SA Pruning Championships 2018

All wine regions competing at the SA Pruning Championships have shared in the major prizes.

Held in Clare Valley on Friday, pruners came from Clare Valley, the Barossa and McLaren Vale winning first prize in individual and team events.

Record numbers of entries were received for all events with extra competitors registering on the day.

More than 50 pruners pulled out the snips, drawing a crowd of supporters from the local industry and trade.

Clare Region Winegrape Growers Association executive officer Anna Baum believed the competition was fast becoming a truly inter-regional event.

“Healthy rivalry between the Barossa and Clare Valleys has produced a close tussle for all events in 2018 and for the second year running the Wolfblass shield for the best individual pruner will head back to the Barossa,” Ms Baum said

Treasury Wine Estates viticulturist Dean Willoughby won the shield, after coming first in the Platinum Ag/Bahco Individual Rod and Spur event and second in the Individual Spur event.

The WSB/Pellenc Individual Spur event was won by Paul Steel from Kilikanoon Wines in the Clare Valley and the Cobra/Eclipse Women’s Spur event was claimed by the Barossa’s Amanda Mader.

Clare pruners James Brooksby and Guilio Dichiera joined with McLaren Vale’s Shane Bartel to take out the Team Event, pruning a total of nine vines in 3 minutes and 2 seconds.

However it is not only speed that counts, and all scoring is heavily weighted on technique.

“While they say pruning is an art, there is certainly some science to it and a lot of technical criteria must be met in crafting a well-balanced vine,” Ms Baum said.

“We had incredibly strong support from industry this year with four companies donating electric secateurs as major prizes,” she said.

Ms Baum thanked all sponsors for donating more than $15,000 in prizes. 

“For the first year we also had an entry prize and Clare’s Roger Beames was the lucky winner of this pair of electric secateurs,” she said. 

“There was a lot of interest from competitors and spectators of the vineyard and pruning equipment that was on display and we also held a demonstration of a maxicut lopper for restructuring vines with dieback.”


2018 SA Pruning Championships – Results

Wolf Blass Shield (overall winner)

Dean Willoughby (Treasury Wine Estates, Barossa)

WSB/Pellenc Individual Spur

1st place – Paul Steel (Kilikanoon Wines, Clare Valley)

2nd place – Dean Willoughby (Treasury Wine Estates, Barossa)

3rd place – Keith Zubrinich, Quelltaler Estates, Clare Valley)

Platinum Ag/Bahco/Tradeware Group Individual Rod & Spur

1st place – Dean Willoughby (Treasury Wine Estates, Barossa)

2nd place – Leigh Victor (Kilikanoon Wines, Clare Valley)

3rd place – Aaron Scott (Ackland Vineyard Services, Clare Valley)

Cobra/Eclipse Ladies Individual Spur

1st place – Amanda Mader (Barossa)

2nd place – Laura McEwen (Barossa)

3rd place – Gitte Fraser (Valley Vineworks, Clare Valley)

Team Spur

1st place –“Go, Go, Go” – James Brooksby (Clare), Guilio Dichiera (Clare), Shane Bartel (McLaren Vale

2nd place –“Cutting Edge” – Steve Schiller, Dean Willoughby, David Vaughan (Barossa)

3rd place – “Light Pass Cricket Club” – Martin Gallasch, Ryan Schiller, Jim Boehm (Barossa)