Congratulations to Tristan van Schalkwyk from The Bone Line who became the 2021 Corteva North Canterbury Young Viticulturist of the Year following the South Island Regional Competition held at Greystone Vineyards in Waipara.
Congratulations also goes to James Keeling from Greystone who was Runner Up. The other contestants were Tom Williams from Pyramid Valley and Dujon Merrick from Black Estate.
It was the first time any of the four contestants had competed in the competition and they pushed themselves hard, working their way around the various challenges.
The judges were impressed with their huge passion for viticulture and their thirst for knowledge. They all performed well and said they can’t wait to come back and compete again next year.
It was a crisp, frosty start to the day at Greystone but everyone soon warmed up as the sun shone down, especially the contestants who were running up and down the vine rows, pruning and trellising as well as going head to head in the BioStart Hortisports.
Fruitfed Supplies laid on a BBQ at lunchtime which was enjoyed by spectators and judges as well as the contestants. The contestants also had an interview and were tested on their tractor skills, irrigation, pest and disease knowledge and budgeting.
Their final task was to deliver a speech on a given topic at the Awards Dinner held at Muddy Water. They impressed the audience with their thoughts and ideas on how to overcome various challenges facing the wine industry.
Tristan is looking forward to representing North Canterbury at the National Final which is being held on 25-26 August in Marlborough. He’ll compete against the winners from Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Marlborough and Central Otago. Aged 21 years old, he will be one of the youngest contestants ever to compete in the National Final.
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. The winner will also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in November.
Are you a Daily Wine News subscriber? If not, click here to join our mailing list. It’s free!