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News Release - Who will be Australia's next vine pruning champion?

25 Mar 2013

Behind every great sip is an expert snip

Put on your safety goggles and sharpen your secateurs, the time has come to decide who is Australia's 'gun' grapevine pruner?

The title will be settled once and for all on 30 July at the 'BAHCO' Australian Pruning competition.

Reputations will be on the 'vine' and old scores settled as the nation's best pruners battle it out to see who is Australia's snappiest snipper.

“We had a good turn out last year and there were even a few guys big noting themselves but the rivalry was pretty friendly,” says NMIT Ararat campus Vineyard Manager, Ben Pietsch, who competed in last year's pruning competition. “We're hoping for an even bigger field of pruners this year,” adds Ben. “I would really like to see this event grow into a major Trade Day.”

Competitors will cut, clean and tie the established vines at the NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) Ararat campus vineyard before a judging panel of industry experts who will score entrants on condition of the wood (spurs and buds), cutting technique and speed.

Register now!

Competition organisers, Grampians Winemakers Inc, are now calling for entrants in three events:

• The 'BAHCO' Individual Event ($20 per entry)
• Ararat Rural City Council Teams Event (three people per team/ $50 per team)
• The NMIT Student Event ($5 per entry) open to students enrolled in viticulture and winemaking courses throughout Australia.

The registration deadline is Friday 23 July 2010 so don't miss your opportunity to show the industry your (or your student's) skills in this vital aspect of wine making.

Great prizes!

The winner of the BAHCO Individual Event will be presented with a magnificent BAHCO 9320 Electric Secateur (valued at approximately $2500 (rrp)) donated by event sponsor, SNA E (Australia) Pty Ltd, manufacturers of BAHCO precision pruning tools and associated equipment. There will also be other giveaways for all contestants.

To register contact:

Chandra Ball
Grampians Winemakers Inc
m: 0419497263

Spectators welcome!

Come along and support your workmates, classmates or team and learn the finer techniques of vine pruning at the same time.

What: 'BAHCO' Australian Pruning Competition
When: Friday 30 July 2010 (events commence at 10a.m.)
Where: NMIT Aradale campus, Grano Street, Ararat



Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 9269 1579, or

Five good reasons to make sure your grapevines are pruned correctly

Ben Pietsch, NMIT Ararat campus Vineyard Manager, gives his Top 5 reasons for pruning vines correctly:

1. Pruning your vine correctly will ensure a balanced, healthy vine for the coming season.
2. Pruning to encourage an open canopy will help reduce the risk of disease.
3. It allows control of the quantity and quality of fruit produced.
4. Correct pruning will help the vine concentrate energy to ensure strong, controlled growth for the coming vintage.
5. It reduces the need for canopy maintenance throughout the growing season.


Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.