Alena Kamper wins 2023 North Island Young Winemaker of the Year

Alena Kamper from Sacred Hill in Hawke’s Bay took out the title of 2023 Tonnellerie de Mercurey North Island Young Winemaker of the Year following the competition held at Indevin’s Gimblett Gravels winery on 28 September.

North Island Young Winemaker Alena Kamper
North Island Young Winemaker of the Year: Alena Kamper

The 22 year old performed strongly across the wide range of tasks which included blending, wine market knowledge, cellar skills, wine tasting and an interview.

Congratulations also goes to Casey Mackintosh from Indevin who came second and Frances Robertson-Best from Te Mata who came third.

The other contestants also showed good winemaking knowledge and skills with all of them winning at least one section. The other contestants were Charlotte Ross, Craggy Range; Chresten Bjarnesen, Mission Estate; Leigh O’Connor, Sileni and Thalia Osborne,, Ash Ridge Wines.

North Island Young Winemaker Alena Kamper, Frances Robertson Best, Casey Mackintosh
Alena Kamper, 1st Place, Frances Robertson Best, 3rd Place & Casey Mackintosh, 2nd Place

The awards dinner was held at Brookfields Winery where the contestants delivered their Fruitfed speeches, debating hot topics for the wine industry. It was an extra special occasion as the Brookfields Winery restaurant only re-opened a few days ago following months of recovery work after Cyclone Gabrielle. The guests were delighted with the beautiful setting and outstanding meal served.

Alena won $1000 cash, premium wines, a Dale Carnegie leadership course and an educational trip sponsored by Fruitfed Supplies which will take place early next year.

She will now represent the North Island in the National Final on 31 October at The Bone Line in Waipara, North Canterbury.

There is the opportunity to win even more prizes then. Apart from being crowned the 2023 Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker of the Year, the national winner will take home an amazing prize package which includes 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. There is also the opportunity to win the Hillebrand-Gori best presentation.

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

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