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Bragato 2019 Review The real stories amid the controversy

200th Celebration Hear from modern day pioneers

Trunk Disease Saving Sauvignon Blanc and Marlborough


Bayer Young Vit Central’s Simon Gourley

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Issue 118 – October/November 2019




Tessa Nicholson


From the CEO

Philip Gregan


In Brief

News from around the country



Wine events in New Zealand


Biosecurity Update

Dr Edwin Massey


Women in Wine

Fiona Fenwick

114 Not on the Label

Legal Matters with Kensington Swan

118 Research Supplement

Information and updates from Bragato Research Institute programmes


Bragato 2019

In-depth coverage of this year’s conference, where the theme was Challenge, Think, Do.


200 Years

A celebration of the first planting of grape vines in New Zealand took place in September. This issue we hear from some of our modern-day pioneers.


Going with the flow to combat trunk disease

Thinking of the vine as a living thing and adjusting your pruning methods may help extend vine age and susceptibility to trunk disease says master pruner Mia Fischer.

COVER: Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year, Simon Gourley.


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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

The challenges of the past and future THE PAST forms the present and the present leads to the future. That is basically the theme of this issue of NZWinegrowers. Just as we go to print, New Zealand Winegrowers is celebrating the very first vines being planted in New Zealand. It was on 25 September 1819 that Reverend Samuel Marsden planted those vines in the grounds of the Stone Store in Kerikeri. It would be some time however before the fruits of the vine became available to the people of New Zealand and there were many challenges to overcome in the interceding years. As there have been in the past 200. To help celebrate the bicentennial, this issue we look back at some of our modern-day pioneers who have helped create the wine industry as we know it today. The challenges they undertook to get where they are and what they hope for in the future. None more so than our oldest winery, Mission Estate, founded in 1851. Plus, one man who has been a part of Mission for nearly a quarter of its 168 years, Paul Mooney, looks back at his role in the rich history of the company. Just as there were challenges in getting from 1819 to today, there are certain to be more in the years ahead. Bragato 2019 focused on some of those, with the theme of Challenge, Think, Do. We have in-depth coverage of the conference that was both enlightening and thought provoking for all those attending. If there is one challenge outside of climate change that is concerning those in the field, it is trunk disease. While none of the original vines planted 200 years ago are still around, those that are in the ground are facing a crisis of their own; age, and disease associated with age – grapevine trunk disease (GTD). Dr Richard Smart says GTD is a shadow hanging over the country’s largest wine region Marlborough and its aging Sauvignon Blanc vines. But he offers some solutions, that could help brighten the future. So, from the challenges of 200 years ago, to the challenges that face us moving forward, this issue of NZWinegrowers offers up plenty of salient reading.

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.


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

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Jean Gierson

Joelle Thomson

Neil Hodgson

Central Otago is leading the New Zealand wine industry in terms of organics. Jean discovers why.

Jim Harre is one of the country’s leading wine judges. He talks to Joelle about his role and how he became involved.

There is very little Pinot Blanc grown in New Zealand. Neil discovers a small family vineyard in Nelson is aiming to increase its profile.

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From the CEO Philip Gregan

A Forum for our Young Leaders AT THE recent 200 year celebrations in the Bay of Islands, NZ Winegrowers was very pleased to announce a new development to support and encourage young leaders in the industry – the NZW Young Leaders Forum which will be held for the first time in November. As members will be aware in recent times we have significantly expanded our support of events and programmes targeted at the young people in our industry. To that end we have taken on Nicky Grandorge as our Leadership and Communities Manager, we have developed the Women in Wine mentoring programme and have provided increased support for the Bayer Young Viticulturist and the Mercurey Young Winemaker competitions. These have been positive steps, but there has been a nagging question – beyond

each of these exciting programmes, what is the next step for our young leaders. The answer we have come up with is the NZ Winegrowers Young Leaders Forum. The Forum is to be held on an annual basis and will be open to current and former finalists in the Young Vit and Winemaker programmes, mentees from the Women in Wine mentoring programme, potentially nominees from regions and from among NZW and BRI staff. Participation will be limited to no more 20 young leaders each year. The programme will be facilitated by an outside facilitator and a small number of speakers will present to each Forum on that year’s theme. The theme for 2019 is Next Steps in Sustainability.

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The purpose of the Forum is to grow and develop the talent pool of emerging young leaders in our industry. Specifically the aims are three-fold: To expose our potential young leaders to some of the big issues and questions facing our industry and agri-business in general. To provide an avenue for emerging young leaders to provide direct input to the NZW Board on those issues. To challenge our young leaders to get involved in the industry, at local, regional or national level. So as the industry looks to its third century, we are hopeful that the Forum will provide a platform for the young leaders who will be key to that future success.


News Brief


TWO NEW GM’S ANNOUNCED New Zealand Winegrowers have appointed two new General Managers, one for Sustainability, the other for Marketing. Filling the new position of GM Sustainability is Dr Ed Massey who is well known in the industry as NZW Biosecurity Manager. “I look forward to working with members to protect and enhance our position as world leaders in sustainable wine production,” he says. Massey took up his new role on September 16. Charlotte Read is the new GM of Marketing, following Chris Yorke’s departure for Austria. Read who was Export Market Manager for Villa Maria for 10 years and Customer Manager at NZTE will take on her new role on October 22. “The real clincher for me is my love for the wine industry which has been a part of me since my upbringing on a vineyard in Hawke’s Bay.”

Charlotte Read

EXPORTS HIT $1.83 BILLION Export value has risen by 6 percent in June year end 2019, and at a retail level

this translates to over $7 billion dollars of New Zealand wine sold around the world

annually. The UK and USA led the growth, with the USA continuing to be New

Zealand wine’s largest market with over $550 million in exports.


INDUSTRY GREAT DIES Former chief executive of Domaine Chandon Dr Tony Jordan OAM has died following a short battle with mesothelioma. Jordan was a celebrated and influential member of the Australian and New Zealand wine industry. Among many other honours, Jordan was awarded Life Membership of the Australian wine industry by Australian Grape & Wine, Wine Australia inaugurated the Dr Tony Jordan OAM Award in his name, and the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) announced Jordan as a Fellow of the Society. 

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NEW ZEALAND WINEGROWERS JOINS WSET AS BRONZE CORPORATE PATRON As WSET celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, New Zealand Winegrowers have partnered with them as a Bronze Corporate Patron. CEO Philip Gregan says it is in recognition of WSET’s vital role in the global wine and spirits industry. “We recognise the huge contribution they make in training and educating the future leaders and influencers of the wine industry, as well as making wine accessible and enjoyable for consumers right

across the globe.” New Zealand has become a strong market for WSET, showing a 24 percent growth in candidates over the last year.


SECOND WINE TUTORIAL SUCCESS Twelve wine professionals from around the world took part in the second Family of Twelve Wine Tutorial recently. Over a number of days the lucky dozen got to try wines from 84 different producers, from 57 wine regions across 14 countries from England to Italy and the USA to Argentina. The aim is to highlight the quality of the Family’s wines in comparison with some of the best in the world. At the end, one of the professionals was chosen for the ‘The Family of

Twelve Award’. Melissa Moore, of Sydney, Australia, will make a terrific ambassador, taking fine

New Zealand wine into the future with great optimism and flair, Family of XII Chair, Paul Donaldson said.

Josh Pointon from Wellington was the winner of the ‘Institute of Masters of Wine Prize’.

 H AW K E ’ S B AY 


SECOND TIME WINNER Dion Wai has taken out the New Zealand School of Food & Wine’s Sommelier of the Year award for the second time in four years. Currently sommelier at Auckland’s Baduzzi Restaurant, Wai previously worked at Huka Lodge. His first Sommelier of the Year win was back in 2016. Young Sommelier of the Year went to Nikki Weir from Sid at The French Café after being runner up in last year’s competition. Tori Haysom took out the title of New Zealand Young Wine Professional.

For the first time the Bragato Student Exchange has involved a student from The University of Padua, in Italy. Twentyyear-old Davide Rossi from Conegliano was in New Zealand during August and September, travelling throughout the wine regions of the country and attending the Bragato conference. In turn EIT student Nealie Young will make a reciprocal visit to Italy early next year. Both students were successful in obtaining the Bragato scholarship that helps build relationships between the two wine producing countries. The exchange is named after Romeo Bragato who studied at the School of Viticulture and Oenology in Conegliano.


Upcoming Events

October - November


CELLARBRATION An event activation, taking place over Labour Weekend. A social media toolkit has been created to encourage activities in our Cellar Doors.. 26-28 October

QuayConnect Marlborough Wine Show Long Lunch


The trophy announcements from The Marlborough Wine Show, will be announced at a long lunch. Rangitane Centre, Grovetown

25 October

Taste of Auckland


31 Oct – 3 Nov Four days when food, drink and entertainment are on show for everyone to enjoy.

Taste of Auckland


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

WineWorks Marlborough Wine Race The first releases from Marlborough cross Cook Strait, courtesy of yachts from the Waikawa Boating Club. 25 October Wine-marlborough.co.nz

New Zealand International Wine Show 2019 The wines have been judged, but the awards are yet to be announced. The New Zealand International Wine Show Awards Dinner will take place 25 October. nziws.co.nz

New Zealand Wine of the Year™ 2019 October Judging will take place in Auckland from 14-17 October. nzwine.com/nzwy

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Toast Martinborough 17 November Stunning wines, stunning food and great entertainment. All packed into one day. toastmartinborough.co.nz

Global Events


The Squeeze New Zealand Wine Events


2500 CONSUMERS 2019 was the inaugural year for Wine Fest Toronto, a premium wine festival hosted outdoors in the town square at the Shops at Don Mills on July 5 and 6. The festival showcased 12 different country tables with 60 different wines alongside food vendors, a DJ and games for consumers to interact with and enjoy the day. The crowd was approximately 60% millennial and 40% generation X. Each regional booth had a custom designed banner outlining key features of each country, a wine menu and fun characteristics of the wines for consumers to learn. There was also a media and influencer plan that was executed by an

external PR company to enhance event awareness. Articles and post event coverage was featured in blogTO, the Daily Hive, the Toronto Sun, Snapd North Toronto, View the VIBE and Curiocity Toronto. The New Zealand booth featured 9 different wines – 4 Sauvignon Blanc’s, 2 Pinot Gris’, 1 Chardonnay, 1 Rose and 1 Bordeaux Blend. There was a great element of discovery and people loved tasting the wide range of varietals. 

Wine Fest Toronto 5-6 July Toronto, ON nzwine.com/events

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Bragato 2019


The 2019 conference in brief: 2 days, 446 Attendees, 37 Speakers, 2 Satelite events & 17 workshops.






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Challenged to think and do TESSA NICHOLSON

THE YEAR 2050 was mentioned often in this year’s Bragato Conference. Nearly everyone from keynote speaker Jack Bobo, to the Bayer Young Vit finalists brought it up. Why? Because 31 years from now, the landscape of New Zealand wine is bound to look very different from the one we currently experience. Just what the differences will be is hard to quantify, but the conference ensured that those attending had the chance to consider the challenges that the industry might face. Whether that be climate change or the introduction of GMO’s, new breeding techniques or a changing tourist market, growing resilience to synthetic chemicals or a major bio security risk. All are

challenges that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later. The Challenge was thrown out there before the Bragato Conference even began with a Hawke’s Bay organic producer claiming the event was heavily weighted with a pro-genetic modification line up. John B osto ck was “outraged” according to Stuff NZ, that Jack Bobo, the CEO of Futurity and an advocate for genetic modification was one the guest speakers on day one of the conference. Bostock believed the conference was heavily weighted towards GM concerns. In his opening speech, New Zealand Winegrower Board Chairman, John Clarke refuted the claims, making it very clear

where NZW stands in terms of genetic modification. “To challenge you this year we have many sessions covering a wide range of topics. One of these sessions is on plant genetics and on new breeding technologies (NBT’s). Some people have taken from this that we are supporters of GM – genetic modification. Let me be very clear. We do not support GM and I doubt we ever will. “We see no reason why our industry should not have a discussion about the role that new breeding technologies could, may, or might have in our future. That discussion can only happen if we have an informed industry, hence the session this year.”

The subject material was timely, thought provoking and for many energising. Ben Wickham, from Ormond Nurseries summed up the feeling of the conference better than anyone, when he told me: “After being in the industry for 44 years, it’s more exciting now than ever before.” Over the next few pages, we take a closer look at some of the many thought-provoking subjects raised at Bragato 2019. Plus, we talk to the newly crowned Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year, Simon Gourley. The challenges have been set, now members have the opportunity to think about them and take informed action.

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Let’s talk plant breeding One of the sellout sessions at Bragato was Let’s Talk Plant Breeding. On the panel were Jack Bobo CEO Futurity, Dr Clark Ehlers Acting General Manager, Hazardous Substances and New Organisms, EPA, and Dr Darrell Lizamore Principal Scientist Bragato Research Institute. The session took on a Q&A format with the experts answering the questions and concerns of those attending. Tessa Nicholson looks at those questions and the answers given. What is the current state of play in terms of how New Zealand is looking at GMO’s? Dr Clark Ehlers: Just recently the Royal Society of New Zealand released a report where a panel of experts looked at genetic modification in the New Zealand landscape, particularly from a legislative perspective. They looked at scenarios from three areas where they see genetic modification could have significant future impacts. Including primary industry, health care and pest management. In that report they have identified the fact there are misunderstandings in terms of what constitutes genetic modification, what is gene editing, and what are transgenic techniques. Following from that, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor released

a briefing note on the report. She noted perhaps there should be conversations that include strong Māori participation about genetic modification in

larger sense in New Zealand with improved understandings of what the risks are. Particularly in the areas of pest management and climate

“We have approved the release of GMO’s in New Zealand in the human health context. The last one was earlier this year and it was for a vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis.” Clark Ehlers, EPA. New Zealand. Perhaps that time should be sooner rather than later because there may be real benefits, we could potentially win from looking at gene editing or genetic modification in the

change. What that means though and this is the hard part, is that someone needs to lead this discussion, so people are familiar with it and start talking about it.

How does the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) determine if a GMO will be allowed? Dr Clark Ehlers: From the regulator’s perspective, we administer the legislation and we apply what the legislation tells us when we have to assess the creation or the release of a GMO in the moment. To date, we have approved 2002 applications to import or develop GMOs in containment facilities, two active field trials and five releases of GMOs for application in the healthcare sp ac e. We under t a ke a risk assessment from the information that is provided to us and what we can source in the published literature. What are the adverse effects on New Zealand’s environment if any, on our economy, if any, on our society, communities, public

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The panel of experts from left: Jack Bobo, Dr Clark Ehlers and Dr Darrell Lizamore.

health or on Māori? So cultural perspectives are critical to the process EPA employs. But the flip side is we also look at the benefits. So, what are the benefits to the environment,

to the economy, to communities, to public health and potentially to Māori as well? It is very much based on a benefit versus risk assessment. What that means if anybody

is interested in releasing a genetically modified plant or a yeast, they can apply to the EPA for a benefit and risk assessment supported by evidence in the application.

If you intend to field trial or release a GMO plant or a yeast your application will need to be publicly notified. Through all of that we take all the information, science and evidence, and what New Zealanders have submitted on the application into consideration. We are looking for information on what this will mean for the particular industry, for New Zealand as a whole and also specifically for Māori. Once we have all this information, a decisionmaking committee, which is an independent entity within EPA, will consider the evidence and where the benefits would outweigh the risks, an approval could be granted to field trial or release a GMO here. Is our current legislation likely to hold us back if something dramatic happens in the future? Jack Bobo: I think the greater risk is in the longer term.


A GMO vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis (spread by mosquito) was approved by the EPA earlier this year.

Because with climate change there will be new challenges that the industry faces. The question is going to be whether or not you have technologies that are ready to go in the time the problem arises, or whether you don’t begin to develop those technologies until the problem is there. That will be the challenge. In the US we have a problem with citrus greening and it very possibly could wipe out the entire citrus industry in the United States. That would be pretty dramatic. Whether or not they are allowed to use genetic engineering to solve the problem could determine whether an entire industry survives or fails. I think part of the importance of research institutes is that though they aren’t necessarily developing products for today, they should be allowed to look down the

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road so they can say, well someday you may want this and we want you to have the option. They are not trying to require you to do it but giving you the possibilities should you need them. Is CRISPR technology lower risk than other NBT’s? Dr Darr yll Lizamore: Australia has recently passed a regulation on NBT’s (new breeding techniques) which distinguishes between two types of CRISPR. If any foreign DNA, any bacterial DNA, anything that doesn’t come from the host organism, remains in the plant then that is considered transgenic, that is a GMO. Whereas if you produce a change that is indistinguishable from the type of changes that occur naturally, with no foreign DNA introduced, then that won’t be regulated as


a GMO. I think it is really important (here in New Zealand) that we separate the idea of introducing foreign DNA to generate a product that could not have been produced naturally, from gene editing techniques that don’t leave any foreign DNA. The fact that these two things are lumped under the same umbrella is not helpful to any discussion we have about these techniques. Has New Zealand approved the release of any GMO’s and what were they? Dr Clark Ehlers: Yes, we have approved the release of GMO’s in New Zealand in the human health context. The last one was earlier this year and it was for a vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis. Essentially it is a current vaccine that helps workers who travel to these

countries where this disease is prevalent in South East Asia. That vaccine has been approve d as genet ica l ly modified. It went down the regulatory pathway that the EPA uses that applies to medicines. The EPA approved the use of this particular GMO vaccine for the use in health care workers, because the decision maker deemed that it would be highly improbable for the vaccine to pose significant risks to the health of the public or valued species. Prior to that we have also approved a few of GMO vaccines for cancer trials. Liver cancer being the first one back in 2015. Those vaccines are genetically modified, and they are constrained by controls on their use and can only be administered by healthcare professionals, in a controlled trial for example.

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Breaking through the agricultural challenges TESSA NICHOLSON

JACK BOBO spent 13 years working for the US State Department, working on global food policy. He more than most is well aware of the problems facing the agricultural world, as the planet’s population races towards 9 billion by 2050. More food will be required then, than at any time in the world’s history. Yet that food will have to be produced with less water, less land and in a way that is far more effective than it is today. That production will also face consumer backlash as people rally against the impact agriculture has on the

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environment. “How do we get people to understand and appreciate the opportunities presented by agriculture and not just the challenges?” Bobo asked. There have been many columns filled with the theory that the world’s food system is moving in the wrong direction, particularly when you consider that 9 million people will die of starvation this year. That’s 22,500 a day, or one every four seconds. Another 800 million people will go to bed hungry tonight. Those are horrifying figures, which you could think


confirms the current world food system is not working. But as Bobo pointed out, those figures for going to bed hungry represent 12 percent of the world’s population. “Thirty years ago, 20 percent of the people on the plant were hungry and 50 years ago, 36 percent of the people on the planet went to bed hungry. The question is, is the food system broken or is it getting better but not fast enough? That is important. Because if the food system is broken, the farmers are the problem that needs to be solved. But if things are getting

better but not fast enough, farmers are the solution to our problem. How we frame this conversation is critically important.” One of the major problems Bobo said, was that most people use today as a baseline, rather than consider what has been achieved leading up to today. He gave an example of the resources required to produce a bushel of corn in the US. “Between 1980 and 2011 farmers used 35 percent less greenhouse gases to produce that bushel of corn. There is 40 percent less land needed to

produce it, 50 percent less water and 60 percent less erosion on that land. Things are getting better; they are wildly better.” A l l t h o s e re du c t i ons came about due to improved agricultural practices, science and technology. Yet still

science and our values are in conflict, values always win. That is the challenge we have. When we talk about the challenges in agriculture and the opportunities in agriculture, it creates the opportunity to connect with those who aren’t Jack Bobo, CEO FuturitY.

South Island’s Category 1 & 2 boutique wine label specialists Our reputation has been built on serving South Islanders for over 40 years. From our Christchurch plant we have been providing award winning, fully embellished labels specifically for the South Island boutique wine industry. consumers are sceptical and untrusting. Bobo says that is a hard nut to crack, especially when “concern can travel at the speed of light”, via social media and the internet. People tend to worry about things they hear, read or see on the big screen, and not all those fears are accurate he says.

involved in agriculture but do consume food. If we can connect with people, that is the opportunity to build trust. It is only at that moment of trust, that science has any role to play in the conversation.” Public perception regarding new technology and agricultural practices will determine if the

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The food supply today is the most plentiful in the history of the world. The food supply is the safest it has ever been. Yet people have never been more terrified and scared of what they eat. “The food supply today is the most plentiful in the history of the world. The food supply is the safest it has ever been. Yet people have never been more terrified and scared of what they eat. Cancer has been declining for decades, yet people are more and more concerned about getting cancer.” Despite the science that backs up Bobo’s assertions, he says getting consumers to accept it is extremely hard. “The problem is when

next 31 years help save the planet or destroy it, he says. But that doesn’t mean he is advocating the use of GMO’s willy-nilly. “It is important to recognise that you only use genetic engineering as a tool of last resort. If you can solve the problem in some other way, why in the world wouldn’t you do it, because the cost is so much lower and the timeline is so much better.”



Bayer Young Vit of the Year JEAN GRIERSON

FOR THE second year running an emerging leader from Central Otago has taken out the national title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year. 28-year old Simon Gourley, viticulturist at Domaine Thomson Wines, won the title which was announced at the recent Bragato Conference in Napier. As part of the competition the six finalists had to present a speech on the topic of “The year is 2050 – what does the wine region look like in your region and what does your average day at work look like?” Gourley questioned whether vineyard land may give way to essential food production for the growing global population, and suggested if vines remained in Central Otago the Pinot Noir grapes would be replaced by heavier red wine varieties more suited to a warming climate. While he expected robotics could make some jobs easier, he said he would prefer to rely on the basics. “You can’t beat a spade,” said Gourley when he returned to the 14 hectare vineyard he manages near Cromwell.

The six finalists in this year’s Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year.

Growing up in Invercargill, Gourley went to Lincoln University in 2009 to study for a bachelor’s degree in Viticulture and Oenology, focussing on soil science. A summer practical placement at Two Paddocks in Central Otago became a seasonal job over the next five years, where he gained valuable knowledge and experience working with viticulturist Mike Wing, a previous runner-up for the national Young Viticulturist

title. After a stint of travelling and working in a large commercial vineyard in Australia, Gourley returned to Central Otago working three vintages at Central Otago Wine Company (COWCO) with winemaker Dean Shaw. “I always thought that a viticulturist needs to know both sides of the industry, and there’s always a real gap between viticulture and winemaking, which I wanted to fill.” It was then a natural

progression to take up the new viticulturist position at Domaine Thomson 18 months ago, which had been previously run by contractors. “I knew the wines (Domaine Thomson was a client of COWCO), and I really like the wines produced here,” he said, adding that one of the owners, David HallJones, was also a Southlander. The fact that they owned vineyards in Burgundy was undoubtedly attractive, as was the opportunity to be working

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22   // 



in an organically run property. Whilst not certified organic, the property embraces biodynamic and organic practices, which Gourley was keen to learn more about as his university training had been “very conventional… pretty old school.” “I presume that may be changing now, as consumers want organic and traceability in all of their products. It won’t be long until we don’t want to use chemicals.”

You find out a lot about yourself, how much you know. You’re really tested on your own knowledge and leadership skills.

Since moving to Domaine Thomson he has been focusing on converting the vines from spur to cane pruning, improving vine health and building soil structure. He says the experience he’s gained and the people he’s met through the regional and national contests has been invaluable and he’s looking forward to helping other young people get involved. “You find

out a lot about yourself, how much you know. You’re really tested on your own knowledge and leadership skills.” As well as practical tests, finalists had three weeks prior to the competition to complete their AGMARDT research project to prepare a biosecurity plan for their vineyard.

Biosecurity manager at NZW Dr Ed Massey said the reports provide valuable information and Gourley’s has been shared through the members’ portal on nzwine.com. He described the fragility of an unprotected business and its risk in the case of a biosecurity outbreak. “The best biosecurity tool is awareness and creating an environment where biosecurity is moved off everyone’s ‘to-do’ list and on to the day’s plan,” he said. His plan focused on the risks of introduction of mealybugs as vectors of Grapevine Leafroll-associated Virus Type 3 (GLRaV-3), Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), and Harlequin Ladybird. “It is estimated that an infestation of BMSB could cost New Zealand $3 billion in exports. We need to be proactive not reactive to ensure our business’s longevity.” As the winner of the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year, Gourley takes home a prize package of a Hyundai Kona for a year, a $5000 Ecotrellis Travel Grant, Bahco golden secateurs, a leadership week and cash. He hit the ground running with big boots to try to fill as he goes on to represent the wine industry in the NZ Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition in November, won last year by viticulturist Annabel Bulk from Central Otago. Being up against representatives from all sectors of the horticulture industry, Simon thinks his biggest challenge will be in the floristry category. He’s hoping for some tips from his partner Ysra, who is a florist, “…although she thinks I’m colourblind sometimes.” Second place went to Ben Richards from Indevin in Marlborough, with George Bunnett from Craggy Range in Wairarapa placed third.  jean.grierson@nzsouth.co.nz


Bad stats are hard to kill Not one to mince words, Dr Eric Crompton, Chief Economist NZ Initiative was one of the guest speakers at Bragato. His subject – the stats relating to the cost of alcohol and how they are flawed. It was a fascinating session. The following is an article he wrote on the issue, prior to attending the conference. RECENTLY THERE has been a lot of headline stories about the social cost of alcohol. Felix Desmarais’ article for the Dominion Post warned that alcohol costs $5 billion. The Herald’s headline warned of a “$70 billion social cost”, citing Alcohol Action New Zealand’s rolling up 10 years’ worth of alleged costs. If you thought those numbers referred primarily to the costs of alcohol-related crime, or to alcohol-related health care costs, you shall be forgiven. Social cost figures should refer to some cost borne by people other than drinkers themselves – external costs, as economists tend to put it. But BERL’s number really is not that. Let’s go back through the history of this rather rotten statistic. In 2009, the Ministry of Health and the Accident Compensation Commission commissioned BERL to count the social costs of alcohol. BERL tallied $5.3 billion per year for alcohol jointly with other drugs (around $1,266 per capita), and $4.8 billion per year for alcohol alone. This was never going to be a cost-benefit study as BERL was asked to measure only the costs. But some costs do not really get to be counted as net social costs unless you assume there are no offsetting benefits. BERL assumed that any

24   // 

Dr Eric Crompton, Chief Economist NZ Initiative.

drinker consuming more than 4 standard drinks per day, for men, or 2 standard drinks per day, for women, received absolutely no benefit from their alcohol consumption. The 500mL bottle of Panhead RatRod IPA sitting on my shelf contains 2.6 standard drinks, so you can get a sense of where that threshold sits – a woman drinking a pint of it would, by BERL’s assumption, enjoy only costs, and no benefits, no matter how delicious it is. Consequently, every dollar spent on alcohol by those drinkers, including every dollar of excise they paid, was tallied as a social cost – some


$700 million of BERL’s headline figure. Buying alcohol is a cost, but it isn’t normal economic practice to consider a drinker’s expenditures on beer to be a social cost in need of policy remedy. There were other substantial problems, too. When considering health costs, BERL explicitly wiped out any conditions where alcohol reduces net health costs. They worked from the alcohol aetiological tables listing the proportions of every disorder that might be attributed to alcohol. For alcohol-related liver cirrhosis, the proportion is obviously 100%. But for

other disorders, like chronic heart disease, the proportion is negative because alcohol reduces heart disease. For any disorder where alcohol provides those protective effects, BERL assumed away those benefits. When BERL tried to estimate the costs of alcohol-related crime, they used a survey of prisoners who were asked to what extent alcohol had contributed to their offending. If the prisoner said at least ‘some’, the costs of that offending were entirely attributed to alcohol. BERL’s estimates were also plagued by double-counting. If you follow standard guidelines, you cannot count both the

intangible costs of premature mortality and the costs of lost productivity due to premature mortality. New Zealand’s standard measure of the cost of premature mortality already includes all associated costs, including lost productivity. BERL added up both. Matt Burgess, Brad Taylor and I thoroughly fisked the numbers at the time, finding that perhaps $967 million of BERL’s $4.8 billion figure might make sense as a measure of the social cost of alcohol. Our critique received a fair bit of media attention and a standing-room-only session at that year’s New Zealand Association of Economists conference. BERL updated its figure shortly afterward to stop tallying things like excise paid by drinkers as social cost. Their revised figure dropped from $5.3 billion to $4.9 billion – still about $4 billion too high, and still included over $300 million in drinkers’ spending

on alcohol. We thought we had put an end to that rather rotten statistic. LAST YEAR, BERL came back to argue that alcohol costs the nation $7.8 billion per year, or $1,635 per capita. The number appeared to be an inflation adjustment to the old 2009 figure; but I thought it worth checking. BERL’s Dr Ganesh Nana confirms that the figure is an update of the old $4.9 billion, inflated by GDP growth since then. Our best hope of reducing alcohol’s social cost, by that measure, is a very sharp recession. We should all know better than to take BERL’s new number seriously. But, if I had a drink for every time that number showed up, well, I’d be experiencing some serious alcohol-related costs. This article was first printed by Stuff NZ and is reprinted with their permission.

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Code of Conduct Released at the Bragato conference, the New Zealand Winegrowers Code of Conduct for Grape Supply Contracting provides guidance on industry expectations and good practice between growers and wineries. Tessa Nicholson looks at the advice offered. THE GOOD old New Zealand way of shaking hands on a deal is not sustainable in the New Zealand wine environment. Or any other for that matter. Any grape supply relationship will only be sustainable if both grower and winery benefit and if both parties continue to see the relationship as fair. Senior Legal Counsel for NZW, Sarah Wilson, says the Code of Conduct is a voluntary document, but it provides a guide to establishing a contract that alleviates the potential of problems further down the track. The word guide is an important one. Every individual

grower and winery will have areas they want to cover within a contract. Things like pricing and conditions of fruit will differ between parties, but how they are to be determined always need to be clearly defined. Wilson says there are 12 elements to the Code, covering the most important clauses. Some examples are provided, detailing what could be included and how things could be defined. She says prompt and effective dispute resolution is critically important, particularly around vintage, which is why the Code includes a model dispute resolution clause. NZW will also run a list of experts

who are available to assist with grape supply disputes. The elements included in the Code are; Minimum requirements for any contract Background: what is the contract about? Parties: who is the contract between? Term: How long is the contract for? Identification: Grape sale and purchase Risk and Title: Harvest and delivery Assessment of Grapes: Acceptance or rejection Price: How much is the contract worth?

Information: Communications between the parties Sale/assignment: restrictions (if any) Dispute Resolution Standard Clauses “Both parties to any contract will need to consider what is appropriate for their individual circumstances and may need to tailor these clauses to fit, or use different ones entirely,” Wilson says. “If you have specific questions we recommend that you seek independent legal advice.” Available under the Grow tab on the member’s website; nzwine.com/grow/compliance


www.nzwinegrower.co.nz 26   // 


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Why wine tourism is good business TESSA NICHOLSON

THERE ARE 300 cellar doors in New Zealand tapping into the lucrative wine tourism market. But are they doing as well as they could? That is the question Robin Shaw asked when talking at the Bragato conference. An expert in wine tourism, she says cellar doors open so many opportunities to all spheres of the wine industry. They provide a venue with full retail sales. They become

the public face of the brand, can attract new markets, are great for product testing, provide an opportunity to generate market intelligence, build brand loyalty and access new distribution channels. Yet many cellar doors she says are not reaching their full potential, not just in New Zealand but throughout the world. With wine tourism growing rapidly and the emergence of

“We found some research in the US that seated tasting experiences deliver up to 400 percent rate of return more, than a standing tasting at a bar that is free.”

Sitting among the vines with wine and food hits a lot of senses for wine tourists.

28   // 


the culinary traveller the chance to expand on what you have has never been greater. For example, she says the culinary traveller is far more likely to become your advocate if you provide the right environment and experiences. “Over two thirds bring back food or beverage products to enjoy at home or give as gifts,” she said. “Fifty-two percent go on to purchase food and beverages they first encountered on a trip, once they return home. And culinary travellers spend up to 50 percent more per trip than other travellers.” Attracting them and enticing them to remember you is the all-important goal. Shaw says

firstly you need a strategy. “You must know your story and you must be able to tell it. Your staff must be able to tell it as well.” She suggests you look at your location and your infrastructure. “What does it look like? Do your premises convey your brand values?” What about the facilities? Are they visitor centric, or are they designed to fit in around the rest of the business? “I have visited a lot of facilities around the world and there are a lot where they are designed for convenience for the owners and staff – not the visitor.” Are you offering more than a simple tasting? What experience could you be offering? Do you


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have the right people presenting those experiences, whatever they may be? Shaw says it doesn’t all have to be along the lines of the d’Arenberg Cube in McLaren Vale, which cost millions to develop. It can be as simple as providing a platter and inviting guests to sit outside looking over the vines with a glass of wine in their hand. Or maybe you could tie in with another local producer and match their prod-

uct with your wines. Or have an area set aside for seated tastings. “We found some research in the US that seated tasting experiences deliver up to 400 percent rate of return more, than a standing tasting at a bar that is free. So, think about the type of tasting you could be doing in your cellar door.” Think about engaging all the senses beyond, smell and taste. “Try starting with storytelling. That engages hearing, emotions and a bunch of other things.” The importance of food accompanying wine is very important. “It’s a great way to extend the wine tasting session and it’s a great way to increase your revenue as well.” Make more of merchandise but do it carefully. Shaw says if you are promoting boutique wines, having a bunch of tee shirts and caps with the Made in China label, is probably not the best image. “Look at your property, what

is unique about it that you could unblock? Is there a nature walk, garden or something you could create an experience from?” Check what way people travel in and out and determine if there is anything you could be placing in those areas. “Instagram photo frames for example – where could you put those to encour-

age people to take photos and share them on social media.” In all instances, no matter what you do or provide, think about the consumer first. What will encourage them to stay longer, buy your product and talk about you when they get home. tessa.nicholson@me.com


FOLLOWING THE success of NZW’s Inaugural Cellar Door Day last year where over 70 Cellar Doors participated, NZW will be launching CELLARBRATION. An event activation, taking place over Labour Weekend (26-28 October). A social media toolkit has been created to encourage activities in our Cellar Doors. Kicking off cellar door season this event aims to increase domestic tourist visitation to our Cellar Doors and Wine Tourism experiences.   A social media toolkit is available under the Sell tab of the members website. Upload your activities to the Visit tab. nzwine.com/visit

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Lessons to be learned from the apple industry TESSA NICHOLSON

IN 2000 the New Zealand apple industry was brought to its knees due to mealybug infestation and the inability of insecticides alone to deal with them. Export programmes were seriously affected by mealybug infested fruit which significantly delayed or stopped ship loading that resulted in cool stores stretched beyond capacity leading to serious harvest delays. It made the entire industry look carefully at their pesticide programme, particularly the broad spectrum, organophosphate insecticides, and what they were doing to disrupt natural biological control systems within apple orchards. Now in 2019, the mealybug crisis has been resolved and the incidence of infested fruit is negligible. How did that happen and what are the lessons for the wine industry? Jim Walker is the Principal Scientist for Plant and Food in Hawke’s Bay and says there are parallels between both industries. “Some of the assumptions you have to make about mealybugs in both apples and grapes is they are induced pests. It’s our practices, especially use of broad spectrum OP insecticides that makes them worse.” By that he means resistance to hard chemicals and the destruction of natural predators within the orchard or vineyard environment. Back in the mid 1990’s total pesticide use in the apple industry was just short of 14 kg of active ingredients per hectare. “It was excessive and was the result of control centred on

32   // 

The parisitoid Acerophagous maculipennis (A. mac), introduced into Hawke’s Bay in 2001 to combat Obscure mealybug.

disruptive pesticides.” By 2015 they had reduced that by 90 percent and today around 1.4 kg of active ingredient is applied per hectare each season. “More importantly both the acute pesticide toxicity to people and the environment has changed dramatically. Now we only use soft pesticides in the apple industry that are much safer for our orchard workers and maximis es our biolog ica l cont rol.” The end result is there are no broad-spectrum insecticides used in the apple industry today. Pest icide resist anc e began occurring back in the 1960’s Walker says. “We had organochlorine insecticide resistant mealybugs and leafrollers back then. By the time we got through to the end of the 1980’s we had mealybug, leafroller and leafhopper also resistant to organophosphate. “Not only had pest resistance grown but we had also disrupted


biocontrol and induced many pest outbreaks. We had destroyed many of our natural enemy associations in our orchards.” By 1992 the apple industr y began reducing organophosphate use and introduced softer programmes, and by 2001 organophosphate use was negligible. By 2009 the industry moved away from neonicontinyl insecticide use and by 2012 there was very little use of carbamate insecticides. The movement to only ‘soft pesticides’ substantially improved insect biodiversity in apple orchards and resulted in vastly improved biological control outcomes with natural enemies targeting two of the three mealybugs present; the citrophilus and longtailed mealybugs. There was a gap in the biocontrol required for the obscure mealybug but that was solved in 2001 when a parasitoid known as A. Mac was introduced and rapidly

spready throughout the Hawke’s Bay area. “It was a highly successful programme and the obscure mealybug is now hard to find in our orchards. It has all but gone.” So what lessons can the wine industry take from the apple industry? Walker says aim to increase the biodiversity in vineyards by phasing out all use of the broad spectrum OP and synthetic pyrethroid insecticides. “You still need to manage the mealybug populations throughout this transition and set with a realistic time frame. It took the apple industry 10 years from implementation of an integrated approach to achieve effective mealybug biological control,” he says. “That realistically will take three to seven years to achieve the same outcome throughout our vineyards. “Biodiversity and biocontrol in vineyards really needs to be examined to see what happens to mealybugs and biological control in newly planted and organic vineyards. As an industry, we should be able to eliminate SP use in one to two years and can probably eliminate all the organophosphate use in three to five years. “What we have to remember is that insecticidal control has no future. It is not sustainable, it is just a slow train wreck and that was the train wreck we had in 2000 in the apple industry. Today though, we have a highly effective biocontrol programme.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

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Improving our readiness for Pierce’s Disease DR EDWIN MASSEY

THROUGHOUT NORTHERN California wine producers have dealt with Pierce’s Disease, caused by the bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, for over a century. The presence of Pierce’s Disease has an ongoing impact on viticulture but has not stopped vineyards in Napa and Sonoma county from being some of the most valuable and profitable agricultural land in the entire United States. During July New Zealand Winegrowers visited California in collaboration with Wine Australia, to learn more about the impact of this disease on viticulture and the ongoing state sponsored management programme, as well as investigating the latest research underway to mitigate the impact of this disease.

THE THREAT OF PIERCE’S DISEASE Pierce’s Disease is one of the wine industry’s highest threat biosecurity risks. The disease blocks infected plant’s xylem tissue preventing the movement of water from the roots to the canopy. Plants typically shows signs of water stress; with accompanying loss of productivity before eventual death. While there is no known treatment for the disease, there is some evidence of cold curing where cold winter temperatures reduce the amount of bacteria present in an infected vine. Xylella fastidiosa is vectored by xylem feeding insects, such as sharp shooters and spittle bugs. The disease has a very wide host range with hundreds of different

34   // 

Replanting vines near a riparian boundary in Sonoma County.

plants being recognised hosts, but not all these host species display disease symptoms. New Zealand is currently free of Xylella fastidiosa and is also free from any sharp-shooter species. Nonetheless, New Zealand is home to a range of xylem feeding insects and one, the meadow spittle bug, is prevalent throughout vineyards in many growing regions. The most likely entry point for the bacteria is on infected plant material. New Zealand has strong quarantine laws that mitigate risk posed by plants on the commercial pathway but preventing smuggled material from entering New Zealand is much more challenging. Overall, while the likelihood


of Xylella fastidiosa entering New Zealand is relatively low, the potential consequence for the wine industry could be extremely significant.

THE CALIFORNIAN EXPERIENCE Xylella fastidiosa was first identified in California in the 1880s. California has a range of native vectors, in particular the blue/green sharpshooter, and the local wine industry has always suffered localised losses. This all changed in 1994 with the arrival of a new vector, the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter (GWSS), likely imported to California on citrus nursery stock from Florida on the US east coast.

GWSS proved to be a much more effective vector than native species and its introduction caused extremely significant losses in vineyards across southern California. In response the Californian state government established the Pierce’s Disease Control Programme. This programme is focused on preventing GWSS from establishing in northern Californian wine regions. Since its inception in 2000 the programme has been very successful in limiting the spread of GWSS. The programme has implemented a dedicated surveillance and incursion response capability and a nursery accreditation system that regulates the

movement of potential risk goods. The programme has also concentrated on delivering first class extension services that promote awareness and provide risk management advice. By any metric the programme has achieved its objectives and has helped to ensure the sustainability of the Californian wine industry. Despite the success of the programme Californian growers still suffer annual losses caused by native vectors. Vineyards that bordered rivers and creeks or had significant drainage ditches were typically the most heavily infected, with up to 12 rows from the border being impacted. Many affected growers have attempted to mitigate the impact by setting up a physical barrier, removing habitat or even covering threatened vines with kaolinite clay to make them less inviting for vectors to feed on. Most of these management activities have limited effect, with growers replanting each season to reduce the risk of vectors moving deeper into the vineyard in search of feeding sites. In effect, these replanted vines serve as a buffer, soaking up the attention of the vector insects who live in the riparian

area. For some growers this constant replanting is a significant drain on profitability. To break this cycle US researchers have been working on breeding hybridized vines that are resistant to Xylella fastidiosa. After almost 25 years of work these resistant vines are close to being commercialised. In the vineyard these resistant vines would be planted along the riparian borders. The grapes from these resistant vines could then be blended (within limits) with the grapes from the rest of the vineyard and still be labelled as the same variety with no impact in the marketplace.

IMPROVING NEW ZEALAND’S READINESS New Zealand Winegrowers chairs the Xylella Action Group, a partnership between MPI and a range of industry and other stakeholder groups who are working together to improve New Zealand’s readiness for an incursion of Xylella fastidiosa. Recently, Plant & Food Research delivered an excellent research report: Risks to New Zealand’s primary industries from Xylella which outlined the potential impact of the disease on a range of New Zealand’s horticultural

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A physical barrier alongside a vineyard riparian boundary in Sonoma County – a typical if ultimately futile attempt to prevent vectors from entering the vineyard.

industries. For the wine industry, the report highlights that the impact of Pierce’s Disease could be extremely significant, particularly in North Island wine regions with warmer winter temperatures. This report is available on the New Zealand Winegrowers

website. While there is still much uncertainty regarding these impacts, particularly in a changing climate, the report enables those industries that are most likely to be impacted to better partner with MPI to improve collective readiness.

Together these groups will work to identify research questions and contingency plans to help mitigate risk. CONCLUSION – BE A BIOSECURITY CHAMPION While at this stage the threat posed by Pierce’s Disease raises more questions

than answers the Californian experience highlights that it is still possible to grow grapes profitably and make excellent quality wines in the presence of the pathogen. At this stage the best thing individuals can do is to mitigate risk by improving the effectiveness of supply chain biosecurity and by implementing the New Zealand Winegrowers biosecurity best practice guidelines on their property. While these measures won’t prevent Pierce’s Disease from establishing in New Zealand it will help to mitigate the impact and build a higher degree of resilience into the wine industry. Don’t forget if you see s y mptoms , or any t h i ng unusual in the vineyard call the Biosecurity New Zealand hotline 0800 80 99 66 to report your find and also let the New Zealand Winegrowers biosecurity team know on biosecurity@nzwine.com.

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Going underground TESSA NICHOLSON

THE ARGUMENTS advocating against sub surface irrigation are often over played, with the benefits ignored. That’s according to Mark Allen from Allen Vineyard Advisory, who with 33 years of experience of placing irrigation drip lines underground has plenty of knowledge to call on. Allen says the first time he installed sub surface irrigation was back in 1986, when he was helping develop a new vineyard in Hawke’s Bay. Unsure if the block would actually require irrigation, it was suggested they go for the cheapest option of tape, place it underground and monitor until they knew if

it was really necessary. Then if needed, they could change the system later on. “We were told it might last five years. Well it lasted 33 years. That pipe only just came out last year, after being laid underground back in 1986.” He says he has helped lay around 500 hectares of sub surface irrigation in Hawke’s Bay, and around 100 hectares in Marlborough. So, what are the arguments against the system? Allen says the negatives include; you can’t see it, so you don’t know if it is working, root intrusion into the drip lines, compaction of pipes, hard to repair and it’s costly to

install and maintain. None of these are legitimate concerns he says, although he did admit that compaction of pipes is relevant in heavy, stony ground. As for the positives, they are plentiful and often overlooked. When an irrigation line is planted underground, there is no UV damage, no risk of it being damaged by sheep, rabbits or harvesters, no evaporation loss, no feeding water to surface weeds, direct delivery of water to the root zone. These are just some of his arguments. As for the installation and maintenance costs, he says the savings per hectare are a huge incentive.

LARGE SAUVIGNON BLANC VINEYARD - 45HA WITH PURCHASE OPTIONS Vineyard Lane, Martinborough, South Wairarapa Southdown Estate is a tidy well managed vineyard located in Martinborough that has potential to be subdivided into smaller blocks to suit. The options are the whole vineyard (45ha), Southdown Block (25ha), Drapers (20ha) and/or three lifestyle blocks. Most options have immediate income on offer from existing arrangements / fruit sales. The site for Southdown Estate was deliberately chosen for its ability to attract the catabatic breezes to alleviate potential frost damage and maintain a healthy environment for the plants. The climate and soil grow grapes making Sauvignon Blanc with ripe, tropical fruit aromas whilst showing softer fruit characters combined with lovely length and texture on the palate. Since the first harvest in 2007, Southdown Sauvignon Blanc grapes have been used by some of the most prestigious Martinborough wineries. The vineyard is situated on gently sloping downs with a water reservoir that is gravity fed and used for irrigation purposes. There are numerous potential building sites with impressive 360-degree views over the vineyard and lower Wairarapa valley, with an approved subdivision consent in place. We have a detailed property report available initially with supporting financials of the vineyard split block by block for interested parties. Southdown offers economy of scale, is frost free and has purchase options- call today for more information

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The sub surface irrigation on the left still shows signs of the irrigation working, but more water is going to the roots than to the surface.

“It is cheap and easy to install. There is no wire needed, no jiffy clips and less labour costs installing. The rough figures for cost savings are $872 a hectare less to install.” But perhaps the most notable advantage, especially moving forward, is the savings in water usage. Allen says because the

underground pipe delivers directly to the root zone, without evaporation or intake from weeds on the surface, water savings can be as great as 30 percent. “That is a huge potential saving on regional water resources.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

INSTALLATION ADVICE INSTALL THE sub surface irrigation after posting and immediately after planting, 150 – 200 mm away from the vine. Select the depth according to cultivation, under vine mowing or herbicide. Range from 100 – 250 mm. Risers, T’s and elbows can be buried. At the strainer use an elbow fitting to bring the lateral up to 500mm. Attach a flushing cap. Exposed dripper can be used as indicators to check each line. Follow up with a pre-emergence herbicide or cultivation.

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August 2019 in Pictures

Not that you need an excuse, International Pinot Noir Day on 18th August 2019 was the perfect day to celebrate NZ’s top red wine variety. We asked the New Zealand wine industry to get behind it and show how much they #lovenzpinot.








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on #loveNZpinot @ LOVEBLOCKWINE




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IMPRESSIONS on nzwine channels

Tag @nzwinegrowers and #nzwine in your wine related images and we will feature the best posts in each issue. @AKITU_WINE

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$25,500 EX GST



200th Celebration

200 years on JOHN CLARKE

O N W E DN E S DAY 2 5 September we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the exact date on which the first grapevines were planted in New Zealand. Those vines were planted in the grounds of the Stone Store in Kerikeri by the Reverend Samuel Marsden. It is extraordinary to think that we know this date. We are fortunate that Marsden along with many other pioneers recorded such events in their diaries. And 200 years later we will be privileged to celebrate this historic moment in time. We are one of the few countries, perhaps, the only country in the world which can mark the date that the first grapevines were planted. And the fact the vines were planted by one of the Europeans so pivotal in the early relationship with the Māori makes this event even more important 200 years on from those initial steps it is impossible to fully understand the challenges that our early grape growers and winemakers faced. But what we do know is that over the years they met each of them head-on. Whether it was phylloxera, oppressive legislation or a disinterested public, our early growers and winemakers overcame all those obstacles and more, to lay the foundations of the modern New Zealand grape and wine industry. Our early growers and winemakers were pioneers but more than that they had a pioneering spirit. To survive, let alone prosper they had to be open minded, they had to innovate, because the

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We are one of the few countries, perhaps, the only country in the world which can mark the date that the first grapevines were planted.

“Let’s remember that despite 200 years of history that actually we are still in the very early days of our industry,” says John Clarke.

challenges they faced were formidable. As an industry what we have realised over the past 200 years is that to get the very best out of this place, there is no point simply replicating the wine styles of Europe and other winegrowing regions. Yes, we need to learn from those places, but we need also to adapt our strategies to reflect the New Zealand environment, to reflect the New Zealand way of doing things. A pioneering spirit has enabled that to happen.


We now proudly embrace the diversity of our places, the terrior they exhibit, the varieties and styles they produce, and the stories they tell. Whether it is Hawke’s Bay Syrah, or Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc or Central Otago Pinot Noir or Gisborne Chardonnay there is no doubt where those wines are from and why they exhibit the characteristics they do. This embraces what makes us unique and is why we are a highly successful $1.8 billion

export industry with nearly 40,000 hectares of grapes planted. It is why we are looked at enviously by so many other wine producing countries around the world. If we were simply producing wines that looked like everybody else’s then I doubt there would be so many of us in this industry today. Finally, let’s retain the pi on e e r i ng s pi r it . L e t’s remember that despite 200 years of history that actually we are still in the very early days of our industry. I can assure you that in 200 years’ time that the people then will think about us as pioneers, they won’t think that our industry is mature in any sense of the word. As an industry we must never become complacent or believe that we know it all. Pioneers with a pioneering spirit have brought us to where we are today, it can continue to carry us into the future as well.

La Grande Maison in 1911. The iconic house is now home to a restaurant and cellar door.

Our oldest winery SARAH ADAMS

MISSION ESTATE Winery was established in 1851 by pioneering French Missionaries, making it New Zealand’s oldest winery with a fascinating past. Their story begins in 1838, when a group of French Missionaries set sail to New Zealand with little more than their faith and a few vines. Successfully landing in Hawke’s Bay in 1851, the Fathers established a mission station at Pakowhai, and followed the tradition of running a balanced farm property with fruit trees, cattle and a vineyard. When war broke out between rival Māori tribes, the French Missionaries moved from their original site to a new location in Meeanee. The move was completed in 1858, and in the following years they became

central to the community that built up around them. Vines were planted to create both sacramental and table wine, to continue their wine-drinking tradition, as well as contributing revenue through wine sales to support the community. In 1870, Brother Cyprian Huchet, the trained winemaker from the Loire Valley rose to the exalted position of Mission Estate Cellar Master and oversaw New Zealand’s first recorded commercial sale of wine. He was one of New Zealand’s first qualified winemakers and his knowledge became extremely sophisticated. “Brother Huchet introduced a press house, a grape crusher, achieved New Zealand’s first International medal at the Paris Wine Awards in 1889,

and he was also responsible for extending the commercial sale of wine at Mission in the late 1800’s” says Chief Winemaker Paul Mooney. “He remained in charge of the vineyards and cellars until his death in 1899.” Today, Mission Estate’s most premium range of wines are named after Brother Huchet who instilled the wealth of knowledge that lives on at Mission Estate today. Mission has never lost sight of its French heritage, as over the years, Brothers of the Order have travelled to France to study and learn viticulture and winemaking skills. Mooney trained with Brothers who had trained in Bordeaux, France, strongly influencing Mission Estate’s wine style today.

Mission Estate was the first New Zealand winery to use the traditional French techniques of whole bunch pressing and barrel fermenting Chardonnay back in the 1980’s, and was also the first winery to make sparkling wine using the Methode Traditionelle technique – learned directly from France. Brother John Cuttance first started experiments in 1961 to make a bottle fermented sparkling wine, releasing the first one, named Fontanella in February 1963. The Rector of the Mission at the time, Fr Kelly S. M. coined the name, “Fontanella, it reminds me of the little fountains I saw in Rome”. The winery’s history does influence the way they work today. Mooney explains; “When French Marist brothers estab-


Hand picking of grapes at Mission Estate. Date unknown.

lished the Mission Station, they followed the tradition of running a balanced farm property – fruit trees, cattle and a vineyard. The philosophy behind this holistic approach, and the care for the land, community and people has continued to be a strong theme within Mission Estate from these early days.”

THE NEXT 150 YEARS Having weathered earthquakes and floods in its long history, what does Mission Estate see for the future of New Zealand wine over the next 150 years? Firstly, Mooney sees sustainability playing a strong role. Mission Estate has been committed to the industry standards of sustainability

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for over twenty years. They were 100 percent Sustainable Winegrowing NZ certified since the programme’s inception in 1995 and ISO 14001 certified since 1998. In 2007, Mission Estate went a step further, rebuilding the winey to become one of New Zealand’s most energy efficient whilst undergoing a major extension. “With virtually no usage of fossil fuels and electricity being 80 percent sustainable in New Zealand, we have a very low carbon footprint.” Mission Estate has a few vineyards organically certified and more underway in the three-year conversion process. “With a heightened awareness and desire from consumers


of environmentally responsible practices, sustainability and even organics, there will be a continuation and strengthening of environmental practices already employed, as well as better communication from wineries around what they are doing,” says Mooney. And what will New Zealand be planting? He names 1983 as a vintage that stands out over the past 150 years, because the el Niño weather pattern with a warm dry season offered a glimpse into the future of Hawke’s Bay wine at the time. “It heralded the introduction of varieties such as Merlot and Chardonnay (which we barrel fermented for the first time). The crop loads were quite high; however, due to the great

weather conditions there was great fruit maturity. It gave a glimpse of what Hawke’s Bay was capable of achieving and encouraged the development on vineyards in new areas more suitable for viticulture, including the Gimblett Gravels and the Ngatarawa Triangle.” Mooney sees a mix of varieties gaining importance as New Zealand’s reputation as a premium wine producer develops internationally. Although we’re celebrating the 200-year anniversary since vines were planted in New Zealand this year, it’s still early days compared to Old World wine regions. “Overall, we’ve come a long way in winemaking and viticulture in a short period of time. In the last 10-15 years we’ve made significant progress, our wines are getting better and vineyards older, and our winemakers and viticulturists more experienced.” If visiting La Grande Maison of Mission Estate, as you follow the driveway, there is a snapshot of 1838 still very much alive. One row of Muscat grapes that were grafted over the years from the very original stock brought to Futuna Island by the Marist Father Saint Peter Chanel. One wonders what they would’ve thought, had they known their legacy was going to continue as Mission Estate today and well into the future.


James Dixon, agricultural tour operator with Farm To Farm Tours and wine enthusiast, shares insights from a recent exploration of Oregon and California. Heading south from Portland on a beautiful late-July day, you are hardly out of the city before you are straight into the Willamette Valley with its 11,000ha of renowned cool-climate pinot noir vineyards. Of the 150 wineries here, a standout is Rex Hill Winery - a biodynamic producer with 40 years of history, growing vines in a region once known for fruit production. Rex Hill is endowed with a range of soils, allowing for both single vineyard and blended pinot noir. With a hot tip from a Kiwi pinot producer, the next stop is Archery Summit Winery further down the road south of Dundee. Archery Summit Road winds up the Dundee Hills to around 300m, with distinctive red/brown, ironrich jory soils. These freely-drained, moderately fertile yet deep soils suit vines and much of the 750mm annual rainfall can be held in the deep soil profile.

Archery Summit Winery has a stunning site, high enough to give fine views over the Willamette Valley. The vine-covered rolling slopes combine with patches of fir and white oaks - descendants of the original forest cover. Ian, the winemaker, is well-disposed to Kiwis having worked in New Zealand for several vintages, and freely shares his enthusiasm for what great fruit their vineyards allow him to work with. The vines are planted at 1m spacing, rows 1.8-2m apart and original Dijon clones (some 25 years old) can be found close to the winery. Yields are kept under 5t/ha. Spring/ summer has been favourable so fruit set and quality looked excellent. Organic biodynamic management yields complex powerful wines with enough tannins to support the flavours. It was wine from the Dundee Hills (and Napa Valley) that first made the wine world take notice back in the ‘90s when blind-tasted against Burgundian classics with subsequent French investment here.

Continuing south to the productive lower Willamette Valley, a wide range of crops can be seen including ryegrass seed for huge US domestic and export markets. Straw residue is compacted in the extreme and shipped to Japan for bedding housed livestock and, with the flow of manufactured goods into the US from China, returning containers can be shipped back across the Pacific cheaply. With a reliable Oregon autumn - long periods of calm warm days and low humidity - the climate suits both seed producers and wineries, steady ripening and low disease pressure. Into California, it’s time to marvel at the redwood trees in the Avenue of the Giants off Route 101. It’s truly humbling to stand beneath the tallest living things on earth reaching over 100m into the sky. Further south, the famous Napa Valley and Sonoma regions boast more than 600 wineries; generating $US50 billion per year off >40,000ha of vines when you include wine tourism and hospitality! Located north of San Francisco, 30+ wine sub-regions sit on an earthquake fault zone. This active geology gives a great mix of soils - more volcanic in the north suiting cabernet and limestone rich in the south for pinot noir. This end of the Valley is also more influenced by cool coastal air and fog which sneaks up the valley in the evenings. It’s amazing to experience day time temperatures in the mid-high 30s, followed by evenings in the low teens. Much like Marlborough or Central Otago in this respect, diurnal variation lends itself to a balance between sugars produced in the heat, and the ability to retain acidity with the cool nights. As one of the world’s premium wine regions, it’s a mecca for any wine-lover and rolling landscapes dotted with small towns dating from the 18th century offer something for everyone. Farm To Farm will be returning in 2020.

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Seeing Red in the Pacific Northwest

Four decades of winemaking TESSA NICHOLSON

Paul Mooney in his first year as trainee winemaker for Mission Estate, 1979.

IT IS quite an achievement for anyone to say they have been in the same job for 40 years and are still going strong. Paul Mooney, chief winemaker at Mission Estate is one of those very few. Given Mission Estate is 168 years old, it is even more impressive that Mooney has been at the helm for almost a

46   // 

quarter of the company’s existence. It’s not as though he walked into the job straight from school, or even straight from university. He actually came to the job a little later, after graduating from Waikato University with a Science degree, majoring in physics. It was after spending


a year as a geophysics technician on Campbell Island back in the late 1970’s that Mooney made the decision to change careers. He had spent many holidays in the Bay, visiting family. His brother-in-law was Ian Clarke who just happened to be CEO at Mission Estate, which meant Mooney had an understanding

of the wine business well before he changed career. You could say the stars were aligned and in 1979 Mooney moved from the wind-swept sub Antarctic island to the oldest winery in New Zealand. “I had always been interested in food and wine and there is a practical element working in a

cellar that I really enjoyed,” he says. “It’s very much a handson job, but it’s also a job where you have to be quite active and thinking at the same time.” He began as a trainee winemaker, under the care of then chief winemaker Brother John. Learning his craft at the feet of the last of the Marist Brothers to hold the title of chief winemaker has forged Mooney’s skills. “Brother John, my mentor, trained in Bordeaux, so we always had this strong French influence. I was lucky enough to inherit all his old textbooks.” In 1979 and right through until 1990, the old Mission Estate homestead was a seminary for training priests. Mooney says those students played a vital role in the production of wine, albeit, for just a few months a year. “The students picked all the grapes by hand and the interns in the winery were also students from here. So I worked alongside them for a few years, until they mechanised the vineyards.” In 1982 Brother John retired as Chief Winemaker and for the first time in the history of Mission Estate, a layperson took on the role. Mooney has been at the helm ever since. During those years he has seen the company grow, not only in terms of production, but also stature. Initially there were hardly any hybrid vines on the two sites – one at the home of Mission Estate in Greenmeadows, the other at the original site, Meeanee. “We had Chassler, Muller Thurgau, Cabernet and Pinot Gris in my first year. Pinot Gris was used for altar wine, sweet wine and Methode Traditionelle was also made from that.” That sparkling wine was New Zealand’s very first, released under the name Fontenella. It was the brain child of Brother John. “I opened one of those a little while ago,” Mooney admits,

“and it was pretty good.” What made the opening of that wine even more special was he drank it with the man who made it – Brother John. “It was pretty special,” he says. The decision made by Ian Clarke to turn Mission Estate from a cottage industry into a commercial winery in the 1970’s saw a move towards more commercial hybrids. Varieties such as Merlot, “which was really new to Hawke’s Bay,” Gewurztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc joined Cabernet and Pinot Gris. Later came Chardonnay and Syrah. Mission Estate’s Syrah is the second biggest selling Syrah after Church Road. But the Meeanee site, while historical, wasn’t producing the wines Mooney was aiming for. “It was quite heavy ground and the wines we got were a bit disappointing.” Poor supply added to the hurdles the company had to overcome before they could start making a mark in the New Zealand wine scene. In the 1990s Mission bought a Gimblett Gravels site and later in 2002 a second site. All of a sudden Mooney had the fruit he had been looking for. “The differences were huge, they were completely different. Cabernet from this site is amazing. The grapes, the flavour everything.” If he had to pick a favourite, he says Cabernet would be it. “It is the most interesting red variety to me. It can be difficult, but it puts up quite well with high humidity at harvest time which we often get here in Hawke’s Bay. It is quite robust and it likes a bit of heat in the middle of summer. If we get a really good summer, we get really good Cabernet.” While what happens in the vineyard is very different now to what it was 40 years ago, the changes within the winery itself have also changed dramatically. “When I first started

Photo courtesy of Riversun Nursery

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Paul Mooney today. Still winemaking for Mission Estate.

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it was very primitive. The presses were so primitive, and the techniques have improved.” A voracious reader of wine making styles the world over has helped Mooney keep up to date, and he says the company has become adept at adapting to new technology. Even with 40 years under his belt, he says he’s never experienced cyclical trends. “I haven’t seen any real patterns in the 40 years. The 80’s were pretty good apart from 88 (Cyclone Bola). The 90’s were cooler and we were impacted by Pinatubu for about five years. The 2000’s were better.” The vintages that stand out for good reasons are; 1982/83 1989, 2007, 2009. The much talked about 2013 and 2014 vintages also stand out, although Mooney says for different varieties, not across the board. “The 2013 wines when we made them were fantastic, but they are still quite closed. Thir-

teen was the Cabernet vintage because we had the heat in January. In 14 we had the same heat but we had a nice autumn so the Merlots did better than the Cabernets.” Mooney is nothing if not optimistic about the future of New Zealand wine. “Given what we do here excellently, we will survive. We have some work to do in terms of marketing and getting the word out to the world about how good our styles are, and I believe they are very good. Our top wines are world class. But because we are cool climate, we have challenges in New Zealand and it is sometimes harder to pull off.” To celebrate Mooney’s 40th anniversary, Mission Estate released a Semillon, with the fruit coming from vines that were planted at Greenmeadows the year Mooney began his career, back in 1979. tessa.nicholson@me.com

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History in the making As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first grapes being planted in New Zealand, New Zealand Winegrowers has been sharing the stories of the growth of the industry.

Neudorf Wines, Nelson – Judy and Tim Finn W E (T I M and I) were fresh from the “back to the land” movement of the late sixties. We wanted to make beautiful wine. We figured Tim’s masters in Animal B e h av i o u r a l on g w it h my unimpressive journalism career would be beneficial. Wrong. However, we did have youth (temporary), selfbelief (unwarranted) and friends. At one stage we had four mortgages and three jobs each. The old house at Neudorf had electricity in two rooms, an outside long drop, an inefficient wood stove and no hot water. I look back with no regrets. Because there was so little known about basic viticulture in New Zealand, we planted many varieties to see which ones were best suited to our soils. Merlot came and went as did Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc and the

dreaded Muller Thurgau. We were a bit hasty in rejecting Gewürztraminer and may look at that again. But we did it. We, and a whole heap of people - neighbours, family, friends and some fantastic staff. Each left a mark, and many have gone onto work in bigger wineries or plant their own vineyard. Today 41 years later and we never feel we have it all sorted. But we love it and we are

still learning, not just about viticulture and winemaking but exporting, currency exchange, the internet, human resource issues, distribution, yeasts and barrels, clones and crop levels. Very few misgivings. Making wine is constantly scar y and stimulating. We survive on hard work, high hopes and a dollop of common-sense and cunning.

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Opinion Piece

Alan Brady of Gibbston Valley, Mount Edward and Wild Irishman Wines WE WERE the world’s southernmost grape growers and Central Otago seemed a long way from the rest of the winemaking world when we planted our first vines here in the early 1980s. But isolation became one of our great strengths. We learned to work together, sharing ideas and equipment and knowledge. We celebrated our collective and individual successes as we began to unlock the secrets of growing grapes in our stunningly beautiful but challenging environment. As we worked and played, laughed and cried together we OLIVER STYLES what it was came to understand to be part of an ancient fraternity which has lived by I WORKED myalways first vintage in the of in the2011, seasons, Newrhythm Zealand andhas if I always imporhear theunderstood songs Joey the or Caroline tance celebration. by theofband Concrete Blonde I

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 am transported back to Martinborough Vineyards, late at night, Today,forour and waiting thereputation press to finish. our passion this life have Boxer by Thefor National and the

Flight of the Conchords album belong to Ata Rangi, the year grown. continue learn, later. InWe fact, if not antoalbum, but we every no longer feelhas isolated, nearly vintage a song

or two that sticks in the mind, situating the year. down here atfrom the bottom of the Coming vintages in wine world. Europe, where the best one


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Giesen Wines – Marlborough SOME THINK the Giesen Wines story starts when two brothers with itchy feet and a penchant for travel set off from Germany and found themselves in New Zealand in 1979, buying land and planting a vineyard in 1981. In fact, the Giesen Wines journey may have begun earlier when three teenage brothers set up a hobby vineyard in their native Germany. Or perhaps it started two generations before that, with their grandfather August (Aw-goost) who was a sommelier and restaurateur. In any case, the three sons of a stonemason were planning to follow the family enterprise in Germany. However, on a whim in 1981 while they were travelling the world and because it reminded them of home, Theo and Alex Giesen purchased land and planted a vineyard just outside Christchurch, at the time it was the world’s southern-most vineyard. Younger brother Marcel took himself to winemaking school and four years later joined Theo and Alex in New Zealand’s South Island to start making wine

from their vineyard. From their first vintage in 1984 the three Giesen brothers have aspired to create great wines. And as their business has grown over the past three decades they have remained true to their vision, creating great wines people love to drink. From that first vintage Giesen made Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and it was an instant hit. In 1984 Marlborough was little known. However, drawing on their German heritage the three brothers recognised that cool-climate winegrowing created wines with flavour. Since then wine drinkers throughout the world have fallen in love with Giesen Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc making it a runaway success. So, buying their first Marlborough property, Dillon’s Point Vineyard in the Wairau Valley in 1993 was a natural step. Since then, the Giesen brothers’ determination to make wines people love has driven international recognition for Marlborough and its Sauvignon Blanc.

Misha’s Vineyard – Central Otago “IT’S A gasp, then a “wow” when you finally arrive at the land that’s now Misha’s Vineyard: land that was overrun by rabbits and rocks; land once inhabited by Chinese gold miners seeking their fortune; land with impossibly steep slopes overlooking a lake and snow-capped mountains… land that now grows some of the world’s best Pinot Noir. Spectacularly located on the edge of Lake Dunstan in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago, Misha & Andy Wilkinson’s 57-hectare estate has a ’no compromise’ philosophy across all aspects of viticulture and winemaking. The sun-drenched north-west facing terraces provide optimal

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conditions for producing Pinot Noir and aromatic white varieties. Planting of the 26-hectares of vineyard was in three stages - 2004, 2005 and in 2007. Not only was the vineyard on an old goldmining site from the 1880s but the vineyard is located on State Highway 8 and the land was known as ‘Sheep Run 238’. Given the number 8 is a lucky number in Chinese culture, it was decided to plant the first 8 vines in a special ground-breaking ceremony in November 2004. A Chinese gold coin was placed beneath the first 8 planted vines as a mark of respect for the many Chinese


who worked the land many years earlier and to return the

old gold to the land to bring the new gold... Pinot Noir!

Greystone Wines – North Canterbury THIS NEW Zealand wine story doesn’t involve a family, an ambitious couple, or a maverick winemaker. It involves a friendship that started in an empty paddock and grew with a vineyard. 2019 marks the 15th year Winemaker, Dom Maxwell, and General Manager, Nick Gill, have worked together at Greystone. Their stor y began in 2004 when Nick, who at the time was viticulturist at Penfolds, was appro ache d by the Thomas Family to establish t h e G re y s t on e Vineyard. Nick arrived at Greystone with a dog, his ute and not much else. He started from scratch, kitting the property out with the gear and people it would need. Dom was one of the first applicants and spent his first few years at Greystone as a vineyard-hand. As if by fate, the winemaker Nick had lined up for the first Greystone vintage (2007) decided he wanted a change in career. Nick’s righthand man, Dom, was given the chance to step into the winemaker role. Through the years, Nick and Dom have weathered their share of storms, frosts and earthquakes but have always come through stronger and more determined. They say their success can be credited to their shared trust, determination and sense of humour.

At the ground-breaking ceremony, ever yone who 2004, the planting of some potted vines.

was involved in the vineyard development up to that stage attended, including John Perriam, owner of Bendigo Station, of which the land had been a part. John came with his famous sheep Shrek, and they both planted one of the eight first vines. John was hoping his vine would grow faster than the others the with addition of sheep poo at the base of the vine. Misha’s Vineyard was one of the most difficult sites to plant because of the fragile top soils with unforgiving schist rock underneath, because of the steep slopes and because the land was overrun by rabbits. But they say the best wines are from vines that struggle.

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Rippon Vineyards: World Class SARAH ADAMS

THE PICTUR E-PER FECT setting of Rippon on the shores of Lake Wanaka looking out to Ruby Island has a fairy-tale quality. And the story of how it came to be is almost just as mythical, thanks to one soldier’s lightbulb moment in the Second World War. But don’t be fooled by the view, their story is one of passion and a lot of hard work in one of New Zealand’s most extreme climates. Lois and Rolfe Mills are recognised as part of the ‘first five’ pioneers of the modern Central Otago wine industry, and their dedication to the land has been passed to the next generation running the vineyard today. Earlier this year, Rippon was awarded the Best Vineyard in Australasia and ranked 8th best in the world. Rippon’s story began in 1912 when Sir Percy Sargood bought a high-country station on the western flanks of Lake Wanaka, spanning all of what is central Wanaka today. When he died, “considerable swathes of land” had to be sold to cover death duties. Fast forward thirty years, Percy’s grandson Rolfe was a submarine lieutenant in the Second World War. While on duty, Rolfe spent some time in the Atlantic coast of Portugal. The schist slopes of the Douro valley reminded him of home, it was his first ‘lightbulb’ moment.” After the war, Rolfe returned to the family import/export wine business. “Even in the 1930s and 40s, wines featured regularly on the table.” It wasn’t until 1975, thirty

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While on duty, Rolfe spent some time in the Atlantic coast of Portugal. The schist slopes of the Douro valley reminded him of home, it was his first ‘lightbulb’ moment. years after his initial idea, while running the farm as an angora goat stud that he and his wife Lois decided to plant some experimental vines. Seeing that they had taken, he, Lois and their three children moved to France for a year to try the


vigneron’s life. They returned to New Zealand and in 1982 began the commercial planting of the 15ha that today comprise Rippon. “When they decided to plant vines, the only way in which they could raise the money to

do so was to sell more land,” says Jo Mills, Rolfe and Lois’s daughter-in-law. “What we have today, along with Rolfe’s sister’s land next door, is all that remains of Wanaka Station, that massive farm.” Because it had never been done before, the Mills moved to experimenting with vine varieties, not knowing which would be able to take in the cool climate. “With very little in the way of plantings south of Christchurch at that time, we planted around 30 varieties recommended as cool climate options by Te Kauwhata [Viticultural

centre].” Their flagships today, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer featured among these recommendations. In 1993, wine writer Michael Cooper was still asking of Central Otago, “the crunch question is whether this region is sufficiently warm to support commercial wineries.” The Mills were 10 years ahead of the wider industry discussion. Rippon has been organic since inception, and biodynamic since 2002, after winemaker Nick Mills returned from studying in Burgundy. “While there he did a biodynamic course with Pierre Masson and worked in a number of biodynamic domaines where he saw the clear difference in the vines and soils. For us, it helps better inform all our decisions on the farm and, by looking down more rather than up and out across the lake, connects us more tightly to the land and soils beneath us.”

Rolfe and Lois Mills.

Biodynamic farming, wild ferments, no irrigation and some of Central Otago’s oldest vines on their own roots all help to produce fruit and wines which are true to their place. And now their place has been recognised among the world’s best vineyards. Nick and Jo remain humble and slightly uncomfortable with their new title, as they don’t normally enter competitions. “That said, for Central Otago

to be recognised alongside some of the largest wine producing regions of the world is incredible and is a testament not just to our team and the land but to the commitment of growers down here of rendering top notch wines from top notch sites and bringing them onto the world stage.” Rolfe and Lois Mills attitude defined how Rippon was and continues to be farmed: “with passion, hard work and a bloody

fantastic team. Without those three, we would simply not be here today.” The Wanaka township is exploding in size and whether there is a growing tension where the land could be more valuable as real estate. However, Nick and Jo remain as dedicated to their guardianship of this special piece of land. “If we lost the land, it would be gone forever. It’s been a continued family pursuit to farm the land and, for our generation, this is primarily in the form of viticulture; recognising the land’s true potential through winegrowing.” And will the next generation take up the family business? “Whether the next generation chooses to do so is out of our hands; all we can hope to do is instil a love of the land in them all and an appreciation of what an incredible opportunity we have as a family.”

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Mercurey Young Winemaker

Last minute entry reaps reward TESSA NICHOLSON

EMILY GASPARD-CLARK very nearly didn’t enter this year’s Marlborough regional young winemaker competition. Her and husband Matt had just bought a house, life was exceptionally busy. But then at the last moment Matt convinced her she should have a go. It was sound advice, because Emily is now the Tonnellerie de Mercury NZ Young Winemaker of the Year. The 28-year-old who has completed harvests in New

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Zealand, Australia, Canada and France is currently an assistant winemaker at Spy Valley in Marlborough. The day after the nationals, when she competed against Kate Franklin from Sacred Hill and Jordan Moores from Felton Road, the win was still sinking in. As was the prize package; an educational trip to Burgundy, a $2000 Programmed Property Services Education Scholarship, a Riedel decanter, wine from Winejobsonline and cash. She will also get to be an


associate judge at the NZ Wine of the Year competition, and has already been an associate judge at the Marlborough Wine Show. She has a career evening to thank for her career choice. While she had contemplated studying food science at University of Auckland, coming across information about the Lincoln Viticulture and Oenology course made her change direction. “I just loved the idea of the practical side of it,” she said. “It

wasn’t just sitting in a classroom, it wasn’t sitting in a lab, it was out in the field.” When she told her parents what she was thinking, her Dad jumped in with support. “He loved the idea, so much that he wanted to come do it with me.,” she joked. The course was everything she hoped it would be and the end results even better. “I love the fact that you can follow the product the whole way through and there

is an actual product at the strengthened her knowledge. end that people enjoy. It’s a The other area she has built up, fun thing, a social thing – it’s is public speaking. “That is one of the reasons I fantastic. It’s pretty cool to share a wine that you have entered last year, to push myself helped make, with others.” out of my comfort zone and This is not Emily’s first foray gain confidence. Because it is into the Young Winemaker important as a winemaker to be competition. She entered the able to speak in front of a crowd Marlborough regionals last of strangers.” year, mainly to gain confidence. Not only did she have Being back in it this year, was to present a speech at the competition dinner on why a huge growth curve she says. “That first year it was scary, Marlborough is the best wine nerve wracking, but it really producing region in New helped my confidence. I wanted Zealand, she also had to provide to see this year if I could do a 20-minute presentation on the better on the things I didn’t do subject; Is New Zealand’s wine so well at last year. I looked at it export growth sustainable? as a way to check my progress. It “Preparing that was hard is challenging and it’s tough, but work. Twenty minutes is a it is a very good way to see what long time. But it was such an interesting topic and I have you need to work on.” An area of weakness that learned so much about the raised its head last year, was the New Zealand wine industry as component that covered fault a result.” finding in wines. Emily said The associate judging she has worked on that over component of winning the X 124H MM theACTIWETT past 12WINEPRESS months 1/2 andPAGE has176W Marlborough Regionals and the

Nationals is another bonus for her. Again, nerve wracking she says, but something that she is keen to learn from. So no regrets? “Oh no. The great thing about the wine industry is that you can do two

harvests in a year, you get to see a lot of the world, and get to work and find out about the culture of the place where you are working and living. It’s a great job.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

A TRADITION IS SET IF THERE was ever a piece of advice to give to potential winemakers intending to enter the Young Winemaker of the Year competition, maybe it is to buy a house just as you undertake the regional competition. That may sound ridiculous, but all of the National winners from the last three years have signed off on a house the day of the regional competition or a few days before. In 2017 Kelsey Daniels was checking with the bank in between modules at the South Island competition, as her house sale was finalised that day. In 2018 Greg Lane was in a similar situation, signing off the afternoon of the competition. This year, Emily Gaspard-Clark had signed off just a few days before the regional competition took place. Twice may be a coincidence, but three times in a row? Tradition maybe.


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Winemaking Innovation

Green tea instead of Sulphur TESSA NICHOLSON

A MARLBOROUGH winery is attempting to replace sulphur dioxide (SO2), from their organic Sauvignon Blanc and replace it with green tea. SO2 is a preservative that’s widely used in winemaking for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. In terms of wine, adding it helps prevent oxidation, ensuring the wine stays fresh. In recent years the use of SO2 has come under scrutiny as some consumers say they react to wines that contain it. Reactions range from allergy effects, such as runny nose, itchy throat, skin rashes to asthma attacks. The number of producers not wanting to add sulphites is increasing world-wide and the orange wine movement has grown exponentially on the back of this. For Erica and Kim Crawford

of Loveblock Wines in the Awatere Valley, the move away from sulphur additives is part of their organic vision. As a South African, Erica has been well aware of research being undertaken in her birth country, that has seen some wineries replacing sulphur with powdered tea, rooibos and honeybush in particular. Taking the lessons learned there, the Crawfords are introducing green tea to their organic Sauvignon Blanc, as an alternative antioxidant. Not only is green tea a natural product that is registered as a wine additive, it also has very strong antioxidant properties. “Each time we expose the juice to air, we add 5 mg/l of green tea powder as an antioxidant. So harvest, crush, float, racking after ferment, filtration and bottling. Total add

this year was .16 grams per litre. The product is soluble in juice and wine, so one extra addition was done this year at the prebottling stage.” The Loveblock wines are believed to be the first in New Zealand to use the green tea additive as an antioxidant, with the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc being the first to undergo the process. However not providing a dose at the last pass to the bottling wine saw the 2018 wine ‘pinking’ and the colour changing to an orange, which clarified after a few weeks. This year with that lesson learned, the green tea was added at every point along the winemaking process and the result is no pinking in the wine. Erica says there is no apparent flavour permutations coming from the green tea, but there are a number of other

differences between wines where it is added and those without it. “ The 18 was hellishly interesting. We got a lot more orange zest, cumin and more spices at the back. And in my view, the green tea allows the flavours of the wine to flow more naturally. Sulphur tends to fix the flavour, and I think it can make a wine quite hard.” In South Africa research is continuing into the use of other teas that could substitute sulphur. Rooibos and honeybush in particular. “South African winemakers using these say the honeybush (tea) is so powerful, it’s unbelievable. We are looking at trialing these next year. We are hopeful that we will get to the point that we won’t need to use sulphur at all in the future.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

Rooibos tea bushes, growing in South Africa.

The rooibos tea additive used in wine comes from the sticks rather than the leaves of the bush.

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Industry News

15 years of growth TESSA NICHOLSON

BACK IN 2004 when Chris Yorke sent out his first New Zealand Winegrower press release, New Zealand wine had reached $300 million worth of exports. His final press release before leaving NZW, announced our wine exports had reached $1.8 billion. Quite an achievement in 15 years. Yorke, who has been NZW’s Global Marketing Director took up his new role as CEO of Austrian Wine Marketing Board, on October 1. It’s a long way from New Zealand to Austria, but Yorke who grew up in Switzerland, is more than capable of quickly finding his niche. Speaking fluent German will help, as will his background in international markets, with both NZW and previously American Express. It was his marketing role with the latter that saw him first come to New Zealand back in 2002. He was struck by the beauty of the country and the easy way of life. “I thought, oh god, I need to move here. We had a young kid at the time and we thought this has to be the best place in the world for kids to grow up.” He was in Hawke’s Bay at the time of this epiphany and given his interest in wine, he was immediately thinking about how he could merge his interest with a long-time career. “I was thinking about what I could do that would allow me to stay in New Zealand, and wine was what I thought it could be. But it took me two years to get into it.” In 2004 there were only 17,809 producing hectares in New Zealand. The vintage

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Chris Yorke off to Austria after 15 years with NZW.

that year saw 162,100 tonnes harvested. Since then both productive land and tonnages have doubled to what they are now. Yorke says it is the love affair with Sauvignon Blanc and the quality of our wine that has seen exports rise to $1.8b. “We can’t produce wine cheaply,” he says. “With 700 wineries in New Zealand, we produce less than the biggest winery in Australia. So, we have to compete on quality. That is the first thing. Secondly, is the impact and the amazing growth of Sauvignon Blanc and the expression of that variety that New Zealand has. That has led the growth of exports.” Markets have also changed over the years. In the early 2000’s the UK was our major market,


with Australia following. Today however, the US is our number one export market, with countries like Canada, having a large impact. “Initially we didn’t have that much wine, comparatively speaking, to export. That is why the focus was on the UK, the mother ship and Australia across the ditch. But then the US really took off and Canada took off. We started doing New Zealand wine tastings in Shanghai over 10 years ago to start getting into other markets.” Over the 15 years there have been highs and lows that accompanied Yorke’s job. The low was the period during the global financial crisis, that coincided with a surplus of Sauvignon Blanc. It was a

learning time for the industry he says. “We learned that we can only change the things we can affect and the thing we could affect was only growing grapes we had a home for.” The highs are far more dominant though. The first ever Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in 2016, followed by the equally successful celebration earlier this year. The Pinot celebration, that is about to undergo major changes for the 2021 event. And thirdly, the growth of wine tourism. “To me it is all about what I leave behind, so wine tourism is the third thing for me. A lot of the marketing of New Zealand wine is aimed overseas. But actually, I have realised

Actually, I have realised that there are a whole lot of wineries that don’t export, and their cellar doors are important. Wine tourism really helps that group of our members.

that there are a whole lot of wineries that don’t export, and their cellar doors are important. Wine tourism really helps that group of our members. It’s really satisfying seeing how that has taken off.”

As for the move to Austria, Yorke says there are a number of similarities between that countr y’s wine industr y and New Zealand’s. For one Austria grows Sauvignon Blanc – not to the extent New

Zealand does. But the very first world symposium on the varietal was held in Austria back in 2008. Austria also has two main varietals; the white Gruner Veltliner and the red Zweigelt, just as New Zealand has Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. And the third similarity for Yorke at least, is that Austrian wine exports in 2019 are the same as what New Zealand’s exports were back in 2004, when he took on the marketing role for NZW. “Austria produces as much wine as New Zealand, yet it

has about 4000 wineries. And as New Zealand used to export to mainly English-speaking countries, Austria exports to mainly German-speaking countries. So I want to place a stronger emphasis on exports and wine tourism.” Leaving NZW will be bittersweet, although Yorke says he is proud to have been a part of the industry during such a growth phase. “I feel I have been very lucky to be part of the journey of a very successful wine story.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

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PwC Strategic Review

Board implements changes The PwC Strategic Review was completed late last year, with a number of recommendations presented to the New Zealand Winegrower’s Board. Chair John Clarke explains to Tessa Nicholson how those recommendations are now being implemented in five key areas. SUSTAINABILITY It is in this field that the biggest changes have been made by the Board. A new senior executive position has been created – GM Sustainability. Dr Edwin Massey has recently been appointed to the role and will ensure that sustainability becomes embedded across the entire wine industry. Clarke admits that many memb ers may vie w the sustainability subject as being related to SWNZ only, but he says it is about more than scorecards and environmental issues. “This is not just about environmental sustainability, we are talking about economic and social sustainability, even cultural as well. “We want to ensure we are good employers, that we don’t breach standards and that we can be viewed as an industry of choice for people who are looking for work opportunities, right throughout the industry. “In an economic sense we want to ensure that the returns to growers and wineries are at a level that enables those businesses to carry on in a sustainable fashion in the future.” The PwC survey of members highlighted issues surrounding the current SWNZ programme, and Clarke says those issues are being addressed at the moment. “It has been our Achilles heel and we need to sort it out,” he says. A panel of viticulturists and

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those four,” Clarke says. Reputation health indicators include: ranking in key markets by dollar per litre, nil convictions for breaches of standards and sale of alcohol issues, achieving environmental benchmarks and ensuring the safety of staff and contractors. Sustainability health indicators include; the average value of wine exported, the average grape price and nil convictions for breach of resource management rules. Diversity; ensuring growth rates for target varietals, increasing the percentage of female senior executives within

Dr Edwin Massey has been appointed to the new position of General Manager Sustainability for NZW.

winemakers, led by former board member Gwyn Williams is working on the scorecard and the anomalies that have been highlighted over recent years. “We are looking at the questions we ask (on the scorecard) particularly around the audits. We need to be seen to be auditing and asking questions about the areas that matter from a New Zealand wine perspective, other than broadening it out to include areas that are the domain of others.” For example Clarke says broad questions relating to labour are fine; “but some of the more detailed stuff is for the Labour Inspectors and others.” SWNZ will now come under the umbrella of the new Sustainability GM and Clarke says he expects the new-look scorecard will be released to members early next year.


We want to be much more engaged with the regions. This is more about what they can do for us, as much as what we can do for them. FUTURE REPORTING The review suggested that NZW didn’t report on the health indicators or key performance indicators for the organisation as an industry body. They suggested that needed to be done, in a way that could be measured. As a consequence the Board has instigated three levels of reporting, built around the key words of NZW’s purpose statement; reputation, sustainability, diversity and value growth. “We have developed some health indicators for the industry as a whole around

the industry and preventing major new pests entering the country’s vineyards. Value growth; measuring the retail value of New Zealand wines in target markets, median salary/wages in the industry compared to New Zealand as a whole. Clarke says these health indicators are for the New Zealand wine industry as a whole. The other two levels of reporting relate to NZW itself. Long term KPI’s have been developed in the four major activity areas of marketing,

advocacy, environment and research. In each of those areas, annual KPI’s have also been developed, to ensure the industry is moving forward.

REGIONAL RELATIONSHIPS Allocation of levy funds to the regions will not change, Clarke says, but working with and assisting the regions will be boosted. “We want to be much more engaged with the regions. This is more about what they can do for us, as much as what we can do for them.”

Regions will be offered marketing initiatives in terms of monetary marketing incentives to be part of regional tastings in offshore events. Accounting help will be offered free of charge. “This is specifically directed at some of the smaller regions, where administration is a big cost.” Regional representatives will be paid to attend events such as Spray Days and Bragato, while Chairs of regional boards will be able to take part in governance programmes.

“That is not to suggest they are not good at what they do, but to provide an opportunity for succession within the NZW board. “Regional diversity is just as important as varietal diversity.” The Sustainability GM will have some oversight within the regions, and will work as a conduit between them and the NZW board.

MANAGEMENT Apart from the new Sustainability GM role, there will be no major shakeup of NZW’s man-

agement structure, although Clarke says there will be some tweaks.

FINANCE A financial model out to JYE 2025 has been delivered to the board. The major change is an increase in levy rates by 10 percent this current year. That is aimed to ensure NZW has financial flexibility for the future, and the ability to meet unexpected contingencies such as a biosecurity incursion. tessa.nicholson@me.com


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Bob’s Blog


THINKING OF BECOMING AN MW? THE INSTITUTE of Masters of Wine is organising an introductory course to be held on 13 and 14th November 2019 in Sydney. The course will be led by Caro Maurer MW and Richard Hemming MW. They will explain the MW approach to the examination syllabus with a special focus on the writing and tasting skills required to become a Master of Wine. The class will include several tastings of different wines from different regions of the world. As well as tastings throughout the day, lunches and a dinner on the Wednesday evening are included as part of the programme. Attendees who are eligible to join the MW study programme in June 2020 will be given a discounted rate from the normal application fee. Date: 13 and 14 November 2019. Location: Karstens Sydney – Level 1, 111 Harrington St, The Rocks, NSW, 2000 Open to: Interested professionals who are highly motivated in relation to the wine world and the culture of wine. The whole class will be given in English. Meeting the requirements for the MW study programme is not a prerequisite for attending the weekend. However, attendees wishing to be considered for entry to the MW study programme must meet the entrance requirements – see here for more information. Fee: $880 AUD (inclusive of GST)

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ANY OLD VINES? HOW IMPORTANT is vine age to wine quality? As a winemaker once commented, “If you’ve got old vines it’s critically important, if you don’t then it doesn’t matter a damn.” I trawled back through my records in search of geriatric vineyards. The oldest vines I came across were Gewurztraminer planted in Te Whare Ra’s Marlborough vineyard 40 years ago with Riesling a year after that. Ata Rangi and Martinborough Vineyards have Pinot Noir vines that have recently celebrated their 39th birthday. Weighing in at 38 years (if my records are correct) are a Framingham Riesling vineyard from Marlborough, and Valli “Old Vine” Riesling from Central Otago. Grant and Helen Whelan told me many years ago that they had the country’s oldest Pinot Noir vineyard in Canterbury that would be over 38 years old if it survives today. “They were dog tucker clones but vine age allowed us to make some pretty good Pinot Noir” enthused Grant. Rippon Vineyards planted Pinot Noir, Riesling and other varieties 37 years ago while Stonecroft’s 35 year-old Syrah is reputed to be the country’s oldest Syrah. I am sure there are older vines and vineyards in the country and invite anyone who wishes to update or amend my “old vine register” to email me at bob@bobcampbell.co.nz with “Old Vines” in the subject line. I believe that vine age does make a contribution to wine consistency, flavour intensity and complexity. Expect to see more “old vine” wines on the market as producers acknowledge the contribution that vine age makes to wine quality. We need to follow Australia’s lead by developing a “NZ Old Vine Charter” to guide producers and consumers. How’s this for a start? • Mature vine – 25 years of age or more • Old vine – 35 years of age or more • Very old vine – 50 years of age or more

FOOD-FRIENDLY WINES I WAS recently asked by a student in my wine course to come up with a shortlist of food-friendly wines and, after a little research, produced the following list of attributes in wine that make them easier to match with a wide range of foods: • Crisp acidity • Dry or very slightly sweet • Light or medium body • Low to moderate alcohol • Smooth or slightly rough tannins • Neutral flavours Using those attributes as a guide here is my (controversial) pick of the most food-friendly New Zealand white and red varietal wines: White Wines (in order of food-friendliness) • Pinot Gris (dry or very slightly sweet) • Albarino • Chardonnay Red Wines (in order of food friendliness) • Pinot Noir • Merlot • Cabernet Franc Keep in mind that “food-friendliness” is the measure of a wine’s ability to match a wide range of dishes. I was asked by a reader to list wines that were food-unfriendly, or less promiscuous when it comes to finding a perfect partner. Food-unfriendly Wines • Sweet wines • Astringent wines • Wines that are high in alcohol Vintage port, for example, forms a wonderful partnership with blue cheese but not much else. It meets my defintion of “food-unfriendly”.


NZW News

Celebration time THE BEST of New Zealand wine will be discovered at The New Zealand Wine of the Year™ competition later this year, with judging kicking off on 14 October. Highly regarded Hawke’s Bay winemaker Warren Gibson will lead as Chair of Judges, with Marlborough winemaker Ben Glover alongside him as Deputy Chair. The winners will be celebrated at the New Zealand Wine Awards on Saturday 16 November in Blenheim. Eight major trophies will be announced at the celebration - New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Champion, Best Single Vineyard White Wine, Best Single Vineyard Red Wine, Best Open White Wine, Best Open Red Wine, Best Organic White Wine, Best Organic Red Wine and Best Wine of Provenance. The evening will recognise the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ winners, as well as other industry achievements including Young Viticulturist of the Year, Young Winemaker of the Year, the inaugural Cellar Door of the Year and the New Zealand Winegrowers Fellows for 2019. NZ Wine of the Year Regional and Varietal winners announced Wednesday 6 November nzwine.com/nzwy

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Snatch and Grab or Full Monty? A Shoot Thinning Trial on Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Chris Henry of Henry Manufacturing is championing a trial this season on Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to evaluate how changes in vine management can improve spray penetration for disease control.

The trial will also evaluate the benefits vine management has on vine productivity in the following year. Trials last season showed the dense canopies associated with Sauvignon Blanc grown by the ‘Marlborough Method’ provided a challenge to disease control products that rely on contact to be effective. “Protector and HML32 fall into that category - as do many modern synthetics,” says Chris. Changes to canopy management are needed for these products to be effective. Chris is working with local Marlborough experts, Mark Allen of Allen Vineyard Advisory, Dr Mike Trought, Member New Zealand Wine Industry Hall of Fame and Jason Flowerday, co-owner of Te Whare Ra, to develop a solution for improved spray deposition during the critical period of flowering and the four weeks following fruit set.

Dr Mike Trought NZ Wine Industry HoF

Mark Allen Allen Vineyard Advisory

Jason Flowerday Te Whare Ra

BEFORE whole vine ‘Full Monty’ shoot thin

A range of canopy treatments providing different levels of spatial gaps will be trialled. The treatments focus on shoot thinning either at the head of the vine or over the whole plant. Growers who practice head thinning often call it a ‘head grab’ or ‘snatch and grab’ or a ‘karate chop’. This is a quick action where the worker hardly stops moving down the row. A step up from that is the ‘stop and look’ approach where the worker stops and looks for doubles, shoots crossing over other shoots or heading in the wrong direction. As Mark Allen puts it: “A ‘snatch and grab’ gets outwards pointing shoots only, whereas a ‘stop and look’ gets the three ‘no-nos’ – outwards, backwards and twins.” “The upside of a preflowering head thin is that it opens up the head for effective cover with the 80% flowering spray for both powdery and botrytis control” says Mark. Even better is the whole vine ‘full monty’ where the canes are also checked early for double shoots and under shoots.

“Done early, normally between EL9 and EL12, it is easy to see doubles and you can do it by hand”, says Jason Flowerday, who has been using the Full Monty practice for a number of years now. “Early shooting thinning by hand at the head also reduces the amount of pruning wounds in winter, minimising the risk of trunk diseases.” Dr Mike Trought adds that removing shoots by breaking them off removes the buds close to the origin of the shoot and as a result over a number of seasons, there should be a general reduction of shoots around the head of the vines. Pruning in the following season should be a lot easier and quicker as a result. “The trial is taking place on a Giesen vineyard in the Wairau Valley where Sauvignon Blanc grows particularly vigorously so it will be a good test,” says Chris. “They recognise the benefit to the industry and we appreciate their support. The trial will likely be expanded next season.”

AFTER whole vine ‘Full Monty’ shoot thin

Source: Mark Allen - Allen Vineyard Advisory

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

Women in Wine


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What do international terrorism and the Women in Wine Initiative have in common? Not much, with the exception of Fiona Fenwick. Fenwick who plays a key role in the programme, spent her early years studying Political Studies and majoring in International Terrorism back at Aberdeen University. TRUTH BE told, she never actually got to put that particular degree to work, given she moved straight into public relations once her degree was completed. It’s a funny story really, as so many of Fenwick’s are. She was being interviewed by Procter and Gamble, suffering from “the most crashing hangover,” when

Fiona Fenwick addressing the Women in Wine get together, the night before the Bragato Conference.

she was asked if she was there for the public relations job. She blanched. She had in fact thought she was applying for a job in advertising. “But I looked him in the eye and said yes I was. Then he



asked me to talk to him about what public relations meant. I don’t think I had ever actually heard those two words put together until that moment. I knew public, I knew relations so I was willing my wine addled

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brain to figure out what to say and luckily came up with enough to satisfy them - or show I at least knew the value of spin.” Long story short, she got the job. Which after three years led to her next career move –



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Martin and Fiona Fenwick with bins of hand-picked organic Pinot Noir from their Marlborough vineyard ‘The Quarters’.

as director of communications for ICI, which was the largest chemical facility in Europe at the time. On call 24/7, she was responsible for dealing with the media and community regarding fatalities, fires, pollution, chemical industry issues and Gre enp e ac e, whose members regularly chained themselves to the ICI buildings. Although a position of considerable influence, it wasn’t in the least bit glamorous

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she admits, especially given the relentlessness of some of the UK media at the time When ICI began to divest of their assets, the company that had employed close to 100,000 people, downsized to just over 6000 employees during her time there. Fenwick chose to leave the company to get the flexible working she wanted to start her family. Her boss at the time, who she describes as her greatest mentor, was concerned


that those taking over the assets would not look after the community as well as ICI did. “He was concerned that they had put years into being the backbone of the area and what would happen if they didn’t treat it the way we had over the years.” Fenwick suggested she establish her own business and represent the new companies, which by the way included Enron, BP and Du Pont among many others. The Blue Sky project was born

and Fenwick’s company Fiona Bell & Co (later to become @ PR) came quickly into being. Her boss had one caveat though – he wanted her to be the company’s representative on the Middlesbrough Football Club’s Executive Board. Given she knew nothing about football, Fenwick laughed at the suggestion – initially. “But then I thought about it and the next morning I phoned him and said, ‘why not, if you think I can do

You could be fantastic at the work you do or the product you make, but if no one knows about it then you are unlikely to be as successful as you could be. it, then I’m sure I can’. “They had never seen a female in that Boardroom, they had certainly never seen a person of such tender years. But to be honest I didn’t factor either of those things in until I looked back years later - perhaps the innocence and arrogance of youth.” She spent three years on the Executive, which she describes as “interesting, challenging and hugely exciting”, helping sign multimillion dollar players for the club. At the same time she was still running her company and was on call, all day and every day to deal with local, national and international media. Now she was not only getting calls (“just about always at 3am”), to put out fires for the chemical companies (often literally), she was also getting calls from the police station to rescue players who had got themselves into a little bit of trouble. “So I had a few visits to the cells and various other places. But thank goodness there was no social media back then, because we were able to keep things relatively contained.” Balancing this, a young family and multiple other responsibilities, Fenwick was starting to yearn for new energy and opportunity - tired of the never-ending on-call duties.

She reached a life-changing decision, she wanted to live somewhere else and give her girls the chance to experience life in another country. Having visited a number of times – Aotearoa was her first choice. She arrived in her new home country the day the Twin Towers fell in New York - a sombre start but life affirming. She continued with her business from this part of the world for a while and then decided to sell. To keep active, she established an on-line company that imported party products - a completely new direction and fun for a while, but quickly realised that she missed the people contact. “I’m a communicator - always have been and always will be. I was working from home and I started losing a part of me and I knew my journey had so much more mileage in it.” She began knocking on doors of people she had on her list of ‘people who need to know Fiona’, not asking for jobs or anything else, but looking to develop her nonexistent network in New Zealand and in doing this, letting key people know what skills she had to offer. Before she

knew it, she was working with national sports organisations and major corporates, and advising leadership teams and Boards which then led to her being asked to do conference talks and media commentary on reputation management. However, as a result of people asking her for more help and guidance in their careers, she was asked to write a book about what she had learned during her career. In 2017 Stand Out and Step Up was released. It provides readers with sound guidelines on personal and professional communication strategies, effective implementation and successful management. All mentors and mentees in the Women in Wine programme receive a copy and are advised to read it to help themselves find their success. From that grew a new business, ‘fifteenminutes’. “What I was finding is reputation management was at the core of all the leadership work I was doing. You could be fantastic at the work you do or the product you make, but if no one knows about it then you are unlikely to be as successful

BE THE BEST PERSON YOU CAN BE Fenwick was one of the guest speakers at the Women in Wine get together the night before the Bragato Conference in Napier, attended by more than 140 people. Some of her quotes from the night include; “If we simply do what everyone else does and have no point of difference, we will never progress.” “There is someone out there, likely less qualified than you, doing the things you want to do, and know you can do, simply because they believe in themselves and in turn, have secured the belief of others.” “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” “Mentors are gold. They help us to hear ourselves – painful as that is sometimes! They help us to get clear on the things that count for us.”

as you could be. Whether it was a major company in crisis, or a sportsperson trying to make the most of their short time at the top of their game - or even falling from grace - how you communicate your successes or failures is what can make all the difference to success.” She based the business name on part of her favourite Andy Warhol saying; “In the future everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” The business continues to take Fenwick all over New Zealand and overseas to work with companies and deliver conference keynotes and workshops. Now based in Marlborough with a 9.5 ha property, 4.5 of which are planted in vines, Fenwick is an integral part of the Women in Wine programme, and is passionately proud to be. She helped establish the mentoring programme, drawing on her experience from establishing previous similar initiatives both in New Zealand and overseas, and from being both a longstanding mentor and mentee. She helps select members of the wine industry to take part, both mentors and mentees and advises on matchings. Her past experience plays a big part. Not everybody is cut out to be a mentor. “Just because you have been in a particular business for a long time, doesn’t mean you are necessarily the right person. It’s the whole two ears and one mouth concept. You have to be able to listen and support in a way that doesn’t take over, doesn’t judge the mentee but helps them focus on what they need to do and be accountable for themselves.” The success of the programme which is about to start its third year in 2020 speaks volumes for what this woman with a degree in international terrorism brings to the party.


Award News

Scholarship like winning Lotto TESSA NICHOLSON

A priceless opportunity. NMIT students Kirsty Marsden (left) and Nichkan Sayasith at the New World Wine Awards.

THE OPPORTUNITY to judge at the New World Wine Awards was like “winning lotto” for two NMIT Viticulture and Winemaking students. Kirsty Marsden and Nichkan Sayasith were both chosen for the scholarship back in July, and joined 17 senior judges from around the country to taste their way through more than 300 wines, in August. As Associate Judges, they joined a number of New World team members who also took on the Associate role. While only the senior judges’ points count, Kirsty and Nichkan still had to give scores to all the wines they tasted. That was nerve wracking in itself Kirsty says. “I thought, what happens if I am really useless? But then I figured, the worst thing that

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could happen, is I am no good. But I would still learn as much as I could.” “In those first two flights we did that first day, it wasn’t that good,” Nichkan says. “But then we got into it. And if our scores were totally different from the judges, they would ask us our opinion and help us by giving their reasons for their marks. So we were really learning along the way.” Nichkan is one of a number of overseas students studying the winemaking course at NMIT. Coming from Thailand, she says the hardest part for her was the number of varieties she knew nothing about. That was where Chief Judge, Jim Harre would step in. Before each varietal he would provide a brief on what they were looking for and ask


another judge who was very familiar with the varietal to provide further information. While it might sound like the dream job, tasting wines for three days in a row, both students are quick to point out just how tiring it is. “By the end of the first day I was so tired. I was thinking, this is really hard, but then I got into a routine,” Kirsty says. “I got very sore teeth,” Nichkan admits, “but then realised I had to drink a lot of water.” All the wines were tasted blind, in varietals, vintage and country of origin, with scores given on the internationally recognised 100-point scale. The best wines were then tasted and re-tasted by the senior panel to identify the top 50 wines as well as Champion Wine for the show.

While both students have taken part in tastings during their three-year course, they say the opportunity to learn alongside some of the best judges and winemakers in the country was an experience neither imagined having. “It was like winning Lotto,” Nichkan says. Kirsty says it was a priceless opportunity. “A couple of years ago, I would never in my wildest imagination have thought I could do that. Going from knowing nothing at all about wine, to being an Associate Judge at the New World Wine Awards was confidence building. You cannot put a price on this scholarship.” And would they do it again if they got the chance? You bet!

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Industry Profile

Super judge - Jim Harre JOELLE THOMSON

JIM HARRE is the first to admit he keeps a low profile for someone with such a big influence on wine. His decisions determine which wines will be widely enjoyed by drinkers in many corners of the world, even if his name remains firmly under the radar in his role as an international wine judge. His career as a wine judge began, inauspiciously, as a wine steward at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards in 1993. It was a role that quickly progressed into that of associate and then senior judge in 2000. He has since become a panel leader at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, the San Francisco International Wine Competition,

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the Japan Wine Challenge, the International Wine Challenge in London and the China Wine Challenge, as well as Chief Judge at the New World Wine Awards here at home. Things have moved fast for Harre but change has been slow in the judging culture. “In my early experience in judging, the message was clear - keep my mouth shut, my ears open and don’t make a fuss. “I thought that if ever there was a concept of judging that would turn someone off, that was it. The idea of inclusiveness for young palates was not part of the culture back then. At least the bullying has largely gone today, which I think is a very positive thing. I expect people


to judge wines seriously but I also expect them to have fun – I believe you’ve got to create an environment that’s happy to be in and if you’re not having fun, you’re not judging particularly well.” To say that wine was in the family is to make a major understatement about Harre’s early life. His brother, father and grandfather all made wine, so it wasn’t exactly a stretch that he would also become involved in the industry. But despite the family’s passion for wine, Harre originally trained as a school teacher. He left teaching and fell into work as an international flight attendant, through an unexpected meeting with an old friend. He

applied for a job at Air New Zealand in 1973, got the job and began training with Air New Zealand in 1974. The work was enjoyable but he quickly tired of the substantial time off, so he began studying winemaking and viticulture at Hawke’s Bay Polytechnic and suggested a wine education course for cabin crew. “Air New Zealand management thought it was a good idea and suggested that I organise and set it up, so I went to Bob Campbell, who initially set up and ran the wine training, which I later took over and was subsequently appointed a wine consultant for the airline.” His career in wine has snowballed from there. As have his

judging roles, both nationally and internationally. Trends in wine styles internationally have grown in tandem with his career. There are significantly more wine competitions in the world today than there were when Harre first began and he has a significant role to play in a vast number of them. He says winemaking in New Zealand is becoming better but that it is important not to develop a mindset of being ‘the best’ because the industry in this country is so relatively youthful compared to thousands of years of experience in traditional winemaking countries. “I think we are seeing extraordinary wines coming through at lower prices. Pinot under $30 is very good now but 15 years ago it would have been undrinkable. This is a very good trend because it opens up these lovely wines to a wider range of consumers.”

If we don’t communicate about wines like this, then we are in the situation of making great wines that are at risk of disappearing because there’s no market for them – because we haven’t made a market for them. One problem for New Zealand winemakers is a lack of diversity in consumer purchasing. “I don’t think we are doing enough to tell consumers about the great wines we make, such as Albarino, which is relatively new. If we don’t communicate about wines like this, then we are in the situation of making great wines that are at risk of disappearing because there’s no market for them – because we haven’t made a market for them.” The biggest problem we have in wine judging going forward, in his view, is

protocols in terms of how shows should be run “We have largely switched to the 100-point scale so that competitions have media and marketing value overseas. What we don’t have is best practice so that we can trust the process behind it. There’s no reassurance that the system is a process that is robust, without compromise.” He is encouraged to see a more diverse range of people coming into the wine judging process today. “When I first started judging it was a mostly a group of doctors and scientists and then mainly winemakers. Now we are

seeing a more diverse range of people coming into judging and we need more diversity in judging wine.” Another issue that’s important to him is how wines taste outside of the judging context. “I can tell people if a wine is good but I can’t tell if they’re going to like it. A wine competition is a snap shot of a wine at a certain place and time. People’s own preferences will always make the final judgement but one thing we do robustly is champion quality parameters. That can always stand up.” As to what he has learnt from judging wine, Harre says it is a continuous journey. “The main thing is that at the end of a competition, I enjoyed myself, learnt a lot and had a really pleasant time in that environment. I go into every competition thinking I’m going to learn something new - and I do.” mailme@joellethomson.com


Organic Update

Organic winegrowing in Central Otago JEAN GRIERSON

WINEGROWERS IN Central Otago are embracing organic practices at a rate that “punches above their weight” and have well surpassed an earlier nationwide challenge to achieve 20 percent organic wine production by the year 2020. Central Otago Winegrowers Association chairman Nick Paulin said the latest industry st at ist ics show t hat an impressive grand total of 23 percent of the region’s vineyard land area is now being farmed under certified organic or biodynamic practices. Organic certification (either through the BioGrow or Demeta certification systems)

is held for 320 hectares or 17 percent of Central Otago’s wine production area, whilst a further 115 hectares or six percent of the planted area is currently undergoing conversion to organics. (Land must be managed to a certified organic standard for three years before full organic status is granted by an organic certifying body.) The region represents almost five percent of the national vineyard plantings, with 1884ha in Central Otago planted in vines, of which almost 80 percent is Pinot Noir. It typically has a shorter growing season than other regions and in 2019 Central Otago produced 11,868

tonnes of grapes, representing three percent of the national vintage. Paulin said the collaborative nature of the Central Otago industry has helped spread the word and gain a critical mass of organic growers, amongst them many of the biggest and best known brands from the region. Dry autumns and relatively low humidity are regional advantages that can reduce the need for chemical sprays. Paulin said the biggest challenge to organic growing in Central

Otago is weed control. “Central Otago is a natural fit for organic viticulture. We are passionate here about taking great care of our land, and also driven to create the absolute highest-quality wines,” Paulin said. “Time and again, organic and biodynamic production has been shown to create premium wines that truly express the spirit of our land, while regenerating and preserving the landscape for future generations.” Paulin said organic

Time and again, organic and biodynamic production has been shown to create premium wines that truly express the spirit of our land, while regenerating and preserving the landscape for future generations.

Burn Cottage Vineyard Lowburn has been biodynamically farmed since it was planted in 2002. PHOTO JEAN GRIERSON

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TOSQ’s organically certified vineyard near Cromwell. PHOTO CARL THOMPSON.

certification was a credibility to stand behind your product. “It’s an additional cost to production, but its not that much in the grand scheme of things. “A lot of people are doing it because they think it’s the right way to farm – not to put it on their label.” He said growers were becoming more focussed on producing wines in a more natural way, in what he describes as “conscious cooperation with nature.” “That’s the way you’ve got to think about it, like you’ve got to work with nature rather than against it, that’s my philosophy.” He said the inclusion of Gibbston Valley Wines’ Schoolhouse Block at Bendigo in the Organic Focus Vineyard Project, initiated by Organic Winegrowers NZ, had boosted local awareness of the methods, advantages and challenges of organic growing in the region, and regular field days had been popular.

Gibbston Valley’s winemaker Christopher Keys said the focus vineyard project run from 2011 to 2014 had given the company confidence and now the remaining half of the Schoolhouse block (which had been managed under st and ard w ine indust r y agrichemical practices during the focus project) and a total of half of the company’s vineyards have been converted to organics, with potentially more in the pipeline “The focus vineyard showed that the whole thing works here, restoring soil and vine health - it’s a logical progression here. Our practices improved, and it made conversion of the other vineyards smooth. “It’s a really good outcome for Central Otago and the growers here, it works down here and hopefully it’s the launchpad for where we will be in five to 10 years’ time,” he said. Vinewise Viticulture, based in Cromwell began specialising in organic and biodynamic

vineyard management across Central Otago 10 years ago. They now manage around 100 hectares or half of their client’s vine area organically. Co-owner and viticulturist Grant Rolston said the biggest challenge was the vines’ struggle for nutrients in the second year of conversion when they went from a “junk food diet” but the availability of new organic products on the market in recent years made this much easier to manage. “Basically organics is like the old new,” he said. “People have been doing it from way back organics is actually conventional farming – and what we call conventional farming, I call chemical farming – that’s not conventional at all. Farming with fertilisers was a byproduct of the war.” Nearly one-third of the grapes going through Vinpro winery – which processes around 10 percent of the region’s production, is now being grown using organic management practices (either certified or in

transition), said winemaker Pete Bartle. “The wines look good, and the fruit looks good in the vineyard,” he said. Maude winemaker Dan Dineen said it made sense to have their contract winery certified, with an increasing share of the around 700 tonnes of fruit processed this year coming from clients tending towards organic management. “It’s an amazing success story, showing that with a strong collective vision within a region, organics can become mainstream,” said Rebecca Reider, coordinator for Organic Winegrowers NZ. “ There’s been positive collaboration between the national organisation and COWA over the years to promote organics.” She said that with 17 percent of Central Otago’s vineyard area being certified organic, this was more than three times the national average (of 4.5 percent of vineyard land certified). jean.gibson@nzsouth.co.nz


Vineyard News

Saving Sauvignon Blanc... and Marlborough RICHARD SMART, SMART VITICULTURE, TRURO, CORNWALL, UK

T H E G R OW T H o f t h e Marlborough wine region over the last 40 years is one of the most remarkable success stories of the world of wine, and one which many regions and countries in both the Old and New World can only hope to emulate. One aspect which is so remarkable is that this growth is so recent, in fact only two generations old! And the second remarkable aspect is that the growth is mostly due to one grapevine variety Sauvignon Blanc (and interestingly mostly one clone). And this extraordinary growth can be related to the excellence of quality and uniqueness of style of the Sauvignon wines produced in Marlborough. But there is a shadow looming over this variety which is so widely planted in the region, with some 20,600 ha in Marlborough, around 85 percent of the national vineyards of this variety. And this means that there is a shadow looming over Marlborough, since so much recent regional prosperity and development can be linked to this single variety. The shadow is an infectious group of fungal diseases, called generically Grapevine Trunk Diseases (GTD), and Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most susceptible varieties to these diseases. While one of these diseases has been known for around two centuries, many are new in their impact on the world’s viticulture, and there are some commentators who suggest that the impact of trunk diseases in modern times will

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Fig 1: Pierre Galet, the famous French viticultural scientist stands beside a multi-trunked wild Vitis berlandieri vine, Davis Mt, Texas. PHOTO BY LUCIE MORTON.

be greater than the impact of phylloxera ever was, or will be. I first learned of the susceptibility of Sauvignon Blanc to trunk diseases in November 2014 during a meeting of the International Council of Grapevine Trunk Diseases. This conference involved a visit to the Nuriootpa Viticultural Research Station in the Barossa Valley, where we inspected the impact of trunk disease on a variety block. The particular damage to Sauvignon Blanc was so very evident. Many studies including those in New Zealand showed that as the vines age they are more likely to show symptoms


of trunk disease and eventually die. The first symptoms or death may show with vines as young as five years and vine deaths are common for vines 10-20 years old, especially if another stress like water logging is evident. The median age of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is around 13 years old. Growers in Marlborough have seen their own-rooted Sauvignon Blanc vineyards destroyed by phylloxera from the 1980s onwards. The impact of phylloxera is very obvious and devigouration and death can occur within two years. Trunk diseases are ver y different. They are described

as insidious. The vines may not show any symptoms for several years following infection, and by this time the fungi will have spread perhaps throughout the plant.

MANAGING TRUNK DISEASE The control of trunk disease is now becoming well-known and is a two-step process, firstly to reduce/avoid infection, and secondly to eliminate infection in a process of vine rejuvenation. Avoiding infection is relatively easy in Marlborough. There are a range of products available to spray or paint on winter pruning wounds which help prevent the invasion from fungal spores

landing on these wounds. New Zealand is lucky in this regard. For example, Canada has no such products registered for this use. Winter pruning wounds are the major point of entry of the fungus, especially during wet weather. The second step, that of vine rejuvenation will be a practice that should now be concerning the majority of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc growers who have not been previously protecting pruning wounds from infection, and who very likely have symptoms of trunk disease in their vineyard. This procedure is relatively simple,

the accompanying photograph taken of wild vines in Texas. (See Fig 1). Furthermore, trunk renewal has been practiced for likely over 100 years by grape growers in the North East of the USA where winter freeze injury is common. The practice was known as “vine renewal” or “trunk renewal”, and “trunk renewal” is the term currently used in this region to describe the practice. The author regrets the present New Zealand practice to treat the noun “trunk” as a verb, and so say “retrunk”; does “recar” mean to renew one’s auto?

The impact of phylloxera is very obvious and devigouration and death can occur within two years. Trunk diseases are very different. They are described as insidious. that of selecting one or two suckers from the base of the plant and training them upwards as a new trunk or two. There is a very important proviso to this procedure however, which is that is that any new trunks should originate at least 20 to 30 cm below any staining in the existing trunk to avoid being infected. The retrained vine can be cropping in one or two years, and of course should be wound protected.

TRUNK RENEWAL IS NOT NEW Trunk renewal has been proposed in Australia for control of the trunk disease Eutypa for the last two decades or so, where it is called by the non-precise term “vine surgery”, but in fact the practice predates this by millions of years! Grapevines in their native habitat are multi-trunked as is shown in

TRUNK RENEWAL MUST BE TIMELY It is important to commence trunk renewal early, before the fungal infection has developed strongly in the trunk, and has travelled to the base. This requires checking for first symptoms in the block and beginning trunk renewal at least in nearby vines. It may also involve modifying practices so that suckers are no longer destroyed but saved for use in trunk renewal. Some propose that blocks be treated uniformly and so growers might wait for a proportion of vines to be symptomatic or even die (say 20 percent) before trunk renewal is adopted on the whole block. Under this scenario yield is lost for at least one year; my suggestion is for much earlier inter vention and


A TD infected spur, Marlborough Sauvignon blanc. Note unprotected pruning wounds. PHOTO PLANT&FOOD

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saving more of the original vines by reducing the spread of infection. I call this procedure “timely trunk renewal”, and it is supported by economic studies in the USA and New Zealand.

CONCLUSION I have been giving workshops and field demonstrations on these procedures for over five years to clients and grower groups in many countries and regions. An important component is to teach recognition of symptoms, especially in earlyindicator spurs, and modifying pruning to reduce infection. I propose working with Marlb orough consultant Mark Allen to offer seminars about trunk disease control early in the 2020 pruning season throughout New Zealand. richard@smartvit.com.au

A Marlborough Sauvignon blanc trunk showing substantial dead tissue. The performance of this trunk to store and distribute water and nutrients is severely compromised. Photo Plant&food







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Pruning Update

Going with the flow to combat trunk disease SOPHIE PREECE

UNIMPEDED SAP movement is crucial for a healthy vine, but often foiled by pruning techniques, says Simonit & Sirch master pruner Mia Fischer. “I’d like you to start thinking of the vine as a living thing”, she told a group of growers eagerly huddled mid-row in Marlborough recently, when she visited for a workshop and pruning demonstration. Fischer emphasised the need to ensure vascular health from the root up, using a controlled branching structure, small cuts and protective wood to minimise and mitigate the impact

of desiccation. The objective was to reestablish uniformity, improve quality and production, extend vine age and reduce susceptibility to trunk disease, by respecting the vine‘s own natural defence mechanism, taking into consideration the area allocated for it to grow into in its lifetime, she said. “Year-on-year pruning results in desiccation - the quality and quantity is determined by the pruner with each cut annually made to the plant structure.” Simonit & Sirch is an Italian training and consultancy company that has spent more

Small cuts require only secateurs.

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than 30 years researching vine health and longevity via winter pruning and spring shoot thinning. Its pruning model is based on the formation of a sturdy branching structure and incorporating cut separation by keeping cuts on one side of the vine in cane pruning , so that sap can flow unimpeded on the other. Once growers had forged the desired structure, decisionmaking became simple, with an established procedure for where year-on-year pruning cuts could be made, she said. The quantity of cuts needed would be

reduced to a minimum, speeding up the process in winter and spring. “It’s a clear message for the pruner and the plants, so it is a lot easier.” Fischer wielded Felco 13 Secateurs as she demonstrated in the Farmlands/Marlborough Grape Growers Cooperative Innovation Vineyard, and turned down offers of larger loppers to take out canes, explaining that no one should need them for a well-structured vine. Small cuts reduce desiccation (dead wood) and heal sooner, putting less pressure on the plant and providing a

Master pruner Mia Fischer

smaller entry point for pathogens like Eutypa. Where and how these cuts are made is important, she added. “Our objective is to move away from the need to make a big cut. If we need to make a big cut we will do it in a respectful way, avoiding having to make another one in the future, by respecting space allocated and using controlled branching.“ Looking at an older vine with damaged head and non-uniform canes, Fischer described how in restructuring the vine, a well-positioned “anchor” could be used to encourage uninterrupted sap flow along the “productive highway” of the plant. “The position and quality of living wood on the structure can act as a stopper to the accumulated desiccation,” she said, advising growers to never cut flush to the trunk, but instead to utilise the vine’s own defences by focusing on cut quality. Adapting Marlborough pruning styles to the model will require a change in mindset, but

SIMONIT & SIRCH - THE METHOD 1 Shaping the structure - drive branching development. 2 Respect the vascular flow - separating desiccated areas from the main sap flow. 3 Reduce cutting surfaces and respect the crowns - make small cuts on the same side on one or twoyear-old wood. 4 Allow for protective wood - when cutting wood two-years or older, retain a portion of protective wood. simonitesirch.com

can begin with a “gentle shift” in which people “start seeing their vines”. She demonstrated on six-year-old vines with an abundance of dead wood and crowded canes of various diameters. “When you go into your vineyards, consider vine structure for the future by looking

at your plants and thinking about the build-up of living wood. Living wood is vital to the sustainability of a vineyard and it cannot grow where there is dead wood.” Current pruning practices result in a “randomisation” of many cuts to the plant structure, resulting in big cuts

made to control growth, she said. That increases the risk of pathogens entering the plant structure, “resulting in premature vine decline”. The risk of Eutypa was revealed at the demonstration, when older vines were cross-sectioned with a chainsaw, revealing the extent of trunk disease and dearth of sap movement. “They were basically beyond repair,” says Mart Verstappen, technical leader viticulture at Farmlands, which sponsored the event. People had pruned on price for decades “and at the end of the day you get what you pay for”, he says. The cost of adopting the pruning model was discussed during the day, with an acknowledgement that it will take time to establish the necessary structure, says Verstappen. “But what is the true cost if you don’t do it?” With many Marlborough vineyards being removed and replanted due to trunk disease, it is a perfect time to look at a better way forward, he adds.


Industry News

FMR launches industry training initiative THE FIRST FMR Sprayer Academy was held in Marlborough recently, with over 150 graduates completing the one-day training. The attendees took part in three workshops, “Vineyard Spraying 101: Best Practice for Optimum Results” presented by Simon Clifford and industry spraying expert Dr David Manktelow, “Practical Set-up and Operation of the FMR Vineyard Sprayer” presented by Tim Curr and Dan Rosie and “Getting Long Life and Relia-

bility from your FMR sprayer” presented by Eddie Parker and Craig (Waddy) Wadsworth. The interactive workshops gave attendees the opportunity to ask questions and gain specific training in anything they were unsure of, with the key objective of the FMR Sprayer

Academy being to ensure all operators are fully trained and have a complete understanding of what they are working with, and the best and safest practice to achieve the optimum results. “FMR views the Academy as a great opportunity to give back to customers,” says Managing

Director Chris Clifford. “The content is aimed at maximising return-on-investment for owners whilst ensuring their operators are kept safe and have a clear understanding of how to set-up, use and care for the sprayers plus conduct basic troubleshooting,” he said.

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Industry News

A NZ success story TESSA NICHOLSON

A company that is changing the face of vineyards here in New Zealand has just recently taken out the Supreme Awards at the Wellington Gold Awards and the Global Gold Award for exports. NZ TUBE Mills which produce ECO TRELLIS fought off stiff competition from 60 other finalists, with their innovation and global success gaining high praise. NZ Tube Mills only began producing ECO TRELLIS Horticultural Solutions back in 2009. GM Terry Carter says utilising steel for trellising literally came about by chance. “A couple of our engineers were driving through Gimblett Gravels and saw someone unloading a truck load of timber vineyard posts. They asked the guy what he was doing and he told them he was tired of breaking these posts every year. That was how it started. It was the idea of creating a replacement post concept.” Since then the ECO TREL-

LIS system has morphed into a multimillion dollar business. Given that treated timber posts have a breakage rate of anywhere from five to eight percent a year, and can’t be recycled due to the chemicals used to treat them, the steel alternative quickly caught the attention of growers and companies throughout New Zealand and Australia. Carter says unless a steel post is driven into directly and knocked over, they are basically impervious to damage from harvesters – unlike their timber counterparts. They are quick to install, around 3000 posts a day compared with 1000 for timber and have no potential leachate from CCA treatment. Companies such as Pernod Ricard, Villa Maria, Felton Road and many others have already

adopted policies to replace all broken timber posts with steel and in Pernod’s case all new developments will involve ECO TRELLIS. Having made significant inroads into the Australasian market, Carter says they began looking to the Northern Hemisphere, mainly the US in 2015. But it wasn’t quite as easy as he had hoped, initially anyway. “We assumed it would be a timber market like Australasia, but they had changed to steel 30 years ago. So there were already lots of steel trellising alternatives over there. “Then when we visited companies, they would ask us who we were already selling to in America and we had to say we haven’t sold to anyone yet.” That was 2015. Now ECO TRELLIS is selling their products to some of the big names, including Gallo and Constellation. “So that’s the number one and number three brands over there. Immediately we gained

credibility.” Given there was a plethora of steel trellising systems already available in the US, Carter says having a collaboration with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Klima stripping machines have helped create a point of difference. Klima offers something that is not available in the US - mechanisation. (See next story.) But to be able to use it successfully, NZ Tube Mills had to create a way of retro-fitting current trellis systems to ensure wires weren’t broken during the stripping process. Enter the Eco Sleeve, which literally clips on to whatever trellis system the vineyard currently has. Three million have been made in the past 12 months, helping the export sales of the company soar from $3.5 million in 2015 to $10 million last year. While the wine industry is their major market for steel trellising, Carter says they have also developed trellising for kiwifruit, apples, pip fruit and berries. And more is yet to come. ECO TRELIS in place at a new Peregrine vineyard.

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Mechanisation new for the US THE IMPETUS behind developing the Klima stripper back in 2007 was a continual lack of labour during the pruning season. Growers and companies all over the country were facing shortages and every year there was the underlying fear that pruning would not be completed in time for bud burst. The Klima quickly caught the attention of grape growers in both New Zealand and Australia, but breaking into the US has until recently been a difficult one, says Klima founder Marcus Wickham. “There has been no mechanisation in American vineyards ever, everything has been done with Mexican labour. They are so far behind us from a labour point of view, it’s unbelievable. They have never constructed their vineyards with any regard to costs or availability of labour. They are still hand-picking thousands and thousands of

acres for table wine that is not really that flash. But it’s not been a problem, because labour was readily available and it was cheap.” But that is changing Wickham says as the current Mexican workforce grows older. “The original immigrants that came into the US were fleeing abject poverty. They couldn’t speak English, they were illiterate and illegal. “So the only thing they had to trade was their physical labour. And there were lots and lots of them, they have been an amazing workforce.” However that original group of immigrants’ children have been raised as Americans, they are educated and they do not want to replicate their parent’s jobs in horticulture for $7 an hour, Wickham says. “If you talk to the large grape growers, they say they are facing a labour shortage for the

first time ever. They are having to look at mechanisation as an alternative for manual labour.” The Klima is the perfect solution, although it has taken two New Zealanders taking up key viticulture roles for Constellation in the US, to really drive the point home. Having worked with the Klima in Marlborough, Ollie Davidson and James Nightingale knew what the benefits were. They imported a couple of machines and their success has led to other companies and contractors importing them as well. They are also raising eyebrows with their approach to vineyard establishment Wickham says. “James and Ollie marked out and planted a large new vineyard on one of their sites. They did it the way we would do it here, by marking it out with GPS, planting the vines with a device towed behind a

tractor. Then they rolled out the irrigation and put the posts in. We have been doing that for 20 or 30 years. So it was perfectly normal for them to do it that way. But in America they do it all back to front. They put all the posts in by hand – every single post is knocked in by a human being. “Then they run all the wires, run all the drip lines and then they come back later on and hand plant all the vines.” Apparently the way Davidson and Nightingale undertook the development, saved Constellation US$1 million in construction costs. Easy to see why the company is taking mechanisation in all forms seriously. Wickham says education is key to growing the market. Having two New Zealanders “spreading the gospel,” and someone on the ground talking with industry members is vital to future export success.


Vineyard News

Sulphur deficiency in Marlborough vineyards on shingle soils MANY ASTUTE growers plan fertiliser applications on plant tissue nutrient testing. However, we must be aware of sample contamination by sprays, especially for sulphur. Research in Hawke’s Bay has had an interest in improving vine growth on shingle (sandygravel) soils in Gimblett Gravels for several years. One of the earliest trials was carried out by Dr Petra King, Dan McClellan and Richard Smart in 2006-2008. They studied low, medium and high vigour vines, and showed that associated vigour was associated with vine nutrition rather than differences in water supply. Nutrient testing showed deficiencies of nitrogen N, sulphur S, potassium K and iron Fe for low vigour vines. A subsequent study with Syrah at a different site showed again N and S deficiency in low vigour vines; these deficiencies could be overcome by addition of compost, and fertiliser in a complex slow release form which contained N, S and other elements. Vine growth was substantially improved as was foliage colour, and root growth was substantially improved in the presence of fertiliser. A few years ago another trial began to increase yields and vine health on an under preforming Hawke’s Bay Malbec vineyard. Compost was applied and petiole nutrient analysis was performed at flowering. As expected, compost improved many of the nutrients tested. However, Sulphur tested extremely deficient in both the

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compost and the untreated control. The vineyard manager was surprised as their petiole nutrient analysis at flowering, on the very same block that year, showed satisfactory sulphur levels. In fact there was no history of low sulphur ever! What was the cause to provide this stark difference in tissue testing results? This is where cleanliness becomes important! So a comparison was made of our collection methodologies. Our team and the Manager’s team both collected a systematic, randomised sample of petioles which were sent off to the laboratory for analysis. One additional step by our team was to wash the petioles in a non-phosphate detergent, rinse twice with distilled water and then send to the lab. Our


samples showed S deficiency, those of the manager did not. Since then S containing fertiliser has been applied to the vineyard with observable benefit in vine colour and vigour. Most Marlborough soils are known to be low in Sulphur which has lead us to question if Marlborough vineyards may be suffering from limitations of this nutrient as well? After all, many soils are sandy in texture, and the old stream beds running across the plains (so-called shingle soils) are characterised by low vigour, yellow vines. Further, we understand that it is common practice NOT to wash plant samples. Not only might S deficiency affect yield, but perhaps also quality, since S-containing thiols are important for Sauvignon Blanc aroma.

At veraison, this past season, leaf blades were collected from a number of vineyard locations in Marlborough. The vineyard samples were split into two, a washed and an unwashed sample before being sent for analysis. Unwashed leaf blade samples showed significant contamination of Sulphur (Figure 1). Iron contamination was also evident (Figure 1) and is commonly seen with soil dust contamination in plant nutrient testing. There was also a trend for Copper and Zinc to be lower in washed samples but this was not evident in all vineyard blocks (Figure 2) and likely reflected if the vineyard block had an application of these nutrients during the season. For example, vineyard #3, a block that had Copper fungicide spray

Figure 1. Significant differences seen in Sulphur (%w/w) and Iron (g/kg) levels between un-washed and washed leaf blade samples at veraison.

and a Zinc foliar fertiliser spray had considerably higher results of Cu and Zn in the un-washed sample indicating residual contamination of these nutrients (Figure 2). All of New Zealand laboratories that analyse petiole and leaf blade nutrients offer a sample washing service. Their methods of washing are to a

higher standard than we completed in this trial. Use it! Your vines health and management decisions rely on this accurate information.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We like to thank Pernod Ricard, Wither Hills, Giesen and Villa Maria for sample sites. We also thank Bragato Research Institute for their guidance and support. This article was provided to NZ Winegrower by Stewart Field1, Richard Smart2, Mark Allen3 & William Bodeker4 . Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Marlborough. 2. Smart Viticulture, Truro, Cornwall, UK. 3. Allen Vineyard Advisory, Marlborough. 4. ARL, Ravensdown, Hawkes Bay 1

Figure 2. Nutrient analysis results between un-washed and washed leaf blade samples at veraison. N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na in %w/w. Mn, B, Zn &Cu in mg/kg.



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topics. You will get an opportunity to make your own wine, work in a vineyard, complete a harvest internship, develop a wine palate and gain practical skills like tractor driving, first aid and forklift license within the degree structure. With EIT’s flexible study approach you can study the BVWSc degree either full-time on-campus or part-time via distance learning.

Chris Scott | Graduate Chief Winemaker at Church Road Winery


Industry News

Pruner to represent NZ TESSA NICHOLSON

IT IS 19 years since Kerry Hammond completed his viticulture diploma, and in that time he has probably pruned tens of thousands of vines. But never in his wildest dreams did he ever imagine that his skills with secateurs and vine canes would see him representing his country on the world stage. Hammond will take part in the Felco World Pruning Competition, to be held in Switzerland early next year. It is not only a first for Hammond, it is also the first time New Zealand has had representation at the world champs in its 75-year history. He will be competing against pruners from close to 20 other countries. The vineyard manager for

Starborough Vineyards in the Awatere Valley, Hammond was at first reticent to enter the nationals held in Marlborough. Not only because in his role as manager, he isn’t quite as hands on in terms of pruning as he used to be, but also because the competition was held five weeks after the vineyard pruning had been completed. “There was no way for me to practice in the weeks leading up,” he says. That will also be an issue heading to the World Champs, given they take place in March – during vintage, not pruning season. Add to that the forms of pruning are different the world over, and Hammond knows he has some work ahead of him. “There are some really differ-

ent styles of pruning in Europe. For example, there is one style where they bring a cane straight down to the ground. They have bush vines with the goblet style where they are five spurs on a head, no wires, no posts. I’m not too sure what style I will have to prune, although I have been told it will likely be a single cane and spur pruning.” Competition organiser Jeremy Hyland said eight competitors from around the South Island took part in the national competition held in August. And he has no doubt that Hammond will do well on the world stage. “Kerry has a great understanding of both pruning systems. There were some people

“We purposely chose to add a theory component into our competition, so that meant the person who won had a thorough understanding of pruning and will be able to adapt to what is put in front of him.”

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who were strong in one and not so strong in the other, but Kerry along with one other guy were solid on both spur and single cane.” While he is appreciative that there are no vines to prune in Marlborough between now and the World Competition, Hyland says Hammond’s knowledge will make up for any last-minute practice. “We purposely chose to add a theory component into our competition, so that meant the person who won had a thorough understanding of pruning and will be able to adapt to what is put in front of him. He will do New Zealand proud.” Along with the title of New Zealand pruner of the year, Hammond was also awarded the Allan Coker Memorial Trophy, in memory of the man who had been involved in the Marlborough Silver Secateurs for many years. tessa.nicholson@me.com DU-WETT WINEGROWER 1/2 PAGE 180W X 120H MM



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Pinot Noir 21

Raising the bar on NZ Pinot Changes are afoot for New Zealand’s next Pinot Noir Celebration. Tessa Nicholson looks at how organisers are raising the bar. CELEBRATING 20 years since the very first Pinot Noir event, 2021 promises to be bigger and more New Zealand centric than ever before. The organising committee, known as ‘The Bunch’ are determined to build on the legacy of Pinot Noir NZ 2017, where our sense of place, turangawaewae, became an aspirational byword. Co-chairs Penelope Naish and Helen Masters took the planning to the road recently to share the vision and plans for the upcoming event with New Zealand Pinot producers throughout the country. Pinot 2021 will take place in Christchurch, from 23-25 February with 120 New Zealand Pinot producers expected to take part. In total close to 1000 Pinot lovers will be involved including 600 key influencers, leaders and visionaries from around the world. Naish says while our Pinot wines will be the star attraction, there will also be intellectual and robust discussion, and plenty of tastings to stimulate the senses. Keynotes from a line up of New Zealand and international speakers will take place across the three morning sessions, along with panel-led formal International and New Zealand Tastings on day two

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and three. Like the previous event, the afternoons will again focus on free flow tasting sessions, where attendees will get the chance to spend one on one time with wineries to taste and talk directly with the producers. The move of the event to Christchurch brings some exciting opportunities for a fresh approach, Naish says, and also some fantastic new venues. Te Pae, the new conference centre currently under construction in Christchurch, will be the main event hub. Te Pae will be a “stunning, first class international conference centre”, she says. “With 360 degree views of the region, it has plenty of natural light, great air conditioning and the very latest in technology. We are really looking forward to showcasing our wines in this venue.” Some strong themes are developing, although Masters says this is a process that will


THE COMMITTEE Helen Masters (Co-Chair) – Winemaker, Ata Rangi Penelope Naish (Co-Chair) – General Manager, Black Estate Natalie Christensen – Senior Winemaker, Yealands Paul Donaldson – General Manager, Pegasus Bay Aaron Drummond – General Manager, Craggy Range Rosie Finn – Marketing and Sales Director, Neudorf Alistair King – Accountant, Findex Wilco Lam – Winemaker, Dry River Nick Mills – Winemaker, Rippon Paul Pujol – General Manager and Winemaker, Prophets Rock Mark Shaw – Director, Social Guy New Global Marketing Director, New Zealand Winegrowers

continue to evolve. The four key themes will focus on Place, Care, Kinship and Connection. The themes will also build on and further develop on the overarching theme from 2017,

Turangawaewae – a place to put one’s feet, a place to stand, a place to which one belongs. “This year we want to take it one step further – how have we been shaped by the land?” Further

details on the themes will be shared in the coming months. The roadshow which visited five Pinot regions during the August tour placed emphasis on how all regions will be able to reflect the themes within their own interactions with attendees, and through their afternoon tasting sessions. “We want people to really give attendees a feel for what their region is about,” Masters said. “Who and what is Marlborough? Who and what is Central Otago? Who and what is North Canterbury? How can you communicate that? How can you show that in the way that your regional room is set up? The more your room reflects your region, the stronger the story is.” Masters also encouraged all wineries to consider who should be on the guest list and let their regional Pinot 2021 committee member know. “If you come across someone on your travels who you think should be considered, maybe a sommelier, a new influencer, a new wine writer, someone who

may be left of field, you need to tell your regional representative. Because we want to ensure we get the best people here, and provide you unparalleled access to those people, so you can get your wines in front of them, and get to know them better.” New Zealand Winegrowers will fund 80 international delegates to attend Pinot Noir 2021, while the organisers will be bringing in around 10 international speakers. A major social media push will accompany the events prior, during and after to ensure maximum coverage. To start that media push off, Masters asked all Pinot producers to include the hashtag #pinotnoirnz on all relevant social media posts from here on in. Even though the event is still 17 months away, creating interest and building the conversation for Pinot Noir NZ 2021 begins now. tessa.nicholson@me.com Pinot Noir NZ 2021 Christchurch 23-25 February 2021 nzwine.com/pinot-nz


New Zealanders Abroad Graeme and Julie Bott created a successful wine estate in one of France’s most famous wine regions.

From New Zealand to France KATHRIN SILLER

NINE YEARS ago Graeme Bott completed his viticulture and wine science degree at EIT. In 2010 he moved to Côte-Rôtie in France to work for well-known Rhone wine producer, Stephane Ogier, with a specific goal in mind. “Syrah was the variety which interested me the most which is why I wanted to discover the Northern Rhone Valley, the birth place of Syrah,” Graeme says. This work experience led to a fairy tale-like story and an obsession for a wine that he says has no peer. Graeme became a winemaker for Domaine Stephane Ogier and worked there for eight years. Then, as life goes, he met his now wife Julie who was the sales director and their common passion in wine opened a new chapter. Originally the couple didn’t even dream of owning their own vineyard. Land prices in the region have skyrocketed in the last 20 years, and most of the

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land in the famous appellations is already cultivated. “Not to mention the fact that, to have a chance in the business here, you have to be born into a family with an existing estate or land holdings.” Hunting for a suitable property, Graeme and Julie found a small house up the hillside of Verin. They discovered that the 3500m2 terraced forest around the house was in the Condrieu appellation. It was a now or never moment, and they had no hesitation in buying it. They started to actively look for more unplanted land to create their own domain. “We spent every minute analysing the appellations, areas and plots that had not yet been planted since established vineyards were unaffordable and rarely go up for sale.” Once found they did all the land preparation and planning by hand. Their first wines, 3000 bottles produced from the 2016 harvest,


What I love about France and our region is the richness of the terroir. The soils change so rapidly and that is reflected in the wines. Here, wine is more than just a passion, it’s a way of life. were vinified in their garage. The same happened in the following two years. However, production has started to take off with their vineyards coming into operation. At the beginning of 2019 the Botts rented a winery in Ampuis where they are currently installing their tanks and cooling ready for the upcoming harvest. The plan for the next five years is to produce 35,000-40,000 bottles a year. Since 2015 the couple has been able to purchase 6.5ha of land, consisting of more than 50 plots. They planted their vineyards in the appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, SaintJoseph and Seyssuel which was

hugely challenging. All their hard work has paid off. Recently the Botts won the award for Vigneron and Terroir D’Avenir which is similar to Winery of the year/Winemaker of the future. They were selected first of all for the wines they are producing and secondly for their project having planted vineyards in the appellations around them. “We have also planted vines in Seyssuel which is considered an exciting terroir of the future. We are part of a group of winemakers who are redeveloping this area which will shortly pass into an appellation,” says Graeme. 


Look for black & white banding on the antennae

The Brown Marmorated Look for black & white Stink Bug is a pest that can banding on the sides of the infest your home in the thousands, abdomen stinks when crushed, and almost impossible to get rid of. It could also destroy 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.

Still hard for the Botts to believe, they own these vineayrds in France.

For more information: mpi.govt.nz/stinkbug “Receiving this award was incredibly humbling. Building our domain in a region where it seemed impossible, especially as I’m not originally from there, still feels a bit surreal.” There is no doubt about the fact that the Botts have found their happy place. “What I love about France and our region is the richness of the terroir. The soils change so rapidly and that is reflected in the wines. Here, wine is more

than just a passion, it’s a way of life. It’s crazy to think that wine was made from these vineyards hundreds if not thousands of years ago,” says Graeme. “Our favourite wine is Côte-Rôtie. It’s hard to believe that we actually own a couple of small parcels here and we planted vines in this appellation. When I started my career in wine I would have never even dreamed that it would take me that far.”


0800 80 99 66


Opinion Piece

What’s a perfume lover to do about wine? LEE SUCKLING

PERFUME AND wine hit many of the same senses, so it figures that in being a wine-drinker I’m also an avid wearer of fragrance. Fragrance, like wine, all starts with the nose. Yet when you start out wine tasting, one of the first things you’re told is to avoid wearing fragrance. It will distort the aromas and leave you unable to appreciate what you’re drinking. The two don’t need to be mutually exclusive, though. Wine and fragrance are equally emotive pleasures in life. I experience the same sense of joy in holding a bottle of fragrance



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and spraying it on myself as I do unscrewing a bottle of wine and getting that first sip. Naturally, wine and fragrance are both luxury products that are considered bourgeoisie necessities. It doesn’t feel right to be forced to choose between one or the other. Oenophiles and perfume enthusiasts are the same target market. They are equal in customer behaviour in terms of purchasing power based on brand recognition and emotional responses to packaging. Both have dispensable income and like the feeling of being “treated”. Both are aspirational, and choose products because they make them feel a certain way that perhaps they don’t feel dayto-day. Like the adage, “dress for the job you want, not the one you have”, people buy both wine and perfume because of the message they want to send the world about them. That isn’t

always who they feel like all the time on the inside. When you’re an equal lover of both wine and fragrance, it’s obviously polite to refrain from wafting into a wine tasting event smelling like a barrel of Chanel No. 5. If wine is being judged, this is fair. It would be like turning up to a cake-baking competition with pockets full of chocolate biscuits. However, when attending amateur wine-tasting events at restaurants, bars, wineries, and stores, depriving yourself of personal fragrance is unnecessary. Here’s why. The world is full of scents. Wine tasting doesn’t happen in a sealed, sterile room used for scientific practices. It exists in the real world, amongst kitchens, other fragrant alcohols, and people who emit their own natural smells. External scents are unavoidable and to say that a wine palate will be ruined by them is, frankly, the kind of pompous behaviour the

modern wine industry is trying to distance itself from. You wouldn’t go to the Italian coast during the summer and complain that the smell of hot citrus trees and sea air ruin the experience of drinking your Fiorduva Costa d’Amalfi, now would you? In saying this, there’s a discreet way to wear fragrance at wine tastings and formal events where wine is there to really be appreciated. Floral scents don’t work, and vanilla is too sugary sweet when you’re ingesting something else. I personally like scents of smoke, tobacco, and wood, and these three are all unobtrusive in wine drinking. In fact, they’re complimentary. When applied subtly to the neck or wrist only, fragrances like Tom Ford’s Oud Wood or Leather Ombré work with wine, not against it. These scents help you relax and prepare yourself for the enjoyment of a grapebased beverage. I encourage anyone to exper-

iment with different fragrances and different wines in their tasting journey. Champagne and other sparkling wines are particularly good matches for perfume, as their citrus finds each other in the room. Something like Armani’s Sí really respects a bubbly like cava, while a few spritzes of Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino go perfectly with an actual Aperol Spritz. Wine and fragrance are here to inspire us. They’re both made from the finest ingredients, and are luxurious, imaginative, and passionate. Push aside old rules about wine tasting etiquette and find the middle ground between enjoying both of these pleasures simultaneously. Debating we shouldn’t wear fragrance while wine tasting is akin to arguing how people should hold wine glasses. Every individual’s interaction will inherently change the wine and we should all be OK with that. lee.suckling@gmail.com

Genuine. Responsive. Agile. Practical. Experienced. Strategic. Providing ‘grape’ legal advice to the wine industry.



Innovative Wines

Mud House develops kosher wine

Mud House winemaker Cleighton Cornelius.


MUD HOUSE Wines may not be the first or the only winery in New Zealand to develop a kosher wine, but they are probably the largest company to do so. Their very first kosher Sauvignon Blanc was produced this year and is already selling in Israel. Winemaker Cleighten Cornelius says parent company Accolade Wines identified a growing market for kosher wine that wasn’t being served. “The kosher market was one that we have never been able to get access to, and globally it is a big market.” He’s not wrong. At the end of 2018, figures place the worldwide Jewish population at 14.7 million. A large majority of those observe kosher practices, which means any foods or beverages consumed must have Kosher Certification. This is the stamp of approval by a rabbinic agency verifying they have checked all the product’s

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ingredients, production facility and actual production, to ensure there is no trace of non-kosher substances. Cornelius says the wine itself is made in exactly the same way as standard wine, but there has to be a Rabbi on-site during the production and the wine has to handled throughout by “Sabbath-observant Jews.” Taking on that role was Rabbi Yedidya Krauthammer, who travelled from Sydney for the vintage. He was involved throughout the vinification process, from the time the grapes arrived at the winery, crushing, fermentation, fining and then bottling. “He was responsible for the product flow and the moving of product. That meant he was physically making all the transfers. “He would turn the pump on, get the receival bins going, start the must pump, start the press and when there were


transfers, the Rabbi was initiating the product being moved.” While Rabbi Krauthammer has been heavily involved in the production of other kosher products, this was his first time overseeing a wine being made. “He was really interested in the process, as it was all new to him. But then again it was new and exciting for everyone involved.” Mud House makes their wines at New Zealand Wineries in Marlborough, so it was important to have them on board as well, Cornelius says. “We had to ensure that all the equipment was cleaned to kosher standards, but New Zealand Wineries have a very good cleaning programme, so the Rabbi was more than happy with that. I think they enjoyed the whole learning process as well.” The kosher Sauvignon Blanc fruit came from the Mud House Woolshed Vineyard, which he


Rabbi Yedidya Krauthammer travelled from Sydney to oversee the production of the kosher wine.


says meant they could control what sites were selected and what parcels picked. “One of the reasons we used the Woolshed Vineyard was because it is a decent size and we were able to do test spots to make sure we had the right levels of brix and acids. Once we got the all-clear and knew the Rabbi was coming over, we coincided that with historical data. “So if it wasn’t that particular site we used, we knew we could move to another site that would be ready a week later. “At one stage it seemed like we were throwing darts at the calendar, as this year being so warm threw a spanner in the works with an early vintage.” In the end, the process was seamless Cornelius says and some 15,000 dozen bottles of kosher Sauvignon Blanc were produced. The first lot was bottled in June and sent to Israel. Requests have already come

back from market that more is needed, which Cornelius says is great news. While only a Sauvignon Blanc has been produced, he says there is no reason the company can’t look at other varietals in future years – if there is a market for them. Pinot Gris and Riesling would be obvious choices. Pinot Noir could also be an option, although that would require far more on-site presence from a Rabbi, as they would be needed to control the cap management and transfers to barrel. “The good thing about white grapes is that it is very easy. But as soon as you start looking at doing reds that need to be plunged, it increases the time requiring a Rabbi. But it is certainly doable.” As for the kosher Sauvignon Blanc, Cornelius says it is a tropical representation of what Marlborough does best.


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Phone: 0800 100 325



Advocacy Matters

Supporting the Zero Carbon Bill IN THE opening session of the Bragato Conference the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, congratulated the industry on its sustainability story and challenged us to tell it more loudly. We are doing exactly that in the Climate Change debate. The Government is committed to New Zealand responding positively to the impact of a warming climate. T h e C l i m at e C h a n g e Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill sets a framework for action to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 by setting carbon budgets and establishing a Climate Change Commission to provide independent expert advice to the government on how to achieve those budgets. On behalf of members, the Advocacy Team provided a written submission on both the Bill and on the proposals to bring agriculture into the emissions trading scheme.

MAIN POINTS WE MADE WERE: • Sustainability has been at the heart of winegrowing in New Zealand for over 20 years. The wine industry is committed to positively responding to the challenges of climate change and contributing to the global effort on climate change as set out in the Paris Agreement. • In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, winegrowing is highly efficient: despite its high value, wine is one of New Zealand’s lowest-emitting primary sector export goods. It is precisely the kind of low-carbon, high value land use the Productivity Commission said New Zealand would need to expand if it is to achieve a sustainable,

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In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, winegrowing is highly efficient.

low emissions economy. • NZW support the Zero Carbon Bill as a considered response to New Zealand’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. The framework it proposes seeks to strike a balance between: the need for global action on climate change based on an evolving evidence base and scientific understanding; and New Zealand’s domestic needs for regulatory and business certainty, and political and economic flexibility as an export-dependent economy. • Getting implementation correct within the framework of the Zero Carbon Bill will be critically important to the future viability of both our low-emitting, high-export value wine sector, and the whole New Zealand economy. In particular, the administrative cost of compliance for low-emitting sectors like ours needs to be low. • The implementation measures adopted by successive New Zealand governments


to meet the emissions targets will need to continuously take into account international and domestic relativities – that is, the climate change response measures being implemented by other nations (particularly those with whom our exports compete), and the equities between differing sectors within New Zealand who are impacted by those domestic measures. • As climate is vital to the character of New Zealand wine, our industry has already invested considerable resources into understanding and forecasting climate change impacts on grape and wine production. We are actively researching and educating members on adaptation techniques. • We support examination of whether carbon sequestration in vines, and the planting of biodiversity areas could each be accounted for in the future as a method to offset other on-farm emissions, within appropriate carbon accounting frameworks.

• Given the low level of fertiliser use and only incidental use of animals for crop cover in the wine industry, there should always be an option to pay for any carbon emissions at the processor level, potentially through an ability to opt out of farm-level pricing. NZW members will want to meet their obligations but we urged the government to ensure that the implementation of the scheme is efficient for low emitters. Philip Gregan delivered these messages in person to the Environment Select Committee and was congratulated for NZW’s excellent submission. The Advocacy Team will continue to engage with officials, politicians and the Select Committee process to ensure that our support is known, our contribution is understood and the implications for our industry in setting carbon budgets are taken into account. If you’d like to find out more please contact Nicola Crennan at nicola@nzwine.com.

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Warren Moran JOHN BARKER

PROFESSOR WARREN Moran, a prominent geographer and thought-leader for the wine industry passed away on 13 August 2019. Warren’s involvement in the wine industry began at a young age, helping out in the vineyard at Corban’s in Henderson. I recall him vividly describing the people, the place and the goings on. This was what interested Warren about wine; its ability to tell the story of people and place like almost nothing else – both from an academic perspective and as something that could be experienced and enjoyed. When Warren was interested in something, he was really, intensely interested. He wanted to know everything about it. He wanted to understand why people did things like this and not like that, how they came to be here and not there. He was always gathering data, asking questions, testing ideas, talking to anyone that crossed his path to extract a bit more information or a new angle on things. The interest sparked in the early days at Corbans led Warren to successfully complete his Master’s thesis in Geography in 1958 on the topic “Viticulture and wine-making in New Zealand: its national and regional character”. Warren’s Master’s thesis gave him an unequalled grasp of the social and cultural roots of the New Zealand wine phenomenon as it emerged over subsequent decades. He went on to become a teacher and later joined the University of Auckland, eventually becoming a Professor of Geography. He became a highly

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distinguished and internationally recognised geographer with a broad range of academic interests – always with the common thread of his deep interest in the relationship between people and the land. It was in the field of geography that Warren made his contribution to the wine industry. He was fascinated with the multiple ways in which people had created such a rich and complex geography for wine, how they learned about and responded to their physical environments, the social, economic and cultural contexts that shaped their decisions. At the same time, he could see that the role of people in shaping the geography of wine was almost entirely absent from the way that people talked about wine. Most discussion focussed instead on a narrow idea of terroir in which the capacity to make great, or even good, wine was determined by the soil and

climate. This way of seeing the world of wine served to lock in a quality hierarchy that was preordained, beyond the control of people, and therefore unassailable. In 1993, Warren published a pair of seminal papers in highlyranked international journals which played a key role in drawing academic attention to the human element in creating the complex geography of wine. Stepping down from his role as Dean of Arts at the University of Auckland in the late 1990s, Warren took the opportunity to devote his considerable energies to a full-time research project into the New Zealand wine industry, funded by a prestigious grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Grant and a James Cook Research Fellowship. I was privileged to be a part of the research team, and it was truly a life-changing experience. Field trips throughout the length of the country to

interview grape growers and winemakers were illuminating and not infrequently hair-raising due to Warren’s propensity to demonstrate with his hands and look you in the eye during conversation – even when he was driving and you were in the back seat. Fluent in French and a lover of the country and its wines, he established a research partnership with the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon and the participation of several French researchers. As a result our insights into the New Zealand wine industry were always informed by a contrasting and well-researched perspective from France. The project had a strong output in terms of academic publication, but probably its most visible outputs for the New Zealand wine industry were: the genesis of the University of Auckland Wine Science programme; a generation

of social science research on the New Zealand wine sector; the ground-breaking papers unravelling the idea of terroir for a public audience; and the publication of “New Zealand Wine: The Land, The Vines, The People”. “Terroir – the human factor” was the first and probably the most impactful of Warren’s public papers. These ideas are also threaded through Warren’s great work, “New Zealand Wine: The Land, The Vines, The People”, published in 2016. The book was shortlisted the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. This is really the culmination of his lifelong interest in the geography of wine and for many combines so many things characteristic of Warren’s work. If you haven’t read it, you should. Warren had suffered from dementia for the last few years. His passing away from complications in August is a great loss for the wine sector.

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Movie Review

A Seat at the Table Reviewed by Joelle Thomson IF A Seat at the Table hasn’t made it onto your must-see movie radar yet, it will. The film about New Zealand’s rise from zero to hero on the global wine stage was released in August at the 2019 NZ International Film Festival. It’s a self-funded venture from co directorproducers David Nash and Simon Mark-Brown; a pair with an eye for a great landscape and a nose for a good story. Both come to life on the big screen in the drop dead gorgeous places, wineries and landscapes in New Zealand and France, which were filmed over five years. The cinematography is outstanding, as is to be expected from Nash, whose background is in advertising commercials. The main premise of the film is that French wine is the greatest in the world. It’s the pinnacle to which all wine lovers aspire and, by proxy, the film’s core message suggests that New Zealand winemakers also aspire to make wines that are on a par with the best from France. This message makes sense, mostly. But holding France up as the be-all-and-end-all of the wine world made my heckles raise slightly. The film takes a solid French view from start to finish, backing up its assertion effectively but perhaps neglecting to acknowledge that other countries also make a wide range of outstanding wines from their own indigenous grapes. A Seat at the Table begins with Stephen Browett, chairman of Farr Vintners in London, saying his custom-

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Clos Henri in Marlborough, owned by an open minded French winemaking family from Sancerre in the Loire Valley.

Kiwis are open minded, have a modern outlook and willingness to embrace new technology, if it helps improve their wines. ers know white Burgundy is the greatest white wine in the world but that there are wines from other places that are giving it a good run for its money, notably, Kumeu River Chardonnays. So, in 2015, he organised a blind one off tasting at Farr Vintners HQ in London, which was attended by wine writer Jancis Robinson MW and other highly respected wine professionals. The aim was to see how well Burgundy and Kumeu River Chardonnays did side by side, with their identities concealed. Kumeu River came first in every flight. Which leads us to the question posed by the film: does New Zealand deserve a seat at the international wine table, due to successes such


as this? It could be argued that we are already there. Our country’s wines command an extremely high average price per litre in one of their biggest exports markets, the United Kingdom, and Marlborough is now the world’s HQ of fresh ‘n fruity Sauvignon Blanc. An impressive cast of movers and shakers are interviewed in the film. These include elder statesmen such as Sir George Fistonich and Master of Wine Bob Campbell, as well as a huge number of Kiwi winemakers, such as James Healy of Dog Point Vineyards. He counters criticism of New Zealand having too many eggs in the Sauvignon basket by contending that the same

criticism could be levelled at the Champagne region, which has more hectares planted than this country and a relatively narrow range of grape varieties too. And yet, as he says, demand for Champagne continues to grow. Demand for New Zealand wine is strong and the world is a big place, says Healy. It could also be argued, as Master of Wine and Kumeu River winemaker Michael Brajkovich does, that we are not quite there yet, in terms of making great global classic wine styles. Ever the humble pragmatist, Brajkovich does concede that screwcaps have given our wines an edge when it comes to freshness, consistency and quality. The Kiwis interviewed in A Seat at the Table come across for the most part as modest, practical and eager to please by pushing boundaries to improve quality, whatever it takes to do so. Whatever message wine or film fans take from A Seat at the Table, one thing is loud

and clear in this film; Kiwis are open minded, have a modern outlook and willingness to embrace new technology, if it helps improve their wines. This stands in stark, sometimes humorous, contrast to French comments in the film, along the lines that tradition keeps their wine fresh and screwcaps are a step too far from tradition. Fortunately, French winemakers no longer corner the entire global market when it comes to great classics. Their German, Italian and Spanish counterparts also produce great global classics and, frequently, an open minded approach (as do some of the French) about how to preserve the freshness of those wines. A Seat at the Table provides a spectacular snapshot in time and an interesting look at one of the keys to high quality winemaking today. Viva la screwcap.



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Regions Wellington Wine Country

Big Sky’s new winery grows Te Muna JOELLE THOMSON

TE MUNA Road is the next big hub of growth in the small Martinborough wine scene with the valley’s newest winery and cellar door now open at Big Sky Vineyard, owned Katherine Jacobs and Jeremy Corban The couple built their new winery and cellar door for the 2019 vintage, matching its style to the plywood construction of their home, 20 steps from the front door of the new building. “It’s always been our plan to have our own winery because it makes our picture more complete in terms of having the processing facility right next door to our vineyard,” says Katherine Jacobs. “We always made our own wine but we used our neighbour’s John Douglas’s winery at Te Hera, just along the road at the back of his vineyard.” Jacobs and Corban currently produce about 1,500 cases of wine. They have designed their new winery to process 30 tonnes of fruit, which is equivalent for them to about 2000 cases of wine a year. “We haven’t ever hit that 2000 cases. We’re probably around 1500 now but we never want to become a massive business, although we will grow more because we have another three hectares to plant; that’s the land in front of the house and behind it.” The winery is giving the couple significantly greater control over what they do and how they do it. “It gives us the latitude to become more experimental,

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doing small batches of wine. Jeremy did a small volume of orange wine, a pet’ nat’ and some very oaky Chardonnay, all of which are easier to focus on with the winery right here on site. “The microbiology really becomes a part of the terroir. The winery is in the middle of the vineyard so it’s more natural for us.” The additional 3.2 hectares will be planted in a mix of red and white grapes. About 50 per cent will be in Pinot Noir, which Jacobs says will include the Abel clone, among others – “We want to increase our clonal diversity


of Pinot Noir available to us and we’d also like to have more white to use too, although we are not yet sure on what that will be. “One thing that we have had quite a lot of success with is the Gruner Veltliner and we really like those cool climate aromatics that we get from that grape in this region, but we are still doing market research.” She says that Big Sky’s Auckland distributors (Caro’s) recommend Chardonnay, so this is being considered. The planning process took longer than the building did but ended up being relatively straightforward.

“We’re really happy about the environmental aspect because we are dispersing our waste water along 1000 square metres, so that it gets spread out rather than being dumped in one place, which could change the pH of the soil. All up, it has been a good process to go through and a happy outcome for the environment.” Te Muna Road is also home to Craggy Range Winery’s Martinborough land holding, which is set to increase significantly with the acquisition of unfarmed land for new vineyards. Watch this space. mailme@joellethomson.com

OIV Report

The world of wine TESSA NICHOLSON

NEW ZEALAND currently has 38,690ha of producing vineyard. How does that compare with the rest of the world? Minutely, according to the latest OIV figures. Released in July, the OIV report of the World Vitivinicultural situation, shows internationally there were 7.4 million hectares (mha) of vineyard at the end of 2018. This includes vines for wine, vines for dried fruit and vines for table grapes, as well as vines not yet in production. When it comes to firsts, it is Spain that leads the world with 969 thousand hectares (kha) followed by China with 875kha and France 793kha. That may surprise some –

China being in second place, ahead of France. But growth in that part of the world has been increasing steadily, up 10kha between 2017 and 2018. While second in cultivated area, China is the world’s leading producer with 11.7 million tonnes. That equates to 15 percent of the world’s total grape production. New Zealand by the way produced 413,000 tonnes in 2019, a drop in the bucket. China is way ahead of other producers, with Italy producing 8.6 million tonnes, the US 6.9, Spain 6.9 and France 5.5. In terms of consumption, China is growing steadily, but is still a long way off the US, where 33 million hectoliters are consumed every year. France is the

Ningxia wine region in China has helped the country become the world’s largest wine producer in the world.

second largest in terms of wine consumption, with 27 million hl, followed by Italy with 22, Germany with 20 and China’s mainland with 18. It’s a different situation when it comes to consumption per capita (over the age of 15). In 2018 it was Portugal that topped

the charts – with 62 litres per capita. France was second with 50, Italy third with 44. Interestingly the US was way down on per capita figures with 12 litres and China was at the bottom of the charts with just 2 litres. New Zealand’s per capita figures were not mentioned.


Mechanical News

Latest technology to hit our shores MARK DANIEL

CLEVER WEBSITE BRINGS EMPLOYERS AND WORKERS TOGETHER FOUR YEARS ago, Sharon and Wayne George decided they wanted to leave the corporate “rat race”, with a dream of travelling New Zealand in their 9-metre motorhome. Hitting the road in late 2018, they intended to travel the country, picking up seasonal work such as fruit picking along the way. Unfortunately, the practical aspect of such a plan was not as easy as they thought and, in the meantime, they came across many others in the same boat. Often, these travellers are dubbed Grey Nomads, but the reality is they include people of all ages including overseas visitors who were looking to subsidise their OE with seasonal work. Typically, this band of wanderers will have a wide range of skills, have a good work ethic and won’t disappear after pay day. Typically, their main consideration is around the certainty of income and somewhere to park the motorhome. Addressing the challenge, they set about creating a website-based business that helped potential workers find jobs, while also being a portal for employers to advertise for staff. Seasonal Staff NZ is a membership-based organisation that uses its database to bring both parties together with the use of an innovative and interactive map accessed on the website.

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seasonalstaff.co.nz helps seasonal workers find employment around the country.

Blue pins indicate workers, while green pins show where jobs are available Workers can look for their next potential job as they move around the country, while employers can see where potential staff are currently located. Clever software allows potential employees to be sorted by experience, skills and attributes or potential start dates. On the flipside, employees can look for jobs, without being solely focussed on pay rates, but also taking note of other benefits


that may be on offer. This might include “extras” like accommodation available, powered parking sites for motorhomes or camper vans or kitchen/ bathroom facilities and Wi-Fi connections. The availability of such information allows employers to move away from competing for good staff solely based on hourly pay rates. With businesses knowing their peak staffing requirements, they can plan out jobs and advertise in advance, showing opportunities by location,

without the problem of getting lost in more traditional job listing forums. Know what your advertising costs are. Because Seasonal staff is an annual membership you can know what your advertising costs are and you can keep using it all year long, unlike other jobs boards that only give you 30 days Annual memberships start from $199 +GST per year/per location for businesses looking for between 1 and 50 staff. seasonalstaff.co.nz

Taking Taking thethe lid lidoff off innovation. innovation

NITRATE SENSOR ON THE MONEY AN OPTICAL nitrate sensor for groundwater is now in use nationwide, with around 12 months of commercial operation under its belt to confirm its efficacy. The Hydrometrics Nitrate GW 50 sensor was developed by Lincoln Agritech to offer users a low-cost option to measure groundwater nitrates. The unit utilises optical sensor technology that helps extend the service interval when compared to other technologies such as Ion Selective Electrodes, which can suffer from significant calibration drift. This makes the Hydrometrics sensor suitable for long term unattended deployment, with a bonus of remote data-logging in real-time, while only needing periodic cleaning. Dr Blair Miller, Lincoln Agritech’s group manager of environmental research, told NZWinegrower that the sensor had been in use at the Hinds-Hekeao Managed Aquifer Recharge project and was in

use with multiple regional councils who had bought or leased the unit. Miller says that unlike some alternatives, the stainless-steel Hydrometric sensor fits down a 50mm sampling well, which was much less expensive than drilling larger bores, to deliver real-time monitoring of nitrate levels. The design and low price point allows feasible deployment across catchment areas or multiple farm sites. Lincoln Agritech says the unit allows farmers in all sectors including viticulture and horticulture to better understand the impact of their own operations on the overall problem of leaching into groundwater “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it,” said Miller. “One of the drivers behind the sensor of course is to give all stakeholders who are interested in a cost-effective and reliable option to measure water quality in general, but particularly in the area of nitrates.”

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LANDINI REX 4-V RAISES THE STAKES IN THE VINEYARD THE NEW Rex 4 series from Italian manufacturer Landini sees a revised styling, but more importantly detailed changes, building on more than 30 years’ experience in the viticulture tractor sector. The flat floor design in both ROPS and Cabin layouts will be appreciated by those who don’t like climbing over transmission tunnels in these compact, specialised machines, but the changes go a great deal further. The 4-post cabin offers easy access and dismount via rear hung, full-width doors, while a pressurised environment incorporating carbon filters offers filtration to Class 4 levels, eliminating dangerous chemicals for a safe working environment. The V models, designed for work even in the narrowest

vineyards, sees the tape measure record 1003mm width and 2400mm height, with horsepower ratings of 70, 76, 90, 95 and 102 horsepower, all using a 2.9 litre, 4-cylinder Deutz engine with Tier 3b or Tier 4 interim standards. Electronic engine management allows operators to “set and forget” engine speeds, for recall with a single touch, for a smooth transition between work and travel. Transmission offerings see mechanical (dry clutch) or hydraulic (wet clutch) reverse shuttles, with four-speeds and three ranges in the base specification, to deliver 12 forward and 12 reverse speeds. This layout can be upgraded with a two-stage powershift (Hi-Lo) or an additional creeper set to offer up to 32F/32R speeds.

Operators can also choose two or four-wheel drive layouts, supplemented by automated control of engagement and auto diff-lock functions to get through tricky conditions. At the business end, two or four speed PTO with ECO, Normal settings and Auto PTO functions, means the Rex can be configured to work with a wide range of implements in multiple conditions. Rear lift capacity is rated at 2,700kgs, while hydraulic pump layouts offer up to 78 litres/min in the twin pump set up, or 113 l/min with the optional triple pump configuration. Tractors can be equipped with up to seven remotes (4 rear/3 front), with the optional front linkage and PTO system offering 1500kg lift capacity.

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Regions Marlborough

Pie and wine matching

Marlborough Mayor John Legget, one of the four judges at the pie and wine pairing competition.


INTO ITS third year, the Marlborough Burleigh Pie Pairing attracted more entries than ever before. The competition aims to find the perfect wine to accompany one of 12 different pies, created by the local iconic pie producer, Burleigh. Wineries are encouraged to choose just one style of pie, and then match it with one of their portfolio’s wines. The style of wines ranged from Merlot, Botrytised Riesling and Gruner Veltliner to the more familiar varietals Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were the two most popular varietals entered – but neither style of wine came out the winner. Instead the first place went to Mount Riley’s Marlborough Syrah 2009, matched alongside a Steak and Mushroom pie. Interestingly, Syrah which only makes up a miniscule percentage of Marlborough’s grape plantings, was the biggest winner on the day. Not only did Mt Riley’s Syrah win the overall title, but two other Syrahs were judged as the best match alongside differing pies. Two Rivers Ampitheatre Syrah 2018 was judged the best with a Steak and Blue Cheese pie, while Giesen Organic Syrah 2015 was judged best in class with the Steak and Pepper pie. The novel competition began in 2017 and has become a stalwart on Marlborough’s wine industry calendar. Many companies use the event as a team building exercise, bringing staff

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together to try a multitude of permutations of pies and wine. Each producer is only allowed to enter one wine, matched with one pie. The most popular pie as in past years was Pork Belly, with 13 matches, although the Truffle Cheese and Steak pie came a close second with 12 entries. Four judges had the task of working out which pairing worked best; Marlborough Mayor John Legget, Fiona Fenwick, Edward Barron (who was the winner of the best pie recipe) and chef Sander de Wildt; “In all my years of creating and enjoying pies, I’ve seen nothing like this,” de Wildt says. “These Marlborough wines are all fantastic in their own right, but they are on the verge of sublime when matched with these iconic pies.” Forty-six wine producers entered this year’s competition, with the money raised ($2500) going to three local charities.

The humble pie – finds its perfect match with Marlborough wines.

WINNING COMBINATIONS Chicken, leak and mushroom

Seresin Estate Chardonnay 2017

Jerk Chicken

Marlborough Sun Pinot Gri 2017


Constellation Brands The People’s Methode Traditionelle

Mince and English cheddar

Tohu Chardonnay 2016

Mince, cheese and bacon

Grove Mill Riesling

Steak and blue cheese

Two Rivers Ampitheatre Syrah 2018

Steak and mushroom

Mount Riley Syrah 2009

Steak and truffled cheese

Stonelight Merlot 2018

Steak and pepper

Giesen Organic Syrah 2015

Steak and bacon

Vavasour Rosé 2018

Pork Belly

Lake Chalice The Falcon Riesling 2019

Jamaican lamb

Aunstfield Busch Block Late Harvest Riesling 2016


Regions Nelson

Daniel Schwarzenbach with Blackenbrook’s new wine – Pinot Blanc

Blackenbrook experiment pays off NEIL HODGSON

I HAVE been a fan of Blackenbrook Vineyard’s wines for many years. In fact I have been following the evolution of this family business since their first wines hit the market in 2004. There have been many incremental changes over the years, some have been experimental, some have been subtle and many of the changes have been designed to extract the very best from each variety in the vineyard. D a n i e l a n d Ur s u l a Schwarzenbach have always been mindful of their environmental footprint and designed a winery that has as little impact as possible on the natural environment. With intensive vineyard management and minimal winemaker intervention they allow the wonderful varietal flavours of each wine to shine in their wines. 

The experimental part of the evolution of Blackenbrook has been with varieties they produce, Riesling has come and gone (to my disappointment) and Muscat has also come and gone from the vineyard. The Riesling was replaced with more Chardonnay and Ursula says; “Daniel came back from judging a wine competition in Switzerland, the Mondial des Pinots, and he was really taken by many of the Pinot Blanc wines he tasted, he thought it would do very well on our site.” Pinot Blanc can be quite a bland variety but Daniel says it really does depend on how you grow the grapes. “It takes the right site, intensive work in the vineyards and low cropping levels but it is also a very versatile variety. You can go in the direction of a Char-

donnay by aging the wine in oak, towards a fruity Pinot Gris style or even towards a spicy Gewurztraminer style depending totally on where and how the grapes are grown. “It is one variety that is wonderful when produced on the right site.” Blackenbrook have planted three clones of Pinot Blanc and Daniel says; “there’s very little difference in the vineyard while the vines are young but we do expect to see some small differences as time goes by. The key difference is likely to be seasonal where one clone does better than others depending on the weather during the growing season. “Because we had a vine nursery here when we established the vineyard, we had trialed various rootstocks. The 3309 root stock is particularly suited

to our stony clay soils and climate, it is a deep rooting rootstock so handles dry weather very well. The Pinot Blanc vines we planted are all on the 3309 rootstock.” The first harvest of their Pinot Blanc went better than they had hoped for. “We had perfect ripeness before the rain came and because we put so much effort into making sure the vineyard was in peak condition to handle any adverse weather the fruit was harvested in great condition,” says Ursula. Pinot Blanc is also grown and produced as a single variety wine by Greenhough Vineyards and when grown in the right conditions it appears to be another aromatic variety that will do very well in the Nelson region. neil@toptastes.co.nz


Legal Matters


Valuing highly productive land THE GOVER NMENT has proposed a new national policy statement for highly productive land (‘NPS’) which will apply across New Zealand. The NPS is intended to improve the way highly productive land is managed under the Resource Management Act. This national level document will have a direct impact on the wine industry. Why do we need national level regulation? There is a conflict between built development, and retaining highly productive land for a productive purpose. Currently, there is an inconsistent approach to addressing this conflict, both at Council and the Environment Court. Sometimes the developments win, some-

times the rural producers win. Once finalised, the NPS will be national guidance that must be incorporated into district plans to regulate the use of highly productive land. Getting it right from the outset is critical. Getting it wrong could have far-reaching consequences for wine growers. The objective of the NPS is not to provide absolute protection, but it is to protect highly productive land from “inappropriate subdivision, use and development.” The NPS also includes policies to guide decision making on plan changes to rezone land and resource consent applications for urban development on highly productive land.

It seems obvious, but is land used for viticulture highly productive land?

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It seems obvious, but is land used for viticulture highly productive land? One would think that land used for viticulture would clearly fit into the ‘highly productive land’ definition. It is not quite that simple. Under the NPS, “highly productive land” is initially identified using a broad brush approach by classifying land under the Land-Use Capability (‘LUC’) system, where land falling into classes 1 to 3 would be highly productive. However, viticulture often occurs on land that may not be classified as highly productive under a LUC classification. It is not until later down the track that councils will be required to

undertake a more detailed land analysis to more comprehensively assess what land is highly productive, using additional factors such as climate and water availability. This sounds promising, and could result in land with special qualities for grape growing to be classed as highly productive. The proposal gives councils three years after the NPS comes into force to undertake this task in collaboration with communities, so land owners will be able to contribute to the process of classifying highly productive land. The issue is that the specific process for this more comprehensive assessment is not clearly outlined in the NPS. Over the

next year, these specifics and other critical details will be developed during the submission process, before the NPS is finalised and released.

TWO KEY WAYS THAT THE NPS WILL AFFECT WINE GROWERS First, under the NPS, land classified as ‘highly productive’ will be extremely difficult to develop, including for infrastructure. This approach is a significant change from the present in most regions, and will mostly be positive step for wine growers. The NPS establishes a preference for highly productive land to be used for “primary production,” which, as defined, includes related accessory buildings. Unrelated accessory buildings (for example, buildings which support the economic viability of vineyards but do not directly relate to the production of wine) are excluded from the definition. It is therefore unclear on

We urge wine growers to make a submission on the NPS in order to help shape the outcomes that will directly affect land used for viticulture. the current definition whether the NPS would allow the use of cellar door sales and cafes or restaurants to be located on land which is considered highly productive. Second, land which is classified as highly productive should gain some additional protection from the NPS in relation to “reverse sensitivity” issues. Reverse sensitivity is a resource management term which refers to the conflicting situation where a new sensitive development (i.e. residential) locates near to an existing use (i.e. a vineyard), and the new residential use then complains about the existing use. Complaints predominantly relate to noise, spray and odour.

Policy 5 of the NPS sets out typical activities and effects which should be tolerated within rural productive areas, to try and restrict reverse sensitivity effects. Unfortunately, as currently drafted, the policy simply indicates that setbacks and buffers could be used to reduce reverse sensitivity effects. It is not very prescriptive. It is crucial that: the definition of “sensitive or incompatible” activities is wide enough to encompass all built development that could have reverse sensitivity effects on wine growers; and the scope of tolerable activities needs to be drafted widely, to provide for all types of primary production.

The approach to reverse sensitivity should be consistent across the NPS and the other newly released NPS on urban development. Unfortunately, the NPS on urban development does not highlight reverse sensitivity as a key issue.

HOW TO HAVE YOUR SAY We urge wine growers to make a submission on the NPS in order to help shape the outcomes that will directly affect land used for viticulture. The NPS is by no means set in stone and the Government has specifically requested feedback on a range of issues. Feedback is due by 10 October 2019. To read the proposed NPS and find out more information about how to submit, click here. If you would like further information on this topic, or assistance making a submission, please get in touch with us, we’d be delighted to assist.




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Regions Hawke’s Bay

From Russia with wine KATHRIN SILLER

YOU CAN’T really go past Matisse Wine Bar in Hawke’s Bay without admiring the expressionist-painted facade or even stopping in for a good glass of wine. There is something special about Matisse owner Nadia Nazaryeva and her life story too. It is a story about an independent woman who cuts her own path in a country which is far away from her original home. Nearly six years ago Nadia came to New Zealand for a holiday. Once she returned to Russia, she realised that her homeland couldn’t offer her a promising future. “Don’t get me wrong,” Nadia says, “I never stopped loving Moscow’s vibe and it always made me feel alive. The city drains a lot of energy from you but also gives it back.” Even if Nadia describes herself as more of a big-cityperson, Auckland didn’t appeal to her. What made her move to Hawke’s Bay four years ago was that it doesn’t pretend to be something that it’s not. “Napier is a cute little town and it’s nice to live by the ocean,” she says cheerfully. With a student visa in her pocket, Nadia enrolled into the one year Graduate Diploma in Oenology at EIT. She had already completed two business degrees in Russia.  A winemaking qualification, she thought, would also give her the opportunity to get familiar with the country and its lifestyle. “The course was quite intense and being a non-native speaker made it even harder. But I thoroughly enjoyed it as it made me appreciate wine even more. I understood that a good bottle can’t cost $10 with the

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amount of work going into it.” Nadia found that there were no wine bars in Hawke’s Bay where people could compare local wines with international

The course was quite intense and being a non-native speaker made it even harder. But I thoroughly enjoyed it as it made me appreciate wine even more. I understood that a good bottle can’t cost $10 with the amount of work going into it.

ones. A new idea was born. And Hawke’s Bay was the right place to make it happen. Two years passed from hatching the plan, to opening the bar in March 2018. First of all Nadia applied for an entrepreneur visa and she waited eight months to get it. Due to the immigration visa requirements, Nadia must achieve the goals set in her business plan by 2020 which puts a lot of pressure on her. “Well, it has to happen, I don’t have a plan B,” admits Nadia. Morphing the bar into what it looks today, wasn’t a


walk in the park either. “The original building was the worst definition of eightiesstyle. It took me three weeks to gut it to the core. I bought the furniture, plants and lights from places across New Zealand and I painted the murals and the facade together with an artist.” Over the last year, Matisse

turned into a hub for wine and food connoisseurs. Currently Nadia is offering 160 different wines, of which 79 are by the glass - from the classic Bordeaux to the funky natural ones. Her goal is to offer wines from every wine producing country in the world focusing on natural wines.


MAY 2019

Key Performance Indicators

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

Total Value of Exports


Growth Markets

fob value


$559.5m USA


$433.8m UK




$132.3m CANADA


$44.1m GERMANY


$39.4m CHINA




$13.3m HONG KONG



Packaged Wine Export

Bulk Wine Export



160.7 mL


107.7 mL


Bulk white wine

Packaged Price






Domestic Sales, Volume

50.8m L 4% All figures are for the 12 months to the date specified, figures are in $NZD unless otherwise specified

Research Updates

Research Supplement Information and updates on 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.

Population genomics of the wine spoilage yeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis Auckland University (M Goddard)

Low alcohol-reduced calorie wines using molecular sponges for sugar removal University of Auckland (B Fedrizzi)

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

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

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

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

Prevention of quercetin instability in bottled wine Villa Maria Wines Limited

Sustainability/Organics Vineyard Ecosystems Programme

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

Cost efficient optimisation of weed management in vineyards

(E Taylor)

Thoughtful Viticulture (M Krasnow)

Pests and Disease

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

Optimising management of grapevine trunk diseases for vineyard longevity South Australian Research & Development Institute (M Sosnowski)

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

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

Linnaeus (E van Zijll de Jong)

Plant and Food Research (V Bell)

Cost Reduction/Increased Profitability

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

Precision Grape Yield Analyser Programme 2016-2021 Lincoln Agritech Limited (A Werner)

An automated grape yield estimation system – The Rod Bonfiglioli Scholarship Massey University (M Legg)


Organic Winegrowers New Zealand (R Reider)

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

Research Progress Reports

Research Progress Reports


Irrigation optimization Mark Krasnow, Allison Haywood and Danielle McMillan MOST GRAPE growers in New Zealand irrigate during the season to supplement natural rainfall and ensure adequate growth and productivity of their vines. Depending on the soil and the season, the amount of irrigation necessary can be substantial. When, and how much, to irrigate are important considerations for growers to minimise waste and maximise production and quality. The 2018-19 season was very different for Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough. In Hawke’s Bay, rainfall was well above normal (546 mm of in season rain versus the long-term average of 438 mm). Marlborough received close to its normal in season rain (363 mm versus a long-term average of 385 mm). However, what was unusual in Marlborough was that the rain fell mostly in the early season. There was about a six-week period where very little rain

fell between early January and late February, which coincided with hot and windy conditions—a situation that put vines at risk of losing crop due to severe water stress. This phenomenon underscored the need for water storage dams, as those without water storage were left high and dry when river draws were cut off (Figure 1). While the 201819 season was extreme for Marlborough if we compare it to historical records, climate change scenarios predict that this type of weather pattern will become more frequent in our wine regions moving forward (www.niwa.co.nz), and we need to be prepared to act to mitigate this. Even with storage dams, it is important during long droughts to irrigate only when vines need it so as to make sure the stored water is enough to get the vines through until river or aquifer draws are able to fill the

dam again. If this prolonged drought is the new normal, as climate change scenarios suggest, even growers with water storage will need ways to reduce irrigation so that their dams do not run dry and put vines at risk during droughts. A study started in the 2017-18 season is looking at dramatically reducing water used in vineyards. Irrigation as normal based on soil probe or visual inspection of vines was compared with irrigation using a pressure chamber to irrigate vines only when they need it, as determined by measuring midday stem water potential. This regulated

deficit irrigation (RDI) treatment employed infrequent, but long irrigations (8-12 hours), compared with the standard of frequent, short waterings (1-2 hours). Some of the trial vineyards in 2018-19 were cut off from water, however all vineyards were able to harvest a crop at adequate ripeness for winemaking. This article will only address the vineyards that had an uninterrupted water supply, and that were able to adhere to the irrigation protocol for the entire season. For white wines (Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay) irrigation thresholds were set up to try to ensure no loss in productivity,


Research Progress Reports

but to use less water than currently. Vines were kept well-watered during canopy and early fruit development. After veriason, vines were brought near stress (down to -0.9 MPa) to stop continued canopy growth, but watered before they got to a point that would dramatically slow photosynthesis. Employing RDI in vineyards can therefore lead to lower farming costs due to less need to trim and hedge vines in addition to lower pumping costs for water. For the Pinot Noir and Merlot, after set, vines were not irrigated until they got to moderate stress (-1.2 MPa). The aim being to reduce photosynthesis that fuels fruit cell division, thus leading to smaller berries. The aim was to increase red wine quality and reduce faming costs for pumping water, trimming, and crop thinning simply by giving the vines less water. The bunch number, yield per vine, rot severity, and water used for each vineyard are shown in Table 1. This being the second year of this trial, there was no evidence of the RDI treatment last season reducing vine fertility this season, as shown by the similar bunch number between the RDI and control in all vineyards. As can easily be seen, the use of the pressure chamber for regulated deficit irrigation reduced the amount of water used in each vineyard, often substantially. In no vineyard was yield significantly reduced due to deficit irrigation, even in the red wines where this reduction was sought. There was an increase in rot severity in the RDI treatment at one Hawke’s Bay Merlot site, but rot was not significantly affected in any other

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Figure 1: Vines left without irrigation water during the hot, dry weather in February 2019 suffered severe water stress, causing leaf abscission. This vineyard could not be harvested.

vineyard. Overall this data shows that employing RDI generally does not negatively affect productivity of vines or the health of the fruit, but does dramatically reduce water use. In the Marlborough Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir 1 vineyards one fewer trimming pass was needed in the RDI treatment, showing a tangible


economic/labour benefit to more careful water use. No significant differences in berry weight or Brix were seen in Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough (Figure 2), though the RDI fruit tended to be smaller and of higher Brix at any sampling date. In Chardonnay in Hawke’s Bay, there was a significant reduction in berry weight and an increase in Brix due

to RDI early to mid-season, but at harvest berry weight and Brix were not significantly different between the control and the RDI (Figure 3). RDI affected both berry weight and Brix in red grapes in both Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough. In the Marlborough Pinot Noir, where water potential differences were more extreme

Research Progress Reports

Bunch #

Yield (kg/wine)











T value














T value














T value














T value














T value







2.7 b





6.0 a


T value

















Treatment Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay

Marlborough Savuignon Blanc

Marlborough Pinot Noir 1

Marlborough Pinot Noir 2

Hawke’s Bay Merlot 1

Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2

Hawke’s Bay Merlot 3

T value

Rot (% severity)

Water used (cubes /ha)

Table 1: Yield components (bunch number and yield per vine), rot severity, and water used for the trial vineyards. Values in bold with different lower-case letters from the same vineyard denote significant differences at the p=0.05 level. *Crop thinning was inadvertently carried out in both the control and RDI at Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2 vineyard.

between the treatments, there was a significant difference in both berry weight and Brix at every sampling point (Figure 4). RDI led to smaller berries with higher Brix. The Merlot in Hawke’s Bay showed the same trend, but significant differences between treatments were only seen early season, and by harvest there were no significant differences (Figure 5). It is a bit surprising to see such large differences in berry size, especially in the Marlborough Pinot Noir 1 vineyard, without a decrease in yield (Table 1). This can

Figure 2: Berry weight and Brix for the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc vineyard.

partially be explained by the higher bunch number from the RDI vines, but also due

to the large vine-to-vine variation in yield. However, it is anticipated that the smaller

berries produced by RDI, with their greater skin-topulp ratio, will lead to higher


Research Progress Reports

quality red wines from the RDI treatment. Wines from the project are currently in progress, and sensory analysis of the whites will begin shortly, with reds to be analysed later in the year. The data from the second year of this trial suggests that, assuming vineyards have an uninterrupted water supply, RDI can be employed year-on-year with no loss in yield or fruit quality in white wines. In reds RDI can be employed to generate smaller berries with higher Brix than the control, both of which will likely benefit wine quality. The water saving that can be actualised by employing RDI is substantial, and can benefit vineyards in that they need to pump less water, build smaller dams, and do less work in the vineyard. It must be noted that not all vineyards in the study had uninterrupted water supply, and those that were cut off or dramatically reduced in their irrigation capacity got very stressed, lost leaves, and had substantially reduced yield. This underscores the fact that many vineyards in New Zealand absolutely need irrigation if the season is abnormally hot and dry, as many climate change scenarios predict for our wine regions. River and aquifer draws are not guaranteed, and if a grower wishes to futureproof their vineyard, water storage is an absolute necessity, however the size of the dam needed will depend on the water needs of the vineyard based on variety and soil type. RDI can reduce the amount of water needed to be drawn from rivers, thus potentially staving off

122   // 

Figure 3: Berry weight and Brix for the Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay vineyard. Values in bold with different lower-case letters from the same date denote significant differences at the p=0.05 level.

Figure 4: Berry weight and Brix for the Marlborough Pinot Noir 1 vineyard. Values in bold with different lower-case letters from the same date denote significant differences at the p=0.05 level.

Figure 5: Berry weight and Brix for the Hawke’s Bay Merlot 3 vineyard. Values in bold with different lowercase letters from the same date denote significant differences at the p=0.05 level.

or delaying regional river cutoffs, and, when they do happen, it can help stretch out how long stored water can last. We as an industry need to both reduce our


water drawn from rivers and aquifers and create water storage to ensure the vitality of our industry. RDI is a valuable tool for growers to employ mov-

ing forward to increase the water sustainability of our industry and to increase our resilience in the face of a changing climate. nzwine.com

Research Progress Reports

Vineyard Ecosystems: Optimising the economics of grapevine removal response to leafroll virus Vaughn Bell¹ and Alistair Hall² The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, Havelock North¹ and Palmerston North²


Grapevine leafroll virus is an economically important viral disease affecting many New Zealand vineyards. Among infected vines, the negative effects include reduced yield, reduced berry soluble solids and increased acidity, and ultimately, lower wine quality. In white berry cultivars, virus-infected vines have no obvious foliar symptoms so visually distinguishing between infected and healthy vines is impractical. On the other hand, for red berry cultivars, virusinfected vines undergo distinctive foliar changes late in the growing season: dark red downward curling leaves with green veins (Figure 1). When vineyard personnel are trained to recognise these visual changes, the recommendation is to tag these vines for later removal (roguing). Assuming all vines are sourced from nurseries accredited to the Grafted Grapevine Standard, spread of leafroll virus is most likely to be the result of mealybugs feeding on pre-existing infected vines within the vineyard before moving to healthy vines. Feeding on the new vines leads to virus transmission: the more mealybugs in the vines, the faster the virus will spread. Thus, if effective virus management is to be

achieved and maintained, mealybug numbers must remain low (e.g. no more than 10 per 100 vine leaves inspected). The New Zealand Winegrowers Virus Elimination study (2009 to 2015) found that in vineyards where mealybug numbers were consistently low, the incidence of leafroll virus quickly reduced to less than 1% per annum, where it was sustained until monitoring concluded. In these vineyards, effective mealybug management was attributed to adopting insecticide best practice, and/or the influence of biological control, whereby beneficial insects naturally maintained mealybugs at low population densities. In several other study vineyards, however, it was common in most years to find 30 or more mealybugs per 100 vine leaves inspected, a result often attributed to poor adherence to insecticide labels. Under these circumstances, 25 to 75 (or 1 to 3% incidence) new virus-infected vines were recorded per hectare per year. While all vines showing foliar symptoms of leafroll were rogued every year in every Virus Elimination study vineyard, there was some concern the response was suboptimal when mealybug numbers were

Figure 1: Foliar symptoms of grapevine leafroll virus on a Merlot vine in Hawke’s Bay, April 2017.

high. One of the objectives of the Vineyard Ecosystems programme (jointly funded by New Zealand Winegrowers and the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment) was to further evaluate data collected during the Virus Elimination project to see if roguing symptomatic vines was the optimal response under different virus incidence and mealybug abundance scenarios. This article reviews the

results of the Vineyard Ecosystems programme objective that compared the economic costs and effectiveness of the roguing response with other leafroll management responses. The model developed reveals that the economic annual costs estimated for various leafroll virus and mealybug scenarios support the Virus Elimination project recommendations: 1) starting to rogue early when virus incidence is low


Research Progress Reports

provides optimal conditions to achieve quick and effective virus management, and 2) low mealybug numbers results in the least loss of vines to the virus.


The results of this research were briefly conveyed by Vaughn Bell at Bragato 2018, with greater detail contained in the Vineyard Ecosystems Annual Report of the same year (Research Aim 1.2). The report is accessible on the members’ only website. Hence, the full details of the analyses undertaken and all the various assumptions used in the computational modelling are not repeated here. Instead, only contextual information is described. The model used a theoretical vineyard block of 1 ha planted with 2,500 mature Merlot vines. Within this block, we simulated the spread of leafroll virus based on the virus incidence and patterns of virus spread observed annually in the 13 study vineyards of the Virus Elimination project. Random simulations of 200 such standard blocks were run over 20 years, using three mealybug population densities as defined by data also from the Virus Elimination project: low (6 mealybugs per 100 vine leaves inspected), median (26 per 100), and high (75 per 100). The model assumed initial virus incidence was low (0.4 and 5%) and moderate to high (10, 15 and 20%). Five different management responses to leafroll virus were tested: 1. ‘Rogue’ all infected vines with foliar symptoms of leafroll virus every year. Replacement virus-

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Initial leafroll virus incidence (%)

6 mealybugs/100 leaves inspected (NZ$)

26 mealybugs/100 leaves inspected (NZ$)

75 mealybugs/100 leaves inspected (NZ$)

Rogue 0.4








Rogue 50% 0.4








Rogue 1+2 0.4








Rogue 1+2 50% 0.4








No action 0.4








Table 1. The estimated average annual costs plus lost income (NZ dollar values) in a 1 ha Merlot block as measured over 20 years using the five different management responses to grapevine leafroll virus at three estimates of mealybug presence in the vine canopy (6, 26, & 75 per 100 vine leaves inspected), and when 0.4 and 20% of random vines were initially virus-infected.

free vines were planted annually. This scenario assumed that the assessor was trained and accurate. 2. ‘Rogue 50%’ resulted in just half the infected vines with foliar symptoms of leafroll virus being removed every year. Replacement virusfree vines were planted annually. This inefficient roguing response was assumed to be either the result of visual symptom identification undertaken too early in the growing season or was due to inadequate assessor training, with just 50% of symptomatic vines being rogued. 3. ‘Rogue 1+2’ entailed removing all infected vines with foliar symptoms of leafroll virus every year plus removing the within-row immedi-


ate neighbours (the ‘first’ vines) either side of it, even if they had no foliar symptoms of leafroll virus. The logic was that one or both first vines might be infected but had not yet shown any foliar symptoms of leafroll. Replacement virus-free vines were planted annually. 4. ‘Rogue 1+2 50%’ resulted in just half the symptomatic plus first vines being rogued. Replacement virus-free vines were planted annually. This second inefficient roguing option was also assumed to be the result of either poor timing for visual symptom identification or poor assessor training. 5. ‘No action’ was a deliberate decision not to remove any leafroll virusinfected vines during the

20 years of model simulations. When removing a virusinfected vine, the costs associated with roguing it and then planting and training a single replacement virus-free vine was estimated at $12.50. It was not until 5 years after planting that this vine was assumed to be 100% productive (0% productivity in years 1 and 2, 60% in year 3, 90% in year 4). Although roguing costs were not incurred in the noaction decision, costs were nonetheless attributed to it. For example, average yield loss from a vine infected for one year was assumed to be 10% (in years 2, 3, and 4, these were assumed to be 20, 40, and 50%, respectively). Moreover, while there was no loss of crop value at harvest up to 12.5% virus incidence, a crop quality

Research Progress Reports

penalty of 5, 25, and 50% applied at 12.5-25%, 26-50%, and 51-100% incidence, respectively. For each of the 15,000 simulations (3 levels of mealybug density x 5 initial percent virus incidence x 5 management responses x 200 simulations each), we recorded the numbers of virus-infected vines per year, and the numbers of vines removed and replaced per year. From this and the cost information, the average annual costs plus lost income per hectare over 20 years was calculated for each management response.


The 2018 Vineyard Ecosystems report to New Zealand Winegrowers outlined comprehensive results using all combinations of initial virus incidence and the three mealybug infestations. Rather than repeat these results, we instead highlight selected costs and benefits (or disadvantages) of the different management responses. In doing so, we focus on initial virus incidence of 0.4 and 20% (the two extreme scenarios tested), and review how variable mealybug abundance influenced average annual costs plus lost income per hectare over the 20 years tested. The results of the model were unequivocal: roguing symptomatic vines was the optimal response to leafroll virus. Specifically, owners achieved the best results when roguing started at an initial low virus incidence (0.4%) and when mealybug abundance was low (6 per 100 vine leaves). While the virus was not entirely eliminated from the block, roguing and vine replace-

FOR RED berry cultivars affected by leafroll virus, the recommendation is to remove (rogue) vines with foliar symptoms, and to maintain low numbers of mealybugs to reduce the risk of virus spread. New data analysis described in this article assessed if particular virus incidence and mealybug abundance conditions might identify economically optimal management practices. In a theoretical 1 ha block planted in 2,500 mature Merlot vines, variable combinations of initial virus incidence (range: 0.4 to 20%) and mealybug abundance (6 to 75 per 100 vine leaves) data were analysed to see if roguing optimised virus control and minimised costs. Roguing was compared with removing the symptomatic vine plus its immediate within-row neighbours, inefficient roguing, and a no action decision. The results reaffirmed that roguing symptomatic vines early when incidence and mealybug numbers were low was the best response. Thus, when compared with the other responses, roguing meant the lowest loss of vines, the least need to plant replacement vines, and the lowest estimated average annual costs plus lost income. The results highlighted that good mealybug control was critical to improved vineyard longevity. Without it, the virus imposed dire financial implications, even for roguing, the preferred response. ment averaged just five vines per year (0.2%) over 20 years. Average annual costs plus lost income was an estimated $131 per hectare (Table 1). Even at an initial virus incidence of 20%, roguing was viable when mealybug populations were low, but average annual costs plus lost income increased to $917 per hectare. Nonetheless, after removing the initial 500 virus-infected vines (20%) in year 1, and replacing them with high-health vines, average annual virus incidence never exceeded 1% from years 2 to 20. By contrast, at an initial 0.4% virus incidence and at 20%, the feasibility of the roguing response reduced substantially when mealybug populations were median and high. For example, high numbers of

mealybugs resulted in average annual costs plus lost income increasing precipitously to $4,012 and $5,457 per hectare at 0.4 and 20% initial virus incidence, respectively (Table 1). For the other management responses tested – rogue 1+2, both inefficient roguing responses, and no-action – the influence of leafroll virus was relatively benign when both the initial virus incidence and mealybug numbers were low. Under these conditions, annual virus incidence did not exceed 1% over the 20 years modelled, except for the no-action decision, where an estimated 150 vines (or 6%) were virusinfected by year 20. For these responses, average annual costs plus lost income ranged from $145 to $332 per hectare (Table 1).

The implications of leafroll virus were more severe at 26 and 75 mealybugs per 100 vine leaves. Depending on mealybug infestations, annual virus incidence ranged from 4-20% for rogue 1+2 and the two inefficient responses. For the no-action decision at an initial virus incidence of 0.4%, 26 mealybugs per 100 vine leaves saw an estimated 50% of vines infected at year 20; at 20% initial virus incidence and 75 mealybugs, it was just 8 years before 90% of vines were infected. Not only was virus management negatively affected, the economic implications were also severe, with average annual costs plus lost income ranging from $7,400 to $10,500 per hectare (Table 1).


The results of this study fully supported the roguing recommendation from the Virus Elimination project (see Leafroll 3 virus and how to manage it, published by New Zealand Winegrowers, 2015). Specifically, the recommendation was to visually identify and tag infected vines in autumn so they could be rogued in winter. In doing so, owners reduced sources of leafroll infection so mealybugs had less opportunity to encounter virus-infected vines and less chance of transmitting the virus to neighbouring vines. Therefore, the emphasis was on roguing only those vines with foliar symptoms of virus, and none of the neighbouring vines. For rogue 1+2, none of the virus incidence and mealybug abundance scenarios tested in the model was more effective at


Research Progress Reports

managing leafroll virus than roguing symptomatic vines only. Furthermore, rogue 1+2 was less cost-effective than roguing, particularly where mealybug numbers were either median or high. Despite a lack of support for the rogue 1+2, it is a response some owners may adopt in future as they consider tensions between the particular circumstances posed by leafroll virus in their vineyards and their own unique business imperatives. For both inefficient roguing responses, 1+2 and 1+2 50%, neither was a better option for managing leafroll virus than roguing symptomatic vines. The assumption leading to these inefficiencies was that visual symptom identification was undertaken too early in the growing season and/or inadequate assessor training, either one of which meant just 50% of virusinfected (or symptomless

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first) vines were rogued in any given year. Therefore, as more vines succumbed to the negative influences of this disease over time, annual virus incidence was consistently higher for both inefficient responses relative to roguing. Ultimately, with more and more vines negatively affected by leafroll virus where roguing was inefficient, estimated average annual costs plus lost income also increased relative to one where roguing was efficient and mealybug management was effective. In accepting there will be valid reasons why an owner might defer roguing indefinitely, the implications of a no-action decision was especially evident when there were low and median mealybug numbers. When mealybug numbers were high, the financial implications were relatively constant across all


responses, except for the roguing response. Hence, if a roguing response is deferred because a block of virus-infected vines are to be removed in future and virus-free vines planted, then effective mealybug management leading up to redevelopment, is critical. Why? Remnant vine roots are a known reservoir of the virus. If they also sustain subterranean populations of mealybugs, there is a risk they will relocate to newly planted vines, with the resumption of mealybug feeding being a predicted virus transmission pathway. Mitigating this potential risk should include adopting mealybug insecticide best practice in the months (and possibly years) before the block is redeveloped.


The model described relied on real data collected from New Zealand vineyards. It reflected multi-year

measures of virus incidence, patterns of virus spread, and pre-harvest counts of mealybugs on vine leaves. The model supported the recommendations of the Virus Elimination project: starting to rogue early when virus incidence was low provided the optimal conditions to achieve quick and effective virus management. Importantly, what this research offers the sector is a financial context to the virus/mealybug relationship that quantifies estimated average annual costs plus lost income for different management responses at variable mealybug densities. And, as has been the refrain of New Zealand Winegrowers for some years, the fewer mealybugs in the vines, the better. In meeting this condition, owners have an opportunity to manage leafroll virus effectively whilst moderating the financial implications. nzwine.com

Research Progress Reports

Targeted aromatic compound analysis of Pinot Noir Dr. Kenneth J Olejar and A/Prof. Roland Harrison WINEMAKERS AND judges regularly assess the quality of a wine through its smell. However this is subjective as individuals have different perceptions as to what makes a quality wine for a particular variety. Nevertheless, descriptions of the smell of a wine do provide a basis for defining aspects of quality associated with the composition. Research into these descriptors and the chemical composition of wines has led to linking of specific chemical compounds to specific aromas. Because we can give quantitative values to the chemical constituents of a wine, this provides an opportunity to measure the quality of a wine. Targeted volatile compound analysis of wine has been advancing ever since the link between chemical compounds in wine to the sensory descriptors was established. A technique that uses a special fibre to collect a sample from the air above the wine (this is what a wine-lover does when they bring a glass to their nose and sniffs) is the gold standard for analysis of these compounds. Analysis using this method can detect these compounds at a fraction of a parts per billion. This sensitivity allows for the thorough investigation of a wine’s components. We utilised a targeted approach to analyse eighteen commercially available wines that were classified into two categories, premium (12 wines) and affordable (6 wines). The analysis



Acetic acid


Butanoic acid


Hexanoic acid


2-Methylpropanoic acid


3-Methylbutanoic acid


2-Methylbutanoic acid

Ethyl butanoate

Octanoic acid

Ethyl (E)-3-phenylprop-2-enoate Ethyl heptanoate


Ethyl hexanoate

Ethyl acetate

Ethyl 3-phenylpropanoate

Hexyl acetate

Ethyl 2-methylpropanoate

3-Methylbuty acetate

Ethyl 3-methylbutanoate

2-Methylpropyl acetate

Ethyl 2-hydroxypropanoate

2-Methylbuty acetate

Ethyl 2-methylbutanoate

Octyl acetate

Ethyl octanoate

2-Phenethyl acetate

Ethyl pentanoate Methyl 2-aminobenzoate





















Table 1. Compounds quantified from the targeted analysis methods.

examined 47 compounds in 6 main chemical groups (Table 1) typically found in Pinot noir wine internationally and within New Zealand. The large datasets generated by this type of analysis are best interpreted by multidimensional statistical

analysis. In this instance we have utilised a technique called Principle Component Analysis (PCA), Figure 1, to determine which compounds explain the differences observed between the affordable and premium wines. Figure 1A illustrates

the importance of each aromatic compound in relation to the differences between the wines, and any correlation between the aromatic compounds themselves, whereas Figure 1B allows the visualisation of how the wines are sorted according


Research Progress Reports

Figure 1. PCA loading (A) and score (B) plots of aromatic compounds of 18 Pinot noir wines.

to their variability. As stated earlier, this statistical technique is a way of analysing complex datasets where many parameters are measured, in this case concentrations of 47 different compounds. From a statistical point of view, this means that the data exists in 47 dimensions, but in these diagrams we are looking at only two of the most important dimensions. From Figure 1A and 1B the first two Principal Components only explain 42.7% of the variation: This simply goes to show

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how difficult it is to pin down differences in wines to only a few parameters. Nevertheless, Figure 1B demonstrates that the first two PCs can begin to differentiate the two categories of wines, as the premium wines are predominantly found to the left of the graph and the affordable wines on the right. We can use Figure 1A to find out which chemical compounds are responsible for this: it seems that a premium wine has concentrations of unbranched aromatic compounds and


cinnamic acid derivative esters, while affordable wines have higher concentrations of long-chain alcohols, acetates, and branched aromatic compounds. So, what does this all really mean? Remember that this is only a snapshot in two dimensions of all the differences of the wines involved. This snapshot, while not explaining the entirety of what defines a premium or affordable wine, does present a compelling story of aromatic compounds that are important for defining

these categories. Studies like these and others examining other attributes, such as tannin and phenolic content, when combined with machine learning techniques for analysis of the large datasets can begin to paint the complete picture of the attributes associated with wine quality. While these studies are the initial steps in understanding the attributes associated with quality, they are the ones that must be taken first to achieve the end goal. nzwine.com

Research Progress Reports

Pinot Noir Aroma Chemistry Shabnam Mosaferi, Dr Katie Parish-Virtue, A/Prof David Barker, A/Prof Bruno Fedrizzi R.A 3.4 AS THE analytical exploration of wines intensifies, there is a need to further our ability to cover the “aroma” space (i.e. identify and ideally quantify the different species defining the wine aroma). This endeavour is somewhat limited by our intrinsic ability to recognise and quantify molecules. Chemists often rely on the chemical aroma that can be bought “off the shelf” while ignoring what’s not available. The current literature presents a large number of aroma compounds that could have an impact on Pinot Noir aroma, and R.A. 3.4 wants to challenge the way aroma chemistry has

been carried out on New Zealand Pinot noir until now. In a way it proposes a paradigm shift where our group actually looks at the chemistry that has been untapped and aims at deciphering it by combining organic chemistry and analytical chemistry. Organic synthesis of individual aroma compounds and their precursors can aid in this effort. The in-house production of novel aromas is married with analytical chemistry, allowing us to identify and quantify the presence and amount of compounds in Pinot noir wines that were not quantified before. This capabil-

ity not only enhances our overall understanding of the chemical classes available in a wine, but also strengthens future yeast (fermentation) and plant (grapevine and viticulture) studies by adding new dimensions to their associated chemical analyses. Furthermore, the contribution of these practices is also beneficial to winemakers who can gain a greater appreciation and understanding for the complexity of the wines which they create. As Pinot Noir is a prominent variety on the New Zealand wine industry landscape, a range of ter-

penoids which are thought to contribute to the aroma profile of this wine are being investigated. The synthesis and analysis of these terpenoids and their precursors have the potential to act as biological markers for other research projects which focus around viticultural and winemaking impacts with regards to wine quality. To date, several free norisoprenoids have been successfully synthesised in our lab. Concurrently, analytical methods involving either gas chromatography or liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry are being


Research Progress Reports

Figure 1: PCA biplot of fermentative sulfur compounds for 18 commercial Pinot noir wines coded by price range.

developed. These separation techniques are being optimised for the detection and quantification of the synthetic molecules as they come into existence. Labelled analogues of these compounds are also being pursued synthetically for use in the methods. The methods considered are based on techniques easily transferrable to other labs involved in the Pinot noir Programme as well as other laboratories in New Zealand. The application of a simple pre-extraction based on solid phase extraction techniques ensures good sensitivity and reproducibility. As well as the suspected contribution of these terpenoids to Pinot noir wine aroma, the presence of various sulfur compounds is also being investigated. Sulfur compounds have always had the stigma of being “stinky” molecules, with the exception of 3-mercaptohexanol and 3-mercaptohexyl acetate. Recent research shed some light on the broader contribution of other sulfur compounds (i.e. fermentative sulfur compounds) to the complexity and typicality of wine. In particular these molecules, which are produced during fermentation from natural amino acids, can enhance red fruity aroma and help characterise varieties and ageing processes. The study of these molecules in wine will also allow to draw connections with the juice composition (in particular the amino acid pool in juice) and to an

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extension the grape composition itself. Our research group has already shown that specific amino acids found in grape juice are connected with the production of different sulfur compounds during fermentation. To gain an overview of the fermentative sulfur compound profile of Pinot noir, 18 commercially available wines from New Zealand were analysed using an inhouse gas chromatography mass spectrometry method. Results from this analysis can be viewed in Figure 1,


with the wines being identified based on the indicated price brackets. As can be seen from the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) bi-plot, the majority of the wines analysed are centred close to the origin and form an overlapping mass of samples. This would suggest that these wines have similar profiles of the fermentative sulfur compounds analysed. Interestingly, there are two wines, which this PCA is able to clearly distinguish from the main cluster of

samples. Although both of these wines come from the one of the two lower price brackets, it is important to note that other wines also in these price brackets are not as easily distinguishable from the main cluster of samples. This suggests that even within a single price bracket, there is a spectrum of fermentative sulfur wine profiles commercially available. While this PCA displays some interesting findings, we are aware that the aroma profiling of these Pinot Noirs is far more complex than just the fermentative sulfur compounds displayed here. Understanding this, the current project bridges the world of synthetic and analytical chemical workings in order to continuously improve upon the suite of compounds which we can detect and quantify in wine. At the completion of this project, aroma chemistry advances will allow us a greater range of analytical systems and procedures in order to further explore the multifaceted system which is Pinot Noir wine. nzwine.com







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NZ Winegrower October/November 2019  

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NZ Winegrower October/November 2019

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