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University of Adelaide launches Wine Alumni Network

The University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine officially launches the new Wine Alumni Network at the city’s historic Urrbrae House on the university’s Waite Campus on Thursday 2 August 2012. The Network Patron is Dr Patrick Iland OAM.

The network has been developed with the specific needs of the wine industry in mind, assisting alumni to continue their connection with each other and with the University of Adelaide community.

For more information see the full media release.


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Prof. Anderson looks at Georgia as an emerging wine-exporting country

On 24 June 2012 Professor Kym Anderson spoke at the AAWEICABR workshop in Avellino, Italy, entitled Technology and Innovation in the Wine Industry.

He talked about the Georgian wine industry in a presentation entitled: ‘Is Georgia the next ‘new’ wine-exporting country? The roles of traditional vs. new technologies and trade alliances’. To see his presentation go to the WERC Events page.

Georgia has been producing and exporting wine for thousands of years, and until the trade embargo in 2006, the lion’s share went to Russia. Advantages include low labour and viticultural land costs by Western standards and recognition of Georgian GIs by the EU. The Ukraine is currently the largest importer of Georgian wine but there is potential in the rest of the CIS countries and Europe as well as Asia.

Professor Anderson’s presentation offers great insights into Georgia’s place in the global history of wine markets and its potential. Yet another wine-producing country to watch with interest!

Professor Anderson is Executive Director of the Wine Economics Research Centre of the University of Adelaide.

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Read about current Wine2030 research projects

The Wine2030 research network provides funding for a wide range of wine-related research. This article summarises two very different and ground-breaking research projects.

Addressing wine industry challenges: Fine-tuning irrigation scheduling using Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy

Dr Roberta De Bei and Dr Sigfredo Fuentes

Water scarcity will continue to be an issue in Australia in a future climate change scenario. Improving water use efficiency by grapevines by developing new irrigation techniques and by improving irrigation scheduling will help the wine industry to face the issues of water shortage and climactic anomalies (heat waves). Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy has proven to be effective in obtaining stem water potential (Ψs) measurements for grapevines, which is regarded as one of the most integrative measures of the whole-plant water status according to soil-plant-atmosphere conditions (De Bei et al. 2011). In this project Dr De Bei and Dr Fuentes will implement this technique to generate and make available site-specific calibration curves of NIR / Ψs to be used by the wine industry for precision irrigation. Furthermore, critical thresholds to fine tune irrigation scheduling will be obtained relying on vine physiology (water potential and NIR) rather than indirect methods, such as soil moisture or weather data.

Testing of this new technique will be implemented as part of the Vineyard of the Future initiative from the University of Adelaide, which will be a fully integrated monitored and logged vineyard dedicated as a test-bed for innovations in climate change adaptation.

Developing a novel method for RNA and DNA extraction from wines and its application to the wine industry

Dr Nuredin Habili

Reports on the detection of DNA in bottled wines have been emerging since 2000. However, those on the detection of virus RNA [RNA is the same as DNA with an extra oxygen in its structure and is mostly present in viruses (makes up the genes of viruses)] and viroids in wines were lacking. Our preliminary research showed that DNA molecules of up to 5000 bp could be detected in wine nucleic acid extracts using an extraction method developed in our laboratory. A segment of the coat protein gene of a grapevine virus and partial sequences of two viroids were also detected. One of these viroids is quarantined in Australia and it may cause biosecurity concern by certain countries which import our wines. This is only when/if the viroid RNA in the wine proves to be infectious.

DNA extracted from wines has the potential to address the following:

  • Variety identification, either as single or as blend using DNA fingerprinting.
  • Detection of micro organisms associated with spoilage. This includes detecting diffuse powdery mildew, which adversely affects wine quality.
  • Detecting GMO wines/yeasts.

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Wine2030 supports the debate @ the Waite

The University of Adelaide’s Waite Research Institute is hosting the next round in its Debate @ the Waite series on 15 March 2012 on the following hypothesis: ‘The future of the Australian wine industry will be based on technology, not tradition’.

What do you think about the future of Australia’s wine industry? Undoubtedly a major success story to date but facing challenges as are all of the world’s wine producers. We are at a fork in the road – which direction do we take? What are we doing right? What are we doing wrong? What should we do to change for the better? This is a fun and engaging approach to addressing some serious issues which we hope will give you food for thought!

Six experts in all areas of the wine industry will debate its future, how to overcome challenges facing the industry, and the best approaches to prosper in the long term.

Hurry! Seats are filling quickly!!!

Follow on Twitter at @WaiteResearch or #agchatoz

The team speakers for the affirmative are:

Professor Steve Tyerman, School of Agriculture, Food & Wine and Wine2030 committee, The University of Adelaide

Dr Dan Johnson, Managing Director, Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI)

Professor Vlad Jiranek, School of Agriculture, Food & Wine and Wine2030 committee, The University of Adelaide

The team speakers for the negative are:

Mr Brian Croser, Tapanappa winemaker and Wine2030 committee

Professor Barbara Santich, School of History & Politics and Wine2030, The University of Adelaide

Dr Sue Bastian, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine and Wine2030, The University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide’s Wine2030 is pleased to support this event and five of the six speakers are members of Wine2030! A short bio on each is given below.

With this diverse, informed and revered line-up there will be some informative and lively debate. So come along and get involved!

When? 6:00pm – 8:30pm, Thursday 15 March 2012

Where? Lirra Lirra Cafe, Waite Road, Waite Campus, Urrbrae

Admission is free! Prior registration is essential as seats are limited. Go to

Free wine tasting and finger food provided

Bitesize bios of the speakers:

  • Professor Steve Tyerman has expertise in nutrition, salinity and water use in plants and has been teaching viticulture at the University of Adelaide for many years. His current research is driven by the implications of climate change for viticulture.
  • Dr Dan Johnson – the AWRI is a research, development and extension organisation owned and governed by the Australian wine industry. As well being the MD of the AWRI, Dan is Chairman of the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference.
  • Professor Vlad Jiranek is a microbiologist with experience in the US and NZ. He researches the characterisation of microorganisms used in fermentation – and the findings have led to changes in selection, optimisation and management of wine yeasts by the wine industry. Recently he has been looking at the genetic basis for the preferred attributes of wine yeast.
  • Brian Croser is one of Australia’s most revered winemakers and leading exponents of terroir-driven wines. He was the founder and chief winemaker for Petaluma for 27 years, and later established Tapanappa Wines as well as a vineyard in Oregon, USA. He is an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contribution to research, education and services to the Australian wine industry.
  • Professor Barbara Santich is an internationally acknowledged expert on food history. She teaches courses on food culture and history at the University of Adelaide. She has published several awarded texts; the forthcoming book is Bold Palates: Australia’s Gastronomic Heritage.
  • Dr Sue Bastian is a researcher and senior lecturer in oenology and sensory studies. She also conducts industry sensory training, is an associate judge for several Australian wine shows, and has a small winemaking business in the Adelaide Hills.

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University of Adelaide researchers awarded best oenology paper!

The American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) has voted the paper by Professor Vlad Jiranek and Dr Paul Grbin as the best oenology paper of 2011.

The paper is entitled ‘Relative Efficacy of High-Pressure Hot Water and High-Power Ultrasonics for Wine Oak Barrel Sanitization’ and was published in the ASEV’s American Journal of Enology and Viticulture in 2011.

Congratulations to Professor Jiranek and Dr Grbin of the University of Adelaide and Wine2030!

Professor Jiranek is Professor of Oenology and Associate Dean Postgraduate Coursework (Faculty of Sciences), School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide.

Dr Grbin is Senior Lecturer in Oenology, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide.

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Principles of Wine Marketing by Steve Goodman – the marketer’s handbook!

Dr Steve Goodman of the University of Adelaide Business School releases his new book ‘Principles of Wine Marketing’. Steve was interviewed late last year about his work in wine marketing – now he has produced a valuable resource for any student of marketing – particularly wine!

Using excerpts from the introduction of the book, this article gives an overview of its aims and content. Purchase details are available on the Winetitles webpage.

The aim of this book is to give you the insight and understanding of each of the key components and areas of marketing required to enable you to look at situations through a ‘marketing lens’. When confronted with a situation, looking at your own business or planning a new venture, it is intended you will be able to think in marketing terms, understand and appreciate the situation more fully as you will have developed the tools, frameworks and thinking needed to make better decisions, to create more opportunities for success and to deal with people who do have responsibility for marketing design and implementation.

The intention is to ensure you have access to developing your own thinking and plans – there are no right and wrong answers in marketing, so there is no way to teach people ‘how to do it’. What I can do is to present the fundamental marketing frameworks and theories, to explain them in wine marketing terms, to present examples and encourage you to develop your own thinking ability, your ability to pick up the ‘marketing lens’ and use it to lead your own thinking, planning and success.

We all have some experience of marketing! Many people studying marketing for the first time remark ‘I have no experience of/in marketing’. My remark to them is the same as here to you. You buy things, so you are subjected to messages from advertisers – some reach you, some don’t. You buy things in shops, you receive service (good and bad), you look for ways to do things better, quicker and with less cost. You see how hard some items are to find, and that some products are priced differently from others with similar traits.

To increase the learning you get as you work through this book and the associated frameworks there are several things you can do to increase your return on your investment of time and effort.

Become aware of your own behaviour as a consumer. When you are shopping for groceries look at where you look in the shop, at why you make a decision and what you simply put in the trolley. Look at the catalogues (junk mail) you read – look at the brands and product types that receive prominence. Be aware of the ads on the radio or television that get your attention – and what types of products they are.

Become critical thinkers of your own business. Look to what extent your organisation has considered the elements of the frameworks or theories. Make a list of what you need to look at in your own leadership or planning of the organisation’s efforts after you finish your course or the book.

Think about the wines you buy – if you don’t buy many different brands or at different price points, then start exploring! Look at the back labels, the price points, the types of people you think would buy the wine. Ask friends and people you know outside the industry what they buy, why they buy it and what they like about it. Ask them where they shop, where they go out to eat – and ask them to be blunt and honest with you.

Visit cellar doors – in your own region and further afield. Look at what is in the cellar door, the atmosphere and the service.

Talk with distributors, retailers and restaurateurs, importers and exporters whenever you get the opportunity – and start making some opportunities. Ask what they have found to be successful and listen to why they say some wineries aren’t successful.

Be aware of marketing rather than being a passive consumer. There is learning and development to be had all around you – ideas to be generated and success to be had if you develop your thinking and become an active part of the marketing thinking of your own organisation, wine and brand.

So if you want to master the marketing lens, get reading!

Dr Steve Goodman teaches at the University of Adelaide Business School. As well as supervising Honours, Masters and PhD students, he teaches: Marketing Communication (Undergraduate and Postgraduate), as well as Service Design & Marketing and Marketing in the MBA programme.

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One Australian wine industry peak body by January 2014?

The entire Australian wine industry will be affected by such a dramatic structural reform as moving to a single peak body. Whether in favour or not, this has been the talk of the town in the wine industry for some time, with critics suggesting that there are too many different bodies performing overlapping tasks and the whole industry would benefit from being streamlined.

According to the WFA website, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Wine Grape Growers Australia have formally proposed a merger of Wine Australia and the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC).

The existing functions of Wine Australia and the GWRDC would come together into one organisation which “will provide for better coordination and alignment of activities, a greater responsiveness to emerging needs, and a stronger strategic focus for the industry as a whole”.

Read the proposal here

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