Wine and Liquor Events Calendar

This event calendar is provided for information for the New Zealand wine and liquor industries and is not intended to be a general calendar of all events that may occur. Whilst some events will have a consumer focus, it is more of a helpful guide for those in the trade to use as a planning tool to avoid conflicting dates. Not every event will necessarily be listed here.

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Central Otago Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year Competition 2017

Starts: Friday 14 July 2017
Type: Competition
Venue: Cromwell Polytechnic
City: Cromwell
Country: New Zealand

In 2006 the first Young Viticulturist Competition began. Now, it is an annual event attracting intense interest within the industry with regional competitions throughout New Zealand culminating in the national finals, held in conjunction with the New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato Conference every August. 

This annual competition is now in its 11th year and has become an important fixture in the viticultural calendar.  By encouraging and developing young viticulturists, the competition helps build a team of talented, young professionals who can continue pushing the boundaries in the vineyard, ensuring the reputation for exciting, high quality New Zealand wines continues long into the future.


How does it work?

Young viticulturists, under 30, compete in regional competitions and these winners then battle it out at the National Final to become Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year.

Contestants undertake a wide range of practical and theoretical questions on viticulture, as well as having an interview, a quick buzzer round and finally delivering a speech at the Bragato Wine Awards dinner. 

What are the benefits of entering?

It’s tough, but a fantastic opportunity to develop skills and knowledge, network and become more well known in the industry.  It’s a very prestigious title to win and even just to have competed adds weight to industry experience and opens doors to career promotions.  Previous contestants have all found their careers benefitted greatly from entering the competition, even if they have not been the outright winner.


“It shows you what you need to know to be a well rounded viticulturist.  You gain great insight and connections as well as it being a fun day of challenges.”  Dan Mather, previous contestant


Marcus Wickham, winner 2006, was Company Viticulturist at Mud House wines

Now: Managing Director at Klima machinery


Caine Thompson, winner 2009, was Company Viticulturist at Pyramid Valley

Now: Managing Director, Pyramid Valley Wines


As an employer, what are the benefits of my employees entering?


Increased confidence and enthusiasm in your employee.

You are supporting the  future of the industry.

Have increased contact with key suppliers

There are good networking opportunities

Strong PR around the event is, so exposure for your company if one of your employees is competing.

The Young Viticulturist Final winner goes on to enter the Grand Final of the Young Hort of the Year for the 2014 competition. This competition has been won by the Young Viticulturist winner in 2006 (Marcus Wickham), 2007 (Emma Taylor), 2009 (Caine Thompson), 2010 (Stuart Dudley) and Braden Crosby upheld the tradition in 2012 thus demonstrating the high standard of this competition and the competitors.




For more information and register your interest in competing, please contact:


Nicky Grandorge

NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year National Coordinator

Ph: 021 780948

For information on the regional competitions, please contact the below coordinators.


Please contact or call 06 833 7440 for more information, or if you are from the following regions you can contact:


Hawke’s Bay:

Contact - Paul Robinson


Ph: 021 369 373


Central Otago:

Central Otago Winegrowers Assoc - Nick Paulin


Ph: 021 176 5633



Contact is Georgie Leach

Ph: 0275 468 960



Contact: Rowan Hoskins

Ph: 0272 487033



Contact: Heinrich Storm

Ph: 021 987 857  

Contact: Central Otago Winegrowers Assoc - Nick Paulin
P: 021 176 5633
Click here to email the organisers

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I received many qualified applicants from the ad you posted for me and have filled my quota of interns for this year. Thanks for your help.

----Kristi Koford, Napa Wine Company | View more testimonials