Sam Bain: At the top of his field

28 Jan 2022

Congratulations to Sam Bain, Springhill Vineyard Manager at Villa Maria Estate Hawke's Bay, who has won the Corteva Young Viticulturist of the Year National Final 2021! 

Sam Bain is 29 years old and is a vineyard manager for Villa Maria. He grew up in Hawke's Bay and has been working in the industry for the past 6 years. The wine industry was not on his radar until he completed a summer working for Sileni Estates.

The experience ignited his passion for all things grapes, having spent time in both the cellar and the vineyard, Sam much prefers the viticulture aspect of the wine world. The variety of work and the people make it an exciting and evolving industry to be a part of. Sam was Runner Up in the 2020 Young Vit National Final. 


Sam Bain
Sam Bain

What brought you to viticulture?

I was studying a different career path and decided I needed a change. I had worked summer breaks in the vineyards and had enjoyed the experience, so decided to give it a go and see what happens.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

The ability to work outdoors and be a part of growing and producing a high-end product that can be enjoyed with your family and friends.

What are the most exciting developments in your field?

The use of technology to help map, track and record data to provide to the wider team who manage the vineyards, which in turn helps produce the best wines we possibly can.

And the most exciting developments in Hawke's Bay's wine industry?

Extensive trials and research have been put into undervine plantings that are beneficial to the vineyard ecosystem but do not compete with the vine for nutrients and minerals. The ability to reduce and/or remove glyphosate from the vineyard is an ongoing conversation which aligns with sustainability. To be able to trial new native species and see the results is a move in the right direction.

Sum up a career in viticulture in 10 words or fewer.

Exciting, fast-paced, where no day is ever the same.


This interview was first published in New Zealand Winegrower magazine. Click here to read the interviews with the other five finalists.

Learn more about the Young Viticulturist competition.

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