J U LY 2 0 E/
110 ISSUE JU
NEW ZEALAND WINEGROWER
THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF NEW ZEALAND WINEGROWERS
PAY I NG I T B ACK
T H E W I N E S TAT ION
G R A PE DAY S
JUN E/ JU LY 2018 I SSU E 11 0
GIN vs W INE
66 R E GUL A R S
NZ wine a star in the UK
While most of the big wine producing countries saw wine volumes fall in the UK market, New Zealand enjoyed double digit off trade growth and was the only country in growth in the on-trade. That’s the result from Accolade Wines’ Wine Nation survey.
From the CEO
News from around the country
Bob Campbell MW
The industry well knows the impact attending ProWein in Germany can have on sales. But what about ProWine China? We take a look at why New Zealand wineries should be considering this event in 2019.
Is sparkling wine the ultimate challenge?
With the NZSVO Sparkling workshop coming up later this year, we put the above question to two of the guest speakers, Ed Carr and Louisa Rose from Australia.
44 Women in Wine
Angela Clifford – Tongue in Groove
48 Biosecurity Update
Dr Edwin Massey
Wine Events in New Zealand
The latest science projects funded by NZ Winegrowers
Front Cover: Pegasus Bay Wines. SUPPLIED BY NZW
E D I TO R Tessa Nicholson email@example.com
FROM THE EDITOR TESSA NICHOLSON
CO R R E SP O N D E NTS Auckland: Joelle Thomson firstname.lastname@example.org Hawkes Bay: Olly Styles email@example.com Nelson: Neil Hodgson firstname.lastname@example.org Central Otago: Jean Grierson email@example.com
A DV E R T I SI N G Sales Manager & Upper North Island: Stephen Pollard firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 09 913 9637 Mobile: 021 963 166 Central North Island: Ted Darley email@example.com Ph: 07 854 6292 Mobile: 021 832 505 Lower North Island: Ron Mackay Ph: 04 234 6239 Mobile: 021 453 914 South Island: Kaye Sutherland firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 03 376 5552 Mobile: 021 221 1994
C I R C U L AT I O N & SUBSCRIPTIONS Jodi Blair email@example.com Ph: 09 303 3527, ext 0 Fax: 09 302 2969 Mobile: 0277 00 2371 New Zealand Winegrowers PO Box 90 276, Auckland Mail Centre, New Zealand
PUBLISHING & P R E - P R E SS Rural News Group PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Ph: 09 307 0399 Location: Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Publisher: Brian Hight Managing Editor: Adam Fricker Production: Dave Ferguson, Rebecca Williams
Published by Rural News Group Ltd under authority of New Zealand Winegrowers Inc. Unless directly attributed, opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of Rural News Group and/or its directors or management, New Zealand Winegrowers Inc. or its constituent organisations. Published every second month. One free copy is mailed to every member of the New Zealand Winegrowers Inc, the New Zealand Society of Viticulture & Oenology and the New Zealand Vine Improvement Group, and to such other persons or organisations as directed by the owners, with provision for additional copies and other recipients to be on a subscription basis.
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
THE GOOD AND THE BAD NEWS
wo reports out of the UK in recent weeks have some great news for New Zealand wine producers and some warnings that need to be taken on board. The first report from Accolade Wines, shows that New Zealand is doing remarkably well in terms of wine sales in this all-important market. Despite overall wine sales being down, New Zealand sales have risen, both in volume and value. In fact the Wine Nation report describes New Zealand as the “origin on the rise”. Not only in the off-trade, but also the on-trade. New Zealand leads the way with an average of £4.90 for a 175ml glass of wine, taking over from Spain as the highest price origin in the on-trade. Not only did our price increase per glass, but we also increased in volume. It is something to be proud of. But the more sobering news, is the fact that while we are on the rise, we are bucking the overall trend. Wine consumption is down in the UK, as it is in large tracts of Europe, according to a Nielsen report. Globally the growth in the next 18 months in wine consumption is expected to rise by 1.2 percent – but that is a slightly skewed forecast, given the majority of that increase is due to the markets of China and Russia only. Volume sales are also expected to rise by 2020 by 1.9 percent, yet again bolstered by sales to China and Russia. In the UK, the amount of money spent on wine dropped in 2017 by £6.5 million dollars. That’s an awful lot of bottles. So where is the money being spent? Well mostly on craft beer and gin – the latest trend to capture the attention of
consumers, especially younger consumers. There has always been a fear that the next generation coming along will not be induced to follow in the steps of their parents, in terms of alcoholic beverage choices. And the sudden rise of gin in the UK is maybe testament to the truth of that belief. It is not a new kid on the block, let’s face it, a gin and tonic is as British as you could possibly get when it comes to drinks. After all Prime Minister Jacinda Adern took a bottle of boutique gin, made in Marlborough, not a case of wine, for the Duchess of Cornwall, on her recent trip to Britain. But it is the increase in styles of gin that has led to gin parties, gin bars and an array of flavoured gins. Distillery numbers in the UK rose to 315 earlier this year, that is double the number five years ago. Craft gins are providing consumers with a range of choices on how to drink the spirit. And consumers are lapping it up, viewing gin in much the same way as their craft beer counterparts, seeking out new and exciting brands. That leaves wine producers with a problem that needs to be faced. How do they get back in sync with consumers, and encourage them to feel the same excitement about wine as they do about craft beer and gin? How do they stop the decline in volume sales and how do they attract a new consumer base – particularly those younger consumers who have yet to be lured into the world of wine? While we can deservedly pat ourselves on the back about the rise in volume and value of our wine in the UK, we can’t ignore that we have some work ahead of us to ensure we stay in front of the pack.
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FROM THE CEO
IT’S YOUR BOARD SO GET INVOLVED!
ater this year there will be an election for the Board of NZ Winegrowers. As the representative body of and for New Zealand’s 1,400 plus winegrowers, NZW will deliver the best outcomes for the industry when each and every member plays their part in the electoral process … that’s when democracy will work best for you. Board elections occur once every two years, with five positions up for election each time. This year the five Levy Class Director positions on the Board will be contested, while the five Member Class Directors come up for vote in 2020. Because it is the Levy Class election, the number of votes each member has is based on their levy payments in the past year. In the Member Class election in 2020 for the five Member Class Director positions the voting system is different – effectively one member, one vote. The upcoming vote will be conducted on-line as it was in 2018. The system is simple and easy to use for votes and worked well in 2018. So as an industry member how do you become involved in the election? There are a number of steps to take – all are simple but important. The first, and probably most important, is making sure you are eligible to vote and to stand for election. Each member of NZW, no matter how large or small, has 1 person who can cast votes in an NZW election. This
is the same person who also can stand for election to the Board. A list of these voters is held at the NZW office – to make sure you are on the list simply give us a call and we will check for you. Second, as with any election
standing yourself, ask yourself if you know another member who you think may be a good candidate for the Board. If you do consider nominating the person, after you have spoken to them of course! Once all the nominations are
Last time just 437 of our 1,412 members voted (ie 31 percent) … in other words 69 percent of members or nearly 1,000 did not vote! Given NZW is your organisation, spending levies paid by you, this was a disappointing turnout – please help us do better this time. there is a process of nomination. A member can nominate any other member (ie any other person eligible to vote and stand for election) to stand for the Board. The nominations need to be received at the time that nominations close – this date/ time will be specified when the call for nominations is sent to members. So if you are a member, you need to think about whether you are interested in standing for the Board election. If you are, all you need to do is find another member to nominate you and to get the nomination in by the due date. If you are not interested in
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
in the campaign begins. In 2018 a booklet was circulated to the industry outlining the candidates and their views. Candidates were also offered the opportunity to record a video message and this was placed on the election page of nzwine. com. We will be adopting the same process again this year. Voting, as noted above, will be held on-line. The voting period will last about two weeks (it must last at least seven days). Voters will receive several reminders to vote … and apologies in advance because it is a secret ballot even if you have voted you will receive the reminder simply because we do not know who has and has not
voted! As noted, this year the voting system is levy based – the number of votes you have is based on the levies you have paid as at a certain specified date. What this means is that if you are behind in your levy payments to NZW this will reduce the number of votes you will be able to cast – so keep your levy payments up to date if you want to have your full say in the election. We hope in this 2018 election to get a better turnout than in 2016. Last time just 437 of our 1,412 members voted (ie 31 percent) … in other words 69 percent of members or nearly 1,000 did not vote! Given NZW is your organisation, spending levies paid by you, this was a disappointing turnout – please help us do better this time. From a levy perspective in the 2016 election, 6.1 million levy votes were cast, representing just over 77% of the total eligible levy votes. This is a better turnout than the number of members but it still means that 1.8 million levy votes were not cast. Again, hopefully we will do better this time. Now is the time to start thinking about how you want to get involved in the upcoming election. NZ Winegrowers is the organisation that aims to represent the best interests of growers and wineries - to create enduring value for members. I can’t think of a better reason to make sure you get involved in the upcoming election.T
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BRIT’s 2019 International Sustainable Winegrowing Competition THIS UNIQUE competition, in its ninth year, honours wine organizations that demonstrate a commitment to the three tenets of sustainability (environmental, economic, and social) in winegrowing and winemaking. The competition is based on the continuous improvement of these tenets, plus wine taste. The 2019 sustainable winegrowing competition began on May 1 and runs through until September 30, 2018. Competition applications can be downloaded from BRIT’s web site at www.brit.org/ wineaward. The sustainable winegrowing application is comprised of 20 high-level, self-assessment questions, plus a subjective assessment – wine taste. Two bottles of wine are submitted along with the completed application. There is no fee to enter.
Winetopia Returns JOURNEY DEEPER into the uncorked world of New Zealand wine and sample a growing array of deep reds and world-class whites from 60 impressive wineries, at WInetopia 2018. This year’s programme features expert ‘Share a Glass’ talks and tasting masterclasses presented by some leading wine personalities, including Mike Bennie and Nick Stock from Australia, and New Zealand MW’s Bob Campbell and Stephen Wong. Winetopia will be held in Auckland at Shed 10 , June 22 and 23 and in Wellington at the TSB Bank Arena, June 29 - 30. There will be three sessions in each city; Friday from 5:00pm - 8:30pm, Saturday from 12:00pm - 3:30pm and 4:30pm - 8:00pm.
NATIONAL New Chair for NZW Board GISBORNE GRAPE grower John Clarke has been elected chair of New Zealand Winegrowers. Clarke has more than 40 years’ experience in the grape and wine industry. A former Gisborne mayor, he has previously served for 10 years as the chairman of Gisborne Winegrowers and joined the New Zealand Winegrowers Board in 2006. He has been deputy chair since 2012. He takes over from Steve Green, who has been NZ Winegrowers chair for the past six years and stands down following the sale of his Central Otago winery Carrick. Green will remain a Board member until the upcoming election in September. A new deputy chair will be elected at the next New Zealand Winegrowers Board meeting.
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
New Zealand Organic Wine Award Winners 2018 Riedel Vineyard of the Year - Terrace Edge. Riedel Wine of the Show - Carrick Josephine Riesling 2017 Vintec Sustainable Vineyard of the Year -Millton Champion Pinot Noir: Black Estate Netherwood Pinot Noir 2015 Champion Sauvignon Blanc: Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Champion Riesling: Carrick Josephine Riesling 2017 Champion Pinot Gris: Terrace Edge Pinot Gris 2017 Champion Chardonnay: Giesen The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay 2014 Champion Syrah: Terrace Edge Syrah 2016 Champion Rose: Villa Maria Single Vineyard Braided Gravels Organic Rose 2017 Champion Sparkling: Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2013
The people’s choice THE INAUGURAL Favourite New Zealand Wine Brand in the Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2017: People’s Choice Award has gone to Marlborough based Yealands Family Wines. Giving individual wine drinkers across the country the opportunity to vote for their favourite brand was a first for the annual prestigious wine competition and Angela Willis, Manager of Global Events at NZ Winegrowers, was delighted by how many New Zealanders supported the new initiative. “We initiated the People’s Choice as we wanted to engage Kiwi wine drinkers in the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and acknowledge the vital role they play supporting the New Zealand winemaking industry,” she says. “We are delighted with the level of support we received this year and it was heartening to see so many wineries supporting the voting and so many Kiwi wine lovers getting involved. Congratulations to Yealands for collecting the inaugural People’s Choice Award. ”
Supporting Forest and Bird TOI TOI Wines is collaborating with Forest & Bird to help support conservation of the natural New Zealand environment by donating $1 to Forest & Bird for every bottle of Toi Toi Sauvignon Blanc that was sold anywhere in the world between Friday 4 May – Friday 11 May 2018. The beginning of the partnership coincided with International Sauvignon Day, which was on May 4. Toi Toi Sales and Marketing Manager, Samantha Joyce said “preserving and improving the New Zealand environment is a cause close to our heart, as the Toi Toi wine range is inspired by New Zealand’s nature”.
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NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 9
Gin – wine’s ruin? Te s s a N i c h o l s o n
ou would have had to be hiding under a rock for the past 12 months not to have heard about the exponential rise of gin, as an alcoholic beverage of choice. Where once you might have seen half a dozen brands on any liquor store shelf, now you can find three times as many. It is Britain that is leading the way, with reports earlier this year of 315 distilleries in the country, which is more than double that of five years ago. As consumers fall in love with gin all over again,
overall sales rose in the UK by 20 percent in just 12 months. What does this mean for sales of wine in the same market? Well according to Sarah Benson, an MW student, who is also the wine buyer for The Co-op in the UK, (a company that has nine percent of the off-trade market and a total of 2800 stores), it is a warning for wine producers everywhere. Speaking at the Lallemand Oenology conference in Blenheim in May, Benson had some startling facts to back up her warning. Drawing from facts from a Neilsen survey of the Global
The rise of gin in the UK is one of the reasons younger consumers may be avoiding wine.
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
Wine Market, she said volume sales are expected to grow by 1.9 percent by 2020. As she said, at least that is a sign of growth, but she warned that it is coming from two very definite markets. “It is influenced by the Chinese and Russian markets. Throughout Europe, and this is countries with a long tradition of wine production such as France and Spain, there are heavy declines in terms of the consumption of wine. Also in markets like the UK.” If Russia and China were taken out of the equation, Benson said,
then the volume sales growth would look a bit dire. “We have been relying on that growth in the Asian markets in particular, to bolster sales, and not perhaps having enough of a wake-up call in terms of the decline we are heading into.” Global consumption of wine is up, 1.2 percent, but again the majority of that growth is coming out of Asia. Consumption of wine in America is flat, and in Europe it is down. In her words, gin and beer are the wine world’s greatest competition.
“In The Co-op in the last 12 months, our gin sales have gone up by 65 percent. I can’t say the same for wine sales. In the total UK market in the last 12 months, we have lost £6.5 million of spend that was previously going into wine.” There are many reasons touted for the rise of both beverages. The craft beer scene throughout the world has grown exponentially and the arrival of gin bars, parties and menus along with an increasing number of flavoured tipples is attracting younger consumers. And this is where Benson says wine producers need to start working. They need to seriously attract younger consumers. “If we are not careful and the older shoppers drop off we might end up with an even smaller market to sell out wine to.” Benson pointed out that 85 percent of the spend value of wine in the UK market is coming from those over the age of 45.
THE UK FACTS GIN SALES at The Co-op in the UK rose by 65 percent in past 12 months. The UK market has lost £6.5 million of wine spend in the past 12 months. 20 percent of all UK consumers under the age of 25 describe themselves as tee total 85 percent of the spend value of wine comes from those aged over 45. In The Co-op wine aisles, the average time spent deciding on what wine to pick up is 7 seconds. Consumers on average make 273 shopping trips a year – but only 14 percent of those include a wine purchase. The average alcohol consumption rate in the UK is two times a week.
Only 16.6 percent of shoppers under the age of 34 are purchasing wine. Just over half when compared with the shoppers over the age of 65. There is also a marked increase in the number of young people dropping out of drinking
alcohol completely. Twenty percent of all consumers under the age of 25 identify themselves as tee total. The figures provide the wakeup call Benson believes the wine industry needs. “We have to change that. How
do we get people to stay in wine, be excited by wine, want to spend more on wine and (how do we) attract younger consumers?” She had some ideas, for turning the table. For example, she believes wine producers have to take on board what craft brewers have done to improve their sales. “The beer producers are much more open about talking about how they have made their beer. Maybe there isn’t enough conversation about the winemaking side going on at consumer levels to make them interested in wine as a craft beverage. “At the end of the day, we are talking about an agricultural product that varies every single year and yet we are not, for whatever reason communicating that to consumers.” Food for thought.T • We will have more from Sarah Benson in the next issue of NZ Winegrower, regarding her project that considers whether critics and buyers are in tune with consumers.
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 11
NZ wine a star in the UK Te s s a N i c h o l s o n
“VOLUME FELL but value rose overall, influenced in part by rising prices and taxes but also by a discernible shift among consumers towards choosing quality over quantity.” That is the opening line of the Executive Summary of Accolade Wines Wine Nation for 2017. This exclusive project charts the drinking habits of the UK’s regular wine drinkers – that is those that drink wine at least twice a month. The project has been running since 2006. The in-depth report follows
a survey of 8,000 regular wine drinkers in the UK and the results are good news for New Zealand wine. “French wine continued to dominate on-trade values but the origin on the rise was New Zealand which gained 13.3 percent, while France fell by 4 percent,” the report states. And it was not only in the on-trade that New Zealand shone. In the off-trade, “again New Zealand was the star performer increasing value by 12.2 percent.”
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
In terms of styles of wine being drunk in the on-trade, it is still wine that leads the way, with 87.4 percent of all those surveyed saying they drank still wine, although that is down by 7.1 percent compared with 2016. Breaking that down further, 53.3 percent of all still wine sold in the on-trade was white, 37.5 was red and 9.2 was Rosé. Sparkling wine (namely Prosecco) makes up 9.5 percent of the on-trade share, up 23.3 percent and Champagne makes up
just 2.4 percent, down 11.7. In terms of the off-trade, the figures from 2017 show that the volume of wine sales has fallen (with the exception of Prosecco which is still undergoing massive popularity), but the value is up. The report states; “as consumers drink less frequently, they are nevertheless spending more, choosing brands of known quality.” It is interesting to note that New Zealand led the way in terms of value increases – up 13.3
In 2017, New Zealand overtook Spain as the highest priced origin in the on-trade, at an average £4.90 for a 175ml glass, yet sold 6.7 percent more volume while also achieving the best gain of 13.3 percent.
percent. The next closest was Argentina which saw values rise by 6 percent, while Italy’s value rose by 0.2 percent. As mentioned earlier some of the rise in value has to do with taxes; but Wine Nation’s summary on the UK Drinks Landscape is worthy reading. 2017 began with the average price of a 750ml bottle of wine rising above the £5.50 mark for the first time in UK history. The effect of Brexit – pushing down the value of the pound and driving up the cost of imports – was to send wine prices up by 3 percent in the 12 weeks to the end of 2016, compared to 1 percent over the previous two years. Then in March the Chancellor added another 8p in duty with the biggest tax increase since 2013. Duty on wine has risen by 50 percent in the last 10 years from £1.46 on a 750ml bottle in 2008 to £2.16 in 2017. While the wine
industry has tried to absorb the rising costs as much as possible in its pricing, the effect is inevitably being seen in the shops, bars and restaurants. The rising prices have hit sales volumes but values have held, and indeed risen in the off-trade. This is to be expected as prices inflate but there is evidence that wine drinkers are looking upmarket in their choice. By looking at value share per price brand we can see that value has actually fallen in the bottom three price brands, including the most popular £4 - £4.99 and £5 £5.99 bands, but risen in the next three bands, with a 23.7 percent value increase in the £7 - £9.99 band. This trend is echoed somewhat in the on-trade performance of New Zealand wines. In 2017, New Zealand overtook Spain as the highest priced origin in the on-trade, at an average £4.90 for a 175ml glass, yet sold
6.7 percent more volume while also achieving the best gain of 13.3 percent. Evidently price is not dissuading customers from buying quality when the product is right. Alongside the 8,000 regular wine drinkers whose survey results have been collated, Wine Nation also drew on other research that logged information from a more general sample of adults, including non-wine drinkers, to gain a better understanding of potential markets. The report breaks UK drinkers down into eight separate groups; Newbies, Strong Prospects, Occasionals, Economisers, Confident Enthusiasts, Routiners, Engaged Explorers and Experts. Newbies are described as just beginning to take an interest in wine. Strong prospects are still relatively new but have developed a strong interest. Occasionals are infrequent drinkers saving their wine for
special occasions. Economisers base their choice mainly on price, past experience and recommendation. Confident enthusiasts – interest and knowledge is high and growing. Routiners – wine is a staple, though they don’t regard it with any great reverence. Engaged explorers – regular wine drinkers with an interest in expanding their knowledge. And Experts are those that are very knowledgeable about wine. The largest of these groups is the Newbies – which make up 24 percent of the regular wine drinkers. Second is Strong Prospects with 18 percent, with Experts coming in at 8th with just 4 percent. But that graph is turned on its head when it comes to off-trade value, with the Experts making up 23 percent of purchases and the Newbies just 5 percent. Again things are different when it comes to the on-trade.T
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NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 13
REGIONS – MARLBOROUGH
Full circle Te s s a N i c h o l s o n
ack in 1996, Rhyan Wardman arrived back in New Zealand to a job overseeing the building of Seresin Estate’s new winery. Twenty-two years later, he now owns that winery with good friend and fellow winemaker Ben Glover. Both men have recently purchased the Marlborough winery, along with 8ha of land, (three in vines) based just out of Renwick. The irony of purchasing a winery he helped oversee being built is not lost of Wardman – as he admits – he can’t complain about anything. “That is the remarkable thing,” he says, “nothing has really changed. I walk through and it feels like a bit of a time warp. It makes me pause every so often,
because it really is as I left it. It’s very functional and in a lovely setting. There are a few improvements we will want to make, and also some expansion, but this location is priceless.” Glover is quick to quip that he will be letting him know if there are any winery shortcomings. Both Glover and Wardman are graduates of the Lincoln Viticulture and Oenology course, graduating in 93 and 94. Both finished the course to undertake vintages overseas, and both came to Marlborough to follow their New Zealand careers. Glover firstly at Wither Hills where he was the assistant and then chief winemaker, over a 15-year period, followed by a stint as chief New Zealand winemaker for Mud House Wines. Wardman followed
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
a slightly different path, heading to the UK in 1999 after working for Seresin for three years, to work as a flying winemaker. “For three years I lived out of a suitcase and did projects around the world.” He went on to be a co-founder of Origin Wine in South Africa and also held the position of Wine Director for Constellation Europe. But New Zealand beckoned to him, his wife and children, so in 2009 he came back to work for Indevin, firstly as chief winemaker and later as Chief Operations Officer. In 2015 he became the Marlborough General Manager for the Giesen Group. It’s a big move to purchase a winery, an even greater one to make that winery a contract
facility for organic, small-batch, single-site wines. It may well be the only contract facility in New Zealand gearing itself towards organic production. But as Glover says; “It is all about high quality wines, that express the Marlborough region. We hope our winery will be the place for like-minded producers to collaborate. We see it as a place to innovate, share ideas and push the style boundaries.” As such the name of the winery has been changed to The Coterie. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes Coterie as an intimate and often exclusive group of persons with a unifying common interest or purpose. Very fitting given what Glover and Wardman want to achieve. “It is all about being cohesive
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76 / 17.75 h
77 / 15.6
HML32 / Sulphur
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HML32 / HML Silco
18 / 2.4
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Mean % PM Incidence
13 / 0.65
HML32 / Sulphur a
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Protector 0.5% / Sulphur Mean % PM Severity
34 / 3.55
Percentage Powdery Mildew
6 / 0.4
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HML32 / HML Silco
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and collaborative. What we want to achieve is to get people in to start talking, so their wines can be better, quicker,” Glover says. “A lot of these smaller brands owned by couples or small families, are not always involved in a support network. As well as a facility that you walk in and out of, we want (the clients) to sit down at the kitchen table and talk about issues or whatever they are thinking.” Since the news broke that the couple were purchasing Seresin to establish a contract winemaking facility, the pair have been inundated with enquiries, despite the
fact they were not planning on taking on clients until vintage 2019. “I don’t think that is a surprise,” Wardman says, “because if you look at the contract facilities that exist, they are of a significant scale and some of the small batch winemaking is noise, that maybe they feel they can’t do justice to or have the flexibility to do well enough.” The Coterie’s foundation client will be Seresin Wines, and Wardman is more than excited about being involved with their wines again, albeit being 22 years later.
“I am very excited about the next part of the journey and what it looks like. It is a privilege. In many ways I think it is important for the Seresin brand, that it’s home hasn’t moved.” The other foundation client will be Zephyr Wines, a brand owned by Glover and family members. While that has been made in contract facilities since it was established in 2007, Glover is keen to have it back totally under the one roof, and his control. “Essentially it makes us get back and get more real and more hands on with what we are doing
Ben Glover (left) and Rhyan Wardman – owners of The Coterie.
(with those wines).” The Coterie Winery has a current capacity for 1300 tonnes, but the ability to expand is already being considered. “That 1300 tonne capacity has increased substantially since I was last here,” Wardman admits. “The barrel hall wasn’t here when I worked here, and the production back at that stage was around 300 to 400 tonnes.” “We would like to double the capacity or take it up to 3000 tonnes in the future,” Glover says. “But it has to be a size where we are comfortable that we can run the floor. It will have to be based on demand. When we do grow, it will essentially be organic growth, with those same clients as they grow as well.” For both men, their enthusiasm is palpable. Both can’t wait to get their hands dirty, especially Wardman who has been away from winemaking itself for a number of years. “This is an amazing opportunity to get the boots back on and back into winemaking. I have missed that big time. I just feel very grateful and fortunate to be able to come full circle. But with that comes responsibility. We have to take it to the next level. One of the things that attracted Ben and then myself to this, was what Michael (Seresin) had started and the opportunity to continue on that vision – premium Marlborough wines.”T firstname.lastname@example.org
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ProWein World – the hub of the wine world
roWein is the most important trade fair for wines and spirits worldwide. For a quarter of a century now it has been organised every March in the German metropolis of Düsseldorf bringing the global sector together. Since 2013 ProWein itself has also become an “export hit”. ProWine China is held once a year in Shanghai and focuses on the booming Chinese market. Also joining the portfolio is ProWine Asia held alternately in Hong Kong and Singapore. ProWine China creates a platform both for international dealers and producers and for local suppliers to present themselves, establish contacts and get to know the Chinese market. ProWine China adds new highlights, develops trends and
assumes a key role in the wine trade – optimum conditions to serve as a gateway to China, the world’s number one growth market. The focus at ProWine China is on quantity, quality and variety. 700 exhibitors from 39 countries, 14,219 trade visitors – importers, distributors, retailers and F&B managers participated in ProWine China 2017. Its variety makes it a unique show in Mainland China. Interview with Marius Berlemann, Global Head Wine & Spirits, Director ProWein and Josh Gu, Deputy Project Director, Messe Düsseldorf Shanghai First, how did ProWein 2018 go? Marius Berlemann: Once again, we were very satisfied with the 2018 vintage of ProWein. All relevant wine-growing regions were represented – we regis-
tered a total of more than 6,800 exhibitors from 64 countries. The over 60,000 trade visitors hailed from all parts of the world – one in two visitors came from abroad. In excess of 70 percent of visitors were top or middle management. For New Zealand, this was a special “vintage” fair because it celebrated its biggest participation
ProWine China 2017 had 39 countries represented.
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
at ProWein so far with a total of 47 producers. Additionally, there was a comprehensive supporting programme with numerous seminars and masterclasses. ProWein is the most important trade fair for wines and spirits worldwide. What about ProWine China? Marius Berlemann: With ProWine China, we brought our expertise and our high quality services from Düsseldorf to Shanghai. After five years, ProWine China is the most important trade fair for wines and spirits in Mainland China. In particular, trade visitors appreciate the internationality on the exhibitor’s side: 2017 we had 39 countries represented with 16 national pavilions and four regional pavilions. ProWine China is also the most professional show as we are strictly open only to trade visitors - mainly retail/ supermarket, importer, distributor and wholesaler. Three quarters of our trade visitors have a decisive or crucial role in purchasing. In 2014 NZ Winegrowers already had a pavilion at ProWine China, which was not very successful. How has ProWine China developed since then? Marius Berlemann: Since then the situation has changed a lot. In the meantime, ProWine China has received a significant boost and we had the chance to adapt some services to the Chinese market. In addition, ProWine China’s continuous outreach and promotional campaigns across major cities have resulted in a growing presence for the increasingly accomplished ProWine China platform. Moreo-
Marius Berlemann, Global Head Wine & Spirits, Director ProWein.
ver, the Chinese wine market is evolving further. How do developments in China impact the international wine business? Josh Gu: China is becoming an ever more important export market. Alongside the USA and Australia, New Zealand also clearly benefits from this development. According to China’s latest import figures for 2017 released by Chinese customs in February, in terms of value New Zealand bottled wine rose from 9th to 7th place in China’s imported wine rankings. The latest figures published by New Zealand Winegrowers revealed a 42 percent rise in shipments worth $38.6 million in the past year. The average price also rose to $14.74 per litre, which is the highest litre price for wine in China. Commenting on this Philip Gregan said: “If the current rate of growth continues in the year ahead exports to China will exceed $50 million, making it our fifth largest export market”. Therefore, developments in exports to China are definitely worth keeping an eye on for producers from New Zealand.
How do you currently assess the wine market in China? Josh Gu: The Chinese wine market is currently undergoing a major change. Such criteria as country of origin and region, varieties or elaboration methods play an increasingly important role. In general, Chinese consumers prefer red wine to white. There is a trend towards fruity, light red wines with low tannins. White wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Chardonnay, in particular, are becoming more and more popular, especially among younger consumers. Also because of consumers’ growing wine knowledge, more and more of them are looking for wines with unusual personality. So, beyond Sauvignon Blanc exports – there are also opportunities to present sparkling wines, rose, red wines and even fortified wines. Why is Shanghai the best location for ProWine China? Josh Gu: Shanghai is the epicentre of the Chinese economy and culture and wine education in China. People here tend to have higher incomes, consume more conspicuously and have a pen-
chant for luxury brands and gifting. In terms of volume, Shanghai is the No.1 region for trading imported wine, together with Guangdong province. According to the study “China customer”, Shanghai and Guangdong province make up 64.41 percent of the total trading value of wine and 52.86 percent of the total volume. Many of China’s top wine importers started their businesses in Shanghai or based their headquarters here – like ASC, Summergate, Torres China, EMW, Ruby Red and Sarment etc. And last but not least: Shanghai has the best and largest number of restaurants and bars in China, which means it boasts the largest out-of-home consumption of wine. Can you give any advice to wineries wishing to enter the Chinese market? Marius Berlemann: Despite the positive basic prerequisites you have to think twice before entering the Chinese market as a wine vendor and you need to exercise patience. Things can also develop very quickly. We have talked to exhibitors who have sealed deals for immense quantities during
the trade fair. As a rule, however, it takes a number of meetings to establish good business relations. Furthermore, personal relations are indispensable in China and the export business will not be successful without a local presence. This is also precisely where the “Pure Discovery China” of the NZ Winegrowers comes in. With ProWine China in Shanghai we follow on from such events and offer the market an additional business platform. Josh Gu: Generally, in China there is a particular mega-trend for premium brands and gifting – so there’s an opportunity for wineries to create premium brands through marketing and advertising. Boutique wineries with higher-priced products have great scope in fine dining restaurants or wine bars. There are increasing numbers of wine merchants focusing on this sort of boutique winery. Thus, finding the right importer/partner is key. One more piece of advice: Chinese consumers pay particularly attention to the label and the branding – so special packaging might help! T
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 19
Finger on the pulse Anna Lambourne, David Manktelow, A n d r e w B l a k e m a n , Tr e v o r L u p t o n
In Part 2 of our focus on powdery mildew we look at the key things to consider over the winter period. Whilst the tractors are away and vines are resting, it’s time to start planning.
ood powdery mildew control requires success in five key management areas canopy management, chemical timing, chemical selection/rates, sprayer set-up and spray technique. All of these areas are important, but sprayer setup is the one that is most often associated with failures. That is - a well set up sprayer applying a ‘weaker’ fungicide programme can still achieve good powdery mildew control, but a ‘strong’ fungicide programme poorly applied will result in problems. With this in mind, this article will look at what are the components of a ‘strong’ powdery mildew fungicide programme. KEY MESSAGES • Identify what you can improve on before the season starts • Plan for tight spray intervals 8-12 days to oversee the greatest spring infection risk period • Use an adjuvant/ wetter with all sulphur sprays • Alternate single site fungicides with sulphur applications
Identify areas you can improve Take time at the start of the season to think about last season’s powdery mildew levels and management. What can you do to improve control for this season? Work through the following questions to help identify areas where you can make improvements? If your answer is in a green box, you are already following recommended practice. If your
answer is in a red box, you can make changes to help reduce your powdery mildew risk.
out by New Zealand Winegrowers over the past three seasons. is on page 22.
Planning Your Chemical Programme For Powdery Mildew
Why Use Wetter’s With Sulphur?
Powdery mildew is a ‘dry weather, high humidity disease’ that likes mild cloudy conditions. It affects any green tissue including leaves, shoots and young berries. Any green tissue not protected can get infected. From budburst onward - powdery mildew is almost always present in vineyards at levels that will require vine protection. Once berries are pea size they are no longer susceptible to new powdery mildew infections. So your spray programme needs to focus on keeping bunches clean to this point. The recommended spray programme based on powdery mildew control research carried
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
Adding a wetter or adjuvant to a sulphur application is an effective way of improving spray coverage resulting in better protection. During 2015-17, Trevor Lupton managed New Zealand Winegrower funded trials on the use of adjuvants with sulphur for powdery mildew control. This study showed that the addition of simple non-ionic wetter to sulphur sprays significantly improved powdery mildew control on bunches. Based on these results and the cost of adjuvant it is a sensible investment.
What Sulphur Rate Should I Be Using? NZW research over the past two season has looked at what
sulphur rates are effective and the impact of adding adjuvants. Increasing the rate of sulphur from 1.5kg, 3kg, and 5kg (on 3 m rows) resulted in small improvements in control with increased rate. However adding a wetter to the sulphur applications improved control significantly more than increasing the rate of sulphur. Sulphur rates of 3 kg / ha (on a 3m row) with a wetter can achieve good powdery mildew control. Application rates need to be adjusted to match the canopy target being sprayed. Larger/denser canopies, and canopies on closer row spacings need higher chemical application rates per hectare than smaller/ more open or canopies on wider row spacings. Some blocks can justify sulphur application rates in excess of 5-6 kg per hectare – but just increasing application rates to solve a problem is not a reliable solution.
Case Study: ADDING ADJUVANT AND FOCUSING ON INTERVALS WERE KEY TO OUR TURN AROUND. NEW ZEALAND Winegrowers followed 10 vineyards from pre-harvest 2017 to pre-harvest 2018. Each vineyard had powdery mildew levels, vineyard practices assessed, and was provided advice and support on chemical decisions and sprayer setup and technique based on the current recommended best practice for powdery mildew control. After three seasons struggling to keep powdery mildew under control, this grower is ‘rapt’ after a season with no powdery. “Over the past three years we have had big problems with powdery - it was so bad we were dropping fruit every season. To come through this season with no powdery to speak of has been awesome”
When we first visited this vineyard, we meet a grower who was keen and motivated but not quite getting the results he wanted. After looking closely at his practices including spray diary, canopy management and sprayer setup - we recommended a few simple changes to the programme based on the recommended practice. “Going through this season I changed a couple of key things, I used harder chemistry and added a wetter to my sulphur sprays. We keep at 7-10 day intervals this year but made sure there were no holes in the programme like last year.” The vineyard applied twelve applications of sulphur and wetter for the season. These averaged out
to every 11 days across the season. Five single site fungicides were applied through the high risk period between November and January. “We also changed how we calculated the mix rates. Last year we had different mix rates each different block. This year we made up just one mix based on a 2.4m row. Then we used that same mix for all the blocks regardless of the row spacing. The only thing we changed when we went into different row widths was the booms on the sprayer“ “My advice to other growers is – use an adjuvant –I just can’t imagine now spraying without it. Just keep the sulphur going and mix up the other chemistry – it has really worked.
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What Are Single Site Fungicides? Single site fungicides are chemicals that work against a disease in just one way (usually against a specific biological process). In contrast, a multi–site fungicide (e.g. sulphur) works against multiple biological fronts. This puts single site fungicides at more risk of resistance. It is also why it is recommended that you change the type of single site fungicide you apply throughout the season. Adding sulphur to single-site fungicide applications may also help reduce resistance, without reducing the effectiveness of the single site fungicide. For a list of single site fungicides and further details refer to nzwine.com – Spray Schedule 2017/18.
If I Had High Powdery Last Season Should I Spray Anything Early Season To Clean It Up? NZ Winegrowers research suggests that operating the standard recommend spray programme for the current season is enough to effectively control powdery mildew regardless of powdery mildew levels from the season prior. It may be more important to work through the New Zealand Winegrowers Powdery self-
assessment, to determine what may be causing high levels of infection. This can be found at nzwine.com
Should I Post-Harvest Spray To Kill Any Overwinter Spores And Reduce Levels For Next Season? NZ Winegrowers conducted a trial in 201618 where additional powdery mildew fungicides were applied in the lead up to harvest and in the post-harvest period. These applications reduced leaf infection in May from 55% down to 5% of leaf area infected. However, despite the differences in the autumn leaf infection there was no difference between bunch infection levels at veraison the following season, where a standard powdery mildew fungicide programme had been applied. It may prove that extending canopy leaf health for as long as possible in a season will have positive effects on bud heath and canopy vigour in the following season. However, post-harvest reductions in powdery mildew levels do not appear to be essential to ensure reasonable control of powdery mildew the following season.T • For more information on powdery mildew control go to nzwine.com
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Powdery mildew and NZW Grape Days Te s s a N i c h o l s o n
et again, the recent summer has seen growers throughout the country battling to control outbreaks of powdery mildew. The disease which has hit with force in the past five years, is creating headaches for those out in the field. Could it be a sign of global warming? Or is it because the sexual stage (chasmothecia) is now in New Zealand? Or maybe it is a case of fungicide resistance. These are all subjects that this year’s guest speaker at the New Zealand Winegrowers Grape Days is well aware of. Dr Wayne
Wilcox, from Cornell University (the leader of the university’s grape pathology programme for 24 years) will specifically address the issue of powdery mildew at both the Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough Grape Days. The disease which he points out comes originally from eastern North America, is one of his areas of speciality. “Our three great contributions to the viticultural world are powdery mildew, downy mildew and phylloxera,” he joked, when spoken to recently. But he doesn’t joke about the effect of powdery, describing it as
a “horribly destructive” disease when left uncontrolled. The good news is, he said, that it doesn’t need to be as destructive, as there are good technologies out there which can and do control powdery. “It requires
work and expense, but it is a very controllable disease.” Interestingly he said, native North American grapes are quite resistant to the pathogen, given they have evolved together. It wasn’t he said, until powdery mildew was introduced to Vitis vinifera (the disease entered Europe in the mid-1800’s), that powdery began to become a problem. “It is an exotic pathogen for vinifera grapes, so they did not evolve to have any resistance to this disease.” Efforts to try and hybradise vinifera and American grapes, in an effort to create more resist-
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 23
in disease prevalence. “That is a simple and convenient idea to latch on to. The main thing about having the sexual stage is you get more variety in the population of the fungus. But the kind of variety you would see because of the sexual combination shouldn’t really affect the aggressiveness of the fungus against the vine. “Instead I think it probably is more a combination of having a sequence of years that have been more conducive to the development of the disease and it has kind of snowballed from there. The old rules have gone out the window and people who have just done things in the same way they
have done them before are finding it doesn’t work.” He says the disease is controllable, but maybe not to the extent that it can be eliminated. “You can certainly get on top of it though. The primary methods of control are cultural, such as canopy management and the other is fungicide spraying. The factors that are really important or variable and separate the people who are on top of their game, from those who are flailing, is knowing when are the most important times to apply and also the use of cultural methods.” Which is what Wilcox will explain in more detail at the upcoming NZW Grape Days.T
Details ance weren’t overly successful. “Simplistically they ended up with some hybrids that had more resistance, but incorporated too many American flavours which is not so desirable.” So it fell to scientists and growers to come up with solutions to control the spread and severity of the disease. But given it is a pathogen that relies on certain conditions to flourish, Wilcox says growers have to be prepared to change their procedures to match the circumstances. It is this exact issue that he believes is behind the recent problems being experienced in New Zealand. “The reason it has got worse in
your area recently, could be that the stars have all aligned and you just happened to have a couple of years where the weather was good for the disease and bad for you. When you have a bad year, then you start the next year with more inoculum or spore carry over. “You have more pressure to start with and if the stars get in alignment once again, it can blow out on you if you are using “normal” control programmes and conditions are anything but normal.” Wilcox doesn’t believe the discovery of the sexual stage is the reason behind the upsurge
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NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
NZW Grape Days will be held in three regions. Hawke’s Bay – June 25, 9.30am – 3pm. Napier Convention Centre. Marlborough – June 27, 9.30am – 3pm. ASB Theatre Central Otago – June 29, 9.30 am – 3pm, The Moorings Cromwell. Issues to be covered at this yea r’s events include a Vintage 2018 update, news on the NZW Research Centre, Regional reviews of vint age 2018, Reducing herbicide use in NZ vineyards, Could a virus help control botrytis?, Powdery mild ew case studies, Pinot Noir Colour project upd ate, biosecurity update, and an update on the Lighter Wines Programme. Registrations are now open at https:// www.nzwine.com/members/eve nts/technicalworkshops/
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FROM THE BOB’S BLOG CEO
BOB CAMPBELL MW
CLOSURE SURVEY I’M FREQUENTLY asked what percentage of New Zealand wines now use screwcaps. I usually quote the now possibly out-of-date figure given to me by a wine bottle maker – 99.7% of all bottles they make are designed to accommodate screwcaps. However, the high-volume producers, who inevitably use screwcaps, distort the picture slightly. I have now raided my database of 26,252 wines tasted over more than a decade
to arrive at the following breakdown of wines by type and main closure over three vintages. Syrah and Red Blends from 2016 are under-represented because the wines are mostly released later than whites and Pinot Noir (I have about 40 Syrah, mostly from 2016, waiting to be reviewed). Observations: Predictably white wine producers embraced screwcaps fairly quickly. Most Pinot Noir
makers have now abandoned corks although the more robust blended reds and Syrah have a slightly higher number of cork supporters. Diam doesn’t appear to be making much headway with only 4 users out of 749 in the 2016 vintage. It is possible that I have made an error when I entered the data but the four wines from 2016 sealed with a diary according to my records are Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon
2006 SC Sauvig Blanc
Blanc, Te Mata Elston Chardonnay, Johanneshof Riesling and Mission Jewelstone Chardonnay. Churton Sauvignon Blanc is the only example from the 2016 to use a cork closure; Dry River rely on cork to preserve, or perhaps enhance, quality in their Pinot Gris, Craighall Riesling and Chardonnay. Tantalus and Poderi Crisi, both from Waiheke Island, used cork to seal their 2016 Chardonnays.
SUPERMARKETS RULE I INVITED students at my wine course to rate a list of Auckland wine retailers based on best prices, most extensive range of wine, best service etc. They were also asked to identify the outlet from which they bought most of their wine. The survey revealed that convenience, closely followed by best prices, were the main driving forces when choosing where to shop. That helps explain why super-
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
markets dominate wine sales in Auckland and indeed most of the country. A 2018 survey by research company Wine Intelligence asked 1000 New Zealand wine drinkers to indicate where they had bought wine in the past six months. Over 90% indicated that they had bought wine in a supermarket. Traditional liquor stores were the next highest ranged channel with 34%.
Here are the top eight outlets identified by the national survey: Countdown............................................. 52% New World.............................................. 43% Pak ‘n Save................................................41% Liquorland.................................................15% Super Liquor............................................. 8% Liquor King................................................ 6% Glengarry.................................................... 4% Bottle-O...................................................... 4%
TEN WORST FOOD & WINE MATCHES Sweet foods with dry wines Champagne and cake seems like a good idea. It (mostly) isn’t. The sweetness in the cake is likely to make most champagne taste bitter. I say “most” because you might manage a satisfactory match between a slightly sweet cake and a “Doux” Champagne which has over 50 grams/litre of residual sugar. Doux champagne is hard to find. High acid foods with low acid wines Acidity in food strips acidity from wines. If you have a high acid food such as goats cheese don’t match it with low acid wines like Gewurztraminer or Pinot Gris. The wine will taste very bland. High alcohol wines with salty foods Forget matching sherry with nacho chips. High alcohol wines
(over 14% abv) react with salt, making it taste bitter. High alcohol wines with spicy foods Planning on drinking your favourite Barossa Valley Shiraz with chicken vindaloo? Don’t. the alcohol is likely to amplify the spice in the dish to an uncomfortable level. Strong-flavoured dishes with delicate wines – and vice versa It’s all about balance folks. Try to match intensity levels in
both food and wine if you wish to achieve a state of bliss. Oily fish with tannic red wine You’ll only try this once. The tannins in red wine tend to react with oily fish making it taste metallic. If you like metallic mullet – go for it. Brussel sprouts and artichokes are the enemy of wine That’s simply not true but I believed it for years after reading it in an authoritative food and wine book. I’ve since
found that both go well with crisp, dry white wine that hasn’t been near an oak barrel, such as (most) Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Very spicy food and a big, oaky Chardonnay I don’t really need to spell this out. Blue cheese and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc I’m tempted to say “don’t even think about it” but we’re all different. I hate it but am quite sure there is someone out there who loves it. Syrah with sweet & sour chicken My buttocks clench together at the very thought of this. I haven’t tried it and never will. A phenomenon called psychological pre-determination means that it will never work for me. That doesn’t mean it won’t work for anyone else.
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Sparkling wine – the ultimate challenge? At this year’s NZSVO Sparkling symposium, two Australians are among the key-note speakers. Both bring a world of knowledge to the event, with Ed Carr, winemaker for House of Arras concentrating for the past 27 years on just this one style. Louisa Rose from the Hill-Smith Family Vineyards is also renowned for her skills and is the winemaker behind Jansz Tasmania. Both talked to Tessa Nicholson about their love for this style of wine and the many challenges involved.
ould Sparkling wine be the most challenging of all styles? Both Ed Carr and Louisa Rose believe so. Not only because of the “living near the edge” due to the necessity of requiring cool climate fruit, but also because of the extended time it takes for the finished product to evolve.
As Rose says, all winemaking requires a degree of weighing up the risks, particularly the risks of mother nature. “But the cooler your climate is and the closer you are to that edge, the more risk there is. And arguably, the more work you have to put into the vineyard. When we are working in a climate like Tasmania, the work that goes into
Edd Carr, specialist sparkling winemaker.
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
the vineyard throughout the 12 months is absolutely critical. You have to hone everything you do in the vineyard to minimize risk, because you want to make sure your vines are going to be really well set up so they ripen the grapes as early as they can. It is no good being the last in the area to harvest your fruit, you want to be the first to do so.”
While that work is not dissimilar to what is required for still wine production, Carr says there are subtle differences. “For a Sparkling style we are generally happier with a slightly more elevated crop and larger size berries, as we are looking for tannin, acid balance. For Sparkling slightly larger berries seem to suit the style.” In terms of fruit, House of Arras uses all three traditional varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, with the latter playing a major role in their younger release wines. “In Australia in the past, the focus has been on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which I think people were viewing as the premium of those three varieties. But in our younger release wines, those that are four years on lees, we find Pinot Meunier really fits in, advancing the blend more rapidly and adding a softer, more approachability to it at a younger age, which is exactly what we want to do.” Currently 10 percent Pinot Meunier is added, which he says is well below the percentage used in traditional non-vintage French wines – which is normally 30 percent. That smaller addition is mainly due to the lack of Meunier available. “We seem to be a bit on our own with Pinot Meunier, so we are actually planting more as we are trying to build that up and take it one year at a time to see how far we can push the Meunier while it is still an advantage.” Given how important aging on lees is for Sparkling wine, how important is the age of vines sup-
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SPARKLING WINE SYMPOSIUM – JOIN ING THE DOTS plying the fruit. “I think it is important,” Carr says, “although maybe not pushed so far in years. Generally by the third and fourth crop we are thinking the vine is very stable and the canopy set-up should be very strong. It is not so much the age of the vine that we look at, more how we can manipulate the canopy so the fruit has the right amount of canopy to fruit and light infiltration, as we are working in areas of very high sunlight intensity.” So with the region and sub region playing a vital role and the viticultural work critical, the next stage on the long road to producing a Sparkling wine is what happens in the winery. It is a style that is not for the impatient. Given four years on lees is nothing unusual, there is a lot of work and waiting before a winemaker can determine how good the end product is. “People don’t often realise that some of the oldest wines that they can buy in a normal wine shop are often Sparkling wines,” Rose says. “People think about red wines being cellared in the winery before they are released, and they are. But Sparkling wines are often cellared for longer, or certainly as long, depending on the brand. “They may well have spent, in the case of really premium wine, four or five or even 10 years on lees.” House of Arras’s top wine spends 10 years on lees and the 2007, 2008 wines are now the ones coming onto the market. While Carr jokes that he wonders every year if he will ever get to try the current vintage’s premium wines, it is part and parcel of creating a high-quality product. “It’s part of the game. If you look at the best Sparkling wines around the globe, to me, they are the ones that are current releases from 2007, 2008 and 2009 in general. That’s the sort of age frame you have to be working in. “For me particularly with
Venue: Ma rlborough Vintners Hotel, Blenheim Date: Tuesday 28 th August Speakers: Ed Carr, Lousia Rose, Mi ke Collins, Jeff Clarke , Andy Frost, Jamie Marfell, Evan Ward, Andy Petrie, Br uc e Abbott, Sharon Goldsworthy, Jane De Witt, Steve Voysey, Registrations: ww Le e Dobson. w.nzsvo.org.nz
premium Sparkling, there are two stages (in the winery). The base winemaking and then the time on lees for whatever maturation period you think is right for that wine, and then looking at the d’expédition stages with the tailoring of the liqueur to that particular wine. I guess it’s that long production cycle and the multiple phases that get you to the final product that is the biggest challenge.” But with such a long time frame between picking the fruit and tasting the final product, does it make it more difficult for winemakers to make changes to style or winemaking techniques? Rose thinks there is something in that. Especially when you compare making other wine styles, that provide winemakers almost instantly with some form of
Louisa Rose the winemaker behind Jasz Tasmania.
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
prediction. “Take Sauvignon Blanc for example, you can taste how that wine is going to turn out, in the grapes. And over here it would be varietals like Riesling or even Viognier, where you can taste really what that wine is going to taste like, when you taste the grapes. But with Sparkling wine there is a lot of complexity and a lot of things that come not just from the grapes. Looking at the base wines, it is very difficult to tell if you are not experienced, what the final wines are going to look like, so experience is absolutely paramount. I think (Sparkling wine) could be the ultimate challenge.” With both looking forward to crossing the Tasman to take part in the Sparkling Symposium, Rose in particular was keen to point
out that they are not coming here to tell anyone how they should be making wine. “The key is that anyone attending can adopt anything they hear, or vice versa if we hear something that is happening in New Zealand we can come back and adopt it. But at the end of the day there is something nobody can copy and that is what our terroir gives us. There is nothing Ed or I can do to change the underlying characters and balance of the grapes that inherently comes from the place that the vines grow, and the same goes for people in New Zealand. You can adopt as many techniques as you like, but nothing will change your terroir – that is what makes us unique and makes each of us very special.” T
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t was highly appropriate that the launch of Sauvignon Blanc 2019 occurred on the one day of the year set aside to celebrate this variety of wine. It was also appropriate that the launch was held at Brancott Estate Cellar Door and Restaurant, which overlooks the vineyard where Marlborough’s first Sauvignon Blanc grapes were planted. With the countdown well underway, winery representatives heard from Chair Patrick Materman about the plans for next year’s major New Zealand Winegrower’s event. While guest speakers have yet to be confirmed, Materman was able to discuss the whys and wherefores of Sauvignon Blanc 2019. The three-day event, to be
held in Marlborough from January 28 – 30 is expected to attract more than 400 attendees. “They will hear from the people who grow, sell and make the wine on subjects of marketing, styles and diversity from across the world,” Materman said “They will challenge theories and perceptions on everything from winemaking secrets to future proofing and stylistic preferences of Sauvignon Blanc.” The programme themes have been established, with Day 1 concentrating on Place, Day 2 Purity, exploring topics such as climate, sustainability and flavour, while day 3 is titled Pursuit – what we can pursue domestically and globally and how, as we move into the future. Ensuring the international
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theme of the event, wines from six other Sauvignon Blanc producing countries will be involved in the event, as they were back at the inaugural event in 2016. Those countries under consideration are Australia, Austria, Chile, France (Sancerre) South Africa and the US (California). New Zealand Winegrowers are already targeting international influencers to attend the event,
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with 80 or more likely to be brought out (see left). There has been a subtle change in the tact taken by the organisers and NZ Winegrowers for this event. Instead of focusing on bringing over only wine media, the emphasis will be on lifestyle bloggers and those on social media, along with a number of Sommeliers who will attend Sauvignon 19, as well as the very popular Sommit™. Materman said they will be ensuring they can leverage off those that attend, in post events. For example Sommeliers will be hosting seminars and events at restaurants and working with their own databases to spread the story of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. At next year’s ProWein an area
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NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
Some of the committee members present at the launch of Sauvignon 2019, held at Brancott Estate Cellar Door and Restaurant. From left: Paul O’Donnell, Marcus Pickens, Clive Jones, Liz Barcas, Michelle Burns, Angela Willis, Patrick Materman and Roscoe Johanson.
within the New Zealand stand will be dedicated to the variety, providing an educational focus. Sauvignon masterclasses will make up part of the New Zealand Wine Fairs in China and Hong Kong, with Masterclasses taking to the
road across China’s southern Coastal tier two cities next May. The variety will also feature in promotions in Australia, Canada, the US and UK following the January event. With winery registration now
closed, Materman says it is important for wineries taking part to start selling the event to their importers, distributors and key accounts. “Think carefully about who you wish to invite as your guests
to Sauvignon 2019. Who will ultimately be able to champion your brand/region/country and Sauvignon Blanc to the world?” For more information on Sauvignon Blanc 2019, go to events@ sauvignonnz.comT
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Flute is a new innovative fungicide to help grape growers in the battle against powdery mildew. This past 2017/2018 season Etec Crop Solutions partnered a new innovation in transportation, the UBCO 2 X 2 off-road electric bike with its Flute fungicide. All grape growers who purchased Flute had the opportunity to go in to a prize draw to win an UBCO 2 X 2 off-road electric farm bike. Etec is pleased to announce that Brett Woodwiss who owns Marama Vineyard in Nelson was the successful prize draw winner. Brett is a relatively new grower and produces Sauvignon Blanc grapes for Neudorf Wines and Moutere Hills Wines on his five hectare vineyard in Hope. Brett said “The 2018 season has been a challenging one off the back of some major weather events and the very high rainfall the region received particularly in February. Thanks must go to Alex Douglas and Tasman Crop for their knowledge and experience which has been invaluable throughout the season. Flute has played its part in our overall spray programme and has kept powdery mildew at bay on our block during the course of the season”. Alex from Tasman Crop who advises Brett with his vineyard and spray programme said “Flute was released at a time when growers were beginning to experience exponential increases in powdery mildew pressure. Despite this increasing pressure, I have found Flute to perform strongly and consistently and will continue to recommend it as a useful option in my grape powdery mildew programs”. Flute contains cyflufenamid and is from the new ‘Amide’ chemical group which helps growers combat powdery mildew resistance. Pete de Jong from Etec Crop Solutions says “promoting Flutes new chemical group with the new technology of an Ubco electric 2 X 2 off-road farm bike has been a winning combination this season. ® Flute is a trademark of Nisso Chemical Company, Japan.
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 33
Trend setter Sauvignons Joelle Thomson
he very first wine that Ivan Donaldson ever made for commercial sale was a big barrel fermented white that bucked the buttery trend at the time and, 28 years later, still is. You couldn’t exactly describe Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon as New Zealand’s most unconventional white, but it is highly unusual because it evolves in the bottle, stays fresh for over a decade and never develops an undesirable green pea, asparagus and methoxypyrazine derived taste. Winery founder Ivan Donaldson’s oldest son, Mat, now leads the charge in the winery with fellow winemakers Pete Bartle and Matt Rose but they have picked up where Ivan left off, using the
same recipe, namely 70 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 30 percent Semillon. And it’s the latter that is key to the wine’s ageability, suggests Ivan. “Thiols in Sauvignon Blanc tend to slump after a year and they’ve basically left the building after two to three years, which is why so many Sauvignons evolve canned pea like flavours in this time. As Semillon ages, it has this toasty component that balances the methoxypyrazines,” says Ivan, whose aim was always to make wine that could cellar and show Sauvignon in another light. The first vintage, 1991, was a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and was barrel fermented, so it fitted the bill as an intentionally different style to other Sauvignons
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
on the market. As more Sauvignon Blanc grapes became available, the Donaldson family reversed the trend and Sauvignon Blanc has played the lead role ever since the mid ‘90s, with Semillon in the support role. This wine makes up a relatively small percent of Pegasus Bay Winery’s overall production but has a strong following in the restaurant trade and in retail. It’s the aging potential and ability to shine a different light on Sauvignon Blanc that also inspired Marlborough winemakers James Healy and Ivan Sutherland to make their fully barrel fermented Section 94, which is
100 percent Sauvignon Blanc. The first vintage of Section 94 was 2002 and the current is 2014. This wine was inspired by the vineyard, fruit from which is fully hand harvested at 7.5 to 8 tonnes to the hectare compared to the district norm of, say, 10 to 12 tonnes. These are the key points of difference, but not the only ones. The green taste of Sauvignon Blanc is deaccentuated through the use of unconventionally warmer fermentation temperatures, wild yeasts and gentle handling of grapes. Malolactic fermentation was never on the table. “The only thing we’ve played around with over the years is the pressing; we’re probably better at it now and all we’re looking for there is the structure of the wine and how it looks two or three years down the track – using gentle handling,” Sutherland says. About 3,500 to 4,000 cases of Section 94 are made each year and this may increase now that a little Chardonnay has been removed from one end of the Section 94 vineyard. That slice of land lay fallow for a year and was replanted last winter with Sauvignon Blanc. “The idea is to look at those new vines and feel our way with the grapes. We may not use them straight away. We want to see what they’re like before we use
Cape Crest Barrel Hall.
them – we’ve realised that being in a hurry with stuff is not always a solution,” says Sutherland. Healy suggests that most Sauvignon Blanc makers tend to produce wines with primary fruit as their main focus whereas he describes Section 94 as a departure from that; “It’s not about fruit and we make no excuse for that.” Sutherland agrees: “We know if we serve the two Sauvignons we make, we can divide a room. We were never chasing a malolactic character and the pressing of Section 94 is the most important part of the process because it is about limiting extraction to enable the wine to evolve.”
the sunny side and doesn’t have the traditional green spike that’s in a lot of Sauvignon, so I wanted to capture its flavours using old oak and time on lees. This year I bought some stainless steel barrels to mimic what a barrel does but without the aeration and oxidation.” “You’ve got to be very deft, so I’m using very old barrels –at least 10 years old.” His aim is to make something that enhances the texture of the wine, without malolactic fermentation, which he finds too similar to Chardonnay and too clunky in Sauvignon Blanc. No sulphur is added at all until bottling in December each year.
Ben Glover of Zephyr Wines
Marlborough winemaker Ben Glover has made three vintages of his alternative style of Sauvignon Blanc and is now working on his fourth. The first was in 2013 followed by 2015 and 2017 and, now, the 2018. “We were inspired by a combination of things. A block of land that runs east-west grows Sauvignon Blanc that gets golden on
Winemaker Peter Cowley began making Cape Crest in 1984, taking over from previous Te Mata winemaker, Mike Bennett, who pioneered the wine in 1982 using grapes grown at Te Awanga. “When I first saw the wine when I turned up in 1984, it had incredibly high free sulphur but about 20 years later the sulphur disappeared and it was just a lovely drink – there was plenty of
sugar in it at the time too; probably 50 grams,” Cowley recalls. “I began mucking about with barrel ferment in 1985 and 1986 with half a dozen old barrels, which provided a nuance of the biscuit barrel, toasty taste. The idea was to make a wine with texture that was not too sharp and had roundness.” He used about 10 percent new oak to achieve this. The inspiration was dry white Bordeaux. He and winery founder John Buck imported some Sauvignon Gris and Barossa Semillon clones in the mid to late 90s so Cape Crest includes about 15 percent of other grapes. Cowley says the Sauvignon Gris (a variety in its own right) adds aromatic qualities while the Semillon is more subtle in flavour. “There’s nothing tricky about Cape Crest. It’s low cropped and we hand pluck leaves so that you can see about 40 percent of the bunches. “This gives sub-tropical flavours. We use up to 30 percent new oak and the wine wears it well. It adds a slightly toasty but almost toasted coconut taste to the wine.”
Cowley says more Semillon has been discussed but would then need to be labelled, which he thinks that might be too much information for some people. “We have tried to import Muscadelle for ages (the third ingredient in classic dry white Bordeaux) and we are finally able to bring it in, so we’ll be using it soon but we’re so happy with the wine, I don’t know what it’s going to add. We’ll see.” The overall aim is to make an individualistic wine that is approachable and tastes delicious rather than something that is difficult for people to get their heads and taste buds around.
Growth in new styles One of the most surprising things about new wave Sauvignon Blanc styles is the sheer number being made. There were so many very different styles; whole bunch styles such as Michael Glover’s and others. It’s inspiring to see people trying lots of different ways to create interest in the country’s most widely grown grape and most important wine.T firstname.lastname@example.org
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Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc’s greatest fans
arlier this year Wine Marlborough launched a competition, aiming to find the five greatest fans of the region’s Sauvignon Blanc. Tying in with Sauvignon Blanc Day on Friday May 4, each of the hopeful fans had to explain what it was about Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc they particularly loved. The five best received a massive parcel of goodies from Wine Marlborough, including merchandise, Riedel Sauvignon Blanc glasses, and lots of the region’s favourite produce. Wine Marlborough’s Marketing and Communications Man-
ager, Harriet Wadworth says the comments received were fantastic – some even priceless. Here are the five winners, and what they had to say about Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Mirren Allan, Sydney, Australia Because it’s absolutely delicious and it reminds me of home! It makes every dinner, evening out or night on the couch just that much better here over the other side of the ditch! Ashleigh Burgess, Christchurch, New Zealand It all started when my best friend and I went up and did a bicycle wine tour. We both knew
we loved wine but didn’t know much about it. On that trip learnt so much about wine, tasted so many different Savs, and left feeling tipsy, but educated! With uni exams coming up for the bestie, I thought this would be a great way for her to take a break from her usual education and focus on something better - Sav! Layla Moutrib, Christchurch, New Zealand Marlborough Sav has to be the best in the world!! I love it paired with a tomato basil salad and fresh fish, and enjoyed with friends on a warm summers evening Morgan Sim, London, UK - We
served Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at our wedding, so it always brings back the best memories! Luciana Braz Marinho, Bothell – WA, USA New Zealand is my dream destination and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is a great way to be tele-transported. Not to mention how delicious it tastes! On top of receiving a massive box of goodies, Shea and Nathan Hinde from Sydney Australia won the grand prize – a trip for two to Marlborough, where they partook in Sauvignon Blanc events for three days, including a dinner at local restaurant Arbor, on Sav Blanc day itself.
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NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
The overall winners of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc’s greatest fans, Shea and Nathan Hinde from Australia, who spent three days in the region, including International Sauvignon Blanc Day.
It was Shea who fought hard to be the biggest fan – and this is what she had to say. “Unique, intense and luscious, a Marlborough Savvy-B is extra special. Perfect shared with hubby, it’s sublime wine from a gorgeous region I’m dying to visit!” A couple of others we liked: Because it isn’t worth drinking if it isn’t a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc! Plus thanks to a very expensive bottle of the stuff in a London restaurant we are now 5 months pregnant so it will always be a very special wine to us but we won’t be calling the baby Savvy B!!! I moved from New Zealand to Canada 12 years ago and whenever I have a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc I am instantly transported back home. The grassy, gooseberry, citrus aromas and distinctive tang of acidity always make me smile and think
of enjoying good times with family and friends, wherever in the world I actually am. I’m smiling right now just thinking about it! Have just spent the last four weeks in Marlborough while hubby was truck driving for our first ever visit to the region and grape harvest. What a beautiful part of New Zealand this is, great climate, friendly people and amazing wine! While here ONLY drunk local wines, thoroughly enjoyed discovering how the different soils impact the final results, loved watching the harvesters and gondolas working all around, everyone with a common goal -Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for life. Because wherever you find yourself in the world, with friends, colleagues, or even alone, that first sip takes you straight back home to New Zealand and your happy place.T
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 37
SAUVIGNON BLANC DAY
New Zealand’s home of Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, organised a number of events to coincide with Sauvignon Blanc Day, on May 4. A large number of cellar doors undertook vertical tastings, and or food and wine matching. VinLink Marlborough put on a afternoon event to thank industry members, Sauvignon Blanc 2019 was launched at Brancott Estate Cellar Door and Restaurant and Wine Marlborough hosted a fivecourse dinner matched with 10 separate regional Sauvignon Blancs. The perfect way to end a week in May. 38 //
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NZW SCHOOL OF WINE
Students take to wine school Te s s a N i c h o l s o n
atch out viticulturists and winemakers of New Zealand. There is a new wave of enthusiastic workers on their way to take their place in the industry. They are all members of the first class of the New Zealand School of Winegrowing. The five year-12 students from Marlborough Boys and Marlborough Girls Colleges are pioneering educational opportunities, as they take part in the year-long
course. While the wine industry and all aspects of it are the backbone for the course, the students are also gaining NCEA credits in other core subjects over the year. For two of the students, Katie Bruce and Kris Godsall, it has been an eye opener, that has cemented their decision to consider the wine industry as a career. For Katie, who has grown up on a vineyard, the highlight of the first term was taking part in Vintage 18. Working at Saint
Clair’s winery she expected to be a spectator. Instead she found herself launched into the heart of the vintage, undertaking a number of 12-hour shifts, just like any other vintage worker. “I expected to be learning behind the scenes but we were put straight into it and it was more hands on than I had expected,” she says. “It was an incredible experience and it cemented my initial thoughts that this is what I want to do. It has excited me, because I realised during that
time that I really enjoyed it.” While Kris didn’t get as many days in the winery as he would have liked (due to rowing commitments at Maadi Cup) his experience at Kim Crawford Wines confirmed he had made the right choice to sign up for the course. “I definitely enjoyed it, especially now I know what it involves. It has put in place that this is what I want to do.” The New Zealand School of Winegrowing is a first in New Zea-
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NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
Two of the five students taking part in the inaugural year of the New Zealand School of Winegrowing, Kris Godsall and Katie Bruce. Right: Crushing the fruit without the help of technology – the students got to make small batches of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Noir.
land, with the idea being mooted by Marlborough Boys’ College Assistant Principal James Ryan back in 2015. He says it was obvious that Marlborough offered a large number of opportunities to young people in terms of employment within the wine industry, yet many within the school system couldn’t see past the jobs of pruning and wire lifting. “They drive past vineyards on a cold, frosty morning and see big gangs of RSE workers and think; ‘I am not going to do that, because it’s minimum wage’. We need to shatter the perception that it is just picking, pruning and lifting. They can’t see that there are tractor drivers, harvest drivers, vineyard managers, cellar hands and
so many other jobs available to them, if they have the suitable skills.” Both Katie and Kris agree with Ryan’s thoughts, saying the course has taught them so much more about the industry than they had envisaged. Being hands on is a major bonus for them. “In the first few weeks we went out to Indevin’s Seddon vineyard Toi Downs,” Katie says, “so instead of just being in a classroom not knowing anything, we got to see first-hand what it was about. They showed us how
things work, talked about driving tractors and forklifts and other machinery. It was awesome.” Practical courses are only part of the course. The students also had to compile a report on pri-
mary industries in New Zealand as part of gaining English credits. “Our report was writing about the effects of viticulture on the New Zealand economy,” Kris says. “We wrote about how many people it affects and the job opportunities.” “Not just within the wine industry,” Katie explains, “but also the employment opportunities required to deal with the influx of workers.” This coming term, science credits will be gained via learning about the growth cycle of wines over the seasons. Plus the students have had the chance to make their own small batches of wine, from parcels of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes, which will offer chemistry credits. Katie and Kris are keen to do a second year if the course is offered in 2019, and both are already talking about taking their studies further once they leave school. The New Zealand School of Winegrowing has been funded by New Zealand Winegrowers and Wine Marlborough, and has been supported by Babich Wines, Villa Maria, Constellation, Yealands and Saint Clair. More industry funding will be required for the school to continue after 2018, which given the enthusiasm of the current students, will hopefully come through. T email@example.com
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Concrete fermenters, Oh la la “Ah, j’adore cette odeur,” says Charly, one of Villa Maria’s French cellar hands for the 2018 vintage. Oliver Styles reports.
harly hails from Givry in Burgundy and while the verb ‘adorer’ is used a lot in the French language (much to my Calvinist grandmother’s chagrin: “on a adore que Dieu,” she would say - one can only ‘adore’ God), he could be talking about anything from a Christian Dior purfume to a ripe Epoisses. In fact he’s talking about the waft coming from one of Esk Valley’s 13 concrete four-ton fermenters, freshly installed in the new Villa Maria winery in
Hawke’s Bay. They were put in at the request of Esk winemaker Gordon Russell, who says their presence in a world of stainless steel shows “incredible commitment” from founder Sir George Fistonich, who, he says, saw the considerable investment from the perspective of Esk’s unique wine style and brand. Esk’s original concrete fermenters - of which there are 23, built, with the winery, in the mid 1930s - have been so long a part of the Esk story that they have an almost legendary quality. “Five ton concrete tubs,
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
set into the earth,” as Russell describes them. “It took many years to learn but different fermenters had different properties.” He likes the randomness of the temperature control: “you sacrifice a bit of precision”, but in his 28 years at Esk, he had more or less worked it out. The Terraces, Esk’s flagship wine, for instance, always had fermenter Number 2 reserved for its fruit. Andy Lebioda, Assistant Winemaker at Villa Maria, tried to continue the tradition this vintage but unfortunately the fruit
this year ended up in number 12. Another tradition transferred from Esk is that of plunging, which is always done by four people. This made for a fast, less demanding process. It brings ‘a social aspect to a demoralising job’, adds Russell. But in winemaking terms he says it gave a thorough and gentle extraction. “We’ve always made Bordeaux wines as a Pinot Noir producer makes theirs,” he says. “There’s a distinctive style to Esk reds and concrete plays a part in that,’ he continues. ‘The wines are earthy - in a positive
sense - generous and soft in nature. Concrete has made that style.” The only way to find out if that style could be transferred to the new winery was to have concrete there. The 13 Nomblot fermenters, shipped over from France, are more sophisticated versions, says Russell, “they are things of beauty - amazing to look at”. They were installed with a mobile platform in order to allow four people to plunge each tank and while the original fermenters at Esk are painted on the inside walls, these are raw concrete.” Surely, though, the French do not have a monopoly on concrete box builders? “To have them made in New Zealand would have entailed a trial and commission and so on. We wanted 13 fermenters at once and Nomblot are the world leaders,” he replies. “But there’s no reason at all why the tanks couldn’t be built here - I’d encourage other wineries to do so.”T email@example.com
The Nomblot concrete fermenters are described as“things of beauty” by winemaker Gordon Russell.
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NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 43
WOMEN IN WINE
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Tessa Nicholson talks to a woman who has helped create a point of difference for the North Canterbury wine region, is the principal of a wine company that may be the only one of its kind in New Zealand, where the two major roles are held by women, and is the current CEO of Eat New Zealand - Angela Clifford.
“FALLING IN love with flavour”, is how Angela Clifford ended up in the world of wine. With roots to the North Canterbury area, that go right back to the 1840’s, (her family were the first to bring sheep to the South Island to establish the Stonyhurst station) she didn’t originally see herself as following a wine path. Instead she left school to undertake a degree in politics. “Which is pretty much what drove me to drink,” she jokes. Supporting herself during her studies by working in hospitality, the passion for flavour came to the fore. “I met people who were into food and wine, although I had grown up with family understanding food. We were all just flavour junkies.” With no course available in New Zealand at that time in the
Angela with the youngest of her three children, Flynn. “The one thing that defined my career was having three children,” she says.
early 90s, Clifford decided to head to Roseworthy, South Australia to study Wine Business. Included in the course were papers on viticulture and oenology. “I didn’t go with any decision to go one way or the other, but I have always been a reasonably good communicator. I think it just naturally evolved that that was where the biggest opportunities were, where I had a point of difference.” With a post grad degree under her belt, Clifford went on to be involved in nearly every aspect of the wine business, outside of the vineyard and winery. She worked in wine retail, she set up events, worked for Liquorland Corporate putting together corporate offerings for clients in Sydney. She established the Stonewall Cellar,
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an exclusive club membership offering for Rockford Wines in the Barossa. “I worked anywhere a communicator was needed.” Initially she had intended to come back to New Zealand but meeting her now husband Nick Gill while at Roseworthy, meant her stay in Australia lasted 12 years. “Nick was studying dryland agriculture at Roseworthy, but I convinced him to move to the dark side of viticulture,” she says. And despite New Zealand being her home country, she says it was Nick who was the instigator for her return to her homeland. “We were pretty much at the top of our game in Australia. I had just established the Barossa Farmer’s Market, I was working
for Rockford. Nick was the vineyard manager for all of Penfolds and Seppelts in the Barossa Valley, which was a pretty epic job. Then a friend of ours mentioned that someone was looking for someone to establish Greystone Vineyard here in New Zealand and would we consider it.” Clifford says they initially laughed at the idea, but did decide to come over and check it out. “Nick just fell in love with the country, the hunting and fishing. He felt viticulture was really challenging here and was so excited about establishing this incredible vineyard in a really unique space. It captured his imagination.” So in 2004, Clifford, Nick and six-month-old Ruby arrived in North Canterbury. While Nick began establishing the vineyard,
Clifford began working part-time for Greystone and established events such as Day in the Vineyard and the Cornerstone Club. “As my babies got older, (she has three children) I set up Waipara Valley NZ and began to get involved in regional promotions. Out of that came events such as In Praise of Riesling, Summer of Riesling and Forage North Canterbury.” While Waipara had a promotional group, Clifford said it had lacked a marketing focus. “The region was struggling to define itself, its point of difference. It was quite political with all the different players – similar to the story of every new wine region in the world. It didn’t lack quality wines or lack amazing people. It just lacked imagination of how to bring it all together.” Being small, she admits Waipara Valley was never going to fit into the Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay or Central Otago mold when it came to being defined. The
region had to do something different, it had to think outside the box. “But being small gave us the freedom to be different, it allowed us to do things differently. That is probably the biggest legacy of
those events, In Praise of Riesling, Summer of Riesling and Forage North Canterbury.” It was 2011 when her wine company Tongue in Groove became an entity. “We had been in the wine
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Now in its fourth year Forage North Canterbury is helping to define the region. Photo Aaron McLean.
we had never had our own label,” Clifford explains. “So we would get drunk and talk about it and make plans. Then the Christchurch earthquake happened and it was a carpe diem moment.” Clifford and Nick were actually in the Christchurch CBD when the earthquake happened. “We were very lucky to walk away with our lives. We just decided that it was time to get on with it. We weren’t going to wait around for another 10 years. There were some really key people that surrounded us that made it happen, that included Lynnette Hudson, Mat Donaldson and Charles Reid in those early days. So Tongue In Groove was born out of the Christchurch earthquakes in that moment of carpe diem.” It is now literally a company of two, Clifford and Lynnette Hudson as winemaker. Special parcels of fruit are bought in from around the Waipara Valley region, with the wines made at Muddy Water
by Lynnette. Depending on the year, they make four wines; a Riesling, an orange wine from aromatics, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. “One of the things that is quite unique about Tongue In Groove,” Clifford says, “is it has a very female story woven through it. I don’t think there are many wine companies in New Zealand that have both a female principal and a female winemaker. Both Lynnette and I feel quite strongly about women in the wine industry. Lynnette is an amazing winemaker, and we both feel very proud to be a part of that group.” But it is not her gender that Clifford believes has played the major role in her career path. “The one thing that defined my career was having three children. That has put me in places I wouldn’t necessarily have ended up, because I had to find things to do when I wasn’t working full time. I had to find jobs that suited my role as a mother. So more than thinking about what
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would I have achieved if I was a man, I think the question here is what would have happened if I hadn’t had children? There are so many positives for me about having children. It has made me see the world in a completely different way. I think one of my big strengths is collaboration and collectiveness. I like to think of myself as an enabler or a connector. That is a fairly important thing when you have children, to learn those lessons. Having children can change your horizons in a really positive way. I have had to find collaborators, whether that has been my husband, my wine community or my food community. I have had to find people to help me and I see huge value in connecting the right people. I also feel very strongly about paying it forward, so I have a group of younger people that I feel very strongly about helping whenever I can, because that is what was offered to me.” These days Clifford is the CEO
of Eat New Zealand, a role that brings together all her skills as a communicator, organiser, flavour junkie and event manager. “I feel like I am a gastronationalist. Our offerings are so unique, so special, and we have been so bad about telling that story. We have become a list of exported ingredients. What I bring to the game is an understanding of New Zealand wine and how successfully that has vertically integrated itself and told its story internationally. Perhaps New Zealand food has missed some tricks. The challenge now is for New Zealand wine to embrace New Zealand food and find interesting collaborations around that moving forward. That has become a very important part of my life. I feel very passionate about that and it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to have influence in that area.” Given her successes of the past, it is very much a case of watch this space.T email@example.com
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How can scientific research help to mitigate biosecurity risk? By the end of 2019, New Zealand Winegrowers will be funding high quality biosecurity research that helps mitigate risk from our most unwanted pests and diseases (a key success measure identified in the 2018 New Zealand Winegrowers’ Biosecurity Strategy). Biosecurity research is a hugely important part of ongoing efforts to protect the sustainability of the industry. Dr Edwin Massey reports.
iosecurity risks never stand still. Often the causes of change are well beyond the control of any New Zealand-based decision maker. For example, in recent years we have seen the emergence of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) as a key biosecurity threat as it has spread across the world including to our current and future trading partners. This has happened very rapidly; how our trading partners have managed their biosecurity system has been a key determinant of the overall biosecurity risk to the New Zealand wine industry. New Zealand is becoming increasingly connected in a global world and these connections bring both opportunity and risks. Forecasted growth in passenger arrivals, new trade markets and changing demographics increases pressure on the New Zealand biosecurity system. Such changes were particularly evident at a recent visit to the International Mail Centre in Auckland. During this visit, New Zealand Winegrowers learned that volumes on the courier mail pathway had increased over 200% in the previous 10 years due mainly to the widespread adoption of internet shopping. This has significant implications for New Zealand’s biosecurity and the fight against hitch-hiker pests like BMSB.
The International Mail Centre at Auckland airport – a key location in New Zealand’s biosecurity system.
Climate change is another key driver of changing biosecurity risk profiles. A changing climate could result in previously low risk species becoming a significant risk as conditions become more favorable for their growth and establishment. In addition, a more extreme climate could place additional stress on our vines making them more susceptible to the impacts of unwanted pests and diseases. The potential impacts of these changes are difficult to quantify but highlight the need for the wine industry to be as prepared as possible to mitigate additional risk.
What role can research play?
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Research to boost biosecurity readiness is fundamental to protect the industry from biosecurity risk. There are three key areas where research can make a major contribution: 1. Research to close down knowledge gaps regarding biosecurity risks Research that uncovers new information about biosecurity risks is important to protect the long-term sustainability of the industry. For example, recent research on New Zealand’s vineyard virome, carried out by Dr Arnaud Blouin at Plant & Food Research has meant New Zealand Winegrowers is better informed about the potential threat caused by several sig-
nificant viruses, Grapevine Red Blotch Virus and Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus, not yet present in New Zealand, but which are causing significant impacts overseas. This new knowledge helps inform our readiness to meet these threats. 2. Research to develop/deploy new control tools for priority pests Biosecurity incursion responses to unwanted insect pests work best when there are cost effective tools to control low level populations of unwanted organisms. Research into developing these tools will always be important. Recent research carried out by Dr Gonzalo Avila and Dr John Charles at Plant & Food Research on samurai wasp host
testing was critical to determine the potential effect of this biocontrol tool on the wider environment in New Zealand. This work highlighted that the samurai wasp was unlikely to have a significant impact, other than on pentatomid bugs, the majority of which are introduced species. This information in turn informed the development of an application to the EPA to import samurai wasp into containment for use should BMSB establish in New Zealand. 3. Research to encourage members’ adoption/ participation It’s common sense to highlight that what individual growers/ managers do on their vineyard is critical to managing biosecurity risk. Nonetheless, across the industry there is significant variability in the implementation of practices to manage biosecurity risk on a day-to-day basis. Research to better understand and overcome barriers to the
implementation of biosecurity best practice is an important part of the puzzle. In biosecurity, it’s not if, but when. In the future there will be an incursion of one of our most unwanted pests and the implementation of these practices will be essential to mitigate risk and impact.
Our research future? Through the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) New Zealand Winegrowers has the opportunity to be a partner with the Crown and other horticultural industry organisations to develop research that could lead to pansector benefits. For example, should the Samurai Wasp EPA application be successful, further research is required to determine the most efficient means to release these wasps to counter the establishment of a BMSB population. This research would help to ensure we have the best chance to eradicate a BMSB incursion as quickly as
possible for the benefit of all New Zealanders. The establishment of the New Zealand Winegrowers Research Centre is another exciting development which provides an opportunity for increased industry focus on biosecurity research. A Research Strategy, currently under development will likely position biosecurity research as a high priority. This research strategy will align well with the current Biosecurity Strategy. Such alignment will enable New Zealand Winegrowers, the New Zealand research community and overseas collaborators to develop high quality research programmes that deliver benefits for members, helping them to manage the uncertainties caused by changing biosecurity risks, helping to protect the sustainability of the industry.
Conclusion Biosecurity research will be
critical to mitigating both the range of risks currently facing the wine industry and unknown risks that may emerge in the future. Through its participation in GIA and the establishment of the New Zealand Winegrowers Research Centre, New Zealand Winegrowers is well placed to meet these threats. New Zealand Winegrowers will keep members updated on the development of biosecurity research through industry events such as Grape Days and the Romeo Bragato conference as well as on the New Zealand Winegrowers members’ website: https://www.nzwine.com/members/grow/biosecurity/ Remember – if you see anything unusual please catch it; snap it; report it – call the MPI biosecurity hotline 0800 80 99 66 and call New Zealand Winegrowers Biosecurity and Emergency Response Manager Dr Ed Massey 021 1924 924 T firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Running through vineyards is one of the highlights of the Saint Clair annual half marathon.
Wine sport events Joelle Thomson
irst there was the Forrest GrapeRide, then there was the Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon and the Martinborough Round the Vines Run (every March) and now there is the Pegasus Bay Vine Run, which was launched in late January this year. Talk about a sea change in the way wine lovers enjoy a little of what they fancy on location. The days of standing around in a field drinking wine have not entirely disappeared, only they are less of a focus and sporting events are more of one, thanks to a growing list of wine and sports focussed activities, many of which attract serious cyclists and runners. The growth in sports events in wine regions and at wineries can encourage a healthier attitude towards alcohol than a winery can otherwise promote purely by selling drinks and food in a field for no apparent reason. Take the annual Forrest Estate
GrapeRide, for example. This Marlborough event began 14 years ago after a chat between a cycling policeman and a budding Olympian and it has since grown into a large-scale South Island sports event, which attracts thousands of people. Forrest Estate owners and founders, Dr John Forrest and Dr Brigid Forrest both regularly ride in the event as well as coordinate wine, beer, food and cycling clothing and accessories for the relaxed after-ride afternoon at their winery. The first GrapeRide in 2005 attracted 698 riders and the event is now capped at 2500. It began when budding Olympian Robin Reid and police sergeant Pete Halligan both talked about a possible cycling event in Blenheim in the mid 2000s. The pair promoted the event in collaboration with the Coast to Coast athlete, Steve Gurney, and gathered together the brains trust, which included Reid as well as local cyclist, coach and busi-
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nessman Chris Ginders, multisport athlete Andrea Koorey and cyclist Duncan Mackenzie. The Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon began in 2007 when winery owners Neal and Judy Ibbotson promoted it with the mantra that “you can do anything you put your mind to”. This year’s event was to be held in May and at the time of writing there were an expected 4000 competitors estimated to take part. “The course is challenging but the picturesque scenery along the way makes it enjoyable and the event is overall about relaxing, having fun and taking on a challenge,” says Julie Ibbotson, of Saint Clair Winery. “It’s a real family affair as we have all participated, from my parents to my sister Sarina and I, and our brother Tony,” says Julie, who adds that while the event does attract serious runners, it is first and foremost about relaxing, having fun and taking on a challenge.
“Last but not least of all it’s about the bottle of Saint Clair wine at the finish line.” The same incentive appeals to runners who took part in the first Pegasus Bay Vine Run; the inaugural event took place in January this year and was inspired by the Martinborough Round the Vines fun walk/run and the Saint Clair Half Marathon. Runners can choose two options; both modest compared to Saint Clair’s run, but it’s early days, and all runners receive a bottle of wine after the race. Vine Run co-founder and coordinator Di Donaldson says the run was inspired by a combination of encouraging exercise, raising money for the Brain Research Institute (BRI) and promoting the winery and its North Canterbury region. It’s the first of what she and co-organiser, Mike Donaldson, hope will be many Pegasus Bay Vine Runs. The Donaldson duo encouraged participants to dress up and pack a picnic to enjoy on the
expansive lawns of the winery, following the run. The Pegasus Bay Vine Run included two options - a 6 kilometre and a 10 kilometre run – and they are considering whether the event could grow into a half marathon in future years. The run wound its way through Pegasus Bay Winery’s vineyard and landscaped gardens, which are planted extensively in flowers and natives, around a lake and a vegetable garden. “We want to make it a great experience for everyone involved and to raise money for the BRI and then we can build it up over time, in a similar way to how Saint Clair winery in Marlborough has built up their annual half marathon.” The fundraiser aspect is another key component of the run, which is important to the family because winery co-founder Ivan Donaldson has had an extensive career as an associate professor and consultant neurologist.
Like the GrapeRide, wine was available for purchase following the inaugural Pegasus Bay Vine Run, with participants able to purchase wine to take home with them. Best of all, for wine lovers taking part in these events, is the opportunity to enjoy wine after working for the privilege… and to enjoy tasting lesser known wines that are only available at
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cellar doors of these wineries. Some examples include Forrest Estate’s incredibly refreshing Chenin Blanc, decadently delicious Petit Manseng and Beth Forrest’s new wave Sauvignon. It feels almost virtuous drinking a glass or two early afternoon after the GrapeRide because you’ve pretty much earned it. Instead of singing for your supper, you’re cycling
for your beer and wine. Winemaker John Forrest also makes a little wine at the event each year, with the help of grape “virgins” who all climb into a small vat of Pinot Noir grapes to crush them by foot. The wine made as a result is a Rosé and the finished wine is then given to category winners in the following year’s GrapeRide. T email@example.com
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THE LATEST GLOBAL EVENTS Made in New Zealand – San Francisco and New York In April, San Francisco and New York were home to our annual Made in New Zealand trade and media tastings. The events were held at NeueHouse in New York and Gallery 308 Fort Mason in San Francisco. Both events were well-attended with over 120 attendees at each and 80 plus wines sipped and sampled. This year we highlighted some excellent examples of New Zealand Syrah in our guided tasting as well as a focus on New Zealand Terroir in our educational Master Class. Thanks to all those who participated. We at New Zealand Winegrowers are in the midst of planning our new Global Events calendar for 2018/19. We have some exciting new changes and event formats in store and we look forward to continuing to grow your wine brand in the Global world of wine!!
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Melbourne Food and Wine Festival In March we held our Made in New Zealand dinner as part of Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Presented by the talented master of wine, Stephen Wong, the event successfully celebrated the unique flavours of Aotearoa. The dinner was held at two of Melbourne’s hottest restaurants, IDES and Etta, where kiwi born Chefs Peter Gunn and Hayden McMillan whipped up a unique five course menu showcasing a special selection of New Zealand produce matched perfectly with 12 delicious New Zealand wines. We are now turning our attention to building on these successes for the 2019 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 53
What happened to the wine bar? Lee Suckling
o back a decade and the city wine bar was all the rage. In the three main centres of Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, they were plentiful. The Viaduct and Ponsonby Road, Cuba Street, Sol Square… all were destinations to try new wines by the glass that consumers mightn’t ever have heard of. In 2018, it’s somewhat of a different story. The traditional wine bar, one where you can order by the glass from a large range of local and international wines and where the food menu isn’t the primary incentive to enjoy the hospitality, has become a rare sight. They still exist – for example Auckland’s Jervois Road is still home to mainstays such as Dida’s and the Jervois Road Wine Bar + Kitchen, and Christchurch there’s Social Wine Bar at the Crowne Plaza hotel, but you don’t hear the public or media talking about
them often anymore. They serve their loyal customers well but the focus in popular culture has largely gone to the craft beer scene, or the likes of boutique gin and whisky bars. In part, this owes to the change that the hospitality industry has been through in terms of interior design. Think of your ideal of a wine bar: it is dark and moody, probably inspired by a French bistro, with lots of dark wood and maybe even some opulent velvet curtains. There’s some jazz playing lightly in the background, the crowd is mature, and it’s the perfect place to cosy up to try some new Pinots in the middle of winter. Nationwide, however, this sort of aesthetic now seems outdated, like the traditional English pub look did before it. Restaurants, cafes, and bars tend to lend themselves to light, ventilated, youthful environments
– they are a breath of fresh air, not a hole in the wall. Consumers angle for windows, sun, rooftops, and greenery, and the hospitality industry is giving it to them – a great example is the Hipgroup in Auckland, which incorporates an IKEA-like Scandinavian aesthetic (i.e. lots of beechwood and glass) into many of its venues. Across the nation, craft beer bars tend to go for light-coloured interiors too – plywood is extremely popular in these establishments. This isn’t a uniquely New Zealand experience. The Balls Brothers chain of wine bars, which was established in the UK 150 years ago, fell upon particularly hard times around 2010 ns believes the company’s troubles were in part affected by a younger generation of customers who didn’t want to drink in dark bars anymore. “[As a] general rule we’re not interested in opening any more
basements”, said chairman Richard Ball at the time, as the Balls Brothers brand was known for its below-ground watering holes. Noble Rot in Wellington is the capital’s only dedicated wine bar. It seems to have taken on board changing consumer preferences in atmosphere and operates in a clean, modern space complete with adequate lighting, pale blue walls, and light-coloured timber. “We definitely want to make wine cool, without being too pretentious,” said co-owner Maciej Zimny when the wine bar opened in 2016. Another of Noble Rot’s co-owners, Josh Pointon spoke on Monocle radio in March to discuss the dearth of the Kiwi wine bar. While the craft beer industry had undergone substantive modernisation with new flavours, methods, and ways of marketing to a wider audience of consumers, he said the wine industry had largely stayed the
One of the few dedicated bars dedicated to wine – Scotch Wine Bar in Blenheim.
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same (save for the new methods that have emerged on the natural wine scene). This illustrates one way the hospitality industry could learn from craft beer for more successful wine bars: innovate. That means adding untraditional wine types to the list for a new wine drinking experience, so it’s easier to try a New Zealand Albariño or Grüner Veltliner in a wine bar, for example. “More and more, we’ll start to see some of these “fringe” varietals coming through,” Pointon said, noting something the industry can do to boost local interest and attract new customers on site, as per the craft beer bar success story. Dan Gillett runs the Scotch Wine Bar in Blenheim, a favourite amongst the wine industry. He took over Scotch three-anda-half years ago and has been going steadily since. “Our focus is towards locals who work in wine who want to come in and
have a drink, we’ve never really targeted tourists,” Gillett says. “Our busiest time of the year is around harvest, April-May, so I acknowledge we are in a bit of a bubble.” Were Gillett to open a wine bar elsewhere in New Zealand, he would need a different approach. “If we were to open in Auckland or Wellington, it would have to change the service style typical of wine bars... something fun, approachable, and easy to understand,” he says, noting customers outside of the industry assume wine tasting is a snobbish affair. “You’d basically need to take the focus off the wine, while keeping that your sole focus… Almost where wine is the highlight without customers knowing it.” In Australia and Europe, it’s enough for a wine bar to just serve wine, and people don’t necessarily eat, Gillett adds. “But we don’t really have a culture of popping into a wine bar after work for a bottle, so the best
wine bars in New Zealand tend to offer great cuisine too.” By the glass, Scotch’s offering starts at $10 and the typical pour will be $12-20, with occasional special bottles reaching $300+ a glass. Noble Rot follows a similar model, incorporating the Coravin system in its sales method. In modern, prosperous wine bars such as these, it’s those on the floor who can ensure customers try new wines at every price point. “That’s the role of the staff,” says Gillett. “People aren’t necessarily going to try something new just from reading it on a wine list. A good sommelier needs to help them find something that appeals.” Unfortunately, finding such staff can be a challenge in New Zealand. “But a good sommelier can dictate the success of a place,” Gillett adds, “and in New Zealand there are only a handful.” If we look to the successful European wine bars operating today,
they don’t just allow customers a drink-in experience – they also serve as off-licences. The Guardian sites Vinoteca, the flourishing London wine bar chain that operates in six locations around the city, as the best new wine bar in London. Vinoteca was inspired by “the wine bars of Spain and Italy, which often also function as wine shops” – something Scotch in Marlborough sees value in, as it also operates an adjacent wine shop. Punters revel in the ability to buy a bottle from the shelves and either take it home, or open it then and there. All of this helps in creating a new vibe for wine bars. “I see wine bars going in a more inviting, more welcoming direction,” Gillett says. “They shouldn’t be dungeons, they should be warm, approachable and casual. That means changing in delivery and space. Because nobody hangs out in dark sleazy nightclubs anymore.”T email@example.com
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Kellog Rural Leadership After 38 years, the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme in New Zealand had its first member of the wine industry involved last year. Since then another two members of Marlborough’s wine industry have taken part. The global programme provides a platform for personal development and growth, develops the ‘contextural intelligence’ and thinking required for leadership. After taking part in the programme each of the students had to write a report on something that was relevant to their particular interest. NZWinegrower reviews each of those wine industry reports. NIGEL SOWMAN Viticulturist for Dog Point Vineyard and Ashmore Vineyard’s – Marlborough Project: Short term discomfort for long term gains
igel has been the Ashmore Vineyards viticulturist since 2002, and has religiously collected data on yields, disease, soil condition and plant analysis every season. He chose his subject because he wanted to be able to compare quantitatively the vineyards from prior to organic conversion beginning in 2009, through to the current status. “I had collected the data for 15 years but had not really looked at it closely. I realised that in conversations I was referring back to things that I had seen in the past, things I was seeing now and the changes that had happened. But I had never quantified it. So it was the perfect time to dredge all the information out and do something useful with it.” While not delving into the financial aspect of the vineyards, Sowman has been able to highlight a number of interesting points – some that surprised even him – a total convert to organics. One area covered in depth, is the issue of pale canopies and what that might mean to the ripening process, disease threat and ensuing wine quality. “I got all my petiole tests, I talked to the pickers, the win-
emakers, got the wine scores of different blocks and put together a bit of a matrix. What I noticed, was the blocks that had the lighter canopies, the ones people were most concerned about, were the first ones harvested, at the correct brix and fully clean. “Then later in the season, the bigger canopies with the darker leaves, were the ones that took longer to ripen and had more disease. Yet, and this is the interesting point, there was no difference in crop load. “Little insights like that triggered it for me. Maybe dark green leaves aren’t the answer. When I delved a bit more and looked at the petiole tests, all of a sudden, from the time when we went organic, the nitrate levels in the leaves – the things that keep them more green, had progressively dropped away. “People would think that was a bad thing. But when you look at it, the reproductive nitrogen is ammonia, and vegetative nitrogen is nitrate. So why late in the season, would you want lots of nitrate when it is for vegetative growth? You actually want reproductive growth instead. “This project has shown me that a deep green canopy doesn’t necessarily mean a healthy can-
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
opy – just one that is still growing actively.” Another finding in the project, Sowman says, was how little soil tests represent the quality changes in the physical structure of the soil. While this part of his project he is clear to point out, is based more on observation, than science, it still provided him with further evidence on how important organics is for soil structure. “In 2005 (three years prior to the beginning of organic conversion) we had lots of rain and we had cattle on our hillside block. They were plugging a good 30 centimetres in and it was horrible. There was no way you could get a tractor up there.
“Then we leased a block up behind and in 2015 when I was walking across it, every time I stepped it was bringing water to the surface. “Again, we couldn’t possibly get a tractor up there. I decided to go down to the block that back in 2005 had been a quagmire, to see what that was like. “The former block had been converted to organics, and it was absolutely fine. We could have driven all over it and there would have been no damage. It was just that we were no longer using herbicides, and the soil had become more of a sponge, holding the water. It was so much easier to deal with.” T
Programme GEORGE MILLER Area Manager Farmlands for the Upper South Island Project: How has the financial viability of Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough changed over the last five years?
s a “sheep and beef boy” George Millar wanted to get closer to understanding the Marlborough wine industry, where it has come from, where it is now and where it is going. Having helped his company Farmlands move into the wine sector, he felt the need to increase his own knowledge of how viable Marlborough’s flagship variety was financially. “You hear all these rumours that land is too expensive and that you will never be able to make money from (Sauvignon Blanc). I
wanted to dive in and have a look, to give me an understanding for the company on where the market is at, where it has come from and where it is going.” His research for the project involved talking to players within the industry as well as dissecting the MPI/NZW Viticulture Monitoring reports from recent years. While he knew Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was a success story overall, he was more than surprised at just how much of a success it was. “What blew me away was the return on investment. From the
2010/11 season where it was 5.5 percent return on investment, and the 11/12 season it was 4 percent, there was a market incline of 100 percent, so the 14/15 season had a 12.4 percent return and 12 months later it was 24.45 percent. That is incredible. So, no wonder we have seen the flurry of activity into buying land in the last 12 to 18 months. The market has been absolutely red hot.” However he doesn’t believe that sort of growth can continue, in fact he believes that the peak has now been reached. “I finished my pro-
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ject in June 2017 and I felt (the industry) was at its peak then, or just prior to that. When you look at some of the prices being paid for bare land – around the $175,000 a hectare mark - I thought you can’t get a return on that. It has become evident that the big players were buying large chunks of land and they could afford to do that, because they had large volumes of land already. “They were purely spreading the cost per hectare across another large chunk of land. I don’t think there have been many small growers, of less than 20 hectares, who have gone out there and paid record prices for land. It has been the big guys. But as we sit here today, that hysteria of the land grab from late 2015, all through 2016 and early 2017 – I think it is all over. The market has definitely cooled. “Everything is cyclic. I see that in farming, it’s either a seven or 10 year cycle. The last real dip (in the wine industry) was back
in 2008/09. When you see something go rapidly upwards, you know that it can fall as rapidly as well.” Other areas to impress Millar from his research, was how well the wine industry has shared knowledge and expertise, better than many other land based
industries he believes. And how strong the Marlborough and New Zealand brand is. “That really hit me in the face, how damn powerful New Zealand Wine’s brand is. Then as I moved through the project, I started to learn how important it is to protect that brand. It would be
JAIMEE WHITEHEAD Technical vineyard supervisor for Matua in Marlborough Project: Hitting the Marc in Marlborough
he very first wine industry member to take part in the Kellog Programme, Jaimee Whitehead chose a topical subject for her research project. How to deal with grape marc, in New Zealand’s largest region. Given expansion within the region over the next few years, Whitehead says grape marc is set to rise by 50 percent by 2027. Already it is an issue – what do
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
wine companies do with the tonnes of waste that emanate from the winemaking process? “Basically, there has been an attitude about grape marc. It is a waste product and up until recently wineries have paid for someone to take it away, it was something that just needed to be got rid of. But that has now become a cost to the wineries.” “It is almost impossible to compare Marlborough to any other region, because putting
catastrophic to have that reputation damaged anywhere. I think personally, we have to be careful about the bulk wine going out of here. “We are on a knife edge here, and having done so well, we have to ensure we continue that into the future.” T
it quite simply, Marlborough is unique. It is still young, it has expanded so quickly and we produce mainly one variety – Sauvignon Blanc. Given it is mainly one variety, it all tends to come in at the same time and something needs to be done with it straight away. “We have dairy farmers in north and south Canterbury who would take as much as we could give them, but we don’t have the transportation (network) to get it down there. Plus, it is a tricky product that is high in water content, so it needs to be stored correctly, and Sauvignon Blanc
being high in acid could require treatment to prevent it affecting stock.” But personally, Whitehead believes composting is the best possible solution for the future. The only issue there is who takes ownership of the grape marc? The winery or the grower? “You have a lot of wine companies who are buying in fruit and may not have their own company vineyards, so where does the grape marc go from there? The wineries have always paid someone to take it away, the growers have never had to deal with it. But I personally feel composting is the best option. You are taking a product from the land, so you put it back. But the cost of establishing compost is quite high and requires staff.”
One solution she believes is for a biannual rotation, for those wineries who have their own vineyards. One year growers take the compost and spread thinly among the vines, the next year it is spread on company vineyards. Growers who supply wineries which do not own vineyards, may need to look at taking ownership of the marc, once the vintage is over. “The conclusion I came to is that everything we are doing is right, but it needs to be done on a bigger, more effective scale and it needs to involve both wineries and growers if we want it to lead to a sustainable future. We need to remove the negative stigma around grape marc being a nuisance or a hassle and take ownership and display leadership.”T
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 59
From the top down Te s s a N i c h o l s o n
hat could be bet ter than finding a profession that matches your personal passion. Adam Goble is one of the lucky ones, who has achieved just that. His passion was abseiling and rock climbing as a kid. Now he is the owner of a new company based in Marlborough, NZ Access, which utilises industrial abseiling and height safety engineering to help businesses with specialist access and remedial engineering issues. It isn’t exactly a new industry, but utilising it within wineries is a new adjunct for New Zealand. Goble, who recently moved to Marlborough, brings with him 13 years of expertise in specialist access and remedial engineering,
firstly in the oil and gas industry here in New Zealand, and more latterly in Australia. “I worked for a company called Absafe, which is a consulting company. They do structural inspections of bridges, facades of buildings, assets for power stations, and height safety engineered systems for a wide range of customers. We would do a lot of remedial engineering, where we would fix existing structures, concrete repair work, installing height safety systems, welding repairs inside power stations – all sorts of stuff.” Not for the feint hearted, especially when you realise the work is done tens of metres off the ground. Goble says when he arrived in Marlborough, he quickly realised
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
there was an opening for specialist access and remedial engineering within the wine industry, particularly around the massive wine tanks. “I knew we could help out with access and safety systems with tanks, confined space works and roof systems for a range of inspections and wielding repairs. And I had done a lot of that stuff in the food and dairy industry in Australia. But I wasn’t aware that there was such a need for external work.” Given any work that is undertaken on a structure that is more than two metres high has to meet workplace standards, wineries have often had to bring scaffolding in to provide workers with safe working environments. But that isn’t always an option in an
enclosed environment such as a tank farm. While more modern wineries are built to compliance, Goble has discovered many others are facing safety issues, when it comes to staff working at height. “There are a lot of workplaces out there that have height safety equipment, with employees working at height, but a lot of it doesn’t meet the current standards. All working at height equipment needs to be inspected every six months and tagged as per the new standards. “So we can inspect anchor points, put up safety systems and provide static lines where they are needed. “We do a free risk assessment on a winery site, outline the key areas they are exposed that could
be a potential for a hazard or fall. Then we can provide a list of recommendations on how to remove those risks and meet compliance.” Added to the industrial abseiling, the company is also providing a wide range of height safety anchor products and ladder access systems. “There has not been the best support in the South Island for these areas ,” Goble says, “The feedback I was getting was that that could mean a four-week turnaround, with quotes and site visit.” While large tanks within a winery are an obvious subject for maintenance via abseiling, Goble says another area is roof repairs. “Instead of having to put up scaffolding, we are putting in safety lines on the roof, which is a proprietary system. The employee can stay connected to it at all times, get around the whole building under full restraint. That system won’t allow you to fall off
– you can go right to the edge but no further. What that means is the winery doesn’t have to bring scaffolding in just to go up and wash the gutters or do a roof inspection.” Industrial abseiling has also been a unique way for wineries who are still dealing with repairs to tanks and gantries after the November 2016 earthquake. Being able to abseil into a tank from the top, to look for damage, or to help in the recladding has been a major component of the work undertaken in recent months. “Without industrial abseiling a lot of this work we are doing would require scaffolding being brought in or working out of a crane basket or cherry picker.” It is a novel way of dealing with height and space restricted environments, while at the same time Goble’s love of being in the air, held by harnesses, anchor points and ropes, is also satisfied. T email@example.com
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17/01/18 12:29 PM NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 61
REGIONS – HAWKE’S BAY
New life for old winery Oliver Styles
link and you’ll miss it. Not far enough out of Bay View that, between the road and a warm pie from the garage, you’ve got a spare eye to take in the roadsigns; and too close to Bay View that, if coming
from Taupo or Gisborne, you’re too focused on your eventual destination to be looking for distraction, you’ll find Wishart winery. It’s located on a perpendicular turn off in a 100Kmh zone between the old Esk Valley winery and fruit juicers “Simply
Squeezed”, which is just how you feel when trying to pick out the driveway with a logging truck expanding in the rear view mirror. For this reason the small winery has not been granted permission to have a cellar door. Indeed, the last unplanned visit
From left, Julz Brogden, Kate Radburnd and Rachel Barclay.
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by a motorist was in 2016, when an out-of-control truck ploughed through some vines and came to rest on the Spanish Mission-style veranda of the small winery. Back then, the Hawke’s Bay wine scene wasn’t feeling too flash. Despite the promise of Trinity Hill’s acquisition by American wine suit Charles Banks, Crossroads was up for sale and Pask wasn’t far behind. Robbie Bird - the founder of Wishart Estate in 1998 - had had his wine business liquidated in 2015 and would declare bankruptcy in 2017. It was easy to think gloomy thoughts back then. But pulling up to Wishart in early May 2018, there was a different air. The grass has grown over the skid marks out front. The tiled patio looks like it’s straight out of a Spaghetti Western, only minus the snoozing Mexican and lame dog. The only dog there is Sam, Julianne Brogden’s partner’s dog, and he’s not coming out of her car. He eyes me briefly and returns to sleep, chin on the armrest. It’s wet out. Julianne, who most people call Julz, has set up with long-time pal and mentor Kate Radburnd
The Wishart Winery where Kate Radburnd and Julz Brogden are running their new ventures.
in the neat little winery for the 2018 vintage. They’re due to stay for another two. When I meet them, along with Rachel Barclay (who looks after accounts and admin) they’re a box of birds. Not the best choice of phrase given that when I broach the all-woman winery angle I’m rightly - and in terms that leave no room for misinterpretation - shot down, but one that encapsulates the mood. Both Kate and Julz are running their businesses out of the winery. Since leaving Pask this time last year, Kate was looking for somewhere to set up a new venture and, after reviewing several options, found the vacant Wishart through Julz. Julz left Pask at the start of 2018 in order to focus on her brand, Collaboration Wines, which she set up in 2010. She also has other winemaking projects. “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working here,” says Radburnd. “It’s very small, we’re doing handpicked lots of fruit. We feel ahead of the game. It’s been an absolute pleasure.” Kate has processed 35 tons of fruit - a departure from the Pask days in that she has exclusively dealt with growers, of which it has been “a delight”, she tells me. She isn’t in a position to tell me what the name of her new brand is (Pask still owns the Kate Radburnd Wines brand and she insists the new venture will be a completely different concept to the eponymous label), but this is due to be announced soon. “We are beginning with four wines and the aim is to have a tight, focused range,” she says. “A Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, a Merlot-Cabernet and Syrah - all
from Hawke’s Bay - and a Martinborough Pinot Noir. “Small parcels of barrel aged wines made with great care.” Indeed, most of the winery’s tanks have been moved outside, making space for barrels. “[The vintage] has been seamless,” she adds. For her part, Julz has put 23 tons of fruit through the small facility. Collaboration Wines has five wines in the portfolio and, as well as a domestic clientele, exports to Japan, Singapore, and, as of last year, France. A far cry from the one ton of Cabernet she made in 2010. By her own admission, Julz came to a crossroads last year. “I couldn’t continue to work full time (at Pask) and grow the business.” she says. “Also, financially, the company has reached a point where I could take an income from it... A friend suggested Wishart. It felt right and ticked all the boxes, I just didn’t need full use of the winery. So I approached Kate. That got the ball rolling.” The ball will continue to roll for another two vintages, at which point they say they’ll take stock. As for the lack of cellar door that’s not a problem. “Don’t want one,” says Julz. “Appointment only tastings with me.” “It suits us down to the ground,” says Radburnd. The lack of bustle at the front door also suits the sleepy Sam. As I leave, Julz has to coax him out of the warm fug in the station wagon in order to stretch his legs. He is as enthusiastic about my departure as he was at my arrival. I can’t say I hold it against him.T firstname.lastname@example.org
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 63
REGIONS – MARLBOROUGH
History and wine combine Te s s a N i c h o l s o n
he historic Blenheim Railway station, has been given a new lease of life, thanks to four entrepreneurs 1 and dozens of Marlborough wines. Renamed The Wine Station, the building which was originally built in 1906, is now the one stop, go to for people wanting to gain a taste of the province, without having to travel from cellar door to cellar door. Opened in February, The Wine Station hosted more than 5000 individuals within the first eight weeks. Many of those visitors travelled to the site courtesy of a historic heritage steam train - The Marlborough Flyer - after disembarking off one of the many cruise liners visiting the region over summer. (See next story). The novelty of the train itself, has been supported by the ability for
tourists, many under time pressure, to experience 80 different wines, ranging in variety from the famous Sauvignon Blanc, through to more rare tipples such as Tempranillo or Montepulciano. Manager, Michelle Osgood says the latest in beverage system technology, imported from Italy, has been installed allowing customers to choose wines, in either a tasting, half glass or full glass. “The machines we are using are Wine Emotion (the latest generation machine), the first of their kind in New Zealand,” she says. “We have 10 machines, each holding eight different bottles of wine, which we are told can last for up to six
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
weeks, once opened. We have not yet been able to test this theory as rarely does any bottle last more than a few days.” In fact in the first eight weeks, all of the 80 individual wines on show, have been replaced either sold or consumed on a regular basis. “The way the machines work, are when someone pushes the pour button, the wine receives a shot of argon gas that forms a protective layer between the wine in the bottle and the air, protecting it from impurities and oxygenation.” To complete the customer experience, if they like any particular wine, they can purchase a bottle on the spot to take home or The Wine Station can arrange world-wide delivery. With 80 wines, the mix is an interesting one. Despite
Marlborough being more than 80 percent Sauvignon Blanc in terms of production, Osgood says the wines on display are nowhere near that ratio. “One of the key things we wanted to do was show people that there is more to Marlborough than just Sauvignon Blanc. We find the tourists know about the region as a wine producer, and they certainly know about Sauvignon Blanc. But we want them to try the many other varieties we produce so well.” With 16 classic Sauvignons available for tasting, and another eight alternative styles, the rest of the make-up is a varietal smorgasbord. From Rosé, to Pinot Blanc, Syrah to Chenin Blanc, and Cabernet Franc to dessert. Interestingly though – the variety of choice so far has been Pinot Noir, something Osgood is more than happy about.
“People needed to see what else there is available in Marlborough. If they were going around to cellar doors they would have that opportunity. But this is for those people who don’t have the time to do that.” One of the beauties about the Wine Emotion machines is that the customer is king when it comes to what they want to taste. That Osgood says is important. “People suit themselves when it comes to the tastings. We are not telling them what to try, unless they ask for suggestions. Instead they can taste as many or as few wines as they like, the same with varieties. They might want to sample just Pinot Noir, or they might want to try three or four different varieties. They are in complete control of what they do.” It is also an important outlet for Marlborough wineries, given they can gain exposure for a range of varieties outside those best known. Osgood says a number
Michelle Osgood with one of the 10 Wine Emotion machines at the new The Wine Station in Blenheim.
of the wines available for tasting have previously only been available at the cellar door. “The public may never get the opportunity to try or be able to buy in retail a number of these wines, but they can here.” She says The Wine Station is not in direct competition with cellar doors, but rather plays a supporting role, adding to what
is already available and providing a platform for wines without a cellar door facility. The story of Marlborough as a wine region is also well told, with fact filled canvases adorning the walls. For many involved in the Marlborough wine industry, The Wine Station and its ethos has been a long time coming. While other
regions have had a central spot allowing visitors to try and buy, the country’s largest region has not. And going by the support in the first few weeks, consumers are literally lapping it up.T 1 The Wine Station has been established by Michael and Angela Wentworth, Paul Jackson and Kirsty Parry. email@example.com
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NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 65
REGIONS – MARLBOROUGH
Off to a flying start Te s s a N i c h o l s o n
103-year-old lovingly restored steam train, is now plying its way from Picton to Blenheim, capturing the imaginations of tourists, locals and international media. The Marlborough Flyer, was the very first of more than 140 steam locomotives to come off the ranks of the Addington workshops in Christchurch, back in 1915. Three years later it was christened with the name Pass-
chendaele, in remembrance of all the New Zealand lives lost during the Passchendaele battle of 1917, New Zealand’s worst day in military history in terms of lives lost. While it ploughed the main trunk line for many years after that, in recent decades it has became a key project for the Charitable Trust Steam Incorporated, based north of Wellington. Now fully restored it is a major attraction in Marlborough, servicing not only locals, but thousands
of tourists coming off cruise ships that visit Picton. The man behind the steam locomotive becoming part of the Marlborough landscape, is Paul Jackson, Managing Director of Pounamu Travel, and co-owner of The Wine Station in Blenheim. The two entities tie neatly together, given the train’s Blenheim location is the historic 1906
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train station, that is now home to a plethora of Marlborough wines. (See previous story). “We have a long-term lease with Steam Incorporated,” he says, “with the train arriving here last year. In a sense it feels like it has come home to the South Island, because it was born here and it used to operate this main northern line for many years.”
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Taking the lid off innovation. Travelling at a maximum speed of 70 kilometres per hour, The Marlborough Flyer has five historic carriages, all built between 1909 and 1912. Complete with sash windows, timber paneling, viewing balconies and pressed tin ceilings, the experience for travelers is more than just a standard mode of transport. “Immediately you step on board you get this feeling of travel like nothing we experience today. It is an almost romantic experience. “These trains are engineering masterpieces and they are still running today. That is special.” Since operations began in December last year, more than 9000 individual passengers have taken advantage of the 50-minute
experience, that travels up one of the fourth steepest slopes in New Zealand (the Elevation just out of Picton), through the natural Para wetlands, home away from home for Russian Godwits, over the Wairau River and through hectares of vineyards. Each guest is offered a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as they arrive on board, and the Marlborough wine story continues once they disembark at The Wine Station. With rave reviews, including being listed as one of the top 10 train trips to undertake in Australasia, by the UK Telegraph, The Marlborough Flyer is off to a flying start (excuse the pun), which is only likely to grow as the story of the train and Marlborough wines spreads internationally.T
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NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 67
AMONG THE VINES
Protecting the future June/July
he long term sustainability of many vineyards is under threat from pervasive wood diseases that are slowly killing vines. The lost production and cost of replacing affected vines can be very expensive and can sometimes warrant total block replacement. Studies have shown that Sauvignon Blanc is highly susceptible to Grapevine Dieback Disease. It is therefore important that pruned vines are protected from infection in order to prevent future losses. The key causal pathogens of Grapevine Dieback, Botryosphaeria stevensii and Eutypa lata, have the ability to invade healthy
vines through the unprotected pruning wounds. After a rainfall event, spores are released and continue to be released for several days. Spores are carried by wind or rain splash onto cuts where they germinate and invade the healthy wood. Pruning cuts can be susceptible for up to one month for Eutypa and three months for Botryosphaeria. The diseases affect the vascular (nutrient transport) system and restricts the supply of nutrients to the vine above the infected area, and the fungus releases toxins which retard growth. The most obvious symptoms are visible in the early spring. Leaves are yellow, small, cupped and often
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
tattered with scorched margins followed by progressive cane dieback and canopy decline as the vascular tissue becomes progressively restricted and toxins increase. Symptoms are often expressed years after initial infection so it pays to implement a preventative control strategy. If practicable, prune vines during spells of dry weather and apply suitable wound paints such as PruneTec or Greenseal Ultra to significant cuts soon after they are made. This is particularly important if rain is imminent. Another useful tool for protecting the thousands of smaller wounds is spray-on protectants such as
Gelseal Ultra Spray-On which contains three fungicide protectants. The spray-on option is much more cost-effective due to much lower labour input. If your vines display symptoms, infected parts should be pruned out and burnt, particularly all wood older than one year. In areas without symptoms, it is advised that prunings are mulched soon after they are cut out to speed up breakdown and lower risk of spreading spores. Your local Fruitfed Supplies representative can provide more information on all aspects of managing Grapevine Dieback Disease and other matters to consider over winter.T
Paying it back Te s s a N i c h o l s o n
onstellation Brands New Zealand are paying back the loyalty of their staff, by increasing the amount paid to staff members on parental leave. VP Human Resources Julie Bassett says the company is going above and beyond the government legislation that provides 18 weeks of paid leave to primary care givers having children. While the legislation provides funding for each primary care-giver, Constellation Brands are topping up that funding, to the base wage of the person involved. “The amount the government pays is a reasonably small amount, particularly for those who are on more than the minimal wage,” Bassett says. “Generally it leaves quite a gap between what someone would get if they were working and the amount they would get from government.” Describing the decision to increase the amount paid, she says it is an investment in the company’s staff. “We want to encourage our employees to come back after they have been on maternity leave.” With the majority of primary care givers being women, Bassett
Constellation’s VP Human Resources, Julie Bassett.
says the new policy impacts on a large percentage of their staff. “They are a huge part of our talent base and certainly not one that we want to lose.” But it is not just the primary care giver that is being looked after under the new policy. Secondary carers (most often fathers of newborns) are also being offered four weeks of paid leave (on top of their annual leave) in
two separate portions. When a baby is born the secondary carer gains two weeks leave, and the second two weeks can be taken at any stage during the child’s first year. “We are flexible on that,” Bassett says. “We have just had one father whose partner had a caesarian and needed that extra support up front, so we gave him the four weeks paid leave right at
the beginning.” It is not the only move by Constellation Brands to offer more for staff. The company has instigated paid birthday leave and the opportunity for staff to buy an additional week’s annual leave. “The benefits to our staff and families are significant and obvious,” she says, “but it’s also really beneficial to us as a business. Our ability to attract and retain the best people is, at least in part, down to the attractive benefits we can offer and support we provide our people at all stages of their life and career.” FlexAbility has also recently been launched, allowing staff to have a conversation with their managers about working outside the eight-hour-a day formula. “It could be asking for a different time working arrangement, or it could be around job sharing. I have that with a couple of people in my team, who have recently moved to a job share scenario. It is working brilliantly.” Constellation Brands New Zealand has 250 staff nationwide, and the company also looks after Australian employees and a number of staff across Asia. T email@example.com
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REGIONS – MARLBOROUGH
Filling some big shoes Te s s a N i c h o l s o n
arrell O’Brien is under no illusion about the magnitude of his new job. Appointed as Chief Executive, a newly created role at Allan Scott Family Winemakers, he is stepping into the position that has always been held by the company’s founder. It was nearly 30 years ago when the company was formed by Allan and wife Catherine, and during the ensuing years, all three of the couple’s children have become involved. Now though the time has come for Allan to take a muchdeserved break from the head honcho’s role, and for someone else to take it on. For O’Brien, that is a privilege and an honour, especially given the fact the com-
pany is not only family-owned but its journey from the 70’s to the current day is also very much a recorded part of Marlborough’s wine industry. Allan Scott planted some of the original large-scale vineyards in the region including his own family estates. “I do feel honoured, it is a trust and confidence thing, up there with the best,” O’Brien says. “I did think very carefully about the position as there is a lot at stake when you consider what Allan is to the industry, never mind that this is his own business.” Having known Allan Scott for a number of years and his earlier involvement in the industry, O’Brien says helped him with his decision. With a background in motor-
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sport, industrial engineering and high-volume production facilities, O’Brien found himself in this part of the world in 2006 following a visit to an Expo in London. “It was at a New Zealand/Australia trade expo, where by chance I got talking to some companies including NZTE along with a few others. Really it led from there. Six months later I was a resident based in Dunedin working for a company supplying new components for the car industry and heat-treated components”. Having moved to Marlborough in 2008 he is well ensconced in the region and has held senior positions in the wine industry and in the forestry sector before joining Allan Scott. “I have a track record of establishing very efficient teams within an organization. Teams who are essentially self-managing, take ownership and get it right first time. “This job is initially about establishing what is ‘current state’ in regard to business activities and performance. The next step will be to develop strategy and achievable implementation plans so that we can all successfully achieve the ‘future state’ for the family business and future generations.” When asked if that next big step is based on growing the company, O’Brien pointed out that growth is a word that can mean different things to different people. “Some people think growth
just means additional volume. It doesn’t necessarily need to be that. While we will be looking at volume growth for sure, my emphasis will be about adding more value to what we already do.” Telling the story of Allan Scott Family Winemakers will be an important part of adding that value to the wine, he says. “The Allan Scott story is a magnificent one about someone who personally laid some of the first commercial scale wine posts
in Marlborough and went on to establish his own estate and winery with his wife Catherine. They are true pioneers who had to learn their trade by trial and error and a huge dollop of perseverance until they reached the point where they consistently got it right. “I believe a certain amount of the people drinking our wines know that story, but there are lots of people who don’t. We want to get that story out there a lot more.” In terms of why O’Brien got
the job of CEO, Allan Scott says he has proven leadership skills and a hands-on approach. “His natural ability to ‘connect’ with people from all walks of life really supports our way of doing things,” Scott says. “In addition, Darrell’s focus on achieving a great operational culture, structure and a place where people really enjoy their work, sits well with the way we want to do things.” Darrell O’Brien took up his new role in early April.T firstname.lastname@example.org
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Modernising Customs and Excise The new Customs and Excise Act comes into effect on 1 October 2018. The process to get to this point began in 2013 with a review of the 1996 Act followed by an extensive consultation process with businesses and industry organisations, including New Zealand Winegrowers. Customs’ Terry Brown and Richard Bargh discuss the new Act.
t is fair to say that Customs was long overdue for new legislation. The 1996 Act had been patched up with amendments many times over the years and the origins of some parts were over 50 and 100 years old. Customs needed a new foundation to help us manage the rapid changes taking place in trade, travel, security, and technology. The Customs and Excise Act 2018 received Royal Assent on 29 March this year and will take effect on 1 October. The intent of the new Act remains the same but the language and structure have been modernised to make it easier to understand and interpret. It provides more effective and streamlined processes for our importers and exporters, and will help foster stronger economic growth for our country by giving businesses more flexibility and a greater understanding of their obligations. Customs warmly welcomed the extensive feedback on the draft Bill and the many submissions made to the select committee. Most of the changes that will occur from the Act were identified by businesses as having the potential to lower their costs and make their lives easier, for example, it aims to simplify the
From left; Terry Brown, Senior Responsible Officer for the Customs and Excise Act, New Zealand Customs Service and Richard Bargh, Acting Group Manager, Revenue and Assurance, New Zealand Customs Service.
collection of excise, and make the process as painless as possible for those who pay it – all building on the Regulations that came into effect on 1 February last year. Some key points: • You will be able to apply to store your business records offshore • There are new, streamlined, cheaper, and less formal processes for Customs to review duty assessments which is especially good news for small businesses • There is a more propor-
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
tionate compensatory interest and penalty scheme for late and shortfall payments of duty • The Act provides more clarity on the level of penalties and the circumstances when a penalty will apply. From 1 October*, those holding but not releasing domestically manufactured excisable goods for home consumption are required to enter a nil return according to a prescribed period or timeframe. Now that we have an Act, our focus is very much on making
sure that we’re ready to implement these new changes when they come into force on October 1 – which is not far away. We are completing new policies, processes, procedures, and guides. We are consulting with stakeholders to develop Rules and Regulations to support the new Act, and an easy to use reference guide will be available that highlights the differences between the old and new Acts. As well as developing training
resources for our staff, we are also working on self-help education material that will help ensure you know what the changes are, what they mean for you, and what you need to do. You will be able to access these from late July. We will be in touch with you again before then with more details on the changes. In the meantime, we continue with our role of protecting and promoting New Zealand through world class border management. We could not have got this far without the support and contribution of our industry groups, including NZ Winegrowers.The new Act is the result of a long period of close consultation and collaboration. We would like to thank you for the part you have played and continue to play. Your CEO Philip Gregan is a member of a longstanding advisory group that has been invaluable with its input over many months to the Bill and now the Act.
Customs has done a great job of modernising their systems to recognise modern business operations, while still meeting their excise collection requirements. Excise is reality for our industry and common-sense solutions to address industry concerns have been very welcome. It will save time and money for our members as we grow exports to $2 billion by 2020.
We also greatly appreciated a statement Philip issued on the third reading of the Bill a week before it received Royal Assent. He congratulated us on our consultation process, saying it had been “an exemplar of genuine, transparent and effective
consultation. “Customs has done a great job of modernising their systems to recognise modern business operations, while still meeting their excise collection requirements. Excise is reality for our industry and common-sense solutions
to address industry concerns have been very welcome. It will save time and money for our members as we grow exports to $2 billion by 2020.” We look forward to working further with NZ Winegrowers, and all excise manufacturers, prior to and after the Act comes into force. *Please note that the 1 October date for implementation of the Act is different to the 1 July 2018 date for Trade Single Window (TSW) WCO3 Mandatory Adoption. This is the mandatory date for moving on to the WCO3-format for cargo reporting and clearance messages or having a clear plan for switching over before the deadline, except the Inward Cargo Report (ICR) which is dependent on completion of a pilot phase. There is more information on the Customs website https://www. customs.govt.nz/business/tradesingle-window T
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Dr Dave Glover Neil Hodgson
n the 27th March 2018, Nelson lost one of its pioneering winemakers, Dr David (Dave) Glover who passed away after a battle with cancer. With a doctorate in mathematics Dave had a fierce intellect and huge heart, he loved his family, sport and his cats. He also enjoyed the finer things in life including aged Bordeaux wines and opera, he always had a huge smile at the ready, scoffed at fools and probably at people who didn’t agree with him too. After a stint working as a mathematician for the Australian armed forces doing things like calculating the parabolic curve of missiles fired from submarines, he turned his intellect to winemaking. He was determined to make the best wines he could and to share his passion with anyone who would take the time to drop in to see him at his Upper Moutere winery, a winery he established in 1988 after planting the first vines in 1985. Because Dave Glover loved old wines he set about crafting wines that needed to be aged;
Dr Dave Glover – doing what he loved, creating wines that were “som ething different.”
“People drink wine that is far too young.” This philosophy of making wines to age is reflected in other aspects of his wine making. Several years ago he told me; “there are plenty of good wines on the market but many of them are a bit ‘cookie cutter’ and I want to make something a little different, something interesting.” Using winemaking methods like maceration carbonique, leaving Pinot Noir juice on skins for six or seven weeks to extract
‘decent tannin’ and trying to develop sulphide complexity in his wines led to some thinking his wines were faulty. In recent years a new generation of winemakers, along with some older winemakers, have embraced similar winemaking techniques as they try to make wines with tags like ‘funky’, ‘natural’ or ‘orange’, or wines with sulphide complexity. Dave was a leader of the pack. As his son and fellow win-
emaker Michael told me; “If he was making those wines now he would be a rock star.” He could be a stubborn bugger but he added colour and soul to a wine industry that many people see as losing some of its soul, particularly in the case of corporate producers. Dr Dave Glover will be missed by a huge number of people lucky enough to count him as a friend and colleague.T
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REGIONS – NORTH CANTERBURY
Environmental award winner
t has been an award-winning couple of months for Greystone Wines in North Canterbury. Back in February, winemaker Dom Maxwell was named as the inaugural Gourmet Traveller WINE New Zealand Winemaker of the Year 2018. Less than a month later, both Greystone Wines and Muddy Water were awarded the Hill Laboratories Agri Science Award in the Canterbury regional Balance Farm Environmental Awards. The awards which run in 11 regions recognise and celebrate good farm practices which promote sustainable land management. The judging process considers the entire environment, considering sustainable profitability, environmental awareness, good business practices and social and community responsibility.
Greystone Wines and Muddy Waters, owned by the Thomas Family and Friends Wine Company, are organically certified vineyards producing high-value wines from a fully integrated business. The business which began back in 2002, now has vineyards
on two properties, with the Greystone Wines property being 165ha and Muddy Water being 30. Of the total of 195ha, just 47 are planted in vines. In the Balance Farm Environment Awards release, the properties are described as “being managed on a whole farm basis,
rather than concentrating on just the vineyards and letting the remaining property go wild. “Only the vineyards and the winery are certified organic. “This enables the conventional control measures of broom and gorse on the bigger properties.” T
Environmental award winners; Greystone Wines and Muddy Water.
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Italian tour impressed by sustainability Mary Shanahan
ustainable Winegrowing New Zealand’s proactive environmental management system captivated a group of Italians who recently toured four of this country’s wine regions. The tour, which included winemakers, winery owners, sommeliers, vineyard managers and industry researchers, was led by Giuliano Boni of SIVE, the Italian equivalent of the New Zealand Society of Viticulture and Oenology. SIVE promotes and disseminates technical information on
viticulture, winemaking and related sciences for the benefit of the grape growing and wine industries in Italy. The eight-day tour set a cracking pace. It started with the 18 Italians attending research topic presentations by senior lecturer Dr Bruno Fedrizzi and post doctorate students at the University of Auckland. The group also visited Villa Maria at Mangere and Te Motu Vineyard on Waiheke Island. In Hawke’s Bay, the tour took in Mission Estate, Craggy Range and Elephant Hill wineries and
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facilities at EIT’s School of Viticulture and Wine. The school’s presentation on Sustainable Winegrowing attracted a great deal of interest and prompted many questions. Wine science lecturer Elise Montgomery pointed out that Hawke’s Bay has the highest percentage of accredited wineries of any of New Zealand’s wine regions. Reflecting on the trip four days in, Annamaria Finarelli was very impressed by New Zealand producers. She found them very respectful of colleagues in the industry and noted that they cooperated in offering help and
advice. “This is very special,” she said. “It’s huge.” From Verona, Finarelli studied as a sommelier and was eager to come to New Zealand to try more of the country’s wines and experience the culture. With just two fleeting visits to New Zealand in the last 16 years, Giuliano said he had finally succeeded in returning for longer. “The idea was to show the party as many wine regions as possible in a few days.” Passionate about Pinot Noir, Boni was looking forwarding to sampling Central Otago exam-
Enjoying a wine tasting at EIT, from left, Annamaria Finarelli, Giuliano Boni, Carlo Rinolli, Sara Pedron, Emilio Celotti and School of Viticulture and Wine Science head Sue Ross
ples. In the final year of study for an oenology degree, Carlo Rinolli said curiosity sparked his trip to New Zealand. After graduating, he hopes to return and to perhaps work a vintage. All of Sara Pedron’s family work in the wine industry in Italy’s far north and when she
said she was heading off on the New Zealand tour, her father and brother decided to join her. The group’s visit to EIT included a tasting of Hawke’s Bay wines selected by Montgomery as atypical varieties for the region. They included Sileni Gewurztraminer, Alpha Domus Viognier, Lime Rock Gruner Veltliner, Esk
Valley Verdelho and Junction Pinot Noir. The Italians responded in gifting an array of their own wines to the school’s cellar. The tour schedule for Marlborough took in the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research and provided for visits to the Brancott, Cloudy Bay and
Giesen wineries. In Central Otago, Grant Taylor, winemaker and director at Valli Vineyards, had the tourists booked for a tasting of Pinot Noirs. Their exploration of Central Otago also included visits to Terra Sancta, Mt Difficulty and Peregrine wineries.T
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hirty-three small-production wineries from across the country are gathering up their best bottles, cases and carafes and preparing for this year’s New Zealand Boutique Wine Festival, to take place on June 10. Suitable for all wine lovers, from beginners to buffs, this unique event showcases exhibiting wineries in an intimate setting, along with vertical tastings, food and wine pairing seminars and the opportunity to experience
a VIP lunch and dinner. Owner and Event Director, Sue Duncan says that this wellloved boutique event is something special. “The Boutique Wine Festival is an absolutely delightful day out. All the wines are from small wineries offering very limited vintages, so discovery is the name of the game. “You normally won’t find these wines anywhere except for the cellar door (if you’re lucky), and what is even better is that you get to sample them amongst
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
a sparkling crowd of wine-lovers, in a stunning location, with great music to match,” says Duncan. The Boutique Wine Festival is being held at the Imperial Buildings Fort Lane, Auckland, June 10.T New Zealand Boutique Wine Festival Event Director, Sue Duncan.
From left: David Trubridge, Elisha Milmine - HBWA Event Manager, Julie & Mike Russel - Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition organisers.
Wine auction’s artist confirmed
rganisers of New Zealand’s oldest and most prestigious wine auction have secured the talents of famous international designer David Trubridge as the Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction event artist for 2018. The art work will be displayed at the Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition event for the five days leading up to this year’s Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction on Saturday 10th November. Trubridge is well known for his amazing lights, but he is also an internationally recognised designer for stand-alone sculpture and art pieces large and small. “My art piece currently has a working title ‘The Network of Life’ and is an evolving design I have in my mind,” Trubridge says. “I will work on the design and creation over the coming months and look forward to sharing the piece in its completion later in the year.” Forty-two of Hawke’s Bay’s talented winegrowers have committed their skills to producing yet again, some outstanding, unique blends, for the Auction. Elisha Milmine, Hawke’s Bays Wine Auction Event Manager says; “the winegrowing community has had another bumper wine harvest and we are looking forward to some really exceptional wines on offer in November.” Event tickets will go on sale July 2 and absentee bidding is also available. To follow update’s sign up at www.hawkesbaywineauction. co.nz or ‘like’ Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction, Facebook page.T
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FROM NOT ON THE THE CEO LABEL
LEGAL MATTERS WITH CHARLOTTE PARKHILL PARTNER, KENSINGTON SWAN
ARE YOUR WORKERS TRULY ‘SEASONAL’?
emporary working arrangements are essential to meet the seasonal demands of New Zealand wine-
growers. While the law in New Zealand allows employers to have ‘seasonal’ employment agreements, it is easy to get the basics wrong, and noncompliance can be costly. In this article, we take a look at what employers in the viticulture industry need to do to make sure that their employment agreements really are seasonal.
Legal requirements at a glance It’s coming up to harvest time. You dust off your standard fixed term employment template, add in a start and end date and send it out to various applicants. Is this enough? Seasonal workers are usually employed under fixed term employment agreements, which are governed by the Employment Relations Act 2000 (‘ERA2000’). To be a valid fixed term under the ERA2000, an employer must: Have a genuine reason for the fixed term – usually this box
is easily ticked by a winegrower due to the seasonal nature of the business. However, you should be careful not to use the fixed term agreements for positions that are not subject to the same seasonal fluctuations. State the genuine reason in the fixed term employment agreement – some employers only state the reason verbally. This is not enough. The reason must be clearly stated in the employment agreement. State the reason why the employment must end at a certain time (e.g. the harvest will be at an end) – this can be dif-
ferent from the reason for the fixed term. Note that the ending of the fixed term can be a fixed date, or the end of a particular project/season. Sometimes simply changing the dates each year will be enough. But if the reason for the fixed term or the date that it ends varies between workers employed for the season, then a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not be sufficient. You should be tailoring your fixed term employment agreements to ensure that they meet the requirements in the ERA2000.
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What happens if you get it wrong? If the fixed-term employment agreement does not comply with the ERA2000, the employment agreement itself will not be deemed invalid, but instead will be deemed to be a permanent employment agreement. This means that you cannot lawfully end employment at the end of the season, and any reliance on the end of the fixed term may result in a valid claim for unjustified dismissal.
Obligations in the off season Most employers assume that, once fixed term employment has ended for a season, all obligations that the employer had to the employee also cease. This may not be the case for returning seasonal workers. The Supreme Court recently considered the question of the employment status of meatworkers returning for a new
season in Affco New Zealand Limited v New Zealand Meat Workers and Related Trades Union Incorporated  NZSC 135. In that case, Affco took advantage of the expiry of a collective agreement to introduce new, less favourable, terms in individual employment agreements for the beginning of the next season. This occurred in the off season, after the workers’ previous employment agreement had expired, but before they had agreed to the next season’s work (and so they were not current ‘employees’, which is why Affco assumed it could introduce new terms). The Supreme Court disagreed with Affco, and found that: The off season is, however, a period during which it is agreed that the employees will not perform work and will not be paid but will have, nevertheless, an expectation that they will be reengaged… Accordingly, the Court found
that they were still employees governed by the ERA2000 for the purpose of the lockout provisions in the ERA2000. A lockout will be unlawful if the employer does it to try to compel an employee to accept terms of employment. By refusing to re-engage the meatworkers for the season unless they accepted the new employment agreement, Affco had locked them out unlawfully. However, the Court also expressly noted that this does not mean an employer will ‘lock out’ a returning seasonal worker every time that terms cannot be agreed. The key factor in this case was that there was an expectation of reengagement. Affco had an express obligation to offer re-engagement, subject to seniority and performance at the start of each season.
What should you do? We recommend that employers check their fixed
term employment agreement templates – sometimes they do contain unusual terms which arguably create an expectation for renewal, which would mean that the Affco case may apply. You should also be careful what you say to your fixed term employees. The fixed term may be overridden if an explicit or implicit promise is made to the employee that the relationship is to continue. You should also take a moment to consider the wording of the fixed term employment agreements your business uses to employ seasonal workers and make sure that they clearly set out the reason for the fixed term, and the reason for it ending. The wine industry can take advantage of fixed term agreements for its seasonal workers, but the consequences of getting them wrong are significant. Check your templates before the next season.T
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To have events listed in this calendar, please email details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Auckland/ Northern Bayer Young Viticulturist of the year
Hawke’s Bay Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year
NZW Grape Days
10 New Zealand Boutique Wine Festival
24-26 Fine Food New Zealand 2018 ASB Showgrounds, Auckland
Imperial Buildings, Fort Land, Auckland
NZW Grape Days Marlborough
NZW Grape Days Central Otago
JULY 5 Wairarapa Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year
13 Marlborough Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year
20 Central Otago Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year
20 Tonnellerie de Mercurey South Island Young Winemaker of the Year Competition Blenheim
Tonnellerie de Mercurey North Island Young Winemaker of the Year Competition Auckland
31-Aug 2 New World Wine Awards Judging Wellington
AUGUST 22 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker of the Year National Final Auckland
NZSVO Sparkling Workshop Vintners Retreat, Marlborough. Register www.nzsvo.org. nz
Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year National Final
29/30 Romeo Bragato Conference Westpac Stadium,Wellington
Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction
Sauvignon 2019 – International Celebration of Sauvignon Blanc
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
MAJOR NZ VINEYARD AREAS PRODUCING HECTARES Region
PRINCIPAL EXPORT MARKETS % of Total in 2018 forecast
Hawkes Bay Central Otago
Wairarapa / Wellington
MAJOR VARIETIES IN MAJOR AREAS Variety
All other varieties Total
AVERAGE VINEYARD SIZE Region
Regional area producing ha
Average of Area ha
Number of Vineyards
Gisborne Hawke’s Bay
Nelson Northland Central Otago
Wellington / Wairarapa National
Growth Decline Litres %
Growth Decline FOB %
Exports for the year to date to the end of March 2018 (Moving Annual Total)
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018 // 83
RESEARCH SUPPLEMENT Information and Updates on NZ Winegrowers Research Programmes. Editors: Dr Matias Kinzurik, Research Programme Manager
A regular feature at the back of each issue of WineGrower to inform industry people about research projects being undertaken for their benefit. Newly approved projects (when available) are briefly summarised in the first section ‘Introducing New Projects’. Longer reports in the section headed ‘Progress Reports’, will describe what has been achieved so far. Scientists in charge of each project have been asked to make these reports reader-friendly rather than to follow the usual format of scientific papers. When completed, each project will be reported in full detail, with references, on the website: www.nzwine.com/
LIST OF PROJECTS Quality Wine Styles for Existing and Developing Markets Lighter wine (PGP) University of Auckland and Plant and Food Research (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MPI Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) fund. High-throughput genotyping of transposon-induced mutations in vines Lincoln University (C Winefield) Population genomics of the wine spoilage yeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis Auckland University (M Goddard) Low alcohol-reduced calorie wines using molecular sponges for sugar removal University of Auckland (B Fedrizzi) Shoot trimming effects on Pinot noir vine leaf area to fruit weight ratio, productivity and fruit composition Lincoln University Assessment of commercially available yeast nutrient products on Sauvignon blanc microvin ferments Kirsten Creasy UC Davis collaboration to determine factors that affect colour in Pinot noir wines when grapes are harvested at lower than target berry soluble solids. Plant and Food Research (C Grose) The role of microbes in regional Pinot Noir quality and style University of Auckland (M Goddard)
NZ WINEGROWER JUNE/JULY 2018
Exploring the chemical space in Vineyard Ecosystems (VE) Programme juices and wines University of Auckland (B Fedrizzi)
Pests and Disease Grapevine Trunk Disease; young vine ecology, diagnostics and preventative treatments New Zealand Viticulture Nursery Association Incorporated (VINA) (N Hoskins) Virus diversity in New Zealand grapevines: sequence, ecology and impact – The Rod Bonfiglioli Scholarship Plant and Food Research (R MacDiarmid - student A Blouin) Optimising management of grapevine trunk diseases for vineyard longevity South Australian Research & Development Institute (M Sosnowski) Developing Powdery Mildew Best Practise in New Zealand Vineyards A Lambourne - Supported by MPI Sustainable Farming Fund Spray protocols to quantify and optimise spray deposits applied to dormant grapevines (trunks, heads, cordons and canes) Plant and Food Research (M Walter) Supported by MPI Sustainable Farming Fund as part of the Powdery Mildew Best Practise project. Powdery Mildew Case Studies A Lambourne
Cost Reduction/Increased Profitability Precision Grape Yield Analyser Programme 2016-2021 Lincoln Agritech Limited (A Werner) An automated grape yield estimation system – The Rod Bonfiglioli Scholarship Massey University (M Legg)
Sustainability/Organics Pinot noir wine composition and sensory characteristics as affected by soil type and irrigation in the Waipara region Lincoln University Vineyard Ecosystems Programme University of Auckland and Plant and Food Research (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MBIE Sector weather data licence & tools HortPlus (NZ) Ltd. Cost efficient optimisation of weed management in vineyards Thoughtful Viticulture (M Krasnow) Optimisation of irrigation and water savings in Marlborough Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir and Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay and Merlot Thoughtful Viticulture (M Krasnow)
What is your leafroll number? Arnaud G Blouin and Robin M MacDiarmid 13-115 THE OLD frescos from Pompeii have been preserved for centuries by the ashes of the Mount Vesuvius eruption (79 AD). It is in some of these paintings that the oldest grapevine virus symptoms can be observed. Indeed, the distorted grapevine leaves depicted resemble those caused by the virus Grapevine fanleaf virus (fanleaf). Vegetative propagation of grapevines has been a common practice for the last 6000 years, resulting in humans being the main vector of grapevine viruses with additional transmission routes superfluous to the point that some cultivars, such as the Vitis vinifera Red globe, can be identified by the viruses they host (leafroll 2). The missionary Samuel Marsden is often credited with having planted the first grapevine in New Zealand in 1819. With the current knowledge of the ubiquity of the grapevine viruses, we can probably also attribute to him the first grapevine viruses in New Zealand. Further evidence of the presence of virus disease in New Zealand grapevines can be traced to 1902; in the 10th report of the Department of Agriculture, Romeo Bragato described Cabernet Sauvignon vines that produced no fruit and were easily distinguished from fruit-bearing vines by the early reddening of their leaves. These descriptions could be attributed to the virus Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 (GLRaV-3 or leafroll 3). By the 1960s, such leafroll disease was known to be widespread. Subsequently, the virus has been recognised as the most detrimental in the country. In the first official report that specifically describes leafroll disease, McKissock also reported fanleaf, an impor-
Figure 1. Picture of the reddening symptoms observed on Syrah sample AB045 inflected with Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus (GRSPaV) and two common viroids but no candidate virus that might account for the symptoms. Picture taken by Arnaud Blouin (PFR) in April 2015.
tant disease of vineyards at the time. The impact of fanleaf was assessed by Chamberlain in 1970, with high incidence reported in Auckland and Hawke’s Bay, the two main wine regions at the time. The alarming report by Mossop in 1986, relating a widespread occurrence of fanleaf and of the related virus Arabis mosaic virus (ArMV) in New Zealand, constitutes the last publication of viruses belonging to the genus Nepovirus in New Zealand grapevines. Ultimately, as a result of the absence of a vector in the country, and with a better control over planting material health, fanleaf, and other nepoviruses, are now considered eradicated from commercial vineyards. Since the mid-1980s to the beginning of this study, 17 other viruses have been reported in New Zealand grapevines. Over the last four years,
Arnaud Blouin has been undertaking his doctoral research titled “Virus diversity in New Zealand grapevines: Sequence, history and impact” under the supervision of Robin MacDiarmid at the University of Auckland and Plant and Food Research. The research that was funded and supported by the Rod Bonfiglioli Memorial Scholarship as well as Plant and Food Research has been reported previously in easy to read articles (Blouin AG, Bell VA, MacDiarmid RM 2016 The upsides of viruses. New Zealand Winegrower 97: 86-87, Anon. 2015 Sports and spots for survey. New Zealand Winegrower 89:57, Blouin AG, Ross H, MacDiarmid RM 2014 Virus diversity in New Zealand grapevines: sequence, ecology and impact. Overview of the Rod Bonfiglioli scholarship research project. New Zealand Winegrower 86:72-73, Massey E
2018. Exploring NZ’s vineyard virome. New Zealand Winegrower 108: 22-23). More detailed information about the research can be found within the seven research papers that comprise his thesis. Now that the thesis is submitted, we have updated its outcomes in this article.
Plants tested The “virome” is defined by the totality of the viruses present in one environment, in this case the New Zealand environment. The first part of this study was to establish a reliable assay to detect all viruses present in a sample. The second part was to select which plants to test. We have collected 225 grapevines from different cultivars and regions that could be divided into four groups: First, the background virome of the commercial vineyard was assessed from 166 Sauvignon
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blanc samples collected from four vineyards within two major wine regions of New Zealand (labelled as the SB group). Secondly, the historical introduction of viruses into New Zealand was assessed from 19 plants collected from the New Zealand Winegrowers’ germplasm collection, the socalled “low-health” block (GC-LH group). The third source sampled 16 grapevines that had undergone a virus elimination process and were planted in the “high-health” block of the germplasm collection (GC-HH group). Lastly, potential virus-disease correlations were assessed from 24 commercial grapevine samples collected over three years by growers across New Zealand concerned about their symptomatic vines (DR group, Figure 1).
Viruses detected From the 17 viruses reported to be present in New Zealand at the start of this study, we have detected 14. In addition to fanleaf virus that was absent from New Zealand prior to this study, the three viruses not detected in this research belong to the Nepoviruses and include and ArMV, Tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), and Tomato ringspot virus (ToRSV). These viruses are vectored through the soil by nematodes soil that are not present in New Zealand. The 14 viruses already known to be present in the country are
the leafroll viruses 1, 2, 3 and 4, the vitiviruses GVA, GVB and GVD, the ubiquitous Grapevine rupestris stem-pitting associated virus (GRSPaV) and five members of the family Tymoviridae that we group under the name ‘flecklike viruses’; they are Grapevine fleck virus (GFkV), Grapevine rupestris vein feathering virus (GVFV), Grapevine red globe virus (GRGV), Grapevine asteroid mosaic-associated virus (GAMaV) and Grapevine Syrah virus-1 (GSyV-1). In addition, we have detected three novel viruses belonging to the Vitivirus genus, the same genus as Grapevine virus A (GVA) and Grapevine virus B (GVB). Two of these viruses, Grapevine virus G (GVG) and Grapevine virus I (GVI) were not known to science before this research, the third one is novel and a distant relative to Grapevine virus E (GVE). Lastly, a virus named Grapevine geminivirus A (GGVA) was also detected during this study. This is the first report for of this virus in the country.
the late 1800s, then increased through imports of new grapevine cultivars. Over the ensuing decades, the cultivars were assessed and the best were distributed to New Zealand grape growers. Some of the accessions can be traced back to Romeo Bragato. The Te Kauwhata collection was not maintained in situ after the 1980s and was moved to different locations before being incorporated into the New Zealand Winegrowers germplasm collection in its current location in Lincoln. Lincoln is a region that is regarded as having low pressure from the insect vectors of viruses, in particular mealybugs. The plants are now self-rooted. Some of the plants, treated by thermotherapy to remove virus infections, were isolated in the GC-HH block alongside the most recent imports that have been screened through post-entry quarantine processes (1980s onward). From the 16 GC-HH plants sampled, an average of 1.6 viruses per plant were detected, as opposed to 4.6 virus infection per plant sampled in the GC-LH block (19 plants). Thus, the high-health and lowhealth terminology used to name those two blocks is justified. The vitivirus GVG was discovered first in the New Zealand Winegrowers’ germplasm where it appears to be common (68% of the plants tested in the GC-LH). The virus was then detected in one plant within the Sauvignon
Viruses distribution As predicted, a high virus load was detected in the germplasm collection. Most of the vines deposited in this collection originated from the Te Kauwhata Viticultural Research Station, a national reference collection located in the Waikato region that was initially established in
blanc survey in Marlborough and another plant in a commercial vineyard in the Hawke’s Bay region. These single plant findings suggest that the virus was propagated outside the collection. A recent report including sequence data showed the same virus was detected in Croatia although there are substantial genetic differences to the one detected in New Zealand. The second new-to-science virus described is GVI, which is related to GVG within the vitivirus genus. GVI was detected in nine plants and these were all co-infected with GVG. This vitivirus GVI has not yet been detected outside the grapevine germplasm collection, and has not yet been reported outside New Zealand. A virus related to GVE was also detected in the survey of Sauvignon blanc from Marlborough (Figure 2). This was the first report of GVE (or a GVE-like virus) in the country. The plant was also co-infected with GVG. All these viruses belong to the genus Vitivirus with GVA, GVB and GVD that were also detected during this survey and GVF, GVH and GVJ reported in the same host overseas but not yet identified in New Zealand. All the plants infected by one vitivirus in this research (GVA, GVB, GVD, GVE-like, GVG and GVI) were also infected with leafroll 3. In grapevine it is believed that the vitiviruses require the
Table 1: Percentage of plants infected with one of the 17 viruses detected in the seven different categories: Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in Hawke’s Bay (SB-1 and SB-2) or Marlborough (SB-3 and SB-4), mostly symptomatic samples received (DR), and samples collected from the germplasm high-healt (GC-HH) and low-health (GC-LH) blocks. The number of samples per category is listed in column n. n
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presence of a leafroll virus (GLRaV-1, -2, or -3) for its acquisition. However, a recent publication described that the vitivirus benefited from the presence of a leafroll virus to increase its replication in the Vitis host and therefore its chance of transmission rather than being dependent on transmission co-factors provided by the leafroll virus. The presence of the vitivirus does not seem to impact the leafroll virus concentration or transmission. The detection of the geminivirus GGVA in one GC-LH grapevine constitutes the only finding of a DNA virus in the current study. This is the first report of the virus in New Zealand. The virus was originally described from the USA on imported vines from Korea. The imported plants displayed virus symptoms and were infected by multiple viruses. A subsequent survey of the US Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Services’ Clonal Germplasm Repository – found 15 additional GGVA infected plants
with no correlation with symptoms. The virus was subsequently reported in Korea and China where it may be widespread, but no association with symptoms was established. The single known plant positive for GGVA in New Zealand is an interspecific cross, Seibel 7052. The plant was also found to be infected with leafroll-2, GRSPaV, GAMaV, and a viroid, and no symptoms were observed at the time of collection (early 2016, Figure 3) or re-collection (January 2018). In the New Zealand grapevine variety register, the source and year of importation of this plant is absent but it was logged between TK00183 (Siebel 6339) and TK00188 (Siebel 10096) that were both imported in 1957 from the US Department of Agriculture. From the information available to date, we can conclude that GGVA in New Zealand is not causing severe symptoms and its spread is very limited; after possibly 60 years it has not spread to any of the
other 15 plants sampled from the same germplasm collection. The impact and the spread of the virus therefore appears to be negligible. However, this finding should generate more interest in DNA viruses and their place in the New Zealand virome. The grapevine survey in this current study comprised 225 plants and detected a total of 17 viruses. This study represents the largest survey worldwide for grapevine viruses and uses novel sequencing technologies that have identified the most viruses reported from a single study. Such a detection rate could insinuate that New Zealand vineyards are highly infected. However, closer examination demonstrates the exact opposite. The New Zealand commercial vineyards have a low virus incidence, with less than one virus detected per vine between the four Sauvignon blanc vineyards (average detection of 0.96 viruses per vine). In most cases, the viruses detected were GRSPaV or GSyV-1 and these are
considered of low to no negative impact and may even be favourable (see below). Without these two prevalent viruses, the average number of viruses detected per plant drops to 0.2 per vine. The assortment of viruses that were detected at low incidence was surprising as seven additional viruses (leafroll-2, leafroll-3, GVE-like, GVG, GRVFV, GRGV and GFkV) were detected from the Sauvignon blanc vineyards. The relatively high health of the vineyards can be credited to the studious work of the nurseries to propagate clean material and the New Zealand Winegrowers’ Grafted Grapevine Standard (GGS) established and managed by the New Zealand Winegrowers that determines grapevine quality of plants sold by the nurseries, including the absence of GLRaV-3. This is also valuable information for nurseries, and it highlights the effective work of sanitation and risk awareness historically conveyed by scientists such as Dr Rod Bonfiglioli and Dr
Figure 2. Picture of Grapevine SB-3 U169 (first plant on left) infected with the Grapevine vitivirus E (GVE), Grapevine vitivirus G (GVG), and leafroll 3. Picture taken by Bex Woolley (PFR) December 2017.
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Richard Smart. It also reinforces the importance of using clean plant stocks in the nurseries to avoid spreading new pathogens. The low virus incidence found in Sauvignon blanc surveyed in this study is also the result of strict import health regulations for Vitis since the Biosecurity Act in 1993. This legal document reformed the laws related to pest and unwanted organisms to New Zealand. The new viruses reported in this research were reported to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) as reports of an infectious agent new to New Zealand. In addition they also prompted discussions with members of New Zealand Winegrowers about the consequences of the high incidence of GSyV-1 and whether more viruses should be tested in addition to GLRaV-3 as part of the evolution of the grafting standards.
Impact To date, no adverse biological impacts of the fleck-like viruses (members of the family Tymoviridae that include GFkV, GRVFV,
GAMaV, GSyV-1 and GRGV) have been reported, and it was even suggested by one international expert that these viruses could be added to GRSPaV as the “virome background” of a “healthy-looking” grapevine and excluded from sanitary measures. This statement clearly resonates with the results of this current survey. The ecological impact of these viruses is still unclear but according to their incidence, GRSPaV and GSyV-1 could inhabit the same ecological niche. The detection of multiple species of vitivirus is more problematic than the fleck-like viruses as vitiviruses can be associated with diseases. However, due to their linked transmission, the management of GLRaV-3 is likely to also remove co-infecting vitiviruses from nurseries and vineyards resulting in only low vitivirus incidence; the results of the survey confirm the strong association between GLRaV-3 and the presence of a vitivirus under New Zealand conditions. This survey confirms that besides GLRaV-3, there is a lack
Figure 3. Picture of the Seibel 7052 grapevine VID280 (AB537) from the low-health germplasm collection (GC-LH) infected with Grapevine geminivirus A (GGVA), leafroll-2, Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus (GRSPaV), Grapevine asteroid mosaic-associated virus (GAMaV), and a viroid. Picture taken by Arnaud Blouin (PFR) in February 2016.
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of, or at most very low, movement of the other ampeloviruses (GLRaV-1 and GLRaV-4) as they were only detected in very few plants and were not found outside the germplasm collection. In the case of GLRaV-1, the two positive plants were likely to have been propagated from the same Chardonnay Mendoza imported in 1971. In contrast, the vitiviruses were more common, especially GVA and GVG. These two viruses were detected outside the germplasm. These findings would suggest that under New Zealand environments the vitiviruses GVA and GVG are vectored. The new sequencing technologies enable the understanding of the complete virome of an environment. That holistic view has changed our understanding of the place of viruses in the environment and challenge the automatic association of virus presence with disease. Historically, virus research has focused on the diseased plant and in grapevine viral-like symptoms are distinctive. This study highlights the presence of multiple viruses in
healthy-looking plants. To date, this is the largest survey of commercial grapevines using high throughput sequencing technologies and is larger than any other similar published virus survey for any plant host. This study sheds light on the virus diversity within New Zealand vineyards, the potential route of various viruses into New Zealand, and the projected impact of the viruses based on the current knowledge of their biology.
Acknowledgements It was an honour to be awarded the Rod Bonfiglioli Memorial Scholarship from the New Zealand Winegrowers. I now better understand the impact Rod had on the industry; his communication about the importance of vineyard health, the impact of leafroll virus and his role in the development of the grafted grapevine standards. I hope he would have appreciated my research. I smiled when I realised ‘Alfie’ (leafroll-2), first described by him, was still present in the vineyards.T
An automated grape yield estimation system Baden Parr – Massey University, Auckland Dr Mathew Legg – Massey University, Auckland 17-103 ACCURATE YIELD estimation is critical for successful vineyard and winery management. Vineyards often have contractual requirements to wineries to produce a predetermined yield and quality of fruit. Vineyard yields will fluctuate year to year and wineries may not purchase more crop than required. The optimal yield for every vineyard is determined by a multitude of characteristics unique to the vineyard’s location, its soil makeup, and climate. If a vine is carrying more fruit than optimal, the quality of the fruit at harvest will be negatively impacted. Accurate yield estimations also allow vineyard managers to plan for the coming season such as organising vats, barrels, and labour.
Early estimation of yield can allow vineyard managers to take preventative measures. If a yield is predicted to be too large, then early pruning or water restrictions can be used to thin fruit. Low yield estimates can be improved by careful management of vine nutrients and water levels during the bloom and véraison stages of growth. Historically, yield estimation has been achieved in several ways. Traditional approaches predict a seasons yield based on historical results and weather conditions. Historical data may be combined with periodic visual inspections that determine cluster counts and berry sizes. Even though this approach can provide robustness to seasonal variations, it is labour intensive,
time consuming, and prone to human error. For best results, manual inspections need to be carried out regularly from bloom to harvest. An automated process for yield estimation is desirable as it could remove human error and increasing the available frequency of estimates. A range of techniques have been investigated for automatic yield estimation. Approaches that use laser scanners to generate and analyse high resolution digital representations of vines have produced good results. Yet the equipment cost and sheer volume of data that needs to be processed restricts its usefulness in real environments. Computer vision techniques have also been investigated. These use
variations in colour to locate and count grapes captured by high resolution RGB (Red Green Blue) imagery. These approaches face several practical challenges including limited colour contrast between grapes and the surrounding foliage along with variations in lighting due to unpredictable shading from leaves. NZ Wines has provided the Rod Bonfiglioli Scholarship to fund a project that aims to develop a novel automated grape yield estimation system based on exciting immerging technology. Research will be conducted closely alongside the New Zealand wine industry to understand and address their needs with a focus on practical solutions for a future commercial output.T
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Spray protocols to quantify and optimise spray deposits applied to dormant grapevines (trunks, heads, cordons and canes) Monika Walter and David Manktelow 17-109 THIS PROJECT aims to develop a spray assessment protocol to enable spray deposition quantity and quality measurements for pruning wounds, canes, cordons, vine heads and trunks and to support growers in sprayer set-up and application rate as well as volume decisions for dormant vine targets. Spraying pruning cuts for protection against grape trunk diseases (GTD) and spraying dormant vines for mealybug control have been subject to some previous research funded by NZ Winegrowers and a set of guidelines for application rates and volumes for different dormant vine targets has been presented to industry. However, there is still a lack of understanding around quantification of
the spray deposits required and achieved for different pest and disease targets on dormant vines. Spray application to dormant vine targets is extremely inefficient. Most sprayers are designed for foliage application. For drift control in dormant canopies large droplet size and low pressures are desirable, while spray coverage is generally favoured by high water rates, plus, the re-adjustment of the spray nozzle directions from canopy targets to the more focussed wood target zones. Drift and shadow effects from canes or branches are unwanted side effects when spraying dormant vines or fruit trees. Work on dormant spray application in kiwifruit has shown
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that only approximately 5% of the spray applied to dormant vines actually deposits on the target, with most of the rest lost to the ground. Recapture spraying is a useful option to improving spray use efficiency and minimising environmental loading of chemicals applied to dormant vines – but recapture or not, dormant applied sprays require specific sprayer setup to maximise potential deposits and efficacy. This work is in parallel to research in the pipfruit industry – spraying of picking wounds and leaf scars. The apple research has shown, by following dye deposition and chemical residue analyses, that sprayer type greatly affects deposition onto
woody tissues. Increasing water volume increases deposition, so does double passing (i.e. spraying twice from opposite directions). The methods and approaches learned in postharvest apple spraying will be adopted and are reflected in the team make-up. Our team composition represents previous and concurrent work, with the corresponding pathology and entomology expertise (Sustainable Farming Fund project SFF404838). However, in the first instance, we do not aim to study control efficacy, instead targeting product application efficacy, quantifying and qualifying deposition and coverage for these difficult spray targets. T
Toasting Top Wines
Entries open for the 2018 New World Wine Awards!
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NZ Winegrower June/July 2018