Meet the Team

Nicky Grandorge

Nicky Grandorge - National Co-ordinator

Nicky Grandorge is Leadership & Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers and heads up the Young Viticulturist & Young Winemaker of the Year competitions as well as Women in Wine. 

She has worked in the wine industry her entire career in various roles and has a good understanding of the range of pressures, as well as the joys, which come with different jobs. 

Nicky is passionate about helping people reach their goals and helping them feel they belong to a supportive and progressive industry.  


Matt Fox

Matt Fox - Chair

Matt was our 2013 Young Vit national winner and is a highly regarded leader in the NZ viticultural sector. Originally from Gisborne, he is now the Viticulturist for Raparua Springs/ Summerhouse Wines in Marlborough. He has sat on the NZ Winegrowers Environmental Committee and sits on the Marlborough and National Young Vit committees.


National Committee Members

Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson competed in the Young Viticulturist competition a number of times, and finally managed to win the national title in 2014.

Since then he has stayed involved in the competition – heading the Hawke’s Bay regional committee for a number of years, and he has been part of the national committee for the last 3 years as well.

He enjoys staying involved and helping bring the next generation of Young Vit’s through the ranks the same way he was all those years ago.

Paul has worked for Villa Maria for over 14 year in various roles, and is now the Hawke’s Bay Regional Viticulturist. He enjoys the diversity of the role where every day brings something new and a different challenge.


nick paulin

Nick Paulin

Since graduating from Lincoln University in 2004 with a degree in Viticulture & Oenology. My first role in the industry was a summer job at Felton Road Wines while studying at Lincoln. I was lucky enough for this to lead into a full-time role, ultimately working up to assistant viticulturist.

In 2006 I participated in the first Burgundy exchange programme between Central Otago and Burgundy, this really opened my eyes to the world of wine and the history that goes with wine.

I left Felton Road in 2010 to take up the role as viticulturist for Peregrine Wines, managing 55ha of BioGro certified organic vineyards.

I won the New Zealand Young Viticulturist of the year in 2011, which created some great networking opportunities with other people in the industry around New Zealand

In late 2017 I took on the role of Estate Manager for Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wines, looking after our vineyard and property in Lowburn, Central Otago and helping with the organic and biodynamic viticulture practices and certification at Pyramid Valley Vineyards. I am now National Viticulturist for AONZ , overseeing three properties across Central Otago, North Canterbury and Hawkes Bay   


Annabel Bulk

After studying Amenity Horticulture and then Viticulture and Oenology, Annabel moved to Central Otago to work with Felton Road Wines.

After success in the Young Viticulturist Competition and the Young Horticulturist competition in 2018 Annabel was promoted to the Vineyard Manager at Felton Road. She thoroughly enjoys the challenges each new season brings and enjoys meshing the scientific understanding of soil and vines with the day to day practices in the vineyard. Organics will always be a passion for Annabel and she relishes the opportunity to learn more, teach others and continue to help improve practices at her workplace and around her region. The challenges brought with the changing growing season gives Annabel the ability to continue to learn and trial new practices.

Outside of work Annabel enjoys exploring the great outdoors, native restoration and gardening.


Mike Saunders

Mike started his career as a wine grower in the cellar completing vintages for Esk Valley Estate in Hawkes Bay and Mount Pleasant in the Hunter Valley, Australia. He returned to New Zealand to run the iconic Esk Valley Terraces Vineyard for Villa Maria,  while also accepting the role of grower liaison officer for Villa Maria Hawkkes Bay. Mike then moved to Neudorf in Nelson as Company Viticulturist. This gave Mike a totally different exposure to region and also scale, and he lists growing the Moutere Chardonnay as a huge privilege and career highlight.

The draw of returning home to Canterbury and eventually earning the role of Company Viticulturist for North Canterbury’s Greystone and Muddy Water Wines has been another amazing opportunity. Mike also enjoys his roles with the Young Viticulturist Competition, Organic Winegrowers NZ and as President of North Canterbury Winegrowers.


Regional Chairs

Adam Yukich

Adam Yukich - Auckland/Northern

Adam Yukich has been brought up in the New Zealand Wine Industry and has been involved in the viticulture, winemaking and bottling sectors. Currently working for Wineworks, he enjoys leading a high performing team, and is excited to see the growth of the industry. He has tertiary qualifications in Business and Viticulture.

He volunteers to lead the Regional Committee for the Northern Auckland region of the Young Viticulturist Competition. He sees immense value in this, as it allows it him remain connected to the vineyards, and the viticulture community.


Ryan Fraser - Hawke's Bay

I’m Ryan Fraser and I’m the Vineyard Manager at Paritua in Bridge Pa, Hawkes Bay. 

We have just harvested our first Organic grapes this season after full conversion of 54ha, with some great Chardonnay and Syrah picked. I’m looking forward to trying it from barrel in a months time.  

I competed in Young Vit 2016 and I don’t think I would have got where I am now without meeting so many different people. The challenges faced when competing really pushed me to do better. 


Rowan Hoskins – Wairarapa

Rowan has worked in the Wairarapa in various roles and vineyards over the last 15 years, also competing in the young viticulturist several times.

He has been running the Wairarapa young viticulturist since 2017 and is engaged in upskilling young people in the industry.

Rowan is Viticulturist/ site manager for Escarpment Winery and is passionate about Pinot Noir, chardonnay, and Organics.


David Bullivant - Marlborough

I grew up spending as much time in the outdoors as possible; working and playing sports.  I tossed a coin when school finished and studied horticulture at Massey Uni instead of becoming an animal doctor.  This education took me to Canterbury for 6yrs looking after apple orchards before returning to academia at Lincoln Uni. 

Since 1997 I have been working in the wine industry growing grapes and supporting growers with technical advice.  I have made many friends and enjoyed many different experiences.  I am grateful to the people that mentored me, provided support and made me laugh.  Consequently, I enjoy working with young viticulturists and wine industry people that are attracted to growing the best wine in the world or just being the best person they can be.  It is interesting to reflect on the things that I thought were important in my previous work life and the things that I know now are important.

I have been the Marlborough Viticultural Manager for Babich wines since 2016.

When I’m not trying to organise my work or my life on a spreadsheet, you can find me walking vineyards with Rosie (Huntaway Lab X) or paddling my surfski.


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