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Seeking Tasmanian wine businesses for new research collaboration


Tasmanian wine businesses are invited to participate in a new research project where they will be supported to run on-vineyards trials to improve management practices for botrytis bunch rot disease.

Botrytis is a major challenge for wine grape producers. It is estimated that the processed value of wine grapes in Tasmania could be 24 per cent higher if costs due to botrytis are recuperated.

Professor Kathy Evans from the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) is holding two online information sessions on the 22nd and 23rd of August to provide an overview of the Botrytis Project and answer questions.

“We are seeking expressions of interest from wine grape producers in Tasmania who are willing to collaborate in the design and conduct of simple on-vineyard trials,” Professor Evans said.

“Collaborators will select which botrytis management practices to test on their vineyards with expert guidance from the project team from idea to data collection and interpretation. This will be a valuable way for producers to find out what works for their specific vineyard and business.

“Trial results will be shared among project participants and the broader wine sector to highlight successes and directly support business decisions about new or adapted viticultural practices and botrytis management.”

The project will be run over the 2023-24 and 2024-25 growing seasons.

The project is funded by the Tasmanian Government’s Agricultural Development Fund with support from Wine Tasmania and researchers from the University of Tasmania’s College of Arts, Law and Education.

“Given Tasmania’s reputation is based on high quality wine grapes, improvements in botrytis management will assist more reliable production of high-quality grapes for winemaking from season to season,” CEO of Wine Tasmania, Sheralee Davies, said.

“Improved management of this disease has been identified as a priority for the Tasmanian wine sector through our research, development and extension strategy.”

Online information sessions for potential collaborators: 

More information about the Botrytis Project is available on the TIA website.