“The most exclusive wine school in the world.” James Halliday

31st August 2015

The 12 successful applicants for the 15th Len Evans Tutorial, to be held in the Hunter Valley, 2-6th November, have been announced with an extraordinary calibre of scholars including wine and viticulture professionals at the top of their game.

This day, 31st August would have been the 85th birthday of the Tutorial’s founder, Len Evans and seems a fitting day to announce the 15th intake of Scholars.

Each year, the Len Evans Tutorial welcomes some of the most elite professionals in wine, vineyard, hospitality and sales from across Australia to develop their wine appreciation with the nation’s top wine experts over the week in the Hunter Valley.

Many of the greatest, rarest and oldest wines are opened, tasted and scrutinised in this one extraordinary week when 12 young(ish) leaders in their field are put to the sternest and most rewarding wine course of their lives.

2015 Len Evans Tutorial Scholars –

Name Company Position
Marie Clay Wolf Blass Winemaker
Adam Cotterell City Wine Shop Retail Sales & Events Manager
Matt Dunne MorSul Group Sommelier
Patrick Haddock Reserve Wine Bar Owner/Wine Writer-Blogger
Peter Kelly Peter Lehmann Wines Senior Winemaker
Gwyneth Olsen Briar Ridge Vineyard Chief Winemaker/General Manager
Simon Osicka Paul Osicka Wines Winemaker/Viticulturist
Luke Skeer Devil’s Lair Vineyard Senior Winemaker/Winery Manager
Simon Steele Medhurst Wines Winemaker
Liam Van Pelt Chapel Hill Winery Assistant Winemaker
Daniel Swincer Pernod Ricard Winemakers Red Winemaker
James Welsh Stillwater Restaurant/ Sommelier/Co-owner Black Cow Bistro/Mill Providore


The Tutorial program is designed to define the demands of wine show judging and to define quality by exposing the scholars to the great wine styles of the world. A team of five tutors will put the scholars through their paces in what James Halliday described as “the most exclusive wine school in the world.” The tutors include: James Halliday, Ian McKenzie, Iain Riggs, Gary Steel and Michael Hill Smith and guest tutor Tyson Stelzer.

Scholars from the past 14 Tutorials are now gracing the judging benches at all major wine shows across Australia.