Please click here to watch the presentations from the plenary room of the 2018 Romeo Bragato Conference, including:

Nano Girl - A Different View on Winemaking Innovation
Wine Maturation Redifined
Biosecurity in practice: A Brown Marmorated Stink Bug response simulation

Day 1 – Wednesday 29 Aug 2018

Time Session
07:00 — 08:00


8:00 — 8:15

Plenary 1: Opening Address John Clarke

8:15 — 8:30

Address by Minister – Hon Meka Whaitiri, Minister of Customs and Associate Agriculture

8:30 — 9:00

Global Technology Drivers and Disruptors - Food For Thought Dr Alison Stewart

Technology is changing by the minute. What is big data today will be small data tomorrow and what innovations occur in a decade from now may not even be comprehensible to us today. This presentation will highlight some current global technology disruptors and discuss how these may impact on the future of NZ’s primary sectors. 

9:00 — 9:25

New Zealand Winegrowers Research Centre - Our Research Future Mark Gilbert

  • Presentation on the recently established and mobilised NZ Winegrowers Research Centre Limited
  • The why? (Why NZW and MBIE are investing in Research and Innovation)
  • The status quo? (People, Partnerships, Premises and Projects)
  • The investment? (What this means for wine industry stakeholders)’
9:25 — 10:10


To be served in the trade area

10:10 — 10:15

Plenary 2: Vineyards, The Next Evolution? – MJ Loza

10:15 — 10:30

Future Ready Vineyard Design Dr. David Jordan

Commercial pressures, mainly erosion of profit through escalating labour costs, will dictate vineyard design in the future.  Secondary drivers will be environmental. 

Future ready vineyards will be: 

  • Optimised for mechanisation.
  • Enabled to reduce climatic risk and provide sustainability.
  • Planted to superior clones/varieties.

Future ready vineyards require projected thinking.

10:30 — 10:45

Efficient & Inefficient Roguing to Manage Leafroll Virus Dr. Vaughn Bell

Grapevine leafroll virus imposes significant costs. In red berry cultivars, late-season changes to the foliage enables infected vines to be identified and rogued. Using a cost plus lost income analysis, we compare taking no action to manage the virus with roguing and replacing different proportions of virus-infected vines based on efficient and inefficient responses. 

10:45 — 10:55

Ensuring Vineyard Biosecurity - Best Practice Dr. Edwin Massey

It’s your asset – Protect it! This presentation sets out a vision of how the industry can work in a coordinated manner to maximize biosecurity awareness and participation to mitigate biosecurity risk as much as possible. It focuses on the key “get rights” for vineyard biosecurity and explores potential steps to achieve them.

10:55 — 11:10

Replanting - The Battle Of The Bulge and How to Win It! Geoff Thorpe

Given the 25-30 year average economic life of modern vineyard plantings, our industries decade long planting boom (1998-2008) presents significant production and supply challenges to growers and wine companies in the decade ahead. This presentation documents that “bulge” in our planting history, shares some  replanting lessons learnt by experienced vineyard operators and provides an update on replant focused product developments in the nursery industry.

11:10 — 11:25

SWNZ Continuous Improvement in the Vineyard Joanne Brady

  • What is Continuous Improvement, well, take a step back, what is Sustainability?
  • We’ve become very comfortable with Sustainability in the NZ Wine Industry.
  • No cold sweat breaks out when we see the auditor coming up the drive.
  • It’s time to get out of that comfort zone, do more than we absolutely have to.
11.25 — 11.40

Slido Session – MJ Loza

11:40 — 11:45

Plenary 3: Winemaking, The Next Evolution? Dr. Matias Kinzurik

11:45 — 11:55

Wine Maturation Redefined Hamish Elmslie

Wine Grenade is wine maturation, redefined.

Enabling winemakers to achieve barrel-quality maturation in any tank.An effortless Iot device provides winemakers with the control and insight needed to create high quality wines, year after year, through the process of micro-oxygenation.Superior maturation outcomes while minimising time, expense and effort.

Win a Wine Grenade Package by entering the draw here

11:55 — 12:15

Wine, The Mona Lisa, and Food on Mars Alec Lee

The food production landscape is ever-changing. With the advent of technology and digitization, food remains among the last frontiers largely untouched. We’ll explore some of the cultural drivers for this, and how Ava is planning for a future where both science and tradition can coexist in food.

12:15 — 12:25

Vineyard Fermentation and Site Expression in North Canterbury Pinot Noir Mike Saunders

Fermenting wine in the vineyard exposes the ferment to a more representative and authentic source of wild vineyard yeast populations. In addition to this, vineyard ferments are exposed to increased climatic variation. The combination of these two factors helps produce a wine that speaks of a specific place at a specific time.

12:25 — 12:35

Slido / Panel Discussion Dr. Matias Kinzurik

12:35 — 12:50

New Zealand Winegrowers Annual Members Meeting John Clarke

12:50 — 2:05


To be served in the trade area

2.05 — 3.10

Workshop 1: Powdery Mildew Control is Easy! Trevor Lupton; Will Kerner; Andrew Blakeman

2.05 — 3.10

Workshop 2: Your Wine on the World Stage - Promoting Your Wine Overseas Global Events Team

A look at our Global Market profiles including trends and challenges across our key focus markets of Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and USA.

Interactive session looking at the best ways to promote your wine over seas as well as the best ways to resource and leverage social media 

2.05 — 3.10

Workshop 3: What's Trending 1 Mike Trought, Principal Scientist, Plant and Food Research, Associate Professor Lincoln University

Presentations from:

Zhijing Ye (Victor)
Emma Sherman
Jessica Schuller
Xiaotong Lyu

2.05 — 3.10

Workshop 4: Synthetic Wine and Whiskey - Newer World Tasting Josh Decologne; Dr. Matias Kinzurik

- As we look to the future for more sustainable means of producing food and drink, we see that crafting beverages molecule by molecule saves water and energy compared to traditional methods.
- For this session, we will taste some beverages created with these novel techniques.

3:15 — 4:00


To be served in the trade area

4.00 — 5.10

Workshop 5: What's Trending 2 Mike Trought, Principal Scientist, Plant and Food Research, Associate Professor Lincoln University

Presentations from:

Olaf Schelezki
Junqi Zhu
Bin Tian
Dr Bhanupratap Vanga

4.00 — 5.10

Workshop 6: Technology Innovations for the Wine Industry Tracy Benge; Shane Dooley; Dr Mark Eltom; Jonathan Miller

Innovation will support our growing wine industry, only if we embrace the change it brings. Our presentation will cover recent innovations in agriculture technology, future trends in technology and consumer demands which are driving technology development. We will have an interactive session, aimed to utilize the knowledge and expertise of our industry members so we can look around the corner at what advances in technology will bring the greatest change.

4.00 — 5.10

Workshop 7: The Dirt on Vineyard Posts - Growers Experiences of the Alternatives to CCA Posts – Justine Tate; Bruce Forlong; Marcus Wickham; John Sowman; Peter Franks

A Vineyard Post Recovery Method.

  • The piles of broken vineyard posts is an industry problem!
  • Could they be reused in vineyard?
  • Design an economical method of post recovery and reuse
  • Test and prove the concept in a real vineyard including harvest 

Vineyard of the future using Eco Trellis:

“the cheapest hour of labour is the one you never have to use”.

In 2015 we started a “vineyard of the future” project with Ormond Nurseries Ltd and KLIMA. Our goal is to develop a vineyard that delivers maximum operating efficiency.

4.00 — 5.10

Workshop 8: How Social Responsibility Leads to Change Philip Gregan; Alanna and Pete Chapman

Hear the story behind 27Seconds, a North Canterbury wine brand with a mission. Every 27 seconds – hence the name – a vulnerable individual is either sold or trafficked into slavery.  Alanna and Pete Chapman decided to use wine as a vehicle for change. 100% of the proceeds from 27Seconds go towards ending modern day slavery.

4.00 — 5.10

Workshop 9: The Organic Vintage - Expert Commentary on Organic vs Conventional Blocks This Vintage Mark Naismith; Callum Linklater; Stuart Dudley; Jonathan Hamlet

5.10 — 5.45

Plenary 4: Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year Speeches 2018 Nicky Grandorge

5.45 — 5.50

Day One Conference Summary John Clarke

6.00 — 8.00

New Release Tasting 2018

As a new addition to the programme, we will be holding a “New Release focused tasting on Wednesday night at The Members Clubroom, Westpac Stadium following the conclusion of day 1 of the conference. The tasting will be attended by all Bragato attendees, major sponsors, guest speakers and international visitors.

The tasting will be about sharing ideas, innovation and experiments with your industry peers. This is a great opportunity to sample, mix, and mingle with fellow wineries and visitors as you present all your recent additions to a large and enthusiastic audience.

This could include a new vintage, new varietal, a unique style (untried or experimental), or anything new to your portfolio. Barrel samples welcome!

Please register now by clicking here 
There is no participation fee to be part of this tasting, however you will be required to cover the charge of freighting your wines to Wellington.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s National Bragato Conference!

Day 2 – Thursday 30 Aug 2018

Time Session
8.00 — 8.05

Plenary 5: Day Two Welcome – Clive Jones

8.05 — 8.40

Nanogirl - A Different View on Winemaking Innovation Michelle Dickinson

Adopting innovation in winemaking. 
The importance of keeping up with change in a constantly changing world
How fundamental it is to keep listening to consumer’s needs?

8.40 — 8.45

Plenary 6: Climate Change and Biosecurity Tracy Benge

Tracy will outline the research strategy for the NZWRC, in particular the vision for climate change research in the NZ wine industry. This includes national and international collaborations, such as the AWRI and NIWA, and learnings from other climate change research programmes around the world.

8.45 — 9.00

Working with Climate Change - Adaption Techniques Dr. Mark Krstic, PhD, B. Agr. Sci., MBA

Climate models tend to demonstrate that wine regions are generally warming, rainfall patterns are changing, and this can be stressful for vignerons who have invested significantly in real estate and brands. This presentation aims to discuss the short-term and long-term management options vignerons can explore to adapt these changing climatic conditions.

9.00 — 9.15

How Could Climate Change Affect our Grape Growing Regions in NZ? Petra Pearce

Climate change is likely to impact New Zealand’s wine industry through increasing temperatures and changing rainfall patterns. Recent work by NIWA for NZ Winegrowers presents climate change projections for New Zealand’s four main grape growing regions – Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, Central Otago and Wairarapa.

9.15 — 9.20

Slido Session – Tracy Benge

9.20 — 10.00

Biosecurity in practice: A Brown Marmorated Stink Bug response simulation Dr. Edwin Massey; Dr. John Brightwell

John will give a brief introduction to NZ’s biosecurity system, and the Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) that MPI uses to manage all biosecurity responses. He will outline some of the benefits (and challenges!) of the industry and Government working in partnership, as Signatories to the GIA Deed, during a response.

John will then introduce a BMSB response scenario, in which we are going to simulate a response governance meeting. During this meeting, the Incident Controller will be seeking approval for the operational plan to commence eradication efforts. John will chair the mock Response Governance meeting and will represent MPI in these discussions. Ed Massey will represent NZ Winegrowers and Leanne Stuart will represent other horticultural sector industries

10.00 — 10.05

Slido Session Dr. Edwin Massey

10.00 — 10.45


To be served in the trade area

10.45 — 11.55

Workshop 10: Getting More Out of Your Business Alistair King; Greg Dryden; Anteni Schalken; Barbara Nebel

Using benchmarking in your business

Alistair will explain how to utilise benchmarking in your business to achieve better results and to implement strategies for better business performance.

Wine Benchmarking

The financial benchmarking of wine businesses provides a valuable measure of both the profitability and financial position of the wine industry in New Zealand. Undertaken jointly with ANZ Bank and New Zealand Winegrowers, the report publishes anonymous data on the financial trends shown in the industry enabling direct financial comparisons in percentage terms across various size categories and allowing users to focus on potential performance gaps to identify areas for improvement and business growth. These insights are also complemented with broader economic and regional analysis including trends in both domestic and export market volumes and pricing.

Anteni will highlight some of the findings and trends from 2017 report as well the specific improvement actions wine business can take from their individual results.

Viticulture Financial Benchmarking – 2018 results

Vineyard Financial Benchmarking includes both Whole Vineyard and Regional Variety Gross Margin Benchmarking and has been running since 2004 building a powerful set of data.  Greg will present findings from the just completed grape-grower survey, outlining the type and extent of data collected as part of these programmes.

The Business of Sustainability

Sustainability can increase revenue, reduce cost, enhance brand and mitigate risk. However, often it is still seen just as an additional cost. Based on the ‘Business Value of Sustainability Framework™, Barbara will link sustainability to tangible business value and discuss the return on investment of sustainability initiatives.

10.45 — 11.55

Workshop 11: Climate Change - Adaptation Techniques for the Wine Industry Tracy Benge; Paul Petrie; Andrew Lorrey

Tracy from New Zealand Winegrowers will outline of the research strategy for the NZWRC, in particular the vision for climate change research in the NZ wine industry. This includes national and international collaborations, such as the AWRI and NIWA, and learnings from other climate change research programmes around the world.

NIWA is working with NZ Winegrowers and their partners to develop climate change guidance for New Zealand grape growing regions. This discussion will include information about climate change projection data and considerations on how it needs to be transformed into tools the New Zealand wine growing community can use to support forward planning and adaptation.

10.45 — 11.55

Workshop 12: Optimizing Irrigation in New Zealand Vineyards, Making More From Less Philip Gregan; Dr. Mark Krasnow, Ph.D.

Irrigation is required in many New Zealand vineyards to maintain productivity and quality. However, overuse of irrigation leads to more work (and thus more cost) in the vineyard to trim, pluck leaves, reduce crop, and deal with weeds. Overwatering can also reduce quality and lead to a microclimate conducive to disease. A trail was set up in the 2017-18 season to compare a vineyard’s traditional watering, based on soil moisture probes, to irrigation scheduling using a pressure chamber to measure vine water potential. The trial was set up as a split plot with half being irrigated traditionally, and half irrigated only when the vines reached a predetermined stress threshold. Wines were made, at industry scale, from each half of the vineyard separately. Using the water potential to schedule irrigation always led to less water used, sometimes substantially so, and in most cases did not negatively affect vine yield. Fruit from the deficit side of the trial almost always had higher soluble soilds, suggesting using less water accelerates ripening. This would allow grapes to be picked earlier, reducing risks for growers and easing the logistics of harvest for large wineries. This work provides a framework for vineyards to optimize their water use to streamline vineyard operations and increase quality and profitability.

10.45 — 11.55

Workshop 13: Let's Get Social Mikela Dennison-Burgess; Mary-Therese Kinsella; Bridget Glackin; Penelope Naish; Chris Yorke

Social media best practice for wineries with a focus on:-     
- Using strategy and goals to guide your social media programmes
- Knowing your audience
- Choosing your channels
- Content is king: how to create beautiful and engaging content in a 24/7 information age
- Building your social media ‘cult’
- Biggest wins
- Some ‘oh no’ moments
- Utilising Social Media to sell
- Tips and Tricks

10.45 — 11.55

Workshop 14: Sampling - What Does It All Mean? – Will Kerner; Rebecca Allen

What it all means, how to get the best samples.
Having confidence in your sampling

How to get the best results from the samples you have.
What to do with the results and interpretation of data.

-Decisions & Risk Analysis
Risk analysis
Reputation and Cost

11.55pm — 1.10pm


1.10 — 2.20

Workshop 15: Employing Millennials – The Generation Debate Nicky Grandorge; Rosie Finn; Jordan Hogg; Jonny La Trobe; Cameron Price

Millennials are moving in and moving up.  What do they want?  How do they think?  What will attract them to the wine industry and what will they bring to it?  What about generation X and generation Z?  Is one generation better than the other? 

Our panel will discuss the wine industry from a millennials perspective as well as the challenges and aspirations for its workforce now and in the future

1.10 — 2.20

Workshop 17: New Markets - India. Potentials and Pitfalls – Chris Yorke; Gurjit Barry

Incredible India is one of the fastest growing economy in the world. Increased prosperity has brought the thrust for lifestyle goods. The young Indians are seeking and actively enjoying the good life by dining out more often, drinking the best of wines and travelling the world.

What does this mean for New Zealand wineries? Should they book the next flight available to India? Why not, but let’s take a few minutes to understand how does the market work and what the New Zealand businesses should be  prepared for when they decide to enter India.

1.10 — 2.20

Workshop 18: Made by Millennials for Millennials - Tasting Francis Hutt; Frances Blakeley; Matt Bocock; Connaugh Grace; René Versteegh

A free flow tasting and discussion chaired by Francis Hutt of Carrick. Designed to explore the largest living generation that, as of 2018, will have more spending power than the baby boomers. Millennials make up a quarter of the population in the UK and are spending $200 billion a year in the US. What are their spending habits in relation to wine and why? Matt Bocock (on-premise), Frances Blakeley (off-premise), Rene Versteegh (PhD student, Victoria University) and Connaugh Grace (post-graduate design student representative from leading glass manufacturer O-I) give their first-hand experience of what is happening NOW from a New Zealand perspective.

1.10 — 2.20

Workshop 19: Encouraging Resilience in the Wine Industry - What Have We Learned From Kaikoura 2016 Dr. Edwin Massey; Tony Robb; Dr. Nick Cradock-Henry; Myles Noble; Jo Buckner

The Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016 was a significant event for the New Zealand Wine industry. This session examines the key learnings we have taken on board since then to become a more resilient industry. The discussion examines practical tips from the winery, financial resilience and improved welfare links to the Rural Support Trust as well as ongoing research to promote resilience across the industry value chain.

2.20 — 3.05


To be served in the trade area 

3.05 — 3.10

Plenary 7: Wine, The Industry of Choice! John Clarke

3.10 — 3.25

Making Diversity Work For Your Business Sara Tucker

In 2017 Lion won the YMCA Gold Champion Award for Equal Pay and Diversity New Zealand’s Work-Life Balance Award. A focus on progressive diversity and inclusion policies, flexible working practices and physical and mental wellbeing have driven success for New Zealand’s largest provider of beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages.

3.25 — 3.40

Women in Wine Katherine Jacobs

3.40 — 3.55

The Millennial's Perspective Mike Winter

Millennials are supposedly multi-taskers, connected and tech savvy. We want instant gratification, work-life balance and career advancement. Many young people see a strong future in the industry, but are Millennials and the wine industry really a good match

3.55 — 4.15

Address by Minister – Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, ACC and of Immigration

4.15 — 4.45

Wine, The Industry of Choice! - Panel Discussion

4.45 — 4.55

Slido questions from the past two days answered by the panel

4.55 — 5.00

Final Remarks John Clarke

7.00 — 11.00

Conference Dinner

Shed 6, 4 Queens Wharf, Te Aro, Wellington
Thursday 30 August 7.00 pm - 11.00 pm
6.45 pm Buses depart conference hotels
7.00 pm Drink on arrival and seated to the event.

Buses will return to the conference hotels from 11.00 pm
There is no designated seating at this dinner. 
Parties of 10 may request a reserved table via the conference organisers.

As part of this year’s dinner, we have an exciting new addition! Hosted by a well-known and hilarious TV personality, we will be holding a Young Vits v Vintage Vits debate/buzzer round. Sitting on the panel will be three young viticulturists and three vintage viticulturists. Be prepared for much banter, laughter and audience interaction!

Also featuring at the dinner....

  • Presentation of the winners of the Bragato Trust scholarships
  • Young Vits Vs Vintage Vits
  • Presentation of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year

Dinner Price: $150 per person plus GST

Please register for the dinner when completing your Bragato registration. If you wish to register for the dinner alone, please email Rachael at

See you there!