Michael Cooper is New Zealand’s most acclaimed wine writer, with 44 books and several major literary awards to his credit, including the Montana Medal for the supreme work of non-fiction at the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards for the first edition of his magnum opus, Wine Atlas of New Zealand. In the 2004 New Year Honours, Michael was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to wine writing.
Author of the country’s biggest-selling wine book, the annual New Zealand Wines: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide, now in its 28th edition, he was awarded the Sir George Fistonich Medal in recognition of services to New Zealand wine in 2009. The award is made each year at the country’s largest wine competition, the New Zealand International Wine Show, to a ‘living legend’ of New Zealand wine. The weekly wine columnist for the New Zealand Listener from 2007 to 2020, he has also been the New Zealand editor of Australia’s Winestate magazine for many years, and written many wine features for North & South magazine.
In 1977 he obtained a Master of Arts degree from the University of Auckland with a thesis entitled “The Wine Lobby: Pressure Group Politics and the New Zealand Wine Industry”. He was marketing manager for Babich Wines from 1980 to 1990, and since 1991 has been a full-time wine writer.
Cooper’s other major works include 100 Must-Try New Zealand Wines (2011); the much-extended second edition of Wine Atlas of New Zealand (2008); Classic Wines of New Zealand (second edition 2005); The Wines and Vineyards of New Zealand (published in five editions from 1984 to 1996); and Pocket Guide to Wines of New Zealand (second edition 2000.) He is the New Zealand consultant for Hugh Johnson’s annual, best-selling Pocket Wine Book.
Michael’s comprehensive, frequently updated website, MichaelCooper.co.nz, was launched in 2011.