Viticulturists’ time to shine and learn too

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Inspiring the next generation of up-and-coming viticulturists will be at the forefront of a competition to be held in July.

The Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year competition will be held at the Otago Polytechnic Central campus on July 16.

Convener Nick Paulin said eight competitors were needed and he urged those thinking about entering to apply through the www.nzwine.com website or through the competition’s Facebook page.

He encouraged potential competitors to ‘‘move out of their comfort zones’’.
‘‘It [the competition] is educational as well as competitive.
‘‘That is the key message.’’

There will also be an education day for entrants and sponsors at the Domaine Thomson vineyard on June 18.
‘‘Representatives from the industry and sponsors will be attending and talking about different aspects of viticulture and vineyard work,’’ Mr Paulin said.

While the practical competition day at the Polytechnic was confirmed, he was unsure what form the awards presentation and evening function would take, with decisions to be made closer to the time and following any changes to Covid-19 level restrictions.
‘‘We will play that one by ear.’’

The Central Otago winner will compete in the 15th annual national competition in Martinborough in early October.
As a previous winner, Mr Paulin has been invited to attend as part of the anniversary celebrations, along with other regional and national past winners and sponsors.

The regional viticulture winners usually compete against the Young Horticulturist of the Year regional winners, but lockdown restrictions had meant that competition had been cancelled.