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17th Legends Awards celebrates Hunter Valley’s wine and tourism industry

The annual awards held at Rydges Resort Hunter Valley united more than 360 industry professionals and guests from the Hunter Valley wine and tourism industry. 

The Legends Awards honours the region’s rich history and celebrates the lasting legacy of those who contribute outstanding service to the industry. 

This year Colin Peterson and John Drayton were inducted as 2024 Hunter Valley Living Legends.

Iain Riggs AM, chair of the Living Legends acknowledged their significant contributions. 

“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,” said Riggs. 

Colin Peterson was inducted for not only his work to make Petersons Wines a widely recognised winery in the Hunter Valley but also his mentoring and collaboration with winemakers and grape growers across the region.

Petersons Wines now grows over 30 grape varieties across its NSW vineyards and employs over 250 people. 

The other living legend, John Drayton, was inducted as the 2024 Tourism Industry Living Legend. 

John’s contribution to the Hunter Valley tourism industry has been significant as a Board representative and Chairman of Cessnock City Tourism and Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism for 19 years.

John’s leadership and commitment to the community laid the foundations for the success of the region as a wine tourism destination. 

CEO of the Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association, Jennie Curran said the Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association were proud to announce 2024’s legends. 

“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,” said Curran. 

Other notable award winners are detailed bellow:

  • 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
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