McLaren Vale develops Phylloxera Code of Conduct

To protect its valuable vineyards

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Vineyards at McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia

Vineyards at McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia [©South Australian Tourism Commission]


In late September 2013, the McLaren Vale Wine Region launched a region wide code of conduct to ensure its vineyards remain free of one of the world’s worst grapevine pests, Phylloxera . The code is aimed at reducing the risk of introducing and spreading the devastating insect.

The McLaren Vale Phylloxera Code of Conduct was developed by the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association (MVGWTA) Phylloxera Committee along with Viticultural Consultant Richard Hamilton through a series of workshops and forums with growers, wineries, tourism operators and the local community.

The code targets the wine industry as well as tourists, using simple but effective practices to prevent phylloxera infestation. Such practices include standard signage, fact sheets, visual and physical barriers, sign-in procedures for vineyard workers and clean in/clean out policies.

‘McLaren Vale has some of the oldest producing vines in the world and along with the rest of South Australia remains free from Phylloxera. The code is based on awareness and preparedness being far cheaper than the potential cost of an infestation,’ McLaren Vale Phylloxera Committee Chairman Ben Lacey said.

‘The only way to remove phylloxera once it strikes a vineyard is to remove all vines and completely replant, which in McLaren Vale would cost growers at least $30,000 per hectare.’

“The wine industry in the McLaren Vale region is one of the largest employer in the region with 656 vineyards, 542 grape growers and 80 wineries,” McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association (MVGWTA) Chairman Tom Harvey said.

‘An infestation of phylloxera would directly affect employment in these businesses as well as impacting on all suppliers of goods and services to the sector.’

The precautionary approach is based on collaboration with the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia (PGIBSA) and all areas of the code’s development plan and practices provide a framework for growers continuously improve their assessment scores in the bio-security chapter of McLaren Vale Sustainble Winegrowing Australia (MVSWGA), the regions world-class program for vineyard sustainability.

The McLaren Vale Phylloxera Committee will work together with the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia to further develop programs, practices and information to support this protocol and help McLaren Vale protect its vines and heritage.


  • McLaren Vale (SA)

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October 22nd, 2013
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