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Hawkes Bay growers and farmers urged to commit to the Ruataniwha Dam.

ruataniwha

IrrigationNZ and Federated Farmers will jointly host an interactive evening meeting to discuss uptake of Ruataniwha water on Tuesday, November 4 at the Waipawa Municipal Theatre.

"We have seen how water storage and irrigation investment in other dry parts of the country has benefitted local communities – like in South Canterbury through the Opuha Scheme, and the same could be the case here," says IrrigationNZ chief executive Andrew Curtis.

"Getting on board the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme now will not only future-proof your farming operation, but will also benefit future generations in Hawkes' Bay."

Presenters at the November 4 event includes two farmers from the North Otago Irrigation Company (NOIC) scheme, who will detail the transformation of their community following irrigation development, as well as local dam advocates Hugh Ritchie and Richard Dakins.

Curtis says IrrigationNZ and Federated Farmers had come together to host the event because both organisations believe rumours and incorrect perceptions are hampering the project's progress.

Hawkes Bay growers and farmers need to commit to the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme soon because the project's backers need assurances of uptake before Christmas, says IrrigationNZ.

Clearview Estate punches above its weight in Hawke's Bay

clearview5

Clearview Estate Winery took out two of the 13 Gold Trophy awards in this year’s Hawke’s Bay wine awards; with only big player Villa Maria doing better, taking out one more.

For the small winery based on the Cape Kidnapper’s coast of Hawke’s Bay, taking out the Museum Class and the Sauvignon Blanc and/or Semillon came hot on the heels of a strong showing at the International Aromatic Wine competition held earlier this month.

The Reserve Sauvignon Blanc - Barrique Fermented 2013 won its first ever gold at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards before being announced as the trophy winner at the region’s largest gala dinner held this week.

Clearview’s star performing wine, its Reserve Chardonnay, in this instance the 2009 vintage, took gold then trophy honours in the Museum class, where wines must be over four years old. The winery’s 2009 Enigma, a blend of the winery’s best Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, won a gold medal in the same category.

It was the Clearview Estate 2014 Coastal Gewürztraminer that sparkled at the Aromatic competition held in conjunction with the Canterbury A&P Show, taking its first-ever gold award.

Clearview Estate was one of the first wineries to help pioneer barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc in Hawke’s Bay and in the country, and the honours were testament to the winery’s perseverance with the barrel fermented style, says co-owner Helma van den Berg.

"We planted Sauvignon Blanc vines when we bought the property nearly 30 years ago and have nurtured them ever since. It began in the late 1980s with a vision of coastal plantings and the pioneering initial release of a Fume Blanc style." Fellow co-owner and winemaker, Tim Turvey said he was "proud that after persisting with the barrel fermented style for around 26 years, it’s finally won gold."

"We're pretty excited with the wins," says Mr Turvey. "Looking at the entry list, there was some pretty impressive competition from some great vintages, so to win three golds is gratifying.

"That our 2009 Reserve Chardonnay is still winning gold shows just what a truly special wine it is, so I hope people still have some in their cellars," says Mr Turvey.

Hawkes Bays Bruce Wills joins board of Guthrie-Smith Tutira

BruceW

Bruce Wills, farmer, owner of Trelinnoe Park north of Napier, and former national president of Federated Farmers NZ, has joined the Board of Guthrie-Smith Tutira.

With a strong and active interest in environmental matters, Mr Wills has returned to live in Hawke’s Bay fulltime and says that he is keen to add his expertise to the Board responsible for the 90 hectare Arboretum and education centre at Tutira.

Mr Wills visited the Arboretum, which is open to the public on Sundays until the end of May, this week and was impressed with the work done to date.

"The Arboretum is critically important as a national collection of trees that will become more valuable as they grow and mature," he says, adding that as he was shown around the 20,000 trees and plants, he couldn’t help comment that it reminded him vividly of the early days of his own farm park 30 years ago.

Guthrie-Smith board chair, David Allan believes the depth of relationships Mr Wills has built with many organisations and within government in his former positions will provide useful links for the Trust. "We are delighted to strengthen our board with Bruce’s expertise, passion and connections."

Mr Wills has stepped down from six years on the Board of Federated Farmers NZ, the past three as national president and prior to that, as meat and fibre chair.

In 2008, Trelinnoe Park won the HB Farm Environment Award. Mr Wills is chair of the NZ Popular & Willow Research Trust and chair of the East Coast region Ballance Farm Environmental Awards. He is also on the board of Motu Research and a trustee of Todd Foundation.

Are Hawkes Bay apples too sweet for their own good?

MrApple

New Zealand apples have come under fire recently for being full of sugar and flavourless.

Read more: Are Hawkes Bay apples too sweet for their own good?

Hawkes Bay hunters are warned that lying only makes it worse.

Fish and Game

Hunters have been sent some strong messages in North Island District Courts in the aftermath of the last game bird hunting season - including that if you lie about having a game bird licence you'll make things a lot worse for yourself.

District courts in the North Island have handed down sentences in sequels to offending uncovered during the game bird season (ended August 2014).

Two hunters appeared in the Whakatane District Court for sentencing on a variety of charges.

One of the men, was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling more than $1000 for hunting without a licence.

Fish & Game Officer Anthony van Dorp says that he was also sentenced to 100 hours of community work for giving false information - lying about having a hunting licence when he didn't. "A significant message from this is that if people lie about licences, it's treated very seriously by the courts."

Mr van Dorp says: "People who think they can get away lying about their licence find they're caught in the end - and their lies only make it all the worse for them."

The second hunter was ordered to pay more than $800 in fines and costs, for possession of lead shot ammunition and possessing protected grey teal.

In another case in the Wairoa District Court, a hunter was fined over $1000 in fines and costs, on charges including possession of lead shot and hunting without a game bird licence. The court also ordered the destruction of his shotgun - the hunter did not hold a firearms licence and faced a separate prosecution for that.

Mr van Dorp says the case illustrates that hunters need to obey all the game bird hunting rules and regulations, from using the right ammunition to having both a game bird and a firearms licence.

"Hunters are often checked in joint operations involving Police and Fish & Game officers - so firearm licences are also checked," he says. In one of the most serious cases, two hunters intercepted on opening day of the new game bird season at a pond near Wairoa, were found with excess paradise shelduck, and in possession of lead shot.

In the Napier District Court the pair received fines and costs of more than $1000 each and the forfeiture of their shotguns. "Where courts order firearms forfeit this represents a significant penalty and a strong deterrent on its own, as these guns are often worth substantial sums, as well as often having intangible value to their owners."

Mr van Dorp adds that the true financial cost to such hunters is often hidden; it can run well beyond fines and court costs, and the forfeit of firearms - as offenders end up paying often substantial sums for lawyers to represent them in court.

He points out that the string of court appearances and the offending involved reinforces the need for extensive ranging operations in the game bird hunting seasons, which are often run jointly with Police.

Hunters may be surprised to see where rangers turn up when checking hunters, he says. "We gather information throughout the year, not just during the game bird season, some of it provided anonymously, including reports of people hunting unlawfully out of season. And the use of tools such as Google Earth means it's not hard to know exactly where to find hunters.

"Having said this, we don't wish to sound draconian - law abiding hunters who buy their licences and abide by the rules and regulations have nothing to fear."

Mr van Dorp says that indeed, they should be very supportive of Fish & Game's efforts on compliance - holding to account the lawbreakers whose actions impact on game bird resources and on those hunters who "do the right thing."

New all season market planned for the Hastings CBD.

Food Market

Plans for a new Hastings CBD market situated on Heretaunga Street East has drawn both criticism and praise from the local community.

Inspired by the success of the Hastings City Night Market the proposed venture is being promoted as a possible big money earner.

However some groups are concerned that Hastings is not large enough to support another market as it already has the Hawkes Bay Farmers Market, the night market as well as smaller boot sales and Black Barn.

The new all season Growers Market, organised by the Hastings City Business Association, hopes to start on November 1 and will be a local market with local produce for local people.

 

Hastings junior woolhandler places well at the NZ Merino Champs.

Wool Handling

Golden Shears and former World champion woolhandler Joel Henare has taken a big step towards celebrating one of his biggest nights in style by heading a top field of four qualifiers for tonight's New Zealand Merino Championships open final in Alexandra.

Henare is also being presented with his Master Woolhandler award, making him at the age of 22 the youngest woolhandler or shearer ever accorded Master status by his sport's national controlling body, Shearing Sports New Zealand.

From Gisborne but based in the South Island, where he quickly made it through to Open-class woolhandling more than seven years ago, Henare has won most of the titles available to him, including the 2012 World Championship in Masterton, the 2012 merino championship in Alexandra, and the last two Golden Shears opens.

Henare was top qualifier after the heats yesterday, the opening day of the country's only finewool shearing and woolhandling championhips and the start of the New Zealand competition season, and maintained the form through today's semi-finals.

Also in tonight's final are Tia Potae, of Milton, Rocky Hape-Taite, of Dannevirke, and Foonie Waihape, of Gisborne.

The other feature of the final night are a transtasman merino shearing match, and the New Zealand Merino Shearing Open final, for West Australian Damien Boyle has qualified in second place, going for a fifth win in a row in the event.

He was headed in the semi-finals only by New Zealand multi-breeds champion and newly-acclaimed Master Shearer Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, the last New Zealander to win the tilte, in 2009, while the other finalists are Troy Pyper, of Invercargill, Leon Samuels, of Tuatapere, Colin O'Neill, of Alexandra, and Mark Buscumb, of West Australia.

Earlier today the senior woolhandling final final was won by Sharnee Keefe, of Taihape, and the junior title by Clarissa Lewis, of Gisborne.

Results:

Woolhandling:

Senior final: Sharnee Keefe (Taihape) 1, Creedence Culshaw (Raupunga) 2, Ruby O'Neill (Alexandra) 3, Melanie Barrett (Invercargill).

Junior final: Clarissa Lewis (Gisborne) 1, Chiquita Tamepo (Gisborne) 2, Jade Culshaw (Raupunga) 3, Alesha Thompson (Hastings) 4.

Clearview Estate wins three golds in Hawke's Bay wine awards

Te Awanga Clearview Estate Winery in Hawkes Bay

Te Awanga's Clearview Estate Winery took out three gold awards in the HB A&P Bayleys Wine Awards 2014 announced this week, and each is special in a unique way.

The wins include the first ever gold medal for Clearview's barrel fermented 2013 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc as well as two golds in the aged museum category, a tally that was fifty percent of the golds awarded in that class.

Clearview Estate was one of the first wineries to help pioneer barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc in Hawke's Bay and in the country, and the gold was testament to the winery's perseverance with the barrel fermented style, says co-owner Helma van den Berg.

"We planted Sauvignon Blanc vines when we bought the property nearly 30 years ago and have nurtured them ever since. It began in the late 1980s with a vision of coastal plantings and the pioneering initial release of a Fume Blanc style." Fellow co-owner and winemaker, Tim Turvey said he was "proud that after persisting with the barrel fermented style for around 26 years, it's finally won gold."

Clearview entered its star performing wine, its Reserve Chardonnay, into the Museum class, where wines must be over four years old, selecting the 2009 vintage to hold up the honours. The other winning entry was the 2009 Enigma, a blend of the winery's best Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.

"We're pretty excited with the wins," says Mr Turvey. "Looking at the entry list, there was some pretty impressive competition from some great vintages, so to win three golds is gratifying.

"That our 2009 Reserve Chardonnay is still winning gold shows just what a truly special wine it is, so I hope people still have some in their cellars," says Mr Turvey.

The Clearview team is now dusting off their glad rags in anticipation of the awards night on October 22 when the three gold winners are contenders for best in class trophies.

Vidal Estate Celebrates Hawkes Bay Heritage with a Classic New Style

Vidal Estate Winery

It has been a landmark year for one of New Zealand’s oldest wineries, Vidal Estate, with the introduction of a classical new logo and label design - capturing 109 years of heritage, quality and provenance.

Vidal Estate was established by young Spaniard Anthony Joseph Vidal who arrived in New Zealand in 1888 to join his uncle Joseph Soler to master the art of winemaking. Developing a passion for the craft, Vidal went solo setting up in Hawkes Bay in 1905, planting grapes in the best locations, he then converted stables in Hastings to make wine.

The essence of Anthony Joseph Vidal’s legacy is reflected in Vidal Estate’s head winemaker, Hugh Crichton’s love for producing classic, elegant, styled wines. Crichton’s natural hands off winemaking approach, allows the vineyard and season to shine through in every vintage.

“I’m influenced by my experiences in Europe, adapting those practices to a New Zealand approach, focusing on producing wine in an environmentally conscious way,” says the Vidal Estate winemaker.

With an impressive award history Vidal Estate has made a name for producing consistent quality with key varietals, Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot blends. Vidal Estate won Winery of the Year at the Hawkes Bay A&P Wine Awards for 2013.

In a true expression of heritage, Vidal Estate has introduced the new label design to all three tiers;Vidal Legacy, the highly awarded flagship range available in limited quantity that represents ultimate varietal flavour and exceptional vineyard site.

Vidal Reserve,elegant and distinctive wines with true regional identity,Vidal Estategood quality wines that are delightful and approachable.

“As a team we are very proud of our new label design, we’ve worked hard to ensure we have captured Anthony Joseph Vidal’s heritage, our premium quality and Hugh’s winemaking philosophy in the new design.” says Vidal Estate Brand Manager, Ali Campbell. “We’ve had fantastic feedback, resulting in some of the country’s best restaurant’s listing our recently released Legacy wines.”