NMIT sponsored awards as part of the 2020 Marlborough Young Winemaker of the Year and Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year competitions.
The annual competitions are for young winemakers and viticulturists, aged 30 and under, working in the industry in the Nelson and Marlborough regions.
NMIT presented scholarships to two young winemakers who show promise as future leaders in the industry.
The winners were Young Viticulturist finalist Jess Marston from Villa Maria and Young Winemaker runner-up Callum Haynes from Matua.
NMIT chose those programmes as they can be studied completely online and they provide people, like Jess and Callum, with the knowledge and skills to become effective managers.
Jess has been working at Villa Maria for more than two years and has some leadership experience as a growers’ liaison and trainer.
She says the scholarship from NMIT will be valuable for her career.
“I want to be in those higher-up positions eventually and I want to be able to do that well. I think that’s a huge skill and, doing the course, I’m excited to learn some tools throughout the year that will help me to succeed later.”
Callum says he’s seen first-hand how important good management is in the wine business and he’s excited to develop those skills with support from NMIT.
“I think the leadership qualification will have a big impact, knowing how important the day-to-day running of a winery is and how good leaders and good management actually make such a difference.”
Callum completed a Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University in Canterbury but he spent a semester at NMIT to be closer to the industry.
“I enjoyed NMIT because it was more hands-on. Lincoln is very good for the classroom and, for sure, you still get like a row of grapes and you make your own wine.”
But Callum says being based at NMIT in Blenheim it was easier to visit wineries, talk with people working in the industry and make connections, and even work a vintage while studying.
“It's amazing when you can learn something and then you see it in action the next day, and everything just clicks so much faster. I feel like the learning curve was easier when I was based in Marlborough.”
NMIT is pleased to be supporting these two promising leaders with a practical qualification that will elevate their respective careers in the winemaking and viticulture industry.