While grapes are being picked and crushed across Australia, the AWRI’s researchers are also enjoying their busiest time of the year. Vintage trials form a key part of AWRI research, as the opportunity to put theory into practice and set up the experiments that will be monitored and tasted during the rest of the year. Thanks are extended to the many industry contributors working alongside the AWRI to conduct these trials who generously provide access to experimental vineyard sites, grapes, wines and other facilities.
This year vintage trials are happening across a diverse range of areas. AWRI bioscience researchers are trialling the latest hybrid yeasts, yeast strains that produce high levels of ‘rose’ aroma compounds and new strains of malolactic bacteria. In the area of process improvement, trials are investigating effects of oxygen in red ferments and the impact of juice pasteurisation. Other researchers are assessing the effects of vineyard nutrient sprays and sun exposure on grape composition and wine flavour, mapping grape aroma compounds in cool climate Shiraz, investigating the flavour and mouth-feel consequences of whole bunch ferments, and evaluating management strategies for processing smoke-tainted grapes.
Results from these projects and others will be published as they become available; however, if you’d like to know more about any of this work, please contact the AWRI (Ella.Robinson@awri.com.au or 08 8 313 6600).