Paul Huiet and Bardos Alexandra win the “Best Romanian Grapevine Pruner – 2024” contest

by Wines of Romania
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Consultant Paul Huiet and USAMV Bucharest student Bardos Alexandra are the big winners of the second edition of the "Best Grapevine Pruner in Romania" competition, organized by Wines of Romania and the Research and Development Station for Viticulture and Pomology Pietroasa-Istrita.

Divided into two sections, Experts – experienced viticulturists, mostly winery employees, and Students – three students in their final years designated by specialized faculties across the country, the competition consisted of pruning for ten vines for each competitor. Experienced viticulturists had 20 minutes, while students had 30 minutes to demonstrate their understanding and application of the competition’s requirements, namely Guyot Poussard pruning or solutions as close as possible to the assigned vines.

"It’s a simple thing, the way you prune the vineyard determines how much and how long your vineyard will live. And pruning must be adapted to intention – whether you want to change the vines after 5, 10, 15, 25 years or more," explains one of the international jurors who judged the works of experienced viticulturists, Fabio Sorgiacomo, Giotto Consulting expert.

Following the analysis of the results of all participating students, a ranking of specialized universities was also made:

Experts category:

  • Paul Huiet – 1st place
  • Constantin Udrea – 2nd place
  • Ionel Tun – 3rd place

Students category:

  • 1st place USAMV Bucharest – Bardos Alexandra
  • 2nd place USAMV Cluj – Puscas Florin
  • 3rd place USV Iasi – Donea Marius Cristian

University Ranking:

  • 1st place – USAMV CLUJ
  • 2nd place – USV IASI
  • 3rd place – USAMV BUCURESTI

"It was a long, full and beautiful day, with winery tours, competition, workshops, wine tastings of the Pietroasa Station, paired with the pecial cheeses from the Carrefour "Poftim Brânză Românească” program. I’m really glad that we had a good representation of female competitors – students and experienced winemakers, and the fact that a Alexandra won the award in her category is absolutely wonderful. The most important thing is that we bring to light this dimension of wine, the one that is not visible, the work in the field, in cold, rain, snow or extreme heat", says Marinela Ardelean, organizer of the contest.

"Together with partners, jurors, teaching staff and, in particular, the Pietroasa-Istrita Viticulture and Pomiculture Research and Development Station, we managed to organize a unique competition in Europe, with national representation from all relevant faculties and an international jury. Another proof that Romanian wine is on the right track, with experts demonstrating their skills in the vineyard and students from all over the country who are eager to become specialists in the field and who thus come to the attention of future employers", said Marinela Ardelean, founder of Wines of Romania and contest organizer.

"One thing that has become evident in this competition is that fieldwork is essential for the quality of training in school, and I can only be happy that a student from USAMV Bucharest, an institution to which the SCDVP Pietroasa-Istrita belongs, proved to be the best among the 15 participating students. The work of a viticulturist is not easy, but it is full of satisfaction. To be part of the life of wine, of the culture that surrounds it, to be good at what you do, and to know that you have an important role in this act of creation, is a rare feeling. We will have more people passionate about this profession, and this will be felt in the taste of Romanian wines," said Sorin Marin, director of the Pietroasa Station.

The winners of the competition were awarded by Corteva (experts received treatments for 4 hectares of vineyard, while students received pruning shears, saws, and tasting sets), Da Bacco (one electric vine binder and two multi-cultivators for experts and a 3-day experience in the company for students), Valdo Invest (an oak barrel for the first place winner), SCDVP Pietroasa-Istrita (reserve wines).

The jury that analyzed the works of veteran viticulturists was composed of Fabio Sorgiacomo, Giotto Consulting expert, Vicenç Canals, professor at the Vine Training Academy (Academia de Poda) in Spain, and Marian Ion (president), PhD in science with over 30 years of experience in viticulture. The jury that evaluated the students was chaired by Alina Donici, director of the Research and Development Station for Viticulture Bujoru, and included Alfred Stefan (Corteva) and Dan Ploscaru, the winner of last year’s competition.

"I was pleasantly surprised to see that the students who participated in the competition were very well prepared. Although they were very nervous, as it was their first competition of this kind, they managed to show that they have solid knowledge about the principles of vine pruning. They are the future specialists who will continue the tradition of viticulture in Romania. I am proud of all the students who participated in the competition, and I want to convey to them that they were all winners of this edition just by participating in the Best Grapevine Pruner in Romania competition. I want to congratulate the professors from the Viticulture departments within the universities who prepared the students for the competition. Through their students, they have demonstrated involvement, dedication, and ensuring high-quality higher education," said Alina Donici, the president of the students’ jury.

Wines of Romania and the host of the competition, the Research and Development Station for Viticulture and Pomology Pietroasa-Istrita, thank the participants, jurors, and partners at Corteva, Carrefour, Da Bacco, BioSystems, BlackCab.

About the organizer:

The platform is a 100% private project, strongly anchored in the sustainable development of the local and international success of Romanian wine. Founded by Marinela Ardelean, a wine expert and co-organizer of the RO-WINE festival, the Wines of Romania platform represents a digital universe dedicated to native wines, wine lovers, buyers, producers, and investors.


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