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EIT contributing to success of Hawke’s Bay Wine Awards

October 21, 2019

EIT’s CEO Chris Collins (front row), the winners of the Best Student Wine Award Michael Ledingham, Devin Marshall and Ash Sale (from left) and the Young Vintner of the Year Award winner Ben Fulton (last row) surrounded by the EIT School of Viticulture and Wine team.

It was a huge week for EIT’s staff and students who were assisting with this year’s Hawke’s Bay A & P Wine Awards held on October 16 at the HB Showgrounds.

Around 120 EIT hospitality and wine students were involved, said EIT’s CEO Chris Collins highlighting the impact the institute had on the event.

The level 4 cookery students prepared the delicious entrée for the gala dinner featuring eleven different components including blood orange cured salmon, a smoked salmon mousse, rye granola, beets, rhubarb, asparagus and radish. The level 3 to 5 cookery students alongside the bakers and the tourism students also helped with the preparation and the decoration of the venue. It was a great opportunity for the students to cater for a large-scale event.

“The biggest challenge is to make all 500 plates look the same and get them out on time,” said cookery tutor Earl Zapf, who was overseeing the kitchen activities. Food & beverage students were on hand during the night to help with the service.

On the night Sally Jackson, General Manager of the Hawke’s Bay A & P Society, also announced the Young Vintner of the Year. EIT student Ben Fulton took away the title which is sponsored by the A & P Society and Craggy Range Winery.

Ben is studying a Viticulture and Wine Science Concurrent Degree and has been working for Villa Maria for the past five years. “I’m thrilled and grateful to be awarded the scholarship,” Ben said. In addition to having his EIT fees paid for 2020, Ben will be working the next vintage at Craggy Range winery. “I’m very excited to be working with Craggy Range as I greatly admire their products.”

The Award for the Best Student Wine, sponsored by EIT, went to Michael Ledingham, Devin Marshall and Ash Sale for their Sod Malbec 2018. The three Bachelor of Wine Science students were over the moon and acknowledged the ongoing support of their lecturers.

EIT has been a part of this event for many years now, not only providing financial support and staffing expertise, but also the venue for the wine judging which was coordinated by EIT wine science lecturer Tim Creagh in early October.