Saturday, 08 June 2024 13:25

Research & Innovation Forum explores smarter winegrowing

Written by  Sophie Preece

The inaugural Research and Innovation forum will explore research on the horizon, technology on the ground, and smart ways of increasing efficiency in vineyards and wineries.

Bragato Research Institute (BRI) Knowledge Transfer and Engagement Lead Braden Crosby says discussions will focus on innovations being trialled now, or already available. "That people can do currently, or what they can expect to be on the radar in the next five to seven years." The 30 August forum, which is part of the two-day New Zealand Wine Altogether Unique programme, will also mark the launch of the New Zealand Winegrowers Roadmap to Net Zero - a pathway to 2050.

Discussions include a session with Indevin Group winemaker Jason Cook who says cloud capabilities have "revolutionised" the management of harvest in recent years, including through a "democratised" platform that enables winery and viticulture crews to see logistics in real time on mobile devices. "This gives us the agility we need to act quickly and get the most from every hour of harvest." Attendees will also hear from Nuffield scholar Hans Loder from Penley Estate in Coonawarra, South Australia, whose viticulture program taps into technology and data to grow efficiency, improve soil health, and better assess fruit ripeness.

The forum will showcase BRI's research excellence and collaborations, says BRI's new Chief Executive Dr Juliet Ansell, currently Head of Core and Resilience Innovation at Zespri. "Equipping viticulture and winemaking businesses with innovative solutions to tackle the challenges that really matter to our industry, so New Zealand can continue to create exceptional wines and increase our share of the global market value."

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