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International Cool Climate
Wine Show 2023 
Panel Chairs

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Sarah Andrew DipWSET (hons)

Sarah is currently President of Sommeliers Australia & Chair of their Diversity & Inclusivity (D&I) Committee. Sarah is currently Business Development Manager for WSET Australia & New Zealand, she brings a wealth of both WSET & industry experience to this role.

Sarah also sits on the WSET global external D&I committee & the Association de la Sommelliere D&I working group. 

Sarah began her career in the wine industry in London (2000 - 2004), before relocating to Melbourne in 2005 where she established Selador Wines, a wine distribution business supporting family owned & operated wineries. In 2012 Selador Wines transitioned into a consultancy, offering wineries assistance with their sales, logistics, marketing and business strategy.

Sarah completed the Court of Master Sommelier, Certified Sommelier exams in 2010 & was a candidate for the L’Erudito Lorenzo Galli Scholarship in 2011. Sarah then completed the AWRI Wine Judging Assessment Course & WSET Diploma. Sarah has been a certified educator for the Global WSET since 2013. In 2014 Sarah was awarded the Coonawarra Leaders Award Scholarship, which became her WSET Diploma Honours research project. Sarah has also been accepted into the rigorous Masters of Wine program.

In 2016, Sarah joined Fine Wine Partners as Business Manager of Fine Wine & Education, In this role she was the buyer for the Museum & Rare portfolio of wine and national educator for the international WSET qualifications. Sarah has also been National On-Premise Business Manager’s role with House of Fine Wine, representing premium brands such as Champagne Bollinger & Ayala; Henschke and Villa Maria. 

Sarah is actively involved in various wine & spirit shows around Australia. Details of Sarah’s Judging & Committees below:  




Australian Cool Climate Wine Show (2017 onwards)

Panel Chair Judge

Orange Wine Show (2019)



Orange Wine Show (2018 – 2019)

Australian Cool Climate Wine Show (2014 - 2019)

Victorian Wine Show (2017 -2019)

Daylesford Wine Show (2017 -2018)

Royal Sydney Wine Show (2018 - 2019)

Royal Melbourne Wine Show (2018, 2021)

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Sam Plunkett

Sam began his winemaking career in 1986 as a lad dragging hoses at Tisdall Wines in Echuca, Victoria. Later he took on responsibility for winemaking at the family business Plunkett Wines, a well-known winery in central Victoria. Later The Fowles Family invested in this business and Sam became the Chief Winemaker at Plunkett Fowles.

Today, Sam and his wife Bronwyn head up the team at “Wine by Sam” in Central Victoria, Seymour; having around 8 hectares of their own vines, with access to an additional 53 hectares owned by Alan Plunkett (Sam’s dad). Fruit comes from the Strathbogie Ranges, Heathcote, Pyrenees, Glenrowan & the Yarra Valley.

Sam has won numerous accolades including the first Cool Climate Wine to win the Great Australian Shiraz Challenge Trophy for “Australia’s Best Shiraz”

In 2019 he was voted “Naked Wines” UK Winemaker of the Year – the prize included travel to Chablis to work with Sebastien Christophe at Domaine Christophe. COVID put a hold on the travel, but a virtual collaboration resulted in the release of 2020 Chablis under the Plunkett Christophe brand.

Sam is currently a member of The Viticulture Society of Victoria, is Deputy Chair of The Victorian Wine Show, and sits as a wine industry representative on the Course Advisory Committee for La Trobe University Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences.

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Gill Gordon-Smith IWE

Gill is a renowned educator, wine maker of La Madrina wines and former owner of “Fall From Grace” wine and tasting bar located in the Mclaren Vale region. The tasting bar  is an awarded and well known specialist retail space with a focus on International wines mainly from France and Italy, alternative varieties , organic and biodynamic wines and small local producers. Over 15 years as owner Gill developed a significant following.

In 2016 Gill become Australia’s first Italian Wine Expert, one of only 15 in the world working with Vinitaly as a regular 5-star Panel Chair and teach in Verona for the Italian Wine Academy. Gill also studied with both Ian D’Agata and Professor Attilio Scienza-two of the leading Italian grape authorities and traveled with them regularly to taste and explore native grapes.

Gill developed and led the Wine and Spirit School for TAFESA and lead an exceptional team of wine professionals as head of school, WSET 3 and 4 coordinator, lecturer, and advanced assessor.

In 2017 and 2020 Gill was the WCA Educator of the Year and in 2020 Wine Communicator of the Year. In 2021, Gill was the AWIWA Woman of Inspiration and has been part of the WCA mentor program since its inception.

Summary of Experience

  • IWE in VIA Academy 2016-Verona-Lecturer Italian Wine Academy-Verona

  • Lecturer Flinders University-Wines of the World

  • Certified Specialist of Wine (Society of Wine Educators)

  • French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar and instructor

  • Creative Director Wine Adelaide Food and Wine Festival

  • Committee member Tasting Australia

  • Board Member Adelaide Food and Wine Festival

  • WSET Approved Provider. Advanced Assessor/Educator

  • Co-Ordinator and Senior Lecturer TAFE South Australia –WSET Wine/ Sommelier program

  • Senior Facilitator Qantas  Airways Sommeliers in the Syy program 2006-2009

  • Training over 4000 staff in wine education and service around the world network.

  • Developing, writing, and delivering Wine Education programs to Qantas Cabin crew - First & Business Flight Attendant Qantas Airways

Judging experience

  • Judge Organic Wine Show Sydney 2009 (Max Allen, Vanya Cullen, John Osbeiston)

  • Judge Adelaide Review Hot 100 2010/2011

  • Panel Chair Adelaide review hot 100 2011-14

  • Panel Chair McLaren Vale Wine show 2014

  • Panel Chair Drink Easy Awards 2020-2022

  • Judge 5-star wines Verona 2017, Panel Chair in 2018, 2022, 2023

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