SA Pruning Championships 2016

Leigh VictorPruners from the Clare Valley, Barossa and McLaren Vale once again battled for the honour of being crowned SA Pruning Champion for 2016. Clare Valley's Leigh Victor took the shield with his winning combination of speed and technique.  The Clare Valley played on its home ground advantage scooping the pool of individual prizes.  However Barossa's "Cutting Edge" won the team event and the "McLaren Vale Knights" came third.  We would like to thank the Barossa for its strong support this year, both as competitors, judges and officials.


Pellenc Individual Rod and Spur

1st     James Brooksby

2nd    Leigh Victor

3rd    Ken Burgess

Electrocoup Individual Spur

1st     Soun Duongmala

2nd    Guilio Dichiera

3rd     Leigh Victor

Wolf Blass Shield (Aggregate Score)

1st     Leigh Victor

2nd    Guilio Dichiera

3rd    James Brooksby

Felco Team Spur

1st     Cutting Edge - Dean Willoughby, Steve Schiller, Pete Raymond 

2nd    Annie's Lane Allstars - James Brooksby, Stephen McKenzie, Keith Zubrinich

3rd     McLaren Vale Knights - Jeremy O'Donald, Shane Bartel, Lisa French

Welcome 350

Bell 350

Crowd 350












Malcolm Parish welcomes the pruners; Ring the bell - Let the competition begin; the crowd watches on during the team event.


cutting Edge













Winner of the Electrocoup Individual Spur Soun Duongmala; Felco Team Event winners Barossa's Steve Schiller, Dean Willoughby and Pete Raymond; Pellenc Individual Rod and Spur winner James Brooksby.


Eutypa Dieback - Reciprocal Visit

Justin and AaronA big thank you to Taylors Wines and Wattle Farm who hosted a group of visiting grape growers from Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills, here to learn more about how Eutypa Dieback is managed in the Clare Valley.

The bus load of visitors began the day at Taylors Wines where Vineyard Manager Colin Hinze talked about the extensive trunk renewal program they have been running for the past 8 years.  The Taylors program has focused primarily on blocks of Shiraz vines with some trial work on Cabernet sauvignon and Merlot.  Their approach is to cut all trunks in the block back to 30cm and to promote the growth of new shoots from below this point.  Taylors has experienced excellent water shoot rates with only 2% of Shiraz vines not producing a viable sucker.  They find that fruit quality returns to A and B grade after only 3-4 years as oppposed to replanting where young fruit characterists last a lot longer.

After lunch the group visited Geoff Lewis's vineyard Wattle Farm where viticultural concultant Justin Willowby and Vineyard Manager Aaron Ackland explained a different approach. Over the past few years Wattle Farm has evolved in its management of Eutypa from a single arm, single vine approach, to a more uniform process which looks at re-establishing the cordon while maintaining the trunk.  This site is dry-grown and it is imperitive to maintain as much vigour and sucker development as possible in this high-value vineyard. Hence retaining the trunk and its capacity for storing nutrients is important to this team.

A rereciprocal visit for Clare grape growers to McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek is planned for late winter.  Stay tuned.










SA Pruning Championships 2014

Speed alone was not enough to secure you a prize at this year’s SA Pruning Championships. Good technique was key in determining the prize winners this year.

Jeremy ODonaldThe Wolf Blass shield for the Winner of the Vine Pruning Championship of South Australia for 2014 went to Jeremy O’Donald, J&J Vineyard, McLarenVale, who took out the best aggregate score across the two open individual sections.

The event attracted a record number of competitors with more entrants in the open sections than in previous years. Individuals from McLaren Vale, the Barossa and Great Western and the Pyrenees in Victoria joined the Clare Valley’s finest to battle it out in both individual and team events

A ladies event was run for the first time, attracting more than 10 participants, representing vineyards and contractors from across the Clare Valley.

Competition organizer Malcolm Parish said electric snips were very popular in the women’s section and it was the first time that the judges had awarded higher points for electric snips than hand snips.

“Well done to the McLaren Vale fellow who came up with a strategy this year to knock off our local reigning champion”, Mr Parish said.

The results of the four events are as follows:

Electrocoup Individual Spur
1st    Thi Kim Oanh Tran (Tran), Kilikanoon Wines, Clare Valley
2nd   Jeremy O’Donald, J&J Vineyard, McLaren Vale
3rd    Leigh Victor, Kilikanoon Wines

Gawler Farm Machinery Individual Rod and Spur
1st    Ryan Longmire, Ackland Vineyard Services, Clare Valley
2nd   Sounsaveng Euoangmala (Soun), Ackland Vineyard Services
3rd    Brett Smith, Bastians Block, Clare Valley

Kilikanoon Ladies Individual Spur
1st    Piyaporn Onchai (Pim), Kilikanoon Wines
2nd   Boreyroth Thul (Ros), Ackland Vineyard Services
3rd   Thi Kim Oanh Tran (Tran), Kilikanoon Wines

Taylors Team Speed Spur
1st    Seppelts Snippers (Malcolm Boatman, Jeff Elliott, Patrick Hall) from Great Western
2nd   Mix Ups (Paul Steele, Boreyroth Thul, Jeremy O’Donald)
3rd   Outsiders (Dean Willoughby, Karl Schiller, Steve Schiller) from the Barossa Valley

Our thanks to Mike Lamond of Fairfax Media for providing the pictures for our use.

Pim Roth Tran

 CONTRACTORS SCOOP THE POOL IN THE LADIES EVENT: Pim, Roth and Tran, first, second and third the the Kilikanoon Ladies Spur.

Ryan and Soun

THUMBS UP FOR ACKLAND VINEYARD SERVICES:Ryan and Soun representing Acklands were first and second in the Gawler Farm Machinery Rod and Spur section.

Seppelts Snippers

SEPPELTS SNIPPERS TAKE IT HOME: Clever strategy and planning secured frist place for Pat, Jeff and Malcolm in the Taylors Team Speed Spur.


THE MIX-UPS: Shield winner Jeremy joined forces with Acklands contractor Roth and Kilikanoons Paul to take home second prize in the team section.

Schiller brothers

BAROSSA BROTHERS: Steve and Karl Schiller and Dean Willoughby (not pictured) brought home third prize in the team event for the Barossa Valley.

Winners of the individual spur

ELECTROCOUP INDIVIDUAL SPUR: The coverted first prize (a pair of electic snips) in the open individual spur section went to Tran, with Jeremy adn Leigh taking second and third prize.

Malcolm and Jenny

HOSTS: Malcolm and Jenny Parish hosted the day at their property Leasingham Ridge.

Paul Jones

A PIECE OF THE ACTION: Paul Jones from Taylors Wines competing in individual spur event.

Pat Hall

INTERSTATE RIVALRY: Pat Hall from Victoria's Great Western begins a new vine.

Tran and Pim

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER WINNERS: Tran, Winner of the Electrocoup Open Individual Spur with her daughter Pim, winner of the Kilikanoon Ladies Spur.

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