Congratulations to Alun Kilby from Marisco, who came became the 2022 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Marlborough Young Winemaker of the Year. The competition was held on 21st September at MRC and the winners were announced at the Awards Dinner the same evening.
Alun, 28, was thrilled to take out the title and the judges commented on his broad range of knowledge and skills as he scored consistently well across all sections.
Congratulations also goes to Thomas Jordaan from Vavasour who came second and to Ruby McManaway from Yealands who came third.
For the first time, there were ten contestants competing in the Marlborough regional competition. “It’s exciting to see how many aspiring Young Winemakers want to stretch themselves and start making a name for themselves” says Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers.
Section prizes were won by Ruby McManaway who took out the Fruitfed Supplies best speech; Alun Kilby who won the Villa-Maria Indevin Tasting section; Lewis Davidson from Cloudy Bay who won the Vin Olympics and Ellie Hobbs from Rose Family Estate who won the People’s Choice for her rosé blend, judged by the dinner guests. Ruby McManaway also won the best Biosecurity video.
The other contestants also impressed the judges throughout the day and with their speeches. The other contestants were Ashley Robinson from Spy Valley, Joyce Zhu from Villa Maria-Indevin, Kaitlin Smid from The Wine Studio, Nick Lamain from VinLink and Cameron Steel from Nautilus Estate.
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.
The Vin Olympics at lunchtime gave the contestants a little light relief as they went head to head with some fun challenges in front of a large crowd, who all stayed on for a tasty Fruitfed Supplies BBQ.
Alun was awarded with a great prize package of $1000 and an educational trip sponsored by Fruitfed Supplies. He is looking forward to competing in the National Final on 3 November at Kim Crawford Winery in Marlborough, where he has 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 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.
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.