Ronny Lau – Hong Kong
He is the author of six wine books: “In Love with Wine”, “Le Dialogue du Vin”, “Around the Wine World”, “All About Wine”, “It’s a Wine, Wine World”, “Drink Before Drunk” and the editor and author of “GCWCA Top 100 Wines 2013″ and “Top 100 Wines”. He is also the curator of “Music & Wine: The Perfect Matching”, and “Red: A Music & Wine Party”, the innovative music and wine pairing CDs which distributed in major Asian countries.
In 2012, he was invited by Italian wine producer to take up the role as winemaker and released the first ever Super Tuscan made by Chinese.
Maria Katsouli – Greece
She has worked as a professional in the wine and food sector since 1989, which included introducing the profession of sommelier in Greece, playing a major role in establishing it as a career. Finally, Maria is a founding member of the Greek Union of Sommeliers and of the Greek Women of Wine Association. She is a co-founder and a manager of ATHENA International Olive Oil Competition.
Nowadays, through ‘Wine Praxis and Food’ she has been active as a wine and food consultant in various restaurants, wine bars, hotels and food companies while often taking part in conferences and conventions on wine and food.
She has worked as a sommelier in some of the best restaurants in Athens’ historic and characteristic gastronomy restaurants (Mezzo Mezzo, Beau Brummel, King George, Tudor Hall, Bortini’s). In addition, she has managed the wine lists of many hotels and restaurants, including the famous Hotel Grecotel.
For the past four years Maria has been lecturing in wine and olive oil tasting in the Center of Hospitality and Gastronomy Studies ETOILE. In addition she has also ben working in marketing and communication for the company, Vinetum for the past 15 years.
Maria is a certified member of the organoleptic group of the National Inter-professional Union of Olive Oil and has obtained her certification from the international organization of certification Staregister and the Istituto per la Ricerca Valorizzazione delle Eccellenze Agroalimentari (IRVEA).
Kristina Wolf – Germany
For the past 30 years Kristina has worked in the food and liquor industry in Germany and Switzerland. She holds a degree in Hotel Management and in 2007 opened a spirits shop in Berlin where she sells more than 700 different spirits including Rum, Whisky, Cognac, Armagnac, Gin, Cachaça and Pisco.
Nowadays she teaches and lectures on the subject to gastronomes, bartenders and professionals of the trade and hosts tastings at several bar and spirits fairs.
This former hotelier (five years at the Kyalami Ranch Hotel, Sandton and six years management at The Westin Carlton Hotel, Johannesburg) and restaurateur/owner of the Upper Crust Restaurant in Cape Town for 18 years. Mike won twelve Diners Club awards consecutively for the Upper Crust, including the prestigious Diners Club Champion of Champions award the Diamond Award for his 2000 and 2001 list.
Mike has over thirty five years’ experience in the liquor and catering trade, he combines his vast knowledge of catering with his passion – wine. Mike is recognized as one of the top wine list consultants in the country.
Mike has a Diploma from the Cape Wine Academy and was also recently inducted into the prestigious L’Ordre Des Coteaux De Champagne of France. Mike has a weekly wine column on www.iafrica.com and writes articles for Legacy Lifestyle Magazine and Private Edition. His outside interests include Classic Cars and spending time at his weekend retreat in the Koue Bokkeveld.
Roberto Lepori – Italy
As a specialist of rum and grappa, Roberto also teaches food and wine pairings and conducts seminars on sparkling wines, indigenous Italian wines and classics reds. He has held several seminars on Italian wine in collaboration with the Consortium of Prosecco DOC Treviso, in Italy and in Belgrade and Porto Montenegro.
He is currently authoring a Guide of the Wines of the Balkans and has participated in tastings for Vitae, the Italian Sommelier Association Guide of Italian Wines.
Earlier this year Roberto was invited to judge at the International Wine Challenge and the South Russian Krasnodar Expo, and is due to judge in Zagreb, Croatia and in Shanghai later this year.
In addition Roberto works as a journalist under the Italian Order of Journalists of Rome (OdG) and is involved in a number food and wine programs for Italian Network television.
At any given time you may find Roberto playing guitar, cooking for friends, reading classical Greek and Latin literature, traveling on his Harley Davidson, getting lost at sea on a sail boat, or drinking a good glass of wine with people he loves.
Carrie Adams – South Africa
Carrie wears many hats in the wine industry: she is a Norman Goodfellows Fine Wines and Spirits director, wine judge and Classic FM 102.7 columnist and radio host. In addition, Carrie is a member of the Commanderie de Bordeaux, The Ordre Des Coteaux de Champagne and the first female Keeper of the Quaich in Africa (for William Grant & Sons).
Her son Jonathan and two Scottish terriers contribute to a full and much loved life of favourite things: wine, whisky, champagne, reading, writing, gardening and making and listening to music.
Chris Alblas – Netherlands
Chris completed qualified as Oenologist in 1991 from the Dutch Wine Academy. During that time he started writing articles for the retail and drinks magazine, Drinks Slijtersvakblad (magazine for retailers/wineshops, importers, “caviste”) and “Vinologica” a publication for members of the Dutch Association of Vinologen. He is chief-editor and owner of www.wijnjournaal.nl.
Since 2003 Chris has been lecturing at the Dutch Academy, specialising in the Loire and Alsace regions and in 2012 became a member of the editorial committee of the Dutch Wine Academy. He is also a member of the FIJEV (International Federation of Wine and Spirits Journalists and Writers).
In 2008 Chris was introduced as Prud’homme de la Jurade de Saint-Emilion and in 2009 chosen as member of the jury for the selection of organic wines in the Netherlands. He has also judged at Vinexpo , Concours des Vins du Val de Loire (Ligers) and was invited to judge for the Dubrovnik FestiWine Trophy (2014, 2015 and 2016).
Thomas Rydberg – Denmark
Thomas is regularly invited to judge in international wine competitions, including Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, IWSC and Mundus Vini. In 2013 he joined the jury of the Concours Grenache de Monde in Perpignan and judged in the Best Riesling Competition in Neustadt.
Thomas continues to improve his qualifications and skills in the world of Drinks – he holds a WSET Diploma (Level 4) from London and is currently working to complete his Master of Wine dissertation. In addition he is responsible for organising some of the largest wine and spirits fairs in Denmark, regularly offers Master Classes for consumers and writes on a regular basis for Gastro, Vin & Co and The Sommelier magazine.
Furthermore, Thomas holds an MBA in Strategy and Marketing from Copenhagen Business School and a BA in Journalism, and has been a member of the Circle of Wine Writers in London since 2011.
Jean Smullen – Ireland
She has judged in various international wine competitions since 2006, including the IWSC, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and Michelangelo in 2012.
Since 1999 she has been working as freelancer, offering a unique consultancy service to the wine trade. Her clients include: C.I.V.B. (Counseil Inter-professionnel du Vin de Bordeaux); Le Sud (Wineries from the South of France); I.C.E.X. (Spain); Italian Trade Commission; Provins Valais (Swiss Wines); New Zealand Wines; Wines of Argentina; Wines of Chile, Wines of Luxembourg; Wines of South Africa, Syndicate de Cru Bourgeois du Medoc; Wines of Uruguay and Viniportugal
Marin Berovič – Slovenia
He works and lives in Llubjana, Slovenia, where he works as Professor in chemical and biochemical engineering in the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana. Marin is also a member of the Executive Board of European Section on Biochemical Engineering Sciences Prof Berovič’s bibliography contains 316 contributions from the field of biotechnology and bioreactor engineering, for which he has received three international awards for his scientific and research work.
This multi-talented wine judge is also an accomplished artist, having exhibited his paintings in a total of 136 art exhibitions around Europe.
Gregory Ndaiziweyi Mutambe – South Africa
Gregory’s judging experience includes work for SAA, the Nederburg Auction, the SA Chenin Association and the Platter Wine Guide.
Tinashe Nyamudoka – South Afica
Cav. Subhash Arora – India,
Subahash has judged in several international competitions including WSA Wine Challenge Singapore, WBWE Amsterdam, Decanter Asia Wine Awards and Cathay Pacific IWSC Hong Kong. The Italian President knighted Subhash for his efforts in building wine ties between India and Italy.
Eduardo Viotti – Brazil
Eduardo has written 16 books for the collection “The World of Wine” and 12 books about beer for the series, “The World of Beer”. He is also the author of several annual Brazilian Wine Guides as well as the “Guide to Brazilian Sparkling Wine”.
Cho Jung Yong – From Korea
Cho has written and contributed to a number of books on wine, including All that Wine (2006), When Wine meets Food (2008), All that Wine II (2009), Rival Wine (2010) and French Wine Traveller (2012). As journalist, Cho also regularly writes for the International wine business magazine, Meininger’s.
He regularly judges at international wine competitions, including Mundusvini, the Singapore Wine Challenge and Vinitaly and we look forward to welcoming him back to South Africa in August!
Dr. Luboš Bárta, MBA – Czech Republik.
Liz Palmer – Canada
Adrian Garforth MW – UK
Adrian was MD of the publicly quoted Savannah wine company in the UK and had a stint as European MD for the Spier wine group in Stellenbosch until 2003 when he decided to “go it alone”.
He currently consults for the on-trade(currently advising on over 1000 UK restaurant wine lists), works as advisor for several European importers and a couple of wineries (including New Zealand’s Yealands Family Wines). Still the entrepreneur at heart, Adrian has an agency business trading wine throughout Europe and was until recently a partner in Jamaica’s first specialist wine importer, representing the likes of Gaja & Chapoutier. “I am also a WSET APP and was responsible for setting up the first Russian WSET provider in St Petersburg using local tutors and with Russian text!” In-between all this Adrian regularly judgesat the IWC and Decanter Wine shows in the UK, “plays golf badly” and hasrecently successfully completed the London Triathlon.
And most importantly, “I ensure that everything I do is wrapped in a cloak of good humour!”
In 1997 Sergio was a judge on the inaugural Michelangelo panel, when the competition was but a bright idea. He also adjudicated in 1998 and 1999, when Michelangelo was open to wine entries only and was receiving in the region of 300 – 400 entries. (Today the competition receives 1 700+ entries annually from around the world, including wine, brandy, liqueurs and other spirits.)
With a life-time of experience in the various fields of oenology, Sergio’s passion for his craft has been awarded many times – among others, he has been bestowed the Chevalier of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin in Bourgogne; Membership of the Brotherhood of Saint-Emilion; The Knight’s Cross of Merit awarded by the French government (1997) and the Viticultural Merit Award for Best Chilean Winemaker (2002).
As winemaker, speaker, trainer, consultant, quality controller, researcher and international wine judge, Sergio has worked in France, Chile, Argentina and Bolivia.
The Michelangelo team looks forward to welcoming you to our panel this year.
Colin Frith – South Africa
Petronella Salvi - France.