2022 North Canterbury and Central Otago Young Winemakers Announced

Congratulations to Georgia Mehlhopt from Greystone Wines for winning the Central Otago competition on 6 October and becoming the 2022 Tonnellerie de Mercurey North Canterbury Young Winemaker of the Year.  She will be the first person to represent North Canterbury in the National Finals.

Georgia Mehlhopt from Greystone Wines - Young Winemakers
Georgia Mehlhopt from Greystone Wines – Young Winemakers

Congratulations also to Eliana Leal from Amisfield who was crowned the 2022 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Central Otago Young Winemaker of the Year.

The Central Otago competition, held at VinPro in Cromwell, is also open to contestants from North Canterbury and Waitaki.   The two young women have previously worked together when Georgia was at Amisfield so are delighted to go through and represent their respective regions together.   Georgia, 27, moved to North Canterbury earlier this year to take up the role as Assistant Winemaker at Greystone.  Eliana, 28 is the Laboratory Technician at Amisfield.

Eliana Leal from Amisfield - Young Winemakers
Eliana Leal from Amisfield – Young Winemakers

Congratulations also goes to Emma Bennet from Brennan Wines who came third.

Theresa Woessner from Carrick won the Vin Olympics, which is an obstacle race held at lunchtime.  This was followed by a Fruitfed BBQ.   Max Jong from Burn Cottage came joint first with Georgia in the Villa Maria-Indevin Wine Assessment Section and Georgia took out the Fruitfed Supplies speech section. 

The judges were impressed with all the contestants who embraced the various challenges with professionalism and enthusiasm.  The other contestants were Callum Scarborough from Felton Road, Joanne Irvine from Brennan Wines and Oscar Cao from Amisfield.

Emma Bennet Georgia Mehlhopt Eliana-Leal - Ypung Winemakers
Emma Bennet 3rd, Georgia Mehlhopt 1st & Eliana-Leal 2nd. Young WInemakers

The aspiring Young Winemakers were tested on many aspects of wine production.  This included a cellar challenge, laboratory tests, blending, fault finding, blind tasting, marketing, wine knowledge and wine tasting, as well as giving a speech at the dinner. 

Georgia won $1000 and an educational trip sponsored by Fruitfed Supplies and Eliana won $750 and an educational trip from NZSVO.  The National Final will be held on 3 November at Kim Crawford Winery in Marlborough and the national winner will have the opportunity to win even more prizes.

Apart from being crowned the 2022 Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker of the Year, the national winner will win a visit to the Tonnellerie de Mercurey (cooperage) in Burgundy, be an associate judge in the New World Wine Awards and review wines in DrinksBiz magazine.

The competition is made possible by all the generous sponsors.  The national sponsors are Tonnellerie de Mercurey, Fruitfed Supplies, Villa Maria-Indevin, Laffort, Programmed Property Services, Tira Crown, Visy, New World, Winejobsonline, NZSVO and Pernod Ricard.


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