Grape fears for northeast Vic wineries

2020-02-19 03:49:50    阅读:793860

For Mark Holm, there is too much at stake not to remain at his familys winery despite the looming threat of bushfires spreading into their northeast Victorian town. The winemaker is ready to defend Ringer Reef in Porepunkah,

and join his parents Bruce and Annie in protecting their home

behind its vineyard, if embers from nearby fires make their way to the property. As wind picked up

on Friday afternoon, and a plume of smoke from a blaze near Abbeyard reared its head over the Mount Buffalo National Parks ranges, it seemed possible they might. But good fortune meant the gusts didnt blow their way, with some rain helping to quash the chances of embers causing issues. The family has filled their big wine tanks with bore water and a pest-spraying machine has been repurposed as a water-sprayer to assist in any defence. "Weve got quite a lot set up in case of a fire. Petrol pumps, diesel pumps, you name it," Mark Holm told AAP. Whether or not the threat of flames materialises at the to

wn near Bright, this years bushfir

e season has already taken a toll on the family business and other wineries in the region. Ringer Reef was earning $5000 a day at their cellar door in late December, but nobody is coming in now as tourists and many locals have heeded warnings to evacuate the area. Smoke which has blown over from Victorian bushfires in the past f

ortnight may also have rendered many of the 40 tonnes worth of grapes currently on their vines unusable. Its not the first time smoke has tainted Ringer Reefs grapes - predominantly the only ones they use - with fires in 2003 and 2006/07 ushering in a similar fate. "The first time I thought itll be right, well fix it, well work something out. 12 moths later we just poured the whole lot down the drain," Bruce Holm said. "Its pretty devastating." Grapes become more susceptible to smoke taint the closer they are to being harvested, with Ringer Reef typically harvesting about February 6. But theres no guarantee smoke will clear as that date draws closer either. Owner of the Eagle Range Estate winery in nearby Ovens, Frank Ivone, has little faith that any grapes in the region will be usable this year. "I can absolutely guarantee to my last dollar, theres a lot of smoke taint around. The grapes are hammered around this district - there wont 属马的6合3合 be a vintage," he told AAP. He also plans to stay with his property if th

eres

a risk of fires nearing it and is keeping his likely tainted fruit in perspective. "Its not lives

or assets, its just grapes. Theres a lot of people much, much, much worse off than we could ever be." Brown Brothers - one of the bigger producers in the region, which draws on 15,000 tonnes worth of grapes from across Victoria - isnt discounting any grapes yet. "The vines are still early in their development phase, so theyre in a low risk phase of taint at the moment," their chief winemaker Joel Tilbrook told AAP. "Its just far too early to be making calls as to whether there is going to be issues." The Australian Wine Research Institute and an agricultural body will be hosting an industry meeting at the Milawa winery next week to share the latest information on dealing with the impacts of bushfires on their vineyards and assessing smoke taint. Australian Associate

d Press

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