‘Next Crop’ share their stories in a podcast series

Participants in the Barossa’s ‘Next Crop’ leadership program have launched a ‘podcasting’ forum in a bid to share the stories of local viticulturists and record local events.

The podcast series on the Barossa Dirt website , launched by vigneron Steve Schiller and viticulturist Jana Shepherd, also provides a link to recent ABC Rural radio stories featuring local growers – from night harvesting vintage 2014 to the latest in dung beetle research.

Barossa Dirt will soon feature podcasts from a Eutypa workshop being held in the Barossa on 23 April and the inaugural Barossa Pruning Expo on 11 June – both of which are funded by the GWRDC Regional Program.

Forty-three growers have graduated from the ‘Next Crop’ program, which started in 2011 with funding from the GWRDC Regional Program. The most recent ‘crop’ of 22 participants graduated in January.

Barossa Grape & Wine Viticultural Development Officer Nicki Robins said the 10-month course was designed to better equip the region’s grapegrowers with the skills and confidence to take on leadership roles within their family and other businesses in the wider Barossa community.

‘The program modules include innovation, communication, social media, business management, succession planning and the environment’, Ms Robins said.

In 2014, program organisers plan to focus on the current alumni and to further extend the skills and leadership opportunities started in the Next Crop program.

Eutypa-infected vineyard workshops

On 23 April, the Barossa Grape & Wine Association will host its latest GWRDC Regional Program workshop, titled ‘Managing the “dying arm” in your vineyard’.
‘This workshop is critical for growers who have identified Eutypa in their vineyards’, said Ms Robins.
‘It will combine both the latest research into preventing Eutypa, as well as practical advice on how to identify and manage Eutypa in the vineyard, from Dr Mark Sosnowski – South Australia’s leading Eutypa research scientist’.

To register for the workshop, at the Tanunda Footy Clubrooms and Heathvale vineyard, click here.

Step-up soil condition workshops

‘A series of ‘Improving Soil Condition’ workshops held in SA North last year, proved to be one of the region’s most popular and beneficial workshops in the GWRDC’s 2013–14 Regional Program’, Ms Robins said.

Held in the Clare and Barossa Valleys, the workshops included vineyard visits, workshops with soil and irrigation specialists and the development of individual action plans. Ms Robins said a series of information sheets and opportunities for discounted soil tests were also offered as part of the program

‘We had excellent feedback on this series. Growers were able to make some tangible changes to their soil management and vineyard soil health – which will ultimately lead to more healthy, consistent, and environmentally and financially sustainable vineyards’, she said.

‘It also inspired an ongoing project and collaboration under the Barossa Next Crop program.’

The project saw several Next Crop members get together to review existing literature, knowledge and practices around best-practice assessment of organic carbon content of vineyard soils.

‘It allowed the participants to develop a benchmark in soil management and assessment, and is something they all committed to reviewing as an ongoing project’.

The Barossa’s Next Crop leadership program graduates line up at Tom Schiller’s property near Tanunda. Photo: Barossa Grape & Wine Association
The Barossa’s Next Crop leadership program graduates line up at Tom Schiller’s property near Tanunda. Photo: Barossa Grape & Wine Association