Viticulture

Cash for wine

By Country News

Wine Australia and the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre have signed a $9million co-investment research, development and extension agreement to develop new technologies and provide practical information to growers and winemakers to increase profitability and competitiveness, as well as improve environmental sustainability.

The strategic partnership agreement will fund research projects that align with Wine Australia’s strategic plan and RD&E priorities and have been developed in consultation with the wine sector in NSW and north-eastern Victoria and with NSW DPI.

‘‘We are delighted to partner with the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre to deliver some outstanding practical tools and outcomes for our sector over the next five years,’’ Wine Australia chief executive officer Andreas Clark said.

During that period, Wine Australia will contribute $2.5million, Charles Sturt University will contribute $4.1million and NSW DPI $2.4million.

The funding will go towards projects which will:

■Determine the thresholds for botrytis and other bunch rot contamination of grapes, and assess the most appropriate practices to manage faults in wine when thresholds are exceeded.

■Develop a decision support tool and a smartphone app for assessing fruit volume and predicting optimal harvest date.

■Develop a smartphone app for on-the-spot nutrient assessments and diagnosis of nutritional disorders in the vineyard.

■Explore potential for controlling berry acidity in the vineyard through the addition of minerals in fertiliser, and develop recommendations on how to tailor sulfur dioxide and ascorbic acid use based on wine compositional parameters.