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Multi-million dollar R&D project aims to bring "international recognition" to Australian Shiraz

Published:  16 January, 2017

5.3 million AUD is being invested to better understand - and promote - Australian terroir to international markets.

5.3 million AUD is being invested to better understand - and promote - Australian terroir to international markets.

Wine Australia has today announced that the country's various terroirs and how they influence wine style and quality will be the centrepiece of a number of research and development projects which take place over six-years.

"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," Mr Brian Croser AO, deputy chair of Wine Australia, explained.

"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."

The various projects will aim to provide a greater understanding of how environmental signals such as climate, topography, soil chemistry and the soil's physical properties work.

"We can then understand how winegrowers can refine the expression of terroir and uniqueness in their vineyards, so that they can produce wines that express their unique terroir with greater confidence and obtain the premium such wines warrant," Croser added.

The R&D will concentrate on Shiraz, which is the most planted variety in Australia and accounts for 26% of Australia's vineyard area.

Australia has the oldest Shiraz vines in the world and 40% of Australia's exports valued at more than $10 per litre FOB are Shiraz.

The research will be a collaborative effect undertaken by 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.

An international perspective will be added through the top sommeliers being hosted by Wine Australia as part of The World's 50 Best Restaurants in April.

They will help to classify a subset of Australian Shiraz wines and selected international Shiraz wines through a blind tasting.