EIT graduates excelled in the recent Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Hawke’s Bay Winemaker of the Year competition, taking out first and third placings.
Having claimed the title, EIT Bachelor of Wine Science graduate Alex Roper is now gearing for the national event which will be staged in Marlborough in late August.
Part of the Mission Estate winemaking team, the 28-year-old was one of three EIT graduates in a field of six entered in the regional competition.
Third placed was Brad Frederickson, who studied the concurrent Bachelor of Wine Science and Bachelor of Viticulture degrees at EIT. Brad is vintage assistant winemaker for the Hawke’s Bay Wine Company.
Another EIT graduate, Ash Ridge Wines winemaker Lauren Swift was the inaugural winner of the national competition last year.
The Young Winemaker competition is a forum for identifying and developing emerging winemaking talent. It is also seen as a means for building contacts that may further budding winemaking careers.
The competition tests contestants’ skills in areas that include lab analysis, blending and blind tasting.
At the end of a demanding day working their way through a range of theoretical and practical tests in the School of Viticulture and Wine Science’s laboratory and winery, the regional entrants presented speeches on “Water issues and the effects on the Hawke’s Bay wine industry” at a dinner held at Mission Estate.