Alternative wine grape varieties: opportunities, barriers and potential

Page last updated: Monday, 19 November 2018 - 9:02am

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Production

Classic varieties that have a reputation of producing fine wines in established countries/regions tend to show faster adoption than obscure varieties.

Matching the variety to the most appropriate site is key to ensure the highest potential wine quality is achieved.

Varieties should produce flavoursome wines, avoiding red varieties that have the potential to exhibit ‘green’ characters.

Clones need to be taken into account when considering planting some varieties, as there may be significant quality differences between clones.

Examine the market, site and available material. The motivation to invest in a new variety shouldn’t be solely on the growers’ preference or interest in the variety.

Trail blazer producers are encouraged to take some risk once they have considered these points. The industry needs pioneers and there can be rewards for these trendsetters.

Small production volumes provide an image of exclusivity which is sought in on-premise outlets. It creates an image of intimacy with the producer which consumers enjoy and provides a story.

Benchmarking is useful. Tasting good examples of the variety from similar regions can provide direction for vineyard management and winemaking approaches.

Emerging wine styles for future markets are predicted by some as being lower in alcohol, early approachability and flavoursome.

Contact information

Richard Fennessy
+61 (0)8 9780 6219

Author

Richard Fennessy