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  • Rikki Lambert

Winegrapes smoke protection could be commercially viable in years

A University of Adelaide professor believes proof of concept to shield premium wine grapes from smoke taint could be deployed in vineyards within just years.

Professor Kerry Wilkinson said the initial trial saw activated carbon fabric - currently used in other parts of the winemaking project - wrapped around grape bunches in bags with promising results. She told Flow on Friday the next trials would explore more commercially viable methods:

"We're not suggesting people need to go out and individually bag every single bunch of grapes, that will be prohibitively expensive, that was just our proof of concept to show the technology works.
"In follow up trials we have undertaken this year we have been looking at applying the fabric just to the fruit zone of hte grape vine on either side, allowing the vine a lot of access to the light but testing whether that approach prevents the smoke getting in where the fruit is.
"Further on, we might develop a bird netting over the top of vines and could protect whole rows of vines in one go.
"I'm hoping its not going to take ten or twenty years, smoke taint is a serious issue ... we might see a functional technology that's out there in coming years."

Hear the full interview on the Flow podcast player below:


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