The first phase of the New Zealand Winegrowers’ PwC strategic review suggested a revamp of the way the industry celebrates success.
It was certainly provocative, which is exactly what it was meant to be. With the theme of Think Smart, Look Ahead, the issues covered ranged from the disruptors that are likely to affect the wine industry, through to climate change and its projected impact on New Zealand wine regions.
In between there were discussions on synthetic wine, what vineyards will look like in the future, how to overcome the vineyard bulge, biosecurity, lessons learned from the Kaikoura earthquake, optimising irrigation and getting social, in the media sense.
Two guest speakers in particular stood out for me and many others. Dr Alison Stewart CEO of the Foundation of Arable Research, provided so much food for thought on just what technology is out there and how it may change the face of the wine industry as we know it.
Special guest speaker Michelle Dickinson, also known as Nanogirl, gave a hilarious but thought-provoking talk on innovation, New Zealand innovators and a fascinating personal insight into the marketing world of wine. (See page 36)
On top of all that, those attending got to hear from the six Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year finalists. All spoke on the same subject; What are the challenges facing the wine industry in your wine region and what can be done about them?
The finalists did themselves proud, and everyone attending the session walked away with great faith in the future of our wine industry, if these young people are anything to go by.
So all in all, a huge success.
If you missed this year’s conference, or would like to re-listen to any of the presentations, you can find them at Bragato.org.nz