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Students excel at Hawke's Bay wine show

Media Release

Caption: Jascha Oldham-Selak, winner of the top student wine.



EIT students harvested a bumper crop of medals at the regional wine awards, an event in which their entries were judged using the same criteria as for commercially produced wines.

Fifteen of the 20 student entries in the Hawke’s Bay A & P Bayleys Wine Awards won medals – seven silver and eight bronze. That made it the best-ever result achieved by EIT in the awards’ student wine class.

Convenor of judges Warren Gibson said it was a very strong student class, with strong wines across different styles. While another good Hawke’s Bay vintage was a plus for all those entered in the awards, the students faced the challenge of working with small lots of fruit, most donated by local wineries and vineyards.

The class supernova was Jascha Oldham-Selak who was awarded three silver and two bronze medals.

In the third year of concurrent study for his Bachelor of Wine Science and Bachelor of Viticulture, Jascha was awarded the top student wine for his JOS Methode Traditionelle 2015, made from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes.

Demonstrating impressive skills across a range of wine styles, he also won silver for a 2014 syrah and a 2017 vintage port made from merlot, grenache and cabernet sauvignon grapes. Bronze medals were awarded for his sparkling red, JOS Metodo Classico Rosso 2015, as well as a 2015 chardonnay.

Jascha has wine embedded in his DNA.

A member of the Selak family who founded the New Zealand company of the same name, he was awarded the 2015 Constellation Brands New Zealand Ltd wine industry scholarship for a student enrolled in viticulture degree studies at EIT.

As New Zealand’s 2015 Bragato exchange student, he spent a month exploring wineries and vineyards in Italy – his first experience of northern hemisphere winemaking.

His 2014 syrah won bronze at that year’s Romeo Bragato Awards and the Hawke’s Bay A & P awards, and silver in EIT’s own student awards.

He placed third in the 2016 Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year.

Formerly from west Auckland, Jascha qualified as an airline pilot before deciding the wine industry was where he really wanted to be. “This has more meaning to me,” he said last year. “My background supports it.”

When he finishes his studies, the 27-year-old wants to specialise in making sparkling wines using traditional methods.

All the other student class medals were awarded to groups of Graduate Diploma in Oenology students. Most of the groups entered comprised international and New Zealand students.

Rohit Saini, Jaykumar Shukla, Navdeep Sidhu, Anirudh Sharma, Pranav Thekkedath and Seth Ho Ka Fai were double silver winners with Blue Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2016 and Blue Wines Merlot Cabernet 2016.

Silver also went to Timmy Zhao, Rex Liang and Victor Gouk for their Three Brothers Chardonnay 2016 and Alastair Benham, Tatiana Otto, Ildi Eifert, Isobel Ayers and Jason McCluskey for Team Awesome Sauvignon Blanc 2016.

© Scoop Media

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