Marlborough wine industry turns to dams to protect against future water worries

  • Having a dam is the new norm for wine companies and grapegrowers as they seek to protect themselves from future water restrictions, a dam builder says.

It used to be uncommon for small to medium-sized vineyards in Marlborough to need a dam, but two years of drought and soaring global temperatures had hammered home the need for a reliable water source.

Peter Wilkinson grows grapes with his partner Penny Dollimore in the lower Waihopai Valley, drawing water from the Southern Valleys Irrigation Scheme and a well on the property.

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SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ
Peter Wilkinson and Penny Dollimore had a dam built at their Waihopai Valley vineyard last year.