Sauvignon Blanc Research Programme Extended Through 2016
February 20, 2012 0 Comments
In July 2010, the Foundation for Research, Science, and Technology renewed funding for the Sauvignon Blanc Research Programme. The Programme involves scientists from Plant and Food Research, Marlborough Wine Research Centre, the University of Auckland, and Lincoln University. The new phase of the Programme, dubbed “Sauvignon Blanc 2: ‘novel wine styles for new markets’” has been funded through 2016. The programme continues work of the successful Sauvignon Blanc 1 programme, which ran from 2004-2010.
The programme takes an integrated approach to developing knowledge and methodologies for manipulating the flavour of Sauvignon Blanc at all stages of production – at the level of the grape vine genome, vineyard management and grape production, through to winemaking and sensory perception. “With this programme we are delivering industry the ability to create novel flavour combinations and sensory experiences in a way that maintains the quality and consistency of supply that is needed to consolidate New Zealand’s global reputation as a wine producer,” says Dr Roger Harker of Plant & Food Research, who is leading the programme.
Planned research includes investigation of environmental factors in the vineyard and biochemical processes in Sauvignon Blanc grapes, in the context of their impact on the ultimate flavour profile of Sauvignon Blanc. In addition, the programme aims to develop a “juice index” to predict flavour and aroma of a finished wine based on the chemical composition of the grape juice.
Lincoln University’s Professor Brian Jordan is leading the “Tailored vine management for flavour development” component of the Programme. This encompasses work investigating the impact of viticultural practices, particularly canopy management and control of UV radiation, on the biosynthesis of various flavour and aroma compounds in Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Dr. Jordan is also on the programme’s management committee. Additionally, the programme has allowed Dr. Jordan to pursue an international collaboration with the Institut de la Vigne et du Vin in Bordeaux, where he recently held a visiting Professorship. Drs Chris Winefield and Roland Harrison are also involved with the programme.