Judges announced for Investec Trophy Wine & Spirits Shows

by | May 24, 2022 | Article, Lifestyle, News


The announcement in early April that The Trophy Wine Show and The Trophy Spirits Show will be entering a new era with Investec as the title sponsor, has been followed by the publication of the full list of international judges for both competitions.

This is the first time since the Covid-19 lockdowns that each of the judging panels at both competitions will include an international specialist invited to South Africa specifically to participate in the competition.

As previously – and in fact since 2002 – the wine judging panel will be chaired by one of South Africa’s most highly regarded wine authorities Michael Fridjhon.



Trophy Wine Show Judges

This year, the three international judges for The Trophy Wine Show comprise US wine authority, Anthony Mueller, who covers the South African category for The Wine Advocate; Eric Goettelmann, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Sommellerie and wine director for the Bernard Loisseau Group; and Anthony Rose, wine correspondent for The Independent and well-known wine writer and author.



This year, the three international judges for The Trophy Wine Show comprise Anthony Mueller, Anthony Rose and Eric Goettelmann.


The judging panels have been expanded to allow judges to focus on their preferred fields of expertise.

The three international judges form part of a star-studded and hugely experienced group whose local members include

  • Heidi Duminy CWM and Principal of the Cape Wine Academy;
  • Tongai Joseph Dhafana, award-winning sommelier, now winemaker;
  • JD Pretorius, cellarmaster at Warwick Wines;
  • Patson Mathonsi, sommelier, and regional sales manager for Spier;
  • François Rautenbach, buyer for Singita’s Premier Direct wine progamme,
  • Cathy van Zyl MW, Vice-Chair of the Institute of Masters of Wine’s education committee;
  • Gynore Fredericks, winemaker at Great Heart Wines and assistant winemaker at Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines
  • Spencer Fondaumiere, Chairperson of the South African Sommeliers’ Association.


Trophy Spirits Show Judges

The international panel for The Trophy Spirits Show will benefit from the expertise of George Harper, Master Blender for Roe & Co. Irish Whiskey and one of the 12 blenders responsible for all of Diageo’s Scotch (and Irish) Whisk(e)y portfolio (the world’s largest whisky business).

He will be joined by David T Smith, undoubtedly the world’s most admired gin specialist, and Eric Goettelmann, former chief sommelier for Paul Bocuse and Meilleur Ouvrier de France Sommellerie.



The international panel for The Trophy Spirits Show includes George Harper, David T Smith and and Eric Goettelmann.


Local panelists – all specialists in the field which they have been selected to judge – include Mare-Loe Prinsloo, Head of Research tasked with product development at Distell; Kobus Gelderblom, brandy master; Neil Paterson, whisky maven and owner of WhiskyBrother; Kurt Schlechter, award-winning bartender and drinks consultant; Kresan Naidu, a white spirits (particularly gin and vodka) expert; and Dave Gunns, whisky expert, retailer and educator.

The Trophy Wine Show was designed two decades ago to help the Cape wine industry to calibrate to the expectations of international markets and has played a key role in driving innovation and transformation on the quality side of the spectrum.



The more recently launched Trophy Spirits Show seeks to identify the best spirits available in and for the South African market, or produced in South Africa for export, applying the tried and tested methodology of the Trophy Wine Show.

Investec has been awarded Best Private Bank and Wealth Manager in South Africa, by the Financial Times of London’s Global Private Banking Awards, for nine years in a row.

Euromoney’s private banking and wealth management survey has awarded it this same accolade for 10 consecutive years.

Investec partners with private, institutional and corporate clients, offering international banking, investment and wealth management services in two principal markets, South Africa and the UK, as well as certain other countries.

The group was established in 1974 and currently has approximately 8,200+ employees. Investec has a dual listed company structure with listings on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.

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