The 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference (AWITC), held in Adelaide 24-28 July saw more than 1000 Australian and overseas wine industry delegates come together to learn about the latest information and technology supporting the entire grape and wine value chain.

The conference included 12 plenary sessions, featuring 16 international and 41 local speakers, a program of 38 workshops and an extensive technical poster display.

With 62% of Australia’s grape and wine research capability based right here at the Waite in the Wine Innovation Cluster (WIC), the conference program featured a significant amount of Waite-based work. This was reflected in the Conference Poster and Fresh Science prizes with winners in many categories from across the WIC partners. These include (lead authors in bold):

  • Best student poster in Oenology, sponsored by WIC:
    Mango Parker, Alice Barker, Cory Black, Wes Pearson, Markus Herderich & Leigh Francis (AWRI) – In-mouth flavour release from non-volatile grape-derived precursors
  • Best poster in Oenology – Microbiology, sponsored by CHR Hansen:
    Krista Sumby, Paul Grbin & Vladimir Jiranek (University of Adelaide) – More efficient malolactic fermentation by directed evolution of Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Best Poster in Fermentation, sponsored by CHR Hansen:
    Simon Schmidt, Martin Day, Radka Kolouchova & Paul Smith (AWRI) – Winemaking in the air: the use and timing of oxygen during fermentation
  • Best poster in general wine production, sponsored by AWRI:
    Martin Day & Eric Wilkes (AWRI) – Determination of Australian geographic indication by strontium isotope and selected trace element analysis
  • Best poster in metabolomics and Application 1, sponsored by Metabolomics Australia:
    Keren Bindon, Neil Scrimgeour, Stella Kassara, Ella Robinson, Wieslawa Cynkar, Eric Wilkes & Paul Smith (AWRI) – Unravelling the relationship between grape extractability and wine composition
  • Best poster in metabolomics and Application 2, sponsored by Metabolomics Australia:
    Tracey Siebert, Wes pearson, Alice Barker, Markus Herderich & Leigh Francis et al (AWRI) – Volatile aroma compounds related to ‘stone fruit’ aroma in Viognier and Chardonnay wines
  • Jas-prize-AWITCBest poster – Peoples’ Choice, sponsored by AWITC:
    David Wollan, Duc-Truc Phan & Kerry Wilkinson (ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production) – Changes in wine ethanol content due to evaporation from wine glasses
  • Best Fresh Science – viticulture, Sponsored by ASVO:
    Dr Keren Bindon, AWRI – Objective measures of grape quality

The Student Forum: In the wine light was also held on the Wednesday evening of the conference. This session was an entertaining introduction to the future people and the projects in grape and wine research. Participating students had only one slide to answer the age old questions: “What are you researching?” and “Why does it matter?”

Josephine Jasmine Peter (pictured), a final year PhD student in the School of Agriculture, food and Wine at the University of Adelaide was the winner of the judges prize sponsored by ASVO. Chen Liang from the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production was awarded the People’s Choice prize.

Congratulations to all the winners!

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