Barossa's video stories inspiring environmental best practice »
Winegrape growers forging ahead to prepare for changing climate
Barossa’s winegrape growers are forging ahead with modern viticultural practices to prepare for the changing climate – highlighted with the first launch of a poignant six-part video series that demonstrates Barossa’s environmental best practices.
The video series, entitled “Environmental Champions of the Barossa” is an initiative of the Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA), which represents Barossa’s 550 independent growers and 170 wine brands.
“Being able to deliver a succinct, simple message is important”, said BGWA Viticultural Development Officer Nicki Robins.
“The issue of climate change is so big and scary – and the amount of information so overwhelming – people sometimes just switch off. Our strategy of working with all our community to better prepare for a changing climate is to work from the ‘ground up’ and engage people through inspirational stories,” she said.
“If the actions of certain growers can affect change in the behaviour of their neighbours or peers, then that will help build the momentum for the good of the region” said Nicki.
Funded by Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges, the video series was launched this week at the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Resource Management Board and SA Research and Development Institute-funded session, “Smarter Farming on Adelaide’s Doorstep” at the Climate Adaptation Conference being hosted by NCCARF and CSIRO at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
“Today’s conference illustrated how the climate is changing. It’s getting hotter, drier, and weather events are becoming more extreme,” said Nicki Robins.
“Barossa winegrape growers are seeing these changes every year; every season is unpredictable.We’ve seen normal Spring rainfall only four times in the past 12 years, and some growers have experienced Spring frost three years in a row. Growers are responding by improving the ‘resilience’oftheir vineyards to mitigate the highs and lows of these extreme conditions,” said Nicki.
The video series, filmed by renowned photographer, Dragan Radocaj, features viticulturist Prue Henschke, Barossa winegrape growers Anthony Scholz, Evan Gobell and Sam Dahlitz, Eden Hall viticulturist Dan Falkenberg, and Barossa-based SARDI principal research scientist, viticulture, Dr Michael McCarthy.
“Growers are improving their soil health with mulch and compost applications. They’re using less water, more efficiently, monitoring soil moisture, capturing and storing solar energy and water, applying vine sunscreens, trialing alternative varieties, and planting native and other non-competitive grasses and plants in the mid-row to improve water and nutrient infiltration. Many of these actions have the added benefit of enhancing biodiversity, reducing tractor time, diesel and chemicals applied in the vineyard,” said Nicki.
BGWA has also recently joined McLaren Vale’s Sustainable Australia Winegrowing program to further record, benchmark and communicate Barossa’s positive actions for the natural environment.
- Barossa Valley (SA)
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