Congratulations to Tim Adams from Mudbrick who became the Bayer Auckland/Northern Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016. Although the national competition is now in its eleventh year, this is the first year Auckland has been added as a region to feed into the national final, so it was an exciting day for the north of the country.
Congratulations also goes to Jake Dromgool from The Landing in Kerikeri who came second and to Mohit Sharma from Man O War who came third. The calibre of the contestants was very high and the other contestants Robbie Golding and Blake Tahapehi put up strong competition.
The guys battled their way through the mud and the rain during the practical activities such as machinery, trellising and pruning yet despite the conditions spirits remained high. They also had an interview, a quick fire buzzer round as well as questions on nutrition, budgeting, pests and diseases and drone usage in the vineyards.
One of the highlights of the day was the BioStart Hortisports race where the contestants went head to head undertaking a variety of challenges amongst the vines. It was tough but both contestants and spectators enjoyed the race.
The day concluded with a magnificent dinner in the Mudbrick restaurant. Here the contestants all gave very impressive speeches.
We were thrilled also to welcome Sir Graham Henry who gave a very inspirational speech on success and how to set goals and work towards them.
Adams will now go onto the National Final in August which is held in conjunction with Bragato, this year in Marlborough. He will compete against the winners from Marlborough, Central Otago, Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa.
The national winner not only gains the title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year, but an amazing prize package of $2000 cash, a $5000 AGMARDT travel scholarship, a Hyundai Santa Fe for an entire year, wine glasses and a leadership week where they meet some of the top leaders in the New Zealand wine industry. They also go on to represent viticulture in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition.
The overall comments from the day applauded the high calibre of the contestants, the camaraderie that grew between them and the positivity and vibrancy of the wine industry as a whole.
The competition was held on 10 June at Mudbrick on Waiheke Island
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For more information and photos please contact:
National Co-ordinator, Young Viticulturist of the Year