Treasury Wine Estates is a global winemaking and distribution business. Its Marlborough brands include the award-winning Matua Wines. In Marlborough, they have 250 hectares of vineyards across the region’s winegrowing areas.
SWE was set a challenge to combine incompatible old and new technology in a complicated 30-hectare block owned by Treasury Wine Estate.
The block had 5 different grape varieties and an existing irrigation system comprising 5 generations of irrigation infrastructure. This included 3 controllers, 5 different types of dripline, and 5 water sources. Delivery could not be controlled by varietal type, and existing pumps were incapable of delivering water at the flow rate required for the new dripline. These underlying incompatibilities in the system resulted in inconsistent and unreliable water delivery across the block. Pulling the system out was impractical, creating a challenge to bring the system up to scratch using existing components.
The solution required exceptional design expertise and creative problem solving. All water sources were centralised and repumped ensuring flow rates at high enough levels to deliver water consistently through the existing dripline. New mainline was laid to manage the new flow rates, and new submains were installed to allow irrigation targeting of specific varieties. Finally, a new control system was installed allowing the client to control water delivery to the different varieties individually.
Testing has demonstrated that the revamped system delivers the right pressure and right flow consistently through the system, individualised to the needs of each variety, increasing productivity, and water and energy use efficiency. Using existing infrastructure also minimised the required investment for the client.
What the Client Said
“SWE have used a high level of experience and knowledge to deliver us an irrigation system that is far simpler and more efficient than what was existing prior to undertaking this work. We are now confident that each vine within the vineyard is receiving the correct amount of water and thus giving us a guarantee on vine performance and quality. Originally we thought we would have to spend $100k plus on completely re-doing the entire irrigation system, however SWE managed to re-design and keep this cost manageable and within budget.”