Photo: Kimberley Low / Wine Australia
Photo: Kimberley Low / Wine Australia

The Regional program is a key initiative of Wine Australia that seeks to actively encourage and support innovation, extension and adoption of R&D in the Australian wine sector.

The program aims to help grapegrowers and winemakers adopt new tools and research findings to support a competitive Australian wine sector.

The program allows grapegrowers and winemakers to:

  • identify their region’s highest priority innovation, extension and adoption issues
  • evaluate new concepts and technology in their own region to measure regional benefits of adoption
  • identify aspects of production that will ensure the region is sustainable into the future
  • assist with the uptake of new tools and research findings.

Regional program partners

Each Australian wine region can participate in the regional program.

The maximum amount of funding available is based on the value of winegrape levies paid in the region, with higher producing regions able to access a greater proportion of the total funding pool. To ensure that meaningful activities can be undertaken, regions with lower levels of production are clustered together. In total, there are 11 regional clusters.

Wine Australia partners with a regional industry organisation in each of the 11 regional clusters to administer the program. These regional partners, together with the regions in their cluster, are detailed below.

 

Greater NSW and ACT

Includes: All regions in NSW and ACT excluding Riverina
Coordinated by: NSW Wine Industry Association

Key topic areas: water use efficiency, pest and disease management, demonstration vineyards, biosecurity, sustainable viticulture, AgTech

The Regional Program in Greater NSW and ACT has identified its most prominent issue as the regeneration of soils and grapevines following drought conditions, which has impacted vine health. The Regional Program aims to support the investigation into rootstocks to mitigate drought impacts and the reworking of winegrape varieties to reduce diseased vines and identify alternative vine plantings. The Greater NSW and ACT Regional Program Annual Operating plan focuses on:

  • biodiversity field walk and workshop
  • sustainable vineyard soils, and 
  • rootstock and reworking vines for success.

2020 Grapevine Management Guide

2021 Grapevine Management Guide

 

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Greater Victoria

Includes: All regions in Victoria excluding Murray Darling and Swan Hill
Coordinated by: Wine Victoria Inc

Key topic areas: smoke taint, rootstocks, pest and disease management, sustainable viticulture, winemaking, AgTech

The Regional Program in Greater Victoria focuses on understanding the impacts of climate change (e.g. sustainable production and smoke taint), pest and disease and biosecurity threats, premiumisation and best management practices. It also addresses alternative business modes with different route-to-market opportunities. The Greater Victoria Regional Program Annual Operating plan focuses on:

  • Sustainable Winegrowing Australia regional workshops
  • evaluating and communicating winemaking potential of selected rootstocks from Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir rootstock trials
  • managing the real and perceived risks of smoke taint
  • building resilience to drought and a water constrained future, and
  • the adoption of alternative approaches to pruning for minimising trunk disease impacts and maximising longevity of grapevines (soft pruning).

 

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Limestone Coast (SA South)

Includes: Coonawarra, Padthaway, Wrattonbully, Mount Benson, Robe, Mt Gambier
Coordinated by: Limestone Coast Grape & Wine Council

Key topic areas: water use efficiency, pest and disease management, sustainable viticulture, AgTech

The Regional Program in Limestone Coast has identified the main issues of pest and disease management, water management, irrigation requirements, salinity, suitable rootstocks for adapting to a drying climate, as well as grapevine nutritional requirements to optimise fruit quality and yield.The Limestone Coast Regional Program Annual Operating plan focuses on:

  • disseminating current/recent research being undertaken in the region
  • Coonawarra Cabernet Symposium – working in conjunction with the Western Australia Regional Program
  • updating Unearthing Viticulture climatic data, and
  • an under vine weed control field trial

 

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Murray Valley

Includes: Murray Darling and Swan Hill
Coordinated by: Murray Valley Winegrowers Inc.

Key topic areas: water use efficiency, irrigation, pest and disease management, sustainable viticulture, AgTech

The Regional Program in Murray Valley area comprises wine grape producers from across the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill regions. The Murray Valley Regional Program Annual Operating plan focuses on:

  • water budgeting
  • irrigation management
  • pest and disease management practices
  • sustainability, and
  • soil management.

 

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Queensland

Includes: All regions in Queensland
Coordinated by: Queensland Wine Industry Association

Key topic areas: sustainable viticulture, Vineyard of the Future, alternative varieties, emerging varieties, winemaking

The Regional Program in Queensland has identified three main priorities for Queensland’s wine regions: the growing and making with alternative varieties, increasing consumer awareness of Queensland wines (what consumers want and how to deliver), and alternative winemaking processes and wine styles with a focus on low alcohol wines. The Queensland Regional Program is trialling more than 70 alternative varieties in the Vineyard of the Future trial at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism (QCWT) The Queensland Regional Program Annual Operating plan focuses on:

  • ripeness trials of four varieties (Shiraz, Tempranillo, Fiano, Chardonnay)
  • training and research into hybrid varieties with a view to encourage regions experiencing climatic diversity to seek alternate varieties
  • Vineyard of the Future trial – small batch winemaking trial with alternate winemaking practices, and inviting leading experts to take part in a day-long seminar delivering current information on issues facing the sector

 

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Riverina

Coordinated by: Riverina Wine Grapes Marketing Board

Key topic areas: sustainable viticulture, Vineyard of the Future, alternative varieties, emerging varieties, winemaking

The Regional Program in Riverina plans to develop a digital extension model (podcasts, videos and social media) and a ‘social engagement’ model that will identify strategies to improve adoption of extension activities in Riverina. The Riverina Regional Program Annual Operating plan focuses on:

  • increasing water use efficiency through irrigation budgeting, scheduling, and application
  • vine health – maximising efficiency of Riverina vineyards
  • disease resistant cultivar demonstration, and
  • vineyard monitoring technology – increasing adoption in Riverina vineyards.

 

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Riverland

Coordinated by: Riverland Wine

Key topic areas: water use efficiency, irrigation, pest and disease management, sustainable viticulture, AgTech

The Riverland Regional Program has identified major priorities for the region in:

  • improving production competitiveness and sustainability
  • increasing water use efficiency as defined by ML/tonne of grapes produced
  • mitigating the influence of climate change and the impacts on grape maturity, quality, water availability and irrigation requirements, and
  • ensuring producers have access to the latest technologies to improve production and reduce labour and input costs.

The Riverland Regional Program Annual Operating plan focuses on:

  • improving water use efficiency to meet the combined threats of availability, cost, and increased demand, and
  • increasing competitiveness by reducing production costs through more efficient management of pests and disease, uptake of new technologies, improving productivity and growing appropriate varieties for the region’s climatic conditions

A technical library on the Riverland Wine website has been released to provide growers with quick and easy access to a wide range of viticultural information.

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SA Central

Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Southern Fleurieu, Currency Creek, Kangaroo Island
Coordinated by: Langhorne Creek Grape and Wine Inc.

Key topic areas: water use efficiency, pest and disease management, demonstration vineyards, sustainable viticulture, AgTech

The Regional Program in SA Central aims to provide appropriate knowledge and tools to members that will help build sustainable wine and viticulture businesses. The benefits to the SA Central regions include improved viticulture management practices, knowledge to better meet sector demands, more resilient enterprises, and enhanced communication strategies to sector entities within and between regions.

The SA Central Regional Program will strengthen the sector through enhanced regional cooperation without forgoing regional diversity.

The SA Central Regional Program Annual Operating plan focuses on:

  • responding to climate challenges
  • the business of growing wine grapes
  • the value, or otherwise, of the new wave of ‘biological’ applications
  • optimising soil moisture and water use
  • innovation and technology in vineyards
  • sustainable and biodiverse vineyard landscapes

 

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SA North

Includes: Barossa, Clare Valley, Eden Valley, Adelaide Plains, Southern Flinders Ranges
Coordinated by: Barossa Grape & Wine Association Inc.

Key topic areas: water use efficiency, pest and disease management, demonstration vineyards, sustainable viticulture, AgTech

The Regional Program in SA North aims to promote concepts, tools and technology to growers and wineries so they can improve soil and vine health, achieve consistent yields, improve grape and wine quality, and enhance their adaptive capacity to the changing climate. The region is also committed to, where possible, promoting best management practices that will improve operational efficiency and reduce costs of production, ensuring profitability and viability of grape growing in SA North into the future. The SA North Regional Program Annual Operating plan focuses on:

  • efficient and appropriate use of water to achieve consistency of wine grape quality
  • eutypa management and addressing the barriers to adoption
  • new technology for viticultural management (education and adoption), and
  • understanding vineyard ecology to improve pest and disease management.

Video Series

The benefits Penfolds, Henschke and Torbreck have reaped over the past five years using the SIMONIT&SIRCH pruning method.

 

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Tasmania

Coordinated by: Wine Tasmania

Key topic areas: sustainable viticulture, AgTech, winemaking

The Regional Program in Tasmania aims to improve the knowledge base and skills of producers and wine businesses in Tasmania, with a focus on environmental and economic sustainability. The Tasmanian Regional Program Annual Operating plan focuses on:

  • an annual viticulture focused Field Day, and
  • an annual winemaker symposium.

 

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Western Australia

Includes: All regions in Western Australia
Coordinated by: Wines of Western Australia

Key topic areas: emerging varieties, clones, sustainable viticulture, winemaking, biosecurity, pest and disease management

The Regional Program in Western Australia aims to support the uptake of sustainable production practices, improving profitability through efficiencies and increasing product quality, exposing producers to new production techniques, technologies, and practices, and bridging the gap between research findings and practical applications. The Western Australia Regional Program Annual Operating plan focuses on:

  • demonstrating how clonal selection can influence Cabernet Sauvignon wine quality
  • biosecurity training
  • workshopping the use of harvesters to manipulate bunch architecture
  • promoting sustainable wine production
  • pruning workshops, and
  • holding a virus symposium.

 

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.