Flood hit wineres call for donations of grapes and wine

Rivers and Vineyards
Rivers and Vineyards

This week we have all been shocked by the devastating impact of floodwaters in Queensland. Now that the cleanup is underway, grape growers are assessing the damage, both from the direct impact of floodwaters and the ongoing effect of disease. A number of pleas came to me last week, in the hope that there might be some means of providing a crop this year. Peter Scudamore-Smith put me in touch with Wine Industry Development Officer, Mark Deegenaars, who put out a statewide call for requests of assistance. A number of wineries have responded with requests for donations of grapes and/or wine. I have also spoken with Steven Strachan, Chief Executive of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, regarding crop losses in Victoria and New South Wales, and he indicated that he will speak with the relevant authorities to initiate a response in these states. Wineries, any assistance that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

We have lost our 2011 crop due to flooding, we had good fruitset but the consistent rain and floodwater through our vineyard from early November until now (parts of our vineyard still underwater) have destroyed the fruit. According to the QRAA website we are not eligible for the special disaster flood assistance (even though we have had 4 major floods since Feb 2010 and our vineyard has been underwater since November 2010), as we are in the northern part of Maranoa Regional Council, only the southern part is eligible. If anyone is generous enough to donate fruit we would be interested. – Roma

We are at Beebo, via Texas and this is the first year we had a high yield crop after many years of drought, having experienced mould damage resulting in loss of approximately 20% of total berries in the past two months. We have had extensive flood damage to our vineyard with the vineyard being significantly inundated to top third of canopy for 48+ hours and totally submerged for some 20 hours of that time.  There is a significant amount of debris and grass etc on the nets and the grapes that have held onto the vine are muddy, some have started to split.  Water has only receded from the vineyard substantially today, with the first part of flooding occurring on Tuesday. As it appears we’ve lost another year of grape income, we are heartened that an appeal is under way for those in similar situations to ourselves and disappointed that our circumstance prevents us from being able to assist others. We send all or best wishes to all those also affected. – Beebo, Texas

The floods and now severe storms have really done their damage to our crop and yesterday we realised we have lost the lot due to ROT.  We were expecting a bumper crop this year, approx 5 to 6 Ton.  We’ve had 3 cars visit the winery in 4 weeks when usually over xmas we can get 20 to 30 cars per day.  The impact has been devastating financially.  We welcome any donations of wine. – Childers

As a small wine producer we have now suffered the failure of three vintages due to drought and now an over abundance of rain events.  We have just written off about three tonnes of Cab Sav due to infestation of moulds and mildew despite our best efforts with sprays. Any assistance with either wine or grapes would be more than gratefully received. – Crow’s Nest

We would appreciate 1 to 2 tonne of grapes to make into fortified wine. – Fernvale

We would be very interested in replacement wine but not fruit at this stage. – Childers

Wineries, if you are able to assist, please contact Jim Barnes, President, Queensland Wine Industry Association, info@hiddencreek.com.au.

Tyson Stelzer.