An Australian wine waste management company has started an environmental fund to encourage new ways of getting rid of wine waste.

The Tarac Environment Future Fund (TEFF) will award an annual grant of AUS$20,000 to help applicants develop innovative and sustainable solutions to the problem of effluent from wineries.

Wine waste and residual matter includes marc (leftover skins and seeds), lees and distillation wine, centrifuge sludge and tank residue.

Dr. Ira Pant, Project Manager at Tarac Technologies told decanter.com part of Tarac’s aim was to identify sustainable and commercially viable processes.

‘The criteria used to judge the successful project include the significance of the proposal to the wine industry, commercialization potential, the degree of innovation, the sustainability of proposed option and the research capabilities of the applicant,’ he added.

The company, which is based in Tanunda, Barossa Valley, plans to fund a range of potential projects from strategic overseas study tours and research projects to further development of emerging processing technologies and IT solutions.

The TEFF is supported by the Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation (GWRDC), the Winemaker’s Federation of Australia (WFA) and The South Australian Wine Industry Association.

Tarac will meet with the GWRDC and the WFA in late February each year to make a selection and expects to publicise the winning selection in March each year. Nominations for the 2006 grant close on February 24.

Tarac processes approximately 65% of the Australian wine industry’s waste. During the 2005 vintage, Tarac processed 130,000 tonnes of grape marc and more than 25m litres of distillation wine, lees and de-sludge and 8,000 tons of filter cake to recover grape alcohol, brandy and tartaric acid.

www.tarac.com.au/docs/TEFF_Guidelines.pdf

Written by Emmet Cole