NZ Winegrower December 2019/January 2020

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New Zealand Wine of the YearTM The big winners of 2019

Andy Frost A career of 37 years

Our new Fellows Four stalwarts of industry recognised


Celebrating 200 years The New Zealand Wine story

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

Download our free Glass Education Kit

O-I New Zealand

Issue 119 – December 2019/January 2020




Tessa Nicholson


From the Chair of the Board

John Clarke



Wine events in New Zealand


Women in Wine

Lyndsey Harrison


Not on the Label

Legal Matters with Kensington Swan


Research Supplement

The latest science and research projects funded by NZ Winegrowers



200th Celebration

In September, New Zealand wine celebrated 200 years since the first grape vines were planted. We take a closer look at the celebrations.


New Zealand Wine of the YearTM

Villa Maria, Peregrine and Syrah were all big winners at this year’s competition.


Two from two

The Bayer Young Viticulturist takes out NZ’s Young Horticulturist title.


Scott Henry versus VSP

Dr Richard Smart is a strong advocate of Scott Henry trellising. We find out why he believes more New Zealand growers should convert.





E D I TO R Tessa Nicholson

CO R R E SP O N D E NTS Wellington Wine Country: Joelle Thomson Hawkes Bay: Olly Styles Nelson: Neil Hodgson Central Otago: Jean Grierson

A DV E R T I S I N G Upper North Island: Stephen Pollard Ph: 09 913 9637 Mobile: 021 963 166 Central North Island: Ted Darley 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 Ph: 03 376 5552 Mobile: 021 221 1994

C I R C U L AT I O N & SUBSCRIPTIONS Jodi Blair 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


End of a great year THE PAST 12 months have been full on for the New Zealand wine industry. It all began with the Sauvignon Blanc Celebration at the end of January, followed quickly by a vintage that many are calling one of the greats. Yes, the yields were lower than what was expected, but we all know that good things come in small packages – and so it was with the quality of vintage 19. There was the Organic and Biodynamic Conference that was a sell-out, with visitors coming from all over Australasia and even further to take part. A few months later Bragato in Hawke’s Bay reiterated how NZW members love to learn, with hundreds turning up to hear about the challenges that face the industry in the future. A few months later the industry celebrated 200 years since the very first grapes were planted in our country, with a moving ceremony in Kerikeri. Along the way we have celebrated the future of the industry, with winning Young Viticulturist Simon Gourley and Young Winemaker Emily Gaspard-Clark. Finally, the wines that we all strive to produce were feted through the New Zealand Wine of the YearTM. All in all, it has been quite a year, and it will be nice to take a breather over the coming festive season – hopefully. The end of 2019 is also the end of my tenure as editor of NZ Winegrower magazine. After nine years at the helm, it is time to hand the mantle over to Sophie Preece from Marlborough. It is not a complete exit, as I will continue to write for the magazine in the future. But in the meantime, I leave you with a quote I read recently which I think sums up this wonderful industry we work in, (with a little add on from me). “(New Zealand) wine is one of the most civilised things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection. It offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than possibly any other purely sensory thing.” I will drink to that Ernest Hemmingway.

Rural News Group PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Ph: 09 307 0399 Location: Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Publisher: Brian Hight Managing Editor: Adam Fricker Production: Dave Ferguson, Rebecca Williams

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

ISSN 1174-5223

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Tessa Nicholson


Joelle Thomson

Jean Grierson

Lee Suckling

Joelle tells the story of how the Giesen brothers have returned to their roots to deliver a Mosel Riesling to their wine portfolio.

You may not know the name Lyndsey Harrison, but Jean profiles her amazing story in our Women in Wine feature this issue.

We have all heard about the effects, both good and bad, that alcohol can have on health. This issue Lee takes a look at how it affects your appearance.


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From the Board Chair John Clarke

A standout year THE PAST year has been a momentous one for our sector. For me the past 12 months has been marked by two stand out events. F i rst , of c ou rs e, ou r celebration of 200 years of the vine in New Zealand. In his diary on September 25 1819, Reverend Samuel Marsden recorded - and I quote; “New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine, as far as I can judge at present of the nature of the soil and climate. Should the vine succeed, it will prove of vast importance in this part of the globe.” We are ver y fortunate that Marsden took the time to record the events of that momentous day in his diary. So 200 years later, on the exact same date and in the exact same place we were able to replicate his planting of grapevines at the Stone Store in KeriKeri. From Marsden’s small beginnings our industry has grown and prospered. We now play a significant role in the social and economic wellbeing of the many regions in which we operate and, in fact, the country as a whole. Actually Marsden’s vines did not last that long as they were planted next to his goat paddock. Let’s hope the one we planted does better. So what was the second event that made its mark this year? Was it the fact that we have seen a very, very good

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vintage. Or that exports have grown to new heights as our wines continue to perform so strongly on the world stage? Or even that there is now a feature film the star of which is our industry and our industry personnel? No not any of those, well not for me anyway. For me the other stand out event has been the building of the new research winery at the Bragato Research Institute. In a year when we are celebrating our history it is also important to look forward to the next 200 years. The new research winery is all about the future we want and need to build. BRI will deliver world class research outcomes to support the quality, sustainability and growth ambitions of you our member growers and wineries. But there is a qualification associated with that statement. That goal will only become a

“New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine, as far as I can judge at present of the nature of the soil and climate. Should the vine succeed, it will prove of vast importance in this part of the globe.”

reality if ……. The facility is used and


supported by you, the members and supporters of our industry.

The platform is there, now it is up to you. So if you are doing your own grape or wine research, or thinking about it, talk to BRI in the first instance to see if they can help. And there is nothing to stop the BRI doing leading edge research for other primary sectors. To that end, if you don’t know them, I urge you to get to know Mark Gilbert, the BRI Chair, and MJ Loza, the CEO and their team of dedicated staff. They are doing a great job on behalf of the industry.






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In Brief



Wine professionals from Australia and New Zealand are encouraged to apply for next year’s Family of XII Wine Tutorial, which will be held in Marlborough from 2-4 August. The purpose of

the wine tutorial is to pass on first-hand knowledge and the mantle of excellence to the next generation of industry leaders taking New Zealand wine into the future. Applications opened

on 1 November and close on 17 January. The successful candidates will be selected through a written submission that answers the question; Why do you think you’ll make a

OLDEST WINE SHOW ENTRIES OPEN Entries for the oldest wine competition “The 68th Royal Easter Show Wine Awards” is now open and will be closing Friday 17 January. Judging will be taking place at the ASB Showgrounds - Tuesday 11 through to Thursday 13 February 2020.

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INCREASES IN JOB SEEKERS AND JOBS ON WEBSITE As seasonal work heats up across the country, a website connecting jobseekers and employers has seen a surge in activity, addressing skills and labour shortages commonly seen at this time of year. In October, the Work the Seasons online jobs platform, which is helping to address these shortages, saw a 179 percent jump in the number of viticulture jobs posted by employers, from 48 in September to 134 in October. The majority of these came from Marlborough and Central Otago. At the same time there was a 25 percent increase in the number of new jobseekers registering on the website from 875 to 1097.

SOUTHERN PINOT WORKSHOP Over the course of the four-day workshop presentations are made and barrel samples are evaluated during formal tasting sessions with the sole purpose of understanding more about the variety. The Southern Pinot Noir Workshop, now in its 29th year, has been pivotal in New Zealand’s

good ambassador for fine New Zealand wine? For more details contact Family of XII Chair, Paul Donaldson – paul@pegasusbay. com or Kate Pritchard, info@

greater understanding of the variety and the enthusiasm the wine style has been generating. The 2020 event will take place in Hanmer Springs from 17-20 January, 2020. Guest speaker is Mat Goddard, from University of Auckland and University of Lincoln (UK).



WINE AUCTION HITS BIGGEST EVER TOTAL 500 guests at the Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction helped raise $241,000 for Cranford Hospice, the largest auction total to date. Having been on the calendar for

28 years, this unique fundraiser had 40 lots of wine donated by local wineries, with many of them being specially blended for the event. A new addition was


MARLBOROUGH PINOT TAKES TOP HONOURS AT IWSC Jackson Estate’s Vintage Widow Pinot Noir 2015 has been labelled as the best in the world at the recent IWSC awards. Up against wines from 90 countries, and judged by a total of 100 individuals, the wine took out the top Trophy and is a vindication of the quality of Pinots in the Marlborough region, Managing Director Jeff Hart says. Winemaker Matt Peterson-Green says the fruit that was picked in 2015 was very special. “We were 30 percent down in tonnage but at the same time we saw an amazing lift in fruit quality – some of the best we have ever seen. We’re a vineyard driven winery, meaning that the vines themselves create what’s special ... and we let palate drive the development of the wine, not chemistry.”

the Ambassador Blend, which this year was created by Brand Ambassador Mike McRoberts, Tony Bish and James Beck. The lot was sold for $5000. This

year’s feature artwork (above) was created by artist Mauricio Benega. Entitled The Wine Capital of NZ, it sold for $10,500.

WINERY OWNERS HONOURED IN POLAND Neal and Judy Ibbotson of Saint Clair Family Estate have been awarded Persons of the Year 2019, by the biggest Polish wine magazine, Czas Wina. The annual award is in recognition of people who are committed to promoting the culture of wine worldwide. The Saint Clair owners were singled out in recognition of their production of “superb wines, especially the wines that Polish customers highly appreciate.” The Ibbotson’s are in good c ompany,

given the Persons of the Year award has gone to such luminaries as Jancis Robinson, Hugh Johnson and Warren Winiarski in previous years.


Upcoming Events

January/February/ March 2020


Bridge Pa Triangle Wine Festival Seven wineries, a hop on and off bus, and plenty of great food and wine make up this festival day. 18 January, 2020

Marlborough Wine and Food Festival Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration Three days of celebrating what makes Central Otago Pinot Noir so special. 30 January – 1 February 2020

The country’s largest and longest running wine festival will once again be held at Brancott Vineyard in Marlborough. 8 February

Royal Easter Wine Show Awards Entries close 17 January. Judging will take place 11 – 13 February.

Southern Pinot Workshop A technical workshop that brings together Pinot winemakers from New Zealand and around the world. Being held at Hanmer Springs.

17-20 January

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North Canterbury Wine and Food Festival Labelled as the coolest little wine festival in the country. This takes place at Glenmark Domain, Waipara Valley.

8 March


NZ Wine event highlight “Great lineup at the New Release tasting this morning. ‘19 really is a great vintage and I can’t wait to see how the wines develop” – Kevin Meehan, Tesco

The annual New Zealand Wine New Release took place on 28-29 October in London, the trade focused self-pour tasting targeted A-list industry and media. The format was again well received as an opportunity for attendees to taste our 2019 vintage, newto-market wines at their own pace and explore the different varieties and regions of New Zealand with a great view over central London. Some of the A-list media included; Julia Harding MW (Jancis Robinson), Rebecca Gibb MW, Stephen Brook, Tina Gellie (Decanter), Peter Dean, Anne Krebiehl MW and Anthony Rose.

Retail sector addendees included; Co-op, Laytons/Jerobaoms and Tesco. On-trade attendees; sommeliers from The Strafford, The Ledbury and Roger Jones (The Harrow at Little Bedwyn). Our preview evening (28 October) was open to local social media influencers including @winetimelondon and @ross_on_wine. 

New Release 2019 28-29 October 2019 London - UK

For info on these and upcoming events visit

For more information call 0800 865 223 or visit Digital • Flexographic • Offset – all under one roof


200th Celebrations

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Opinion Piece

Celebrating 200 years past and future SARAH ADAMS

Two hundred years ago, before New Zealand was officially recognised with the Treaty of Waitangi, the very first grape vines were planted into New Zealand soils by Reverend Samuel Marsden at the Church Mission Society in Kerikeri.

the vines with him from Port successful. Jackson. The bicentenary was marked “His motives may well have with an intimate industry been shaped by a desire to celebration where it all began cultivate his own wine – either in Kerikeri. NZW Board Framingham Wines Chair are notJohn only Clarke renowned for note for communion, or more made their music in the winery, but also that staff likely, to express his ownmake socialup athat members localNew band.Zealand is one of aspirations,” says the Manager the very few countries in the of the Kerikeri Mission Station, world where the exact date of Liz Bigwood. the planting of the first vines is By 12 October 1819, many known. “It is extraordinary to of the Marsden’s vines were in think that we know this date. It leaf. However, the vineyard was is fortunate that Marsden along inadequately fenced, and it was with many of our early pioneers soon destroyed by goats. His recorded such events in their Flight efforts of the Conchords or two that the mind, own may not album have diaries, andsticks so 200inyears later belong to Ata Rangi, the year situating the year. worked out, but his predictions we are privileged to celebrate later. fact, ifofnot anZealand album, thisComing from vintages for theInfuture New historic moment in ” Europe, where the onea nearly every vintage has a song wine couldn’t have been more The event beganbest with

The power of music in the winery

REMARKABLY, MARSDEN OLIVER STYLES profoundly noted in his diary, “New Zealand promises to be I WORKED my to firstthe vintage in very favourable vine, as New Zealand in 2011, and if far as I can judge at present ofI hearnature the songs or Caroline the of theJoey soil and climate. by the band Concrete Blonde Should the vine succeed, it willI

prove of vast importance in this part of the globe.” Marsden was the driving am transported to Martinforce behind theback establishment borough Vineyards, late at night, of Anglican mission stations waiting for the press to in New Zealand in thefinish. early Boxercentury by The and National and the 19th had brought






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ceremonial replanting of a vine at the historic Stone Store. Clarke, Rod McIvor Winemaker, Marsden Estate, and Sherry Reynolds - Manager (Northern Region), Heritage New Zealand had the honour of planting the vine, christening it with bottle of Northland’s The Landing Syrah 2015. The evening continued to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where guests were welcomed on to the Marae with a moving pōwhiri. It is extraordinary how New Zealand wine is so intrinsically linked to New Zealand history. Not only is Waitangi the birthplace of our nation, but James Busby, the architect of the Treaty, was also our first recorded winemaker. The coming together of cultures and people was a special part of the celebration. Marsden’s work and that of his missionaries helped build a relationship of trust with Māori chiefs, paving the way for the acceptance of an official Crown presence in New Zealand. Many other cultures have influenced the course of New Zealand wine too. Notably

We must have the foresight, to make decisions today, that will allow us to continue to adapt and evolve alongside our ever-changing climate and market landscape. French, Croatian, German immigrants have had a key role in various wine regions in our industry. Many of these pioneer’s descendants were represented at the Marae. The event wasn’t solely focused on the past. It was clear from the speakers that our industry is determined to celebrate another 200 years, through a commitment to sustainability, in the truest sense of the word; retaining talent and workers, guardianship of the environment, innovation of technology, advocacy and premiumisation of our wine. An initiative to foster young leaders and the sustainability of the industry was announced by Leadership and Communities Manager Nicky Grandorge. It will be open to current and former finalists in the Young Viticulturalist and Young Winemaker of the Year programmes, Women in Wine mentees, and select nominees from each region. The theme

for 2019 will be ‘Next Steps in Sustainability’. You n g Vit i c u ltu r a l i s t Nor t h l an d w i n n e r Ja ke Dromgool received a standing ovation for his speech on behalf of those young leaders emerging in the industry. He noted we are the custodians of a gifted land that has now been proven to make great wine across all our regions. And he challenged the industry to keep asking ‘what next’, warning of complacency and over-commoditisation. “We must have the foresight, to make decisions today, that will allow us to continue to adapt and evolve alongside our everchanging climate and market landscape. “It’s both a daunting and an incredibly humbling task for others such as myself to carry on this legacy for the next 30 years. Today we honour the vision of Samuel Marsden and every other early pioneer, and in the next 200 years, if we may see further in the distance, it is

only because we stand on the shoulders of giants.” Clarke spoke of the optimism of our industry, “there is always another vintage, another year.” But to make that optimism a reality, we must “treasure and sustain the places that produce our great wines… develop the potential of our people… And finally, we need to always be open-minded, to embrace the pioneer spirit that has served as so well to date. “Do these things well and in 200 years’ time on September 25 2219, someone will be able to stand here and speak with pride about the success of New Zealand wine, and what it has done for this country and its people over 400 years.” Witnessing the ceremonial replanting in that same spot as New Zealand viticulture and history began, in the presence of a diverse crowd of pioneering families and future leaders was a humbling experience. Understanding your past is vital to shape your future, and it is exciting to think of what the next 200 years of the New Zealand wine industry could behold.

Former CEO of NZ Wine Institute, Terry Dunleavy.

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A Saint, a Pope and a grapevine Bishop Pompallier had been appointed by Pope Gregory 16th as the first Catholic Bishop of the South Pacific. His group of missionaries left the French port of Le Havre on Christmas eve 1836 and landed at Valparaiso, Chile in late June 1837. After taking on provisions they left for the Pacific islands in August and arrived at the small Wallace Island on the first of November 1837. Father Pierre Chanel and Brother Nizier were left at nearby Futuna Island, while Bishop Pompallier went on to Sydney, IN 1838 a group of French then to Hokianga, New Zealand Catholic missionaries under where he set up his first mission. the Bishop Francois Pompallier He subsequently moved to the arrived at Hokianga on the Bay of Islands, which became west coastWINEGROWER of the North1/2 Island. theXearly headquarters for the DU-WETT PAGE 180W 120H MM

As New Zealand’s wine industry celebrates its 200th year, Dr Richard Smart provides us with a story that links New Zealand wine to the Vatican.

Catholic mission. Father Pierre Chanel lived with natives on the east coast of Futuna Island at Poi for many years, and was frustrated by difficulties in converting the natives. He was assassinated by the native Musumusu. His body was discovered by Brother Nizier and their companion, a runaway English sailor. They fled to Wallace Island and alerted Bishop Pompallier in New Zealand. No retaliation was brought to natives who proclaimed themselves converted to Christianity! For this, Pierre Chanel was canonised in 1956, and is the first Catholic saint of Australasia.

INTEREST IN HERITAGE VINES During my term as MAF Viticultural Scientist based at Ruakura in the 1980s, I was concerned about the virus presence in the National Vine collection; one possible source of virus-free vines was to find early imports to New Zealand before grafting began in Europe in the 1890s to overcome phylloxera, which was known to spread virus. So I commenced a Heritage vine collection at Rukihia. During my research I learned of grapevines apparently still surviving at the abandoned Pompallier Mission site at Hokianga. On visiting the site, I was bitterly disappointed to hear



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that they had been destroyed by 2, 4-D spraying a few years previously. I did, however, learn of a vine surviving at Poi on Futuna Island in the Pacific. This vine was apparently planted by St Pierre Chanel. The leaves of the vines are regarded by the local natives as having healing powers. Nuns at the mission had taken cuttings from the vines which were being defoliated by the natives and had planted new ones behind the mission walls. I visited Poi in 1983 on return to New Zealand from speaking engagements in the USA and pruned the vines inside the mission walls for the nuns, and for the first time ever they produced fruit. Was this a miracle? Being at latitude 12 S and in the tropics, the vines grow as an ever-green, but with some pruning, new growth produced fruit. The nuns wrote to thank me, and advised me they continued to prune and harvest fruit! I took photos of the vines and made an ampelographic description. The vine was white elongated berries, with very characteristic deeplylobed leaves and pink petioles. However, I was unable to import cuttings directly to New Zealand as I had no importation documentation. I was able to import them to California by courtesy of Dr. Austin Goheen of University of California at Davis, who managed their quarantine facility. I found it would cost an inordinate sum to air mail them from Fiji to the USA, but an obliging airline hostess promised to mail them for me in the USA. I subsequently imported cuttings from California to New Zealand.

Institute was impressed with the links to New Zealand history, and was able to help arrange contacts for me to present the vine to the previous Pope John Paul II during his visit to New Zealand in November 1986. So it was that I presented to the Pope a potted grapevine, a living link with his predecessor Gre gor y XV I , t he f i rst Catholic missionaries, and the first Saint in the Pacific. It seemed incongruous during the television coverage of Dr Richard Smart presenting the vine planted by St Peter Chanel at Poi, Futuna Island, to Pope John Paul, Auckland, November 1986.

GIFT TO THE POPE My little story of the “saints vine” was met with curiosity by the local New Zealand wine industry. Terry Dunleavy, then CEO of the New Zealand Wine

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gift presentation by island communities like Tonga, Samoa, Cook Island and the local Polish communities to have someone giving the Pope a potted plant, and a vine at that!

WHERE DID THE VINE ORIGINATE? FRANCE OR CHILE? Ampelographic studies in New Zealand failed to find a French variety with such characteristics. The question was resolved when one day I

was walking from my hotel to the University in Santiago, to lecture, and saw the conspicuous foliage in a domestic backyard, and I was able to grab a leaf sample despite the angry, non-English speaking dog! I compared the sample with photographs, and it was the same vine. I asked Chilean colleagues about the vine; they considered it to be one of the “pais” varieties, that is one introduced as seedlings by the Spanish conquistadors to Chile after their arrival in 1520. It was their habit to always travel with vines, to provide wine for sacramental purposes. Being a seedling, it does not correspond necessarily to any present or ancient Spanish variety. DNA analysis is required to determine the vine’s parents, and likely region of origin. This is all quite a story, and it reflects the spread of the vine from the Old World to the New World, in this instance in two stages. Maybe some New Zealand winery could make a unique wine from this variety. • This article, written by Dr Richard Smart, appeared previously in the Wine Business Monthly.


NZ Wine of the YearTM


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Hawke’s Bay and Central dominate awards IT WAS a case of family owned wineries taking out the top trophies at this year’s New Zealand Wine of the YearTM. And Syrah was the big winner when it came to varieties, with one wine taking out Champion Wine of the Show, while three others were awarded the Wine of Provenance trophy. The Villa Maria Cellar Selection Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2018 won the New Zealand Wine of the YearTM Champion trophy, as well as taking out the Champion Syrah trophy. Villa Maria also scooped up the Champion Wine of Provenance 2019 trophy with their Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah,

The trophies were announced at the New Zealand Wine Awards dinner, the biggest event in the New Zealand wine industry’s calendar. Hawke’s Bay 2006/2013/2018. Chair of Judges Warren Gibson described the winning wine as; “Immediately appealing and seductive on the nose. Delicious and savoury on the palate. Exceptionally well crafted.� C entral Otago winer y Peregrine scooped up both Organic trophies on offer. The Champion Organic Red Wine

2019 was awarded to their 2017 Pinot Noir, while the Champion Organic White Wine 2019 trophy went to their 2018 Riesling. The awards, given back to back, meant Peregrine CEO Fraser McLachlan had to come up with a second speech, after thanking everyone involved in the creation of the Pinot Noir. He didn’t get much time to reflect on having won

the two trophies, before he was called back to the stage, when Peregrine were awarded the Champion Open Red Wine trophy for their 2018 Saddleback Pinot Noir. “ Thes e results ref lect the enormous amount of passion and effort our team pour into our wines, from ground level right through into the marketplace, and we are delighted to have been recognised by the industry,� McLachlan said. There were also smiles all round for family owned Seifried Wines of Nelson, who took out the Champion Open Wine Trophy with their

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2019 Sauvignon Blanc. Their renowned wine first won accolades earlier this year when it was awarded the Champion Sauvignon Blanc trophy in the New Zealand Wine of the YearTM. The trophies were an n ou n c e d at t h e Ne w Zealand Wine Awards dinner, the biggest event in the New Z ealand wine industr y’s calendar. But it wasn’t only wine getting the accolades. The dinner was also the venue to recognise the past, the present and the future via the people who play such a large part in it. In terms of the past, New Zealand Winegrowers announced four new fellows who have played a major role in the development of New Zealand wine. (See next story). The present relates to the winners to this year’s Young Viticulturist, and also now the Young Horticulturist – Simon Gourley, and Young

The smiles say it all. The winning Villa Maria team with their cache of trophies.

Winemaker – Emily GaspardClark. The future was acknowledging the top student from the New Zealand Winegrowers School of Wine. That honour went to Kris Godsall.

The New Zealand Wine Awards is the new look event, taking over from what had been a dinner to celebrate winning wines. Part of the PwC Strategic Review suggestions was to amalgamate the Wine

of the YearTM with the annual dinner, to celebrate everything about the New Zealand Wine industry. More than 600 people attended the event, held for just the second time in Blenheim.


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Congratulations to the 2019 New Zealand Wine of the Year trophy winners

New Zealand Wine of the Year Champion 2019 Sponsored by O-I New Zealand Villa Maria Cellar Selection Syrah, Hawke’s Bay 2018 Champion Single Vineyard White Wine 2019 Mud House Single Vineyard The Mound Vineyard Riesling, Waipara Valley 2018

Champion Single Vineyard Red Wine 2019 Sponsored by Hillebrand New Zealand Thornbury Pinot Noir, Central Otago 2018

Champion Open White Wine 2019 Sponsored by Label and Litho Limited Seifried Sauvignon Blanc, Nelson 2019

Champion Open Red Wine 2019 Sponsored by QuayConnect Saddleback Pinot Noir, Central Otago 2018

Champion Organic White Wine 2019 Peregrine Riesling, Central Otago 2018

Champion Organic Red Wine 2019 Peregrine Pinot Noir, Central Otago 2017

Champion Wine of Provenance 2019 Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah, Hawke’s Bay 2006/2013/2018

Champion Sparkling 2019 Sponsored by WineWorks Lindauer Vintage Series Brut Cuvée, Gisborne 2017

Champion Syrah 2019 Sponsored by Villa Maria Cellar Selection Syrah, Hawke’s Bay 2018

Champion Gewürztraminer 2019 Sponsored by Riedel The Wine Glass Company Wairau River Gewürztraminer, Marlborough 2019

Champion Other White Wines 2019 Villa Maria Cellar Selection Viognier,

Champion Pinot Gris 2019 Sponsored by Dish Magazine Russian Jack Pinot Gris, Marlborough 2019 Champion Riesling 2019 Sponsored by Plant & Food Research Lake Chalice The Falcon Riesling, Marlborough 2019 Champion Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Sponsored by Antipodes Water Company Seifried Sauvignon Blanc, Nelson 2019 Champion Chardonnay 2019 Isabel Estate Wild Barrique Chardonnay, Marlborough 2018 Champion Sweet Wine 2019 Forrest Botrytised Riesling, Marlborough 2018 Champion Rosé 2019 Sponsored by New World Two Rivers Isle of Beauty Rosé, Marlborough 2019 Champion Pinot Noir 2019 Sponsored by Guala Closures New Zealand Thornbury Pinot Noir, Central Otago 2018 Champion Merlot, Cabernet and Blends 2019 Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Cabernet Merlot, Hawke’s Bay 2018

Hawke’s Bay 2018 Champion Other Red Styles 2019 The Boneline Amphitheatre Cabernet Franc, Waipara 2018 Champion Wine - Auckland 2019 Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay, Auckland 2018 Champion Wine - Canterbury 2019 Mud House Single Vineyard The Mound Vineyard Riesling, Waipara Valley 2018 Champion Wine - Central Otago 2019 Thornbury Pinot Noir, Central Otago 2018 Champion Wine - Gisborne 2019 Lindauer Vintage Series Brut Cuvée, Gisborne 2017 Champion Wine - Hawke’s Bay 2019 Villa Maria Cellar Selection Syrah, Hawke’s Bay 2018 Champion Wine - Marlborough 2019 Isabel Estate Wild Barrique Chardonnay, Marlborough 2018 Champion Wine - Nelson 2019 Seifried Sauvignon Blanc, Nelson 2019 Champion Wine - Wairarapa 2019 Martinborough Vineyard Te Tera Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough 2019

New Fellows

Four new Fellows announced ONE HAS led the New Zealand wine industry, another is a Master of it, and two have changed the face of it. All four were recognised at the New Zealand Wine Awards dinner in November, by being announced as Fellows. Steve Green, former Chair of the NZW Board, Bob Campbell MW, and Annie and James Millton join an illustrious group of people who have made a difference to New Zealand wine, in their own special way.

STEVE GREEN With wife Barbara, Steve’s wine journey began back in 1994, when they planted their first vines on a property in Central Otago that could only be described as “rabbit infested”. It was on the shores of the yet to be filled Lake Dunstan. Despite only having academic knowledge of the wine industry per se, Steve went on to establish the renowned Carrick Wines and was a leading figure in the development of the Central Otago industry. He fought hard to establish a collaborative group of wineries who came together to show the world the

quality of Central Pinot Noir. He was not only the Chair of the Central Otago Winegrower’s Association, he also chaired COPNL, the region’s marketing arm. As a member of the NZW

Board from 2005, Steven took over the deputy chairman’s role, back in 2009, not an auspicious year, given the GFC and the issues surrounding large yields here in New Zealand. Three

Steve Green

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years later he was appointed as Chairman of the Board, a role he held until 2018, when Carrick Wines sold, and the Green’s moved from Central to Nelson.

BOB CAMPBELL Bob was just the second New Zealander to gain the auspicious Master of Wine title back in 1990. It may seem a strange move for someone who had spent his early career as a chartered accountant. But given he was an accountant for Montana, Bob was on site when the very first vines were planted in Marlborough back in 1973. Maybe that was part of his inspiration to learn all there was to know about wine. One of the foremost wine writers in the country, it would be hard to place a number on the millions of words he has used to promote wine in this country and overseas. Or even how many wine shows he has judged, since dedicating himself to his career as a MW. On top of all that, Bob has played an integral part in opening up the mysteries of wine to the general public, with an estimated 22,000

Bob Campbell

individuals having attended one of his wine courses. Always one to promote his home country, Bob was also an ambassador for the Screwcap Initiative, where his gravitas helping to promote the advantages when New Zealand made the decision to move away from cork.

ANNIE AND JAMES MILLTON A love of fermenting anything he could get his hands on led James Millton to a career in wine – much to the amusement of his school teachers. Especially given James was suspended for making wine at school, when he was just 17. Annie Millton in the meantime was growing up on the family farm in Gisborne, before undertaking a degree in horticulture. After the couple met in Gisborne when James was working for Montana, it took a number of years and a

few countries before they ended up back on the family property, in 1981. They began caring for the vine’s Annie’s parents had planted and also establishing their own Millton Vineyard. Determined not to replicate the chemical use of the 70’s, the Milltons began introducing an

organic programme straight away. Slowly but surely focusing on using copper and sulphur, the vineyards were certified organic in 1989, the very first in New Zealand to achieve that status. But organic wasn’t the end of it for the Milltons, they also adopted the Steiner philosophy of biodynamics and their vineyards were the first in New Zealand (and possibly Australasia) to become biodynamic. James once told NZWinegrower that the decision to go organic and biodynamic was not so much a conscious decision, but rather an intuitive response and the only way they felt comfortable going about winegrowing. The couple have always been extremely generous in passing their knowledge on and there

are many organic growers and vineyard managers that have been inspired by their story and them personally. Their giving back has included James being the Chair of Organic Winegrowing New Zealand and Annie the Chair of the Gisborne Winegrowers Association. They have thrown their passion behind not only the organic conferences held since 2015, but this year also offered up their home for the Chardonnay and Sparkling Symposium held in Gisborne. No story about the Millton’s can end without adding this quote, made famous by James a number of years ago. “We’re not standing on dirt, but the rooftop of another Kingdom.”

Annie and James Millton

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Personality of the Year

Patrick Materman, Chair of ISBC 19.


T H E N Z Wi ne g rowe r Personality of the Year is a tradition that began way back in former editor Terry Dunleavy’s day. He wanted to acknowledge someone or something that had made a difference to the New Zealand wine industry in the previous 12 months. That tradition continues today. Both myself and Philip Gregan consider what events have taken place in the past year, and what or who have made a difference. For 2019, there were two major events that stood out. One the 200th anniversary of the first vines being planted in New Zealand. An achievement that was celebrated well and truly in September. T h e s e c on d w a s t h e Sauvignon Blanc Celebration held in Marlborough in January. It is this event that we acknowledge for all it did to promote our flagship wine and our country. But we also believe the man who chaired the event, Patrick Materman, deserves special recognition. With more than 30 years experience in the wine industry Materman is currently Pernod Ricard’s Global Winemaker, as well as the Brand Ambassador for Brancott Estate and a member of the NZW Board. Wit h a d e g re e i n Horticulture, he began his wine career as a cellar hand at, what was then Montana Wine’s Tamaki Winery. In 1994 he moved to Marlborough, moving

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his way up the ladder to become Chief Winemaker, before being appointed as Global Winemaker for Pernod Ricard. In all those years, he has been a strong advocate of Sauvignon Blanc and was an obvious choice as Chair of the committee for the inaugural Sauvignon Blanc Celebration back in 2016. It is a role he repeated for the 2019 event, bringing onboard a committee of like minded Sauvignon lovers. It’s not just his longevity within the industry that made him the obvious choice. It is his belief that New Zealand cannot afford to rest on its laurels when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc. We need as a nation to keep pushing the limits, expanding our knowledge and producing wines that take the consumer on a journey, r at he r t han st ag nat i ng . Materman has more than just mouthed those opinions. As chief winemaker for Pernod Ricard, he was behind the development of Chosen Rows – an aged Sauvignon Blanc that followed 10 years of research and discussion. Only produced in the best of years, Chosen Rows set a new benchmark for what can be achieved with this variety. Another benchmark was established when for the first time Sauvignon Blanc was celebrated in style, at the 2016 Celebration. Materman’s standing in the international market saw a number of renowned guest speakers


quickly accepting his invitation to attend both the 16 and 19 celebration. He and the committee, ensured the threedays of this year’s celebration were remembered by all who attended. But even more importantly, thousands around the world learned more about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc through the social media that surrounded the event. More than 355,000 people viewed information about it, while more than 8,000 engaged with the NZW posts during the three-day event. A third of all the 350 people attending the celebration came from overseas, and took away with them a clearer understanding on the uniqueness of New Zealand

Sauvignon. Given this variety makes up close to 86 percent of our wine exports, no one can deny how important it is to the future of the New Zealand wine industry. Keeping ahead of trends, looking for new markets, enticing new consumers are all vital to the on-going success. Which is why the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration is so important. But events are only as good as the team that runs them – which is why at NZ Winegrower magazine, we believe the ISBC and Patrick Materman in particular deserve special recognition. Both are our Personality of the Year 2019.

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Young Winner

Two from two for Simon Gourley FIRST HE was the Central Otago representative at this year’s Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year. Then he was the National winner. Now Simon Gourley is New Zealand’s Young Horticulturist of the year. One of six finalists in the competition held in November, Gourley was representing the Wine Industry against peers from NZ Plant Producers, Horticulture NZ, Amenity Horticulture, Master Landscapers and Floristy NZ Inc. It is the second year in a row that a Young Viticulturist has taken out the Young Horticulturist title. It is also the second year in a row, that winner has come from Central Otago. Last year it was Annabel Bulk, from Felton Road who took home the winner’s trophy. Gourley, viticulturist for Domain Thomson says he felt privileged to be involved in the competition and to represent the wine industry. “It was hard work and strong competition to get to this point. But I’m feeling pretty good now and definitely happy the award has gone to Central Otago for the second year in a row.” The prize package Gourley takes home is pretty impressive. Beside the winner’s trophy, he won $7500 from Fruitfed Supplies in travel and accommodation, $1000 from ICL Specialty Fertilisers, one-year membership to NZ Insititute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science and a selection of Aorangi merchant pruning tools. The Young Horticulturist Competition is in its 15th

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We all have a part to play in improving environmental outcomes. No matter how big, small, insignificant or monumental, it all counts. year and remains a rigorous competition that attracts impressive young people from the wider horticultural industry, says the competition’s chairperson Elle Anderson. “It provides an opportunity for personal and professional growth for these exemplary young leaders who will inspire the industry and others to ensure our horticultural


industry stays ahead of the world with innovations.” One of the sections of the competition involved giving a speech on a pre-arranged topic. The subject; Horticulture must continue to innovate and be a part of a positive solution to improving environmental outcomes across New Zealand. This is what Gourley had to say.

That word, innovate. To me, it doesn’t necessarily mean invent a hydrogen fuelled tractor. It means be a leader, think outside of the box. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. We all have a part to play in improving environmental outcomes. No matter how big, small, insignificant or monumental, it all counts. So, how good does it feel knowing that the wine you see in-front of you right now, and all aspects of production, have been recorded, logged, submitted, audited and accredited as being a sustainable practice? I have chosen to focus my speech around the industry I am here tonight representing. The New Zealand wine

industry has always been considered innovative, especially when it comes to environmental outcomes. 20 years ago, the programme we now c a l l S W N Z or Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand was initiated. The voluntary programme now has around 99% of the land producing grapes under sustainable accreditation. So, what is SWNZ and why is it a positive solution to improving our environment? SWNZ is our way of making sure everybody is doing their part. Being accredited means we are independently audited on our current operations. We monitor our water usage. Soil health and improvement is encouraged as we want to leave the land in better condition. Around 100,000m3 each year is diverted from landfill due to the SWNZ programme. Fuel consumption, chemical use, disease monitoring, staff

training, air pollution, ground cover. The list goes on! This extensive record keeping, and auditing shows we have done everything possible to lower our inputs and leave a positive footprint on this earth by our vineyards, wineries and people. We are seen as a global leader in improving environmental outcomes through our sustainability programmes due to their longevity and level of participation. Other wine areas such as California, Australia and Chile, are looking to us with envy, hoping to emulate our programme so they too can effect positive environmental change with ease throughout their industries. The Productivity Commission recognised that New Zealand Winegrowing is precisely the low carbon emitting, high production land use New Zealand will have to expand if it is to achieve a sustainable low

Young Vit of the Year and now Young Horticulturist of the year – Simon Gourley.

emission future. New Zealand Winegrowers do hold a leadership position with the SWNZ programme. But that doesn’t mean we can stand still. These programmes need to be evolutionary, everchanging and innovative. Talk

is not enough. No matter how great our progress is today we can always do better. Gourley’s speech is a great indication of why he is a future leader in the making. Massive congrats to him from all at NZ Winegrower.

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NZW Profile

Wine is in Charlotte Read’s blood TESSA NICHOLSON

THE NEW GM of Marketing for New Zealand Winegrowers can’t help but laugh at how she used to consider anything to do with grapes, “such a drag.” Little did she realise, that all that work she put into helping her parents on their Hawke’s Bay vineyard, would play a major role in her future. “It really is a small world,” Read says. “My Dad was keen for my sister and I to help out in the vineyard from an early age with the likes of ‘pulling out’ and it’s so funny that I used to think it was such a drag at the time. Little did I know that it was going to become my career.”

“We are a small country and if we focus our energies in a more direct way, the outcomes can be potentially greater. If you spread yourself thinly, without that focus, you compromise.” A double Science degree in Food Science and Nutrition, “because I thought we need to eat, so I will always have a job,” led to a placement for Read with Fonterra based in Singapore. The role was as a marketer on the South East Asia Graduate

Programme, despite the fact that she kept reminding the officials she was a scientist not a marketer. “ They were looking for technical people to do marketing, so I never got to wear a lab coat.”

It was the beginning of a career that has seen her spend the last 20 years living abroad, gaining experience not only with Fonterra, but also Villa Maria and NZTE. Initially it was four years in Singapore, marketing nutritional milk powders. When the offer came up to move to Dubai, Read declined, instead opting to head to the UK, Cambridge University in particular. “I realised that I was in the very fast paced commercial environment and I didn’t have the business training. So I went to England and did my MBA at Cambridge University. The

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NZ WINEGROWER  DECEMBER 2019/JANUARY 2020 13/11/18 8:58 pm

rationale behind that was I wanted to do just a oneyear course and I wanted a wonderful historic experience as well. So going to an 800 year old university was one of the most cherished years of my life.” It’s all very well undertaking an MBA, but Read wanted to ensure that it would lead to a successful career, doing something she loved. Wine was something she loved, so all her papers had a wine slant. Her dissertation was on the competitiveness of the New Zealand wine industry in international markets. “It was a great tool for me to demonstrate when I was pivoting my career from milk to wine, that I was really serious about it.” Her first wine job was with the Thresher Group in the UK, which she describes as providing her with the opportunity to “get a great toe in the water.” Introducing herself to Sir George Fistonich at the London Wine Trade Fair led to five years as the company’s Europe export manager, dealing with 26 markets, from Ireland to Dubai. “It was a whirlwind of five years, travelling to the likes of Russia, Sweden, Latvia, Bulgaria. It was a real pioneering phase,” Read says. “George Fistonich has always been quite adventurous and liked to be the first to a market and create the category, rather than having to compete heavily for market share later. “It was an amazing time to develop my global wine knowledge juggling the Master of Wine course and sitting that challenge exam around my busy Villa Maria role.” After five years Read swapped Europe for Asia, taking on the role of Villa Maria’s Asia marketing manager, with a big chunk of her time based in China. She continued with her Master of Wine studies for

Charlotte Read, NZW GM Marketing.

a time, but then when children entered the equation those new demands on her time and energy led Read to place the MW on ice, for now at least. Ke e n t o e x p an d h e r experience outside of wine for a time and after five years as Asia market manager, she took a role with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) in China. “I became the Food and Beverage Programme Leader for Greater China, based out of the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing. It was a big change moving from a New Zealand wine business to a government post, especially being an offshore government post.” In 2017 Read moved back to New Zealand, as a customer manager for NZTE, which has provided her with an even greater perspective on helping New Zealand businesses grow internationally. “It is one of the organisations where you really feel like you are working for a cause. It’s the

first time I have felt that, helping companies grow bigger, better, faster.” All her previous roles have helped provide her with skills that can only benefit the New Zealand wine industry. “It h a s h e lp e d m e understand the New Zealand exporting journey and the challenges. There are parallels that all companies from New Zealand face when heading off shore. My time at NZTE has really emphasized to me the importance of focus. We are a small country and if we focus our energies in a more direct way, the outcomes can be potentially greater. If you spread yourself thinly, without that focus, you compromise.” She strongly believes in customisation when it comes to export markets. “What may work in England may not work in China. It can’t be a cookie cutter approach. I think that customisation needs to continue, and listening to

where the market is at. Because markets don’t stay still, they are evolving all the time. It’s about keeping close to that evolution.” As GM for Marketing for NZW Read believes the way we, as a uniquely gifted wine producing nation tells our story, needs to continue to evolve to resonate with a changing global audience. “How a ‘millennial prefers to digest information about wine is very different to someone who has had wine as part of their repertoire for many years.” Read says she’s looking forward to helping the industry gain a deeper understanding of our core drinkers and their drivers for selecting New Zealand wine, to ensure we are a long term proposition. “That is where I feel really passionate about the job.” Given everything Read brings to her new role with NZW, there should be some exciting times ahead for the industry.


Vineyard News

With Scott Henry trellising the fruit is more exposed to light.

Scott Henry trellising, the way forward? TESSA NICHOLSON

FOR 40 years Dr Richard Smart has been cajoling New Zealand grape growers to look past Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) trellising, in favour of Scott Henry (SH). This system has been shown to improve yield and fruit ripening and to avoid the shading and disease problems

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associated with VSP. But he feels as though he is banging his head against a brick wall. MAF National Viticultural Scientist in the 1980’s and with decades of experience in canopy management, it seems strange that his views have been overlooked. The majority of New Zealand


vines are trained on a VSP trellising system, where all the shoots are trained upwards. For Scott Henry however, canopy is divided, with half the shoots trained upwards and the other half downwards towards the ground. Dr Smart is adamant that New Zealand conditions favour

the Scott Henry trellis, for a number of reasons. The first is that VSP is best suited to moderate or low vigour vines. It would be difficult for anyone to claim our major variety Sauvignon Blanc is low to moderate in terms of vigour in most New Zealand vineyards, and many other

varieties are similar. Secondly, because of that vigour and the ensuing leafy and shaded canopies, the vines and fruit have a higher tendency to suffer from diseases such as botrytis and powdery mildew. Both of these diseases are inhibited by the UV (ultraviolet) component of sunlight, an issue currently being researched by New Zealand scientists. Dr Smart says in contrast, Scott Henry opens the canopy up by halving the shoot density, and so reduces the incidence of bunch rot and powdery mildew, and produces more disease free fruit. Obviously spray penetration is improved, and there is less need for leaf removal and or shoot thinning. The third important reason is that more sunlight into the canopy encourages more fruitful buds, so yield is increased, and the almost double canopy surface area helps ripen the increased yield.

So why haven’t more New Zealanders adopted the system? “My cynical view is that most grape growers’ neighbours use VSP and they are copying them,” Dr Smart says. “They feel comfortable doing the same thing as others. And there is also the vicious rumour mill. Everyone has heard of someone who tried Scott Henry and it does not work, costs too much, confuses the workers, blah, blah, blah.” Dr Smart asks, did they do it properly, with essential good timing for turning down shoots? “Timing is everything, as for most vineyard practices.” Maybe it’s a case of VSP having “worked” for the past few decades, so if it ain’t broke don’t fix it? “ Then how about the argument that growers could make more profit out of the vineyards with Scott Henry? The present system may not be broke, but it sure is not very

SeaSonal eMployeR? We’re here to help

efficient. In my opinion, it is not the attitude that put man on the moon 50 years ago,” he says. The financial benefits of Scott Henry are substantial he says, with yield increases of 30 percent or more. Conversion cost isn’t substantial either, as only one wire has to be added per row to train the shoots downwards. Labour costs are slightly higher than with VSP, but Dr Smart keeps coming back to the financial rewards of higher yields, less disease and better fruit composition because of the improved exposure to air and sun. Wine quality is improved. “All that for the minimal fuss of a few extra hours per hectare of labour. It is a no brainer. It will provide more yield and riper fruit, it will provide better fruit for winemaking both for red and white, and it is less prone to disease.” The system also means less need for canopy thinning/leaf removal in the summer months,

which is a costly add on in terms of labour. And it is well suited to mechanical harvesting and pruning aids as any other four cane system like the VSP. While the majority of New Zealanders haven’t heeded his advice, one major company has acted. Delegat Wine Company were convinced to trial the Scott Henry trellising system in some of their Marlborough vineyards. Now the company has the largest area of Scott Henry trellised vineyards in the world, in Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, and in the Barossa Valley of Australia. Dr Smart says “I have found that the only way to convince people is to say, don’t tell me I am wrong, prove I am wrong in your vineyard. This was the approach with the Delegat managers.” If Dr Smart had his way, the rest of New Zealand would follow in their footsteps.

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200 years of New Zealand Wine in pictures #nzwine200 We asked New Zealand wineries and vineyards to join in the 200 year celebration online by submitting a story or picture with #nz200. Check out some of our favourites.







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M IS S IO N E ST A T E ’ S 1 8 9 5 H A RV E ST

Discover these posts and more from @nzwinegrowers and #nzwine on Instagram.

Stronger Vines. Better Grapes.

Bracket flowering with HML 32 for powdery mildew and botrytis control The timing of these sprays has powdery mildew as the target and collects botrytis efficacy as a consequence. HML32 alone deals direct to botrytis, but the addition of sulphur and copper deals a blow to microscopic powdery mildew both preventively and eradicatively. Powdery mildew is a major pre-cursor disease to the onset of botrytis.

Just before inflorescences open

Inflorescences open to 80% capfall

HML32 + sulphur + copper. OR HML32 + sulphur + HML Silco

Give nature a chance to deliver the best yield or, if desired, use another botrytis product at this growth stage.

80-100% capfall HML32 + sulphur + copper. OR HML32 + sulphur + HML Silco

Henry Manufacturing Ltd For more information about the recommended spray programme from flowering to veraison, visit Call Chris Henry on 027 294 1490 email or contact your local technical advisor.

Regions Marlborough

Innovation and passion acknowledged TESSA NICHOLSON

JOHN FORREST who turned his back on neurophysiology in 1988 to become a winemaker, has been acknowledged by the Marlborough Wine industry. For re s t w a s aw ard e d the Lifetime Achievement Award by the board of Wine Marlborough back in October. The award recognises the input individual members of the wine industry have played in the development of Marlborough. Wine Marlb oroug h GM Marcus Pickens says the decision to give the award to

John Forrest is very fitting. “In the 31 years John has been involved in the Marlborough wine industry he has strived to make it a better place. His innovations include; the Screwcap Initiative, low alcohol wines, alternative varieties and Appellation Wine Marlborough to name just a few,” Pickens says. “Marlborough wine owes a lot to his efforts and his determination to make this region stand out on the world stage, as a highquality producer.” While born and bred in

Marlborough, Forrest didn’t return to the province after leaving school, until 1988. He and wife Dr Brigid Forrest bought an eight-hectare property on the outskirts of Renwick, and planted grapes and apples. Once he got his head around the grapes, Forrest removed the apples and concentrated on wine. Although his first experience as a trainee winemaker at Grove Mill was almost enough to put him off. Apparently an overfill tank of Merlot exploded, with all the

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Dr John Forrest

skins being lost. There was nothing for it, than to rethink the end product and Forrest decided the only solution was to create a Merlot Rosé. He entered the wine into the Air NZ Wine Awards and surprised even himself when it was awarded the trophy for Champion Rosé. He hasn’t looked back since. In 2001 he and a few others including Ross Lawson, John Belsham, Sir George Fistonich and Michael Brajkovich MW established the Screwcap Initiative. Sick of the issues surrounding poor quality cork saw the group look for other alternatives. For Forrest it was timely. His 1998 Chardonnay had been decimated by poor cork, with close to 50 percent of the bottled wine ruined. “In good conscience I couldn’t sell this wine to anyone, knowing that consumers who purchased it had a 50 percent chance of getting a wine they couldn’t drink,” he said at

the time. By 2002 all Forrest Estate wines were bottled under screwcap and almost all of the New Zealand wine industry quickly followed suit. In 2006 Forrest Estate released their first low alcohol Riesling, with an alcohol level of 8.5 percent. It was unheard of at the time to produce low alcohol wines that were created in the vineyard and winery without using reverse osmosis. His experimentation led to low alcohol Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Rosé and more recently Pinot Noir. Forrest’s findings have played a large role in the NZW seven-year Lighter Wine programme. He has also been an advocate of thinking outside the square in terms of varieties that could do well in Marlborough. Arneis, Gruner Veltliner, Albarino, St Laurent, Petit Manseng and Chenin Blanc have all found their roots among the

Forrest vineyards. Some have worked, others not so well, but throughout it all Forrest has kept an open mind on what the next big thing may be for the region. In 2018, after years of lamenting about the vast quantities of bulk Sauvignon

Blanc leaving Marlborough for overseas markets, Forrest and a number of other individuals e s t ab l i s h e d App e l l at i on Marlborough Wine. The incorporated society’s one goal is to protect the reputation of Marlborough’s wine industry. This has been a passion of Forrest’s for years, as he has railed against high yields that threaten the quality parameters of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. More than 36 local producers are now a part of the Appellation, that promises consumers the world over, that they are indeed drinking topend Sauvignon. On top of that, Forrest Estate owned by him and his wife have been supporters of events in the Marlborough region. For 15 years they provided the sponsorship and vineyard for the Forrest Grape Ride and the company has also been a longterm supporter of tennis in the region. Forrest joins an elite group of individuals acknowledged for their contribution to the Marlborough wine industry. Previous winners have included; Gerry Gregg, Ross Lawson, Phil Rose, Ivan Sutherland, Jane Hunter and Dr Rengasamy Balasubramaniam.

EVEN MORE REASON TO CELEBRATE NOT ONLY was Dr John Forrest awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award, but his company Forrest Wines picked up three trophies at the recent Marlborough Wine Show. Ironically, given his first foray into winemaking being the Rosé that won a Trophy at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards back in 1990, Forrest was awarded the Champion Rosé Trophy for The Doctors’ Rose 2019 at the recent competition. It was a day of celebration, given Forrest Estate took out two other trophies, including Champion Wine of the Show and Champion Pinot Noir 2017 Trophy for Forrest Pinot Noir 2017. No accidental success this time.


NZW News

Cellar Door of the Year T H E I M P O R TA N C E o f cellar doors can never be underestimated. They are the rock stars of the wine visitor industry and are the first contact that many of our regions’ visitors encounter. Those visitors, especially internationals, tend to stay longer and spend more and depending on their impressions gained during the cellar door visit can become loyal brand advocates or the opposite. Which is why the NZW Cellar Door of the Year competition was instigated this year. Wineries throughout the country were encouraged to enter, with 32 cellar doors from eight regions taking part. There were a number of facets that were considered by the panel of judges. Firstly a written submission that outlined how the Cellar Doors demonstrated leadership, what their point of difference was, operational excellence, organisational development and the impact and outcomes. The judging panel consisted of Bob Campbell MW, and two tourism consultants. From the 32 entries, six were selected as finalists. Then the true testing began with mystery shoppers visiting all six, twice. This time

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the cellar doors were judged on their customer service, the external presentation, the internal facilities and other services offered. Gregg Anderson, General Manager Qualmark and one of the judges of the Cellar Door of the Year commented that the judges were impressed by the entries to this year’s inaugural Awards. Particularly impressive was the storytelling of the entrants - these captured a sense of history, the challenge and innovation of winemaking in New Zealand, a strong sense of the influence of terroir on results, and often the generational story of the vineyards or winemakers. Also evident was the strong sense of manaatikanga - genuine authentic kiwi hospitality displayed at the Cellar Door through highly trained and enthusiastic teams, and kaitiakitangi - a sense of guardianship of the land coming through very strongly particularly around the sustainable practices of vintners. “These are all hugely important aspects of the visitor or tourism experience, and are aligned closely with the highly successful New Zealand tourism international branding of100%


Pure New Zealand,” he says.

THE FINALISTS Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island A very strong emphasis on staff training, customer engagement, visitor satisfaction and sales performance. A key focus on sustainability particularly in day to day operations. Church Road, Hawke’s Bay Good systems, good planning, training and results. An effective celebration of wine in the past and present with an eye on the future. So many opportunities for different, immersive and interactive experiences for a wide range for visitors. Craggy Range, Hawke’s Bay A considered approach including training, facilities and cellar door experiences, with strong metrics and systems. Submission displayed a real sense of arrival, manaakitanga, thoughtfulness and consideration to their cellar door experience. Cloudy Bay, Marlborough A comprehensive cellar door experience, provided key examples of going above and beyond in many areas including multi-lingual staff. Great storytelling of Cloudy Bay and Marlborough. A very professional,

engaging, reactive and proactive and attractive proposition. Kinross, Central Otago Great storytelling showcasing stories of all six winemakers, their characters, wine and terroir. Strong metrics and responsiveness to feedback and need for change to accommodate growth. Chard Farm, Central Otago An excellent appreciation of being in the heart of a tourism region – a strong focus on the customer, options of multiple languages, references to the scenery while still maintaining a focus on the delivery of an outstanding cellar door experience. Due to the high standard of submissions the judges also highly commended a further four wineries Bladen Wines, Marlborough Brancott Estate, Marlborough Forrest Wines, Marlborough Misha’s Vineyard, Central Otago And the winner of the inaugural Cellar Door of the Year 2019, as announced at the Wine of the Year Awards Dinner is - Church Road, Hawke’s Bay. As well as taking out the title, Church Road will also receive a Qualmark Visitor Activity assessment.

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Industry Profile

37 years well spent TESSA NICHOLSON

MENTION THE name Andy Frost to wine industry members in New Zealand and they will comment on what a resolute scientist and researcher he is. They wouldn’t be far wrong. But what many probably don’t know is that Frost’s career in the wine industry began as a trainee winemaker for Montana based in Blenheim. That was back in 1982. Now 37 years to the day, he has retired from his current role as Project Manager Wine Innovation for Pernod Ricard. Within those 37 years, Frost has played a major role in the development of the company, which has gone from being called Montana, to Allied Domecq to Pernod Ricard Winemakers. While he began among the tanks and barrels as a trainee winemaker, he moved up to winemaker in charge by the 1990’s. In 1997 he was awarded White Winemaker of the Year at the London International Wine Challenge. Not bad for a man who had studied botany and maths at university. While being acknowledged in such a way as Frost was at the IWC could be seen by most as a defining moment in their career, Frost downplays the whole thing. “It was a team award really. Montana New Zealand had actually won something like 22 or 23 medals at that show. Some of the wines were from Hawke’s Bay and some from Gisborne. There were a lot from Marlborough and because I was the person overall responsible for many of the wines, I received the award. But really, it was a team award.” It is a typical understated

38   //

response from this selfdeprecating man. Initially Frost’s working career began at Otari Plant Museum in Wellington before he headed back to University as a teaching assistant. By 1982 when he was looking to move on, he decided that wine offered him opportunities, so he applied for a job with Montana. “I was completely raw,” he says, “although I had read a

Frost says of that first vintage. “So we did exactly what he said and 30 years later we still have a relationship. For me it was cutting my teeth. I had another mentor who had a whole different approach to how he did things and I did them exactly his way. And it worked, because right from the start it (Deutz) was almost too much of a success. We ran out.” Frost helped develop the

“I am really proud of the company’s contribution to all the research that has been undertaken in Marlborough. Many other companies have contributed as well, but if you look at the overall picture from the time we really got into research in the early 2000’s, our company has been the major contributor.”

couple of books and swotted up the night before the interview. I guess I was pretty practical, so they took me on.” During his 37 years with the company, 20 of those were spent in the winemaking field. He was the winemaker responsible for working with André Lallier Deutz from Champagne, when Montana was developing the New Zealand Deutz Marlborough Cuvee sparkling wine. “André said to us we had to do things the way he said we had to do them, or else there would be no relationship,”


Letter Series of wines that Pernod Ricard Winemakers still produces under the Brancott Estate brand. He also helped with the development of the Montana Reserve wines and played a major role in launching Montana into the US in the mid 90s. He and three others literally blitzed the US market over a month-long period. Each of the four was responsible for taking Montana’s wines to distributors in different states at a time when very few people even knew New Zealand made wine. “I always remember that

when you were going into places, you took just four wines. What stood out to me was they would taste them and say, ‘these are all good wines. Normally when someone comes in with four wines, there is one great one and there are three dogs. But what you brought in was four great wines.’ That felt pretty good to hear.” Winemaking wasn’t Frost’s only skill, he was also consulting on a new computer-based system that would help manage processes within the winery. The end result was WIPS – Wine in Production System. Remember this was the early 90’s, computers weren’t the backbone of business they are today. “When I was at university I did a lot of programming and I could write code. I understood what you could use computers for, so I got quite involved in the consultancy stage of WIPS.” From that time on, he began “drifting away to a more technical role”, allowing Montana’s other winemakers such as Patrick Materman, Mark Inglis, Nigel Fraser and Jamie Marfell to take on more responsibility. His scientific background and penchant for research saw him spearheading the move to develop a Research Centre in Marlborough, following Jim Anderton’s Regional Development policy. The government would provide $2m to a region, if local businesses would provide $300,000 per year for five years. “The wine industry got together with Council and said, we could spend $2m putting up

Andy Frost

a research facility and we will get $1,500,000 from industry. NZW decided to put in $250,000 and Montana put in $250,000 as well. Then we raised the rest of the money.” T h a t f a c i l i t y, T h e Marlborough Research Centre, is still playing a major role in the development of the wine industry, home to Plant & Food and now the site for the Bragato Research Institute. Frost not only helped with the establishment, he remained a board member for 10 years. Frost’s involvement in research has been paramount to many major NZW projects in the past two decades. When the first Sauvignon Blanc programme was instigated, he helped convince the Montana board to allow three vineyard blocks to become part of the programme. Squires, Brancott

and Awatere have been pivotal in the research programme. “We said we will manage them and we will make commercial wines from them, bottle them commercially so you as scientists have got three wines that you can use to study as much as you like. It meant they didn’t have to use smaller scale wines.” Yet again he doesn’t take the credit, instead he gives that to his employers. “I am really proud of the company’s contribution to all the research that has been undertaken in Marlborough. Many other companies have contributed as well, but if you look at the overall picture from the time we really got into research in the early 2000’s, our company has been the major contributor.” That contribution won’t end

with Frost’s departure he says. Masters and PhD students will still work within the company, Pernod Ricard Winemakers will continue to support research such as the Pinot Noir programme and Vineyard Ecosystems programme, and others that emerge in the future. It is that sort of collaboration that helps make New Zealand such a reputable research nation he says. “We do so much better than other places. Scientists and industry people comment on it.” With 37 years now behind him Frost says it is hard to come up with just one highlight, but if he had to choose, it would be the establishment of the Sauvignon Blanc Programme. “In the early 2000’s if you wanted decent knowledge about Sauvignon Blanc from a science point of view, you didn’t come to

New Zealand. You went to UC Davis, or Bordeaux University or Stellenbosch or AWRI. “That has changed after the programme. We now have the knowledge that others want.” A close second would be the establishment of the Bragato Research Institute, which he has played a major consulting role in. And his input to the wine industry won’t end now. Frost intends to continue helping on the many committees he is a part of within the wine industry, in particular the Pinot Noir Programme he helped initiate. He will also spend more time on conservation issues, one of his great loves. But first up he says, he has the bottom half of a two storey house he needs to finish painting.


Industry Innovation

Breaking through the cloud Tessa Nicholson

TWO PHD students from Victoria University have developed a machine that could change the face of winemaking in New Zealand. Drs Brendan Darby and Matthias Meyer have come up with a unique way of analysing wine samples during fermentation. Wine samples have always been able to be measured during this phase of the winemaking process, but in the past it has taken considerable time as samples have to be filtered to remove all turbidity. Darby and Meyer’s new spectrophotometre eliminates that filtering necessity and can provide real time analysis on colour, tannins and phenolics within 10 seconds. The CloudSpec UV-Vis is a result of Darby’s PhD, which he completed in 2016. His aim was to see if he could come up with a system that would allow cloudy products to be measured for chemical compounds. That has never been possible before without filtration. “If you take a liquid and shine a light through it, you get chemical information,” Darby says. “But if anything is cloudy, such as coffee, juice or fermenting wine, there are all these particles that will scatter the light. That is why all these cloudy liquids are so hard to measure. It’s basically like trying to hear a tiny whisper in a room that has a background of generic noise. Almost impossible.” His research found a way to circumvent those large light scattering particles, and a number of papers were published. But once he had

40   //

Unfiltered wine is difficult to analyse, but CloudSpec UV-Vis will change that.

handed in his thesis, Darby decided he wanted to validate his discovery and began considering commercial applications. He and Meyer approached different industries and after a chance meeting with Andy Frost at Pernod Ricard in Marlborough, the newly established company Marama Labs began trialing the CloudSpec UV-Vis on wine samples. “We learned a bit about the wine industry and about how colour, tannins and phenolics are core attributes of a wine. You can measure those using current instruments, but during fermentation you have really cloudy liquid which means you have to do lots of filtering and clarification steps to measure them. We discovered that as a consequence, wineries don’t seem to measure these attributes during production, which was eye opening to us.” Pernod Ricard expressed


“That is why all these cloudy liquids are so hard to measure. It’s basically like trying to hear a tiny whisper in a room that has a background of generic noise. Almost impossible.” interest in the CloudSpec UV-Vis, but needed to ensure the machine would work in a winery environment. Samples of unfiltered wine were sent to Marama Labs, they were tested and the results were promising Darby says. “They suggested we start some trials. We got funding from KiwiNet in 2016 and Pernod Ricard contributed lab space and we built a prototype for the 2017 vintage.” Darby and Meyer spent two weeks in the lab during vintage, which they say gave them important knowledge of what any ensuing machine needed to

look like. “We realised that we couldn’t just build an instrument in our ivory tower in Wellington and hope it would apply to a winery. There are all the dynamics and the day-to-day business that we realised it had to suit.” The value of being able to determine colour, tannins and phenolics so early in the winemaking stage could provide major benefits for wine companies Darby says. “What is going to be valuable is monitoring your ferment to see how things are extracting, which will inform the cap management practices, being

able to see if something has been essentially extracted and being able to move it on earlier than you might have.” There is also the long-term goal of being able to take the testing even further. “One of the real areas where we think it could be valuable, is in measuring these attributes in grapes early on, to provide an early indication of quality. Being able to characterize your juice, prior to it coming into the winery, maybe at reception when the grapes are coming in, will allow winemakers to characterise the qualities. Are the grapes the same colour as last year, are the phenolics the same? Wineries will be able to use that information to work on blends right from the start. The early prediction is a little bit long term though.” Darby says being able to move his research findings from the theoretical into the practical couldn’t have happened without

From left Professor Eric Le Ru (founder and inventor), Dr Matthias Meyer (CTO of MaramaLabs) and Dr Brendan Darby.

funding from KiwiNet back in 2016 and more funding from Viclink and external investors last year. “This discovery could have just sat on the shelf and gone nowhere but we were lucky enough to have KiwiNet funding

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and someone like Pernod Ricard to say, well you can have access to our data and process so you can turn this into a relevant product.” The wine industry is not the only one likely to benefit from the CloudSpec UV-Vis.

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Latest updates from the New Zealand Winegrowers Advocacy team.

Advocacy team on the road Protecting the ability of our members to make and sell NZ wine competitively is one of the key functions of the Advocacy team’s work. For winegrowers to do this, they need to have accurate and timely information about their obligations and markets. This drive to ensure that NZW members have access to information saw the Advocacy team on the road in September to visit the regions to meet members to discuss hot topics, regulatory change and development, and the work that we undertake on your behalf with the government of the day. The team travelled to Wairarapa, Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Central Otago, Nelson, Blenheim and Central Otago, and met with approximately 100 members.

New guides released At the start of November we release updated versions of both the New Zealand Winegrowers Labelling Guide, and the New Zealand Winegrowers International Winemaking Practices Guide. If you have not downloaded your copy, head to the members’ website and search for “labelling” or “winemaking”.





The meetings covered a range of content including changes to labelling and winemaking requirements, the Advocacy team’s role in government relations, preparing for Brexit, Wine Standards Management Plans, Wine

Act compliance, and the recent Wine Act prosecutions Attendees ranged from vineyard managers to marketing managers to compliance staff and the overwhelming feedback from attendees was positive, with several useful requests that we generate new information of a range of topics.


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Proposed Changes to Freshwater Regulation Hundreds of members downloaded our information briefing on the government’s proposed changes to the regulation of freshwater and “highly productive land”. The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) ran the “Action for Healthy Waterways” consultation. NZW supports the government’s vision of halting any decline in the quality of New Zealand’s freshwater bodies, and the desire to steadily improve freshwater quality over time. However, as we noted in our briefing paper for members, and in our subsequent submission, the proposals fail to recognize the low impact of grape growing on freshwater quality, they could impose unnecessary costs on members, and they would pointlessly duplicate the SWNZ programme. To understand the proposal better and highlight some of the issues we arranged for MfE to host a webinar for members to explain the proposals and directly respond to members’ questions. 85 members participated, and many of those went on to make submissions to MfE.

The Ministry for the Environment says that over 17,000 submissions were received. Ensuring that NZW’s views are heard is vital to protecting the sustainability of the industry. To help ensure members’ views are heard, we are currently seeking a meeting with the Minister for the Environment to directly express our concerns on your behalf. We are grateful to those members who took the time to provide feedback on the Action for Healthy Waterways proposal, the Highly Productive Land proposal and various other consultations that are currently underway. If you would like to discuss any of these consultations or would like to read the final submissions for yourself, visit the NZW member website and search for “recent submissions”. If you would like to contact the Advocacy team on any matters discussed in this article, or upcoming consultations you can always contact us on 

NZW’s submission included a recommendation that any new regulations should expressly allow members to use SWNZ to take care of their freshwater reporting and auditing requirements to regional councils. We also proposed that councils could audit the effectiveness of the SWNZ programme, and leave it to SWNZ to conduct the individual audits of winegrowers’ compliance (noting that the existing SWNZ audits are currently much broader than just freshwater).


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Industry News

Perfect labels TESSA NICHOLSON

IF EYES are the window to the soul for humans, then labels are the window to the perfection inside a wine bottle. They certainly play a role in attracting consumers so are an integral part of any winery release. However, choosing the right size, paper stock and ability for the label to withstand being placed in an ice bucket or fridge for periods of time have to be taken into consideration during the label development stage. To help make this job easier, a Guide to Optimal Label Outcomes has been released, by the NZ Wine Packaging Forum. The guide is a result of an unprecedented coming together of glass manufacturers, label printers and bottling lines with the aim of providing the wine industry with all the information needed to produce a professional label, that will last through the rigours wine bottles tend to experience. It also takes the mystery out of the labeling experience. For example, which paper stocks are more prone to bubbling and creasing? What paper weights should you be considering? How do you make the most out of embellishments without compromising the look? These are just a few of the questions

answered in the guide. Making even more of a difference for New Zealand wine companies, they are now able to determine how a label will look on a certain bottle type, via an Australian app developed by the Wine Packagers of Australia a few years ago. Tim Nowell-Usticke, managing director of WineWorks, says SizeMeUp ( au) provides the industry with a go-to, free to use site that will provide consistency for anyone creating wine labels. “Glass manufacturers set a certain size, contract bottlers have another size and label designers have their own method of determining what’s appropriate. SizeMeUp is the first one that has taken a universal agreement between those three aspects of the wine packaging industry.” The SizeMeUp system is simplistic in the extreme. More than 70 different bottles and formats available to both the Australian and New Zealand wine industry are included. For New Zealand wineries, there are five distinct bottle types; Burgundy, Riesling, Sparkling, Spumante and Bordeaux. Select which bottle type you are going to use, add

the measurements of your front label into the calculator, and it will automatically determine whether the label will fit and also provide the detail sizes for a back label. Once you have finalised label size, the recently released label guide will provide the rest of the

information to ensure the end product meets premium production standards. For further information you can contact any member of the NZ Wine Packaging Forum (WineWorks, O-I, Chandler, Rapid Labels, Adhesif and VinPro). Or visit;

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Women in Wine

Lyndsey Harrison – Zebra Vineyards, Central Otago WORDS – JEAN GRIERSON


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Lyndsey Harrison’s career has taken her all over the world and she’s been on the scene in two developing new world wine regions. The lessons she learned in the burgeoning Napa Valley in the 1980’s helped her when, more than 20 years later, she decided to return to her New Zealand roots and establish a vineyard in Central Otago, Zebra NZ. LYNDSEY STILL has homes in both the USA and New Zealand, but she plans to retire here – one day. Born in Lyttelton, where her father worked as a marine engineer, Harrison emigrated with her family to the United States in 1956 when she was 12 years old. She retur ned to Ne w Zealand at 17, to study nursing, but it was when she became an air hostess for Pan American Airlines a few years later that her appreciation for food and fine wine began. Travelling and holidaying for some 20 years in the wine

regions of Italy and France, she decided to take the leap into purchasing a vineyard of her own, with the Napa Valley winning out over Tuscany. Her husband Michael was a keen football fan. “It was funny how that worked out,” she laughs. “We decided in the end it would be the Napa Valley, because in the eighties they would have football games on television!” Harrison became one of a new age of people wanting to try something new, “..the lifestyle thing...” She learned alongside others in the industry, about planting and growing grapes, making and

selling wine. She became the winemaker as well, with the guiding hand of consultants Helen Turley, John Kongsgaard and Marco di Giulio. Ha r r i s o n Vi n e y a r d s comprised seven hectares of C a b e r n e t a n d s om e Chardonnay vines on the now famous Pritchard Hill - one of the most coveted Napa Valley addresses. She looks back on the experiences as a time of discovery and immense learning. Zebras became synonymous with the Harrison label, coming about from a joint love of the African wildlife and Michael’s skills as an amateur artist. Wind the clock forward two decades. Michael had passed away in 1999, and Harrison was newly married - for about a week - when the dreadful events of 11 S eptember unfolded. They served to strengthen her resolve to start anew in New Zealand.

Central Otago winemaker Grant Taylor, of Valli Wines, whom she knew from C alifornia, was the key influence in her decision to plant on two blocks of land purchased from Bendigo Station, some 20km north of Cromwell. Knowing the hard facts about wine marketing she chose to focus on Pinot Noir. “Coming from the US, I knew people don’t want to pay $30 a bottle for white Pinot [Gris].” She acknowledged it would be tough selling premium-priced Pinot Noir in the US, where New Zealand’s reputation was built on Sauvignon Blanc. “But I also didn’t want to spend my time running around the world selling wine, as I’d done before.” Her uncompromising vision became to produce top quality fruit for top quality winemakers. “In 2003 we planted our




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first vines and developed our blocks with a goal of becoming a supplier of consistently exceptional fruit.” The 4.45 hectare Chinaman’s Terrace block, perched amongst historic gold workings, steeply sloping to the north, and rising from 314 to 378m above sea level, now produces grapes exclusively for Valli’s single vineyard Bendigo Pinot Noir. Meanwhile the other Zebra block, 24 hectares, lies in the valley below, at 223-230m above sea level. Villa Maria, Pinnacle Wine Group (for NZ Wine Society), Isabelle Estate, Wooing Tree, and a US label - Innocent Bystander are clients, through broker Steve Harrop. The grapes have previously gone into other single vineyard designate wines including Craggy Range and Mt Difficulty. There are specific criteria for buyers of the Zebra grapes, with a focus on single-vineyard wines in the $40 or more retail range. “Each year our grape price goes up. But there doesn’t seem

48   //

Q&A What do you love most about the NZ Wine industry? How it is so new, particularly in Central Otago where we started in 2004. The enthusiasm for the industry and how people have pulled together, shared information to better each other, winemaking and marketing. COWA (Central Otago Winegrowers Association) is uncomplicated without a lot of local government interference. Making a Central Otago brand. What is the vintage that stands out most to you and why? 2007. We had the winemaker from Craggy Range who was buying our grapes staying overnight at my house on Chinaman’s Terrace. The first day of harvest dawned cloudy and blustery. The forecast was not good. Turned out to be four seasons in one day. Of course we had all the mini bins, the staff lined up to pick and transport to Hawke’s Bay. Long story short we did go ahead, couple of weather delays for snow, and hail but went on and Craggy Range made their first Single Vineyard Zebra wine which is drinking beautifully until this day. Who has been your greatest mentor ?


Greatest mentor without question here in New Zealand, would be Grant Taylor of Valli Wines, then at Gibbston Valley and whom I knew in Napa Valley briefly whilst he was working there. In fact, being here on holiday I met with him and basically he is the reason we ended up in Central Otago after visiting other possible wine regions. The comment being “if you want to plant Pinot, there is no other place, full stop.” What is the best piece of advice you have been given? You can’t go wrong with stating as the saying goes, “if you want to make a small fortune in wine business start with a large one.” Other than that my advice would be to start slowly and develop bit by bit, do your homework, establish where you expect your market to be, and how you plan to get there. What is your advice to any woman thinking of entering the wine industry? It’s a good time for women to get into the wine industry on whatever level as women are more accepted now on all levels, not that it’s easy, but follow your dream and you CAN make it happen.

to be much pushback against that,” Harrison says. With increasing demand and a waiting list for grape supply, a further seven hectares was being planted in November this year. Having recently moved her US home back to St Helena, Napa, Harrison makes four or five trips to New Zealand each year, for two to six weeks each time. She still has a love of flying, and wants to spend time back in the US with her ageing rescue dog, Chester. She sold the US wine business in 2004, and has been managing the Zebra business since buying out her now ex-husband three and a half years ago. She considers herself lucky to have Craig Carter as her vineyard manager. “He farms with the same commitment to quality that I embrace. And he has good


people working for him. They are all very very committed to the property.” With the potential to expand plantings, establish premier guest accommodation and an

on-site winery, maybe even an event centre, Lyndsey is excited about the shape of things to come. But whether that’s in her time or not is to be seen. “I plan to sell, eventually...

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A success story TESSA NICHOLSON

The mentors for the 2020 NZW Mentoring Programme. Back from left; Jaimee Whitehead, Jo Pearson, Marcus Pickens, Katherine Jacobs. Front row: Kevin Joyce, Mike Insley, Jean-Charles Van Hove, Rod MacIvor and Kathrin Jankowic.

IN JUST two and a half years the New Zealand Winegrowers’ Women in Wine initiative has grown in stature both here at home and internationally. Leadership and Communities Manager, Nicky Grandorge was recently invited to the first ever International Women in Wine Conference, held in Milan. She attended the November conference with winemaker and Chair of Women in Wine, Kate Radburnd. “It is due to the success of our Women in Wine programme t h at w e h av e re c e i v e d international recognition,” Grandorge said prior to heading to Italy. “It will be a

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great opportunity to learn what other countries are doing, and I am also proud of what we have achieved. For example the mentoring programme we have established, as I don’t think many other countries have this. They are all quite keen to hear more about that.” The international conference included speakers from Spain, Italy, US, UK and Australia. Grandorge and Radburnd were asked to present a 10-minute summary of what the New Zealand programme was about and its achievements. They would have had a lot to fit into that 10 minutes given the solid steps taken since the


programme began in 2017. With a theme of Connect, Inform and Change, Grandorge says each pivotal point has shown success. “Connect is the networking g roup s t h at h ave b e e n established in nearly every region around the country. Many feel they have really benefited from these groups and gained in confidence through a sense of belonging and being able to bounce ideas around in a supportive the inform. Various workshops have also supported the inform and I think the change is now beginning. People are naturally talking more about women in wine, it’s on people’s radar.”

The mentoring programme has been a standout success for Women in Wine, with close to 20 mentors and mentees working together to increase confidence among females working in the wine industry. So much so that NZW have established a second mentoring programme, that is open to both men and women. “It will be a separate programme. The Women in Wine programme will continue, because we have found that some people find it more valuable to be in a woman on woman environment,” Grandorge says. “But at the same time there

It is for all ages, the mentees don’t have to be young. There are a lot of people mid-career who have a bit of a dip in confidence and are looking for a new direction for the second phase of their career. I think it is important that there is no age restriction. was a call from men wanting a programme as well. So we have instigated a second programme which we will run each year.” Both male and female mentors and mentees can apply to take part in the programme, which will have a similar format to the original Women in Wine one. Individuals can apply on line, the successful candidates will be selected by a panel, with finalists being contacted for a short phone interview prior to matching. Grandorge says both the selected mentors and mentees will then take part in a training session. Previously only mentors were offered this. “But we are introducing one for the mentees as well. The reason is, it manages their expectations about what mentoring is all about. And it provides another important networking environment. “We know how valuable networking is. We’ve seen from other initiatives such as Young Winemaker and Young Viticulturist how friendships and communities have grown. It’s another great way of strengthening the future of the industry.” Grandorge was keen to point out that the mentoring programmes are not just for younger members of the wine industry, and also not just for winemakers or viticulturists. “It is for everyone working in the industry, for all roles. We are keen for people that are in sales and marketing, operations, general management to be involved as well.

“And it is for all ages, the mentees don’t have to be young. There are a lot of people midcareer who have a bit of a dip in confidence and are looking for a new direction for the second phase of their career. I think it is important that there is no age restriction.” When the Women in Wine initiative was established, one of the major objectives was to establish statistical information regarding women’s positions within the wine industry. Grandorge says an Our People survey run earlier this year with results recently released has provided the all-important information that has been lacking up until now. Initially aiming to identify women’s and men’s roles in the wine industry, the survey was expanded to look at diversity issues as well. “So now we have some very good stats that show what roles men and women are working in and at what level, such as senior, managerial and other roles. It also covers areas such as age groups and ethnicity within the workforce. “This is a big achievement for Women in Wine to get this off the ground, because now we have a benchmark to work against.” She says the plan is to repeat the survey every three years, so concrete evidence on change can be viewed. All this achievement within two and a half years. Very much a success story.


Recycling Glass

Alice Rule

Take stewardship of glass recycling TESSA NICHOLSON

A YOU NG Marlb orough producer is encouraging government and the New Zealand wine industry to take ownership of their glass recycling, before they are forced to. Alice Rule, owner and winemaker at 3Sixty2 Wines believes we could all do better at completing the circular economy of glass; the best example of the circular economy in action “Made from natural material glass is infinitely recyclable without losing quality, reduces the need for virgin materials as well as reducing emissions from the furnace,” she says.

52   //

With funding from the Glass Packaging Forum (GPF) and AGMARDT, Rule is researching the circularity of glass in the New Zealand wine industry and the unintended consequences a container return scheme could have to the New Zealand wine industry. “New Zealand already has an effective recycling system in place for glass bottles and jars – one achieving a 62 percent recovery rate, and on track to exceed that. That’s an enviable statistic for any recyclable material, anywhere in the world.


“ The system has seen significant investment by councils, recycling companies and the GPF. The GPF’s Government-accredited, voluntary product stewardship scheme funds grants which improve glass recycling in New Zealand.” The GPF and Rule believe New Zealand’s glass recovery rate can be even higher, and the GPF is working towards a goal of an 82 percent recovery rate by 2024. The break in the circularity of glass packaging in New Zealand is imported glass,

the capacity constraints in the supply chain and the limitations created by customer demand. “Imported glass not only has a far higher carbon footprint, but disrupts the circularity of glass recycling in New Zealand because those overseas glass producers are not part of the stewardship of that glass in New Zealand,” Rule says. However, plans are afoot that could see a Container Return Scheme (CRS) brought in with Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage, announcing in September that work is under way to design

a Container Return Scheme (CRS) for beverage containers. Rule doesn’t believe that would significantly improve glass recovery rates. “One possible outcome of the current consultation on the Proposed Priority Product and priority product stewardship scheme guidelines process is the implementation of a Container Return Scheme which would see a deposit of 20 cents per bottle. “These additional levies will no doubt hurt a lot of producers, and it concerns me that the Minster of the Environment is interested in punishing an industry with a proven record and reputation for incentivising sustainable and environmental best practice.” The CRS scheme will only be focused on glass beverage containers, not glass jars for sauces or other products. That is one problem Rule sees with a CRS, plus the lack

New Zealand Winegrowers need to be more proactive about our glass product stewardship, because our largest carbon footprint is our packaging and route to market- which is not yet being regulated in New Zealand and is in other countries. of circularity where producers keep resources in use as long as possible, extract maximum value and regenerate and recover materials at the end of the product’s life. “Norway has arguably the best CRS scheme in the world with around 96 percent return rates- but is not circular because they don’t use this waste. “I am not against the CRS, but it is only one avenue to increase glass recycling rates and they should not be a


burden to the producer.” The $1 million already given out to research CRS could have helped improve recycling efforts at regional levels, which would be far more effective, Rule says. “ T he f astest w ay for government to get results would be to work with councils which have co-mingled recycling systems - where everything goes in one bin - to move away from this system to one where recyclables are sorted at kerbside.

“A good example is Tauranga City Council, which brought in a separate glass recycling system and just about doubled its glass recovery rate in a year.” There are even larger repercussions she says, if New Zealand doesn’t take a proactive stance – and that is impact on our export markets. “New Zealand Winegrowers need to be more proactive about our glass product stewardship, because our largest carbon footprint is our packaging and route to market- which is not yet being regulated in New Zealand and is in other countries. Solid waste (our packaging) is not yet being taxed or penalised, but we should expect that as an additional compliance in the coming years. It is inevitable that key export markets will want to see us comply with their waste minimisation legislation.”

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International News

The German Riesling connection Joelle Thomson tells the story of how the Giesen brothers bought a vineyard in their homeland on the Mosel River THE MOSEL is often described as a fairy tale wine region, home to the steepest vineyards in the world, rising up from the banks of the eponymous Mosel River. It’s also home to many of the oldest intact castles in Europe, the quaintest wine villages in Europe and, of particular interest to New Zealanders, the newest addition to one of this country’s most successful ranges of Riesling; Giesen. This year the German born Giesen brothers added a Mosel JMS ORGANIC WINEGROWER Riesling to their range. 1/2 PAGE 180W X 120H MM


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It was inspired by their father and grandfather, who were both Riesling drinkers and whose love of the grape and the region drew the three brothers back there to make their own. The new wine will be released in early 2020. It’s called the Giesen Mosel Reiler Goldlay and the first vintage is 2018. It was made with grapes grown on a 120-hectare vineyard in the village of Reil, where the vineyards are on steep, slate soils in the cool southern German climate. And it all came about via a chance meeting at the German wine fair, Prowein, in 2017 where they struck up a conversation with a young German winemaker, Tobias Treis. “Tobias and his family are deeply rooted in Mosel where they own and run a multi-generational vineyard and their family has been making wine in Mosel since 1684,” says Alex Giesen. “Like us, Tobias has a global outlook and, while he respects the region’s history and traditional winemaking techniques, he’s open to international trends and influence, so with a similar outlook it’s natural we enjoyed each other’s company. “We remained in contact and within a few months of our return to New Zealand, Tobias was on the phone letting us know about a rare opportunity – a Riesling vineyard for sale in Mosel, within the village of Reil. Given our grandfather’s love of Mosel it didn’t take much convincing and our new wine is the result.” Giesen describes the wine as having high minerality giving way to flavours of lime, lemon, melon and pineapple. “It’s a perfect balance between minerality and tropical flavours thanks to its dryness and its firm acidity, which means it’s possible to age it for up to five years,” he says.

Alex and his brothers, Marcel and Theo, all say it was memories of their father travelling to Mosel with his father, August, to buy barrels of Mosel Riesling that prompted them to buy a portion of the Goldlay Vineyard from which to make their own wine in the region. The first vintage was made by Tobian Treis and is a typically light bodied, intensely flavoursome expression of Riesling from the Mosel. “The Giesen Mosel Riesling vineyard sits within the village of Reil on the banks of the Mosel River and picturesque Reil is a small village with a population of a little over 1200 and narrow winding streets lined with traditional half timber houses which are hundreds of years old,” says Giesen. The property includes 120 hectares of terraced vineyards. Steepness is the name of the game here and there is an altitude difference of 150 metres from the top to the bottom. Average vine age is over 50 years old and vines are planted along many small terraces supported by dry stone walls. Needless to say, all vineyard work is by hand. “Tales of our grandfather, August, a sommelier and hotel owner were legendary. Giesen’s August 1888 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is named in his honour. “His two loves in life were steak tartare and dry German Riesling grown in ancient soils on the banks of the Mosel River. Kurt, our father, often accompanied August on buying trips through Mosel, where he acted as August’s guardian on more than one occasion, after he’d enjoyed a few too many Mosel ‘tastings’,” says Giesen. To become owners of a Mosel vineyard is, he says, a happy coincidence of timing and heritage.


Regions Marlborough

Soil compaction a worrying trend TESSA NICHOLSON

A 19-YEAR soil monitoring programme in Marlborough is showing viticultural use is leading to more compact soils, increased nutrient loss and a decrease in organic matter. It may mean vineyard managers and owners have to change their approach to viticultural practices. Marlborough District Council Land Resources Scientist, Matt Oliver, says the soil monitoring began back in 2000 as part of a national programme called 500 soils. Ninety-six different sites within the province are monitored, with 25 of those being part of the programme since it began. The sites represent proportionally the land use of the region, with the majority of the sites being vineyards. Oliver says in terms of vineyards, they monitor three separate areas; under vine, mid-row and wheel tracks. It is in the wheel tracks that the heaviest compaction is occurring and that is something that needs to be addressed. “Vineyards are very prone to compaction and it is caused by tractor use and activities like stone rolling. In the vineyard, wheel tracks are well below the desired soil porosity. Some of our vineyards have the most compacted soils in the country when compared to other land uses.” The constant vehicular activity among the vines is due to canopy management, spraying, trimming, harvesting and mowing, with the compaction decreasing the air-filled porosity of the soil. This turns soft soil

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Taking samples of soil from an inter row. PHOTO: MARLBOROUGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

(with lots of pores) into hard soil. “The harder the soil, the more run-off you get,” Oliver says. “Your irrigation may not be going where you want it to, or it is evaporating more. There could be a loss of nutrients and sediment into waterways.” There are ways to mitigate, but Oliver says due to the very nature of a vineyard, there is always a need to drive between the rows. “Maintaining grass wheel tracks and using mechanical loosing techniques might help in the short term. But longerterm solutions might include raising soil organic matter and calcium levels and changing management techniques to minimise track events.” Changing to multirow equiptment is another longterm solution. It is not just the environmen-


tal risk facing growers, Oliver says. There is also an economic impact within the vineyard. “If you imagine your vine growing with wheel tracks either side that are really compact, that compaction goes down through the soil for a distance. It could be quite deep, depending on the type of soil. “If your vineyard has compaction going deep, what effect is that having on your vineyard roots? Is it making the roots go down deeper before they can access the water and nutrients in the inter-row? I suspect if you dug a pit and looked at where the root architecture is, they would only occupy a very small area, as there is nowhere for them to penetrate due to the compaction.” The digging of pits on a regular basis is something Oliver encourages vineyard managers to do, especially if there are

any signs of the canopy not performing to its optimum. “The chances are that you have something happening with the roots of your vines. It might be a lack of water, or lack of nutrients. Or often it is a lack of air.” When it comes to organic material decreasing in vineyards, Oliver says the answer is not to throw tonnes of compost on, in a one-off effort. “To actually make your soil test shift you would have to add huge amounts of compost, up to 150 tonnes per hectare in one event. That would lead to huge growth problems and you would get a lot of leaching to groundwater that could cause environmental problems.” Instead he says, add a more moderate amount of compost or organic matter over the whole vineyard every year. If you are applying a nitrogen application,

Leaving grass to grow after vintage is a good way of adding to soil quality.

consider added something like fishmeal or humate to it. Let the grass grow a bit, and in particular let the grass grow after vintage under the vines. “Then if you use herbicide, you would spray it out at the time it is appropriate for you. But the idea of maintaining your vineyard with bare earth under the vines 12 months of the year is doing you a lot of harm. You are reducing your water infiltration, you are reducing your nutrient holding ability. “ Oliver suggests spraying weeds out six weeks before budburst, so they die off releasing nutrients in time to feed the awakening vines. Depending on the vigour of your vineyard, you could consider the use of undervine mowing or cultivating in combination with herbicide use to ease compaction and improve organic matter content. Use cover crops and sow summer grasses underneath, so that when you mow out the crop, the

grass is there coming through. All of these are management practices, which will take time

to take effect. But if the past 19 years of soil survey work has shown anything, it is that doing

nothing is not the way to move forward.



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Regions Hawke’s Bay

Celebrating 30 years in Bridge Pa Triangle TESSA NICHOLSON

WHEN ANTHONIUS and Leonarda Ham emigrated to New Zealand from the Netherlands in the 1960s, there were probably no thoughts of establishing a wine business. In fact the couple’s first business venture in their new country was founding Awapuni Nurseries just out of Palmerston North. The family still own the business. But they also own the oldest family owned winery in Bridge Pa Triangle – one of the special sub regions of Hawke’s Bay. Son and co-founder Paul who runs Alpha Domus says the family were looking to diversify


Three generations of Alpha Domus, from left: Anthonius, Beatrix and Paul Ham.




WHAT’S IN A NAME Where did the name Alpha Domus come from? It’s actually an amalgamation of the initials in age descending order of the two generations of Hams who bought the original Bridge Pa land back in 1989. A is for Anthonius – dad L is for Paul’s late mum Leonarda. P is for Paulus H is for brother Henri. A is for youngest brother Anthony Domus is Latin for home. Alpha Domus, the home of the Ham family and their wine.

outside of the nursery back in the late 80s. Grape growing seemed like a good idea, and when they found a 20-hectare block in the area now known as Bridge Pa Triangle, they knew they had found what they were looking for. “When we came across it, it

“It is a changing environment, it has changed a lot since we began and it is constantly changing.” was completely barren,” Ham says. But, it had all the elements that you need to develop a top quality vineyard and grow extremely good grapes.” The 20 hectares was planted out over three years, from 1991, with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, Chardonnay and Semillon. While over the years the varietals have changed, close to 50 percent of those original vines are still producing – providing fruit for their top of the range wines, which includes The Aviator an iconic Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Merlot Blend. “The vineyard was also planted with Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Now we have pulled both of those out and they have been replaced by

Syrah,” he says. “The soils here produce fantastic Syrah.” Not only has Alpha Domus come a long way in 30 years, so too has the Bridge Pa Triangle. When the Hams first bought the property, Ngatarawa was the only other winery in the region. (The label has since been sold to Mission Estate). Today there are six or so wineries in the area and a number of other major brands with vineyards providing fruit for their labels. “There is no resemblance to the area when we started,” Ham says. Along with celebrating 30 years since they first put their roots down in the area, the Ham family now have a third generation working in the business. Paul and Kathryn’s daughter Beatrix has recently become involved and is the brainchild behind one of their newest releases – a Sparkling Rosé made from the oldest Merlot vines, – appropriately named Beatrix. Aimed at the younger consumer, Ham says it is important to continue to engage with wine drinkers, especially those coming into the market. “It is a changing environment, it has changed a lot since we began and it is constantly changing. Previously we had no sparkling wines, now we have two. We never had Syrah, now we have three. Over time you need to remain relevant and authentic, that’s always been our philosophy.”


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BRI Update

Sustainability key to Bragato Research winery THE BR AGATO Research Institute is breaking ground in terms of its research winery. The goal was always to both build and operate the winery sustainably. That is now coming to fruition. The research winery, which will be ready in time for vintage 2020, is being built to a 5-star Greenstar standard, which will be certified by the NZ Green Building Council, of which BRI are a Member. Once completed, it will be the first building in Marlborough to be built to this standard, and only the second in the top of the south. In its design, the research winery aims to minimise, the use of crucial resources, like energy, water and raw materials; avoid any adverse environmental impact caused by the winery f a c i l it i e s and a c t iv it i e s throughout its life cycle; and provide an environment that is comfortable, safe, and productive. Winery features that will reduce resource consumption include;

Architect’s rendering of the new Research Winery and conference facility in Blenheim, which will be operational for vintage 2020.

• Greenstar rating for the build. • Rain water harvesting from the winery roof. Rain water will be stored, filtered and UV-treated for use in the winery. • Building a cleaning-inplace (CIP) station that will reduce cleaning requirements, and be used to collect and recycle winery waste water. • Solar energy generation. Photovoltaic panels on the winery roof will produce up to 30 percent of the winery’s power requirement.

• Upcycling of Totara timber cuve’s donated by Villa Maria into a conference room table, in partnership with the NMIT carpentry unit and students. • Baseline monitoring of water and energy consumption through metering. • Optimisation of fermentation temperature control through VinWizard, this will aid efficient energy usage. • Monitoring of light, heat, energy, water and air quality through a building management system (BMS) to plan future management of resource

consumption. The implementation of a sustainable waste management plan wi l l limit advers e environmental impact caused by waste produced as a by-product of winery operations. This will include; • recycling, • composting, • waste water treatment, • grape marc repurposing & research, The winer y has been designed to provide a safe and functional space for employees and researchers to work in.


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Winery design aspects which encompass this are; Natural light and ventilation, and both heat and light sensors Carbon dioxide alarms both inside and outside the building, A conference room that adjoins the research winery via a glass wall, will provide an open space for teaching, workshops, meetings and visitors. The activity inside the winery can be viewed without physical access, avoiding Health and Safety issues. A winer y that can accommodate students from NMIT and other education pro g r am m e s , prov i d i ng learning opportunities and building research capability for the future. Once operational the BRI will aim to advance the research wineries commitment to sustainability by engaging with the SWNZ Continuous Improvement program. Built on the Marlborough

MUTATIONS OCCUR in all plant life, and grape vines are no different. It is not unusual for a grower to come across a vine that looks different to those surrounding them and BRI is keen to see photos of such vines, to help in their Grapevine Improvement research. This programme is a priority for the BRI team and as a result they have established OddVine which will provide growers with a tool to record potential new clones. Clonal material typically originates from vines identified as having a trait that differentiates them from the parent clone. The identification of such vines is an important Take a picture of this QR code with your resource for grapevine improvement. Prior to phone and it will take you directly to the OddVine there was no clear way to collect and website, gain value from vines displaying unusual traits. If you see an ‘Odd Vine’ in your vineyard, take a photograph and go to the website to log the vine. OddVine will then notify the BRI Grapevine Improvement (GI) team of these and develop a database of trait variation from vineyards around New Zealand.

Research C entre site in Blenheim, the winery and the Research Institute strengthens the partnership between BRI, the Nelson Marlborough

Inst itute of Te chnolog y (NMIT), and Plant & Food Research (PFR). The location also allows BRI to continue to work alongside New Zealand

Wineg rowers and Wine Marlborough who are all on the same site, as part of the vision for an integrated hub of viticulture and oenology.




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Biosecurity Update

The year in review SOPHIE BADLAND

2019 was a busy year for the Biosecurity team at New Zealand Winegrowers, with post-border BMSB finds, a fruit fly response, continuing readiness work for BMSB and Xylella fastidiosa, import health standard and the Biosecurity Act reviews, our member engagement programme and the launch of the Biosecurity Business Pledge just a few of the things the team has been involved in this year.

POST-BORDER PEST DETECTIONS 2019 kicked off with the news that a single BMSB had been detected in Glenfield, Auckland, with no known pathway of entry. Biosecurity NZ and the BMSB Council (chaired by NZW) launched an investigation using traps, a detector dog team and a public awareness campaign to ensure no further bugs were present. During the 2018-19 high risk season, a total of 212 live BMSB were intercepted either at the border or post-border, prompting changes to treatment requirements for containers and vehicles, machinery and equipment. During February, a single Queensland fruit fly (QFF) was detected in a trap in Devonport. This was followed by more

62   //

The NZW Biosecurity team presented a range of workshops around the wine regions in 2019

finds of QFF in Devonport and Northcote, as well as Facialis fruit fly in Otara. The response was escalated to organism management, and fruit trees in the controlled area were baited with insecticide to kill any fruit fly populations. Providing no further flies are found, the response should close down soon.

GOVERNMENT INDUSTRY AGREEMENT (GIA) 2019 saw some new sectors sign up to the GIA deed for biosecurity readiness and response, with Deer Industry NZ and Aquaculture NZ becoming part of the government-industry partnership. More than 85 percent of primary industry is now represented in the GIA, reflecting that industry is taking biosecurity seriously. NZW chairs the Xylella Action Group and is leading some readiness work for the bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, which will likely result in an Operational Agreement


Several import health standards have also been reviewed this year and NZW have made submissions on the Offshore Facilities standard, the Prunus import health standard, the Vehicles, Machinery and Parts standard and the Sea Containers standard (these last two contain new measures for managing BMSB risk). being developed with other potentially affected sectors. A literature review has been completed, and a workshop was held involving industry sector representatives, scientists and representatives from MPI and Department of Conservation. The next step will be to develop a response plan for Xylella and NZW is currently involved with the group tasked to scope the response plan. At the Bragato conference in 2019, NZW also

hosted a plenary and workshop session to promote awareness of Xylella fastidiosa to members.

BIOSECURITY ACT AND IMPORT HEALTH STANDARDS The Biosecurity Act review was initiated this year with industry consultation workshops happening throughout the country. NZW attended two of these and is part of an industry reference group which will engage with MPI

on a regular basis. Some of the key focus areas of the review are biosecurity system funding, compensation settings, on-farm biosecurity and GIA/ partnerships. Several import health standards have also been reviewed this year and NZW have made submissions on the Offshore Facilities standard (for plant germplasm imports), the Prunus import health standard (as future Vitis import requirements are likely to be similar), the Vehicles, Machinery and Parts standard and the Sea Containers standard (these last two contain new measures for managing BMSB risk).

MEMBER ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMME The Biosecurity team hosted several biosecurity-focused workshops throughout the wine regions in 2019 and would like to thank everyone who attended and participated. A key focus this year was the ‘Being a Bios-

Biosecurity Manager Ed Massey travelled to California and saw the effects of Pierce’s disease, caused by Xylella Fastidiosa.

ecurity Champion’ programme where the Young Viticulturist of the Year competitors carried out a biosecurity site assess-

ment of their home vineyard. The finalists were then tasked with developing a biosecurity plan for their site and presenting

it as a business case during the competition. The Biosecurity team also teamed up with Sustainability



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to launch the NZ Wine Kaitiaki group on Facebook. The group page provides updates to members and other wine industry participants about what is happening in biosecurity and sustainability, and we encourage members to join up and use it to pose questions or post related items that may be useful to others. A pilot Biosecurity Week programme was held in late October, with almost 150 members completing an online quiz focused on wine industry biosecurity. The average score was 75 percent which was great to see. A biosecurity response workshop was run in Hawke’s Bay, using the scenario of a BMSB incursion in a vineyard to walk through what would happen in a response. After that workshop, two Hawke’s Bay members have volunteered to undertake further formal response training through MPI and to be key points of contact for NZW in

31st October 2019 marked the launch of a new national biosecurity initiative, the Biosecurity Business Pledge, giving New Zealand businesses a framework to become part of the biosecurity team of all New Zealanders protecting New Zealand from unwanted pests and diseases.

the event of a response in the region.

BIOSECURITY BUSINESS PLEDGE 31st October 2019 marked the launch of a new national biosecurity initiative, the Biosecurity Business Pledge, giving New Zealand businesses a framework to become part of the biosecurity team of all New Zealanders protecting New Zea-

land from unwanted pests and diseases. NZW has signed the Pledge as a supporting partner and encourages member businesses to consider signing up too. Businesses that commit to the Pledge are agreeing to integrate proactive biosecurity practices into their business activities and supply chains, which is good business risk management. More information is available at

biosecuritybusinesspledge/ or by emailing biosecurity@

BIOSECURITY PERSONNEL UPDATE Dr Ed Massey, formerly NZW’s Biosecurity and Emergency Response Manager, has taken up a new role as the organisation’s General Manager Sustainability. Sophie Badland (formerly Biosecurity Advisor) has been appointed to the Biosecurity Manager role, and recruitment is now underway for a new Biosecurity Advisor. Ed will still be working closely with the Biosecurity team as part of his new role. We wish all of our members a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and remember to keep an eye out for BMSB or anything else unusual in and around the vineyard – don’t forget to Catch It, Snap It, Report It and call Biosecurity NZ on 0800 80 99 66.

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Wine News

Albariño shows well with golds JOELLE THOMSON

IF YOU were asked to find a promising new white grape with all the right attributes to suit a maritime climate, which name would spring to mind? Quality minded winegrowers have tried their hands at Arneis, Chenin Blanc, Gruner Veltliner, Marsanne and Roussanne, with varying levels of commercial success. It’s not easy introducing wines with names that can be hard to pronounce, especially in a country so reliant on a narrow field of varietal wines, which everyone knows: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and even Riesling all have captive markets. But there is a newcomer that’s doing extremely well, both in quality and in commercially successful uptake by wine drinkers. It’s much to the surprise of the many who have experimented with alternate grape varieties. It is Albariño. The thick-skinned white grape is a natural fit in maritime climates and is also pretty easy to pronounce (“al-bareen-yo”) which means it often translates into ready sales. Its high acidity gives it freshness and a recognisably zesty flavour appeal to New Zealanders. And best of all, in terms of the cost of production, it is mostly made without the use of oak, which means it can be produced and sold for a relatively modest cost. Albariño is now regarded as one of Spain’s best quality whites, along with Godello and Verdejo. It is also currently the single most successful new-

comer to New Zealand vineyards in the past decade. These qualities were not lost on judges at the biggest regional wine show in the country this year. Jack Glover, chief judge at the 2019 Marlborough Wine Show, saw Albariño as a positive addition to New Zealand, both for its high quality and in its potential commercial success. It’s a wildcard but it works. Fellow judge and winemaker Nikolai St George agreed. “It can be grown to a high degree of quality all over New Zealand and it has a purity A gold medal winning of flavour Albariño from Forrest with lime Estate. and apricot characters that seem to be really appealing and not too dissimilar to other varietals that are already here,” he said. So, why is Albariño more suc-

“Albariño’s fresh bright fruit taste and its high acidity are two characteristics that consistently show the wine in its best light.” cessful than other lesser varietal wines, such as Gruner Veltliner and Arneis, for instance? Wine judge Jeremy Mckenzie suggested that Albariño tastes more distinctive in flavour and in a more obvious way. “Albariño’s fresh bright fruit taste and its high acidity are two characteristics that consistently show the wine in its best light.” Judges on the tasting panels that I was part of at this year’s Marlborough Wine Show all unanimously agreed that Albariño sets a new benchmark for white wine in New Zealand. Its thick skins enable it to withstand d a m p, i t s berries tend to be small, sweet and high in glycerol, which makes for wines high in alcohol and acidity. High

quality Albariños and wines made predominantly from this grape can be intensely aromatic with flavours of ripe stone fruit. They can also age well and some Albariño can suit carefully managed oak maturation. There are currently only a handful of Albariños produced in Marlborough and the following three all won gold at the 2019 Marlborough Wine Show, all from the 2019 vintage; a year from which white wines clearly shine: 2019 Nautilus Albariño, 2019 Forrest Albariño and 2019 Wairau River Albariño. John Forrest’s daughter and fellow winemaker, Beth Forrest, has worked vintages in Spain, which is where she got to know the grape well. “B e t h w a s i mpre ss e d strongly by its taste and its viticultural attributes, which is what made her think it could work extremely well in New Zealand,” says winemaker John Forrest, who was instrumental in the arrival of Albariño in this country. Albariño may be small in quantity but that’s not the focus. Quality is, however, very much the ideal to which New Zealand Albariño producers aspire. And since all wines entered in the 2019 Marlborough Wine Show must have been made from at least 95 percent Marlborough grapes, authenticity and consistency are also on its side.


MPI Update

Let’s keep a good thing going MPI – WINE ASSURANCE TEAM

NEW ZEALAND’S wine industry has developed significantly over the past six decades. The move from fortified wines to table wines in the 1960s was dominated by Muller Thurgau, through to the vine pull in the 1980s which resulted in planting of Vitis vinifera grapes. This led to the establishment of Sauvignon Blanc and, enhanced by international success in the UK, the beginning of New Zealand’s wine export industry. The world was awakening to New Zealand and to Marlborough. As the wine industry grew, and planting and production increased with individual wineries and investment, the industry recognised the need for protecting this valuable invest-

ment and its reputation. Unfortunately, just when demand started to exceed supply in the 1980s, there were some notable situations in the 1980s and 1990s which threatened the success of the industry. One winery blended vintages in order to supply a market, and there were instances where the same label was used for significantly different batches of wine. This threatened to undermine consumer confidence, both at home and internationally. This prompted the wine industry to seek protection of its reputation through regulation. The implementation of Wine Act was completed in 2008. The Act came about through industry desire for robust regulation

to protect the reputation of New Zealand wine. The emphasis was on a workable system that acknowledged the low food safety risk of wine and high risk to integrity and reputation if something was to go wrong. Verification of traceability over the entire production process was also implemented, where previously it had been an export requirement. The Act provides a strong foundation which allows the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) to facilitate export and, where necessary, issue official government-to-government assurances for wine exported from New Zealand. This is important as over 90 percent of the wine produced in New

Zealand is exported. The economic feasibility of New Zealand’s wine industry depends on its international reputation. It also depends on the MPI’s reputation as a competent authority tasked with providing these official assurances. Legislation was introduced to cover all aspects of production, from receipt of grapes into the winery through to composition and labelling and export/ sale. Emphasis was placed on composition, suitability of inputs, traceability and accuracy of label statements. Specific requirements were developed for export. The development of this legislation included close collaboration in working groups

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with industry representatives from a range of different sized companies, and New Zealand Winegrowers. It included roadshows and formal consultation. MPI led this work and administers this legislation on behalf of Government and industry to protect consumers and the wine industry’s reputation, and promote trade by working internationally to facilitate market access for New Zealand wine. New Zealand’s wine industry and the world in general has changed considerably over the last few decades. MPI continues to review legislation to ensure it is fit-for-purpose, and keep pace with future requirements. We work closely with New Zealand Winegrowers to align our prior-

ities and also welcome feedback, so we can continue to improve the services we provide. Today, there are teams across MPI working collaboratively with industry in various ways, as well as the Wine Export Certification Service (WECS), which works under contract to MPI to carry out sensory testing of wine export samples.

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION? A full list of wine industry legislation, specifications, Notices and codes is available at requirements-for-wine/legislation/ For more information about the systems/requirements in

place to meet this legislation: • Supply of grapes and wine commodities - processing/wine/requirementsfor-wine/supplying-grapesingredients-commodities/ • Must be free from food safety hazards, • Not exceed maximum residue levels (MRLs) for pesticides, • Full traceability details to be passed onto the winery. Making wine: Requirements (Wine Act 2003) - mpi.govt. nz/processing/wine/requirements-for-wine/ • Wine Standards Management Plan (WSMP) • Verification of the WSMP by a recognised verifier, • Labelling and composition. • Exporting requirements – exporting-new-zealand-grapewine/ • Wine must meet New Zealand requirements, • Duties of exporters must be met, • Comply with the export wine grape spray schedule, • Meet Export Eligibility Requirements (EERs), • Comply with labelling and composition for export (to meet Overseas Market Access requirements (OMARs)), • Each batch registered in Wine E-Cert to meet General and EU/Brazil requirements while providing a platform for registering and completing consignment documentation for export and traceability.


Bob’s Blog


Sex in the Savie AFTER A long, and apparently successful, partnership with Graham Norton Invivo Wines have announced they will shortly release a Sauvignon Blanc made with the help of Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex in the City fame. Although the grapes are from Marlborough, this isn’t a typical Marlborough Sauvignon. Following Parker’s wishes to make a weightier version of the fruity wine, the team incorporated flavours of grapefruit, honey-suckle flower, passionfruit and citrus zest balanced with an acidic spine. Parker’s personal touches are even evident beyond the drop – down to the ‘X,’ hand painted by Parker on the original label to represent her signature signoff: “X, SJ”. Given the target market I would speculate that Parker promises to be an even better fit than Norton whose involvement will have helped sell 3.5 million bottles of SauviGNon Blanc, GN Rose, GN Shiraz and GN Prosecco once this year’s vintage has been sold. Full marks to the boys at Invivo for their innovative celebrity marketing campaign. I look forward to further partnerships with other big names. Bordeaux blends, for example, seem to appeal to the sort of crusty old bastards who might be impressed if Jeremy Clarkson had trod the grapes. The deeply intellectual drinkers who put Pinot Noir on a pedestal would be more likely to raise a glass if they knew the wine had been masterminded by Benedict Cumberbatch.

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JOIN THE BOLLY CLUB I RECENTLY attended a dinner hosted by Champagne Bollinger to celebrate the release of Bollinger Grand Année 2008. The dinner, at Mantell’s Tamaki Drive (once was Hammerheads restaurant), was attended by 86 people and hosted by Bollinger’s Commercial Director, the very elegant Guy de Revoire. Every guest received a card with a unique code that allows the holder to register their membership of “Club 1829” on the Champagne Bollinger website. Anyone who buys a bottle of prestige Bollinger Champagne should ask for a card and register. Their website advises, “Because passion increases with experience, the Club 1829 opens the doors to a whole world of privileges: sneak previews and tastings of new vintages, encounters with cellar masters, reservations for tours of the domain, private events, and much more.” It’s a very clever way to make a connection between customer and producer of a prestigious wine brand. Today I received a handsome Bollinger apron embossed with their logo. I recently used my membership to get VIP treatment for a friend when he visited the Bollinger winery. Guess what champagne I plan to drink this Christmas.

Rejection Rules UK “WINE journalist, book author and flavour obsessive”, Jamie Goode, suggests in his blog that we need a clearer protocol around the sensitive subject of rejecting a wine in a restaurant. He came up with the following: The person ordering tastes the wine In an ideal world the sommelier or server also tastes the wine, away from the table If the wine has a clear fault, it can be rejected Otherwise, the wine is then poured for the guests If the customer rejects the wine, then the wine is replaced. It is not the beginning of a negotiation: this cannot end well That’s fairly black-and-white although subsequent discussion revealed a few grey areas. For example, suppose a customer asks the wine waiter to recommend a wine and the waiter enthusiastically endorses a “non-mainstream” wine (oxidative, reductive, orange, natural etc.), is the customer justified in rejecting it for being faulty even though the wine conforms to its type?


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MY THREE main interfaces (or should that be “in-yer-faces”) with Artificial Intelligence are Google, Siri on my iPhone and Amazon Alexa which I bought a few years ago during a visit to the US. I find them all intensely irritating. Google, the smartest of them all, has the IQ of a six-year-old so we are dealing mostly with the computer equivalent of preschoolers. That does explain why Siri substitutes ridiculous words for the perfectly obvious ones we type or dictate into our iPhones. No doubt their collective IQs will increase until we have to deal with Mensa candidates, which will be even more frustrating. Can you imagine trying to get any sense out of an online wine shop assistant that thinks like Albert Einstein? Even worse than their flawed logic is their squeaky, supercilious voices. I’ve already been cautioned for inappropriate language when operating the automated checkout machine at my local supermarket. Where will it all end?


Wine and Health

What is wine doing to your appearance? LEE SUCKLING

ACCORDING TO the Institute of Alcohol Studies, consuming large amounts of alcohol can cause upwards of 60 different health issues and hundreds of other physical conditions. Many of us who enjoy a night on the sauce will know the first place problems show up from excess consumption is on your skin. “Wine face”, as it’s commonly known, is scientifically referred to as a trigger (not a cause) of rosacea. This skin condition is the appearance of flushed red cheeks, red blotches on the skin and other unflattering superficial elements, and it’s genetic. You can’t give it to yourself from drinking too much wine. However, a nice bottle of Pinot Noir does top the list for creating a rosacea reaction. According to studies by the National Rosacea Society, 76 percent of patients with rosacea report a skin condition flare up after drinking red wine. White wine triggers a physical skin reaction in 56 percent of patients, while Champagne only affects the appearance of

According to studies by the National Rosacea Society, 76 percent of patients with rosacea report a skin condition flare up after drinking red wine.

33 percent of those surveyed. The real name for “alcohol nose” or “drinkers nose” – that bumpy, red and swollen condition that is usually seen in older people, more often men than women – is actually rhinophyma. For decades it has

been associated with chronic alcoholism, but in actuality it’s not caused by alcohol addiction or over-consumption at all. The inflammation of rhinophyma is a sub-type of rosacea and is usually the result of that general skin condition going untreated

for years. An inflamed, porous disfigurement of the nose is typically because of a person not dealing with less severe form of rosacea earlier in life. Although wine consumption enlarges the blood vessels and can make a sufferer’s nose



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appear even bigger and more inflamed than it usually is, this is actually just an acute trigger of inflammation for pre-existing broken blood vessels and pustules on or around the nose. Rhinophyma can be managed by a dermatologist by treating the underlying rosacea and it is most common in those of English, Scottish, Scandinavian or Eastern European descent. When the body metabolises alcohol from wine or any other alcoholic drink in the liver, it releases a by-product in your body called acetaldehyde. This, unfortunately, is toxic to body tissue and causes wrinkles and other signs of aging, owing to the chronic dry state of the tissue. Non-permanent skin problems are also linked to drinking – when you consume alcohol it releases a histamine that dilates the blo o d’s capillaries, which for some people results in a net effect of overall redness (even when

Negative superficial effects of wine and other alcohol consumption tend to be seen as soon as a person drinks more than two glasses a day. no rosacea is present). This is why some appear slightly flushed while drinking but that appearance soon after dissipates. It’s not just your skin that sees negative effects during and after alcohol consumption. Dehydration creates dr y, cracked, and brittle hair, split ends, and can lead to the hair shedding and not being replaced. This might be because of the low zinc levels caused by drinking alcohol, although hair loss from too much alcohol can also be contributed to low levels of Vitamins B and C, and higher levels of estrogen.



However, while losing hair can be increased by drinking, again, like rosacea, it’s not the cause. Saying goodbye to the bottle will not solve an overall hair loss problem or male/female pattern baldness. Do you feel bloated a few hours after you drink wine? Many people have experienced self-consciousness as the night goes on and their shirts or dresses seem to get tighter around the gut. This is because the body has been deprived of fluids and electrolytes – it is busy trying to get alcohol out of your system through urination.

The body’s go-to solution here is to store any water you do drink (and food you eat) immediately, and retain the water it still has. It isn’t just your stomach that might puff up, either: your face, hands, and feet can also feel that bloating. Negative superficial effects of wine and other alcohol consumption tend to be seen as soon as a person drinks more than two glasses a day. In January 2016 I did a comprehensive review of studies, (NZWinegrower issue 95) to find agreement amongst scientists that consuming between one and two glasses of wine has some positive health benefits. These range from a slightly reduced risk of heart attack to faster metabolism, but unfortunately, there isn’t a single case out there that proves any amount of wine consumption actually improves your cosmetic physical appearance.


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Legal Matters


Greenwashing uncorked CONSUMERS ARE becoming increasingly eco-conscious when shopping, and many prefer to choose products that are environmentally friendly. The wine they drink is no exception. This opens an exciting new marketing avenue for savvy vineyards to distinguish their wines on crowded shelves, and appeal to a new demographic of consumers. However, it is important to stay on the right side of the law to avoid being accused of ‘greenwashing’.


Greenwashing is the process of creating a false or misleading impression about the environmentally friendly nature of a product. Green claims in relation to wine could include statements about environmental sustainability and terms like natural, organic, carbon neutral, or biodynamically grown. When making environmental claims of this type, they must be true and able to be substantiated with cold hard facts at the time when they are made (rather than later). Businesses involved in greenwashing typically exaggerate their claims or don’t have evidence to back them up. Such businesses also forget that regardless of eco-certifications achieved, the ultimate test is would the average consumer be misled by a claim (not a sommelier or oenologist). It’s also possible for

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a single claim to be strictly correct, but for a label or bottle as a whole to produce an overall misleading impression.


Under the Fair Trading Act 1986, it is illegal to mislead consumers, give false information, or make misrepresentations. As well as specific claims or statements about your product, the overall impression of a product, created by words, pictures and advertisements is important, particularly if relevant information is left out. It is possible to mislead through silence, or telling only half the story. Any comparative claims (such as ‘environmentally friendlier’) must be based on a meaningful and measurable benefit over competitor wines. The Advertising Standards Code provides that environmental claims must be accurate and able to be substantiated by evidence that reflects scientific and technological developments. An ‘environmental claim’ means any statement, symbol or graphic that indicates an environmental aspect of a product, component or packaging, and includes references to sustainability, recycling, carbon neutrality, energy efficiency, or use of natural products. As always, there is a blurred line between claims and advertising ‘puffery’.


The Advertising Standards Authority has considered several beer advertisements containing green claims. In 2016 a complaint about a DB Breweries advertisement saying ‘Save the entire world… purchase…DB Export Brewtroleum’ was considered. The Authority refused the complaint because consumers would appreciate the statement was hyperbole, and DB Breweries had evidence to show that production of its Brewtroleum product had environmental benefits. In a similar decision, DB Breweries was again able to substantiate the environmental claims it was making. The message – do your homework. In New Zealand, there are a number of ecocertifications available to wine growers, including for organic and biodynamic certification. Certifications are a good way to show that a wine meets independent external standards relevant to a claim. However, certification is not mandatory from a Trading Act perspective, provided claims can be proven in other ways. Fair Things to be wary of: Vague claims (e.g. ‘environmentally friendly’, ‘green’, or ‘earth safe’) that are too general and subjective to be understood, and can mislead. Claims need to be backed up with supporting evidence. Imagery that is inconsist-

ent with reality and creates an overall impression that a wine has more environmental brownie points than it actually does. Unsubstantiated claims –each claim should be capable of being substantiated at the time when it is made. If the wine is ‘100% natural’, the producer should have written evidence to back this up which can be easily shared if ever challenged. It’s too late to carry out testing after claims have been made. Claims based on the absence of particular substances or damaging effects – these sorts of claims are not acceptable if no other wine includes the chemical or causes the effect. While it may be true to say that a wine is ‘soy-free’, if all other wine is also naturally soy free, this sort of claim may mislead. Misplaced reliance on certifications when the average consumer has a different understanding of what a green claim or term means. There is growing focus and understanding of the entire life cycle approach to how our food and wine production and consumption affects the environment. As we all learn more, the imperative to be honest with consumers will grow. In addition, green claims are on the Commerce Commission’s radar and are a 2019/2020 priority.

International Collaboration

Mission to France L I NC OL N U N I V E R SI T Y wine sensory scientist Wendy Parr was selected to participate in the French Embassy in New Zealand’s 2019 Sustainable Agriculture Mission to France in October. Parr, currently investigating perceived quality in New Zealand Pinot Noir wine within the New Zealand Winegrower led, national Pinot Noir research programme, was based at the University in Dijon, Burgundy, and the University Paris VIII in Paris during her Mission to France activities. The former allowed her to progress her Pinot Noir wine sensory research and related ideas via active discussions, meetings and research seminars with collaborators in AgroSup and IUVV at the University of Burgundy.

Seminar speakers (Wendy is 3rd from left) with Masterate students at the University of Burgundy, Dijon, France.

At the University Paris VIII, Parr collaborated on a crosscultural project concerning perception of organic and Natural wines.The SSFF (Sustainable Future Funding) Mission to France awards are important in providing opportunity for

increased knowledge sharing, mutual respect and learning between agricultural producers and scientists in France and New Zealand, with strategic benefits for both countries being expected outcomes. In Parr’s case, her research was aimed at

providing sound knowledge that can be used in both countries to inform oenological, viticultural, and wine marketing practices related to wine quality, sustainability of each country’s wine industry, and economic benefit to both countries.



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SEP 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


$565.6m USA


$447.8m UK




$129.6m CANADA


$48.6m GERMANY


$33.3m CHINA




$13.2m HONG KONG



Packaged Wine Export

Bulk Wine Export



161.3 mL


111.5 mL


Bulk white wine

Packaged Price





$8.51/L Domestic Sales, Volume

49.3m L 8% All figures are for the 12 months to the date specified, figures are in $NZD unless otherwise specified *Source: NZ Customs Service, Statistics NZ

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

Quality Wine Styles for Existing and Developing Markets NZ 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)

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 (E Taylor)

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 Thoughtful Viticulture (M Krasnow)

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

Optimisation of irrigation and water savings in Marlborough Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir and Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay and Merlot Thoughtful Viticulture (M Krasnow)

Future-proofing the wine sector with innovation: evaluation of ground cover, amenity & native plants as potential reservoirs of pathogens of grapevines

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


An automated grape yield estimation system Baden Parr & Dr Mathew Legg – Massey University, Auckland ACCURATE AND timely vineyard yield estimation can have a significant effect on the profitability of vineyards. Amongst other reasons, this can be due to better management of vineyard logistics, precise application of vine in-puts, and the delineation of grape quality at harvest to optimise returns. Traditionally, the process of yield estimation is conducted manually leading to subjective estimations. Furthermore, the financial burden of manual sampling often results in under sampled vineyards resulting in ineffective vineyard management. To this end, automating yield estimation is the focus of ongoing research in the computer vision field. Current 2D camera techniques predominantly rely on distinct features of grapes, such as colour or texture, in order to identify and count them within sequences of images. This

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approach has been reported to correctly identify over 90 percent of the visible grapes within each image. However, the accuracy of yield estimations from these approaches is greatly restricted by the number of grapes visible to the cameras. It is common for grape clusters to be at least partially occluded by leaves and branches. Traditional laser scanners have shown promising results for accurate phenotype of grape clusters. However, accurate sensors are costly, required a significant time to capture viable pointclouds, and their use has yet to be demonstrated within field environments. In recent years, low-cost 3D cameras, that operate in real-time, have been introduced to the market. To date, there has been little investigation into the use of these cameras for yield estimation in vineyards.


Commercially available 3D cameras, utilising structured light technology, have demonstrated promising early results within vineyards. The Microsoft Kinect V1 has seen use for the volumetric assessment of vine canopies as well as analysing vine structure for the purpose of automated pruning. However, to date, there has been little direct research into their use for this purpose. There is a need for an investigation into the performance characteristics of 3D cameras as they directly relate the acquisition of information for grape yield estimation. Vineyard rows are typically only a few meters wide and any 3D capture equipment can expect to be between 0.5m - 1.0m from a vine at any given time. The resolution and accuracy of the scan at this range must be enough so that individual grapes

are identifiable. Additionally, as grapes are approximately spherical and grow in dense clusters, there are concerns that convex regions between neighbouring grapes may become blurred, due in part to the loss of accuracy at increasing angles of incidence and the low spatial resolution of the sensors. In this case, algorithms that rely on the identification of spherical structures for the identification of grapes within pointclouds, may face increased difficulties. To work within the constraints of these 3D cameras, a new algorithm is underdevelopment with the goal of providing robust real-time identification of individual grapes within a captured point-cloud.


Once a 3D camera has captured a scan of a grape cluster, it is then necessary

Research Progress Reports

Figure 1: Result of proposed algorithm. The plots from left to right shows the progression of the algorithm at 1, 15, and 35 iterations. The resulting fitted sphere is shown in the final image. The centre is determined from the average of all proposed centre points and the radius is obtained from the average of all potential radii calculated in each iteration.

Figure 2: Steps of proposed algorithm applied to a point-cloud of a grape cluster showing the raw point-cloud (left), the point-cloud representing potential centres (middle), and the identified spheres after clustering has been performed (right). The normalised confidence of each sphere estimate is shown by their individual colour.

to analyse the resulting point cloud to identify the individual grapes. The algorithm currently in development has been designed to work within the constraints of 3D cameras and provide accurate estimations of where grapes are, their size, and a degree of confidence about the estimate. The algorithm works on the assumption that the surface of a grape visible is approximately spherical. Therefore, by finding spheres within a point-cloud we should also be able to identify grapes. Unfortunately, finding spheres in 3D camera scans of grape clusters is not trivial. Grape clusters are complex structures and often only a small section of an individual

grape’s surface is visible to the 3D camera. The difficulty is further increased by the performance and low resolution of commercially available 3D cameras. These factors combine to make traditional sphere detection algorithms ineffective at solving this problem. A unique aspect of a sphere is that all surface normals (the direction a surface faces) can be projected through a single point, the centre of the sphere. This concept can be used to robustly detect spheres within 3D camera scans. However, as the captured point-cloud is not perfect, the normals will not intersect at a single point. To address this, a least squares approach can be used to

determine the most acceptable intersection point. Once the centre point has been found, a radius can also be estimated by calculating its distance from the original captured points. To accelerate processing, a random selection of three points can be used to generate an estimate of the intersection. By repeated sampling of a point cloud in this way, a cloud of potential centre locations can be formed. Figure 1 above demonstrates the results of this approach applied to a hemispherical point cloud. For a point-cloud representing a single spherical object, as seen in Figure 1, it is trivial to determine the average centre position and

radius of the sphere. However, if the same approach is applied to a point-cloud containing multiple potential spherical objects, the result will be a point-cloud of multiple clusters, each representing the centre of a potential sphere. An example of this can be seen in Figure 2. To isolate potential spheres from this pointcloud, a clustering algorithm must be employed that is able to identify each unique cluster. Once the cluster has been identified, it is then possible to determine a confidence estimate based on the density and distribution of the cluster. A cluster consisting of many tightly packed points is a strong indicator that a sphere


Research Progress Reports

Figure 3: Comparison of clusters generated from 3D scans captured by the Kinect V1 (left), Kinect V2 (middle), Intel RealSense D415 (right).

exists in that location. In contrast, a coarse cluster is representative of a weak confidence. By processing all clusters in this manner, it is possible to construct a 3D reconstruction of the grape cluster with each reconstructed grape given a weighting on how much it is trusted. This metric can then be used in further stages to refine the reconstruction through growth modelling and active vision.

Point-clouds were captured of a 3D printed reference bunch of grapes at a distance of 0.6 m. A computer-controlled (CNC) gantry was used to accurately position each camera. The captured clouds were then processed using the presented algorithm. The intermediary results illustrated in Figure 3 show the potential sphere centres


The presented algorithm can identify grape sized spherical objects in low resolution 3D camera point-clouds. However, the approach relies on 3D cameras accurately representing the curvature of the spherical surface. The degree to which individual 3D cameras achieve this varies. To analyse this, three cameras were chosen for evaluation that cover the major 3D camera technologies currently available. The cameras selected include the Microsoft Kinect V1, a structured light-based 3D camera; the Microsoft Kinect V2, a time-of-flight based 3D camera; and the recent Intel RealSense D415, an active stereo vision 3D camera.

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before clustering. Clear distinctions can be made between the three results. However, most apparent is the difference in cluster distributions between the Kinect V2 and the other two cameras. The Kinect V2 has significantly smaller clusters with less spurious noise between them. This suggests that the Kinect V2 can

more accurately capture the spherical curvature of the surface at this distance. This is further highlighted after the potential centres are grouped into clusters. The Kinect V2 accurately identifies all 35 visible spheres in the reference, while both the Kinect V1 and Intel D415 overestimate with 43.

Research Progress Reports

Red wine taste – more than meets the eye! Roland Harrison and Kenneth Olegar – Lincoln University RA 3.3 THE WINE industry in New Zealand has grown in the last 30 years from relative obscurity to international recognition. This has occurred primarily because of the global popularity of its Sauvignon Blanc wine, most of which is produced in Marlborough. However, reliance on the success of a single variety grown overwhelmingly in one region represents a risk to the long-term sustainability of the industry. There is another financial consequence to the fact that the New Zealand wine portfolio is currently dominated by a white wine because white wines generally command lower prices than those of red wines. Furthermore in some future export target markets, importantly including China, consumption is dominated by red wine because of its cultural significance in festivities and family gatherings. Fortunately, there are many locations in New Zealand suitable for growing red grape varieties and making wines in a range of styles. Of these, Pinot Noir offers the greatest potential for future expansion. It grows well in the South Island (Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury, Otago) and the lower North Island (Wairarapa). Red wines differ from white wines to look at, but also in other characteristics such as smell and taste. As any red wine drinker will tell you, it is the taste and

Roland Harrison, 2019

(although they may not use this term) the mouthfeel that are especially important. The defining feature of Pinot Noir wine is the combination of in-mouth softness with strength and fullness. The chemical basis for such complex (taste and mouthfeel) characteristics has been a bit of a holy grail for red wine lovers, but despite the best efforts of wine chemists is still not fully understood. What we do know is that two groups of chemicals are definitely important. The first, tannin, is found in grape skin and seeds (as well as oak if the wine has spent time in barrel). But tannin is also found in white grapes in more-or-less the same amounts as in red grapes. What makes the taste of red wines different to white wine is the second group of chemicals, anthocyanin, a natural colourant which makes red grapes red, but it turns out is also

involved in making red wine taste differently to white wine. How does this happen? Tannin on its own is very astringent (think chewing on a banana skin) but not particularly soluble. However, when anthocyanin combines with tannins during winemaking, this has the effect of both increasing the amount of tannin in the wine and also changes its structure leading to altered perceptions of astringency and mouthfeel. So, one of the objectives of this study is to understand better the reactions of anthocyanin with tannin. But, before this reaction can take place, we have to extract both tannin and anthocyanin from their different locations in the grape berry. This is where winemaking becomes very important, because over the centuries winemakers have developed many different techniques to achieve this involving different crushing

and pressing techniques, different lengths of time and ways of mixing the solid grape parts with the juice or wine, different temperatures, different aging periods, and so on. And all of that without even considering the yeast, because it turns out that this is also involved. The approach we are adopting in this study, therefore, is to simplify things a bit, so we can work out what’s important and what’s not. Our extractability and reaction experiments will, therefore, be carried out in the laboratory so that the concentrations of key components can be carefully controlled. What we are trying to understand in this part of the programme is how the physical interactions and chemical reactions that occur between grape and yeast components and their derived compounds influence the final wine concentrations of critical components, particularly those responsible for colour and taste/mouthfeel. We already know that grape tannin concentration is not necessarily a good guide to final wine tannin concentration, and we have some clues as to why. This study will give us a more complete picture of what is going on during fermentation which we anticipate will enable us to identify the key compounds that need to be measured to put a figure on quality.


Research Progress Reports

Precision Grape Yield Analyser (GYA) Programme Armin Werner, Project Leader MBIE - Precision Grape Yield Analyser Project (


Developing a Precision Grape Yield Analyser is a science research programme being led by Lincoln Agritech Limited with project partners of Lincoln University, University of Canterbury, Plant and Food Research and CSIRO. The programme is funded over five years (20172021) through MBIE and with invaluable co-funding (cash and in-kind) from the Bragato Research Institute (BRI) and the NZ grape wine industry. The core focus of the programme is to develop sensing technology and tools that will accurately make grape harvest yield predictions early in the growing period. This research programme will provide the tools needed for grape yield forecasting and thus wine supply and grape crop management during the growing season. The GYA will be a high-tech tool that provides such yield estimates on a block level, predominantly for the Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in New Zealand. The end-users of the output from this project will be the trained vineyard staff, consultants and service companies. To achieve this the science research team, in conjunction with local indus-

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try representatives and our Industry Advisory Group, are bringing together and further developing machine vision and sensing, microwave and radar technologies and combining these with specifically developed modelling framework and inputs to enable early, accurate and less resourceintense forecasting of seasonal grape yields. The key deliverable from the five-year programme will be a research prototype (hardware and software), which will be tested in several vineyards in 2021. We envisage the sensing device being deployed in vineyards using moving platforms, such as tractors, sprayers, and robots.



The GYA programme gained substantial understanding and sensing grape bunch numbers and grape bunch growth. We use optical sensors (digital cameras) and add microwave sensors (‘radar-type’) to overcome serious occlusion from leaves in typical NZ-Sauvignon Blanc grape crops. The data will feed into a ‘constantly learning’ computer model to predict yield at harvest from early grape bunch data. The model is using also phenological and growth-related information to assess future yield. Highlights of the project year 2018/19 are: • Our microwave-sensing

can assess grape bunch mass within 12% of actual biomass. • Vineyard-block yield data point to strong spatial variability with temporally stable patterns. • Our programme has been supported by the generous provision of data by the industry. • Other NZ-fruit industries would like to adapt the ‘occlusion-free’ approach of GYA for their needs. Through the new grape yield technology, this programme will assist an already successful wine industry to increase its productivity by yielding more and better-quality grapes through advanced canopy management.

Research Progress Reports

Site-specific yield prediction will improve efficiency by reducing labour costs, increase export returns and will also assist growth in New Zealand’s high-value manufacturing sector through export sales of the GYA product.


The Research team generally meets six-weekly to discuss project progress, issues and integration. Meetings with our Industry Advisory Group happens up to twice a year. The members of the IAG are winegrowers, consultants and the representatives of the BRI. The focus of the Advisory Group in the last year was on reviewing the results from the research work to date and in particular the last harvest season and how these impact on the future direction and work of the GYA project. Many New Zealand vineyards have contributed

historical data on their block or bay-level yields and have collected bunch growth data during the last season, providing important input to the project research. Nevertheless, more data are required from growers to verify the

robustness of our research results. In conjunction with the Bragato Research Institute and Plant and Food Research, we are planning an industry workshop for January 2020. This meeting will give the project an

opportunity to demonstrate to the industry how we have used the data they provided and what are our plans for progressing this.


In the next grape growing season (2019/20) we will conduct further research and development mainly to ensure validity of our approaches and make our results more robust. This will include advancing the sensing device with a new design for the microwave antenna. We will also mount the whole sensing system onto moving platforms carrying our devices along the grapevine rows, this will include a commercial field robot. We thank the New Zealand Wine Growers, the Bragato Research Institute and many winegrowers for their continuous and substantial support of this research project.


Research Progress Reports

Correction IRRIGATION OPTIMISATION (ISSUE 118). Mark Krasnow has acknowledged a mistake in the table included in the article in the Oct/ Nov 19 edition of NZ Winegrower For some of the vineyards, the water usage was 10X more than reported in terms of cubes/Ha. Below is the corrected table. 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

Bunch #

Yield (kg/wine)

Rot (% severity)

Water used (cubes /ha)











T value














T value














T value














T value














T value







2.7 b





6.0 a


T value

















T value

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.

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