A MILDURA grape and wine researcher has been awarded a Victoria fellowship allowing her to travel overseas and take her research to the next level.
Dr Rachel Kilmister (pictured right) was awarded the fellowship at the State Library of Victoria and will use the $18,000 prize to work alongside other internationally recognised tannin researchers in the US.
For more than eight years Dr Kilmister has been researching and experimenting with grapes to discover ways to make better wines. She began experimenting with tannins, the compound found in grape skin, four years ago.
"I really enjoy doing something diverse and doing something new," Dr Kilmister said.
She said the wine industry contributed $1.6 billion to Victoria's economy and could be expanded if the ways tannins affect the colour and texture of wine were better understood.
"We are looking into how regional influences and environmental factors affect the wine-making process," she said.
During the four-week international research trip, Dr Kilmister will be based at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Centre in the US to delve into the effect of grape tannins in the hope of discovering ways to make better wine.
"It's really exciting because we have such a good relationship with the collaborators in the US," she said.
"I hope I can keep doing work with tannins - there's so much to learn that we don't understand."