The Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association held its 2024 Hunter Valley Legends Awards this week, with Colin Peterson and John Drayton inducted as this year’s Hunter Valley Living Legends.

As well as naming Living Legends the Legends Awards honour the region’s rich and vibrant history, celebrating the lasting influence and legacy of those who contribute outstanding service to the industry.

Acknowledging this year’s Living Legends contributions to the region, Iain Riggs AM, Chair of the Living Legends said: “Colin and John are names and personalities that are synonymous with the commercial success of the Hunter Valley over many years. The region is stronger for their leadership and contributions to the local community.”

Peterson has led Petersons Wines since 2000 and has helped to expand the business to grow over 30 grape varieties across its NSW vineyards and employ over 250 people. He has also taken the business overseas, finding success in Singapore and China, and over the course of his career Peterson has mentored many winemakers and growers in the region and has an eye on the future of the business by mentoring his daughter Savannah.

Drayton’s career started in 1989 when he joined his father Max and brother Greg and late brother, Trevor, in the family business, Drayton’s Family Wines. The family legacy of winemaking now stands at over 170 years. Drayton also spent 19 years as a Board representative and Chairman of Cessnock City Tourism and Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism and his leadership laid the foundations for the success of the region as a wine tourism destination.

Commenting on this year’s awards, Jennie Curran, CEO of the Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association said: “The Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association is proud to announce the recipients of this year’s Legends Awards. Their achievements serve as a testament to our long history and bright future.

“The quality of the nominations across all award categories reflects the strength and enduring appeal of the Hunter Valley.”

The Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association extended its congratulations to all the 2024 Hunter Valley Legends Awards recipients:

  • Riedel Young Achiever of the Year: Emily Glover, De Iuliis Wines
  • Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association Tourism Operator of the Year: Stay n’ Sip
  • Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association Accommodation Operator of the Year: Hunter Valley Stays
  • Jurds Viticulturist of the Year: Thomas Hordern, Glenesk Vineyard
  • Wine Selectors Cellar Door of the Year: Margan Wines & Restaurant
  • First Creek Winemaking Services Winemaker of the Year: Stuart Hordern, Brokenwood Wines
  • Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association Outstanding Contribution of an Individual: Brad Russ, Tulloch Wines
  • Hunter Valley Wine Industry Living Legend: Colin Peterson
  • Hunter Valley Tourism Industry Living Legend: John Drayton

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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