Young man Basques in winelight
A Cromwell-based Frenchman has won a national award for his wine industry know-how.
Alexis Robin, 28, won the young New Zealand wine professional of the year award at the School of Food and Wine contest in Auckland. The award recognised outstanding candidates in wine sales, retail, cellar door and distributors.
Robin excelled in a three-stage exam involving blind tasting, wine knowledge and a presentation to sell awine of his choice to the judges.
He said the event was run professionally and there were high expectations from the judges, master sommelier Cameron Douglas, and Therese Herzog and Tim Hanni.
He hails from the Basque region and studied marketing before moving to New Zealand four years ago and embarking on a love affair with the Central Otago wine region. He married a woman from Mosgiel.
‘‘New Zealand wine is a young industry. They make very good wine but [it is] still very young. In France, it’s centuries. It’s like comparing a young teenager with an old wise man with a lot of experience. I do not want to compare them because they are so different.
‘‘But in 30 or 40 years New Zealand will be one of the best.’’
Robin won a trip to Blenheim for the Herzog Harvest Weekend in April.
MERCI BEAUCOUP: French-born Cromwell man Alexis Robin is presented with the young wine professional of the year award by New Zealand School of Food and Wine director Celia Hay and wine master Tim Hanni.