New Zealand Winegrowers Research Centre Ltd,
trading as Bragato Research Institute, is a wholly owned subsidiary of New Zealand Winegrowers Inc.
Marlborough Research Centre
85 Budge Street Blenheim 7201
© 2020 Bragato Research Institute.
Website design by Wonderlab
‘Lighter Wines’, a research programme led by New Zealand Winegrowers and co-funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Primary Growth Partnership (PGP), is designed to position New Zealand as the world’s top producer of premium lower alcohol and lower calorie wines. The seven-year programme (formerly known as ‘Lifestyle Wines’) started in March 2014 and aims to capitalise on market-led opportunities, using approaches developed from applied research to naturally produce lighter wines. Research is conducted in the main areas within the programme
For more information on the Lighter Wines Programme please click here and you will be taken to the Members login area of the NZW website. You can also find out more at the NZ Lighter Wines website.
Shoot trimming effects on Pinot Noir vine leaf area to fruit weight ratio, productivity and fruit composition
Lincoln University (A Parker)
The objectives of this project are to characterise how shoot trimming and its timing affects Pinot Noir vine performance at three different sites and how it affects Pinot Noir fruit ripening and composition. The project also aims to measure the relative impacts of shoot trimming and its timing on the development of fruit sugar versus other wine quality-related components.
Low alcohol-reduced calorie wines using molecular sponges for sugar removal
Auckland University (B Fedrizzi)
The objectives of this project are the synthesis of monomers and their polymerisation to form different sponge candidates and the evaluation of the various sponge’s binding potential on different sugars to determine the most effective molecular sugar sponge.
From leading award-winning teams to driving results for multinational organisations, Stephanie has more than 15 years’ experience in journalism and corporate communications. Originally from California, she managed newsrooms and specialised in business reporting, covering industries from agriculture to financial services.
In New Zealand, Stephanie has held posts at Waikato Times, National Business Review, PwC and most recently, Constellation Brands New Zealand, where she was responsible for communications, corporate social responsibility and education partnerships. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Master’s in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
When she’s not chasing a deadline, Stephanie enjoys exploring the South Island with her partner and twin toddlers.
Click here to read more or if you have any questions – we would love to hear from you!
Len joined the BRI team in August 2019. The focus of his role is to lead the communication of research information to members, to ensure information and tools delivered by research programmes are being adopted and applied to deliver member and industry benefits. The role will also provide expert viticultural input and practical insights into BRI’s research projects.
Originally from Hawkes Bay, Len studied Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University before heading to Central Otago, working for several years in various operational and technical management roles in the wine industry there. Since relocating to Marlborough in late 2016, Len has been managing the viticulture program for Matua’s company-owned vineyards. With a passion for viticulture and wine, Len recognises the importance of understanding and connecting viticulture inputs with wine quality. “I’m excited to be joining the newly formed Bragato Research Institute team and working together, striving for continual improvement in our wine industry through research, collaboration and education” he said.
Her previous roles have had a strong focus on commercial business development and strategic partnering. Augusta’s know-how extends to sales and marketing of commercial research and science services, with a targeted focus on the NZ wine industry.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work in the wine sector again, combining my passion for the industry with my experience of working at an independent research organisation that has a strong focus on delivering pragmatic science and commercial services to industry” said Augusta.
Dr Fraser Broom has joined BRI as Science Strategy Manager. After completing a horticultural science degree at Massey University, he worked for several years as a horticultural consultant for NZ’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, before gaining a PhD. investigating bitter pit, a physiological disorder of apples. Five years as a plant physiologist and breeder followed, working with apples, kiwifruit, berries, and Antarctic lichens and mosses. In 2000, Fraser began work with the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, the Government’s science funding agency. He had a succession of investment management and strategy roles, becoming Director for primary sector research. In that role, Fraser’s team was responsible for investment strategy and investment management across the land and water based primary sectors.
In 2011, Fraser left the public service and took up a role as manager of ANZCO Foods’ Primary Growth Partnership programme. This role brought together the Crown and one of NZ’s largest exporters in a commercial programme focused on added-value meat products. The programme, known as FoodPlus was successfully concluded in late 2019. Following this Fraser started a contracting and consulting business, focusing on the interface between science and commerce in the primary sectors. He is excited to be working with BRI. “I am passionate about science that delivers outcomes to New Zealand’s primary industries, and it is exciting to be a part of building a new organisation to benefit New Zealand’s winegrowers.”
Climate change research has been identified as a high priority in the BRI Research Strategy. It contributes to our research theme ‘Protecting our Terroir, Provenance and Eco-systems’ and represents innovative long-term research.
In 2018 we commenced a Climate Change Adaptation research programme. Our aim is to identify and understand the possible impacts of climate change on grape and wine production in NZ, and develop a toolbox of adaptation strategies to manage the impact of that change.
Our Climate Change Adaptation Research Programme is comprised of 3 phases.
In 2018, BRI commissioned the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to model climate change projections for the 9 wine regions of NZ.
Projections were based on 2 time horizons – 2040 and 2090 – and 2 emissions scenarios. 15 different variables were modelled, from temperature and Growing Degree Days (GDD) to rainfall, humidity, frosts, Potential evapotranspiration deficit (PED) and soil moisture deficit, amongst others. The 5km granularity of the data will enable projections of key variables to be made at a sub-regional scale.
Log-on to the members site and click here to access climate change projections for each wine region:
The aim of Phase 2 is to identify and analyse the potential impacts of climate change on grape and wine production in NZ. The output is a new climate change research programme based on:
In February 2019, BRI contracted Dr Amber Parker, Senior Lecturer in Viticulture at Lincoln University, to design this research programme.
Dr Amber Parker
BSc (Hons) (University of Canterbury), MSc (ESA, France), PhD (Lincoln)
Senior Lecturer in Viticulture, Lincoln University
Amber’s areas of research are:
She is involved in developing phenological observational methods, testing and developing new approaches in phenological modelling for the grapevine, and characterising phenology of varieties and of winegrowing regions. She is also involved in ongoing research investigating the effect of modifying the leaf area to fruit weight ratio on the time of phenological events, vine performance, berry composition and fruit synchrony during ripening. Recent research has looked into understanding impact and adaptations for viticulture in the context of climate change.
Based on potential impacts understood from Phase 2, Phase 3 of the programme will build a set of adaptation tools for members to use to mitigate the risks and secure opportunities posed by changing climatic conditions. These tools will cover short, medium and long term strategies.
An important part of this research programme is building climate change collaborations, both within NZ and abroad, as well as identifying funding opportunities and partnerships for future research.
In 2018 we hosted seminars from visiting French climatologists who work with the European project LIFE ADVICLIM (ADaptation to VIticulture under CLIMate change).
We have also hosted scientists from the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) to speak about climate change adaptation at our annual Bragato conference.
Copies of these presentations can be found on the Members site by clicking here.
In 2019 we also signed up as a partner to a new collaboration between France (CNRS/University of Rennes 2) and New Zealand (University of Canterbury). This is a 5-year project called “VinAdapt” (Scénarios à haute résolution d’adaptation des agrosystèmes au changement climatique : application à la viticulture). We believe that significant benefits will be gained by bringing together researchers from France and New Zealand to help develop mitigation and adaptation tools to ensure the future sustainability of New Zealand’s grape and wine production.
Researcher at CNRS/University of Rennes
Want to know more?
For any queries on our climate change research programme or to submit Expressions Of Interest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon’s course to the wine industry was guided by his background in finance and investment banking. In 2007 he took position with Boston Consulting Group, New Zealand where he developed US growth strategies for two major Australasian wine brands, assisted in the organizational redesign of the US distribution arm of a global wines and spirits company and designed an opportunity identification framework across four geographies for a global wines and spirits company. Since then he has worked as Managing Director of Mumm Napa and joined Constellation Brands New Zealand as Managing Director in May 2016, after he was promoted from SVP Strategy and Development for Constellation Brands in San Francisco.
An Auckland native, Simon was a professional athlete with an illustrious field hockey career. He has 217 senior caps for New Zealand and has led teams across New Zealand, Australia, France and the UK, including the Olympic Games in 2004 and two world cups in 1998 and 2002.
Tanya Rutan started as the Research Winery Manager in January 2020. Originally from the USA, her eagerness to study wine started while helping out a friend with a casual vineyard role on Waiheke Island. She enrolled in the Wine Science programme at the University of Auckland where she went on to receive a MSc in Wine Chemistry after completing a research project which worked closely with the wine industry investigating the chemical composition and sensory attributes of Pinot noir wines produced across NZ.
The success of this project led her to go on to complete a PhD in Wine Science, once again working in collaboration with industry on identifying the primary aromatic compounds and phenolic composition of Central Otago Pinot noir wines.
Tanya moved to the Marlborough region three years ago where she took a role as a Post-doctoral Scientist with Plant and Food Research working on projects in the Pinot noir programme. “I’m overjoyed to be given an opportunity to join such a capable and dynamic team at Bragato Research Institute and look forward to working with industry to bring wine science research and innovation together to forge an exciting future for the New Zealand wine industry.”
Michelle joined the BRI team in September 2019. Her background in environmental science and soil science provides her with a unique perspective on winegrowing, as well as research and technical writing skills.
Last year Michelle completed a harvest in the Mosel and she loves wine so much she’s producing small volumes of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Rose with her partner Tom. “I’m delighted Michelle will be joining us”, said MJ Loza, BRI CEO. “This is a pivotal role ensuring research and other technical information is communicated so it can be readily picked up and used to benefit members’ businesses, communities and the industry overall.”
Darrell joined the BRI team in August 2019. In his role Darrell aims to build an integrated national programme bringing together capability in this area across different organisations as well as building a team and internal capability at BRI focussing on grapevine improvement. With potential benefits for quality, productivity, pest and disease resistance and resilience to a changing climate, grapevine improvement has the potential to make a significant impact to sustainability and the industry’s long term success. “This is a unique opportunity to develop a world-class research centre for New Zealand’s wine industry. I am thrilled to be joining a skilled and highly-motivated team to be part of the story.” says Darrell.
Originally from the Stellenbosch wine region in South Africa, Darrell’s most recent role was a research officer at Lincoln University working on plant improvement. His work focused on understanding how environmental stress events alter the DNA of plants and harnessing this potential to accelerate the production of new horticultural varieties. This approach is being trialled in four species, with grapevine as the model crop, and has resulted in an experimental population of new grapevine clones.
Jacqui has joined the Bragato Research Institute (BRI) team as Assistant Winemaker, working in our new research winery (in the NMIT teaching winery) alongside the BRI team and Claire Grose from Plant and Food Research (PFR). Jacqui will be helping oversee the setup of the new facility and will be undertaking the winemaking trials during harvest in the new custom-made fermentation tanks.
With the completion of a post graduate degree in biochemistry Jacqui spent time working as a research assistant for Lincoln University before relocating to Marlborough in 2010 with her family to take up a position in the wine industry. Since then she has done a number of overseas vintages and worked with several Marlborough wineries in both winemaking and laboratory manager positions.
Dr Campbell has a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in ecology from The University of Sheffield. He is a recipient of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Science Prize, 2017 Horticulture New Zealand Industry Service Award and 2016 Royal Society of New Zealand Thomson Medal for outstanding leadership of agricultural and horticultural science.
The Pinot Noir Programme is a research programme led by the Bragato Research Institute and co-funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) through its Endeavour Programme. The Endeavour Funds are for long-term, scientific excellence-derived research programmes and are aimed at increasing the competitiveness of New Zealand industries.
The programme will tackle the yield-quality detachment associated with Pinot Noir production through four interlinked research areas:
For more information on the Pinot Noir Programme please click here and you will be taken to the Members login area of the NZW website.
UC Davis collaboration to determine factors that affect colour in Pinot Noir wines when grapes are harvested at lower than target berry soluble solids
Plant and Food Research (C Grose)
The project will investigate the relative impacts of juice and pomace on the sensory properties and phenolic (especially anthocyanin) composition of Pinot Noir wines as grape ripening advances. Factors that contribute to poor colour in Pinot Noir wines when grapes are harvested at lower than target berry soluble solids will be determined and reported to industry. The international collaboration with UC Davis will generate new knowledge for the development of commercially suitable colour in Pinot Noir wine to support the growing New Zealand Pinot Noir market.
The role of microbes in regional Pinot Noir quality and style
University of Auckland (M Goddard)
The objectives of this project are to characterise the microbial communities and populations associated with Pinot Noir in three wine growing regions in NZ and to investigate if these communities and populations have a bearing on wine quality. During the 2018 harvest, samples of soil and bark were taken from the vineyards and fruit was harvested and spontaneously fermented.
Transforming the NZ grape and wine industry through research, innovation and extension
Delivering world-leading research outcomes from grape to glass
Research to support the sustainable and diversified value growth of NZ wine.
Research to protect and enhance the competitive position and reputation of NZ wine.
The Bragato Research Institute was established with MBIE funding as the first Regional Research Institute (RRI). The RRI initiative was a government programme created in 2015 to establish new, independently governed, private or private not-for-profit Regional Research Institutes with a purpose to:
Vineyard Ecosystems is a seven year research programme led by New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) and co-funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) through its Science and Innovation Partnership programme. The programme was born out of the following hypothesis: the vineyard biota and the ecosystem services they deliver are significantly altered by vineyard practices. Thus, vineyard practices can be designed to enhance vineyard longevity, soil health, and vine performance.
The programme represents a shift in the way we look at vineyards, moving away from “firefighting” (issue-by-issue) based research, where pathologists and plant physiologists look at improving ways to kill or control individual pathogens (such as botrytis, trunk fungi, powdery mildew), to a more integrated understanding of the ecology of the vineyard as a whole.
Under two fundamentally different management regimes (‘Contemporary’ and ‘Future’) this programme explores the impact that two distinct farming systems impart on the wider microbial and chemical environments in soils and in vines across 24 vineyards in two geographic locales. Three varieties are being studied with technologies like Next-Generation DNA Sequencing and Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction, among other advanced analytical methods. The results of this stock take are fed through into a Bayesian model where inferences are informed by evidence collecting that is consistent or inconsistent with the hypothesis, and thus, produce mathematical estimates in degrees of belief, or probabilities, among a complex web of variables that comprise the Vineyard Ecosystem Programme.
Optimising management of grapevine trunk diseases for vineyard longevity
The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) (M Sosnowski)
The objectives of this project are to optimise timing of wound protection treatments and to investigate the duration of pruning wound susceptibility. The project will also ascertain inoculum dispersal throughout the pruning season and survey vineyards to track progress of trunk disease.
Exploring the chemical space in Vineyard Ecosystems (VE) Programme juices and wines
University of Auckland (B Fedrizzi)
This project will provide an in depth characterisation of the VE juices chemical and wine composition and aims to understand the pressure applied by VE programme vineyard management regimes on grape and wine chemical composition.
Dr McCarthy holds a BA BSc MSc (Hons) and PhD from the University of Auckland. The former CEO of the Royal Society of New Zealand, she is now Chair of the Board of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, a Director of the Cawthron Institute, a member of the governance boards of the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, and is Chair of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge. She is a Trustee of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and the Hearing Research Foundation (NZ).
Fang started her studies at China Agricultural University in Beijing, receiving her BSc majoring in agro-meteorology, and her MSc in simulation and modelling intercropping systems. Building on that, she received her PhD from Wageningen University in the Netherlands on yield gains in wheat-maize intercropping systems. Fang lives a few doors down from the BRI location on Budge Street with her husband Jun-Qi and daughter Julia. Jun-Qi works at Plant and Food Research, also based on the Budge Street campus.
Fang’s key project will be to establish a catalogue of the industry’s existing research data– so we (and other researchers) know what’s already been done, what data exists, and how to access it. Depending on what she finds, we’ll also look at putting that data into a database (or collection of databases) where that information may be analysed across different projects. For future projects we will be establishing data standards and protocols and a new research database framework to be able to mine the full potential of the data we’re generating and collecting.
Janette McKibbin has worked for New Zealand Winegrowers for more than 10 years. She is the Research Administrator for the BRI and is based in Auckland..
Janette holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland.
MJ started as CEO at the BRI in May 2018. After a year based in California as GM Americas for Accolade Wines, MJ was pleased to return to Marlborough as GM for Putake Honey. Since 2006, MJ has held GM and CEO roles in the wine industry in Marlborough.
Prior to that MJ held senior innovation management roles with Fonterra, after 10 years with the deer industry, including 4 years as CEO of Deer Industry NZ. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Law from The University of Auckland.
As a Research Programme Manager, Matias is responsible for oversight of a number of research projects. These include the Lighter Wines project and Pinot Noir project.
With a background in research science, Dr Kinzurik holds a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as graduate degrees in Chemistry from both Rice University, USA, and the University of Auckland, NZ.
Will has been involved in the New Zealand wine industry since the late 90s, when his family developed land in the upper Wairau Valley in Marlborough. He oversees a number of research projects, including the Vineyard Eco-systems and pathogens research projects.
Will has enjoyed working on both sides of wine production, at his family estate, and for premier wineries in the U.S.A and Chile. He holds a BA in philosophy from the University of Colorado and a Master of Science, with a master’s research project focused on the science behind terroir expression.
“Unlocking the Innovation Potential of Māori Knowledge, Resources and People” is the MBIE policy framework to guide research investment decisions. BRI embraces this policy and its underlying intent. To that end, we are committed to incorporating where appropriate, Māori knowledge, resources – including vineyards and wineries – and people into our research programmes in order to unlock the indigenous innovation potential and to assist New Zealanders to create a better future.
Specifically, we will:
Vision Mātauranga is based on principles of sustainability or ‘toitu’, ensuring a legacy for future generations through acknowledgement of our heritage and provenance. Environmental sustainability is embodied in the concept of Papatūānuku or ‘land wellbeing’.
In the Māori world view, land gives birth to all things, including humankind, and provides the physical and spiritual basis for life. Papatūānuku, the land, is a powerful mother earth figure who gives many blessings to her children.
We have set a research foundation of sustainability and are ensuring Vision Mātauranga is integral to all of our research aims.
Vision Mātauranga is at the core of our research theme ‘Protecting our Terroir, provenance and Eco-systems’. With a focus on provenance and sustainability, principles of Vision Mātauranga are building blocks of our research, rather than an adjunct to research.
Mark retired as Managing Director of BMW Group New Zealand in 2012.
He has nearly 30 year’s automotive industry and management experience, working in both New Zealand and Asia for international company’s Volvo, and the BMW Group; where he held a number of senior executive roles. During this time, the BMW Group more than trebled its retail sales numbers, and became market leader worldwide with improvements in both shareholder returns and a strong profit orientation.
Since 2012, Mark has applied his skills as a Professional Director, performing non-executive Director and/or Chair roles, in a diverse range of organisations, covering Local Government; Central Government, Commercial SME’s and the NfP sectors. A number of these roles are retail related and small to medium sized family businesses; so similar in some respects to the New Zealand wine industry.
Mark tends to come at things with a customer centric viewpoint, but with strong profit, shareholder and triple bottom line orientation; and has successfully implemented the strategic changes necessary to embed these where necessary. He always seek to make a positive difference – be it for the company, the shareholders and the employees.
After completing a BCom/LLB (University of Otago, 1993) James initially got admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor (High Court of NZ, 1993) before starting work for Deloitte and practicing as a Chartered Accountant (ICANZ, 1997) in NZ, Amsterdam and then London. This was followed by 5 years consulting in London before returning to NZ to start work for Grape Vision Ltd a vineyard development management and consultancy business owned by his father Robin. He retrained by undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology (Lincoln University, 2005) and worked with his father in the company until he purchased it in 2009. Highlights include multiple gold medals, the ISWC Trophy, Pinot Noir (2013) and Royal Easter Trophy, Riesling (2016) as well as being awarded Innovation and Soil Management awards, South Island Farmer of the Year (2016) and the Joint Viticulturalist of the Year (Gourmet Wine Traveller 2017).
James has been a director of Mt Difficulty Wines Ltd since returning to NZ in 2004 (helping grow the company from production of 200t to 1200t), as well as the Season Solutions Cooperative (2008-16) helping grow the Co-op’s turnover from 120k to 23m during his tenure. Additionally he has been on the board of the Central Otago Winegrowers Association since 2005, holding the position of President for 5 years. For NZ Winegrowers he was a member of the NZ Winegrowers Research Committee (2009-13) before being elected a director of the full board of NZ Winegrowers (2016-Present) and being appointed from that board to become a Director of the NZ Winegrowers Research Centre (2017-Present).
James brings a strong entrepreneurial streak to any business he has worked on, consistently achieving significant profitable growth. He has experience with governing multiple start-ups and dealing with an evolving operating environment, ensuring growth is balanced with process. A strategic thinker, James also has the ability to ensure this is resolved into actionable projects.
Dominic Pecchenino is well and truly entrenched in the New Zealand wine growing community. He has been growing grapes and consulting on all aspects of vineyard management since his arrival in Marlborough in 1994. Dominic was a member of the first Bragato committee and oversaw the initial Silver Secateurs competition in 1995.
Dominic has served as a committee member, deputy chair and Chairman of Wine Marlborough; New Zealand grape Growers Marlborough representative; New Zealand Wine Growers member, and currently is Chairman of the New Zealand Winegrowers Research Committee. He has been involved in several research projects and co-authored papers on mechanical thinning, mulch, and frost.
Dominic has more than 30 years’ experience in the grape growing industry spanning the Californian, Australian, and New Zealand premium wine grape growing areas. Dominic has a BSc in Viticulture and a Master of Science (Viticulture) Degree from California State University Fresno.
Dominic oversees a vineyard management company, and is a director of both Professional Vineyard Services Ltd labour company and Pecchenino Viticulture Consultants Ltd consulting company in Blenheim.
Peter was born in Johannesburg South Africa and educated at St. Stithians College. In 1978 he was conscripted into the South African Defence Force where he was commissioned and served for four years. He completed a B.Com (Hons) degree at Rhodes University and a Master of Business Leadership (MBL) the University of South Africa. He has held junior, senior and international marketing positions at both Richardson Vicks and Boots Pharmaceuticals Plc. A career spanning a number of decades and industries has evidenced extensive and successful strategic and operational initiatives. These have included brand development, acquisitions, product divestment, company mergers, capital restructuring and large capital projects – all of which have resulted in significant value creation.
Peter has been involved with the New Zealand wine industry since he and his family immigrated in 1996. Since then he has held the position of CEO at Mission Estate and has been fortunate to work alongside a team of dedicated professionals in the restructuring and recapitalization of the business. Mission Estate is widely acknowledged as a leading wine company in the industry. Peter has held a number of directorships including New Zealand Winegrowers, Mission restaurant and is a Director and Chair of the NZ Winegrowers Finance Committee. He was awarded the honour of Hawkes Bay business person of the year in 2011 and has also been awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary New Zealand for services to the community. He is married to Linda and they have three adult daughters.