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National Grapevine Collection Coordinator



Wine Australia has initiated a program of activities and developed a strategic framework for the management of Australia’s grapevine germplasm resources. It will deliver a national system of centrally-managed, coordinated grapevine assets and resources that are appropriately resourced, established, maintained and protected into the future.


The Australian wine sector is fortunate to have a significant and diverse resource of grapevine germplasm. These comprise physical, organisational and intellectual assets, many of which were developed with industry funding. Currently, grapevine germplasm collections are managed as a set of separate entities. The CSIRO and SARDI collections, which house the majority of the unique germplasm in the country, have been closed to the sector since 2009. The lack of a coordinated and maintained germplasm collection is a major risk to the Australian wine sector. If we continue to do nothing, these foundation assets may be lost or deteriorate beyond rescue.

Previous attempts to develop a solution and reopen the collections have not succeeded due to various factors. A recent discussion paper (WAC 2009) integrated recommendations from earlier studies into a new model for a national germplasm collection, referred to as the ‘National Grapevine Collection’ (NGC). The NGC is designed as a system of coordinated assets and resources that are aligned to fulfil specific functions in the collection and spread risk. Existing germplasm collections fill roles in the new system in accordance with the number and industry relevance of accessions, level of identity assurance and virus status.

Wine Australia has developed an implementation plan to adopt the model in a staged approach over three years. Consultation during preparation of the discussion paper garnered broad sector support for the model. One of priority actions for initial investment is the appointment of an Industry Advisory Committee and NGC Coordinator to manage the collection.

Research approach

The role of the coordinator is to implement a strategic framework for delivery of a National Grapevine Collection (NGC) for the Australian wine sector. The coordinator will:

  1. Establish and facilitate an Industry Advisory Committee, including key stakeholders and technical experts.
  2. Work alongside the Industry Advisory Committee to lead, oversee, drive and manage a nationally co-ordinated grapevine germplasm collection.
  3. Obtain acceptance and commitment to implementation of the NGC by all stakeholder groups across the grapevine supply chain.
  4. Manage ongoing stakeholder engagement and act as the point of contact for the sector with the NGC and enabling activities. Sector stakeholders will include owners of collections, vine improvement groups, nurseries, researchers and state and national industry bodies.
  5. Institute the two supporting pillars of the collection, namely a certification standard for grapevine propagation material and a national database of grapevine accessions.
  6. Coordinate and integrate outputs from associated key activities into management of the NGC, including administration, sector engagement and R&D projects to fill vital gaps in quality assurance across the grapevine supply chain.
  7. Deliver a management and funding plan for securing the future of the NGC beyond the term of this project.

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Sector benefits

Grapevine foundation assets help to secure the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian wine sector through the health, quality and integrity of its vineyards. Investment in these assets will enable the sector access to grapevine varieties and clones, provide certainty on the identity and health status of planting material and address the long-term security of germplasm collections. In turn, this will provide greater assurance of varietal claims (and label integrity) on Australian wine products and help maintain our international reputation for innovation and best practice in supply chain management.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.