About Grape Phylloxera
Of the pests and diseases endemic to Australia, one of the greatest biosecurity threats to vineyards in South Australia is Grape phylloxera (Daktulsphaira vitifoliae). This tiny insect pest destroys grapevines and ornamental vines by feeding on their roots. Almost 75% of vines in South Australia are susceptible to attack. Once vines are infested, they will die within six years. There is no eradicative treatment, so infested vineyards must be replanted on phylloxera-resistant or tolerant rootstock. This is a costly exercise at around $60,000/hectare (calculated in 2017 by Vinehealth Australia and benchmarked against industry standards), and replanted vines will take about three years to produce a crop and longer to mature.
For more information on phylloxera lifecycle, how it spreads, signs of infestation in the vineyard and more, click on the ‘About Grape Phylloxera’ fact sheet.
Not all grape phylloxera are equal. There have been several hundred genetic strains of phylloxera documented worldwide, with Australia identifying 83 endemic strains. Click here for more information on strains.
Where is phylloxera in Australia and where is it not?
Phylloxera at present, is confined to regions in Victoria and New South Wales.
South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania are designated ‘phylloxera-free’.
For policy, regulatory and management purposes, our wine regions are classified into Phylloxera Management Zones according to evidence of phylloxera presence, absence or unknown (untested) status:
- Phylloxera Exclusion Zones (PEZ) – a whole state or part thereof, recognised to be free of phylloxera.
- Phylloxera Risk Zones (PRZ) – an area of unknown phylloxera status (but never detected).
- Phylloxera Infested Zones (PIZ) – an area known to have phylloxera.
Movement of items (e.g. machinery, equipment, grapes, grape products, propagation material, diagnostic samples and soil) that could potentially transfer phylloxera from one place to another are tightly controlled between these areas).
To confirm the Phylloxera Management Zone (PMZ) your vineyard is in, either refer to the Phylloxera Management Zones in Australia map or use our interactive maps tool to choose your wine region and find out which PMZ it’s in.
Farm-gate hygiene practices
There are a number of simple activities you can carry out to reduce the likelihood of a phylloxera incursion in your vineyard. Refer to our Farm-gate hygiene section.
Additional information on phylloxera, farm-gate hygiene and rootstocks can be found in a range of articles below:
Pest and Disease
- Grapegrower and Winemaker Magazine Maroondah phylloxera zone boundary shifted due to new detections April 2019
- Wine and Viticulture Journal New phylloxera detection in Victorian phylloxera risk zone Autumn 2019
- Daily Wine News New phylloxera detections in Victoria 29 March 2019
- Farm Biosecurity News Phylloxera detection in Victorian PRZ March 2019
- The Shout New phylloxera detection in Victoria 6 March 2019
- Daily Wine News New phylloxera detection in Victorian phylloxera risk zone 4 March 2019
- Grapegrower and Winemaker Magazine Vigilance for healthy vines November 2018
- Grapegrower and Winemaker Magazine Development of an additional phylloxera detection method September 2018
- The Weekly Times Vineyard biosecurity – call to arms to rid state of phylloxera 6 Sep 2017
- The Advertiser Heightened biosecurity threat warning to wine industry 4 Sep 2018
- Gourmet Traveller Wine Hidden Menace Aug 2018
- Wine Business.com New phylloxera detection method created 16 Aug 2018
- WBM – Wine Business Magazine Phylloxera Strains Matter May/June 2017
- Daily Wine News Phylloxera Spreads North in the Yarra Valley 5 May 2017
- Grapegrower and Winemaker Magazine Vigilance Required in Phylloxera Fight Feb 2017
- WBM – Wine Business Magazine Phylloxera Jan/Feb 2017
- Grapegrower and Winemaker Managing people risk this vintage Jan 2019
- Biosecurity news Don’t spread pests and diseases farm to farm Sep 2018
- Farm biosecurity news Fences make good neighbours Sep 2018
- Daily Wine News Fences make good neighbours: one on one with Peter Bird 20 Aug 2018
- WBM Online Before pickers arrive, talk to them about farm-gate hygiene 18 Aug 2018
- Daily Wine News When Sharing Isn’t Caring 8 Aug 2018
- Riverland Wine Recent News Let’s stick together 19 July 2018
- Grapegrower and Winemaker farmgate hygiene July 2018
- Farmbiosecurity news Sheep agistment tips June 2018
- Grapegrower and Winemaker Top 4 for V18 March 2018
- Farmbiosecurity news Vintage toolkit released February 2018
- Naracoorte Herald Stop Spread in Heat Shed 16 Nov 2017
- Weekly times Vineyard biosecurity: Call to arms to rid state of phylloxera 7 Sep 2017
- Grapegrower and Winemaker Magazine Can you tick these 10 boxes? Aug 2017
- Murray Pioneer Vintage and hygiene 15 Mar 2017
- Daily Wine News Rootstock Research Showing Progress 19 February 2019
- SevenFifty Daily The impact of own-rooted vines on wine 2 Jan 2019
- WBM The bloody pest that could end it all Jul/Aug 2018
- WBM The bloody pest that could end it all Jul/Aug 2018
- Riverland Wine News and Events Keep the Riverland phylloxera free 28 June 2018
- The Weekly Times Fend off phylloxera 27 June 2018
- The Shout Action urged to reduce phylloxera risk 27 June 2018
- Country News Phylloxera warning 26 June 2018
- Daily Wine News Take action to reduce phylloxera risk 19 June 2018
- Grapegrower and Winemaker Magazine Assessing rootstocks and wine quality June 2018
- Wine & Viticulture Journal – Rootstock resistance Mar/Apr 2018
- Gourmet Traveller Wine Rootstocks Oct/Nov 2017
Field detection project
To find out more about our recently completed ‘DNA testing for early and accurate detection’ project, click here.
Featured photo courtesy of Agriculture Victoria (Rutherglen)