The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Tonnellerie de Mercurey North Island Young Winemaker announced

Ben McNab from Matahiwi in Wairarapa has been named the winner of the Tonnellerie de Mercurey North Island Young Winemaker competition held on Friday, 4 September, at EIT in Hawke’s Bay.

This competition is open to emerging young winemakers under 30 years old from all around the North Island. 

A maximum of eight contestants compete in the competition, and the winner goes on to represent the North Island in the National Final. This year contestants came from Hawke’s Bay, Auckland, Gisborne and Wairarapa. 

“It was fantastic to have contestants from all around the North Island,” says Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at NZ Winegrowers. “It meant all key winegrowing regions were represented and it was a great opportunity for the contestants to meet other young winemakers from outside their own region.”

Kaitlin Bond from Indevin in Gisborne came second and Douw Grobler from Trinity Hill in Hawke’s Bay was named third.

The other contestants were Carolien Callewier, Villa Maria HB; Darren Webster, Villa Maria Auckland; Larissa Duwakin, Sacred Hill; Penelope Radburnd, Askerne and Evie Livesey, Urlar.

The young winemakers were tested on many aspects of wine production, including a cellar challenge, laboratory tests, blending, fault finding, blind-tasting and marketing.

The National Final is being held in Hawke’s Bay on 6 November 2020 where McNab will compete against the winners from Central Otago and Marlborough.  

The Central Otago competition is taking place on 10 September and the Marlborough competition on 16 September.

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