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17 Oct 2023
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The Bureau of Meteorology has declared an El Niño weather event. Spring is when influences start to emerge, so it’s time to prepare to respond.

Understand what to expect

Around 24 El Niño weather events have occurred in the past 100 years. From this experience, we know that spring is when we start to see major influences. In most wine regions in eastern and southern Australia, El Niño brings a higher chance of frost, higher day temperatures and lower night temperature as well as lower rainfall. Take a look at the Bureau’s outlook tools to understand what is to be expected in your region. The Bureau and CSIRO’s tool My Climate View is also helpful for looking at long term climate trends.

Use water efficiently

Water is a valuable and limited resource. The design, installation and maintenance of irrigation systems has a significant influence on water use efficiency. Regular maintenance is required to prevent problems and improve the operation and longevity of any irrigation system. Resources from the AWRI can step you through how to best monitor and maintain your drip irrigation systems

And if you’re looking at technology to help manage water, take a look at episodes 2 and 3 of Reading Between the Vines to hear about some of the technology available.

Review how to manage vines in a heatwave

Extreme heat can impact grapevines in varying ways depending on the timing of the heat event relative to where the grapevine is in its developmental stage. More information on managing vines in heatwaves and on grapevine sunscreen for later in the growing season is available on our website.

Prepare for fire

Bushfires are a possibility in any wine region around Australia. Planning before the fire season commences is critical to ensure that you are prepared for the actions that you may need to take to save lives, minimise the impact on your business and recover sooner. We have compiled a range of resources on our website to assist in preparing for fire, vineyard recovery following fire, and assessing and managing smoke impacts.

Seeking some advice?

Funded by Wine Australia, the AWRI Helpdesk provides a free-of-charge advice service to Australia’s grapegrowers and winemakers. Advice is available on winemaking, viticulture and regulatory issues and an investigative service is on offer for problems that cannot be resolved by advice over the phone or by email. Email

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.