The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

The 2023 Young Winemaker of the Year

Alena Kamper from Sacred Hill in Hawke’s Bay has been named the 2023 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker of the Year.

At just 22, Kamper is the youngest person ever to win the title.

The national final took place at The Bone Line in North Canterbury on October 31, with the three finalists delivering their speeches at the Altogether Unique Wine Industry Celebration in Christchurch on 1 November, where the overall winner was announced.

The other finalists were Callum Haynes from Matua in Marlborough, and Eliana Leal from Amisfield in Central Otago – both of whom won section prizes.

Kamper won the Fruitfed Supplies Best Speech and the Indevin Wine Judging Section. Leal won the Best Hillebrand Gori Presentation on ‘AI in the wine industry’ and for her laboratory skills, and Haynes won Best Interview and Essay on ‘how to make various Rosé styles’.

“It is inspiring and exciting to see so many passionate and talented young winemakers coming through,” says Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers. “Our future is certainly in good hands.”

Kamper wins a prize package, including $1000 cash, a visit to the Tonnellerie de Mercurey (cooperage) in Burgundy, and the opportunity to be an associate judge in the 2024 New World Wine Awards and be a wine reviewer for a magazine.

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