2017 Judges

Chief Judge

Iain Riggs

Iain Riggs is the Managing Director and Chief Winemaker of Brokenwood (NSW). Iain is immediate Chairman of the Hunter Valley Wine Show, having taken over from Len Evans in 2002 and is currently the co-chairman of Judges at the Shanghai International Wine Challenge and immediate past chair of the Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show. His strong interest in ‘improving the breed’ of Australian wine sees him as Chairman of Trustees of the Len Evans Foundation that conducts the week long Len Evans Tutorial.

On the wine industry political side, Iain was an inaugural Board member of the Winemakers Federation of Australia, its Vice-President and President of the Australian Winemakers Forum. For relaxation, Iain is currently President of the Pokolbin (Reds) Rugby Club. In 2001, Iain Riggs was nominated by Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine as a finalist in the Winemaker of the Year feature. In 2003, Iain was awarded the Graham Gregory trophy for outstanding service to the NSW wine industry.

Panel Leaders

Dave Brookes

David Brookes is a freelance wine journalist contributing to Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE, Wine Companion magazines and has a monthly column in The Adelaide Review. Originally from North Canterbury, New Zealand, David now lives in South Australia’s Barossa Valley where he is the principal consultant at Wine Marketing Labs, providing brand management, digital strategy and in-bound marketing services for wineries and regions across Australia. With 25 years in the wine industry his experience spans retail, wholesale, winery, secondary market and brand management. He is a sought-after judge on the Australian and international wine show circuit judging at around 10 major and regional wine shows a year. David was awarded Dux of the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial in 2011

Sarah Pidgeon

In 1998 Sarah was appointed winemaker at the renowned Wynns Coonawarra Estate winery. Here she feels privileged to continue the tradition of excellence and innovation, working with fruit from some of Australia’s top vineyards on the internationally famed Terra Rossa soil.

A graduate of the prestigious Len Evans Wine Tutorial, her recent judging experience spans a decade at both regional and national shows, including Sydney, Perth, Hobart, Cowra, Ballarat, Cairns and the Winewise Small Vignerons Awards. Regional wine shows are a focus for Sarah, who is also a key driver behind the local Limestone Coast Wine Show.

Cath Oates

Cath Oates grew up in the Margaret River Wine region and was always headed for a career in the vines. After gaining post graduate winemaking qualifications from the University of Adelaide in 1999 she has held senior and flying winemaker roles in Australia, USA, Italy and New Zealand, most recently as Group Winemaker at Mud House Wine Group (NZ) and Chief Winemaker of Plantagenet Wines.

In 2015 she decided it was time to get back to her roots and recently launched her own brand, Oates Ends, from the family vineyard in Wilyabrup. A perpetual student she gained the WSET Diploma 4 as a prelude to tackling the Master of Wine qualification, achieving a Theory Pass in 2012. One day she (really) hopes to pass the Practical, but is thoroughly enjoying rigorously tasting for this in the meantime. She is a regular judge at wine shows in New Zealand, Australia and Europe and is currently serving as the President of the Margaret River Wine Association.


Damian Hutton

My mother’s side of the family grew up in the Swan Valley and my Grandfather lived and worked at the Valencia winery in Caversham for 35 years.

I moved back to the swan Valley in 1987, and got a summer holiday job at the age of 15 at Houghton’s, where my uncle was the viticulturist, my first vintage being 1990 after Graduating from High school.
Completing my winemaking studies at Adelaide University between 1998 and 2001, whilst working at Tintara Winery in McLaren Vale.

After graduating I worked at Alkoomi in Frankland River before moving to Millbrook for the 2003 vintage.

I have judged at the following shows; Swan Valley, Wandering Wheat Belt, Perth Hills, Boutique Wine Show of WA, the Perth Royal and Rutherglen wine shows

Severine Logan

Severine Logan grew up in the Loire Valley. After graduating from a Bachelor degree of oenology from Toulouse University, she spent 5 years working across multiple regions in France including Bordeaux, Alsace, Corsica and Burgundy. In 1995, she packed her bag and travelled to Australia to work vintage at Brown Brothers in Victoria.

The love affair with Australian wines started and the next year, she moved to Western Australia where she worked for the next 5 years. She spent another 6 years as winemaker for Rosemount Estates in the Hunter Valley before joining Watershed in Margaret River in 2007 as head winemaker. She has completed the AWAC course and in 2014, she was a scholar of the Len Evans Tutorial. She has judging experience in France, Wine show of WA, Swan Valley show and Perth Royal show.

Andrew Cherry

Having completed a degree in Materials Science from the University of Western Australia, Andrew completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Oenology at the University of Adelaide and then worked for three years in the Clare Valley. During this time he also worked in Europe for vintages in Tuscany and Beaujolais. Currently Senior Winemaker at Alkoomi Wines in Frankland River, WA, Andrew has been an Associate Judge at the Clare Valley Wine show, the Sheraton WA Wine Awards, the Royal Perth Wine Show, the Canberra International Riesling Challenge and Winestate Magazine.

Michelle Bouffard (International)

Michelle grew up in Québec where she studied classical trumpet. In 1996, she moved to Vancouver to finish her bachelor’s degree in classical music and started working in fine dining restaurants. An introductory wine course proved to be a revelation. She went on to complete her International Sommelier Diploma which she finished with top marks as well as the internationally recognized Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s (WSET) Diploma Programme. Michelle also completed with success the WSET Educator Training Programme in March 2014. From 2003-2006 she was the resident sommelier at Marquis Wine Cellars. Michelle was an instructor and a department head for the International Sommelier Guild from 2003 till 2013. She now teaches the WSET for the Liquor Distribution Branch in Vancouver, Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec (lTHQ) in Montreal, Constellation Brands in Rougemont QC and in New Brunswick. Michelle has traveled to many of the world’s major wine regions, which add to her wealth of knowledge and experience.

From 2003 till 2015, Michelle co-owned house wine, a Vancouver-based consultancy company. house wine offered private, corporate and public wine tastings, team building seminars, cellar management and private shopping advocating wine pleasure without pretence.

Michelle sat on expert panels for Cornucopia and the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. She is a judge facilitator for Vancouver Magazine wine awards and she judges for WineAlign’s National wine competition. She’s also been a judge for the International Competition of Wines for Fish in the Marche in Italy and Best of Vinho Verde Wine Awards in Porto Portugal. In Australia she has been the International Judge at the McLaren Vale and the Sydney Royal Wine Show.

Michelle has been a regular wine columnist for CBC French radio since 2006, she writes for a variety of local and national magazines, including EAT (BC), Exquis (Quebec), My Wine Canada (National), Vitamin Daily (National). Last summer Michelle suggested wine weekly on the Radio-Canada Television show ‘Par Ici L’Été’. You can currently see her in the 9th season of the popular TV show 'Curieux Bégin'.

In 2013 she started the BC chapter for the Canadian Association of Professional Sommelier and he is now the president. Michelle is based in Montreal but still goes to Vancouver regularly for business.

Patrick Haddock

Patrick is a wine writer, wine show judge, co-owner of Newcastles' Reserve Wine bar and a scholar of the Len Evans tutorial. He believes the best wine is the one you feel like drinking and can often be found nursing a glass of Pinot in between nursing his two young children.

Dave Johnson

Dave has been making wine in Margaret River for 19 years and has worked at various Margaret River wineries including Moss Wood, Juniper Estate and Naturaliste Vintners. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science) from Charles Sturt University and his most recent role was eight years as Chief Winemaker at Credaro Family Estate.

Dave is very passionate about the Australian Wine Show system and has judged multiple years at the Perth Royal Wine Show, Royal Hobart Wine Show, the Australian Small Winemakers Show and the Margaret River Wine Show and now the Wine Show of Western Australia (his favourite). He also grows really nice veggies and makes guitars.

Associate Judges

  • Conrad Tritt
  • Ben Rector
  • Brendan Carr
  • Hope Metcalf
  • Karen Holper
  • Paul Dixon



Sponsors of the QANTAS Wine Show of Western Australia Wine Awards