WSC405 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. Students must enrol in both sessions 1 and 2. It is not possible to commence this subject in session 2.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2 (60)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: WSC405. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



Two sessions


School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

(BIO118 or MCR101) and (WSC101 or WSC114)

Incompatible Subjects


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;
  • be able to demonstrate 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.


This 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;
  • Grape and wine polysaccharide composition;
  • Pectolytic, glucanase and glycosidase enzyme action;
  • Other potential enzyme treatments;
  • Enzymes of microorganisms.

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.

The three-day residential school is compulsory. It will require laboratory analysis, practical work in the University's experimental winery, and wine sensory 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.

Special Resources

This subject has a residential school. The cost of travel and accommodation associated with attendance at the residential school must be covered by the student. All students are required to have a lab coat, safety glasses and covered footwear for lab based practicals.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.