The 17th Len Evans Tutorial was held recently in the Hunter Valley from 6th November to 10th November 2017. The Basil Sellers Prize for Dux went to Julian Grounds, Head Winemaker/General Manager at Margaret River winery McHenry Hohnen.

As Dux of the 2017 course, Julian has now been guaranteed judging positions at two of Australia’s most premier wine shows, the Sydney Royal Wine Show and the National Wine Show in Canberra.

Len Evans Tutorial Trustee James Halliday noted that Julian judged exceedingly well across the four varietal sections and was the equal highest placed scholar on the Riesling Dissertation.

Julian will be flown business class to Europe with invitations to the greatest wine houses.

Many of the rarest, oldest, and greatest wines were opened on one extraordinary week when 12 young(ish) Australian wine personnel were put through the sternest and most rewarding tastings of their lives. Rarities included two wines from legendary winemaker Maurice O’Shea; a 1954 Mount Pleasant Light Dry White Riesling L54/15, a 1947 Mount Pleasant Henry 111 Dry Red and a 1917 Seppeltsfield Para Liqueur Tawny drawn from cask.

Len Evans Tutorial Convener and Tutor, Iain Riggs said: “The Trustees recognise the ongoing need for high calibre Australian wine show judges, and agree that the industry needs, now more than ever, highly-trained professionals to take the premium Australian wine message to a great audience.

“These are the people at the forefront of grape growing, winemaking and selling premium wine. The dramatic increase in sales of imported wine, shows a sophisticated consumer. A better awareness of premium Australian wine and where it sits in relation to imported wine, is essential to the industry getting its message out to the world.”

Scholars from past Tutorials are now gracing the judging benches at all major wine shows across Australia. In the year 2017/18; Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Hobart, will all be Chaired by Len Evans Tutorial scholars, who will also lead a number of state and regional wine shows. Scholars come from the fields of winemaking, viticulture, liquor retailing, restaurant, marketing and journalism.

In a new collaboration, the Len Evans Tutorial is working with the Institute of Masters of Wine in promoting the MW Introductory Course held in Adelaide. The Institute has generously provided flights, accommodation and covered the cost of attending. The inaugural recipient of this is Kavita Faiella, brand ambassador for Shaw and Smith, who impressed the Tutors throughout the week with her tasting ability and participation.

This year the Tutorial also welcomed Antipodes Water as a sponsor and thank them for the welcome supply of water.

Twelve fully paid scholarships are offered, each with wine, food and accommodation valued at $10,000. The only cost incurred by the scholars is physically getting to the Hunter Valley.

The Tutors for the 2017 Len Evans Tutorial were:

James Halliday, Ian McKenzie, Iain Riggs, Gary Steel, Samantha Connew, Randall
Pollard and Tyson Stelzer.


Handpicked Wines
Sydney Royal Wine Show
Brokenwood Wines
Leeuwin Estate
Australian Vintage Ltd.
McWilliam’s Wines
Shaw and Smith
Antipodes Water
Tyrrell’s Vineyard
Yarra Yering / Kaesler
Yalumba Wine Company
Basil Sellers – Sellers Group
Melbourne Wine Awards
Dan Murphy’s National Wine Show
Riedel The Wine Glass Company
Tulloch Wines
Torbreck Wines
Pepper Tree Wines

Additional information and interviews:
Iain Riggs is available for comment on 0408 685 069.