Wine water too salty in McLaren Vale

Miles Kemp has reported in the Adelaide Advertiser that water in the McLaren Vale wine district is too salty for grape irrigation, supposedly the fault of excess extraction from underground aquifers.

The state’s Department for Environment and Water has moved to address the problem , the article says, and may trial modifying pumping rates and times to determine if such options stabilises the salinity.

Winegrapes can tolerate a salt level of 1500 milligrams a litre but the article says levels in ‘hot spots’ in the Pirramimma Sand and Maslin Sands aquifers have been above this.

Chester Osborn, chief winemaker for d’Arenberg Wines, says one of the winery’s 10 wells was too salty for irrigation. “All of our other sites seem to be stable but it is still a bit of a worry that one of the sites has an issue”, Osborn said.

Source: The Advertiser