Vintage is a key risk time for pest and disease spread, due to the high movement of machinery, equipment and workers between regions and states.

“Vintage results in rapid movement of biosecurity vectors that have the potential to spread pests and diseases. These vectors include grape bins and buckets, grapes and grape products, harvesters, tractors, trucks, tankers, contract labour, contractors, viticulturists, winemakers, grower liaison officers, consultants, researchers and even tourists,” says Suzanne McLoughlin, Vinehealth Australia Technical Manager.

“The above all have the potential to move soil and plant material harbouring pests and diseases, not to mention also the actual pests and weeds between vineyards.”

Vinehealth Australia has put together a checklist for vineyard owners to minimise the risks:

  • Review the links that your business has with interstate vineyards and wineries or contractors/suppliers. Identify whether such links are in a Phylloxera Infested Zone (PIZ), Phylloxera Risk Zone (PRZ) or Phylloxera Exclusion Zone (PEZ), and take necessary action to ensure compliance at all times with state based quarantine regulations regarding the movement of:
    • Grapes
    • Must and unfiltered juice
    • Marc (pre- or post fermentation)
    • Diagnostic samples
    • Grapevine cuttings, rootlings and potted vines
    • Machinery and equipment used in vineyards
  • Provide training for all vineyard workers including contract and casual labour on phylloxera and hygiene protocols
  • Restrict access to vineyards as much as possible with fences and locked gates
  • Use signs to advise conditions and restrictions on entry to the property (including contact phone number for people to ring if access is required)
  • Control visitor access. Require all types of visitors to report on arrival. Keep a visitor log. Ask all visitors whether they have visited a vineyard in another region in the past 8 days. If visitors have visited an interstate vineyard in the last eight days confirm which phylloxera management zone the vineyard is in by visiting vinehealth.com.au/resources/maps/. If in a PIZ or PRZ strict hygiene protocols must be used for visitors and ensure that their vehicle is not driven onto your property and remains on a hard pack surface. The protocols are:
    • Disinfest footwear (protocol below)
    • Clean clothing and hats (protocol below)
  • Control vehicle access. Provide visitor and contract labour parking away from vines on a hard pack surface and do not allow unauthorised vehicles to drive within the vineyard.
  • Check machinery and equipment. Make sure machinery and equipment (including small hand tools and technical equipment) is clean of soil and plant material before it starts work on your property and if coming from interstate, complies with state quarantine regulations for cleaning, sterilisation and proof of origin and is accompanied by required documentation Plant_Quarantine_Standard_South_Australia_Version_11.1_-_June_2015.pdf.
  • Provide a wash down facility to enable cleaning of machinery and equipment before it leaves your property.
  • Use the phylloxera Heat Shed in Naracoorte to disinfect machinery and equipment between wine regions in South Australia, particularly if moving in and out of the Limestone Coast. Contact Sunbird Viticulture (Heat Shed Manager) on 0429 430 641 for more information on the heat shed. http://www.vinehealth.com.au/services/naracoorte-heatshed/
  • Provide footbaths for cleaning and disinfesting footwear when people enter and exit your vineyard.
      • Remove all mud and soil from footwear using a scrubbing brush and water
      • Mix a 2% active chlorine solution in a tub. Most commercial products (eg White King) use a 4% concentration, so dilute 1 part bleach to 1 part water. Use gloves and avoid splashing solution onto exposed skin, eyes or clothing.
      • Immerse footwear into the chlorine solution for at least 60 seconds
      • Do not rinse footwear after immersion
      • Replace the chlorine solution daily even if not used as the chlorine breaks down rapidly in sunlight. Replace more often if contaminated with soil or plant material.
      • Alternatives to cleaning footwear:
        • provide footwear for visitors to wear
        • require contract labourers to keep a pair of boots just for use in your vineyard, and bring another pair to change into when they leave – the boots then left on your vineyard only need to be cleaned when they first come onto your property
      • It is good general practice to require visitors and contractors to wear clean clothes before starting work on your property or hot wash any clothes worn on vineyards previously. If a visitor or contractor is coming from a PIZ or PRZ, clothing and hats must be either changed or hot washed prior to coming on your property and footwear must be disinfested.

    INSPECT/IDENTIFY

        • Make sure you look out for anything that looks different in or on your vines.
        • Seek help to verify what the problem is.

    LEGAL COMPLIANCE

        • Know the rules and familiarise yourself with the requirements under state government regulations for moving the following items between or within states and phylloxera management zones:
          • Grapes
          • Must and unfiltered juice
          • Marc (pre- or post fermentation)
          • Machinery and equipment used in vineyards
          • Diagnostic samples
          • Grapevine cuttings, rootlings and potted vines
        • Maintain awareness of any quarantine incursions (e.g., fruit fly) during vintage that may affect how you move your grapes

    For more information about best practice biosecurity during vintage contact Vinehealth Australia on (08) 8273 0551 or email