Bayer Hawke's Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016 announced

Congratulations to Cameron Price from Villa Maria who became the Bayer Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016 on Thursday 7 July.  Price was thrilled that the experience he had gained from having entered the competition twice previously and the hard work he put into preparing for this year finally paid off.  Most contestants enter several times before taking out the title and this is an important part of the competition as it builds confidence and skills along the way.
Congratulations also goes to Anton Luiten from Selaks, Constellation who came second and to Jascha Oldham-Selak from Te Mata who came third. 
The day involved a mix of theoretical and practical activities including machinery, irrigation, trellising and pruning, as well as questions on budgeting, pests and diseases and a nursery segment.  The contestants also had an interview to discuss their personal goals and visions for the future of the NZ wine industry.
The BioStart Hortisports race attracted a good crowd as contestants went head to head completing various challenges.   As well as performing viticultural tasks the contestants had to fillet a fish and build their own stilts to make it back to the finishing line.  Needless to say this proved very entertaining viewing for the spectators.  Fruitfed Supplies kindly provided a delicious BBQ lunch for everyone which was much appreciated. 
In the evening contestants had a blind tasting upon arrival, then later underwent a quick fire buzzer round and delivered some very interesting speeches to the audience of over one hundred members of the Hawke’s Bay wine industry.  
Grant Charteris was the keynote speaker and gave a very inspirational speech on how to reach your goals and what drove him and his wife Sally to prepare for and win Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year competition 2016. David Todd, “Toddy” a professional and entertaining speaker was MC which added to the entertainment of the evening.
The Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year Competition is about growing the future of the New Zealand wine industry by helping to develop and nurture potential viticultural leaders.   Despite being a challenging day, it was also fun and the contestants’ determination and focus on achieving their absolute best was pretty evident, as was the camaraderie that grew between them.
There were also two contestants from Gisborne who entered the competition for the first time and although they didn’t place for the National Final they found the experience very rewarding and are keen to enter again next year.
The National Final 23-25 August is held in conjunction with Bragato.  Price will compete against the winners from Auckland, Central Otago, Marlborough 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 competition was held on Thursday 7 July at Te Awa.
The remaining competition dates are:
Central Otago – 22 July, Cromwell Polytechnic
Wairarapa – 28 July, Te Kairanga
-  Ends  -
For more information and photos please contact:
Nicky Grandorge
National Co-ordinator, Young Viticulturist of the Year
021 780948

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