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May 30, 2022 View:

South Australian wine industry hit hard by new crown outbreak

In an effort to stop the spread of the second wave of the outbreak, South Australia, the country's largest wine-producing state, entered a six-day lockdown that forced the state's wineries and cellars to close for a second time.

Image from: Technology Life Express

SA Wine Industry Association (SA Wine Industry Association) CEO Brian Smedley said winemakers and wineries need to follow the new 2020 Crown Emergency Management (home) guidelines.

Non-core employees must stay at home, he says. In the wine industry, this includes, but is not limited to, cellar sales, sales representatives, which are not the core work of the vineyard. Restaurant and hotel staff, general maintenance staff, in case of damage or loss.

Some bottled wines are required to participate in exhibition events.

So the question to consider is whether these wine orders need to wait for 6 days or whether it is absolutely necessary to schedule orders during this time.

Tony Battaglene, chief executive of the Australian Grape and Wine Board, said the direction remains unclear.

It"s very worrisome. I mean, it's not that the task is done once the grapes are picked, there's still wine to be made, and that takes place over a year.

If we don't allow employees into the winery now, it means we won't be able to produce wine.

This can lead to problems not only with the quality of the entire vintage, but also with the quality of the next vintage, so we in the winemaking industry really need to be listed as a necessary service.

But Battaglin also acknowledged and supported the need for strong and swift measures to combat the outbreak, saying that closing the cellars was a must.

He said:The last thing we want to face is a second wave of an outbreak like the one in Victoria, where we shut down for weeks or even months, so, yes, it's difficult.

We just had a couple of good weekends, but there is no doubt that this will become a financial burden.

One step forward and nine steps back

Meanwhile, Salena Franchitto, marketing manager for Salena Estate in Riverland, says the embargo has put a huge financial and non-financial strain on their family business.

Ms. Franchitto said:The wines had been scheduled or planned for launch next week, but now they have been postponed.

He says:Because we don't have enough staff to reconstitute, pack, and fill fermentation barrels on site to meet orders.

We thought we were just starting to get things back to normal, and then the epidemic suddenly broke out and it felt like we had just taken one step forward and nine steps backwards.