Hawke's Bay farmers warned to prepare for drought



Hawke's Bay Regional Council says with an intense El Nino on the way farmers in the region should be preparing for a drought.
The council's principal scientist for climate and air, Kathleen Kozyniak, said intense El Ninos in the early 1980s and late 1990s were associated with drought conditions.

Hawke's Bay had below average winter rainfall, river flows are a bit below normal and groundwater levels are significantly below normal, she said.
"The prospect is for drier than normal conditions. It's not always a foregone conclusion but its certainly worthwhile being aware and preparing for the possibility of a drought.

"It's really a case of tracking it as we go and I guess by the end of spring we'll know how we are going with regards to whether things are becoming quite dry or not."


Blackenbrook scored big at Bragato Wine Awards held in Napier last night.



Multi-award winning Tasman winemaker Daniel Schwarzenbach of Blackenbrook Vineyard has scored another impressive industry accolade by winning a gold medal and the trophy for Best Gewürztraminer at the prestigious annual Bragato Wine Awards held in Napier last night. 

This is the fifth ‘best wine in class’ award at a national competition for the family owned and run vineyard and it cements Blackenbrook’s reputation for producing outstanding aromatic wines. 

Bragato Wine Awards are noteworthy because they recognise the grape grower rather than the vineyard and are awarded by fellow viticulturalists.

"We put our heart and soul into our wines," said Daniel Schwarzenbach speaking from Germany where he is currently judging wine at the Mundus Vini International Wine Awards.

"Accolades such as the Bragato trophy tell us that we are achieving something really special here. We are humbled by this recognition from our peers." 

Producing beautiful Gewürztraminer is the realisation of a long-cherished dream for the Schwarzenbachs. 

"Before starting our vineyard I worked as a cellar hand for Alsace’s Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, one of the top Gewürztraminer producers worldwide," said Daniel. "It was a fantastic experience and I couldn’t wait to get home to our patch of Tasman paradise to start planting our own aromatics."

Ursula Schwarzenbach said that achieving another national award is a very proud moment for a small vineyard in a very competitive industry. "Gewürztraminer is a variety that we have been working really hard on and it’s very exciting to see that our work is paying off in the glass."

Hawke's Bay shellfish ban lifted.

Shellfish Warning

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board has lifted the warning for consuming shellfish from the NorthernHawke’s Bay coastline between Whareongaonga (approximately 22kn north of Mahia) and Mohaka River.

Recent results from shellfish samples have shown PSP toxins are now well below warning levels. Shellfish toxin levels can change rapidly so the public is advised to keep a look out for warning signs, and media releases. The Ministry for Primary Industries will continue to take routine monitoring samples.

This section of the Hawke’s Bay coastline has been closed for the collection of shellfish from late May this year due to the presence of the paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin in the shellfish at levels above the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI’s) safe health limit.

Please note that some other sections of the New Zealand coastline remain closed for the collection of shellfish for consumption due to toxic algae. This opening refers to the Hawke’s Bay coastline only. Information on other closed areas around the country can be found at the MPI’s web-site athttp://www.mpi.govt.nz

Timber by EMSIEN-3 LTD