MJ Loza


MJ started as CEO at the NZWRC in May 2018. After a year based in California as GM Americas for Accolade Wines, MJ was pleased to return to Marlborough as GM for Putake Honey. Since 2006, MJ has held GM and CEO roles in the wine industry in Marlborough.

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Tracy Benge

Establishment Manager

Tracy is a Chartered Accountant with a Business Degree from Victoria University, and qualifications as a Project Manager and Kaizen Lean Process Transformation.

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Dr. Matias Kinzurik

Research Programme Manager

As a Research Programme Manager, Matias is responsible for oversight of a number of research projects. These include the Lighter Wines project and Pinot Noir project.

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Will Kerner (MSc)

Research Programme Manager

Will has been involved in the New Zealand wine industry since the late 90s, when his family developed land in the upper Wairau Valley in Marlborough. He oversees a number of research projects, including the Vineyard Eco-systems and pathogens research projects.

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Janette McKibbin

Research Administrator

Janette McKibbin has worked for New Zealand Winegrowers for more than 10 years. She is the Research Administrator for BRI and is based in Auckland. Janette holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland.

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Jacqueline Wood

Assistant Winemaker

Jacqui has recently joined the Bragato Research Institute (BRI) team as Assistant Winemaker, working in our new research winery (in the NMIT teaching winery) alongside the BRI team and Claire Grose from Plant and Food Research (PFR).

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Dr. Fang Gou

Data Co-ordinator

Dr Fang Gou joined the BRI team in Blenheim as Data Co-ordinator. Fang started her studies at China Agricultural University in Beijing, receiving her BSc majoring in agro-meteorology, and her MSc in simulation and modelling intercropping systems.

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Dr Darrell Lizamore

Principal Research Scientist – Grapevine Improvement

Darrell joined the BRI team in August 2019. In his role Darrell aims to build an integrated national programme bringing together capability in this area across different organisations as well as building a team and internal capability at BRI focussing on grapevine improvement.

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Len Ibbotson

Viticultural Extension and Research Manager.

Len joined the BRI team in August 2019. The focus of his role is to lead the communication of research information to members, to ensure information and tools delivered by research programmes are being adopted and applied to deliver member and industry benefits. The role will also provide expert viticultural input and practical insights into BRI’s research projects.

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Michelle Barry

Technical Communications Specialist

Michelle joined the BRI team in September 2019. Her background in environmental science and soil science provides her with a unique perspective on winegrowing, as well as research and technical writing skills.

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Mark Gilbert

Independent Chair – BRI

Mark retired as Managing Director of BMW Group New Zealand in 2012.
He has nearly 30 year’s automotive industry and management experience, working in both New Zealand and Asia for international company’s Volvo, and the BMW Group; where he held a number of senior executive roles.

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James Dicey

James has been a director of Mt Difficulty Wines Ltd since returning to NZ in 2004 (helping grow the company from production of 200t to 1200t), as well as the Season Solutions Cooperative (2008-16) helping grow the Co-op’s turnover from 120k to 23m during his tenure.

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Dominic Pecchenino

Dominic Pecchenino is well and truly entrenched in the New Zealand wine growing community. He has been growing grapes and consulting on all aspects of vineyard management since his arrival in Marlborough in 1994. Dominic was a member of the first Bragato committee and oversaw the initial Silver Secateurs competition in 1995.

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Peter Holley

Peter has been involved with the New Zealand wine industry since he and his family immigrated in 1996. Since then he has held the position of CEO at Mission Estate and has been fortunate to work alongside a team of dedicated professionals in the restructuring and recapitalisation of the business.

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Dr Dianne McCarthy


Dr McCarthy holds a BA BSc MSc (Hons) and PhD from the University of Auckland. The former CEO of the Royal Society of New Zealand, among other roles, she is now the Chair of the Board of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research and a Director of the Cawthron Institute.

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Dr Bruce Campbell

Dr Campbell has a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in ecology from The University of Sheffield. He is a recipient of the 2017 Prime Minister's Science Prize, 2017 Horticulture New Zealand Industry Service Award and 2016 Royal Society of New Zealand Thomson Medal for outstanding leadership of agricultural and horticultural science.

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Research Advisory Committee


The Research Advisory Committee is appointed by New Zealand Winegrowers, and has a technical role, assessing research proposals and making recommendations to the Bragato Research Institute Board on project funding decisions.  Grower and winery members with the required technical or scientific expertise are encouraged to put their name forward to be considered for this Committee when expressions of interest are called for each year.

Committee Membership


Dominic Pecchenino (Chair)
Patrick Materman (Deputy Chair)
Allan Johnson
Bart Arnst
Doug Bell
Heath Stafford
Jonathan Hamlett
Marilyn Duxson
Melissa Tripe