Riverland Viticultural Technical Group (RVTG)

The Riverland Wine Industry Development Council initiated the formation of a Riverland Viticulture Technical Group in late 2002. The group is comprised of Riverland Grower Liaison Officers, Viticulturists, Winegrape producers and Research Scientists.

    Its aims are:

  • To provide a forum to exchange information and discuss viticulture research projects of particular benefit to the Riverland wine industry (eg. sustainable irrigation practices)
  • To provide a high standard of extension services to Riverland Winegrape Growers (individual and corporate) through Grower Liaison Officers, Viticulturists and Consultants (eg. facilitate communication of research findings to growers), and
  • To provide advice and consider ways to improve quality standards at the weighbridge (eg. post harvest quality control)
    The role of the Viticulture Technical Group:

  • To liaise with Riverlink and all organisations involved with viticulture research
  • To invite scientists from outside the Region to visit and share their experience
  • To identify research projects of particular value to the Riverland
  • To make application to the GWRDC for funding Riverland research
  • To make recommendations to RWIDC regarding matters relating to the development of the wine industry in the Riverland and extension services to Growers
  • To represent the Riverland on the Riverlink Wine Industry Network, and
  • To liaise with similar Viticultural groups in other regions

The membership of this group includes: Grower Liaison Officers, Viticulturists, Winegrape producers and Research Scientists based in the Riverland (or outside the Region with a specific interest in the development, culture, and management of Riverland vineyards).

Grow Smart

Recent research has established that there are a lot of skill shortages in the horticulture and other primary industries. At present, the horticulture industry is experiencing shortages of science graduates in the following areas:

  • On farm research
  • Consultancy positions
  • Positions in research organisations
  • Food processing and packing
  • Teaching and training

The GrowSmart Careers in Science Program has been developed to help overcome these shortages. Its main aim is to encourage secondary school students to study science at a tertiary level and to follow a career path in the horticulture industry.

The Riverland Winegrape Growers Association is a major contributor to the GrowSmart project.

For further information, go to the GrowSmart website.

Climate Change

All growers must accept responsibility for management of their environment. As mentioned above, council has already worked with the State Government and SAWIA to understand the implications of carbon emission reduction and targets for growers.

Council has committed funds together with SA Government and SAWIA to appoint a full time Project Manager to execute the Climate Change Agreement signed between SA Government and industry. Council will also seek to cooperate and engage with industry bodies to ensure that growers are consulted and informed and not disadvantaged as environmental management systems are rolled out.

Government Initiatives

It is a tough time for growers. Ever-increasing costs of production, declining grape prices, drought, reduced allocations. All of these factors have put some growers in positions where help is needed.

Below are some links to State and Commonwealth Government programs that offer assistance to growers or maybe you just need some moral support.

Grants & Assistance
Commonwealth Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forests

Exceptional Circumstances
Commonwealth Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forests

Commonwealth Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forests
Department of Primary Industries and Resources South Australia

Beyond Blue
Beyond Blue

Water Information

The health of the Murray and the availability of water is critical to the Riverland’s existence.

There is increasing evidence that the water resources of a number of catchments and aquifers within the Murray-Darling Basin are seriously over-allocated or over-used. These are related but different terms:

  • Over-allocation is where more entitlements have been issued in a system than can be sustained
  • Over-use is where more water is allocated to irrigators or other users within a given period than can be sustained

This situation has arisen as a result of past decisions by state and territory governments to issue more entitlements than can be delivered by water systems, and by a failure in water sharing plans to set the pool of water available for consumption at sustainable levels.

Water Trading is carried out under Schedule E of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement. Water users in the upper River Murray, the River Murray in South Australia and the regulated reaches of the Goulburn, Campaspe, Loddon and Murrumbidgee river systems will be able to buy and sell permanent water entitlements across these areas.

Water trading within states has been possible since the late 1980s. In 1998, the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council established a pilot interstate water trading project that allowed limited interstate trade of permanent water entitlements. Water users in the South Australia River Murray and the Mallee regions of Victoria and New South Wales were able to buy and sell water across state boundaries.

The Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation

The Department Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Murray Darling Basin Commission