The fifth round of the Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grants, which provides funding of up to $100,000 to cellar doors to develop initiatives to encourage visitors to wine regions, is now open. Applications close on 30 September, and you can find out more and apply here.

Vinehealth Australia encourages all cellar doors to consider biosecurity in their tourism operations.

“Develop a simple approach to biosecurity that works for you, starting with when visitors first arrive at your property,” said Suzanne McLoughlin, Acting CEO of Vinehealth.

“If a busload of tourists arrives, meet the bus in the car park and ask visitors not to wander into the vineyard. For example, you could explain that we have some of the oldest vines in the world in South Australia and we’re working hard to keep it that way, by preventing the accidental introduction of any pests, diseases or weeds via shoes and clothing.

“Ensure your staff are all biosecurity advocates and know how to approach the subject with visitors. Include biosecurity training in your staff inductions.”

Vehicle tyres can harbour soil, pests, diseases and weeds, so visitor parking should be set up as far away from vines as possible and preferably on a hard-pack surface.

If there are natural entry points into the vineyard from the car parking area, put up biosecurity signs to communicate the need to stay out of the vine rows.

Erecting a visual barrier such as a hedge, a fishpond or a low fence will also help to prevent unwanted visitors from entering your vineyard.

Cellar doors can also create experiences where visitors can see and learn about vines safely, for example, build a wooden platform for photos that has a spectacular view of your vineyard. 

Cellar doors can also show visitors Vinehealth Australia’s biosecurity video.