Options for resting vineyards


Currently the Australian wine industry is experiencing an oversupply of red wine grapes because of oversupply and disruptions in shipping logistics and market access issues. As a result, growers have limited options for maintaining a vineyard until the market improves and fruit is contracted. Resting or ‘mothballing’ a vineyard provides an opportunity to maintain a vineyard block by reducing all inputs including tractor passes, labour, irrigation and pesticide applications, without the cost of harvesting the grapes.

In the 2022–23 growing season, trials on Chardonnay (Riverina, NSW, run by NSW DPI) and Shiraz (Riverland, SA, run by SARDI) investigated options for resting vineyards. Treatments included applying ethephon at EL25 and double pruning between EL stages 19 and 26 (Figure 1) as practical and economical options for growers. Both treatments were effective at reducing the crop. This trial is ongoing to investigate the effects of these treatments after a second season and on irrigation requirements.

A summary of the results is included in this Primefact.


Primefact PUB23/1062 First Edition

Published: Oct 2023