English

THE JUDGES

The grand tasting for the valuation of the wines that will be featured in “5StarWines The Book 2018” will take place from April 11th to April 13th, 2018 in Verona, with the aim to give a valuable contribution to the world of Italian wine on an international scale. This unique wine guide will feature the wines that were given a score above or equal to 90/100 by a internationally well recognized panel of experts during this year’s Vinitaly 2018.

The dates were strategically chosen, right before the opening of the 52nd edition of VINITALY the International Wine and Spirits Exhibition (15th-18th April 2018, www.vinitaly.com) in order to immediately present the selected wines at the fair.

We would like to remind that all wine producing companies can be included in the “5StarWines The Book 2018”, not only wineries exhibiting at Vinitaly.

THE 5 STAR WINES 2018 TEAM

Ian D’Agata

ITALY

Ian D’Agata

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5 Star Wines CTO Scientific Director, Vinitaly International Academy.

Ian D’Agata, Scientific Director of the Vinitaly International Academy and Scientific Advisor to Vinitaly International, is an award winning writer and lecturer. His Native Wine Grapes of Italy was named 2015 Louis Roederer International Wine Awards Book of the Year. He’s been named Italy’s best wine writer, and one of the world’s eight best international wine writers by Les Plumes d’Or in 2016.

Ian D’Agata has been speaking and writing about wine for over twenty-five years. An award inning writer, his Native Wine Grapes of Italy (Ed. University of California Press) was recently named 2015 Louis Roederer International Wine Awards Book of the Year, the first time an Italian wien writer has ever won the award.

He is the Scientific Director of the Vinitaly International Academy and Scientific Advisor to Vinitaly International and lectures on wine culture and history in NYU’s Master’s Program in Food Sciences.

Ian is the Senior Editor and Head of Development of Europe and Asia of Vinous (USA), the Creative director of Collisioni, Italy’s largest music, literature and enogastronomy festival, and is the italian correspondent for China’s TasteSpirit lifestyle and wine webmagazine. He is actively involved in resurrecting forgotten old native wine grapes and having wine made from them again.

An award inning wine writer, he has bene named numerous times Italy’s best wine writer and was most recently (2016) nominated one of the world’s eight best international wine writers by Les Plumes d’Or, as voted upon by French wine estate owners and winemakers.

Stevie Kim

ITALY

Stevie Kim

As the Managing Director of Vinitaly International, Stevie Kim has launched and now leads a variety of new initiatives under the Vinitaly umbrella, including OperaWine, Vinitaly International Academy, Vinitaly Wine Club, VINO (Italian Wine Pavilion at Expo2015 Milano), HackWine, Vinitaly International Buyer Connect, Vinitaly International Importer Connect, HireMeVinitaly and Wine2Wine.

The head of Vinitaly’s strategic international arm, Stevie is committed to using innovative channels to communicate and celebrate “il vino italiano” abroad – with a creative emphasis on social media – always with an eye towards helping Italian producers sell one more of bottle of wine.

She travels frequently around to world spreading the gospel of Italian wine, focusing on the US, Russia – and most of all, China.

She has two children, not counting her husband.

General Chairman

Bernard Burtschy

FRANCE

Bernard Burtschy

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Chief, Le Figaro Vin.

Bernard Burtschy is a wine columnist for Le Figaro (a French newspaper, and Internet site) and for several magazines in the French press (Paris-MatchVigneronAmateur de Vins et Spiritueux) and abroad (Wands in Japan, Feinschmecker in Germany). 

He is also President of the French Wine Press and Permanent Member of the Grand Jury Européen(the European wine tasting group).

Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW

SPAIN

Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW

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Master of Wine.

Pedro Ballesteros Torres is a Master of Wine, writes regularly for many wine journals and magazines and he was the chair of many international wine competitions. He gives hundred lectures and tutored tastings all over the world in Spanish, English, French and Italian.

Pedro Ballesteros Torres got his Agrofood Engineer Degree, as well as his Master Degree in Viticulture & Oenology, at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. He got the WSET Diploma in Belgium and the Weinakademiker certificate in Germany and Austria, and in London he became member of the Institute of Masters of Wine. He followed other wine specialisation studies at Jerez, Beaune, Napa Valley and Bordeaux.

He is columnist at Planeta Vino (Spain), Libre BelgiqueDe MorgenDernière Heure (Belgium), writes regularly for Decanter (UK), Selectus Wineselmundovino.com (Spain) and writes occasionally for magazines in Switzerland, Italy, France and USA. He was the co-Chair for Spain and for Sherry at Decanter World Wine Awards (UK), and a Chair and Senior judge at international wine competitions such as Concours Mondial BruxellesBacchusCopa Jerez (Spain), Mundus Vini(Germany), and others in Portugal, Czech Republic, Italy, France, etc.

He was Elected Member of the Governing Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine, the Council of the Spanish Taster Union and the Board of the International Federation of Wine Journalists, and a Member of the Advisory Board of the Basque Culinary Centre. Expert at OIV for Spain, he has given several hundred lectures and tutored tastings all over the world and he works in Spanish, English, French and Italian.

Robert Joseph

UK

Robert Joseph

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Editor at Large, Meininger’s Wine Business International.

 

 

Panel Chairman

Andy Howard MW

UK

Andy Howard MW

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Master of Wine (Ex Chief Buyer, Marks&Spencer).

Andy Howard became a Master of Wine in 2011. He worked for many years as a buyer for Marks & Spencer in the UK.

He now runs his own wine business, Vinetrades Ltd, and focuses on being a wine judge for DecanterBacchus and The International Wine Challenge, and a wine writer for Decanter and Jancis Robinson.

Michele Longo

ITALY

Michele Longo

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Curator, Winecult.it (Co-curator Italian Best Wines Guide).

Michele Longo is the curator of Winecult.it and the co-curator of the Italian Best Wines Guide. He writes for the magazine Barolo&Co and he has always been interested in the human side of wine, the stories, the terroir, the traditions and the voices of producers.

Wine writer and certified sommelier, Michele’s first contact with the world of wine came in the late ’90s. He has always been interested in the human side of wine and his interviews have a very personal ring to them.

In 2008, he joined the New Wine Journal, a magazine managed by Ian D’Agata. From 2011 to 2013, he worked – first as a taster, then as deputy-curator– to the D’Agata & Comparini Guide to Italy’s Best Wines. In 2014, he picked up the baton from Ian and now he is the co-curator of the Guide Italy’s Best Wines (Comparini-Longo).

He currently writes for the magazine Barolo &Co, where he covers everything on the historical appellations of Piedmont: the stories, the terroir, traditions and the voices of producers. He is the curator of WineCult.it, a wine and food website borne out of the desire to bring together two passions: wine and culture.  Here he has a column, Wine Voice, where he recounts the thoughts and stories of the wine producers, through their voice and their “music”.

Monty Waldin

UK

Monty Waldin

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Decanter (and Author of 13 books and Guides on Natural Wines).

Monty Waldin became the first wine writer to specialize in organic and biodynamic wines in the mid-1990s, and writes the entries on organic, biodynamic and natural wine for the Oxford Companion to Wine (ed. Jancis Robinson MW OBE). 

He has worked in vineyards and wineries in both hemispheres, and was the subject of Chateau Monty, the first TV series to follow the making of a biodynamic wine from pruning to bottling for Britain’s Channel Four in 2008.

Jeffrey Porter

USA

Jeffrey Porter

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Beverage Operations Director

Originally from Texas, Jeffrey’s passion for wine started while at the University of Texas at Austin. He began his career at Central Market in Austin, Texas. After graduating Jeffrey moved to California where he worked as a sales person for a wholesaler in the Bay Area. His sommelier career began in Napa Valley working at Tra Vigne Ristorante in St. Helena, California. He joined the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group in 2009 at Osteria Mozza. In 2011 he moved to New York to become the wine director for Del Posto and in 2014 Jeffrey became the Beverage Operations Director, overseeing the beverage programs for Babbo, Del Posto, Esca, Lupa, Otto, Babbo Pizzeria & Enoteca in Boston, MA, and the newest restaurant La Sirena at the Maritime Hotel.

Hayley Black

USA

Hayley Black

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Wine Director at Tutta Bella / IWE

WSET III
Italian Wine Expert, Vinitaly International Academy
Hayley believes a passion for wine paired with a desire to learn creates a never ending journey. After over 10 years of working in restaurants as an operator and wine buyer she just recently switched to working in sales and distribution. She is responsible for guiding sales in all aspects of the upper end wine category. Her ability to inspire, educate and connect people through wine has been the driving force behind her career.

Michaela Morris

CANADA

Michaela Morris

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VIA Italian Wine Expert, Wine Writer and WSET Educator.

Michaela Morris is a wine writer, educator and presenter based in Vancouver, Canada. She sits on wine panels and judges wine competitions both locally and abroad and is a certified Italian Wine Expert through Vinitaly International Academy.

 

Corinne Keddie

USA

Corinne Keddie

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VIA Wine Ambassador, Wine Communicator, winexine.sg

Wai Xin Chan

Singapore

Wai Xin Chan

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Henry Davar

USA

Henry Davar

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IWExpert

Henry Davar is a Wine Educator and boutique fine wine Business Development Manager at Breakthru Beverage Nevada. He began his wine career at The Modern restaurant in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 2005. Soon after, with the aim of specializing in Italian wine, he joined the opening sommelier team at Batali & Bastianich’s Del Posto, also in New York. In 2007 he moved with the group to Las Vegas to open B&B Ristorante, Enoteca San Marco (now Otto), and Carnevino Italian Steakhouse at the Venetian & Palazzo resort. He returned to NYC as Wine Director of Del Posto in October 2009 and was part of the team that was awarded Four Stars from the New York Times in September 2010. In April 2011, he and his wife departed for a sabbatical in Italy where they traveled throughout the country, studied Italian, and staged in Barolo. The following spring, he travelled to Hong Kong where he helped open Lupa Osteria as the Beverage Director. He returned to Las Vegas in January of 2013. Henry holds wine certifications from the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. Most recently, he achieved the Italian Wine Expert certification from the Vinitaly International Academy. He is one of nine VIA certified Italian Wine Experts in the world.

Gill Gordon Smith

Australia

Gill Gordon Smith

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IWA and CEO

Gill is an educator, retailer and artisan wine producer from McLaren Vale South Australia who specialises in Italian varieties including Arneis and Nero. She has been awarded Wine communicators Australia 2017 and wine communicator and educator of the year. She has judged at many wine shows including panel chair of McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Review hot 100. Gill is the director of education and head lecturer for Fall from Grace -Wine education and training, running programs that include WSET , FWS and Australian wine programs with over 350 students a year that mainly come from industry and the wine programs at Adelaide University . The WSET program has a cohort of around 150 international students per year, mainly from China, studying at the University of Adelaide. Gill has written for various publications including Italianicous magazine, Adelaide review and Fleurieu living. She was an integral part of the award winning team who developed the Qantas Sommelier in the sky program and has travelled extensively over the last 25 years seeking out producers and regions that inspire. Gill is a proud ambassador of the VIA program as well as a McLaren Vale wine ambassador and is passionate about Italian varieties and their potential for Australia and in particular McLaren Vale. She believes strongly that education is the key to understanding and connection.

Senior Judges

Luzia Schrampf

AUSTRIA

Luzia Schrampf

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Via Wine Ambassador, Wine Writer for Der Standard et. al. and Wine Educator.

Luzia Schrampf is a freelance wine journalist based near Vienna, Austria. She teaches at the Wine Academy of Austria, which is closely linked to WSET in London. She holds a WSET Diploma and she recently passed the exam for Italian Wine Ambassador of the Vinitaly International Academy. She works for different wine guides and is a wine judge for several national and international wine competitions. 

Luzia Schrampf studied translation at the University of Vienna.  In 2003, she passed the Diploma of the London-based Wine and Spirit Education Trust WSET at the Wine Academy of Rust, in Austria. Since 2000, she writes for the Austrian daily Der Standard about wine and wine related topics, and she contributes on a regular basis to the Austrian wine magazine Wein.Pur and to the Slow Food Magazine in her country. She has contributed to several newspaper and magazines, writing on wine matters in English and German. She also works for different wine guides and participates as a judge in national and international wine competitions. Luzia is also a teacher at the Wine Academy of Austria, closely linked to WSET in London, and in December 2015 she passed the exam for Italian Wine Ambassador of the Vinitaly International Academy.

Michael Garner

UK

Michael Garner

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Author, Wine Writer.

Michael Garner has worked in the wine business for over 35 years, specializing in Italian wine for more than 30 of them. He is the co-author of Barolo: Tar and Roses, a regular contributor to Decanter, and for many years taught for the WSET. Michael is co-owner of Italian Wine Specialists Tria Wines Limited with business partner Paul Merritt. He lives in rural Devon.

 

Janna Rijpma

NETHERLANDS

Janna Rijpma

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Multiple Wine Book Author and Owner, Ennovision International Media Company

Wine writer and Consultant for over twenty years, Janna Rijpma is the Owner of NOMOH Wine Consulting Web Magazine. She has published five books for the series The Wine Guide for Business People.

After a long career as an Executive Producer in Television, Janna Rijpma graduated as a Vinoloog in 1996 at the Dutch Wine Academy. After writing many articles and columns about wine and food in magazines and newspapers, she ‘delivered’ five books of The Wine Guide for Business People for Het Financieele Dagblad. She now mainly writes, consults and creates and is traveling to the wine fields all over the world, where especially upcoming wine areas have her full attention. She teaches often about her favorite wine subjects, burgundy, champagne and northern Italy.

Since 2015, she is owner of www.nomoh.nl, the world of the senses that connects wine and food. Her activities includes NOMOH experience, NOMOH activities, NOMOH consultancy & NOMOH concepts. This year she will celebrate her 20 years in the wine business.

Richard Kershaw MW

Richard Kershaw MW

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About Richard Kershaw, founder and winemaker of Richard Kershaw Wines

Born and raised in the UK, Richard travelled extensively before settling in South Africa in 1999 to make wine full time. He established Richard Kershaw Wines in January 2012 to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wines in the Elgin Valley, the country’s coolest wine region, choosing to focus on apposite noble grapes (ones with the ability to produce world-class examples) and now has a stable of award-winning, much in demand wines including Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir and Kershaw Deconstructed Chardonnay and Syrah. One of only 10 Masters of Wine who actively make their own wines and South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, Richard is much in demand when not in the vineyard or cellar. A wine show judge for many prestigious competitions around the globe, he is also part of the educational panel for the Institute of Masters of Wine, lectures for the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) in South Africa, and shares the breadth of his knowledge with students and consumers via talks, tastings and blogs.

Marcia Hamm

Marcia Hamm

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IWA

Marcia is a relative baby in the industry having only really started in 2010 with night classes and a building curiousity for wine. Since then, she has completed the WSET DIploma and is an Italian Wine Ambassador with the VinItaly International Academy. A recent internship to South Africa allowed Marcia to experience all facets of a harvest, and she hopes to do more harvests in different parts of the world over the next few years. With her company Joy of Wine, she runs various educational tastings in the store at Hicks Fine Wines, at corporate events and private residences. With some local judging under her belt, Marcia is thrilled to be a judge for 5 star Wines and hopes to do more international judging in the future!

Judges

Elise Vandenberg

Elise Vandenberg

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IWA

Elise Vandenberg is an Italian Wine Ambassador and a Certified Sommelier. She is the Lead Sommelier at Estiatorio Milos in the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Elise enjoys wine from around the world, but is particularly passionate about wines made from native Italian grapes. She writes about Italian wine at elisevino.wordpress.com

Brandon Tebbe MS

Brandon Tebbe MS

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IWA

Kara Maisano

Australia

Kara Maisano

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VIA Wine Ambassador, Sommelier & Wine Director, Masani Italian Dining & Terrace

Kara Maisano is a Sommelier and Wine Director at Masani Italian Dining & Terrace in Melbourne. Established in 1983 by Chef & Restaurateur Richard Maisano, continues to serve regionally inspired Italian to compliment Kara’s award-wining wine list. Kara is a graduate of the WSET Diploma, Court of Master Sommeliers and a Vinitaly International Academy Wine Ambassador. Alongside serving she continues to strive within her profession by associate judging at local and international wine shows, and hosting wine tutorials for wine lovers in Melbourne. Recent accolades include finalist Gault & Millau Sommelier of the Year 2016, Vin de Champagne Awards 2016, Gourmet Traveller Wine Young Sommelier of the Year 2018. Stay on touch @KaraMaisano @MASANI_DINING

Christopher Barnes

Christopher Barnes

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Founder Grape Collectieve

Christopher Barnes is currently Editor and Publisher of Grape Collective an online wine magazine that combines high quality wine journalism with a seamless eCommerce experience. Grape Collective has produced over 300 video interviews on location with winemakers around the world and features writing by some of wine journalism’s top stars including former Wall Street Journal wine critic Dorothy J. Gaiter. Prior to starting Grape Collective Barnes was President of The Observer Media Group, publisher of The New York Observer. Barnes was co-founder and Publisher of amNewYork newspaper New York’s largest free daily newspaper which was eventually sold to the Tribune Company. Amongst other media start-ups he has been involved in he co-founded the Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral Press weekly newspaper and The London Monthly magazine. He has an MBA from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

JC Viens

JC Viens

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VIA Wine Ambassador, Deputy Wine Editor, Spirito di Vino Asia

JC Viens is SpiritodiVino Asia Deputy Editor. Gourmand and a Storyteller, JC visited vineyards on five continents to learn the human stories behind the wines. As a WSET Certified Educator and a Vinitaly Academy Italian Wine Ambassador, he holds regular classes on wine tasting and on Italy.