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Wine Australia ploughs US$4m into Shiraz terroir research

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The trade body for Australian wine has said that research into the country's terroir will form the centrepiece of its latest R&D projects, as it looks to raise the reputation of its wines.

Wine Australias research will centre around the Shiraz grape variety

Wine Australia's research will centre around the Shiraz grape variety

Wine Australia said today that the AUD5.3m (US$4m), six-year investment will help the country's wines receive greater recognition in export markets, as well as give credence to higher prices. The projects will focus on the Shiraz grape. 

"Australia makes wines of exceptional quality and finesse that reflect their provenance and terroir, but they don't currently receive the international recognition they merit," said Wine Australia deputy chair Brian Croser. "It is these wines that will most quickly elevate the image and reputation of all wines we produce. We are focused on building international recognition for our wines to increase demand and the price paid for all Australian wines."

Croser said the body had chosen Shiraz because it is the most-planted variety, with 26% of Australia's vineyard area. "We have the oldest Shiraz vines in the world," he added, "and 40% of Australia's exports valued at more than AUD10 per litre FOB, are Shiraz."

The projects will look at how different environmental factors translate into physiological changes in grapevines that result in changes in berry composition and in turn create the expression of terroir in wines.

The research projects will be undertaken by a group of research institutions: the University of Adelaide, Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC), South Australian Research and Development Institute and the Australian Wine Research Institute.

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