Peter Russell from Matua has been named the winner of the 2020 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Marlborough Young Winemaker competition held at NMIT in Blenheim on 16 September.

Peter has competed in the competition the last couple of years and says he is looking forward to the national final being held in Hawke’s Bay in November.  

“We love to see this drive and passion in the contestants who are the future leaders of the wine industry,” says Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at NZ Winegrowers. 

“It’s great that these young winemakers come back each year to pitch themselves against their peers and start making a name for themselves.”

Callum Haynes also from Matua came in second and Emma Marris from Marisco, third.

The other contestants were Kathleen Zelter from Constellation Brands, Sophie Lamain from Giesen, Tom Flaherty from Isabel, Sophia Phillips from VinLink and Alun Kilby from Marisco. 

The Young Winemakers were tested on many aspects involved with wine production – including a cellar challenge, laboratory tests, blending, fault finding, wine judging and marketing.  

Due to Covid Level 2 restrictions the competition was run behind closed doors with no dinner this year. 

For the very first time the speeches were streamed live from the Bragato Research Institute. 

The national final is being held at EIT in Hawke’s Bay on 6th November.

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