Monthly Archives: October 2013

Almond breeding is featured in the lastest e-Science magazine

almond eScience

Almond breeding is a focus of the lastest edition of e-Science magazine. The article, written by almond breeder Dr Michelle Wirthensohn describes the genetics of sefl-fertility and self-incompatibility.

Produced by the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Adelaide, e-Science is a free magazine that offers interactive feature articles written by our researchers and complimented by resources specifically designed for teachers.

More information and links to download e-Science can be found on the e-Science magazine web page.

Debate: Grape and wine quality doesn’t matter – it’s marketing that sells wine!

Green Vines

The Australian wine industry has made huge gains based on investment in research and development during the past 30-50 years, giving us the edge in a competitive global market. Industry levy and government-funded research has led to knowledge and applications that have enabled significant improvements in grape and wine quality, as well as productivity and yield increases.

In an era of more costly inputs and diminishing returns, and with Australian wine no longer the ‘flavour of the month’ internationally, is it time to shift investment to support marketing efforts that increase the future growth and profitability of the industry? Many winemakers feel the challenging global economic and market forces they now face are more immediate and grave than longer-term environmental threats such as soil salinity and climate change.

On the other hand, the fruit of much labour in R&D is slow to reveal itself – a 20-year time lag between discovery in the lab and application in the field is commonly cited in agricultural science. In some areas this has dropped to as little as six years to meet industry imperatives. An exciting period lies ahead, with many more possibilities evident on the knowledge horizon, but the rising costs of research, funding cuts and a diminution in the perceived value and importance of R&D to the industry are real threats.

Why bother making better wine if we can’t sell it? Can consumers tell the difference between average wine and great wine anyway? Is increasing the marketing spend (especially if it’s at the expense of R&D) a sound investment strategy, or a sign of desperation from an industry under pressure in a world that has become short-sighted, shallow and dollar-driven?

In this exciting and important debate, moderated by Dr Paul Willis, Director RiAus, six experts in two teams will argue for your vote.

For the affirmative team …

  • Professor Pascale Quester Deputy Vice Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic), The University of Adelaide
  • Professor Larry Lockshin Pro-Vice Chancellor, Strategic Coordination, Professor of Wine Marketing and Head of the School of Marketing, University of SA
  • Dr Roberta Veale Program Director – Wine Business The Business School, Marketing, Faculty of the Professions, The University of Adelaide

For the negative team …

Will you be for or against?

Date: Thursday 17 October 2013 Time: 6.00pm (for a 6.30pm start) to 8.30pm
Place: Lirra Lirra Café, McLeod House, Waite Road, Waite Campus, Urrbrae Finger food and cash bar provided
Event is free. Please register at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/wri/events/debate/

Easy way to keep track of favourite wines

This story was orginally posted in News from the University of Adelaide, Tuesday, 17 September 2013.

wineapp

University of Adelaide wine staff and students have developed a free iPad app that will help consumers learn more about the wines they are drinking and keep track of their favourites.

‘My Wine World’ guides users through the assessment of wine appearance, smell, flavour, taste and the feel of the wine in the mouth. Users can record tasting notes and their own ratings in a searchable archive.

“We needed an educational tool to help our winemaking and wine business students develop their sensory skills,” says Senior Lecturer of Oenology Dr Kerry Wilkinson. “This promises to be really successful as an e-learning tool, but then we thought, why should students have all the fun?”

The app was developed by Dr Wilkinson and fellow Oenology Senior Lecturer at the Waite Campus, Dr Paul Grbin, together with Viticulture and Oenology student Matthew Roussy. It is available to the general public through the Apple app store.

My Wine World starts with a wine tasting tutorial and uses touch tools with colour displays, sliders and input screens where wine drinkers can enter the sensory attributes of the wines they are drinking. They can add a photo of the label, and easily refer back and cross-reference at a later date.

“Traditionally, technical wine assessment involves recording detailed observations and perceptions of the sensory properties of wine with tasting notes usually recorded in a diary or journal. But these can be cumbersome, messy and easily lost or damaged,” says Dr Wilkinson.

“This is an ideal tool for anyone who has a serious interest in developing their wine sensory skills, but also for those who just love wine but don’t have much technical knowledge. And then there are plenty of people who simply like to drink nice wines but can never remember the ones they liked, or what they like about them.

“My Wine World makes it very easy to build up a searchable archive of your favourite wines, with star ratings and even photos of the wine labels.”

Viticulture and Oenology student Matthew Roussy said he could have done with this app during his 10-year career as a sommelier.

“I knew that the need existed for a tasting note recorder and, now as a viticulture and oenology student, I realised I could help make My Wine World a very handy educational tool,” says Matt.

My Wine World won second place in last year’s Australian eChallenge, the annual entrepreneurial business planning competition run by the University’s Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre. The app was developed with a small grant from the University of Adelaide’s Wine2030 research network.