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.