Marlborough Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker 2016 Announced

Congratulations to Jordan Hogg from Seresin for winning Marlborough Young Winemaker 2016.  The competition took place on 8 July at MRC in Blenheim where six contestants spent the day battling it out across various activities.  Hogg scored very strongly across the board showing a great degree of knowledge and professionalism.
 
Congratulations also goes to Matt Fox from Hyland Viticulture who placed second and Shelley Young from Delegat who came third. 
 
The day consisted of a wide range of practical and theoretical questions which included detecting wine faults, cellar competency, wine knowledge and running laboratory tests.  The contestants also had to create their own blend of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to a certain specification and then present it to a panel of judges as if they were pitching to a US supermarket buying team.  The competition represented a typical day in the life of a winemaker covering many skills.
 
The Vin Olympics took place at lunchtime which was more light hearted and very amusing for the crowd of spectators.  Activities included barrel rolling, hula hooping and spitting skills.  Farmlands very kindly laid on a delicious steak BBQ.
 
The day concluded with dinner at the Marlborough Convention Centre where contestants had a wine options section as well as all having to deliver a three minute speech in front of the one hundred plus audience.
 
It’s a tough day but gives the contestants the opportunity to find out their strengths and weaknesses, grow in confidence, start making a name for themselves, as well as start building important relationships within the wine industry.  Most contestants enter several times before winning and gain great experience from coming back each year to compete.
 
This blend of enthusiasm and talent is helping to build a team of strong winemaking leaders for the future of the NZ wine industry.  The competition is in its second year and is open to young winemakers under the age of 30 who have completed at least 2 vintages in New Zealand. 
 
Both Hogg and Fox will go through to the National Final on 23-25 August to compete against the two winners from Hawke’s Bay.  Matt Fox has previously won the National Final in the 2013 Young Viticulturist of the Year competition so is determined to take out both titles.  However, the other finalists – Hogg, Roper and Hindmarsh - are very strong and skilled so it is set to be an exciting competition.  
 
For more information please contact:
Sophie Matthews, Chair, sophie.matthews@gmail.com, 021 081 81454
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