Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006 by lindayy

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									Viticulture Research, Development
and Extension 2006
Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and
Extension 2006
PO Box 905
Mildura VIC 3502

Phone          03 5051 4569
Fax            03 5051 4523
Mobile         0428 530 842

This publication has been edited by Lee Byrne, Riverlink Communications and Development
Officer, utilising information, images and graphics provided by Riverlink viticulture research staff.

Riverlink and its employees (including collaborating agencies, Victorian Department of Primary
Industries, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, CSIRO Plant Industries, South
Australian Research and Development Institute and Primary Industries and Resources South
Australia) do not guarantee that the Riverlink Viticulture Directions 2006 is without flaw of any
kind or is wholly appropriate for particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any
error, loss or other consequence which may arise from reliance on any information in this
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                                  Page number

Riverlink                             1

      Vision                          2

      Mission                         2

      Goals                           2

      Council                         2

      History                         3

      Links with industry             3

      Links with education            3

      Programs                        4

      Funding                         4

Project report updates

      Viticulture: Wine grapes        5

      Viticulture: Dried grapes       13

      Viticulture: Table grapes       25

      General viticulture             33

Acronyms                              39
This page has been intentionally left blank.

Riverlink is a collaborative network delivering targeted research, development and training to
improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the Sunraysia-Riverland horticultural
industries and communities. To achieve this, Riverlink aims to optimise use of human and
physical resources; foster collaboration on a local and national level; ensure regional research
and development (R&D) is relevant to industries and the community; and pursue opportunities
to capitalise on the benefits of the network’s critical mass.

Riverlink is a unique network of five government horticultural research agencies, located in the
Sunraysia-Riverland region:
    New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI), Dareton
    Victorian Department of Primary Industries (Vic DPI), Irymple
    CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
    Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA), Loxton
    South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), Loxton

Riverlink agencies work together – sharing resources and expertise – to improve the research
and development services provided to Australian horticultural industries.

While Riverlink has a regional focus, the program also has a major impact on national
horticultural research and development. The Sunraysia-Riverland region produces a significant
portion of Australia’s horticultural production – over 50% of Australian winegrapes, 45% of
Australian citrus, 75% of Australian table grapes and almost all of Australia’s dried fruit
production. Vegetables, stonefruit, nuts, garlic and olives are also other products grown in the

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                            1

Riverlink will continue to be a synergistic network of horticultural research agencies and
industries, relevant to the Sunraysia-Riverland region and to each other.


Riverlink is a collaborative network delivering targeted research, development and training to
improve the competitiveness of the Sunraysia-Riverland horticultural industries and the
sustainability and profitability of the region. To achieve this, Riverlink will make optimal use of
human and physical resources and develop agency-industry partnerships.


1. To pursue innovative approaches to planning, funding, resourcing and implementing major
   horticultural initiatives in the Sunraysia-Riverland region.

2. To ensure that Riverlink programs are aligned with and responsive to client and member
   needs, and contribute to sustainable and profitable horticultural industries and communities.

3. To create an effective collaborative research network in the Sunraysia-Riverland region, and
   ensure optimal use of resources.


A council of industry and government agency representation guides Riverlink. The Riverlink
Council plays an integral role in providing direction and fostering collaboration between the
Riverlink agencies.

Riverlink Council have set the following objectives to develop future directions in horticultural
    To build on and improve collaboration between the horticultural research agencies in the
    Sunraysia-Riverland region.
    To ensure optimal use of regional resources.
    To ensure that research, development and extension is relevant to the needs of regional
    industries and communities.
    To drive the development of large-scale regional initiatives that add value to the Riverlink
    network and capitalise on its critical mass.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                2

In 1991, Riverlink was initiated by the then Chief Executives of the State and Federal agencies
involved in horticultural research and development in the Sunraysia-Riverland region. Four
program leaders were appointed to integrate research and service delivery across the research
agencies in the region.

Since that time, Riverlink has achieved a high level of functional integration across the tri-state
area. Joint planning for research and development and cross-organisation, multi-discipline
teams are new commonplace. Increased collaboration has been beneficial, with obvious
efficiencies in sharing of human and physical resources and greater support from industry and
funding organisations.

Links with industry

The Riverlink Council integrates industry and government agency staff in regional research
planning and provides a vehicle for regular communication. Through its programs, Riverlink also
endeavours to seek contribution from industry and community at all stages of research and
development – from planning to implementation.

Links with education providers

Riverlink is increasingly seeking greater links with tertiary education providers, and
acknowledges the immense benefits of increased communication and collaboration between
Riverlink researchers, students and academic staff.

The development of close links with La Trobe University through the Riverlink Postgraduate
Research Network (Riverlink.PRN) has led to greater numbers of Honours and PhD students
undertaking study within Riverlink agencies, with a resulting increase in research capacity in the

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                               3

Riverlink research agencies employ over 150 research, extension and support staff to service
horticultural industries in the Sunraysia-Riverland region. Research activities are coordinated by
the following six programs:
    Viticulture (including Plant Protection)
    Tree crops
    Sustainable horticulture
    −   Land and water use
    −   Biodiversity


Riverlink is proudly supported and funded by:
    New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI)
    Victorian Department of Primary Industries (Vic DPI)
    CSIRO Plant Industry
    Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA)
    South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)
    Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC)
    Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL)
    La Trobe University

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                            4
  Viticulture: Wine grapes

Project title                                                     Contact                                   Page
Rootstock breeding and development for Australian wine            Peter Clingeleffer                          7
grapes                                                            CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Impact of sustained deficit irrigation on wine grape physiology   Yasmin Chalmers                             7
and grape composition                                             Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Viticare Trials (Sunraysia and Swan Hill)                         Nicole Dimos                                8
                                                                  Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Viticultural management of grape tannin and anthocyanin           Dr Mark Krstic                              8
levels to achieve desired wine quality specifications             Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Optimising canopy function to increase yield while                Peter Clingeleffer                          9
maintaining wine quality with efficient use of resources          CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Identification and detection of key wine flavour compounds in     Peter Clingeleffer                         10
grapes                                                            CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Developing Australian Grapevine Yellows management                Peter Magarey                              10
strategies – searching for the source and spread                  SARDI, Loxton Research Centre
                                                                  Tel: (08) 8595 9100
Revision of ‘Grape Production Series No.1: Diseases and           Phil Nicholas                              11
Pests’                                                            SARDI, Loxton Research Centre
                                                                  Tel: (08) 8595 9100
Improved management of grapevine powdery mildew                   Dr Bob Emmett                              11
                                                                  Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 4500

  Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                        5
  Viticulture: Wine grapes continued
Project title                                                    Contact                                   Page
Unique Australian winegrapes                                     Peter Clingeleffer                        No
                                                                 CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein             report
                                                                 Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Grapevine rootstocks for use in warm inland regions              Phil Nicholas                             No
                                                                 SARDI, Loxton Research Centre             report
                                                                 Tel: (08) 8595 9100
Winegrape Future Options – developing industry options           David Pocock                              No
                                                                 Rural Solutions SA, Loxton Research       report
                                                                 Tel: (08) 8595 9100
Virus tested clones for national nuclear grapevine collections   Phil Nicholas                             No
                                                                 SARDI, Loxton Research Centre             report
                                                                 Tel: (08) 8595 9100
Managing soil and water to target quality and reduce             Ian Goodwin                               No
environmental impact                                             Vic DPI, Tatura                           report
                                                                 Tel: (03) 5833 5222
Predicting product performance – development of a                Bruce Tomkin                              No
prediction model for table grapes                                Vic DPI, Knoxfield                        report
                                                                 Tel: (03) 9210 9222

  Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                       6
                                                         Tolerances of extreme conditions, eg. drought and

                                                                                                                  Viticulture: Wine grapes
Rootstock breeding and development for
Australian wine grapes                                   high temperature as they relate to vigour and
                                                         excessive fruit exposure will be included. Drought
Project Leader: Peter Clingeleffer, CSIRO Plant          is increasingly an issue, as irrigation water supplies
Industry                                                 cannot be guaranteed. The industry is currently
Collaborators: DPI-Rutherglen                            reliant on rootstocks bred and selected overseas
Project Funding: GWRDC                                   for conditions that may not be the same as those in
                                                         Australia. The initial results from the limited CSIRO
Project Duration: March 2006 – March 2011                studies indicate that there is a significant potential
Project Aim:                                             to develop new rootstocks for Australian conditions
                                                         with positive production and quality attributes, and
    To screen new rootstock hybrid families
                                                         hence, reduce the negative perceptions with
    against key selection criteria and thus
                                                         regard to rootstock use.
    investigate the inheritance of such traits, which
    can be applied to future breeding activities,        Contact: Peter Clingeleffer
    and also identify new selections for further         CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
    assessment as grafted plants.
                                                         Tel: (03) 5051 3100
    To evaluate the field performance of 20
    promising rootstock selections when grafted          Email:
    with key wine varieties and their effects on fruit
    composition and wine quality.                        Impact of sustained deficit irrigation on
    To investigate rootstock effects on vine growth      wine grape physiology and grape
    and productivity, carbohydrate partitioning,         composition
    mineral discrimination, water use efficiency
    and drought tolerance and develop                    Project Leader: Yasmin Chalmers, Vic DPI
    accelerated screening techniques for water           Collaborators: University of Adelaide, CSIRO
    use efficiency, drought tolerance and                Plant Industries, GWRDC
    scion/rootstock compatibility.                       Project Funding: Victorian State Government
    To evaluate new rootstocks that impart low-to-       under the Rural Landscapes (ORL) program.
    moderate vigour in key scion varieties across        Project Duration: PhD from Dec 2003 – Dec
    the range of Australian environments in to           2006, ORL component from Dec 2003 – June
    investigate and utilise genotype and                 2007
    environment interactions (GxE) in rootstock
    selection.                                           Project Aim:
Project Update:                                              Investigate the effects of sustained water
                                                             deficit on the physiological responses of
New low-to moderate vigour rootstocks, have been             Vitis vinifera sp. and any subsequent
shown to have significant advantages over existing           impacts on hormone response.
rootstocks in limited CSIRO studies, particularly
with respect to red wine attributes and water use            Identify changes in grape and wine
efficiency. Furthermore, requirements for less               composition exposed to sustained water
addition of tartaric acid for pH adjustment resulting        deficits, particularly the key industry
from improved organic acid composition should                flavonoid compounds.
reduce the cost of winemaking.                               Understand the impact of seasonal variation
This project commenced in March 2006 with the                and vineyard variability on the management
appointment of Dr Tim Jones. It will focus on four           of sustained water deficits.
areas of research.                                       Project Update:
1. Screen new hybrid families to deliver genetic         This project is funded by a Vic state government
   information for future breeding and identify          initiative - Our Rural landscapes (ORL) that is
   new selections.                                       aiming to develop more environmentally
2. Assess the field performance of 20 advanced           sustainable farming systems. The project is part
   selections grafted with key wine varieties, ie.       of a multi-skilled team that is exploring ways of
   Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.            improving water use efficiency across the
                                                         horticulture, grains and dairy industries in
3. Develop more efficient screening procedures           Victoria.
   for water use efficiency, drought tolerance and
   scion/rootstock compatibility.                        The horticulture component is based at Vic DPI-
                                                         Mildura with Yasmin Chalmers, Nardia Baker
4. Analyse genotype x environment interactions           and Mark Krstic working on the project.
   for four rootstocks released from program.
Outputs of this research will enhance the efficiency
and sustainability of grape and wine production for
the benefit of the industry and environment.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                       7
In December 2003, Yasmin began a PhD                     •   Mulching and Irrigation Management

                                                                                                               Viticulture: Wine grapes
program with the University of Adelaide, her                 Retention of soil moisture was measured
supervisors are: Associate Professor Peter Dry               under straw mulch and compared to bare
(Uni Adelaide), Dr Brian Loveys (CSIRO-                      soil conditions. G-bugs were used to monitor
Adealide), Dr Mark Krstic (Vic DPI) and Dr Mark              soil moisture in this trial.
Downey (Vic DPI).                                        •   Pruning Trials Fruit quality was tested for
To address the objectives, field sites on Shiraz             hand pruning, comparing 30cm box hedge
and Cabernet Sauvignon were established                      and 40cm box hedge.
under a range of sustained deficit irrigation            •   Canopy Management The use of a fixed
treatments. There have also been glasshouse                  foliage wire to prevent the rolling of vigorous
trials established on Shiraz, Cabernet                       canopies and sunburn experienced in
Sauvignon, Grenache and Tempranillo to relate                previous seasons was compared to no
varietal differences in abiotic stress response to           additional foliage wire.
physiological characteristics such as the
transport and utilisation of root-sourced chemical       •   Nitrogen Application looked at different
signals like ABA.                                            levels of urea application and their effects on
                                                             canopy and fruit quality.
Overall this work is about understanding the
response of each cultivar to water deficit in            The project provided both learning and
expectation of designing the most appropriate            networking opportunities for growers.
irrigation strategies to maximise both yield and         Some benefits include an increased
quality, whilst improving water use efficiency.          understanding of vineyard variability,
Also the impact these deficit irrigation levels may      improvements in the effectiveness and
have on grape and wine composition will be               understanding of irrigations due to improved
considered, as well as the sustainability                scheduling, increased understanding of the
(carbohydrate reserves) of irrigating grapevines         impacts of sunburnt fruit on fruit quality and
at deficit irrigation levels.                            short-term cost-saving pruning strategies which
                                                         bare no detrimental effects to the fruit quality
Yasmin is currently preparing the thesis for             and vine yield.
submission in Dec 2006.
                                                         Growers in the region have modified or adopted
Contact: Yasmin Chalmers                                 their management based on the outcomes and
Organisation: Vic DPI, Mildura                           experiences shared within these Viticare trials
Tel: (03) 5051 4500                                      through workshops, and newspaper and industry
                                                         Contact: Nicole Dimos
CRCV Viticare Trials (Sunraysia and                      Organisation: Vic DPI, Mildura
Murray Valley)                                           Tel: 03 5051 4500
Project Leader: Nicole Dimos, CRC for                    Email:
Collaborators: Vic DPI, NSW DPI, NWGIC,                  Viticultural management of grape tannin
SARDI.                                                   and anthocyanin levels to achieve desired
Project Funding: CRCV                                    wine quality specifications
Project Duration: July 2004 – June 2006                  Project Leader: Dr Mark Krstic, Vic DPI
Project Aim: The aim of the project is to                Collaborators: UC Davis, Oregon State
accelerate the adoption of technologies arising          University, E&J Gallo, CSIRO Plant Industry,
from viticultural research and to demonstrate            AWRI, University of Adelaide, DPI Tatura, DPI
through the trials how these technologies can be         Knoxfield, Deakin Estate, McGuigan-Simeon
implemented in a commercial vineyard to suit             Wines, Orlando-Wyndham Group, Murray Valley
local environmental conditions.                          Winegrowers Association
Project Update:                                          Project Funding: Vic DPI, GWRDC
The CRCV Viticare Trials concluded in Sunraysia          Project Duration: July 2005 – June 2010
and Murray Valley on June 30, 2006. The project
                                                         Project Aim:
addressed regional viticultural priorities through the
implementation of vineyard trials and worked                 To examine the extent and magnitude of
collectively as a team with grape growers, regional          variation (between-vineyard and temporal) in
associations, grower liaison officers and service            grape tannin content within Australia’s major
providers to exchange information between                    winegrape varieties (Shiraz, Chardonnay,
regions and with different groups of people about            Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) and within
important vineyard issues. There were four trials in         selected regions (Sunraysia, Barossa,
this region;                                                 Coonawarra and Yarra Valley).

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                      8
    To examine the extent of spatial variability        The project team also leased a FOSS NIR unit

                                                                                                                 Viticulture: Wine grapes
    (within-vineyard) in tannins and                    (InfraXact) last vintage to test out its capabilities
    anthocyanins within selected vineyards and          for tannin analysis and with the view to
    understand the temporal stability in these          purchasing the equipment next financial year.
    patterns.                                           Contact: Dr Mark Krstic
    To determine how changing phenolic                  Organisation: Vic DPI, Mildura
    composition impacts upon wine colour, wine
    sensory characteristics and wine score in           Tel: 03 9210 9222
    Australia’s major red varieties (Shiraz,            Email:
    Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot).
    To determine the major viticultural                 Optimising canopy function to increase
    management practices (crop load, bunch              yield while maintaining wine quality with
    exposure, variety/rootstock/clone, irrigation       efficient use of resources.
    management and pest and disease
    pressure) that affect tannin, flavonol and          Project Leader: Peter Clingeleffer, CSIRO Plant
    anthocyanin levels in the major Australian          Industry
    winegrape varieties (Shiraz, Chardonnay,            Collaborators: Part of GWRDC Soil and Water
    Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot).                     Initiative
    Development of standardised industry                Project Funding: GWRDC
    methods for the sampling and analysis of            Project Duration: June 2006 – June 2010
    grape samples for the determination of total
    tannin (by spectrophotometer/NIR/FTIR),             Project Aim:
    tannin composition (by HPLC) and                        Optimisation of canopy function to increase
    anthocyanin composition (by HPLC).                      yield while maintaining wine colour and tannins
    Develop and implement a targeted                        with efficient use of resources.
    extension and evaluation strategy to                    Identify limitations imposed by current
    facilitate the adoption of research findings            management practices, particularly on canopy
    throughout the Australian Wine Industry,                form and function and their relevance to ‘vine
    using various communication tools, for                  capacity’.
    example, Grapecheque, Viticare, industry                Develop integrated approaches, e.g. through
    grower groups, industry trade journals                  CSIRO Flagship wine aroma and flavour
    (Australian Viticulture) and scientific                 project, to provide targeted assessment of
    publications (Australian Journal of Grape               treatment effects on wine aroma and flavour.
    and Wine Research).
                                                        Project Update:
Project Update:
                                                        The project commenced in June 2006 with the
Immediately following commencement of the               appointment of Dr Everard Edwards. It will form the
project in July 2005 all effort was focussed on         basis of the Sunraysia GWRDC soil and water
finalising a collaborative research agreement           initiative experimental site at Wingara. It will build
with E&J Gallo Winery in California. To progress        on CRCV research that has been aimed at
this arrangement Dr Mark Downey, the Principal          development of integrated strategies to manage
Investigator of the project travelled to California     seasonal variation in wine grape maturation,
to finalise details of the agreement and to begin       CSIRO Flagship research to enhance wine flavour
implementation of the research collaboration.           and aroma and CRCV research on PRD/canopy
This collaboration largely involved the collection      management impacts on Shiraz wine quality. All of
of a large number of grape samples from 600             this research was conducted on the Wingara
vineyard blocks for tannin analysis by Vic DPI          property in which treatments have been imposed
Mildura.                                                for a number of seasons.
Following the establishment of the final                The Cabernet Sauvignon site has been
agreement with E&J Gallo, project focus has             established to assess the effects of water stress
been on arranging for the import clearance and          treatments and seasonal temperature conditions
shipping of these samples. In addition, project         on crop development, fruit maturation and long-
staff have convened an Industry Reference               term productivity (ie. vine capacity).
Group, and identified and appointed two
Honours and one PhD student.                            It has shown significant effects of water stress on
                                                        canopy size and function (including photosynthesis
In addition to these activities, project staff have     and leaf temperature), crop development and
also outlined an evaluation strategy for the            sugar accumulation and wine aroma, flavour and
project and commenced development of a                  colour. Significant seasonal (temperature, in
formal project extension and adoption strategy.         particular) impacts have also been demonstrated.
This involves social research to identify the
market segmentations that may be looking for
information on tannins.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                       9
The Shiraz site was established to assess benefits         However, there is a large gap in our knowledge

                                                                                                               Viticulture: Wine grapes
from the integration of lower water use through            about how compounds in the grape berries
adoption of partial rootzone drying (PRD) and              contribute to the final flavour and aroma
canopy management, in particular lighter pruning.          characteristics of wine and how these berry
The results showed that integrated approaches to           compounds are influenced by management,
management involving PRD and lighter pruning               genetics and the environment.
could be used to maintain high productivity and            Recognising this knowledge gap, CSIRO has
enhance grape colour and wine composition.                 established a Grape & Wine Flavour research
Because treatments have been established for a             project in its Food Futures Flagship program.
number of seasons, the sites are ideal and can be          Contact: Peter Clingeleffer
modified to address the specific question of
whether current deficit irrigation and/or severe           CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
pruning practices are economically sustainable in          Tel: (03) 5051 3100
the longer term. The aim is to refine vineyard             Email:
management systems (particularly with respect to
pruning and irrigation management) to deliver
grapes of specified quality and economically               Developing a strategy to manage
acceptable yields while ensuring sustainability of         Australian Grapevine Yellows –
the vineyard soil and water resource.                      searching for the source and spread
Contact: Peter Clingeleffer                                Project Leader: Peter Magarey, SARDI
CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein                              Project Funding: RWIDC, Phylloxera Board
Tel: (03) 5051 3100                                        SA, industry
Email:                         Project Duration: On-going
                                                           Project Aim:
Identification and detection of key wine                   Australian Grapevine Yellows – Source, Spread
flavour compounds in grapes                                and Control – develop a management strategy
                                                           for the disease.
Project Leader: Brian Loveys, CSIRO Plant
Industy, Adelaide, (Peter Clingeleffer, CSIRO Plant        Project Update:
Industry responsible for Riverlink region)                 Previously within-vineyard patterns of disease
Project Funding: CSIRO Food Futures and                    had shown that Australian Grapevine Yellow
GWRDC                                                      (AGY) does not spread from vine to vine.
                                                           Diseased shoots usually die and few vines show
Project Duration: July 2003 – June 2009
                                                           disease for consecutive seasons. The random
Project Aim:                                               clustering of AGY in most vineyards suggested
This research aims to develop technologies to              that the disease is transmitted to these
measure the abundance of flavour compounds and             vineyards from long-distance (> 800m). To the
precursors in grapes, providing more objective             contrary, disease gradients across vineyards
measures of fruit quality linked to wine flavour and       that occurred within AGY hotspots suggested
aroma and to understand the impact of viticultural         that the pathogen was coming from nearby
management on fruit composition leading to an              native vegetation in wastelands and/or
improved ability to grow grapes to meet desired            swamplands (<400 m distant).
wine specifications.                                       Several species of native plants in and near
The Merbein component of this project aims to              disease hotspots, had tested PCR-positive for
improve our understanding of changes in fruit              AGY. These included short-leafed blue bush
composition during ripening to optimise harvest            (yanga) and insect trapping had revealed two to
timing for specific flavour levels.                        three species of leafhopper as possible vector(s)
                                                           of AGY.
Project Update:
                                                           The hypothesis that:
The future competitiveness of the Australian wine
industry will depend on its ability to reliably export a   1. grapevine is a terminal host of AGY;
high quality product at a competitive price to meet        2. AGY is transmitted into vineyards by a
the needs of specific market segments.                        leafhopper or planthopper vector(s); and
Expansion of the industry into new markets will            3. the vector(s) sources the pathogen from
require the generation of wine styles suited to new           woody perennial.
consumers and production of new wine styles
                                                           Native plants were further investigated during
suited to changing market needs. It is well known
                                                           2005/06. An additional two species of native
that a major determinant of consumer preference
                                                           chenopods have now been found PCR-positive
is the flavour and aroma of the wine.
                                                           for AGY.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                       10
These occurred in the same ecosystem as the             As the first book in the Grape Production series,

                                                                                                              Viticulture: Wine grapes
previous species had been located and need              ‘Grape Production Series No.1: Diseases and
further investigation since they have been used         Pests’, edited by Phil Nicholas and Peter
and were showing potential in recent trials to          Magarey, was published in 1994.
develop more water-efficient ground covers in           It has been highly successful and is now one of
inland vineyards.                                       the most widely used books on viticulture
Further investigation of the candidate leafhopper       throughout Australia. Sales continue steadily
vectors has highlighted the possible association        despite the text now having some deficiencies
of one species in particular. This has provided         as new technological advances progressively
great encouragement to pursue this insect in            occur.
further studies to develop a practical control for      As a result, ‘Grape Production Series No.1:
AGY. Additional investigations are required to          Diseases and Pests’ is being revised to include
identify the primary host(s) and the likely             the latest technical information in the field of
leafhopper/planthopper vector.                          diseases and pests, their biology and
Contact: Peter Magarey                                  management in Australasian viticulture. The
SARDI, Loxton Research Centre                           revised edition will bring together in one easy-to-
                                                        read reference, the information growers need to
Tel: (08) 8595 9100                                     excel in disease and pest management in their
Email:                   vineyards.
                                                        Contact: Phil Nicholas
                                                        SARDI, Loxton Research Centre
                                                        Tel: (08) 8595 9100

                                                                                            Left: ‘Grape
                                                                                            Series No.1:
                                                                                            Diseases and

Above left: Australian Grapevine Yellow (AGY)
Above right: Yanga, a native short-leafed blue

Revision of ‘Grape Production Series
No.1: Diseases and Pests’
Project Leader: Phil Nicholas, SARDI
Project Funding: SARDI
Project Duration: 2005 – 2008
Project Aim:
                                                        Improving management of grapevine
To revise the book ‘Grape Production Series
No.1: Diseases and Pests’ to include the latest         powdery mildew
research findings and technical information.            Project Team: Bob Emmett and Kathy Clarke,
Project Update:                                         Vic DPI, Peter Magarey, SARDI
The ‘Grape Production Series’ has been                  Collaborators: Vic DPI, SARDI, University of
compiled by condensing research and technical           California
information from a wide range of sources and            Project Funding: GWRDC, Vic DPI
making it available to grape growers,                   Project Duration: 2002 – 2006
consultants and educators in an easy-to-read,
practical reference source.                             Project Aim:
‘Grape Production Series No.1: Diseases and             To examine the susceptibility of buds to powdery
Pests’, was written with the assistance of 23           mildew infection for Australian grape varieties
leading researchers and consultants from                and to determine the effects of selected
Australasia and beyond.                                 fungicide treatments on bud infection and the
                                                        development of flag shoots.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                    11
Project Update:                                         Potential benefits from this project include fewer,

                                                                                                              Viticulture: Wine grapes
                                                        more efficient treatments in powdery mildew
Results of the Australian research on bud
                                                        control programs, improved long-term control of
infection concurred with the Californian
                                                        disease, and lower use of chemicals in
US researchers confirmed that young, green
                                                        This would result in savings in chemical and
buds at an early stage of development, on
                                                        spray application costs and reduced risk of
shoots with up to six unfolded leaves, are more
                                                        chemical contamination in wine and the
susceptible to infection by powdery mildew. The
                                                        environment, as well as improved quality of
risk of bud infection reduces as the buds age
                                                        grapes and wine.
and as the bud scales harden and become less
susceptible to the disease.                             Contact: Bob Emmett
Studies conducted under the ‘Improving                  Organisation: Vic DPI, Mildura
management of grapevine powdery mildew’                 Tel: (03) 5051 4500
project also indicated that there are differences
in flag shoot production between grapevine
varieties. More flag shoots were produced on
Verdelho than on Chardonnay, and these
varieties produced more flag shoots than
Sultana. Verdelho appeared to be much more
susceptible to bud infection by powdery mildew
than the other varieties. The secondary and
tertiary buds within the compound winter buds
do not often grow into shoots in the second
season, as the primary bud normally becomes
the main shoot. It appears that following severe
infection during the preceding growing season,
these secondary and tertiary buds (as latent or
resting buds) can also produce flag shoots
under certain conditions. Crop loss is more likely
to occur in the absence of adequate control
programs in vineyards of varieties with a high
potential for flag shoot production, because of
the higher likelihood of powdery mildew
epidemics starting earlier in the season.
The result of the fungicide trials indicated that
correctly timed sprays can reduce flag shoot
development. Fungicides or fungicide mixtures
with different chemistry may have different
effects and could be applied at different times
after bud infection, but this needs further
investigation. These observations are important
for the development of improved programs for
the management of powdery mildew, particularly
for scheduling the crucial early season control
measures. Further glasshouse and field
evaluations are required to validate these results
and to establish the timing of sprays of different
fungicides for optimum control of bud infection,
flag shoot expression and disease on vine
foliage and bunches.
Some important outcomes of this research
include more accurate prediction of the
appearance of powdery mildew in vineyards and
the development of management programs that
can substantially reduce bud infection and/or the
expression of disease on infected shoots. As a
result, the most important source of powdery
mildew primary inoculum in most Australian
vineyards could be reduced or eliminated.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                    12
  Viticulture: Dried grapes

Project title                                                  Contact                                   Page
Evaluation of new rootstocks for dried sultanas                Dr Mahabubur Mollah                         14
                                                               Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                               Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Sustainable management of Aspergillus carbonarius in           Dr Bob Emmett                               15
vineyards                                                      Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                               Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Influence of vine spacing on productivity and water use        Mark Krstic                                 16
efficiency in dried grape production systems                   Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                               Tel: (03) 5051 4500, or (03) 9210 9222
Optimising Sunmuscat dried fruit quality (berry size and       Peter Clingeleffer                          17
flavour)                                                       CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                               Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Evaluation of sultanas with decreased browning                 Peter Clingeleffer                          18
                                                               CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                               Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Further improve drying efficiency of bunches                   Dr Mahabubur Mollah                         19
                                                               Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                               Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Development of rain tolerant drying varieties to meet market   Peter Clingeleffer                          20
specifications                                                 CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                               Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Cordon bunch removal for trellis dried grapes                  Dr Mahabubur Mollah                         21
                                                               Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                               Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Sunmuscat fruit set and bunch shatter                          Michael Treeby                              22
                                                               CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                               Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Dried fruit irrigation benchmarking                            Zoe Toll                                    23
                                                               Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                               Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Rootstock breeding and development for Australian dried        Peter Clingeleffer                        No
grapes                                                         CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein             report
                                                               Tel: (03) 5051 3100

  Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                    13
                                                                                                              Viticulture: Dried grapes
Evaluation of new rootstocks for dried                  Results 2003 - 2005
sultanas                                                The results from the 2003 - 2005 harvests have
Project team: Dr Mahabubur Mollah, Adam                 shown that the Ramsey, Paulsen, 116-60,
Wightwick, Linda Pollock and Jenny Gordon, Vic          Ruggeri and 187-24 rootstocks are producing
DPI                                                     consistently higher yields than the other
                                                        rootstocks. Whilst the yields were lower in 2003,
Project duration: 1 July, 2002 to 30 June, 2007
                                                        the 101-14 rootstock also produced consistently
Funding: HAL, Vic DPI                                   high yields in 2004 and 2005. Results have
Aims of project:                                        shown very little difference in the level of
                                                        maturity and the quality of the fruit between the
    To assess the performance of new rootstock          different rootstocks.
    varieties for dried sultana production.
                                                        Rootstock/scion compatibility is currently being
    To determine the productiveness and                 evaluated using measurements of the rootstock
    aptitudes of new rootstock varieties grown          and scion graft union diameter for each
    using the Shaw swing-arm trellis.                   treatment. Assessments of vigour are continuing
Project report:                                         by measuring pruning weights and the
A number of alternative rootstocks such as 140          interception of light through the canopy.
Ruggeri, 1103 Paulsen, and the Lider-bred 116-          Further testing
60 and 187-24 are showing promise for                   Whilst existing information including phylloxera,
improving the consistency of trellis-dried sultana      nematode and disease resistance, drought and
production in trials being conducted by the             salt tolerance is available for the high yielding
Victorian DPI.                                          Ramsey, 140 Ruggeri, and 1103 Paulsen
In response to industry concerns over excessive         rootstocks; little information is available on the
vigour and declining yields with sultana grafted        Lider-bred 116-60 and 187-24 rootstocks. In the
to the Ramsey rootstock, in 2002 assessments            final two years of the project the 116-60 and
to determine the performance of various                 187-24 rootstocks will be screened for
rootstocks began. Results from the first three          phylloxera resistance using the genotype
years of the trial and the directions of the final      screening techniques developed by the
two years of the project are presented in this          phylloxera research group at DPI-Rutherglen.
article.                                                The soil testing for nematodes that was
The project is working towards achieving the            conducted when the trial sites were established
following outcomes:                                     will be repeated to evaluate the resistance of the
    The dried grape industry is able to better          rootstocks to nematodes. During 2006-07, the
    match rootstocks to soil types for more             116-60 and 187-24 rootstocks will be tested for
    consistent trellis-dried sultana production.        salt tolerance in a controlled glasshouse
    Dried grape growers are able to produce
    consistently higher yields for dried sultana        Whilst the first three years of the project have
    production in comparison with currently used        highlighted alternative rootstocks which show
    rootstocks.                                         potential for improved sultana production, the
                                                        rootstocks will be assessed for another two
Rootstock assessments                                   years to look for any potential trends in declining
The performance of H4 sultana grafted to nine           yields. Information on the performance of
different rootstocks is being evaluated on four         alternative rootstocks will be compiled into a
trial sites established in 1997/98. The rootstocks      dried sultana rootstock selection guide to be
are divided into the three following categories:        published at the completion of the project in
    Rootstocks currently used for sultana               2007.
    production: H4 sultana’s own roots,                 Contact: Dr Mahabubur Mollah
    Ramsey, Schwarzmann and 5BB Kober.                  Vic DPI, Mildura
    Rootstocks identified as showing good               Tel: (03) 50514500
    performance in other grape industries: 101-
    14, 1103 Paulsen and 140 Ruggeri.                   Email:
    Rootstocks that are largely untried: Lider-
    bred 116-60 and 187-24.
Yield, fruit quality, maturity, rootstock/scion
compatibility and vigour are being assessed to
evaluate the performance of alternative
rootstocks in comparison to the industry
standards (especially Ramsey rootstock).

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                    14
                                                                                                                  Viticulture: Dried grapes
Sustainable management of Aspergillus                   Incidence of A. carbonarius in soil under vines
carbonarius in vineyards                                and in dried berries at harvest is minimal in
                                                        vineyards with drip or low level spray irrigation
Project team: Dr Bob Emmett and Dr Benozir              and 0-1 cultivations during the vine growing
Kazi, Vic DPI                                           season.
Collaborators: CSIRO FSA - North Ryde                   Disturbance of the surface soil under vines
Project duration: 1 July, 2003 to 30                    should be minimised between berry softening
September, 2006                                         and harvest. The incorporation of selected cover
Funding: HAL, Vic DPI, CRCV                             crops into the soil of vineyards just before
                                                        irrigation can also increase the water-holding
Aims of project: To develop strategies for the          capacity of the soil and reduce the incidence of
sustainable management of Aspergillus                   A. carbonarius.
carbonarius in vineyards and ochratoxin A (OA)
in grapes through the following sub-objectives:         Grape varieties with resistance to rain damage
                                                        (eg. Sunmuscat) should be grown instead of
    Increase understanding of the development           susceptible varieties like Sultana. Canopy
    and survival of A. carbonarius in vineyard          management practices (eg. vine pruning) and
    soils,                                              vine trellis systems (eg. swing-arm trellises)
    Identify cultural practices, especially             should be used to produce loose bunches,
    irrigation and soil management, that                reduce the amount of foliage around bunches
    minimise the incidence of A. carbonarius in         and minimise congestion in vine bunch zones.
    vineyards,                                          Other pests and diseases (eg. light brown apple
                                                        moth and powdery mildew) should be controlled
    Evaluate chemical treatments that reduce
                                                        to reduce the risk of berry damage.
    berry splitting and/or black Aspergillus
    mould development, and                              Where possible, grape growers should be
                                                        prepared to ‘trellis dry’ their grapes if high rainfall
    Communicate the results of project R&D to
                                                        occurs just before or during harvest. When there
    the dried grape industry.
                                                        is rain, canes bearing fruit should be cut as soon
Project report:                                         as possible to minimise berry water uptake and
Three black Aspergillus species, A. aculeatus,          splitting. Spraying bunches with drying oil and
A. niger and A. carbonarius, are often                  potash just before the canes are cut can also
associated with bunch moulds of grapes when             reduce the development of bunch moulds.
rain occurs just before or during harvest. In           Research is continuing on a fungicide treatment
infected grapes, A. carbonarius (and to a lesser        that will reduce incidence of A. carbonarius and
extent, A. niger) can produce OA, an                    OA in dried grapes at harvest.
undesirable fungal by-product. The presence of          Benefits for the dried grape industry
an unacceptable level of OA in dried grapes
                                                        The development and adoption of vineyard
could compromise the integrity of dried grape
                                                        management strategies that minimise the
products in the market place.
                                                        incidence of black Aspergillus moulds and OA
Biology of black Aspergillus moulds in                  will ensure the integrity of Australian dried
vineyards                                               grapes and the sustainability and development
Spores of A. carbonarius are produced on trash          of export markets.
in the surface soil under vines. During the vine        Contact: Dr Bob Emmett,
growing season, the spores are dispersed in air
                                                        Vic DPI, Mildura
and dust onto the surface of bunches on vines.
Bunch moulds develop after the spores grow in           Tel: (03) 5051 4500
berries damaged by rain, pests or other factors.        Email:
When spore populations are high, A.
carbonarius can survive in bunches from berry
                                                        R: Black Aspergillus
set until harvest. Recent studies indicated that        bunch moulds
the minimum number of spores required in soil           caused by
under vines for the development of Aspergillus          Aspergillus
bunch rot is 300-2500.                                  carbonarius on
Bunch mould management strategies                       grapes.

Research has shown that integrated vine and
vineyard floor management practices can be
used to minimise the incidence of A. carbonarius
in soil and on berries; berry damage and the
development of black Aspergillus moulds in
bunches on vines; and OA in dried grapes.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                       15
                                                        In comparison if we look at the yield difference in

                                                                                                              Viticulture: Dried grapes
Influence of vine spacing on productivity
and water use efficiency in dried grape                 the 2006 season there was a 3-4% yield
production systems                                      increase in the 3.6m spacing and 7-8% yield
                                                        increase in the 4.8m(a) over the standard 2.4m
Project team: Dr Mark Krstic, Fred Hancock              spacings.
and Nardia Baker, Vic DPI
                                                        The yield response of the Sunmuscat grafted to
Collaborators: CSIRO Plant Industry                     1103 Paulsen combination showed slightly
Project duration: 1 July, 2003 to 30 June, 2006         different responses depending on the site and
Funding: HAL, Vic DPI, CSIRO PI                         soil depth combination. The average results of
                                                        the 3.6m spacing across all the
Aim of project: To develop a practical                  Sunmuscat/Paulsen sites produced slightly
management tool which assists growers in                higher (1-2%) yields in comparison to the
deciding on a particular in-row vine spacing that       standard 2.4m spacing. The only exception to
maximises their production and water use                this was on the 300mm topsoil site where the
efficiency (WUE), while maintaining and/or              4.8m(a) spacing showed a 1-2% increase over
improving dried fruit quality characteristics.          the standard 2.4m spacing.
Project report:                                         This vine spacing trial is due to be finalised on
Production of Sultana grafted to Ramsey and             the 30 June, 2006 and a full review of all the
Sunmuscat grafted to Paulsen 1103 rootstock             findings will be available when the Final Report
on Shaw swingarm trellis may be compromised             is published.
by excessive shoot vigour. This vigorous growth         Summary
shades the developing buds in the leaf axil
which contain the inflorescence primordia for the       Manipulating the in-row vine spacing in both
following season’s crop. Shading reduces the            Sultana grafted to Ramsey and Sunmuscat
potential fruitfulness of these buds and therefore      grafted to Paulsen appears to have a significant
the potential crop in the following season.             impact on yield and therefore grower returns. In
                                                        Sultana grafted to Ramsey over the last three
A practical viticultural management tool for            years, both the 3.6m and 4.8m(a) spacings have
regulating vine vigour is to plant the vines at a       continued to improve. While the 2.4m spacing
wider in-row spacing. However, this is                  came in with a good yield in 2003-04 it has
dependent on soil type and depth, as well as            steadily declined since; up to 8-9% difference by
irrigation and nutrition management. This               the 2005-06 season.
research aims to investigate the interaction of
vine spacing, water use and nutrition on the            In Sunmuscat grafted to 1103 Paulsen a yield
yield and quality of Sultana and Sunmuscat              increase of approximately 1-2% can be achieved
grapes for dried fruit production on established        with a 3.6m spacing in comparison to the
sites across a range of typical soil types within       standard 2.4m vine spacing.
the Sunraysia growing district.                         Take Home Message
Trial design                                            From the results this far it is clear both Sultana
The original trial (Project number DG00003              grafted to Ramsey and Sunmuscat grafted to
Matching vine vigour and planting density to            Paulsen will both perform as well, or better, at
maximise dried fruit production and quality of          wider in row spacings than the standard 2.4m
cordon based systems) was set on existing               spacing. While the increased yield is important,
vineyards. All vineyards are irrigated by full          the reduction in vine establishment and input
coverage sprinkler irrigation. Five trial sites were    costs should also be taken into consideration.
established; two sites of Sultana grafted to            Acknowledgements
Ramsey root stock and three sites of Sunmuscat          The authors thank the property owners -
grafted to Paulsen 1103 root stock using a              Australian Dried Fruits Association (ADFA) -
replicated block design.                                DPI, CSIRO, Lex French, Peter Gardner, Tony
Findings to date                                        Martin and Ivan Shaw for allowing the trials to be
The preliminary results indicate that Sultana           set up on their properties and gratefully
grafted to Ramsey rootstock showed the best             appreciate their continued assistance over the
response to increasing the in-row spacing. After        six years. The guidance of the ADFA and the
the initial training of the new vine cordons, it took   mechanisation steering committee has been
two seasons for the yield and vigour to settle          very helpful. We also express gratitude to
down, since this time the 4.8m(a) – actual and          Sunbeam Foods for assisting with our quality
true 4.8m spacing – spacing has shown the               assessments.
most consistent yields. The actual average              Contact: Mark Krstic
yields in Sultana/Ramsey over the five years            Vic DPI, Mildura
showed no significant difference, with less than
6% yield variation between the 2.4m, 3.6m and           Tel: (03) 5051 4500, or (03) 9210 92222
4.8m(a) spacings.                                       Email:

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                     16
                                                                                                               Viticulture: Dried grapes
Optimising Sunmuscat dried fruit quality                Cane length
(berry size and flavour)                                Three treatments suited to management on a
Project team: Peter Clingeleffer, Caroline Tarr         Shaw Swing-arm trellis were used. They were:
and Karen Connolly, CSIRO Plant Industry                (1) short canes which were cut below the middle
                                                        catch wire; (2) medium canes which were cut
Project duration: 1 July, 2003 to 30 June, 2006         below the lower wire and (3) long canes which
Funding: HAL                                            were wrapped on the lower wire.
Aims of project:                                        There were no significant treatment effects on
    Develop management strategies to optimise           yield, berry weight, sugar level, titratable acidity
    yield, berry size and muscat flavour of             or colour measurements.
    Sunmuscat.                                          Cane number
    Produce improved guidelines for production          The cane number study included 6, 9, 12 and 15
    of consistent Sunmuscat fruit.                      cane treatments. Overall lighter pruning (higher
Project report:                                         cane numbers) produced more, smaller
                                                        bunches, but had no significant effect on yield.
Over the past three seasons pruning and
gibberellic acid (GA) sizing experiments have           At harvest there were significant treatment
been conducted on commercial sites with the             effects on sugar levels ( 25.1, 24.3, 23.7, and
aim to manipulate crop load and study the               23.6°Brix for the 6, 9, 12 and 15 cane treatments
effects on flavour, bunch and berry size. In            respectively) and berry weight (2.30, 2.25, 2.16
addition, fruit was rack dried from two properties      and 2.17 g for the 6, 9, 12 and 15 cane
(ie. high and moderate vigour) at weekly                treatments respectively). Sweeter, larger berries
intervals with the aim to determine minimum and         were produced when there were fewer canes.
optimum sugar levels to achieve the best fruit          Cane number had no effect on titratable acidity,
colour, berry size and muscat flavour.                  pH or fruit colour measurements.
Opportunities have been taken in the design of          Berry size manipulation with GA
the experiments to assess effects of trellis            GA treatments which increased berry weight
orientation and fruit position within the canopy        were offset by lower sugar levels. GA also
on fruit quality.                                       caused problems in processing associated with
Samples were collected weekly from all trials           increased pedicel diameters, bunch rachis
over the fruit maturation period to monitor berry       weight and difficulties in removing cap stems.
development and juice composition. All                  Best berry sizing results were obtained with a
treatments were trellis dried after cane cutting        single 10 parts per million GA application, or two
and application of drying emulsion. Vine yields         split applications of 3ppm, commencing when
were recorded at harvest, trellis dried samples         berry diameters were about 5 millimetres.
were collected and ground dried to remove
excess moisture and processed through the               Row orientation
small-scale processing machine at CSIRO.                Fruit from the south facing orientation had higher
Berry size, moisture and colour analyses were           moisture content, was significantly greener and
recorded for all dried fruit samples prior to           in some cases had smaller dry berry weights
storage.                                                than fruit from the north orientation.
A summary of the key results, excluding those           Position within the canopy
from season 2006 is presented below.                    At harvest, fruit from the upper canopy
Optimum maturity                                        compared to the lower canopy was riper (26
Fruit was harvested from early February when            compared to 23°Brix) and had larger fresh (2.26g
maturities were less than 20°Brix to mid-March          compared to 2.02g) and dried berries (0.62g
from two grower sites to assess maturity effects        compared to 0.44g). Dried fruit colour from the
on colour and flavour.                                  upper zone was lighter and more yellow.
The results showed that a minimum sugar level           Conclusions
of 23° Brix should be reached before harvest or         Based on the results it is possible to identify
cane cutting to avoid problems with ‘green tinge’       preliminary management strategies which may
and achieve acceptable light colour, muscat             assist growers in meeting specifications for dried
flavour and acid levels in the dried product.           Sunmuscat. These include:-
Best results were achieved when sugar levels                Adopt a minimum maturity for
were around 25°Brix, as excessive sugar levels              commencement of harvest of 23°Brix.
(greater than 27°Brix) tended to produce brown              Retain fewer canes (nine per vine or four per
berries and have lower muscat flavour.                      metre of cordon) to promote earlier ripening
                                                            and development of larger berries.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                      17
    To minimise effects of trellis orientation on       was implemented by trellis drying fruit from

                                                                                                             Viticulture: Dried grapes
    maturity, berry size, moisture content and          almost 300 individual vines in seasons 2004 to
    fruit colour growers should consider:-              2006.
    −   The use of fewer, shorter canes on a            The tasks included restricting bunch production
        south facing trellis.                           by inflorescence removal, sampling of berries for
    −   Cut canes on the north and south                PPO activity after fruit set and sampling all
        orientations on different dates to              remaining bunches to determine fruit maturity
        achieve optimum maturity.                       (sugar, acid and pH) prior to the commencement
                                                        of drying.
    −   Harvest north and south facing
        orientations on different dates to              Canes were cut in early to mid-February and
        minimise differences in moisture                emulsion applied for trellis drying with the dried
        content.                                        fruit samples harvested in early March. Excess
                                                        moisture was removed by placing samples in the
    −   Keep fruit from north and south facing
                                                        sun on black plastic sheets laid on the ground or
        orientations separate to minimise
                                                        dehydration depending on the season.
        dehydration costs and enhance
        uniformity of fruit samples. High               All samples were hand cleaned prior to
        moisture fruit from the south orientation       measurement of colour and commencement of
        should be dehydrated first to minimise          long-term storage studies.
        darkening in storage prior to                   Because drying conditions were excellent in all
        dehydration.                                    years, most vines produced high quality, light
Contact: Peter Clingeleffer                             coloured dried sultanas (ie. 5 crown light). The
                                                        long-term storage involved monitoring colour
CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                        changes in fruit samples with high moisture (18-
Tel: (03) 5051 3100                                     20%) stored at high temperature (25°C) for up to
Email:                      six months.
                                                        A number of low browning Sultana types have
                                                        been identified in the accelerated storage trials
                                                        conducted over the three seasons. These low
                                                        browning types maintain a lighter, more golden
                                                        colour than standard Sultana which started to
                                                        darken within three days of storage. The largest
                                                        differences in fruit colour occurred after seven
                                                        days of storage and were still obvious after six
                                                        months in storage.
                                                        The project has been extended for one year so
                                                        that fruitfulness of the low browning selections
                                                        can be assessed in spring, yields of the best
                                                        types measured without bunch removal and low
                                                        browning activity determined under full crop
Above: Sunmuscat crop on Shaw trellis in the            Contact: Peter Clingeleffer
cane number site in 2006.
                                                        CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                        Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Evaluation of sultanas with decreased
Project team: Peter Clingeleffer, Caroline Tarr,
Dr Mark Thomas, Dr Simon Robinson and Dr
Rob Walker, CSIRO Plant Industry
Project duration: 1 July, 2003 to 30 June 2007
Funding: HAL
Aim of project: Evaluate dried fruit colour of
Sultanas with decreased browning and monitor
colour change under accelerated storage
Project report:
                                                        Above: A range of colours in the fruit after seven
The study to investigate browning of sultana            days storage at high moisture equivalent to
types with down-regulated PPO (polyphenol               processed fruit.
oxidase) activity compared to Sultana H5 control

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                     18
                                                                                                              Viticulture: Dried grapes
Further improve drying efficiency of                    Key findings:
bunches                                                     Mistral oil and S240 did not cause any
Project team: Dr Mahabubur Mollah and Jenny                 phytotoxicity to young grape shoots.
Gordon, Vic DPI                                             Covering of berries inside tight bunches was
Collaborators: NZ Forest Research                           not affected by the use of adjuvants or
                                                            reduction of volume compared with the
Project duration: 1 July, 2004 to 30 June, 2006             control.
Funding: HAL, Vic DPI                                       In general, the loss of moisture from grape
Aim of project: Provide industry with additional            berries in the early stage of drying (within
rate and volume prescriptions for using low                 first 10 days after spraying) was accelerated
volumes of drying emulsion that contain both an             by the use of double strength emulsion
oil-spreading alkylsilicone and a water spreading           containing adjuvants, TD or S240. However,
organosilicone.                                             it was not proven conclusively whether the
Project report:                                             use of these adjuvants produced better fruit.

In 2005, a laboratory study conducted by Plant              Similar quality dried grapes (in terms of
Protection Chemistry New Zealand evaluated an               moisture and colour) were produced by
organo silicone (OS) super spreader (S240), for             applying lower volumes (as low as 4,000
its potential to further reduce the current spray           L/ha) of emulsion with or without adjuvants
volumes of drying emulsion.                                 compared with the control.

OS super spreaders are water soluble, as                    Up to $180/ha can be saved by driving a
opposed to the alkyl silicone (AS), oil-soluble             standard wetting machine faster (4.0 km/h)
adjuvant (Turbo Dry), and can spread water to a             and using smaller size nozzles spraying
far greater extent than an AS can spread oil.               double strength emulsion without adjuvants.
However, OS can be rapidly degraded by                      Cost of using an organosilicone adjuvant
extremes of pH and are known to cause                       S240 with drying emulsion will outweigh any
phytotoxic effects on crops if used incorrectly.            potential benefit.
The laboratory tests concluded that:                    Conclusions
    S240 super spreader has the potential to            Industry perceived economic gain by using
    reduce spray volumes of drying emulsion             adjuvant with drying emulsion may not be
    applied to sultana grapes by up to 80%,             realised. A thorough economic analysis is
    which would remove the need for wetting             suggested before recommending the use of any
    machines. It is stable in the alkaline              adjuvant. It appears potential cost saving is
    conditions of drying emulsion sprays for at         possible through reduction of emulsion volume
    least two hours after mixing. The use of            which can be achieved by applying at a faster
    TurboDry adjuvant in the tank may improve           rate and using appropriate nozzle setting.
    emulsion spreading with S240. S240 should           Application of low volume will allow the use of a
    be used at rates above 0.2%, preferably at          simple and cheap wetting machine (as there is
    0.5%, to maximise its super spreading ability       no need for recycling) resulting in further savings
    and stability. It can be used in emulsions          in capital and maintenance costs.
    containing up to 2% oil.                            The final report of the project has been accepted
    Tartrazine dye is a suitable tracer to include      by Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL).
    in drying emulsion sprays to monitor                Acknowledgments:
    deposits on sultanas. It is stable in the spray
    solution and can be readily and consistently        The project team is grateful to members of the
    recovered from berry surfaces for up to 48          project steering committee for their valuable
    hours after application.                            inputs and guidance. We are also grateful to
                                                        participating growers for allowing us to conduct
Turbo Dry and S240 were used in 2005 and                trials in their vineyards.
2006 field trials.
                                                        Debra Partington, Vic DPI, Knoxfield, assisted
The preliminary results from 2005 field trials          with the statistical designs, analyses and
have shown that grapes sprayed with emulsion            interpretation of results.
containing S240, but half in volume compared
with standard volume applied, can still produce         John Hawtin, ADFA, took photos and assisted
similar coverage for inner berries.                     with the machine set up.
A range of application methods (combination of          Linda Pollock and Adam Wightwick, Vic DPI,
different sprayer, spray nozzles and ground             Mildura, assisted with the mixing of emulsion
speeds) were used in 2006 to assess the                 and field trial
suitability of applying low volume drying               Contact: Dr Mahabubur Mollah
emulsion to produce good quality dried grapes.          Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                        Tel: (03) 50514500
Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                    19
Development of rain tolerant drying                     To this end three grower sites were established

                                                                                                             Viticulture: Dried grapes
varieties to meet market specifications                 by grafting or top-working in December 2004
                                                        and should produce significant crops in 2007.
Project team: Peter Clingeleffer, Caroline Tarr,
Dr Steve Sykes, David Emmanuelli, Norma                 Key trial sites which have been established
Morales and Dr Rob Walker, CSIRO Plant                  previously to assess yield and quality and
Industry                                                potential for mechanisation, on low input Shaw
                                                        swing-arm trellis include:
Project duration: 1 July, 2004 to 30 June, 2009
                                                            Semi-commercial plantings of the currant
Funding: HAL
                                                            (M48-42) which includes a rootstock trial
Aim of project: Development of rain tolerant                established in 2001 and a larger one hectare
drying varieties to meet market specifications. In          site established by top working existing
doing so, improve the cost efficiency and                   Zante currants on Ramsey vines in late
economically sustainable development of dried               2004.
grape production by developing and evaluating
                                                            Sultana types of varying berry size
new and improved plant material to improve
                                                            established in 2003 (F64-74, F18-149, M28-
yield, production efficiency and consistency.
                                                            113 which have berries similar in size to
Project report:                                             Sultana, M50-02 and M47-58 produces
Problems in dried fruit production over the last            smaller berries and early ripening disease
decade have highlighted deficiencies of existing            resistant types and CG14-81 produces an
drying varieties, especially Sultana. These                 attractive elongated berry). F64-74 was also
include substantial production and quality losses           top-worked onto existing Sultana vines
associated with rain damage at harvest (1999,               grafted on Ramsey in December 2004 to
2000 and 2003), the development of mouldy fruit             give sufficient fruit for processing and
and low fruitfulness attributable to weather                marketing purposes.
conditions during fruit bud initiation in                   Larger plantings of seedless selections with
November-December.                                          high potential from disease resistant and in-
The project aims, through breeding which                    ovulo embryo breeding lines (40 selections
includes the use of tissue culture for in-ovulo             on Shaw and T-trellis).
embryo rescue from seedless x seedless                  Other research sites include:
crosses, to develop rain tolerant drying varieties
                                                            Plantings of the United States Department of
that meet market specifications and in doing so,
                                                            Agriculture (USDA) selections, Black
improve the cost efficiency and economically
                                                            Emerald, C88-89 (a muscat seedless),
sustainable development of dried grape
                                                            DoVine, Summer Muscat, Diamond Muscat
                                                            and Princess. Selma Pete which is still in
New drying types, at varying stages of                      quarantine will be included once released.
development, are evaluated by drying and
                                                            A non-sprayed site with disease resistant
processing in the CSIRO small-scale processing
                                                            selections to test field tolerance/ resistance
facility. These stages range from single vine
                                                            by observation of leaves and fruit.
seedling populations, through multiplied and top-
worked plantings to larger, semi-commercial                 New hybrid seedling populations produced
trials on grower properties. New varieties which            by conventional hybridisation including
have been introduced from overseas are                      seedless x seedless crosses and in-ovulo
included for comparative purposes.                          embryo rescue techniques. Each year 1500
                                                            new seedlings from conventional breeding
Each season fruit from about 150 individual
                                                            and embryo rescue are planted in the field in
seedling vines are dried and evaluated.
Following tasting and assessment in the 2005
season, 25 of these were identified for                 The project is overseen by the Unique Dried
multiplication and further evaluation.                  Grapes Steering Committee to ensure that it is
                                                        consistent with industry needs, to identify
Own rooted plants of these selections are
                                                        selections with most potential and to facilitate
produced for planting in multiple sites and the
                                                        their commercial adoption.
selections are top-worked on existing rootstock
material for rapid evaluation on modern trellis         Members of this committee include
systems.                                                representatives from all industry sectors,
                                                        Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and
Dried fruit samples are also produced from 60-
100 multiplied selections each season.
                                                        Contact: Peter Clingeleffer
The project also involves the assessment of the
most promising selections under large scale             CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
semi-commercial conditions to give sufficient           Tel: (03) 50513100
fruit for processing and test marketing purposes
when managed on modern trellis drying

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                       20
                                                                                                              Viticulture: Dried grapes
Cordon bunch removal for trellis dried                  A consulting plant physiologist is preparing a
grapes                                                  literature review which describes the
                                                        physiological aspects of grape bunches and the
Project team: Dr Mahabubur Mollah and Jenny
                                                        mechanisms of salt burn on cordon bunches.
Gordon, Vic DPI
                                                        The review findings were presented to the
Project duration: 1July, 2005 to 30 June, 2008          Project Steering Committee meeting held on 15
Funding: HAL                                            June, 2006 and bound copies are expected to
                                                        be available to the industry shortly.
Aims of project:
                                                        During October/November 2005, varying
    Form a steering committee involving key             concentrations of urea, calcium nitrate, ethrel,
    industry representatives, Horticulture              gibberellic acid (GA) or common salt was
    Australia Limited (HAL), research staff and         applied on cordon bunches of Carina Currant,
    the Australian Dried Fruits Association             Sultana, and Sunmuscat. Now, year one field
    (ADFA) Industry Development Officer.                trials, processing of frozen samples and data
    Survey and document growers’ practices              entry to computer have been completed. A
    including anecdotal reports on the influence        poster titled ‘Cordon bunch removal in dried
    on cordon bunch removal of development              grapes’ was displayed in the 55th Mildura
    stages, application rates, volumes and              Horticultural Field Days organised by the ADFA.
    timing, soil types and vine status.                 The preliminary results have shown that certain
    Review the literature describing the                concentrations of some chemicals have potential
    physiology of bunches before and during             as suitable alternatives to ammonium nitrate.
    flowering including disruption to shoot             These preliminary results were presented and
    growth, inhibition of flowering, burn and the       discussed at the steering committee meeting on
    effects on tissue of varying ambient                15 June, 2006. After full statistical analysis, the
    conditions. The review will focus on                results of year one trials will be presented to a
    understanding the mechanisms of salt burn,          wider industry audience and stakeholders.
    so that industry can adapt techniques, in           Future work
    event of salts that are currently used
    becoming unavailable. The review will also          Based on year one trial results and steering
    address techniques and chemicals used in a          committee recommendations, hypotheses will be
    range of crops, in Australia and overseas,          set for year 2 trials. During June and July 2006
    for desiccating or removing buds and other          cane and bud assessments will be conducted at
    plant tissue, or preventing fruit set.              year one trial sites. During flowering
                                                        (October/November 2006) field trials will be
    Conduct field trials during flowering 2005 to       conducted at commercial vineyards.
    2007, to confirm the influence of
    physiological parameters and chemical               Contact: Dr Mahabubur Mollah
    choice on cordon bunch removal, and                 Vic DPI, Mildura
    fruitfulness of subsequent years.
                                                        Tel: (03) 50514500
    Invite growers from several properties to
    participate in trials each season to gather
    broader information and generate industry
    interest in adoption of new                                                    L: Dead cordon bunch
    recommendations.                                                               about seven days after
Project report:
Until recently, some growers successfully used
ammonium nitrate to remove cordon bunches.
However, restricted use of ammonium nitrate
(due to security issues) has encouraged growers
to look for an alternative. As a result, growers
have been keenly participating and following the
progress of this project.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                    21
Sunmuscat fruit set and bunch shatter                   The role of micronutrients and competition was

                                                                                                               Viticulture: Dried grapes
                                                        investigated in a bunch dipping/cincturing trial at
Project team: Michael Treeby, Steve Swain and           Red Cliffs using drip irrigated Sunmuscat vines
Jacqui Fitos, CSIRO Plant Industry                      growing on 1103 Paulsen and trained on swing
Project duration: 1 September, 2005 to 30               arm trellis. Individual clusters were dipped in
June, 2009                                              solutions of micronutrients twice before flowering
Funding: HAL                                            and vines were cinctured at flowering.
Aim of project: To determine the cause or               The micronutrients had no effect on the numbers
causes of final berry numbers per bunch on              of berries per bunch present at the final harvest,
Sunmuscat and design and trial management               but cincturing increased the numbers of berries
strategies to increase berry numbers per bunch.         per bunch by around 27%, from about 110
                                                        berries per bunch to 138.
Project report:
                                                        Observation of shoot growth and examination of
Bud fertility, as indicated by bunches per shoot,       irrigation records from this site suggest that soil
is high in Sunmuscat. Unfortunately, this has not       water levels may have been marginal at critical
always been translated into high productivity           times, and some additional analyses are being
because of poor fruit set and/or bunch shatter          conducted to confirm this. While an involvement
following fruit set. This has resulted in reduced       of micronutrients cannot be confidently
returns for some producers and may be an                eliminated at this stage, the response to
impediment to the widespread adoption of the            cincturing suggests that competition for
variety. The industry wants to move away from           assimilate is involved. This will be the major
traditional varieties such as Sultana, so it is         focus of research during season 2006/07.
important that this limitation to high productivity
be overcome.                                            Acknowledgements
The reason or reasons why the yield potential of        The authors gratefully acknowledge co-
Sunmuscat is not consistently achieved are              operation of the growers who allowed access to
unknown.                                                their properties to collect some of the
                                                        information presented in this article. The authors
Sunmuscat flowers have to be fertilised for a           also gratefully acknowledge the financial support
berry to set. Shortly after fertilisation, the          of Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL),
developing seed degenerates leaving a seed              Australian Dried Vine Fruits Trust Inc. and
trace while the rest of the berry develops              CSIRO.
normally. In other grape varieties poor fruit set
has been linked to poor pollen viability (which         Contact: Michael Treeby
has, in turn, been linked to deficiencies of            CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
micronutrients such as zinc and boron) and              Tel: (03) 5051 3100
competition for assimilates. Alternatively, the
developing berry may fail and drop off for some         Email:
other reason; possibly competition with the
rapidly growing shoots for assimilates at a
critical time.
Trials conducted during Season 2005/06
To gain an insight into what distinguishes
vineyards with high Sunmuscat productivity from
vineyards with low Sunmuscat productivity, all
the components of yield, from the number of
bearers per vine through to the number of
berries per bunch were assessed across six
sites varying in productivity.
After bud fertility, the greatest influence on
productivity was the number of berries per              Figure 1. Average Sunmuscat flowers per cluster
bunch in late November. This was supported by           and berries per bunch across a number of
detailed counts of flowers per cluster before           Sunraysia sites varying in productivity. The
flowering, and of berries per bunch in late             vertical lines are the standard deviation, and give
November, late December and in late February.           an indication of the variability. Results indicate
On average, Sunmuscat clusters had around               84% of the flowers fail to set, and a further 4% are
1200 flowers, but 84% of those flowers failed to        lost after set.
set a berry. Further losses only amounted to 4%
of the original 1200. Therefore, the poor
productivity of Sunmuscat is more a berry set
problem rather than a bunch shatter problem.
Put another way, the industry stands to gain
more by improving berry set than it stands to
gain by reducing bunch shatter.
Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                      22
                                                        The questions were aimed at developing a

                                                                                                              Viticulture: Dried grapes
Dried fruit irrigation benchmarking
                                                        better understanding of DVF producers’ current
Project team: Maxine Schache, Julio Vargas              level of irrigation performance. The results will
and Zoe Toll, Vic DPI                                   allow growers to compare their irrigation
Collaborators: NSW DPI, Rural Solutions SA              practices over time and with others at the
ICMS                                                    completion of the study.
Project duration: 2003 – 2006                           Included in the study were 22 growers covering
Funding: NAP/DSE                                        47 sites. They were included on the basis of the
                                                        availability of irrigation records for the
Aim of project: The Irrigation Benchmarking             2002/2003, 2003/2004 and 2004/05 irrigation
Project is an expansion of previous successful          seasons, as well as irrigation system
benchmarking studies that have been                     specifications, soil survey information and crop
undertaken in the Mallee for wine grapes, citrus        yield information.
and potatoes. The project has evolved as a
result of interest shown by growers, extension          Growers were located in the pumped districts of
officers and policy makers to support the               Red Cliffs, Mildura, Merbein, Yelta, Curlwaa and
improvement of farm management in Sunraysia             Pomona. The irrigation systems included drip,
and the development of solutions to prevent             low level sprinklers, overhead sprinklers and
further detrimental off-farm impacts, whilst            furrow irrigation and the grape varieties were
maximising water resources.                             Sultana, Sunmuscat, Gordo, Waltham Cross,
                                                        Currant and Carina.
Information collected during the benchmarking
study included;                                         Data consistencies check of the database and
                                                        results were made. Weather data was entered to
    the amount of water used per crop and               suit site locations and water rates were prepared
    variety;                                            using information provided by the respective
    preferred methods of irrigation scheduling;         water authorities through their internet sites.
    preferred irrigation systems; and                   Irrigation system checks were provided for most
                                                        of the sites, targeting flow rates and pressures at
    system performance measurements.                    the pump and on the irrigation systems. A report
Project report:                                         of the site system checks will be provided
Dried Vine Fruit (DVF) producers from Victoria          individually to the participants. Performance
and New South Wales completed questionnaires            indicators were defined using the format from
on their irrigation practices for the 2002/03,          previous studies (Skewes and Meissner 1997).
2003/04 and 2004/05 irrigation seasons. The             The results from each site were compared and
identification and planning stage included the          ranked.
promotion of the benchmarking study in the              Conclusions
community through field days and newspapers,                Irrigators who used some type of soil
with the aim of finding more growers willing to             moisture monitoring tool (capacitance,
participate in the new study.                               tensiometers, gypsum block) on average
Invitation letters were sent to previous                    used 25% less water and yielded 24%
participants requesting the continuation of their           greater than those who used experience
involvement. Selection of the sites was made                only. This suggests that there is room for
based on grower preferences and available soil              irrigators to improve their irrigation
survey information.                                         performance adopting the new technology.
The data collection and analysis included visits            Sites with low level irrigation systems
to growers’ properties to collect complete                  produced an average yield of 19% more
irrigation seasons’ records and assess irrigation           than drip irrigation and 37% more than
systems during operation by means of a “system              overheads and furrow systems.
check”. A questionnaire containing information              During the three irrigation seasons
about irrigation system, pump details, crop                 surveyed, drip irrigation systems used an
varieties, spacings, area, age of vines, irrigation         average of 14% less water and produced
scheduling used, soil types and yields was                  15% more gross return per megalitre than
completed by the growers.                                   low level systems.
Data collected was analysed using the Irrigation            The high irrigation efficiencies achieved by
Benchmarking Module, a dedicated database                   some sites using drip or low level systems
software for benchmarking studies developed by              means these sites need to be monitored
the South Australia Irrigated Crop Management               closely for salt accumulation in the rootzone,
Service, Primary Industries and Resources                   which eventually may affect crop production.
South Australia.                                            Regular soil and leaf analysis is considered
                                                            best management practices for these sites.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                    23
    More important than using a particular
    irrigation system or scheduling tool alone, is
    the combination of different irrigation and
    other management practices used by
    irrigators in achieving good quality and
    quantity production.
    Furrow irrigators showed an increase in
    water use efficiency figures over the
    seasons surveyed.
Contact: Zoe Toll
Vic DPI, Mildura
Tel: (03) 5051 4500

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006   24
Viticulture: Table grapes

Project title                                                Contact                                   Page
Unique Australian table grapes for the 21st century          Peter Clingeleffer                         26
                                                             CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                             Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Best management production manuals for Australian table      Rosie Hannah                               27
grape varieties                                              Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                             Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Developing intellectual networks with table grape            Mark Krstic                                28
researchers and industry personnel in California through     Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                             Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Causes and prevention of table grape berry collapse          Michael Treeby                             29
                                                             CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                             Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Market access for Australian table grapes to the North       Dr Sabine T. Perrone                       30
Asian markets of Japan, South Korea and China                Vic DPI, Knoxfield
                                                             Tel: (03) 9210 9220
Table grape irrigation benchmarking                          Zoe Toll                                   31
                                                             Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                             Tel: (03) 5051 4500

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                    25
Unique Australian table grapes for the                  To date, ten selections have been identified for

                                                                                                              Viticulture: Table grapes
21st century                                            this purpose (five from 2004 and five from 2005).
                                                        Progress varies between regions depending on
Project team: Peter Clingeleffer, Belinda
                                                        vine age, industry requirements and techniques
McCarthy, Dr Steve Sykes and Dr Rob Walker,
                                                        for establishment of the advanced selections.
CSIRO Plant Industry; Ian Cameron and Sue
                                                        Application of management techniques to
Wills, DAFWA; David Oag, QDPI&F and Geoff
                                                        manipulate yield and quality of these selections
Kenna, NT-BIRD
                                                        has commenced on a limited scale with top-
Collaborators: QDPI, WADA, NTDPI                        worked vines and in own-rooted multiplication
Funding: HAL                                            blocks on CSIRO sites in the Murray Valley.
                                                        Vines are still establishing in Western Australia
Project duration: 1 January, 2004 to 30 August          with the first significant quantities of fruit
2009                                                    expected in 2007.
Aim of project: Develop new table grape                 The five selections included in 2004 are all
varieties to meet specific market requirements in       seedless. One selection (M23-35) has red
terms of key consumer based quality traits that         berries and is ripe in late January. The other four
are adapted to the growing environment of our           selections produce white-golden fruit and ripen
major production regions.                               at various times over the harvest period (M10-17
Project report:                                         in late January, M44-14 in late February, M08-
A national project aiming to develop unique             22 in early March and M18-57 in late March
Australian table grapes for the 21st century and        when grown in the Murray Valley).
addressing specific market requirements in              Two selections (M08-22 and M44-14) were top-
terms of key consumer based quality traits,             worked onto existing rootstock vines at Merbein
commenced in January 2004. The project                  in spring 2004. These vines will produce some
involves development of new progeny through             fruit for harvest in 2006. Bunch thinning and
breeding, with an emphasis on seedless types,           trimming and gibberellic acid (GA) treatments
evaluation of existing material and for the more        have been applied to these vines. Further top-
advanced types, application of modern                   working of these selections onto existing
management practices to optimise performance            rootstocks has also occurred at Merbein in 2005
and fruit quality in the various production             as material was limited by hail damage in 2004.
regions.                                                Material of the five selections was released from
A project steering committee meeting, involving         quarantine in WA in December 2004 and
industry delegates from all participating states        established in the field by top-working onto
and the Australian Table Grape Growers                  existing vines and as own-rooted vines. These
Association (ATGA), research collaborators,             vines have established well and have produced
Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and CSIRO          some fruit at Carnarvon and Wokalup.
Plant Industry provides input into the                  The selections have also been grafted on six
development of breeding strategies and the              different rootstocks at Merbein for planting in the
adoption and commercial development of new              Murray Valley, Queensland and the Northern
varieties.                                              territory. Grafted plants of two selections (M08-
Progress to date has involved application of in-        22 and M44-14) were planted in Queensland (at
ovulo embryo rescue techniques to recover new           two sites, Emerald and St. George) and in the
hybrids from seedless x seedless crosses,               NT in August 2005. The rootstocks selected
evaluation of fruit from seedling vines                 include Ramsey, Paulsen, Dog Ridge, Freedom,
established in the field at CSIRO Merbein, and          140 Ruggeri and 101-14.
propagation and distribution of material of             The five seedless selections identified in 2005
promising types to collaborators for regional           include two white selections (M01-25 and M12-
assessments.                                            10), two red selections (M10-25, M17-33) and
Each season, seedling vines from CSIRO table            one purple selection (M80-55). Ripening times of
grape breeding populations (which include more          these selections in the Murray Valley range from
than 5000 seedlings) are harvested, evaluated           early February (M17-33) to March (M12-10 and
against key criteria and placed in storage to           M80-55). M01-25 and M10-25 have aromatic
assess potential for long-term storage and              Muscat flavours.
transport. Selections showing promise are               The selections have also been grafted on six
multiplied as own-rooted or grafted vines.              different rootstocks (as above) at Merbein for
Top-working onto existing vines is also used to         planting in the Murray Valley, Queensland and
speed up the evaluation process.                        the NT in 2006 and have been placed in
Red Globe irradiation trials have also                  quarantine in WA. They have also been top-
commenced which aim to induce seedlessness.             worked onto existing rootstocks at Merbein.
A key component of the project is the national
evaluation of advanced selections in the major
Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                    26
In addition a further 20 promising selections           It is important that growers understand the

                                                                                                            Viticulture: Table grapes
have been propagated for establishment in               production techniques if they are to reduce input
multiplication blocks at Merbein. Furthermore,          costs into their vineyards.
rootstocks were propagated and planted in the           The key outcome of this project is improved
field in 2005 for future top-working with               knowledge and skills for growing Australian table
promising selections as they are identified each        grapes.
Contact: Peter Clingeleffer
                                                        The project team would like to thank Horticulture
CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein                           Australia Limited (HAL), the ATGA, Victorian
Tel: (03) 5051 3100                                     DPI and the contributing reviewers for their
Email:                      many hours of in-kind help (CSIRO Merbein,
                                                        Growcom Qld, NSW DPI , Department of
                                                        Agriculture WA, individual table grape
Best management production manuals                      associations around the different regions and
for Australian table grape varieties                    other businesses and individuals).
Project team: Rosie Hannah and Kristen Pitt,            Contact: Rosie Hannah
Vic DPI                                                 Vic DPI, Mildura
Collaborators: WADA, QDPI&F, NSW DPI                    Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Funding: HAL, Vic DPI                                   Email:
Project duration: 1 December, 2004 to 31
January, 2006
Aim of project: To collate detailed marketing
and agronomic information into an easy to use
grower manual which will assist the Australian
table grape industry as a whole to produce
consistently high quality table grapes for
consumption on the domestic and export
Project report:
The consistent production of high quality fresh
table grapes is paramount for the whole
industry. The knowledge of both cultural and
vineyard management practices is essential for
this. However, knowledge of production
practices is not widely available and what is
known by growers is generally closely guarded.
                                                        Above: Best management production manual
This can lead to a very secretive industry where        contains information from developing a table
the consistent supply of high quality table grapes      grape vineyard through to postharvest activities.
for both the export and domestic markets is
The aim of this project was to collect and collate
information on best management production
methods for Australian table grapes into a
comprehensive and detailed grower production
manual, to benefit the Australian industry.
The best management production manual for
Australian table grape varieties was completed
in early 2006. The manual contains information
from developing a table grape vineyard through
to postharvest activities.
It also includes environmental best practice with
the emphasis on increasing profits.
This project contributes to the Australian Table
Grape Association (ATGA) Objective 2 by
increasing saleable yield per unit of production
cost by 25% in 2008.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                    27
                                                                                                            Viticulture: Table grapes
Developing intellectual networks with                   4. Investigate the performance of 'new'
table grape researchers and industry                       varieties, in particular Autumn Royal and
                                                           Princess, under a range of different
personnel in California through Interlink
                                                           management practices.
Project team: Mark Krstic, Vic DPI
                                                        5. Evaluate and benchmark agronomic
Funding: HAL                                               production practices for existing table grape
Aim of project: To access important table                  cultivars produced in Australia.
grape production information from California and        6. Investigate cool chain management,
develop key collaborative research projects.               consumer preference and marketing
Project duration: 1 November, 2004 to 30                   strategies which are being used in
June, 2007                                                 California.
The Interlink project aimed to establish formal,        7. The delegation visited table grape
bilateral working relationships between                    production enterprises in the Bakersfield
researchers and industry personnel in the United           region, including Sun World, International
States (US) (California) and in Australia.                 Fruit Genetics, Sunridge Nurseries, Pandol
                                                           Bros., Sunview, Delano Farms and Anthony
Because of the relatively small levy funding pool
available for R&D in Australia it is essential that
the Australian table grape industry to build            8. The group also visited key table grape
strategic alliances with key ‘knowledge pools’             research institutes in California, including
around the globe. The Californian industry was             the University of California, Davis and
targeted because of their long history of                  Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, and
production an R&D, and their similarities in               USDA-ARS, Parlier. The delegation also
climate and table grape varieties being                    visited a number of supermarket chains to
produced.                                                  examine consumer trends and marketing.
A delegation of Australian table grape industry         The Interlink project delivered a series of
representatives travelled to California, US to          presentations throughout Australia during
learn more about the Californian table grape            December 2005 and January 2006. The project
industry and develop alliances with key industry        has also developed other extension information
and research personnel. Seven delegates (Mark           which can be delivered to industry, including a
Krstic [DPI Mildura – project leader], Kristen Pitt     CD-ROM of the presentation.
[DPI Mildura], and David Oag [Queensland                The project is currently working hard on securing
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries,         Dr David Ramming’s visit to Australia in early
Stanthorpe]; table grape growers/industry               November 2006. Dr Ramming is the table grape
representatives, Anthony Natale [Robinvale,             breeding guru based at USDA, Parlier,
Victoria], Nelson Dichiera [Mildura, Victoria],         California. Dr Ramming is responsible for
Darryl Trease [Swan Valley, Western Australia]          breeding important varieties such as Crimson
and Anne Martin [Growcom, Queensland])                  Seedless, Princess (aka Melissa) and Autumn
travelled to California between 28 August and 6         Royal (among others).
September, 2005 to visit with key table grape
                                                        The project was also instrumental in securing a
production enterprises in the southern end of the
                                                        Masters program (Barkat Ali) currently underway
San Joaquin Valley around Bakersfield and
                                                        with Melbourne University investigating the use
research facilities in Parlier and Davis. Rosie
                                                        of ABA to enhance colour in Crimson Seedless.
Hannah, based at DPI Mildura, also joined the
delegation on behalf of the Best Management             Summary
Practice manuals project (Horticulture Australia        This project has developed key linkages with
Project No. TG04005).                                   table grape industry personnel and researchers
The objectives of the ‘Interlink’ project were to:      in California and has managed to extract the
                                                        latest production, breeding and marketing
1. Establish and develop on-going
                                                        information available to the global table grape
   relationships with key industry and research
   personnel in the Californian table grape
   industry.                                            Acknowledgements
2. Investigate the use of growth regulators, in         The authors acknowledge the financial support
   particular CPPU and abscisic Acid (ABA), in          of Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and the
   modern table grape production practices.             Victorian DPI, and the input of the Australian
                                                        Table Grape Growers Association (ATGA)
3. Evaluate some of the latest varieties coming
                                                        through the association’s members’ involvement
   out of Dr David Ramming's (United States
                                                        in the project steering committee.
   Department of Agriculture Agricultural
   Research Service, USDA-ARS, Parlier) and             Contact: Mark Krstic
   other private breeding programs (such as             Vic DPI, Mildura
   Sun World and Sunview).
                                                        Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                   28
                                                                                                             Viticulture: Table grapes
Causes and prevention of table grape                    Firstly, irrespective of the treatments applied,
berry collapse                                          berry collapse was initially evident in a very
                                                        confined part of the vineyard experimental area.
Project team: Michael Treeby and Tori Nguyen,
                                                        With time, this area grew, and the effect of the
CSIRO Plant Industry; and Mark Krstic and
                                                        treatments became evident. In other words, we
Kristin Pitt, Vic DPI
                                                        now know that the problem varies in space and
Funding: HAL, Vic DPI                                   time within the vineyard. The observation is
Project duration: 1 July, 2004 to 30 June, 2008         important because it may provide clues as to
                                                        why some areas in vineyards and some
Aim of project: To determine the cause, or              properties are more affected than others.
causes, of berry collapse in table grapes and
develop management strategies to alleviate              Secondly, more collapse was observed on vines
and/or minimise the incidence.                          that had received GA sizing sprays compared to
                                                        vines that had received no GA sizing sprays,
Project report:                                         and more collapse was observed on vines that
Berry collapse has significantly reduced returns        had being cinctured compared to vines that had
to table grape producers in recent seasons. The         not been cinctured. Collapse was not greater if
problem has been most obvious in Thompson               the vines had been cinctured and sprayed with
Seedless, but Crimson Seedless has also been            GA. How many times GA was sprayed and at
badly affected. The problem is not confined to          what concentration was not important; the fact
table grapes; it is also observed to a much             that GA had been applied at all determined
lesser extent in the drying varieties Sunmuscat         whether there was a higher incidence of berry
and Sultana.                                            collapse.
Although, berry collapse is not such an issue for       Thirdly, dipping bunches in solutions of calcium
dried grape production, it does illustrate that the     had no effect on the incidence of berry collapse.
problem doesn’t occur just because the grapes           Lastly, we also observed berry collapse on vines
are being grown for the table. But it appears that      that had not been cinctured and had not been
modern table grape production practices may be          sprayed with GA. Put another way, GA and
causing the problem to occur more frequently.           cincturing exacerbated the incidence, but do not
Other factors must also be contributing because         appear to be the primary cause.
some growers don’t see the problem or are less
affected by it compared to others who are               Summary
producing the same variety on the same                  We have seen that tissue structure is disrupted
rootstock under more or less the same                   in collapsed berries, and that some modern
management regime.                                      table grape production practices exacerbate the
What happens in collapsed berries?                      problem. We have also seen that the expression
                                                        of the problem varies spatially and in time. The
We compared the internal structure of collapsed         work has also identified factors that need not be
Thompson Seedless berries to Thompson                   pursued further.
Seedless berries that were unaffected by berry
collapse using a fluorescein diacetate stain that       These observations set the scene for next
only stains intact viable cells.                        season’s trial work, which will be planned over
                                                        the coming months in consultation with the Berry
We found that the organisation of the cells in the      Collapse Project Steering Committee.
flesh of unaffected berries was regular, and the
cells were relatively compact.                          Acknowledgements
In berries with berry collapse the cells were less      The authors acknowledge the financial support
regularly arranged, and the cells appeared to be        of Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL), CSIRO
stretched. In the collapsed part of the berry no        and the Victorian DPI, and the input of the
viable cells appeared to be present beneath the         Australian Table Grape Growers Association
skin. The collapsed part of the berry appeared to       (ATGA) through the association’s members’
be held together by the berry skin.                     involvement in the steering committee. The co-
                                                        operating grower’s participation in the conduct of
GA, cincturing and calcium                              the field trial is gratefully acknowledged. The
Using Thompson Seedless vines on a grower’s             assistance of Jo Tilbrook and Professor Steve
property that showed repeated occurrences of            Tyerman, University of Adelaide with the
berry collapse over the past several seasons we         microscopy work is also gratefully
not only varied the concentrations and number           acknowledged.
of applications of gibberellic acid (GA) applied to     Contact: Michael Treeby
size berries, but we also cinctured vines and
dipped bunches in calcium. Any vines that               CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
received a GA sizing spray also received                Tel: (03) 5051 3100
stretching and thinning GA applications.
Several important observations were made on
these vines.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                   29
                                                                                                            Viticulture: Table grapes
Market access for Australian table                      The technical chapters covering the re-definition
grapes to the North Asian markets of                    of areas of freedom for Queensland fruit fly in
Japan, South Korea and China                            Sunraysia is being reviewed by BA.
Project team: Dr Sabine T. Perrone, Ross                Work on strategies to control key pests such as
Clarke and Dr Bin Lu, Vic DPI and Dick Gardner,         Queensland fruit fly have been revised including
Quarantine Solutions.                                   an ‘in-transit’ cold disinfestation protocol. The
                                                        market access sub-committee has been advised
Collaborators: Vic DPI-Mildura                          that research is being done in NSW to develop
Funding: HAL, Vic DPI                                   an ‘in-transit cold disinfestation protocol’.
Project duration: 1 July, 2004 to 31 August,            Information on this new protocol has been
2006                                                    included in the submission.
Aim of project: The aim of this project is to           DPI Manager Market Development – North Asia,
expedite market access for Australian table             Ross Clarke, from the Agribusiness Group has
grapes to the key North Asian markets of Japan,         been in liaison with government quarantine
South Korea and China. The key activity is the          officials and potential buyers in Japan and South
development of Technical Market Access                  Korea, as a part of his DPI duties. This
Submissions in partnership with industry for            relationship building in Japan and South Korea
lodgement at bilateral meetings by the                  is in addition to the liaison role Dr Bin Lu has
Department of Agriculture Fisheries and                 undertaken with government officials and
Forestry (DAFF) and Department of Foreign               potential buyers in China.
Affairs and Trade (DFAT).                               The project leader has represented the project
Project report:                                         during weekly phone links with senior industry
                                                        figures and the project team coordinated several
Strategic planning by the table grape industry          workshops. The ATGA Chief Executive Officer,
and Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) has            two representatives from industry and Dr Bin Lu,
identified that current exports are reliant on three    DPI’s Manager Market Development, are now in
main markets (Singapore, Indonesia and                  China to gather information on Chinese
Malaysia), which leaves the industry exposed            distribution channels and meet with potential
and vulnerable. In response, the industry has           buyers.
detailed a strategy of market diversification with
China, Korea and Japan as priority new export           Contact: Dr Sabine T. Perrone
markets. As a result, industry’s interest in the        Vic DPI, Knoxfield
project is particularly strong.                         Tel: (03) 9210 9220
The key activity is the development of Technical        Email:
Market Access Submissions in partnership with
industry for lodgement at bilateral meetings by
After consultation with Biosecurity Australia
(BA), the Australian Table Grape Association
(ATGA) and the Victorian DPI Market Access
Sub-committee, it was decided that the
submission will include the following chapters:
    A draft overview of the Australian table
    grape industry, including variety lists with
    colour prints.
    The pest and diseases list in Australia
    relevant to the table grape industry for
    Japan, South Korea and China.
    A draft chapter on responsibilities at the
    state, federal and Industry levels in the
    processes involved in obtaining market
    Pest Free Area Options for the Sunraysia
    mid-Murray sections of the fruit fly exclusion
    zone (FFEZ) (these options are currently
    with BA).
The key chapter entitled ‘Areas of responsibility’
will greatly assist the ATGA to facilitate their
relationship with BA.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                   30
Table grape irrigation benchmarking                     The questions were aimed at developing a

                                                                                                              Viticulture: Table grapes
                                                        better understanding of table grape producers’
Project team: Maxine Schache, Julio Vargas              current level of irrigation performance. The
and Zoe Toll, Vic DPI                                   results will allow growers to compare their
Collaborators: NSW DPI, Rural Solutions SA              irrigation practices over time and with their
ICMS                                                    peers.
Funding: NAP/DSE                                        Included in the study were 14 table grape
Project duration: 2003 – 2006                           growers covering 45 sites. They were included
                                                        on the basis of the availability of irrigation
Aim of project: The project aims to identify            records for the 2002/2003, 2003/2004,and
industry best irrigation management practices           2004/05 irrigation seasons, as well as irrigation
with the goal of improving performance and              system specifications, soil survey information
efficiency, it is an expansion of previous              and crop yield information.
successful benchmarking studies been
undertaken in the Mallee for wine grapes, citrus,       Growers were located in the pumped districts of
potatoes and dried vine fruit.                          Red Cliffs, Mildura, Merbein, and Robinvale.
The project has evolved as a result of interest         The irrigation systems included drip and low
shown by growers, extension officers and policy         level and a wide range of table grape varieties.
makers to support the improvement of farm               A data consistency check of the database and
management in Sunraysia and the development             results was made, weather data was entered to
of solutions to prevent further detrimental off-        match site locations and water rates were
farm impacts, whilst maximising water                   calculated using information provided by the
resources.                                              respective water authorities through their
Information collected during the benchmarking           internet sites.
study includes:                                         Irrigation system checks were provided for most
    the amount of water used per crop and               of the sites, targeting flow rates and pressures at
    variety;                                            the pump and on the irrigation systems. A report
                                                        of the site system checks is going to be provided
    preferred methods of irrigation scheduling;         individually to the participants. Performance
    preferred irrigation systems; and                   indicators were defined using the format from
    system performance measurements.                    previous studies (Skewes and Meissner 1997).
Project report:                                         The results from each site were compared and
Table grape producers from Victoria and New
South Wales completed questionnaires on their           Conclusions
irrigation practices for the 2002/03, 2003/04, and          Irrigators who used some type of soil
2004/05 irrigation seasons.                                 moisture monitoring tool (for example,
The identification and planning stage included              capacitance, tensiometers) on average used
the promotion of the benchmarking study in the              15% less water and better returns than
community through field days and newspapers,                those who used experience only. This
with the aim of finding more growers willing to             suggests that there is room for irrigators to
participate in the new study. Invitation letters            improve their irrigation performance by
were sent to previous participants requesting the           becoming more aware of new technology
continuation of their involvement. Selection of             There was no significant difference in yield
the sites was made based on grower                          as a response to irrigation system or
preferences     and    available    soil  survey            scheduling method used.
information.                                                During the three irrigation seasons
The data collection and analysis included visits            surveyed, drip irrigation systems used an
to growers’ properties to collect complete                  average of 27% less volume of water, were
irrigation season’s records and prices received,            23% more water use efficient, and produced
and assess irrigation systems during operation              25% more gross return per megalitre than
by means of a “system check”. A questionnaire               low level systems.
containing information about irrigation system              In terms of irrigation efficiency, many low
and pump details, crop varieties, spacings, area,           level sprinklers performed within the
age of vines, irrigation scheduling used, soil              recommended range of 85-90%, enough to
types, and yields was completed by the growers.             remove detrimental salts from the root zone.
Data collected was analysed using the Irrigation
Benchmarking Module, a dedicated database
software for benchmarking studies developed by
the South Australia Irrigated Crop Management
Service, Primary Industries and Resources
South Australia.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                    31
    The high irrigation efficiencies achieved by

                                                                      Viticulture: Table grapes
    some sites using drip or low level systems
    means these sites need to be monitored
    closely for salt accumulation in the root
    zone, which if undetected eventually may
    affect crop production. Regular soil and leaf
    analysis is considered best management
    practices for these sites.
    More important than using a particular
    irrigation system or scheduling tool alone, is
    the combination of different irrigation and
    other management practices used by
    irrigators in achieving good quality and
    quantity production.
Contact: Zoe Toll
Vic DPI, Mildura
Tel: (03) 5051 4500

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006   32
  General viticulture

Project title                                                     Contact                                  Page
Investigating grapevine pollen flow under Australian              Dr Steve Sykes                             34
conditions                                                        CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Australian Viticultural Decision Support and Business             Rob Walker                                 34
Management System                                                 CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Sustainable salt exclusion by salt tolerant rootstocks            Rob Walker                                 35
                                                                  CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Distribution, lifecycle and biological control of the grapevine   Adrian Rakimov                             35
scale (Parthenolecanium persicae) in Australian vineyards         Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 4500
GrapeCheque                                                       Jeff Milne                                 36
                                                                  Vic DPI, Mildura
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 4500
Revision of the Australian and New Zealand Field Guide to         Peter Magarey                              36
Diseases, Pests and Disorders of Grapes                           SARDI, Loxton Research Centre
                                                                  Tel: (08) 8595 9100
CropWatchOnline: information when you need it                     Peter Magarey                              36
                                                                  SARDI, Loxton Research Centre
                                                                  Tel: (08) 8595 9100
Downy Mildew Action Plan                                          Peter Magarey                              37
                                                                  SARDI, Loxton Research Centre
                                                                  Tel: (08) 8595 9100
The suitability of plantation thinnings as vineyard posts         Dr Mahabubur Mollah                      No
                                                                  Vic DPI, Mildura                         report
                                                                  Tel: (03) 5051 4500

  Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                     33
                                                        Project Aim:

                                                                                                               General viticulture
Investigating grapevine pollen flow under
Australian conditions                                   In collaboration with commercial software
Project Leader: Dr Steve Sykes, CSIRO Plant             developers, develop and release a range of
Industry                                                software products with application to grape
                                                        production and environmental management. This
Project Funding: CRCV
                                                        includes field research to provide a basis for
Project Duration: October 2004 – December               developing a capability to simulate grape berry
2006                                                    development, including sugar ripeness and colour.
Project Aim:                                            The CSIRO component has been focussed on the
                                                        latter objective.
To quantify effective pollen flow between adjacent
vineyards under Australian conditions. Effective        Project Update:
pollen flow refers to success of pollen from one        Research to underpin the development of a
vine in pollinating and fertilising a neighbouring      simulation capability to predict grape berry sugar
vine such that viable hybrid seeds are produced.        ripeness and colour was initiated with the
By definition, such seeds will contain genes from       appointment of Dr Anne Pellegrino in July 2004.
the pollen donor.
                                                        This research aimed (i) to analyse the effects of
Project Update:                                         vineyard management practices on relevant
Gene technology offers great potential to conduct       variables for vine production, (ii) to develop and
targeted genetic modification of successful             incorporate enhanced berry development routines
grapevine varieties. This could improve production      to improve yield simulation and (iii) to add quality
efficiency, increase quality and lead to more           component simulation routines (sugar and acid,
sustainable production - especially through             and if possible colour).
enhancement of resistance to pests and diseases.        Experiments were conducted over two seasons
Realising this potential will require extensive         (2004-2005, 2005-2006) on three sites of a
vineyard evaluation of genetically modified vines,      commercial vineyard located in the Sunraysia
but before this can occur information is needed on      region of Victoria. The sites were planted with
pollen flow between non-genetically modified vines      Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
under field conditions.                                 They were mechanically hedged and received a
The project commenced during October 2004 and           standard irrigation. Two other contrasted pruning
should conclude in December 2006. Three                 systems – spur and minimal – were applied on the
candidate vineyards have been identified where          Shiraz site.
two varieties were separated by only a single row       The Cabernet Sauvignon site also received two
spacing. Open-pollinated seeds were collected           deficit irrigation treatments, regulated deficit
along a transect away from the junction of the two      irrigation and a prolonged deficit irrigation from
varieties in each vineyard. These seeds are             flowering to veraison. The phenology, the
germinated to establish populations of open-            vegetative growth, the trunk carbohydrates, the
pollinated seedlings which are being screened to        reproductive development and quality components
identify their paternal parent.                         were compared between the cultivars, the pruning
Contact: Dr Steve Sykes                                 systems and the irrigation amounts. The berry
                                                        fresh weight, the berry dry weight and the
CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein                           percentage of water in berry were plotted as a
Tel: (03) 5051 3100                                     function of thermal time, taking into account the
Email:                             onset of the phenological stages. Relationships
                                                        were parameterized between the sugar content
                                                        and the berry dry weight. The adjustments
Australian Viticultural Decision Support                obtained were compared between the
and Business Management System                          management practices and used to develop initial
                                                        berry fresh weight and sugar content simulation
Project Leaders: Dr Rob Walker, CSIRO Plant
Industry, Bridget Ransome CRCV
                                                        The model must next be tested on an independent
Collaborators: Cornell University (USA),
                                                        pre-existing data set. Modelling concepts for the
University of WA, University of Adelaide, Charles
                                                        acidity and colour simulation also need to be
Sturt University, National Wine and Grape Industry
                                                        developed within the remaining life of the project.
Centre, La Trobe University, CSIRO Land and
Water, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, CSIRO              Contact: Rob Walker
Atmospheric Research                                    CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
Project Funding: CRCV                                   Tel: (03) 5051 3100
Project Duration: July 2004 – December 2006             Email:

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                     34
                                                        This experiment showed no indication that 140

                                                                                                                 General viticulture
Sustainable salt exclusion by salt tolerant
rootstocks                                              Ruggeri is more tolerant to the combined effects of
                                                        waterlogging and salinity than Ramsey and 1103
Project Leader: Dr Rob Walker, CSIRO Plant              Paulsen.
                                                        Overall, the combination of results from the field
Collaborators: La Trobe University, University of       trial and the glasshouse study showed that the
Adelaide                                                deterioration of Ramsey and 1103 Paulsen in the
Project Funding: CRCV, GWRDC                            field was likely to be due to the overall soil salt
Project Duration: February 2003 – November              load, with 140 Ruggeri having a better ability to
2006                                                    exclude chloride long term when exposed to high
                                                        concentrations of chloride in the soil.
Project Aim:
                                                        A paper titled ‘Deterioration of chloride exclusion of
    Characterise field conditions that lead to          grapevine rootstocks in response to long term
    apparent breakdown of chloride ‘exclusion’ in       saline irrigation’ covering this research has been
    the rootstocks Ramsey and 1103 Paulsen.             submitted to the Australian Journal of Grape and
    Determine the impact of specific conditions         Wine Research.
    e.g. soil salinity level, aeration status, and      Contact: Rob Walker
    temperature and ion composition on the
    relative ability of the rootstocks for chloride     CSIRO Plant Industry, Merbein
    exclusion.                                          Tel: (03) 5051 3100
    Undertake a detailed comparative                    Email:
    physiological analysis of chloride and sodium
    exclusion in Shiraz and Chardonnay on 140
    Ruggeri and K51-40 rootstocks.                      Distribution, lifecycle and biological
                                                        control of the grapevine scale
    Identify the anatomical, morphological or
                                                        (Parthenolecanium persicae) in Australian
    membrane characteristics of roots of 140
    Rugger that may lead to superior ability for        vineyards
    chloride and sodium exclusion.                      Project Team: Dr Greg Buchanan and Adrian
Project Update:                                         Rakimov, Vic DPI; Dr Ary Hoffman, University of
The long-term responses of rootstocks in the field
to salinity have been characterised. This was done      Collaborators: Vic DPI, GWRDC
through trials conducted at Merbein (VIC) and           Project: Vic DPI, GWRDC
Padthaway (SA).                                         Project Duration: July 2004 – June 2007
These field trials concluded that there was a           Project Aim:
deterioration in chloride exclusion ability of Shiraz
and Chardonnay grafted to Ramsey and 1103               To identify the predators and parasites of scales
Paulsen at Merbein in 2003-2004 compared to             and the potential for controlling these pests
1996-19997.                                             using natural enemies rather than relying
                                                        entirely on chemicals.
Shiraz grafted to 101-14 and Chardonnay grafted
to Schwarzmann were also found to have                  Project Update:
deteriorated at Merbein by 2003-2004. Rootstocks        Scales and beneficial insects have been
at Padthaway, however, which had a similar              collected from over 50 vineyards in the major
irrigation water salinity to Merbein (1.6-2.5 dS/m at   grape growing regions of Australia, including the
Padthaway cf. 2.1dS/m at Merbein) showed no             Murray Valley, Riverland, Swan Valley, Hunter
consistent evidence of significant deterioration in     Valley, Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area the Granite
chloride exclusion ability over the same period.        Belt. Of these, 20 vineyards were surveyed in
This suggested that deterioration of chloride           detail. For each of these vineyards, growers
exclusion ability of Ramsey and 1103 Paulsen at         were interviewed regarding perceptions of
Merbein is related to site-specific factors.            scales and the methods used to control them.
                                                        The vineyard was then systematically sampled
One possible site specific factor was waterlogging,     for scales and their natural enemies. The
potentially linked to the application of 600 mm         surveys yielded information on the distribution of
irrigation water per season and the presence of a       scales within the vineyard and the species of
saline water table.                                     beneficial insects present.
A glasshouse study was conducted to test if potted      These surveys showed that the grapevine scale,
Shiraz grapevines grafted to Ramsey and 1103            P. persicae, was widely distributed in Australia.
Paulsen accumulated more chloride under the             However, it appears that other scale species
combined effects of waterlogging and salinity           found on grapes, including the soft brown scale,
compared to Shiraz grafted to 140 Ruggeri.              frosted scale and the nigra scale, are far more
                                                        common than previously recognised.

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                      35
Parasitoids were reared from the scales, and            Revision of the Australian and New

                                                                                                            General viticulture
identified with the assistance of Dr Mali Malipatil     Zealand Field Guide to Diseases, Pests
(Vic DPI, Knoxfield). The most common                   and Disorders of Grapes
parasitoids of P. persicae were wasps,
Metaphycus maculipennis, and Coccophagus                Project Leader: Peter Magarey, SARDI
lycimnia. Several other parasitoids are yet to be       Collaborators: Winetitles
identified. A number of unidentified ladybird           Project Funding: SARDI and other to be sought
beetles and moth larvae were also observed
feeding on P. persicae.                                 Project Duration: 2006 -2008
The prevalence of natural enemies of grapevine          Project Aim:
scale indicates that good potential for biological      To revise the Field Guide as a companion to
control exists, and can be further developed as         Diseases and Pests Grape Production Series
part of a ‘clean and green’ vineyard pest and           No.1.
diasease management program.                            Project Update:
Contact: Adrian Rakimov                                 The book ‘Diseases and Pests’, Grape
Vic DPI, Mildura                                        Production Series No.1 (Nicholas et al 1994) is
Tel: (03) 5051 4500                                     in the process of being revised to accommodate
                                                        new research and development findings, see
Email:                    page 11 for further information.
                                                        As a companion to ‘Diseases and Pests’, the
Grapecheque                                             Field Guide will also be revised to ensure that
Project leader: Jeff Milne, Vic DPI                     the appropriate cross-referencing is retained and
                                                        that any new information is incorporated.
Collaborators: Vic DPI
                                                        Contact: Peter Magarey
Funding: Vic DPI
                                                        SARDI, Loxton Research Centre
Project Duration: 1997-2008
                                                        Tel: (08) 8595 9100
Project Aim:
To foster profitable and sustainable wine and
table grape industries using group based
techniques and adult learning principles leading        CropWatch Online: information when
to practice change.                                     you need it
Project Update:                                         Project Leaders: Peter Magarey, SARDI; Tim
There are currently two wine and three                  Smythe, RWIDC; James Hook, McLaren Vale
tablegrape groups operating in the Sunraysia            Wine Grape Tourism
region with interest in forming another group.          Project Funding: SARDI, RWIDC, McLaren
In other regions of Victoria the focus is on            Vale Wine Grape and Tourism
winegrapes with a further twelve groups                 Project Duration: Ongoing
servicing Greater Victoria. Four facilitators are
                                                        Project Aim:
based at DPI Institutes located near the major
grape growing regions. The facilitators are able        By 2010, aims to be the
to draw on the extension and research                   leading internet-based provider of dynamic
capabilities from the institutes and industry to        viticultural information for Australian grape
assist in Grapecheque program delivery.                 growers. In particular,
                                                        has mission to develop and provide Australian
The facilitators role is to interact with the grower
                                                        grape growers with an easy to use, valuable
groups and assist in establishing the issues to
                                                        online tool specific to their region.
be addressed and develop a schedule of events
to tackle those issues. In addition to the normal       Web address:
four to six meetings each group holds                   Project Update:
throughout the year facilitators are involved in
                                               currently provides
larger industry events and coordination of other
                                                        growers with accurate advice and timely
                                                        information that benefits their business in at
Due to difficult industry conditions the role of the    least four key areas:
facilitators is increasingly focussed on vineyard
                                                        1. diagnosing vineyard symptoms of diseases,
viability and business systems development.
                                                           pests and disorders;
Contact: Jeff Milne
                                                        2. accessing regional weather forecasts and
Vic DPI, Mildura                                           on-line weather data;
Tel: (03) 5051 4500                                     3. accessing local grape industry news, and
Email:                           where operative;
                                                        4. accessing local CropWatch messages.
Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                     36
The latter are operative in the Riverland (and the      Downy Mildew Action Plan

                                                                                                             General viticulture
McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and
                                                        Project Leaders: Peter Magarey, SARDI; Tim
Clare/Watervale districts) while Sunraysia’s
                                                        Smythe, RWIDC; Peter Burne, CCW; Russell
Horticulture Hotline service was also included
                                                        Mudge, Elders Ltd
during 2005/06, though it is presently not active.
                                                        Project Funding: RWIDC, GWRDC RITA
Growers can now access up-to-date information
                                                        funds, SARDI
on local weather conditions and forecasts/alerts
for disease outbreaks such as downy mildew.             Project Duration: 2005-Ongoing
Combined with their own monitoring,                     Project Aim: is designed to provide a
                                                        Develop a strategy to control grapevine downy
ready help to growers for making informed and
                                                        mildew regionally and nationally through a good
timely vineyard management decisions. Initially
                                                        supply of accurate information and appropriate
this is especially for disease and pest
management but information on timing
irrigations is being added through the provision        Project Update:
of Et readings on a daily basis.                        A Downy Mildew Action Committee was formed
The website provides an easy to use resource            in the Riverland in 2005 to address the reality
for a host of additional viticultural information       that Australian shortages of, and possible
since it acts like a central transport centre where     resistance to, some key fungicides would leave
users can log onto many additional relevant             grape growers open to significant crop loss in a
sites and return with ease.                             nationally wet season.
The Management Team                 Historically, weather events triggering downy
has led the development of this new web-based           mildew infection have occurred every nine or so
service for Australian grape growers. Initiated by      seasons. It was then thirteen years since the last
SARDI, the Riverland Wine Industry                      major downy mildew outbreak, causing concern
Development Committee and McLaren Vale                  for regional grape growers and researchers who
Wine Grape and Tourism, the service was                 felt that an epidemic was overdue.
launched in 2005 and since then has been                The Riverland Downy Mildew Action Committee
presented at field days and special workshops in        involves members from RWIDC Viticultural
the Riverland (and McLaren Vale).                       Technical Group. It includes personnel from
Contact: Peter Magarey                                  SARDI Loxton Research Centre and the
                                                        Riverland winegrape industry as well as from the
SARDI, Loxton Research Centre
                                                        Bureau of Meteorology and the chemical
Tel: (08) 8595 9100                                     industry.
Email:                   As a result of deliberations and investigations,
                                                        an Action Plan was designed as a template for
                                                        use in the Riverland and for possible use by
                                                        other regions. This report is still considered a
                                                        draft until accepted by GWRDC but it outlines
                                                        the strategies to be followed and actions to be
                                                        taken on a seasonal basis, to develop maximum
                                                        efficiency in controlling downy mildew.
                                                        The actions to be followed by all components of
                                                        the grape industry are detailed. This permits the
                                                        leader of each relevant sector of the industry to
                                                        know their specific tasks and responsibilities so
                                                        that the best flow of resources of information
                                                        and materials is delivered in a timely fashion so
                                                        that the Riverland achieves the best control
                                                        possible for downy mildew irrespective of the
                                                        season being of low or high risk for infection
Above: CropWatch Online provides Australian
grape growers with a vast range of information.         Contact: Peter Magarey
                                                        SARDI, Loxton Research Centre
                                                        Tel: (08) 8595 9100

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                                   37
Below: flow diagram of the proposed Downy

                                                                      General viticulture
Mildew Action Plan for the most effective control
of disease both regionally and nationally.

    Pre-season review of fungicide stocks
        Is there enough for this season?
                  Yes                            Yes

     Bureau of Met. long-range forecasts
           Will it be a wet season?


     Bureau of Met. short-term forecast
           Is wet weather coming?

      Pathologist confirms disease alert
       Will it be sufficiently wet and warm
                 for long enough?
                   Yes                           No

   Alerts dispatched to industry and DMAC
   CropWatch SA sends alert emails & faxes

          Weather event reviewed
      Were the conditions actually suitable
                  for downy?                     Yes

          Review of fungicide stocks
     Is there still enough fungicide in store?   Yes

      Source and distribute more stock
       From another region or interstate?

             Review national stock
          Is there enough in Australia?

      Implement Emergency Action Plan

      Import and Distribute More Fungicide

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006   38

ADFA                     Australian Dried Fruits Association
AGY                      Australian Grapevine Yellows
ATGA                     Australian Table Grape Association
AWRI                     Australian Wine Research Institute
AVIA                     Australian Vine Improvement Association
CMA                      Catchment Management Authority
CRCV                     Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture
CSIRO                    Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation
CSU                      Charles Sturt University
DPI                      Department of Primary Industries
DSE                      Department of Sustainability and Environment
FSA                      Food Science Australia – CSIRO
GWRDC                    Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation
HAL                      Horticulture Australia Limited
LTU                      La Trobe University
MDBC                     Murray Darling Basin Commission
MVTGGC                   Murray Valley Table Grape Growers Council
MVW                      Murray Valley Winegrowers
MVWIDC                   Murray Valley Winegrape Industry Development Committee
NAP                      National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality
NPSI                     National Program for Sustainable Irrigation
NWGIC                    National Wine and Grape Industry Centre
PIRSA                    Primary Industries and Resources South Australia
RITA                     Regional Innovation and Technology Adoption
Riverlink.PRN            Riverlink Postgraduate Research Network
RWGA                     Riverland Winegrape Growers Association
RWIDC                    Riverland Wine Industry Development Council
SARDI                    South Australian Research and Development Institute
STGGA                    Sunraysia Table Grape Growers Association
USDA                     United States Department of Agriculture
UWS                      University of Western Sydney
VAMVVIA                  Victorian and Murray Valley Vine Improvement Association

Riverlink Viticulture Research, Development and Extension 2006                      39

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