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O-I NEW ZEALAND TEL: 0800 263 390, +64 9 976 7100 EMAIL: w w w. o - i . c o m

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32 R E GUL A R S





Tessa Nicholson

The Changing Face of the Australian market


From the CEO

Philip Gregan

For many years, Australia was our biggest market for wine. That has changed dramatically and may have a lot to do with the changing wants of the Australian consumer.


In Brief

News from around the country


Family Vines

Jill and Peter Chapman from Terrace Edge


Bob’s Blog

Bob Campbell MW


Not on the Label

Legal Matters with Marija Batistich

94 Calendar

Wine happenings in New Zealand


Research Supplement

The latest science and research projects funded by New Zealand Winegrowers

Cover: Giesen Wines Photo supplied by NZW


30 years since first central wine released

This year marks a significant milestone for Central Otago wine producers. Three of the pioneers not only take a brief look back, but also a look forward at where Central is heading.


An innovative inductee

At the Royal Easter Wine Show Alan Limmer was inducted into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame. Mary Shanahan discovers he has lost no enthusiasm for innovation, despite no longer being the owner of Stonecroft Wines.




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 Hodgson 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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he grapes are in, the wine is in the tank and within a few weeks the very first releases of the 2017 vintage will be on their way out to consumers. Now the focus turns to dealing with the vines. Most would say the next few months are the most important in the annual cycle of a vineyard. Pruning will determine how those vines will cope in the months and even years ahead in terms of crop levels and health. Which brings us to the issue of pruning correctly and ensuring one of the most insidious threats to our industry is taken into consideration. I am talking about the long-term damage caused by trunk diseases such as Botryosphaeria and Eutypa. They are prevalent in New Zealand, as they are around the world, with infections entering the vine through wounds such as those made at pruning. The timing of when you lop those unwanted canes off, is vitally important if you want to prevent trunk diseases. As is taking remedial or preventative action. Doing so could save you and the industry overall tens of millions of dollars. That’s the word from Dr Mark Sownowski, from SARDI. He believes such action could benefit the industry by $40 million dollars a year. Which is not exactly small change. In this issue of NZWinegrower he explains the action you need to take and the long-term cost benefits of differing preventative and remedial measures. Another person who has expressed con-

cern about the levels of trunk disease in New Zealand is Dr Richard Smart. He too refers to the diseases as insidious - going so far as to say they “are like the cancer of grapevines, slowly spreading until it may be too late to treat.” On page 16 he explains why these diseases are often ignored. Plus he explains how Timely Trunk Renewal, or TTR works and how to go about it. Ideally, we would like our vines to reach the grand old age of at least 40 or 50. Ignoring signs or the potential of trunk disease is a sure-fire way to ensure that goal isn’t achieved. So, before you head out into those frosty, winter mornings, secateurs and loppers in hand, make sure you read both articles. Your vineyard’s future and your financial livelihood could benefit substantially. On a completely different note, this issue we take a look at Sauvignon Blanc Day 2017, a day where all around the world consumers celebrated this enigmatic variety. As the day itself, May the 5th approached, a lot of people began asking about the history of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. How and why did we adopt this variety and where did it come from? NZWinegrower decided it was time to enlist the memories of the man who consumers need to thank for setting our country on the road to international wine fame – Ross Spence (see page 28). It was he who uncovered clones at Te Kauwhata in the 1960s, propagated them and produced this country’s first ever Sauvignon Blanc in 1974. The rest is history as they say – but a history well worth remembering. ■

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n recent weeks there has been considerable media coverage of the news that New Zealand wine has become the number three imported wine into the United States, with only France and Italy ahead of us. This story featured in a Rabobank wine industry update and was also carried in various media across New Zealand, Australia and the USA – and was even carried on the BBC. Shortly after this news came the latest export release from Statistics New Zealand showing that our wine exports to the USA have exceeded $500 million for the first time. The data shows wine exports to the USA have jumped 11% ($49 m) in the past year and now represent over 30% of the total value of our exports. The data shows growth in US exports in fact represents 70% of our total export value growth in the past 12 months, and by value US exports are now worth 30% more than our next most valuable market, the UK. Of course, the success in the USA has not come overnight. Our wineries have been hard at work in the market for many years, while New Zealand Winegrowers has been supporting exporters in-market since the 1990s when David Strada first began working for us. New Zealand wines’ access into the market might not be tariff free but it has certainly been assisted by the WWTG Mutual Acceptance Agreement on Oenological Practices (MAAOP) which means that our wine shipped to the US can be produced in accordance with the

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New Zealand wine standard rather than the US one. So the USA is now our most important export market by some margin. But what about the future – are the Stars and Stripes going to be so important to us in five or 10

Clearly our wineries are responding to this positive environment. At the moment all the anecdotal data suggests that the current growth in vineyard area is being driven by the prospect of increasing exports to the USA,

Our exports to the USA are dominated by Sauvignon Blanc like in no other export market we ship to. Currently Sauvignon Blanc represents 94% of total export volume to the USA compared with, for example, 87% to the UK and 82% to Australia. years time? For New Zealand the big picture on wine in the US seems to be looking good. The USA is now the world’s largest wine market, it has an appetite for imported wine, the trend is to higher quality/ higher value wine of the style that we produce, and there is clearly a growing love affair with New Zealand wine, and Sauvignon Blanc in particular. Additionally tourism is booming between the US and New Zealand, and generally Americans seem to have a very positive view of New Zealand and New Zealanders. We should also take comfort from the fact our exports are no overnight success story – there has been a long hard effort to get where we are today. And even the $NZ seems to be behaving itself at the moment.


while a growing number of wineries also seem to have personnel permanently based in-market. But, of course, nothing is ever perfect and there are challenges for us in the US market. For a start, as any exporter to the US knows, talking about the US market is something of a misnomer as it is really 50 different countries as far as wine is concerned. The federally-mandated three tier distribution system certainly makes distribution in the US complicated and expensive. On the flipside, while federal laws may increase the cost of distribution, taxes in general are low. Our exports to the USA are dominated by Sauvignon Blanc like in no other export market we ship to. Currently Sauvignon Blanc represents 94% of total

export volume to the USA compared with, for example, 87% to the UK and 82% to Australia. While the dominance of Sauvignon Blanc is a huge sign of the success, it does represent a risk for New Zealand wine. The old saying, of having all the eggs in one basket comes immediately to mind. So the industry, together with our promotional partners, needs to redouble efforts to diversify our offering in the USA. Finally recent months have seen a new risk on the horizon – the election of President Trump. Historically the US has been a strong advocate for rules based, free and fair trade. It is on that basis that the US is a signatory of the aforementioned MAAOP which has eased our access into the US market. Since being elected, however, President Trump has stopped US involvement in the TPP which would have given New Zealand wines tariff free US access. That was a blow costing the industry some millions of dollars per year, but what we don’t know is what other steps will be taken by the new administration. US announcements on trade policy will be definitely worth keeping a close eye on in coming months! Well done to all those wineries who have made the US market such a success story for New Zealand wine. I am firmly of the belief that success to date is only the beginning of the story so long as we continue producing and marketing high quality, distinctively New Zealand wines that resonate with our customers.■

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NATIONAL Winetopia Expands

Another Huge Accolade For Villa Maria – For the third time in as many years, Villa Maria has made it onto the Drinks International’s World’s Most Admired Wine Brands list. And not just anywhere on the list, but at number four, behind only Torres, Penfolds and Chateau Margaux. It was 2015 when Villa Maria first appeared on the list, in the fourth position. Last year the company was named the eighth most admired, and this year is back into fourth. The editor of Drinks International Christian Davis said, “Villa Maria remains New Zealand’s most respected wine producer. It is up there with the best of them – rightly so.” In total five New Zealand companies made the Top 50, as judged by 200 Masters of Wine, sommeliers, journalists and bloggers. Felton Road came in at 13, Cloudy Bay at 24, Brancott Estate at 42 and Oyster Bay at 46.


Last year there were three sold out sessions for Winetopia in Auckland – so this year the wine tasting event, labelled as the largest in New Zealand is expanding to Wellington. The festival aims to unlock the diverse world of wine, offering wine lovers the opportunity to meet winemakers and try hundreds of wines from dozens of wineries from regions across New Zealand, accompanied by expertly paired food, music and ideas. All of that will be backed up with a number of expert talks and tasting masterclasses, presented by some the country’s leading wine personalities. Winetopia is in Auckland at Shed 10, June 9-10. In Wellington it will be at Shed 6, July 14 -15.


Sustainable Wine Bottles Mission Estate is well known for its annual concerts held within the winery grounds. But this year they took their uniqueness a step further, by producing a PET wine bottle, specifically for the Dixie Chicks concert, held back in April. With single serves and 750ml bottles that are shatterproof, the unique design had the support of police. What is more the bottles are right up there in terms of sustainability. PET produces less greenhouse gas emissions, uses less solid waste per bottle than glass and is 100 percent recyclable.

Winery offers free wedding Allan Scott Family Winemakers have promised one couple the best day of their lives, with a promotion that offers to pay for their upcoming wedding reception. The lucky couple will receive a prize worth $15,000 that includes the venue, table decorations, gourmet set menu and a hospitality package for up to 80 guests. The winery says given weddings are a celebratory yet stressful time, this campaign ticks off one of the hardest tasks that usually takes up most of the budget for one lucky couple. The winner is due to be announced early June.

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MARLBOROUGH Dog Point Takes Top Award Marlborough’s Dog Point Vineyard took out the supreme award at this year’s Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards. Recognised as one of the country’s largest organic vineyards, 110 hectares are BioGro-certified vines. The rest of the 200-hectare property is home to native bush, open spaces, orchards, vegetable gardens and pasture. Dog Point had already been awarded the Landscape and Habitat Enhancement award, before taking out the supreme award. The judges said that as more shelter belts are removed around Marlborough to make way for vineyards, the extensive and diverse plantings at Dog Point Estate are truly inspiring. “Their work to create native bush, open parklands, productive orchards and woodlands alongside the vineyard is a great example of biodiversity and commercial success in action,” the judges said. Dog Point were not the only Marlborough wine company to be acknowledged at the Cawthron Environmental Awards. Tohu Wines won the wine industry innovation category, for their work with a PhD student from Lincoln University to carry out a study into organic control options for grass grub. (For more information on this research, see page 103 in the Research Supplement.)



New tasting room for Misha’s Vineyard The latest tasting room to open its doors in Central Otago is Misha’s Vineyard. But it has not been opened in the heart of the 57-hectare vineyard – instead in Cromwell, overlooking Lake Dunstan. Owners Andy and Misha Wilkinson said they felt the more central location was easier for guests to access. It will also take advantage of the increasing number of tourists visiting Cromwell – which has recently been named as the fastest growing small town in the country. The cellar door features large-scale photographic murals showcasing the work of renowned local photographer Tim Hawkins, who has been photographing Misha’s Vineyard since 2004.

New Zealand Wine at Eurovision There’s no music event as outrageous as the Eurovision Song Contest, which is one of the reasons Invivo Wines was keen to be a part of it. They have just been named as the official wine of Eurovision 2017. That involvement is the first time anyone or anything from this country has been a part of the glitter-fuelled event that brings Europe to a standstill. Since the competition began in 1956, our wee nation has never been invited to take part, but having a New Zealand wine there for the first time, is just about as good as being able to enter the competition itself according to the owners of Invivo. Co-founder Tim Lightbourne says; “We’re the ideal wine to go with crazy hair, outrageous dresses, way too many wind machines and more white suits than should be legal without a prescription.” Eurovision, returning for its 61st year on 13 May, is what would happen if the X Factor and the Olympics were ever to procreate, Lightbourne jokes.



The changing face of the Australian market Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


ustralian consumers and their wine preferences are changing and New Zealand producers would be well advised to take note. That’s the word from Wine Business Solutions principal Peter McAtamey, in the recently released Wine On-Premise Australia 2017. The report shows that after a period of rapid change and experimentation, the Australian On-Premise wine market is starting to stabilize. And in NSW in particular, sales are increasing as the state’s economy booms. In comparing each Australian state, Wine Business Solutions (WBS) has drawn on data from almost 160,000 wine listings from nine consecutive annual Wine OnPremise Australia reports. While there is some good news for New Zealand, there are also some concerning trends that producers here need to take on board. Firstly the good news. Overall, New Zealand wines on Australian wine lists increased 4 percent in the past 12 months. But the bad news is, the two years previously, 2014 – 2016, our wines on Australian wine lists dropped 38 percent. That is despite the fact that in that same two-year time frame, imported wines increased their share of listings from 25 percent to 37 percent. (This year imports have dropped back to 34 percent of total listings nationally). So why the changes, you might wonder. McAtamey says there are a number of reasons. Firstly, the change in food styles. He cites

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Central Otago




Hawke’s Bay
















Gisborne Canterbury








Figure 1: Share of New Zealand’s wine listings by region – Australian on-premise.

the influence of programmes such as Master Chef, which has highlighted a move by chefs away from heavy, over powered dishes, to more textural, fresh and clean ones, which has been matched by a radical change in wine lists to match the food. Secondly, the influence of sommeliers. “The real change, perhaps the biggest ever seen in this market, is the sommelier led realization that it is wine with great texture, structure, complexity and expression of their terroir that works best with food.” In terms of red wines, McAtamey says this change has led people to look to Europe. “The white wine offer has, however, been no less affected by this rapid change in the level of sophistication of both Australian restaurants and their consumers.” As sophistication grows in the On-Premise, it means wines that are readily available in supermarkets are often not being considered. Sommeliers are instead looking for a point of difference. He says restaurant owners are seeking out lesser known regions


in an effort to ensure they have an “exotic” list. The other aspect that is perhaps often overlooked, is how the consumer themselves have changed. McAtamey says; “The centre of gravity’ of the market has moved up and away from the Aspirational consumer that New Zealand sold so successfully to 10 years ago.” All in all, it means New Zealand producers may need to look carefully at what styles of wine they produce and how they ensure they gain traction with consumers. Overtly fruity Sauvignon Blanc, which has stood us in good stead for the past 10 years, may not be the way of the future. The drop in wine listings between 2014 and 2016, can be directly related to a drop in listings of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. While for years it was the most listed wine style in the Australian On-Premise, the rise of Chardonnay has been threatening its status for the past two years. Having said that, the love affair with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is by no means over. In terms of share of total listings of wine regions on Austral-

ian wine lists, Marlborough is in fourth place, with 5.3 percent of all listings an increase of 6 percent over 2016, and sitting behind only Margeret River, Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley. (Central Otago is in 25th place, with 0.8 percent of listings, down 5 percent on the previous year). In terms of working towards the changing market, New Zealand producers are already moving along that path. More textural, oak aged Sauvignon Blanc is being produced, but there is a need to get these wines into the On-Premise and in front of consumers. “Opportunities for trialing wines in the Off-Premise are now extremely limited. (On-Premise) is one of the only true ‘brand building’ opportunities outside of cellar door, regional and national events that many wines will ever experience.” McAtamey also says, people buy what they try and On-Premise is a chance for New Zealand wine to be seen and consumed in the best possible surroundings. It is also a chance for brands and regions to be remembered, recommended and bought again, later.

“On Premise is one of the only true brand building opportunities outside of cellar door, regional and national events that many wills will ever experience.” Peter McAtamey.

The other way is for producers to take part in events such as Bottle Concepts Rootstock, Pinot Palooza and Game of Rhones. McAtamey says these events allow creative producers to have access to “opinion leaders en masse”. Again this is already happen-

ing and he says it is the edgier producers out of Waipara, Nelson and Canterbury that are leading the way, as can be seen in the Figure 1. “They have been highly effective at leveraging the buzz around these events to build trade following. They are at the forefront of

revitalizing interest in the New Zealand wine category.” It is not only Sauvignon Blanc that McAtamey referred to in his report. He also pointed out that in terms of Shiraz – the growth of wine listings devoted to this variety has grown 25 percent in the

past 12 months, which could be great news for Hawke’s Bay. “Elegant cool climate Shiraz is the fastest growing style in the Australian market and is what Hawke’s Bay can perhaps do better than anyone.”■



30 years since first Central wine released Mark Orton


old colours, oversized suits and permed hair were all popular in 1987. David Lange was Prime Minister, The All Blacks prevailed in the inaugural World Cup and Peter Jackson released his first film. 1987 also marked the first commercial release of wine from Central Otago. Thirty years on, there might be a temptation to mark this occasion by looking back in time, dredging up old stories and trawling through the history books, but that has been written about extensively in the past and as Alan Brady says; “What is 30 years compared with 2000 years in Burgundy?” Alan Brady (Wild Irishman)

was an integral member within a small band of plucky pioneers responsible for kick-starting the wine industry in Central Otago. He doesn’t mind sharing anecdotes from three decades of endeavour, but is actually more interested in focusing on what is happening now and where the region is headed. Similarly, he isn’t keen on being the sole focus for an article commemorating the 30th commercial vintage, so Rob Hay (Chard Farm) and Grant Taylor (Valli) have also been wrangled to provide some additional perspective. For a journalist who was born and raised in Ireland with paid work in television and print, Alan Brady’s whimsical ‘have a go’ atti-

tude is not unheard of in these parts. AJ Hackett would launch bungy jumping here just one year after that first commercial vintage, but what marked this region out for wine success is pretty much the same regional qualities that appealed to the original pioneers. For Rob Hay who arrived in the area in the mid-80s after making wine in Germany, there was a sense of unity amongst the fledging pioneers that was integral to what would happen next. “Even way back to the mid-80s, where there were two or three other regions getting underway at the same time, people like Rolfe Mills (Rippon) actually stood up at one of our very first meetings when we were arguing about what

“Who would have thought that one of the world’s most unforgiving but rewarding grapes would do so well here?” – Rob Hay.

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our best sub-regions were and he said; ‘listen, we are all rowing the same boat, and that boat is Central Otago.’ Alan Brady describes the pioneering group as “real amateurs with no grape growing or wine knowledge”, but they all shared an impulse to plant grapes and get better at it. That, and the pull and influence of the same unique geology that originally appealed to gold miners and farmers. “One of the things about having a few years under our belts is that the vines have put their roots down deep, and so have those of us who live here. We know that vines reflect the piece of land they are in, but so do we.”

For Grant Taylor, marking the calendar to appreciate three decades of wine making in the region is more important than mere posterity. “It’s good to stop and reflect on where you have come from and where you are going. We are guilty of not doing that enough, as we are so often living in the moment and enjoying it. We now realise that the area is a lot better than we ever thought it was going to be, it has surpassed any of our expectations.” From initial experimental plots where a little bit of everything under the sun was planted to see what would work, one grape variety in particular stood head and shoulders above the others. In fact, when suggesting to Alan Brady that other varieties should get a look in with respect to the success of the region, he is a little dismissive. “I know there are other varieties doing well and there is noth-

ing wrong in that, but we are Pinot Noir. One of the important claims we can make with pride is the fact that we are 70 percent Pinot and that is what we do well, but not because of any clever decision making on our part. Pinot put its hand up and decided that it likes things here.” “Yeah, if people are thinking Pinot, they quickly start thinking Central Otago,” says Rob Hay. “We are very fortunate that Pinot has packed its bags well and is feeling very at home.” With many names synonymous in the heritage of Central Otago wine still active in the region, and some wine families now tapping into their 3rd generations, the future looks bright but what is it that attracts so many people to the region who never leave? “Well, the way the community works together here is pretty special,” says Taylor. “When I originally came along there were only four winemak-

“Grapes and wine are a gift of nature and the more we try to manipulate it, the less effective we are.” Alan Brady reflecting on the past 30 years and those ahead.

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ers; myself, Rob, Mike Walter and Clotilde Chauvet. Back then there wasn’t a lot of fruit here, so during harvest we were often in each other’s cellars working together and that ethos is still here today. Outside winemakers that come to the region can’t get over how well we work together down here. It’s not something that I want to be true, it is true.” All three talk at length about the camaraderie that exists in the region, but apart from the feel-good factor and the ability to borrow a forklift if you need one, there is something intrinsic to the close relationships formed here that shows through in the wine. “Because our climate is so different, on-the-spot observation is so vital,” says Brady. “A big contributor to the recognition that we have, is that winemakers and viticulturists have moved here and stayed, learning from season to season. Until we have been here for a while, we will never fully understand our sites and terroir.” “Sure, you can buy grapes from here and make wine elsewhere, but you won’t understand it the way that we do,” says Hay. “There is a continuity of knowledge that we are now benefiting from, that and the fact that we have a large percentage of estate-owned vineyards that have history here.” So, back to the

future for the region. All three can see that a prominent factor emerging is the number of single vineyard wines being produced. Rather than simply focus on geographical indicators and working out the boundaries for sub regions, Brady reckons that the grapes should let us know where the dividing lines are. “I hope that fact that the single vineyard expressions of wine that are coming via the top producers will take the pressure off getting the sub-regions identified.” “Thirty years ago we simply thought about Central Otago as one region, but now we don’t think like that,” says Taylor. “In the next 30 to 40 years we will start to talk in terms of different sites within the sub-regions, breaking it down into smaller parcels, much like it is done in Burgundy.” All positives and reminiscing aside, it would be remiss to not touch on some of the immediate challenges facing producers in the region. Security of supply seems to be the most pressing concern, as both Hay and Taylor talk about the attractiveness of Central Otago grapes further north. “Well, there seems to be a bit of a mad scramble from some of the bigger producers who like what they see down here and want some of our

A lot has happened since this building was opened – Central Otago Wine celebrates 30 years this year.

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fruit. That can certainly pressure some of the people based down here,” says Hay. “Though, in a year like this when the yield is light, who is going to miss out first? It won’t be the local wineries,” says Taylor. “Generally, we sell fruit that we don’t need or have a market for, but in light vintages like this, that fruit will stay here first and foremost. “So, in a way, I personally like to see slightly lighter vintages where the wine is a more limited resource and therefore gets paid more respect.” Thirty years might be a minuscule amount of time when compared to Burgundy, but there can be no doubt that fast learning and good fortune have coalesced to put Central Otago on the map for more than just mountains and adventure pursuits. Though, Brady does roll his eyes when thinking about some early winemaking endeavours. There was the infamous ‘Dunlop Vintage’, so-called due to an overwhelming taste of rubber from the new tank seals, to some very naive viticulture. “We didn’t even know about leaf plucking, the vines were growing like

weeds and we thought ‘Wow, that’s great’, we’ve got a six-foot canopy, and then wondered why the wines didn’t taste very nice. Back when we started we were promoting the region overseas to people, most of whom didn’t know where New Zealand was, let alone Central Otago,” says Brady “But, I’m really excited now. I’m a futures person, that is what has driven me all my life. Rather than reminiscing about where we have come from, I’ve always looked ahead. We need to be thinking about what we are still to learn and understand about our land. It’s generational.” “You like to think that you make your own luck, but we kind of lucked in when it came to the sites that we selected way back when,” says Hay. “Who would have thought that one of the world’s most unforgiving but rewarding grapes would do so well here? I feel enormously privileged that I arrived here when I did and then got the chance to play a small part in such an exciting industry for this region.” “Many years ago, Time magazine was down here and talked to

a few of us, referring to this as a region in transition, and I think 30 years later it still is,” says Taylor. “It keeps evolving and changing and recently over the last three to four years we have gone through a phase where a number of smaller wineries have sold to existing wineries here, so there has been some really good consolidation. We have

also been criticised for making fat fruit bombs, ripe fruit, high alcohol with no structure, but we are getting past that and this comes down to a greater understanding of our land, our climate and when to pick.” “Wine makers being winemakers will always be experimenting and playing around with different

varieties, but our focus for the future should be based around the classic varieties being grown in single vineyards. “Grapes and wine are a gift of nature and the more we try to manipulate it, the less effective we are,” says Brady. “Back in the day, we never appreciated how gentle you have

to be with Pinot Noir. We used to have a funny old crusher and beat the bejesus out of the grape. Now, we certainly have a less is more approach. Success too hasn’t come through clever marketing, it’s simply quality wines made from grapes that are in an environment that they really like.” ■

Photos: Mark Orton



Save your vineyard from trunk diseases Dr Richard Smart,


visit New Zealand frequently for my consulting and see trunk disease damage in every region, as I do around the world. Generally it is on vineyards where the extent of disease is not recognised. Of all the diseases which must be managed in New Zealand vineyards, trunk disease is different from the others. Why is this? Trunk disease is “insidious” whereas the others we deal with are “in your face”. It will take several years for a vine infected with trunk disease fungi to show symptoms, if at all. One of the major trunk diseases, Botryosphaeria has no conspicuous symptoms until the vines are quite sick. But growers are aware of the symptoms of powdery mildew, botrytis and downy mildew, among others. Trunk diseases are like the cancer of grapevines, slowly spreading until it may be too late to treat. This article will tell growers how to deal with trunk disease in their vineyards. The procedure is simple and is not costly, and is proven overseas to work well, as it has been in New Zealand. The problem is that not many growers and vineyard managers are aware of what to do. So, they do nothing, and this is what you do if you want to allow trunk disease to destroy your vineyard. The choice is yours. Older vineyards show more trunk disease damage. This is not surprising, as older vines accumulate pruning wounds. The following figure is taken from a Winegrowers article by Sosnowski and Mundy (2014, Aug-Sept) and

16   // 

The relationship between age and variety on incidence of dieback in grapevines for both regions combined, surveyed in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough in December 2013.

shows the pronounced vineyard age effect on disease incidence. Note that varieties differ in susceptibility, and that Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most susceptible varieties known.

Why is trunk disease a problem now? Trunk disease is a growing problem around the world, whereever grapes are grown. It seems worse now than it has been for several decades. Part of the reason is that newly-grafted grapevines now are infected with the disease and eventually infect vineyards where they are planted. This is a common problem around the world, including New Zealand. Mature grapevines are infected through winter pruning wounds, especially in wet weather. The first line of defence against pruning wounds is to paint or spray an appropriate fungicide on all fresh pruning wounds. New Zealand is more lucky than many


countries in the range of products which are registered for this purpose. Protecting pruning wounds is the first line of defence against trunk disease. The second line of defence is the subject of this article, which is Timely Trunk Renewal, or TTR. As will be discussed this procedure should be used early in the life of the vineyard when trunk disease effects are first noticed. Modelling studies in California have shown that this helps reduce the spread of disease and also brings about the most profitable outcome of disease control.

How to control trunk diseases in your vineyard? The trick is to identify trunk diseases early, before the vine has become diseased and loses production. The two main diseases in New Zealand are Eutypa and Botryosphaeria, and the latter is

more widespread. Botryosphaeria typically will show up just before harvest with a yellowing of the foliage, and sometimes characteristic nutrition deficiency symptoms. These are unusual, as they may appear on only one or two vines, as distinct from the normal soil effects, which can affect many vines in a zone. Potential symptomatic vines should be marked, with spray paint or a tape. Eutypa shows up in old vines with characteristic shoot growth symptoms in the spring. The response to a potential symptomatic vine is to encourage sucker growth from the base, as low as possible, but not from the rootstock. Suckers should be trained on bamboo cane to the fruiting wire, and within a plastic shield to prevent herbicide damage. If possible, select a sucker on each side of the vine, for two potential new trunks, and in line with the row.

It will take several years for a vine infected with trunk disease fungi to show symptoms, if at all.

After one or two years the existing vine may have the old trunk removed. And full production can be obtained from the one or two new trunks. Make sure when you cut off the old trunk you do with an angle of around 45° facing North and immediately paint with wound protection fungicide. If you catch the trunk disease early, you can remove the old trunk below fungal staining which is working its way down the trunk, indicating the progress of trunk disease. Remove and burn the old trunk parts as this will reduce infection. On subsequent vineyard surveys

A Marlborough vine with trunk disease which has been saved by trunk renewal. Note the old trunk, cut at an angle facing north, and pained to protect from further infection. The new trunk, now several years old, still has the plastic sleeve used to protect it from herbicides.

for symptoms, be particularly aware of vines nearby those treated with trunk renewal, as trunk disease tends to occur in patches, down and across rows.

Conclusion Follow these simple guidelines and you will save your vineyard from the ravages of trunk disease. Why not let your vineyard enjoy a life of 50 or more years, rather than let it be terminated by a disease that you can easily control. For the growers of Sauvignon Blanc, don’t let a few nasty fungal diseases take away New Zealand’s gift from Mother Nature.■

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Dealing with trunk disease Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


f grape growers throughout the nation were to implement both remedial and spray treatments to combat grapevine trunk disease, it would benefit the industry by close to $40 million a year. That’s the economic forecast developed as part of a three-year research project directed by New Zealand Winegrowers and co-funded by the Ministry for Primary Industry’s Sustainable Farming Fund, “Sustaining vineyards through practical management of grapevine trunk diseases.” Dr Mark Sosnowski, Senior Research Scientist with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), led the investigation into the impact and control of diseases such as Eutypa and Botryosphaeria dieback, in collaboration with scientists at Plant and Food Research. He has highlighted the findings from the past three years, and has some salient advice about how important prevention and reme-

dial practices are moving forward.

Background Eutypa and Botryosphaeria dieback are the most economically important grapevine trunk

stunted shoots, cupped leaves and uneven berry ripening or even shriveled bunches, sometimes no bunches at all. In terms of Botryosphaeria, there may be no foliar symptoms,

The analysis shows that if a hand painting protection scheme is instigated from the beginning, cost recovery will begin from 15 years. If you reduce that cost even more by using spray application, you will be looking at cost recovery by 12 years in a vineyard’s life. diseases present in New Zealand. While each disease is caused by different species of fungus, there are similarities between both – the most obvious being the devastation they cause in a vineyard. In terms of Eutypa, characteristically there are foliar symptoms;

but green shoots can be affected and there is also the chance of bunch rot. In both cases, spores of the fungi enter through grapevine wounds, colonising and killing off the wood, evident by staining in trunk cross-sections. Fruiting

bodies are produced in the wood which expel fungal spores. These are spread by rain splash or wind, infecting new pruning wounds on other vines. During the research project, which ran from July 2013 to June 2016, there were a number of aims. One: to determine just how extensive grapevine trunk disease is in New Zealand. Two: and maybe the most important tenet, finding a way of protecting wounds against infection. Three: to determine the economic benefits of disease management. How prevalent is grapevine trunk disease here in New Zealand? To determine that, the research team visited 736 vineyard blocks aged four years or more, with a range of 22 varieties, over three regions; Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and Central Otago. In each of those blocks, 200 vines were randomly selected. Each of those were assessed for foliar and dieback symptoms. The

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Hawkes Bay

Grapevine trunk disease incidence (%)

end results showed that even some four and five year old vines were showing signs of disease – and given it can take more than three years for symptoms to begin showing, suggested that these vines had become infected during their first year of pruning. “Which highlights the importance of early adoption of pruning wound protection and management of the diseases,” Sosnowski says. The older the vines were, the more prevalent the diseases were. And there were some startling differences between regions. (See Figure 1). Hawke’s Bay had the highest incidence, Marlborough the second highest and Central Otago the lowest of the regions. Sosnowski said there could be some logical reasons for that differentiation. “Infection relies on rainfall. You need rain for the spores to be moving around. If you look at the monthly rainfall for each region and look when that coincides with the most vulnerable period when you are making pruning wounds, Hawke’s Bay has the most rainfall.” Another point of difference between the three regions is the varieties planted in each. Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most susceptible varieties, which explains the levels in Marlborough. Cabernet Sauvignon is also a susceptible variety – grown mainly in Hawke’s


Central Otago




Hawke’s Bay 40



Central Otago 0 0








Vine age (years) Figure 1

Bay. Pinot Noir, the mainstay of Central Otago, is less susceptible, Sosnowski says. Pruning methods were compared, to determine if cordon pruned vines were more at risk than cane pruned, or vice versa. While cordon pruned vines did tend to have a higher level of symptoms, he warned that information has to be viewed carefully. “A long term trial in France that has been going on for 20 years, where researchers have been comparing cane pruned and cordon pruned vines, showed that after 10 years, cordon pruned vines had much greater symptoms of Eutypa dieback. But then they came back when the vines were 20 years old

and reported that the cane pruned vines had a much greater mortality rate. They were dying due to Eutypa dieback and the cordon pruned vines were still alive, just symptomatic.”

Wound protection With the knowledge that trunk disease was rife in the major wine growing regions, the research team then began looking at the most efficient and effective way of preventing the disease spreading. With laboratory and vineyard tests, a number of treatments were applied to vines inoculated with the fungus spores. Five different fungicides, at a variety of different rates, were applied, to determine

which ones were effective. “Pretty much all were effective,” Sosnowski says. “We have now handed that information to agrichemical companies who are currently working towards getting label registration for these products for use for grapevine trunk disease control in New Zealand.” A number of natural alternatives were also trialed in a controlled environment, with some positive results. He said more work needs to be undertaken in this area in the future, hopefully providing alternatives to the chemical options of control. Preliminary studies into the timing of applications were also undertaken, which showed that

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Figure 2

there was the potential to apply fungicides up to six days after the wound has been made. In terms of whether the fungicide will provide long-lasting protection, for a period of time, applications were made on assay studies at one, seven and 14-day periods. “This was to simulate infections happening up to two weeks later, and again we achieved good control.” These studies will now move into the vineyard this year to confirm whether or not the findings are accurate.

Spray application Hand painting pruning wounds is an expensive way of protecting the vine from trunk disease, but one that has been the only alternative until now. Sosnowski says they were keen to see if spraying a fungicide onto the vines after pruning was a possible alternative, both in terms of efficacy and economic sustainability. In Hawke’s Bay, three different sprayers were used, on Cabernet Sauvignon vines that had been cordon pruned. The results were compared with hand painting wounds on similar vines. “All the sprayers were able to give equal amounts

20   // 

of disease control, even at different and lower rates.” In Marlborough, the trials were undertaken on cane pruned Sauvignon Blanc, which Sosnowski says proved a bit more challenging. “But we did achieve good disease control once we got those sprayers up to a higher rate. We didn’t get as good a control with some of the sprayers, but that is not necessarily due to the sprayer, it is probably more about set up. What this tells us, is it is important to get the coverage as high as you can, by adapting your sprayer, as most are designed for penetrating foliage, not drenching a narrow pruning wound zone.” Water sensitive papers proved useful in confirming correct coverage. Economic analysis The all-important comparison of wound protection costs, was analysed by Greg McCarthy of Sutton McCarthy Ltd. As Figure 1 shows, the spray application is by far the cheapest option. At $120ha regardless of pruning method, it is half the price of hand painting cane pruned vines and four times cheaper than hand painting cordon pruned vines. “So there is a real advantage in converting to spray application.”


If growers were to implement an annual wound treatment programme right from the start, the benefits to the business are huge. The longer the grower waits to provide wound protection, the higher the long-terms costs are. The analysis shows that if a hand painting protection scheme is instigated from the beginning, cost recovery will begin from 15 years. “If you reduce that cost even more by using spray application, you will be looking at cost recovery by 12 years in a vineyard’s life. If you are expecting your vines to live to be around 45 or 50 years, that is going to make a very big difference to your bottom line over that long period,” Sosnowski says. Growers need to consider just how effective remedial action is, weighing it up against how much infection is currently present. For example, if you have a 30 percent incidence of grapevine trunk disease and decide to start a wound spray programme, looking forward the net present cost would be $4000 a year per hectare, he says. “However if you choose to rework or regraft, which is cheaper than replacing vines if the infection hasn’t travelled too far, then you can further decrease the cost to $2500 a year per hectare going

forward.” Obviously the higher the incidence, the higher the cost. There is a cutoff point, Sosnowski says, when you have to consider if any remedial or protection programme is actually worth it. “By the time you get to 80 percent infection in your vineyard, it becomes more cost effective to wholesale replenish that vineyard, by reworking or regrafting all vines row by row, block by block. “Once you have grapevine trunk disease, which most of you do, remediation and preventative sprays at any point can provide up to $3000 per hectare benefit, so it is really worth starting at whatever point you are at.” And back to our opening statement. Sosnowski says the analysis estimates the potential national value of implementing both remedial and spray treatments to be around $40 million a year for the industry. “If these management practices are adopted industry wide, it really will make a big economic difference to the industry going forward.”■

• There is further information on the findings in this issue’s Research Supplement, on page 100

Top Wines Entries open for the 2017 New World Wine Awards!

The New World Wine Awards is a highly regarded competition judged by an independent panel of expert wine judges. Unique in its focus on affordability and availability, the competition is designed for commercially available wines from New Zealand and overseas that retail under $25. The top wines are eagerly anticipated by consumers every year. In addition to the distinction of an award that recognises quality on the same international scale as other wine competitions, the Top 50 Gold medal-winning wines under $25 get national distribution in New World supermarkets. This means extensive brand exposure through active in-store promotion and comprehensive marketing activity.

To celebrate our 15th year, several changes have been made to the competition. These include new sales opportunities for top-scoring wines under $25 and added classes for selected New Zealand wines that retail over $25. This is the only wine competition in New Zealand that sees a measurable uplift in sales for the top wines as a direct result of winning medals. You don’t need to be an existing supplier to New World or Foodstuffs to enter – new suppliers are very welcome and absolutely encouraged!

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Making Marlborough pure Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


group of producers in Marlborough believe the time has come for the region to adopt a 100% Pure strategy in order to protect the region’s reputation and preserve the integrity and value of the Marlborough wine industry. Ivan Sutherland from Dog Point Wines is one of six winemakers on the steering committee that aims to see an Incorporated Society promoting wines that fit the 100% Pure Marlborough ethos. It is not a new idea, given the first murmurings emerged back in 2011. Sutherland says they were on the back of an increase in bulk wine leaving Marlborough, destined for export markets. While initially the idea was shelved, it has recently come to the fore again. “The bulk wine leaving Marlborough is about 39 percent and we feel very strongly that it is time to do something about it,” he says. “It is about protecting the authenticity of Marlborough wine. To have credibility the initiative will need to have some teeth and it is intended to establish appropriate ethics and standards.” That means anyone who is a member of 100% Pure Marlborough (not the finalised name at this stage) has to adhere to certain standards and rules. They include; all fruit being 100 percent grown in Marlborough, wine bottled in New Zealand and most importantly of all, conforming to certain yield caps that will be within reasonable limits. “We need to take into consideration the price point where the wine is being sold and the sub regions where the fruit comes from,” Sutherland says. “We may look at kilos per vine as a measure, but we still have a bit of consulta-

22   // 

James Healy (left) and Ivan Sutherland are two of the steering committee of 100% Pure Marlborough.

tion and research to do on that.” He also says that while some may argue they can make great wine with high tonnages, it is a hard statement to sell in the wider international market place. “I defy anyone to convince us that they can persuade the majority of consumers along with media and trade that a crop of 18 plus tonnes per hectare is going to make quality wine. It isn’t going to happen. “There may be extenuating circumstances where a company is consistently producing a good wine from a high yield, so we will have the ability to subject those wines to a tasting panel. These are some of the nuts and bolts we need to work through.” The steering committee is made up of winemakers from some of the most respected companies based in Marlborough. They include; John Forrest – Forrest Wines, Tim Heath – Cloudy


Bay, Ivan Sutherland and James Healy – Dog Point, John Buchanan – Mt Riley and Clive Jones – Nautilus Estate. But Sutherland is quick to add, this is not some exclusive little group. “It is all about being inclusive, not exclusive. This is not a club for small boutique producers. “So far we have had a very encouraging response with 40 companies saying they are keen to be involved.” Currently the steering committee is looking to form an Incorporated Society, and plan to have it operational prior to the release of the 2017 vintage. “We are not the only organisation that is working along these lines. Central Otago has a similar thing, as do Gimblett Gravels and Waiheke Island. We are not alone in our thinking.” Sutherland says the amount of bulk wine going overseas that

may be mixed with 15 percent of other fruit, can only diminish the reputation of Marlborough. “There have reportedly been people who have been buying fruit from growers from this recent vintage at around $600 a tonne, that had already been refused by companies. We are asking, where is this going? What is it going to be mixed with? There is a proliferation of labels out there and you only have to look at some of the addresses on the labels – it may be a street somewhere in Sydney or London. How does that affect the Marlborough name?” In terms of adherence to the standards and rules Sutherland says the articles of the association would mean producers have to allow an independent audit – “members need to be able to say, I can show you what makes up this wine.”


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New initiative


he idea of empowering women in wine here in New Zealand was first mooted within the halls of New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) last year, and has quickly grown from a suggestion, to a real initiative. At the February Board meeting, the directors considered a proposal to establish a network/ community for women in the New Zealand wine industry. Part of the reasoning behind establishing such a group was the lack of women putting their names forward for the 2016 Board elections. It was something that wasn’t expected given the large number of women involved in wine in this country. To counter that imbalance, the NZW board appointed two extra directors – Rachel Tauleilei, CEO of Kono and Katherine Jacobs, owner of Big Sky Wines. However in an effort to ensure that gender imbalance is not an on-going issue, NZW is keen to encourage more women to take up roles of leadership and governance. One of the ways of doing that, is the Women in Wine Initiative. The objectives of the paper put to the Board in February included

the following: Make connections; Providing opportunities for women in the New Zealand wine industry to create valuable networks, share successes and ideas. Provide information; Provid-

The Australian Women in Wine Awards have been a part of the industry since 2015. Will a new initiative in New Zealand follow suit?

ing valuable information and resources to support and advance the careers of women in the wine industry. Driving change; Encouraging wine industry commitment to the support and advancement of women’s careers. A survey was sent out to industry members (male and female) to determine if there was in fact an interest for such a group. The response surprised even those behind the initiative. More than 200 members from right across

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the country responded to the survey and three quarters of those offered their services to help get the initiative off the ground. By early May those who had indicated they wished to be involved were forming regional


groups, to discuss what issues, programmes and networking events were deemed the most important. Sarah Szegota, NZW Communications Manager said New Zealand Winegrower’s would themselves be looking at a number of issues themselves. These included; Update labour resources; Compile legal compliance information to ensure members understand their obligations around maternity leave and equal employment

opportunities and also promote other best practices with regard to employment. Host an annual event; they are looking at the viability of hosting a networking event – maybe prior to the Romeo Bragato Conference in August. The initiative is not a first off in the world of wine. In the US there are a number of organisations aimed at encouraging women who are in some way connected to the world of wine. There is the annual Women of the Vine and Spirit’s Global Symposium, (held recently), plus the Women in Wine Leadership Programme, which will be held in New York in October. Our closest neighbour Australia has a Women in Wine organisation which is behind the annual Women in Wine awards. This year the awards will be held in London in September. In London there is another group, Women in Wine LDN, which has the same objectives as the initiative being established here in New Zealand. These are just a few of the many groups emerging – with New Zealand the latest to join the ranks. Watch out for more information in future issues of NZWinegrower.■



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The history of Sauvignon Blanc May 5 2017 saw the world celebrate our most famous wine variety. Just how Sauvignon Blanc came to be such a winner here in New Zealand is open to a lot of interpretation. But in the following article, the one man who can be credited first and foremost with introducing Sauvignon to New Zealand, explains how it came about The following article was written for NZ Winegrower by Ross Spence back in 2001, but is still highly relevant today.


t is unknown when Sauvignon Blanc was first brought into New Zealand, however we do know that there was a clone (TK00204) in New Zealand prior to 1960 that was held at the Government Te Kauwhata Viticultural Research Station. Wine writer Michael Cooper has researched early documents and believes that the early clone of Sauvignon Blanc is likely to have been brought to New Zealand by Romeo Bragato who visited New Zealand in 1895. Bragato was at that time employed in Australia by the Victorian Government and was on loan from Victoria to the New Zealand Government to assess the potential for grape

growing and winemaking in New Zealand. While spending two years studying winemaking and viticulture in California at The University of Fresno I became interested in Sauvignon Blanc as an aromatic variety with mid-season ripening and robust enough to do well in New Zealand. In the mid-1960’s I managed to obtain some plant material that was labelled Sauvignon Blanc from the Te Kauwhata Viticultural Research Centre and grafted this onto 1202 rootstock in my small nursery that I operated together with my wife Adrienne. It was sufficient to plant about 250 vines in our Matua Road vineyard in 1968. The vines were vigorous and

Ross Spence

grew well but were susceptible to phytophthora fungus root infection despite the well-drained soils, and were also very severely infected with leaf roll virus.

Expecting large crops from the vigorous vines I was very disappointed to find, that although there were large quantities of embryonic flower clusters, they were very poor at setting and the resulting crops disappointingly small. This was attributed wholly to the severity of leaf roll virus infection. However, the small amount of fruit was distinctively flavoured, aromatic and quite delicious to eat when fully ripe. At this time, I was employed as winemaker by George Fistonich at Villa Maria and I processed a small laboratory sample of around six litres. This sample wine demonstrated that a very distinctive wine could be produced that would rival Muller Thurgau, as the popular wine of the time. The first commercial quantity of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was produced in the original tin shed winery in 1974, Matua Valley’s first winery site in Swanson, from the fruit grown in Matua Road from the clone discovered from

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the Te Kauwhata Research Station. Although a relatively small quantity, it clearly demonstrated the wine was refreshingly different from Muller Thurgau. This wine received numerous accolades, especially from the Auckland Wine and Food Society who tried the wine blind at a tasting. Jock Graham the Society President and well known New Zealand Herald wine writer of the time, acclaimed it as one of the first New Zealand wines to rival European quality. However, it was not a viable crop at less than one and a half tonnes per acre. The trial results clearly demonstrated its potential and I was determined to find a newer clone that I had heard about being recently imported into New Zealand. Although it had been imported by the Department of Agriculture they were unable to say where it was other than they thought that it had been planted into a trial block which could have been in anywhere in Auckland and Hawke’s Bay. I was aware that Joe Corban the Chief Viticulturist for Corbans Winery had provided the then Department of Agriculture with some area for trialing grape varieties and asked him if he had any information as to what varieties were in the trials. He advised me had no idea and didn’t think

that the Agriculture Department did either. I explained what I was looking for and he said to help myself as he was removing the trials to replant them as nobody from MAF was interested, so be quick. After much searching, with an ampleography book in one hand and notebook in the other, I found one Sauvignon Blanc vine and a Semillon vine alongside it. It was later confirmed that the Sauvignon Blanc vine was the

clone that had been imported by Frank Berry Smith the Department of Agriculture Viticulturist at the time. It came from the University of California at Davis and was released to the trial block in 1970 numbered TK05196. The Corbans MAF trial block was destroyed a few weeks after I removed the propagation wood. Joe Corban was always a man of his word. Wayne Thomas a viticulturist with Montana Wines had heard

that I had found this clone and managed to convince me to part with a couple of cuttings which he was going to use for bulking up and growing in Marlborough. Wayne was operating a substantial grapevine green-tip propagation plant in Avondale for Montana and over the next few years he turned the few cuttings into thousands of plants which were trucked to Marlborough and planted. During the winter of 1975 the small amount of wood from both the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon vines was bulked up for two years to provide enough grafting material for Bill and me to plant the first commercial block from this clone at the Matua Waimauku vineyard in 1978. This new UCD clone TK09156 appeared clean of virus, cropped and set fruit well and the small 7-acre block at Waimauku flourished. The fruit was distinctive and had very powerful and aggressive aromas and flavours which were a shock to the palate of the New Zealand wine consumer. They were more used to Muller Thurgau which was usually bottled with a generous addition of sweet grape juice to give it an extra dimension. The Matua Valley Winery Waimauku vineyard went on to provide good crops of Sauvignon Blanc and the wine gained special attention from other wineries


looking for a wine that had something different to offer. It was not long before Montana, Corbans and Hunters Wines were using the Waimauku Sauvignon block as a source block of scion wood for plantings in the new wine grape region of Marlborough. All of the propagation wood for the original Marlborough planting came from the Matua Valley Waimauku vineyard block that originally was bulked up from the one Sauvignon Blanc vine at the MAF trial block at Corbans. Sauvignon Blanc was a very difficult variety to sell in the mid to late 70’s. The New Zealand palate was used to sweet low alcohol wines and a dryer unusually flavoured wine with a foreign name was not going to have instant fame. Sauvignon Blanc production

from the Waimauku vineyard was a very slow seller and at a meeting with the father of Californian Sauvignon Blanc, Robert Mondavi, at the Waimauku winery, Bill and I discussed the problems we were having getting the public to accept what we believed to be a sensational varietal style with potential for growth. Mondavi told the story of having a similar problem in California with Sauvignon Blanc he had produced. He advised us to change the name as he did in California to Fume Blanc and see if it assisted sales. This we did and to our delight sales grew. When asked as to why he chose the name Fume Blanc Robert Mondavi said that the idea came to him when he was in the Loire Region in Autumn and looking down the smoky valley decided to use the

French word for smoke to describe Sauvignon Blanc wine the region was so famous for. It was a master stroke for New Zealand when Peter Hubscher, Montana’s winemaker, agreed to get their company viticulturist Wayne Thomas to propagate vines for their new vineyard in Marlborough. Not until Montana produced Sauvignon Blanc from fruit grown in Marlborough in 1980 did the name Sauvignon Blanc become fully accepted in New Zealand. Exports in the early to mid 1980’s made a name for the distinctive Marlborough New Zealand style and have since gone on to become recognised as the most distinctively varietal Sauvignon Blanc wine style in the world. Clearly, there is a variation in

the wine styles that are produced in New Zealand. Cooler areas such as Marlborough, Nelson and Wairarapa produce wines that have very aggressive, pungent grassiness, passionfruit, gooseberry and ‘cats pee’ characters. In the warmer climates of Hawke’s Bay and Auckland, Sauvignon Blancs have a softer more tropical fruit/melon like character with softer grassiness. The difference is quite distinctive and one would find it hard to mistake the region of origin when tasting these wines. There is no doubt that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc will continue to stun the world with its distinctive character and quality and provide a solid base for further opportunities with other grape varieties.■

Marlborough quickly became synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc.

Stanmore Farm certified vines TAKING ORDERS NOW FOR GRAFTING THIS YEAR Kate Gibbs (B.Hort.Sci)


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More than a day of celebration As New Zealand Winegrowers prepared to launch a global social media campaign for International Sauvignon Blanc Day, Marlborough was ensuring it wasn’t a 24-hour event. In fact the local industry got right behind the celebration, by extending the “day” to 16. For more than two weeks, culminating in the world-wide event on May 5, the region focused on a wide range of events to ensure consumers could not ignore the country’s flagship variety. Events included Master classes, self-guided tours around cellars, luxury and degustation dinners, a chance to blend your own wine, vertical tastings, food and wine matches, and the tour-de-force a Sauvignon Blanc headquarters set in the middle of town. The following is a pictorial guide to the success of the campaign.

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An innovative inductee Mary Shanahan


o catch up with the newest inductee to the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame, you have to be fast out of the blocks. Dr Alan Limmer may be retired, but he’s as active as ever, pursuing other passions with the same intensity and vigour that he invested in the wine industry. The citation for his induction honours his “pioneering leadership in the propagation of the variety Syrah, and the establishment of the Gimblett Gravels subregion of Hawke’s Bay”. Limmer’s significant contribu-

tion to the industry also includes his three-year chairmanship of Hawke’s Bay Vintners, followed by 12 years representing Category 1 wineries on the Wine Institute of New Zealand and New Zealand Winegrowers. In 2004, he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the wine industry. Raised on a dairy farm near Hamilton, he gained a master’s degree in earth science and a doctorate in soil science at Waikato University. He then moved to Hawke’s Bay to run an analytical laboratory undertaking test-

Dr Alan Limmer with his Porsche 930 racing car.

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ing for farmers, orchardists and winegrowers in the region. It was through a shared interest in hang-gliding, that he forged friendships with Paul Mooney, chief winemaker at Mission Estate, and Kim Salonius, the founder of Eskdale Winegrowers, and their conversations sparked his curiosity about the wine industry. “It kept going around in my head,” he recalls, “I needed a bit of land. Once I got to know the guys here in the industry, (winegrowing) would be the goer.” Salonius had told him that grapevines needed free-draining

and low vigour sites rather than the high-fertility horticultural land favoured by many growing grapes at that time. So over a period of six months, Limmer spent his weekends driving around Hawke’s Bay with a soil map and knocking on doors. His search led him to a lifestyle block in Mere Road, west of Hastings. Although the area was then effectively regarded as wasteland - the few purposes it was used for included a car crushing plant and a kart track - the property owner wasn’t selling for a bargain price. “It was well into the ‘90s before

land prices came up to what I paid for it,” Limmer says of the 1982 purchase. He named his fledgling enterprise Stonecroft Wines Ltd. Although he’d run his plans for a vineyard and winery past the authorities, he soon found himself doing battle with bureaucracy. Having recently discovered that the nearby town dump was over their water supply, the council ruled out the winery.

council had to defend its decision without its own planners to back them up. They used my planner, they paid for him - they were relying on my argument to defend their decision.” After a three-week hearing - the longest Planning Tribunal hearing at that time - the council’s decision was upheld, which Limmer says saved the prime winegrowing area from becoming an extraction site.

The wider you cast your net the more people you piss off. It was publicly notified and we got people objecting from everywhere… I was trying to get the focus on the value of this land.

He took the issue up with the then mayor of Hastings, Jeremy Dwyer, who gave him a good hearing and brought the council’s planners out for a site visit. Limmer acted on their advice in applying for a plan change, for Bridge Pa as well as for what is now known as the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district. “That was probably a mistake,” he admits. “The wider you cast your net the more people you piss off. It was publicly notified and we got people objecting from everywhere… I was trying to get the focus on the value of this land.” Before he could argue his case at a council hearing, a shingle company lodged an application for a quarry plant in the area and Limmer was told this would be heard first. “If theirs went through the land was gone,” he says. “I might as well have thrown my application in the bin.” However, the council ruled against Fraser Shingle - despite their own planners recommending in favour of the proposal. “That went to appeal and the

A nationwide change in the approach to land use was about to occur in any case with local government restructuring in 1989 and the passing of the Resource Management Act. Limmer became increasingly involved in that as chairman of Hawke’s Bay Vintners and then serving on the New Zealand Wine Institute’s board. “We were going through the resource management process and every area, district and region had to rewrite their plans. Other regions were having similar issues.” The institute formed a resource management committee comprised of Limmer, John Buck, lawyer David McGregor and Philip Gregan to address the issues on the industry’s behalf. The committee made submissions to some 70 territorial authorities throughout the country, and the Hasting District Council was the first on its list. The committee argued that sites like Gimblett Gravels were important to the region because grapes could only be grown in certain

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areas. That, says Limmer, enabled the industry to develop along its present lines. “It was a big job, but it had to be done and it’s the footing on which the industry has built. I don’t know if we will see a time like that again. It was a turning point really for the industry.” While he’d won his own battle for Stonecroft, he nonetheless felt he was stepping out into the unknown in establishing in a barren area while most other winegrowers were planting their vines in high fertile soil suited to orcharding. “This could be a big mistake,” he thought of his new venture. “Who of us has got this wrong? I’d never grown anything in my life before.” Encouraged by Mooney and Salonius, he learnt how to graft vines and began planting Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah in his four hectares of stony soil in 1983. Digging all the posts into the stony soil by hand, a few each night after work, was a job that spanned several years. The winery was built while waiting for the vines to mature another learning curve, with Limmer never having previously built anything more ambitious than a rabbit hutch. Rhone valley reds are his favourite wines and, believing that winegrowers had overlooked a good red variety, he was the

If not for Alan Limmer and his saving of cuttings from Te Kauwhata, New Zealand may have had to wait many more years before we became acclaimed for Syrah.

first among his contemporaries to pioneer Syrah in Hawke’s Bay. His Syrah plantings resulted in experimental wines in 1987 and 1988, and then a first barrel in 1989. Stonecroft Syrah achieved great recognition, with Michel Chapoutier, head of the great northern Rhone firm, distributing the wine in France. The word soon spread. Elegant and fruitdriven, Syrah is now regarded one of Hawke’s Bay’s most important wine styles. Limmer considers it quite possible that his Syrah cuttings which he saved from Te Kauwhata wine research station shortly before the facility was bulldozed in 1984 -- date back to James Busby in the 19th century. The cuttings were to form the basis of many other subsequent plantings elsewhere in New Zealand. Research traced this material to the first quarantine station at Momohake in Whanganui, which was known to include imports brought to New Zealand from Busby’s Sydney botanical collection, which in turn must have been pre-phylloxera Syrah from the Rhone. Gewurztraminer was another

great success story for Stonecroft, which was awarded the International Wine Challenge’s aromatic trophy with its only ever show entry. Maintaining his innovative approach to winegrowing, Limmer included Zinfandel, Cinsaut and Mourvedre in a second Stonecroft vineyard, the six-hectare Tokarahi close to Roys Hill. Zinfandel, which he and John Kemble - the then co-owner and winemaker at Kemblefield Estate

- brought into the country as cuttings, was a New Zealand first. Many in the industry were caught by surprise when, in 2009, after 25 years as winegrowers, Limmer and his wife Glyn, put Stonecroft on the market. A driver in their decision was their commitment to raising their beloved granddaughter Lilly, now a five-day boarder at Iona College in Hawke’s Bay. For three years Limmer was a consultant for the new owners,

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Northern Ireland-born chemical engineer Dermot McCollum and his Kiwi wife and lawyer Andria Monin, who now operate the business as an organic winery. Limmer recalls telling John Buck of Te Mata Estate that he would be devoting more time to fishing when asked how he would fill his days in retirement. While Buck’s response was that he would quickly get bored, that hasn’t proved the case at all. Then there’s the racing car, a Porsche 930 brought into the country from Japan. Having lost count of the hours spent working on that, he’s hoping to spend more time on the track. Limmer considers the wine industry to be “in a great space”. In the mid-‘nineties, when he was serving on the New Zealand Wine Institute’s board, wine exports were worth $1 million. Now, he points out, they are valued at $1.6 billion. When he and his contemporar-

Look at the level of graduates now. It’s a professional occupation, not a hobby thing. And the industry on the whole understands the value of site selection it’s unstoppable now. ies were starting out, there was no real training available in New Zealand for those wanting to learn about winemaking or viticulture. The present generation is better informed and better equipped to do well, he says - “we didn’t have 10 percent of the knowledge.” “Look at the level of graduates now. It’s a professional occupation, not a hobby thing. And the industry on the whole understands the value of site selection - it’s unstoppable now.” Limmer raised eyebrows when he questioned the introduction of screwcaps as a closure for New

Zealand wines, cautioning that they were likely to result in reductive taints. “I think it’s pretty clear now, that with the issues I raised, my prediction was correct. There have been untold trials about the part screwcaps play in the accumulation of sulphides post-bottling.” However, he says, he’s never been anti-screwcap per se - “I have been anti the claims made for them.” He sees scope for improving the closure. About the time he left the industry, he was contacted by a German professor,

Martin Schmitt, who was interested in his views. The men have since become “penpals”, working through the chemistry as Schmitt developed a new generation screwcap closure aimed at overcoming the issues associated with reductive taints. The closure is undergoing trials by the AWRI, while Limmer, who has no financial interest in Schmitt’s enterprise, has arranged for “real world” trials at wineries in New Zealand. He expects to see the closure on the market within perhaps 6-12 months. Asked if he considers himself a relentless innovator, he replies: “I think that applies to most people in the industry. That’s why it’s where it is now. It’s not an easy industry to be in and there are 100 reasons why you’d give up at any one time. You don’t give up, you keep pushing on. It’s not unique about me.”■



Tackling our most unwanted! Edwin Massey


hroughout the country, I am often asked what the industry’s most unwanted pest is. This month’s column highlights the relaunch of the New Zealand Winegrowers Most Unwanted List that seeks to answer that question. The updated poster and profiles of our highest threat pests are included as inserts in this edition. To view the new poster online on the updated most unwanted link visit: http://www.nzwine. com/members/sustainability/biosecurity/pests-anddiseases/ The most unwanted list – originally released in March 2014 has been one of the key information resources for the industry on pests and diseases that are not present in New Zealand. Three years doesn’t seem like a long time but in biosecurity, nothing stands still, and risks always come and go based on trade and travel volumes and dynamics and

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At the top of the unwanted list – the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

other factors. Key changes since 2014 The new most unwanted list highlights the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) as the industries most unwanted pest. Prior to 2014 very little was known about


the potential impact of this bug, but since then it has become increasingly high profile. In the 2016/17 high risk season that extended from September to the end of April there was a significant increase in the number of BMSB interceptions at the border, particularly in goods from Italy. In February 2017 alone: Several dead bugs were found

at the border on an imported grape harvester that had been voluntarily fumigated offshore; There were three post border detections of single bugs, in Christchurch, in Whitianga and in New Plymouth. In each case, the detection has been associated with a specific pathway of introduction and the bugs have been identified as unmated females that can’t by

industry organisations is already engaging with MPI regarding the development of a BMSB Operational Agreement that will set out the suite of readiness activity to ensure we are best prepared to respond to this pest should it be detected here.

What’s not on the list? There are a myriad of other biosecurity threats that have the potential to impact the industry and the most unwanted list is far from comprehensive. Risk analysis is based on making an assessment based on the likelihood and the consequences of a threat being realized. Insects such as the harlequin lady bird that have recently established in northern New Zealand and the lantern fly which is currently under eradication in Pennsylvania certainly warrant attention, as does the Red Blotch virus which is currently causing concern in the United States. As

part of my role I keep abreast of the literature, and engage with MPI and overseas scientists to try to stay ahead of emerging risks. If anything significant changes it is important to communicate that out quickly to the industry.

Mitigating risks on your vineyard – the time to act is now The most unwanted list identifies how pests and diseases are most likely to arrive in New Zealand and how they might move around. Establishing biosecurity risk mitigation activities on your vineyard are a good way to minimize the likelihood that these pests and diseases will impact you directly. The New Zealand Winegrowers draft vineyard health guidelines are available here for consultation: The theme of the guidelines is –

“it’s your asset, protect it”. If biosecurity is important to you, and it should be, ask yourself – “when am I going to set aside time to ensure I implement biosecurity risk mitigation activities on my vineyard?” Your action sends the message to others that biosecurity is important and must be considered part of industry business as usual.

Conclusion - Catch it; Snap it Report it All members have a key role in participating in the biosecurity system and the industry needs your commitment to help ensure its sustainability. If you spot anything unusual that you think could be on the most unwanted list please: Catch it: Snap it: Report it Ring the biosecurity hotline on 0800 80 99 66 immediately to notify MPI of your find. If in doubt please call or e-mail me on 021 1924924 or■ 12370

themselves establish a breeding population. With such significant population pressure on the biosecurity system it is not hard to see why BMSB must be considered our most significant threat. A second key change to the list is the breakdown of the different pests and diseases into three categories: • Highest threat • Significant threat • Threat This distinction has been made to focus attention on the threats most likely to cause severe impacts on the industry. The difference between pests and diseases in each category is less important than the distinction between categories. This means that New Zealand Winegrowers, as a GIA partner, will work with MPI to concentrate our biosecurity readiness efforts against our highest risk threats. New Zealand Winegrowers, along with a range of horticulture

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Samurai Wasp, a valuable biocontrol weapon Sophie Preece


iven the brown mamorated stink bug (BMSB) is now the industry’s most unwanted pest, organisations are looking at ways of dealing with a potential incursion. And a speck-sized samurai wasp could well be the answer says a biosecurity expert. New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) is part of a horticulture and viticulture industry steering group that is partnering with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to explore the possibility of using Trissolcus japonicus, also known as the samurai wasp, as a biocontrol agent should BMSB make its way to New Zealand. NZW Biosecurity Manager Dr Edwin Massey says the work is about being proactive when it comes to biosecurity, so that if BMSB gets to New Zealand shores, the industry is ready. “We are not aiming to release the wasp should we get approval. What we are seeking is approval from the Environmental Protection Authority to import it into containment for potential release as a response tool to help counter BMSB.” Massey says previous work conducted by Plant & Food Research (PFR), Better Border Biosecurity (B3), and their colleagues at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), has identified that the samurai wasp parasitoid is an ideal biocontrol agent for BMSB. However, research

38   // 

Samarai Wasp

They are like heat seeking missiles that hunt down the pest you want to target. – Dr Edwin Massey and contained experiments are necessary to quantify the potential risks the samurai wasp could pose to other pentatomidae, the shield bug family BMSB belongs to, including a New Zealand native species. That species, the black alpine shield bug – Hypsithocus hudsonae (BAU) - lives in alpine areas in Central Otago, which means that it is unlikely to be encountered by grape growers and has been difficult for scientists to collect to commence “host testing”. BMSB feeds off a wide range of plants and emits a long lasting, foul smelling odour when threatened, which can taint grape juice. The female samurai wasp - which is the size of a sesame seed - lays its


eggs inside stinkbugs’ eggs and the developing larvae destroy the host as they eat their way out. Massey says that could make it an important weapon in the “arsenal” against BMSB, because there are no dedicated surveillance and control traps for the pest, meaning a response would have to rely on people’s eyes and chemical controls if there was not a predator involved. “Chemical control is not a particularly cost-effective control strategy. The good thing about parasitoids is they are like heat seeking missiles that hunt down the pest you want to target.” With a natural predator on the ground, growers would need fewer pesticides in the battle against

BMSB, retaining international market access for industries that rely on low pesticide residues, he says. The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) is currently doing an analysis for the steering group, outlining the potential impact of a BMSB incursion on New Zealand horticulture/ viticulture. It will model the costs of BMSB in both managed and unmitigated scenarios, and will help inform the application to bring the wasp into containment in New Zealand. The analysis measures the differences between what would occur under BAU and what would occur if this BAU was “shocked” such as through the establishment of BMSB as a major horticultural production pest. Draft results highlight that precautionary biocontrol is likely to significantly mitigate losses caused by the impact of BMSB across New Zealand horticulture/ viticulture. Forecasting out over 20 years the model indicates that the Samurai wasp would mitigate losses to the wine industry caused by BMSB by approximately $335 million. This illustrates just how much potential the Samurai wasp could have as a response tool.  The report is due out shortly, and Massey says time is of the essence. “It’s important that we proceed as fast as we can to get ready for the next high risk season in September.”■

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A first for the wine industry Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


he Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme has been a part of the New Zealand rural scene for 38 years, yet only this year has a member of the wine industry been involved. The global programme provides a platform for personal development and growth, develops the ‘contextural intelligence’ and thinking required for leadership, while at the same time provides greater insight into the primary industry sector and creating strategic connections and networks. With hundreds of primary sector individuals having taken part over the past 38 years, Jaimee Whitehead, technical vineyard supervisor for Matua in Marlborough, is the first ever member of the New Zealand wine industry to take part. The 27-year-old who has competed three times in the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year was keen to further develop her skills.

40   // 

“I was hungry for something more, something that would help me grow. I looked at different leadership programmes in New Zealand and settled on the Kellogg Programme.” Being one of the successful 24 applicants for the first course in 2017, she has been well supported by her employer, Treasury Wine Estates (who own Matua). Whitehead admits she was surprised to learn that she was the first viticulturist to take part in the programme, but doesn’t believe she will be the last. “When I turned up to the first phase of the course they said they had anyone from the wine industry. To be honest, I didn’t know anything about the programme until I became involved, but as soon as I got on board and realised how well recognised it was in the primary sector and how employers love people who have taken part in the programme, I started talking to everyone I knew. There are people who have signed up for the


Jaimee Whitehead

next intake, in fact there are three more from the wine industry who have been accepted I believe.” The Leadership Programme involves three phases. The first which took place in January involved 10 days in Christchurch learning about personal leadership, learning styles and strategic planning. Stage two held in April covered governance and political level influence. Based in Wellington the governance information was incredibly valuable Whitehead says, given there is nowhere in normal tertiary education you can learn first hand this sort of information. “We did a lot of interviews with leaders of different industry bodies, constantly working out what their leadership style is, how they got to where they are and what they do in difficult situations. Learning from them as individuals on how they deal with the government side of lead-

ership took us to the next step.” Whitehead says there are a number of leadership courses held throughout the country, but most are over a two or three-day period. “They tend to cover how to deal with difficult people, how do you be a leader in a tough situation – but this was at the next level.” The third phase involved Whitehead having to undertake a research project that focused on a hot topic within the wine industry. And what could be a hotter topic than grape marc in Marlborough? “What do we do with it now? What could we be doing with it, with the potential growth in the industry? What does the sustainable future look like for grape marc?” Knowing very little about the topic, it was very much a learning curve for her, but one Treasury Wine Estates was more than happy to support her in. “I have been trying to compare what is happening in Marlbor-

ough, with what is happening in Australia and also Hawke’s Bay, which doesn’t seem to have the issues (Marlborough) does. How are those places dealing with it, and why don’t they have the issues we do?” Given it is a few years since Whitehead was last studying for a research paper, she has found the task a little daunting. “But I have found my attitude about it has been a lot better, I guess because I put my hand up for this one and I know this is challenging me to be a better worker.” As she comes to the end of the six-month course, Whitehead says she has already learned a huge amount about herself and can identify changes in the way she approaches situations. “In a job like mine, I am working in a team. Even though I am a viticulturist, I am working with vineyard operators, the contract team, vineyard management, winemaking and the lab. There is also

the general manager and the sales team who want to learn about this or that. So, to be able to communicate across those different levels, not just locally, but nationally and globally and understand the processes as well, has been fantastic, especially the governance side of things. “I have learned a lot about my own style, how I respond to people and how they respond to me as well. So, it has taught me selfawareness and awareness of my surroundings, which is always good.” Perhaps the greatest learning curve though, has been the fact that to be successful, you need to be able to work with people and get the best out of them and yourself. “You can work 10 hours a day, six days a week, 52 weeks of the year and be a really good worker. But if people don’t respect you and you don’t respect them, then really you are just a computer.”■

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For reliable cost-effective Helicopter Frost Protection Services give John at HeliSolutions a call on 027-241 3510 NZ WINEGROWER  JUNE/JULY 2017  //   41


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It began as a summer tramping and camping holiday, back in 1999. It ended with the purchase of 32 hectares in the Waipara Valley – the beginning of an olive grove and vineyard. Terrace Edge is owned by Bruce and Jill Chapman, and has quickly made a name for itself as an organic producer of Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Syrah. Being a winery owner is a long way from the careers of Jill and Bruce – Jill having been a social worker with Child Youth and Family, and Bruce a consultant gastroenterologist at Christchurch Hospital, where he continues to work. It was Jill who took on the role of running the company on the ground. She operates the cellar door, undertakes the administration, human resources and is also the head of Terrace Edge’s sales and marketing. The couple’s youngest son Pete, is the viticulturist, and he works closely alongside his mother. For the first time ever, Family Vines looks at the dynastic development of a wine company, where it is mother and son who hold the reins of the business in their hands.



he family holiday was the defining event in our lives. We actually had no particular interest in the wine industry, we didn’t even drink very much wine. But while we were on a family holiday and camping in Blenheim, I said to Bruce I would really like to go and do some wine tasting. Of course, him, coming from his health perspective wanted to do olive oil tasting. We came across Ponder Estate and we fell in love with what Mike (Ponder) was doing with the olives and the grapes. We went back a second

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time, then on a wet day we went off to the library and studied up everything we could, particularly about olives. Bruce went back for a third time and Mike said to him, if he was really interested, there was this land for sale in the Waipara Valley. He told Bruce to stop and have a look at it on the way back to Christchurch. It was a sheep station on the south bank of the Waipara River, that had been divided. We did stop and have a look at it and three months later we had bought the middle section. There were no buildings on it, just sheep fences


that had to be taken down. We had no expertise, nothing, just a passion for the outdoors and for growing things in the garden at home. So we had the shock, horror, of what do we do now? We planted the first olives in 1999 and started planting the vines in 2002. The locals like Waipara West, Pegasus Bay and Muddy Water were all absolutely marvelous to us, sharing information. I remember Lindsey from Waipara West came down one day with this belt bag that the vineyard workers wear and saying; “now your workers will need this and a pair of snips and this and that.” It was really lovely. We were kind of just one step ahead all the time, of what we had to do. We planted what Waipara was known for, as we didn’t really have a sound wine knowledge. So it was Pinot Noir and Riesling and Pinot Gris was at the time the next big thing. We planted some Sauvignon Blanc as well.


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Then we have a very steep bank between the top terrace and the river terrace. It‘s about a 45 degree north facing angle. Bruce and Pete thought they would have some fun with Merlot and Syrah. The Merlot didn’t survive but the Syrah was the perfect variety there. We call it our roasted slope. When we bought the land, Pete was coming into his last year of high school. He had been looking at doing a very job specific degree. He wasn’t interested in doing a BA or BSc. Buying the land was his defining moment. He said, right I am going to go and do a winemaking and viticulture degree at Lincoln. (He actually did a Horticulture Science Degree with honours). He did that for four years and helped us plant the olive trees and then the vines. He was working at other local vineyards and picking up a lot of knowledge along the way. His deciding to do that degree

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was absolutely the defining moment for us. But we had also learned after a few years with the olives, that they weren’t going to make us any money. Things are different now because we have economies of scale. But back then it was more difficult. I think buying the land gave him a way forward, as he hadn’t been all that clear

about what he wanted to do. And his choice of career gave Bruce and I the confidence to go ahead with the grapes. He has been an integral part of Terrace Edge right from the start. Working with my son – most of the time it is really great. We have a very good working relationship. One of the big things is



hen I was growing up I guess I had an interest in the sciences and didn’t flourish so much in English. One of the main things for me though, was I wanted to study something that led to a specific area. I had some older friends do degrees that didn’t seem to lead to any particular job or vocation. But while I was looking that way, I hadn’t really come to any firm plans, until we developed our interest in olives and grapes. When we ended up visiting the vineyard and olive grove in Blenheim, there was something about it that captured us all, we were quite fascinated by it. We had always had an interest in the outdoors and growing things at home, so we thought, maybe very naïvely, that maybe we could do this. We visited the sheep farm on

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the way home and subsequently looked into other properties in Waipara, finally settling on this one. I think looking back, it is a classic case of naivety being a good thing, in that had we known how challenging it would be and how much we didn’t know, we probably wouldn’t have embarked on it. It really started as a family weekend project. I remember the first time we came out, before we had built anything, we took the ute out and stood looking at our 32 hectares of bare paddocks and thought; what the heck have we done? I guess that took us on a journey of talking and reading any information we could. It was that process of starting to plant out the olive grove and developing an interest in the land, that had me sitting in an English class, dreaming of Pinot Noir clones and farm-


the trustworthiness. Because he has journeyed this dream with us, right from the start, there is that common understanding and passion for what we are doing. We have always said to him, you know if this is not what you want to do at some stage, you must not feel beholden to us. Pete is very passionate about

what he does. He has a great personality and is very engaging, good with people. If he has to step into the cellar door, with his muddy boots to do a tasting, he fits right in. The one downside (of working together) is you have to work really hard to have social time where there is nothing about work talked about. I have to give Bruce a lecture every time before we have a family meal – telling him there is to be no talking about work. This is about us as people, not work. There are times that are tense, when you are discussing different things and you are coming at those from different perspectives – but that should never get in the way of our mother and son relationship. We are both at once, colleagues, and employer-employee. But we are also mother and son. So we have to work hard at doing both of those jobs thoroughly and not confusing them.■

Brought to you by Roots, Shoots & Fruits ing earthworms. Not the usual sort of English daydream! I decided to do a Horticultural Science Degree, four years with honours. Within that I packed in almost all the viticulture and winemaking courses. I came at it from, and still do come from, the side of loving to grow things. I love the science of it all and being able to work outdoors. I am by no means a winemaker, but I understand how it all works. I liaise very closely with Gavin Tait who does our winemaking at Muddy Water’s facility. Incidentally he was one of the first people I met at Lincoln in my class, so we have known each other since we were 18. I never contemplated winemaking, the viticultural side is what I have always enjoyed. I love the organics and my passion is growing all sorts of plants, not just grapes. I guess I always think of the job as a weekend hobby that gradually got out of control.

In my (uni) holidays I worked here as much as I could and I had to get experience for my Hort Science degree. My getting the degree was a big part of us all developing this goal. There have been a lot of challenges, but generally we really have loved it. Working with Mum is good. Fortunately she isn’t a viticulturist so we don’t stand on each other’s toes too much. We work pretty well together. We have defined roles that we leave each other to. It has been a big learning curve for Mum, coming from a background of social work. We have grown a bit now though, so we are not so much a jack of all trades and masters of none. We have done a lot of learning. Mum is very good with people, it is one of her greatest strengths and that can’t be underestimated. She is fantastic in the cellar door and in helping to run a good culture. Being able to work with someone who has a lot of respect

for people is hugely important to all of us. She has a great personality, which comes through in her running the cellar door. I know a lot of people really appreciate meeting the owner, someone who is down to earth and not pretentious at all. Would I like to see my children come into the business in years to

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come? For me, I would be very conscious of not wanting to make anything an expectation. There were no expectations from Mum and Dad. Although I guess you place expectations on yourself. We have always felt that if this is not meant to be and if it is not healthy to us as a family, then it is not worth doing.■

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The organics of liquid, life and label


hen Organic Winegrowers New Zealand held their very first meeting back in 2007, there weren’t a lot of people knocking at the door to be included. In fact, according to OWNZ coordinator Rebecca Reider, only 10 people attended the first ever meeting. Compare that to 2017, where the membership has grown to 160. An impressive decade of growth. As part of the celebration of that growth, the second New Zealand Organic and Biodynamic Wine Conference is taking place this month, from June 26-28, in Marlborough. The success of the inaugural event held in 2015 showed just how important organics and biodynamics are to the world of wine. Hundreds of delegates from throughout Australasia attended and organisers are expecting even more for this year’s event. With the theme of Liquid, Life and Label, the conference will focus on the all-important lifeblood, water, plus microbiology plus the marketing of organic

and biodynamic wines. Included in the long list of speakers are some renowned names. Daniel Honan from Australia’s The Wine Idealist, is one. The former BBC reporter was lured into the world of wine after attending The Real Wine Fair in London a few years

“The organic winegrowers of New Zealand and elsewhere are nothing short of inspiring – from the way you manage your vineyards, to how you interpret the fruit and transform it all into magnificent wine.” The line up of guest speakers is


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back. When he tasted a Castagna 2009 Genesis, he was hooked. “It was like a blazing hot branding iron that seared this moment deep into my memory,” he wrote in the recent Organics Winegrowers New Zealand Newsletter. “It tasted true. It tasted authentic. Incorruptible. It tasted real……It was also biodynamic.” It was that profound moment that led him back to Australia and inspired him to establish The Wine Idealist. His coming to the conference in June is something he is looking forward to.

once again outstanding. There are some well known names, such as Jamie Goode - well known London based wine writer, James Millton who needs no introduction, Rudi Bauer another well-known to the New Zealand wine industry and Yvonne Lorkin, drinks writer for Dish Magazine and star of Thirsty Work. But there are a number of others who will bring a wider perspective to the conference. For example; Joch Bosworth - a long term organic wine grower based in McLaren Vale who has been

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described as one of the “most important organic winemakers in Australia. He is the author of The Future Makers; Australian Wines for the 21st Century. Matthew Jukes said Joch is regarded by his peers as “an off the wall viticultural genius.” Then there is Jamie Zapp, a Netafirm agronomist based in Queensland. While based over the Tasman currently, Jamie spent a number of years as a viticulturist and vineyard manager on Waiheke, before heading to Margaret River. His specialty which he will be discussing at the conference is developing, investigating and demonstrating sub-surface irrigation. Richard Lees is the Chief Operating Office of Huckleberry, New Zealand’s leading organic grocer. In the past two years, Huckleberry has grown from three stores and 70 staff, to 12 stores and nearly 250 staff – all on the back of organics. He has a strong belief that now is the time to embrace the global move to organics by developing robust, collaborative and coherent strategies. Should be an interesting session.

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No conference is complete without an almost personal message to take home and the Organic and Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference is ensuring all attendees will do so with their motivational speaker – Rob Hamill. The Olympic and marathon rowing champion was recently the narrator-protagonist of the award winning documentary Brother Number One, which recounts the story of his return to Cambodia to retrace the steps of his brother Kerry, who was tortured and murdered by Khmer Rouge. This is bound to be a powerful and inspiring session, not to be missed. However the conference is not just based on listening to guest speakers. Chef Bevan Smith from Riverstone Café will return for the Organic Feast to be held on the Tuesday evening. There will also be a New Zealand organic and biodynamic wine tasting on the Monday evening plus an international organic and biodynamic

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wine tasting on the Wednesday evening. These wines, have been curated by Clive Dougall of Ser-

esin Estate with the assistance of Dan Gillett from Wine Diamonds (and Scotch Bar), a natural wine

importing business. Registrations for the conference are open, but get in quick. ■



New and old collide with winery It has been a long time since Marlborough celebrated the opening of a new winery – but the wait is now over, as Tessa Nicholson reports.


t is nearly 30 years since the first Jackson Estate wines were released onto the market. Yet in all that time, the company has never had its own winery, or a cellar door where consumers could visit. That all changed in late April when the company cut the ribbon to open their bespoke winery and cellar door to the public. Not that there is anything that yells winery at you when you drive through the nearly 30-year-old vines, to reach the building. In fact,

you could be fooled into thinking someone has played a joke on you. Especially with the 1850 replica bush hut that greets you at the end of the driveway. With its aged chimney made from a montage of battered and weathered iron soaring above the shingled roof, the batten wooden walls, doors and windows that appear as though they have been taken from a ramshackle farm shed, there is nothing modern about the cellar door. Folding into the red iron building that houses the winery and tanks,

this is something special. Even the decking surrounding the cellar door has been built to look as though old piles are sinking into the ground. There are undulations that add to the authenticity of the building. And that was the plan all along according to Jackson Estate Director Jeff Hart. “We spent two years planning this building,” he says. “We wanted to recreate the pioneering spirit of the Jackson family who first came to this land in the 1850s.” He describes the architecture as “collision” which melds the old and the new together seamlessly. A portable timber mill was on site throughout construction, allowing builders to destress the timber to make it look more aged.

The cellar door resembles an 1850’s replica bush hut featuring a chimney made from corrugated iron taken from a shed on the property, shingles hand made, and timber from an old bridge in Greytown. The winery sits in behind. Photo Peter Burgh

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The ancient looking doors and windows may look decades old, yet they are in fact brand spanking new. All the posts holding the verandah aloft are also aged with modern techniques. Beams and timber struts from the former Greymouth Railway Bridge have been utilised within the outside structure and have also been transformed into outdoor furniture. With the assistance of Brain Massey who was the Art Director for The Hobbit and greens manager for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the landscaping is uniquely New Zealand. Mounds, of luscious grass envelope the building, providing serene seating for visitors.

As for the winery itself, this is where the boutique nature of Jackson Estate comes to the fore. The 250-tonne facility will only be used to produce Pinot Noir and

Chardonnay. All the company’s Sauvignon Blanc will be made off site at contract facilities. “Winemakers have more artistic license with Pinot and

Chardonnay,” Hart says, “and this winery gives that to them. It means we can concentrate fully on these varieties. “For a long time, we have been

excited about the future of Marlborough Pinot, and this will help us take it out to the world.” The majority of tanks are seven or 12 tonne, with the largest blending tanks being 20,000 litres. Four temperature control barrel rooms have been included, and put to good use already. “All our tanks were full by early April, half with Jackson Estate fruit and the other half, contracted.” In total Jackson Estate has 70 hectares of grapes, 40 in the Rapaura area and 30 in the Waihopai. All the latter is Pinot Noir. A handful of older Sauvignon Blanc vines had to be removed to create the entrance into the new cellar door, but Hart says they have made sure they weren’t wasted. “We actually replanted them and they have taken really well.” Again, a case of old and new working together.■



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Business heats up after Icehouse When it was suggested to Aaron Jay, owner of Marlborough Vine Works that he undertake The Icehouse Owner Manager Programme, he scoffed. Now four years after completing the course, he is anything but skeptical, as Tessa Nicholson discovered.


aron had a single goal when he took over the company back in 2009 – a wish to make enough money to allow his wife to stay at home and look after their new born daughter. With one van, seven other part time staff members and some loppers and secateurs, he began building his vineyard contracting business. Within a month he had 109 staff and a few

more vans to carry them around the province. In 2016 he had 42 permanent employees, almost 400 RSE workers throughout the 12-month period, and another 400 casual or transient workers. In the past five years his growth has been 410 percent. Phenomenal you might say and you would be right. But it hasn’t always been an easy road he admits. “For those first three or four years it was a case of head down

Aaron Jay didn’t think he was the sort of person who would benefit from an Icehouse programme. Now he is a staunch advocate of it.

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and bum up. Trying to run a company which I wasn’t necessarily trained at doing, was like holding onto a tiger’s tail, making sure it didn’t turn around and bite me.” While Aaron had experience in finance and banking, and sales and marketing from his earlier years in England, he admits there were issues he wasn’t prepared for. “The biggest issue I had and wasn’t expecting because of my naivety and lack of experience, was

cash flow. The fact that a growing business is extremely hungry, it eats up money like nothing else. “And the other big thing I wasn’t prepared for, was that people weren’t prepared to work. I wasn’t prepared for people not to turn up.” Yet when his bank manager at the BNZ suggested he could gain experience by undertaking The Icehouse Owner Manager Programme, Aaron admits he didn’t know what the guy was talking about. He didn’t think he was the sort of person that attended such courses. “I hadn’t heard of it and I wasn’t interested. I thought it was all a bit too much for me - a boy

from south England who had kind of fallen into this business. I put it off for the better part of a year.” But he was finally worn down and agreed to take part in the programme, somewhat reluctantly. So up to Auckland he went, and decided within minutes of walking into the room, that this really wasn’t for him. “I saw everybody else in the room and I was like; ‘man, I don’t want to be part of this. I’m not ready for it. I will never be able to talk to these people.’ So I sat down and thought I will stay until the first break. “Then over the period of the first couple of hours, it started to dawn on me, that everybody else in the room was in the same boat as me, irrespective of age, stature or race. “Everyone was an owner operator, having similar sorts of issues, whether it be business partners, money, growth or clients. So I stayed until lunchtime and then

12 months later I finished the programme.” That entailed him travelling to Auckland every month for three days, where the only agenda was business and how to succeed in it as an owner/operator. While he describes those days as being “intense” he says the camaraderie of the group and their willingness to help was a total surprise. “I couldn’t believe it; it blew my mind. I had 23 other people in my group who were highly intelligent, highly motivated people. But they were having or had had issues that I had and were now at different stages of their professional careers. And they were all willing to give advice and help in anything I needed.” While the advice was something that Aaron believes has helped him develop his business, the confidence the course gave him was another important factor. “It gave me the confidence to know I am the right guy to be

running (the business) and make the decisions to do what we are doing.” Interestingly, after undertaking the course, what had been Marlborough Vine Works underwent a major rebrand. The name was changed to Hortus Ltd, which in itself has been an important aspect of its recent growth. The rebrand came about when one of the external panelists asked him whether he was a vineyard contracting company or a labour supply company specializing in viticulture. “I though, umm, good question. I went away and thought about that for the next few months and decided we were a labour supply company that specializes in viticulture. “We were cutting ourselves short by calling ourselves Marlborough Vine Works. So we rebranded it to Hortus and that allowed us to grow into other sectors within viticulture and also within the horticulture industry.”

These days Hortus works in a variety of differing fields, including apples, kiwifruit, carrots, pine nuts, broccoli and lettuce. “If we were called Marlborough Vine Works, it would be the end of the conversation, it wouldn’t work. No one would consider us for those jobs.” Would the growth have come about regardless of him doing the course? Aaron says he doesn’t think so. “I suspect not, definitely not as quickly as it has because at that point the business was stagnating and we weren’t sure where our future was and where we were going. It has been massive for me.” He is also quick to recommend it to other owner/managers, especially if they are dreaming big. “It gives you the confidence to believe in yourself. I mean if you show someone your business plan and they don’t laugh, then it’s not big enough.”■

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Fermentation in the vines Dominic Maxwell, (Greystone Wine’s winemaker) has one goal to make Pinot Noir that truly expresses its site. That goal has led him down an unusual path, as Tessa Nicholson discovered. He is fermenting some of his Pinot outside in the vineyard, alongside the vines the fruit grew on.


ou may think he is a bit crazy, and Maxwell admits there were plenty of sceptics when he came up with the idea four years ago. But the experiment has proved so successful, that this year, the company will ferment 10 tonnes of fruit in the vineyard. While he is a longtime advocate of wild ferments, a few years back he began to question whether these were influenced by conditions within the winery. Was the indigenous yeast that came in with the fruit, being affected by the yeast from other batches, or yeast found within the winery itself? “I wanted to know if my wild ferments were truly indigenous or as a result of the vineyard. What was the effect of moving fruit away from its exact place of origin to ferment?” He began to delve a little deeper, in his search for authenticity. That included stripping back where he could on additives and the use of toasty oak. The next step saw Maxwell focusing on the fermentation stage. “The foundations of the fruit are built on during fermentation, so the character building phase at this stage is huge,” he says. “The microbial life in the fermentation is therefore crucial.” It became apparent to him,

52   // 

that all influences outside of the fruit and the site where the fruit was grown, had to be removed. Which meant fermentation had to take place in the vineyard, alongside the exact vines the fruit came from.

Hand picked grapes are delivered straight to the outdoor fermenter.


“We are operating organically and with our increased awareness of microbial complexity, we felt there was no reason why this couldn’t work,” he says. There was no one for him to garner advice from, as he was una-

ware of anyone else using vineyard fermenters. There were also issues that kept being raised. What about flies, bees and birds? What about sprayers? What about climatic changes and other weather related issues? “All these questions popped up but they seemed to be able to be answered quite easily,” Maxwell says. “And the more I answered them, the more enthusiastic I got about just giving it a go.” He said birds and insects are as


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A ferment with a view.

54   // 


much an issue in a winery as they are outside. Tractors and sprays are not in use at that time of the year, so no problem there. And temperature control – well fermentation will happen outside – it just may take a little longer in the open than it does in the winery. But that adds to the authenticity of the end product. Fermenter wise, Maxwell has trialed a variety. Barrels and puncheons with their heads taken out, one tonne and two tonne sized plastic fermenters. “The size that seems to work quite well, is something that is not too big that it gets really hot, but not too small that it struggles to warm up. We have settled on 1.2 tonne to 1.5 tonne plastic fermenters.” The fermenter has a lid that can cover the fruit and juice, but once the lid is removed, there is a breathable cover that protects everything inside. It was 2012 when the first vineyard ferment

was undertaken – a particularly cold year. “We waited for the ferment to start and wait we did. We began to think it was going to be a spring ferment, it took such a long time. It was a 12-day cold soak. Fermentation started slowly and it was cool at that stage of the vintage and the fermenter was at one of our higher elevations. “But we started to witness one of the positive surprises of the fermentations – the heightened influence of the vintage weather. With the fermenter in the elements, it was far more sensitive to the outside temperature. “We really love that aspect, as I truly believe it extends the seasonal influence beyond the picking date, with the fermenter clearly in tune and connected to the vintage weather.” Maxwell admits he hadn’t really thought about that aspect, until it actually occurred. “I was quite naive about it in

some ways. I had just been thinking about the vineyard yeast, not the influence of weather. But this allows not only the fruit to speak, but also the season to speak through in the wine.” To determine if the vineyard fermenter was creating something different, Maxwell made a control wine. Fruit from the same block, picked on the same day, was taken back to the winery, and after fermentation and aging, the two were compared. Chemical analysis was undertaken and there was a noticeable difference in alcohol levels, with the vineyard fermenter being half a percent lower than the winery made wine. That has been a consistent finding in every year since. “It wasn’t something that we had contemplated, but with increased exposure, higher evaporation potential, it sort of made sense. While this isn’t a game changer, it is definitely a positive aspect.”

As for how the wines stacked up in terms of aroma, flavour and texture - Maxwell is excited. “Once we tasted the wine, it moved to a whole new level. There were no preconceived ideas as to how the wine might turn out, although admittedly we were keen to see some differences. We wanted to hear the vineyard singing clearly. “There is a more savoury nature as far as aroma and flavour goes in the vineyard fermented. There is a difference on the palate as well. In the winery made wine, it is more tightly bound. In the vineyard, it seems to be quite a harmonious structure. I am still pondering why that is.” As with all wine, season influences the end product. As Maxwell says, in some years the wine can be very dark and showing obvious strength. In others it can be light with subtlety and finer bones. “In a sense, we notice those seasonal differences are amplified

in the vineyard fermentations.” Up until 2016, all the vineyard fermentations were used as components of Greystone Pinot Noir. But last year, some barrels were kept aside and for the first time, the wine will be released as a stand-alone. Maxwell strongly believes, these wines show a purity and harmonious sense of place. So much so that this year he has placed six 1.5 tonne fermenters out among the vines. The major portion will be used as a component in the Greystone Pinot Noir, while the rest will be marketed as Greystone Vineyard Fermented Pinot. The interest garnered by his trials was obvious at Pinot Noir 2017. A large number of winemakers were keen to try the wine, and Maxwell is hopeful a number will undertake trials of their own. “It will be great to see how it works for them and I would love to know who does try it, so we can maybe get a collective together to discuss and learn more.”■



Wine-Searcher Kiwi success Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


ew Zealand may be a small player in the world of wine sales, but one wine related company is leading the world in finding and pricing wines. Developed in London in 1999 by New Zealander Martin Brown, Wine-Searcher uses some seriously innovative technology to bring together the world’s wines, their prices and outlet options. With nine million wine, beer and spirits prices from 77,000 merchants and auctions in over 100

countries, this has quickly become one of the world’s leading wine search engines. It has even been called the “google” of the wine world. Using a method known as spidering, Wine-Searcher is constantly searching for new wine prices, Head of Marketing, Suzanne Kendrick explains. “Every single night we send out internet spiders that look for updates to wine prices. Of course we go to the wine merchants we know about, but as new merchants start to sell wine online, we add

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56   // 

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them in. If the price is on line, we can pick it up.” Once a person searches for a particular wine, Wine-Searcher locates it. Information on the wine itself, where it is available and the price it is selling at each outlet. The consumer is then able to go straight to the outlet they choose, to purchase.

Wine-Searcher has been hugely successful in Europe and the States, but Kendrick says New Zealand companies haven’t been as quick to adopt their own home grown product. Part of that she says is due to concern over the price differential. “( Wineries) tend to get stuck on that,” Kendrick believes. “Say a wine is $40 at the gate and let’s say another outlet sells it for $34, the winery gets stuck on that $6 differential. Whereas what they should be stuck on is the person who loves your wine may have tried it at the

Search Country - United Kingdom, 2016 YTD 11-Dec


Wine Name



Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay, Kumeu Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard Chardonnay, Kumeu Kumeu Rive Estate Chardonnay, Kumeu Kevin Judd Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Vavasour The Pass Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Villa Maria Estate Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Kevin Judd Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

3714 1918 1856 1701 1499 1111 1049 1049 1033 954

White Total



Ata Rangi Pinot Noir, Martinborough Te Mata Estate Coleraine, Hawke’s Bay Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir, Bannockburn Felton Road Block 5 Pinot Noir, Bannockburn Stonyridge Vineyard Larose, Waiheke Island Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir, Marlborough Escarpment Kupe Pinot Noir, Martinborough Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir, Bannockburn Craggy Range Le Sol Syrah, Gimblett Gravels Craggy Range Sophia Merlot, Gimblet Gravels

3156 2731 1899 1283 1005 950 889 881 762 707

Red Total


Grand Total


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cellar door, but they live in London. They want to know where they can buy it there, or wherever else they live.” Given the aim of all wine companies is to sell more wine, both domestically and overseas, it seems like a petty concern to worry about the liquor outlet down the road that may be under cutting your cellar door price by a few dollars. Another concern that people have raised is that price transparency will lead to lower prices overall. Kendrick says that has been proved incorrect, with WineSearcher data showing that in the US, a drop in the number of stores grossly overcharging for wines, and a drop in the number of merchants using certain wines as a loss leader at unprofitable levels, have both dropped. “The range of prices has become less,” she says. “It has narrowed with the price transparency that Wine-Searcher offers.

Where there used to be one price at duty free, another at the supermarket and one at the gate, they are starting to become less. Some wineries are stuck on the fact that if their wine is on Wine-Searcher, everyone can see that it is more expensive at their cellar door. I say, what they should be focusing on is exporting to the people who are not going to be coming back to the cellar door.” Another use of the search engine, is to keep an eye on those selling your wines overseas. For example, Kendrick says one company recently told her they use Wine-Searcher to ensure they are not being undercut in export markets, and that distributors aren’t giving the stock away too cheap. “Constellation in the US use Wine-Searcher to see that there is not too much discounting and that the bottom (price) isn’t going too low.” If you are wondering how you can get on to Wine-Searcher –

all you need, Kendrick says, is to ensure your wine price is on line. Not in a wine list or a PDF as many wineries do, but labelled clearly with the wine’s name and the price it is selling for. Which surprisingly enough she says, many wineries do not include on their website. Maybe they don’t have an on-line sales channel, but it is still important to give a price, regardless. And ensure your website is mobile optimised. Kendrick says that is a major issue for some New Zealand companies. “So many of our winery websites are just not good enough, especially if you are consumer used to a better digital experience in other countries. We are exporters, so we get a lot of overseas visitors. Wine-Searcher lead those customers right up to the digital gate (of the winery) and quite often the site is not mobile optimised and the consumer leaves. So we have got the customer right to

the point where they have made a decision to buy that wine, and bang it stops.” As mentioned earlier, the overseas markets have taken WineSearcher to heart with over 4.7 million wine enthusiasts searching every month. And a good few of them are searching for New Zealand wines. Not surprisingly, in the UK, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc leads the way in the white wine category, with Cloudy Bay being the most searched for New Zealand wine in the year ending December 2016. But take a look at the table (p56), provided by Wine-Searcher and notice how many times Kumeu River’s Chardonnays are searched for. In terms of red wines, Pinot Noir is the most searched for variety, with Martinborough’s Ata Rangi being the most popular. What is good to note here is the range of wines in the red category, from Pinot to Bordeaux styles, Syrah and Merlot.■

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Slip, rot and a wrap Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


his year’s New Zealand Winegrowers’ Grape Days have a timely focus on pest and disease management. Research into slip skin, botrytis rot and powdery mildew will all be part of the day-long events, which will be held throughout the country. As will the latest on trunk disease, mealybugs and irrigation as it relates to wine quality. Not to mention the latest on vintage 17, with an update on the facts and figures. Grape Days are an important part of New Zealand Winegrowers’ Research initiative, providing the opportunity to pass on the information that emerges from the many projects under-

taken by the organisation. Held in Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and Central Otago, (see dates right) during June, the aim is to provide as much information as possible to help growers going into the next season. The day-long events includes a research programme update – what is new and what is ongoing. A full review of the past vintage will follow, prior to a session on fungus fighting, where powdery mildew best practice, case studies, ascospore research and getting the correct sprayer capability will be discussed. Regional vintage roundups will be presented by Brenton O’Riley in Marlborough, Paul Robinson in Hawke’s Bay and

Mike Winter in Central. Given the amount of rain experienced in parts of the country during harvest, a timely session on botrytis, slip skin and water will highlight the issues experienced. The afternoon sessions will include an update on trunk disease, mealybugs, virus and biocontrol as well as a biosecurity update. To finish the day off, Mark Krasnow will present a session on irrigation and wine quality research currently being undertaken.■

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The three peat winemaker Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


inning the title of Young Winemaker of the Year is something special. Winning the same title a second time, is even more so. But winning it for a third year in a row – well that is beyond words. Patrick Newton, from Mudbrick Wines on Waiheke, laughs when he talks about taking out the 2016 title, and admits his fellow winemakers are urging him to step back this year, just so they might have a chance. The Winemaker of the Year is run in conjunction with the Canterbury A&P Show and the New Zealand Aromatic Competition. Winemakers have to provide the judges with three of their wines. In Newton’s case he entered a 2015 Reserve Chardonnay, a 2013 Reserve Syrah and a 2013 Velvet, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. He entered the same wines from different vintages in both of his previous wins, and is quick to admit, they are his favourites. “The range of flavours is mind blowing,” he says. “You are using all these different varieties that have different characteristics, and when you blend them together you are making a much better wine. They tend to be very complex, with great length and power and they age so well.” The 34-year-old spent his teenage years growing up in Hawke’s Bay, after his father who had been an officer in the Australian Army decided he wanted to try some-

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thing different. The family were living in Palmerston North at the time, and just over the back fence was another man who was also looking at diversifying. His name was John Forrest. The two men got talking and before long had jointly purchased a block of land on Gimblett Road. This was 1988, well before Gimblett Gravels became a by-line for wines of quality. “It was just a barren wasteland at the time. I remember going there as a child to look at it, and there were animal carcasses lying around, it was bone dry and there were no trees.” The vineyard was planted in 1990 and the first Newton Forrest wines appeared on the market in 1995. While Newton and his three brothers were all roped in to help on the vineyard, not one of them considered the wine industry as a career option. “Absolutely not,” he says. “I had originally thought of going into the army and doing a degree through them, or going to Otago and doing law and commerce. But I guess at the end of the day, I didn’t want to sit behind a desk. I had worked in the vineyard for basically all my teenage years and started to think about going to Lincoln to study.” Like so many before him, he began his degree with the certainty that he would follow just one path – in his case viticulture. Not just because that was what he knew from his youth – but for more practical reasons.


“My whole way of thinking was that you can have just one winemaker for 10 different vineyards. But every vineyard needs a viticulturist, so I thought I would have

Patrick Newton

a better shot a creating a career that way.” It was only after his degree and some time spent in a winery rather than in the vineyards, that

One of the wines that helped Patrick Newton take out the 2016 Young Winemaker of the Year title for the third time in a row.

he began to rethink his original decision. “I wanted to travel and I realised that it was always going to be easier to travel working in the winery, so I started working in wineries and haven’t left.” Even now he still sounds surprised that he is a winemaker rather than

a viticulturist, although his love of vines plays a major role in his day to day life. “I put a hell of a lot of importance on vineyards. I think to be a really good winemaker, you have to understand the growing of grapes. There are quite a few winemakers who wouldn’t set foot in a vine-

yard, but I am in the position of working in a small company and I can be out in the vineyard as much as I like.” During his short career Newton has worked with some of the best both here in New Zealand and overseas. His first New Zealand job was at Esk Valley under Gordon Russell. He has undertaken vintages in Australia, California and Germany, coming back to New Zealand each year for a vintage in Hawke’s Bay. When a job at Vidals came up, working with Hugh Crichton, he took it and settled into the Bay for the next four years. When Mudbrick advertised for a winemaker, he didn’t take long to consider it. “I had only ever wanted to work with Bordeaux style wines; Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier. And there are only two places in New Zealand that can do those well; Hawke’s Bay and Waiheke. Plus Jess’s (his wife – also a winemaker) family had a bach on Waiheke so she was used to coming over here. So those all added to the thought that this could be a really good place. Plus Mudbrick were starting to make some really good wines at the time.” In terms of Waiheke, he says the clay soils offer something special to the red wines, giving the fruit a roundness and “soft plush tannins”. In terms of Chardonnay, he says the maritime weather conditions are different to every other wine growing region in New

Zealand. “Even in what we call a bad season, it is generally not a cool one, so we are not battling to get the fruit ripe. If we have a bit of rain coming in, it might be cooler but it is never so cold that the vines are shutting down, they are continuing to ripen the grapes.” The greatest challenges he faces as a winemaker he says, occur in the vineyard. “It’s choosing when to pick. Anyone can leave Cabernet Sauvignon sitting on the vine until it is all shriveled up and very concentrated. “The trick is to harvest it when it is physiologically ripe and you are getting the spectrum of fruit flavours, rather than the over ripe characters. Certainly for the other red varieties, they need to be in balance, so harvesting them when those flavours align is the most important challenge.” He describes his actions in the winery as “simplistic”. Minimal additives, hand plunging and no difference in treatment of reds, regardless of variety. “The winemaking is the easy part. The blending on the other hand, that is always interesting,” he says with a laugh. Easy, challenging or interesting, Newton appears to have the nous to produce the almost perfect wine – certainly if his three titles as Winemaker of the Year are anything to go by.■


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GIVE IT AIR! I’ve always been a big fan of decanting red wine. Young, astringent reds, particularly those sealed with a screwcap, can become softer and more aromatic after a little exposure to air. Older reds also seem to benefit. They can lose a little mustiness while gaining extra aroma intensity and complexity. There is not much down-side to decanting although very old wine can suffer from too much air exposure. I recall tasting a 1929 Chateau Lafite which was musty and closed initially before opening up like a delicate flower. After 20 minutes it tasted like stale coffee grounds. I still dust off the decanters at dinner parties but am increasingly using aerating devices on a day-to-day basis. I am frequently invited to test-drive different models of aerators and I must say that they all seem to make a difference to a greater or lesser degree. My current favourite is Nuance Wine Finer which I see is available on Trade Me for NZD 37.30. It’s a tapered device that fits into the bottle neck. It contains a filter that effectively traps coarse sediment and cork chips. The device can be left in the bottle and has a sealable lid. Easy to use and easy to clean. The big advantage of an aerator over a

decanter is that it only aerates the wine you drink. Leftover wine can be popped into the fridge (red wine lasts longer when refrigerated) and enjoyed later. It’s a simple matter to test the efficiency of an aerator by pouring two glasses – one that has been exposed to air and another that hasn’t. The difference isn’t always obvious but enough wines seem to respond positively to justify using the device. Not everyone agrees. I invited a group of students to taste the difference between an aerated red wine and a recently poured control. A minority preferred the fresher, punchier character of the freshly poured sample over the more mellow aerated sample. I no longer extoll the virtues of aerating wine, suggesting instead that everyone puts it to the test and does whatever best suits their taste. I do however continue to routinely aerate red wine.

I NEED IT COLD …. NOW! I’m becoming a bit of an expert at chilling wine in a hurry. Muggy Auckland evenings over the summer, demand a well-chilled white wine but I almost routinely don’t think about putting a bottle in the fridge until I am ready for a glass. I’ve got one of those popular Fisher & Paykel two-door fridges with an ice-maker inside. I find the best way to chill wine in a hurry is to mix a slurry of ice and

62   // 

chilled water from the fridge and plunge the bottle into it. Fifteen minutes is usually enough. The fridge has a bottle-chill timer so an alternative measure is to put the bottle in the freezer, which takes a little longer, perhaps 20-25 minutes. One night I tried the wellknown technique of wrapping a wet tea towel around the bottle and dropping it into the freezer. I wet the cloth with chilled water


from the fridge, which might have helped. In 15-20 minutes the bottle was cold enough to enjoy. I haven’t tried a superfast wine chill method which involves making up a litre bottle of a brine solution that you then keep in the freezer. When you are ready to chill it’s just a matter of putting a wine bottle into an insulated container which is then filled with the icy-cold brine solution. I’m told it takes

3-5 minutes before the bottle is “well chilled”. If I am going out to a BYO restaurant I slip a Rapid Ice sleeve around the warm bottle. I keep a couple in the freezer. They work well although I often ask the waiter for an ice bucket to drop the temperature a couple of extra degrees. If you over-chill a bottle it’s a simple matter to pour a glass and give it a few seconds in the microwave.

I GOT THE ANTHOCYANIN BLUES Once upon a time the colour blue was regarded as the kiss of death on wine packaging. Then along came Blue Nun. It’s success legitimised an “unnatural” colour that was supposed to do for food and wine what Jack the Ripper did for late night closing. Peer at the rim of a youthful Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon produced in a moderately warm climate and the wine does seem to have a blue-ish tint. That is caused by a tannin called anthocyanin (“cyan” is a greenish-blue colour). The wine will gradually lose its blue/purple tint as it ages and as the anthocyanins cluster together, eventually forming part of the natural sediment often found in aged red wine.

Now six entrepreneurs in the north of Spain have developed a blue wine made from red and white grapes. They add anthocyanin and indigo pigments to turn the red/white blend blue and sweeteners to the wine to mask its astringency. The wine is called Gik, which is about as unappetising as its colour. It’s available for €10 a bottle via the Gik website (it’s in Spanish, but the graphics are interesting). Aiming at a younger consumer the website describes the colour blue as “movement, innovation, change and infinity”. They don’t mention methylated spirits (coloured blue to repel all but the hardiest drinker). It just might work, then again …



New kids on the block Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


he coming together o f t w o e n t re p re neurs, an Argentinian winemaker and a renowned viticulturist has resulted in Waiheke Island’s newest cellar door, restaurant and brewery. Tantalus Estate opened its doors at the end of September last year, after three years of planning, designing and building. The transformation of what was a rundown vineyard and cellar door has been nothing short of remarkable. Based in the heart of the Onetangi Valley, Tantulus Estate is the brain child of Campbell Aitken and Carrie Mendell, aided by viticulturist Chris Ward and winemaker Alex Perez. The small four-and-a-half-hectare property is home to a range of Bordeaux varieties; Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Mer-

lot, Malbec, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Viognier. But the Estate has not stopped just at wine, they have also built a state of the art brewery, which can be viewed from the cellar door and restaurant. The sheer size and architectural beauty of the property belies the issues encountered back in 2013 when the property was purchased. Records had not been well kept and no one was quite sure what was planted where. Adding to the confusion, the takeover date was autumn, and with the leaves missing from the vines, there was no way of visually identifying what the vines actually were. “It took a little bit of detective work and getting information from people who had worked here previously,” Chris says. “Although we did have some information to where some very silly plantings

were. For example, Sauvignon Blanc on the end of Merlot rows. There might have been a row of 80 Merlot vines, with 24 Sauvignon Blanc on the end of the same row. We didn’t want to grow Sauvignon Blanc anyway and we certainly didn’t want them on the end of the Merlot rows.” The vines were subsequently ripped out, but put to a very unique use, rather than just destroyed. They have been turned into lights, at the suggestion of the architect. The trunks form the stem of the light and the canes have been cleverly melded together with fairy lights and copper wiring. “We did that as a little tribute,” Carrie admits with a laugh. Both Campbell and Carrie have past experience in the tourism and hospitality industries. Having met in Canada, they came back to New Tantalus Estate, the new kids on the block.

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Zealand, keen to establish a business that provided a lifestyle as well. Initially Waiheke wasn’t on their radar. But a boating trip with friends changed all that. “They dropped anchor at Man of War Bay and we went up for a wine tasting,” says Carrie. “I thought, ‘where are we and how do we get to live here forever’? We came back on the Monday after that weekend and started looking.” The estate which had been on the market for some time, was obviously going to take a lot of work, which led the couple to bring Chris and Alex on board. “It was something that was brand new to us, so we had to seek people out with experience and were fortunate to find Chris and Alex right at the get go,” Campbell says. Chris who was the viticulturist at Stonyridge, (which is next door to Tantalus Estate) knew the land and understood what was needed to bring the vineyard up to scratch. Alex who had undertaken 10 vintages around the world before arriving in New Zealand was the perfect choice, given he was also keen on brewing – something Campbell and Carrie were keen to include in the facility. For him the job was a golden opportunity. “I was in Mendoza and the differences are huge between here and there. Firstly the scale. Here everything is done with so much attention to detail. The concept of small is beautiful, works here. “Secondly in Argentina the winemakers are used to working with Malbec about 95 percent of the time. But here, from four and a half hectares I have all the Bordeaux varieties. And Carrie and Campbell give us a lot of freedom to express our artistic side and

A TANTALISING NAME So where did the name Tantalus Estate come from? Firstly there is a personal connection for both Campbell and Carrie. It was the name of a Canadian mountain range where the two met. “We liked the sound of it at the time,” Campbell says. “But as we dug deeper into the meaning we discovered something else. “A Tantalus is an antique vessel that was using for storing crystal decanters to put on display. “The decanters were housed under lock and

key, so you couldn’t just pull out the cork. In other words, it is a locking vessel that you can hide your special wines or spirits in

– it was there to tantalise you.” “Some have a bar across, so you can’t get at the corks,” Carrie says,

“and some are hidden as something else. It could be a pile of books, but when you lift them up, there is a little flask inside.” Campbell’s mother has been collecting a range of tantalus from around the world, which are now on display in the private dining room. While neither were aware of the vessels when they came up with the name initially, he says, it is the perfect imagery for a small boutique winery. “We are producing small amounts of wine and hopefully, it will be sought after and hard to get.”


that to me is priceless.� As for being able to make wine and beer, he says the two processes are complimentary. “I think (brewing) makes me a better winemaker, it compliments everything big time. Especially fermentation management. You learn so much about yeast as well.� The beer, being sold only in house, is known as Alibi. There are four types, three ales and one lager. Although Alex and head brewer Bernard Neate have been undertaking some experiments of late, including a watermelon/ oyster sour beer, and a Sauvignon Blanc Pilsner. “Bernard has designs on quite a few other patches of grapes, which I am not releasing to him yet,� Chris says. The first Tantalus Estate vintage was 2014 and already the wines are catching the attention of critics. The restaurant which opened in time for the summer season is also gaining accolades.

But it is the building itself and the attention to detail throughout that is so captivating. Upstairs is the restaurant and cellar door. Downstairs is a bar that opens out onto the brewery. Reminiscent of something out of an English novel, the

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66   // 

into a middle eastern palace. The new kid on the block is certainly making heads turn and is a worthy addition to Waiheke Island’s already thriving wine industry.■

The downstairs bar where Alibi beer is served straight from the tanks.

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Among the vines Reminders June/July


he long term sustainability of many vineyards are under threat from pe rvasive wood diseases that are slowly killing vines. The lost production and cost of replacing affected vines can be very expensive and can sometimes warrant total block replacement. It is important that pruned vines are protected from infection to prevent future losses. The key causal pathogens, Botryosphaeria stevensii and Eutypa lata, have the ability to invade healthy vines through the unprotected pruning wounds. After a rainfall event, spores are

released and continue to be released for several days. Spores are carried by wind or rain splash onto cuts where they germinate and invade the healthy wood. The disease affects the vascular (nutrient transport) system and restricts the supply of nutrients

to the vine above the infected area. The most obvious symptoms are visible in the early spring. Leaves are yellow, small cupped, often tattered with scorched margins followed by progressive cane dieback and canopy decline as the vascular tissue becomes progressively restricted. Symptoms are often expressed years after initial infection so it pays to implement a preventative control strategy. If practicable, prune vines during spells of dry weather and apply suitable wound dressing such as PruneTec or Greenseal Ultra to

significant cuts soon after they are made. This is particularly important if rain is imminent. Another useful tool for protecting the thousands of smaller wounds is spray-on protectants such as Gelseal Ultra Spray-On which contains three fungicide protectants. If your vines display symptoms, infected parts should be pruned out and burnt, particularly all wood older than one year. Visit www.fruitfedsupplies. to find your local Fruitfed Supplies representative who can provide more information on all aspects of managing wood-invading diseases. ■

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WHERE: London

WHERE: San Francisco & New York

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WHEN: 13 & 16 March

WHO: Trade, Media & Consumers . 96 wineries participated with 523 wines.

WHO: Top selling cities for New Zealand wine in our largest export market.

68   // 




WHERE: Dusseldorf

WHERE: Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

WHEN: 19-21 March

WHEN: 6 & 7 April

WHO: 58,500 attendees over the three days.

WHO: Media & Consumers. Four courses prepared by Michael Meredith, accompanied by 14 wines selected by MW Stephen Wong.



Feet on the ground Joelle Thomson


arol Bunn knows a thing or three about commuting. For the past three years she has travelled and lived between Arrowtown (where she was born and bred), Martinborough (home to her partner, Larry McKenna), Marlborough (where she consulted to Giesen Wines in 2015). The travel was wearing a little thin, so when a new winemaking job at Urlar Estate in the Wairarapa popped up, it was just the godsend she needed to put some roots down again. A permanent relocation north was serendipitous for Bunn too because her winemaking

began in the Wairarapa. While she was busy commuting around the country making wine during 2014 and 2015 (consulting in her own business, Wine Artisan), she also explored cooking – a strong and long lived passion of hers – but that’s another story. The commuting highlighted the intense growth in the deep south, says Bunn, who has noticed profound changes in Central Otago. “Arrowtown is almost like a little Auckland now. I love it as the place I grew up in, but it’s becoming a harder p l a c e to relax. Our

Carol Bunn

70   // 


family has a farm of a couple of hundred hectares and when the new cycleway was put through the farm, it caused a lot of pressure to the family because we were presented with no choice in the matter, and it has changed the face of things a lot for our family group. We all decided to work together closely with the Trails Trust and local council to get the cycle way trails where they needed to go on the farm.” Now that is done and dusted, Bunn is happily ensconsed in her new winemaking role at Urlar Estate in the central Wairarapa. Urlar Estate is 31 hectares, all of which are organically certified grapes, which are now being biodynamically managed. The owner is Angus Thomson, an ex-pat Scottish farmer who relocated to New Zealand to make wine. A self described man of the land, Thomson says it was a natural extension of growing grapes to ensure they were grown in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. Of his 31 hectares, 14 are planted with Pinot Noir while the remainder is mainly comprised of Sauvignon Blanc with just under a hectare each of Pinot Gris and Riesling. “Essentially, we process about 150 to 200 tonnes of grapes each year, depending on the size of the vintage, so it’s very hands on and it allows some interesting winemaking on a small batch scale,” says Bunn.

Size was not the main attraction to Urlar, however. There were three drawcards for her. Firstly, she liked the wines. Secondly, when the former winemaker (Guy McMasters) left, and Angus Thomson asked her to consider the role, she was able to move back to the region in which her own winemaking journey all began – and where Larry lives. The third drawcard was the biodynamic focus, which is underpinned by the organic certification and Thomson’s dedication to both. “This was exciting to me and a wonderful prospect to be fully involved in,” she says. So, at the start of 2016, she (and her twin sister Susan) bought a house halfway between Gladstone and Martinborough and she is now enjoying being in the country, even if she spends most of her time enjoying the vibrant wine village scene of Martinborough. Bunn began winemaking in Martinborough in 1995 at Dry River Wine with Neil McCallum, who has since sold the business and moved out of wine altogether. After her experience at Dry River, Bunn worked at Martinborough Vineyard and followed that up with a winemaking stint in Oregon, in the USA. She has some firm aims in her new role at Urlar, which include making lower alcohol wines with softer tannins. She credits this focus to the opportunities that Marcel Giesen gave her when working on the Single Vineyard Clayvin and Ridge Block Pinot Noirs of Marlborough, which provided a great transition to the Wairarapa wines. “I personally really liked the wines of Urlar and especially the

whites, which really impressed me straight off because I think the whites from here can have that nice subtle element that you get in some Sancerre and Chablis.” Where the reds are concerned, Bunn likes the wines but wants to build on their attractive fruit qualities by allowing the fruit flavours of the grapes to, in her words, speak a little more loudly than in the past. “For me it’s about balance, poise, finesse and having all the elements to make a great Pinot Noir – if this is at a lower alcohol level, or what the year presents to us, as long as we have the flavour in the first place from the grapes, then they will guide the winemaking, which is the main reason why there are differences between the regions in New Zealand,” she says. “Ever since I began as a winemaker I’ve been told that I took being a woman too seriously because my Pinot Noirs were too soft, feminine and pretty, and at

Now I’m pulling back on that sort of big wine style. Here in the Wairarapa there are naturally lower cropping levels, due to the climate and weather patterns, which means you can achieve these nicely balanced wines with beautiful fruit without having big alcohol Wairarapa Pinot Noirs. one point I made bigger and bigger wines each year by leaving Pinot Noir grapes in contact with their skins for a long time to get bigger flavours, more tannins (from the skins) and an overall gutsier style, which won lots of awards and was a big, bold style of Pinot,” she says. Her aim today is not to make feminine or masculine wines but rather to create wines of elegance, which hit the sweet spot in terms of flavour, style, tannins and fruit. “Now I’m pulling back on that

sort of big wine style. Here in the Wairarapa there are naturally lower cropping levels, due to the climate and weather patterns, which means you can achieve these nicely balanced wines with beautiful fruit without having big alcohol Wairarapa Pinot Noirs.” Her plan is to pick some Pinot Noir grapes earlier than they were traditionally harvested to help not only to reduce alcohol levels (due to lower brix measurements), but also to modify the style of tannins.

The early results are proving promising. The first wine to benefit from this new philosophy is the 2016 Urlar Select Parcels Pinot Noir (the second select parcels red from this wine, and yet to be released). When tasted at Pinot Noir NZ 2017, this wine (a barrel sample) showed noticeably softer tannins and also at a significantly lower alcohol level of 12.9 % ABV. Bunn also employed a more vigorous pruning regime to achieve this style of wine. Ask Bunn to name her favourite style of wine and she sits on the fence between white and red; “I guess it’s still Pinot Noir because you’ve got to get it right in the vineyard and that’s a place I like being. But both Angus and I would love to plant some Chardonnay to achieve some of those styles that people like Kumeu River are doing. I enjoy making the whites here – they are really interesting and I like having a range.”.■

The future is now

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Stop the drift Mark Orton

ing to get rid of woody pests such as trees, gorse and briar, it’s three groups of chemicals that have the most profound impact on grapes. Growth hormones, Sulfonylurea and Glyphosate are all mentioned on a leaflet that is distributed by New Zealand Winegrowers, but how does the fact that vineyards also spray and use glyphosate sit with Dicey? “Yes, we do use glyphosate, so there is a sensitivity and a reverse sensitivity with it, but there are very strict protocols on when you can use it, and growers are very aware to only spray it in the right environmental conditions. Also, from a grape perspective, the vast majority of chemicals that we use aren’t going to cause any chemical trespass issues, but there is the Lake Hāwea

Lake Hāwea






Mount Maude

Lake Wanaka

O t a g o


Vineyard locator map

Vineyard 5

Clutha R. /M

Rippon 400m


Waitiri Creek Drystone Sims Estate Vineyard Pagan Vines Waitiri Creek Kinross Vineyard Cox's Lane (Gibbston Valley) Hawkshead Valli


Mitre Rocks

Domaine Jacquiery

St Bathans Vineyard 4

Shine Basin

Parkburn (Rockburn)

Ramsay (Parkburn Estate)


Kawarau Estate (Akarua) Pisa Range Estate Lowburn (Akarua) TOSQ Morrison (Mount Edward) Domaine Rewa Domaine Thomson Sinclair (Chard Farm)



Misha’s Vineyard Rocky Point (Prophets Rock)

25 Steps (Akarua)

0m 40


Anthony James Leaning Rock

Mt Dottrel 1690m

Thyme Hill Letts Gully



Crown Peak 1735m

Long Gully (Mt Difficulty)

Terra (Terra Sancta)

A o t e a r o a

Redback (Mt Difficulty) Black Rabbit (Ceres)

North Island

Tatty Bogler The Diggings (Terra Sancta)

Ben Nevis 2234m


Christchurch Queenstown Dunedin

Central Otago Winegrowers Association • P.O. Box 155 Cromwell 9342, Central Otago, New Zealand • Telephone 021 104 2513 • Email •

James Peak 2072m

2. Alexandra








< Cl

u tha R. / M ata -A u






5 km





South Island







3. Bannockburn

Kārearea Peak 2252m


Jerome (Riverlark) Inlet (Ceres)


Doctors Flat



Rauti Tippet’s Dam

m 400


Mount Tūwhakarōria 2252m

Domain Road (Domain Road)



New Zealand


Bannockburn Bay (Mt Difficulty)


Cairnmuir Road (Akarua) Saffron (Mt Difficulty)


Bannock Brae



Luna Block (Kalex Wines)



Arthur (Carrick) Calvert (Felton Road)

Templars Hill (Mt Difficulty)

7th Heaven



Gate 22

Lake Wakatipu

Cherry Orchard (Dawsons)

Eliza (Riverlark) Cameron

Swansong (Ceres)

Pipeclay Terrace (Mt Difficulty)

3. Bannockburn


Defiance (Domain Road)

Double Cone 2319m


Ferris 1 (Mt Difficulty)


Mt Rosa 1322m


Irresistible Race (Terra Sancta)

Calvert (Cloudy Bay)

Mt Apiti 1509m

Wooing Tree


Bald Hills

Mansons Farm (Mt Difficulty) Desert Heart MacMuir (Felton Road) Sluicings

Target Gully (Mt Difficulty) Legend Terrace

Jack’s Point

Ferris 2 (Mt Difficulty)

Menzies Terrace (Mt Difficulty)

Maia (Akarua)

Serendipity (Mt Difficulty)

72   // 




Northburn (Cloudy Bay)

Northburn Terrace (Riverlark) Aurum

Scott Base (Allan Scott)

Mt Fulton 1550m

1. Gibbston



Kofiua (Akarua) Full Circle (Ceres) Sancta (Terra Sancta) The Fusilier (Two Paddocks) Kolo (Akarua) The Elms (Felton Road)

Burn Cottage


Mt Difficulty 1285m

Ben Cruachan 1895m

Tiger (Chard Farm) Sitting Bull (Maude Wines)

Golden Hills (Mt Difficulty)



Three Fires


Bannockburn Road (Otago Polytechnic)

Georgetown Vineyard 0m 40

Black Quail



Frankton Highlands

Mt Michael 1163m

Morven Ferry



Cornish Point (Felton Road)

Packspur (Mt Difficulty)

u R. >


Kawarau R. >


Wilding Amisfield (Lake Hayes) Stoneridge


Lowburn Ferry Two Sisters



Mt Pisa


2. Alexandra


4. Lake Dunstan / Bendigo

Crown Terrace McIntyre Hill


0m 40




Legacy Rock’n’Pillar Rough Ride


Grasshopper Rock


Como Villa

Black Ridge



Ruddenklau Kenley Last Chance (Two Paddocks)




< Clutha Ri


Coronet Peak 1651m

sta n

Vineyard 1


Judge Rock



r / Mata- A u

Shaky Bridge Three Miners



Immigrant's Vineyard (Ruru)

Ardgour (Gibbston Valley) Lindis River



Morrisons Hawkdun Rise




Grey Ridge

8 Ranges




South River Scene 17

Mt Pisa 1690m

Mt Cardrona 1936m

C Briarvale

Perseverance Alexandra Wine Company Dunstan Road

Weaver Estate Wines

Fish Hook

Two Degrees



Redbank Paddocks (Two Paddocks)

Muirkirk (Mount Edward)

Clutha Ridge Maori Point Lazy Dog


McArthur Ridge Mount Dunstan Estates




Swallows Crossing

Pisa Moorings

4. Lake Dunstan/Bendigo


5 km


Trig Hill (Rock Ferry)

Top Block (Peregrine)

Prophets Rock Zebra The Canyons (Tarras) Van Der Mark School House (Gibbston Valley) Prophet’s Rock



1. gibbston

Schist Hills

Bendigo (Peregrine) Zola (Lamont)

Red Shed West (Gibbston Valley)

Amisfield Opiki Cropping Poplar Estate Vineyard 2 Vineyard 3

Kawarau River Estate


Mt Rosa Rockburn (Gibbston)


Terrace (Shaky Bridge)

0m 40

Scott (Quartz Reef)


Brennan Highgate

Gibbston Back Road


Quartz Reef

Aurora Logantown (Peregrine) Landgirl (Ceres) China Terrace (Gibbston Valley) Bendigo Station Van Asch (Mt Difficulty)

40 0m



Sleeping Dogs

Two Paddocks Havoc (Mt Difficulty)

Kaufman Block (Kalex Wines)

Clyde Village

Ata Mara

Red Tractor Clutha (Toitoi)

Viper (Chard Farm)

ata -Au >



Stevens Vineyard Anthem BC Grape Farmers Coal Pit

Pisa Terrace (Ellero)



Glenlee Vineyard

Bendigo (Quartz Reef)

Red Shed East (Gibbston Valley)


10 km


Ata Mara Charcoal Gully

Aitkens Folly


Gibbston Valley Wines

Silver Tussock (Mt Difficulty)

Station Block (Mt Difficulty)

400m Peregrine Mount Edward Lavell's Vineyard Rafters Road


Claim 431 (Mud House) Someone's Darling

Knox Estate

Cook Block (Chard Farm)



Chard Farm

Tankersley Estate


Kawarau River

The Winehouse (Mt Difficulty)

5 km

Goldvine Estate


Minaret Peak






5 km





Lake D

MAP REF 4 D3 3 E2 4 C4 4 C4 4 C3 3 E2 2 F4 1 D2 3 E3 Main B2 2 F4 1 D2 4 D3 2 F4 2 F4 3 E3 3 E3 4 C3 Main C4 2 E4 4 C4 Main B3 Main D3 Main D3 2 F4 2 F4 4 D3 4 C3 4 D3 1 D2 4 D3 Main D3 1 D2 3 E3 4 C4 Main C4 4 E4 4 D3 4 C4 1 D2 Main D1 Main B4 3 E3 4 C3 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 2 F4 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 1 D2 Main D1 2 F4 2 F4 Main D3 3 E3 4 C4 4 D3 4 D3 4 C4 Main C4 1 D2 Main D3 1 D2 1 D2 4 C4 Main C3 2 F4 4 D3 4 D3 4 D3 Main B2 4 C3 1 D2 4 F4 Main D1 Main D3 4 C4 4 C4


VINEYARD Ramsey (Parkburn Estate) Rauti Red Shed East (Gibbston Valley) Red Shed West (Gibbston Valley) Red Tractor Redback (Mt Difficulty) Redbank Paddocks (Two Paddocks) Remarkable Wines Remarkables Rippon Rock’n’Pillar Rockburn (Gibbston) Rocky Point (Prophets Rock) Rough Ride Ruddenklau Saffron (Mt Difficulty) Sancta (Terra Sancta) Sato Scene 17 Schist Hills School House (Gibbston Valley) Scott (Quartz Reef) Scott Base (Allan Scott) Serendipity (Mt Difficulty) Shaky Bridge Shaky Vineyard Shine Basin Silver Tussock Silver Tussock (Mt Difficulty) Sims Estate Vineyard Sinclair (Chard Farm) Sitting Bull (Maude Wines) Sleeping Dogs Sluicings Someone's Darling South River Springvale St Bathans Station Block (Mt Difficulty) Stevens Vineyard Stoneridge Swallows Crossing Swansong (Ceres) Tankersley Estate Target Gully (Mt Difficulty) Tatty Bogler Templars Hill (Mt Difficulty) Terra (Terra Sancta) Terrace (Shaky Bridge) The Canyons (Tarras) The Diggings (Terra Sancta) The Elms (Felton Road) The Fusilier (Two Paddocks) The Winehouse (Mt Difficulty) Three Fires Three Miners Thyme Hill Tiger (Chard Farm) Tippett’s Dam Top Block (Peregrine) Torr TOSQ Trig Hill (Rock Ferry) Two Degrees Two Paddocks Two Sisters Valli Van Asch (Mt Difficulty) Van Der Mark Vela Vineyard 1 Vineyard 2 Vineyard 3 Vineyard 4 Vineyard 5 Viper (Chard Farm) Waitiri Creek Weaver Estate Wines Wilding Wooing Tree Zebra Zola (Lamont)


MAP REF 4 D3 Main E3 2 F4 Main B3 Main B3 2 F4 Main D1 4 D3 1 F4 2 F4 2 F4 Main B4 Main C4 4 C3 3 E3 4 C3 4 C3 4 C4 Main D3 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 3 D3 2 F4 1 D2 2 F4 4 C4 4 C4 4 C4 3 D3 3 E3 2 F4 1 D2 2 F4 Main D3 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 4 C3 1 D1 3 E3 4 C4 4 C4 4 C3 Main C4 2 E4 1 D2 4 F4 3 C3 3 D3 1 D1 Main D1 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 Main B4 4 D3 4 D3 2 F4 1 D2 2 F4 3 E3 3 E3 3 D3 Main C4 Main C3 3 E3 3 E3 3 D3 1 D2 1 D2 1 D2 Main D3 Main B3 2 F4 2 F4 1 D2 2 F4 3 E3 1 D2 Main B3 3 E3 3 D3 2 F4 2 F4 1 D2 2 F4 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 2 F4 1 D2 4 D3 1 D2 2 F4 1 D2 4 C4 3 D3 3 E3 Main D1 1 D2 2 F4 1 F4 Main C4 2 F4 2 F4 3 E3 2 F4 Main C4 Main C3 4 C4 3 E3 4 D3 Main D3 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 3 E3 Main C4 2 E4 Main D1 3 E3 Main B2 4 D3 4 D3 4 C4 4 D3 2 F4 Main D1 2 E4 Main A3 1 D3 4 D3 1 D2 3 E3 Main D3 2 F4 4 D3 Main D3 1 D2 4 D3 1 D2 2 F4 1 D2 3 E3 4 D3 4 D3 4 C3 4 D3 4 C4 4 C4 4 D3 1 D2


VINEYARD 25 Steps (Akarua) 7th Heaven 8 Ranges Aitkens Folly akitu Alexandra Wine Company Amisfield Amisfield Anthem Anthony James Aravin Archangel Ardgour (Gibbston Valley) Arenar Arthur (Carrick) Ata Mara Ata Mara Aurora Aurum Bald Hills Bannock Brae Bannockburn Bay (Mt Difficulty) Bannockburn Road (Otago Polytechnic) Barrington BC Grape Farmers Beatties Bendigo (Peregrine) Bendigo (Quartz Reef) Bendigo Station Black Quail Black Rabbit (Ceres) Black Ridge Brennan Briarvale Burn Cottage Cairnmuir Road (Akarua) Calvert (Cloudy Bay) Calvert (Felton Road) Cameron Carrick Charcoal Gully Chard Farm Cherry Orchard (Dawsons) China Terrace (Gibbston Valley) Claim 431 (Mud House) Clutha (Toitoi) Clutha Ridge Clyde Village Coal Pit Como Villa Cook Block (Chard Farm) Cornish Point (Felton Road) Cox's Crown Terrace Vineyard Defiance (Domain Road) Desert Heart Doctors Flat Domain Road (Domain Road) Domaine Jacquiery Domaine Rewa Domaine Thomson Drumsara Drystone Dunstan Road Eliza (Riverlark) Ferris 1 (Mt Difficulty) Ferris 2 (Mt Difficulty) Fish Hook Ford Full Circle (Ceres) Gate 22 Georgetown Vineyard Gibbston Back Road Gibbston Valley Wines Glenlee Vineyard Golden Hills (Mt Difficulty) Goldvine Estate Grasshopper Rock Grey Ridge Havoc (Mt Difficulty) Hawkdun Rise Hawksburn Hawkshead Hazeldine Herbert Highlands Hilok Hinton Holtzman Immigrant’s Vineyard (Ruru) Inket Inlet (Ceres) Irresistible Race (Terra Sancta) Jerome (Riverlark) Judge Rock Kaufman Block (Kalex Wines) Kawarau Estate (Akarua) Kawarau River Estate Kenley Kinross Vineyard Knox Estate Kofiua (Akarua) Kolo (Akarua) Lake Hayes Vineyard Lane (Gibbston Valley) Last Chance (Two Paddocks) Lavell's Vineyard Lazy Dog Leaning Rock Legacy Legend Terrace Letts Gully Lindis River Locharburn Logantown (Peregrine) Long Gully (Mt Difficulty) Lowburn (Akarua) Lowburn Ferry Luna Block (Kalex) MacMuir (Felton Road) Maia (Akarua) Mansons Farm (Mt Difficulty) Maori Point McArthur Ridge McIntyre Hill Menzies Terrace (Mt Difficulty) Minaret Peak Misha’s Vineyard Mitre Rocks Mondillo Morrison (Mount Edward) Morrisons Morven Ferry Vineyard Mount Dunstan Estates Mount Maude Mount Edward Mt Pisa Mt Rosa Muirkirk (Mount Edward) Northburn (Cloudy Bay) Omeo Opiki Cropping Packspur (Mt Difficulty) Pagan Vines Parkburn (Rockburn) Peregrine Perseverance Pigeon Rock Pipeclay Terrace (Mt Difficulty) Pisa Moorings Pisa Range Estate Pisa Terrace (Ellero) Poplar Estate Prophets Rock Quartz Reef Quest Rafters Road


C e n t r a l

perceptual issue so we can’t beat a drum too hard.” Obviously, spray drift isn’t an issue just affecting Central Otago vineyards, but with DOC and the Otago Regional Council (ORC) getting in on the act trying to remove invasive pines, Dicey really hopes that educating as many people as possible with the vineyard locator map will get people talking. “It’s great that people are starting to communicate, it’s great that people are starting to talk and learn about what the risks are. This is much better than afternoon telephone calls when someone sees a helicopter spraying on a neighbouring property.” Paid for by the Central Otago Winegrowers Association, the map has gone out to 500 land owners within a 30 kilometre radius of the most at risk vineyards and while there is a provision within the ORC ‘air plan’ to require resource consent for spraying, Dicey thinks they needn’t go there just yet. “We support the rights of farmers to farm, so our initial approach is from an education perspective so that they understand what the risks are, so they can spray at alternative times of the year or use alternative formulations S ofA I Nchemicals. We are also engagT N U ing in dialogue with other memO M ber organisations like Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ, and they are aware that having a wind flow away from the vineyards is a good thing. We know that we are Johnny come lately in this environment and they have a right to farm…but then so do we and this is about mutual respect, trust and dialogue. This needs to happen both sides of the fence.”■ 0m

loss of wine sales either. “Just because you have had a spray incident it doesn’t mean that you can stop farming your vineyard. The only costs you won’t have are harvest costs as there is nothing to harvest. Over the years there have been a number of chemical trespass incidents and we have worked diligently to educate the farmers where they occur,” says Dicey, “but after that one really significant episode last year, we felt the time was right to do more. We were already developing a vineyard locator map as a marketing tool, so we joined the dots together and figured we could use this map to inform farmers where we are.” With some of the problematic spraying attributed to farmers try-



entral Otago winegrowers have a new weapon in their campaign to stop the drift of dangerous agri chemicals – a map initiative. For past president of the Central Otago winegrower’s association James Dicey, the map designed to combat rogue spray incidents is well over-due. With vineyards now sitting cheek by jowl with other forms of agriculture, the cost to vineyard owners for stray noxious chemicals can be disastrous. Without divulging any sensitive details, Dicey mentions that one vineyard alone suffered a million dollars worth of fruit damage last year, and that figure wasn’t calculated from the consequential


Understanding spray drift J e n n y B a r c l a y, Atmospheric Scientist


pray droplets of varying diameter enter the atmosphere when discharged through a spray nozzle under pressure. Spray ‘drift’, as it is commonly known remains a nuisance especially in horticultural and wine growing regions of New Zealand. Exposure to agrichemicals in the atmosphere is both a health concern to people as well as a danger to young and vulnerable vegetation when it settles on them. Spray droplets may remain suspended or fall to the ground

depending on gravity, air viscosity, particle radius, evaporation rate of the agrichemical solution and meteorological conditions. The longer the droplets remain in the air the higher the risk of them drifting beyond their target. A key factor in determining whether a droplet might remain aloft or not is the amount of evaporation it will undergo which will have a major effect on downwind deposition. Extended periods of low humidity and high temperatures dramatically increase the evaporation from water based

Jenny Barclay

sprays. This occurs for a variety of reasons. As the droplet size decreases, the ratio between the surface area and its volume increases, exposing

a greater portion of the droplet to further evaporation. Second, as the drops shrink through evaporation, their sedimentation velocity decreases, so they remain airborne and susceptible to further evaporation for longer periods. Third, drops smaller than 150 µm evaporate 27% faster than large droplets as evaporation occurs from the entire surface area. Droplets subject to these conditions can travel for very long distances and can sometimes land on sensitive Land Use areas. Further, depending on the on-

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Tel: 021 238 8753 e:


Figure 1

going weather conditions residues can volatilise from plant and soil surfaces in high concentrations for several days after application. These particles become available for further particle drift. The science of identifying, quantifying and monitoring spray drift of agrichemicals has made small progress in the last decade. Internationally there is still relatively little information available on an effective strategy or design of a programme for monitoring air accumulation impacts associated with spray drift. Studies have been conducted to identify and quantify the chemicals with the greatest potential for accumulation in the air and those that pose the greatest risk. But, accurate quantification and assessment of potential impacts is complicated because of difficulties relating to

74   // 

data collection and collation. Further, it is virtually impossible to determine an accurate assessment of the amount of agrichemicals released at any one time. This is because the mix of agrichemicals being applied is highly variable as is the quantity and frequency of application which could also be from multiple locations. Monitoring particle drift is equally problematic. Agrichemicals are not typical ambient air quality pollutants which lend themselves to measurement, often they are a mix of many different chemicals to target the same pests. Monitoring is expensive, and unless multiple monitors are employed measurement will only return a small amount of information around itself and gives no ‘view’ to what is a much larger spatial distribution pattern.


Further, monitoring is unable to measure agrichemicals that have drifted off site due to re-lofting, resuspension or, due to meteorological conditions. Because of these difficulties in determining agrichemical emission rates and the measurement of them, particle drift management is mostly controlled through product labels, training and HSNO guidance charts. These provide advice on the quantities for mixing, the spray application and the meteorological conditions best suited to prevent spray drift. However, product labels and guidance documents can also be misleading. One issue is that they collectively fail to recognize the existence of aggregate applications concentrated in time and geography. Labels and guidance charts tend to not provide warn-

ings, directions or instructions to address highly foreseeable circumstances. Most do not reflect the product toxicity or address the potential harmful effects of regional drift. Further, guidance is mostly prescriptive and not site specific. For instance stable conditions, light wind speeds and inversions are all earmarked as highly hazardous, whilst unstable conditions with steady winds are considered a low hazard. Surface based inversions (where the temperature is higher aloft than at the ground) usually occur at nighttime under clear and calm conditions and usually persist until sunrise, these usually occur in a stable atmosphere. At sunrise the atmosphere quickly becomes unstable or will remain neutral if there is substantial cloud cover. Other inversions include topo-

graphic induced inversions and subsidence inversions (these occur when a ridge of high pressure persists over an area causing air to sink which creates a ‘lid’ to pollutants). Topographic induced inversions can persist longer than surface based inversions and subsidence inversions can happen in both stable and unstable environments at any time of the day. Light wind speeds and inversion conditions in themselves are not the cause of worst case drift conditions. Under these conditions, vertical motion is suppressed and although there is significant lateral meander which could potentially carry evaporating spray particles some distance this is less likely as droplets will not be experiencing rapid evaporation due to reduced turbulence and are unlikely to travel very far. Inversion type, persistence and strength will differ from region to region as will

atmospheric stability related to these conditions. Product labels and guidance are prescriptive guidance tools only. Model software tools are available which develop 3D meteorological fields using any available observed and\or numerical surface and upper air data (temperature, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, pressure, cloud cover and height) as well as fine scale terrain and solar inclination data. The meteorological output data contains detailed information on atmospheric stability at each hour (or less) of the day as well as site specific temperature profile (inversion) information. Dispersion software which uses the output 3D meteorological data can include details on particle distribution sizes, deposition velocities, pollutant reactivity, vegetation stress and gravitational settling. Together fine scale meteorological and dispersion modelling can be effectively used to

provide; • Quantitative estimates of spray impacts at many points over a wide geographical area, as – receptors are inexpensive – not restricted to a few measurement points – substantial cost and schedule advantages over monitoring – modelling costs are a small fraction of monitoring costs • Planning studies – modelling can be used to design and optimize locations for monitoring networks – land use planning to minimize pollutant exposure to populations • ‘Numerical laboratory’ – conduct experiments that would be cost prohibitive in the real world - evaluate rare events for planning purposes • Accidental releases • Worst case scenario evaluation

• Evaluate impacts of future/proposed sources • Conduct detailed source contribution analyses • Air quality tracking tool – part of a regulatory permitting program • Real-time or forecast mode as an operational emissions control tool By combining fine scale meteorological and dispersion modelling (~100m spatial resolution) with coarser weather forecast model data which might have a spatial resolution of ~1-4km means that spraying can be planned up to 3 days in advance. A simple, userfriendly Graphical User Interface could control model runs historically, in real time, or one to three days in advance. See figure 1 on page 74.■ • Jenny Barclay is an Atmospheric Scientist who specialises in meteorological and dispersion modelling. She is an ex NIWA scientist who has worked with model software developers for the last 16 years in the US.

See us at the 2017 Romeo Bragato Conference!



Grafted grapevine standard – high health vines Edwin Massey


he first question that needs to be answered is; What should a high health vine look like? The Grafted Grapevine Standard (GGS) provides assurance to growers, viticulturists, winemakers, and other stakeholders, that grafted grape vines which are certified according to this standard, can be certified as “high health plants”. On its establishment the GGS focused primarily on minimising the prob-

ability of material infected with Grapevine Leafroll associated virus (GLRaV -3). Over time, the GGS has expanded in scope has to cover other components of vine health. This column explores in more detail what “high health” vines certified under the GGS should look like and highlights the importance of excellent viticultural practice and a suitable environment to ensure a quality crop and exceptional wine.

A vine with angle of scion outside GGS specifications.

76   // 


Physical specifications - Check your vines on delivery New Zealand Winegrowers encourages all our members to only use vines that are certified under the GGS. Nonetheless, just because you have purchased certified vines does not guarantee that 100% of these vines will grow as expected or produce a bumper crop in a timely manner. From time to time isolated An ideal vine with minimal curvature.

issues regarding vine quality do occur. The best time to check on whether there are any issues with your vines is prior to planting. At this time, other factors such as the quality of the viticulture or environmental factors can be removed from consideration. It makes sense to check an appropriate sample of the total number of vines you have purchased. This isn’t a fixed percentage instead the total number checked should get larger depending on the size of

Bundled certified vines.

your order. Primarily, this check will help to ensure the vines are consistent with section 4 of the GGS regarding their physical specification. In summary these specifications put in place quality standards on: • The length, breadth and curvature of the vine • The quality of the graft union • The quality of the root stock Be prepared to get your hands dirty; investigate the quality and size of the root mass; measure the breadth of the stem; examine the graft union for damage and give it a pressure test. Be aware that the GGS permits deviation from required physical specifications of up to 2% of samples from all grafted plants in a specific lot or batch. This margin is put in place to recognize that grafted grape vines, as living products will show a natural variety around a mean value.

Viticulture and the environment – they’re really important! Even the best high health vines won’t grow without due care in planting and skillful and appropriate viticulture. Moreover, even the best vines with the best viticulture won’t lead to the best outcome if the vineyard environment is not

conducive to growing high quality grapes. If you need advice on how to take the best care of your vines post planting don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many nurseries provide growers with guidance on aftercare post planting and there are several reputable viticultural consultants who can provide advice as needed.

What should I do if I have concerns? If, following your sample, you don’t think your vines are up to standard contact the nursery you purchased them from and let them know your concerns. It’s important to have the conversation with your nursery, to form an ongoing business relationship with them and seek resolution if required. If you have serious concerns about the ongoing quality of vines being sold as GGS certified vines please contact me at New Zealand winegrowers.

other stakeholders and consumers that certified vines are high health. At the most recent TRG meeting in February the group decided that the GGS should be strengthened by including an opportunity for purchasers to provide feedback on the physical specification requirements should they think they are not up to what’s set out in section 4. New Zealand Winegrowers is working to develop and publicize this feedback mechanism as soon as possible.

Feedback opportunities New Zealand Winegrowers works with a Technical Review Group (TRG) of nurseries, wine industry members, independent consultants and research scientists to ensure the GGS provides sufficient assurance to growers, viticulturists, winemakers and

It’s the Vine – not the nursery The GGS certified the grapevine itself rather than the nursery you purchase that grapevine from. That means nurseries can still sell a range of vines. Second grade vines have been produced

using the same procedures and standards as GGS certified vines throughout the growing season, however have generally failed to meet the physical specifications required by the GGS. New Zealand Winegrowers encourages members to reduce the risk and make sure you specify that you want certified high health vines. If in doubt – look for the logo. If you need more information on the GGS download the factsheet summary here: assets/sm/upload/n7/78/13/j1/ Grafted-Grapevine-Standards%20 FactSheet.pdf

Conclusion and next steps New Zealand Winegrowers will work to promote grower education on section 4 of the GGS and will include a session on “what to look for” at the upcoming Bragato conference later in the year. All nurseries that are members of the Vine Industry Nursery Association (VINA) would welcome questions about the benefits of buying vines certified to the GGS. If you have any questions about the GGS or biosecurity please contact me on: or 021 1924 924. ■



The changing face of labels Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


hile brand, quality and price all influence a consumer’s wine purchase, it is hard to deny that the label on the bottle also plays an important role. Paul Agnew and Alex Straight from Rapid Labels say there has been a marked change in the style of labels over the past decade, and there are more changes to come in the future. Looking back a decade, Straight says the emphasis for wine companies was on high build varnishes,

which added height to the label on the bottle. “It took over from embossing to a degree,” he says, “as one of the advantages of a high build varnish is that it holds its height on a bottle.” Coming on to the scene in the noughties, he says it has been extremely popular with wine companies, and still is. Foil was also a popular choice in the early 2000s. “Everyone had foil on their label, it seemed like everybody wanted a bit of bling.” This changed in the late 2000s,


Producers of Certified Grafted Grape Vines

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Geoff 0 2 7 9 4 0 2 11 5



as companies began to pare down their designs. “They realised that a great label didn’t need to have everything thrown at it. It could be as simple as black on white, on an uncoated stock. Simple and clean, that style does tend to capture the consumer’s eye.” Paul Agnew says there has been a shift in terms of branding, as companies remove the clutter and work towards a more minimalist approach. Although that does depend on where the label sits in terms of the hierarchy of the company. “They may have an entry level or a cheap offering, versus something that is in a wine store or on a wine list in a very expensive restaurant. In those cases, they would probably go for different looks and feel.” Choosing a label that works involves a number of decisions for a winery. Firstly do you go for uncoated stock, or glossy coated?

“A glossy coated is very smooth, where you can add different things to it. You can place varnishes, textures and embosses on. Uncoated is a rougher material that has more of a raw paper look to it,” says Straight. As for the shape of the label, that has changed over the years as well. While many are still either a simple rectangle or square, some companies have pushed the envelope out to include cut outs and varying angles. But Agnew says they have to be careful with such

designs, and consider how easy they will be to use in an automated applicator. Other trends include holograms, glow in the dark and a return to foil. But it is the future that is proving to be the most exciting, as consumers the world over want to be able to interact with products. The world is a changing place,” Straight says. “Everybody has smart phones and iPads and smart TVs. I am not talking about a label that is interactive in that way, but a label that you walk past and there is something different, to everything else on the shelf. It catches your eye and you want to purchase it.” Three interactive systems that are already in the pipeline are photochromic, duochromic and thermochromic. Photochromic uses ink that will change colour in sunlight. So you might buy a wine with a label that shows a woman in a red dress. However when you

take it into the sunlight, that dress will change to green. Duochromic labels will change colour when a certain temperature is reached. “So you can have a green (label) and when the wine is ready to drink at a certain temperature, it will turn to say red. So it makes the wine a little bit more interactive,” Straight says. Thermochromic is also temperature related, but starts as a clear, changing to a colour once the set temperature is reached. The benefits of being able to set a temperature range for wine, especially whites has to be seen as a major selling point. Especially given the science that is rapidly evolving, will allow wine companies the opportunity to set the temperature range. “There is a lot of science involved, but that is the way of the future.” I for one will be watching this space.■

NOW READ IT ONLINE I N V I TAT I O N Congratulations to Yealands, winner of the 2017 BRIT award — the only international award for sustainable winegrowing. Winners are selected based on wine taste and commitment to the three tenets of sustainability: environment, economy and society. This year’s competition begins May 1, 2017 and the submission deadline is July 31, 2017. Winners announced March 2018.

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Know your own backyard first


ustralasian sommeliers need to ensure they know their own backyard, before they begin to try and understand those half a world away. That’s the view of the president of the Australian Sommeliers Association, David Lawler. Having helped New Zealand Winegrowers with this year’s Sommit Scholarship, Lawler was in New Zealand for Pinot Noir 2017, along with 10 successful applicants. He says as more and more young people are seeking a career as a sommelier, it has become even more important to ensure the foundations for their success are in place. “I think as a foundation, we need to learn what is in our backyard and our neighbour’s backyard, before we have a conversation about Burgundy – even though that sounds more exciting.”

The Sommit Scholarship provided the participants with a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn about New Zealand wines, meet the winemakers and hear the stories first hand. All 10 attended a Sommit, either on Waiheke Island, or in Wellington Wine Country. They also attended either the Aromatics Symposium in Nelson prior to heading to Pinot Noir 2017, or the Classic Reds symposium held straight after the major event. This was the second year the scholarship has been run and Lawler says it attracted 60 applicants. Each had to fill out a simple questionnaire, which provided the selection panel a chance to understand the individual’s current trajectory. “At a pragmatic level, if we can deliver someone a great programme when they are very young and less experienced, it stands to put us in good stead for future careers.”

The winning sommeliers got to take part in one of two Sommits, held in New Zealand in February.

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The importance from a New Zealand point of view, is also something that cannot be under estimated. “If I was to let my cynical side speak for a moment, familiarity breeds contempt. In restaurants in Melbourne, Sydney and elsewhere in Australia, we see a lot of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc go out. “I think, sadly, people have shut the door on some people investigating and thoroughly without bias, assessing the wine on its own merit. “Whereas with a programme or immersion like this, it can provide fresh eyes to someone who might be cynical or have inherited someone else’s cynical ideas.” The number of Australians undertaking sommelier training has grown in the last decade, which Lawler puts down to the growing awareness of what the job entails. He says the internet, shows such as Master Chef, and

movies such as Somm have all highlighted the role. Apart from the obvious learning skill set, he believes many people find the role of dealing with the consumer one of the rewards of the job. “Not many people are very comfortable about being in a restaurant. But (as a sommelier) you put them at ease. You may get to show them a new wine and give them a completely new experience that they love. You may get to talk them off a ledge they were otherwise stuck on. So, the rewards are high. We are in a very privileged position.” In terms of what New Zealand wine gets out of the Sommits, it is a case of providing an experience that will lead to a group of young sommeliers who have a thorough understanding of what New Zealand has to offer. Or in Lawler’s words – a better understanding of their neighbour’s backyard.■


Wineries and books


ome wine regions are renowned for their concerts, others for their Charity Auctions, but Marlborough is fast becoming the wine region that supports New Zealand books and their authors. At this year’s Marlborough Book Festival they are taking that wine support even further, with one of Marlborough’s best known winemakers moving away from blending the juice of grapes, to focus on the craft of beer. Ben Glover, winemaker for Zephyr Wines, the chair of the recent Pinot Noir 2017 and Chief Judge for the Bragato Wine Awards, will don the interviewer’s hat during the festival, to talk to beer blogger Alice Galletly, the author of How to Have a Beer.

Galletly transformed herself from beer novice to beer queen, by drinking and blogging about a different beer every day for a year.

Given how much winemakers love to sip on the product she has written about, it is likely to be an interesting session during the festival.

From wine to beer, Ben Glover should be quite at home interviewing author Alice Galletly.

It is just not Glover who is placing his vinous weight behind the festival. Wineries such as Spy Valley, Hunter’s, Dog Point, Cloudy Bay and Astrolabe are also heavily involved, either by supplying venues for the Festival sessions, housing the authors or providing glasses of their wine to those attending the individual sessions. The Marlborough Book Festival, which was named New Zealand’s Best Writers Festival by Steve Braunias in The Spinoff ’s very first Annual Review of Books literary awards last year is being held in Blenheim from July 28 to 30. Other writers included in this year’s line-up include; CK Stead, Charlotte Chidgey, Emma Neale, Dame Anne Salmond and Joy Cowley.■

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Canopy manipulation impacts on ripeness Research by Dr Jeff Bennett, s t o r y b y Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


ethoxypyrazines play a vital role in the taste and aroma of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. They provide the ‘green’ capsicum, asparagus, herbal, vegetal and even stemy characteristics. As Dr Jeff Bennett from Plant & Food in Marlborough has discovered, canopy density (fruit shading) and canopy reduction has a major influence on the levels of those methoxypyrazines found in the fruit at harvest. With vigorous dense canopies, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc vines tend to have quite a diverse bunch micro climate. Some outside bunches are exposed to the sunlight, while others shaded inside the canopy, receive no exposure to sun or

very little throughout the entire growing season. Previous research undertaken by Dr Damian Martin and Claire Grose (Marlborough Plant & Food CORE research program) found that selected shaded and exposed bunches from within the same canopy showed significant differences, when made into individual wines. The shaded fruit wine had a naturally higher acidity along with substantially more (60-100%) methoxypyrazines in the wine. The wine study observations were confirmed by other research by Bennett, where the composition of shaded and exposed bunches and was examined. Berries from bunches shaded inside the canopy along with berries on the shaded side of outside

The shorted canopy was trimmed back to point six of a metre, half the size of the control.

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Dr Jeff Bennett

bunches were found to have 3-5 times more methoxypyrazines than fully exposed berries at an equivalent soluble solids (brix) maturity point. Interestingly Bennett’s

study revealed that skins of Sauvignon blanc berries contained significant amounts of methoxypyrazines too. The impact of canopy reduction and fruit hang time on methoxypyrazines has also been highlighted in the NZW PGP Low alcohol wines research program. Vineyard canopy manipulations designed to produce ‘low sugar’ grapes for low alcohol wine have been undertaken in Marlborough. “We had a standard height canopy of 1.2 metres tall and a mid-range, where we cut the canopy in half to 60cm tall at veraison time. Overlaid on top of that we had a target of harvest soluble solids of 18 brix and

21 brix for low vs. normal alcohol wine making levels” Reaching the target brix levels was the first interesting aspect. The control canopy hit 18 brix 20 days after veraison. “But when we trimmed the canopy in half, it took 33 days to get to the same brix. By that stage, the standard canopy had already reached 21 brix.” Researchers had to wait quite some time for the trimmed canopy to reach 21 brix – a total of 49 days from mid veraison. Which begs the question – what is responsible for the time it takes for the brix to get to the equivalent level. “It simply comes down to the rate of soluble solids accumulation in the berry,” Bennett says. “Pretty much almost immediately after the canopies are cut in half, that rate of soluble sugar accumulation is depressed. But at some later point it is at a similar rate.” Experimental wines were made from the research blocks and Bennett says in terms of other juice

components these are more influenced by time, rather than by canopy reduction per se. The analysis

to increase. In early harvest, methoxypyrazines are quite high, but by late harvest they have reduced

We had a standard height canopy of 1.2 metres tall and a mid-range, where we cut the canopy in half to 60cm tall at veraison time. Overlaid on top of that we had a target of harvest soluble solids of 18 brix and 21 brix for low vs. normal alcohol wine making levels.

of other major juice components were not significantly different between standard and trimmed canopies at the same harvest time. Acid and methoxypyrazines reduce at later harvests, while yeast available nitrogen appears

quite significantly. All these responses point to fruit hang time also being a critical component to changing the greenness and acidity of juices. “Canopy trimming is allowing us to reduce these to appropriate levels with more hang

time while maintaining a low sugar content for low alcohol wine”. The take home message of the research undertaken by Bennett and the Plant and Food team is that canopy density (bunch exposure) and canopy height management present simple and effective practices to alter basic grape and juice ripeness. These practices can be used to influence on the ratio greenness, acidity and soluble solids and therefore impact on our perception of what is’ ripe’. Fruit may be ripe by soluble solids, but are they ripe in terms of acidity and flavour aroma potential? Or is there another level of ripeness you want to achieve with acids and soluble solids?” By understanding the relationship between canopy management, hang time and their effect on Sauvignon Blanc characteristics, means wineries can manipulate depending on the style of wine they wish to produce.■



Trans-Tasman relationships Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


here was no trans-Tasman rivalry on show when the “next generation” of the Australian First Families of Wines (AFFW) spent time in our regions. The Australian group, which began in 2009, is a very similar organisation to the New Zealand Family of XII. Each member winery is family owned, in Australia’s case, many of the wineries have been in the one family for generations. There are 12 members in each organisation who work together in marketing both in their own countries and internationally. But perhaps the most important similarity, is the introduction of the next generation into the business. Both the New Zealand and the Australian Families are keen to see the next generation take on more of a role in the collegial togetherness the groups promote. Last year the New Zealand Family of XII held a function where the older members and their children all got together. Chairman at the time William Hoare said it was a chance for everyone to meet each other and to form relationships that will take the group into the future. But now the Australian and New Zealand families are taking that a little further. Recently 17 of Australia’s next generation travelled to New Zealand to meet with their New Zealand counterparts. Spending time in both Auckland and Marlborough, it was the perfect opportunity for discussions about moving forward to occur, especially given

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the issues are so similar. Scott McWilliam, who is a sixth-generation winemaker said for many it was their first opportunity to experience this country’s “Family” ethos first hand “The reasons for this Family of XII getting together back in 2005 are practically the same reasons the Australian First Families got together in ’09. “It is having that collaborative sway or pull. So when AFFW goes on tour overseas we have the ability to pull a lot of journos into one space at one time. That is a synergy, because it is very hard for one entity to accomplish that, if not impossible.” With consolidation occurring as much in Australia as it is in New Zealand, McWilliam says the family owned wine companies have something special to offer. “There is a dynamic, fluid mar-

ket at the moment, especially since the economic downturn. There has been a lot of rationalization and that is when you really see family companies dig their heels in and be able to weather the storm. We are in it for the long haul. Ours is a long game. Whilst we have shareholders, they can weather the storm if necessary, whereas public companies need to generate dividends. So they are a lot more ‘short game’ in my experience.” One of the most interesting aspects of the “next generation” of the Australian First Families of Wine, is the gender change that is occurring. McWilliam said of the 17 taking part in the tour of New Zealand, 13 of them were female. In fact he joked that while they refer to the older generation as the “Dads”, the next generation could well be very different. “They say people who drink

Members of Australia’s First Families of Wine next generation, at a tasting held at Lawson’s Dry hills in Marlborough.


really high quality wine, produce daughters. I am joking, but we do make those comments. Look at our Families. The Hill-Smiths have three daughters, I have two daughters. The Brown Brothers family have three daughters. We always joke, they are going to have to change the name to Brown Sisters.” As for the first get together of next generations, McWilliam said being able to talk about issues of succession, moving forward and aspirations was familiar. “That familiarity was warming for everyone.” The members of the Australian First Families of Wine include: Brown Brothers, Campbells, d’Arenberg, De Bortoli, Henschke Wines, Howard Park, Jim Barry Wines, McWilliams, Tahbilk, Taylors, Tyrrells and Yalumba.■


The future of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand


ccording to Greek philosopher Heraclitus “change is the only constant in life”. A statement that rings very true when it comes to New Zealand’s wine industry. Sustainable Winegrowing NZ is embracing that evolution and the industry’s hunger to do more by preparing to launch a new programme that aims to solidify the industry’s position as the international frontrunner in sustainability. The development of the Continuous Improvement programme is in direct response to members wanting to go further with their sustainability commitments, and be recognised for their efforts, says Sustainable Winegrowing NZ Business Manager, Justine Tate. “The voluntary programme, planned to roll out over the next few months, is an extension opportunity to enable members to advance and take ownership of their sustainability goals,” Tate says. Based on the existing Sustainable Winegrowing NZ pillar structure (e.g. waste, energy, water), the programme enables growers and

wineries to focus on and extend themselves in the areas of sustainability most important and relevant to their particular situation (region, business size and resources). New Zealand Winegrowers will set aspirational pillar goals (e.g. zero waste), for the industry, over and above baseline international (OIV) standards, which underpin the existing Sustainable Winegrowing NZ programme. Members then set and work towards achieving their own targets that align with those industry goals. The programme will offer a verification service that measures, certifies and recognises the work members achieve. Members can

then share their verified sustainability achievements and credentials with local and international media, consumers, distributors and influencers. Tate says the extension programme is geared towards all industry members regardless of size. “It is for large and small vineyards and wineries, who are already doing or want to do more than is prescribed by Sustainable Winegrowing NZ, and have their work verified by an internationally recognised and respected certification.” More details will come as the programme rolls out over the coming months, but anyone interested in finding out more can

contact: Justine Tate, Sustainable Winegrowing NZ Business Manager: Programme membership details: Any Sustainable Winegrowing NZ member can apply to be part of the programme as long as they have: • met their SWNZ requirements • a current certified SWNZ status letter • been through at least one SWNZ audit • passed their most recent audit Continuous Improvement will initially start as a pilot programme, with membership limited to 50 places.■

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Vineyard market strong


here appears to be no respite in the interest being shown in Marlborough’s viticulture land. Colliers International New Zealand recently released a report that concentrated on the Marlborough wine region, claiming a number of buyers are keen to obtain vineyards either outright or to lease. “We are seeing very active interest from existing wine companies looking to secure vineyards

to meet future growth, along with both onshore and offshore investors taking advantage of strong yields that can be achieved through vineyard leasing,” the report stated. The value of vineyards has risen steadily it goes on to say, especially when compared with other wine growing regions. The value of the land depends on where in the region it is situated, with Rapaura and the Lower Wairau values ranging from

$175,000 - $250,000 per hectare. Mid-tier blocks within the Wairau and Southern Valleys have been achieving $150,000 - $200,000 per hectare, while Awatere and Upper Wairau sales range from $100,000 - $150,000. The values have risen due to the “strong market preference” for Sauvignon Blanc. “Vineyard values are closely related to the contract grape price paid to growers,” the report states, “which is currently between

$1,800 and $2,000 per tonne for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.” The greatest interest is in larger blocks, especially by the companies wanting to shore up supply. However a number of lifestyle vineyards have also come on to the market and are doing well. “Due to the good returns over the past three years, there is a lack of listings available for sale, which has led to a supply/demand imbalance and driven values upward.”■



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Calling all young vits THE ALL-IMPORTANT DATES... Hawke’s Bay – June 22 at Te Awa Auckland – June 30, Goldie Estate, Waiheke Island Marlborough – July 6, Giesen House Stump Creek Lane Central Otago – July 14, Central Polytechnic, Cromwell Wairarapa, July 20 – Palliser National Final – August 29, Marlborough Email Nicky Grandorge at; or phone her on 021 780 948

Auckland, Marlborough, Central Otago and Wairarapa.

The winners from each region will go on to compete in the

Last year’s Bayer Young Viticulturist finalists. From left: Mark Langlands – Wairarapa, Mike Winter – Central Otago, Brenton O’Riley – Marlborough, Tim Adams – Auckland and winner Cameron Price – Hawke’s Bay.

National Final, coinciding with the Romeo Bragato Conference in Marlborough in August. While it is not just about winning, she says the prizes are well worth the effort of taking part. Each regional winner will take home a cash prize, plus glasses from Winejobsonline. The National winner will walk away with a $5000 Agmardt travel grant, a year’s full use of a Hyundai Santa Fe and take part in a leadership week. All contestants need to be under the age of 30 and will be put through a range of practical and theoretical scenarios. They will also have to deliver a three-minute speech and take part in a quick fire, general knowledge quiz. “It’s a very prestigious title to win and even just to have competed adds weight to industry experience and opens doors to career promotions,” Grandorge says. “Previous contestants have all found their careers benefitted greatly from entering the competition, even if they have not been the outright winner.” The benefits also apply to companies encouraging their workers to take part she says. ■

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nce again, the call is out, young viticulturists you are needed to take part in the regional Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017. Having been a part of the wine industry scene since 2005, the competition aims to develop skills among the future viticulturists of New Zealand. By testing themselves against their peers, competitors increase their own skill set while also creating networks for the future. National coordinator Nicky Grandorge says the competition begins with regional finals, held in five separate areas; Hawke’s Bay,

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nvironment Minister Nick Smith made waves earlier this year when he announced the Clean Water package in February, a series of initiatives which the Government claims will improve freshwater management in New Zealand. The initiatives are the first set of detailed proposals recommended by the Government, fol-

lowing consultation in 2016 on wide sweeping fresh water reforms contained in the Next Steps for Freshwater consultation document, published by the Ministry for the Environment. Reforms to freshwater management come on the tail of heated debate about the declining water quality of New Zealand’s lakes and rivers, with a key public concern being that many are no longer fit

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for swimming. In releasing the Clean Water package the Government grasped onto this concern to gain public support, by promoting a 90% “swimmable” target as the key component of the initiatives. However, the proposed changes to the “swimmable” standard seem to have back fired, with strong arguments from the science community that the standards do not actually represent an improve-

ment from the status quo. Essentially, the new “swimmable” standard will grade rivers and lakes on how often they meet the “swimmable” water quality standard (based on E.coli levels). A lake/ river which meets the standard at least 80% of the time is considered “swimmable” (based on a minimum of 100 samples over a maximum 10-year sample period). The target set is 90% of rivers “swim-

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mable” by 2040, and an interim target of 80% by 2030. Possibly the biggest criticism leveled against the new standard is that statistically there will now be a greater chance of people getting sick in a “swimmable” river than under the current standards contained in the National Policy Statement on Freshwater (NPS) (based on the E. coli. standards). Further, the standards mean a “swimmable” river may be “un-swimmable” for up to 20 percent of the time, which will likely include time over summer when people want to swim in rivers. Along with the target, a series of interactive maps showing water quality information for swimming will be made publicly available and updated annually – although the usefulness of these is limited if the goal is to provide up to date information on whether a river is “swimmable”. With most of the focus on the short comings of the “swimmable”

target, other proposed changes to the NPS, which arguably have more of an impact on freshwater quality, have been glossed over. For example, the Government proposes to change the requirement that freshwater quality must be ‘maintained or improved’ within a region, so that: “the overall quality of fresh water within a freshwater management unit is maintained or improved…” A freshwater management unit is usually a group of catchments or parts of catchments. This change supports case law that held there is no flexibility for councils to allow water quality degradation in some catchments in the context of maintenance across the whole region (an “overs and unders” approach). Other notable changes to the NPS include requiring councils to establish objectives for in-stream concentrations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and dissolved reactive phosphorous (DRP) and requiring monitoring

of macroinvertebrates in appropriate rivers and streams. These freshwater attributes and indicators are important for assessing/ managing the health of ecosystems in rivers and lakes. The amendments to the NPS around maintaining/improving water quality and setting objectives for nitrogen and phosphorous could well mean that more regional councils impose tighter water quality standards for catchments, even if the “swimmable target” itself does not seem to demand much improvement in water quality. Tighter water quality standards already introduced to some regions have impacted many water users in the agricultural sector renewing/applying for water-take and discharge consents– such as in Canterbury under the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan. On the other hand, another proposed change to the NPS requires councils to consider

the “economic well-being” of the community when making decisions about water quantity, the level and pace of water quality improvements, and setting freshwater objectives. This seems to encourage activities/developments using water who can show they are generating economic opportunities, even though many such water users such as dairy farmers, adversely affect water quality. It will be interesting to see how this policy change is applied in practice, and whether it supports allocation to applicants within economically important industries to New Zealand such as viticulture. Overall the Clean Water package does not propose any widesweeping changes to the water allocation system or rethinking the efficient use of water in New Zealand. The Government has said that changes to water allocation will come at a later stage. ■




new book about Champagne shows that the region lags significantly behind when it comes to organic certification. Despite being the world’s most respected sparkling wine region, Champagne has just 1.4% of organically certified vineyards compared to a French average of 9% (data from 2014) in other regions. The book is Terroir Champagne by Caroline Henry; a writer who lives in Champagne and who has sub-titled her new hard cover tome: ‘luxury of sustainable, organic and biodynamic cuvees’. “It is generally accepted that

today’s way of grape growing is not sustainable in the long run,” she writes, “The VDC (Viticulture Durable en Champagne) still allows herbicides on 50% of the surface and there are very few restrictions on chemical products one is allowed for treatment against disease,” she writes, adding that things may change in the future because the French government announced in June 2016 that glyphosate herbicides would be outlawed by January 2018 and that at the same time

the use of pesticides would be further restricted. Terroir Champagne is a fascinating read, providing indepth analysis of winemakers who are on the fringe of the region’s production, pushing boundaries, literally, in everything from the use of Pinot Blanc to malolactic fermenta-

tion (choosing to eschew as well as sometimes use it). Henry is a journalist, writer and educator who specialises in what she describes as ‘terroir champagne’ – wines made by makers who focus on sustainability, supported by accreditation and quantifiable integrity. She moved to Hautvillers in 2011, is a committee member of the Circle of Wine Writers and has the Certified Sommelier certificate from the Court of Masters Sommeliers.■



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90   // 



Margaret Layton 07 902 2283

Waiheke Island – A World of Wine by Clare Dunleavy, portraits by Marti Friedlander BEATNIK (HTTP://WWW.BEATNIKPUBLISHING.COM/). RRP $70 REVIEWED BY TERRY DUNLEAVY


’m not sure whether this review is driven more by self-interest or paternal pride. Selfinterest because our family established Te Motu Vineyard in the Onetangi Valley in 1988, the third oldest of the surviving winemaking companies now making a name for Waiheke Island. Paternal pride because the first book about those surviving companies has been authored by my daughter Clare, who has devoted her adult life to the study and service of wine, in particular on Waiheke Island. She decided that the time had come when wine lovers from outside the island should know more, not just about the wines, but the people who produce them and who have helped to create the reputation for high and unique quality of those wines. What finally galvanised her was the agreement of the venerable photographic recorder of the development of our wines, Marti Friedlander, who was to die before the printing of the book. The winemakers of Waiheke depicted in this book share the distinction of being the last of their kind to be immortalised by the artistry of Marti’s camera. In his forward, Bob Campbell MW, wrote: “The quality and character of wine is shaped by many things. Soil and climate get top billing as does the chosen grape variety or varieties…. To truly appreciate the character of a wine it helps to understand the character of the person who chose to buy the land, select the grape varieties and trellising methods, decided when to begin harvesting and was the ultimate decision maker from fermentation temperature to label design…..The personalities behind the labels are as fascinating to me as the wines they produce. Clare Dunleavy clearly feels the same…” Clare moved to Waiheke in 1993, after several years in Europe. She writes in her introduction: “When I arrived on Waiheke, I worked on our vineyard: planting, field-grafting, pruning, harvesting, driving tractors, getting dirty, cold, burnt, wet, tired and curious. It was hard work that marked the beginning of my career in wine. I’ve worked in our cellar doors and restaurants, studied wine, worked in the wine trade. I’ve become an educator, advocate and consumer of our wine. It has been my ambition for many years to introduce the people who searched for the right place in the world to plant their dream. They found Waiheke Island and created their future.” The book is dedicated to Marti Friedlander, who died on 14 November aged 88. “I wish [Marti] had been able to see our beautiful book as you see it. In a way, she is gazing out at us through the vision of her subjects, captured forever in a fleeting moment. Marti’s big heart and wise words will live in me forever.”■

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Onguard seismic tank system


here was a lot of talk about how Marlborough would cope following the devastating Kaikoura Earthquake in November last year. Many companies had to ship product out of the region to prepare for Vintage 17, while others were racing to get new tanks built, and damaged tanks repaired. But out of such adversities, there tends to come innovation. Actually this story is about innovation following an earlier quake, which hit Seddon back in 2013. It was a 6.6 on the Richter scale and was the first since the Marlborough wine industry began back in the 70’s to wreak devastation. Tanks fell over, catwalks collapsed and a lot of wine was lost because of the shaking. Since then a number of wineries have changed the way

they think about securing their tanks, and are using a seismic system known as ONGUARD. The Onguard system uses seismic energy dissipating anchors that are fitted around the base of the wine tanks and into the concrete base and ground below. The anchors provide ductility that ensures that the tank itself doesn’t topple, or cave in during an earthquake. ONGUARD’s Managing Director Will Lomax says that the system is based on theories that engineers use on buildings and when he saw the damage to winery tanks in 2013 he was determined to come up with a similar system that would specifically cater for the liquid storage industry. Depending on the size of the tank, a range of anchors can be utilized and also safeguards catwalks. Back in 2013, catwalks were

Tanks damaged in the November 2016 earthquake in Marlborough.

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a major issue, given many had been fitted securely onto the wine tanks and consequently became detached during the movement of the earthquakes. “With this system, we know exactly how much the tank will




move laterally at the top so when we integrate the catwalks with the tank, we make sure that the connection between them can accommodate that movement. If the tanks are all moving in different directions at the same time, we know that the connections will accommodate that movement and that the catwalk will stay supported.” Lomax says the company’s Engineers have been extremely happy with the way that the ONGUARD system worked during the recent Kaikoura earthquakes. “Some of the bigger, say 240,000 litre tanks performed perfectly” in comparison to tanks not fitted with the Onguard system many of which were badly damaged. “That’s the problem. If you don’t have a controlled response throughout the duration of an earthquake, the tank and its contents are put at significant risk.”■


BITZER roadshow


very two years, BITZER Australia takes its most recent local and global developments on the road for its Technical Roadshow; a week-long travelling tour that brings new products and new ideas to the industry through a seminar style event that includes product displays and relaxed networking. It’s free, inclusive and informative, with a focus on hot industry topics that affect all players in the refrigeration and HVAC sectors. BITZER’s Technical Roadshow is back this July, and in addition to regular presentations on new product developments, the 2017 event sees industry luminaries Michael Bennett, John Bowen and John McCormack join the BITZER team for what promises

to be an informative, well-rounded afternoon. The event will take place in Auckland on July 6, from 12.30 at

speakers address industry trends both locally and internationally, coupled with BITZER’s R&D strategies to create equip-

the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Mount Wellington. This year’s theme of ‘bridging the gap’ is all about BITZER’s responsive design and development in light of the ever-changing refrigerant landscape. The central theme will see

ment that adequately meets the requirements of new legislation and looming changes. The highlight of BITZER’s Roadshow this year will be a Q&A style session featuring prominent industry figures Michael Bennett, General Manager of Refrigerant

Reclaim Australia; John Bowen, Director of Refrigerant Recovery NZ; John McCormack, co-owner of Sythree and former Director of Chemours Chemicals and Fluoroproducts in Australia; as well as BITZER’s own Rainer GroßeKracht, Chief Technology Officer of BITZER SE. With the addition of this new panel session, Marketing & Business Development Manager René Le Miere feels that the 2017 Technical Roadshow will be a wellrounded event. “We’ve always aimed to make the Roadshow reflective of both BITZER and the wider industry,” says René. To register, go to www.bitzer. or for more information on the event contact +61 2 8801 9370.■



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

JUNE 2-25 FAWC Hawke’s Bay Wine and Food Classic – Winter Series

9-10 Winetopia Auckland Queens Wharf, Shed 10


NZ Boutique Wine Festival Imperial Lane, Auckland



Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year Hawke’s Bay

NZWinegrowers Grape Days Napier

Te Awa

NZWinegrowers Grape Days

The Organic and Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference




ASB Theatre, Blenheim. Registrations;

NZWinegrowers Grape Days

Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year Auckland

Central Otago

Goldie Estate, Waiheke Island





Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year Marlborough

Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year Wairarapa

Giesen House, Stump Creek Lane

Palliser Estate

Winetopia 2017

The Food Show Auckland

Shed 6, Wellington


Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year Central Otago

New World Wine Awards Judging

14-16 14

Central Polytechnic, Cromwell


31-Aug 2 Wellington





Auckland Restaurant Month

Judging New Zealand International Wine Show 2017



Beervana 2017 Wellington

30 – Sep 1 Romeo Bragato Conference ASB Theatre, Blenheim



New Zealand Syrah Workshop

Hawke’s Bay Charity Wine Auction

Mount Ruapehu

94   // 






Tastes of New Zealand - Copenhagen

September 25


Tastes of New Zealand - Amsterdam

September 27


Pinot Palooza - Melbourne

October 7


Pinot Palooza - Sydney

October 8


Pinot Palooza - Brisbane

October 15


NZ Wine Fair- Taipei

October 17


NZ Wine Fair -Seoul

October 19


NZ Wine Fair - Tokyo

October 23








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 March 2017 (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

Auckland/Northland Canterbury Gisborne


Average of Area ha 4

Number of Vineyards 93







Hawke’s Bay

















Nelson Northland Central Otago Waikato








Wellington / Wairarapa








96   // 



RESEARCH SUPPLEMENT Information and Updates on NZ Winegrowers Research Programmes. Editors: Dr Simon Hooker, General Manager Research and Innovation and Dr Mark Eltom, Research Programme Manager

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) Lower alcohol wine (PGP) University of Auckland and Plant and Food Research (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MPI Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) fund. High-throughput genotyping of transposon-induced mutations in vines Lincoln University (C Winefield) Population genomics of the wine spoilage yeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis Auckland University (M Goddard) Low alcohol-reduced calorie wines using molecular sponges for sugar removal University of Auckland (B Fedrizzi) Shoot trimming effects on Pinot noir vine leaf area to fruit weight ratio, productivity and fruit composition Lincoln University (G Creasy)

Assessment of commercially available yeast nutrient products on Sauvignon blanc microvin ferments Kirsten Creasy

Pests and Disease Grapevine Trunk Disease; young vine ecology, diagnostics and preventative treatments New Zealand Viticulture Nursery Association Incorporated (VINA) (N Hoskins) Virus diversity in New Zealand grapevines: sequence, ecology and impact – The Rod Bonfiglioli Scholarship Plant and Food Research (R MacDiarmid - student A Blouin) Optimising management of grapevine trunk diseases for vineyard longevity South Australian Research & Development Institute (M Sosnowski) Developing Powdery Mildew Best Practise in New Zealand Vineyards Lewis Wright Valuation & Consultancy Ltd (T Lupton) Supported by MPI Sustainable Farming Fund

Sustainability/Organics Pinot noir wine composition and sensory characteristics as affected by soil type and irrigation in the Waipara region Lincoln University (G Creasy) Vineyard Ecosystems Programme University of Auckland and Plant and Food Research (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MBIE Sector weather data licence & tools HortPlus (NZ) Ltd. 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

Powdery Mildew Case Studies Anna Lambourne Mechanical thinning and botrytis Mark Allen



The effect of leafroll 3 genetic variants on grapevines Chooi KM1*, Blouin AG1, Cohen D1, Bell VA2, Mundy D3, Nobilo S4, Taylor T2, Vanga B3, Albright A3, and MacDiarmid RM1 1

The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand


The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd, Hastings, New Zealand


The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd, Blenheim, New Zealand


Waimarie Wines, Waimauku, New Zealand

* Corresponding author 12-118

Summary Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 (leafroll 3) continues to threaten the sustainability and growth of the New Zealand wine industry. In 2013, a new field trial was established with a focus to examine the development of visual symptoms among different leafroll 3 genetic variants on four grapevine varieties (Merlot, Pinot noir, Pinot gris and Sauvignon blanc). The extensive trial is located in Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, and Blenheim, and compares three New Zealand leafroll 3 genetic variants. Results will be used to help guide leafroll management strategies, which uses visual assessments in red varieties to identify infected vines for removal (roguing). This article describes project results from the 2015-16 season. Similar to visual assessments in 2014-15, no noticeable symptoms were observed on white varieties. As highlighted in previous communications, leafroll symptoms on infected red varieties were most clearly identifiable later in the season, and in Merlot vines more than Pinot noir vines. From two years of visual observations, in three New Zealand regions, results further validate the current industry disease

98   // 

management recommendations regarding leafroll 3 (New Zealand Winegrowers fact sheet February 2014 - NZVE101 Virus Elimination Project). What we did To date, we have treated leafroll 3 as a single entity. However, like the flu (influenza virus), leafroll 3 has different genetic variants or strains, and these vary hugely genetically. The project included the establishment of a comprehensive field trial spanning three regions (Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, and Blenheim), which compares three of the most divergent genetic variants of leafroll 3 found throughout New Zealand with corresponding healthy (leafroll 3-free) vines, in four grape varieties: Merlot, Pinot noir, Pinot gris and Sauvignon blanc (as described in the April/May 2016 issue of New Zealand Winegrower). Thus we have vines of known infection status that can be used to determine the accuracy of visual assessment across leafroll 3 genetic variants, grape cultivars, regions, and seasons. What we found For the 2015-16 season, no noticeable symptoms were observed on white varieties, or uninfected white and red controls.


By the end of the assessments (11 and 18 April 2016 in Hawke’s Bay and Auckland respectively), over 95% of Pinot noir infected vines and 100% of the infected Merlot vines were positively identified. At the Hawke’s Bay and Blenheim sites, a larger proportion of the red variety vines were observed with leafroll symptoms earlier in 2015-16 than the previous season. For instance, in Blenheim by 7 March 2016, over 85% of the leafroll 3 infected red varieties were observed with symptoms, while only 75% or less had observable symptoms by the time visual inspections concluded in April 2015. This observation supports previous research showing Cabernet Sauvignon vines infected for at least two years expressed symptoms up to two months earlier than vines infected for no more than 12 months. However, this was not the case at the Auckland site where in 2016, symptoms from infected red cultivars appeared to be less obvious at the start of the season than in 2015. For instance, by 10 February 2016, only 40% of infected Merlot vines had foliar symptoms compared with 72%, in February 2015. This Auckland result was possibly because of factors such as envi-

ronmental stresses on young vines causing foliar issues that appeared similar to leafroll symptoms (Figure 1), making it difficult for assessors to be accurate. Consequently, rather than recording “vines with definite leafroll symptoms”, the assessors instead recorded these as “vines with questionable symptoms”. Interestingly, both the Auckland and Hawke’s Bay assessors inspected the vines in the Auckland block on 17 February 2016. Both agreed that at least 67% of the infected Merlot vines showed typical leafroll symptoms as evidence of infection, and on 35% and 42% of Pinot noir infected vines respectively. Despite leafroll symptoms being less prominent at the start of the 2015-16 season in Auckland, greater incidences of infected Merlot and Pinot noir vines were recorded when monitoring concluded in April 2016 than at the same time 12 months earlier. For all genetic variants, the leafroll symptoms appeared initially at or around the cordon foliage, and as the season progressed the symptoms extended higher into the vine canopy; meanwhile, the foliar symptoms appeared to become more severe around the cordon. Generally, one of the three

genetic variant infections showed visual symptoms later than the other two, and the symptoms of this leafroll 3 variant appeared to spread noticeably more slowly through the canopy (particularly to the higher portions of the vine canopy). In addition to visual symptoms, we also measured trunk circumference (as an indicator of vine growth), and undertook a pilot study of berry characteristics such as total soluble sugars (°Brix), titratable acids and pH. Across all sites and for all cultivars, the average trunk circumference of leafroll 3 infected vines was generally smaller than that of the corresponding healthy vines. At this relatively early stage of vine development, none of the three leafroll 3 genetic variants appears to have a more severe impact on vine growth. It will be of interest to re-visit this growth parameter in seasons to come, when vines are older. Physiological differences in the berries was observed, particularly a general trend of reduced soluble sugars in virus-infected vines compared with healthy vines. We continue to investigate this and other physiological effects on fruit quality (and the difference of effect between the different genetic variants).

Conclusions Two years of visual observations, in three New Zealand regions, further validates current industry disease management recommendations regarding leafroll 3 (New Zealand Winegrowers fact sheet February 2014 - NZVE101 Virus Elimination Project). In particular, our results have highlighted three key components that should be applied to ensure as many leafroll 3-infected red varietal vines are marked and removed from the vineyard each year: All three leafroll 3 genetic variants widely found in New Zealand produced observable foliage symptoms in Merlot and Pinot

noir vines in the study blocks, but not in the foliage of white varieties Pinot gris and Sauvignon blanc. Visual assessments of foliage should be performed by experienced, trained assessors who use diagnostic laboratory confirmation during their assessment training. Other factors such as nutrient deficiencies, will increase uncertainty and reduce the reliability of virus identification. Virus symptoms may be masked and/or the appearance of similar foliar symptoms that could be mistaken for leafroll 3 (Figure 1). In addition, not all leafroll 3 genetic variants are equal: one variant results in less severe (fewer symptomatic leaves) and slower-appearing foliage symptoms through the canopy. We recommend that leaf samples are sent to the laboratory to confirm initial identification during initial/refresher training. Visual assessments for leafroll 3 infection should be performed twice in the season, particularly at least once later in the season before leaf fall. Across all three regions, identification of infected vines was most consistently achieved from midFigure 1: Changes to the foliage of Merlot grapevines caused by (a) environmental March to mid-April (prior stresses and (b) leafroll 3 infection. A key characteristic of leafroll 3 infection to frost). Early-season is the retention of green veins as seen in photograph (b), in contrast to the leaf reddening that includes veins in photograph (a). assessment was more difficult, with one leafroll 3 genetic variant expressing symptoms later and with trial under our vine management Marketing Research and Develfewer symptomatic leaves than protocols, did not prevent the opment Trust, New Zealand the other two. This attribute can assessors from visually detecting Winegrowers and Plant & Food also potentially hinder identifica- that genetic variant during the Research Strategic Science Investtion of vines with new virus infec- same season. ment Fund. tions, and vines that have been The authors also gratefully leaf plucked during the season. It Acknowledgements acknowledge the support of Riveris important to note though that Funding and support was sun Nursery, the vineyard owners, the differences, observed in our provided by The Agricultural and and their staff.


Economic impact of grapevine trunk disease management in Sauvignon Blanc vineyards of New Zealand Mark Sosnowski1 and Greg McCarthy2 South Australian Research & Development Institute


Sutton McCarthy Limited


13-100 Summary Economic analysis to provide decision support for managing grapevine trunk diseases was funded by NZW with co-funding from the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Farming Fund. Based on results from trunk disease surveys and preventative wound treatment trials, the analysis showed that early adoption of preventative wound treatments in vineyards will minimise the cost of trunk disease and

provide future benefit over the life of a vineyard. If preventative treatment does not commence until after trunk disease is evident, there will be costs for future crop loss and remediating or replacing vines. The sooner the remediation treatment is commenced, the greater the future benefit. The potential “national” value of an effective annual spray treatment to the New Zealand industry is estimated to be at least $20m per annum, increasing by a further

$20m per annum when combined with remediation treatments.

Introduction Eutypa and botryosphaeria dieback are major grapevine trunk diseases worldwide, causing significant yield and quality reduction. They threaten the sustainability of New Zealand vineyards and are becoming an increasing problem as vineyards age. Trunk pathogens infect vines through pruning wounds, colonise

Figure 1. Dieback of heads and trunks of cane-pruned Sauvignon Blanc.

100   // 


woody tissue and cause dieback (Fig 1), typically observed as a dark wedge-shaped or central staining of tissue in cross-section (Fig 2). The Eutypa lata fungal pathogen produces toxic metabolites which are translocated to the foliage, causing stunted shoots, necrotic and distorted leaves (Fig 3), reduced bunch size and uneven ripening. Management of trunk diseases is based on remedial strategies: removing infected wood material and retraining

Figure 2. Wedge-shaped and central staining associated with trunk diseases.

new shoots (Fig 4), re-grafting or replacing vines and preventative strategies: protecting against infection by treating pruning wounds by hand or with a tractor driven sprayer (Fig 5). Economic analysis was undertaken to quantify and express the economic impact of trunk disease on a typical New Zealand vineyard where no preventative or remedial treatments are employed (the baseline) and thereafter assess the relative cost/benefit of various possible preventative or remedial treatment responses. A financial model was developed to compare trunk disease related scenarios, based on data derived from a vineyard survey in the Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough regions. Although economic drivers vary considerably between vineyards and varieties, and are dependent on crop volumes and market grape prices, this study aimed to provide a cost/benefit framework that informs a grower’s consideration of trunk disease management strategies.

Model assumptions The model was based on a hypothetical 1 ha of cane-pruned Sauvignon Blanc vineyard over a 40-year period, which targets an annual crop of 12.4 tonnes per hectare with a market value of $1,750 per tonne. Whilst the cost of preventative and remedial treatments could be estimated with reasonable

accuracy, the benefit of avoiding future crop losses by reducing the incidence of trunk disease related to multiple future years and was initially relatively small in value, but increased over time. Accordingly, assessment of this financial cost/benefit required net present value (NPV) analysis of projected future costs. The cost of spray applications was estimated at $120 per hectare. To hand paint in a vineyard planted at 2,220 vines per hectare, it was estimated to cost $230 per hectare (cane-pruned) or $460 per hectare (cordon-pruned). The model assumed the impact of disease on the crop was solely volume related. It did not take into account any reduction in fruit quality/value or financial benefit where climatic factors result in crop tonnage overages that potentially mitigate the financial impact of trunk disease in these years. In a hypothetical situation where spray treatment applied from planting was 100% effective, the “cost” would be the actual cost of the annual treatment and the “benefit” would be the avoidance of crop loss that would otherwise result from disease, and there will be no need to remove and replace or rework and graft diseased vines. Where the treatment was less than 100% effective, the “benefit” was the estimated reduction of crop loss, and where disease symptoms were subsequently identified in the vineyard, cal-

culations were undertaken in the model to reflect the relative financial difference between treatment responses commenced at that time.

Model outputs Annual preventative treatments The model indicated the relative financial difference between doing nothing and the annual preventative treatments of hand

painting or spraying pruning wounds, commencing from when the vineyard was first planted. If preventative treatments were 90% effective, the cost was recovered by approximately year 12 (spray) and year 16 (hand paint) and thereafter the NPV benefit significantly exceeded the cost If the treatments were only 50% effective, the “breakeven point” would push out to approximately year 16 (spray) and year

Figure 3. Foliar symptoms of eutypa dieback.


disease management

Figure 4. Remedial strategy of retraining shoots to replace infected trunk.

22 (hand paint), still providing a long-term NPV benefit.

Remedial treatment responses The model also determined the likely relative financial difference between six possible treatment response scenarios in the vineyard. It calculated the annualised NPV future relative costs for each treatment response, for existing trunk disease incidence scenarios that ranged from 0% to 100%. This provided a relative future cost profile for each treatment (calculated from any particular incidence level) and assisted identification of the lowest future cost response. The NPV future cost of reworking or regrafting all vines in the hypothetical vineyard was calculated as $4,700 per hectare per annum, and for removing and replacing all vines was $6,700 per hectare per annum. These costs are constant, regardless of the level of existing trunk disease at the time of treatment. As an example, we could consider a vineyard exhibiting 10% disease incidence, which would represent an average vineyard age

102   // 

of 14 years: If the grower does nothing, there will be an NPV future cost of $2,600 per hectare per annum over a 40-year-period, albeit the actual impact will be lesser in earlier years and greater in later years. If the grower commences an annual spray treatment regime at 14 years, there will be an NPV future cost of $2,000 per hectare per annum, being $600 per hectare per annum better than doing nothing. If the grower removes and replaces the symptomatic vines at year 14 and thereafter undertakes an annual spray treatment regime, there will be an NPV future cost of $1,600 per hectare per annum, being $1000 per hectare per annum better than doing nothing and $400 per hectare per annum better than only undertaking the annual spray treatment. The NPV future cost of reworking or regrafting symptomatic vines is expected to be marginally less again at $1,500 per hectare per annum. The general conclusions drawn from the model were: The NPV future benefit of


reducing the impact of trunk disease via an annual spray treatment regime was greater than its NPV future cost, until the vineyard was approximately 80–90% diseased. Thereafter, the value of preventing future new disease was minimal. Once trunk disease was relatively established (between 10 and 80% incidence), the best results were achieved by a combination of removing and replacing or reworking and regrafting diseased vines, followed by the application of an annual spray regime. Once incidence of trunk disease reached 50%, the NPV future benefit of removing and replacing all vines followed by the application of an annual spray regime, was greater than the cost of doing so, albeit this would not be as cost effective as reworking/regrafting or removing/replacing symptomatic vines. Wholesale remediation or replacement of a vineyard was more cost-effective than treating symptomatic vines only once at least 80% of vines became symptomatic.

Industry impact of trunk

The results of this economic analysis indicated the NPV future benefit of reducing the impact of trunk disease over the productive life of a vineyard via the application of an annual spray treatment is considerably greater than the cost of treatments. The actual cost/benefit will vary by vineyard age, existing trunk disease infection levels, adopted pruning regime and grape variety. Notwithstanding the spray treatment regime introduces an additional annual cost from commencement, the model indicates that the approximate NPV future benefit could be in the order of: $700 per hectare per annum over the productive life of the vineyard if the annual spray regime commences from when the vineyard is first planted; or $550 per hectare per annum over the remaining productive life of the vineyard if the annual spray regime commences before the vineyard is 60% diseased. When combined with other corrective treatments such as vine replacement or regrafting, incremental benefits of up to $600 per hectare per annum might be achieved in vineyards with up to 10% incidence, increasing to approximately $3,000 per hectare per annum in vineyards with 50% incidence. New Zealand currently has approximately 35,500 hectares of land in vineyard production. The average incidence of disease dieback observed in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough was approximately 9%. The potential “national” value of an effective annual spray treatment to the industry is therefore currently estimated to be approximately $20m per annum, increasing by a further $20m per annum when combined with other corrective treatments as above.

Conclusion New Zealand Winegrowers research has evaluated the effectiveness of post-pruning

spray applications, which protect pruning wounds from infection by airborne fungal spores, thereby reducing the incidence of trunk disease. This treatment is less labour intensive and less expensive than manually handpainting pruning wounds. While efficacy is influenced by the skill of the operator and efficacy of the spray equipment, it also has the potential to deliver a more uniform treatment outcome. Whatever treatment regime is adopted, the timing of when it is first commenced has a significant bearing on the potential economic impact of trunk disease on the vineyard. If a preventative treatment is commenced from when the vineyard is first planted, the incidence of trunk disease and consequential crop loss is likely to be minimised over the medium to long term. Increased costs are incurred when applying the preventative treatment in early years in order to reduce crop losses and the need for regrafting or removing vines in later years, thereby improving future revenues and avoiding future costs. If a preventative treatment

Figure 5. Preventative post-pruning spray treatment .

does not commence until after trunk disease is evident, there will be future crop loss associated with diseased vines, including vines with latent infection yet to present, which may ultimately lead to the need to regraft or remove and replace these vines. Notwithstanding this, commencing treatment at this point will limit further infection and thereby mitigate the overall impact, as above.

Given most New Zealand vineyards have not employed preventative treatment regimes from when first planted, this analysis has sought to provide economic analysis to assist the consideration of various treatment alternatives for vineyards of all ages with a range of different disease incidence levels. Based on the model outputs, it is reasonable to conclude that the sooner a preven-

tative treatment is commenced, the greater the NPV future benefit that will be achieved, compared to doing nothing. The project is continuing from 2017 as part of the Vineyard Ecosystems Programme to optimise wound protection strategies by examining spore dispersal, wound susceptibility and the critical timing of fungicide application (NZW 16-102).

Serendipity in action: Towards a sustainable protocol to reduce adult grass grub damage in vines Mauricio González-Chang 1,2 and Steve Wratten1 Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University, New Zealand. Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad, Santiago de Chile, Chile. 14-102 In the western world, the concept of “serendipity” was first defined by Horace Walpole (1717-1797) as “a pleasant surprise”, based on the Persian fairy tale “The Three Princes of Serendip”. In this tale, the heroes were

always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of. Although it is beyond the aim of this article to discuss the “heroics” behind investigating sustainable solutions for an endemic New Zealand

scarab pest attacking vines, serendipity was constantly present throughout this scientific work. A remarkable example of the latter was the “pleasant surprise” that adult grass grubs (Costelytra zealandica White) were deterred from

landing on vines when crushed mussel shells were spread in the under-vine areas. The idea of using mussel shells as mulch in the under-vine areas was proposed by Kono Beverages’ staff Murray Trower, who


was using them for weed control and for keeping soil moisture. We never thought that mussel shells can have this deterring effect on landing adults, as these have never been used to manage flying insects before. This discovery led Mauricio González-Chang and Steve Wratten to investigate the contribution of these shells in Marlborough vines using the scientific method. The results were amazing; an astonishing 73% reduction in damage caused by this endemic scarab was recorded, leading to a 28% increase in grape yield. However, as in some fairy tales, good things came with no so good outcomes. We found an enormous number of adults at the edge of the studied vineyard blocks. Therefore, mussel shells were applied along vine rows on the under-vine area within the first 7.5 m (hereafter called 1 bay) at the end of the vine row, in those cases in which the beetles invaded from that direction. However, by applying these shells at only the edge, the adult grass grub population was “pushed” further into the vineyard block, with potential impacts on increasing its population within the vineyard block. Of course, this was a potentially undesired result for winegrowers, as the main research idea was to reduce the population, not enhancing it. This unexpected increase in the within-vineyard grass grub

population led us to investigate the question: how big an area treated with mussel shells from the edge of the vineyard block is needed to reduce adult grass grub damage in vines without enhancing their population within the vineyard block? Thus, different distances from the edge towards the centre of the vineyard block were treated with mussel shells. None, one, three and six vine bays were spread with shells on the under-vine areas. In Figure 1, is clear that mussel shells worked in reducing adult numbers irrespective of the number of treated bays, which is shown by the distribution presented in the Control (orange line) showing a higher number of adults at the edge of the block than when shells were not present. Based on the results in Figure 1, we can suggest that mussel shells should be spread at least in the under-vine area within the first three bays at the end of the vine row, or covering the first 22.5 m on the under-vine areas along the vine row, from the edge towards the centre of the block. The protocol mentioned above highlights the protection of vineyards’ edges, as higher number of adults and therefore, damage to vine leaves was recorded within this area when compared to vineyards’ centre. Considering that Marlborough is a world known area for seafood production, the availability

Figure 2. Different alternatives to reduce adult grass grub damage in vines. From left to right, treatments are: i) Flowering alyssum plants, ii) Black weed mat, iii) White weed mat, iv) Mussel shells, and v) Control.

104   // 


Figure 1. Adult grass grub response to different number of bays treated with crushed mussel shells. Error bars are two-standard errors.

of crushed mussel shells is not a concern for winegrowers within this area. Nevertheless, for those that produce elsewhere like in Waipara or Waikato, crushed mussel shells might not be an option due to increased transportation costs from mussel factories. For this reason, alternatives to shells were also tested in this research. Thus, we investigated the effect of plastic mulches and alyssum flowers (Lobularia maritima) because we thought that adult grass grubs might be affected by the UV light that those reflective surfaces (plastic mulches, alyssum flowers and mussel shells) reflect at dusk.

If white-coloured surfaces have a similar effect on adult grass grub numbers on vines, New Zealand winegrowers can improve their tools to reduce this pest’s damage, irrespective of their geographical position. In this experiment, we also used a black plastic much as a “negative control” to further explore our hypothesis regarding white surfaces. The results obtained demonstrated our initial thoughts; white plastic mulch had a similar effect to that of applying crushed shells at reducing adult numbers landing on vines. Black plastic mulch was not different from Control (with under-vine

grass). Unexpectedly, alyssum flowers were not different from Control. In Figure 2 these treatments are shown. Perhaps the limited ground area covered by alyssum plants compared to the other treatments could explain the lack of deterrent effect that might be produced by the flowers. Maybe alyssum floral scent is attractive for adult grass grubs also, though there is no evidence for this from other insect herbivores. Further research should address the mechanisms behind this apparent contradictory response between white flowers, white plastic mulch

and mussel shells. From a sustainability point of view, the use of plastic mulches might not be considered as a long-term solution as its contribution to climate change and pollution is something that we would like to avoid. Furthermore, applying the plastic mulch was twice as much expensive when compared to spreading mussel shells. By presenting our latest results on sustainable solutions to reduce adult grass grub damage on vines, we believe that science needs to use different sources of inspiration, as serendipity can be just in front of us. The feasibility of apply-

ing serendipity is a critical issue when constrained budgets and “tight” and unimaginative milestones drive science in the world. We deeply encourage winegrowers at looking their surrounding nature, at thinking of sustainable solutions based on their feelings and intuition. An intuitive mind acting together with science can change the world, and this should not be separated in science. As the philosopher Karl Popper (19021994) said: “Bold ideas, unjustified anticipations, and speculative thought, are our only means for interpreting nature: our only organon, our only instrument, for

grasping her. And we must hazard them to win our prize”. One might also quote Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) who said: “We have got no money, so we have got to think”. We would like to acknowledge New Zealand Winegrowers, Organic Winegrowers New Zealand, Kono Beverages and Wither Hills for funding the research mentioned above during the 2016 season. Also, thanks to Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University, and Callaghan Innovation for their support and funding throughout Mauricio’s PhD work.

Brettanomyces in New Zealand Asst. Prof Chris Curtin and Prof Mat Goddard 15-112 New Zealand Winegrowers is funding a new collaborative research project to provide the first ever snapshot of Brettanomyces strain diversity across New Zealand wine regions. Prof. Mat Goddard has partnered with Asst. Prof. Chris Curtin of Oregon State University, who, during his 12 years at the Australian Wine Research Institute, led a broad Brettanomyces research programme spanning genome sequencing through to sensory impacts. We would also like to thank the teams at Pacific Rim Oenology Services and Wineworks for providing their insights and samples for the project. ‘Brett’ character, that distinct blend of ‘phenolic, ‘barnyard’ and ‘medicinal’ aromas, is the product of metabolic activity of Brettanomyces yeasts, that convert aroma-less hydroxycinnamic acid precursors in wine to potent ethylphenols. Uncontrolled growth of Brettanomyces in barrel-matured

wines can completely mask primary fruit aromas and render all efforts to make ‘terroir’-driven wines null and void. A ‘Brett’ bomb from one region will taste no different to a ‘Brett’-bomb from the other side of the world. The ubiquitous association of these yeasts with wine from across the globe suggests it is unrealistic to think Brettanomyces can be excluded from the winery. Strategies to control ‘Brett’ rely upon multiple practices aimed at minimising the exposure of wine to viable Brettanomyces cells during processing and maturation. These include making sure primary and malolactic fermentations proceed smoothly to completion, and paying careful attention to barrel hygiene. Once wine is in barrel, the primary tool at a winemaker’s disposal to maintain microbial stability, and keep ‘Brett’ at bay, is the preservative sulfite. Effective use of sulfite for

‘Brett’ control hinges on three factors; timing, pH, and properties of the Brettanomyces strain(s) present in the wine. Studies in Australia and Europe have shown that some Brettanomyces strains can tolerate 2-3 times higher sulfite concentrations than others, and in Australia ~90% Brettanomyces isolates belong to a sulfite-tolerant strain group that was encountered in all Australian winemaking regions studied. Could a new strain emerge that has greater sulfite tolerance than those observed to date? Evolutionary theory suggests such an event is likely, in a scenario where an already tolerant population is placed under a constant stress condition. Ongoing research at the Australian Wine Research Institute, initiated by Dr. Curtin, is seeking to answer this question and aims to provide knowledge of regions in the Brettanomyces

genome that enable it to cope with sulfite. The new University of Auckland/Oregon State University collaboration is taking Brettanomyces yeasts isolated different regions in NZ and using wholegenome sequencing to determine whether New Zealand’s Brettanomyces population is comprised of similar strains to those found in other countries, with emphasis on identification of sulfite-tolerant strains. These strains will then be used in trials to determine effective sulfite dosages in representative Pinot Noir wines. The goal of the project is to provide New Zealand winemakers updated advice on ‘Brett’ control based upon new knowledge of Brettanomyces strain diversity. The datasets generated will also provide a baseline for comparison of new isolates gathered in subsequent years, enabling monitoring for emergence of new strains.


Mechanical shaking 2017 – expanding the data base Mark Allen 16-109 NZW are providing funding over the next months to put extra feet on the ground to assess the Botrytis severity on multiple sites prior to harvest. The mechanism of yield reduction is relatively straightforward, and can be monitored by individual vineyards. The benefits of mechanical shaking on Botrytis reduction have been recorded over the last seven years, and has consistently shown on average a 55% reduction in Botrytis each year. The statistical study as part of the NZW and MPI funded trial from 2011 – 2014, showed that by reducing the incidence of Botrytis by 55% each year, there would be a financial benefit to the grower in 8 years out of 10. It is not unusual for the cost of thinning botrytis bunches to be as high as $1,000/ha. Likewise, 2.0 tonnes/ha can easily be lost to thinning botrytis affected bunches – a loss of $4,500/ha. This could be avoided by investing $450/ha into mechanical shaking. A net gain of $80,000 on a 20-hectare vineyard. The objective of this year’s botrytis monitoring is to add further credibility to what we already know. The data base has expanded considerably this year with many vineyards adopting the practice for the first time. This is not only in Marlborough - growers in Gisborne, Waiarapa, Nelson, Waipara and Central are shaking vines. The benefits of a cultural method of botrytis control are many. They include less dependence on synthetic botryticides both in terms of use and resistance build up. Also the concept fits well

106   // 

Sauvignon Blanc 2016: A typical example of the benefits of shaking. The Control at 10% is double the threshold. The Shaken is below the threshold of 5%, saving the grower up to $4,000/ha.

Pinot Gris 2016: The control row on left where 120 bunches in 3 bays were dropped prior to harvest. The shaken row on the right where 30 bunches were dropped in 3 bays – a fourfold improvement.

with sustainability and innovation. It is also a very straightforward operation that can be applied in virtually all weather conditions apart from rain. The key objectives of this year’s data collection are primarily to assess the Botrytis of each treatment by using the BRAT scoring system. Secondly, I would like to estab-


lish ‘best practice ‘guidelines for harvester settings. With multiple operators running harvesters this year, I have seen a variety of beater rod settings that are different from the settings that we used during the trials and for the last three years. I have also seen operators starting very soon after fruit set,

which maybe too early to achieve the best result. Conversely, some have gone too late causing damage to bunches. The data collection will gather all this information – both botrytis severity, harvester settings and timing. From this we will be able to draw some conclusions to present at either workshops or Grape Days.

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NZ Winegrower June/July 2017  

NZ Winegrower June/July 2017

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