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WIN2102 Wine Composition, Stability and Analysis

Semester 2, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Ursula Kennedy
Moderator: Robert Learmonth


Pre-requisite: WIN1101 and CHE1110


This subject provides an introduction to the principal chemical components that influence wine, and analysis of these components. The chemistry of components and potential spoilage reactions is discussed, as well as chemistry of wine sensory components.


This course is aimed at providing an awareness of how chemistry can be used to interpret, unify and predict outcomes of winemaking actions. The course introduces the principles of acidity, buffering, chemical equilibria and oxidation in wine making. The course also considers measurement and control in winemaking, considerations for chemical analyses of wine, juice and wine acidity, sulphur dioxide in winemaking, oxidation and its management in grapes, juice and wine, chemistry of wine phenolic compounds and sensory components, and wine chemical stability issues.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. describe the basic process and outcomes of fermentation in chemical terms;
  2. discuss in detail the behaviour of wine acids and the preservative sulphur dioxide as they pertain to juice and wine;
  3. explain different ways of manipulating the fermentation environment to achieve the desired winemaking conditions;
  4. interpret basic units of measurement;
  5. perform calculations required in oenology;
  6. describe the behaviours of sorbic and ascorbic acids in wine;
  7. explain the action and nature of phenolic compounds found in wine and juice;
  8. interpret and explain the effects of oxidation on wine and juice;
  9. demonstrate knowledge of factors causing wine instability and management of these;
  10. explain the origins of wine haze;
  11. outline the beneficial and spoilage reactions that can occur, and appraise the winemaking interventions that may be undertaken to optimise wine quality;
  12. describe and identify wine chemical components that impact on sensory attributes.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to wine chemistry 10.00
2. Measurement and control in winemaking 10.00
3. Introduction to chemical analysis of wine: equipment, measurement units, accuracy, precision, sensitivity, detection limits, selectivity, specificity, calculations 20.00
4. pH and acid profiles in juice and wine 10.00
5. Uses and measurement of sulphur dioxide in winemaking, interactions of sulphur dioxide and other wine components 10.00
6. Oxidation and its management in grapes, juice and wine 10.00
7. Chemistry and reactivity of phenolic compounds in juice and wine, polymerisation, ageing and oxidation of wine pigment compounds 10.00
8. Chemistry of sensory components of wine 10.00
9. Wine stability: protein stability, bitartrate stability, acidification and haze management 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Hornsey, IS 2007, Chemistry and biology of winemaking, Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing, Cambridge, UK.
    (ISBN: 978-0-85404-266-1.)
  • Zoecklein, BW, Fugelsang, KC, Gump, BH & Nury, FS 1999, Wine analysis and production, Aspen Publishing, Gaithersburg.
    (ISBN 0 412 98921 2.)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Boulton, RB, Singleton, VL, Bisson, LF & Kunkee, RW 1999, Principles and practices of winemaking, Aspen Publishing, Gaithersburg.
    (ISBN: 0 8342 1270 6.)
  • Clarke, RJ & Bakker, J 2004, Wine: flavour chemistry, Wiley-Blackwell.
    (ISBN: 978-1-4051-0530-9.)
  • Halliday, J & Johnson, H 2006, The art and science of wine, Winetitles, Adelaide.
    (ISBN 1740664590.)
  • Iland, P, Bruer, N, Edwards, G, Weeks, S & Wilkes, E 2004, Chemical analysis of grapes and wine: techniques and concepts, Patrick Iland Wine Promotions Pty Ltd, Adelaide.
  • Margalit, Y 2004, Concepts in wine chemistry, 2nd edn, Wine Appreciation Guild.
    (ISBN-10: 1891267744, ISBN-13: 978-1891267741.)
  • Peynaud, E 1985, Knowing and making wine, Wiley, New York.
  • Rankine, BC 2004, Making good wine: a manual of winemaking practice for Australia and New Zealand, MacMillan, Sydney.
  • Ribereau-Gayon, P, Dubourdieu, D, Doneche, B & Lonvaud, A 2006, Handbook of Enology - volume 1: the microbiology of wine and vinifications, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey.
    (ISBN 0470010347.)
  • Ribereau-Gayon, P, Glories, Y, Maujean, A & Dubourdieu, D 2006, Handbook of Enology - volume 2: stabilization and treatments, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey.
    (ISBN 047090371.)

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 83.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 20 20 17 Jul 2012 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 20 20 17 Jul 2012 (see note 2)
2 HOUR RESTRICTED EXAMINATION 60 60 End S2 (see note 3)

  1. Examiner will advise due dates of Assignments 1 and 2.
  2. Examiner will advise due dates of Assignments 1 and 2.
  3. The date of the exam will be during the examination period and will become available during the semester. Please check the exam timetable once published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course).

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials and translation dictionary. Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested by the Examiner, students will be required to provide a copy of the assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being received. The examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  2. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.