In the vintage period, we know it’s common for viticultural and winemaking staff to visit numerous vineyard blocks every day, evaluating fruit ripeness. While this activity is vital to ensure harvest occurs at optimum ripeness and flavour development for each block, it also comes with a potential downside.
Footwear, clothing and vehicle tyres can pick up and spread pests, disease and weeds between vineyard blocks, potentially impacting long term vineyard viability.
Vinehealth Australia is putting the call out to all South Australian wine industry personnel who walk down vine rows, to make biosecurity part of their daily program.
For each vineyard you visit, you have three options to minimise pest, disease and weed transfer from your footwear depending on which Phylloxera Management Zone the vineyard you are visiting is in and which Phylloxera Management Zone the vineyards you have previously visited in the last three weeks are in:
- Use a pair of sturdy disposable shoe covers; or
- Use alternative footwear such as rubber boots or work boots that stay at the vineyard; or
- Disinfest your footwear according to the Footwear and Small Hand Tool Disinfestation protocol.
Disposable shoe covers vary significantly in their robustness and we recommend very sturdy shoe covers for external wear. These Pro Val CPE Heavy Duty Boot Covers can be purchased from https://www.cleaningshop.com.au and a box of 50 can be purchased for $39.45.
For further information on footwear and clothing options relevant to different Phylloxera Management Zones, refer to our best-practice fact sheet, called ‘Biosecurity Planning for Vineyard Owners Hosting Visitors’.