Romeo Alessandro Bragato
An honours graduate of the Regia Scuola di Viticoltura ed Enologia in Conegliano, Italy, Romeo Bragato came to New Zealand in 1895 on secondment from the government of Victoria to look at the possibilities of viticulture and winemaking in the colony.
Touring the colony over several months, he furnished the New Zealand government with a report identifying Central Otago, Canterbury, Nelson, Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay and Auckland as potential major grape-growing regions.
Bragato's greatest contribution was his knowledge on phylloxera, the vine disease that first appeared in New Zealand in the 1880s.
He was appointed New Zealand government viticulturist and oenologist in 1902 with a specific brief to eliminate phylloxera.