A ‘vintage’ issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal

The July/August issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal has started to appear in subscribers’ letterboxes, which features our annual review of the recent Australian vintage – the most comprehensive review you’ll read thanks to the many industry associations who responded to our invitation to provide us with a round-up of the season and harvest.

With its focus on large wineries, the issue also features an article on the increasing use of information technology and automation in the winemaking process, for which journalist Matt Byrne caught up with Orlando Wines and Yalumba during his recent visit to the Barossa. While there, Matt also dug up some great stories for this issue’s regional report, including the latest on the Barossa rebrand; a look at a program that is training the region’s next custodians of its wine industry; and a project whereby Yalumba is cloning 122-year-old bush vine Grenache for replanting. Matt also caught up with Damien Tscharke, whose family has successfully turned its hand to winemaking after five generations of grapegrowing, Stephen Henschke and wife Prue, who we throw the spotlight on for this issue’s profile.

Inspired by our regional report on the Barossa, we decided to pit Grenache varietals from the region against their counterparts from McLaren Vale for our latest tasting. The producers behind five of the wines in the line-up also share their methods of Grenache production as part of the accompanying varietal report.

We look at the topic of wine logistics and transportation, which includes a summary of a recent research collaboration between Australia and the US which for the first time attempted to assess the sensory changes in wines under transit conditions, and the increasingly hot topic of lightweight bottles in view of the recent decision by Canada’s Liquor Control Board of Ontario to only purchase wines priced under CAD$15 in bottles weighing 420grams or less.

The Australian Wine Research Institute reports on its matchmaking efforts to assist winemakers partner grape juice with a wine yeast to produce wines reliably and efficiently, with some results already on the board with respect to Chardonnay. Winemakers will also be interested to read about an oak selection process developed by Seguin Moreau which has attempted to predict the sensory expression of oak in wine with the chemical composition of the original wood.

In viticulture, the researchers behind a project quantifying grapevine response to extreme reductions in irrigation over one, two and three growing seasons give their findings to date; editor Sonya Logan reports on a frost protection system being trialled in Canada that doesn’t use water, make noise or rely on environmental conditions to be effective; contributor Mark Smith talks with Gareth King, vineyard manager for New Zealand’s Felton Road, about his strategic use over cover crops; Ursula Kennedy stresses the importance of investigating bud fruitfulness in determining pruning requirements, particularly off the back of the challenging 2010-11 season; Toby Bekkers weighs up the pros and cons of organic weed control options; Tony Hoare urges growers to take advantage of the ever-increasing number of new clones of the major winegrape varieties now available where their management tools and expertise have failed to changed fruit quality or yields to meet winery specifications; and we put Aglianico under the spotlight for our alternative varieties column.

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