Thursday, 27 June 2024 11:27

Growing industry knowledge at WinePro

Written by  Staff Reporters
National MP Todd McClay officially opening the inaugural Aotearoa WinePro conference in Blenheim. Photo Richard Briggs National MP Todd McClay officially opening the inaugural Aotearoa WinePro conference in Blenheim. Photo Richard Briggs

The three-day WinePro trade event is an opportunity to celebrate New Zealand’s international reputation as a wine producer and cement Marlborough’s place as a hub of technology and innovation, says Marlborough mayor Nadine Taylor.

Taylor and National MP Todd McClay officially opened the inaugural Aotearoa WinePro conference in Blenheim on Tuesday, based on the pillars of Elevate, Innovate, and Celebrate.  “WinePro provides an opportunity for suppliers and innovators to come together and learn about the latest developments and discover new ways to grow their business and improve production,” Taylor said in her opening speech.

Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens said WinePro, which includes a major trade expo, packed conference programme, Women in Business breakfast, and Dragon’s Den startup event, was timely for New Zealand’s wine industry. “There are so many exciting research and agritech developments in the field, in the lab, and on the horizon right now. They are changing the face of our industry, able to improve our emissions, waste, wine quality, and health and safety.”

Speaking on the second day of the event, Marcus said technology and research is helping the wine industry approach the likes of climate change, labour supply, and surging vineyard costs, along with industry ambitions to grow circularity and sustainability. “Seeing industry engage with suppliers, agritech startups, and science providers like Plant & Food Research is exciting, because they are growing solutions to all of those challenges.”

The conference programme – which includes everything from electrifying viticulture operations and managing labour challenges to utilising artificial intelligence and improving circularity – is a powerful opportunity to glean insights from experts across an array of wine-pertinent topics, Marcus adds. “We have gathered an extraordinary lineup of speakers and it’s been great to see the industry so engaged.”

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