It may be five months later than planned, but it's on! Due to the sudden and extended Delta lockdown the 2021 Corteva Young Viticulturist of the Year Competition, just one week away from taking place in August, is set to finally go ahead on Thursday 27th January 2022.
It will take place at Indevin's Bankhouse Vineyard in Marlborough and the national winner will be announced at the Awards Dinner the same night.
"We're excited and relieved that we can finally go ahead with the competition" says Nicky Grandorge, the National Co-Ordinator "The flexibility of everyone involved has been incredible and shows the strength, resilience and passion of the Young Vit community."
The national finalists have been in limbo for quite some time, although they were able to hand in their research reports and give their presentations online which relieved them of some pressure. The topic for this year's project was "Assess various pruning options during a labour shortage", thus addressing one of the real challenges currently facing the wine industry.
As the new date fast approaches, the contestants are back into study mode and looking forward to finally meeting each other face to face.
For the first time in the history of the competition which has been running since 2006 and open to those under 30 years old, there will be more women than men competing. Following the regional competitions four out of the six were won by young women.
They are Courtney Sang, Obsidian, Auckland; Albie Feary, Ata Rangi, Wairarapa; Jess Wilson, Whitehaven Wines, Marlborough and Katrina Jackson, Chard Farm, Central Otago. The young men competing are Sam Bain, Villa Maria, Hawke's Bay and Tristan van Schalkwyk, The Bone Line, North Canterbury.
There are some amazing prizes to be won at the National Final. These include a Hyundai Kona for a year, an Ecotrellis travel grant, an educational visit to Australia with Corteva, Bahco golden secateurs and other cash prizes.
An auction will be held during the Awards Dinner raising funds for the Mental Health Foundation. The major items available to bid on are signed wicket keeping and batting gloves generously donated by Black Cap Tim Seifert.
For more information about the competition please contact Nicky Grandorge, firstname.lastname@example.org, 021 780 948 or see https://www.nzwine.com/en/initiatives/young-vit/