It was those early family dinners where Kate learned about wine and all the important things that go with it – generosity, connection, expression and enjoyment. They’re as meaningful as ever and define what our wines are all about today.
“My absolute love of wine started with my family because Mum and Dad really enjoyed wine, it was something we grew up with. For me, I’ve really enjoyed the combination of a science background with being able to create something wonderful, and that’s really what got me underway.”
Radburnd Cellars was established in 2017, with the single purpose of Kate making her very best wine from each vintage without compromise - using the best fruit, the best equipment and the best resources.
We make a single tier of wines in very limited volumes – representing the best, not the most. These are special handmade wines you won’t find anywhere else, made to be enjoyed and shared with friends and family.
Kate came to New Zealand after graduating from Roseworthy Agricultural College, South Australia in 1983. Her first job was with Vidal, part of the Villa Maria Group where she learnt all the ropes of winemaking and fell in love with New Zealand cool climate wines. After moving on to Pask to become winemaker, shareholder and then running the company, she came to realise winemaking was where her heart was.
And now she’s back doing exactly that at Radburnd Cellars, making the wines she loves most, the way she wants to make them, and with great care and attention put into every single bottle from beginning to end.
Kate’s never done it for the glory or the gongs, but because of her natural drive for quality in everything she does. Along the way her contributions and achievements have been recognised.
A highly regarded ambassador for New Zealand wine, Kate has served as a senior judge at national and international wine competitions. In 2010, she was appointed Chair of Judges for the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, New Zealand’s oldest national wine competition.
Kate has been a Director of New Zealand Winegrowers, Deputy Chair of the Council of the Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawke's Bay, and a wine consultant to Air New Zealand. She pioneered the introduction of the winery programme for Sustainable Wine Growing New Zealand.
In recognition of her services to New Zealand wine, Kate was awarded the Sir George Fistonich medal in 2010 and was made a Fellow of New Zealand Winegrowers in 2015, the first female winemaker to receive the award. In 2019, Kate was inducted into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame.
She’s a true legend of New Zealand wine, but Kate would be the first to say her successes are made possible by the people around her. At Radburnd Cellars she’s gathered a small team utterly focused on quality. Everyone gets stuck in and does whatever needs to be done during vintage.
Our team includes Rachel Barclay in Admin & Finance, Kate Radburnd, Winemaker/Owner and Peter Wogan, Managing Director. During vintage, it is all hands on deck with Grant organising getting the fruit from vineyard to the winery, our other owners Tracey and Donna as vintage cellarhands, Penelope (Kate's daughter) and a bunch of wonderful friends and family hand sorting the grapes or pumping over to help create our very best.
“I couldn’t make the wines we make without a great team around me. Every step requires everyone to be totally dedicated – and we are. We all know what we’re doing is exactly what we want to do, the way we want to do it and it’s incredibly exciting.”