Tracy Benge, development manager at the Bragato Research Institute, has been awarded a $15,000 scholarship from the 2018/2019 Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT) Leadership Scholarship. Benge will be able to use the prize to develop her leadership and governance skills in the New Zealand wine industry. One of these such ideas is Benge’s idea to establish a program that looks at adaption to climate change in New Zealand viticulture and establishing a new research winery in Marlborough.
Benge’s involvement with wine comes following a successful investment banking career in the UK. “My dad used to travel a lot for work, and when he’d come back he’d bring a bottle of wine from overseas, because in the 80s when I was growing up, NZ wines hadn’t really taken off,” said Benge. “It’s really important that the research winery we’re building is not only about research but also education and building that next generation of research capability.”