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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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Project name Pinot Noir provenance: Australian benchmarking to support growing, making, perception of quality, and marketing to add value to the Pinot Noir supply chain
Funding bodies Wine Australia $650,000
Chief Investigators Drs Fiona Kerslake and Gemma Lewis (Tasmanian School of Business and Economics)
Contributors Wine TQ, Wine Tasmania, Australian Wine Research Institute, Lincoln University, Wein Campus Neustadt, Oregon State University, Brock University

Wine scientists at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) are leading a national research project to explore why Australian Pinot Noir is as special as many people think it is.

Dr Fiona Kerslake said the aim of the three year project is to gather scientific evidence that explains the unique character, quality, and provenance of Australian Pinot Noir.

“Tasmania has an important role to play. We’re looking at ten Pinot Noir producing regions around Australia, and three are in Tasmania – the northern, southern and east coast regions”, she said.

Pinot Noir is the most planted grape variety in Tasmania, comprising nearly half the varietal mix.

Dr Kerslake said the research team is looking for ‘drivers of regionality’ in Pinot Noirs from around Australia, which could be soils, climate, vineyard or winemaking practices that are distinctive to each region.

“Through this research we aim to provide winemakers with practical, evidence-based solutions that can be implemented in their vineyards to help them grow, produce and market high-quality Pinot Noir,” Project co-lead Dr Fiona Kerslake said.

Dr Gemma Lewis, co-lead from the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, will explore how this information can be shared with other partners in the supply chain to add value.  

The project team consists of a collaboration of researchers, wine consultants, marketing specialists and industry leaders from around Australia, including the Australian Wine Research Institute.

“Pinot Noir is arguably one of the most elusive varieties as there are so many stylistic options. It is important that we can separate what place imparts to the wine, and what the winemaker does.” (Ms Louisa Rose, Hill-Smith Family Vineyards)

Chief Investigator: Dr Fiona Kerslake