Georgia in Winery holding large shovel

Congrats to our very own Young Winemaker of the Year, Georgia Mehlhopt

We’ve always known that we have an incredibly dedicated and innovative team at Greystone – and Young Winemaker of the Year Georgia Mehlhopt is no exception.

Georgia’s interest in wine was sparked while walking along the 800km Camino de Santiago trail across Spain. She found herself chatting with the workers in the Spanish vineyards, and her interest grew into a passion.

Having already made her mark on the industry by being crowned the 2022 Tonnellerie de Mercurey North Canterbury Young Winemaker of the Year, Georgia will now go on to National Finals – the first person to represent North Canterbury in the competition.  

“Winning the Young Winemaker Central Otago regional was pretty special. I’m still very new to the industry. I’ve learnt so much from so many people who are generous with their time and knowledge. It’s such an amazing feeling to bring the trophy home to North Canterbury for the first time.”

Georgia originally started her career as a community law caseworker and an emergency communicator for the New Zealand Police, receiving 111 calls. Wanting a break from the busy lifestyle, Georgia set her sights on Europe for an overseas experience, where her love of wine blossomed.

On returning to Aotearoa, she landed a graduate trainee role at Amisfield Vineyard in Central Otago after completing her post-grad at Lincoln University. Working across the vineyard, winery and lab, Georgia fell in love with every aspect of wine making.

Now part of the team at Greystone and working across all areas of the winery, Georgia says her favourite part is the people. “Everyone is so passionate and wants to be there, which makes for a very inspiring time. I have the most supportive and encouraging bosses and colleagues, and I feel so lucky to be working here.”

“Greystone also aligns with my values of regenerative agriculture, organic practices, and caring for the environment. Plus, the wine is excellent!”

Georgia’s favourites among the bunch are the Pétillant Naturel and Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir.

“I absolutely love the crisp, rich and fresh Riesling Pet-Nat that is perfect to open on any occasion. However, my heart lies with the Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir. It is such a delicate and beautifully balanced wine – a true expression of the vineyard in which it is fermented.”

Georgia’s message for those thinking about their start in the world of wine is to visit their favourite wineries and speak to the people who run them.

“Throw your heart and soul into the industry; it will give so much more back. Everyone is incredibly kind and willing to help – you just have to ask.”

One day, Georgia wants to set her sights on a Northern Hemisphere vintage but for now, she’s immersing herself in the New Zealand wine industry and all it has to offer.