Video-The reality of living with phylloxera

2018 ASVO Seminar; Frontline pest and disease management for healthy vineyards
Living with Phylloxera -The Yarra Valley Perspective

Andy Clarke, Yering Station

Phylloxera was first detected in the Yarra Valley in 2006.  A 5km buffer perimeter was established, splitting the region into 2 phylloxera management zones, a Phylloxera Infested Zone (PIZ), and a Phylloxera Risk Zone (PRZ).  This placed significant logistical burdens on winemakers and vignerons, causing many to re-examine their business models and practices. Since that time, detection numbers have increased causing multiple movements to the PIZ Boundary.

The Yarra Valley continues to deal with the impact of phylloxera, gradually transitioning from a premium wine region on own roots to one with rootstock as protection.

Individual farmgate hygiene is the single biggest insurance against incursion for all biosecurity risks both inside and outside a PIZ.

Wineries are now more vigilant on heat treatment, contractor management and examining all levels of fruit production and sourcing. Producers are planting to rootstock, though local rootstock knowledge and understanding takes time so knowledge sharing is important. All of these changes carry significant cost to industry.

The Yarra Valley is a modern-day lesson in biosecurity requirements, pitfalls and future proofing in an everchanging industry.