The theme of setting expectations for how you want your vines to be respected by your visitors flows on to the importance of having your visitors sign in prior to accessing your vines.

Asking your visitor to sign in allows you pose a range of questions, which will allow you to assess the risk they pose to your vines, so you can adequately manage it.

Visitors and their machinery and equipment can pose a risk of introducing and spreading pests, diseases and weeds into your vineyard, some of which could be devastating.

Vinehealth Australia has a free visitor sign in template available for this purpose.

One of the most important factors of having a sign in register is for your staff to review it, preferably when every visitor signs in. You should only allow access to your vines if you know where each visitor (and their machinery or equipment) has been in the past three weeks.

If there has been a visit to a vineyard in a Phylloxera Infested Zone or a Phylloxera Risk Zone in Victoria, New South Wales or Queensland, and the visitors are wearing the same unwashed clothing or non-disinfested footwear they wore in these vineyards, the visitor should be denied access to your vine rows if your vineyard is in a Phylloxera Exclusion Zone.

For further information on a risk-based approach to managing visitors, click here. For import requirements of machinery and equipment, refer to your state’s Plant Quarantine Standard, or equivalent.

To manage the risks, ensure staff have good knowledge of the latest Australian Phylloxera Management Zones map.

Consider what the different phylloxera management zones mean in terms of the risk of bringing phylloxera to your vineyard, and where the risky locations are. Don’t forget the risk international visitors can also pose.

As well as guiding your assessment of risk, a sign in register is vital for facilitating traceback and traceforward studies. In the case of an outbreak of a pest, disease or weed, clear traceback and traceforward paths allow the source of the incursion to be identified quickly, to prevent additional spread on more properties or parts of the same property. We recommend you retain your sign in registers for seven years.