More than 120 grape growers, and viticulture trade and industry attended the inaugural Barossa Pruning Expo held at the Nuriootpa Research Centre on 11 June 2014.

The Expo, organised by the Barossa Grape & Wine Association and the Barossa VitiTech Group comprised educational workshops, a trade show featuring leading brands such as Pellenc, Felco, Electrocoup, Bahco, FMR and Rossi – and a pruning competition.

The pruning competition, offering $10,000 worth of prizes, was hotly contested.  Fifth generation Light Pass grower Jim Boehm took home the first prize of a pair of Electrocoup pruning shears in the Individual Rod & Spur event, while Ryan Longmire from Clare Valley won a pair of Pellenc Lixion pruning shears in the Individual Spur event.

It was a thrilling win for Jim, whose grandfather’s pruning trophy from the 1930s still takes pride of place on his mantelpiece at home.

The team event was won by the “Valley All Stars” from Clare; second was “Max Workforce” and third “Henschke’s” Mike Weber, Alex Watt and Ron Tscharke.

The Barossa Pruning Expo is another step in the BGWA’s efforts to enhance the Barossa’s reputation as the leader in the wine industry, and to build stronger relationships with growers and industry suppliers, said BGWA Viticulture Development Officer, Nicki Robins.

“The Barossa Pruning Expo is an example of the BGWA’s strong focus on helping growers optimise financial returns.  We are dedicated to ensuring the Barossa is producing the highest quality fruit from vineyards that are financially and environmentally sustainable long into the future,” she said.

The Expo featured case studies of best-practice vineyard pruning methods, and provided a forum to present and discuss ‘remedial’ pruning practices to manage Eutypa.  The workshops were headed by Mark Sosnowski, Australia’s leading Eutypa research scientist, who gave growers an update on SARDI’s latest research efforts to prevent and manage Eutypa.

Barossa Pruning Competition

Individual Rod & Spur

1   Jim Boehm
2   Karl Schiller
3   Brett Smith

Individual Spur

1   Ryan Longmire
2   Ora Phay
3   Mike Weber

Team Competition

1   Valley All Stars: Brett Smith, James Brooksby, Ryan Longmire
2   Max Workforce:  Ngon Nop, Ora Phay, Cheat Chea
3   Henschke:  Mike Weber, Alex Watt, Ron Tscharke

Click here to view the complete Image Gallery on Flickr (70 images)