Beyond Vineyard Ecosystems event to bridge science and sustainability in New Zealand vineyards – Bragato Research Institute (BRI) is bringing scientists and winegrowers together next month for a two-day conference, Beyond Vineyard Ecosystems, to share research-based approaches to sustainable vineyard management and the business case for accelerating practice change.
The event is a celebration of the seven-year Vineyard Ecosystems research programme that studied how management choices affected New Zealand vineyards and their surrounding environments, with an aim to promote the uptake of more sustainable practices. To be held on the 27-28 September at the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, the event will share programme findings, spin-off projects, grower experiences, and international perspectives on key topics.
Launched in 2015, the Vineyard Ecosystems programme was a partnership between New Zealand Winegrowers and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, managed through BRI. With Plant & Food Research and the University of Auckland as the main research providers, the focus was to increase the long-term resilience and profitability of the New Zealand wine industry.
The Vineyard Ecosystems programme has accelerated our understanding of plant protection, with many growers involved in the programme now moving to more sustainable practices and ready to share their stories.
“The most powerful tool we have to communicate research is growers talking to other growers,” says BRI CEO Jeffrey Clarke. “One viticulturist used the programme’s data to bring a business case to his board for better plant protection, while another has found that practices in his organic vineyards provide solutions in his conventional vineyards. This two-day event is about sharing this knowledge and learning where the next wave of research can take us.”
Beyond Vineyard Ecosystems will feature a stellar line-up of 25 growers and scientists, from both inside and outside the Vineyard Ecosystems programme. The international speakers include Dr Andrew Neal, soil biology cluster lead at Rothamsted Research in the United Kingdom, and Richard Leask of Hither and Yon in McLaren Vale, Australia.
The event features four in-depth sessions; virus and mealybug, vineyard longevity and grapevine trunk disease, rethinking chemistry, and soil and water.
“The Beyond Vineyard Ecosystems event will delve into today’s pressing issues for vineyard sustainability, from soil health and water use to reducing our industry’s reliance on agrichemicals,” says Clarke. “We are looking forward to having a national conversation about the future of winegrowing, sustainability and how industry research can play its part.”
If you’re a decision-maker for a vineyard, interested in sustainability, or curious about what future practices may bring to the winery from the vineyard—it’s an event you won’t want to miss. Find out more about the event and get your tickets here: