Five of Marlborough's leading wine industry experts will soon be teaching the art of organic-wine production through a new viticulture course at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.
The Introduction to Organic Viticulture course, which begins on August 8, is to be delivered at NMIT's Marlborough campus one evening a week for six weeks.
The course tutors are: consultant viticulturist Bart Arnst, vineyard manager for Pernod Ricard Peter Franks, Wither Hills technical viticulturist Samantha Scarrett, Seresin Estate vineyard manager Colin Ross and Walnut Block Wines viticulturist Nigel Sowman.
NMIT viticulture tutor and course co-ordinator Glenn Kirkwood said the tutors were some of the best brains in Marlborough's organic wine industry. "These guys know what they're talking about, they are really passionate about organic viticulture and are excited to be able to share their expertise."
NMIT primary industries programme area leader Jeff Wilson said the course was developed in conjunction with the wine industry, for the wine industry.
It is specifically aimed at people working in the wine industry who are considering expanding or converting their conventional vineyard to organic.
All areas of organic vineyard management would be covered including soil nutrition and management, converting from a conventional to organic vineyard, organic pest and disease management, and certification processes.
Marlborough produced more than 50 per cent of New Zealand's organic wine so there was a real need for people trained in organic viticulture in the region, Mr Wilson said.
"People who attend this course will get a really good understanding of what it takes to successfully produce and market organic wine."
To find out more about the Introduction to Organic Viticulture course contact Paula at NMIT's Marlborough campus on 03 578 0215 or 0800 422 733; course costs $230 per person.
- The Marlborough Express