Wine Australia & CSIRO enter into $37 million research partnership

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 18th December 2017

The CSIRO and Wine Australia have signed a $37 million co-investment agreement that will fund research into different aspects of wine production.

The five-year-long agreement will run from 2017-2022 and areas of research will include grape quality, climate adaption and disease resistance.

Wine Australia will contribute AUD $19 million to the agreement, with the CSIRO contributing AUD $18 million.

The agreement is the second in a series of partnerships between Wine Australia and major research institutions under a new research and development funding framework.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andreas Clark, said the strategic agreement with the CSIRO will help support the profitability of the Australian grape and wine sector.

“We are delighted to continue our long-term partnership with Australia’s internationally renowned research organisation and we eagerly anticipate the benefits for the Australian grape and wine community from robust new varieties with greater pest and disease resistance that make wines with unique flavours,” Clark said.

“Growers and winemakers will also benefit from better vineyard management tools, and an ongoing source of excellent planting material for the Australian winegrowing community.”

CSIRO Agriculture and Food Research Director, Dr Lynne McIntyre, said the research projects would help provide even better products for consumers.

“CSIRO has worked with Wine Australia since its inception to deliver solutions to problems facing the Australian grape and wine community,” Dr McIntyre said.

“This new co-funded collaborative agreement recognises the importance of developing innovative solutions to the economic and environmental challenges facing the Australian wine sector over the next 30 years, and will build on past achievements, as well as utilising exciting new technologies.”

Key research priorities

Key grape and wine sector priorities that will be addressed under the agreement include:

  • Developing and evaluating new winegrape varieties with robust disease resistance
  • Breeding new rootstocks with greater tolerance to pests, salinity, heat and water stress
  • Producing wines with unique flavours from grape varieties bred specifically for Australian conditions
  • Developing new strategies to manage harvest timing and alleviate compressed ripening and harvest windows caused by climate change
  • New digital technologies to better estimate yield, crop condition and grape quality
  • Future proofing Australia’s grapevine germplasm

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