11 Nov 2019 Shanghai Trade, media & educators About the Awards
11 Nov 2019
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Shanghai
Trade, media & educators

Judges 2019

To select the winner for each award category based on the principle of justice, fairness and openness, a group of key opinion leaders and key stakeholders in the Australian and Chinese wine industry were invited to provide their expertise. Each judge will assess the category where he/she has the least conflict of interest.

This year, for the first time, Wine Australia will host a judging day to recognise trade and media who are actively adding their mark to the growth, demand and sales of Australian wine in China. 14 panel judges are confirmed, including a Master Sommelier, industry leaders, as well as a line-up of key trade, media and wine educators.

11 Nov 2019
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Shanghai, China, 200085
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About the Judges

Trade awards

Judging panel leader - Stella Cai, Senior Business Development Manager, Australian Trade and Investment Commission Shanghai office

Stella Cai is an experienced Senior Business Development Manager at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission Shanghai office. She has been working in the food and beverage (including wine) industry for 20 years and has been working closely with retailers and distributors in China for promoting Australian food and wine products. Stella is the founder of China Australian Food Importer Network (CAFIN) in Shanghai and has been running Australian Food and Wine Festival in Sogo Dept Store Food Supermarkets for 6 years and Australian Pavilion at Shanghai Wine & Dine Festival for 4 years.

Stella Cai has been invited to be the judge for Wine Australia China Annual Best Importer and Best Retailer Awards since 2013. 

Charles Guo, Founder of Winemaster House

Charles Guo has a master’s degree in oenology and is the author of The History of Wine Development. He has previously worked 10 years for Pernod Ricard in the marketing department, in charge of brand marketing for Jacob’s Creek, Helan Mountain and more. Now, Charles is a marketing consultant for many brands, including Zhongfei, Chateau Lion, Landaire, Chateau Silk Road, Mosaic, Giardino Estate, Shangri-La, GuoFei and Chanson. Mr Guo is not only an excellent consultant, but also an influencer who shares his wine knowledge in his own unique way. Charles is also the host and producer of wine talk show, ‘All about wine’.

Silvia Hu, Co-founder and Editor-in-chief of Sommelier Press

Ms Silvia Hu is Co-founder and Editor-in-chief at Sommelier Press and Bartender Press. The two interactive social media platforms she established have gained over 400,000 followers and have become one of the most influential social media platforms in China today. Before starting her own media businesses, Silvia worked in an investment bank and a financial media firm.

Li Demei, Associate Professor, Food Science and Technology College in Beijing University of Agriculture, renowned winemaker and key opinion leader

Li Demei is a consultant for several wineries in China, and helped one of them, Jia Bei Lan, win the International Trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2011 in London.

Demei won the 2012 Wine Intelligence 10-for-10 Business Award, and was listed on the Decanter 2013 Power List, and named one of the Top 10 Most Influential Wine Consultants by the Drinks Business in 2013, and Vinitaly 2019 International Awards.

As a columnist, Demei contributes to many prestigious wine publications, including DecanterChina.com. He is also one of the contributors for The Oxford Companion to Wine (4th edition).

Maxime Lu, Founder and Editor-in-chief of WineOnline.cn

Maxime Lu is the Founder and has been the Editor-in-chief of WineOnline.cn since 2005. He also judges international wine competitions including Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2015-2019 (Hong Kong), Wines of Portugal Challenge 2014 (Lisbon), Radici del Sud 2013 (Puglia) and some domestic wine competitions. Maxime is also a consultant for wine companies, and a contributor for Decanter China and mainstream media on fashion, finance, food and wine.

Eva Xie, Gourmet and Wine Critic, Writer, key opinion leader, Senior media professional

With 20-year experience in the food media industry, Eva is an award-winning journalist on food and wine. She was the senior editor of China Food Newspaper, a daily newspaper with 100,000 circulation.

As a famous food and wine critic, she is one of the judges in leading wine awards and restaurants ranking publications, including LA LISTE, CTRIP Gourmet List, Wine Australia China Awards, CMB International Wine Awards, WINE100 Wine and Chinese Cuisine Pairing Awards. She is also a member of CISFT wine branch.

Eva has significant influence on Chinese social media in the gourmet and wine area. She has more than 1.4 million followers on Weibo, and her live steam shows receive 2-3 million views. She also works as a guest speaker and consultant for TV and radio food shows in China.

Eva is WSET level 3 qualified and she is also a registered dietitian.

Sunny Zhang, Founder of Pinor, Founder of Pinor Sommelier Academy, and Publisher of Pinor Magazine

Sunny Zhang joined the Trends Group in 2007 and founded China’s first authoritative food magazine, Food & Wine. She is also the founder of Pinor Sommelier club (2012), and later established and published Pinor Magazine in 2013. In the same year, Sunny started a ‘Club of Chinese Sommeliers’. Sunny obtained ISG (Wine Fundamentals 2) in 2012 and WSET level 3 qualifications in 2016.

Sunny’s judging experience includes the China Sommelier Competition/China Young Sommelier Team Competition (2012-2018), in which she was an exclusive media partner. Sunny was also the exclusive strategic partner and judge for China’s Wine List of the Year Awards (2018).

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Zhu Siwei, Co-founder, Managing Editor and Senior Wine Educator of TasteSpirit

Zhu Siwei has learnt about wine from renowned French wine critic, Bernard Burtschy and travelled around wine regions all over the world. He co-founded TasteSpirit, one of China’s leading wine media, wine education provider, product recommendation platform and cultural wine community. Each year, TasteSpirit organises more than 300 wine tastings and courses all over China.

In 2017, it was nominated by WSET, the only finalist wine school in Asia for Best Educator of the Year. TasteSpirit is also the most important advocator of the concept of Terroir in China. It organizes two influential international wine summits annually - Terroir Renaissance International Wine Symposium and China Wine Summit.

Media awards

Judging panel leader - Lu Yang MS, Corporate/Group Director of Wine for Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, and Founder of Grapea Institute

Lu Yang is the first, and currently the only, Chinese Master Sommelier in the world, as well as the most influential sommelier in Greater China. He is the Corporate Wine Consultant for Shangri-La Hotel Group, and also consults for multiple Black Diamond and Michelin Star restaurants. But his influence on the wine industry extends far beyond the hospitality industry. Yang founded Grapea & Co, the foremost wine education and service institute in China. He is the Chief Wine Editor for Food&Wine (Chinese version), and writes for decanterchina.com. Yang is the co-chair for International Wine Challenge China, the top wine competition in China. He is the exclusive Wine Ambassador for Hainan Airline, in charge of wine selection for this highest rated Chinese airline.  Yang is a committee member of Black Diamond, the most powerful restaurant guide in China. He also collaborates with different lifestyle and luxury brands to promote wine culture in China. For his contribution to many aspects of the wine industry, Yang is regarded as one of the most influential wine personalities in Asia, and has been awarded with many recognitions, most recently “2018 Man of the Year” by the DrinkBusiness.

Alexander Caillard, Head of Pudao (Mainland China) and Langton’s East Asia (Hong Kong)

With a family history in wine dating back to 1838, Alex Caillard was practically born into the industry. Since beginning his career in 2003 at the age of 15 in the storeroom of Langton’s Fine Wine Auctions, he has since worked in production, retail, distribution, sales and marketing in Australia, Bordeaux and Greater China.

Alex has been based in Shanghai for the past four years where he is the Head of Pudao (Mainland China) and Langton’s East Asia (Hong Kong).

Tom King, Managing Director - North Asia, TWE China

Tom was appointed Managing Director - North Asia in February 2019 and is responsible for leading the TWE business in a region of considerable growth and opportunity. With strengths in building strong partnerships with customers and developing high performing teams, Tom joined Treasury Wine Estates in 2013 as Commercial Director for Global Travel Retail and has since held multiple senior roles across the business, including Managing Director – Europe where he led the team to deliver double digit EBITS growth and, most recently, Chief Operating Officer – Asia. Prior to working for TWE, Tom held a number of commercial and financial roles at Bacardi Limited and Ernst & Young.

Li Wei, President and CEO, Swan Holding Group, Founder of HBF

Since 2010, Li Wei has been involved in the wine industry. He purchased Inspire Vintage (Australia) Pty Ltd, which was the subsidiary of Australia's third largest wine group – AVL. He founded Swan Wine Group (SWG) in 2014, which has become one of the mainstream winemaking enterprises in Australia and one of the most important companies exporting to China.

Li Wei is the Vice President of the Australian Chinese Association and the Australia Chinese Fellowship Association. Mr Li is also a visitor professor at the Northwest Agriculture & Forestry University and a former business partner and General Manager of PowerDekor Group Ltd. Li Wei’s been named in the Top 10 Chinese Entrepreneurs in Australia in 2016 by the Australian China Entrepreneurs Club, as well as the 2016-17 China Wine Market Person of the Year by Wine Research.

Bel Sun, Regional Sales Manager of China, Negociants International

After studying in New Zealand and Australia, Bel returned to Beijing where her career in wine started with Summergate Fine Wines. She went on to manage Concha y Toro, one of the largest Chilean wine group portfolio of wines in Summergate. She also worked at Silver Heights, a premium boutique winery located in Ningxia province China. 

With nearly 10 years’ experience, she is now managing Australia's most historic family owned winery, Yalumba, as well as widely celebrated brands: Henschke, Rockford, Nautilus and Hill-Smith Family Vineyards.

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Simon Wang, Chief Operating Officer, ASC Fine Wines

Simon possesses deep and broad experience in China’s imported wine business as well as in the international hospitality industry. Before he re-joined ASC, Simon was the CEO of Kerry Wines in Greater China. During his 16 years’ service in the hospitality industry, Simon held many senior roles with a variety of hotel groups including Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Mandarin Oriental and Shangri-La. He has established an excellent track record leading sales force in pursuing aggressive sales goals, setting strategic direction and providing good operational management.

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