Vinehealth Australia is excited to announce that, with the support of Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated and Wynns Coonawarra Estate, we have been successful in obtaining a grant to build industry’s knowledge of the impacts of climate change on rootstock performance.
The project, titled ‘Improving wine industry resilience to climate change’, will be conducted on the Coonawarra Rootstock Trial site. The funding is through the Limestone Coast Landscape Board’s Grassroots Grant program for 2021/22.
“Following a number of field walks through the trial in prior years where grapegrowers and winemakers have been able to assess the growth and grape characteristics of different rootstocks, this grant provides a wonderful opportunity to uncover and share new practical knowledge from the Coonawarra Rootstock Trial” said Inca Lee, Vinehealth Australia CEO.
“We plan to enlist soil and rootstock experts to delve below the soil surface and undertake detailed vine root analysis of a series of soil pits to analyse and describe rooting patterns of the nine rootstocks including an own-rooted control planted at the site.”
The findings will be presented to industry as part of a field day to raise awareness of the importance of applying variable management strategies to the rootstocks, based on their inherent genetics and ability to access and use soil water, to achieve yield and quality outcomes.
Areas such as choosing appropriate planting sites, how to manage rootstocks during establishment, and how to apply appropriate irrigation scheduling for these rootstocks under different climatic and water availability situations will be discussed.
As part of the field day workshop, there are also plans to include an interactive panel discussion for growers and winemakers to learn from one another about the successes and failures of rootstock choices and management from local experience.
Work under this grant will commence from October 2021 and be completed by 30 June 2022. The ‘Improving wine industry resilience to climate change’ project is supported by the Limestone Coast Landscape Board’s Grassroots Grants program and is funded by regional landscape and water levies.
“We sincerely thank the Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs and Penny Schulz, Chair of the Limestone Coast Landscape Board for this opportunity,” Inca said.
The Coonawarra Rootstock trial was planted in 2009/10 in a scientifically-replicated manner, under a partnership agreement with Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated and the owner of the land, Wynns Coonawarra Estate. The trial includes CW44 Cabernet Sauvignon grafted onto eight rootstocks (Börner, M5489, M5512, M6262, Ramsey, 110 Richter, 1103 Paulsen, 140 Ruggeri) and an own-rooted control.
Two of the aims of this trial are to:
- Raise awareness of the importance of planting on rootstocks as a biosecurity preparedness strategy for phylloxera and as a management option for countering the impacts of climate change; and
- Continue to improve broader understanding of the attributes rootstocks can convey to scions, and the environments, seasonal conditions and purposes for which they are therefore best suited.
This project is supported by the Limestone Coast Landscape Board’s Grassroots Grants program, and is funded by regional landscape and water levies