Rudi fills the vacant position created when board member Dylan Rushbrook took up the role of General Manager for Tourism Central Otago in early 2019.
Board Chair Sue Sullivan said the Board was excited to have Rudi join them, particularly given the importance of the role that wine tourism has in the region.
A priority action in the Central Otago Tourism Strategy is to leverage the growth in wine and food tourism, and Central Otago’s ultra-premium positioning.
“Rudi’s long history and many connections are sure to come into play as we move forward in this space,” said Tourism Central Otago General Manager Dylan Rushbrook.
“Widely considered as a far-sighted pioneer of the Central Otago wine region and one of the most charismatic producers in the country, we are privileged to have someone as highly regarded and connected as Rudi on the Advisory Board. With his knowledge of the local, national and international wine world he will add real value and support for the work that Tourism Central Otago is doing,” he said.
“As the region further develops visitor experiences in the wine and food space, his innovative and early adoption of organic / biodynamic growing principles highlight that Rudi is truly committed to ensuring that we leave our place better for future generations. His personal attributes and philosophy are perfectly aligned with the values that underpin and guide Tourism Central Otago.”
Sanchia Jacobs, Central Otago District Council CEO, said Rudi’s CV was “exceptional”.
“He has received multiple awards, including winemaker of the year twice and most recently he was awarded the Gourmet Traveller Wines’ New Zealand Leadership Award in 2019. He has been a previous long serving director and chairman of Central Otago Pinot Noir Ltd; began the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration event in 2000 with industry pioneer Alan Brady; and has spoken at many national and international events where he is always keen to promote the region’s and country’s wine. I understand he also discovered Central Otago when cycle touring in New Zealand, which tells us he also has a passion for another of our region’s iconic visitor experiences. I look forward to working with him.”
The Central Otago Tourism Advisory Board’s first meeting for 2020 is scheduled to be held in Alexandra on 26 February.