People and Economic Activities
- Define viticulture and winemaking
Viticulture: The science and practice of grape growing. It occurs in the vineyard
Winemaking: The process of converting the sugar present in the grapes into an alcoholic beverage. It occurs in the winery.
- Give a brief history of grape growing and wine making
- Winemaking is an incredibly old industry - pips belonging to cultivated grapes have been found by archaeologists in Georgia, Russia and Iraq dating back to 5000BC
- Winemaking was prominent in ancient Egypt, Greece and Italy from 3000-1000BC
- 600BC - Ancient Greeks took the first vines to France and established vineyards near Marseilles
- 50-350AD - The Romans took viticulture to all of the great winemaking regions
- 1000-1200AD The Church and monarchy became active in the industry and established some of the greatest vineyards
- 1645 - Dutch took grapes to South Africa
- 1788-1850 British took grapes to Australia and New Zealand
- 1880 - Phylloxera devastates the wine industry
- 1900 to now - Wine industry restored and transformed into a highly specialised form of agriculture.
- Why do winemakers use such a variety of grapes? Give 3 examples and note their characteristics
Most wine grapes are of the species vitis vinifera
- It can accumulate sugar up to ⅓ grape’s volume (good for fermentation)
- It has elements of fresh-tasting acidity making the juice clean and lively
A variety of grape types are used as they provide different characteristics and may be suited to a certain area.
- Shiraz - Red Wine → good from Hunter Valley
- Chardonnay - White Wine → good from Burgundy
- Sauvignon Blanc - White Wine → good from NZ (chilled, crisp wine)
- Describe the global spatial distribution of wine production today. Note how vintages can vary from year to year
- Traditionally found in the narrow belt between latitudes of 30-50 ̊ N and S of the equator
- These are temperate zones where annual mean temperature is between 10 ̊C and 20 ̊C isotherm (not too cold, nor too hot)
- Rainfall should be 500 to 700mm
- Arable land that is mostly sunny and relatively flat is considered perfect terrain for wine-making
- Major grape growing regions of the New World (Southern Hemisphere) include; California’s Napa Valley, Australia’s Hunter Valley, New Zealand’s Marlborough Region
• Australia has over 100 wineries spread through every state; most are small; 4 largest companies
account for 80% of production
• USA is the world’s 4th largest producer
• Chile is free of phylloxera and therefore grafting is not required
• Argentina is the most important wine producing nation in South America
• South Africa has an annual output that places them in the world’s top 10 producers
• Major grape growing regions of the Old World (Northern Hemisphere) include; France’s Loire
Valley, Italy’s Tuscany, Germany’s Rhine Land
• France is the world’s largest producer of wine and the main wine exporter (Bordeaux,
• Italy is the world’s second largest wine producer
• Spain is the world’s third most important producer of wine; has more land under vines than
anything other country
• Average vineyards in the old world tend to be smaller (2 ha) than vineyard in the new world
(average 67 ha)
• Area under European Vines is 3362 kha (thousands of acres)
• Spanish vineyards have declined significantly between 2008 and 2011 yet are now stabilising with
just over one million hectares
• Top four wine producing countries (Italy, France, Spain and the US) account for 43% of grape
production and 58% of total global wine production.
- Australia produces 2.8% of grapes and 4.4% of wine production and is 5th largest producer in
- Explain how the global spatial distribution and volume of wine production has varied since the 1950s
- How has wine consumption changed recently? Globally and within specific countries)
Europe consumes 68.6% of global wine drunk
- Why has global expenditure on wine increased, yet global consumption fallen?
There is a growing demand for more expensive wines especially within the Asian population.
- How and why is the world’s vineyard acreage changing
Appears to be reducing however yield is constant or increasing due to increased density of vines.
- Note some of the challenges facing the Australian wine industry and responses to these
- Describe how biophysical factors affect viticulture and the spatial distribution of wine production
- 19 degrees ideal for white grapes
- 21 degrees for red
- Has to be more than 10 degrees for grape growth.
- Ideal temperature produces the right amount of sugar needed for wine production
- Needed for photosynthesis
- Grows plant and ripens it
- 675mm a year required for growth (ideally through winter and spring)
- Heavy rain during harvest is problematic
- Fruit may split and develop fungal diseases like botrytis
- Mechanical Harvesters cannot operate on unstable ground
- Hail is also a major problem
- Can break crops
- Stopped through hail cannons
- Can split grapes as well as promoting the growth of fungi
- Wind chill can retard photosynthesis, affecting ripening
- Strong Winds can inhibit flowering and break the crop
- No wind at all also negatively affects plant growth.
- Frost can lead to budburst which damages crop
- At the right time (winter), however, frost can harden the vine wood and kill disease
- The angle and height of a slope can create a microclimate
- Affects flavour of the wine
- Can also provide shelter from cooling winds or extra warmth
- As altitude increases, temperature decreases
- Allows grapes to be grown at lower latitudes like Kenya
- Should be free draining
- Have low-medium fertility
- Include rocks
- Can store moisture
- Absorb heat and radiate at night.
- Gravel alluvial
- Limestone based
- Permeable clay loams
- How has the biophysical environment produced problems for viticulture
- Insect pest that lives on the roots
- Destroyed wine industry 100 years ago.
- Viticulturalists graft local cuttings onto resilient American rootstock
- El Nino causes many issues
- A water supply is needed at critical times in the growth cycle of the vine
- How can viticulture be ecologically sustainable?
Concerns and solutions
- Build up of agrichemicals in environment
- Reducing use of agri-chemicals
- Using green cover crops to limit weed growth, promote nitrogen fixing and reduce the need for fertilizers and establish a polyculture
- Using biodegradable fungicides like copper and sulphur sprays
- Using soap sprays and natural oils as insecticides
- Using fungicides only when diseases such as botrytis coincide with a growth stage that is conducive to infection
- Reduces sprays by 30% to 40%
- Move to organic viticulture
- NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia) is main regulatory body in Australia.
- Bimbadgen not following as Rauri Donkin says it’s a short term trend.
- Increase in risk of disease due to existence of a monoculture
- Planting green cover crops like mustard and legumes to establish a polyculture
- Impacts of irrigation on salinity and river functioning
- Monitoring soil moisture content via remote probes before irrigation to supply only necessary soil inputs
- Using drip irrigation and delivering only to what plants need it.
- Elimination of wastewater and waste residues from the winemaking process
- Turning grape skins to mulch to reduce the need for spraying, improving plant health
- Establish wastewater ponds
- Establishing wetland areas with forest plantations with the use of wastewater.
- Wastewater Treatment
- Barossa valley regional wastewater treatment plant will be constructed
- Treated on site by a solution like that offered by the Israeli Emefcy.
- Power usage in the winemaking process
- Solar panels on the winery can take some of the electricity strain of the intensive process
- How have economic factors affected the wine industry?
Wine exports for Australia is an over $2 billion dollar market.
Global Wine Trade
- EU has a huge competitive advantage
- Close to major wine markets
- Traditionally high qualtiy
- Heavily subsidised
- Over 2 billion dollar market for Australia
- Very innovative
- Good natural biophysical factors
- Dynamic marketing and promotion
- Contributes more than $500 million to rural and regional Australia every year
- Bimbadgen capitalises on this by offering accommodation, restaurants and annual music festivals like A Day on the Green.
- Typically rented as mechanical harvesters can cost >$300 000
- Vats and barrels cost thousands of dollars
Mobility of labour:
- Most places bring in their own labour - Bimbadgen does HVVM
- Some winemakers only work during times of wine production and travel to other vineyards at other times
Demand and Supply
- Pre GFC there was a huge wine glut where supply was not met by demand
- Wine can only be sold if there’s sufficient demand
- What are the socio-cultural factors that have affected the spatial distribution of viticulture and wine production? Describe their impacts
- Wine is part of the European culture
- Culinary staple
- European wines tend to be more prestigious
- Younger generations tend to be consuming more spirits and beer
- Cafe culture being established in Australia and New York, which leads to increased consumption of table wine
- Increased affluence in Asia has led to greater demand for it
- Red wines have been marketed as healthy due to their antioxidant properties → French paradox
Labour participation rates
- Increased participation rates worldwide have lead to greater income
- Which leads to greater propensity to consume - wine is a luxury product
- Greater disposable income in Asia has lead to an adoption of a taste for wine.
- Also establishment of wineries there
- How do organisational factors affect the wine industry?
- Conglomerates are acquiring large vineyards in new world countries
- Old World still many individually owned
- 3 Major Australian players (all TNCs) (represent 80% of domestic production)
- Owns Orlando Wyndham who operate in Australia
- Jacob’s Creek and Orlando
- Owns Fosters which operated in Australia
- 4 out of 10 bottles sold in Australia are owned by SABMiller
- Large scale production is very beneficial as it leads to economies of scale and bulk buying of capital etc.
- Inspect all biomatter enterina Australia
- National Association for Sustainable Agriculture
- Intergovernmental organisation concerned with vines and vine based products
- Promote research and experimentation to improve wine.
- How does technology affect viticulture and wine production?
- Used to achieve consistent grape quality
- Clone disease resistant crops
- GIS identifies the best location for vines based on a variety of factors that are overlaid
- Weather stations can help wine producers detect likely times of fungal growth
- Soil moisture probes identify which parts of soil need irrigation
- Drip irrigation can be delivered down to the specific crop
- Harvests grapes quicker as well as reducing the need for labour
- Leads to increased efficiency
- 5x cheaper than corks
- Reduces the risk of cork tainting
- Chemical probes can monitor the amount of chemicals in the soil
- If insufficient they can be delivered via irrigation pipes
- Mechanical crushers used
- Flavour additives enhance the taste
- Computers monitor wine tanks
- Lighter wine bottles are cheaper and more eco-friendly
- eCommerce has allowed grapes and wine to be sold globally
- Email lists and club membership have proven to be very successful marketing tools
- What political factors affect wine production?
- WTO overlook world trade and promote a free trade agenda
- EU Farmers are subsidised through the Common Agricultural Policy
- Removal of China and Korea wine tariffs through ChAFTA and KAFTA increased the export of wine by $47 million.
- Australians pay 49% tax on domestic wine
- Up to $45.50 tax on a $40 bottle (source Australian Parliament House)
- What future challenges face the viticulture and winemaking activities?
- Solar Panels
- Drip Irrigation
- Reduce Wastage
- Means GM crops
- Migration south/north
- Operate on bigger margins
- Resistant pests and disease
- Describe the environmental, social and economic impacts of the wine industry in various places around the world.
- 10 litres of water for a single litre of wine
- May lead to unsustainable biomass as well as pollution fo chemicals
- Health concerns on the rise
- Popularisation of cheap cask wine has aided the binge drinking culture in Australia
- Rise of Hunter Valley Tourism Trade
- Growth of Asian market
- Describe the location of Bimbadgen (including map)
Located in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley ~2 hours away from Sydney
Bimbadgen is a vineyard and winery located on McDonald's Road, Pokolbin, in New South Wales' Hunter Valley, roughly 2.5 hours north of Sydney. Bimbadgen as an overall enterprise is compiled of multiple aspects, such as viticulture, winemaking, a cafe/restaurant, accommodation, a cellar door and frequent concerts held on the lawn, attracting up to 8000 people. Currently Bimbadgen produces 30 different types of wine, which are sold at the cellar door, to members, wholesalers and exported overseas. As an enterprise, Bimbadgen is owned by the Mulpha Australia group, a subsidiary of Mulpha International, a privately owned Malaysian company. Bimbadgen accounts for approximately 4% of Mulpha Australia's annual turnover. Bimbadgen was added to Mulpha's portfolio in 1996 - before that it was owned by several unsuccessful independent owners. Bimbadgen's properties include the main 100ha site on McDonald's Road, and a further 10ha of purely vineyards on Palmer's Lane, for a total of 27.5ha of vineyards. Besides growing their own grapes, mostly Semillon, Chardonnay, Viognior, Cabernet, Shiraz and Tempranillo, Bimbadgen also imports grapes from a number of other wineries in the Hunter Valley, and across Australia , to turn into wines. The wine is not bottled on site, instead transported to Hunter Valley bottling. Bimbadgen is considered a new world winery, utilising steel vats to create their wines and implementing technological advancements into the winemaking process.
- Outline the locational factors for Bimbadgen
- Close to Sydney and Newcastle
- Very accessible by road so transport of wines good
- Good sources of labour nearby
- Home to many other wineries
- History of viticulture and winemaking
- Wine tourism leads to cellar door sales
- Hunter is one of the 3 most visited areas in NSW
- Reliable rainfall of ~750mm a year
- Hunter Valley Private Irrigation District if that fails
- Warm/hot summers and cool winters with little frost
- Good soils for red grapes
- Describe the biophysical and human environmental factors affecting the operation of Bimbadgen
- Deep gravelly soil allows vine roots to penetrate deep
- Encourages vigorous plant growth
- Grow best in sunny, stable climates
- 3 Factors
- Must be long enough to allow both the fruit and vegetative parts of the vine to mature
- Heat energy ripens the fruit too.
- Ensure sufficient amount of carbs are produced via photosynthesis
- Steady and sufficient supply of water
- To allow the plant to function properly.
- Not too much or roots will suffer
- A range of hazards can adversely affect grape quality.
- Include drought, excessive rain, hail, severe frost, pests and diseases.
- Population is aging
- Growth in two income families
- Increased disposable income → increased demand for luxury goods like wine
- Wine has grown in popularity since the 1970s
- From an influence in European immigration
- Wealthier Australians
- Emergence of cafe/restaurant culture.
- Wine tourism has grown
- Wine festivals in cities
- Promotion of the Hunter valley as a tourism location
- Increased cellar door sales
- Recently there has been a move towards rose and pinot gris
- Identify internal and external linkages and flows of people, goods, services and ideas at Bimbadgen
- Many workers come from nearby towns
- In Hunter Valley wine region so many tourists
- Close to Newcastle University so people visit from there
- Water from the private irrigation district
- Certain grapes from central tablelands
- Wine sales is a flow out
- Power comes in
- HV Management are contracted to manage vines
- O’connor harvest vines
- Hunter Valley Bottling bottle for Bimbadgen
- Advertise with external publications
- Outline the effects of global changes on Bimbadgen
- Bimbadgen is not a large exporter
- Mulpha Australia (Malaysian Conglomerate) owns Bimbadgen
- Increased exposure to international wine markets