Chairman of Judges
Cameron Douglas MS – Master Sommelier, New Zealand
Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas is an experienced wine writer, commentator, judge, reviewer, presenter and consultant.
He lives his life around his enthusiasm for all things beverage – teaching, travelling, tasting and talking. He judges and presents wine regularly in the USA, the UK, Australia and Asia.
At home in NZ he writes regular monthly columns for Hospitality Business and FMCG Business Magazines, also publishing a bi-annual magazine; and contributes to a number of other publications. He reviews wines and makes his notes available on his website both to the wineries and the public, as a courtesy to the Industry.
As a professional Sommelier, Cameron spends much of his time involved in education – academically in charge of the Wine and Beverage Program at AUT University in Auckland, and ‘out in the field’, consulting for the Wine, Hotel & Restaurant, Tourism sectors, and the interested public. He is on the Fine Wines of New Zealand Masters team, making selections for Air New Zealand Business Premier class.
He served on the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas, and is committed to being an instructor and examiner for the MS program both in the USA and Oceania. When he earned his MS credentials, it was as the first in New Zealand (in fact, at the time, the first in the Southern Hemisphere) and he took out the trophy for the top marks
2021 Judging Panel
Jane Faulkner – Wine Writer, Victoria - Panel Chair
Jane Faulkner is a journalist by training and a wine writer by vocation. She contributes to numerous publications including Halliday magazine, and is a reviewer for Australia’s leading wine guide, Halliday Wine Companion. She’s also an experienced wine judge and has chaired numerous shows. Born in Malaysia, lives in Melbourne, Jane never tires of travelling throughout the wine world including Australia for months on end in search of stories and wines from inspirational, thoughtful producers. Other than that, she drinks with gusto.
Sophie Otton - Sommelier, NSW - Panel Chair
Sophie Otton is one of Australia’s foremost sommeliers and owner of She Loves You, a wine and cocktail bar in Newtown, Sydney. She was the wine buyer for Kylie Kwong at Billy Kwong for four years and before that Wine Director for Rockpool Bar and Grill Sydney, managing a team of ten sommeliers and the rarest wine collection in the southern hemisphere. Prior to that she spent five years as buyer for the European Group, establishing the City Wine Shop in Melbourne. Sophie is an experienced writer and respected show judge, and for the past 20 years has been a permanent member of the tasting panel at Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine.
Celine Rousseau - Winemaker Eden Road Wines, NSW
As International Winemaker, French native and Australian, Celine has 25 years experience in the wine industry in France and Australia. Born and raised near Paris but with family origins from Saumur in the Loire Valley, Celine completed a Diploma of Enology at the Bordeaux Institute of Enology and a Master’s of Winemaking and Marketing in Champagne. She has worked at G.H Mumm, at AXA Millesime Chateaux such as Suduiraut and Villa Bel-Air then at Chateau La Louviere in the Bordeaux regions.
In Australia she worked at Pierro (Margaret River)and Hainault (Perth Hills) before accepting the position of Head Winemaker at Chalkers Crossing (Hilltops) in 1999 where she set up the winery from scratch. In 2017, Celine joined Eden Road Wine Company (Canberra District). She loves making Riesling and cool climate Shiraz from the Canberra District. She makes wines with purity and finesse that reflect the “terroir”, which is why she enjoys so making and judging Rieslings
Tim Pelquest Hunt White Winemaker, Pernod-Ricard Winemakers, SA
Sydney born, New Zealand educated, and Barossa Valley based, Tim Pelquest-Hunt is the White, Sparkling & Red Winemaker at Pernod Ricard Winemakers, where he specialises in Riesling. Tim’s wine journey began whilst studying Music and Arts at the University New South Wales, where he worked at a Sydney suburban wine store. Over the years Tim built a strong appreciation for all things wine, so he left retail to follow his winemaking dream and moved to Christchurch to complete his graduate studies in Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University. From there he worked as a travelling hands-on winemaker completing vintages in New Zealand, the Hunter Valley, Tasmania, West Sussex (UK), Rheinhessen (Germany), Napa Valley (US), and of course the Barossa. In 2016 Tim was awarded the Dux prize for the Australian Wine Research Institute’s (AWRI) Advanced Wine Assessment Course and regularly judges in wine shows. Out of winemaking, Tim is obsessed with Rugby Union and loves spending time with his little family.
Cate Looney – Senior Winemaker, Brown Family Wine Group, VIC
2020 Winemaker of the Year at the Women in Wine Awards, Cate Looney is the Senior Winemaker with the Brown Family Wine Group, at Milawa in Victoria’s King Valley. A graduate in Wine Science from Charles Sturt University, Cate has been with the Brown Family Wine Group for over 15 years managing a team of four winemakers and producing over 1M bottles of wine per year. Cate has extensive experience as a wine show judge, is the Secretary of the Australian Sparkling Wine Show Committee and sits on the Charles Sturt University Wine Courses Industry Advisory Committee.
Niels Sluiman – Sommelier, General Manager Jonah's Restaurant, Sydney, NSW
Niels Sluiman has worked as a sommelier in some of the world’s most outstanding Michelin star restaurants including Pre Catelan in Paris, La Cote St Jacques in Burgundy, Sat Bains Restaurant in the UK and at Jonah’s Restaurant in Sydney where he recently took over the General Manger role.
Niels is a great ambassador of local wines which led him to build an eclectic and extensive wine collection over the past 5 years.
Angus Wardlaw - Winemaker Brothers at War, winner 2019 Encouragement Award, SA
David Mavor - Senior Buyer/Winemaker, Wine Selectors, NSW