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Vintage visit for Lincoln Professor

Vintage visit for Lincoln Professor

For Lincoln University’s Professor of Biotechnology, Brian Jordan, February will see ‘the last of the summer wine’ as he leaves for the Northern Hemisphere winter to start five months at a prestigious wine research institute in Bordeaux, France.

Professor Jordan has been invited to be a Visiting Professor at the University of Bordeaux2 and to carry out research at the Institute for Vine and Wine Sciences, by its Director, Professor Serge Delrot, who has visited New Zealand on two previous occasions.

“This institute is one of the largest and most prestigious research environments dedicated to all aspects of wine production in the world,” said Professor Jordan. “It was an honour both to me personally, and for Lincoln University, to be invited.”

Both universities were part of a cooperative European scientific and technical research network dealing with viticulture, specifically, grape development. Known by the acronym COST, this network funds cooperation and collaboration between scientists throughout the world.

Professor Jordan, former Director of the Agriculture and Life Sciences Divison at the University, has been involved in two major research projects on Sauvignon blanc, funded by the Foundation for Research Science and Technology.

At Bordeaux, Professor Jordan will undertake research into the impact of the environment, in particular light , on the biochemcial composition of grapes. Specifically, he wil be carrying out research on the biosynthesis of key aroma compounds called methoxypyrazines.

“Methoxypyrazines provide the herbaceous/capsicum aroma to wines,”said Professor Jordan. “They are considered to be a key positive component of the aroma profile in New Zealand Sauvignon blanc; and are also present in some red wines, where they are generally considered to be a negative component.”
“It may seem a little unusual for someone from the Southern Hemisphere to undertake research in an old world wine growing region but the uniqueness of New Zealand’s environment with its naturally high UV levels and lack of pollution has encouraged research that provides new insight into the effects of the light enviroment on grapes and vines.”

“Grape vine canopy management is very important to reduce disease pressure but it also has consquences for the chemical composition of the fruit. My work at the insititute, therefore, is directly related to New Zealand’s agriculture and horticulture in terms of sustainable production and the produciton of a premium wine product,” said Professor Jordan.

“In my time at the Institute I will have the opportunity to build on the substantial research we have already done in New Zealand with the objective of providing practical knowledge to the New Zealand wine industry and bringing new technologies to the research being carried out in the Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciences Department at Lincoln University.”

Professor Jordan also expects to be able to present research from Lincoln Unversity that will increase European awareness of the University and New Zealand, its wines and wine growing regions.

On his way to Bordeaux Professor Jordan will present a paper on UV radiation in Hungary as part of COST.


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