Congratulations to Nick Putt, Hawke’s Bay Vineyard Manager at Craggy Range, who became the Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2023. The competition took place in beautiful winter sunshine at Paritua Estate on Thursday 15th June. Eight contestants rotated around a wide range of viticultural questions and challenges including pruning, irrigation, trellising, nutrition and an interview.
Congratulations also goes to Douw Grobler from Trinity Hill who came second and Daniel Brewster from AONZ who came third. The judges were impressed with the knowledge and drive of all the contestants who really gave it their all. The other contestants were Joseph Stenberg, Shuang Wu, Maddie Griffith, Thalia Osborne and Jaspel Singh.
At lunchtime, they all went head to head in the BioStart Hortisports which was followed by a BBQ feast laid on by Fruitfed Supplies.
The Awards Dinner was held at Mission Estate where the contestants had a quick fire quiz and delivered their speeches, covering a wide range of wine industry topics.
Craig McDougall, Head Coach and Mentor at Hastings Giants Boxing Academy, was the guest speaker and the audience was captivated by his inspirational speech. He highlighted the power of how a sense of belonging brings self belief, which leads to being the person you want to be and following your dreams. A sense of community and a supportive environment are key to people reaching their potential and enjoying happy, healthy lives.
“This is a very important aspect of the Young Vit programme too” says Nicky Grandorge, National Co-Ordinator. “There is a real sense of sponsors, contestants and wine industry members really wanting to help each other grow. It’s very special.”
Ollie Powrie, one of the country’s leading viticulturists and now producing his own wines in Hawke’s Bay – Chateau Garage Wines – kept the evening running smoothly as MC.
Nick Putt, 27, will represent Hawke’s Bay in the National Final at the end of August. This is being held in Hawke’s Bay this year, so he will have a big home crowd behind him. He will compete against five other contestants from Auckland, Wairarapa, Marlborough, N. Canterbury and Central Otago.
There were some great prizes won across the board including a Fruitfed Supplies Educational Trip and AEG power tools for Nick, who also scooped up the BioStart Hortisports and Ecotrellis section prizes. Douw won $750 cash and an NZSVO Educational Experience and Daniel Brewster won $500 cash. Other section prizes included vouchers for Crab Farm and Linden Estate, who are working hard to recover from the Cyclone Gabrielle.
Nick will now be in with the chance of winning even greater prizes at the National Final. These include a Hyundai Kona for a year, an Ecotrellis travel grant, a Leadership Week, Electrocoup electronic secateurs and AEG power tools and cash.
The competition is made possible thanks to all the sponsors involved: BioStart, Ecotrellis, Hyundai, Agritrade, Constellation Brands, Empak, Fruitfed Supplies, Fendt, Klima, Ormond Nurseries, Roots, Shoots & Fruits, Villa Maria-Indevin, Waterforce, AEG, NZSVO and Winejobsonline. To find out more visit: