To determine the thresholds for bunch rot tolerance in wine.
Bunch rot and related diseases in winegrapes are difficult to manage in wet seasons and economically risky. Objective assessment in terms of incidence, severity and quantitation of the functional impact on final wine sensory attributes and composition is also difficult.
The project will build on the achievements of previous project CSU 1301 ‘Determination of thresholds for bunch rot contamination of grapes and techniques to ameliorate associated fungal taints’. It will accurately define thresholds for bunch rot contamination of wine grapes and develop objective methods to quantify bunch rot contamination from field samples. Solutions will be provided to winemakers to allow them to cope with situations where these thresholds have been exceeded.
The project will determine the impact of fungal physiology and growth on the formation of unwanted compounds in bunch rot affected grapes, provide recommendations on the thresholds for bunch rot contamination in relation to wine quality, evaluate techniques for the rapid analysis of bunch rot contamination of grapes and provide recommendation on most appropriate practices to manage and ameliorate faults in wine when bunch rot thresholds are exceeded in grapes.
Outcomes from the project will provide the sector with better indicators of bunch rot thresholds before fruit should be rejected or downgraded, enhance wine quality outcomes and improve the efficiency of vineyard management.