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100 helicopters scrambled to save New Zealand vines

Around 100 helicopters were called in to hover over Marlborough vineyards last night in a bid to save the local vines from frost.

In a scene national television channel One News said ‘resembled a war movie’, the helicopters hovered over the vineyards throughout the night.

The helicopters were hired out by winegrowers as an anti-frost measure. The draft created from their rotor blades is used to push down and circulate the higher, warmer air around the vines.

According to one pilot, some aircrews had flown over 400km to reach the stricken area.

Other, more traditional, methods including the use of wood burners were employed by the growers who say they are experiencing some of the worst frosts ever seen during the budding season.

Growers say it will be several days before they can measure the extent of the frost damage to their vines.

Written by Oliver Styles

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