Jonathan Hunt, from Delegats, Crownthorpe Vineyard, has been announced as the Bayer Hawke's Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018.

This is the third year Hunt has competed and he is "thrilled" to have won the title and to be going on to represent Hawke's Bay in the National Final.

Nick Putt, from Villa Maria, came second, and Grace Petrie, from Trinity Hill, was placed third.

Organisers said Hunt demonstrated strong viticulture skills, excelling in many of the sections, including pests & diseases, the speech, budgeting, machinery, the interview and nutrition.


The seven contestants included Hunt's fiancée, Sarah Luke, from Thornhill Consulting, who entered for the first time. The competition was a chance for friendly rivalry before Hunt's age, at 29, rules him out of next year's competition.

The other contestants were also first-time entrants. They were Andy Pan, from Pask, who won the BioStart Hortisports race; Adam Leach, from Thornhill Consulting; and Douw Grobler, from Trinity Hill.

National coordinator Nicky Grandorge said it was exciting to see a new wave of young viticulturists.

"The competition gives them a great opportunity to bond with fellow young vits as well as test their skills and find their weaknesses to work on over the next year. I love to see them return with increased confidence and knowledge the following year with even more determination to win."

The national final will be held in the Wairarapa on August 27, with the winner announced on August 30 at a dinner in Wellington.

The national winner will receive a prize package including a Hyundai Kona for a year, $5000 AGMARDT Travel Grant, $2000 cash, Bahco golden secateurs, glassware and leadership development.