Our Mission and Aims
The Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production (TC-IWP) was established at The University of Adelaide in 2014. The centre is one of only four Training Centres funded in the first round of the ARC's Industrial Transformation Research Program, which is designed to foster close partnerships between university-based researchers and the industry members benefit from the research outcomes.
The TC-IWP was formed with support from industry partners and Wine Australia and links the scientific and industrial expertise as contributions and facilities of the University of Adelaide, Charles Sturt University, the Australian Wine Research Institute, CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industries, SA Research and Development Institute, BioSA, Treasury Wine Estates Vintners Ltd, Laffort Australia Pty Ltd, Lowe Wines Pty Ltd, Memstar Pty Ltd, Tarac Technologies Pty Ltd and Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd. The centre is directed by Professor Vladimir Jiranek (UA) with the help of the TC-IWP Advisory Committee.
The Training Centre will provide new knowledge, methods and technologies as well as highly skilled PhD and postdoctoral researchers to tackle the main challenges for the Australian wine industry, such as climate warming, water restrictions, changing consumer preferences and rising wine alcohol content. Earlier grape ripening and more frequent hot weather events tend to compress vintages and lead to over-ripening and high sugar accumulation in grape berries. Over-ripened grapes lose their fresh fruit sensory profiles producing wines that can be overly alcoholic, "hot" and unbalanced.
The approach that the TC-IWP will take in order to reduce alcohol levels and enhance wine flavor profile will include interdisciplinary strategies with specific research aims in the areas of viticulture, microbiology, winemaking, wine processing and consumer studies.
The specific aims are:
- Through the vineyard: curb sugar accumulation, accelerate the development of flavour compounds and minimise taint compounds in the grape.
- At the winery: remove sugar prior to fermentation, divert sugar away from alcohol, improve the reliability and reduce the duration of high sugar fermentations, and enhance the sensory properties of wine.
- Post fermentation: selectively remove alcohol and develop additives to adjust levels of sensory compounds in wines from under-ripened grapes or lost from wines of lower(ed) alcohol content.
- Define current market and consumer perceptions and preferences for lowered-alcohol wine and use this knowledge to inform the production process. These topics will be addressed through an integrated whole-of-production-chain approach that starts in the vineyard, integrates vinification and post-vinification, and finishes with wine consumers.
The TC-IWP has established links and collaboration with all 12 partner organisations, whose contribution in expertise and facilities is essential for the TC-IWP research projects. The base for the Centre, the University of Adelaide's Waite Campus, is home to the Wine Innovation Cluster, which includes UA, AWRI, CSIRO and SARDI. It is one of the largest concentrations of grape and wine research facilities in the world.
The Wine Innovation Central Building is home to the ARC Training Centre and houses world-class research laboratories and other state of the art research facilities. It is also home to AWRI with SARDI and CSIRO partners located in adjacent buildings, thereby enhancing collaboration and communication opportunities and the optimum use of specialist equipment. The building, a joint $30 million construction, was completed and opened in 2008. It has extensive facilities for vine physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology and sensory studies as well as process testing laboratories.
The University of Adelaide's Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Science Laboratory at the Waite campus is a state-of-the-art winery and research facility doing valuable work for the wine industry, through education, research and service provision. Students, researchers, laboratory staff and wine industry professionals are all involved in the winemaking, in a collaboration aimed at furthering quality, knowledge, and sharing of information, not to mention turning out award-winning wines.