HIGH altitude, reliable rainfall and ideal terroir make Orange a great place to grow grapes and make wine.
However, despite the favourable conditions, Orange vignerons must continue to improve their techniques to re-work old vines with new grapevine varieties and clones to remain industry leaders.
Some of these leading techniques will feature at the Orange Agricultural Institute Training Centre on Tuesday, June 7.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) viticultural development officer Darren Fahey said vignerons at the workshop would get the chance to hear from researchers and experienced exponents of grapevine grafting.
“The workshop promises to give local winemakers and grape growers insights into the latest varieties to suit the Orange region, helping them to stay ahead of the game and get it right from the start,” he said.
“Tony Hoare has successfully transformed thousands of hectares of vines across Australia and Richard Hamilton will outline detailed case studies of reworking vines from his 12 years of vineyard experience with Treasury Wines.
“Dr Nuredin Habili from the University of Adelaide will be on hand to offer tips on how to best manage virus risks during the grafting process.”
DPI researcher Dr Bruno Holzapfel and industry consultant Sam Bowman will also deliver the latest information on the performance of new clones and varieties at the workshop, some of which are yet to be released.
Dr Holzapfel said he would discuss some exciting preliminary investigations into new crossbred vines.
“In a collaborative project between DPI and CSIRO, supported by Wine Australia, we are evaluating new varieties which have been bred for resistance to powdery and downy mildew,” he said.
“At this stage we are growing the unnamed vines to assess their establishment in Australian conditions and explore the flavours and quality of the fruit they produce.
“It’s early days, and we will be discussing their potential with growers and outline the intense research program we are conducting.”
The free workshop will run from 8.30am to 3pm on Tuesday, June 7.
Winemakers and winegrape growers should register by contacting Mr Fahey at darren.fahey@dpi. nsw.gov.au or by calling 0457 842 874.