Background & Development Process


Why and how this plan was developed, including definitions used.

Bushfires and smoke damage can be problematic to the Victorian Wine Industry, resulting in smoke tainted wine, fruit rejection, price downgrades, damage to assets and occasionally, loss of life. It is an ongoing risk to the Victorian Wine Industry.

This plan was developed in response to the extensive fires of the 2019/2020 summer with the generous support of the Victorian State Government. Its aim is to support the Victorian Wine Industry in planning, preparing and responding to bushfire, smoke and emergency events, focussing on industry-specific challenges. It provides an overview and links to the latest in Australia’s world-class research in managing smoke-affected grapes, wine and fire-affected vineyards.

The objectives of this plan are to facilitate a timely, coordinated, and commensurate assistance package to the Victorian wine industry during a Bushfire event and assist in the management of communications and messaging to stakeholders and the broader community during such an event to minimise harm to industry and its reputation.

Australia is a world leader in research in this field, so the ongoing improvements in management and mitigation methods mean we now have many more options available, compared to just a few years ago.

With the research and mitigation methods improving and evolving so steadily, this plan will be reviewed and updated regularly as required.

Development Process

A plan written by industry for industry.

The following plan is the result of widespread consultation with a number of stakeholders to identify the issues and expectations of the industry. In essence it is an action plan/resource centre written by the industry for the industry.

Stakeholders included Government departments, Wine Victoria, Regional Grape and Wine Associations, individual growers and producers, the AWRI, and other laboratories and universities. Feedback was also collected from industry agencies and experts with experience responding to the 2020 bushfire season. The main issues or dangers, outcomes and responses were identified. Extensive conversations and meetings were held in key locations under the auspices of regional industry associations.