Te Motu’s Nicole Reynolds placed third at the Young Viticulturist Auckland Northland Region competition last week. Nicole is pictured with competition winner Tai Nelson of Soljan’s Estate (centre) and runner-up Dominic Bolton (left) of Kumeu River Estate.

Te Motu Vineyard’s Nicole Reynolds might be brand new to viticulture but that hasn’t stopped her placing third at last week’s regional finals of the Young Viticulturist of the Year competition.

With a background in hospitality and microbiology, Reynolds moved to Waiheke during last year’s level four lockdown and spent the summer working at Te Motu in both the restaurant and the vineyard.

Catching up with industry colleagues earlier this year, Reynolds says she was talked into entering the competition just three weeks before it started. Realising she had a lot to learn, especially having not yet spent a full season in the vineyard, Reynolds visited other vineyards and talked to vineyard managers to learn as much as she could about viticulture. 

“I found out that everyone does it differently,” Reynolds told Gulf News this week. “No one had even started pruning yet.”

Reynolds credits her performance at the competition to help from last year’s regional winner Courtney Sang of Obsidian Wines, who gave pointers about what she needed to study. • Erin Johnson

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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