The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Young Kiwi viticulturist aims for international wine award

Nick Paulin from Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine Estates.

Nick Paulin from Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine Estates (AONZ) has been shortlisted for the new international ‘Future 50’ awards.

Launched this year by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) their goal is to “unearth the industry’s up and coming talent” and recognise 50 top young professionals.

They have teamed up to create “a unique, global platform to champion the young people shaping the future of our industry”.

Nominations were open during March 2019 for all young professionals under 40 working in the wine and spirits industry around the globe. They could be working in any role including viticulture, production, promotion, education, sales and marketing.

There were more than 600 global nominations for the awards.

Since graduating from Lincoln University in 2004, Paulin has dedicated his career to organic winegrowing in Central Otago. He began at Felton Road and worked his way up the ranks before becoming Viticulturist at Peregrine Wines. Now working for AONZ, he is Estate Manager for Lowburn Ferry and the Biodynamic/Organics Manager at Pyramid Valley.

In 2011 Paulin won the prestigious Bayer NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year Competition (sponsored by Markhams in 2011) and since then has given back to the competition by running the Central Otago regional final and sitting on the national committee. He is very keen to encourage young people to progress within the industry and also helps with the Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker of the Year competition.

In 2016, Paulin won the Central Otago Young Gun award acknowledging his leadership skills and has recently stepped up again taking on the role of Chair of the Central Otago Winegrowers Association.

Paulin has a strong passion for organic and biodynamic farming and thanks his employers and mentors over the years for challenging the status quo and making him find alternative ways of doing things. He says he now sees organic farming as normal practice and wants to highlight that it can be done sustainably – both economically and environmentally. “This is my goal and one of my driving forces – to produce amazing fruit, with minimal impact on our planet.”

Paulin’s work, both in the vineyard and on various boards and committees, is a valuable contribution to making Central Otago a place where both vines and people can thrive.

These are signs of a great leader and at just 35 years old, fully worthy for being shortlisted for this prestigious international award. The judges will spend the next few months interviewing and discussing those on the shortlist and the ‘Future 50’ will be announced in November.