Tristan Van Schalkwyk wins North Canterbury Young Vit title

Congratulations have been given to Tristan Van Schalkwyk from The Bone Line in Waipara who became the North Canterbury Young Viticulturist of the Year 2023.

The South Island Regional competition is open to contestants from Nelson, Waitaki and North Canterbury.  The competition was not held last year, leaving Van Schalkwyk to defend his 2021 title. Since winning two years ago, Van Schalkwyk has become vineyard manager at The Bone Line.

Congratulations were also given to second place contestant Nick McArthur from Tiki Wines and Georgia Mehlhopt from Greystone who came third.

The competition was held on 20 July at Greystone in Waipara, marking the first competition for many of the contestants. Despite the deteriorating weather contestants were undeterred and judges remarked that the contestants continued to give their all, smiling through the wind and rain.

“Their positive, professional attitude is an asset to them and will take them far.” says Nicky Grandorge, leadership and communities manager at New Zealand Winegrowers.  The support of the sponsors, judges and regional organisers was also hugely appreciated as they encouraged the contestants and kept everything on track despite the weather.  “It really highlighted the strong community spirit which makes Young Vit so special.”

The Awards Dinner was held in the Greystone Restaurant where the contestants delivered their speeches and local wine industry members enjoyed an exquisite meal along with premium North Canterbury wines.

Van Schalkwyk, 23, will now represent North Canterbury in the National Final in Hawke’s Bay on 30 August.  He will compete against finalists from Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and Central Otago.

First prize included an educational trip and power tools, with second and third place receiving cash prizes.

Van Schalkwyk will now be in with the chance of winning even greater prizes at the National Final.  These include a Hyundai Kona for a year, an Ecotrellis travel grant, a Leadership Week, Electrocoup electronic secateurs and AEG power tools and cash.

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,  Indevin, Waterforce,  AEG, NZSVO and Winejobsonline.