EIT Bachelor of Wine Science graduates were awarded first and second placings in the recent North Island Young Winemaker of the year competition.
The winner of the Tonnellerie de Mercurey-sponsored competition was Haidee Johnson, who works for Villa Maria at the company’s new winery at Roys Hill. Lochie Bainbridge, part of the winemaking team at Ash Ridge in the Bridge Pa Triangle, was runner-up.
Haidee will now go forward to the national event in Auckland on 20 August.
EIT students and graduates have performed well in the competition, both at regional and national levels, since its launch in 2015. Lauren Swift, the inaugural nationwide winner, and previous runners-up Alex Roper and Sara Addis have all studied at EIT.
More than 120 guests attended Friday night’s awards dinner following a day of competition at EIT. The entrants were challenged on their wine knowledge and general knowledge, asked to blend wines and critiqued sampled wines.
The event is aimed at encouraging young winemakers to hone their skills and raise the industry bar. Entrants must be under the age of 30 and many, like Haidee and Lochy compete several times to gain experience of the competition.