Pruning competition crowns Steve Schiller

Steve Schiller with the coveted Wolf Blass perpetual pruning trophy, which he won previously in 2017. Photo: Sam Kroepsch
Steve Schiller with the coveted Wolf Blass perpetual pruning trophy, which he won previously in 2017. Photo: Sam Kroepsch

Barossa grower Steve Schiller took home the top-prized Wolf Blass Shield at the 2019 South Australian Pruning Championships on Wednesday June 5.

The shield, with a history dating back to 1983, recognises the competitor with the best overall score for both cane and spur pruning in the individual categories.

Impressively, Schiller's placed third in the individual spur, second in the individual rod and spur and even first in the team event.

This marks the second time Schiller has taken home the Shield - winning it previously in 2017.

The Barossa Pruning Expo, which combines a pruning competition, workshops and trade show, was launched in 2014 after a hiatus of 30 years, previously running locally from 1920s until 1983.

The competition now offers over $13,000 worth of prizes.

The event is run every alternate year in Barossa and Clare Valley, and regularly attracts up to 200 growers, technical viticulturists, researchers and pruning technology suppliers to PIRSA's research station in Nuriootpa.

The pruning competition runs alongside a workshop and trade show and regularly attracts up to 200 growers, researchers and suppliers. Photo: Sam Kroepsch

The pruning competition runs alongside a workshop and trade show and regularly attracts up to 200 growers, researchers and suppliers. Photo: Sam Kroepsch

The 2019 Expo's keynote speaker was leading Eutypa research scientist Dr Mark Sosnowski, who spoke on the subject of "Preventing and Managing Eutypa" and this was followed by BGWA's video case studies featuring growers talking about yield, quality and profitability benefits five years after reworking Eutypa-affected grapevines, and a decision-making tool by Chris Rogers Viticulture.

BGWA Viticulture Development Officer said the highlight of the day was a presentation by retiring SARDI scientist and Barossa grower Dr Mike McCarthy who reflected on 45 years in viticulture research and his thoughts on the future.

"The Barossa Pruning Expo is an example of our strong focus on giving growers access to best practice viticulture tools and information so they can, in turn, run healthy, profitable businesses that will thrive for many generations to come," Nicki Robins said.

Results

Pellenc Individual Spur

  • 1st - Dean Willoughby (Barossa)
  • 2nd - Leigh Victor (Clare Valley)
  • 3rd - Steve Schiller (Barossa)

Electrocoup / Bahco Individual Rod & Spur

  • 1st - Chris Parbs (Barossa)
  • 2nd - Steve Schiller (Barossa)
  • 3rd - Ryan Schiller (Barossa)

Felco Team Spur

  • 1st - "Cutting Edge" - Steve Schiller, Dean Willoughby, David Vaughan (Barossa)
  • 2nd - "Fortified Dills" - Jim Boehm, Mick Boehm, Paul Braunack (Barossa)
  • 3rd - "Sizzling Secateurs" - Mandy Mader, Cheree Boehm, Fiona Habermann (Barossa)