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Celebrating 200 years of New Zealand wine and beyond

On this day, 200 years ago, the very first grape vines were planted into New Zealand soils, by Reverend Samuel Marsden at Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands.

New Zealand Winegrowers is marking the 200-year anniversary with an industry event held today in Northland. The celebration began with a ceremonial re-planting of a vine at the historic Stone Store, with John Clarke - Chair, New Zealand Winegrowers, Rod McIvor - Winemaker, Marsden Estate, and Sherry Reynolds - Manager (Northern Region), Heritage New Zealand, all lending a hand to the task. The celebration will continue this evening with a regional wine tasting and dinner on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

As the New Zealand wine industry raises a toast to the past, it also looks ahead to the future. Today at the 200-year celebration, New Zealand Winegrowers announced a new development to support and encourage young leaders in the industry – the New Zealand Winegrowers Young Leaders Forum, which will be held for the first time in November.

“The purpose of the Forum is to grow and develop the talent pool of potential and emerging young leaders in our industry. The key objectives are to expose our young leaders to some of the big issues and questions facing our industry, to provide an avenue for them to have a direct input to the Board on those issues, and to challenge our young leaders to be more involved in the industry, at local, regional or national level.” said John Clarke, Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers.

The Forum is to be held on an annual basis, and will be open to current and former finalists in the Young Viticulturalist and Young Winemaker of the Year programmes, mentees from the Women in Wine mentoring programme, and select nominees from each region. The theme for 2019 is ‘Next Steps in Sustainability’, and participation will be limited to no more than 20 young leaders each year.

“The New Zealand wine industry is dedicated to ensuring that we celebrate another 200 years, and as the industry looks to its third century, we are hopeful that the Forum will provide a platform for the young leaders who will be key to that future success.” said Mr Clarke.

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