2017-22 PLAN


Outline the process behind developing this plan, how the priorities were arrived at and who was consulted. Also include proposed benefits to the region. Section A can be updated annually if required (500 words max).

Regional Research and Priority Setting meeting – Coonawarra December 2016

Present: Sue Bell, Chris Brodie, Daniela Conesa (SENRM), Sarah Pidgeon, Anna Hooper, James Freckleton, Ben Harris, Sue Hodder, Pete Bissell, Uli Grey Smith, Kerry DeGaris, Sally McLeod, Allen Jenkins.

Executive Summary

Overview statement of the region: The LCGWC is peak body representing the regions and vineyards of the Limestone Coast.  Namely Coonawarra, Padthaway, Wrattonbully, Mt Benson, Robe, Mt Gambier and Other vineyards within the Zone. Current statistics indicate a total of 15,930 hectares of wine grapes are planted within the Limestone coast zone sourced from 305 growers (SA Wine Grape Crush, 2016). Predominant varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon (43%), Shiraz (23%) and Chardonnay (11%).

Regional  Scan – Group discussion

1 New Edge (radical, out there, experimental)

1a Eliminating use of glyphosate

1b Aerial imagery for monitoring eg. soil moisture, plant physiological measures

1c Perceptions rule – rather than science

1d Natural Wine

1e Biodynamics

1f Bioenergy

2 Emerging trends (gaining traction, more people trying)

2a Heat spikes

2b Lobby against alcohol – health

2c Political swing to the right – shift to the extremes

2d Wine has to be fun

2e Public know less about the regions

2f Boutique alcohol captures interest of young people eg. cider/gin/craft beer

2g Adapting to climate change

2h Internet wine sales

2i Increased cost of production – eg. food miles, freight, power, labour

2j Customers want to  know more about provenance, sustainability

2k Changing tourism – people in vineyards, nature based, experiences

2l Biosecurity – risk increasing for potential incursion

2m More new people coming into the wine sphere

2n Centralisation of government

2o Chinese investment in Agriculture

3 Established norm (commonplace, normal)

3a Alcohol free months (feast/famine)

3b We have to fight with our government to protect our industry and region

3c Competing with more wine regions

3d Undervine herbicide

3e Medium-moderate alcohol wine

3f Quality practices and quality wine – under pressure to reduce

3g Competing for peoples disposable dollar – greater competition

3h Supermarket duopoly – rise of their ‘own’ labels

3i Drinking culture

3j More reliance on irrigation

3k Warming climate

3l Reduced profitability for wine businesses

3m Dining culture

3n Wine discounting

3o Red wine and cabernet region

4 Dying practices

4a Resources available for R & D (loss of capacity)

4b Cellaring wine

4c Wine critics

4d Home ownership

4e People buying lots of wine at once

4f Brand loyalty

4g Buying at recommended prices.


List in order of importance the highest priority issues for the region over the next 3-5 years. This can be a mix of issues relating to research and development, extension, adoption, etc. Section B can be updated annually if required (500 words max).

Opportunities for LSC in next 5 years (Ranked)

Improved marketing of the LSC region

Improved irrigation efficiency using new technologies (eg. thermography)

Improved selection of varieties/rootstocks/clones

Better understanding of the role of climate change on LSC grape growing

Increased emphasis on environmental credentials

Reduced energy use

Rapid Yield estimation

Changing pruning practices

Quality quantification

Challenges for next 5 years

Maintenance of a healthy groundwater resource (irrigation efficiency, iron bacteria, salinity, fracking)

Vine decline associated with eutypa

Climatic variances (heat spikes, increased frost incidence)

Marketing region (dominance of larger companies, branding, reputation of mass production)

Economic factors (eg. increased costs)

Adoption of alternative varieties

Lack of rootstock adoption


Innovation adoption

Winehealth lobby

Environmental targets (achieving)

Survey results summary:

Challenges faced in the past year (ranked):

1 Irrigation efficiency (includes iron bacteria)

2 Eutypa/Trunk disease

3 Yield estimation

4 Quality improvement (includes nutrition)

5 Rootstock/Clone selection

6 Climate Change (vintage compression)

7 Marketing of the LSC

8 Snails/Earwigs

9 Spray Application – low volumes/vineyard inaccessibility

10 CCA post disposal

11 BSN/berry shrivel

12 Botrytis

13 Organic weed control

14 Lower alcohol wines

15 Reducing reductive characteristics

16 Virus impacts


List in order of importance the highest extension and adoption priorities for the region over the next 12 months. Section C can be updated annually (500 words max).

  1. Water – Looking after the resource, catchment health
  2. Irrigation – increased costs, flavour impacts, reliance on more irrigation
  3. Psychology of grape growing – needing to change, focus on renewal, constant change vs. permanency
  4. Yields – better/ more efficient ways to map yields.
  5. Environmental credentials – marketing/tourism, consumer focus
  6. Disposal of CCA posts
  7. Regional identity – lack of, how we describe it and how to get others to recognise it. What makes the LSC unique and what do we want to protect. How is the LSC positioned to tap into a changing consumer market – how do we tap into this. Needs to be unique and real for us
  8. Adapting to climate change – getting ready (understanding what we need to do), learning more and local relevance, making changes or getting ready to make the changes, long term plan. Grape variety characteristics. Eutypa. Decision making – what is available to us
  9. Quality & price – getting what the grapes/wine are worth. Mass production image