Nina Downer wins 2023 Central Otago Young Vit competition

Photo: Nina Downer.

Nina Downer, vineyard supervisor at Felton Road and defending champion of the Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year, has secured her title once again for 2023.

Second place went to Katrina O’Reilly from Chard Farm and third place to Maxine Jing from Burn Cottage.

Held on 12th July at Central Otago Polytechnic in Bannockburn, the competition saw seven contestants tackling a wide range of viticultural questions and challenges including pruning, irrigation, trellising, budgeting and an interview.

Six of the seven contestants were women, highlighting that viticulture is an exciting career for both women and men.

“It’s wonderful to see previous contestants wanting to help others come through and share their passion for viticulture” said Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at NZ Winegrowers.  “It makes the Young Vit programme and community very special.”

Downer, 24, will represent Central Otago in the National Final in Hawke’s Bay on 30 August.  She will compete against finalists from Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and N.Canterbury.

The competition is made possible thanks to all the sponsors involved: BioStart, Ecotrellis, Hyundai, Agritrade, Constellation Brands, Empak, Fruitfed Supplies, Fendt, Klima, Ormond Nurseries, Roots, Shoots & Fruits,  Villa Maria-Indevin, Waterforce,  AEG, NZSVO and Winejobsonline.

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