Western Australian Vine Improvement Association (WAVIA)

Page last updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2017 - 12:26pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

WAVIA is an industry-based organisation that works to facilitate the access, production and distribution of improved planting material to the viticulture industry of Western Australia.

WAVIA is an industry-based and voluntary organisation that was formed in 1993. The association comprises industry representatives and the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA).

Why vine improvement?

High vineyard establishment costs and therefore the life expectancy of a grapevine means it is crucial to use the best available planting material. Improved planting material increases the possibility of achieving desired yield and quality specifications and also assists with industry competitiveness.

Key activities of WAVIA

  • Imports and selects new varieties, clones and rootstocks required by industry.
  • Maintains the WA grapevine germplasm collection.
  • Establishes source blocks in regions.
  • Provides Class A propagation material for industry.

Imports selected varieties and clones

Importing new varieties and clones into WA is a high priority of WAVIA. Over recent years, WAVIA in collaboration with DAFWA, has successfully imported more than 50 varieties and clones of grapevine material. Some of this imported material is new to WA while other material was imported due to its improved health status. WAVIA also selects new varieties and clones from grapevines within WA. Contact a local WAVIA representative to discuss suggestions of new varieties and clones.

Germplasm collection

The grapevines in the germplasm collection have been imported into WA under rigorous quarantine procedures. The vines held in this collection are often referred to as 'mother vines'. These vines are true to type, of known origin and high health.

The trueness to type is verified by recognised ampelographers, such as Jim Furkaliev from South Australia, and Laurent Mayoux from Montpellier in France. The distribution of material from any vines where the variety status is in doubt is withheld until further research, including DNA analysis, can provide positive identification.

Virus testing is a major part of the biosecurity of this collection with every vine tested every three years for grapevine leafroll associated viruses GLRaV-1 and GLRaV-3. No new infections of these viruses have been detected in this collection for the past four years (2010-2013).

The collection has been recognised nationally as one of the best in Australia because of good management, high quality and health status, continuous virus testing protocols and the extensive and expanding range of varieties that have been selected on their commercial potential by the industry. Material from the collection is the basis of the Alternative Variety Trials established in Manjimup and Wokalup. These evaluation trials have provided valuable information which has been extended to industry.

The germplasm collection was originally located at the Swan Research Station, then the Wokalup Research Station. In 2000 it was moved to its current location at the Manjimup Horticultural Research Institute (MHRI), and is managed by DAFWA.

Source blocks

Material for a source block is from the 'mother vines' held in the germplasm collection. Source blocks have been established in all grape growing regions on commercial vineyards. Wine grape source blocks vary in size but most are about 300 vines.

Table grape and dried vine fruit source blocks consist of about 30 vines. Many source blocks have been established, with more to be planted each season.

Source blocks allow a greater proportion of high quality planting material to be available for industry. Source block establishment is a high priority of WAVIA. Contact a local WAVIA representative if interested in setting up a source block.

Class A propagation material

Cuttings collected directly from the Germplasm Collection or from registered source blocks are referred to as Class A propagation material. Propagation material is processed (cut and graded) according to National Vine Accreditation Guidelines.

WAVIA only supplies Class A propagation material. Supplies of all other propagation material are to be obtained from commercial nurseries.

Purchasing propagation material

For more information about WAVIA, including how to purchasing material please follow the link to the WAVIA website.


The logo shows the name Western Australian Vine Improvement Association below the image of a young vine and some soil
WAVIA logo


Richard Fennessy