Elite Research Scholarships

Objective and rapid measures of grape quality

Objective and rapid measures of grape quality

Many of Australia’s icon wines are produced with grapes produced from cool-climate regions, including Tasmania. Grapes from these regions represent a high value crop, but to achieve and maintain this status requires a clear understanding of vineyard management practices required to produce fruit of the desired quality. This project will focus on the development and application of novel techniques of assessing grape quality for premium wine production.

Infrared spectroscopy offers a rapid, non-destructive method for characterising the spectral fingerprint of organic compounds of interest.  Indeed, it has become the analytical method of choice in food, agriculture and pharmaceutical industries. This technique has gained favour in wine and grape analysis, offering simultaneous analysis of grape quality parameters. Application of a novel mobile device to gather spectral data across whole vineyard blocks, combined with new geo-stastistical methods to assess spatial variation in vineyard management, offers a powerful new approach to objectively measure grape quality.  Objective measurement of mouldy or botrytised grapes will also feed into disease prediction systems. The outcome will help vineyard managers grow grapes according to winery specifications.

This project offers the successful applicant the opportunity to join a vibrant team of researchers addressing the major issues facing cool-climate viticulture worldwide. The student will be required to collaborate with the Australian Wine Research Institute and local vineyards and winemakers. The team has solid international linkages and opportunities for international exchanges and conference travel will be encouraged.

Supervisors: Dr Kathy Evans, Dr Bob Dambergs (Aust Wine Research Institute)

More Information: www.utas.edu.au/agsci
Contact: Dr Kathy Evans