Young Viticulturist finalists announced

Just who is New Zealand’s best young viticulturist will soon be revealed, following the announcement of the finalists in the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year competition.

Currently in its tenth year, the competition heats were particularly tough with a very high standard revealing a strong future for the viticulture industry.

The best of the bunch across the country included Caleb Dennis from Craggy Range winning the title for Hawkes Bay, Mike Winter from Amisfield for Central Otago, Matt Duggan from Cloudy Bay for Marlborough and Mark Langlands from Te Kairanga for Wairarapa.  However, Wairarapa winner Mark is heading off to California to work a vintage there, so close runner-up Scott Lanceley will go through to the final to represent the region.

The contestants all completed in a wide range of activities in their regional heats including trellising, vine management, pests and diseases, budgeting, tractor maintenance and irrigation as well as having an interview and a quick fire buzzer round.

Bayer is proud to be the naming rights sponsor for the competition which has become an important fixture in the viticulture calendar.

Bayer New Zealand Managing Director and Crop Science Country Manager, Holger Detje, says he is delighted to see the talent that comes through the competition every year. “It’s great to see the young talent that competes in the competition,” Holger says.

“It’s a fantastic platform for fostering future leaders, and it is also an excellent opportunity for Bayer to network and build relationships with those that will be the future users of our innovative product solutions.”

“I am very excited for 2015’s Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year and wish the contestants the best of luck.”

The winner of the competition will be announced on the 27th August at the Bragato Wine Awards dinner in Napier.  As well as gaining the sought after title, the national winner will be awarded a $5000 travel voucher, a full year’s lease of a Hyundai Santa Fe car, $2000 cash, wine glasses and leadership training.

They will also secure a place in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition, which Bayer also supports.