We’ve been busy organising activities, finessing events and finalising details for the arrival of nine IWSC Judges in Margaret River Wine Region early next week.
Margaret River wineries have submitted their selection of red, white, sparkling and rosé wines for the IWSC Judging committee.
We are very excited to host the Judges in the Margaret River Region. This year, the IWSC judges have judged in-situ programs with South Africa, Argentina, Turkey, Austria and Georgia. Margaret River is the only wine region in the world where the in situ judging will focus solely on a region rather than an entire nation.
Showcasing the stunning Margaret River Region
But it’s not all about wine.
Over the six-day stay in the region, the judges will visit some of our most breathtaking locations, including places of cultural significance for the Wadandi People.
It’s a unique opportunity for the judges to encounter the region and gain an appreciation of what makes it so special.
While here, the Judges will participate in Masterclasses and tastings in situ at the wineries, where the winemakers will take them on a deep dive of Margaret River’s key varieties, organic wines and sparkling.
They will also have a chance to discover the quality produce and meet the chefs at our finest venues, including Ben Jacob of Lagoon Yallingup, Aaron Carr of Yarri Restaurant and Bar, and Ben Day of Cullen Wines.
Who is the IWSC?
Established in 1969, the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) is renowned for assessing wines and spirits.
The distinguished organisation comprises expert judges and enthusiasts who conduct blind tastings to evaluate global submissions. In addition, they organise events, workshops, and educational activities to spread the love for wines and spirits and foster understanding of these beverages.
Its core objective is recognising exceptional quality and authenticity in the industry. Winning an IWSC medal holds significant prestige, boosting the reputation of wine and spirit producers.
The IWSC plays an essential role in maintaining and elevating industry standards in the world of wines and spirits.
Meet the Judges
Alistair Cooper MW is an independent British wine writer, judge, consultant and educator with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He writes for JancisRobinson.com and regularly contributes to several publications, including Club Oenologique and Decanter. Alistair is also the global consultant wine buyer for the Sydney-based Australian company United Cellars, Australia’s largest independent wine merchant.
Freddy Bulmer is a veteran IWSC judge and wine buyer for The Wine Society, the world’s oldest wine club, where he’s responsible for The Wine Society’s portfolio of wines. He also contributes a monthly column to OllySmith.com and judges in numerous wine competitions. Freddy strongly believes that wine should, first and foremost, be about having fun.
Melania Battiston traded a career in marketing for one in wine, swapping university for the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and Court of Master Sommelier (MS) exams. She’s now sizing up what it takes to become an MS. After working as Head sommelier/wine buyer at Medlar, Melania is now the Junior Food & Beverage manager at Aman Resorts. In 2022, she won the Young Sommelier Competition and was number 3 on Harper’s Top 25 Sommeliers in the UK.
Libby Brodie is the founder of London-based independent wine consultancy Bacchus & Brodie, co-founder of The Wine Collective and City AM’s dedicated wine columnist with her regular “Wine Without The Snobbery” page. Libby is a qualified wine consultant and self-proclaimed “wine translator” with a passion for accessible, entertaining wine communication. She regularly moderates and hosts panels and events, sources and curates wines for private clients, and guest lectures at Universities on Wine Communication.
Beth Pearce MW is the Buying Director for Lay & Wheeler, one of Britain’s longest-standing fine wine merchants. Before that, she spent ten years at Majestic Wine, initially managing stores in the UK’s South West, followed by five years in the buying team at Majestic Wine, sourcing wines, beers and spirits from around the world for their 200 stores. Beth became a Master of Wine in February 2020 and, in September 2021, won the ‘Outstanding Young Person award at the Vintner’s Company.
Chris Crawford is Group General Manager of Beverage at Crown Resorts (Melbourne, Perth & Sydney). Chris is a certified sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers (UK and USA) and a past president of Sommeliers Australia. He is also a senior judge at various regional and capital wine shows and the outgoing chair of the Yarra Valley Wine Show and James Halliday Chardonnay and Cabernet Challenge.
Randall Pollard is a Roseworthy (Wine Production & Marketing) Graduate. Since 1999, Randall has been an importer and merchant of fine wines for Melbourne-based Heart& Soil Imports and Randall’s Fine Wines. He’s judged in Australian Capital City Shows widely since 1987 and smaller regional shows since the 1990s. Randall regularly visits many European wine producers, tasting and learning each year. He is a regular tutor at the Len Evans Tutorial.
Emma Farrelly is Director of Wine for the State Buildings & Como The Treasury, where she curates unique wine lists and wine events for each of the award-winning restaurants. For over 19 years, Emma’s passion for the wine industry has produced award-winning wine lists across top venues in Perth. For two years, Emma studied under the guidance of Dr Steve Charters, Master of Wine. Since then, Emma has worked as a Sommelier and consulted on various wine lists and menus, earning her recognition through numerous awards.
Erin Larkin is an independent wine writer and communicator based in Perth. In 2012, Erin left her successful fashion career and moved into the Wine business, where she is now a writer, judge, and presenter. She reviews Australian and New Zealand wines for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and contributes to publications, including The Wine Companion magazine and Gourmet Traveller Wine. Erin is also WSET Level 3 qualified and is a Barossa Wine School Specialist educator. In 2022, she was accepted as a scholar in the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial.