The Judges

Image judge process

2017 JUDGES

TIM KNAPPSTEIN | Riposte Wines | Chief Judge

Tim Knappstein stands tall among Australia’s elite winemakers – a third generation vigneron with 40 years experience producing wines of finesse and excellence.  In 1981 an unrequited passion for cool climate wines led Tim to the Adelaide Hills where he planted the first vineyard in the cool climate Lenswood district. In 1995 he moved from the Clare wine region to live on the vineyard in Lenswood. In 2006 as a counterpoint to the world of mass produced big company wines Tim founded Riposte, a selection of the finest wines made from cool climate Adelaide Hills fruit.

LESTER JESBERG | Winewise Editor | Panel Chair

Lester is editor and founding director of Winewise Magazine as well as wine show judge and chairman of long standing. He loves good wine, whatever its origin but is definitely not a wine “geek” or traditionalist. He’s still more focused on the future than the past and constantly travels the wine regions of Australia and the world at large.

LEIGH RATZMER | Wicks Estate | Winemaker

Leigh graduated from Oenology at Adelaide University and gained experience working with premium producers in Austria and the Barossa Valley prior to joining the Wicks Estate team in 2004, crafting classy, cool climate wines.

MIKE DE IULIIS | De Iuliis Wines | Owner / Winemaker

De Iuliis Wines are known for their trademark Hunter regionality and commitment to showcasing the very best the Hunter Valley has to offer. The Australian Wine Companion by James Halliday has been rating De Iuliis Wines a 5 star winery since 2010. The family’s vision is to continue producing wines of excellence and outstanding quality from individual paddocks, wines of distinction which they are proud to have their name on.

RUSSELL CODY | McWilliams Wines | Senior Commercial & Export Winemaker

‘Be prepared for hard work as it is not all beer and skittles. Fine wine takes time and lots of hard yakka!’

Russell speaks with some authority. He started his winemaking career in 1989 and joined the celebrated McWilliam’s team back in 1995. Twenty odd years on, Russell is a senior winemaker, wine judge and one of the most respected wine experts in the industry.

He is also a winemaker with a clear philosophy ‘great wines are made in the vineyard’ he states. Russell places strong emphasis on good vineyard management practices, and to sourcing the most appropriate, high-quality fruit available. This philosophy marries with Russell’s continuing passion for the Australian wine industry, as he says ‘we are still in an exciting early phase of making great table wine in Australia as we continue to pioneer the best varieties in each region that suits them’.

GREER CARLAND | Winemaking Tasmania | Winemaker

Greer Carland is based in southern Tasmania and has been making wine in Tasmania for 12 years. She has experience in North and South America, France and three states of Australia. Since 2004 Greer has been a winemaker with Winemaking Tasmania where she manages the sparkling and white and red table wine production.

ANDREW LOCKE | Fosters Group | Winemaker

Currently the Senior winemaker for Fleurieu Vintners in McLaren Vale South Australia. Andrew has worked for De Bortoli, Jacobs Creek and Rosemount for over 15 years. Andrew has been a wine show judge in Adelaide, Cowra, Limestone Coast, Cairns, Ballarat, McLaren Vale, Riverland, Rutherglen  to the Alternative Varieties in Mildura. His involvement in wine shows has also included his time on the McLaren Vale wine show committee for 7 years.

 ASSOCIATE JUDGES

TRENT KELLY | Credaro Wines | Chief Winemaker
HARRY KINSMAN | McWilliams Wines | Winemaker
SAM RENZAGLIA | Renzaglia Wines