AWAC Scholarship Judging Panel

The AWAC judging panel comprises a range of experienced professionals with extensive expertise in the area of wine show judging and wine sensory assessment. Each judge, rates all of the applications based on set criteria, and ranks the applicants based on their opinion of their suitability for the scholarship.

Peter Bissell

ASVO Winemaker of the year 2018, Pete Bissel is also a foundation member of the Limestone Coast Wine show, Chair of the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council, and a member of the Limestone Coast Technical Committee, which coordinates the delivery of research and extension activities in the region. Pete is the lead author of the Red Winemaking chapter of “Australian Winemaking” and with an eye for the future of the region, Pete worked closely with many wine industry groups and stakeholders to present various regional wine industry concerns on fracking, to the SA Parliamentary enquiry into Unconventional Gas in the Limestone Coast in 2016.
Since graduating from Roseworthy and gaining first-class honours from the University of Canterbury, Pete has made wines for several companies and has gained international experience including time spent in Bordeaux, the South of France and Moldova. Pete has completed 38 vintages including the last 30 in Coonawarra, has been a wine show judge since 2000 and has judged at numerous wine shows across Australia

Sarah Crowe

Wine Show judging is an integral part of Sarah’s calendar year with up to five wine shows judged to expand her palate and knowledge of industry trends. Throughout 2013 she judged at International Cool Climate Wine Show, Royal Queensland Wine Show and Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.

Sarah joined the team at Yarra Yering in September 2013 as Winemaker and is excited to be focusing on a single iconic vineyard site and giving the individual blocks and varieties the time and attention they deserve. She will continue the tradition that Dr Bailey Carrodus started in 1969 with the first vineyard plantings at Yarra Yering.

In 2016 she was named James Halliday 2017 Winemaker of the Year.

Bryan Currie

Bryan has been heavily involved in regional and state based industry organisations such as NSW Wine Industry Association, Riverina Winemakers Association, MIA Vine Improvement Association and National Grape and Wine Industry Centre. Keen to further knowledge, education and mentoring opportunities, he established the Riverina Sweet Wine Tutorials, was key in developing the Riverina, Hilltops and Tumbarumba regional wine shows and the International Sweet Wine Challenge and is a regular judge on the Australian Wine Show circuit.

Sue Hodder

Sue Hodder, Wynns winemaker for 26 years, was jointly awarded 2016 ASVO  “winemaker of the year” with fellow Wynns winemaker, Sarah Pidgeon. Sue is an experienced national and international wine show judge. She acknowledges the value of education and collaboration in the evolution of the Australian Wine Show system.

Mark O’Callaghan

Mark joined Wine Network Consulting (WNC) as a Director and Consultant in 2013. He works on projects across Australia and around the world including China and England.Prior to this, Mark spent fourteen years with Accolade Wines (formerly BRL Hardy), including eight years as Senior Winemaker and Winery Manager for Yarra Burn. In addition to the Yarra Valley during that period, Mark made wines in McLaren Vale, Heathcote, Great Western and the Pyrenees, plus vintages in Austria and Sicily.Mark is an occasional journal author, previous President of the Yarra Valley Wine Growers’ Association, regular judge at both capital city and regional wine shows, member of the Victorian Pinot Noir Workshop Committee and former Chair of the Committee for the Yarra Valley Wine Show and James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge. He was also a Scholar at the 2007 Len Evans Tutorial.Mark holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science) (Charles Sturt University), a Graduate Diploma of Business Administration (Deakin University) and a Bachelor of Science (Monash University).

Virginia Willcock

Virginia is an authority on Margaret River winemaking, having completed almost 30 grape harvests in the region. She’s won several winemaking awards and is a sought-after regional wine show judge.

Past scholarship judging panel members:

  • Sue Bastian
  • Sue Bell
  • Nick Bulleid M.W.
  • Jeremy Dineen
  • Chris Pfeiffer
  • Corrina Wright