Bragato Research Institute Chief Executive MJ Loza has had a busy 18 months, helping drive the establishment and development of the national wine research centre, based in Blenheim.
Four contestants took part in this year's Bayer Young Viticulturist.
They are the subject of our Young Guns.
Name: Caleb Dennis
Occupation: Group Technical Officer – Craggy Range Vineyards – Hawke's Bay
How long have you worked in Hawkes Bay?
What brought you to this region?
The offer of a job at Craggy Range
Where have you travelled in wine to get here?
I haven't done much wine specific travel yet, but I have travelled in Europe, North America and throughout Asia which has given me a great insight into the cultures and customs of these places and I have utilised that experience in my various roles. I am certainly planning to go back to explore many of the world's wine regions that are on offer though.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being part of a team that uses the best possible information to assist us in making decisions that allow us to produce fantastic fruit and wine, I get immense satisfaction when I see that fruit I have been a part of crafting during the season harvested and turned into fantastic wines I can share with friends.
What do you enjoy most about Hawke's Bay?
I really enjoy the lifestyle that is on offer here, there are a number of outdoor activities on your doorstep, as well as many more within a short drive, and if you're in a more lazy mood there are plenty of great cafe's and restaurants to go and spend a lazy Sunday afternoon enjoying some of the great wines the region produces.
When you're not making wine or growing grapes?
Right now I'm usually to be found renovating my house, but when I need a break from that I can often be found either at a café enjoying the Hawke's Bay weather, or off in the outdoors.
It sucks when....
It rains on the weekend.
Your favourite wine?
Pretty hard to go past a Bordeaux Blend from the Gimblett Gravels.
Which wine region excites you most right now?
I'm really getting into the Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from Martinborough.
Right now I'm focusing on growing my knowledge and skill base, ultimately I would see myself in a national viticulturist role, or leading a great wine company.