Monday, 10 June 2019 10:44

The times are changing — Editorial

Written by  Tessa Nicholson

The halcyon days of summer are now long behind us, as the country prepares for winter. The harvest is a distant memory; of 24-hour days, the chatter of a multitude of languages and fruit of outstanding quality coming through the winery doors.

There can be little doubt that 2019 was a pretty special vintage in more ways than one, Stress free in terms of major weather events, a summer that kept on keeping on, once it finally arrived, and fruit that winemakers dream about. (See Vintage 2019 on page 12).

But it will also be remembered as the vintage that nearly broke some grower’s backs in places like Marlborough, where the brilliant summer conditions saw irrigation consents being shut off for weeks on end. A sure sign of climate change? Yes, but also a warning that not having a secure water supply puts your vines and livelihood at risk. This issue we take a closer look at the water scenario in our country’s largest region. (Page 20)

Just recently Rabobank confirmed that exports of New Zealand wine were on track to grow by around $60m in 2019, representing a four percent YOY change. That’s great news for all, especially in times of uncertainty with trade wars and Brexit looming. It means our wines are getting out there to more and more internationals. So NZWinegrower decided to see how New Zealanders abroad view our wine industry. This issue Marc Checkley, who is a broadcaster, tv producer and director, now living in Switzerland, shares his views on our successes and our challenges abroad. 

Plus check out what is coming up in the weeks ahead – NZW Grape Days, Organic and Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference, Young Vit of the Year and Young Winemaker of the Year. Lots to read about as you hunker down for the cooler months. 

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Delays ruled out on water reforms

Delaying the introduction of new water reforms was not an option according to the two cabinet Ministers directly involved – Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

$700m for freshwater clean up

The Government has announced a $700 million fund to support the primary sector and other groups in meeting new clean water standards.

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