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EIT student on the way to success as a winemaker

September 28, 2021


Jordyn Harper may have taken a while to decide what career path to follow, but the 27-year-old EIT student is now more determined than ever to become a winemaker.

It is also clear that Jordyn, who is in her third year of the Bachelor of Viticulture and Bachelor Wine Science concurrent degree through EIT’s School of Viticulture and Wine Science, has the potential to be very good at it.

Not only was she awarded the A&P Young Vintners Scholarship at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards in 2020, but as a result of that, she is an associate judge at this year’s awards.

Jordyn says she started in the hospitality industry while at school, but it was only when she went travelling overseas and began working in restaurants in the United States and Canada that she started to appreciate wine more.

“That tickled my fancy into learning more about what goes into the production side. The more I learned, the more I realised what it takes to make wine – how many different styles there are and the different varietals.”

When she returned from her OE, Jordyn says she hadn’t quite decided where to study winemaking – at NMIT (Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology) or EIT.

“What pulled me into Hawke’s Bay was that EIT had a double degree programme – four years, and you’ve got two degrees. It was very enticing. So, I am doing a Bachelor of Wine Science and a Bachelor of Viticulture concurrently and I finish up at the end of next year. What also attracted me to Hawke’s Bay was the fact that there are a lot more variation and varietals here.”

She knows she has made the right choice, with lecturers who “go out of their way to ensure that you are having an enjoyable experience” and to offer extra help.

A highlight of Jordyn’s studies was when she was awarded the A&P Young Vintners Scholarship at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards last year.

“It was awesome. I was really stoked. I think taking a bit of a punt and becoming a student in my mid-twenties, was nerve-wracking. So, just receiving that scholarship really solidified that I can be really good at this and that I’m on the right path.”

As a result of the award, Jordyn was offered a vintage position at Craggy Range for the harvest season of ’21. She has also been an associate judge for the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards this year, with judging taking place at EIT earlier this month.

It was the chance of a lifetime to learn for Jordyn who sees herself becoming a winemaker with an established company, but also having “my own thing going on the side”.

“Jordyn is a fantastic representative for EIT wine students’ said Sue Blackmore, Head of School for EIT Viticulture and Wine Science.

“We have such a diverse cohort of students from school leavers through to people with life experience like Jordyn. They are all heading towards interesting career paths in the Winegrowing industry.’