North Island Young Winemaker of the Year named

Alena Kamper from Sacred Hill in Hawke’s Bay has been named 2023 Tonnellerie de Mercurey North Island Young Winemaker of the Year following the competition held at Indevin’s Gimblett Gravels winery on 28 September.

Kamper performed strongly across a wide range of tasks, including blending, wine market knowledge, cellar skills, wine tasting and an interview.

Casey Mackintosh from Indevin came second and Frances Robertson-Best from Te Mata came third.

Other contestants also showed good winemaking knowledge and skills with each of them winning at least once section. The other contestants were Charlotte Ross, Craggy Range; Chresten Bjarnesen, Mission Estate; Leigh O’Connor, Sileni; and Thalia Osborne, Ash Ridge Wines.

The awards dinner was held at Brookfields Winery where the contestants delivered their Fruitfed speeches, debating hot topics for the wine industry. The Brookfields Winery restaurant re-opened a few days before the occasion following months of recovery work after Cyclone Gabrielle.

Kamper was awarded $1000 cash, premium wines, a Dale Carnegie leadership course and an educational trip sponsored by Fruitfed Supplies, taking place early 2024.

She will represent the North Island in the NZ National Final on 31 October at The Bone Line in Waipara, North Canterbury.

The winner of the competition will be named the 2023 Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker of the Year and take home a prize package including a visit to the Tonnellerie de Mercurey (cooperage) in Burgundy, as well as the chance to be an associate judge in the New World Wine Awards and to review wines in DrinksBiz magazine. There is also the opportunity to win the Hillebrand-Gori best presentation.

The competition is sponsored by Tonnellerie de Mercurey, Fruitfed Supplies, Indevin, Hillebrand-Gori, FMG, Laffort, New Zealand Winegrowers, Programmed Property Services, Tira Crown, Visy, New World, Winejobsonline, NZSVO and Pernod Ricard.


First published by Food Processing.