Is this woman an over-achiever, or just ridiculously talented? Whichever it is, she obviously has the energy of several ordinary people. For ordinary, she is not. South Australian Roseworthy College graduate Kate Radburnd commenced her New Zealand career in 1987 with Vidal, where she produced a string of award-winning wines. In 1991, she joined Pask, where she is Head Winemaker, becoming a co-owner in 1993 and Managing Director in 1999. Under her guidance Pask has seriously ramped up its rep, and along the way secured an impressive haul of trophies, gold medals and accolades.
Is that enough? Apparently not. In addition to her winemaking duties, Kate has been a board member of NZ Winegrowers for over a decade; championed and chaired Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand for five years; has been a senior wine judge at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and Chair of Judges at the New Zealand Easter Show Wine Awards. She was appointed by Air New Zealand as a wine consultant in 2005. For her outstanding contribution to New Zealand’s wine industry, Kate was awarded the George Fistonich Medal in 2010, and in November of this year was inducted as a Fellow of New Zealand Winegrowers.
But really, all of that aside, can she make a good wine? Yes, of course she can; they’re fabulous. The selection below are under her own name, with an emphasis on varietal integrity and well-defined aromatics. They are excellent drinking and superbly priced for the quality they deliver. Kate Radburnd? She’s a keeper.
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot
Kate Radburnd is one of New Zealand's most respected winemakers. For more than 30 years, she has been producing premium wines across a range of varietals and wine styles that have garnered gold medals and trophies around the world.
She has only ever had two jobs in her working life - both as a winemaker. After receiving an oenology degree in her native Australia, Kate moved to New Zealand in 1983 to work as an assistant winemaker at Vidal with legendary New Zealand winemaker George Fistonich. She joined Pask Winery Ltd in 1991, became joint owner in 1993 and managing director in 1999.
Kate blends new technology with a traditional craftsmanship that's built on a keen understanding of the terroir of New Zealand's most prized wine-growing district. "My job is to support the fruit the best way I can - not manipulate it - so the grapes can naturally express their true flavour," Kate says.
Kate's minimalistic approach to winemaking fuelled her passion for environmental management. She pioneered the Sustainable Winegrowing programme in New Zealand and helped Pask's vineyard and winery become the first to be accredited.
As a highly regarded ambassador for New Zealand's wine industry, Kate has served as a senior judge at many prestigious international wine competitions, including the influential San Francisco International Wine Awards. In 2010, she was appointed Chair of Judges for the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, New Zealand's oldest national wine competition.
Kate has also been a Director of New Zealand Winegrowers, a wine consultant to Air New Zealand, and the Deputy Chair of the Council of The Eastern Institute of Technology in Napier, which has wine science and viticulture as flagship degrees.
In recognition of her services to New Zealand wine, Kate was awarded the Sir George Fistonich medal at the New Zealand International Wine Competition in 2010. She recently was made a Fellow of New Zealand Winegrowers, the first female winemaker to receive the award.
Kate doesn't intend to rest on her laurels anytime soon. Committed as ever to producing classic wines of enduring value, Kate plans to devote more time managing the grapes in the fertile, stony soils of Gimblett Gravels. For Kate, good wine begins in the vineyard and ends in the glass - an elegant expression of the land to be enjoyed with family and friends.
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