Vinehealth Australia
eNewsletter: September 2020
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Hello from Inca Lee

We can’t help but feel a sense of optimism as we see the first signs of a new vintage emerging in our regions. I know we all share a desire to put 2020 behind us.

But before we turn the page, we should reflect on the good things that have occurred. In the biosecurity space, your ongoing support has enabled us to deliver a range of initiatives for industry. We’ve summarised these key activities in our 2019/20 Annual Report, which has just been released and can be found here.

Highlights include the Phylloxera Immersion Tour to the Yarra Valley in late 2019, delivery of the Grapevine Pinot gris virus extension project to the vine improvement and nursery sector and delivery of the strengthened phylloxera conditions in the SA Plant Quarantine Standard.

This is just a taste, and I encourage you to read our Annual Report, and our 2019/20 Snapshot, which can be found here.  

Finally, congratulations to our Technical Manager Suzanne McLoughlin, who has been named a finalist in the ASVO 2020 Viticulturist of the Year award. Congratulations also to the other finalists, Ben Harris from Treasury Wine Estates and Dr Mark Krstic from the AWRI. The winner will be announced in November.
Inca Lee
CEO, Vinehealth Australia

In this issue

Last issue highlights

Annual Report released

Vinehealth Australia has released its 2019/20 Annual Report, sharing key highlights and priorities for the future.
“The past 12 months have been challenging for South Australian vineyard owners with drought, low yields, bushfires and a pandemic to deal with,” said Inca Lee, Vinehealth Australia CEO.
“Through this turmoil, Vinehealth Australia has worked hard to ensure new pests, diseases and weeds are not introduced into SA vineyards.”

Read more

Coonawarra Cabernet leads new plantings

A total of 996 hectares were reported as planted in South Australia in 2019/20. This represents a net increase of 520 hectares in the last 12 months, taking the total vineyard area in the state to 76,008 hectares.
The largest area of plantings was in the Coonawarra wine region, followed by the Riverland. Of new plantings, Cabernet Sauvignon was the most planted red variety by area and Fiano the most planted white variety by area.
This information comes from Vinehealth Australia’s Vineyard Register.

Read more

Addressing national rootstock shortages

Planting a proportion of a vineyard to grapevines grafted to phylloxera-tolerant rootstock is a strategy we encourage growers to employ as part of phylloxera risk management. However, growers report issues with accessing virus-free planting material and the high cost of grafted material compared to own-rooted material.
In response, Vinehealth Australia has engaged Nick Dry to investigate rootstock supply and demand nationally.

Read more

New plantings?
Update your records

Are you undertaking new vineyard plantings this year? Don’t forget to keep your Vineyard Records up to date in the Vinehealth Australia database. SA vineyard owners are reminded that it is a requirement of the Phylloxera & Grape Industry Act 1995 that any changes to contact and plantings details are provided to Vinehealth Australia within three months of the change.
Accurate records are essential during a biosecurity incursion.

Read more

Grape harvesters: movement into WA

The importation of grape harvesters into Western Australia from other states can be lengthy and costly. Many who try initially fail the border inspections, despite best attempts at meeting the import conditions. This can be costly, with recleaning and reinspection costing many thousands of dollars, in addition to lost time.
Hans Loder, Viticulturist-Vineyard Manager of Penley Estate in Coonawarra, shares with us his key actions and learnings from preparing a second-hand grape harvester for export from SA into WA.

Read more

Managing OJD in SA

It’s always useful to keep a watching brief on learnings from other industries to assist us in keeping a focus on our own biosecurity efforts. In this edition we look at the management of the endemic sheep disease Ovine Johne’s Disease or OJD in South Australia.
OJD is an incurable wasting disease of sheep caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP).
It has a long incubation period from exposure to infection – up to two years, and subsequent onset of clinical signs, making it an extremely difficult disease to detect early and manage.

Read more

Signage reminders

It’s wonderful to see wine biosecurity signs popping up at cellar doors around the State. One important reminder to share with winery owners, however, is the need to check with your local council’s planning department when putting up signage, as development approval may be required.
It’s also important to note that placing signage on council land and road verges is generally not permitted.

Read more

Attention amateur weather forecasters

One of the most useful services provided by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is their long-range weather and climate forecasting.
With the start to the growing season upon us, any extra help in weather forecasting to assist in planning and timing of vineyard operations is valuable. Check out the graphs here for rainfall, maximum temperature and minimum temperature.

Read more

Watch this

Avoid this hitchhiker

For those of you who haven't seen the Who's Hitchhiking With You? video, here it is again. In this video, Phil the Phylloxera Guy tries to sneak into vineyards with various groups of tourists. Of course, in reality, Phil is a tiny bug, so he's even harder to keep out. Enjoy this humorous take on vineyard biosecurity! 

Watch the video here

Biosecurity supporters

Noon Wines

“Our old vines are precious to us. They only produce small crops but the flavour is amazing. Part of the reason for their longevity and quality is that they’re growing without rootstocks. It only takes one phylloxera bug to start an infestation that would see the end of these vines and all others like them, so biosecurity is very important to us.”

Drew Noon, Noon Winery, McLaren Vale

Biosecurity tips

  • SA PQS tip #5: Entry into SA of used netting, trellis posts, vine guards, dripper tube, wire and clips, irrespective of the source interstate, is now prohibited. #vinehealth #SAPQS
  • SA PQS tip #6: Specified entry conditions into SA for hand tools from a PIZ/PIBZ have been added to address the previous gap and acknowledge the risk they pose. #vinehealth #SAPQS
  • SA PQS tip #7: Entry into SA of winegrapes grown in a PRZ is now prohibited. The unknown phylloxera status of PRZs are a continuing risk to SA, highlighted by detections of phylloxera in Victorian PRZs in recent years. #vinehealth #SAPQS 
  • SA PQS tip #8: Steam is now prohibited as a sterilisation treatment method for all machinery or equipment being imported into SA. #vinehealth #SAPQS

What is biosecurity?

Biosecurity is a system to reduce the risk of entry, establishment and spread of pests, diseases and weeds that threaten the economy and environment. It’s also a system for managing and recovering from an incursion of a pest and disease by minimising its impact through eradication, containment and ongoing asset protection. Biosecurity is a shared responsibility – we need to work collaboratively.

Copyright © Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia,
trading as Vinehealth Australia and governed by 
The Phylloxera and Grape Industry Act 1995