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Wine Victoria, the state's peak body for wine producers

Wine Victoria is the peak body representing the Victorian wine industry. We advocate on behalf of the wine industry ensuring our members remain a high priority with the Victorian Government and our national governing bodies

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Important Information for Cellar Doors

Written by  Wine Victoria Friday, 29 May 2020

We are delighted to announce that along with restaurants reopening from June 1, cellar doors will be able to provide free, seated-tastings for guests. Wine Victoria has been working closely with the State Government since the lifting of restrictions was announced by the Victorian Premier the Hon Daniel Andrews, and we are delighted by today’s announcement from the Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, the Hon Jacyln Symes that will support the State’s struggling wine businesses.

 To enable social distancing rules to be enforced, wineries will need to adapt cellar doors to seat patrons.  If you have licenced outdoor areas these may also be used for seated tastings.
 
Please note: Paid tastings must be accompanied by a meal, and wines by the glass without food or other forms of paid wine-only service are prohibited.
 
We strongly recommend that cellar doors adopt best practice by using single-use disposable cups as spittoons for the foreseeable future to minimise the risk of contamination or virus transfer. You will need to follow all other health guidelines with regards to sanitation, social distancing and recording of visitor details.  Those requirements are set out in the following resources:

 We also recommend that you consider enrolling hospitality staff into the Restaurant and Catering Association COVID Ready training module.  It is a nominal fee per person and is a very good investment to minimise risk in your business.
 

We are expecting to receive a Q&A relating to cellar doors from the Government’s COVID-19 Response Team and so Wine Victoria will be hosting a Webinar on Tuesday 2 June at 5.00pm.  This invitation is open to all wineries and we strongly recommend you attend.
 
And finally, please make sure that you do the right thing and follow these guidelines to the letter.  Any breaches of the guidelines risk having this wound back for the entire industry.  We have worked incredibly hard to get to this point, let’s make sure once we are open, we can remain that way.

Bushfire Technical Response Program

May 29, 2020

The Wine Victoria Bushfire Technical Response Program aims to undertake the delivery of a package of technical support activities for Victorian wine industry participants affected by exposure to bushfire smoke during the 2019-20 growing season. While there is a focus on wine regions directly affected by smoke, the program seeks to deliver statewide benefits where possible. 

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes this week announced $990,000 to support a program delivered in partnership with Wine Victoria that will help winemakers assess and remediate the effects of smoke exposure on wines being made from this year’s harvest. The program will include online technical workshops on recognising and addressing the effects of smoke exposure, evaluation of 2020 wines by expert sensory panels, support to produce test batches for evaluation and access to a benchmarking kit to help winemakers assess their own wines. 

The program will also include winemaking trials to evaluate techniques for treating smoke-affected wines and research activities to better characterise the impacts of smoke on a range of locally important varieties. A steering committee made up of the Victorian Government, Wine Victoria and representatives from affected wine regions will oversee the program, which will be rolled out immediately and run until September 2021. 

Updates will be posted here as programs and activities are rolled out. If you would like further information on the program please contact us on secretariat@winevictoria.org.au

For more information on Government support for the wine industry after the bushfires visit agriculture.vic.gov.auagriculture.vic.gov.au  or call 136 186.