Industry Endorsed Standard Procedures
The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) is in the process of developing a series of Industry Endorsed Standard Procedures to ensure grape assessment practices are as accurate and reliable as possible. Wine producers making an assessment for the purpose of affecting grape price should endeavour to follow these procedures. This is an absolute requirement of signatories to the Wine Industry Code of Conduct. The procedures can be downloaded from the Code website’s Supporting Information section.
In developing the procedures, industry was consulted through a project reference group comprising both grape growers and winemakers and convened by Australian Grape and Wine. In doing so, we endeavoured to promote a user friendly format as much as possible whilst maintaining the level of scientific rigour required to ensure accurate and reliable results. The procedures are not yet set in stone and will constantly be reviewed to ensure currency. If you have used the procedures and would like to provide feedback, please contact Anna Hooper at firstname.lastname@example.org
In conjunction with the formal procedures, Australian Grape and Wine and AWRI are currently collaborating on a project to assist with implementation of those procedures as well as guiding good decision making when it comes to buying and selling winegrapes. An updated version of the Winegrape Assessment in the Vineyard and at the Winery, soon to be released on the code website, will provide assistance for grape and wine producers seeking clarity, transparency, and certainty to the sometimes contentious process of imposing, documenting and assessing against winegrape specifications. There is also a much-needed defined procedure for conducting reliable and accurate sensory evaluation for wine attributes such as smoke taint. This fills a critical gap around smoke taint assessments that have in the past been viewed as having too high a degree of subjectivity for such a significant result. We encourage wine producers to make use of these documents when assessing grapes and wine this vintage.
The European Commission has recently announced the withdrawal of Mancozeb from use in the EU market after June 2021. At this stage there has been no advice regarding a change to the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for wines from other countries, however based on past experience the likelihood of such a decision in future is high. It is common for the EU to resort to the default MRL of 0.01 mg/kg in these circumstances. This may impact on Australian wine producers exporting to the EU.
Australia and several other countries have provided statements to the World Trade Organisation TBT Committee regarding their concerns. Should there be an MRL change, the Agrichemical Reference Group will review the current recommendations for use of mancozeb and other dithiocarbamate active constituents ahead of the next season so as to limit the risk of future wine product exceeding the EU’s allowable residue limit.
We will continue to monitor the situation and encourage grape growers and winemakers supplying the EU to maintain a watching brief. For technical information relating to mancozeb use and timing you can also contact the AWRI helpdesk on 08 8 313 6600 or email@example.com