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Marlborough hosts first organic and biodynamic wine event

Marlborough hosts first organic and biodynamic wine event in July

The country’s first major Organic and Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference will be held July 8-10 at the Marlborough Convention Centre, marking a coming-of-age for the organic and biodynamic wine movement in New Zealand.

The Conference will bring together world leaders in organic and biodynamic grape growing, winemaking and wine business to exchange ideas with New Zealand’s wine industry.

From humble beginnings, the New Zealand organic wine industry has blossomed rapidly in recent years. Over 90 companies are now involved in certified organic grape and wine production.

Themed “Below, Above and Beyond,” the Conference will encompass how organic wine begins in the vineyard; how it transforms in the winery; and how it travels out into the wider world to be enjoyed.

The three-day event will also feature a New Zealand organic wine tasting, an international organic wine tasting, and a sumptuous Organic Feast prepared by award-winning chef Bevan Smith of Riverstone Kitchen in Oamaru.

The Conference is being organised by grower association Organic Winegrowers New Zealand. “We want to provide information from research and practitioners to ease the pathway of those looking to change to organic growing, and also to share experiences amongst those already involved,” said viticulturist Bart Arnst, one of the lead organisers of the event. “Ultimately, the conference will show that organic production works, and that there is a growing demand out there.”

International speakers include:

• Philippe Armenier, a French winemaker and vineyard consultant who has pioneered biodynamic viticulture internationally;

• UK-based Monty Waldin, author of many books on organic and biodynamic wine;

• Graeme Sait, a leader in the field of health, nutrition, soils and biological agriculture;

• Australian wine writer and wine judge Max Allen.

Practical vineyard presentations at the conference will range from nitrogen management to water use to biological disease control. Panels on natural yeasts and wild ferments are expected to generate bubbling discussion amongst winemakers. Branding, marketing, and consumer appeal will also get a good look, with noted wine journalists and business leaders presenting.

Registration is open now via the conference website, www.organicwineconference.com.

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