Meet the Team
Jane Skilton, Master of Wine
Jane has visited vineyards in Alsace, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Cognac, Jerez, Rioja, Douro, Austria, Alto Adige, Tuscany, Sicily, California, Oregon, Washington State, Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, NSW and China. Not forgetting England. And of course New Zealand.
Jane enjoys judging both national and international wine shows and has been a guest international judge in Rutherglen, Brisbane, Margaret River, Limestone Coast, Cowra, Hobart, Shanghai, Chengdu, Beijing, and London. She is the co-editor of the Independent Wine Monthly and contributes to a number of other wine publications both in New Zealand and overseas.
She loves all wines, especially gewürztraminer, Sherry, Madeira and Champagne, though is not overly fond of cabernet franc.
Ronald Wortel, Lead Diploma Level 4 Tutor
In addition to teaching, Ronald writes for the leading Dutch wine magazine PersWijn and travels extensively to wine regions around the world, either for upcoming articles or for his own education. His travels have brought him to France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Portugal, England, Australia, Chile, Argentina and of course New Zealand. He has a special love for Sherry and Port, as well as for all things sparkling and German Riesling.
Ronald is currently posted to Oman from where he runs the NZSWS Diploma online teaching programme.
Josh Pointon, Tutor Wellington
His current business, Noble Rot Wine Bar, in which he is a co-founder & owner, has been awarded the Negociants New Zealand Best Wine Experience Award in the Cuisine Food Awards for the past two years and is recognised as one of the best places to enjoy wine in New Zealand. Josh has an interest in all wine with a particular love for New Zealand & Spain.
Maciej Zimny, Tutor Wellington
Maciej is a Court of Master Sommeliers Certified Sommelier and winner of the 2015 New Zealand Sommelier of the Year. In 2017 he travelled to China to compete in the One Belt One Road International Sommelier Summit and Competition & was part of the winning team. Maciej also won the 2018 Family of XII Tutorial Institute of Masters Of Wine Prize. Maciej established, with Josh Pointon, Noble Rot Wine Bar which has received many awards including Negociants New Zealand Best Wine Experience in the Cuisine Food Awards for the past three years.
Sophie Parker-Thompson, Master of Wine Tutor South Island
Since 2011 she has resided in Marlborough where she lives with her husband Matt, a well-respected winemaker. They launched their premium small-batch winery venture, Blank Canvas, in 2013 which they own and operate as a husband and wife team. Sophie also takes an active role in their consultancy business which takes them to Europe multiple times a year as well as for vintage. Zealously into wine, they love collecting and sharing wines from all over the world. Sophie is not afraid to admit she is a major wine geek and loves nothing more than discussing and learning about wine, as well as of course drinking it.