The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

The NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year 2023 is…

Tai Nelson

Tai Nelson from Soljans Estate in Kumeu, Auckland, has taken out the title of New Zealand Young Viticulturist of the Year 2023.

The National Final was held on August 30-31 at Paritua Vineyards in Hawke’s Bay, and the winners announced at an awards dinner in Hastings.

Nick Putt from Craggy Range in Hawke’s Bay came a close second and Nina Downer from Felton Road placed third.

Contestants were tested on trellising, irrigation, machinery, pest and disease management and wine knowledge.

Prior to the competition, they also all submitted a report on their recommendations for establishing and managing a sustainable vineyard.

Twenty-four-year-old Tai is one of the youngest contestants ever to win the competition and he takes home a prize package including a Hyundai Kona for a year, a $6000 Ecotrellis Travel Grant, Electrocoup secateurs, a leadership week and cash.

He will also go on to represent the wine industry in the 2024 Young Horticulturist of the Year competition.

He also won prizes for winning the trellising section, the BioStart Hortisports and the wine knowledge section and will go on to be an Associate Judge in November.

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