Young vintner compete for title

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Ben Tombs, an assistant winemaker at Peregrine Wines, Gibbston, is the Central Otago Young Winemaker of the Year.

The competition, which was decided last Friday, attracted seven competitors. Abby Gallagher, of Central Otago Wine Company, was second, and Larissa Brombacher, of Felton Road Wines, finished third.

Mr Tombs and Ms Gallagher will represent the region in the 2018 Tonnellerie de Mercurey South Island Young Winemaker of the Year competition at the Marlborough Research Centre on July 20.

The competitors completed seven modules and went head to head in the VinOlympics, in which speed and skill were key.

“I am pretty humbled by it and excited about the competition that lies ahead,” Mr Tombs said.

Co-organiser Rosie Menzies said she was happy with how the competition went.

“I think it gave the competitors the chance to challenge themselves and see where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

” I’m now looking forward to seeing our two top winners from Central Otago compete against the best from the South Island.”