Tackling climate change, water restrictions, rising alcohol levels and changing consumer demand will be the focus of a new AUD$2.4m wine production training centre at the University of Adelaide.
The centre at the university’s Waite Campus (pictured), hailed as a ‘significant boost’ to wine research and training in Australia, will aim to provide new knowledge, methods and technologies, as well as skilled researchers, to help the wine industry to tackle major challenges.
Top of the list, according to training centre and professor of oenology Prof Vladimir Jiranek, is the better management of flavour and alcohol content in the country’s wines.
‘The Australian wine industry is facing major challenges through climate change, water restrictions, changing consumer preferences and rising wine alcohol content,’ Prof Jiranek said.
‘As such, this research training initiative comes at a critical time for the industry and will help in retaining the global competitiveness of Australia’s wine industry.
‘Essentially we seek to help the industry make wines of the composition, style and quality that consumers want despite these challenges.’
The centre also allows the university’s Waite Research Institute to work with industry partners, among them Treasury Wine Estates and Sainsbury’s supermarkets.
At least 12 PhD candidates and three post-doctoral fellows will work at the centre, all of them having the chance to spend time with a partner organisation.
It is one of only four training centres and four research hubs granted funding by the Australian Research Council in the first round of the Federal Government’s Industrial Transformation Research Program.
The aim of the initiative is to support partnerships between research and industry, boosting the competitiveness of key Australian industries in the process.
Written by Richard Woodard