Posts Tagged wine

Brilliant and bonkers! Adelaide wine graduates impress Jamie Oliver

Crazy, bonkers, mad, brilliant and brave is how celebrity English chef Jamie Oliver described South Australian winery Some Young Punks.

Their wines are stunning, the labels shocking, and their approach to winemaking is minimal intervention, they break the mould and they all studied at the University of Adelaide!

Naked on Roller Skates? Monsters Monsters Attack!? Squid’s Fist? Fierce Allure? Passions Has Red Lips? Yes these are all serious wines with a fun twist. Check out the range of wines at the Some Young Punks website.

Read the full article here

Monsters Monsters Attack! SYP riesling


Comments off

Is the shiraz berry the biggest loser? Wine2030 investigates…

Cell death in winegrape berries may be a double-edged sword! It can be correlated with berry shrinkage but also related to flavour and sugar concentration. This article looks at shiraz, chardonnay and sultana berries, in terms of cell death and shrinkage.

Cell death occurs in pre-harvest berries of chardonnay and shiraz but not sultana. However, only shiraz consistently shrinks. This concentrates sugar and can lead to high alcohol wines. Shiraz is shown to be the ‘biggest loser’ in terms of weight loss but the flavour development and sugar concentration aspects are the other side of the double-edged sword.

Read the full article Is the shiraz berry the biggest loser? The double-edged sword of cell death in winegrapes. It may also be found in the August 2012 edition of Grapegrower and Winemaker.

The Wine2030 writers of this article are Professor Steve Tyerman, Dr Sigfredo Fuentes, Dr Cassandra Collins and Dr Sue Bastian.

Comments off

Groundbreaking wine-related research projects at the University of Adelaide

“Development of a novel canopy architecture-monitoring app for smartphones and tablet computers”

Dr Sigfredo Fuentes and Dr Roberta De Bei

This project aims to produce an accurate and cheap imaging and analysis tool available to grape growers and researchers to assess automatically spatio-temporal canopy architecture parameters using smartphones and tablet computers with high-resolution cameras and GPS capabilities. Therefore, field measurements can be mapped using GIS techniques. These parameters allow monitoring canopy growth and porosity to assess vigour, water requirements and sunlight transmission to the fruit and renewal zone of the canopy, which are important parameters to obtain grape quality attributes. Mapping capabilities will allow the zoning of different parameters to assess spatial differences of the same. This project is based on early research findings from the Vineyard of the Future (VoF) initiative. All revenues from the app will be reinvested in VoF research projects.

The app will be commercially available in late 2012. This app has the advantage that it can be applied not only for grapevines, but also for a range of other crops and trees, such as apple trees, olive trees, forests, etc.

“lnvestigating the potential role of calcium as a crop protection agent in wine grapes”

Brad Hocking, Dr Rachel Burton, Prof. Steve Tyerman and Dr Matthew Gilliham

This project will investigate the relationships between berry cell wall traits and cell vitality, berry softening, and pathogen susceptibility. It will focus on the role of calcium in berry cell walls at harvest maturity. This will be achieved by examining differences in berry development, cell wall morphology, and calcium utilisation between red, white and table grape varieties. A guiding objective of this work is to develop management strategies for application of calcium in the vineyard to maximise berry strength for resistance to pathogens, dehydration and berry shrivel.

Emerging results indicate that varietal differences in skin cell morphology and skin calcium concentration affect skin strength and that maintenance of post-veraison xylem calcium influx into grapes may help maintain cell wall function and cell vitality. Further research will be conducted to investigate varietal differences in cell wall composition and utilisation of calcium in the cell wall space, and growth trials will investigate the effects of a number of calcium treatments on grape physiology and quality traits.

“Simple quantitative assessment of Sauvignon Blanc impact odorants by HPLC-MS/MS”

Dr David Jeffery and Dr Renata Ristic

Analytical methods have provided great insight into the presence and relevance of wine aroma compounds, enabling greater understanding and control of processes and wine quality. One area requiring greater awareness relates to compounds known as polyfunctional thiols, which provide the characteristic tropical and citrus notes that are important to the quality of Sauvignon Blanc wines, among other varieties. These reactive thiols are extremely potent aroma compounds found at ultra-trace concentrations, thereby requiring sensitive and specialised analytical techniques to determine their concentrations in wine.

The aim of the project is to progress the development of an analytical method which is simple, rapid and sensitive enough to quantify the varietal aroma compounds important to the quality of Sauvignon Blanc wines. Sample derivatisation and analytical techniques are being explored in order to choose an appropriate method for routine analysis of polyfunctional thiols in wine at trace levels. This basic research will provide a foundation for more extensive investigations of Sauvignon Blanc aromas in the future. These activities are especially relevant for improving the competitiveness of Australian wines in domestic and global markets.

Note: HPLC = high performance liquid chromatography and MS = mass spectrometry.

Comments (1)

Wine and Astonishment – the new thinkpiece by Andrew Jefford

Let’s make wine strange again! So says Andrew Jefford in this original and well written paper, published as a Working Paper in the University of Adelaide’s Wine Economics Research Centre.

Wine market expert Andrew Jefford gave a rousing and original speech to the Wine Communicators of Australia at the National Wine Centre on 29 May 2012. This article entitled Wine and Astonishment is an edited version of that speech.

Jefford wants us to rethink our attitudes to wine. In recent years he says, wine has become so familiar that we now take it for granted. “There are dangers in that familiarity… The aim is to make wine strange for us again.” Wine he says – “there is no thing like it”.

The worst thing in his eyes is “the failure to be astonished by wine: a wine-worldliness, if you like. This knowingness, this taking –for-granted of the landscape of the wine world, does wine a disservice.”

Jefford delves into the philosophical significance of astonishment, and also examines the ‘being of wine’, as opposed to the existence. Are we so distracted by the ubiquitous existence of wine now, as we are surrounded by it, that we have forgotten the essence of being…

It’s a cracking read, with some delicious philosophical mindbenders, but as Jefford puts it, it is in layman’s terms, clearly explained and leads you through a journey of reflection on the value of wine in our lives.

Comments off

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.

Comments off

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.

Comments off

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.

Comments off

Older Posts »