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Wine Conference To Look At What's Next For New Zealand Wine

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Fuseworks Media
Wine Conference To Look At What's Next For New Zealand Wine

Grape growers and winemakers will be seeking to answer 'what next' for New Zealand wine at a major conference later this month, which is set to focus on economic recovery and continuing to drive the quality of wine production.

In its 16th year, the annual Romeo Bragato conference is New Zealand's major technical conference for the grape growing and wine sector, and is named after one of the pioneers of the New Zealand industry. This year's conference is being held at the Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 in Blenheim from 26-28 August.

New Zealand Winegrowers science and innovations manager Philip Manson said that as the industry looks to the future, it must concentrate on producing quality, and continue to develop the technical skills required to produce exceptional wine.

"There is no doubting growers and wineries are facing tough times, but a continued focus on quality will provide the platform required for future growth.

"Romeo Bragato provides an important opportunity for the industry to gather, share ideas and learn new skills and techniques," Mr Manson said.

This year's programme has attracted a line-up of experts from both the business and the grape-growing world, and has more delegates registered than last year.

"Growing grapes and producing great wine is both an art and a science, and doing the right things technically is an integral part to making quality wine. What our speakers have to say will be extremely valuable in helping the sector perfect its craft," Mr Manson said.

The Rabobank Address will be delivered by Marc Soccio, senior analyst wine for Rabobank, who will speak on coming out of the global financial downturn. This will be followed by a forum of industry leaders discussing their views on the drivers to future growth of the industry.

Stuart Smith, chairman of New Zealand Winegrowers, will speak on the state of the wine industry, and Hon David Carter, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Forestry and Minister for Biosecurity will provide a an update on the government's activities supporting the ongoing economic growth of the sector and its research and development efforts. From a more technical perspective, Kobus Hunter of the Agricultural Research Council in South Africa, will lead a session on improving grape and wine quality.

Conference highlights Speakers in this year's line-up include: Chris Winefield, Lincoln University, Christchurch Colin Ross, Seresin Estate, Blenheim Gary Pickering, Brock University, Canada David McGregor, Bell Gully, Auckland.

The conference programme also features New Zealand's only awards for the grape grower -the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards, the Markhams Young Viticulturalist of the Year and the Silver Secateurs awards.

The esteemed Romeo Bragato Wine Awards will be announced at the gala dinner on Saturday 28 August, along with the announcement of the Young Viticulturist of the Year and the winner of the Silver Secateurs Award.

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