Vinehealth is excited to share that in conjunction with Wynns Coonawarra Estate and Coonawarra Vignerons, we have started work on a new project for which we received a Limestone Coast Landscape Board Grassroots Grant, which uses the existing Coonawarra Rootstock Trial site.

The project will enlist soil and rootstock experts to delve below the soil surface and undertake detailed vine root analysis of the nine rootstocks including an own-rooted control planted in the trial.

Results will be presented to industry in 2022 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.

Very recently we’ve started on the project by collecting soil samples by rootstock for chemical analysis. Results will be analysed in conjunction with assessments of soil physical properties and rootstock rooting characteristics, to be evaluated in due course.

We’ve also conducted our first vine-by-vine health ratings, focused on suspected trunk disease presence/absence, for each vine in the randomised, replicated trial rows. These assessments were captured using a customised assessment within the Grape Assess App.

We plan to repeat this assessment in autumn, focusing on suspected virus presence/absence. These assessments follow initial unquantified observations of trunk disease and virus in the trial. They are important to monitor the integrity of the trial rows over time, to ensure that vine health issues do not adversely affect one rootstock over another, thereby affecting the conclusions we can draw from the trial.

We have also completed retagging of the rootstock plantings in preparation for rapid identification by visitors at the field day.

This project is supported by the Limestone Coast Landscape Board’s Grassroots Grants program, and is funded by regional landscape and water levies