The Wine Victoria Bushfire Technical Response Program aims to deliver a suite of technical support activities for Victorian grape and wine producers affected by the 2020 bushfires.

Wine Victoria, in partnership with Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) and Wine Network Consulting, are pleased to offer Victorian winemakers the opportunity to participate in a series of winemaking remediation trials. The aim of this initiative, which has been funded by the Victorian Government, is to identify and understand practical techniques which may be effective in managing 2020 vintage smoke-affected wines. 

If you are a Victorian based wine producer with wine made from grapes sourced from within Victoria, and you are interested in being involved, then follow the link below to submit an expression of interest. 



 On the weekend Victorian Premier Dan Andrews made an announcement to delay an increase to gathering limits in businesses and community facilities that had been slated to come into effect today. What follows is the updated and current information as of Monday 22 June and is effective immediately.

 In summary:

  • You can now sell alcohol by the bottle and glass or sell a wine tasting experience without a meal if patrons are seated. You are also allowed to offer free samples if you wish, to a seated patron at cellar door.
  • The number of people allowed in an enclosed space remains at 20 people until 12 July, provided the social distancing rule of one customer per 4m2 is met.
  • You may seat groups up to 10 (in the same party) who will be allowed to dine in or drink together at the same table
  • Tastings must continue to be seated until further announcements are made regarding this.


Here is the text from the DHHS website that has been updated this morning 22/6/20:

What about cellar doors at wineries? What restrictions apply?

Victoria’s winery restaurants and cafes can resume dine-in service, so long as they are meeting the requirements outlined by the Deputy Chief Health Officer including patron limits, physical distancing, signage and hygiene. 

 Wineries with a restaurant or cafe are able to sell alcohol by the bottle and glass or sell a wine tasting experience without a meal if patrons are seated. In addition, they can sell full bottles from their cellar doors for consumption away from the premise. 

As part of this sales process, where the liquor licence permits it, a cellar door may also choose to offer free samples of its produce to a seated customer to help the customer choose what to buy.

Kim Chalmers began her career in music composition and teaching at the Elder Conservatorium but returned to her viticulture roots in 2005. Kim manages the wine operations at Chalmers, making wines from heat and drought tolerant southern-Italian grape varieties.  In 2006, Kim trained with Al Gore as a Climate Project presenter and continues to be involved in working to educate and prepare Australian winegrowers for climate change through alternative varieties and sustainable practices.  In 2012 Kim travelled to Southern Italy on an Agrifood Skills International fellowship researching indigenous grape varieties and viticultural techniques and their potential application in Australia.  

Kim was Chair of the Victorian Government’s Wine Ministerial Advisory Committee from 2016-2019 and is Brand & Project Manager of the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show.  Kim often presents at viticultural and wine conferences some recent presentations were at the 2016 Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Adelaide, 2016 London Restaurant Festival in the UK and 2015 Enologica Montefalco in Umbria Italy. Kim has been integral in re-establishing her family's nursery business, personally selecting a suite of new varieties to import and establish in Australia.

We are delighted to announce that along with restaurants reopening from June 1, cellar doors will be able to provide free, seated-tastings for guests. Wine Victoria has been working closely with the State Government since the lifting of restrictions was announced by the Victorian Premier the Hon Daniel Andrews, and we are delighted by today’s announcement from the Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, the Hon Jacyln Symes that will support the State’s struggling wine businesses.

 To enable social distancing rules to be enforced, wineries will need to adapt cellar doors to seat patrons.  If you have licenced outdoor areas these may also be used for seated tastings.
Please note: Paid tastings must be accompanied by a meal, and wines by the glass without food or other forms of paid wine-only service are prohibited.
We strongly recommend that cellar doors adopt best practice by using single-use disposable cups as spittoons for the foreseeable future to minimise the risk of contamination or virus transfer. You will need to follow all other health guidelines with regards to sanitation, social distancing and recording of visitor details.  Those requirements are set out in the following resources:

 We also recommend that you consider enrolling hospitality staff into the Restaurant and Catering Association COVID Ready training module.  It is a nominal fee per person and is a very good investment to minimise risk in your business.

We are expecting to receive a Q&A relating to cellar doors from the Government’s COVID-19 Response Team and so Wine Victoria will be hosting a Webinar on Tuesday 2 June at 5.00pm.  This invitation is open to all wineries and we strongly recommend you attend.
And finally, please make sure that you do the right thing and follow these guidelines to the letter.  Any breaches of the guidelines risk having this wound back for the entire industry.  We have worked incredibly hard to get to this point, let’s make sure once we are open, we can remain that way.

Friday, 29 May 2020 18:14

Bushfire Technical Response Program

The Wine Victoria Bushfire Technical Response Program aims to undertake the delivery of a package of technical support activities for Victorian wine industry participants affected by exposure to bushfire smoke during the 2019-20 growing season. While there is a focus on wine regions directly affected by smoke, the program seeks to deliver statewide benefits where possible. 

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes this week announced $990,000 to support a program delivered in partnership with Wine Victoria that will help winemakers assess and remediate the effects of smoke exposure on wines being made from this year’s harvest. The program will include online technical workshops on recognising and addressing the effects of smoke exposure, evaluation of 2020 wines by expert sensory panels, support to produce test batches for evaluation and access to a benchmarking kit to help winemakers assess their own wines. 

The program will also include winemaking trials to evaluate techniques for treating smoke-affected wines and research activities to better characterise the impacts of smoke on a range of locally important varieties. A steering committee made up of the Victorian Government, Wine Victoria and representatives from affected wine regions will oversee the program, which will be rolled out immediately and run until September 2021. 

Further information will be posted here as programs and activities are rolled out. 

For more information on support for the wine industry after the bushfires visit agriculture.vic.gov.auagriculture.vic.gov.au or call 136 186.

Nikki Palun completed a degree in Mandarin Chinese and Commerce and has worked for De Bortoli Wines and Vinomofo as their Head of Global Exports, where she developed a deep passion for wine and the promotion of wine culture. She now runs her own wine company Occtava Wines Occtava Wines to follow her desire to make wines with their own unique personalities style.

Rob is the Global Director of Public Affairs at Treasury Wine Estates. He has extensive global and domestic experience in the development, implementation and auditing of best management practice programs for agriculture and natural resource management, as well experience in policy development, project management, organisational change and strategic planning. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2020


The Victorian Government is resourcing the collection and transport of grape samples for the laboratory testing of smoke taint indicator compounds. This supports Victorian grapegrowers and winemakers and the broader Victorian Wine Industry during the current bushfire crisis. 
The collection initiative is serviced and funded by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions’ Agriculture Victoria. 
As vineyards are in different Phylloxera-management zones, movement of vine materials require specific certification to be received and sent on across zone and state borders. Agriculture Victoria staff will conduct quarantine inspections and provide permits and/or Plant Health Certificates as required at the designated collection point. Samples delivered to the collection point must be prepared according to laboratory instructions.
Frozen diagnostic samples must be in freezers at -18oC for a minimum of 24 hours prior to being brought into regional collection points listed below.

Samples will be collected and dispatched to laboratories by midday (12:00pm) on Mondays and Wednesdays, however with a first dispatch commencing this Thursday 23 January. 

Please note: no collection Australia Day Holiday, Monday 27 January.

Regional Collection Points*
Rutherglen DJPR Rutherglen 124 Chiltern Valley Rd, Rutherglen Matt Partridge 
(Winemakers of Rutherglen)
0428 744 434
King Valley Brown Brothers 239 Milawa-Bobinawarrah Rd, Milawa Sean Dean
(Wines of the King Valley)
0418 387 109
Yarra Valley Domaine Chandon 727 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream
(Loading Dock)
Caroline Evans
(Wine Yarra Valley)
 0409 190 646
Mornington Peninsula Moorooduc Estate 501 Derril Rd, Moorooduc
(Cellar Door Building 9am-4pm)
Jeremy Magyar
0417 231 946
Gippsland Traralgon Vineyard Burnets Rd, Traralgon East Marg & Leon Hammond
5174 0557
(Please call before drop off)
* If your region is not listed in the current listed collection points, please contact Wine Victoria

There are two laboratories accredited to undertake Smoke Taint testing of grapes and wine. These are Vintessential Laboratories and Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI). Grapegrowers/winemakers wishing to get samples tested for smoke taint resulting from the December 2019 – January 2020 bushfires should contact the laboratory of their choice directly to make sure that the laboratory can schedule the incoming samples and provide results within the required timeframe.
To submit to AWRI:

  • Read the guidelines for the collection of samples for smoke taint analysis in this link
  • Ensure your sample is accompanied by a submission form
  • Label your sample correctly. Attach these labels to your samples
  • Register with the AWRI as a client. If you do not have an existing account register in the AWRI system as a client 
To submit to Vintessential Laboratories:
  • Read the guidelines for the collection of samples for smoke taint analysis in this link
  • Ensure all samples are correctly labelled, attach these labels to your samples 
  • Grape samples from the Mornington Peninsula sent to Vintessential do not require a permit as they are in the same Phylloxera Management Zone
For more Bushfire Recovery Support information:
  • The Victorian government provides a range of bushfire recovery supportbushfire recovery support including financial support for business, personal and family support as well as practical information for managing farms after a bushfire. 
  • Wine Victoria will continue to communicate upcoming industry announcements regarding the bushfire response both directly and on our Facebook page.
  • The AWRI offers a free confidential technical support service to the Australian wine sector, if you have any enquiries on smoke taint please contact the AWRI Helpdesk (08) 8313 6600 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For further information and queries on this initiative:

Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

North East Victoria

Andy Clark

M| 0436 804 656


Southern Victoria

Yan Lai

M|0436 830 944 



Eric Wilkes

M| 0408 745 280

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Vintessential Laboratories

Wally Ceccato

M| 0439 864 240

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Friday, 04 October 2019 15:27

Annual General Meeting 2019

Written by

Wine Victoria Annual General Meeting 2019

Date: Tuesday November 26, 2019

Location: Level 8, 161 Collins Street, Melbourne

Time: 4:00pm - 7:00pm (including networking drinks)

More information will be provided closer to the date. 

More information: 
Rachael Sweeney
Wine Victoria Executive Officer
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Eliza Brown is from a fourth-generation wine family from Victoria, Australia. Currently, Eliza enjoys building regional businesses; she is the CEO of All Saints Wine Estate (1864), St Leonards Vineyard (1860), Mount Ophir Estate (1891), Thousand Pound Wine Bar & Store (2015) and Luxe Auto (2018) all located in Rutherglen, Victoria. Eliza likes to contribute to the broader wine industry and issues; she is currently a director of her broader family business, Brown Brothers and is also Chair of Wine Victoria's Five Pillars Tourism Project.