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Bayer Wairarapa Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017

Young Viticulturist Wairarapa Ben McNab-Jones

Congratulations to Ben McNab-Jones from Urlar who became Bayer Wairarapa Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017 on 20 July. This is the second year McNab-Jones has entered the regional competition and he is over the moon to be going through to the National Final to represent the Wairarapa.

Congratulations also to Scott Lanceley who came 2nd. Lanceley is currently self-employed and contracting to different vineyards within the region. Congratulations also to Johnny Wills from Te Kairanga who came 3rd.

The Wairarapa regional competition has now been running 4 years and is going from strength to strength, headed up by Rowan Hoskins and Braden Crosby.

The other contestants were Alex Muir, who has his own family vineyard and Jess Stringer from Matahiwi. Stinger is the first girl to ever compete in the Wairarapa competition.

The competition was held at Palliser Estate and involved a mix of challenges, including wine marketing, due diligence on vineyard investment, general viticulture, trellising and tractor operations.

The Biostart Hortisports race included pruning, mixing vine treatments and drawing a self portrait! Fruitfed Supplies laid on a delicious BBQ lunch.

The contestants then had to undergo a quick fire buzzer round and deliver a speech to a large crowd from the local wine industry. This was held at Peppers Resort in Martinborough.

McNab-Jones now goes on to compete in the National Final held in conjunction with Bragato, this year in Marlborough. Here he will compete against other young vits from Auckland/Northern, Marlborough, Nelson, Central Otago and Hawke’s Bay to take out the national title.

The national winner 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, $2000 cash, wine glasses and a leadership week where they meet some of the top leaders in the New Zealand wine industry. They also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition in November.