Young award winners showcase exciting future for agriculture

Rural Exchange 25/08/2018

Two young award winners were crowned in the wine and horticulture industries last week.

Marlborough’s Greg Lane has been crowned the 2018 Tonnellerie de Mercurey New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year.

Into its fourth year, the competition aims to promote the skills of the next generation of winemakers emerging in New Zealand.

Mr Lane says the competition was enjoyable, but also "pretty intense".

"There's a snapshot of everything you'd have to do in the day of a winemaker, but they cram it all into seven hours so it's pretty full on," he says.

In his day-to-day life, Mr Lane is a winemaker for Foley Family Wines in Marlborough, based at Grove Mill winery.

In the horticulture world, the prestigious Young Grower of the Year competition was held last week in Napier.

24-year-old Danni van der Heijden from the Bay of Plenty was awarded the honour of 2018 Young Grower of the Year after a day-long gauntlet of horticulture challenges.

Ms van der Heijden took home a total of $14,000 prize money, which she plans to put towards the purchase of a lifestyle block.

An AVOCO technical advisor, van der Heijden is the second Bay of Plenty woman to win the award in as many years after it was awarded to Erin Atkinson last year.

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