Two new Wine Australia-funded projects will establish a National Germplasm Collection and develop Standards for the grapevine propagation supply chain.

Nick Dry from Foundation Viticulture, who is the National Coordinator of the projects, said bringing planting material into the vineyard was the greatest biosecurity threat to a business.

“The success of any wine business is built on the foundation of the right genetics and strong, healthy planting material,” Nick said.

“For vineyards to start clean and true, and stay clean and true, we need access to this planting material through high-health and high integrity collections and source blocks – and assurance via Standards and protocols which maintain health and integrity through the supply chain.”

The projects will:

  1. Set up a system that will fund the maintenance and management of inter-related, fit-for purpose grapevine collections: this will be called the National Grapevine Collection.
  2. Invest in research outcomes and capabilities that will be used to develop a pre-propagation standard and best practice guidelines for source block management and cutting supply.
  3. Facilitate breeding, preservation, and variety and clone evaluation projects.
  4. Invest in the strategic importation of industry critical cultivars such as new rootstocks. Nick said first on the wish-list were Pierce’s Disease resistant varieties.
  5. Establish a rapid and safe system for importing varieties from overseas to remove the temptation of illegal imports.

For more information about the National Germplasm Project click here and for the Development of a national standard for grapevine certification click here.