Turning wine waste into treasure

organic wine industryMelbourne researchers are working to turn trash into treasure in the wine industry.

Around 2 million tonnes of grapes are crushed each year and more than half end up as grape marc – the skins, pulp, seeds and stems remaining after the fruit has been pressed.

Swinburne University professor Enzo Palombo is working to create technology that will help wineries take advantage of the chemicals found in the waste.

Professor Palombo said currently chemicals in wine waste could be used as fertiliser for the vines or the grape marc could be used as animal feed. He said he hoped, in the future, the waste could be converted into something more.

“We’re hoping that wineries will be able to be self-sufficient rather than having to purchase these from offsite producers. They can produce them onsite, minimising their costs of both the acid and also perhaps on-selling some of the leftover material,” he said.

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