Wine Industry Newsletter

Collaboration in action responding to fire threats

DPIRD, DBCA, Wines of WA, Margaret River Wine Association and Great Southern Wine Producers Association have been working together in response to the multiple fires that have occurred this season.

The table below summarises the fires:

Fire Location

Date fire detected

Date fire controlled

Final fire size (ha)

Boranup

8/12/2021

19/12/2021

7,831.67

Yallingup

9/12/2021

11/12/2021

171.85

Canebreak

26/12/2021

27/12/2021

95.39

Meelup

10/01/2022

12/01/2022

N/A

Shadforth

4/02/2022

7/02/2022

2,099.30

Source: Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

Both regional associations have been integral in extending to their members the latest information on active fires and smoke exposure in their regions, including knowledge and advice on assessing the risk of smoke taint, and coordinating sample preparation and collection.

An important factor in chemical analysis of smoke related markers is for samples to be delivered to the diagnostic laboratory in a stable condition.

Through this local network, the associations have provided concerned producers with information on smoke exposure within region and coordinated sample preparation and collection.

With its connections in logistic services, Wines of WA engaged and subsidised the cost of specialised couriers to deliver samples to the AWRI laboratory in Adelaide, a challenging task considering the limited air freight options currently available in WA. 

Smoke sample preparation
DPIRD technical officer Yu-Yi Liao preparing samples.

DPIRD was involved in collecting samples and provided use of its Bunbury laboratory for sample preparation. The department also provided subsidies for the cost of analysis.

This collaborative effort demonstrates that Western Australia has a unified wine industry that can effectively respond to threats, such as smoke taint, to protect the quality of WA wine.