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Objective measures of quality and provenance in Australian vineyards


Summary

Objective

To provide grapegrowers and winemakers with objective measures of assessing Shiraz grape wine provenance and quality.

Background

Determination of winegrape quality has always been somewhat subjective. This project builds on knowledge gained in the proof-of-concept project AWR 1202, which identified important chemical predictors for commercial grape quality grading in Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Research approach

The approach used in the previous project will be expanded to the commercial Shiraz vineyards of Pernod Ricard Winemakers who have historically produced wines across a variety of quality grades. Chemical and spectral indicators will be established that define two premium quality grades (Q2 and Q3) of Shiraz vineyards.

Collaboration between AWRI and others will then research Shiraz terroir across a range of quality scales. Wines will be tested for compounds relating to wine quality and style that will in turn be related to vineyard, environmental and sensory parameters. Management interventions will be applied on selected sites to determine the potential to optimise a site’s terroir. These management practices will aim to influence vine growth and development, and to establish a cause and effect for environmental impacts on fruit and wine style.

Sector benefits

This study will determine the key chemical indicators associated with quality rating and wine style in premium Shiraz, and how they vary by quality grade and region. Results will also provide vineyard or winery management options for shifting to higher quality grades, and for reducing the cost of producing grapes. Practical guidelines for the sector on objective measures to define premium grade Shiraz grapes or wine style and quality will be delivered to the sector.