Undervine Field Day

September 18, 2019 all-day
Colbinabbin Memorial Hall
$50 - $65
The first Undervine Field Day by Heathcote Winegrowers’ Association featuring speakers Dr Mary Cole, Dr Helen Waite and Simon Osicka.

About this Event

UNDERVINE FIELD DAY by Heathcote Winegrowers’ Association

Session 1 – Planting for Profit

Dr Helen Waite (Dip. Hort. Sci., Dip. TT., M. App. Sci., PhD)

Helen is known internationally for her research and expertise in grapevine propagation and trunk diseases and for the development of nursery management protocols designed to improve the quality of grapevine planting material and reduce transmission of trunk diseases in young vines. Helen has published the results of her research in peer reviewed journals and industry magazines and presented her work at international conferences and industry workshops in Australia, South Africa, the USA, Canada, Chile, Spain, France and the UK. She has also published the Fit Vine app that can be used by growers to assess the viability of young vines before planting. She now works as a private consultant to nurseries and industry.This session outlines the role of planting material in the establishment of sustainable and profitable vineyards. Topics include the impacts of good and poor planting material on vineyard establishment, characteristic of good and poor planting material, assessment of planting material quality, sourcing and ordering vines and pre and post planting care of new vines. The session includes a practical vine assessment exercise and participants are asked to please bring a pair of clean sharp secateurs and a pocket knife.

Session 2 – Healthy Soils


Mary is a well known academic and plant pathologist and nationally and internationally recognised expert in the management of the fungal pathogen, Botrytis cinerea. In 1980 Mary founded Agpath Pty Ltd, a small soil biology company providing laboratory testing in many fields of fungal and microbial pathology and farming consulting services in agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, environment air and water and food manufacturingMary’s session aims to achieve a basic understanding of the complexity of Soil Biology, soil organic matter and the roles of bacteria and fungi.

As an alternative to adding fungi inhibiting chemicals, see why the use of organic additions to the soil can improve soil biology, promote nutrient availability, and vine health.

Session 3 – Exploring Sub-Regionality & Vintage Variation

Simon Osicka (B. Ag. Sc. (Hons.)(Oen.))

Simon grows grapes and makes wine at Paul Osicka Wines at Graytown in Central Victoria, he is the third generation of his family to do so. Previous to that Simon was the Group Red Winemaker for the Hardy Wine Company as well as having other previous senior winemaking and management positions within the industry. Simon has completed over 29 vintages, including working in France, Germany, Italy and Canada. Simon has had research work published in industry publications and the occasional local cricket report in the McIvor Times. Over the past 7 years Heathcote Winemakers have conducted structured Shiraz tasting to better understand the character of Heathcote Shiraz and to benchmark both within the region, with other Australian Regions and Internationally. This has been overlaid with climatic data and also explored the expression of sub-regional Shiraz character. The group is currently working on establishing a number of weather stations at various points in the region to better understand this work. The session will be a summary of findings from this work, influence of weather trends on vintage and future directions.


12.30 – 1PM Lunch Break & Drive to Colbinabbin Estate


Session 4 – Colbinabbin Estate Composting Program & Soil Results

Vanessa Lenihan (Biomix) & Colin Neate (Colbinabbin Estate)

Session 5 – Seymour Spreaders Demonstration

Colin Stray (Seymour Spreaders)

Demonstration of the Seymour 5000 spreader, applying Biomix composted green waste to vineyard at approximately 30 cu m/ht. – delivering product to directly the base of the vine.

Session 6 – FMR Demonstration

Luke Wormald (FMR)

Introduction of the FMR R Series Sprayer and demonstration of the FMR Xtreme Multi Tool Carrier and BAHR Undervine Cultivator

Session 7 – Clemens Demonstration

Phillip Rice (Clemens Technologies)

Demonstration of the Clemens Undervine Cultivation SB Radius Plus and complementing accessories.

Clemens products include Radius Plus All Round Weeder, Rotary Cultivator, Mower Head and Driven Disc.

Also offered is Finger Roller and Finger Hoe systems for high speed maintenance of cultivated undervine zones

5.30PM End of day drinks & BBQ