Boost for Australian grape and wine technology with new partnership

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Wine Australia

Wine Australia and the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) have signed a $9m ($6.6m USD) co-investment research, development and extension agreement. The partnership will work on projects such as a smartphone app for on-the-spot nutrient assessments in vineyards, and technology to predict optimal harvest dates.

The remit of the strategic partnership agreement is to “develop new technologies and provide practical information to growers and winemakers to increase profitability and competitiveness, as well as improve environmental sustainability.”

The NWGIC is an alliance between Charles Sturt University, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the NSW Wine Industry Association.

Wine Australia will contribute $2.5m AUD to the new partnership, Charles Sturt University will contribute $4.1m AUD (cash and in-kind) and NSW DPI $2.4m AUD over the next five years.

The projects will:

  • determine the thresholds for botrytis and other bunch rot contamination of grapes; and conduct a feasibility assessment of the most appropriate practices to manage faults in wine when bunch rot thresholds are exceeded
  • develop a smartphone app to assess fruit volume and predict optimal harvest date
  • create a smartphone app for on-the-spot nutrient assessments and diagnosis of nutritional disorders in vineyards
  • explore the potential for controlling berry acidity in the vineyard through the addition of minerals such as calcium and magnesium in fertiliser to decrease additional intervention in managing acidity when making wine
  • compile recommendations on how to tailor sulfur dioxide and ascorbic acid use based on wine compositional parameters.

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