Wine Australia and the University of Adelaide have signed a four-year, multi-million-dollar agreement to support and stimulate longer term strategic wine research and development that will enable the Australian grape and wine sector to benefit from world-leading innovation.
The agreement is intended to bolster technical capabilities in key areas and to stimulate further long-term wine research and development initiatives by the University that deliver value to the sector.
Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said the arrangement would give the University greater flexibility to pursue promising research results within an overall agreed framework.
“We see this as an opportunity to secure and further develop the University’s strength in teaching through excellence in research, ensuring the next generation receives world class education in all aspects of wine production,” he said.
University of Adelaide Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Mike Brooks said, “This new partnership recognises the leading role the University of Adelaide plays in Australia’s agriculture, food and wine sectors.
“Under our agreement, the University will further strengthen its contribution to wine science and production. Our world-leading expertise, aligned with the needs of industry, will provide innovative solutions for Australian grape growers and winemakers alike.
“We are tremendously grateful to Wine Australia for this strategic partnership.”
The University’s portfolio of vine and wine research funded by Wine Australia includes projects to:
- deliver tools to measure and understand the relationship between canopy architecture (including fruit exposure) and fruit and wine quality. This will enable practitioners to more confidently invest in proactive management options.
- provide knowledge on the causes and impact of berry cell death in wine grapes. This will enable better prediction of the problem and cost-effective mitigation strategies.
- provide new tools to schedule irrigation based on real-time measurements of vine water status.
- answer key questions surrounding undervine cover crops, so they can be used with greater confidence.
- improve the wine microbial tool kit available for fermentation, by providing the sector with robust and tailored yeast and bacteria specifically targeted to address sector requirements.
- produce resources describing global beverage markets, varieties by region, a model of the Australian economy with pertinent regional detail and an analysis of the impact of trends and policies affecting these markets.
The Agreement, which involves $4.1 million in cash funding from Wine Australia, and $885,000 plus a substantial in-kind contribution from the University of Adelaide, will also allow additional investment from other partners to be leveraged for the wine sector.
For example, the organisations are in talks with Riverland Wines about a project to deliver an open-access, digital advisory and monitoring system for grapegrowers that provides real time information and clear and trusted advice to optimise production.
The agreement, which concludes in 2022, is the last in a series of bilateral partnerships between Wine Australia and major research institutions, including the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and the National Grape and Wine Industry Centre (NWGIC) through Charles Sturt University.