By Amy Looker
Australia’s most prestigious wine school, the Len Evans Tutorial, is set to receive 12 new scholars for its week-long term in the Hunter Valley later this year.
Described by James Halliday as ‘the most exclusive wine school in the world’, the Len Evans Tutorial puts 12 of Australia’s wine industry professionals through their paces during a week of tasting some of the greatest wine styles in the world.
The program is designed to replicate the demands of show judging, with scholars from previous tutorials sitting on judging panels at all of Australia’s major wine shows.
Each scholarship is valued at $9000, including wine, food and accommodation. This year’s scholars are:
Stuart Halliday (sommelier, Tetsuya’s)
Jeff Byrne (winemaker, Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard)
Ian Hongell (senior winemaker, Peter Lehmann Wines)
Alex McKay (director/winemaker, Collector Wines)
Adam Wadewitz (winemaker, Best Wines)
Nick Ryan (wine journalist)
Michael Symons (winemaker, Stonier Winery)
Fran Austin (winemaker, Bay of Fires Wines)
Leanne Altmann (assistant restaurant manager, Trim Hospitality Group)
James Erskine (sales manager, Chris Ringland’s R Wines)
Sally Humble (sommelier, Cutler & Co)
Dean O’Reilly (sales representative, Moet Hennessy Australia)
The scholars will be tutored by five of Australia’s leading wine industry figures including James Halliday, Brian Croser, Ian McKenzie, Iain Riggs and Gary Steel.
Len Evans Tutorial convenor and tutor, Iain Riggs said; “This group highlights the fact that the Trustees recognise that the Tutorial has been very successful in providing a higher level of wine appreciation for wine judges but the industry now needs professionals that can take the premium Australian wine message to a greater audience."
"These are the guys at the coal face of wine selling. A better awareness of premium Australian wine and where it sits in relation to imported wine, is essential to the industry getting its message out to the world.”
Major sponsor of the Len Evans Tutorial, Qantas, will also award one scholar the 2009 Dux award.
The Dux will receive a guaranteed judging position the National Wine Show in Canberra and the Royal Sydney Wine Show, as well for the first time being offered a position as Associate Judge at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.
Qantas will also fly the Dux to London and then onto Europe with invitations to the greatest wine houses.