Twice a year members of the Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, including our industry partners, meet to network and present research updates.  The Centre’s students and early career researchers also participate in opportunities to enhance their knowledge of the Australian wine industry and build on professional skills.  The Centre held its first 2019 workshop on the 13th to 16th of May.

The first day was held in historic Urrbrae House at the Waite campus of the University of Adelaide.  We welcomed two new Centre members who have begun projects in 2019.

Research updates were presented by the Centre’s PhD/Masters students and Research Associates who have now been working on their projects for between 4 and 15 months.  Projects range in scope and to date incorporate viticultural practices, wine microbiology, process engineering, wine chemistry and sensory science.  These research update days are an opportunity for researchers to reflect on collaborative possibilities with other projects and for our industry partners to provide feedback on projects beyond those they are formally involved in.

The following three days saw 18 members of the Centre travel to Margaret River in Western Australia.  The purpose of the trip was two-fold, to provide our early-mid career researchers with an opportunity to learn about a different Australian wine region and for the Centre to share its purpose and research with the Margaret River wine industry.

To gain an overview of the Margaret River wine region, Dr Tony Proffitt spoke to the Centre at a dinner presentation on the first evening.  Given Tony’s breadth of experience in the Australian wine industry over the past 20 plus years, he was able to present a great insight into Margaret River’s wine history, varieties, environment, viticultural issues and practices, and contribution to the WA and Australian wine industry.  Charlotte Newton, a local winemaker and educator, was also on hand to guide us through a tasting of Margaret River wines and to discuss what makes them unique to the region.

We gratefully appreciated support from the Margaret River Wine Association who hosted the Centre at the Margaret River Education Campus.  The Centre spoke to around 20 members of the local wine industry which included viticulturists, winemakers and educators.  Centre Director Professor Vladimir Jiranek provided an overview of the Australian Research Council’s Industrial Transformation Research Program and the Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production.  Dr Renata Ristic, Research Coordinator, followed with highlights of the Centre’s achievements from 2014 to 2018.   Current students and early-mid career researchers also spoke about their projects providing the audience with an idea of the breadth of research currently being undertaken in the Centre.

A visit to Margaret River wouldn’t be complete without a few vineyard and winery visits!  We were fortunate to be shown behind the scenes by vineyard managers and winemakers at four locations.  Our sincere thanks to Bruce Dukes of Naturaliste Vintners, Matt Dermody and Andrew Barret-Leonard at Cullen Wines, Glen Ryan and Alex Miller at Voyager Estate, Tim Lovett at Leeuwin Estate and all those who enabled these visits to take place.  These are valuable experiences for those in the Centre to see where their research outcomes will make a difference and to interact with the industry.