The Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show judging panel comprises three international and six local judges covering a broad range of expertise and working with a 100-point scoring system. The panel has been chaired by leading wine authority Michael Fridjhon since the inception of the show in 2002.
The participation of a team of associate panellists, drawn from the pool of rising South African wine-making, wine marketing and wine-writing talent, ensures that the next generation of the country’s wine judges gains experience in this most rigorous of environments.
Chairman of the judges at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. Author, co-author and contributor to a number of wine books including The Oxford Companion to Wine, The Global Wine Encyclopaedia, and Platter’s South African Wine Guide. Recipient of the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite Agricole (France). Judge at numerous competitions including the Australian National Wine Show, the Six Nations Wine Challenge (Australia) as well as benchmark tastings in France, the United States, Chile and South Africa. First international co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge (2007). Visiting Professor of Wine Business at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and head of the Wine Judging Academy run in association with the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. Winner of the Louis Roederer International Wine Columnist of the Year award (2012).
France’s leading wine critic, he was editor and then editor-in-chief of France’s most important consumer wine publication La Revue du Vin de France. In 2004 he started Bettane et Desseauve for the production of wine guides, articles, books, exhibitions and wine experiences in Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, London and Tokyo. He co-writes Le Classement des Meilleurs Vins de France, contributes to Le Monde and Decanter, and has a regular column in The World of Fine Wine. Professor at L’Academie du Vin de France from 1977 to 1989 and member of L’Academie Internationale du Vin. He is credited with coining the term “vin de garage” and its winemakers “garagistes”. After wine, he is passionate about classical music. Trophy Wine Show judge in 2004 and 2009.
Executive Sommelier of the multi-Michelin-starred Relais Bernard Loiseau Group. He holds an International Master of Wine and Spirits degree from ESC Dijon, Burgundy School of Business. Voted Best Burgundy Sommelier in 2004, 2006 and 2008 and responsible for the group’s partnerships and development since 2009, heading up the cellar at the legendary restaurant in Saulieu founded by the late Bernard Loiseau for the past 13 years. In 2007 he created (with Dominique Loiseau) a sophisticated wine-by-the-glass service which was rewarded with the Grand Prix of the Wine Press of Burgundy, the Palmes Award of the Leaders Club in 2008. The Relais Bernard Loiseau at Saulieu is the highest ranked international establishment offering over 40 wines-by-the-glass from a cellar composed to meet the exacting standards expected of a Michelin-starred restaurant. He was also named Sommelier of the Year in 2006 by Le Chef magazine and then again in 2010 by the Champérard Gastronomic Guide. Trophy Wine Show judge in 2013.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Australia, where he graduated from the Regency and Roseworthy Colleges. Christie’s head of wine for China and, with a career spanning around 30 years in the Greater China wine industry, widely considered the region’s industry expert. He is the owner of a Chinese food-and-wine-pairing app called ‘Flavour Colours’, a columnist and a contributing editor for many publications and websites. In June 2007 he was voted “The Best Wine Consultant in Hong Kong” by Meininger’s Wine Business International. He is a founding director of the Independent Wine Centre in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Macao. He also founded the Greater China Wine Critics Association and the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition, the Hong Kong partner of the well-established IWSC in the United Kingdom. Trophy Wine Show judge in 2010.
Graduated from Stellenbosch University in 2002 with a BSc in Viticulture and Oenology. Following vintages in Alsace, Bordeaux, Northern Rhône as well as Portugal and Western Australia, served as chief winemaker for Anwilka in Stellenbosch from 2005 to 2008. Released the maiden vintage of her Trizanne Signature Wine in 2010. A distinction graduate of the Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy in 2009, she has served on the judging panels of South Africa’s Young Wine Show and Wine magazine. Winemakers’ Choice Awards judge for five years and Ultra Value Wine Challenge judge in 2015. Trophy Wine Show judge since 2014.
Cape Wine Master and wine communications specialist recognised for her particular expertise in Champagne and sparkling wine. Formerly group communications manager for DGB, brand manager for Veuve Clicquot and Krug and then trade marketing manager of the LVMH portfolio of Champagnes and spirits. Currently national trade marketing manager for Meridian Wine Merchants. Chaired Classic Wine Magazine’s Cap Classique panel and has judged sparkling wine for Veritas since 2011. Distinction graduate of the Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy in 2011. Associate judge at the Trophy Wine Show in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Lectures for the Cape Wine Academy. Writes and presents under HeidiVine Communications.
Co-owner and editor of Winemag.co.za, freelance wine writer, contributing to Business Day Wanted and to GQ. He completed a small-scale winemaking programme run by Stellenbosch University’s Department of Viticulture and Oenology and is a graduate of the inaugural Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy. Further experience includes tasting for the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show and Platter’s South African Wine Guide in addition to various other local and international competitions.
Durban-based wine educator and KZN wine ambassador for Creation Wines, Jean Daneel, Remhoogte, Gabriëlskloof and Oldenburg. Chaired the UCT Wine Society in 2005. Completed diploma courses at the Cape Wine Academy and a current Cape Wine Master student. In 2009 founded the 031 Wine Society. Also founded the Shamase Wine Corp and the Johannesburg Wine Series (monthly themed tastings) in 2010. Chairman of the Highway Wine Society (Durban’s oldest wine club) since July 2014. Obtained a Certificate of Competence with distinction from the Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy in 2011. Trophy Wine Show judge since 2015.
Graduated from Stellenbosch University in 2007 with a BSc in Viticulture and Oenology. Worked at Beyerskloof and Graham Beck Wines as well as at Stonestreet Winery in Sonoma County, California. Appointed winemaker at Steenberg Vineyards in Tokai on the Constantia Wine Route in 2009 and promoted to cellarmaster in 2012. Diner’s Club Young Winemaker of the Year in 2014. Obtained a distinction at the Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy in 2010. Vice-chairman of the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group from December 2013. Trophy Wine Show judge since 2014.
Heads up the Singita Premier Wine Direct programme for Singita Game Reserves, sourcing and supplying wines for the group’s properties in Southern and East Africa. Deeply invested in hospitality, having lived and worked in Africa, France, the United Kingdom and Australia – always with an emphasis on food and wine excellence. Cape Wine Academy Diploma graduate. Graduated with distinction at the Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy in 2008. Judge at the Trophy Wine Show since 2011.