Wine making not an industry for a Smart State

Queensland’s 185 wine makers must have noted with some concern Brown Brothers’ investment in Tasmania last month (Climate drives big wine deal):

VICTORIAN winemaker Brown Brothers has outlined critical environmental reasons behind its $32.56 million purchase of Gunns’ wine assets in Tasmania.

Chief executive Ross Brown said the move south was spurred by global warming, and after deciding that the controversial $2.2 billion Gunns pulp mill project’s effect on Tamar Valley vineyards would be benign.

Brown Brothers has bought 400 hectares over three vineyards, which produce about 3000 tonnes of fruit marketed under seven brands.

With Tasmania getting warmer, its climate will be more suitable for growing grapes.  And, with north-east Victoria getting hotter and more bushfire prone, it’s going to become less suitable.

Surely this is not a good sign for the emerging Queensland wine industry.  It might be time for the Queensland Government to cut its losses and end its support for the industry when the current Wine Industry Action Plan expires next year.  There is after all a global wine glut, and it makes no sense to promote this industry further.  This is not an industry for a Smart State.

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2 Responses to Wine making not an industry for a Smart State

  1. I disagree. Grapes will grow almost anywhere and Queensland has a great potential to grow warm and hot-climate grape varieties that won’t flourish in cooler southern climates (for example, Mediterranean varieties like verdelho and sangiovese). What we don’t need are any more plantings of common varieties like shiraz and chardonnay, which are heavily over-supplied by southern grape growers.

    • Thanks Dafyd. That’s useful info. I don’t really know a lot about the Qld wine industry, which probably renders me unqualifed to offer such strong views on the industry’s future. Hopefully there will be a future for the industry even if climate change projections are realised.

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