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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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36 R E GUL A R S




Protect Your Wet

Tessa Nicholson

Changes to the WET system could have big implications on New Zealand wine businesses. John Barker provides an insight to the changes.


Sauvignon Blanc Hits Exceptional Levels

For the first time, two Sauvignon Blanc have been awarded 98 points in a Decanter tasting. We find out about the wines and the winemakers.


Bragato Conference from Vine to Market

Coverage of this year’s Bragto conference from marketing to sustainability, Women in Wine to the Bayer Young Vitculturist of the Year.


From the Acting CEO

Jeffrey Clarke


In Brief

News stories from around the country


Family Vines

Sara Stocker and Josh Scott


Bob’s Blog

Bob Campbell MW

104 Not on the Label

Legal Matters with Kensington Swan



106 Calendar

Wine happenings in NZ

108 Research Supplement

The latest science and research projects funded by New Zealand Winegrowers

Front Cover: Georgie – MPI’s Detector Dog - see story page 68


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 latest figures put New Zealand wine exports at $1,669 billion as at the end of July, making wine the fifth largest export earner in the country. Impressive as that is, it is even more impressive to realise the value of New Zealand wine consumed the world over is $7 billion. Seven billion dollars worth of New Zealand wine, either poured by the glass, or sold as a bottle. That is an extraordinary figure, especially when you consider how tiny our production is in world terms, less than one percent of the total. The value of New Zealand wine sold into the US last year reached a total of US$400 million, making us the third largest exporter of wine into the States, in terms of value and volume. The average price paid for New Zealand wine in the US is second only to France. In the UK, we hold the title of highest average price. So how have we come to be such a power broker, when we are such a small player? The quality of our wine is the single most important reason. Being so small we can never compete against the larger producers who concentrate on quantity. So we have had to find our niche and perfect it, which is what has occurred over the past three decades. But quality doesn’t just happen. It requires an enormous amount of hard work, from growers and winemakers, plus those marketing the end product. And to create the best possible product, you need to be innovative, always searching for ways of perfecting your skills and fine tuning the way you produce. Which is why research in the New Zealand wine industry is so vital. When it was blatantly obvious the world had developed a love affair with our Sauvignon Blanc, there was no effort to rest on our laurels. The Sauvignon Blanc Research Programme, one


and two, were established. The results from this long reaching project saw information emerge that helped growers and winemakers fine tune their skills to create the best wine possible. The Lighter Wines programme is helping the industry achieve a goal of being the world leader in wines with less alcohol and lower calories, while not compromising on traditional flavours. The mechanical shaking research has led to world breaking results to limit the incidence of botrytis in difficult years. A dedicated Wine Research Centre is about to be opened in Marlborough, the very first industry styled centre of its kind in the country. And in September, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment announced approval for another major project, to be undertaken by New Zealand Winegrowers. $9.3 million will provided to NZW over five years to study Pinot Noir. Added to that will be $1 m of levy fees, as well as industry-in-kind contributions. The massive project aims to answer the all-important questions of; What makes a quality Pinot Noir?, and how can New Zealand continue to make the world’s best Pinot Noir at commercially viable production levels? NZW’s General Manager of Research and Innovation, Dr Simon Hooker says the research programme will look at consumer perceptions, biochemistry, vineyard interventions and winemaking techniques. “The intent is to simultaneously increase quality and productivity of New Zealand Pinot Noir.” The continued Government support of our wine industry is testament to its success. But it is also a credit to NZW for being innovative and coming up with bankable projects that help make this industry one of the most exciting in the country. ■

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he buds bursting up stands the need to question and such as: the inaugural launch of Women and down the country challenge accepted wisdom, and what makes a quality Pinot in Wine NZ. A sell-out crowd of are sure evidence that tackle potentially difficult issues. Noir? 165 women and men from across the year is racing by, how can New Zealand con- the industry met for drinks and and another growing Substantial new funding tinue to make the world’s best networking, before sitting down season is already upon us. So it for Pinot Noir research Pinot Noir at increased produc- to be inspired and entertained was timely that a few weeks ago, A whole lot more complex tion levels? with the personal stories, insights, at the end of August, 520 people questions are about to be asked what influences the factors in and winding career paths of three from across our industry took – and hopefully answered – about the “quality/production” seesaw notable “women in wine” – Sana moment out for professional Pinot Noir. In mid-September of Pinot Noir, and how can we dra Taylor (CEO, corporate susdevelopment and networking at New Zealand Winegrowers was take control of those factors? tainability expert and writer, from this year’s Bragato conference. awarded a $9.3 million Endeavour The programme will look at USA), Jeni Port (wine writer and The sessions and workshops Fund grant from MBIE to launch consumer perceptions, biochem- journalist, from Australia), and really sought to challenge, Nadia Lim (MasterChef winner 2011 and cowith a healthy level of debate and loads of relfounder of My Food Bag). evant insights: Exactly how The Women in Wine NZ do choices in the vineyard initiative aims to help proinfluence ripening dates? vide women in our sector What’s the most effecwith tools, services and tive way to increase your Attending the inaugural event, I was particularly opportunities to advance profit? How diverse and their careers and perstruck by two things: a clear and enthusiastic sonal development. In equitable is our industry, and what is each member’s energy from the attendees, confirming that this is the short term, its goals responsibility to improve include facilitating a that? Are we in the right an idea whose time has come and is filling a need; national mentoring promarkets and where are they and a real sense of gratitude that it is consciously gramme, facilitating local trending? Are we missing educational activities, and focussed on supporting women at all levels within gathering meaningful data market share by using more sustainable lighter glass on the amount of women the industry, not just today’s leaders. and screwcaps? How do employed in the New Zeasuccessful producers of land wine industry, and in lighter wines achieve their what positions. Attending the inaugufull flavours? Precisely how are our borders being protected a multi-year investigation into istry, vineyard interventions, and ral event, I was particularly struck from incoming pests? Pinot Noir. In addition, $1 mil- winemaking techniques with the by two things: a clear and enthuFeedback we’ve received to lion of members’ levy funds will goal of simultaneously increasing siastic energy from the attenddate is that members found the be invested into the programme. quality and productivity of New ees, confirming that this is an idea whose time has come and conference relevant and stimu- Together with the $10.5 million Zealand Pinot Noir. The programme aims to sup- is filling a need; and a real sense lating. Once again this year, the of government funding secured quality of the interaction was for the New Zealand Winegrow- port the diversification of the of gratitude that it is consciously improved by the app, which ers Research Centre, this repre- New Zealand wine sector by focussed on supporting women at allowed the audience to directly sents a substantial and welcome growing Pinot Noir as a pro- all levels within the industry, not pose questions (both serious and investment in the future of the portion of our production and just today’s leaders. less so!) from their phones. The New Zealand wine sector. exports. I have no doubt that Women presenters and panellists don’t The five-year research proin Wine NZ will become a poweralways have the answers, but the gramme will delve into the Women in Wine ful and positive force for diverbuzz around the halls, and contin- sustainable and profitable proSpeaking of buzz at Bragato, sity growth in our sector, and I uing after the conference finished, duction of Pinot Noir, by taking the ASB Theatre was well abuzz encourage everyone to support shows that the industry under- a scientific approach to questions the evening before Bragato with it. ■

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NATIONAL Consolidation in industry

The scholars attending the 2017 Sommit. In 2018 New Zealanders will be included for the first time.

NZ Sommeliers get chance at Sommit The New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship has been opened to New Zealand applicants for the first time, offering local sommeliers the opportunity to take part in a wine experience like no other, alongside their international peers. First launched in 2016, the scholarship is now a global initiative with sommeliers from Australia, Asia, Canada, UK, Europe and US, with New Zealanders joining in time for the 2018 event. Limited to just 20 attendees at each, the two Sommits will be held in Nelson and Central Otago early next year. They will be hosted by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas and Master of Wine Stephen Wong.

In the past few months there has been a merging of wine companies, that further shows the consolidation of New Zealand’s wine industry. Aoteraroa New Zealand Fine Wine Estates Ltd Partnership (ANZFWE), a new venture between Brian Sheth (US) and Steve Smith MW has bought Pyramid Valley Vineyards in Waikari, North Canterbury and Lowburn Ferry Wines in Central. The new company has also bought a small parcel of land in the Gimblett Gravels, and appointed former Trinity Hill CEO Michael Henley as CEO. The two sales are still subject to OIO approval. Two pioneering New Zealand wineries, Jackson Estate based in Marlborough, and Pask Winery based in the Hawkes Bay, have joined forces under the stewardship of the Wellington based Benton Family Wine Group. Both wineries have operated for over 30 years at the premium end of the market. In 2013, the Group acquired Jackson Estate and has now completed a state of the art winery on Jackson’s Road in Marlborough, specialising in Pinot Noir. “The merger will provide shared benefits through increased size, enhanced product range, and geographical diversity. Following the successful restructuring of Jackson Estate we can now turn our attention to revitalising the Pask brand and fully utilising the considerable Pask assets,” Jeff Hart who has been appointed Managing Director says.

HAWKE’S BAY Bay’s new Oak Estate eatery Auckland chef and the food tutor Stefan Lotscher has shifted his family and his food skills to the Hawke’s Bay where he plans to set up a new restaurant with its own new wine label, to be called Oak Estate. Lotscher formerly worked as the head food tutor and chef at the New Zealand School of Food & Wine, owned by Celia Hay. Prior to working for Hay, Lotscher owned his own restaurant in Herne Bay, Auckland. “I prefer the Bay because it has a quieter pace of life for a young family and we are excited to establish this new restaurant, but it’s going to be pretty small – we are not aiming for a very big place,” he says, in describing the eatery, which is likely to open later this year.

The recently completed Jackson Estate Winery and Cellar door in Marlborough.

MARLBOROUGH Giesen to pour for Wine Spectator Congrats to the team at Giesen Wines, who have been asked to pour one of their wines at the prestigious Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience in October. The event includes dinners and cocktail parties, with the highlight being two New York Wine Experience Critics’ Choice Grand Tastings on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 October. Wineries are invited to pour at the tasting by Wine Spectator’s board of senior editors. Only wineries that have received the highest tasting scores of 90+ point ratings from the magazine’s tasting panel are considered. The wine being poured will be The Brothers Late Harvest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 which received 90 points when reviewed in Wine Spectator by MaryAnn Worobiec, senior editor and senior tasting coordinator.

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MARLBOROUGH Pink Sheep Rosé to raise funds for mental health With the continued rise in Rosé in New Zealand, (sales were up 45% in 2016) a new wine has been released that will help raise funds for mental health. Soho’s Marlborough Pink Sheep Rosé went on sale on October 2, and 50 cents from every bottle sold will go to the ‘Key to Life’ charitable trust, spearheaded by prominent entertainer and mental health campaigner Mike King. Soho Wines Managing Director, Rachel Carter, says the inspiration for the name Pink Sheep came from flamboyant fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who often referred to himself as the ‘Pink Sheep’ in the family. He suffered from depression and ended his life at the age of 40, so Carter says the name is appropriate to the wine and the cause.

WAIPARA Art and Wine Combine for Christchurch North Canterbury wine producer, Greystone Wines, has announced their new partnership with the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, to become their exclusive wine sponsor. Greystone Wines is a long supporter of the arts and believes in the power of art to transform a city. “The gallery’s reopening was a milestone in the revitalisation of the central city, and the Christchurch Art Gallery is acclaimed around the world for the quality of their exhibitions. We’re incredibly proud we can support them in such a way especially given that all our wines are grown in North Canterbury,” said Nik Mavromatis, Sales and Marketing Manager.

CENTRAL OTAGO NORTH Waitaki goes en primeur This year marks the 14th year since wine has been made at Ostler Wines by the brother-in-law duo of Jim Jerram and Jeff Sinnott and it’s the first year that they have offered their wine en primeur with a price that is extremely modest, in contrast to most en primeur wine prices globally. The wine is the 2016 Ostler Caroline’s Pinot Noir and is now available at the Ostler website en primeur for $45. “We’re calling it a once in a life time vintage, which is what you might expect us to say for our first en primeur wine, but after 15 months in barrel and a good vintage, we have been utterly amazed by the quality, depth and complex flavours,” says Jerram, who planted some of the first vineyards in the Waitaki Valley in the early 2000s with his life partner, Anne Jerram.



Protect your wet! A Guide to the New WET Rebate Rules, with John Barker – Barker Law • Did you know that the maximum WET rebate reduces from AU$500,000 to AU$350,000 from 1 July 2018? • Did you know that from the 2018 vintage you may not be eligible for the WET rebate if you do not own the grapes from which the wine is made prior to crushing? • Did you know that your WET rebate is under threat if you do not use a registered trade mark on the wine you sell in Australia? • Did you know that wine sold in bulk will no longer be eligible for the WET rebate? Changes to the WET system could have big implications for the way that businesses claiming the WET rebate operate. In this article, we outline the major changes, the implications for New Zealand wine businesses, and steps that you need to take to protect your eligibility.

Why is there a change? The Australian government has long been concerned about the integrity of the WET rebate system. Wine businesses were being restructured to maximise eligibility for the rebate, and the rebate itself was seen as a contributing factor towards oversupply in the market. Additionally, it was felt that the system had moved too far from its original purpose of assisting small winemakers in rural and regional Australia. As a result, a recent amendment to the law has reduced the amount of the maximum wet rebate and introduced stricter eligibility rules to prevent “double dipping”. While there was a lot of talk last year about excluding New Zealand producers from the WET rebate, in the end New Zealand

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juice or wine will make the final product ineligible for the WET rebate.

Changes to the eligibility criteria – containers and trade marks

John Barker

producers remain in the scheme and the changes are applied on a more or less equivalent basis across the two countries.

Changes to the maximum rebate The maximum amount of the WET rebate will be reduced from AU$500,000 to AU$350,000 in respect of all “assessable dealings” from the beginning of the 2018-2019 financial year. “Assessable dealing” means the dealing in respect of which the WET is payable – e.g. import, last wholesale sale etc. Any winery expecting to claim more than AU$350,000 in WET rebate in respect of wine entering the Australian market after 1 July 2018 will need to take this into account in their financial forecasting and their pricing calculations.

Changes to the eligibility criteria ownership As before, in order to claim the WET rebate you need to be an approved New Zealand participant who is the producer of wine in respect of which the WET has been paid. In addition, there are


now there are two new eligibility criteria. The first of these relates to ownership of the product. You are required to own all of the fresh grapes used to make 85% of the wine from immediately before crushing until the wine is packaged and labelled in accordance the container requirements (see below). You can have the wine made under contract provided that you continue to own the grapes/wine throughout the winemaking process. Allowance is made for winemaking inputs to be included in the 85% such as the following: water; up to 10% by volume of grape juice concentrate; spirits for fortified wine; up to 1% by volume of each type of other winemaking additive. For producers seeking the WET rebate, it will mean that title in purchased grapes will need to be passed to the exporting winery prior to crushing. This will have implications for the way that contracts with grape growers are structured, with retention of title clauses potentially being a tricky issue. It will also mean that blending in more than 15% of purchased

In addition to the new ownership criteria, you will also need to ensure that wine is placed in a container that meets certain requirements as to size and branding. For grape wine, the product must be packaged in a container that does not exceed 5 litres. So if the product is bottled or packaged by the purchaser, it is not eligible for the rebate. In effect, this rules out the WET rebate being paid in respect of dealings with bulk wine. The container itself must be branded with a trade mark that identifies or can readily be associated with the producer. The trade mark must be owned by the producer or an associated producer. To qualify as a trade mark, it must: • be registered with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand or IP Australia; or • be subject to a pending application for registration; or • be used as a trade mark by the producer in trade from the period beginning 1 July 2015 until the time of the assessable dealing. We strongly advise producers expecting to apply for a rebate for dealings in the 2018-2019 financial year to ensure that the principle trade mark being used on any products being sold in the Australian market is registered in New Zealand or Australia. Registered trade marks should be checked to ensure that they


match the trade marks in actual use. Although allowance has been made for unregistered or “common law” trade marks, this option offers far less certainty as to eligibility for two reasons. First, it is necessary to show that the trade mark meets the legal definition of trade mark. Right now, it is not clear what sort of evidence will be required to demonstrate this, but it is not difficult to imagine that the Australian Taxation Office will require more than simply an assertion on the part of the producer. Second, there is a need to show use of the trade mark since 1 July 2015. For more recent trade marks, this will simply not be an option. And since the 1 July 2015 date is fixed, it does not allow for the development of new brands over time. For trade marks that do meet the timeframe requirement, there will still be the need to provide evidence of usage over this time period. As above, it is


not yet clear what form this evidence will take. Even if your trade marks are registered, they need to be reviewed from the point of view of the WET rebate. Trade marks evolve over time, and registrations do not always keep pace with changes in the design or wording. A mis-match could cost a producer their rebate, so trade mark registrations should be designed to allow the greatest flexibility for the brand to evolve.

Key dates The reduction in the amount of the WET rebate applies for any

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assessable dealings from 1 July 2018. The eligibility requirements applies to any wine for which more than 50% of the grapes were crushed on or before 1 January 2018 AND which is subject to an assessable dealing after 1 July 2018.

What can you do? All of these changes need to be planned for well ahead of 1 July 2018. They affect wines from the 2018 vintage which will be arriving in the market around the time when the new regime will start to apply. We recommend that you


take the following steps to protect your eligibility for the WET rebate: Look carefully at your pricing into the Australian market. The reduction in the maximum rebate could affect this if you are expecting to claim more than AU$350,000. But even if your claim is less than the maximum, there is also likely to be a degree of uncertainty about whether certain wines are eligible which should be factored in. Look at your grape supply, wine making and distribution contracts to make sure that you own wine on which WET is levied

at all the relevant times. Make sure that any products destined to be sold in the Australian market after 1 July 2018 are branded with a registered trade mark. If you are not sure about your contractual arrangements or the status of your trade marks, seek professional advice. ■ John Barker is the Principal of John Barker Law – legal specialists in the wine industry. John can be contacted on 021 798 353 or PHOTO: CHURCH ROAD WINERY, SUPPLIED BY NZW

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9/20/17 3:23 PM


Sauvignon Blanc hits exceptional level Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


wo Marlborough wine companies have done something no other Sauvignon Blanc producer in the world has ever done – achieve a 98-point score in a Decanter Panel Tasting. Tinpot Hut Sauvignon Blanc 2016 and Auntsfield’s Single Vineyard Southern Valleys Sauvignon Blanc 2016 were both ranked as Exceptional wines, in the August issue of Decanter. On the 100point scoring system, any wine that achieves between 98 and 100 points is rated Exceptional. And Exceptional wines don’t come around very often, if previous panel tastings are anything to go by. A quick search of the Decanter website, shows that of the Top 20 Wines from Decanter Panel Tastings in 2016, not one scored a 98. The highest score was 97 (Outstanding) awarded to Dönnhoff, Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Großes Gewächs, Nahe 2014. Going back even further, Natalie Earl, Tasting Assistant

Decanter, says this is a first for Sauvignon Blanc as far as they can tell. “Checking back through panel tastings (for where we’ve got the data), we’ve had no other Exceptionals for any other Sauvignon Blancs, from any region.” Chairman of judges at the tasting panel, Bob Campbell MW says some wine critics and members of the wine trade can tend to be dismissive about Sauvignon Blanc claiming it doesn’t hit the high level of other varieties. That is a feeling he doesn’t agree with. “The message I would like to get across to ‘bored critics’ is that there is such a thing as great Marlborough Sauvignon. There is not a sameness about it, there are sub regional differences, there are winemaking differences and there are sheer quality differences that change from vintage to vintage. Sauvignon Blanc can be truly exciting at that sort of level.” The perception that Sauvignon Blanc is a workhorse, not worthy

of exaltation is a shame he says. “Because when it’s great, it gets very exciting. And these (top scoring wines) were very exciting wines for us all.” Campbell also says there was no doubt in the three judges minds that these two wines were exceptional. “Often in these things, someone goes for it, someone nearly goes for it and someone doesn’t go for it. Then you have the job of trying to talk people into it. There was none of that in this case. It was a fairly spontaneous

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bang, bang, bang.” Achieving something that has never been achieved by a Sauvignon Blanc before, was a very large tick for the reputation of Marlborough as a wine producing region, says Wine Marlborough’s GM, Marcus Pickens. “I think it is a bit of a game changer in many ways,” he said. “It has been accepted that Marlborough makes some of the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world, but in many ways we have not broken through the glass ceiling in terms of the way wine critics view exceptional. It seems as though that one term is reserved for old world regions such as Burgundy and Bordeaux. But these results show Marlborough can also produce exceptional wines. That this is a region that is exceptional in its own right.” Even the winemakers from both Auntsfield and Tinpot Hut are praising the region, rather than their own winemaking skills. Luc Cowley, winemaker for Auntsfield agrees with Pickens, saying the Decanter results are a recognition of the region producing more serious wines of origin. “It shows that quality Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc delivers exceptional wines with a strong sense of place and those rare characteristics of minerality, complexity and structure, and they deserve to be placed alongside some of the best wines in the world.” For Fiona Turner, owner and

winemaker of Tinpot Hut, the score of 98 vindicates her decision to make wine in Marlborough. “I live here and work here in Marlborough because I think it is world class. Sauvignon Blanc is a variety that deserves to be taken seriously. People think it is easy

Fiona Turner

THE TOP FIVE WINES 98 Points – Exceptional; Auntsfield, Single Vineyard, Southern Valleys Marlborough 2016 Tinpot Hut, Marlborough 2016 Outstanding 96 Points – Grove Mill, Wairau Valley, Marlborough 2016 96 Points - Kono, Tohu Single Vineyard, Awatere Valley, Marlborough 2016 95 Points – Churton, Marlborough 2016

to grow here in Marlborough, and maybe that is true. But to grow really good Sauvignon takes a lot of work, a lot of commitment and just as much time and effort as many other varieties.” Turner said the fact that 25 of the 30 wines ranked with scores of 90 plus came from Marlborough, proves just how “exceptional” the region is. Added to that the majority of the wines came from 2016, which she describes as a “difficult vintage for many reasons”. “The fact that we have so many good scores from that tasting (and that vintage) is really heartening.” The Auntsfield and Tinpot Hut wines were two of 93 Sauvignon Blancs entered into the panel tasting. Of those 93, two were awarded Exceptional status, three were considered Outstanding (with scores of 95 – 98) and 25 were Highly Recommended (scoring between 90 and 94 points). Of the top 30 wines, 23 came from Marlborough, including the two

Untangling compliance & policy issues Food & Beverage Specialists | +64 21 798 353 |


Luc Cowley

Exceptionals, and three Outstandings. Other regions to shine in the Highly Recommended category, were Wellington Wine Country (four wines), Nelson (two) and North Canterbury (one).

The exceptional winemakers Fiona Turner, owner and winemaker for Tinpot Hut had no aspirations to become a winemaker. In fact, she only became involved in the industry in order to raise some money so she could travel overseas. It w a s w h i l e s h e w a s completing her Masters of Science, in Chemistry, that the world of wine opened up for her. “I was looking for a short-term job for when I had finished my Masters,” Turner says. “I literally opened the paper one day and there was this ad for a lab manager for what had just become Rapaura Vintners (in Marlborough). I thought if they are big enough to hire a lab manager, then maybe they would take some people for harvest. I thought I could go and work there for a few months, earn

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enough money and then take off overseas.” She didn’t get the vintage work, but was offered the lab manager’s role, which she decided to take on “for a few months” while completing her thesis. She had no idea that job was going to change her life. Working alongside winemakers like John Belsham and Ian Marchant during a period of rapid expansion, showed her just how exciting the wine industry was for those at the pointy end. She discovered she loved the work, the industry and the potential for growth. After two years with the company, during which time she completed her Masters, she headed overseas – to undertake northern hemisphere vintages. She came back to work a vintage in Hawke’s Bay, and went about gaining even more knowledge about the industry overall. That included spending time at a wine bottling company in Hawke’s Bay and seven months working for Oddbins in London. “I was trying to pick bits and pieces out that I thought would broaden my experience. But I kept coming back to winemaking.


In the long run, that was what I wanted to do.” By 2002 Turner was back in Marlborough, this time working alongside consultant winemakers Matt Thomson and Kim Crawford who had established Kiwi-Oeno. “I have been doing that ever since, consulting and working with a number of different companies.” While being a winemaking consultant offers up so many “fantastic opportunities” to work with different parcels of fruit, Turner was pretty keen to lay her own roots down in the region. Her fiancée (now husband) Hamish was working in Wellington when they got engaged. “He had been spending a lot of time travelling round the world with his work and was getting a bit sick of it. He had always wanted to be a farmer when he was a boy, so we thought; why don’t we put our money where our mouths are, and started looking for a piece of land.” They eventually found the perfect property in Blind River in the Awatere Valley. The week they settled on it, was also the week they got married. “It was a big week for us. We

signed a mortgage and signed a marriage certificate.” The 20-hectare property had 12 hectares already planted and they have since developed the rest. All the fruit goes into the Tinpot Hut label, but is added to by fruit from a few select growers. “The Sauvignon (that won 98 points) has always been a blend of four different parcels of fruit,” Turner says, “but the style is very much driven by the Awatere vineyards. We work very closely with our growers and they share the same quality aspirations that we have, which is really important. We believe in our style of Sauvignon that we are making, and we have been working with the same parcels of fruit now since 2006.” The success of her wine is testament to the quality of the fruit and the solid career path Turner has followed. “I thought I would work at Rapaura Vintners for 12 months, earn a bit of money and see what happens, but I really fell in love with it. Once I left to go travelling within the wine industry, that was the point that I thought; yes, this is what I want to do. I want to have my own piece of land, my own label. And now here I am – a few years later admittedly, but I’m here.” Just like Fiona Turner, Luc Cowley had no real interest in winemaking as he was growing up. But that all changed when his parents purchased land in Marlborough in the late 90s and discovered that it was the home of Marlborough’s very first commercial vineyard. “I was nearing the end of high school and unsure of what to do next, so I came down to Marlborough to check it out. After meeting some people who worked in the wine industry, I could see it was clearly a really exciting career. Being 1998, this was quite early on and there was a real pioneer feel to the industry.” Cowley undertook the three-

year winemaking and viticulture course at Lincoln, and was lucky enough to get work experience on Waiheke Island. “The hook was my experience at Goldwater Vineyard and winery,” he says. “That was the perfect start, as it was a small winery, led by Nikolai St George as the winemaker. It was a great way to learn, one on one. Nikolai had a wealth of experience. He was really generous with his time and his knowledge.” While wine and food were always an important part of growing up, Cowley says the family career paths had seen his brother, sister and parents involved in the film and movie industry. For him his first vintage wasn’t too different from what his family were used to. “I remember when we talked about vintage it reminded them of their experiences on film shoots. Everyone comes together and works these hard, really long hours and gets very tired. Then it finishes and there is this amazing sense of achievement and the realisation that something important has happened. Everyone goes their separate ways, yet you have made friends for life. It has a real intensity to it.” After graduating, he went back to Goldwater for another vintage, then headed overseas to undertake vintages in California and Oregon. In 2005 he moved to Marlborough full time, as a winemaker for Indevin – which added a completely different perspective to his career. “Instead of being in a small winery, spending a lot of one on one time, it was a large winery where I spent time with a range of different winemakers. Eventually I became the red cellar winemaker, which meant I was responsible for making the wines to the specifications of the individual winemakers. It meant I was communicating with them

about how they wanted their wines made, what their styles were, what techniques they wanted used and then getting all that to physically happen. It was a great way to be able to pick people’s brains.” For the past 10 years Cowley has also been the winemaker for the family label, Auntsfield, with his brother Ben the viticulturist of the 65-hectares of grapes. That family relationship is vitally important he says, in the success of the company. “We have a consistent attitude at Auntsfield of trying to reflect the site and create wines that are true to that site. The family trust between Ben and I is a huge advantage. The connection to the land is a real thing for both of us. We live out on the property, we see those blocks all the time. We both have a kind of intimacy with the vineyard blocks and the materials we work with. The relationship is pushing each other to succeed and wanting the other to succeed – those two areas are so intertwined.” In total Auntsfield produces nine wines. Two Sauvignon Blancs, two Chardonnays, three Pinot Noirs, plus a Riesling that is sold off shore and a Muscat made from fruit that is grown on vines sourced from the original 1873 vines. All are either single vineyard or single block. “The site lends itself to these styles, there are quite different soil structures within the property. The individual blocks have quite unique characters, which is what has led us down the path of making a range of single block wines.” And while most would expect Cowley to list his favourite wine as the one that has just been rated exceptional by Decanter, he says instead he would chose the 2015 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir. “I am really proud of that wine, although I am proud of all the wines if the truth be known.” ■

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EIT wine school partners with Chinese University Mary Shanahan


aving identified EIT as a leader in wine education, Qi Lu University of Technology has selected the institute to teach wine science to its students – both in China and in Hawke’s Bay. Qi Lu University is situated in the heart of Shandong province, China’s premier wine growing region. The formal final partnership agreements between the university and EIT, earlier officially approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education, were signed at the end of July. EIT’s School of Viticulture and Wine Science is now adopting a teaching role through the university’s Faculty of Bio-Technology. The two institutions have been working in collaboration on the partnership over the last four years. Qi Lu students have studied the customised wine science programme developed with EIT since September 2015. The 2015 student cohort are progressing into the third year of the programme in September. This third year will be taught by EIT lecturers in China. Reflecting its significance to both parties, the final signing ceremony was attended by EIT chief executive Chris Collins, Faculty of Commerce and Technology executive dean Fred Koenders and senior EIT academics and the university’s president Jiachuan Chen and Qi Lu senior staff. Collins says the partnership, covering EIT wine education programme delivery into China, knowledge transfer and shared research projects and outcomes, is significant in underscoring

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Hawke’s Bay’s reputation as a premium wine producing region and recognising EIT as a leader in wine science and viticulture higher education. “The wine science programme, which EIT will continue to teach and deliver within the university’s Faculty of Bio-Technology, is already over-subscribed. “We were told of a few unhappy parents of students who did not gain selection for entry to the 2017 intake, and the university is already discussing other options EIT might have to help meet some of this demand.” The agreement also provides an option for senior viticulture and wine science students to complete part of their degree – and perhaps later, postgraduate qualifications – at EIT, bringing more international students into the region. This semester three EIT lec-


turers are to teach wine science and viticulture in a block style mode at Qi Lu University. Qi Lu co-teachers will help with the knowledge transfer. EIT wine science lecturers Rod Chittenden and Shaun La Franco travelled last year to Qi Lu University, where they assisted with the design of a micro winery developed by the university to match its brewing and food research facilities. Qilu University of Technology’s main campus is located on a 150ha site on the outskirts of the city of Jinan. By New Zealand standards it is a large university, with over 25,000 students. The university also has campuses in three other Chinese cities. The partnership centres on a winemaking degree launched by the university as an expansion of its existing brewing engineering degree which is highly ranked in

China. “Among the reasons they have chosen us,” says Sue Ross, recently appointed head of EIT’s School of Viticulture and Wine Science, “is the quality and diversity of our programmes.” EIT’s well-established connections with the wine industry also provide students with opportunities for gaining extensive handson industry experience working in wineries and vineyards in the area. Ross believes that, given the high level of desire to make it work on both sides, the relationship between the university and EIT will continue to flourish. “Both sides want to make this a big success and are prepared to go the extra distance to get there. We’re looking at a long-term relationship that will benefit both institutions.” ■ EIT chief executive Chris Collins and Qi Lu University of Technology president Jiachuan Chen signing the agreement in China.

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Quake repairs still on-going Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


ovember’s 7. 8 K a i k o u r a earthquake sent shockwaves through the New Zealand wine industry. With more than 60 million litres of tank space (20 percent of total capacity) either damaged or destroyed, how would Marlborough, the country’s largest wine region, cope with the upcoming vintage? Yet by the time the harvest really kicked off four months later, nearly all of that capacity had been replaced, either with temporary holding tanks, or new and repaired stainless steel tanks. It was a massive feat by steel manufacturers, who pulled out all stops to help the wine industry during a crisis. One of those who played a major role in the rescue was Crown Sheet Metal. GM Andrew Horton says they employed dozens of extra staff to fulfill orders and within four months had replaced or repaired the equivalent of 41 million litres of wine tank capacity. Every company workshop, from Invercargill to Hamilton was involved in the job, with a number of outside companies helping out. “In all fairness, we were lucky it happened when it did,” Horton says, “as the dairy industry was very quiet. Our workshops that are predominantly working for the dairy industry had the space to be able to take on capacity straight away.”

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A crane lifts a new 140,000 litre tank into place, prior to vintage 17.


Crown Sheet Metal repaired and replaced 41 million litres of tank capacity within a four-month period.

The call was made the day of the quake to offer only two sizes to those who needed new tanks, in an effort to streamline production. “We came up with 140,000 litre tanks which were easy to manufacture and easy to transport. Making all the same size tank meant we could get uniformity and were able to put them through a lean manufacturing process very quickly. It was about getting as much volume as we possibly could. The other size was a smaller tank, 60,000 litres which was made in Invercargill.” After going to the industry with prices, Horton says their books were filled with orders within 48 hours. In Blenheim itself, 80 extra staff were taken on to help with the work, with the other workshops able to contract dairy staff, who were not working on building or upgrades. “The logistics of that was pretty huge,” he admits.

While building new tanks per se wasn’t a difficult task, given they were crafted in the controlled environment of a workshop, the same cannot be said for the repair work. “The biggest challenge was the retro fitting of the damaged tanks. Where the base had been damaged, we had to cut it off, leaving the whole top section. Then we had to have a whole new base come in and put that onto the tank, which was huge. In one winery, we had another workshop built over a week-long period and had huge cranes on site to lift those bigger tanks to the workshop, where we could then fit the bases.” The task is not over, 12 months down the track either. Despite such a massive effort to get the region up and running for vintage 17, Horton says there is probably a few years of work still to be undertaken, albeit it won’t be the rush that occurred immediately after the quake.

“It depends on the individual winery and where they are with their insurance claims. It is also an opportunity for some wineries to look at re designing and maybe making a positive out of something negative. It is going to take another two to three years before every winery is back to where they want to be.” The November 14 quake is not the first to impact the Marlborough wine industry. Back in 2013, a 6.6 quake struck the region in August. Horton says it was the lessons learned after that quake that allowed them to move so quickly last year. He describes their work in 2013 as a “practice run”. “If we hadn’t had that practice run where we had to come up with new designs to strengthen the tanks, we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did. It took us a long time to redesign the tanks and come up with fixes back in 2013, but we had a lot more time before harvest. And luckily every


design survived the November quake. We knew we could hit the ground running because we knew that everything we had done after 2013, had worked and survived. So we were able to go straight in and use those same designs.” Horton admits he is proud of

the team that worked around the clock to get the wine industry back up and running, but at the same time he says he is a little embarrassed that the tanks designed 20 years ago suffered so much damage. “I look back at those designs and go, ‘oh we didn’t do well there’. But I am proud of where we were at after 2013 and very proud of the whole team. It was a huge effort.” ■





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New Chair looks forward to celebrating industry Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


t wasn’t a job Warren Gibson applied for, but he admits he was honoured to be asked to take over as Chair of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards judging panel. Gibson, winemaker at Trinity Hill and owner of Bilancia Wines replaces Michael Brajkovich MW and is welcomed back into the Air New Zealand Wine Award’s fold after a number of years away. Back in the mid 2000’s,

Gibson was a regular senior judge at the awards, so is well versed in the importance of these awards to the New Zealand wine industry. He has also seen first-hand the evolution of New Zealand wine, in terms of style and variety. “Probably the main thing that has changed over the years is the ratios of different wine styles. Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir used to be very small – now they are each large classes. The Bilancia

Reserve Pinot Gris won the first gold medal for any Pinot Gris at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards back in 1999, as well as the trophy for Other Whites class. Now Pinot Gris is a class of its own and there are over 160 wines entered – that’s a big change in 18 years.” While Sauvignon Blanc has always been a large and strong class, Gibson says some of the alternative varieties that were beginning to emerge have

declined in numbers. “A variety like Viognier, which almost justified having a class of its own in the past has now become quite a small class. Viognier is judged amongst other alternative and emerging grape varieties on the scene like Gruner Veltliner, Albarino, which may or may not be fair.” While unwilling to make major changes to what is already deemed a very good formula, He is no stranger to the Air NZ Wine Awards, but 2017 will be the first time Warren Gibson has been the chair of judges.

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Gibson has already made his mark on the 2017 show. Gone is the 20-point judging scale and in its place will be the 100-point scale. “This gets us in line with international wine shows. Australia has largely already gone that way, and I think it is a more effective way of judging it is faster and more efficient. In addition, a number of our markets demand review points out of a 100. While wine judging is not an exact science, I do think the 20-point scale has become quite clumsy.” The other change is the removal of Elite Gold medals. After talking to a number of wineries and members of the industry, it became apparent that this category was no longer relevant. “Elite Gold meant that Gold medals had almost become Gold light,” Gibson says, “so they weren’t getting the kudos and recognition they deserved.” In future years, he is hoping that a Wines of Provenance class

can be added, to celebrate and reward age-worthy wines. “I see that as a missing cog in the current system.” This year’s judging will take place in Auckland between October 16 and 18. With Gibson as Chair, there will be five panels – each has three senior judges and two associates. Included in those senior judges are three from overseas; Elaine Chukan Brown from the US, Sarah Knowles from the UK and PJ Charteris, a New Zealander who makes wine in both Central Otago and Australia. The importance of these international judges cannot be under-estimated Gibson says. “One of the strengths of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards is that we bring in potential global ambassadors to see the evolution we talk about. Whilst Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are our big message, we also want these judges to go back with the rest of the New Zealand wine story. Also, we don’t just want a very

good wine judge; we want a very good wine judge who has the ability to be an ambassador for New Zealand wine.” Having judged wines for nigh on two decades, Gibson says the role helps him keep his finger on the pulse. “I wouldn’t say there is a linear relationship that means being a judge will make you a better winemaker, but it allows you to keep up with fashion, evolution, new varieties and wine trends, as well as what is happening in the market. In addition, there are always those amazing wines that, when you taste them, are inspirational and aspirational. That is always a good thing.” While many on the outside looking in may believe being a wine show judge is all fun and games, Gibson says it can be “fairly grueling.” There are, however, some benefits aside from getting to taste some of the best wines this country has to offer.

“The networking side is a massive gain. At this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards, those involved will be networking with 50 quite diverse people, all from different aspects of the wine industry, In addition, for someone like me, as I get older, I get to know the younger people coming into the industry which I might never get the opportunity to do otherwise. “It is a celebration of wine. And, apart from the wine show, the dinner and the getting together is a celebration of our industry.” The Air New Zealand Wine Awards Gold Medals will be announced on November 1. The Awards dinner will be held on November 25 at the Pettigrew Green Arena in Hawke’s Bay. The tastings of regional Trophy, Gold and Silve r medal winners will be held in Marlborough November 29, Central Otago November 30 and Auckland December 1. ■

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Re-using broken posts Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


n Marlborough alone it is estimated that more than 145,000 wooden vineyard posts are broken every year. Given these are chemically treated, there is little that can be done with them once they break. They can’t be turned into firewood, or burnt onsite (due to chemical issues), dumping them to landfill is not an economic or sustainable answer, so most end up being stockpiled in hidden corners of the vineyard. If the figure is correct, imagine how many millions of broken posts are currently lying around the region and the country as a whole. If only there was some way of giving those posts a new lease of life. That was the thought that kept repeating itself in mechanical engineer, turned grape grower, Bruce Forlong’s mind. But instead of just thinking about it, he decided to take action and find a solution – which he has. The former Aucklander is now the owner of the 120 hectare Tirosh and 30 hectare Shalev vineyards way up the Wairau Valley. When he arrived in Marlborough four years ago, there were 15 thousand broken wooden posts piled up around the

Tirosh vineyard. “I thought there must be a way I can do something with them,” he says, “so I mucked around a bit and came up with a number of machines.” He quickly realised that the majority of the posts had been broken off at ground level, leaving a substantial length of post still usable. He came up with the idea creating a dowel-like shape at one end of the damaged post, that could then fit into a galvanized steel pipe. The pipe would be driven into the ground the same as a wooden post would, but with a flared open end standing at 600mm above the soil, it would allow for the reshaped post to be slipped inside. The steel provides strength at the point where it is most needed - ground level, there is no potential of leachate as the post is no longer in contact with the soil, and it re-uses a post that would otherwise have to be stockpiled or dumped. Given his mechanical engineering background, it didn’t take Forlong long to come up with the machinery to do the job. First he developed a machine that flared one end of the imported galvanized steel pipe that will sit above the ground. Then came

Bruce Forlong with a broken post that has been machined to fit within the steel sleeve.

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what can only be described as a giant pencil sharpner that refigures the post end, taking away the sharp corners, without removing the core of the post itself. This rounded end is what is placed into the metal sleeve, which has been driven into the ground by the pole driver he imported from China, and then modified. With 600mm of steel below the ground and 600mm above, it is an extremely strong base, and even harvesters, sprayers or underground cultivators won’t have a serious impact on it. If by chance the recovered post breaks above the sleeve in the future – it can easily be removed and replaced without machinery. “The idea is whenever I have a breakage, I just have to undo the clips on the post, pull the broken post out and drop a new one in and reposition the clips. It is all very straight forward,” Forlong says. Being galvanized steel the sleeves should last for years, so once in the ground there is no need to bring the pole driver back in every time a post breaks.

The entire 30 hectares of Shalev vineyard has been developed with the steel sleeves and recycled posts, with each row ending in another innovative design. Again using galvanized steel pipes, the stays and strainers interlock, providing the secure anchor for the rows of posts. Given they are much smaller in diameter than traditional wooden stays and strainers, there is more room for harvesters and tractors to enter at the end of each row. Having great ideas and putting them into action is one thing, but the success can be a little harder to predict. Forlong didn’t want to say too much about the system he has created and patented, until he was sure it would hold up to the rigours of vineyard life. But having just completed his first vintage on the Shalev block, the results have confirmed his faith in the design. On the eight-hectare block that was harvested for the first time this year, there were only a few broken posts. Compare that with 2000 broken posts on his established, traditionally designed 100-hectare vineyard

PYROLYSIS PLANT PLANNED FOR MARLBOROUGH Another plan to rid the Marlborough region of broken treated vineyard posts is also on the cards currently . The Marlborough District Council is considering the option of a pyrolysis plant, to be established on a site provided by the Council, (subject to a legal agreement between the Pyrolysis Company and Council). The MDC says that currently up to 8,000 tonnes of mixed timber (72% treated and 28% untreated) is sent to landfill each year. They believe the plant will eradicate that. Pyrolysis is a thermo-chemical reaction in an oxygen free vessel which breaks down molecules at elevated temperatures. The Council says, “in the absence of oxygen, combustion cannot take place so it is not a burning process.” No Resource Consent had been issued at the time of writing this story, so we will update later in the year.

across the road. “Over the past three years I have replaced every broken post (on Tirosh) with a steel sleeve and recycled post. I haven’t had to buy any wooden posts, as I have been able to recycle the broken ones. We just pull the old post out, drive a steel sleeve in its place, re machine the broken post, then we pop it back in. It takes no longer to put the metal sleeve into the ground than it does to drive another wooden

post. And the cost for the replacement works out about $9 a post, which is cheaper than if I had to turn around and buy new.” Believing the system could be the answer to an industry problem, Forlong is hoping that this could be implemented on a commercial scale. If you would like more information, or want to know more, Bruce would be happy to discuss. His email is; bruce@hillersden. com ■

The re-machined treated post literally sits within the steel sleeve, which has 600mm of steel below ground and 600mm above.



First event a sell out Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


sell out first ever Women in Wine New Zealand event has proved how keen industry personnel are for such an initiative. Held the night before the Bragato Conference, close to 170 men and women turned up to hear from three guest speakers; Jeni Port - Australian wine writer, Sandra Taylor - CEO Sustainable Business International and Nadia Lim of My Foodbag. Dozens more around the country watched the live stream. All three guest speakers have been heavily involved in business, with Port and Taylor both advocates and members of current women in wine initiatives in either Australia or the US and Europe. Both discussed how important the initiatives have been and why. Port, a member of the advisory board of the Australian Women in Wine Awards set up in 2015, said their goal has always been to be a “conduit for change”. She said they wanted to establish something that would make men and women in the wine industry sit up and take a close look at how many women were leaving the industry and to gain an understanding of why. “Yes it was sexist, as so many in the industry and the media kept telling us. But our Awards do not suggest or even infer that women require special treatment. The Awards suggest that some women, not all, but some, are finding it tough going in what has been and remains, a largely male dominated profession.” “With large numbers of women leaving the profession,” Port said, “the industry is losing a significant pool of talent and

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will continue to do so if women’s abilities aren’t recognised and encouraged. “In New Zealand, encouraging and keeping women in the wine industry means the industry will have access to the best possible pool of talent.” Both Port and Taylor made mention of the power of women when it comes to sales of wine, both at home and overseas. “Women in some of your biggest markets, Australia, US and the UK are the largest consumers of wine,” Port said. Which begs the question she said about whether there are the women in the industry to take the wine’s story to those consumers, or is it always men who take on that role? If so, what message is that winery sending to a very significant consumer base? The ability to network with other women has been a valuable result of the women’s networks she has been involved with Taylor said. “When I was coming along, I was often the only woman manager or executive. I maybe had other women peers in other companies, but I didn’t always have other women around the table. It was important for me to have other women that I could rely on, just to talk things through. It wasn’t so much anger or to complain, but rather just to support.” Across all sectors there has been a substantial increase in the number of women’s networks Taylor said, with the aim of supporting women advance in corporate roles. “It is really important that we know and believe we are great and we can make a real contribution to the industry. But sometimes we


A MOVING TRIBUTE Recognition: Erica Crawford (left) and Belinda Jackson (right) gave moving tributes to Heather Battersby (middle) for all she has done for the New Zealand wine industry.

Before the three speakers, Jeni Port, Sandra Taylor and Nadia Lim took to the stage to tell their stories, Heather Battersby, co-founder of was feted by two people who have known her for years. Erica Crawford from Loveblock in Marlborough and Belinda Jackson who founded the Marlborough Wine Show, both spoke of Heather’s strength of character, her humour, energy, tenacity and doggedness in supporting New Zealand wine over five decades. Her first foray into the world of wine was when she moved to Australia and landed a job working for legendary Grange winemaker and director Max Schubert of Penfolds Wines Australia. Missing home though, she arrived back in New Zealand four years later and convinced Frank Yukich of Penfolds New Zealand to take her on. Wine was well and truly in her blood now and was to remain so. She worked as PA to Jim Delegat for 12 years before establishing with her husband Paddy in 2004. Realising there was likely to be a labour shortage in the wine industry in the foreseeable future, the Battersbys came up with the idea of providing a medium for those seeking workers and those seeking employment to come together. It has since become the go to for the New Zealand wine industry. Heather also played an integral part in educating the industry on health and safety and other HR fields. Erica Crawford said; “I am unsure if you will ever understand the influence you have had on this industry.” Belinda Jackson agreed thanking her for her contribution. “You have truly made a difference and we are better for it.” The recognition of all Heather has done over the past five decades was an appropriate way to launch the first Women in Wine New Zealand event.

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Jeni Port, (left) and Sandra Taylor (middle) chatted with those attending both before and after the Women in Wine NZ event.

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An impressive line up; Jeni Port (left,) Sandra Taylor and Nadia Lim.

need the support of each other to step forward and be strong in that way. I think that is what Women in Wine NZ can be.” In terms of where Women in Wine NZ is heading, there are a number of short term goals. Establish a committee with regional representatives Facilitate a national mentoring programme Host an annual national networking event Gather meaningful data on amount of women employed in the New Zealand wine industry and in what positions Wo r k w i t h r e g i o n a l committees to help facilitate local

educational activities Women in Wine NZ is not just about networking. The initiative can help provide the industry with tools, services and opportunities to advance their careers and personnel development. It is important to reiterate this initiative is for EVERYONE – regardless of gender or role within the industry. All members are invited to participate, join the conversation and build their networks. If you would like more information about Women in Wine NZ, contact Sarah Szegota – or SiluaEttles – ■

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What NZ women in wine think Diversity in the workplace is a catch phrase, too often an empty one when it comes to women in the wine industry. So says Jeni Port, a wine writer based in Melbourne, who addressed the Bragato Conference on the subject of Wine, Women and our Future.The following is a transcript of her presentation.


o get a grasp on the future of women in the New Zealand Wine Industry, we have to start with the now. What’s happening right now? The future for women in the New Zealand wine industry is predicated to an uncommon degree by their gender. It will decide how they are treated in the workplace, how they progress in their job, how they are valued, whether they are happy in their job and ultimately whether they stay in their profession. Their future is being decided right now and frankly it’s not looking that rosy. We know that because the advisory board of the Australian Women in Wine Awards, which I am a member of, last year asked them in a ground breaking international survey of women working in the wine industries in six major producing countries; New Zealand, Australia, California, Germany, Italy and France. We asked questions about equal pay, equal opportunities, workplace treatment during and after pregnancy and sexist behavior. This is what we found in the New Zealand wine industry. There is a one in 10 chance that women will experience unfair treatment in their time in the industry when it comes to work related issues to do with pregnancy, maternity leave and having children. We asked those

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Jeni Port

who had experienced a problem to tell us more. This is what they said, in their own words. “I was under fixed term employment and promised a permanent winemaker job. Once I got pregnant, there was not even a conversation about it. The company just employed someone else.” Another explained bluntly; “I was made redundant at six months pregnant.” A third said; “there were all kinds of stated and inferred presumptions about my ability to work, based on my status as a mother.” There was a 50 percent chance


that women would experience sexist behavior in their workplace in the New Zealand wine industry. Sometimes it is seemingly the little things. Words said in an about kind of way, or insensitive actions that have a slow drip effect on a woman’s confidence. Comments about her clothing or her looks, about her ability to drive a forklift, that was a common one, her ability to move wine barrels, climb wine barrels, fix equipment. Or maybe it is a naked female calendar in the lunch room. Being called a good girl, being called a lab slut and being talked about in a sexual manner. Sometimes it is more

combative. Here we have some direct quotes. “Some men do not want to take advice from a woman.” Another said; “I had a manager who used to refer to certain jobs as pink or blue. He also used to constantly ask me when I was going to start a family. I didn’t hear him asking the fellas that.” When women in the wine industry are required by their employers to attend functions as part of their job, whether that be wine tastings, dinners, promotions for wine consumers or trade and media, wine show festivals, they unwittingly enter a new round of sexist hell.

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In our survey 30 percent had experienced sexist behavior in these places. It is delivered by the public, from wine writers, sommeliers and wine buyers, and sometimes from employers. “There is an assumption,” said one respondent, “that you are a waitress and nothing more at these events.” “Women are often expected to set up and clean up.” “People assume because I am a woman, I must be there only to do the accounts and admin. In fact, I was the CEO.” “Over enthusiastic male attention, unnecessarily

unwarranted and not appreciated,” said one respondent. “Suggestive and lewd words and behavior,” said another. “So many of these are so male dominated that the talk often descends into sexist comments and jokes,” said one “And no females are asked to comment on wines or called upon to give opinions.” Twenty-nine percent of women in our New Zealand survey either know or believe they are not receiving the same pay as their male colleagues. And 38 percent

said the issue of gender equality in the workplace was something that worried them. So what are we going to do? This is the lie of the land at present, and how women are treated now. The future of women employed in your industry depends on how you address these issues. First acknowledge there is a problem. Women make up around 50 percent of the population in this country. Every year they give birth to around 61,000 children. Women have babies – accept that. The median age of

a woman having a baby in New Zealand is 30.2 years. The biggest group of women who participated in our New Zealand survey (34.8 percent) and therefore we believe to be the dominant female working in your industry, were aged between 30 and 39. Seventy-eight percent of the women had a bachelor degree or graduate degree. This is a welleducated, professionally minded bunch of women. Why would you knowingly dismiss or provide a workplace where women are treated badly? Do nothing and I expect a few things will happen.

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There will be multiple cases brought to the court, of harassment and unfair dismissal. Or worse there will be mental health issues. It is illegal to fire a person because they are pregnant. It is illegal to ask a person if they intend to start a family and when, and then treat them differently. Just ask the new leader of the Labour Party here in New Zealand. The cost will be to the bottom line as well as to the reputation of individual companies and what is undoubtably one of the most exciting wine industries in the world. Two: women will leave the industry. This is already happening in Australia. Women represent up to 50 percent of enrolments in Australian winemaking and viticultural courses. Yet they only represent just under 10 percent of the wine workforce. Female viticulturists make up only eight percent. We know why they are leaving.

Our 2016 Women in Wine Survey in Australia identified exactly the same issues as in the New Zealand industry. Three: Women will set up in competition, a gender war by itself or even by happenstance where women will start their own wine companies, own winemaking and wine consultancy services. Companies that make it hard for women in the workplace are

effectively turning their backs on 50 percent of the population. That is a lot of talent to ignore. And they will take it somewhere else within the industry, or they will leave the industry. The arrival of the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society, whose founder Jane Thompson also founded the Australian Women in Wine Awards, is an excellent example. Fab ladies has 10,000 members,

conducts wine tours, events, wine classes and education and runs an on-line wine club. She is taking away business from existing companies because she saw an opportunity there. Four: In New Zealand, the gender pay gap – the difference between women and men’s earnings, is running at about 17 percent. The New Zealand Ministry for Women’s Research

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reveals that while 20 percent of the gender pay gap is driven by education and occupation, 80 percent is driven by a factor such as conscious and unconscious bias, and differences in men’s and women’s choices and behavior.

be at the winery 16 hours a day for three months during vintage, this may not necessarily be productive to her and her colleagues. Develop a more flexible approach towards women and

the chairman of a wine show in Australia, whose judging panel was made up of 10 men and two women. He was taken aback. He was defensive to say the least. He selected the best possible candidates based on merit, not gender he argued. We The future agreed to disagree. If he If you haven’t already, could only find two capable develop a workplace code The future for women in the New Zealand wine women of merit for his of behaviour regarding then the industry industry is predicated to an uncommon degree panel, fairness, sexism as well had failed. What was the as a recording system. industry and what was by their gender. It will decide how they are It will benefit all of your willing to do to bring treated in the workplace, how they progress in he employees, men and women up to speed to women. And place it in a their job, how they are valued, whether they are ensure they were as capable prominent position where happy in their job and ultimately whether they as males? it will be seen every day. He saw this as a reproach. I saw it as an Be open minded. So stay in their profession. your winemaker who is a industry wide problem. woman is pregnant – talk it If you want women to through with her, don’t ignore her men who may need to take time of gender balance and diversity participate and thrive, if you want and DON’T sack her. And don’t off work to assist with childcare arises, so too does the question to work together to help build encourage her to return to work and sick children. There will be a of merit. “We treat everyone your wine industry going into and then demote her or sideline lot less stress in your company in equally,” is the common reply. the future, tend to the differences her. And be aware that while you the future when these issues arise “We treat everyone on merit.” that exist now and address them. have expectations that she should and they will. A few years ago I questioned ■ EMAIL:

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Marketing opportunities Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


here is a new word that is sweeping across America. And it one that is quickly gaining the attention of a large sector of the community. The word is grocerant. Think of grocer as in supermarket and rant as in the ending of restaurant – and you will quickly get the idea of what the word means. It is in fact a supermarket that offers not only the normal aisles of produce and products, but also an onsite restaurant serving wine and beer, and providing chef driven meals to take away. According to research outfit NDP Group, grocerants generated

2.4 billion visits and US$10 billion in sales in 2016. More and more people are attracted to having a meal or coffee or even a glass of wine or beer, while shopping for household commodities. It is not a trend that is expected to disappear any time soon either. David Portalatin, vice president at NDP says “Millennials interest in the benefits and experience supermarket foodservice offers will continue to be strong over the next several years.” He goes on to say that this bodes well for food manufacturers and retailers who have their fingers on the pulse of what drives this generational group.

“Give the Millennials what they want - fresh, healthier fare and a decent price – and they will come.” Which Michael Walton, of Michael Walton Consulting, says is what New Zealand wine producers should be seriously considering. Imagine going along to do the weekly shop, stopping off for a glass of wine before you hit the aisles, then purchasing that wine instore a few minutes later. How good would that be? Walton describes grocerants as a niche that is waiting to be tapped by New Zealand wine producers. “These are growing in interest

because; A – it is topical and B – it is a fun concept. We are detecting a change in consumer behaviour and therefore we need to be looking at changing the way of how we go to market. “The idea of grocery stores being restaurants, and having wine tastings as part of their story when you go shopping, is a lovely idea. What a great way to niche. You could be selling by the glass, you could be experimental.” That experimental is an important part of the New Zealand wine story going forward, Walton says. Despite our constant aligning of New Zealand wine with Sauvignon Blanc, he Whole Foods is one of the many stores that have moved to grocerants, offering specialized food alongside typical grocer supplies.

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Michael Walton

says the bulk of Americans don’t know that story. Instead of associating New Zealand with one main variety, they instead think of us as simply New Zealand wine. “Which means our story can be whatever we want it to be. So it can be a Pinot Gris story. It can be a Pinot Noir story, or even a Chenin Blanc story. There is enough breadth of styles and consumers there for New Zealand wine to find a home in almost any varietal and probably in many different parts of the States as well.” While he advocates there are some major opportunities in the grocerant sector, Walton is not advocating producers give up on the on-premise market. Especially given wine pours are on the rise, while beer and spirit pours are tracking downwards. And he also believes producers need to work towards establishing relationships with a strong on-line presence. “You can defeat the challenge of that disaggregated, discombobulated market where we have 52 states with differing regulations, by picking one or two really great on-line retailers. Nurture them as friends, make sure you are giving them the best product with the

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best stories. The on-line takes care of a lot of the logistics for you, so it’s a great place to start.” As for where you should be concentrating your efforts, look for states where wine is already a known and loved product. California or Oregon for example. “They have wine consumers who would love to expand and love to try new things. We are perfect for them. You know, New Zealanders don’t think of themselves as exotic, but we are pretty exotic when it comes to the wine world.” Ne w Z e a l a n d e r C a i n e Thomson, who is now GM of Locations Wines (see his story on page 42) has defined the top markets even more clearly. He says his time working for Dave Phinney in America has shown there are five states New Zealanders should be concentrating on to get the biggest hit. They are in order; California, Texas, Florida, Illinois and New York. “That is a very definitive order in my mind, a very market based, knowledged approach of what we have seen. That will be the same for New Zealand wine.” ■


Sustainability empowers everyone Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


ustainability – Who Cares? was the title given to one of the sessions at this year’s Bragato Conference. Not because anyone was questioning the ethos of sustainability, but because the question is pivotal to the future of programmes such as Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand. Guest speaker Sandra Taylor, Chief Executive of consulting firm Sustainable Business International, said while the word sustainable is “a much abused and misunderstood term”, it is also probably the most important word for our shared future. “Sustainability is a moral imperative,” she said. “We should not expect the next generation to pick up our tab.” It is also something that more and more consumers are expecting from products they purchase, and that is now filtering through to retailers. “They are making sustainable procurements of wine a priority and have erected a sustainability hurdle which must be traversed, because of the retailer’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitments and corporate brand positioning to manage reputation risk,” Taylor said. She gave an example of how Walmart funded the Sustainability Consortium, which is a collaboration of international retailers of consumer products. They have developed KPIs for a full range of products, including wine.

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“These KPIs guide the retail manager with questions for wineries and distributors regarding all sustainability factors in the supply chain – from growing, winemaking, packaging, distribution, energy use and social/labour issues.” So retailers care and have to continue to do so, because it is the consumer who drives the market.” A Nielsen report in 2015 on Consumer Expectations showed that 66 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. 72 percent of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable products 50 percent of global consumers take “green” factors into account when making purchasing decisions. In 2015 sales of consumer goods from brands with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability grew by 4 percent globally – while those without grew less than 1 percent. But how does the New Zealand wine industry get its sustainable message across to consumers? Taylor says successful organisations engage and inspire these sustainable savvy consumers. As an example, she spoke of a marketing campaign she was close to, as senior VP of CSR at Starbucks in Seattle. The company had made the decision to commit to sustainable production and pay a fair price to coffee farmers who were farming environmentally.


Sandra Taylor implores the NZ wine industry to get their sustainability message in front of consumers.

“But it costs more to do that, it costs more to give farmers a premium over the commodity price, but we felt we could do that by engaging consumers.” That decision led directly to a marketing campaign; “You and Starbucks – bigger than coffee”. Ta y l o r s a i d a m a j o r communication branding, drove the message home to consumers and the end result was a positive, for Starbucks, coffee farmers and the environment. “It made consumers feel like they were the ones who were helping the farmers gain a premium for the coffee, by paying just a little bit more. And they were allowing us to make a difference in terms of environmental responsibility.” She said the challenge for New

Zealand wine now is to engage with consumers in a similar way. “Consumers, especially millennials and women, want to learn the cultural and environmental stories behind the wines they drink.” While the New Zealand wine industry knows why and how we undertake sustainable practices, she says we can’t assume consumers do as well. “The benefits of sustainable practices have been compelling and attractive to growers and winemakers. Making these benefits apparent to consumers is now imperative for the industry, if growers are to increase their viticultural costs to go sustainable and make this journey more appealing.” ■

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Location, location, location Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


he heading of this story may sound a bit like a real estate mantra, but in the case of an American winemaker, it has become the catch phrase for changing the world of wine. Locations is a wine company that has hit the American market running and is being lapped up by consumers. The brain child of Dave Phinney, Locations Wines are blended across appellations, vintage and variety to produce an end product that represents the country of origin. Ne w Z e a l a n d e r C a i n e Thomson is the GM of Locations Wine and says the idea is understandably outside the comfort zone of many. Yet despite that, it has captured the imagination of consumers, in a way that most producers could only dream of. “Dave really wanted to create wines that were more accessible and at a price point that would open them up to a large sector of the market.” Thompson says those that understand the extremely convoluted old world appellation system, and the varying tiers of wine emanating from them, are only a tiny percentage of wine

An example of the Machete Wine branding.

drinkers. Yet there is an appetite from consumers who want to purchase a wine that speaks of far away, exotic and renowned wine producing places. They want a wine that speaks of the best of France, Spain, Italy or Argentina. They aren’t interested in wines that speak of just one tiny vineyard. “The Locations wines are opening consumers up to what is the best from each of the countries in the portfolio.” Phinney who may well be the Elon Musk of the wine world, is not one to be hampered by convention Thomson says. Since 2000 he

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has established wine labels including; Abstract, Machete, Department 66, The Prisoner and Papillion to name just a few. None are conventional in the sense of the word, given they are mostly wines made from blending varieties. Take The Prisoner, his first label, (since recently sold to Constellation for $285million) which blended Napa Zinfandel, Cab Sav, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Charbono and Grenache. Abstract blends Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah from Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino. Mannequin is a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Semillon, Muscat and Marsanne.

With the Locations label, Phinney wanted to break down the old-world system of sticking to just one appellation. He wanted to blend varieties from varying vintages, as well as location and variety – which as Thompson says is exactly what Champagne is all about. “Think about a bottle of NV Champagne. It is really a blend of various vintages across sub appellations of Champagne and we all celebrate it. We respect it and pay highly for it. So why shouldn’t we be able to do that with other appellations and across country.”

That is exactly what Phinney wanted to do when he purchased a vineyard in the Maury appellation of France, bordering Spain. With extremely old Grenache, Syrah and Carginan vines, it was a site that lent itself to single vineyard wine. But during his travels around France he began to wonder what a wine that combined the Grenache from Maury with Syrah from the Rhone would be like. It could never be, he realised, given the restrictions. But in 2010, when waiting at the airport for his flight home, his eye caught the license plate of a passing taxi, with the large F denoting France – the country of registration. That license plate was the birth of Locations wines. It began with a French blend, with the fruit coming from a variety of regions. All were sourced from old vines with low yields – quality is paramount in Phinney’s endeavors. The wine was made and bottled in France and imported into the US. S for Spain followed, as did I for Italy. Now there are 13 wines in the range with NZ for you guessed it, New Zealand, being added in July this year. NZ is as would be expected, a Sauvignon Blanc, a blend of fruit from Marlborough’s Awatere, Wairau and Waihopai Valleys, along with another parcel of fruit from Hawke’s Bay. It sells along with the other Locations at US$20, a price point above what many New Zealand producers are

achieving. Given the rock-star status of Phinney as a winemaker, Thompson says having a NZ Sauvignon Blanc in the Locations range is a bit of a coup. “We have to face the fact that many people in the US don’t even know where New Zealand is. They don’t know that we grow grapes, or have a thriving wine industry, let alone that we are renowned for Sauvignon Blanc. They simply have no idea. We all know our story, and quite often I think we forget that others don’t. So Locations’ NZ may actually help tell a story to consumer, that they didn’t know.” One of the interesting aspects of Phinney’s wines, is not just his attention to quality in the bottle, but quality in every aspect of the end product. From labelling, to bottle weight, and even packaging, he doesn’t skimp. This is something Thompson believes New Zealand producers need to be taking on board. “I don’t think New Zealanders understand how important the look and feel of a wine bottle is to a consumer,” he says. “Or how important the label is. There is no one New Zealand company that is going out there (US market) with a point of difference or standing out. And you have to stand out in this market. We use the best quality bottle we can, which is often a lot heavier. And Dave’s labels using art works or photos are renowned.”

Caine Thomson was the guest speaker at this year’s Bragato Dinner.

Take Machete for example. The wine labels feature a woman draped over a car, while holding a large machete. She has clothes on, but not a lot. There are 12 different poses – equating to 12 different labels. Unique as you can see left. Bottle weight and packaging were interesting aspects I for one wasn’t expecting to be so important – but Thomson says they cannot be under estimated. He strongly believes that when a consumer is choosing between two wines, of the same price and expected quality – they will go for the wine that has the weightier bottle. “For some reason they equate

weight and shape with quality. We have proven that time and time again over recent years. That is why we go for the very best bottle we can and the strongest packaging we can. It adds to the quality of the wine the consumer is buying into.” Thompson, a former Young Viticulturist of the Year was the guest speaker at this year’s Bragato Wine Awards Dinner. For someone who entered the wine industry because he “loved growing things”, the job as a righthand man to Phinney is a credit to all he achieved in the New Zealand wine industry before heading to America. ■

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The potential of lighter wines Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


hile New Zealand wine has always been innovative, it appears New Zealand consumers are also. That’s the message from Richard Lee, Project Marketing Manager of the Lighter Wines PGP Programme, an initiative led by New Zealand Winegrowers with co-funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Primary Growth Partnership. Lee told the Bragato Conference that New Zealand is leading the world in terms of lighter in alcohol wine consumption. “New Zealand is selling the highest proportion of lighter wine in the world, three percent of all wine now sold here is lighter in alcohol. That may not sound like much, but you have to remember that lighter wine is not competing in every segment. It is effectively just three key segments: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Rosé.”

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Breaking down sales within each category, he said six percent of all Sauvignon Blanc sold in this country is lighter in alcohol. It is the same percentage in Pinot Gris, one of the ‘hot’ varietals in terms of overall sales growth. And in Rosé, eight percent of all wine sold, was lighter. That last figure is an important one, given Rosé is growing in popularity the world over. In New Zealand alone, sales of Rosé rose by 45 percent in 2016. So domestic consumers are coming on board with lighter wines, but how does the rest of the world fare? Lee said quantitative consumer studies in Australia, UK, Sweden and Canada show that between 41 and 45 percent of premium consumers (those who would spend $15 or more on a bottle of wine) would be kee n to purchase a lighter wine, so long as it was of equal flavour and quality. The reasons they weren’t following through with a purchase were because 1: Their preferred brand does not provide it


as an option, 2: They can’t find it in a store, and 3: They are not even aware the products exist. Which probably explains why in the four key markets surveyed, the sales of lighter wines made up just zero point six percent of all wine sales, compared to three percent in New Zealand. If Australia was to match our domestic sales of lighter wine, it would create a market for another one million cases. In the UK it would be an increase of two point five million, Sweden half a million and Canada, just over one million. In total if each of those four markets had three percent sales of lighter wines, they would need a total of five million more cases to meet that demand. Now you can see why Lee gets so excited about the future potential. It is not just New Zealand wine that is targeting lighter alcoholic beverages. Giants such as AB InBev, Heineken and Carlsberg are already targeting 25 percent of all beer sales being low or no alcohol by 2025. So why the move? Simply put, Lee says, consumers are looking to moderate their alcohol

intake on more occasions. In the case of wine though, they are not prepared to give up the thing they enjoy about wine - the quality and flavour. They don’t want a wine that has been artificially manipulated, Lee said, “they want a wine that is naturally lighter in alcohol, from a cooler climate country like New Zealand, because they know and trust they don’t have to give up the things we’re famous for – premium quality and flavour.” That story resonates with retailers around the world, Lee said. “They get it and they also recognise there is a significant opportunity. We can help them with that to deliver on the potential.” ■

Six percent of all Sauvignon Blanc sold in New Zealand is lower in alcohol. These four are the top sellers.



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506 Turangawaewae wines


or the first time ever the Bragato Wine Awards focused solely on single vineyard wines, meaning the judging panel had the chance to experience hundreds of varying examples of site, during the competition. Simon Nunns, one of the senior judges, standing in for Chair Ben Glover at the Bragato Dinner, said this is the only show in New Zealand that recognises the unbreakable link from a wine’s standing place, through the people who grew the grapes and made the wine. “The Bragato Wine Awards are all about recognising a wine’s Turangawaewae and all of us who are involved in this show are very honoured to be part of this process.” The details of this year’s awards are as follows; • 506 wines judged by three panels over two days • 49 Gold = 9.7% of all entries • 110 Silver = 21.7% • 226 Bronze = 44.7% • So, 76.1% of all wines entered won a medal The biggest class was Pinot Noir with 112 wines, Chardonnay was second with 75 wines, while Sauvignon Blanc came in third with 54 wines. Statistically the most successful class was Sparkling, which had seven wines entered, with two being awarded gold – a success rate of 26.6%.

And the winners are? Bragato Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show The Boneline Cabernet Franc 2016 Canterbury Vineyard: Waipara West Grower: Lindsay Hill

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NZW Chair Steve Green presents the Champion Trophy to BoneLine part owner and viticulturist Lindsay Hill.

Mike Wolter Memorial Trophy for Champion Pinot Noir Ruby Bay Pinot Noir 2016  Nelson Vineyard: Ruby Bay Vineyard Grower: Andrew Tamplin   Alan Limmer Trophy for Champion Syrah Coopers Creek SV ‘Chalk Ridge’ Syrah 2015 Hawke’s Bay Vineyard: Chalk Ridge Grower: Wayne Morrow   O-I New Zealand Trophy for Champion Emerging Red Wine The Boneline Cabernet Franc 2016 Canterbury Vineyard: Waipara West Grower: Lindsay Hill   Tom McDonald Memorial Trophy for Champion Classical Red Wine Saint Clair James Sinclair Cabernet Merlot 2015 Hawke’s Bay Vineyard: Plateau Vineyard Grower: Neal & Judy Ibbotson


Richard Smart Trophy for Champion Rosé Clark Estate Dayvinleigh Rosé 2017 Marlborough Vineyard: Dayvinleigh Grower: Kevin Johnston   New Zealand Frost Fans Trophy for Champion Sweet Wine Villa Maria Reserve Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection 2015 Marlborough Vineyard: Rocenvin Vineyard Grower: Christine Fletcher   Glengarry Trophy for Champion Sparkling Wine Akarua Vintage Brut 2011 Otago Vineyard: Cairnmuir Road Grower: Mark Naismith   Friedrich Wohnsiedler Trophy for Champion Riesling Waipara Hills Soul Deans Riesling 2015 Canterbury

Vineyard: Deans Vineyard Grower: Accolade Wines Brother Cyprian Trophy for Champion Pinot Gris Devil’s Staircase Pinot Gris 2016 Otago Vineyard: Rockburn Wines Ltd Grower: Chris James, Richard Bunton, Paul Halford   Nick Nobilo Trophy for Champion Gewürztraminer Bladen Gewürztraminer 2016 Marlborough Vineyard: Paynters Road Vineyard Grower: Keven and Kerry Tilly   O-I New Zealand Trophy for Champion Emerging White Wine Askerne Viognier 2016 Hawke’s Bay Vineyard: Askerne Grower: Kathryn and John Loughlin   Spence Brothers Trophy for Champion Sauvignon Blanc Konrad Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough Vineyard: Konrad Wines Grower: Konrad Hengstler   Bill Irwin Trophy for Champion Chardonnay Domaine Rewa Chardonnay 2015 Otago Vineyard: Domaine Rewa Grower: Philippa Fourbet

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And the winner is…. Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


im Adams is the first to admit wine was never his goal. It wasn’t even on his radar until five years ago. Yet the 30-year-old from Obsidian Wines on Waiheke Island has been crowned the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017. He is the first ever representative from the Northern/Auckland region to gain the prestigious title, something he is extremely proud of. As for how he came to wine, it has been a convoluted path he says. Having undertaken a

Bachelor of Science degree at Waikato University, he went on to do post grad in Dunedin in neurophysiology. “Wine was never my goal, my goal was human based science.” When he and partner Bonny became pregnant, it changed the course of his life. The fact that the pregnancy coincided with the death of his grandfather, on Waiheke Island, in hindsight, seems serendipitous. “We had said that if anything ever happened to my grandfather, we would come up and live with Nana and help her out. So we did.”

He thought that maybe physio could be an option as a new career path, so he spent a year studying that. Needing to work over the summer holidays, he gained a job at Mudbrick, “thinning shoots and taking leaves off. I really enjoyed the summer and didn’t want to go back to school.” A n o t h e r s e r e n d i p i to u s moment – as Auckland University were setting up the Goldie programme on Waiheke, where winemaking was being taught at the former Goldwater Winery, which had been gifted to the university.

Tim Adams determination saw him take out the title of Bayer Young Viticulturist 2017.

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“I wanted to do something that was mentally sustainable and I had really enjoyed the viticultural side of things. So with that in mind I did a winemaking course, post grad in wine sciences. I thought, man, the stars are aligning and it seemed like the right time.” Adams says he was worried that his lack of plant physiology would hold him back. What he was forgetting though was his stellar science background prior to considering winemaking and viticulture. “They kind of laughed at me and said, ‘oh you’re a bit over qualified really, not under.’” The year-long course flew by and he loved every minute. At the end he walked out of the course and into a job, as a vineyard supervisor with Mudbrick. Interestingly, despite the course being geared towards winemaking, Adams never intended to go down that path. He always wanted to be based outdoors. “I had looked at other options of doing viticulture, but they were all three or four years concurrent. I didn’t want to spend another four years, I had had enough of uni. I knew how to learn, I knew how to access information if I needed it and I decided I would surround myself with people who were good viticulturists. “While I didn’t want to be a winemaker, it has given me a great perspective on what we do. I can make wine if I have to, and because we are so small on Waiheke, we all have to be in the winery at times. So it has been really helpful in that sense.” Adams spent three years working for Mudbrick, and the past twelve months at Obsidian. He has no regrets about his final

Now Tim is preparing for the Young Horticulturist of the Year.

career choice. “There is a real sense of accomplishment. I really enjoy being able to put my hand on my heart and a hand on a wine bottle and say – that’s my work. I really like making something. I guess every job is making something, tangible or intangible. But I think it’s really special with something like wine. It is so unique to your toil from the last 12 months.” 2017 was the second year Adams has taken part in the Bayer National Final. It was also his last chance to have a go at the title, given his age. The lessons learned from his first final last year, stood him in good stead he says. “I think I went into it potentially quite naive. I didn’t know what level was expected, I was quite shocked to be honest.” The end result, where he wasn’t placed in the top two left him, “beaten.”

“I managed to rectify that and right myself. It was a great learning experience and I was determined that I would prepare myself for this year.” He worked hard, studied hard but admits it was difficult to know what to base your study on. “I didn’t go into it saying I am going to be the best fencer in this competition. I tried to be good at everything – it was a decathlon approach I guess.” An approach that paid off. As Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year, Adams received a Hyundai Santa Fe for a year, a $5000 AGMARDT travel scholarship, some engraved Bahco golden secateurs, $2000 cash, wine glasses and a leadership week. He will also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition in November. ■


The runner up Mark Orton


hen Annabel Bulk finished as runner-up in the 2017 Bayer Young Viticulturist competition, she was only the fourth female contestant ever to make the national finals in 12 years, and with only one previous winner from Central Otago, the odds weren’t exactly stacked in her favour. Sitting down with

Bulk to have a chat at the end of another long a day in the vines, the large smile on her face suggests that the success of nearly taking out the national title hasn’t worn off yet, or she is simply pumped to be working in viticulture. “Yeah, I love working in viticulture. I actually go home each day thinking about what is going to happen tomorrow and can’t

wait to get back, so that should tell you something. I’m actually really disappointed that I didn’t win the national title after getting over the hurdle of winning the Central heat. I’m always trying to prove myself and won’t stop until I come out on top.” Growing up in Dunedin, the burgeoning Central Otago wine industry was actually quite foreign. The only thing that Bulk

knew about grapes, was what they tasted like after fermentation. Eight years ago an interest in sustainability lead to a DOC course, followed by a horticulture course before her boyfriend suggested moving to Marlborough to study viticulture and winemaking at NMIT. Already fascinated with plant and soil science, Bulk decided to specialise in one area, and that naturally became viticulIt’s not over for Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year runner up, Annabel Bulk. She is determined to be back next year.

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ture. Though, during her studies she actually thought the future would most likely involve a winery job. “That’s where I saw all the females in the industry working, but I still knew that I didn’t enjoy being inside and staring at a screen for too long.” To finish her degree, Bulk had to complete six months work experience in a vineyard. Wanting to get back to Otago and be closer to family, she decided to narrow her options down and approach the biodynamic vineyards in Central Otago. Gareth King from Felton Road responded almost straight away, and work experience quickly turned into a full-time job. “I knew nothing about Felton Road, absolutely nothing. I remember saying to one of my lecturers that I had work experience at Felton Road and he was like, how did you swing that?” If I was Mark Richardson, I might quiz Bulk about the ‘nov-

elty’ of being a female working in a ‘male-dominated’ industry. But this isn’t the 1950s and Bulk is only too used to dispelling any notion that she can’t perform the job just as well as a male. “When talking to people about the competition, a lot asked if there was a guy’s competition or a girl’s competition,” says Bulk. “I can kind of see where people are coming from, because it is physical, like the eco-trellis part of the competition. But, that was the element where I picked up the most points, so it goes to show that you don’t need to be physically the strongest if you can figure out a way to do things quickly and effectively. If I feel like there is a task that someone has said is really difficult, I’ll go at it with as much energy as possible to prove to myself that I can do it.” The 2017 Central Otago heat of the competition was the fifth time that Bulk had entered, something she was initially reluctant to do.

“At first there was no way that I was going to do it, but Gareth (King) made it known that it was a thing we should be doing. I didn’t get the sense that it was an option and I am really competitive anyway, so it appealed to me on that level. I know I am constantly trying to prune faster than any of the others on the team.” Bulk’s biggest regret in the national finals was the fact that she wasn’t wearing a watch. She even went to the Warehouse to buy a cheap one on the morning of the competition, but her boyfriend talked her out of it. Ultimately, poor time management in the tractor challenge was one of the deciding factors. “If I did it again, I would certainly not let time management get the better of me. I use my phone normally for time, but I didn’t want to do that during the competition.” Having analysed everywhere she went wrong in her post-mortem, Bulk concedes that the ben-

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efits of working at a bio-dynamic vineyard, can be a hindrance in the competition “The pest and disease area asks a lot of chemical questions, and I don’t have that background. I can get by in my job without that knowledge and I also feel that in a world where we are trying to have a greater organic focus, there should be the ability to answer the question organically, rather than chemically.” For Bulk who is now 29, she won’t be content until she takes out the top honour and with just one year left to compete, she knows that time isn’t on her side. “My biggest concern now is winning next year’s regional heat. It would be devastating to not get another shot at the nationals as I feel with the experience of competing once, I have a really good chance to get that trophy and then go on to compete in the National Young Horticulturist competition.” ■









The best of the best


he Tonnellerie de Mercurey New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year has been decided, after two months of heats and finals. And the grand title goes to – Kelsey Daniels, from Vinlink Marlborough. The 26-year-old took out the national title from three other competitors, after a day of competition at Villa Maria Auckland in September. Second place went to Sara Addis from Trinity Hill in Hawke’s Bay. The competition which underwent a major shift this year, was broken down into a North Island and a South Island

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competition, both held in August. The winner and runner ups from both competitions then went on to compete for the National title. The competitors were tested on a range of skills that relate to their job as a winemaker, including; capex and financial analysis, blending, laboratory skills, marketing their wine, general knowledge, essay writing and presenting a speech in front of an audience. For Daniels, the win “is honestly one of the best things to date in my career. The competition was really tough, the other contestants are at the top of their game and were such great competitors. This for me really


And the winner is – Kelsey Daniels of Vinlink Marlborough.

confirms what I set out when I started in the wine industry. It’s an amazing industry and a dynamic group of people and I’m so proud to fly the flag for

Marlborough.” Aimed at winemakers under the age of 30, the competition’s goal is to find the best winemaking talent in the country, and promote

it. Into its third year, Tonnellerie de Mercurey spokesperson, Sherwyn Veldhuizen, describes it as an important facet of the New Zealand wine industry.

“Each year the caliber of the contestants gets stronger, as does the expectation of them at the competition. This isn’t something that you can compete in without a lot of extra learning and extension, plus the support of employers and peers. The event is growing as is the wine industry of New Zealand and it is such a pleasure to meet and support these talented winemakers.” Daniels walks away from the competition, not only with the title to her name, but also a prize package worth crowing about. She has won for herself a travel allowance, training grant, full registration to next year’s Romeo Bragato Conference, plus a spot in the judging team at the Bragato Wine Awards, a wine allowance, a trip to the Tonnellerie de Mercurey cooperage in Burgundy with airfares included – and a profile in an upcoming Cuisine Magazine. Look out in the next issue of NZ Winegrower for a feature on the 2017 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Wine maker of the Year. ■ Four young winemakers fought it out for the grand title. From left; Tom Hindmarsh from Dry River Wines – Martinborough, Kelsey Daniels, Sara Addis and Abigail Maxwell – Babich Wines Marlborough.

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Science of Wine – Dr Rebecca Deed Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


asters of wine, winemakers, Master sommeliers, and wine critics all play a vital role in the world of wine shows. But at this year’s New World Wine Awards, a wine scientist made her debut among the elite judges of New Zealand. Dr Rebecca Deed from University of Auckland, was one of 15 senior judges this year, her first experience at this level in New Zealand. It’s not something she is likely to forget, given she has been build-

ing to this for a number of years. The lecturer and researcher began her undergrad studies focusing on biological sciences. No wine in there. Even when she moved on to plant science for an honours project, wine wasn’t grabbing her attention. But when her supervisor, Professor Richard Gardner suggested she undertake a PhD covering wine yeast, she realised that wine, research and tasting was something she was extremely keen on learning more about. “I liked the combination of

the creativity of wine itself, plus the fact it has a scientific background,” Deed says. “I liked that it had a lot of applied science as well as some fundamental science questions.” As part of her studies, she became involved in a sensory project regarding Pinot Noir, where she discovered she had the talent for tasting. “I found I was really good at picking out different flavours and aromas and the more I did it, the more interested I became.” Deed began attending as many

wine tastings as she could, even going so far as to arrange them herself for members of her laboratory research group. It was during this time that the Easter Show organisers were looking for wine science students to help out as stewards. Deed jumped at the chance. It was there she met wine critic Geoff Kelly, while the event itself provided the impetus for her to undertake a WSET course with Jane Skilton. That course more than anything turned her from a wine lover with a good palate, to someone who wanted to use that

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skill. Both Jane and Geoff encouraged her to consider becoming an associate judge, starting with the Easter show. “From there it led to the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and that lead to the Winestate Magazine and now to the New World Wine Awards.” Admitting that being a scientist and a wine judge is not the norm when it comes to wine shows, Deed believes she offers something unique. “I have a different perspective on the wines sometimes, in terms of faults and balance. I can see the skill of the winemaker and what they have used to make the wine from a scientific perspective, and having the methodical approach of a scientist translates well to wine judging.” While all judges are able to pick up faults that may be within a wine, Deed says she tends to label them slightly differently than others might. “They may say it has a certain

character and I can say, well it is from this, so it’s a nice way to bounce off each other.” If her being a scientist brings a different perspective to the wine shows, being a judge has given her an equally different perspective to her role as a scientist. “I think I see the wines, not just in terms of the science behind them, but also I can include details about style and what that means for a wine in scientific papers as well.” Her new role may also throw up a number of research projects that may not have come to mind prior to being a senior judge. Such as; what is it about sulfides that can make or break a good Chardonnay? “I am currently researching the formation of dimethyl sulfide in whites, which is considered to be a negative off-flavour, but it would be interesting to study other sulfides that contribute to more of a positive complexity in the way of flinty, popcorn charac-

A science background leads to wine judging, for Dr Rebecca Deed.


teristics in Chardonnay. It is not really known what compounds make these characters and how it is derived. Winemakers know how to get it in the wine by various ways of handling the yeast, but not the specific pathway to form those compounds. I think it would be quite an interesting research project and one that winemakers would be interested in knowing more about.” Deed’s PhD, which was published in 2013, was on the low temperature effect on yeast and aroma. Does low temperature during fermentation change the gene expression of yeast. “It was quite a molecular based project,” Deed says. “But I did also investigate when winemakers use low temperature, how does it affect the balance of fruity notes and green notes of Sauvignon Blanc.” But back to the New World Wine Awards. For the first time this year, the show used the same 100-point system as other inter-

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antional wine shows. For Deed that move was a positive one, not only for the judges, but she believes for the wineries and the consumers. Under the 100-point system, any wine that gains between 85 and 89 wins a Bronze medal. 90 – 94 denotes a Silver medal and Gold goes to wines with 95 or higher. “There are quite a few different scores within the range, so it allows wines to be a low silver or a high silver, and it gives definition within the category.” She says by placing the high silver wines, (those scoring 93 or 94) alongside those first deemed a Gold, in the re-pours, was a chance to ensure clarity with the very best wines. “You think they may be a high silver, but it could possibly be a gold. Then when you look at them again with the re-pours, it is a really good chance to have a range of high silvers with the golds to provide that clarity.” The New World Wine Awards is different to other New Zealand wine shows, in that all the wines

entered must retail under $25, although this year a new class for selected wines that retail over $25 was introduced for the first time. The affordability of the wines Deed says, showed the true skill of winemakers. “I think it is testament to the skill of the winemakers with the calibre of wines entered, the low levels of faults and the balance, as well as the way that wines were very well handled in terms of oak. In some classes like Pinot Noir, because the wines are under $25, they are not overly handled, so you get these examples that are very pure in fruit, with great balance and the more floral, rose, violet styles that are quite elegant. It was very exciting to have that.” For her the Pinot Noir class stood out, as did the Riesling. “It was quite difficult to pick out the Champion wine when re-tasting all of the golds in each variety, because the wines were all of excellent quality. There was a lot of discussion in selecting the Champion wine – so it made it very exciting.” ■



Kumeu’s new Hunting Lodge Winery Phil Parker


few years back, there were rumours in Auckland that Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates were planning to pull Matua winery out of Waimauku to centralise operations to Marlborough. And sure enough, in 2015 they announced that the entire site would be shut down and put on the market. Up for sale on the 31 hectare property was a large winery and bottling plant, admin and cellar door. Also for sale was the heritage listed Hunting Lodge built in 1868 as the property’s original farm

homestead - and formerly one of Auckland’s renowned fine dining restaurants. The Matua label was established in 1968 by brothers Bill and Ross Spence from very humble beginnings in an old tin shed in Swanson. They pioneered Sauvignon Blanc in Waimauku, with mixed results. And the first Montana plantings of Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough were propagated by Ross Spence. Matua went on to become a major player, with the brothers eventually selling in 2001, and it has been owned by Treasury Wine Estates since 2011. With around 50 jobs gone, and

in the wake of an identical move by Constellation Brands USA shutting down the Nobilo site in Huapai, things were looking pretty grim for both local employment and west Auckland wine tourism. But, to the rescue came the Sutton Group, a New Zealand dairy and infant formula company founded by Brent and Denise Sutton who are locals and have been friends of the Spence brothers for many years. Sutton Group is familyoperated and has an estimated net worth of $55 million. Since 2016 there has been a major revamp of the site and branding as Hunting Lodge Winery.

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Says Michelle Hayes, cellar door manager who previously worked for Matua, “The biggest change obviously is that it’s come back to being a family business, which is what Matua originally was. And also not being run by big corporate that wasn’t really looking after the property.

The historic Hunting Lodge.

So the ethos behind the whole Hunting Lodge Winery is quite unique and there are so many different things going on here. It’s quite exciting.” Some very smart branding and logos emphasise the sustainability angle of the new winery, with plans to eventually have a ‘farm to table’ dining experience using fresh produce from their own Waimauku market gardens. In addition to the totally renovated cellar door and admin block, there is a new tasting room café, and a brand new wedding and functions facility. The sizable winemaking and bottling plant has expanded its bottling line capacity, and the historic Hunting Lodge will be reopening in November with a return to its rustic fine dining roots, headed by former Clooney chef Des Harris. On the winemaking front, former Matua winemaker Pete Turner has come back to oversee production of their own boutique Hunting Lodge label

Hunting Lodge’s new cellar door.

wines, as well as a large amount of continued contract bottling for Matua, plus bottling and contract winemaking for other labels. Around 50 staff have been re-employed and are now back on site in and around the winery. The Hunting Lodge wines are made from contract grown fruit, but there are new Chardonnay plantings and plans to make a barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc from Waimauku fruit. Me a n t i m e t h e t a s t i n g room features a diverse range of very elegant wines at $20 to $38. Current line-up is a

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Rosé, Gisborne Viognier, Marlborough Pinot Gris, Marlborough Albariño, Gisborne Marsanne/Viognier, two Marlborough Pinot Noirs and a Hawke’s Bay Syrah. With a return to a functioning winery and vibrant visitor experience, Hunting Lodge has fortunately reversed the all-too common phenomenon of large corporate buyouts of family owned wineries. For now, the future of the label and local winemaking in Auckland is looking very positive. ■

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Stepping back in time Wine tourism is on the rise here in New Zealand, just as it is in other countries. But as Lee Suckling discovered, the history of wine offers up some fascinating spots to visit, if you are heading overseas.


he early days of viticulture take us back to the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Armenians, and even ancient Bulgaria, though it was Romans that made a real mark on winemaking. Much is known about the influences and techniques from the Roman Empire – it was, after all, believed that daily wine consumption was a requirement for mankind’s democratic thought. France, Spain, Portugal, and other destinations in Europe can provide us with an enormous sense of viticultural his-

tory, but touring through some of the much older archaeological winemaking sites of the world is something every winemaker should do once in their lives. It’s impossible to provide a definitive list, so what are some of the most interesting and lesser-known sites to visit on the globe?

The Island Vineyards Of Greece Ancient Grecian winemaking is said to go back 6500 years, to 4500 BC. Fourth Century BC writer Theophrastus documented Greece’s contributions to innova-

tive viticulture: the study of soils and its matching to particular vines, minimisation of yields for concentrated flavours of quality (rather than quantity), the use of plant cuttings for new vineyard plantings, and vine training for easier cultivation than letting vines grow wild. Many of the modern Athens wineries have been producing since the 1800s, but it’s the Greek Islands (e.g. Crete, Mykonos, and Santorini) where you’ll be gifted with really stunning viticultural history. Santorini, for example, has been winemaking since 4000

BC and its Neolithic settlement, the Akrotiri Excavations from the Mycenaean Bronze Age (16001100 BC), was only re-discovered in 1967 after being abandoned in the 17th Century owing to earthquakes. Today Santorini is home to 14,000 square metres of vineyards and the volcanic ash-rich soil provides dry and sweet wines such as Assyrtiko, Nykteri, and Vinsanto. Over in Palekastro, in Crete, you’ll find the site of one of the world’s first discovered wine presses – rumoured to be how viticulture first spread to Greece’s mainland – although the


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first chemical evidence of wine in Europe was actually found in the Neolithic settlement of Dikili Tash, in the Eastern Macedonia region.

Volcanic Vineyards In Italy

While Greek wine was originally seen as premium in Ancient Rome when compared to domestic Roman wine, it was in 121 BC when Rome was put on the viticultural map. This year, called the Opimian vintage after consul Lucius Opimius, was celebrated as a remarkable harvest and there are sources saying its wines were still being enjoyed 100-200 years later. Pompeii, south of Naples, was home to an expansive array of vineyards on volcanic sites before the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which devastated the

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Roman wine industry. You can head to volcanic vineyards in the region today where you can taste Lacryma Christi, the wine that’s been made for two millennia from volcanic terrior. Ancient grapes such as Falanghina, a dry white, and Aglianico, a full-bod-

ied, musky red, still thrive today in the area. Both grapes still vie for the prestige of being known as the main grape variety in the


Roman world’s most expensive wine, Falernian.

The First Wine Labels In Egypt Although industry has made some efforts, there isn’t much of an Egyptian wine market these days. The extremely high temperatures make viticulture a hard task and have historically resulted in a reputation for very poor quality product. A red wine industry once thrived in Egypt, however. Grape cultivation was introduced from the Levant around 3000 BC and owing to its likeness to blood, red wine became quite the ceremonial item. Egyptian wine was stored in clay vessels called amphora, and there are numerous amphorae “factories” and wine presses around Egypt, some of them used to export wine to the Christian world. A sixth century AD amphorae factory and two presses bearing crosses on them were found by archaeologists in 2008, near St. Catherine’s Monastery close to Mount Sinai. There’s much earlier wine history to be found in Egypt, though: in the Tomb of King Scorpion I (3100 BC) and the Tomb of Tutankhamun (1300 BC) hundreds of jars containing wine residue have been found, including what is thought to be the world first wine labels. One jar from the Tomb of Tutankhamun, for example, was labelled, “Year Four. Wine of very good quality of the House-of-Aton of the Western River. Chief vintner Khay.”

Armenia: Home Of The World’s First Winery

Discovered in 2007, the Areni-1 cave complex in Armenia dates back to 4100 BC and holds evidence of being the world’s first winery. Excavations finished in 2010, and it’s here that vintners first used their feet to press grapes in a 90cm by 106cm clay basin press so the juice would drain into a 60cm deep fermentation vat, before being put into jars and pottery shards. Vitis vinifera grape seeds and other organic materials, and even cups and drinking bowls, were found in this archaeological site – archaeologists who discovered it believe wine from the cave was solely used for religious ceremonies honouring the dead. The Areni-1 winery is over 1000 years older than the previously-known oldest winery in the world, which is located in Israel’s West Bank and was discovered in 1963.

Wine Appellation First Documented In Bulgaria What’s now known as Bulgaria was historically inhabited by Thracians, and there’s evidence of their winemaking dating back to 4000 BC. It’s actually thought that the first documented wine appellation in the world was designated here in the 2nd Century AD, when emperor Antonius Pius protected the vineyards of northern Bulgaria, then known as Lower Mizia. This region, today called the Danubian Plain, retains its continental climate with hot, sunny summers for boisterous grape-growing. You can visit the area as it’s home to 35 per cent of Bulgaria’s vineyards, where the styles

typically encompass Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Muscat Ottonel, and Aligoté.

Oldest Unopened Wine Bottle In Germany The oldest still-surviving, unopened wine bottle – and potentially the world’s oldest liquid wine – was found near Speyer in Germany and is thought to date to between 325 and 350

AD. The sealed vessel, presumed to contain wine, is on display at the Historical Museum of the Palatinate, Speyer. It’s thought that the ethanol has been lost though the preservation of the wine can be attributed to a dense layer of olive oil and a wax seal, making it airtight. Scientists have considered opening the bottle but to date, there are too many concerns about how the liquid inside

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What About France? The widespread culture of wine has thrived since the Middle Ages with the influence of the Church, but there are older ancient origins worth knowing about. In 2009, a Cambridge University study found that ancient wine was introduced to

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may react to oxygen so it remains sealed as an artifact in a museum.

France by ancient Greeks – not ancient Romans, as commonly believed (they were merely the culture to really establish viticulture as an industry). The study proposes that the original producers of Côtes-du-Rhône were Greek explorers from 2500 years ago who settled in the south of France. Marseilles (known in 5 BC as Massalia) was a bustling trade market, and nearby Rhône was used as the highway to the rest of France for Greek traders, who were carrying terracotta amphorae full of a then-exotic “new Greek fermented grape juice”. Today, of course, southern France remains one of the most famous old world wine regions. It’s certainly important to know, if you’re visiting, that the area’s original vineyards were planted by ancient Greeks: they discovered some decent granite, sandy silica, limestone and clay soil whilst trading with the Celts up the Rhône valley. ■

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Back in 1973 a young Allan Scott became one of the first employees of Montana in Marlborough, helping to clear the land for vineyards and planting the very first vines. Forty-four years later he is synonymous with the success of the region’s wine industry, as he moved from being a vineyard worker to a winery owner. He and wife Catherine were some of the earliest contract grape growers in the region and in 1990 they launched their own label – Allan Scott Family Wines. A year later they opened what was only the second vineyard restaurant in Marlborough – Twelve Trees, along with a cellar door. But the story of Allan Scott Family Wines isn’t just about Allan and Catherine. Throughout the years their three children, Victoria, Josh and Sara have also been a big part of the company’s story. Whether that was as a child placing labels on bottles, or waitressing in the restaurant, or training young vines in the vineyard – the second generation is determined to do their parent’s legacy proud. With wine in their DNA, it is not surprising that each of them has carved a unique role in the business. Victoria is the company’s marketing and communications manager, Josh is the winemaker and Sara is the viticulturist. In this Family Vines, Josh and Sara reminisce on those early years and how they came to be continuing their parent’s legacy.



eally from an early age, as young as I can remember, I wanted to be a winemaker. There was a period when I was 13 or 14 and had started diving, that I thought I might like to be a marine biologist, but that didn’t last very long. While I say I wanted to be a winemaker, to be perfectly honest I thought winemaking and viticulture were all the same thing. Even though

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Dad wasn’t a winemaker, he knew how to make wine. He spent a lot of time in the winery doing everything – so I thought that was what I wanted to do. In my mind growing up, there was nothing in my future except grapes. I went straight from school to polytech and did my diploma in winemaking and pretty much since then it has been a lifelong apprenticeship of learning. I went overseas for about four


years, spent quite a bit of time in France playing rugby for Sancerre, and working in different wineries. But I began right at the bottom of the barrel so to speak, on the bottling line. Then they realised I knew what I was doing and I could operate a pump, I knew how to prune. They were pretty impressed about that because not a lot of winemakers in France can prune. I also spent a bit of time working in the States.

But in 2003 our winemaker (at Allan Scotts) left at the start of harvest and Dad sent out the SOS and asked if I could come back and help. I did that vintage with a good friend Jeremy McKenzie, who is now the winemaker at Isabel. I thought I would only be back for the harvest as I had really liked travelling and being overseas. But that 2003 harvest was a late one and we did a pretty good job. A lot of our wine did

really well in competitions and so I gained a bit of confidence. Then I started the brewery as well (Moa Beer). That made me stay. Everyone thought the brewery idea was a bit low brow and poo poohed it for a while. Until a couple of years later, when they realised that the craft beer thing had some legs. These days I am responsible for new product development at Allan Scotts and I am really keen on that as I have a free range to experiment. I’m inquisitive and I like to push the boundaries. Never tell me that I can’t do something, or I will try and prove you wrong. What does Vic bring to the business? She has style, a good eye for detail and is very people orientated. She is always friendly and easy to talk with – she has an ability to connect with people. I like talking to people about wine, but when I have to sit down afterwards and make small chat, I am bloody terrible at it. It’s great when Vic is with us because she

Some things never change. Josh (left) snapped by his parents, and Josh’s son George recently snapped in the same vineyard.

engages people, and breaks the ice. It is a great skill, I wish I had it. Sara; I didn’t think she would follow me into winemaking as she always spent a lot more time in the vineyard. I think her choosing that as a career just kind of happened. She is a really hard worker and quite pedantic about things. She really cares about making sure everything is right. We have never, ever had a problem with our vineyards while Sara

has been involved. She is that sort of person who dots the I’s and crosses the T’s, she makes sure every process is taken and there are no shortcuts. She is also the one that makes sure the family is not only doing the work stuff, but also doing family things. It can be tough for our partners when we get together and start talking about work, so Sara makes sure that we do lots of other stuff. We are the second generation

and the third is coming along. Vic’s son is really keen to be involved, but that is his decision. There was no pressure placed on any of us by our parents. In hindsight, they probably should have put pressure on us to go to university and do other things. I am going to do that to my kids, make them go and do something else. They can come and work in the business if they want, but they have to get something else under their hat first.

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y first memories of helping out around the winery were being on the bottling line and in our garage when we put the stickers on the bottles. I also waitressed a lot in the restaurant from a young age. I used to get really big tips because people felt sorry for me, which was great. But wine was never in my mind as a career when I was at school. Instead I wanted to be a lawyer, probably because I am a good talker. I love to talk and debate things. But when I left school, I got carried away with my sport and wanted to be a professional sports player, even though they never got paid back then. I actually started a BCom, because Dad thought it was the thing to have. But I was away a lot because of my sport, and when I came back to it, I actually thought, I don’t know if that is the right thing for me.

I came home to work and was out in the vineyards – I still remember the day – I was training some young vines thinking about how I didn’t know what to do with my life. Then I suddenly thought as I was training these vines – wow, I could do this. I actually like this. So I went off and started

Josh and Sara.

The tight five. Josh, Victoria, Catherine, Allan and Sara.

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a degree in Christchurch and then came back to Marlborough (NMIT) where I was able to cross credit. It was the same as Josh, a diploma in viticulture and wine production. It was really good because during the study I had to do a vintage at a winery. I didn’t want to come back here, so I went

to Spy Valley and just loved it. It was their first vintage and it was just so much fun. I did a second vintage there as well, but I could just never see myself as a winemaker. When I got back into the vineyards, it was like ‘this is me, this is my forté. I went over to the Napa for a vintage and then spent a couple

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of years doing my O.E. in London, firstly working at Harrods in the wine store department. That was horrific, absolutely horrific. I had a really nice manager, an Aussie winemaker actually. But for someone like me who had never been away from home to be exposed to the types of people who come into Harrods to buy their wine, it was hard to get used to. There was this one time that I answered the phone, that I will never forget. I said, hello, welcome to Harrods’ Wine Department, how can I help you? The lady on the other end was so over the top, very posh and the first thing she said was, she wanted to speak to someone who “speaks English”. I said I speak English, and she said no, not you. Or something along those lines. I said, oh, I will just pass you on to my manager, who happened to be standing beside me. Well the first thing she said to the lady was, ‘gidday’. It was so funny, although we were never allowed to answer the phones after that. At the age of 24 I came home and went back to Spy Valley for another vintage. Then I came back here to get stuck into the vineyards. I worked under my uncle who was the vineyard manager at the time, and I learned so much from him. I am really grateful for that time because my direct report wasn’t to Dad. I had to do the jobs everyone else did and my uncle never treated me any differently to anyone else. I got some shit jobs,

as you do, but gradually I worked my way through. Everyone knew that there would come a time when I would take over, but that didn’t come until 2008. And holy smoly – that was a testing time. The crops were so big in 2008 and 2009 and then the repercussions hit. We had to tighten our belts, prioritise on what needed to be done, what could be left, how we could reduce costs. But it was good for discipline and for learning. Dad had seen that situation happen before, and it is bound to happen again in my lifetime – but having been through it, we have learned so much that will stand us in good stead. In terms of what Vic brings to the business, she has an amazing eye for detail, a bit like Mum. She puts things together really well. She is incredibly creative and is very much a people person, great at hosting and telling the story of Allan Scott Wine. I learn a lot from her. Josh is a total entrepreneur, and innovator. He doesn’t like to call himself a salesman, but he is so passionate about the product he has produced, that it naturally comes across and people are like; I want to try that. I think he is next level innovative. I would be really happy if my children wanted to come into this industry – but there is no pressure. There was never any pressure for us to, and I don’t want there to be for any of our children. But it would be pretty cool if they decide to. ■

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Biosecurity research is crucial Dr Edwin Massey


his month’s column examines the crucial relationship between biosecurity and scientific research and illustrates just how important research will be to address the knowledge gaps regarding the potential impact of our most unwanted pests on New Zealand’s wine industry.

Pressures on the biosecurity system: Biosecurity Research a key alleviator

The New Zealand Winegrowers Biosecurity Strategy seeks to maximize the protection to members afforded by New Zealand’s biosecurity system. This system is under increasing pressure as New Zealand becomes increasingly connected in a global world. Table 1 highlights the significant increase in MPI biosecurity risk intervention activities at the border in the 3 month period between December 2016 and February 2017 compared with the same period from the previous year.

Dec 2016/Feb 2017

Increase on Dec 2015/Feb 2016

Passenger Arrivals

1.9 million


Undeclared goods seizures



Cruise vessel port visits



Targeted BMSB inspections



Table 1: Selected MPI biosecurity activities at the border

It is likely that, year in year out, the cumulative weight of these pressures will increase faster than New Zealand’s collective ability to fund risk management activities. Biosecurity

research is one of the key alleviators that helps us stay ahead of the curve. Biosecurity is built on science. In the short term biosecurity research helps us close down the unknowns and helps

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On the hunt for the meadow spittlebug: Yellow sticky traps in a Marlborough vineyard

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don’t forget to Catch it: Snap it: Report it. Call the MPI biosecurity hotline 0800 80 99 66.

Sniffer dog joins fight against BMSB

Georgie, MPI’s detector dog, in action seeking dead brown marmorated stink bugs at the Bragato Conference.

us to mitigate risks across the system. In the long term biosecurity research helps to future proof the biosecurity system against strategic threats such as climate change and the global spread of pests and disease.

Why is biosecurity research important to the wine industry? Scientific research is fundamental to the success of the New Zealand Winegrowers Biosecurity Strategy. Without targeted biosecurity research, it will be impossible to achieve our strategic goal. Research is not only critical to developing solutions to the complex biosecurity issues facing the wine industry but also to applying these solutions in an environment that is always changing. The ongoing research of Plant and Food Research applied entomologist Dr Mette Nielsen into understanding the in vineyard distribution of xylem feeding leaf hoppers such as the meadow spittle bug (Philaneus spumarius) , a potential vector for Xylella fastidiosa (the causal agent of Pierce’s Disease) is an excellent example. Dr Nielsen’s research will boost our understanding of the relationships between the pathogen, its potential vectors and the grapevine host and sharpen our understanding of how Pierce’s Disease could be transmitted from vine to vine and from vineyard to vineyard in New Zealand. Gaining this

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understanding is critical for planning response activities. These may differ significantly from those in California where they have been dealing with a much more robust and mobile vector, the Glassy Wing Sharp Shooter that is currently not in New Zealand.

The Government Industry Agreement: Boosting readiness through targeted research The Government Industry Agreement GIA is changing the way biosecurity research is commissioned and delivered. Through GIA New Zealand Winegrowers is much more closely aligned to the Better Border Biosecurity research network than previously. Better Border Biosecurity (B3) is a multi-partner, cooperative science collaboration that researches ways to reduce the entry and establishment of new plant pests and diseases in New Zealand. B3 scientists will be key in helping to develop and implement a coordinated research plan for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) that is governed and funded by the signatories to the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Operational Agreement, including New Zealand Winegrowers. This governance role is critical as it ensures that scientific research is prioritised to achieve the outcomes agreed


to by signatories. To date ongoing research regarding the potential BMSB biocontrol, the samurai wasp, has highlighted that this parasitoid may be the best tool available to combat an incursion of BMSB.

Conclusion: Research is a crucial for improving wine industry biosecurity Biosecurity research that addresses the challenges confronting the biosecurity system is essential to help ensure the sustainability of the New Zealand wine industry. As a GIA signatory the wine industry can leverage research funding from the Crown and other industry organisations for research to improve biosecurity readiness and response. However, as outlined above, there are a range of strategic biosecurity questions that are much broader than just readiness and response. New Zealand Winegrowers is in the process of incorporating biosecurity research into our wider research strategy to continue to support the industry’s sustainable export growth. If you have any questions about biosecurity or biosecurity research please contact Ed Massey, New Zealand Winegrowers Biosecurity and Emergency Response Manager, 0211924924. If you see anything unusual

A bug-sniffing detector dog introduced by the Ministry for Primary Industries will help stop the potentially devastating brown marmorated stink bug from making a home in New Zealand. An MPI labrador (named Georgie) demonstrated her sniffing skills on stage at the Bragato Conference, seeking dead stink bugs hidden in a harvesting machine. MPI will have two trained dogs ready to sniff out stink bugs this summer, including a specialist dog to assist with detecting the pest in the event of an incursion, says MPI Border Clearance Director Steve Gilbert. “While we do our best to prevent this unwanted pest coming into New Zealand in the first place, we need to be prepared if something slips through our border defences. “Studies by the United States Department of Agriculture and our own trials show that dogs have huge potential to help detect stink bugs when they cluster in groups.” Gilbert says the stink bug dogs will also assist with biosecurity detection work at the border, including locating bugs on imported vehicles and machinery.  “Georgie, who is an experienced detector dog, picked up the new scent very quickly. This suggests it should be relatively easy to train other MPI dogs at short notice for stink bug detection work.” Gilbert says MPI will again be stepping up its efforts over the spring and summer months to stop brown marmorated stink bug from reaching New Zealand. “This will include carrying out increased inspections of vessels and goods from the United States and countries in Europe where the bug is established.” ■

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Occasionally a property comes to the market that offers more than function. Thanks to the previous and present custodians, a rich history defines these two properties and it is your opportunity to write the next chapter. The two titles of 11.9 hectares and 17.7 hectares provide meticulously managed vineyards plus historic buildings which include the villa and stables building (currently used as a cellar door). These are accompanied by a fully functioning winery with capacity of approximately 650 tonnes. The elegant landscaped grounds enrich the ambience and the generously proportioned pond with fountains is an instantly recognisable feature. A lease is in place on the vineyards and winery but there is flexibility post 2018 vintage to either continue under lease, farm with a supply agreement or to owner operate. The current owners are looking to relinquish their stewardship of this iconic property which is available in two titles. Buy one or both.

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Among the vines Reminders for November/December

Mealybug control


ealybugs are a small and inconspicuous pest of grape vines. They are often unseen and only occasionally reach high enough levels to directly impact grapes with their honey-dew excrement causing sooty mould on bunches. However, these insects are a serious threat to the long term sustainability of our vineyards as they are vectors of Grape Vine Leaf Roll Virus which can devastate vineyards. Their cryptic habits combined with broad host range

and high fecundity mean that they are a very difficult pest to control. In spring, the mealybug population is at its most vulnerable as overwintering adults start to reproduce and move up into the canopy from overwintering sites under bark or underground. Therefore, it is best practice to target insecticide applications for shoot extension – pre-flower period. Movento® 100SC is a suitable insecticide for controlling mealybug as it is specific to sucking pests, is two-way systemic in the plant, and friendly

on beneficial insects. Because Movento® 100SC is mobile in the phloem and xylem, it moves into the roots and other parts of the plant where mealybugs are feeding. Therefore, there are no hiding places for the mealybug. Uptake of Movento® 100SC is maximised when the vines are not stressed and there is slower drying conditions. Bayer Crop Science Field trials have demonstrated that Movento® 100SC is very effective for controlling mealybug; two applications 14 days apart are recommended, and it has been shown that later applications are

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12/05/16 1:53 pm


Yeast strain research for Sauvignon Blanc Simon Groves – IMCD


esearch into the production of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has now been very well documented. However, in the context of industry where there are findings, there are also going to be more questions as we strive to produce better and better wines. One of the number of areas that invites technical research is the role of yeast in the evolution of thiols, in particular 3MHA and 4 MMP which with their low perception thresholds and characteristic aromas are perhaps synonymous with what the wine

drinker identifies as the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc style. The ability of yeast strains to effectively convert volatile thiol precursors to resultant volatile thiols is an important area where the oenological sector is able to influence the final expression of quality in Sauvignon Blanc and indeed other wine styles. With this motivation IMCD (NZ) in conjunction with Enologica Vason (EV) of Verona, Italy initiated microvinification trials conducted by Kirsten Creasy of Creasy and Co. for vintage 2017. The trial aim was to investigate EV yeast performance

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

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in the New Zealand context focusing on two EV yeast strains in 2017 Sauvignon Blanc must. Whilst commercial in nature the findings from our initial trials do provide some key points of interest to the industry. The trials focused on the mixed S. cervisae yeast selection EV Combo XT and single strain EV Premium Protiol. These yeasts were trialled using the EV nutrient from the 4th Generation EV nutrient range, V-Starter Arom. The key aspect of this nutrient being the capacity to protect volatile precursors in grape must whilst providing

ideal nutrition for fermentation kinetics and aromatic expression. Trials were performed with a well-known reference strain and its proprietary rehydration and nutrition protocol. The reference strain acted as a baseline to assess Vason strain performance.

Findings The trial yielded results that further support the influence of yeast strain on yield of positive volatile thiol content (3MH, 3MHA and 4MMP analysed by Hill Laboratories) and also sensory highlighted preference based on intensity and complexity.

19/09/16 4:31 PM

The trial strains Combo XT and Premium Protiol performed very well in both these areas. Combo XT demonstrated a 25% higher concentration of 3MHA (sweet, sweaty, passionfruit aromas) than both Premium Protiol and the reference strain. Premium Protiol showed higher 4MHA levels than the Combo XT trial and reference strain (green notes, boxwood, cats pee). Also 3MH was higher in the Premium Protiol and reference strains. From a sensory perspective the EV Combo XT and Premium Protiol were preferred in the trial over the reference strain. This leaves very open opportunities to investigate the benefits of mixed, specific strain selections, must preparation and nutrition practices on final sensory quality. From a broad industry perspective in an increasingly complex and competitive market a quality advantage can be derived with the aid of best yeast strain selection for intensity

and complexity and a focus on fermentation management.

multiple tanks/strains being used to generate blending options to enhance complexity and study the

resultant intensity of thiol aromas General ferment management (temperature, YAN levels, Oxygen

Table 1..0 Analytical results of IMCD-Vason yeast strain trials. Analysed by Hill Laboratories SPME-GC-MSMS Vason Premium Protio (no rehydration nutrient)

Vason Combo XT (no rehydration nutrient)

Competitor Yeast (no rehydration nutrient)

Competitor Yeast (+ rehydration nutrient)

Passionfruit skin/stalk

33 190

25 260

24 880

34 090

Sweet, sweaty passionfruit (tropical)





Cats pee, box tree






Associated sensory descriptors*

3 Mercaptohexanol (3MH) ng/L 3 Mercaptohexylacetate (3MHA) ng/L 4 Mercaptomethylpentanone (4MMP) ng/L

*Aroma Descriptors C. Lund, M. Thomson, F. Benkwitz, M.W. Wohler, C.M Triggs, R. Gardener, H. Heyman and L. Nicolau; New Zealand Sauvignon blanc Distinct Flavour Characteristics: Sensory, Chemical and Consumer Apects: Am.J.Enol.Vitic. 60:1 (2009) Indirectly the results suggest; An ability to target a style based on strain choices. In a commercial context that there is genuine value in

yeast and ferment dynamics on the resultant wine. In relation to (3)Yeast strains that produce higher levels of volatile thiols may positively influence the longevity of bottled Sauvignon Blanc aromatics as degradation takes place over time. There may be an important link to investigate between nutrient selection based on composition, protocols, timing of nutritional additions and the

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levels in lag phase, must SO2 levels, lees contact) are all areas where there is significant scope to assess the impact in relation to yeast performance and thiol production. . In summary the trial has been very positive for the subject EV yeasts Combo XT and Premium Protiol with the EV nutritional products on finished wine qualities. The trial also underlined the

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scope in both wine research and commercial wineries to develop a deeper understanding of the role of must parameters and fermentation on the finished quality of New Zealand’s Flagship wine style. Fo r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n regarding our 2017 microvinification trial contact Julie Thomas or Simon Groves of IMCD NZ Ltd. ■

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Women in wine win top awards Joelle Thomson


wo women have won titles in a field that has traditionally been a male domain – the Sommelier of the Year and Junior Sommelier of the Year competition, held in August at the New Zealand School of Food & Wine (NZSFW) in Auckland. The annual competition is now in its fourth year, after being revived by NZSFW founder Celia Hay, in collaboration with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas, in 2013. The winners this year were Stephanie Guth of The French Café, who won the Sommelier of the Year, and Amelia French

of The George in Christchurch, who won the Junior Sommelier of the Year. Guth said she was humbled to win the top prize but also by the process itself, which included tasting six wines, all with their identities concealed. “I think a competition like this is amazing to bring people together. I see the sommelier aspect of the New Zealand restaurant industry as being in its infancy and this competition helps to get restaurateurs on board with considering hiring somebody to look after the wine list and not always having to do 19 other jobs in the restaurant at

the same time.” She felt elated to see women rise to the top at both of this year’s competition, but added that she had never felt disadvantaged due to her gender. “I have never in my life been made to feel any different just because I am female, but I think that the hours of a restaurant can be less conducive to a woman, if they decide to have a family. That may deter some people from getting into this industry.” So, what does make for good wine service, in her view? “The most important thing, I think, is to always keep the guest in mind. You are in the business Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas with the Sommelier of the Year 2017, Stephanie Guth.

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to deliver wine to the guests. It’s not your job to recommend what you like to drink and what your thoughts and ideas are on those things.” Another important aspect of good wine service is to create wine lists that provide safe and good quality wines as well as adventurous ones. “I think it’s incredibly important to have a wine list that doesn’t make people feel intimidated, as well as having fresh, exciting wines on the list,” she says. Guth was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, where she began her career in wine after studying a business degree in hospitality and tourism at the University of Guelph, 90 minutes’ drive from Toronto. She travelled significantly when growing up because her grandmother’s family came from Germany, and this led to her career choice, in a roundabout sort of way, she says. “We visited her a lot during summer in Germany and, as I grew up, I liked the idea of travel but didn’t know how this would translate into any sort of career so hospitality and tourism appealed because I knew it was something I could do anywhere.” When she graduated from her business degree, she attended culinary studies at the George Brown College where she specialized in Italian cooking, which led her to work in Italy for six months. She loved the restaurant industry but didn’t like standing on her feet in a kitchen all day,

Stephanie Guth – Sommelier of the Year 2017.

so studied wine at the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) in Toronto. She then moved to London in 2011, moving back to Canada a couple of years later, then to New Zealand with her partner, who works for Daniel Kemp at Great Little Vineyards – a wine import and distribution company based in Auckland. “We wanted to try something new and because this is a Commonwealth country, it was very easy to come here. I had heard amazing things about New Zealand from friends who had travelled.” Her go-to wines tend to be white, fresh and crisp, such as Chablis and Riesling. “The Rieslings that come out of this country are absolutely stunning and I don’t think people buy enough of them. I have been blown away by Rieslings from Ata Rangi, Escarpment and The Boneline Rieslings, and so many

others,” she says. “I always find it puzzling that people say they don’t like Riesling, because you’ll put it in the glass and they’ll love it. But it’s not just a New Zealand thing – it’s like that at home too.” Guth has been impressed by the number of small, high quality wine producers in New Zealand, whose production doesn’t make it out of the country. “You have to come here to taste the wines but there is some really awesome stuff happening in New Zealand wine for those who make the trip.” The annual Sommelier of the Year and Junior Sommelier of the Year Competition is open to entrants from throughout the country and has seen wine professionals from Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown win trips to the Champagne region in France and the world’s most southern wine region, Central Otago. ■

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We need our small wine shops Neil Hodgson


ow times have changed, especially when it comes to consumer’s ability to buy alcohol in the last twenty years. Prior to legislation changes in the 1990’s that saw supermarkets being able to sell alcohol, consumers relied on wholesale outlets that were controlled by the two brewing giants of the day, small hotel bottle shops and specialty wine shops, to make their purchases. The changes in legislation saw supermarkets become the dominant player in the beer and

Being successful as a small wine retailer means you need to be smart. wine market leading to the demise of many small bottle stores and specialty retailers. In my home region of Nelson there were two specialty wine shops, the Wine Shoppe in Richmond and a tiny liquor retailer in Nelson city that rebranded as specialty wine shop Casa del Vino in the early 2000’s. In the mid 1970’s Graeme

Roberts from the Wine Shoppe in Richmond was the first in the region to really embrace wine sales as a specialty product rather than just another bottle on the shelf. I think it is also fair to say he was responsible for my wine initiation when I was significantly underage. I worked for a business two doors down the road and he

always made sure he slipped me the occasional taste from samples he received thus introducing me to the delights of the vine. There were many stores like these dotted around New Zealand selling mainly imported wines. There were very few New Zealand wines available back then, but the infancy of the modern wine producing era in New Zealand was an exciting time for these small retailers. As more people started drinking wine, business boomed for the small guys. However once supermarkets entered the wine

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sales arena, these small stores owned by people with vast wine knowledge quietly disappeared. Today supermarkets are still one of the most important sales outlets for many wineries. Despite that it isn’t easy for any winery, especially boutique producers, to get shelf space in supermarkets where the focus is usually on price rather than quality or individuality. There are very few supermarkets that have properly trained wine staff, staff with deep wine knowledge who can help consumers make informed buying decisions. And that is where local wine shops have a competitive edge, it isn’t on price but in service and knowledge. The way we buy wine has evolved a long way past supermarket sales. Online retailers dominate bulk sales for cheap wine, the price often driven by a producer or importer who wants to move stock quickly so offers great deals. And of course,

wineries themselves now sell significant volumes of product via their own websites making a database of names incredibly valuable to any wine business. Sadly, the Richmond Wine Shoppe closed many years ago when Roberts decided to retire, but Casa del Vino is still there, selling fine wine and providing great advice. Current owners Juliane and Glen Cormier bring a huge amount of experience to this specialty store, Glenn is a former wine show judge from the US while Juliane has completed the CSW (certified wine specialist) and level three WSET certificate course meaning they bring plenty of expertise to what they do. There are many other specialty wine shops around New Zealand, some are significant businesses that also have a huge online presence, like The Fine Wine Delivery Company, Caro’s and Wine Direct in Auckland, while others like Maison Vauron

are specialty importers and distributors who also have a retail shop. Then there are the online specialists like Black Market and Advintage and larger retail operations like LiquorLand and Liquor King on a national basis, Glengarry on a regional basis and larger specialty stores like Regional Wines in Wellington. But for me it is the smaller wine

retail businesses like Casa del Vino in Nelson, Village Wines in Auckland, Decant and Fino Vino in Christchurch to name a few, that brings an intimacy to the wine buying experience. One of my all-time favourite wine shops in Wellington, Rumbles Wine Merchant and Liquor Emporium, closed in 2012. Peter Rumble held legendary status in the industry

Caso del Vino in Nelson, catering for a growing market of wine lovers in Nelson.

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for his passion for wine as well as his hatred of idiots. (Many a politician was the cause of a Rumble rant). It was a place to buy rare and interesting wines and even if I was in Wellingtonjust for a few hours I would always stop in to browse through his wonderful selection and it is probably the wine shop I miss the most. Fortunately for me Casa del Vino is a wonderful little wine shop, in fact it is a true treasure in the Nelson region. So how can they survive in the face of

huge online and supermarket competition? Juliane says she and Glenn believe their passion for international travel “and the many wines we have tasted along the way” has given them the knowledge and most importantly the passion to sell a product they love. Having lived in and travelled around the world, but particularly in the US and Europe, means they can talk with authority about wines they sell.

And they are more than just a wine sales outlet, they now have an on-licence, have installed a tasting bar with three Enomatic machines and have 12 wines available to purchase in a taste, half-glass or full-glass option. This means they can offer interesting and unique wines for tasting every day. You can also pick up a bottle from the shelf and they will serve it to you at the bar for a small corkage fee. “Being successful as a small wine retailer means you need to be smart” says Juliane, “We have to do different things to bring people in to the store so we have regular winemaker and importer tastings and we search out wines from smaller producers who don’t have a presence in Nelson.   “There is no point trying to compete with supermarkets by having the same wines they do. I have personally tried many of the wines I stock in the shop, looking

for quality wines from $20 and up from throughout New Zealand and the world. We compete by having well priced wines they don’t sell as well as a range of premium wines. “We also compete strongly on personal service and wine advice, being able to spend time with customers helping them make great wine buying decisions and then seeing them come back again is really rewarding.” Judy Finn from Neudorf Vineyards says having a store like Casa del Vino in the Nelson region is really special; “there aren’t many stores like this left and they are so important for hand-selling premium wines and telling Nelson’s wine story to visitors”. There is still space in the market for small, specialty wine retailers but they need the support of both the industry and consumers to survive, the old saying ‘use it or lose it’ couldn’t be more true. ■

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A 15,000th celebration “ Mark Daniel


anufactured in Braud’s plant at Coex, France, the 15,000th grape harvester, a Braud 9040L is the culmination of 40 years of continuous production, with many innovations and awards during the journey, and sales in 30 countries worldwide. With roots dating back 1870, when Alexandre Braud founded the company; the first self-propelled grape harvester, the Braud 1020, was launched in 1975, followed in 1979 by the 1014, equipped with the revolutionary Noria baskets system, that became the best-selling grape harvester of all time, with more than 2,000 units shipped in less than four years. In 1984 Braud introduced the concept of multifunctional-

ity in which the grape harvester tractor base could be fitted with different equipment for use all year round, from pre-pruning to picking. 1988 saw the presentation of the SDC shaking system, featuring shakers, with lever-type rear mounting, that adapt perfectly to the shape of the vine for good clearance without the need for any impact. In 2002, the launch of the destemmer-separator, made exclusively by Braud under a SOCMA patent, made it possible to elimi-

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The Braud 9000 Series, heralded the arrival of an era where machines delivered leading edge technology.

nate all impurities from the sample and guarantee a perfectly cleaned product ready for winemaking. Moving into “smart harvesting” in 2009, the Braud 9000 Series, heralded the arrival of an era where machines delivered leading edge technology with an easy and intuitive interface, helping make standard and premium quality viticulture more productive, profitable, and straightforward. As recently as 2013, the OptiGrape™ system, offered winegrowers the highest possible

quality of perfectly clean grapes, and in 2015, with the Blue Cab™ 4, an intelligent system that automatically uses a closed-circuit cab pressurisation when a hitched spraying unit is activated, thus ensuring optimal operator protection. Nowadays, machines are supplied in standard and high capacity versions for a complete range of row spaces from 0.95 m with the new Braud 9080N, to over 2.2 m handled by models in the Braud 9000X series. After introducing the concept of multifunctionality for grape harvesters, Braud has subsequently expanded and developed this approach, increasing the range of front and rear implements in partnership with two specialists like Berthoud and Provitis. ■

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A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SAKÉ I enjoyed a fascinating and very educating Saké tasting hosted by Fumi Nakatani, restaurant manager of Masu at Sky City in Auckland with help from Saké enthusiast Sam Harrop MW. Fumi is the first and only New Zealand based professional to be awarded an international qualification in Saké from the Londonbased Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). I visited a few Saké breweries in Japan eight years ago (the photo was taken during a visit to Tengumai brewery). I enjoy Saké very much and have to say that the tasting with Fumi fuelled my passion for this wonderful drink. Most wine drinkers have tasted and enjoyed, or at least been fascinated by, Sake. The barrier to embracing Saké on a regular basis is the seemingly incomprehensible labels. How do you exercise judgement in ordering and drinking Saké when you don’t know your Ginjo from your Junmai? Here are a few tips that I hope will encourage you to add Saké to your shopping list. I should start by saying that Masu restaurant is a great starting point for anyone

interested in learning more about Sake. The food is sensational (we tasted a wide cross-section with the Saké samples), the staff both knowledgeable and helpful and the Saké list comprehensive. At Masu they sell as much Saké as they do red wine. That’s hardly surprising when you look at the list which helpfully groups Saké under the headings; “Delicate, Feminine, pure”, “Floral, Fruity, Aromatic”, “Rich, Earthy, Spicy, Umami” and “Unique, Fun, Alternative”. You can order Saké by the 750ml bottle or 180ml carafe. All are imported from Japan by Masu. They also have a list of Saké that can be enjoyed warm although they believe, as I do, that Saké tastes best chilled. For $35 you can buy a

tasting flight of four Saké (40ml each) handpicked by Fumi. Probably the most important terms to remember are Ginjo and Daiginjo. Daiginjo means that at least 50% of the outer layer of the rice has been polished off. The outer layer is made up of fats, proteins and minerals which can contribute to harsher flavours. Daiginjo Sake tends to be lighter, more delicate and fruitier than Ginjo Saké (60% or less of the original rice) or Honjozo Saké (70% or less of the original rice). The larger the grain of rice (that is, the less it has been polished) the more flavoursome the Saké tends to be with richer and more savoury characters. Sweetness is shown by the nihonshu-do or Saké meter value. It ranges from -5 (sweet) to +12 (very dry) with +3 to +5 being the normal range. Other terms that might be helpful and sometimes appear on exported Saké are: Tokubetsu, meaning “special” Koshu “aged” Honjozo “added alcohol” Saké is a complicate beverage. Don’t try to figure it out yourself. Go to Masu. Ask the waiter for help. Enjoy. ■

CHARDONNAY FERMENTED WITH BRETTANOMYCES YEAST An Australian brewer has produced a Chardonnay by using Brettanomyces yeast instead of the conventional Saccharomyces. Brettanomyces (“Brett” for short) is generally regarded as an enemy of wine and is a major source of spoilage, producing off-flavours such as elastoplast, barnyard, sheeps urine and sweaty saddle to name a few. Bridge Road Brewery in Beechworth just released a Chardonnay fermented with

84   // 

100 per cent Brettanomyces. (Specifically, Brettanomyces claussenii, a strain with none of the nasty off-flavours described above.) The product is simply called “Wine” and is being sold in 330-millilitre stubbies with a traditional crown seal. Only 70 slabs were produced so I doubt we’ll see it on this side of the Tasman. According to the Melbourne website, Broadsheet, “It’s hazy and tastes like an ultra-dry apple cider, with a tart,


effervescent finish but no sugar to take the edge off. A bottle passed around the Broadsheet office elicited more confusion than anything. “What is that? Cider?” “Where did this come from?” “I like it, but is it beer or wine?” “It needs food – I don’t think I’d drink it otherwise.” Is craft beer starting to become a little boring? Is natural wine too mainstream? Are you over Orange? Brett-fermented Chardonnay may be the perfect solution. ■

IS “SINGLE VINEYARD” SOMETHING TO SHOUT ABOUT? The Bragato Wine Awards now accept entries only from wines produced from grapes grown on a single vineyard. That makes sense for a wine show wishing to reward viticultural excellence but are single site wines necessarily better than vineyard blends? I must confess that the concept of terroir does give me a touch of the warm fuzzies, even if I am not always able to define or recognise the character of a particular vineyard. Acknowledging terroir is a bit like recognising the barista at my favourite café. It’s a comforting constant even if not a cast-iron guarantee of top quality wine or coffee. Consider that famous multi-vineyard red, Penfold’s Grange. Careful selection of the best batches from a cast of thousands seems to be a more reliable way to craft consistent greatness than by simply relying on a single site. I sorted my database of wines tasted in the past year by score. Top wine was Ata Rangi

2015 Pinot Noir. Ata Rangi winemaker, Helen Masters, explained that it was a multivineyard wine. “All of the blocks that supply our Pinot Noir must be at least 20 years-old. Martinborough tends to be divided into smaller parcels than, for example, Marlborough. The vineyards are only separated by a few hundred yards and share identical soils and climate. But it is not a single vineyard wine.” Next on my list was Trinity Hill 2014 Homage Syrah. I asked Trinity Hill founder, John Hancock, if Homage was a single vineyard Syrah. “The grapes come from three Gimblett Gravels vineyards all of which share the same deep river shingle soils and were planted 19 years ago with the same selection of Syrah vine clones. But it’s not a single vineyard wine.” My top Chardonnay reviewed in the past year is Neudorf 2015 Moutere Chardonnay. Is this a single vineyard wine? “Often, but not

Helen Masters

always”, said owner Judy Finn. “Traditionally it is made from our Home Block vineyard but we sometimes add a barrel of Rosie’s Block Chardonnay in smaller vintages. The quality gap between Home Block Chardonnay and Rosie’s Block Chardonnay has narrowed considerably as the vines get older. When the wine is all from a single vineyard we note that fact on the back label.” These three exceptionally high-quality wines each show a strong sense of place. But they are not technically single-vineyard wines every year. ■

Contract Winemaking Quartz Reef Winery, in Cromwell, Central Otago, has contract winemaking vacancies available. We can undertake pressing, destemming, fermentation, maturation and wine preparation up to bottle ready stage, for both red and white wines. We have a distinguished record of winemaking for clients.

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When unlocking the potential of your property depends on accurate, insightful advice, talk to the experts. Valuation & Advisory JOHN DUNCKLEY | +64 21 326 189 TIM GIFFORD | +64 27 460 0371 Sales MIKE LAVEN | +64 21 681 272 HADLEY BROWN | +64 27 442 3539



Fine Wine List announced A total of 60 wines, including 17 new additions, make up the 2017 Air New Zealand Fine Wine list. The list is compiled annually by six of New Zealand’s top independent wine experts, including Masters of Wine Alastair Maling, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith along with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas. “The basis of the Fine Wines of New Zealand classification is to recognise enduring excellence.

This is the achievement of an outstanding record of excellence by top wineries and

THE FINE WINES OF NEW ZEALAND FOR 2017 Sparkling Nautilus Cuvee Marlborough Brut NV (Marlborough) Deutz Blanc de Blanc Vintage 2014 (Marlborough) Quartz Reef Vintage 2012 (Central Otago) No. 1 Reserve (Marlborough) Aromatics Felton Road Dry Riesling 2016 (Central Otago) Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2016 (Central Otago) Misha’s Vineyard “Limelight” Riesling 2014 (Central Otago) Framingham F series Riesling Kabinett 2015 (Marlborough) Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2015 (Marlborough) Te Whare Ra Toru SV5182 2016 (Marlborough) Prophet’s Rock Pinot Gris 2016 (Central Otago) Dry River Pinot Gris 2016 (Martinborough) Greystone Pinot Gris 2016 (Canterbury)

Sauvignon Blanc Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Marlborough) Astrolabe Province Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Marlborough) Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Marlborough) Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Marlborough) Saint Clair Reserve Wairau Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Marlborough) Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Marlborough) Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Marlborough) Brancott Estate Letter Series B Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Marlborough) Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Marlborough) Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Marlborough)

Chardonnay Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 (Auckland) Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2015 (Nelson) Sacred Hill Riflemans Chardonnay 2015 (Hawke’s Bay) Dog Point Chardonnay 2014 (Marlborough) Felton Road Block 2 Chardonnay 2015 (Central Otago) Villa Maria Keltern Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 (Hawke’s Bay)

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wines over an extended period,” says Nash. The wines will be served on

board in Business Premier cabins throughout the year, alongside the existing wine offerings.

Vidal Legacy Chardonnay 2015 (Hawke’s Bay) Clearview Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2015 (Hawke’s Bay)

Dessert wines Forrest Wines Botrytised Riesling 2016 (Marlborough) Framingham Wines Noble Riesling 2016 (Marlborough) Framingham Wines ‘F’ Gewürztraminer 2015 (Marlborough) Giesen The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Marlborough)

Pinot Noir Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir 2014 (Central Otago) Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2015 (Central Otago) Rippon “Tinker’s Field” Pinot Noir 2013 (Central Otago) Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2013 (Canterbury) Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2014 (Martinborough) Dry River Pinot Noir 2014 (Martinborough) Craggy Range Aroha 2015 (Martinborough) Kusuda Pinot Noir 2014 (Martinborough) Escarpment Kupe Pinot Noir 2014 (Martinborough) Auntsfield Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 (Marlborough) Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2014 (Central Otago) Mount Edward Morrison Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 (Central Otago) Greystone Pinot Noir 2014 (Canterbury) Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 (Central Otago)

Syrah Craggy Range Le Sol 2015 (Hawke’s Bay) Trinity Hill Homage Syrah 2015 (Hawke’s Bay) Bilancia La Collina Syrah 2014 (Hawke’s Bay) Te Mata Estate Bullnose Syrah 2015 (Hawke’s Bay) Bordeaux style Te Mata Estate Coleraine 2015 (Hawke’s Bay) Craggy Range Sophia 2015 (Hawke’s Bay) Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2015 (Hawke’s Bay) Esk Valley The Terraces 2015 (Hawke’s Bay) Stonyridge Vineyard Larose 2015 (Auckland) Church Road Tom 2014 (Hawke’s Bay) Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels ‘The Gimblett’ 2015 (Hawke’s Bay)



Judge Impressed Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


he 2017 Bragato Wine Awards will always be remembered by judge David Steves-Castro. Not just because of the quality of the wines, but because it was his first ever international judging event. Having gained an agriculture science degree in Chile, StevensCastro moved to Australia 10 years ago. Since then he has immersed himself in wine, leading to this judging role which he describes as the very best experience, given the quality of the wines. “I knew the quality would be high as to be a single vineyard wine it has to be special already,” Stevens-Castro said of

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the entries. “In the first class I judged, Pinot Gris, I could not believe how good they were. Then that was followed in every single category – it was just wow!” He believes the organisers have achieved something unique, that will benefit the New Zealand wine industry in the many years to come. “It is extremely valuable. I believe we will be seeing in 10 years’ time, the relevance for the industry. I cannot even measure that relevance now. Because I think this show will literally pinpoint the best vineyards in the country. And that means the price of the land and the price of the grapes will go up because the quality is measured. That to me


A first for David Stevens-Castro from Australia, as an international judge.

is very, very important and very clever. It is cutting edge to reward the works of the best.” Stevens-Castro is very familiar with New Zealand wine, hence his being asked to be a member of the Bragato Wine Award judging panel. In 2016 he was part of the New Zealand Winegrowers Sommit, has spent time in the country attending Master of Wine courses and is a self-confessed New Zealand wine ambassador. Currently the wine and beverage manager at Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise, he was tasked with establishing a fine wine outlet, with an adjoining restaurant. “So I basically started from scratch and we now have a wine shop with 500 selections covering the world. Around 60 of those are from New Zealand.” While Stevens-Castro arrived in Australia in 2007 with the hope of working in a winery, it was blueberries that offered him his

first opportunities. Starting as a picker, he worked his way up to a position where the company was sponsoring him to come back as the orchard technical officer. But a major hailstorm that wiped out the blueberries and caused $1.5 million worth of damage, left him unemployed. So with a love of wine and a knowledge of South American wines, he took on a job as a sales representative, selling to restaurants and bottle shops. His on-going contact with sommeliers who didn’t seem to know much about the wines they were purchasing, made him consider taking on the role himself. Which is what he did, leading him to jobs in famous chains like Hilton, Intercontinental and Crowne Plaza. His entire focus he says is the relationship between wine and food. So it is surprising that he has chosen to further himself in the Master of

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Wine programme, rather than the Master Sommelier one. “Due to my degree and my background, I was covering pretty much the whole syllabus of the Master of Wine Programme, so that was the path I took. To me it makes more sense.” He is now in stage two and within the next few weeks will receive the marks from his exam, sat in June. In terms of the classes he was impressed by at the Bragato Wine Awards, the one that really caught his attention was aromatics. “It was absolutely delicious to see how much has improved, how well the wines are managed in terms of residual sugar versus acidity and alcohol. They were so balanced and the integration in those three elements are key for wines early on and later on as well.” Other classes that were standouts were Chardonnay – “I think New Zealand is producing

some fantastic examples,” and Syrah. “This is something that is creating a lot of excitement. No t j u s t n a t i o n a l l y, b u t internationally. You could see why a number of French growers are coming to New Zealand to see what they are doing. “There is a sense of vibrancy, of flavour and freshness that makes it so attractive with food. I really like the style.” In terms of the relevance of wine shows, Stevens-Castro says they all have a place, but only if the results are related back to the consumer. “In Australia, the amount of wine shows is so big and if there is not a way to connect the results with the consumer, then it becomes irrelevant. But for NZW to partner with Glengarry in this case, you can pinpoint the results in a more consumer orientated way. That is a big benefit. I think NZW does this job very well.” ■


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New survey collaboration


eloitte and ANZ Bank are joining forces to monitor the New Zealand wine industry, in a collaborative 2017 benchmarking survey. The survey is designed to assist wine businesses to make more informed decisions about their relative financial strengths and weaknesses compared with others in the industry. The survey results will be released in December. Deloitte Partner Peter Felstead says the survey provides wineries with useful insights into the relative financial performance and position of their business. “This type of information is vital for those looking to attract capital, expand and sustain growth,” he says. “We’ve also worked hard to shorten the survey considerably from previous years, significantly reducing the time required to complete it without compromising the level of insights participating wine companies will gain in return.” ANZ Commercial & Agri Gen-

We know there is real potential for the New Zealand wine sector to grow new and existing markets. eral Manager John Bennett says collaborating with Deloitte on the survey was an easy decision to make. “We know there is real potential for the New Zealand wine sector to grow new and existing markets,” he said. “At ANZ we are great believers in the power of benchmarking information to help businesses assess their own performance and identify opportunities for growth. Quality financial information from peers can be tough to access, which is why we are delighted to join Deloitte to support the survey.” Both Deloitte and ANZ have existing publications related to the industry; Deloitte their annual Wine Survey and ANZ their annual Wine Industry Report. Combining resources, expertise

and industry knowledge will provide considerably more benefit to the wine industry, which has grown substantially in recent years. Wineries that participate will also benefit by receiving custom individual benchmarking reports.

MPI Viticulture Benchmarking While the Deloitte/ANZ collaboration focuses on the winery side of the industry, MPI and New Zealand Winegrowers Viticulture Benchmarking focuses on the profitability and issues affecting growers throughout the country. In its 11th year, the results of the 2017 benchmarking were released to the industry in August. In those 11 years, the scope of information sought and analysed has grown

significantly. From a benchmarking of just two regions 11 years ago, (Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay) it has grown into a focus on a Marlborough model vineyard plus a varietal gross margin benchmarking covering five regions; Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough, Marlborough and Central Otago. MPI’s Nick Dalgety says the benchmarking provides a lens into current vineyard profitability, providing real time information for growers from financial data obtained. “Apart from financials, participating growers provide insights into their morale; business viability and environmental issues,” Dalgety says. He says there is always room for more growers to be involved in the benchmarking and there is a possibility that more regions may be included in the gross margin benchmarking in future years. However any changes to the programme will not be considered until the thoughts of this year’s participants have been analysed. ■



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Cloudy Bay hosts first Pinot Salon

Joelle Thomson


o make great wines, one needs to taste great wines, which was the thought behind the Cloudy Bay Pinot Salons held for the first time in New Zealand in August. The Pinot Salons replaced the annual Pinot at Cloudy Bay event, which was held for many years until 2015 when the salons were launched in London. Since then, winemaker Tim Heath and viticulturist Jim White have hosted salons in both London and Tokyo and they have more planned around the world. The intention is not, however, to roll them out continuously on an international circuit. “We want to look at and share the great wines from around the world that show us what works and sometimes what doesn’t too. “We will host more of these salons, but we want to ensure the specialness of them remains intact,” said Heath, at the first New Zealand salon, hosted at the winery in Blenheim for a group

of nine wine writers and public relations people. “We were excited to host some of New Zealand’s top wine writers and critics at our first Pinot Salon to be held at the winery. It was the perfect occasion to taste, converse and share ideas about each of these wines in the context of our approach to Pinot Noir,” said Heath, who has been working on refining the use of whole bunch fermentation, type of oak used for maturation and learning to understand the contribution of vineyard sites to the Pinots he makes. Cloudy Bay’s new Estate Director, Yang Chen, also attended the event. “Cloudy Bay first planted Pinot Noir in Marlborough in 1985, and released the first vintage in 1989. Since then we have acquired some of the finest Pinot Noir vineyards in Marlborough, and more recently in Central Otago where we are continuing to refine our style.” The tasting was co-hosted by New Zealand’s sole Master

Cloudy Bay’s new Estate Director, Yang Chen, at the recent Cloudy Bay Pinot Salon.

Sommelier, Cameron Douglas, and all wines were tasted blind. Salon guests tasted wines from highly respected producers in Europe, including Domaine Dujac in Burgundy, Gaja in Barbaresco and Vega Sicilia’s Valbuena in the Ribera del Duero. The top three wines from my tasting notes were the 2011 Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5° from the

Ribera del Duero, the 2009 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo Langhe from Piemonte and the 2014 Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir, all of which had been made to highlight the fruit, the acidity and the elegance of the varieties used rather than accentuate use of whole bunches or oak, as many of the other wines did. ■



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Spray days 2017


ollowing the success of last year’s events, New Zealand Winegrowers’ Spray Days are coming back to a region near you. Last year over 700 people attended the workshops throughout the country with events receiving great feedback. This year Spray Days will be travelling the country during October and November delivering practical, interactive and handson learning workshops aimed at anyone in the vineyard involved in spraying. Each of the days will provide new tools and the latest advice and will look at how to get the best performance out of your sprayer and how to test spray coverage and adjust equipment based on results. The workshops will also help you understand application rates and water volume decisions and work through with


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you how your vineyards practices compare against the latest advice and tips for effective powdery mildew control. Technical experts David Manktelow and Andrew Blakeman will run the workshop sessions. Incorrect sprayer set-up and

inadequate coverage remain the Achilles’ heel in pest and disease management, says Simon Hooker, New Zealand Winegrowers General Manager of Research and Innovation. These workshops are designed to help the industry raise its game. “Spray technique can make or

break the effectiveness of sprays for managing powdery mildew,” he says. “We want to ensure that growers and vineyard managers receive advice that’s tailor-made for their specific equipment and their vineyards, where the benefits will extend to managing other diseases as well.” Workshop sessions are devoted to individual sprayer types and attendees can choose which session to attend and work with the experts to develop options for their individual blocks. “Spray Days” are free of charge as part of New Zealand Winegrowers project, co-funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Farming Fund. Registration to attend the workshops is essential. For more information and to register go to ■

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Frost fan ROI calculator


ew Zealand Frost Fans has recently built a ROI calculator which it plans to make available as an

online tool. The calculator amortizes the capital cost of FrostBoss™ C49 machine/s over a 20 year life to provide the investment gain per annum, annual investment and ROI for the nominated block size and per hectare. The results are

based on typical low range and high range fan coverage areas. Actual fan coverage areas are determined by individual site specific conditions. The user simply inputs the crop type, average annual crop yield (when not affected by frost damage), estimated average annual reduction in yield due to frost/cold injury and the crop value ($ per tonne). Also required are the diesel cost per litre, cost


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of capital/loan interest rate (APR), estimated machine running hours (during frost events) and the block area requiring protection. The scenario below uses an average New Zealand wine grape price across all varieties of $1807 per tonne (2016) and a yield of 10.7 tonnes per hectare (Source: New Zealand Winegrowers Annual Report 2017). If the reduction in yield due to frost/ cold injury is 30% per annum without frost protection, there is a 276% ROI based on low range fan coverage of 6 hectares per fan. Even if the reduction factor is decreased to 15% the ROI is 88%. Damaging frosts typically occur after a cold, cloudy day followed by a still night with clear skies. The earth quickly radiates any stored heat after sunset and an ‘inversion’ layer occurs with the air being coldest near the ground with a warmer layer of air above it. However, it’s not all about avoiding catastrophic loss. The aim is also to protect against cold injury to increase a grower’s current yields and improve the quality of the fruit, whilst ensuring continuity of supply or shelf space, an increasingly important factor with the rising trend in winery-owned fruit. Frost fans are a well proven technology for mitigating the devastating losses that can occur from a significant frost event.

Frost fans are a well proven technology for mitigating the devastating losses that can occur from a significant frost event. Many growers use frost fans as a tool to combat cold injury by programming them to start automatically based on a preset temperature. Where once frost protection systems would have been used only when a serious frost was forecast, now frost fans will start automatically to prevent damage from cold events that may only last a few hours in the middle of the night or early morning. Frost Fans work by utilizing warmer/drier air from the ‘inver-

sion’ layer to create air movement at the fruiting/flowering height in vineyards on still cold nights preventing damage to flowers, soft tissue and fruit. A growing market for fan upgrades now exists as new technology is adapted for the population of ageing fans, especially in New Zealand and Australia. The efficiency and productivity of such fans can be significantly improved by the retrofitting of composite blades, centrifugal clutches and gearboxes, particu-

larly when coupled with automated controllers. Web-based monitoring of frost fans is also becoming more popular among large and small growers alike, and the FrostBoss™ controller has been designed with this in mind. The remote monitoring option enables growers to access real-time monitoring of fans around the world, together with text alarms and historical data and graphs on temperature, run-hours and machine performance. Marketed through its own companies in New Zealand and Australia, FrostBoss™ fans are also installed in Canada, Italy, France, Turkey and Chile through local Distributors. ■

These figures are based on an 18.5 hectare vineyard.

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Craggy’s new prestige story Joelle Thomson


raggy Range’s new Prestige Collection reds was launched earlier this year and represents the third consecutive strong vintage in a row, says winemaker Matt Stafford (pictured right). Yields were significantly down in 2014 for the winery’s top Pinot Noir, which is made with grapes grown entirely on the company’s Te Muna vineyard, nine kilometres east of Martinborough township. The 2015 Craggy Range Aroha Pinot Noir was first made in 2006 and has been produced

every year since, with the exception of 2010. There has been a significant reduction in the use of new oak (now at 35%) in this Martinborough Pinot Noir. A higher proportion of whole bunches are used - now 50%, which add what Stafford describes as a spicy note. – “We don’t really want that bunchy note - we are chasing floral aromas in the wine aromatically.” Yields were also down for the Prestige Collection Syrah, albeit to a lesser extent. This was due to a cool start to the vintage in

spring in Hawke’s Bay, and also because 2014 was such a warm

year that the vines did not have great reserves to set the crop. A warm dry summer in January made up for the earlier cool spring weather in the Bay, says Stafford. The 2015 Craggy Range Le Sol is a 100% Syrah, aged in 30% new oak for 17 months. The third wine in the highpriced trio is the 2015 Craggy Range Sophia, which is made from 73% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Cabernet Franc and which was aged for 19 months in French oak, 45% new. ■

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Cromwell’s new walking wine trail


he 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail has been unveiled providing an easy way for tourists and locals to navigate around four of Central Otago’s premium wine producers by foot. The self-paced 8 kilometre loop trail includes Misha’s Vineyard, Aurum Wines, Scott Base and Wooing Tree Vineyard, as well as capturing some wonderful scenery through orchards and around Lake Dunstan. Without stopping the walk takes around 90 minutes – but who wouldn’t want to stop for

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tastings or even a meal, given at three of the tasting rooms there are lunch and/or platters available or there is the option of bringing one’s own picnic and finding a scenic spot. “Together we offer a diverse range of wines which really showcases the depth of this amazing

ing wineries. The initiative for this walking wine trail was prompted by the increase in the number of tasting rooms that have opened in close proximity to Cromwell’s town centre as well as the rise in tourism across the region. The Monthly Regional Tour-

Walkers are encouraged to visit all four tasting rooms to gain a stamp on the brochure’s passport page in order to enter the quarterly draw to win a mixed case of wine from the participating wineries.

winegrowing region” said Misha Wilkinson, Director of Misha’s Vineyard. As well as being able to taste Central Otago’s famous Pinot Noir, wine selections include Pinot Gris, Rosé, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, sparkling and dessert style wines, Port, and even a beer option at one of the tasting rooms. The 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail brochure includes a uniquely illustrated trail map designed by South American artists Marcelilla Pilla and Leandro Baud, who now live in New Zealand. Having successfully won the map design competition, sponsored by the four participating wineries and promoted on social media, the skills of the two artists so impressed the wineries that they were then commissioned to produce the entire brochure. Walkers are encouraged to visit all four tasting rooms to gain a stamp on the brochure’s passport page in order to enter the quarterly draw to win a mixed case of wine from the participat-

ism Estimates from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), show that the Central Otago region was up 9% to $190 million in visitor spending for the year ending June 2017. According to Tourism New Zealand, 24% of tourists arriving in the country take part in a wine experience, up from 13% in 2014, and wine tourists stay longer and spend more than the average visitor. NZ Winegrowers, the national industry body has partnered with Tourism New Zealand to further promote wine tourism experiences as international visitor data show how important wine experiences are to visitors. The 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail is free. The only costs that may be incurred are wine tasting fees (depending on the policy of the tasting rooms) which are redeemable on a purchase, as well as optional food purchases. Brochures are now available at the Cromwell I-Site, Cromwell accommodation providers and at each of the participating tasting rooms. ■

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Working with grape marc Te s s a N i c h o l s o n


he issues surrounding what to do with grape marc have increased over the years, as the wine industry itself has expanded. No more so than in Marlborough, which produces roughly 50,000 tonnes of marc each vintage. But the good news is that there are solutions emerging that should remove not only the issues surrounding the disposal, but offer up forms of income potential from the marc itself. A Christchurch based com-

pany, REL Group, is working closely with one of it’s key suppliers in providing clarity on a drying system for the marc. In brief, the system reduces the moisture of the waste product, which with further refining can then be utilized for other value added products such as animal feed or compost, and the seeds to be sold for oil. Hayden Kuyf, REL Group’s factory trained drier specialist says drying grape marc is already used by the wine industry in France to deal with the detri-

tus of the annual wine harvest. With marc in particular, moisture makes up a large proportion of the product, and removal requires a large energy source. Kuyf says that source could be by biomass fired heat exchanger, or any other heat source which a site might have. In Europe Alvan Blanch work closely with Anerobic Digestion companies, utilizing waste heat from the gas engines, given ‘free heat’ is the best source for this kind of moisture reduction. From 80 percent moisture down to 10 percent is possible

The detritus of winemaking – grape marc – has become a hot issue for wine regions.

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with the Alvan Blanch CD Drier, according to Kuyf, in a safe and fuel efficient way. In basic terms, the marc enters the CD drier at one end, the continuous flow action of the drier allows the product to move through the unit easily and safely, a steel louvered floor, high volume inverter controlled fans ensure all product is dried evenly, drawing the heat from the burners or external heat exchangers. There are also agitators above the bed to ensure the product is moved whilst undergoing the gentle drying process. The drier controls the speed of the bed, the air volume, the temperature via carefully located sensors, it also controls in feed equipment, and is fitted with a fail-safe system as standard. The other positive aspect of the CD Drier is that is can be used for drying other materials when marc is not available. “Grains, including canola, wheat, barley, oats & maize could all go through this unit easily.” In other marc news, a Marlborough company, GrowCo, has been given approval to establish a 1.6 hectare grape marc storage pad on a farm north of Ward. The conditions in the consent meant a one metre thick pad had to be built to store the raw marc on, and an impermeable pond built alongside to store the leachate. GrowCo are planning on turning the marc into animal feed. It is expected they will take the vast majority of Marlborough’s marc in the years to come. ■

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New markets emerge “


he latest from the Global Compass 2017 report, recently published by Wine Intelligence, has changed the status of Poland, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates from Emerging markets to Growth markets, in an annual ranking of the world’s 50 most attractive wine markets. Under the Wine Intelligence Compass market classification framework, Growth markets are characterised by mid- to -highlevel market volumes showing sustained growth and strong growth of imported wines. Despite relatively low per capita consumption, consumption is increasing and wine is establishing itself as a mainstream product. Growth markets represent a

Economically speaking, Poland has become one of the success stories of the EU. fifth of global consumption and have experienced a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.86% in the period 2012–16. By contrast, Mature and Established markets offer more limited growth potential as wine is typically a highly competitive category, and experiencing declining volumes. France, Italy and Portugal represent Mature markets, while the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Finland are considered as Established markets where strong historical growth is tailing off. Poland, Taiwan and the

United Arab Emirates have all experienced slow but stable GDP growth and increased still wine consumption volumes. While Poland clocks in a healthy 3.8% CAGR in this period, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates show considerable growth with 6% and 6.1% respectively. Wine Intelligence research suggests that as disposable income increases, more prospective wine drinkers are becoming consumers and wine is becoming more mainstream. Wine Intelligence Chief Operating Officer, Richard Halstead,

comments: “Economically speaking, Poland has become one of the success stories of the EU. Seismic economic changes have been mirrored by a shift in consumption; once a market dominated by domestic beer and spirits, drinkers are now more open to wine, principally from other EU nations, but with an important New World presence as well. Wine still has connotations of elegance and finesse, but there is increasing acceptance of wine as a mainstream beverage, particularly in the on-trade.” “Taiwan and the UAE also truly deserve their promotion to the Growth category. After sustained economic growth and impressive still wine volume growth, we can expect more developments in the coming years,” he said. ■

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Bragato scholars meet up


xploring New Zealand’s wine regions on his month-long Bragato exchange scholarship, Nicola Geronazzo has been particularly inspired by the different techniques employed by New Zealand wineries and vineyards. From Treviso in Italy’s Veneto region, the 21-year-old says that he has been incredibly impressed with the standard of wine in New Zealand for a country with a comparably young viticulture history. He has found it inspiring to visit both conventional wineries and vineyards in New Zealand, as well as organic and bio-dynamic vineyards such as Milton Winery in Gisborne. Nicola is eager to use the knowledge he has gained through the exchange when he returns home. He says, “the exchange experience has opened my view on wine making, which is very important especially in Italy with such a strong traditional approach to wine making.” His counterpart at EIT, this year’s New Zealand Bragato scholar Alexandra Peter, will have a like opportunity to check out similarities and differences when she travels to Italy in January. A second-year student enrolled in the concurrent Bachelor of Wine Science and Bachelor of Viticulture, Alexandra is looking forward to her first experience of old world wine making. The 26-year old is excited about “being immersed in the Italian culture, learning about the different wine varietals I haven’t worked with, and gaining insight into an industry so

steeped in tradition compared to New Zealand”. Ahead of her month in Italy, Alexandra will spend some time travelling Europe to take full advantage of the trip. On her scholarship, Alexandra will be visiting wine regions in the country’s northeast and spending time at Romeo Bragato’s alma mater in Conegliano. The legendary viticulturist is celebrated for recognising New Zealand’s potential for growing grapes. Nicola attends the same school of viticulture and oenol-

ogy, which is based in a region known for its Prosecco, a spark­ ling white wine made from Glera grapes. While he visited the Gisborne, Central Otago, Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay wine regions, he sampled many of the styles associated with this country including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Riesling, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec as well as a number of blends. “The New Zealand wines are interesting and different,” he

says. “I have tasted some very, very good wines and met some amazing winemakers.” Nicola was extremely excited to be awarded the exchange, which is his first trip outside of Europe and fulfils his dream to travel to New Zealand particularly. While Alexandra has travelled abroad and worked in the wine industry within New Zealand as well as in Oregon and Australia; her trip to Italy will be her first exposure to a traditional wine region. ■

Nicola Geronazzo (left) and Alexandra Peter at the EIT vineyard and on-campus winery.






important considerations to s a wine-loving and bear in mind so as to maximise wine producing the value of your brand. nation, many New Zealand consumers will be Selecting a trade mark able to instantly identify their It is common for wines to be favourite wine brand based on named after a winemaker, or a a few simple but recognisable geographic, historic or cultural features. And in a market feature that is significant to segment where virtually all the growing region. However, competing products are sold it is important to consider in an identical shaped (and whether a brand is capable often identical coloured) bottle, of being protected by a trade these branding elements are the mark registration. A registered primary way for wine producers trade mark is the best way of to make their product stand out securing exclusive rights to use on the shelf. a brand, and prevent others When developing a new using it. In general, creativity brandWINEPRESS of wine, there1/2 arePAGE a few 124Hand originality X 176W MM are key when it

comes to securing trade mark protection.

Geographical names Although geographical names make popular wine brands, they can be difficult to register as trade marks if they simply describe a location that has some obvious connection with wine. Trade marks that have been refused registration include Marlborough Single Vineyards, Barossa Valley Estate, Waipara Valley and Tasman Bay. Where the name of a particular location or geographical feature is not readily associated

with a wine producing region, it may be possible to protect it as a trade mark. For example, the name of a local river, mountain range or road such as Ti Point, Mill Road or Elephant Hill can be an effective and distinctive trade mark. Applications are underway to register the names of well-known wine producing regions such as Marlborough, Gisborne and Kumeu under the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006. It will no longer be possible to register a trade mark that contains a GI, unless the

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wine originates from that region and the mark is not likely to deceive or confuse.

Maori taonga Where a brand contains Maori words or imagery, winemakers should be aware of the legal and cultural issues at play. Where taonga are incorporated into an alcohol brand, it is advisable to consult with katiaki to ensure the brand or label will not be culturally offensive. High risk areas include using names or images that are tapu, failing to respect the mana of the creator or kaitiaki of a work, and disregarding certain kawa or tikanga, such as advertising a wine with a TVC showing women performing a haka appropriate only for men. The Intellectual Property Office can refuse to register trade marks incorporating Maori words or elements if they are likely to offend Maori.

However, this does not prevent such marks being used in the market. Examples of cultural mistakes are not hard to come by. Birkenhead Brewery Company came under fire recently for launching beers called Hinemoa and Mokoia and for using images on its bottles of Hinemoa and Tutanekai, revered ancestors of the Te Arawa tribe. While legally on the right side of the line, the resulting public outcry led to a rapid rebrand and public apology for the offence caused.

Names of people Personal names make popular wine brands in New Zealand. Examples include Kim Crawford, Allan Scott and Rod McDonald. Personal names can usually be registered as trade marks, provided they are distinctive i.e. no other wine producer is likely to want to use the same name (for a legitimate

reason) on their own wine. Even common names are not a total no no – a name like Jane Smith could be registered in a logo format, rather than a word format.

Protecting your trade mark Once you’ve chosen a new brand and checked it is available to use, you should carefully consider filing a trade mark application. This is the best way of safeguarding future use of your brand and deterring others from using or registering something similar. Unlike most other IP rights, trade marks can last indefinitely (with renewal every 10 years).

Going global Trade mark protection applies on a country-by-country basis. If you plan to export your wine, trade mark applications should be filed (as early as

possible) in each country of interest. The international filing system (known as ‘Madrid’) is a cost effective option for protecting your trade mark in major export markets including Australia, China, the USA and the EU. Key considerations will vary by country. Ensuring the mark is available to use, easily pronounceable, and neither the words nor images have any adverse meanings or interpretations in other languages should be checked before investing in taking your brand global.

Summary Ultimately, your brand is an important asset. It is one of the most effective tools for interacting with your target market. Selecting a brand that can be protected and enforced as a trade mark is well worth the effort and will help ensure your brand is worthy of the bottle that bears it. ■



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

OCTOBER 7 Awards Dinner NZ International Wine Show Crown Plaza Hotel – Auckland


Air New Zealand Wine Awards Judging

26 Marlborough Wine Show Awards dinner Marlborough Convention Centre, Blenheim




Air New Zealand Wine Awards Gold Medal results announced.

Institute of Master of Wines information session


2pm, Marlborough Research Centre Boardroom

New Zealand Syrah Workshop


Mount Ruapehu

Air NZ Wine Awards dinner


The Colliers Rural Grape Debate

Pettigrew Green Arena, Hawke’s Bay


Blenheim – Marlborough Convention Centre – tickets Eventfinda or Planit Events

Air NZ Wine Awards Trophy, Gold and Silver Medal tasting

Hawke’s Bay Charity Wine Auction

Air NZ Wine Awards Trophy,Gold and Silver Medal tasting




Central Otago





Wineworks Marlborough Wine Race across Cook Strait

Cromwell Wine and Food Festival


Cromwell Heritage Precinct

Air NZ Wine Awards Trophy, Gold and Silver Medal tasting Auckland

FEBRUARY 10 Marlborough Wine and Food Festival Brancott Vineyard – Marlborough

MARCH 10/11 Wine Heroes ASB Showgrounds, Auckland – 11 - 5.30pm


Wine Heroes industry only exclusive day ASB Showgrounds, Auckland 10 – 3pm

106   // 


UPCOMING NEW ZEALAND WINE GLOBAL EVENTS A service by JF Hillibrand and New Zealand Winegrowers to remind exporters of forthcoming events. Further details are available on the members website (Sell section) or







November 27

Air NZ Wine Awards Workshop and Tasting, Melbourne


November 1


November 28

Air NZ Wine Awards Workshop and Tasting, Sydney


November 1


January 15

Flavours of NZ, London


October 6


January 18

Flavours of NZ, Dublin


October 6


January 18

Flavours of NZ, Stockholm


October 6


January 24

Flavours of NZ, Singapore


October 6


October 5-16

Pinot Walkabout, Melbourne


August 18



Melbourne Wine and Food Festival (made in NZ), Melbourne




April 16

Made in NZ, San Francisco

February 2

February 16


April 19

Made in NZ, New York

February 2

February 16


May 3

Made in NZ, Vancouver

November 24

December 8


May 8

Made in NZ, Montreral

November 24

December 8


May 10

Made in NZ, Toronto

November 24

December 8







2018 forecast

PRINCIPAL EXPORT MARKETS % of Total in 2018 forecast







Hawkes Bay Central Otago
















Wairarapa / Wellington














National Total

Exports for the year to date to the end of July 2017 (Moving Annual Total) Growth Decline Litres %

Growth Decline FOB %

Litres (m)


















































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








108   // 



RESEARCH SUPPLEMENT Information and Updates on NZ Winegrowers Research Programmes. Editors: Dr Simon Hooker, General Manager Research and Innovation and Dr Matias Kinzurik, 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 Lighter 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)

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

Virus diversity in New Zealand grapevines: sequence, ecology and impact – The Rod Bonfiglioli Scholarship Plant and Food Research (R MacDiarmid - student A Blouin) Optimising management of grapevine trunk diseases for vineyard longevity South Australian Research & Development Institute (M Sosnowski)

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)

Developing Powdery Mildew Best Practise in New Zealand Vineyards Lewis Wright Valuation & Consultancy Ltd (T Lupton) Supported by MPI Sustainable Farming Fund Powdery Mildew Case Studies Anna Lambourne Mechanical thinning and botrytis Mark Allen

Determining the effects of UV radiation and vine water stress on Pinot noir fruit composition and berry components’ extraction into wine Lincoln University (G Creasy)



Enhancing disease detection with image analysis based on non-visible imaging Chooi KM*, Hill GN, Wohlers MW, and MacDiarmid RM The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand * Corresponding author karmun.chooi@

12-118 Precision horticulture is a rapidly expanding field where image analysis, largely the analysis of images captured by satellite/unmanned aerial vehicle, features substantially. The remote collection of images has been used previously to understand plant growth and land topology. However, recent advances in technology that provides lighter and smarter devices, coupled with advances in how we are able to analyse the collected data, offer new opportunities to address new and important themes within precision horticulture, such as yield prediction and crop protection against diseases. To help to ensure that New Zealand’s wine industry is able to continue to grow and prosper, we need to stay ahead of the rest of the world, and to investigate how the industry can use cutting edge technology to their advantage. A three year project was initiated this season with the key aim of enhancing grapevine disease detection in the vineyard, in particular grapevine leafroll disease detection, using remote sensing technology that is readily available and in a fashion that is affordable and easily used by growers. Remote sensing is a non-invasive assessment technique that retrieves energy measurements from the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly those outside

110   // 

the visible range. The use of remote sensing technology for disease detection is based on the principle that the disease alters the plant physiology which then leads to unique “disease signatures”, distinguishable from the signatures of healthy plants. As this method is based on spectral signatures outside the visible range, the changes to the plant physiology caused by the disease are not necessarily obvious changes seen by our naked eye, but instead can be fundamental internal changes to plant processes, such as photosynthesis. The grapevine leafroll disease caused by the ‘leafroll 3 virus’ threatens the sustainability and growth of the New Zealand wine industry. Currently, this disease can be controlled by a combination of efficient management of the insects that can spread the disease from vine to vine; planting certified virus-free nursery vines; and removing virus-infected vines from the vineyard. To identify vines that require removal, we have shown that for red berry cultivars, virus infection can be visually assessed by trained personnel from mid-March to mid-April (prior to frost). This assessment is based on the obvious changes in red foliage. However, similar visual identification


by trained personnel is not possible for white berry cultivars, as these cultivars remain visually symptomless (as described in the June/July 2017 issue of New Zealand Winegrower). Instead, time-consuming and expensive laboratory testing is required to confirm virus infection. Therefore, the use of remote sensing technology that is able to detect subtle changes in white berry cultivars reliably, i.e. changes unseen by the human eye, would advance virus management in New Zealand considerably. There are three key stages to this project: identification and development, refinement, and validation. Firstly, to identify the best combination of remote sensing technology and data analysis methods for disease detection, a range of different digital technologies will be trialled at one of the three previously developed leafroll 3 virus field trial sites. These New Zealand Winegrowers, Plant & Food Research, and The Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust funded field trial sites comprise of over 1000 grapevines of four cultivars (Merlot, Pinot noir, Pinot gris, and Sauvignon blanc) with known virus infection status (healthy or infected with leafroll 3 virus). From this,

the most promising technology(s) and data analysis method(s) will then be further developed and refined into a practical method that can be easily deployed in the vineyard. The refined method to detect leafroll 3 virus in the vineyard will then be trialled and validated in the other two field trial sites and in willing commercial vineyards (blind testing, where you know what the virus status is, but we don’t). We envision the resulting remote sensing technology-based disease detection method(s) from this project will provide growers with a rapid (near real-time) diagnosis for leafroll disease, thereby improving the efficiency and costs associated with decision making in the vineyard. Additionally, the approach this project uses to develop the detection method(s) can be used as the foundations for developing and establishing remote sensing detection methods for other grapevine diseases in our vineyards e.g. trunk diseases, and for surveillance of possible future incursions of unwanted diseases. Ultimately we envision that this type of precision horticulture will provide useful building blocks towards an innovative routine disease monitoring approach in our future vineyards.

Bridging the gap: an introduction to quantitative analysis in the field of pruning decision-making Andrew Kirk, Dr. Glen Creasy, Dr. Valerie Saxton, Dr. Gary Steel, Dr. Richard Green “Ask ten pruners and you will get 10 different answers...” Such was the conventional wisdom when this Master’s thesis project began in 2014, seeking to survey and characterise industrywide pruning preferences. The project, itself, originated from a desire to know more about bestpractice pruning techniques, specifically as they pertained to the design and implementation of an autonomous cane pruning robot. Those researchers, based at University of Canterbury and Lincoln University, foresaw a need for an objective means of evaluating cane pruning decisions. As a starting point in this endeavour, which will require continued attention over the coming years, a survey was devised and conducted, primarily in the regions of Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, Waipara, and Central Otago. As the long-term nature of this proposition became clear, the need for compromise also quickly became apparent. Without a strong, empirical foundation as to how many vines would be required to adequately represent the typical diversity found in a vineyard, efforts shifted away from producing insights into best pruning practice. Instead, the research focused on a single vine pruning scenario, a decision which allowed for more confidence as to what the results do and do not represent. In effect, the research became more about pruners, and less about pruning in general. The insights that have emerged from this survey are described below, and will

Table 1: Basic survey structure



Participants rate a set of alreadymade pruning decisions vi Qualtrics

hopefully demonstrate potential applications for the quantitative analysis of pruning decisions.

Setting the Scene: Survey Structure and Assumptions Over the winter months of 2015, over 100 vineyard visits were conducted yielding roughly 200 responses to a two-part survey. Part One of the survey asked the participants to rate a set of already-made pruning decisions for the subject vine. Participants, in Part One of the survey, rated these already-made pruning decisions twice overall and on 24 individual decision criteria. In Part Two of the survey, participants were then asked to indicate their own preferences for how the subject vine should be cane pruned. Participants were also asked to make several assumptions throughout the course of the survey: 1. For the purposes of Part One of the survey, the hypothetical pruner of the subject vine was instructed to leave two canes and two spurs. (In Part Two, participants were, themselves, allowed to select any combination of spurs and canes, and were not tied to leaving two canes and two spurs.)

Participants indicate their own prefereed pruning decisions for the subject vine.

2. The subject vine was of the variety Sauvignon Blanc. 3. Ample time was available to select the most ideal canes and spurs. 4. In part one of the survey, participants were asked to rate the decisions that were made, relative to what was available, rather than to rate the quality of plant material, itself. Qualtrics software enabled participants to complete Part One of the survey on Ipads. Ratings on Part One of the survey were digital and anchored by “Extremely Bad Decision” on the left and “Extremely Good Decision” on the right (see example in Figure 2). Supplementary photos, blown

up in size, were made available to participants during Part One of the survey. Part Two of the survey was conducted with blue and yellow highlighter pens on hard copies of a full sized colour photo.

General Profile of Responses Responses to Part One of the survey were conclusive in revealing that considerations of spur and cane position were closely linked to participant overall impressions of the presented decisions. In the ratings exercise, participants first rated the pruning decisions on an overall basis, then rated them individually on 24 criteria, and then lastly pro-

Figure 2: Example of a Ratings Prompt (Images not to scale)


Table 2: Position as a strong predictor of overall pruning quality perception.

First Overall Assessment (Adj. R2 = 0.461) Predictor (Criterion)


Sig. of predictor (p)

Spur position relative to selected canes


Angle from which the spurs leave the head Horiztontal distance of cane away from centre

Second Overall Assment (Adj R2 = 0.622) Predictor (Criterion)


Sig. of predictor (p)


Cane position relative to spurs





Spur position relative to selected canes





Angle from which spurs leave the head



Number of canes



Standard Multiple Regression, Pairwise Deletion *Standardised Betaweights (Beta may be roughly defined here as the statistica “weight” (0 to 1) of each predictor, measure its ability to predict a target variable, which in this case was the particpant’s overall perception of the pruning quality.)

How well canes reflect vigor



vided an overall assessment for a second time. Linear Modelling has demonstrated that participant first reactions to the presented decisions, measured through their first overall assessment, were strongly tied to their assessment of the spur position attributes of the decision set (Table 2). The second overall assessment tended to be significantly higher (p<0.05), reflect a broader range of decision criteria, and be much better accounted for by the individual decision criteria (Table 2), compared to the first overall assessment. Reasons for this are unclear. One possibility that has some appeal is that participants tended to have a severe first reaction to the decisions, only to adjust later after sufficient time to rationally consider the totality of the factors involved. The primacy of spur and cane position in participant perception of the subject vine was corroborated by results from Part Two of the study. This was particularly evidenced by the relatively even split among participants as to whether a spur should be left at all on the right side of the vine (Table 3). Informally, many participants remarked that all of the available spur options on the right side of the vine were too far from the centre of the vine head. Of those who opted not to

An Interaction between Region and Pruning Preference

Df = 171 a

112   // 

leave a spur from the right side, 11 per cent (data not displayed here) left two spurs from the left side of the head. Anecdotally, this option represented one of several avenues for restructuring the vine towards the centre of the vine head. While the right side of the vine was a point of division among participants, there was something of a consensus around option “L4” as a spur. Over threequarters of participants selected this option, either by itself or in combination with another left side spur option. Cane selections from participants in the study were equally interesting if, at times, harder to interpret. One observation of note is that over half of participants selected the shoot “L4”, or some combination including “L4”, as a cane. Also of note is the lack of popularity of shoot “L1” as a cane selection, despite its origin from a previous year’s spur. A number of participants commented on the poor, backwards-leaning angle of this cane option. On the right side of the vine, options R1 and R2 were a close first and second, in terms of popularity. Interestingly, roughly one in ten participants chose to eschew all right side cane positions, often in favour of bringing a second cane from the left side.


Df = 164

A principle goal of this research was to observe whether any trends existed in the pruning decision patterns of pruners from different regions. At least in this vine pruning scenario, such differences did in fact exist, particularly around the issue of how to handle the right side of the subject vine. As noted in the previous section, the fundamental issue for consideration in this decision (Table 2) was the position of the available spur options. Pruners from Hawke’s Bay and, particularly, Central Otago were significantly less likely (chi-square test, p<0.05) to leave a spur on the right side, relative to what would be expected “at random”. Those from Marlborough and Waipara, conversely, displayed a tendency to preserve the previous vine configuration by leaving a spur at R2. While it is possible and insightful to visually examine the individual interactions between region, cane preferences, and spur preferences, only the composite Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) will be displayed here (Figure 3) in the interest of brevity. Note that Component 1 accounts for roughly 64 per cent of variance between these variables. Also note that those pruning

options associated with a restructuring of the vine head (No spur, R2 as a cane, No Right Cane) all scored similarly on Component 1, and those options associated with maintaining the vine configuration scored relatively similarly to one another on the opposite end of Component 1. One contention of this research is that this “Component 1”, which emerged in a number of similar analyses (not shown), represented the fundamental decision of whether or not to leave a spur. Central Otago and Hawke’s Bay consistently scored at one extreme of this pole, while Marlborough and Waipara registered at the other end of the spectrum. These statistical nuances aside, the most accessible interpretation of the figure below is to examine the proximity of the various categories in two-dimensional space. Through such a lens, it is again evident that Central Otago and Hawke’s Bay tended more towards a restructuring of the vine head, while Waipara and Marlborough tended to have the opposite inclination. The regional differences described above were corroborated by analysis of participant ratings of the already-pruned set of decisions (Part One of survey). For the ratings criterion relating to horizontal distance of the spurs away from centre, Waipara and

Table 3: Breakdown of particpant pruning selections.

Left Side Spur

Left Side Cane





No spur from left
















L2 and L3


L1 and L4


L2 and L3


L1 and L4


L2 and L4


L2 and L3


L2 and L4






Right Side Spur

Figure 1: Photo of subject vine before pruning*. *Corresponding label appears to the right of the shoot

Right Side Cane

No spur from right


No cane from right


















Note: The purpose of this analysis was to explore relationships existing between: a) participant region b) right side spur selections, and c) right side cane selections. Proximity between points indicates similarity on Components 1 and 2 resulting from Multiple Correspondence Analysis. Horizontal position in the two-component visual space indicates score on Component 2. Vertical position in the two-component visual space indicates score on Component 2.

Marlborough were more likely to rate the presented decisions higher (p<0.05). This matched the tendencies described in the above paragraph, as the decision presented in the Qualtrics study was to maintain the current shape of the vine with R2 as a spur. Region had a similar association, nearing statistical significance (p<0.10), with those criteria relating to the horizontal position and origin of the cane. While these findings have proved fairly conclusive in their identification of differences in regional pruning preference, it would be premature to firmly attribute these differences to a particular cause. A number of possible factors have been suggested by this work, such as varietal familiarity, regional growing conditions, yield targets, wine style considerations,

and lastly, social influences. Table 4

Organisational Role Categories • Labourer exclusively • Supervisor exclusively • Manager or Proprietor

Organisational Role and Pruning Preference The effects of organisational role on pruning preferences were nearly as pronounced as those produced by region. For the purpose of analysis, participants were divided into groups (Table 4), corresponding to their highest self-identified role within the organisation. Those who identified as a labourer exclusively

constituted their own group. Participants who identified as a supervisor, or as both a labourer and a supervisor, made up the second group. Finally, anyone who identified as a Manager or a Proprietor was placed into a third group, which from now will be referred to as ‘management’. With respect to spur decision preferences, separation was observed between all three groups (chisquare analysis, p<0.01). The largest gap in preferences was between those who identified as a labourer exclusively and anyone who identified as management. Those identifying as labourers left a spur on the right side at a much higher than expected rate. Conversely, the management group was relatively unlikely to leave a spur on the right side. On the left side of the vine, management

was more likely than expected to choose both L2 and L3 as spurs, whereas labourers opted for L3 alone in higher than expected numbers (chi-square analysis, p<0.01). Significant bi-variate interactions were not observed between organisational role and either the left or right cane selection decisions. Multiple Correspondence Analysis yielded some insight into the interaction between organisational role and pruning preferences. It is again useful here to break down output of this analysis into its respective components. Component 1 represents nearly 63 per cent of all the variance in the categories of the observed variables. As described previously, this first component followed a trend in which all of the options associated with


restructuring the vine scored highly negatively on Component 1. Managers and Supervisors tended towards this side of the spectrum, whereas those identifying exclusively as labourers tended more towards the options associated with maintaining the current vine shape. Notably, and as in similar analyses, Component 2 served to separate the various options associated with either maintaining or restructuring the vine head. Another vantage point for conceptualising the results of this analysis is to reflect on the position of the various groups in two component space. An argument could be made that supervisors were close to equidistant from both management and labourers, in terms of their pruning preferences. If anything, their tendencies were found to be leaning towards those of management. This observation may constitute a modest validation of the employment of supervisors, as a means of bridging the perspective gap between management and labourers.


While the findings presented here are not the entirety of that which emerged from this MSc project, they do describe the first steps into quantitative analysis of pruning decisionmaking. As no prior work has been done to measure pruning decision tendency, extensive future efforts will be needed to validate any general conclusions that may have emerged from this study. That said, several findings of this study are ripe for further exploration. These include: • Region, organi- Figure 3: MCA bi-plot of region, right side spur selections, and right side cane sational role, and selection(Pool B) experience level appeared to display iables did not interact with prun- ticipant’s perception of overall significant influence on partici- ing preference, including tertiary pruning quality. It is unclear, and pant pruning preference. Several education and vineyard size. worth exploring, whether or how other descriptive, categorical var• In this instance, it was possi- widely this trend would hold in ble to differentiate these regional other vine pruning scenarios. preferences, with Central Otago Figure 4: MCA bi-plot of the Interaction between organisational role and right side preferences (Pool B). and Hawke’s Bay Acknowledgements tending to favour Lincoln University, the Unim o r e a g g r e s s i v e versity of Canterbury Automated restructuring deci- Cane Pruning Robot Project, and sions, relative to the Romeo Bragato Trust made Marlborough and this project possible with their Waipara. directional, financial, and admin• Managers and istrative support. Proprietors, across Also indispensable were the the various regions, many contributions of this proalso tended to favour ject’s supervisors, namely: Dr. m o r e a g g r e s s i v e Valerie Saxton, Dr. Glen Creasy, restructuring deci- Dr. Gary Steel, and Dr. Richard sions. Green. A tremendous debt of • For the subject gratitude is also due to the over vine, considerations 90 vineyards and 228 participants of spur and cane who contributed their time and position were the talent to these first steps in bridgpredominant factors ing the quantitative gap in prunin determining a par- ing decision quantification.

Note: The purpose of this analysis was to explore relationships that exist between: a) organisational role b) right side spur selections, and c) right side cane selections. Proximity between points indicates similarity on Components 1 and 2 resulting from Multiple Correspondence Analysis. Horizontal position in the two-component visual space indicates score on Component 1. Vertical position in the two-component visual space indicates score on Component 2.

114   // 

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