2016 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

Sam Connew

A highly experienced and respected winemaker, Samantha Connew launched her Tasmanian solo project, Stargazer, in 2013. Prior to establishing this and her consulting company, Compass Wine Consulting, she was employed working in applied research, development and extension for the Australian Wine Research Institute as Manager of the Hunter Valley Node. Before this she was the Winemaker/Manager of boutique Hunter Valley winery, Tower Estate, after working in McLaren Vale for ten years as the Senior Winemaker at Wirra Wirra Vineyards.

Amongst her many achievements, in 2007 she was awarded 'International Red Winemaker of the Year' at the prestigious International Wine Challenge in London, and in 2008 she was a South Australian finalist in the Telstra Business Women's Awards. She has served on the boards of several regional associations and was a board member of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology from 2011 to 2013.

She is highly respected wine show judge and has been a Panel Chair at many regional and capital city wine shows, having completed both the Advanced Wine Assessment Course and the Len Evans Tutorial.

In 2014 she was appointed Chair of Judges at the Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show, the first female and the youngest judge in that position.

Pete Dillon

Peter gained valuable experience in the corporate training sector before taking up studies in Oenology at Adelaide University. Now with 17 vintages under his belt, he has worked in many of Australia’s premium wine regions.

Upon graduating with honours, Peter joined one of Australia’s major wine companies, BRL Hardy, where he gained wide experience in operations across different wine regions in Western Australia. He ran the Goundrey facility in Mount Barker and became Senior Winemaker / Manager of Houghton’s Nannup winery. He took on the role as Winemaker for Brookland Valley in 2009 when it was named James Halliday’s Winery of the Year. During his 10 years with the company, the group underwent many changes, becoming Constellation, then Accolade Wines, giving Peter a keen insight into the corporate wine sector.

In 2012 Peter joined Larry Cherubino Wines as Senior Winemaker, working across regions in south-western Australia.
Now based at Handpicked Wines’ Capella Vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula, Peter continues to travel widely. In this role he oversees viticulture and winemaking at Handpicked’s own vineyards in the Mornington Peninsula, Yarra and Barossa valleys and throughout the company’s loyal network of growers, vineyards and wineries in Australia and overseas.

Peter maintains strong industry connections, having held senior technical and board positions in state and regional industry associations and is an experienced senior wine show judge at Capital City and Regional shows.

Stuart Watson

Stuart Watson has been winemaker for Woodlands Wines since 2002. Woodlands was established in 1973 by David and Heather Watson, and was one of the earliest vineyards to be planted in Margaret River.

Woodlands’ wines have been well awarded in local and national wine shows over the decades, and continue to garner critical acclaim, including being listed in the Langton’s Classification of Fine Wines. Stuart is a Len Evans scholar, and has judged at local and national shows including Cowra, Limestone Coast, National Wine show (assc) and Perth (assc) as well as contributing to the Margaret River Wine Show Committee for many years.


Jane Parkinson - International

Jane is an award-winning UK-based journalist, author and broadcaster who specialises in wine, and wine with food. She is also the International Wine & Spirit Competition Communicator of the Year 2014 and a wine expert on BBC1 Saturday Kitchen Live.

Her debut book, Wine & Food came out in October, plus she is the wine editor for Restaurant magazine, wine expert for Stylist, wine columnist for James Halliday’s Wine Companion (in Australia) as well as Market Life and Absolutely Magazine in the UK, as well as wine reviewer for 60 Second Reviews. Jane is also one of five members of The Wine Gang.

Jane frequently talks about wine, whether it’s on radio, hosting wine tastings or television. She is also a judge in international wine competitions

Luke Jolliffe

Luke Jolliffe grew up in the Clare Valley wine region and completed his Bachelor of Agricultural Science
(Viticulture major) at Adelaide University. After graduating in 1999, Luke joined Hardy’s Tintara operation inMcLaren Vale as Viticultural Technical Officer, where he stayed until 2003. Whilst working at Tintara he alsocompleted his Post Graduate Degree in Oenology. Luke later jumped at the opportunity to work in WesternAustralia with Forest Hill as their Viticulturist. Over time he was appointed as Operations Manager forForest Hill and spent more time in the winery as a consequence.

In 2005 Luke’s growing passion for winemaking took him to the Rhône Valley, where he worked over the
vintage season at Raymond Troillas, based in St Joseph. Then in 2007 an opportunity arose with Stella Bellato work as a vintage assistant which he embraced, quickly being promoted to Assistant Winemaker in June2008, Winemaker in November 2009 and finally Senior Winemaker in July 2013. His winemaking philosophyis one which embraces the privileged terroir of Margaret River with an uncompromising eye for detail andfocus on quality.

Luke has structured most of his vacation time around visiting wine regions to enhance his knowledge of
world wines and their unique terroir – visiting renowned regions of Tuscany and Piedmont in 2011, and
Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and Mosel in 2013. Luke is a regular Australian wine show judge in bothregional and capital city shows and was recently nominated for the Wine Society’s Young Winemaker of theYear Award in 2012. More recently Luke’s free time is taken up with the arrival of his first baby, little boyLenny!

Courtney Treacher

Courtney Treacher is based at the Houghton Nannup Winery. Winemaker since 2007, Courtney is responsible for the production of Brookland Valley wines. Courtney studied Viticulture and Oenology at Curtin University graduating in 2003. Courtney completed the AWRI's Advanced Wine Assessment Course in 2007 and has previously been on judging panels at Western Australian regional shows and the Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide Royal Wine Shows. In 2011 Courtney had the great fortune of being selected as one of the Len Evans Tutorial Scholars.

Troy Overstone

Troy is currently a winemaker at Houghton in the Swan Valley, where he is lucky to see fruit from most of the major wine regions in Western Australia. Troy has completed vintages in Margaret River, Swan Valley, Clare Valley and Alentejo in Portugal.

Although having some small family history in wine through grandparents and his Uncle starting Woody Nook, he first got the wine bug living in the Loire in France for 6 months in his early 20's.

Troy has been associate judge at Royal Queensland Wine Show, Wine Show of WA and Geographe Wine Show, as well as completing the AWAC course.

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.

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.

Associate Judges

  • Severine Logan
  • Ben Rector
  • Scott Sharland
  • Chris Murtha
  • Brendan Carr
  • Rachael Niall



Sponsors of the QANTAS Wine Show of Western Australia Wine Awards