The Judges

Image judge process


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.

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 | Quiet Mutiny Wines | Winemaker

Growing up pruning vines at family owned Laurel Bank, Greer was compelled to join the industry. Completing an Oenology degree at Adelaide University in 2000, also a few years of international vintages in Chile, France and North America with a short stint in Western Australia. Greer returned home to Tasmania in 2004 crafting wines under Julian Alcorso at Winemaking Tasmania for over a decade as well as making Laurel Bank wines. In 2016 the timing was right to focus on making the family wines at Laurel Bank and starting her own label, Quiet Mutiny. Greer was named one of Australia’s top Young Guns of Wine 2019.

SIMON NUNNS | Coopers Creek Vineyard | Winemaker

Simon returns to the NCCWS as our international judge. Simon is a sought after wine judge, educator and speaker. He’s been a winemaker at Coopers Creek Vineyard Ltd since 1998 and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology from Lincoln University and has worked harvests in Oregon, Bordeaux and Burgundy. Simon judges in a number of wine competitions both in New Zealand and Australia. Apart from wine, his interests include food, art, architecture, history, music and most especially, road cycling.

ANNABEL HOLLAND | First Creek Wines | Senior Winemaker

Annabel’s career has thrived over the past few years, having won the 2013 Alasdair Sutherland Scholarship. The award granted Annabel entry to the intensive, four-day Australian Wine Research Institute Advanced Wine Assessment Course, and allowed her to be an Associate Judge at the 2012 Royal Sydney Wine Show. More recently in 2017, Annabel was a finalist for ‘Rising Star of the Year’ at the Hunter Valley Legends Awards.

NICK KNAPPSTEIN | Riposte Wines | Brand Manager

With a passion for cool climate wines Nick’s day job is Brand Manager for Riposte Wines in the Adelaide Hills.  He is involved in all facets of the business from vineyard to winemaking to marketing.  Nick has judged at Bathurst previously and has experience in several other shows.


Samuel Renzaglia | Renzaglia Wines | Assistant Winemaker
Monica Gray | Mount Majura Wines | Assistant Winemaker
Lucy Kendall | Pipers Brook Wines | Winemaker