Anita Oberholster, Ph. D.
Associate Specialist in Cooperative Extension in Enology
Viticulture and Enology
PhD from Adelaide University in Australia
Dr. Anita Oberholster joined the department April 2011 as a new Cooperative Extension Specialist in Enology. During her PhD studies she was involved in the development of the mouth-feel wheel for red wine and investigated the changes in polymeric pigment structure and composition with wine aging. Dr. Oberholster's research focuses on two main parts: firstly, the influence of both viticulture practices and environmental factors on grape ripening and composition and related wine quality. The emphasis is specifically on tannin and carotenoid biosynthesize. Both are important contributors to grape and wine quality; tannins contribute to mouth-feel (astringency) and bitterness, whereas carotenoids are the precursors to norisoprenoids which are important volatile compounds with a low olfactory threshold. The second core research focus is investigations to determine the influence of different vinification practices on wine composition and quality. This includes studies to determine the influences of different cap management techniques and the impact of oxygen (macro- and micro-oxygenation) and wood (barrel aging and oak alternatives) on wine aging and quality. Sustainability in both focus areas are important and alternative practices to enhance sustainability is investigated, including the use of new technologies and 'green' chemicals' in the winery and the re-use of winery waste water for the irrigation of vines.