Since 1997 the NWGIC alliance of Charles Sturt University (CSU) Industry and Investment NSW (I&I NSW) and the NSW Wine Industry Association (NSW WIA) has brought together experts in Wine Science and Viticulture within fully equipped facilities on the CSU Wagga Wagga campus.
The interactive effects of the environment on berry and wine composition, and on wine styles
To successfully lead the Australian wine industry into the future against a background of increasing global competition and the uncertain impacts of climate change, the NWGIC proposes an ambitious, but realistic strategy, based on integrated multi-disciplinary programs using vineyards and controlled environment growth chambers. These programs will address the influence of climate change and the environment generally on grapevine yield and productivity, and wine quality/styles.The NWGIC is ideally placed to conduct the type of R&D necessary to ensure that the Australian wine industry remains economically viable and sustainable.
The following key scientific and practical targets will be addressed through the integrated research programs:
- To find solutions to the negative impacts of warmer growing environments that lead to earlier growing seasons, contracted vintages and unpredictable heat waves, on vine functioning, flowering, fruit development, wine composition and wine styles.
- To develop methods, both in the winery and vineyard, for managing the alcohol content of wines, and desired flavour characteristics (collaboration with Adelaide University).
- To ensure that resources, including water and soils, are efficiently utilised in vineyards, especially under reduced water allocations predicted by climate change models.
- To enhance the management of soil health and vitality.
- To help reduce chemical spray applications and other inputs by the development and utilisation of more environmentally friendly methods and products.
- the reduction of costs in the vineyard and cellar
- the synchronisation of harvest date with the desired wine style and with market demand.
- the improvement in pest and disease control, and soil health and vitality.
Collaboration with the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), Adelaide University and other R&D agencies is essential, as is a strong partnership with GWRDC and the Australian wine industry.
Postgraduate research students enrolled in CSU conduct their research in the state-of-the-art facilities of the NWGIC.
Other Features of the NWGIC
Membership of all of Charles Sturt University's specialist viticultural and wine course academic staff who are ideally placed to present advanced knowledge generated from research conducted within the Centre to current and future professionals within the wine sector.