Australian Vignerons welcomes the announcement of a grower survey from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) into business practices within the wine grape industry.
The ACCC survey comes following reports from growers about delayed harvesting in 2018. This is just one issue growers face, with the ACCC survey looking to learn about a whole range of issues in the industry.
Over many years, Australian Vignerons has maintained a active voice to the ACCC to build a strong working relationship. As an organisation, AV has long campaigned on the behalf of growers to ensure they are receiving a fair go.
Australian Vignerons CEO, Anna Hooper says 'The announcement of the survey for growers to have their say about the industry is a fantastic step forward. The ability for growers to share their concerns directly with the ACCC is something none of us should take for granted. I encourage everyone to get online and fill out the survey as soon as possible.'
Growers have until August 10 to complete the survey which is available on the ACCC website.
For the past 18 months a national steering committee, comprised of representatives from the AWRI, Australian Vignerons, McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association, Wine Australia and the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, has been working to improve the way sustainability programs are delivered to the Australian grape and wine sector.
In August last year, the steering committee commissioned an independent, holistic independent review of the current global sustainability landscape.
The review sought to understand:
The review included 65 interviews with a diverse selection of industry personnel – both in Australia and overseas – including independent growers, regional associations, international buying managers (trade customers), national bodies and marketing and finance executives. The final report is highly detailed and includes 31 recommendations for future research, development, member engagement and marketing.
In brief, the report recommends that:
The report recommendations have been included in a business plan which is expected to be implemented in the next 12 months.
To read more about sustainability in the grape and wine industry, check out the latest Entwine newsletter by clicking the button below.
Text source: Entwine Australia June Newsletter
Throughout May Australian Vignerons was a part of the Wine Grape Council of South Australia's grower roadshows. The roadshows brought together the main organisations for wine grape growers to one location in each of the six main wine grape growing regions of South Australia.
The roadshows were an opportunity for growers to learn from the organisations here to help them. However, the highlight for Australian Vignerons was the chance to meet growers face to face, listen to their concerns and take a list of priorities back to Adelaide to work on.
Our presentation to growers
The key message of the Australian Vignerons (AV) presentation was highlighting the importance of representation at a national level. In a nutshell, AV exists to represent growers on national issues determined by the Federal Government. AV is recognised under the Wine Australia Act as the representative organisation for winegrape growers.
Why is a national voice needed?
A strong national voice is insurance against poor policy that may have a negative impact on your businesses and livelihood.
An example of where the absence of national advocacy had a catastrophic effect on an industry is the 2011 live cattle export shutdown. Exports of cattle dropped 42% in one year, farmers were hit hard and many associated businesses suffered. A Senate report has since found that the cattle industry was unable to provide effective advocacy and that this contributed to the low level of understanding within the government which led to the industry shut down.
AV exists to prevent a similar event happening in the wine industry. We're here to represent the voice of growers independently but to also combine forces with Winemakers' Federation of Australia on areas of common interest.
What did growers have to say?
The main feedback we had from growers on national issues was concerns about delayed harvesting as a result of legislation changes (more on that later), the threat of anti-alcohol lobby groups and greater clarity on the roles of each grower organisation.
What are we working on?
Grower feedback has given us a great list of priorities to work on alongside our usual day to day activities.
How can you get involved?
Your feedback and thoughts are what we use to determine the way forward. Our volunteer independent board is made up of industry experts here to help growers. Please don't hesitate to get in touch and have your say.
Australian Vignerons (AV) is concerned about reports of yield reductions in vineyards as a result of delayed scheduling of harvest by purchasing wineries.
While Vintage 18 was certainly a year where flavour development lagged behind Baume increases in many regions, 2018 has also coincided with a change to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code that allows the addition of water. This regulation states:
“Water may only be added to wine, sparkling wine and fortified wine to facilitate fermentation if the water is added to dilute the high sugar grape must prior to fermentation and does not dilute the must below 13.5 degrees Baumé.”
Philip White has written an interesting piece about the potential benefits to wine quality and balance when water additions are made for achieving balance or as a consequence of heatwaves, therefore correcting problems that challenge winemaking practice.
However, AV has heard some concerns from growers who believe that during the last vintage that in some cases fruit was left to “hang” longer than should have been necessary. The cause of their concern is that with extended “hang time” the resulting desiccation can lead to substantial yield loss.
As Philip White has suggested, there are some with concerns that the new regulation relating to water addition may allow some winemakers to leave fruit hanging without them suffering a penalty of fermentation problems of extraction losses, but growers may suffer significant yield penalty.
AV is consulting with its member base to ask growers if they believe this was a problem during the recent vintage. We encourage any member with concerns to contact us and we are looking into whether we can assist.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on (08) 8133 4400.
As vintage 2018 wraps up around the country we thought we'd review what happened and how things are shaping up for winemaking this year.
By all accounts, growing conditions across most of the country have been favourable in terms of ripening, and disease pressure has been low. In other words, it’s been dry!
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the January to April period was the seventh-driest on record for southeastern Australia and total rainfall for Southern Australia was the third lowest on record for April with exceptionally warm weather exacerbating these effects.
The Wine Grape Council of South Australia said that the warm, dry weather had helped produce exceptional grapes with intense colours and flavours, across all regions.
Careful management has been the key for growers in all regions of SA. Frosts on the Limestone Coast in early November caused some yield losses however fortunately due to timing, fruit quality and evenness was not impacted. Low rainfall across the state has required careful attention from all growers about irrigation scheduling.
The state as a whole seems to have produced great quality grapes with limited disease and great ripening. It's definitely a year to invest in some South Australian wine.
2018 was one of the most compressed vintage on record in Tasmania. Yields were generally at or above average. Early indications are that the quality of all whites are genuinely outstanding with Riesling and Chardonnay being particular highlights.
The Hunter Valley kicked off the 2018 Vintage in Australia with picking starting in the first weeks of January, earlier than previous years. Like most regions in Australia, NSW had a dry growing period which has resulted in high-quality grapes. The stand out performers for the region are Chardonnay, Verdelho, Semillion and Shiraz.
Across all of Western Australia 2018 was an exceptional vintage. Sufficient rainfall during spring and early summer was followed by an extended period of sunny, yet seasonally cooler weather through February, March and April. As a result, optimum ripening conditions occurred in unison with very low disease pressures.
In Victoria, quality was excellent and tonnages about average. Rain in December caused some yield losses in parts of the state due to downy mildew. This raised some concerns about fungicide resistance and the need to advocate for alternative control measures. While vintage looked like being early, fruit ripening slowed towards the end with harvest extending out until mid to late April.
Management of Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus falls on growers and industry as more cases found in Australia
Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus (GPGV) is a virus recently detected in grapevines in Australia. The vigilance and response of growers and nurseries who submitted samples for testing revealed more positive GPGV detections on unconnected properties.
GPGV is now known to be present in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales and it has been resolved that it is not technically feasible to eradicate GPGV from Australia. GPGV is no longer under official control by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) and is no longer regulated at the border.
To help growers better understand GPGV, Australian Vignerons put together a fact sheet. Click the button below to download.
Anna Hooper has stepped down from her position on the board of Australian Vignerons after being appointed Acting CEO of the organisation.
Anna has twenty years of experience in the wine industry. She has worked across all aspects of wine and grape production and has a good understanding of the issues facing growers and makers of wine at grassroots level. She believes in a whole of value chain approach where all are participants engaged and rewarded for efforts and results.
Following the completion of a degree in Agricultural Science, Anna travelled and worked extensively in wineries overseas, including Georgia, France, and South Africa before settling in Limestone Coast to work as General Manager and Head Winemaker at Cape Jaffa Wines.
Anna now also holds a Masters in Agribusiness from the University of Melbourne. As a committed environmentalist, she has presented at sustainability and environment conferences for the wine industry both in Australia and overseas.
As part of her extensive board experience, Anna has served on the South East Natural Resource Management Board and theVinehealth Australia Board. She spent 7 years as president of the Mount Benson Vignerons Association. She currently sits on the South East Water Conservation and Drainage Board as well as the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Industry Council. She was admitted to the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2013 and is a recipient of the S.A. Rural Women’s’ Award in 2013.
To get to know Anna more, you can read this interview we did with her as a board member of Australian Vignerons.
Australian Vignerons is travelling across South Australia as a part of the Wine Grape Council of South Australia’s 2018 Roadshows. The message to growers is that a national voice for Australian wine grape growers is more important than ever.
Delivering the message of national advocacy is Anna Hooper, Acting CEO of Australian Vignerons. Anna takes the reins from Andrew Weeks who recently left to pursue other interests in the wine industry. Anna has over 20 years of experience working in the wine industry. She has worked across all aspects of wine and grape production and has a practical understanding of the issues facing growers and makers of wine.
One of the key goals for Australian Vignerons at the South Australian roadshows is to make growers aware of the support and promotion provided to Australia’s wine grape growers by Australian Vignerons. Anna says, ‘Growers need to understand that their voice on biosecurity, research and other critical issues is essential. The recent national surveillance for Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus is just one example of how an industry voice ensured that post entry quarantine restrictions were not lifted prematurely’. Anna also says ‘Another one of our roles is to advocate on behalf of growers and act as an insurance policy against negative political decisions at a federal level. Without Australian Vignerons, growers don’t have a seat at the table.’
The wide scope of responsibilities of Australian Vignerons is also on display at the roadshows. Australian Vignerons is the signatory to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) for the national wine sector. This means that if there is an incursion, growers have a voice speaking on their behalf. ‘Biosecurity is always a looming threat for wine grape growers,’ Anna explains ‘having a national body who is across all biosecurity issues from state to state is vital for the industry.’ Anna will also talk about Australian Vignerons’ role in selecting the Wine Australia board, progress on the national sustainability program and the dramatic consequences of legislative changes to the draft National Alcohol Strategy.
Feedback from growers at the roadshows has been overwhelmingly positive. Anna says, ‘Our presentation at these roadshows highlights the many things Australian Vignerons does for Australian wine grape growers. It’s great to see growers becoming aware of national issues and knowing they have someone in their corner.’
Australian Vignerons is a lean operation focused wholly on helping Australian wine grape growers. The independent board of Australian Vignerons is a group of industry leaders with skills in all facets of the wine industry. Each one of these experts volunteers their time to further the Australian wine industry, with a particular focus on wine grape growers.
The Wine Grape Council of South Australia (WGCSA) Roadshows is bringing together the key industry bodies representing winegrape growers. Australian Vignerons is joined by Vinehealth Australia, WGCSA, Australian Wine Research Institute and the South Australian Wine Industry Association. Further roadshows will be held in Clare (May 10), Barossa (May 11), Adelaide Hills & Langhorne Creek (May 15) and Limestone Coast (May 17). For details, visit www.wgcsa.com.au/2018-roadshow.html
For more information about Australian Vignerons, please call Anna Hooper on 0427 685 077 or by email email@example.com
A final determination has been made by the Geographical Indications Committee in accordance with Regulation 92 of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority Regulations 1981 (AGWA Regulations) in relation to 886 foreign Geographical Indications.
A full list can be viewed here.
Subject to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act), application may be made, by on behalf of any person whose interests are affected by the determination, to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of the determination.
Unless subsection 28(4) of the AAT Act applies, application may be made in accordance with section 28 of that Act by or on behalf of that person for a statement in writing setting out the findings on material questions of fact, referring to the evidence or other material on which those findings were based and giving the reasons for the determination.
If a decision has been made under AGWA Regulation 67, AGWA Regulation 68 or AGWA Regulation 80 before the final determination:
no application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal may be made in respect of that decision; and
an appeal lies to the Federal Court in respect of that decision under Regulation 85.
For further information contact Rachel Triggs, Registrar of Geographical Indications and Other Terms at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Federal Government has released its draft National Alcohol Strategy which aims to provide a national framework to prevent and minimise alcohol-related harms among individuals, families and communities.
Growers need to be aware of the implications of legislation in this area and the impact that it could have on our industry.
Australian Vignerons supports the use of targeted, evidence-based policy measures to address medical and social problems emanating from excessive alcohol consumption. However, we are concerned that despite the good intentions of the proposals in the NAS, it is not a targeted approach to solving problems.
Most of the suggestions in the NAS are population-wide measures including minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol and excise based taxation systems for wine.
While we note that the draft NAS does not reflect Australian Government policy, we are concerned at these proposals for the following reasons:
There is great potential for widespread support through a focused and collaborative approach with the many stakeholders that have so much invested in their respective industries.
Now is the time for our voices to be heard. Let's start making some noise and protect the future of our industry.
Chief Executive Officer
0403 520 242