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Tai Nelson wins 2023 Young Viticulturist award

Tai Nelson - Young Viticulturist Winner

Tai Nelson wins 2023 Young Viticulturist award

Tai Nelson, age 24 from Soljans Estate in Kumeu north of Auckland, is the 2023 Young Viticulturist of the Year.

This year the competition took place at Paritua Vineyards in Hawke’s Bay. One of the youngest competitors to win the title, Tai only just beat Craggy Range’s Nick Putt. The other two finalists were Nina Downer from Felton Road, who placed third, and Zac Howell from Indevin in Marlborough. The fifth finalist, Tristan van Schalkwyk from Waipara’s The Bone Line, was unable to compete on the day.

Fruitfed Supplies has sponsored the Young Viticulturist since it started in 2005 and National Manager Duncan Fletcher says the annual competition continues to have great value. “We are firm believers that our industry needs people who think, adapt and learn,” says Duncan. “The Young Viticulturist competition encourages new leaders in our viticultural sector to learn and challenge themselves, which is exciting for our sector as a whole. I’d also like to thank two Fruitfed Supplies staff, Andrew McNeil and Jonny la Trobe, who excelled once again in helping with the on-event logistics and ensuring our highly-regarded Fruitfed Supplies BBQ lunch was again an outstanding success.”

As the winner of the Young Horticulturist title, Tai receives a substantial prize package including the use of a Hyundai Kona for a year, an EcoTrellis travel grant, a Fruitfed Supplies educational trip, Electrocoup secateurs, a leadership week and cash. He will also represent the wine industry in next year’s Young Horticulturist of the Year competition.