Spotlight on Australian wine as best sommeliers in the world visit next month

06 Mar 2017
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Some of the world’s best sommeliers will visit Australia this April to experience the exceptional quality and diversity of Australian wine, to coincide with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 event program.

Wine Australia has selected 50 sommeliers from leading restaurants and bars across the world to visit Australia to get to know our major wine regions, meet the winemakers and experience the breadth of Australian wine. The sommeliers will attend The World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards in Melbourne on Wednesday 5 April alongside the best chefs in the world and will be immersed in Australia’s renowned food and wine culture during the 10 day visit.  

The confirmed group comprises sommeliers from a number of esteemed restaurants on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, including Joo Lee, Sommelier from Eleven Madison Park in New York (ranked number 3 in 2016), Seamus Williams-Sharkey, Head Sommelier at The Ledbury in London (ranked number 14 in 2016), Vladimir Kojic, Head Sommelier at Gaggan in Bangkok, (ranked number 1 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017) and Guillermo Cruz, Head Sommelier at Mugaritz Restaurant in San Sebastián (ranked number 7 in 2016).

There will also be top sommeliers from New Zealand and Australia on the trip, including emerging talent Ambrose Chiang, Sommelier at Momofuku Seiōbo at The Star in Sydney, James Tuxworth, Sommelier at Il Lido Italian Canteen in Perth and Candice Chow, Sommelier at Rata by Josh Emett in Otago.

Andreas Clark, CEO of Wine Australia said, ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for Australia as we will have the most talented sommeliers in the world exploring our exceptional food and wine offering. We know that they are becoming more curious and excited by Australian wine and our winemakers, so we can’t wait to show off the remarkable wines we’re producing.

‘We hope they take their discoveries back home and share more of our wine with the rest of the world.’

For a large number of the group this will be their first time visiting Australia and its wine regions.

Vladimir Kojic, Head Sommelier at Gaggan in Bangkok said, ‘Wine and dining always go together, this trip is such a great opportunity to meet fellow sommeliers and some of my favourite winemakers. For sommeliers, Australia has become one of the hottest spots to visit in the last five years due to the amazing results of new wave wine makers.’

The group of leading sommeliers will participate in a full program of events organised by Wine Australia, which includes time in Sydney and Melbourne and trips to Victorian wine regions – Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, Geelong and Macedon Ranges. The sommeliers will visit wine regions further afield after The World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards and have chosen to spend time in Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia or New South Wales / ACT.

The sommeliers will be in Australia from 31 March – 10 April 2017.


For media enquiries please contact

Rebecca George – Wine Australia
Global Marketing Communications Manager
Phone: 08 8228 2042
Mobile: +61 437 902 648
Email: rebecca.george@wineaustralia.com

About Wine Australia

Wine Australia supports a competitive wine sector by investing in research, development and extension (RD&E), growing domestic and international markets and protecting the reputation of Australian wine.

Wine Australia is funded by grapegrowers and winemakers through levies and user-pays charges and the Australian Government, which provides matching funding for RD&E investments.

Wine Australia is the trading name of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority, a Commonwealth statutory authority established under the Australian Grape and Wine Authority Act 2013.

Some of the visiting sommeliers include:

  • Joo Lee, Sommelier from Eleven Madison Park in New York (ranked number 3 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016)
  • Seamus Williams-Sharkey, Head Sommelier at The Ledbury in London (ranked number 14 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016)
  • Vladimir Kojic, Head Sommelier, Gaggan in Bangkok, (ranked number 1 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 and number 23 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016)
  • John Schafer, General Manager, Alinea Restaurant in Chicago (ranked number 15 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016)
  • Guillermo Cruz, Head Sommelier Mugaritz Restaurant in San Sebastián (ranked number 7 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016)
  • Pathompong ‘Tui’ Wangmanao, Sommelier, Nahm in Bangkok (ranked number 37 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016)
  • Fahara Zamorano, Head Sommelier at Gwen in Los Angeles
  • Hiroshi Ishida, Sommelier at Restaurant L’aube in Yokohama, Japan
  • Carl Villeneuve-Lepage, Sommelier at Toqué! In Montreal, Canada

How World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled

The list is created from the votes of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of more than 1000 international leaders in the restaurant community. The panel in each region is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded ‘gastronomes’. Members list their choices in order of preference, based on their best restaurant experiences of the previous 18 months. There is no pre-determined check-list of criteria, but there are strict voting rules.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is independently adjudicated by professional services consultancy Deloitte. This adjudication ensures that the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 are protected.

To see more details on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants voting process, visit www.theworlds50best.com/the-academy/manifesto

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.