|Grapegrower & Winemaker||Wine & Viticulture Journal||Wine Industry Directory||
||Daily Wine News||
Samantha Scarratt, Fishtail Vineyards, New Zealand
Name: Samantha Scarratt
Place of birth: Adelaide, South Australia
Professional qualifications: BSc (Hons) Environmental Biology (Adelaide University), PhD Entomology (Lincoln University)
Professional experience: Environmental consultant for Ecologia, Perth, Western Australia; vineyard technical officer at Seresin Estate, Marlborough, New Zealand; vineyard manager at Fishtail Vineyards Ltd (Rock Ferry Wines), Marlborough, NZ
Current job title, winery & region: Vineyard manager, Fishtail Vineyards Ltd (Rock Ferry Wines), Marlborough, NZ.
What made you decide to become a viticulturist?
My interest in grapegrowing was sparked whilst doing research for my PhD, where I studied organic methods of insect pest management in vineyards. I worked with viticulturalists and grapegrowers from different regions in NZ and found that all the people I met in the industry were passionate about their work and their enthusiasm was catching.
Which are your favourite varieties to grow and why?
Riesling and Pinot Noir. Probably because I like being able to manipulate the management of these varieties and seeing the results in the fruit quality and flavour.
What is your least favourite variety to grow and why?
I can't think of any varieties I don't like to grow, they are all different and all a challenge.
Do you have any plans to expand the growth of certain varieties, or plant any new varieties?
I'd like to grow more Pinot Noir for the company in Marlborough. We are planning to plant some Gruner Veltliner in the near future.
Can you remember the 'worst' vintage you've ever been through? What was the problem and what did you do to solve it? (e.g. weather conditions/bird damage/power blackout/plague of locusts, etc)
No horror stories as yet.
Is there a standout season for you, when everything ran just about perfectly? When was it, and what made it such a good year?
This past season was pretty amazing. I can't say it ran perfectly, but it was a great year as we had good yields, hardly any disease, minimal pest insect issues and the weather was warm and dry towards the end of the season, which meant that we were able to pick our fruit based on ripeness and flavours.
What is the biggest challenge you face growing grapes in your particular region?
In the region, I would say frost.
If you had an unlimited budget available to establish your existing vineyard all over again, what would you do differently?
I'd put the entire vineyard under nets, so birds weren't an issue, I'd set up sprinklers for frost and I would set up the irrigation so that it was out of the way of the under vine weeder.
What is the most important piece of equipment in your vineyard?
Definitely, the Braun under vine weeder. As we are an organic vineyard (in conversion), we don't use herbicides and so we use this piece of equipment to cultivate underneath the vines.
Have you learnt any 'tricks of the trade' you can share with your colleagues?
Growing grapes organically isn't that hard! It just takes careful management (ie. monitoring) and using the right products.
If you could remove one vine pest or disease from the face of the earth forever more, which would it be?
That is a tough one because if you remove a pest or disease another one will more than likely fill its place. But I would have to say, phylloxera.
What do you like to do when you're not tending vines?
Drink wine, spend time with friends and family, read, travel, pilates.
What keeps you awake at night?
In Spring, listening to helicopters fighting frost. Otherwise, not much.
What sends you to sleep?
Do you have a mentor who has influenced you, or your direction in viticulture?
Yes, Bart Arnst. He is a viticultural consultant in Marlborough and I started working with Bart when I first came to NZ in 2003. He has taught me a lot about managing a vineyard organically and he has taught me to think outside the square when it comes to tackling issues in the vineyard.
Which areas of grape research do you find of most interest, and most practical benefit to your work?
I would have to say that any research that deals with issues such as how to minimise impact of agriculture/viticulture on the environment, so this is pretty broad but includes; integrated pest management, minimising the use of herbicides and pesticides and any research on managing vineyards organically.
What do you think is the number one issue facing New Zealand's industry?
Presently I would say there are two major issues facing the NZ wine industry. Number one being the food miles issue, especially when exporting wine to the United Kingdom. I think the second issue facing the NZ wine industry will be maintaining a high level of wine quality whilst maintaining the price point of NZ wines.
Other feature articles
- Natalie Fryar, Winemaker, Jansz Tasmania
- Angelo Puglisi, Ballandean Estate, Queensland
- Dave Cleary, West Cape Howe Wines, WA
- Kim Chalmers, Chalmers Nurseries, NSW
- Tiffany Nugan, Nugan Estate, NSW
- Doug Bowen, Bowen Estate, SA
- Drew Brent-White, Windance Estate, WA
- Ian Hollick, Hollick Wines, SA
- Andrew Nugent, Bird in Hand Winery, SA
- Jim Chatto, Pepper Tree Wines, NSW
- Tony Keys, The Key Files
- Forum in pursuit of Pinot excellence
- Andrew Naylor, Pernod Ricard, NZ
- Samantha Scarratt, Fishtail Vineyards, New Zealand
- Adam Hooper and Elena Golakova, La Curio, SA
- Kathleen Quealy, T’Gallant/Balnarring Vineyard/Quealy Wine, VIC
- Richard Smart, Tamar Ridge Wines, TAS
- Terry Lee
- Ben Glover, Wither Hills, NZ
- David Fonseca Guimaraens, Fonseca and Taylor’s Port, Portugal
- Sam Temme, Lloyd Brothers, SA
- Peter May
- Colin Kay, Kay Brothers Amery, SA
- Mark Deegenaars, Sirromet Wines, QLD
- Peter Dry, University of Adelaide, SA
- Simon Thistlewood, Bimbadgen Estate, NSW
- David Lehmann, Barossa Valley, SA
- Mark Lloyd, Coriole Vineyards, McLaren Vale, SA
- Tom Harvey, Chalk Hill, SA
- Albarino – potentially Australia’s great white hope
- Ian Hendy, Tahbilk, VIC
- Oak trials instigated to create the right balance
- Jason Conti, Paul Conti Wines, WA
- Swan Valley goes organic in its approach to wine production
- 100-year-old vines saved from destruction
- Paul Boulden, Margaret River, WA
- Pinot trophy wine a close call
- Grenache finds its place in the spotlight
- Ashley Ratcliff, Yalumba Wine Company, SA
- Lessons from a fiery day in February
- Prolific Penfolds takes a double triumph
- Great win for Tatachilla Shiraz
- Ian Long, Yarraman Estate, NSW
- Capercaillie looks to future
- Tolley leaves AWBC in good shape
- Julian Parrot, Mandala Wines, NSW
- Yarra Valley’s Sticks grows up
- Rebuilding Bianchet Winery
- Kalleskes take organic grapegrowing to heart
- Vineyards benefit from WWOOF program
- Organic producer in touch with the earth
- BackVintage adopts integrated IT solution
- Lark Hill achieves full biodynamic certification
- Joseph Gilbert of Pewsey Vale – early maker of the classic Australian blend
- Sam Statham, Rosnay Wines, NSW
- Young achiever to study in USA
- Evolving Durif at Morris Wines
- Diane Miller, The Vintage Wineworx, WA
- NZ’s star producer guided by the cosmos
- On the rise: Pinot Gris secures its place
- Killeen wins Winetitles’ scholarship
- Rebecca Wilson, Tamar Valley, TAS
- Liz Riley, Vitibit, Hunter Valley
- The Gilberts of Pewsey Vale: the next generation
- Mark Cairns, Riverside Wines, Hawke’s Bay
- Craigow wins Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year
- Cornwall’s Camel Valley sets Sparkling pace in the UK
- Fred Peacock, Bream Creek Vineyard, Tasmania
- Arneis a winner, no matter how you say it
- WA’s Vanya Cullen named ‘woman of the year’
- McWilliams Mount Pleasant Estate award-winning cellar door
- Planning eases heatwave burden for Mount Horrocks
- Supplier of the Year proves customer service goes a long way
- Meet Ken Murchison
- The journey of Tempranillo to Australia
- Successful events have wineries bursting into song
- Jim Barry Wines winemaker chooses biodynamic option
- Meet Belinda Gould
- Hard grind is paying off for Sangiovese
- Biodynamic viticulture benefits Nazaraay Estate Winery
- Monitoring the key to reducing water use
- Consistently improving the quality and reputation of Australian Cabernet
- Making sure vines are true to type
- Lessons from the drought
- A story of Cuban cigars and a good nose
- A Murray Valley winery has released one of Australia’s first 100% carbon-neutral wines
- John Casella: The brains behind the brand
- Quality Tasmanian Pinot Noir stems from varying degrees of stalk removal
- Young leader forecasts positive future for Australian viticulture businesses
- China’s light shines on Aussie export radar
- Driving the blue bus of industry exposure
- Noble wine proves sweet for Australian wine industry
- Solar energy schemes lack uniformity in Australia
- Solutions for the wine industry’s fiddlier labelling jobs
- Carbon neutrality: The new black
- An understanding of excellence: James Irvine and his life in wine
- Can Australia overcome a harsh reality in the US
- Cape Mentelle treats itself to first place
- Aussies export their expert advice to China
- Bruce Tyrell: the Don Quixote of Semillon
- Why the past could help unlock grape’s future
- Brazil opportunities beckon
- Cool wine regions to benefit from research on new pathogen
- Wineries embrace sensory analysis
- Author reveals first steps to marketing magic
- China - emerging market or competitor?
- Young Vine Decline is studied closely in NSW
- Is the Shiraz berry the biggest loser?
- Small players the big winners for tomorrow’s vineyard
- Save money and wine by choosing the right bentonite
- Significant variations in an Iconic Coonawarra vineyard lead to radical solutions
- Sustainable pest control – now and in a changing climate
- Is there value in adding tannin to wine?
- How do country of origin, closure type and label style affect purchase decisions?
- City sellers
- Selective science – from the vineyard to the winery
- Change agenda includes new thinking
- WineCloud provides future direction for winemakers
- The iron(III) tartrate photochemistry of wine: impacts of bottle colour and weight
- How important are wine medals and how much can we rely on those who assign them?
- Big rewards in fine detail
- Italian inspiration for novel Nero d’Avola making
- Oak deserves its fine environmental credentials
- Machinery maintenance is key to vintage success
- Wine: does vine age really matter?
- SA wineries make a positive and lasting impression
- Magazine pages bring history to life for Rutherglen grower
- Coles tells small wineries to ‘work with us’
- Distinguished vineyard sites are essential for quality fruit production says Petaluma
- From vine to bottle: sustainability a core value for Barossa winery
- Adapt and innovate in a challenging wine business world
- Verduzzo - a 'crazy' white
- Australia’s grapevine germplasm collections under threat
- Expo offers suppliers a chance to shine
- Wineries celebrate end of vintage
- Artisan by name and nature
- Barossa symposium delivers tips for Shiraz vineyard management
- Research to reveal best irrigation practice in dry winters
- Lake’s Folly proves its credentials over 50 years
- New research sheds light on flavour additives in wine
- It’s a three-ringed circus
- Trying to paint the world red
- Where do little winemakers come from?
- A chip off the old block
- The rise and rise of Gatt Wines
- Bizot and Croser – a marriage made in the vineyard
- Wine’s wild man rides into town
- Jeff Bond – a licence to thrill
- The Visionary – who’s laughing now
- Chilling out in Australian wine’s own Ice Age
- Quarter of our wines face Chinese ban
- Four-year research project investigates early influence of oxygen
- Australian winemakers’ views towards oak barrel alternatives matures
- Ready…set…tweet! How you can bank your social media benefits
- Wine show season: It seems not all wine shows would earn a gold medal
- January 2015 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
- Smart & Sustainable: Jana Shepherd
- Lazy bones: Jo Perry’s ironic nickname
- Can’t sit still: Bleasdale’s energiser bunny
- Meet New Zealand’s best young viti
- Suzie Muntz
- Clare Burder: Ideas are nothing without action
- Steve Baraglia: A tale of two valleys