Yesterday Laurie Stradling, Viticulturist for Kaimira Wines, competed in the Marlborough Young Viticulturist competition representing Nelson.
Along with 7 of the sharpest under 30's from both regions they had to complete difficult tests including the always popular Biostart Horti-Sports, an interview panel, operate a Fendt Vario tractor safely, budget and do due-diligence on purchasing a small vineyard in the Lower Wairau, demonstrate multiple pruning styles including Sylvoz, Spur and VSP and dig a metre deep hole and install an Ecotrellis Conventional strainer assembly and intermediates.
To make it harder they were only given 25 minutes to complete each section and to top it off the mercury never rose over 9°C throughout the day! The competition was wrapped up with a stunning dinner at Wither Hills restaurant with quickfire quiz and speeches.
Laurie did Nelson proud winning the interview panel, viticulture theory and quickfire quiz stages and definitely had the crowd support when it was explained that as a Nelson competitor he was ineligible to win the Marlborough title, which we already knew, but due to his very high placing he would be representing Nelson in the National finals at Bragato.
A very deserved congratulations to Laurie, Nelson Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017.
As always we are already on the lookout for the next local competitor under 30 years of age to continue representing Nelson, as Laurie is unable to compete next year. If there is anyone interested or even thinking of competing in the future contact Mike Saunders from Neudorf email@example.com or Dan Manuge from Sea Level firstname.lastname@example.org 021800989 and we can meet up for a brew to discuss.