It has been a rough couple of years for grape growers and winemakers in Australia, as wildfires, increasing temperatures and water shortages have conspired to transform a once thriving industry into a game of survival for many.
As a result, the concept of sustainability has morphed from a noble goal into an absolute necessity.
This became apparent last week when members of the South Australia Wine Industry Association met to compare notes, share ideas and plot strategies for the future.
“We need to improve our energy efficiency,” association representative Brian Smedley told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “But we need to re-think, re-tool and re-skill.”
Smedley said that “business as usual” no longer was an option.
“We need to really think about profitability and sustainability for survival,” he said.
Ultimately, a more earth-friendly wine industry in Australia would not only benefit that country’s growers and vintners, but also could provide a template for other major wine-producing countries to emulate.