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 the variety is in the collection database.

Our Applied Bioscience team has broad capabilities, including internationally recognised expertise in genomics. Team members have extensive technical knowledge and experience testing plant material to help growers and suppliers understand their vines better. Our NATA-accredited laboratories contain advanced equipment including robotic platforms that facilitate high throughput sample extraction and analysis. Affinity Labs is one of only two laboratories offering grapevine variety identification in Australia.

Varietal genetic tests rely on the large degree of variation that exists between grapevine varieties. However, the genetic variation between different clones is much smaller and therefore this test cannot be performed to distinguish clones. The Australian Wine Research Institute is currently developing a new test for identification of grapevine clones. Once established, we will broaden our service to include clonal identification. Use the enquiry form to register your interest in clonal testing. 


Canes or fresh leaves can be submitted for grapevine variety ID. Please send 3-4 10 cm long canes or 3-4 leaves.


The CSIRO grapevine variety SNP database cannot be used to identify non-vinifera species or hybrids between V.vinifera and non-vinifera species (i.e. most rootstocks). There are varying levels of confidence in the SNP profiles and their associated variety names within the CSIRO database. Names have been assigned to one of the groups outlined below based on this level of confidence.

Prime name – A Prime name has been given to a variety in the CSIRO database when its SNP pattern matched an international database genotype that has at least two independent sources of evidence to support that variety’s identification. This is the highest level of confidence that a variety name can be given. However, it is important to note that no absolute warranty is given by international databases that such evidence is correct nor independent and hence there is no absolute warranty assigned to any variety name.

Prime global name – In some cases the Prime name is a global name for a cluster of varieties derived from a single original embryo. These varieties cannot be distinguished from one another using SNP profiling. For example, the global Prime name ‘Pinot’ denotes a genotype representing Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris etc.

Provisional name – This is the likely name of the variety and indicates that the SNP profile obtained matches a variety that has been assigned a provisional name in the CSIRO database. This occurs in two circumstances:

  • The Australian reference variety most closely matches that of the named variety in an international reference database but it not a complete match, or
  • The Australian reference variety completely matches a variety in an international database, but in that international database it was assigned a provisional name due to lack of sufficient evidence to fully support the naming.
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    Affinity Labs’ NATA-accredited laboratories perform more than 100,000 analyses per year and have serviced the Australian wine industry since 1984. The laboratories deliver high-quality cost-effective routine, export or specialist analyses, whether it is for a single sample or a large batch of samples

    Richard Davidson
    Project Manager

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