Photo: Wine Australia

Vive la difference – Tasmania’s cool challenge

RD&E News | June 2019
Photo: Wine Australia
07 Jun 2019
Previous  News

Embracing the cool climate differences in Tasmania – and the unique challenges they present for grapegrowers – has been the focus of recent activities for Tasmania’s regional program, funded by Wine Australia.

Wine Tasmania’s annual Field Day, aptly themed Meeting the Coolest Challenge, covered a range of cool climate challenges – from getting vine balance right, to choosing the most suitable grape varieties.

Presentations included:

  • Dr Tom Remenyi from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre discussed Tasmania’s viticulture climate future
  • Dr Peter Dry from the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) presented on alternative grape varieties suitable for Tasmanian vineyards
  • Dr Everard Edwards from CSIRO outlined what a ‘balanced’ vine looks like in a cool climate setting
  • winemaker Nat Fryar from Bellebonne presented findings from her Don Martin Fellowship study trip to Europe, an initiative of the Alcorso Foundation supported by Wine Tasmania
  • the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture shared findings from its recent yield variability project
  • Land Services Tasmania presented its LISTMap mapping resources, and
  • the Tasmanian Bureau of Meteorology gave a climate and seasonal update.

Dr Catherine Wanjiru Clarke, an entomologist and research scientist from Agriculture Victoria, also shared the latest news and research on phylloxera.

‘This was a really interesting and well-received presentation. As the Yarra Valley is only a short hop from Tasmania, Dr Wanjiru Clarke’s findings highlighted the need for tighter on-farm protocols, along with robust biosecurity measures’, said Paul Smart, Technical and Extension Officer for Wine Tasmania.

Image: Ewen Bell / Wine Australia

Wine Tasmania’s VinØ best practice management program

Fifty percent of Tasmania’s vineyard area is now managed under Wine Tasmania’s VinØ best practice management system, so there is a real drive for growers to continue to improve their businesses.

A team from VinØ presented findings from their 2017–18 VinØ report to delegates at the Wine Tasmania Field Day.

Matt Pooley from Pooley Wines provided a local case study, while Rebecca Lynd outlined the sustainable practices that have been introduced on the Big River Beef farming operation.

Image: Ewen Bell / Wine Australia

Winemaker’s Symposium 2018

The inaugural Winemakers Symposium 2018 Regionality, first and foremost was an opportunity for Tasmania’s growing number of winemakers to get together and discuss issues that are relevant to cool climate winemaking.

Researchers from the AWRI presented on a variety of winemaking themes; Dr Anthony Borneman presented on wild fermentation and regionality, while Dr Peter Costello discussed malolactic fermentation and Dr Leigh Francis talked about white wine volatile compounds. Sue Bell of Bellwether Wines was the guest winemaker and led a discussion on regionality.

The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture provided three presentations from Dr Fiona Kerslake (novel sparkling winemaking); Dr Rocco Longo (juice sensing project and Pinot provenance project) and Hugh McCullough (phenolic regionality of juice for sparkling wine). There were also tastings of trials from local winemakers, a regional tasting and a panel discussion.

Image: Ewen Bell / Wine Australia

Cut, cut, cut

A winter pruning workshop – Cut, cut, cut – has been scheduled for Wine Australia’s regional program in Tasmania on 24 and 26 June.

The workshop will include a soft pruning presentation and demonstration by Simonit & Sirch (including chain sawing old vines in half), along with pruning theories and techniques from the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture.

‘Each of these activities has been identified through Wine Tasmania’s strategic planning to assist the island’s wine producers, including learnings from Tasmania’s best management practice program, VinØ. We appreciate the support of Wine Australia through this Regional Program,’ said Paul.


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