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NZ research winery to open

Published:  24 February, 2020

The Bragato Research Institute (BRI), New Zealand winegrowers’s new research winery, is to open on 27 February.

The Marlborough-based facility will support the industry nationwide through trials of innovative winemaking equipment and vinicultural technologies and processes alongside research into sustainable practices.

It will also undertake commercial research for businesses in the sector and has already designed and built customised fermentation tanks.

“It’s not about telling people what to do, because that’s not our job,” Tracy Atkin, BRI’s establishment manager, said. “It’s about showcasing what can be done.”

The research winery is also pioneering sustainable construction practices in the sector and hopes to be the first building in Marlborough to achieve five-green-star-certified built rating from New Zealand’s Green Building Council.

The BRI was established in 2017 with $12.5m of government funding over four years. It is also supported financially by the Marlborough District Council – which allocated $150,000 in funding each year from 2017 to 2022, on top of an initial $75,000 investment – and its owner, New Zealand Winegrowers.

Commenting on the opening, Michael John Loza, chief executive of BRI, said: “This world-class facility will enable the New Zealand wine industry to take research trials through to finished wines under tightly controlled experimental conditions.

“With wine industry exports now valued at $1.86 billion, BRI’s activities will support the ongoing sustainable growth of the industry through research and innovation.”