Further to the Biosecurity Alert issued on 1 March 2019 advising of a phylloxera detection in a Victorian Phylloxera Risk Zone (PRZ) at St Andrews, Agriculture Victoria posted a new Industry Notice on 25 March 2019 advising of an additional phylloxera detection.

This additional detection is at a vineyard at Coldstream inside the existing Maroondah Phylloxera Infested Zone (PIZ) in the Yarra Valley, Victoria. The strain of phylloxera detected has been confirmed as G1; the same as that found in the Maroondah PIZ and at St Andrews.

In response to the recent detections at both St Andrews and Coldstream, two extensions to the current Maroondah PIZ boundary have resulted. Click here to see a map. The process of formally declaring the new Maroondah PIZ is underway. In the interim, these two new extension areas to the Maroondah PIZ are considered phylloxera infested zones for the movement of regulated products.

Australian Grape & Wine Inc (Australian Grape & Wine) and Vinehealth Australia again remind the industry that it is mandatory to comply with state Plant Quarantine Standards or equivalent, when moving regulated products between states and between Phylloxera Management Zones within states. This includes the movement of planting material (cuttings, rootlings, potted vines, germplasm), machinery and equipment (including bins), wine grapes, table grapes and wine grape-related material (must, unfiltered juice, filtered juice, marc, wine), diagnostic samples and vineyard soils. We recognise that vintage is a particularly high-risk time for movement of these regulated items and accordingly call on the grape and wine industries to ensure vigilance.

If you are moving any of the above items out of the Maroondah PIZ, including the two new extension areas, you must comply with movement conditions stated in Agriculture Victoria’s Industry Notice dated 19 March 2019.

In addition, while people movement is not regulated through state Plant Quarantine Standards or equivalent, growers must be responsible for the safe movement of people onto their vineyards.

As footwear and clothing can pick up and spread phylloxera and other pests and diseases, it is vital that best-practice farm-gate hygiene is undertaken prior to entry and exit of vineyards. Wineries, contractors, tourism operators and tourists must also assume joint responsibility for ensuring phylloxera spread is contained.

About phylloxera in Australia

Phylloxera is a devastating soft bodied insect pest of grapevines worldwide, affecting Vitis species (commercial grapevines and ornamental vines). There are 83 endemic strains in Australia that are confined to a number of wine regions in parts of Victoria and New South Wales. Phylloxera represents a major threat to the vast majority of Australia’s vineyards that are planted on own roots, which are highly susceptible to attack by the pest.

Australian grapegrowing regions are delineated by phylloxera status into three management zones:

  • Phylloxera Exclusion Zones (PEZ) have been surveyed and found free or are declared free historically.
  • Phylloxera Risk Zones (PRZ) are of unknown status.
  • Phylloxera Infested Zones (PIZ) contain vineyards known to be or have been infested.

For enquiries please contact Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive, Australian Grape & Wine: 0413 014 807, Inca Pearce, CEO, Vinehealth Australia: 0418 818 543 or your state regulator.