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Spraying is probably the last thing on grower’s minds at the moment, but the vineyard sprayer is arguably the most important piece of equipment on your property.

The Wine Equalisation Tax Rebate has been the subject of much debate in many forums across the nation. Riverland Wine (RLW) wrote to the Winemakers Federation (WFA) following regional consultations last October proposing a progressive withdrawal of the rebate over a period of five or six years and simultaneously directing the savings into more targeted marketing of Australian wine in all markets.

Riverland Wine (RLW) convened four breakfast meetings across the region last week concluding with the Loxton meeting on Friday morning. Members were invited to respond to a number of questions during the meetings ranging from their views about the 2014 vintage, to whether or not they think the strategic plan for the region’s industry is heading in the right direction.

We often hear Riverland winegrowers expressing confidence in their chosen profession despite all the challenges to profitability and being sustainable.

One of the core strategies emerging in the Riverland Wine Plan is “Grow the market”. The thinking behind this is fairly obvious: If more wine drinkers around the globe choose Australian wine, then by default, as the largest Australian producer of popular premium wines Riverland producers will be beneficiaries.

Riverland Wine, Food Riverland and Destination Riverland along with ‘Riverland ambassadors’ Banrock Station, Bassham Wines, 919 Wines, Loxton Community Hotel Motel and Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery will be promoting the Riverland at the inaugural ‘reformatted’ Tasting Australia event to be convened over four days in the re-built Victoria Square from the May 1 to 4.

If you own a registered vineyard in the Riverland, you should have received your invitation to the next round of town breakfast meetings to hear about what happened, what’s happening and to have your say about what you would like to happen as a member of Riverland Wine.

Most grape growers in the region have the good fortune to have contracts to sell their grapes each year.

One of the main themes emerging from the January grower meetings was the need for more information being made available for growers to make decisions about future commitments.

All Riverland growers and winemakers should grab their diaries or smartphones and block out May 8 and June 4 for two outstanding seminars. Both will be held at the McCormick Centre, Renmark.

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