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new zealand winegrower



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the official journal of new zealand winegrowers

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Exporter’s Forum

Tessa Nicholson

Held in Blenheim in July, the NZWinegrower’s Exporter’s Forum highlighted the latest news from our major export markets.


From the CEO

Philip Gregan


In Brief

News from around the country


Money Matters

Marcus Phillips from NZForex


Bob’s Blog

Bob Campbell MW


Organic Focus

The results from the first ever organic versus conventional grape growing trial are in. Comparing costs, quality and disease threat, the trial is creating interest world wide.


Preventing Variability

Consistency in the vineyard is vital for consistently high quality wines. NZWinegrowers Grape Days focused on how to achieve that.


Sommelier’s Corner

Cameron Douglas MS


What’s The Next Big Thing



Wine events happening in New Zealand

First it was Muller Thurgau, then Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. What is likely to be the next variety to capture the imagination in New Zealand?


Winemaker Profile

Trudy Shield from Waimea Estates is fairly new to the role of Chief Winemaker – but results from international wine shows prove she is more than accomplished for the role.


Research Supplement

The latest science and research projects funded by NZ Winegrowers FRONT COVER: OLSSEN’S GARDEN VINEYARD AS SUPPLIED BY NEW ZEALAND WINEGROWERS



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


CO R R E S P O N D E NTS Auckland and Wairarapa: Joelle Thomson jthomson@xtra.co.nz Gisborne: Debbie Gregory debbie.donald@xtra.co.nz Gisborne: Christine Boyce christinejboyce@gmail.com Hawkes Bay: Mary Shanahan westclan@clear.net.nz Nelson: Neil Hodgson neil@hodgson.net.nz Canterbury: Jo Burzynska joburzynska@talk21.com Central Otago: Max Marriott max@maxmariott.com

A DV E R T I S I N G Ros Sellers nzwinegrower@xtra.co.nz Ph: 07 827 8648 Fax: 07 827 8631 Mobile: 021 190 3877 www.nzwinegrower.co.nz

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

PUBLISHING & P R E - P R E SS Rural News Group PO Box 3855, Auckland 1140 Ph: 09 307 0399 Location: Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Publisher: Brian Hight Managing Editor: Adam Fricker Production: Dave Ferguson, Nadia Wickliffe

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

ISSN 1174-5223





elcome to the new look New Zealand WineGrower. Fourteen years old this year, the magazine has come a long way since Terry Dunleavy founded it back in 1997. Yet the aim remains the same – to provide up-to-date information for the betterment of its members, whether they be grape growers, winemakers or winery owners. A lot has happened in the New Zealand wine sector in 14 years – not least the phenomenal growth. Back in 1997, there were only 262 wineries and a productive land area of approximately 7,500 hectares. Currently New Zealand has 699 wineries as at July and at last count an estimated 33,500 hectares of grapes. Marlborough was the largest wine region back in 1997, but it wasn’t producing anywhere near 75% of New Zealand’s total, as it is currently. Waipara and Central Otago were beginning to show their strengths – but again, not to the level they are now. And emerging regions such as Waikato and Waitaki were still embryonic. Fourteen years ago I was still a grape grower in Marlborough. To be fair my husband did most of the work – I just waited for the end product. But it was an introduction to the world of wine, one that I have felt privileged to be a part of. Our vineyard has since changed hands and while I take a huge interest in the industry, I no longer can claim to be in there at ground level.

Writing about the industry is for me the next best thing and I am extremely honoured to take over the role as editor of New Zealand WineGrower. It is rather daunting though to be following hard on the heels of Terry. He has served this industry above and beyond over the past 40 years as Philip Gregan points out. To me, he is literally a walking, talking New Zealand wine encyclopaedia and I along with many others offer my thanks for all his efforts. So in this the Bragato issue of New Zealand WineGrower, what can you expect to see? Well there are some changes – but that doesn’t mean we have moved away from the goals established back in 1997. We will continue to provide information, research, news and advice on a wide range of topics. We also introduce a few new columns, including; • Bob Campbell MW, with Bob’s Blog • Marcus Phillips – From NZForex – with up-to-date advice in Money Matters • Cameron Douglas MS – with Sommelier’s Corner On top of that we launch a wine sector calendar – (all entries welcome, email tessa.nicholson@me.com), a regional snippets section, with bite sized news items from around the country, and a regional focus that will see reporters from all around New Zealand highlighting the many and varied wine producing areas. So sit back, have a read and enjoy! We look forward to your comments.


THANKS, TERRY I couldn’t miss this opportunity to highlight just how New Zealand Winegrower came to be the leading industry publication in the country.


ew Zealand Winegrower was the brainchild of Kevyn Moore, the former President of the New Zealand Grape Growers Council. When it came to the question of who was going to be the editor there was only ever one name that anyone considered for the role – Terence John Dunleavy .... and now over 14 years and dozens of issues later we come to the first issue of New Zealand Winegrower without Terry at the helm. Terry came to the wine industry after a varied career including stints as a Newspaper editor, parliamentary candidate and Hollywood star (!) amongst many others. Once he joined the wine business he threw everything that he had learnt in life and more beside into his new love, New Zealand wine. And from that day forward, through his 40 years associated with the sector, Terry has been a one man tour de force, a veritable neverending font of ideas to drive the industry forward. When Terry joined the industry in the 1970’s with Montana Wines the focus was very much the domestic market and all the issues associated with it. The

industry at the time was fractured with divisions preventing a unified pan industry approach to the government. Moves were afoot to join forces and Terry was part of those, eventually taking on the role of Executive Officer with the newly formed Wine Institute in 1975. This was where Terry truly made his mark on the industry.

concerns from some WINZ Board members, Terry knew the future was export. Whether it was organising the RNZAF to ship wine up to the UK for wine tastings or urging wineries to get involved in export markets, nothing stood is his way. When Bryan Mogridge then WINZ Chair said to Terry that we needed to be featured nation at

Terry Dunleavy stands among the true greats of the New Zealand wine industry. He ranks alongside the likes of Tom McDonald, Mate Brajkovich and others. He always believed (and still does) that it was/is the destiny of New Zealand to be one of the great wine producers of the world. If NZ became a great wine producer, Terry knew this would help transform our international image. He knew that wine could be a flagship for a sophisticated modern economy, not one that was simply a farm to the UK. This belief drove Terry forward into one particular area – export. In the late 1970’s New Zealand wine exports were virtually nil. Despite

the LWTF (even though we had never attended the event), Terry achieved it within 2 years! He continued with WINZ as Executive Officer role until 1991 when he took on up the reins at the NZ Wine Guild which was founded to promote NZ wine in the UK. Again Terry threw himself into this role with all the gusto he could manage and under his stewardship the Guild provided the benchmark for co-operative activity amongst exporting wineries that is the hallmark of industry activity today.

From the Guild it was then onto his role as founding editor at New Zealand Winegrower. Again Terry threw himself into the role with total commitment and passion which was driven as always by only one desire – the betterment of New Zealand wine. The above is an incredibly brief resume of Terry’s contribution to this industry. To do justice to his contribution would require more pages than are in this journal. Not mentioned has been his time as a WINZ Board member, his pioneering work with other NZ exporters in the Food & Beverage Exporters Council, of the links with the America’s Cup, of his continuing role with the Royal Easter Wine Show, of his work with Keep NZ First, let alone his many activities outside the industry. Suffice to say, that Terry Dunleavy stands among the true greats of the New Zealand wine industry. He ranks alongside the likes of Tom McDonald, Mate Brajkovich and others. Thanks Terry ... New Zealand wine would not be what it is today without your immense, singular and (frankly) unbelievable contribution.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    5


WHO ARE WE? Joelle Thomson – Northland, Auckland and Wairarapa Joelle’s first wine column was in 1994, for Capital Times in Wellington. These days she writes for is, “Your Weekend” in The Dominion Post; which is syndicated to the Waikato Times and Christchurch Press. She is the

Editor of Drinksbiz, writes for Next, New Zealand WineGrower and Off Licence News (UK). A finalist at the 2005 Montana Book Awards for Celebrating New Zealand Wine, Joelle also won Best English Wine

Guide in the World at the Gourmand World Book Awards in 2003 for her annual wine guide. As a wine judge, she has taken part in competitions in New Zealand and Australia. E: jthomson@xtra.co.nz

Max Marriott – Central Otago A viticulturist in Central Otago, Max graduated from Lincoln University in 2007, having supplemented his studies with work in wine retail. He has a special affinity for artisan winegrowing

and a strong interest in geology and organics. A past contributor to various Fairfax publications, Max has also written for Jancis Robinson MW and more recently, New

Zealand Winegrower and Wine Technology. Max is a committee member for the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration. E: max@maxmarriott.com

Debbie Gregory - Gisborne Debbie has been the agriculture, horticulture and viticulture reporter at the Gisborne Herald for eight years, and now holds the role of deputy chief reporter. She has followed and written about the Gisborne wine industry with

keen interest over the years and is passionate about the region and all its attributes. Aside from writing about agriculture and horticulture, Debbie has spent most of her life in rural Gisborne bringing up her four

children. She has more than a passing passion for things that grow, having run a successful market garden business for seven years. E: debbie.gregory@ gisborneherald.

Neil Hodgson - Nelson A born and bred Nelsonian Neil has been the wine writer for the Nelson Mail since 1999. He loves telling local stories and encouraging people to try new and different wines. While he has no

commercial interest in a winery or vineyard he does work with a number of restaurants, helping them prepare wine lists. He also runs a series of wine education courses designed to

Christine Boyce - Gisborne Christine Boyce has been involved with the coverage of Gisborne’s wine industry since joining the Gisborne Herald seven-years ago. She spent 18-months living in London,



where she worked as a wine copywriter for high street store Marks & Spencer’s website. Since returning home she has continued reporting on wine and viticulture for the Gis-

borne Herald, and New Zealand WineGrower magazine. In her spare time she works with her husband running their busy restaurant, USSCo Bar & Bistro. E: christinejboyce@gmail.com

help people understand why they like or dislike a particular wine style and to encourage an open-minded approach to consuming wine. E: neil@hodgson.net.nz

Jo Burzynska - Canterbury Jo is one of New Zealand’s leading wine writers. She is Wine Editor of the New Zealand Herald’s Viva magazine author of Wine Class: All you need to know about wine in New Zealand. She also regularly contributes to a

number of other wine magazines, throughout the world. As a judge, Jo has been invovled in leading domestic New Zealand wine shows, as well as overseas competitions, which include the Australian Alternative Varie-

ties Show and an annual stint at the International Wine & Spirit Competition. From her Lyttelton base, Jo runs the Adventures in Wine school. E: joburzynska@talk21.com

Mary Shanahan – Hawkes Bay Mary Shanahan’s first wine journalism job was reporting on Hawke’s Bay’s outstanding 1998 vintage. Her late husband, hearing clinking bottles as she walked in the front door, complained that they couldn’t afford

for her to have such a job. She told him he would thank her for building up a good wine cellar – and he did. A national prizewinning investigative reporter, Mary was the inaugural recipient of an APN international journal-

ism fellowship which took her to Dublin for three months. She has been Hawke’s Bay correspondent for New Zealand WineGrower since moving into full-time freelance journalism in 2006. E: westclan@clear.net.nz

Tessa Nicholson will continue to cover the Marlborough region. E: tessa.nicholson@me.com

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AUCKLAND The Goldie Room

RWC Wines Being Selected

Goldwater Estate has been renamed “The Goldie Room”, ushering in a new era for the iconic Waiheke winery; one of the first on the island. It was established by Kim and Jeanette Goldwater in 1978, back when they took their own small boat out to the island rather than rely on the erratic few ferries, which made it to Waiheke over three decades ago. The Goldie Room is now open for lunch on the weekends from 12pm to 4pm and is targetting Rugby World Cup visitors this year.

Nearly 400 wines from all over New Zealand have been submitted for a short list of 20 to feature at a one-off dinner in Auckland, to be hosted by Sir Richard Branson during this year’s Rugby World Cup. The balance of the wines will be whittled down to about 150 to feature at The Cloud, in downtown Auckland, during the duration of the RWC. Judging the wines were Simon Waghorn, Corey Hall, Warren Gibson, Simon Nunns, Jane Boyle and Nick Picone.

GISBORNE Rugby Great and Great Rugby Wine A winery closely connected to an iconic All Black is waving the Gisborne flag for the Rugby World Cup. Kirkpatrick Estate Winery will launch its Kirky Signature Series this month. Owner Simon Kirkpatrick said it was an opportune time to pay tribute to his famous uncle and at the same time show-

case some of the best wine Gisborne has to offer. “The Rugby World Cup is an historic occasion for us all and we thought it was a great time to commemorate Ian’s contribution to the sport,” said Mr Kirkpatrick. The uniquely labeled Kirky Signature Series range will be available at fine wine

HAWKES BAY Hawkes Bay Versus Bordeaux Hawke’s Bay’s Gimblett Gravels wines measured up well against Bordeaux’ best in a blind tasting held recently in Hong Kong. Most of the journalists, trade and collectors from Hong Kong and mainland China attending the event at Club Lusitano were very familiar with leading examples of French wines but were keen too, to experience what the 800ha Gimblett Gravels appellation had to offer. The star Hawke’s Bay wine was Mission Estate Jewelstone Cabernet Merlot 2009 which, at $39 a bottle, out-performed six 2008 vintage classed growth Bordeaux and was placed third behind first growth Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2008 ($1500) and Chateau Haut-Brion 2008 ($1000).

Silver Secateurs and Young Viticulturist Paul Robinson, from Villa Maria, retained his Young Viticulturist title in the Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa competition. Second place went to Marj Hurley, also from Villa Maria, and Johnny la Troube was placed third. Wairarapa’s Braden Crosby will represent that region in the upcoming national competition at Romeo Bragato. Meanwhile, Fea Pievi from Pernod Ricard won the individual tying and placed second in the individual pruning Silver Secateurs competition behind winner Andrew Stove of Matua Valley.

Sustainability Winner Judges for a newly-established sustainability award say the winner, Elephant Hill Estate, has made a standout feature of its water management – including a top-of-the-line wastewater recycling system. The Hawke’s Bay winery won the Massey University Discovery Award in the inaugural East Coast Balance Farm Environment Awards. Wastewater at Elephant Hill is recycled for some uses in the Te Awanga winery and for irrigating the adjoining vineyard.



stores and restaurants as well as the Gisborne Wine Centre and Kirkpatrick Estate’s cellar door. Anyone who buys a bottle of the special wine in Auckland will go in a draw to win a trip to Gisborne to meet Ian Kirkpatrick, tour the Kirkpatrick farms on a 4WD motorbike and be wined and dined at the Kirkpatrick Estate.

MARLBOROUGH Queen’s Birthday Honours Two Marlborough wine sector stalwarts were recognised in the recent honours. Ivan Sutherland, who was one of the earlier contract growers in Marlborough, and also a former Olympic rowing bronze medallist was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to both wine and rowing. Allan Scott of Allan Scott Ivan Sutherland Wines was also made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the wine sector. Both men were slightly embarrassed to have been singled out, claiming there were others far more worthy of the honour.

Wineworks Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race Wineries teaming up with yachties will sail their latest release Sauvignon Blancs across Cook Strait on September 8. Each yacht will be allocated an undisclosed bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, which they will sail from Waikawa Bay over to Wellington. The winning yacht and wine will be announced at an event later in the evening.

MARTINBOROUGH ‘Ritzling’ from old Riesling vines “Bottled happiness” is a natural euphemism for Riesling and it’s also winemaker Chris Archer’s sub-title of his new sparkling “Ritzling”; launched in Wellington in April this year and soon to be distributed in Auckland. The single vineyard wine is made with grapes from the old Stratford Block in Martinborough. It’s bottled in four-packs of 250mls apiece; contains 9%ABV and has 60-70 grams per litre of residual sugar. Archer hot fermented and didn’t fine his first “Ritzling” and is pleased with the soft texture of the wine as a result of this winemaking.

CANTERBURY Passing of an Industry Stalwart

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It is with regret we note the death recently of Dr David Jackson, of Canterbury. Dr Jackson will be remembered fondly for his research into cool climate grape growing, particularly in the South Island area. In 1973 he received a $500 research grant for what he described as, an ‘oddball idea’ - growing grapes and producing wine commercially in Canterbury. New Zealand Winegrower CEO Philip Gregan had this to say about Dr Jackson: “David was a very fine man who was deeply passionate about the ability of the South Island and more particularly the Canterbury region to produce world class wine. In many ways David was the founder of the Canterbury wine industry based as it was on research that David started with colleagues in 1973. David’s lasting legacies are the many fine wines being produced in Canterbury/Waipara today and the thousands of students who benefited from his tireless enthusiasm to pass on the knowledge he had gained over years of research.” New Zealand Winegrower’s thoughts go to Dr Jackson’s family.

CENTRAL OTAGO Young Viticulturist of the Year Eight contestants took part in this event held last month. The overall winner for the second year in a row was Nick Paulin of Peregrine Wines. Runner up was Dave Salmon, Kawarau Estate and in third place, Michelle Dacombe, Felton Road.

Burgundy Exchange Four your wine industry people will soon be winging their way to Burgundy, as opart of the Central Otago Burgundy Exchange. The four who will spend the next month working a vintage I the renowned wine region are, Blair Deaker, Mike Wing, Dylan Turnbull and Max Marriot from Peregrine Wines.

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NZ WINEGROWER’S EXPORTER’S FORUM New Zealand wine and export markets go hand in hand. With a population of just over 4 million, there isn’t room domestically for all the wine we produce. But given global recessions, the high New Zealand dollar and the vast array of potential markets – how is a producer to know where to place their faith? That question was paramount to the Exporter’s Forum, held in Blenheim in July. TESSA NICHOLSON

Australia Firstly, despite New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc being the number one white wine sold in Australia, there is still plenty of room to move, according to Nielsen Research. Given the largest wine consumers in terms of volume are the older age group and the largest Sauvignon Blanc consumers are younger – there is potential to drag the older consumer into our flagship wine. Like all other markets there is a tendency by consumers to

trade down in terms of prices being paid for wine. The Nielsen figures show 24% of respondents admitted they were buying cheaper alcohol across the board. That has shown through in the under $10 category, (which tends to be dominated by retailer brands) which has grown significantly. But the good news for New Zealand exporters, is the over $20 category is also growing exponentially. Monty James, NZW’s Australian Marketing Manager said the growth New Zealand has

seen in this category is 26% - and it now holds 12% of the market share in this price range. There are also signs emerging that the Australian market is beginning to diversify in terms of varieties proving popular. Pinot Noir has seen a 13% value growth, in this price range. Whereas above $30, Pinot Gris growth has been an extraordinary 52%. “I know we always used to say that it was starting from a low base, but now Pinot Gris over $20 is starting to become a main-

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One of the most important markets for New Zealand wine, the UK is still reeling from the effects of the global recession. But David Cox the European Marketing Manager said that doesn’t mean the market for our wine has dried up. How to improve returns, not withstanding the high New Zealand dollar, is to target the discerning, high




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stream variety for Australia. So if you are selling Pinot Gris into Australia, be excited.”

earning wine shopper. “The one that dwells either virtually on the website or physically in a wine merchant’s shop, talking to a person who is hand selling the wine.” Those high spending discerning buyers do exist. There is strong growth in the consumer numbers who are prepared to pay more than £7 for their wine, which according to Cox, is the sweet spot for New Zealand producers. “Even more of a sweet spot for us is the £9 to £10, and over 20% of all wine sold in the UK in this category, is New Zealand. Second only to France and we are growing.” Knowing those buyers exist is one thing, finding them is another. Cox said working with independent retailers is a must to reach these higher spending consumers. Already there are more than 600 independent merchants in the UK and that number is rising. These merchants are expanding and changing. “Some of them are going into multi sites because they have picked up ex Oddbins or Thresher sites and some are expanding because they are doing well. But they are also expanding in terms of doing

their own wholesaling in their area and doing business to business and on-line sales as well. This is a very fertile ground for us.” The on-line mail order sector is also continuing to grow in the UK. With both these emerging markets, there are some major advantages – number one being the move out of the “bland” supermarket shelves, where getting a bargain is paramount for the consumer. Both independent merchants and on-line/mail order provide an opportunity for wines to be hand sold. There is the obvious chance to get your story across in a more personal way, many have a long list of regular purchasers and a data base that can be vital in spreading the message of New Zealand wine. There is the opportunity to make use of social media. Don’t underestimate the ability to do a live tasting via skype, with a group of interested consumers. Cox said New Zealand is seen as a hot category by retailers, with some commenting that New Zealand wine is their biggest selling category. “So instead of having a psycho moment whenever anyone mentions the UK, you could

Chuck Hayward

perhaps have a smiley face with a few more dollars on the bottom of your balance sheet, if you are trading in this area. Give the UK more of a chance.”

America The dollar may be the biggest issue of all facing exporters into the US market. That and the three tier system which confounds many a wine company. But according to well known JJ Buckley wine buyer, Chuck Hayward – exporters should also be looking at educating wine sales staff. Wine consumption is on the rise in America and has been for the past 18 years. Yet many of those consumers still do not know New Zealand produces wine. Very little information is

available within the US, which means it is up to the wine company to provide sales staff with everything they need to know. “To sell fine wine it requires that you touch the retailer,” Hayward said. “You must be the librarian for the New Zealand industry, not just your own wines. Use maps, winemaking techniques, history of the land before it was used to grow grapes. People want to learn about those things. Basically, what I learn as a retailer, I can pass on to the consumer – so if I don’t know anything – I am unlikely to be able to sell your wine.” Take as much information as you can with you, copies of reviews, articles about your region, about New Zealand

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wine in general and spend time explaining about New Zealand overall. “You need to learn about the uniqueness of every region because you need to educate the sales staff firstly on New Zealand, then your region and finally your brand – in that order.”

China Is this likely to be the holy grail for New Zealand wine in terms of a potential market? Fongyee Walker, owner of DragonPhoenix Wine Consultants in Beijing and Simon Zhou from Ruby Red Wine in Shanghai said the potential for New Zealand is high – but there is a lot of work required in the interim. Again education is vital. Chinese consumers aren’t knowledgeable about wine and their understanding of varieties is extremely low. Those that do have some knowledge are still coming to grips with the fact there are other colours of wine, besides red. So the number one issue for potential exporters, is to provide education – via information correctly translated into Chinese and through sponsored tastings. Targeting the right age

Fongyee Walker

group is also important – with the under 25s being the most likely to become loyal consumers. As Walker explained, this generation is the first of its kind in China. “They are the new generation – they are a single child, indulged and they want to be westernised. They often have overseas experience and are demanding more luxury goods. In China, wine is seen as a luxury product.” Our sustainability programme could be a perfect tool to capture their interest she said. With student political movements banned, many of the young generation are looking for causes and the environment is one they are latching on to. “I think it is a great way of

setting the unique selling points of New Zealand. Firstly we have to persuade people that New Zealand makes wine and that the wine it makes is unique. Being good for the environment may be one of those unique points.” Just where a winery should be aiming to sell their product is the next big issue to be faced. Walker said the tendency to market into the top tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai has seen a plethora of wine in those areas. So exporters should be considering the many second tier cities, such as Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hangzhou. It may be one country, but Walker warned China is not one people. Those living in inland China tend to be more tradi-

tional, preferring red wine over white. Coastal areas are more likely to try a white wine. Check what the food styles are in the region you are intending to target. In the North West of China, she said, the style of cooking is; “If in doubt add more salt and more garlic.” “So you can imagine what these people’s palates are like. They are used to full on flavour and they are looking for a greater proportion of reds. Contrast that with South China, where the palate is much fruitier, much sweeter but they can cope with acidity, so long as it is balanced.” Ensure your back label is translated correctly into Chinese and have it checked by someone who knows Chinese. Simple mistakes in translation can be the difference between a successful wine and one that isn’t. Zhou said one of the most important things to remember when selling wine, is the ability for the purchaser to save face. Don’t go in with your lowest price, instead go in a little higher so you can haggle downwards. “Dropping your price may not guarantee volume increases. Maybe price rises will,” he said. tessa.nicholson@me.com ■

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t will come as no surprise that the latest Nielsen research from April, shows most of our major markets have concerns about the economy. Confidence is low in the UK and US as well as New Zealand, while Australia is still riding the wave of economic boom, due to its natural assets. Michael Walton, Executive Director Consumer and Business Intelligence Pacific, said the survey of close to 7000 consumers, undertaken on-line in March showed a variety of messages that New Zealand wine exporters need to take into account. For example – how they view the economy. As a result, consumers have changed the way they are spending their money. For example, in the UK, respondents said they had made changes to the way they spend on clothing, groceries and takeaways. In the US, the changes were to gas/electricity, out of home entertainment and clothing. The same three issues were apparent in Australia and in New Zealand. That out of home


Michael Walton

entertainment is important for wine exporters, given the new going out, is quickly becoming “staying in”. People are opting to buy wine to drink at home with a meal, rather than eating out. Consumers are also shopping down when it comes to alcoholic beverages. In the UK 31% said they were buying cheaper alcohol, in the US it was 12%, Australia 24% and in New Zealand 30%. Looking at the major trends


in each of the three major markets, Walton said there are some interesting stories emerging. In the UK for example, the three major themes are: • Wine being sold under £4 is in decline - “It is going packers, it’s going under – outstanding!” • The value growth being experienced in the UK market is not being driven by unit price or by producers raising prices, it all has to do with the increase in excise tax.

• 5.5% of all wine being sold in the UK is in the lower alcohol category In the US: • The over $20 market is experiencing very strong growth • The demographics are playing out well • Online sales are growing In Australia the top three trends are: • The under $10 is going well and the over $20 is going in Walton’s words – “gangbusters”


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• Own brands are selling well • Alternative selling channels developing Walton said New Zealand was way above average in terms of growth in value, volume and benchmark price premium position in all three markets. Yes the volume is up and the value is lower – but Walton said; “It is still a very healthy premium. And there is no country in the world by the way that has the kind of price premiums that New Zealand does in the UK and the US markets.” Admittedly the growth, value and price premium position are not as high in Australia as they are in the other two markets – but there is still huge potential for increased sales of Sauvignon Blanc in that market. “The reason for that is, the areas in which we have won consumers tend to be the younger age groups. The people who tend to consume more wine volume are the older consumers. So we still have an opportunity of increasing the number of bottles of New Zealand wine older age groups buy and latching them on to the New Zealand story. Particularly the Sauvignon Blanc story.” In terms of where to in the US, Walton said despite the low consumer confidence, the average wine consumer is slightly different. They are highly educated, white, with a high income, slightly skewed to female. “They are significantly less affected by the economic story. They remain popular consumers of wine. This is a safe, demographic place. These are the guys by the way that tend to focus on the e-commerce sites, because they are savvy and they are smart. We forecast the growth in the next five years in the US, will be through the e-commerce


100 90 80 70

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channels, in multiple categories.” Currently only about 1% of wine volume is going through these channels. “But it has incredibly strong growth. Take Wine.Com, which is already doing 2 million bottles a year and grew 27% in the latest year. It is very easy, good information for consumers, good advice, convenient, good for affluent and educated . All things that resonate with our style of footprint.” In conclusion, Walton said New Zealand Wine’s current position is an excellent spring-




board for the future. The price premium in both the UK and US is excellent and there is potential for new consumer groups who currently are less engaged with wine. “Demographics are on our side everywhere, in all markets. Because the good news is we are all getting older. And as we get older, we tend to skew our consumption to wine.” To ensure New Zealand retains its price premium means our story has to resonate with consumers. “It isn’t enough just to say we are premium. What you need

now is to find the pathway to tell a greater truth, so consumers can see a logical pathway to your brand. I suspect your sustainability lines up very well, as a potential play in your story.” Getting those stories out to the consumer is vital, and that is where our connection points may need to change. “On-line trading sites are likely pathways. Because they don’t just sell a value story, they can sell the other stuff we want, which is the insight and the stories about our brands, rather than just the value.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

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agerly-awaited first season’s results for New Zealand’s first public trial to compare organic and conventional methods for growing wine grapes in the same vineyard are in – and they deliver promising indicators for the time-honoured traditional approach. The Organic Focus Vineyard Project was launched in Hawke’s Bay in October last year. Funded by New Zealand Winegrowers, it is being run as a three-year endeavour to demonstrate the realities of organic production. It is being carried out at Mission Estate’s Greenmeadows vineyard where 16 hectares of established Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc vines have been divided into blocks to enable each variety to be simultaneously managed organically and conventionally. On the organic blocks, grapes are not treated with herbicides and are cultivated under-vine – the traditional method for controlling weeds. In its first growing season, the organic regime was slightly cheaper to run – Chardonnay by 1.46 percent, Pinot Gris by 3.09 percent and Sauvignon Blanc by 3.25 percent. (This is in terms of



the growing costs that varied, not the overall farming costs.) Although there isonly have one seasons data, early indications suggest that real and meaningful cost savings could be achieved in the long term. Pest control was on a par for both regimes, but mealy bug control was slightly better for conventionally-grown Sauvignon Blanc than for the organicallymanaged. The organic regime achieved significant vigour control for all three grape varieties. Similar fruit quality and quantity were produced under both growing regimes. That was a good result, says Mission Estate viticulturist Caine Thompson, who is managing the pilot with input from viticultural consultant Bart Arnst and Organic

Winegrowers New Zealand coordinator Rebecca Reider. “The challenge is to see if we can repeat this next year.” Thompson conceived the idea for the trial while touring wine regions in France last year – a trip funded from prize-money awarded when he won 2009’s New Zealand Young viticulturist of the Year and New Zealand Young Horticulturist of the Year. The following data is being

collected to compare the two regimes: • Fruit Quality – Brix, pH, Ta • Yield – kg/vine • Mealy bug monitoring • Botrytis/Sour Rot/Powdery Mildew • Worm counts • Soil tests • Financial costs for all inputs and management tasks Information relating to these aspects was recorded through-

out the growing season, which was characterised by unsettled weather. Here’s how the 2011 vintage played out:In early September 2010, Thompson consulted with Arnst to select blocks – half a hectare for each regime of Chardonnay and three hectares each for Pinot Gris. Two hectares of Sauvignon Blanc is being grown organically and four hectares by conventional methods. Comparisons are being done on a per hectare basis. An organic management plan was developed, as well as a spraying programme for controlling pests and diseases on the conventionally-managed blocks. Structures were put in place to monitor costs. In spring, two applications of herbicide were applied on the con-

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regime. In February, Fruition Horticulture found that crop loss due to powdery mildew was less than one percent across all varieties and growing regimes. That was very encouraging.” In assessing the blocks in late January and mid-March, Thompson also noted that the signifi-

cantly lower vigour organic blocks needed less trimming. “What we saw through the ripening period was how well balanced the organic vines were in terms of vegetative growth.” Thompson says. “This was pronounced in the Pinot Gris with the conventional block requiring an

ORGANIC FOCUS VINEYARD PROJECT ventional blocks. The advantages noted were that these were quick, easy and cheap and the benefits relatively long-lasting. The disadvantages were questions about the effect on the soil, spray drift and that calm weather was needed for applying the herbicide. Two cultivation passes aerated the soil on the organic blocks. Advantages of this work was that it was quick, cost effective ($80/ ha) and could continue in windy conditions. Thompson admits to feeling very concerned about having only sulphur to manage the threat to the organically-grown vines. Fortnightly applications of sulphur and seaweed were applied on the organic blocks and this was stepped up to every 10 days over Christmas and New Year when disease pressure increased. Serenade was used at pre-bunch closure. On the conventional blocks, Quintec was used over the Christ-


mas period and Systhane and Switch at pre-bunch closure. An additional application of Systhane was needed for ongoing powdery mildew infection, with copper added predowny mildew infection periods. A single application of Glyphosate and Burnout was used to control weeds. “What has surprised me is the level of control we achieved under an organic approach,” says Thompson. “I was really pleased about that. We didn’t spray any more frequently than for a conventional programme, which I thought we would have to do. Monitoring the incidence of powdery mildew in the blocks, Fruition Horticulture reported slightly better control for the organic programme. This difference was small but was the same across all three varieties. “A big question mark we had going into this project was that of pests and diseases and their control under an organic management


Organic winegrowers aim to cooperate with nature by working with ecological processes, using only naturally derived products and avoiding the use of synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. Their goals are healthy soils, healthy vines, premium quality wines and a thriving landscape. Views vary about organic growing, and questions centre on its achievability, cost effectiveness and consistency of fruit quality and quantity compared to conventionally grown wine grapes. The Organic Focus Vineyard Project is addressing the following key questions: . As a grower, where and how do you get started? . Is organic production possible for everyone? . What are the key steps to take a vineyard into organic production? . What are the challenges? . How do you control weeds? . How do you control pest and disease outbreaks before they occur? . What is the effect on quality and yield? . How does organic growing affect costs? Over the next three years, the wine industry will be able to follow the project in real time with vineyard walks and through the website. Thompson regularly updates this, sharing not only the data but the decision-making and learning process involved in “going organic”. After receiving extra funding from the Sustainable Farming Fund, two more Organic Focus Vineyards have been added to the trial. There was an abundance of enquiries regarding the call for interested parties, with five vineyards between Central Otago and Marlborough actually applying. The two sucessful applicants are Wither Hills in Marlborough and Gibbston Valley in Central Otago.




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extra trim to control excessive vigour compared to the organic block which didn’t need any further trimming. The same pattern was also observed in the Sauvignon Blanc, and to a lesser extent in the Chardonnay. “With significant wet weather events continuing through early March, I was concerned how all of the blocks would hold up when exposed to severe botrytis pressure. Again Fruition assessed the situation, and again both regimes reported good botrytis and sour rot control. There were no significant differences between the growing regimes, and that highlighted the importance of canopy management and the role it plays in botrytis control, but equally importantly it showed how well

the organic blocks held up under significant disease pressure.” All blocks were treated alike in autumn. Second set bunches were removed, nets went on and no late season products were used. All the trial blocks were well set

up going into harvest, with open canopies, even ripening and a well-balanced crop load. An EIT student trained in maturity sampling collected brix, Ta and pH and berry weights for each variety and each growing regime as

harvest approached. Berry size and average bunch weights were very similar in the organic and conventional blocks. The entire vineyard was machine harvested on March 19. The organically grown blocks produced similar tonnages per hectare and kilograms per vine for all three varieties. Brix levels were slightly higher for Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc and the same under both regimes for Chardonnay. As well as updates posted on the website organicfocusvineyard.com, growers have been able to track the trial’s progress at regular field days held at the Mission. “There’s nothing like seeing a block for yourself,” Thompson says. westclan@clear.net.nz

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or a man who began his working life joining bits of metal together as a welder, Terry Dunleavy has joined rather a lot more in print than he may initially have expected to do: “I was misguided and realised it wasn’t for me,” he says, of his brief welding stint. Still, neither was working in the RNZAF nor in the State Advances Office opposite the Civic Theatre in Auckland, where his epiphany came one day, at morning tea time. “People were always talking on their tea breaks about what they’d do when they left the government. I looked at them and realised they’d been having this same conversation for the past 20 years and I didn’t want to join their ranks, so I went and resigned that day.” He then applied for a job on the Manawatu Standard in 1948. He was 20. Shortly afterwards he received a telegram from the North Wairarapa Herald in Pahiatua, offering him a job. It transpired that the North Wairarapa Herald had its reporter


poached by the Manawatu Standard, who had forwarded his CV on… and so, off he went to Pahiatua until 1950 when he was made assistant editor of a sports magazine in Auckland. He returned home, married, had a child and spent a couple of hours most working days at the Commercial Hotel, a fertile meeting ground for business people and where he was offered a job as a journalist in Samoa. On 1 September 1951, Dunleavy, his wife and their baby went to Apia, where they lived for the next seven years. He arrived back in Auckland on his 30th birthday with six children: “little else to do in Samoa”, he says. “It was a lovely place to live, with lovely people and it started my real interest in politics.” And yet, Dunleavy’s career highlight was in Marlborough, New Zealand; not in Samoa. On 13 February 1990, Dunleavy organised the Queen to attend the annual Viticultural Field Day at Brancott Estate, where he fondly remembers proposing the toast to the Queen. But this is to


jump the gun. When he arrived home in New Zealand, Dunleavy worked as a sales manager for Martin Printing in Napier, which led to his involvement in the wine sector via his advice to Montana Wines on using better paper stock for wine labels.

And in 1971, he was employed as national sales manager for Montana by Frank Yukich. “My transition to the wine sector was made easier by Don Maisey, who was marketing manager at Montana at the time, and who was a stickler


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for detail. Somewhere, I still have the pages of notes I took as he explained the structures of the wine wholesale and retail trade as it was in the early and mid-70s. A few times during my five years at Montana, I had the task of revising our price lists for wholesale and retail. Pricing was a mixture of Frank saying we needed to increase by X%, then scattering across my desk the lists of Corbans, McWilliams, Penfolds, Cooks, Villa Maria, and comparing line by line through the sherries, ports, sparklings, hocks, moselles, sauternes, burgundies and clarets, and the very occasional varietal. “It’s impossible to hark back to those times of growth without mention of two Montana products: Pearl, a sweetish sparkling in a bulbous bottle, and the subsequent sensation, Cold Duck, labelled as a mix of champagne and burgundy, which was an instant runaway success because it was red like people thought wine should be, sweetish and easy to drink; a sparkling that opened with a pop, and most of all a name that no one could mispronounce. “As Tim Cooper, former general manager of McWilliams was to remind me years later, those

were the good times: competition was gentle, wineries could make profits to finance their growth and keep shareholders happy. Three unrelated developments changed all that,” says Dunleavy. “Free marketeers in Dunedin and Christchurch began discounting and by-passing the wholesaler/retailer structure; varietal table wines made from classical Vitis Vinifera grapes, emerged and wowser-influenced doubling of sales tax on fortifieds to 40% began the strangulation of sherries and ports.” One of Dunleavy’s biggest achievements took place in the early 1970s when the three winery organizations in this country were grouped under a collective umbrella and The New Zealand Wine Institute was formed. Prior to this, winery representation before Government was fragmented with three separate groups: the Viticultural Association, headed by George Mazuran and comprising virtually all small and medium sized wineries, mostly Dalmatian; the Wine Council, comprising Corbans, Montana, Penfolds, Cooks and a few smaller ones, such as Collards, under the presidency of Alex Corban; and the Hawkes

Bay Winegrowers Association, virtually just McWilliams, and ruled by Tom McDonald. “I could see that the three organisations had much more in common than what they thought divided them. Mate Brajkovich felt the same way… eventually it was agreed to canvass the proposal seriously,” Dunleavy says. “Initially we were unable

visional executive was formed immediately with Alex Corban as Chairman; George Mazuran as Deputy Chairman and Dunleavy appointed Provisional Executive Officer. Most of 1976 was spent working out constitutional details and then Dunleavy applied as permanent CEO, left Montana on 30 September and started with the Institute on 1

“Initially we were unable to dispel the fears of small wineries about dominance by big companies. The breakthrough came when I suggested dividing members into categories based on size." to dispel the fears of small wineries about dominance by big companies. The breakthrough came when I suggested dividing members into categories based on size; each category could elect its own representatives, with key powers vested not in a general meeting but in the executive representatives.” Later that year, in September 1975, a general meeting in the Henderson Borough Council confirmed the decision to form the Wine Institute of New Zealand Incorporated. A pro-

October. “I was asked by a New Zealand Herald feature writer: ‘What are the immediate aims of the Institute?’ With an unaccustomed flash of brevity, I replied: ‘Representational, regulatory and promotional – in that order.’ New Zealand WineGrower magazine came into being during a meeting of the Wine Institute board, early in 1997. Kevyn Moore, president of the NZ Grape Growers Council, suggested the industry have its own print publication. Institute

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chairman John Buck pointed to me and said: “There’s an ex journalist” and everyone agreed. I suggested to then-Institute CEO Philip Gregan that the appropriate name would be New Zealand WineGrower. It was quickly agreed, as were the terms under which I would become the editor and my personal company, WineZeal Enterprises Ltd (effectively me) would become the publisher. This meant I had to find all editorial content and sell the advertising to cover production and print costs to mail the magazine free to all Institute members.” Another achievement, which Dunleavy was highly instrumental in effecting was the Sale of Liquor Act 1989, which permitted supermarkets and small grocers to sell wine, and changed the licensing structure by designating on- and off-licences. “Someone once told me I would live to regret it and I feel that prediction now, in that supermarkets are wreaking destruction on wine prices right now.” As to unfinished business in the wine industry, Dunleavy says: “Sauvignon Blanc’s undoubted future”, but that’s another story. jthomson@xtra.co.nz

COMMENTS FROM THE INDUSTRY Terry Dunleavy’s total dedication and commitment to New Zealand wine over the past 40 years should be an inspiration to all those who love our product. From his early days with Montana, through to his service to the industry at the Wine Institute and the New Zealand Wine Guild, and more latterly with his editorship of New Zealand WineGrower, Terry has brought amazing energy to his belief that New Zealand is destined to produce the very best wines in the world. His contribution to New Zealand wine is absolutely unique. Philip Gregan, CEO, NZ Winegrowers

It is a privilege to be asked to write a couple sentences on Terry’s impact on the New Zealand Wine industry - a couple of books might have been more appropriate.  Virtually singled handed, in the early days, he bulldozed his way into making sure the New Zealand Wine Industry got a hearing and presence in the UK market.  Terry also had a huge impact in the formation of the New Zealand Wine Institute, now the NZWG and is well known in parliamentary circles for his tireless energy and lobbying for more support for the wine industry.  He relentlessly resisted unwanted legislation. Terry has had a major and positive influence on the industry.  Sir George Fistonich   Terry Dunleavy, MBE, has been the invisible thread that has woven the modern New Zealand wine industry from its emergence on the world wine stage in the 80s through

to acknowledgement as a world leader in Sauvignon Blanc production. His enthusiasm, energy, motivation and innate ability to identify an opportunity to further the industry and pull together groups of people to achieve the desired outcome is inspirational. He has, in the nicest way, cultivated politicians, world renowned wine writers and influential overseas trade buyers as well as written thousands of words on behalf of the industry and worked tirelessly to promote New Zealand wine. Jane Hunter, CNZM, OBE, Hunter’s Wines, Marlborough

It is difficult to put in a couple sentences Terry’s contribution to the industry. Terry has seen the wine industry grow and evolve tremendously over the years. Many of the people who built the foundations for our success are gone, but Terry knew them all and indeed is one… He has much to offer.” Stuart T Smith, Deputy Chair, New Zealand Winegrowers and Fairhall Downs Estate, Marlborough

For 40 years New Zealand Wine has benefited from Terry’s energy, insight, advocacy and sheer hard work. We all owe him a great debt, for without his many inuts we could not have achieved the accomplishments we have collectively. Terry you have made a significant difference. Thank you. Peter Hubscher

NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    31


HOW TO PREVENT THE STRONG NZ DOLLAR HURTING YOU It is not just the US that is hurting because of the world economic crisis – smaller players such as we here in New Zealand are also feeling the impact.


iven the relatively small size of the domestic wine market the decision to export is one many businesses make and in doing so there are many factors to be considered. The more obvious ones like distribution channels and methods, marketing and logistics are often given plenty of thought. Getting paid by overseas customers is obviously very important and a critical component is ensuring payment terms are not only favourable but adhered to by the other parties. However receiving payment in foreign currency exposes exporters to risks many are not properly equipped to handle. As a consequence far too much time and energy is spent worrying about exchange rates rather than running and growing business and given the rapid rise of the New Zealand dollar to record highs it’s obvious to see why! Export earnings have been dealt a severe blow in recent years and to put it into perspective those receiving U.S dollar revenue over the last year could have lost more than $200,000 for every $1,000,000 or 20% in foreign currency revenue due to factors beyond their control. Or are they?


Export earnings have been dealt a severe blow in recent years and to put it into perspective those receiving U.S dollar revenue over the last year could have lost more than $200,000 for every $1,000,000 or 20% in foreign currency revenue due to factors beyond their control.

Whilst we can’t influence the direction in which exchange rates move there are measures businesses can put in place to protect foreign currency revenue streams. The term referred to as “hedging” is used to describe an investment made to reduce the risk of adverse price movements and when it comes to foreign exchange there are tools such as forward foreign exchange contracts that can be utilised to protect revenue streams – the livelihood of any business! Let’s look at an example of a fictional exporter who we will call The Best Wine Company (BWC). BWC exports to the U.S and


has seen a strong increase in demand. Over the last year they grew monthly revenue from $50,000 USD to $150,000 USD and in total generated $1,200,000 in USD sales revenue. At the beginning of the year, when they set their USD prices, the NZD/USD exchange rate was at 0.7000. So the expectation, based on forecasts the business made, was that they could expected to receive around $1,710,000 NZD in revenue that year (at an exchange rate of 0.7). However as the exchange rate appreciated over the course of the year the revenue they were to receive in NZD terms dropped by around 17% due to the exchange rate appreciation. This would have wiped out almost $250,000 New Zealand

dollars in revenue for the business. Luckily though, BWC took measures to protect against exchange rate risk by investing in a forward foreign exchange contract (FEC). They locked in an exchange rate of 70 cents for the year ahead by purchasing an FEC, which gave them piece of mind and also locked in their profit margins. By having secured a rate of 0.7000 they did not have to transact in the spot market and convert funds at whatever the prevailing, higher rate was at the time - instead they converted the USD receipts into NZD at 0.7000. There was of course the risk the spot rate could have been better (lower than 0.7000) and instead of getting a benefit from transacting at the forward rate they actually received less NZD. However BWC was happy to have some certainty in export earnings and instead focus energy on attracting new customers and growing market share. If there is any particular topic related to foreign exchange you would like us to write about in future editions or if have any questions about this article then email MarcusPhillips@nzforex.co ■

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he times they are a changing as Bob Dylan so succinctly put it – and never more so than in the markets New Zealand is selling its wines into. Which is why a review of SWNZ is so important, 16 years on since its inception as the Integrated Wine Programme. Jon Manhire of Agribusiness Group recently released his initial review findings at seminars held throughout the country. While originally the early programmes

were focused on chemical residues and food safety – that scope has increased over time. These days the consumer requirement for sustainability and impacts on the environment are leading factors in any world-wide programme. “The other trend that is becoming stronger is the role of the middle men – the supermarkets,” Manhire said. “They are the ones that are driving it to an extent. We are seeing the super-

markets acting as choice editors for the consumers.” Basically many now require ethical and sustainability criteria, and unless you meet those

you can’t get listed in those lines. “That is a pretty major barrier, because if you can’t get into those markets, then you don’t have a market.” Manhire pointed out, this isn’t happening just in the traditional markets of the UK and US, as the major supermarket chains are now holding sway in all the new emerging markets of Asia and the Middle East. What’s more a business just saying they are providing an environmentally friendly

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product doesn’t stack up – there needs to be some sort of proof, which SWNZ provides via independent audits. Research from NZTE has shown there are five core issues that any sustainability programme needs to cover if they want to capture consumer support – they are: • Carbon • Water • Packaging • Waste • Ethics Interestingly the perceptions of what New Zealander’s think is important, doesn’t always match what the markets for wine think is important. “So we need to be a little bit careful that we don’t reference our sustainability standard just to our own perceptions of our issues here

in New Zealand.” Just how does the SWNZ programme sit alongside similar programmes instigated by other wine producing countries? Manhire said the perception from buyers and writers in export markets, in terms of sustainability has slipped. In contrast the perception about South Africa has risen exponentially. “Now there is no real fundamental difference between the South African programme and SWNZ programme. The difference is, in the promotion in the market and their communication. They have changed people’s perception very well. That is a good message for New Zealand – you can change. You have a very good robust system here but you have to get out there and communicate it

in the market.” Just how important the sustainability programme is to our international markets, cannot be over estimated. In the latest April Nielsen consumer confidence survey, it proved to be of concern to the majority in the US, UK, Australia and here at home in New Zealand. In the UK 50% said they were very concerned or concerned about global warming. In the US it was 48%, Australia 61% and New Zealand 50% When asked if a sustainable practise was important, the results were even stronger. UK – 59%, US - 59%, Australia - 66% and New Zealand - 66%, said yes. So how many consumers believe it is important for a company to improve the environment

by implementing a sustainable style programme? UK – 71%, US – 71%, Australia – 76% and New Zealand – 80% said yes. So regardless of what you as an individual feel about sustainability and/or global warming, the market is giving a very clear message. Last year Jeff Clark from Jeff Clark consulting was commissioned to determine if sustainability could increase the value of New Zealand wine in the major markets of US, UK and Australia. His brief was to canvas those markets and ask what they wanted to know about sustainability, what their concerns were, what the perception of New Zealand’s sustainability programme was and how we could market our programme better. After 52 interviews in four

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countries, Clarke delivered his results at the recent New Zealand Wine Exporter’s Forum. “The discussions were all about what and how sustainability might add something to our New Zealand wine brand. And to evaluate whether or not sustainability has the potential to drive increased value into our wine sales. “I summarised the brief into the three areas of; Should we? Could we? How might we attach sustainability to the New Zealand wine brand proposition. And could it potentially differentiate our product from competitive wine producing countries?” Four countries – and five levels of influence, including; media commentators, national grocery, national liquor, wholesalers, and distributors were targeted. After discussions it became apparent he said, that a fourth question needed to be investigated. “That is when? When recognises that competitive pressures are building and the lead time for first genuine leader advantage is reducing.” “Should we? In my view yes. Nobody considers sustainability to be unimportant. However it holds different levels of interest and importance in different audiences.” “We have seen other producer countries are active and moving into this space.” On the issue of could we, Clark said – absolutely. “Done well and used correctly it has the potential to be a powerful differentiater. New Zealand is well credentialed and respected. This is a combination of experiences and reputation as well as the brand New Zealand effect.” He said there was an expectation that New

Zealand would tend to do things in a sustainable way, based on that reputation already established. “However there is one fundamental imperative. If New Zealand is to use sustainability as part of its brand platform, it needs to walk the talk. It needs to become part of our DNA, influencing the way we do everything.” He said after the quality of our wines – sustainability needs to be the issue we talk about the most. It must not be used simply as a promotional tool, it needs to be able to be backed up with solid facts. The industry must not lose sight of the fact other countries are already out there touting their sustainability programmes and consumers want solid verification of what we are doing. On the issue of how New Zealand Wine gets that sustainability message out there, Clark said it needs to be incorporated into all communications, promotions and merchandising, aimed at the three tiers - consumers, distribu-

tors and influencers. Whichever way we do it, it will require consistency and persistence. “Key messages should focus around a single core thought, such as preserving the places that make our unique wines and the possibility of a charter – a guarantee of origins and practices.” This all needs to be undertaken quickly Clark said. “Competitive advantage is reducing. Other countries have significant programmes and (their) commitments are starting to have an impact. They are making a positive impression.” Following Clark’s research, New Zealand Winegrowers is committing resource and energy into a comprehensive communications plan that will raise the awareness of the industry’s sustainable practices. ‘Making sustainability make sense’ is now a top priority for New Zealand Winegrowers who recognise that the time to create noise around this issue is now. tessa.nicholson@me.com ■

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t is now only a few days to go until the kick off of the Rugby World Cup on September 9 at Eden Park when New Zealand takes on Tonga. New Zealand Winegrowers started planning for the Rugby World Cup over two years ago. A number of times I have been asked – why are you interested in the world cup? Rugby fans are not really wine drinkers? Nothing could be further from the truth. The Rugby World Cup is a unique opportunity for wine. The participating nations of UK, Australia, USA and Canada alone make up over 90% of our $1.1 billion of exports. Many of the 85,000 visiting fans are making the trip to New Zealand for the first time. They are professionals and live in countries where rugby is played and followed by the top schools and universities. The visitors can be broken down as follows: Australia 29,500 , UK/Ireland 19,500 , France 8,800 , USA / Canada 6,900 , South Africa 5,200 , Other 15,600. A Covec survey of public ticket purchasers showed: • 50% were to arrive before opening match



vineyard etc. In order to have your event considered for selection please ask for the Real NZ Event Suggestion Form from danajohanson@gmail.com In addition we are working with government, sponsors and others to ensure that we help give VIPs a special experience, be it heads of state, global CEOs and other leaders in their field. If a winery, region or grape grower has an experience they would like to offer, please let us know. We have asked our wineries to be ready for business with cellar doors open during the tournament and we have let them know which teams are playing and staying in their region. We believe the best opportunity for our industry is to be in New Zealand during September and October to welcome and host the 80,000 visitors and over 2,000 media. Speaking of media, we are building a database of media stories we will pitch into the broadcasters from the participating countries. Please have a think about possible angles related to your business we can feed into interested media. The Rugby World Cup will bring some of the world’s top business people. The NZ 2011 Business Club offers you the chance to connect with them and develop relationships. There is no cost to join and no reason why every winery principal shouldn’t become a member. Currently the Business Club has 2,000 international members and 3,000 domestic members and 51% have an interest in Wine and Food. Once you have become a member you have the option to submit a ‘hosting experience’, a chance to show RWC visitors

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• An average stay of 23 nights • 44% are first time visitors to New Zealand. The Rugby World Cup is the excuse these premium fans are using for visiting New Zealand. They are coming to watch the world’s third largest sporting event but as a country our opportunity is to blow them away with our wines, our food, our scenery and our people. And I know we can do that. We want our visitors to leave New Zealand having had an amazing experience and to be our ambassadors. And I believe New Zealand wine has an important role in doing that. The New Zealand Wine strategy for the world cup has been split into three parts: Before During And after There may be 85,000 fans projected to visit New Zealand during the World Cup – but there are probably 85 million who would love to come but can’t! We’ve been targeting those - working with Tourism New Zealand and other agencies to create a wine experience around the giant rugby ball in London, Tokyo and Sydney. We have also had rugby themes at our own events in the UK, Australia and North America and we have noticed the excitement that is building around the world. During the world cup there are a number of wine festivals planned, all around the country. There is still time to have events listed as part of the official Real NZ Festival programme. The festival encourages people to ‘take the long way around’ the country so events could be anything that adds value to their experience, such as a band playing in the

         



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something special based on their areas of interest. While fun comes first, when you have them for an hour or two, you can share some business stories and build your business networks. When submitting an event you can target your contacts by indicating the number of people you want to host, from which markets, in what sectors and with what titles. For more information visit http://www.nz2011.govt.nz/ business . You only get one chance to make a first impression! First Impressions training has been

opportunity to experience some of our best wines. We want visitors to go home, tell their friends to visit and most importantly to go and buy our premium wines in their restaurants, wine stores or supermarkets. There is another legacy from the world cup, though, that I believe is equally important. We have learnt that wine can be a core part of telling a compelling, premium story about New Zealand in our overseas markets. It is crucial that we continue to work together in this new way with other industries

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developed to ensure we show our guests why Kiwis are famous for hospitality. First Impressions is a fun, interactive way for customerfacing staff to help make RWC 2011 a real success. Based on the orientation-training module developed for the official RWC Volunteer workforce ‘Team 2011’, it takes approximately 2 hours to complete, but can be done in 15 minute blocks. The First Impressions Online Training is available online. For more information visit: http://www.nz2011.govt.nz/ get-involved/first-impressionstraining Finally, we are focusing on a number of high profile events in Auckland. We have been working closely with Michael Barnett and his team at the Cloud to create a premium food and wine experience. The Branson Dinner in Auckland will also offer 1,300 super premium customers the

and government and we need to commit resources to maintain this momentum after the world cup. The World Cup is the springboard for New Zealand to showcase the best that this fabulous country has to offer. But what we do together after 2011 will cement the lasting legacy of the event. In July to September 2013 the next America’s Cup will take place off the coast of San Francisco. From 2012 onwards there will be races around the world in Europe and USA that will culminate in the Louis Vuitton and then ultimately the America’s Cup. Let’s work together to create a major initiative that includes food, wine, tourism and others that will help cement our premium image utilising the prestigious platform of the America’s Cup. chris@nzwine.com

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AUCKLAND The Cloud, in Auckland The experiential half hour tasting will be ticketed but informal, allowing everyone interested in a wine and food tasting to go to The Cloud throughout the day. Purchase a ticket and enjoy the educational, “hands-on” event. More importantly, for New Zealand grape growers and wineries, displaying wines at The Cloud’s wine tasting is free. New Zealand Winegrowers Global Marketing Director, Chris Yorke, says the only cost to wineries is the wine itself – and getting it there. The tasting will be based on a map of New Zealand, which shows where grapes are grown, where wine styles are emerging and where products such as olives, fish or other produce come from in and around New Zealand. Villa Maria Wine Tasting September 25 The Villa Maria Festival in the Vineyard will showcase New Zealand art, music, wine and food for Rugby World Cup visitors. The event is being held at the Villa Maria Estate in Mangere. Dinner With Sir Richard Branson – October 20 New Zealand Winegrowers has negotiated with organisers of the dinner to have sole

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rights to supply wine for the event, says Chris Yorke, Global Marketing Director for New Zealand Winegrowers. “Sir Richard Branson does very few talks like this around the world and this one is in aid of the 50th anniversary of Outward Bound New Zealand. It’s a black tie dinner to be held on Thursday 20 October, three days before the Rugby World Cup final,” Yorke says. While the five course dinner with New Zealand wines will be a one-off event, it is a relatively large one: numbers in attendance are estimated to be about 1300 people. The invited guests to the $1000-ticket event will include the Prime Minister and the Auckland mayor and will be held at the Viaducts Event Centre – Auckland.

GISBORNE Gisborne Wine and Food Festival – October 23 The wine and food festival is coinciding with the biggest sporting event of the year – The Rugby World Cup Final. The event is being held at Waiohika Estate – the venue of New Year’s music festival Rhythm and Vines, with the match to be broadcast live on a big screen as the grand finale. “We’re taking this once-in-alifetime opportunity to screen it as the grand finale to the festival,” says Gisborne Wines Marketing Manager Simon Gardiner. Fat Freddy’s Drop will headline the festival, joined by fellow home-grown act Tahuna Breaks and MC Clarke Gayford.

TW Wines “The Party” – October 21 and 22 The launch of the latest Art series of wines, with live music and food on the Friday. Followed on the Saturday with a Long Lunch with live music in their barn venue. Milton Vineyard October 22 The winery will be hosting its annual Clos de Ste. Anne en Primeur Tasting and Lunch and a picnic in the vines featuring live music.

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HAWKES BAY Turning French – September 17 Napier Inner City Marketing will be fuelling the fervour that’s already building around the France versus Canada game with a promotion that divides the inner city into international zones. The city’s heritage area – Tennyson Street, Market Street and upper Emerson Street – is to be transformed into a French Quarter on Saturday, 17 September, the day before the game is played at Napier’s McLean Park. Elephant Hill Wine Festival October 12 and 13 The Te Awanga winery is hosting this event on site, bringing together the region’s wineries, food suppliers and entertainers on 12 and 13 October. The festival was originally organised as a shore excursion for 500 international passengers calling into Napier on the Pacific Dawn cruise ship. The festival has been

extended by holding it as a public event on the following day.

MARTINBOROUGH Wairarapa Vintage Wings and Wine – October 7 and 10 Journey through aviation history, including one of the world’s largest privately owned collection of World War I aircraft while being treated to the very best of Wairarapa wine and food. Ten food and wine matched sites will be placed throughout three themed aircraft hangers.

MARLBOROUGH Wine and Cuisine at Brancott – October 6 Highlighting the worldrenowned wines of Marlborough, Wine and Cuisine at Brancott is based on the iconic Wine Festival. Set among the vines at the historic Branctt Vineyard, the

one day-event will feature three marquees, hundreds of local wines, stunning food and entertainment from Anna Coddington and Paul Ubana Jones. Highlighting not just the wines of Marlborough, the event will also feature the gourmet produce from the region. Culinary demonstrations will be matched with the wines, and guests will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the winemakers and chefs. Indulge Marlborough – September 30 A multi-faceted event combining the launch of the new vintage of a number of Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs, matched with Marlborough delicacies. Plus a fashion show featuring Kate Sylvester, Stolen Girlfriends Club and Kathryn Wilson. These collections will be hot off the catwalks of New Zealand Fashion week. The evening ends with NZ DJ, J Williams.

NELSON Nelson 1st XV Tastings – September 25 – 28 A unique international wine competition between the famous aromatic wines from Italy, USA and Nelson. Four events over the four days. The blind tasting competition on Sunday 25, the Degustation Dinner also September 25, 1st XV Tutored Tasting on Monday 26, and Nelson New Release Tasting – meet the winemakers on Wednesday 28.

CENTRAL OTAGO Pinot Central Experience – September 22 A one-day, full immersion into Central Otago wines. Being held on September 22, the 200 guests will travel to four different venues, where they will get the opportunity to taste the wines, talk to the winemakers and find out more about the region. A luncheon at Gibbston Valley, with guest speaker, ex All Black Justin Marshall will top the day off.

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aveat emptor (let the buyer beware) has always been a guiding principle in purchases – including purchases of grafted grapevines. Fortunately, growers in this country have an additional resource in the form of the Grafted Grapevine Standard established by New Zealand Winegrowers. Long in the making, the NZW Grafted Grapevine Standard (GGS

for short) became effective in July 2008 and is posted in its entirety on the nzwine.com website. Developed with input from scientists, viticulturists, and nurseries, the GGS was created to provide a “level playing field” with regard to the quality of planting material available for use in the New Zealand wine industry.

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What sort of assurance does it offer? First and foremost, grafted grapevines certified as having met the standard can be described as “high health plants,” in that they have been tested for and shown to be free of Grapevine Leafroll-associated Virus 3 (GLRaV-3). In addition, the standard lists a set of minimum requirements for physical specifications and for “trueness to type” (traceability): all related processes and facilities must be audited by an approved external auditor before the plant material can be tagged as “Product approved as certified to NZW GGS.”

The million-dollar baby The standard is a corollary to research funded by New Zealand Winegrowers for the better part of a decade. The late Dr Roderick Bonfiglioli, who served on the NZW Research Committee, strongly advocated greater awareness of GLRaV-3, which is economically one of the most important and widespread diseases of wine grapes. Recognising that the release of infected planting material could pose a serious threat to the industry’s goal of growing quality grapes for premium wine production, we commissioned a study (conducted by Nimmo-Bell) on the economic effects and financial impact of GLRaV3. The report highlighted the need for a standard and an associated certification programme, and so development began in 2006. By then, a few nurseries had undertaken to address similar concerns by establishing their own in-house certification systems. Where the GGS differs from previous efforts, however, is that it certifies only the vines, not the nurseries that produce them.

Consumer know-how is key Although a growing number of nurseries now offer certified vines, it is up to you, the purchaser, to specify this as a requirement of your order. Your nursery supplier will be able to check on stock numbers and inform you whether or not your request can be filled. This necessarily means that the availability of GGS-certified vines will be driven by grower demand for the product. In return, the GGS enables you to determine that your order has been supplied as contracted. On delivery, each bundle of nursery vines will carry a tag indicating its certified status. That’s why it’s important to check vines on receipt – only those vines that have been through the external auditing process will receive this “seal of approval.”

Virus elimination and the standard In 2009, NZW, regional associations, and Plant & Food Research joined forces and received a Sustainable Farming Fund grant to establish the Virus Elimination Project – aimed at the control and elimination of GLRaV-3 from participating vineyards in the Gimblett Gravels and the Wairarapa. Now entering its third year, the project has worked closely with growers and viticulturists on (1) education surrounding the effects of GLRaV-3, (2) methods of control, and (3) the importance of using clean planting material to replace infected vines. Although the GGS came into existence before the Virus Elimination Project was even envisaged, it stands ready to play a central role in the replanting of infected vineyards. It is already a recommended practice

NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    47

under Sustainable Winegrowing NZ to use GGS-certified vines. What’s in the pipeline? Earlier this year, members of the New Zealand Viticultural Nurserymen’s Association (ViNA) met to affirm their commitment to the GGS -an important milestone that indicates the standard is now becoming embedded within nursery management systems for grafted grapevines. VINA members want to play their part in controlling GLRaV-3 – by minimising the probability of infected material being released to the industry. This is great news for growers, and it likely means that GGS-certified vines should become easier to find in the future. New Zealand Winegrowers also has plans for broader dissemination of the standard, including new web pages to provide additional information, and possibly a database listing those nurseries that produce certified vines. In the days when vineyard development outpaced nurseries’ ability to supply grafted grapevines, availability was often the main driver behind purchasing decisions. Today, however, there is growing recognition that the quality of the plant material that produces the grapes sets the foundation for the wines that follow. The GGS is here to stay. philipm@nzwine.com ■



PEDIGREE OF A GGS-CERTIFIED VINE TRUENESS TO TYPE – Accurate documentation that variety is true to type, verified by DNA testing and/or ampelography and records of propagation, for rootstock and scion wood and nursery processes. VIRUS TESTING – Both rootstock and scion sources are ELISA-tested for and found to be free of Grapevine Leafroll-associated Virus 3 (GLRaV-3). END OF PROCESS TESTING – ELISA testing on grafted vines validates freedom from infection. PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS • Healthy and strong graft union. • Minimum length of 300 mm from base of the rootstock to the base of the first season’s growth. • Minimum thickness of 7 mm for rootstock (measured immediately below the graft). • Minimum thickness of scion shoot of 4 mm (measured at the first clear internode). • At least two visible dormant buds above the graft union. • At least three strong live roots (with at least two growing in opposite directions). • Clear labelling to indicate certification status, variety, and graft lot or batch number. MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS – Entire process is capable of being satisfactorily audited by third-party auditors

GisVin Limited operate a modern grape juicing and winemaking facility that enhances the quality and reputation of Gisborne fruit while meeting individual customer requirements. Benefits to the customer are: • Production of quality, chilled, stable clarified juice and full winemaking service at source • Vineyard to tanker logistics handled for you • Elimination of your winery waste Base Service • Receival, crush destem and must chill • Bag press, clarify and filter as required • Full traceability and analysis throughout Other Services • Whole bunch processing • Clarification by settling, centrifuging or gel floatation • Fruit procurement

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awke’s Bay’s Paritua Vineyards has sold to undisclosed Chinese buyers after its original American owners went into voluntary receivership last year owing more than $20 million. The Auckland-based buyers paid $10 million for the wine company, and the purchase did not require the approval of the Overseas Investment Office. The move has been welcomed by industry sources who say it will ensure the state-ofthe-art winery continues to operate. They also believe it will help promote New Zealand wine sales in China, a growing market for our exports. “The Chinese will be in it for the long haul,” says grape grower

The Paritua Winery, sold to an undisclosed Chinese buyer.

Chris Howell, whose Prospects Vineyard neighbours Paritua. “The interest that’s been shown by overseas investors is a vote of confidence in the New Zealand industry.”

Brianne Bremer Fisher and Gary Fisher bought the 66 hectare block of farmland on their first visit to New Zealand in January 2001. Originally from Chicago, Mrs

Fisher had worked in magazine sales for 17 years. She remained in Hawke’s Bay as Paritua’s managing director, while her husband was based in New York and Hong Kong running his marketing and promotions company. Planting started in winter 2003 with 32 hectares of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc varieties. A further 16 hectares were planted in Merlot and Chardonnay in the following year. The area in vineyard now encompasses 54 hectares. The first crop was harvested in 2005 and wines have been targeted at export markets, primarily in the USA. They are bottled under the Paritua label – and the secondary Stone Paddock label. Last year, the company produced 20,000 cases. Establishing the greenfields venture, including the construction of a winery building designed by architect Simon Carnachan, is understood to have cost the Fishers some $30 million. The purchase of the business included a large quantity of wine from Paritua’s last three vintages. westclan@clear.net.nz ■

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here are wineries that are struggling to survive and then there are those that are expanding and Martinborough has experienced both this year. Murdoch James Winery is set to treble its wine volumes by December this year, after its sale in February. A group of Wellington investors with strong connections in the Asian market are now the majority shareholders in Murdoch James, but they will be silent partners. And Te Kairanga, which “has been in pretty dire straits” according to its nearly new owner, Bruce Clugston, is soon to become “a Martinborough winery” once again. At the time of writing Clugston who is a shareholder in and president of Foley Family Wines New Zealand, was awaiting approval for the sale to take place from the Overseas Investment Office. “Technically we haven’t got Te Kairanga yet but we can’t see any obstacles and given the process - it was widely advertised and no buyers came forward - I can’t see there being issues,” he said. He expected to gain approval for the sale around the time this magazine was going to print.


The changes he and the majority shareholder, Bill Foley, want to implement at Te Kairanga include using 100 per cent Martinborough estate-grown grapes. “We want to bring Te Kairanga back to being a 100 per cent Martinborough wine business. We don’t see any need for Te Kairanga to use grapes from other regions. It’s been taking a lot of bulk wine from Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne. It was a strategy to create an entrylevel Te Kairanga and I think it lost


Murdoch James Martinborough

focus for the winery.” Clugston said the company also owns Vavasour in Marlborough, where they produce Goldwater, Clifford Bay, Vavasour and Dashwood wines; all at the Vavasour winery. The company is majority owned by the Californian based winery owner, Bill Foley, who owns 15 other wineries in California, including Sebastiani, Firestone, Chalk Hill, Three Rivers. “Rather than acquire any more

wineries after the Te Kairanga sale goes through, we need to consolidate the administration of what we do in New Zealand. Te Kairanga was in dire straits and we see it as a fantastic complement to our Marlborough operations. Marlborough is very focussed on Sauvignon Blanc, whereas Martinborough is focussed strongly on Pinot Noir,” Clugston said. The sale of Murdoch James Winery is seeing a new programme of investment for the winery, which includes the company’s first exports into China, an increase in wine production – and even pay rises for existing staff, says former owner and managing director Roger Fraser. “The new owners wish to remain silent partners. They have bought the business and contracted myself and Carl, the winemaker, to run it and manage expansion moving forward. All of the existing staff has stayed and, even though I now only own a small part of it, I am happier than I’ve been in a long time,” Fraser said. The North American-based Foley is also now the major shareholder in Wharekauhau Lodge in the southern Wairarapa, which he acquired in late 2009. jthomson@xtra.co.nz ■



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The Canterbury earthquakes have had a significant impact across every industry in New Zealand, none more so than the insurance industry. Overall the property insurance market in New Zealand is in a state of transition with local market conditions seeing a reduction of insurer’s appetite for risk. The wine industry in New Zealand is an innovative and “quirky” industry, and therefore by nature the industry does not fit into traditional insurance and risk management protection. This is coupled with the fact that most New Zealand wine regions are in what is known as high risk

earthquake zones, and in areas where soil structures are best for wine not stability. So what does this mean for the wineries? - The deductibles (amount of the loss which the insured must bear) on natural disaster claims are increasing. Natural Disaster deductibles vary by geographical region in New Zealand, typically in the past these were on a percentage of loss basis. Since February the industry has seen these increase to a percentage of ‘site value’. – Restrictions and limited cover for older buildings, constructed prior to 1936, and 1976 in earthquake prone regions

There was significant impact across every New Zealand industry as a result of the Christchurch earthquake



such as Canterbury and Wellington. Cover for these buildings may be on an indemnity value, rather than replacement basis, and will be subject to even further increased natural disaster deductibles, such as 10% of the insured site value. – Reductions in the amount of Business Interruption, or Loss of Profit Insurance available and restrictions concerning the scope of that cover affecting the cover available for losses following a prevention of access to the winery. – Premium rate increases are being seen anywhere from between 10-40% on SME type business.

As insurers in New Zealand face significantly increased reinsurance costs and increased operating costs they are passing on some of these costs in premium increases mainly on the property and business interruption programmes. Debt levels in the wine industry have significantly increased further pressure on operating costs from increased insurance premiums need careful management. It is important that when policies fall due for renewal wineries seek professional advice and review their current insurance protection. Marsh has noticed a ‘flight to quality’ since the February earthquake as businesses seek alternative advice in respect of their insurance arrangements. It is important to note that one insurance policy is not the same as the next and subtle wording differences may not seem significant, but have a substantial impact at the time of a claim. We can expect market conditions to continue during the remainder of 2011 and 2012 meaning that risk management and insurance protection has become a significant issue for wineries. clinton.stranger@marsh.com ■

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ROMEO BRAGATO CONFERENCE Into its 17th year, the annual Romeo Bragato Conference will focus on Back to Profitability - a subject dear to the heart of all grape growers and wine companies.


t has been a tough few years for the New Zealand wine sector, as a global recession, combined with a high New Zealand dollar and larger than expected harvests have sent prices spiralling downwards. Everyone within the industry has been affected. From the winery owner, to the grower, to the industry suppliers who have felt the flow on effects of dwindling profits. It shouldn’t all be doom and gloom however, as exports increase and prices begin to show signs of lifting. The Romeo Bragato Conference 2011 will address some of the most pressing concerns for industry members. From the opening addresses, profitability and how to achieve it is a major focus. Beverage industry success stories and how they might help you, is the theme of the opening address from Ross Colbert from Rabobank in New York. PeterMcAtamney from Wine Business Solutions in Sydney will concentrate on the global wine scene – and whether it is likely to improve in the near future. Other financial issues such as budgeting and cash flow management, though to comparing costs between organic and conventional wine growing will all focus on improving that bottom line. Looking at the future of New Zealand wine, one session will focus solely on what new varieties may offer. And back again for the second time – the Industry Leader’s Forum, where some of the sector’s most experienced individuals will give their views on where the industry is heading. Current research projects and how their findings may help your business will be a feature, along with guest speaker James Kennedy from California State University, Fresno discussing tannin management in the vineyard and winery. Three days of information, research, advice, and industry updates will culminate in the national Silver Secateurs and Markham’s Young Viticulturist of the Year. We look forward to seeing you there.






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NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    59




s the New Zealand wine industry moves forward, the big goal for all involved, is to ensure the best quality fruit is harvested to make the best quality wines. That means cutting variability within the vineyard. But defining where it occurs is not as easy as it may seem. Grapes are affected by soils, clonal decisions, irrigation methods, pruning and trellising techniques, canopy management, climatic conditions and methods used to harvest. The recent New Zealand Winegrower Grape Days focused on almost all of these areas. Understanding soil variability is vital to everything else, as Victoria Raw from Marlborough Food and Plant Research pointed out. In every wine growing region, the soils vary, not only from block to block, but also within individual blocks. Using electrical conductivity, (ECa) she was able to map out the soil differences in an established Pernod Ricard block in Marlborough. It showed parts of the vineyard that suited certain varieties more than others. While


expensive to undertake she said the long-term benefits have been high. “Using ECa data enables you to make an informed decision. This is of particular importance when deciding to replant a block,


change management systems, alter irrigation or fertilising strategies to become more cost effective.” Stephen Bradley, viticulturist for the Sileni Group in Marlborough said if expensive mapping of a plot is not possible, a good time to

identify soil types is after harvest. “On heavier soils you will find the leaves are retained longer than on a dry one. It is often a very good time to pick out the differences in the block.” Evening out growth doesn’t


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need to be difficult he said. Compost or mulch can help the weaker areas, while providing water competition on vigorous areas helps even out growth. Ways of doing that include providing under vine competition. “Chicory in the mid row has been well documented and root ripping, where you rip down the side of the herbicide strip to cut down the available moisture to that particular vine is another way of providing water competition.” Modifying the irrigation also works and is suitable where you have vigorous vines alongside weaker vines. Using a simple clip, the irrigation line can be separated out, with drippers still functioning to the low vigour vines, while the clip prevents the drippers delivering to high vigour. He says tests on








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Figure 1

a plot in Gimblett Gravels proved successful.


Once you understand the differences within the vineyard and

have made decisions on a varietal mix, the next concern is how to

train the vines to provide the best uniformity. Given the move to managed yields and yield caps, growers need to be aware of what trellising techniques suit the vareity, soil and potential yield. Over the last four years Plant and Food Research in Marlborough have taken a block of grapes, (Sauvignon Blanc) that had all previously been pruned to four canes. They trialled them as either 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 canes, leaving each with 12 nodes. In the first year of production - 2007 the differences in yield and berry weight between the two cane and six cane were extremely high. (See figure 1.) By 2010 those differences had evened out. “Initially the more nodes laid down increased yield,” Marc Grevan said. “Over time though,

the vines found a new balance where yield almost became independent of node number.” The variability when it came to ripening was also more pronounced in the earlier years, with the difference in maturation between the two cane and four cane fruit being 11 days in 2007. By 2010 that maturation difference had dropped to just five days. Controlling the canopy to manage the quality of fruit is a vital way of maintaining uniformity, particularly in Pinot Noir, Dr Mike Trought said. “There are marked differences in shoot length and leaf area within a vine, and the question is, how does this affect the variability of fruit composition?” To determine that, a trial saw the shoots on a Pinot Noir vine

trimmed to either 12, nine or six leaves shortly after fruit set. Those leaf numbers were maintained right through until harvest. In a separate trial the leaves were retained at 12 up until veraison, then reduced down to nine or six. “Reducing the leaf area shortly after fruit set caused a significant delay in the onset of veraison, by about five days” Trought said. “This has a marked influence on the fruit composition at harvest.” However cutting the leaf number back at the onset of veraison had very little effect on fruit ripening. “It suggests thinning the fruit area close to veraison is actually not going to advance ripening.” There are ways of utilizing known variabilitys within a block to help produce ultra premium

wines, according to Stephen Bradley. He said if you have identified the differences, you could work to remove those that don’t fit the ultra premium parameter. He says in a trial they identified the vines that were veraising early and evenly as well as having a good canopy. “We then handpicked those vines and ran the machine through the rest of the block. The handpicked vines were a good brix and a half riper.” Many of the techniques outlined at the Grape Days showed the need for growers to have an intimate knowledge of their vineyard and the differences showing up between vines. Without that, there is little science can do to help. tessa.nicholson@me.com ■

Concept to Construction and Every Detail In Between It’s the subtleties you’ll appreciate in our process too. Transfield Worley is the premier provider of design and construction services to the New Zealand wine industry. Our experienced team of specialist engineers and designers have thorough working knowledge of wine making processes and techniques. Our food and beverage portfolio showcases design and development of high profile, world class facilities and the implementation of pragmatic production and maintenance related solutions into existing wineries - some gaining significant recognition internationally.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    63




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t is hard to imagine the New Zealand wine industry SuaviEnable effluentwithout to be stored and applied strategically during or insince Springthe andfist Autumn when grass growth slows gnon Blanc. It may only be little moredrier thanperiods 30 years commercial plantings of the variety took but it has beenfrom an troublesome effluent irrigators Easeplace, of daily management incredibly productive 30 years. The variety makes up effluent more and utilise its real potential Realize now the value of your than 69% of the country’s entire production. 20 year Firestone Factory warranty - best in the business Will it still be that prominent in another 30 years? will another Insist on your Or Firestone issued Warranty Certificate variety, yet to come to the fore, replace it as New Zealand’s flagship wine? The potential ofContact new varieties is one of the topic discussions at Cosio Industries Ltd ph (09) 820 0272, email : sales@cosio.co.nz. or call Vaughan thisINDUSTRIES year’s Romeo Bragato Conference, be chaired by Dr For-EPDM and your nearest installation contractor. on 021 280 7266 forto more information on John Firestone Industries Ltd are official Firestone Building Products Australasian distributors rest. The Marlborough winemaker andCosio owner of Forrest Estates said he began looking for something a little different, seven years ago - albeit in a small and altruistic way. “It was very much a personal decision to try different things and it suitedliner my personal curiosity and ego.” EPDM Realising that to gain any real benefit from trialling new varieties, Forrest had to set aside small half hectare blocks for experimentation “It was a reasonably low crop, but meaningful enough to provide 300 cases of wine, so it was a relatively good test. Basically if it all fails you can hide that amount at the cellar door.” The reality has proven to be something much better though. He said the experimental varieties have become a profitable and successful part Could this be the next big thing? Gruner of Forrest Estate’s portfolio. Veltliner – the most “I can sell all these experimental varieties at an average of $25 a popular new variety planted in recent years. bottle. They have helped to grow the image of our company and differentiate us in the market place. In a nutshell, I am opening doors in restaurants, new retail and even overseas markets because I have

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NEW VARIETIES Some other varieties creating interest. • Arneis – Northern Italy – aromatic white wine • Lagrein – Northern Italy – a cool climate red, early ripening. Riversun’s microvins showing great promise • Verdelho – Portugal – aromatic, herbaceous white wine • Vermentino – Italy– mainly Sardinia, producing a crisp aromatic white wine • Petite Meinasan –a France – fruity white wine • Saint Laurent – Austria - incredibly dark red wine NORTHLAND Vermentino AUCKLAND REGION Tannat, Petite Syrah (aka Durif), Albariño. GISBORNE Albarino, Lagrein, Verdelho, Arneis HAWKES BAY Tempranillo, Gruner Veltliner, Arneis, Montepulciano, CENTRAL OTAGO Gruner Veltliner Chenin Blanc, Arneis WAITAKI Muscat au Petite Grains

something a bit different” Forrest is not alone in keeping his options open in terms of new varieties. Geoff Thorpe, Executive Director for Riversun, the only importer of new grapevine material, said they have a portfolio of 120 new varieties and clones covering the alphabet from A to Z. Since asking for expressions of interest from the industry back in 2003, there has been one varietal that has stood out. Gruner Veltliner, a white grape originating from Austria. “So far that is about 50% of all our new plantings of new varieties and 80% of that has gone into Marlborough, which is a pretty big vote of confidence from that region.” The very first Riversun propagated Gruner went into the ground in 2008, with the first commercial wine releases last year. While Marlborough may have far more of the plantings than anywhere else in the country, it is not alone in showing interest. Thorpe said it has been planted from Gisborne through to Central Otago. Being very much a cool climate variety, he says it may end up being suited to South Island wine regions, more so than the North. Forrest said he is pulling out some of his Sauvignon Blanc to plant more Gruner, aiming for at least 2000 cases in the near future. What’s more he says consumers tend to love it. “The test of this variety is, every Kiwi I have put it in front of, likes it.” Rudi Bauer of Quartz Reef in Central Otago was an early pioneer with Gruner. He said he chose it because he’s Austrian. “People need to be careful about getting excited about new varieties and making a big fuss. The early Pinots and Sauvignons of New Zealand weren’t that stunning until later years. “The quality has changed quite dramatically, so it will take time for Gruner and new varieties to establish their name and their footprint on the domestic grape scene.” Second on the Riversun list in terms of new varieties is Albariño – from Spain. Typically, wines made from Albariño are very aromatic, often described as having scents of almonds or almond paste, apples, peaches, citrus, and flowers or grass. Albariño wines are particularly suited to seafood due to their bracing acidity. Sound familiar? “The first vines were a couple of years behind Gruner in terms of hitting the ground,” Thorpe said. “But they are probably going to catch up

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    65

with them in terms of volume in “There has been quite a bit the next 12 months. If 50% of new of interest following on from “People need to be careful about getting excited about varieties is Gruner, 25% including the good work done by John new varieties and making a big fuss. The early Pinots and Hancock (Trinity Hills) in what is going out this spring, is Sauvignons of New Zealand weren’t that stunning until Albariño.” Hawkes Bay. And at the moment later years. The quality has changed quite dramatically, so Plantings of this variety it is level pegging with Albariño. it will take time for Gruner and new varieties to establish spread from Northland to MarlI would have thought it was a their name and their footprint on the domestic grape borough and he says they could more warmer climate variety, go further. Nearly 60% of all but interestingly we have sold scene.” plantings are in Gisborne. good volumes into MarlborDescribed by Robert Parker ough, the Awatere and even a as “Spain’s great gift to the wine little into North Canterbury.” world,” the very first New Zealand produced Albariño, was Cooper’s Almost a third of new plantings are in Hawkes Bay, with the rest Creek, released this year. spread evenly throughout from Northland to Waipara. Forrest describes it as a logical grape for New Zealand. Those three would account for almost 80% of all new varieties being “It is aromatically interesting with a lovely dry phenolic finish that planted in New Zealand since 2007. The rest are small plantings, where just begs for an oily piece of fish to be eaten with it.” individual growers are establishing just a few rows to monitor. Thorpe The third most popular new variety in terms of volume is Tem- said given the tough economic conditions for growers at the moment, pranillo, which according to Jancis Robinson is, “Spain’s answer to not too many want to take a big punt on something experimental. Cabernet Sauvignon.” However given the rave reviews coming out about Gruner Veltliner, An early ripening red variety, producing a soft, elegant wine that ages Albariño and Tempranillo, he is expecting to see far more interest in well, Thorpe said there have been a number of individual companies the near future. tessa.nicholson@me.com ■ producing high quality Tempranillo in recent years.

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to make me want to learn more.

Pick of Penfolds

It must have been a bit of a blow for the five member wineries of Marborough Natural (MANA) when Hone Harawira launched the Mana party.


t their invitation I visited Fromm, Seresin, Huia, Herzog and Te Whare Ra – all organic winemakers. It was an inspiring tour of some of Marlborough’s best and most enthusiastic producers. No surprises about wine quality, they’re all first division players according to my wine ratings, but good to taste a bunch of recently released wines that hadn’t previously graced my spit bucket. Good also to finally meet Anna and Jason Flowerday, the inspiration owners of Te Whare Ra.

Omaka Valley under threat When a local quarry applied to increase production to the point where heavy gravel trucks might be thundering down quiet country lanes in the Scenic Omaka Valley I agreed to support a group of winemakers who opposed the plan. Re-visiting this quiet backwater in Autumn when the golden vines gave the valley a picture postcard look confirmed my view that wine districts such as this are precious assets that need to be preserved.

A little knowledge ... The smell of the grease paint ... Exactly 21,680 students have graduated from the various wine classes I run but I still get a buzz at the start of each new course. When I returned home after the first night of a brand new five-week diploma course Marion asked me how the class went. I enthusiastically replied that they were a great bunch of people. Her response: “you always say that”. Perhaps so, but I always mean it.

Chatting to some of the staff of Wine Bottlers Marlborough after a wine training session a young woman confided that she appreciated learning more about wine because her friends thought she was a bit of an expert and she felt she wasn’t. I told her that I felt exactly the same after joining Montana in 1973 as an accountant. Everyone thought that because I worked for a wine company I must know something about wine. I didn’t, but it was enough of an incentive

Penfolds released their most prestige wines at a Euro restaurant dinner. 2006 Grange was predictably good while my perennial favourite, St Henri Claret, lived up to expectation. Favourite wine on the night was Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 “Dense power-packed wine with classic Cabernet characters of blackberry, cedar and a very subtle mint influence. A real cracker of a wine. Intense sweet fruit with a firm structure of ripe tannins.” I’d like to buy a few bottles but at around $250 sense that it might cause marital tension.

Sex (now that got your attention) Hosting a dinner for 50 people in Wellington I revealed to the mostly male collection of CEO’s that I had once been criticised for telling a “sexually inappropriate story” while lecturing to a group of American Wine Educators in Sacramento. They demanded I repeat the story, which I did. It may have been sexually inappropriate in Sacramento but it was highly appropriate in Wellington. I’ve never had such a great response. Other sexually appropriate stories followed.

Wedding wines I’ve recommended many wedding wine over the years but agonised over the choice when it came to my own daughter’s wedding.

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Bollinger champagne was the final choice of fizz while Kumeu River 2008 Estate Chardonnay and Clos Marguerite 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Lucy’s favourite) seemed to match the entree and one of the main courses quite well. For the red wines I chose a selection from my cellar, using the wedding as an ideal opportunity to cull out a host of fully mature reds that needed drinking. The caterer’s did think that 10 cases of wine for 65 people was excessive but I reminded them that a similar amount of people drank a similar amount of wine at my 50th. There was plenty left over.

Pick a wine, any wine I enjoy my monthly board meetings at Wine-Searcher, home of the world’s largest wine search website. It’s a fascinating interface between something as traditional as wine and cutting edge technology. Regular users of www.wine-searcher.com will discover that they now get a lot more than prices when searching for a bargain. Search for Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, for example (the 68th most popular wine on WineSearcher last year) and you get an average price, label impression, rating out of 100 (an average of the scores of leading wine critics), a graph showing price history and information on both region and grape variety.

Lynns scramblies beat the best The iconic Sydney restaurant, Tetsuya, has always been a favourite. I welcomed the opportunity to dine there recently as a guest of Mount Riley when they offered vertical tastings of all their best wines for a selection of Oz wine writers. Mount Riley owner, John

Buchanan, had successfully bid for a private room at Tetsuyas at a charity auction in Marlborough a few years ago. Best of all Tetsuya himself performed a cooking demonstration before the meal. He invited anyone to make scrambled eggs. John’s wife, Lynn (above), bravely picked up the gauntlet and produced delicious scramblies in double quick time.

Then Tetsuya showed us how he did it. I don’t remember all the ingredients but Parmesan cheese and (curiously) creamed sweet corn were on the list. We tasted and applauded. After the event I awkwardly admitted that I’d preferred Lynn’s eggs and discovered that many others felt the same. That’s not a criticism of Tetsuya but a serious accolade to Lynn. vino@xtra.co.nz ■

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inot Noir is not called the Holy Grail of grapes for nothing. It is finicky, temperamental and requires lots of tender loving care. It is also a varietal that is subject to vast levels of variability. Controlling that is essential, for the wines to reach their potential. Dr Jeff Bennett from Marlborough Plant and Food has been researching how differing trellising techniques can help achieve that much sought after uniformity. His focus has been on the shoulders which naturally occur with Pinot Noir bunches.

In 2010, Bennett examined the differences between the fruit coming from a 2-cane trellis, versus that from spur pruned. Initially there were very little differences showing up. Brix ripening, pH and crop maturity were both pretty much on a par. However, when he started to investigate further, he discovered there were some major differences in maturity between shoulders of the basal and apical bunches. The research clearly showed that the basal main bunch went through veraison 10 days earlier than its accompanying shoulder.

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In the case of the apical bunch, the difference between the main part and the shoulder was even greater. The shoulder reached veraison 14 days after the main bunch. Within the same vine there was a three-day variation between apical and basal main bunches. (What has to be noted here is that there were no apical bunch shoulders on the spur pruned vines – a very important factor.) Comparing the two trellising systems, the basal bunch shoulder variation on 2-cane was similar to that of spur pruned. “You have the main part going through veraison quite early on and the shoulder part about nine days later, so there is quite a bit of difference.” When it came time to harvest, the two-cane vine basal shoulders were way below the rest of the bunch in terms of brix levels. Also on 2-cane, the apical bunches were lower in brix than the basal bunches and the shoulders were even further behind. The brix of the basal main bunch was 24 – the brix of the apical shoulders was only 15. When looking at the number of bunches within the two training systems, it became apparent that spur pruned developed far less shoulders. “Over half the bunches in the 2-cane vines, but only a quarter of the bunches in the spur pruned, produced shoulders. And in terms of apical bunches, 7% of 2-cane vines produced them and there were none in spur pruned vines. “So if you look in terms of overall bunches in terms of crop – in 2-cane vines, 32% or nearly one third of all bunches produced a shoulder of some degree. Only 13% produced a shoulder in spur.” So what does that mean for growers who want to minimise the variation in their Pinot Noir cops? “Spur pruning in itself reduces fruit variation, at least from the sense that it produces less shouldering,” Bennett said. “And we know that those shoulders are quite unripe compared to the main bunches at harvest. Anything that reduces shouldering is a plus for reducing variation.” tessa.nicholson@me.com ■

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Trudy Shield, winemaker, Waimea Estates. PHOTO: NELSON MAIL



he Waimea Estates’ Sauvignon Blanc 2010 has recently taken out the Regional Trophy at The Decanter World Wine Awards. The award is a tribute to the Nelson region and a tribute to a new look team at Waimea Estates, an all female team led by chief winemaker Trudy Shield. When the general manager and winemaker left Waimea Estates a couple of years ago coowner Trevor Bolitho, offered the head winemakers job to the young assistant winemaker Trudy Sheild. There is nothing unusual in the fact she is a woman, there are plenty of female winemakers in New Zealand, but it is not very often we see an all female winemaking team. It’s obvious once you get the chance to chat with Trudy, why Trevor has such faith in this woman. She speaks in a very measured, considered manner and credits everyone else for the success of the wines she produces. She also has a quiet, understated self-confidence in her ability. Some of that confidence comes from surrounding herself with the right people. For example the new assistant winemaker, Shona Kelly is very calm, Shield says.

“I can get a bit hypo and need someone who is a rock. Shona is one of those people you meet and like instantly, she will step up and say ‘You are missing this or that in this wine today’. We get on well, think in a similar vein and have similar palates. Finding the right person for this role as a balance for me was just magic.” Shield credits the award winning wine to Ben Bolitho, vineyard manager and new general manager. “It is all about the quality of the fruit” she says. Being the daughter of a Hawkes Bay sheep farmer who used to ride past the Gimblett Gravels as a young shepherd (and regrets not buying land there) Shield relates very well to the owners of Waimea Estates, the Bolitho family, who she describes as; “People of the land, good old

fashioned country people.” With a background that started with a BSc as an undergrad, then six years working in Medical microbiology before going to Lincoln University in 2001 to

Wietske van der Pol who was also studying wine science. When they qualified the two women headed off to the Hunter Valley and worked a vintage for Monarch Wines, a vast wine process-

Being the daughter of a Hawke’s Bay sheep farmer who used to ride past the Gimblett Gravels as a young shepherd, Shield relates very well to the owners of Waimea Estates

complete a post-grad degree in wine science, Shield had not been a big wine drinker. But like many people in the industry had a ‘wine moment’. In her case it was a bottle of Montana Gewurztraminer that got her hooked. While at Lincoln she met

ing centre. After that Shield did a stint on Waiheke Island at Stony Batter (now Man ‘o War) working both in the winery and vineyards. A second vintage at Monarch followed and it was during this vintage she worked with one of the many people who helped

shape her career. She will always remember Nigel who showed her you don’t need to be strong, just smart to handle the heavy work in a winery. After Monarch came a vintage at Stonier in Mornington followed by a vintage in the village of Tramin in the Alto Adige region of North-East Italy, blending previous vintage wines and making the current vintage. Producing Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling in Italy, deepened her love for aromatic styles. Working in the cooler climate with Lagrein and Merlot showed her great heavier style red wines can be produced in cooler climates. As a young woman Shield, from a relatively sheltered Kiwi rural background, hadn’t travelled a lot and she says wine gave her the

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“Trudy has an exceptional ability to build strong, varietal, vibrant wines from the selection of grapes available from our vineyards. Along with her great can-do attitude and her willingness to try new initiatives and experiment, we think we have a winning combination which with our continuing collection of accolades complements our family business perfectly”. opportunity to; “Meet people, eat their food, go to beautiful places you wouldn’t otherwise go to.” These experiences have moulded the person she is today. After Italy she contacted her old study and travel buddy Wietske to see if there was any work available at Waimea Estates. There was a role for someone to work the nightshift. After that 2003 vintage Shield completed a research essay on yeast autolysis before returning to Waimea for a daytime harvest job in 2004. That resulted in fulltime employment as a cellar hand and lab technician, with her past lab experience adding significant value to the winery. In 2007 Shield became Assistant Winemaker and at the end of ’09 and she was offered the head winemaker role. When Trevor Bolitho and new GM Ben offered her the job her first response was; “Are you sure?” No decision was made until she had spoken with her father, who bluntly told her – “Trude, don’t be a wuss, just do it.” “Okay, dad has spoken. If I didn’t do it I would always be wondering and because I had worked in the winery doing everything from the most basic jobs to this role, I was confident I could do the job justice. “I know the vineyards, know the winery and know the team so it was an easy, if frightening, decision. I also have huge respect for the family because they are

country people, they say what they think in a straightforward way – no drama, just say it as it is and get on with the job and if something goes wrong we talk about it and fix it”. “Waimea Estates is a family winemaking business that is ‘kind o’ country’ in attitude. The family are heart and soul people. Ben grew up with vineyards and while he is a very quiet guy he is also very smart, has huge knowledge of the vineyards and a great palate. By the time harvest comes along he has already identified key parts of the vineyards. He doesn’t just produce fruit he takes an interest in the finished product.” Of Shield, Ben says; “Trudy has an exceptional ability to build strong, varietal, vibrant wines from the selection of grapes available from our vineyards. Along with her great can-do attitude and her willingness to try new initiatives and experiment, we think we have a winning combination which with our continuing collection of accolades complements our family business perfectly”. So what is so special about this award? Waimea Estates 2010 Sauvignon Blanc has taken out one of the world’s most prestigious awards, and it’s the first delivered by the new wine producing partnership of viticulturist Ben Bolitho and winemaker Trudy Sheild. That’s a partnership worth keeping an eye on. neil@hodgson.net.nz ■

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he annual Feraud Dinner, named after the Frenchman Jean Feraud who first planted vines in the region some 145 years ago, is the end-ofharvest dinner where Central Otago winemakers and growers have the opportunity to relax and celebrate the culmination of yet another successful harvest. At this year’s dinner, held at the end of May, three of the region’s pioneers were honoured with awards recognizing outstanding achievement and services towards winegrowing in Central Otago. The three


recipients were Ann Pinckney, Rudi Bauer and Robin Dicey. Ann Pinckney was one of the original pioneers who was instrumental in the first plantings and establishment of vines in Central Otago. From a very young age, Pinckney knew she wanted to pursue winemaking and it made sense for her to seek out viable regions closer to her hometown of Riverton in Southland. She studied horticulture at Lincoln, spending her practical component at various research stations in Australia before a sabbatical in


Europe exploring the cool climate regions of France, Italy and Germany. It was on her return, in 1975, that she learned of grape growing trials at the Earnscleugh Research Station. “I thought if you could ripen apricots, you could ripen grapes, and one thing lead to another. I’d seen grapes growing around houses in Central, but they were all the wrong varieties. People hadn’t seemed to look at the vitis vinifera varieties, planting the hybrid American vines instead. But it was very, very difficult to

get hold of the clones and varieties that I wanted. In the end I managed to source eleven different varieties – some from Lincoln, some from Massey and Montana too – and I planted out Pinot, Gewurzt and various other aromatics. Out of those, it was clear that Pinot had no trouble ripening. I knew we had a better climate

Honoured for their services to Central Otago Wine, from left: Rudi Bauer, Anne Pinckney and Robin Dicey.

than most people thought.” Pinckney’s mother had land on Dalefield Road, between Arrowtown and Queenstown, so a northwest facing slope was planted out with the first vines. Then, a couple of years later in 1978, Ann bought her own land on Speargrass Flat Road and planted out 7000 vines to establish Taramea. It was dur-

ing this time that she met fellow pioneers Rolfe Mills (Rippon) and Alan Brady (Gibbston Valley). “Meeting up with Rolfe and Alan was a big part of the story for me. I met Alan in early ’78 and Rolf during a conference at Lincoln. The three of us were really passionate and that made all the difference. We boosted

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each other along and to me that was paramount. We were also an interesting combination of people. We all had huge variation in age, and I was the only woman – trying to get men to do any work for me was a bit of a hard job, but that’s another story!” Pinckney continued making wine until 1993, after which she decided to lease the winery out and take a step back. Aside from the odd batch of homebrew, her winemaking has remained dormant, though she hasn’t ruled out returning to her time-intensive passion, albeit on a less commercial scale. As for the award itself, Pinckney was taken aback. “I was quite flabbergasted and really surprised. There was a huge amount of commitment and sacrifice that went on, and a lot of that early stuff is often overlooked, in any industry. So I really appreciated being recognised. The whole basis of the way we wanted to work was cooperatively. When it was Alan, Rolfe and I, we were very open with information as people came into the area. We wanted to share, and we also had huge ideas about Central Otago finding its own identity and marketing that to the world. If you’re producing really high quality wine, then there is a place for it, and establishing a

reputation for consistent quality was imperative.” Rudi Bauer, of Quartz Reef, needs little introduction. Former chairman and co-founder of the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration, current chairman of Central Otago Pinot Noir Ltd (COPNL, a division of COWA), two-time New Zealand Winemaker of the Year, first (and only) New Zealand nominee for the international Der Feinschmecker Winemaker of the Year award and first qualified winemaker in Central Otago. He first arrived in New Zealand in 1985, after gaining degrees from Austria and Germany, with the intention of staying here for just six months. He was assistant winemaker at Mission in Hawkes Bay, with vintages in California and Oregon over the next three years, and it was during this time he developed an affinity for Pinot Noir. Drawn to the beauty of Central Otago, Bauer became viticulturist and winemaker at Rippon and was closely involved with Alan, Rolfe, Ann and other early pioneers of Central Otago. “Being part of the early days of the region is a definite highlight. Pulling off the first Pinot celebration definitely had a positive influence too. Alan Brady and I worked on the first Pinot celebration together and it was basically

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the beginning of making a point with Central Otago, helped by the founding of COPNL two years later. The most important part is the willingness of the region to work together, otherwise nothing would happen.” Bauer established Quartz Reef in 1996 – a five-year brainchild – with the first vines planted in 1998. He has been, and remains, a mentor and friend to many in the Central Otago winegrowing fraternity. On receipt of the award, Bauer states, quite succinctly, and quite emotionally, “It’s very special. It’s very special.” Robin Dicey, of Mt Difficulty, immigrated to New Zealand in 1977 after growing grapes in his native South Africa. He initially worked setting up vineyards on the East Coast for Corbans,

then spent time in the Bay of Plenty growing kiwi fruit, a job he describes as “hugely boring – there’s only one variety, no rootstocks – bloody hopeless!”. He was instrumental in establishing Morton Estate and after a ski trip to Central in 1988, he toured Rolfe’s vineyard at Rippon and immediately decided to investigate the viability of a future in the region. In 1990 he bought land on Felton Road in Bannockburn and planted vines in 1992. Dicey established Mt Difficulty in 1998, with four partners, and their inaugural vintage yielded just 12 tonne which Alan Brady made for them. His son, Matt, then came on board as winemaker and after using premises in Cromwell for a couple of years, they moved out to Bannockburn and built their own

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winery. During the interim, Robin has served as president of the Central Otago Winegrowers Association (COWA) and NZ Grape Growers Council representative for the South Island Minor Regions (every region other than Marlborough). He also established Grape Vision, a management and consultancy business that initially focused on planting vineyards for investors. His other son, James, came on board and the business has since grown to become the largest vineyard management company in the region, responsible for an interesting variety of

Quartz Reef Vineyard. PHOTO: NZ WINEGROWER.

vineyards and a labour force of 200 people at peak times. “I took the planting for investors very seriously and the company grew from there. And then James stole it from me three or four years ago,” he jokes. “James was an accountant/lawyer and I said come back to university at Lincoln and study viticulture and become a real person! “I was deeply honoured and delighted to receive the award, and want to emphasise that the important part of Central Otago is its unity. We compete in the marketplace, but we go to the marketplace as a unified body, and if I made any contribution to that then I’m thrilled. The real highlight is the continuing way that we can operate with one voice.” max@maxmarriott.com ■

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n discovering the Black Estate in Waipara, the Naish family was sure that it was “a very special place”. But it took them a full 12 months to persuade the founders and owners, Waipara wine veteran, Russell Black and his wife Kumiko to sell the property. The Naishes won them over though, with their “long term vision” of a family run affir. Black Estate’s business side is managed by Rod Naish, who has a background in horticulture, his daughter Penelope is marketing manager, her husband Nicholas Brown, (previously winemaker at Daniel Schuster Wines) is the winemaker and their brother-inlaw, Alistair Blair looks after the vineyards. Part of the strategy has been to raise the profile of the label, along with that of the region more generally. It’s something that’s been assisted by their recent wins, which saw their 2007 Pinot Noir beat international competition to

scoop the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Pinot Noir Trophy last year, followed by a gold for the 2009 vintage at 2011’s

Decanter World Wine Awards. “A lot more people in Britain know more about Waipara Pinot Noir than they did before this,”

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Black Estate - a family affair, from left; Alistair Brown, Rod Naish and Nicholas Brown

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throughout the valley.” Converting the estate to organics and biodynamics is another part of their plan to make the most of their site, which seems “to be making a real difference to quality of fruit and depth and flavour,” according to Penelope. After the estate’s initial focus on estate grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, from the 2008 vintage, it added a Riesling, sourced from a nearby limestone rich Omihi vineyard. This spring it plans to put in another couple of close planted Entave clones of Pinot Noir (at 6,500 vines per hectare) and new Chardonnay clones, as well as the underrated but exciting varieties, Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. “We’ve chosen them as they make delicious wines, and, as in

the Loire, should do well on the clay and limestone soils - Cabernet Franc likes iron, which we have lots of at Black Estate,” Brown said. This iron along with the estate’s climate, “could be what makes our site different”, thinks Brown. “Our wines seem to have different aromatics and deeper colour to other Waipara wines,” he observes. This is something that could also be due to the vineyard’s position on the convergence of the Omihi and Waipara Valleys, where the climate is more extreme in terms of heat and cold. It’s clear that there are many factors currently at work that are making Black Estate one of the upand-coming wineries to watch in Waipara. joburzynska@talk21.com ■

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awkes Bay Winegrowers and supporters celebrated twenty years of charity wine auctions at Queen’s Birthday weekend, combining the annual event with a sumptuous five-course dinner held at Elephant Hill winery in Te Awanga. With Napier MP Chris Tremain as guest auctioneer, the event raised $144,000-plus for Cranford Hospice. The charity auction is the longest running event of its kind in New Zealand and in 20 years has raised a total of $2.2 million. Every year, Hawke’s Bay winemakers donate some of their 20th Anniversary very4 best wines to the occasion, June 2011 including unique and exclusive lots crafted specially “Study for Rough Red” for the event. earners a Top collaboration by this year included Te MataPoppelwell Estate’s lot, comprising a Martin 12-litre &bottle of Coleraine 2009 Dick Frizzell and a half barrique of Coleraine 2010, which fetched $7700. A half barrique of Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010 went for

It was a red-letter day for Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers, celebrating 20 years of supporting Cranford Hospice with an auction that included this painting, Study of Rough Red, as well as 34 wine lots.

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$6700 and a dinner for eight, accompanied by a selection of Matariki wines, sold for $5000. Ngatarawa donated a quarter barrique of Nobel Chardonnay 2009, which also went for $5000. Andrew Caillard MW has remarked in the past; “This important event not only raises much needed funds for Cranford Hospice, but also shows off the sheer diversity and quality of Hawke’s Bay wines.” This year’s auction was no exception. The lots encompassed Blanc de Blanc, Chardonnay, a specially blended Chardonnay, Viognier and Gewurztraminer created to mark the 20th anniversary of the auction, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot/Franc and other Bordeauxstyle blends, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Nobel Chardonnay, late harvest Riesling and Gewurztraminer and Port. Among the features that have come to be associated with the auction is a lot created and donated by a leading Hawkes Bay artist. Guest artists in the past

have included Piera McArthur, Sandy Adsett, Kate McKenzie and Des Robertshaw. The artwork is reproduced in a poster used to promote the event – in itself a sought-after souvenir. The painting is traditionally offered as the finale to the auction. This year, the featured work was a collaborative effort by well-known artists Dick Frizzell and Martin Poppelwell. Spirited bidding for the painting, entitled Study of Rough Red, reached $22,000 before the hammer came down for its new owner. Frizzell’s artistic skills were also evident in six hand-painted magnums of Frizzell Wines 2008 Chardonnay which comprised the first lot offered at this year’s auction. As a special event to launch the weekend celebration, 24 wineries presented 166 wines at the first Hot Red Hawke’s Bay to be held in the region. Many of the wines offered for tasting were reserve wines and over 60 were trophy or gold medal winners. westclan@clear.net.nz ■

NEW LOOK WEBSITE New Zealand WineGrower not only has a stunning new look, it is also now available to be read on-line. No matter where in the world you may be, you can keep up-to-date with the latest news from the New Zealand wine industry, via out website – www.nzwinegrower.co.nz All magazine stories are uploaded, so they can be read at your leisure, wherever. Given New Zealand WineGrower is a bi-monthly journal, the website will provide us the opportunity to follow up on stories and bring you up-to-date information as it comes to hand. We welcome all news that is of interest to the industry. And best of all, in case you can’t find a copy of the last issue, don’t panic – as from now on, the website will contain all back issues.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    85


WHO’S PRESENTING YOUR WINE? Cameron Douglas is New Zealand’s first and only Master Sommelier.


ew Zealand wines are now reliably ranked amongst the best in the world, and find their way to the wine lists and store shelves in countries around the globe. Our growers and makers pour their passion into producing the finest and most interesting wines, and deserve to have that vision represented appropriately throughout

the supply chain. A Sommelier is a wine service professional. Internationally, these skilled individuals hold a key place in presenting wines to an increasingly discerning public. While the image of a tuxedo-ed Sommelier diligently decanting a dusty bottle of Petrus can be the perception, the scope of the role extends far beyond.

It is increasingly common for not just Restaurants, but Hotel and Supermarket chains and Cruise Lines to have a Sommelier at the Head of their wine buying (and training) programme. As a Master Sommelier, I travel regularly, particularly in the USA, and meet with winegrowers and makers. The American Sommeliers have a close relationship with the wineries – they are, after all, the professionals who are writing the wine lists, stocking the shelves, and presenting the products to the public, so it makes sense to involve them. I always find Sommeliers keen to discuss with me what is going on in the New Zealand wine world – new developments, new releases, old favourites. Currently, I am writing from the San Francisco Bay area, where I am instructing Sommeliers at the International Culinary

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Centre. While my official role here is to deliver the Master Sommelier Curriculum, I find that these dedicated professionals are determined to extract from me as much as they can about the New Zealand Wine World – how was harvest, what’s available, what’s new and exciting, what works with what food dishes, and any and all minutiae that may enhance their wine lists and wine stories. While the wine companies, the exporters and importers, can get the wine here, it’s the local Sommeliers who will be making the key buying decisions. It is of utmost importance to ensure they have the information and exposure to our product that will allow them to make informed and appropriate decisions. I am also regularly approached by Sommeliers from other countries, including from throughout Asia, for advice and information on what New Zealand wines would suit the palates of their customer base. Some years ago, I presented a selection of wines from the Family of Twelve to the Sommelier Team at The French Laundry. At the time, they had largely removed NZ wines from their extensive list, mainly due to the traditionalist approach of preferring cork. Today, as I return to conduct tastings with the Sommeliers, I note they now offer a dozen NZ wines, most of which are under Stelvin. It’s great to note that the wines made in New Zealand by skilled, passionate wine folk are being presented by trained, credentialed, skilled professionals who understand the philosophy and can knowledgably discuss the provenance. Our next challenge is ensure the same level of professionalism within New Zealand. But that’s a discussion for another time. cameron@guildsommnz.org ■

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    87


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t is accepted that pruning is one of the most important jobs undertaken in the vineyard. Yet many pruners come to the job with little or no experience. So a best practice training tool, in the form of a DVD is about to be produced. The ability to transfer information and knowledge on to the wider community has always been a tricky issue for sector leaders. It becomes even more difficult when the information you are attempting to get across, is going to people who are new to the industry. That was one of the issues discussed recently by the Wine Marlborough Technical Committee. Spokesman James Jones said while expert pruning methods are celebrated in competitions such as Silver Secateurs, the whys and how to, are often overlooked with newcomers. “And as the vineyard area has increased in Marlborough, we have required more and more pruners to do the job. At times we have been concerned that the quality of some of those newcomers isn’t what we would like.” The group wanted a training tool that promoted best practice, that could be utilised by everyone invovled, Jones said. “It is the most costly job a

grower will undertake in a year, setting up the vines for the next vintage. The pruner has to know how to get the bud numbers right, what canes are best left and what ones should be removed. We need to know that those doing the work are doing it right.” With support from New Zealand Winegrowers and industry related companies, the DVD has begun filming. Jones said the idea is to make it concise, informative and easy to navigate. There will be eight different chapters, covering everything from spur pruning to equipment and safety.

Separating the entire programme into chapters will allow the viewer to concentrate on the area that applies to them. It could also be more beneficial than the on the spot training many workers currently get. “Currently when we recruit workers in the Islands, we tend to go over with some photos and secateurs trying to explain to the people what they have to do. A DVD will explain it much better. And it will be able to be used to up skill staff as well, as they are often shown just once or twice how to prune a vine. At least with a DVD they can go

back time and again to check they are working correctly.” A first for the industry, he is hopeful it won’t be the last. “We would love this to be a first in a series of Best Practice DVDs. It would be great if areas like canopy management, spray application, and fruit thinning could be included in the future. It could well be the start of a chain of these information transfers DVDs.” While the initiative has come out of Marlborough’s technical committee, the end product will be geared towards the entire New Zealand wine industry. tessa.nicholson@me.com ■

NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    89




ine writing in New Zealand came of age with the recent establishment of Wine Writers of New Zealand (WWNZ), the first ever association of the country’s professional wine writers. Initiated to raise the bar in the country’s wine communication, on the eve of its inaugural meeting in August, it has already gathered many of the country’s most influential wine writers behind it. Encouraging excellence and integrity in wine writing forms one of the cornerstones of the new organisation, which is open to authors, broadcasters, journalists and lecturers professionally engaged in communicating about wine in the country. WWNZ will also provide its members with a platform for the exchange of information amongst them - with an online forum planned - as well as an active programme of educational events. “Media coverage of the subject is intensifying, so now is a good time to launch a body that is committed to encouraging excellence and integrity among the country’s wine writers,” commented Michael Cooper ONZM, who along with Jo Burzynska, Emma Jenkins, Yvonne Lorkin and Jane Skilton MW, is one of the WWNZ’s founding members. Part of the impetus for this initiative stemmed from recent commentary in the wine press and social media regarding the practice of wine critics being paid by producers to review their wines. This is a practice that the founding members considered undermined the independence crucial to wine critics and had the potential to harm the reputation of all wine writers in New Zealand. Prompted by this, they circulated a ‘Declaration of Independence’ to the country’s wine media, accompanied by the invitation to all those able to put their name to the document to join WWNZ. This has now been signed by a significant number of New Zealand’s wine writers, who have stated that they do not accept payments from wine producers for




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“Media coverage of the subject is intensifying, so now is a good time to launch a body that is committed to encouraging excellence and integrity among the country’s wine writers,”

published reviews and are committed to maintaining high standards of independence and integrity in their field. In August, WWNZ will hold its first meeting, at which the organisation’s principles will be agreed and set down and its committee and key positions voted on. Plans will also be put in place for its events programme of tastings and presentations, as well as the development of its website, which with member profiles should also prove a useful resource for the wine industry. “I am very excited to be part of this initiative which will hopefully be a collective voice for issues affecting the wine industry,” concludes Skilton. “Raising the standard of wine journalism and promoting independence can only be to the benefit of consumers and the industry as a whole.” • More information about Wine Writers of New Zealand and the Declaration of Independence and its signatories, can be found on its website: www. winewriters.org.nz joburzynska@talk21.com ■

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    91


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ufactured in New Zealand. New Zealand Frostfans has now shifted into a new purpose built premises in Hawkes Bay. NZ Frostfans are the only 100% frost fan company in the world. With full-time staff based in Marlborough, Bay of Plenty and Hastings they are able to service any frost fan in the market. ■

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or a wine label that was the first in New Zealand to use glass stoppers, it seems almost ironic the cellar door is surrounded by cork oak trees. But the owners of Gisborne label Spade Oak, Steve and Eileen Voysey say they opted for glass closures because they were “new and innovative” and reflected the

image they intended for the brand. “We are producing a premium, boutique wine at a higher price point, so it made sense to go for a premium closure for it,” says Mr Voysey, who also makes the wines. “I first saw the tops at a trade show a number of years before we started the label. I think they bring a purity and good consistency, without any cork taint. The

wine breaths a bit better so you don’t get that reduction you can get under a screw cap.” The ‘Vino Lok’ closures, created in Germany, prevent uncontrolled oxidization and leakages through the stopper, while also being 100 percent recyclable. They are secured with an aluminum covering cap, customized to the bottle.

Naturally, the premium closure comes with added costs. “It requires a special bottle and you need to buy the glass stoppers, plus the aluminum clamps to put on the top. But it doesn’t cost more than a decent cork so we see it as a viable alternative,” Mr Voysey says. “As with anything, there are downsides – all the stoppers have






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to be put in by hand so they can’t go in the bottling line. The glass-tops can also bring wine on earlier which means they don’t last as well. It’s good for two years and then you start to notice the difference.” On the upside, the glass closures are handy for consumers to reuse and also provide a lasting memento of the label. Mr Voysey says the feedback has been nothing but positive. “Once people mastered the knack of taking the cap off, they found it very easy, and they appreciate being able to keep the stopper and use it again.” They also produce the ‘Heart of Gold’ range under screw cap, which includes a St Laurent, Syrah/ Tempranillo and Chardonnay/Viognier. The first 2010 Grüner Veltliner has also been released The Voysey’s launched Spade

EXPORT WINE TESTING NOW AVAILABLE IN BLENHEIM Cawthron offers a comprehensive analysis service for wine destined for the EU and other export markets. • Now available at two locations: Grove Town Park, Blenheim Halifax Street East, Nelson Oak about five-years ago, starting out with Chardonnay and Viognier, and, more recently, extended the range to include Syrah. They have plans to delve into other varieties in the future but are taking things slowly for now. “We will, but not until we’re ready. At this stage we’re keeping it small and concentrating on building the reputation of the label. We’re happy with where it’s going.” christinejboyce@gmail.com ■

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    95




he days of hand sorting tonnes of grapes across a table, looking for only the perfect fruit, may well be over. A new machine out of France is not only doing away with the need for hand sorters, it is doing the job in lightening quick time. Wither Hills Winery in Marlborough is the first to import the revolutionary Bucher Vaslin Delta Vistalys R2, and only the second in the Southern Hemisphere to invest in the state of the art technology. Using image analysis to individually inspect and sort grape berries, the Bucher is ideal for screening Pinot Noir fruit, whether it be handpicked or machine harvested according to Chief Winemaker Ben Glover. “Traditionally we used a grading table. But what tends to end up happening is people find it hard to concentrate for long periods of time and you start to get fruit being left that really should have been discarded.” There is also the risk that you can lose a lot of fruit if sorters are removing entire bunches because one or two berries show signs of botrytis. The Bucher however, works on scanning every single berry. A sample of perfect fruit is placed on the machine to be


image analysed by the computer’s camera. The technology records the size, colouring and shape of the sample, storing it for future reference. Pinot Noir winemaker Sally Williams said she can dial up exactly what colour range of fruit she requires and the optimum size of berry. Then once the machine is in use, it analyses every berry passing under the camera, accepting those within the correct parameters, and discarding, or more correctly ejecting any berry that doesn’t fit. It does the

The Bucher machine takes the hand out of hand sorting.


same with stems, leaves or stalks. The technology is so smart, that it can analyse fruit from a belt that is travelling at six metres per second. That means the winery can deal with large quantities of handpicked fruit on a daily basis, according to Glover. “Where we were hamstrung by only being able to hand-sort about 30 tonnes a day, we can now do between 6 and 10 tonnes an hour.” The sensitivity of Pinot Noir is one of its greatest attributes. The wine expresses its terroir and

handling but at the same time it is susceptible to any discrepancies. “Pinot Noir shows all its warts, so if you have green flavours coming through, it’s very hard to manage, hide or get rid of.” Because the machine ejects anything that is not deemed within the perfect parameters,it increases the base wine quality. Most importantly, Glover said it allows the winery to be proactive prior to fermentation, rather than reactive afterwards. tessa.nicholson@me.com ■

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    97



ny wine lost during production is a loss of profit. This applies to every size of operation. Therefore the loss, by evaporation through the barrel wood, of wine that is intended to be a reserve or special vintage is especially galling.

Humidification of the air in the barrel hall, to very high levels, can significantly reduce this particular loss. Ullage (from the French ouillage) is a wine making term that has several meanings but most commonly refers to the headspace

of air between wine and the top of the container that it is in. It can also refer to the process of evaporation that creates the headspace itself. The headspace of air is a mixture mostly of alcohol and water vapours with CO2 that is a by-product of the fermentation

process. In containers that are not completely air-tight (such as an oak wine barrel), oxygen can also seep into this space. While some oxygen is beneficial to the aging process of wine, excessive amounts can lead to oxidation and other various wine faults. This is Photo courtesy NZW



why wine in the barrels is regularly “topped up” and refilled to the top with wine in order to minimize the head space. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) Aging in barrels is an essential phase in the preparation of great wines. During the aging in barrels, two key phenomena occur: Oxidation of the substances which are present in the wine due to the penetration of oxygen; Transmission of the extractable compounds of oak. Feuillat (Feuillat, 1994) has defined the barrel as an “active interface” between the liquid (wine) and the air (atmosphere in the cellar), which, through its physical and chemical properties determines the phenomena of exchange between these two elements. Among these phenomena of exchange there is a loss of wine







1.2 µm






10 µm





2 - 5µm



High pressure spray



1 - 3µm






1 - 2µm



Air/water spray



Table 1

through evaporation which varies between 1% and 9% depending on the conditions of temperature and humidity in the cellar. The NZ Wine Industry is said to have an average ullage in the order of five to eight percent (5% to 8%), given that the barrel halls are not generally air-conditioned. Wine makers have been known to

quote, “ours would never be that high”, but when asked the specific amount they couldn’t actually say, although they’re sure that, “it couldn’t possibly be that much!” Whatever the amount is it’s too much and can be reduced. Counting barrels that are used to top up the ullage would indicate the loss percentage, however,

some wineries use wine held in kegs to fill the ullage which has two consequences: • The actual percentage of ullage becomes distorted; • The concentration of the wine will be diluted thereby affecting its flavour and character. To reduce the ullage the atmos-

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    99

phere around the barrels should be moist, about 85%rH is becoming an accepted level, although >90% is better; this helps prevent the evaporation of the wine through the wood because the moisture is available to both sides of the barrel wood. Moisture is also required for the wood of the barrel; much of the moisture initially put into the barrel hall will be taken up by the wood in the barrels. This initial period of about six weeks is also the time of maximum rate of ullage. That is why the humidifiers run continually for some days when first switched on. After this phase the humidifier will only operate when necessary to maintain the required humidity. Ullage will also reach a steady rate. Humidifying the barrel hall doesn’t prevent all the losses

Cost per barrel Production cost per litre Production cost per 226l barrel









Table 2: Cost recovery

through evaporation but will reduce them considerably; at least 50% reduction. The air in the barrel hall must be circulated to get around every barrel to prevent mould, smells etc. This is usually achieved with fans. Often these fans are associated with refrigeration evaporators being used to cool the barrel-hall. Air flowing through evaporators usually drops some six degrees Celsius (6.0ºC) (unless specifically designed not to do so) with a subsequent loss in moisture. Moisture is being

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stripped from the timber of the barrels as the cold air flows across their surfaces. Moisture from the wine moves through the timber and produces ‘the angel’s portion’. This last effect also applies when there is no evaporator, although to a lesser degree. There are a number of humidification methods available to industry and some are more appropriate than others; steam, centrifugal spray, air/water spray, high pressure water spray and ultrasonic dispersion. Our sales history shows that

the air/water spray is the most popular system followed by the centrifugal spray humidifiers by a margin of 8:1. There are some 40 systems installed in some of the larger wineries in the Marlborough, Hawkes Bay and Central Otago regions. The air/water spray units are generally used in larger barrel-halls where the pressure of the air, >2.1bar g, is able to throw the moisture considerable distances and enables the absorption of the moisture by the air. The nozzles are sited below the evaporator fans; this turbulent air flow

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also improves the absorption of the moisture by the air. Nozzles for this application should be selfcleaning type; this ensures that water droplets from the nozzles don’t fall on the barrels raising the potential of mould forming. The centrifugal spray humidifiers have been supplied to wineries with smaller barrel-halls. There is an interest in using the ultrasonic type of humidifier as the low running cost (mW of electricity Vs kW of electricity & compressed air) is sufficiently low to offset the capital costs in very short time (see table 1 on p99). All of the humidification methods except steam are adiabatic in nature; the spraying of the water cools the air and adds to the cooling effect of the environment within the barrel-hall. This is a major benefit where there is no evaporator in the barrel-hall. Lastly, removing the barrel stopper to check the level is an opportunity to introduce bacteria,

spores, etc into the wine. Higher humidity means less evaporation and lessens the ullage and consequently the need to remove the stopper. This means reducing the number of opportunities for spoilage. Badly topped barrels, poorly restored corks and inattention to processes all contribute to spoilage and therefore the quality of the wine. This is another potential loss of profit. The capital costs of installing a humidification system will be recovered within the first vintage. Consider that up to 50% of the losses due to evaporation could pay for the system. Use this table to determine an actual cost per barrel for a number of prices. Any cost recovery is there year after year... after year (see table 2 on p100). Find out how much moisture you’re loosing, put it back and reduce your ullage (increase your profit).■

NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    101


Powdery mildew is apparant on these leaves.



escribed as an insidious disease, powdery mildew is different to most others affecting vines. Caused

by a fungus, it does not require moisture to thrive, hates ultra violet light and can go from being a minor nuisance to a full blown

disaster in just a few weeks. What’s more it is driven by the amount of inoculum inherited from the last season.

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In a NZ Winegrower seminar on the disease, Peter Magarey from Magarey Plant Pathology in South Australia said to win the

battle growers need to control next season’s disease, this season. “An epi-season of powdery mildew is two growing seasons of the grape vine,” he said. “Therefore early season control this year is critical if you want to control the disease next year.” Labelling it a “green disease” because it needs green tissue to thrive on, Margarey said it infects shoots, buds, leaves, and berries prior to veraison. Checking should take place very early in the season, given it first shows up in the emerging shoots, which if they have the disease will show signs of stunting with leaves curled over, (known as a flag shoot.) It is not carried over ON the infected buds – but inside where the tissue is green. When those buds open, if diseased they are flag shoots. If left the disease will

spread to other shoots, the leaves and eventually the berries. Which is why early detection is imperative. “Get out and monitor the

tag the site so you can come back and check if any more flag shoots have appeared.” The vital time to monitor is at two weekly intervals from bud

“Areas to monitor in particular, are where you know the disease has started the year before. If you find a flag shoot, you can break it off and throw it on the ground, as it can’t survive on dead tissue. But tag the site so you can come back and check if any more flag shoots have appeared.” vineyard. You will see a difference if powdery mildew is there. Areas to monitor in particular, are where you know the disease has started the year before. If you find a flag shoot, you can break it off and throw it on the ground, as it can’t survive on dead tissue. But

burst, or just after spraying. Magarey said by early monitoring this season, you can help prevent an epidemic both this and next season, but management must be undertaken early. Given the spores can’t handle UV light, opening the canopy up

is a good step to help this season, but it won’t do much for next year unless you reduce the inoculum. And while common practice has been to focus control around flowering, he says this will only help the fruit this season – again not preventing the inoculum from appearing next year. “The fruit infection forms from the leaf inoculum. The leaf inoculum comes from flagshoots, infected buds. So control needs to happen at or near budburst.” In Australia it takes approximately 80 days after bud burst for powdery mildew to reach severe levels, and once that happens fruit infection begins. But if you can control the disease in those first 40 days after budburst – you will not only control this season’s fruit – you will also control next year’s. tessa.nicholson@me.com ■

NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    103




ews that winemakers would welcome excise tax changes prompted one response from over a dozen winemakers spoken to: annoyance - “It will be absorbed, as usual, into all the other expenses we have.” Alterations to the payment procedures for wine excise, released in June mean about half of New Zealand’s 700 wineries

will now be able to make either six monthly or yearly excise payments, instead of monthly. Lorraine Leheny, co-owner and winemaker of Bilancia Wines in Hawkes Bay assumed it was the rise in excise she was being asked to comment on, rather than the change in time allowed to pay it. “I got an email from New Zealand Winegrowers telling us this, but I don’t see anything positive in

it. In fact, I think it makes it worse. It lulls you into a sense of false security because it doesn’t change the amount that you’re going to pay eventually anyway. I don’t see that being able to pay it every three months or six months makes it any better. In fact I’d prefer it the way it is because it’s better budgeted for in our cash flow that way.” New Zealand Winegrowers’ CEO Philip Gregan suggests the

regulatory change will have a significant cash-flow benefit for affected wineries as it will better align excise payment timelines with their income flows. “The decision represents sound business and regulatory commonsense,” he says. “These changes represent a significant step forward in our long term agenda of easing the compliance costs associated with

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benefits us in the sense that we hold onto the cash in cashflow terms but it’s obviously still got to be paid.” The bigger problem is with the excise increase, Michael says. “I think it would be much better if it was done at point of sale. We’d sell wine to the shop, they’d sell the wine and deal with the GST and excise element at the same time.” Alwyn Corban from Ngatarawa Wines in Hawke’s Bay believes there is a positive aspect to the excise payment timing change for small wineries. “Compliance does take a lot of time and the cost impact is big on small wineries. It will have no impact on us. What we need to do is to stop having the excise increased in the first place.” jthomson@xtra.co.nz ■

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payment of excise by all wineries in New Zealand.” The owner of Alexander Vineyard, Michael Finucane, says the change removes some bureaucratic burdens but makes little difference otherwise. “It will marginally improve things from a paperwork perspective, but I think that the bigger picture is the continuing increase in excise that we find very difficult to pass on. “It’s just gone up another 4.5 or 5 per cent, which kicked in this July, so the tax regime on excise doesn’t really take account of the reality of the marketplace. It merely imposes a fresh round of costs every year. “We are a very small boutique winery and it was in discussion with customs, which suggested we go onto a six-month basis. It

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Other benefits from Protectorhml at 0.5% • Improved activity against erinose mite. • A potential reduction in botrytis levels (1998 Hort Research study shows 0.5% Protectorhml produces approximately 60% of the efficacy of 2% Protectorhml against botrytis in a programme). • NZ made – field tested, trialled and commercially used in different parts of New Zealand.

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he grape growing and wine industry in Gisborne is rationalising and rebuilding, less than two years after some of the major players pulled out of the region. Since 2009, 100 hectares of grapevines have been pulled out, with another 100 hectares expected to come out this winter. That doesn’t surprise Gisborne Winegrowers president John Clarke. “There is another 100 or so more hectares of vineyards available for sale here. It was initially predicted 200 hectares of grapes would be pulled from Gisborne.” Sales wise, an 11.4 hectare section in Lavenham Road planted in Pinot Gris, and a nearby 11.01 hectare section planted in Sauvignon Blanc sold for a combined price of $1,020,000 in a mortgagee sale last month. While the grapes were contracted, the price paid per hectare was just under half of what was paid for the land four years ago. While all that might seem dire, it is nothing compared to what hap-




Silvan Evo grape sprayers combine superior coverage with the efficiency of two or three row spraying in one pass

Despite a tough few years Gisborne is proving itself as a world-class producer. Wines from vineyards such as this Villa Maria site are wowing judges. PHOTO COURTESY NZW

pened back in the 1980s, when around 600 hectares were pulled, more than a third of the total vineyard plantings. Up until 2009, grapes made up a third of Patutahi farmer Tony Armstrong’s business. (He was one of the growers dropped by Pernod Ricard.) Since then he has pulled around 11 hectares of Semillion, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, leaving another 25 hectares in the ground. “We have decided to stick it out for another year but the price we are receiving is below the cost of production. It is unsustainable.” He has suffered huge losses over the last two years but still has confidence in the industry and knows it’s cyclical. Clarke says the latest pull has seen older, underperforming and therefore unprofitable blocks being pulled. Unpopular varieties with no market, have also come out. “Apart from a couple who have exited the industry, most are either looking at other permanent crops or will crop for a couple of years and hope to plant again with a new variety.” Clarke says a lot of new capital has been invested in the industry in Gisborne, most notably Indevin/Lion and these players are keen to get value from that. “The biggest challenge now is increasing profitability for growers as well as wineries and the cautious optimism that is being shown around new markets is encouraging. Gisborne has distinct advantages over other regions particularly in the fact that it doesn’t irrigate. In a world where consumers are starting to become far more aware of the need for sustainability and have a desire to support those producers who are doing their bit in that regard then we need to tell our story. There’s no doubt that vineyards and wineries will continue to move towards more biodynamic/organic practices in the future and we need to make sure we keep abreast of that change.” debbie.gregory@gisborneherald.co.nz ■

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    107



uality wine requires a quality filter. Crossflow filters with ceramic membranes produce a premium wine with excellent retention of colour and wine structure, as well as providing numerous operational benefits and savings. This established technology with an enviable track record, has in operation ceramic cross flow machines ranging from 30sqm to 700sqm at sites including Nautilus Wines, Marlborough, Links Winery, Hawkes Bay, Plantagenet Wines, Mt Barker (WA), Vinpac International (Barossa SA) and Casella Wines (Griffith NSW). The durability and unique design of the ceramic candles makes it an ideal filter media for the widest range of wines as well as juices and lees. The membrane’s solid structure and bore diameter enables a better fluid dynamic achieving ‘tangential’ filtration even in difficult conditions (high solids, low temperatures, high sugar or sparkling wines). Maintaining a high permeate to retentate ratio reduces product recirculation. The rigid structure also withstands continuous back flush and the widest range of operational pressures to affect in-line membrane cleaning and allow longer cycles. The ability of Della Toffola ceramic filters to deliver longer filtration runs at more consistent flow rates means that filtration can be fully automated, with the


linear profile providing minimal operator input. Ceramic media cleaning further reinforces the durability of this design, with the life of the membrane guaranteed for 10 years. Hot water and caustic chemical regimes can be adopted without the breakdown in mem-


brane strata that affects plastic hollow fiber and spiral membranes. Producers with over 400 million litres filtered through a single set of membranes still report full permeability. Wineries that have realised the potential and payback that can be achieved are now focused

on incorporating high solids, lees crossflow in production. Aiding in process flow, wine quality and reducing environmental impact has put crossflow technology at the forefront of winery improvements for many sites in recent years.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    109




ne of the most awarded wines in this district in recent years - Villa Maria’s Reserve Barrique Fermented Gisborne Chardonnay 2009 - took out the supreme wine of show at the inaugural Gisborne Regional Wine Awards. Made mostly from hand picked fruit grown in the highest vineyard in the district, on the foothills of the Gentle Annie, the award winning wine also included the best fruit from Villa Maria’s Gisborne Katoa and McIldowie vineyards. Gisborne vineyard manager and viticulturist Tony Green was “over the moon” with the award. “All I can say is go Gisborne Chardonnay,” he said. Villa Maria’s Gisborne Barrique Fermented Chardonnay won everything in 2007 and the 2008 vintage took gold. Other accolades for the wine include five stars from both Cuisine and Winestate magazines in the last year. Mr Green said all three vineyards were excellent. “They’re on hill sides, so there is no water lying around, they have good drainage and great angle to the sun.” More than 200 people enjoyed the awards dinner and the opportunity to sample the districts award winning wines with a four


course dinner. Chief Judge, Jane Skilton MW, said the beauty of such a show highlighted any region’s strengths and weaknesses, so it was fitting the champion of show was a Chardonnay. “Shows like this give a great overview and very clear picture of what is happening in the region. “As well as a chance to experience new emerging grape varieties, it’s an opportunity to see the innovative styles being put into practice.” Wines entered into the event had to be at least 85 percent local grapes, with the top ones to be promoted over the coming year. Contest director Prue Younger said the aim of the competition was to promote the excellence in the winemaking of all Gisborne grape varieties.  “It’s done that and more, and there is no doubt this is going to become a highlight of the Gisborne wine calendar that will be even bigger next year.” On the night of the awards, members of the industry paid tribute to “living legend of the Gisborne wine industry” Denis Irwin, who attended the awards dinner with his wife Vi. The Millton Vineyard’s James Millton said the Irwins had


brought many good things to this region - his father Bill was at the forefront of his game and was behind the early introduction of different varieties here. “Denis is the father of the wine industry in Gisborne. He was making wine in the 70’s and is still out there growing grapes and making wine on the foothills at Tiniroto,” said Millton. debbie.gregory@gisborneherald.co.nz ■


New premises, equipment and extended lines ensure Wine Bottlers Marlborough promote innovation; provide reliability and efficiency with high expertise in production and distribution. The transformational changes signal a positive growth within the wine industry as a whole. The increased demand towards sparkling wines, has seen Wine Bottlers Marlborough commission a new GAI carbonated filling line, which will be further expanded early in 2012, says CEO Lance McMillan. Production capacity is expected to increase to 30,000 cases a day from January with the inclusion of an advanced 12,000 BPH line. The purchase of new packaging equipment to further streamline and increase throughput will not only create a cost saving but improve our environmental impact. Recent purchases include a case sealer and packer to allow greater flexibility for the variation of dry goods. We have added a thermal transfer coder, which will allow clients to use a generic back label with our ability to apply importer details, full bar coding and QR capabilities. A purpose built laboratory is positioned close to the production floor, allowing closer monitoring by winemakers and laboratory staff. Forklift traffic has been reduced with an extended depalletiser for automatic infeed of bottles. A workstation and data connectivity has also been installed to ensure efficient use of time for winemakers. The Wine Bottlers Marlborough commitment of continuous improvement to enhance the business process will not only improve productivity – it will ensure total production quality and customer satisfaction.

03 577 5350 www.winebottlers.co.nz




Winemaker’s Lunch a charity event

2011 Winter Wine Warmer – Wine Options Quiz

Romeo Bragato Conference

Alexander Park, Epsom

Ormlie Lodge, 6 – 9pm. Further details: jamieandtracey@ windowslive.com

Ellerslie Event Centre, Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland. Details: bragato.org.nz




Awards dinner – New Zealand International Wine Show

Wineworks Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race

Pinot Central Experience

Crown Plaza, Auckland

From Waikawa Bay in Marlborough to Wellington.






Villa Maria Wine Tasting

The Nelson First Fifteen Blind Tasting Competition

Nelson First Fifteen Degustation Dinner

Nelson First Fifteen tutored tasting

Indulge Marlborough

Villa Maria Estate, Mangere

Central Otago, Tickets from ticketek.co.nz

Indulge Marlborough: 30 September

WOW Centre, Nelson

Wollaston Estates. Details: firstxv.wineart.co.nz

New release Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs, combined with gourmet food and fashion show – Marlborough Convention Centre






Marlborough Wine and Cuisine

Vintage Wings and Wine

Dinner with Sir Richard Branson

Marlborough Wine Weekend

Brancott Estate. Details: winemarlborough.co.nz

Hood Aerodrome, Masterton

Hawkes Bay A&P Mercedes-Benz Wine Awards.

Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland

Details: winemarlborough.co.nz

Details: hawkesbay wineawards.co.nz







6th International Specialised Conference on Sustainable Viticulture; Winery Waste and Ecologic Impacts Management

International Aromatic Wine Competition

Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2011 Dinner

2012 Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration

Canterbury A&P Show, Christchurch

Langham Hotel, Auckland

Registrations now open at pinotcelebration.co.nz

Convention Centre, Blenheim. Details: winery2011.com



2012 Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration:  26-28 January 2012

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International Aromatic Wine Competition 2011                     Entries close Fri 7 October 2011

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100 Must-try New Zealand Wines Michael Cooper RRP $34.99, HODDER MOA

THIS is a new book from an old name in wine writing: Michael Cooper, whose string of credits is so impressive it almost seems to be in triple figures. Cooper has authored 35 books, been awarded an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to wine writing and also the Sir George Fistonich Medal in recognition of services to New Zealand wine. His best known book is the biggestselling wine guide in this country; the annual Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide to New Zealand Wines and his magnum opus, the Wine Atlas of New Zealand, won the Montana Medal for supreme work of non-fiction at the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. If you’re not lost in the list of Cooper’s impressive curriculum vitae, then his inclusion of literally thousands of wines in his annual guide, will have you wondering which ones to buy.


Which is presumably where this top 100 “must-try” wine book comes in. It is divided into five sections; white, red, sparkling and, well, I won’t give away all the book’s secrets in this review. The book comes across as a well designed distillation of Cooper’s annual wine guides, utilising his knowledge and tasting experiences to choose a nifty number which draws readers and potential wine buyers in – as ‘Top 100s” usually do. As always, Cooper falls back on ratings to back up his views – and it’s a relief to see a modern design propel his new book, sans the usual clichéd vineyard images we all know, love and tend to tire of, given their usual lack of inventive visual treatment. If Rugby World Cup visitors don’t take to this top New Zealand wine book like a duck to you know what, I’ll be lost for words. JOELLE THOMSON


Grand Cru Remington Norman NEW HOLLAND (NZ), RRP $89.99

PINOT Noir books are pouring off publisher’s printing presses faster than pinotphiles can blog about Patagonian Pinot these days, but of the four new tomes in the last six months, this is undoubtedly the most indepth. It’s also the most accessible. Author Remington Norman – an ex-Master of Wine – distils wine to its purist, most deliciously readable form with humility, a down to earth turn of phrase and a refreshing lack of pretension. Talk about addictive writing. The book’s title may err towards its mostly French content but what makes this book so

relevant today is that it contains more than a mere editorial nod towards the New World – including a segment on New Zealand Pinot Noir. Grand Cru is written with great depth but also a generous sprinkling of humour and, thankfully, none of the usual “mind-numbing litany of tasting notes” and “clotted nonsense” of ‘lashings of new wood or anything that such crude epithets might suggest’, writes Norman. So, what does he give to the reader? An outstanding insight into what terroir is - and isn’t - and easy to absorb detail about


the complicated vineyards of Burgundy. He also writes of history, of soil variation and of factors that have limited the expression of terroir. The book includes a guide to tasting, wine appreciation, growers’ styles of wines, even of Burgundian grapes in the New World. It is, says Norman, perfectly reasonable to ask whether Burgundy is the best place to make Pinot Noir

and Chardonnay. “This is not the same however, as asking where the best Pinot or Chardonnay is made.” Grand Cru is refreshing to read, thanks to his desire to make Burgundy understandable without the usual airs and graces that surround one of the world’s purest expressions of place in the bottle. JOELLE THOMSON

Wine, Terroir and Climate Change John Gladstones RRP $59.95

IF the ground beneath our feet doesn’t interest grape growers and winemakers, then something is missing – and it could be this new book, which makes a worthy addition to any serious grapewine bookshelf. While the book is rather pricey at $59.95 for a softcover, anyone growing grapes would do well to learn from the scientific analysis of soil, the nutrients in it and the interplay of temperature on both. Author John Gladstones is an Australian agricultural scientist, who has worked in crop breeding, agronomy and botany as well as in grapevine ecology; he lives in the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia. As he says in his leadin, “Temperature is central to all aspects of viticulture… with only minor other influences, it alone controls vine phenology – the vine’s rate of physiological development through budbreak to flowering, setting, veraison, and finally fruit ripeness.” Strong words. Gladstones does attempt to develop them into a powerful argument about the importance of soil temperatures and where climate change “could” lead viticulture and


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Following is a summary of key indicators at intervals:






No. of Growers






No. of Wineries






Producing area (Ha)*






Average yield (t/Ha)






Tonnes crushed






Total production (m.L) 59.6





Domestic sales (m.L)






Per capita consumption: (litres NZ wines)






Export volume (m.L)






Exp. value (m.$NZ fob) 3.0





*estimate of probable total scaled up from actual returns

2010 (Forecast)

2012 (from 2010)

% Change Area (2010)

% Total






Hawkes Bay











































MAJOR VARIETIES IN MAJOR AREAS New Zealand’s total producing vineyard will increase by only 0.5% over the next 2 years. This table shows the variation for major varieties (in Ha), with % change and percentage of total in 2012. Variety (Actual)

2010 (Forecast)

2012 (from 2009)

% Change Area (2011)

% Total

Sauv. Blanc










Pinot Gris




















Pinot Noir




















Cabernet Franc
















Total NZ fob (m)

Ave $NZ/L

UNITED KINGDOM 2011 52.930 293.631 2010 47.995 298.656

5.55 6.22

U.S.A 2011 32.223 231.922 2010 26.360 211.613

7.20 8.03

AUSTRALIA 2011 45.263 337.740 2010 45.937 327.098

7.46 7.12

CANADA 2011 5.705 59.180 2010 7.143 59.141

10.37 8.28

2011 2010

Region (Actual)

National total

Country/Years Litres(m)




Just to hand, the export figures for the year ending June 30: They show an increase in all our major markets, along with healthy rises in emerging markets like Asia and Scandanavia.

4.060 2.746

27.369 21.576

6.74 7.86

DENMARK 2011 0.976 6.646 2010 1.013 5.946

6.81 5.87

IRELAND 2011 1.844 15.643 2010 1.816 15.784

8.48 8.69

JAPAN 2011 0.897 11.017 2010 0.674 9.026

12.28 13.40

GERMANY 2011 0.748 5.302 2010 0.586 4.954

7.09 8.46

CHINA 2011 1.489 16.872 2010 1.425 17.165

11.33 12.04

HONG KONG 2011 1.307 17.629 2010 0.947 11.951

13.49 12.62

SINGAPORE 2011 1.164 13.984 2010 1.031 12.464

12.02 12.09

FINLAND 2011 0.276 2.532 2010 0.164 1.528

9.16 9.29

NORWAY 2011 0.169 1.529 2010 0.068 0.623

9.07 9.22

SWEDEN 2011 1.367 11.365 2010 0.942 8.747

8.31 9.29

OTHERS 2011 4.243 41.614 2010 3.184 34.256

9.81 10.76

Total Exports 2011 154.661 1093.972 2010 142.032 1040.529

7.07 7.33

*(npr = not previously recorded separately) *n.c. = no change

RESEARCH SUPPLEMENT Information and Updates on NZ Winegrowers Research Programmes. Associate Editors: Philip Manson, Science & Innovations Manager • Dr Simon Hooker, Research Programme Manager

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

LIST OF PROJECTS Cryopreserved grapevine: a new way to maintain high-health germplasm and cultivar imports with less rigorous quarantine regulations Plant and Food Research R Pathirana Improving management of grapevine trunk diseases in New Zealand South Australian Research & Development Institute (SARDI) Mark Sosnowski The impact of harvest technologies on grape and wine components of importance for protein stability Lincoln University R Harrison Understanding the accumulation of fruit based green aromatic methoxypyrazine compounds in Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc grape berries Plant and Food Research Jeff Bennett Pilot sheep leaf plucking study Agrivet Services Ltd Gina deNicolo

Fruit yield management of Sauvignon Blanc: The use of Mechanical thinning Plant and Food Research Mike Trought Effect of early leaf removal on Botrytis incidence and grape/wine composition EIT Mark Krasnow The influence of canopy management and architecture of Sauvignon Blanc grapevines on fruit and vegetative development Plant and Food Research Marc Greven Organic Focus Vineyard Project Organic Winegrowers New Zealand Rebecca Reider Unlocking New Zealand Pinot Noir aroma through aroma reconstitution approach Auckland University Paul Kilmartin Sex pheromones as a mealybug monitoring tool, 2010-11 Plant and Food Research Jim Walker

Investigation of perceived minerality in white wine Lincoln University Wendy Parr

Analysing wine using PTR-MS Otago University Patrick Silcock

GLRaV3 Virus Research Sutton McCarthy Limited Greg McCarthy

The science of Sauvignon Blanc publication Jamie Goode

Web programming Botrytis Decision Support Model (BDSM) Plant and Food Research Rob Beresford

Identification of natural genetic variation in grapevine contributing to pathogen resistance Lincoln University Chris Winefield

The effect of light on grape berry and leaf biochemistry Lincoln University Brian Jordan

Identification of metabolites in high-thiol grape juices Auckland UniServices Ltd Silas Villas-Boas Implementation of Virus Elimination Strategy Various Nick Hoskins – Project Manager Supported by MAF Sustainable Farming Fund Botryosphaeria Trunk Diseases Identification, Epidemiology & Control Lincoln University Marlene Jaspers

Using Meteorological Data to Predict Regional Vineyard Yield Plant and Food Research Mike Trought The Effect of Post-Harvest Defoliation on Carbon and Nitrogen Balance of High Yielding Sauvignon Blanc Vines Plant and Food Research Marc Greven New Zealand Winegrower Magazine Research Articles Various

*Brackets indicate primary contact.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //   119


Changing bunch architecture for sustainable botrytis bunch rot control Dion Mundy, Rob Agnew, Victoria Raw & Yilin Jia As part of a wider research programme on botrytis bunch rot control in Sauvignon Blanc, a study of ways to change bunch architecture was made during the 2010 season, looking at changing bunch architecture. The preliminary results were presented at the New Zealand Winegrowers Grape Days in June 2010. Return bloom measurements on the experimental vines were made in November 2010 and the complete technical report is now available at the addresses below. This article provides a summary of the key results and some comment on how the industry might use this information.

Introduction and methods One of the factors influencing the risk of botrytis bunch rot is bunch compactness. The aim of this project was to determine whether bunch architecture could be changed by the application of gibberellic acid (GA) and other organically acceptable compounds and whether the differences obtained affected the botrytis bunch rot disease risk under Marlborough conditions. Several different gibberellic acids (GA) were selected for the experiment, as they have been shown (in commercial experiments in 2002) to change the shape of bunches. However, they are also known to produce undesirable side effects such as a

reduction in return bloom. The treatments were applied to plots at flowering, and bunch openness, yield and juice composition were assessed at harvest.

Results and discussion Treatment with GA3 resulted in a number of significant changes to the bunch and berries compared with the untreated control. These changes included an increase in openness of the bunches, but decreased bunch weight and, consequently, decreased total yield. Significant increases in soluble solids were also observed for the GA3 treatment (Table 1). When return bloom was measured in November 2010, the GA3 treatment had significantly lower return bloom than the control. None of the other treatments reduced return bloom. The results of this trial indicate that GA3 should not be used at rates of 40 ppm or higher for changing bunch architecture in New Zealand vineyards because of the risk of a significant reduction in return bloom. Large within-vine variation meant that the results of the other treatments were not significantly different from the control. However, the trend was for fewer berries in treated bunches. Some of those treatments may have potential for

fruit thinning (Treatments 2, 4, 5, 6; Table 2). However none of the products currently have a label claim for grapes that would allow them to be used in commercial vineyards. This was a preliminary study to determine whether it was possible to change bunch shape by the application of hormones or growthaltering compounds and some of the GA rates used were significantly higher than label rates, to try to demonstrate an experimental effect. Further work would be necessary to identify rates of application that would achieve the desired changes in bunch architecture without incurring undesirable side effects.

Acknowledgements This project was funded by the Marlborough Wine Research Centre and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Sustainable Farming Fund. The assistance of staff at the Marlborough Wine Research Centre during harvest is gratefully acknowledged. For further information please contact: Dion Mundy Plant & Food Research Marlborough, Marlborough Wine Research Centre Tel: +64-3-984 4310. Fax: +64-3-984 4311 Email: dion.mundy@plantandfood.co.nz

Table 1. Average yield, bunch weight, berry weight, berries per bunch and berry composition of Marlborough Sauvignon blanc following different spray treatments.


Yield (kg)

Bunch wt (g)

Berry weight (g)

Berries per bunch





Untreated control









Gibberellin (GA4+GA7) 40 ppm l with 100 ml/100 L Li700









Gibberellin (GA3) 40 ppm l with 100 ml/100 L Li700









Acadian® label rate (750 g/ ha) with 100 ml/100 L Li700









Acadian 2 x label rate2 (1500 g/ha) with 100 ml/100 L Li700









Product X 150 g prod/100 L mixed with 100 ml/100 L Li700








Values in bold are significantly different at the 5% level when compared with treatment 1 using Dunnett’s correction following a two-way ANOVA test. 40 ppm1 parts per million is a high rate of application. 2x label rate2 indicates the product was applied at double the label rate.



Table 2. Treatment effects on yield, percentage thinning and return bloom of Marlborough Sauvignon blanc.


Average plot weight (kg)

Estimated tonnes per ha

Percentage thinning

Estimated value of thinning per ha achieved

Return bloom inflorescences per vine

% Return bloom










$ 488.13




Untreated control


Gibberellin (GA4+GA7) 40 ppm with 100 ml/100 L Li700


Gibberellin (GA3) 40 ppm with 100 ml/100 L Li700




$ 958.171




Acadian® label rate (750 g/ha) with 100 ml/100 L Li700




$ 451.97




Acadian 2 x label rate (1500 g/ha) with 100 ml/100 L Li700




$ 415.81




Product X 150 g prod/100 L mixed with 100 ml/100 L Li700




$ 379.65



Potential reduction in yield the following season of 42%, because of reduced return bloom as well as thinning in the season of application. Values in bold are significantly different at the 5% level when compared with treatment 1 using Dunnett’s correction following a two-way ANOVA test.


Accumulation of fruit-based green aromatic methoxypyrazine compounds in Marlborough Sauv Blanc grape berries Jeff Bennett 10-109 Sauvignon Blanc wines from Marlborough are recognised as having a distinctive regional style because of the presence of green aroma/flavour characteristics in both grapes and wines. These green characteristics have been indicated as derived from methoxypyrazines. More importantly, the concentration of methoxypyrazines in wine is now known to be correlated positively with perceived green flavours and inversely with perceived ripe and fruity flavours. There is thus little doubt that methoxypyrazines have an important role in defining Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wine style and even perhaps vintage and sub-regional (vineyard) differences. However, from a viticultural and grapevine physiology perspective little is known about how, when and where methoxypyrazines are synthesised in the grapevine and grape berries.

Methoxypyrazines are naturally produced in grape berries and are found in both grapes and wines in two key chemical forms, IBMP (3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine) which has a more distinct green capsicum aroma, while IPMP (3-isopropyl-2-methoxypyrazine) is generally recognised as a green, herbaceous or vegetative aroma. Vineyard location and fruit exposure to sunlight during berry development and ripening are thought to be factors that influence methoxypyrazine development. A new fieldbased experiment is underway to investigate these factors. Two contrasting vineyards in Marlborough have been chosen for the experiment, and the influence of fruit exposure at both vineyards will be examined. The experiment will measure the synchrony of methoxypyrazine accumulation in

relation to other compositional changes in developing berries e.g. soluble solids (measured as °Brix) and acid concentrations, both traditional parameters used to assess berry maturity. Additional work in collaboration with Lincoln University will begin to assess, at the genetic/molecular level, the expression genes that are associated with the synthesis of methoxypyrazines, to determine if their activity is influenced by vineyard location and exposure, and hence the final concentration of methoxypyrazines found in Sauvignon Blanc grapes in Marlborough.

Acknowledgement This work is funded by New Zealand Winegrowers, and the results will be reported over the 2011-2012 period.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    121

Predicting grapevine yields and yield components from meteorological data Mike Trought New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd mike.trought@plantandfood.co.nz 08-212 The first step to successful wine making is managing fruit to an appropriate composition. This requires vineyard management to achieve an appropriate yield. Anticipating vine yield (at both vineyard and regional levels) is also important, as this is the first step in the supply chain. Excessive yields may mean difficulties in achieving adequate fruit ripeness by the end of the growing season, particularly when associated with a late flowering or insufficient processing capacity. High yields in recent years have resulted in downward pressure on grape and wine prices. In contrast, low yields result in a potential shortage, where market development may be compromised and enabling competitors to move into markets being developed by New Zealand companies. Planning and predicting yield can be executed at several levels: 1. Long-term planning that accounts for the increase in the production area. The earlier this is done, the more warning the industry has on future yields. This may be achieved by: • Monitoring land purchase and vineyard development (i.e. data from regional councils on water right applications, local knowledge and/or feedback from industry partners) • Monitoring the purchase of consumables (posts, wires, irrigation etc.). This planning should give two to three years’ warning of new production coming on line. 2. At the next level, fluctuations in seasonal production mean that medium-term planning (12 to 15 months from harvest) may give warning of medium-term fluctuations in supply. This degree of prediction may enable growers and wine companies to undertake risk assessment and production planning. A model has been developed to provide the likely responses of vines to temperature and the previous season’s growth. 3. Short-term assessment is generally made after fruit set, when bunch and berry numbers have been fixed i.e. within-season crop load



Figure 1. Relationship between average Growing Degree Days (GDD) over 31 days starting from 22 December and Marlborough Pinot Noir bunch weight over eight seasons.

management. Models have been developed to describe the relationships between temperatures shortly after flowering and bunch weights, berry weights and berry numbers of Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot noir. Factors influencing potential grapevine yields have been reviewed and a temperaturebased yield prediction model, developed by Plant & Food Research scientists, has been used in recent years to forecast Sauvignon Blanc fruit supply and logistics chain issues in the coming season. Initially the model uses temperature data at bunch initiation, approximately 15 months from harvest, to anticipate

potential bunch numbers. This is updated after flowering. During the development of the model, the best estimate of yield was achieved using an average growing degree days (GDD base 10oC) over the initiation period from 11 December to 17 January and a flowering period of 9 December to 9 January, and the estimated yield was described by: Predicted Yield (T/ha) = (2.728*average initiation temperature) + (2.918*average flowering temperature) – 29.48 The model predicted the above-average Sauvignon Blanc yields in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and is currently predicting that the 2012 yields will be 27% above the long-term average. While the yield model provides industry with an early warning of particularly high or low grapevine yields, it does not replace ‘invineyard’ protocols post budbreak or closer to harvest, and should be used in conjunction with other yield management methods. Models to predict Marlborough Pinot Noir and Chardonnay yields proved less successful than those for Sauvignon blanc, probably reflecting the degree of yield management (e.g. thinning after fruit set) often imposed on these varieties. Despite this, temperature at flowering can successfully be used to estimate final bunch weight. For example, the relationship at flowering and Pinot Noir bunch weight

Figure 2. Relationship between Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc bunch weights on the Southern Valleys, Lower Awatere, Lower Wairau and Upper Wairau Plains, compared with the Central Wairau Valley over eight growing seasons. Note: Individual data points represent the mean values for different vintages.

appears to be particularly strong (Figure 1). Unlike in Sauvignon Blanc, berry number per bunch of Pinot Noir was consistent between seasons, and bunch weight was determined by berry weight. This possibly reflects the tendency of this variety to produce seedless berries when conditions at flowering are poor. In contrast, unfertilized Sauvignon blanc berries abort. Consistent differences in Sauvignon Blanc bunch weights were noted when various Marlborough sub-regions were compared. Vineyards on the lower Wairau Plains (generally east of SH1) consistently produce heavier bunches than those on the central Wairau Plains (SH1 to SH6), while bunches in the upper Wairau Plains regions (west of Renwick) are consistently lighter (Figure 2). Anecdotal evidence suggests that yield in the previous growing season may influence potential yield in the current season. This was first reported in the early 20th century, when Perold noted that an Italian viticulturist Mareschalchi, using data collected between 1855 and 1907, was predicting the size of the crop, even before the vines began budding, by taking into account the weather conditions (heat and rainfall) during the preceding twelve months, and the size of the preceding crop. By manipulating cane numbers laid down at pruning, we altered yields of Sauvignon Blanc (Table 1). The effect of yield can largely be attributed to the effect on shoot vigour, in particular shoot diameter. Larger diameter canes retained after pruning produced higher bunch numbers per shoot, with bunch numbers increasing at 0.15 bunches per shoot per mm increase in cane diameter. This effect was particularly apparent at basal bud positions along the cane. It emphasises the adverse effect on yield that retaining weak spurs may have. Attempts to model yields of Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay proved less successful. This could possibly be attributed to the degree of fruit thinning and manipulation of yield often undertaken on these varieties. However, it appears to be possible to predict bunch weights from temperature data. For example, late September and mid November were identified as having the greatest relationship between temperature and bunch weight. Bunch weight could be estimated (Figure 3):

Table 1. Influence of cane number on vine yield in Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc grapevines under various pruning regimes .

Pruning treatment1


Year 2005 Yield (kg/vine)


















4-cane converted to 2-cane (% of 4-cane)





2-cane converted to 4-cane (% of 2-cane)












Prior to the 2004 harvest, vines were 4-cane pruned. Some vines were converted to 2-cane pruning for the 2004 harvest. In subsequent seasons, selected bays within the 2- and 4-cane pruned rows were chosen to be converted back to 4- and 2-cane, respectively; hence the vine yield before that conversion can be taken from the 2-2-cane and the 4-4-cane treatments, respectively. 2 Means in the same column, followed by the same letter, are not significantly different (œ=0.05) 1

Figure 3. Predicted and modelled Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay bunch weight using growing degree days (GDD) from September 26 and November 12. Note: Numbers represent the individual harvest years.

Chardonnay bunch weight = -6.7+13.02*mean GDDa from Sept. 26 + 10.7*mean GDDb from Nov. 12 where GDDa are for 28 days from September 26 and GDDb 28 days from November 12.

Conclusion Meteorological information has been used to predict potential Sauvignon Blanc grapevine yield up to 15 months from harvest. This provides the industry with an early warning of fruit supply and enables growers, winemakers and marketers with manage their supply chain accordingly. Attempts to progress the model into other regions and other varieties has proved less successful, possibly reflecting the manipulation of yield through fruit thinning and/or the lower availability of reliable data. How-

ever, temperature-based models appear to be successful in estimating bunch weights at harvest. Yield in the previous growing season can affect the potential fruitfulness of buds, largely reflecting the effect of vine vigour on cane and spur diameters. The bunch number per shoot increased consistently, at approximately 0.15 bunches per mm increase in shoot diameter between 9 and 15 mm. Measuring cane diameter after pruning may be useful at a vineyard level to modify the temperaturebased regional estimate.

Acknowledgements We acknowledge the support of New Zealand Winegrowers in funding this programme and New Zealand wine companies in Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay for supplying historical yield and yield component data.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    123

Sauvignon Blanc fruit yield management Sue Neal, Mike Trought, Dion Mundy, Claire Grose and Emma Sherman Email: mike.trought@plantandfood.co.nz 10-106 The New Zealand Winegrowers funded investigation into the use of machine harvesters to thin grape vines mechanically continues this season. Thinning Sauvignon blanc vines using a machine harvester was successfully undertaken in January 2011 using protocols established in previous growing seasons. The thinning was undertaken shortly after fruit set using a Nairn 1230 LS machine harvester. The harvester belts were removed and wooden panels inserted to direct fruit to the ground beneath the canopy. Three beater rods were set up on each side of the harvester 1.2 to 1.4 m above the ground, allowing a 50-mm pinch between the ends of each beater. A fourth pair of beaters was used approximately 30 cm from the ground to shake the trunk. The beater speed was modified to apply either a light thin (400 strokes/minute) or a

The influence of thinning treatments.

heavy thin (450 strokes/minute). The harvester travelled at 3.2 km/hour. A hand-thinned treatment has been included for comparison. Fruit development has been monitored during development. At the time of writing, soluble solids concentration of the un-thinned treatment is 17.4 °Brix, 1.4° lower than that

of the hand-thinned control (18.7 oBrix), with light and heavy machine thinned treatments being intermediate (17.9 and 18.1 oBrix respectively). Of particular interest is the influence the machine thinning has on berry weight. Machine thinning has reduced the average berry weight compared with that of the handor un-thinned treatments. These responses are similar to those observed in previous seasons. The influences that treatments have on wine composition and disease incidence are being investigated. Note: data contained in this interim report have not been fully analysed and conclusions may be subject to change.

Acknowledgements The assistance of Dominic Pecchenino (Pecchenino Viticultural Consulting) and staff at the Marlborough Wine Research Centre is appreciated.

Leafroll Virus: The appearance of late-season visual symptoms can vary widely By Vaughn Bell, Plant & Food Research Limited, Havelock North 08-116 Introduction Grapevine Leafroll-associated Virus 3 (leafroll virus) is the most widespread and economically important disease affecting New Zealand vineyards. In red grape varieties, it is visually characterised by dark red downward curling leaves with green veins (Figure 1). For those looking to remove (rogue) selectively only infected vines, there is currently limited knowledge of best practice and few data to guide and affirm those decisions that are made. New Zealand Winegrowers, supported by Plant & Food Research, have in the last



18 months embarked on a research project aimed at better understanding the dynamics of leafroll virus. The goal of this three-year study is to determine if a focus on mealybug management, visual virus monitoring and roguing can reduce leafroll virus incidence to an economically sustainable point (say, to <1.0% of vines). Achieving this goal relies not only on growers knowing how to manage the disease and its vector, mealybugs, but also on knowing when to start looking for disease symptoms. Within individual blocks, the appearance of leafroll virus symptoms is probably

determined by a range of factors operating simultaneously, such as vine age, the time of virus acquisition, soil type, crop load and vine vigour. Indeed, the variety may also influence the time at which visual symptoms appear. As strong indicators of leafroll virus, infected Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc tend to be the first with symptoms and in Hawke’s Bay, they usually appear early in March. The difficulty with using visual cues as indicators of leafroll virus is that within a single variety block, the symptoms in some vines appear early, while in others, symptoms are delayed. Therefore starting the process of virus iden-

tification at the wrong time can be counterproductive to the goal of virus elimination. With only loose protocols to guide decisions, Hawke’s Bay growers currently survey their vineyards for leafroll virus between early March and leaf-fall, in early to mid April, depending on the variety. When embarking on this programme, all infected vines with visual symptoms must be found and removed to minimise risk to healthy neighbouring vines. Underpinning this process is one of effective and ongoing mealybug control. Given the uncertainty around the time at which leafroll virus symptoms appear and the implications of the within-block variability on the effectiveness for virus management, two questions were asked: Do the numbers of vines in a block with visual symptoms of leafroll virus alter during the latter part of the season and if so, what is the extent of the difference? Is there an optimal timeframe within which visual identification of leafroll virus should commence and cease?

Methods Visual identification for leafroll virus was undertaken on two separate occasions in nine Hawke’s Bay study blocks. The average number of vines per block was 1,977 (±SEM 269; range: 1,045 to 3,262). During the first round of visits between 4 and 13 March 2011, we visually identified infected vines, tied flagging tape around the trunk and recorded the number of infections observed in each block. This process was repeated during the second round of visits undertaken between 31 March and 6 April (22 to 28 days later).

Results and Discussion In all nine study blocks, there were additional vines identified with leafroll virus during the second visit that were either not present or not identified during the first visit (Figure 2). In three blocks, two of which were planted in Cabernet Sauvignon (B & I) and one planted in Merlot (J), there were 12 to 85 additional vines identified with leafroll virus. Of these blocks, the earliest inspection date was 9 March 2011, while for the other two blocks, visits occurred on 11 and 13 March. The largest variability was observed in the Cabernet Sauvignon of block B. During the first visit on 9 March, 81 vines were recorded with visual symptoms of leafroll virus; 28 days later, 85 additional vines were recorded, resulting in a 51% increase in

Figure 1. A leafroll virus-infected grapevine characterised by the dark red downward curling leaves with green veins.

the number of infected vines observed. In most of the study blocks, the finding of the additional infected vines during the second visit could have had implications for the short- to medium-term success of leafroll virus management. For example, failure to identify and then remove the late-season infected vines in the same year means that in the presence of mealybugs, these sources of infection continue to pose a risk to healthy neighbouring vines. In circumstances where mealybugs are controlled and maintained in low numbers, say equivalent to or fewer than five mealybugs for every 100 leaves inspected (≤0.05), the risk of virus spread to nearby vines is likely to be minimal. In 2011, however, there were six blocks where numbers ranged from 20 to 226 mealybugs for every 100 leaves inspected. Although some of the blocks might have had a relatively small reservoir of infected vines, high mealybug abundance could have resulted in leafroll virus transmission to neighbouring healthy vines, thus confounding efforts to eliminate the disease quickly. Although the results of this two-stage process revealed some variability between visits, grape variety had no apparent influence on the timing at which disease symptoms were observed. In the Merlot, for example, there was a 42% increase in the number of vines in block A identified with leafroll virus between visits whilst in block H, the increase was 14%. Interestingly, there was little difference in the timing to either block for the first or second

visit, while both blocks used clone 6 planted in 1997 on rootstock SO4. It is likely that other factors such as crop load or vine vigour played a role in determining the timing of the appearance of leafroll virus symptoms. With monitoring in this study limited to a single Malbec and a single Cabernet Franc block, it remains unclear if the relatively small increase in the number of infected vines between visits was linked to variety or instead to factors peculiar to each site (e.g. vine age, water stress, vine vigour, crop load). Based on our observations, identification undertaken before mid March generally increased the risk of missing vines that had no visual symptoms at the time of monitoring or if present, the symptoms were so poorly developed (on a few leaves only?) that they might have been easily missed. Conversely, delaying identification too long is also inherently risky. In Hawke’s Bay, the potential for frosts in early to mid April are ever-present and should one eventuate, the resulting rapid leaf loss would compromise any ability to visually identify and rogue infected vines.

The future Our intention is to repeat this two-stage identification process in Hawke’s Bay in 2012 but unlike 2011, the interval between visits will be narrowed to about 2 weeks. By deferring the process until 20 or 25 March, and comparing the results with those of 2011, our aim is to be able to determine an optimal start time that

NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    125

allows for the identification of most, if not all, vines with symptoms of leafroll virus.

Interim recommendations The success of leafroll virus identification, and the subsequent roguing programme, rests on the ability to detect visual symptoms of the disease reliably in most, if not all, infected vines. The risk of missing infected vines substantially increases the earlier in March the process begins. The timing and the number of visits to red grape blocks is important. Multiple visits to each block are recommended, the first of which should commence no earlier than mid March. Where red grape blocks can be visited only on a single occasion, visual identification should not commence until late March or where possible, early April. In Hawke’s Bay at least, the risk of frost increases from early to mid April, so until the identification process is complete and all infected vines are tagged for later removal,

Figure 2. The number of vines observed with leafroll virus symptoms in nine Hawke’s Bay study blocks in early to mid March (gold columns) compared with the number of new infections observed in the same blocks during a second visit 3 to 4 weeks later (black columns). Red dots are the average number of mealybugs per leaf found on 2526 March 2011 (n=400 leaves per block).

weather forecasts should be regularly monitored. Mealybugs too are a critical element to managing the incidence and spread of leafroll virus successfully. Where appropriate, we suggest the instigation (or continuation) of an

annual mealybug spray programme and suggest that for all vineyard operators, this task assumes priority status. Current best practice is outlined in “Mealybug Control with Insecticides”, Fact Sheet NZVE104, October 2009. It can be viewed at NZW website: http://wineinf.nzwine. com/research.asp We recommend that where appropriate growers adopt the full mealybug insecticide spray programme, which includes a pre-budburst Tokuthion® and two pre-flowering applications of buprofezin (e.g. Applaud®). The recommended spray volume for Tokuthion® and buprofezin is to use no less than 1,000 litres of spray mix per hectare. An incomplete and low water volume mealybug spray programme is unlikely to provide the coverage and the wetting necessary to penetrate the many hiding places on a vine where mealybugs are commonly found early in the season, such as in cracks and crevices on old wood and under the bark.

Web programming the botrytis decision support model Rob Beresford, Plant & Food Research, Mt Albert Research Centre 10-104 As early as veraison in the 2010-2011 season, high risk of botrytis for the 2011 vintage was being predicted for Hawke’s Bay and some parts of Marlborough by the Botrytis Decision Support website. Longer wetness periods than last year from flowering to veraison indicated higher risk, which had the potential to translate into greater botrytis losses if early-season canopy management and fungicide sprays were not kept up. These botrytis predictions were available to a trial group of vineyard managers in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough who were evaluating the Botrytis Decision Support website. The website is the new delivery platform



for the botrytis prediction models, which were developed by Plant & Food Research and fieldtested in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne vineyards during the 2009-10 season. The web development project, which runs until November 2011, is jointly funded by New Zealand Winegrowers and Plant & Food Research. HortPlusTM has been contracted to do the web programming. The Botrytis Decision Support website offers much more than a prediction system for botrytis. It is a powerful information system that tracks vineyard blocks over seasons and remembers every input and prediction made by the model. Virtual vineyard blocks are created and managed in the ‘block overview’ part

of the website along with a summary of the model’s predictions. Each block represents a physical entity that exists permanently within the website database. Groups of blocks can be created representing, say, a large vineyard, a wine company or a region. Weather data are used to run the model’s algorithms that predict botrytis risk early in the season (flowering to veraison), as well as berry sugar and botrytis development late in the season (veraison to harvest). When multiple vineyard blocks are being monitored, the model’s predictions can be listed in user-chosen priority order, e.g., by predicted early-season botrytis risk, predicted

date for target oBrix, or predicted botrytis severity. The stored information for different years can be easily accessed to compare stage dates and botrytis risk between seasons. If “SprayLog” software is being used, the

list of grape blocks for any one grower can be imported directly into the Botrytis Decision Support website. Over time, the data collected by the Botrytis Decision Support website will develop into a valuable information resource. It will

provide individual users with historical data about their vineyard blocks, growth stages, crop maturation, disease management and seasonal botrytis. It will also allow industrywide analysis of trends in vine phenology, botrytis severity and disease management.

Cryopreservation and cryotherapy of grapevine for a sustainable wine industry Ranjith Pathirana1, Francesco Carimi2 and Bart Panis3 10-107 When importing plant material from overseas, ensuring that plant tissue is free of microbial contaminants is important to protect the wine industry from potentially dev-

astating diseases. Currently, this is done by holding plants in quarantine for several years for virus indexing. New methods of storing plant tissue that also eradicate viruses would


add protection and make importation of new plants more efficient. Cryopreservation is the storage of living cells, tissues, organs or organisms at ultra


B Figure 1. Transfer of grapevine to in vitro conditions: a) Initiation of growth from axillary buds in basal media supplemented with cytokinin, b) Shoot growth from subcultured two-nodal cuttings and c) Rooting of tissue cultured plant.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    127

A Figure 2. Steps in cryopreservation of grapevine by droplet vitrification: (a) Grapevine plant material ready for use, (b) Explants treated with PVS 2 solution ready for cryotreatment on sterile aluminium foil, (c) Explants placed in liquid nitrogen in cryo vials, (d) Explants plated on recovery media after LN treatment, (e) explants plated on regeneration media after 24 h on recovery plates, (f) Regeneration of axillary bud of ‘Riesling’ after cryopreservation (4 weeks in culture).

low temperatures, usually in liquid nitrogen (LN) at -196oC. It is considered to be the only technique currently available to ensure the safe and cost-effective long-term conservation of the germplasm of vegetatively propagated plant species. Countries have recognised its importance – for example, the European Union is funding the collective research of several laboratories to understand the fundamentals, as well as to develop practical cryopreservation strategies for selected crop species under COST Action 871. Cryotherapy is a new method that has evolved from cryopreservation for pathogen eradication. The principal of cryotherapy is based on the fact that only the fast-dividing pathogen-free cells in the shoot tips (meristems) survive and pathogen infected cells in older tissue are eliminated during LN treatment. Among several examples, eradication of Grapevine Virus A in grapevine has already been demonstrated. The aim of our current project is to develop robust cryopreservation techniques for Vitis sp. and test the applicability of the method to eradication of viruses of the leafroll group. Cryopreservation procedures are now available for many different plant species, but, until now, protocols needed to be empirically adapted for each species and tissue type. Initially, controlled rate cooling was the only available technique. Since then encapsulation (the plant tissue to be cryopreserved is protected in an alginate bead) and vitrification-based techniques have been successfully adopted. Vitrification is the physical process of transition of an aqueous solution into an





D amorphous and glassy, non-crystalline state. Among several vitrification procedures applied to plants, droplet vitrification – where the plant tissue is placed on an aluminium foil strip and plunged directly into liquid nitrogen giving rise to cooling rates of 130°C/s – is considered as a universal method applicable to many plant species. Therefore, we are working towards developing a droplet vitrification technique for grapevine. In addition, we are also working on other methods and combinations of approaches as alternate options to increase the plant recovery after LN treatment. The aim of this project is to develop cryopreservation protocols for Vitis species, and to apply them to eradicate virus from infected vines. Cryopreservation has been successfully used in several other clonally propagated crops, and collections have been established in banana, raspberry and hop, potato, elm and mint, garlic, apple, pear and prunus. The largest collection is one of over 2500 apple accessions in cryostorage at NCGRP at Fort Collins in the USA. In addition, Japan has a large collection of mulberry cultivars, and India’s National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources has six tropical fruit species and a collection of tea in cryogenic storage. Nearly 100 apple accessions in the Geneva collection have been rescued from loss because of severe fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) infection by grafting cryopreserved dormant buds. Some countries, such as Finland, are considering changes to their guidelines on certified plant material to incorporate the advantages of cryopreservation, and other European countries may follow. Virus eradication by this method would enable the New Zealand wine industry to import germplasm using less rigorous quarantine procedures and prevent entry and spread of new and unknown viruses and other pests and diseases into the country by eliminating them from vegetative tissues. This will also provide the industry with a novel, costeffective way to maintain clonal material away from the field, avoiding the biotic and abiotic factors that are a constant threat to the fieldmaintained collections. Long-term storage of germplasm under cryogenic conditions is much safer and cheaper. Therefore, in addition to cryotherapy, the work in progress will facilitate the establishment of a cryobank of high-health grapevine material in New Zealand.



NZ WINEGROWER  AUG/SEP 2011  //    129

We use buds from greenhouse-raised plants to initiate in vitro cultures, and shoots from surface sterilised nodal cuttings are produced from basal media supplemented with cytokinin. These shoots are then subcultured on to basal media free of plant growth regulators and rooted (Fig. 1). Both virus-free and infected material is multiplied in this way. We have also used somatic embryos (embryos from non-reproductive tissue that represent the clonal identity) of grapevine in our cryopreservation research. In experiments conducted at the Laboratory of Tropical Crop Improvement in Leuven, Belgium, we have successfully cryopreserved shoot tips and axillary buds of a popular cultivar from Sicily ‘Nero d’Avola’, popular New Zealand cultivars ‘Sauvignon Blanc’, ‘Pinot Noir’ and ‘Riesling’, and also an endangered wild grape species V. vinifera ssp. sylvestris by the droplet vitrification method. Using both mature and immature somatic embryos, we successfully cryopreserved the table grape cultivar ‘Superior’ and wine grape ‘Frappato’, also by droplet vitrification. Different steps in the droplet vitrification method of cryopreservation as applied to grapevine are shown in Fig. 2. When regeneration rates of different explant tissues used in cryopreservation are compared, somatic embryos have shown better regeneration rates than shoot tips or



axillary buds after the droplet vitrification procedure. Although we recovered plants after droplet vitrification, the recovery rates are relatively low, varying from 0 to 21% in different experiments, depending on the explant and the genotype. To increase plant recovery, we are now using different pre-treatments on donor plants as well as explants (shoot tips and axillary buds) to impart tolerance to ultracold temperatures and dehydration. For example, we grow donor plants in media supplemented with chemicals known to increase plant tolerance to stress factors and we also treat the shoot tips and axillary buds from these plants to increasing levels of sucrose in media. We plan to use chemicals known to facilitate plant growth after stress in postLN treatments. The improved droplet vitrification protocol will then be compared with already established methods such as encapsulation dehydration and encapsulation vitrification for its effectiveness in virus eradication. When recovered from cryopreservation, the virus-infected material included in our cryopreservation experiments will be greenhouse acclimated and virus indexed in comparative tests with infected parent material to understand the efficiency of cryotherapy as applied to leafroll viruses.

Acknowledgements We thank Angela Carra (Palermo), Edwige Andre (Leuven), Sriya Pathirana, Andrew Mullen, Emmanuelle Thonnat and Morgane Grasselly (Palmerston North) for assistance. This work is part of COST Action 871, CRYOPLANET (Cryopreservation of Crop Species in Europe) approved and funded by European Science foundation. Work in Belgium was funded in part by the Royal Society of New Zealand through a travel grant to Ranjith Pathirana. The work in New Zealand is funded by New Zealand Winegrowers. Bart Panis gratefully acknowledges the Directorate General for Development Cooperation (DGDC), Belgium through grants, Bioversity International and the Global Diversity Trust for their encouragements and financial support. The work in Italy is funded by Regione Siciliana, Assessorato Agricoltura e Foreste, project “Risorse Genetiche Vegetali”. 1) The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, Batchelar Rd, Palmerston North 4474, New Zealand. 2) Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Genetica Vegetale, U.O.S. di Palermo, Corso Calatafimi 414, I-90129 Palermo, Italia. 3) Laboratory of Tropical Crop Improvement, Department of Biosciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven), 3001 Leuven, Belgium.

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