Jim and his wife own and operate The Gates Country Lodge; a boutique luxury lodge situated in New Zealand’s South Island. Jim has judged at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, Liquorland Top 100 Wine Show, Easter Show Wine Awards, San Francisco International Wine Competition, London Decanter World Wine Awards and the Japan International Wine Challenge. Jim is currently a Senior Judge with New Zealand Winegrowers, Chairman of Judges for the New World Wine Awards and a Wine Consultant for Air New Zealand.
Originally from Marlborough, Jack studied Oenology and Wine Marketing and then went on to gain experience in the Barossa Velley, Napa Valley and Marlborough. Jack joined Pernod Ricard in 2006, before moving back to Marlborough in 2011 in the role of Sales and Marketing Director for The Mud House Wine Group. Jack is now General Manager at Accolade Wines. Jack has judged at wine competitions both in New Zealand and internationally, most notably as a senior judge at the International Wine Challenge in London. He is also currently studying towards a Master of Wine qualification.
Simon has been the head winemaker at Coopers Creek Vineyard since 1998. Simon has been a senior judge in all major New Zealand wine shows and is a highly sought after educator and speaker. Simon features regularly in Cuisine and Winestate magazines as a judging panellist and has a passion for alternative grape varietals. He was awarded the inaugural Jason Winter Memorial Prize for academic achievement while completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology from Lincoln University. He has worked vintages in both the United States and France, in the regions of Oregon, Bordeaux and Burgundy.
James has been senior winemaker at West Brook Winery in Auckland, for the past 13 years. James has been a senior wine judge at numerous New Zealand wine competitions including Air New Zealand Wine Awards, Gisborne Regional Wine Awards, the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards, the New Zealand International Wine Show and the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards. James is also a senior New Zealand Cider judge. Over the years, James has chosen to share his passion and knowledge for wine with various New Zealand magazines and trade publications.
Petter has been involved in the New Zealand wine industry for more than 20 years. A graduate of Roseworthy College in 1984 he has worked for wineries in Germany and as a winemaker in Canterbury including St Helena, Waipara West and now with Sherwood Estate. Petter has judged previously for the Bragato Wine Awards and International Aromatic Wine Competition.
Jane Boyle has been involved in the New Zealand and Australian wine industries for over 30 years and is a highly sought after wine judge and consultant. With experience in all facets of the industry, Jane has judged at numerous international and national wine competitions, including the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, Bragato Wine Awards, New World Wine Awards and the Liquorland Top 100. She is also a regular judging panelist for Cuisine magazine.
Joelle Thomson is a journalist, wine writer and author, who was bitten by the big buttery Chardonnay bug at Aro Street Café in Wellington, New Zealand, in the late 1980s and has been in love with wine ever since. She is a full time writer, wine commentator on RNZ National and author of 16 wine books. She consults to Regional Wines & Spirits in Wellington and the NZ School of Food & Wine in Auckland and has the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s highest qualification, the Level 4 Diploma.