Women in fore in winemaker contest

What is it about Central Otago that attracts so many young women to the wine industry?

Fully seven of the eight contestants in this year’s Central Otago leg of the Corteva Young Viticulturalist competition were women, building on a trend that has been growing for some years.

Congratulations to Katrina Jackson, of Chard Farm, who is this year’s winner.

Jackson has been a strong supporter of the competition, taking part every year since 2017, placing third in 2019. That experience will have been valuable in negotiating the challenges the competition threw at all the contestants.

Congratulations also to Nina Downer, from Felton Road, who came second and Annabel Wylie, from Grape Vision, who was third. Kudos to all who took part.

Jackson will go on to represent Central Otago at the National Final in August in Marlborough where in another first, four out of the six contestants will be women.

She will be competing for some amazing prizes including a Hyundai Kona for a year, an Ecotrellis travel grant, an educational visit to Australia with Corteva, Bahco golden secateurs and other cash prizes.

The winner will also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in November.


2020 Valli Waitaki Vineyard North Otago Riesling
Price RRP $30
Rating Excellent to Outstanding

Complex nose of honey, anise, red apple, grape jelly and green gage plum. Racy, vibrant palate, the acidity crisp yet totally in tune with the fruit weight, apple, grape, honey and fruit pastille to the fore. Fruit sweetness, yet dry, adding a touch of fruit pithy chewiness to the texture. Intensity without heaviness, already drinking superbly, with a future ahead.



2019 Misha’s Vineyard Lyric Central Otago Riesling
Price RRP $32
Rating Excellent

Fragrant nose of straw, apple, lime and a fleeting wisp of ‘‘jet fuel’’ reminiscent of some Clare Valley wines. Richly textural entry builds the framework, before the acidity races in. Grows with aeration. Dry, yes, but not searingly so, flitting between spices, stewed apple, lime cordial and dry honey. A nice rendition of a drier style.



Misha’s Vineyard Limelight Central Otago Riesling
Price RRP $32
Rating Excellent to Outstanding
Appealing florality, white flowers, comb honey, opening up to red apple, spice, dried herb and musk. Honeyed fruit sweetness 
floods the palate but the acidity and some fruit pithy phenolics are the balancing act that lends this a drier finish than you might think. Powerful flavours of honey, toffee apple, spice and musk on a creamy palate. Super.


Alexandra Basin Winegrowers New Releases Tasting

Labour Weekend Sunday, October 24, sees the 13th annual New Releases Tasting at Oliver’s Garden in Clyde by the Alexandra Basin Winegrowers.
Always a sell-out, it runs from 1pm-4pm. Your $30 ticket provides a tasting glass, wine booklet, complimentary nibbles, live music and the opportunity to taste from  more than 20 local wineries while meeting the owners and makers. 
Moreover, this year they have invited yours truly to be their special guest.




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