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Benchmarking regional and subregional influences on Shiraz fine wines


Summary

Objective

This project will define the sensory properties of Shiraz wines from selected regions in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia and identify the attributes associated with typicality from these regions.

Background

Through knowledge and understanding of the typicality of Australian Shiraz wines, winemakers, marketers and sommeliers will have the tools to exploit the influence of terroir in the characterisation of differing wine styles by defining objective compositional measures.

Determining the principal influences of climate on terroir is a challenging conundrum requiring the collective inputs of experts in spatial and climate science, wine production, sensory, analytical and data sciences.

Defining objective measures of terroir and provenance will lead to improved understanding of the interplay of climate, geography and people in the production of Australian Shiraz wines.

Research approach

The sensory properties of Shiraz wines from regions across Australia will be determined. This will identify the attributes associated with typicality from the regions.

Geographical Indication selection will be based on commercial reputation for consistent production of wines and systematic searches of climate data (SILO/AWAP) to match regions with similar and differing climatic conditions as designated by climatic indices (Huglin, cool night, rainfall).

Typicality and regionality of fine Shiraz wines will be identified using comprehensive sensorial profiling of a selection of wines chosen by an expert panel of winemakers. Specific markers of terroir will also be identified using a range of targeted and untargeted chemical analyses. In addition, an international sommelier delegation will sort a selection of premium Shiraz wines.

Sector benefits

An increased knowledge and appreciation of regional potential may increase the overall quality of the wine from a region, enhancing the reputation and value of the product.