Alastair Maling MW

Master of Wine with global winemaking experience. Extensive knowledge of key export markets of New Zealand wine. International wine judge. C-Suite management within leading New Zealand wine company. Pinot Noir NZ Board Chairman 2007 to 2013.

Alexandre Schmitt

Alexandre Schmitt has been training winemakers on olfactory perception for 15 years through his business Wine & Flavors.  After working in the perfume industry in Paris developing scents mostly for household products or shampoos, he returned home to Bordeaux to pursue his other passion, writing.  Then Jean-Claude Berrouet, winemaker at Château Pétrus came calling.  Berrouet asked Schmitt to train him how to smell better.  In exchange, Berrouet would teach Schmitt about wine.  The two met for monthly sessions for 12 years.  Imagine having the Pétrus winemaker as your personal mentor.

Word got out about Schmitt’s unique approach to developing noses.  Now he holds seminars in several countries.  His clients include Opus One, Dominus, Spottswoode, Harlan Estate, Dana Estate and Pride Mountain.

Clive Weston

Clive joined the Wine Trade over forty years ago and has been based both in the UK and New Zealand. 

In 1973, after vintage experience at  Chateau Cantenac Brown in Margaux, he joined Saccone and Speed, in its day, an iconic UK wines and spirits group, where he was heavily involved in Production Management – receipt, blending, quality assurance, bottling and packaging of over 300 wines from all over Europe. He subsequently transferred into fine wine sales and marketing.  

In 1985 he joined the London based, specialist “New World” Wine Importer, Geoffrey Roberts Associates, as UK Sales Director and created the national agency division of that business. 

After emigrating to New Zealand in 1987, Clive was subsequently appointed Managing Director of both Negociants New Zealand and Nautilus Estate of Marlborough. 

Clive spent six years on the Board of Pinot Noir 2007 and Pinot Noir 2010, the International Pinot Noir Celebration held in Wellington every three years or so.  

In 2009, Clive was inducted into the National Restaurant Association of New Zealand’s Hall of Fame, for services to the hospitality industry.  

Clive is a Director of New Zealand Winegrowers USA Ltd., which under the catch cry “COMPLEXITY”, promotes high end New Zealand wines in the United States. In 2013, he stepped down from the Chairmanship of The Family of Twelve, another premium New Zealand, wine export marketing initiative.

A further honour bestowed upon Clive was that of signatory to Yalumba The Signature 2009, for services to the Hill-Smith family’s wine business, the oldest in Australasia. 

In 2015, Clive was awarded the Sir George Fistonich medal in recognition of services to New Zealand wine.

David Gleave MW

David Gleave is founder and managing director of Liberty Wines. He set up the leading quality wine company in 1997, it now imports and distributes premium wines from 17 countries and works with over 200 producers.


David has worked in the UK wine trade since 1983.  Born and educated in Canada, he has lived in the U.K. since 1978, working as wine buyer for Winecellars between 1986 and 1994 (the leading UK specialist retailer of Italian wines at the time), and as deputy managing director of Enotria Winecellars from 1994 to 1996.


In 1986 he passed his Master of Wine examination.  Throughout his career, he has spent at least 5-6 months of every year travelling the world, including 2-3 months in Italy, buying and researching wines.  This experience has given him an unrivalled knowledge of and insight into the country’s wines, and as a result he is generally regarded as the UK’s leading expert on Italian wines.  He has written a book on the subject, published in 1989, and numerous articles for wine magazines over the years.  He also updated the Italian entries in the third edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine.

Liberty Wines makes a number of its own wines in Italy, France, New Zealand and Australia, and this involvement with production, which is overseen by David Gleave, has given him an understanding of the wine industry, at all levels, that few people in the UK are able to rival.

In addition, he is a trustee of the André Simon Awards, which each year selects the best food and drink books published in the UK.

Daenna van Mulligen

Daenna Van Mulligen is a Vancouver based wine writer widely recognized via her persona, WineDiva.

Launched in February 2004, WineDiva.ca is now in its 12th year of publishing approachable wine reviews for wine lovers of all levels of knowledge. WineDiva.ca is one of Canada’s most popular and longest running independent wine review sites.

In 2008 Daenna launched her second website WineScores.ca

Daenna has been a wine educator for the International Sommelier Guild and has been a presenter, speaker and host for numerous wine events over the years including The Vancouver International Wine Festival, EAT!Vancouver, Whistler's Cornucopia wine festival and Uva d'Ouro, among others.

She has traveled to virtually every major winemaking region in the world and is an international wine judge. She is a regular contributor to TASTE Magazine and Vines Magazine and for seven years was the wine voice heard on Tasting Room Radio. 

You can follow her wine adventures @TheWineDiva 

Fabian Yukich

Fabian’s involvement in the wine industry started at an early age working at his family’s West Auckland wine business followed by a vintage at Villa Maria Estate in the late 1970’s.

Fabian rejoined Villa Maria in 1998 where he has since project managed the design and construction of the company’s Marlborough and Auckland wineries. He was appointed to Villa Maria’s Board in 2006 and elected to the New Zealand Winegrowers Board in 2012.

Fabian has been leading sustainability at Villa Maria since 1998. Under Fabian’s management Villa Maria became the first major New Zealand wine producer to achieve CEMARS (Certified Emissions Management and Reduction Scheme) Certification and BioGro Organic Certification from the vineyard to winery.

In 2010 Fabian won the Sustainability Champion Award at the NZ Sustainable Business Network Awards and collected the 2012 Supreme Green Ribbon Award, recognising Villa Maria’s outstanding and on-going contributions to protecting New Zealand's environment.



Jane Skilton MW

Jane Skilton began her wine career 30 years ago in the United Kingdom and passed her Master of Wine examination in 1993. She moved to Auckland in 2000 with her family. Jane's main focus is writing for the Independent Wine Monthly, www.independentwinemonthly.co.nz, her online wine review website. She is also the Wine Editor for the Food magazine, contributes to a number of wine publications and is a senior wine judge at national and international shows. In 2003 Jane established the New Zealand School of Wines and Spirits, teaching WSET® wine courses to the trade and consumers.

Jane Thomson

Jane Thomson is Australia’s own Fabulous Lady of Wine. She is the founder and Managing Director of The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society, Australia’s first and wildly successful wine community for women. This year (2015) she also founded and Chaired the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA). The AWIWA received enormous industry attention and wide-spread support and will now become an annual awards program.

In 2013 Jane was awarded ‘Digital Wine Communicator of the Year’ by Wine Communicators of Australia. Jane is also the Drinks Editor for Taste.com.au Magazine and represented Australia at the first ever

Women in Wine Global Symposium in Napa, CA in March 2015.

Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode is a London-based winewriter who is currently wine columnist with UK national newspaper The Sunday Express

Jamie came to wine writing by a rather convoluted route, via a PhD in plant biology and several years of working as a book editor, before he began publishing wineanorak.com, which is now one of the leading wine websites. He has also appeared on TV (Richard and Judy, Sky News, BBC1, BBC Breakfast, BBC News Channel and Channel 5 News).

Jamie is married to Fiona, and has two boys, aged 18 and 17, and two labradoodles. Aside from wines his interests are cricket, football (he's a Manchester City fan), hitting golf balls, playing guitar and relaxing with his family.

Jim Robertson

Jim Robertson - Global Wine Ambassador at Premium Wine Brands (New Zealand) 

With more than 25 years’ experience in the international alcohol and beverage field, Jim Robertson is one of New Zealand’s most respected industry experts. 

While his university days may have gained him a qualification in advertising and marketing, his ‘real’ education came via part-time jobs in restaurants and wine bars where it dawned on him that food really does taste better with wine. This epiphany set him on a life-long wine journey that has seen him travel the world and come home again.

Like many New Zealanders, Jim’s first serious wine experience came while travelling overseas after he had completed his studies. This foray into the world of wine was via a stint at London’s famed Cork n Bottle which was a must-stop for any New Zealand winery looking to develop sales in the United Kingdom. This meant Jim rubbed shoulders with some of the pioneers of the New Zealand wine industry, UK wine media and early UK trade champions of the New Zealand category when they came calling and thus inherited their passion.  

After a brief sojourn back in New Zealand, Jim moved to the US working as General Manager / VP Sales with Lion Nathan in the United States. During this stint in the brewing business Jim continued to develop his wine passion, attending as many distributor tastings he could as well as spending weekends in California wine country developing his wine knowledge. It became obvious to him that New Zealand Wines with their lifted aromatics and intense fruit vibrancy and crispness on the palate would win over many friends in the market.  

When the call of home proved too strong to resist, Jim returned to New Zealand to work initially as Marketing Manager, then International Operations Manager at Montana Wines and in 2005 became Global Business Relations Manager for Pernod Ricard. 

In 2010, he was delighted to become the Global Wine Ambassador for New Zealand. In this job he supports global markets establishing and further developing Premium Wine Brands New Zealand portfolio with a focus on Brancott Estate and Stoneleigh from Marlborough. 

A true supporter of the New Zealand wine industry, Jim has sat on the New Zealand Winegrowers Global Marketing Committee and was a member of the Food and Wine Tourism Network. Jim is an advocate for New Zealand Pinot Noir and was on the board of Pinot Noir, the international event created to showcase the development of this fast developing New Zealand treasure, in 2007, 2010 and 2013. 

Jim says one of his life’s great pleasures is “standing in Brancott, Stoneleigh or Triplebank vineyards after an extended trip to the Northern Hemisphere and inhaling the magic that is Marlborough - sweet fresh air, fluffy white clouds, blue sky and the green symmetry of our vineyards.”

Jim has many “New Zealand wine secrets” which he wants to share with the world. When he’s not travelling in pursuit of this aim, Jim loves spending time with his wife and two daughters. If time allows he also indulges his love of sport, playing golf, watching cricket, fishing and at home cooking and entertaining friends during weekends. 

Julia Harding MW

Julia is Jancis's full-time assistant and crucial to maintaining the high editorial standards of this site. See here for full details of her glorious career. As a relatively recent top pass in the punishing Master of Wine exams (she took them in 2003 and passed first time with flying colours, and gained a distinction for her dissertation in 2004), she is particularly up to speed on oenological and viticultural matters and is also prepared to tackle the complexities of wine legislation head on. In 2009 she won a Special Award in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards, she was Portuguese Wine Writer of the Year in 2012 and is co-author, with José Vouillamoz and Jancis, of the multi award-winning Wine Grapes - a complete guide to 1,368 grape varieties including their origins and flavours. She is much in demand as a mentor for Master of Wine students.

Leslie Sbrocco

An award-winning author, speaker, wine consultant, and television host, Leslie Sbrocco is known for her educational and entertaining approach to wine. Recently voted as one of the Top 100 most influential people in the American wine business, Sbrocco’s engaging personality and in-depth knowledge is her trademark whether appearing on screen or in person.

Her work has been published in outlets such as People Style Watch magazine, Conde Nast’s Epicurious.com where she was the Tasting Notes columnist for five years, O the Oprah magazine, Coastal Living, Woman’s Day, Health, Good Housekeeping and Glamour among others. 

Sbrocco is one of the country’s most sought-after wine speakers. She has appeared at events ranging from O magazine’s “Hi Gorgeous” tour with Oprah Winfrey to the American Dietetic Association national convention. She has been the keynote speaker at many international wine events including the Boston Wine Expo, Pinot Noir New Zealand, Food and Wine Magazine’s Aspen Classic, and the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival.

Matt Kramer

Matt Kramer is an American wine critic since 1976. He is a columnist for The Oregonian, was a columnist for The New York Sun before its demise in 2008, and previously for Los Angeles Times, and since 1985 is a regular contributor to Wine Spectator. He has been described as "perhaps the most un-American of all America's wine writers", by Mike Steinberger as "one of the more insightful and entertaining wine writers around", and by Hugh Johnson as "an intellectual guerrilla among wine writers".

Among his publications are the books Making Sense of Wine (1989), Making Sense of Burgundy (1990), Making Sense of California Wine, (1992), Making Sense of Italian Wine (2006) and Matt Kramer on Wine.

Mike Hutcheson

Mike has been a serial start-up guy. He has founded or co-founded a number of companies in New Zealand including leading advertising agencies, Colenso, and Hutcheson, Knowles Marinkovich (HKM)

Having gained entry into the Ilam School of Fine Arts, he ended up studying law at university. He ruefully admits it was a mistake. He then discovered advertising (no small feat for a boy from the country), and went on to win the Reader's Digest Scholarship as New Zealand's Most Outstanding Young Advertising Man.

He was formerly managing director at Saatchi & Saatchi and set up The Lighthouse Ideas Company focusing on innovation and product development.

He is now the Executive Director of Image Centre Group, a multi channel communications company, with extensive publishing, printing and digital new media interests.

He has written a regular humour column for The Independent and an innovation column for Idealog magazine. He has published a collection of these in two books, entitled ‘No1 Best Seller’ and ‘Beethoven’s Banker’. His third book, ‘Kickstart Your Creativity’ was co-authored with psychologist Rebecca Webster, a fourth, 'Relax and Grow Rich', co-authored with psychologist Claire Wadey.

Mike is an entertaining and insightful writer, speaker, motivator and facilitator with a strong focus on creativity and innovation. He is a director of a number of public and private companies and is an independent marketing consultant to a number of companies and corporations.

Oz Clarke

Oz Clarke is one of the world’s leading wine experts, whose formidable reputation is based on his extensive wine knowledge and accessible, no-nonsense approach. His passion for the subject dates from his student days at Oxford University, where he won tasting competitions at a precociously early age.

Since then his tasting skills have won him an international reputation and he is acknowledged as having one of the finest palates of anyone writing about wine today. He brings a refreshingly unorthodox wit and directness to the subject and has won all the major wine writing awards both in the UK and the USA.

Oz’s frequent BBC TV and radio appearances are broadcast around the world. Oz’s third BBC TV series with ‘Top Gear’ co-presenter James May was ‘Oz and James Drink to Britain’ – a rollicking caravan adventure around the British Isles exploring beers, cider, whisky, wine and more.

Patrick Materman

Patrick is Chair of Sauvignon 2016 and works tirelessly along with the organising committee to ensure this event is resounding success both in creating an educational and distinctive forum for Sauvignon Blanc and showcasing New Zealand to the world.

Patrick's day job is Chief Winemaker at Pernod Ricard. where he joined in February 1990 - and with the experience of over 20 vintages, he has been part of the rapid growth and success of both Brancott Estate wines - and the New Zealand wine industry as a whole.

Patrick spent the first four years with us as a cellar hand, then as a trainee winemaker, before moving to Marlborough in 1994 as an assistant winemaker. In 2001, Winestate Magazine awarded Patrick with the ‘New Zealand Winemaker of the Year’ title.

Rachel Taulelei

As founder and CEO of Yellow Brick Road Ltd, Rachel has been described as having led change in the New Zealand fishing industry.

She is equally comfortable in open sea fishing boats as in New Zealand's finest restaurants, allowing her to have built a team which has overcome one of the most difficult problems in this industry - the ability to develop an innovative, provenance-based sustainable supply of responsibly caught fresh premium seafood.

With a passion for the primary sector, Rachel has a strong commitment to creating values-based business models focussed on the sustainability of the country’s resources - this is the hallmark of her leadership. 

She demonstrates integrity in every aspect of her relationships with others, has a reputation as someone who operates with an optimistic can-do perspective, and as being eminently approachable. She prides herself on offering mentoring for youth, and sponsorship for young leaders.

Rachel's strengths include food and beverage insight, vertically integrated knowledge of the primary sector, public speaking, strategy, marketing, business development, innovative thought leadership, good governance, and strong networks.  

Rachel’s directorships include Headwaters New Zealand Ltd, Maori food and beverage company Kono Ltd, craft beer company Yeastie Boys Ltd, Wellington Regional Stadium Trust, The Sir Peter Blake Trust, Westpac External Sustainable Business Panel, and she chairs the Wellington Culinary Events Trust. Rachel was formerly NZ Trade Commissioner In Los Angeles, in 2012 received a Sir Peter Blake Leadership award, and in 2015 was a finalist for Wellingtonian of the Year (Business). Rachel is a member of the Institute of Directors, Young Enterprise Supporters Council and Celebrity Speakers.

Robert Joseph

Robert Joseph has an unusually broad experience of the international wine industry. He discovered the basics of wine service at a young age in his parents' hotel in the English countryside. This was followed by five years living in one of the colder villages of Burgundy's Hautes Côtes where he learned about soil, climate, grape-growing and winemaking.

On his return to the UK in 1983, Joseph launched Wine International Magazine and became wine correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph, a position he held for 16 years. Over the last 3 decades, he has written for several newspapers, published over 20 books, made a few wine videos and won some awards. Most recently, he helped to launch Meininger's Wine Business International, of which he is still editor at large.

He also started the International Wine Challenge which became the biggest wine competition in the world. .

Joseph has developed a reputation for his public speaking - to consumers with limited wine knowledge, enthusiasts and professionals.   

Sam Harrop MW

Sam Harrop knows wine. Not just as another blogger with an opinion, technician, judge or boutique winemaker – he understands the world of wine.

From touring the world as a buyer for renowned UK retailer Marks & Spencer, to becoming one of the youngest Masters of Wine in the world, to starting his own winemaking consultancy – Sam Harrop’s career has continued on a remarkable trajectory since he first left New Zealand 20 years ago. Along the way, Sam has maintained his unique combination of technical expertise, commercial insight and commitment to preserving wine diversity – earning him the reputation as of one of the most influential winemaking consultants in the world.

Sam spends a large part of each year travelling: visiting clients, speaking at events and judging at wine competitions around the world. But he looks forward to coming home to Waiheke Island which, not coincidentally, is also the home of some of the best Syrah and Chardonnay in the world – according to Sam – and is the base for his own winemaking venture. Sam sold out of his first vintage – the Cedalion 2013 Single Vineyard Chardonnay – last year, and will soon release his 2014 chardonnay, his first 2014 syrah and a special edition 2015 rosé. www.samharropwine.com 

Shari Mogk-Edwards

Shari Mogk-Edwards leads the LCBO WINES, LCBO SPIRITS & BEER and VINTAGES business units in the Sales and Marketing Division. VINTAGES is LCBO's fine wine and premium spirits business unit. She determines and is responsible for both short and long-term strategic direction for the business units. Shari's role encompasses the overall sales and purchasing operations, including category management and business planning activities of LCBO WINES and LCBO SPIRITS & BEER and VINTAGES business units, including product purchasing, merchandising, warehouse inventory management, pricing administration and collaborative planning with suppliers and agents.She is also responsible for sale-of-space programs and for shelf-management strategy development.

Wendy Parr

Wine Sensory Scientist, Lincoln University, New Zealand

Young Shi

She represents Jancis Robinson in China, tastes/judges wine on behalf of Jancis Robinson MW and contributes to Jancisrobinson.com. Co-founder of a well-acknowledged website tastespirit.com and TS Wine Academy, she is dedicated to provide professional wine media and education service in China. 

She writes and lectures in both English and Chinese in UK, Italy, and China. She was invited as China Central TV (equivalent of BBC in UK) Wine Tasting & Investment programme main speaker, followed by appointment of The Antique Wine Company as Senior Key Account Manager responsible for Asia Pacific fine wine business. She worked as Sommelier of fine restaurants Sumosan in Mayfair, London and also had run various tastings of Champagne, fine wines, fortified wines, Whisky, and Rum in UK. Currently she mainly focuses on the work for Jancis Robinson MW and stands as a bridge to enhance the transnational communication and exchange between developed wine world and upcoming Chinese wine industry.