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Congratulations To Annabel Angland - Corteva Central Otago Young Viticulturist Of The Year 2020

Annabel Angland from Peregrine became the Corteva Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year 2020 on 16 July following the competition held at Otago Polytechnic Central Campus in Bannockburn.

Congratulations also goes to Liam Burgess from Viticultura who came second and Jordan Moores from Felton Road who came third.

There were eight contestants competing in total. The other five contestants were Katrina Jackson from Chard Farm, Hannah van Velthoven from Prophets Rock, Daniel Brewster from Akarua, Annabel Wylie from Rippon and Theresa Woessner from Domaine Thomson.

“It was one of the closest competitions, we’ve ever seen” said Nick Paulin, the Regional Organiser, and all judges commented on the high calibre of the contestants.

It was a very cold, dull day with temperatures barely reaching 2C, but this didn’t dampen the spirits of the contestants who wholeheartedly threw themselves into every challenge. They were tested on all aspects of vineyard management, including trellising, pruning, machinery, pests & diseases, irrigation and budgeting. There was also a blind wine tasting and an interview. At lunchtime a crowd gathered to watch the colourful BioStart Hortisports and quick fire buzzer round. A delicious BBQ was provided by Fruitfed Supplies.

The BioStart Hortisports and Ecotrellis trellising prizes were taken out by Liam Burgess. A Professional Reputation Award, sponsored by Ormond Nurseries has also been introduced to the competition this year, encouraging the future leaders to think about their attitude and public presentation. This prize went to Daniel Brewster who handled some curve balls very professionally.

Annabel Angland will go on to represent Central Otago in the National Final in October being held in Martinborough this year. It is being held in conjunction with the 15 Year celebrations of the Young Vit competition. The practical day will take place on 7th October and the national finalists will give their speeches at the conference the following day. The fifteenth winner will then be announced at the celebration dinner. There will be a total of six finalists, with the others coming from Northland, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Marlborough and North Canterbury.

The national final has been won the last two years by Young Vits from Central Otago - Annabel Bulk from Felton Road in 2018 and Simon Gourley from Domaine Thomson in 2019. Will the trophy be coming back to the region for a third successive year? Nick Paulin from Central also won the competition in 2011.

The national winner will not only become the Corteva NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year 2020 but will win an amazing prize package of a Hyundai Kona for a year, an Ecotrellis Travel Grant, a Corteva educational trip to Australia, Bahco golden secateurs, a leadership week and cash. There are also cash prizes from AGMARDT for the top three national finalists research projects.

“These competitions bring the whole viticultural community together” says Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers, “and we are delighted they could still go ahead this year, despite being a little later than usual.”

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