Wine Australia signs new vineyard research deal

12 February, 2018 by Andy Young

Wine Australia has signed a five-year, co-investment agreement with the South Australian Government’s, South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI).

The agreement aims to support the profitability of Australian grape and wine sector through a dedicated research and development program in disease management, vineyard resilience and clonal performance.

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Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said: “This agreement with SARDI reflects the high level of strategic alignment between our priorities for the sector and SARDI’s Strategic Plan to support the profitability of Australia’s grape and wine community.

“Through this agreement, Australia’s growers and winemakers will benefit from more sustainable management of pests and diseases, and an excellent Australian-specific range of practical vineyard management practices to minimise the impact of climate change. It will also maintain capacity for biosecurity and future proof Australia’s grapevine germplasm collection.”

The strategic partnership will see Wine Australia contribute $6.5m and SARDI $4.6m over the next five year, which Wine Australia says will allow “for longer-term strategic investments that will benefit levy payers and the whole Australian wine sector”.

Key grape and wine sector priorities to be addressed under this agreement include:

  • developing new and improved management strategies to prevent and control grapevine trunk diseases
  • developing strategies to manage fungicide sprays in a way that minimises the development of resistant populations of fungi
  • developing innovative irrigation practices to overcome the difficulties in maintaining vine productivity under dry winter conditions
  • understanding the causes of vintage compression and developing vineyard management options that increase the proportion of fruit harvested at optimal maturity
  • establishing Cabernet Sauvignon trials for future evaluation of clonal response to climate and management; and
  • maintaining germplasm collection to support national viticulture projects.

This agreement is the third in a series of bilateral partnerships between Wine Australia and major research institutions under a new research and development funding framework that aims to allow the Australian grape and wine community’s research partners to be better able to make strategic investments and plan for the future, maintain technical capabilities in key areas, and have greater flexibility to pursue promising research results within an overall agreed framework.