The first step in winemaking is making must - the freshly crushed juice containing skin, seeds and stems of the grapes. However, earlier harvesting of fruit, due to climate changes, has led to fruit with higher than ideal sugar levels so it has been approved by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand that water can be added to the must, which in turn dilutes the sugar. A high sugar content has an inhibiting effect on the ability to produce alcohol.
The long term consequences of this approval and the creative impacts it could have on the Australian wine industry form the basis of the PHD thesis of Sydney Royal Wine Study Scholarship recipient Billy Xynas. Billy is examining the challenges of climate change for winemakers and the impact of the new Food Standards ruling, including analysis of international approaches to this issue and also exploring new understandings and methodologies for Australian wine makers specifically.
With a Bachelor of Science, Masters of Viticulture & Oenology, and a Professional Certificate in Global Wine Studies already in his portfolio of achievements, Billy is perfectly placed to mentor and educate winemakers and viticulture students. The Wine Study Scholarship will assist Billy with his research and relieve him of financial pressure, which can only be beneficial for future generations of wine lovers across Australia and internationally.