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Central Otago Winery Te Kano Wins Agri-Science Award At The Farm Environment Awards On The Weekend

Central Otago wine company Te Kano Estate takes out the Agri-Science award at the Farm Environment Awards.” Guided by a strong vision that places equal importance on life, land, and legacy. “

Innovative Central Otago winery Te Kano Estate has taken out the Agri-Science award at the Otago Farm Environment Awards on 12th April 2024. The owners and managers of this Central Otago vineyard are guided by a strong vision that places equal importance on life, land, and legacy.

Owned by Keith and Rhonda Lloyd, Northburn is one of four Te Kano vineyards which together deliver everything from grape to glass. The 120ha (41ha effective) Northburn vineyard is located in the pristine landscape of Cromwell and is managed by Mark Naismith and winemaker Dave Sutton.

Since 2015, it has been transformed from dryland sheep country to an irrigated vineyard surrounded by large areas of native plants. The team is focused on developing a premium product and they’re achieving this by using innovative techniques tailored to the land.

The judges were impressed with their awareness of the environment, partially based on soil maps that were generated by ground-penetrating radar before planting. Since then, they’ve gradually built organic matter by using such things as cover crops, mulching and crimping, while also introducing organic approaches.

Innovative techniques are common, including using these for disease monitoring, water use, and to manage health and safety. Staff development and training is a priority, with Dave and Mark getting trainees to teach back what they’ve learned – to demonstrate and embed their learning.

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Owner Rhonda Lloyd stated that winning the award was the culmination of several years of planning and hard work. “We are elated to have won the Agri-Science Award at the Farm Environment Awards over the weekend. It is a wonderful accolade for our team and testament to their hard work. It shows us we are on the right track and our vision to create exceptional wine, whilst giving back to the land can be a reality.”

The judges commended the significant areas of native planting, largely using eco-sourced seeds that are grown at an on-site native plant nursery. As well as attracting native wildlife, the rejuvenated areas are protecting streams.

Risk management is a key part of future planning and development. For example, Mark and Dave are responding to climate change by trialing new grape varieties and introducing new orchard management practices.

Northburn is seen as a multi-generational project, with this vision guiding decision-making and setting the vineyard up to ensure its best vintages are still to come.


About Te Kano Estate

Established in 2015 with their first vintage in 2017, the brand seeks to combine all the key aspects of their holistic philosophy, to make the best wine, showing the breadth of quality the region is renowned for with a light touch on the land. The key grape varieties planted are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir with smaller plantings of Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. Family-owned Te Kano is a true Estate operation with 4 vineyards across Otago, their own winery and bottling line and an award-winning designed cellar door on Felton Road in Bannockburn.

Since the beginning, Te Kano has focused on farming with a soft touch, including extensive conservation work through the propagation of local fauna and the planting of hundreds of native Kōwhai trees across their vineyards.

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