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Congratulations to Rhys Hall from Indevin

Congratulations to Rhys Hall from Indevin - Corteva Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year 2020

Rhys Hall from Indevin became the Corteva Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year 2020 on 23 July following the competition held at Giesen’s Stump Creek Vineyard in Blenheim.

Congratulations also goes to Jess Wilson from Whitehaven who came second and Dan Warman from Constellation who came third.

There were eight contestants competing in total. The other five contestants were Andrew Mann from Rapaura Springs, Blair Elliot from Matua, Chloe Hannah from Fruitfed Supplies, Jess Barnes from Loveblock and Jess Marston from Villa Maria.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere in the vineyards, as the contestants really gave it their all as well as encouraging their fellow competitors. This competition is about Young Vits stretching themselves and striving for the title, but it’s also about bonding and making life long viti friends.” said Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers.

The Young Vits were tested on all aspects of vineyard management, including trellising, pruning, nutrition, machinery, pests & diseases, irrigation and budgeting. There was also an interview. At lunchtime a crowd gathered to watch the colourful BioStart Hortisports and a delicious BBQ was provided by Fruitfed Supplies.

The BioStart Hortisports prize was taken out by Jess Marston and Dan Warman took out the Ecotrellis trellising prize. 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. All the contestants were extremely professional, so it was a tough decision, but the judges decided it should go to Dan Warman, who has shown incredible growth over the last few competitions. NMIT also offered an Online Leadership Course, which was awarded to Jess Marston.

The winners were announced at the Awards Dinner at Wither Hills, where the contestants all gave some very impressive speeches. Fiona Fenwick from Fifteen Minutes welcomed everyone and kept the evening flowing as MC and the guest speaker was Mike Insley from Yealands who spoke about his fascinating experience of viticultural management in China.

Rhys Hall will go on to represent Marlborough 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, Central Otago and North Canterbury.

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.

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