Sir George Fistonich Medal Winners

Many people have played important roles in making New Zealand wine the success that it now is. Each year the New Zealand International Wine Show will honour the person that has been selected for his or her outstanding contribution to New Zealand wine. To acknowledge that person, a special award has been created and named in honour of a man who unquestionably has made one of the greatest contributions to the New Zealand Wine Industry. The award will be known each year as The Sir George Fistonich Medal.

Celia Hay & Sir George Fistonich


Celia Hay

The 2022 recipient of the prestigious Sir George Fistonich Medal is Celia Hay.

Celia Hay is an important pillar in New Zealand’s hospitality and wine industry. In 1995 she established The New Zealand School of Food and Wine in Christchurch, now located in Auckland’s Viaduct. Celia is the accomplished author of award-winning books such as The New Zealand Wine Guide and How to Grow Your Hospitality business: a guide for owners and managers. In Celia Hay’s acceptance speech for the Sir George Fistonich Medal 2022 she explained that her driving goal is to continue to inspire others, especially young people, to learn more and seek out jobs in NZ’s dynamic hospitality, cooking and wine and beverages world


Annie & James Millton


James and Annie Millton

The 2020 recipients of the prestigious Sir George Fistonich Medal are James and Annie Millton.  

Pioneers in the production of high quality organically produced wines, James and Annie, Gisborne based, have led the country for more than three decades and have been instrumental in establishing organic and biodynamic practices throughout the New Zealand wine industry.

Outstanding Legends of New Zealand wine.

Michael Brajkovich MW, Melba Brajkovich, Sir George Fistonich


The Brajkovich Family

Based in Kumeu, West Auckland, The Brajkovich family has carved the profile of New Zealand wines, in particular Chardonnay to the very highest level, regularly achieving outstanding scores in international tastings and competitions.


The late Mate, his wife Melba and the entire Brajkovich family – Michael MW, Paul, Milan and Mariana have devoted their lives to the wine industry and are widely regarded as the “first family” of New Zealand wine.


In every respect Legends of New Zealand Wine.  

Pictured Tim Finn, Sir George Fistonich and Judy Finn


Tim & Judy Finn

Congratulations Tim and Judy Finn - deserving recipients of the Sir George Fistonich Medal.

Raymond Chan


Raymond Chan

Raymond Chan has devoted the past 30 years to the promotion of fine wine, in particular fine New Zealand wine. Wine judge, wine critic, wine writer & wine salesman. From his Wellington base Raymond is known throughout the country for his brilliant wine reviews and his passion for the industry.

A genuine legend of New Zealand wine.

Richard Riddiford


Richard Riddiford

This year’s Sir George Fistonich Medal for a Legend of New Zealand Wine was awarded posthumously to Richard Riddiford.

Founding Managing Director of Palliser Estate, Riddiford led industry initiatives including Toast Martinborough, the Pinot Noir conferences and the Family of Twelve - a fraternity of 12 of New Zealand's artisanal wineries that promote New Zealand wine in key export markets.  In 2010 he was inducted into the NZ Wine Hall of Fame and in 2015 was inducted as a Fellow of New Zealand Winegrowers.

Clive Weston


Clive Weston

Congratulations Clive Weston - deserving recipient of the Sir George Fistonich Medal.

Steve Smith MW


Steve Smith MW

Congratulations Steve Smith MW - deserving recipient of the Sir George Fistonich Medal.

Pictured Joe Babich, Sir George Fistonich and Peter Babich


Peter & Joe Babich

With the Babich Winery due to celebrate its centenary in 2016, brothers Peter and Joe Babich are indeed 'legends' ... Peter joined the winery in 1949 and Joe in 1958. Together they have made the Babich name one of the most respected in the New Zealand Wine Industry. Congratulations Peter & Joe Babich - deserving recipients of the Sir George Fistonich Medal.

Vic Williams


Vic Williams

For more than 30 years Vic Williams has dedicated his life to the reporting, reviewing, rating and promotion of New Zealand wine. He has been involved in television and radio, has written wine books and for more than a decade has been cellar director for a major mail order club. 

Nobody in the country has achieved as much in the field of wine and food matching and all of his reviews will always be accompanied by a suitable wine recommendation. Vic Williams is truly a legend in New Zealand Wine and a deserving recipient of the 2012 Sir George Fistonich Medal.

Alan Brady


Alan Brady

Over 3 decades ago Irish born Alan Brady traded in his business career in Dunedin to join a group of pioneers following a dream to establish a wine industry in Central Otago. Through unbelievable hardships and largely surviving on determination & passion, Alan established the now world famous Gibbston Valley Winery, a winery that has become a flagship for the Central Otago wine region. An area now internationally respected for its fabulous Pinot Noirs.

Alan Brady has been there from the beginning and he must derive immense satisfaction when he sees what has been achieved. Alan Brady is a deserving recipient of the Sir George Fistonich Medal, truly a legend of New Zealand wine.

Kate Radburnd


Kate Radburnd

A leading winemaker in New Zealand for 27 years – Vidal Estate and CJ Pask (co-owner) Kate Radburnd has produced outstanding wines winning numerous gold medals and trophies in New Zealand and several other countries. A Board Member of NZ Winegrowers for more than a decade and an influential member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand, she is a highly regarded senior wine judge and was recently appointed as the Chair of Judges at the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards.
Kate has been wine consultant to Air New Zealand for the past five years and has worked on the implementation of the Wine Science degree course at the Eastern Institute of Technology. Kate is a highly respected leaded within the New Zealand wine industry; a legend of New Zealand Wine.

Michael Cooper, ONZM


Michael Cooper, ONZM

With 32 books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, Michael Cooper is the country's most prolific author on New Zealand wine.

The annual "Michael Cooper's Buyers' Guide to New Zealand Wine" is the country's biggest selling wine book and is now into its 18th year.

Now wine columnist for the Listener and wine editor for Winestate Magazine, Michael Cooper was appointed an Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit for services to wine writing in 2004.

Larry McKenna


Larry McKenna

For more than two decades, winemaker Larry McKenna has produced many of this country's most revered wines. The Burgundian varieties of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are his passion and it is through his master of the red grape that he has affectionately become known as "Mr Pinot Noir".

Larry is the driving force behind the success that New Zealand Pinot Noir has become internationally and a deserving George Fistonich medal recipient as the 2008 Legend of New Zealand Wine.

Terry Dunleavy, MBE, FWINZ


Terry Dunleavy, MBE, FWINZ

Over the past thirty years, no New Zealander has dedicated more time and energy to the promotion of New Zealand wine than Terry Dunleavy.

Closely involved with the formation and then, the management of the Wine Institute, Terry subsequently established the N.Z. Wine Guild, which led the way in promoting exports of this country's fine wines. Currently the editor of the New Zealand Wine Grower magazine and director of the Royal Easter Wine Awards, there are literally few areas of our wine industry that Terry has not been involved with.  His incredible dedication, enthusiasm and passion for New Zealand wine makes Terry Dunleavy a truly worthy recipient of the George Fistonich Medal in 2007.

Kevin Judd


Kevin Judd

Since its inception, Kevin Judd has been responsible for the brilliant wines of Cloudy Bay. No other New Zealand wine has captivated the world's attention like Cloudy Bay and for more than two decades Kevin has maintained the brilliant quality standards set by the famous label. In addition to winemaking, Kevin Judd has a passion for photographing vineyards and in this area he also excels. Kevin Judd and Cloudy Bay, both legends of New Zealand wine, and Kevin is a most deserving recipient of the 2006 George Fistonich Medal.

Bob Campbell MW


Bob Campbell MW

During his 33 years in the wine industry, no one has promoted NZ wine globally more significantly than Bob Campbell. Amongst Bob Campbell's many achievements he can list- 17 years as wine editor for Cuisine Magazine, 15 years editor of the Cuisine Wine Annual, regular wine columns or articles for 34 local and international magazines and newspapers, including Decanter and Wine Spectator, and he is currently Group Wine Editor for ACP Media. As a wine judge, his experience is without peer for a Kiwi. 25 years judging at the Royal Easter Wine Show (16 of those years as Chairman of Judges), 11 years Chief Judge at the Liquorland Top 100, 14 years at the Air NZ Wine Awards plus senior judging roles at 29 other wine competitions around the world. With the Bob Campbell Diploma Course, an estimated 19,000 people have attended over the past 18 years and Bob became the second New Zealand born person to achieve the prestigious Master of Wine qualification. Highly respected throughout the wine industry all around the world, Bob Campbell is a most deserving recipient of the 2005 George Fistonich Medal.