Thursday, 05 February 2015 10:37

Editorial Feb-Mar 2015

Written by 
Tessa Nicholson Tessa Nicholson

Welcome to 2015. A new year, new opportunities and a new vintage.

As I write this in Marlborough, the region is experiencing another cloudless, sunny and extremely hot day. It has been a similar situation in most wine growing regions.

What started out as a cool December, causing concern about flowering, turned into a much warmer end to the year, evolving into an even warmer January. What the impact of those cooler weeks followed by hot months will have on vintage 2015, is still being evaluated.

Although we take a look at what the predictions are for vintage, with Dr Mike Trought and Rob Agnew from Plant and Food Research at the Marlborough Research Centre. Their predictions are a smaller crop than 2014 provided, which will make most in the industry smile. How they have come to this potential scenario is explained in full this issue.

With hardly any rain in certain parts of the country for weeks, keeping the vines healthy may be an issue for some. Irrigating in a smart way will be vital as we head towards veraison. And given the pressure being placed on all land-based industries using water, being smart is essential. Andrew Curtis from Irrigation New Zealand explains how you as a grower can achieve this.

Coinciding with the New Year NZ Winegrower begins a number of new features. Just as sustainability is such an important facet of the industry, so too is Organics. But for many growers, the ways and methods of organics are unknown. So this issue, we begin a series that looks specifically at how to deal with the changing seasonal needs within the vineyard, in an organic way. Viticultural consultant, Bart Arnst begins the series focusing on how to get your fruit ripened and disease free.

We also take an inside look at the make up of the NZW board. The members that you elect are responsible for the path the industry will take in the years to come. So who are these board members, how did they become involved and what are their thoughts on where we have come from and where we are going?

First up NZW Board Chair Steve Green and Deputy Chair John Clarke.

And for those that haven't seen the results of the vineyard register, the snapshot below shows how little things have changed since 2013. Producing area has grown by 1 percent, but just about every other statistic shows New Zealand wine in a holding pattern, in terms of percentages, varieties and grower numbers. I wonder if that will change in the next 12 months.

For full details of the 2014 Vineyard Register, go to

NZ Wine 2014 a snapshot


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