Bayer Hawke's Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018 announced

Jonathan Hunt Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year

Congratulations to Jonathan Hunt from Delegats, Crownthorpe Vineyard, who became the Bayer Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018 on Thursday 21st June.

This is the third year Hunt has competed and he is thrilled to have won the title and to be going on to represent Hawke’s Bay in the National Final.

Congratulations also goes to Nick Putt from Villa Maria who came second and Grace Petrie from Trinity Hill who came third.

There were seven contestants in total including Hunt’s fiancée Sarah Luke from Thornhill Consulting. As Hunt is 29 and will be too old to compete next year this was the only year they would be able to compete together, which spurred Luke on to compete for the first time. There was a bit of friendly rivalry, but ultimately Luke was very proud to see her husband-to-be pick up the trophy. Apart from Hunt, all the other contestants were entering for the very first time.

“It is exciting to see a new wave of young vits coming through.” says Nicky Grandorge, the National Co-ordinator. “The competition gives them a great opportunity to bond with fellow young vits as well as test their skills and find their weaknesses to work on over the next year. I love to see them return with increased confidence and knowledge the following year with even more determination to win.”

Jonathan Hunt Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year

All the new contestants are keen to enter again next year and felt a great sense of achievement at the end of the tough day. The other contestants were Andy Pan from Pask who won the BioStart Hortisports race, Adam Leach from Thornhill Consulting and Douw Grobler from Trinity Hill.

Hunt demonstrated his strong viticultural skills as he excelled in many of the sections including pests & diseases, the speech, budgeting, machinery, the interview and nutrition showing he has a good cross section of knowledge required to run a vineyard and represent his region in the National Final.

The National Final will be held in the Wairarapa on 27th August and the winner will be announced at the Bragato dinner on 30th August in Wellington.

The National winner receives an amazing prize package including a Hyundai Kona for a year, $5000 AGMARDT Travel Grant, $2000 cash, Bahco golden secateurs, glassware and a leadership week where the winner travels around New Zealand to meet influential people from the within the wine industry as well as leaders from other industries.

For more information or photos please contact: Nicky Grandorge, National Co-ordinator at, 021 780948