Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
December 2008 Issue
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Turning $28m mortar into wine


Adelaide is set to become the centre of wine and grape research in the world, following the launch of the Wine Innovation Cluster and the opening of its new $28 million building at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide.

The Cluster brings together the resources of the Australian Wine Research Institute, CSIRO Plant Industry, private research agency Provisor Pty Ltd, South Australian Research & Development Institute (SARDI) and the University of Adelaide, and is being hailed as the most dynamic mix of grape and wine researchers assembled in one precinct anywhere in the world.

"Investment in state-of-the-art physical facilities like the Wine Innovation Cluster is a symbol of something far more substantial," said the Hon. Rory McEwen, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, who officially opened the new building last month.

"It's a way of ensuring our wine industry remains competitive and sustainable in international markets. This is a vote of confidence in the wine industry and collaborations like this are the way of the future. The $28 million investment maintains the Waite Campus as a leading wine centre."

Stuart McNab, Chairman of the Wine Innovation Cluster and Foster's Director of Wine Production in Australia and New Zealand, said Australia's wine scientists would be able to achieve, through cooperation and collaboration, breakthroughs that would not be possible working as standalone agencies.

"Combined with the world-class education reputation of the University of Adelaide and the location on the famous Waite Campus, the Wine Innovation Cluster is set to achieve its target as the world's premier research, development, extension and education facility servicing the wine industry.

"Every aspect of wine science and production will be catered for, with research spanning such fields as microbiology, chemistry, sensory science, engineering, oenology and viticulture."

At the Cluster's centre is a new four-level building - the Wine Innovation Central Building - with state-of-the-art laboratories, offices and meeting rooms. This new building is adjacent to the Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Science Laboratory, an experimental vineyard and the soon-to-be constructed Plant Accelerator building.

Some of the early projects already benefiting from collaboration include:

  • studies on the effects of climate change on vines by Professor Steve Tyerman (University of Adelaide), Dr Chris Soar (SARDI), and Professor Brian Loveys (CSIRO);
  • the breeding of new yeasts to enhance fermentation by Dr Paul Chambers, (Australian Wine Research Institute) with Associate Professor Vlad Jiranek (University of Adelaide); and
  • research into the remediation of bushfire taint in wine by Dr Kerry Wilkinson (University of Adelaide), Dr Yoji Hayasaka, Gayle Baldock and Con Simos (Australian Wine Research Institute) and partners in Western Australia (see story on page 6).

Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide Professor James McWha said the Cluster's research would further enhance the University's already high reputation for research and education.

"Our teaching is informed by the latest in research and innovation, which means our students are exposed to cutting-edge developments in wine that they can take to the industry as graduates," Professor McWha said.

"The international status of the Cluster and the facilities it offers will also attract postgraduate coursework and research students to the University from other wine-producing countries, such as the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and New Zealand."

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State-of-the-art laboratories in the Wine Innovation Cluster’s new $28 million building
Photo by John Kruger

State-of-the-art laboratories in the Wine Innovation Cluster's new $28 million building
Photo by John Kruger

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