Introducing the new viticulture book: ‘The Grapevine: from the science to the practice of growing vines for wine’

The new book entitled The Grapevine: from the science to the practice of growing vines for wine is an exciting new resource for students right through to experts in viticulture. It takes the expertise and experience of key industry and academic personnel and presents the journey of the grape from the vine to the glass. The book launch was sponsored by Wine2030 and the Waite Research Institute of the University of Adelaide.

Left to right: Peter Dry, Tony Proffitt, Patrick Iland and Steve Tyerman holding a brand spanking new copy of 'The Grapevine' at Urrbrae House, Adelaide

As the title states, this book takes the reader right through the process of growing grapes to the wine at the end of the process. This a comprehensive book of over 300 pages, provided in hard back, A4 size, and attractively interspersed with clear diagrams of processes and photos to support the text.


“The objective of this book is to provide a link between scientific principles and the practice of viticulture. It is concerned with providing knowledge, asking questions and stimulating thought and discussion about the growing of grapes for the making of wine.” (Preface)

While the book had been designed primarily as a key reference for undergraduates and postgraduate students, it is also useful for anyone involved in grape and/or wine production as it covers “the basic principles of the molecular, physiological, biochemical and practical aspects of growing vines for wine”. It is the first book of its kind to combine so many elements into a form that works as the key text for any viticulture student. In fact the material for some of the chapters came from course notes for the University of Adelaide viticultural courses.

The extensive literature review provides a snapshot of the current knowledge. New developments, in both research and practice, are discussed. Material is based on research studies, field trials, and the opinions of the authors and industry personnel. This mix of knowledge helps to focus the consideration of the most useful ways to link science and practice.


As a simplified overview, this fascinating book starts with domestication of the vine and the first breeding programmes and early wines. It goes through the structure of the grape, its growth cycle, including flowering, fruitset, photosynthesis and yield. Molecular biology delves into the genes and plant genomics. Then we move onto wine styles and quality; water, soil and the vine; water use efficiency; climate, climate change and its impacts.

The authors provide a sobering quote to round off the preface:

Be conscious of the past, thoughtful of the present and imaginative for the future.


The book can be purchased from the Patrick Iland Wine Books website.


The book is dedicated to Dr Bryan Coombe (AM, MAgSc, PhD), a former Reader in Horticultural Science at the University of Adelaide and one of the world’s leading viticultural scientists.

The authors:

Dr Patrick Iland (BAppSc, MAgSc, PhD) has been involved in wine education for over 35 years. A former Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide, he has taught and researched in the areas of wine chemistry, viticulture and sensory evaluation. His research has focused on the effects of viticultural practices on grape and wine quality and wine sensory properties. In 2007, he was awarded the Order of Australia medal for services to the Australian wine industry. Now retired, he remains a Visiting Research Fellow with the University of Adelaide.

Dr Peter Dry (BAgSc, MAgSc, PhD) has been a viticultural scientist for 40 years. He was an Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide until he retired in 2008. He is best known for his research into developing the partial rootzone drying (PRD) irrigation strategy, which evolved from initial research into water stress physiology of the grapevine. He continues to act as a viticulture consultant to the Australian Wine Research Institute.

Dr Tony Proffitt (BSc, MSc, PhD, Postgraduate Dip. Viticulture) has worked in the technical, consultancy, extension and educational sectors of the Australian wine industry since 1995. He has worked for Southcorp Wines (now Treasury Wine Estates), and currently lectures in viticulture at Curtin University, and works with AHA Viticulture, a vineyard management and consultancy company in Margaret River, Western Australia.

Professor Steve Tyerman (BSc Hons, PhD, FAA) is a leading scientist in the field of plant physiology. He teaches viticulture in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide and is leading research on vine and berry water relations and vine drought tolerance. He is also the programme leader in water for Primary Industries Research Network within the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.


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