The main focus of biosecurity in Victorian viticulture industries (wine grapes, table grapes and dried fruit) is on grape phylloxera. In collaboration with industry, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) has surveyed most of Victoria to determine its phylloxera status and maximise market access for grapevine products.
A number of exotic pests and diseases are also potential threats to viticulture in Victoria. Grape growers need to ensure their biosecurity practices (including farm hygiene) will minimise the chances of either phylloxera or other pests becoming established.
DEDJTR and the viticulture industries have set up the Victorian Viticulture Biosecurity Committee to allow all industry sectors to participate in addressing biosecurity issues.
Property Identification Codes (PICs)
Property Identification Codes (PICs) are being progressively introduced to plant industries in Victoria. The viticulture industries were the first to be included in this initiative.
PICs will assist the department to respond to plant pest and disease outbreaks, so that industries are informed earlier and disruption to trade is minimised.
If you grow 0.5 hectares or more of grapevines within Victoria, you are required by law (Plant Biosecurity Act 2010) to apply for a PIC.
See Property Identification Codes for Victorian plant industries for more information.
Grape phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifolii) is a destructive aphid pest that lives on the roots of grapevines. Phylloxera aphids feed by sucking fluids from grapevine roots, which causes a progressive decline in the vigour of infested vines.
European (Vitis vinifera) grapevines, which comprise the vast majority of Australian vineyards, have very little tolerance to phylloxera, which therefore represents a major threat to the industry.
See the grape phylloxera brochure for more information.
The Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia also provides information about phylloxera.
See the Victorian Phylloxera Management Policy for more information.
High risk materials
Phylloxera is most commonly spread through transportation of materials such as:
- grapevines, including cuttings and rootlings
- whole fresh grapes
- grape marc and must and unfiltered juice
- sample material for analysis
- soil from vineyards
- Packages and equipment used in the cultivation and harvesting of grapes, including bins, buckets, vine guards, and vineyard posts (but not limited to these)
- Vehicles, machinery, clothing and footwear used in vineyards
You must check these materials carefully and follow appropriate procedures before transporting them.
Do not transport any materials that may have come in contact with phylloxera.
Phylloxera management zones in Victoria
Three types of control area are used in Victoria to protect the grape industries from phylloxera:
Phylloxera Infested Zones (PIZs) are known infested areas, established to prevent the spread of the pest from the area.
Current PIZ (maps):
A single Order applies to the declaration of these PIZs.
Phylloxera Risk Zones (PRZs) are areas where phylloxera has not been detected and which have not been surveyed.
Phylloxera Exclusion Zones (PEZs) are areas which have been surveyed and are known to be free of phylloxera. They are established to prevent the entry of the pest into the area. In 2012, all declared Victorian PEZs were combined into one zone, which is known as the Victorian PEZ.
Which phylloxera management zone are you located in? Check our interactive application to find out which zone you're in.
Maps of the phylloxera management zones of Australia are published by the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia.
Movement and management procedures
Procedures for PIZs are provided in the National Phylloxera Management Protocol.
See industry notices for changes to quarantine movement conditions.
Interstate Certification Assurance
In order to facilitate regular movement of all grape material, Interstate Certification Assurance (ICA) arrangements are available. These can be used for interstate and intrastate movement of grape material between PIZs and PRZs or PEZs.
Reporting suspected phylloxera
If you think that you may have found phylloxera on your property, contact us on 136 186 or email email@example.com.
Exotic pests of grapevines
Whilst phylloxera has been the major biosecurity issue for Victorian grape growers, many pests not yet recorded in Australia are potential threats to our viticulture industries.
Vines should be checked regularly and any unusual or unknown pest or disease symptoms reported to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881.
Exotic pests which are high priorities for Victorian viticulture include:
- Angular leaf scorch (Pseudopezicula tetraspora)
- Bacterial blight (Exanthomonas ampelina)
- Black rot (Guignardia bidwellii)
- Flavescence doree (Flavescence doree phytoplasma)
- Glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca coagulata)
- Grape mealybug (Pseudococcus maritimus)
- Omnivorous leaf roller (Platynota stultana)
- Pierce's disease (Xylella fastidiosa)
- Rotbrenner (Pseudopezicula tracheiphila)
- Vine mealybug (Planococcus ficus)
For information on these pests, go to the Plant Health Australia Pest Information Document Database and select wine grapes, table grapes or dried fruit.
Other high priorities are:
- Grapevine leaf rust (Phakopsora euvitis)
- Grapevine vitivirus B (corky bark strain)
- Vine leafhopper (Scaphoideus titanus)
- Yellow vine mite (hornbeam mite) (Eotetranychus carpini)
Victorian Viticulture Biosecurity Committee
The Victorian Viticulture Biosecurity Committee (VVBC) has been established to provide:
- a biosecurity policy forum for government and the viticulture industries; and
- leadership in the planning and management of state vine health issues.
The VVBC is a collaborative venture between the department and key stakeholders in the viticulture industries, including the winegrape, tablegrape and dried fruit industries, plus the nursery and vine improvement sectors.
A critical factor in its success will be its ability to lead, work with and complement similar state and national initiatives and ensure the plant health needs of Victoria's viticulture industries are well understood and considered at the state and national level.