That got your attention! It’s the top of mind question for many; almost as critical as the need to know the final water allocation for 2017. Despite most growers and wineries having completed the 2016 harvest months ago, no-one has the answer to the ‘total crush’ question; never mind the ‘accurate’ crush by region. There will be ‘estimates’ but with so many tonnes being crushed ‘out of the region of origin’, no individual or organisation can be confident of national, State or regional data.
Despite this, it won’t be long before we read various opinions in the internet press; quite likely 12 hours after the French, Italian, Spanish and Californians have read it!
The good news is: It’s all about to change and Riverland growers and wineries will be at the forefront of this new industry program. Late last week Wine Australia advised it will work with Riverland Wine and Western Australian producers in piloting a data collection system.
In this region, the focus will be on how the system can be developed, to most effectively link winery intakes with vineyard production while also maintaining commercial integrity. In the west, the pilot program will coincide with a new state-based, mandatory data collection project.
The ‘pilot’ will use satellite technology that detects and maps vineyards. This information will be converted to data that growers will have (confidential) access to. General Manager, Corporate Affairs and Strategy, Kate Harvey together with IT Program Manager Bruce Hampton and his team, will work closely with this region’s winegrowers and winemakers to link that vineyard information to production data. The outcome will be more accurate and timelier information about yields by variety and by region. Riverland Wine EO Chris Byrne said, ‘This sort of information will provide greater transparency but moreover, it will assist every enterprise to identify opportunities and plan for the next season with greater confidence. We are delighted Wine Australia has chosen the Riverland to assist with this breakthrough-technology pilot program.
Wine Australia plans to release the data collection system nationally at the end of vintage 2017 subject to the success of the pilot.