Wine Australia invests in strategic bilateral agreements with a number of key research providers. These agreements 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.
Current agreements are summarised below.
Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI)
Wine Australia and the AWRI entered into a 5-year $43 million agreement in September 2017 that covers research, development and extension (RD&E) activities. Key grape and wine sector priorities to be addressed under this agreement include:
- improvements in wine production efficiency (AWRI 1701-3.1.4, AWRI 1701-3.1.5)
- improved tools for the creation of target wine styles and strategies to mitigate faults (AWRI 1701-3.3.1, AWRI 1701-3.4.1, AWRI 1701-3.4.2)
- increased understanding of wine flavour and texture how they are influenced by viticultural and winemaking inputs (AWRI 1701-3.1.1, AWRI 1701-3.1.2, AWRI 1701-3.1.3, AWRI 1701-3.1.6)
- enhanced yeast and bacterial germplasm options (AWRI 1701-3.2.3, AWRI 1701-4.4.3)
- improved fermentation processes (AWRI 1701-3.2.1, AWRI 1701-3.2.2)
- better vineyard management (AWRI 1701-4.1.1, AWRI 1701-4.3.1, AWRI 1701-4.5.1)
- greater understanding of terroir in an Australian context (AWRI 1701-3.3.1, AWRI 1701-4.4.1, AWRI 1701-4.4.4)
- continued support for market access for Australian wine (AWRI 1701-4.4.2, AWRI 1701-5.3.1), and
- extension activities that support producers and facilitate awareness and adoption of research outcomes include the AWRI helpdesk, Library Services, and the Regional Program.
- More information about the AWRI can be found on its website here.
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
A 5-year, $37 million co-investment agreement was signed between Wine Australia and the CSIRO in December 2017. The agreement with CSIRO Agriculture and Food Research will run from 2017 to 2022, and will address the following key grape and wine sector priorities:
- developing and evaluating new winegrape varieties with robust disease resistance (CSA 1701-1.1)
- breeding new rootstocks with greater tolerance to pests, salinity, heat and water stress (CSA 1701-1.3, CSA 1701-2.1)
- producing wines with unique flavours from grape varieties bred specifically for Australian conditions (CSA 1701-1.2, CSA 1701-1.4, CSA 1701-1.5)
- developing new strategies to manage harvest timing and alleviate compressed ripening and harvest windows caused by climate change (CSA 1701-2.2), and
- future proofing Australia’s grapevine germplasm (CSA 1701-1.6, CSA 1701-1.7).
Further information about CSIRO can be found on its website here.
South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)
A 5-year, $11.1 million co-investment agreement was signed between Wine Australia and SARDI in February 2018. Specific research areas to be addressed under this agreement include:
- developing new and improved management strategies to prevent and control grapevine trunk diseases (SAR 1701-1.1)
- developing strategies to manage fungicide sprays in a way that minimises the development of resistant populations of fungi (SAR 1701-1.2)
- developing innovative irrigation practices to overcome the difficulties in maintaining vine productivity under dry winter conditions (SAR 1701-2.1)
- understanding the causes of vintage compression and developing vineyard management options that increase the proportion of fruit harvested at optimal maturity (SAR 1701-2.2)
- establishing Cabernet Sauvignon trials for future evaluation of clonal response to climate and management (SAR 1701-2.3)
- maintaining germplasm collection to support national viticulture projects.
More information about SARDI can be found on its website here.
National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC)
A $9 million co-investment agreement between Charles Sturt University (CSU), on behalf of the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC), and Wine Australia was initiated in June 2018. The NWGIC is an alliance between Charles Sturt University (CSU), the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the NSW Wine Industry Association. The five-year agreement will deliver outcomes in four strategic priority areas in which NWGIC has key competencies and experience.
Specific topics for research include:
- determination of thresholds for bunch rot contamination of wine grapes and development of objective methods to quantify bunch rot in the vineyard (CSU 1702-2)
- developing new techniques for the rapid and accurate assessment of grapevine nutritional status in the field (CSU 1702-3)
- understanding the impact of different metal species on the development, shelf-life and sensory properties of wine (CSU 1702-4), and
- investigating vineyard management methods to control potassium levels in fruit and wine, negating the need for the addition of tartaric acid to lower pH in the winery (CSU 1702-5)
Further information about the NWGIC can be found on its website here
The University of Adelaide
The final bilateral partnership was signed in December 2018 and is a four-year, multi-million-dollar agreement between Wine Australia and The University of Adelaide.
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 (UA 1803-1.1)
- provide knowledge on the causes and impact of berry cell death in wine grapes, enabling enable better prediction of the problem and cost-effective mitigation strategies (UA 1803-1.2)
- provide new tools to schedule irrigation based on real-time measurements of vine water status (UA 1803-1.3)
- answer key questions surrounding undervine cover crops, so they can be used with greater confidence (UA 1803-1.4)
- provide a digital platform to collect and analyse the large amounts of vineyard data to assess vineyard performance and provide advice on management practices (UA 1803-1.5)
- 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 (UA 1803-2.1), and
- 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 (UA 1803-3.1).
Further information about The University of Adelaide can be found on its website here.