Smoke and Heat Impacts
Grapevines exposed to heavy, persistent smoke can be at risk of producing a wine that suffers from smoke taint. A few identified molecules present in smoke have been shown to enter the grapevine primarily through the skin of the grape berry. These molecules are bound to the sugars and are released gradually during fermentation and maturation.
Once released, these molecules impart unpleasant flavours to the wine, resulting in it being unpalatable. As there is little that can be done once the fruit is contaminated it is vital that grapegrowers and landscape fire users (Forestry, Parks and Wildlife, landholders) work together to minimise the risk fire and smoke pose to winegrapes.
The TasVine map will assist landscape fire users in reducing potential negative impacts of fire and smoke on their neighbouring vineyards. The map provides information on where vineyards are located, and contact details of Wine Tasmania members are provided.
More information on TasVine can be found here: http://winetasmania.com.au/tasvine
Tasmanian Fire Service Updates
Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) plans to provide information periodically during periods of busy bushfire activity by emailing Wine Tasmania, when relevant, an abridged version of the State Fire Operations Brief. The Brief is prepared following regular meetings of TFS and stakeholder agencies to coordinate a state-wide response to the bushfires. The briefs will be posted on the Wine Tasmania website.
Additional information about individual fires and community alerts and warnings is available on the TFS website at www.fire.tas.gov.au
The four red tabs in the top left-hand corner of the TFS home page are likely to be of most interest. They detail where fires are burning and what public advice has been issued (clicking on the incident ‘diamonds’ provides more detailed information), plus details about fire permits and total fire bans, and the fire danger rating forecasts for the short term.
Pests & Diseases
There are a number of pests and diseases that impact Tasmanian vineyards. Click here for further information and resources on managing botrytis, downy mildew, phylloxera and European wasps. Information and downloads are also available on Integrated Disease Management for Winegrapes in Tasmania, Integrated Pest Management and Post Harvest Pest and Disease Management by clicking here.
In April 2008, Forestry Tasmania and Wine Tasmania agreed on a notification process to ensure open dialogue between the two industries when the grape picking and burning seasons coincide.
Wine Tasmania has agreed to nominate representative growers in nine wine growing areas.
Forestry Tasmania Community Liaison Officers will include the nominated Wine Tasmania representatives in burn notification groups, so that they are informed of burns in the vicinity of vineyards. Community Liaison Officers to be first point of contact for growers.
The nominated Wine Tasmania representatives will pass on information to other growers in their region.
As part of the agreement Wine Tasmania does not have a veto over planned burns, but Forestry Tasmania will take into account grower concerns when deciding burn priorities. This process opens up an important level of communication that has not previously been in existence.
A similar agreement has also been set up with Parks & Wildlife.
View the MOU between Wine Industry & Forestry Tasmania here
Biosecurity is of vital importance to the Tasmanian wine sector. The introduction of exotic pests and/or diseases, or agrochemical resistant genotypes of currently present pests and diseases would pose a serious threat to the sustainability of our sector. Register your vineyard with the DPIPWE Biosecurity Database. You will receive a Property Identification Code (PIC) which will assist with statewide biosecurity measures and response to biosecurity incursions.
Estimating yield can be a tricky business, and comparing results between vintages requires uniform data. A yield estimate calculator is available here. If you require any assistance with it or have any questions about yield estimation or yield stability please contact Paul Smart by email or on 03 6223 3770.
Fact Sheet - Soil Management - a Guide for Farmers (DPIPWE)
Fact Sheet - Soil Compaction (soilquality.org.au)