15, G8V3, G8V7, H7V15, 115 and 114. V 2w7wNw. 6 winebiz.com.au

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

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

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Gary Baldwin Anthony Borneman Rob Bramley Federico Casassa Justin Cohen Armando Corsi Alain Deloire Peter Dry Alison Eisermann-Ctercteko Paul Evans James Freckleton Peter Gambetta Charini Gunaratne James Gosper Nuredin Habili Ria Hammond Wayne Hammon James Harbertson Markus Herderich Cathy Howard Dan Johnson Landon Keirsey Tony Keys Richard Larsen Larry Lockshin Maria Mireles Linda Ovington Paul Petrie Mark Rowley Anthony Saliba Mark Smith Charles Spence Creina Stockley

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here has been no shortage of big events in the Australian wine industry of late. The dust has just settled on the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference (AWITC), WineTech and WineHealth 2013, and Savour was just a few sleeps away when this issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal went to print. I attended the first two days of the AWITC (if you were there and recall me taking your photo you might find yourself on pages 19-21) and I must confess I was somewhat surprised at the number of delegates in attendance, given the location of the event in Sydney and the fact that much of the industry is still experiencing tough times. But, 1000odd delegates still made the journey, and based on the presentations I heard during the two days I was there, and if the feedback I heard about the event both personally and via social media is anything to go by, most were well rewarded for their trouble. Two of the most well-received presentations I listened to were delivered by Charles Spence, of Oxford University, on the role of the senses in wine purchasing and consumption, and Alain Deloire, of the National Wine & Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC), on the use of berry physiological indicators to predict harvest dates for desired wine styles. And, I’m delighted to be able to bring you a summary of Charles Spence’s presentation in this issue of the

Journal (page 86), while Alain Deloire also touches on some of his key points in describing a collaborative project under way between the NWGIC and the Australian Wine Research Institute to calibrate and improve current tools and methods and possibly develop new ones to predict harvest dated to suit Australian wine styles (page 65). We will continue to provide our readers with summaries of the key presentations from the AWITC in subsequent issues. Drawing on WineTech to deliver this issue’s focus on Winery Innovations & Technology, we begin with Gary’s Baldwin’s review of some of the products that particularly caught his eye during the exhibition (page 22). This is followed by our showcase of the some the innovative products that were on display at WineTech, many of them new to the Australian market (page 26). Rounding out our coverage of the industry’s recent ‘big events’ is Creina Stockley’s coverage of WineHealth 2013 (page 16), the international wine and health conference which was held immediately following the AWITC in Sydney. As stated by the conference’s chair Dan Johnson, of the AWRI, WineHealth 2103 provided an opportunity to “bring together world experts for an exchange of scientific information and ideas on the impacts of wine consumption on human health”.

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www.facebook.com/WineAndVitiJournal @SonLogan Cover: H  ighlighting this issue’s focus on winery innovations and technology is this photo by Patritti

Wines winemaker Ben Heide depicting a paper pulp filter once used at Patritti in front of a more modern crossflow filter. Made of solid copper, the pulp filter was made by an Adelaide-based company called Whitehill Ltd in the 1930s. According to Peter Patritti, the winery used two such filters inline and would pack them with paper pulp; the more you packed in, the tighter the filtration.

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Regular features

News Wine Australia WFA ASVO Tony Keys

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6 8 10 11 12

AWRI Report Alternative Varieties Varietal Report Tasting

Win e & V iticultur e Jo ur na l

52 77 91 96

SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

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I n t h is iss u e

R E GULA R F E AT U R E S

co n te n ts

V I T I C UL T U R E

8 WINE AUSTRALIA (James Gosper): Building a high quality perception of Austrlian wine in China

58 Highlights of a newly-emerging grapevine virus: grapevine red blotch-associated virus

10 WFA (Paul Evans): Wine and health issue is everyone’s responsibility 11 ASVO (Paul Petrie): ASVO awards dinner and natural wine debate 12 KEY FILES: Buried treasure: An anatomy of how Treasury Wine Estates arrived at where it is today

EVENTS

16 Key message from WineHealth 2013 – International Wine and Health Conference 19 Australian wine industry gathers in Sydney for the 15th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference

60 Understanding fungicide resistance in Australian vineyards 63 Rising to the challenge of bird control 65 Wine aroma and grapevine berry ripening: how to capture the complexity 69 Wine sector attitudes to the adoption of Precision Viticulture 74 Apogee Vineyard: combining Old World methods with New World thinking 77 ALTERNATIVE VARIETIES: Tinta Cao

22 New toys for wineries and vineyards: some highlights of WineTech 2013 26 WINETECH 2013 PRODUCT SHOWCASE: Special feature

business & marketing

79 Why do people avoid consuming wine? 83 Optimising the effect of wine education on Asian international students 86 The influence of the senses on the consumption and purchase of wine

W I N E M A K I NG

32 What’s old is new again with Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blends

89 Large crush raises profitability concerns

38 Let’s not be screwed! Screwcap damage levels greater than cork taint: implications for producers, the retail sector and consumers 45 Co-fermentation fo Syrah with various additions of Viognier: effect on colour and phenolics during winemaking and bottle ageing 52 AWRI REPORT: The DNA of innovation V2 8N 5

W I N E T A S T I NG

91 Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blends

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

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S N I P S

Industry views sought on proposed actions to improve future wine industry profitability and asset values The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) is seeking industry feedback on a series of proposed actions it has released aimed at restoring profitability and asset values in the wine industry The release of the actions follows a strategic expert review of the performance of the industry over six months by independent economists Centaurus Partners and were developed in consultation with other key industry bodies, such as Wine Australia, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) and Wine Grape Growers Australia. WFA proposes to implement the actions from November this year, but before doing so is urging members of the wine industry to review the actions and provide input. “This is the most significant body of work the industry has undertaken in many years and was made possible by the funding support of the Wolf Blass Foundation and the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation,” said WFA president Tony D’Aloisio. “The Federation’s work on the actions goes beyond the basics of yields, prices and patterns of demand, to look at the core question of whether our structures, processes and policy settings are appropriate to sustain individual and collective profitability in the long term. “Unless we restore industry profitability and lift asset values to acceptable levels, the industry will not make the most of the opportunities it has and there could be continued adverse impacts on jobs and growth in regional Australia. Our aim is to help return industry profitability to a level comparable with global benchmarks,” D’Aloisio said. “The actions will now be subjected to wider review by our winemaker members and other stakeholders and in that way we can make sure we have them right. When we implement them from about November we will know we have the support of the industry and can more confidently represent the industry in discussions with Government and other stakeholders.” The 33 specific actions are grouped under the following headings: • growing demand for Australian wine both domestically and internationally.

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• hastening the correction to the supply base. • working with national wine retailers and the competition regulator on fairness, transparency and equity in the domestic wine market. • reforming the wine equalisation tax rebate to support regional communities. • monitoring the future of wine tax policy. • promoting responsible consumption and an appropriate regulatory framework. • securing the funding to support the recommended actions in partnership with industry and Government. The consultation period on the actions and expert review ends on Friday 18 October 2013. The actions and expert review report, how to provide feedback and supporting documents can be found on the WFA website at www.wfa.org.au. A series of public forums explaining the actions are being held in seven regional areas during September and October. Further details of the forums can also be found on the WFA website. Grapevine germplasm collections review available for public scrutiny Recommendations from a review of the current status of Australia’s existing grapevine collections and ‘best practice’ management of genetic resources by other industries have been released by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) for public discussion. The recommendations were initially only provided to the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Wine Grape Growers Australia for their consideration of the way ahead. The independent review behind the recommendations was undertaken by Scholefield Robinson Horticultural Services and commissioned by the GWRDC. The main findings of the review were: there are approximately 900 different grapevine varieties in Australian collections, and about 450 varieties only exist in one collection. some varieties are pre-phylloxera heritage material and are probably unique to Australia. the current resourcing for grapevine germplasm collections - through cutting sales and government agency support - is not sustainable in the long term. Lack of industry involvement is likely to result in closure of collections to the public, less accessibility of varieties with high-health status, and more private importation. W i n e & V i t i c ult u r e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

The review made recommendations on priority collections for the future as well as recommendations on an appropriate business model to maintain and financially sustain the selected collections into the future. Itsuggested that two types of collections are necessary to meet the current and future needs of the grape and wine sector: a germplasm repository of all varieties and a high-health collection containing only in-demand varieties and clones. The recommendations can be downloaded from the GWRDC website: http://www.gwrdc.com.au/wp-content/ uploads/2013/08/GWR-1112-Review.pdf Meanwhile, buyers of grapevine cuttings will soon benefit from a new national standard for grapevine propagation material following the completion of a project funded by the GWRDC. The Australian Standard for Grapevine Propagation Material was developed by Standards Australia in consultation with representatives of the grapegrowing, winemaking and nursery industries, researchers and government. It was adopted after support from all of the organisations represented. The standard, which sets a new benchmark for the industry, builds on and enhances the schemes of best practice and traceability previously used. “The GWRDC is pleased that the wine sector has come together to develop a robust, scientifically valid national standard for grapevine propagation material,” said GWRDC general manager Kate Harvey. The standard sets minimum requirements for: establishing and maintaining the variety, provenance (origin and selection history) and health of grapevine propagation material classification of material according to fitness for the purpose of propagation and/or vineyard establishment documentation, including traceability, classification and labelling of propagation material. A copy of the standard can be purchased from www.saiglobal.com/shop Boost in international entrants for 2013 Canberra Riesling Challenge The number of international entries in this year’s Canberra International Riesling Challenge has risen significantly over last year. Seven wine growing nations in addition to Australia have entered wines in this year’s Challenge. The number of entries has also V28N5


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risen overall by nearly 15% on last year to 483 of which 112 are from overease. Chair of CIRC Ken Helm said entries had been received from Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Germany, France, Canada and South Africa. “It is pleasing to see a great increase in the number of French entries – from two last year to 17 this year,” Helm said. “The US went from 20 to 31. Perhaps the greater interest can be put down to the greater awareness of Canberra in the centenary year.” Judging for the Challenge, the largest single varietal wine show of its kind in the southern hemisphere, will take place from 8 -10 October and the winners announced on 11 October. Twelve trophies will be awarded at a presentation event that evening. The judging panel will include US-based wine writer Dan Berger, Alsace-based wine manager and judge Valérie Dirringer, Alexander Kohnen, managing director of the International Wine Institute in Germany, Don Young, senior white winemaker at Orlando Wines, Anna Pooley, winemaker at Pooley Wines in Tasmania, and Kerri Thompson, director/winemaker at Wines by KT in South Australia. The event will also include a seminar on Riesling excellence by leading Australian winemakers and academic oenologists and a masterclass tasting led by experts from four leading Riesling-producing countries, both

on 11 October; and a trade and public tasting on Saturday 12 October. Further details on the seminar and masterclass, for which places are limited, can be found at www.rieslingchallenge.com.au International students get a taste for Australian wine More than 200 international students put aside their textbooks for a couple of hours in mid August to learn about Australia’s well known red and white varieties as part of a wine tasting at the National Wine Centre of Australia. The aim of the tasting – the third annual international student wine tasting hosted by Wine Australia, Study Adelaide and the National Wine Education & Training Centre (managed by the South Australian Wine Industry Association) and supported by the National Wine Centre of Australia – was to spark the international students’ enthusiasm for Australian wine and encourage them to explore wine regions while studying in Australia. Many of the students at the event were from China – South Australia’s biggest international student market. Wine Australia’s regional director, Australia & emerging markets, Aaron Brasher, said the event gave international students a taste for the quality and variety of Australian wines. “As international students come to Australia to educate their minds, it’s also a great opportunity to educate their palates by exposing them to some of

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our local wines from across some of our 65 wine regions,” Brasher said. “What we found at last year’s tasting is that, trying some of our local wines as part of an educational experience, provides a catalyst for international students to travel to some of the many wine regions so close to Adelaide and beyond, to actually experience the places, the people and the stories that make our wines stand-out on the world’s stage. “Education and engagement are central to Wine Australia’s global strategy and this event aims to reach a new consumer audience that already has a strong interest in Australia, to develop an understanding about Australian wines. “As with last year’s event, this tasting will help international students to appreciate and develop a taste for the quality of our wines and give them the confidence and knowledge to be able to choose a top local drop and share it with their friends and families when they return home from their Australian educational adventure.” The international students had the opportunity to taste more than two dozen Australian wines from across the country from the Barossa, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley, Frankland River, Margaret River, Yarra Valley, Grampians, Mornington Peninsula, Hunter Valley and Tasmania. Students also had the opportunity to learn about bilingual wine courses, masterclassses and tastings offered through the National Wine Education and Training Centre.

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Building a high quality perception of Australian wine in China By James Gosper General Manager, Market Development, Wine Australia

The emerging Asian markets provide an exciting prospect for the Australian wine sector, given their proximity, emerging middle class, population and the growing cultural interest in wine. The sector needs to continue to explore the opportunity in these markets. However, rather than supplying one-off opportunities in emerging markets as is currently prevalent, investing in brand building in long-term sustainable markets, and channels within markets, has to be the priority.

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here is a lot of energy and enthusiasm around wine in China but it remains a challenging market in terms of distribution and other technical trade impediments. The austerity measures introduced by the Chinese government at the end of last year are forcing greater attention on traditional distribution channels, which provide many challenges for importers and wineries. Exporters have also reported several frustrating and seemingly arbitrary technical impediments to trading with China, such as residual sugar levels (and the implications for labelling) and manganese content in wine. China is now Australia’s fourth largest market in terms of volume and, perhaps more importantly, we sell more wine to China at a free on board (FOB) price of $7.50 and above, than we do to any other country. The Chinese demand for premium wine is evident, with strong growth coming from the higher price segments. China is, therefore, seen as a source not only of potential export growth but also as an opportunity to inject some profitability into the wine supply chain. Importantly, there seems to be growth in the online channel in China, which is encouraging because wine companies are able to better control their messages direct to consumers. Australian wine exports to China have been growing strongly over the past five years, with total volume increasing by a compounding annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent to 41 million litres in 2012-13. The total value grew at a stronger CAGR of 78% to $248 million due to a shift in the mix of exports from bulk to bottled wine. Wines at the higher end of the price spectrum also grew at faster rates than the lower segments, which also contributed to the average value of wine increasing over the period.

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Total bottled wine exports increased at a four-year CAGR of 28% to 36 million litres in 2012-13, however, growth slowed to more sustainable levels with growth of 11%. The slower rate of overall growth was due to slow growth in shipments of wine under $5 per litre. Importantly, growth was strongest in the highest price segments, as shown in Table 1. For example, the above $30 per litre segment increased by 40% to 550,000 litres. Per capita wine consumption in China is only one-quarter of the world average, at 0.8 litres annually. Therefore, with China’s vast and increasingly urbanised population, the expansion of the overall market can be expected, which provides an opportunity for Australian wine producers. Generally speaking, consumers in China have limited wine knowledge but a thirst to learn more. Consumers in first tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have more wine knowledge than those in second tier cities and more opportunity to taste wines from all over the world. It is becoming more crucial to engage with consumers in second tier or even third tier cities to expand the market share, as the consumers in these cities have enough disposable income and are eager to learn about wine. The market development challenge is to raise awareness about the quality of Australian wines, especially compared with Old World producers, who are perceived to produce premium wines. Educating Chinese wine consumers, wine lovers, the beverage trade and media is paramount in China and certainly a major part of what Wine Australia does in the market through the following activities: 1 Targeted trade education programs to build a network of A+ Australian Wine specialists in China, delivered as part of Wine Australia’s core funding (with monies raised through levies paid by exporters and grapegrowers). Education W i n e & V i t i c ult u r e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

• 2

is delivered primarily through the A+ Australian Wine School, a program that provides up-to-date, authoritative information on Australian wine to consumer and trade audiences and helps meet the demand for wine education in China. The course is delivered in the local language by professional wine educators in classes that vary in size from 20–100 people. Wine Australia appoints established wine educators who have a high level of Australian wine knowledge to teach the agreed course content. This year, Wine Australia will expand the educator network from 15 to 20, educate 3500 trade and consumers and launch the Level 2 program. The program is a two-pronged approach that provides: authoritative educational information about Australian wine and brands to build confidence and understanding and improve regional and varietal awareness local market educators with the training, skills and information to deliver courses on Australian wine. A program of user-pays activities for Australian wine producers to partner with Wine Australia to deliver a range of initiatives to educate the trade, media and consumers about the regionality, quality and diversity of Australian wine. This year, Wine Australia is partnering with Australian wine producers on a number of events and promotions aimed at consumers, trade and media including: Wine 100 Expo 2013 - Wine Australia will partner with Tourism Australia, Meat and Livestock Australia, wineries and wine importers to coordinate, for the first time, an Australian pavilion at the Wine100 Expo 2013 — a consumer fair in Shanghai - at the end of September Ole Supermarket promotion – Wine Australia will partner with Ole, the leading, premium food and beverage V28N5


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retailer in China to promote the Australian wine category, regions and wine brands as part of a 15-day promotion across 10 stores at the end of the year trade events such as the China National Food, Wine and Spirits Fair in Chengdu, China’s longest and most influential food and beverage trade show, and SIAL China 2014, the largest meeting place for Asia’s food and beverage industry Australian Wine Grand Tasting and Seminar Roadshow to first and second tier cities - Wine Australia is hosting an Australian Wine Grand Tasting and Seminar Roadshow to showcase some of Australia’s leading wines that have a James Halliday or Jeremy Oliver rating of 90 points and above Wine Australia Awards Night – an awards night to acknowledge the network of A+ Australian wine trade and education specialists comprising importers, distributors, retailers, food and beverage specialists, restaurateurs and educators who support Australian wine and act as advocates. Targeted public relations and communications via traditional, online (including Sina Weibo), mobile and social media platforms to: generate news and insights about the

Table 1. Total Australian wine exports to China by FOB price points. 1 yr

4 yr

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

growth

CAGR

$2.49 and under

827,474

835,728

978,855

806,090

840,119

4%

0.4%

$2.50 to $4.99

6,982,133

12,906,807

16,322,193

18,397,956

18,618,444

1%

28%

$5.00 to $7.49

3,502,790

4,700,403

4,951,411

7,196,469

9,042,955

26%

27%

$7.50 to $9.99

891,118

1,295,364

1,527,744

1,997,657

2,360,734

18%

28%

$10.00 to $14.99

742,822

1,115,284

1,674,777

2,156,154

2,747,175

27%

39%

$15.00 to $19.99

217,526

342,330

507,487

722,970

1,009,541

40%

47%

$20.00 to $29.99

211,968

220,185

448,559

657,036

608,793

-7%

30%

Above $30

130,849

137,171

301,559

393,071

551,577

40%

43%

quality, diversity and regionality of Australian wine • expand the social media platform and Chinese website content to engage more trade and consumers. In the last financial year, Wine Australia’s social media activities through Weibo.com attracted more than 10,000 followers, a 400% increase on the previous year • partner with Chinese media to generate interest in Wine Australia’s in-market activities • provide market intelligence about China back to the Australian wine industry. On the regulatory side, Wine Australia continues to work with officials from the Australian Embassy and regulators in

Eggs laid on leaves after spraying are killed

Eggs already on leaves at spraying are killed Controls caterpillars

Beijing to resolve some of the technical impediments that arise in this complex market. The commercial environment in China may be promising but, at the moment, the regulatory environment could best be described as ‘unpredictable’. The Australian wine sector’s overall strategy to build a stronger perception of the quality of its wine is achieving cut-through in China, where Australian wine is achieving growth at higher price points. Ultimately, success for Australian wine producers and brands in China will come from a more long-term brand building approach, educating influential wine trade and media, and tackling some of the regulatory WVJ challenges.

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Wine and health issue is everyone’s responsibility By Paul Evans, Chief Executive, Winemakers’ Federation of Australia

WFA’s comprehensive Responsible Winery Initiative is about the wine industry putting its money where its mouth is in terms of contributing to the education process around moderate alcohol consumption in Australia.

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he Winemakers’ Federation of Australia has recently released a comprehensive Responsible Winery Initiative. Printed material has been mailed to nearly 2800 wineries across the country and a new website is live at www.wfa.org.au/responsible As you read this, I hope we are seeing a groundswell of activity as wineries get onboard. The initiative is not the whole solution – indeed, it is just one part of what the wine industry can contribute – but it is an important first step, and one that supports the claim WFA has regularly made on the industry’s behalf that we back evidence-based initiatives that focus on education rather than regulation. There is no better example than the standard drink. Surveys regularly show that the concept is widely misunderstood, yet it is the key to following the official guidelines around moderate consumption. Wineries can help if they provide a standard tasting pour at their cellar door that visitors can equate to a standard drink. Three pours of 30mL is a bit less than one standard drink. If the pours are 25mL, there are four to a standard drink. That can help people keep track of what they are drinking on that day. More importantly, it can help drive home the message of just how much there is in one standard drink. Like the other eight actions in this initiative, this is not hard to do, but could be very effective. The whole focus of the Responsible Winery Initiative is on taking practical steps and ensuring that winery personnel understand the core issues around alcohol consumption, wine’s place in that picture, and the way the wine industry is responding. As we acknowledge in the material sent to wineries, and on the website, many wineries already have embraced some or even all of these actions. Our aim is to create a framework and an

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industry standard, and help others to meet it. It’s about formalising our commitment to being a part of the alcohol education process by providing information through the two main ways wineries interact with the public – at the cellar door and through their marketing. We believe this package is comprehensive but not onerous and takes into account the practical realities of running a wine business today. Alongside standard pours at the cellar door, wineries need to ensure that all staff are not just trained in the responsible service of alcohol but are equipped to answer questions about alcohol and to provide information to visitors on request. They also need to focus, even more than now, on ensuring that the cellar door experience is about tasting wine, not drinking. On the marketing front we are encouraging wineries to sign up to the WFA and Drinkwise Australia pregnancy initiative launched last year, to use the approved Standard Drinks logo on all bottles rather than simply using text, to ensure compliance with the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code, and to have clear guidelines around their use on social media. This last one is important because the public is clearly wary about online activities around alcohol and we know that even the most watchful of companies can make errors if they do not understand their rights and responsibilities around social media and have the right procedures and people in place. Finally, we are encouraging wineries to develop a workplace alcohol policy and ensure that staff understand the key issues around alcohol consumption. This package has been developed over many months, and builds on broader work that WFA has carried out in relation to corporate social responsibility. As part of developing a “commitment to community” we have examined W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

international trends and standards in environmental, social and corporate awareness. The Responsible Winery Initiative is the first tangible outcome of that work and has been developed in consultation with the industry. As I said on the day we launched it, the feedback we received when discussing the concept and then the specifics with winemakers and marketers in a number of regions was that this is workable and could be very powerful.

Alongside standard pours at the cellar door, wineries need to ensure that all staff are not just trained in the responsible service of alcohol but are equipped to answer questions about alcohol and to provide information to visitors on request. We are busy in other areas as well. Work is under way to consolidate global research on the health and social benefits of moderate wine consumption and provide a solid evidence base to develop a consumer education campaign to older Australians that confirms moderate drinking can be a part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, and can lead to a happier and longer life. We believe this is an important response to an upward trend in consumption levels in Australians over 50 years old, where wine is the preferred alcohol beverage type. It also has the potential to facilitate a more proactive approach to the current community debate around Australia’s drinking culture and inform a credible ‘drink in moderation’ message from the industry based on sound evidence. V28N5


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ASVO awards dinner and natural wine debate By Paul Petrie, President, Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology

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he ASVO is looking forward to hosting its annual awards dinner on Thursday 24 October, at the National Wine Centre, in Adelaide. This year’s prestigious event includes a predinner debate on the polarising topic of ‘natural’ wine. The dinner promises to be an evening of celebration, with many notables in attendance from the wine industry, government and academia. One lucky guest will win a door prize of a four-course degustation for two at Hentley Farm Restaurant, which was recently awarded the best new restaurant at the SA Restaurant & Catering Awards. Bookings for the awards dinner can be made at http:// asvoawardsforexcellence.wordpress.com The pre-dinner winemaking-themed debate is titled ‘Natural wine - naturally better?’ and is sponsored by equipment supplier Australian & New Zealand Winemakers. The debate will excite a lot of passion from the speakers and the audience but, most importantly, it will be a lot of fun. The teams are still coming together, but we can confirm that the debate will be chaired by consultant and industry stalwart Brian Walsh. The team taking the affirmative position will be ably led by wine writer, show judge and natural wine advocate Max Allen. Proprietor of Seppeltsfield Wines and wine

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industry entrepreneur Warren Randall will lead the negative team. The winners of the ASVO winemaker and viticulturist of the year will be announced during the dinner. The winemaker of the year award is again sponsored by Lallemand Australia and will recognise a winemaker within the industry who has demonstrated technical mastery over any aspect of winemaking. The viticulturist of the year award is again sponsored by Bayer Crop Sciences, and will honour an outstanding viticulturist involved in the development of a novel and significant viticultural innovation, or introduction of a novel viticultural practice over the previous five years. The paper of the year awards are open to all research papers published in the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. These awards are again sponsored by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation. They will be judged by an industry-based panel, which will be tasked with selecting the viticultural or oenology paper where the research presented is judged to have the most significant potential effect on the industry. Thanks to everyone who entered the ASVO winemaker and viticulturist of the year awards. Putting the entries together for these awards is no small or easy task. I look forward to catching up with all of you at the ASVO awards dinner.

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

AWITC winners As a part-owner of the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference along with the AWRI, the ASVO hopes that all participants of this year’s event had an interesting and enjoyable time. The ASVO sponsored the ‘Into the Winelight’ session, which was an entertaining introduction to future people and their projects in grape and wine research. The presenters had one slide each to answer the questions: what are you researching and why does it matter? Congratulations to the session’s winner Yudan Fang, from The University of Adelaide, and runner-up Ginger Korosi, from Charles Sturt University. The ASVO also sponsored the prizes for the best viticulture and winemaking presentations in the ‘Fresh Science’ sessions at the AWITC, selected as the most innovative topics from the poster abstracts. The ASVO was pleased to present awards to Gareth Hill, from Plant and Food New Zealand, for his presentation on comparing methods of botrytis assessment, and Anna Carew, from the University of Tasmania, for her presentation on microwave maceration of Pinot Noir. We hope that all of the prize winners are enjoying their Riedel Ultra WVJ decanters.

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Buried treasure

An anatomy of how Treasury Wine Estates arrived at where it is today By Tony Keys

Treasury Wine Estates is Australia’s largest domestic wine producer by value, with Accolade brands the largest by volume. There can be no denying these two companies are top dogs, but looking back over the past three decades with regard to TWE specifically, has being a top dog been worth it?

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n August, Treasury Wine Estates released its results for the year ending 30 June 2013. Its global turnover, including the American arm, generated sales of $1.728 billion, but from this vast amount TWE returned a net profit of just $42.3 million. The issues facing TWE in 2013 are the result of decades of poor decisionmaking by a multitude of people from several previous reincarnations of the beast that finally became TWE. If one is seeking a starting point for the rise, fall, twist and turns that led to the 2013 result, it won’t be found because there are several starting points, both ancient and latter day. To pick a few, one could be 1984 when SA Brewing acquired B. Seppelt and Sons. Or, from another direction a dozen years before, when the tobacco company Phillip Morris bought Lindemans. In 1976 the brewer Tooth & Co acquired Penfolds. Wynns had already gone to UK distiller Allied Vintners. In 1985, Penfolds took over Allied Vintners’ Australian holdings which included Wynns, Seaview, JY Tulloch & Sons, and Killawarra. In 1990 Penfolds bought Lindemans and the once great Lindemans rival to Penfolds became a second string brand. So it continued, one company buying another and brewers thinking there was a lot of money to be made from wine. Unfortunately for the brewers, theory and practice remained separated. Irrespective of the degree of damage that was done at individual takeover or merger deals, in retrospect they were but twigs, sticks and logs that were being gathered into a bonfire waiting to be lit. The accelerant was added, in my opinion, when Rosemount made a reverse takeover of Southcorp in February 2001. Southcorp paid a huge amount for Rosemount - $1.49 billion in total via $880 million cash to the Oatley family, plus the Oatleys were issued 94 million Southcorp shares which at

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the time were valued at $5.50 each. Southcorp also took on $90 million in debt carried by the Rosemount Estate family company. The real sting was in Rosemount personnel taking over control of running the new conglomerate. Head of the clan Robert Oatley was and probably still is a man who prefers a committee of one. He makes his own decisions, good or bad. Placed in charge of the merged venture was his son-inlaw, Keith Lambert. Southcorp under Lambert was not a happy place to be and he was removed in February 2003. Fosters, the brewer, bought Southcorp in 2005 for $3.2 billion, adding it to the portfolio of wineries the company already owned, including Mildara Blass and, from the US, Beringer and associated brands which it acquired in 2000 for $2.6 billion. From the day Fosters’ management shifted the focus away from dull but very profitable beer and placed it on much more exciting and higher social cachet wine, it became a troubled company.

wine star was ascending. The then Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation was spruiking the ever-continuing rise in exports while wine companies were expounding the greatness of the UK and US markets. Many companies were floated on the Australian Stock Exchange and predators such as Lion Nathan and Allied Domecq were stalking Australian wine producers, listed or not, for takeover. There was a certain amount of hysteria within the industry. Small operators were convinced the Australian consumer would pay $40 for a bottle of thin, green Cabernet Sauvignon from immature vines simply because the great wines of Bordeaux commanded more than $100 a bottle and were made mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Burgundy became the place to worship and Pinot Noir the grape of the gods. Few took note of Diageo, the world’s largest drinks company, which repeatedly looked at acquiring Australian wine

From the day Fosters’ management shifted the focus away from dull but very profitable beer and placed it on much more exciting and higher social cachet wine, it became a troubled company. In 2003 Southcorp had written down almost a billion dollars with more written down the following year. In the three and a half years from 2008-2010, Fosters/ TWE - Australia’s largest wine producer and custodian of several prestigious brands - sold $6.26 billion worth of wine and lost $1.475 billion doing so. The decision had been taken to off-load the wine division and float it debt free on the Australian Stock Exchange as Treasury Wine Estates. It should be remembered that in the years leading up to 2007 the Australian W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

assets and repeatedly said they were grossly over valued. Nor did many take note of the inventory that was building up and would result in those massive write downs. One of the reasons given for Fosters buying Southcorp was the hue and cry surrounding Penfolds and other recognised Australian brands falling into the hands of foreigners. There was less jingoistic chatter a few years later when in September 2010 New York-based Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, made a $2.3 to $2.7 billion V28N5


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bid in cash for Fosters wine assets, by then renamed Treasury Wine Estates. There was speculation at the time that Fosters’ book calculation put its wine assets north of $3 billion. The TWE demerger from Fosters was scheduled for 10 May 2011 and there were plenty of scenarios floating around prior to the day. The main speculation was centred on the beer side rather than wine. Wine was seen as holding back the sale of Fosters to an international brewer. SABMiller was the leading contender and the rumours proved true with Fosters going into the SABMiller portfolio in September 2011 for more than $10 billion. TWE entered the world with 650,000,000 ordinary shares fully paid at $3.00 - 75.15 per cent of them in the ownership of 20 pairs of hands, and the top three accounting for 58.78%. The speculation around TWE at that time was based, first, on the company selling off the American Beringer and associated brands. The second possibility was offloading some of the Australian brands. Three years later, TWE has changed in style of operation and focus but remains intact as of the demerger. There had been changes prior to the demerger. Fosters had carried out a strategic review of its wine operations initiated in April 2008 after realising the company was going to write down several hundred million dollars for the financial year ending 30 June. June 2008 also saw the resignation of its chief executive Trevor O’Hoy who was appointed to the role in 2004. It was O’Hoy who oversaw the takeover of the troubled Southcorp - something he was reluctant to do

and suffered the consequences for the action, ending a 33-year career with the company. The strategic review was completed in February 2009 and didn’t reveal much that was unexpected. Perhaps the most unexpected aspect was that it took 10 months and no doubt a lot of money to reach obvious conclusions that were apparent to the observer. There were a couple of points the strategic review set in action that laid the future foundation of the company that would become TWE. One was the reshaping of the wine portfolio to “focus on attractive segments”. This was to be done by retiring several brands, including the famous Queen Adelaide range that had occupied the bargain basement segment for decades and had become stagnant mainly due to lack of care.

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VOK immediately did what Fosters and Southcorp before it should have done - it rebranded Queen Adelaide, extending the range to include a Sauvignon Blanc which was showing remarkable growth at the time, and designed a bright new attractive label. In March 2011 VOK announced that it was increasing the prices of the wines in the joint venture; Queen Adelaide was moved from the $5 a bottle sector to more than $7 a bottle. Another point the review came up with - and was partly rescinded in later years - was the disposal of several vineyards. Some were sold but it became clear that wineries need to own certain vineyards and it’s not possible to have all the grapes needed bought on the spot market. When TWE came to control its own destiny it retained vineyards and has since added more.

VOK immediately did what Fosters and Southcorp before it should have done – it rebranded Queen Adelaide, extending the range to include a Sauvignon Blanc which was showing remarkable growth at the time, and designed a bright new attractive label. In December 2009 Queen Adelaide, along with another dozen brands including Minchinbury, Andrew Garrett, Half Mile Creek and Galway Pipe, were rolled into a joint venture with VOK Beverages. Fosters would continue to produce the wine but VOK would distribute and market them.

David Dearie joined Fosters in July 2009 from Brown Forman (Western Europe and Africa) as managing director. Dearie has guided the ailing Fosters wine division through demerger and into the independent Treasury Wine Estates. Dearie didn’t have the most auspicious start to his Australian career, making a

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speech soon after his arrival at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show lunch preaching to a wine industry audience that Australia needed to stop making over-oaked Chardonnay. Although people agreed with his sentiment, Australian winemakers, including many in the audience, had worked that one out and new, better balanced Chardonnay was already on sale and becoming more established daily. Dearie had started with an assumption of the Australian wine industry that was out dated. Having stumbled on the first step, to his credit he soon recovered and has injected vitality into what was becoming a monolith. He has introduced or backed several concepts, such as firmly putting Penfolds at the apex of the TWE portfolio. The massive annual price increases for Grange over the past few years has angered many and filled numerous newspaper columns. It has also generated admiration in certain sectors. Penfolds Grange, without doubt, is Australia’s globally recognised prestige wine. It should make the news each release and, providing it finds buyers, there are no issues. Even if sales are static its use as a promotional vehicle for the rest of the brand is of great value. Giving guests of the company a wine they think of as $700 a bottle to drink impresses; the fact it costs less than a tenth of that to produce is lost in the splendour of the occasion. The release of a limited edition glass Ampoule, containing 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon with a retail price tag in excess of $150,000, was either a masterstroke of marketing or crass poor taste. Again, opinion is split but the brand gained many column inches. The word ‘vintrepreneur’ was coined and described on the TWE website as a person who has an “entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for wine and a commitment to being a global ambassador for all our treasured brands.

As vintrepreneurs, wine is our thing. We are all attracted to the opportunity to be part of a distinctly wine-driven culture, yet make our presence felt as individuals. And what makes us all the more special and super-charged about what we do, is that we can do it with a common understanding from different places; places we know and love, places we can feel in our bones and taste in our wines.” Dearie has now established a good reputation in Australia and, given time, is

It is estimated that TWE could get around $2 billion for its US assets. The question is, should it ‘cut and run’ or hang on in the hope the business can be turned? One feels there is ego at play here and the mood is to stay and fight. capable of turning TWE into a profitable wine company. What remains undecided is how large or small that company will be. In January 2011 Fosters defended the fall in US sales as a result of a deliberate move out of the cheap sector to concentrate on higher priced, more profitable wines. Around the same time a market note Credit Suisse issued said that sales of Fosters-owned brands from wholesalers to retailers were down. In hindsight this could be the stockpiling that almost three years later TWE has been forced to destroy. The Treasury Wine Estates year end to the 30 June 2013 results make fascinating reading: • revenue was $47.8 million, up on the previous year, but gross profit was down $156 million on the previous year • profit before tax and finance costs was $88.5 million, down on the previous year • net profit, at $42.3 million, was down $47.6 million, down on the previous year Achieving sales for the year of $1.728 billion and ending up with just $42.3

Table 1. Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) Sales volume 9 litre cases

2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

8.6m

8m

7.8m

7.9m

$70.22

$71.43

$73.75

$69.92

Net sales revenue

$600.8m

$574.1m

$577.9m

$544.5m

EBIT

$105.1m

$109m

$96.3m

$84.1m

Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA)

2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

Sales volume 9 litre cases

6.7m

6.9m

8.5m

8.9m

Average value per case

Table 2.

Average value per case Net sales revenue EBIT

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million profit appears not a good result. The pros and cons are: • Inventories have increased from $362.5 million to $446 million, but that is planned as the company wants to build stock of finer wine (mainly Penfolds) that it will capitalise on in the future (hopefully). TWE explains its inventories by splitting them into three brands: luxury, masstige (products defined as premium products but have price points that fill the gap between mid-

$37.08

$36.56

$35.88

$38.01

$248.5.4m

$253m

$303.8m

$336.4m

$16m

$5.7m

$6.5m

$15m

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market and luxury) and commercial. • The luxury brands account for a total of 37% and are valued at $423.5 million. Luxury wines ready for sale are 20%. The amount maturing is 64%. It’s a bold move but it really should pay-off in the future. The amount that is ready for sale is just 20%. • The share of inventory by masstige brands is 30 per cent, valued at $351.5 million, of which 33% is current (ready to sell) inventory and 26% is maturing. • The commercial sector accounts for 33% of the total with a cost of $385.5 million. The interesting point is 47% is ready for sale with just 10% non-current inventory. This is down from 17% last year - an impressive reduction. Maybe TWE will reduce it further next year. TWE is divided into four reporting sections: Australia & New Zealand; Europe, Middle East & Africa; Asia; and Americas. In Australia & New Zealand (Table 1) cases sales were up in 2013 financial year but the average value per case was down and the 2012 case price was down on the 2011 case price. However, the EBIT showed growth over the past four years. In Europe, Middle East & Africa (Table 2) case sales continued to decline significantly due to pulling out of the lower priced sector in the UK. The price per case increased but, most importantly, the EBIT was the best for four years. In Asia (Table 3) volume has taken a healthy step upwards in the past four years and so has everything else. Most impressive is the increase in the price per case of $76.52 in 2010 to $97.14 in 2013. It will be no surprise if it breaks the average $100 a case in the 2014 report. The EBIT has also shot up. If this sector was a standalone company the share price would be on the increase. V28N5


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Due to strong links between America and Japan it’s no surprise that the Californian Beringer brand is doing remarkably well in the Land of the Rising Sun, up 23%. Penfolds has done well in China and the Wolf Blass brand holds the number one value spot in Singapore and Hong Kong In the Americas (Table 4) It is estimated that TWE could get around $2 billion for its US assets. The question is, should it ‘cut and run’ or hang on in the hope the business can be turned? One feels there is ego at play here and the mood is to stay and fight. Only time will provide the answer, right or wrong. Getting the commercial stock in balance is crucial and TWE has made a bold step in getting the US in line, having made provisions of $154.3 million in the accounts to remove and destroy obsolete inventory held by its US distributors. In less grand speak, they are now paying for previous management mistakes that blocked the pipeline. The company also acknowledges it inherited around five to six weeks of inventory in excess of sales targets at the time of the demerger from Fosters. It also admits there is now “10-11

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Table 3. Asia Sales volume 9 litre cases Average value per case

2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

1.4m

1.2m

1m

0.9m

$97.14

$92

$85.56

$76.52

Net sales revenue

$135.5m

$106.2m

$81.9m

$66.3m

EBIT

$54.5m

$41.2m

$27.4m

$23.1m

2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

Sales volume 9 litre cases

15.4m

15.7m

15.9m

17.9m

Average value per case

$45.69

$45.20

$49.89

$52

Net sales revenue

$682.8m

707.5m

$794.7m

$933m

EBIT

$66.8m

$79m

$92.2m

$107.4m

Table 4. Americas

weeks worth of excess stock in the US distributor network.” The amount of old and obsolete wine the company has earmarked is somewhere between half a million and 600,000 cases, the majority with a retail price of less than $10 bottle. TWE is a company that is showing remarkable growth in Asia, has settled

in Europe, and is struggling in America. Domestic sales are buoyant. It is a company that could be much smaller but greatly profitable. Its stature should not be defined by size but by bringing brands such as Wynns, Lindemans and Rosemount up to the global recognition of Penfolds. WVJ

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W I N E H E AL T H 2 0 1 3

Key messages from WineHealth 2013 – International Wine and Health Conference By Creina Stockley Health and Regulatory Information Manager Australian Wine Research Institute. Email: creina.stockley@awri.com.au

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he seventh in the series of WineHealth International Wine and Health conferences was held in Sydney on 18-20 July 2013. There were eight sessions comprising 28 presentations. The data presented strengthened the evidence base for light to moderate wine consumption to be considered as a legitimate component of a healthy diet and lifestyle for the general population. This included the general elderly population aiming to age healthily. The key messages from the presentations can be summarised as follows: Light to moderate wine consumption can decrease the risk of death in general (all-cause mortality) in both men and women, irrespective of increasing age, compared with abstainers The longitudinal Dubbo Study of the Elderly1 examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and mortality over a 20-year period. The inclusion of any alcohol in the diet increased the lifespan of both men and women by 12 months. The relationship between alcohol consumption and all-cause morality in the elderly was also J-shaped and similar to that of a younger peer population. All subjects in the low2 and moderate3 consumption categories had a significant 25% lower risk of all-cause mortality compared with heavier consumption, which translated to 20% and 28%, respectively, versus nil consumption. There was a broadly similar reduction in all-cause mortality whether the predominant intake was beer or wine/spirits. There appeared to be significant protection against cardiovascular disease at low alcohol consumption and this relationship did not appear to be affected or mediated by diabetes, hypertension, obesity or HDL cholesterol. Light to moderate wine consumption can decrease the risk of, and death from, cardiovascular disease in both men and women compared with abstainers

In a younger US population of women which was studied over a seven-year period in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a J-shaped relationship was also seen between low (<1 drink/day) and moderate (1 drink/day) wine consumption and cardiovascular disease. This observation was supported by statistically significant changes in biological markers for cardioprotective anti-blood clotting and antiinflammatory mechanisms such as C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and plasminogen activator inhibitor, compared with that seen in abstainers. It was consistent across ethnic groups and independent of a healthy diet and lifestyle, and overall alcohol consumption. Starting at a similar time, the Spanish PREDMED study - a parallel-group, multicentre, randomised, controlled clinical five-year study - assessed the effects of a Mediterranean diet that included the regular moderate consumption of wine on the prevention of cardiovascular disease in 7447 subjects aged 55-80 years. Moderate wine consumers showed a consistent decrease in certain biological risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as the plasma concentration of triglyceride (lipid)4 and glucose compared with abstainers, and heart rate also decreased. There was, however, no corresponding change in either systolic or

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diastolic blood pressure until more than 14 drinks per week were consumed. Blood pressure was then observed to significantly increase, consistent with increasing risk of cardiovascular disease past moderate consumption. A genetic analysis of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as lipoprotein abnormalities, oxidative stress and inflammation, suggests that they are also implicated in the significance of any impact of alcoholic beverages on cardiovascular risk. For example, in a population predisposed to cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure (HFE gene mutation positive), moderate red wine consumption increased rather than decreased the plasma concentration of triglycerides. The alcohol, phenolic compound and other components of wine can have different protective effects in the body’s cells, organs and tissues Discussion about improvement in other cardioprotective mechanisms attributed to wine consumption included nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. Where impaired, synthesis of nitric oxide in the endothelium or lining of blood vessel walls contributes to the onset of atherosclerosis, which is another risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Particular phenolic compounds, such as resveratrol, have been observed in test tube and limited animal and human studies to increase nitric oxide synthesis. A four-week study comparing the effects of a moderate (three drinks/day) consumption of red wine, dealcoholised red wine and gin (a phenolic compound-free alcoholic beverage) in 67 subjects showed that dealcoholised red wine most significantly increased NO synthesis and decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared with red wine and gin. Both red wine and dealcoholised red wine (that is, phenolic compounds), however, decreased plasma insulin and insulin resistance, while all three beverages (that is, alcohol and phenolic compounds) increased the plasma concentration of HDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I and A-II which are all associated with cardioprotection. In addition, alcohol and phenolic compounds in red wine modulated leukocyte adhersion molecules and systemic inflammatory mediators associated with the initiation and progression of cardiovascular disease. This implies that the combined effects of the alcohol and phenolic components of red wine potentially confer greater cardioprotection compared with other alcoholic beverages. Another potential cardioprotective component of wine other than alcohol or the phenolic compounds is melatonin, which is also present in measurable amounts in red wine. One of the pathways associated with cardiovascular disease and specifically the cardiac tissue damage caused when blood supply returns to the tissue after a period of ischemia or lack of oxygen (reperfusion injury), is the novel intrinsic pro-survival survivor activator factor enhancement (SAFE) pathway. This pathway involves the activation of the cytokine tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), its receptor 2 (TNFR2) and the transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). In a rat animal model, melatonin in red wine (equivalent to 75ng melatonin in two drinks/day for seven days) was shown to protect the rat heart against ischemia-reperfusion injury via the SAFE pathway. Previous studies had shown that melatonin in red wine protected the rat heart against a heart attack5.

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It is important to note that the cardioprotective effects of The inclusion of light to moderate wine consumption wine-derived phenolic compounds and specifically flavonoids on in the daily diet can decrease the risk and onset of cognitive decline and dementia endothelial function, are similar to the effects of tea, cocoa, soy and fruit-derived flavonoids on endothelial function. Additional studies Of particular interest in the longitudinal Dubbo Study of the are, however, still needed in order to establish the significance Elderly was a significantly lower risk of onset of dementia at low of the effects of regular consumption of a diet higher in red wine and moderate alcohol consumption. Cognitive function is defined flavonoids on endothelial function compared with the other dietary as the intellectual or mental processes by which knowledge sources of flavonoids. is acquired, including perception, reasoning, acts of creativity, The wine-derived phenolic compounds and, specifically, the problem-solving and possible intuition. Dementia is a form of stilbene resveratrol may also have a role in longevity. That is, cognitive dysfunction whereby an individual loses the ability to slowing the ageing process of the body’s cells and tissues as does think, remember and reason due to physical changes in the brain. a calorie-restricted diet. Potential mechanisms are associated with Complementary to these observations in an elderly population, anti-inflammatory effects associated with many different disease 100mL of red wine (one drink) containing an additional 100mg of states. resveratrol was also observed to improve cognitive functioning The availability of the wine-derived phenolic compounds to in 16 elderly individuals. The improvement was in demanding the blood stream and body’s tissues and cells (bioavailability) to cognitive processing, while red wine alone was superior in terms elicit effects is often questioned, given the low concentration often of performing an attentional task, suggesting that the alcohol and observed. It was suggested at the conference that breakdown resveratrol components of red wine may have different effects on products or metabolites of the parent phenolic compounds may brain function. A rat animal model administered Champagne wine be broken down by lactic acid bacteria, for example, which are also showed improvements in spatial working memory, which is then more easily absorbed and available to tissues and cells, with similarly impaired in individuals with dementia, via modulation of equivalent or greater biological activity than the parent phenolic brain signalling. compound. Alternatively, it was shown that the wine-derived phenolic compounds may pass into the large intestine or colon to be The inclusion of light to moderate wine consumption broken down and reabsorbed and/or act directly on the colon cells, in the daily diet may actually decrease, rather than perhaps protecting against the initiation and progression of colon increase, the risk of death from certain cancers cancer. Studies are ongoing to identify all the potentially ‘healthy’ compounds in grapes and wine and their bioactivity, as well as A controversial and complex issue is the role of alcoholic that of their subsequent metabolites once absorbed in the body. beverages including wine in the risk of cancer. The French National 3 1 1 3 9 _ v 1 C R T _ N u f a r m3 . p d f Pa ge 1 2 5 / 0 6 / 1 2 , 1 2 : 5 3 PM Metabolomics screening is one tool that has been effectively used. Research Agency CANCERCOOL program followed 35,292 healthy

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…light to moderate wine consumption should not replace a healthy diet and lifestyle, but should be an adjunct to it to promote healthy ageing. men for 25 years. The data suggested that the 75% of men who were regular moderate alcohol consumers drinking more than 50% as wine had a lower overall risk of death from cancer, and specifically lung, lip, oral cavity, pharynx and larynx cancers (RR = 0.54, p=0.05), similar to that observed for fruit and vegetable consumption. The risk of death from cancers of the colon, stomach, pancreas, liver and prostate was not found to be related to wine preference relative to other alcoholic beverages. These reduced cancer risks for predominantly wine consumers are in contrast to that observed for men who predominantly consumed alcoholic beverages other than wine, where increased cancer risks were observed. Increasingly higher levels of any alcohol consumption, however, were correlated with increases in deaths from cancer. Overall, these results are similar to that previously seen in some other studies and suggest that light to moderate wine consumption may be associated with cancer protective effects for digestive and lung cancers.

Conclusion A common message in the concluding comments of many of the papers presented was that light to moderate wine consumption should not replace a healthy diet and lifestyle, but should be an adjunct to it to promote healthy ageing, and that this information should be imparted by medical practitioners to their patients. This science is still in its infancy, however, and many more clinical and epidemiological studies are required to fully know and better understand the effects of wine and its core components on human health. The conference proceedings of WineHealth 2013 are to be published by the peer-reviewed Nutrition and Ageing journal. The next International Wine and Health Conference is scheduled for 2016, hosted by Professor Jeremy Spencer, of Reading University. Reference 1

www.dubbostudy.org

2

Low consumption was 1-14 drinks/week for men and 1-7 drinks/week for women

3

 oderate consumption was 15-24 drinks/week for men and 8-14 drinks/week for M women

4

 fter eating, the body converted any calories it doesn’t need to use right away A into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If more calories are regularly eaten than burned, particularly ‘easy’ calories like carbohydrates and fats, this results in high plasma concentrations of triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia).

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 amont, K.T.; Somers, S.; Lacerda, L.; Opie, L.H.; Lecour, S. (2011) Is red wine a L SAFE sip away from cardioprotection? Mechanisms involved in resveratrol-and melatonin-induced cardioprotection. J. Pineal Res. 50(4):374-380. WVJ

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Australian wine industry gathers in Sydney for the 15th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference

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round 1000 delegates, including some 160 from overseas, gathered in Sydney over six days in July for the 15th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference. Held every three years and jointly organised by the Australian Wine Research Institute and the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology, the event featured a comprehensive formal program comprising around 40 presentations touching on subjects ranging from trends in the global marketplace to the latest research and innovations in vineyards and wineries and through to consumer perceptions of wine. The formal program also comprised two sessions titled ‘Fresh Research’ in which the researchers behind a selection of the technical posters on display during the conference presented their findings to delegates. The formal program was complemented by a comprehensive line-up of more than 40 workshops. Among the conference delegates were winemaker for Queensland-based Sirromet, Adam Chapman, and former Professor of Wine Science at Charles Sturt University and proprietor of Freeman Vineyards in the New South Wales Hilltops region, Bran Freeman. Asked for his overall thoughts and highlights of the conference, Adam Chapman said it was, “in general, very good”. “I thought it was more diverse this year, with fewer professors or lecturers trying to outdo each other on technical stats that put you to sleep,” he said. “The main thing is I would go back, I was impressed and I am sending webcasts to other staff members and implementing outcomes in the winery. “Most of the sessions were good and interesting and mostly entertaining, which is a requirement these days to

ensure delegates and students are interested in what is being presented,” he said, describing Professor Charles Spence, from Oxford University, who spoke about the role of the senses in wine appreciation and whose presentation is summarised in this issue of the Journal (see page 86) as “one of the best speakers”. Other highlights for Chapman were Rob Glastonbury, from De Bortoli Wines, who talked about adding value in the winery, Professor Alain Deloire, whose presentation focussed on the use of berry physiological indicators to predict harvest dates in relation to intended wine styles (some of which is summarised in the article starting on page 65 of this issue of the Journal), advertising executive Todd Sampson on creativity, and Professor Rodger Bolton, from the University of California Davis whose presentation delved into emerging technologies for wineries. Brian Freeman said one of the most interesting aspects of the conference for him were the contrasting presentations

From left, Patrick Materman, Pernod Ricard NZ; Emile Gentis, Pernod Ricard South Africa; Angela Miranda, Orlando Wines; Jean Macintyre, Premium Wine Brands; Alistair Dinnison, Orlando Wines; Shane Hanna, Premium Wine Brands; and Steve Meyer, Orlando Wines.

From left, Gavin Sacks, Cornell University; Robin Day, Domain Day; Gary Baldwin, Wine Network Consulting; and Dimi Capone, Australian Wine Research Institute. V2 8N 5

by Robin Day, of Domain Day, and Nick Dokoozlian, of E&J Gallo in the US. “In an interesting presentation from Robin Day it was stated that we hadn’t improved our assessment of grape quality in the last 20 years and we still had no method of determining grape quality for grape payment. But Nick Dokoozlian discussed the GQI (grape quality index) being used by Gallo to determine its grapevine management, even its mechanical pruning level. “Thirty years ago, Gallo would not allow mechanical harvesting in the belief that it was detrimental to grape quality and the Californian industry was light years behind Australia. But, now it seems that California is light years ahead of the Australia wine industry. It is time our wine industry had a good look at why it is where it is now,” Freeman said. The Wine & Viticultural Journal looks forward to publishing more summaries of some of the key presentations at the conference to readers in future issues. The following photos were taken by Journal editor Sonya Logan.

From left, Greg Trenthowan, Brown Brothers; Chloe Earl, Brown Brothers; and Martin Wozniak, Toorak Winery.

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New Zealanders, from left, Fabian Yukich, Villa Maria; Pete Bartle, VinPro, and Dave Knappstein, Forrest Wines.

Mardi Longbottom (left), from the Australian Wine Research Institute, and Anna Carew, from the University of Tasmania.

From left, Peter Logan, Logan Wines; Paul Barber and Rob Martyn, Delegats; Richard Lillingstone, BASF; Matt Laube, Bleasdale, and Duncan Lloyd, Logan Wines.

From left, Paula Chodin Param, Frances Adams, Audrie Olguin, and Kariss Moreno, all from The University of Adelaide.

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From left, Ginger Korosi, Charles Sturt Univeristy, Andreas Blank, LVWO Weinsberg, Germany, and Jason Smith, Charles Sturt University.

South Africans (from left) Floricius Beukes, Groot Constantia Estate; Gerard Martin, Winetech, and Wessel Du Toit, of Stellenbosch University.

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From left, John McGovern, AP John; Paul Kernich, Angove’s; Chris Knight, George Road; Garth Cliff, Accolade; and Tony Ingle, Angove’s.

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Yalumba colleagues (from left) Amanda Mader, Andrew La Nauze and Kevin Glastonbury, with former Yalumba colleague Nigel Blieschke, now with Peter Lehman Wines.

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Colin Bell (left), AHA Viticulture, and

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New toys for wineries and vineyards Some highlights of WineTech 2013 By Gary Baldwin Owner/Principal Consultant, Wine Network Consulting. Email: gbaldwin@winenet.com.au

Gary Baldwin has attended every Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference and associated trade show since their inception, with the exception of the first one held in Mildura in 1970. We asked Gary to provide his picks of the many innovations on show at WineTech 2013, held in Sydney in July.

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he trade exhibition at the 15th AWITC, which has adopted the WineTech name, was a major display of all sorts of wondrous equipment for the winemaker and viticulturist. There was clearly a more positive mood in the air than at the last conference three years ago; one of the first winemakers I met at the event was enthusing that he had come to buy some new “toys” for the winery. The enthusiasm rubbed off, so I have tried to pick out a few of the new toys that might be of interest to those who did not attend the event, or perhaps couldn’t get around to all the exhibits. WineTech is an invaluable showcase for the industry and I hope my insights encourage you to think carefully before declining the opportunity to visit WineTech in 2016, which looks set to be held in Adelaide at the re-vamped exhibition and conference centre. There were many interesting items on display and the ones selected here are simply those that seemed to offer something special or innovative. Woodshield post Like many great innovations, the Woodshield is beautifully simple. Incorporating the latest in recycled plastic technology, the Woodshield takes the ubiquitous treated pine post and, with a few tweaks, creates a better product. Essentially an untreated pine post coated in plastic, the Woodshield offers several advantages over standard treated pine posts that have been used in vineyards for decades.

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Ashley Davidson, developer of Woodshield, with a plastic-coated vineyard post. Incorporating the latest in recycled plastic technology, the Woodshield takes treated pine posts and, with a few tweaks, creates a better product. First, untreated pine is less brittle than treated pine and the natural, undried timber of the Woodshield post is less likely to split, crack or break during harvesting or in high winds. The plastic sleeve, which comes in black or white, protects and reinforces the post, making it stronger, more durable and less prone to rot and weather damage. The manufacturer says it is resistant to termites and claims a UV rating of more than 50 years. The plastic covering also does away with splinters and the ends of each post W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

have caps, so they can be whacked into the ground without damaging the protective coating. For all other purposes the Woodshield is like any other wooden post – you can drive nails into it, fasten things to it and subject it to all the usual rigours of the vineyard. There is no chemical leaching from the untreated posts, making them suitable for organics operations, and the plastic coating of the Woodshield is partially made from recycled materials. V28N5


An Australian First An innovative renewable energy plant at Australian Tartaric Products’ (ATP) Victorian plant will slash energy costs, improve international competitiveness, significantly reduce the company’s carbon footprint and close the loop on the annual disposal of 90,000 tonnes of grape waste from the wine industry. ATP collects waste grape marc, sludge and lees from the Murray Darling, Riverina and Swan Hill wine regions and supplies tartaric acid back to the industry for use in the winemaking process. ATP is the nation’s largest manufacturer of natural tartaric acid, which plays a key role in the chemical stability, taste and pH of wine. ATP processes waste from the winemaking process, including grape marc, grape lees and sludge, to make a completely natural product from material typically bound for landfill. The company also extracts and converts residual alcohol into potable and low-grade ethanol. ATP is located in rural Colignan, around 50 kilometres south of Mildura in Victoria. With no access to natural gas, the company has to date relied on trucked-in LPG to ensure its boilers run 24/7. Thanks to the support of both the Federal and State governments via their respective Clean Energy Technology and Victorian Regional Infrastructure Development funds, ATP has invested in a renewable energy plant supplied and installed by Bono Sistemi.

Major benefits from this investment will include; • Significant reduction in energy costs • Improve competitiveness • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 72% (9813 tonnes of C02e) • Reduce the burden on the environment by preventing the spent marc from ending up in landfill • Close the loop on 90,000 tonnes of waste from wineries • Reduce electricity from the grid by 43% (1656 MWh) • Create additional employment In addition it provides a major benefit to the wider wine industry by providing a sustainable solution to the industry’s waste, ensuring it is utilised in a renewable fashion rather than polluting the nation’s landfills. Commencing operation in September 2013, the 8MW moving grate biomass boiler will use spent grape marc to produce steam required for the production of tartaric acid and substantially reduce the company’s reliance on fossil fuels. The renewable energy plant will boost confidence in ongoing investment in the region’s wine industry by ensuring a sustainable, reliable and commercial option for the disposal of waste grape marc. ATP is also installing Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology to sit alongside the new boiler. This will take surplus steam produced by the boiler and co-generate around 63 per cent of the electricity required for its operations. The ORC plant is being supplied by Australian company gT Energy Technologies.


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Jurg Muggli with the new Fischer undervine weeder, showing the nylon flails that remove the weeds. The unit looks to be the best solution yet for the mechanical removal of under-vine weeds without damaging vines. Fischer Twister trailing under-vine slasher-weeder For the past 30 years the industry has sought to develop a mechanised undervine weeding system that eliminates competitive weeds without damaging vines, especially young vines. The Fischer Australis weeder and mower unit looks to be the best solution yet, claiming to eliminate competitive weeds while bypassing vines, leaving them uninjured, or at least minimising any damage. The Twister machine has two weed brushes with delicate ‘fingers’ that rotate to chew up weeds while dodging around obstacles, including vines. The main mower cuts the inter-row grass and two trailing mulchers chew up the weeds, giving growers a weed-free under-vine area. One imagines you need to use this machine regularly to maintain the weed-

A pilot-scale Padovan Dynamos lees filtration system – possibly the best breakthrough in the filtration of juice bottoms and lees in many years.

free zone, but according to Jurg Muggli, from Fischer Australis, you can travel at quite high slashing speeds and still remove most of the weeds successfully. He says the mower can handle vine prunings left in the mid-row as well. It is available in different configurations to suit various vineyard terrain and layouts. Pellenc Extractiv’ crusher Pellenc, which developed one of the first computer-aided photographic fruit sorting machines, has now re-invented the basic crusher. Compact and uncomplicated, the Extractiv’ crusher has a spinning wheel that throws berries against the sides of the crusher, breaking the berries without damaging seeds or crushing stems. The rotation speed of the wheel can be adjusted to change the crushing intensity and Pellenc believes the result

Paul McNicholas, from 3M, with the 3M High Flow Sanitary Filter Housing. The machine is open to show the single large filter cartridge. is better extraction of juices and phenolic compounds, with less bitterness and less stem or stalky flavours. It can be fed with destemmed fruit or whole bunches and can be adapted to fit different destemming systems. The technical specifications claim a crushing rate of up to 25 tonnes per hour. Scharfenberger Euroselect destemmer While there was a revolutionary new crusher from Pellenc, there was also a new destemmer from the German company Scharfenberger. This machine offers a new solution for the destemming process. The basic principle is that whole fruit is moved along an inclined perforated belt with gentle impact from destemming fingers that are mounted above the belt. As the fruit is impacted by the fingers, the berries fall off the bunch and through the belt into a catching tray. Stalks, leaves and material other than grapes (MOG) simply travel along the belt and are dumped into a collection bin. Speed and impact can be varied to suit the fruit conditions. The machine is called a Euroselect Destemmer and there are various models available with capacities of up to five tonnes per hour. 3M High Flow filter

Peter Gambetta (left), from Yalumba Wines, with Frank O’Riley and Louise Fraser, from Pellenc Australia, admiring the new Pellenc Extractiv’ crusher, which features a spinning wheel that throws berries against the sides of the crusher, breaking the berries without damaging seeds or crushing stems.

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The name 3M, which conjures up images of sticky tape in all its forms, appears to be the new name for Cuno Pacific, which was once AMF, if I am not mistaken. This is the very same AMF that brought American bowling alleys to Australia many years ago, but that is a story for another day. 3M has introduced a high flow-rate coarse filtration system that it claims is ideal for loading export tankers and bulk containers. The machine looks like something you V28N5


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Pieter de Bruijn, representing Oenologic, shows a wine bottle with the new Glasstop closure. might ignite and watch as it launches into the night sky. The sleek, space-age exterior hides some neat, state-of-the-art technology that makes the 3M High Flow filter very compact – up to 50 per cent smaller than equivalent competitors, says 3M. The specifications state it will filter up to 30,000 litres of wine per hour at up to 1000kpa pressure with porosity of 1 micron. The capital cost is less than $10,000 and it is recommended for pre-filtration on bottling lines and as an alternative to crossflow filtration. While it looks impressive and sounds as if it might be a good solution, it would be prudent to test this machine thoroughly and do a cost-benefit analysis on a crossflow filter, which has been the popular option for this type of filtration over recent years. Padovan Dynamos rotary crossflow filter I wrote about this technology in the Journal’s sister magazine, Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, after the 2010 SIMEI event in Italy and it seems to have been some time coming to Australia. The machine in the photo is only a small trial version but its big brother, at 80m2, can filter up to 85 per cent solids lees at 2400L/hr. The genius of this machine is that the filter medium is built in the form of hollow round discs, which rotate at high speed through the liquid/solid medium and the rate of rotation provides the fluid speed that we would usually observe in a normal crossflow filter. Because the discs can cut through the semi-solid medium so easily and it is under pressure, the filtrate moves easily through the discs which are cleaned as they spin – sheer genius, even though somewhat expensive. To my mind, this is the way of the future V2 8N 5

The Juclas Mastermind automated cartridge filtration system incorporates an automatic back flush and can be used for filtration of still and sparkling wines. and potentially the best breakthrough in the filtration of juice bottoms and lees in many years. Juclas Mastermind filtration system This automated cartridge filtration system incorporates an automatic back flush and can be used for filtration of still and sparkling wines. The fully automated system has a builtin back flush and a control system that allows winemakers to set the flow rate and volume and walk away. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with this approach, but it does sound great and I would be interested to see it in action. There are five different sized units and all use 30-inch cartridges; the smallest has eight cartridges for a maximum flow rate of 2000L/hr, while the largest has 36 cartridges and is capable of flow rates up to 9000L/hr. The mid-range MMF 12, with 12 cartridges, can handle up to 3000L/hr and costs around $30,000. Advertised as ideal for premium wines “where only a polishing filtration is required”, the Mastermind filtration system uses only a small part of actual capacity and with wine under 100ntu, winemakers can go straight to 0.45 micron final filtration. Oenologic Glasstop This new glass stopper makes grand claims to be “the stopper of the future” and is certainly a rethink of at least some aspects of the wine closure. Still in development, Oenologic aims to launch the Glasstop in mid-2014. It will be the culmination of years of research and development by at least eight companies and institutes around the world, including the Australian Wine Research Institute, W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

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The Taransaud Cooperage oak egg, which the company has named Ovum II and has a capacity of around 2000 litres. which is listed as a ‘technical partner’ in the project. The Glasstop will come in three versions – the basiq, niche and crux. All feature a glass top and core, the latter surrounded by a polymer seal that forms a secure closure in the bottle neck. A decorative ‘coin’ inserted in the top can be customised with branding. The niche closure has a recess under the removable coin which can hold a folded pamphlet with information about the wine and producer or other marketing material. The crux incorporates all the above plus a device that the manufacturer claims allows a controlled rate of oxygen transmission for premium wines designed with ageing potential. Oenologic says the device will fit most standard bottles and claims its machinery can be incorporated into, and keep pace with, existing bottling lines. The Glasstop does look classy and it offers new marketing opportunities, but whether the substance of this product is equal to its style can only be determined after its release, when we can assess the wines on which it has been used and its ease of use. Its price point will also be a significant factor in its potential appeal to the wine industry. Taransaud Ovum II On a closing note, I have to mention the latest in wine fermentation vessels – the magnificently crafted Taransaud Ovum II, a 2000-litre winemaking indulgence toy! WineTech 2013 provided the usual impressive array of equipment for the vineyard and the winery and while I may have missed some exciting things, this small sample is certainly worth investigating as you consider making your vineyard or winery more efficient and easier to operate in the future. WVJ See you in Adelaide in 2016! www.wine biz. com . au

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WINETECH 2013

P R O DUCT S H OWCA S E

WineTech 2013 product showcase WineTech 2013, the triennial exhibition of new and innovative technologies for Australian grapegrowers and winemakers, took place in Sydney in conjunction with the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference on 15-17 July. Like previous editions of the event, WineTech brought together a plethora of products and solutions for the wine industry under the one roof, and served as a launching pad for many new ones. For those readers unable to attend Winetech this time around, the Wine & Viticulture Journal has compiled the following showcase of a selection of the innovative products and technologies that were on display. Winery Control Systems

Bürkert Smart Wine solutions Smart Wine is a complete control system for wineries. Unlike other automation packages, Bürkert manufactures all the fluid control technologies, including valves, sensors, and controllers, which are designed to work together seamlessly. Tasks such as temperature control, must/juice/wine flow systems, blending control, gas dosing, water and energy demand management can all be controlled from a tablet or computer. Bürkert’s Smart Wine system has been installed in dozens of wineries – from boutique to bulk – across Australia and New Zealand. Although the Bürkert system is scalable, its maximum benefits are usually realised with 20 tanks or more. For further information visit www.burkert.com.au or www.burkert.co.nz, or please let us know if we may send you a Smart Wine brochure.

Bürkert Australia [Present in all states] 1300 888 868 www.burkert.com.au   Bürkert New Zealand [North and South Islands] 0800 BURKERT (0800 287 537) www.burkert.co.nz

Winery Fittings

Stainless Steel Tube, Valving and Winery Fittings Stainless steel specialist Prochem provides all a winery’s needs for stainless steel process solutions, whether for full-scale commercial facilities or for the hobbyist and everything in between. With more than 50 years experience in stainless steel, Prochem offers a substantial stock of quality fittings, with all manufacturers independently audited by Prochem and required to meet ISO accreditation.

For further information visit www.prochem.com.au

91 Orsmond Street Hindmarsh, South Australia P: (08) 8241 7633 F: (08) 8241 7644 E: adesales@prochem.com.au

Stabilisation

Enartis Stab Cellogum Mix Released in Australia earlier this year, the Enartis Stab Cellogum Mixskilful combination of efficient CMC and Seyal Gum, prevents the growth of potassium hydrogen tartrate (KHT) crystals and renders wine cold stable. Cellogum Mix is 100% filterable. Cellogum Mix imposes no filtration restrictions so wines can be filtered 2 hr after addition.

For further information visit www.enartis.com

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Enartis Pacific Pty Ltd PO Box 886 Nuriootpa, 5355 South Australia, P: + 61 (0)8 85 65 72 44 F: + 61 (0)8 85 62 41 70 E: darkoo@enartis.com

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Filtration

Padovan ‘Dynamos’ Rotary Crossflow Filter Available in Australia for just over a year, the Padovan ‘Dynamos’ Rotary Crossflow Filter is capable of filtering any lees to less than 1NTU in a single pass, without the use of any filtration medium. It retains the quality and, therefore, the value of your product.  The design of the filter is unique in that the filtering membranes move but the product is essentially static - a complete reversal of traditional crossflow methodology. Suitable for wineries of all sizes, ranging from approximately 300 tonnes to 200,000 tonnes, the filter can run unattended, and has filtration cycles that can extend for two to three days continuously.

For further information: www.ridgelea.com.au/dynamos.html

Adelaide Ph: (08) 8326 8521 Mobile: 0410 554 836    Email: david@ridgelea.com.au Melbourne Mobile:  0403 432 173 Email: michele@ridgelea.com.au

Two innovations in filtration launched by 3M at Winetech 3M Purification chose Winetech to launch two new filtration products to the Australian Wine Market - the Zeta Plus MH Series Filter and the Sanitary High Flow Housing. The key feature of the Zeta Plus MH Series Filter is that the cartridge now contains dual layer filtration media, allowing for a wider range of separation to be achieved in a single step. The wine industry currently uses two separate steps to perform this filtration. The Sanitary High Flow Housing is a locally-developed filter housing that allows 3M Purification to expand its High Flow cartridge technology into the Food and Beverage Industry. For further information: www.3mpurification.com.au

3M Purification Telephone: 1300 367 362 www.3mpurification.com.au email: 3mpaucs@mmm.com

Bottling

Saverglass Australia Saverglass is a global leader in the design, production and decoration of luxury glass for the wine, spirit, food and perfume bottle segment. We provide exceptional quality and flexibility, particularly in the production of extra clear white flint glass and unique-shaped bottles. Our glass consists of elegant, innovative shapes at affordable prices, enabling our clients to create a point of difference with their glass packaging. With our new glass facility in The Emirates, we can now provide glass packaging solutions for all brands in addition to premium brands. Our minimum order is just one pallet (roughly 1000 units per pallet). For further information visit www.saverglass.com

Saverglass 289 Flinders Street Adelaide, South Australia 5000 Sally Arnold (Sales Manager) M: 0413 861 300 or Paul Paleologos (Managing Director) M: 0419 995 337

Lubrication

Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade Lubricants Protect your brand and your equipment with Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade lubricants. Designed for use where incidental food contact can occur Bel-Ray No-Tox will offer your business peace of mind, with an extensive range of mineral and synthetic based food grade lubricants, suitable for use in lubricants applications from the grape harvester to the finished bottled product. Used and trusted by some of Australia’s largest food and beverage processors, Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade lubricants are also recognised internationally meeting certification or approvals for Halal, Kosher, Pareve and registered as a H1 Lubricant by the NSF organisation. For further information visit www.superiorlubricants.com.au

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Unit 10/22 Oramzi Rd Girraween NSW 2145 P: 1300 607 950 F: (02) 9636 9988 E: sales@superiorlube.com.au

www.wine biz. com . au

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Wine Maturation

XtraChêne Oak Alternatives by Chêne et Cie XtraChêne provides a complete range of oak alternatives that have been open air matured for a minimum of 24-36 months. Available in Australia since September 2012, the range includes granular oak, oak chips, solid oak spheres (Xoakers) and oak inserts, including the Stick 22.90, a square profile stave that provides not only toast characters but fresh bright oak as well.

For further information visit www.xtrachene.fr

P: 0417 813 248 (Gordon Grant)

Premium American oak from Heinrich The culmination of many years spent working with American oak and exploring the spectrum of flavours it can impart, Heinrich Cooperage introduces their portfolio with four new American Oak barrels: Founder’s Classic, Saveur, Expression and Opulent. Benefitting from Heinrich’s original proprietary toast process, the Founder’s Classic barrel is well suited to full, robust wines, and complements ripe fruit aromas and flavours. Named after the French word for ‘flavour’, the Saveur barrel marries elegance with aromatics, imparting richness of character while balancing nicely with the wine. Expression is a fruit-forward barrel that offers subtle aromatics to softly enhance elegant wine styles, while Opulent focuses on luscious aromas and flavours and sweet notes underscored by a rich toast character. It is our passion and guarantee to deliver top quality barrels that complement your wine style. Premium American oak from Heinrich. For further information: www.heinrich.com.au

59 Basedow Road Tanunda, South Australia, 5352 p: +61 (08) 85631356 f: +61 (08) 85630243 m: 0417 778 001 e: pschwerdt@cooperages1912.com.au

Pruning

Felco 820 and 801 electric pruning shears Released in Australia in March, the Felco 820 electric pruning shear easily and accurately cuts branches of up to 45mm in diameter. One of its key features is the semi-open mode, which is activated by simply double pressing the trigger, saving time with small-scale and medium-scale cutting on the go. It also boasts a simplified maintenance procedure and can be operated using one or two batteries. Due for release in Australia in March 2014, the Felco 801 will have the lightest handpiece on the market. It is fast, cuts wood up to 30mm in diameter and has interchangeable cutting heads. Both the 820 and 801 are Swiss made and have a full range of replacement parts available. For further information visit www.felco.com.au or www.felco820.com

Felco Australia Pty Ltd 23 Manton Road Oakleigh South, Victoria, 3167 Freecall 1800 730 257

Electrocoup F3010 battery operated pruning tool One of the biggest selling points of the F3010 generation of Electrocoup pruning shear is the ability to change the cutting head in less than 10 minutes. The tool comes with the standard head and a Medium or Maxi head can be fitted which allows the user to cut anything between 40 to 60mm in diameter. The introduction of the DSES safety system is another optional feature. The system comprises of a cable and 2 steel woven gloves which can be purchased for around $150.00. When worn, if the glove comes in contact with the shear it will automatically switch off, making the F3010 the only completely safe electric pruning shear. A number of attachments are also available, including the Powercoup pruning saw and the newly-introduced desuckering tool which was very well received at Winetech 2013. For further information and videos of all the tools: www.ryset.com or or www.infaco.fr.

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Ryset Australia 30 Kolora Road Heidelberg West, Victoria, 3081 Ph: (03) 9457 2982 www.ryset.com

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laboratory Equipment

RX Monaco Wine Analyser The new release RX Monaco Wine Analyser performs diagnostic tests for the wine, beverage and fermentation industries. It has the most extensive test menu available on the market, and at the same time offers increased productivity due to its ability to process 170 samples per hour. Suitable for medium to large wineries, key features of the RX Monaco are it’s friendly, efficient and versatile, has advanced on-board stability and superior QC capabilities, is time and cost effective, is highly accurate, and features STAT sampling.

For further information visit http://www.randoxfooddiagnostics.com/Rx-monaco-p-91

Randox Australia Pty Ltd Unit 2, 4 Charles Street Parramatta, NSW 2150 P: +44 (0) 28 9442 2413 F: +44 (0) 28 9445 2912 E: enquiries@randoxfooddiagnostics.com www.randoxfooddiagnostics.com

Vineyard Spraying

FMR R-Series recycling vineyard sprayer The FMR R-Series recycling sprayer recovers and reuses off-target spray that is lost as drift with traditional spray delivery systems. Proven in multiple vineyard locations and canopy styles throughout Australasia, the R-Series is consistently delivering a 30-40% reduction in spray chemical costs over an entire season. The tangential fan delivery system provides excellent penetration and deposition in all canopy styles, meaning the R-Series is equally as effective in VSP or sprawl. The fibreglass tank and recycling shrouds provide an easy clean surface for improved vineyard hygiene and ease of cleaning. Ideally suited to vineyards of 20ha or more, the R-Series is available in 1500L, 2300L and 3000L tank capacities and on single or tandem axle. It is also the perfect option for the application of trunk wound and mealy bug sprays. For further information www.fmrgroup.net.au or www.fmrgroup.co.nz

Australia: Cam Clifford (Australian Business Manager) Freephone 1800 269 773 Mobile 0407634945 Email info@fmrgroup.net.au www.fmrgroup.net.au New Zealand: Chris Clifford (Managing Director) Freephone 0800 367 583 Mobile 0212283029 Email info@fmrgroup.co.nz www.fmrgroup.co.nz

Bulk Wine

SCHÜTZ 6 layer WINE-STORE-AGE IBC Join the revolution. In conjunction with a diffusion tube, maturation of wine can be closely controlled in a SCHÜTZ 6 layer WINE-STORE-AGE IBC and offers large savings when compared with conventional methods, through low purchase cost, minimal handling and no product loss. With a capacity of 1000 litres, the new SCHÜTZ 6 Layer WINE-STORE-AGEIBC is suitable for the maturation, storage and transport of wine. SCHÜTZ IBCs may be stacked 4 high optimising storage space and at the same time offering unconditional quality and safety. For further information contact. Email: jason.king@schuetz.net

Schutz Australia P: +61 3 9360 9291 F: +61 3 9360 9735 E: salesau@schuetz.net W: www.schuetz.net/australia

Trust Flexitanks Launched in Australian in June, Trust Flexitanks are the only flexible tanks on the global market that fit perfectly into shipping containers and feature an integrated, single layer EvOH barrier film to protect wine from oxygen transmission and taint migration (as independently tested by the AWRI). The design of Trust Flexitanks also reduces the amount of stress on the film and subsequent loss of wine caused by the film cracking. Their perfect-fit, rectangular shape enable easy fitting, filling and discharge. 

For further information: www.jmpholdings.com.au

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JMP Holdings Pty Ltd 50 Bond Street Mordialloc, Victoria 3195 Matthew Moate (Regional Sales Manager) M: 044 888 2019 Jason Beattie (Cargo Care General Manager) P: 03 9588 2229 www.jmpholdings.com.au

www.wine biz. com . au

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Crushing/Destemming

Extractiv’ Dynamic Crusher Just released in Australia, Pellenc’s Extractiv’ Dynamic Crusher is a new concept in crushing. It features a dynamic action instead of a traditional roller crushing action, which enables berries to be opened before fermentation and pressing, promoting the extraction of phenolic compounds and flavour precursors. Although small, the unit can crush up to 24 tonnes per hour.

For further information visit http://www.pellenc.com.au/#!extractiv/c160b

14 Opala Street Regency Park, SA 5010 P: 08 8244 7700 F: 08 8244 7788 E: admin@pellenc.com.au

Hypac DS3 destemmer Hypac, best known for it’s robust Basket Press range, is proud to announce the release of its new DS3 Destemmer. Best suited to wineries processing 20-200 tonnes per annum, Hypac’s Australian-made DS3 destemmer design features include adjustable legs, fully stainless steel construction and fully removable shaft and screen for easy cleaning and variable speeds. The DS3 destemmer has successfully completed trials both in Australia and in the USA with remarkable results. Officially released at Winetech in Sydney earlier this year, the DS3 is versatile and easy to operate. Footage of the destemmer in action in the Barossa Valley during the 2012 vintage can viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGM9wKvL9lQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyiEI7Wg5IE

For further information visit www.hypacwineryequipment.com

Hypac Unit 4, 2 Hewer Street Hampstead Gardens, SA, 5086 Ph: 08 8333 0222 Email: wineryequipment@hypac.com.au

Weed Control

The latest in weed control Introduced to the Australian wine industry during Winetech 2013, the Fischer BV2 + Twister 2 represents the latest technology in mechanical weed control and mowing for vineyards. Combining an expandable deck mower with an integrated, hydraulically-driven, high-speed bio-brush undervine weeding system, the Fischer BV2 + Twister 2 can do three jobs in one tractor pass: mow and mulch the inter-row, gently clean up under vines and around posts and remove basal water-shoots. The Twister brushes are hydraulically powered and mounted onto the mower using a sophisticated spring back bracket, equipped with safety guards. The brush heads can be manually angle adjusted and hydraulically lifted to clean up side terraces and small embankments. If not required, the brush heads can be lifted up out of the way and turned off from inside the tractor. To view the system in action, visit http://youtu.be/aviel0lpeF4 or www.fischeraustralis.com.au

Fischer Australis 18 Fifth Ave, Beaconsfield, WA 6162 P: 08 9433 3555 F: 08 9433 3566 M: 0409 572 581 E: jmuggli@fischeraustralis.com.au

Harvesting

ERO Grapeliner 6000 grape harvester Released at Winetech for the 2014 vintage, the ERO Grapeliner 6000 series grape harvester offers a wide array of features. An auto-steer and cruise control function enables the machine to ‘drive itself’ once in a row, leaving the operator freedom to concentrate on the minor adjustments to the picking and processing system to achieve the best and purest result. CCTV cameras and a central located cabin with glass floor provide the perfect view at all times. A single sided conveyor system allows for a crossflow fan to eliminate leaves before they become contaminated with juice. Unique to ERO is the ability to process fruit through a de-stemmer to remove the majority of remaining MOG, followed by a roller sorting table that provides the final cleansing process, and then onto a discharge conveyor. Alternatively, the de-stemmer/sorting table can be by-passed at the touch of a button and fruit delivered straight to bin or conveyor. For further information www.fmrgroup.net.au or www.fmrgroup.co.nz

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Australia:    Cam Clifford (Australian Business Manager) Free: 1800 269 773 M: 0407634945 E: info@fmrgroup.net.au www.fmrgroup.net.au   New Zealand:     Chris Clifford (Managing Director) Free: 0800 367 583 M: 0212283029 E: info@fmrgroup.co.nz www.fmrgroup.co.nz

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Fermentation

In-Line Ready brings an end to rehydrating yeast Developed in France by Oenobrands, In-Line Ready directly adds yeast to fermentation tanks without prior rehydration. The combination of the patented mixing machine and specially prepared dry yeast means this unique system has huge benefits over the traditional system of yeast rehydration – there’s no more need for heating water or waiting for yeast to rehydrate before adding to the must. Used for the first time during the last Northern Hemisphere vintage, In-Line Ready was also used during the most recent South Africa vintage with great results. It is now available in Australia from Oenobrands’ exclusive distributor Vintessential Laboratories. The In-Line Ready concept will suit medium to large wineries where a lot of yeast is required and where time is precious during the hectic vintage period. For further information contact Greg Howell from Vintessential on email greg@vintessential.com.au or by phone at 0409 872 242.

P: 1300 302 242 (Australia wide)

JMA Engineering’s sweeping arm discharge fermenter gets an upgrade While JMA’s sweeping arm discharge fermenter has been available in the marketplace for many years, a recent upgrade in design has been driven by the safety and efficiency requirements of Treasury Wine Estates. The combination of revised drives resulting in lower power consumption, large remote operated doors for fast and convenient discharge, and remote operation of the entire discharge process makes this fermenter the most efficient and safest in Australia. The discharge system suits most sweep arm style fermenters and is adaptable to many installations currently in use or on the drawing boards. With an automated, in-place cleaning system there is no requirement to enter the tank and so ensures the best possible safety environment for the operating staff. For further information: www.jmaeng.com.au

JMA Head Office 158 Jury Road Berri, South Australia 5343 Mark Johnson (National Sales Manager) M: 0408 822 434

All your wine industry information needs

online

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

www.

.com.au Australia’s wine industry portal by Winetitles

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What’s old is new again with Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blends To tie in with this issue’s tasting of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blends (see page 95 for the results), we asked Cathy to find out where this style is at in terms of its popularity among consumers and how it’s being made in wineries. By Cathy Howard

S

emillon Sauvignon Blanc (SSB) and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (SBS) blends have captured the attention of many wine consumers. The styles being produced around Australia range from the lean, crisp, high acidity, fruit-driven, ‘drink now’ styles through to the more complex, savoury, barrelfermented styles. Old World winegrowing areas provide inspiration for making these blends. The best white Bordeauxs come from Graves, where Semillon is grown in warmer vineyards on shallow, gravelly soil, and Sauvignon Blanc is grown in cooler locations on heavier soils. When the two are blended, the fruit intensity of Sauvignon Blanc is enhanced by the complexity, texture and age-worthiness of Semillon. A touch of Muscadelle is sometimes added to provide a perfumed, aromatic lift. In the New World, Margaret River is often compared with Bordeaux as it shares a similar cool, maritime climate,

so it comes as no surprise that it has long stood out as the pre-eminent region for these blends in Australia. To gain a different perspective on these blends for this article, I started with the views of two passionate and dedicated young sommeliers that I know well in Perth and Melbourne. Then, I contacted three winemakers in Margaret River who have been making SSB and SBS blends for a number of years. Claire Gordon: Sommelier, Jackson's Restaurant, Perth WA Jackson’s currently has nine SSB and SBS blends on its list; five of these are Australian, and four are French. Of the Australian blends, four are from Western Australia, and one from Victoria. Of the French blends, three are from Graves, and one is from Barsac. The French styles are a mix between oaked and lees treated, to 100% tank ferments. Sommelier Claire Gordon adds, “Our Barsac listing is something different altogether, with residual sugar and biting

Claire Gordon, sommelier at Jackson’s Restaurant in Perth, who says she has noted a move away from New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc back to Australian SSB and SBS blends.

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acidity. Fresh, floral, and a great seafood wine.” Over the past three years, the number of SSB and SBS blends on the list has decreased as the market is oversaturated, with retail outlets offering the same selection. So, Gordon decided to go against the grain. “I like to have a range of different SBS/SSB styles from the lighter, mineral styles, through to some with barrel and yeast lees treatment, and others that are softer with a little more residual sugar. We always keep one or two that are very similar to the mainstream market to cater to the more unadventurous drinkers”. Gordon has noted that there has been a move from NZ Sauvignon Blanc back to Australian SSB and SBS blends as they are, for the most part, better food-matching wines. These whites please a broader range of people, as opposed to the straight asparagus and cut grass element that can overwhelm most food pairings. There is definitely a move towards the softer oaked and leestreated styles, but the leaner styles are still selling quite well. Gordon continues, “The more educated and adventurous drinkers are buying more textured styles, and more varied styles. There are always those customers that say ‘I normally drink [varietal] - what have you got that's like it?’, but more often I find people will close a wine list, hand it to me and say 'find me something you know I will like'. Really, they are seeking those new styles that they have not been exposed to yet. Consumers now know that they're going to be paying a little extra to have more textured whites. In a fine dining situation, most people are going to treat themselves to the better quality, more premium wines for their special occasion or simply to impress”. “When it comes to food and wine matches at Jackson’s, our chefs will always be focussed on the match that makes their dish shine. Depending on how adventurous chefs are with their meal design (and ours definitely are), the more adventurous a wine matching will be. My job is to make that work”. V28N5


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Gordon finishes, “I like winemakers that try something new that surprises me, and that I know will impress my guests when I show it to them. I am moving away from the leaner, more acid styles, to more complex, textured wines because they offer something different stylistically and also show the versatility of the Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes”. Matt Brooke: Sommelier, Brooks of Melbourne, Melbourne VIC Sommelier Matt Brooke currently has only one SBS on his list and, in his experience, these blends are ‘punter friendly’ and, therefore, well represented in retail. “In a cheeky way, it’s quite on purpose that at the moment I have a blend from Marlborough, rather than the expected straight Sauvignon Blanc from this region. In the past, the SSB blends have mostly come from WA and outside of that, Bordeaux”. Brooke says he is always looking for wines that will enhance a guest’s experience. “I need to be able to put myself behind any wine on the list, and whilst I want people to be comfortable

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Sommelier Matt Brooke, of Brooks of Melbourne, says the most marked change in style for SBS and SSB blends over the past two to three years has been the emergence of the barrel fermented, lees stirred, more savoury styles.

with the choices available to them, I don’t want it to be so simple that they choose the wine because it’s safe and easy”. In regards to changing trends in winemaking styles, Brooke states, “I’m very much interested in the new style and direction of the straight varietal

Semillons, and Sauvignon Blancs, as well as the blends of the two. The most marked change in style for SBS and SSB blends over the past two to three years has been the emergence of the barrel fermented, lees stirred, more savoury styles”. “In a restaurant, I’d much rather see

Storage - Fermentation Stainless and Mild Steel Fabrication Australian distributor for

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

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something textural, finer, with some well handled oak. Savouriness, over tropical fruitiness, as these wines are much more food friendly. If the lees-stirred savoury style isn’t an option, then maybe leaner, early picked, floral, racy fruit with nerve would be my choice. I know winemakers and sommeliers would love nothing more than to get away from the idea that it’s a one-trick blend with nothing more than punchy tropical fruit.” In summary for Brooke, he needs wine to suit food. “I would rather drink something in the more savoury spectrum with texture and balance”. Clive Otto: Senior Winemaker, Fraser Gallop Estate, Margaret River WA Fraser Gallop Estate makes two SSB blends, The Parterre Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (RRP $36) and The Fraser Gallop Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (RRP $23). The blend proportions is generally 60% Semillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc. The Semillon is sourced from Wilyabrup (central to northern Margaret River) which tends to be more lemon and citrus in flavour, and complements the Karridale (southern Margaret River) Sauvignon Blanc, which has a lovely pungent passionfruit, gooseberry and guava flavour profile. Winemaker Clive Otto says that “the dominant Semillon proportion in the blend sets the wine up for a better cellaring proposition and, to my mind, makes for a more interesting drink, giving it more structure and length and making it less overtly fruity”. The aim with both SSB wines is to add texture, length and complexity to the wines through the use of various winemaking techniques such as whole bunch pressing, partial French oak fermentation, stainless steel barrel fermentation, addition of juice solids to the ferments, using large barrel formats like 500-litre puncheons, and utilising indigenous yeasts. For Otto, a tasting in 2008 of Bordeaux blends from Graves, along with the very best of what Australia was producing at the time, was the catalyst for change. As Otto says, “This tasting showed me most of the wines we were producing at the time focussed purely on the fruit aspects of the wine and so much more could be done to bring texture, length and complexity into our wines. The following year, I was able to spend the 2009 vintage in Bordeaux at Domaine de Chevalier”. Otto suggests that winemakers

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Fraser Gallop Estate owner Nigel Gallop (left) with senior winemaker Clive Otto. look for inspiration from Bordeaux producers such as Domaine de Chevalier, Haut Brion, Smith Haut Lafitte, Marlartic-Lagraviere, La Louviere, Laville Haut Brion, Olivier, Pape Clemant and Cos d’Estournel. “These wines are generally out of my league price-wise, so for a cheaper, good value wine the Guiraud G Bordeaux Blanc Sec from the Sauternes sub-region is worth trying, or Chateau Bonnet Reserve Blanc, or the Château Rauzan D’Espagne Blanc Sec,” Otto says. For the Parterre SSB, the grapes are hand harvested, selecting the riper yellow-golden bunches from more exposed vine canopies. The grapes are chilled overnight in shallow slotted bins down to 8ºC, then pressed using the Cremant (Champagne) cycle on the Bucher press with minimal rotations. No enzymes are used in settling the juice, and the following day the juice is gravity fed to barrel. A combination of 225L and 500L Bordeaux coopered barrels and some 280L stainless steel barrels are used. The wines are all naturally fermented with wild yeast and matured for 10 months in barrel on lees. Otto adds, “I have seen the advent of more textured oaked styles of SSB and SBS wines being made. These wines are the benchmark styles I believe we need to aspire to make if we want SSB W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

blends to be taken more seriously as a wine style”. Janice McDonald: Senior Winemaker, Howard Park Wines, Margaret River WA Howard Park Wines makes the Miamup Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, which is a blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon. Senior winemaker Janice McDonald says, “The blend is Sauvignon Blanc dominant to meet market preferences, providing lift on the nose and a soft and generous front palate. The Semillon provides structure and some interesting, subtle savoury notes, as well as providing palate length. Semillon is a very edgy, slightly savoury variety in Margaret River and can easily dominate the blend. It does, however, play a very important structural role in the style and allows the wine to live and age well”. For McDonald, the inspiration for choosing this style has come from Pessac Leognan, in Graves. Thirty per cent of the wine is barrel fermented in oak, of which 95% is old and 5% new. The wine remains in oak for two to three months after fermentation. McDonald spends time on blending very accurately the percentage of both barrel fermented and Semillon portions that are included in the blend. She wants the wine to have texture, depth and V28N5


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structure, with the first impression of a bright, fruit-driven style with all the background layers and nuisances from barrel ferment and the Semillon sitting just below the surface. “This allows the wine to become a journey of discovery as you taste more,” McDonald says. When looking back over the past two to three years, McDonald considers that the SSB and SBS wines are less serious as they continue to compete and battle with NZ Sauvignon Blanc. The style has lost significant market presence, be it the fruit-driven or more complex styles. The market still struggles to appreciate the ageing potential of these wines when made with premium quality grapes such as those from Margaret River, with the addition of winemaking steps such as barrel fermentation. McDonald concludes that her personal preference in an SBS or SSB wine is that the “Sauvignon Blanc is dominant and 100% barrel fermented with some natural yeast fermentations. I like to see barrel maturation on lees for about 12 months, mostly in old oak and aged for a few years in bottle before release. This style is complex, yet still fresh and vibrant. It also has the ability to age, and is perhaps a little confronting for some palates”.

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Luke Jolliffe, Senior Winemaker, Stella Bella Wines, Margaret River WA, and Stuart Pym, Consultant Stella Bella makes three blends across different market segments. The entry level wine is the Skuttlebutt Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Stella Bella Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, and at the top is the single vineyard Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon. Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from

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south of Margaret River, as Stella Bella winemakers believe they get brighter and more pristine fruit flavours, and less of the cooked tropicals. Some Semillon is from central Margaret River, to add some of the riper citrus notes and palate weight. Senior winemaker Luke Jolliffe says, “The blend proportions vary from year to year, but generally for the Skuttlebutt it’s 65% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Semillon; Stella Bella, 60% Semillon, 40%

Luke Jolliffe (left), senior winemaker for Stella Bella, with Stuart Pym, consultant.

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ssb / sbs b l e n d s

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Sauvignon Blanc; and Suckfizzle 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon. Skuttlebutt is an easy-drinking wine, and benefits from the fruit aromatics and softer palate of Sauvignon Blanc. The Stella Bella is Semillon dominant, and more faithful to the classic regional style. The wine is more food focussed, and the stronger Semillon proportion gives great line and length to the palate. The Suckfizzle is a single vineyard wine, and the blend is determined by the crops in that year”. “The Skuttlebutt SBS is about purity of fruit, so winemaking techniques revolve around retaining and maximising the improvements we are getting from our vineyards. We want people to see that this wine is distinctly Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The Stella Bella SSB has some barrel ferment in new and older oak, and lengthy lees ageing in tank prior to bottling to lend some palate weight and texture. It is released as a one-year-old wine. The Suckfizzle SBS is all barrel fermented, with lengthy lees ageing in barrel.” Consultant Stuart Pym adds, “The Suckfizzle SBS was first released in 1997. It is modelled on the great white wines from Pessac Leognan, and there was no other Margaret River winery producing this more complex style of wine at that time. I have always believed that Margaret River would be the perfect place to make a wine along the lines of these complex and age-worthy wines. I was also fortunate to work at Domaine de Chevalier in 1995, and equally fortunate to take on the Suckfizzle vineyard in 1996. This was the opportunity to commit to my passion for these styled wines. There has been fine tuning with the winemaking (mostly changing of coopers), but most work has gone into the vineyard, which is now 25 years old. “The Suckfizzle wine isn't everyone’s expectation of a Margaret River SBS, and neither is the price point. We have been making wines like this now for over 15 years and feel that we have championed this style of wine from Margaret River, something we are very proud of,” Pym says.

AUS Tel: 1800 127 611 AUS Fax: 1800 127 609 Website: www.kauriwine.com

There is a place for a range of SSB and SBS styles in Australia that appeal to wine consumers from the steely, crisp, fruit-driven tank fermented styles through to the more complex savoury, oak fermented and matured styles. As well as experimenting with the proportions of Semillon to Sauvignon Blanc in the blend to enhance the wine’s structure, texture and ageing potential, there are ideas to be adopted from the great Bordeaux whites that have been mentioned in this article, including utilising oak, lees contact and bottle ageing prior to release to enhance the overall complexity and balance of the wine. Wine consumers and sommeliers alike are looking for more complex and interesting wines, and if you wish to make wines that match well with food, then a more complex SSB or SBS style may be the style for you. To find inspiration for these more complex structured blends, winemakers only need to look to the Old World blends being made in Bordeaux, as well as to an increasing number of similar New World styles being produced in Australia. The final word belongs to Stuart Pym: “It is important to show that wines with great purity, finesse, verve, complexity and personality can be produced from these varieties. These wines can really surprise. I can honestly say that the best white wine I drank last year was the 1985 Haut Brion Blanc, and it was better the second night!”

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 Geographe WVJ region.

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screwc a ps

Let’s not be screwed! Screwcap damage levels greater than cork taint: Implications for producers, the retail sector and consumers For her dissertation, Australia’s latest Master of Wine Alison Eisermann-Ctercteko identified the level of screwcap damage that will lead to changes in wine chemistry, measured the incidence of screwcap damage in the market and determined where and how the damage is occurring. By Alison Eisermann-Ctercteko MW. Email: canavit@bigpond.com

T

he increased use of screwcap closures over the past decade has led to an overall improvement in wine quality, retention of aromatics and longevity. In particular, there has been the reduction in cork-related problems of TCA cork taint and random bottle oxidation. Over the past few years, increasing numbers of bottles with imperfect application and physical damage to closures have been noted particularly in retail outlets, wine assessments and in certain store display types. Upon tasting these wines, it is often evident that the wine quality has been affected; namely oxidative characters. The wine can appear dull and

flat, lacking aromatic character and showing premature development. This prompted research to be undertaken to identify the level of screwcap damage that will lead to changes in wine chemistry, measure the incidence of screwcap damage in the market and to determine where and how the damage is occurring. Surveys of 22 retail outlets, mostly in metropolitan Sydney with small to large warehouses were made with 10,000 bottles, plus 1500 in the UK, visually assessed. Wines from damaged screwcaps were analysed for sulfur dioxide (SO2), browning pigment and sensory changes. A significant relationship between the level of damage

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wi n em a ki n g

screwc a ps

and changes to SO2 and colour was confirmed. The overall screwcap physical damage level found in retail outlets was 26 per cent, suggesting the high susceptibility of screwcaps to damage. The incidence of closure damage severe enough to result in significant chemical changes in a wine was found to be 8.2%, a level greater than that acknowledged for cork taint. The results also show that the damage is more prevalent in certain types of screwcap finish and shop display presentations. Several large bottling lines were investigated to determine if the type of damage observed in retail outlets was occurring during the bottling process or later during transport, storage or retail handling.

A

B

Determining the level of damage that leads to changes in wine quality The greatest risks to screwcaps are its susceptibility to physical damage

caused by bottle or hard surface impacts, which can easily destroy the integrity of the seal. Therefore, the first stage of the research was to determine the level of physical screwcap damage that would lead to changes in wine colour, SO2 and any sensory changes. The screwcaps were categorised on the basis of internal and external damage as presented in Table 1 and Figure 1. More than 600 wines were analysed for colour (A420), free (FSO2) and total sulfur dioxide (TSO2). The A420 results for each of the damage levels showed a positive correlation between cap damage and browning pigment indicating that oxidative changes did occur above normal ageing processes as seen in Figure 2. The pattern of increasing screwcap damage showed a corresponding proportional decline in average FSO2 and TSO2 as presented in Figures 3 and 4 (see page 42). This again confirms oxidative processes were occurring. For both A420 and SO2 the greatest

Table 1. Screwcap damage level descriptions. Damage Category

C

Description

A

Minor physical damage such as dents on the surface or sides with no internal damage evident to critical points or liner

B

Minor impact damage to top or side contact points with internal evidence to cap but not liner

C

Moderate impact damage to contact points with internal evidence to cap and liner producing slight seal defects

D

Severe impact damage to contact points with internal evidence and liner compromised by compression or tearing

E

Incorrect or unsatisfactory closure application

D Figure 2. Colour changes with screwcap damage level.

Figure 1. Examples of damage type A-D.

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Figure 3. Free SO2 and screcap damage. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

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wi n em a ki n g

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rates of change were seen in the first four weeks after screwcap damage. This is important in retail outlets or on-trade cellars where stock may have slower turnover and also for long-term cellaring of wines. For early drinking, high turnover wines this may not be so much of a problem. The identification of the level of screwcap damage that leads to statistically significant negative wine quality changes was determined to include categories B, C and D.

Retail investigations In retail outlets, the overall incidence of screwcap damage severe enough to produce chemical implications was 8.2%. This is well above the cork taint levels that alarmed the wine industry. The total physical and cosmetic damage is 26.1%, which confirms how vulnerable screwcaps are to dents and damage. Incorrect or faulty screwcap application was found to be 7.4%. Large retail outlets have the highest levels of damage or application issues

Figure 4. TSO2 and screwcap damage.

Figure 5. Store damage levels.

at 38.4%. This is an alarming incidence of cap irregularities/damage. This may be due to higher stock turnover, central warehousing and additional transport, staffing levels or time restraints in busy stores. The highest level of application issues was also found in large warehouse chains. This could be due to the greater prevalence of high volume brands which were over-represented with application issues. One might assume that most high volume brands would be produced in large wineries and packaged in large bottling facilities which might be expected to have stringent quality control (QC) procedures. However, these results suggest that there may be issues with packaging care, QC vigilance and possibly poor carton and cap quality for high volume products. Small or independent stores had the lowest levels of damage and application issues at 25.3%. This could be a reflection of the greater attention to care in handling of stock, more personal vested interest in the business and less high volume brands offered. Store size comparisons and damage are presented in Figure 5. The greatest concern relates to store presentation displays and their effect on damage levels (Figure 6). The carton displays with minimal store handling had a damage level of 19.1%, suggesting they may have arrived from warehousing in that condition and been damaged during bottling, transport and handling. Open shelving and refrigerator wine displays had similar levels of physical damage at 23.5%. The most alarming result is that for presentation racks where 57.6% of all wines showed some form of physical damage level A-D and wines in category B, C and D were 28.4%. This was a highly significant finding. Most of this damage is caused by shelf stacking and customer handling. This is of particular concern because the most expensive premium wines are found in presentation racks (Figure 7). The less expensive wines are found mainly in carton displays or open shelving where damage occurs less frequently. Application issues

Figure 6. Store presentation types and closure damage.

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The 7.4% rate of application issues suggests that some bottling facilities are not performing the bottling process to general industry standards. There appears to be insufficient QC and screening to prevent the affected bottles from reaching the marketplace. The majority of the application issues were cosmetic and unlikely to affect wine quality. V28N5


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Screwcap colour, printing and impacts on damage levels A further valuable observation was the relationship between the type of screwcap finish and the damage levels recorded. The basic screwcap finish from the manufacturer is matte black. All other colours, and finishes such as gloss or printing are applied on top of the base finish, and each step or finish requires a heating process that weakens the alloy material. The least damage was found in the matte black caps. Gloss black or printing on black, showed a damage level of almost three times that of the base black matte cap. The greatest damage level was found on the gloss colour or decorative printing which requires three to four production steps. These suffered over four times the damage level of the matte black. This suggests that the more elaborate the decoration, the greater the risk of damage due to the weakening processes involved in their manufacture. One solution has been to use the plastic-lined caps (Stelvin-Luxe type) that are very sturdy. To date, the additional costs of these closures and the more expensive bottling charges have deterred many producers, particularly for high

Figure 7. Presentation racks in a Dan Murphy's store. volume, everyday wines. A cost-benefit analysis (CBA) was undertaken that illustrates the benefit of such closures and negates any higher costs. It confirmed that the greatest benefit for inexpensive wines was from the basic black screwcap. For premium

wines the plastic-lined caps had the greatest profit and no faults, followed by the Diam cork and then the basic black cap. The decorated screwcaps were shown to be the least profitable option and most risky for damage at both price points. The plastic-lined screwcaps offer

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the best protection for the wine and can carry decorations, logos, etc, without compromise. Identifying the sources of screwcap damage Not all of the damage observed in retail outlets can be attributed exclusively to handling in stores by staff, customers or the display type. The level of damage found in unpacked carton displays with no removal from the original box was at 19.1%, with 71% being cosmetic. This would suggest that this damage is occurring during bottling, packing, storage, transport or handling. In retail outlets, sites of damage were identified during shelf stacking, removal/ replacement by staff and customer, cartons falling off trolleys, customers loading metal shopping trolleys or packing wines at the checkout. During transport and warehousing, damage points were noted as forklift impact, cartons falling off pallets, or poor load securing and cartons rolling in delivery vans. The greatest risk for physical cap damage identified during bottling was incorrect capping or labelling machine settings and during carton packing. Base to cap impacts easily occur with manual packing. Conclusions The rapid change from cork to screwcap closures has been a major movement for the wine industry. This has proven to be a well supported and highly successful innovation. The logic, to reduce cork taint and to maintain freshness in certain styles, may be sound but the potential for the introduction of a new source of wine fault could be great. The benefits of screwcaps can only be guaranteed as long as the closures are correctly applied and the seal is intact.

Screwcap damage is a significant issue and shown to be surprisingly high in retail at a level of 8.2% of screwcapped bottles. This is greater than the previous industry-wide problem of cork taint which led to the rapid change in closure type. This requires immediate resolution, as these levels are unacceptable. The store data was alarming and highly significant, particularly relating to wine presentation display methods. While the racks and presentation shelving are most appealing for wine displays, the level of damage to caps is very high. The most expensive wines and often those from the more prestigious producers are often presented in these display types. The retail sector needs to make changes to display methods and staff training in wine handling, particularly for those sealed under screwcap. Screwcap finishes and damage susceptibility has also proven to be a significant finding with decorated screwcaps being the most vulnerable and having the greatest incidence of damage. Most of the problems identified, in terms of damage to screwcap closures during application, transport, storage, handling, packing, unpacking and stacking, can be eliminated by the use of the robust and effective plastic-lined caps. The additional cost of the product and bottling is negated by the benefits accrued. The screwcap is here to stay. The benefits for many wine styles are indisputable. Wines are now youthful for longer, can have controlled development by liner choice, and aromatic wines such as Sauvignon Blanc remain fresher and brighter, and retain varietal purity over a longer timeframe. Improvements in cap design and decorative finish will make the wines develop as intended and protect wines from screwcap damage. Screwcap damage, as currently

surveyed in retail outlets, is alarming and should be causing as much industry concern as cork taint did over the past two decades.

Screwcap damage is a significant issue and shown to be surprisingly high in retail at a level of 8.2% of screwcapped bottles. This is greater than the previous industry-wide problem of cork taint which led to the rapid change in closure type. This requires immediate resolution, as these levels are unacceptable. This is an abstract of the full dissertation titled â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Monitoring the incidence and nature of screwcap closure damage, its effect on aromatic wine quality and the implications for storage and handling: an investigation of Sauvignon Blancâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, which was completed over three years and approved in May 2013. The work is copyright to the Institute of Masters of Wine 2013. It is not to be copied or reproduced in part or full without permission and acknowledgement of the Institute and/or WVJ author.

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f erme n t a tio n

wi n em a ki n g

Co-fermentation of Syrah with various additions of Viognier: Effect on colour and phenolics during winemaking and bottle ageing The impetus for the study described in this article was to assess the effect of co-fermentation of Syrah and Viognier in the phenolic chemistry and colour stability of the resulting wines and to document potential benefits of this practice on wine colour, anthocyanins and tannins. By L. Federico Casassa1,2, Landon S. Keirsey1, Maria S. Mireles1, Richard C. Larsen1 and James F. Harbertson*1 1 School of Food Science, Irrigated Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, Prosser, WA 99350, USA 2 Wine Research Center, Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Mendoza, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA), Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina. * Corresponding author. Email: jfharbertson@wsu.edu

T

he winemaking technique known as co-fermentation entails combining different grape cultivars at crush, as opposed to blending finished wines. This procedure reportedly has its origins in the Côte Rôtie appellation of the Rhône Valley (France), where Syrah (Sy) is blended with small amounts of Viognier (Vg). However, the practice of co-fermenting red grapes with a variable portion of white grapes is

widespread in almost any wine region, albeit with different cultivars, namely Garnacha-Viura (Spain), SangioveseTrebbiano (Italy), Malbec-Semillon (Argentina), to name a few. The technique is applied under the anecdotal assumption that co-fermented wines display higher and more stable colour compared with a non-blended control. This colour enhancement has been attributed to the

white grape’s contribution of skin flavonols, planar molecules that can engage in copigmentation reactions with anthocyanins1. The net effect of co-pigmentation is a hyperchromic shift (i.e., enhancement of the colour intensity of the wine), and a bathochromic shift (i.e., shift of wine colour towards a more bluish hue) that can be detected by colorimetric systems, such as CIELab2. „

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Figure 1. The fermenter just after crush of the 10% Viognier treatment. Winemakers are often interested not only on the scientific evaluation of wellestablished or tradition-based practices such as co-fermentation, but also on the evaluation of different alternatives within a given technique. For the practice of co-fermentation, Vg grapes can be added following different addition protocols, and anecdotal information suggests that Vg grapes can be added at percentages ranging from 5 per cent up to 20% of the final volume. It is unknown if there is a detrimental effect (e.g. dilution) upon addition of Vg. It is also unclear at what blending percentages the colour is affected and, if so, to what extent. In this study, a control wine (made with 100% Sy grapes), and three Sy blends (consisting of additions by weight of 5%, 10% and 20% of Vg grapes at crush), were made on an experimental scale. Viognier grapes were added after destemming (i.e., whole berries without previous pressing). The impetus for this study was to assess the effect of co-fermentation in the phenolic chemistry and colour stability of the resulting wines and to document potential benefits of this practice on wine colour, anthocyanins and tannins.

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Methods Winemaking Grapes were sourced from the Columbia Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) located in Washington State, US. Syrah (Sy, clone Joseph Phelps) and Viognier (Vg, clone R1) grapes were manually harvested into one-tonne capacity bins. Four treatments were prepared: 100% Sy (control) and additions by weight (± 0.25kg) of 5%, 10% and 20% of destemmed Vg to Sy at crush. After the fruit was crushed, 35mg/L of sulfur dioxide (SO2) was added. Fermentations were carried out in triplicate (n = 3) using 300L stainless steel fermenters with mobile lids. Musts were inoculated (250mg/L) nine hours after crushing with selected dry yeast (Zymaflore FX-10, Laffort, France). Malolactic bacteria (SB3 Instant, Laffort, France) were added (10mg/L) three days after crush. Diammonium phosphate was added to raise the yeast assimilable nitrogen to 225mg/L prior to fermentation. Alcoholic fermentation occurred at a temperature between 24-26°C and skin contact time W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

was set to seven days. Cap management consisted of a half-volume tank pump-over followed by a five-minute punch down twice daily. Wines were pressed off the skins at ~5°Brix by racking the free run wines into 20L glass carboys fitted with airlocks. Alcoholic fermentation was completed (reducing sugars <2g/L) after about 12 days. The completion of malolactic fermentation (MLF) was confirmed (< 0.1g/L malic acid) by enzymatic determination of L-malic acid. The wines were racked twice, adjusted to 35mg/L free SO2, and bottled in 750mL bottles with screwcap closures. Fruit and wine analysis Sy and Vg berry samples were evaluated for skin and seed tannins3 with results expressed on a fresh weight (FW) basis. Protein precipitable tannins, large polymeric pigments (LPP), small polymeric pigments (SPP), and ironreactive phenolics were measured as detailed3-4. Total polymeric pigments (TPP) were calculated as LPP + SPP. The CIELab coordinates were calculated using the MSCV™ software (Grupo de Color de La Rioja, Logroño, Spain). Lightness, a* and V28N5


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b* were further considered to calculate the CIELab colour difference (ΔE*) for the three co-fermentation treatments relative to the controls at pressing and after bottle ageing5. The ΔE* values were calculated as the Euclidean distance between two points in the three-dimensional CIELab space with the following equation: (1) ∆E*r,s = [(∆L*r,s)2 + (∆a*r,s)2 + (∆b*r,s)2 ]½ where: ∆L*r,s = (L*r- L*s); ∆a*r,s and ∆b*r,s are defined in the same fashion. Anthocyanins and flavonols were determined by HPLC-DAD according to Downey and Rochfort6 and peak identity was confirmed by ESI-MSn.

Results and discussion Sy was co-fermented with Vg grapes added without pressing (i.e., whole berries added after destemming, Figure 1) to evaluate the effect of Vg addition on colour and selected phenolic compounds. Fruit tannins were analysed to evaluate the potential contribution of tannins from the added Vg seeds or skins. Figure 2 shows that Vg and Sy fruit had equivalent concentrations of both skins and seeds tannins, thus ruling out a contribution of Vg seed and skin tannins to the blended treatments. Table 1 shows the basic analysis in

wi n em a ki n g

the musts of the four treatments after crush. Individual Brix at harvest for Sy and Vg grapes were 21.40 ± 0.21 and 23.90 ± 0.30, respectively. Accordingly, the musts of the 20% Vg treatment were higher in Brix relative to 100% Sy and 5% Vg. No differences in TA were found but the initial pH of 20% Vg was lower. Also, no differences were observed for the final ethanol levels, pH and TA of the wines at bottling, confirming that

Table 1. Initial Brix (soluble solids), pH and titratable acidity (TA) at crush for the different treatments (± standard error) of Syrah and Viognier grapes at harvest. Treatment

Brix

pH

TA (g/L tartaric acid)

100% Sy

21.40 ± 0.21 ba

3.59 ± 0.03 a

6.2 ± 0.05 a

5% Vg

21.47 ± 0.22 b

3.58 ± 0.04 a

6.3 ± 0.03 a

10% Vg 20% Vg a

22.03 ± 0.18 ab 22.27 ± 0.12 a

3.55 ± 0.03 ab 3.52 ± 0.02 b

6.7 ± 0.02 a 6.9 ± 0.03 a

Different letters within a column indicate significant differences for Tukey’s HSD at p < 0.05.

Figure 2. Protein precipitable tannins concentration expressed on a fresh weight (FW) basis in the seed and skins of Sy and Vg grapes at harvest in the 2009 season. Different letters indicate significant differences for Tukey’s HSD at p ‹ 0.05.

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reactive phenolics at key points during the winemaking process. A total of 14 different anthocyanins were identified by HPLC-DAD-ESI-MSn of which malvidin3-O-glucoside was quantitatively the most relevant. Thus, total anthocyanins were collectively quantified as malvidin-3-O-glucoside. Anthocyanin concentrations were initially lower in 20% Vg but at day 580, 20% Vg still showed lower concentrations of anthocyanins relative to the control wines (Figure 3a), suggesting a dilution effect as a result

the basic chemical composition of the wines of the different treatments was essentially the same (Table 2). In addition to the basic chemical composition, selected phenolics were monitored from crush through bottle ageing, spanning a period of 580 days. This was done to assess the long-term effect of the co-fermentation practice on wine colour and phenolics, as this is relevant from a commercial perspective. Figure 3 shows the evolution of anthocyanins, tannins, flavonols and iron-

Table 2. Ethanol levels, pH and titratable acidity (TA) of the finished wines for the different treatments at bottling (± standard error).

Treatment

Ethanol (% v/v)

pH

TA (g/L tartaric acid)

100% Sy

12.29 ± 0.09aa

3.73 ± 0.04a

5.2 ± 0.02a

5% Vg

12.25 ± 0.18a

3.71 ± 0.05a

5.4 ± 0.030

10% Vg

12.38 ± 0.12a

3.72 ± 0.03a

5.6 ± 0.02a

20% Vg

12.39 ± 0.07a

3.71 ± 0.02a

5.6 ± 0.04a

a

Different letters within a column indicate significant differences for Tukey’s HSD at p < 0.05.

of crushing the Vg fruit. Tannin levels (Figure 3b) peaked at pressing, with no differences among treatments, but after about three months of bottle ageing a visible drop, accounting for a 46-52% loss, was observed in all treatments. Possible causes for this unexpected drop in the tannin content include acidcatalysed hydrolysis of interflavanic bonds7 followed by incorporation into large (LPP) and small (SPP) polymeric pigments, and/or oxidation followed by precipitation, or a combination thereof. Figure 3c show the evolution of total flavonols during winemaking and bottle ageing. A total of six flavonols were identified by HPLC-DAD-ESI-MSn, of which quercetin-3-O-glucoside was quantitatively the most relevant. Thus, flavonols were collectively quantified as quercetin-3-O-glucoside. Flavonol concentrations peaked at press, with lower levels in 10% Vg and 20% Vg which remained comparatively lower during winemaking and bottle ageing. Therefore, counter to the anecdotal belief that white cultivars provide an additional pool of flavonols, lower concentrations of these compounds observed with Vg additions

Figure 3. Extraction and evolution of (a) anthocyanins, (b) protein precipitable tannins, (c) flavanols, and (d) iron reactive phenolics at days seven (pressing), 150 (bottling), 260 (~ three months of bottle ageing) and 580 (~1.25 years of bottle ageing). Different letters at day 580 indicate significant differences for Tukey’s HSD at p < 0.05. CE: catechin equivalents.

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of 10% and 20% suggest a dilution effect by the added Vg grapes. The iron-reactive phenolics followed the same trend as tannins and at day 580 no differences among treatments were observed. The evolution of selected CIELab parameters is shown in Figure 4. Lightness (L*) and saturation (C*) were measured to evaluate a possible

hyperchromic shift (i.e., increase in wine colour) potentially resulting from the co-fermentation treatment8. The L* values were consistently higher in 20% Vg, particularly at pressing (Figure 4a), indicating lighter wines as compared with the other treatments. This finding again suggests a dilution effect caused by the added Vg must, although this effect

wi n em a ki n g

was not observed for all Vg additions. For example, at day 580, 5% Vg had significantly lower L* values (i.e., more opaque wine) than 20% Vg, while no differences were found between 100% Sy, 5% Vg and 10% Vg. Saturation or C* (Figure 4b) summarises the contribution of red (a* > 1), blue (b* < 0) and yellow (b* > 1) components to overall colour.

Figure 4. Evolution of the CIELab parameters (a) lightness and (b) saturation or chroma at days seven (pressing), 150 (bottling), 260 (~ three months of bottle ageing) and 580 (~1.25 years of bottle ageing). Different letters at day 580 indicate significant differences for Tukey’s HSD at p < 0.05.

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Table 3. Evolution of the CIELab colour difference (ΔE*) in the co-fermentation treatments relative to the control at days seven (pressing), and 580 (~1.25 years of bottle ageing). Numbers in bold indicate a ΔE* in favour of the control wines. Treatment

Day 7

Day 580

5% Vg

2.45

3.21

10% Vg

3.02

0.17

20% Vg

9.18

8.54

From pressing to bottling, variable decreases in saturation among treatments were observed. However, at day 580, only 5% Vg and 20% Vg showed differences in C*, with 5% Vg displaying a 19% increase relative to 20% Vg. Without necessarily implying causality, the lack of hyperchromic shift (measured as wine saturation) in the co-fermented wines may be due to the decrease, rather than the expected increase, in monomeric anthocyanins. The CIELab colour difference ΔE* predicts, from equation 1, whether a chromatic difference between two wine samples will result in a perceptible visual difference for a panelist evaluating the wine under CIELab standard conditions (10° standard observer and the illuminant D65). When this difference is higher than five CIELab units, chromatic differences between the two wines are discernible by the human eye5. In this study, the co-fermented wines were contrasted against the control wines for this value at pressing, to evaluate the immediate effect of this practice, and at the end of bottle ageing, to assess its long-term effect. Only additions of 20% Vg resulted in wines with discernibly lower colour both at pressing and after bottle ageing, whereas the 5% and 10% Vg additions were perceptually undistinguishable from the control wines. Thus, Vg additions at a rate of 20% caused an immediate drop in colour, which was maintained through bottle ageing (Table 3). Figure 5a, b and c shows the evolution of the SPP, LPP and total polymeric pigments (TPP), respectively, at pressing and at day 580. From pressing to day 580, the TPP content increased for all treatments. During this period no change was observed in LPP, but SPP increased indicating that SPP formation was primarily responsible for the increase in TPP. For the most part the increase in polymeric pigments was consistent with the decline in anthocyanins (Figure 5a). However, the faster rate of

• Searchable wine industry personnel PHONEBOOK

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Access your COMPLETE Wine Industry Directory ONLINE by purchasing the Directory Figure 5. Evolution of (a) small polymeric pigments (SPP), (b) large polymeric pigments (LPP), and (c) total polymeric pigments (TPP) at days seven (pressing) and 540 (~ 1.25 years of bottle ageing). Different letters at each time point indicate significant differences for Tukey’s HSD at p < 0.05.

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To purchase: Visit: www.winebiz.com.au Call: +618 8369 9500 Email: orders@winetitles.com.au

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SPP formation in 10% Vg and 20% Vg did not translate into more colour intensity, as evidenced by the L* and C* values. Conclusions In this study of co-fermentation, the phenolic and chromatic composition of wines made by co-fermentation of Sy with additions by weight of 5%, 10% and 20% Vg was followed at key points during winemaking and bottle ageing. Regardless of the addition protocol, Vg additions above 10% lowered most chromatic parameters in the final wines, indicating no hyperchromic or bathochromic shift. These differences were confirmed chemically, but they were also discernible by the human eye, discarding a potential co-pigmentation effect of this practice, at least for the combination Sy-Vg. No differences were observed for tannins and iron-reactive phenolics either at pressing or after 580 days of bottle ageing. Therefore, there was no ‘late-occurring’ effect of this practice on colour or phenolics. Additions of Vg at a rate of 20% led to a lower concentration of anthocyanins and flavonols, suggesting dilution of these D P 1 5 6 0 _ G W_ 1 3 0 x 1 8 5 . p d f compounds. Formation of polymeric pigments was unaffected regardless of

the co-fermentation treatments. Overall, these results suggest that additions of Viognier grapes to Syrah grapes at the rates studied here do not result in an enhancement of the chromatic or phenolic composition of the final wines and that at high rates, these additions may even be detrimental for wine colour. The effect of co-fermentation on the aromatic composition (free and glycoconjugated aroma compounds) of the wines remains to be explored. Therefore, adding pressed rather the whole Vg grapes would be a more advisable practice to follow, at least from the perspective of phenolics and colour.

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Gonnet, J.-F. (1998) Colour effects of co-pigmentation

2

of anthocyanins revisited—1. A colorimetric definition using the cielab scale. Food Chemistry 63(3):409-415. Harbertson, J.F.; Picciotto, E.A. and Adams, D.O.

3

(2003) Measurement of polymeric pigments in grape berry extract sand wines using a protein precipitation assay combined with bisulfite bleaching. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 54(4):301-306. Heredia, T.M.; Adams, D.O.; Fields, K.C.; Held,

4

P.G. and Harbertson, J.F. (2006) Evaluation of a comprehensive red wine phenolics assay using a microplate reader. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 57(4):497-502. Pérez-Magariño, S. and González-Sanjosé, M.L.

5

(2003) Application of absorbance values used in wineries for estimating cielab parameters in red wines. Food Chemistry 81(2):301-306.

Acknowledgements

Downey, M.O. and Rochfort, S. (2008) Simultaneous

6

Rhône Rangers, the Fulbright Commission and the Walter Clore scholarship are thanked for financial support. We also thank Lonesome Springs Ranch vineyards for providing the grapes.

separation by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectral identification of anthocyanins and flavonols in Shiraz grape skin. Journal of Chromatography A 1201(1):43-47. Vidal, S.; Cartalade, D.; Souquet, J.-M.; Fulcrand,

7

H. and Cheynier, V. (2002) Changes in proanthocyanidin chain length in wine-like model solutions. Journal of

Literature cited

Agricultural and Food Chemistry 50(8):2261-2266. Gonnet, J.-F. (1999) Colour effects of co-pigmentation

8

Boulton, R. (2001) The co-pigmentation of anthocyanins P a g e and 1 its role 1 8in /the0colour 7 / of 1 red 2 ,wine:3 : 2 2 A critical review. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 52(2):67-87. 1

of anthocyanins revisited—2.A colorimetric look at the

PM

solutions of cyanin co-pigmented byrutin using the cielab scale. Food Chemistry 66(3):387-394.

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

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The DNA of innovation By Anthony Borneman, Markus Herderich and Dan Johnson The Australian Wine Research Institute, PO Box 197, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia. Email: anthony.borneman@awri.com.au

Mangaging director Dan Johnson

Winemaking is arguably the world’s oldest biotechnology, with a history dating back more than 7000 years. The past century has seen unprecedented advances in wine research with the advent of genomics and DNA sequencing. These technologies stand to transform our understanding of wine yeast, boost efforts to combat pests, diseases and contaminants and provide greater insight into wine character, regionality and terroir. This AWRI Report explains how and why DNA sequencing technologies are relevant to grape and wine producers and outlines their potential for the future. The science of DNA

D

NA is the blueprint of life. It resides within every living organism, from bacteria to complex plants and animals. It represents an encrypted repository of the thousands of individual instructions that are required for cells to grow and respond to their environment. Genomics is the science behind decoding and understanding DNA. Until recently, this discipline was limited by the enormous time and cost required to obtain the genomic information of even the simplest life forms, such as bacteria or yeast, and translate it into a useable form. To understand the complexity of this work, a brief overview of DNA structure is required. Rather than being a single, homogenous chemical, DNA (or deoxyribonucleic acid) is comprised of chains of four slightly different sub-units or bases, represented by the letters A, C, G and T. These bases are joined together to form very long polymers (Figure 1). Instructions for the growth and development of an organism are encoded by the DNA bases and their precise order along the DNA strand. In a typical human genome, there are at least 20,000 individual instructions (genes) spread across three billion DNA letters – equivalent to roughly 100,000 A4 pages of 12-point text. The science of genomics unravels this information. It decodes the instructions into a form that we can understand and, therefore, use. Next-generation DNA sequencing is revolutionising this work and biological science as a whole. DNA sequencing is the process of determining the precise order of nucleotides within a DNA molecule. It utilises a variety of technologies to determine the order of the four bases—adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine (A, G, C, T)—in a strand of DNA. Lower costs and processing times allow unprecedented access to genomic data; links between DNA and particular traits or characteristics can now be explored, even in complex plants and animals. Cutting-edge technologies are taking this information and using it in practical applications such as personalised medicine or genome-assisted breeding of crops or animals. Applying next-generation DNA sequencing in the wine industry provides an unprecedented ability to accurately understand, select and track biological factors in the winemaking process. Importantly, unlike genetic modification, genomics does not seek to alter the genetic make-up of an organism. As such, genomics can be utilised

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AT A GLANCE • Next-generation DNA sequencing systems are delivering data faster and cheaper than ever before • Genetic information from vines, yeast and bacteria stands to revolutionise grape and wine production, including unravelling the constitution of terroir, providing new tools to combat vineyard pathogens and understanding the composition of wild ferments • The genomes of some strains of wine yeast have already been decoded, offering new openings for research into fermentation performance and flavour • Consumers will benefit through improved products and an understanding of taste preferences.

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Figure 1. DNA is comprised of two long chains of chemical building blocks called DNA bases (A, C, G and T) that associate via hydrogen bonds (dotted lines) to form a double helix. V28N5


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even within organic or biodynamic winemaking practices. The data provided by genomics will allow precision breeding of new grape cultivars or strains of yeast and bacteria that can tailor wine flavours. It can also provide grapegrowers and winemakers with the ability to monitor microbial populations in vineyard soils, wineries or wild fermentations. These data can then be correlated with viticultural practices, soil health or wine quality to determine factors that can lead to increased wine quality or production efficiency.

even more efficient alternative. Despite nearly 30 years of significant improvements, ‘Sanger’ sequencing delivered relatively low output combined with high labour and instrument costs. This restricted access and uptake among potential users: the study of entire genomes was limited to large, multinational collaborations and specialised sequencing centres. All this changed in 2005 with the introduction of massively-parallel pyrosequencing systems. Since then, the development of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies has progressed at an incredible pace with rapid improvements to several competing instruments. Collectively, these instruments are referred to as nextgeneration sequencers (Table 1). In the last decade, competition has driven down the expense of DNA sequencing at a tremendous rate, with dramatic increases in output and efficiency. As a result, the raw, per-base

The next-generation sequencing revolution The field of biological research was revolutionised by the pioneering work of Sanger et al. (1977) who provided an ‘efficient’ means of sequencing DNA. For more than a quarter of a century, ‘Sanger’ sequencing led the way, until next-generation technologies offered an

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Table 1. Current sequencing technologies (Mardis 2013) Company

Machine

Machine cost

Output per day (number runs)a,b

Effective yeast genomes per dayc

ABI

AB3730xl

$

0.0016 Gb (24)

0.013

GS XLR70

$$

1.08 Gb (2.4)

10

GS Junior

$

0.084 Gb (2.4)

0.46

Roche-454

Illumina

Hiseq 2000

$$$

55 Gb (0.09)

90

Miseq

$

4.5-5.1 Gb (0.6)

25-30

Life Technologies

Proton

$$

60-120 Gb (6-12)

100-200

Pacific Bioscience

PacBio RS II

$$$

2.64 Gb (12)

22

number of runs refers to how many individual samples the machine can process in a 24-hour period Gb = Gigabase, equivalent to one billion DNA letters c Effective number of genomes takes into account read length as shorter sequencing reads require higher coverage for assembly. AB3730xl and PacBioRS II output is based on 10x coverage, Miseq and Roche-454 sequencers based on 15x coverage and Hiseq and Proton sequencing on 50x coverage. a

b

RETSCH Grindomix GM300

Specord, contrAA

available at

MEP Instruments Pty Ltd Australia Tel 1300 720 485 New Zealand Tel 09 912 1330 www.mep.net.au

Figure 2. Dramatic drop in the cost of DNA sequencing. V2 8N 5

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sequencing cost has dropped by a factor of 10 every 18 months (Figure 2, page 53). Collectively, these advances have made genome sequencing much cheaper and more accessible: today, genomics technologies are used by smaller, individual laboratories at little cost. As a result, genome sequencing is being applied in clinical diagnostics and agricultural research on a scale that was not economically viable even 12 months ago. Prior to the introduction of nextgeneration sequencing, the cost of DNA sequencing was reducing at a rate approximating ‘Moore’s law’ (halving in cost every two years; red line). Since its introduction, next generation sequencing has driven the per-base cost of DNA sequencing down by a factor of 10 every 18 months (Wetterstrand 2013)6,7. Genomics and the wine industry The history of winemaking dates back some 7000 years; it is the past century that has seen the most dramatic advances in the application of cuttingedge scientific research to improve wine production. Given the roles of grapevines, yeast and bacteria in shaping the composition of finished wines, it is not surprising that genomics is poised to play an ever-increasing role in unlocking their potential as biological inputs (summarised in Figure 3). Connecting the phenotypic traits and characteristics of grapevines, yeast and bacteria with specific genomic features stands to have the most significant effect on the wine industry. This will allow genetic variations to be identified and links to be made with the production (or reduction) of particular characters. Microbial strain development Due to the relatively small sizes of their genomes, both the wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the malolactic bacterium Oenococcus oeni have already been the subject of significant genomic research. Genome sequences are available for more than 80 strains of S. cerevisiae (although the vast majority of these are not wine strains) and more than a dozen strains of O. oeni. Comparisons among these sequences have already identified genomic differences within species that might be linked to winerelevant traits such as fermentation robustness or flavour production. It is now possible to sequence large numbers of yeast and bacteria, even with single sequencing runs on low-cost benchtop sequencing machines such as the Miseq from Illumina (see Table

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Figure 3. Summary of applications of next-generation sequencing in the wine industry. *GWAS=Genome-wide association studies

1). As more strains within a species are sequenced, more comparisons and connections can be made. Once identified, genomic differences can be used as molecular markers to accurately predict the expected phenotype of strains without costly and laborious manual analysis. This dramatically increases the speed at which strains can be selected for commercial application. Genomics in the study of pests, diseases and contaminants Genome sequences are currently available for a small number of vineyard pests and diseases including Botrytis rot, Pierce’s disease and winery contaminants such as Brettanomyces (see Amselem et al. 2011, Simpson et al. 2000, and Curtin et al. 2012 respectively). Comprehensive genome information for important pathogens such as powdery and downy mildew, phylloxera, and problem strains of already sequenced pathogens and spoilage microorganisms are still lacking, however. Fortunately, the advances provided by next-generation sequencing should see these gaps filled in the near future. Agrochemical resistance is also a priority. In regions with wet summers, constant pressure from pathogens can be exacerbated by resistance to fungicides. Next-generation sequencing offers the ability to track known markers for agrochemical resistance accurately (Wicks and Wilson 2012). These data will be invaluable for grape producers as they plan W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

strategically to use the right combinations of agrochemicals to achieve the best results within a single season and manage agrochemical resistance in the longer term. Genomics in the study of diversity, regionality and terroir Metagenomics involves the sequencing of DNA isolated from environmental samples (e.g. water, soil, air, faeces) that are composed of complex mixtures of microorganisms. The ‘Human Microbiome Project’ and the ‘Earth Microbiome Project’ have highlighted the importance of metagenomics: both projects have sought to determine the microbial composition of thousands of samples taken from the human body and from natural environments, respectively. Similar to single species studies, the aim of metagenomics is to link specific microbial genomes (or metabolic pathways) in heterogeneous samples with specific traits. Due to the complexity of many microbial communities, true metagenomic sequencing cannot be achieved, however, even with the most cutting-edge of current next-generation technologies. Instead, a scaled-back form of metagenomics (often termed phylotyping) can be applied – this uses a small portion of DNA as a ‘genomic barcode’. For the wine industry, metagenomics is already proving to be a huge help in the study of vineyard microbiota and wild fermentations. Comparisons can be made between microbial populations from conventionally farmed, organic and V28N5


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biodynamic vineyards; researchers can also compare similarly managed vineyards in different geographical locations. This will provide scientific data regarding the effects of geography combined with different vineyard practices on soil composition and greater insight into possible relationships between soil microbiota, sustainable vineyard management and regional terroir. It will also offer a way to systematically and rigorously assess the effects of viticultural interventions on soil microorganisms after base-line measurements have been taken. Monitoring the composition of wild ferments may be one of the most useful applications of metagenomics. Wild ferments are typically characterised by a progression of diverse microbial species that, due to a combination of factors, generally conclude with S. cerevisiae strains being the dominant yeast at work. However, it is the varied metabolic contribution of the non-Saccharomyces yeasts at the beginning of wild fermentations that are thought to provide the complex characteristics that make wild ferment wines preferable to many of their inoculated counterparts. Previous analytical methods were too labour-intensive to identify wild ferment species efficiently in complex microbial mixtures. Applying metagenomic tools such as phylotyping will provide data that can be used to correlate the incidence of wild ferment species in individual fermentations with final wine composition, or to judge the effect of geography or viticultural and winemaking interventions (harvest method, temperature, SO2) on wine microbiota. Research has already shown that the technology is useful for tracking bacterial and fungal composition during wine production (Bokulich and Mills 2013, Bokulich et al. 2012). While moving from phylotyping to full metagenomic sequencing will lead to higher costs, it will allow the contributions of individual strains of wild ferment species to be tracked effectively. These extra data will be invaluable when the presence of specific strains of yeast or bacteria result in unexpected (either desirable or undesirable) oenological outcomes or when winemakers wish to know if commercial microbial strains interfere with their ‘wild’ fermentations. Alternatively, it might become apparent from sequencing data and metagenomics analysis that specific wineries or geographical locations harbour unique strains of wine yeast and bacteria that contribute to their distinctive terroir. The future Development of genomic sequencing technologies continues to progress at an astonishing rate. New approaches, such as nanopore-based techniques (e.g. www.oxfordnanopore.com), promise to make sequencing even cheaper, faster and, perhaps, accessible in the field via a simple USB stick attached to a laptop computer. The application of such simplified sequencing technologies will enable close-to-real-time data to be gathered on pathogen loads and likely levels of agrochemical resistance in a vineyard, providing ways to tailor viticultural intervention. Likewise, the ability to analyse the composition of wild ferments in real-time will enable winemakers to intervene in individual fermentations that display sub-optimal mixtures of microflora or that contain unwanted microbial contamination. This has the potential to prevent write-offs from ‘failed’ wild ferments. Advances in human personalised genomics might also offer new opportunities to grape and wine producers. As more links between genetic differences and our ability to smell and taste are made, the application of human personalised genomics will no longer be limited to health outcomes; scientists could also reach a better understanding of why some people perceive flavour and aroma differently. There are already recognised genetic variants associated with the perception of bitterness or in perceiving a ‘soapy’ taste in coriander. As additional genetic associations are made, it might be that taste preferences can be predicted at birth from a standard genome sequence analysis. This offers benefits for consumers as well as grape and wine producers. At the very least, future winemakers may be forewarned if they have any genetic V2 8N 5

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predispositions that leave them anosmic to (unable to perceive) specific aroma compounds and, therefore, affect the quality of the wine they produce (AWRI Annual Report 2011). Conclusion Winemaking is a well-established microbiological process; yet, the rapid development of next generation sequencing is poised to revolutionise all aspects of this ancient biotechnology. Embracing new genomic sequencing technologies will provide researchers and producers with insights into the biological factors and inputs (grapevine, yeast, bacterial and human) that influence winemaking. It is beyond doubt that the increasing simplicity, uptake and accessibility of these new technologies will improve decision making, competitiveness, innovation and economic sustainability among Australian grape and wine producers. Innovation in this emerging area also stands to benefit consumers; communicating the advantages of genomics technologies effectively to the wider public is, therefore, also a priority. Acknowledgements This work is funded by Australian grapegrowers and winemakers through their investment body, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation. The Australian Wine Research Institute is a member of the Wine Innovation Cluster. The authors thank Sharon Mascall-Dare and Rae Blair for their editorial assistance.

References Amselem, J.; Cuomo, C.A.; van Kan, J.A.L.; Viaud, M.; Benito, E.P.; Couloux, A.; Coutinho, P.M.; de Vries, R.P.; Dyer, P.S.; Fillinger, S. et al. (2011) Genomic analysis of the necrotrophic fungal pathogens Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea. Plos Genet. 7, e1002230. AWRI Annual Report (2011) Taint Investigations 47-48. Bokulich, N.A. and Mills, D.A. (2013) Improved selection of internal transcribed spacer-specific primers enables quantitative, ultra-high-throughput profiling of fungal communities. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 79:2519â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2526. Bokulich, N.A.; Joseph, C.M.L.; Allen, G.; Benson, A.K. and Mills, D.A. (2012) Nextgeneration sequencing reveals significant bacterial diversity of botrytised wine. Plos One. 7,e36357. Curtin, C.D.; Borneman, A.R.; Chambers, P.J. and Pretorius, I.S. (2012) De-novo assembly and analysis of the heterozygous triploid genome of the wine spoilage yeast Dekkera bruxellensis AWRI1499. Plos One. 7, e33840. Mardis, E.R. (2013) Next-Generation Sequencing Platforms. Annu. Rev. Anal. Chem. 6:287-303. Simpson, A.J.; Reinach, F.C.; Arruda, P.; Abreu, F.A.; Acencio, M.; Alvarenga, R.; Alves, L.M.; Araya, J.E.; Baia, G.S.; Baptista, C.S. et al. (2000). The genome sequence of the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa. The Xylella fastidiosa Consortium of the Organisation for Nucleotide Sequencing and Analysis. Nature 406:151â&#x20AC;&#x201C;159. Wetterstrand, K.A. (2013) DNA Sequencing Costs: Data from the NHGRI Genome Sequencing Program (GSP) Available at: www.genome.gov/sequencingcosts. Accessed 7 June 2013. Wicks, T. and Wilson, D. (2012) More strobilurin-resistant powdery mildew detected in vineyards. Grapegrower and Winemaker 580:24.

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Technology Innovation Key Files Opinions News WFA Wine Australia ASVO Richard Smart AWRI Regional WVJ

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vitic u l t u re

re d b l otc h vir u s

Highlights of a newly-emerging grapevine virus: Grapevine red blotch-associated virus By Nuredin Habili1 1 Waite Diagnostics, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide. Email: Nuredin.Habili@adelaide.edu.au

The recently-discovered grapevine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV) has caused significant issues for US grapegrowers and is a concern for their Australian counterparts should the disease make its way to our vineyards via contaminated imported material.

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p to 72 viruses of the grapevine have been detected by the world’s researchers, 70 of which contain RNA as their genetic code. The remaining two, which have recently been discovered, contain DNA. The more threatening of these two is grapevine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV) which is a Geminivirus (showing twin particles under the microscope). This virus contains a monopartite singlestranded circular DNA as its genome (genetic material). Genetically, the closest relative of GRBaV is a virus from Syria named chickpea chlorotic dwarf Syria virus. GRBaV was first detected in 2011 in symptomatic Cabernet Sauvignon vines grafted on 101-14 rootstock by researchers at the University of California, Davis. Although grapevine red blotch disease (GRBD) was first observed by these researchers in 2008, the growers in California had noticed its symptoms long before that date, but they confused it with leafroll disease (Paul Gugerli and Richard Smart, personal communications). At almost the same time as it was detected on the US west coast, the virus was independently discovered in vines growing in the north-east states of New York and Pennsylvania by the researchers from Cornell University. Yearly spread of GRBaV has been observed in declining vineyards and the virus has been reported in vines of various varieties of up to 20 years old. In the Pacific coast of the US, the virus occurs in the following red varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. No clear symptoms on white varieties have been observed. Symptom descriptors Generally, as a sign of stress, most red vine varieties react to pathogen invasion by changing the colour of their leaves to red,

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Figure 1. Symptoms of leafroll disease on a red grapevine variety.

Figure 2. Symptoms of grapevine red blotch disease on Cabernet Sauvignon. Photo: M.R. Sudarshana, USDA-ARS

particularly in late autumn. Two examples of these are grapevine leafroll disease (GLD) and GRBD. Although differentiating between the symptoms of GRBD and GLD is hard for growers, there are three major differences in the leaf symptoms when red varieties are infected with either of these viruses: the veins in GLD infected vines remain green (Figure 1), while they turn red in GRBD (Figure 2); in GLD the leaf margins turn backwards, while in GRBD these remain flat; the red colour in GLD affected leaves is uniform, while in GRBD it appears blotchy, displaying large islands of green patches (Figure 2). We have seen somewhat similar symptoms in a Sicilian variety called Nero D’Avola in Australia (Figure 3), but the molecular diagnostic tests for GRBaV gave negative results.

Fortunately, this leafhopper is not present in Australia and it is listed as a quarantined insect. However, Virginia creeper, which is an ornamental plant, is widely grown in Australia. Its scientific name is Parthenocissus quinquefolia and belongs to Vitaceae, the same family as that of the grapevine (Figure 4). So, if you have decided to plant Virginia creepers by your house adjacent to the vineyard blocks, you must think again. The Australian tablegrape industry raised concern about the possibility that the Virginia creeper leafhopper may find its way to Australia via imported fresh grapes from California. I put its concerns to Dr Timothy Martinson, a senior entomologist from Cornell University at Geneva, New York. This is exactly what he replied: “The Virginia creeper leafhopper is an Erythroneura leafhopper; there are lots of sibling-similar species. They are ‘mesophyll’ feeders, and cause white stippling on leaves, but this group of leafhoppers inject their eggs into leaf tissue (under the surface), and I don’t think imported fresh grapes would pose any risk whatsoever. They don’t feed on clusters or lay their eggs there (unlike mealybugs, for example). I don’t think that packaged

Insect vector Another major difference between GRD and GRBD is in the method of their natural spread in the vineyard. Most leafroll viruses are transmitted by mealybugs, while GRBaV is transmitted by a small leafhopper called the Virginia creeper leafhopper (Erythronneura ziczac Walsh). W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

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Figure 3. Red leaf symptoms on a clone of Nero D’Avola from New South Wales. grapes for export generally include any leaves.” Therefore, the Australian tablegrape industry must be vigilant not to accept fruit packages contaminated with leaves or debris. Waite Diagnostics can test the pedicles of imported clusters or the contaminated leaves for GRBaV. One such test on a red tablegrape imported from California proved negative (unpublished data). Low sugar content of infected berries It appears that sugar is more reduced in berries affected by GRBD (by up to three units of Baume, or 5°Brix) than by leafroll disease. We calculated that this roughly equals a loss of 25% sugar from the vineyard, which is a significant loss. Recent research suggests that unusually high concentrations of sugar were present in the GRBaV infected leaves, while the berries contained significantly less sugar. So, the transport of sugar to the berries is virtually impeded.

Figure 4. Victoria creeper, a vine from the grapevine family, growing on a fence next to a house. Photo: http://greensandberries.squarespace.com Preventative measures via early diagnosis The threat of a GRBaV epidemic is a cause for concern for the Australian winegrape industry. Growers should be reminded of the threat posed by phylloxera during its historical past. We must stop the virus entering our vineyards by constantly monitoring vines. Waite Diagnostics has developed a rapid testing protocol and, so far, more than 200 samples from 30 varieties tested negative for the virus. However, since many of our superior cuttings have come from UC Davis, it is always possible that this disease may eventually arrive in Australia. Fifty samples from more than 30 varieties sent from South Africa this year tested negative for GRBaV. This virus has not been detected in New Zealand (Lia Liefting and Dan Cohen, personal communications). In Europe, the virus has been detected in a clone of Zinfandel imported by Swiss researchers

STOP PRESS As this issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal was being prepared for print, winebusiness.com reported that five additional grapevines planted in the UC Davis Foundation Plant Services (FPS) Classic Foundation nursery block had tested positive for the presence of grapevine red blotchassociated virus (GRBaV). The results stemmed from a second phase of vine testing by FPS in its nursery blocks, which serve as sources of clean material for the US grapevine nursery industry. One vine of the following selections tested positive for GRBaV: Chardonnay 37, Chardonnay 39, Chardonnay 41, Chardonnay 49 and Orange Muscat 02. In the first round of testing, the results of which were released in February, the following three vines from the Classic Foundation block tested positive for GRBaV: Chardonnay 68 (a private clonal selection no longer listed as available from FPS), Thomcord 02 (a black table grape selection) and Ruby Cabernet 02. All the vines testing positive were removed from the FPS

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from UC Davis (California) in 1986. This clone showed leaf reddening after it was planted but no leafroll virus could ever be isolated from it (Paul Gugerli, personal communication). If you possess a grapevine clone that has been imported from the US or if you observe a symptom similar to the one in Figure 2 or Figure 3, please send samples to Waite Diagnostics, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, at The University of Adelaide, Urrbrae, South Australia. If you live interstate make sure you ask for a copy of our accreditation form, which should accompany your samples along with a Plant Health Certificate issued by your local Department of Primary Industries. Acknowledgements Thanks to Drs Keith Perry and Tim Martinson (Cornell University) and Mysore Sudarshana (USDA/UC Davis) for scientific advice, and to Dr Ian Dundas from our WVJ school for his editorial assistance.

vineyard, while nurseries and growers who may have sourced wood from them were contacted. FPS began testing all its grapevine material this year as a precaution following the emergence of red blotch disease. Some 4200 vines - about two-thirds from the Classic Foundation block and the entire Russell Ranch block – have now been tested. Planting of the 40ha Russell Ranch, located 16km from the UCD campus, began in 2011 using material propagated under stringent protocols. None of the vines planted in the vineyard to date have tested positive for GRBaV.
 The older Classic Foundation block at the UCD campus will continue to be the main source of dormant budwood for the US grapevine nursery industry for at least another year until vines at Russell Ranch grow large enough to provide budwood. Testing of the remaining vines in the Classic Foundation block is expected to be completed during the forthcoming US autumn. These remaining vines and varieties are considered to be of lower priority for the industry. Source: www.winebusiness.com

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

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fungicide resistance

Understanding fungicide resistance in Australian vineyards By The Fungicide Resistance Project Team#* *Corresponding author: Barbara Hall, SARDI. Email: Barbara.Hall@sa.gov.au

A project involving research partner organisations from across Australia is studying three key pathogens affecting the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vineyards.

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collaborative project funded by GWRDC is under way involving industry partners and researchers from SARDI, Curtin University, National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, Department of Agriculture & Food WA, AWRI, and The University of Adelaide. Three key pathogens affecting Australian vineyards will be targeted: Botrytis cinerea, Erysiphe necator and Plasmopara viticola.

Although there are currently a number of fungicide groups available for these pathogens, the investment required to discover and develop new molecules is in the order of $300-400 million. It is, therefore, important to manage the existing chemistries to ensure that they continue to provide effective control. This project will provide comprehensive information on the fungicide sensitivity of these pathogens, the incidence and distribution of resistant populations, and

improve knowledge about the mechanisms of fungicide resistance in Australia to the main fungicides used. The information will contribute to improved fungicide resistance management strategies through collaboration with CropLife, agrochemical companies and industry. Maintaining the effective use of all fungicides will contribute significantly to the objective of reducing the economic and environmental impact of disease in Australian vineyards for the future.

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Fungicide resistance to the fungicide group metalaxyl has been reported in the pathogens that cause Plasmopara viticola (downy mildew, pictured). How growers can help If you suspect resistance, or are having difficulty in controlling botrytis bunch rot, powdery mildew or downy mildew that cannot be attributed to other causes, we would like to hear from you. We are aiming to sample from properties throughout Australia, and would like to receive representative samples from as wide a geographical range as possible. As these samples will be used for research, there will be no charge for this testing. Results will only be available when all testing is complete and data analysed. We cannot guarantee a rapid turnaround time for results. If you would like to help, please contact the appropriate laboratory listed at the end of this article to arrange sample collection.

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The sample needs to be sent fresh and arrive in good condition, as Erysiphe necator (powdery mildew) and Plasmopara viticola (downy mildew) are both obligate parasites, which means they will only grow on living tissue and cannot be artificially cultured like Botrytis. What is fungicide resistance? Fungicide resistance occurs when a plant disease-causing organism is able to survive exposure to doses of a fungicide that would normally control it. Resistance is usually due to one or more genetic mutations which enable the fungus to overcome the activity of a fungicide. Each fungal population may contain a very small number of individuals that naturally have the mutation(s) and can survive the

W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

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Project researchers have developed a method for the rapid analysis of Botrytis growth in the presence of the major fungicides used in the viticultural industry. application of a particular fungicide. If the same fungicide or fungicides from the same activity group are used repeatedly and exclusively, the susceptible individuals are killed, yet those with the mutation survive, multiply and become dominant. Fungicide resistant populations add to the cost of managing a vineyard due to reduced fungicide efficacy and failure of spray programs to manage disease. While industry is advised to follow recommended anti-resistance strategies, there is confusion over which compounds are best to use as mixtures or in alternation. More information on managing fungicide resistance can be found at CropLife Australia (http://www.croplifeaustralia.org. au) Â&#x201E;

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fungicide resistance

The most recent report of fungicide resistance was of Erysiphe necator (powdery mildew, pictured) to the QoI (Strobilurin) group of fungicides. As this group of fungicides is also used to control downy mildew, it is important to determine if there is also resistance in Plasmopara viticola populations in Australia. Fungicide resistance in Australia Botrytis bunch rot, powdery mildew and downy mildew are the three most economically important diseases in Australian vineyards. Fungicide resistance in the pathogens causing these diseases have been reported within the grape industry, for Botrytis cinerea to the fungicide groups dicarboximide (e.g. Rovral®) and anilinopyrimidine (e.g. Scala®), Plasmopara viticola (downy mildew) to metalaxyl and Erysiphe necator (powdery mildew) to the demethylation inhibiting (DMI) group of fungicides. The most recent report of fungicide resistance was of Erysiphe necator to the QoI (Strobilurin) group of fungicides. As this group of fungicides is also used to control downy mildew, it is vital to determine if resistance also occurs in Plasmopara viticola populations in Australia. What will this project achieve? It is important to establish the occurrence and geographical distribution of pathogens resistant to fungicides to enable adaptation of spray programs to maintain optimal efficacy. The viticulture industry needs access to tests for rapid and accurate detection of fungicide resistance. Apart from those used for Botrytis cinerea, tests are currently not available for routine testing at a population level, due to the time and resource demands of conventional phenotyping and genotyping methods. Conventional phenotyping methods are those using the spores and growing the fungi on artificial media or leaf material, where as genotyping methods use molecular techniques on the DNA. The genetic basis of resistance is known in some cases and not in others, so this project will combine both phenotypic

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and genotypic tests to monitor fungicide resistance development in the three key pathogens. The aims of this project are to: • determine the occurrence and distribution of populations of E. necator, P. viticola and B. cinerea resistant to ‘at risk’ fungicides within Australia • validate high throughput genotypic testing using established DNA markers and next generation DNA sequencing techniques to develop rapid and accurate tests to detect fungicide resistance in pathogen populations • develop and evaluate effective and sustainable resistance management strategies for the ‘at risk’ fungicides • disseminate the information to industry. To ensure an industry focus in meeting these aims, the project team is working in conjunction with an industry advisory group represented by Colin Bell (AHA Viticulture), David Braybrook (Vitisolutions), Warren Birchmore (Accolade Wines), Di Davidson (Davidson Viticulture), Suzanne McLoughlin (Treasury Wine Estates), Scott Paton (NuFarm), Liz Riley (Vitibit Pty Ltd), Leonard Russell (Watershed Wines, WA), David Sanderson (Wine Tasmania) and Shane Trainer (Bayer). Results so far More than 30 samples of Botrytis cinerea and Erysiphe necator have been collected. Unfortunately, many of the samples of powdery and downy mildew collected late season were old and could not be grown on fresh leaves, so could not be phenotypically tested. However, enough samples were recovered to establish methods for both phenotypic and genotypic testing for these two pathogens. Researchers working within this GWRDC initiative have developed a high-throughput method for the rapid analysis of Botrytis W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

growth in the presence of major fungicides used in the viticultural industry. This method will allow researchers to detect shifts in fungicide sensitivity in Botrytis populations before fungicide failure occurs, so alternative chemistry can be put in place on time. Additionally, researchers have found a correlation between resistance and genetic mutations in Botrytis isolates coming from tablegrape samples. Similarly, genetic analysis of powdery mildew samples collected from the wine regions of Western Australia has been shown to carry two mutations responsible for decreased sensitivity to DMI fungicides and resistance to QoI fungicides, respectively. This finding will be useful for the detection of genetic resistance in vineyards. Sample collection Samples collected from the main viticultural regions of Australia, with collaboration from industry and agrochemical representatives, will be sent to and processed by one of three research organisations. Powdery mildew samples will be processed by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SA), downy mildew by the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (Charles Sturt University, NSW) and botrytis bunch rot by the Australian Centre for Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens (Curtin University, WA). Please contact the appropriate people for further information and instructions on sample collection and handling: • Botrytis Fran Lopez: Telephone (08) 9266 3061, or email fran.lopezruiz@curtin.edu.au • Powdery mildew Suzanne McKay: Telephone (08) 8303 9759, or email suzanne.mckay@sa.gov.au • Downy mildew Sandra Savocchia: Telephone (02) 6933 4341, or email ssavocchia@csu.edu.au References Fungicide Resistance Action Committee, http://www.frac.info AWRI Dog Book, http://www.awri.com.au #The project team includes Barbara Hall, Suzanne McKay, Mark Sosnowski (SARDI); Fran Lopez, Lincoln Harper (Curtin University); Sandra Savocchia, Helen Waite (National Wine and Grape Industry Centre); Markus Herderich, Anthony Borneman (AWRI); Eileen Scott (University of Adelaide); Andrew Taylor (Department of Agriculture & Food WA); Doug Wilson (NuFarm); Hugh Armstrong (Bayer Crop Science); Scott Matthew (Syngenta); Trevor Wicks (private consultant); Keith Hayes (GWRDC). V28N5


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Rising to the challenge of bird control By Sonya Logan

I

t was either a nice coincidence or deliberate timing that Stuart Bryce should return my call just as he was about to step out of a lift in Melbourne’s CBD. “Just testing out some elevator cables,” joked the proprietor of Providence Vineyard, near Launceston, in Tasmania. But, all jokes aside, elevator cables have become Stuart’s latest and greatest vineyard management tool. Stuart was in a multi-storey building in the centre of Adelaide midway through last year when he came across some technicians replacing the cables on an elevator. Right away, he was struck that the cables may just be the solution he’d been looking for to overcome the bird problems in his vineyard. Despite his use of over-row netting to protect his crops of Chardonnay, Semillon and Pinot Noir, cunning silvereyes – his biggest bird pest followed by blackbirds, ravens, currawongs, starlings, grass parrots and wattle birds - were still managing to somehow crawl underneath the nets. Aside from the damage being done to the fruit by the birds, there was also the damage being done to the nets by the feral cats overnight in their enthusiasm to get at the vine-nesting silvereyes. “We’d often find sections of the nets ripped to shreds in the morning which we’d then have to repair,” Stuart explains. Perhaps the cabling, he wondered, could be used to weigh down the ends of the nets that lie on the ground and thwart the access of the silvereyes? After a couple of inquiries to elevator companies, he found one in Melbourne that was willing to sell him elevator cabling at 80 cents a metre – just a little more than the company would get for the cables as scrap metal. By the time the cost of freighting the cables from Melbourne to Tasmania was added, Stuart had outlayed $3000 for four tonnes. As the elevator company had supplied the cables on reels, all that was left to do was for the reels to be secured onto the tynes of a forklift with some chain, and then the cable rolled out onto the top of the nets at the sides of the blocks and ends of the rows. The results have almost made the cables worth their weight in gold, as demonstrated during the recent season. “Our bird damage is down to zero, except for the currawongs and ravens which pick the fruit from outside of the nets, but they take whole berries so that’s quite tolerable. And, because we don’t have any bird damage, we’re also not attracting European wasps. So we have no birds, no fruit loss, no wasps and no tears in the net from the feral cats. “We can harvest around 12 tonnes of fruit from our vineyard, which is worth about $3500 per tonne. The cables have saved us 2.5-3 tonnes of fruit, with is about 25% of the crop – a pretty significant saving.” Stuart is happy to take inquiries from other growers interested in his use of the elevator cables (stuart@providence. com.au). His only concern in using the cables at this stage is the potential for them to rust. “A friend of mine is a painter who suggested I put fisholene on the cables to stop them from rusting. And I can’t think of any deleterious effects the fisholene would have on the vineyard or grapes so I’ll probably give that a go,” he said. Although the elevator cabling has somewhat lessened the need to do so, Stuart also plans to switch over from white to black netting. “Holes in black netting are far less visible to birds (and us!). We started using black netting last season but as we had no holes I am not able to comment on the efficacy of that change as yet,” he said. u V2 8N 5

Preparing to lay the elevator cables on the ends of the bird netting at Providence vineyard to weight it down.

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bir d co n tro l

Just before the grapes start to ripen in the Kingsdale Wines vineyard around late January, a netting applicator is used to throw sections of netting over five rows of vines at a time which are then sown together to enclose the entire vineyard and protect the fruit from migrating crows. Stuart tried various bird control methods, including humming tape, sparkling tape, rubber snakes and cannons, prior to deciding it was worth his while spending money on netting. But for Howard Spark, of Kingsdale Wines, near the town of Goulburn in the southern tablelands of New South Wales, netting was his method of choice almost as soon as the vines he planted in 2001 produced their first crop. “We thought we might get away without needing any bird control in our first year but birds slowly worked their way in from the sides of the vineyard to the centre,” Howard recalls. Kingsdale Wines produces table wines that retail for around $20 a bottle, mostly in local restaurants. The vineyard measures seven acres, contains Shiraz,

Merlot, Chardonnay, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc and is surrounded by mostly grazing country. Come grape ripening time, the skies go black with crows that migrate from seemingly nowhere. Just before the grapes start to ripen around late January, a Netwizz netting applicator is used to throw sections of netting over five rows at a time which are then sown together to completely enclose the vineyard. The process takes three people - one driving the tractor and one on each side of the Netwizz – over two days to complete. “We still find one or two birds get in under the nets through little holes in them, but we just open up the nets and run a vehicle down the row and chase them out.” Howard said.

When purchasing the original netting, Howard said his main priority in deciding on a product was to find one that was UV stable. Given those nets are still in use today some 10 years later, the justification for that requirement is evident.

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The elevator cabling in situ. Providence owner Stuart Bryce says use of the cabling has resulted in total exclusion of all birds from under the netting, except ravens and currawongs that hang on the outside of the netting and pick off whole berries, total absence of European wasps from the vineyard and total disinterest in the vineyard from feral cats. V28N5


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vitic u l t u re

Wine aroma and grapevine berry ripening: how to capture the complexity By Alain Deloire, Director, National Wine & Grape Industry Centre, Charles Sturt University. Email: adeloire@csu.edu.au

Touching on some of his presentation at the recent Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Sydney, Alain Deloire describes a collaborative project under way between the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre and the Australian Wine Research Institute to calibrate and improve existing tools and methods and possibly develop new ones to predict an appropriate harvest date to suit wine styles for the Australian wine industry.

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ptimal maturity of grapes depends on multi-faceted criteria. Several important classes of compounds are biosynthesised during the berry growth period, before and/or after veraison (aromatic precursors, phenolics, hormones, organic acids, etc), while others are provided by roots and/or leaves (water, minerals, sugar, etc). Several of these compounds change during the ripening

from berries sampled before and after veraison for three growing seasons, were analysed to identify genes specifically involved in fruit ripening and to investigate the seasonal influences on this process (Boss et al. 1996, Vivier & Pretorius 2002, Pilati et al. 2007, Lund 2008). From these results, a core set of 1477 genes were found that were similarly modulated in all seasons. To add to this complexity, each berry within

stage of the grape berry. These changes do not occur in a highly coordinated fashion, and instead suggest a series of independently regulated pathways of synthesis. Each pathway is influenced by seasonal climatic factors, vineyard practices, and cultivar. Results from recent research into the molecular biological aspects of Vitis vinifera L. at the transcriptional level, and gene expression data obtained

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Table 1. Thresholds of berry hue (in degree) according to the HSL model of colour representation and expected style of wine for most of the white cultivars. Berry hue thresholds (in degree)

Expected wine aromatic profiles

>90

Green/unripe

90-85

Green/asparagus

85-80

Asparagus/citrus

80-75

Asparagus/tropical fruit/grapefruit/citrus

75-70

Tropical fruit

70-65

Fermentative/terpene

65-60

Phenolic/neutral/terpene

Simplified thresholds (berry colour evolution occurs irrespectively of Brix and titrable acidity): > 80 = green/asparagus/citrus/unripe < 80 and > 70 = tropical/grapefruit/citrus/boxtree < 70 = fermentative/neutral/terpene a bunch has its own dynamic of growth and maturation. The question, therefore, is how to capture this complexity and to decide and predict the appropriate harvest date in relation to wine styles and categories? Several methods are used by viticulturists and winemakers today to determine the timing of harvest: • according to the knowledge of a specific cultivar and vineyard, even without any analysis but through visual observations (building up personal experience as a vigneron • according to one criteria that requires simple, routine analysis, such as Brix (the most commonly used indicator in the wine industry today) • according to berry tasting, which can be very subjective; the decision is mainly related to the personal experience and training of the taster • using a series of indicators and appropriate analysis methods. This implies that the necessary apparatus is available at the estate, or an appropriate laboratory nearby. Knowledge in interpreting analytical results to take the appropriate decision is, therefore, required. The cost per hectare has to be considered • using new decision-making tools and taking into consideration new scientific results. This implies the ability to access the information, understand, assimilate it and then implement it successfully (extension and adoption process). In addition, the ability to afford this new technology, which may be expensive, has to be considered. This list is not complete. In addition, it is important that skills and information be transferred to the people who are using these methods to determine the harvesting date. Such skills include, for example, being able to interpret the analytical data, to properly use the analytical tools with a standard

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protocol, and to sample properly in the first place. Geographical origin is important for products that lay claim to a terroirlinked typicality. Measuring the terroir effect on an agri-food product remains difficult for both trained experts and consumers for whom the appreciation of the product, or lack thereof, remains the principal criterion in their evaluation. This does not exclude the ability to recognise the product’s properties, but it should be remembered that perceived taste and aroma will be transformed by an individual’s experience into a unique overall sensory impression. Optimal grape ripeness is defined according to the wine style goal which, in turn, is dictated by market demand or by the objective of producing a wine that respects the expression of a typical terroir-related character. Professionals working within the sector are, therefore, obliged to accurately characterise the grapes in order to make an informed decision about optimum harvest date, and to adapt fermentation practices to obtain a target wine style. The quality of the grapes is a determining factor in the quality of the finished wine. But how is grape quality itself determined? What are the relevant parameters of the berry that enable the dynamics of ripening to be monitored? One of the most important and difficult parts of a viticulturist and winemaker’s job is to predict the wine style from the berries and the oenological process. The traditional indicators like Brix, malic and tartaric acids, titratable acidity, tannins, and anthocyanins, etc, are strongly related to the perception of the taste of the wine (mouthfeel). Therefore, it is also highly useful to be able to predict or predetermine the future wine style in terms of aroma, from the fruit itself. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, in collaboration with the Australian Wine Research Institute, aim to develop an ambitious but realistic integrated program on grapevine berry ripening, studying the berry aromatic sequence during fruit maturation in relation to wine composition and flavour profiles. The scientific aim is to better understand fruit growth and composition (fruit quality) and to develop practical tools and methods to predict or predetermine the future wine style in terms of aromatic characteristics. Berry ripening, wine flavours and low alcohol wines are, today, among the priorities of the global wine industry, mainly in the context of climate change (i.e., increase in temperature and evapotranspiration) and scarcity of water. The method that will be calibrated for the Australian wine industry for red cultivars uses the concept of berry sugar loading (Deloire 2011) while the method for white cultivars uses the berry colour evolution (Deloire 2011). Both methods are based on the fact that, from veraison onwards, the berry aromatic sequence seems to be stable and, therefore, can be predicted (Figure 1). The berry aromatic sequence could be explained as follows: Red cultivars When sugar per berry reaches a plateau (or slows down), there are four stages that progress in sequence (Figure 2, see page 68): • Stage 1: fresh fruit/green-plant like aroma/unripe plum • Stage 2: neutral/spicy-like aroma or pre-ripe (mature berry aromas) • Stage 3: mature berry aromas such as blackcurrant, raspberry, cherry • Stage 4: over-ripe aromas such as dried fruit, prune. Stage 1 occurs from 12 or 20 days, respectively, after the sugar per berry has reached a plateau (stopping of berry sugar loading or slowdown of berry sugar accumulation) in Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon (Figure 1). Stage 3 occurs from 24 or 40 days, respectively, after the sugar per berry has reached a plateau in Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Between the fresh and mature fruit stages, Stage 2 is called neutral/spicy (or premature) and may vary according to site (climate and soil) and cultural practices. Stage 2 has to be avoided when considered neutral as the related wines will show a deficiency of fruitiness and will be judged as one dimensional, but could be predicted using the sugar loading method. There is no direct relationship between fruit Brix or titrable acidity levels and the berry aromatic sequence stages, meaning that fresh, neutral, and V28N5


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Figure 1. The berry aromatic sequence for red cultivars. mature stages can be reached at the same Brix value. In that regard, the berry aromatic sequence model shows that using only Brix values can’t help predicting harvest date and wine style. White cultivars Berry colour is a new and important indicator, notably of the ripening of white varieties, because a possible relationship exists between berry colour and their aromatic potential. Carotenoids, phyto-protective pigments produced by photosynthesis, are localised in grape skin and are considered biogenetic precursors of C13-norisoprenoid glycosides. Certain aromas are derived from the degradation of such skin pigments. The technology to measure berry skin colour has been developed by Vivelys Society (France) and is currently being used in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. The method uses the development of the berry tint angle (berry colour evolution), which is determined using optical technologies as an indicator of berry ripening versus wine aromatic profile. This method is based on an indirect relationship between the evolution of the berry tint angle (according to the HSL model – Hue, Saturation, Luminescence, Figure 3, see page 68) and the wine sensorial analysis (Table 1), and as can be seen, has potential to be very useful for profiling berry maturation, harvest potential, and selection of the most appropriate harvest dates for white cultivars. No direct relationship has yet been established between berry colour development from veraison to harvest, and Brix and titrable acidity. Although berry colour monitoring will give a far better understanding of berry aromatic sequence evolution during ripening, it is still recommended that at least two or more of the other traditional indicators are used to monitor sugar and acidity in order to achieve the correct wine style. „ V2 8N 5

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No doubt climate change will influence berry ripening and this may have repercussions for the timing of harvest and style of wine produced. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, more advanced technology is being developed to monitor berry ripening. These decision-making tools have rapidly been adopted by larger wineries to enhance their marketing edge. NWGIC, in collaboration with AWRI and other partners, aims to calibrate those tools for the Australian wine industry and to improve their efficiency. The methods presented in this article are not exclusive; new methods or decision-making tools could be developed in parallel. AcknowledEgments Distell, Stellenbosch University (DVO) and Winetech for funding and helping develop the methods for South Africa. The present article is a synthesis of articles already published in Wineland magazine (South Africa) and Practical Winery and Vineyard (US). We thank Vivelys (France) for providing the Dyostem tool and its international database on berry ripening.

Figure 2. Example of Syrah berry aromatic sequence.

References Boss, P. K.; Davies, C. and Robinson, S.P. (1996) Analysis of the expression of anthocyanin pathway genes in developing Vitis vinifera L cv Shiraz grape berries and the implications for pathway regulation. Plant Physiology 111(4):1059-1066. Deloire, A.J. (2011) The concept of berry sugar loading. Wynboer 257: 93-95. Lund, S.T.; Peng, F.Y.; Nayar, T.; Reid, K.E. and Schlosser, J. (2008) Gene expression analyses in individual grape (Vitis vinifera L.) berries during ripening initiation reveal that pigmentation intensity is a valid indicator of developmental staging within the cluster. Plant Molecular Biology 68(3):301-315. Pilati, S.; Perazzolli, M.; Malossini, A.; Cestaro, A.; Dematté, L.; Fontana, P.; Dal Ri, A.; Viola, R.; Velasco, R. and Moser, C. (2007) Genome-wide transcriptional analysis of grapevine berry ripening reveals a set of genes similarly modulated during three seasons and the occurrence of an oxidative burst at veraison, BMC Genomics, Volume 8.

Figure 3. The Hue, Saturation and Luminescence (HSL) model of colour representation, which gives hue values in degree from 0 to 360°.

Vivier, M.A. and Pretorius, I. S. (2002) Genetically tailored grapevines for the wine industry. Trends in Biotechnology 20(11):472-478.

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Wine sector attitudes to the adoption of Precision Viticulture By Rob Bramley CSIRO, Waite Campus, PMB 2, Glen Osmond, SA 5064. Email: rob.bramley@csiro.au

CSIRO researchers recently conducted an informal survey of wine industry personnel to assess the awareness and adoption rate of Precision Viticulture techniques.

R

esearch aimed at understanding vineyard variability and the associated development of socalled Precision Viticulture (PV) provided a major focus for the former Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture (CRCV). Further development of this area of work was undertaken for a few years by CSIRO with key industry collaborators such as the Wingara Wine Group, Taylors Wines and what was then Foster’s Wines, but a decline in industry funding led to it being discontinued in 2010 in spite of significant progress being made in a range of areas (see, for example, several papers in Volume 17 of the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research and the review of Bramley 2010). Figure 1 illustrates how PV involves the collection and use of information about vineyard performance at high spatial resolution to promote better, more informed management decisions which recognise the inherent variability of vineyards, rather than treating them as homogenous. CSIRO has also been active in Precision Agriculture research, development and extension (RDE) targeted at other cropping sectors (grains, sugar) since the early 1990s; research using ‘precision technologies’ has also targeted the livestock industries, with particular focus on animal behaviour. As an aid to identifying opportunities for further work in these areas, CSIRO researchers have been reflecting on the progress made by this work and its effect. This article reports on an informal survey conducted to inform this reflection by assessing the uptake and impediments to the adoption of Precision Viticulture. The survey and its respondents The survey was conducted using Survey Monkey (www.surveymonkey. com). It was sent to wine industry personnel in the author’s contacts list, along with the executive officers of V2 8N 5

Figure 1. Schematic illustrating how a range of Precision Viticulture tools might be used to inform targeted vineyard management. selected industry associations as listed in the Wine Industry Directory (Winetitles); associations selected were those in the larger, more established winegrowing regions. Survey recipients were invited to pass the survey weblink on to other wine industry personnel, but with a request to not pass it to colleagues working in the same enterprise. The intention in following this informal methodology was that, pending the outcome of this initial survey, a more thorough and structured survey questionnaire or other means of assessing adoption could be conducted with a much wider constituency sometime in the future. Seventy four responses were received; a good outcome given that the survey was conducted during the vintage period (warm irrigated regions), or at least, in the busy period leading up to vintage (elsewhere). These respondents W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

comprised 29 people whose primary wine sector focus was on grapegrowing, one person focussed solely on winemaking, and 44 people whose involvement was in both grapegrowing and winemaking. Of these 74 respondents, 15 were consultants, three were contractors providing services to either grapegrowers or winemakers, whilst five filled more than one role, with one person engaged in each of the provision of ‘management services’, employed by an industry association, or involved in RDE. Respondents who were not either grapegrowers or winemakers were asked to complete the survey in consideration of their primary area of interest or of that of their ‘typical’ client. Thirty four respondents came from a small family or single owner business, 22 worked in a ‘larger private enterprise’, 11 were employed by a www.wine biz. com . au

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Table 1. Use of selected PV technologies1. Answer options

Used in my business

Know of others using it

Never heard of anyone actually using it

Response count

Remotely sensed imagery

32

23

6

61

EM38 soil survey

30

17

12

59

Proximal canopy sensing (e.g. using a CropCircle™ or Greenseeker™)

11

21

26

58

Yield mapping

15

37

7

59

Selective harvesting

29

25

4

58

Other (please specify)

5

2

1

8

answered question

61

skipped question

13

Respondents were asked the following question: ‘Prior to undertaking this survey, had you either used any of the following in your grapegrowing/winemaking or did you know of their commercial use by others in the wine industry? (In answering this question, please ignore any knowledge that you may have of the use of PV in wine industry research).

1

‘large corporation’ and seven by a ‘major multinational’. More than half the respondents (43) were from SA, with smaller numbers from Victoria (11), NSW (11), WA (six) and Tasmania (three). Overall, 23 geographical indications were represented in the survey, with several respondents indicating activity in more than one GI. Figure 2 shows their distribution according to the vineyard area they are responsible for. Interestingly, whilst the largest category comprised people responsible for more than 100ha of vineyard, the second largest category comprised people with responsibility for less than 20ha. Of the 59 respondents who answered a question about computer use in their business, only one ran their business without using a computer, eight used a computer for a range of tasks unrelated to accounting, with 50 using a computer for both

accounting and non-accounting tasks. The respondents to the survey, therefore, comprised a broad cross-section of industry participants in terms of region, enterprise size and focus and were overwhelmingly ‘IT-savvy’. Awareness and adoption of Precision Viticulture There was a good level of awareness of PV amongst the survey respondents. Whereas 7.9% had “never heard of it”, 17.5% had heard of PV and had some understanding of what it is, 28.6% considered themselves to have a good understanding, albeit with no experience of using PV, whilst 33.3% reported having a good understanding of PV and experience with using it; 11.1% considered themselves to be experts. Similarly, there was a high degree of awareness (almost 90% of respondents)

Figure 2. Distribution of survey respondents according to the vineyard area they have responsibility for.

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of PV research, with industry magazines (31.6%), technical meetings (21.1%) and talking to colleagues and neighbours (19.3%) identified as important sources of information, as were research journals such as The Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research (15.8%). Interestingly, only 5.3% of respondents became aware of PV research through discussion with a consultant. Respondents were asked to report on their use, or knowledge of the use by others, of a range of PV technologies (Table 1). Of the 61 respondents who answered this question, approximately 50% used one or more of remotely sensed imagery, electromagnetic (EM38) soil survey or selective harvesting, with around 20% of respondents using yield mapping or proximal canopy sensing (e.g. via a Greenseeker™ or CropCircle™ sensor). There was generally quite a high level of awareness of other people using these technologies and with the exception of proximal canopy sensing, generally low numbers of respondents who had no knowledge of the use of these technologies in winegrowing. In addition to the technologies that were specifically addressed in Table 1, other examples of targeted management being used by respondents included selective shoot and bunch removal, selective application of mulch and other mid-row management, variable pruning and fertiliser application and vineyard design and planting. Respondents who reported using three or more of the PV technologies listed (Table 1) were arbitrarily defined as ‘advanced users’. On this basis, 25 of the 42 respondents who used at least one PV technology (i.e., 60%) could be classed as ‘advanced users’, reflecting the additive nature of spatial data acquisition and use in implementing a PV approach to winegrowing (Figure 1). Of the 25 ‘advanced users’, 21 had responsibility V28N5


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for more than 100ha, reflecting the greater likelihood of a larger business adopting the technology compared with a small business. Twenty three of the 25 were using remote sensing and the same number (but not necessarily the same respondents) used EM38 soil survey. All but three of the ‘advanced users’ had implemented selective harvesting. The benefits of Precision Viticulture The response to a question about the benefits of using PV and selected component technologies (Table 2) indicates that 66% of respondents believe that PV is already delivering or will most likely deliver a benefit to their business. The respondents to this question were separated into users or non-users of PV technologies (Table 1) with a view to seeing whether those with direct experience of using PV technologies have a more positive attitude to their value than non-users, and whether there may be potential for non-users to become more positive if they hear or observe current user experience. Table 3 indicates that users of PV are more positive about the technology than non-users, with

high proportions of users either already gaining or expecting to gain a commercial benefit. However, when the proportions of respondents who expect PV to be beneficial are expressed for both users and non-users combined, more than half are seen to expect PV technologies to be beneficial. An exception is proximal sensing which, consistent with its more recent introduction to PV by comparison with the other technologies considered, has fewer users. The more negative view of this technology from non-users may simply be a reflection of lack of familiarity with it (Table 1). Conversely, more than 70% of all respondents expect selective harvesting to deliver commercial benefits (Table 3). Given the need to use at least some of the PV technologies detailed in the survey in order to delineate zones for selective harvesting, the prospects for future adoption appear promising. Indeed, of the non-adopters of PV, there was only one person who saw no benefit in remote sensing, only four people who saw no benefit in proximal sensing, only two who saw no benefit in yield mapping and only seven who saw no benefit in selective harvesting; no respondents thought that EM38 soil survey delivered no benefit.

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Yield mapping was the platform on which much of the initial PV research and adoption was based but has arguably seen a decline in use in the last few years, with anecdotal evidence suggesting that remotely sensed imagery is perceived as a cheaper means of exploring the idea of zonal vineyard management. This suggestion is borne by the fact that only 15 survey respondents (approximately 25%) are currently using yield mapping; all 15 could be identified as ‘advanced users’ of PV. Of these users, seven considered yield mapping to be delivering a commercial benefit and a further five thought that a commercial benefit was likely to accrue; only three thought that the value of yield mapping was confined to simply assisting in the identification of variability. Consistent with research that indicates selective harvesting may be useful across a wide range of winery infrastructure and production objectives (e.g. Bramley et al. 2005, 2011), the seven respondents who saw no value in selective harvesting were evenly spread amongst the wine-producing regions and range of enterprise sizes. Four of them were involved in grapegrowing only, but

Table 2. The benefits of Precision Viticulture1. Answer options

No substantial benefit

Useful in identifying/ understanding variability but unlikely to deliver a commercial benefit to my business

Likely to deliver a commercial benefit to my business

Already delivering commercial benefits to my business

Response count

PV in general

1

19

20

19

59

Remotely sensed imagery

2

22

18

18

58

EM38 soil survey

1

20

26

10

56

Proximal canopy sensing (e.g. using a CropCircle™ or Greenseeker™)

4

25

20

4

53

Yield mapping

2

24

26

7

58

Selective harvesting

7

12

25

16

58

Other (please specify)

0

3

2

0

5

answered question

61

skipped question

13

Respondents were asked the following question: ‘Assuming that there were no impediments to using Precision Viticulture, what do you think the benefits of Precision Viticulture might be?’

1

Table 3. Differences between users and non-users in attitudes to selected Precision Viticulture technologies1. Remote sensing

2

Yield mapping

Proximal sensing

Selective harvesting

Users

Non-users

Users

Non-users

Users

Non-users

Users

Non-users

Users

Non-users

No. Respondents

32

28

31

29

15

44

11

47

29

29

No. Advanced users2

23

2

23

2

15

10

11

14

22

3

11

14

12

5

21

5

39

74

41

80

48

82

Commercial benefit now

17

Commercial benefit likely

7

Total beneficial (%)

75

Total beneficial overall (%) 1

EM38 soil survey

9

58

7

58

4

56

16 15

7

32

79

41

18 62 71

This table derives from analysis of the data underpinning Tables 2 and 3 and does not derive from a specific survey question. Advanced users are defined here as those using three or more PV technologies.

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Figure 3. Limitations to the adoption of PV.

interestingly, three were involved in both grapegrowing and winemaking. Bramley et al. (2011) noted the importance of a partnership between grapegrowers and winemakers for selective harvesting to be worthwhile. Of course, the merits of selective harvesting are conditioned by the production objectives of the business and the variation in the vineyard and so, in some cases, it will be an unsuitable management strategy. In addition to asking about current use of PV technologies, the survey also asked whether respondents expected to be using the various PV technologies identified in Tables 1-3 over the course of the next three years. Of the 58 people who answered this question, 74% expected to be using PV generally in the next three years, with 62%, 54%, 49%, 59% and 72% of respondents expecting to be using remotely sensed imagery, EM38 soil survey, proximal canopy sensing, yield mapping and selective harvesting, respectively Of the 22 people who did not expect to use remotely sensed imagery by 2016, only two thought that this technology was of no benefit to winegrowing. Of the 26 who did not expect to make use of EM38 soil survey, only one saw no benefit in its use, while only two of the 23 people who did not expect to use yield mapping by 2016 thought that it would not be of benefit. Fifteen people had no expectation of having selectively harvested three years from now, with six of these seeing it as providing no substantial benefit. Given the generally favourable view of PV and its likely benefits, these results raise the question as to what is constraining adoption?

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Constraints to the adoption of PV Figure 3 details the response received to a question about the major limitations to the adoption of PV. It is evident that the major limitation to adoption is the perception of PV being too costly, although the lack of technical advice and support and of easy-to-use tools and software are also clearly important factors. Neither a perceived lack nor unproven commercial benefit ranked highly as a limitation to the adoption of PV. On the other hand, “too costly” usually dominates this type of question, as was the case in a survey of more than 600 graingrowers who were asked about the adoption of Precision Agriculture (Dr Rick Llewellyn, CSIRO – pers. comm.) This probably means that, given the costs (financial and otherwise), the benefits are not presently perceived to be large enough, notwithstanding the strong perceptions of benefits arising from PV as aforementioned. Should the technology become cheaper, and given the strong support for the view that PV is likely to deliver commercial benefits, increased adoption might be expected, especially in light of the fact that very few survey respondents identified ‘not enough variability in my vineyard’ as a limitation to adoption. Based on interaction with industry personnel over several years, I would also make the observation that, especially in the case of larger enterprises, adoption of PV has generally been something that has been tasked to the company viticulturist, without there being any reduction in the other tasks expected of this person. With a more W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

considered view of system design, one consequence of the adoption of PV ought to be that some tasks previously deemed as necessary could either be removed from the operation, or greatly facilitated by using information derived from PV to reduce or modify the task. Many tasks around vineyard sampling are obvious examples here. Anecdotal commentary from a collaborator who has adopted PV suggests that the initial implementation phase may indeed require additional effort or resources, but will pay off later. Finally, respondents were offered the opportunity to make comments on any aspect of PV or the areas explored by the survey; 18 chose to do so. Consistent with the above comments on limitations to adoption, a grower/consultant commented that PV was “unlikely to be relevant until economics improve”, although somewhat surprisingly, this was the only comment which specifically addressed the economics of PV. Another respondent noted that “seeing a vineyard in terms of variability of $/ha can be a very useful gateway into PA”. As a consequence, in regions dominated by small vineyards with limited use of machine harvesting, the drivers for PV adoption may not be as strong as in other places. Several comments related to the ease and extent of adoption. For example, the view was expressed that “some of it is very simple and straightforward to use”, with adoption being constrained by the “same old issue in that non-adopters say and think they are too busy to use new technology”. One respondent offered the view that “PV is the greatest technical advance since drip irrigation and canopy V28N5


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winemaking with a large multinational company, while someone with broad industry engagement in the McLaren Vale and Barossa regions offered the view that the wine sector is “tracking way behind other agricultural industries in the use of this technology. More funding to these initiatives would be good”. In fact, the Australian wine industry is pioneering the implementation of selective harvesting, which is barely used in other sectors, but the survey results suggest that initiatives to enhance its uptake would be worthwhile. Overall, the survey results suggest that, given the positive perceptions about PV’s potential benefits, more comprehensive analysis of the barriers to the adoption of its component technologies and the development of strategies to overcome these would be valuable. Such strategies would also increase the effects of the previous research in this area. The survey results also support the view that the next set of opportunities for enhancing profitability through better management of variability need to be investigated.

management”, going on to say that “it is a sad reflection on the Australian wine sector that it is not more widely used”. Another noted that “it is relatively easy to acquire the data through service providers, but there is a lack of userfriendly software that allows individuals to easily view and analyse the data/ maps to create management/harvest zones. There are a few service providers who can do this, but this gets costly”. A viticulturist suggested that “uptake of PV could be increased by demonstrating to winemakers the improvements in wines where PV has been applied, so they can advocate for growers to use it”. Another comment from a grower working with a large multinational company suggested that getting PV tools onto mobile devices would be a strong positive, especially if phones or other mobile devices with higher GPS accuracy were available. Finally, several comments expressed strong support for further research into PV. “There is enormous potential in PV for our business. We encourage any research and would be willing to participate in commercial trials”, was a comment received from someone engaged in both grapegrowing and

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Acknowledgements This work was funded by CSIRO under the aegis of its Sustainable Agriculture Flagship (CSIRO SAF). The assistance of Dr Rick Llewellyn (CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences) in the design and analysis of the survey is much appreciated, as are the comments of Dr Llewellyn and Dr Graham Bonnett (CSIRO SAF) on an earlier version of this article. References Bramley, R.G.V. (2010) Precision Viticulture: Managing vineyard variability for improved quality outcomes. Chapter 12 in: Reynolds, A.G. (Ed) Managing Wine Quality. Volume 1. Viticulture and wine quality. Woodhead Publishing: UK. ISBN 9781-84569-484-5, pp.445-480. Bramley, R.G.V.; Ouzman, J. and Thornton, C. (2011) Selective harvesting is a feasible and profitable strategy even when grape and wine production is geared towards large fermentation volumes. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 17:298-305. Bramley, R.G.V.; Proffitt, A.P.B.; Hinze, C.J.; Pearse, B. and Hamilton, R.P. (2005) Generating benefits from Precision Viticulture through selective harvesting. In: Stafford JV. (Ed) Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Precision Agriculture. Wageningen Academic WVJ Publishers, The Netherlands 891-898.

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Apogee Vineyard, at Lebrina, in north-east Tasmania, looking north. Note the small volume of winter pruning material between the rows.

Apogee Vineyard: combining Old World methods with New World thinking By Mark Smith

R

egulating crop load and vine yield figure among the key tasks of modern viticulture. Indeed, their importance cannot be overstated. Failure to achieve a proper balance between shoot growth and fruit production will have significant negative effects on winegrape quality at harvest. Tasmanian wine pioneer Dr Andrew Pirie understands just how difficult those tasks can be in a cool climate wine region. He has grappled with them for almost four decades. Now retired from positions of chief executive and senior winemaker at Tamar Ridge Estates, Pirie has gone back to his roots in northeast Tasmania to take up those same challenges again. There, he has been developing yet another new wine brand. This one is entirely his own: a smallscale, super premium, vintage sparkling wine venture he has called Apogee. With typical Pirie aplomb, his approach is to bring considerable scientific rigour to the issues of regulating crop load and vine yield.

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Six years into what he describes as “a retirement project”, he is claiming some impressive achievements. Numbered among them – and announced in late April – is Apogee’s elevation to the position of 2013 WFI Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year. Held annually since 2005, the industry-wide competition is conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania, the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, and Wine Tasmania, the state’s peak industry body. Its goal is to encourage world’s best practice among Tasmania’s 160 or so licensed wine producers. Previous recipients have been Clover Hill, Tolpuddle, Tamar Ridge, Craigow, Kelvedon Estate, Cape Bernier and Pooley Wines. During late 2012 and early 2013, participating vineyards were visited several times by a panel of industry experts. Each was assessed on more than 40 criteria related to winegrowing. The judges were Hobart agricultural W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

consultant and chairperson Frank Walker, renowned Tasmanian viticulturist and Bream Creek Vineyard owner Fred Peacock, wine industry development officer David Sanderson, and 2012 award winner Matthew Pooley. “In recent times, I’ve been keen to go back to the beginning, to take on a smallscale, hands-on project on a very good site – doing all of the intensive vineyard work myself – in order to see just how good the results can be,” Pirie told the 70 guests who attended an industry field day at Apogee Vineyard on 24 May. Best known for establishing the state’s iconic Pipers Brook Vineyard and its associated wine brands, Pirie said that the move he made to Tasmania with his late brother David in 1973 followed a trip to Europe two years earlier. Back then, he had noticed the Old World’s most favoured vineyards – especially the privileged Grand Cru sites of northern France – were generally cool, unlike much of the New World’s viticulture at the time. V28N5


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“Our decision to set up in Tasmania was based on some scientific analysis of climate,” he explained. “The theory was that if we could closely copy what was going on climatically in Burgundy and Champagne, then we could get similar results. Our hope was that we’d eventually discover Tasmania was also capable of having some privileged, high value sites. Today, we’re still working on how best to identify them.” With the benefit of 40 years of research and personal experience, Pirie outlined his return to his old stamping grounds in the Pipers Brook district. He said his rationale for his vineyard’s location and management practices is based on much more than familiarity with the north-east’s cool maritime climate and rich ferrosol soils. It amounts to a Pictured with labrador Bert, Dr Andrew Pirie has been busy with winter pruning truly innovative approach to viticulture, and tying down at Apogee Vineyard. featuring a new trellis design and some carefully conceived responses of Pinot Gris. Its fruit ripens to around “The soils on this site are still to the district’s longstanding issues 13Be almost two weeks later than our basically ferrosol, but they have a mottled surrounding crop load and vineyard yield. sparkling wine material.” caramel colour and lower water-holding Dr Pirie’s Apogee Vineyard was first Dr Pirie noted that it’s not just the capacity than you’d normally associate planted on a greenfield site he purchased cool temperatures of northern France with the district. Even so, we’ve used at Lebrina in 2007. Established half a that explain the successes enjoyed by 101-14 rootstocks in establishing our kilometre to the east of the renowned Champagne and Burgundy. 1.2ha of various Pinot Noir clones and Clover Hill Vineyard, the 2ha development “High humidities are also part of the 0.3ha of Chardonnay selections. That’s to is situated on much the same geology. story. It’s these cool humid conditions restrict vine vigour. North facing – with a gradient close to – and the mild vine stresses that “According to the data we’ve collected, 15 per cent – the site has an altitude are associated with them – that give our average temperature here during spanning 200-215m above sea level. particular favoured characters to their the growing season is 14.5°C, which That puts it some 50m or so lower than wines. All of the information that’s puts us at about the middle of the Clover Hill, thus enabling it to receive available in the literature today – which temperature range for Champagne. the benefits of significant shelter from is lining up with the data I’m getting I’m able to ripen fruit to sparkling wine prevailing winds and westerly weather – suggests that it’s under growing maturity somewhere around 2-9 April. movements. conditions of mild stress that you get the That confirms us as a high quality “I wanted to get away from the 3 7 5 6 F l u t e 8 8 x 1 8 5 _ GGW 1 2 0 1 3 - 0 3 - 2 0 T1 5 : 5 8 : 2 5 + 1 1 : 0 0 best grape maturity. sparkling wine site. We also make a little district’s deeply fertile red soils,” Pirie “That’s because vine vigour is bit of premium table wine from 0.5ha added.

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restricted by moisture stress. So long as the stress is a managed stress – not excessive – it allows photosynthesis to continue but without shoot growth. Vines in this state direct all sugars produced by the leaves to the fruit, which appears to enhance quality-related pathways in the grapes. “The story is not about final Baume. It’s more about the accumulation of sugars during the critical period of veraison or colour change. Vines with a high carbohydrate status will produce better quality fruit during their earliest stages of ripening. You tend to lose those favoured characters as you head more into drier, high stress conditions. Central Otago, for example, has much greater capacity to stress its vineyards than is commonly associated with Burgundy. The number of days and hours that a vineyard is under high moisture stress has a big impact on the flavour and tannin profiles of the fruit that it produces. That’s where the New Zealand region gets its big, dense Pinots.” Dr Pirie related some convincing arguments for returning to the Pipers Brook district. But having a sound theoretical rationale is no substitute for cost-effective, well-directed, on-ground management practices, outstanding grape and wine quality, and consistently reliable vineyard data. Apogee has all of those in abundance. While Pirie’s vine choices and management strategies were still being planned, he made sure his site was equipped to benefit from every skerrick of relevant data he could collect. A vineyard weather station and wireless substation measure and record canopy temperature; solar radiation and UV levels; relative humidity; leaf wetness; wind speed and wind direction. Soil moisture is monitored at depths of 200mm, 400mm, 600mm and 800mm. Derived measures of wind chill, soil moisture tension and evapotranspiration produce additional figures. “I’m able to collect and analyse data recorded every five minutes during the entire growing season,” Pirie explained. “We have whole sets of it stretching back over four years now. In addition to helping us guide our current management practices, they offer opportunities for us to go back to our records to see if we can define some of the critical moments that occur on the site.” Apogee’s long list of innovations is not limited to data collection and interpretation. A radical trellis design is being used to address potential issues of crop load and vine yield. Dr Pirie refers to it as a modified or unilateral Scott Henry system. Its dimensions are outwardly

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Dr Andrew Pirie at Apogee Vineyard, at Lebrina, in north-east Tasmania. similar to those found on other Tasmanian sites: 2.2m row spacings with 1.3m between vines. Instead of following a conventional Scott Henry double layered pruning system – with pairs of canes extending either side of the vine’s central trunk – Pirie’s design consists of just one pair of arms, each pointing south. These unilateral arms are then treated in the traditional Scott Henry manner, with shoots on the lower arm being trained downwards and those above being trained upwards. A ventilation window between the two arms – almost large enough for a person to climb through – allows enhanced air movement and, thus, increased protection in the face of the district’s main disease risks of botrytis bunch rot and powdery mildew. Vineyard spray regimes couldn’t be simpler. They are a matter of hitching a humble Mahindra tractor to a very basic spray rig that does the job without fan assistance. Harking back to times spent walking through the great vineyards of Champagne and Burgundy, Pirie says he is replicating the traditional French practice of leaving a significant gap between one vine and the next. The result is an intensive hybrid form of management where Old World meets New World. “Rather than filling the wire – as we’d be doing according to Australian winegrowing practices – we’re following the French Guyot system of leaving a space of about 30-40cm between successive canes. That allows better sunlight penetration early on in the growing season, the critical period when bunches are being formed for the following season. The outcome is improved bud initiation and bud fruitfulness. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

“This unilateral system really turbocharges our viticulture. The lowest vineyard yields we’ve experienced here over the last four years have been for our sparkling rosé – which gets the best of the Pinot Noir – and they’ve been around 12-14t/ha. Our average vineyard yields have been 14-16t/ha. That’s well within the range permitted in Champagne. In 2013, our total vineyard yield was 36 tonnes. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it. However, our wine quality exceeded that of 2012. “What’s important about this system is that it’s resulting in the production of sparkling wines destined for the top of the premium segment. We’ve been able to achieve that with zero botrytis. I think that shows we’ve really cracked the fruitfulness issue that’s bugged this district. Equally important, my costs per tonne are lower than if I had done things with a conventional VSP. They’re about the same as those for a canepruned vineyard that’s machine harvested. “Of course, you need plenty of operating funds at the start of the season – particularly for early season shoot removal – but the payback comes at the end with better yields of very high quality fruit. I think that’s very good news for small growers. When you’re small, you don’t have the scale and opportunities to reduce costs. “I think it’s no coincidence the average Champagne vineyard is around 2ha. I think that’s a very realistic response to the kind of intensive, hands-on work that systems like this require. And when you look around Tasmania, you can see plenty of opportunities for the establishment of profitable 2ha vineyards. That’s a very good WVJ prospect for the industry.” V28N5


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Tinta Cão: grooming the ‘red dog’

vitic u l t u re

TINTO CÃO By Peter Dry Viticulture Consultant The Australian Wine Research Institute

By Sonya Logan

Background

The 2013 edition of The Australian & New Zealand Wine Industry Directory lists 20 Australian wineries that currently crush the Portuguese variety Tinta Cão. Small family producer Mazza Wines, in Western Australia’s Geographe region, is one of the few who is making a straight varietal out the grape, which translated means ‘red dog’.

I

t took five years for David Mazza to find the perfect spot to plant his vineyard. Drawn to Western Australia’s Geographe region where he had grown up near his grandparents’ property on which a few vines were tended and made into wine each year using the traditional foot-stomping method, David had a few prerequisites: good soil and water, a north-facing slope and some gentle undulation. A patch of dirt near Donnybrook eventually fit the bill, and in 2002 David and his family set about planting four acres of vines. But it wasn’t the customary French varieties that David had earmarked for this vineyard. Rather, it was a handful of Iberian varieties, particularly those from Rioja and the Douro Valley, which had caught his attention while living in the UK for several u years in the 1990s.

Tinto Cão (TEEN-tah KAY-oh) is an old variety from northern Portugal, known since the 17th century. Total planted area in Portugal is approximately 300ha, mainly in the Douro, with a lesser area in the Dão. New plantings have been made in Estramadura and Setubal. Tinto Cão is considered to be one of the most important varieties in the Douro for port, both for quality and contribution to the blend, but it has never been widely planted—probably because of low yield. Today it is also used in blended red wines from Douro and Dão. Synonyms are Farmenta and Tinta Cão. According to recent DNA research, it could be related to both Viosinho and Tinta Francisca. It is also one of the parents of the red-juiced Rubired. There is a very small area of Tinto Cão in California. In Australia, it is used for port-style and table wines with currently 20 wine producers in WA (Margaret River, Peel, Swan), SA (McLaren Vale, Riverland), Vic. (Rutherglen, Yarra Valley) and NSW (Mudgee, Riverina). Viticulture Budburst is mid-season and ripening is late. Bunches are small, loose and berries are medium, dark-blue or black with thick skin and heavy bloom. Vigour is high and growth habit is semi-erect. In Portugal yield is said to be low and uniform. Bud fertility is good and spur pruning can be used although cane pruning is most common in Portugal. It is sensitive to drought but tolerant of heat with low susceptibility to sunburn. Harvest can be fully mechanised. It is tolerant of Botrytis bunch rot due to its loose bunch and tough skin but has moderate susceptibility to powdery and downy mildews. Wine Quality is variable: good if fruit can achieve full ripeness (at least 13.5-14.0°Brix). Such wines have moderate colour, medium to high acidity, blackcurrant and strawberry fruits with well-rounded tannins. Inadequate maturity inevitably leads to thin wines with poor colour and vegetative characters. This variety does not achieve high quality every year in the Douro. It is much better suited to blending than to varietal wine.

For further information on this and other emerging varieties, contact Marcel Essling (viticulture@awri.com.au; tel. 08 8313 6600) at The Australian Wine Research Institute to arrange the presentation of the Alternative Varieties Research to Practice program in your region. David Mazza (left) with his father John in the Mazza Wines vineyard during vintage 2013. V2 8N 5

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The Mazza Wines vineyard in Geographe, Western Australia.

“We used to travel to Spain and particularly Portugal quite a bit,” David recalls of his years while a short flight from the Iberian Peninsula. “This was around the time Portuguese producers were in the process of converting a lot of their production from Port to table wines. We really quite liked them. They were very fruit-driven.” So, in his original four acre vineyard David planted six Spanish and Portuguese winegrape varieties: Tempranillo, Graciano, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão, Bastardo and Sousao. In 2008, an additional six acres were planted to Bastardo and Touriga Nacional. The Mazzas believe their vineyard is the only one in Australia to have this collection of varieties on a single site. Just a third of an acre– or two rows – is planted to Tinta Cão in their now 10-acre vineyard, which is largely grown on heavy chocolate loams, with smaller areas of red loam with quartz. Like the rest of the vineyard, the Tinta Cão rows are planted roughly east-west and trained to a VSP, with most of the fruit grown on the northern side of the canopy. “On the south side, we leave a lot foliage. We get very hot summers. From veraison in December, it’s usually pretty hot. We’re unlikely to get anything under 32°C until after we pick and in January we usually get a week of 40ºC. And, because we don’t get coastal breezes to help cool things down, we have to protect the fruit in the afternoon. We haven’t seen any burnt fruit yet.” Vines in the Mazza vineyard are planted two metres apart, while there is 3.6m between rows. David admits this row spacing is “pretty wide”, but the aim is to allow as much light to reach the fruit as possible. David described Tinta Cão as having a “reasonably upright” growth habit. “The canes are quite wiry, unlike Tempranillo which can be very brittle when you try to train it. Tinta Cão and Touriga are very flexible by comparison.” He said the foliage of the Tinta Cão appeared quite yellow during the first couple of years. While he initially suspected disease was at play, he soon learned the discolouration was normal for the variety. “Tinta Cão is a big vine and, therefore, needs a robust trellis. It produces relatively small and spare bunches. It’s not a particularly packed bunch and it’s fantastic fruit to eat.” Excluding the Sousao and Graciano, shoot thinning and leaf plucking is carried out across the Mazza vineyard each year, the latter to provide even bunch ripening. Fruit thinning, however, is rare unless it appears the vines are working too hard.

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“We try and push the boundaries of how much water we give the vineyard. If the vines start to wilt we’ll give them water. We find Tinta Cão and Tempranillo are fairly early indicators of water stress. We pick in mid-March so we’ll turn the water on mid-January.” Although the vineyard can experience heavy easterlies, due to the east-west orientation of the rows, David says these winds tend to blow down the rows and so pose no real threat to the vines themselves. “Tinto Cão is relatively disease-resistant,” he said. “It gets a bit of powdery but only in exceptional years when it gets quite humid in December. It’s not as susceptible as Tempranillo though.” Until 2007, when production of the other varieties in the vineyard came up, Mazza Wines only produced a Tempranillo. Today it produces six wines – a Rose Bastardo, Tempranillo, Graciano, Touriga Nacional, a blend of Sousao/Graciano/Touriga Nacional/Tinta Cão/Tempranillo and, of course, a Tinta Cão which are made by a couple of contract winemakers. “For the first couple of years, the Tinta Cão was very acidic. Then the vines settled down. The wine still has a significant acid level to it but it’s not so predominant now. The wine is quite smooth, and gives you a big mouthful of red berries. There’s a lot of colour in Tinta Cão too. It’s a pretty deep colour despite spending little time on skins.” David picks his Tinta Cão at 14.5Be. “It needs to be ripe to get flavour out of the grapes. Although that makes a wine that is quite high in alcohol, it’s not predominant. We did pick one year at 13Be but it was way too acidic; we ended up tipping it out.” Although David says Tinta Cão can crop higher, he restricts his yields of the variety to 3-4 tonnes per acre. “Up until now, we’ve only been producing 25 cases of Tinta Cão a year but this year we’ll make 50 cases. That’s not a huge amount but I think that’s the highest production we’re going to get on this site. We would like to expand but that’s a little way down the track.” The Mazza Wines Tinta Cão spends around six months in oak – old, usually French wood – before being bottled ready for sale. Mazza Wines has a small distribution in a handful of restaurants and four retail outlets in Perth but most sales are direct to customers via its website (www.mazza.com.au) where the Tinta Cão can be purchased for $25.00 a bottle when purchased in 12-bottle case.

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Why do people avoid consuming wine? By Anthony Saliba1,2, Linda Ovington2 and Charini Gunaratne2 1 National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, Charles Sturt University, Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2678 2 School of Psychology, Charles Sturt University Email: asaliba@csu.edu.au

CSU researchers have investigated the reasons why individuals prefer not to purchase or drink wine, despite opting for other alcoholic beverages. This article reports on the outcomes from the initial qualitative component. Introduction

other factors, and no wine company would seek to encourage such people to start drinking wine. However, those consumers who already consume alcoholic beverages, but avoid drinking wine, are a potential untapped market. The excitement around this segment is that they are completely new customers to the wine industry and do not represent customers taken from a competitor. This benefits not only the individual wine company in question, but also the wider wine industry. Even conservative assumptions lead to multi-

T

he marketing panacea is to create new customers without cannibalising existing sales. An estimated 31 per cent of the adult population in Australia consume wine; figures are similar in the US. There are precedents for much higher wine consumption levels. In the UK, for instance, it is estimated that 60.8% of the adult population consume wine (Ritchie 2007). Some people avoid drinking alcohol altogether, for reasons of health, religion or

billion dollar estimates of the benefit in attracting current wine ‘avoiders’ to become more regular wine drinkers, especially where international as well as domestic sales are considered. We report on our current study that focusses on the reasons why individuals prefer not to purchase and/or drink wine (though do so for other alcoholic beverages). Part of a larger project using mixed-methods, we report here on the outcomes from the initial qualitative component. „

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Table 1. Themes emerging from reasons alcohol consumers prefer not to drink or purchase wine, with example statements from which the themes were derived. Primary Factors Theme 1:

Taste

Bitter Syrupy Rich Unpleasant after taste Thick/gummy (red wine) Acquired tasteY

Theme 2:

Side-effects

Headaches/migraines Hangover Allergy-like effects Nausea Sleepiness and lethargy Heartburn

Theme 3:

Complications

Like some wines but not othersB,X Need to know which food it compliments Temperature of the wine effects qualityX Stains teeth, clothingX Holding a glass more likely to spillX,Y Can’t return if don’t likeB Once open bottle needs to be consumed – can’t wasteB,Y

Theme 4:

Difficulty choosing

Too many types Taste varies, even within the same brand and type – beer/spirits change little over timeB,X None/little knowledge of different varieties Confusing language/terminology

Theme 5:

Situation

Inconvenient in bars/clubs/pubs – not flexibleX,Y Not casual Can’t drink in backyard/at a BBQ/beach

Theme 6:

Alcohol content

Judging how to stay under .05 alcohol limit Potent Can’t gauge how much alcohol consumed No clear indication of a standard drink

Theme 7:

Perception of preservatives

Causes allergy-like effects

Theme 8:

Thirst/Quantity

Can’t consume large quantities (max. 1-2 glasses) Not thirst-quenching/refreshing Can’t ‘guzzle/scull’

Theme 9:

Culture

Not part of Australian culture Characteristically feminine stereotype Men prefer to be seen drinking beer/spirits

Secondary Factors

B

Baby boomers; XGeneration X; YGeneration Y

The method

The results

A series of three focus groups were conducted in Melbourne; each group consisted of a different age category: 18-30 (Gen Y), 31-44 (Gen X) and 45 years and over (Baby Boomers), with approximately an even ratio of males and females. Participants were recruited on the basis of being regular alcohol consumers, within healthy limits, but did not drink wine or only drank wine on special occasions such as a wedding (i.e., wine consisted of less than 5% of their alcohol consumption). Alcohol producers and marketers were excluded from the study. Based on methods used by qualitative research, thematic analysis was employed to identify key themes arising from the focus groups. The themes are taken from the participants’ words, rather than from beliefs and expectations of the authors on why individuals may avoid wine.

A total of nine themes were required to explain the complex reasons why people in the three focus groups reported avoiding wine. These are described in Table 1, and Figure 1 displays the factors separated into primary and secondary categories. Primary factors were the main reasons why people avoided wine, and these would need to be addressed in order to change the behaviour of current wine avoiders. Once primary factors are addressed, secondary factors then influence the extent to which avoidance behaviour is influenced. Behaviour change would not be achieved through changing secondary factors alone.

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Taste Taste was a major reason that all groups reported avoiding wine. Negative descriptors that came up in the focus groups were: bitter, sharp, thick, syrupy W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

and gummy. Self-reported sensory descriptors are not always reliable and, knowing this, there was effort made within the sessions to tease out what each descriptor meant and whether it was accurate. ‘Bitter’ clearly relates to the primary taste of bitterness and ‘sharp’ relates to acidity. As is known for younger and new drinkers, low bitterness and acidity is preferred. The mouthfeel descriptors of thick, syrupy and gummy were more unexpected. Associated more with red than white wine, these descriptors were negative because they were not ‘watery’, a feature of beer and other drinks that led to a satisfying experience when thirsty. Although the descriptors of ‘watery’ and ‘thin’ are not associated with fine wine, it is important to understand that these taste aspects explain why some avoid wine. It is well-known that preference is influenced by exposure and familiarity. Because of the unique flavour aspects of red wine, this variety was avoided most V28N5


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strongly, particularly amongst generation Y participants. As their taste matures, their avoidance behaviour may change, but the most powerful way to influence taste preference will be to increase exposure. Some of the ways that this could be achieved are stronger promotion of cellar door opportunities, offering transition drinks and encouraging wine to be used in cooking. Generation Y Within this group a key theme was that wine was associated with older age, and a taste acquired as they got older. This indicated that participants were wine avoiders because they felt that wine would be consumed when they were older. This group was more likely to drink when out on the weekends, in bars or clubs. Thus, they felt that wine was not convenient or flexible, not a casual drink and carrying around a whole bottle was cumbersome when out. Another issue was the limited quantity of wine that could be consumed in a sitting (i.e., only one or two glasses of wine compared with six or more glasses of beer). Further, there was no clear indicator of what designated a standard drink compared

GraphicLanguage D

E

S

I

G

N

Figure 1. Factors that explain wine avoidance, separated into primary and secondary factors. with other alcoholic beverages, with a lot of variation across different servers, thus difficulty in gauging the amount of alcohol consumed. Qualities of the wine such as bitter taste (particularly red wine), not being as refreshing as beer, physical after-effects such as tiredness/ lethargy, headaches, and bad experiences with cheaper wines were also discussed. Participants felt that socially, younger persons were expected to drink white over red wine and that wine was not seen as being ‘Australian’, thus not the norm as opposed to beer and spirits. Another theme was the association between wine

The complete package

and food and the social aspect of drinking wine with a meal. Most viewed a primary function of wine as to be enjoyed with food, and paired really well with certain foods (steak, pasta). They also felt that it was more acceptable to gift/take a bottle of wine to a special occasion than other types of alcohol (beer). They saw wine dually associated with wealth and affluence (e.g. an expensive bottle of wine) and with being poor or university students (e.g. ‘goon’). When purchasing wine, participants were confused about the different types of wines and the language related to wine. „

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GenY participants were willing to learn more about wine (e.g. differentiating flavours across categories, grapes, cheap and expensive wines and foodwine pairings). This indicates that education might play a role in creating new consumers, particularly when they were a little older. They also believed that expensive wine was of a better quality, and tasted better; this bodes well for the future as the wine industry attempts to gravitate consumers toward higher priced Australian wines (currently, consumers tend to purchase international wines in higher price brackets before an Australian alternative). While this age group does indicate that wine consumption is more of a future prospect, and not exactly relevant to their age group due to current cultural and social perceptions, one possible way of circumventing this attitude may be through the inclusion of media campaigns featuring younger celebrities or media personalities. There is no doubt that this would be done with due respect to healthy drinking patterns. Products that may address other concerns of GenY include more varieties of reduced alcohol wine, as well as wine cocktails such as wine spritzers (e.g. wine topped with soda water). Although this may not be viewed as a wholly wine beverage, it could be a possible transition/introduction to wine in non-consumers. Generation X This group associated wine with sophistication and classiness (snobbish) which they believed was ‘not them’. Other alcohol suited their personality more such as beer (for men) and spirits (for men and women).They were not, however, interested in having the image of wine changed to be more casual. They liked the idea of being able to use wine to show their sophistication at a certain place or situation such as a formal or corporate event. On the flip side, this group also associated wine with food, particularly steak and pasta, at home or a restaurant. The food association no longer included the ‘snobbishness’ perception. Overall, it appears that the sophistication of wine is associated with people consuming it at formal events, but this image is lost when food is consumed sitting down at a table with friends and family. Reasons given as to why this age group avoid wine include: the effects wine has on them such as causing hangovers more so than other beverages; causing headaches due to the preservatives and ‘sulfites’, and making them feeling sleepy and lethargic, which is undesirable at the start of a night out. People discussed how they enjoyed being able to ‘guzzle down’ a beer or mixer (e.g. a gin and tonic) when

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thirsty or at a pub/bar, but not being able to do this with a wine. After a glass or two of wine the alcohol effects occur and then they cannot consume any more, which makes it less social at a bar or pub; but okay with dinner. The ‘inconvenience’ of wine also came through in this group. They felt that wine must be drank from a glass and that holding a glass at a club or bar is awkward. Also, the likelihood of the glass breaking if dropped is higher for a wine glass than a bottle. When purchasing wine there is confusion over what to buy. The vast numbers of wines available, the different types and brands caused a lot of confusion. In this case, people reported sticking to what they know or trying something recommended. Others said they were swayed by an attractive bottle or label and how many medals the wine had won, whereas others reported just buying something for $10. Perhaps the main reason this group avoided wine was due to the taste and texture. The taste of wine was compared with medicine and being syrupy (red wine); the ‘aftertaste’ was also mentioned as being undesirable. For Generation X, greater knowledge of how wines can complement food would encourage them to be more confident in purchasing wine. Baby Boomers The Baby Boomers were open minded about wine and tended to respond positively when asked if they would consume wine if their reasons for avoiding it were removed. The main reasons they reported avoiding wine were the taste, confusion about making a choice and the way it made them feel. Despite this, they were open to the idea of trying wine, though were concerned about the wastage associated with buying a bottle that they did not like. When pressed, they seemed less concerned about the money (though this was an issue for some) and more concerned about the wasted wine that would be thrown out. The Baby Boomers were excited by the prospect of being able to test smaller sample sizes, in particular being able to purchase a ‘sample pack’ of different wines in small serving sizes such as 375mL. The Baby Boomers were resistant to peer pressure and would not consume wine because others were, even at a dinner party. There was concern around the level of alcohol in wine. First, Baby Boomers lamented that Australia does not have a “table wine like France and Italy do”. Instead, Australian wine was seen as being higher in alcohol. Secondly, some liked the control of adding their own mixers to alcohol to control the dose, or consuming beer where the alcoholic dose was clear. The control theme amongst this group meant that W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

even if a lower-alcohol wine was offered, they would still be concerned about how their consumption related to standard drinks. Some Baby Boomers found that wine made them sleepy or caused allergic-like reactions even at low doses; they purported that organic wine reduced the ill effects because it did not contain the preservatives that normal wine does and that they were willing to pay more for organic wine. A lower alcohol level was seen as a solution to the sleepy factor. A product offering would need to take all of these factors into account, not just a lower alcohol level. The Baby Boomers became excited at the prospect of being able to trial wine and did not seem to understand the opportunities available to them at cellar door. It is likely that this kind of direct experience could influence this group to become wine drinkers, more so than education around wine choice, as the Baby Boomers were mistrusting of recommendations from others (other than trusted friends) on the basis that salespeople would recommend wine that was in their interests rather than suitable, and wine critic suggestions did not accord with their preferences. The Baby Boomers did see some limitations to how they would use wine, even if their concerns were addressed, specifically, they thought wine was to be consumed in the presence of others, ideally with food and that wine was ‘complicated’ and not something that you would drink casually. They also thought that Australian culture, the hot climate and drinking to satisfy a thirst was not consistent with the texture of wine. Conclusions This study used focus groups and a qualitative methodology to develop major themes that describe why three generational cohorts avoid drinking wine. The results can be used by business owners to guide decisions on how to attract new customers that are unlikely to cannibalise an existing customer base. On balance, the Baby Boomers seemed more open to adopting wine than the other generational cohorts, though the importance of the youngest group, as future wine drinkers, should not be underestimated. We have suggested several potential new product offerings and these, along with others, will be tested in a quantitative phase of the study to be completed early in 2014. Reference Ritchie, C. (2007) Beyond drinking: The role of wine in the life of the UK consumer. International Journal of WVJ Consumer Studies 31:534-540. V28N5


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Optimising the effect of wine education on Asian international students By Dr Armando Corsi, Dr Justin Cohen and Professor Larry Lockshin Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, University of South Australia

A GWRDC-funded study has been conducted with the aim of better understanding how to educate younger Asian students about Australian wine.

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sia is on the radar of most wine industry professionals. However, many New World producers, including Australia, suffer at the expense of the strong perception of French wine in Asia, particularly China. There is a creative opportunity to leverage Australia’s positive perception in Asia. Education is a core component of the Australian economy. Eighty per cent of Australian international students come from Asia (The Times 2013). This presents a unique opportunity to investigate how this cohort best learns to appreciate wine. Increasing their knowledge of wine during a formative and positive period of their lives when living abroad could increase their likelihood to become ambassadors for Australian wine when returning home. Education plays a fundamental role in helping to develop preferences such that one can influence new Asian wine drinkers to prefer Australian wine styles. However, the role of education in the wine sector has barely been investigated scientifically. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, only a couple of papers dealt with this issue, but none in Australia. LaTour et al. (2011) showed that when novice consumers were exposed to a conceptual type of training (e.g. explanation about how the wine is produced and discussion about wine varietals), they were better able to identify wines previously tried and were less influenced by fictitious advertising. In addition, these consumers thought the wine was of higher quality and they were willing to pay a higher price for it. Another study by Sagala (2013), a Canadian wine educator, showed that participation in a wine course led to an increase in perceived subjective knowledge, the importance of varietal and regional attributes, and the willingness to talk about wine. While LaTour et al. (2011) tackled the issue of different training methods, they did not study how to plan a traditional V2 8N 5

type of wine education course. Conversely, Sagala (2013) analysed the effect of a real wine education course, but didn’t test different delivery approaches. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to fill the gaps left by these two studies by understanding what educational approach is most able to improve the perception of Australian wines among younger Asian students via a realistic wine education course. In this base study, the authors tested whether education based on regions of origin or based on grape varieties improves the likeability, willingness to pay and perceived price points for a series of red wines tasted blind. This research represents the first of a series of four studies funded by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) to understand how to better educate younger Asian students about Australian wines. In the next 18 months the researchers will develop the methods further to support the Australian wine industry in understanding and communicating to the Asian wine market. Method and sample The method used in this study is divided into two sections: a) the selection of the wines to be assessed in the blind sessions by the participants; b) the organisation of the education courses. For the first part of the method, the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) helped the researchers to select six red wines, which are representative of the main styles of red wines available in Australia. The focus on red wines is obvious as they represent 85% of Australian exports to China. For the second part of the method, a convenience sample of university students living in the Adelaide metropolitan area was recruited via different social media platforms to take part in the experiment. In order to qualify for participation, students had to be between 18 and 30 W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

years old, be born in an Asian country and lived there for at least 10 years. The students had to attend all the scheduled sessions in order to receive a gift card as compensation for their time.

The purpose of this research is to understand what educational approach is most able to improve the perception of Australian wines among younger Asian students via a realistic wine education course.

Dependent variables: All the students participated in a central location hedonic test in Adelaide. Each participant evaluated all six wines selected based on the diversity of sensory attributes as described by the AWRI sensory descriptive panel. The wines were presented monadically using a balanced randomised presentation order across respondents with three-digit coded ISO standard wine glasses. Each glass contained 30mL of wine. Participants were advised to rest between the wines and drink some water. Assessments were made on paper with an individual questionnaire presented for each wine. The participants rated each wine for: • overall liking on a nine-point hedonic scale (‘dislike extremely’ to ‘like extremely’) • willingness to purchase on a five-point Likert scale (‘definitely would not purchase’ to ‘definitely would purchase’) • perceived price point on a five-point Likert scale (‘$8 or below’ to ‘over $25’). Three groups of participants attended the central location hedonic test. Two groups took part in a wine education course www.wine biz. com . au

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between the two blind tasting sessions, while the control group didn’t receive any training. Independent variables: the students who took part in the education courses were randomly assigned to join one of the two scheduled courses – education by grape variety or education by region of origin. Each course was comprised of three onehour sessions over a 10-day period. Each session consisted of a theoretical component (25 minutes approximately) where the wine educator gave information about the grape variety (introduction, history, climate and soil, grapegrowing conditions, famous worldwide wine regions, flavour characteristics, and food pairings) or the region of origin (introduction, history, climate and soil, regional production, famous regional grape varieties). This was followed by a tasting of three wines (35 minutes approximately) for a total of nine wines per course. The students were invited to taste the wines on their own and then the floor was open for discussion between students and the wine educators about the visual, olfactory and tasting characteristics of each wine and the relationships with the elements of theory discussed in the first part of the lecture. These nine wines were identical for all students, but the order in which the wines were presented differed in relation to the course the students attended. The selection of the grape varieties took into account the level of popularity these varieties have in the Asian market. The regions of origin were located in different states to make the study more representative of the Australian wine industry, and good quality wines from each of the three grape varieties had to be able to be sourced from each region. Table 1 summarises the way in which the wines were presented to the participants. A total of 111 students took part in the study. The sociodemographic profiles of the three groups were not significantly

Table 1. Organisation of wines for the wine education courses. SESSION

Min

1

Education by grape variety

Education by region of origin

25

Pinot Noir: Theory

Margaret River: Theory

35

Pinot Noir: Margaret River, Yarra Valley, Adelaide Hills

Margaret River: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz

25

Cabernet Sauvignon: Theory

Yarra Valley: Theory

35

Cabernet Sauvignon: Margaret River, Yarra Valley, Adelaide Hills

Yarra Valley: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz

25

Shiraz: Theory

Adelaide Hills: Theory

35

Shiraz: Margaret River, Yarra Valley, Adelaide Hills

Adelaide Hills: Pinot Noir Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz

2

3

different. All students came from an Asian country with the majority from China (48%), they were mostly 20-24 years old (60%), and they moved to Australia less than six months prior to the beginning of the course (29%). The students are almost equally spread between males and females. Results Figure 1 to Figure 3 present the results on average overall likeability, willingness to purchase, and perceived price points of the six wines tasted blind before and after the course. Education by region of origin generated a significant positive change in overall likeability, willingness to purchase and perceived price point. In particular, the average likeability value across the six

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wines increased by 11% from 5.2/9.0 to 5.8/9.0 (p=0.001), which is the highest average score across the three treatments. Similarly, the willingness to purchase the six wines improved by 11% from 3.0/5.0 to 3.3/5.0, once again the highest score across the three treatments. Finally, the perceived price point moved from 2.4 to 3.2 (p= 0.000), where 2 = ‘$9-$15’ and 3 = ‘$16-$20’, and 4=‘$21-$25’. In this case, the average perceived price point after the education course is not the highest among the three treatments, as the education by grape variety led to a final value of 3.4/5.0. However, while the education by region of origin improved the score by 30%, education by grape variety showed an improvement of only 22% between the two conditions. As with the other two dependent variables, education by grape variety generated an average increase in overall likeability from 5.2/9.0 to 5.5/9.0, while the control group score remained substantially identical between the two sessions (5.1/9.0 and 5.2/9.0, respectively). Neither of these two changes is statistically significant. Similarly, we didn’t observe any significant change in willingness to purchase for the control group (2.96/5.0 and 3.02/5.0 for the first and second evaluations, respectively) or the education by grape variety (3.0/5.0 and 3.2/5.0, respectively). Finally, no significant difference in terms of perceived price point was registered for the control group (2.5/5.0 and 2.6/5.0), while education by grape variety led to the highest willingness to purchase level (3.5/5.0), but as explained previously, the education by region of origin led to a higher percentage change between the two blind evaluations.

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Conclusions This study provides insights into the effectiveness of wine education structure, which should influence the strategies employed by Wine Australia, Australian wine producers and wine educators, both in Australia and Asia. Findings of the first phase of research demonstrate that education by region of origin is more effective than by grape variety and can improve the likeability, willingness to purchase and perceived price points of wines. This is beneficial for the positioning of Australian wines in the Asian market, where Australia still suffers from the image developed by France. The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science is conducting a range of studies on the preferences Chinese consumers have about wine, thanks to the support of GWRDC. In particular, one of the key research projects involves the analysis of the type of lexicon or flavour descriptions Australian wines should use to be better understood by Chinese consumers. Another project – the China Wine Barometer – tracks the changes in preferences Chinese consumers have about wine in the three-year period from 2013-2015. The findings of these other projects will be applied in the wine education program to improve our communication techniques to better Asian consumers’ responses to Australian wines. References LaTour, K.; LaTour, M.S. and Feinstein, A.H. (2011) The effects of perceptual and conceptual training on novice drinkers development. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. 52(4):445-457. Sagala, R. (2013) The impact of general public wine education courses on consumers perception. AAWE Working Paper. 132:1-19. The Times (2013) Australia’s drive for international students, available at: http:// www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/comment/columnists/australias-drive-forinternational-students/2002507.article

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The influence of the senses on the consumption and purchase of wine By Charles Spence, Crossmodal Research Laboratory, Oxford University. Email: charles.spence@psy.ox.ac.uk

Drawing on his intriguing presentation at the recent Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Sydney, Charles Spence explores how drinking wine involves not only the senses of smell and taste, but also visual, oral-somatosensory, and possibly even auditory cues as well, which not only influence the multisensory interactions taking place in the mouth but also the environments in which wine is purchased and consumed.

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hen thinking about wine, it is tempting to focus solely on the sensory properties of the drink itself, and how they are integrated in the mind of the consumer. However, the senses also influence which wine we end up drinking in the first place. What is more, once we are happily drinking a glass of wine, the multisensory attributes of the atmosphere in which we drink can also exert a dramatic effect on the overall experience. First, though, let’s look at the role of the senses at the point of sale. The majority of the research here has been conducted on the effect of environmental music on people’s wine-purchasing behaviours. Areni and Kim (1993), for example, reported that consumers purchase more expensive wine from wine stores playing classical music than when ‘Top-40’ tunes are played instead. Meanwhile, North et al. (1997) found that consumers in the alcohol section of a British supermarket were far more likely to purchase French (rather than German) wine when French accordion music was played. The pattern of sales was, however, reversed when German music was played instead (see Figure 1). Given such results, it is shocking to see just how many wine stores happily let their store manager blast their own musical selection out across the aisles. Interestingly, shoppers typically do not realise what a profound effect the background music has on their selection of wine. If you don’t believe me, just consider the following: When the shoppers came away from the tills in North’s study, they were asked whether the background music had influenced their purchasing decisions. Only six out of 44 said that the music might have influenced their choice of wine. This was despite the fact that the evidence clearly demonstrated that

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the background music had profoundly affected their purchasing behaviour (see Figure 1). So, in other words, if you want to know what the key drivers underlying wine purchasing behaviour are, the last person you should ask is probably the shopper. And putting two and two together, the astute Australian wine marketer will have realised that the thing to do may be to start sending out free CDs of classical Australian music if they want to promote sale of their wines abroad… There is also some evidence to suggest that the visual attributes of the store atmosphere can influence a consumer’s behaviour, be that in a wine cave or when tasting at a winery (Areni & Kim 1994, Oberfeld et al. 2009). Indeed, it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if the liberal sprinkling of the Australian flag in the wine section of a supermarket or wine store were not to bias sales in a manner similar to that demonstrated following the presentation of French or German music. Wine marketers can also utilise the consumer’s sense of touch. Shoppers can sometimes be seen picking up a couple of bottles from the shelf and weighing them up in their hands, as if unsure of which one to take. Now while such behaviour obviously doesn’t provide any direct information about the quality of a wine, the weight of the bottle may nevertheless still provide a subtle cue that the shopper may use when deciding which of the bottles represents better value for money. Relevant here in terms of interpreting such consumer behaviour is Piqueras-Fiszman and Spence’s (2012) recent demonstration of a significant correlation between weight and price in the wine aisles. Put simply, for every pound sterling extra that the shopper pays, they are typically rewarded with an extra 8g of wine bottle! W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

Figure 1. Number (and % in brackets) of bottles of French vs. German wine sold as a function of the type of background music played in a supermarket. Source: North et al. (1997) Knowing this, the New World producer may want to think about increasing the perceived value of their product offerings simply by packaging it in a bottle that is noticeably heavier. While many Argentinean producers have already jumped on this bandwagon (just try lifting a bottle of Caetana Zapata, for example – it comes in at just over 1.5kg when empty, when many budget wines weigh just under 1kg when full), I have seen far less evidence of weight being used as a strategic marketing cue in the premium Australian wine market. I am not aware of any studies having been conducted on the influence of fragrance in a wine store on wine sales. However, I would imagine that such a study cannot be far off, given that many other retailers are already thinking about how to boost their sales through the intelligent use of scent (Spence 2002). Taken together, then, stimulating the shoppers’ senses is clearly important when it comes to biasing their in-store wine selection. Presumably many of the same factors will also influence customer behaviour in other settings, such as that of the restaurant. V28N5


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Multisensory flavour perception Over the last few years, researchers have learnt far more about flavour than ever before. It turns out that all of the senses (that is taste, smell, vision, touch, and even hearing) contribute to what a consumer experiences, and reports, as the taste of a wine. One of the first (and, hence, most important) clues comes from the colour of the wine (Spence 2010a, b). Intriguing evidence here comes from a classic experiment reported by Morrot et al. (2001). In this French study, budding oenologists in Bordeaux were tricked into using red wine odour descriptors to describe a white wine that had been coloured with an odourless dye to look just like a red wine. These results have been taken by many to demonstrate vision’s dominance over judgments of a wine’s aroma. Subsequent research conducted in New Zealand with a group of wine experts suggests that they are just as gullible when it comes to being misled by the inappropriate colouring of a glass of wine (Parr et al. 2003). Hearing is probably the last sense that anyone considers when thinking about wine. That said, several authors have suggested that you can hear the quality of a wine just from the sound it makes when poured into a glass. While testing such claims remains a topic for some serious future empirical investigation, it is certainly true that people can discriminate the temperature of a drink from the sound that it makes when poured. What is more, a good part of our perception of carbonation turns out to come from the sounds of the popping bubbles. Smell and taste are undoubtedly two of the most important senses when it comes to wine appreciation. However, these senses interact in surprising ways. Gustatory cues from the tongue can only tell the consumer about the sweetness, sourness, bitterness and, occasionally, saltiness saltiness of a wine. The majority of wine’s more interesting characteristics come from the nose (as when we sniff – what is known as orthonasal olfaction), or from the joint contribution of taste and retronasal olfaction when we swallow. Pam Dalton and her colleagues have reported that odourless tastants on the tongue can serve to enhance a taster’s experience of the aroma/flavour of a liquid (see Figure 2). By now, a number of other research groups have demonstrated very similar results for a variety of other flavour attributes and beverage types. V2 8N 5

Figure 2. Figure highlighting the integration of orthonasal olfactory (i.e., sniffing) and gustatory cues (Dalton et al. 2000). When a sub-threshold solution of saccharin was placed on the tongue, a significant increase in a taster’s olfactory sensitivity was observed, despite the fact that the tastant had no odour. These results demonstrate one of the multisensory interactions between smell and taste. Note that holding a small amount of water, or monosodium glutamate, in the mouth has no effect on olfactory thresholds. The oral-somatosensory attributes of wine (what is sometimes known as the mouthfeel) are also very important; everything from a wine’s temperature through to its astringency, think of the ‘grippiness’ of young tannins or the viscosity of a high alcohol wine. However, once again it is worth noting that the viscosity or oiliness of a wine might well turn out to be a multisensory attribute that involves the joint contribution of both oralsomatosensory cues in the oral cavity, together with some contribution from the olfactory cues in the nose. Atmospherics at the point of consumption The multisensory atmosphere in those places where the social drinker happens to imbibe, be that in the wine cellar or in a top-end restaurant, can also exert a profound effect on the experience of a wine. In one striking study, people visiting a winery on the Rhine were willing to pay as much as 50% more for exactly the same Riesling wine under fluorescent red lighting than under normal white lighting (see Figure 3, page 88). Such results obviously hint at just how important the visual aspects of the environment can be in terms of influencing a consumer’s behaviours, especially at the cellar door. What about the sound of the environment? Can that also affect what we think about the wine that we are tasting? Evidence on this score comes from North (2012) who recently W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

demonstrated that the music playing in the background can influence people’s wine ratings. In his study, 250 undergraduates were given a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay to drink while listening to one of four pieces of music. Intriguingly, the wines were rated as significantly more powerful and heavy when Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana was played, while they were rated as significantly more ‘zingy and refreshing’ by those listening to Nouvelle Vague’s ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’. Loud background music also impairs a drinker’s ability to discriminate alcohol content, and can make drinks taste sweeter too. Finally, the loudness of the background music, its speed, and even its style influence the rate at which people drink (Spence 2012). Now, I have yet to conduct the study, but from everything that I have read about the influence of the glass, I feel sure that the weight of the glassware will affect the taster’s experience of wine (Spence 2011b). Consumers typically associate heavier with higher quality. As such, I cannot help but be surprised, then, when merchants trying to shift their wares at the airport (or supermarket) choose to serve their premium product offerings to consumers from cheap (and very light, often plastic) glasses. Conclusions The senses influence the consumer’s experience of wine in a number of ways. The sensory attributes www.wine biz. com . au

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WINE FLAVOUR MODIFIED BY AMBIENT COLOUR

drinking. All told, then, the senses exert a profound effect on all aspects of our interaction with wine, from purchase through consumption. Understanding the nature of these interactions, and moving away from an approach that relies too heavily on what the consumer says, to a closer observation of what they actually do, will hopefully allow for a more scientific approach to wine in the years to come. References Areni, C.S. and Kim, D. (1993) The influence of background music on shopping behaviour: Classical versus top-forty music in a wine store. Advances in Consumer Research 20:336-340. Areni, C.S. and Kim, D. (1994) The influence of in-store lighting on consumers’ examination of merchandise in a wine store. International Journal of Research in Marketing 11:117-125. Dalton, P.; Doolittle, N.; Nagata, H. and Breslin, P.A.S. (2000) The merging of the senses: Integration of sub-threshold taste and smell. Nature Neuroscience 3:431-432. Morrot, G.; Brochet, F. and Dubourdieu, D. (2001) The colour of odours. Brain and Language 79:309-320. North, A.C. (2012) The effect of background music on the taste of wine. British Journal of Psychology 103:293-301. North, A.C.; Hargreaves, D.J. and McKendrick, J. (1997) In-store music affects product choice. Nature 390:132. Oberfeld, D.; Hecht, H.; Allendorf, U. and Wickelmaier, F. (2009) Ambient lighting modifies the flavour of wine. Journal of Sensory Studies 24:797-832.

Figure 3. Results of Oberfeld et al. (2009) study conducted in a winery on the Rhine illustrating the effect of ambient illumination on hedonic ratings of a Riesling wine given by wine buyers (ratings expressed on a 10-point scale; upper panel). The lower panel highlights the maximum buying price that the participants were willing to pay for a bottle (in Euros) as a function of the ambient lighting. n = the number of participants taking part in each condition. Asterisks and crosses indicate significant pair-wise differences (*: P < 0.05, †: P < 0.1). Source: Oberfeld et al. (2009) of the environments in which we select wine can result in us paying more, or else choosing a wine from a different region than we might otherwise have done. When it comes to actually tasting a wine, the senses interact in intriguing and, until recently, not well

understood ways that give rise to so many of the wine flavours we know and love. Finally, the sensory attributes of the atmosphere in the place where we happen to be drinking can also affect not only what we think about the tasting, but also how quickly we end up

Parr, W.V.; White, K.G. and Heatherbell, D. (2003) The nose knows: Influence of colour on perception of wine aroma. Journal of Wine Research 14:79-101. Piqueras-Fiszman, B. and Spence, C. (2012) The weight of the bottle as a possible extrinsic cue with which to estimate the price (and quality) of the wine? Observed correlations. Food Quality & Preference 25:41-45. Spence, C. (2002) The ICI report on the secret of the senses. London: The Communication Group. Spence, C. (2010a) The colour of wine – Part 1. The World of Fine Wine 28:122-129. Spence, C. (2010b) The colour of wine – Part 2. The World of Fine Wine 29:112-119. Spence, C. (2011a) Wine and music. The World of Fine Wine 31:96-104. Spence, C. (2011b) Crystal clear or gobbletigook? The World of Fine Wine 33:96-101. Spence, C. (2012) Auditory contributions to flavour perception and feeding behaviour. Physiology & Behaviour 107:505-515.

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Large crush raises profitability concerns By Mark Rowley, Industry Analyst, Wine Australia

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he Winemaker’s Federation of Australia recently announced that the Australian 2013 winegrape crush is estimated to have totalled 1.83 million tonnes. The size of the crush has drawn comparisons to the large crops of five years ago and has caused commentators to raise concerns about the potential effect on shortterm industry profitability. The analysis for this article suggests that due to increased wine production and lower aggregate sales volume, the industry’s stocks to sales ratio (SSR) has increased from last year. There has not been an immediate effect on the price of bulk red and white wine, which both remain on the same trend as before the vintage crush was announced. To examine the implications of the vintage, this article will first examine the key supply and demand statistics for red and white wine and then analyse the major trends in bulk exports – which historically have been the most reactionary to changes in the supply base. Table 1 illustrates key Australian red wine production, stocks and sales statistics. According to the WFA Vintage Report, the red wine crush increased by 14 per cent in 2013. Assuming a long-term average extraction rate, the analysis estimates that finished red wine production would increase by approximately 8% in 2013. Using these production assumptions, combined with actual sales figures1,

it is expected that red wine inventories would have increased by an estimated 4% to 932 million litres, or 1.51 times total annual red wine sales in 2012-13. Table 2 illustrates key Australian white wine production, stocks and sales statistics. According to the Vintage Update, the white wine crush increased by 7% in 2013. Assuming long-term average extraction rates, the analysis estimates that white wine production increased by 1% in 2013. Using these assumptions for production and actual sales figures, it is expected that white wine inventories would have increased by an estimated 10% to 695 million litres, or 1.27 times total white wine sales in 2012-13. While it is acknowledged that the bulk wine market includes volumes of branded Australian wine packaged in the market of consumption, it will often also reflect a response to stock pressures. Since the time that the intake for the 2013 vintage has largely been known, total bulk red wine exports have declined, however, the rate of decline has eased since January (see Figure 1, page 90). Over this period, the average value has remained stable after a strong increase in the latter half of 2012. Since January 2013, the share of red wine exported for under $1 per litre FOB declined by four percentage points to a 40% share in July 2013. This year, there have

Table 1. Red wine production, stocks and sales overview. Source: Wine Australia analysis, WAC & ABS 2005-06

2006-07

Wine production

776

472

Stocks

1165

956

Exports

455

497

Domestic sales

154

166

Estimated fortified and sparkling sales

32

Total sales SSR

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13e

674

629

622

561

604

652

1019

1011

961

910

899

932

446

442

468

447

435

406

161

171

176

173

173

179

34

34

33

37

36

34

34

642

697

641

646

681

656

641

619

1.82

1.37

1.59

1.57

1.41

1.39

1.40

1.51

Table 2. White wine production, stocks and sales overview. Source: Wine Australia analysis, WAC & ABS 2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13e

Wine production

622

475

568

543

505

539

607

613

Stocks

769

593

663

670

581

586

629

695

Exports

265

283

243

292

291

264

263

277

Domestic sales

213

222

212

212

219

219

216

212

Estimated fortified and sparkling sales

49

53

52

51

59

56

58

59

Total sales

527

557

507

555

569

539

538

547

SSR

1.46

1.06

1.31

1.21

1.02

1.09

1.17

1.27

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cr u s h st a ts

Figure 1. Bulk red wine exports by price segment and average price. Source: Wine Australia

Figure 2. Bulk white wine exports by price segment and average price. Source: Wine Australia

been no bulk red wine shipments valued at under A$0.50 per litre. Figure 2 illustrates Australian bulk white wine exports by price segment. The figure demonstrates that there has not been a meaningful shift in bulk shipments since the crop size was known. Total exports have been flat over the past half year. The average price has declined, however, this trend has been in place for the past 12-month period. Of some concern, is the reemergence of some shipments of bulk white wine below A$0.50 per litre. A total of 3 million litres were shipped in this segment. The share of bulk white wine exports below $1 per litre also increased, from a 77% share in January to an 80% share in the year ended July 2013. Note that Australia represents just 4% of global wine production and, therefore, Australian supply is a small component of a global wine market. The economic and global wine market conditions have

changed significantly since the time that Australia last recorded a vintage intake of this volume. Reduced planted vineyard area in Australia and Europe coupled with continued growth in global wine sales, largely driven by increasing demand in Asia, has brought the global supply of wine more in-balance with total demand. Recent easing of the Australian dollar to levels last experienced in 2010 is likely to have some effect if the easing is sustained. The results of the next Wine Export Approval Report will provide greater clarity as to the market impacts resulting from the 2013 harvest. Endnotes 1

 n analysis of the varieties used for sparkling and fortified wine exports in Wine A Australia Export Approval database is the basis of the assumptions used for sales in this category. Some Moscato is included in this section.

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Getting the mix right for Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends Of the 18 blends of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc tasted for this issue of Journal (see results page 95), five were deemed by the tasting panel as being top of the class. We asked the producers behind three of them to share what goes into making these top drops. Wayne & Ria Hammond Owners Oakway Estate Geogrpahe, Western Australia Wine: 2012 Oakway Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (RRP$16/bottle) VITICULTURE Fruit for this wine was sourced from a combination of estate-grown and contract fruit purchases all from the Geographe wine region in Western Australia. The estate vineyard is located at Donnybrook, and has an elevation of 100m above sea level. The soil is a light loam over gravel through to sand with slight undulation towards the Capel River on our southern boundary. The vineyard faces north-south and experiences a Mediterranean climate with the maximum and minimum temperatures in spring and autumn averaging 18°C and 5°C, respectively, and 32°C and 23°C, respectively, in summer. We experience frosts from late June through to November with an average of eight to 10 good frosts during dormancy. Being in the river valley and hills we are protected somewhat from winds but do experience several storms through dormancy. During summer and the ripening period we get heat relief from cooling afternoon sea breezes resulting in cooler nights and time for the vines and fruit to recover from the heat of the day. We only have a small vineyard of 2ha, which includes 1000 Sauvignon Blanc vines – mostly F4V6 with a few HSV10. The other varieties planted include Chardonnay, Muscat a Petit Grains, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines are trained to a VSP comprising five metre bays, with three vines per bay, and an inter-row spacing of three metres. We shoot and bunch thin as well as hedge and leaf pluck as needed prior to and during veraison. We irrigate via 2.7 litre-per-hour drippers spaced 1.5 metres apart. We use water sparingly so that the vines don’t get stressed or over watered during the hotter months and prior to harvest. This V2 8N 5

Wayne and Ria Hammond, proprietors of Oakway Estate, in Western Australia’s Geographe region. is, on average, around two to three hours, twice per week. Grass is cultivated in the inter-rows which is not irrigated; the rows are slashed during the growing season and side thrown under the vines for mulching and water retention. The vines are spur-pruned by hand to between eight and 10 buds per vine. As we are reasonably isolated from other vineyards or horticultural operations, we have few disease pressures. Guinea fowls are used to manage most of our insect problems. We have some seasonal issues with powdery and downy mildew early in the season. We employ near organic principles where possible using natural fertilisers and canopy sprays to promote healthy microcultures in the soil and canopy. One of our biggest challenges in growing quality Sauvignon Blanc is the rising costs of labour in the winery and in vineyard management while trying to stay competitive in price. Another challenge W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

comes from using Geographe fruit; due to the warm to hot ripening conditions, making aromatic and flavoursome whites can be a challenge. The wines, at worse, can be lean and simple, with mainly citrus fruit flavours dominating. We try to pull the wines in the direction of having fruit intensity and interesting complexity. For balance we try to retain the natural acidity as best as possible by generally picking earlier. One vineyard that holds its acid well is picked at higher sugar levels to get some of the tropical spectrum of fruit flavours. We tend to grow really fruit-driven crops with flavour intensity, good acid balance and lower sugar level. We use the old fashioned taste test in determining the best time to pick, combined with the science of the day, then do a trade off. We aim for between 11-12 Baume at harvest and low yields of between 1-1.5 tonnes from our own estate. The Geographe properties from which www.wine biz. com . au

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we source fruit are similar to our own but are a little further north. The main quality parameter we tend to be drawn to on those properties is intensity of flavour. We also consider the ability of the fruit to ripen and retain acidity to be an important aspect of quality. We generally aim for about 11.5 Baume on most of the vineyards to retain the natural acidity in the wine. This helps achieve a more naturally-balanced wine, and the wines tend to age well. We do have select vineyards that retain good acid for longer into the ripening process and we do harvest these wines at the riper end of scale (›13 Baume). At blending this can lead to a wider range of flavours in the profile of the wine. Yields from these vineyards are typically quite low, around 8 tonnes/ hectare. WINEMAKING Fruit from all vineyards is picked using a combination of hand picking at first light and mostly machine harvesting during the night with the aim to have the fruit leave the properties around 10.00am and be in the winery before the heat of the day intensifies. The grapes are crushed separately with only the free-run portion of juice selected and put into stainless steel tanks for fermentation. Cool ferments are normal practice with a small portion of Semillon barrel fermented. If time allows, some extended lees contact post ferment is desired. Small oak – barrel and oak alternatives – is often used to add structure to the wines and subtle complexity, but we are not looking for oak flavours. MARKETING We market the wines ourselves via our cellar door, website, various online wine shops, and through restaurants and independent liquor stores in Western Australia and in some on-premise outlets in Sydney and Melbourne. Our labels were redesigned three

years ago to the current ‘O’ label, which has proven very successful with the consumer. The single ‘O’ label is designed to reflect Oakway and the top of an oak barrel. The single label has also reduced our label costs. The oak tree logo is a stylised dormant oak tree. We incorporate a clean front image, with the tasting and consumer information placed to the side. For the 2013 vintage wines, we have switched to using Lean+Green® bottles and plan to move across fully to these bottles in time. This is in keeping with our environmental philosophy. We have to rely heavily on wine show results and reviews to create interest in our wines. Our SBS blends have won best white blend and best white wine of the Geographe Wine Show twice and several gold and silver medals at various small winemaker shows in Western Australia. Our website has recently been upgraded and we are currently undertaking a marketing appraisal to help with future marketing activities and direction Peter Gambetta and James Freckleton Winemaker and Vigneron Smith & Hooper Wrattonbully, South Australia Wine: 2012 Smith & Hooper Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (RRP$20.00/bottle) VITICULTURE The vineyards that provided the fruit for the 2012 Smith & Hooper Sauvignon Blanc Semillon are located on the Hoopers Estate of the Smith & Hooper Vineyards at Wrattonbully, in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia. Both the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blocks are situated close to each other at an elevation of 90-102 metres. The Sauvignon Blanc block is relatively flat with a consistent soil type of deep sandy loam over hard brown clay. The Semillon block lies on a slight slope with an easterly facing aspect. The soil varies from red sandy loam over red

Smith & Hooper vigneron, James Freckleton. clay on calcrete at the top of the slope, to deep sandy loams at the base of the slope. The mean January temperature at the site is 20.4°C, the average winter temperature is 10°C and the average summer temperature is19°C. The Wrattonbully region is influenced at harvest time by cooling, late afternoon and night breezes from the Southern Ocean. These breezes tend to cool the region at night, often not allowing temperatures to rise until around 10.00am. This cooling effect leads to whites with good acid retention. Flowering and set can sometimes be an issue due to the constant breezes, but these breezes can also assist in moderating vegetative growth. Spring time frosts can be an issue at the Smith & Hooper site, with a relatively severe frost every third year on average. Rainfall is generally winter and late spring dominant, with the long-term average rainfall at 561mm, but more recently an average of 440mm has been received. The vines for the plantings of

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Pictured behind an old dry wall, the Smith & Hooper vineyard at Wrattonbully, in South Australia. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon were sourced through the Yalumba Nursery and both blocks were planted in 1995. The Sauvignon Blanc is 15.47ha and is planted to clones F4V6 and F14V9 on own roots, while the Semillon is 2.71ha and is planted to clone HT4 on Kober 5BB and SO4. The Sauvignon Blanc comprises large vines that have been trained to a double cordon VSP/sprawl. The first cordon sits at 1.2m and the second at 1.6-1.8m. The row spacing is 2.75m and the vine spacing 1.8m.The vines are mechanically shoot thinned early in the season. The trellising system for the Semillon is a single cordon VSP with permanent canopy lift wires. The row spacing is 2.75m and the vine spacing is 1.66m. The canopy is shoot thinned early in the season and bunch thinned later in the season to one bunch per shoot. Both blocks are fed through a drip irrigation system from an underground bore located on site. The blocks tend to only need water once per week during the peak of the growing season and generally for periods of between four to eight hours per irrigation. Generally, the blocks receive between 1.5-1.8ML/ ha/annum. Both blocks have permanent mid-row cover crops of mixed species. The Sauvignon Blanc is mechanically pre-pruned and then saw-pruned back to a hedge with minimal hand clean up around the posts. This treatment results in around 95 buds per vine. The Semillon is mechanically prepruned and then detail hand-pruned to one-bud spurs a hand space apart, resulting in around 15-16 buds per vine. V2 8N 5

Pest and disease control is standard as for other white varieties in the region. Key to achieving quality Sauvignon Blanc is monitoring the picking window as the flavour spectrums of the variety can change so rapidly, from green to tropical. Being able to maintain foliage cover over the fruit on hot days is also an especially important management technique. One of the biggest challenges in producing Semillon at this site is getting flavour into the berries. This is done through reducing the bunch load on the vines back to a single layer, giving them some sun exposure and avoiding fruiton-fruit situations. When ready to pick, the Sauvignon Blanc should show lovely grassy flavours with tropical characters of melon and passionfruit without becoming flabby and overripe. The winemakers are looking for the Semillon to be fresh and grassy with lovely fruit flavours, also ensuring that they avoid the flabby, overripe spectrum. Typically, the fruit is picked at between 11.0-12.5Be and between 5.0-7.0TA, with the Sauvignon Blanc cropping at around 12.5-13.6 tonnes/ha and the Semillon at around 12.6 tonnes/ha. WINEMAKING Picking decisions are based upon vineyard fruit assessment, with harvest occurring once the fruit is at the desired optimum flavour/acid balance. The Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are both machine harvested. In 2012 the Sauvignon Blanc was the first to be harvested, followed five days later by the Semillon. The Sauvignon Blanc was crushed and destemmed to a holding tank at around 8-10°C and underwent skin contact for approximately eight hours. The must was then pressed, with only the free run juice fraction taken. The juice was cold settled, racked, warmed, inoculated with QA-23 and allowed a cool and steady fermentation between 11-14°C. The Semillon was crushed and destemmed directly to the press; the free run juice was taken as soon as possible for cold settling. The clear juice was racked, warmed, inoculated with QA-23 and allowed to complete a cool, controlled fermentation, around 14°C. The two varieties are fermented separately in stainless steel, although in 2012 a small parcel (approximately 5%), was co-fermented in a small amount of new French barriques with the remainder in older French barriques and some American hogshead oak for around 11 months. The wine in barrel underwent W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

bâttonage every six weeks to assist in building palate weight and structure. All of the individual components were assessed on the bench and underwent assemblage. The 2012 wine is approximately 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon. The wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation as the natural acidity is a desired feature of this wine which, combined with the cool, fresh flavours and structure, is stylistically important. Smith & Hooper Sauvignon Blanc Semillon is also a vegetarian and vegan friendly wine as no animal finings have been used in the range since 2008. The wine was cold and heat stabilised and sterile filtered prior to bottling in June 2013. This is only the second vintage of the Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, with the upcoming 2013 of a similar style. We are looking for varietal trueness alongside expressive flavours and that lovely acid line for which cool climate wines are renowned for. MARKETING Smith & Hooper wines are sourced entirely from our two Wrattonbully vineyards in the Limestone Coast. In the collection of wines along with the Sauvignon Blanc Semillon are a Merlot, a Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, and a Reserve Merlot. The Sauvignon Blanc Semillon retails in the $20 price bracket. The wine is sold all around Australia, mainly on-premise. This crisp and refreshing style of Sauvignon Blanc Semillon is well suited to the outdoor lifestyle and dining trends of Australia. Umamu Estate Margaret River, Western Australia Wine: 2007 Umamu Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (RRP$22.00/bottle) VITICULTURE The wine is made from estate-grown fruit grown on gravely sandy loam soil on a site up to 130m above sea level. The vines were planted on own roots in 1982 and 1997. The trellis system for the Sauvignon Blanc is Smart Dyson while the Semillon is trained to a VSP. The rows are spaced 3m apart and vines 1.5m apart. The climate is frost free maritime characterised by cool wet winters and warm dry summers. Minimal irrigation is used until veraison after which we have a few top-up irrigations based on soil moisture levels and vine performance. All irrigation water is from our rain waterfilled dam on the vineyard. „ www.wine biz. com . au

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A permanent sward of clover and ryegrass is cultivated in the mid-rows to provide a self-regenerating cover crop for nitrogen fixing and deep placement of organic carbon via the rye grass roots. The cover crop is mown and placed undervine for a natural compost and weed control. Pruning level is carried out according to vine capacity. The Sauvignon Blanc has double canes, with 16 buds or shoots per linear metre of cordon. The Semillon is spur pruned at around 8 x 2 buds per linear metre of cordon, resulting in 14-16 shoots per metre. The maritime climate, sunny conditions and generally rain-free growing season, combined with open canopies, means disease pressure is minimal. We continue to refine the basics of soil husbandry and apply holistic and sustainable farming practices to our entire vineyard. Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc has a very precise harvest window of only a few days, hence we must taste vines on a daily basis around harvest. We look for retention of fruit freshness and balanced natural acidity to determine harvest. Our philosophy is to farm the fruit and pick it so that its natural composition can carry it through to the glass without fiddling in the winery. A typical analysis of the fruit at harvest would be 11.8-12Be, 7.5g/L TA and pH3.3. Average yields are 8t/ha for the Sauvignon Blanc and 7t/ha for the Semillon.

The Umamu Estate vineyard, located 10km east of Margaret River, Western Australia.

WINEMAKING All the fruit from our vineyard is custom crushed at Naturaliste Vintners and machine harvested at the coldest point in the night, around 5.00am, and processed directly. Varieties are harvested and processed separately as they rarely ripen at the same time. All juices are separated into several press fractions and treated individually. Cool ferments with sympathetic yeast are carried out with barrel fermentation occurring in Allier and Vosges 225L French oak barrels. Maturation sur lie takes place for around eight weeks for 20% of the cuvee. The blends are finalised and bottled mid winter to preserve freshness.

Our winemaking philosophies remain constant, while our approaches are fine-tuned each season according to the season. This is a constant evolution of learning and self-improvement. It is mainly how our farming practices of solarisation of the fruit and harvest decisions change. The minute that we have perfected the system is when we have lost touch with reality! MARKETING Stylistically, we release this wine after it has had time to develop in the bottle - a French approach for releasing wines

when they are ‘ready’. As such, when we bring the wines to the domestic market, it can be a challenge as releasing an older vintaged white, such as this one, is not the norm in Australia. With continued effort in submitting this wine for awards and tastings, the wine is starting to be well recognised in the domestic market.   The wine is sold internationally and we are looking to build on our exclusive distribution channels in the domestic market. We also have direct ordering and are working on an online shopping cart system. The wine sits within our small, exclusive range and fulfils our values of balance and contentment.

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Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blends: the Aussie twist to a Bordeaux classic Our recent tasting of 18 blends of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc included 17 from Australia and one from New Zealand and were indicative of the vast array of styles currently available to Australian consumers.

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he Wine & Viticulture Journal’s recent tasting of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blends has suggested that in an effort to counter the popularity of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, some Australian wine producers have blurred their focus on the style. Our invitation to wineries via Daily Wine News to submit samples to the tasting resulted in 18 entries, including seven from Margaret River, two from Frankland River, one from Geographe and one from New Zealand, the latter having been produced since 1991 and distributed in Australia for more than 10 years. For the tasting panel we assembled winemakers James Evers, from Australian Vintage, Greg Clack, from Haselgrove Wines, and Richard Langford, from Elderton Wines. James Evers noted the entries represented a multitude of styles, adding this variation would make it difficult for consumers to anticipate what they might find in a bottle labelled SBS or SSB. “Semillon is a variety that Australia generally produces very well. But, in some of these wines, I think the producers have tried to challenge Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc by adding more Sauvignon Blanc than perhaps is desirable and a year or two on that appears to start to hurt the wines,” Evers said. “You can tell the wines that were made with considered thought of what an SSB or SBS blend should taste like. That’s been part of the problem with the blend in Australia for a number of years; wineries finding they’ve got some surplus Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon then decide to blend them. You’re never going to make a great wine doing that. “There were some really positive wines in the tasting where people have obviously tried to make a certain style and done a pretty good job of it.” The blind tasting demonstrated it wasn’t always apparent that a wine was Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon dominant. “Sauvignon Blanc can be such a diverse variety, particularly in Australia,” Evers said. “It’s pretty easy to pick a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, but in Australia, Sauvignon Blanc, particularly from areas V2 8N 5

Tasting their way through the line-up of 18 blends of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc were (from left) James Evers, senior winemaker for Australian Vintage; Richard Langford, winemaker for Elderton Wines, in the Barossa Valley; and Greg Clack, winemaker for Haslegrove Wines in McLaren Vale. that get cold nights but warm days, can often show more Semillon characters.” Evers admitted he hadn’t been particularly looking forward to tasting the older vintages of the SSB and SBS in the line-up but was pleasantly surprised. “I thought they were very good. A lot of them reminded me of a trip I did to Sancerre a few years ago. Not being a massive Sauvignon Blanc fan I was blown away by some of their aged examples. I saw some similarities with that style through some of the older vintages in this tasting.” Indeed, the older vintages in the tasting delivered two of the best wines in the lineup, according to the tasting panellists: the 2007 and 2008 Umamu Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, from Margaret River. “I would assume those two wines have W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

been made to age and they definitely show a lot more focus than some of the other wines in the tasting,” said Richard Langford. “It is fitting that two of the best wines are from the same winery across two vintages.” Also ranking among the panellists’ best wines were the 2012 Oakway Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, the 2012 Smith & Hooper Wrattonbully Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, and the 2012 Stella Bella Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. The panel also wanted to highlight the 2012 Buller Classic Beverford Semillon Sauvignon Blanc as best value for money at $12.95 per bottle given the wine was made from 94% Semillon sourced from Swan Hill. “Given where the bulk of the fruit hails from is not renowned for Semillon, this wine punches above its weight,” Evers said. www.wine biz. com . au

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Stella Bella 2012 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (65% Semillon, 35% Sauvignon Blanc) Margaret River, Western Australia 13.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$21.00/bottle Best of tasting: Golden straw in colour with hints of luminescence. Delicate nose featuring rose petal and a citrus zing and some grassy notes in the background. Slight tropical notes and greenness on the palate which has good texture, length of fruit, a touch of creaminess and some lively acidity. “A slight bitterness on the palate detracts from the fruit,” noted one taster. “A nice wine showing characteristics of both varieties in balance,” said another.

Smith & Hooper 2012 Wrattonbully Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (65% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Semillon) Limestone Coast, South Australia 12.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$18.95/bottle

Umamu Estate 2008 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (61% Sauvignon Blanc, 39% Semillon) Margaret River, Western Australia 13.0% v/v – screwcap RRP$22.00/bottle

Best of tasting: Pale gold in colour with hints of straw gold. Subtle and attractive nose with intense florals, tropical fruit, freshly cut hay and hints of split pea, lemon zest, creaminess, vanilla and savouriness. Balanced acidity on the elegant palate which has a good textural component; savoury flavour is balanced against lemon, tropical and almost jasmine-like notes. Long and lively finish.

Best of tasting: Youthful, medium yellow colour. Fresh, vibrant nose with characters of bailed hay, toast and slight kerosene; good complex secondary characters with hints of rose, dried paw paw, and split pea. Dry, racy palate with good balance and lemon zest - made to last; evolving toast, honey and hints of green pea also apparent. Good fruit length. Will mature well; its best is yet to come.

Umamu Estate 2007 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Oakway Estate 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Buller 2012 Classic Beverford Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

(67% Sauvignon Blanc, 33% Semillon) Margaret River, Western Australia 12.5% v/v – screwcap RRP$22/bottle

(60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon) Georgraphe, Western Australia 12.2% v/v - screwcap RRP$16.00/bottle

Best of tasting: Medium yellow in colour. Delicate nose with a touch of capsicum, lemon zest, stonefruit and herbaceousness. Great zesty acidity in the mouth although a little sour/drying on the finish. Balanced fruit flavours, good length with hints of buttered toast, honey and marmalade with some underlying citrus and herbs.

Best of tasting: Golden straw in colour. A lifted nose of lemons and limes, candlewax, and hints of apple and tropical notes; some toasted characters starting to come through. Green pea and cut grass in the mouth as well as lemon sherbet, passionfruit and herbaceous characters. A delicate wine with a lively, fresh finish, good texture and length.

(94% Semillon – Swan Hill, 6% Sauvignon Blanc – Rutherglen) Rutherglen, Victoria 12.1% v/v – screwcap RRP$12.95/bottle

Ferngrove 2013 Symbols Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

De Beaurepaire 2013 Captain Starlight Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

(64% Sauvignon Blanc, 36% Semillon) Frankland River, Western Australia 13.5% v/v – screwcap RRP$16.50/bottle Youthful straw green colour. Freshness on the nose with candle wax, citrus zest and a hint of cucumber. Upfront zippy acidity on the palate which falls away a bit on the finish. Featuring characters more in the tropical fruit spectrum, the palate is full but lacks some focus and has a slight hint of sweetness. Good commercial example.

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(92% Semillon, 8% Sauvignon Blanc) Rylstone, New South Wales 11.5%v/v - screwcap RRP$19.00/bottle Straw green in colour with a hint of pale golden straw. Slightly subdued nose featuring lifted passionfruit, lemon zest, honey hints and some herbaceous undertones. Touch of creaminess suggesting lees work. Lively acidity on the palate with passionfruit, green pea, grass and boxhedge characters. A nice lively wine with good balance. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

Best value wine in tasting: Medium to dark straw in colour. Nose is showing toasty characters without being overdeveloped; some lemon zest and grapefruit apparent. Palate is rich and shows some lively acid with buttered toast and lemon zest characters. Secondary characters are becoming dominant but that hasn’t detracted from it being a well-made wine.

Longview 2012 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (72% Semillon, 28% Sauvignon Blanc) Adelaide Hills, South Australia 12.0%v/v - screwcap RRP$17.00/bottle Golden straw colour. A somewhat developed and intense nose of asparagus, split pea, box tree and tropical notes. Mouthfilling, full and rich palate with racy acidity; nice tropical fruit with some grassy nuisances in the background.

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t a sti n g n otes

Spring Seed Wine Company 2012 Forget Me Not Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon) McLaren Vale, South Australia 12.0%v/v - screwcap RRP$18.00/bottle Green straw colour with hints of golden straw. Nose has hints of lemon, candlewax, green apple, some spring blossom and a slight herbaceousness; some secondary toast characters creeping in. Palate shows good balance though lacking a little bit of fresh fruit, complexity and drive; secondary toasty characters coming through. A well-made wine but is starting to transition to secondary character dominance.

Ferngrove 2012 Leaping Lizard Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Fermoy Estate 2012 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

(51% Semillon, 49% Sauvignon Blanc) Frankland River, Western Australia 13.5% v/v - screwcap RRP$15.00/bottle

(56% Semillon, 42% Sauvignon Blanc, 2% Chardonnay) Margaret River, Western Australia 13.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$20.00/bottle

Pale green straw colour. Hints of tropical fruits like paw paw and melon on the nose as well as asparagus, cucumber, split pea and some citrus. Lacks some upfront acidity on the palate but otherwise wellbalanced. A full mouth with herbaceous characters dominant; finishes a little short.

Medium straw in colour. Reduced and slightly honeyednose with herbaceous notes and hints of tropical fruits and citrus characters in the background. Herbaceous characters follow through to the palate, which lacks some primary fruit but has hints of tropical fruit, and green pea. Good acid balance. “Once it opened up, a good commercial style was revealed,” noted one taster.

James Estate 2012 Reserve Fume Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Yalumba 2012 Christobel’s Barossa Classic Dry White

Voyager Estate 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

(59% Semillon, 41% Sauvignon Blanc) Hunter Valley, New South Wales 11.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$23.00/bottle

(81% Semillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc, 4% Savagnin) 12.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$15.95/bottle (cellar door)

(63% Sauvignon Blanc, 37% Semillon) Margaret River, Western Australia 13.0% v/v - screwcap RRP$24.00/bottle

Golden yellow in colour. Evidence of shaded fruit on the palate as well as some smokiness and cut grass. Smokiness and apparent capsicum overlaying a good creamy palate and some lemon curd.

Pale yellow in colour. Nose features tropical notes, zesty lemon, passionfruit with a lift of lemon sherbet. and Passionfruit flows through to the zesty palate which has simple fruit and seems to fall away. “The nose offers more than the palate delivers,” noted one taster. A wellmade wine with fruit persistence.

Pale straw in colour with hints of green. A fresh nose of tropical fruit, grass, candle wax, and lemon zest. Creamy palate has hints of grass and sweetness; balanced acidity. “A well-made commercial style,” noted one taster.

Forester Estate 2012 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Pegasus Bay 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Stella Bella 2009 Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

(50% Semillon, 48% Sauvignon Blanc, 2% Chardonnay) Margaret River, Western Australia 13.0%v/v - screwcap RRP$23.99/bottle

(70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon) Waipara Valley, New Zealand 13.4%v/v – screwcap RRP$39.00/bottle

(60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon) Margaret River, Western Australia 13.0%v/v – screwcap RRP$45.00/bottle

Medium yellow in colour. Slightly reductive nose with hints of asparagus, rose petal and lemon underneath. Palate shows good structure and zesty acid and features grassy notes, grapefruit and marmalade; very round mouthfeel. “A well balanced wine with good structure; pity about the slight reductiveness,” noted one taster.

Golden yellow in colour with a luminous hue. Nose features characters of flint, oak spice, vanillan, buttered toast and hints of lemon and peach; oak is evident. Raw spicy oak in the mouth with a good textural component, great secondary toasty characters and lively acidity. “A good, barrel-aged style but oak a little too prominent,” said one taster. “A very well-made wine for those who like older styles, which is ageing nicely,” said another.

Medium straw in colour. Tropical fruit, including paw paw, on the nose, together with candle wax, lifted gooseberry and herbaceousness. Soft, simple citrus and tropical fruits on the palate which has lively acidity and a slight textural edge. A good, well-balanced wine.

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W i n e & V i t i cultur e Jo ur n a l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

www.wine biz. com . au

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PROducts & services

Unmanned helicopters to revolutionise agricultural Industry

T

he release of the Yamaha RMAX unmanned helicopters gives property owners, franchisees and contractors offers the ability to maintain land and crops remotely, from the air, and without the hassles that come with more traditional farming methods. The RMAX is a remote controlled helicopter designed specifically for the agricultural industry. Weighing 99kg and measuring 3.63m in length 1.08m in height, each helicopter has a load capacity of 28kgs and runs on a two-stroke, horizontally opposed, twocylinder engine. The newest member of the Yamaha Sky Division is the ultimate piece of farm machinery for the 21st century. The technology means that operators can spray weeds, crops, or spread seed in a more cost-effective and accurate manner. Because RMAX is completely airborne, terrain is no longer an issue. RMAX has the ability to service large, steep pieces of land that are potentially difficult to negotiate using traditional farming machinery. These are just one of the reasons why it is the perfect means of accessing and maintaining vineyards.  Liquids and granules can be dispersed across a 400m range from the location of the operator, covering approximately two acres in just six minutes. A global positioning system combined with the Yamaha Attitude Control System makes operation incredibly simple. These

sophisticated technologies, combined with a highly capable operator, ensure that the Yamaha RMAX maintains consistent and controlled speeds in all directions, as well as excellent flight stability. Yamaha’s training school incorporates classroom lessons, practical skill training, a proficiency test, and ongoing safety training and updates, to create first-class RMAX operators. Completing an RMAX operator course takes just three weeks.

Mike Johnson, of Yamaha Sky Division, said he was excited about this agricultural innovation. “We’re proud to be releasing this new technology to the Australian agricultural industry,” he said. “RMAX has the ability to increase productivity, whilst reducing the risks surrounding the use of traditional farming equipment in adverse conditions.” For more information on the RMAX and leasing or franchising arrangements visit http://rmax.yamaha-motor.com.au/

Mini automatic titrator for sulfur dioxide Hanna Instruments HI 84500 is a simple, fast and affordable mini automatic titrator designed for testing free or total sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels in wine. It replaces the HI 84100 and features increased accuracy by improving the titrant delivery system and measuring ranges. The HI 84500 also includes a new low range measurement (1.0-40.0ppm SO2). The mini titrator includes a preprogrammed analysis method for free and total sulfur dioxide measurements. The piston-driven dosing pump is highly accurate, providing excellent results. Automatic stirrer speed control maintains consistent stirring speed at

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approximately 700rpm. The graphic mode displays in-depth data on titration, which can then be stored using the log feature and exported to a USB stick or PC using the USB connection. The log on demand feature can store up to 400 samples (200 for titration results, 200 for mV/ORP), and the GLP feature allows users to view calibration data for the titrator and pump. In addition to performing titrations, the HI 84500 can be used as a mV meter for direct ORP measurements. For further information visit Hanna Instruments website www.hannainst. com.au, email sales@hannainst.com.au , or telephone (03) 9769 0666. W i n e & V i t i c ult ur e Jo ur na l SEPTEMBER/O C TO BER 2013

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Quality First, No Compromises www.kcvines.com.au Field Grown - supplied dormant

Bench Grafted, field grown

LATE PLANTING DECISION?

2 year old High Vines

Using biological farming methods. Soils inoculated with compost teas. Certified planting material used.

No Problem, Greenhouse container grown production for same year Spring

Container Grown Using peat pots for excellent take, minimal transplant shock, easier to plant. Great start when transplanted – minimal establishment delay, earlier crop. Soil biology bonus - Vines are inoculated with compost teas to provide essential soil microbes which come with the vines and improve vineyard fertility.

Peat pots in easy handling trays

New CSIRO Root Stocks available. LEAD TImES DO APPLy ORDER NOW FOR 2013 and 2014

AVAILABLE FOR SAME YEAR SPRING PLANTING “The future belongs to those who plant for it”

(03) 5024 8812

Email: info@kcvines.com.au mobile: Andy 0407 309 961 Justin 0427 808 998 Fax: (03) 5024 8834


Melbourne

Adelaide

New Zealand

DE-ALCOHOLISATION â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

WHEN ONCE IS ENOUGH!

Winequip is pleased to be able to offer the new JUCLAS ONE STEP Mastermind De-alcoholisation system. MASTERMIND REMOVE is designed with the aim of reducing the alcohol percentage in your wine through direct passage on membrane. Very low pressures are required as the selective membranes only allow alcohol to be passed through the membranes into the extractive solution (water) PLC controlled MMR 50 and 100 provides full automation and ensures the unit can be run without constant supervision and the integrity of the membranes will be protected. Available sizes; 10, 50 and 100Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of pure alcohol removal/Hr (Larger units available upon request)

w w w. v a s o n . c o m I N N O V A T I V E

W I N E

For further details, contact us on: Melbourne 59 Banbury Rd Reservoir, Victoria Adelaide 12 Hamilton Tce, Newton, South Australia Auckland Unit C, 4 Titoki Place, Albany, Auckland E. sales@winequip.com.au www.winequip.com.au

T E C H N O L O G I E S

Ph. 1300 882 850 Ph. 08 8365 0044 Ph. 0800 699 599


Wine & Viticulture Journal Sep/Oct 13