Epigenetics: A voyage of vine's genetic discovery

Jamie Goode for Wine Australia - 13 Sep 2017

Epigenetics could be a way that vines 'remember' environmental stresses and by applying insights from epigenetics it might be possible to adapt vines to difficult conditions they might later be exposed to. 

Stabilise your wine with seaweed!

Karien O'Kennedy - 21 Jun 2017

Researchers in Australia have found an alternative to bentonite in a very unlikely place – under the sea. An extract from red seaweed called carrageenan seems to do the trick when it comes to protein stabilising white wines - as in 100%.

Image copyright: Wikimedia Commons

GMO yeast in wine and how to find them

Erika Szymanski - 06 Apr 2017

Two genetically modified wine yeasts have crossed the commercial production threshold, but not worldwide. One, ECMo01, is available only in the United States and Canada. The other, ML01, is legal in the US and Canada as well as Moldova.

Musings on the perception of Chenin blanc quality

Karien O'Kennedy - 09 Feb 2017

In order for Chenin blanc to be recognised as high quality, must it be matured in wood? According to various winemakers, many top quality unwooded Chenins also exist, but they don’t seem to stand a chance with competition judges. 

Making red wine from fruit high in potassium

Denise Gardner - 23 Sep 2016

Grapes and juice that come in with high levels of potassium can lead to a series of difficulties for winemakers including:

  • High potassium concentrations can cause large increases in pH during primary and malolactic fermentations, which drive the finished wine into a high pH (>3.70) range.
  • Color hue, intensity, and stability of red wines can be negatively affected.
  • As pH is a big driver in wine stability, higher pH’s will have impacts on the microbial stability (both in terms of microflora and inhibition of growth), sulfur dioxide levels and efficacy, color stability of red and rosé wines, stability of tartaric acid, and protein stability.
  • Higher pH’s leads to an increase in oxidative potential, which may cause premature oxidation for young wines.

Have we domesticated yeast? Yes.

Erika Szymanski - 23 Sep 2016

Did yeasts change because they became domesticated, because brewers and winemakers cultivated and selected them? In other words, what kind of difference did the humans make to the yeasts’ evolution?


Karien O'Kennedy - 19 Sep 2016

A group of researchers from Italy demonstrated with their study that more expensive red wine is healthier for you. They made this assumption by measuring the anti-oxidant capacity (which is good for you) and the biogenic amine content (which is bad for you) of 60 different Italian wines in three price categories.


To filter or not to filter

Karien O'Kennedy - 06 Sep 2016

Researchers at the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) did a study to determine the impact of industrial scale filtration on red wine macromolecules. The idea was probably to determine if filtration has an effect on wine quality, as many people selling their wines unfiltered claim.

End pinot racism: Skin color genetics and pink pinot gris

Erika Szymanski - 05 Apr 2016

You’ve likely heard that pinot noir and pinot gris (and pinot blanc) are genetically the same grapes. If you found that unsatisfying, you had the same reaction I did. Obviously they’re not the same. Unless the interns go out and paint all of the pinot noir clusters purple at veraison, different genes are the only way noir and gris will come out noir (black) and gris (grey, but really more of a pinky-bronze). So, frankly, what gives?

Increasing Sauvignon blanc aroma with H2S!

Karien O’Kennedy - 05 Apr 2016

Sounds like an April Fool’s joke doesn’t it? It is in fact no joke – it’s serious stuff. In fact, so serious that Pernod Ricard France applied for a patent in the USA.

YAN, FAN and the rest of the clan...

by Karien O'Kennedy - 05 Apr 2016

I was recently part of a conversation between a group of winemakers and the issue of measuring YAN and managing yeast nutrition came up. It seems that there are many different ways to skin this cat but the one comment that caught my attention (or had me almost hyperventilating) was from a young winemaker...

Know Your Components: A Look at Acetaldehyde with Dominik Durner

by Remy Charest - Nomacorc blog - 14 Oct 2015

ACETALDEHYDE: Its presence in wine is often detected through a worrisome sign–aromas of bruised or even rotten apples. In high concentrations, there are even concerns about its effects on human health. At first glance, this should make acetaldehyde an enemy to fight at all costs for winemakers, but as with many other things in the world of grapes and fermentations, things are more complicated than that.

Image: www.nomacorc.com

When a wine is salty, and why it shouldn’t be

by Erika Szymanski - 03 Oct 2015

Salty is not a common wine descriptor. That it’s also not a positive one probably goes without saying. As a consumer, it’s also not a fault you’re likely to fret over (I don’t think I can recall ever hearing anyone say something like “Hey, Sarah, does this wine taste salty to you?”)

New research: Wine allergies exist. You probably don’t have them

Erika Szymanski - 11 Sep 2015

A lot of people seem to think that they’re allergic to wine. Most probably aren’t. Our current best evidence on sulfites says that only people with severe asthma have any real cause to worry and, given the presence of sulfites in many other common foods – most dried fruit, many cured meats, salad bars – it’s something they surely know before ever meeting their first glass of wine.

Image: www.everydayhealth.com

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