Awards show future of rural sector in good hands

Two awards handed out to young people in the wine and horticulture industries show the future of the rural sector is in good hands

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

While 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.

Into its fourth year, the Young Winemaker of the Year 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.

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.

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.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE 

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