Managing a wine show and ensuring a high level of operation demands careful quality control loads of experience, professionalism, industry respect, technical excellence and a sense of humour. The whole team is carefully chosen from senior judges to the steward washing the glasses.
Chairman Huon Hooke selects all the judges and Judith Kennedy rounds up the willing Stewards. Gary Baldwin (Director Winenet) has judged this show continuously for 18 years and brings a strong technical aspect to the judging. Master of Wine Tony Paterson has now clocked up ten years as panel Chair and brings a steadiness and calm resolve to the judging room that is appreciated by all around her. Following the judging Toni wrote “Last week was fabulous – I have been on a high ever since due to the sensational wines that we had to choose from in the trophy line up”.
Peter Leske, experienced winemaker and popular South Australian Consultant owns La Linea Wines. Geraldine McFaul winemaker at Willow Creek, and Sue Bell owner and winemaker of Bellwether make up the balance of the experienced team of judges. The Associate judges Sharon Foulis Senior Buyer at Dan Murphy’s and Zeeda Zilm of O’Leary Walker Wines are the Associates this year.
Sommelier Stewards: Tony Venn (Head Steward) Rockpool on George, Chris Rose Glass Brassarie, Shaun Lou Black By Ezard and Seamus Brandt Rockpool Bar and Grill. Jeff Aston Southern Highlands Winemaker and Vue Diep The Wine Society add their experience to the stewarding team.
The Stewards make sure that the judges have their next bracket poured on time (and in the right glass!). They are keen to try the wines themselves and do so in the back room while the judges are busy. Every year some of the wines end up on the wine lists managed by the Steward/Sommeliers as they get the opportunity to sample it first hand before trophies and medals are announced. One of the many benefits of entering the show.
Results will be here 5 September.