Eliana Leal announced as 2023 Central Otago Young Winemaker of the Year

Eliana Leal from Amisfield,  2023 Central Otago Young Winemaker of the Year. 

Congratulations have been given to Eliana Leal from Amisfield who is the 2023 Central Otago Young Winemaker of the Year.  Leal, 29, moved to New Zealand from Argentina in 2018 and discovered her passion for wine when she worked a vintage in Hawke’s Bay.  With a background in biotechnology she then undertook a diploma in oenology at EIT. She has now settled in Central Otago, working as lab technician at Amisfield.

Paiqi Oscar Cau, also from Amisfield, came in second and Callum Scarborough from Felton Road came third.

Connor Edwards from Chard Farm and Rachel Tonk from The Bone Line also impressed the judges with their passion and drive for winemaking.

The competition was held on 21 September at VinPro in Cromwell. Challenges included laboratory and tasting skills, wine industry knowledge and creating a white wine blend and presenting it to a marketing panel. Contestants also had an interview with industry leaders and gave a speech at the dinner, held at Carrick Estate.

Section prizes were won by Rachel Tonk for her speech, Callum Scarborough who won the lunchtime Vin Olympics and Eliana Leal who also won People’s Choice for her elegant white wine blend.

Leal won $1000 cash, a magnum and an educational trip sponsored by Fruitfed Supplies which will take place early next year.  She will now represent Central Otago in the National Final on 31 October at The Bone Line in Waipara, North Canterbury.

Apart from being crowned the 2023 NZ Young Winemaker of the Year, the national winner will take home a prize package which includes a visit to the Tonnellerie de Mercurey cooperage in Burgundy, participate as an associate judge in the New World Wine Awards and review wines in DrinksBiz magazine. There is also the opportunity to win the Hillebrand-Gori best presentation.

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