For the first time in the history of the Young Viticulturist competition, three women have taken out the top three places highlighting the increasing interest for both men and women to pursue a successful career in viticulture.
Albie Feary, from Martinborough’s Ata Rangi, has been named the 2021 Corteva Wairarapa Young Viticulturist of the Year.
While Hannah Pause from Foley Family Wines was runner-up and Escarpment’s Katie Cameron came third.
The judges were very impressed with the high calibre of them all, as well as the growth they have seen in each of them year from year.
“The passion, dedication and determination of these Young Vits is very inspiring” said national coordinator of the competition Nicky Grandorge.
“It’s fantastic that they return each year with more confidence, skills and knowledge each time.”
The other contestants vying for the honour this year were fellow Escarpment duo Hilary Forster and Rob Jasionowicz, McKenzie Smith, from Craggy Range, and Luna Estate’s Sonia Saba.
The competition was held at the stunning Luna Estate Blue Rock Vineyard where the contestants were tested on a wide range of challenges including trellising, tractor knowledge, pruning, nutrition, irrigation, pest & disease, budgeting and an interview.
They also went head-to-head in a very colourful Biostart Hortisports race which was followed by the regular Fruitfed Supplies BBQ.
The Awards Dinner was held at Peppers Parehua where each contestant delivered speeches on key wine industry issues.
Albie will go on to represent Wairarapa at the National Final in August in Marlborough where she will compete against the winners from Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, North Canterbury and Central Otago.
Some of the amazing prizes 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.
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