Bragato Research Institute announces location of new research winery

Bragato Research Institute (BRI) has announced its national research winery will be built at the Marlborough Research Centre on the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) Marlborough campus in Blenheim.

The centre will be sited alongside Plant and Food Research, New Zealand Winegrowers and Wine Marlborough.

The Marlborough Research Centre has been a key supporter of the BRI’s establishment and its co-location with key research and industry organisations, said M. J. Loza, chief executive of the Bragato Research Institute.

Formerly the New Zealand Winegrowers Research Centre, the BRI has been working alongside NMIT and the Marlborough Research Centre to secure the site and the location will enable further collaboration between the different organisations.

“The trial to assess the effectiveness of our research winery fermenters that took place over vintage is a good example of the collaboration already happening.” said Mr Loza.

“The trial of BRI tanks was carried out by Plant and Food Research, based in the NMIT teaching winery, with NMIT students working on the trial. It was a real team effort, and our location here supports and encourages that”. 

The research winery was designed with input from a broad project team including winemakers, suppliers, expert consultants and researchers with experience operating other research winery facilities.

With capacity for over 100 research fermenters, the facility will enable more of the industry’s research trials to extend to look at possible impacts on finished wines.

The research winery will trial winery equipment and technologies, winemaking processes and sustainable winemaking and winery operations. It will also provide commercial research winemaking services to suppliers and industry.

BRI Establishment Manager Tracy Benge, who is managing the project, said the establishment of a world-leading, sustainable, national Research Winery in Marlborough will be a draw-card both for the region and the NZ wine industry.

“It will encourage new research and innovation as well as trialling new technology and modelling sustainability.

“It is a privilege to lead a dedicated and passionate project team of experts that spans industry, research, education and suppliers”.

The research winery is a key part of the capability that BRI is building for the NZ wine industry, enabling the industry to take research trials through to finished wines under tightly managed experimental conditions.

This will support the ongoing sustainable growth of the industry through research and innovation.

The research winery will be built as part of a larger development including labs and office space. Construction is expected to begin within the next month, aimed at having the winery operational for vintage 2020.

Mr Loza acknowledged the support and funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment under the Regional Research Institutes initiative.

The Marlborough District Council also provided ’s support and funding.

Source:  Bragato Research Institute

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