First Northlander ever chosen for Young Vit final
Jake Dromgool from The Landing in Kerikeri has been named the Bayer Auckland/Northern Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018. He will go through to represent the region at the National Final at the end of August and will be the first Northlander to ever compete in the final.
Dromgool says he is very proud to represent his region and draw attention to its wines. “My career ambition is to see the Bay of Islands recognised as being a destination for fine wines, fuel the growth of the industry within my region, and to help take wine from the North to the world,” he says. “I believe that despite the obvious difficulties of viticulture in the North, we have something to offer the market that no other region can quite match.”
As well as working at The Landing, Dromgool has planted his own vineyard and recently launched his own wine brand called 144 Islands.
Robbie Golding from Mudbrick on Waiheke Island was placed second, and Pietro Aloisi from Marsden Estate in Kerikeri came third.
The Auckland/Northern Regional Final was held at Goldie Estate where the five competitors undertook a mix of practical and theoretical challenges covering all aspects of viticulture, including pruning, trellising, pests and diseases, soil nutrition and budgeting.
Dromgool will go on to compete in the National Final this year being held in Martinborough at the end of August. He will compete against five other contestants from other wine growing regions around the country. This was the first regional competition for 2018, with the others taking place over the next two months.
Prizes for the National winner include a Hyundai Kona for a year, $5000 AGMARDT Travel Grant, cash, Bahco golden secateurs and a leadership week where the winner travels New Zealand to meet influential people from the within the wine industry as well as learn from leaders of other industries.
Tim Adams from the Auckland/Northern region won the National Final last year to become the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017.