Title back in region after seven years

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Felton Road Wine’s assistant viticulturist Annabel Bulk has brought the 2108 Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year trophy back to Central Otago, the first time it had been in the region in seven years.

She represented Central Otago in the national competition in Wairarapa.

The practical and theoretical challenges and the Hortisport competition were held in Martinborough on August 27 and the winner was announced at the Romeo Bragato National Conference dinner in Wellington on August 30.

“When they read out my name, my first reaction was probably disbelief,” Ms Bulk said.

“I was thrilled and super excited.”

In addition to the practical day challenges, the competitors had to make a short speech about the challenges their regions faced.

She talked about the impact the grape Phylloxera infestation had on Central Otago vineyards and climate change and its effect on the organic sector in the region.

“The support has been amazing and my employers were super thrilled and gave me all the support I needed, which was lovely.

“I want to thank everyone.”

She will also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in Auckland in November.