2022 Young Winemaker Revealed

Congratulations to Alun Kilby from Marisco in Marlborough for becoming the 2022 Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker of the Year.

Alun, 28, is Production Winemaker at Marisco.  He has worked in the New Zealand wine industry for 13 years from Auckland to Central Otago before settling in Marlborough and is thrilled to take out this prestigious title.  He is passionate and driven and says he is committed to continuously improving the way we make wine and distribute it to the world.

Congratulations also to Georgia Mehlhopt from Greystone for coming second.  Georgia is the first person from North Canterbury to compete in the National Final and did herself and her region proud.

Four talented young winemakers from around the country competed on Thursday 3 November at Kim Crawford winery in Blenheim.  The other contestants were Douw Grobler from Trinity Hill in Hawke’s Bay and Eliana Leal from Amisfield in Central Otago.

The judges were very impressed with the high calibre of all the finalists who demonstrated a huge passion for winemaking and a great understanding of the challenges and opportunities for the New Zealand wine industry.

The finalists were stretched throughout the day as they were tested on their wine market knowledge and laboratory skills.  They had to prepare a plan for producing a premium single vineyard pinot noir, present their views on the best new innovations in the wine industry, undergo an interview, weigh up options for purchasing a new humidifier for a cellar and then expertly judge wines in a wine show setting.

They finally delivered their Fruitfed Supplies speech at the Awards Dinner at Wither Hills, convincing the audience that their wine region was the first place our returning international visitors should visit when they arrive.

Alun Kilby won best Fruitfed Supplies speech and Georgia Mehlhopt won the Villa Maria-Indevin Wine Judging section.

Apart from becoming the 2022 Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker of the Year, Alun won $1000 cash, a visit to the Tonnellerie de Mercurey cooperage in Burgundy, will be an associate judge in the New World Wine Awards and will review some of his favourite wines in DrinksBiz magazine.

All finalists took home a very special bottle of Church Road’s Tom and will meet up again early next year on an educational trip hosted by Fruitfed Supplies.

The competition is made possible by all the generous sponsors:  Tonnellerie de Mercurey, Fruitfed Supplies, Villa Maria-Indevin, Laffort, Programmed Property Services, Tira Crown, Visy, New World, Winejobsonline, NZSVO and Pernod Ricard.