Wine Industry Newsletter

Emerging varieties profiled at DPIRD wine tasting workshops

DPIRD research scientist Richard Fennessy and technical officer Yu-Yi Liao have been travelling across WA’s wine regions presenting wines from the 2019/20 season.

The first of the regional wine tasting workshops was held in Bunbury on 26 August for Geographe wine producers to taste emerging varieties showing potential for the region and a number of locally grown Tempranillo clones. Of the emerging varieties, five whites (Vermentino, Harslevelu, Pignoletto, Arneis and Scheurebe) and four reds (Sciacarello, Graciano, Montepulciano and Saperavi) were presented from three different vintages. This gave the attendees the ability to see how vintage variation and bottle maturation impact on the quality and attributes of these varietal wines. The six clones of Tempranillo were produced from a vineyard located in the Ferguson Valley where the clones are planted within a single block, tasting these wines gave the producers an opportunity to compare differences between the clones especially difference is aroma, flavour, body and tannin.

Geographe wine tasting workshop
Geographe wine producers tasting through trials wines at the DPIRD Bunbury office.

Held on 22 September, the wine tasting workshop in Margaret River consisted of wines produced from clonal demonstrations of Shiraz, Merlot and Tempranillo plus a water addition trial using Frankland Shiraz and Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon. The Shiraz clone demonstration included four clones produced from a Frankland River vineyard and the Merlot clones included two clones from a Margaret River vineyard for comparison. The water addition trials were conducted to demonstrate how the permitted addition of water by means of either straight addition or a run-off and replace impacts wine quality especially considering balance, weight and structure.

Margaret River wine producers tasting through 2020 trial wines.
Margaret River wine producers tasting through 2020 trial wines at the Margaret River Education Campus.

That same week on the 25 September, the Swan Valley wine tasting workshop was held at Riverbank Estate. The trial presented at this workshop included emerging varieties across multiple vintages that showed promise for the Swan Valley and Perth Hills regions. The varieties presented were Vermentino, Graciano, Montelpulciano and Saperavi. The six Geographe clones of Tempranillo were compared and water addition trial wines featuring Swan Valley Shiraz were tasted.

Swan Valley wine producers tasting trial wines at Riverbank Estate.
Swan Valley wine producers tasting trial wines at Riverbank Estate.

The final of the wine tasting workshops will be held in Mount Barker on 16 October, at this workshop emerging varieties with potential for the region will be tasted plus Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Merlot clones. The workshop will be concluded with the water addition trial on Frankland River Shiraz and Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon.

Over 50 producers have attended these workshops to date. A copy of the presentation and further information can be provided on request to Richard Fennessy.

These activities have been funded through the Wine Australia Regional Program which is administered by Wines of WA on behalf of the WA wine industry.