WSC304 Wine Chemistry (8)


This subject is a study of the application of chemical principles to wine stability. Wine stability includes the study of bentonite fining, protein and PVPP fining agents, fining with copper ion, blue fining, potassium hydrogen tartrate precipitation, ion-exchange processes, polysaccharides and the use of enzymes in winemaking.  This subject commences in session 1 and concludes in session 2 in the calendar year of enrolment. Students must enrol in both sessions 1 and 2. It is not possible to commence this subject in session 2.
Distance Education students are required to attend a compulsory residential school as a requirement for this subject.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
Distance*Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2
Distance*Wagga Wagga Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: WSC304
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
Two sessionsHD/FLSchool of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

This subject assumes that you have a knowledge of chemistry and microbiology at first year university level. It also assumes that you have a good knowledge at tertiary study level of winemaking science and principles, and also some fundamentals of biochemistry. That knowledge is normally gained through study of the prerequisite subjects MCR101 Foundations of Microbiology,  CHM115 Chemistry 1A, CHM107 Chemistry 1B and Wine Science 1.

Enrolment restrictions

Enrolment is restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Wine Science, the Bachelor of Viticulture and the Bachelor of Viticulture and Wine Science.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to successfully use chemical principles to interpret and assess the impact of winemaking conditions on wine stability;
  • be able to demonstrate how and why chemical principles influence the task of fining and stabilising wines, and be able to demonstrate this awareness in their selection of fining agents and interpretation of their performance;
  • be able to demonstrate competence in the performance and interpretation of fining trials;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the action of enzyme treatments used in winemaking, particularly enzymes of microbial origin.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Ionic and hydrogen-bonding interactions, and their application to protein stability, acidification, and bitartrate stability, lattice formation and solubility;
  • Pectolytic, glucanase and glycosidase enzyme action; other potential enzyme treatments; enzymes of microorganisms.

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 3 day residential school. The three-day residential school is compulsory and is held in the mid-year residential school period.  It will require laboratory analysis, practical work in the University's experimental winery, and wine assessment. This will develop the student's ability to formulate strategies to improve wine through fining processes and provide experience of the performance and interpretation of fining trials.

The residential school will also present tutorial sessions that focus on development of an understanding of the subjects fundamental concepts.  

Specialised Resources

Students are required to attend the compulsory residential school which will involve travel expenses and a time commitment. 
Students will also be required to purchase a lab coat and safety goggles which are compulsory for lab based practicals.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.