The MicroWine Symposium was recently hosted at the @Cite du Vin in beautiful Bordeaux. MicroWine is an EU-funded project with a goal to train a new generation of researchers to bring the latest technics from wine microbiology to the industry. 15 PhD students, representing 13 different universities, presented their work to a host of industry experts – and Chr. Hansen was the proud industry partner of this exciting initiative.
Respect the past, lead the present, secure the future
The day began with an energetic presentation from Prof. Sakkie Pretorius, from Macquarie University, Australia, entitled, ‘What can Synthetic Biology do for the wine industry?’ His own words, ‘Respect the past, lead the present, secure the future,’ was an echoing theme throughout the day – and an important yet sensitive way to bring new and exciting insights into an industry full of tradition.
The morning and afternoon programs were built around sessions where the PhD students introduced the audience to their specific projects. The morning’s projects focused on the biodiversity of the vine ecosystem, but covered themes as varied as soil microbes and plant health to using archaeological grape material to understand grape lice. The students that presented during the afternoon turned their attention to the function of microorganisms in wine and bioinformatics methods. The student sessions were supported by a host of exciting presentations from industry experts, ranging from how microbes drive sustainability in the wine industry to discovering the ancient origins of winemaking through genomics.
And the winner is….
Appropriately, the day ended with all attendees enjoying a good glass of Bordeaux wine – and reviewing the PhD posters one last time. The overall winner, selected by the audience was Alex Gobbi from Århus University, Denmark with his project, Microbial terroir and its implications on vineyard management and wine metabolic production. Many of the other students were also rewarded for aspects of their projects – and the electric atmosphere after a truly inspiring day left all the attendees with the feeling that everyone was a winner in Bordeaux.