Keynote Speaker

Mr Thomas Leclerc

 Managing Director for Vivelys in Asia Pacific

Production & Applied Technology – A New Era to Come?


Thomas Leclerc, is the managing director for Vivelys in Asia Pacific.

Thomas has been in the wine industry for 19 years, and has worked in almost all sides of the wine industry from wine sales in Brazil, International promotion management for Hennessy Cognac, Export manager for a global packaging company Sparflex and Business Development Director for Vivelys for 6 years in wine production strategy and management. This extensive experience gives him a global understanding of all wine aspects from production to wine marketing and sales.

With his wide and versatile experience, Thomas has worked on global production projects with major wine groups in France, Spain, Portugal and Chile.

Thomas has started a new and exciting challenge in Australia, starting a full new area of development for Vivelys in Asia and Oceania.

Vivelys is one of the global leading consulting and R&D companies in the wine industry and have been helping their customers to craft and execute their production strategy since 1995.

They are located in five major wine countries and each year, more than 10% of their income is allocated to R&D.

Through their deep understanding of winemaking science, systems and processes, along with expertise in solutions design and programming, they deliver business value by helping customers become more competitive and efficient at achieving their desired wine profiles.

Presentation Abstract

Applied technology has had over the years a direct impact in the wine industry. This impact is in general limited to its immediate surroundings and has been mainly used for two main reasons:

  • The reduction of costs through direct costs impact often related with human resources reduction such as machine harvesting, destemmers or barrel handling, but also through improved logistics and time efficiency such as centrifuges or filtration units.
  • Quality would be the other strong reason either to correct possible defects with tools such as thermo-vinification which was used historically on tough extraction grapes, rotten issues or pyrazines but have broader usage today; or to enhance quality with all tools helping in sorting quality or precise automated thermo-regulation in alcoholic fermentation.

“A New Era to Come” raises many questions a couple of which are as follows:

  • How will tomorrows Wineries link applied technology to production management metrics to make the best use of the technology?
  • How will production process will be built to meet wine style requirements and market data and what will be the role of MES (Manufacturing Execution System) in this environment?

This presentation will outline the role of applied technology, the current challenges facing the wine industry in different regions across the globe, the growing need to use and choose data for KPI’s, technical parameters linked to the winery board of production and product definition goals. This will be illustrated by examples of recent technology, and their impact on production.


Mr Tadro Abbott - WineEng 2017 Speaker




Mr Tadro Abbott

 Project Engineer – AWRI

 Predicting Ferment Performance with the New AWRI Ferment Simulator


Tadro Abbott is a Chemical Engineer who has been working in the wine industry with the AWRI for the last 5 years. His role involves both assisting wineries and suppliers with projects to improve or verify their practices, as well as larger scale engineering research funded by the industry. This has included projects on fermentation monitoring and simulation, winery transfer minimisation, lees processing, bulk wine transport and environmental life cycle assessment.

Tadro is also heavily involved in the Australian wine industry’s environmental assurance program, Entwine Australia, at a technical level.

His professional interests include environmental management, graphical information systems, winery fermentation and packaging performance; while his personal interests include music production and sustainable living.

Presentation Abstract

The AWRI’s new Ferment Simulator was released in beta in 2017 and has been through its first successful vintage. The new version brings the Ferment Simulator out of the realm of spreadsheets and into the WineCloud with a web app that allows wineries to access their ferments from any device with an internet connection. The Simulator allows the data to be collected, tracked and displayed on dashboards, as well as modelled to predict the future trajectory of the ferment. This gives winemakers an early warning of ferments that may race or become sluggish. The Ferment Simulator is free for all Australian winemakers. The session will provide an overview of the features available to winemakers and the learnings from the first vintage of operation.   .

Dr Simon Nordestgaard - WineEng 2017 Speaker




Dr Simon Nordestgaard

 Senior Engineer – AWRI

Innovations and Options for Grape Sorting


Simon Nordestgaard has worked in wine industry research and development for a bit over a decade. This has included an engineering PhD relating to grape pressing and projects on heat stability, refrigeration efficiency, lees management, and wine transport. He has a passion for winery process and equipment innovation.

Presentation Abstract

Crushing releases juice from grapes and increases the speed of skin extraction. Classically it was performed by treading, but the process started to be mechanised in the early 19th century. Intense crushing equipment has been used at times, but relatively gentle overlapping lobe roller crushers are now the most commonly used configuration (when crushing is performed at all).

Recently there has been some renewed interest in more intense crushing equipment because of the potential for enhanced colour extraction and reduced skin contact time in red wine production. This presentation will trace the evolution of grape crushing equipment and evaluate recent developments in the context of historical experience.   

Mr Trent Reimers - WineEng 2017 Speaker




Mr Trent Reimers

 Technology Specialist - Software – NHP Electrical Engineering Products

Maximise Your Uptime – High Availability Servers


In the role of Technology Specialist – Software, Trent works closely with customer’s helping them with systems that achieve desired outcomes. He has previously worked in the Australian Wine industry and currently lives in the Barossa Valley.

Presentation Abstract

Today’s manufacturing facilities have extremely strict standards that are being met and regulated through automation.  There is also consistent pressure from the competition to improve products all while keeping pricing low and products safe.  Achieving efficiency, keeping costs low and maintaining quality is the balance that leads to success.

Automation is a great solution for meeting these standards while keeping costs & waste low.  When issues occur in your facilities, the results can be devastating.  Downtime reduces efficiency and potentially leads to brand integrity issues.  Food and beverage companies have tried to solve these problems with conventional servers running critical applications such as SCADA and Historians in multiple locations but this can be costly. Downtime problems continually plague this approach and it doesn’t scale well either.  When systems fail, even for a short period, your bottom line is affected.

Thankfully, there are systems today to prevent downtime and keep food and beverage manufacturing systems running smoothly. 

Stratus is the modern, proven, and reliable choice for delivering a complete always-on system with a solution that is operationally simple, cost effective and delivers the availability that food and beverage systems demand today.

Stratus’ proactively prevents instances of unplanned downtime both data centers and at the edge, and ensures any issues are addressed before customers are even aware there is a problem. Global Fortune 500 companies and small medium sized businesses in a wide range of industries across the globe have been relying on Stratus for operationally simple, continuous availability for more than 35 years.

Mr Jochen Druck - WineEng 2017 Speaker




Mr Jochen Druck

 Global Export Director – K+H Process Tec

Membrane System for the Bubble Less Inline Adjustment of Carbon Dioxide & Oxygen


Jochen Drück is currently sales manager of the K&H Process Tec GmbH. A company focusing on process technologies for the wine and beverage industry.

Raised by a family who were contract bottlers in the 3rd generation and who owned a family winery, Jochen decided to join the wine industry.

He started as a winemaker and viticulturist trainee and worked constantly on his winemaker career until the day when he was asked to join the glass and closure industry, this step was a big change in his life and led into his current career. His focus was on new developments like light weight bottles and new closure systems and he brought the ZORK closures into Europe.

Jochen also started his own consulting company and in turn is working with international companies from around the world.

He joined K&H Process Tec as their Global Sales Manager and he combines his winemaking experience with his focus on new technologies. .

Presentation Abstract

The production of wine and other beverages requires a precise CO2 adjustment. The adjustment of the CO2 content has to be precise and the oxygen content should be removed in the last step prior to bottling. Certain retailers have defined a specific CO2 content. Achieving this content is of great importance for the wineries in order to keep these customers.

The CO2 membrane system of K + H is currently the only membrane system to target the CO2 bubble less into the filling machine. In the same process step, the gases nitrogen and O2 are largely removed from the product.

The reduction of O2 results in a better shelf life of the wine. Nitrogen promotes foaming during filling. The nitrogen reduction can therefore lead to a significantly improved filling performance. The gassing and degassing can take place at any intensity from 0 to 10 g / L directly on the bottling line. The output level of CO2 is irrelevant if there is more CO2 in the starting material than desired this is automatically detected by the system and the CO2 content is reduced accordingly.

Dr Andreas Blank - WineEng 2017 Speaker




Dr Andreas Blank

 Managing Director – K+H Process Tec

Partial Dealcoholisation of Wine - Comparing Technologies and their Sensorial Impact


Dr. Andreas Blank is currently general manager of the K+H process tec GmbH. A company focusing on process technologies for wine and beverage industry.

Raised at a family winery Andreas pursued his academic career in the international wine universities: Geisenheim, Germany; Davis, California and Montpellier, France. His research focused on membrane technologies in wine. Important part of the research is the influence of the dissolved gases, carbon dioxide and oxygen and the technological management thereof. The sensorial and technological impact of alcohol reduction in wine was the topic of his PhD thesis. Transferring the academic experience to the industry is key of the success of K+H.

Presentation Abstract

Experiments were performed for a technological alcohol reduction using the following techniques: Spinning Cone Column, reverse osmosis and membrane contactor. Target of these experiments was to determine the feasibility of these techniques for a partial alcohol reduction in wine. A perceivable change in the smell of the wines could not be identified. Wines reduced in alcohol were perceived to be lower in body; they appear to be less sweet and have a decreased level of alcohol hotness. Using alcohol reduction technologies is providing a tool to carefully adjust the mouthfeel balance of a wine, without detrimental effects on the aroma characteristics.

All tested physical treatments with the objective of alcohol reduction have been shown to reduce the content of the analyzed flavor compounds. By means of mathematical modelling it is possible to predict this loss of flavor compounds. For the purpose of minimizing the loss of flavor compounds, with most technologies only a small portion of wine should be treated. Consecutive blending with untreated wine will efficiently minimize flavor loss.

This two-step process can be efficiently improved by coupling different membrane systems. The technology of membrane coupling using reverse osmosis and membrane contactors was recently modified to perform an automated, inline alcohol adjustment with the best possible aroma protection.

Mr Darryl Blackeby - WineEng 2017 Speaker




Mr Darryl Blackeby

 Product Sales Manager

IO-Link and its Application in Wineries


Darryl holds a diploma of electrical engineering plus an electrical trade qualification and has 20+ years experience with factory automation and process instrumentation.

He has been 14+ year’s with ifm efector and prior to that 4 years with the previous ifm efector distributor – Sencon and therefore has a comprehensive knowledge of the complete ifm product range.

Darryl has performed several roles with ifm efector including Product Manager for position sensors, safety products and industrial vision product ranges for a period of 8 years and currently performs the role of Product Sales Manager with a focus on the industrial vision, identification systems and industrial communications product ranges.

Presentation Abstract

IO-Link is the interface to Industry 4.0, allowing additional data to be collected directly from your sensors. With many advantages over traditional wiring, IO-Link is easy to implement into traditional PLC architectures.

ifm efector is a founding member of the IO-Link consortium, and the market leader with a comprehensive range of IO-Link sensors and master modules. Smart Observer software is also available for cost effective monitoring of IO-Link installations.  

This presentation will cover the basics of IO-Link and its role in Industry 4.0, and advantages including increased machine uptime and reduce system costs. We will also look at how wineries can benefit using this technology.

Mr Nathan Rowbottom - WineEng 2017 Speaker




Mr Nathan Rowbottom

 Manager – Byford Fluid Solutions

Trelleborg Technologies & Selection Perfection of Hoses


Nathan began his working life doing an apprenticeship at Simplot Echuca as maintenance fitter during which time he learnt about the food environment and gained a knowledge of engineering, he also completed additional courses in advanced pneumatic circuitry, bearing identification, mechanical seals, HACCP, can seam technology and purge welding of stainless pipe work, plus a plethora of other skills.

After leaving Simplot he worked for a short period as a line mechanic at Amcor food cans before working for a period of three and a half years in his family’s music store in Echuca in a management role. Nathan then gained employment at Byford Equipment as a welder before moving across to what is now Byford Fluid Solutions as a hose technician (2006), then as an account manager and finally in the role of manager which he has been in since 2012.

Since 2006 Nathan has been working closely with many food and beverage producers whilst at the same time learning from major hose suppliers Trelleborg and a large and varied customer base. He has been specializing in food grade transfer for almost ten years, trying to be at the forefront of process and development in Australia. Nathan is also an on-going member of the WEA.

Presentation Abstract

Nathan will go through associated technology developments by Trelleborg and uniqueness of capabilities including a simple summary of their newly developed products for new world markets and how their products have used these developments.

The presentation will look at differences in hoses and how best to select hose for an application considering new marketplace factors such as the current AWRI study in flavour imparting on hose and previous cases of taste taint from rubber hoses and the previous lack of liability due to lack of Australian standards regarding migration.

The benefits of aligning with more stringent European standards will also be looked at and how this affects selection of hoses regarding environmental factors associated with the Australian climate and other factors such as phthalates, flavours and raising of hose supplier’s accountability.

Nathan will also explain why you should question practices and look to grow with continuous improvement by using best available technologies, not just to lower costs but to improve outcomes. In addition, he will be focusing on some of the differences looked at in other marketplaces that are not overly considered in Australia and why.

Dr Paul Bowyer - WineEng 2017 Speaker




Dr Paul Bowyer

 Group Oenologist / Regional Manager SA – Blue H2O Filtration

Insights into Filtration and Filterability


Dr Bowyer has a background in organic and inorganic chemistry, having completed a double major in chemistry with first class honours at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 1991.  He undertook a PhD in 1992 at UNSW in heterocyclic chemistry and metal complexation, part of which was completed at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom after obtaining one of five Australian Young Endeavour Science Awards in 1992.  Three years of post-doctoral research in pure chemistry followed at the Australian National University (Canberra, Australia) and the Universität Basel (Basel, Switzerland). 

Seeking a more applied chemistry focus on returning to Australia in 1999, Dr Bowyer accepted a position at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga teaching wine chemistry and wine sensory analysis, where he received a teaching excellence award in his third year as an academic.  A move to the University of Adelaide in 2003 saw the expansion of the sensory analysis role to cover oenology, viticulture and wine marketing degree programmes.  In 2006 Dr Bowyer joined the commercial sector with Laffort Australia as the Australasian Technical Manager.  In 2011 Dr Bowyer joined BHF Technologies as Group Oenologist. 

He has been very active in the promotion of wine filterability analysis to the Australian wine industry.  Dr Bowyer retains his association with the University of Adelaide as an Adjunct Lecturer to the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.

Presentation Abstract

Filtration remains somewhat of a black art in the wine industry, with winemakers using a combination of experience and information provided by manufacturers to achieve desired outcomes. 

Sterile (membrane) filtration accounts for an ever-increasing proportion of wine products, yet for some wines this remains a debated approach to packaging.  Recent changes in membrane compositions, coupled with the use of wine additives such as tannins, yeast extracts, grape juice concentrate, gum Arabic and CMC, have warranted an examination of how best to improve filtration outcomes. 

Since many of these additives are colloidal in nature they are not necessarily detected by the industry standard measurement of turbidity (NTU), yet they can and do have a significant impact on wine filterability index (FI).  This has significant flow-on effects for both the winemaker and the packager. 

This presentation will briefly overview different filtration approaches and their relative impacts on wine physical and sensory characteristics.  Although there is no current Australian standard for measuring wine FI, different methods for doing so will be presented and critiqued.  Measurement equipment will also be discussed in conjunction with the correct interpretation of filterability analyses, and caveats indicated.  Vinpac International has used FI measurement for sterile filtration wines since July 2013.  Some interesting figures from their vast FI measurement library will be presented, in addition to some valuable findings that they have made. 

Mr Neil Scrimgeour - WineEng 2017 Speaker




Mr Neil Scrimgeour

 – Senior Scientist – AWRI

Protecting Wine Integrity with Best Practice Bottling


Neil Scrimgeour is the Senior Scientist in the Commercial Services Group at the Australian Wine Research Institute. He has a background in fine chemicals and pharmaceutical production in the UK and has worked in the Australian wine industry for the last twelve years.

Neil has widespread experience in the design and management of technical performance trials for a wide range of winemaking and packaging technologies and has worked extensively in new product development, both in the wine industry and in his previous role in the pharmaceutical industry.

Neil manages all packaging performance trials for the AWRI and has been responsible for the development of a number of key benchmarking programs for the wine industry.

Presentation Abstract

Poor bottling practices have the potential to irreversibly damage perfectly good wine and significantly reduce its shelf-life before it reaches the consumer. Inappropriate sanitation practices and insufficient management of oxygen can cause a variety of issues, both on the bottling line and across the supply chain.

This presentation will consider best practice bottling techniques, including efficient line set-up and control, minimising the impact of processing factors on wine quality and performance indicators that can be used to ensure that production stays on track.