Local News

State-first Winery Program Using Predators to Reduce Pesticides

Asilidae robber fly on grapevine MJ Retallack

A cohort of SA wineries will be ditching pesticides in favor of local insect predators in a state-first.

The EcoVineyards Program is rolling out across the state with many Adelaide Hills, Langhorne Creek and Fleurieu wineries taking part.

Amongst the 24 SA grapegrowers taking part are Ngeringa Vineyards, Ashton Hills Vineyard, Geoff Weaver Wines, CMV Farms, Bleasdale and Kimbolton Wines.

They will be using native insectary plants to create biodiverse ecosystems, which could save the industry up to $70 million a year, reduce reliance on chemical pesticides and improve soil conditions.

The Wine Grape Council of South Australia (WGCSA) is leading the initiative in partnership with Retallack Viticulture Pty Ltd after receiving grant funding via the Australian Government's National Landcare Program for the ground-breaking two-year program. 

WGCSA Business Manager Lisa Bennier said the program is designed to continue to strengthen and preserve the world-renowned wine regions of South Australia. 

“We’re excited to be leading the EcoVineyards Program and rolling out 24 tailored native insectary demonstration sites in collaboration with our carefully selected EcoGrowers,” Ms Bennier said. 

“The program has the potential to provide tourism benefits to the wine regions through the aesthetic impact the native plants will have when positioned alongside our world-class vines. This will provide the chance to tell our story and highlight South Australian regions’ point of difference to other regions in the world.” 

For more information visit www.wgcsa.com.au/ecovineyards.html

Photo of Asilidae robber fly on grapevine by MJ Retallack, supplied