Maureen Moroney1,2, Catherine W. Clarke3, Aude A. Watrelot1, Mark L. Gleason2
1 Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, USA
2 Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Iowa State University, USA
3 Agriculture Victoria Research, Australia
Citation: Moroney, M., Clarke, C.W., Watrelot, A. A., Gleason, M.L. 2021. Bugging out in the vineyard: Getting to the root of phylloxera management in Victoria, Australia. The Plant Health Instructor. DOI:10.1094/PHI-I-2021-0816-01
You have purchased land in the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia, to plant a new vineyard.
You have dreamed of owning your own vineyard and making your own wines for as long as you can remember. After completing your schooling in your homeland of Australia, you spent several years “harvest-hopping” between the world’s wine regions, working on seasonal vineyard and winery crews. Now you’re ready to settle down with your own vineyard site in the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia, and you’ve taken out a large bank loan in order to do so. However, you have come to learn that your dream of establishing a vineyard is a long-term, high-risk investment. The startup cost of planting and maintaining a vineyard in Australia is about US$18,000 to US$22,000 per hectare (US$7,200 to US$8,800 per acre). Harvestable fruit won’t develop for the first couple of years, and it may take close to ten years to see any return on your investment. However, the vines can continue to be productive for decades. In fact, many of the world’s most highly desired wines come from vines that are 50 to 100 years old. A successful vineyard can be highly profitable in the long term.