Applying technology to measure grape quality at off-loading

Wine Australia - 20 Nov 2017

Digital technology is rapidly expanding its presence and impact in the wine sector, and the next stop could be the weighbridge.

Image: Wine Australia

Science award helps create a great science outcome

Wine Australia - 30 Oct 2017

Wine Australia-supported a project looking at a novel genetic approach to keeping salt out of vines.

Sensory and chemical drivers of wine minerality aroma

Karien O'Kennedy - 13 Sep 2017

Researchers studied wines from grapes from the two sides of the Serein river in Chablis. Wines from the left side scored higher in minerality notes and certain chemical compounds.

The effect of filtration on red wine

Karien O'Kennedy - 01 Sep 2017

It is often believed that filtration can “damage” wines in terms of quality and appearance and some producers therefore take the risk of possibly getting after bottling microbial spoilage by bottling their wines “unfiltered.” This particular research proves otherwise, especially in the case of bottling older wines.

Pre-fermentation tannin addition enhances volatile thiol content of white wines

Karien O'Kennedy - 01 Sep 2017

This study found that pre-fermentation addition of commercial tannin extracts high in thiol precursors can enhance the final volatile thiol content, as well as the aroma, of Gewürztraminer and S. blanc wines. 

Mixed fermentations to reduce the alcohol content in wine

Vasileios Englezos, et al. 2016 - 01 Aug 2017

The aim of this project was to investigate the possibility of doing co-inoculation or sequential inoculation with S. bacillaris and S. cerevisiae in order to achieve lower alcohol wines.

How fungal infections change the aroma of wine

Anna Sigurdsson - 22 Jun 2017

In a research article recently published in Frontiers in Chemistry, a team of researchers investigated the effects of fungal infection on wine.


Researchers identify the dried and cooked fruit aroma in Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon

Karien O'Kennedy - 15 May 2017

French researchers identified C10-massoia lactone as the dried fig character in Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This aroma occur due to longer hang-time on the vine as a result of warmer climates.

A little microbiology goes a long way

Wine Australia - 10 Apr 2017

A three-year Wine Australia research project provides a much clearer picture of the diverse microbial populations that exist in treatment plants.

Grape seed extract: the first protein based fining agent endogenous to grapes

D. Gazzola, S. Vincenzi, M. Marangon, G. Pasini and A. Curioni - 06 Apr 2017

In this study grape seed extract (GSE) containing protein, polysaccharides and phenolic compounds was compared with PVPP, casein, pea protein, potato protein, gelatine, egg white and casein.

Can Lasers Help to Deter Birds From Damaging Vineyards?

Lauren Waldhuter - 05 Apr 2017

Wineries and grape growers have a range of strategies for keeping keep birds at bay, from shooting them and hanging up shiny streamers to firing off gas guns to spook them.

Image: Lauren Waldhuter

Study Finds Red Wine Compound Slows Aging in Muscles and Neurons

Samantha Falewée - 27 Mar 2017

A study, led by researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute, has found evidence that resveratrol can protect neural connections in the brain and muscle fibers from the adverse effects of ageing.

What actually happens when you add water to must?

Wine Australia - 27 Mar 2017

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) recently announced a decision to allow the limited addition of water to high sugar musts and juice to reduce the chance of problems arising during fermentation.

Mealybugs and under vine management

Tessa Nicholson - 06 Mar 2017

This new research programme (funded by New Zealand Winegrowers) aims to identify new tactics that might slow or even prevent the spread of leafroll virus by defining the relationship between the vine, the ground cover plants and mealybugs.

Can Vitis vinifera canes be a source of natural fungicides?

Tristan Richard, Assia Abdelli-Belhad, Xavier Vitrac, Pierre Waffo-Téguo, Jean-Michel Mérillon - 06 Mar 2017

This study investigated the use of Vitis vinifera canes as a source of natural funigicides against downy mildew.

The results indicated that stilbenes from grapevine canes are good candidates as natural fungicides against downy mildew. Given the very large quantity of grape canes available each year, this strategy could be scaled up to control this grapevine disease in a sustainable manner. Further research is still needed.

Image: Shutterstock

Expectation or sensorial reality? An empirical investigation of the biodynamic calendar for wine drinkers

Wendy V. Parr, Dominique Valentin, Phil Reedman, Claire Grose and James A. Green - 28 Feb 2017

Researchers have found that the taste of wine is not affected by the cycles of the moon as claimed by the biodynamic philosophy. 

An overview of the biodynamic wine sector

Alessandra Castellini, Christine Mauracher and Stefania Troiano - 21 Feb 2017

Using a systematic literature review, this review aims to investigate the biodynamic production system in the viticulture and winemaking process. In particular, the review examines, 1) the biodynamic practice and its main characteristics including the certification system; 2) the biodynamic market characteristics and the recent trends, the production costs and the marketing strategies adopted by wineries; 3) the demand attributes and wine consumers’ perception on sustainable practices and “green products” such as biodynamic products; and 4) the association between the biodynamic wine chain and the environment.

Synthetic genome engineering forging new frontiers for wine yeast

Sakkie Pretorius - 07 Feb 2017

A large international project – the Synthetic Yeast Genome Project – is now underway to synthesize all 16 chromosomes of a laboratory wine yeast strain by 2018. If successful, S. cerevisiae will become the first eukaryote to cross the horizon of in silico design of complex cells through de novo synthesis, reshuffling, and editing of genomes. Therefore, this article seeks to help prepare the wine industry – an industry rich in history and tradition on the one hand, and innovation on the other – for the inevitable intersection of the ancient art practiced by winemakers and the inventive science of pioneering “synthetic genomicists”.

Australia Invests $5.3 m in R&D projects on Shiraz Terroir

Rachel Arthur - 27 Jan 2017

Wine Australia has today announced a six year, $5.3m AUD ($4m USD) R&D investment that will look at Australia’s unique terroirs and how they influence wine style and quality. 

Virtual vineyard gate aims to keep grape pests out

Andrew Spence - 10 Jan 2017

Software initially developed to safeguard the Canadian poultry industry is being trialled by Australian wineries to help keep pests and diseases out of premium vineyards. It is still early days for the project

The vineyard cyber monitoring system known as Project Boundary Rider uses an app that places a virtual fence around vineyards, tracking the movements of people across boundaries via GPS on a smartphone. In the event of a pest or disease outbreak, the technology provides instant data to enable a rapid response to contain the spread and minimise loss.

Image: The Lead

University of Arkansas Debuts New Winegrape Varieties

Christina Herrick - 10 Jan 2017

Twenty years in the making, the University of Arkansas has released two new winegrapes that can withstand heat, humidity, rain and icy winters – ‘Opportunity’ and ‘Enchantment.’

Image: Fred Miller

New nontoxic hydrogels could aid in wine production and other applications

Infowine - 10 Jan 2017

New nontoxic hydrogels developed by Stanford engineers could aid in food production and other applications.

Reduce photosynthesis, reduce alcohol

Mary Shanahan - 09 Jan 2017

Researchers may have achieved a breakthrough in ‘making’ quality low alcohol wines in the vineyard.

Impacts of grapevine leafroll disease on fruit yield and grape and wine chemistry

Article review by Lucinda Heyns - 18 Nov 2016

Washington State University did a three year study from 2009 – 2011 to look at the impact of grapevine leafroll disease (GLD) on grapevine fruit yield as well as grape and wine chemistry. An own rooted, commercial Merlot vineyard, planted in 1998 in Yakima Valley (eastern Washington state) was used for the study. Vines showing symptoms and that tested positive for GLDaV-3 were compared to adjacent non-symptomatic vines that tested negative. Each year, the vines were retested to confirm their status. Grapes were harvested at different stages of berry development and juice analysis done regularly throughout ripening.

Genomics breakthrough paves way for climate tolerant wine grape varieties

University of California - Davis - 11 Nov 2016

A new sequencing technology, combined with a new computer algorithm that can yield detailed information about complex genomes of various organisms, has been used to produce a high-quality draft genome sequence of cabernet sauvignon, the world's most popular red wine grape variety, reports a UC Davis genomics expert.

Can an electronic tongue predict taste perception?

Darren Smith - 06 Oct 2016

Researchers from the University of South Australia have developed an electronic device they claim can accurately determine the age and quality of a wine

Study finds red wine can help to reduce inflammation

Georgia State University - 06 Oct 2016

A component of red wine and grapes can help control inflammation induced by a bacterial pathogen that is linked to upper respiratory tract inflammatory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and middle ear infection (otitis media), according to a study.

Image: Shutterstock

French microalgae may be the answer to key vine diseases - 19 Sep 2016

A microalgae found in the sea off Brittany’s coastline can wipe-out key vine diseases with new scientific tests in France showing 100% efficiency in destroying Downey Mildew. The major scientific breakthrough could provide natural alternatives to the use of pesticides on vineyards.

Structural and functional MRI differences in master sommeliers

Sarah Banks et al. 2016 - 12 Sep 2016

The study assessed differences in Master Sommeliers’ brains, compared with controls, in structure and also in functional response to olfactory and visual judgment tasks. The results indicate that sommeliers’ brains show specialisation in the expected regions of the olfactory and memory networks, and also in regions important in integration of internal sensory stimuli and external cues.

Scientists find promise treating Alzheimer's with a mix of wine compounds

Christine Dalton in Wine Spectator - 18 Aug 2016

A team of researchers from Australia has found promising results treating Alzheimer's disease with resveratrol combined with two other wine compounds.

Grape vines exposed to smoke to test taint from wildfires

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities - 18 Aug 2016

In a new study, Tom Collins, Washington State University Tri-Cities assistant professor of viticulture and enology, is exposing vines to smoke to better understand how the chemical composition of grapes changes. He wants to know how much smoke it takes to create smoke taint in wine grapes and wine, as well as how to lessen the problem.

Image copyright: Washington State University

Wine aroma is even more important than we thought

Wine Australia - 18 Aug 2016

Research at the AWRI suggests the long, lingering aftertaste that makes you want another sip – and maybe another glass – of a good wine may in fact be due to retro-nasal perception of aromas released from molecules called glycosides, which occur naturally in grapes. We’ve always known they are there, but until now have not fully understood their potential.

Researchers study colored shade nets on grapes

Ted Rieger in Wines and Vines - 14 Jul 2016

Oakville, Calif.—Researchers from the University of California, Davis, began a trial this year at the Oakville Experimental Station in Napa Valley to evaluate the use of different colors of commercially available shade netting and its effects on grape cluster temperature and light exposure in relation to chemical and phenolic development and composition in grape berries.

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Australia invests in research to safeguard wine grapes from smoke

Wine Australia - 06 Jul 2016

This project will examine practices and advanced technologies that may provide the Australian grape and wine community with innovative and cost-effective tools to minimise the unintended impacts of controlled burns and wildfires near wine regions.’

The new project aims to safeguard the supply of grapes and improve profitability for Australia’s grapegrowers. 

Image: Wine Australia

Development of an app that can assess berry ripeness and help with decision making in harvest

Wine Australia - 29 Jun 2016

A research project funded by Wine Australia is looking to develop a smartphone imaging tool to assess grapevine berry and bunch characteristics.
The aim is to make it easy for viticulturists to determine the optimum fruit picking ‘window’ to suit desired wine styles by tracking the evolution of the fruit’s colour (white varieties) or volume (for red and white varieties).
- Image: Shutterstock

Can science help to identify a wine's origin?

Wine Australia - 28 Jun 2016

A new project at the AWRI led by Research Scientist Dr Martin Day is looking to determine whether by combining the right mix of parameters it is possible to prove with sufficient certainty where a wine did – or in some cases didn’t – come from.

San Joaquin Valley investigates performance of alternative varietals to heat

Lindsay Jordan - 16 Jun 2016

Researchers evaluated the performance of alternative varieties to heat. By selecting grape varieties that can innately produce superior fruit in the heat of the SJV, some of the wine quality issues associated with warm climate wine production may be alleviated.

Bulk wine not affected by transport choices

Wine Australia - 11 May 2016

Wine Australia funded a project with the AWRI looking at the bulk transport process, and whether the choices wine companies make have any sensory or chemical impact on the wine during or after transit. Researchers Simon Nordestgaard and Eric Wilkes together with wine sector collaborators tracked more than one million litres of wine bound for the UK over 15 months and the results were very positive.

Red Wine and Coffee Are Good for Your Guts, Study Finds

Christine Dalton in Wine Spectator - 11 May 2016

Researchers find red-wine drinkers have more diverse gut microbiomes, which means better health. So for now, keep drinking your red wine and coffee. Your gut will thank you.




Bekker et al - 13 Apr 2016

Oxygen (O2) plays a fundamental role in the establishment of wine style and aroma. The effect of O2 treatment during fermentation on the formation of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) and the subsequent impact on the sensory profile of wine was investigated. Traditional VSC remediation strategies were also evaluated.

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