Over half of Australian wine exports now leave our shores in mass for packaging in market – up from just 20 per cent a decade ago.
With this thought, Wine Australia funded a project with all the flexibag exploring the bulk transport process, and if the choices wine companies make possess sensory or chemical influence on the wine during or after transit.
AWRI researchers Simon Nordestgaard and Eric Wilkes as well as wine sector collaborators tracked a couple of million litres of wine bound for that UK over 15 months along with the effects were very positive.
They discovered that the choice of tank, shipping route and filling temperature essentially had no impact. No taints were observed and, according to packaging facilities, the pick-up of taints during bulk transport has not been a challenge for a long time.
The lack of any taints ‘is likely a proof of the management strategies designed by the greatest freight forwarders/flexitank suppliers servicing the Australian wine sector’, Dr Nordestgaard said in his final report.
‘These measures include container sorting, container lining and flexi bags that offer a final stage of product protection. Whenever engaging a new freight forwarder/flexitank supplier it is recommended to ensure well-conceived taint avoidance strategies/materials happen to be in place combined with appropriate evidence of performance.’
Dr Nordestgaard ran the trials in 4 batches, each involving around 11 containers full of 24,000 litres of wine, with the sort of tank (ISO tanks or flexitanks), shipping route dexopky84 filling temperature (8°C or 19°C) because the 3 variables. Chardonnay was the wine associated with preference, as it is the white variety exported from the greatest volume towards the UK. A few containers of Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blend were also monitored.
Normally, ISO tanks contributed to marginally higher retention of a couple of chemical compounds, however in tastings experienced winemakers did not consistently prefer the wines shipped in ISO tanks.
The path taken, and whether or not the wine was flexibag services via a hub port (e.g. Malaysia) or stayed on board the same ship, had no real impact. Schedules varied, and in many cases routes involving trans-shipping were actually quicker since there were fewer other stops.