Anna Kelland from Constellation Brands wins 2024 Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year

05 Jul 2024

Congratulations to Anna Kelland from Constellation Brands who became the 2024 Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year after a challenging competition held on 4 July at Whitehaven in Rapaura. 

Congratulations also to Liv Bishop from Delegats who came second and Laura Hammond from Babich who came third.

“Seeing three bright, young women take out the top places, highlights that viticulture is very much an exciting career option for both women and men” says Nicky Grandorge, who heads up Young Viticulturist and Women in Wine as part of her role at New Zealand Winegrowers.

This year there were ten contestants, two more than the usual eight, adding to the excitement as everyone arrived at dawn for the big day in the vineyards. The other contestants were Dan Du, Lizzie McMullen, Eric Bryan, Nav Sandhu, Andre Dippenaar, Harrison Chou and Harry Watson. Several judges remarked on the inspiring talent this year, describing them as “a very bright, enthusiastic bunch of young vits”.

It was a crisp, frosty start to the day but contestants and judges were rewarded with a stunning sunrise and soon warmed up around a fire pit and coffee van before the competition kicked off. 
The young viticulturists circulated around various challenges and theory papers testing them on trellising, pruning, irrigation, machinery, pests and diseases, budgeting and sitting an interview.   

The BioStart Hortisports took place in front of a large wine industry crowd who came to support the young vits at lunchtime and enjoy a sizzling BBQ cooked by the Fruitfed Supplies team. The contestants finally delivered a speech that evening at the Awards Dinner and had a quick fire quiz before the final scores were tallied up. 

The evening also included the launch of the Geoff Warmouth Cup which will be awarded each year to the winner of the BioStart Hortisports. This was introduced in recognition of Geoff’s passionate work in stretching the contestants in this head-to-head race. Geoff has been rustling up a wide range of gruelling and fun challenges almost since the start of the competition and the race is one of the highlights of the competition. Geoff presented the cup to this year’s winner Liv Bishop from Delegats.

Brodie Kane was the guest speaker and amused the audience with her tales of competing in various events.

Anna Kelland will now go through to the National Final to compete against representatives from other regions around the country. The National Final will be held at Escarpment Vineyards in Martinborough on Wednesday 28 August. The 2024 Young Viticulturist of the Year will be announced at the Altogether Unique 2024 industry celebration at Te Papa on 29 August.

There were some great prizes won across the board including a Fruitfed Supplies Field Trip and $1,000 for Anna. Liv Bishop won $750 cash and an NZSVO Educational Trip. She also won the Ecotrellis trellising section prize as well as the BioStart Hortisports. Laura Hammond won $500 cash along with other section prizes. The Ormond Professional Reputation Award went to Dan Du from Whitehaven.

Anna will compete for even greater prizes at the National Final. The 2024 Young Viticulturist of the Year will take home an amazing prize package including a brand new Ford Ranger for a year, a $6,000 Ecotrellis Travel Grant and a Leadership Week. A BioStart Hortisports winner will also be announced along with other cash prizes.

The Young Viticulturist of the Year competition is made possible thanks to the following generous sponsors: BioStart, Ecotrellis, Ford, Fruitfed Supplies, Agritrade, Clemens, Constellation Brands, Empak, Fendt, Indevin, Klima, Ormond Nurseries, Roots, Shoots & Fruits, Waterforce, NZSVO, New Zealand Winegrowers and Winejobsonline.


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Images can be downloaded here


For more information and photos please contact NZW Leadership & Communities Manager:; 021 780 948.

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