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Congratulations to Nick Putt from Villa Maria

Nick Putt took out the title of Bayer Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2019 following a tough competition held at Te Awa Winery on 13 June.

Congratulations also goes Douw Grobler from Trinity Hill who came second and Sarah Hunt also from Villa Maria who came third.

There were 8 contestants from around the region in the competition, several of them competing for the first time and the others competing just for the second time. “It is great to see the next wave of Young Vits coming through” says Nicky Grandorge, National Co-Ordinator and Leadership & Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers. The competition is open to Under 30 year olds and many contestants enter several times before taking out the prestigious national title. “Each year they come back you can see how they have grown in confidence and skills, as well as enjoying the experience of stretching themselves and feeling part of a supportive viti community.”

Despite the rain, everyone arrived with great enthusiasm for the day, showing huge dedication from the contestants, sponsors and organisers who are all passionate about the competition. The contestants rotated around a range of practical and theoretical challenges as well as going head to head in the BioStart Hortisports race at lunchtime.

The other contestants were Kurt Kelly from Craggy Range, Sam Sherratt from Indevin, Adam Leach from Trinity Hill, Thomas Lange from Delegat and Sahil Gupta from Kumeu River HB vineyards.

The winners were announced at the dinner, which was also held at Te Awa, where the contestants underwent a quick-fire buzzer round and delivered their speeches. The wine industry strong crowd also enjoyed a game of wine options and were entertained by esteemed winemaker and EIT lecturer Ant MacKenzie.

Nick Putt will go on to represent Hawke’s Bay in the national final which is held in conjunction with Bragato at the end of August, being held in Hawke’s Bay this year.

Cameron Price, Nick Putt’s boss at Villa Maria and also winner of the 2016 national final says he’s proud to see Putt go through. “He put in a lot of work and it paid off”.

The national winner will not only become the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2019 but will win an amazing prize package of a Hyundai Kona for a year, an Ecotrellis Travel Grant, Bahco golden secateurs, a leadership week and cash. They will also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition in November. There is also an AGMARDT prize for the best national finalist’s project which they undertake in the build up to the national final.

Dates for other regional competitions are:

Wairarapa – 20th June, Te Kairanga

Marlborough – 4th July, Drylands

Waipara – 12th July, Greystone

Central Otago – 18th July, Central Polytechnic, Bannockburn


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