Now in its fifth year, the first of the regional finals will be held today as the countdown begins to find the Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker of the Year 2019.

This year there will be three regional finals and the winner from each will go through to represent their region in the national final.

The North Island regional competition is today at EIT in Hawke's Bay and is open to all emerging young winemakers in the North Island.

The Marlborough competition will be held on Wednesday, August 7 at NMIT and the Central Otago competition on Thursda, August 15 at VinPro in Cromwell.

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The national final will take place on Tuesday, September 17 at NMIT in Marlborough and the national winner will be announced the same evening at the awards dinner at Wither Hills.
The competition is tough and tests many of the key skills and knowledge required to become a top quality winemaker.

2018 NZ Young Winemaker of the Year Greg Lane. Photo / Supplied
2018 NZ Young Winemaker of the Year Greg Lane. Photo / Supplied

The competition is open to under 30-year-olds involved in wine production and includes those working as cellarhands, laboratory technicians, assistant winemakers and winemakers. It is aimed at stretching the contestants, increasing their confidence, widening their networks and supporting them to grow and develop into New Zealand's future leaders and winemakers.

Greg Lane from Foley Family Wines in Marlborough was the winner last year.

The national final will move around the regions each year encouraging the local wine communities to come together and support the passionate and talented emerging young winemakers.