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Bayer Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018 announced

Ben Richards Bayer Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018

Congratulations to Ben Richards from Indevin who became the Bayer Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018 on Friday 13th July. This is the second consecutive year Richards has competed in the National Final, however he was representing Hawke’s Bay in 2017 as he was working at Indevin’s vineyards there and finishing his degree at EIT. At the start of this year he was promoted to Viticultural Technician for Indevin and moved to Marlborough, so is delighted to represent his new region in this year’s National Final.

Congratulations also goes to Jaimee Whitehead from Matua who came second and Dan Warman from Constellation who came third.

There were eight competitors in the competition which was held at Giesen Cellar Door. “It was great to see how some of last year’s competitors had developed and upskilled over the year, as well as see new faces in the competition” says Nicky Grandorge, the National Co-Ordinator. “This shows the value of the competition to individuals as well as the industry as the whole as we grow our future leaders.”

The BioStart Hortisports attracted a large crowd of supporters from the local vineyards as the contestants raced up and down completing tasks such as mixing sprays as well as putting together a hand sprayer.

The rest of the competition included a wide range of challenges including nutrition, pests & diseases, tractor knowledge, trellising and irrigation.

The contestants all gave compelling speeches at the Awards Dinner held at Wither Hills, covering topics such as the benefits of the Women in Wine NZ initiative, Health & Safety and Common Sense and whether the Vineyard Manager’s name should appear on the wine label.

The National Final will be held at Palliser Estate on Monday 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.