The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

The Bayer Hawke’s Bay Young Vit winner is…

Villa Maria’s Nick Putt took out the title of Bayer Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2019 following a tough competition held at Te Awa Winery on 13 June.

Douw Grobler from Trinity Hill took out second place and Sarah Hunt also from Villa Maria came third.

There were eight contestants from around the region in the competition, several of them competing for the first time and the others competing just for the second time.

“It is great to see the next wave of Young Vits coming through,” says Nicky Grandorge, National Co-Ordinator and Leadership & Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers.

The competition is open to under 30 year olds and many contestants enter several times before taking out the prestigious national title.

“Each year they come back you can see how they have grown in confidence and skills, as well as enjoying the experience of stretching themselves and feeling part of a supportive viti community,” says Grandorge.

The contestants rotated around a range of practical and theoretical challenges, as well as going head-to-head in the BioStart Hortisports race at lunchtime.

The other contestants were Kurt Kelly from Craggy Range, Sam Sherratt from Indevin, Adam Leach from Trinity Hill, Thomas Lange from Delegat and Sahil Gupta from Kumeu River HB vineyards.

Nick Putt will go on to represent Hawke’s Bay in the national final which is held in conjunction with Bragato at the end of August, being held in Hawke’s Bay this year.

The national winner will receive a Hyundai Kona for a year, an Ecotrellis Travel Grant, Bahco golden secateurs, a leadership week and cash. They will also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition in November.

Dates for other regional competitions are:

Wairarapa – 20th June, Te Kairanga

Marlborough – 4th July, Drylands

Waipara – 12th July, Greystone

Central Otago – 18th July, Central Polytechnic, Bannockburn