Chairman of the judges at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. Author, co-author and contributor to a number of wine books including The Oxford Companion to Wine, The Global Wine Encyclopaedia, and Platter’s South African Wine Guide. Recipient of the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite Agricole (France). Judge at numerous competitions including the Australian National Wine Show, the Six Nations Wine Challenge (Australia) as well as benchmark tastings in France, the United States, Chile and South Africa. First international co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge (2007). Visiting Professor of Wine Business at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and head of the Wine Judging Academy run in association with the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. Winner of the Louis Roederer International Wine Columnist of the Year award (2012).
Kirk Bauer obtained his degree in Oenology & Beverage Technology from the University of Geisenheim in Germany and has worked in the wine industry for almost 20 years. In 2005 he founded a company which provides consulting and technical advice to wineries in Germany and Luxembourg, France, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. In 2000 he helped to create Mundus Vini – the Grand International Wine Award which, with more than 10 000 entries annually, is today the biggest European wine challenge. He currently serves as a board member and president of the Jury. In addition he is a permanent member (and has been the President of the Jury) for International Wine Challenge (IWC), the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) and the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB). He is also a member of the editorial team for WEINWIRTSCHAFT, a trade magazine which is part of the Meininger’s Group.
Simon Field MW
Simon is a freelance wine writer who qualified as a Master of Wine in 2002 and worked for 20 years as a buyer for London wine merchant Berry Bros and Rudd, specialising in the wines from Spain and France, Champagne, the Midi and the Rhône Valley. Prior to that he was a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in London, having left Oxford with a degree in French literature. He was made a member of the Gran Orden de Cabelleros de Vino in 2012.
Originally from the Rhône-Alpes region in southeast France, graduated in Dijon 15 years ago as Sommelier and subsequently as a Sake Sommelier. His career as a sommelier reads like a who’s-who of the world’s finest dining establishments, including Alain Ducasse (who has had more 3 star Michelin restaurants than any other chef in history) and Gordon Ramsay (at the three Michelin star Royal Hospital Road in London, at Claridges and for the opening of the two Michelin star Le Trianon Palace in Versailles). Awarded the two most prestigious titles in French sommellerie, namely the Best Sommelier in France 2010 and the Meilleur Ouvrier de France Sommellerie in 2011.
South African Judges
Winemaker at Blaauwklippen Agricultural Estate. Honours BSc Agriculture (Oenology) cum laude graduate of Stellenbosch University. Completed harvests at Glen Carlou, Dornier, AA Badenhorst Family Wines and Stellenzicht. Joined Quoin Rock Winery in 2008 as assistant winemaker and was winemaker there from 2010 until 2014. Has served on judging panels of South Africa’s Young Wine Show, FNB Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc, Cape Vintners Classification, Blaauwklippen Blending Competition and Veritas Awards and judged in Spain at the Zarcillo International Wine Competition 2018. Distinction graduate of the Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy in 2013 and attended the advanced Wine Judging Academy in 2014. Trophy Wine Show associate judge in 2013, 2014 and 2016 and judge in 2017 and 2018.
Editor of Winemag.co.za. Freelance wine writer contributing to Decanter and other titles on an occasional basis. Completed a small-scale winemaking programme run by Stellenbosch University’s Department of Viticulture and Oenology and is a graduate of the inaugural Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy. Experience includes tasting for Platter’s South African Wine Guide, taster and judge for various local and international competitions. Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show judge from 2007 to 2014 and then since 2016. Attended the Michael Fridjhon Advanced Wine Judging Academy in 2014.
Brand Ambassador at Asara Wine Estate. Eat Out and Mercedes-Benz Sommelier of the Year in 2014. From coffee shop to Italian bistro his career in fine wine progressed with his appointment as Head Sommelier at DW11-13 Restaurant in Johannesburg and as sales representative at The Reciprocal Wine Trading from 2015 until 2018. Has completed the Cape Wine Academy Certificate in Wine and WSET Levels 1, 2 and 3. He is a member of the Hugues Lepin Sommelier and Wine Academy. Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy 2016 graduate. Trophy Wine Show associate judge in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Owner winemaker of McFarlane Wines. Former winemaker and viticulturist at Druk My Niet and viticulturist at De Toren Private Cellar. Graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with a BSc degree in Viticulture and Oenology in 2010. Awarded Dombeya Scholarship to work 2011 Australian harvest in Margaret River and Barossa Valley, returning to South Africa to take up the position of assistant winemaker at Mulderbosch. Further international experience includes stints in the Napa Valley in 2012 and a return to Australia in 2013 for seasons at Kalleske Wines in Barossa Valley and Henschke Wines in Eden Valley. Also worked at Dombeya and Waterkloof and more recently as junior winemaker at Spier. Distinction graduate of the Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy in 2015. Trophy Wine Show associate judge from 2015 to 2017 and judge in 2018.
Newly appointed cellarmaster at Warwick Wines from May 2019. General Manager at Steenberg Vineyards from July 2018 to April 2019 and cellarmaster since 2012. Graduated from Stellenbosch University in 2007 with a BSc. Viticulture and Oenology degree. Worked at Beyerskloof and Graham Beck Wines as well as at Stonestreet Winery in Sonoma County, California. Diner’s Club Young Winemaker of the Year in 2014. Distinction graduate at the Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy in 2010 and attended the Advanced Wine Judging Academy in 2014. Trophy Wine Show associate judge from 2011 to 2013 and judge in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Heads up the Singita Premier Wine Direct programme for the Singita Conservation brand, sourcing and supplying wines for the group’s 13 lodges and camps across conservation properties in Southern and East Africa. Deeply invested in hospitality having lived and worked in Africa, France, the UK and Australia – always with emphasis on food and wine excellence. Cape Wine Academy Diploma graduate. Graduated with distinction at the Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy in 2008, served as associate judge at the Trophy Wine Show that year and as judge from 2011 to 2017. Attended the Michael Fridjhon Advanced Wine Judging Academy in 2014.