Michael Cooper is New Zealand's most acclaimed wine writer, with 40 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 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 24th 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, he is also New Zealand editor of Australia's Winestate magazine and chairman of its New Zealand tasting panel.