Veritas Judging – A look behind the scenesAugust 15, 2008
Big Guns of the Wine Industry Geared for Veritas JudgingSeptember 6, 2008
One of the aspects that contribute to the authority of the Veritas Awards is the compilation of the judging panel which, as always, includes several prominent and experienced international judges.
Six international judges, together with our own Dave Hughes a veteran international judge with more than 35 years experience and 98 local judges, will this year voice their seasoned and much valued opinions from 8 to 12 September to once again give the wine fraternity a guideline as to the leading trends in the enjoyment of wine.
Canadian dr Isabelle Lesschaeve, a professional member of the American Society of Oenology and Viticulture, specialises in the sensory evaluation of wine. Her research focuses on the understanding of consumer wine preferences, consumption and purchase behaviours, and the development of new sensory methodologies to predict wine preferences. Her experience has culminated in 35 scientific publications and various sensory workshops and short courses for the wine industry in California, Chile, South Africa, and Canada.
Dr Rowald Hepp is wine director of the Schloss Vollrads Wine Estate in Rheingau, Germany, famous for its award winning Riesling. Dr Hepp is an active and appreciated judge for various wine competitions in Germany, Switzerland, USA, Austria and Japan. Having completed his initial wine training at the Wine-University at Geisenheim, he complimented his professional skills through interaction with wine industry leaders in Switzerland, France, Russia, Luxembourg, Italy, and Spain.
Sarah A McCleery of Oxfordshire in England is a respected and much quoted freelance wine writer for established magazines such as The Oxford Times and Oxfordshire Illustrated.; With an affinity for organic and biodynamic wines she is also a consultant buyer for leading organic wine specialist, Vintage Roots, while her company Wine Talk provides advice on and to the wine trade.
Australian judge Ian McKenzie is most famous for his role in the development of Seppelt Salinger (one of Australia’s most highly regarded sparkling wines) and Penfolds Yattarna (Australia’s most sought after chardonnay). For this reason, and his thorough knowledge of wine and brandy production, he is regarded as Australia’s most senior wine judge. After a stint as member of QANTAS Airways’ wine selection panel, McKenzie is currently a Director of The Wine Society and consultant to various winemakers in Australia, Chile and South Africa.
Janna Rijpma‑Meppelink, celebrated wine entertainer and writer of the Netherlands, is also a columnist for Taste, the largest wine magazine of Holland. Her understanding of the wine industry and time spent as judge for various competitions such as the National House Wine Competition, has equipped her to co-publish five editions of the book Wine Guide for Business People, in which Captains of the Dutch industry are interviewed about food and wine.
Sixth international judge, Sebastian Braun is the wine purchaser for Systembolaget. Serving a market of 9 million Swedes, Systembolaget is the world’s largest buyer of wine and spirits sourcing wines from South Africa, Austria, Central and Southern Italy and Luxembourg. He is also responsible for wine tasting descriptions for Systembolaget’s extensive product catalogues.