As vintage kicks in across South Australia, it’s a good time to think about how we’re transporting our precious grapes from the vineyard to the wineries.
During the 2019 grape harvest, there were some major grape spills in several regions resulting in both loss of crop and more importantly unsafe and dangerous road conditions. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has raised their concerns with industry and asked us to help get the message out about the role we all need to play to minimise grape spillages in V20.
Grapes have the potential to make roads very slippery and can cause road accidents due to loss of traction or swerving to avoid the spill. It’s important to note, transport operators can be found at fault if an unrestrained load causes an incident, even if your vehicle has long left the scene of the accident.
The high viscosity of machine-harvested grapes can be challenging to contain if not managed properly. Never overfill grape bins and if you have a new driver or transporter not familiar with grapes have a chat with them about grape movement and tips to avoiding spillages. We know roundabouts and corners are particularly prone to spills that could be easily avoided by just going a little bit slower.
We’re lucky in our Industry to have fantastic transport operators who work tirelessly during vintage and never spill a grape. Make sure you don’t put them under any unnecessary pressure by knowing your obligations under the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws.
For more information regarding proper load restraints or your obligations, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is a great resource You can visit their website here. We all have a role to play in making the roads safe for everyone – let’s do our bit.
On a positive note, I wanted to give a quick shout out to the amazing growers and regions who have been involved with collecting, cleaning, collating and bundling ‘fit for purpose’ good quality second-hand posts for donation to Kangaroo Island farmers.
It’s been an absolute pleasure to see fantastic, hardworking, caring and completely unassuming growers, donating their time and often their staff to get it done. What a privilege to see so many of our members positively contributing to the recovery of our bushfire affected friends.
It is likely post donations will continue for several months with further information to be released shortly.
For now, our focus turns to vintage and although quantity may be down, I’m hearing quality is right up there and we can expect more awesome South Australian wine from vintage 2020. I for one am looking forward to that.
Stay safe everyone!