A new standard for grapevines

The Australian Wine Industry has over the past 15 years established a significant position in the global wine trade. However there are challenges arising from the competitive responses of established and emerging producer countries, many of which have better access to and assurance of the qualities of preferred planting material. There is no national set of standards for planting material that enables the wine producer to be sure of what the health status of their planting material is or indeed if the status of the vine is what it is claimed to be.

Standards Australia recently established Technical Committee FT-036 Grapevines. While the standard is not aimed at retail consumers, the standard will enable producers have confidence that grapevine material meets specific requirements regarding its origin; identity, whether it be a grapevine variety, rootstock or combination thereof; known health status and; physical specifications of rootstock.

The Standard should provide consumers with greater confidence that the wine described on the label is correctly identified and meets nationally recognised criteria. Wine made from grapes produced by grapevines meeting this standard may be labelled as being of the claimed variety and therefore be compliant with Wine Australia’s Label Integrity Program.

The standard is suitable for use by wine producers in the import of grapevine or locally sourcing grapevine planting material; its subsequent distribution; propagation via nurseries or growers; subsequent planting, growing and harvest of grapes and their representation in trade.

CFA has appointed John Furbank as its representative on this committee.