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2017 Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year announced

2017 Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year announced Tim Adams

Congratulations to Tim Adams from Obsidian, Waiheke Island, who is the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017. Tim was representing the Auckland/Northern region and it is the first time the trophy will be going back to this region. This breaks the three year run of the title going to a Young Vit from Hawke’s Bay.

Tim is already 30, so at the maximum age for entering the competition, so came to the national final very well prepared and with great determination. He achieved strong results across the board, showing he has the overall skills and knowledge required to be an accomplished viticulturist and future leader.

Congratulations also goes to Annabel Bulk from Felton Road, Central Otago who was the Runner Up. It was fantastic to have a female in the competition after several years and to see that viticulture can be a very successful and exciting career for both men and women. Annabel impressed the judges not only with her high level of viticultural knowledge, but also her great aptitude and ability in the practical challenges, as she very quickly and professionally rigged up some trellising, wiring and irrigation equipment.

The judges were in fact very impressed with the overall high calibre of all the national finalists. These were Ben Richards, Hawke’s Bay; Ben McNab Jones, Wairarapa; Laurie Stradling, Nelson and Anthony Walsh, Marlborough.

This year the finalists were given a project to research and write a report in advance of the National Final. They then had to present this to three judges on the day itself. The competition was held at Villa Maria, Marlborough on 29th August. Here the contestants undertook a wide range of challenges testing their skills and knowledge including budgeting, pests & diseases, tractor maintenance, trellising, irrigation and general viticultural knowledge. They also had an interview, competed in the Biostart Hortisports and finally had to deliver a speech at the Bragato Conference the following day. Feedback from the Bragato audience is that the speeches were all inspiring and very well delivered.

The Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year competition is not only about winning, but also networking and making new friends within the New Zealand wine industry. Sponsors, who are all key experts in their fields, are an important part of this and previous young vit contestants are all involved with setting up and setting questions. It is a really positive programme and a great community for the industry to work together for the future.

Annabel was awarded $1000 and some wine glasses.

Tim not only gains the title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017, but an amazing prize package of a Hyundai Santa Fe for an entire year, a $5000 AGMARDT travel scholarship, some engraved Bahco golden secateurs, $2000 cash, wine glasses and a leadership week. He will also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition in November.