Vintage is a time when there is likely to be significant movement of people onto and off your property – undertaking activities such as pest and disease monitoring, checking irrigation, maturity sampling, berry tasting to set harvest dates and of course, harvesting. Some of these people may have worked in other regions or overseas before visiting your vineyard and could pose a risk of spreading pests, diseases and weeds to your vineyard.
Machinery and equipment movements are also likely to be occurring on and off your property – with machine harvesting involving the use of grape harvesters, tractors, bin trailers and grape bins and the movement of trucks to deliver empty grape bins and take away full grape bins for processing. Best practice is to ensure all machinery and equipment coming onto your property is clean of soil and grapevine material before it enters, and that it leaves in the same condition.
With these particular activities in mind, Vinehealth Australia’s handy Vintage Toolkit will help you to be biosecurity-ready this vintage.
|1||Key biosecurity risks||Are you aware of the top 10 farm-gate hygiene risks your business faces? Click here for our current ‘Attention all Grapegrowers’ poster. Familiarising yourself with these risks can help you to recognise them in your own business context and to put in place practices on your property to address these risks.|
|2||Visitor planning||Are you aware of what controlled conditions you need to apply when considering allowing visitors (including contract labour hire gangs and researchers down your vine rows)? Click here for our Biosecurity Planning for Vineyard Owners Hosting Visitors fact sheet.|
|3||Preventing unwanted entry||Are you ever battling to keep unwanted visitors out of your vineyard? Consider whether you have easy access to unwanted visitors – are your vineyards fenced, do you lock gates when you are away, could you plant hedges or other plants as deterrents to enter?Check out the signs we have on offer for both non-tourism facing and tourism-facing situations. These signs will help set the expectations for all types of visitors to your property.|
|4||Visitor records||Manage entry to your vineyard by assessing the biosecurity risk of those people wanting to enter. Record who is visiting and which wine regions they, their vehicles and any machinery/equipment they have with them have visited in the last 29 days. This conversation forms one of the first opportunities you have to prevent access. Use our Visitor Sign in register to capture vital details you should be keeping of all visitors.Even for regulator visitors to your property, set the expectation that they must call you before they come so you can have the above conversation.|
|5||International staff||Do you have a winery and are employing international staff this vintage? Know what you should be telling them before they come and when they land to avoid them inadvertently spreading pests and disease in local vineyards. Click here for our fact sheet for employing international staff.|
|6||International travel and between quarantine zones||Are you lucky enough to be travelling to wine regions overseas this vintage? Be prepared before you go to consider the biosecurity implications of this trip to reduce your chances of spreading pests and diseases locally on your return. Click here for our Australian Wine Personnel Travelling overseas fact sheet.Remember if you are also travelling into and out of quarantine areas your shoes and clothing may have picked up pests and diseases. Refer #2 for recommended precautions.|
|7||Seasonal workers||Are you employing seasonal workers to harvest your grapes? Consider how you can best communicate to them about key biosecurity risks. Click here for our Seasonal Workers: help protect our grapevines fact sheet which we’ve also had translated into Vietnamese, Urdu, Hindi, Thai, Dari and Malay.|
|8||Footwear and small hand tool disinfestation||As pests, diseases and weeds can be spread on footwear and hand tools, it is important that you adopt footbaths as part of your farm-gate hygiene activities. Refer #2 for further information.Unsure how to setup a footwear disinfestation station or carry out the disinfestation process to ensure it is effective? Check out our updated Footwear and Small Hand Tool Disinfestation protocol. Note that the use of chlorine as a disinfectant in this protocol is specific to grape phylloxera.|
|9||In some cases, disposable shoe covers can be used as an alternative to footwear disinfestation. Refer #2 for further information. Click here for our current preferred shoe cover supplier. Search for ‘Pro Val CPE Heavy Duty Boot Covers’. We wear 2 of these shoe covers per foot because they are prone to rip.We are continuing the search for more robust shoe covers.|
|10||An alternative to footwear disinfestation and disposable shoe covers is to provide footwear to visitors or staff that remains on site.|
|11||Importing regulated items into South Australia||Does your business need to import winegrapes, grape products such as juice or marc, machinery or equipment or diagnostic samples into SA this vintage? Ensure you know and adhere to all entry requirements. Refer to the South Australian Plant Quarantine Standard or call Biosecurity SA on 8207 7814 or Vinehealth Australia on 8273 0550 for assistance.|
|12||Are you aware that all machinery and equipment that is imported into SA that has been used in vineyards, including harvesters and tractors, is required to be Directly Inspected by Biosecurity SA staff or by an accredited business. Find out more here.|
|13||Are you aware that to import grapevine planting material, machinery, equipment, grapes and grape products, diagnostic samples and vineyard soils you are required to become a registered importer with Biosecurity SA? Call Biosecurity SA on 8207 7814 to discuss available options.|
|14||Are you considering buying used machinery to use during vintage? Be aware of the legal requirements for getting it back into SA. Click here for the buying used machinery fact sheet.|
|15||Grape marc||It’s always good to stop and think about whether your use of grape marc could be putting your vines or another grower’s vines at risk. Read more here.|
|16||Grape samples||If you’re involved in collecting grape samples at vintage time are moving between vineyards in different phylloxera management zones, you need to be particularly careful not to contribute inadvertently to pest movement. Read more here.|
|17||Diagnostic samples||Are you sending a small sample of grapes, vineyard soil or vine material from your vineyard to a laboratory for specific testing during vintage? Ensure you are familiar with the correct sending requirements to meet the receiving state’s Plant Quarantine Standard or equivalent. Read more here.|
|18||Heat Shed||Are you moving machinery and equipment between the Limestone Coast and other South Australian wine regions, or out of South Australia interstate, best practice is to use the Naracoorte Heat Shed for disinfestation. Click here to find out some frequently asked questions about using the Naracoorte Heat Shed.|
|19||Harvesters||Once your vintage is over, it’s the perfect time to give your grape harvesters a good clean, to ensure they are free of all soil and plant material. Click here for important cleaning steps to undertake.|
|20||Fruit fly||Be prepared by understanding the implications of moving or receiving winegrapes in light of a fruit fly outbreak in South Australia. Click here to understand what a fruit fly outbreak in SA means for winegrape movement for SA growers, wineries and transporters.|
|21||Pests and diseases||Vintage is a time when you and your staff are closely monitoring the ripeness of your grapes and are walking down vine rows or driving around in a tractor or atop a harvester closely viewing the vine canopy. At this time of the year the vines are often at their peak stress levels and sometimes this can mean pest and disease symptoms are more visibly expressed. It’s a great time to look out for any unusual vine health symptoms and to seek help in identifying them so they can be addressed. Check out our If You Spot Me, Report Me! poster and associated documents to help you identify less common pests and diseases to look out for.|