For the third consecutive time, a viticulturist has won the Young Horticulturist competition.
Blenheim's Rhys Hall, who works in the Waihopai Valley as Assistant Vineyard Manager for Indevin, won New Zealand's 2020 Corteva Young Horticulturist of the Year and followed up with the national Horticulturist of the Year award in February, following in the footsteps of Viticulturists Simon Gourley and Annabel Bulk.
Rhys has worked with Indevin for five years, moving from vineyard worker, to viticulture technician and then to his current job two years ago. He has a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in plant science from Massey University.
Following the competition, Rhys said he was happy a lot of hard work had paid off, and planned for his prize money to go towards a trip to France planned for July. "I am taking annual leave to visit vineyards, learn more about the wine, and see how other people are producing around the world. It will be a very educational experience, I am sure. I am so excited."
Competition chairperson Hamish Gates says the Young Horticulturist competition remains a rigorous event that attracts impressive young people from the wider horticultural industry.
"The aim of the competition is to encourage young people in horticulture to further develop their skills and knowledge and to increase the opportunities for long-term careers in the industry. It identifies tomorrow's horticultural leaders and is an important event for the primary sectors of New Zealand."