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Don't taint the vintage!

4 April 2019

Vignerons in the Wattle Range region have raised concerns regarding issues that smoke from agricultural burn-offs is creating for the local wine industry.

Council has begun to issue permits under the provisions of the Fire & Emergency Services Act to allow rural landholders to burn standing grass and stubble under strict permit conditions. These farmers are asked to consider their neighbours when burning off at their properties over the coming weeks.

Council’s CEO Ben Gower said, “South Australia’s food and wine industry are a vital part of this state’s economy. The wine industry has genuine concerns about the smoke resulting from burn-offs and landholders need to be mindful when burning around vineyards, to ensure that grapes continue to be of premium quality.

"Grapevines exposed to smoke during sensitive growing periods are likely to render the grapes, and subsequent wine, unfit for sale and consumption. The highest potential for smoke uptake occurs from when the grapes soften and ripen to harvest. This is typically from March to early May in the Limestone Coast”.

Industry research has determined that heavy exposure for a period of 30 minutes is sufficient to result in smoke taint.

Reducing the risk of smoke taint can be achieved by:

  • Identifying the high-risk periods in your area by contacting with your local grape and wine industry organisations (contact details are available from admin@wgcsa.com.au).
  • Check with vineyard owners/managers in close proximity to the burn before commencing.
  • Avoiding burning until the grape harvest has been completed, or
  • Avoid burning when wind conditions threaten vineyards in your area.

Further information regarding this issue, or any other fire permit related matter, can be obtained from Council’s Fire Prevention Officers on 08 8733 0900.




For further information please contact:

Ben Gower, Chief Executive Officer
Email:                       council@wattlerange.sa.gov.au
Telephone:               (08) 8733 0900


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Page Last Modified: 2019-07-18T15:44:56