Charles’ past careers as a tour guide, security guard, freelance cook, investment analyst and opera singer were the perfect preparation for co-founding Britain’s second consumer wine magazine (Wine International) and the International Wine Challenge. He served a 12-year term as drinks expert on Richard & Judy’s ‘This Morning’ and has presented wine and, occasionally, food on many TV shows. He is also a wine consultant to the Corporation of London. His book, ‘The Wine & Food Lover’s Guide to Portugal’, won the Louis Roederer International Wine Writer’s Book Award in 2008.
He is proud to serve as Honorary President of the Association of Wine Educators. Charles often tastes (and spit out, of course) 100 or more wines per day, all over the world. He is based near Gatwick, with a wife, children, two cats and a varying number of chickens, and still sings in the shower, the local village hall and, occasionally, at wine tastings.
Joanna Simon is an award-winning wine writer, presenter and food writer. She is co-founder of The Wine Gang (thewinegang.com), wine expert for House & Garden online, a judge for Decanter World Wine Awards and other competitions (wine, chocolate, photography) and was wine critic of The Sunday Times for 22 years; she was also one of its cookery writers for five years. She presented the BBC Radio 4 series The Bottle Uncorked, has been editor of both Wine and Wine & Spirit magazines and her best-selling books, published all over the world, include Wine With Food, Discovering Wine, Wine An Introduction, The Sunday Times Book of Wine and Harrods Book of Fine Wine. She tweets @joannasimon, instagrams @joannasimon_wine and publishes wine recommendations, fine wine blogs, restaurant reviews and recipes at www.joannasimon.com.
Since 2014, John Stimpfig has been the Content Director at Decanter. Prior to that he was a freelance journalist and contributing editor to Decanter and The Financial Times How To Spend It Magazine. He began writing about wine in 1994 and has also written for the The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, Food & Wine, Wine & Spirit International, Investors Chronicle and numerous other titles. During the course of his career he has won several wine writing accolades including three Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year Awards. He lives in West Oxfordshire with his wife and three children.
Margaret Rand has been writing about wine for 35 years, and has won several Roederer and other awards in that time. She writes features for The World of Fine Wine, Imbibe, Drinks Business, Gourmet Traveller Wine and winesearcher.com, and is general editor of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book, which sells worldwide in several editions each year. She wrote Grapes and Wines (2000, with Oz Clarke), a book widely used by Diploma and MW students. Her latest book, 101 Wines to Try Before you Die, will be published by Octopus in May. She has edited several magazines in the past, notably Wine, and was launch editor of Whisky Magazine; she also edits many books on wine. She judges at the DWWA every year.
Victoria has over twenty years picture editing experience in books & magazines including being Picture Editor of Decanter Magazine for ten years.
Following her MA in Fine art at Chelsea College of Art & Design she has also continued a career as a photographic artist. She has exhibited extensively with work held in numerous collections.
She is now based in Suffolk, where she continues as a freelance picture researcher & running her design business ‘Cluck Cluck’. Victoria has been in charge of the Artistry category for the LRIWWA since 2011.
After graduating from the University of Sheffield, Richard Mayson began his career working for The Wine Society, Britain’s oldest and most respected wine club and won the Vintner’s Company Scholarship in 1987. He specialises in the wines of Iberia (especially fortified wines) and has written five books on wine including The Wines and Vineyards of Portugal (winner of the André Simon Award 2003) Port and the Douro (2013) and Madeira The Islands and their Wines (2015 – short listed for the André Simon Award). Richard is Series Editor for the Infinite Ideas Classic Wine Library. He writes regularly for The World of Fine Wine and Decanter magazine, chairing the Port and Madeira panels in the Decanter World Wine Awards. In 2014 Richard Mayson won the International Wine Feature Writer of the Year from the Louis Roederer Awards.
Richard owns a vineyard near Portalegre in the Alto Alentejo region of Portugal where he is producing three red wines named Pedra Basta, Duas Pedras and Pedra e Alma.
Richard Mayson is a Cavaleiro of the Confraria do Vinho do Porto. He is also Pro-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield.
Ella Lister is co-founder & CEO of Wine Lister, the ground breaking fine wine rating system. After several years’ preparation, www.wine-lister.com was launched in May 2016, and is home to ratings and information on over 2000 fine wines from around the world. The company has grown quickly under Ella’s watch, now with a team of six people. In addition to the scores themselves, and the objective information upon which they are based, Wine Lister also publishes a wealth of analysis on its blog and in the form of in-depth wine region reports.
Originally an investment banker, then strategy consultant to Octavian wine cellars, Ella has been a wine journalist since 2009, specialising in wine market analysis, and also reviewing the world’s finest wines and profiling the people behind them. She is Auctions & Secondary Markets Correspondent for The World of Fine Wine, and also writes for publications such as Decanter and The Financial Times. In 2013 Ella won the Louis Roederer Wine Writer’s Award for Emerging Wine Writer of the Year. Ella has been a judge in the World of Fine Wine Best Wine List Awards, and has spoken at various conferences globally including Vinexpo and the Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Fair.
Ella lives in London, but spends a quarter of her time travelling, mostly to wine regions, where she eats and drinks unreasonably well.