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).
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 since 2017.
Heidi Duminy CWM
Cape Wine Master and wine marketing and communications specialist recognised for her particular expertise in champagne and Cap Classique sparkling wine. Formerly group communications manager for DGB, brand manager for Veuve Clicquot and Krug and trade marketing manager of the LVMH portfolio of Champagnes and spirits. Currently group marketing manager for Meridian Holdings. Convenor for Amorim Cap Classique Challenge since 2017, chaired Classic Wine Magazine’s Cap Classique panel and judge on the sparkling wine panel for Veritas since 2011. Associate judge at the Trophy Wine Show in 2012, 2014 and 2015, and judge since 2016. Director of Cape Wine Academy as well as a senior lecturer, writer and presenter under HeidiVine communications. Distinction graduate of the Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy in 2011 and Advanced Wine Judging Academy attendee in 2014.
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 in 2007. 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.
National Brand Manager at Warwick Wine Estate. Kenyan-born Fondaumiere began his journey in wine when he moved to South Africa in 2013. He is one of only 3 ASI (international sommelier association) certified sommeliers from South Africa, has completed WSET Level 3 and is a graduate of the Michael Fridjhon Judging Academy in 2016. A qualified chef, Spencer was the operations manager and sommelier for the Open Door group of restaurants. Senior judge at The Sommeliers Selection, the Ultra Value Wine Challenge, the Standard Bank Top 10 Chenin Blanc Challenge and the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge. Trophy Wine Show associate judge from 2016 to 2019.
Regional Sales Manager at Spier 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 from 2016 to 2018 and judge in 2019.
Cellarmaster at Warwick Wines from May 2019. Previously Cellarmaster at Steenberg Vineyards from 2012 and General Manager from July 2018 to April 2019. Graduated from Stellenbosch University in 2007 with a BSc. Viticulture and Oenology degree. Diner’s Club Young Winemaker of the Year in 2014 and Cape Winemakers Guild member since December 2018. 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, 2016 returning in 2019.
Heads up the Singita Premier Wine Direct programme for the Singita Conservation brand, sourcing and supplying wines for the group’s 15 lodges and camps in four African countries. Deeply invested in hospitality having lived and worked in Africa, France, the UK and Australia – always with the 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, returning in 2019. Attended the Michael Fridjhon Advanced Wine Judging Academy in 2014.
Cathy van Zyl MW
Master of Wine who judged previously at the Trophy Wine Show , from 2003 – 2011. An occasional panellist for several other local competitions and has judged overseas with stints at Vinitaly’s Consurso Enologico Internacional, the Sydney International Wine Competition, the Shanghai International Wine Competition, Decanter’s World Wine Awards and the International Wine Competition. Associate editor of Platter’s South African Wine Guide, and co-author of the South African chapter of The Wine Report for several years. Previous Chair of the Institute of Masters of Wine’s education committee and now a Member of its Council. Lectures internationally, mostly in Japan and China, and occasionally contributes to wine journals and websites around the world. In 2019, named Institute of Cape Wine Masters’ Personality of the Year for her passionate promotion of SA wine.