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Drought response workshops

The Drought Management Taskforce, a group established by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and other key organizations within the Australian wine sector, has endorsed a series of ‘Drought Response’ workshops to be coordinated by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) in conjunction with State and regional associations.

Given the dire circumstances facing much of the industry in the wake of frost and unprecedented drought, combined with regional demand for on the ground, practical assistance, Philippa Pattison, Executive Officer of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) recognized this need and immediately offered the services of the Society to coordinate the workshops, in conjunction with local regional technical groups, and grapegrower associations.

Pattison stated that “…having a central, national body oversee the co-ordination of the workshops will help to avoid duplication and an undue waste of limited resources across the industry”, a view heartily endorsed by Stephen Strachan and other members of the wine industry’s Drought Management Taskforce.

It is expected that workshops will be held in the Barossa, Riverland, Griffith, Mildura and the South East of South Australia over the first two weeks of May, with other locations yet to be confirmed. Other venues may be considered should the demand prove sufficient to warrant additional workshops. In determining a draft program for the workshop series it was decided that some sessions would be common to all regions, but others would include specific local content, particularly in the form of case studies. As such regional groups will actively contribute to tailoring a program to best suit their specific needs.

Ms Pattison further stated that she is looking forward to working with State and regional groups to provide grapegrowers with hands on, practical assistance to manage their vineyards, and their businesses, in the wake of reduced water allocations. The cost to attend the workshops will not exceed $30 to facilitate maximum participation in them.

ASVO is also willing to co-ordinate a follow up series of workshops in August, once water allocations are determined and there is more information as to the amount of water actually available for irrigation.

For further information contact Philippa Pattison, ASVO Executive Officer, 0418 853 787.



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