Friday, 16 September 2016 14:31

Viticulture business on the right track

Written by 
Allan Johnson, Pip Goodwin and Blair Savage at Palliser Estate. Allan Johnson, Pip Goodwin and Blair Savage at Palliser Estate.

Entering the Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards was a valuable exercise for South Wairarapa viticulture business, Palliser Estate Wines of Martinborough Ltd.

Chief executive officer Pip Goodwin says the operation aims to be a leader in the production of high quality wine using the most sustainable methods possible.

“The Ballance Farm Environment Awards gave us a chance to be judged by our peers and find out what we could do to improve in future.”

After being involved in the Awards several years ago, Goodwin says entering the 2016 Awards helped Palliser Estate Wines “check we were still on the right track”.

And the judges confirmed this, awarding the operation three category awards, including the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award. This award recognises excellent crop, pasture and soil management while taking into consideration the effects the farming system has on the land resource now and in the long term.

Judges says the Palliser Estate Wines team demonstrated an excellent understanding of crop genetics and water requirements for different varieties and soil types. They also noted the operation’s “focus on minimising the impact on the environment through the use of low impact sprays”.

Pip says winning the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award was very pleasing “because growing good grape crops is our core business”.

She says being involved in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards was a positive experience for the operation, which is always looking for ways to evolve.

“Sustainability is a journey. It’s not like you wake up one day and go ‘hey we’re sustainable now.’ and you can stop working on any initiatives. We need to keep finding new ways of making our environment better.”

As a winery, the operation differs significantly to the sheep, beef and dairying businesses involved in the Awards. But Pip says the Palliser Estate team enjoyed mixing with people from a range of different industries on Awards night.

“It was inspiring to see what others are doing to improve sustainability on their farms and orchards. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in: we are all selling product offshore and doing our best to show our customers that our products are produced in an environmentally-friendly way.”

Being acknowledged by the judges of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards was good for the winery’s profile within the local community and may also help with international marketing because it shows that the business is trying to do the right thing, Pip says.

She encourages other viticulture, horticulture and agricultural operations to enter the Awards.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn something that will help you improve your business in the long term.”

Entries for the 2017 Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards close on October 31, 2016. It costs nothing to enter and entry forms are available online at www.nzfeatrust.org.nz 

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

Farmer support adds to co-op’s profit

Unwavering focus on supporting farmers and the evolution of farming led to Ballance Agri-Nutrients’ 4% jump in pre-tax profit to $72.5 million, the cooperative says.

Are you reading labels?

When dealing with calf feed products it is important to read the labels, go online or ask your supplier for instructions and information, says Natalie Hughes, nutrition and quality manager at SealesWinslow.

$57m rebate for farmers 

Nutrient supplier Ballance Agri-Nutrients has posted an annual gross profit of $72.5 million, 4% better than last year’s result.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

Soil moisture: no more looking over the fence

Farm manager Bryan Mitchell describes as brilliant the SCADAfarm systems that allow him to remotely monitor and manage the irrigation of his 300ha of leased grazing land near Kirwee.

 

Separation gives constant result

Effluent separation offers a number of unique advantages, and opportunities that other systems don’t offer, says farm equipment manufacturer Rakaia Engineering Ltd (REL) Group.

Making good use of green water

Reporoa farmer Alistair Neville is using the Tow and Fert range for more environmentally-friendly farming practices. 

Cultivating the right way

Cultivation of paddocks is common on farms at this time of year. It’s also a time when local storms may occur, adding substantial risk to an important farming practice.

» Connect with Rural News

» Connect with Rural News

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Job hunting?

A mate of the Hound reckons outgoing special agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen, who is due to finish his current…

Hot air?

With the Government wanting to implement huge costs on the livestock farming sector by making New Zealand the only country…

» Connect with Rural News