Waiheke Island grows young viticulturist of the year
Waiheke Island's Tim Adams has won the national Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year title.
Adams, who works at Obsidian Vineyard in Onetangi, is bringing the trophy to the Auckland and Northland region for the first time.
This breaks a three-year run of the title going to a viticulturist from Hawkes Bay.
Last night, Adams won the use of a Hyundai Santa Fe for a year, a $5000 AGMARDT travel scholarship, engraved Bahco golden secateurs, $2000 cash, wine glasses and a leadership week.
In November, he will represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition.
Adams gained a Bachelor of Science and a post-graduate diploma in neurophysiology, before deciding the time commitments involved in the medical field were too demanding.
He switched to a post-graduate diploma in wine sciences and started at Mudbrick Vineyard in 2012, before moving to Obsidian a year ago.
"Being a vineyard manager allows you to be connected to the land and the area in which you grow grapes.
"It allows you to be outside, which I really enjoy - it's good for my mental state and for sustaining a level and clear head," Adams said.
In the future, he would love to become an educator at a university or polytech, passing on what he has learned to others.
His big win reflects the time and energy Waiheke winemakers have put into teaching him, he said.
Obsidian winemaker, Mike Wood, and winemakers Nick Otto and Pat Newton from Mudbrick, where Adams used to work, have been fonts of knowledge.
"Waiheke is special - we've got a really good support network going," he said.
Competition co-ordinator Nicky Grandorge said Adams is 30 years old, the maximum age for entering the competition, so he came to the national final well prepared and determined.
He achieved strong results across the board, showing he has the overall skills and knowledge required to be an accomplished viticulturist and future leader, she said.
Annabel Bulk from Felton Road in Central Otago was the runner up for the award, winning $1000 and wine glasses.
The competition finalists wrote a research report, before undertaking challenges at Villa Maria in Marlborough on August 29.
These included budgeting, pests and diseases, tractor maintenance, trellises, irrigation and viticultural knowledge.