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Wine & Viticulture Journal

Summer 2021 - Volume 36 Number 1

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In this issue...

With the 2021 vintage imminent, this issue has a particular focus on fermentation, beginning with Erika Szymanski’s look at recent research into how microbes in mixed microbial fermentations compete with each other and outcompete undesirables.

Diluting juice with water is now possible following changes to the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards legislation. This has meant winemakers now have the option of adding water to ferments to reduce alcohol levels, particularly in years where fruit ripens earlier than usual or compact vintages arise. While there has been a fair degree of research into what effect this practice has on wine quality, little has been done on how this influences fermentation dynamics. Researchers from the University of Adelaide have now begun to fill this gap.

With the prevailing La Nina weather pattern likely to result in botrytis being an issue for some growers in the lead-up to the 2021 vintage, regular writer Rachel Gore explores the various methods that the disease’s effect on wine quality can be mitigated in the winery.

In Viticulture, Richard Smart challenges the wine industry to up its game in its fight against climate change, writing that the current structure of the Australian wine sector is very exposed to disruption by climate given the majority of grape production is forecast to experience temperature changes “towards accepted limits of wine production”. This, he says, will affect wineries more so than growers as land and water resources can be used for other more heat-tolerant crops.

Smart’s article is followed by a look into the resistance status of key fungicide groups used to control downy and powdery mildew based on work being done by the South Australian Research and Development Institute, Curtin University and The Australian Wine Research Institute.

In Business & Marketing, Sandy Hathaway from Wine Australia reveals the results of this year’s ‘Wine Direct-to-Consumer survey report 2020’, which shows just how much online sales from wineries’ own website have grown in recent months, taking up some of the slack from the decline in on-premise sales due to COVID-19 restrictions.

We tasted Australian pét-nat wines for this issue’s tasting. There’s been an ever-increasing number of these somewhat divisive wines hitting the retail space in recent years. Our exploration of this style and the results of the tasting are featured.

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The Wine & Viticulture Journal is the 2018 media partner of the ASVO