A new wine research centre has been opened in Marlborough with the aim of helping the industry stay ahead of global trends and fostering research and collaboration.
The New Zealand Wine Centre - Te Pokapū Wāina o Aotearoa is based on the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology's (NMIT) Blenheim campus, so will work alongside its wine course and the nearby Bragato Research Institute, which is the leading national wine research institution.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash opened the $3.79 million centre, which was paid for through the government's Provincial Growth Fund, today.
Nash said like many a fine wine, New Zealand's viticulture and winemaking industries continued to grow economically over time and were now one of our country's biggest export earners.
"Currently bringing in nearly $2 billion a year, these exports will only continue to grow as our new FTAs with the UK and EU come into force, providing even greater economic security to New Zealanders.
"The New Zealand Wine Centre will help our already world-renowned wine producers stay ahead of global trends in wine by developing new products and helping to tackle issues such as the impact of climate change on the sector."
At the opening, a variation to Marlborough Research Centre's existing funding agreement was also announced: at its request, $770,000 of the existing $3.79 million investment was reallocated towards the construction and development of a new state-of-the-art Experimental Future Vineyard.
"It's fantastic to see the plan for the Experimental Future Vineyard, which I know will be a huge asset to our winemaking industry, and help foster cutting-edge Kiwi innovation," Nash said.
"It will support sustainable growth in the sector by making use of automation and robotic technologies to prepare for a digital future. This will bring our local winemakers to a whole new level."