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Meet the Judges

The judging panel for the Sydney RAS Wine Show is selected by Chair of Judges, Samantha Connew and the RAS of NSW Wine Committee and aims to include a combination of wine educators, winemakers, wine marketers, retailers, sommeliers, journalists and expert amateurs of wine from across Australia.

Chair of Judges - Samantha Connew

In 2015, Samantha Connew was the first female and the youngest to be appointed to the position of Sydney Royal Wine Show Chair of Judges. Samantha brings to the role over 15 years' experience in winemaking with some of the most iconic wineries in Australia, Oregon (USA), Spain and Italy. She launched her solo Tasmanian project, Stargazer, in 2013 and consults to a select group of boutique family owned wine companies.

2017 International Judge - Mark Pygott MW

Mark Pygott MW is a UK Born Consultant, Marketer, Educator & Writer for Sniff Wine who is based in Taiwan.


Panel Chairs

Toby Barlow - St Hallett Wines, Senior Winemaker/ Wineries Director - Tanunda, South Australia

David Brookes - Wine Marketing Labs, Principal Consultant / Freelance Journalist & Presenter - Angaston, South Australia

Sarah Crowe - Yarra Yering Vineyard, Winemaker - Gruyere, Victoria

Kate Goodman - Goodman Wines, Winemaker - Healesville, Victoria

Elizabeth Jackson - First Creek Wines, Winemaker - Pokolbin, New South Wales

Cliff Royle - Flametree Wines, Chief Winemaker / General Manager - Marybrook, Western Australia

Senior Judges

Leanne Altmann- Supernormal, Wine Buyer - Collingwood, Victoria

Mike de Iuliis - De Iuliis Wines, Winemaker / Owner - Pokolbin, New South Wales

Jeremy Dineen - Josef Chromy Wines, Chief Winemaker / General Manager - Relbia, Tasmania

Adam Foster - Syrahmi and Foster e Rocco, Director / Winemaker - Melbourne, Victoria

Paul Henry - Wine Hero, Director - Belair, South Australia

Liam O’Brien - Cutler & Co., Sommelier  - West Footscray, Victoria

Toni Paterson MW - Australian House and Garden, Drinks Writer Gourmet Traveller Wine, Contributor - Sydney, New South Wales

Jennifer Pfeiffer - Pfeiffer Wines, Winemaker - Wahgunyah, Victoria

Simon Steele - Medhurst Wines, Chief Winemaker - Coldstream, Victoria

Chris Tyrrell -Tyrrell’s Wines, Chief Operating Officer - Pokolbin, New South Wales

Amanda Yallop - Quay Restaurant, Head Sommelier - Sydney, New South Wales

Associate Judges

Pip Anderson - MONA, Assistant Manager Food & Beverage - Hobart, Tasmania

Brendan Carr - Xanadu Wines, Winemaker - Margaret River, Western Australia

Adam Clay (LET) - Treasure Wine Estates, Winemaker - Nuriootpa, South Australia

Adam Cotterell - Blackhearts & Sparrows, Wine and Spirits Buyer                - Fitzroy, Victoria

Stephanie Dutton - Penfolds, Winemaker - Angaston, South Australia

Benjamin Hasko MS (CMS) - Bootleggers Wine & Spirits and Cru Wines, Director - Sydney, New South Wales

Stuart Hordern (LET Dux) - Brokenwood Wines, Senior Winemaker - Pokolbin, New South Wales

Jessica McLeish - McLeish Estate Wines, Owner - Pokolbin, New South Wales

Bernice Ong - Ministry of Clouds, Owner / Operator - Kent Town, South Australia

Ben Portet - Dominique Portet Winery, Winemaker - Aberdare, New South Wales

Justin Purser - Best’s Wines, Winemaker - Great Western, Victoria

Liam Van Pelt - Geddes Wines, Winemaker  - McLaren Vale, South Australia


Please note: The judging panel is subject to change.