Wine Australia publishes statistics of Australia’s current key grapevine varieties, with additional information found in its Australian Wine website, accessible via the links below. Statistics on grape varieties and plantings can also be found in Which winegrape varieties are grown where?, an eBook produced by the University of Adelaide. This book draws upon a database of regional, national and global wine-grape bearing areas by variety, 1960 to 2016, and includes raw data, statistics, graphs and tables.
Varietal identification of vines in existing vineyards is possible via ampelography or genetic (DNA) testing. Wine Australia’s fact sheet Vine identification – knowing what you have provides a summary of these methods, with recent advances summarised in this ‘Ask the AWRI’ article: Varietal and clonal identification of grapevines.
The Australian Genome Research Facility offers genetic identification of grape varieties. This test is based on DNA profiling using microsatellite markers, with the result compared to a known database.
Affinity Labs’ grapevine variety ID service allows growers and suppliers to identify or confirm the variety of their grapevine material. The process involves DNA typing using a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panel made up of 48 SNP markers. This is then compared to the CSIRO grapevine variety SNP database. The database contains profiles of approximately 360 Vitis vinifera cultivars used for wine-grape, table grape and dried grape production. Clients who are aiming to confirm the identity of a specific variety should contact Affinity Labs to confirm that the variety is in the collection database.
Grape varieties within Australia and how to import new varieties
Grape varieties available in Australia or how to import grape varieties from overseas are detailed within Wine Australia’s Planting Material webpage and ‘Ask the AWRI’: Importing new grape varieties. Decision-making support for grapegrowers and winemakers in selecting appropriate rootstocks is available through Wine Australia’s Grapevine Rootstock Selector tool.
Articles on alternative varieties
Since 2012, Dr Peter Dry has published a series of articles in the Wine Industry Journal (now Wine & Viticulture Journal) profiling key alternative grape varieties that might be adaptable to Australia’s climatic conditions. Note that the prime variety name has been chosen, but there are many synonyms for some varieties, and these are detailed within the articles. An Alternative Varieties workshop is also available to producers upon request.
Use the links below to access these articles on alternative varieties, Wine Australia’s varietal snapshots and profiles of key Australian varieties.