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He hosted media on his Bannockburn property as part of the Irrigation New Zealand conference programme last month.
He talked about how important water was for the grape and their systems to maximise water use efficiency.
''Water is the new gold,'' he said. ''We are blessed with a vast water resource for the asking and it has unlocked a vast amount of economic potential.''
''There is a phenomenal resource going past our gateway.''
However, he said it needed to be managed responsibly.
''We have a very efficient and miserly use of water.''
He said they used drip micro-irrigation at 2 litres per hour per plant, which dripped on the right spot and met the vine's requirements during different growth periods.
''We don't want to over irrigate,'' he said.
He said although the vines did not suffer, a struggling vine was more expressive of that particular environment.
They frost fight but prefer to use wind machines and helicopters as opposed to water.
He said frost fighting could use about 30,000 litres an hour, which is deleterious to soil, temperature and vine growth.
''We only turn the water on when we have to.''
Innovation has been a focus at Mt Difficulty, which has invested in a bioreactor plant to deal with winery waste, which processes waste water to just above drinking standards, but is suitable for establishing native plantings.
They also use worm castings compost incorporated into the soil to improve it.
-By Yvonne O'Hara