$11.1 million to support Australian vineyard profitability and management

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Wine Australia and PIRSA’s South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) have signed a 5-year $11.1 million co-investment agreement that will support the profitability of Australian grape and wine sector through a dedicated research and development program in disease management, vineyard resilience and clonal performance.

Under the strategic partnership agreement, Wine Australia will contribute $6.5 million and SARDI $4.6 million over 5 years, allowing 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.

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.’

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.