MEETING winegrape yield targets and tackling environmental challenges will be top priority for researchers at the new ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production.
The centre, which was launched last week at University of Adelaide Waite campus, will operate from two nodes, one at Adelaide’s Waite campus, and second at the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, Charles Sturt University.
The $5 million project is on top of the $2.4m received for the previous training centre work, which has built on a long history of wine research at the university.
In establishing the centre, researchers consulted widely with producers, suppliers, industry bodies and other researcher agencies to identify research priorities.
Centre director professor Vladimir Jiranek said industry challenges were viewed as opportunities for improvement or innovative wine production.
“Our projects will help industry response to the challenges of climate extremes, diseases and spoilages, water limitations and quality losses,” he said.
“We will also be helping industries increasing profitability through production of sought-after, distinct wines that fetch higher prices, and more efficient wine-making processes.”
Projects will help industry response to the challenges of climate extremes, diseases and spoilages...
One project will aim to characterise the distinctive flavours of Australia’s Cabernet Sauvignon wines, focusing initially on the Coonawarra region.
“We want to determine how pragmatic and cost-effective vineyard practices can change grape composition to meet consumer preferences, whether in traditional, western or booming Asian markets,” Prof Jiranek said.
Another project will aim to develop strategies for meeting quality and yield targets despite environmental changes.
Researchers will also look to better understanding, detection and control of disease, spoilage and wine taint, as well as developing and adapting new technologies to reduce waste and cost.
Officially opening the training centre Education and Training minister Simon Birmingham said the facility would be home to the next generation of researchers on a global front.
“(These) researchers are going to drive capabilities in the wine industry and take research to the next level,” he said.