Braden Crosby's innovative frost windmill blade system helped the Wairarapa viticulturalist take out this year's Young Horticulturist of the Year.
His frost windmill blade system can also be used for electricity generation. The judges noted that the project was delivered with real professionalism.
Winning the award saw Mr Crosby take out $11,500 worth of prizes including a $7,500 travel package.
The Carterton man also received further recognition when his windmill system claimed second place in the Agmardt Innovation Award.
"I got a lot more out of it than the prizes," Mr Crosby said. "I think the business development took me out of my comfort zone. I had to source and develop information and network with other people."
The 30-year-old had to develop a business plan during an eight-week period, then sell his idea to a panel of judges.
Mr Crosby, who works at Borthwick Estate in Carterton, earlier won the 2012 Markhams Young Viticulturist of the Year in Blenheim, which put him into this month's competition against other horticultural industries.
He has been making wine for eight years and says that experience helped give him the edge in the award.
"I think the earlier you start [making wine] the better. This is basically my career path and I couldn't be happier. It's an exciting industry."
The competition is managed by the RNZIH Education Trust on behalf of the sponsors including Agmardt, Fruitfed Supplies, and Turners and Growers.