The AWAC Scholarship selection committee 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 Bissell is also a foundation member of the Limestone Coast Wine show, immediate past-chair of the 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 40 vintages including the last 32 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.


Rob Diletti

Robert Diletti has been part of Castle Rock Estate since its inception in 1981. He can still remember helping plant the first vines as a six year old in 1983. Many a school holiday and weekend was spent helping his parents on the vineyard.
In 1995 he enrolled in the Charles Sturt University winemaking course, graduating in 1998. After finishing his studies Rob worked at Mountadam and Alkoomi, completed a vintage in Alsace, France and then returned to Castle Rock Estate to design and build the winery with his family.
Rob has been a Panel Chair at the Perth Wine Show and the Wine Show of Western Australia and has judged at numerous other shows including the Sydney Wine Show, National Canberra Wine Show and the Hobart Wines Show.
As well as receiving many awards for his wines, Rob also has achieved many personal accolades including being a finalist in Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year Awards in 2012 and 2019 and was the inaugural Wine Maker of the Year in James Halliday’s 2015 Wine Companion!


Trina Smith

With 20 years of winemaking experience, Trina Smith is a skilled winemaker in all styles of wines.
Once Trina completed the Degree in Oenology (University of Adelaide, it was time to travel and put the study into practice with vintages in USA (Sonoma County), South Africa (Stellenbosch) and Italy (Chianti).
Back in Australia Trina started working for Brown Brothers taking control of a number of innovative wines as well as the sparkling wines and a number of the Patricia range wines. After a brief interlude in the Yarra Valley, Trina started working with Treasury Wine Estates in 2007 before moving into the role of Senior Sparkling Winemaker in 2008.
In October 2016, Trina was announced as the new Jacob’s Creek Group White & Sparkling Winemaker and is elated by the opportunity to continue specialising on her greatest passion with Australia’s largest wine brand.

Trina has judged at numerous capital and regional shows and was a scholar at the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial in 2005. Trina is also the committee chair for the Australian Sparkling Wine show.


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 committee members:

  • Sue Bastian
  • Sue Bell
  • Nick Bulleid M.W.
  • Sue Hodder
  • Jeremy Dineen
  • Mark O’Callaghan
  • Chris Pfeiffer
  • Corrina Wright