|Romeo Alessandro Bragato
B. 1858 – d. 1913
Romeo Alessandro Bragato played a significant role in the early development of the wine industry in New Zealand.
Bragato was born in Austria-Hungary and educated in Italy. He studied at Conegliano’s Royal School of Viticulture and Oenology achieving a Diploma. He was appointed the Government Viticulturist for Victoria in Australia in 1889.
In New Zealand the 1894 Flax and Other Industries Committee recommended the establishment of a Department of Agriculture. The committee received considerable lobbying from the developing wine industry. As a consequence of this lobbying, Premier Richard Seddon requested the loan of the services of Romeo Bragato from the Victorian Government in 1895. Bragato arrived in Bluff, and was escorted by government officials to assess prospects for viticulture and wine making in New Zealand.
His resulting report, Prospects of Viticulture in New Zealand, submitted to the Premier on 10th Sept, was very positive and became important in promoting the development of the young wine industry.