Vinehealth’s Vineyard Register proved invaluable in April to inform decision making about proposed burns in the Mount Lofty Ranges zone.

Adelaide Hills Wine association was concerned there were substantial vineyard holdings yet to be harvested near the proposed burn sites, which posed a risk of smoke taint.

Armed with proposed burn schedules from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR), Vinehealth Australia contacted all growers within a 5km radius of each of the proposed burn sites on three separate occasions in April, to identify which vines were awaiting harvest. This information was then fed back to Adelaide Hills Wine and to DEWNR to assist their planning.

“We know this is an issue affecting many other regions across SA and Australia,” Vinehealth CEO Inca Pearce said.

“We are aware that regional and state associations are involved in discussions with DEWNR, PIRSA and local councils regarding proposed burns on public land and burns on private land – either agricultural or domestic.

“The situation has been heightened this year due to delayed ripening of grapes in many regions. Post vintage a coordinated approach to addressing this issue by regional and state wine associations is needed to ensure improved communications to growers and DEWNR. Vinehealth will assist as required to facilitate this process.”

Inca said activities such as this highlighted the importance of maintaining accurate vineyard records and contact details for every grower in South Australia. “Please remember to inform us if your contact details have changed,” she said.