Heathcote Winegrowers Association president Phil Meehan anticipates a good season ahead.ZACH HUBBER May 9, 2014 3:10am
Heathcote Winegrowers Association president Phil Meehan samples a batch at his Meehan Vineyard. Photo: ZACH HUBBER
The above average rainfall last month has provided a boost to grape vines across the region before winter.
Heathcote Winegrowers Association president Phil Meehan said he expected excellent wine varieties across the district.
‘‘The rain a few weeks ago (on April 10) did slow things down a bit, however it hasn’t had any detrimental effects that I’m aware of,’’ Mr Meehan said.
‘‘It’s a very strong vintage which has lasted the best part of three months.
‘‘I’d have to say three years ago was a shocking year because of the mildew pressures.
‘‘2012 was warm and dry and the quality was excellent.
‘‘In 2013 we had a little bit of rain and the quality was just superb.’’
Mr Meehan expected his vineyard to produce a quality similar to last year’s.
‘‘Some vineyards were affected by early frosts and several had substantial losses,’’ he said.
‘‘Speaking for myself, I was only slightly affected.’’
Meanwhile, the The Winemakers Federation of Australia has questioned the Australian National Preventative Health Agency’s suggestion to lift the wine tax.
A report the agency released on Thursday argues preferential treatment of wine, particularly at the lower-value end, is likely to be contributing to social and health harms.
While the WFA shared the community’s concern about alcohol-related harm, it claimed the agency’s report did not have clear evidence to support lifting the tax.
Federation chief executive Paul Evans said it was a simplistic response to a complex problem.
‘‘The wine industry is already doing it tough and an increase in taxation at this time is the wrong approach,’’ Mr Evans said.
‘‘The report brushes over disputed research over whether or not at-risk consumers are price sensitive and this is a significant issue because lifting the tax penalises everyone, including the majority of responsible drinkers and the local Australian wine industry winemakers and grape growers.
‘‘Just because some wine is sold at a low price doesn’t necessarily mean it is being irresponsibly consumed.’’
The redevelopment of Shepparton Library, which will feature accessible shelving, a teen-specific area, a Skype booth and internet-enabled work stations, will be completed in the next two months.
The Ovens & Murray qualifying final between Yarrawonga and Lavington on Saturday left spectators talking more about the standard of umpiring than the two competing teams.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
The Kiss Angels, 50 Shades of Hope team have come up with a creative way of fundraising for the Relay for Life, a purple potty.
District hotels and businesses may change rosters with penalty rates for casual employees on Sundays set to be cut.
Students visit local businesses for reading lessons
Bottle thrown at Jason Cole in bitter aftermath to Seymour-Benalla game on Saturday.
A truck driver is lucky to be alive after crashing into a Jerilderie home yesterday morning.
Chef and co-owner of Heathcote’s Willow Room Brent Loam is thrilled with the listing in the 2015 Age Good Food Guide
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
A sophisticated hydroponic cannabis system was discovered by police at the Victoria Hotel last week.
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