Friday, 05 June 2015 09:24

Organic and biodynamic wine come of age

Written by 

The country's first major Organic and Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference marks a coming-of-age for the wine movement in New Zealand.

The Conference, which will be held July 8-10 at the Marlborough Convention Centre, aims to bring together world leaders in organic and biodynamic grape growing 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 organic wine tastings 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," says 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 discussion amongst winemakers. Branding, marketing, and consumer appeal will also be covered, with presentations from wine journalists and business leaders.

Registration is open now via the conference website,


More like this

Amisfield: Organic wine of the year

Five years after starting their journey towards BioGro certification, Central Otago’s Amisfield has been named Organic Winery of the Year in the NZ Organic Wine awards.

Conference looks at winds of change

More than 130 of Australasia's leading agribusiness professionals are gathering in Wellington today for the annual Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Conference.

DWN scale down 2016 conference

Taking a cue from the dairy industry, Dairy Women’s Network has decided to curtail its next annual conference, at a time when the industry and its members are hurting.

Managing Nitrogen

At the recent Organic and Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference, Dr Charles Merfield from BHU Future Farming Centre, described nitrogen as “the joker in the pack” of 92 elements.

» Latest Print Issues Online

Popular Reads

Update on environmental matters

Since joining New Zealand Winegrowers I have been working closely with the environment team on central government consultations relating to…