With the huge success of wineries such as Ohau Wines, careers in viticulture are increasingly possible for young people in Horowhenua.
Some young people who have already excelled in the industry will be celebrated this week.
Following six regional finals throughout June and July, the countdown is on to the 2019 Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year National Final. Six finalists from around the country will take part in this prestigious competition on Monday 26th August at Te Awa winery in Hawke’s Bay.
The national finalists are: Jake Dromgool from The Landing, Northland; Nick Putt from Villa Maria, Hawke’s Bay; George Bunnett from Craggy Range, Wairarapa; Ben Richards from Indevin, Marlborough; Zoe Marychurch from Pegasus Bay, Waipara & Simon Gourley from Domaine Thomson, Central Otago
Throughout the day they will be tested on everything a Viticulturist needs to know to run a successful vineyard. Being the national final there will of course be a few curve balls thrown in as well as the popular BioStart Hortisports race at lunchtime when the contestants go head to head amongst the vines.
They have already handed in their AGMARDT project as part of the build up to the national final which involved writing a biosecurity plan for their vineyard.
Their final challenge will be to deliver a speech on Wednesday at Bragato, the New Zealand wine industry’s national annual conference. The winner will then be announced at the Bragato conference dinner on Thursday 29th August 2019.
Winning the coveted title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year is a goal many young vits set themselves. It’s a tough competition, so to win is no easy feat and the rewards are high. Taking out the title really spurs on the winner’s career. They also win an amazing prize package of a Hyundai Kona for a year, an Ecotrellis Travel Grant, Bahco golden secateurs, a leadership week and cash. There is also a cash prize for the best AGMARDT project and presentation.
The winner will also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition in November.