The Australian Society of Viticulture & Oenology

Summer 2014

Top Stories

2014 Viticulturist of the Year 2014 Winemaker of the Year

Your Professional Society




Award for excellence finalists & winners

Thank you to everyone that nominated and came along to a fantastic evening. Our 2014 Awards evening was a great success and enjoyed by all those who attended.

The calibre of entries this year was outstanding and judges found the decision extremely difficult Judge Marcel Essling described the choice as “a battle between head and heart."

Sue Bell, from Coonawarra’s boutique Bellwether Wine, was named Winemaker of the Year and Matthew Bailey, from Taltarni in Victoria’s Pyrenees region, Viticulturist of the Year at the Awards dinner in Adelaide.

The judges noted that Sue's role in the industry “has been quite inspirational, showing how much can be achieved with passion and commitment.”

Matthew is recognised as being at the forefront of integrated pest management in the wine industry thanks largely to the success of his “insectarium", a vegetation corridor of 2000 native plants that provides a pollen and nectar source for a range of beneficial insects.

ASVO President Paul Petrie congratulated all 7 finalists. "The standard we have seen this year is very high and demonstrates the depth of talent and expertise of our industry."

The ASVO welcomed Amorim as the new sponsor of the ‘Winemaker of the year’ award. This award aims to recognises a winemaker within the wine industry who has demonstrated technical mastery over any aspect of winemaking.

The ‘Viticulturist of the year’ award was again sponsored by Bayer CropSciences, and honours an outstanding viticulturist involved in the development of a novel and significant viticultural innovation or introduction of a novel viticultural practice.
This year’s research awards were presented to Richard Gawel from the Australian Wine Research Institute for the Best Oenology Paper and Jason Smith from the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at Charles Sturt University for the Best Viticultural Paper.

The ‘Paper of the year’ awards were selected from the research papers published in the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research in the last twelve months and voted as being the most likely to have an impact on the Australian wine industry. The paper ot he year awards are sponsored by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority.

The authors of the winning Viticulture paper were Jason Smith, Leigh Schmidtke, Markus Müller and Bruno Holzapfel for a paper titled ‘Measurement of the concentration of nutrients in grapevine petioles by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and chemometrics’.

The winemaking paper of the year was authored by Richard Gawel, Alexander Schulkin, Paul Smith and Elizabeth Waters and was titled ‘Taste and textural characters of mixtures of caftaric acid and Grape Reaction Product in model wine’

Pictures from the night can be seen here

2014 Viticulturist of the Year

Winner Matthew Bailey

Matthew Bailey is a man committed to winning the war of good versus evil. Matthew has been fighting this war as Taltarni’s viticulturist for almost a decade. He fights the bad insects that ravish vines with their natural enemies, good insects.
Integrated pest management (IPM) “isn’t some pie in the sky dream” said Matthew. It does dramatically reduced operational inputs. The benefits are twofold; IPM can increase profitability by reducing labour intensive and time consuming conventional methods of insect control and increase the resilience of the agroecosystem. Judges commented that this was a great subject to pursue and the reduction of herbicide and insecticide use is a great potential benefit to growers. more

Finalist Ben Harris

Ben is the Vineyard Manager, Wynns Coonawarra Estate and current Chair of the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council - Technical Sub Committee a role he has held since June 2012.
In his position as Wynns vineyard manager Ben has driven a suite of projects that address soils & site variability, management practices and the selection of the appropriate planting material for Coonawarra. Bens work has improved understanding of the variability within Coonawarra and has assisted with decision making in regards to optimising fruit & wine quality, improving clonal diversity as well as opening up opportunities to use planting material to assist in the management of climatic variability and climate change. more

Finalist Cecil Camilleri

Cecil Camilleri commenced work at The Yalumba Wine Company in November 1994 and soon after embarked on what has become his vocation and calling: the development of Yalumba’s ‘Commitment to Sustainable Winemaking’ Programme. This programme of continuous improvement was developed to maximise the opportunity for ongoing social, economic and environmental wellbeing for Yalumba’s employee community and its stakeholders. more

Finalist Liz Riley

Liz Riley is the owner and operator of Vitibit Pty Ltd. She has been dispensing viticultural advice since 2000. Based in the Hunter Valley Liz drives the adoption of best practice in the region. Liz has invested a great deal of herself into the region, for the regions benefit. This has encompassed setting up regional demonstrations and facilitating workshops to engage the local grower community with concepts and practices that they were unlikely to otherwise explore. more

Finalist Tony Proffitt

Tony has been researching, using and promoting Precision Viticulture (PV) technologies to improve crop productivity and fruit quality while minimising production costs.
Judge Kerry DeGaris commented that Precision Viticulture is definitely a technique being adopted by many grape growers across Australia. Tony's dedication to this topic should not go unrecognised.
PV technologies allow grape growers and wine producers to see where and how much variation there is in their vineyards. This, in turn, allows them to manage their land differentially rather than uniformly and to make more informed management decisions. more

2014 Winemaker of the Year

Winner Sue Bell

Sue came from a large corporate wine organisation and now has established a unique boutique ‘star’ winery based in Coonawarra. Sue’s focus is original and honest winemaking, which is expressed in the wines she makes. While Sue’s current business operation is not heavily weighted to research and development, her point of difference in the wine industry, which is passion and community, is making a significant difference. more  

Finalist Julian Alcorso

Julian is a premium cool climate wine producer, producing very high value wines. Julian has played an important role as a winemaker in the Tasmanian Wine Industry for over a decade. As with many other cool climate producers he uses some very traditional old world methods such as wild ferments, yet he is not afraid to uses modern processing methods as they become available, when there is some benefit to efficiency and quality improvement. more

Events such as these do not happen without the generous support of our sponsors, a big thank you to the Australian Grape and Wine Authority, Amorim and Bayer Cropscience.


Special Christmas offer for ASVO members-The perfect gift for anyone involved or interested in wine

The Grapevine: from the science to the practice of growing vines for wine
Iland, Dry, Proffitt and Tyerman
RRP  $165
Christmas offer  $120
Save $45
(free postage within Australia, offer available until 24 Dec 2014)

This book explores the links between scientific principles and the practice of viticulture. It is a story of roots, buds, leaves, berries and wines and contains information about grapevine growth, physiology and biochemistry; the climate and soils in which vines grow; and how these impact on berry composition and the taste of a wine. This book is a valuable resource for viticulturists, winemakers and all students of the wine and its wines.
To order and  receive the special discount please contact Judith Iland
A Taste of the World of Wine
Iland, Gago, Caillard and Dry
RRP  $50
Christmas offer  $30
Save $20
(free postage within Australia, offer available until 24 Dec 2014)

A Taste of the World of Wine is a comprehensive and practical guide that takes the reader on a journey through how to taste wine, how wines are made, varietal characteristics and the major wine styles of the world. The book contains 212 pages of informative text, maps, wine style guides and over 300 photographs to illustrate the diversity of the world of wine.
To order and  receive the special discount please contact Judith Iland

ASVO announces new President and changes to its Board

ASVO recently announced that Dr Mardi Longbottom – Senior Viticulturist, Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), has been appointed President.
Upon accepting the appointment Dr Mardi Longbottom said
“I am honoured to be elected and I would like to thank outgoing President, Paul Petrie, for his hard work and dedication. His insight and focus have been invaluable during his term as President.”

Paul now takes on the role of Secretary, having led the Board since 2010. Longbottom is joined by Vice President Brett McClen, Chief Viticulturist at Brown Brothers.

ASVO thank outgoing Directors Dr Mark Krstic and Dr Bob Dambergs, for their outstanding work in what were and continue to be uncertain times for the wine industry.

Kristy Bartrop from the Riverina Winegrapes Marketing Board continues in the role of Treasurer for a second term and Prof Vladimir Jiranek from the University of Adelaide retains his position as Regional Director, for South Australia.

Joining the board are David Wollan from Memstar, regional director for Victoria and Dr Tony Proffitt from AHA Viticulture for the Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania regions.

Prof. Mike Trought, Dr Anthony Robinson continue the second year of their terms and Mr Tony Battaglene retains his seat on the Board.

The new board members are:
President  Dr Mardi Longbottom (Vice President from November 2013)
Vice President Mr Brett McClen  
Treasurer Ms Kristy Bartrop (Regional Director, NSW)
Secretary Dr Paul Petrie  
  Prof. Vladimir Jiranek  (Regional Director, SA)
  Mr David Wollan  (Regional Director VIC)
  Dr Tony Proffitt (Regional Director WA, QLD & TAS)
  Prof. Mike Trought  
  Dr Anthony Robinson (Co-opted until November 2014)
  Mr Tony Battaglene (ex officio)
Read more about each Board Director here

Annual General Meeting

About 30 members attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 19th of November to hear about the results of the 2013-14 financial year. Speakers included Paul Petrie who told members that it had been another busy and successful year for the ASVO. With major events for 2013–14 including the 15th Australian Wine Industry Conference, the debate “Will natural wine become the new conventional wine in the future?” and our second Awards for Excellence dinner at the National Wine Centre.

Members also heard from Treasurer Kristy Bartrop who told members that the lack of seminar events and the additional costs associated with attendance and prize sponsorship at the AWITC resulted in a substantially smaller surplus compared to the previous financial year, but that the board remained confident of the society’s financial sustainability into the future.

The Annual report can be downloaded here

The ASVO board would like to thank those who supported the AGM

Paul Henschke admitted as a Fellow of the ASVO

During the Awards for Excellence Dinner, Dr Paul Petrie announced that Dr Paul Henschke had been admitted as a Fellow of the ASVO.

Paul explained that Dr Henschke had been admitted due to his outstanding contribution through major roles within industry, science, education and the Society itself.

These contributions include acting as an Associate Editor for the AJGWR since its inception in 1995. Contributions to the industry include co-authoring over 100 scientific and technical papers, more than 100 scientific and technical presentations and co- supervising 21 postgraduate students.

Dr Henschke remarked in his response that it was an unexpected but great honour to be offered a place amongst eminent and distinguished Fellows of the ASVO. "I wish to dedicate this honor to the memory of my late father, Cycil Henschke" he said.

Adelaide Seminar Wrap up

We would like to thank everyone who attended the recent seminar ‘Input to Outputs – is less more?’.

Associate Professor Jim Harbertson gave a very engaging presentation on tannin additions and how best to use them and likewise Professor Dominik Durner’s work on optimising the use of Micro-Oxidation for different red wine varieties and styles has lots of potential applications in Australia. Videos of Jim and Dominik answering the questions submitted from across the industry have been uploaded to the ASVO and AGWA websites.

Other highlights of the seminar included Simon Nordestgaard (AWRI) who presented a review of digital grape sorting technology, Paul Boss from CSIRO who discussed the impact of green berries and petioles on red wine and Leigh Schmidtke (Charles Sturt University) who spoke on technology for reduced alcohol wines. Don Bruce from Treasury Wine Estates presented on efficiency gains from light weight bottles and Nick Palousis spoke about technology from other industries that can improve winery efficiency.

Presentations can be downloaded here
To help us develop and improve our seminars, we’d like to hear from you regarding your thoughts on the seminar and/or awards dinner.
If you haven't already done so please take a few minutes to answer our survey.

The proceedings will be distributed to conference delegates and made available for sale to the industry as soon as possible.

Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner -Thank you

We rely on financial and in-kind support from a range of sponsors to make the ASVO Awards happen. We are grateful to each and every one of our sponsors AGWA, Bayer, and Amorim for their wholehearted support. Without them the Awards would not have been the huge success that it was.

Many thanks also to the following individuals and organisations;

Master of Ceremony, Peter Hayes, again kept the official side of the evening running smoothly with his witty sense of humour.

Our distinguished judging panel, I know it’s a cliché to say that the judges had a very difficult job, but it’s true, they did. Every nomination on the shortlist was a genuine contender for the award. We thank them for their invaluable comments their insight and thoughtfulness in choosing this year’s worthy award winners.

  • Peter Clingeleffer
  • Kerry De Garis
  • Marcel Essling
  • Colin Hinze
  • Bob Dambergs
  • Wendy Cameron
  • Paul Henschke
  • Anthony Robinson

ASVO Director, Dr Anthony Robinson also oversaw the selection of wines for the Award night that were either donated or supplied at very special 'mates rates'. Our thanks to:

  • Brown Brothers - for the Pirie Sparkling
  • O'Leary Walker Wines - for the O’Leary Walker 2008 Watervale Riesling
  • Peter Lehmann Wines - for the Peter Lehmann 2009 Margaret Semillon
  • Treasury Wine Estates - for the Wolf Blass 2006 White Label Chardonnay
  • Yabby Lake Vineyard - for the Yabby Lake 2013 Block 2 Pinot Noir
  • Pernod Ricard Winemakers - for the 2012 Orlando St Hugo Shiraz
  • Vasse Felix - for the 2011 Vasse Felix Heytesbury Cabernets
  • The Yalumba Wine Company - for the 2010 Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz
  • Morris Wines - for the Morris Grand Liqueur Muscat

Whilst all the wines were brilliant, guests at the dinner were given a special treat with the Yabby Lake Block 2 Pinot Noir 2013. This wine took home four trophies at the recent National Wine Show Trophy Presentation Dinner in Canberra; collecting the RSN Riedel Trophy for Best Pinot Noir, the Treasury Wine Estates Single Vineyard Dry Red Trophy, the Minter Ellison Trophy for Best Dry Red Table Wine and the Len Evans Memorial Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show.

Pictures from the night can be seen here

Crush 2014

Recently the ASVO sponsored the prizes for the three minute student presentations at Crush2014; this is a two-day national symposium dedicated to grape and wine research held by the Wine Industry Cluster at the Waite. Sijing Li was winner of the best oenology paper and Emily Higginson was winner of the best viticulture presentation; each student received a prize of $500 supported by the society.

16th AWITC Program Survey

Planning has commenced for the 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference & Trade Exhibition (AWITC & TE) 2016. We are seeking input from industry to assist in the development of the program and would be delighted if you could take a few moments to complete this short survey. If you complete the survey prior to 19 December 2014 you will automatically enter the draw to win a complimentary registration to the 16th AWITC & TE to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre 23-28 July 2016.
Please access the survey here

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Detection of grape phylloxera on grapevine roots with diagnostic polymerase chain reaction methods targeted to the internal transcribed space region 2 nuclear gene
H. Zhu, Q. Sun, Y. Du, Z. Gao and H. Zhai
Effects of shoot girdling and/or periodic leaf removal on inflorescence primordia initiation and development in Vitis vinifera L. Sauvignon Blanc
M. Eltom, C. Winefield and M.C.T. Trought
Application of abscisic acid (S-ABA) and sucrose to improve colour, anthocyanin content and antioxidant activity of cv. Crimson Seedless grape berries
G. Ferrara, A. Mazzeo, A.M.S. Matarrese, C. Pacucci, R. Punzi, M. Faccia, A. Trani and G. Gambacorta
Prevalence of Lactobacillus plantarum and Oenococcus oeni during spontaneous malolactic fermentation in Patagonian red wines revealed by polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis with two targeted genes
D. Valdés La Hens, B.M. Bravo-Ferrada, L. Delfederico, A.C. Caballero and L.C. Semorile
Blood-derived compounds can efficiently prevent iron deficiency in the grapevine
S. López-Rayo, M. Di Foggia, G. Bombai, F. Yunta, E. Rodrigues Moreira, G. Filippini, A. Pisi and A.D. Rombolà
Phenolic responses in 1-year-old canes of Vitis vinifera cv. Chardonnay induced by grapevine yellows (Bois noir)
D. Rusjan and M. Mikulic-Petkovsek
Interactions of summer pruning techniques and vine performance in the white cultivar Ortrugo (Vitis vinifera L.)
M. Gatti, A. Garavani, A. Cantatore, M.G. Parisi, N. Bobeica, M.C. Merli, A. Vercesi and S. Poni

Review Articles
Review: critical appraisal of methods to investigate the effect of temperature on grapevine berry composition
M. Bonada and V.O. Sadras

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