Michael Brajkovich MW announced as 2024 Winemakers’ Winemaker from the Masters of Wine Institute

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Presented by the Institute of Masters of Wine and the drinks business since 2011, the award of ‘Winemaker’s Winemaker’ recognises outstanding achievement in winemaking. Masters of Wine winemakers and the previous award recipients voted Brajkovich as this year’s winner.

Michael Brajkovich MW, said “I am absolutely delighted and deeply honoured to be recognised by my peers of the Institute… it’s a real honour to be included in the list of people who have won this award in the past and even more so because it is a recognition from members of the Institute and particularly winemaker members of the Institute”. He mentioned two previous winners, Peter Gago (2012 winner) and Jean-Claude Berrouet (2018 winner). Michael also emphasised that winemaking is a team effort and credited his family who are actively involved at Kumeu River.

With reference to his family Michael said, “My brother Milan looks after the vineyards, sales and marketing is taken care of by my sister Marijana and brother Paul. The company was started by my late father Maté Brajkovich and continued by his wife (my mother) Melba Brajkovich. And I’d also like to mention Nigel Tibbits who who’s been with the family business for 50 years and continues to help us make great wine.”

Michael now joins the impressive list of previous winners: Peter Sisseck (2011), Peter Gago (2012), Paul Draper (2013), Anne-Claude Leflaive (2014), Egon Müller (2015), Alvaro Palacios (2016), Eben Sadie (2017), Jean-Claude Berrouet (2018), Angelo Gaja (2019) and Jean-Louis Chave (2022).  Due to the global pandemic, there was no award given in 2020, 2021 and 2023.

The award was announced at a ceremony during ProWein trade fair in Düsseldorf.  Jancis Robinson MW OBE also received the ‘2024 Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the show. They are mid-harvest at the Kumeu River estate, so Michael was unable to attend the awards reception – the award was accepted on his behalf by fellow Master of Wine, Matthew Deller (CEO Wirra Wirra).

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