This scholarship is generously supported by the South Australia branch of Nuffield Australia.
2023 Nuffield Scholar
Nuffield Scholarship to help bring drought tolerant wine varieties to Australia
South Australian wine grower and maker, Dr Alexander Copper, will travel to the eastern Mediterranean and beyond to study drought tolerant wine varieties that could be introduced to Australia.
Alex has been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship, supported by Nuffield South Australia, to undertake this research.
He recently finished his PhD at The University of Adelaide, which investigated the use of drought tolerant grape varieties. His PhD concentrated on two wine grape varieties indigenous to Cyprus. His Nuffield Scholarship will allow him to build on that research.
“We are now moving to the field trial stage with one field trial established in the Barossa Valley and another to be established at my property in Auburn in the Clare Valley,” Alex says.
“The Auburn vineyard will also incorporate a vine nursery for propagation of the researched vines for commercial sale.”
While in Cyprus for his PhD, Alex saw 14 different indigenous varieties grown there without irrigation, that have equal drought tolerance potential.
“I was also introduced to other potential drought tolerant grape varieties from Greece, particularly from the island of Crete and also from Turkey. My goal is to further investigate the varieties from Cyprus, Crete, Turkey and Israel as these places have an arid to semi-arid hot climate similar to South Australia.”
Alex’s research has equipped him with the necessary skills to identify potential drought tolerant grape varieties, then import them to Australia for cultivation in his nursery.
His Nuffield Scholarship aligns with Wine Australia’s Strategic Plan 2020-25.
“Part of that plan is to identify and promote grape varieties that require less inputs and add to the industry's sustainability into the future,” Alex says.
Alex’s Nuffield Scholarship is supported by Nuffield South Australia.
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