Regional engagement – the AWRI Victorian node
This project delivers high quality extension and practice change services to the wine-grape growers and wineries in Victoria through a partnership between Wine Victoria (WV), Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW), Wine Australia, Australian Grape & Wine (AGW) and the AWRI. The project activities are overseen by a Victorian Winegrowers Liaison Committee, which agrees on an annual workplan of activities under Agriculture Victoria funding and Wine Australia Regional Program funding.
Key extension activities in 2019/2020 included the ongoing evaluation of a rootstock demonstration trial in the Mornington Peninsula in collaboration with the University of Melbourne; soft pruning workshops with Simonet and Sirch; a Chardonnay Symposium; planned burn coordination meetings with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; tastings of wines from the AWRI’s Chardonnay winemaking trial; and Q&A sessions on smoke taint. The AWRI continued to provide support for a business plan in collaboration with Wine Victoria, seeking funding between 2021 and 2025 for four key priorities: climate change; premiumisation and productivity; biosecurity; and smoke taint.
Smoke taint support
During the 2020 vintage bushfires, close coordination with Agriculture Victoria and Wine Victoria supported a shuttle service to deliver samples requiring smoke taint analysis to the relevant analytical laboratories. In addition, assistance was provided for the development of a state government support package for members of the Victorian wine industry affected by bushfires and smoke taint.