Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Leigh Schmidtke

Dr Leigh Schmidtke

B. App. Sc., (MLS, UTAS), M. App. Sc., (Research, UTAS), PhD -Wine Science, Chemometrics

Leigh is a passionate consumer of wine having been introduced to Australian Shiraz and Chardonnay during the final year of an undergraduate degree of Medical Laboratory Science.  He worked as a research microbiologist for five years at the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries in Tasmania investigating and characterising the role of a range of bacterial species in farmed salmonids.  Part of this work was the development of infection models and the identification of putative vaccination candidates to assist in control of infection disease.

Leigh's work in the Australian wine industry commenced with the role of Microbiologist/Chemist for Southcorp Wines.  He commenced at CSU in late 2001 teaching wine production and microbiology subjects.  His PhD focussed upon the chemical impact of low rate micro oxygenation on oak flavour compounds in Shiraz wine.  The development and application of a range of chemometric models was used to elucidate the impact of experimental factors.  The employment of advanced chemometric modelling is now a major focus of Leigh's research activities.

His research areas are the development of rapid methods of analysis using spectroscopic measurements, analysis of flavour and aroma compounds and metabolomic profiling of wine and viticulture samples.

 

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Specialisation: Wine Chemistry & Chemometrics

Focus area: Wine aroma analysis; rapid methods of quantification; objectives measures of sensory features; metabolomic profiling

Wine contains many hundreds of chemicals that contribute more or less to flavour and enjoyment of the wine during consumption.  Objective measures of wine composition is challenging and determining which of these compounds have the most significant impact for the characterisation of specific wine styles can be incredibly difficult.  The field of chemometrics enables the statistical analysis of vast amounts of information that can be rapidly acquired using sophisticated instrumental analysis.  When aligned with sensory descriptive analysis an objective measure of wine sensory features is possible by the identification of compounds with high correlations to the sensory scores.  Combining multiple instrumental measures of wine composition enables identification of volatile and non-volatile components with aroma and mouth-feel characters of the wine. 

The development of rapid analytical measures of grapevine tissue composition using infrared technologies also enables rapid methods for analysis to be development that are robust and easy to use with minimum training.  These methods provide simple and low cost tools for vineyard management decisions regarding nutrient application.

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  1. Rogiers, S. Y., Clarke, S. J. & Schmidtke,L. M.  (2014).  Elevated root-zone temperature hastens vegetative and reproductive development in Shiraz grapevines, Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research.  20(1):123-133.
  2. Smith, J. P., Schmidtke, L. M., Müller, M. C., Holzapfel, B. P.  (2014).Measurement of the concentration of nutrients in grapevine petioles by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and chemometrics Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 20(2):xx.
  3. Suklje, K., Antalick, G., Coetzee, Z., Schmidtke, L.M., Baša Česnik, H., Brand, J., du Toit, W., Lisjak, K. & Deloire, A. (2014) 'Effects of leaf removal and unltraviolet radiation in the vineyard on the composition and sensory perception of Sauvignon blanc (Vitis vinifera L.) wine. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. 20(2):xx
  4. Schmidtke, L. M., Blackman, J. W., Clark, A, C. & Grant-Preece, P.  (2013). Wine Metabolomics: Objective Measures of Sensory Properties of Semillon from GC-MS Profiles, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 61:11957-67
  5. Steel, C. C.; Blackman, J. W.; Schmidtke, L. M., (2013) Grapevine Bunch Rots: Impacts on Wine Composition, Quality, and Potential Procedures for the Removal of Wine Faults. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 61(22), 5189-5206.
  6. Schmidtke, L. M., Clark, A. C. & Scollary, G. R. (2011). Micro-Oxygenation of Red Wine: Techniques, Applications, and Outcomes. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 51(2), 115 - 131.
  7. Schmidtke, L. M., Blackman, J. & Agboola, S. (2012).  Production Technologies for Reduced Alcoholic Wine. Journal of Food Science, 77, R25-R41
  8. Schmidtke, L. M.; Smith, J. P.; Müller, M. C.; Holzapfel, B. P., (2012). Rapid monitoring of grapevine reserves using ATR-FT-IR and chemometrics. Analytica Chimica Acta, 732, 16-25.
  9. Schmidtke, L., Rudnitskaya, A. Saliba, A., Blackman, J., Scollary, G.; Clark, A, Rutledge, D., Delgadillo, I. & Legin, A.  (2010).  Sensory, chemical and electronic tongue assessment of micro oxygenated wines and oak chip maceration: Assessing the commonality of analytical techniques.  Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 58(8):5026-5033
  10. Rudnitskaya, A. Schmidtke, L. M., Delgadillo, I., Legin, A. & Scollary, G.  (2009).  Study of the influence of micro-oxygenation and oak chip maceration on wine composition using an electronic tongue and chemical analysis. Analytica Chimica Acta. 642(1-2):235-245. 

 

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