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The largest ever Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year National Final, taking place this week


2017 sees the largest National Final ever held for the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year competition. Taking place next Tuesday 29th August at Villa Maria in Marlborough, there will be a total of six national finalists representing six of our wine regions: Tim Adams - Auckland/Northern; Ben Richards - Hawke’s Bay; Ben McNab Jones – Wairarapa; Laurie Stradling - Nelson; Anthony Walsh - Marlborough and Annabel Bulk - Central Otago.

Bulk is the first woman in the competition since 2011, so it is great to see viticulture is very much a serious career option for both men and women.

The competition continues to grow with more contestants, more regions and tougher questions. The contestants are tested on everything required to be a top viticulturist and future leader of the industry. This includes both practical and theoretical challenges. For the first time this year the national finalists have had to send in a report on setting up a vineyard from scratch. This has now been sent in and the next couple of days will be spent revising subjects such as soil nutrition, pests & diseases, budgeting, general viticultural knowledge, trellising, machinery operation and maintenance as well as preparing a 3 minute speech to deliver at the Bragato conference on Wednesday afternoon.

It is no mean feat winning the title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year, which is why the title is so prestigious and why the competition is so important.

The national winner not only gains the title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year, but an amazing prize package of a Hyundai Santa Fe for an entire year, a $5000 AGMARDT travel scholarship, engraved Bahco golden secateurs, $2000 cash, 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 the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition in November.

The National Final takes place on Tuesday 29th August at Villa Maria, Marlborough from 9 am – 3pm. All supporters welcome.

The winner will be announced at the Bragato Conference dinner on Thursday 31st August at the Omaka Aviation Centre.

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