2021 Corteva Northern Young Viticulturist of the Year named

Obsidian’s Courtney Sang has been named the 2021 Corteva Northern Young Viticulturist of the Year and will represent Waiheke in the National Final in August in Marlborough.

Aidan Erceg and George Laughlan, both from Man O’War on Waiheke, came in second and third.

Other contestants were Annalise Williams from Cable Bay, Lee Griffiths from Te Motu, Leon Henson from Heron’s Fight and Tyler Soljan and Tai Nelson both from Soljan’s.

The regional competition encompasses Northland, Matakana, West Auckland and Waiheke and it was the first time, since it began in 2016, that there have been the full field of eight contestants.

It was the first time someone from Matakana was in the competition and the first time any women have been entered and thus winning as well, highlighting that viticulture is a great career for both men and women.

The Young Viticulturists were tested on all aspects of viticulture including pruning, trellising, nutrition, machinery, budgeting and wine knowledge.

They also went head to head in the ever popular Biostart Hortisports race.

“It takes time for each competition to build up and we are delighted more ambitious and passionate Young Vits in the Northern region are wanting to stretch themselves and start making a name for themselves,” said national coordinator Nicky Grandorge.

Courtney was thrilled to take out the title and will now compete against the winners from Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Marlborough, North Canterbury and Central Otago.

This year the contestants were also tasked with creating a short Biosecurity video in their vineyards prior to the competition, and this section was taken out by Lee Griffiths.

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