Region in Focus: SA Central

The SA Central region is in the midst of a flurry of GWRDC-funded program activity, with two workshops just completed and another scheduled for the second half of June.

Thirty-five people attended a session at Serafino Winery in McLaren Vale on 23 April designed to re-engage growers with issues around virus management in vineyards.

‘We targeted this issue because there is increasing evidence of infection in the region and, in the current supply demand cycle, reworking is being considered with little understanding of the consequences if a virus is present’, said SA Central representative Lian Jaensch.

‘It was a refresher course and information session about virus types, virus loads and impacts, graft and pruning management, the latest research and an introduction to the Grape Vine Plant Health Standard’.

A second workshop at Serafino on May 27, attended by about 100 people, focused on managing vineyard variability and the use of emerging technologies.

‘It was a comprehensive session, and the key take-home messages were the value of understanding vineyard variability when making management decisions, the importance of having accurate vineyard maps and how to move beyond data collection to start taking action’, Ms Jaensch said.

‘There was very positive feedback on the day’.

The workshop and field day scheduled for 19 June at Howard Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills will help grape growers apply successful water budgeting strategies and provide an update on soil moisture monitoring tools and techniques.

Two workshops on trunk disease presented by SARDI towards the end of last year (McLaren Vale in September and Adelaide Hills/Langhorne Creek in October) were particularly well received.

‘Eutypa and other trunk diseases have been recognised across SA Central as a looming issue for the next decade that will impact viability of vineyards and the integrity of brands as vine health and production declines’, Ms Jaensch said.

‘Of particular concern is the need to manage valuable aging vineyards, protect unaffected vines and find economically viable means to regenerate vineyards.

‘The demonstration of re-working of a vineyard over a period of 3-4 seasons and the practical field exercise explaining the new research trial at McLaren Vale were extremely valuable’.

A small group of Kangaroo Island winemakers were also very positive about the value of a workshop on consumer behavior and purchase decisions presented by Dr Roberta Veale from the University of Adelaide in October.

The session included advice on using online tools to improve business capability and resilience.

‘It has been a busy year but it has been great to be able to provide such a broad range of workshops and meet the needs of a diverse range of wine businesses across the SA Central region’, Ms Jaensch said.

Langhorne Creek South Australia