Chair of Judges

Cameron Douglas MS– Master Sommelier, New Zealan

Cameron is New Zealand’s first and only Master Sommelier. 

Cameron is an experienced wine writer, commentator, judge, reviewer, presenter and consultant.

He lives his life around his enthusiasm for all things beverage - writing, travelling, tasting and speaking. He judges and presents wine regularly in the USA, UK, Australia and Asia. He is the wine and beverage feature writer for MiNDFOOD and Style magazines and contributes to a number of other publications. His reviews of wines are available through his website, as a courtesy to the industry and interested public.

Cameron is the Group Beverage Manager for Rodd and Gunn and The Lodge Bar Dining – a position that encompasses their global operations, currently focussed on NZ and Australia.d

 

2023 Judging Panel

judges

Jane FaulknerWine 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.

Tim Pelquest-Hunt Chief Winemaker, Orlando Wines, SA - Panel Chair

Tim Pelquest-Hunt is the Chief Winemaker at Orlando Wines, with Riesling being one of his specialities. Chasing his winemaking dream he 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 Valley which he is proud to call home. Tim is a Dux of 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 family.

 

Celine Rousseau -  Winemaker Eden Road Wines, NSW

As International Winemaker, French native and Australian, Celine has 27 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

Stephen Wong MW Wine Consultant, New Zealand

 Born in Malaysian Borneo, Stephen’s wine journey began in Central Otago while at university in NZ.  After seven years as a sommelier he moved into wine consulting working with hotels and restaurants in New Zealand and Singapore. He now runs a small hospitality support and education co-operative in Wellington, called Wine Sentience; hosting classes and organising wine events for industry and public. Outside of his day jobs, he is active in the IMW, lectures at Le Cordon Bleu NZ, writes about wine for various publications, speaks at conferences, judges wine shows and provides taste and market advice. Stephen is the NZ Ambassador for Germany's VDP Estates and provides en-premise fine wine support for French importer Maison Vauron, specialising in Burgundy, Rhône and Loire wines.

Marie Clay   Senior White & Sparking Winemaker, Treasury Wines Estates, SA

With over 20 years of winemaking experience, Marie has worked with a range of wine styles and regions in Australia as well as international vintages in Tuscany and Burgundy. As Senior White and Sparkling Winemaker at Treasury Wine Estates in the Barossa she works closely with the winery team as well as having a specific focus on the Riesling portfolio. She feels honoured to craft the Leo Buring range of Rieslings working with fruit from the Clare and Eden Valleys as well as Northern Tasmania. Her first taste of wine show judging was in 2004 which fueled a passion she has upheld since. She enjoys judging at both capital city and regional wine shows along with guest judging at the Advanced Wine Assessment Course and was a scholar of the Len Evans tutorial in 2015

Niels SluimanSommelier, 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 seven years.

 

Associate judges

Andrew Kenny - Winemaker, Kenny Wines, winner 2022 Encouragement Award, SA

Luke Steele  -  Winemaker, Ross Hill Wines, NSW

Frederique Rainbaud -  Le Petit Bouchon, ACT