Winter event: wine production and wine tasting at Villa Maria

Date: Friday, 26 August afternoon (time schedule will be sent in the register confirm Email)

Venue: 2375 State Highway 50 Flaxmere, Roys Hill

Cost: No charge for Royal Society Members

Maximum of 20 people; for this reason, members only

To secure your place, please email:

Villa Maria | Made for the moment, Made from New Zealand
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Villa Maria will host a group from the Hawke’s Bay Branch of the Royal Society, showing the wine production process and explaining the special taste characteristics of local wines. The tasting will be led by the chief winemaker at Esk Valley wines, Gordon Russell.

Gordon Russell, Esk Valley Winemaker.
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Tour visit including:

  • An introduction to winemaking
  • A tasting of wine from tank, barrel and bottle, hosted by Gordon Russell
  • A fun and interesting time

Thursday, 8 September: Towards carbon neutral fruit production

Jim Walker: Principal Scientist at Plant & Food Research

Date: 6pm, Thursday, 8 September 2022

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Eastern Institute of Technology, Taradale

Admission: Gold coin donation

As global leaders in sustainable production systems, the New Zealand fruit sector must continue to innovate to reduce both agrichemical inputs and CO2 emissions. Regulatory, consumer and environmental concerns over pesticide use are continual challenges for both the agrichemical industry and our apple sector. The pipeline for pesticide development has become more complex, reducing the frequency of new active ingredient availability. Adding to this challenge is the on-going loss of existing agrichemicals and increasingly trade-restrictive phytosanitary measures. Now export markets have signalled the need for our fruit sector to reduce their CO2 emissions with the challenge of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Is this achievable or an unrealistic pipedream? Issues and options for the future of New Zealand’s export fruit production will be presented in this lecture.

Dr Jim Walker is a scientist with Plant and Food Research (Hawke’s Bay) who is well known for his role in the development and implementation of the Integrated Fruit Production programme, an approach to pest management that has become a cornerstone of New Zealand’s apple export programme. He has led a team that has helped apple growers adopt practices that has greatly decreased pesticide use and residues. This programme prioritised greater use of biological control and non-chemical methods and has contributed to a 90% reduction in the quantity of insecticide used in New Zealand apple production today.

Tuesday, 4 October: Geoscience NZ Hochstetter Lecture: The shear zones that hold back the icesheets

David Prior: Professor of Geology, University of Otago

Date: 6pm, Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Eastern Institute of Technology, Taradale

Admission: Gold coin donation

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In this talk, David will showcase the lateral thinking of using geophysical and geological methods to study the physics of ice, which is also highly relevant to our society as it informs ice sheet modelling and predictions for a warmer world.

This work will appeal to both professional scientists and the general public. It will include some entertaining examples of field work in Antarctica, the vital participation of students, and the need for scientific teamwork.

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The research interests of David Prior include understanding the material processes that control the behaviour of crystalline materials (including rocks, industrial ceramics, metals, and ice), as well as the large-scale tectonic and thermo-chemical processes that control the evolution of the Earth’s interior.