Bayer Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year 2015 announced

Congratulations to Mike Winter from Amisfield who has just become the Bayer Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year 2015 and now goes through to the National Final.   After a challenging day of activities on Friday at the Central Otago Polytechnic, the contestants’ final task was to deliver a speech at the Annual Winemakers Feraud dinner on Saturday night at Northburn.

It was a very close competition with  Annabel Bulk taking 2nd place and Cliff Wickham coming 3rd, both from Felton Road Vineyard.  Mike Winter also won the “Best Speaker” round as he debated the future market for Lifestyle or Low Alcohol wines.

Contestants completed a wide range of activities including  questions on pruning,  tractor and motorbike skills, general viticultural knowledge, irrigation as well as having an interview and a blind wine tasting.
Questions are set by the national and local sponsors who are all specialists in various aspects of the industry.  The standard of entries was very high, showing a strong future for the viticultural industry in New Zealand.

The fun Biostart Hortisports race also took place which included erecting an Ecotrellis post, labelling wine bottles and sausage tasting.  The winner was awarded a $500 Precision Hawk voucher  for cutting edge analysis from drone use in the vineyard.

This annual competition is now in its 10th year and has become an important fixture in the viticultural calendar, giving young vits the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge as well as make a name for themselves within the industry.
Winter was also the CO Young Viticulturist of the Year 2014 so already has valuable experience at the National Final.  Can he win the national title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2015 this year?  He will be competing against Regional Finalists from  Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Martinborough and the National Final will be held in conjunction with Bragato over 25-27 August in Hawke's Bay.

As well as gaining the title, the national winner will be awarded a $5000 travel voucher from NZSVO, 1 years full lease of a Hyundai Santa Fe, $2000 cash,  wine glasses and leadership training.  They will also secure a place in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition representing the viticultural industry.