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Wineries feeling impacts of wet weather as Murray River flooding restricts access to Wahgunyah vineyard blocks



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Winemakers throughout the Victoria/New South Wales border area say they hope to see a turnaround within the climate quickly as moist situations play havoc with vineyards.

Wineries arrange alongside the Murray flats in Wahgunyah have seen some winery blocks develop into submerged as extra flows make their means down the Murray River.

Nick Brown, director of All Saints Property, stated they needed to scale back harvest yields at two of their blocks because of water inundation — one at All Saints and one other at their sister winery, St Leonards.

Mr Brown stated the Murray River was often about half a kilometre from the again of the vineyard however it was now about 50 metres away. 

“The river appears to be like prefer it’s a few kilometre huge from the place I am standing,” he stated.

“It is an enormous quantity of water that is coming down. It is fairly a sight, however not one which we have to cling round for too lengthy.” 

Winery solely accessible by boat

Fellow native winemaker, Chris Pfeiffer, stated each of his vineyards have been additionally inundated with water.

“Certainly one of our vineyards we are able to’t get to,” he stated.

“If we put a ship in we might get to it however we’ve bought a stretch of water about [90 metres] huge we’ve got to get throughout earlier than we even get to the winery.”

Several rows of grapevines impacted by water inundation.
Latest water inundation at St Leonards Winery.(Provided: St Leonards Winery)

Mr Pfeiffer stated he was additionally anxious concerning the impacts water inundation had on addressing downy mildew issues on the vineyards.

Downy mildew is a fungus-like algal an infection that thrives in heat and moist climate and may devastate particular person vineyards.

“It is a bit of bit worrying as a result of this climate has created illness stress within the winery,” Mr Pfeiffer stated.

“Since we’ve gone to average flooding and never been capable of get on the winery, we haven’t been capable of take protecting measures.”

‘Quick-term impact’ however ‘disappointing’ improvement

Mr Brown stated, regardless of the impacts of latest rain occasions, he was assured their affected grapevines would bounce again for the 2024 harvest. 

“It is a short-term impact, I suppose, however nonetheless it is disappointing to have all that work going into the winery over the winter after which have a few of them submerged,” he stated.

“However we are able to solely be optimistic and look ahead to this rain stopping and having some clearer climate going ahead.”

Each Mr Brown and Mr Pfeiffer burdened that the wineries have been nonetheless open and so they have been wanting to see a rise in vacationer numbers.