Key Competition Personnel
The key to The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships (CSWWC) might well be its three specialist judges, but it takes more than three people to run a global wine competition.
We have a fourth judge, Simon Stockton, who shadows us, but as our permanent associate judge he does not contribute to the scoring. Associate judging is very much part of the Australian agricultural show regime. Simon’s role is, however, slightly different, as he is a permanent fixture, not one of several associates on a rota. Completing a ‘Mastering Champagne’ Diploma at the University of Reims/Avize Viticampus and became official UK Champagne Ambassador in 2016, he is now privy to tasting the best sparkling wines in the world at the CSWWC every year, so is perfectly qualified to step in if Essi, George or Tom fall ill.
Orsi Szentkiralyi, is our Tasting Quality Control Director. Also from Hungary, Orsi has worked extensively in the trade as a sommelier and in various other roles. This year she is studying at Plumpton College in Sussex. As the Tasting Quality Control Director Orsi shadows the judges one flight behind, opening up at least one bottle of every Bronze, Commended and No Award wines, plus all Silver-graded Deluxe Champagnes to compare against the one judged, searching for any bottle variation. New samples of any suspect wines are assigned a different wine code and fed back into the blind tasting schedule to ensure that they are re-evaluated.
With 20 years’ experience in the wine trade across disciplines as diverse as buying, sales, events and education; our new recruit, Harriet Wright has the broad range of skills necessary as competition steward to coordinate the judges, SWS and Orsi Szentkiralyi throughout the judging process. Passionate about all things sparkling, Harriet gained a distinction in ‘Champagne & Sparkling Wine’ as part of her WSET Diploma and developed a keen interest in the world of English Sparkling whilst teaching at Plumpton College in Sussex. In addition to her role with the CSWWC Harriet works as a freelancer for Decanter magazine
If there is one person without whom this competition would not exist, that is Karl Franz, director of Sensible Wine Services (SWS) who heads up our judging logistics. He and his team unpack, number and log every wine that arrives at their depot, sorting them into flights before transporting them chilled to the judging venue where he pours and serves the wines in numbered glasses. Why are SWS and Karl so good at what they do? Because they have more experience than anyone else on earth, providing logistical support for Decanter’s World Wine Awards and the International Wine and Spirit Competition, to name just two of their very largest clients. They also perform a similar logistics role for a whole raft of major trade tastings.
Rachel Davey is co-director of the CSWWC with Tom. With 13 years’ drinks PR, media and events experience, Rachel has her own communication consultancy working with a number of different premium drinks brands and so is perfectly placed to manage the communications, PR and marketing for the Championships. Rachel also organises the annual Awards Dinner. Her passion for all things effervescent, combined with an incredible attention to detail and superb event management skills make her a bubbly and invaluable member of the team.
Eva Callaghan is the third Hungarian member of the team and the power house in terms of administration. Eva deals with all the day to day enquiries from entrants and other interested parties, logs all the entries, organises invoices and receipts, pays all the bills, sorts out the books and keeps us on the right side of the law when dealing with HMRC!
Roger Jones joins the team as our official ambassador to help promote the World’s largest Sparkling Wine competition. With 40 years in the hospitality business, Roger is a respected Michelin Star Chef, and owns the highly acclaimed restaurant; The Harrow at Little Bedwyn. In addition to the restaurant business, Roger is also a respected wine writer and judge. In recent year’s his ‘Food and Wine Matching’ skills have taken him all over the world working not only with Global bodies like New Zealand Wine Growers, Wine Australia and WOSA but numerous wineries, wine distributors and wine exhibitions. We look forward to working with Roger to promote these great Championships and the great Sparkling brand.
For more information about the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships please telephone: +44 7725118093 or email: For finances or payment logistics contact firstname.lastname@example.org, for all other enquiries contact email@example.com