This initiative is Barossa Australia’s desire to encourage its grape growers to take a more resilience-focussed approach to their vineyard management.
BGWA has communicated the benefits of establishing native grasses and revegetating landholdings in terms of preparing for a changing climate, saving water, improving soil health, preventing erosion, improving biodiversity, and beautifying their properties.
The case for increasing biodiversity in Barossa’s vineyards – and in turn ‘creating more adaptive capacity’ in the face of a changing climate – has been escalated by the release of Regional Development Australia – Barossa Region Climate Change Adaptation Plan, which states:
- By 2030 temperatures will rise by 0.6° to 1.0°C (and by 1.5° to 2.0°C by 2070)
- Frequency and intensity of heatwaves will increase
- Annual rainfall will decline by 2 to 5% by 2030 (and by 10 to 20% by 2070)
Viticultural practices recommended in light of this include:
- Improve irrigation management and weather forecasting
- Manage water resources more efficiently
- Manage extremes (heatwaves, rain, bush fire risk)
- Vine management – mulch, canopy management, rootstocks, sunscreen