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Honouring unsung young heroes of Hawke’s Bay wine industry

Honouring the unsung young heroes of the Hawke’s Bay wine industry

Moore Stephens Markhams Young Viticulturist of the Year Competition Friday 2 August 2013.

Hawke’s Bay is internationally renowned for its wine. The local wineries and winemakers are household names, with exceptional reputations in New Zealand and further afield.

Less well known, but just as crucial to the crafting of world-beating wine, are the viticulturists. They are intimately involved in all aspects of vineyard management; their extraordinary knowledge ensuring winemakers have the best possible grapes to work with after each harvest.

The region’s best up-and-coming viticulturists are being honoured on Friday 2 August at the Moore Stephens Markhams Young Viticulturist of the Year Competition. This is being held at Mission Estate – their viticulturist Caine Thompson took out the Hawke’s Bay competition in 2009. He went on to win the national awards, before being named New Zealand Young Horticulturist of the Year.

Since then, Thompson, has lived up to the early accolades. He developed a word first indicator grafting technique that detects the leaf roll virus, and has been involved in a major study on organics. He will be presenting the results from this research on Friday, followed by the prize giving in the evening.

“The competition provides contestants with a unique chance to benchmark themselves against their peers, while promoting their individual and company brands to the industry and increasing their profile,” says Thompson. “This leads to incredible opportunities, as Emma Taylor from Villa Maria and I have experienced. Winners have gone on to hold important viticultural positions at regional and national level.”

The grand final, featuring the best young viticulturists from around the country, will be held at the New Zealand Winegrowers National Conference – Bragato on the 27-29 August.

ENDS

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