In Australia, the world’s driest inhabitable continent, the availability of water defines what you can grow, what you can’t grow and, importantly, how you should grow. In the 1990s, the winemakers of McLaren Vale had yet to learn that lesson.
Together with local farmers, notably the region’s almond growers, they were slowly draining the region’s underground aquifers by over-watering their crops to increase yields. It led to a worrying decline in the water table which, in turn, increased salinity. Something had to be done.