At the New Zealand International Wine Show awards dinner, held in Auckland on Saturday 26th September, the Sir George Fistonich medal was presented to Clive Weston of Negociants New Zealand and Nautilus Estate of Marlborough, “in recognition of services to New Zealand wine”.
Prior to announcing this year’s recipient, Sir George told the audience that the awardee had spent many years in the wine trade, had successfully chaired New Zealand’s Family of Twelve, had contributed to the USA export drive on high end NZ wine under the banner ‘Complexity’ and had also made a positive contribution to the promotion of New Zealand wine within the New Zealand hospitality scene, whilst running a good business at Negociants NZ.
In accepting the Sir George Fistonich medal, Clive thanked Sir George, founder of Villa Maria, Kingsley Wood, convenor of the NZ International Wine Show and acknowledged the whole Negociants and Nautilus Estate team for their great work and support over many years.
Clive also alluded to the moment in 1986, whilst working in London, when the first vintage of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 1985 hit that market and the fact that this arguably marked the start of the modern era of premium NZ wine exporting to the world. Shortly after that, the first shipment of Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 1986 was imported into the UK by Geoffrey Roberts Associates, of which Clive was Sales Director.
Reflecting on the surprise award of the Sir George Fistonich medal, Clive notes “This was a shock but a very happy one and I am flattered in the extreme; I am particularly pleased for my team and acknowledge also the support of friends and fellow associates within the Hill-Smith family’s wider wine enterprises. I feel that this is also an acknowledgement of the important role of the Distributor in the chain that links the grape to the consumer’s glass”.