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The Vinpro Production Plan survey is the annual barometer on the viability and sustainability of the South African wine industry. The service is conducted per vintage, within study group and individual format offerings. In each of the 10 wine growing regions, trends and observations are extrapolated to provide an industry overview.
An industry-focused study conducted by New Zealand researchers analysed the holding temperature of Sauvignon blanc machine-harvested grapes and the effect on the concentration of grape thiol precursors and that of free thiols in the resultant wines.
Cellar assistants participating in the Winetech 2021 study groups learned more about post-fermentation processes, which included lees contact, clarification of young wines and filtration. The maturation of wine; stabilisation and blending of wines, including bottling and packaging were of great interest to participants. In the third and final study group, participants learned more about wine faults and microbiological spoilage, unacceptable quality characteristics of wine and the sensory identification of wine. Three faulty wines were compared to a control wine to practically illustrate common wine faults.
A study conducted by Australian researchers over two vintages, 2019 and 2020, explored the effects of aeration timing, amount and duration on Chardonnay fermentations and aroma profiles. Whereas certain aeration regimes delivered positive outcomes, others delivered negative outcomes.
One of the most important reasons for the annual evaluation of the Winetech programmes is to ensure that the study groups and senior cellar assistant workshops are meeting the goals and achieve the objectives as confirmed in the approved business plans. Winetech has a responsibility towards participating cellars to ensure that a quality service is delivered and that knowledge transfer takes place in a satisfactory manner. Participating cellars, as well as cellar assistants, are requested to give feedback regarding administrative arrangements, presentations and content, and to identify possible challenges. Regular interviews with winemakers and cellar assistants provide feedback regarding the value of the programmes and identify the challenges cellars experience in general.
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere trap heat that would otherwise radiate into space. The most abundant greenhouse gas in our atmosphere is water vapour, followed by carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, fluorocarbons and a few others. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the greenhouse gas most generated by human activities. The heat-trapping potential of other greenhouse gases is expressed in CO2-equivalents (CO2e). This facilitates comparison between different greenhouse gases, and allows for their inclusion in emission-reduction programmes.
Global warming threatens South African agriculture as much by changing consumer behaviour as by changing climate. Growing awareness of the environmental impacts of agriculture is leading consumers to question how their food is produced and transported – answering those questions have consequences for the future of our export industries.
The making of wine is a microbiological process with yeasts and bacteria playing a decisive role. All yeasts and bacteria are however not necessarily beneficial for wine, but can spoil it. It is consequently important that cellars monitor the microflora during winemaking.
The Winetech 2021 workshops for senior cellar assistants were facilitated by qualified winemakers in the participating districts Stellenbosch, Worcester/Robertson, Wellington, Vredendal and Upington. Participation in the workshops is free, but cellar assistants must be bilingual and in possession of the Wine Training SA SKOP 3 certificate. Participating cellars received notes, attendance registers, confirmation of attendance letters (instead of certificates) and a letter confirming the financial value of the workshops. The names of the cellar assistants were placed on the industry's LMS data base.
The pre-fermentation phase during the vinification of white and rosé wines significantly increases the quality of the wines, but also carries the risk of oxidation and the development of spoilage microorganisms. These risks may result in loss of quality.
With the global population increasing, it can only be expected that the demand for housing and fuel will increase. As pressure on natural resources are on the rise, we urgently need more sustainable alternatives to protect and preserve our environment for future generations. One such alternative has recently been investigated in the form of using vine cuttings as an additive in the manufacturing of pine core particle board.
The 2021 Confronting Climate Change (CCC) industry benchmark process builds on 2019 - 2020 datasets and provides a meaningful platform for the South African fruit and wine industries to improve their understanding of the use of fossil fuel-based resources and to reduce emissions over time.