Wine Testing

Wine Testing

Hill Labs offers you a suite of testing for every stage in wine production. We specialise in wine export analysis and have a number of other related analyses to meet all major winery testing needs.

Grape Leaf Roll Virus Testing

Grapevine leaf roll-associated virus 2 and 3 are destructive viruses that can spread rapidly through vineyards by insect vectors, mealy bugs. The virus shortens the commercial lifespan of infected vines by causing deterioration in fruit quality and vine performance, particularly in red wine grapes.

The New Zealand Winegrowers Grafted Grapevine Standard requires participating nurseries to test their source material for Grapevine Leafroll-associated virus 3 (GLRaV-3) and only material that is free of the virus may be grafted and certified under the scheme Hill Labs offers both 2 and 3 grape leaf roll virus testing. Both virus are detected using an Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA) method.

Plant Testing

Plant analysis is a valuable diagnostic and monitoring tool that should be used to complement soil analysis. A soil test shows what soil nutrients are available to the crop, while a plant test shows what nutrients the crop has actually taken up. In this way, plant tests provide a more reliable assessment of crop nutrient status. In the case of grapes, leaf/petiole tests at flowering provide a ‘snapshot’ of leaf nutrient levels and nutrient translocation at flowering. However, leaf and/or petiole testing at flowering cannot be used to predict the adequacy of nutrient supply during the fruit ripening period, where moisture stress is likely. In this instance, leaf blade testing at veraison is used to indicate vine nutrient status in the lead up to grape berry ripening.

Export Wine Testing

Hill Labs offers an extensive array of wine export testing options. Our wine export testing is covered by IANZ accreditation and we work closely with the Ministry for Primary Industries to ensure that we have the latest test requirements. 

Winery Water Testing

If you make or package wine (grape wine, fruit or vegetable wine, cider and mead) for trade or export, then you need to ensure the water used is of "suitable quality", i.e. that it complies with the Wine Act 2003. The two criteria that should be tested for “clean water” are;

  • E. coli - MPI Limit <1 in 100mL sample. May be found in shallow bore water, or if water supply is not secure.
  • Turbidity - MPI Limit <5 NTU. High turbidity means that particles are present in the water. The particles may be indicative of dissolved species precipitating out of solution (e.g. oxidised iron), or high organic particulates.

Note that own-supply water (water supplied by the winemaker such as tank water, bore water, river water) must be tested every year to determine whether it meets the criteria for clean water. Water obtained from town supply, or from a third party who meets requirements of the Health Act 1956, is considered to be ‘clean water’ and does not need to be tested. 

Soil Testing

Soil tests measure only a fraction of the total pool of nutrients available to plants (immediate and long term) so it is important that standard New Zealand methods of sampling and soil analysis are used so the results are meaningful and can be related to plant growth under New Zealand conditions.

Juice Testing

The Basic Juice Panel includes tests conducted using chemistry methods but it does not detect microorganisms. This panel includes; Brix, pH, titratable acidity, yeast assimilable nitrogen and malic acid.

Helpful links

Our team of testing experts has meticulously crafted these documents to offer recommendations tailored to your testing requirements.

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As a New Zealand accredited laboratory by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ), Hill Labs' commitment to quality is tantamount to our overall operating philosophy. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work.