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2016 Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year announced

Winner of 2016 Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year announced

Congratulations to Cameron Price from Villa Maria, Hawke’s Bay who is the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016. After a tough final Price was thrilled to receive this prestigious reward on Thursday night at the Bragato Wine Awards. “All that hard work paid off” he said.

Cameron is the Vineyard Supervisor working on Villa Maria’s Ngakirikiri, Vidal and Twyford Gravels vineyards. He has been there since May this year and is enjoying the challenges of his new position, supervising 60 hectares of vines.

He is 26 years old and grew up in Palmerston North. Price comes from a family of plumbers but his passion for viticulture and wine led him to Hawkes Bay to study Viticulture at EIT in 2008. He continues to study part-time as he furthers his career working full time learning and upskilling on the job as well.

Price has achieved the hat trick for Hawke’s Bay as they have taken out the title for the last three years. Paul Robinson also from Villa Maria won it in 2014 and Caleb Dennis from Craggy Range in 2015.

Congratulations also goes to Mike Winter from Amisfield who was runner up. A great achievement doing Central Otago proud. The other contestants Tim Adams, Brenton O’Riley and Mark Langlands all put up stiff competition in this tough National Final.

“The judges commented several times what a high calibre group of contestants there was in the competition and what positive, respectful and genuinely nice guys they all were” says Nicky Grandorge, the National Co-ordinator, “which is exactly what we are looking for from our future leaders.”

The main day of practical and theoretical questions took place on Tuesday 23 August at Villa Maria in Marlborough. The questions and challenges are all a big step up from the regional finals and this year included some very different tests. These included giving a vineyard tour to some “international visitors” who quizzed them about viticultural practices and the NZ wine industry, setting up a trellising and an irrigation system, a water theory question, pests and diseases, biosecurity, health & safety and budgeting. They also had an interview to hear about their visions for the NZ wine industry and of course went head to head in the BioStart Hortisports race.

The quick fire buzzer round was held at the Bragato conference on Wednesday and finally the contestants gave their speeches to the 350 strong wine industry audience at the Bragato wine awards
Price’s speech was “How do we create and maintain value in our industry for the future?” which gave the audience a few things to think about as well as a few chuckles.

Price not only won the title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year, but an amazing prize package of a $5000 AGMARDT travel scholarship, a Hyundai Santa Fe for an entire year, $2000 cash ,wine glasses and a leadership week where they meet some of the top leaders in the New Zealand wine industry.

He will now also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year in November.

- Ends -

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