Tim Adams, from Obsidian on Waiheke Island, has taken out the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017 title.
Mr Adams was representing the Auckland/Northern region and takes the trophy to the region for the first time, breaking the three year run of the title going to the Hawke's Bay.
At 30 years old Mr Adams was at the maximum age for entering the competition, so came to the national final well prepared and with great determination.
He achieved strong results across the board, showing he has the overall skills and knowledge required to be an accomplished viticulturist and future leader.
Congratulations also goes to runner-up Annabel Bulk from Felton Road in Central Otago.
Organisers said it was fantastic to have a female in the final and to see that viticulture can be a very successful and exciting career for both men and women.
She impressed the judges not only with her high level of viticultural knowledge, but also her great aptitude and ability in the practical challenges, as she very quickly and professionally rigged up some trellising, wiring and irrigation equipment.
The judges were in fact very impressed with the overall high calibre of all the national finalists - Ben Richards, Hawke's Bay; Ben McNab Jones, Wairarapa; Laurie Stradling, Nelson and Anthony Walsh, Marlborough.
This year the finalists were given a project to research and write a report in advance of the national final and present this to three judges on the day itself at Villa Maria, Marlborough.
Here the contestants also undertook a wide range of challenges, testing their skills and knowledge including budgeting, pests and diseases, tractor maintenance, trellising, irrigation and general viticultural knowledge.
They also had an interview, competed in the Biostart Hortisports and finally had to deliver a speech at the Bragato Conference the following day. Feedback from the Bragato audience is that the speeches were all inspiring and well delivered.
The Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year competition is not only about winning, but also networking and making new friends within the New Zealand wine industry.
Sponsors, who are all key experts in their fields, are an important part of this and previous young vit contestants are all involved with setting up and setting questions. It is a really positive programme and a great community for the industry to work together for the future.
Mr Adams not only gains the title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017, but an amazing prize package of a Hyundai Santa Fe for a year, a $5000 AGMARDT travel scholarship, some engraved Bahco golden secateurs, $2000 cash, wine glasses and a leadership week.
He will also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition in November.
The runner-up was awarded $1000 and some wine glasses.