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Hawke’s Bay Educated Viticulturists Aiming High

Media Release


13 August, 2014

EIT is toasting the success of three graduates who have made the final five in the prestigious New Zealand Young Viticulturist of the Year competition being held in Blenheim later this month.

With a great prize package at stake, the annual event attracts stiff competition. More than 45 budding viticulturists entered from four winegrowing regions and of the five finalists, three have completed degrees at EIT.

The finals will be held from 25-27 August. The winner will receive a $5000 voucher to travel anywhere in the world that will provide an insight into the wine industry, a week’s travel visiting established New Zealand industry leaders, $2000 in cash, wine glasses and a 12-month lease of an SUV.

The EIT-educated finalists are Jeffery Farrell, Brenton O’Riley and Paul Robinson.

Wairarapa’s regional winner, Jeff studied EIT’s Certificate in Wine in 2002 when he was still at school. He then progressed to a Diploma in Wine Science and graduated with a Bachelor of Viticulture in 2011. Starting his career in Hawke’s Bay, the 29-year-old has since moved to the Wairarapa where he is the assistant vineyard manager of Craggy Range’s Te Muna Vineyard.

Brenton previously contested the Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year while studying at EIT. This year, having moved to Blenheim to take up a position as technical viticulturist for Giesen Wines, he aced the Marlborough competition.

Graduating earlier this year with a Bachelor of Viticulture, Brenton was awarded the 2012 Bragato Exchange Scholarship co-sponsored by EIT and the Rotary Club of Taradale. That took him to Italy for a month where he visited wine regions and Scuola Enolgica di Conegliano, Italy’s leading school for viticulture and wine science.

Representing Hawke’s Bay, Paul is another seasoned campaigner in the competition. This will be his fourth attempt at the national title, having won the Hawke’s Bay event for the last three years. Paul completed a Bachelor of Viticulture at EIT and is assistant vineyard manager for a Villa Maria Estate vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels.

EIT’s Head of School Applied Science Diane Marshall says Hawke’s Bay has a proud record for educating high-achieving viticulturists.

“In the last two years the New Zealand Young Viticulturist of the Year title has been won by EIT graduates – Braden Crosby in 2012 and Matt Fox in 2013. Braden is now winemaker for Borthwick Estate in the Wairarapa and Matt is vineyard manager for Glencoe Vineyards in Gisborne.

“It’s great to celebrate such successes and now we are backing our EIT-educated finalists to make it a hat trick for a third successive New Zealand Viticulturist of the Year title.”


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