Hawke's Bay Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker 2016 Announced

Congratulations to Alex Roper from Mission Estate for winning Hawkes Bay Young Winemaker 2016.  The competition took place on 1 July at EIT in Taradale followed by dinner and contestants speeches at Mission Estate. Yvonne Lorkin was the charming and entertaining MC who also ran the wine options section of the evening.
Congratulations also goes to Tom Hindmarsh from Dry River in Martinborough who came second (contestants from around the North Island were eligible to enter)  and Brad Frederickson from the Hawke's Bay Wine Company who came third!
Six contestants competed and judges were impressed with their overall knowledge and skills as well as admiring their passion for winemaking.  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. 
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.
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 to a certain specification and then present it to a panel of judges as if they were pitching to a buying team.  The competition represented a typical day in the life of a winemaker covering many skills including time management.
At lunchtime the more light hearted Vin Olympics was held where the contestants undertook a range of entertaining three minute activities including their long distance spitting skills.  Farmlands very kindly laid on a delicious steak BBQ.
Both Roper and Hindmarsh go through to the National Final where they will compete against the top two winners from the Marlborough competition being held this Friday 8 July.  The National Final takes place on 23 August at MRC, Blenheim and is run in conjunction with Bragato.
For more information please contact:
Sophie Matthews, Chair, sophie.matthews@gmail.com, 021 081 81454

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