Winegrape Quality Assessment
When assessing winegrapes for the purpose of affecting price, it is important to do so in a way that is as accurate and reliable as possible, avoiding subjectivity. The resources on this page contain best practice quality assessment standards.
When measuring brix or colour for the purpose of impacting grape payment, the assessor must either follow the Standard Procedures or make use of a secondary method that has been validated by following the Industry Endorsed Standard Procedure for validation of secondary methods. This is an absolute requirement of winemakers who are signatories to the Code of Conduct. The vineyard sampling guidelines should also be followed noting that poor sampling procedures are known to be a significant contributor to inaccurate results. For other types of grape assessments where an Industry Endorsed Standard Procedure does not exist, the Guideline Documents contain clear and simple steps that can be followed to improve the objectivity of assessment. This includes a sensory method for evaluating positive or negative attributes such as smoke taint.
The evolution of Wendy Allan’s classic reference ‘Winegrape Assessment in the Vineyard and at the Winery’ in Publications describes grower and winemaker expectations relating to grape supply agreements. Since its initial publication in 2003, the document has been simplified and updated for consistency with the Code of Conduct. It outlines the various quality specifications that might be referenced in grape supply agreements and the types of supporting behaviours that support successful and mutually beneficial relationships.