A Barossa Valley wine company is working with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) to trial if the left over seeds, skins and stems can help abalone grow.
Tarac Technologies produces 130,000 tonnes of solid wine waste a year and already uses its waste for products such as feed for cattle, sheep and pigs.
Tarac CEO Jeremy Blanks said early results showed abalone biomass boosted by 6 per cent, with a nearly 3 per cent increase in shell growth rates.
He said researchers were focussing on two main areas.
"One is growth and the other is a fortifier of sorts against heat stress," he said.
Tarac Technologies CEO Jeremy Blanks talks about testing if wine waste can be used for abalone feed ( ABC News )
"So that is where the antioxidants are important, but we are also looking at whether the grape marc can actually be a more cost effective input into the feed rations as well."
The wine waste is screened, dried and milled into a fine powder-like substance, which is then blended in with other products to feed the abalone.
Mr Blanks said there was also the option to look at other aquaculture avenues.
"We think that there is also a possibility it could be used with some fish varieties as well," he said.
"From the research SARDI has done, they think that if it is successful with abalone it may be a good indicator with some varieties of finfish into aquaculture."
The company will look at two markets following the trials, here in Australia and then further into the export market.
The trials will now move from the laboratory to an abalone farm later this year.
"We will now go to small scale on farm trials running through the summer period until May," Mr Blanks said.
"Subject to those results we will look at whether we take it to a larger scale farm trial."