Barossa stages inaugural Pruning Expo

More than 120 grapegrowers and viticulture trade and industry members attended the inaugural Barossa Pruning Expo, held at the Nuriootpa Research Centre on Wednesday 11 June.

The Pruning Expo, coordinated by the Barossa Grape & Wine Association and the Barossa VitiTech Group, with funding from the GWRDC Regional Program, comprised of educational workshops, a pruning competition and a trade show, which featured leading brands including Pellenc, Felco, Electrocoup, Bahco and FMR.

According to Nicki Robins, BGWA Viticulture Development Officer, ‘the pruning competition, offering $10,000 worth of prizes, was hotly contested’.

Fifth generation Light Pass grower, Jim Boehm, took home the first prize of a pair of Electrocoup pruning shears in the Individual Rod & Spur event. Ryan Longmire, from Clare Valley, won a pair of Pellenc Lixion pruning shears in the Individual Spur event.

‘It was a thrilling win for Jim, whose grandfather’s pruning trophy from the 1930s still takes pride of place on his mantelpiece at home’, Nicki said.

‘The team event was won by the “Valley All Stars” from Clare; second was “Max Workforce” and third “Henschke’s” Mike Weber, Alex Watt and Ron Tscharke.

‘The Barossa Pruning Expo is another step in the BGWA’s efforts to enhance the Barossa’s reputation as the leader in the wine industry, and to build stronger relationships with growers and industry suppliers.

‘The Barossa Pruning Expo is an example of the BGWA’s strong focus on helping growers optimise financial returns.  We are dedicated to ensuring the Barossa is producing the highest quality fruit from vineyards that are financially and environmentally sustainable long into the future’, she said.

The Pruning Expo featured case studies of best-practice vineyard pruning methods and provided a forum to present and discuss ‘remedial’ pruning practices to manage Eutypa.

The workshops were headed by Dr Mark Sosnowski, from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), who gave growers an update on SARDI’s latest research efforts to prevent and manage Eutypa.

Jim Boehm: rod and spur winner
Jim Boehm: rod and spur winner