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Palliser Estate Wines founder dies

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/07/2016 Jonathan Underhill

Richard Riddiford, the wine industry personality who founded and co-owns Martinborough-based Palliser Estate Wines, has died after a short illness at the age of 65.

He stepped down as managing director in 2015 after 25 years running the winery that exports the majority of its wine. He'd been a key figure in industry initiatives including the Family of Twelve, a group of 12 wineries that promotes New Zealand wines in export markets.

He was also behind the highly popular Toast Martinborough, the annual wine, food and music festival that has been running for 25 years, and the Pinot Noir conferences. Riddiford was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2000 for his contribution to the industry and was inducted into the NZ Wine Hall of Fame in 2010.

Pip Goodwin took over as chief executive of Palliser last year from the straight-talking Riddiford, a scion of the Wairarapa's Riddiford farming family.

He owns about 16 per cent of Palliser, the second-largest holding after Rob Morrison, the chairman of Wellington-based investment bank Morrison & Co, who owns about 16.4 per cent.

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