The Board responsible for protecting South Australian vineyards from pests and diseases since 1899, today unveiled a new name and identity. The Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia will now be known as Vinehealth Australia.

The name change is part of the board’s five-year strategic plan to work and collaborate nationally to safeguard South Australia’s $1.79 billion wine industry from diseases, pests and other conditions that may affect vine health and, importantly, to help maintain South Australia’s phylloxera-free status.

Welcoming today’s announcement, Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell said the Board has had a proud history of protecting South Australia’s vineyards from pest and disease incursions for more than 115 years.

“South Australia has been a world-leader in preventing phylloxera from devastating the wine industry,” Mr Bignell said. “One of the very first Acts of the South Australian Parliament was the Vines Protection Act of 1874, which gave the Governor power to prohibit vine cuttings or rooted vines from countries affected by phylloxera entering the colony.

“We’re now taking another important step forward. Vinehealth Australia will strengthen its role in delivering grape and wine biosecurity knowledge across Australia, which will deliver benefits for the local wine industry.

“Vinehealth Australia will continue to develop policy, test new tools and technology, and facilitate collaboration across Australia to protect our vineyards.”

Remaining firmly anchored in South Australia, Vinehealth Australia will continue to operate under the existing Phylloxera and Grape Industry Act (1995). The fight against phylloxera will remain at the core of its operations, however as the new name reflects, Vinehealth Australia will look at the risk other diseases and pests pose to the health of vines in South Australia.

Vinehealth Australia Presiding Officer Ben Gibson said that this is an exciting milestone which embodies the visionary insight of our industry pioneers, who back in 1899 urged the government to establish the Act under which we continue to operate today.

“Our aim is to reduce the overall pressure and risk of diseases and pests to South Australian vineyards. We will do this by leading and collaborating nationally to advocate for and deliver improved policy, practices and risk assessments. And we will continue to empower the industry to act with tools and knowledge that safeguard the health of vines; after all healthy vines are the foundation for a prosperous industry.”

Vinehealth Australia has a striking new logo depicting the grapevine leaf as an iconic symbol of health and prosperity and colours reflecting each wine varietal across the seasons.