Pietro Aloisi from Ake Ake became the Bayer Northern Young Viticulturist of the Year 2019 on Friday 7 June.
Aloisi grew up in Italy but is now a New Zealand resident arriving here more than seven years ago. He has been working in the Northland wine industry for three years and is passionate about the varieties grown there. As well as working at Ake Ake, he has recently planted his own first Chambourcin vines, a varietal that does well in that region. Aloisi has competed in this regional Young Vit competition for the last two years and was determined to take out the title this year. “I did a lot of work and study” he says. Nicky Grandorge, national co-ordinator says “It really showed. Pietro was strong in all categories – both practical and theoretical and was on fire during the quick-fire buzzer round and the BioStart Hortisports race.”
Congratulations also goes to Jake Dromgool from The Landing, who came second and to Tahryn Mason from Villa Maria who came third, and other contestants Matt Dixon from Te Motu and Monty Petrie from Man o War.
Fabian Yukich, executive director at Villa Maria and a New Zealand Winegrowers board member stressed in his speech at the awards dinner that actually “they were all winners”. He congratulated them all for putting themselves out there, competing in a tough competition and said “they have all started making a name for themselves in the wine industry.”
The Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year competition helps grow the future viticultural leaders of New Zealand. Contestants are tested via both practical and theoretical challenges, on all aspects of vineyard management. It also helps grow a strong viti community as relationships grow between contestants, sponsors, and other wine industry members.
Aloisi won $1000, Lester Hall artwork from Northern Winegrowers, a Jacson Cube (a new biosecurity innovation), and a magnum of Villa Maria Ihumatau Chardonnay.
Dromgool and Mason won cash prizes and Riedel wine glasses. All contestants got a set of Bahco tools to use during the competition and to take home.
As Aloisi is heading off to Corsica to work a vintage there in August he is unavailable for the National Final. Jake Dromgool will therefore go through to represent Northland. Dromgool also represented the region in the National Final last year, so knows what to expect and is looking forward to doing Northland proud again this year.
The National Final takes place this year on 26 August at Villa Maria’s Te Awa Estate and continues throughout Bragato which is being held in Hawke’s Bay this year. The national winner not only becomes the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2019 but also wins a prize package of a Hyundai Kona for a year, an Ecotrellis Travel Grant, Bahco golden secateurs, a leadership week, and cash. They also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition in November. There is also an AGMARDT prize for the best project and Riedel decanters for those coming second and third.
Dates for other regional competitions are:
Hawke’s Bay – 13th June, Te Awa Estate
Wairarapa – 20th June, Te Kairanga
Marlborough – 4th July, Drylands
Waipara – 12th July, Greystone
Central Otago – 18th July, Central Polytechnic, Bannockburn