Congratulations to Laura Martson from Craggy Range who took out the title of Corteva Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2022.
The competition took place in the stunning Paritua vineyards in Bridge Pa Triangle on 16 June 2022 with eight contestants competing for the title.
Congratulations also goes to Douw Grobler from Trinity Hill who came second and Robbie Golding from Crab Farm, who came third.
The judges commented on the professional and positive attitude of all the contestants and that there are many passionate and talented young people in the Hawke’s Bay wine industry. The other contestants were Daniel Brewster from AONZ, Jamie Scoon from Te Mata, Joseph Stenberg from Woodthorpe Terraces and Jessica Sunderland-Wells and Sarah St George, both from Villa Maria.
The contestants were tested on a wide range of viticultural skills including pruning, budgeting, biosecurity, machinery and public speaking. A very colourful and innovative BioStart Hortisports race was held at lunchtime followed by the Fruitfed Supplies BBQ. The contestants delivered their speeches at the Awards Dinner held at Mission Estate. This was very much an evening of celebration as the 2021 National Finalists were also there to reunite and enjoy a formal dinner since theirs was cancelled earlier in the year due to the pandemic. Sam Bain from Villa Maria, Hawke’s Bay was the national 2021 Corteva Young Viticulturist of the Year.
Laura aged 22, will represent Hawke’s Bay in the National Final being held in Marlborough at the end of August. She is the first woman to represent Hawke’s Bay in the national final since Emma Taylor in 2007, who took out the national title that year. Laura will compete against other contestants from Auckland, Wairarapa, Marlborough and Central Otago whose regional finals are being held over the coming weeks.
The national finalists will compete not only for the title but an amazing prize package. This includes a Hyundai Kona for a year, an Ecotrellis travel grant, an educational visit to Australia with Corteva, Bahco golden and electric secateurs, AEG power tools and cash.
The competition is made possible thanks to all the sponsors involved: Corteva Agriscience, BioStart, Ecotrellis, Hyundai, Constellation Brands, Empak, Fruitfed Supplies, Fendt, Ormond Nurseries, Roots, Shoots & Fruits, Klima, Waterforce, Villa Maria-Indevin, Bahco, AEG, NZSVO and Winejobsonline.