Situated in the wine region of Marlborough on New Zealand’s South Island, the research winery will enable the BRI to trial new technology and encourage innovation.
“This world-class facility will enable the New Zealand wine industry to take research trials through to finished wines under tightly controlled experimental conditions,” said MJ Loza, CEO of BRI.
“With wine industry exports now valued at $1.86bn [$1.18bn USD], BRI’s activities will support the ongoing sustainable growth of the industry through research and innovation.”
Trialling new wine tech
The new facility will act as a showcase for new technologies and innovations; as well as trialling equipment, processes, and sustainable winery operations. It will also provide commercial research winemaking services to suppliers and industry.
BRI has already designed and built custom-fermentation tanks. Scalability trials of these world-first prototypes proved successful when compared to commercial tanks, says the institute.
The research winery seeks to provide a sustainability benchmark for industry at large: targeting a 5 Green Star certified Built rating. If awarded, it will be the first such NZ Green Building Council certified building in Marlborough, under the Green Star green building certification program.
The BRI was established in 2017 with MBIE funding under the Regional Research Institute initiative. It is also supported financially by the Marlborough District Council and its owner, New Zealand Winegrowers. Although it is based in Marlborough, BRI provides research and development to benefit New Zealand's entire wine industry and its key stakeholders.