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TAS Country : May 3rd 2012
12 Tasmanian Country Friday, May 4, 2012 News Idea to piggyback on NZ success POTENTIAL: The Midlands has a similar temperature profile to Central Otago, above. from the VINE Graeme Phillips Richard Smart 'There are large land areas suitable for planting vineyards, some of which are not now planted'---DR RICHARD SMART LAST month, Federal Minister Simon Crean and Premier Lara Giddings jointly announced funding of $520,000 over two years to the Tasmanian wine sector --- the funding to be managed by and directed through the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA). As part of the Forests Intergovern- ment Agreement diversification pack- age, $300,000 will be allocated to an industry devel- opment study into identifying the most suit- able vineyard areas in the state linked to a program to pro- mote invest- ment, while the remainder will facilitate the continuing work of TIA's Industry Devel- opment and Extension Officer attached to Wine Tasmania. The industry development project will be done by Dr Richard Smart and Dr Reuben Wells, respectively of Smart Viticulture and Ag Logic. Smart says they will ''review and refine available climate resources with particular attention to studies on landform and frost, to facilitate new plantings which maximise grape qual- ity and minimise climate risks''. The project will build on work done by other agencies under the Water for Wealth program and link with the Industry Development & Extension Officer resource to ensure dis- semination and practical application of its outcomes. Not a man to shy away from controversy, at an international wine conference in Barcelona last year Dr Smart ruffled a good many feathers when he predicted that many of Europe's famous vineyard areas might disappear under the effects of climate change. On the other hand, he says he has great confidence in the potential of the Tasmanian wine industry. He cites the state's growing repu- tation for its cool-climate wines, the low price -- by mainland and international standards -- of suitable land and the fact that of the world's wine regions, Tasmania will be the least affected by projected global warming. He says it's very likely that the best vineyard sites in the state haven't yet been identified or planted and that the announcement by Mr Crean and the Premier is recognition that, among other agricultural industries, the wine sector provides significant opportunity for growth. By way of demonstrating this poten- tial, he has in previous studies found that Launceston, Bicheno and St Helens have similar temperature pro- files as New Zealand's very successful Marlborough region, with its 19,600ha of vines, and the Midlands is similar to Central Otago, with 1550ha of vines and an international reputation for its pinot noirs. He says the good news for potential wine investors in Tasmania is that these NZ regions ''have already evalu- ated varieties and wine styles and have tested them in the international mar- ket'' and suggests that Tasmania could piggyback on their success. After preliminary climatic analysis, he concludes that ''there are large land areas (in Tasmania) suitable for plant- ing vineyards, some of which are not now planted'' and lists the southern East Coast, northern and southern Midlands, the Upper Derwent and Huon-Bruny Island as potentially high- quality regions for future expansion. While the results of the proposed TIA/Smart industry development proj- ect are expected to benefit the wine industry and be applicable to the wider agricultural sector more generally, so far as potential investors and driving industry growth are concerned, suc- cess breeds success, and the big ques- tion remains -- which variety or style of wine is going to do for Tasmania what sauvignon blanc did in launching NZ wines to the world? And cabernet did for Coonawarra and Margaret River, shiraz for the Barossa and so on? Perhaps that's a story for another day -- or another project. MORE GREAT OFFERS FROM SUZUKI DR-Z400E at $8,990 Ride Away* Trojan at $4,490 Ride Away from participating Dealers on Australia's No. 1 Selling Farm Bike KingQuad 400, 500 & 750 ATVs $500 Factory Bonus^ Hurry, offer ends 31 May, 2012 Hurry, offer ends 31 May, 2012 * On-road costs consist of 12 months registration, Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, Government stamp duty, Dealer pre-delivery and freight charges, from participating Dealers. ^ Factory bonus applicable at point of sale. Includes GST. See your participating Suzuki Dealer for full Terms and Conditions. SUZ0706/TC suzuki.com.au
April 26th 2012
May 10th 2012