Canberra District Wine – Vintage 2020
The Canberra District Wine Industry Association (CDWIA) members thoughts go out to our New South Wales and Victorian neighbours over this tumultuous Christmas and New Year period. Some people have died; others have lost loved ones, their homes, their pets, stock and their livelihoods. As a result of these catastrophic bushfires our wildlife and ecosystems have been dramatically affected and we may not know the consequences of these events for years to come.
The impacts for some individuals in these grape and wine regions are severe and our hearts go out to those who have lost vineyards, the lifeblood of their wineries, as well as plant and equipment. We in the Canberra District are coming to terms with these losses and how the bushfires will affect us in 2020. The flow on effects from these events are far reaching and as a farming community we will feel it keenly. We are all reaching out to help where we can.
The message we want to convey is that we have good years and bad years and although NSW has been, and remains in, long term drought, we are a resilient bunch. Whatever 2020 brings we remain positive and productive as a premium wine producing District.
On a winery and vineyard level, workshops addressing smoke exposure are being held by The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) in regions, including ours, to let growers and winemakers know what the best practice is to determine the level of smoke taint, if any, in our vineyards. The Canberra District is working with the AWRI and NSW Wine on a coordinated effort to have our grapes tested a few weeks before harvest to measure the smoke taint levels. The overarching thought is that in most areas with smoke-exposed fruit, it is still too early in the season to tell if the wine will be affected at all.
Even though smoke haze looks and smells bad, the greater risk to vineyards comes from fresh smoke from a nearby fire, and as we have been recently advised by the RFS and ACT Government, Canberra is not at high risk for bushfire activity as it stands. With the help of the recent storms that raged across Canberra this week, the smoke haze was pushed away, we received a little rain and while the constant reminder of the fires is no longer prevalent, our farmers and grape producers will remain vigilant throughout the upcoming harvest period.
John Leyshon, CDWIA President, says
“At this stage we don’t believe that smoke taint will pose a problem for us in the Canberra District. However, we are taking every precaution. CDWIA, NSW Wine and the NSW DPI are coordinating to deliver grape samples from the District to the AWRI in Adelaide, who are world leaders into smoke taint research, for thorough testing. The first batch of grape samples will leave Canberra on Tuesday morning (28 January) and subsequent samples will be dispatched at regular intervals until we obtain a reliable analysis from across the Region.”
Where to from here?
We want you to Holiday Here, Canberra! Stay put for your holidays this year and experience Canberra as a tourist. Visit Canberra have a number of tips on how to book your best Staycation ever, and it’s all about supporting local businesses this year. Take full advantage of the Canberra Wines interactive Trip Planner to make “sticking around” as easy and fun as possible.
From a regional community perspective, building our smaller regional centres, such as Tumbarumba, back up is vital in keeping the Australian Wine industry going and in return it keeps our thriving Canberra Wine district alive too. To help our friends, plan a weekend car trip, do some online shopping, or a visit to the local café, restaurant or bars, it’s shop, shop, SHOP! To help out our neighbouring wine regions, check out some of the great campaigns storming the social media scene at the moment, they really are important to take part in – @EmptyEsky @spendwiththem @staywiththem
Our most important message to the wine consuming community is that WE’RE OPEN! And we want to see you all. We want the community to visit our cellar doors, buy our wines and have faith that the Canberra District Wine Industry will continue to make and sell produce of the highest quality; we’ll continue to bring you experiences of the highest calibre; we’ll continue to combine wine, food and entertainment that will ensure we keep our “Hottest Cool Climate” title throughout the Australian wine scene.
So, in short, we want you to #HolidayHereCbr