Alena Kamper from Sacred Hill in Hawke’s Bay has been named 2023 Tonnellerie de Mercurey New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year.
At 22 years old, Kamper is the youngest person to win the coveted title.
The national final took place at The Bone Line in North Canterbury on October 31, with the three finalists delivering their speeches at the Altogether Unique Wine Industry Celebration in Christchurch on November 1, when the overall winner was announced.
The other finalists were Callum Haynes from Matua in Marlborough and Eliana Leal from Amisfield in Central Otago.
They both won section prizes, highlighting how tough the competition was.
Kamper won the Fruitfed Supplies best speech and the Indevin Wine Judging Section. Leal won the best Hillebrand Gori presentation on aritficial intelligence in the wine industry and for her laboratory skills. Haynes won best interview and essay on how to make various rosé styles.
The judges were highly impressed, not only with their winemaking skills but also their passion and vision for the future of the NZ wine industry.
“It is inspiring and exciting to see so many passionate and talented young winemakers coming through,” Nicky Grandorge, leadership & communities manager at New Zealand Winegrowers, said.
“Our future is certainly in good hands.”
As NZ Young Winemaker of the Year, Kamper took home a prize package that includes $1000 cash, a visit to the Tonnellerie de Mercurey cooperage in Burgundy, France, and the opportunity to be an associate judge in the 2024 New World Wine Awards and review some of her favourite wines in DrinksBiz magazine.