For growers and wineries alike, vintage can be a time of heightened biosecurity risk, due to new staff and visitors having little understanding of biosecurity risks and your procedures to combat these risks.

Vintage is a key time where you need to review who is on site, and undertake some tailored biosecurity training – which will depend on what your staff and visitors will be doing or where they will be working. Vinehealth Australia recommends you undertake regular training refreshers for your permanent staff and returning contractors.

Biosecurity is as important to your business as work health and safety or payroll, as the impacts of a pest or disease incursion due to a small failure of biosecurity can have devastating business and industry-wide implications. Vintage is a particularly important time to be vigilant and maintain your biosecurity standards. We have a range of tools to assist you.

For those working in or visiting vineyards, focus your communications around:

  • Requiring visitors to sign in upon arrival, so that the risk of entry of each visitor can be appropriately assessed and managed.
  • Expectations of footwear, clothing, vehicle and equipment cleaning and management, especially when travelling to or from interstate Phylloxera Infested or Risk Zones, or receiving personnel from these zones. This includes checking of footwear and car tyres for weed seeds, and footwear and clothing for pests prior to leaving each vineyard. Refer to our Biosecurity Planning for Hosting Visitors fact sheet.
  • Expectations of footwear and clothing management when travelling to or from vineyard regions internationally. Refer to our Employing International Staff and For Australian Wine Personnel Travelling Overseas fact sheets.
  • Contractor management and expectations before, during and after working on the vineyard. Refer to our Contractor Checklist.
  • Setting up a footbath to protect against the introduction and spread of phylloxera. Refer here for footbath options, tips for setting up multiple footbaths for large groups and for prolonging the efficacy of your footbath.
  • Expectation of parking vehicles in designated parking areas, preferably on hard pack surfaces.
  • The cleanliness of picking buckets/crates and snips. We strongly encourage providing this equipment for hand picking crews, given importation requirements into SA, and the difficulty in controlling their cleanliness.
  • Looking out for anything unusual in relation to pests or vine health and seeking assistance to identify anything unusual by phoning the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. Refer to our If You Spot Me Report Me poster.
  • Improving the understanding of grape phylloxera and importantly, that phylloxera can survive without food for up to 29 days. Refer to our information about phylloxera and map of Phylloxera Management Zones in Australia.
  • Managing visitor biosecurity during regional events such as the Tour Down Under or vintage events. Use biosecurity signage to identify appropriate behaviour, and consider visitor education around key biosecurity concerns.
  • Using the Naracoorte Heat Shed for machinery disinfestation when moving machinery into and out of the Limestone Coast. Call Heat Shed Manager Sarah Bird on 0429 430 641, for further information.

For those working in the winery, focus your communications around:

  • Winegrape load inspection and verification protocols if your winery holds an accreditation/certification.
  • Expectations for grape bin and truck cleaning protocols. Pay particular attention to soil and plant material caught in forklift lugs.
  • Bin fleet management, especially if receiving interstate grape bins.
  • Looking out for hitchhiker pests in machinery and equipment containers and packaging and reporting anything unusual to the exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

Relevant to both vineyards and wineries: