A NETWORK of commercial vineyards has teamed up with the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre to compare cool and warm climate wines in a bid to help better predict harvest dates and wine characteristics.
The vineyards in the NSW regions of Griffith, Orange and Tumbarumba have partnered with the Centre as part of a major research program.
National Wine and Grape Industry Centre director, Professor Alain Deloire, said the partnership is a unique opportunity to undertake important research within a commercial setting.
“Data loggers have been installed at eight vineyards which will be used to measure soil moisture and air temperature in the canopy of the vines,” Professor Deloire said.
“Air temperature and water are the two biggest factors which affect fruit composition and wine quality and the data will be used to compare our cool and warm climate wines.
“This information can be used to predict harvest dates and the style and characteristics of various cool and warm climate wines.
“The participating grape growers can use this information to improve grape and wine quality and the vineyards will also assist in disseminating the research findings to the broader industry.”
Professor Deloire said the information would also assist the industry in understanding how climate affects the aromatics and characteristics of our favourite wines.
“Scientific research will be done on fruit and wine composition in relation with wine sensory to understand Australian wine typicality,” Professor Deloire said.
“A better understanding of how climate affects wine characteristics helps the industry predictably produce specific wine styles which meet consumer markets and changing preferences.
“For example, if we know that the climate near Griffith or Orange uniquely produces a taste attribute sought after by consumers, we can upscale plantings specific cultivars or increase the value of the grapes in that area to meet consumer demands.
“By being able to pinpoint these characteristics we can also better market the uniqueness of our key wine producing areas.”
Participating vineyards include:
Griffith: De Bortoli Wines (syrah) and McWilliam's Wines (syrah and cabernet sauvignon) Orange: Justin Jarrett (sauvignon blanc); Philip Shaw (pinot noir); and Cumulus Wines (syrah and cabernet sauvignon) Tumbarumba: Cathy Gairn, Courabyra Wines (chardonnay)
The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre is an alliance between NSW Department of Primary Industries, Charles Sturt University and the NSW Wine Industry Association.
The project is being funded by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.