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October 2019

In this edition

Cover crops – get it right, and reap the benefits

The correct type of cover crop does not adversely affect vine yield and performance, a current research project has found.

In fact, in some instances, cover crops have been found to help to retain moisture in the soil, increase soil nitrogen, increase soil microbial diversity and increase the abundance of earth worms.

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Time to pair Bobal with your beef?

Will Plyto, Limniona, Bobal and Areni grape varieties one day take their place alongside Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in the typical Australian vineyard?
2018 Nuffield Scholar Martin Gransden says it makes good business sense that they do.

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Nuffield scholar to investigate new and emerging irrigation methods for Australian wine

Sarah Keough from Strathalbyn, South Australia, has been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship, supported by Wine Australia, to investigate new and emerging irrigation methods to reduce vineyard crop losses and sustain fruit quality during extreme heat events.

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New plant surveillance tech trial in the Barossa

A national multi-agricultural industry surveillance initiative called iMapPESTS is developing novel airborne surveillance and diagnostics technologies to speed up detection and reporting of important pests and diseases within regions.

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Bugs on the menu for Murray Valley growers

Recent research suggests that natural biological control and the use of locally adapted native insectary plants can potentially provide sustainable solutions for grapegrowers.

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Inca Lee – Australian Women in Wine Awards Researcher/Innovator of the Year 2019

The Australian Women in Wine Awards Researcher/Innovator of the Year award celebrates the women who are breaking new ground for wine production both in Australia and around the world.

Vinehealth Australia’s Inca Lee was honoured with this year’s award and has a simple message to growers and winemakers about the challenges of biosecurity shock: ‘Be engaged and act now – become informed as to the risks and how to protect your vines, wines, businesses and regional communities.’

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Vanya Cullen – Australian Women in Wine Awards Winemaker of the Year 2019

The Australian Women in Wine Awards Winemaker of the Year award recognises an outstanding winemaker who is a leader in the profession, with a particular focus on the previous calendar year’s achievements.

This year, the award was bestowed on a highly celebrated winemaker who has continued to push the boundaries of innovation and winemaking style – Vanya Cullen.

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Sheridan Alm – Australian Women in Wine Awards Viticulturist of the Year 2019

The Australian Women in Wine Awards Viticulturist of the Year award recognises women who are passionate about wine at one of its most crucial state of being – on the vine.

This year, Sheridan Alm of Starrs Reach Vineyard in the Riverland was honoured with the award, recognising her strategic direction and management of the portfolio to produce premium fruit at scale.

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PhD and Masters by Research Scholarships – applications now open

Applications for Wine Australia's 2019 PhD and Masters by Research scholarships close on Friday 1 November 2019.

Wine Australia offers supplementary scholarships for up to three years full-time PhD study and for up to two years full-time Master by Research study. The most outstanding Wine Australia PhD scholarship applicant will receive the Dr Tony Jordan OAM Award which provides the recipient with additional stipend.

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In brief

  • Consultation is well underway for the Australian grape and wine sector’s 30-year plan and Wine Australia’s Strategic Plan 2020–25. Written submissions for the 30-year sector plan close Wednesday 16 October. If you would like to contribute, please send your written submission to The discussion paper can be found here.
  • Wine Australia’s Craig Elliott – Program Manager, National Xylella Preparedness Program – and Anita Poddar – Corporate Affairs Manager – recently presented a webinar with Wine Communicators of Australia that discusses preparing for a biosecurity crisis at the enterprise level, what to do if you suspect a biosecurity threat, how government agencies deal with threats and their plans to deal with potential events. Watch the webinar here.
  • Applications for the Rural Women’s Award 2020 close on 31 October 2019. Do you have an idea that could help to shape the future of rural industries, businesses or communities? Apply now.
  • Wine Australia Analyst Sandy Hathaway recently presented a webinar with the AWRI on the GAIA app that has located vineyards across Australia and can be used to store information and monitor crop health. Watch the webinar here.
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