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Wednesday 13 April 2022

An important message from winemakers in Tasmania

Tasmanian wine producers have issued a plea to neighbouring farmers and forestry operators: Please don't ruin our vintage.

With the 2022 Tasmanian wine grape harvest well underway, Wine Tasmania has issued an urgent reminder of the potential devastating impact smoke can have on vineyards.

Vineyards are particularly susceptible to smoke exposure, which can cause irreparable damage to grapes and destroy the livelihood of the island’s wine producers.

Wine Tasmania CEO Sheralee Davies said that wine grape growers have worked tirelessly over the past year to manage their vineyards up to harvest time. Consequently, the remaining harvest period through to the end of May is crucial.

“It has been a challenging and varied season, commencing with unseasonably cooler weather in spring, which is causing a delayed harvest," Davies told a press conference at Pooley Wines (top). 

"Pleasingly, early reports of wine quality are positive, with overall wine volumes likely to be on par with the long-term average.

“One of the greatest concerns for wine producers at this time of the year is the potential impact of smoke from nearby fires. We encourage anyone planning to light a fire on their property in the weeks ahead to consult with nearby vineyards before igniting their burn to ensure they don't inadvertently cause major damage.

“Smoke can travel some distance from a fire and still cause damage to vineyards, and a short postponement of a fire may be all that is needed to prevent irreparable damage to this year's vintage.”

Land holders can get in touch directly with nearby vineyards to discuss proposed timing, the vineyard’s progress on harvesting and potential risks. They can also contact Wine Tasmania on (03) 6223 3770 for further information.

“The Tasmanian wine sector is building the island’s global reputation for its wines and encouraging visitation to its regional cellar doors," Davies says. 

"There is strong demand for our sparkling wines, pinot noir, chardonnay and more, and the 2022 vintage looks like being another great one!”

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