Enclosure boost for wine industry

Kristen Kennison and Richard Fennessy set up the smoke-taint enclosure.
Kristen Kennison and Richard Fennessy set up the smoke-taint enclosure.

The Smoke Taint Risk calculator, or STAR, has been developed by the Department of Agriculture and Food and the University of WA and can be accessed online.

Department project leader Glynn Ward said STAR would be a major asset for the wine industry in reducing the risk of smoke taint from burning off or bush fires.

‘Smoke exposure of vines and development of smoke-related characteristics in the resulting wines is an increasing issue for the wine industry internationally,’ Mr Ward said.

‘Wines made from grapes exposed to smoke during sensitive growth stages can taste of smoked meat, disinfectant, leather, salami and ashtrays ” not a big selling point in a competitive marketplace.’

STAR predicts the timing of grapevine growth stages and their associated risk to smoke uptake and taint development in wine for different varieties of grapes.

Information can be entered at any time during the season to generate the predicted risk for key varieties in any wine growing region in Australia.

The Smoke Taint Calculator can be accessed at agric.wa.gov.au/star

A bulletin on the department’s eight-year investigation into smoke effects in grapes and wine can be accessed at agric.wa.gov.au/objtwr /imported_assets/content/foods/ bulletin_4847.pdf.