19 Mar 2021

A Legacy for NZ Wine - inside the Bragato Research Institute

From Country Life, 9:17 pm on 19 March 2021
Tanya Rutan, Bragato Research Institute

Tanya Rutan, Bragato Research Institute Photo: RNZ/Sally Round

If Romeo Bragato were alive today, he'd be pleased as punch to visit the Bragato Research Institute, a wine laboratory set up in his name just on a year ago.

The European viticulturalist was said to be disillusioned and frustrated when he left New Zealand in the early 1900s.

His experimental winemaking here and advice to the government on planting grapevines was largely ignored and his recommendations lay forgotten for over 60 years.

But eventually his studies and experiments formed the basis of the modern day wine industry which is keeping ahead nowadays with help from the Blenheim-based institute, launched with government funds and owned by New Zealand Winegrowers.