Langhorne Creek Vine Improvement commenced operations in 1973 and is part of a regional network of Vine Improvement Committees setup originally through the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia to distribute planting material that was held in the Department of Primary Industries collection at Nuriootpa. The regional vine improvement committee’s were seen as a conduit to make this material available across industry.
The pioneering work of the Langhorne Creek Vine Improvement Committee resulted in the selection of a number of Cabernet Sauvignon clones suited to the Langhorne Creek region which supplied superior vines that have served the local wine grape growers well for more than 25 years. Such initiatives helped add to the long-term investment and success of the wine region as we see it today.
While yield was the criteria for selection of clones in the early seventies to the late 1990s, the emphasis is now on wine grape growers to select for grape quality (including colour and flavour). There is also a growing demand for “alternative varieties”. These facets present new challenges for the Langhorne Creek Vine Improvement Committee in the 21st Century.
The group continues to establish certified source vineyards for quality vine cutting material and is also involved in regional trials of new varieties, new clones of already planted varieties as well as special projects to tackle vineyard pests and diseases.
Langhorne Creek is a member of Australian Grapevine Foundation Planting Service, previously known as South Australian Vine Improvement, which provides planting material to regional vine improvement organisations enabling the establishment of certified vine material Source Blocks. The concept of the source blocks evolved to enable the bodies to provide the best possible quality planting material of known origin and health status to growers and the industry as a whole.
Vine improvement committee’s exist in the Riverland, Clare Valley, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills wine regions.
Commencing in 2012 Langhorne Creek Vine improvement and Adelaide Hills Vine Improvement decided to share the role of Operations Manager. The Manager, David Coleman can be contacted via email on the link in the right hand column.