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 Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year winner then goes on to enter the Grand Final of the Young Horticulturist of the Year. This competition has been won by the Young Viticulturist winner in 2006 (Marcus Wickham), 2007 (Emma Taylor), 2009 (Caine Thompson), 2010 (Stuart Dudley) 2012 (Braden Crosby) and 2015 (Caleb Dennis). This really endorses the high standard of this competition and the calibre of the contestants.
For more information and register your interest in competing, please contact:
NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year National Coordinator
Ph: 021 780948
For information on the regional competitions, please contact the below coordinators:
Contact - David Salmon
Contact - Paul Robinson
Ph: 021 369 373
Contact is Central Otago Winegrowers Assoc - Nick Paulin
Ph: 021 176 5633
Contact is Samantha Young
Ph: 03 577 2391
Contact: Rowan Hoskins
Ph: 0272 487033