South Africa’s most highly regarded international wine judge, the country’s most widely consulted liquor industry authority, and one of South Africa’s leading wine writers.
With over thirty-five year’s experience in the production, wholesale and retail sectors of the industry and considerable local and international expertise, he is South Africa’s most respected wine judge, commentator and liquor industry strategist. Visiting Professor of Wine Business at the University of Cape Town, he also teaches and directs the Wine Judging Academy run in association with its Graduate School of Business.
Past chairman of the South African Wine Industry Trust – which determined strategy and administered funding associated with industry-wide business support and development projects – he has been an adviser to the South African Minister of Agriculture, and is a recipient of the French Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole.
He is has been chairman of the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show since its inception and has judged in countless wine competitions around the world. He was the first International co-chairman of the UK-based International Wine Challenge and is past chairman of the Six Nations Challenge held annually in Sydney. He has judged at the Australian National Wine Show, the South African National Wine Show, the Royal Sydney Show, the Royal Perth Show, and the Sydney International 100. He was a panel tasting chairman for WINE Magazine in South Africa for more than fifteen years and has also judged shows and competitions in Chile, Slovenia, and United States of America.
He is the Wine Wizard of the Wine Wizard website, the author, co-author or contributor to over 30 books, including the Oxford Companion to Wine and the Global Wine Encyclopaedia, writes a weekly column for Business Day and writes for wine publications in the UK, France, Germany and India. He has been shortlisted several times for the Louis Roederer International Wine Writer of the Year award and was the Louis Roederer International Wine Columnist of the year in 2012. That same year he joined Britain’s Michael Broadbent MW and Australia’s James Halliday as an honorary life member of the UK’s Circle of Wine Writers.
He is married to Janice and they have two sons.