Ku­dos for Kerik­eri

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Jake Drom­gool, from The Land­ing, in Kerik­eri, has been named the Bayer Auck­land/North­ern Young Viti­cul­tur­ist of the Year 2018.

He will be the first North­lander to rep­re­sent the re­gion at the na­tional fi­nal in Au­gust.

Mr Drom­gool said he was very proud to rep­re­sent his re­gion, and to be able to draw at­ten­tion to its wines.

“My ca­reer am­bi­tion is to see the Bay of Is­lands recog­nised as be­ing a des­ti­na­tion for fine wines, fuel the growth of the in­dus­try within my re­gion, and to help take wine from the North to the world,” he said.

“I be­lieve that de­spite the ob­vi­ous dif­fi­cul­ties of viti­cul­ture in the North we have some­thing to of­fer the mar­ket that no other re­gion can quite match.”

As well as work­ing at The Land­ing, he has planted his own vine­yard, and re­cently launched his own wine brand, 144 Is­lands.

Rob­bie Gold­ing, from Mud­brick, Wai­heke, was the re­gional run­ner-up, with an­other Far North con­tender, Pi­etro Aloisi, from Kerik­eri’s Mars­den Estate, third.

In the re­gional event five fi­nal­ists un­der­took a mix of prac­ti­cal and the­o­ret­i­cal chal­lenges cov­er­ing all as­pects of viti­cul­ture, in­clud­ing prun­ing, trel­lis­ing, pests and dis­eases, soil nu­tri­tion and bud­get­ing.

The day cul­mi­nated with the awards din­ner, where each con­tes­tant gave a speech.

“It was a great day, and the vast range of chal­lenges helps the con­tes­tants mea­sure their own strengths and weak­nesses,” na­tional co-or­di­na­tor Nicky Gran­dorge said. “To win the com­pe­ti­tion is a huge achieve­ment, and shows the win­ner has worked hard to per­fect the very wide range of skills and knowl­edge re­quired for run­ning a suc­cess­ful vine­yard.”

PIC­TURE / SUP­PLIED

Jake Drom­gool, Kerik­eri’s Young Viti­cul­tur­ist of the Year.

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