PROPERTY owners and farmers on the Mornington Peninsula are being asked to delay burning off until after the grape harvest.
The CFA lifted fire restrictions on 28 March, but it could be late April or May before all grapes have been picked.
Mornington Peninsula Wine CEO, Olivia Barrie said grapes were susceptible to “smoke taint” which could affect their quality and flavour.
“For the next few weeks, vineyard nets will be coming off vineyards, grapes harvested, and our wineries will be processing this year’s vintage of wines,” she said.
“We know there have been many fallen trees from storms in the spring and early summer, however this build-up of material [if burned] will create significant smoke, impacting directly on the quality and value of the region’s wine.
“Wet or green material will generate even more smoke.”
Ms Barrie said the wine community would be “incredibly grateful” if burning was held off.
The peninsula has 1200 hectares of vineyards and annually produces about 4000 tonnes of grapes. However, this year’s harvest is down on previous year’s due to weather events, although the quality is reportedly “impressive”.
Half of the grapes are used to make pinot noir, followed by chardonnay, 25 per cent; pinot grigio/gris, 15 per cent; and other varieties such as shiraz and riesling, fruilano, gewurztraminer making up the remaining 10 per cent.
All material prepared for burning must be registered online at firepermits.vic.gov.au or call 1800 668 511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org