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Ajit Balgi


Ajit works on experiential marketing/brand advocacies for liquor houses. Beverage Education: WSET (London) wine courses & other bespoke Wine & Spirit workshops for consumers/corporates. Beverage Clients and Alliances: Paul John Whisky, Hill Zill Wines, Pernod Ricard, Remy Cointreau, Chateau D’Ori, Grover-Zampa, Reveilo, Fratelli, Charosa, York, Soma, Vallonne, Ace Beveragez, Flipsydee, Columnist for TOI, etc.

Amanda Barnes


Amanda Barnes is an award-winning wine journalist and expert in South American wines and regions. Based in Mendoza, Argentina, she is a regular correspondent, critic and writer for international wine and travel publications. Amanda has led masterclasses and hosted tastings internationally that range from wine dinners for private collectors through to a series of masterclasses at VINEXPO, Bordeaux.

Austin Zhang


In 2011 Austin completed his Masters at China Agricultural University in Viticulture and Enology, Wine Science. He worked at Christie’s until February 2017 when he joined Zachys as Sales Director, China.

Beatrice da Ros-Bournier


Former President of the World Federation of Major International Wine and Spirits competitions (VINOFED); Ambassador of the Oenologists of France; Creator of wine competitions organized by “EURL Œnologues de France”; she has been on the selection board for wine competitions in more than 17 countries over the past 25 years; Mondial du Rosé (Cannes, France); creator of Olivalies & member of FIJEV.

Bernard Schaefer


Internationally renowned wine and spirits judge, has been invited to participate in a large number of wine and spirits competitions across the globe.

Daniel Lopez Roca


Daniel López Roca has spent most of his life working in the world of gastronomy. Holding a Masters degree in Systemic Family Therapy, a career in Social Psychology was relatively short lived. He trained as a Chef and worked in that profession for nearly twenty years. Wine was always Daniel’s other great interest. In 1992 he followed a series of specialised courses in viticulture and oenology.

Real Wolfe


Wine Expert / Brand Builder Director Division of Fine Wines Univins and Spirits First Wine and Spirits Agency in Quebec. Director of the Wines and Spirits division Univins agency. Was general secretary of the contest Selections World of the wines, created the World Federation of the great competitions of wines. Knight of agricultural merit of France. Degree in political science from UDM & Masters in international affairs from ENAP.

Liz Palmer


International wine journalist and respected critic and judge. Her articles have appeared in: Forbes, Huffington Post, China Wine News, Wine Picker Magazine. One of four founding international hosts for #ChampagneDay & has served as a judge for the Global Traveler’s Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition (New York); MIWSA (South Africa); and for the The Stevie Awards for Women in Business (New York).

Sergio Correa


With over thirty-five years of experience, Sergio Correa has obtained the membership of the Saint Emilion Guild, “Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tatevin in Burgundy, was named Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit by the French government, and was awarded the Chilean Viticulture and Wine Making Award as best enologist in 2002. He has participated for over twenty years as international jury of famous wine contests.

Iva Kovarikova

Czech Republic

Co-founder of the magazines: Restaurant, Revue pro Hotel a Restaurant and Sommelier. Owner and CEO of GastroPress Publishing. As a journalist, she covers important international exhibitions & occasions for her magazines, among others the VinoElite Valencia, MIA Fiera Rimini, Sial Paris etc. National and international wine contests as a taster and judge. Wine-taster certificate according to EU standards.

Jean-Luis Da Ros


French wine judge, Jean-Luis Da Ros, has been a regular participant in wine and spirits competitions internationally, specialising in older Red varietals, his contributions to the 2018 Michelangelo Wine & Spirits Competition was priceless.

Herve Romat Conseil


With more than 25 years experience in Bordeaux, Europe and International areas, in various fields: Enology, Wine Growing, Clarification and Filtration. Herve Romat Conseil is at the head of his field in Wine industry consulting.

Antonio Apollonio


Head Winemaker at Apollonio wines, in Italy, a benchmark producer in the region in the early part of the 20th Century and continues to forge ahead today with the fourth generation of the Apollonio family at the helm. Antonio specialises in European red varietals.

Roberto Lepori


International Wine, Food and Tourism Journalist, Sommelier, Wine and Spirits Educator, Judge, and Wine and Food Communications Specialist. He states that “wine is an art, like poetry, painting, music, love, dance, singing, history, and astronomy; the language of wine a celestial sublimation of body, mind, spirit and soul”. He graduated as Master Class Sommelier from the Italian Sommelier Association of Rome.

Paul Robert Blom


Paul Blom has 40 years of expertise in the wine industry and is a Registered Wine Trader, one of 12 in the Netherlands. From 1977 until 2008 he was a lecturer and examiner at the wine academy in Maarn. Besides his broad knowledge of wines, he is an expert on wines from Central Europe “The New Old World”.

René van Hoven


Studied Food & Beverage at the Technical University of Amsterdam. He is a trained chef and waiter with an education in wine and spirits. In this field, he is also qualified as a teacher. During his study F&B, he worked at a liquor shop in Amsterdam , Cave Rokin. From that moment on, wine and spirits were it. After receiving his wine degree, Rene specialized more in spirits, particularly Rum and Whisky.

Maria Vicente


Portuguese wine judge, Maria Vicente hails from one of the most prolific wine producing areas in Portugal. Growing up in the vineyards, and being educated in wine making and oenology has given Maria the edge in wine judging and appreciation. Having judged across the globe, Maria is one of our strongest judges on dessert wines.

Marinela Ardelean


Marinela V. Ardelean is a wine expert, trained in Champagne and nominated in Reims as “Dame Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne”. She is an internationally acclaimed figure and judge, and a member of panels for a number of wine-tastings.

Dmitry Fedotov

Russian Federation

Wine expert; wine journalist; promoter; member of Supervisory board of the Winemaker’s and Winegrower’s Union of Russia; brand-ambassador of Gambero Rosso in Russia; teacher at the sommelier school WinePeople; chief editor of the Wine Guide of the Russian Consumer; judge of the international tasting competitions; laureate of “Sue Eccelenza Italia 2012 by Gambero Rosso and Foglio d’Oro 2012.

Gregory Mutambe

South Africa

Gregory Mutambe first came into contact with the world of wine while he was working as a cellar-hand in his home country of Zimbabwe. This is also how he ‘fell in love with wine and never looked back’. He is a Qualified Cape Sommelier. Gregory is currently a sommelier at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, he’s also busy with the Cape Wine Master programme.

Mike Duggan-Bampfield

South Africa

As a young aspiring chef, Michael attended Cordon Bleu Cooking School in London. Over the next 30 years he had a series of high profile hospitality management posts, was the Public Relations Manager for Boschendal and ran three successful restaurants in the Cape. In spite of his restaurant experience, Mike has always had a passion for wine & has been at the helm of wine selection for some of SA’s top restaurants.

Tinashe Nyamudoka

South Africa

Nyamudoka previously worked and trained at Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town, where in 2013 he won the award for best Wine Steward in the Cape Legends Inter-Hotel Challenge. He has recently been appointment by Luke Dale-Roberts to join at internationally acclaimed Trestaurant, The Test Kitchen. Zimbabwean-born Tinashe Nyamudoka arrived in Cape Town in 2008 and knew nothing about wine.

Winnie Bowman

South Africa

A qualified physiotherapist and biomedical scientist, and holder of a PhD in Education, Winnie developed an interest in wine during her student days at Stellenbosch University and later through frequent travels to international winegrowing areas. She is a Cape Wine Master (and immediate past chair of the Institute of Cape Wine Masters), and judges wine regularly at local and international competitions.

Germain Lehody

South Africa

Lehodey, recipient of a number of industry awards, is a self-confessed food and wine lover who has been involved in the business for most of his life. He has worked at top establishments around the country and sets course papers for the Cape Wine Academy. He also regularly organises “ingredient” tastings for anything from salt to bottled water so that people can expand their food knowledge.

Miguel Chan

South Africa / Mauritius

Certified Sommelier & Wine Location Specialist in Champagne and Port region accredited by CIVC and IVDP, and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne. 2007 South African Young Sommelier of the year – Chaines des Rôtisseurs and represented South Africa at Concours Internationale des Jeunes Sommeliers, Frankfurt Germany. Miguel also works as Group Sommelier for Tsogo Sun Hotels since June 2009.

Roderic Proniewski


Having developed his penchant for wine at a young age “tasting” his parents’ cellar wine and harvesting the vineyards of Provence, he continuously nurtured his interest first as the Sales & Marketing Director for a boutique Champagne house in Reims, became a consultant for various French wineries, later acted as an Ambassador for French wineries in this region. Frequently conducting wine talks and seminars in Singapore.

Tobias Gorn

United Kingdom

As a Scotch Malt Whisky Society veteran and ex-head sommelier for Michelin star rewarded establishments, he gained a good understanding of unique premium drinks. Over the last decade, Gorn has dedicated his main attention to whisky, gin and cuban cigars. He’s also an enthusiastic clay pigeon shooter, official shooting instructor and referee and cigar writer.

Lynne Sheriff

United Kingdom

Lynne was raised in South Africa and is based in London, where she has lived since 1991, when she was recruited to head VinFruco, a company exporting wine from South Africa to Europe. Lynne Sheriff is the newly-appointed Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine – the first South African to receive this honour. Sheriff is also one of only four South Africans who hold the Masters of Wine accreditation.