Media release – $22,000 wine science award to explore ‘cold soak’

Mr Richard Fennessy will explore the influence of climate and variety on the effectiveness of ‘cold soak’ (pre-fermentation cold maceration) after winning the $22,000 Viticulture and Oenology 2013 Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

GWRDC is the principal sponsor of the viticulture and oenology award. The award was 1 of 12 category awards presented this week by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry the Hon Joe Ludwig at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Outlook 2013 Conference dinner.

Mr Fennessy, a wine research officer at the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, will compare the technique of pre-fermentation cold maceration to the production of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines in both warm and cool climates.

While literature exists on the effectiveness of cold soak as a winemaking technique, little is known about the suitability of this technique to different varieties in different regions.

Mr Fennessy anticipates the benefits of the project to industry will be improved wine quality, colour and aroma, improved efficiency in the winery and effective management of vintages of differing temperatures.

‘Mr Fennessy’s project addresses a key challenge facing all agricultural sectors, that being the ability to adapt to changing climates. His project critically addresses one of the Commonwealth’s national research priorities of an environmentally sustainable Australia,’ said GWRDC Executive Director Dr Stuart Thomson.

‘GWRDC supports the project’s focus on extension of research to generate improved practices in the winery that will assist businesses to be more profitable and sustainable,’ said Dr Thomson.

Mr Fennessy expects to conclude his research in November and a full report of research outcomes will be available on the GWRDC website in early 2014.

Image: Mr Richard Fennessy with Dr Kim Ritman, ABARES Chief Scientist (left) and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry the Hon Joe Ludwig (right) at the ABARES Outlook 2013 conference. Photo by Steve Keough Photography.

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Background
Pre-fermentation cold maceration or ‘cold soak’ is a commonly practised winemaking technique for red wine production. The process involves the aqueous extraction, as opposed to the alcoholic extraction, of compounds from the skins into the must at low temperatures. Wines made in this way are commonly perceived as more fruit-forward and complex, with increased colour intensity.

For further information:
Jen Russell

Communications Coordinator

Ph: 08 8273 0500

Email:  jen@gwrdc.com.au

Mr Richard Fennessy with Dr Kim Ritman, ABARES Chief Scientist (left) and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry the Hon Joe Ludwig (right) at the ABARES Outlook 2013 conference. Photo by Steve Keough Photography.
Mr Richard Fennessy with Dr Kim Ritman, ABARES Chief Scientist (left) and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry the Hon Joe Ludwig (right) at the ABARES Outlook 2013 conference. Photo by Steve Keough Photography.