Hawke's Bay is set to stage the 2015 Young Viticulturist of the Year Award, with the best of the region's "in the field" members of the wine industry hoping to make it two in a row for the Bay.
Paul Robinson, 28, who works at Villa Maria's Joseph Soler and Te Awa blocks, west of Hastings, took the title last year after outperforming 45 budding viticulturists from throughout the winegrowing regions of the country.
He became the third graduate of the EIT's viticulture courses to take the national title.
The competition is run annually as part of the Romeo Bragato Wine Conference which is being staged here in August.
The last time the event was held in the Bay was in 2009 at the Pettigrew-Green Arena, although the venue for this year's event has not yet been finalised. It will be held over three days and will draw winemakers, grape growers, viticulturists, scientists, contractors and students from throughout the country, as well as Australia and South Africa.
About 600 people are expected to take part in a series of workshops on a range of industry topics, as well as toast the event's wine awards and the Young Viticulturist of the Year announcement.