International Cool Climate
Wine Show 2023
Christian Maier ‘Liquid Man’ Operation and beverage Manager at University House Melbourne, Sommelier and Wine Consultant
Christian has spent many years in Michelin starred restaurants in France and London UK. Upon arrival in Australia he further developed his skills by focusing on oenology and was appointed to the position of Sommelier at Hotel Sofitel Melbourne in 1994 subsequently being awarded Best Hotel wine list in 1997. In 2000 the Age Good Food Guide handed Christian the inaugural award for Service Excellence.
In 2002 his long love affair with Champagne has seen him being the Australian winner of the Vin de Champagne Award.
Following his role of Head sommelier at Langtons Restaurant and wine bar in 2005 the establishment was awarded the Age Good Food Guide Best Restaurant Wine List, and subsequently Best Club Wine List at the Australian Wine List of the Year Awards four years in a row followed by Hall of Fame, during his tenure as Wine director at the RACV Club and Resorts.
At his current position as Operation and Beverage Manager, Christian oversees the wine purchasing, wine lists, member events and the running of the house at the University House Club, Melbourne University.
He is also a senior judge with over two decades of experience having judged at the French Chamber of Commerce ‘Concours des Vins du Victoria’, Sydney International Wine Competition, Victorian wine show and more recently the International Cool Climate Wine Show.
In the televised media, Christian has been the co-host of the food and wine segment on SBS television with celebrity chef Gabriel Gaté and writes regular wine column for various publications.
Christian also operates a wine consultancy business which has seen him consulting for Six Senses in Thailand, and conducts corporate speaking engagement on various wine themes.
After an inspiring start in fine wine retail in Perth, Toby studied Oenology at the University of Adelaide and graduated as dux in 2002.
The flying winemaker lifestyle then took hold, with vintages spanning Margaret River, Marlborough, Langhorne Creek, the Clare Valley and Corsica.
Toby was a ‘Vin de Champagne’ winner and explored the Champagne region extensively on the back of this award. He completed the AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment course in 2004 and has been a judge for Winestate magazine and the International Cool Climate Wine Show over several years.
Toby’s career pivoted to wine wholesale in 2006 and he is now a director and sales manager for Bacchus Wine Merchant in Victoria. He currently imports wines from cool climate regions including Piedmont, Val d’Adige, Central Otago, Champagne, Chablis, Alsace & Mosel.
Matt Lugg manages the vineyards and is winemaker for Portsea Estate, on the Mornington Peninsula. Starting in 2021, Matt has implemented a sustainability first mantra in both the winery and vineyard, endeavouring to make wines true to place.
Also having made wine in Burgundy, the Rhone Valley and a number of Australian wine regions, Matt brings applied knowledge to wine judging not just from previous work experience, but through also through international trade tastings and touring in countries such as France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Hungary and Romania.
Having completed a Bachelor of Wine Science at Charles Sturt University, Matt is now actively involved in the wine show circuit and looks forward to judging at the 2023 ICCWS.
Beverage Director, Crimson Wine & Red Spice Road | CEO, Cliftons Event Solutions
Vanessa Green is a wine show judge, a Director of Crimson Wine specialist wine importer, distributor and consultancy service; Beverage Director for Red Spice Road restaurant in Australia and CEO of Cliftons, a global conference and event solutions company. With vast experience in wines from all over the world, designing award winning wine lists, and running venues and events across multiple countries, Vanessa is passionate about the wine, F&B and event industries.
She is committed to giving back to the industry and nurturing new talent through education, mentor programs and industry associations. Vanessa has a particular focus on the wines of Italy and has spent considerable time traveling the country to gain a deeper understanding of indigenous varietals and local winemaking and styles. Vanessa is a Vinitaly International Wine Ambassador (VIA, Italy), holds professional accreditations from WSET (UK), AWRI (Australian Wine Research Institute), AWAC and is a member of the Commanderie de Bordeaux and Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.
Following her passion for wine, Vanessa judges at wine shows in Australia, Italy and Asia and attends and presents at many wine related events, trade shows and industry forums. This has provided the wonderful opportunity to taste and compare 1000’s of wines from around the world and visit wine regions in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, Germany, South America the US, Spain, China and even Burma!
Vanessa’s love of the industry is evident in her wine judging and speaking engagements which include:
Business Forum - Verona, Italy
Collisioni - Piemonte, Italy
The Melbourne International Wine Competition - Melbourne, Australia
Young Winemakers Competition - Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
As well as regular in person and live stream event presentations, tasting and master class presentations.
Wine Study Tours include research trips to wine growing regions of Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Myanmar.
Kirilly began her career in winemaking while doing work experience for a degree in Agricultural Science at the University of Melbourne in 1997. Doing a summer of work experience with Bill Dhillon at Bindi began a fascination for growing grapes and the art and science of making wine which led to enrolling in the Charles Sturt Uni Wine Science degree and a career making wine predominantly in the cool climate wine growing regions.
Many vintages later including overseas vintages in 2004 at Vie di Romans, Friuli, Italy with Gianfranco Gallo and lifelong friend Alberto Pelos (now of Murva in Udine, Friuli) making textural Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Malvasia Istriana, Friulano and Merlot and another in Cairanne, France with Morvanne Cellier at Boutinôt in 2015 making Southern Rhone red blends.
A has a finely tuned palate and a love of fermentation of all kinds, now the winemaker for Denton Wine in the Yarra Valley and also having her own wine brand, Bowerbird Wines. Along the way, Kirilly has worked at Hanging Rock Winery with John Ellis, Provenance Wines with Scott Ireland, Galli Estate with Ben Rankin, Witchmount Estate and Bindi Wines with Michael Dhillon among others.
Wine show judging experience:
* Victorian Wine Show Associate Judge 2021
* Eltham Amateur Winemakers Guild Show Judge 2019, 2020, 2021
* Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Certificate 3 2015
* Distinctions in Wine Sensory Evaluation CSU 2012
* Ballarat Wine Show Associate Judge 2003
* Macedon Ranges Wine Show Associate Judge 2000-2003
* Melbourne Wine Show Steward 2001
Marcus grew up around the wine growing region of Margaret River in Western Australia, and after a few years working and studying to be a sommelier in wine bars both in the Great Southern and Perth, made the move to Melbourne.
Marcus has spent the best part of 15 years working in high-end restaurants and hotels both across Australia and Asia. His four year stint in Melbourne's Vue de Monde as Head Sommelier set him in good stead to expand his work experience throughout the world as the Wine and Spirit Consultant for the Aman Hotel group based out of Indonesia and Tokyo.
His role transitioned from wine buyer and educator to tractor driver and cellar rat around 2017 as he embarked on a mission to absorb as much knowledge in a short space of time by aligning himself with industry leaders, such as the Quealy family in Balnarring, Victoria and in the German summer of 2018 with Michael Volker of 2Naturkinder, a dogmatic, zero-zero producer, farming biodynamically and making wines with no additions whatsoever.
In more recent times, Marcus has worked through Germany and Australia making wine and has launched his own wine brand "Gonzo Vino" based in Mornington, where he farms 6.5 acres of 30 year old un-grafted vines organically and massages the wines to make the ultimate drink now style. Gonzo Vino is positioned as one of the leaders in boutique, high-end bag-in-box, canned and kegged wines