Dr Vanessa Stockdale 2020 Oenology paper of the year

This award honours an outstanding author(s) of a paper published in the AJGWR in the previous 12 months where the potential application of the research on winemaking practices is deemed by an industry/science-based panel to have the most impact.

The 2020 Oenology paper of the year was awarded to Dr Vanessa Stockdale, from Accolade, for the paper:

Ratnayake, S., Stockdale, V., Grafton, S., Munro, P., Robinson, A., Pearson, W., McRae, J. and Bacic, A. (2019), Carrageenans as heat stabilisers of white wine. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 25: 439-450. doi:10.1111/ajgw.12411

Carrageenan, a renewable fining agent is a promising alternative to bentonite to heat stabilise white wine. There are different types of commercially available carrageenan and the most effective for heat stabilising white wines are kappa carrageenan’s with K+ ions because of their ability to heat stabilise wines with a minimal impact on sensory profiles, wine lees, turbidity, filtration and concentration of metal cations. Carrageenan can be added at different stages of the winemaking process such as to juice, ferment or wine and still result in a heat-stable wine. This provides the ability to add carrageenan prior to innate clarification steps thereby streamlining the winemaking process. However, it is important that juice is pectin-negative when using carrageenan to avoid wine filtration problems. Sensory analysis indicated that wines heat-stabilised with carrageenan’s had more intense flavour and aroma profile than those heat-stabilised with bentonite.

Vanessa’s introduction to the wine industry started with a passion for chemistry which ignited a love for all things fermentation and the behind-the-scenes processes that make a beverage unique.  She completed her PhD at the Australian Wine Research Institute on yeast mannoproteins that protect wine from protein haze.  She later worked at Carlton United Breweries before moving to California to be part of the Oenology Research team at E & J Gallo Winery.  More recently, she has been a Wine Technical Improvement Specialist firstly at Treasury Wine Estates and then at Accolade Wines. Her responsibilities have been that of a wine practitioner centred on process improvements, product development, new innovation, and wine sensory.