The Interwinery Analysis Group was founded in the Barossa Valley in 1983. Prior to this, informal comparison of results was made by a few laboratories in the area, beginning in about 1966. The Group commenced with approximately six members, among them Orlando, Seppelts, Penfolds, Saltram and Tollana. Incorporated in December 1992, the group now includes over 200 members from every winemaking region in Australia plus wineries and laboratories from New Zealand, South Africa, the United States and France, making it the largest proficiency testing organisation of its type in the world.
- To establish a high level of proficiency in the field of wine analysis, by regular comparative analysis and evaluation of the results obtained.
- To encourage investigation and research in all aspects of analytical methods, relevant to wine and wine related products.
- To develop for members of the Group the advantage of co-operation and unity of action.
- To hold meetings and encourage the acquisition and dissemination of useful information relating to wine and wine related products.
- Providing the wine industry with the best possible proficiency testing program remains the major focus of the Interwinery Analysis Group.
Every year, 12 samples labelled A and B are distributed to each member laboratory. Each sample is analysed for up to 17 common wine components as per the sample schedule sent out with the samples. The results are submitted via the website to the Group's Statistics Secretary, who tabulates and graphs the results using Youden Graphical diagnosis and each member receives a report of overall performance. Analysis outliers are easily distinguishable, so any necessary corrective action can be taken by the individual laboratory. Extra proficiency testing samples are available to all member laboratories if required. All results are reported in a manner which ensures anonymity and confidentiality. Occasionally non-routine analysis is performed by members of the group with the appropriate resources. This is often at the request of a member who is experiencing difficulties with some aspects of the analysis.
The Group currently holds two meetings a year. The first one in July or August is in the form of a full day seminar with several guest speakers providing presentations on a wide variety of relevant topics. The second meeting in November or December is a mini-seminar with a greater focus on the proficiency testing results from throughout the year. It also provides an open forum for discussion of related issues. This format for meetings has been widely welcomed by the members as shown by the excellent attendances at our recent meetings. These meetings also encourage members to interact on a social level.
The committee continues to meet on a regular basis throughout the year to organise the main meetings, address membership applications and to carry out the other ongoing business of the group.