NZ Winegrower Oct/Nov 2016

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OC TOB E R/ NOVE MB E R 2016 I SSU E 10 0





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102 R EG UL A R S



10 Looking Ahead to 2032

Tessa Nicholson


In Brief

News From Around the Country

68 Family Vines

Emerging Wine Dynasties

80 Bob’s Blog

Bob Campbell MW

Dr Glen Creasy

110 Not On The Label

What will the New Zealand wine industry look like by the time NZWinegrower reaches its 200th issue in 2032. We talk to a range of people involved both inside the industry and outside to see what they predict. From climate change to sustainability, new machinery and packaging to food safety. All will undergo changes in the next 16 years, and our experts try and pin point the impacts of those changes.

44 A Double Celebration

82 Science of Wine


Legal Matters with Bell Gully

This magazine began life back in 1997, under the stewardship of Terry Dunleavy. And while this issue represents 100 for the magazine, there is another milestone being celebrated this year. Terry shares his memories of the first issues of NZWinegrower and the establishment of the Wine Institute of New Zealand – celebrating its 40th anniversary in October.

114 Calendar

72 Fine Wines Fly High

Wine Happenings in New Zealand

116 Research Supplement

The latest science and research projects funded by NZ Winegrowers

Air New Zealand has launched the very first Fine Wines of New Zealand list, after months of careful consideration and MW involvement. Promoting the very best of our wines, the list of 47 will be available in the airline’s Business Premier section. But that is just the beginning of the benefits available.



E D I TO R Tessa Nicholson


CO R R E SP O N D E NTS Auckland: Joelle Thomson Hawkes Bay: Mary Shanahan Nelson: Neil Hodson Central Otago: Mark Orton

A DV E R T I SI N G Sales Manager & Upper North Island: Stephen Pollard Ph: 09 913 9637 Mobile: 021 963 166 Central North Island: Ted Darley Ph: 07 854 6292 Mobile: 021 832 505 Lower North Island: Ron Mackay Ph: 04 234 6239 Mobile: 021 453 914 South Island: Kaye Sutherland Ph: 03 376 5552 Mobile: 021 221 1994

C I R C U L AT I O N & SUBSCRIPTIONS Lorraine Rudelj Ph: 09 303 3527 Fax: 09 302 2969 New Zealand Winegrowers PO Box 90 276, Auckland Mail Centre, New Zealand

PUBLISHING & P R E - P R E SS Rural News Group PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Ph: 09 307 0399 Location: Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Publisher: Brian Hight Managing Editor: Adam Fricker Production: Dave Ferguson, Rebecca Williams

Published by Rural News Group Ltd under authority of New Zealand Winegrowers (jointly representing Wine Institute of New Zealand Inc and New Zealand Grape Growers Council Inc). Unless directly attributed, opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of Rural News Group and/or its directors or management, New Zealand Winegrowers or its constituent organisations. Published every second month. One free copy is mailed to every member of the Institute, the Council, the New Zealand Society of Viticulture & Oenology and the New Zealand Vine Improvement Group, and to such other persons or organisations as directed by the owners, with provision for additional copies and other recipients to be on a subscription basis.

ISSN 1174-5223

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ing climate change come to fruition. Geoff elcome to the 100th issue of NZ Thorpe looks at the industry moving forWinegrower magazine – the ward – Is There Life Beyond Marlborough official journal of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc?, while other stalwarts Winegrowers. While we are not consider new technology both in the vinelikely to get a letter from the Queen for our endeavours, we are still mighty proud of the yard and winery. Currency exchange, the future of verification, organics, food safety achievements over the past 19 years. And standards and urban sprawl all come under not just within the magazine itself. New the spotlight this issue. Zealand wine has been a success story like Plus we talk to our up and coming stars, no other, (as commented on by politicians the winners of the Bayer Young Viticulturist at this year’s Bragato Conference – see page of the Year and the Tonnellerie de Mercurey 52). Young Winemaker of the year, and get their For example, when Terry Dunleavy proviews on where they duced the very first issue, think the industry will New Zealand had less be in 16 years time. than 9,000 hectares of On top of celebrating the (You can find out grapes planted. The total future – this issue we also more about our young production that year was winners on page 63) 60,000 tonnes and our look back to this year’s We hope it gives exports were 13,072 litres, Romeo Bragato conference, you food for thought with a value of $75,886. held in Marlborough. about where we are Even the most optimistic heading and what person around could paths we will have to hardly have foreseen the travel to get there. growth that would occur between then and On top of celebrating the future – this now. issue we also look back to this year’s Romeo While it is always interesting to look Bragato conference, held in Marlborough. back, it is even more fascinating to consider The largest event ever, it was a chance to not where we will be in the future. So in this only celebrate the successes of the industry issue, we are focusing on what industry but to also look at the immediate issues. We members and those on the outside think the cover a couple of those in this magazine; wine industry will look like by 2032 – when the impact of Brexit and the move towards NZWinegrower will reach its 200th issue. developing New Zealand clones. Both are One of the most talked about concerns controversial in their own way – but both in recent years has been the potential need to be considered calmly and logically. impact of climate change. Dr James RenSo enjoy the read. And don’t forget to wick from Victoria University is an expert vote in the upcoming Board election. Full on the subject and while he confesses to not details on how the new voting system works being an expert on wine, he certainly has his and the list of the standing candidates are finger on the pulse of what could happen to on page 6.■ New Zealand if the predictions surround-



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he 15 nominees are in, and now it’s up to you as a member to elect the first board of the new look New Zealand Winegrowers Incorporated. Whereas in the past the board has been made up of five members from the Grape Growers Council and seven members of the Wine Institute, this new board will represent the single entity that has been created over the past 12 months. While the entity is new, so too is the voting system. Jeffrey Clarke, GM of Advocacy, says members now get to vote directly for all 10 of the elected directors, in each of two classes – 5 Levy Class and 5 Member Class.

VERIFIED CANDIDATES STANDING FOR LEVY CLASS DIRECTOR Paul Dunleavy – Waiheke Vineyards Limited Jack Glover – Accolade Wines New Zealand Stephen Green – Carrick Wines Ltd Patrick Materman – Pernod Ricard Winemakers NZ Duncan McFarlane – Indevin Group Limited Simon Towns – Constellation Brands Fabian Yukich – Villa Maria Estate Ltd

VERIFIED CANDIDATES STANDING FOR MEMBER CLASS DIRECTOR John Clarke – Ilfracombe Trust James Dicey – Ceres Wines Limited Xan Harding – Grapeology Ltd Peter Holley – Mission Estate Winery Craig Howard – Grans Goat Vineyard Clive Jones – Nautilus Estate Dominic Pecchenino – Buena Vista Vineyards Gwyn Williams – Williams Hill Vineyard

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The last ever meeting of the board of New Zealand Winegrowers. Who will be on the new board of NZW Inc? That is up to you to decide. Make sure you vote this month.

Once the 10 are elected, they will have the opportunity to appoint two more directors to ensure balance and diversity on the board. So this is how the voting works. For the 5 Member Class Directors – every single member has one vote, no matter how big or small they are. But you can cast that vote for as many of the eight candidates as you would like to see on the board. The five who have the highest number of votes are elected. For the Levy Class Directors, you get one vote for every dollar of grape or wine levy you paid in the last year. “So if you paid $10,000 in levies,” Clarke says, “you have 10,000 votes to cast.” You can apportion those

10,000 to whoever you want, either in one large sum, or spread over a number of candidates. Again the five candidates with the highest number of votes across all members, will be elected. So who are you going to vote for? To the left is a list of the individuals who are standing for the new board of NZW Inc. Think carefully and make sure you vote. As Clarke says, this board is your future – so make the most of your opportunity to have a say. Members will receive an email from on how to cast their vote. Each candidate’s profile will also be available shortly on the Board Election website: NZWine2016Resource/. Voting opens on Monday 10 October and closes on Friday 21 October. ■

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NATIONAL New Family of XII Chair Judy Finn from Neudorf Vineyards in Nelson is the new chair of the Family of XII. She takes over from William Hoare, from Fromm Winery, and is the first women to be elected to the position. With husband Tim, Judy is one of Nelson’s pioneers in the wine industry and has been heavily involved in promoting not just her home region, but New Zealand as a whole. She describes the Family of XII as a special group. “Twelve strong individual brands who work together promoting New Zealand and fine wine. We respect each other immensely and want the world to understand New Zealand does not just make good wine, it can make great wine, wine which stands alongside the best in the world.”

Inaugural Innovation Award Dr Vaughn Bell from Plant & Food in Hawke’s Bay received the very first NZW Innovation Award at the recent Romeo Bragato Conference. Presented by Dr Simon Hooker, the award was initiated by the NZW Research Committee, to celebrate the importance of science and research to the industry. Hooker described Bell as having contributed “over and above the call of duty. He has a real passion for our industry, is an international expert in his field and a great ambassador for the New Zealand wine sector.” Along with a certificate, Bell also received $10,000 worth of travel to further his international collaboration.

Dare To Pink Returns Sip NZ is planning a return of the highly successful Dare to Pink campaign that highlights all the beauty of Rosé. The 2017 initiative will run from Friday February 3 through

until February 10. “The aim of the campaign is to celebrate the pink lifestyle and the diversity when it comes to New Zealand Rosé styles, varieties and regions,”

GISBORNE Festival Undergoes Changes The Gisborne wine and food festival is back on the cards this year, with a few changes to those held previously. Twenty years after the very first festival attracted 1000 attendees, 2000 tickets for the 2016 event are now on sale. To be held at Labour Weekend(October 22/23) visitors will have the chance to visit three winery sites by bus as well as take part in a number of complimentary activities. The three venues are a shared area – Wine Central at the A&P Showgrounds Pavilion, Matawhero Wines and the Millton Vineyard. Tickets cost $40 and include unlimited all day bus travel around the venues, pick up and drop off in town at the start and end of the day. They are available from Ticketek, the Gisborne i-site, and the Gisborne Wine Centre.

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Caro Jensen from Sip NZ says. If you are a producer of Rosé and would like some more information about the campaign, visit

HAWKE’S BAY Wine Auction Heats Up

The Billionth Bottle

Forty specially blended lots are to be offered at this year’s Hawke’s Bay wine auction as well as a donated artwork. The popular regional event has raised $2.6 million for Cranford Hospice since its inception 24 years ago. Last year’s auction made $141,000 and project organiser Annabel Tapley-Smith says its growing national reputation was reflected in the 60 percent of sales that went to bidders from outside the region - many of whom travelled to Hawke’s Bay to take part. A traditional feature of the auction, this year’s donated artwork is a painting by local artist Gavin Chilcott. Part of his new series Painting for grown-ups - a meditation aid, it is a lotus flower design that can be made into wallpaper, tapestry, upholstery fabric or carpet. The auction will be held on 12 November at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House Plaza in Hastings.

WineWorks’ one billionth bottle of wine rolled off the production line at the company’s Hastings plant in July, coinciding with a visit by Prime Minister John Key. The company’s plants in Hastings, Marlborough and Auckland bottle for about 400 of the country’s 700 wineries. The billionth bottle, a Sacred Hill Pinot Noir, went to the winery’s managing director and founder David Mason. Wineworks’ Hastings plant manager Steve White said the Sacred Hill winery, sited on the western fringe of Hastings, was a neighbour as well as the company’s longest standing customer. Mr Key, who visited with Tukituki MP Craig Foss, was presented with WineWorks’ one billionth and one bottle of wine. The first of the company’s three sites, the Hastings plant opened in 1997. Director Tim Nowell-Usticke characterises it as the “gearbox” of the region’s winemaking business.

Cab Sav Travels

For Sale

Clearview Estate winemaker Matt Kirby travels for 30 hours when he wants to check on the progress of 44 barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon he is making in China. Kirby is one of 48 winemakers from 19 countries and one of seven Kiwis taking part in the second Ningxia Wine Challenge. Winemakers apply online for the opportunity to create a winning wine from grapes harvested in the Ningxia region. An initial 160 entries were whittled back to 48 for the current challenge and each successful winemaker was then allocated a winery to work with in the Chinese region. The only Hawke’s Bay winemaker taking part in the current competition, Kirby is working with 10,000 litres of 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon stored at Heyu Winery, some 1200kms west of Beijing. The wine will be bottled at the Chinese plant in February, ahead of the mid-year judging. The event has a $200,000 prize pool, which will be spread around the top prize winners. Regardless of the outcome, Kirby, like other entrants, is allowed to retain a quarter of the finished wine. The winery claims 50 percent while the Chinese government takes 25 percent. The competition is organised by the International Federation of Vine and Wine of Helan Mountain’s East Foothill with the support of Ningxia’s Bureau of Grape Industry Development.

Yealands Estate Wines has put its Crossroads winery and associated Hawke’s Bay vineyards up for sale by international tender. The Cape Dutch-style winery, cellar door and home block vineyard are sited on 11 hectares at Fernhill. Grapes are also sourced from the 59ha Kereru Road vineyard and 11.9ha in Gimblett Gravels (one title in three separate blocks). The sale, which is being handled by Bayleys, covers land and buildings only although supporting plant and equipment can also be purchased either as a stand-alone unit or as three separate individual titles. The advertising material says the sale is about Yealands expanding its Hawke’s Bay growers’ base and consolidating its winemaking operations into Marlborough to support the global growth of its Crossroads brand. Business partners Malcolm Reeves and Lester O’Brien established the wine business in the ‘eighties and in 2000 it was purchased by Ager Sectus. The Wellington-based private company, controlled by Peter Cutfield, subsequently merged with Yealands.

Organic Conference to Return After a hugely successful conference in 2015, Organic Winegrowers New Zealand has set the dates for a second event. It will

take place in Marlborough next year, from June 26 – 28. So lock in those dates. If it is anything like last year, it will be a conference

not to miss. More details will be available shortly, and you can keep up to date via the website;





iven this is the 100th issue of New Zealand Winegrower magazine, it seemed timely to bring out the crystal ball and consider just where the industry is likely to be by the time we produce our 200th issue. All going well, with six issues a year, the 200th issue will delivered by robot to you in 2032. What will we be doing then? How will our vineyards, wineries and wine regions look at that stage? Will climate change have any impact. What will the machinery we depend on within the vineyard look like. Over the next few pages, we talk to some experts in their field and ask them to look forward to 2032.

Viticulture – with Dr Glen Creasy from Lincoln University This is a very exciting time because we are on the cusp of robotics going mainstream and being able to do all sorts of things

we could never have imagined five years ago. Thinking ahead to 2032, I see huge changes around remote sensing robots, which will displace a lot of people. I can see robots going in and doing all the canopy management that is necessary plus doing all the pruning that is necessary in the vineyards. I talk to my students about how we will have sensors that will allow us to monitor plant water status and soil’s water status in real time. We will have sensors imbedded in the plants that again will tell us in real time what kind of stress that plant is under. We will have irrigation systems that will be able to deliver water to individual vines so we can regulate the amount of water and the amount of nutrients that vine gets. It means we will be able to micro manage our vineyard on a vine by vine basis. We will be able to stand in front of a vine and access all the relevant information about it. The other thing is with access

The Wall-Ye V.I.N. robot, brainchild of Burgundy-based inventor Christophe Millot, is one of the robots being developed around the world aimed at vineyards struggling to find the labour they need.

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to all that information, and we will be able to gather huge amounts, we will have to be able to translate it into something we can interpret and use to make management decisions. That is where we are going to find another big leap somewhere in the future. We will be able to see what the sensors are saying about the vine, so we know what we need to do in order to get the crop quality that we want. That in combination with having enough sensors and enough knowledge we will be able to predict what the fruit is going to be like, what wine style is going to be made from that fruit at harvest, some weeks or maybe months out from that. It will help us to make the style of wine that is needed, in the quantities we need, rather than blending for individual countries. So by 2032 there will be big changes. A lot of that will be the technology, the rest will be around data, analysis and then decision making systems based on all

that information.

Wineries – Paul Lloyd, CEO Apollo Group Projects The focus in winery projects in the last 10 years has been the move to larger, high quality but very efficient facilities which have cut the cost of production significantly. I see this trend continuing with changes perhaps happening more in how the fruit is harvested and thus how it is received into the winery. With the vast majority of grapes in Marlborough being white and Sauvignon Blanc, the ability to not only destem but to also crush in the vineyard is a serious option. This means less fruit to transport leading to lower costs and a more sustainable approach to wine making (lower emissions through transport etc – a 10,000t winery for example which transports fruit on average 25km (50km return) would save more than 5,000km of truck movements). This change will dramatically affect the receival end of a winery with the potential to do away with both receival bins and destemmers and also almost remove marc from the winery as well. The thinking is certainly happening with winemakers at present but there are significant obstacles to be overcome with current harvesters as well as trucks and also receival processes all needing to be reviewed – but nothing that can’t be overcome. Will there be new technology within the winery?

When Apollo began in the wine industry a lot of technology wasn’t new per se, it was just new to the wine industry. When we built Wairau River Wines almost 15 years ago we asked a simple question as to why the glycol pipework was stainless steel – the answer … because that’s what we have always done – a common answer in the early days. It is probably worth noting that change is the only constant and now with the very low cost of nickel, pipework in many instances has reverted to stainless steel! Wairau River set a new benchmark and in the first six months over 50 wineries visited the new winery. The refrigeration system, pipework, catwalks etc were all new. This cross pollination between food related industries will continue as we move forward with new technology being shared

at ever increasing rates. Looking at the crystal ball all we can really say about wineries is in general they will continue to get bigger with larger tanks and even more efficient use of capital. Cost of production will remain the focus. The other area that will change will be the focus on safety in the winery – not just during construction but in operation and maintenance. Safety will be designed and built in – it will not just be done with process. As directors and senior managers begin to understand their responsibilities (and liabilities) under the new act, safety will be the number one requirement. In the past this has not always been the case.

Marketing with Chris Yorke – Global Marketing Director NZW

Marketing in the future is going to be about being able to speak to your customers directly. But it’s hard to see just what form that will take. Even the smart phones we have now, are probably going to be something completely different in 16 years’ time. I have no idea what that will be though, will it be virtual reality? I think you will find the ability to speak to your customers in an almost one on one level will be occurring. Being able to project your brand to them in that way will be very exciting. In terms of which markets will be important to the New Zealand wine industry, it is hard to tell. We are in the top 25 percent of the world wine market and our role is to chase the money. If you look at it over the last 20 years, firstly it was in the UK, then it was Australia and then the US, China, Russia. It will

be very interesting to see where that money is in the future. And given we will be constrained by the amount of production we have during that time, we will be looking to sell into the most profitable markets around the world.

Sustainability – Gwyn Williams, Chair of the NZW Sustainability Committee I have a vision that all the best practice activities (within the SWNZ programme) will be base line practice in 20 years or ideally less. Best practice must be the way we always do things. It will take time, the frame work is important and our job is to help people set that direction. Consumers want more and they want credibility. That is why we have to record what we do and


The way forward to aspirational goal as Sustainability moves forward.

justify it. There are many things we should be doing – like being better than compliant, take no more than we need, do no harm. Guiding principles such as these and others are what we need to weave into the sustainability programme, so people start thinking that way and doing it that way. My vision for a vineyard, is that it can look after itself as much as possible. I am not out there all day, because the plants are healthy, the soil is healthy, insects are flying around and the fruit is clean. It could be that our vineyards in the future

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look more like a collection of other plants that live in harmony, being beneficial for each other. We have to have that dream. So how do we move forward, how do we create higher attributes, while keeping it simple, relevant and practical while taking into account the demands of the productive sector now and in the future? How do we demonstrate to our consumers and customers that we are constantly working and improving what we do? For some time the industry under SWNZ has been working with,


listening to and consulting with members and above is what has been drafted. On the left is the base line, this is what we are doing now. I appreciate that many members are doing more than the baseline, but this is where the SWNZ scorecard is taking us at the moment. On the right are the aspiration goals. These goals are high and present a big challenge. In the middle is the “playpen” for the future, we have best practice and pathways that work toward the aspiration goals.

Behind all this is a huge amount of information. We can resource best practice and the pathways to aspiration goals. This is the area we want to encourage and motivate our members to work in, forging ahead of the baseline. Members can choose what they want to do, set their own objectives and work at their pace. The Continuous Improvement Model is still in DRAFT form. It is not finalised. As time passes it will keep changing and growing. SWNZ will assist with the technical support for best pathways and practice. The base line will however, be incrementally increased. We can’t just sit on the baseline wanting people to improve. Having aspiration goals, we believe, will make this the only programme in the world like it. There are many things we can do better now. We can make it easier for members to identify and adopt best practice for themselves. Always keep pushing the boundaries. Search out techniques and practices from other production systems, like organic or BioGro, look at them, adopt where it suits. Share more amongst ourselves about what we learn, and share with other industries and learn from them.■



120 new clones and varieties and in the process have gained some insights into the role those might play in the continued evolution of our remarkable industry. However, before we can talk about where our Sauvignon Blanc industry might be going and what role any new varieties might play in the future, it is important to attempt to review where we are at and how we got there. The first vines of Sauvignon Blanc were planted into Marlborough by Montana Wines in 1975.

Today, there are over 20,000 hectares planted there, this variety now makes up over 65% of our national vineyard plantings and has rocketed to over 86% of our export volume. From those very humble beginnings just over 40 years ago, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc plantings now make up 20% of global plantings and, based on latest industry planting statistics, we are poised to overtake France in terms of total planted area of this variety. This remarkable, and possibly

Geoff Thorpe

unique, wine-world success story has been made possible by the fact that we have, through a combination of good fortune and


















irstly, I would like to open with a disclaimer- I am not a wine maker or exporter, nor am I a commercial grape grower or a wine market researcher. So what am I then? I am a plantsman who has devoted the lion’s share of my horticultural career to developing the craft and the science required to supplying the New Zealand wine industry with world class quality grafted grapevines. Along that journey, we at Riversun have imported over



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incredibly hard work, discovered the holy grail of wine: how to consistently deliver an affordable, high quality wine in a style the world has never seen before, that few seem able to replicate and which consumers around the world have fallen in love with. But surely the most important metric is - what share of the “global export trade” of this variety do we command? In other words, if we ignore domestic consumption of Sauvignon Blanc in other major producing countries like France, California, Chile and South Africa, what is our market share of internationally traded Sauvignon Blanc? Based on the business rule of “no measurement, no management”, surely this KPI should be top of our minds, given our huge industry reliance on just one variety? Surprisingly, despite my best efforts (I have interviewed over 30 industry leaders as part of my preparation for this opinion piece) this metric has been nigh on impossible for me to uncover and, while commercial sensitivity could explain some of that, I would have thought that we, as an industry should be investing significant resources into capturing this data on a very regular basis. After all, if we don’t know where we as an industry are at, how can we chart our course into the years ahead with any real confidence? Let’s now talk about where we

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are going, based on what we DO know? Over the last three years (planting years 2013-14-15), we have planted an extra 2,500 hectares in Marlborough and, based on continued very strong consumer demand and indicative nursery industry orders, this pace of growth looks set to continue for several years to come. And who is planting all of these new vineyards? Predominantly, those wine companies who survived the GFC and the “Savalanche” (2008-11), who have strong balance sheets and economies of scale, strong brands and (or) very robust distribution channels. Why are they planting more Sauvignon Blanc? It is because of surging consumer demand, particularly out of North America. Between 2010 and 2015, our export volumes to the UK and Australia have increased by 25%, to the US they have increased by 100%, and to all other markets combined they have grown by 50%. Clearly the love affair shows no signs of waning. However, for those of us lucky enough to be in an enduring, loving relationship, there comes a time when the initial romance “highs” morph into a more stable and sustainable emotional state. So, where are each of these major markets at in this respect, or more clinically, what is our market share


with consumers in each of them? While I have been unable to tap into published data, the best estimates I have come up with are as follows (and I am happy to be corrected if wildly wrong!). In Australia and the UK, four out of every five bottles of Sauvignon Blanc consumed has been filled with wine that was made in New Zealand- that’s 80% market share- while in the US it appears to sit at 25%. At 80% in the UK and Australia, any further volume increase will probably have to come from growth in Sauvignon Blanc as a category - that is, rather than knocking other countries out of the way, we will probably have to rely on more consumers switching over to Sauvignon Blanc as a preferred variety. Twenty years ago, Sauvignon Blanc was number 20 on the consumer varietal pop charts in terms of volumes consumed globally- today it is number eight and still climbing, so category growth is likely to still be a driver of demand for us. If we were to increase our market share in the US from 25% to 50%, that would require us to plant another 5,500 Ha. And if the UK and Australia were to sustain volume growth of 4% per annum, along with 15% per annum growth in remaining markets, before long that would require an additional 3,000 Ha. Combine these numbers and we would require another 8,000 Ha to be planted to meet this growth in demand. But, remember we have already planted out 2,500 Ha between 2013-15 and the first of these are only now coming on stream. How much land is still available in Marlborough? Well, it depends on who you talk to and what they consider to be the boundaries of “economically viable” land, taking into account frost risk and lower yields in some of the more fringe areas, but the area is probably not

far away from the net 5,500 Ha you get when subtracting 2,500 Ha from 8,000 Ha. So, all things being equal (quite a big assumption in this day and age), there is a very high probability there is indeed life BEYOND Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and this leads us to the next question we must try and answer- is there likely to be strong demand for a “New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc”, as opposed to a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc? Already, somewhere between 5-10% of current export volumes are being sold in this category and, as long as we can match style, quality and price to consumer demands, there is likely to be good demand going forward, particularly from those newer markets like North America which have yet to be enamoured by the Marlborough brand. The next question we have to ask ourselves then is; “is there enough suitable land in other regions to supply this potentially significant market?” The consensus view I came up with, based on current plantings in these regions and the resulting economics and wine styles, was that the most suitable regions for producing a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc are Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Gisborne and that collectively there was probably enough suitable land for another 10-20,000 hectares. The big question in all of this must be; “at what stage do we run the risk of over-shooting the demand/supply sweet spot?” We all know what happens to fruit and wine prices, to land and brand values when that happens- may we as a collective industry never forget the impact of the 2008-11 “Savalanche”. As I have pointed out, Sauvignon Blanc currently accounts for over 86% of our export volumeshand’s up who is worried about that number? And fair enough too, given


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the myriad risks all agri-business industries face on an ongoing basis, be they bio-security incursions, product contamination, climate change, off-shore competition, local over-production, unfavourable currency swings, unexpected trade barriers or simply the ever changing tastes of global consumers. We do not have to look far to find very real examples of these - think PSA in kiwifruit (2010), the botulism scare in the dairy industry, struggling Pinot Noir production in a rapidly warming Burgundy, our own 60% surge in Sauvignon Blanc production in 2008, the recent milk powder price collapse or something as fickle as one line in the movie Sideways which destroyed the Merlot market in the US for almost a decade! Given the risks and legitimate concerns about our huge reliance on one “super-star” variety, what are our options? Firstly, let’s make sure we stay very close to consumer trends and pick up early-on any stylistic shifts. The investment currently going into “lifestyle” low alcohol wine is a good initiative, as are barrel fermented and wild yeast ferments of Sauvignon Blanc. New clones may well help to reduce our exposure to biological risk and climate change. What growth opportunities are

there for other well-known varieties ? A quick review of NZW data shows the other 14% of our exports are mostly made up (in descending order) of Pinot Noir ( 6% of exports, 5,500 planted Ha and growing), Pinot Gris ( 3% , 2,300 Ha and growing), Chardonnay (2% 3,300 ha and static), followed by much smaller volumes of Syrah, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. We have worked hard over many years to develop an enviable reputation for our Pinot Noir and this is showing in steady growth in export volumes. Pinot Gris looks to have some real growth opportunities and we are also crafting some seriously good Chardonnay’s. But let’s keep these opportunities in perspective- our Pinot Noir plantings are already similar in area to those of Burgundy’s Cote-de’Or! Furthermore, given the renewed surge in Sauvignon Blanc plantings, even if we managed to double our exports of all other varieties in the next decade, Sauvignon Blanc would still make up over 80% of our export volumes, so our reliance on one variety would not shift significantly. What then of new to New Zealand varieties? The list of our new varietal imports is long (25+) and, after almost a decade of trial and error by many enthusiastic growers and wine companies, it is fair to say the road is a very challeng-

ing and expensive one - for many of them it has proven too much so. There are some real prospects on that list - Albarino is one that is enjoying a second wave of plantings and is meeting strong demand from consumers here and abroad, but at just over 30 hectares planted, it is still very early days! I hear some of you thinking “why even bother with new varieties?- look at French wine regions like Burgundy or Champagne. You don’t see them fretting about the need to diversify their varietal portfolio - they proudly “own” these categories and are the highest paid farmers in the world because of that”. Before I try to answer the “why bother” question, let’s review a bit of business theory: All great and enduring companies (or teams, industries or countries) follow the “Innovation Pyramid” model. If you visualize your innovation budget as being allocated to three horizontal segments in a pyramid, the bottom segment should be spent on protecting your core business, the middle segment should be invested in moving up the value tree with niche products or services which still support your core business, while the top segment of the pyramid is invested in “the crazy stuff ”- where there is a clearly defined and carefully managed spend, but absolutely no

guarantee of a return. Another very relevant theory relates to “the Hype Curve”- where a new product or service starts very slowly, then experiences a sustained exponential increase in demand before eventually succumbing to the forces of business gravity and starts to fall back to earth. Surviving the hype curve is the biggest challenge for start-up companies - by way of example, the floor of the digital technology world is knee deep with the remnants of companies which have fallen victim to the hype curve, think Nokia, BlackBerry, Yahoo. In a global wine world, where the gestation period for many is measured in centuries, our 40-year-old Sauvignon Blanc industry could reasonably be considered a start-up. So, how do we measure up as an industry against these business

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theories? If we consider our Sauvignon Blanc industry as sitting in the bottom segment of the innovation pyramid (but representing the lions share of the innovation budget) we are doing a very good job indeed. Sauvignon Blanc as a variety has benefited enormously from many years of focused viticultural and wine making R&D and market development. In the middle segment of the pyramid we would have Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay and it would be fair to say that, while we have invested reasonably well in market development of these varieties (particularly Pinot Noir), I would suggest that there has been relatively little industry based investment into viticultural and winemaking research for these varieties. As for the top part of the pyra-

mid - the “crazy stuff” department - all the fifty other varieties currently available in New Zealandwe spend virtually nothing! How then do we compare with other industries? Let’s take a quick look at the New Zealand Kiwifruit industry. In export dollar terms it is very similar in size to our wine industry, yet it invests twice as much per annum into R&D ($20m vs our $10m), and of that $20m, half goes into new cultivar development! Why? By the time the New Zealand kiwifruit industry had fallen completely off the back of the Hype Curve in the early 1990’s, fruit prices had fallen by over 70%, orchard land values were below those of bare land and over 35% of the national kiwifruit orchard area had been removed. In the wine industry we think the GFC and the “savalanche” was tough, but our planted area was virtually unchanged by the time supply and demand came back into balance in 2012. If we had gone through the same sort of catharsis as our kiwifruit cousins, we would have seen over 10,000 hectares removed- that is an area bigger than Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and Nelson combined! How did they eventually recover? They adopted the Innovation Pyramid innovation model. They focused on becoming the

most efficient producers in the world of their standard green kiwifruit variety (Hayward), they focused on building a second to none global reputation for quality and consistency of supply AND they developed a whole new range of PVR protected new cultivars. Today, growers of Gold kiwifruit are the highest paid “farmers” in the world, having knocked the Champagne growers off that long occupied perch several years ago think net profits of over $100,000/ Ha! When PSA arrived in 2010, by happy chance they had a relatively tolerant new gold variety in the wings- and it was also twice as productive (and profitable) on a per hectare basis. Go figure!! Zespri has not sat on its laurels either- it has several new green and gold cultivars under commercial evaluation, a red cultivar is not far behind those and each year it selects over 20,000 new strains to enter the first stage of their cultivar development programme.

They have certainly not forgotten the experiences of their past. So, is there life beyond Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc?

Conclusions: There is most likely plenty of life in Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and currently demand is such that land and water are the biggest constraints on production from that region. All things being equal, there is likely to be good demand for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc category based on fruit grown outside the Marlborough region. With Sauvignon Blanc at 86% of exports and growing, we currently have an awful lot of eggs in one basket and it is absolutely essential that we all “watch that basket!” BUT: we must also work to ensure that New Zealand Wine Growers and the industry at large invests in all three segments of the Innovation Pyramid - the core, the niche and the crazy! ■

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ince NZ Winegrower magazine began back in 1997, the average New Zealand temperature has risen by 1/4 of a degree. Now that may not sound like very much, and in all reality it isn’t. But the average temperature in this country has risen an entire degree since pre the industrial revolution, and if greenhouse gases keep on being emitted, that temperature is like to rise by at least another degree by the end of this century. Again not much and in the human scale those rises are happening over a period of time that means little to the everyday person. However, Professor James Renwick, a climate scientist at Victoria University says those gradual rises will impact on the growing conditions in all our regions. And that means our established wine regions will be facing challenges. Let’s take a look at how New Zealand fares in comparison to the rest of the world. There is some good news and some bad news for our little nation at the bottom of the world, according to Renwick. Firstly, we are likely to see smaller temperature rises than some of our wine compatriots in the Northern hemisphere. “There are two reasons for that,” he says. “Land and oceans both absorb the energy from the sun and radiation from the atmosphere. But it takes a lot more energy to warm up a given amount of water by one degree, than it does to warm up a land surface.

18   //

So land masses warm faster than ocean surfaces. “Secondly, the southern ocean south of New Zealand towards the Antarctic coast is very turbulent, which means there is a lot more vertical mixing, so the surface warming gets drawn down to a greater depth.” Which means that the Southern Oceans will take a longer time to warm up when compared to say the Atlantic or Indian and given our small land mass, we are unlikely to see our climate change at the pace it will in other parts of the world. Even Australia is likely to see faster change than we will. “The interior of Australia is warming faster than the coastal regions and it is expected the interior of Australia will probably warm 25 – 30 percent faster than the land mass of New Zealand over a period of time. When you go to North America, Europe and Eurasia, they are big land masses which will warm up a lot quicker than the oceans will in the Northern Hemisphere. So we are buffeted by the fact we are surrounded by ocean and New Zealand is a relatively small land mass. That doesn’t mean the climate isn’t changing here, but comparatively speaking it is changing a little more slowly than it is in other places.” So far so good. However the news isn’t quite so good when it comes to the other aspect of climate change – sea levels rising. Renwick says geological records


show that the polar regions warm up and cool down about twice as much as the global average. “So when there is an ice age and it is about six degrees colder than it is now globally, it is actually about 12 degrees colder at the poles.” The same when greenhouse gases saw global temperatures rise by two or three degrees, millions of years ago, the poles were both about six degrees warmer. Over time those temperatures adjusted out – time is not on our side now, given the greenhouse emissions currently in the atmosphere. And here is where it gets tricky. The temperatures are rising faster in the Artic currently, than they are in the Antarctic. That is because the ocean is shallower in the north than it is in the south, and there is not a lot of wind experienced there. “It is quite stable and static so when you shine a bit of sun on it, it warms up quicker. For various reasons the Artic region responds rapidly to climate change. Whereas the Antarctic is this giant slab of ice sitting on the continent surrounded by this very turbulent ocean which is drawing heat down to a great depth.” It is the melting of the ice that is paramount to the sea levels rising. While you, like me, may be thinking, ‘oh well that Greenland ice slab is in the Northern Hemisphere, so we won’t be affected by rising sea levels, until the Antarctic begins melting’, think again. Any ice melt at the

North Pole will impact directly on the Southern Hemisphere and New Zealand will be on the receiving end well and truly. “If all the ice melted off Greenland, sea levels would actually go down around the Greenland coast. Why? Most of the answer to that question, is gravity. The amount of ice sitting on Greenland is a big enough mass that it has its own gravitational pull, and it pulls water towards the coast. So the sea levels around the coast of Greenland are higher than they would be if there was no ice there. If you melt the ice and spread it over the global ocean, you will see sea levels rise more in the Southern Hemisphere. The reverse of that is true too. If a lot of ice melted off in Antarctic,

It is ice caps melting at the poles that will lead to increasing sea levels. These are likely to impact directly on New Zealand in the future.

sea levels would rise more in the Northern Hemisphere than they would in the Southern.” So are we seeing sea levels rise in New Zealand? And how do we fare compared to the rest of the world? “There have been maps drawn,” Renwick says, “that show the percentage difference from the global average and how fast sea levels will rise in different parts of the world. New Zealand sits in the region where sea levels are estimated to be rising about 10 percent faster than the global average.” Just how quickly those sea levels rise is difficult to determine he says. Globally levels have risen 25 centimetres since records began a couple of hundred years ago. But the rate is increasing. With the amount of ice melting around the poles, there is talk that by the end of this century, global sea levels will have risen by up to one metre, and some researchers think the rise could be two metres or more. Given how much of New Zealand is based around the coastline, sea levels rising even a metre in the next 80 years will

have a dramatic impact, Renwick says. “Every 10 centimetre of sea level rise, triples the chance of a given coastal inundation event. And given beaches are fairly flat, 10 centimetres of sea level rise means the water can come inland several metres further.” There is a rule of thumb (Bruun’s rule) he says, that with every metre of sea level rise, depending of course on topography and the lie of the land, the high tide mark could come inland by 50 metres or more. So one metre of sea level rise means the sea could encroach at least 50 metres on land. Three metres of sea level rise, the sea could encroach 150 metres, or more. What will that do to the hundreds of communities, cities, towns that are based around the current beaches? Then when it comes to the New Zealand wine industry, possibly only Waipara and Central Otago and maybe Wellington Wine Country are far enough away from sea level, that they won’t be affected. Marlborough is flat land, based at sea level – what would sea level rising do to those flats?

Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Waiheke – all would be at the mercy of the sea encroaching onto land now planted in vines. In terms of whether the industry should be afraid of what will happen between now and the end of the 21st century, Renwick says the short answer is yes! “Worried is maybe a bit strong, but the industry needs to be aware of the situation and be prepared to respond. The climate is changing and while temperatures vary up and down year to year, a degree or two degrees of warming is pushing you into a different climate. It may not be much harder to deal with, or much less benign, but it is a different climate.” There will be a big change he says in the frequency of extremes, even with relatively small changes in averages. And as temperatures rise, so too does the amount of moisture in the air. Marlborough with a two degree shift upwards, could become more like Northland. How would the thousands of hectares of Sauvignon Blanc cope with those conditions? Severe rainfall events will become more likely, and ironically, droughts will also

become more prevalent. “Therefore in a place like Marlborough, you need to be thinking about both irrigation and flood protection. But you also will need to deal with getting more days of very high temperatures. That could be good news for grapes, depending on what you are growing.” The good news is Renwick doesn’t see grape growing becoming unviable any time soon in New Zealand, “But the grape varieties that grow well in certain areas, I would expect would be likely to change. “If we continue as we have done in the past, burning coal and oil, and we get a lot of warming this century, then Marlborough might be looking at between three and four degrees of warming by the end of the century, which would be a very different climate. It could very well no longer be considered cool climate.” And if that happens, if could well be Southland that is the wine industry’s future. Unfortunately, or otherwise, it is unlikely any of us will be around to see whether that pans out. ■





urrent and future adaptation strategies will be crucial for the wine industry in the face of climate change, and effective action will require a combination of disciplines, technologies and approaches. This message recently brought 160 scientists from around the globe to the “ClimWine2016:ClimWine, Sustainable grape and wine production in the context of climate change” conference held in Bordeaux, France. One of the participants at the conference was Viticulture Lecturer Dr Amber Parker of Lincoln University, who is exploring changes to the phenology of grapevines in response to temperature. She says earlier, compressed wine harvests and increased sugar concentration in grapes at harvest time are just two of the significant issues facing wine growers as grapevine phenology advances. “Solutions to adapt to current advances in grapevine phenology

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may include changing varieties or areas in which grapevines are planted, or using management techniques to delay ripening on existing vineyards,” says Dr Parker. Management techniques may include late pruning, canopy trimming or the application of plant growth regulators. Dr Parker has completed research investigating canopy trimming and yield manipulation. Her research on canopy trimming, carried out during her PhD under the supervision of Dr Mike Trought from Plant and Food Research, Dr Rainer Hofmann of Lincoln University, and Professor Cornelis van Leeuwen of Bordeaux Sciences Agro, was based on a case study of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc vines. Results showed that trimming shortly after the fruit set delayed the onset of veraison for both varieties and slowed the rate of soluble solids accumulation. Véraison was up to a week later and caused a larger delay in the time of harvest (if harvesting on target sugars). Trimming at


véraison also slowed sugar accumulation and delayed harvest but to a lesser degree. No differences were measured in the acidity of the grapes. Future studies will consider how canopy trimming affects the balance of sugar, acid Dr Amber Parker of Lincoln University. concentration and other metabolites, and how this influ- New Zealand and abroad to adapt ences the final wine. to the climate of the future” said The delays achieved by canopy Dr Parker. management could be impleSince the completion of her mented as an adaptation prac- PhD, Dr Parker was also involved tice to delay the harvest window in a three-year 3 projectled by Proand avoid ripening grapes in the fessor Andrew Sturman of Canwarmer part of summer, which terbury University (funded by the would have different conse- Ministry of Primary Industries) quences on the berry and wine combining climate models and composition than to maintain grapevine phenological models current timing of harvest. to characterise flowering of Sau“If we can start to understand vignon Blanc in the Marlborough how much we can delay phenology region. This was the first implevia changing varieties or canopy mentation in New Zealand of management techniques then we phenology models that Dr Parker can consider the best practice to has developed with European negate the impact of increased collaborators. Application so far temperatures due to climate has been to predict the timing of change on the grapevine lifecycle. flowering of Sauvignon Blanc in This will hopefully provide us with the different grape growing areas options in winegrowing regions in of the Marlborough region. ■

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DEALING WITH RESTRICTED WATER With climate change will come more extremes of weather. That could well mean more sustained periods of drought in some of our major grape growing regions, especially Marlborough. Jim Mercer from Fruition has some advice on how to mitigate against that scenario.


n Marlborough for the past two growing seasons wine grape growers have had to contend with two very dry years. The 2014/15 season was the driest in 85 years of records leading to restrictions to a number of water schemes with several growers reduced to tanking in water supplies with all the associated costs and limited volume. There were reports of water stress negatively affecting both yield and quality. Through the following winter into early summer the dry trend continued with the driest areas (Blenheim locality, Dashwood and Blind River) only receiving between 20 and 26 mm rain between mid October and the 31st December 2015. Fortunately for the industry two timely and substantial rain events in January followed by another in February averted the need for sequential seasons of substantial water supply restrictions. (See figure 1. for rainfall records). However the issues in recent years has focused grower’s minds on water security. With climate change a reality, droughts are likely to become more frequent. So what can be done in practical terms to prepare for those tough summers?

Store water or invest in an alternative source The best way to ensure water

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security if your source is restricted in dry years is to store water on site e.g. in a dam or invest in an alternative such as a backup bore hole or join a local irrigation scheme (if not likely to be subjected to similar restrictions).

Variety and clone selection Crop water requirements are directly related to canopy size and crop loading and at the development stage variety or clone selection can help mitigate limited water availability. Varieties and clones such as Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay Mendoza clone where the natural or planned production is low (five – nine tonnes per hectare) will have a signifi-

cantly lower water requirement than higher yielding varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris (10 to 18 tonnes per hectare). On a mixed variety vineyard if water is limited then irrigation allocation preferential to the higher demand varieties will help reduce demand overall with less production risk.

Soil type and ‘preloading’ with water prior to restrictions Before deciding on any drought mitigation actions consider your soil. In general, free draining stony soils will have a low water holding capacity and therefore watering as much as possible before restrictions can have a negative

Figure 1. Source NIWA Blenheim

Rainfall (mm) 2014/2015


Long Term Average























































effect further down the line as you will be giving a temporary luxury amount that can cause more of a shock to the vines when the readily available water (RAW) runs out. E.g. some stony riverbed soils may only have 50 to 60 mm RAW which in mid summer with high ET levels would only provide two to three weeks crop use. Preloading medium to heavy soils is a possible option but one needs to be sure that restrictions are not going to last so long that the switch off shock does not still occur. In addition if the pre loading is likely to produce a too vigorous canopy that not only uses more water but could well cause issues with disease and increase the costs of trimming. Silt loams in Marlborough tend to produce large canopies in particular. Our advice is to give adequate irrigation up to cut off but not try to refill the whole profile on the majority of soils. The exceptions are clay based soils on hills and slopes which once dried out are very difficult to re-wet. There is a stronger case to pre-load those soils which tend not to produce such vigorous canopies and can suffer water stress quite frequently.

Practical on site drought mitigation solutions Assuming water storage or alternative sources are not readily available or affordable options there are ways to reduce the impact of dry seasons and these are most effective if planned ahead. Crop water use is directly related to canopy volume and

yield, reduce canopy and/or fruit volume and you will reduce water use. If canopy growth is too large and luxurious then there will be more of a shock to the vines if water is suddenly switched off. If restrictions are expected then better to reduce irrigation ahead so the shock is less. Likewise thin crops to a level that is likely to be able to be supported and ripened during a dry season.

Keep on top of vine maintenance Regular and timely trimming will also help reduce water stress, it is clear from our soil moisture monitoring that there is an immediate and significant drop in crop water use after trimming and plucking.

Under vine management If your water source is likely

to be shut off, under vine weeds and in particular grasses should not be allowed to establish. Well watered grass can easily be using five mm plus per day in January and means much of your irrigation water will be used by the grass before it reaches the vine roots. If organic weed control is used, then under vine cultivation is preferable to mowing. However ideally under vine cultivate well in advance of restrictions as soil moisture lost by evaporation increases after cultivation. A substantial mulch applied in the spring to retain moisture and suppress weeds is ideal. Mulches applied to dry soil should be avoided as they reduce irrigation infiltration. Herbicide strips are good at retaining moisture as a consolidated crust builds up although that is not ideal from a soil structure or irrigation infiltration point of view.

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Encourage deeper rooting In newly developed vineyards excessive irrigation will limit rooting depth and mass. If water issues are likely, moderating irrigation in young vines so that they are actively looking for water is impor-

tant. The deeper and bigger the root system becomes, the better they are able to tolerate dry periods. Growers looking to ‘dry farm’ vineyards slowly reduce irrigation inputs over as much as 10 years to gradually adapt vines to periods of significantly limited soil moisture.

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A moderate use of this approach with regulated deficit irrigation can help build up better dry period tolerance without sacrificing yield.

Cultivating alleyways To reduce competition further some grower’s herbicide off grass alleys or cultivate them. After cultivating immediately roll to retain soil moisture and reduce evaporation.

Irrigation management When irrigation is available maximise its effectiveness. If possible irrigate at night to reduce losses from evaporation. If a consolidated surface has been produced, typically when using herbicide strips, then pooling, evaporation loss and poor infiltration can occur. Breaking up the crust or mulch will alleviate this issue. If only very limited irrigation is available e.g. from tanked

in water it is better to irrigate for a longer period more intermittently for that water to be as effective as possible, e.g. better to water 1.5 hours every third day than half an hour per day. Marlborough has had significantly more rainfall so far this winter with Blenheim receiving 167 mm of rain in May/ June 2016 compared with 107 mm for the same period in 2015. Hopefully this will continue so that soils and aquifers are better recharged by budburst compared with the past two seasons meaning less pressure on water supply in November and December. However with increasing demand for water in the region and proposed changes to future water allocation currently at the submission stage within the Marlborough Environment Plan, security of water supply will be an increasing focus for growers in the

Weeds and grass take important water from the vines.

future. Nothing beats having a back up supply so that there is minimal risk to production. But for those

growers without that luxury there are still a range of options to help mitigate the effects of water restrictions. ■

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t’s unlikely that the typical glass wine bottle – a recyclable, strong, transportable receptacle – will ever be knocked off its perch as the most popular way to package wine. In recent years, however, some wine producers have been trying new innovations in wine packaging. Some have failed, some have succeeded, and some continue trialling new ways of packaging

purely for marketing purposes.

The current standard O-I New Zealand is our nation’s only local glass bottle manufacturer, and it supplies around 70 per cent of our wineries. A decade ago, it began a commitment to reducing the weight of bottles for better sustainability and easier local transport and international export.

“For many years the weight of the standard industry 750ml Burgundy and Bordeaux wine bottles in New Zealand were 565g,” says an O-I New Zealand spokesperson. “In 2004, O-I NZ reduced the weight of these bottles to 500g, In 2010, O-I NZ further reduced that weight to 450g, [and] in 2013, we introduced a new industry standard weight bottle at just 417g. “This continues to be the

industry standard today, a s t h e Ne w Zealand wine industry has embraced light weighting and its sustainability and commercial benefits. Light weight packaging is an important factor when exporting New Zealand wine also, as some export markets now have

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weight limitation requirements.” Some Kiwi wineries have looked overseas for even lighter options. Nelson organic winery Richmond Plains sourced a 750ml glass bottle from Italy that weighed just 325g, almost 100g lighter than the current New Zealand standard O-I makes. Richmond Plains’ lightweight bottles are also 20mm shorter than standard bottles, theoretically making it possible to fit more cases into a container, and reducing transportation costs and environmental effects. Arguably, however, the fact such bottles have to get to New Zealand all the way from Europe (whereas O-I’s product, for example, comes from Penrose, Auckland) makes these savings and eco-benefits redundant. The metal option Heat, light, air intrusion... these are all concerns for winemakers in looking at new ways of packaging wine. In the USA’s wine states California and Oregon, however, wine in cans is a burgeoning trend, with brands such as MANCAN (an “everyday” wine targeted at men) and Union Wine Co., which markets its canned wine under the

26   //

sub-brand Underwood. “Putting wine in a can not only saves on packaging costs, but opens up the wine drinking experience to places where it had previously been difficult, such as outdoor events or when portability is needed,” says Union Wine Co. owner Ryan Harms. “Canned wine costs approximately 40 per cent less to package compared to the equivalent nine-litre case of wine in glass bottles.” MANCAN owner Graham Veysey believes canned wine is more stabilised than bottled wine. “Light penetration and exposure to oxygen are two of the main destabilising factors for wine,” he says. “Because cans don’t allow light, and because we dose our cans with nitrogen before locking in the seam, the process stabilises the wine better than it would be stabilised in a bottle.” When asked about the common taste concerns both winemakers and consumers have about wine from a can, Harms responded: “Cans have very secure closure, tighter then screw caps, corks, and crown caps. Knowing this, it becomes very important to think about the style of wine that goes into the can. Our Underwood


wines are fruit driven. That is why we believe it is a good candidate for cans. “I would expect the can wines to remain fresher and show less change from canning to consumption than wines closed in screw cap, and certainly less than wines closed in cork.” Veysey adds that MANCAN lines its cans so the wine is not in direct contact with the aluminium, ensuring his product has no metallic taste. A few New Zealand brands have experimented with readyto-drink glass bottles containing similar wine volumes per package as cans, but they haven’t proven successful in the market. Invivo’s Scarlett Spritzer range of 500ml bottles, for example, is no longer available, nor is the 500ml range Mission Estate has experimented with.

Plastic fantastic Yealands Estate has not considered canning its wine, but the sustainability-focussed Marlborough winery has invested in another new wave of wine packaging, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. “We were the first New Zealand producer to put wine in PET bottles,” says Yealands Wine Group’s Lisa Parslow. “The decision was all Peter [Yealand’s] part of our decision to be a zero carbon winery.” Though they are 89 per cent lighter than glass bottles – and thus would be ideal for export – Parslow says the majority of the target market is Kiwis. “The need is there from the consumer. It’s marketed as a product for camping, hiking, and the beach. It’s not something you’d put down on a dinner table.” The main concern with storing wine in plastic is oxidisation, but Yealands has introduced measures to counter this issue. The PET is injected with special oxygen technologies – MonOxbar

and Diamond Clear Oxygen Scavenger Technology – which reduce the ingress of oxygen. “[Yealands wines in PET bottles] only have a shelf life of two years,” Parslow adds, “which is why we only bottle under our fast-selling Peter Yealands label. We have awesome business processes for stock rotation with the customer, to ensure there are no quality issues.” Still the only wine producer in New Zealand using PET, Parslow admits this product is a very small percentage of sales and there is definite industry reluctance to the product. “It’s definitely a polarising issue,” she says. “For us it comes down to marketing – [we focus] on the fact it’s perfect for the beach and parties.”

A taste for Tetra Tetra Pak – a product first created in 1943 as a milk carton – has a bad rap when it comes to wine. Like PET, Tetra Pak wines oxidise within two years. White wines age faster in Tetra Paks, and red wines lose their colour more quickly. The Tetra Pak corporation claims its product is the most eco-sensitive on the market, and an independent study has confirmed this. Tetra Pak bottles can be shipped easily owing to their light weight, they’re less fragile than glass bottles, their oblongshape allows for more efficient stacking, and their unique filling process – from the bottom – has smaller energy usage than filling typical glass bottles. While the typical glass wine bottle is 71 per cent wine, 29 per cent packaging, Tetra Paks are 95 per cent wine, five per cent packaging. The packaging is popular in wine-drinking countries where a culture of affordable table wine exists – Spain, Italy, Argentina – but New Zealand wine producers continue to be skeptical as Kiwi wine culture remains disinterested

in wine from any type of cardboard-like packaging. The cheap cask wine products of the 1980s, for example, left a sour taste in New Zealanders’ mouths, and we can assume this is why Tetra Pak wines can’t be found on Kiwi supermarket shelves. Paper, and the future All of the materials used in common (and not-so-common) wine materials are reusable, although some have higher recycle rates than others (aluminium is typically recycled at higher rates than glass, for example). One innovative winemaker in the US has actually tried out paper-based wine packaging, with limited success. The brand PaperBoy, which makes 750ml paper bottles that weigh just 55 grams, claims its carbon footprint for winemaking is 67 per cent smaller than brands

using glass, and its shipping footprint is 17 per cent smaller. Paper doesn’t have the same consumer concerns as plastic (and it holds an edge over glass in terms of recycle rates in most countries), but there’s been one key problem in paper-based packaging efforts: quality control. In a statement on its website, PaperBoy – which in 2014 had products stocked in 44 of 50 U.S. states – announced, “Unfortunately, we have had to suspend our efforts due to the bottle manufacturers inability to meet our quality control standards in the production of our paper bottle.” PaperBoy wines could not be reached for further elaboration on the problems the company has faced. With all that said and done, thus, it seems glass will prevail – at least in the immediate future. Glass is inert, meaning it’s chemically stable, and the product inside

it cannot be spoiled while it is sealed. Furthermore, we should note there is a difference between recyclable and “down-cyclable”. PET products, for example, are the latter. They can only be repurposed into a lower-grade form (a plastic PET bottle could be remanufactured into a road cone, but not

another PET bottle). Like aluminium, glass remains truly recyclable: one glass bottle can be recycled and brought back to life as another glass bottle, and this process – a particular benefit for the forward-looking wine industry – can be repeated indefinitely. ■

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hilst technology continues to make major inroads in viticulture by reducing labour input and overall costs, sometimes the adoption of new technologies are held with a degree of scepticism and approached in a cautious manner. Thinking back, it was probably the same when mechanical grape harvesting became commercially available in the 1960’s. The “it’ll never catch on brigade” have been proven wrong, with adoption in all the major wine growing areas of the world. Looking ahead, while machines have evolved to deliver higher daily tonnages of fruit, they have now reached their physical limits within the vineyard arena, so the next stage of development over the coming years must be via smart technology. How much are growers willing to pay for a machine that can be programmed to detect ripe or unripe grapes, or one which can recognise and remove rotten bunches from the sample? Regarding mechanisation, and assuming machines can’t get much bigger, the challenge also centres on sustainability, and the need to be producers who operate in an

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ethical manner in their operations. So looking at a move away from non-renewable energy sources such a diesel, it is easy to see the intended direction when we hear that major manufacturers such as New Holland are looking at alternative propulsion, and energy efficient farms. Take the scenario of a farm that rears pigs for the food chain, uses basic chemistry to convert the solid waste into hydrogen, and drives tractors or harvesters with this valuable by-product? You won’t have to wait very long by the look of things, as the New Holland NH2-Hydrogen Tractor is here, and only around three years away from commercial availability. In use fuel cells convert the hydrogen into electricity, which in turn powers electric motors, one being used to propel the vehicle, the second to drive the PTO or ancillary systems. The pluses?- sustainability, especially if produced on-farm, no noise in operation, no emissions and no power losses associated with a conventional gear train. The problems yet to be overcome? Storage of the fuel on the tractor, on the farm, and supply regionally if there is no production on farm. A secondary set of advantages then shows itself, by the use of an


electrically driven PTO system, driven by electric motors, which lends itself to intelligent software control which can be used to control implements with variable, optimal speeds to achieve best results depending on crop, terrain and other variable, but ultimately delivering cost savings throughout the growing and harvesting phases. From a crop agronomy perspective, we have heard and indeed seen the enthusiastic adoption of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), which were first thought of as an expensive toy, but over the few years have seen increases in payloads, and an easing of operational rules by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This makes them the ideal vehicle for carrying cameras for real-time feed of what is happening in the vineyard, to platforms for NIR or spectrum sensing devices for producing ortho-mosaic images indicating plant health, infections or deficiencies over a given area. This allows ongoing management decisions to be made promptly, the delivery of remedial actions, and real time reviews to gauge efficacy. The latest drones or UAV’s

allow the easy programming of prescribed flight paths, flown autonomously without pilot input, and on a repeatable basis allowing regular updates of specific areas, and probably consigning the weekly vineyard walks to history. Moving on from just photographic on sensing tasks, the next big area for adoption over the coming months will be the use of UAV’s to carry out specific targeting of diseased plants, which will have been detected on the previous sensory pass, but ultimately in real-time. Chemical will be applied to affected areas, and remove the need for typical blanket coverage currently practiced, saving inputs in terms of costly chemicals, but also using far lesser usage of water which continues to be an increasingly valuable resource. The on-going effect will be far more positive PR for growers, but ultimately a reduction in cost. One thing is for sure, we will see developments within the sector which will only be limited by the imagination of the latest breed of viticulturists, who will take their ideas to the bearded developers in jandals, who will dream up solutions to problems, we didn’t realise we had. ■ Fendt 200 Vario V/F/P Series 70 –110 hp

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THE FUTURE AS OUR YOUNG WINNERS SEE IT Up until now, we have covered what some of the experts see the New Zealand wine industry looking like by the time this magazine reaches its 200th issue. But what of the next generation of industry stalwarts? NZWinegrower asked this year’s Young Winemaker and Young Viticulturist what they thought the industry would look like by 2032. JORDAN HOGG – WINEMAKER How large do you see the NZ Wine industry being in terms of size (hectares) by the time we get to 2032? There will be ups and downs in the next 16 years - resulting in periods of rapid expansion and times of little planting. My blurry crystal ball says a total area of 45,000 hectares. Where will our largest market be by that time? The USA, followed by a continuingly growing and more adventurous middle class in China not far behind. Will there be a major varietal change during that period? If so what will those changes be? If not, why not? There will be a more even spread of varieties. Marlborough will have reached close to its total plantable area. Due to this, new plantings of other varieties will have overtaken new plantings of Sauvignon Blanc. The New Zealand wine regions that have thrived in the 16 years will be focused on developing sub regionality. The most famous sub regions will be becoming renowned down to the vineyard and block level. What is the biggest threat facing the industry moving forward? Changing market preferences that don’t match the varieties we currently produce. From a bios-

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ecurity point of view - the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. Edwin Massey had a seminar at Bragato that showed the potential damage to all horticultural industries is huge, along with the added risk the insects may taint wine. What is our greatest advantage? The image of our wines overseas and our ability to consistently meet those high expectations. We are seen as clean and green, exotic and produce exciting wines to


match these characters. Will climate change impact on wine styles here and/or will it throw up new un-thought of wine regions? Yes, but in what timeframe? Every 0.1 degree average shift matters, as well as changing weather patterns. It could bring in new regions and force existing regions to change in terms of wine style or even different varieties. How fast any climate change happens will dictate how hard it will be to adapt.

Technology wise – what would you expect to see in the winery and vineyard by 2032? There will be great possibilities for precision viticulture using improved GPS, computer and imaging technology. Robotic technology may be advanced enough to undertake complex tasks such as pruning and self-driving technology may begin to replace tractor drivers. New lab technology will be available and affordable - allowing grapes and juice to be profiled for a huge range of aromatic precursors and so forth. Many genetically modified yeasts will be available and there will be much debate whether they will be allowed or not. How different will the winery and vineyard be compared with now? Most herbicides and insecticides will have been banned under SWNZ in the mid 2020’s due to consumer and public pressure and a recommitment to keep our green image. There will be more tools available for winemakers – but greater knowledge and experience will allow more confidence to step back from manipulating wines. Where do you think you will be and what will you be doing in 2032? I see my long term future in New Zealand – hopefully as a winemaker crafting interesting and well regarded wines.

CAMERON PRICE – VITICULTURIST How large do you see the NZ Wine industry being in terms of size (hectares) by the time we get to 2032? How much more suitable land should be the question, and will we have the market demand so not to create over demand. So I’d say not that much more than where we stand today maybe 15% more in area. Where will our largest market be by that time? China. Will there be a major varietal change during that period? If so what will those changes be. If not, why not? That will be a lot of Sauvignon Blanc to pull out, it will have to see a shift in the overseas market’s taste. What is the biggest threat facing the industry moving forward?

Labour shortages in skilled areas as our work force ages, horticulture isn’t at the top of school leavers career plans. What is our greatest advantage? Our isolation from the rest of the world in terms of biosecurity threats Will climate change impact on wine styles here and/or will it throw up new un-thought of wine regions? Yes, from a vineyard point of view we are going to have to look

at the drought resistant root stocks as our temperature increases and rainfall decreases. Let’s think we have to be making these changes now as it’s only 16 years from now. And some of our top producing vineyards are older than 16 years currently. Technology wise – what would you expect to see in the winery and vineyard by 2032? Machinery will become more refined but that’s not to say it will be the end of operators because I

believe you can’t beat the skill of an experienced operator over a computer. How different will the winery and vineyard be compared with now? 16 years older. Where do you think you will be and what will you be doing in 2032? That will make me 42, I’d still like to be living in Hawke’s Bay, managing a group of vineyards and continuing to learn and produce high quality fruit.■

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hen it comes to New Zealand products, few things are more appreciated around the world than our spectacular wines. Known across the world as an exporter of high-quality wine products, we need to maintain and grow that reputation in order to punch above our weight and further establish our place in the global market. That’s why the Government carefully monitors wine production in New Zealand. For the good of your business and the industry, it’s vital that your wine meets all legal standards and requirements. What approval do you need? The wine industry is regulated according to the Wine Act 2003 and associated Regulations, which aims to facilitate wine exports by ensuring the safety and suitability of wine made in New Zealand. To make sure that export standards are being met, all winemakers who produce for export or produce in excess of 20,000L in a two year period must register a Wine Standards Management Plan with the Ministry for Primary Industries. A Wine Standards Management Plan should outline how a winemaker will meet their obligations to produce wine that is fit for consumption, fully traceable and labelled in an accurate manner. The industry code of practice, issued by New Zealand Winegrowers, can be adopted as a tool to assist with this process. Once a Wine Standards Management Plan has been successfully registered, an on-site verification of the Wine Standards Management Plan must be carried out every year by an MPI recognised verifier such as Telarc

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SAI Ltd. Exporters are also finding it increasingly difficult to export products without having ISO 9001 (quality assurance) and ISO 14001 (environmental) certifications, as buyers are demanding best practice from suppliers. What’s involved in a verification of your Wine Standards Management Plan? The verification is all about ensuring that you’re up to standard, which not only protects the industry, but also your business – showing that you’ve done all you can to prevent anything going wrong. It will ensure that grapes can be tracked from vineyard through to dispatch, that wine can be traced back to the vineyard of origin, and that all inputs can be identified. It will also check that label statements are truthful and that labelling requirements under the New


Zealand Food Code are complied with. Telarc SAI Ltd verifications focus on both compliance and opportunities for improvement, so should your business not be up to standard, you will be able to identify and know exactly where you need to focus to bring your business in line with the standard. Why is verification so important? Not only does a verified WSMP ensure New Zealand wine can enter overseas markets with confidence, they also safeguard the reputation of New Zealand wine. Even a hint of something not being right can have a huge impact – consider the hit that the other industries have taken over the last few years as anomalies were identified and serious questions were being asked over the integrity of those particular industries supply chain. Environmental issues are strong drivers for buyers to ensure

that the supply chain is doing the right thing by the environment verification helps to stamp out objections and is often used by many wineries to give them the marketing edge. Additionally, recent law changes in health and safety have many wineries looking at ways to reduce risk and demonstrate they are doing the right thing by their employees and customers. Telarc has seen a surge of interest in ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and AS/NZS 4801 standards. The integration of these systems reduces audit time considerably, which results in a cost-effective solution to reduce risk while improving environmental and business performance. Telarc SAI Ltd have been a leader in assessment and certification for the past forty years. For more information, visit www. ■

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“Event risk” may be viewed by many in the wine industry as the marquee falling down at a wine and food festival or very bad weather deterring the punters from attending. However in financial market circles “event risk” is a one-off shock situation that was not foreseen and causes adverse financial consequences. Such was the case with the Brexit vote in the UK in late June where both the bookies and the financial markets did not anticipate the “exit” referendum outcome and the Pound’s currency value tumbled dramatically. New Zealand wine exporters selling their valued product who were not protected or hedged against such an unexpected adverse exchange rate movement would have suffered a severe adverse financial impact as the NZD/GBP exchange rate jumped from 0.4500 to 0.5500

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(a 22% change over the course of a few days as the chart alongside shows). Proactively managing the exchange rate risk on export receipts for a wine exporting business is arguably just as important as producing a quality product and getting the freight logistics, distribution and marketing as optimal as possible. It is always sad to see an exporter do all the right things with the hard earned dollars invested into their product and export marketing, only to have their profits wiped out by the New Zealand dollar appreciating. It does not have to happen like that! Determining in advance what percentage and how far forward forecast export receipts are hedged (exchange rate fixed in advance) back to New Zealand dollars is an important financial


policy for any wine exporter. Company profitability can be quickly eroded if the right currency protective mechanisms and frameworks are not in place. A number of major wine exporters have shown that highly disciplined, medium to long term currency hedging programmes/ policies have achieved their objectives of reducing the volatility of profits and cashflows. However, judging by media reports many wine exporters do not appear to be operating FX hedging policies, exposing their profitability to the “hope” that the exchange rate goes their way! The reasons and rationale for hedging exchange rate risk within pre-determined prescriptive policy limits are seen as:Corralling annual profit results within acceptable bands to the

shareholders. Reducing financial risk for a wine exporter is reducing volatility of profits/ cashflows from one period to the next and providing more certainty around sales receipts in NZD terms. Buying time until product prices in the export markets can be adjusted to recoup adverse NZD exchange rate movements. Given rigid retail price-points for wine, the ability to adjust prices may be restricted and considerably delayed. Therefore, longer term hedging would seem justified. Eliminating unexpected negative surprises with financial results i.e. avoiding the Brexit “event risk”. Protecting profitability to ensure lender’s financial covenants are adhered to. If the aforementioned objectives are important to the company, the next step is to design, Board approve and implement a FX hedging policy appropriate for the exporting business. Understanding and measuring the sensitivity/materiality of the FX risks to bottom-line profitability is a key part of that analysis. Having established minimum and maximum hedging limits by time buckets going forward, a further requirement is applying the different methods of currency hedging. Mention “derivative instruments” to some company directors and managers and they are scared right off! However, FX swaps options and collars are extremely efficient and legitimate methods of reducing risk to

within the bounds the FX hedging policy requires. Establishing the appropriate rules of engagement for using these hedging products is an essential prerequisite, as is robust systems for recording, valuing, reporting and accounting for such legally binding contracts. The experience of successful currency hedgers is that using a combination and mix of forward contracts, purchased options and collar options has produced superior results over time. The term of foreign exchange hedging is an additional consideration. Many New Zealand manufacturing and primary exporters hedge out to three and four years forward and have seen the benefit of such a multi-year financial management regime over the last 20 years. Hedging beyond 24 months typically requires special Board approval and it is common to have a “conditional hedging” protocol

built into the FX policy whereby such long-term hedging is only considered if the NZ dollar is at a cyclical low against the currency of export (e.g. 10% or 15% below the 7-year historical average rate). Other prerequisites for long term currency hedging are:-

Dealing limits available from bank providers and credit usage understood. Taxation treatment ascertained in advance. The New Zealand dollar is freefloating, volatile and often at the whim of large offshore currency

The Government or Reserve Bank are not going to protect our exporters from adverse global currency gyrations. Certainty of export sales over multiple years, normally hedging is limited to between 25% and 50% of forecast receipts for years three to five, therefore reducing the risk of becoming “over-hedged”. Hedge accounting treatment in place so that large marked-tomarket revaluation gains/losses on outstanding derivative contracts are not booked through the P&L.

traders and hedge funds. Movements up and down in the New Zealand dollar value are usually at odds with economic fundamentals and logic. However, the reality is that the external environment is not going to change. The Government or Reserve Bank are not going to protect our exporters from adverse global currency gyrations. It is over to individual

companies to manage their own financial risks, including currency exposures. Reliance on bank currency forecasts as a justification for not hedging FX risk is a poor excuse in front of Boards and shareholders wanting an explanation for lower profits! The appreciation of the Kiwi dollar against the US dollar, Australian dollar, Pound and Euro over the last 12 months would have tested the financial performance of exporters not operating medium term hedging programmes. The case for well designed, prescriptive and disciplined FX hedging policies is well made and outweighs any “regret factor” when the exchange rate moves below the hedged rate of contracts in place. At the end of the day, the currency question comes down to how much profit volatility shareholders can tolerate and accept. ■



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or the first time ever, New Zealand Winegrowers will be able to determine the level of wine tourism in this country, find the pros and cons, before establishing training for all involved. Global Marketing Director, Chris Yorke says the upcoming research and training programme has been made possible thanks to a $50,000 grant given by Auckland Airport. Announced at the end of August, the grant has been awarded to the New Zealand Wine Pure Discovery Project. It follows on from NZW’s memorandum of understanding

(MOU) with both Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand. “This has made us much more aware of what is happening in the tourism space,” Yorke says. “We know that almost one in five visitors to New Zealand, visits a winery, and the people who visit a winery tend to stay longer in New Zealand and then they spend more as well.” However while these facts have been known for some time, Yorke says what they didn’t have a good handle on, was the depth of wine tours and experiences on offer throughout the country. The grant will now allow NZW to

approach all the wine regions and wineries to establish exactly what is on offer to tourists, where those experiences are being promoted and how. “Then we will look for the gaps. What we are looking to do is analyse the information we get, compile it, package it up for the tourism channels and then go back and do training in all the regions. We are looking at how wineries can get the best out of tourists and tourism.” Given the importance of wine tourism to the country, Yorke says the aim is to hook up all of the experiences within the New

Zealand wine scene and market that to overseas visitors. “I would love to see a second stage, where we look at best practice around the world. What are the best wine tourism offerings in the world and what can we learn from that to take us up to another level? But what we need to do now, is find out where we are, make sure the story is being told as well as it can be, and learn from each other.” Emails will be sent to all wineries in the country and Yorke encourages everyone to make a point of answering with as many details as possible. ■

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here are two words that introduce fear into the hearts of any food or beverage producer: Product Recall. It is the biggest food safety risk to any food production business worldwide, not only in terms of financial loss or potential bankruptcy through the cost of the recall itself, but also the impact it can have on the company’s brand and its customer’s trust in the integrity of their products going forward. So how does the wine industry prevent product recalls and other potential food safety issues from threatening the industry in the future? Every wine producer, whether they are growing, making, finishing, bottling or distributing wine have a part to play in the protection of the product until it is purchased by the consumer. There are many facets to providing a food safe product and as the industry grows, the number of factors continues to grow within food safety plans and their prerequisite programs. As an industry we need to understand the impact that food safety has on the way we work on a day-to-day basis. It comes down to a cultural shift in the attitude towards food safety compliance as we go forward. As any HR manager will tell you, a change in culture is not going to happen overnight and the odd coffee shout here and there is most likely not going to cut it either. The wine industry has always lagged behind other food production industries in

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embracing food safety due to its intrinsic nature of being a food safe product. It’s a legitimate reason. However, we are now at a point in time where the pressures of international buyers are requiring certification against International Standards and by default, introduces new systems into the industry. This in turn creates processes and checks that will inevitably develop a more hygienic and safe environment. It goes hand in hand; an improvement in food safety almost always improves wine quality. So how do we change the perception of food safety within the wine industry? Food safety seems to thrive on the use of acronyms and an entirely new vocabulary, which makes these new programs very confusing for many staff members. We therefore need to start making food safety approachable for everyone involved. We are just starting to see this being developed in the industry with the use of training systems such as Competenz and other training providers. Recently, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) released a new Standard based on the culture of food production businesses. The questionnaire is delivered at the same time as the annual audit and will question a percentage of the staff and management to determine the differences in the perception of culture within the company and how it changes over time. ‘Buy in’ from staff is the only way that food safety will develop over time; therefore, information provided


needs to be clear and concise, outlining what is expected of staff. Staff members are not the only people who will require education going forward. As the world becomes smaller through social media, the impact of a bad review from one person’s social media feed can have major consequences impacting on the perception of the brand, not only with their immediate friends, but entire communities. Any marketer would agree, that trying to earn back the trust of these consumers to purchase any of their products, again far outweighs the cost of making sure the product is right in the first instance. Whilst we like to believe the consumer is always right, there are many instances where they are not and this is mainly through the

lack of knowledge about the product. A consumer may find what they believe to be glass chips in a bottle of wine but in reality it is tartrate. Many consumers do not go directly to the producer anymore, instead posting photos or comments on social media where the implications of a viral post could be catastrophic for any company. Many wine industry businesses are still very much in a reactive phase of food safety. However, as an industry we need to start working towards becoming proactive in our management of food safety. Change in this area is now being noted and will become more achievable over the coming years as the various international standards also begin changing direction.

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), a group of food safety certifiers, are leading the way as they shift their expectations and therefore requirements, of food production on a global scale. As each Standard is released there is a shift towards ‘bigger picture’ thinking with requirements for trending analysis and also analyzing the current systems in place. As businesses start trending information gathered from food safety non-conformances, customer complaints, internal auditing and other quality issues, a more detailed picture will begin to emerge. The industry can start to move away from the reactive management of their food safety program to a more proactive approach. Several benefits come from taking this approach. Firstly, it allows companies to better plan their resourcing requirements. Having the ability to anticipate potential issues before they arise will always provide a clearer understanding of the resourcing required and subsequently, makes better financial sense for any business. For example, this may be through human resourcing; as training systems are developed, styles of training can be developed to work best for the individual’s learning style, ensuring the development of staff members within the specific areas of their expertise. Likewise, preventive maintenance systems that anticipate changes in machinery and subsequently provide just-in-time purchasing for machinery parts; reducing the cost of maintaining expensive parts and ultimately, the potential for foreign matter contamination of a product. Secondly, the proactive approach will also allow the industry to start looking further afield at other food processing industries where operating systems and

other food safety issues cross-over between the industries. By identifying these and then manipulating them to fit the wine industry it will help to build a more robust system. According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) “Between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2015, FSANZ was notified of 603 recalls. The average number of recalls per year for the last 10 years is 60 recalls per year.” They go on to state that during this time the top three reasons for a product recall is: Undeclared allergens (incorrect labeling), microbial contamination (a quality risk for the wine industry, not a food safety risk) and foreign matter. With the number of industries dealing with these issues on a frequent basis there will be many opportunities to work together in developing operating systems and training programs to reduce the number of recalls, therefore it will be important to develop relationships with these other food and beverage producers in the future. What other considerations

could be introduced to food safety within the wine industry? Consolidation of audits; ideally as many audits would be audited together to reduce the number of hours and resources to ensure systems are robust. Therefore this will allow more time to work on the system, instead of in the system. Most food safety standards are written for the food industry not beverage industries. Ideally, the wine industry would have an industry-specific Standard that focuses on the specifics of winemaking through to distribution. This would cover all markets and become the International winemaking food safety standard. Another consideration would be that the supporting industries (suppliers and contractors) are already complying with the requirements. However, there are still many that will require guidance and education to come up to standard. For smaller businesses this may become more difficult due to financial or resourcing constraints and this is where the wider

industry will need to support these companies going forward so that we do not lose the smaller, specialised companies that provide the diversity our industry thrives on. The industry will need to make sure that these businesses are not driven out of the market because of constraints due to international standards. This may be through their own industries supporting them or the wine industry taking the initiative to provide information and resources that they can draw on. Food safety compliance is here for the long haul; it is not going to go away anytime soon, and it is something that everyone will have a part to play in. Ultimately, we, as an industry have the responsibility to ensure that every single one of the 197 million litres of bottled wine and the 71 million litres of bulk volume produced here is not only safe for human consumption but also of the highest quality. This can only help us to protect the $1.57 billion industry that is New Zealand Wine. ■

These are just an example of some of the many standards wine companies have to meet.





or Jonathan Hamlet, chairman of Organic Winegrowers New Zealand, there is no question - growing New Zealand’s wine grapes organically makes economic as well as environmental good sense. If Hamlet had his way, our wine exporters would be fully focusing on the premium end of the market. “And really,’ he stresses, “organic vineyard management is more suited to producing premium wine.” In the year to June 2016, bulk wine accounted for about a third of New Zealand’s wine exports some 71.4 million litres. It sold for $4.30 a litre, just under half the value of packaged wine exports which returned $8.81 a litre. “Exporting bulk wine is not going to secure our future,” Hamlet declares. “I think the New Zealand industry’s future is only in premium wine. We face the challenges of distance from our markets and high labour costs. And we’re a cool climate producer, we can’t compete in low price wine markets. “What we do have is an extremely special environment which enables us to create very distinctive wines of the highest quality. “I see organic wine production as a significant step towards us ensuring the growth of good wines. And the techniques that we learn through organics are going to be essential because in the coming years we won’t be allowed to use herbicides. If we take herbicides out, the successful management of our vineyards organically is three-

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quarters of the way there.” After gaining his first degree i n c o n s e r v a t i o n e c o l o g y, Hamlet developed an interest in winegrowing during three years in Europe. He returned to complete a postgraduate diploma in viticulture and oenology at Lincoln University and, after a stint growing grapes on Waiheke Island, moved to Hawke’s Bay. “Working for C J Pask,” he says, “they didn’t do organics but they were heavily involved in biological growing with a system that looked after soil health. That was my introduction to organics and more natural systems of growing. “I was approached by Villa Maria specifically to manage the Joseph Soler block that was organic. I went in boots and all with that one. It was a steep learning curve.” That was in 2007. Twenty hectares were fully certified and the company was moving to organic growing generally. At the same time, Hamlet was also invited to join the OWNZ executive. Membership growth since then has been “slow and steady”. As of the 2015 vintage, 12 percent of New Zealand growers had an organic vineyard and six percent of the national vineyard area was certified organic. “Traditionally, many OWNZ members have been the smaller growers, owner-operators who have real drive to grow as sustainably as possible. They bought into the philosophy and they are looking after land for the long term. Our organics pioneers come from that scenario, growers


like Rippon Vineyard and Milton Estate. “For a family-owned business, and this is also true of Villa Maria, part of that is looking after the land for the next generation. “There’s more involvement now by large companies in terms of joining and converting vineyards. They’re doing a large amount of production in New Zealand and they’re the ones we want to have a good relationship with and support and to have them use our expertise to show them effective organics management.” By way of that, OWNZ introduced a new mentoring programme this spring. The grower-led organisation will continue to run seminars and workshops - a seminar was recently held in Hawke’s Bay – but the new programme is offering more targeted guidance by experienced organic growers on undervine weed management practices.” The major challenge in converting, Hamlet says, is moving from herbicides to organics under the vines. The focus for this first season in the mentoring programme will be Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay. A number of experienced growers will visit specific companies up to three times to provide advice on moving away

from herbicide use. “One of the bigger steps is moving away from herbicides. You need stepping stones to get there -- going cold turkey is sometimes not successful. You need to learn techniques and how vines and vineyards respond. “The last thing we want is for people to dive in boots and all and fail. We know it can be a successful growing system. We want people to go in with their eyes open and know the challenges, and have the tools to meet those.” Hamlet is pragmatic about the possible attrition rate for those who undertake this process. “If we have 50 growers and 20 become organic and another 20 stop using synthetic chemicals and 10 don’t change, then that is a success. We will have improved sustainability by getting away from synthetic products.” Wine producers are coming under increasing pressure to grow sustainably, he says, and that is reflected in regulations for exports. In the UK, for example, most supermarkets require exporters to meet sustainability regulations for their wine to be stocked by their stores. “Yes, it’s the retailers setting the standards but that’s in response to the consumers.

There’s a heightened awareness of products that are ethically and sustainably grown. They don’t necessarily want to pay more for that, but people care about their environment and how their purchases are made. “The New Zealand industry is coming under pressure for regulations around chemical inputs. A good example of that is markets questioning glyphosate - several nations are planning to ban the herbicide.” The other side of that herbicide coin is increasingly resistant weeds, in New Zealand as well as overseas. “It’s becoming a challenge in Marlborough, we are seeing resistance in ryegrass. In the USA there’s already massive resistance to Round Up in amaranthus. That’s not resistant here yet, but the writing’s on the wall. Our weed resistance will continue to

get worse, probably over a number of weed species.” Hamlet is convinced the wine industry will eventually be forced to look at nonchemical ways to manage under vines. “And that is basically organic growing. We have been told by all chemical herbicide producers that no new herbicides will be available to combat the resistance in the near future.” With members from Northland to Central Otago, OWNZ has established that it’s possible to successfully grow organic in all New Zealand’s wine regions. It does tends to be less challenging in drier areas where there is less disease pressure, which Hamlet believes in some measure is down to workload. “As a grower,” he says, “I’ve found one of the big benefits of being involved in organic management is that it teaches you how to

think outside the square. The old tool box is taken away and you have to learn a whole new system of farming using natural tools. “You have to use natural sys-

tems and be very observant,” Hamlet concludes. “You come out the other end as a much stronger grower.”■

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THE IMPACT OF URBAN SPRAWL One of the issues facing the wine industry heading into the late 20s and early 30s, will be the availability of land. Nelson’s Neil Hodgson takes a closer look.


he wine industry is an interesting, even intrig ing, one for many reasons. Those who make wine get one chance a year to grow the best grapes they can to make the best wine they can so if they want to try something different they get one

chance a year. Make a wrong call that could potentially write off a full year’s work and the outcome will be less than desirable. The dynamics of striving to improve your product every year, finding a point of difference in the retail space and making at

As people look to gain a slice of rural life, the land available for agriculture, viticulture included, declines.

least a living is difficult enough but there are always additional external pressures; the exchange rate, interest rates and even the weather. But one issue is much more insidious and has the potential to put entire vineyards and livelihoods at stake in the next 20

years, urban sprawl. As communities grow and the demand for housing expands, subdivisions are pushing closer to, and impinging on, traditional farming and horticulture areas. People may like the idea of having a huge section in a rural community but when the frost machines start up at 4am and those pesky neighbours start using spray on their 100 plus hectares of highly productive land then the screams about spray drift onto a tiny onehectare lifestyle section start. Of course the reverse is true too, organic vineyards can be severely affected by inconsiderate ‘townies’ spraying on the boundaries of their lifestyle blocks without any understanding of what is happening over the fence. It doesn’t matter that the vineyard has been there for 40 years and the small land holder only moved in a year ago in the





Contact Norwood, Blenheim Ph 03-578 1021

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Ph 0800 476 868

full knowledge of who the neighbours were, it is the vineyard that comes under pressure to be good neighbours and stop doing noisy and other quite normal things in the rural environment. This is a scenario that has been playing out all around New Zealand and effects every rural producer. It is a result of a growing population and a desire for many to look for a little slice of paradise to call home as they try and avoid living in the city. And let’s not forget the infrastructure required by these new communities. They start as a few houses in the rural environment and quickly grow into full-blown subdivisions that require amenities like power, water, sewerage and the growth drives the demand for new roads. In areas like Auckland, that has seen huge growth, in the west. New developments are surround-

ing one of the country’s iconic producers, Kumeu River, to the point development is likely to occur directly over the fence from some of their wonderful vineyards. I understand the needs of growth but if this producer has the life squeezed out of it by that growth I think I will be weeping into my glass of premium, handcrafted Chardonnay. In Nelson there aren’t motorways planned to pass through vineyards but some that were ‘in the country’ 10 years ago now have neighbours. Houses within meters of vineyards and vineyard land values increasing to the point it is getting close to making economic sense to pull out the vines and plant buildings, be they residential, industrial, commercial or a mix of all three. This has nothing to do with the quality of the wines, it is all about land value and managing

the effects on neighbours. The value of any land that has the potential for subdivision is also getting expensive. As wine producers need to develop further vineyards, traditional rural use land is rocketing in value. If it is able to be subdivided into lots small enough to include a house building site, it quickly becomes difficult to find suitable, economically affordable, vineyard land. Tim Finn from Neudorf Vineyards says “there is a sweet spot for getting land without a house that is large enough for a vineyard but not as big as say a large sheep or dairy farm. But anything below 30ha with a house and the land is almost uneconomic for vineyards to buy. It is even more difficult in the Moutere Hills area where there are very few sites suitable for vineyards. “The rolling hill country with

the right aspect for growing grapes is much harder to find and those that are perfect for grape production are expensive, because the smaller nature of the rural blocks in the area also makes them very attractive to lifestyle buyers. “Of course wine producers can rent land but to have a safe, secure long-term arrangement it is better to own it. Unlike sheep and beef farming where you just move the stock if you have to you can’t just pick up vines and move them.” There are many vineyards that won’t be effected by urban sprawl and the owners are hugely positive about the future. Like any industry the market will continue to determine the direction of winemaking and will be strongly influenced by what people want to drink. So long as the land is there to plant the vines.■





o fully understand the significance of this 100th issue of WineGrower one needs to remember that it coincides almost exactly with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Wine Institute of New Zealand which opened for business on 1 October 1976 in a one-room office in Takapuna. This story may read as selfcentred, but that is unavoidable as I was a central character in both. I joined Montana Wines Ltd in December 1971 as national sales manager. Because I had been on the fringe of the politics with

its secretary. This brought me into contact with the other two organisations, the Viticultural Association of NZ, led by George Mazuran, and the Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Association, led by Tom McDonald. The three groups combined to present an industry study to the government, and the need for a single industry organisation soon became apparent. The longrunning debate about where the power would lie: in numbers of winemakers or numbers of gallons, was solved by a unique three-tier structure, with all powers vested in a sevenperson executive, and all major changes and budgets needing six votes to pass. I can vividly recall the meeting in early 1976 in the Council Chamber of the then Henderson Borough Council, when it was agreed unanimously to form the Wine Institute of New Zealand, and to seek Parliamentary legislation to guarantee funding through a Wine Makers Levy Act. A provisional executive was yn Kev er: row Godfather of WineG of New elected and I was appointed Moore, then president rs Council. Zealand Grape Growe provisional Executive Officer. It said much for their unity the National Party and knew its of purpose that while the three leaders on a first name basis, leaders of the pre-existing groups Montana boss Frank Yukich were each a strong-minded, appointed me as his representative proud and very independent on the New Zealand Wine men, George Mazuran and Tom Council, one of the then three McDonald had no hesitation in wine industry organisations. The moving and seconding that Alex chairman of the council was Alex Corban should be the inaugural Corban and I was soon to become chairperson in recognition of the

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Front cover of first issu

e, Winter 1997.

effort he had put personally into the unification project. Later that year the Levy Act was passed, I was confirmed as Executive Officer, and the Institute opened for business on 1 October 1976. A few days later, I was interviewed by the New Zealand Herald and asked about the objectives of the new Institute. Off the top of my head, I said “Representational, regulatory and promotional, and in that order.” That was to be the way it worked out. In those days, most industries needed to interface with the government, its ministers and its departments. So it proved for us for the first couple of years. By that time there was agitation from within the industry to stop undue additions of water and sugar, and we were able to negotiate staged changes to the Food & Drug Regulations accordingly. From my earliest days at Montana under the dynamic influence of Frank Yukich, and later in discussion with people like John Buck and later still Bryan Mogridge, I became convinced thar our sector had a future in exports. Encouraged by the then

Trade Development Board, I organised missions to Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, and later to New York, Washington DC, and London, and we were on our way. Our first major effort in UK was the 1987 London Wine Trade Fair, to which Don Maisey suggested we make ourselves conspicuous with straw boater hats – and they worked! The following year, we were invited to be the Featured Nation at LWTF, and that confirmed New Zealand as a new and significant player in the UK wine market. The figures show how successful we have become. Total exports in 1976, the year the Institute started were around $400,000 f.o.b. The latest annual report of New Zealand Winegrowers, just released, shows annual earnings for year to end June 2016 at $1.57 billion, well on track toward the goal of $2 billion by 2020. On a wine export mission to Sydney in October 1989 I fell short of breath. On the golf course that Labour Weekend I suffered a heart attack, and ended up with a single by-pass graft the following year. It was suggested that my retirement

shouldn’t be delayed, and New Zealand Glass only the editorial side. Rural in 1991, I passed over the Company, and we were News had recruited Ros Sellers reins to Philip Gregan, who on our way. For the first as advertising manager, and the has done a magnificent job few years, WineGrower magazine gained new strength and in leading our sector to new was quarterly. Early influence. in the new century, heights. It was helped immensely by we were approached the ability to use the services of But, in the interim, one by the proprietor outlying writers such as Joelle of the highlights of my time of the Australian Thomson (Auckland), Debbie at the Wine Institute was GrapeGrower and Gregory (Gisborne), Mary to come: the visit by Her Winemaker to take Shanahan (Hawkes Bay), Tessa Majesty Queen Elizabeth over our magazine, Nicholson (Marlborough), II to our Viticultural Field and Philip and I had Jo Burzynska (Canterbury), Day at Brancott Estate, little difficulty in Alan Brady (Otago) and Peter Marlborough in February 1990. The plotting and my declining Australian McCombie MW (London). Others lobbying had begun three involvement. were to follow later. years earlier, but that’s But a later In 2011, I suffered a spinal ich the New another story for another Terry in the boater hat by wh t approach by Adam problem that had me hobbling firs our in t res inte ted d contingent attrac 7. Fricker, managing time. One interesting aspect, Zealan round on a stick, and being well Wine Trade Fair in 198 don Lon the at e appearanc editor of the New into my 80’s, it was suggested that in the 1990 New Years Honours List, Her Majesty had members, there was nothing they Zealand entity, Rural News Ltd, my time was up. Fair enough! I was made me a Member of the Order could do about a decision that was made much more sense, especially happy to pass the editorial reins of the British Empire (MBE) for solely Nobilo’s to make, and I was as the selling of the advertising over to Tessa. services to the wine industry and happy that Philip was comfortable was becoming a hassle I could As with the Wine Institute in do without, and it was obvious 1991, the enterprise I was handing the community. with it. After relinquishing the reins By this time, John Buck we were ripe for an increase in over went on to bigger and better to Philip, I was asked to stay on was chair of the Institute, and regularity from quarterly to two- things, and I now look forward for a further year, which I did executive meetings were attended monthly, such was the volume of eagerly to each new issue that in the back-room at Sale Street by invitation by the president of news coming out of our expanding reflects a confident, efficient, out of sight and sound of Philip the New Zealand Grape Growers sector. expanding industry that has and Lorraine, and spent my time Council who was during this So, interestingly, my WineZeal given pride not just to those of mostly on developing the New period Kevyn Moore. Kevyn had Enterprises Ltd invoice No 100, us who have been involved in it, Zealand Wine Guild to operate long previously expressed the covering the August-September but, indeed, to all New Zealand. in London. Bill Spence was to view that it was time the industry 2005 issue of WineGrower Onward and upward! We’ve only become chair of this voluntary had its own regular publication. I went not to the Institute, but just started! ■ and self-funding group, who can’t recall the actual date, but it to Rural News Ltd and covered employed Vicky Bishop at the must have been early in 1997 that London end, and that very quickly Kevyn resurrected the suggestion took our exports to UK to new and, this time, the Executive levels. Communication those days agreed. Next question: how would between Vicky and I was entirely it happen, and who would run it? by fax, and carried on until the Chairman Buck pointed down enterprise became part of the the table at me, saying: “There’s Wine Institute. a former journalist with time on In 1995, I returned to the table his hands.” So that’s how I became of the Executive of the Institute the inaugural editor-manager of in a roundabout way. Nobilo the journal which for me, had a Vintners Ltd had qualified for pre-ordained name: New Zealand Category III of the Institute, WineGrower. I may have been the and thus for the vacant alternate first editor, but the undoubted position on the Executive. Nick godfather was Kevyn Moore. Nobilo contacted me to say that Philip and I worked out a he felt too busy to take up this role, deal under which I was paid a and would I do so on his behalf. fee per page for editorial, and a Terry being introduced by chairman Bry an Mogridge to Queen Elizabeth on “Rob’s Nob” above Montana’ While this was not greeted with percentage of advertising sales. Marlboro s Brancott vineyard ugh in February 199 in 0. great enthusiasm by some existing I sold the first advertising to





e is a consultant, reviewer and story teller who makes his living by communicating about wine, but Raymond Chan has forged a career that has proven not only to be a viable business model, but also a controversial one. He has commercialised written reviews of wines. This unconventional approach has caused a stir with the Wine Writers of New Zealand and some others within the wine industry, but has also harnessed a strong following.

The controversy surrounding paid reviews has been documented in print, on radio and on television this year. This story is about the man behind raymondchanwinereviews., what sparked his passion for wine, how he began working with it and what his future holds. Wine never appeared on the family dining table when Chan was growing up. It was growing in importance by the time he had graduated from the University of Otago in 1978, however, because his family had opened Chan’s

A younger Raymond Chan.

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Garden Restaurant. Like most restaurants in New Zealand in the 1970s, Chan’s was solely a bringyour-own for alcohol. Varietal New Zealand wines made from Vitis vinifera grapes were still something of a rarity at the time, with few exceptions. Weingut Seifried from Nelson was one of them. “I was amazed by the early New Zealand wines of the day and the fact that their names sounded so exotic at the time, but also because it was so impressive to taste these very early New Zealand table wines,” he says. Chan was 23 at the time, studying post graduate psychology at the University of Otago and working part-time in the restaurant to fund those studies. “We tasted wines while we were working and swapped with people who were BYO-ing, so our whole family got keen on wine. Norman, my brother, ended up working for Montana. My family all still love wine.” Prior to the restaurant, his earliest memory of wine was taking a bottle of Ormond Moscato to a party. The hostess was unimpressed. “I fancied her so that made me realise there was far more to wine, so I started tasting wine as a student and going to restaurants to learn a little, until our restaurant set off in a serious way.” The psychology degree has been helpful in terms of dealing with people but it was the work in hospitality that turned Chan’s head away from an academic career. “We got to know wine reps through the restaurant and they drank wines from Drouhin and Taittinger and danced on the

tables. I thought, ‘Gee, I would like a job in the wine industry because it looks like fun’, so that’s how I got started.” He and wine friends, such as Malcolm McIntyre and Chris Staynes (now deputy mayor of Dunedin) started the Wine Federation of Otago. Then the wine options team that he was in became national champions, much to the dismay of many people further north. This team included his brother Norman, Kay Morganty and Dave Pilgrim. “There was a sense that Dunedin was full of a bunch of young upstarts who were winning wine options and recognising Grange and Haut Brion better than they were. We were lucky having the Wilson Neill guys to learn from when the company was in its heyday. They were ahead of their time, including Kingsley Wood, who began the wine options game on a national scale in 1983 or 1984.” The 1980s were pivotal years in Chan’s early career in wine. He first judged wine later that decade at the Royal Easter Wine Show in 1988 when Master of Wine Bob Campbell was looking to expand the wine judging system. In 1989 Chan moved to Wellington to work for Wilson Neill as a wine advisor for Jose Hernandez and, later, when Wilson Neill was taken over by Dominion Breweries (DB), he went to O’Reilly’s on Thorndon Quay where he worked for Zuke

Marinkovich from 1991 to 1994, a man Chan describes as being “very kind and encouraging in helping me to learn about wine, judging and holding our own tastings at the shop”. This was how he established We l l i n g t o n w i n e t a s t i n g programmes, which he spear headed most influentially at Regional Wines & Spirits, working for Grant Jones – “a visionary who was ultra passionate about wine”. “Grant wanted to deal with only the most interesting up-andcoming producers, which made me realise that the whole New Zealand wine industry was multifaceted and there were some fantastic stories in it. Hence, I’m doing what I do now because I can support them by telling those stories.” And telling stories is how Chan sees his role panning out now and in the future. His role as a wine

le f s o ailab e i t av g. nti ua c still prin q l al an is s Sm n Bl g th o in ign nt uv r pla a S fo

GIVEALITTLE TO RAYMOND No sooner had the two month fundraiser for Raymond Chan’s cancer been set than it had exceeded the wildest dreams of those who established it – raising $60,285 within five days, from 93 donors. The online Givealittle fundraising appeal was established in early August and set to run until the end of October - or until $40,000 was raised. The campaign was organized by a group in the New Zealand wine industry, headed by Pete Monk, the business manager at Ata Rangi in Martinborough. Raymond Chan and his partner Sue Davies had to come to grips with the fact that their own money to fund expensive cancer drugs had run out. That treatment was with the

drug Keytruda, which is not government-funded, and therefore had to be privately paid for. “They had to face the daunting prospect of selling assets to fund the rest of his cancer treatment, as if the treatment itself isn’t enough. They shared this with some friends, and separately and together we asked the natural question one does for good folk in need: ‘how can we help?’,” says Monk, who then put his hand up to organise a fundraising campaign, push social media and alert the wine community of the situation. “We have a wealth of warmhearted and generous people in this industry, many of whom hadn’t heard the latest on Raymond’s situation. They just need to know about it and know what they can do,

which is to pitch in a tiny bit and collectively we can relieve the financial pressure on these two lovely people,” said Monk, at the start of the Givealittle online campaign. Five days after it began, Chan and his partner Sue Davies had been overwhelmed by the response, which had exceeded their most optimistic hopes – by a long way. “If good wishes, generosity and love could heal, then Raymond would be cured,” says Davies, who added that; “We have been so overwhelmed by people’s love and good wishes that we are lost for words and so grateful and touched to know that so many people care.” – Joelle Thomson

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consultant and reviewer enables him to write full time, publishing stories about wineries, their founders, makers and those who pioneered (and continue to) the New Zealand wine industry. “I see my role as bridging the gap between wine producers and wine consumers with communication and education. These are basic tenets to Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, which stemmed from my retail and judging background.” Chan left Regional Wines & Spirits in 2009, suffering from cancer that year too, which he is managing today, with the support of his partner, Sue Davies, who has been in his life for 16 years and added another dimension to how he views wine. “The combination of what we have together is so much stronger than what I could ever have had on my own and if anything, it’s helped me to make my support of the industry stronger.” Like many in the wine industry, Chan says the support of others has been the biggest influence in spurring him on towards his own success. “Mike de Garis gave me a lot of help in my professional development as a senior judge

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and panel leader. He also instilled and instigated my recent role as mentor for associate judges at wine shows.” Chan was the wine director for Pinot Noir 2001 (the first of the country’s international Pinot Noir conferences) and also worked at subsequent conferences as wine director, having been volunteered for the position by the late Richard Riddiford – who was not known for taking no for an answer. Over the years he has also been a Corbans Wine and Food competition judge and worked as a private wine consultant as well as his current role as consultant wine reviewer. “My interest in wine grew from the early days and compounded over time and what I’m doing now is flourishing, and making contact with new people, telling their stories and trying to help the industry grow. It’s not all about making money. We talk and give a lot of them ideas and advice because we like to share knowledge.” While the controversy about charging for some of those ideas to make it into print has not been a highlight, meeting the enthusiastic, passionate people who make New Zealand wine has


been – “I find those who make wine are inspirational because they attempt and achieve things I would never dare to do,” he says. “Nowadays I feel I can do far more for the industry than I ever have before because I love the stories that people tell and the whole industry saying ‘you’ve got to have a story, you’ve got to be able to tell it’. Trying to tell the story of the New Zealand industry is a huge task because all the people in it have fantastic stories. Some have made it, some haven’t but the industry continues to grow.” As for his own tastes, Chan says he is open to all things but New Zealand Pinot Noir, Bordeaux as well as Riesling from the Mosel are among the most meaningful

wines to him. “Bordeaux styles are still fantastic but Pinot Noir has snuck into my heart and visiting the Mosel, with Sue, in 2005 cemented our individual and mutual love for Riesling. “It was the German wines from the late 60s and early 70s that ensnared me and those German Rieslings remain seminal for me.” Then again, the world of wine has changed and Chan says he is equally, if not more moved, by New Zealand’s classic wine styles today, such as Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Dry River Riesling, Neudorf Chardonnay, Felton Road Pinot Noir, Escarpment Vineyard and Ata Rangi Pinot Noirs, Craggy Range Le Sol and Villa Maria Reserve Merlot, among many more. “There’s a sense when working with wine that you can never be totally objective in a sense, but you have to be objective to support the industry in the most constructive way. You’ve got to make the good calls and the hard calls and say to some winemakers, ‘that’s great’, ‘you’re not quite right there yet’ or ‘I think you have a problem’ because it’s thrilling and rewarding to see how superb many producers’ wines are. I regard it as a great privilege to be able to be part of that journey by learning, tasting and communicating about those wines.” ■

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INDUSTRY FAREWELLS TWO GREATS July was a sad month for the New Zealand wine industry, with two long standing members passing away.


ichard Riddiford, founder of Palliser Estate Wines died after a short illness, aged 65. The man who was known for calling a spade a spade and not a digging implement, played a major role in establishing the quality credentials of the Martinborough/Wairarapa wine growing region. While he grew up in the region, he came to wine later in life, buying Palliser Estate in 1990. Prior to that his background was in international meat marketing. However his family’s roots are cemented in the region, going back to the late 1984s. He once said “it would be difficult for me to live anywhere e l s e , ” w h e n r e f e r r i n g to Martinborough. While wine may have been the new kid on the block at the time he purchased Palliser, it was Riddiford who took it to new levels. He initiated the first Toast

Martinborough in 1992, which helped launch the region’s wines onto not just the domestic market, but also the world. It is one of the most successful wine festivals in the country, with close to 10,000 tickets selling out in a matter of days. He was also a key influencer in the establishment of the Pinot Noir conferences, Chairing the committee for the first two events. This event too has gone on to achieve international acclaim, and is often referred to as “the best Pinot party in the world.” Riddiford was also a key player in the establishment of the Family of 12. All members

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Richard Riddiford

are family owned producers, representing all the major wine regions of New Zealand, and producers of high quality wines. In 2000 he was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contribution to the wine industry. In 2010 he was inducted into the Wine Hall of Fame and in 2014 he was made a fellow by New Zealand Winegrowers. While he may have retired from the role as managing director of Palliser Estate last year, Richard Riddiford has left a long and hard to replace legacy.

Bob Knapstein who died in Hawkes Bay recently aged 89, remembered by Terry Dunleavy. Born into the famous Clare Valley Knappstein family in 1926, Bob won a scholarship to Roseworthy, and after two years of agriculture, chose to concentrate on viticulture, becoming the dux of his graduation year. As third generation of the illustrious Knappstein family, Bob had to move to Adelaide in 1960 for a winemaking position. Four years later, he was asked to move to Auckland to run the New Zealand subsidiary of Penfolds for what was intended to be a threeyear placement. Bob and his wife Coral, by then with two sons Jim and David, liked it so much they chose to stay. In 1974, Bob was recruited by the great Tom McDonald to be his assistant and eventual successor at the McWilliams Winery in Hawkes Bay. This began a

life-long love affair between the Knappsteins and Hawkes Bay. Here are extracts from what I said about Bob, while representing NZWinegrowers at his funreral. Looking back on my associations with Bob over the years, I looked for a single word to sum him up. That word was ‘reassurance’. In fact, probably two words; positive reassurance. You could never meet Bob in person, and speak to him on the phone, without afterward, feeling uplifted, positive, that all was well in the world, and especially in our world of wine. He had that knack of making you feel good about yourself, and confident about the future success of our wines at home and abroad. Perhaps the best testament I can make to Bob’s skill as a winemaker was that when the doughty Tom McDonald at McWilliams in Napier went looking for a right-

hand man to become his successor, and could have had his pick of a growing pool of talent, he chose Bob. Those of us who knew Tom, knew him as a stern taskmaster, but also as then probably unmatched as a judge of winemaking talent. One of the key factors in the rapid improvements in wine quality were wine competitions. In his Penfolds days, Bob played an influential part in our oldest national wine competition, now known as the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, and later in his Napier days, put his judging and organisational talents to great use as director of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards. Made a Fellow of the Wine Institute of New Zealand in 1994, Bob knew that this edifice of a suc-

Bob Knapstein

cessful, quality driven wine sector we have created, was built on sound, forward thinking visionaries and activists. Bob Knappstein was one of the strongest pillars. As long as New Zealand wine is made and enjoyed, we will remember him. ■





wenty-two years on from the very first Romeo Bragato conference, and if ever there was a reason to celebrate, this year was it. Not just for success within the export markets, but because 2016 is a year like no other in the history of the New Zealand wine industry. Let’s look at why. This year saw the final integration of the Grape Grower’s Council and the Wine Institute into one unified industry body. As Chairman of the NZW board said in his opening address; “It makes New Zealand Winegrowers the only fully unified national grape and wine industry body in the world.” That is something to be immensely proud of. NZW members have given their support to join a Government Industry Agreement on biosecurity. With 96 percent of voting members and 99.8 percent of levies voting in favour of GIA, it was a resounding declaration that biosecurity is a priority for all members. Geographical Indications is just a matter of months away, with Green saying it is expected

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to become law early in the New Year. (He did add, “no pressure Minister”, to the Right Honorable Todd McClay). And finally, exports for New Zealand wine rose yet again for the past 12 months – that is the 21st year in a row that has occurred. “For the past 21 years since 1995, export value has grown each and every year,” Green said. Through high dollars and low. “Through recessions and near depressions. Through tech booms and busts. Wine exports have been a star performer for New Zealand.” The graph above shows just how impressive that growth has been. The Chairman of the Board wasn’t the only one singing the praises of New Zealand’s wine industry. Todd McClay the Minister of State Owned Enterprises and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs described the industry as one that “is generating excitement at home and around the world.” Labour MP for West Coast and Tasman, Damian O’Connor went even further saying that


the industry was “clear, concise, well focused and telling a message very, very clearly. So I say congratulations. You are an amazing success story in a number of sectors across our country that are still struggling to work out where they are going, what they are trying to achieve and where they might be in 10 or 15 year’s time.” He went on to say that the industry’s vision of reaching $2B worth of export sales by 2020, and paving a path towards that, ensured NZW was a different entity to any other of the major export sectors. “Your growth has been very strong. Change has been rapid.

You have had to bring in new people, new ideas and with that has come innovation and a preparedness to make change where necessary. The other key factor I believe has been the focus on your consumer – the person who is going to buy your product.” There was a lot to celebrate at this year’s Bragato Conference, one of the largest ever held. But there was also a lot to take on board to ensure that growth doesn’t stagnate with events such as Brexit, changing markets and technological changes within the world of science. We have more on those issue in the following pages.■




ould research being undertaken at Lincoln University deliver to the wine industry a unique set of New Zealand clones for the future? Clones that have naturally mutated to acclimatize and deal with our specific conditions? According to Dr Darrell Lizamore, the answer is yes and it is already happening. Unbeknownst to most of us, grape vines are naturally mutating year by year, but the mutations are lost because the material is generally pruned to the ground. “If you were to go out into a vineyard, pick a vine and extract DNA from two opposite tips of the same vine,” he says, “then look at the 500 million letters of the total DNA sequence, you would find changes between them. During the growth and development of a vine, the entire genetic code must be copied every time a new cell is made – and inevitably you get errors accumulating. You also get rearrangements of pieces of sequence, known as transposons.

Usually those naturally occurring mutations are lost during pruning.” Having anecdotal evidence that Pinot Noir in New Zealand tends to throw a lot more bud sports than it does in Europe got Lizamore and Lincoln University colleague Chris Winefield thinking. Is there some aspect of our environmental conditions that is changing the genetic makeup of the clones and if so what is it? “ Wa s i t t h e h i g h U V experienced here?,” he says, “given we know UV is associated with mutations – think skin cancer. So we wondered if high UV causes grapevine DNA to change at a higher rate.” In an effort to determine the likely cause, they began generating cell cultures from the tissue of one American clone of Pinot Noir – UCD5. These were then subjected to a range of shock treatments, some of which stimulated changes among the transposons in the DNA sequence.

“We expose the grapevine cells to shock events, taken from what the vine would be exposed to in the natural environment. We use biotic shocks, which are a set of naturally occurring microorganisms which we collected from local vineyards. We also use abiotic, or non-biological shocks. These can be temperature or UV or even salinity.” The temperature shocks ranged from 4°C on the cold end of the scale to 37°C on the high end, for a period of 48 hours. “This is a brief shock that triggers transposons to move, causing mutations in the DNA that may affect plant traits. The shocks we are applying are within the scope of what the plant would naturally be exposed to.” High UV, which Lizamore suspected to have an impact, ended up having very little affect on mutation rates. As for what had the greatest impact – that was a big surprise. It was exposure to local microbes that caused the highest level of

mutation. “We were not expecting that. In fact the microbes were only included because of a conversation with Dr Mat Goddard (Auckland Uni) who specializes in vineyard microbial ecology. We thought, they won’t put much stress on the vines, since they are not pathogens. So the idea that they are, actually changing the grapevines DNA is really interesting.” Most interesting is the fact that the vine’s DNA is responding to a naturally occurring element, making changes and in the long term creating a new clone – one that is specific to New Zealand and New Zealand only. “We have found that the 200 vines we have so far regenerated from these cell cultures are each genetically different from the clone we started with. We have 200 vines that have changed genetically because of what has happened to them while they have been in New Zealand, so they can be considered new


clones. That is what new clones are: vines that have small but distinct genetic changes from a parental vine type.” While the changes mean the entire 200 can be considered New Zealand native clones, the majority of them are likely to be “less suitable” than the parent vine he says. “But we also expect a few of them are likely to be better.” Now researchers have to work out which is which – which clones are offering something better. At

the same time another 2000 vines produced in the same way are waiting to be planted out, with the long-term aim being to develop a premium New Zealand clone. For those who believe Lizamore may be playing God and changing the face of nature, he has a simple reply. “This is what happens naturally, it is the reason we have all the clones and varieties so far - because they have naturally mutated. What we are doing is,

rather than hoping you spot them in the vineyard before you prune them off, we are conducting an organised survey of the changes. We are just doing it in a regulated environment.” He says this is not genetic modification, because there is no introduction of foreign DNA. Instead it is referred to as accelerated evolution – looking at how the vines naturally diversify and how the genetics of the vine naturally changes. The time frame

though will not be as quick as the initial findings, given the vines will have to be replicated over a period of years, to ensure the changes are constant. Then there will be vinification trials that determines if aromas and flavour components change. But the team’s aim is that within 15-20 years, we will see clones that are naturalized New Zealand, providing unique traits unable to be replicated elsewhere.■

These pictures show how much mutation goes on after shock treatment. Notice the differing vine shapes and the leaves, remembering all are direct cultures from just one UCD5 Pinot Noir vine.

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WHAT IS PRECISE BREEDING? With Dr Darrel Lizamore explaining accelerated evolution (previous story), the other issue to come up at the Bragato conference, was the subject of Precise Breeding. Plant and Food scientists explain just what this means and how it could be something the wine industry looks at in the years to come.


he art and science of con- years”. These recent Precise Crispr are regulated in New tunity to New Zealand’s Arable ventional plant breed- Breeding advancements include Zealand as a new organism industry, including viticulture. ing combines tried and a powerful new technology known under the current HSNO Act, • An opportunity for us to offer even though the disruption at fast accurate breeding for “step trusted techniques from as CRISPR/Cas 9, or Crispr. both the distant and recent past. Crispr allows us to use our the genome level is far less than change” cultivars that fit with New It often relies on the inter- in-depth knowledge of genes conventional breeding. It is also Zealand’s specific needs, but only breeding of an elite parent with that control key traits to generate regulated in the same way as if New Zealand choses to reguanother that has desirable traits. better cultivars, that have a GMOs, even though no new DNA late the outcome rather than the In the process the genomes of each specific trait enhanced or switched is introduced from any source. The method used. are shuffled unpredictably, which off -- without any gene shuffling. regulations apply to most modern • A threat because other counthen requires selection among the In ALL aspects the resulting methods even if the outcomes are tries that have de-regulated the progeny plants for those that have plant is identical to one that can identical (but faster) to tried and technology (the USA, for example) retained the elite characteristics be produced by conventional tested breeding, such as Crispr. now have the capacity and regulaand gained the desirable trait(s). breeding, but is ready in order of Many other countries do not tory support to produce superior This can take several generations magnitude, quicker (months not regulate Crispr this way. cultivars very quickly. This will be of crossing. Even with modern years) and far more predictably. Precise breeding technology an issue at our borders and in our marker-assisted conventional To date cultivars bred using can either be a threat or an oppor- markets because these superior breeding the whole procultivars cannot be scienFive breeding techniques now and tomorrow, as presented at the Bragato Conference cess will still be unpredict- by Dr Kieren Elborough, GM Science, Breeding and Genomics, P&F Research. tifically differentiated from able and is always time conventional cultivars. hungry. It can take from There is no test for Crispr. years to tens of years to Innovation in breeding find and test the plants is happening at an with the right combinaunprecedented rate today, tion of traits. which in turn will require innovation in the way As plant breeding we as a country regulate becomes increasingly important to the world’s breeding products if we are economy and food needs, to maintain our competitive the speed of technology position in plant breeding. advancement is starting It might be possible to rely to mimic the rapid rate on conventional breeding we saw during the space to achieve the same effects race in the later 20thcenthat Precise breeding can tury”. The CEO of Agribring (albeit many times slower) or in an ideal Trend Group recently regulatory world we as a said “Plant breeding has country could get on with advanced more in the past five months than it now and “…..have it done in the previous 5000 by Christmas”! ■

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on’t think of Brexit as an unsolvable problem – instead think of it as an opportunity to do better. That was the message from Miles Beale, CEO of the UK Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA). Speaking at the Bragato Conference Beale was quick to point out that Brexit will change the face of trade for the UK, with

more unknowns, than knowns impacting. Given government departments were ill prepared for the result, there is going to be years of leveraging required before the dust settles. Beale said that is due to the lack of trade negotiation knowledge available within UK government departments. “They have fewer civil servants to do a lot more work, including

work that as a government we haven’t done for 40 years,” he explained. “We have no trade experts, so I expect we will be coming to New Zealand to ask for some help, pointers and tips.” Beale is a big fan of the New Zealand wine industry. He lived here for a number of years as a student teacher, he has a sister-inlaw who lives in Queenstown and

he has developed close ties with NZW through ongoing meetings with CEO Philip Gregan. That relationship means he is more than prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure access for our wines into the UK are not impaired. This is where the opportunity lies he believes. “I think there are great opportunities for New Zealand.

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“I would suggest that historical links, language and culture means that the most obvious jumping off point is the UK and I think there would have to be problems It is impossible for me to conceive any agreement exclusive on wine where we won’t want a better deal for you guys, than we are already able to offer as part of the EU. The challenge though, will be making sure that anything that comes into the UK can still go to the rest of Europe with no additional tariffs or charges. The twin aim is maintaining the UK as the jumping off point.” Currently 76 percent of all our wine destined for the EU market, goes first to the UK. Under current rules, that wine does not incur extra tariffs or charges when it travels acoss the Channel. The big question though is, will that remain the same once Brexit is

complete? “The big challenge quite frankly is logistics. What you don’t want is to enter a port in the UK and then have to start a whole new logistics process and paperwork to go on into Europe. We want to be able to preserve the status quo and that is what we are looking at.” While wineries could bypass the UK altogether, Beale didn’t believe that was likely to be the best bet.

Miles Beale.

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because of Brexit to change that model. I wouldn’t like to see that happen. What I would hope is we could maintain the sort of relationship with the EU based on trade, that means it is as easy as it is now.” From his position as CEO of WSTA Beale believes that working alongside NZW, the two organisations are in a good place to do everything that is needed for the wine industry, on behalf of both sets of government. “I like to think of it as a joint venture between UK importers and the New Zealand wine industry. We need to come up with this proposal for what a wine trade agreement between our two nations would look like. I think that will be based on a template which we could actually replicate for other nations we trade with. I want to see us get ahead of that curve.” Until the UK is formally no longer part of the EU, their government cannot undertake any new trade negotiations. Given that may take a good few years to finally achieve, Beale said WSTA and NZW need to be preparing trade agreements in preparation for that time. “We can do all the preparation so that we are ready the day after we have left the EU and that is what I would like to see the UK and New Zealand cooperate on.

We are in a really good place to do everything that is

needed for the wine industry on behalf of both our governments. They don’t need to be involved, other than to sign the piece of paper – if we get it right now.” As for the impact Brexit has had on markets and the potential of consumers to buy luxury goods, Beale is again not too worried. While as a country they are drinking one fifth less alcohol than they were 10 years ago, Beale says premiumisation should help New Zealand wine sales. “We have seen premiumisation in the UK market for quite a long time now. Sales have dropped but value has absolutely held up. And for well known brands and higher quality premium products, which is where New Zealand wine is incredibly well placed, that pemiumisation can only help. I think New Zealand wine is well placed to weather the issues that might be a problem. But also to take advantage of the opportunities that will come from Brexit.” While admitting that he doesn’t quite understand just how New Zealand has maintained such consistent growth in the UK market, he is not too concerned that growth will fall away any time soon. Especially since he believes Brexit may just see a consumer shift more towards new world wines and away from traditional EU old world countries. ■

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ustainability is not just about caring for the environment. It is also about caring for the workers and retaining a successful business model. Which is one of the reasons why NZ Winegrowers have just released a Sustainable Business Toolkit. The aim of the new Toolkit (available at; http://www.nzwine. com/members/resources/) is to help you as a member identify and manage business risks. We have identified 10 areas of business risk, from Business Planning, financing and insurance right through to Costing, Governance, and Succession Planning. Each business risk has a dedicated Toolkit page with Business Guides, website links and case studies for that topic. This has not been undertaken in isolation, we have worked alongside a group of Agri-business experts – BNZ, FMG, Crowe Horwath and Doug Avery – to provide free, best practice resources for Members, tailored to the wine

industry. All resources are centralized in one on-line toolkit, and Business Guides are downloadable. The NZW Sustainability Committee have provided the funding for this resource. The toolkit also includes the results of our annual MPI/ NZWinegrowers Viticulture Financial Benchmarking Program, which this year has expanded from

Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay to now include Gisborne and the Wairarapa. And last but not least, there is a page dedicated to mental health and wellbeing. Because when looking to protect and grow your assets, the most important asset is you. For further information on the Business Toolkit, visit;

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62   //


bers/resources/ I am also keen to hear back from members, about areas they have found helpful, or areas that we might be able to add to the toolkit. This is a living document, so we will add to it over time. To comment, click on the feedback button on the home page and it will generate an email directly to me. I look forward to hearing from you. ■

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The future of the New Zealand wine industry is in good hands, if the competition for Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year and Tonnellerie de Mercerey Young Winemaker of the year are anything to go by.


fter regionals for each competition, the finals took place at the Bragato Conference, with the winners being announced at the Gala Dinner.

Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year

decent hands. Cameron, who is the vineyard supervisor working on Villa Maria’s Ngakirikiri, Vidal and Twyford Gravels vineyard in Hawke’s Bay has been a regular in the regional finals for the past three years. However he never expected to take out the national title at his first go. “I thought it would take me two or three years having a go at it,” he says. “To do it this year, I was pretty impressed with myself.” Growing up in Palmerston


By the end of his speech at the Bragato Wine Awards dinner, Cameron Price admitted that he had managed to not only insult his wife, but also the region of Marlborough. Not

that anyone was upset, given his three minutes behind the microphone discussing “How do we create and maintain value for the future of our industry”, was a very good summary, one that had people nodding their heads and laughing throughout. For many at the dinner, this was their first chance to view the six Bayer Young Viticulturists of the Year competitors and all were impressed. As mentioned above, if these are the industry’s future, we are in some pretty

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25/08/2016 16:06 NZ WINEGROWER  OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016  //   63

The Young Viticulturist finalists, from left; Mark Langlands – Wairarapa, Mike Winter – Central Otago, Brenton O’Riley – Marlborough, Tim Adams – Auckland, Cameron Price – Hawke’s Bay.

North, he didn’t even know what a viticulturist was, until one came to his school to discuss careers. “I thought I should go and have a look at what this person had to say, and here I am.” He was encouraged by his father, who had already told him that he needn’t think he was going to follow the family tradition and become a plumber. “He said there was no way I was going to be a plumber like him and his father. He told me I had more brains than that.” So off to EIT in Hawke’s Bay where he began the concurrent Bachelor of Viticulture and Wine Science. It became obvious very early on that the viticultural side of the industry was where he wanted to be. “There was too much stainless steel in the winery for someone like me. I am very much an outdoors person. I love viticulture. Somedays you are outside, the next you are in an office. And you are always learning. I don’t think you are ever going to get to a point in this industry where you are going to say, ‘I don’t think there is anything else I can learn.”’ In May this year he began

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working for Villa Maria, a job he had coveted for some time. “The opportunity came up and I welcomed it with open arms and haven’t looked back. In the first week I didn’t meet anyone that had been here for less than 10 years. That says a lot and was part of the reason why I wanted to join the Villa group.” Having now knocked off the Bayer National Young Viticulturist of the Year, Cameron is concentrating on learning everything he can for the upcoming Young Horticulturist of the Year competition, being held in November. It means there is no sitting back on his laurels or his latest win. “I think my social life has gone out the window for the next few months,” he joked a few days after winning the national title. With the lease of a Hyundai Sante Fe for the next 12 months, plus a $5000 travel prize, things are likely to get a lot busier for this 26-year-old. The travel prize in particular may make up for him commenting about his wife during the competition. “We are looking at France and


touring around the European wine regions. We were meant to go away two years ago for eight weeks, but decided that we would use the money for a house deposit. So I had better pay my wife back.”■

Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker of the Year

Young Winemaker title in August. Quite a bit to get his head around he admits. The assistant winemaker at Seresin Estate in Marlborough had one and only one chance of gaining a regional and national title, given his age. The rules of the competition mean all those competing must be under the age of 30 as at January 1st. “It was my first and last chance, so it put me under a bit of pressure,” he admitted the day after being crowned the winner. Coming from Marlborough, it isn’t surprising that Jordan had visions of being involved in the wine industry in some way. He undertook a BSc at Canterbury University, and came back to Marlborough to work in the laboratory at Wither Hills. “That was my introduction to the wine industry, and I loved it. After a year there I decided to pursue winemaking through the post grad course at Lincoln.” After completing that degree, he worked at Muddy Water/ Greystone Wines in Waipara prior to moving into the assistant

2016 is a year Jordan Hogg

won’t forget in a hurry. His son Oscar was born in April, he turned the grand old age of 30 in July and he took out the New Zealand

The Young Winemaker finalists, from left; Jordan Hog Roper – Hawke’s Bay, Matt Fox – Marlborough, Tom Hi

winemaker role at Seresin. It is no accident that both companies have a strong organic background. “I did pick my path with producers who had great values and make wines that I love,” he said. After winning the Marlborough

to analyse it on financial and the production ability of the different components. That was tough, especially in just 45 minutes.” W hat made him laugh afterwards, was the fact his father who is an accountant for a wine company, said he would

Coming from Marlborough, it isn’t surprising that Jordan had visions of being involved in the wine industry in some way. regional final, Jordan said his immediate reaction was to celebrate. “Then it dawned on me the next day that I had to do it all again. The nationals were a big step up.” There were a number of challenges for the four competitors, but the toughest one for Jordan was having to complete a capital expenditure in just 45 minutes. “We had to consider three filters and make the choice of which one was better, but we had

probably have taken a few weeks to complete such a task. Now with the finals behind him, Jordan is planning on relaxing for the rest of the year and considering just how he will spend the $5000 travel scholarship presented by Tonnellerie de Mercurey. “I think we have to go to France - how terrible would that be?,” he joked. “But maybe next year I can coincide a harvest and take Kim (partner) and Oscar with me – that would be great.”■

Grow your career Study viticulture and winemaking in Marlborough, the heart of New Zealand’s wine industry. “In our first week we had fields trips as well as a full on week in the sensory lab tasting wines. What an incredible experience” - Rachel, Bachelor of Viticulture and Winemaking

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Jordan Hogg – Marlborough, Alex ough, Tom Hindmarsh – Wairarapa.





he Bragato Wine Awards objective is; To give recognition to viticultural excellence and to recognise the influence of grape growers and their vineyards in creating the unique qualities of New Zealand wines, by judging the wines made from grapes grown on such specified vineyards When I first Chaired this show in 2014 I asked you to think about this objective and in particular these key defining words - excellence, recognition, growers, vineyards. These words are all essentially attributed to single vineyard expression, to our Turangawaewae; and how we imprint or express this through our wines. So in 2015 we made changes to ensure the show was relevant and

that we were achieving the quoted objective. For the last 2 years we have had a transitional approach in how we have looked at the wines entered. We introduced a Single Vineyard section in which the wines entered had to be more than 95% from a single vineyard – the top SV wine being awarded the Romeo Bragato Trophy And we maintained the 85% estate owned and managed “Domaine section” – being eligible for the Richard Smart Trophy. The aim now in striving to tell our vineyard stories through the Bragato Wine show is to make this show even more relevant, unique, and compelling. For the 2017 Bragato wine show the aim is to make it a single vine-

yard show only. Thus achieving what I believe to be the essence of this conference and setting the Bragato Wine Show apart – this is – recognising single vineyard excellence We also need to keep evolving who looks and assesses our wines – all too often we fall into a sense of nepotism, becoming insular and losing focus through a lack of succession, vision and calculated risk. This year we bought over two international Wine Show Judges form Australia – the talented and on the edge Nick Ryan who writes for the Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine and Andrea Frost, writing for the World of Fine Wine, who is currently on the short list for the 2016 Louis Roderer International wine writer of the year.

Chair of the Bragato Wine Awards judging panel, Ben Glover.

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We also had on board - John Saker – Cuisine judge and writer, along with Stephen Wong NZ’s newest MW and Liz Weadon GM of the Glengarry retail group. And do not forget our talented peers – Helen Morrison, James Milton, Rod Easthope, Helen Masters, Barry Rewai, and Simon Nunns. A special note must be made to Lauren Swift the inaugural winner of the 2015 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker of the year - she did a fantastic first time job as one of our Associate Judge’s. I look forward to continuing this support of our young winemakers by seeing the 2016 winner at the Bragato Show next year. The judging team thoroughly enjoyed the 616 wines judged over two days – awarding 37 Gold, 104 Silvers and 277 Bronzes The Bordeaux reds showed their class from the vintages 13 and 14, with exquisite handling and recognition of awareness of some fabulous fruit – simply beautiful. There was brilliant ‘consensual conjecture’ around Sulphides in Chardonnay, their place and where the balance lies along this pendulum swinging continuum. With Syrah what we enjoyed here was the suppleness of the wines through many different thought provoking styles. Sauvignon Blanc on the other hand, again it is ‘early doors’ in August to look at the 2016’s and needs a bit of time. Though, a few questions were asked of the class around the lack of palate weight and acidity with regard to balance. In contrast the older vintages and

TROPHY WINNERS Bragato Champion Wine of the Show Trophy and Champion Single Vineyard Wine Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2014 Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland Brett Donaldson Richard Smart Trophy and Champion Domaine Wine Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014 Vidal Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay Phil Holden Friedrich Wohnsiedler Trophy Winner and Champion Riesling Maude, Mt Maude Vineyard East Block Riesling Central Otago 2016 Mt Maude Vineyard, Central Otago Dawn and Terry Wilson Brother Cyprian Trophy Winner and Champion Pinot Gris Aronui Pinot Gris Single Vineyard Nelson 2016 Whenua Matua Vineyard, Nelson Jonny Hiscox Champion Gewürztraminer Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Gewürztraminer 2014 Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland Brett Donaldson Champion Other Red Wine Coopers Creek SV Hawke’s Bay Malbec ‘Saint John’ 2013 Saint John Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay Wayne Morrow Champion Sweet Wine Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection 2015 Rocenvin Vineyard, Marlborough Chris Fletcher

the alternative Sauvignon Blanc styles showed versatility and substance delivering a strong message regarding diversity of style. The Aromatics - Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris again thrived and were a thrill to taste. In particular the balance and subtle style nuances of the Pinot Gris Class were commented on when all too often behind closed doors this variety is often not

given its dues. Rosé was bright electric and just right leading into our summer. With some great examples of what you require on a hot afternoon, fruit is the winner here. The rewarded Pinot Noir’s showed some great love and harmony – and plenty of diversity of fruit expression through subtle fermentation techniques. All too often though the main stumbling

New Zealand Wine Cellars Spence Brothers Trophy Winner and Champion Sauvignon Blanc Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 Tohu Awatere Vineyard, Marlborough Mondo Kopua Bill Irwin Trophy Winner and Champion Chardonnay Brett Donaldson Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2014 Champion Rosé Wooing Tree Rosé Central Otago 2016 Wooing Tree Vineyard, Central Otago Geoff Bews Mike Wolter Memorial Trophy Winner and Champion Pinot Noir Black Quail Estate Pinot Noir Central Otago 2013 Keillor Vineyard, Central Otago Rod and Mirani Kellior Tom McDonald Memorial Trophy Winner and Champion Classical Red Wine Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014 Vidal Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay Phil Holden Alan Limmer Trophy Winner and Champion Syrah Falcon Ridge Estate Syrah Nelson 2015 Falcon Ridge Estate, Nelson Alan J Eggers

block was the use of and the type of oak employed. The easiest way to say this, is just back the oak off. Have faith and patience in your fruit, your vine age, and your vineyards. One note – we had our first ‘natural’ wine entered and it did pretty well! The pleasing observation for me this year was that across the two days we saw (and we hope

we rewarded) more individual expression and style across all varietals, vintages and classes. This show is all about showing off our depth within the industry, what is new, who is doing what, and to provide you all with a ‘sound bite’ so you can tell your story to the world’s wine lovers. It is about providing depth to our biggest asset. Your wine. Your vineyard . Your Turangawaewae!■


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Roots, Shoots & Fruits Soil Health, Plant Health, YOUR Health


Deep in the heart of Hawke’s Bay lies the country’s oldest winemaking property – Te Mata Estate. Cabernet and Chardonnay vines were planted back in 1892, and ever since then wine has been produced from this special piece of land. While the current owners – the Buck family cannot say they have been on the land for quite that long, they can lay claim to creating a new dynasty within the burgeoning New Zealand wine industry, as Tessa Nicholson discovered. Te Mata Estate was an auspicious find for John and Wendy Buck. The year was 1974, and the couple were parents to two young sons – Jonathon and Nick. Their third son Toby was born shortly after the purchase. Eldest son Jonathan is now the vineyard manager at Te Mata’s Woodthorpe Terraces. Nick is now CO and Toby has recently come back into the business as Marketing and Communications Manager. The eldest grandchild, Zara, is the third generation working on site, in the cellar door and packaging department during school holidays and weekends, while her brother Henry and sister Tamzin help pick grapes each vintage. John represented his region on the board of the then New Zealand Wine Institute, holding the title of Chair for a number of years. He represented the New Zealand wine industry at international trade negotiations, gaining access to the European Union. He also established the Hawke’s Bay Charity Wine Auction in 1991. Awarded an honorary Doctorate and an OBE for his services, he was also inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame in 2012. Toby meanwhile has made his mark in a completely different field, as a writer, publisher, editor through his work in London and at Unity Books in Wellington. He has a degree from Victoria University, a Post Graduate Diploma with Honors from Penn State University in America and a Masters with Distinction from Edinburgh University. In 2014 he was awarded the Katherine Mansfield Prize at the BNZ Literary Awards for his short story ‘Islands in the Stream’. This is John and Toby’s story of an emerging wine dynasty.

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John Buck, 74


e had looked for a number of years at a vast array of properties in Hawke’s Bay, when Te Mata came up for sale in a private and unpublicized way. A friend of mine rang me in Wellington and said; “I am not getting any interest. I need a valuation on this property.” So I came up and did it, but at the end of it all I said I might be interested in it myself. It was a lengthy process, but the outcome was that in May 1974 we concluded an agreement to buy it. But it was subjected to a tenancy. So we got the vineyards within a matter of months, but we didn’t get the winery until the tenancy expired three years later. Unquestionably it was the vineyard sites we liked. I had used a viticulturist at the Mission, Brother Joe to help me. And I talked to Tom MacDonald whom I knew well. When this property came up he said; “those two vineyards are terrific”. They still are. The fact there was a winery with it was an added attraction. But basically it needed

a major amount of work. The winery was filthy, just awful. It was the old concrete fermenters and all we could do was demolish them. We kept all the original buildings and have added a lot to it. It was hard work though. There were a whole series of bureaucratic difficulties and impediments to a wine culture. (Think licensing laws, a market based on fortified wines and all the dubious cocktails that went with that. Plus the objections to vineyards from farmers who were not allowed to use hormonal sprays within an 8km radius of a vineyard.) So it wasn’t a welcoming climate. At the time the plantings were a dog’s breakfast. There was some Cabernet, a bit of Pinot, some Palomino and then in the middle of it all there were red and white hybrids. The old Siebel reds, 5437 and 5455 and a white hybrid called Baco 22A. You don’t even want to think about it, it was so awful. Even the birds wouldn’t eat those hybrids. So we pulled everything

John and Wendy Buck

out. That was an advantage of the purchase though, that we could apply a scorched earth policy. In those early years I was coming down from Auckland every second week and living in the winery, which was a somewhat horrible experience. It wasn’t equipped to live in, but it was free. The family didn’t leave Auckland until we could get a permit to build the house we live in. All the neighbours objected to us building the house, so we didn’t get a permit until May 1978 and it wasn’t until then that I was prepared to relocate my wife and family from Auckland. Toby was about 18 months when we came down here, so he is the only one to fully grow up on the vineyard. All three boys were good at

working, they have always had a good work ethic. Because of where we live in proximity to the winery and the fact they had their primary schooling in Havelock North, they were always available to help on the bottling line or clean something, run errands or help me in the vineyard. It is a great culture being part of a family business and working in it. It teaches you things you can’t learn in a textbook. I have to say I never saw that all three boys would be working in the company. Funnily enough, none of them came to the business early in life. They all went overseas for different reasons. The shortest time any of them was away was either eight or nine years. Then they duly came home. Nick came back to New Zealand from the English Wine Trade


Roots, Shoots & Fruits Ltd. 09 3729155


John and Toby.

and worked for Matua Valley in ended up following the literature Auckland. Then he went to France path. When he went to primary and did a cadetship in the wine school the headmaster was really industry which involved living and into English literature and he trigworking at Chateaux Margaux. I gered something in Toby at a very said to him he needed to get the early age. Winning the Katherine Mansculture of quality and he wouldn’t get that in New Zealand. You need 24 hours a day living and breathing the culture of how to behave if you run a first growth. Jonathan, the eldest, farmed in Australia at Yellowglen Winery and he worked on building sites in London, had two years in France playing rugby and living with friends of ours in a vineyard near Toulouse, before he came home. Toby only came back to Te Mata Estate two and a half years ago when his brothers said; “look you are going to get a third of this, you had The Buck Dynasty. better come in and make sure field Award. it is worth having.” So they have all eased into it. We didn’t even know he had It kind of grew on them and hav- entered, he didn’t tell anyone. ing canvassed other opportuni- It was one of those weird, weird ties, I like to think they thought things. The day the bank (BNZ – this was all pretty good and there major sponsors) rang to tell him, was a foundation for life that was he had had a scammer on the available to them. We consider we phone wanting to get into his bank are so blessed, it is just amazing, account. He told me around lunchhaving our children and all our time that there were these people grandchildren right here with us. pretending to be from a bank and I wasn’t surprised that Toby wanting all these details. So when

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the BNZ rang that afternoon to tell him he had won, he thought; “Oh no, I’ve got another one.” So none of us knew he had entered, let alone seen the story. I finally got to read it and realised I feature in it early on – well my behavior in public does. Whenever I am in a restaurant I end up going out to the kitchen and talking to the chef, that sort of thing. I like talking to people, particularly strangers – and that comes up with one of his characters. I thought, I hope the rest of it isn’t about his father and it wasn’t. I loved it and picked up instantly on his slightly off the wall sense of humour very quickly. What does Toby bring to Te Mata Estate? His principal talent is his ability to speak and write. He is a tremendous user of the English language,

which manifested itself in him winning the Katherine Mansfield Award. He was always on the debating team at Kings College. Communication is something that is very important, and something that the wine industry doesn’t do very well. It has all the PR type activity, but it lacks people who can get up in front of an audience and communicate their enthusiasm for the good side of wine to

an audience. Toby however can do that. He has got my willingness to get up and do it, which Wendy isn’t so keen on. But then she is very good at worrying about the outcomes. She won’t do anything without knowing what the end point is that you are trying to achieve. Toby is a bit like that too, so he is a good cross section of the two of us. He is willing to deliberate in order to get the outcome we want. But I couldn’t have done any of this without Wendy. She was brought up in a family where you backed your own judgement and did it yourself. You didn’t cry if it went wrong, you just gritted your teeth and got your head down and went harder. When we set up the winery, she wasn’t the sort of woman who said “how are we going to pay the mortgage”. She said, “well if I have to drive a truck to pay the bills, then I will”. She has been incredibly staunch about the development of the business and ploughing her abilities and resources back into it. I guess I had hoped that we (would create a dynasty). It is all about leaving things better than you found them and members of a family supporting each other. I think that is a wonderful ethic to have, quite frankly. At the end of the day we could if we chose to, sell Te Mata Estate for a lot of money. But then the simple question is – what do I do with the money? As long as I have everything I want out of life, I have everything I need. At the end of the day the emotional pleasure we have got from the wine business is far greater than any financial reward. I want the future generations to experience that as well.

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Toby Buck, 37


just happened to be the only one of us three boys who grew up entirely in the Coleraine Vineyard. Mum and Dad were planting Cabernet there together until August, and I was born two months later. It was a luxury in some ways, in that it provided an after school, holiday and university job. A lot of people see wine as being quite glamorous and romantic – but the reality is very similar to any working farm. If anyone slept in past 8am you’d be in trouble. Everybody had to be up and working almost every day, no exceptions. Christmas Day and New Year’s Day were the only days in the year Mum and Dad didn’t work. When I was seven or eight it was my job to check that the drip irrigators were working on the young vines. I’d ride my BMX up and down the hills, and the only way to unblock those was to suck any dirt out. Hard to see the glamorous side of wine in that one. I cleaned lots of tanks and gutters back then at Te Mata, in fact I don’t think there is a thing in the winery that I haven’t cleaned at some stage or another. Mum and Dad worked the Cellar Door at first, and me or my brothers would be in the shop too, sniffing wines, talking to people and sometimes selling walnuts in winter to hopefully save enough money for a ski pass. Dad had a very strong connection to the Chamber’s (original owners) vision of what Te Mata was – a world-class producer of dry, European-style fine wine. When they bought it the buildings were becoming almost derelict, and that original vision somewhat lost. A huge amount of shoulder-to-the-grindstone work was required to re-establish that idea, and bring everything up to date. Dad was able to identify that, know what had to be done, get just

the right team of people to make Te Mata what it needed to be, and just get on it and do it. That wasn’t always a straightforward road of course. I remember being at school in Auckland when Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 and there was ash in the atmosphere for the next couple of years. That really affected those vintages and I remember Dad saying to me there was a

his family, a key winemaker in Te Mata’s past. There’s a lot of interconnected family culture in the place, and it permeates the way Te Mata operates. Mum and Dad both shared an ambition to make wines of an exact standard and style, without compromise. It’s not a complex statement, it’s just one that’s never wavered. The whole approach of Te Mata wines is a result of that

The Buck boys. From left Jonathon, Toby and Nick.

chance I might not be going back to that school the following year. But that’s part of the reality of rural life - weather is everything. It’s small talk, but also one of the darker jokes about winemaking – you have to control everything you can, since at the end of day you simply can’t control the weather. There’s a lot of hard work and a lot of risk. A lot of people refer to Te Mata as a family winery, which it very much is. But it’s really three or four families at least. Michael and June Morris have been involved since the very start. Claire and Ian Athfield left a lasting impression on the place. The Cowleys, Peter and Gail, have been here for 30 years this year, and their kids James and Eden have both worked here too. Then there’s Larry Morgan and his son Sam, and Michael Bennet, and

– the finest wines this team can possibly make from the very best sites available. Being a part of Te Mata was something of which I was always very proud. Mum and Dad were smart in the sense that they never put direct pressure on any of us to be involved. It made my brothers and I cautious. We knew the continuity of the winery and its standards were so important to our parents, none of us would want to take part unless we were 100% on board. I was overseas for about nine years but came back regularly to work vintages. Even when I was working on the development of the Unity Books store in Wellington, my boss Tilly Lloyd would very kindly give me March off to come back here and work. I studied Art History and

English at Victoria, did my Post Graduate in America in Fine Art and then a Masters of Literature in Scotland. After that I studied Contemporary Arts at Christie’s Auction House in London while managing a photography gallery there, and completed a Diploma in Editing in Publishing while working for Random House Publishing back in New Zealand. In 2013 I was working vintage initially in the cellar and everybody knew that year was something really spectacular. My brother Nick was taking over as CO, as Dad was retiring from that role. Te Mata was growing into a new stage of its business. Coleraine had become this luxury item, and we knew the demand would be massive. At the same time, the Te Mata Special Character Zone - a great piece of policy by the Hawke’s Bay Council which marked out the road we lived on as the first legally-protected vineyard area in New Zealand - was about to come up to its 20th year. We were looking at how we could celebrate these things as well as 120 years of Te Mata Estate. I felt then I had something I could justifiably contribute to Te Mata, and that the timing was right. Dad comes from a pretty tough background, which a lot of people might not realize, because he can talk to anybody in this very cheery ‘Hail fellow, well met’ kind of way. It’s a surprisingly down-to-earth thing for someone who also happens to love well-made, classical Bordeaux. He cares about all the staff here, about wines from all over the world and from Hawke’s Bay in particular, and is endlessly, boyishly, enthusiastic about these things. I think that’s the gift my parents really gave us. They made us realize that our little corner of the globe was something worth celebrating - that it’s special and has its own character.■





roducing a fine wine takes time. So too has the creation of the inaugural Fine Wines of New Zealand list, announced earlier this year. The Fine Wines of New Zealand comprises 47 wines, chosen by five Masters of Wine, (Steve Smith, Michael Brajkovich, Simon Nash, Sam Harrop and Alastair Maling) and one Master Sommelier (Cameron Douglas). It has taken over eight months to fine tune, during which time the six wine professionals have discussed and tasted more than 130 wines, of all varieties. Air New Zealand Chief Operations Officer Bruce Parton, says the Fine Wine List is the culmina-

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tion of a plan put into action more than two years ago. “We thought we could do something to really promote the top end of wine in New Zealand. But we wanted to ensure that it was independent from the airline itself.” Hence approaching the MWs and seeking their ideas on just how that could be achieved. “They came up with the idea,” Parton says. “Our role at Air New Zealand is simply facilitating the process.” The MWs initially provided individual lists of wines they considered met the “fine wine” criteria. That criteria was that the wine had to be world class and to


have held that status for at least five years. “A key requirement of theirs, was that these wines had to have been made consistently for five years or more. So rather than just a one off top wine, this is about the longevity of the quality of the wine.” Each of the six wine professionals was assigned an effective grouping. It was their job to find a range of fine wines within that category. Parton says there was no set number allocated to any grouping, or a total figure the final list had to achieve. Once the individual had come up with their list, they then had to present it to the rest of the group and achieve a consensus

on whether or not the wine was worthy of the “Fine Wines of New Zealand” moniker. The final 47 now make up the Fine Wines of New Zealand list – a selection of which is served in Business Premier cabins. Not all 47 wines will be available on all flights, as the wines will be matched to the food being served on any given day and some are not available in the quantities needed. While this is a first for any airline in the world, Parton says it is also a first for the New Zealand wine industry. There has long been talk of establishing a “classics” category in this country. Most other producing nations have such a list, although the majority of these are

Some may speak of range. Others of quality. All speak of

Internationally respected producers of bottles based on auction prices. That is something New Zealand cannot really emulate, given the auction market here is somewhat fragmented. Having a group of independent experts working together to create a list is unique says Parton. “That was the point of it, to create something that would generate value and be a first for New Zealand wines.” For the wineries whose wines have made the final list, being served in Business Premier is not the end of the road. Parton says in many ways it is just the beginning, as Air New Zealand is providing a range of options to help promote the wines to international clients. “Our aim from an Air New Zealand perspective is to make these wines more commercially viable through how we work with them under our plan to make New Zealand business more profitable.”

A new wine channel on the inflight entertainment system will have the Masters of Wine discussing how they came up with the Fine Wines list. Each winery will have the opportunity to provide material for this channel that highlights the company, the vineyards and the personnel behind the wines. Given many travelers after trying a certain wine like to know where they can purchase it, Parton says an inflight system will allow them to purchase cases for home delivery, either via credit card or Airpoints dollars should this be of interest to the wineries. “We often have customers on board trying the wines and asking if they can buy it. Now we can facilitate it, so basically it is an easy retail channel for the wineries.” The Fine Wines will also be used in off shore promotions. “We do about 100 events off shore each year in different

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THE FINE WINES OF NEW ZEALAND FOR 2016 Aromatics Felton Road Dry Riesling 2014 Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2015 Framingham F series Riesling Kabinett 2015 Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2014 Stonecroft Gewürztraminer 2015 Te Whare Ra Toru SV5182 2014 Millton Vineyards Clos de Ste Anne Chenin Blanc 2014 Prophet’s Rock Pinot Gris 2014 Dry River Pinot Gris 2014 Bordeaux style Te Mata Coleraine 2014 Craggy Range Sophia 2013 Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 Esk Valley The Terraces 2013 Stonyridge Vineyard Larose 2014 Church Road Tom 2013

Chardonnay Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard 2014 Neudorf Moutere 2011 Sacred Hill Riflemans 2014 Dog Point 2013 Felton Road Block 2 2010 Villa Maria Keltern Vineyard 2014 Dessert wines Forrest Wines Botrytised Riesling 2012 Framingham Wines Noble Riesling 2013 Framingham Wines ‘F’ Gewürztraminer 2014 Pinot Noir Felton Road Block 3 2013 Burn Cottage 2014 Valli Bannockburn 2014 Rippon Vineyards Tinkers Field 2012 Bell Hill 2012

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countries and in many of those we serve wine. So the question we are putting to the wineries is; do you want to be a part of that? In which case you need to be able to sell us some wine, (we are not asking for free wine here, we are buying it). I really want to see these Fine Wines of New Zealand at these events.” Secondly in countries where events are being held, and winery reps are also in the region, Air New Zealand is keen for them and distributors and/or customers to attend. “You will start seeing branding of Air New Zealand and the Fine Wines programme together offshore. It can be really hard for small wineries to get penetration in these offshore markets. So if we can assist and open some doors, making it easier, we think this is a really good thing to do.” The other promotional tool available to the wineries will be

offering their wines via the airline’s online Airpoints store, Parton says. All of these promotional avenues are free of charge to the wineries, which he says will help them to promote their wines, raise the profile and hopefully help them create even more fine wines in the future. That is a sustainable business plan which is something Air New Zealand feels strongly about.

“We want the New Zealand wine industry to grow and continue to make the very best wine. The more they can keep on delivering and improving the good quality product, the better. We feel strongly we have a part to play in that.” The opportunities available to the wineries on the Fine Wines list is immense and Parton is aware that there will be many companies

who will be keen to be included in the future. “But it is no good talking to me about it, as it is all independently created by the Masters of Wine. The simple way is for five years or more, to make the very best wine in your category, to a world class level. If you do that, the Masters of Wine will know about it and then you have a chance to be part of this with us.”■


AMONG THE VINES Reminders for October...


f the mealybug threshold was triggered last season, best practice is to apply a highvolume Tokuthion plus oil spray at woolly bud and follow up with pre-flower buprofezin (Mortar® or Ovation®) sprays timed for 10-14 day pre-bloom and immediately pre-bloom. If erinose mite was a problem last season, Organic JMS Stylet® oil is a highly effective product that will work irrespective of temperature at time of application. Follow label directions carefully. Fo r g r o w e r s w h o ’ v e experienced downy mildew

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problems in recent years, it is vital to protect the newly emerged growth this season. Between bud-break and bloom, use regular applications of Dithane® Rainshield Neotec in anticipation of wet weather. Ensure good coverage. Black spot also requires a good early-season preventative fungicide programme to stop its spread onto healthy foliage. Watch the weather forecasts and apply a cover of Delan® or Dithane Rainshield Neotec before it rains. The establishment of the sexual stage of powdery


mildew in New Zealand, with its characteristic overwintering chasmothecia present on vine cordons and shoots and its ability to release ascospores during spring following wet events, presents a significant new source of disease infection. This is in addition to our historical asexual stage of inoculum, in the form of conidia, released from flag shoots soon after budburst. Even if flag shoots are not evident in your vineyard, control strategies cannot be ignored, because conidia are ubiquitous in the environment and therefore

disease is a constant threat when conditions are conducive for infection. Start your powdery mildew spray programme soon after bud-break and maintain a tight cover. Organic JMS Stylet™ oil is highly effective in the early part of the season, irrespective of temperature. Powdery mildew is also sensitive to sulphur, due mainly to the toxic vapours released from solution as it dries on foliage. More vapour is released at high temperatures so for best results, spray only on warm days or the warmest part of the day. ■

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PINOT 2017



ith just a few months to go until New Zealand’s largest ever wine event, organisers of Pinot Noir 2017 are full of smiles. Not surprising, given the level of support for the event from wineries, sponsors, speakers and delegates. In total 117 wineries from eight regions will be on show at next year’s event on the Wellington Waterfront. Pinot Noir is the order of the day, and will be sampled, debated, and penned by an impressive group of visionaries,

thinkers and enthusiasts. This includes 80 international media hosted by New Zealand Winegrowers, 40 international sommeliers, 73 international guests hosted by wineries and their regions, 25 speakers and at least 200 delegates – some 500 plus guests in all. It’s an impressive line-up, that will ensure the words on everyone’s lips in early 2017 will be New Zealand Pinot Noir. Organising Chair Ben Glover says the event, being held over three days has very definite parameters. “The focus of the event is based

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around three key words - Embrace, Explore and Evolve,” he says. “Embrace is about opening our homes and welcoming everyone to New Zealand – to our extended New Zealand wine family. It is about getting up close and personal, talking about where we have come from, what we enjoy and why we are here.” Day two is about exploring greatness. “We will look at Pinot Noir from across the globe with international panelists Jancis Robinson OBE MW, Mike Bennie, Ken Ohashi MW and Marcel Geisen, hosted by Ata Rangi’s Helen Masters.

Noir and food will play an important aspect in the event. Ruth Pretty has been confirmed as the Culinary Director, with added inspiration from an iconic kiwi chef on each of the three days, taking our cuisine to another level. Executive Officer Rachael Fletcher says the Culinary Programme will also follow the Pinot Noir 2017 daily themes of Embrace, Explore, and Evolve. And if that is not enough, then a public tasting has been arranged for the afternoon before Pinot Noir 2017’s opening. “We’re stoked to announce that our 2017 consumer event will be

“And the clear winner in the Botrytis control category is…”

“It is all about evolving. The international wine world has accepted that New Zealand is a great Pinot producer in its own right” – but it is important to ensure that we do not rest on our laurels. When it comes to day three Glover says “it is all about evolving. The international wine world has accepted that New Zealand is a great Pinot producer in its own right” – but it is important to ensure that we do not rest on our laurels. “Day three is the continued search of our expression of our sense of place, and where to next – what are we doing trialing in the shed – what are we thinking about looking ahead?” The three days of sessions will be based around the Wellington waterfront, with speakers giving food for thought on the themes of the day, to set the scene in the mornings. The afternoons are more intimate, with the delegates broken into three groups, where they’ll have free flow sessions with the regions, and a chance to taste every winery’s Pinot Noir. This is the key time for regions and individual wineries to tell their stories, Glover says. Again the matching of Pinot

in partnership with Pinot Palooza. Dan Sims and the team from Bottle Shop Concepts will take the lead on this, spark it up and deliver something Wellingtonians will love. The Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency, as principal partners, will launch a three-week consumer programme in the city that will kick off on the same day as Pinot Palooza Wellington. With the Wellington Culinary Events Trust (those responsible for delivering Visa Wellington on a Plate) bringing this programme together, you can be sure that the coolest little capital in the world will be embracing Pinot like never before come January 2017. With just 50 tickets for Pinot 2017 left, Fletcher urges people to act now and get their hands on one. More details are available at Twitter: @PinotNoirNZ, #PinotNoirNZ. ■

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13 NEW MASTERS OF WINE There are now 353 Masters of Wine in 28 countries after a recent announcement that 13 new MW’s have passed the challenging exams. The new Masters of Wine live in eight countries – Australia, China, France, India, Ireland, Taiwan, the UK and the USA. The new Masters of Wine are Richard Ballantyne (UK); Bree Boskov (Australia); Barbara Boyle (Ireland); Matt Deller MW (USA); Matthew Forster (UK); Sonal Holland (India); Jeremy Lithgow (UK); Mary Margaret McCamic (USA); Iain Munson (France); Mick O’Connell (Ireland); Mark Pygott (Taiwan); Ana-Emilia Sapungiu (UK); Fongyee Walker (China).

It was particularly pleasing to see Matt Deller’s name on the list. Matt was born in New Zealand and came along to my wine course, with his dad, when he was 18 yearsold. He was a rep for Pernod Ricard before teaming up with Steven Bennett MW to form the wine distribution company, Bennett and Deller. Matt now lives in San Francisco with his wife and two sons where he is Director of Fine Wine Development for Constellation Brands. The Institute of Masters of Wine claim Matt as a US member. They claim Wellingtondomiciled Stephen Wong MW as a Malaysian member. Surely one of them belongs to us?

ORGANIC WINE TASTES BETTER A group of Californian academics reviewed 74,148 wine tasting notes from three top wine publications (The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast) to see whether “eco-certified” wines tasted better. “Eco-certified” means the wines were certified by an independent organisation to be organic or bio-dynamic. The study found that a lot of eco-certified wine producers adopted organic and/or biodynamic methods because they thought their wine would taste better but many didn’t reveal their eco-certified status on the label. While eco-certified foods were perceived as tasting better and being better for us, many American consumers believe that there is a stigma attached to eco-certified wines according to the study. In New Zealand an increasing number of wines are now labelled as “organic” although prestigious producers such as Dog Point and Felton Road don’t reveal their organic/biodynamic status on the label. Felton Road write about “observing the natural rhythms of our ecosystem” but they don’t use the “biodynamic” word. That could soon change once the “organic wines taste better” message is accepted by wine drinkers. The study concluded that those with eco-certification had a statistically significantly higher rating. In other words they simply tasted better, according to the judges. I should say that all of the wines were tasted blind so the judges had no idea which were eco-certified and which were not. The full report can be found at cfm?abstract_id=2711839

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Matt Deller

NZ TOP AT SIX NATIONS WINE COMPETITION The Six Nations Wine Competition is a Sydney-based wine show that uses an international judging panel to compare the very best wines from six countries (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Canada and the US). It works like this. A selector/judge from each of the six countries makes up a list of 100 of the very best wines produced with a maximum of 10 wines in any of 15 different classes (sparkling, Chardonnay etc. etc.). I am the selector/judge for New Zealand so I simply sort my wine database to choose my top ten labels in each category. I chose not to enter “blended white wines” and one or two other classes because we are not strong in those categories. I pass my selec-

tion to the organisers who approach the wineries on my list. Most are keen to get involved. Like selection for the Olympics – it’s an honour to be invited to compete. The wines are sorted into classes and served blind to the judges who choose their top 12-15 wines (depending on class size) and rank them in order of quality. The judges’ rankings are recorded and added to find a winner in each class, a runner-up and the top country by class. Each country’s marks are added to identify top country. This year New Zealand won “Top Country” trophy as well as winning seven out of the 15 classes, a great achievement given the overall quality of wines judged.

This is the 14th year of the competition which started with just three countries (New Zealand, Australia and South Africa). It’s the fourth time New Zealand has won the trophy for top country (we have now earned first place in the last three years). The country placings this year were: FIRST: New Zealand SECOND: Australia THIRD: USA FOURTH: South Africa FIFTH: Canada SIXTH: Chile The full list of results will be revealed on the website on October 6th

SELL BY THE BARREL Earlier this year Penfolds revealed the details of their “Magill Cellar 3” marketing initiative which involves making and selling a super-premium red wine by the barrel for A$198,000 or the equivalent of $535 a bottle. Recently Waiheke wine producer, Destiny Bay, announced that it too is selling wine by the barrel for between $58,500 and $18,000 depending on the wine quality level. Both schemes are interesting loyalty programs aimed at very wealthy wine buyers, offering more than a barrel of bulk wine. In the case of Destiny Bay buyers receive: The signed empty barrel (or signed barrel head if they prefer) Private tastings at Destiny Bay and dinners with the winemaker

Priority purchasing on future barrels Storage of their bottled wine Access to the secondary market if they wish to sell their bottled wine at a profit. With those inducements

it seems to me that anyone who buys a barrel is going to become a vocal ambassador for the winery. There’s no point in making such a purchase if your very wealthy friends don’t know about it.

Barrel buyers have to wait 2-3 years before their wine is bottled and released, making a useful contribution to cash flow. It’s a clever initiative that could easily be extended to include the budget wine buyer.





rom Upstate New York, to Oregon, to Australia, and finally to New Zealand. Dr Glen Creasy, senior lecturer in Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University has travelled a well researched path to his current position. Creasy knew nothing whatsoever about grapes prior to college, despite a thriving wee wine industry in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. However with

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a father who was a lecturer at Cornell University, and a penchant for growing things, deciding to undertake a degree in plant science was, in his words, “a no brainer”. After his third year at Cornell, he had to find some work over the summer months, to provide some income and came across a scholarship to work with researchers and grapevines at the Geneva Experiment Station. He won the scholarship, not just that first year,


but the next year as well. It was fortuitous, because it led Creasy into the world of wine. “I had never really worked with grape vines before, but they intrigued me. They are plastic, you can do so many different things with them because they don’t have a permanent trunk. You can train them all sorts of ways and there are lots of different uses for the fruit. A lot of the grapes grown in New York State are grown for

juice production and wine was an important and growing industry at that time. “I did my first experiment looking at colouration and changes, primarily in table grapes but also some wine grapes, in response to ethephon application. When applied to fruit it can increase the colour and enhance the ripening. The experiment was to see if we could get fruit not exposed to light, to form more colour.

This was my first exposure to full research.” Two summers working with grapes inspired him to undertake his Masters – further afield. So it was off to Oregon. “I got a scholarship to work at Oregon State and did a project there looking into aspects of vascular change in berries as they start to ripen. That was great because it was a different environment, much more like here in New

“The project I was hired to do was to look at resveratrol in grape berries and look at ways of trying to help the vines help themselves against botrytis, by getting them to produce more resveratrol.” The Australian wine industry couldn’t have been more different to that of Oregon, if it had tried. For the first time he got to experience viticulture in a hot climate and he was introduced to “big Shiraz’s, hot climate Chardonnays”,

“I have always had an interest with wine being the ultimate product, even though I am a viticulturist. The real questions aren’t answered until you get to the wine.” Zealand. It exposed me to a whole other range of wine styles and varieties.” He ended up completing his Masters and PhD in Oregon, working on different aspects of grape vine physiology. The research environment was one he thrived in, especially given he had the chance to work closely with wine industry personnel. “I got to talk to them about the issues they had, to talk about the problem solving and research ideas. It was a wonderful time to learn about grapevines, how they worked, to learn about viticulture and the practical, commercial management.” It took him a “little longer than it should” to achieve his Masters and PhD – eight years in total. But it isn’t something he regrets. “I had the greatest time, met some great people, so it was worth it.” But all good things have to come to an end and after that eight years, Creasy knew he had to think about the future. While he loved Oregon, he knew it was time for him to look outside the area. A Post-Doctoral position came up at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia.

and hot climate grape growing techniques. “It was good, not only from the standpoint of the wine styles involved with wines from those types of grapes,” he says. “I have always had an interest with wine being the ultimate product, even though I am a viticulturist. The real questions aren’t answered until you get to the wine. I have always had an interest in making sure there was some relevance to winemaking.” The contract in Australia was for three years, but two years in a position came up at Lincoln University – one that involved more research but also teaching. It intrigued him, as did the chance of working in a similar climate with similar varieties to those he had worked with in Oregon. By this stage he had met his wife, Kirsten Creasy (Hill Laboratories) and given she came from Christchurch, the job seemed ideal. Initially he was a lecturer in viticulture, alongside such luminaries as Mike Trought and David Jackson. He credits both with inspiring him to take his research to a new level.

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“That is when I got to start my real research programme. It is a continuum from grape to wine. I wanted to see that continuum and see what happens to the wine when I am doing this stuff in the vineyard.” Following on from his research in Australia with resveratrol, he began looking at botrytis and the impact on grape vine growth and resistance. “Then I segued into more viticulture and vine physiological projects.” Part of his role at Lincoln is to teach students how to go about research. Not all the Vit and Oenology students will end up in the field of wine making or growing – many go on to specialize in wine research. For Creasy it is important they all gain some experience on how to undertake and follow through a research project. The other aspect of his teach-

ing role is to ensure the students have a balanced understanding of winemaking and viticulture. “We don’t separate the two, because it is a continuum. Anybody who’s a winemaker needs to know about how the grapes are grown and what processes influence them to the point when they get to the winery. And vice versa, the grape growers need to know; ‘oh if I do this in the vineyard, what is that going to mean in the winery?’” Creasy not only teaches and researches the wine industry, he is also a member, with a small vineyard of 500 vines. Planted in 2006 with mostly Pinot Noir and a sprinkling of Pinot Meunier the fruit goes into a Sparkling wine, (with some Chardonnay coming in from Waipara.) Wife Kirsten makes the wine, while Creasy says he “keeps his fingers in the dirt, to ensure I walk the walk.”

“I get a lot of satisfaction getting out there in the vineyard because I see what I have done. I know there is going to be an impact of what I have done, whereas if I sit in front of a computer all day and push numbers around, type letters on a keyboard, all I have to show at the end of a day is a couple of files on a computer. You can’t handle that, or see it or really appreciate it as much as you can working in a vineyard.” His own experiences, not only with research but also growing led him to consult in Japan. “What they were doing was trying to take Koshu, a traditional table grape in Japan and transfer that into a wine style that would suit Japanese cuisine. So it is creating a whole new product and working with a grape that people had only ever grown a certain way.” While he describes his work there as challenging, due to having to

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change traditional mindsets, the end result has been more than worth it. There will be many who are reading this article, who recognise Glen Creasy among the words. Over the years he has been lecturing he has taught a new generation of viticulturists and winemakers. He has taken great pride in watching his former students go on to forge wonderful careers for themselves. And he admits the only reason he joined Facebook, was so he could keep up with the comings and goings of all those students who have sat in his lecture halls over the past 18 years. While he is now a long way from the Finger Lakes district of Upstate New York, he can take satisfaction in having had a major influence on the growth of the next generation of New Zealand’s wine industry. ■

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he Shanghai Uniqlo salesman looked at my credit card and exclaimed “New Zealand! Milk!” Thanks to the 2008 Free Trade agreement, New Zealand dairy producers now export around NZ$2,500 million of milk powder, cheese and butter to China each year. New Zealand’s reputation for making products that are regarded as being clean, green and pure holds great appeal to Chinese consumers who are happy to pay a premium for our dairy products. New Zealand wine has benefit-

ted from the FTA too. NZ Winegrowers has promoted a strong message of sustainable viticulture and responsible winemaking, enhancing the country’s reputation for making wines of character and purity. This resonates with the emerging group of new discerning Chinese wine drinkers. Export figures show just how popular New Zealand wine has become in China; in 2001 we exported NZ$43,000 of wine. By 2016 that figure had risen to NZ$27,600,000, a phenomenal rate of growth.


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Credit for some of this growth must in part be down to Natalie Potts, NZ Winegrowers Marketing Manager in Asia and NZTE’s Shanghai based Business Development Manager Jerry Hong who work together to keep New Zealand wine in the spotlight. Learning I would be in Shanghai in June for the 2016 Wine 100 competition, Jerry asked if I’d host a New Zealand versus France wine tasting in Beijing. 70 key influencers, sommeliers and critics would be invited to taste wines blind alongside four of Beijing’s most respected palates. I chose the New Zealand wines and worked alongside Michael Zhang, until recently Head Sommelier at The Langham Xiantiandi but now Business Development Manager for Vinehoo to select the French ones. We showed four flights; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and red blends. The Beijing judges, Fongyee Walker MW, Frankie Zhou, Dorian Tang and Meiyu Li were each asked to taste blind and score all the wines and each was asked to pick one flight and comment on the wines. The judges scores would place the wines but the audience were also asked which wines they liked best. The Chardonnay flight was a comprehensive victory for New Zealand. Villa Maria’s 2014 Keltern Vineyard Chardonnay just pipped 2013 Kumeu River Matés Vineyard (by 0.25 of a point) to first place. What was particularly noticeable was the advanced ageing of both the 2013 Pernot Bienvenue Batard Montrachet and the 2011 Domaine Chandon de Brialles Corton, two highly regarded grand cru wines but both showing as prematurely developed. The Pinot Noir class was tightly contested but Valli’s 2008 Gibbston Vineyard pushed 2011 Domaine Anne and Herve Sigaut’s Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Noirots into second place. The

Valli looked excellent and I spoke to several attendees afterwards who had not tasted an older New Zealand Pinot and whom were excited by the ageing potential of this category. Possibly the most anticipated flight was Syrah. 2013 Trinity Hill Homage looked stupendous on the day and was an outright winner. Hard on its heels, the Elephant Hill Reserve Syrah showed just why there is so much focus on this variety. By comparison the Jaboulet Cote Rote and Yann Chave Crozes seemed disappointing. Finally the red blends class. Here, maybe unsurprisingly, the Chinese fondness for Bordeaux prevailed with 2012 Chateau Beychevelle taking first place, but only just ahead of 2013 Stonyridge Larose. One of the most surprising things for those attending was how keenly New Zealand wines were priced. All the wines were tasted blind so no-one knew that two New Zealand wines retailing for around 400 RMB (Villa Keltern) and 684 RMB (Kumeu Matés) had been pitched against a Grand Cru white Burgundy retailing for close to 2500 RMB. This was the most commented aspect of the tasting; not only had the New Zealand wines won fairly through independent tasting, but the price versus quality of these wines was amazing. Apart from the great media/ social media influence for New Zealand wines, NZTE linked the event to an online promotion to make sure the winning New Zealand wines had a chance to be purchased by wine lovers. Asia continues to be a strong focus for NZ Winegrowers through its education programmes, annual roadshows and trade events. Perhaps it won’t be too long before the sight of a New Zealand credit card will bring the exclamation “New Zealand! Wine” instead.■

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CLOSURE RETROSPECTIVE The tipping point for New Zealand pioneers of screwcaps was poor quality cork and 15 years down the track, the pioneers of the movement are amassing interesting aged examples under different closures as Joelle Thomson has discovered.


arlborough winemaker Dr John Forrest is on a mission to show wine drinkers around the world the retrospective difference between aged wines sealed under cork and screwcaps. The wines he plans to use to highlight the differences are a range of varietals from the early

2000s and they are, without exception – he says - vastly superior under screwcaps than cork. “We found a little variation between different varietals when we experimented with screwcaps in 2001, but overall, the quality of our wines under screwcap was significantly higher, so we sealed everything that way from 2002. I

don’t know why anyone would use anything else.” The tipping point for Forrest came when he realized in 2000 that 50 per cent of all of his 1998 Chardonnays had been ruined, due to the cork that he was supplied with. “In good conscience, I couldn’t sell this wine to anyone, knowing

“Moving to screcaps has proven to be absolutely correct,” says Michael Brajkovich MW.

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that consumers who purchased it would have a 50% chance of getting a wine they couldn’t drink. That was my most memorable cork failure.” Alternatives became the priority following that realization, so when the fateful call came from the late Ross Lawson in 2001, inviting Forrest to a meeting about closures, it was a fait accompli that something had to change. “Ross said ‘I’m sick of this bloody cork problem so can you come to a meeting to talk about it?’ “It almost felt like a secret meeting when a small group of us got together in a back room in Blenheim because we were to plot something that many people were to see as heretical - the destruction of the cork industry.” That group included the late Ross Lawson and also winemakers John Forrest, Michael Brajkovich MW and John Belsham, all of whom were amongst the first members of the New Zealand Screwcap Initiative. Fifteen years down the track, none regret the dramatic change in wine closure and the movement snowballed faster than their wildest expectations. Within five years of the screwcap launch in this country, significantly more than 50 per cent of New Zealand winemakers had opted for screwcaps for their wines. And now, 15 years later, screwcaps account for over 95 per cent of New Zealand wine. Michael Brajkovich MW and his family at Kumeu River Wines moved 100% to screwcap in 2001. Brajkovich was encouraged to make the leap of faith by his brother, Paul, who suggested that the large number of old Australian Rieslings sealed with screwcaps showed the type of aging that was exactly what the family wanted for its Chardonnay. “Initially I wanted to trial it for longer before switching over but I don’t regret a thing because moving to screwcaps has proven

to be absolutely correct,” says Brajkovich. “Paul was right. The wines I had seen sealed with screwcaps prior to moving over were universally clean, well aged wines, which, I thought, had exactly the characters that we wanted in our Chardonnays.” Many of those wines came from a group of Clare Valley Riesling producers in Australia. These winemakers had sealed 50 per cent of their Rieslings in screwcap and 50 per cent in cork in 2000. So, in 2001, the New Zealand Screwcap Initiative was formed by 26 producers in this country. “We did a pretty good job of getting the message across, but we didn’t quite count on the negative reaction, particularly the ferocity of the negative message and particularly from the cork industry, which was protecting its patch,” says Brajkovich. “There was a lot of negative reaction from various sectors, which I think has been proven incorrect now. Clearly, the whole reduction issue that has been attributed to screwcaps has not been accurately communicated. “The fact is: it does, but it doesn’t. A term that was used a lot back at the start was that ‘these wines would become a ticking time bomb because they would become more stinky but that has clearly not been the case. In fact, if you’re talking about reduction, most of it has been shown to come from high solids ferments, which has become very trendy. The character comes from fermentation, not from bottle aging and especially not from bottle aging under screwcap.” Brajkovich says wines that have a strong reductive character when aged under screwcap actually tone down over a number of years, as they do if sealed with good quality corks. As to the maturation of red wines, Brajkovich suggests that good quality cork, while vari-


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able, will allow for relatively slow maturation, in a similar fashion to screwcaps. The criticism that red wines aged under screwcaps will evolve too slowly is, he says, a relative concept – “In opening very old bottles of wine, we tend to remark on wines that look young, so those wines are closer in character to what you get under a screwcap than what you see at the other end of the spectrum in traditional closures.” Andrew Parkinson works as a fine wine manager for Negociants NZ, which imports and distributes international and local wines in this country. He notes that screwcaps have a slower impact on the aging of wine and this can play a positive role in unexpected ways. “I have found that wines such as Nautilus Chardonnay, which we opened older bottles of

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earlier this year, that the fruit is still developing within a very firm, tight structure. It’s been a real surprise to see such a consistent evolution of a very good quality Chardonnay. In the past you’d have to open five bottles of older wines to show to the trade and media at tastings, but screwcaps have taken all that inconsistency and random oxidation away.” The consistent factor of both old and young wines was the watershed moment in his thinking about closures. When considering how well wine could age under screwcap in comparison to cork, the wine that highlighted the consistency of screwcaps was the 2001 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir, which he tried earlier this decade; “It was a beautifully aged Pinot and I just realized that I could completely rely on the consistency of screwcaps to allow great Pinot Noirs to age


gracefully.” As an importer, Parkinson sees a mixed bag in terms of European wineries moving across to screwcap. “We are starting to see more and more Europeans moving over. For us it started at the top with New Zealand wines such as Neudorf, Kumeu River and Ata Rangi, but in Europe it is the other way round; William Fevre in Burgundy is now putting its Petit Chablis under screwcap and Pra from the Veneto is putting its regular Soave in screwcap. It’s good to see these wines in a more modern closure, but it can be surprising that they don’t begin with their best wines.” In relation to the French and European mindset, Brajkovich suggests that it was always going to take longer because, particularly where the French are concerned, other factors come into play,

such as image, elitism and a more industrial closure rather than the traditional earthy one. “I think that it’s about their perception of what they should be projecting and what they believe their customers want. With us in the new world, we don’t have that kind of baggage to carry around. We are much more interested in what works and I think we are making inroads into traditional markets because we deliver a more consistent and better quality wine at certain price levels.” The level of brettanomyces appearing in Australia and New Zealand wines has now largely been eradicated, says Brajkovich, who cites screwcaps and research by the Australian Wine Research Institute as key to this. “It is very rare now to see any wines with brett’ appearing at wine shows in Australia and New Zealand, but open any

number of European wines and it is still a huge problem. The reason for this is that the yeast itself is microaerophilic, which means that they need oxygen because they cannot ferment or respire anaerobically. “When you seal wine with a cork you get variability with brettanomyes blooming but it is now extremely rare under screwcap,” says Brajkovich. Oxidation remains the biggest problem for wine sealed with cork, he says, and adds that cork taint (of which TCA or trichloranisole is the most commonly seen) sits at approximately five per cent. Then there is the Diam effect, which he also suggests is variable. “Time has shown that screwcaps have worked exactly as we thought they would and we wouldn’t use anything else now. They just work so well.”■

It was a heated battle of cork versus screwcap back in 2001 – but time has shown proponents, that their faith in the new closure was founded.





iscovering how microbial properties of New Zealand’s native manuka can help in the fight against grapevine trunk disease has won ASEAN scholar Wisnu Adi Wicaksono this year’s David Jackson Prize. The 29 year-old who originates from Indonesia, arrived in New Zealand back in 2013, as an ASEAN scholar funded following a competitive process by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For the past three years he has been based within the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Lincoln University where he is supervised by Assoc. Profs. Hayley Ridgway and Eirian Jones. His thesis chapter, which is to be delivered at the end of this year is; Novel bacterial endophytes from native plants as a new strategy for control of grapevine trunk diseases. The prevalence of trunk disease in New Zealand has spawned multiple research projects, especially as the disease tends to emerge as vines get older. With Sauvignon Blanc seeming to be more at risk than many other varieties, the concern for the industry is well founded. Wisnu, who prior to coming to New Zealand spent three years working for PT Sinar Mas Agriresources and Technology in Indonesia already had experience identifying micro-organisms with biofungicide/biofertiliser activity. He was aware that Botryosphaeriaeae species (that cause trunk disease) are commonly found in manuka trees, but unlike when they are present in vines, manuka shows no sign of the disease. Was that because of the natural antimi-

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THE DAVID JACKSON PRIZE This prize is named in honour of the contribution that David Jackson made to the Canterbury region. Dr. David Jackson was for many years an academic staff member at Lincoln University and carried out pioneering work demonstrating what could be achieved in the South Island’s cool climate. His

Wisnu Adi Wicaksono

crobial properties associated with this native tree? And if so, could those inhibitory properties be transferred to other agricultural species such as grapevines? Through months of isolating the endomicrobiome from manuka, Wisnu was able to determine that one strain had “significant inhibitory capability against Botryosphaeriaceae species through diffusible and volatile compounds.” While that was one question answered, the next one was whether or not this bacterium


research at Lincoln was critical in unravelling key climate factors for balance between vegetative and fruit growth in Canterbury. He was also the prime mover in what became New Zealand’s first tertiary-level qualification in viticulture and wine science. Since 2010 when the inaugural prize was

could be transferred to a grapevine, and once present how it could be monitored in the vines. “As plants are normally inhabited by a diverse community of microorganisms, distinguishing a single strain from this complex background required additional innovation,” Wisnu wrote in a recent report. “This problem was solved by creating a natural variant of the bacterial strain that could be recovered onto antibiotic containing media. This media would kill the background grapevine microflora. In this way the persistence of the novel bacterium in the grapevine could be precisely measured and its abundance and distribution could be determined.” Now the bacterium could be isolated and monitored once in a grapevine, Wisnu was able to undertake trials. The control vines were inoculated with the pathogen only, while the others were inoculated with the pathogen and the new bacterial endophyte Pseudomonas sp. I2R21. The end

awarded, it has been part of a Gala dinner, which is a collaboration between Wines of Canterbury, Lincoln University and the Waipara Valley Winegrowers. The prize is awarded to any student at Lincoln University carrying out research in the broad area of wine which demonstrates both innovation and academic rigour.

result showed the lesions in the vines with no Pseudomonas sp. I2R21 were at 18.7 mm after two months and 38.9mm after six months. The vines with the novel bacterium though had lesions of only 10.7 mm after two months and 12.6 mm after six months. According to Wisnu’s report; “the endophytes Pseudomonas sp. I2R21 consistently reduced lesion size.” It is thought that the natural ability of the bacteria produces antibiotic compound(s) that reduce pathogen colonization. If that is the case and the bacteria can be developed commercially, there are many opportunities for this to help break the trunk disease pathogen cycle. Wound dressings containing Pseudomonas sp. I2R21 may be an ideal way for that to occur. Given the obvious biocontrol attributes discovered during Wisnu’s research, there is bound to be some major benefits derived in the years to come, thanks to one of our most lauded native trees.■


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he recent member vote showed strong support from members for NZW to join the Government Industry Agreement for biosecurity readiness and response. Overall 96.09% of the member vote and 99.81% of the levy vote supported joining the GIA. Joining GIA is a key objective of the NZW biosecurity strategy. The strength of this mandate sends a clear message to government regarding the importance members place on having a seat at the table in making biosecurity decisions to safeguard the long-term sustainability

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of the industry. The next step will be for NZW to develop and submit a proposal to join GIA to the Minister of Primary Industries. NZW aims to complete the proposal by the end of 2016. High health vines: better product, better biosecurity, everyone wins! In June this year New Zealand Winegrowers released Version 3.0 of the Grafted Grapevine Standard (GGS), which was originally released in 2006. The release of Version 3 concludes a two year review, incorporating advice from a wide range of technical experts


and industry stakeholders. The GGS seeks to provide assurance to growers, viticulturists, winemakers and other stakeholders and consumers, that certified grafted grapevines, can be described as “high health” vines.

Benefits of “high health” vines New Zealand Winegrowers encourages all our members to only use vines that are certified under the GGS as there are both customer specific and industrywide benefits associated with doing so.

For the individual customer these benefits include: Trueness to type – To produce a top quality wine and to build its reputation you need confidence that the grapes you use are true to type. To sell certified grapevines, nurseries must demonstrate an unbroken chain of custody from the original mother plants verified as true to type grafted grapevines. Minimal risk of GLRaV-3 – This

Graded bud wood

virus is economically one of the most important and widespread grape diseases that impacts on the winemaker’s options and ultimately on the quality of the wine produced. To sell certified grapevines nurseries must be able to demonstrate that these vines have been subjected to an intense testing program to minimize the presence of virus. Meeting this threshold helps to ensure healthy vines growing quality grapes producing high quality wines and the longevity of the vineyard. Physical Specifications – the GGS has stringent guidelines in place about the size, shape and quality of the vine that is sold under the certification. This ensures that the vines you order should all meet the minimum requirements for size, number of buds, amount of roots and strength of callus and rootstocks. Vine Health – Version 3 contains a new section on overall vine health in an effort to ensure that vines certified under the GGS have taken all practical steps to reduce the chance of spreading wood diseases. The NZ GGS is the first standard worldwide to try to incorporate nursery management practices that reduce the spread of trunk diseases. For the wider industry benefits include: Enhanced reputation - Using high health vines that have been subject to the world’s only independently audited “whole vine”

certification system helps promote New Zealand’s reputation for exceptional wines. Put simply, it provides both the viticulturist and the final consumer of the wine with more confidence that they have purchased a premium product. Biosecurity – Using high health vines provides a double edged biosecurity benefit: High health vines are more robust and more likely to survive the impact of other pests and diseases that they may be exposed to; High health vines are fully traceable – so if a vine is diagnosed as being infected by a specific pest or disease that vine can be traced to a specific batch from a specific nursery, making it easier to identify where other potentially infected vines have been distributed to.

Vine Industry Nursery Association members include: • Riversun Nursery Ltd • Ormond Nurseries Ltd • Stanmore Farms Ltd • Misty Valley Nursery Ltd • Vineyard Plants Ltd • Vine Nursery New Zealand Ltd • Corbans Nurseries Ltd■ New Zealand Winegrowers has recently produced a fact sheet that provides a more detailed summary of the Grafted Grape Vine Standard. To find out more go to: sustainability/in-the-vineyard/ grafted-grapevine-standard-3/

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telow, Trevor Lupton and Andrew Blakeman will share presentation duties in sessions designed to ensure that attendees receive the guidance they need for their sprayer type, canopy profile and mix calculations. The workshops are designed to address an issue that’s all too often

been the Achilles’ heel in pest and disease management, says Simon Hooker, New Zealand Winegrowers General Manager of Research and Innovation. “Sprayer technique can make or break the effectiveness of sprays for managing powdery mildew,” he says. “We want to ensure that

growers and vineyard managers receive advice that’s tailor-made for their specific equipment and their vineyards, but the benefits will extend to managing other diseases as well.” Spray Days will offer practical, interactive and hands-on learning experiences for anyone in the vineyard involved in spraying. Breakaway sessions are devoted to each major sprayer type, and attendees can choose the module that suits their situation and work with the experts to develop options for their vineyard blocks. Advance registration is required (go to http://www.nzwine. com/members/ for more information. ■


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mproving powdery mildew control through sprayer setup and application will take centre stage at a new series of New Zealand Winegrowers’ workshops scheduled to start in mid-October. “Spray Days” are being offered free of charge to anyone involved in vineyard applications as part of a new research project, co-funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Farming Fund. Sessions will be held in each grapegrowing region around the country and will focus on: • Correct sprayer set-up. • Improved spray coverage. • Accurate rates. • Canopy management. Technical experts David Mank-

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t is rare for a winemaker to have the intimate knowledge of the vines that Greystone’s Dominic Maxwell has. This relatively young Waipara company only planted their first vines in 2004. And Maxwell was one of those who was there for those initial plantings. Twelve years on, he is the chief winemaker and that intrinsic knowledge of the site and the varying specifics have helped him create some of New Zealand’s most lauded wines. It has been a meteoric rise for

both Greystone Wines and Maxwell. His first job after completing the Viticulture and Oenology Degree at Lincoln University, was as a vineyard hand. He has helped establish the vines, tended them and since 2011 he has been responsible for taking the fruit and turning it into wines that have gone on to win accolade after accolade. Pinot Noir is the key player in Greystone Wines’ entourage. It makes up over 50 percent of the plantings, following by Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Riesling.

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There is also a smattering of Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Syrah. There are three tiers within the Pinot range – the Greystone Pinot Noir, The Thomas Brothers Reserve and Little Brother, which is produced only in the best of years. With a commerce degree behind him, Maxwell didn’t discover wine until he left New Zealand to undertake his O.E. Reveling in the wines of the old world, he

realised commerce wasn’t going to do it for him, and he returned to New Zealand to undertake the degree at Lincoln. His very first job was with Greystone Wines and he has been there ever since. “When I first went to study I had visions of being a winemaker, but during the studies I enjoyed the viticultural side of it,” he says. “I was keen to get a job at a good place and get a feel for it. Working in the vineyard at Greystone was perfect.”

Owned by the Thomas family, the Omihi site was initially purchased in 2000. Maxwell says the combination of limestone and clay, along with the sloping hill sides were the attraction. As were the varying soil profiles within a very small area. “We have north west facing hillsides, gradual slopes and above those we have more limestone, rockier dominated areas where we have been able to plant smaller plots of Pinot. We have soils that

move from dense clay to limestone within actual rows. In other areas we have sandstone mixed with the limestone and other areas where limestone is very dominant. So we have very different plots which contribute different things.” That variation is so marked, that when it comes to harvest, the picking doesn’t follow down the 300 metre rows, it is done across them. “Which means it could take three picks over the course of a week and a half to complete the harvest of these rows.” The intimate knowledge Maxwell has of the plantings has helped him immeasurably as a winemaker. “There are several things that happen throughout your winemaking life. One is an understanding and acceptance of what your vineyards does. It is not like you can sit down with pages of information, or numbers and








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Helping to protect and care for New Zealand's most sought after wínes. read through it over a few weeks and understand it. It is a feeling about what the vineyard does. It changes year to year. It is hard to articulate, but being here so long you do become in tune with it.” That history has also allowed Maxwell to honestly evaluate the progression of the wines. “ T h e re h a s b e e n h u g e development,” he says. “In those first few years, we acknowledge we made good wine, but it wasn’t great. It had a lot of fruit characteristics and the palate was kind of medium bodied to light. There just wasn’t a strong sense of place. But in 09, which was only three harvests in, we started to see other characters besides fruit coming through – there was more savoury, spice. Spice is something you see in Omihi Pinot Noirs and in 09 we started to see that for the first time. In the last couple of vintages, we have seen more of that minerality in the soil coming through in the wine.” He says people often talk about aging vines producing differently to young, but he always questioned that. “But then when it starts to happen, it is quite an amazing

thing.” Mind you, he admits that conditions in Omihi can make life tough for vintners. “It is not easy down here to make it work because you are dealing with the vagaries of weather, more than you are in some regions. But, gee the wines are stunning and interesting.” Greystone Wines will be part of Pinot Noir 2017, something Maxwell believes is really important for emerging wineries. “It is the top event for Pinot Noir in New Zealand and you could argue it is the top event worldwide. The caliber of the people who go and the level of interest and hype adds a bit of electricity to the variety.” With 10 vintages under their belt, next year’s event is perfect timing for Greystone. “We now know our story. We have a strong set of wines and a great vineyard and we are very comfortable in our own skins, so this is the right time for us.”■ Greystone Wines is one of 11 wineries from the North Canterbury/Waiapra region attending Pinot Noir 2017.

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ew Zealand’s first alternative wine and food festival is to be held in Wellington on Sunday 13 November, says organiser Stephen Wong, New Zealand’s newest Master of Wine and head of the festival’s founding committee. The aim is to highlight organic, biodynamic and low to no sulphur added wines, says Wong. Numbers are limited to 250 people because the aim is to encourage learning and appreciating the differences between wines made in alternative styles. “Our intention with the Bud Burst festival is to encourage those who attend to really take their time to taste the wines and learn a little more about what’s happening in one very different area of the wine world today,” says Wong. The festival will host up to 20 stalls, between 60 to 70 wines and many tickets have already been sold via an online fund raising scheme. All wines tasted at Bud Burst must be produced along sustainably proven criteria, which means they must be made from grapes

100   //

certified organic, biodynamic or in transition to either of these certifications, says Wong. “We’re not saying those wines are better, but we are saying, ‘come and see what they taste like and if you enjoy them, perhaps it’s because they have less human input and are more natural – like wanting to listen to a piece of music unplugged.” All wineries that are taking part must submit at least one wine to the festival, which contains less than 25 parts per million of sulphur dioxide (SO2). This is approximately half of the standard amount of parts of per million used in commercial winemaking today. The use of SO2 has significantly reduced over the past century – the permissible amounts in Europe in 1910 were up to


500 parts per million. The Bud Burst committee wants to highlight the diversity of wines made according to a different paradigm than standard commercial winemaking tends to operate by, says Wong. New Zealand wines will make up the majority of those at the festival, but there are plans to have wines from further afield as well. “We don’t easily get access to taste wines

that winemakers experiment with; Bud Burst is an opportunity to look at the tip of the growing number of wines that may have begun as experiments but which are growing in volume – we’ll get to taste them and to see what others think of them.” Bud Burst is on Sunday 13 November 2016 at PreFab in Jessie Street, Wellington.■








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t may not have mirrored the All Blacks’ annihilation of the Wallabies, but Central Otago wines put up a good fight in the Bledisloe Cup of Wine. Central Otago winemakers put their best varieties and vintages forward in a fundraising Bledisloe of Wine dinner held in Sydney on the eve of the first Bledisloe match. Top officials from the Australian and New Zealand rugby unions, past players and wine lovers attended the high-end wine and food match where five

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each of Australia’s Barossa Valle y wines went ‘head to head’ against five of Central Otago’s most outstanding wines. Voted on by the dinner guests throughout the evening, the Australians took out the Kiwis in the wine challenge, making it one-all in the series so far. Two Paddocks vineyard owner and ardent rugby fan Sam Neill presented the Central Otago wines while Australia’s Barossa Valley wines were led by Mitchell Taylor from Taylors Wines. Central Otago Pinot Noir’s Glenys Coughlan says she was happy with the work the Central Otago “selectors” put in to choosing a line-up designed to complement the dinner menu. “Guests were really impressed with Central Otago’s Quartz Reef Methode Traditionelle 2010, the Prophet’s Rock Dry Riesling 2014

took out the Taylor’s Estate Riesling 2015 and Aurum Noble Riesling put up a good fight against the De Bortolli Noble One,” she says. “It was always going to be a challenge taking on Barossa Valley Shiraz’s with our Pinot Noirs but it could have gone either way, pitching award winning wines from two globally recognised wine regions against each other. It was great to be able to enter into the spirit of the competition. “New Zealand won the same event last year and I’m sure we’ll be invited back next year to try to bring the Bledisloe of Wine back to the home country!” Money raised on the night goes to the ARFU’s charitable trust supporting rugby players and their families in need. ■




orbans wines may have been amalgamated into Montana back in 2000, but for the hundreds of people who previously worked for the company, it remains a single entity. Hence the reason up to 100 former employees are expected to descend on Auckland, prior to this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards, for a reunion. Organiser (for her sins she admits) Kathie Bartley, says the idea has been talked about for years, but at this year’s Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, it developed into a more “we have to do this, rather than just talk about it.” By April when she was approached by former winemaker James Hea-

ley she realised that if she didn’t get on to it, then it would be another few years of all talk and no action. Since then Kathie and other former employees have been busy tracking down as many people as they can to let them know about the upcoming event. Which given the hundreds of people who passed through one of the Corbans winery doors or vineyards throughout the 20th century, has been a mammoth task. “The number of winemakers and viticulturists who have worked for Corbans at some time or another is incredible,” Bartley says. They are some

of the biggest names in the industry today.” Bartley herself began working

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manager. She says like many, she formed friendships for life, in an environment that was a pleasure to work in. “Work was so much fun, we all enjoyed it. Noel Scanlan who went on to become the CEO created an amazing culture. We were working in the old homestead in Henderson and that gave it a real family feel. “We used to have a lady who prepared food for us all, Sandra, who we all called Cookie. She would come in each day and make us muffins for morning tea. And I remember all the cats in the winery. They were all named after the wine cask brands e.g Velluto Rosso, Saint Amand. It was a special time.” The Reunion which is being held on November 11, will take place at The Fresh Factory, in Nikau Street, Eden Terrace and is what Bartley describes as Fork




rrigation systems are a crucial investment for the production of high yielding quality produce. Therefore, keeping to a maintenance program will ensure the investment continues to pay off for years to come. Drip irrigation is an efficient way to maintain soil moisture, apply fertiliser and reduce weed growth to grow a productive crop. However, just like your car, the long-term functionality of a drip line will depend on how well you service it. An efficient irrigation system

is reliant on regular maintenance. This includes the periodic flushing of pipelines to remove potential blockages and keep water flowing evenly through the entire system.

What is flushing? Contaminates like minerals or organic material can be found in any water source. When water is travelling quickly through a pipeline this isn’t an issue as it stays suspended in the water, but when it slows down or stops, it can begin to settle out and build up over time.

Flushing, as it sounds, sends a larger volume of water through the system to push out any contaminates that have built up over time. They are then released through an open ended source such as flush valve, in order to keep the pipeline and emitters clean of debris. Chemicals can also be used during this process to break down any mineral or organic build-up of materials and clean the pipeline. To provide some perspective, a 17mm (15.2mm ID) dripline lateral that has been designed with 200 drippers at one metre apart, will

on average require 200 litres of water per hour during system operation. When the system is flushed it requires an additional 320 litres per hour, totalling 520 litres per hour. To develop an effective flushing program, a grower must first understand what is the quality of the water source and what is the irrigation demand of the crop. An optimal flushing program

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begins at the initial design of the system. Manufacturers work closely with their customers to develop and deliver a system that takes into account the terrain, water quality and source, crop water requirements and the type of pipes, emitters and filtration required.

Water velocity and flushing Basically, velocity is the speed at which the water is travelling through the pipeline and is measured in meters per second (m/s). Getting the velocity right is critical to the effectiveness of the flush. An irrigation system should aim to get the minimum velocity requirements for efficient system operation. In a perfect world, flushing velocity should be 0.5m/s, but in most cases this can be difficult due to the different requirements between irrigation and flushing, the amount of water needed to achieve this velocity, and the irrigation infrastructure itself. Drip manufactures Rivulis Irrigation recommend a minimum flushing velocity for dripline laterals of 0.35m/s. Anything below 0.35m/s won’t adequately flush out contaminates as the water moves too slowly through the system.

Water quality and its impact on flushing According to Rivulis hydraulic

designers, it is not wise to develop a generalist approach to flushing as there are too many variables. That is why each flushing program is custom designed and starts at understanding the water source quality. Aquifer water for example, is generally quite clean and contains mineral contaminates, rather than organic contaminants in suspension. A system that draws water from a river or dam where there can be high quantities of organic material that encourage algae growth in the pipeline.

Crop water requirements The next part to planning a flush is to understand the needs of your crop. For, vineyards where drip lines are expected to last many years, flushing becomes very important. It’s also imperative to look at the plant water requirements as this will vary the amount of flushing required. For example, a vineyard crop may require 6ML of water per hectare per season, while an almond crop will require 12ML/ Ha. With more water flowing through the almond system due to longer irrigation times, it’s more likely for contaminates to build up and flushing will be needed more frequently than the vineyard. To discuss flushing, or any other drip irrigation need, contact Rivulis at or ■

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n invisible ‘tracer’ mixed with paint, plastics or ink and applied to wine bottle closures, corks or labels is the latest high-technology product developed to counter the growing trend of counterfeit wine. It has been produced by Australian anti-counterfeit and product authentication company YPB Group Ltd and was released at this years 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference and Trade Exhibition. Counterfeit wine is an ongoing and growing concern for

winemakers the world over, and has reared its head in China over recent yearas. Independent wine commentator Jeremy Oliver estimates up to 50% of wine costing $35+ per bottle sold in China is fake – either with a fake label, a refilled bottle or a copycat brand. “Early counterfeit wine was easy to spot in China, because the labels were inferior, the English on the labels was unusual, and even the bottle shapes were often incorrect,” Oliver said. “But lately wine counterfeiters have become more

professional. They are putting fake wine labels on cleanskin bottles, or refilling empty bottles with inferior wine – often from countries like Chile and Argentina – and then recorking and recapping them.” Oliver said; “I have heard stories that the average bottle of Champagne in China is filled seven times and in November 2012 police in Wenzhou Province seized nearly 10,000 bottles of counterfeit Chateaux Lafite Rothschild. Estimates are that around 30 million bottles of so-called Chateau Lafite are sold in China each year,

from a winery whose total production is around 200,000 bottles and whose China allocation is around 50,000 bottles.” YPB has led the market in combatting counterfeiting – particularly in the wine industry through a mix of Invisible tracer technology and the use of QR codes and NFC technologies. YPB is the only company able to offer an end-to-end solution covering authentication and connecting brand owners with their consumers through their YPB Connect Platform.

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108   //


YPB Group’s tracer is made under a patented process from rare earth inorganic materials, it is invisible, indestructible, unable to be copied, and can be incorporated into almost any material. In the case of wine it can be applied to the capsules that cover the tops of wine bottles, wine labels or boxes. Hand-held readers detect the tracer on the packaging or bottle thereby proving the authenticity of the product. The hand-held readers, which can be used by distributors, wholesalers, and retailers are inexpensive and simple to use. YPB’s tracer can be used to protect many types of goods including food, wine and clothing. It meets FDA Food contact standards in China, Europe and USA. John Houston, executive chairman of YPB Group, said global counterfeiters were growing in sophistication, affecting both

Counterfeiting isn’t going unnoticed in China, as this picture shows. Police have been brought in on numerous occasions to destroy products of counterfeiters.

consumers and manufacturers. “Consumers are often not getting what they think they are buying and manufacturers’ brands are at risk,” he said. “Each year the

ALD0471 NZ Wine Grower Half Page 120x180mm-Ron_PATHS.indd 1

worldwide counterfeit trade in all goods is worth $US 1.7 trillion. More and more companies are realising that nothing will change unless they actively combat the

counterfeit trade.” YPB’s anti-counterfeit technology has also been adopted by governments and is currently in 18 million e-passports worldwide. ■

19/09/16 4:31 PM NZ WINEGROWER  OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016  //   109



recent case on dealing with liability for subsoil contamination will have broad implications for those involved in leasing land that maybe potentially contaminated. Mobil will no longer have to pay NZ$10 million in damages to its landlord for subsurface contamination remediation in the Wynyard Quarter “tank farm” area. The Supreme Court has overturned the Court of Appeal’s earlier decision(2015), which found that lease wording requiring the tenant to keep the land “in good order” and “clean and tidy” extended to the subsurface of the land.

Background From the 1920s, the Mobil Oil group and others leased properties in the Wynyard Quarter in Auckland for the bulk storage of oil. The most recent leases were

110   //

granted in 1985, and required Mobil to keep the land “in good order” and in a “clean and tidy” condition. The properties became contaminated with oil products during the time that they were occupied by Mobil and other lessees, and were heavily contaminated by the time the 1985 lease agreements came into effect. When the leases ended in 2011, the properties were handed back to the landlord, Development Auckland, in that same condition. Development Auckland now wants to use the properties for general commercial and residential purposes. That requires remediation of the properties, including removal of the soil to a depth of about three and a half metres and replacement with clean fill. This was expected to cost $50 million, but after taking into account the


works already required by Development Auckland’s development plans, the additional cost of remediation was $10 million. Development Auckland argued that it was entitled to recover this $10 million additional cost from Mobil. It made two arguments: • that the “clean and tidy” clause required Mobil to remediate the contamination; and • the lease contained an implied term requiring Mobil to remediate the contamination. Justice Katz in the High Court found in favour of Mobil. The Court of Appeal overturned this decision, and ordered Mobil to pay $10 million in damages. Mobil appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court rejected Development Auckland’s board interpretation of the “clean and tidy” clause, ruling: 1. It is long-established law that

a tenant’s obligation to “keep” a property can impose an obligation to put the premises into a particular state of repair even if the premises were not in that condition at the commencement of the lease. But those obligations cannot be construed as requiring a “transformative change” to be effected. 2. The words “good order” and “clean and tidy” in this context more naturally refer to the state of the surface of the land and in particular its appearance. This is reinforced by the linkage to the words “free from rubbish weeds and growth” which appeared in the same clause. 3. The “clean and tidy” clause applied throughout the term of the lease. If Development Auckland’s interpretation was right, the Court would have to find either that Mobil had an obligation to remediate the property at the

time the lease was granted (at that time a cost of around $50 million), or that the words “keep in good order and clean and tidy” meant something different at the start of the lease than at the end. Neither of these options made sense. 4. At the time the 1985 leases were being negotiated, neither of the parties had turned their minds to the contamination or the ramifications of that contamination; they intended for the foreseeable future for the land to be used for heavy industrial uses, and the liability of Mobil for the pre-existing contamination was unclear at best. Development Auckland’s second argument was that a clause should be implied into the leases requiring Mobil to remediate the contamination. The Supreme Court ruled that the context on which the leases were entered into did not support an implied term. In addition, the Supreme Court ruled that the proposed term could not be implied, on the basis that the leases were effective without the term, the term was not so obvious as to go without saying, and the term was not consistent with the “clean and tidy” condition as interpreted by the Court. Tenants will be happy to know that a “clean and tidy” obligation will be given a limited meaning, and will not require them to spend millions of dollars on works – unless the parties clearly intended that in the context of the granting of the lease. The effect of the decision is also interesting in a wider liability context. Where there is historical contamination by a tenant that has occurred before the introduction of the Resource Management Act 1991: 1. Current owners of the land can be ordered to remediate the historical contamination if the Council issues a “clean up” order under section 314(da). This order requires the current owner of the

land to remedy the adverse effects a contaminating discharge has caused to that land, regardless of whether they themselves caused those effects. This is wide enough that it can encompass both RMA-era and historical contamination. It also means, for example, that a landlord could be issued with a “clean up” order for contamination that was caused by a tenant or by a former tenant. 2. Current tenants could also be given a “clean up” order under section 314(da) – although in practice this would be unlikely unless the current tenant had caused the historical contamination. Historical tenants who no longer occupy the property (such as it the case with Mobil and its leases that expired in 2005) cannot be subject to a “clean up” order. 3. Any owner or tenant, current or historical, who had caused the contamination, could be subject to common law action such as nuisance or negligence. However, depending on when the contamination was discovered, this action may be time-barred. As a result, and despite the principle of “polluter pays”, in practice it may be the current landlord who ends up with the obligation to remediate contamination. That landlord will find it difficult to pass this obligation on to a tenant unless there is an obligation to remediate under the lease. Some leases do expressly require a tenant to remediate contamination. However, the Supreme Court’s decision means that such an obligation to remediate will not be easily found in standard clauses such as the “clean and tidy” obligation, or in circumstances where the parties had not specifically turned their mind to the issue. ■ This article was first published on

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awke’s Bay winemaker Ant Mackenzie has given the highly respected, small volume wine brand, Alluviale, a new lease of life this year. He purchased the brand at the start of 2016 and has since launched a range of new wines. Each of the wines highlight not only the strength of Hawke’s Bay’s climate and geography for growing grapes which originate in Bordeaux, but also Mackenzie’s own passion for wines from that high quality French wine region. The Alluviale wines come from

vineyards planted on the remains of stony riverbeds in Hawke’s Bay, which were left behind by the meandering journey of the Ngaruroro River, hence the name Alluviale (‘stones’ in French). Artwork on the front label of all the wines pays homage to the role of the river. An artistic interpretation shows an aerial view of river channels, which are painted as whispy lines on each of the wine labels. The brand’s white wines, Alluviale Blanc, Tardif (a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc, as the name

implies – ‘vendange tardif’ means ‘late harvest’ in French) and Anobil are made with grapes grown in Mangatahi, which is slightly cooler than many grape growing areas of Hawke’s Bay. The red is a blend of

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, made from grapes grown on the Gimblett Gravels. There is also a Rosé in the range. Mackenzie’s other wine brands are Theory&Practice and TOÑO (New Zealand wines made from traditional Spanish grapes), both made in higher volumes than the Alluviale wines. This means that the cost of production involved in Alluviale can be assisted by the other established brands in Mackenzie’s growing portfolio of winemaking. ■

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112   //





OCTOBER 2016 Australia

Pinot Palooza (Sydney)

October 9


New Zealand Wine Tasting (Taipei)

October 14


Pinot Palooza (Melbourne)

October 16


New Zealand Wine Tasting (Seoul)

October 17

New Zealand

Air New Zealand Wine Awards Judging

October 17-18


New Release and Discover Tasting (London)

November 1


New Zealand Wine Tating (Chicago)

November 3


ProWein China (Shanghai)

November 7-9

New Zealand

Air New Zealand Wine Awards Dinner

November 12


Gourmet Food and Wine Expo (Toronto)

November 17-20


Air NZ Wine Awards Trophy Lunch and Gold Medal Tasting (Sydney)

November 21


Air NZ Wine Awards Trophy Lunch and Gold Medal Tasting (Melbourne)

November 22



CALENDAR To have events listed in this calendar, please email details to;




Bud Burst Festival

Judging of Air New Zealand Wine Awards


– Auckland


Spray Days Workshop – Waiheke


Spray Days Workshop – Gisborne

26 & 27:

– PreFab, Jessie Street, Wellington

Judging for the International Wine Challenge 2017 – Tranche 1


Spray Days Workshop – Waipara


Spray Days Workshop


– Hawke’s Bay

Spray Days Workshop


– Central Otago

Spray Days Workshop – Martinborough

NOVEMBER 1 & 2: Spray Days Workshop

JANUARY 2017 28-29:

Aromatics Symposium – Nelson

31-Feb 2: Pinot Noir 2017 – Wellington

– Marlborough


Spray Days Workshop – Nelson



Classic Reds Symposium

Corbans Reunion – The Fresh Factory – Auckland


– Hawke’s Bay


Marlborough Wine and Food Festival

Air New Zealand Wine Awards Dinner – Auckland


Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction – Opera House Plaza, Hastings

– Brancott Vineyard – Marlborough

APRIL 2017 18-27:

Judging for the International Wine Challenge 2017 - Tranche 2

114   //






2018 forecast

PRINCIPAL EXPORT MARKETS % of Total in 2018 forecast







Hawkes Bay Central Otago
















Wairarapa / Wellington














National Total

Exports for the year to date to the end of July 2016 (Moving Annual Total)



Litres (m)


Growth Decline Litres %

Growth Decline FOB %
















































Hong Kong





































Sauvignon Blanc







Pinot Noir Chardonnay





















Pinot Gris





Cabernet Sauv












Cabernet Franc




Sauvignon Gris




All other varieties Total








Regional area producing ha

Average of Area ha

Number of Vineyards












Gisborne Hawke’s Bay











Nelson Northland Central Otago















Wellington / Wairarapa National









*(npr = not previously recorded separately)


RESEARCH SUPPLEMENT Information and Updates on NZ Winegrowers Research Programmes. Editor: Dr Simon Hooker, General Manager Research and Innovation

A regular feature at the back of each issue of WineGrower to inform industry people about research projects being undertaken for their benefit. Newly approved projects (when available) are briefly summarised in the first section ‘Introducing New Projects’. Longer reports in the section headed ‘Progress Reports’, will describe what has been achieved so far. Scientists in charge of each project have been asked to make these reports reader-friendly rather than to follow the usual format of scientific papers. When completed, each project will be reported in full detail, with references, on the website:

LIST OF PROJECTS Quality Wine Styles for Existing and Developing Markets The pathway of volatile sulphur compounds in wine yeast The Bragato Trust and NZW Scholarship University of Auckland (Dr Bruno Fedrizzi - student Matias Kinzurk)

Pests and Disease Grapevine Trunk Disease; young vine ecology, diagnostics and preventative treatments New Zealand Viticulture Nursery Association Incorporated (VINA) (N Hoskins)

Lewis Wright Valuation & Consultancy Ltd (T Lupton) Supported by MPI Sustainable Farming Fund


Leafroll virus and mealybug monitoring in Marlborough, 2015 to 2017 Plant and Food Research (V Bell)

Pinot noir wine composition and sensory characteristics as affected by soil type and irrigation in the Waipara region Lincoln University (G Creasy)

Virus diversity in New Zealand grapevines: sequence, ecology and impact – The Rod Bonfiglioli Scholarship Plant and Food Research (R MacDiarmid - student A Blouin)

Vineyard Ecosystems Programme University of Auckland and Plant and Food Research (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MBIE

Optimising management of grapevine trunk diseases for vineyard longevity South Australian Research & Development Institute (M Sosnowski)

Risk Assessment of Nutrient Losses from New Zealand’s Vineyard by Mechanistic Modelling Plant and Food Research (B Clothier)

Bentonite literature review Lincoln University (B Tian)

Developing Powdery Mildew Best Practise (Year Two) Lewis Wright Valuation & Consultancy Ltd (T Lupton)

Sector weather data licence & tools HortPlus (NZ) Ltd.

High-throughput genotyping of transposon-induced mutations in vines Lincoln University (C Winefield)

Grape botrytis resistance to AP and SDHI fungicides Plant and Food Research (R Beresford)

Population genomics of the wine spoilage yeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis Auckland University (M Goddard)

Grape powdery mildew monitoring Plant and Food Research (D Mundy)

Lifestyle Wine (PGP) University of Auckland and Plant and Food Research (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MPI Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) fund. Literature review of calcium tartrate stability of wines Lincoln University (B Tian) Evaluation of the efficacy of a range of commercial bentonites on New Zealand Sauvignon blanc wine Hills Laboratory (K Creasy)

116   //

Developing Powdery Mildew Best Practise in New Zealand Vineyards


Cost efficient optimisation of weed management in vineyards Thoughtful Viticulture (M Krasnow)

Cost Reduction/Increased Profitability Grapevine growth stage monitoring for prediction of key phenological events Plant and Food Research (R Agnew) Supported by MPI Sustainable Farming Fund


Bumper data harvest from the Vineyard Ecosystems Research Programme. 14-102

Malone L1, Bell V1, Goddard M2, MacDiarmid R1. 1

Plant & Food Research.

The Vineyard Ecosystems programme is co-funded by NZ Winegrowers and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE). The seven-year programme will create a new knowledge network that illustrates the inter-relatedness of vineyard practices on multiple diseases, the ecosystem, invertebrate pests (vectors) and vine health over time. Twenty-four study blocks on commercial vineyards split equally between Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay have been marked out for repeated sampling and detailed examination. Half of the blocks in each region are under “Contemporary” management, which consists of spraying herbicide to maintain a bare soil under-vine strip, using synthetic fungicides and pesticides to combat fungal diseases and insect pests, and using synthetic fertilisers to mitigate nutritional deficiencies. The other half of the blocks are under “Future” management, whereby a semi-permanent ground cover (inter-row and under-vine) comprising a wide range of plant species is maintained, and naturally occurring products (if required) are preferably used to combat fungal diseases and insect pests (no herbicide, but may include inter-row and/or under-vine soil cultivation). Based on the research undertaken within these 24 study blocks, and others where required, the research programme is divided into three inter-relating Research Aims. Research Aim 1.1 focuses on “The vineyard as an ecosystem”, Research Aim 1.2 focuses


University of Auckland.

on “Relating under-vine management, biota and leafroll virus”, while Research Aim 1.3 focuses on “Pathogen management”.

Research Aim 1.1:“The vineyard as an ecosystem” From budburst to harvest, the 24 study blocks have been subject to many visits from researchers from Plant & Food Research (PFR) and the University of Auckland. A total of 1296 holes were dug to a depth of 20 cm to collect soil samples for DNA analysis, which should give a picture of the total sum of microbes, plants and invertebrates present in the blocks at any time point. These are safely tucked away in cold storage at the university, while Paulina Giraldo-Perez works her way through them, providing a DNA

biodiversity picture of each sample. Chemist, Dr Bruno Fedrizzi, will also take some of the soil for a complete elemental analysis, providing a chemical fingerprint for each as well. To complement this, Lyn Cole, Tara Taylor, and Victoria Raw from PFR undertook ‘old school’ surveys of the groundcover plant species in each block, assessing the plants in a total of 1,296 quadrats. Mealybug populations were estimated from counts on 144 pheromone-baited sticky traps. In both regions, the citrophilus mealybug was the dominant species detected in the traps, with catches of the longtailed mealybug being largely incidental. Dr Vaughn Bell, Dion Mundy and doctoral candidate Arnaud Blouin determined the incidence of grapevine leafroll-associated virus in every block by visual examina-

tion of the red variety blocks and ELISA (immunological) analysis of the white variety blocks. The baseline of leafroll virus incidence revealed a broad range of leafroll virus infection rates within the 24 vineyards (0-30%). Dion Mundy visually assessed trunk disease symptoms in every block in both regions and Peter Wood carried out a separate assessment of powdery mildew in leaves and bunches. The incidence of the trunk diseases ranged from 0 to 48% in Hawke’s Bay and 1 to 35% in Marlborough. In the meantime, researchers from PFR Production Footprints Group (and their helpers) were busy digging even deeper holes on four of the blocks to install equipment to measure soilwater content at three different depths, and to measure rates of

Photo Ata-Rangi, Martinborough. Supplied By NZW


leaching and drainage. Data loggers giving continuous readings of rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, and irrigation activity were also installed at these ‘golden sites’ (two per region) and will run for the full duration of the programme. Another set of soil samples was taken from these four blocks and assessed for soil type, stone content, bulk density, field capacity, macroporosity, pH, key nutritional elements, percent organic carbon, total nitrogen, labile carbon and dehydrogense activity. These features ‘define’ the soils and annual measurements will reveal any year-by-year changes. Victoria Raw and Dr Marc Greven were in charge of phenological and yield measurements for every block, determining the dates for 50% budburst, flowering, véraison and harvest. Hand-harvested bays in each block gave measures of harvest maturity and yield. Canopy assessments before and after pruning will complete the assessments of plant productivity. Finally, the growers in charge of each study block are providing a mass of information captured in an annual survey covering seasonal records of weather, soil fertility, water availability, leaf petioles, phenological dates, records of pruning thinning, trimming, plucking, spray diaries and soil treatments. Storing and making sense of these ‘big data’ from the vineyard requires a lot of computer power and skill. Dr Steffen Klaere at the university is in charge of this part of the programme and is working with all the researchers to build a giant database to handle all the information and to generate any kind of analysis that might be required. Everyone involved in the programme is excited at the prospect of being able to understand how all of these features of a vineyard interact, and how tweaking one

118   //

Photo Brightwater Vineyards Ltd – Nelson. Supplied by NZW

aspect could flow on to changes in another part of the ecosystem, leading to more sustainable winegrowing and better vineyard longevity. In the meantime, spring will soon be here and it will be back to the vineyard with the spades again!

Research Aim 1.2: “Relating under-vine management, biota and leafroll virus” Research Aim 1.2 brings together several research projects on bugs, biota and a bothersome virus. Successful management of leafroll virus currently relies on adopting multiple tactics, including identifying and roguing (removing) virus-infected vines, and controlling mealybugs (the vectors of leafroll virus). To complement these existing approaches, in this research we assess whether we can keep mealybugs off vines to reduce the influence of leafroll virus – ‘under cover research’ to increase vine longevity! For this research, we are using eight Hawke’s Bay vineyard study blocks planted in


mature Merlot vines; five blocks are managed under the Future regime; three are managed under the Contemporary regime. In this study, the aim was (1) to assess the feasibility of separating mealybugs from grapevines to reduce the influence of leafroll virus; (2) to complement the integrated management of leafroll virus, and increase vine longevity; (3) to enhance the role of mealybug biological control; and (4) to develop grower recommendations for groundcover management. In many vineyards, mealybugs are found in grapevines and/or on groundcover plants. Therefore, to better understand mealybug habitat selection, and the extent to which it might alter over time, assessments were undertaken on each of three occasions between October 2015 and April 2016. Vaughn Bell and Tara Taylor used pheromone-baited traps and confirmed that the citrophilus mealybug was the dominant mealybug species in all study blocks from mid- to late-season. By looking for mealybugs on vine leaves (200 leaves per block per visit) and selected groundcover plants

(50 plants per block per visit), we sought to determine the vineyard habitat from which male mealybugs caught in the pheromone traps originated. Few mealybugs were found on vine leaves or on groundcover plants in November but from mid-season, numbers generally increased but varied widely between blocks. In two Future and two Contemporary blocks, relatively few mealybugs were found on vine leaves (<13 mealybugs per 100 leaves inspected) and groundcover plants (8–12% of sampled plants found with mealybugs). In contrast, March inspections in the remaining three Future blocks revealed high numbers of mealybugs in the vine canopy (37–106 mealybugs per 100 leaves inspected) and in the groundcover (50–54% of plants found with mealybugs). In the last site, a Contemporary block, mealybug abundance was very high, with the pest more prevalent in the vine canopy (450 mealybugs per 100 leaves inspected) than the groundcover (36% of samples were found with mealybugs). Of the 10 groundcover plants

collected during this study, two species in particular were regularly found with mealybugs: on white clover, mealybugs were found on 59 of 144 samples and were present throughout the growing season, while 93 of 248 hawksbeard samples had mealybugs from mid- to late-season. Habitat use by mealybugs can be influenced by disturbance events like herbicide use or soil cultivation. To assess the extent to which the inter-row and under-vine zones were affected by disturbance, we estimated the groundcover composition in each study block. A 0.25 m2 quadrat was placed in nine pre-determined positions in the inter-row and the same number in the under-vine zone in every block. This process was adopted three times during the season, with the same quadrat positions re-examined at each visit. In all blocks, bare ground and/ or grass dominated both zones throughout the season; neither habitat can support mealybugs. White clover was commonly found in four of the five Future blocks throughout the growing season; it was not detected in quadrats in the Contemporary blocks. Hawksbeard was also detected in all five Future blocks but only in one Contemporary block and then, only infrequently. Any reduction to the vine/vector association will reduce the potential for leafroll virus spread. Hence, virus incidence was also assessed in all eight blocks in early April. By looking for virus symptoms (downward curling red leaves with green veins), the numbers of infected Merlot vines were assessed. In six blocks, virus incidence was very low (0 to 0.3%); in another two, 9.6 and 19.9% of vines were infected. These data provide a benchmark for each block against which future results will be compared and any changes assessed relative to the availability

of off-vine habitat and the extent to which it and the grapevines are colonised by mealybugs.

Grass Grub Grass grubs are insect pests in some Marlborough vineyards. Damage by adult beetles is primarily confined to feeding on vine foliage in spring. At present, grass grub control relies on synthetic pyrethroid insecticides but alternative, less toxic management options could benefit Future and Contemporary vineyards. In this study, the aim is to identify alternative options for grass grub control, with an emphasis on biological insecticides. One such product is Invade™ containing a naturally occurring soil-dwelling bacterium, Serratia entomophila. Currently, Invade is not registered for use on grapevines, but augmenting existing low populations of S. entomophila with this product may be a feasible and a more sustainable control option than current insecticides. The identification of vineyards affected by grass grub, and that are suitable for inclusion in this study, will commence during the 2016–17 growing season.

Mealybug biological control Biological control is a natural method for controlling pests by using other living organisms. In horticulture, pest insect species are attacked by a group often referred to as natural enemies. Among a range of mealybug natural enemies are parasitoids, a complex of tiny wasp species. The aim of this long-term study is to improve our understanding of the parasitoid species likely to be exerting most influence over mealybugs. In fulfilling this goal, we expect also to identify parasitoids that are only rarely found or are detected in some vineyards but not others. It is this latter aspect in particular that we expect will

guide the development of research questions about factors that might be negatively influencing mealybug biological control, such as frequent habitat disturbance and interactions with ants.

Virus epidemiology support tool During the recently completed New Zealand Winegrowers Virus Elimination project (2009–15), we observed virus spread as being predominantly along vine rows, with the so-called ‘first’ vines, or the immediate within-row neighbours, being most at risk. However, within 2–3 years of owners implementing an integrated virus management plan, 96% of ‘first’ vines had no virus symptoms. Thus, having validated these results in commercial vineyards over several years, the recommendation conveyed to owners was to rogue symptomatic vines whilst retaining all neighbouring vines, including the ‘first’ vines. In some Virus Elimination study blocks, however, effective virus control was not achieved. While poor adherence to the integrated virus management plan might explain this result, it is conceivable that some virus/vector scenarios could justify modification to the existing management plan. One such scenario is the removal of all vines from entire blocks because leafroll infection was widespread. Once these blocks are redeveloped and highhealth vines planted, the current recommendation is for owners to rogue only those vines with virus symptoms, but some in the sector advocate also removing the ‘first’ vines. The rationale for this so-called 1+2 strategy is that the influence of an unseen infection is quickly neutralised. While modifying the existing virus management plan may seem prudent in some situations, there has been no analysis undertaken

to compare different roguing strategies. Hence, we have a poor understanding of the economic sustainability of one approach compared with another. To better understand this position, Dr Alistair Hall at PFR in Palmerston North will further analyse the virus data collected by Vaughn Bell from Hawke’s Bay vineyard study blocks between 2009 and 2015. By mathematically modelling the relationship between mealybug abundance and virus epidemiology, the objective is to optimise current roguing strategies so that they reflect different virus/vector scenarios found in New Zealand vineyards. Alistair Hall’s analyses are at an early stage so we cannot yet comment on what the data may or may not reveal. New insights that result in changes to virus management recommendations will be conveyed to the sector through agreed communication channels.

Research Aim 1.3: “Pathogen management” From inside the vines Dion Mundy, Arnaud Blouin and Drs Robin MacDiarmid, Bhanupratap Vanga, Simon Bulman from PFR are identifying what microbes and viruses are there and which are causing problems. This biodiversity picture of the ‘micro-world’ within vines adds to the big data picture of whole vines within the “Contemporary” and “Future” vineyards, especially when it comes to new ways of managing vine diseases. The Research Aim addresses the overarching question, “What factors correlate with vine health in the presence of detectable pathogen burden?” To address this question, some non-destructive and higher throughput methods to identify trunk disease pathogens and viruses had to be developed first. Dion Mundy, Bhanupratap


Vanga, and Simon Bulman have developed a non-destructive trunk disease method to identify all microbes in plants showing visual symptoms of trunk disease. Rather than destroying the vine to obtain a tissue sample, this method uses a drill to extract vascular tissue. The tissue’s DNA is then sequenced to identify the microbes within the vine. This method was verified against a traditional method of identifying the trunk disease microbes. Arnaud Blouin and Dr Robin MacDiarmid up-scaled an antibody method that they recently developed to obtain higher throughput analysis of grapevine viruses through the enrichment of viral RNAs. This method was demonstrated to detect viruses and their sequence variants more comprehensively than the traditional ELISA method. The information generated from data gained from “inside

the vines” is being collated in two forms: the Disease Risk Register and the Grapevine Microbiome. To date these have been established with data originating only from initial trunk disease sequencing information and are set to expand rapidly in the next six months as more data pours in from the study blocks. The Disease Risk Register will provide information on the identification of pathogens found inside the vines of commercial vineyards, their associated risks and maps of their distribution. The Grapevine Microbiome will comprise both risk and nonrisk organisms identified within vines. This will complement the Disease Risk Register and should inform the Vineyard Longevity Predictive Model (below) of any potentially beneficial organisms that may influence plant health in the presence of a pathogen.

Based on the data from all of the Research Aims and across each successive year of data collection, associations will be made to determine which measurements correlate with plant health in the presence of pathogen. From 2017 onwards these will lead to a prediction for vineyard longevity (the Vineyard Longevity Predictive Model); simply, if you have “X” or “X + Y” and a pathogen then the vines will remain healthy. Each year this will be truth-tested from the new year’s data. By 2019, after several of these ‘in silico’ rounds, we will test over two years whether “X” or “X + Y” is more than an association and really does cause a difference to vine health in the presence of a pathogen. In this way we aim to address our overarching question and develop new, more environmentally friendly methods to keep our vines healthy and productive for longer.

Conclusion The first full year of data collection for this ambitious multi-year research programme has been completed, giving researchers and winegrowers a solid baseline of information about the ecology of New Zealand’s vineyards. The long-term impacts of two different management systems on the vineyard ecosystem are being determined. Changes in the total biota, the incidence of key pests and diseases, soil quality, and grapevine productivity and longevity over the seven-year term of the programme are being assessed. By analysing these changes in relation to environmental conditions and vineyard management practices, which are also being measured on each study block, we hope to gain a deep understanding of how all these components interact.

Pinot Noir vine performance and grape and wine composition as affected by soil type and irrigation reduction in the Waipara region 14-104/15-108

Creasy GL1*, Mejias-Barrera P1, Harrison R1, Hofmann R1, Smith C1, Lehto N1, Tonkin P2, Gill N3, DuFour J-L4. 1 Lincoln University Centre for Viticulture and Oenology 2 Retired, Lincoln University 3 Greystone Wines, Waipara 4 Waipara Hills Wines, Waipara *Corresponding author, This project revolves around determining what soil-related aspects of terroir contribute to vine performance and grape and wine characteristics. As water use is a growing

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concern, a reduced irrigation treatment has been added to the trial as water availability, especially in combination with soil characteristics, has a significant effect on the


way vines grow and mature fruit. Three vineyard areas in Waipara with distinct soil types (Glasnevin, Greenwood and Huihui-Greystones), planted to

the same clone of Pinot Noir have been the subject of study. At each vineyard, four sets of five vines acted as control plots. A further four sets had every other irrigation

emitter removed so as to deliver half the amount of water normally applied by the vineyard managers: these made up the Reduced Irrigation (RI) treatment. The trial started in the 20132014 season with PhD student Patricio Mejias-Barrera as principal person responsible for collection of the data over the first two vintages. Due to serious crop reductions from frosts in the 2014-2015 season, no wine could be made. An application for further funding from New Zealand Winegrowers led to the trial running for an additional season (2015-2016) so that further information could be gathered and another vintage worth of wine could be made. Because Patricio completed his PhD study in late 2015, Masters student Chen Zhang joined the team in February 2016 to help with the project extension. Patricio’s summary of the first two years of the trial notes that irrigation practices at each site were different, with the Glasnevin site being irrigated to a high level (20mm per month for much of the growing season), the HuihuiGreystones to a moderate degree (peaking at 20mm per in November, but reducing each month after

that), and Greenwood receiving relatively low amounts of water in Oct-Jan and virtually none following. Climatic differences between the sites were also noted, with the Greenwood plot being about 200 GDD warmer than the other two sites. Another significant difference was with wind, with the HuihuiGreystones site receiving more wind that the other two. Despite this, there were virtually no differences in physiological measurements of vine water stress (stem water potential, leaf solute

concentration, proline concentration etc.). This is possibly due to RI vines producing less leaf area, and losing more of it earlier than the normally irrigated vines. This may also have explained why there were no differences in vine stored carbohydrate. Impacts on yield components were not obvious either, where berry weights were only slightly reduced by RI and juice Brix affected little by the time the fruit was harvested. No differences in pH or TA occurred in either season. Berry skin tannins were little affected by RI where no trend was

apparent across sites and seasons. No differences were found in seed tannins. In fact, the largest differences were in wine (2014 vintage), where there were visible changes to colour and quantitative changes in volatile ester aroma compounds (responsible for many fruity characteristics) by site and RI. At present, samples from this last vintage are being processed, and the 2015-2016 wines are about to be bottled. Further laboratory testing of the wines will take place, as will sensory analysis prior to the end of the project.

PGP Programme Spotlight Lifestyle Wines – Turbo-Charged R&D Early adoption is the name of the game for companies participating in the Lifestyle Wines Primary Growth Partnership programme – the largest research and development initiative ever undertaken by the New Zealand wine industry How to capture and promote the unique selling points of lower alcohol wines is just one facet of the Lifestyle Wines PGP

programme co-funded by New Zealand Winegrowers and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Primary Growth Partnership (PGP), but it marks a first for the Research portfolio at New Zealand Winegrowers. According to General Manager of Research & Innovation Dr Simon Hooker, past research projects have typically focused

on problem-solving complex viticultural issues. “Lifestyle Wines is different,” he says. “It’s a market-driven programme aiming to drive export growth and position New Zealand as number one in the world for high-quality, lower alcohol and lower calorie wines.” That goal requires solid marketing intelligence and analysis to determine target markets, con-

sumer preferences and demand, plus category development for a relatively new wine style. “The Primary Growth Partnership has enabled us to include the whole value chain in the Lifestyle Wines programme, with a strong injection of marketing expertise,” continues Hooker. “The timeframe and funding capacity contribute to a truly integrated R&D


programme designed to deliver commercial outcomes.” Marketing is one of five pillars supporting the Lifestyle Wines PGP programme, along with research in viticulture, winemaking and sensory profiling in tandem with extension (skills development). The breadth and depth of the programme has enabled New Zealand Winegrowers to assemble expertise in: • International marketing and sales • Wine sensory science • Grapevine physiology • Biochemistry • Fermentation/microvinification • Wine production technologies • Communications “The large scale allows us to pursue complementary avenues of research and development simultaneously,” says Hooker, “and the PGP also provides flexibility because we’re not bound to a plan that’s fixed in stone. Where research results warrant, we are able to change direction, which is likely to happen several times over the course of a seven-year programme.” That timeframe is essential when research involves studying grapevine performance, including yield variations. “We have only one harvest each year,” adds Hooker, “so to gather data that may indicate the impact of vineyard manipulations takes a long time. You really need the additional years to start sorting out what might be a seasonal variation versus a direct result of one of our trials.” Lifestyle Wines is not just a bigger-than-usual investment agreement between the wine industry and government. The individual companies participating in the programme (18 in all) also contribute financially, through annual cash investments and what’s referred to as ‘in-kind’ contributions involving staff time

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Lifestyle Wines PGP Programme Programme Start

March 2014


7 years

Total funding

$16.97 million

PGP funding

$8.13 million

Industry funding

$8.84 million

Commercial partners

NZ Winegrowers and contributing wineries*

*Accolade Wines, Allan Scott Wines, Constellation Brands, Forrest Estate, Giesen Wine Estate, Indevin, Kono, Lawson’s Dry Hills, Marisco Vineyards, Mount Riley Wines, Mt Difficulty Wines, Pernod Ricard, Runner Duck Estate, Spy Valley Estate, Villa Maria, Whitehaven Wine Company, Wither Hills, Yealands.

and the costs associated with company in-house trials. “The science trials provide initial results,” says Hooker, “but the participating companies take those results on board almost immediately, with many of them initiating their own related trials and experiments. Their willingness to take on substantial risk and expenditure acts like rocket fuel, speeding up the iterations in research trials and the speed with which knowledge is shared within the industry.” Results – including finished wines – are shared at events scheduled throughout the year, with individual sessions devoted to marketing strategy, viticulture and

Photo: Spy Valley Wines. Supplied by NZW.


winemaking. The annual October workshop brings participants of all stripes together for a day and a half of tasting each other’s products, hearing more about selected research trials and the latest intel from market research. The October workshop reflects a camaraderie that’s the envy of many other primary industries. “After all,” adds Hooker, “the participants are in competition with each other in the marketplace, but I have seldom seen that interfere with their willingness to share skills and knowledge.” The workshop builds on a model perfected in the legendary Southern Pinot Noir Workshop held annually in Hanmer, which

brings together winemakers, expert presentations, and barrel sample evaluations conducted in formal tasting sessions. “We consciously decided to use this model for our annual workshop,” adds Hooker, “because the Pinot Noir Workshop has demonstrated how effective this format is for understanding a wine style and raising the quality bar.” More than 60 lower alcohol wines have been assessed in the two workshops held to date, and more than 150 trial wines have been processed to finished wines for analysis – often with company winemakers involved in the sensory evaluations as well. “In October, we have representatives from MPI, the scientists, the winemakers, the viticulturists and the marketers sitting side by side around our workshop tasting tables, and the feedback has been tremendous so far,” adds Hooker. “Thanks to the PGP, we’ve been able to gauge the market potential, develop and refine grapegrowing and winemaking techniques, profile desirable sensory characteristics and rapidly share all of this knowledge with our co-investors.”

Choose Your Weapons in the fight against powdery mildew and botrytis Protectorhml and HML32 Armour plate for grapes






HML32 + copper

+ sulphur

+ sulphur + copper

+ potassium bicarbonate

+ Spray with 0.5% Protector + sulphur at 10-14 day intervals.

Spray HML32 + sulphur + copper instead of 0.5% Protector and sulphur at 5% capfall, 80% capfall, pre-bunch closure and just before veraison.

For higher challenge situations such as previous history, disease pressure

or susceptible varieties, continue applications of HML32 + sulphur + copper after flowering at 10 day intervals and re-cover after any major rain event. See the Fungal Spray Programme on

An invitation to winemakers and viticulturalists Taste the outcome of enhanced maturity / end of season disease control trial. Four comparative wines for each of Chardonnay, Syrah and Merlot. Te Awa Winery and Restaurant, SH 50, Hawke’s Bay, Monday 10 Oct 2016, 2-4pm Giesen Sports Centre, Renwick, Wednesday 2 Nov 2016, 2-4 pm RSVP or ring Chris Henry on 027 294 1490

Visit Call Chris Henry on 027 294 1490 email or contact your local technical advisor.

















100,000 +






0800 113 747