Sign Up

The development of a national, grape-industry strategy for the implementation of a national standard for grapevine certification – Phase 1


The long-term competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian wine sector hinges on the health, quality and integrity of its vineyards. Planting material is sourced from nurseries through the grapevine propagation supply chain, which also involves vine improvement organisations, grapevine collections, breeding and clone selection programs, post-entry quarantine facilities and private cutting suppliers. A quality nursery vine ready for planting is one that is of known type, healthy, establishes quickly and performs to expectations in the vineyard. This in turn depends on the quality of the rootstocks and scion cuttings entering the propagation chain and subsequent nursery management practices.

The Australian wine sector currently lacks a quality assurance system which covers the entire propagation supply chain, from collections through to customers. It is also acknowledged that there are critical gaps in knowledge related to pathogen surveillance and diagnostics. This means that there can be only limited assurance that the material being supplied for vineyard plantings is ‘disease-free’ or of a certain provenance, creating uncertainty for buyers. This project was Phase 1 of a program of work to develop a national certified standard for grapevine propagation material which is underpinned by current science and can be applied throughout the propagation supply chain and into vineyards.


The aim of this project was to set the over-arching quality assurance objectives and the organisational and regulatory framework for a new national standard for grapevine certification. Key outcomes were:

  • The key governance functions for development, management and administration of a standard were identified through a desktop review of existing reports and standards both in Australia and internationally.
  • A stakeholder map was developed, and a series of consultations carried out to define individual stakeholder requirements of a standard, considering organisational expectations, barriers to adoption, available resources, synergies and priorities.
  • The quality assurance objectives of a standard were agreed upon through broad workshop-based consultation with propagators, vine improvement organisations, viticulturists, researchers and regulators.
  • There are significant challenges to be addressed in the delivery of a national certified standard that covers the entire supply chain. These relate to the complexity of the operating environment (multiple stakeholders representing different interests) and the technical challenges associated with delivering a science-based quality assurance system that covers the entire supply chain.
  • The consultation process laid the groundwork for an implementation plan which contains three overlapping workplans and recommendations for priority actions to deliver a standard.

The implementation plan constitutes the Final Report for the project and provides the blueprint for Phase 2, which will commence immediately and address the scientific rigour behind the technical aspects of the standard, develop the standard itself and obtain acceptance and adoption across the propagation sector.

The health status of grapevine planting material throughout the propagation supply chain and into vineyards has been an ongoing concern for cutting suppliers, nurseries and growers alike for some time. The adoption of a certification scheme and the supporting accreditation scheme will reduce the risk of spread of pathogens and pests, provide traceability, and ensure provision of high quality planting material that is true to type. Vineyards established with such material, if properly maintained, should remain sustainable and productive for many years.

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

Levy payers/exporters
Non-levy payers/exporters
Find out more

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