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NEW ZEALAND WINEGROWER THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NEW ZEALAND WINE INDUSTRY

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019 ISSUE 117

Vintage 19 Supply/demand tension increases

NZW Grape Days The issues raised at this year’s events

Aged Sauvignon Blanc Don’t underestimate the beauty

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019 ISSUE 117

Organic Conference From New Zealand to Chile to Canada – the passion of organic winegrowing


More consumers are reaching for glass When it comes to quality, purity and sustainability, nothing compares to glass. Find out why glass is the ultimate packaging material for your product.

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Issue 117 – August/September 2019

Contents

REGULARS 4

Editorial

Tessa Nicholson

6

From the CEO

Philip Gregan

8

In Brief

News from around the country

10

Calendar

Wine events in New Zealand

52

Women in Wine

Margaret Harvey MW

82

Bob’s Blog

Bob Campbell MW

114 Not on the Label

Legal Matters with Kensington Swan

115 Research Supplement

The latest science and research projects funded by NZ Winegrowers

22 FEATURES 12

Organic and Biodynamic Conference

The June conference was three days of enlightening and inspiring information. We cover some of the main speakers and their unique messages.

30

Vintage 2019

Good things come in small packages, and that is the case with Vintage 19. Although smaller than expected, the quality was right up there.

58

Hemp among the vines

Kirsty Harkness is trialing industrial hemp in Marlborough vineyards – the only grower in New Zealand to do so. We find out why and look back at year one of the trial.

COVER PHOTO: Domaine Thomson Wines –

62

Central Otago

28

58


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

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

A DV E R T I S I N G Sales Manager & Upper North Island: Stephen Pollard stephenp@ruralnews.co.nz Ph: 09 913 9637 Mobile: 021 963 166 Central North Island: Ted Darley ted@ruralnews.co.nz Ph: 07 854 6292 Mobile: 021 832 505 Lower North Island: Ron Mackay Ph: 04 234 6239 Mobile: 021 453 914 South Island: Kaye Sutherland kayes@ruralnews.co.nz Ph: 03 376 5552 Mobile: 021 221 1994

C I R C U L AT I O N & SUBSCRIPTIONS Jodi Blair jodi.blair@nzwine.com Ph: 09 303 3527, ext 0 Fax: 09 302 2969 Mobile: 027 700 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

Learning and growing WHEN YOU stop learning, you stop growing. It’s a saying that came to mind a few times recently, after attending two learning experiences offered to members of the New Zealand wine industry. First there was Grape Days, the annual transfer of information on the research paid for by member levies and government funding. Three days in all, held throughout the country, each event customised in some way to match the region where it was being held. We all know research is ongoing, but how it impacts on what you do as a winemaker or a grower can often be forgotten in the melee of everyday life. Grape Days changes that. It offers not only a precis of the research, but also the findings so far. Take two of the big issues of the current environment for growers – mealybug and trunk disease. Both subjects were covered and sciencebased advice provided to be put to use. The other major information outlet was the Organic and Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference. A sell out weeks in advance, showed there is a thirst for knowledge from individuals all over the country. Actually I should amend that. Not just all over the country, but internationally as well. The line-up of speakers was impressive, but perhaps their comments on the event were more telling about New Zealand than their praise of our wine. Speakers from the US, Chile and Australia noted that the conference was unique in terms of its goals and achievements. “Please bring this to America,” said Robin O’Brien – a guru on food that had some chilling facts to deliver in both of her presentations. Cynthea Semmens from Tasmania told me she was attending the conference to learn more about organics, as Australia provided nothing in comparison. She even suggested that maybe we could rename Tasmania as New Zealand’s West Island, she was so impressed by what is happening in this part of the world. The ability to learn from such events is immeasurable and maybe it explains why New Zealand wine has been so successful. We want to learn, we want to grow and we know both go together.

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

Tessa Nicholson

EDITOR 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.

CONTRIBUTORS

Published every second month. One free copy is mailed to every member of the New Zealand Winegrowers Inc, the New Zealand Society of Viticulture & Oenology and the New Zealand Vine Improvement Group, and to such other persons or organisations as directed by the owners, with provision for additional copies and other recipients to be on a subscription basis.

ISSN 1174-5223

Jean Grierson

Joelle Thomson

Lee Suckling

Jean Grierson talks to two scientists, who after years as lecturers are now the owners of Maori Point Wines in Central Otago.

Volcanic soils lead to interesting wines, as Joelle finds out after talking to Canadian John Szabo MS.

Lee provides us with a list of the 10 most interesting wine apps that will go the distance into the future.


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From the CEO Philip Gregan

Celebrating 200 years of New Zealand Wine IN HIS diary Reverend Samuel Marsden records on September 25 1819 that he planted some grapevines in the grounds of the Stone Store, Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands. These vines were the first planted in New Zealand. It is not known what variety(ies) were planted nor the exact position in the grounds of the Stone Store where the vines were planted. However, the fact of the planting is recorded for posterity in the Marsden diaries – this makes New Zealand one of very few countries in the world where the exact date of the planting of the first vines is known. In short another unique New Zealand wine story. The first recording in the historical accounts of wine in New Zealand is connected with James Busby. Busby, the Crown’s Resident in New Zealand, lived in what is now called the Treaty House at the Treaty Grounds in Waitangi. Busby was the architect of the Treaty of Waitangi and is regarded as the first winemaker in New Zealand. There are some old gnarly grapevines still growing directly behind the Treaty House. The curators believe that those vines have

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

grown from cuttings taken from vines originally planted by Busby at the Treaty Grounds. It is notable that the key figures, Marsden and Busby, in the early history of the vines in New Zealand were also significant figures in early European settlement in New Zealand, and in the relations between Maori and the new settlers. As such there is

a strong linkage between the early history of the vine in New Zealand and the early history of European settlement. Given this is a once in 200 year opportunity, NZ Winegrowers is currently organising the celebrations around this vine bi-centenary. The celebration will feature a ceremonial planting of a grape vine at the Stonehouse at Kerikeri on the afternoon of Wednesday 25 September and a celebratory dinner on the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi later that evening. Members have already received invites to the celebrations in the Bay of Islands, but there is more to the bi-centenary than the events in the North. We encourage all of our members to be part of the 200 year celebration by sharing historic images and stories of their own heritage. We will be sending out a digital toolkit that includes a 200 year anniversary logo and sticker that wineries can use on their marketing materials and wine bottles. So get involved in the 200th anniversary of Marsden’s planting of the first vines in New Zealand and help make it a celebration across the whole of our industry.


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News Brief

  INT ERN ATI ON AL 

NEW ZEALAND WINE TO BE SERVED AT US TENNIS OPEN KIM CRAWFORD Wines will the wine of choice at the US Tennis Open from this year, after a multi-year agreement was signed recently. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc which is the number one Savvy in the US, will #ServeUpKim to US Open fans with a permanent brand presence on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The US Open will start on August 26 and run through to September 8. In 2018, a record number of 828,798 people attended the Open, while millions more watched it on television.

ASVO HONOURS DR TONY JORDAN THE AUSTRALIAN Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) recently made Dr Tony Jordan OAM a Fellow of the Society. Dr Jordan has been honoured for his particularly outstanding and meritorious contribution to the Australian grape and wine industry and to the ASVO. Dr Jordan has also played a major role in the development of the New Zealand wine industry.

  DOMEST I C 

TWO NZ WINERIES MAKE WORLD’S BEST VINEYARDS THE IWC has just released their list of the World’s Best Vineyards, a list of the 50 “most amazing places to taste wine and learn about winemaking.” Two New Zealand vineyards

make the list, both in the top 12. Central Otago’s Rippon Vineyard was placed at number 8, and was also listed as the Best Vineyard in Australasia. “Jaw-

CHRIS YORKE OFF TO AUSTRIA AFTER 15 years with New Zealand Winegrowers, Chris Yorke, Global Marketing Director is heading off shore. Yorke will take up the position of Managing Director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, in January 2020. Yorke was one of 90 applicants for the position and Gerhard Wohlmuth, President Supervisory Board AWMB, had this to say when Yorke’s appointment was announced. “We have brought on board a leading international wine manager, who has for the past 15 years, as Marketing Director of New Zealand Winegrowers, been instrumental in developing and promoting New Zealand wines internationally.”

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droppingly beautiful views from the shore of Lake Wanaka, stunningly sleek biodynamic wines,” the judges said. Craggy Range from Hawke’s Bay was placed

at number 11, with the comments including; “luxury accommodation and awardwinning restaurant.” The number one position on the list went to Zuccardi Valle de Uco, in Argentina.

NZW MARKETING AND EVENTS ROADSHOW

THIS STARTS in Northland on August 1, and continues throughout the country until August 21. The focus this year will be on Wine Tourism and Social Media, as well as a summary of the International Visitor and International Education Programmes, and the coming targets and strategies for the 2019-2020 year. The Global Events Team will also present their calendar of export market events for the coming year, and discuss how you can get involved as both an individual winery and as a region. Register at nzwine.com/members/events


OWNZ acknowledge stalwart AT THE recent Organic and Biodynamic Wine Conference, one of the founders was acknowledged in front of those attending. Bart Arnst was presented with the very first OGB – which according to OWNZ Chair Jonathan Hamlet stands for - Organic Good Bastard. Arnst was the person who first suggested OWNZ should hold a conference back in 2010. “Bart has been instrumental in all the conferences, specifically in terms of pulling the content together,” Hamlet said. “And we have reaped the rewards from that. So thank you for your courage, to pioneer and innovate. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and thank you for all your energy in pulling these conference programmes together.”

YOUNG WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR

PINOT 2021 REGIONAL ROADSHOW THE DATES are confirmed for the Pinot Noir NZ 2021 regional roadshow for interested wineries, where organisers will share their vision for the event in more detail in your region. Central Otago – 21 August (3-5pm) North Canterbury – 22 August (3-5pm) Nelson/Marlborough – 23 August (3-5pm) Hawke’s Bay – 30 August (9-11am) Wairarapa – 30 August (3-5pm) More details can be found at nzwine.com/members/events.For any queries, contact rachael@pinotnz.co.nz

Young Winemaker of the Year 2018, Greg Lane. THE COMPETITION DATES ARE: North Island – 1 August, EIT, Hawke’s Bay Marlborough – 7 August, NMIT Central Otago – 15 August, VinPro National Final – 17 September, NMIT (Blenheim) with awards dinner at Wither Hills. For more information please contact nicky.grandorge@nzwine.com, 021780948

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   9


Upcoming Events

August - November

TO HAVE EVENTS ADDED TO OUR CALENDAR CONTACT TESSA NICHOLSON TESSA.NICHOLSON@ME.COM

Marlborough Wine Show Judging the best of New Zealand’s largest wine region, the entries open on 12 August, and close on 6 September. Three panels will judge the wines between 25 and 27 September. Trophies will be announced at a Long Lunch 25 October. wine-marlborough.co.nz

Pinot Palooza 2019 7 September Featuring the best Pinot producers from New Zealand and Australia, all in one spot. Shed 10, Auckland. pinotpalooza.com.au/Auckland-2019

New Zealand International Wine Show 2019

200 Years New Zealand Wine - Anniversary Event

Entries for the largest wine show held in New Zealand, are now open and close on September 20, Judging will take place from September 30 – October 2. Awards Dinner 25 October.

25 September Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the first vines being planted in New Zealand, Northland.

nziws.co.nz

nzwine.com

New Zealand Wine of the Year™ 2019 Marlborough Silver Secateurs Sunday 25 August The 2019 competition celebrating the skills of pruners, will be held on Sunday 25th August at the Yealands Estate Vineyard, Grovetown. wine-marlborough.co.nz

October Judging will take place in Auckland from 14-17 October. Entries will open in August. nzwine.com

Taste of Auckland

Taste of 31 Oct – 3 Nov Auckland Four days when food, drink and entertainment are on show for everyone to enjoy. tasteofauckland.co.nz

Bragato 2019 28-29 August This year’s Bragato conference with the theme of, Challenge -Think-Do, will be held in Hawke’s Bay, 28 Wednesday and 29 Thursday August 2019. bragato.org.nz

Women in Wine National Event 27 August Coinciding with the Bragato Conference, a Women in Wine event will be held on 27 August, in Hawke’s Bay. More details to come. nzwine.com

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

New Zealand Wine Awards 2019 16 November The biggest night of the New Zealand wine calendar will take place in Blenheim, on Saturday 16 November. nzwine.com


Global Events

NEW ZEALAND WINE EXPORT EVENTS CALENDAR

GET IN TOUCH WITH THE NEW ZEALAND WINE EVENTS TEAM TODAY TO DISCUSS

The New Zealand Wine User Pays Events Programme for 2019-20 is now available. All New Zealand wineries are entitled to participate in the programme, whether you are actively exporting/selling or seeking distribution in our key target markets. You will receive event-focused support and expertise from the New Zealand Wine events team with the aim of helping to increase your market presence in Asia, Canada, UK/Ireland, Mainland Europe, USA or domestically.

YOUR OPTIONS. EVENTS@NZWINE.COM (09) 306 5643 NZWINE.COM/MEMBERS/SELL

Upcoming Export Event Deadlines (August-October) Canada 24 September 2019 New Zealand. Naturally. Tasting event Toronto Registration deadline – contact us today

UK/Europe 28-29 October 2019 New Release trade tasting and preview evening London Registration deadline – 30 August

9 November 2019 Festival of Wine Edinburgh

Registration deadline – 30 August

16 November 2019 The Wine Gang event London

Registration deadline – 30 August

7-8 December 2019 Three Wine Men event Manchester

Registration deadline – 30 August

15 January 2020 Annual trade and consumer tasting London Registration deadline – 4 October

20 January 2020 New Zealand Wine trade and consumer tasting Copenhagen Registration deadline – 4 October

21 or 22 January 2020 New Zealand Wine trade and consumer tasting Stockholm Registration deadline – 4 October

USA 18 September New Zealand. Naturally. tasting event San Francisco Registration deadline – contact us today

26 September New Zealand. Naturally. tasting event New York City Registration deadline – contact us today

13 January 2020 Annual trade and consumer tasting Dublin Registration deadline – 4 October

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Organic Conference

The natural growth of organics WORDS – TESSA NICHOLSON

Felton Road.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


This is the third Organic and Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference I have attended. And given the success, it is unlikely to be the last. SINCE 2015, when the conference took on a professional persona, there have been some subtle and not so subtle changes. Whereas originally people who attended were very much into the ethos of organics and or biodynamics, there were very few attending who hadn’t taken a step down either road. A tightly held belief (by some) that going organic or biodynamic was plain hippyish, had to be overcome. People had to be shown that organics was a way of increasing quality, not the reverse. There

was genuine angst about how to gain recognition for organic wines and just how good organic and biodynamic wine actually is – for the planet and the consumer. Now I am not saying that those issues have all magically disappeared. But in 2019, at this year’s conference, the desperate wish to get the message across to the unconverted was replaced by a steady confidence. There was no need to preach, or hit your head against a brick wall. The message was not only out there, it had been taken up by hundreds of people who have heard and what’s more implemented. This year’s conference was a sell-out, two weeks before the opening day. Held in Blenheim, there were people from all over the country, and the world. It became clear very early on from some of the international speakers, that this conference was unrivalled in places like Aus-

Jonathan Hamlet.

tralia and the US. The fact that it attracted international speakers from the US, Europe, Australia and Chile is an indication of the esteem it is held in. The fact the conference managed to keep those attending interested for

three whole days was impressive. And the information that was shared was enlightening – at times frightening – but always enlightening. Over the next few pages we will break down some of the

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   13


inspiring information that came out of the conference. Where are organics at in New Zealand? “We have just over 1700 hectares certified organic production in New Zealand at the moment,” OWNZ Chair, Jonathan Hamlet says. “That is only 4.5 percent of our total vineyard area. It has been pretty steady for a number of years and it has been higher in the past. Probably one of the biggest factors is that the organic area hasn’t kept up with the overall area of viticulture that has been planted out in the last five years.” Given 550 hectares of new vines came on stream in Marlborough alone in the 2019 vintage, a third of the total organic plantings, it appears Hamlet is correct. He admits that historically organics has been led by growers, rather than wineries, although now there are 72 wineries holding organic certification – or 10 percent of the country’s total. If one area is hitting way above its weight, it is Central Otago. The total percentage of organic vineyards in that region stands at 23 percent, way and above any other region in the country. In terms of globally – New Zealand’s 4.5 percent is around average. There are over 300,000 hectares of organic grape production in the world – 4.7

“We have just over 1700 hectares certified organic production in New Zealand at the moment,” OWNZ Chair, Jonathan Hamlet says. “That is only 4.5 percent of our total vineyard area. It has been pretty steady for a number of years and it has been higher in the past. Probably one of the biggest factors is that the organic area hasn’t kept up with the overall area of viticulture that has been planted out in the last five years.”

percent of all production. The vast majority of that is in the EU, Spain, Italy and France in particular. So, while Organic Winegrowers New Zealand may not have achieved their initial goal of 20 percent organic by 2020, Hamlet is not disheartened. He believes the steady increase in support, the fact a number of recently planted vineyards are considering converting to organics in the near future, while other organic growers are increasing their current holdings, and the way the world is clamouring for transparency in all food and beverages, the future is looking bright. By the time the next conference rolls around in 2021, what’s the bet that 4.5 percent figure is mere memory?

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®


Forget the buts With 1300 ha, Chile’s Emiliana Vineyard is the world’s largest organic and biodynamic wine producer. Tessa Nicholson discovers that going organic on a large scale means you have to get past all the reasons not to.

EMILI A NA ORGA N IC Vineyards GM admits there are plenty of reasons for not going organic and biodynamic, if you want to look for them. But Christian Rodrieguez says not too many of them have foundation in this day and age. The most commonly asked question he faces is why would a company that was successfully growing conventionally, want to go down the organic and biodynamic track? His answer – why not?

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“When you have been doing it for 20 years and are used to it, you wonder why you would be conventional today,” he says. Emiliana began back in 1986 and through until 98 was conventionally farmed. They were building a growing export market, particularly in the US, and in total produced 1.7m cases of wine. “It was a very simple but profitable business.” But in 1998 the owners began considering going organic,

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

after seeing how conventional farming was affecting the workers. The process began with an experimental block – out of the 10 vineyards, they chose the very best 40-50 ha. In 2001 the first certified organic fruit came in and they decided to produce a new wine – a blend of six varieties – which was aged for 13 months prior to release. The wine, Coyam, hit the market in 2003 and within six months had won the best blended wine and wine of the show, at the Chile

Wine Awards. “Nobody was expecting that,” Rodreiguez says. It was the impetus needed to start the transformation of the entire 1300ha of vineyard. It hasn’t always been easy, he admits. “We dropped our profit, for maybe seven or eight years we didn’t make money. We had to sell some of our farms. And it was complicated not only because of the agriculture, but also the mentality of the marketing


an d s a l e s d e p ar t m e nt .” When the movie Sideways hit theatres in 2004, it delivered another blow. Rodriegurz says up to 70 percent of their 1.3m cases sold to the US were

Merlot. Sideways put a huge dent in that. So organics took on an even greater emphasis, creating a point of difference from other companies. These days Emiliana exports to 60 countries and is one of the largest wineries in Chile. In the past nine years they have seen an increase in volume of 251 percent, and last year produced 850,000 9l cases. They are living proof Rodrieguez says of how looking long term, not short, is so important. He says the BUT factor is the biggest issue facing the growth of organics world-wide. He counters the reasons many cite for not moving away from conventional. Productivity. “For us it is working. The average price

Christian Rodrieguez, GM of Emiliana Organic Vineyards.

PHOTO: Jessica Jones Photography.

works.” Less efficient. “In the short term yes it can be. In the past nine years they But in the long term, things like water use, soil have seen an increase in fertility, biodiversity, it volume of 251 percent, and isn’t.” It’s a niche product. last year produced 850,000 “It was when we started. 9l cases. They are living In Germany we were in the supermarket – you proof Rodrieguez says of when you ask the how looking long term, not know directions to the toilet? short, is so important. That’s where the organic products were. But not now. Our main export countries want more and for Chile per case of 9l is $28. more organic products.” Emiliana is now reaching $40. More expensive. “It depends, For our model it (organics) but we have found that quality

sells. Coyam is selling in the US for $29, because it is quality.” Only for rich people. “Not any more. The demand for organics is growing and growing. As more land becomes organic the products will become cheaper, it will be much cheaper to produce as we will have more tools and technology.” Large scale is not sustainable. “We are proof that is not the case.” “There are just too many buts. So when people say why have we gone organic and biodynamic, I just say why not?” tessa.nicholson@me.com

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   17


The cold, hard facts TESSA NICHOLSON

One in 13 children in the US has food allergies. One in 68 children in the US has autism. One in 10 children in the US has asthma. One in three children in the US has asthma, allergies, autism or ADHD. Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease of children in the US. THOSE ARE the cold hard facts, presented by Robyn O’Brien at the Organic and Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference. Are the allergies and other illnesses due to the food children are eating, or what has been done to that food? That was the question O’Brien sought to answer when her own daughter developed food allergies almost overnight. The Vice President of rePlant Capital and the author of The Unhealthy Truth, a book about

the health of the American food system, O’Brien has been labelled by Bloomberg as “food’s Erin Brockovich.” She has helped lead a food awakening among consumers, corporations and political leaders. And she has pesticides and genetically engineered food squarely in her sights. “The first introduction of a genetically engineered product into the US food system was an artificial growth hormone

called rdGH,” she said. “It was inserted into our dairy cows to make more milk. It made a lot of sense economically, hoping to bring down the cost of milk for American families and families around the world.” The only problem was that rdGH made the cows sick, causing critical lameness, increased mastitis and ovarian cysts. To compensate for that, the cows were fed antibiotics. “Eighty percent of

ant ibiot ics us e d in t he United States, is used on the animals we eat.” O’Brien said. It is not only milk that it filters down into – it is cheese, ice cream, yoghurt and other products. That horrified O’Brien, who has four children. “I began thinking, how many sippy cups did I put this milk in? How many bowls of cereal have I poured it on. “I kept coming back to the question; are we allergic to

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


Robyn O’Brien

food, or what has been done to it? Because these allergies to things like soy, wheat, dairy, eggs, are starting to be married to other allergens like beef and chicken. People are starting to ask, are we allergic to the beef our grandmothers ate 80 years ago or are we allergic to

beef that is fed this genetically engineered food and propped up on a bunch of antibiotics?� O’Brien went on to explain that since genetically engineered foods were introduced into the US, sales of the weed killer roundup “skyrocketed.� That is despite the US Environmental

Protection Authority having stated back in 1985 when they were reviewing the key ingredient Glyphosate, that it was a “probable human carcinogen.� “In 1991, just before the introduction of genetically engineered crops that are

referred to as Roundup ready crops, the US EPA reversed its decision and said it is safe,� O’Brien said. The fact three legal cases of 13,000 against Monsanto have already been through the court system with all the plaintiffs winning, is enough to show that EPA decision reversal was a catastrophic mistake. But O’Brien wasn’t all doom and gloom. She said she is not fatalistic; “as a mother four I cannot afford to be. “I think it is going to be an incredible moment in human history when we look back on this dark period in agriculture, and we will be able to say we designed a better system. That we engineered our way out of this, with enthusiasm, creativity, innovation, passion and love. Because for me that is the only way forward, it is the only story I want to be able to tell my grandchildren.� tessa.nicholson@me.com

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Putting excrement to work TESSA NICHOLSON

W H AT IS less than two centimetres long, loves to work during winter, has a hunger for animal poo and could be handy for grape growers? No, it’s not the start of a bad joke, it’s a serious question, one that was answered at the Organic Winegrowing Conference. The answer by the way is Bubas bison – a dung beetle brought into New Zealand by Dr Shaun Forgie, co-founder of Dung Beetle Innovations. Bubas bison is just one of around 7000 dung beetles who according to Forgie owe their existence to “playing around in excrement all around the world”. Why is that important? Because by playing around in excrement, dung beetles provide a bio control that takes that dung deep into the soil, providing all important nutrients and breaking up the soil by providing airspace. There is a plethora of scientific information that backs up just how ecologically important dung beetles are in the agricultural sense. They help with pasture productivity, plant nitrogen, add protein and develop microorganisms, increase soil health and improve

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water holding capacity among many other things. There are dung beetles on every continent (with the exception of Antarctica) all of them going about their daily task, never complaining about their shitty job conditions. There are three types of dung beetle, the rollers, which roll balls of dung many times their size away from the manure pat. There are dwellers, which live inside the dung itself and finally tunnelers which remove the dung from the surface and carry it up to a metre down into the soil.

By playing around in excrement, dung beetles provide a bio control that takes that dung deep into the soil, providing all important nutrients and breaking up the soil by providing airspace. It is the tunnelers that Forgie has brought into New Zealand, with the permission of the Environment Protection Authority, because New Zealand

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

simply does not have any beetle that could be put to use on agricultural pastures. The only native dung beetles are tiny, flightless rollers that are confined to native forests, so no good on pastural land. The way the beetles work is they are attracted to the smells emanating from fresh manure piles. They move in and then start tunneling balls of the

This is the Bubas bison, the dung beetle Shaun Forgie recommends for vineyards.

manure down into the ground, time and time again. They lay an egg in each one of the microscopic balls, which then starts the life cycle again. (See Figure 1). “That whole process can be about six to eight weeks,” Forgie explained. “So with those fast biomass dung beetles, you can get multiple overlapping generations all producing babies and burying manure rapidly. You get a hugely exponential increase in beetle abundance once you have put them in a


Figure 1

particular place.” Given placing sheep in vineyards is a unique New Zealand occurrence, Forgie

believes there is the potential to utilise dung beetles to make the most of the poo. In particular Bubas bison, which is around

18mm in length, is a flying beetle and is active during the same months that the sheep are most commonly homed in

vineyards – March to October. “It is a specialist at winter time, when all the other beetles we have are hibernating. This one decides to start emerging around March and goes through until October. It is prolific at burying anything from cow manure to sheep poo. So if you have got sheep running around at that time of the year then you may as well utilise that nutrient resource in the form of manure by shoving it into the ground. It is another tool to try and improve soil health, sustainably.” What’s more, Bubas bison enjoys the soil types that vines do, including clay and compact silts. As for the cost, Forgie says they can provide dung beetles at a cost of between $10 and $40 a hectare, depending on which of the 11 beetles a customer prefers. For more info; dungbeetles.co.nz tessa.nicholson@me.com

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   21


From New Zealand to Canada TESSA NICHOLSON WE IN New Zealand can thank our lucky stars that the pests we have to deal with in our vineyards are limited to birds, rabbits and grass grubs. Spare a thought for our counterparts in Canada, who have to deal with a myriad of other vine loving creatures, such as bears, deer, elk, cougars, eagles, Californian Bighorn sheep and rattlesnakes. That was the message New Zealander Kurt Simcic gave at the recent conference, after taking up the position of Senior Viticulturist for Sebastian Farms, responsible for all the fruit growing at the northern end of the Okanagan region. Besides the animals, Simcic is learning to deal with conditions

22   // 

that are as far away from New Zealand’s maritime climate as you could imagine. Winter temperatures that drop to minus 18 degrees, summer sunlight of 16 hours a day, intensely warm, desert like conditions that begin as soon as spring arrives and bud burst followed by flowering, with both often occurring in the same month. Sebastian Farms started their organic conversion, the moment Simcic stepped off the plane back in May 2017. Since then he has had a lot of learning to undertake, when it comes to growing grapes in such a foreign environment, as well as converting conventional

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

They may be beautiful, but deer create havoc in the vineyard.

vineyards to organic under a different system to New Zealand. Let’s start at the end of the year – the month of December, which is the winter harvest period. Ice Wines are a integral part of the Canadian wine scene. For Simcic it was

a rude awakening, given the fruit cannot be picked until temperatures reach minus 8 deg and trending downwards. “Ideally though, we don’t start picking until we are around minus 10. We want to make sure the fruit is frozen enough to get the right sugar level. But if


the fruit gets too cold or frozen too solidly, it gets extremely hard for the winemakers to deal with in the press.”

That window of opportunity occurred in 2018 on December 23. If you think its hard to get pickers in New Zealand, imagine luring them into the vineyards when it is minus 10, and there are only two days to go until Christmas. He says not all the fruit could be brought in prior to Christmas, so it was back into the vines on Boxing Day. “We had 20 tonnes of semi frozen fruit to harvest, but that 20 tonne of fruit equates to approximately $1m dollars worth of wine to the company.” Once the fruit is in, the job of pruning can begin, although the crews cannot wrap and tie down in the winter months, due to the brittleness of the canes. By the time the months move on to April, the weather is starting to pick up and the wrapping and tying down of canes can be undertaken in earnest. “All of the winter chores need

to be completed by May because this is when bud burst begins.” With a team of Mexicans, many who have made the journey north for 10 years, the hard work begins. “Spring always comes with a bang,” Simcic said. “All the snow

blocks. We shoot thin all of our vines and we only have about four weeks to do it.” The very small spring window also impacts on cover crops becoming established. “Nothing will grow in winter and it gets so dry so early in spring that if the seed hasn’t properly struck, “We had 20 tonnes of it will likely fail for that year.” semi frozen fruit to Spring and summer harvest, but that 20 provide very reliable tonne of fruit equates growing conditions, so Simcic says he has to to approximately $1m find ways of upsetting flowering to ensure dollars worth of wine bunch sizes don’t go to the company.” through the roof. “Because I am not melts, which means there is keen on 200 gm bunches of loads of moisture in the ground. Pinot Noir. Some of our sites are Couple that with dramatically pretty low in key nutrients and rising temperatures, up to 30 I am trying to override instinct degrees at times, it leads to and embrace that a bit in an bud burst followed by very effort to disrupt the flowering rapid shoot growth. There is process.” a real sense of urgency in the He also removes leaves and

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   23


all laterals, which he said has helped. As has starving the vines of a little water and trying to place them under a bit of stress, if conditions allow. O nt o s u m m e r, w h e n conditions begin to resemble a desert, it is all about canopies. “While we do want light and airflow, we also need to protect our fruit from the light intensity and the extended hours of sunshine. The sun is up for 16 hours a day at its peak and we tend to see a bit of sunburn damage in our Pinot every year. We cut it out at veraison.” The temperatures and the extended sunshine hours mean the window for spraying sulphur is small, especially given the hottest part of the day tends to be from 4pm onwards. Combine the hot and dry conditions together and the environment is perfect for wildfires, 2000 of them in BC, Canada, last summer alone. The haze created by the fires creates

24   // 

perfect conditions for powdery mildew. “I have noticed if growers have a relaxed spray schedule they will generally be stung with this problem.” Harvest tends to begin in September and continue through into October. Weather conditions are generally dry which he said allows them to hang the fruit out for longer and wait for the flavours to develop to where they want them. So while there are massive differences between Okanagan and New Zealand in growing conditions, Simcic said it is the wildlife present in the vineyard that stuns him the most. Despite deer fences around the properties and stock gates, some interesting visitors always manage to make their way in. Bears apparently love the ripening fruit – to say nothing of the beehives that Simcic planted among the vines. “I did not consider the bear factor when

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

Two bear chased up a tree by the vineyard dogs. Slightly more problematic than a flock of starlings.


I first got the hives. They thrived until the bears discovered them the following spring, then they had themselves a little picnic and caused a lot of damage.” Bears apparently love to dig under the protective fences, and he says they are partial to the ripe fruit around harvest time. “They are a little more tricky to scare away than the starling flocks here in New Zealand.” Then there are the moose, cougars, bobcats, elk, bald headed eagles and many other raptors. Which means his goal of having chickens roaming among the vines, removing pesky insects, is not an option. “Because your properties would quickly become a fast food joint.” But deer are the biggest issue. They can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to the fruit and the vines. To try and prevent the damage, bird netting was used to protect the fruit –

Ice wine is a valuable asset to the winery, but can’t be picked until the temperatures reach minus 8C and are trending down.

from the deer, not the birds. The eagles and raptors do a good job of keeping flocks of other birds at bay. In terms of other organic practices, Simcic says the transition has been going well and the first certified fruit was harvested last year. “It’s a pretty dry climate, with approximately 350mm of rain per annum. The warm dry

conditions help, with our under vine management and disease pressure being low. Powdery mildew is our biggest concern, but with a good protective spray programme, the organic blocks are looking the best in the valley.” In terms of percentages, four percent of the Okanagan is organic, but when Sebastian Farms finishes its organic

conversion, that figure will rise to 17 percent. “My hope is we will inspire others to follow that path.” Kurt Simcic works for the farming arm of Sebastian Farms, growing tiered fruit organically for three separate wineries. He was previously the viticulturist at Marlborough’s Cloudy Bay. tessa.nicholson@me.com

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   25


PHOTOS: Jessica Jones Photography. 26   // 

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


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How to stand out TESSA NICHOLSON

HUMANS ARE supposed to be the most intelligent species on the planet. How then do you explain that the average human attention span is only eight seconds? How do you reconcile that figure with the scientifically suggested attention span of a goldfish being – nine seconds? Maybe it’s because goldfish don’t have smart phones. That was the suggestion made by Marketing and Communications Consultant Joanna Glover. “The rising popularity of smart phones, mobile data, messaging apps and social media is thought to be behind the falling attention rate.” With so much information available 24/7, it is hard for any of us to focus on any one subject. (See graph for what happens in an internet minute.) For wine producers, whether they be organic or not, the big question is how do you capture the attention of your consumer in a way that benefits you both? Glover says there is no magic bullet, breaking through to consumers takes time and effort. “It’s a marathon and not a sprint. It won’t happen overnight and it can’t be done cheaply, easily or quickly.” Hopefully you are still with me on this page, and haven’t drifted off to goldfish land, because Glover offered some salient points on how to break through. Storytelling – she believes is the key to standing out. But there is a distinction. You can’t

28   // 

tell a story by hard selling. “It’s never pushy, through consistent small stories you can build brand recognition and add depth and humanity to your brands. When we share our stories and the stories of our people, we build connection. Connection, alongside transparency builds authenticity and trust.” Focusing on millennials, Glover said there are some hard facts producers need to be aware of. • Five out of six millennials connect with business through social networks

“Remember that you need to earn attention, to do that creating value for your consumer needs to be top of mind.”

• The average millennial touches his or her phone 45 times a day. • 62 percent of millennials want brands to be authentic and to interact with them. • 88 percent of millennials have a Facebook account and over half of them use the platform regularly. • Instagram is the second most popular social media platform.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

PHOTOS: Jessica Jones Photography.

• Snapchat is the third. If you are not using these three platforms, then you are not hitting the millennial market. Glover said before you even begin to tell your story, plan, set goals and define measurable objectives. “R e m e mb e r t h at you need to earn attention, to do that creating value for your consumer needs to be top of mind.” So here are her suggestions that could help you break through the clutter and grab the attention of your consumers. Focus on what’s important to your customer. To do

this, you obviously need an understanding of who your customer is. Be entertaining, mix up your content. Try images, video, Q&A, polls and events. Be authentic. Be yourself, use your brand voice. Help customers. Think about the questions your customer may be asking and answer them. Use storytelling as a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. What is your point of difference? “There are thousands of family owned wineries that have beautiful vineyards, making premium wine,” Glover said. “What makes you unique? Often it is the people behind a brand that can bring to light its personality and build connection.”


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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   29


Vintage 19

Supply/demand balance under pressure TESSA NICHOLSON

THE 2019 New Zealand vintage was the third in a row that the industry produced less than the forecasted sales for the next 12 months. Which means stocks to draw on are getting lower, and the supply/demand balance is under tension. NZW CEO Philip Gregan says the final tally of 413,000 tonnes was way below the previntage survey expectations of 450 – 455,000 tonnes. This follows smaller than expected vintages in both 2018 and 2017. “Over the last two vintages we have sold more wine than the industry produced out of

“Over the last two vintages we have sold more wine than the industry produced out of the previous vintage. So there was already some tension in the supply demand balance going into this vintage.” the previous vintage. So there was already some tension in the supply demand balance going into this vintage.” The vintage yield itself was only down one percent compared with last year, but that is despite an increase of two percent in vineyard area.

The big player in that decrease can be attributed to a much lower Pinot Noir yield in Marlborough, Gregan says. Across the country, Pinot yields were down 20 percent, the majority of that due to weather conditions during flowering in Marlborough and spring frosts

in Wellington Wine Country. Northland and Auckland growers had a phenomenal year, with yield increases of between 100 and 180 percent. Gisborne saw increases of 25 percent, but Hawke’s Bay, Wellington Wine Country, Marlborough, Canterbury and Waitaki saw drops in yield of between two and 76 percent. Good things come in small packages apparently, and that is the good news of vintage 19. The quality of the fruit was high and wineries are expecting some positive reviews of the wines to come out of this year.

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30   // 

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


New Zealand Wine

Vintage Indicators - Region 2019

Total Volume

of Grapes Harvested

413,000 tonnes*  1%

All Regions 2019 CHANGE ON PREVIOUS VINTAGE

+183%

NORTHLAND

AUCKLAND

+101%

GISBORNE

+25% -9%

HAWKE’S BAY

NELSON

-4% WAIRARAPA -2% MARLBOROUGH -23%

+36%

NORTH CANTERBURY

-27% CANTERBURY +4%

CENTRAL OTAGO

*Estimated production figures based on the 2018 Vintage Survey.

Tonnage Per Region % OF TOTAL HARVEST

Waitaki Valley has no comparative data

76.6%

MARLBOROUGH 305,467

9.3%

HAWKE’S BAY 37,173

4.1%

GISBORNE 16,238

3.1%

NELSON 12,370

3.0%

CENTRAL OTAGO 11,868

2.0%

NORTH CANTERBURY 8,089

1.1%

WAIRARAPA 4,390

0.4%

AUCKLAND 1,585

0.1%

CANTERBURY 446 NORTHLAND 319 WAITAKI VALLEY 41 Statistics collated from 2019 Vintage Survey

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   31


Industry News

Viticulture benchmarking shows profit down – again TESSA NICHOLSON

FOR THE third year in a row, the profit before tax of the MPI/ NZW Viticulture Benchmarking Marlborough model has shown a marked decrease. The information which is based on data from 50 growers in the region, in a model of 30 producing hectares, shows profit before tax of $8,700 per hectare, which is 13 percent down on last year. In 2018 the profit before tax was $10,000 per hectare. In 2017 it was $11,600 and in 2016 it was $14,820. Greg Dryden from Fruition

s ays t hos e ye ar-on-ye ar decreases are “a worrying trend,” at the vineyard level. What’s most worrying is that the decrease is in spite of average yields and price paid for fruit being relatively stable between 2018 and 2019. The only explanation for the continual decreases is vineyard expenses, which in 2019 reached $12,235 a hectare. “That is up 31 percent over the past 10 years,” Dryden says. “Compared with yields being up just four percent, and prices up 10 percent since 2009.”

Labour makes up around 55 percent of all vineyard expenses, equating to $6,760 per hectare. Increases in the minimal wage that took effect in April 2018 is one reason for the labour cost hike. The second increase came into effect in April this year, and currently sits at $17.70. By 2021 the government aims to raise the adult minimum wage to $20 an hour. Dryden expects those future increases will have a similar impact to vineyard expenses,

as those seen in the past 12 months. Other vineyard expenses to show increases related to pest and disease management – mainly as growers battled against mealybug, controlling powdery mildew and dealing with trunk disease. There were also extra irrigation costs this season, with some growers having to pay for water to be trucked in, once the Wairau River irrigation takes were shut off in February. The Marlborough model is heavily weighted with

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc yields and prices were similar this year to last, yet profit before tax is down 13 percent.

Sauvignon Blanc just as the region is, with the variety making up 78 percent of the 30 hectare representation. The rest of the model is made up of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The overall average of all varieties showed a revenue per hectare of $24,350. Sauvignon Blanc on its own, showed a revenue return of $26,000, with the average price per tonne being $1,855. Yields for Sauvignon were 14 tonnes per hectare, the same as 2018. However, the quality parameters appear to have been

higher this year. Dryden says no grower suffered a penalty from their winery for low brix or disease this year. Seven from last year’s 47 growers suffered penalties, mainly due to disease. In 2018, 350 tonnes or 1.8 percent of Sauvignon Blanc was left unharvested. In 2019, no one had fruit unharvested. Last year 1.3 percent of the model’s Sauvignon Blanc was on-sold due to surpassing the winery yield cap, at an average price of $990 a tonne. This year only two of the 50 growers surpassed their yield

cap, which meant 115 tonnes of Sauvignon Blanc or 0.6 percent was on-sold at an average price of $1200 a tonne. Weather again played a role in vintage, but not in the way it has in the past two seasons. While rain and tropical cyclones hit Marlborough in previous years, 2019 will be remembered for its big dry. Cooler weather and rain during December however affected early varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with yields much lower than hoped for. The decrease in profit may now be impacting on vineyard

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sales in Marlborough. There has been a noticeable decline in sales in recent months, compared with the rush of buying two years ago. Dryden says the average model price of planted land in the Wairau now sits at $248,000 per hectare. In the Awatere that price is $165,000. Looking forward, growers are cautiously optimistic about vintage 2020, forecasting a six percent increase in yields. They are also hoping for an increase in grape prices in 2020, to cover the increasing working expenses. North Island

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   33


Research Update

Pinot Noir Programme WITH FUNDING of $10.3 million, the five-year Pinot Noir research programme is already breaking ground in terms of knowledge of this fickle grape and capricious wine. Into its second year, the programme is led by the Bragato Research Institute, with Plant & Food Research, L i nc ol n Universit y and the University of Auckland, and is co-funded by NZ Winegrowers and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and E mpl oy me nt ( M BI E ) through its Endeavour Programme. “A lot of what we are The aim is to determine trying to accomplish if there is any truth in the assumption that high is brand new, so no yielding Pinot vineyards one else in the world do not produce high quality wines, says Matias Kinzurik, has done this.” BRI’s Research Manager. “This is what we call the the viticultural and winemaking production/quality seesaw and factors that might contribute to we are trying to understand if that definition of quality. there is any truth to this claim. Third, what are the perceived And if so, how can we break this sensory aspects of quality and seesaw.” what is the chemistry behind The programme has four those quality attributes. main impact areas. Fourthly, the programme Number one is about wants to integrate all that defining what quality Pinot Noir work in an impact statement, wine is, both to a wine expert called Validation Wines, which and a consumers. will bring all the knowledge Number two is studying all together, to recreate wines in a

controlled way and then testing to determine if the wines are moving towards or further away from those definitions of quality. Kinzurik says a lot of the information the programme is working towards is ground breaking. “A lot of what we are trying to accomplish is brand new, so no one else in the world has done this.” Preliminary data is now being analysed from the past 18 months of work and while

that won’t be released for a few months, Kinzurik says early results are proving interesting. “What we are seeing is that there is distinct chemistry lining up to quality perception. And there is distinct chemistry lining up to yield. The most interesting thing is that those two sets of chemistry do not necessarily match. That is great news for our programme, because it means there is at least some distinction between what quality and yield do.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


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Pinot Programme

Ground breaking research TESSA NICHOLSON

ONE ASPECT of the Pinot Noir Programme is taking a reductionist approach to conduct research on individual berries and is set to make scientific history. It involves growing Pinot berries in petri dishes under sterile lab conditions for months at a time, to determine exactly what inputs they require to deliver quality characteristics needed for Pinot Noir production. Dr Richard Espley, a Science Team Leader at Plant and Food Research is overseeing the berry culture programme. He says to understand what makes a berry gain quality characteristics, it is important to know how inputs and environmental influences contribute. “You can do that in the vineyard, but it is complicated. You’ve got a bunch of berries that all ripen at slightly different

times. In the vineyard, the berries have to cope with dif ferent env ironment a l conditions, disease load, heat, light, and all of those things can have a major effect that you can’t really control.” Hence the research on individual berries, which removes all of those differing parameters. It may seem like a simple scientific experiment, but it is anything but. Only one other university in the world is doing a similar experiment – Bordeaux University. But in their case they are working on Cabernet Sauvignon – a more resilient grape. “I love Pinot Noir,” Espley says, “but it is a fickle berry. It is small, it’s delicate and it’s unpredictable. When we told (Bordeaux University researchers) we were going to do it on Pinot Noir,

they just shrugged their shoulders and said good luck.” Despite their skepticism, the research has proved successful here in New Zealand. Espley says they have grown Pinot vines, allowing them to flower, and then removed the small berries, retaining part of the stalk. The berries were sterilized and placed on culture media in a dish, with the stalk implanted in the media allowing the berry to continue to absorb nutrients. “Berries will continue to grow and develop, which is great, so we have these little baby Pinot Noir berries growing in a very sterile condition. Which means we control of all the other complicating factors that we can’t deal with when we are looking at experimental conditions in the field?.” The media can be made with a variety of nutrients that the

berry can absorb. “For example, the simplest thing to do would be to change the amount of sugar in the media. The amount of sugar a berry has will affect some of its ripening characteristics. For example, it will create more colour (anthocyanin), a quality characteristic, among others, we are looking for in a good Pinot.” That has been the starting point this year he says, and the system has proved it is workable. “We kept the berries alive for a bit more than three months. They do start to go through veraison, they start to change colour. I wouldn’t say they look quite as robust as the best Pinot Noir in the vineyard, as they are a bit smaller and don’t colour as intensely. So what we are going to try and do next season is understand exactly what is going on with this life

The individual Pinot Noir berries, in their sterilized new home. Both black and clear media have been used in the research.

36   // 

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


they are going through during in vitro culture. We are the only institute that has been able to keep Pinot Noir berries alive for this length of time.” Espley says one of the next steps is to deliver certain stimulants like plant hormones at a particular time and see how that affects the berry and its development, and eventually its characteristics. “What we do with these little berries is keep them as individual biological samples and then we will analyse those for the key parameters the winemakers want to see in the berries.” The ground breaking research which is being undertaken at Plant & Food Research in Lincoln has got all the researchers involved in the Pinot Noir programme excited, as it offers the potential to understand what makes quality Pinot Noir that more attainable.

Pinot Noir cuttings are grown until flowering, with the ensuing baby berries removed before being placed on a media in a petri dish.

tessa.nicholson@me.com

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HAWKE’S BAY Nick Putt, Villa Maria

WAIRARAPA George Bunnett, Craggy Range

CENTRAL OTAGO Simon Gourley, Domaine Thomson

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   37


Grape Days

The insidiousness of trunk disease TESSA NICHOLSON

IGNORE TRUNK disease at your peril, is the message that came from Mark Sosnowski at the recent NZW Grape Days. With the stats to back his assertion up, he highlighted how quickly a few diseased vines can turn into economic disaster if nothing is done. Sosnowski, from South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) is one of three who have been monitoring the prevalence of Eutypa and Botryosphaeria in vineyard blocks in both Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough over the past five years. Ad.pdf 1 In 2013Winegrower 700 individual blocks

“It is really important to stress that if you are relying on foliar symptoms to monitor for disease, you are going to be missing a lot of your infected vines.” were surveyed, throughout the two regions. In total the blocks had 21 varieties, with Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir the dominant ones. In each block 200 vines were randomly selected, and assessed for foliar symptoms and/or signs of dieback. Of the 140,000 vines surveyed, 8 23/07/19 10:32 AM signs of either percent showed

Eutypa or Botryosphaeria. In 2018 the survey was repeated, although this time there were just over 600 blocks involved. Sosnowski says they also recorded any missing and dead vines last year, to add to the information. Frighteningly in just five years, the incidence of dieback had more than doubled, from 8

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to 20 percent. In 2013 eight blocks had more than 60 percent incidence of dieback, that increased to 31 blocks in 2018, despite there being fewer blocks within the survey. The majority of those 31 blocks were in Hawke’s Bay. “The dieback symptoms start to appear pretty early in the life of the vines. In some cases we saw four or five-year-old vines with missing spurs already.” Given it can take three years from infection until symptoms, that means the vines had to be infected within a year or so of planting. The older the vines, the

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showed more symptoms in 10-20 year old vines than cane pruned vines. But then they found that older cane pruned vines were actually dying a lot quicker than cordon pruned. “The take home message is that both methods of pruning are susceptible to infection and

Cordon pruned vines shows symptons earlier than cane pruned.

more prevalent the disease. By 10 years of age, Sosnowski says “things were ramping up. Then the period between 10 and 20 years, we are seeing infections going from 20 to 80 percent in some vineyards.” One of the interesting results from the survey was the low incidence of foliar symptoms ass o c i ate d w it h Eut y p a (see box). That may indicate that Botryosphaeria is the more dominant disease here in New Zealand and more research is currently being conducted to determine if that is the case. “It is really important to stress that if you are relying on foliar symptoms to monitor for disease, you are going to be missing a lot of your infected vines.” The dieback incidence varied across the age range of vines, although the older the vine became, the higher the incidence. There was also a noted difference in incidence between spur pruned vines and cane pruned, with the former having a 34 percent dieback incidence compared with 17 percent for cane pruned. “The main reason for the difference is the location of wounds, which on cane-pruned vines is close to the trunk, compared with cordon pruned,

40   // 

where there are a lot of wounds all along one arm. When they get infected, visually we see that infection a lot earlier than in a cane pruned vine. You are still getting the infection at the same time, but it is quietly moving down into the trunk and slowly attacking the trunk in a way we can’t see.” It doesn’t mean cane pruned

Trunk staining - classic trunk disease sympton.

vines are less likely to die from the disease. A French study showed cordon pruned vines

EUTYPA VERSUS BOTRYOSPHAERIA FOLIAR SYMPTOMS that include stunted yellowing shoots, cup margins and irregular fruit growth are related to the Eutypa Lata fungus. The toxins are produced by the fungus within the vine’s trunk and then carried up the foliage to cause the visual symptoms on green tissue. However, the fungus itself is not actually found in the green tissue. In terms of Botryosphaeria dieback, you don’t have foliar symptoms, although the fungus can infect green shoots. The major signs of this disease are dieback on spurs or whole arms on cane pruned vines and cankers that start coming down the trunk from pruning wounds. Both diseases kill the vine eventually. The cycle begins with the Eutypa or Botryosphaeria fungus producing spores which are either rain splashed or wind-blown to infect freshly cut pruning wounds. “The spores find it very easy to make their way into the vascular tissue (responsible for carrying water and nutrients through the vine) and once they germinate they start to grow, killing the tissue as they go.” This dead tissue appears as staining within the trunk of a vine, very noticeable when the trunk is sliced open.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

both will lead, at different times to the death of the vine.” But as Sosnowski said, it is not all doom and gloom, because there are management practices that can help stymie the disease. Remedial surgery is one of those (more on that in a later issue). And wound protection, which is the best protection going forward. “We have a number of blocks that management practices have included wound protection during the five years. Since 2006, certain blocks had wound protection of all wounds larger than 25mm and since 2013 all wounds have been protected. “We have a threshold of vines up to 20 years of age, with just 20 percent disease incidence. None of these blocks have gone over 20 percent infection. Compare that with what we see with the rest of the sample, blocks with 20-year-old vines with 80 percent plus infection. This is a very positive direction.” tessa.nicholson@me.com


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Mealybugs

Avoid the slippery downward spiral TESSA NICHOLSON

PLANT & Food Research’s Vaughn Bell has seen a lot of mealybugs in his time, but even he was stunned to see photos of infestations in Marlborough this past vintage. Bell, who spoke at the recent NZW Grape Days on controlling mealybugs, said photos shown to the Marlborough audience highlighted how serious the problem has become in the region. How growers react to that and in what way, will play a vital role in the future of the pest. “Mealybugs are everywhere. No matter what we do, we have to learn to live with them. We can never eradicate them, but we want to minimize the influence in our grape vines.” Unfortunately, Bell pointed

out, in Marlborough’s case, that minimising has relied on something he’s referring to as ‘hard’ chemicals like prothiofos, chlorpyrifos, and others, which he says is not the way forward. “Since 2016, around onethird (or 1500) of all Marlborough blocks were treated with

The photos that show how bad mealybug was in Marlborough this year. PHOTOS MATT FOX

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


you have the opportunity to ensure that resistance to those softer active ingredients doesn’t occur, meaning that chemistry can continue to work effectively against mealybug.” He also suggested that instead of applying one or two sprays each season, growers should consider applying three for a few years, particularly to those blocks and/or vineyards badly affected by mealybugs. “You are probably struggling to get on two as it is, especially at those pinch points in the season. But I think given the extent of the feedback received from the sector, we need to look at new ways of managing this problem and this option might be one of them.” Admitting he was suggesting increased chemical use, which is counter to industry’s wish to reduce reliance on synthetic inputs, Bell said this idea is proposed as a short-term solution for a long-term gain. “You don’t need to always look at a three-spray spring programme. Maybe when you have got on top of the mealybug problem and the population is reduced in two or three years, you can go back to two applications at or around flowering.” In summary, Bell said if the audience members took nothing more out of his presentation, he wanted them to consider that hard chemistry is a short-term solution, not the long-term

way forward. Instead adopt a ‘soft’ insecticide programme that maximises the value of the vineyard ecosystem, including the role and influence of beneficial insects.”

MAKING THE MOST OF CHEMICAL CONTROL Andrew Blakeman from AJB Solutions NZ Ltd said chemical control success relies on six important factors; pre-harvest monitoring, chemical choice, timing, interval, coverage and dose. Pre-harvest monitoring. This allows you to find out the extent of the mealybug problem. There should be no more than 10 mealybugs per 100 leaves. Monitor and collect data, so you can determine if last season’s chemical use was effective or not. Chemical choice. Use pro g r am me s t hat a l l ow beneficials to flourish – in other words soft chemicals. “Stay away from hard broad spectrum insecticides that partially control the pest but also wipe out a large proportion of the beneficial. Other industries in New Zealand have weaned themselves of broad spectrum insecticides, there is no reason the wine industry can’t.” Timing and Interval. Trial work has shown that applications closest to flowering have given the best results, rather than when the vines have very

little leaf coverage. “You have a larger surface to get chemical onto, to come in contact with mealybug and you have more crawlers present.” Blakeman said if you only make one application of a chemical it should be immediately pre-flowering. “If you are going for two applications, one at pre-flowering and the other application should be 10 – 14 days prior to that.” A spirotetramat up to 10 days post flowering will further extend the period of insecticide cover. As with all chemical use, growers are advised to consult the NZW spray schedule and their wine companies. All mealybug insecticides can be included with your usual powdery mildew applications. Coverage. It is essential if you are wanting to get on top of mealybugs. “Buprofezin is a contact insecticide so it has to come in contact with the mealybug at the time of application or very shortly afterwards. If you don’t make contact and you have mealybugs there, you will not kill them.” Dose. “Our suggestion is to concentrate spray at about two times concentrate at half the point of run-off. This is probably higher than what you are spraying anyway. But you need to maximise that coverage and one of the ways to do that is by increasing our application volume.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

Image: MarlboroughNZ.com

synthetic pyrethroid for the control of adult grass grub flying in spring.” That reliance is creating a cumulative influence he says, which is likely to come back and bite us. “Ultimately it is going to lead us down a very difficult track. That hard chemistry is going to contribute to the loss of many beneficial insects like parasitoids. When that occurs, you end up with reduced influence of biological control.” That in itself will lead to what Bell says they call “induced outbreaks”. “You are never going to kill all of the mealybugs, all you will do is take the cream off that population. But there will always be a residual mealybug population and ultimately you create a downward spiral for the next year as your beneficial insects struggle to establish in affected vineyards. Your baseline population of mealybugs is just higher the following years, leading to what becomes a cumulative downward spiral.” The option he suggested is to move away from hard chemicals and look at the softer options. With at least two active ingredients now available to growers, Bell says there are multiple products with differing modes of action. “If you are using those products properly, and with properly calibrated machinery,

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   43


Strategic Review

The question of business models One of the questions the PwC Strategic Review asked during its study of the New Zealand wine industry, was centered on business models. How are they evolving and what are the implications for the industry overall? Tessa Nicholson looks at the findings. N E W Z E A L A N D’ S wine industr y is small on an international scale, and it appears the make-up of our industry follows suit. The PwC report on business models shows that 87 percent of this country’s wineries fall into the category of small – which means they have sales of less than 200,000 litres. Medium sized wineries, those with sales of 200,000 – 4 million litres make up 10 percent of wineries, while large scale (sales of over 4 million litres) make up just three percent of wineries. However the figures are turned on their head when you look at the percentage of exports each category is responsible for. Small exports – 14 percent Medium exports – 22 percent Large exports – 64 percent The number of largescale wineries has increased significantly in the past decade, going from just six in 2008 to 17 in 2018. However, the report points out that small wineries are an integral part of the New Zealand wine story. “Smaller players add variety to the New Zealand wine story and often generate innovations in production and wine styles.” Larger players though are helping to build the reputation of New Zealand inter nat iona l ly, t hroug h marketing and reach. Grower numbers in New Zealand have dropped

44   // 

significantly from a peak of 1,128 in 2010 to 699 in 2018. That drop in numbers (28 percent) is despite the 27 percent increase in plantings throughout the country. The report says this is a sign of the consolidation that has been occurring with growers looking to take advantage of economies of scale. In terms of moving forward, PwC says there are a number of trends that are changing the face of the New Zealand wine industry. They include outsourcing bottling and packaging, using contract wineries to create new labels, a decrease in the number of wholesalers, distributors and importers, a decrease in grower numbers but an increase in the size of their holdings, and the ability of wineries to sell direct to the consumer. All of these are helping to reduce certain costs, and provide business flexibility. Another facet of the report on business models, is how foreign owned wine industry companies play a strategic role in New Zealand. While close to half of all the large-scale wineries are owned by foreign entities, they are also responsible for over a third of all New Zealand wine sales. There are other positives associated with the foreign owned companies – number one being they tend to pay growers more for their fruit, than New

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

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Zealand owned companies. The P wC report also points out that foreign owned companies export less wine in bulk format, than New Zealand owned wineries – just 31.7 percent of the total of all unpackaged wines. The ability of foreign entities to invest in the New Zealand economy cannot be underestimated. They have helped increase plantings, as well as provided employment opportunities in wine growing regions. Then there is their ability to find routes to market and introduce technology from their home countries. “ The scale and global networks of foreign owned

entities help to build the reputation and presence of all New Zealand wine, benefitting the entire industry. “Technology transfer and global knowledge permeates and (is) shared with local industry,” the report states. In terms of what New Zealand Winegrowers can do to support business model success and diversity, PwC highlights the need for educating members on profitability. “There is a weak case for further NZW involvement in business model success given free market mechanisms.” The full PwC Strategic Review, is available on the nzwine.com, members website.


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Agenda Events/Bragato

Challenge. Think. Do As we head towards 2020, the timing is perfect for the New Zealand wine industry to look ahead. That’s what this year’s Bragato Conference will focus on, as Tessa Nicholson discovers. NASA AND wineries, synthetic biology and revolutionary solutions, climate variability and grapevine growth, biodiversity and positive culture, food regulations and new breeding techniques, wine tourism and economic growth. All of these subjects will be covered at this year’s Bragato Conference being held in Hawke’s Bay. The line up of local and international speakers is impressive. Jack Bobo, CEO Futurity, who helped develop revolutionary solutions to world-wide problems such as food, energy and health and was a senior advisor on global food policy, biotechnology and agricultural trade with the US Department of State will discuss how agriculture can save the planet, before it destroys it. Jill Brigham a former NASA manager, and now Executive Director at the Sustainable Wine and Food Processing Centre at UC Davis will provide insight into best practices for high efficiency food and beverage

46   // 

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

production. Robin Shaw, referred to as Australia’s wine tourism guru, will talk about how tourism can help boost your sales in Australia. Creative marketing and using social media to achieve it is a subject close to Cassie Roma’s heart. As the head of marketing for the Warehouse Group, she is more than qualified to provide up to date information. Dr Eric Crampton Chief economist, the NZ Initiative, will take on one of the lexions of the past few years – Fake News. Should be interesting. Local experts including Darrell Lizamore, Mark Krasnow, Rebecca Deed, Mike Trought, Vaughn Bell, Matt Goddard and Jane Skilton, will add to the two days discussing, Challenge, Think, Do. Don’t miss it.

Bragato Conference McLean Park Hawke’s Bay bragato.org.nz


20

19

BRAGATO PROGRAMME 2019 nzwine.com/bragato

DAY 1 - WEDNESDAY 28 AUGUST 2019 PLENARY 1: CHALLENGE. THINK. DO

DAY 2 – THURSDAY 29 AUG 2019 PLENARY 5: WINE TREK, THE NEXT GENERATION How is a winery like the International Space Station? - Jill Brigham

What’s in that bottle: is wine “fingerprinting” really a thing? - Eric Wilkes

The Challenge - John Clarke Fake news - Eric Crampton

PLENARY 6: CHALLENGING WHAT WE KNOW: RISING TO THE OCCASION

PLENARY 2: CHALLENGING DARWIN

The wine industry’s greatest biosecurity challenge? What are we doing to stop Pierce’s Disease - Dr. Edwin Massey

Challenging Darwin - Jeffrey Clarke How agriculture can save the planet before it destroys it? Jack Bobo

Collaborating to fight Xylella Fastidiosa - Craig Elliot Transitioning away from oganophosphates - Dr. Jim Walker

Keep calm and don’t Panic! Reviewing NZ’s regulation of food made with new breeding techniques. - Sally Ronaldson

Mealybug control: Back to the future? - Dr. Vaughn Bell

The transposon alternative - Darrell Lizamore

Synthetic Chemistry and microbial biodiversity -

Herbicide reduction study results - Dr. Marc Krasnow Dr.Matt Goddard

PLENARY 3: THINKING GLOBAL Telling your story on social - Cassie Roma  How to get the most return from wine tourism Robin Shaw

WORKSHOPS 1 - 4 1. SWNZ for the future - Fabian Yukich, Gwyn Williams, Marg Elliott

2. Tasting: International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration - The story we told - Chris Yorke, Emma Jenkins MW, Patrick Materman 3. Let’s talk GMO’s - Matias Kinzurik, Jack Bobo, Darrell Lizamore, Clarke Ehlers

4. Living in a digital world - Cassie Roma

WORKSHOPS 5-8 5. What’s Trending 1 - Dr. Mike Trought 6. Sub-surface irrigation water efficiency, precision fertilisation, and easy maintenance - Mark Allen, Chris Ireland, Dr. Marc Krasnow

7. Exercise fastidious - Dr. Edwin Massey, Dr. Stephen Dibley 8. Using wine tourism to boost your sales in Australia Robin Shaw

PLENARY 4: ‘Young Viticulturist of the Year’ Speeches – Nicky Grandorge

WORKSHOPS 9-12 9. What’s trending 2 - Mike Trought 10. Tasting: Chardonnay & Sparkling Symposium The story we told - Felicity Turner, Jane Skilton MW, Rebecca Deed PhD

11. The strength of our people - Nicky Grandorge 12. How climate change could influence vines and wine Tracy Benge, Prof. Gregory Jones, Dr. Amber Parker

WORKSHOPS 13-17 13. Mythbusting the export spray schedule - Rex Sunde, Jeffrey Clarke, Meagan Littlejohn, Peter Wood

14. Reducing your winery’s carbon footprint - Tracy Benge, Jill Brigham

15 - Off site Grafted grape vine standard. Thinking healthy vines - Dr. Edwin Massey, Marg Elliot, Yoke Miller, Emma Taylor 16. Controlling mealybugs sustainably - Will Kerner, Dr. Jim Walker, Dr. Vaughn Bell, Andrew Blakeman 17. Keeping it sweet: grape supply contracts when the going gets tough - Sarah Wilson

PLENARY 7: CHALLENGING THOUGHTS Climate and wine: Global trends and influences for sustainable wine production - Prof. Greg Jones Diversity is an opportunity - Mary Haddock-Staniland Think like a consumer - Patrick Lyons

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   47


Young Vits

Bayer Young Vit Finalists For the past two months young viticulturists all over the country have been pitting themselves against their peers, in an effort to represent their region at the national finals. The following are the six finalists. Just which of them will take out the title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2019?

NORTHLAND – JAKE DROMGOOL, THE LANDING HAVING GROWN up in Kerikeri, Jake had his first wine industry job at the age of 14 and despite studying commerce and travelling overseas, he was drawn back to the industry. He has his own vineyard and last year launched his own label, 144 Islands. This is the second year Jake has made it to the national finals.

HAWKE’S BAY – NICK PUTT, VILLA MARIA ORIGINALLY NICK was pursuing a Bachelor of Agriculture Science, majoring in horticulture. But time spent on vineyards in both Martinborough and North Canterbury drew him to the wine industry. In 2016 he was granted a cadetship with Villa Maria, and late last year gained the position of Assistant Manager at Villa Maria’s Gimblett Gravels vineyard.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


Photo courtesy of Riversun Nursery

When Reliability When Reliability Matters. Matters.

WELLINGTON WINE COUNTRY – GEORGE BUNNETT, CRAGGY RANGE ONE OF the great things about being a viticulturist for George, is the ability to be able to work outside. That and being able to see your year’s work in every bottle produced. George is an Assistant Manager for Craggy Range, and loves the thought that the wine industry provides opportunities to travel the world while gaining work experience.

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NORTH CANTERBURY – ZOE MARYCHURCH, PEGASUS BAY ZOE WENT straight from school to gain a degree in Viticulture and Oenology. Thinking she wanted to be a winemaker, a stint working in the vineyards changed her mind forever. She describes herself as being obsessed with Pinot Noir and organics, and a proud Cantabrian. This is Zoe’s second year in the national finals.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

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CENTRAL OTAGO – SIMON GOURLEY, DOMAINE THOMSON SIMON HAS won both the Central Otago Young Viticulturist 2013 and Cellar Hand of the Year 2016 award. He has worked in both the winery, and vineyard, full time, to make him a more well-rounded Viticulturist. Organic and biodynamic farming is where his passion lies with a strong focus on sustainability.

THE FINALS of the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year will be held during Bragato, in Hawke’s Bay, 28 & 29 August. The prize package for the winner includes: use of a Hyundai Kona for a

year, an Ecotrellis Travel Grant, Bahco golden secateurs, a leadership week and cash. They will also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition

in November. There is also an AGMARDT prize for the best national finalist’s project which they undertake in the build up to the national final.

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

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   51


Women in Wine

Margaret Harvey

MNZM MW WORDS – TESSA NICHOLSON

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


Master of Wine Margaret Harvey may not be so well known amongst younger wine industry members. But ask any one of the pioneers of the 80s and 90s about her, and you are bound to hear glowing reviews. BECAUSE HARVEY was one of the first and most influential stalwarts of New Zealand wine’s export push into the UK. Born in New Zealand, Harvey left for her O.E in the 70s, working as a pharmacist in London for a number of years. Having an interest in wine, (she had worked as a locum in Henderson so knew a lot of the winegrowers in the area) she quickly began learning more. Undertaking WSET levels and joining the International Wine and Food Society, her interest grew exponentially – to the point that she began considering undertaking the Master of Wine exam.

Only problem at that period in time, was to do so, she had to either write about wine or be a member of the wine trade. “I did neither of those, so I thought I had better change that. I had always thought New Zealand had great potential for its wine and I thought I might just bring a few cases over and test the market.” She wasn’t the very first to bring New Zealand wine into the market – John Avery of Bristol had claimed that title. But Harvey followed close behind. The year was 1986 and her first shipment was 100 cases. It was a mixed import, Matua

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Valley, Delegat’s, Morton Estate, some Vidal and a little bit of Stonyridge. “I brought 100 cases of wine in and then thought – I don’t know what I am going to do with it. I can’t just sit and drink it all – much as I would have liked to.” Enter Philip Atkinson from the trade section at New Zealand House. Knowing she had the cases of New Zealand wine, he phoned Harvey and gave her a contact number for John Tovey, renowned restauranteur and chef at the Miller Howe Windermere in the Lakes District. Tovey had decided, ironically after the Rainbow Warrior bombing in New Zealand, that he would no longer serve French wines in his restaurant. Initially he began replacing them with Australian wine, but as they became more mainstream, he moved onto South African. But once a trade ban

came in that prohibited the import of South African wines, Tovey had to rethink – again. He had heard some rumors about New Zealand wine and made contact with New Zealand House – who then passed the info onto Harvey. “So I called him up and he said; ‘tell you what my dear, send me a sample bottle of everything you’ve got and send me a bill.’” He loved the samples and within two days of receiving them, he rang Harvey, asked her how many cases she had and then bought the entire lot. “I couldn’t believe it. I had 100 cases of wine one day and five days later I had none.” She says Tovey became a great proponent of New Zealand and was the impetus for her establishing her own import agency New Zealand Fine Wines. The fact Tovey had been her first client made the next step of getting our wines into the market,

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Roots, Shoots & Fruits Soil Health, Plant Health, YOUR Health a whole lot easier she says. “When I went to see a new customer, they would always ask who I was selling to. I would immediately say John Tovey and they would go; ‘Oh if John Tovey is buying it, we will definitely buy some.’ So he was my passport.” Harvey always intended Fine Wines to be a one person business. She also realised that the companies who had been her initial clients would probably need to move on, once they began to secure a market presence. “I realised once the momentum started with these companies they needed to grow. I appreciated the fact they would want to leave me sooner or later – they would want their own importer just selling and showcasing their wines. I looked upon it as growing pains.” So Harvey decided after a suggestion from her brother, that she should have her own label, something she could call her own. “I thought about that for a while and thought that’s not a bad idea.” Aotea Wines was born, with Hermann Seifried (one of her clients) making the Sauvignon Blanc, some Chardonnay and Syrah. The label continued until Harvey’s retirement in 2009 when Seifried’s bought the rights to the label. It is still found in some prestigious outlets within the UK. By this stage Harvey had passed her Master of Wine Exam in 1991. She was New Zealand’s first woman to achieve the title, and went on to write for numerous publications and judge at a number of wine shows. But her greatest emphasis was on promoting New Zealand wine whenever she could. And it wasn’t always easy. While people were always nostalgic about New Zealand, equating it with somewhere

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they wanted to visit, the fact we made wine was something of a misnomer. “Oh gosh, are you making wine?,” being a common response she says. But over time that sell became much easier. “When I started doing these wine tastings I was doing about three or four a week. I would come into the room and give a bit of history about myself and I would say has anyone been to New Zealand. And out of about 30 or 40 people, there may be one or two hands go up. Fast track to 2001 when I was still out there showcasing the wines, I would ask

NZ High Commissioner, Right Hon Jonathan Hunt, vests Margaret Harvey MW with her insignia as an Honorary Life Member of the Wine Institute of New Zealand.

“I brought 100 cases of wine in and then thought – I don’t know what I am going to do with it. I can’t just sit and drink it all – much as I would have liked to.”

With Sir Hardie Boys - receiving her NZ Order of Merit.

ACCOLADES MARGARET HARVEY’S dedication to the New Zealand wine industry has not gone unnoticed over the years. In 1997, she was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to New Zealand wine. In 2005 New Zealand Winegrowers also showed their appreciation for all she had done to help establish an export market in the UK, by making her an Honorary Life Member.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

the same question and nearly every hand would go up.” The fact New Zealand made wine and good wine too, was no longer a hard sell. People knew about us. Harvey is one of those who helped ensure that information was out there. Still domiciled in London, she is now well retired, but continues to be one of our greatest advocates. “Amongst my friends and their friends, I am always talking about New Zealand wines. And I only serve it when I have people round for dinner. “I probably drink more New Zealand wine now than when I was selling it – I tasted when I was selling. But now I am buying it like everybody else.” Thanks Margaret.


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Let’s toast 200 years! From humble beginnings of a vine planted in Kerikeri in 1819, to the globally successful wine industry we know today, New Zealand Winegrowers invite you to celebrate this important milestone with us. Beginning with a ceremonial re-planting at the historic Stone Store, followed by a regional wine tasting and dinner on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, it is a day not to be missed. Ceremonial Planting & Wine Tasting - Stone Store, Kerikeri Dinner - Waitangi Treaty Grounds Wednesday, 25 September 2019

events@nzwine.com for tickets and more info

Image Credits clockwise from top Left: Sacred Hill, Church Road, Mahana Estate, Crab Farm, Misty Cove, Crab Farm, Waipara Hills, Gibbston Valley Wines, Mills Reef, Brady Property - Gibston, Nobilo Wines, Destiny Bay, Church Road, Yealands Estate, Misty Cove, Keri Keri Store, Escarpment, Sauvignon 2019, Villa Maria, Sparkling and Chardonnay Symposium 2019, Pegasus Bay, Tiki Wine, AIC, Church Road, Akarua, Escarpment, Nobilo Wines.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


Award News

Judging team announced Steve Flamsteed as 2019’s international judges. Once again Shona White will be the Competition Coordinator. Judging takes place from 14-17 October. Entries for the 2019 competition are open from 5 August to 6 September.

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Vanessa Robson www.nzwine.com/members/events/new-zealand E: info@nzwineoftheyear.com Sponsorship opportunities are currently available for both New Zealand Wine of the Year™ and New Zealand Wine Awards. For further information, please contact Angela Willis, Global Events Manager, on (09) 306 5642 or angela@nzwine.com

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Industry Innovation

Hemp among the vines TESSA NICHOLSON

IT’S NOT what you expect to see when you visit a vineyard. Towering plants of more than two metres playing host to a myriad of insects from bees to praying mantes. A plant that has uses dating back thousands of years, and is still used today for everything from clothing to insulation. These strangers in the vineyard are in fact industrial hemp plants. And they are part of a trial, that could produce positive implications for the wine industry in New Zealand. Kirsty Harkness, Managing Director and co-owner of Mount Base Vineyards in Marlborough, is the tour de force behind this innovative trial. Having obtained a license to grow hemp late last year, she is now focusing on whether the plant can offer positive nuances to the vineyard itself, along with providing growers with a potential secondary income. In November last year the law changed, allowing for the first time, hemp seeds to be sold for human consumption. Up until then, while industrial hemp could be grown for a range of different products, the hemp seed itself was only allowed to be pressed for oil. That is despite the fact that the seed on its own contains copious amounts of protein, omega 3, omega 6, omega 9, magnesium, zinc and fibre. It is described as being one of nature’s richest

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sources of essential fatty acids. When planted on its own, a hectare of hemp can produce up to a tonne of seeds, which given the miniscule size of the seed itself, is a solid return. Harkness wasn’t too worried about harvesting the seeds this year, her trial was more about seeing whether the hemp plant could grow within a vineyard and what impact it would have on the neighbouring vines. The trial was slow to begin, given Harkness didn’t receive her license (from Ministry of Health) until Christmas Eve. That meant she had missed the normal window for sowing seeds, November/December. Undeterred, she planted out two hectares in vineyards around Marlborough on January 4, the beginning of a six week period where hardly any rain fell. Not ideal. But it did give

her the chance to see how the hemp would cope in super dry conditions. “We had only 10mm in a 70 day period, yet the hemp grew outside the vines to two metres tall. It was growing a foot a week, in front of our eyes.” With four different sites, Harkness was able to trial different irrigation water rates over the growing period. Some were watered at the beginning, some were watered just once in the season, some for four weeks and some for six weeks. Some received no water at all.

HEMP IS NOT MARIJUANA MANY PEOPLE get totally confused when it comes to distinguishing between hemp and marijuana. It’s not surprising, given the two plants look very alike and even smell alike. The difference is that hemp plants contain no more than 0.3 percent (by dry weight) of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive substance found in marijuana. By comparison, marijuana typically contains 5 to 20 percent THC. The low rates of THC in hemp mean they do not produce psychoactive effects when ingested.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

“The plants I watered for six weeks grew the best,” she says. “But normally you would plant in November and they would get those spring rains, that would have the same effect.” The plants also attracted insect life, in numbers Harkness found hard to believe. Bees, honey and bumble, praying mantes, lady birds and caterpillars among others created such a din, it was the equivalent of an engine running. “I have never experienced anything like that before. It was fascinating!.” Part of the attraction may well have been the fact the hemp leaves undergo guttation, where the plant finds water deep in the soil and brings it up to its leaves, making it available for the insects. And with a feeder root that goes straight down, she doesn’t believe hemp threatens the vine’s water uptake. In fact hemp is also believed to bring up Potassium from lower down too, making it available for the vines But more research on that is to be conducted this coming season. While there are 13 hemp


Hemp plants attract a myriad of insects.

cultivars available for New Zealand growers, due to Harkness’s late plant date, Kompolti was the only one available. Growing to more than two metres, it isn’t the most ideal for inter-row cropping but she says it was a great trial starter. Other cultivars that are much shorter and won’t compete with fruit for sunlight may be trialed this coming year. “We plan to trial a few different cultivars this coming season, including a 100-day from when you plant, vegetative cycle cultivar. Our trials will include different planting months, starting in September, to see whether it makes a difference, before we have full budburst and competition with canopy for sunlight hours.” As for the mulch from the hemp plants, Harkness says it’s exceptionally good. “We mulched what we had and placed it under the vines as a trial and because it has a resin in its trichomes it is sticky

and sets itself. It doesn’t blow away like straw would and if you lift it up it is damp underneath. (Hemp holds four times its body weight in water). There were also no weeds growing through it. So far it has exceeded our expectations as it grows large quantities of biomass and I am looking forward to larger trial areas in the season coming. It was everything I had hoped for and some.” Vindicated from the first year of trials, Harkness is planning to plant out 60 hectares around Marlborough this coming spring. Thoughtful Viticulture’s Mark Krasnow will conduct research on how the hemp impacts on the vine’s nutrient and water uptake, how it affects vine health, what the mulch provides to the soil structure, while other research will look into whether hemp impacts on wine flavours and aromas. While Harkness is the very first New Zealand grape grower to plant industrial hemp among

vines, (and potentially the first in the world licensed to grow both) she is unlikely to be the last. A large number of wineries and number of growers have approached her for advice on the how, whys and wherefores of growing hemp. Consequently, she has established a Facebook

page, VinHemp – Vineyard Hemp Cover Crops NZ, where she will constantly update information. On another note, Harkness was elected as an executive member of the New Zealand Hemp Association, in late June.

Hemp mulch.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   59


ADVERTORIAL

Disease happens: actions determine outcomes STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY DEBORAH WALTON-DERRY

As the push towards non-synthetic chemistry builds momentum, efficacy is under the spotlight. It’s time to look at not just what we’re using in the vineyard, but how we are using it. CHRIS AND HELEN Henry of Henry Manufacturing understand that long-term profitability and sustainability go hand in hand. They are convinced that the best way to achieve this for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is a slight shift in cultural practice within the vineyard. Chris is adamant, “This isn’t about organics (as organics isn’t just about fungicidal products), it’s about giving growers a good financial outcome while using alternatives to synthetic chemistry - and all the advantages that delivers. How do we get people engaged in long term thinking as opposed to short term gain?” Henry Manufacturing has been involved in grape disease research for over two decades. The company has not only produced a range of effective fungicides, but each year invests back into testing and field trials to determine the best viticultural practice needed to deliver optimal results. Trials in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne have proven the effectiveness of contact fungicides when vines are managed appropriately. Chris believes this occurs when growers are already attuned to the importance of head thinning and leaf removal around the bunch line to ensure the sprays meet their target. Traditionally, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc grapes are grown differently. However, with the rise in incidence and severity of powdery mildew, the need to reassess viticultural practice is more pressing than at any time in the past.

Typically, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has high vigour. The well-fertilised, amply irrigated vines grow a dense canopy that reflects the widely held belief that the fruit delivers better flavours when grown behind leaves. The variable efficacy of fungicide sprays in some Marlborough vineyards is a result of this prevailing practice. With a slight change in vine management, all fungicide options will have a better chance of working. As an example: for the cost of a head thin pre-flowering, growers gain the immediate benefit of sprays working much more effectively.

‘The hypothesis is do it once, do it early, reach your target, and the benefits will flow down the line,’ says Chris. Get it wrong and growers can be confronted with marginally effective spray rounds, additional labour costs and the stress of labour shortages to halt disease spread and clean up fruit. Science supports this view. Dr David Gadoury, an expert on powdery mildew, has demonstrated that if berries are protected from infection, they will develop ontogenic resistance to powdery mildew 21 days after fruit set. From this point, the canopy can be allowed to grow back. The Henrys will work alongside a diverse group of growers in the coming season to evaluate changes in vine management and the results they deliver.

Mark Allen, of Allen Vineyard Advisory says an effective head shoot thin at the right time is integral to good canopy management. “If you can see through the canopy you can spray through the canopy and get good coverage.” “When Smart and Robinson wrote “Sunlight into Wine” in 1991, they encapsulated what is required in the vineyard; it’s about spatial gaps and the cheapest fungicide in the world – sunlight. “Chasmothecia loves the area around the crown and hates sunshine. Mealy bugs love humidity and shade. Sauvignon blanc is such a vigorous variety, it really does need head thinning. “It’s a win-win cycle, the canes you’re left with become sun canes and initiation for the following year increases. Light makes the canes more fruitful and cane selection at pruning easier. The best money ever spent is spent on a head thin.”


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Jason Flowerday, co-owner of Te Whare Ra has a clear message: stop farming disease and start shoot thinning. ‘IT’S ABOUT doing the basics properly,’ he says. ‘Contact sprays need contact with the target. If this doesn’t occur, then the sprays won’t work.’ ‘Therefore, by shoot thinning, leaf reduction and trimming you allow for more open canopies, providing the correct conditions for contact sprays to do their job. This also allows nature to help, by creating an environment of lower humidity, increased air flow, light and heat.’ ‘Taking the long-term view with an early shoot thin has a flow on effect to next year’s growth. Why grow excess cane for no extra gain in fruit quality?’

Stuart Dudley, regional viticulturist for Villa Maria says good cultural practice has always been a priority. “IN YEARS gone by, some systemic sprays have allowed growers to get away with congested canopies, but this is no longer the case. With increasing reliance on contact sprays good canopy management is essential. The open canopy allows the spray to hit its target, it also changes the environment around the bunch. “We use a range of methods including shoot thinning early in the season, especially around the head. Later, targeted leaf plucking allows good air flow while dappled light helps with flavour development.”

Stephen Bradley, Head of Viticulture at Constellation Brands says it’s time to move beyond the joke about sauvignon blanc being the ‘anti-grape’. “THE GRAPE is managed differently to all other varieties; well fed, well irrigated and vigorous to the point effective spraying is unlikely without use of systemic sprays. “Simple changes ultimately save money and increase the efficacy of contact sprays. A quick head thin or ‘grab’ and eliminating overlapping cane ends will go a long way towards improved vine health. “Good spraying practice will also help,” Stephen says. “Watch tractor speed and don’t skimp with water rates. It’s about coverage: better contact, better outcome.”

Effective spraying requires effective preparation Canopy management, including pruning, is the foundation for everything else a grower does in the vineyard. In the fight against powdery mildew and other pathogens, alternatives to toxic chemistry are highly

effective when used correctly. The pathway to sustainability and profitability is not a search for further fungicides, but a shift in vine management to allow every spray round to hit its target.

Visit www.henrymanufacturing.co.nz Call Chris Henry on 027 294 1490 email chris@henrymanufacturing.co.nz


Regions Marlborough

Somms rank Marlborough winery TESSA NICHOLSON

I N THE first Sommeliers Choice Awards held in the US, a Marlborough winery gained medals for every single wine they entered in the competition. Of 12 awarded medals, the te Pa range picked up two golds, nine silvers and one bronze, across the full range of their portfolio. They were also awarded the New Zealand wine of the year for their 2018 te Pa Sauvignon Blanc. For the company which has only been in the US market for three years, the acknowledgment is hard to place a price on. “ The main reason we entered the competition, was because the wines are judged by sommeliers,” says winemaker Sam Bennett. “Getting our wines in front of the right people, the ones that go back to the restaurants having seen the wines means they may think about adding them to their lists. The somms are the interface to the consumer on a day to day basis which is really important.” While it can often be difficult to gauge the effect of winning a medal at a wine competition, Bennett says within two weeks of another top announcement from Decanter in June, the entire production of one of their wines - the 2017 barrel fermented te Pa Sauvignon Blanc Oke - was snapped up by one US distributor. Interest in the other medal winning varieties has been on-going he says. The Sommelier’s Choice Awards had a judging panel of 21 top sommeliers, on-premise wine buyers and wine directors at US restaurants, hotels and

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resorts, bars and clubs. All the wines were judged according to criteria such as how well they paired with food items, in addition to their overall versatility. The top gold medal te Pa wine scored 93 points – the top equal Sauvignon Blanc in the competition. (The other was Bird in Hand Sauvignon Blanc 2018, from Australia). Two points behind on 91 points was the te Pa Reserve C ol le c t ion St L e onard’s Chardonnay, 2017. Gaining silver medals, were the te Pa barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc Oke, the te Pa Reserve Collection Hillside Sauvignon, the Pinot Noir, Koha Sauvignon Blanc, Koha Pinot Noir, te Pa Pinot Gris, Koha Pinot Gris, te Pa Chardonnay and te Pa Noble Sauvignon Blanc. The te Pa Rosé was awarded a bronze. Bennett says it was a surprise to see the entire range taking out medals. “To be that consistent is nice, because being stylistically consistence is as important as perceived quality in the wine competition environment.” te Pa is a family owned wine company with two main estate vineyards – 200 hectares in the Wairau Bar area and another 100ha in the Awatere Valley, with several smaller parcels around the Marlborough region. Plans are to develop a further 70 – 100 ha later this year. Having only started in 2011, the company is now exporting to eight international markets, under three different labels;

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

te Pa, Koha and Pa Road. In late 2018, te Pa released its Reserve Collection range of single vineyard, hand-picked Winemaker Sam Bennett (left) and te Pa owner Haysley MacDonald.

wines, and this year they will also release a single vineyard Sauvignon from the Wairau Bar, under the Seaside label, adding


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to the Collection’s Hillside Sauvignon from the Awatere. “These will be very different stylistically and will show the different characteristics of each vineyard,” Bennett says. te Pa was not the only New Zealand winery to be recognised in the awards, although it was by far the most awarded. Whitehaven’s 2018 Sauvignon Blanc was awarded a gold medal, with Pencarrow, Decibel, Tiki Estate and Duck Hunter, being awarded silver medals. From the Sommelier’s Choice Awards a Top 100 list has been released. te Pa 2018 Sauvignon Blanc was placed at number 11, and the Reserve Collection St Leonard’s Chardonnay was 27. Whitehaven’s Sauvignon Blanc was ranked 38.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   63


ADVOCACY MATTERS

Latest updates from the New Zealand Winegrowers Advocacy team.

The diversity & inclusion conversation has begun. PEOPLE are one of our industry’s greatest strengths and having a diverse and inclusive culture ensures we attract and retain the best people. We want to make sure that everyone working in our sector feels they belong, has equal opportunities to reach their goals and retains their passion for New Zealand wine. Our people come from all backgrounds, cultures, ages, genders and communities. How we interact with each other is important for the continued success of our industry, as well as the success and wellbeing of everyone working in it. Nicky Grandorge from New Zealand Winegrowers led our second Diversity and Inclusion Workshop for about 40 participants in Marlborough on 8 July, following an earlier one in Central Otago. It was an interesting and interactive session with presentations from Mary Haddock-Staniland from Diversity Works NZ and Andy Graves from Lion. Starting with a surprising exercise, Mary was able to demonstrate unconscious bias and how natural it is for us to jump to wrong conclusions about information and people. By doing so, we are missing out on valuable input and resources - not to mention making someone feel excluded rather than included. Andy outlined Lion’s achievements over the last few years in the diversity and inclusion space, creating a positive people culture which is delivering both economic and social benefits for Lion and its workers.

discrimination and predjudice were raised. There was a great turn out to the workshop with people coming from a wide range of roles within the wine industry, a good mix of genders, ages and people from various countries. The comment was made that having more senior leaders attend would help broaden the conversation and encourage changes in company culture where needed. The diversity and inclusion journey is relevant to both small and large organisations, as we all interact with a wide range of people on a daily basis, both inside and outside of own organisations. New Zealand Winegrowers plan to run more workshops around the country later in the year, we hope to see you there. 

The presentations were followed by small group discussions where a number of examples of

Policy Design

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

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SAVE THE DATE - SEPTEMBER 2019

The NZW Advocacy team is coming your way! The NZW Advocacy team is often members’ first port of call when they have curly questions about Wine Act requirements, labelling and winemaking rules in different markets, export problems, labour supply challenges, residue limits, and regulatory compliance in areas like health and safety, liquor licensing, and employment. Mary Haddock-Staniland from Diversity Works

If you would like to find out more about diversity and inclusion, attend a course on unconscious bias or become a Diversity Works NZ member there is a wealth of information on their website. diversityworksnz.org.nz

Come along to the Advocacy Roadshow to discuss hot topics, frequently asked questions, and any specific regulatory or compliance issues that you might be facing. The half day session will be suitable for anyone at your winery or vineyard with an interest in ensuring your wine can be grown, made and sold legally in NZ and abroad. If there are things that you would like to make sure we cover in your region, please email silua.ettles@nzwine.com The Roadshow will travel to most wine regions, so save the date and keep an eye on the next newsletter for registration information. The full programme will be out soon. ROADSHOW LOCATIONS - SEPTEMBER 2019 Martinborough

Monday 9

Central Otago

Monday 16

Auckland

Tuesday 10

Blenheim

Tuesday 17

Northland TBC

Wednesday 11

Nelson

Tuesday 17

Gisborne

Thursday 12

North Canterbury Wednesday 18

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Friday 13

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Sauvignon 2019

Aged Sauvignon Blanc TESSA NICHOLSON

IT WAS a one-off comment, but one that resonated with many winemakers at Sauvignon 2019; aged Sauvignon is an important tenet in the New Zealand story. Sam Harrop MW made the point, briefly, when discussing how to premiumise our flagship variety. “Importantly, something that we often lose sight of with Sauvignon, great wines of site reveal more of their sense of place with time in the bottle.” So why is it that Marlborough Sauvignon is seldom given the chance to age? Is it because it is better fresh, or is it because consumers expect to drink the latest vintage? In an inter view with

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


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James Healy

WINEMAKER PUSHING AGED SAUVIGNON MARLBOROUGH’S DOG Point wines is one company that is actively promoting older Sauvignon Blanc to its clients. Winemaker James Healy says the industry needs to push the fact that good wines, made well, will age as well as any other white wine. “Two of the best white wines I have ever had in my entire life have been made from Sauvignon Blanc. One from Bordeaux and the other from Sancerre. They were just amazing wines and they were not young.” He says there is no reason Marlborough can’t replicate that standard. But he says it has to be made well, from the best fruit. “There are a lot that won’t age well, a lot just disappear. But good ones age fantastically well. If they are appropriately grown, the crop is not huge, you have an amount of natural concentration. If the pressing has been gentle and the wines have been made and cared for during their production, before bottling and bottle well, then the wines stay drinkable for years.” He says most people who try older Dog Point Sauvignons tend to be surprised. “They always go – ‘I didn’t think this stuff was supposed to age.” Healy agrees with both Erica Crawford and Bob Campbell that the industry has been hell bent on getting Sauvignon into the market within months of being picked, and not promoting the age ability. “People need to appreciate that Sauvignon from Marlborough will age. By pushing that, it has to be good for the overall industry.”

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Sauvignon has created an image the wines need to be drunk early. “The demand (for our wines) has meant we have had to manage our allocations. We made a rod for our own back. Basically we trained the trade that this is what it should be. Picked in March or April, bottled in May and out to the market shortly after. Now they want the fresh vintage – it is definitely the perception (in the trade) that it has to be the current vintage.” Changing that perception won’t be easy, she says although Campbell says it can be straight forward. Sauvignon Blanc, appropriately grown and made well, will age incredibly well.

thedrinksbusiness, Simon Barker of Barker’s Marque Wines said; I think (Sauvignon) has the same peaks and troughs as Pinot Noir in the aging process, but no one considers it.” That statement is something t hat Er ica Crawford of Loveblock Wines agrees with. She is a fan of aged Sauvignon Blanc, and admits to being frustrated that our wines are expected to be drunk young, while old world wines aren’t subjected to the same standards. “People don’t expect old world wines to be fresh vintage, but New Zealand Sauvignon must and it is quite frustrating.” She says she has been recently drinking some Kim Crawford 2004 Sauvignons, and describes them as “fantastic.” Fifteen-year-old Sauvignon is almost unheard of in New Zealand, and certainly isn’t something many people get the chance to try. But Crawford says the best wines change in the bottle, for the better. “My opinion is that just as you bring in the new vintage, the previous vintage wines start to show a good balance and that secondary flavour occurs. Wine is a living thing in the bottle, it’s

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not Coco Cola that you freeze in time. “You ge t t h at l ove ly secondary development and I like the fruit sweetness that starts showing later. As we age more and more, when those secondary flavours start happening, for me, that is when it starts getting interesting.” She says the aging process tends to tone down the aggressive acids that can occur in fresh wines, allowing more textured fruit flavours to emerge. Master of Wi ne B ob Campbell agrees, admitting he is a big fan of aged Sauvignon. “I have had them back 20 years and they have been great. At about two years of age, Marlborough Sauvignon starts to develop the beginning of canned asparagus characters and under screwcap, I think that starts to kick in at about five years. I think the use of screwcaps opens the window (of longevity) by two to two and a half times.” He says age helps lower the “pungent, fresh, jump out of the glass fruitiness”, and the wine develops some interesting bottle age characters.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

In his wine education We made a rod for our classes, Campbell says he own back. Basically gives students a young Sauvignon Blanc and we trained the trade one that is five or six that this is what it years old, to show the difference in flavour should be. Picked in profiles. Interestingly, March or April, bottled when the students vote in May and out to the on their preference – the long-term majority market shortly after. prefer the aged wine. “When I drill down a bit, I find those that are enthusiastic about Sauvignon “Winemakers have to hold and would describe themselves back small amounts. It only as a Sauvignon drinker, tend has to be a few cases, or out of to prefer the younger wine. library stock to prove a point Whereas others who are not that with the press, key customers, fussed on Sauvignon, prefer it retailers and key influencers. with a bit of bottle age.” Let them experience bottle aged It raises an interesting point. Sauvignon Blanc and then as Maybe there is a different long as they believe and favour segment of the market that New it, the message will get across.” Zealand could be targeting, in Crawford believes it will take terms of our Sauvignon Blanc, a slow and steady approach to if producers were to hold wines change attitudes. back rather than release in the “It is one restaurant at a same year as vintage. time and it has to start in the While cash flow is an obvious restaurants. And it’s critical reason wineries need to get their media articles showing that aged wines onto shelves as soon as Sauvignon is different. We need possible, there could be another to help people get over the idea reason. Crawford believes the that it needs to be fresh, because exponential love affair the world there is such beauty that comes has had with Marlborough out later.”


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BRI Update

Research Winery all go EDUCATION, RESEARCH and wine will all combine, when the Bragato Research Institute (BRI) builds its national Research Winery at the Marlborough Research Centre, next to the NMIT campus. “The Marlborough Research Centre has been a key supporter of our establishment from day one and I’m pleased the vision - to be co-located with key research and industry organisations - will become reality.” said MJ Loza, BRI’s CEO . The Research Winery was designed with input from a broad project team including winemakers, suppliers, expert consultants and researchers with experience operating other research winery facilities. With capacity for over 100 research fermenters, the facility will

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enable more of the industry’s research trials to extend to look at possible impacts on finished wines. The Research Winery will trial winery equipment and technologies, winemaking processes and sustainable winemaking and winery operations. It will also provide commercial research winemaking s er vices to suppliers and industry. “The establishment of a world-leading, sustainable, national Research Winery in Marlborough will be a real draw-card for the region and the New Zealand wine industry as a whole,” BRI Establishment Manager Tracy Benge says. It will encourage new research and innovation as well as trialling new technology and modelling sustainability.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

An architect’s rendition of what the Research Winery will look like.

The Research Winery will be built as part of a larger development including labs and office space. Construction

is expected to commence within the next month with the goal of having the winery operational for vintage 2020.


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Educational link a major plus TESSA NICHOLSON

HAVING THE Bragato Research Institute (BRI) and its new research winery based next to an educational provider in Marlborough, is a win-win for all concerned. That’s the view of the two independent directors appointed to the BRI board earlier this year. Dr Bruce Campbell, who was formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Plant & Food, says it is great to see providers such as NMIT strongly partnered into the Institute, along with other providers. “It will become a much more seamless flow of acquisition of knowledge and application into industries very directly and quickly,” he says. “The connecting up of skills and training with research and development is going to be a critical thing.” Dr Dianne McCarthy agrees saying the opportunity to showcase wine research to the students undertaking the Bachelor of Viticulture and Winemaking will provide a first-hand look at what wine research is all about. “I think the opportunity to attract them to wine research is very good.” Both renowned scientists say they have been impressed by the rise of the New Zealand wine industry and excited about how BRI can further promote that growth for the betterment of all. “It is a fantastic example of how you can evolve land use here in New Zealand and move to things that have a lighter footprint, are more sustainable for the country and in particular create a high value product that provides good value and returns,” Campbell says. “For a long time I have had a huge

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admiration for what the wine industry is trying to achieve.” He believes moving forward the investment into innovation and research will allow the industry to take a longer view, that will benefit other primary industries. “I think it can do that by taking a role in a partnership with government and communities to design the way land and the primary sector can develop in the future.” McCarthy who has extensive knowledge of the science funding environment in New Zealand says it will be important in the next few years to secure further funding to develop the centre’s research impact and capability. “That is really going to ensure the sustainability of the wine industry in New Zealand.” B o t h Mc C a r t h y a n d Campbell are also keen to see the wine industry and research liaise more with Maori communities. “I have a very deep understanding of Vision Matauranga and perspectives on how we can engage better with Maori communities and Maori owned businesses,” McCarthy says. “There is a huge amount of knowledge from Maori to sustainability that will become an important part of the way the wine industry progresses,” Campbell added. “I am particularly interested in being able to contribute to developing the connection with Maori and the Matauranga approaches in the wine sector in the future.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

Dr Bruce Campbell

Dr Dianne McCarthy


Agenda Events

Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction It is a Hawke’s Bay wine tradition, that goes back to 1991, raising funds for a worthy cause, Cranford Hospice. Last year the Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction raised $265,500, bringing the total raised in 28 years to more than $3.3 million. Getting behind the cause, the wine industry comes to the party every year, donating rare and unique offerings. Close to 40 wineries have donated product for this year’s event and along with a travel package and a work from artist Mauricio Benega, there are 41 auction items up for sale. All the auction lots are available to view at hawkesbaywineauction.co.nz, and the wine lots will be available to preview at the Pre-tasting on October 2. Tickets are now on sale for both the Pre-tasting and the auction itself, but be aware, they are limited.

HAWKE’S BAY WINE AUCTION 9 November Hastings City Art Gallery, 1pm – 5pm hawkesbaywineauction.co.nz

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Regions Marlborough

Future 50 finalist – Stuart Dudley TESSA NICHOLSON

THE WINE industry was never Stuart Dudley’s first career choice. The viticulturist for Villa Maria Wines in Marlborough had his mind set on research or forensics, having completed a degree in Genetics and Bio Chemistry. But the best laid plans as the saying goes, saw Dudley change his career path at the age of 25 to the world of wine. Now 11 years later, he is one of two New Zealanders to be shortlisted for inclusion in the new international Future 50 awards, launched by WSET and IWSC, as part of their respective

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50th anniversary celebrations. Dudley and Nick Paulin (Central Otago) were among 600 nominations for the awards, which aim to unearth the wine industry’s up and coming talent on a global platform. He isn’t too sure how to describe how he feels about making the shortlist. “I was surprised and humbled, I guess when I heard I had been nominated and then heard I had been shortlisted. I see so much talent out there in the industry, that it feels funny that it’s me on the shortlist.”

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

With no idea how many are on that shortlist, Dudley is also unsure of just where two viticulturists from New Zealand will fit into the picture. “It is a global competition, and it is hard to know where New Zealand sits within that, and then where does viticulture sit within that? For those who know Dudley, the accolade of becoming a finalist, is not surprising. The 36-year-old has been a force within the industry since he completed his degree back in 2006. His first viticultural job

was with Delegat’s and within a year his boss Bala had promoted him to grower viticulturist. For someone of his age, it was a huge step forward, and not without its challenges. Especially as his first season in the role was 2008, a year when Marlborough’s yields blew out and created a number of issues for the industry overall. “That was a challenging vintage in itself. Then we had two to three years of really


changing the way people were growing grapes,” Dudley says. “Yield management became really important, and a lot more focus was placed on disease management and fruit quality. They were really good changes, but it placed some real pressures on the system.” Being so young, when a lot of the growers he was dealing with had been involved in the industry for years, was another hurdle to overcome. He credits Bala with helping him to cope with the challenges. “He would very much be one of my important mentors. Not only because of his knowledge around viticulture, but the way he deals with people. I learned probably as much on that side as I did viticulture.” In 2011 he moved to Villa Maria, as Marlborough’s regional viticulturist. Again it was a huge step, one he says he felt out of his depth in, initially. “I was going from a job where I had Bala as my boss and every now and then I had seasonal workers, to one where I suddenly had a staff of 25 and I was responsible for a region. I lost a lot of sleep.” But again he had great mentors, Sir George Fistonich and Ollie Powrie, who gave him the wherewithall to do the job, learn and grow. Looking back he says the need to challenge himself has helped form his personality. “I like being challenged and think whether you are stepping outside of your comfort zone, by choice or by being pushed, it is good.” As t h e B aye r You ng Viticulturist of the Year in 2010, Dudley went on to take out top honours in the Young Horticulturist of the Year. He has been instrumental in helping organise the Marlborough Young Vit competition and the Nationals. Until last year he was the Chair of the Marlborough competition.

He is an advocate of the importance the Young Viticulturist is to those coming into the industry. It provides a chance to be challenged, and to gain higher recognition. “Winning both the young Vit and the Young Horticulturist were huge steps towards recognition, but they also broadened my horizons as to what the industry was and how big it was,” he says. “When I first started (competing) there had only been three years of the competition, so there wasn’t this long history of people who had been involved. Now though, you can see where people have ended up and there are some who have gone on to pretty high honours.” Dudley is one of those. In his role as Deputy Chair of the board of Wine Marlborough, he is continuing to challenge himself. “I have an urge to be a part of something that’s bigger than the workplace,” he says. “Being a part of an industry that is quite dynamic is very rewarding. “The industry has changed since I began. In 2007 it was almost a golden age, Sauvignon Blanc was on the up, so it was so positive. It is still positive, but the industry is so much more mature now, there is a lot more structure to it and a lot of different players on a larger scale.” As for the future, Dudley says finding the talented and educated people to make the industry even stronger is going to be one of the challenges ahead. “We have the site, we just need the people.” Dudley and Paulin won’t know if they have made the final Future 50 until the organisers make the announcement in November this year. But being among the finalists is recognition of all they have achieved so far in their careers.

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tessa.nicholsob@me.com

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   75


Environmental Winner

Small changes go a long way

One of the many wetland areas Pernod Ricard Winemakers have planted among their Marlborough vineyards.

At the biennial Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards, Pernod Ricard Winemakers took out the Wine Industry’s top award. Tessa Nicholson looks at why the judges were so impressed with the company’s environmental ethos. IT WAS a case of biodiversity at its best, when the Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards held their field day at Pernod Ricard’s Brancott Estate. Guests sat in front of one of the many wetland plantings instigated by the company, while birds flitted among the lacebarks, flax and kowhai. Bees buzzed happily around the guests and the brilliant orange and red hues of the vines behind, melded into the backdrop of the Richmond Ranges. Wetland plantings are one of the more obvious signs of Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ commitment to the environ-

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ment and sustainability in Marlborough – but it is far from the only one. One of the three judges at this year’s awards, Matt Oliver pointed out that the company was actively challenging what might be considered business as usual, to come up with solutions for environmental problems. “They have come up with a corporate social responsibility ethos that goes from the top of the management in France, all the way down to the vine roots here in this vineyard.” With over 2000 hectares of vines in the South Island alone, Pernod Ricard Winemakers

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

have spent years getting to where they are now, firstly with a 2020 roadmap that challenged everything the company undertook in terms of sustainability. A 2030 roadmap has just been announced that will see those challenges extended even further. Tony Robb, South Island Operations Manager said they have been “challenged by our owners in France and by our teams right here in the vineyards or the winery.” For example, he said after a suggestion from a vineyard staff member, bird bangers are no longer used in any Pernod

Ricard NZ vineyard, given they use LPG, a non-renewable resource. They have been replaced instead with netting where needed. A wine decanter centrifuge has been purchased to deal with filtering lees in the winery. In the past more than 100 tonnes of waste ended up going to landfill. Robb says the decanter meant all the material being processed as lees was “recovered to a higher quality level”. It was then mixed with the grape marc from vintage 2019. “We returned this year, just over 4000 tonnes of marc back to our own vineyards,”


Robb said. Pernod’s Nic Dann said for a number of years they have been measuring all related products that contribute to greenhouse gases. That led directly to the company reducing the bottle glass content. “So we now have light weight glass in all our bottles.” There has been a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the past nine years. Reducing the use of diesel has seen the company look to multi row sprayers and “where possible we are going to invest in a fleet of recyclable spray units.” Also helping reduce the diesel usage, sheep are brought into vineyards over the winter months to cut down on mowing. Other data that has helped form sustainable moves, is monitoring what was being placed in skips at both the winery and vineyard level.

Pernod Ricard Winemakers South Island Operations Manager Tony Robb.

“We found that 60 percent of the winery skip was full of plastic packaging from winery additives and processing aides. That was going to landfill, yet it was recyclable.” It was even more in the vineyard skips – 80 percent of the rubbish was plastic packaging. As a result, Pernod Ricard Winemakers are now challenging suppliers to either reduce the use of plastic or come up with ways of recycling. Since 2015 the winery has achieved a waste

➤ ➤

reduction of almost 47 percent, with the goal being Zero Waste to landfill by 2020 Broken wooden posts are a nightmare for all grape growers. In the past, those posts have ended up as landfill. Pernod Richard Winemakers now use only steel for new developments and wooden post replacements. The company has also invested money and time into developing 14 hectares of wetland plantings and are looking to continue increasing that.

“Small plantings lead to bigger plantings,” Dann said. “We want to add on, because we want to see a bellbird, then we want to see a tui, then we want to see more than one of them.” The lessons taught by Pernod Ricard here in New Zealand, could have a major impact on the environment, if all wineries were to follow some of their examples. Dann says there are three lessons they have learned in their sustainability journey. Small changes go a long way. “It’s about changing habits and behavior.” It’s important to involve your people. “Everybody has a good idea and acknowledging where those ideas come from and taking steps to put into action, helps breed success.” And finally, auditing provides you with data to measure against. “Once you have a plan and you have measurable data, you can track success.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

Wine and grape analysis Wine microbiology – including PCR testing with vinobrett

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   77


NZW Wines

Spray Days are back! SUSTAINABLE WINEGROWING New Zealand is bringing Spray Days to a region near you this August and September. There are three workshops available which are repeated throughout the day. Effective Undervine Weed Management (2 Hours) An interactive session for those who make the decisions on weed control practices and chemical choices.

WE WILL COVER: • Different options for undervine weed management – Pros, cons and combinations of mowing, cultivation and herbicide. • Herbicide - What and when to use, and how to get good

results.

HERBICIDE SPRAYER SETUP AND CALIBRATION (2 HOURS) Practical, hands-on sessions designed for sprayer operators. We will cover: • How to choose the right nozzles • Nozzle position and orientation

Grow your career Study viticulture and winemaking in Marlborough, the heart of New Zealand’s wine industry.

• Sprayer setup and performance • Herbicide mixing and tips for getting the best results

MEALYBUG CONTROL (1HOUR) An interactive session for those who make the decisions on mealybug control practices and chemical choices. We will cover the factors

impacting on successful chemical control of mealy bugs, including: • Pre-harvest monitoring • Chemical choice and timing • Chemical coverage and dose If you have any questions, please email Spray Days Coordinator Anna Lambourne at spraydays@nzwine.com

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


Quality grapes deserve the best care. Behind every superb wine, there’s an entire year of dedication in the vineyard to produce quality grapes. So, you don’t want to take any chances. We work closely with you to devise an integrated crop solution for your specific conditions, covering every key stage of the growing season. Our products are extensively researched here in New Zealand and backed up by thorough in-field technical support from our experts. Most reassuringly, our solutions are proven to work, season after season, for New Zealand viticulturalists. For product information, growing guides, and the tools you need to grow the perfect crop, visit cropscience.bayer.co.nz

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Regions Hawke’s Bay

A New Zealand Time Wine TESSA NICHOLSON

THE TERM Edelzwicker may not be familiar to many New Zealanders, but it has a long and proud heritage that dates back to 1644. The Alsatian term can be explained, once the word is broken down. Edel meaning noble as in grape variety and Zwicker meaning blend. The ensuing wine is also referred to as a Time Wine, given the grapes within the blend are all picked on the same day. Philip Barber from Hawke’s Bay’s Petane Wines has taken this historic idea and is about to release his first Edelzwicker, which may be a first for this country. While other wineries have done similar releases made up from blends, Barber believes

he may be the first to label his wine with the ancient Alsatian name. The noble varieties he has used within the blend are Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Viognier. All the fruit was picked, as stated on the same day – March 15, which Barber admits was a very early pick for him. “We hand-picked everything and de-stemmed it back at the winery – with the exception of the five percent Viognier which we kept as whole cluster. They were left on skins for seven days and once it was almost dry we pressed it off into a tank have left it there.” No oak was used and the wine Chris Scott, EIT Alumni & Winemaker, Church Road Winery with Sanne Witteveen | Bachelor of Wine Science graduate Elise Picot | Bachelor of Viticulture & Bachelor of Wine Science (Concurrent) student

New Degree for 2020 Bachelor of Viticulture and Wine Science* Gain comprehensive skills and knowledge in both Viticulture and Wine Science. Providing a strong science foundation with practical application and industry interaction, this 3 year degree has an in-depth focus on growing grapes, making wine and essential skills related to people management and wine marketing. With the latest research, industry technology and important issues related to sustainability being key topics.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

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was bottled on July 17. When asked just why he was looking back to history to create a “new” style of wine, Barber says he wanted to do something different. “Rosé is style that is all

about fun and I wanted to do something that reflected

that. Last year I made a 100 percent Gewurztraminer Rosé which sold out quickly. So this year I decided to do something a little different. I had read about Edelzwicker and it seemed like the perfect style to ignite interest.” Describing the wine as being a very light pink, he believes it will appeal to those that like Rosé. “It is low alcohol (11.3%) and fresh fruit forward,” Barber says. He describes the wine as having nice acid, with a “real apricot flavour.” Petane Wines is situated in the Esk Valley and the small vineyard is made up of five different blocks. While the varieties are limited to only aromatic whites, Chardonnay and Viognier, Barber says he is planting some Pinot Blanc and some Gamay this winter. “We want to keep our wines in the aromatic stable, but we are planting some red grapes so we can do a skin fermented Pet Nat.”

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   81


Bob’s Blog

Bordeaux approves seven new grape varieties BOB CAMPBELL MW

Marselan, one of the seven new grape varieties approved for Bordeaux.

THE BORDEAUX and Bordeaux Supérieur wine producers’ syndicate grabbed the attention of wine lovers when it announced that seven new grape varieties had been approved in a desperate attempt to cope with climate change. That’s like Rolls Royce declaring it’s about to ‘future proof’ by releasing an affordable, all-electric vehicle. The mostly disease-resistant, heat-loving grape varieties are:

RED

Touriga Nacional – Portugal’s finest red grape widely used in port and in premium table wine. Arinarnoa – A cross between Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon grown mainly in the LanguedocRoussillon area in southern Franc. Castets – Produces deeply-coloured wine. Popular in the late nineteenth century, there was only onehectare in France by 2008. Marselan – A cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. Grown mainly in the Languedoc and southern Rhone.

WHITE

MR GRUMPY - PACKAGING PROBLEMS

IT’S PLEASING to see a massive switch away from polystyrene bottle boxes to the more environmentally friendly cardboard equivalent. I still get a few polystyrene bottle boxes but can successfully recycle them, together with my carboard boxes, by passing them on to wine shops. I acquired a large television a few months ago and tried to dispose of the polystyrene packing by breaking it up and putting it in my general rubbish wheelie bin. When I retrieved the bin I discovered that the rubbish collector had dumped my polystyrene packing back into the empty bin. I guessed it was a prohibited item. There was no discussion. The rubbish truck driver doesn’t look like the sort of person who would bend the rules. Next stop my local rubbish tip where they refused to take my small amount of polystyrene packing. Samsung is about to receive an anonymous carton containing broken bits of polystyrene.

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Alvarinho – Widley grown (and revered) in northwest Spain and in Portugal. Petit Manseng – Grown mainly in south-west France, principal variety in Jurancon and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh appellations. Liliorila – Cross between Baroque and Chardonnay. Bred in 1956, there was only 4ha in France by 2008. In a “softly, softly” approach growers will be allowed to plant the new varieties on up to 5% of their vineyard area and to add up to 10% to final blends. The previous list of permitted varieties in the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur appellations was more extensive than many people think. Red varieties were Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere. White varieties included Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadelle, Ugni Blanc and Sauvignon Gris. The prestige appellations such as Pauillac and Saint-Émilion are not affected by the additional varieties … yet, but the announcement is sure to have winemakers outside France reaching for their copy of Wine Grapes and contacting their local grapevine nursery.


Well done Marlborough! THE REAL Review’s annual Top Wineries of New Zealand 2019 list gave me the chance to analyse the 170 successful wineries and rank the regions.

Marlborough earned first place with a total of 53 out of 170 wineries in our Annual Top Wineries of New Zealand 2019 list. Marlborough is

home to 141 wineries giving it a 37.5% achievement rating, a few percentage points ahead of Hawke’s Bay with Central Otago in third place in percentage

WINERIES IN TOP WINERIES OF NZ 2019

TOTAL WINERIES IN REGION * (NZ WINEGROWERS)

% AGE OF WINERIES IN TOP WINERIES OF NZ 2019

Marlborough

53

141

37.6%

Central Otago & Waitaki

39

136

28.7%

Hawke’s Bay

29

91

31.9%

REGION

terms or second by winery numbers. Here is my list of regions in order of winery numbers.

Wairarapa

20

69

29%

Auckland/Northland

15

119

12.6%

North Canterbury

8

67

12%

Gisborne

3

17

17.6%

Nelson

2

38

5.2%

Waitaki Valley

1

4

25%

Waikato/BOP TOTAL

-

10

-

170

692

25%

* From NZ Winegrowers Annual Report 2018

MATCHING CHEESE AND WINE WHILE DESPERATELY trawling through the Net for information needed to flesh out a presentation on cheese and wine matching, I came across a scholarly work that stood head and shoulders above the rest. It was a 5000-word article by Bronwen Bromberger and Francis Percival that had been published in The World of Fine Wine in 2007. Rather than specify rules, the authors attempt to outline the physical characteristics of wine and cheese in the hope that it will help readers construct their own matches. Here are some of the key points raised in the article. Factors that determine the identity and characteristics of cheese are its moisture content, salt content and acidity. Cheese tends to turn down the volume of red wine. That may not be a problem if you are drinking a “high-volume” red wine because you might be perfectly satisfied with a quieter red. The fat and protein in cheese reduces the astringency in red wine. Unctuous cheeses like, Brie de Meaux,

have a fat content of around 23% while a hard Cheddar has 32% fat. The higher the fat content the more likely the cheese is to mask tannins in red wine. Bottom line: hard cheeses do a better job than soft, creamy cheeses. Salt is used as a preservative in cheese. Blue cheeses, for example, are very salty. Salt reacts adversely with tannins. I get a metallic taste when I sip a youthful Bordeaux with blue cheese although softer, less astringent older Bordeaux reds can work well.

The authors say “matching red wine to cheese is only ever an exercise in damage control”. I admit it can be tricky. I also admit to enjoying robust reds with aged cheddar. The high salt content of blue cheeses makes a wonderful contrast with intense sweetness. For proof try Roquefort and Sauternes or port and stilton. Rinds, which are formed by bacteria, yeasts and moulds, fall into two categories: washed rinds and bloomy rinds. Match washed rind cheeses with offdry to sweet Gewurztraminer. Bloomyrind cheeses are trickier. It’s worth trying them with a rich and powerful Chardonnay. Don’t expect miracles. The fact that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc goes well with Goats Cheese is more to do with the body of the wine than its acidity. “High moisture, soft, fresh cheeses suit fresher, lighter style wines.” The final word should go to James Halliday who once told me that Parmesan is the only cheese that improves the taste of all wine. He may be onto something.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   83


NZW News

Rate of levy under the Wine (Grape Wine Levy) Order 2016 PURSUANT TO clause 9 of the Wine (Grape Wine Levy) Order 2016, it was resolved at a Board meeting of New Zealand Winegrowers Incorporated on 27 June 2019 that the levy rate to apply to sales of grape wine, or the grape wine component of grape wine products, from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 be set at the rate of 2.75 cents + GST per litre.

RATE OF LEVY UNDER THE COMMODITY LEVIES (WINEGRAPES) ORDER 2016 Pursuant to clause 11

of the Commodity Levies (Winegrapes) Order 2016, it was resolved at a Board meeting of New Zealand Winegrowers Incorporated on 27 June 2019 that: 1. The levy rate on winegrapes for the levy year from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 be set at the rate of 0.825% + GST as follows: (a) for winegrapes sold by or on behalf of the grower, 0.825% + GST of the farmgate price of the grapes (unless paragraph (b) applies); (b) f o r w i n e g r a p e s

exported by or on behalf of the grower, 0.825% + GST of the free on-board value of the grapes; (c) for winegrapes made into grape juice or grape juice concentrate that is sold or exported, by or on behalf of the grower, 0.825% + GST of the notional price of the grapes. 2. The notional price of grapes made into grape juice or grape juice concentrate for the year 2019 vintage be the 75% quartile price for the region and variety concerned as determined from the previous

vintage listed in the last published version of the New Zealand Winegrowers grape price data for the previous vintage (“Last Grape Price Data”). In the event that there are no listings of the variety and region concerned in the Last Grape Price Data, the notional price will be the 75% quartile price for New Zealand for the variety concerned, as determined by the previous vintage listed in the Last Grape Price Data. Philip Gregan, Chief Executive Officer, New Zealand Winegrowers Incorporated.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

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Regions Central Otago

Maori Point Wines JEAN GRIERSON

WHEN SCIENTISTS Marilyn Duxson and John Harris purchased a small section near Wanaka almost 20 years ago, they planned to build a ski holiday house to spend weekends away from Dunedin. But soon after, they received a listing from their real estate agent. It was for 67 acres (28 ha) of bare land, and included half a kilometre of beautiful Clutha river bank, for the same price they’d just paid for their quarter-acre upriver at Albert Town. The block was located

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at Tarras on Maori Point Road, midway between Cromwell and Wanaka, surrounded by mountains, and had been on the market for two years; it was considered unproductive and lacking fertility. Their interest was kindled. They recalled sipping wines, surrounded by expansive views across the Wairau river plains, during a recent visit to the Marlborough home of friend John Forrest, who had studied for his PhD in neurophysiology in John’s

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

laboratory in the 1980’s. “We looked at each other and said what do we do? So we phoned John Forrest and he suggested we talk to Robin Dicey.” “We were two scientists who loved being scientists and teachers, but wanted our own project that wasn’t in a bureaucratic structure,” said Marilyn. Viticultural consultant Robin Dicey confirmed, after kicking the soil with his boot, that it would indeed grow grapes.

The “Dicey Boot Test” may not sound very scientific, but on the strength of it John and Marilyn sold the quarter-acre - and with it any plans of a quiet retirement - and Maori Point Vineyard was born. Tr a n s i t i o n i n g to winegrowing and winemaking wasn’t so different from their previous medical school teaching careers, said Marilyn. “If you’re trained as a scientist, you have learned the way of how to do new things. You do a course, you learn from your


mistakes. It’s the same working in the vineyard, you’re always watching what happens, and making lots of hypotheses… “We are winegrowers, but also scientists. We study the land, weather, plants, animals, and microbes that shape our wines. While our understanding is based on science, our practices honour nature and tradition: sustainable handbased viticulture, low yields, small native yeast fermentations, and natural winemaking. “Lecturing is a performance art ... you have to keep 300 students awake so you have to put out a lot of energy. It’s not that different to communicating in the tasting room.” When they were whacked back by frost in 2003 which killed 80 percent of their vines, they didn’t even think about not replanting. It was a tough setback, a “summer in the graveyard,” but they set up frost fighting, sourced new plants, and carried on. “We still had our day jobs then,” said Marilyn. Maori Point is surrounded by mountains, which are snowcovered in winter and often through summer. At 240 metres above sea level it’s dry (400mm rainfall) and averages 1000 to 1300 growing degree days. The soils are derived f rom w i nd - bl ow n l o e ss over deep deposits of large boulders dumped at the foot of the Hawea glacier, 10,000 years ago. Little has grown in the arid environment since then. “We are changing that, both through our grape vines (which unlike most crops can thrive in this free-draining, low organic content soil), and through our plantings of native vegetation.” In just a few years of tending the vines, growing flowers and aromatic plants between the vine rows, mowing and mulching, the soils have found a new balance, changing colour from pale sand to dark loam.

Marilyn Duxson and John Harris, compelled to the world of wine, after a life of science.

M e a n w h i l e J o h n’s international career and background in physiology, m o l e c u l a r bi o l o g y a n d microscopy led him naturally to the winemaking side of things. “I thought about doing the EIT winemaking course. I got the syllabus and read it, but then I realised I’d done 80 percent of it. And what the course didn’t teach you was how to do things in the winery. There’s some basic things you don’t learn, like how and when to clean a barrel.” Early vintages were made at other Central Otago wineries Vinpro and Aurum, and some of the production was sold to Elephant Hill in Hawke’s Bay for a few years. Co-winemaker Matt Evans and his wife Maggie joined the business three years ago. “I’m the non-scientist on the team,” said Matt, “but I really like being around scientists.

“Maggie (wife) and I first became aware of Maori Point in 2010, when we came to New Zealand on a scouting trip,” said Matt. Whilst Maggie was looking at the PhD programme in Neuroscience at the University of Otago, Matt was introduced to Marilyn. Jo h n a n d Mat t n o w collaborate to make the range of artisan wines which includes Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Rosé, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, and the “Gold Digger” frizzante Pinot Gris -made in the Prosecco process - “an insider drink,” says Marilyn – hand bottled and in 330ml beer bottles, hand labelled on-site, and “famous in Wanaka.” The property embraces 6.5ha of vines, bountiful orchards and vegetable gardens, and everincreasing native plantings which are bringing birds back. The winery, tasting room, highly

equipped laboratory and two homes are powered by a newly installed 20kW solar array. There may not be too much time for skiing in their lives, but John and Marilyn did eventually retire from their teaching jobs. They love to share what they enjoy - the wines, and the special environment – with their extended community of customers and friends. Half of their production is now sold online through the mailing list, or from the cellar door. There’s the annual Maori Point “Acoustic Picnic” in late January, and talk of winemaker dinners and concerts in the barrel hall. Those following Maori Point’s social media earlier this year could even watch the wild yeasts at work, via an Instagram feed from a microscope set up in the barrel hall. jean.grierson@nzsouth.co.nz

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   87


Biosecurity Update

Winning the war? BMSB in Georgia 2019 SOPHIE BADLAND

NEW ZEALAND Winegrowers (NZW) was part of a small delegation that recently visited the beautiful country of Georgia, in the Caucasus region between Europe and Asia. Wine is intrinsically woven throughout the Georgian culture, with historical evidence of winemaking dating back to 6000 BC. In the capital city Tbilisi, the statue Kartlis Deda (Mother of Georgia) holds a bowl of wine in one hand, to welcome her guests; in the other is a sword for those who come as enemies. Many winemakers still use qvevri, large clay pots for underground fermentation and storage of

Biosecurity New Zealand has recently released new rules for the importation of vehicles, machinery, equipment and sea containers, designed to keep BMSB out of New Zealand. wine. Grape marc is used to make chacha, an eye-wateringly strong distillate taken as a shot with lunch, and grape juice left over after harvest is mixed with flour and walnuts to create the Georgian candy, churchkhela. T h e G e org i ans pr i d e

themselves on hospitality and were the ultimate hosts, ensuring that amongst a packed work itinerary, we were able to enjoy some of the unique historical sites and cultural experiences on offer. The National Wine Museum was

well worth a visit, as was the 6th century monastery of Jvari, the eastern hilltop village and markets of Sighnaghi, and the popular port city of Batumi on the Black Sea coast. However, this charming tourist experience contrasts sharply with the recent experience of the local population in western Georgia, where a brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) invasion has been wreaking havoc since 2016.

THE SITUATION IN GEORGIA “Georgia has been plagued by this pest for three years now. We just want it to be

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

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A BMSB crawls up a mirror in the hotel room.

over, so that we might once again have time to focus on other important issues for our country.” Georgian Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Giorgi Khanishvili BMSB was an unknown entity to Georgia when it first arrived three and a half years ago, most likely via Abkhazia, an autonomous region under S oviet control. Western Georgia must have seemed like paradise for arriving BMSB. An agricultural region with low pest and disease pressure, farmers traditionally did not need to use chemical controls and so there were thousands of hectares of hazelnuts, corn, soybeans and citrus for BMSB to feed on. BMSB populations exploded. Crops were devastated, and it was a wetter than average season to boot – BMSB damage increased susceptibility to fungal and bacterial disease. Most farmers are not wealthy, having small holdings of only one or two hectares, and

they rely on their crops both for income and to feed their families. After a disastrous harvest in 2016, they turned to the government for help. USAid, already working with the Georgians on sustainable agricultural programmes at the time, were able to link them with US and Italian experts working on BMSB control. These scientists provided recommendations for a state control programme, which the Georgian government implemented in 2017. 2019 is the third year of the programme and the cost for this season is estimated to come in at $20 million USD.

THE STATE PROGRAMME The state programme has four main directions: Monitoring - s ett ing up sticky traps to collect comprehensive data about BMSB population levels across the entire country. These are regularly checked

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   89


between March and October, and information is fed into a database the enable program co-ordinators to prioritise areas for treatment. Management - the use of pesticides, specifically bifenthrin and deltamethrin, to control and reduce BMSB numbers. Pheromone lures are used to draw BMSB to sites that can then be sprayed with insecticide to kill them in large numbers. Heavily infested villages are thermo-fogged with deltamethrin at night. Public awareness – active communication to the Georgian population, from government right down to individual farmers. Local councils, medical professionals, plant pathologists, industry and growers’ associations, and schools are all involved in the communication of information. Mainstream media coverage and social media campaigns are ongoing.

are not sustainable long-term, nor desirable; there is a real need for cost-effective, userfriendly and environmentally sustainable alternatives in the ongoing war against BMSB.

“Georgia has been plagued by this pest for three years now. We just want it to be over, so that we might once again have time to focus on other important issues for our country.” Georgian Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Giorgi Khanishvili. Scientific research – looking for biological control options, such as parasitoids and bioorganic pesticides, which would prevent the need for use of hard chemistry.

FUTURE OUTLOOK Three years after BMSB arrived in Georgia, the news seems positive. Early indications this season are that BMSB numbers have reduced by as much as 30%. Farmers who are making use of the pesticides provided are seeing

much less damage to their crops; those who haven’t been using them are swiftly getting on board. So far, BMSB have not spread in large numbers to the eastern regions, where most vineyards are located and where other pesticide programmes are already well-established. The government hopes to be able to leave BMSB control solely in the hands of the farmers within the next few years. It is clear however that a labour-intensive, heavy pesticide programme and the current costs of management

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN NEW ZEALAND Biosecurity New Zealand has recently released new rules for the importation of vehicles, machinery, equipment and sea containers, designed to keep BMSB out of New Zealand. If coming from high-risk countries, this cargo must now be treated offshore before arrival in New Zealand. The list of high-risk countries has also been extended. NZW made a submission in support of these measures. The updated Import Health Standards can be found at https://www.biosecurity. govt.nz/law-and-policy/ requirements/ihs-importhealth-standards/. NZW chairs the Brown

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Yealand’s Estate Lion Amisfield

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

Babich Wines InDevin Tantalus Winery

Wairau River Wines Wither Hills Poplar Grove Winery


Mar m or at e d St i n k Bu g Council. The Council is made up of MPI and other industry organisations that have signed the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Operational Agreement and is focussed on improving New Zealand’s readiness for this most unwanted pest. In August the Council is meeting to plan the 2019/20 work programme. It is highly likely that this work will build on what has been learned through the trip to Georgia and focus on improving our potential to look for and eradicate this pest prior to it becoming established. BMSB is not present in New Zealand. If you think you see BMSB or anything else unusual in the vineyard, Catch It; Snap It; and Report It to the Biosecurity NZ hotline on 0800 80 99 66, and get in touch with the NZW Biosecurity team (biosecurity@nzwine.com).

BMSB monitoring site, sticky trap with pheromone lure.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   91


Industry News

How low can you go? TESSA NICHOLSON

The stunning view of Silverton farm where some of the country’s most southern grapes are planted.

THER E WAS a time when Marlborough was considered too cold to grow grapes. So was Canterbury, Waitaki and Central Otago. We now know those assumptions were all wrong. So why shouldn’t Southland be the next big thing? Brenda Stringer is the senior vineyard operator for Cloudy Bay in Central Otago – so she knows a thing or two about growing grapes in a cool climate. She is also off a Southland farm, Silverton, which her parents still own. It is this farm, providing “some free land” that has got her excited about grape growing prospects. The property is in Mossburn, 40 minutes from Te Anau, an area Stringer describes as being in the elbow between Queenstown and Te Anau in northern Southland. Twenty years ago 3000 weather stations were placed

92   // 

throughout the province, looking at soils and climate parameters that could be linked with suitable cropping and land use options. Silverton hosted three of those. It is that data that has got Stringer excited. “It relates to a northern aspect hill slope, which the data came back saying was perfect for growing apricots,” Stringer says. Well if you can grow apricots – surely you can grow grapes she thought. She describes the site as free draining for cool air, which will reduce the frost risk and having a northern aspect will attract the sun. “So I have got a bit of everything.” So far she has planted 108 vines in what she describes as a trial, but more could well be on the way. “I have the typical cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Pinot Gris,

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

Brenda Stringer planting out her 108 vines in Southland.

Sauvignon Blanc. I also have Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Syrah to be brave and Chenin Blanc. There are a couple of other varieties I would like to get my hands on in the future.” It’s too soon to know how the vines will thrive, as they were only planted at Labour Weekend last year. But Stringer is more

than optimistic. “People said Central Otago was too cold didn’t they. And look at it now. There is all this talk about climate change and the effect it will have on grape growing regions, so I figured let’s start looking further south. You have to be brave to be a pioneer.” tessa.nicholson@me.com


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Visiting Expert

Volcanic soils and wine JOELLE THOMSON

John Szabo MS

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


IT’S FUNNY how one thing leads to another when it comes to volcanoes, says John Szabo, a visiting expert on volcanic wines and the first Canadian to add the letters MS (Master Sommelier) to his name. Szabo is visiting New Zealand this year to delve into a discussion about the potential relevance of Auckland’s volcanically derived soils and the impact they may have on wine.

Auckland region. “I was trying to celebrate Auckland’s volcanic heritage, with both food and wine and as I did more research, I suddenly realised that the connection with the volcanoes has been lost, so why not do some research and see if there is a story there.” Szabo says volcanic soils are not necessarily easy to define. “There are plenty of regions with mixed soils, and others with soils that have only a tenuous connection to volcanic activity. “There are plenty of The flagships would be the regions with mixed places where no one quessoils, and others with tions the volcanic-ness of the area, and where qualsoils that have only a ity is also exciting. There are more than three, but tenuous connection right up there would be to volcanic activity.” Santorini, Etna, and the Canary Islands, all three still very much active volcanic regions where speThe trip is being funded by cial wines are made,” he says. the New Zealand School of His own interest in volcanic Food & Wine with assistance wines was first triggered when from NZ Winegrowers. he was asked to write a paraHis trip to New Zealand graph about his favourite wine was triggered when he was for the holiday issue of a publitagged on a Facebook post cation he wrote for. made by Celia Hay about her “I started to consider lesser Auckland wine tasting in 2018. known wines because all of the The word volcanic was used popular bests had been taken. I in the post and the rest is his- had recently been to places like tory, so to speak. In late July Santorini, Etna, and northern Szabo led two tastings on vol- Hungary, where I had found canic wines at the New Zealand some fascinating, original School of Food & Wine’s annual wines. It suddenly dawned on W&F Celebration and he is now me that these far flung regions touring the country. were all linked by the volcanic He is the author of Vol- origins of their soils. So that was canic Wines, Salt Grit and it. My favorite wine grew on a Power, a book that delves into volcano. That paragraph later the origins of volcanic wine became a full-length article, from Mount Etna in Sicily and which, many years later, become the Spanish Canary Islands a book and lifelong fascination.” to the Yamanashi region in Hay says her big question now Japan, among other places. is how to enhance the profile Celia Hay, founder and direc- of wines grown in the Aucktor of the NZ School of Food & land region since most of this Wine, invited him because she region’s wineries are on volcaniis keen to investigate the poten- cally derived sedimentary rock. tial relevance that volcanic soils Watch this space. can have on wines grown in the mailme@joellethomson.com

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   95


Technology Update

Ten wine apps for the future LEE SUCKLING

Apps continue to change the way we do everything – wine drinking, buying, and selling included. Here are the 10 most innovative wine apps out there that will go the distance into the future because they leave out the trends, gimmicks, and timewasting. CELLARTRACKER Wildly useful (although poorly designed – it looks like it was created in 1997), CellarTracker is like Facebook for wine lovers. It’s an app for tasting notes (amateur and professional) and personal wine stories, covering three million different wines from all over the world. There are half a million other oenophiles you can connect with out there and together they’ve accumulated 8.4 million tasting notes. There’s also a cellar management tool to track your wine collection and see its value – CellarTracker’s users are currently managing 105.4 million bottles in their cellars. cellartracker.com

VINOCELL For a more aestheticallypleasing app experience, Vinocell is a dedicated wine storage app. It has a cellar graphing tool, enabling you to map the location of every wine you own so you can find the bottle you want every time, without pulling dozens of others out of position. It’s a fun app to track the history of your cellar (stored and gone bottles), plus always have a full wine summary of images, vintages and locations, varietals,

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current prices, maturity, and output type (e.g. drank, offered, sold...) apps.vinocell.com

WINERYTALE Augmented reality is set to come to the wine market in 2020 with Winerytale, a virtual platform that auto-translates wine labels into more than 100 languages. Developed by Australian tech company Third Aurora, Winerytale has attracted over 80 applications from international wine brands to participate in its trials. The app itself is incredibly simple: you just place a bottle in front of your phone’s camera and wait for it to selftranslate a winery’s label with augmented reality, video, text, and 3D objects. Third Aurora believes this will soon be the “new standard”.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

thirdaurora.com/self-translatingwine-labels

KNOW YOUR WINE Decanter magazine’s Know Your Wine is a “microlearning” app, similar to language apps like Duolingo. It’s not quiz software, but rather, short lessons that you can consume in bite sizes. The app uses what is known as “spaced repetition” to teach you wine facts in short bursts. While it is aimed at average consumers, it is great for professionals to use as an educational brush-up. decanter.com/learn/decanterlaunches-wine-learning-app

VIVINO AND DELECTABLE Vivino is the largest virtual wine community on the planet, with 36 million users and counting. This app provides an exten-

sive wine knowledge experience. Delectable, a very similar app, does largely the same thing. Both apps allow you to take a photo of a wine label and it will then identify it, and provide you with ratings, price information, and what your others in your network are drinking. Vivino allows you to buy the wine in the app (although it’s a US-centric system and New Zealand retailers only sometimes show up), but Delectable has a slicker and simpler interface. Try both and see which you prefer. vivino.com and delectable.com

VINOUS Many professional wine reviewers have their own apps, but Venezuelan-American critic Antonio Galloni’s app Vinous is probably the best. Alongside colleagues such as Stephen


Tanzer and Neal Martin, Galloni serves up a daily stream of wine articles and reviews on the Vinous app alongside videos, wine region maps, and a searchable database of wines (including a label scanner, thanks to Delectable wine data). vinous.com

HELLOVINO AND WINESTEIN HelloVino is yet another wine rating app, but the feature really worth your time is the food and ingredient pairing function. It’s the easiest app out there to match a wine with a food and acts as a virtual assistant. You can select an option such as “burger with cheese” and find which wines will work best, or drill down to individual spices or sauces like cumin, ginger, and teriyaki. HelloVino also allows you to search the opposite way in the wine guide: find a varietal, click in, and you’ll be presented with very specific foods (e.g. havarti

cheese, chicken croquettes) to pair with it. WineStein does the exact same thing, but also provides handy sommelier-quality advice about drinking the wine you are recommended, e.g. best serving temperatures. hellovino.com and winestein.com

PLONK Plonk’s wine personality test is surprisingly accurate. The app asks you questions about your diet, such as how salty you like your food and whether you prefer coffee to tea. It then presents you with recommendations, including user photos, descriptions, ratings, and even a soundbite so you can pronounce the wine’s name properly. There is also a “wine moments” function where you upload photos of you enjoying wine with your friends, and can tag them so the bottles are never forgotten – it’s your own personal gallery of good times on the plonk. plonk-app.co.uk

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   97


Opinion Piece

Framingham Wines are not only renowned for their music in the winery, but also that staff members make up a local band.

The power of music in the winery OLIVER STYLES

I WORKED my first vintage in New Zealand in 2011, and if I hear the songs Joey or Caroline by the band Concrete Blonde I

am transported back to Martinborough Vineyards, late at night, waiting for the press to finish. Boxer by The National and the

Flight of the Conchords album belong to Ata Rangi, the year later. In fact, if not an album, nearly every vintage has a song

or two that sticks in the mind, situating the year. Coming from vintages in Europe, where the best one

SHEDS

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

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BIRD NETTING FREE ONSITE MEASURING! NETS MADE TO SIZE RECYCLING NZ YOUNG VIT SPONSOR Dean Shaw says; “We’ve had people resort to wearing earmuffs,” regarding the music played in the Central Otago Wine Company winery.

could hope for was one of those bulbous CD/radio players with built-in speakers and the projection of an asthmatic gerbil, making wine in New Zealand, where stereo systems were regularly bracketed to the winery walls, was a revelation. It may seem whimsical, but it is an aspect of winemaking here (and in much of the New World, if not the Old as well) that has fascinated me. It is very easy to trivialise the importance of music in the winery. Indeed, when I tried to explain to people that I wanted to write a piece about how the cellar stereo system helped people get through the day, they seemed sceptical. It was either viewed as unnecessary or, at worst, whimsical. It’s the kind of project a 14 year-old gives themselves in order to talk about their favourite music. But music while you work has very serious origins. The original show - actually called Music While You Work - was first aired in Britain in 1940 in a government bid to improve the output of wartime factory work. It is

claimed (although I have not come across solid evidence) that output in the factories increased by 13 percent while music was being played. The music was heavily controlled by the government: no waltzes, nothing too slow, nothing too fast, nothing with handclaps (this, it was felt, would encourage workers to tap the objects they were working on, potentially damaging them), and no jazz. Making sure the music is right is an outlook shared by Te Awa winemaker - and one time Dunedin Drum & Bass DJ, Richard Painter, who thinks music in the winery is “really critical...but the key is to have a high tempo, especially on the nightshift. At 3am you don’t want any really slow, depressing alt rock.” But does it really help? Nowadays, studies on music in the workplace tend to be somewhat contradictory. However, it is clear that music’s usefulness depends on the task being performed - in wineries it is likely beneficial to cellar work. Studies showing that music is not

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beneficial generally concern tasks requiring a certain level of concentration and skill, whereas in some instances, such as the Harley-Davidson production line, music has been banned for health and safety reasons. Cultural studies on workplace music can also get political, with some pointing to the notion of state control and attempts to milk productivity from the workforce. Others reach opposite conclusions. As Korczynski, Pickering and Robertson point out in Rhythms of Labour: Music at Work in Britain, while “the outside observer or critic may assume that music at work is trivial...such a position was one of cultural elitism.” They quote a certain “Tony” in a Midlands factory: “I need the radio, bloody right. I couldn’t face this place without it.” Which, if you ignore the implied hatred of the workplace,

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“We had a guy who liked to play [North American] Country music. He was banned from the stereo quite quickly.”

mirrors what Dean Shaw of Central Otago Wine Company tells me. “I couldn’t do it without music,” he says. “I don’t know about the science, but loud music helps [making wine].” I got onto Shaw via Jen Parr at Valli. “I can’t think of anyone without some kind of sound system [in the region],” she said. She told me Shaw has the best. “We’ve had people resort to wearing earmuffs,” Shaw says, with what sounds, over the phone, like pride. “When we used to have the outdoor speakers we did receive some complaints from the neighbours.”

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

This is no small accomplishment in an industrial park, he points out. Shaw has a vast repository of albums - “about forty days of music” - burned onto a 3 Terabyte hard drive. And there are rules: certain bands are forbidden (e.g.Rage Against the Machine), everyone has a turn, and you never put on a song, you have to listen to an album all the way through. Choice of music, though, can be contentious. “We had a guy who liked to play [North American] Country music,” says Painter, “he was banned from the stereo quite quickly.”

As Parr said, “we learn a lot about our team from the music they choose, and about ourselves - I don’t actually like New Zealand country music.” And sometimes music can be transformative. A few years ago, at Framingham cellar door, the background music used to be a reasonably generic Spotify indie rock playlist. “You know Andrew [Headley] - he’s a music nut. And then we thought ‘sod that, we know what we like’, said Marketing Manager Bridget Glackin. They soon adopted some of the heavier music that was being heard in the winery and at their vintage concerts. The cellar door team - a set of respectable, immaculately turned out ladies - said the music was “terrible”. “But they’ve really embraced it,” says Glackin. “They said ‘bugger that’ to their formal attire and started wearing punk T-Shirts.” oliverstyles@hotmail.com


Regions Marlborough

Unique and successful Marlborough Grape Growers Cooperative is a unique model that is proving highly successful in New Zealand’s largest wine region, as Tessa Nicholson discovered. FORMED BACK in 2012, after a few tough years for growers following the GFC, the Marlborough Grape Growers Cooperative has steadily grown in strength. These days it has 77 grower Members, and processes around 12,000 tonnes of fruit a year. It has markets around the world, and supplies only bespoke Sauvignon Blanc. GM Craig Howard says the Cooperative structure while unique in New Zealand, is not in terms of the rest of the wine world. “If you look at the big producing countries like Italy,

France and Spain, there are three tiers. You have the big houses like say Pernod Ricard. You have the artisanal producers at the other end. And smack bang in the middle is a Cooperative.” That is backed up by a Forbes article a few years back that stated 65 percent of independent growers in France belonged to a Cooperative, with similar stats relating to both Italy and Spain. In Argentina, approximately 22 percent of growers are part of a Cooperative. In terms of Marlborough’s Cooperative, the percentages

aren’t that high, but the business is continually growing, Howard says. The 77 Marlborough grower Members, own 143 individual blocks of Sauvignon Blanc, in total around 800 hectares, producing approximately 12,000 tonnes annually. All this is run with a staff of four, including Howard. While having growers on board is vital for any Cooperative, having a market for the end product is even more important. Howard says that is part of the reason for the Marlborough Cooperative’s success – markets

We make finished wine we are really proud of. We don’t make bulk wine. We make bespoke wine. So the wine we make for the Australians, compared with the wine we make for the French, or the States, or the UK is different.

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were well assured in advance of the growers joining up. Initially it was America, but in recent years that has expanded into other countries. “We are selling fruit in six different markets and I have a long line of buyers coming to visit in the next month looking for quality and consistency in supply into the future.” Yet there is still a perception with some in the industry, that the Marlborough Grape Growers Cooperative is damaging the Marlborough story. “There is a perception that we produce low quality wine and then go out and flog it off. That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Howard says. “We make finished wine we are really proud of. A number of awards for our Client’s wine at International Wine shows is testament to that. “We don’t make bulk wine. We make bespoke wine. So the wine we make for the Australians, compared with the wine we make for the French, or the States, or the UK is different. “Our business model is to

seek people who see value in bespoke Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, offshore. We get alongside them, understand what their market wants and then make the wine to their specification.” Part of the perception he agrees may be due to the fact the wine is sent offshore in bulk, to be bottled in the country importing. But he says, price points for the end product prove that it is not going into the two buck chuck market, to coin a phrase. One of the Cooperative’s buyer’s, has three tiers of Cooperative Sauvignon Blanc for between US$10 and US$18. If someone wants wine at a price that doesn’t deliver value back to the Members, the business is turned down. That has happened on more than one occasion Howard says. Having positive returns benefits the growers, who Howard says are invested in ensuring they provide the best fruit possible. He says they don’t go around waving a big stick and telling their growers what

to do, but they do provide as much information as possible to ensure the fruit reaches the specifications required. “We go out of our way to put on seminars, in fact we had 15 seminars and field walks in the past 12 months. That makes sure our growers are doing the best job they can for the Cooperative, which gives Drew (Ellis, the winemaker) the chance to make the best quality wine he can, which in turn allows me to turn that into the most money we possibly can to return to growers.” With Johnny McMillan filling a viticulture roll overseeing 77 growers and 143 blocks, the Cooperative has employed the services of Fruitfed monitoring scouts, who visit every block eight times a year to check on the vines. “We get their reports back and then it is easy for Johnny to triage who needs help and who doesn’t.” Given the success of Marlborough Grape Growers Cooperative, the question has to be asked – why aren’t there similar

entities in other regions? “To join a Cooperative, you need to give up something, some portion of independence. Grape growing in New Zealand is full of entrepreneurial people or people who like rowing their own boat. Not everyone is prepared to give up that independence.” Another reason for the success of Marlborough’s Cooperative, is that the world wants Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – and New Zealand has yet to establish the same demand for other varieties. Which is why at this stage the Cooperative only produces the one variety. “We have done some strategic planning with KPMG and part of the outcome was to base our model on 100 percent Sauvignon now. “Later, we will start weaving in some Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. “It comes down to, what are we good at? We are good at growing and making bespoke Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, so that’s what we do.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

One of the many seminars held by Marlborough Grape Growers Cooperative in the past 12 months was based around bird scaring – with drones one of the highlights of the event.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


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Health & Safety

Going paperless AARON NEIGHBOURS General Manager Intesafety and INX Software Partner

WE ALL know in the winegrowing industry the importance of having an effective Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) Management System in place. A good practice system is: • accessible for workers (i.e. they can easily access the information they need); • well maintained; • user friendly (i.e. something workers can understand and isn’t overly complex); • functional, allowing for information to be centralised, managed through a systematic workflow and analysed for measuring the effectiveness of the process and identifying any emerging trends. The modern approaches for

HSEQ Management Systems and general compliance requirements have led to the generation of a vast amount of paperwork. While the ‘paperwork’ often gets inputted into an electronic format of some kind, it leads to a lot of administrative work and in some cases duplication. On top of that, you need to have various forms readily available to your vineyard workers and contractors in the field, not just the winery which, for some workers, can present challenges. You rely on workers having the discipline to search for a form, complete it and submit it. This is sometimes seen as ‘too hard’ and from experience

certainly doesn’t always happen, which unfortunately means the business isn’t always informed of its at risk opportunities. Then comes the paperwork shuffle following submission – that important piece of paper in the form of a hazard report or quality control checklist can get lost in its travels from the vineyard, to the work vehicle, to the supervisor and then to the office. Any of those scenarios sound familiar? The good news is, your Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Management doesn’t need to be that difficult. By transitioning to a paperless HSEQ software solution, you can sim-

ply and easily automate many of these functions – making your workers’ lives easier, ensuring data is captured just once and that the majority of your HSEQ functional information is centralised in one place. The investment in software however is an important one - best to get it right first time and ensure the product fits your business. Here’s what we recommend you look for: • Centralised platform - for all your event types (incidents, near miss, hazards, inspections, audits, meetings etc.) to be raised and managed plus your business risk register, document library, people records, registers, etc.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


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ble scheduling of renewals and checks. • Real time trend analysis – the most up-to-date data and results • Good reporting functionality - for instant measuring of HSEQ management performance to ensure you are maintaining the preventative focus you need to achieve your safety objectives. As the winegrowing industry matures its HSEQ management systems, we’ve seen how paperless software solutions can transform health and safety culture, by making all the standard HSEQ management functions easy to use and becoming just a normal part of the way a business operates - which is how it should be! Boost your workplace HSEQ management experience by going paperless - good safety software can make a world of difference to your business.

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   105


Mechanical News

Latest machinery to hit our shores MARK DANIEL

CROPLANDS QUANTUM MIST SMART SPRAYER CROPLANDS’ QUANTUM Mist™ sprayer technology has been well known in the vineyard crop protection arena for the past two decades, so the arrival of the new Smart Spray Series should be welcomed by followers of the brand. With the support of parent company Nufarm, two years ago, Croplands set out to design and build, what they describe as “the best grape sprayer in the world”. During the process, the company consulted with global business partners and industry professionals to explore and deliver the development of multiple new concepts. One such partner, Jack Maljaars from Vinetech Equipment in Prosser, Washington State and Croplands North American distributor, played an integral role in developing the new Fusion Controller and complementary hydraulic drive system to drive the new Smart Spray system. Dr David Manktelow, an independent scientist in plant pathology and spraying application based out of New Zealand, was also engaged for his insights into new and emerging trends for pest and disease control and his ability to identify potential solutions being sought by the project. Prototype and in-field validation testing were conducted while

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working closely with Steven Schiller, a progressive and premium Barossa Valley vigneron. This input provided insights from an owner and operator perspective to ensure the new technology delivered not only exceptional coverage but was also user friendly and simple to operate. Specifically designed for viticulture, the Fusion controller features a full colour touch screen with integrated joystick control, for sprayer and boom functions management. The controller also allows precision row width settings and fan positioning from the cordon wire, while upwind and downwind air speed control can be achieved with the touch of a button via the combination of a unique hydraulic system, ensuring the right amount of air is delivered to optimise spray efficacy and drift containment in difficult or

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

exposed situations. The new QM-420 fan produces even more turbulent, directional air than its predecessor to penetrate the canopy and deliver maximum coverage to the crop. With the addition of a uniquely designed Dual Spray Ring (patent pending), flexible spray rates are now achieved without compromising on spray quality. The company comments “customers are time poor and don’t always change spray nozzles when they should. The new dual spray ring design allows the operator to apply a low, medium or higher rate without changing nozzles, while potential drift is reduced as spray quality is maintained with a more consistent spray pressure.” Fans are set in a newly designed Fan Frame that allows precise fan positioning and adjustment during different

crop stages, to match the evolving canopy structure. Layouts sees 2 or 3 fans per frame to suit any trellis size or tractor specifications. As a future part of the brief, the company has developed an optional, modular Drift Reduction and Recapture System, that unlike dedicated recapture systems, is simple but effective, with no moving parts. Inner, or inner and outer “Smart Screens” are easily attached to reduce potential drift and return captured spray back to the main product tank. The Recapture System makes dormant spray applications financially viable at high volume water rate applications, such as to control Mealy bug. The modular design can be removed later in the season when the benefits of recapture reduce, meaning that spray coverage is never compromised.


TEST RIG RAISES THE BAR ON ACCURACY ACROSS AGRICULTURE, and particularly so in viticulture, sprayers play an important part in dealing with numerous problems, with the added pressure of being used all year round. Key to their efficacy, is the ability to achieve an even application to the whole plant or crop canopy at the key target rate. Utilising multiple nozzles, that are exposed to a multitude of elements and chemicals, so it follows, that to achieve those required target rates, sprayers, and nozzles in particular, require regular maintenance. To test nozzles for accuracy on farm or in the vineyard, is not particularly easy, so in many cases they will only get a visual check and a “she’ll be right” pass mark. Realising this problem, Agrivit of Renwick, Marlborough set about to design and build a test rig to precising measure output. The testing service offered by the

company measures each nozzle’s functionality, producing a report that identifies those nozzles that do not meet the industry recommended standard of +/- 10% of target, in doing so, identifying nozzles that need replacing. Configured to test a wide range of nozzles, the test rig, claimed to be the first of its type in New Zealand is said to be a cost-effective method of maintenance, by only recommending nozzles requiring a change, rather than replacing a full set. Jeremy Watts of Agrivit notes that nozzles wear at different rates, depending on the material they are constructed from and the types of products being applied. He also adds that while modern sprayers have auto-rate controllers which regulate spray volumes, they cannot tell which nozzles are performing properly, rather they can control the

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overall volume being applied. This means that even when the correct total volume has been applied, there is a potential for some areas to be under or indeed, overdosed. Nozzles performing to accepted standards will help ensure even coverage, while also reducing the potential for spray drift.

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NEW 5D TTV COMING TO A VINEYARD NEAR YOU FOLLOWING ON from its SAME cousin picking up “Machine of the Year 2019” at the SIMA show in Paris, the arrival of the Deutz Fahr Series 5D TTV will give specialised users another choice in a competitive market. Featuring the SDF Group FARMotion engine in 3 or 4-cylinder common -rail layouts and power ranging from 88 to 113hp, the units feature electronic control, charge air cooling, DOC exhaust gas treatment and am eVisco cooling fan. Engines are mated to a new continuously variable transmission built in house by SDF, offering infinite speeds between 0 to 40kph, with the ability to set ground speed independently of the tractor engine speed, while

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also offering two ground speed cruise control settings for working or headland situations. In transport situations, 40kph is achieved with only 1650rpm, said to help achieve considerable fuel savings during operation. At the business end of the machine, the rear linkage offers 2600kgs lift capacity and can work in conjunction with a front lift and PTO system that offers 1500kgs. Rear linkage and external hydraulic remotes are fed by a 100l/minute closed centre hydraulic pump, that works alongside a 42l/min unit that takes care of the power steering system. Tractors can be configured with up to 5 pairs of remotes at the rear and a further 4 pairs of mid-mounted outlets.

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

Adjustable flow and time control is available on all remotes.

Up at the front of the tractor, operators can use automated


Look for black & white banding on the antennae

activation of the four-wheel drive system, while the 100% differential locks ensure the best possible traction in all conditions. The automatically activated rear axle differential is available for added traction and stability, while four-wheel braking is fitted as a standard. In the newly designed cabin, a flat floor enhances the space available, while also offering improved access. Featuring a 4-post layout, a rounded frame profile is gentle on plants as it passes through rows, the cab also meets all standards to Class IV for driver protection, removing the need for PPE. The InfoCenterPro, high-res 5” monitor provides the driver with structured information on all operating states of the tractor, while tractor and engine speeds are shown on analogue dials. The operational controls for activating the automatic functions, such as front axle suspension, Auto4WD and SDD fast steering as well as the lever

for the hydraulic parking brake (HPB) and a mobile phone holder are located to the left and right of the centrally mounted InfoCenterPro display. The new Maxcom joystick is incorporated into the right armrest, offering control for the transmission and other commonly used functions. Available in three different versions, – the V model offers a narrow machine for use in tight spaces, the S offers a wider front axle for enhanced turning and greater stability, while the F model is the widest configuration for best stability due to the wider stance of the tractor. The S Version can also be optioned with front axle suspension offering independent ‘wheel’ suspension and active steering. The system operates based on driving speed and steering angle, using sensors to supply data to the control unit, adapting shock absorber settings to control stiffness and damping, reducing vibration and increasing operator comfort.

KEEP NZ STINK BUG FREE THIS WINTER Look for black &

white banding on The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is a pest that sides of the can infest your home in the thousands, stinks when theabdomen crushed, and is almost impossible to get rid of. It is also a major threat to our fruit and vegetable industries. It’s not in New Zealand yet, and we want to keep it that way. It hibernates inside homes in the winter, so if you see one, don’t kill it. Catch it, take a photo, and call us on 0800 80 99 66.

For more information (including how to identify the bug) visit biosecurity.govt.nz/stinkbug. Stink Bugs not shown actual size. (Actual size approx. 1.7cm long)

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019  //   109


Regions Wellington Wine Country

Martinborough Moy Hall

JOELLE THOMSON

ASK PHIL and Carolyn McArthur where they see their new wine brand ending up and the answer is straightforward and seemingly unambitious. “Always small, always single vineyard and sustainable.” The single vineyard in ques-

tion is an eight-hectare patch of dirt called Moy Hall on Puruatanga Road in Martinborough. It’s a stretch of road affectionately known as the golden mile in the relatively small Wairarapa region – small for wine, that is. This region accounts for a

miniscule one to two per cent of this country’s wine production each year, despite having at least three per cent of the country’s grapes. The reliable wind does its level best to decimate fruit set, resulting in a reli-

Photo: Lucia Zanmonti

ably reduced crop each year. The Moy Hall vineyard was originally planted in 1990 in Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Viognier, Pinot Noir and Syrah, with some original vines remaining today. The newer vines are between 14 and 25 years old. It was originally owned by Lintz Estate and Martinborough Vineyard. The land has had a new lease of life in the past 10 months, however, since the McArthurs opened their cellar door restaurant last December. The plan is to have the facility open year round with chef Jonathan Hobden creating seasonally inspired food from local produce. Phill also works as a winemaker at Martinbor-

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


ough Vineyards and Carolyn runs their new business with him. Both were born and bred in the Wairarapa. The purpose built cellar door reflects the Scottish roots of the Moy Hall name that they have retained for their brand. “The dream is to create wines that are identifiable as coming from our vineyard due to the quality of fruit and consistent winemaking practices,” says Phill. The range in vine age offers plenty of scope to him for winemaking. His ideology is to reflect the single vineyard origin of the grapes and seasonal flavours by using traditional winemaking practices with minimal handling of the fruit and minimal intervention in the winery, he says. He and Carolyn purchased the land in 2015 and made their first vintage under the Moy Hall label in 2017.

The McArthur family.

mailme@joellethomson.com

Emma Taylor | Nursery Viticulturist

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International News

Fifty years and still evolving BACK IN 1969 what has become one of the world’s most prestigious wine competitions was launched. It had the name of Club Oenologique. We all know it now as the International Wine and Spirits Competition, IWSC. Now as the IWSC celebrates its 50th anniversary, changes are afoot. Taking the success of the last five decades the organisation is preparing for the future. Christelle Guibert, IWSC Wine Director, says IWSC aims to help producers not only promote their wines to the world, but to help place them in front of their target audience. “We would like the IWSC to be a platform to source wine, a platform to have newly launched wines rated by experts, and to also allow discovery of the unknown regions, countries and grape varieties.”

Some of the upcoming changes include a new judging committee that will lead the tasting days and oversee the panel chairs and judges. Buyer focused panels involving highprofile judges with experience in commercial buying skills, has been establisahed. They will give the judging panels greater objectivity of results. The IWSC has also launched its own consumer magazine, named Club Oenologique in recognition of the original name of the competition. Residing over all the changes and the upcoming 50th celebrations, is new President of IWSC, New Zealand’s Sir George Fistonich. In terms of this years’ competition, New Zealand’s entry and payment deadline is August 23. Delivery deadline for con-

INDUSTRY NEWS PROFILES

solidated shipping depots is August 26. Deadline for direct deliveries to the UK is September 6.

LATEST RESEARCH REGIONAL UPDATES

Further information on the competition, contact New Zealand IWSC Ambassador, Jo Burzynska, jo.burzynska@iwsc.net

MARKETING UPDATES ARCHIVES

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NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019


International News

Is Brazil your next market? IF THE answer to the question above is yes, or even if you are just considering the possibility, a new event may be the marketing tool you require. Provino, the Professional Wine & Spirits Fair, is being held in São Paulo, Brazil over three days in October. The event is aimed at attracting importers, distributors, sommeliers and trade from throughout Brazil and Latin America. Like similar events held around the world, this one is not aimed at consumers, but the trade itself. Brazil is an interesting country when it comes to wine. It is the largest within Latin America, with imports growing 29 percent between 2016 and 2017. Despite economic issues in the country in recent years, the wine sector was not affected and growth is continuing.

With a population of 200 million, a growing middle and higher income group and interest from millennials, the market has potential for New Zealand exporters. Maybe not as high as in the US or Canada, but certainly enough to warrant promoting your product. The population is not immune to wine either, given imports from Argentina, Italy, Portugal and France are at all time highs. Provino will take place from

15 – 17 October at Transamerica Expo Centre. Fifteen thousand visitors are expected with more than 120 exhibitors. It is the

largest event of its kind in Latin America. For more information; info@provino.com.br

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Legal Matters

NOT ON THE LABEL LEGAL MATTERS WITH BELL GULLY CHRIS PARK, PARTNER AND JOY WANG, SOLICITY, KENSINGTON SWAN

Phase Two of the Overseas Investment Act Reforms IN APRIL 2019, the Government issued a consultation document proposing options for further reforms to the current overseas investment regime. Overseas investment in New Zealand is governed by the Overseas Investment Act 2005 (Act), which requires certain investments in New Zealand property and business assets by ‘overseas persons’ must receive consent prior to them being concluded. The first phase of recent changes to the Act was in 2018 when the Government simplified the process for obtaining consent for certain investments in forestry, while at the same time restricting foreign investment in residential property. A second phase of reforms have now been proposed. These reforms are intended to reduce the complexity of the Act, and to better support overseas investment in high-quality productive assets, while ensuring New Zealand’s national interest are adequately protected.

AREAS OF REFORM

The proposed areas of reform can be broadly divided into three key areas: What – this looks at what assets overseas persons need consent for in order to own or control. Suggested

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areas for consideration are whether classifying land as sensitive because of the kind of land it adjoins is sensible, and whether the acquisition of leasehold interests (for a term of three years or more) should be treated differently from the acquisition of freehold interests. Who – this area looks at the rules about who needs to seek consent to acquire sensitive assets, and in particular whether NZ-incorporated companies with relatively low levels of ownership by overseas persons should still be treated as an overseas person (as they can currently if overseas persons own 25% or more of their shares), and whether low-risk transactions such as minor increases in shareholdings by overseas persons require consent. How – this looks at the process for deciding whether an overseas person can buy sensitive assets. One of the issues being considered is the issue with the “benefit to New Zealand” test and how it does not take into account some important features of an investment such as whether it poses risks to national security. Some options proposed consider introducing a “national interest test” or another type of

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

test that would allow a more holistic assessment of an investment’s likely effects. Options for providing greater certainty around timing of decisions (an area of real uncertainty for acquirers) are also being proposed.

HOW MIGHT THESE REFORMS AFFECT NEW ZEALAND WINE GROWERS AND THE WINE INDUSTRY?

In general terms, under the current overseas investment regime, foreign investors or New Zealand wine companies with 25 percent or more foreign ownership will need to obtain consent before they can purchase or lease (for a term more than 3 years) horticultural or other ‘non-urban’ land over 5 hectares. The costs, complexities, additional time and uncertainties associated with making an application for consent under the current regime is problematic. There is a real concern that the current regime not only operates in a manner that may disincentivise foreign investors from acquiring or leasing horticultural land from growers, but that in some cases growers may also be forced to accept a less attractive offer from a domestic investor as a consequence. Many of the proposed reforms seek to address

some of these key issues, and will accordingly be welcomed by most investors if adopted. These include potentially reducing uncertainties and unnecessary compliance costs on applicants, reducing the types of interests that will need to be screened (such as shorter term leasehold interests), and providing some greater certainty around timing for consent responses. On the other hand, some of the proposed reforms may create some additional uncertainty in certain sectors, such as the possible introduction of a right to ‘call-in’ certain applications that may propose a risk to national security, public health or safety (although this latter category is less likely to be immediately relevant in the wine industry).

WHAT HAS HAPPENED AND WHAT’S NEXT?

The Treasury held a number of public meetings with stakeholders in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in May. Public submissions on the consultation document closed on 24 May 2019. The Government has indicated that it hopes to legislate the phase two reforms by the middle of 2020.


Research Updates

Research Supplement Information and updates on Bragato Research Institute research programmes. Editors Dr Matias Kinzurik and Will Kerner, Research Programme Manager A regular feature to inform industry people about research projects being undertaken for their benefit. Newly approved projects (when available) are briefly summarised and longer reports will describe what has been achieved so far. When completed, each project will be reported in full detail, with references, on nzwine.com

Quality Wine Styles for Existing and Developing Markets Lighter wine (PGP)

University of Auckland and Plant and Food Research (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MPI Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) fund.

High-throughput genotyping of 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

Breaking the quality-productivity seesaw in wine grape production (Pinot Noir Programme) University of Auckland, Plant and Food Research and Lincoln University (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MBIE

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

Improving remedial surgery practices for control of grapevine trunk disease to increase vineyard longevity Linnaeus

The role of microbes in regional Pinot Noir quality and style

Biofungicide options to control powdery mildew (PM) (and Botrytis cinerea) on grape

Plant and Food Research (C Grose)

University of Auckland (M Goddard)

Exploring the chemical space in Vineyard Ecosystems (VE) Programme juices and wines University of Auckland (B Fedrizzi)

Pests and Disease 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.

(E van Zijll de Jong)

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

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

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)

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

The Organic Focus Vineyard Project: Reassessing soil health, five years on

Lincoln Agritech Limited (A Werner)

Organic Winegrowers New Zealand (R Reider)

An automated grape yield estimation system – The Rod Bonfiglioli Scholarship

Monitoring the harlequin ladybird in Hawke’s Bay vineyards and the surrounding habitat

Massey University (M Legg)

Plant and Food Research (V Bell)

Sustainability/ Organics Vineyard Ecosystems Programme University of Auckland and Plant and Food Research

A comparison of physical means to reduce rot versus chemical means in New Zealand vineyards Thoughtful Viticulture (M Krasnow)

(Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MBIE

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Research Progress Reports

PROGRESS REPORTS Prevalence of grapevine trunk disease in New Zealand – observations from vineyard surveys Mark Sosnowski1 and Dion Mundy2 1 South Australian Research & Development Institute 2 The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited mark.sosnowski@sa.gov.au 16-102

EUTYPA AND botryosphaeria dieback (ED and BD) are major grapevine trunk diseases (GTD) worldwide, causing significant yield and quality reduction. They threaten the sustainability of the New Zealand wine industry, with total exports valued at $1.7 billion, and are becoming more prevalent as vineyards age. Trunk pathogens infect vines through pruning wounds, colonise woody

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tissue and cause dieback of cordons and trunks, observed as dark wedgeshaped tissue in cross-section. The Eutypa lata fungus produces toxic metabolites which are translocated to the foliage, causing stunted shoots, necrotic and distorted leaves, reduced bunch size and uneven ripening. In spring 2013, a survey of vineyards was conducted in the Hawke’s Bay

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

and Marlborough regions, which accounted for 80% of the total area planted in New Zealand. GTD symptoms were recorded in 8% of all vines surveyed; the average age of the vines was 12 years. Survey data were used to undertake a cost/benefit analysis of GTD management in New Zealand, and indicated that early adoption of management strategies will provide the greatest future benefit,

estimated to be worth up to $40m per annum nationally. It was predicted that the incidence of GTD symptoms will increase as the vines age, particularly if management strategies were not implemented. The survey was repeated in spring 2018, revisiting each of the original vineyards surveyed. The aim was to track the progress of GTD in the same vineyards after 5 years, with reference


Research Progress Reports

Figure 1. Foliar symptoms of eutypa dieback, including cupped leaves with necrotic margins (left) and stunted shoots on the central spur (right)

to regional, varietal, clonal and rootstock differences and the impacts of vineyard management and intervention on disease control.

SURVEY

In 2013, 698 blocks in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough were initially selected from vineyards made available from four major wine companies to represent a cross-section of varieties, clones, rootstocks and ages

(from 4 years old). Of these, 95 blocks, aged between 8 and 25 years, were removed between 2013 and 2018 for economic reasons, not necessarily because of trunk disease. In Hawke’s Bay, 179 vineyard blocks were assessed, ranging from 9 to 30 years of age and included 18 varieties, with Chardonnay and Merlot the most common. In Marlborough, 423 vineyard blocks were assessed, with

vines ranging from 9 to 38 years of age and included 10 varieties with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir the most common. Two hundred vines in a randomly selected section of each block were visually

assessed for both GTD dieback and foliar symptoms of ED. Symptoms classed as ‘dieback’ consisted of at least two dead spurs or dead canes on at least one side of a vine through to completely dead vines.

Figure 2. Dieback symptoms on cordon spur-pruned vines, with cankers extending from dead spurs (left) and whole dead arms (right).

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Research Progress Reports

Figure 3. Dieback symptoms on cane-pruned vines, with dead canes (left), unproductive head with only one remaining shoot (middle) and trunk canker extending from a large wound (right)

The number of vines with dieback or foliar symptoms was counted and incidence calculated. In addition, details of age, variety, clone, rootstock and pruning management system were collected, as well as information on whether vines had been reworked and if pruning wound treatments were regularly applied. Data were analysed either by linear regression, and coefficients of determination (R2) were calculated using Microsoft® Excel, or by calculating means and standard errors using ‘Statistix 8’ software and plotted. Results are presented graphically as scatter plots and bar graphs, indicating correlations and standard error bars where appropriate, or otherwise are presented as raw data.

Figure 4. Scatter plot of vine age against incidence of dieback symptoms for all blocks surveyed in each of the regions of Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough, in 2013 and 2018.

SYMPTOMS

Foliar symptoms characteristic of eutypa dieback were observed in vineyards of both regions (Figure 1 - previous page). Dieback symptoms were also observed, which on cordon

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Research Progress Reports

Figure 5. Incidence of dieback for cane-pruned (blue bars) and cordon-pruned (red bars) vines of the main varieties surveyed in 2018. The number of blocks surveyed for each variety (cane-pruned/ cordon-pruned) is shown in parentheses, and the average age of vineyards (years) is indicated in white at the base of each column. Bars represent standard errors of the means.

spur-pruned vines ranged from two dead spurs to dead arms (Figure 2 - previous page), and on canepruned vines appeared as dead and unproductive sections of heads, dead canes, cankers and completely dead vines (Figure 3).

EFFECT OF AGE, REGION AND VARIETY

In 2018, the average age of all vineyards surveyed was 17 years, compared with an average of 12 years in the 2013 survey. The overall mean incidence of dieback was 20.2% in 2018 compared with 8.1% recorded in the same vines

in 2013. Foliar symptoms were observed in 0.3% of vines in 2018, compared with 0.1% in 2013. A scatter plot of vine age against incidence of dieback for all blocks is shown in Figure 4. Only vineyards surveyed in 2013 were included in the 2018 survey, so the youngest vines were 9 years old, and some of these were recorded with up to 13% incidence of dieback. Overall, dieback incidence varied greatly, with maximums ranging from 20% for 10-year-old vines to more than 80% for 20-year-old vines. Hawke’s Bay blocks appeared to generally clus-

ter higher on the plot than Marlborough blocks. Linear trend lines indicated that the incidence of dieback increased with age, but was only marginally greater on average in Hawke’s Bay than in Marlborough, and had relatively low correlation (R2 = 0.22–0.37) values because of the large variation. Across both regions, 31 vineyard blocks were recorded with more than 60% incidence of dieback in 2018, compared with only eight blocks in 2013. Of the commonly planted varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah and Merlot had average inci-

dences of dieback ranging from 31 to 43%. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir had average incidences of dieback symptoms ranging from 16 to 22%. Pinot Gris was recorded with 10% incidence, but notably had the lowest average age of 14 years, compared with 16–23 years for all other varieties.

EFFECT OF PRUNING SYSTEM

In the 2018 survey, 473 blocks were cane-pruned and had an average age of 17 years, compared with 129 that were cordon-

Figure 6. Examples of the effect of remedial surgery on incidence of dieback, comparing vines of the same variety and age, at the time of the 2013 and 2018 surveys, when reworking was undertaken between the two surveys.

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Research Progress Reports

pruned and had an average age of 19 years. The average incidence of dieback for cane-pruned vines was 17%, half that for vines cordon-pruned (34%). The greater average incidence of dieback observed in cordon-pruned vines compared with cane-pruned vines, was particularly evident for the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot (Figure 5). In Hawke’s Bay, 41% of all vineyards surveyed were cordon-pruned, compared with 13% in Marlborough.

EFFECT OF CLONE AND ROOTSTOCK

Average incidence of dieback varied between clones of some varieties surveyed. Clones of Cabernet Sauvignon ranged from 26–80%, Merlot from 20–65%, Pinot Noir from 2–21% and Chardonnay from 16–33%. The average age of vineyards representing each clone ranged from 14–23 years. Average incidence of dieback also varied on some varieties that were planted on different rootstocks. Sauvignon Blanc ranged from 13–34% on different rootstocks, Pinot Noir from 12–30%, Chardonnay from 11–42%, Pinot Gris from 7–20% and Merlot from 25–35%. The average age of vineyards representing different variety/rootstock combinations ranged from 15–21 years.

CASE STUDY - REMEDIAL SURGERY

A group of 14 blocks that were reworked during the 5-year period between the 2013 and 2018 surveys were recorded with decreases in dieback incidence of up to 60%, whereas a group of 14 blocks, with similar age, variety and

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Figure 7. Scatter plots of the incidence of dieback in all blocks surveyed in 2018 (top) and the 102 blocks (bottom) with active pruning wound protection management in place since 2006 in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough . Blue lines indicate the maximum dieback incidence for vines aged between 10 and 20 years.

location were recorded with increases in dieback incidence up to 60%. Figure 6 shows three examples of comparisons between individual blocks of the same age and variety that were either reworked or not. For each example, in 2013 incidence of dieback was similar in both blocks before remedial surgery. For blocks that were reworked incidence of dieback was reduced to between 1 and 4%, whereas blocks that were not reworked, had increased dieback incidence of between 33 and 65%.

CASE STUDY - PRUNING WOUND PROTECTION

A group of 102 blocks were selected that had a well-documented wound protection management programme in place since 2006. In all of these blocks, large wounds (>25 mm) were consistently covered with registered wound paints following pruning up until 2012, and then from 2013, all wounds, regardless of size, were protected each year. These blocks

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were aged between 9 and 21 years in 2018, so vines under 12 years of age have had wound protection since they were planted, and the oldest vines have had wound protection since 10 years of age. Figure 7 shows scatter plots of the incidence of dieback infection in 2018 for all vines (top), and for the 102 blocks with wound protection management programme (bottom). Across all blocks, the maximum incidence of dieback infection increased with increasing vine age (from 20% in 10-year-old vines to 80% in 20-year-old vines), whereas in the subset of blocks under active wound management the maximum incidence of dieback infection did not increase with vine age (up to 20% at all ages).

DISCUSSION

In the 2013 survey, the overall incidence of dieback was 8% when the average age of vines was 12 years, and in 2018 the incidence in the same blocks increased to 20% when the average

age of vines was 17 years. With the trend of increase over the past 5 years, it is reasonable to expect that there will be a further increase in incidence of trunk disease symptoms in this sample of vineyard blocks in the future if management strategies are not widely implemented. The fungi that cause ED and BD progress and kill mature grapevine wood at anywhere from 10 to 80 mm/year, depending on the species and variety, so it can take many years for external dieback symptoms to become visible. Similarly, foliar symptoms of ED take 3 to 8 years to manifest after infection has occurred. Therefore the observation of symptoms in vines as young as 4 years of age in these surveys, suggests that infection may have occurred in the first year of vineyard production, and highlights the importance of early adoption of wound protection. Observations during the 2018 survey, indicated that Cabernet Sauvignon,


Research Progress Reports

Malbec, Syrah and Merlot were the varieties most susceptible to trunk disease. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewurztraminer were moderately susceptible and Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir were the least susceptible. In general, these results support previous research and surveys on susceptibility of varieties to GTDs in other countries. However, exceptions to this were Merlot, which is widely reported as tolerant to trunk diseases, and Sauvignon Blanc, reported as highly susceptible. In the current survey, Merlot blocks had an average age of 19 years and were predominantly cordon-pruned, whereas Sauvignon Blanc blocks had an average age of 16 years and were predominantly cane-pruned. Cordonpruned vines are reported to express more trunk disease symptoms in vines under 20 years of age than canepruned vines, which may explain the contradiction. On the other hand, previous research reported that Merlot cuttings developed longer lesions than Sauvignon Blanc when inoculated with BD pathogens in New Zealand, so perhaps disease susceptibility differs under New Zealand conditions. Incidence of dieback symptoms was marginally greater in Hawke’s Bay than in Marlborough. As the average age of vineyards in both regions was similar (17 years) and annual rainfall is 700–800 mm/ year in both regions (www. niwa.co.nz), the most likely reason for the difference is the greater use of cordon pruning in Hawke’s Bay. It

was observed in this survey that cordon-pruned vines had a greater incidence of dieback than cane-pruned vines, particularly for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot. In a French trial, comparing cordon- and cane-

pruning, it was reported that, at the age of 10 years, foliar symptoms of ED were more prevalent in cordonpruned vines, but after 20 years, greater mortality was reported in cane-pruned vines. Therefore symptoms are expected to be visible earlier on cordon-pruned vines, which have greater numbers and surface areas of pruning wounds than cane-pruned vines. However, large wounds located on the crown of cane-pruned vines can lead to trunk infection, causing vine death in mature vines with fewer visible external symptoms. Based on this knowledge, it is anticipated that the incidence of dieback and death of vines from trunk disease will increase significantly in Marlborough over the next 5 years, as it is predominated with cane-pruned Sauvignon Blanc. Relationships between vine age and incidence of

dieback were relatively low, indicating that variables other than age and variety may affect the incidence of trunk disease symptoms. Clones and rootstocks varied in incidence of dieback, but results may be confounded by age differences and limited numbers of representative blocks. Further scientific investigation is required to evaluate commonly used rootstocks, which are inoculated with eutypa and botryosphaeria pathogens, to determine whether clones and rootstocks vary in susceptibility to trunk disease. This information could eventually provide decision support for new plantings, which may reduce the impact of GTD for vineyard longevity. The case study for remedial surgery revealed short-term success of this strategy. It will be important to continue following the progress of these blocks in future to confirm longerterm success of remedial surgery. Many factors can affect the success of remedial surgery, and if all visible disease is not removed from trunks, life expectancy will be limited. New research is commencing as part of the Vineyard Ecosystems programme to further evaluate remedial surgery, including attempting to gain a better understanding of how disease progresses in trunks to better inform the industry on appropriate timing so as to maximise success and, in turn, vineyard longevity. The case study for pruning wound protection

provides some confirmation on the effect of protecting pruning wounds in the vineyard. A recently completed project (NZW 13-100) developed practical and efficient methods for the protection of pruning wounds against infection by identifying effective fungicides that can be applied with tractordriven sprayers. If this became a routine practice in New Zealand vineyards it has the potential to save $20 million each year, and furthermore, with the use of remedial surgery could save a further $20 million annually. It is recommended that this survey be repeated in 5 years to continue monitoring the disease incidence and impact of management strategies. New vineyard blocks should be added to the current list of vineyards surveyed in 2013 and 2018, to represent a spectrum of vineyard ages and assess the levels of disease in young vineyards. Furthermore, a targeted survey on vineyards under active management for GTDs may further confirm the success of remedial surgery and wound protection strategies.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This survey was made possible by funding from the Bragato Research Institute as part of the Vineyard Ecosystems programme, which is supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The authors wish to acknowledge Matthew Ayres and Rebecca Woolley for assistance with the surveys. We also thank Villa Maria, Pernod-Ricard NZ, Delegats and Constellation Brands for providing access to and detailed information on vineyards. nzwine.com

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Elucidating the nature of perceived quality in Pinot Noir: Preliminary sensory data from a study involving New Zealand wine professionals Wendy V. Parr, 2Claire Grose, 3Marcela Medel, 4Duncan Hedderley, 5Oliver Masters & Dominique Valentin 1 Lincoln University, Christchurch, NZ; 2Plant and Food Research, Marlborough, NZ; 3 University of Chile, Santiago, Chile; 4Plant and Food Research, Palmerston North, NZ; 5 Tripwire Wine Consulting Ltd. & Misha’s Vineyard, Central Otago, NZ; 6University of Burgundy, Dijon, France. RA 1.1 1 6

INTRINSIC QUALITY is an abstract but important attribute of foods and beverages for both aesthetic and economic reasons. However, what is quality? More pertinently, what is quality in wine? Is it that outside of a wine being fault-free, perception of quality is largely a subjective matter such that every judgment has validity as some argue it does in other areas of aesthetic assessment (e.g., in the world of fine art)? Or, can we adopt a more objective stance regarding perception of wine quality, assuming that external norms (e.g., flavour intensity; balance; harmony of components) exist and comprise a standard against which a wine can be judged? In the research described in this article, we have taken a scientific approach to investigate wine quality, arguing that perception of intrinsic quality is a sensory and cognitive process, with perceived quality a concept that attempts to bridge the space between objective characteristics of a product and a taster’s appreciation of that same product.

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The New Zealand (NZ) Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), in collaboration with New Zealand Winegrowers, has funded a multidisciplinary, inter-institutional research programme investigating Pinot Noir. This research programme includes a wine sensory project aimed at shedding light on the somewhat elusive concept of quality in Pinot noir wine. Over the last 18 months, a collaborating team of scientists and wine industry professionals has been attempting to delineate the nature of perceived quality in New Zealand Pinot Noir as judged by wine professionals. Our first point of focus concerned unravelling the wine attributes perceived as important to, even essential to, a quality Pinot Noir wine. Pinot Noir, considered one of the world’s fine wines, offers a sensorial experience beyond just primary flavours, this experience giving rise to textural descriptions such as “an iron fist in a silk glove”. Therefore our research

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focused on both flavour and textural qualities anecdotally considered important in Pinot Noir wine. We also investigated more abstract concepts including perceived complexity, elegance, varietal typicality and familiarity of a wine to the taster, and the relationship of these abstract attributes to judgments of overall quality. A further aim was to consider if perceived wine quality was associated significantly with extrinsic factors of NZ wine region, method of production, vine yield, wine vintage, and wine retail price.

WHAT HAVE WE DONE SO FAR?

We invited New Zealand wine professionals based in Marlborough to assess New Zealand Pinot Noir wines in two experimental tastings, one in November 2018 and a second in June, 2019. Both tastings employed the same 18 wines, the wines having been pre-selected at an earlier date by a panel of experienced wine professionals to exemplify the wide range of Pinot Noir wine currently produced in

New Zealand and available to consumers and the international market. The current article describes outcomes from the first experimental tasting only. The second tasting focused specifically on in-mouth aspects (i.e., tastes and mouthfeel qualities) of the Pinot Noir wines and these data will be reported at a future time. In the first tasting, 22 wine professionals judged the 18 Pinot Noir wines on 20 selected sensory attributes (see Table 1). Each wine was assessed twice, once in clear wine glasses and once in opaque (black) glassware. The wine qualities selected for rating were considered varietally important to Pinot Noir wine (e.g., tannin harshness; aromatic qualities) and/or known to influence perception, judgement, and purchase behaviour related to food and beverage products (e.g., familiarity). After completing this attribute-rating task, the 22 tasters assessed each wine on an 8-item, Perceived Complexity Questionnaire. Influence of wine colour, considered a particularly


Research Progress Reports

relevant factor in Pinot Noir wine due to lower concentrations of anthocyanins and tannins relative to other red wines, was investigated indirectly by the clear versus black glassware manipulation. The black glassware inhibited ability of a taster to see a wine’s colour, and provided a tasting context where the taster’s smell, taste and mouthfeel judgments were unlikely to be influenced (i.e., biased) by a wine’s colour. Finally, we considered influence of extrinsic, viniviticultural factors of New Zealand wine region (Wairarapa; Marlborough; Nelson; North Canterbury; Central Otago), vintage (2016; 2013), wine price (commercial = < $30.00; premium = >$30), vine yield (< or > than 2 kg/vine), and means of production (conventional or in transition; organic/biodynamic certified). Major results of the study to date include the following. First, the 18 wines (RRP = NZ$13.00 - NZ$140) differed significantly in terms of both perceived quality and perceived complexity, with these two attributes positively correlated for most wines. Second, specific attributes driving judgments of perceived quality were largely positive associations and included attractive fruit aromatics, attractive floral aromatics, freshness, expressiveness, fruit ripeness, oak influence, overall structure, concentration in mouth, and balanced acidity. Negative predictors of quality were green/ herbaceous and reductive notes. Global wine factors of varietal typicality, familiarity, elegance/precision and complexity were closely associated with judgments of a wine’s overall quality.

Table 1: Wine attributes assessed in the 18 Pinot Noir wines

DESCRIPTORS

PERCEIVED COMPLEXITY ATTRIBUTES

INTENSITY DESCRIPTORS Attractive fruit aromatics

How familiar are you with this wine?

Attractive floral aromatics

How many flavours can you identify with this wine?

Earthy/mushroom notes

How easy is it to identify or describe the different flavours?

Reductive notes

Are the different sensations and flavours harmonious?

Bitterness

Are the different sensations and flavours well balanced?

Astringency

How long do the different sensations and flavours linger in your mouth?

Sweetness

Are the sensations and flavours of this wine and strong and powerful?

Harshness of tannins

Now score the wine’s overall complexity

Green/herbaceous notes QUALITY EVALUATION Overall quality Balanced acidity Elegance/precision Softness/silkiness Freshness Expressiveness Fruit ripeness Oak influence Concentration in mouth Overall structure Pinot Noir varietal typicality

Attributes that did not show a significant relationship with overall quality were the taste of bitterness and the trigeminal nerve effects of astringency and harshness of tannins. This null result is most likely due to large differences amongst tasters in rating these in-mouth attributes, rather than suggests that these attributes are not of extreme importance to judgments of Pinot noir quality. We have followed this up in our subsequent experiment, and these data will be reported in due course. In terms of viniviticultural factors, there were few sig-

nificant effects, most likely due to the low numbers of wines in some categories (e.g., in each wine region), and the variability of wines within a region. Of importance, the green/herbaceous attribute associated statistically with factors of wine region, price, vine yield and production philosophy where it tended to score higher in Wairarapa wines or in conventional philosophy wines. Wine price/ vine yield (higher price; low vine yield) also associated positively with several wine attributes that were demonstrated in our sensory data to be important to Pinot

noir perceived quality (e.g., attractive floral aromatics). In terms of vintage effects, green/herbaceous, astringency, bitterness, and harshness of tannins were judged significantly higher in two of the three 2013 wines relative to the 2016 wines from the same producer. The final result we report here concerns influence of colour; observing a wine’s colour does not appear to be the major driver of Pinot Noir chemosensory judgments (smell; taste; mouthfeel) by wine professionals. This is in agreement with our prior, published work involving New Zealand

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and Burgundy Pinot Noir wines and New Zealand and French tasters. However, results did show some effects, notably that many positive attributes of Pinot Noir wine (e.g., aromatic intensity; silkiness) were judged higher in the clear glass condition than when a taster could not see the wine’s colour. In an attempt to better understand the colour effects in the present study, i.e., the influence of tasting glass colour (clear/ dark), we associated our judgments of perceived quality to the 18 wines with wine colour instrumental (UV-Spectrophotometer) measures of colour density and hue that were undertaken by Auckland University researchers in the NZW-led Pinot Noir research programme. The combined sensory-instrumental data analysis suggests that influence of a wine’s colour was most prominent for wines at the lower end of the perceived quality spectrum. For these wines, colour density (depth of colour) and hue (e.g., red/blue – brick/ browning) both influenced judgments shown in our sensory data as important to Pinot Noir perceived quality (e.g., freshness; attractive aromatics). In due course, our sensory data will be associated with other relevant wine physico-chemical data, notably aroma chemistry and phenolic analyses. In conclusion, our work to date has provided evidence that particular chemosensory attributes, not least those subsumed within the umbrella concept of varietal typicality, are important drivers of perceived quality in Pinot noir wine. In collaboration with chemistry colleagues, we have also

124   // 

provided evidence that a wine’s colour density and hue (e.g., browning) may be used by wine professionals as a cue, influencing smell, taste and mouthfeel phenomena, in particular when judging wines at the lower end of the perceived quality spectrum. In terms of practical implications, the demonstrated associations of wine price/vine yield and perceived quality, an

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

inverse relation between the green/herbaceous note and perceived quality, and the positive relation between the green/herbaceous note and conventional production methods, all provide a starting point for industry members to consider. From an oenological perspective, our data show the importance of freshness, attractive floral and fruit aromatics, expressiveness, fruit ripe-

ness, and overall structure to a quality Pinot noir, and a clear negative association with sulphide reduction and green notes.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

We thank the Marlborough wine professionals who participated in the experimental tasting, and producers of wines included in the study. nzwine.com


Research Progress Reports

Understanding berry biochemistry is crucial to unravelling the Pinot Noir yield vs quality nexus Scott Gregan, Amber Parker, Rainer Hofmann, Brian Jordan RA 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

INTRODUCTION

A major goal of the current Pinot Noir research is to optimise yield and quality with respect to vineyard management practices. The so-called “yield/quality seesaw” has become an important focus due to the apparent trade-off between these two production parameters. Attempts to maximise one (vine yield, for example), often leads to less than desirable impacts on the other (grape quality). An ideal result would be for viticulturists and winemakers to target an appropriate yield in the vineyard and have confidence in their management practices to deliver quality fruit for an exceptional wine product. When it comes to Pinot noir, optimising the yieldquality seesaw is of interest as production costs for this variety can be higher than others. Step changes in agriculture and the ability to deliver outstanding outcomes, comes from the generation and sharing of new models and concepts. This is where the role of research comes in. The transfer of concise information backed by evidence-based investigations are key to this. Industry participants and individual vineyards are then very capable of deciding themselves, whether or not these “new ideas” can be benefi-

Figure 1. The majority of a grapevines photosynthesis and nitrogen assimilation occurs in the leaves, the products of which (sugars and amino acids, for example) are exported to the surrounding sinks. In the grape berries themselves, significant modification of these primary metabolites produce important secondary (quality) compounds.

cial to their own vineyard management strategies.

THE GRAPEVINES GROWING STRATEGY

From a production perspective, we first tend to think of grapevines as the suppliers of the raw materials (grapes) for winemaking. But ultimately, from a plant biology point of view it is important to consider a leaf, or grape, or any other grapevine tissues in terms of their requisite biological functions. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of a plant’s strategy, - the trade-off between production (yield) and protection (defence which results in changes in secondary metabolism) - is the key to

understanding and then potentially modulating yield and quality components. Plant metabolic pathways are directed by leaves which are the ‘source’ of primary and secondary compounds; bunches act as key ‘sinks’ in the grapevine which depend on the production of metabolites from source leaves. The grapevine also has other competing sinks that may draw upon these metabolites and include the roots, shoot tips, young leaves, and lateral shoots, leaves, maturing canes and perennial wood. We additionally need to go beyond thinking about the above ground components of the source-sink impact on metabolism and also con-

sider vine balance, whereby the root system may play a role. Grape berries are ultimately the next generation (the embryos in the seeds) of the grapevine, with the ripening berry there to ensure that reproductive growth is successful. Additionally, as the grapevine is a perennial woody plant, during the winter (dormant) season, the vine is wholly dependent on stored reserves of carbohydrate (sugars), which are mobilised for early shoot and leaf development in the new growing season. These biological facts are well illustrated when following the movement of sugars in the different plant organs,

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Research Progress Reports

in carbohydrate partitioning experiments for example.

THE RESEARCH STRATEGY

Taking into account the grapevines developmental strategy, it is clearly apparent that major biochemical factors should be central to our research approach. The regulation of primary metabolites (sugars, amino acids) is directed by photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism processes, and can be seen as the driver of quantity (yield). The regulation of secondary metabolism (anthocyanins, phenolic compounds) is tightly coupled to primary metabolism (amino acids are precursors to a multitude of secondary metabolites), and simplistically speaking, can be thought of as the key to quality aspects. Therefore, addressing this concept of yield vs quality is a key component in the recent Pinot Noir programme and has generated several specific avenues of viticulture-relevant research that we are undertaking at Lincoln University. These key objectives of the programme investigate factors that regulate yield and berry quality of Pinot noir production: • To examine how yield and quality may be influenced by viticulture practices that modify competing sinks and LA:FW ratios. • To examine how variations in bunch microclimate through changes in light and temperature, regulate grape berry biochemistry. Generally, grapevines are in a vineyard ecosystem in which vine development and grape ripening are influenced by the soil and environment surrounding the vine. This can be a challeng-

126   // 

Figures 2 & 3” Pinot Noir potted vines for used in greenhouse and controlled environment experiments.

ing experimental system to work under, being at “the mercy of the elements”. We are therefore using a potted vine system for experiments, whereby, depending of the conditions required, environmental parameters (light, temperature, soil texture) and source- sink components (root volume, leaf area to fruit weight ratio) can be accurately controlled through the use of plant growth chambers and greenhouses. The first years of trials have been carried out where the competing sink of root volume was manipulated by changing the pot size. Data was collected regarding the partitioning of carbohydrates to above and below ground organs (via the measuring biomass of roots, shoots, leaves and bunches). Additionally, potted vine experiments were carried out investigating bunch microclimate, using controlled environment facilities at Lincoln University. The collected grape

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

bunches (fruit) will be analysed for primary metabolites and quality (secondary) compounds.

CONCLUSIONS

In their undertaking, our research aims to increase the current knowledge of Pinot Noir physiology and biochemistry, with the end goal of maintaining or enhancing berry quality being at the forefront of our research considerations. There are clearly intricate communication and regula-

tory mechanisms between the sink and source organs in grapevines. Learning more about the integral control processes will aid our understanding of the plant responses to vineyard management and environmental parameters. Ultimately, it is more desirable to recognise and operate with the vines and their metabolic processes, in order to establish if we can modify responses and modulate the yield quality seesaw. nzwine.com


Research Progress Reports

Pinot Noir grape and wine phenolic profiling Leandro Dias Araujo and Paul Andrew Kilmartin School of Chemical Sciences, University of Auckland RA 3.2 THE GROUP of chemical compounds named phenolics play an important role in determining the colour and mouth-feel of red wines. These compounds have an important role in the sensory properties of wines, directly affecting wine colour density and hue, texture, astringency, bitterness, and modifying the aroma perception. They are extracted from grapes tissues during winemaking and form a very complex group with many different forms and attributes Grape phenolics include the major classes of molecules ultimately responsible for wine colour (anthocyanins) and astringency (tannins), along with indirect effects on aroma and taste through oxidation processes. There are reasonably good links and correlations between the quantities of phenolics present in grapes and the levels in the final wines. Pinot Noir is a variety with a somewhat simpler phenolic spectrum compared to many other red varieties and is known to feature high levels of certain seed derived phenolics, e.g. catechin monomers, and lower levels of total anthocyanins leading to less intensely coloured wines. Various methods have been used over the years for the characterization of phenolic compounds in various plants. These range from simpler spectrophotometric methods to more complex and demanding

Figure 1 Correlation between Colour density and recommended retail price (in NZD) showing that more affordable wines can have a colour as dense as premium wines.

techniques such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), usually in tandem with a diode array detector or a mass spectrometer, has been used extensively in the research of grape and wine phenolics. The various methods published focus on the assessment of the monomeric fraction of phenolics, as the polymeric tannins (compounds formed by the union of multiple similar phenolics) are difficult to analyse using this technique. As useful as the HPLC approach is to look at the content of and changes in phenolics in grapes and wines, it is recognised that

less than 50% of the phenolics present are of a monomeric (single compound) or dimeric size (two similar compounds combined into one molecule), particularly the phenolics responsible for astringency. Further chromatographic procedures, including phloroglucinolysis (acid catalysis of tannins in the presence of excessive phloroglucinol) and Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC), have been developed overseas for the characterization of the polymeric tannins providing information on polymer size distribution and composition. Spectrophotometric (UVVis) methods are generally much cheaper than the more advanced techniques

and are easily implemented within a winery laboratory. However, they are very limited in comparison to the level of characterization obtained using rapid scanning instruments such as FTIR spectroscopy, or newer NMR systems capable of quantifying dozens of parameters, applicable to the grape variety involved and wine origin. All the data generated by the combination of these methods can provide a much more complete characterization of grape and wine phenolics, aiding the understanding of factors involved in wine quality development. The objective of our work is to implement in our laboratory a number of

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these methods, enabling the full characterization of grape and wine phenolic compounds. With these in place, we will contribute to the other research aims within the Pinot noir programme by offering a set of tools that will permit the understanding of the effect of factors in study on the wine phenolics and, consequently, on the sensory profile of wines.

HIGH-PERFORMANCE LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY (HPLC)

HPLC is a widely used method for the quantification of a number of monomeric phenolic compounds in grapes and wine. For instance, we have applied this method, along with colour analyses by spectrophotometry, to characterize 18 New Zealand Pinot Noir wines of a large range of retail prices. We can then make various contrasts: retail price versus wine colour density (Figure 1); colour density versus anthocyanin content; and anthocyanin content versus the percentage of non-bleachable pigments, to name a few.

GEL PERMEATION CHROMATOGRAPHY AND PHLOROGLUCINOLYSIS

Gel permeation chromatography (GPC), is a separations technique that is based on size exclusion. Larger molecules tend to not enter the porous surface of the column packaging being excluded and leaving the column more quickly than smaller molecules that will go through every pore of the column material. This separation enables the analyst to have a molecular mass distribution (Figure 2) of the tannins in the wine.

128   // 

Figure 2 Mass distribution of samples and standards with increasing molecular mass obtained by GPC

However, this technique does not give any information on the unitary composition of the tannins. For this purpose, a method called phloroglucinolysis is commonly used. Phloroglucinolysis involves breaking the tannin chains into their monomeric units, binding a stabilizing agent to the newly formed compounds (in this case, phloroglucinol is used, hence the method name), and analyzing each individual unit content. This method gives information on the mean degree of polymerization, but also about the composition of the tannin, including the proportion of epigallocatechin units (skin origin) and epicatechin gallate units (seed origin).

FUTURE WORK

Other methods will be added to the current portfo-

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

lio to have a complete set of analytical tools able to give answers to most needs for phenolic analysis within the wider Pinot noir programme. New challenges can always appear for which new methods have to be created or adapted, requiring new approaches and collaborations with expert researchers. We will be working closely with other groups inside the Pinot noir programme, in particular with the sensory panel studies focusing on in-mouth properties of Pinot noir wines. This is an important phase of the programme to determine which methods are most relevant to characterize the in-mouth sensory attributes of wines. nzwine.com


Research Progress Reports

Microoxygenation: Understanding the influence of oxygen on the polyphenolic composition of Pinot Noir wine and its impact on wine colour and mouthfeel Billy Yang PhD student at the University of Auckland under the supervision of Prof. Paul Kilmartin RA 3.5 THE TECHNIQUE of Microoxygenation (MOX) was developed in France at the beginning of the 1990s as an alternative and/or complementary method to barrel aging. Since then it has been applied to red wines all over the world. MOX requires a monitored oxygen micro-supply to diffuse a certain amount of oxygen into wine that is often held in stainless steel tanks. The most important contribution of this technique is the acceleration of oxidation and aging processes in wine. In the literature, MOX, when applied at the desired rates, has been shown to promote polymerisation reactions of polyphenolic compounds in wine (such as anthocyanins and tannins), allowing more stable pigments to be formed. These changes to the anthocyanins present in wines provided more colour than the original pigments. It is generally accepted that the temperature of wine undergoing MOX should be controlled at around 14-17oC. This is because, a temperature lower than 14oC may result in slow chemical reactions and an accumulation of oxygen, whereas, temperature

Table 1. Analytical data obtained from HPLC for monomeric phenolics, in mg/L, for three replicates of a Pinot Noir wine post alcoholic fermentation. 1 Average for 59 NZ Pinot noir wines from the 2006 vintage 2 Range of 115 Pinot noir wines from 2003-2006, including French, Australian and NZ Wines.

CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS

MEAN

STD DEV

AVERAGE NZ PN1

RANGE2 (115 WINES)

41.2

0.06

65 ± 21

11 to 15

214.7

3.6

174 ± 63

12 5o 353

Vanillic acid

7.5

0.39

Syringic acid

7.8

0.06

9±2

1 to 16

Epicatechin

80.8

3.0

95 ± 32

8 to 184

T-caftaric acid

16.4

0.1

5±4

1 to 49

Z-coutaric acid

2.5

0.03

1.2 ± 0.8

0.2 to 3.4

E-coutaric acid

2.7

0.03

3.8 ± 3.1

0.8 to 19

Caffeic acid

1.1

0.04

15 ± 10

1 to 36

Ferulic acid

0.9

0.04

16.4

0.9

1 to 23

7.1

0.1

0 to 37

200.2

9.5

Gallic acid Catechin

Quercetin-3-O-glucronide Quercetin malvidin-3-glucoside

higher than 17oC may lead to poor oxygen solubility, limiting oxidation reactions in wine. MOX may be applied at any stage during winemaking, although the dosage rate and duration may vary depending on the stage of winemaking, the type of wine, and the desired outcomes. Studies have shown that applying MOX early to wine was much more effective in enhancing wine colour and the formation of more stable pigments. Therefore, in theory, the application of MOX could

75 ± 32

be beneficial for Pinot Noir wines that are naturally light in colour. This trait of Pinot Noir has been well studied, and is related to the low skin to seed tannin ratio and the low pigment content in Pinot Noir grapes, as well as other factors, together resulting in the low anthocyanin concentration in the finished wine. However, on the other hand, the lack of phenolics in Pinot Noir wines makes it prune to over-oxidation, which could result in wine browning and the development of unpleasant aromas. To

2 to 167

date, as the most widely planted red grape variety in New Zealand, Pinot Noir wine has a very important place in the New Zealand wine market, and brings significant economic returns to the New Zealand Wine Industry. Thus, understanding the drivers behind Pinot Noir wine quality is of importance for New Zealand winegrowers, and microoxygenation may offer an opportunity to develop that understanding. In order to have a further understanding of the impact of MOX on wine

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phenolic profile, and at the same time, to determine the desired rates of MOX for improving the sensory characteristics of Pinot noir wines, a MOX trial using a Marlborough Pinot noir wine from the 2019 vintage is being established. Different oxygenation rates and the impact of MOX both preand post-malolactic fermentation will be examined in the first MOX trial.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF ANALYTICAL METHODS

In order to quantity the changes of phenolic compounds responding to MOX, accurate and reliable analytical tools and procedures are required. At the University of Auckland, we have successfully established several analytical methods that are being used to analyse wines from within the wider Pinot noir programme. Some of these methods have been in operation at Auckland for red wines studies undertake over the past 20 years, including a High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) method for quantifying monomeric polyphenols. Further spectral assays are employed for wine colour, and for tannins using the methyl cellulose precipitation assay, first developed in Australia; all students leaving the University of Auckland postgraduate Wine Science programme receive training in these methods. In addition, a series of advanced HPLC procedures have been established locally for the first time, including a method to separate out tannins directly by size, and a “phloroglucinolysis” method that breaks the tannins down into their phenolic units to allow detailed profil-

130   // 

Table 2. Analytical data obtained from the method of phloroglucinolysis for two replicates of a young Pinot Noir wine post alcoholic fermentation.

COMPOUND (MG/L)

MEAN

SD

Epigallocatechin-phloroglucinol

1.46

0.15

Catechin-phloroglucinol

19.3

1.9

Epicatechin-phloroglucinol

133

10

Epicatechin-gallate-phloroglucinol

39.4

1.3

6.7

0.22

Catechin

22.2

1.9

Epicatechin

10.4

0.6

Degree of polymerisation (mDP)

4.442

0.003

Gallo Group (grape skin) % Gallo

0.59%

0.02%

Gallate group (grape seeds) % Galloyl

2.69%

0.11%

Yield from phloroglucinolysis

46.5%

3.5%

Epicatechin-gallate

ing. Table 1 summarises the range of monomeric phenolic compounds that are quantified using HPLC, for a Pinot noir wine post alcoholic fermentation. The wine has high concentrations of catechin, epicatechin and the anthocyanin malvidin-3-glucoside, typical for Pinot noir wine at the end of fermentation. Comparisons can be made with ranges of values determined in previous surveys of commercial Pinot noir bottled wines wines of various ages (Table 1). Changes in the levels of these compounds will be monitored in the coming MOX trial using this 2019 Marlborough Pinot noir wine. Furthermore, in order to verify the changes of polymeric phenolic contents during MOX, we have adapted the phloroglucinolysis method that measures the compositional units of the polymeric tannins. As seen in Table 2, the percentage yield of phloroglucinolysis, at close to 50%, has shown good recoveries, similar to what has been reported

NZ WINEGROWER  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

in overseas studies. The degree of polymerisation (mDP) represents the average number of constitutive flavanol units, which can vary significantly between skin and seed tannins. As previously reported, skin tannins consist on average of 3 to 83 (mDP), whereas seed tannins are much smaller and have a higher proportion of galloylated units and an average mDP from 2 to 16. In table 2, it can be seen that, the average mDP of the tested Pinot noir wine was about 4.4, which is consistent with a low skin to seed tannin ratio, typical of the Pinot noir grape. In addition, the percentage of gallo group, 0.59% (mainly from the grape skin) and the percentage of gallate group, 2.69% (mostly from the grape seeds), also reflect the specific phenolic properties of the Pinot noir grape. These compounds play a key role in the sensory characteristics of the wine. For instance, the galloyl ring in epicatechin-gallate and tannins containing this molecule can bind strongly

to the proline ring of the salivary proline-rich proteins via hydrophobic interactions, thus resulting in precipitation, which may be perceived as wine astringency. Also, it was previously found that astringency increases with an increasing percentage of galloylation due to the ability of such groups to complex with proteins and peptides. On the other hand, it has been reported that the association between mDP and astringency could be restrained by the presence of epigallocatechin (found the gallo group), so that wine with higher epigallocatechin might provide a softer taste. It will be very interesting to see the changes of these chemical compounds during MOX, which might affect the taste of the wine.

CONCLUSION AND DEVELOPMENT OF FUTURE EXPERIMENTS

Wine oxygenation could be a useful tool for improving wine phenolic composition. The changes in the phenolic profile could then affect both the colour and the taste of wine. We will continue to explore this in the future, combing with the use of MOX treatments at controlled rates, to determine the most effective microoxygenation rates and the most influential MOX timing for Pinot Noir wine, which hopefully could be used to improve Pinot noir wine quality. Newly developed methods such as phloroglucinolysis will be applied to Pinot Noir wines coming from wider sensory and viticultural trials from within the Pinot Noir programme to provide a greater understanding of the drivers of Pinot Noir colour and mouthfeel properties. nzwine.com


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