We’re putting the finishing touches on our 2018/19 Annual Report, which will be loaded onto the Vinehealth Australia website by September. When we write our annual report, it provides an opportunity to reflect on what’s been achieved. Here are some of our key highlights from 2018/19.

Quarantine response activities
During 2018-19, Vinehealth responded to five quarantine-related incidents and supported Biosecurity SA in ensuring compliance against SA’s Plant Quarantine Standard and investigating and resolving matters raised.

PQS review
Vinehealth Australia has undertaken a full review of the SA Plant Quarantine Standard (PQS) phylloxera-related conditions and proposed a suite of changes to industry, aimed at strengthening the state’s borders.

Phylloxera prevention
Vinehealth Australia kept industry abreast of three further phylloxera detections in the Yarra Valley in early 2019. We’ve visited Agriculture Victoria to discuss these phylloxera incursions and to highlight the need for the national wine and grape industries to learn about why phylloxera might be spreading in Victoria. We’ve encouraged vineyard owners to undertake active preparedness and prevention activities to combat the entry and subsequent spread of phylloxera.

Outbreak simulation
Vinehealth Australia created and delivered a Phylloxera Outbreak Simulation for Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) in 2018. This simulation delivered important learnings to TWE and intelligence to the South Australian wine industry and regulators as we embark upon a new South Australian Phylloxera Incursion Response Strategy.

Responsible Visitation Campaign 2
In round two of the RVC, aimed at educating tourists and wine tourism staff about their role in keeping vineyards healthy:

  • 120 people were trained across SA (Adelaide, Barossa, Adelaide Hills, Clare, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Coonawarra, Riverland).
  • 527 training kits were supplied across SA.
  • Bus tour operators were educated.
  • 26 meetings were held with councils and regional development groups.
  • 209 Wine Tourism Biosecurity Signs were sold.

Grapevine Pinot gris virus
We led a project titled ‘A comprehensive review of Grapevine Pinot Gris virus (GPGV), including recommendations for future research, development and extension work in Australia.’  We extended the outcomes to the nursery and vine improvement sector nationally prior to the 2019 propagation season.

Coonawarra Rootstock Trial
We continue our long-term partnership with Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) and Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated (CGWI) in a rootstock trial planted on the region’s famed terra rossa soil. Now in its tenth year, the project compares the performance of own-rooted Cabernet Sauvignon (CW 44 clone) vines against eight rootstocks. During vintage 2019, we hosted a second field walk of the trial site. This year, for the first time, grapes were hand harvested in sufficient quantity for duplicate, small lot wines to be made.

A new digital biosecurity platform
Vinehealth continues to progress the development of a geospatial and temporal data-based Digital Biosecurity Platform to replace Vinehealth’s existing Vineyard Register.

Multilingual biosecurity fact sheets
We developed a Seasonal Workers Fact Sheet translated into Vietnamese, Urdu, Hindi, Thai and Dari in 2019, which focused on communicating 5 key items to help keep our vineyards safe from pests and diseases.  

New phylloxera bumper stickers
We designed new phylloxera bumper stickers in 2018 and posted two to every registered vineyard owner in South Australia in August.

New biosecurity signs
209 Wine Tourism Biosecurity signs and 298 Farm-gate Biosecurity Signs have been purchased by vineyard owners in the past year. And with $5000 of PIRSA funding, we distributed free farm-gate biosecurity signs to more than 100 vineyard owners in early 2019.

State border signage
Vinehealth organised the design and installation of nine large biosecurity signs at key border locations in 2018. Funded by PIRSA, the signs highlight the strict quarantine requirements associated with the entry of phylloxera risk items into the state, such as vineyard machinery, equipment, soil and grapes.

Phil the Phylloxera Guy
Phil appeared at the 2018 Royal Adelaide Show, in the PIRSA Farm Expo Pavilion, to raise awareness about phylloxera prevention. And he educated Instagram Influencers about keeping vines healthy at Tapanappa Cellar Door in May 2019.

Maintenance of the Vineyard Register
We continue to accurately maintain information for South Australian vineyard owners, including facilitating the transfer of ownership during property settlements.

The Vineyard Register has been used for prescribed burns, traceback audits in the GPGV incursion and other important purposes.

Management of contributions payable
We continue to manage the system to collect and recover contributions payable under the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Act 1995. This includes integrity audits of data and liaison with state government departments who assist us in recovering outstanding contributions.

Information based on the Vinehealth Australia 2018/19 Annual Report.