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NEW ZEALAND WINEGROWER

DECEMBER 2018 / JANUARY 2019 ISSUE 113

Strategic Review T H E O F F I C I A L M A G A Z I N E O F T H E N E W Z E A L A N D W I N E I N D U S T RY

PwC identify three major shifts for NZW

Two Years On Lessons learned from the Kaikoura quake

Twice Entered, Twice Won Andy Anderson takes out top awards two years in a row

DECEMBER 2018 / JANUARY 2019 ISSUE 113

New Zealand Wine Awards 2018 Wine, people and regions celebrated in new look event


Issue 113 – December 2018/January 2019

Contents

REGULARS 4

Editorial

Tessa Nicholson

6

From the CEO

Philip Gregan

8

In Brief

News from around the country

10

Calendar

Wine events in New Zealand

46

Women in Wine

Eveline Fraser

56

Bob’s Blog

Bob Campbell MW

70

Not on the Label

Legal Matters with Kensington Swan

12

FEATURES 12

New look awards celebrates whole industry

The New Zealand Wine Awards moved to a new level this year, with people old and young celebrated, while the inaugural Wine of the Year™ saw the top accolade go to Maude Wines from Central Otago.

18

Strategic Review highlights three major shifts

Enhancing the industry’s reputation, Responding to the changing market dynamics and Managing and mitigating risks to profitability are the three major shifts highlighted in the PwC Strategic Review of NZW.

22

Lessons learned

The 2016 Kaikoura quake devastated parts of Marlborough’s wine industry – but it also highlighted areas the industry needs to be aware of moving forward. We look closely at the lessons learned from the event two years ago.

60

50

28

22


E D I TO R Tessa Nicholson tessa.nicholson@me.com

CO R R E SP O N D E NTS Wellington Wine Country: Joelle Thomson mailme@joellethomson.com Hawkes Bay: Olly Styles oliverstyles@hotmail.com Nelson: Neil Hodgson neil@hodgson.net.nz Central Otago: Jean Grierson jean.grierson@nzsouth.co.nz

A DV E R T I S I N G Sales Manager & Upper North Island: Stephen Pollard stephenp@ruralnews.co.nz Ph: 09 913 9637 Mobile: 021 963 166 Central North Island: Ted Darley ted@ruralnews.co.nz 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 kayes@ruralnews.co.nz Ph: 03 376 5552 Mobile: 021 221 1994

C I R C U L AT I O N & SUBSCRIPTIONS Jodi Blair jodi.blair@nzwine.com Ph: 09 303 3527, ext 0 Fax: 09 302 2969 Mobile: 0277 00 2371 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

NZ Sauvignon Blanc – a trendsetter WHAT DO Nike, Starbucks, Haagen Dazs and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc have in common? That was the question that UK Writer Robert Joseph put to a group of international journalists visiting ProWine China recently. The answer to the question – is that our Sauvignon Blanc has changed the views of consumers, in just the same way the other three have. Joseph, who was a guest speaker at the inaugural Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in 2016, explained further. Thirty years ago, people had gym shoes. They were cheap, available in white or black and were used for everything from sport to casual wear. Then along came Nike, with their runners, with styles for individual sports, available in all colours and worth more than $100. Back when gym shoes were what you wore on your feet for sport, you were also probably only going to be able to buy a cup or filtered of instant coffee, at a price of less than a dollar. Starbucks changed that forever. All of a sudden you could purchase a range of flavoured coffees, and the price you were paying was far more substantial. Remember when ice cream was available in a limited range of flavours? It was bought either as a scoop in a cone, or to fill out a dessert. But enter Haagen Dazs with a plethora of styles and a price point to match. Ice cream is no longer a simple dessert, it is an experience. And New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? Joseph says prior to the 90s this variety was viewed as a cheap style of wine, without too much of a following. Then New Zealand Sauvignon entered the market – and everything changed. All of a sudden consumers wanted this style of wine and were more than prepared to pay a premium price for it. It became an experience in a glass. That is quite a statement from a man who has been watching wine trends for the past 35 years. And it is the perfect precursor to the upcoming Sauvignon Blanc Celebration taking place in less than eight weeks time.

Publisher: Brian Hight Managing Editor: Adam Fricker Production: Dave Ferguson, Rebecca Williams

Published by Rural News Group Ltd under authority of New Zealand Winegrowers 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 Inc. or its constituent organisations. Published every second month. One free copy is mailed to every member of the New Zealand Winegrowers Inc, 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

4   // 

Tessa Nicholson

EDITOR CONTRIBUTORS

Jean Grierson

Lee Suckling

Neil Hodgson

It has been a rocky start to the season for some Central Otago grape growers, as Jean reports on a “freeze” frost that impacted on vines.

This issue Lee looks at the difficulties of enjoying wine in a destination where it is illegal.

The names Judy and Tim Finn are synonymous with Nelson, and as Neil explains, they are now Legends of New Zealand Wine.

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From the CEO Philip Gregan

Visiting staff in Asia.

Extracting value By now most members should be well aware that the results from the recent Strategic Review have been delivered to New Zealand Wingrowers and are available to growers and wineries. THE LATEST report, the 2nd from Strategic Review, was presented to the Board on 11 October who then met a fortnight later to discuss the Review findings. The first decision by the Board was to release the report to growers and wineries, which was then discussed with them in a series of workshops at the end of October.

We have received considerable feedback from the workshops – thank you to those members who have taken the time to email or call us. In general terms response from members has been that PwC has done a good job in correctly identifying the issues, opportunities and challenges confronting members and the industry as a whole. Members have been supportive of the new purpose for NZW which was adopted by the Board at its meeting on 25 October. At the member meetings discussing the Review, Chair John Clarke and Deputy Clive Jones outlined the initial steps taken by the Board – establishment of

6   // 

an Implementation Committee to guide and monitor the NZW response to the review, and work programmes in Sustainability and Marketing amongst other matters. With the Strategic Review comprising over 300 pages it will of course take some time for NZW to develop its full response to the Report. Our plan for next year will reflect the changes we will be making as the result of the Review and we expect it will guide all our activities over the next five years at least. So as in 2011 we are committed to extracting full value from the Review. But it is important to remember that the Strategic Review was not just conducted with NZW in mind. A key goal of the review was to provide growers and wineries with an information resource of value. So to get extract value out of the Review members also need to consider what its findings mean for their own vineyard and winery businesses.

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


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News Briefs

  DOMEST I C 

 D OM E ST IC 

Tohu’s 20th celebration collaboration

THE CHAMPION WINES IN THE NEW WORLD WINE AWARDS 2018 Champion Sauvignon Blanc

Vidal Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Champion Pinot Gris

Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018

Champion Aromatic

Mount Brown Estates North Canterbury Riesling 2018

Champion Chardonnay

Wither Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2017

Champion Sparkling

Wine Morton Estate Black Label Brut

Champion Rosé

Madam Sass Central Otago Pinot Noir Rosé 2018

Champion Pinot Noir

Shaky Bridge Pioneer Series Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017

Champion Single Varietal Red Grant Burge Cameron Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Champion Red Blend

Mo Sisters Red Blend 2016

Champion Shiraz & Syrah

Zonte’s Footstep Chocolate Factory McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016

The full medal results of the New World Wine Awards can be viewed at newworld.co.nz/wineawards

RENOWNED ARTIST Flox has designed an exclusive gift box and label for Tohu’s limited edition Méthode Traditionelle Rewa Rosé, as part of the winery’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Kono CEO Rachel Taulelei says the company is delighted to be working with Flox, “who shares our passion for the unique landscape of Aotearoa.” It is not just the label and gift box that is available, a Flox-designed tote bag was also released onto the market at the end of October. For every bag sold, Tohu Wines will donate a native tree through Te Rahi o Tane – Trees that Count, which helps conservation groups to plant more native trees by connecting planters with funders.

  M ARLBOROUGH 

WINEWORKS MARLBOROUGH WINE RACE THE DAY dawned with clear blue skies and perhaps not as much wind as the skippers of more than 40 yachts were hoping for, but the annual WineWorks Marlborough Wine Race was yet another success. Yachts from the Waikawa Boating Club made their way across the notorious Cook Strait, each containing a bottle of wine, from one of the many regional wineries. Line honours went to Code Breaker, which was carrying Mud House Wines Sub Region Series Rapaura Sauvignon Blanc 2017, while handicap winners Sequin were carrying Clos Marguerite Sauvignon Blanc 2018.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


News Briefs

 H AWKE’S BAY 

Young Vintner of the Year EIT BACHELOR of Wine Science student Elise Picot is the 2018 HB A& P Young Vintner of the Year announced at this year’s Hawke’s Bay Wine Awards. In addition to having her EIT fees paid for 2019, Elise will be working the next vintage at Craggy Range winery. The 27-yearold started her degree in 2016, after returning from overseas travels. She had previously completed a degree in industrial design in Wellington so is not new to study. “I’d decided I wanted to pursue a career that had a science backing that I could apply creativity to. Winemaking was the answer.”  M ARLBOROU GH 

 N ORT H C A NT E R B U RY 

Wine DR ROGER BOULTON LEADS NZSVO SPEAKERS and art combine A MAN labelled as one of the 50 most influential people in the US wine industry, will be among the many guest speakers at January’s NZSVO Sauvignon Blanc workshop. Dr Roger Boulton is renowned as a wine researcher and educator on the chemical and biochemical engineering aspects of winemaking and distilled spirits production. He is also one of the authors of the oenology textbook Principles and Practices of Winemaking. He will be speaking at the workshop on Using Antioxidants – current practice. Dr Boulton is one of 18 speakers presenting at the workshop. nzsvo.org.nz

CHRISTCHURCH ART Gallery Foundation and Greystone Wines have launched their first collection of Art Wines in collaboration with celebrated New Zealand artist, Judy Millar. The wines were celebrated at the Gallery’s inaugural gala event “Art Do” in October.   All proceeds, from event ticket sales, to art, wine and beer sales, will go toward helping New Zealand artists create major works for the gallery. So far the Christchurch Art Gallery Foundation has raised over $90,000. North Canterbury based winery, Greystone Wines, has been the Christchurch Art Gallery Foundation’s official wine sponsor for the past year and believe the gallery is breaking new ground.

 NORTH CANT ER B URY 

ONE NAME FOR CANTERBURY WINERIES MORE THAN 60 Canterbury vineyards have come together under one name, as the region sets to establish itself on the international market. North Canterbury Wine Region (NCWR) came into being in August and will replace the former associations of Wines of Canterbury and Waipara Valley Wine Growers. The region designated NCWR spans from just south of Kaikoura to north of the Rakaia River, including Banks Peninsula.

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   9


Upcoming Events

December - February Pinot Noir Celebration 24-26 January 2019

TO HAVE EVENTS ADDED

A chance for Pinot aficionados to imbibe in the 14th Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration pinotcelebration.co.nz

TO OUR CALENDAR CONTACT TESSA NICHOLSON TESSA.NICHOLSON@ME.COM

SAUVIGNON

NZSVO Sauvignon Workshop Blenheim prior to Sauvignon 19, on Sunday 27 January, at the Clubs of Marlborough.

Sauvignon Blanc 2019

With a theme of How to Dance on a Moving Carpet. nzsvo.org.nz

International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration. Focusing on three themes, Place, Purity and Pursuit. sauvignonnz.com

Blenheim between 28 and 30 January.

19

North Canterbury Wine & Food Festival 10 March 2019. Set in the beautiful grounds of Glenmark Domaine, this festival brings together over 50 wine and food stallholders. northcanterburywines.co.nz/events/

Marlborough Wine and Food Festival

Once again, this iconic event will be held at Brancott Vineyard, attracting up to 8000 guests. More than 40 wineries and over 25 food stalls will once again be hoping for the perfect sunny Marlborough day. wine-marlborough-festival.co.nz

Chardonnay & Sparkling Symposium Gisborne from January 31 – February 1. Following on from Sauvignon 19, the Chardonnay & Sparkling Symposium.

Royal Easter Show Wine Awards Entries close 18th January 2019 Samples into Auckland by 1st February Judging at ASB Showgrounds 12th - 14th February Medal results announced 19th February wineshow.co.nz

10   // 

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


Global Events

New Zealand Wine Global Events Programme 2018-2019

To view a digital version of this programme, please visit www.nzwine.com/members/events.

The New Zealand Winegrowers Global Events Programme outlines the user-pays global events activities planned for 2018-2019.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE A HARD COPY VERSION, OR WISH TO SPEAK TO ONE OF THE TEAM, PLEASE CONTACT ANGELA WILLIS GLOBAL EVENTS MANAGER +64 9 306 5642 ANGELA@NZWINE.COM

ASIA

AUSTRALIA

24 May Pure Discovery Hong Kong

Earlybird deadline - 25 January Final deadline - 15 February

27 May Pure Discovery Shenzen or Guangzhou

Earlybird deadline - 25 January Final deadline - 15 February

29 May Pure Discovery Beijing

Earlybird deadline - 25 January Final deadline - 15 February

31 May Pure Discovery Shanghai

Earlybird deadline - 25 January Final deadline - 15 February

March

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival – New Zealand Wine Dinner Series Final deadline – 14 December

EUROPE

CANADA

USA

27 February – 3 March Vancouver International Wine Festival

May/June New Zealand Wine Promotion with Legal Seafood East Coast

Registrations closed

2 May Pure Discovery Vancouver

Final deadline – 14 December

Final deadline – 14 December

17-19 March ProWein Dusseldorf

Registrations closed

UK 14 January Flavours of New Zealand Dublin Registrations closed

16 January Flavours of New Zealand London Registrations closed

7-8 May Pure Discovery and Trade Lunch Ottawa

June Telluride Festival Telluride, CO

Final deadline – 25 January

Final deadline – 14 December

9 May Pure Discovery Toronto

Final deadline – 14 December

10 May Pure Discovery Trade Lunch Hamilton

Final deadline – 14 December

Policy Design

Mobile On-Site Drug & Alcohol Testing

Property Methamphetamine Inspections

Pre-Employment Drug & Alcohol Testing

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   11


Wine Awards

New-look awards celebrate whole industry WORDS: TESSA NICHOLSON

Maude Wine was crowned with NZ Wine of the YearTM Awards top trophy.

12   // 

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


The first phase of the New Zealand Winegrowers’ PwC strategic review suggested a revamp of the way the industry celebrates success. INSTEAD OF two industry wine awards (Bragato Wine Awards and the former Air New Zealand Wine Awards) the suggestion was to combine both into one official wine industry competition – the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Awards. It was also important to bring the industry together to celebrate more than just great wine, and so the New Zealand Wine Awards was born. This inaugural industry dinner was held in Wellington in early November. Touted as a huge success, the change in focus meant people

involved in the wine industry played a major role in the New Zealand Wine Awards. Both those who have helped forge the industry into what it is today and those that are emerging as the future leaders. In previous years both the Young Winemaker and Young Viticulturist have only been acknowledged at the finals of the individual events. That changed this year. Both Anabelle Bulk (Young Vit) and Greg Lane (Young Winemaker) were lauded in front of the rest of the industry for their achievements. It was a chance for NZW to highlight just what the two have achieved and why such events are vitally important to the growth of the wine industry. T h e g a l a e v e nt a l s o acknowledged the New Zealand School of Winegrowing, which began its tenure this year. Established in Blenheim, the school brings winegrowing

into the classroom, and is open to students from both Marlb oroug h Girl’s and Marlborough Boys’. Two of the students who have completed

Touted as a huge success, the change in focus meant people involved in the wine industry played a major role in the New Zealand Wine Awards.

t he f irst ye ar attende d the celebrations and were

recognised by NZW for their achievements. It’s a long way from Canada to Wellington, but that didn’t prevent NZW celebrating 25 years of service to the New Zealand wine industry by Robert Ketchin. A Market Manager for Canada, Ketchin was key to opening up the Canadian market for our wines. Present at the Awards dinner, his long service was feted. On top of those recognitions, three members of the wine industry were inducted as Fellows on the night. Jane Hunter arrived on the New Zealand wine scene back in 1983, and has been involved ever since. Originally working for Montana, she took over the reins of Hunter’s Wines when husband Ernie died in 1987. Over the past 30 years she has been a member of the Wine Institute Board and various committees, and was a foundation Director of the

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   13


Clockwise from top left: The future of New Zealand wine,

The gala event also acknowledged the New Zealand School of Winegrowing, which began its tenure this year.

from left: Katie Bruce, Kris Godsall (NZ School of Winegrowing), Annabel Bulk (Young Viticulturist) and Greg Lane (Young Winemaker). Previous NZW Fellows. Chair of Judges Warren Gibson and Carrick winemaker Frances Hutt. New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Champions; Dan and Sarah-Kate Dineen. Wine of the Year Award winners. New Fellows, Ivan Sutherland, Jane Hunter and Mark Nobilo.

New Zealand Wine Guild which charted the path forward for New Zealand wine in the UK in the early 1990’s. Hunter has also been involved outside the wine industry per se, serving as a member of the Trade and Enterprise Board and Plant and Food. Her commitment to the industry overall has seen her awarded an OBE and made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Mark Nobilo has the wine industry flowing through

14   // 

his veins. With a last name of Nobilo, it was probably inevitable that he would end up in the wine industry. But it has been his ability to willingly pass on knowledge as a viticulturist that was acknowledged with being made a Fellow. In the early years he spent a great deal of time working with Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay growers, helping them to produce quality grapes. More recently his skills have been passed on to viticulturists in the Northland

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

area, often at no charge. With over 40 years of industry experience, Ivan Sutherland was the third Fellow to be inducted. He was one of the first people to place his faith in the new wine industry in Marlborough, becoming a contract grower in the 70s. His knowledge quickly grew and he became a consultant, helping other farmers turn their hand to grape growing. Helping found the Marlborough Grape Growers Association,

Sutherland went on to be a part of the board of Wine Marlborough for a number of years. His belief in strong research saw him serve as Chair of the original Marlborough Wine Research Centre Board. More latterly he was a Trustee of The Marlborough Research Centre. His services to the wine industry and New Zealand rowing saw him become a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Sutherland is co-owner of Dog Point Wines.


So onto the wines that were entered into the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Awards. With close to 1400 wines entered, 77 received gold medals, which equates to 5.8 percent of all wines entered. Chair of Judges Warren Gibson says the medals and resulting trophies shows; “that our maturing and evolving wine industry is beginning to display a very strong relationship between variety, style and wine region. “This link appears far more dramatic than in past awards and suggests we are beginning to find a true sense of place in our very youthful wine industry.” Being involved in the inaugural competition, Gibson said allowed himself and Deputy Chair Ben Glover, the opportunity to take the positive legacies of the two previous awards and move them forward. “The focus of the New

Zealand Wine of the Year™ Awards competition is strongly towards celebrating the entire New Zealand wine industry with a particular lean towards vineyard excellence and regionality. The increasing relevance of organic grapegrowing and the move towards a single vineyard focus in ou r i n du s t r y h a s b e e n particularly rewarded in this new format.” He described what he felt may be a first in the New Zealand wine competition, given the wines were judged in regional brackets. As the wines were masked, the team of judges were unaware of the region they were tasting, but it did allow them to judge “like for like”. “Similarly the organic wines were not only judged in the main depth of the competition but also presented as a class of organic wines in isolation. This gave the best wines the strongest

Warren Gibson.

chance to shine.” While Marlborough was the region awarded the most gold medals, the total of 77 was spread across every major region. Eight trophies were

awarded to Marlborough, three to Central Otago (including New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Champion) and three to Hawke’s Bay. For the full list of results nzwine.com/events

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Strategic Review

Three major shifts highlighted in Strategic Review TESSA NICHOLSON

THE STRATEGIC Review of New Zealand Winegrowers, undertaken by PricecwaterhouseCoopers has been released. All 300 plus pages. It will take a long time to read through the entire of the review, so NZW is planning to segment the report to allow members access to parts that are relevant to themselves. NZWinegrower magazine will be following that, with reviews of the key themes over the next few issues, bringing you the most relevant information. But to begin, this issue we look at the salient points as presented at member workshops recently. The review address’s three areas; strategic industry themes, 11 review questions covering

18   // 

supply, demand, regions, NZW factors research, sustainability, technology, celebrating success, regulations and what it all means to NZW. “We spent time understanding and looking at the role that NZW plays in the industry, the levers that NZW has and what the priorities should be, PwC spokesman Patrick Lyons said. Summarising the report, Lyons said there are three key shifts.

ENHANCING THE INDUSTRY’S REPUTATION “Once you get on the wrong side of a reputational issue it becomes very, very difficult with the wider public to get back on side again.”

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

What that actually means to NZW and what they can do about it, and what the future priorities should be, the PwC report says there needs to be a significant evolution of the sustainability activities via NZW and its members. “ The p osition of t he New Zealand wine industry as sustainable adds to the reputation of the New Zealand wine industr y both with consumers and retailers and internationally. Making sure that is enhanced is a huge industry priority.” Advocacy also comes under that industry reputation banner, Lyons said. NZW and members need to support the industry’s social license to operate.

RESPONDING TO CHANGING MARKET DYNAMICS Understandably in this area, the reliance on Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as the lead varietal came under scrutiny. Particularly given New Zealand has the highest concentration in one prime varietal of any wine producing country in the world, with Sauvignon Blanc representing 74 percent of New Zealand’s total production in 2017. “When you look at that across a number of key markets, there are changing dynamics in certain countries and being able to respond to those is critical to the on-going success of the industry.” Research will play a major role in this area moving for-


ward. In order to be able to respond to changes in market conditions, there needs to be research into new wine styles, ongoing research into productivity, and ways to enhance yield while maintaining quality. The marketing aspect of NZW will also play an important role in mitigating those changing market dynamics. “The marketing activity needs to be revitalized to keep it fresh and innovative so it continues to be effective in those markets. When you think about NZW’s marketing spend of about $3 million, it really is a drop in the ocean when you think about other broader marketing budgets. We need to be very clear when we talk about NZW marketing. It’s about supporting market development, it’s about reputation and providing the influencers in those markets to understand what it is about the New Zealand wine category.”

The position of the New Zealand wine industry as sustainable adds to the reputation of the New Zealand wine industry both with consumers and retailers and internationally. Making sure that is enhanced is a huge industry priority. MANAGING AND MITIGATING RISKS TO PROFITABILITY Having up to date research on pests and diseases is a vital component of this. As is research on climate change and building resilience, and research on reducing input costs. “Make sure the benefits of that research is shared with the wider industry. Only through that will you get the benefits across the industry,” Lyons said. He e m p h a s i z e d t h a t everything within the report has to be underpinned by maintaining quality and

distinctive wine styles.

NZW RESPONSE The board of NZW accepted the report at its October meeting. Members of the working party that worked alongside PwC during the review will be retained and the board committee chairs will be added to this to work on implementation. “We want some unification in response to this,” Chairman of the board John Clarke says. Deputy Chair Clive Jones says sustainability came out of the review as one the key critical

areas, particularly in terms of retaining reputation. “Sustainability has got to become part of every conversation we have across all of our activities. Not only in the sustainability group itself, but in marketing, advocacy and research.” The survey of members undertaken during the review showed that a third were disengaged, and found SWNZ an imposition. Another third were engaged and quite positive, while the final third were highly engaged and wanted more to be done in this field. Jones says it may be that some areas currently covered by SWNZ need to be removed to some other form of stipulation and allow SWNZ to concentrate on what is really important to the wine industry. Communication of the New Zealand wine sustainability story needs to be stronger, across all fields, he said.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


Impressive Year

Personality of the Year Twelve months after its official launch, the New Zealand Women in Wine Initiative has been reaping benefits, which is why NZ Winegrower is dedicating the Personality of the Year to New Zealand’s wine women. Tessa Nicholson explains EVERY YEAR NZ Winegrower highlights someone or something that has made a difference to the country’s wine industry, in the previous 12 months. This year, there was one subject that kept recurring, and that was the emergence of women coming to the fore to help not only other women but the wine industry as a whole. Women in Wine, a NZW initiative, was established due to concerns that women were not putting themselves forward for board roles, both at a national level and regional. That was despite there being so many influential women right across all sectors of the wine industry. Think Annie Millton, Jane Hunter, Erica Crawford, Judy Finn, Emma Taylor, Agnes Seifried, Kate Radburnd, Rose Delegat, Trudy Shield, Helen Masters, Jenny Dobson, Jen Parr, Phyll Pattie. There is no shortage

of inspiration when it comes to women within the New Zealand wine industry. They are all around us – in fact 46 percent of all wine industry employees are women. Women in Wine has harnessed that groundswell, and in less than 12 months it has managed to make a huge difference. Three of the four finalists in this year’s Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker of the Year were women. For the first time in 11 years two women made the finals of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year, with one of them Annabel Bulk from Central Otago, taking out the title – the first woman to do so since 2007. She then went on to win Young Horticulturist of the Year, the 7th Young Vit to do so. Two women stood in this year’s NZW Board of Directors election, while three women put themselves up for election to the Board of Wine Marlborough.

Eight inspirational women in wine stepped up to become mentors for the next generation.

Annabel Bulk, Bayer Young Vit and more recently winner of the Young Horticulturist of the Year.

An amazing group of eight inspirational women stepped up to be mentors for younger women coming through the industry. Networking events at both regional and national levels have seen dozens of women (and men) come together for the betterment of the wine industry. And throughout it all, more young women are now looking to the industry and seeing a career that does encompass them and offer opportunities. So, to all the women who have helped forge the New Zealand wine industry and all those who are intending to do so in the future – well done. You have all made a difference that will be felt for years to come.

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   21


Quake Update

Lessons learned from Kaikoura Quake TESSA NICHOLSON

Following the Kaikoura earthquake two years ago, the people impact was the greatest priority for the Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ management team

TON Y ROBB, Operations Manager South Island, who presented the company’s learnings at Bragato this year, says tanks can be replaced or repaired, there is always another vintage, “but people are your biggest asset and individuals can never be replaced.” The damage incurred by Pernod Ricard Winemakers on the morning of November 14, 2016 was substantial. The 7.8 quake damaged the majority of tanks in some way or form which resulted in the company going into vintage 2017 with just 50 percent capacity. While there was no interruption to international markets, there were still some pretty significant outcomes. So what were the learnings Robb took from the major event? Immediately after the quake, he headed to the winery to determine what the damage was. Despite there being no power it was obvious that the site was a dangerous one. Wine was lost and tanks were crushed

22   // 

amongst rubble. “I made a tough decision.” he admits, “We locked the winery up, we chained the gates so nobody could get in, and we left.” He then had to contact his staff to let them know that they shouldn’t even think about coming to work the next day, the same with the viticultural staff. “I wanted them to make sure that their homes were okay and their families were safe.” Not wanting to overload the cell phone network, he sent a text out to all staff members. “I thought that was fine,” he says. “Five minutes later I was getting lots of responses. But I subsequently discovered nearly half of those texts took 19 hours to get through. So a lot of people were trying to get to the winery next day to see what was going on.”

LESSON ONE: COMMUNICATION IS KEY The first big learning that Robb took out of managing

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

the crisis, is the importance of great communication. He later realised that he could have sent emails to staff, via the Cloud, which would have ensured everyone was contacted. Since the quake, all members of the team have been supplied with a portable device, to ensure they can be contacted.

LESSON TWO: DEALING WITH TEAM CONCERNS Robb says the number one thought on many employees’ minds when they saw the damage for themselves was understandably – will we still have a job? “Obviously a big part of our communication strategy was; yes, we are going to rebuild, their jobs were safe and by the way, if we are standing you down for the next couple of weeks because it is not safe to be at the winery, don’t worry about

money, we will continue to pay you. Our communications over the next six months focused on reassurance.”

LESSON THREE: DON’T LET ANYONE ONTO THE SITE UNTIL YOU HAVE DETERMINED THAT IT IS SAFE “We made the conscious decision that there was no way anyone was going into that space until structural engineers had said it was safe to do so. It was challenging to watch wine escape from our tanks - wine that we had worked on for months, in some cases for years and there wasn’t anything we could do about it.” It was the right decision, as tanks, rendered unstable by the earthquake, continued to fall well after the initial event. “If we had put people into those spaces we would have been putting them at risk.”


LESSON FOUR: CATWALKS ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS IN AN EARTHQUAKE “If anyone had been on that catwalk they wouldn’t have stayed on it very long,” Robb says. “I saw examples where catwalks were perfectly level after the quake, tanks were still upright, but everything that had been on that catwalk was on the ground metres away from the tank. If you were on that catwalk in a 7.8 event, do you think you would have been able to hang for the duration of the event?” (The quake lasted over 2 minutes.) Robb says the company now believes, wherever possible, that alternatives to catwalks should be investigated, going forward. “There are some risks associated with catwalks and with recent advancements in technology there are now some viable alternatives. These alternatives are being employed within new tanks being built for our winery, whether it is in Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay or Auckland.” The new design, which Robb describes as a ‘smart tank’, has density meters to measure volume, they are able to communicate with other winery equipment such as filters and pumps, “essentially they can run by themselves.” These tanks are being built with capacity up to half a million litres, and are all being

“It was challenging to watch wine escape from our tanks - wine that we had worked on for months, in some cases for years and there wasn’t anything we could do about it.” fastened with the OnGuard Seismic Systems.

LESSON FIVE: SPREAD THE LOAD Instead of Marlborough’s winer y taking the entire region’s harvest, Pernod Ricard Winemakers made the decision not to rebuild the winery to the previous size. “We have built extra capacity into our other wineries instead and every year from now on, a portion of what we crush and press will be shipped out straight away and fermented in other regions, predominantly Auckland.” Robb says Marlborough was initially cut off, with SH1 south closed for over a year. “If your wine is made and bottled in Marlborough and is then stuck in Marlborough, how are you going to sell it?” The lessons learned in Marlborough have been shared with Pernod Ricard world-wide and have already been instigated beneficially by company wineries affected by last year’s Californian wild fires. “In terms of communication,

they had a much better system than we did, (because of the lessons passed on) so they were

able to communicate with their staff quite readily. In terms of staff welfare, they applied many of the learnings we had made and as a result their staff felt the event was well managed and they were well looked after.” “It is something to be remembered; learnings from these type of events, should be shared.” tessa.nicholson@me.com Just some of the damage caused to Pernod Ricard tanks in Blenheim after the 2016 earthquake.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   23


Quakes lead to world’s largest database OUT OF adversity comes knowledge, and that has never been more the case than in the aftermath of the Hurunui/Kaikoura earthquake of 2016. University of Auckland Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD student, Mohsen Yazdanian is part of a joint team funded by MPI looking at ways of developing resilience within the wine industry in case of future events. To do just that,

24   // 

Mohsen has spent the better part of the past year compiling a data base regarding wine tanks that suffered damage, in both 2016 and the earlier quakes that hit Marlborough back in 2013. The end result is information on thousands of damaged tanks, ranging from minor to severe. According to his supervisor, Dr Dmytro Dizhur, the information is more in-depth than any other in the world.

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

“It is really exciting.” he said. “We think it is the world’s biggest data base that anyone has ever collected. There are thousands of tanks and no matter where we look around the world and the experts and universities in Chile and Italy, our data base is by far the largest we have seen.” The data is split between 2013 and 2016. Mohsen says the information from 2013 involves

approximately 2100 tanks, 1500 legged tanks, and 600 flat based tanks. The information shows that there was a distinct difference between the two tank types, with half of legged tanks suffering some form of damage. In terms of flat based tanks, 75 percent suffered damage, not all severe though. There are two separate data bases for 2016, one involves 1400 tanks, the other just under


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1600, consisting of both legged and flat based. There were some differences in terms of damage in 2016, Dr Dizhur says. “We saw a slight reduction in damage to flat based tanks and a small increase to the damage in legged tanks, which was around 60 percent.” Damage to and by catwalks was also very high. Almost 15 percent of damage to the flatbased and 7 percent of damage to the legged wine tanks was due to the catwalks. Mohsen says by the time 2016 came around many wineries had taken remedial action to safeguard their tanks. Compared with 2013, legs of legged tanks and anchorage systems of flat-based tanks performed slightly better. (OnGuard Seismic anchors were installed on more than 3000 tanks in nine wineries when the 2016 quake hit. None

26   // 

CODE OF BEST PRACTICE HAS THE time come for a Code of Best Practice to be instigated into winery tank design? Adam Walker, Structex Director and Senior Structural engineer believes so. “There isn’t one specific to the wine industry,” he says. “The earthquake engineering Society’s guidance document for designing your tanks is not specific enough for the wine industry. I think having a winery specific best practice guide would be useful. Then we could get some consistency across the country as engineers.” Walker says maybe it’s time to follow the lead of the building industry, which saw best practice guides introduced after the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. “We have found with the building industry since then, that there has been a lot of push back to the engineers around consistency of approach, but we haven’t seen that with wineries because no one has taken a lead in the wine industry. The government hasn’t taken a lead on it so far, which indicates that it probably won’t be them. I think New Zealand Winegrowers as the industry body, alongside the insurers and the few engineers involved need to be looking at this.”

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

of those tanks or slabs suffered damage and no wine was lost. Immediately following the November quake another 6000 anchors were installed and the number of wineries now using the anchoring system has risen to 25.) For Mohsen and University of Auckland, the research continues, with fragility functions the next step. Dr Dizhur explains. “Essentially this is the relationship that is being fed into insurance models to predict future costs of damage. We see how damage and costs change if some remediation techniques can be implemented. So we will be producing functions that could be used for damage predictions on a large scale, not just for Marlborough, but the whole country.” Once that is complete, the “fun” begins he says. Which will be taking large wine tanks, placing them on a shake table and testing them in conditions that would be experienced during an earthquake. “Then we will implement some of the techniques we have seen being used around Marlborough and seeing how well they go through the quakes on a shake table, to see if we need to make any adjustments.” The ultimate goal is to create recommendations for the industry. Dr Dizhur is hopeful that the end result will be to provide the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering with guidelines for winery tanks, especially given there are very few available currently. “What we see is a lot of engineering being done in accordance with the New Zealand Society of Engineering recommendations that have a guideline printed on tank design. But it doesn’t necessarily have any specifics on the wine industry, or wine tanks. I am hopeful that our work will provide a guide for future changes.”


Legs out, flat bottoms in CRICHTON PURDIE, GM of Crown Sheetmetal says the quakes have brought to the fore many of the design issues of the past. The most noticeable one being the production of tanks with legs. “Leg mounted tanks were basically built on a production line. A winery would call up and need say a 40,000 litre tank and we would go no worries. There would be no concrete slab in place, it wasn’t even a consideration. “Then a tank would turn up on a truck and the winery would place it wherever they wanted it to go. Then the next year they might move it around, (with the help of a forklift) when more tanks came in. They were easily maneuverable with the adjustable legs.” But that maneuverability and the lack of solid concrete slabs that tanks could be anchored to, resulted in severe damage back in 2013. “It became apparent that that style of tank wasn’t up to it,” Purdie says. Immediately after the 2013

quakes, Crown Sheetmetal did two things. Firstly, they came up with a way to retro-fit a skirt onto existing tanks (those not damaged), using more modern anchorage systems. “Then we changed our design philosophy. We will still build leg mounted tanks, but to get them to the same design standard, it is almost cost prohibitive. It’s actually cheaper to put them on a concrete plinth now than to put all that extra steel and bracing on.” Another change, that has more to do with the growth of the Marlborough wine industry than the earthquakes, has seen far bigger tanks being built and Purdie says they are just not suitable to have legs. Given earthquakes probably weren’t on the radar of wineries prior to 2013, he says there are three things wineries should take into consideration if purchasing new tanks. “The slab thickness the tanks are sitting on, that is really important. Two; make sure the skirt that supports the tank is going to the ground and is

anchored down correctly. “That is about the energy being able to be transferred back into the ground. Three; make sure the barrel thickness as you go up the tank is correct. Typically, the skirt is the thickest part of the tank and then the thickness lessons the higher you go.” Getting a design that includes slab, and tank prior to the building, he believes is vital. “It is really important that when people are buying tanks, they make sure they are getting

the whole package designed properly and they are getting all the right documentation from engineers and manufacturers to support that.” As for whether catwalks will become a thing of the past, Purdie says they already are in the dairy industry. With Pernod Ricard the first winery in Marlborough (and possibly New Zealand) to move towards catwalk free tanks, he believes there will be take up from other companies. tessa.nicholson@me.com

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   27


Regions Central Otago

Frost event a ‘freeze’ JEAN GRIERSON

THE CENTRAL Otago wine industry may have “dodged a bullet” with a record long and severe early season October frost, says acting Central Otago Winegrowers Association chairman James Dicey. Whilst the full extent of damage won’t be determined until post-flowering and fruit set in early December, Dicey says looking back a month later it appeared early estimates held true that the region had suffered “variable” damage across about 5-10% of its vineyard area. “It’s too early in the season to determine crop losses, but one of the things acting in our

favour is that because of the amazing year we had last year we have a lot of inflorescences. If we get a good run through flowering and fruit set, we may not notice any drop in yield across the region,” he said. Bleary-eyed grape growers recovering from the record long night of frost-fighting on October 12/13 were soon comparing notes on how their vineyards had fared, with some normally “frost-free” sites incurring shoot damage, and some newer plantings with vines still in bags being described as “nuked.” Some individuals had

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


PHOTO: Craig Carter, Zebra

suffered a “devastating blow” with 60 to 70 percent damage, said Dicey. Mostly this occurred where water systems failed due to temperatures dropping below their design capacity. “When a water frost-fighting system fails, the results are catastrophic.” The two-stage cold snap over three days which brought snow to Otago 48 hours apart cleared overnight on Friday October 12th bringing winterlike temperature conditions, “the coldest ever seen in any of New Zealand’s wine regions in October,” said James Morrison, of WeatherStation Frost Forecasting. “Cloudy skies on Friday with very cold thickness levels gave comparable conditions to July,” Morrison said in a report presented to a special meeting

“There’s people who have been farming here for 60 years and never experienced that level of cold in October.” – James Dicey held by the Central Otago Winegrowers Association. As predicted the storm weather cleared by nightfall on Friday and frost alarms were going off by 9pm. An earlier than normal bud burst had left vines vulnerable when the dry air combined with low temperatures and dew points “well below minus 5 across parts of the region,” said Dicey, whose company Grape Vision manages a number of vineyards across all subregions of Central Otago. He recorded temperatures of -4.7 deg C beneath a wind machine in the Gibbston Valley and suffered no damage. Meanwhile growers using sprinklers had to be vigilant to get them going early enough

and some systems struggled to keep up the volume of water needed to protect against the extreme cold. Those looking forward to a hot shower and bed on Saturday morning had to delay for several more hours as a cloud layer quickly settled over the valleys, and water frost-fighting systems ran through in some cases until 11.30am. A vast amount of ice was formed and some growers experienced ice build-up so heavy that shoots were ripped from vines. However, given the extreme length and severity of cold overnight, the “relatively low” level of damage across the district as a whole could be attributed to unusually low

levels of moisture in the air, as well as shoots having low water levels in their early growth stage. “The damage to cells was much lower compared to the normal types of frosts we experience.” The conditions had “created a freeze event rather than a frost.” Dicey said the freeze was a highly unusual, “once in multigenerational” event. “There’s people who have been farming here for 60 years and never experienced that level of cold in October.” Some orchardists in the region had also suffered severe crop losses, it was reported. “You have to argue we are seeing more extremes in our climate, we certainly have in the last few years,” he said. jean.grierson@nzsouth.co.nz

PHOTO: Aurum Wines

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   29


Education News

Lincoln develops Masters course TESSA NICHOLSON

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY is offering students the chance to undertake a one-year Masters in Wine and Viticulture from 2019. Head of Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciences, Roland Harrison, says the course is different to other traditional Masters, in that there is no specific research thesis within the programme. “It will all be done in one calendar year, so it is much more time and financially efficient.” Harrison says as the wine industry develops there is a

I was struck by the fact that people on that external panel, winemakers and growers, felt there was a need for these higher-level professional skills that weren’t just about growing grapes or making wine. need for employees to have the ability to be able to absorb more technical information. In addition, the course will include a business skills component. “We think as the industry

develops it is important for all people working in it to have a real sense of the whole value chain, rather than just their own area of production. We have called it Wine and Viticulture,

H EA LTHY GR A PE S

rather than Viticulture and Wine, because wine is the broader concept and includes everything from the growing of grapes, the making of wine and also the selling of it and understanding the consumer.” The course will include sensory components, advanced oenology and viticulture, along with the business component. Harrison admits, many already involved in the industry have been wanting a course that would offer more than the current Bachelor degree. “A number of years ago

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


we reviewed the Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology, and an external panel was involved in that review. I was struck by the fact that people on that external panel, winemakers and growers, felt there was a need for these higher-level professional skills that weren’t just about growing grapes or making wine.” Harrison is also keen to involve the NZWRC in some of the papers at the end of the course. “One of the papers is called case studies, and will be designed so students will interact with the industry, looking at some of the problems they are facing and trying to design solutions for them.” The course which will begin in February 2019, is available to anyone with sufficient background in viticulture and oenology and with a B average in the final year of their undergraduate degree.

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   31


National Accolade

Legends of New Zealand Wine NEIL HODGSON

AT THIS year’s New Zealand International Wine Show Tim and Judy Finn were awarded the highest accolade within the New Zealand wine industry; the Sir George Fistonich Legends of New Zealand Wine Medal. This award honours the person selected for his or her outstanding contribution to New Zealand wine and was created and named in honour of a man who unquestionably has made one of the greatest contributions to the New Zealand wine industry, Sir George Fistonich.

32   // 

“When Sir George was asked to put his name to the award 14 years ago he thought very hard about it, but is proud to have done so,” International Wine Show organiser Kingsley Wood says. “It is a hugely significant award in people’s lives.” The Finns have created one of New Zealand’s premiere wine brands, Neudorf Vineyards, over the last 30 plus years, while also building a highly successful small business. Their contribution to both the Nelson and New Zealand wine industry over this time has been

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

significant. Wood says; “When I used to send out newsletters if I left Nelson out I got a phone call from Judy wanting to know why. She and Tim have so much passion for the Nelson region and its place in New Zealand wine, they made sure it didn’t get lost among the hype from much larger wine regions.” It is that sort of passion and the many boards, councils and committees the couple have contributed to over almost four decades that has helped New Zealand focus on high quality

wines and build its international reputation on quality. Judy Finn said that it was a pleasure to receive this award on behalf of all the volunteers who make the kiwi wine business so successful. “Tim and I are also proud to have been a small part of a sector that has helped lift New Zealand’s international profile for environmental sustainability, quality and most of all for excitement. Our wines are energetic, racy and bring out the best in our terrific food from land and sea.”  neil@hodgson.co.nz


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Sulphur

Sulphur

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500ml

HML32

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label

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Seaweed

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1. Lime sulphur only needs to be applied if the previous season had high powdery mildew infection and/or erinose mites. 2. Recover after rain. 3. Applications of copper provides phomopsis and downy mildew control. Note that further copper applications may be required where the downy mildew pressure is high.

Disclaimer: Henry Manufacturing Limited has prepared this programme to assist grape growers using its products. Liability whether in tort (including negligence), contract or otherwise, for any loss, crop injury or crop failure, resulting from the application of this spray programme is excluded. Any user of this spray programme accepts this disclaimer.

6. If the flowering period is longer than 7 days or is wet, apply Protector mix to maintain powdery mildew cover.

botrytis resilience and enhancement maturity. See notes on website for accurate timings for white and red grapes.

7. For a month after Fruitset EL27 (when plant is still susceptible to powdery mildew), cover at 7 day intervals (10 day maximum) with HML32 mix alternating with Protector mix. If under pressure, use HML32 mix instead of Protector mix.

11. All HML products are alkaline. Take care when selecting copper and nutrient products to avoid tank mix incompatibility and plant damage. Read the label of HML products.

4. Early applications of HML Silco helps build plant strength and crop resilience.

8. The HML32, sulphur and Silco mix prevents and eradicates powdery mildew.

12. Magnesium sulphate is in most cases compatible with the Protector, HML Silco and sulphur mix. Jar test recommended. Not compatible with HML32.

5. HML32 mix at EL18 and EL 25 are important applications that brackets flowering. Provides powdery mildew prevention and eradication control as well as botrytis control.

9. Where there is existing powdery mildew infection, an alternative mix is HML32, copper and HML Potum (potassium bicarbonate).

13. If other trace element applications are required, an extra application round will be required or alternatively drop Protector out of the mix.

10. At EL35-36, the application of HML32 can provide

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Climate Change

French look to work with NZ A FR ENCH research organisation studying the effects of climate change on viticulture, is hoping to partner up with New Zealand grape growers, through a collaboration with the NZWRC. Life-Adviclim research is unique in that it is observing and simulating the climate and climate changes at the local scale in a number of wine regions

in Europe. Currently the research sites are France’s Bordeaux, Val De Loire, England’s Sussex, Germany’s Rheingau and Romania’s Cotnari. That research has been shared with the NZWRC, with a number of seminars on findings having been held in Blenheim. Now Life-Adviclim is looking to partner up with growers across

Sussex is one of the wine regions where LifeAdviclim is researching climate change.

New Zealand. The information gathered will be used to develop and use climate models, taking account of both climate change simulations and local climate variability to help develop a software tool to help vineyard managers manage the impacts of climate change and measure CO2 emissions. The information LifeAdviclim is wanting from

growers includes; timing of flowering and sugar content of berries, in line with climatic c ond it i ons , p ar t i c u l arly temperature within vineyards. If any grower is interested in finding out more, or wanting to be involved in the future, please contact Tracy Benge, Development Manager at NZWRC. tracy@nzwine.com

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

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Sauvignon 19

With Sauvignon 19 just a matter of weeks away, Tessa Nicholson asks organising Chair Patrick Materman a few pertinent questions This is the second Sauvignon celebration - what will be new this time? We felt the format of the last event in 2016 was very successful, and that was certainly the feedback. This time we’ve building on that foundation with a whole new line-up of speakers, some fabulous new venues and concepts for the culinary programme and themes which are pertinent to the evolution in how Sauvignon Blanc is

made and sold. We have a number of new wineries who didn’t attend last time, from New Zealand and overseas, and a great line up of influencers that NZW are bringing to New Zealand for the first time to attend the event. What international countries and how many international guests are attending? We have wineries from USA and South Africa confirmed, and we are still confirming a

European winery. Each of the panel speakers for the International tasting will then select another international Sauvignon Blanc to capture one of the themes ‘Mountain’, ‘River’ or ‘Coast’. The wines will be influenced by one of these geographical features. There will be at least 100 international guests, brought out by NZW or by individual wineries. These will be key influencers who will tell our story and expand the success

of Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc is a renowned food wine - how will that be represented during the celebration? An amazing culinary programme has been developed for Sauvignon 2019 which will showcase the finest New Zealand produce and also the versatility of Sauvignon Blanc. There is a theme of ‘Mountain’, ‘River’ and ‘Coast’ being expressed through the dinner locations and also the menus.

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As part of the programme we also have Tim Hanni MW speaking about food and wine interactions. What is the highlight of the three day event for you personally? Each of the three days has a clear theme – Place, Purity and Pursuit. I’m really looking forward to the International tasting on Day 1 where we discover the influence of ‘Place’ on Sauvignon Blanc style. This theme will be enhanced by the influence of ‘Mountain’, ‘River’ or ‘Coast’ on the wine. I’m drawn to wines which show true provenance and this tasting should be fascinating.      What do you hope is the outcome of Sauvignon 19? Sauvignon 2019 aims to educate key influencers on the developments with this exciting variety, and for them to reach a far greater audience. We hope

to gain new consumers and to retain our current consumers through building an understanding of the diversity of style and sheer quality of wines being made. Social media will play a key role in spreading the word.    The Chardonnay and Sparkling Symposium follows - how important is this? Chris Yorke – NZW Global Marketing Director answers; As part of our major events strategy we focus on Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir events to bring high calibre trade and media influencers to New Zealand.  Around Sauvignon Blanc we organise a Chardonnay and Sparkling Symposium and around Pinot Noir we organise Aromatics and Full bodied reds symposia.  The idea is to show the visitors our top varieties and then the diversity of our regions and other varieties with the symposia.

THE LOGISTICS OF SAUVIGNON 19 EVER IMAGINE what it takes to organise an event the world is watching? Well take a look at some of the logistics of Sauvignon 19. You can see why the preparation has taken well over a year. • 11,500 Spiegelau glasses will be used during the threeday event • Close to 100 international guests will be attending • Guests will be transported around 17 individual locations. • Ten cellar doors will participate in Pursuit Tastings, with each providing guests more than 150 wines to try • At the Purity Tastings, 180 wines will be on hand for guests • Close to 1000 picnic lunches will be prepared for guests over the three days • Nearly 20 guest speakers will address guests during the event • Three evening events will be held, each with a different theme • The Gala Dinner at Brancott Vineyard is a “Blanc” white themed event (meaning guests are asked to wear all white) • Catering will deliver to up to 550 guests at the Gala Dinner • Buses to transport guests will come from as far away as Christchurch • Hotels in the region have been booked out for months While New Zealand is used to taking Sauvignon Blanc to the world, from January 28, the world will come to us to celebrate our flagship variety.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

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Research News

Research project will help labour woes TESSA NICHOLSON

THE LARGEST government funding for a research project in primary industries promises good news for vineyard owners concerned about future labour shortages. The $16.8 million dollars has been granted to University of Auckland’s department of electrical and computer engineering, over five years. It will allow the university, along with six institutional research partners across New Zealand, encompassing more than 30 researchers and 10 PhDstudents to develop a robotic automation system to upskill workers, as well as to undertake

manual tasks. Professor Bruce MacDonald, who is the leader of the Centre for Automation and Robotic Engineering Science (CARES) says the funding came after lengthy talks with members of the horticultural and viticultural industries. “We wanted to know what their key priorities were,” he says, “and labour was the number one issue. (To solve that) is a three-step process. First we learn from expert operators in the vineyard, then help the labour that is available, and then eventually we automate it.”

The research programme plans to utilise the developing fields of artificial intelligence and augmented reality to help train workers in the field. “We are planning to gain the knowledge from the people who know what they are doing and then put that into the vineyard or orchard, so the people who are doing the job can be trained as they are doing it. And as a third step it is ultimately necessary to analyse, how such knowledge transfer should be used to automate some of the work.” All such technology-based support and automation

involves people as staff, their supervisors and decision makers in grower’s organisations. Therefore, the project involves sociologists and anthropologists that have a clear mandate to learn and understand people’s interests and engagement in such unavoidable changes of their work environment. But it is also critical to find out, how to improve the way how people can be involved in developing this technological future, especially in improving the data literacy and readiness for such technology-based changes in the industries. Partnering with Plant and Robotics using laser scanner sensing in a vineyard. PHOTO: University of Auckland.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


Food, Lincoln Agritech and the Universities of Waikato, Canterbury and Otago will provide the research team with a wide range of resources. Armin Werner from Lincoln Agritech says technology can help remove what is known as the fingerprint of individual staff. “At the end of key areas such as pruning in the vineyard or apples, or even hand thinning, we see the highly varying results – the finger print of different people,” he says. “This is where the grower comes and says, we know we could be better, we could utilise better yields for higher profits if our performance in the vineyard or orchard was more uniform. But this is not always possible as it comes back to people. It is not always possible for them to be consistent, like a machine that does it the same way every time.” With knowledge from experts in their field, it will allow the researchers to provide workers with instant feedback on their decisions. “At the end this model can help the less experienced to make a better decision on the vine,” Werner says. “We want to use augmented reality, pointing with glasses or some other device, so the pruner gets the information that yes, it is okay to cut that cane, but it may have negative effects the next year. It can then suggest something else. We want people to make decisions, not become robots, so it is long term skill development through teaching.” Professor MacDonald says the research will be working closely with the New Zealand Winegrowers Research Centre, based in Blenheim. “For us it is a key link. It’s a way for us to understand what the industry needs are and they are a good intermediary between us and the industry.”

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YIELD ESTIMATION PROJECT UPDATE ARMIN WERNER from Lincoln Agritech is also the leader of the research programme into developing an automated yield estimation tool for vineyards. The aim of the project is to develop sensor based equipment that can be attached to any form of platform, and moved between rows to measure the number of grape bunches and their size or mass. Part of the software in the equipment being developed will then be able to predict how those bunches and berry sizes will relate to a final yield at harvest. The research programme which is into the third of its five years, has had some “serious development finalised” Werner says. “At the moment we are improving our methods on how to see grape bunches behind leaves with microwaves, and combine this with machine vision, a camera base. “We then combine these two sensors with an artificial intelligence approach, so we are learning by understanding what the patterns are between these two sensors. This will give us good accuracy at finding optically occluded grape bunches.”

Werner says they will go into the next season with a tested approach, and “hopefully that will allow us to show how accurately we can count and size grape bunches.” The research is funded by MBIE as well as NZW and conducted by experts from Lincoln Agritech, Plant and Food Research, Canterbury University, Lincoln University and CSIRO. The development of a prediction model has relied on a great deal of data from growers from Marlborough over the past two years, he says, but more is needed. “We want data that shows the relation between their counts they did in January and the yield they harvested for that block, bay or vine. It would be great if more vineyards could provide that.” If you would like to help by providing data from previous seasons, please contact Armin Werner: armin.werner@ lincolnagritech.co.nz or Mike Trought at Plant and Food Research (Mike.Trought@ plantandfood.co.nz). Adding to the link between the wine industry and Lincoln Agritech, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the latter and the NZWRC, in November.

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   39


International Acclaim

Twice entered, twice won After years as a winemaker Andy Anderson decided to enter his first wine show last year. In an amazing first off, he took out the major Pinot Noir Trophy, along with New Zealand Producer of the Year. Showing it was not a one-off, Anderson has done it again this year, as Tessa Nicholson discovers T H E I N T E R NAT IO NA L Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) is one of the world’s most prestigious. It has mana, which is why when Anderson, winemaker for Takapoto Estate, decided he was going to enter his wine in one show, he chose the IWSC. “I thought if you are going to do something, you might as well try and make a statement and back yourself.” But even he couldn’t have predicted that in his first ever show that he would take away the Trophy for Best Pinot Noir for his Bannockburn 2012 Pinot, as well as New Zealand Producer of the Year. “I was over the moon, I couldn’t actually believe it. My first show, there was so much emotion. I was tickled pink.” It was one of the great wine stories of 2017. But it has been matched in 2018, with Anderson taking out the exact same Trophy for World’s Best Pinot Noir, with his Gibbston Valley 2014 Pinot – a wine that last year collected a Silver medal. Other Takapoto wines to be acknowledged this year were the 2014 blend of Bannockburn and Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir which won a silver outstanding, a 2014 sing le v ine yard Chardonnay from Hawke’s Bay won Silver Outstanding and the same wine from 2015 won a Silver. With such an array of medals, it is not surprising that yet again, Takapoto Estate was named New Zealand Producer of the Year. Quite a feat when

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you consider that production reaches only around 150 cases per wine So what is Anderson’s s e cret? First ly fant ast ic vineyards. A fellow Lincoln University class mate put him touch with Legend’s Terrace in Bannockburn, and Coxs Vineyard in Gibbston Valley. Secondly he holds his wines back, up to five years before releasing. The owners of Takapoto Estate, Mitch and Kate Plaw, give him the ability “to guide the Takapoto label as I see fit,” he says. “One of the things they have allowed me

They take about three days to get here and that whole time they are macerating. They might even start a bit of fermentation, so I am getting that nice buildup of aromatics because of the cold soak. to do is age the wines. I think Central Otago Pinots look best at about five years old.” The winning wine last year, was a 2012 – and it had reached the stage when Anderson thought it was starting to show its best. He wasn’t wrong, given the Trophy. When it came to this year’s entry, Anderson went through all the wines up until the 2016’s. “I looked at them to see where they were in their

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

evolution of development. Really only the 14’s were looking pretty good, although the 15’s were really close – but I still thought they were a bit early.” The Gibbston Valley 2014 Pinot Noir proved to be exactly where Anderson had predicted – in the winning stage of development. So apart from great fruit and aging the wines, what else separates these from other Central Pinot’s? Maybe it has to do

with the fruit taking three days to reach him after being handpicked, 100 percent de stemmed and cooled overnight prior to travel. (Anderson makes the Takapoto wines at Te Kauwhata, home of Invivo Wines). “They come up to me in pallecons, which hold around 700 kilos each. They take about three days to get here and that whole time they are macerating. They might even start a bit of fermentation, so I am getting that nice buildup of aromatics because of the cold soak.” Natural yeast on the fruit is used in the fermentation and Anderson matches each of the different clones of Pinot with a specific oak, before final blending. While both winning wines are single vineyard, he says if the fruit is not right for such a wine, he will make a blend of Bannockburn and Gibbston Valley.


Andy Anderson turning the grapes into a world winner.

Describing them as 100 percent terroir wines, he says they fulfill his wish to make wines that are true to where they come from and that express the vineyard wholeheartedly in every way. “I think I am getting there,” he modestly comments.

So with two trophies under his belt, is there another wine in the portfolio that could grab the triple peat? “The 15 Bannockburn is a real belter, but I am holding it back as it is just not ready. Maybe next year, or even the year after.”

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The back to back wins are a ray of sunshine in what has been a difficult year for Anderson. Diagnosed with terminal cancer in July, he says hearing he had won the trophy was an amazing piece of news. “It’s one of those funny things in life. It will throw you

a curve ball, but it might also throw you a golden egg. Finding I had terminal cancer has been tough. But winning this has been amazing. It has given me a bit more drive. I want to hang around as long as I possibly can.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

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Regions Central Otago

Duncan Forsyth – outstanding service JEAN GRIERSON

GETTING INVOLVED in the burgeoning Central Otago wine industry and putting his hand up to contribute seemed the most natural thing in the world, says Duncan Forsyth. At its Feraud Dinner in September the Central Otago Winegrowers Association honoured Forsyth with its Outstanding Services Award, for “special contribution over many years …. for the greater good of the wider industry”. The annual dinner pays homage to one of the earliest wine pioneers of the region,

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Jean Feraud, who planted the first commercial vines near Clyde in 1865. It was more than a century later that a new wave of winegrowers emerged in Central Otago and Forsyth was lucky enough to land a job at Chard Farm in the Gibbston Valley in 1992. “When I started working at Chard Farm there were only five wineries, and everybody was part of the (winegrowers) association. The only thing I knew was a totally inclusive industry,” he says. “Right from the get-go,

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

we were all in this together.” After completing a postgrad diploma in oenology and viticulture at Lincoln, Forsyth worked his way up from assistant to winemaker at Chard Farm, before working at Peregrine for two years. From 1999 when the winegrowers’ marketing body - Central Otago Pinot Noir Limited (COPNL) - was formed, Forsyth as one of the directors became heavily involved in organising Pinot Noir Celebrations, and other events - marketing and branding that was driving Cen-

tral Otago’s reputation worldwide. “We didn’t realise we were punching above our weight or busting a few perceptions. We didn’t think we were doing anything outside the box. It just happened that being new players from a new region our wines were bound to be different. We were a breath of fresh air, and so were our wines.” In 2004 Forsyth and business partner John Buchanan purchased Mount Edward Wines from Alan Brady. His avantegarde approach and adoption of


organics began a gentle process of evolution of the brand. “The craft beer revolution in

New Zealand 10 years ago suddenly showed the wine industry the emerging wine demographic

had different expectations, and we now see a whole range of wines and styles emerging

across the country that are individuals.” While dedicating 80 percent of their production to Pinot Noir, Forsyth likes to “experiment” and has introduced nonsulphured wines, an orange wine and New Zealand’s first Vermouth to the classic line-up of varietals. Forsyth was on the committee running the last two Pinot Noir NZ events held in Wellington (in 2013 and 2017). He believes the wine industry needs to further develop its connections to the land - going beyond the European view of terroir – and with his influence the entire first morning of the last event was dedicated to this. “If we want to leave any sort of legacy, it’s that in 300 years’ time people will still be talking about it. It will become part of the social fabric. That starts with understanding of our place, and respect to tangata whenua.” jean.grierson@nzsouth.co.nz

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   43


Agenda Event

The moving carpet

As the New Zealand wine industry prepares to celebrate its most famous style of wine, the NZSVO is preparing to investigate the more technical aspects of Sauvignon Blanc WITH THE theme of How to Dance on a Moving Carpet, the workshop sessions will cover an array of topics, looking towards the future. Executive officer Sue Binnie says there will be four sessions over the one-day event. One session will be dedicated to how vines and the environment will have to adapt to climate change. Water use, new and current clones and managing Sauvignon’s vigorous growth will be focused on. Soil and sub-regional effects on wine are well documented, but the NZSVO workshop will dig down deeper, looking into microclimates, soil types and site effects on flavour gradients.

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Heading into the winery, guest speakers will delve into how the use of antioxidants, yeast, thiol enhancers and how the removal of heavy metals can change the end result. The final session will question what the future holds in terms of alternatives to conventional winemaking practices. Guest speakers include a range of renowned New Zealand specialists and international guests. Registrations are now open for the workshop, to be held on January 27, in Blenheim.

NZSVO Sauvignon Blanc Workshop 27 January Blenheim Working Men’s Club nzsvo.org.nz

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


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Women in Wine

Eveline Fraser

WORDS: TESSA NICHOLSON

Eveline Fraser’s ascent to the role of Consulting Winemaker in Marlborough has been anything but conventional. Her path has included; monitoring geysers in Rotorua with the DSIR, becoming New Zealand’s first woman brewer, completing a Post Grad Diploma in Oenology at Roseworthy, gaining a PADI Dive Master qualification in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, before coming back to New Zealand as winemaker for the likes of Rapaura Vintners and Cloudy Bay.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


Brought to you by

Roots, Shoots & Fruits Soil Health, Plant Health, YOUR Health THESE DAYS, Fraser is responsible for making the wine for three small family owned companies in the heart of New Zealand wine country. It was her love of sciences that saw her head to Massey University to undertake a Food Technology degree. Half way through she was convinced that maybe she should consider concentrating on straight chemistry, which she did. By the time she had completed it, she still had no idea which path she was going to follow. All she knew was she wanted to work in Wellington. So out came the yellow pages of the phone book, and Fraser sent her CV to every company she thought might have an opening for someone with her qualifications. Her initiative saw her offered a job with Lion’s Wellington Brewery, as part of the Quality Control lab. “A year later a job came up

for a trainee brewer – they had never had a woman in that role – and I was really encouraged by the brewing staff (all men) to apply. I got the job and became New Zealand’s first woman brewer.” Four years later, the Wellington brewery was closing down, and although Fraser was offered a position at one of the many other Lion breweries around the country, she says she turned it down. “By then I had been bitten by the wine bug, so I took voluntary redundancy and went to Australia to do a Post Grad Diploma at Roseworthy. While the processes of creating a beer and a wine have quite a few areas in common, Fraser describes the pleasure of working with a raw product and turning it into something that people associate with holidays, relaxation and good times, being an absolute bonus.

“And given wine ages a lot longer than most beers, you can look back over your handiwork for over a decade and enjoy and learn.” After vintages in the Hunter Valley, and France (working with Jacques Lurton) Fraser ended up in Western Australia in a winemaking role at the Houghton Winery for three years. While she was missing family and friends in New Zealand and knew she wanted to be back in this part of the world, a “little side-trip” saw her heading to Saudi Arabia for two years. Having learned to dive in Perth, she decided to take that love further, becoming a Dive Master, taking groups of fun loving Ex Pats to Jeddah on the West Coast to teach scuba diving both off the beach and overnight trips on boats. “We did over 100 dives in the Red Sea, it was incredible diving and magic, fun times.”

I came down for 24 hours, hopped off the plane, looked around and thought ‘oh yes, this is the place to be’. But the lure of home was great, and after a couple of years she was back in New Zealand determined to pick up her winemaking career. She wanted to remain in the North Island, close to family, so initially she applied to Matua in Auckland to see if they had a job. Given Matua’s relationship with John Belsham who had started Rapaura Vintners in Marlborough, her application ended up on his desk. He let her know there was a job down south, even though she was sure that she didn’t want to be in that part of the country.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   47


“We had a long chat and I said thanks very much, but that is too far away, I don’t want to work down there. I was so adamant about that, that I paid for my own flight down for the interview, because I didn’t want to take advantage.” But and there is always a but, things changed the moment she stepped off the plane. “I came down for 24 hours, hopped off the plane, looked around and thought ‘oh yes, this is the place to be’. I am really grateful to John for talking me into coming down here.” That was 1996 and Fraser has been part of the Marlborough wine scene ever since. She worked for Rapaura Vintners for five years and credits the job and Belsham for the winemaker she has become, along with other fabulous mentors like James Healy and Kevin Judd “Rapaura Vintners was an intensely busy, fast moving work place. John was a fantastic boss

and as a youngish management team we all learned so much. There were so many clients, most of them small family owned wineries. So many of the current very successful companies used to work through RVL back then: Daniel Le Brun for tirage, Wither Hills, Saint Clair, Nautilus, Matua.” One of the big advantages was the ability to work with so many different varieties and so many bright skilled people in the region In 2001 Fraser headed to Cloudy Bay to work alongside Kevin Judd and James Healy – slightly in awe she admits. “It is the holy grail that winery, so yes I was in awe. But it was an amazing place to work, the people were so down to earth and so funny. The spirit, team work and modesty of the whole place was really something special.” For the past nine years Fraser has been what she describes as

a “one-man band”. Having left the corporate world, she is now a consultant winemaker, with a small group of long term clients. “The mix has changed only slightly in nine years. I loved doing some work with Daniel and Adele at No 1 Family Estate for two years and immersing myself in the complexity of finishing sparkling wines for numerous small clients.

Another of my clients has been with me since day one of my new era, so it’s been a pleasure having mostly long-term involvements with the same vineyard sites, business owners and teams who are in it for the long haul. “I feel really lucky, what I can do and how I can do it. It is so liberating.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

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Regions Marlborough

Corkscrews add a point of difference TESSA NICHOLSON

As New Zealand wineries were preparing for the first National Cellar Door Day, one Marlborough company was adding 700 corkscrews to its refurbished public space. NEW ZEALAND and corkscrews? I know that may seem like an oxymoron, given close to 99 percent of this country’s wineries seal with a screw cap. But FROMM Winery has always prided itself on being a little different, and cork to them is a major point of difference. All the red wines of FROMM are available under cork and they have no intention of changing that, says GM Stephan Walliser. “Our philosophy is a little bit traditional of the oldworld wine making with new world innovations,” he says.

“The new world innovation is this beautiful soil we have here and the perfect climate to grow wine. The old world is winemaking techniques and the sealing with cork.” While a New Zealand company, FROMM’s owners are Swiss. And it is one of those owners, Pol Lenzinger, who has provided 700 corkscrews to be displayed in the cellar door. They are part of his much larger collection (more than 2000) that he has been amassing for more than 50 years. The oldest in the FROMM exhibit dates back

They were only invented once wine began to be sold in glass after 1728. Cork became the closure of choice some time later, and then the need to develop something that could remove that cork set up a frenzy of designs. And that frenzy continued, particularly into the late 1800s and early 1900s.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

The oldest corkscrew on display at FROMM, this is thought to be from the late 1700s.

to the late 1700s, while the very first corkscrew patented in New Zealand in 1945 is also on display. The corkscrew story is a fascinating one, believe it or not. They were only invented once wine began to be sold in glass after 1728. Cork became the closure of choice some time later, and then the need to develop something that could remove that cork set up a frenzy of designs. And that frenzy continued, particularly into the late 1800s and

early 1900s. Lenzinger says the corkscrews provide an insight into the history of wine itself. “In the beginning wine was something just for rich people, so the corkscrews in the beginning were almost seen as jewels. They were made from gold, silver, ivory, and were handmade to lay on the table to be shown off, Lenzinger says. “When wine became more popular, then the corkscrews changed. They


This corkscrew was patented in New Zealand back in 1945. Not the sturdiest or the most practical.

In the beginning wine was something just for rich people, so the corkscrews in the beginning were almost seen as jewels. They were made from gold, silver, ivory, and were handmade to lay on the table to be shown off. became more mechanic, and they became a massproduced product.” While you may think there are only a few different designs, think again. In total there are more than 2000 patents for such items, including one here in New Zealand. Lenzinger managed to track down the Australian owner of that 1945 corkscrew and convinced him to let it come home to rest – at the FROMM winery. Looking more like a number 8 wire invention, when compared with the others on display, it is a little part of New Zealand’s wine history unable to be viewed anywhere else.

The corkscrew collection is just part of the new look FROMM cellar door. Having opened up the space, there is now a private tasting room which also boasts videos of the history of cork and corkscrews, and provides views into both the winery and barrel hall. To match the new look cellar door FROMM is offering a range of differing experiences for tourists. From tasting for beginners, through to private tastings with library wine, Walliser says the company is keen to open the world of wine up to all those who are interested. tessa.nicholson@me.com

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Irrigation News

Making organic vineyards sustainable – the novel Amisfield approach BY DR RICHARD SMART, INTERNATIONAL VITICULTURAL CONSULTANT, TRURO, CORNWALL UK. vinedoctor@smartvit.com.au, www.smartvit.com.au

A new approach to viticulture has been developed in Amisfield in Central Otago, which can improve the sustainability of drip-irrigated organic vineyards worldwide. In fact, these techniques will likely also find application in sustainable and conventional vineyards as well, as they are based on current concepts of economically sustainable production. These ideas are quite novel, hence the title inferences about sustainability, normally considered an alternative to organic production. But this new approach at Amisfield does lead to better vineyard economics within a more sustainable environment. AMISFIELD IS a 90-ha vineyard planted in 2000. The owners decided to develop the vineyards as organic in 2013 and complete certification will be achieved by 2021.

THE CHALLENGE OF VITICULTURE IN CENTRAL OTAGO Central Otago is cool in summer but quite sunny. The region around Amisfield is quite arid, with only 360 mm of annual rainfall of which 240 mm falls in the October to April growing season. Drip irrigation applies around 200 mm per season. The soils of the region are generally light textured, often sandy loam and contain significant quantities of stones and gravel. They have low water holding capacity and as well low nutrient content and low organic matter, as there is lit-

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tle native vegetation in this arid climate. The combination of the cool dry climate and low retention soils presents problems for conventional viticulture which are exacerbated with the use of

organic principles. Deficiencies of many nutrients are common, especially N, P, K, S and Ca. Low levels of yeast available nitrogen (YAN) are also very common, especially with organic vineyards.

Figure 1. Photograph May 2018 showing the larger and fine root growth is concentrated in the berm, underneath the drip line, conventional irrigation. Some major roots are painted white. Pinot Noir on 3309C, planted 2008.

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

THE FURTHER CHALLENGES OF ORGANIC VITICULTURE The challenges of organic viticulture are not unique to Central Otago, but the environment there makes organic viticulture more difficult. Weed control under the organic regime is always problematical in drip irrigated vineyards. Mid row cultivation and or mowing can control competing weeds and is easy in drier climates like Central Otago. However, undervine drip irrigation encourages weed growth, and the presence of trunks and line posts compromises mechanical weed control by cultivation, especially with vigorous perennial weeds. This problem is overcome in conventional viticulture with herbicides. A second challenge is the ban


on “chemical” fertilisers, and especially nitrogen. A common appearance of organic vineyards in New Zealand (and elsewhere) is yellow nitrogen-deficient vines, often with reduced vigour. Animal manure and compost has low N content and is therefore expensive to transport and spread and is often reliant on nearby livestock farming. This nutrient supply problem is exacerbated on lighter texture soils, especially those with low organic matter as in Central Otago. The relatively dry growing season facilitates fungal disease control although there are issues with adequate wound protection to overcome grapevine trunk diseases with nonchemical products.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE AMISFIELD APPROACH This has been a team approach, with the South African-born Andre Lategan, the Amisfield Vineyard Manager, being a major contributor. Andre was trained in viticulture at Elsenburg College and after working in local Cape vineyards moved to Central Otago in 2001 and has been managing Amisfield since. I recall Andre’s anxiety about the conversion to organics during a consulting visit in 2013, and his principal concerns were for nutrition and weed control. My suggestion was to use geo textile fabrics for under vine weed control, but Andre’s inventive mind has considered an alternative, and probably simpler approach, which has led to the Amisfield system described here. And this was a very good example of lateral thinking – figuratively; by moving the irrigation system laterally. He reasoned that weed control would be much easier if he stopped watering under vine, so why not irrigate mid row, where weeds were easier to control. Why not?

Figure 2. Showing lateral growth of a main root away from the berm towards the mid line drip row. The root branches, and fine roots are evident at each in line dripper. Some roots are painted white. Photo taken May 2018, Pinot Noir on 3309C, planted 2008

Andre further reasoned why not bury the drip system, to allow weed control by mowing rather than by tillage, which is another of Andre’s concerns in these fragile soils. But not to bury the drip system deep, just at 10 cm to avoid any implement damage. Andre’s logic here is that this will encourage the greater lateral spread of water and hence vine roots. There is currently some commercial interest in buried drip systems mid row, but this is a very different approach to that followed here.

DO VINES SUFFER WITH MID ROW IRRIGATION? This is the first question which will come to mind for the grape grower. Are not all the roots in the berm, underneath the vine, occupying a better soil environment, more moist because of irrigation, and cooler because of canopy shade? The answer is yes, more or less. Figure 1 shows clearly the within-berm concentration of large and fine roots with conventional irrigation at Amisfield. However, we know that roots will grow in wet soil, and that they are encouraged to grow in the mid row by occasional winter-spring-autumn rain-

fall, and growth is inhibited by summer. Andre tested his ideas beginning in 2010 by installing second hand drippers in the midrow, for a 1ha planting of Pinot Noir on 3309 rootstock. For five years he maintained both the under vine and mid row irrigation systems, dividing water application between the two, and then in 2016 he stopped the under-vine irrigation altogether from the beginning of the season. The result was surprising. There was only a minor setback in early growth of vines previously with under-vine irrigation, and no effect was noticeable by the end of the season. For the last two seasons yield was maintained at 7t/ha with well ripened Pinot Noir grapes. Andre now believes that vines will adjust to mid row irrigation, by developing a root framework to the middle of the row, with a zone of high feeder root density under the drippers. Figure 2 shows roots growing to the row centre and the growth of fine vine feeder roots around and below the mid row dripper tube. This was Andre’s second “light bulb“ moment. He thought why not grow a source of nitrogen in the mid row, and as well produce some muchneeded organic matter. Clover seeds were hand spread in a 80

cm wide band over the mid row dripper line in 2016 and lightly “spiked” and rolled in. Perennial clover types were chosen over annuals saving yearly establishing and soil disturbance. Figure 3 shows a sward of red clover. Red, white, crimson, and subterranean clovers and lucerne are now being evaluated. The legume growth is prolific, occurring in warmer summer months with adequate water supply.  Irrigated legumes in pastures in the South Island of New Zealand will produce up to around 3,000 kg/.ha of dry matter and fix around 100 kg N/ha. For a strip of vigorous legumes occupying 40 percent of the vineyard area we might expect 1,200 kg/ ha of dry matter and 40 kg N/ ha. Prior to converting to organics, Andre found that 10kg/ha/ year of N gave adequate canopy growth and YAN values of up to 300 mg/L.  The mid row legume sward has also produced substantial amounts of organic matter. Measurements were made in spring 2018 at 5-15 cm soil depth to compare soil organic matter under an eight-year-old lucerne clover sward with an adjacent mid row without sward using conventional undervine irrigation. Results showed a very significant improvement

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   53


under the mid row sward, with 6.2 percent organic matter plus 1.2 percent roots and litter yet to be broken down, compared to 4.4 percent organic matter plus 0.1 percent waiting to break down with bare mid row.

INSTALLING THE AMISFIELD SYSTEM Andre has the assistance of retired farmer Bert Sim with exceptional metal working skills in the project. B ert has developed a simple device to allow mid row irrigation to be installed. The “cleaver” roller is a simple towed implement, made from a metal drum (filled with concrete) which can be pulled (and lifted by a tractor. A similar implement called the “spiker” was developed for use pre- and post- legume seeding. DISCUSSION The Amisfield Organic System represents a new

Figure 3. Red clover sward, planted 2016. Photo Dec 2017.

concept of organic viticulture, suited to drip irrigated vineyards especially with light textured soils, in regions with dry growing seasons. There are two principal benefits of the approach. The first is that under vine weed control is facilitated by reducing weed amount and growth,

due to competition from the established vine root system. Now at Amisfield only three passes of the undervine weeder are required per year compared to the previous six using under vine irrigation. The second benefit is that rather than some irrigation w ate r b e i ng w a ste d by

transpiration of weeds, it is now used to “grow” nitrogen supply to the vines, using solar energy and the rhizobia bacteria of the legumes. The resulting summer growing sward is easy to manage by mowing, and there is valuable organic matter addition to the soil from the legume sward clippings.

Emma Taylor | Nursery Viticulturist

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

17/01/18 12:29 PM


Regions Marlborough

The rows are too narrow for tractors at 1.4metres, meaning William Hoare will be managing his Syrah all by hand.

Good things come in small packages TESSA NICHOLSON

MARLBOROUGH ISN’T the first region to come to mind when thinking about Syrah. Despite some amazing results from the region in recent years, only 11.6 ha are dedicated to this variety, (out of a total of 439 ha nationally). So when a winemaker decides he wants to pull out some Chardonnay grapes and replant with France’s most widely planted red grape – you have to ask why? William Hoare is completely unapologetic about deciding to buck the Marlborough trend and replant his half an acre in Syrah – mainly because he knows only too well how stunning Marlborough Syrah can be. T he ow ne r of ne w ly established Novum (which in Latin means new) has been working with the variety since he fell in love with it in California in the 90s. That

love deepened on a visit to the Rhône, where he realised the soil types didn’t appear to be very different from those in Marlborough. Which makes sense. The Rhône River formed the Rhône Valley, much in the same way the Wairau River formed the Wairau Plains. “Syrah has been here (in Marlborough) since way back in the early days,” Hoare says. “Wairau River Wines had some planted, as did Cloudy Bay and Vavasour in the Awatere. But a lot of it got pulled out as people began planting more and more Sauvignon, despite some amazing wines being made at the time.” Novum’s half an acre of new plantings are some of the tightest plantings of Syrah in New Zealand. There are 1.3 metres between vines and 1.4 metres between rows. In the tiny space

there are a total of 1350 vines. So why such tight planting, which ensures everything has to be done by hand? “Syrah is quite vigorous and has big internodes between canes. We think having 700 mm each side of the head will allow at least three shoots per side, so six on each plant with no congestion at the ends. Then if we do one bunch per shoot and cut the shoulders off, we should be sitting around 1.5kg a vine.” As for the reasoning behind such tight row spacing, Hoare says he intends to dry farm the vines, once they gain some maturity. “The roots will have to fight for nutrients in the soil, which will ultimately force the vines to produce smaller bunches and berries.” The fact that Marlborough is at the climatic limit for Syrah

also provides a number of benefits Hoare says. The long growing season provides plenty of hang time, which brings more concentration to the ensuing wine, without the high levels of alcohol associated with the same variety grown in warmer climates. However the small parcel of Syrah will not end up on retailer shelves. “Instead of being global, it is about making a small amount of great wine and bringing wine lovers together. “If you are a large grape grower, you would think half an acre – what’s the point? But these 1350 vines will give us six barrels which we can then bottle and sell direct to our mail order customers. That’s exactly what Novum is about, making small amounts of great wine.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   55


Bob’s Blog

Coleraine Vertical fetches $19K

BOB CAMPBELL MW

New Zealand tops international wine show NEW ZEALAND narrowly headed off Australia to win the trophy for top winery at the Six Nations Wine Challenge this year. The competition started sixteen years ago; then “The Tri Nations Wine Challenge” with New Zealand, Australia and South Africa; but now also includes Chile, USA and Canada. South Africa earned third place, with the USA fourth, Canada fifth and Chile in sixth place. A judge/selector from each country is invited to choose their top 100 wines which are then sorted by variety and style. Huon Hooke is judge/selector for Australia while I am the New Zealand judge/selector. The total pool of 600 wines is judged blind by the six judges to choose a winning country in each class and winning country overall. The top wine in each class earns a trophy. New Zealand won the Sparkling wine, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay classes on points while the following New Zealand wines earned a trophy for coming top in their respective classes: Aromatic White: Johanneshof Cellars 2017 Gewurztraminer, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: Saint Clair 2017 Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Chardonnay: Sacred Hill 2016 Rifleman’s Chardonnay, Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir: Akarua 2015 Single Vineyard Limited Edition Kolo Pinot Noir, Central Otago Merlot & Carmenere: Villa Maria 2016 Reserve Merlot, Hawke’s Bay White Wine of Show: Sacred Hill 2016 Rifleman’s Chardonnay, Hawke’s Bay

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Red Wine of Show: Akarua 2015 Single Vineyard Limited Edition Kolo Pinot Noir, Central Otago.

AUSTRALIAN TROPHIES INCLUDE: Other Reds Light to Medium Bodied: Head Wines 2016 “Ancestor Vine” Grenache, Eden Valley Other Reds Full Bodied: Schwarz Wine Company 2017 Meta Metaro, Barossa Valley Red Blends: Karrawatta 2016 Single Vineyard Spartacus, Langhorne Creek SOUTH AFRICAN TROPHIES: Non-Aromatic Whites: Stellenrust 2016 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch Bordeaux Blends: Morgenster 2014 Estate Reserve, Stellenbosch Dessert Wines: Nederburg 2004 Pvte Bin S316 Noble Late Harvest Weisser, Paarl USA TROPHIES: Sparkling: Caraccioli Cellars 2009 Brut Cuvee, Santa Lucia Highlands White Blends: Au Bon Climat Hildegard P/ Gris, P/Blanc and Aligote, Santa Maria Cabernet Sauvignon: Long Meadow Ranch 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa Valley CANADIAN TROPHIES: Riesling: Thirty Bench Wine Makers 2016 Winemakers Blend Riesling, Niagara Shiraz/Syrah: Laughing Stock 2016 Syrah Viognier, Okanagan Valley

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

A COMPLETE 32-vintage collection of Te Mata Coleraine has fetched $19,000 at this year’s Hawke’s Bay Charity Wine Auction pre-tasting event to raise money for the Cranford Hospice. That’s an average of $593 per bottle which must surely create some sort of record. The previous record for a Coleraine vertical was $5640 for a 30-bottle set in 2016, an average of $194 per bottle. The collection was donated by Hawke’s Bay family business Stewart Group. Hastings-based financial adviser, Nick Stewart, told the NZ Herald that his father Don and mother Mary had “quite a journey” to establish the vertical collection which dates back to the fist Coleraine vintage in 1982. They started collecting Coleraine in about 2000 after moving back to Hawke’s Bay. “Surprisingly, it was not the “great” years that were hard to find, it was the “bad” years. “A case in point is the 1988 - that was a tough year whereas the most famous year, which shot Te Mata Estate to fame, the 1982 - is not as hard to find as the ‘88 because people didn’t keep the ‘88 - they drank it.” All wine acquired at auction has been put through the Te Mata wine clinic where wines are opened, tasted and topped-up with fresh corks and foils before being signed by winemaker, Peter Cowley.


A NEW WAY TO SAVE LEFTOVER WINE I WAS recently sent samples of a new wine leftover preservation system that seems to work fairly well. It’s an American invention called “Repour Winesaver”. The throwaway device consists of a plastic stopper full of an oxygen-scavenging material (which the inventor declined to identify). You simply open a bottle of wine, pour yourself a glass and re-seal it with a Repour stopper after removing a foil tear-tab. The inventor, Tom Lutz, claims: “Repour keeps one bottle of wine fresh until the last glass. Each stopper is designed to save a full bottle of wine, even take glass by glass over days, weeks or months. If used on a second bottle, Repour may lose its oxygen-absorbing capacity before you are done with the bottle. So start with a new Repour stopper with each new bottle.” He also advises users that the wine may need time to “open up” when you return for another glass – I was told to leave it for 30 minutes. Don’t store the opened bottle on its side to prevent wine getting into the Repour stopper. I set up a test with three bottles of Astro-

labe 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. One bottle was opened, half-emptied and sealed with a Repour stopper. A second bottle was opened and 100ml of wine removed before being re-sealed with a Repour. I then removed 100ml every two days, re-sealing with the same Repour stopper, until only around 150ml of wine remained in the bottle. After 26 days I compared the wine in both bottles with an unopened control bottle, tasting it immediately after opening and again 30 minutes later. Repour seems to work fairly well. The wine in the half-empty bottle was very slightly fresher than the wine from the bottle that had been re-opened and poured several times. Inventor Lutz explained that Repour can scavenge up to two litres of oxygen – enough to compensate for repeated opening over several days. I did find that the wine tasted slightly better when left to “re-oxygenate” for 30 minutes after opening but it didn’t make a dramatic difference. Loss of quality appeared to be minimal. Would I have noticed a difference if I

hadn’t been able to compare it with the freshly opened control bottle? Probably not.

VERDICT I plan to use Repour selectively (rather than routinely) when I know that I may not be able to get back to an opened bottle for a few days. In my test the wine was not refrigerated but I am sure that refrigeration would help. Repour stoppers are estimated to cost around $3 when they are imported into New Zealand (they are already available in Australia). They’re easy to use, fairly effective and are reasonably affordable.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   57


Obituary

When wine began to be sold in supermarkets in 1991 Noel was quick to recognize the size of the marketing opportunity for the company and the opportunity to target the female household shopper.

NOEL SCANLAN

THE NEW Zealand wine industry lost one of its great entrepreneurs and businessmen in October, when former head of Corbans Wines, Noel Scanlan died. He spent 30 years of his life working for the company, and helped guide it from family owned, to corporate giant.

He used to joke to people that he had done just about every job imaginable within the company, which was a pretty accurate summary, given he began as a packer/ storeman at AA Corbans retailer in Auckland, moved into sales and ended up as general manager of Corbans Wines.

He has been described as an entrepreneur by those who worked alongside him. Kathie Bartley says he was famous for his “gut feel” when it came to new market opportunities. He was at the helm when Corbans launched Stoneleigh Marlborough, which went on to win the Supreme Award at the TVNZ Marketing Magazine Awards in 1987 and is still an internationally acclaimed label. When wine began to be sold in supermarkets in 1991 Noel was quick to recognize the size of the marketing opportunity for the company and the opportunity to target the female household shopper. He also was the brainchild behind the innovative Corbans Wine and Food Challenge in the early 90s. Tom Mailing, ex Marketing Manager for Corbans Wines says; “Noel was ahead of his time in the wine industry

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

in so many ways. And an inspiration with the courage and selflessness he showed when he had to face adversity himself.” But most of all those who worked with him remember Noel as a caring and supportive boss. “Noel was a great boss and I was one of the lucky ones that got to work with him twice,” says Matt Mitchell, winemaker at Marisco. “Once with Corbans then again with Ager Sectus. The Corbans environment in which we worked is still my benchmark that I mentally refer to as a winery manager now.” After leaving Corbans in the early 2000s, Noel set up a consultancy business working with some of the biggest names in the industry. He moved to Hawke’s Bay to take on the position of CEO of Ager Sectus Wine Estates, and stayed in the Bay until his death. He was 67.


Regions Marlborough

Wine Marlborough honours stalwart THE MAN known to the wine industry simply as Bala, has been honoured by Wine Marlborough, by being presented a Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr Rengasamy Balasubramaniam, a former Hort Research scientist, has been heavily involved in the formation of the Marlborough wine industry since the late 90’s. While initially he arrived in the region to work with cherries and apricots, once the wine industry developed, his research moved more into grapes. He has always been one of the go-to scientists for the industry, and has been recognised for his expertise internationally.

Bala was the President of the NZSVO for a total of 10 years, and was involved in the organisation for a total of 21. He was responsible for the successful bid to hold the 6th International Cool Climate Viticulture and Oenology in Christchurch back in 2006. Stepping down last year, Bala was made a life member of the NZSVO. NZWinegrower recognised his commitment to the industry by announcing him the Personality of the Year, last year. Besides the announcement of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Wine Marlborough also presented the trophies to the winning wines from the Marlborough Wine Show.

Pinot Noir was the winner of the day. OI International Wine of the Show was Villa Maria’s Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Noir 2015. Villa Maria also picked up the Marlborough Museum Legacy Award for their Single

Vineyard Southern Clays Pinot Noirs, 2012, 2015 and 2017. The third major trophy to go to Pinot Noir was the Coterie Trophy for Wine of Provenance, awarded to Tohu Rore Reserve Pinot Noir 2017.

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Travel and Wine

Drinking wine when it’s illegal

Lee Suckling travelled to the Middle East and learned the hard way that wine drinking isn’t impossible, but it’s not cheap or easy either.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


NOBODY GOES to the Middle East to drink wine. But few people go on holiday and will be happy being completely dry, either. Vacations to exotic places are about new experiences, beautiful historic sights, great food, and – if you’re an oenophile – to try foreign wines and have them improve your overall hospitality experience. When I organised a trip to some Gulf states – the UAE, Oman, and Qatar, I knew that alcohol was illegal and only available in “free zones” which have special licences. International hotels, nice restaurants, rooftop bars, that sort of thing. This differs from the more liberal Muslim countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco, where public drinking is still prohibited but many take a “blind eye” approach to it and it’s readily available to nonMuslims at acceptable prices. Not so in Dubai – usually the first port of call for New Zealanders travelling to this part of the world. I was led to believe, through speaking with other travellers, that Dubai still had everything a Western wino could want if you went to the right places. Yet at international hotels and restaurants, you’re not going to get authentic, local dining experiences or food. Call me crazy, but I didn’t fly 14,200 kilometres to eat a Westernstyle rib-eye or a good pad Thai. I wanted to savour the spicy shish kebab meats, the authentic fresh falafel, the delicacy of stuffed camel and the textured, layered hummus of the region. Despite thinking I was prepared for it, it’s the strangest cultural experience when you can’t get a glass of wine with your meal. Dining is a much quicker affair and there’s little romance or sense of occasion about it. I never quite comprehended that wine to a meal was the difference between having a

“It’s a strange cultural experience when you can’t get a glass of wine with your meal.”

It’s easy to think you’ve found a reasonably-priced bottle in the UAE or Qatar for the equivalent of $35, when in actuality it’s $350 great culinary outing, and consuming food purely because you’re hungry and need the energy. Needless to say, most of my hospitality experiences left me wanting. What does one do when they can’t get a glass of Pinot to match their lamb shawarma? The answer, in the case of the Middle East, is they smoke. It’s the cultural norm to smoke either cigarettes or shisha (flavoured tobacco vapour from a waterpipe) in all eateries in the Middle East, indoors and out. While you will be asked if you want to sit in the smoking or non-smoking section (something we Kiwis can barely remember), the reality is, the smoke fumes are so pervasive you can’t dine without it around you. By day three or four of my two-week trip to the Middle East I’d had enough of a holiday “on the dry”. I decided it was time to eat and drink in some of these Westernised free zones. The restaurants and bars in all

of the five-star hotels are wellstocked with decent wines and there was an unexpected skew towards New Zealand and Australian varietals. What was even more unexpected, however, is the price of them. In any of these nations, wine is approximately five times the cost you would pay in New Zealand – already an expensive country to drink in – and 10 times the price of wine in Europe. In both Dubai and Abu Dhabi I was shocked to find bottles of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc for 1200 dirhams – the equivalent of NZD$500 – where I know it retails for around NZD$30 in Kiwi shops or $80 in restaurants. Even lower quality wines are expensive. Once, on a 43-degree afternoon by the hotel pool, I had such a hankering for Rosé I paid NZD$45 for a class of the cheapest available, which happened to be Jacobs Creek (a $10 bottle of wine back home). The currencies differ in every Middle Eastern country: UAE dirhams are 2.40 to one New

Zealand Dollar, in Oman one NZD is 0.25 rials, and in Qatar one NZD is also in rials, but it’s 2.38 to the dollar. This makes for a lot of confusion when you’re looking at wine lists. Travellers often get caught out misreading how many zeros are at the end of the listed price. It’s easy to think you’ve found a reasonably-priced bottle in the UAE or Qatar for the equivalent of $35, when in actuality it’s $350. All of this is before the various tourists taxes that will be applied and can amount to 25 per cent. Is there a way to get around all of this and actually drink reasonably-priced wine in this part of the world? If you’re a expat and non-Muslim you can apply for a personal alcohol license, but you need to be a resident. So the saving grace for general tourists like you and me is duty free at the airport upon arrival. Here you’ll find wine priced similarly to a New Zealand retailer and you can legally buy 2-4 litres per person, depending on the country you’re entering, and drink it in the privacy of your hotel room. Of all the research I did before my travels to the Middle East, this is the one tiny piece of information I wish I’d had before it was too late and I was on the other side of those gates. lee.suckling@gmail.com

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   61


Regions Central Otago

Shortage of worker accommodation needs to be addressed JEAN GRIERSON

The 2018 survey was underCENTRAL OTAGO grapegrowers and orchardists will continue taken on behalf of the Central to face labour shortages at critical Otago Labour Market Governtimes like harvest, if the region ance Group, by Druce Consultcan’t provide enough accommo- ing, updating one undertaken dation for seasonal workers. three years ago. Results of a labour survey A 14 percent increase in for Central Otago’s viticulture grape plantings, or an additional and horticulture industries just 284 hectares will bring the Cenreleased predicts a shortfall of tral Otago vineyard estate to nearly 2300 seasonal workers’ 2275 hectares. beds across both sectors in the However, total orchard next four to five years, despite plantings will overtake grape “considerable investment being plantings during the next four made by growers and others in to five years. DU-WETT WINEGROWER 1/2 PAGE X 120H MM developing accommodation. ” 180W Central Otago relies heav-

ily on Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme (RSE) workers and the transient backpacker population for seasonal work. The survey has highlighted widespread concern that the region will be unable to accommodate seasonal workers over peak demand periods like harvest, mostly due to the reduction in commercial campgrounds, and expected restrictions on freedom camping. It calls for urgent action to find solutions. It recommends a raise in the

RSE cap, more flexibility and simplification in the Essential Skills visa category to make it easier for employers to fill gaps, and looking at how to attract a greater number of working holiday visa holders given increasing competition from other sectors. “As labour challenges intensify, providing attractive employment conditions and affordable accommodation for workers is going to be the key to securing workers in the future. This will require strong con-

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


“As labour challenges intensify, providing attractive employment conditions and affordable accommodation for workers is going to be the key to securing workers in the future.”

PHOTO FIONA JOHNMAN

certed action by the growers, stakeholder groups and local and central government, supported by the Central Otago Labour Market Governance Group.” Some of the needed ‘beds’ may need to be supplied as camping capacity rather than fixed accommodation, says Tara Druce, of Druce Consulting. jean.grierson@nzsouth.co.nz

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   63


Hot off the Press

Can a stable off-vine habitat reduce grapevine susceptibility to mealybugs? VAUGHN BELL

PLANT & FOOD RESEARCH VINEYARD HEALTH PROGRAMME WHY/BACKGROUND/ISSUE IN NEW Zealand vineyards, the citrophilus and longtailed mealybugs are ubiquitous pests. Achieving mealybug control is notoriously difficult, and complete eradication all but impossible. The status of mealybugs as disease vectors that transmit Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 (leafroll virus) means they are the most important insect pests in New Zealand vineyards. Apart from grapevines, mealybugs feed and successfully reproduce on many ‘weedy’ species found in the vineyard groundcover: subterranean clover, dove’s foot, and hawksbeard. White clover in particular is favoured and can sustain mealybugs throughout a growing season. White clover is not only an important host plant for mealybugs, it is commercially available, with cultivars selected for variable soil and soil/moisture conditions. With our understanding of mealybug ecology having advanced in recent years, we suggest that actively managing alternative host plants, such as white clover, could be a beneficial tactic to mitigate the risk of leafroll virus. Currently, managing leafroll virus relies on adopting multiple strategies, including visually identifying and roguing (removing) virus-infected vines, and controlling the mealybug transmitters of the disease. To

64   // 

complement this integrated approach, we are testing the idea that, when sustained on a stable off-vine groundcover habitat, mealybugs pose a reduced risk of moving to grapevines. We aim to ‘incentivise’ mealybugs to stay off the vines, thereby reducing the vine/mealybug association, and the economic implications.

WHAT ARE WE DOING? The research is being undertaken in a Hawke’s Bay vineyard block owned and operated by Delegat Limited. The trial, in a 19-ha block planted in mature Merlot vines, has three treatments: (1) white clover added to the under-vine zone only, (2) white clover added to the interrow and under-vine zones, and (3) an untreated control where herbicide is applied to the under-vine zone once or twice per year. Monitoring of clover growth, and of mealybugs on vine leaves and selected groundcover plants, is being undertaken between January and March. Visual symptom identification enables measurements of leafroll virus incidence and patterns of virus spread. Over five years, the virus results will be an important proxy of how effective a groundcover strategy was in its ability to ‘trap’ and sustain mealybugs. This study is closely linked with the New Zealand Winegrowers Vineyard Ecosystems (VE) programme.

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

White clover recovered from vineyard inter-row.

WHAT WE FOUND IN 2016-17 Bare ground and/or grass were the dominant features in both zones of all plots throughout the season; neither habitat supports vineyard mealybugs. Groundcover quadrat assessments suggested that host plants typically preferred by mealybugs, such as white clover and hawksbeard, were generally rare. In their absence, dove’s foot

was relatively common, especially late in the growing season, and was the plant of choice for ground-dwelling mealybug populations. The inter-row zone clover did not survive and grow as well as that in under the vines, which benefited from the permanent drip-irrigation system. The citrophilus mealybug was present across the block, albeit in relatively low num-


bers in pheromone traps. While mealybugs were more commonly observed on some groundcover plants, numbers on vine leaves were very low throughout the period of monitoring. For the following season, we increased the number of vine leaves collected per plot. Within the 21 treatment plots, the precise positions of individual infected vines were recorded. From the three treatments, there was 23,244 vines, with 360 visually identified with leafroll virus. Block-wide leafroll virus incidence was low (<1%), although a virus “hotspot” was found. The extent to which the virus and mealybug populations overlap in that area will be closely scrutinised in future. In laboratory bioassays, neither mealybug species preferentially fed on ‘Nomad’ clover. Although this was the variety initially added to the groundcover in the treated plots, the

Vaughn Bell

bioassays strongly suggested its unsuitability for the purpose. Therefore, after consulting the Delegat staff and agronomist, Bruce Clark, the vineyard trial was re-designed in late 2017 to remove the ‘Nomad’ with herbicide, and replace it with

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three new groundcover clovers, ‘Grasslands Huia’ white clover, Crimson clover and ‘Seaton Park’ subterranean clover.

DISCUSSION AND NEXT STEPS There will be some in the sector for whom the provision

of under-vine groundcover plants will be of little to no interest. Indeed, some will be sceptical about the potential for these added plants to compete with vines for soil moisture and nutrients in a way that adversely alters vine productivity. This is

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   65


a real issue and one we do not trivialise or underestimate. That said, feedback from many in the sector, at all levels, indicated a groundswell seeking new ways to deal with existing and persistent problems. Whether added groundcover plants can form part of a mealybug/leafroll virus integrated management solution remains to be seen. But it is worth learning more about the possibility. If all or some of the expected outcomes from this research are realised over time, there is real potential for the wine sector to benefit. The immediate tangible benefits include the reduced economic and environmental costs of repeated herbicide use. We will know more in 2021, the end of this five year project. Ultimately, support for a groundcover strategy could also lead to positive changes in insect pest management practices, for example, reducing the use of organophosphates (OPs) like Tokuthion®. Being neurotoxins, OPs kill all insects, including beneficial species important for biological control. A groundcover strategy that eliminates OPs from the spray schedule, and augments a softer, more environmentally benign pre-flowering insecticide programme, would be advantageous in a number of ways. There would be less disruption to natural enemy populations, so mealybug biological

66   // 

control is more effective; and safer work places for those tasked with applying pesticides, as well as for those owners and others who live on or near vineyards. It would also provide an opportunity to add value to the story about New Zealand wine; to showcase to discerning, high-value markets (locally and internationally) the efforts being undertaken to deliver end-products that meet their increasingly demanding high standards around food, human and environmental safety. This project provided impetus for a new PFR project, funded by NZWRC, “Futureproofing the wine sector with innovation: evaluation of ground cover, amenity & native plants as potential reservoirs of pathogens of grapevines.” Funded over two years, the project has two objectives: (1) To test if selected clover species/cultivars are alternative host plants for grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 (leafroll virus). (2) In testing if ground cover, amenity & native plant species are potential hosts for a wide range of grapevine viruses, we aim to increase understanding of what pathogens, if any, are present in different plants found in and around the vineyard ecosystem

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We acknowledge the fantas-

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

A colony of citrophilus mealybugs on the roots of white clover.

tic in-kind support from Delegat Limited. The quality of the collaboration and relationship between the PFR science and the Delegat teams continues to

go from strength to strength. We appreciate the valuable and expert agronomic advice provided by Bruce Clark from Kiwi Seed Company Limited.

Plant & Food Research (PFR), in consultation with the New Zealand Winegrowers Research Centre, invests $4.3M in wine science research from the MBIE Strategic Science Investment Fund. Part of this investment goes to the Vineyard Health programme, which focuses on maintaining healthy vineyards unburdened by pests or pathogens.


Industry News

NZ company takes out Australian award TAKING THE hassle out of working among the vines, has paid off for a New Zealand company. TracMap recently were announced as the winner of the Grape Growing category in the Australian Wine Industry Impact Awards. The award recognises their collaborative approach to providing game-

changing GPS guidance and job management solutions to their customers within the viticulture industry. Organised by the Wine Industry Suppliers Association, the event is a celebration of the impact that value chain partnerships have on the capability and competitiveness of Australian Wine Producers.

TracMap’s Australian Sales Managers, Don Thorp says the win is a direct result of their customers, whose collaboration was instrumental in the win. “By taking the time to provide input about their dayto-day operations, directly to our development team, we’re able to deliver smarter, safer and more sustainable vineyard

management solutions.” Thorp says. The judging panel, described TracMap’s system as, “the solution (that) dramatically increased grower capability and knowledge including ‘easy data capture’, live job sharing and feedback/reporting from accurate variable spraying with linear rate capability.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   67


Biosecurity News

NZW

BIOSECURITY

SOPHIE BADLAND, BIOSECURITY ADVISOR AT NEW ZEALAND WINEGROWERS

THE WORD ‘biosecurity’ can sound a little daunting. Tell people you’re a biosecurity officer and they think it sounds important, but then a confused look comes over the face and the next question is usually ‘So… what do you actually do?’ Explain that your job is to help to protect New Zealand from exotic unwanted pests and diseases and suddenly the light bulb goes on – ‘Like Border Patrol!’ Well, yes. Border Patrol is part of the biosecurity system and is probably the most publicly visible aspect thanks to the long running television series highlighting the role of quarantine officers at New Zealand’s air and sea ports. It has helped to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of biosecurity to New Zealand. Unfortunately, most of the time public engagement ends there. That’s often all people see in terms of biosecurity - officers in uniform at the border, with cute dogs sniffing the luggage. They get Biosecurity NZ confused with Customs and Aviation Security, easy enough

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to do when all three agencies work at the airport, wear similar uniforms and screen with detector dogs. The biosecurity message can get a little lost amongst all of this, and many tourists are utterly surprised (if not outraged) to find themselves fined $400 instantly for bringing an undeclared apple or dirty hiking boots into the country. While New Zealanders tend to know better, recent surveys have shown we still have a long way to go when it comes to understanding the importance of biosecurity to our way of life. This is going to change.

KO TĀTOU – THIS IS US The last week of September 2018 marked the launch of Ko Tātou – This Is Us, a brand celebrating a biosecurity partnership between New Zealand communities, industry organisations, Māori organisations and government. It aims to involve EVERYONE, an effort to create a world class, futurefocused, resilient biosecurity system which will protect our country, its vineyards and native

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

taonga from pests and diseases. The brand’s logo shows a profile of New Zealand as viewed from offshore, emphasizing the need for a collective, country-wide approach. Ko Tātou – This Is Us highlights that biosecurity is not just MPI’s responsibility, nor can it be delegated solely to an individual or small team within an organisation. The job is too big, and there is too much at stake. This is the message that the Ko Tātou brand aims to get across to a wider audience – biosecurity is everyone’s business. The impact of a serious incursion on the wine industry and the wider agricultural sector could be huge, not just for growers and farmers but for all who rely on those industries for employment, or to supply their own businesses. Similarly, beautiful areas of national and cultural significance could be destroyed, overrun with pests or decimated by disease, as could private gardens. Ko Tātou emphasises that biosecurity is essential to our whole way of life. Most growers in the wine

industry already have an appreciation for biosecurity and its importance to primary production, but do all staff and employees in the industry share the same appreciation? Do they understand that their jobs rely on our country having a strong biosecurity system in place? That one incursion of brown marmorated stink bug could cause losses to the wine industry of up to $600 million in forgone export revenue over the next 20 years, potentially wiping out some businesses altogether? Ko Tātou aims to make people more aware of the connectedness of these issues, and of the fact that an incursion isn’t only a potential disaster for the wine and other primary industries, but for the whole country collectively. Therefore, all of us have a responsibility to do what we can to protect it. Ko Tātou also aims to create more connection and collaboration across the current biosecurity system and encourages the emergence of new programs. Businesses, organisations and community groups can all use the brand to


Ko Tātou – This Is Us highlights that biosecurity is not just MPI’s responsibility, nor can it be delegated solely to an individual or small team within an organisation. The job is too big, and there is too much at stake. promote their commitment to biosecurity, showcase what it means to them and encourage participation amongst others. There are a range of ways to get involved with biosecurity initiatives, and the good news is it isn’t hard to do. An easy first step is to check out the Vineyard Biosecurity Guidelines for Best Practice published by New Zealand Winegrowers, and do what you can to implement these in your vineyard. These activities build on current pest and disease management practices employed throughout the industry. Spread the word amongst staff and contractors and get them on board too. After all – vineyard biosecurity is a shared risk. The Guidelines can be downloaded from https://www.nzwine.com/members/grow/biosecurity/protecting-your-vineyards/ or you can email Sophie.Badland@nzwine. com to request a hard copy flipchart.

If you are travelling overseas, check out our guide to Returning to New Zealand on https://www.nzwine.com/ media/10112/returning-to-nzchecklist.pdf. Following this guide will make it easier for border officials to mitigate any biosecurity risks you may be bringing back with you. Host a Biosecurity Workshop - if you would like the New Zealand Winegrowers Biosecurity team to visit your region and run a workshop with staff and local contractors, get in touch with Ed (Edwin.Massey@ nzwine.com) or Sophie (Sophie. badland@nzwine.com). For more information on Ko Tātou – This Is Us and Biosecurity 2025, you can go to http:// www.thisisus.nz/, or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ kotatouthisisus And as always, remember if you see anything unusual to Catch It, Snap It and Report It to MPI on 0800 80 99 66.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   69


Not on the Label

LEGAL MATTERS WITH CHRIS PARKE, PARTNER, KENSINGTON SWAN

Overseas Investment changes impact on viticultural Land THE APPLICATION of the Overseas Investment Act (the ‘OIA’) is an important consideration for any person looking at selling a business, or selling or offering for lease land, to an ‘overseas person’. Recent changes to the OIA came into effect on 22 October 2018, and whilst much of the media coverage has focused on the move to bring residential land within the scope of the OIA, changes in both the recent amendments, and earlier changes to the Ministerial directive letter, have had an impact on the owners and operators of vineyards and wineries.

BACKGROUND

The OIA regulates the acquisition by overseas persons of an ‘interest’ in certain types of land; often referred to as ‘sensitive land’. Not all land is covered by the OIA, but with the

recent changes now including ‘residential’ land, the OIA has wider application. It is important to understand that an ‘interest’ in land is wider than just a freehold (or ownership) right in land, but also includes leases (of more than 3 years (including rights of renewal)) and (now) certain forms of profit a prendre. What comprises ‘sensitive land’ is reasonably complex, but of most common application in the viticultural sector is the acquisition of an interest in ‘non-urban land exceeding 5 hectares’. ‘Non-urban land’ includes ‘farm land’, which includes land used for horticultural purposes. As such, vineyard land is ‘farm land’, and any acquisition of an interest in more than 5 hectares of vineyard land by an overseas person will likely require consent under the OIA.

The consent process under the OIA is a complex and time consuming process, that adds uncertainty, time and substantial cost to any transaction. Two recent changes to the OIA regime have made it more difficult for overseas persons looking to acquire an interest in New Zealand horticultural land, including vineyards.

FARM LAND DIRECTIVE

The first change occurred with the farm land directive issued by the incoming coalition Government in late November 2017. A directive letter is a direction given by the responsible Ministers to the Overseas Investment Office (‘OIO’) about the approach they wish the OIO to take in relation to certain applications.  The previous directive letter issued under the National Government focussed on large areas of farm land, whereas the

new directive letter applies more broadly to all rural land (except forests). The directive means that in assessing any application that relates to farm land (including viticultural land), the OIO must give priority to certain benefit factors over others. These factors include demonstrating: that the investment will result in new jobs or the retention of existing jobs; how an investment will result in new technology or business skills; that the investment will increase export receipts for, or increase the processing of primary products in, New Zealand; and that New Zealanders will oversee or participate in the investment. Sponsorship of community projects and donations made by an applicant are to be given low relative importance.

NOW READ IT ONLINE GENERAL NEWS PEOPLE PROFILES AND MUCH MORE... REGIONAL UPDATES OPINION

www.nzwinegrower.co.nz 70   // 

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

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Whilst these changes align with the Government’s policy objectives, it has meant that acquisitions (especially those involving leases) of vineyards, where the asset is mature and well developed, leading to a status quo approach to the asset, have become more difficult, as the above critical factors are less likely to be met. Overseas persons must also demonstrate how any investment they may make will differ from, and be more beneficial, than an equivalent (and hypothetical) New Zealand investor.

OVERSEAS INVESTMENT AMENDMENT ACT 2018

The second change has only recently occurred with the coming into force on 22 October 2018 of the Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2018. This was introduced late last year,

initially as a mechanism for addressing the coalition Government’s concerns in relation to the acquisition of residential land by overseas persons. Whilst the media has focused on this aspect of the changes, the amendment act goes further and impacts on investments in forestry and horticultural operations. One important change is that profits a prendre are no longer classified as an ‘exempted interest’ in land. A profit a prendre is essentially a right to enter onto someone’s land and to take a natural resource, such as mineral deposits, timber, crops and the like. This means consent was previously not required to enter into a profit a prendre over sensitive land, but is now required other than in very limited circumstances (which are unlikely to apply

to viticultural land). Anecdotal evidence suggests that profits a prendre were being used in some cases as a means of acquiring rights to grape crops on land. There was always doubt as to whether the use of profits a prendre in the viticultural sector would bear scrutiny from an OIO perspective, and whether such arrangements were truly a profit a prendre (especially given the level of control most operators wish to exert over a crop). These changes clearly show the Government closing off this potential route in the legislation. As a result, overseas persons looking to acquire an interest in sensitive land, or the crop on that land, have fewer options, and must go down the application track. Interestingly, whilst some

accommodation in regards the use of profits a prendre has been included in the amendments for forestry rights, this has not been extended to horticultural land, despite submissions being made to the select committee that viticultural land should be treated in a similar manner.

CONCLUSION

Overall, these recent changes mean that transactions in relation to viticultural land are more likely to be caught, and that the threshold for approval in respect of such transactions has become slightly more difficult to reach. As a result, it is critical that if you are buying (or selling) land interests, and overseas persons are involved, careful consideration of the impacts of the OIA must be considered at an early stage.

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Mechanical News The latest GL Series from industry specialists Gregoire.

High tech means high quality and less MOG MARK DANIEL

TECHNOLOGY HAS always been welcomed and accepted in the New Zealand wine industry, never more so than at harvest, when a few days’ work influences the progress made over the growing season. Harvesting machinery is evolving quickly to make the job quicker, easier and more importantly more accurate and with less wastage. A case in point would be the latest GL Series from industry specialists Gregoire, who have taken several awards with some very clever innovation. These include a gold medal at the last Sitevi exhibition for Autopinch, an automatic and continuous system that controls the opening of the shaker rod arms and the degree of force applied to the vines at harvest, by constantly

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maintaining the operator’s preset values, even for vegetation of different ages, that of different vegetative vigour and when near support poles. Autopinch guarantees better crop protection during harvesting, allowing the operator to work more easily; while also providing protection to vine plants and the machine’s working parts, thereby further extending their service life. With the push towards on board de-stemming and MOG removal in the vineyard, namely to achieve better samples, particularly in red varieties and the ability to leave MOG in the vineyard rather than cart it back to the winery, the new Gregoire Easy Clean de-stemming system delivers a design with low maintenance but more impor-

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

tantly, delivers a near perfect clean fruit sample to the winery. Designed to be less complex than its competitors, the Easy Clean system operates with a mesh belt to give alignment and sorting of fruit, with an oscillating linear de stemmer. Offering a larger sorting system without the need for a complex roller system typically seen in competitor machines is said to reduce servicing costs and setup requirements. The system utilises four channels on each head, allowing faster throughput of fruit and de stemming capability. Another challenge faced by growers is the need to remove Petiole, especially late in the season when the canopy is shutting down. The Easy Clean system is

said to be capable of achieving a 99.8 percen clean sample when tested by IFV (French Wine Institute in 2016 with Syrah). Coupled with the option of 2x 2000L bins, giving high capacity when operating in high yields or long rows, new technology in the cabin includes touch screen I-monitor, fully customized joystick, Isobus, and automatic climate control for the operator, while the centralised cab position offers better vision and capability for multifunction operations. Larger fans mounted at strategic drop points and wider main belts allows for more efficient cleaning and reduced juice loss from the lower fans. Further awardwinning technologies include the new NEOmap system that


maps and georeferences the different productivity levels found in the vineyard, to study agronomy for more uniform yields. In use, a special stainless-steel plate fitted with sensors on the transport chain weighs the product in transit and performs satellite georeferencing, while load cells between the machine chassis and the storage hoppers perform precise mapping operations. The third medal was awarded for the innovative EASYpilot system, a non-GPS automatic row guidance system that automatically aligns the machine with the rows, allowing the driver to concentrate on producing the best sample. Optoelectronic technology enables precise control of the steering without the need for an RTK GPS signal, with orientation of the rows is detected using a 3D infrared telemetric sensor coupled with an infrared wave emitter to allow the device to work efficiently, even at night.

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Two 2000L bins, give high capacity when operating in high yields or long rows.

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   73


FOR STATISTICS QUERIES CONTACT MOLLY COUTTS MOLLY.COUTTS@NZWINE.COM

SEPT 2018

Key Performance Indicators

Keep an eye on how New Zealand wine is performing both domestically and internationally.

Total Value of Exports

$1.72

Growth Markets

Billion

fob value

$518.5m USA

2%

$390.8m UK

1%

$364.0m AUSTRALIA

Packaged Wine Export

Bulk Wine Export

Volume

Volume

154.3 mL

NETHERLANDS

CHINA

GERMANY

102.2 mL

0.4%

Bulk white wine

Packaged Price

22%

price

1%

4%

$3.90/L

$45.9m

$8.56/L

$40.2m

Domestic Sales, Volume

$25.6m

54.1m L*

3%

19%

1%

193%

$14.7m HONG KONG

0.4%

5%

$131.8m CANADA

2%

24%

*Estimated All figures are for the 12 months to the date specified, figures are in $NZD unless otherwise specified


Research Updates

Research Supplement Information and updates on New Zealand Winegrowers research programmes. Editors Dr Matias Kinzurik and Will Kerner, Research Programme Manager A regular feature 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. When completed, each project will be reported in full detail, with references, on nzwine.com

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 transposoninduced 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

Breaking the quality-productivity seesaw in wine grape production (Pinot Noir Programme)

University of Auckland, Plant and Food Research and Lincoln University (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MBIE

Assessment of commercially available yeast nutrient products on Sauvignon blanc microvin ferments (K Creasy)

UC Davis collaboration to determine factors that affect colour in Pinot noir wines when grapes are harvested at lower than target berry soluble solids. Plant and Food Research C Grose

Shoot trimming effects on Pinot noir vine leaf area to fruit weight ratio, productivity and fruit composition Lincoln University

The role of microbes in regional Pinot Noir quality and style University of Auckland M Goddard

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

Cost Reduction/Increased Profitability Precision Grape Yield Analyser Programme 2016-2021

Exploring the chemical space in Vineyard Ecosystems (VE) Programme juices and wines

Lincoln Agritech Limited A Werner

University of Auckland B Fedrizzi

An automated grape yield estimation system – The Rod Bonfiglioli Scholarship

Untargeted aroma compound chemical analysis of Pinot noir

Massey University M Legg

Hills Laboratory R Hill

Testing the effect of gelatin pre-fermentation fining on ethanol production University of Auckland B Fedrizzi

Sustainability/Organics Vineyard Ecosystems Programme

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

Pests and Disease Optimising management of grapevine trunk diseases for vineyard longevity South Australian Research & Development Institute M Sosnowski

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

Optimisation of irrigation and water savings in Marlborough Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir and Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay and Merlot

Spray protocols to quantify and optimise spray deposits applied to dormant grapevines (trunks, heads, cordons and canes)

Thoughtful Viticulture M Krasnow

Plant and Food Research M Walter Supported by MPI Sustainable Farming Fund as part of the Powdery mildew best practise project.

Developing powdery mildew best practise in New Zealand vineyards

Future-proofing the wine sector with innovation: evaluation of ground cover, amenity & native plants as potential reservoirs of pathogens of grapevines Plant and Food Research V Bell

A Lambourne - Supported by MPI Sustainable Farming Fund

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   75


Research Progress Reports

PROGRESS REPORTS

An automated grape yield estimation system Baden Parr & Dr Mathew Legg – Massey University, Auckland 17-103 ACCURATE YIELD estimation is essential for optimal vineyard and winery management. Vineyards often have contractual requirements to wineries to produce a predetermined yield and quality of fruit. Vineyard yields often fluctuate year to year and wineries may not purchase more crop than required. Accurate yield estimations allow vineyard managers to plan for the coming season, such as organising vats, barrels, and labour. A vineyard’s location, its soil makeup, and climate are all factors impacting overall quality and yield. If a vine is carrying more fruit than optimal, the quality of the fruit at harvest will be negatively impacted. Also, understanding vineyard variability at a per-vine level can potentially facilitate the use of precision viticulture techniques such as variable rate application and selec-

76   // 

tive harvesting. Historically, yield estimation has been achieved several ways. Traditional approaches predict a season’s yield based on historical results and weather conditions. More modern approaches may combine historical data with periodic visual inspections that measure expected cluster counts and berry sizes. This approach can provide robustness to seasonal variations, however, is labour intensive, time consuming, and prone to human error. For best results, these manual inspections need to be carried out regularly from bloom to harvest. An automated process for yield estimation is desirable as it could remove human error and increase the available temporal and spatial frequency of estimates. There are several promising techniques to achieving this. Laser scan-

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

ners have been used to generate high resolution digital representations of vine canopies as well as individual bunches. Yet the equipment cost and sheer volume of data that needs to be processed somewhat limits its usefulness in real environments. Computer vision techniques have also been investigated. These use variations in colour and luminous intensity to locate and count grapes within high resolution colour images. These approaches face several practical challenges including limited colour contrast between grapes and the surrounding foliage along with variations in lighting due to unpredictable shading from leaves. Determination of 3D information provides additional information about the scene. Simple features such as an objects shape give information as to what that object may be without

reliance on texture or colour cues. A 3D solution may lead to a more robust solution for grape yield detection in a wider range of situations. NZ Wines has provided the Rod Bonfiglioli PhD Scholarship to fund a project that aims to develop a novel automated grape yield estimation system using low cost 3D camera technologies. Research will be conducted closely alongside the New Zealand wine industry to understand and address their needs with a focus on practical solutions for a future commercial output.

INVESTIGATED DEPTH CAMERAS

In recent years, new technology advances have led to the growth of low cost 3D camera technologies; including Stereographic, Structured Light, and Time of Flight (ToF). Each of


Research Progress Reports

Figure 1: Table grapes used for initial testing of depth cameras.

camera has been tested within an office environment focused on two bunches of table grapes. The scene presented to each camera is shown in Figure. 1. Green and red bunches were chosen to investigate the impact colour may have on the results. While not indicative of a realistic vineyard environment, certain similarities remain. Table grapes have been used for convenience, providing the ability to perform quick measurements without needing to visit a vineyard. The grapes are an adequate proxy in shape and colour.

INITIAL OBSERVATIONS

Figure 2: An example of a colour and 3D scan captured from a structured light camera. Colour image (left), coloured point cloud (middle), and point cloud depth map (right).

these camera technologies have unique performance characteristics and tradeoffs. An initial focus of this work is to understand how these may be used for grape yield estimation. Stereographic cameras use a similar principle to human binocular vision, identifying the difference between similar points in two separate camera images and calculate the depth information using trigonometric principles. This can be achieved using generic pattern matching, or by specifically looking for known features within each image, such as grapes. With strong feature detection algorithms, this technique can be relatively accurate. However, it can struggle in scenes with limited detail. Structured Light cameras

project a known pattern of infrared light into the scene. The unique distortion caused by it falling on objects within the scene is captured by either a single or stereo pair of infrared cameras. Structured light cameras perform well in scenes with uniform smooth surfaces where the distortion pattern is relatively continuous. Unlike stereo cameras, the projection allows them the benefit of working in scenes that have otherwise undistinctive features. However, reliance on the projection of light means that quality can suffer in the presence of strong ambient light such as direct sunlight. Recently hybrid Stereographic & Structured light systems have been developed that combine the best of both technologies.

Time of flight cameras have traditionally been one of the most expensive 3D vision techniques. Instead of relying on projection or stereo principles, these approaches consist of a single camera paired with an infrared flash. By measuring the precise time it takes for light to return to the camera sensor, the depth information within a scene can be established. The miniscule time scale involved is the main contributor to the traditionally substantial price. However, recent advances in signal processing and integrated circuit fabrication have allowed for low-cost options to become available.

EVALUATION SETUP

Six different depth cameras have been acquired and initial tests performed. Each

Across all cameras tested, individual grapes were able to be distinguished. Structured light and Stereograpic cameras featured a slightly noisier image and overall smoother definition between individual grapes. In comparison, ToF cameras were able to resolve more fine detail. An interesting observation of the ToF camera was the pressence of strong reflective components appearing in the final depth image; seen as peaks on individual grapes. These will be investigated further as potenial features for novel machine learning techniques. Aditionally, signal processing techniques will be used to improve overall quality and reduce the effect of noise for all tested cameras. It is worth noting that these tests were conducted with “out of the box” configurations. There are a number of aproaches that are expected to significantly improve accuracy and reduce noise. nzwine.com/research

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   77


Research Progress Reports

Vineyard Ecosystems: Soil and Water Services The Production Footprints Team & friends*, Plant & Food Research 17-104

KEY FINDING

Our leachate data are providing measures of the soils’ regulating service of buffering nitrogen in the rootzone. Nutrient leaching from vineyards is low, and thus viticulture should easily meet regulations that might come from the recently gazetted National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

INTRODUCTION

The natural-capital concept integrates economic thinking with ecological principles by considering nature’s stocks of materials and energy as capital. In economics, interest flows from financial capital, and by analogy in nature, ecosystem services, which benefit humankind, flow from natural-capital. In our VE programme we recognise that vineyard ecosystem services are linked to natural capital. We hypothesised that “…the ecosystem services delivered are significantly altered by vineyard practices, and vineyard practices can be

designed to enhance vineyard longevity, soil health, and vine performance.” We are determining the impacts of two different management practices on the delivery of ecosystem services. These are: • Contemporary vineyards, which use herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilisers. These vineyards maintain an inter-row permanent ground cover • Future vineyards have a semi-permanent ground cover comprising a wide range of plant species, and use natural products to combat pests and diseases. There are four intensively studied “Gold Site” vineyards, all growing Sauvignon Blanc, two in Hawke’s Bay and two in Marlborough. In each region, one site is under Contemporary (SBC) and the other under Future (SBF) management. We discuss the results from the first three years of this VE programme. We describe the natural capital stocks of these sites, and assess the soil and waterregulating services they deliver.

Figure 1. The weather station at the Hawke’s Bay Vineyard Ecosystems Gold Site vineyard (Future). The rain gauge and other sensors are atop the mast. To the right can be seen the Time Domain Reflectometry probes, which measure soil moisture content

SOIL AS NATURAL CAPITAL

The vineyards all have loam soils, with Block 21-SBC having a slightly higher silt content than the others. The two Marlborough vineyards have a higher stone content than those in Hawke’s Bay. Field

capacity values are similar (Table 1). Soil macroporosity values are higher for the Future vineyards than for the Contemporary sites. The presence of these large, connected soil pores in the Future vineyards result in different soil-water dynamics.Weather Services

Table 1. Soil properties of the Vineyard Ecosystems Gold Site vineyards in Hawke’s Bay (HBN) and Marlborough (MA), under Contemporary (C) or Future (F) Sites.

Gold Site

Treatment

Region

Soil texture classification

Stone content %

Bulk density g/cm

Field capacity % volume

Macroporosity % volume

Block 1-SBF

F

HB

Loam

1.4

1.34

33.4

14.9

Block 4-SBC

C

HB

Loam

0.4

1.31

35.9

10.6

Block 21-SBC

C

MA

Silt loam

10.9

1.38

32.6

9.2

Block 23-SBF

F

MA

Loam

25.9

1.44

32.2

15.0

78   // 

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019


Research Progress Reports

Table 2. Rainfall and irrigation totals over three years at the Vineyard Ecosystems Gold Site vineyards in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough. LTA is the long-term average rainfall for the region.

across the first 3 years of the Vineyard Ecosystems programme Terroir is also delivered through the weather services of rainfall, temperature, humidity, wind and sunshine (Figure 1). Rainfall and irrigation patterns for all four Gold Sites for the first three years are shown in Table 2. The first year (2015-16) does not apply to a full 12 months: our sites were not set up until November 2015. There was great variability between years within each region, and variation between regions in a given year.

Year

Period

Hawke’s Bay Future (SBF)

Rainfall (mm)

Irrigation (mm)

Regional LTA 750mm

2015-16

Nov-June

265*

0

2016-17

July-June

872

0

2017-18

July-June

748

0

Hawke’s Bay Contemporary (SBC) 2015-16

Nov-June

201*

87

2016-17

July-June

835

46

2017-2018

July-June

591

23

Marlborough Future (SBF)

Regional LTA 650mm

2015-16

Nov-June

542*

42

2016-17

July-June

601

83

2017-18

July-June

873

19

Marlborough Contemporary (SBC) 2015-16

Nov-June

563*

136

2016-17

July-June

601

61

2017-18

July-June

841

63

* Incomplete year, only 7.5 months. Figure 2

SOIL-WATER SERVICES ACROSS THE FIRST 3 YEARS OF THE VE PROGRAMME

Time domain reflectometry (TDR) was used to measure the changing pattern of the volumetric soil water content (L/L). Three sets of TDR probes of lengths 0.5 m, 1.0 m and 1.5 m, were used to separate root activity at different depths. We show only the surface 0.5-m results here.

Figure 2. The pattern of rainfall and irrigation in the two Vineyard Ecosystems Gold Site vineyards in Hawke’s Bay, with the pattern of the soil’s changing water content at Block 1-SBF (Future, unirrigated) (upper graph) and Block 4-SBC (Contemporary, irrigated) (lower graph). Here TDR-50 is the soil water content 0-50 cm. The time series runs from November 2015 through until June 2018.

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Research Progress Reports

Figure 3. The pattern of rainfall and irrigation in the two Vineyard Ecosystems Gold Site vineyards in Marlborough, with the pattern of the soil’s changing water content at Block 23-SBF (Future, irrigated) (upper graph) and Block 21-SBC (Contemporary, irrigated) (lower graph). Here TDR-50 is the soil water content 0-50 cm. The time series runs from November 2015 through until June 2018.

was applied. Harvest was 11 March 2016. The year 201617 was wetter than normal, and less irrigation was used. Irrigation commenced on 29 December and was intermittent until 11 January. It remained regular until 17 February when heavy rain arrived. Only 46 mm was applied over the year, about half that of the previous year. Harvest was 20 March 2017. The early summer of 2017 was dry, and irrigation commenced on 30 November. Irrigation was used tactically through until 4 March. Only 23 mm were applied in total, as there was regular rainfall during January and February. The grapes were harvested on 6 March 2018. This tactical use of irrigation resulted in a low seasonal application, averaging just over 50 mm a year.

MARLBOROUGH

HAWKE’S BAY

The Hawke’s Bay SBF site is not irrigated, and the soil-water dynamics are dominated by rainfall (Figure 2, top). The frequent rains during the summer of 2015/16, and the soil’s buffering capacity, delivered a steady pattern of water supply to the vines. Harvest dates are determined by °Brix values, and harvest was 24 March in 2016. The early summer of 2016-17 was very dry, and the soil dried down. Then in late summer some 30 mm of rain fell over 7-8 February,

80   // 

with another 70 mm some ten days later. So from February onwards, the soil water

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

content remained high. The grapes were harvested on 22 March 2017. The 2017-18 year had average rainfall, with steady falls throughout summer, such that the soil moisture content remained constant, except when 83 mm fell on 9 March. Harvest was 16 March 2018. The Hawke’s Bay SBC site is irrigated. In the first year, irrigation commenced on 12 December 2015, and ceased on 25 March. A total of 87 mm

Both Gold Sites in Marlborough are irrigated (Figure 3). For the Marlborough SBF site irrigation was used tactically. The early summer of 2015 was dry; irrigation commenced on 24 November and continued through until 16 February. Over the season 42 mm were applied, and harvest was 13 April 2016. The 2016-17 year was drier than normal and the amount of irrigation doubled. After several rain events in mid-November, irrigation commenced on 14 December, and finished on 10 March, with 83 mm applied. Harvest was 3 April 2017. The early summer of 2017 was very dry, yet irrigation did not begin until 19 December, and continued only until 4 January. Just 19 mm was applied, the latter part of the season being much wetter than normal, with 30 mm of rain falling


Research Progress Reports

Figure 4. Augering a hole (left) to allow the fluxmeter (centre and right) to be installed in a Hawke’s Bay vineyard. In the middle photograph are the buckets of soil that were collected, and which were then carefully replaced in the correct order once the fluxmeter was lowered into the hole.

on 17 January. Harvest was 31 March 2018. The Marlborough SBC site uses an irrigation timer that applies 2 mm day-1 to each vine. In 2015, irrigation commenced on 23 November and continued through until 3 May 2016. The

grapes were harvested on 31 March 2016. A large total amount of irrigation was applied: 135.8 mm. There may have been an omission to switch the irrigation off. Nevertheless, this rate of just 2 mm day-1 did enable the soil to dry out through

January to March. Irrigation over the next two years was much reduced. Irrigation did not commence until 11 December 2016, and again the soil profile dried down through February and March. Harvest was 7 April 2017, and irrigation ceased

Figure 5. The pattern of nitrogen loss (NO3-N is nitrate; NH4-N is ammonium) at the two Vineyard Ecosystems Gold Site vineyards in Marlborough, along with the measured drainage at Block 23-SBF (upper graph) and Block 21-SBC (lower graph). The time series runs from May 2016 through until May 2018.

on 27 April. Season-long, just 61 mm were applied. The 2017-18 year was wet, although mid-summer was reasonably dry. Heavy rains of 56 mm fell over 22-24 March. Harvest was 31 March 2018. Over the season, some 60 mm of water was again applied, and the irrigation was switched off on 5 April. Apart from SBC in 201516, both Gold Sites used only moderate amounts of irrigation. The soil-water monitoring results suggest that better tactical use of water is possible.

NITROGEN LEACHING AND REGULATING SERVICES

The soil provides a supporting service by mineralising in situ some of the nitrogen needed for plant nutrition. It also provides a buffering service by storing the mineralised nitrogen, along with any fertiliser. However, soils ‘leak’. Water drains through them. Drainage carries with it nitrogen,

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019  //   81


Research Progress Reports

which poses a risk to water quality. Our leachate data are providing measures of the soils’ regulating service of buffering nitrogen in the rootzone. We have developed tension drainage fluxmeters (DFMs) which collect drainage from the base of the rootzone. The 600-mm wick establishes a capillary suction in the soil which is akin to that of the soil’s pores (Figure 4). We can quantify the drainage and nutrient losses under the vineyards. The top of the fluxmeter is positioned at a depth of 1.2 m to collect nitrogen leachate at the base of the rootzone.

82   // 

HAWKE’S BAY

We have not yet completed the leachate analysis for the Hawke’s Bay sites, as many of the DFMs have been flooded by a rise in groundwater caused by impermeable layers deeper in the soil profile. We have, however, recorded the concentration in the perched water table via the DFMs. We will model the drainage rates so that we can then compute the leachate losses. This work is currently underway.

MARLBOROUGH

The cumulative drainage totals for the two sites in Marlborough for 2016-17

NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019

and 2017-18 were 200-250 mm, being 30-40% of the annual rainfall (Figure 5). This drainage is a valuable regulating service, as it recharges groundwater. The soils are close to field capacity from June until September (Figure 3). Thus, most of the drainage occurs during winter. We observed slightly more drainage under the Future vineyard, partly because of the soil’s greater stone content and higher macroporosity (Table 1). The cumulative nitrate leaching over 2016-17 was 12 kg-N ha-1 y-1 at the SBF site and 10 kg-N ha-1 y-1 for the SBC site (Figure 5). The

2017-18 ‘leaching season’ is still underway. The nitrogen leaching totals are low, especially in comparison to those of other land-uses. Viticulture should easily be able to meet any regulations that will come through the implementation of the recent National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. nzwine.com/research

* Steve Green, Roberta Gentile, Karen Mason, Carlo van den Dijssel, Robert Simpson, Victoria Raw, Marc Greven, Vaughan Bell, Nathan Arnold, Isabelle Sorensen, Jian Liu, & Brent Clothier. Contact: brent. clothier@plantandfood.co.nz


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