Meet the 2023 Young Winemaker Competition National Finalists

We are excited to introduce you to the three contestants who will be competing in the National Final on Tuesday 31 October 2023.


Alena Kamper, Sacred Hill

Alena Kamper is a 22-year-old cellarhand at Sacred Hill Winery. She grew up in Hawkes Bay making the decision to study the Bachelors of Viticulture and Wine Science a no brainer, in which she graduated last year. Her passion for the industry has developed from the integral relationship between the science and art of wine. Spending time in both the vineyard and winery, she has decided the excitement of the cellar has won her over, being able to incorporate both practical and theory into everyday operations, alongside lots of laughs. After a hard day's work, it's likely you will find her across the road at Roosters enjoying a cold beer. 


Eliana del Valle Leal, Amisfield

Eliana Leal Biography Eliana Leal, a 29-year-old lab technician at Amisfield in Central Otago, found her true home in New Zealand after leaving her native Argentina in 2018. Her journey into the world of wine began in 2021 when she embarked on her first vintage at Sacred Hill in Hawke's Bay. The intricate chemistry and captivating intricacies of wines, coupled with the warm-heartedness of the people in the wine industry, ignited her passion. With a background in Biotechnology, Eliana pursued a Graduate Diploma in Oenology at EIT in 2021. She thrives on the hands-on experience of working directly with wine and finds solace in the laboratory. Beyond her professional pursuits, Eliana cherishes quality time with her loved ones. She finds joy in outdoor walks and activities, relishes the art of dancing, engages in friendly games of volleyball, and eagerly takes to the slopes for snowboarding adventures.


Callum Haynes, Matua Wines

Callum Haynes is a winemaker from sunny Marlborough. His wine journey began in 2014 when he graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology. Since then, he has been expanding his wine knowledge in New Zealand, Australia and Germany. Three years abroad taught him many things, but the most important lesson was that there is no place like home. So in 2020, he returned to his Kiwi roots and has been making world class Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ever since. In his spare time, Callum likes to play boardgames, walk in the mountains and enjoy a glass of Riesling in the sun.



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