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EIT Appoints First Honorary Research Fellow

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EIT Appoints First Honorary Research Fellow

Wine industry researcher, teacher and founder of Hawke’s Bay’s Cross Roads winery Malcolm Reeves has been appointed EIT’s first honorary research and teaching fellow.

Reeves, recently retired as a senior lecturer in wine science at EIT, will maintain his links to the industry with the fellowship, contributing on an ad hoc basis to the research activity of EIT colleagues and assisting as required with the development of wine science teaching programmes.

He will deliver a few further lectures to EIT’s wine science degree students this year as other staff take over his high-level workload, and expects to continue his annual trips to the China Agricultural University in Beijing where he was been an invited visiting professor every year since 2009.

“I see benefit in maintaining a profile for EIT and for myself,” he says. “More importantly I hope to be research active, enjoying my retirement by keeping up with the literature.”

Something of a Renaissance man, Reeves has turned his talents to many areas in the industry, from designing his own winery to exploring the intricacies of wine chemistry.

After gaining a Master of Technology (Food), he ran a plant in Sydney that was among the first to make speciality yeast for the wine industry. Winemaking stints with McWilliams in Australia’s Hunter Valley and Louis Martini in California’s Napa Valley whetted his appetite for further industry involvement.

A devotee of Hawke’s Bay’s Cabernets and Merlots, Reeves left a position lecturing in food technology at Massey University to establish and run Cross Roads in Korokipo Road, making the winery’s first vintage in 1990. He continues to closely guard the secret blend of the flagship red Talisman – a wine still produced by the company, now owned by the Yealands Wine Group.

Reeves was employed by EIT as a part-time academic in 1997 and moved to a full-time position in 2002. An authority on wine education in China, he has regularly co-authored papers with College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering staff at China Agricultural University.

“I still have links with China and CAU and will be returning to deliver presentations for a year or two yet.”

Over the last five or six years, he filled a leadership and mentoring role within EIT’s School of Applied Science, helping to build the Viticulture and Wine School’s research profile by encouraging other academics and contributing himself to research projects.

“International applicants want opportunities for academic research as well as to teach – they see that as part of what they want to do. That, in turn, is reflected in staff retention and the quality of teaching.

“Usually local applicants for degree teaching positions also want to be research active because of the enhancement that provides in their teaching.”

EIT’s researchers have developed strong links to Hawke’s Bay winegrowers, Reeves says, and the team’s work has been recognised in New Zealand Winegrowers’ funding for significant research aimed at benefitting the industry.

EIT research projects examining aspects of canopy management and water utilisation and others involving red wine fermentation cap management and tannin extraction have been undertaken with support from local grape growers and wineries.


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