Congratulations to Callum Haynes from Matua Wines who is the 2023 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Marlborough Young Winemaker of the Year. The competition was held on 13th September at NMIT and the winners were announced at the Awards Dinner the same evening.
Callum, 29, was thrilled to take out the title “I really wanted this and have worked hard to get here” he says.
Congratulations also goes to Nick Lamain from VinLink who came second and to Lara Campbell from Clos Henri who came third.
All the contestants gave it their all and impressed the judges with their skills and professional attitude. The other contestants were Zack Andrews, Hunter’s Wines; Henri Steele, Spring Creek Vintners; Lan Zhang, Pernod Ricard and Saphal Acharya, Booster Wine Group.
There was a great sense of camaraderie as the contestants supported each other throughout the day and even prior to the competition as they had been getting together to practice their tasting skills.
“It’s fantastic to see this strong community spirit” says Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers. “It highlights the passion and drive of these Young Winemakers, as they progress their careers together and have some fun along the way.”
The contestants were tested on many aspects of wine production during the tough competition. This included a cellar challenge, laboratory tests, blending, fault finding, blind tasting, marketing, wine knowledge and wine judging, as well as having a rigorous interview and giving a speech at the dinner.
Section prizes were won by Nick Lamain who gave the best Fruitfed Supplies speech as he rallied the audience to close the gender pay gap; Callum Haynes who won the Indevin Tasting section; Lan Zhang who won the lunchtime Vin Olympics and Henri Steele who won the People’s Choice for her aromatic Marlborough white blend.
Callum won $1000 cash, a magnum, an educational trip sponsored by Fruitfed Supplies and the opportunity to be an Associate Judge at the Marlborough Wine Show. He will now represent Marlborough 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, Programmed Property Services, Tira Crown, Visy, New World, Winejobsonline, NZSVO and Pernod Ricard.
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