Wine Victoria has welcomed the news that the Victorian Government will consult stakeholders and communities on bushfire fuel management recommendations made by the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM).

The report, titled Review of Performance Targets for Bushfire Fuel Management on Public LandReview of Performance Targets for Bushfire Fuel Management on Public Land, was released on May 21 and includes a recommended shift away from a hectare-based fuel reduction target to a risk-reduction target.

IGEM has also called for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to "continue to develop and employ its capability to predict the smoke effects of planned burning".

Wine Victoria has been actively advocating for a risk based approach to fuel reduction, in addition to working with the Australian Wine Research InstituteAustralian Wine Research Institute to understand research objectives that would assist in reducing the risk of any smoke related impacts on the industry's annual vintage.

Wine Victoria will seek to further engage with the Government on how it proceeds with IGEM's recommendations.

"These recommended changes to planned burns targets are important developments for Victoria's wine-grape growers and producers, and we will be seeking to be involved in the government's consultation process," says Wine Victoria Chair and Mount Langi Ghiran General Manager Damien Sheehan.

It is anticipated that the Government will make a decision on the recommendations later this year.

The report can be accessed here.here.

Published in Wine Victoria News

Wine Victoria's revised stakeholder and policy document is now available on our website.

Wine Victoria Chair Damien Sheehan said the document has been revised to reflect the Government's commitments to the industry, and content now focuses clearly on how Wine Victoria and the Government can work together to pave the future for wine in Victoria.

"Wine Victoria's advocacy efforts prior to and following the 2014 state election have paid huge dividends for the Victorian wine industry," said Sheehan.

"We have since been busy working closely with key ministers and departments to take advantage of the significant trade, export and tourism opportunities that offer potential for the industry to profit and thrive again."

Sheehan encourages Wine Victoria members to utilise the policy document as a tool to guide conversations with their local members and stakeholders in relation to industry issues.

The Policy Positions document outlines the current state of the Victorian wine industry and includes Wine Victoria's key recommendations on five policy areas; trade/export, tourism, environment, wine-related health, and the Cellar Door Rebate.

Download the document here, or contact Wine Victoria Executive Officer Rachael Sweeney for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or phone 03 9614 7302.

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Key Australian wine bodies have joined forces to introduce the combined Wine Sector Survey 2015, which will streamline the annual collection of wine data.

The survey will combine data collected annually by the Australia Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) Price Dispersion Survey, the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) Vintage Survey, the South Australian Crush Survey and the Murray-Darling / Swan Hill Wine Grape Crush Report.

AGWA chief executive Andreas Clark said the fusion of data will save valuable time for wine producers.

"AGWA is collecting the information on behalf of all participating organisations and we are broadening the survey to all wineries so that we can calculate accurate production figures by region and variety."

WFA chief executive Paul Evans said survey results would be used to deliver a WFA Action Plan and recommendations to improve data access and decision making for grape growers and wine producers.

Interested wine producers can contact Sandy Hathaway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Wine Victoria News

One week on from the Victorian Government's Meet the Winemaker trade mission, I imagine industry members are revisiting their leads, as the sometimes confronting stage of forging new international business relationships begins.

After speaking with a range of regions involved in the program, there was certainly a consensus of promise and potential based on the interest of the buyers who were keen to see our wine and left impressed by the industry's promised diversity and leadership.

It has been a long time since I have seen the united and powerful force of the Victorian Wine industry under the same roof strutting our stuff.

Set against the stunning Melbourne skyline at sunset, the showcase was clearly the place for strong connections to be made between our winemaking talent and Melbourne's world renowned culture.

Regional visits were also clearly a demonstration of our competitive advantage as the natural vistas did a fair share of the talking. One producer commented "as I saw one delegate lying in the grass staring up at the blue sky, it was clear that pouring the wine and being ourselves was part of a good strategy".

The various networking opportunities (check out our gallery), highlighted that certain markets are of particular interest to our state's exporters. Japan, Korea and China are big contenders as many of us look to reap the Free Trade Agreement benefits.

Others have expressed an interest in ramping up their export offerings into different state across North America. Elsewhere it is about discovering new opportunities in traditional markets.

Whatever part of the globe you're looking to target, I wish you all the best in the crucial follow-up stage. The times have certainly been tough and I know that the future for the Victorian wine industry certainly looks promising.

On behalf of the Wine Victoria Board, I would like to congratulate the Victorian Government on their substantial efforts in pulling this Showcase together.

Our new Minister for Agriculture The Hon. Jaala Pulford has demonstrated an overwhelming interest in working in partnership with the industry, and what a start!

Equally to the Victorian producers involved, you did a superb job delivering on the message that Victoria truly is home to the world's best wine offering.

Published in Wine Victoria News