Members of the jury - Dubrovnik FestiWine 2018

Bojan Kobal, Slovenia

President of the Jury

Members of the Jury:

Marin Berovič, Croatia/Slovenia

Franjo Francem, Croatia

Darrel Joseph, Austria/USA

Angela Muir, Great Britain 

Aleksandar Noršić, Croatia

Tihomir Prusina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Quentin Sadler, Great Britain 

Jean Smullen, Ireland

Željko Suhadolnik, Croatia

Lars Torstenston, Sweden

Mira Šemić, Slovenia

Dominique Vrigneau, Great Britain

 

Jury members' biographies

Note: listed alphabetically, following Bojan Kobal's biography

 

Bojan Kobal, Slovenia

President of the Jury

Bojan Kobal was born in 1977 in Ljubljana. He co-owns of one of the largest Slovenian companies distributing wines into China, 'Alpswine', and is also the owner of Kobal winery. Before that, Bojan worked for the famous Slovenian winery 'Ptujska klet', with special emphasis on the production of white wines.

He is also responsible for presentations at wine fairs throughout the world, such as London Wine Fair, Prowein, Vinitaly and many others. Bojan graduated from the Biotechnical Faculty in Ljubljana, with specialization in oenology.

He worked with Angela Muir (MW) as well as with New Zealand and Australian wine producers. He holds an official license for judging of wines and spirits and participates regularly at numerous international competitions such as Vino Slovenia, Ljubljana, Muvina Presov, AWC Wien Master Tasting and Michelangelo Wine Awards.  Bojan has won 18 championship titles at some of the leading wine competitions in the world, as well as more than 250 golden and silver medals. 

 

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Members of the Jury:

Marin Berovič, Croatia/Slovenia

Marin Berovič is biotechnology and bioprocess engineer. He graduated from the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology in Ljubljana, Slovenia. As a wine lover and writer for the “Vine”, “5 Star”, “Polet”, “Svijet u čaši” and “Dobar tek” magazines, he has been the judge and member of wine tasting juries at many wine competitions such as: Concours Mondial de Bruxelles International, Mundus vini Germany, Zarcillo, Spain, Muvina Slovakia, Vinalies Paris France, and many others.

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Franjo Francem, Croatia

Franjo Francem started his career in PIK Đakovo, food and agriculture industries, continued it in Badel 1862 and Agrokor and has held out a number of positions such as: main oenologist, production and development manager, project manager, etc. He is one of the founders and vice-president of the Croatian Sommelier Club. He also initiated and founded the Croatian Society of Enologists, over which he presided for a number of years. He is member of the Union Internationale des Oenologues. Mr. Francem has organized many educational programs, courses and workshops for oenologists, sommeliers and wine enthusiasts as well as a number of regional and national sommelier championships. He launched the Wine Academy, which had more than 2500 participants in several different programs in only three years. He is a certified taster with an extensive experience and has participated in numerous wine competitions in Croatia and in the most prestigious international competitions in Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, the USA and Israel.

 

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Darrel Joseph, Austria/United States of America

Darrel Joseph is based in Vienna, Austria, and writes about the wines and wine regions of Central and Eastern Europe for various publications, such as Decanter, Decanter.com and Harpers Wine & Spirit in the UK, Meininger's Wine Business International in Germany andwine-searcher.com. His work has also been published in the Wine Spectator in the United States, Vinum in Switzerland and Germany, VinCE in Hungary, and he has contributed to Hugh Johnson´s Pocket Wine Book (the UK).He is editor of the English version of the book "Tokaj, The Wine of Freedom", by Lászlo Alkonyi. In addition to writing,Darrelparticipates as judge in many international wine tastings and competitions, including the renowned Decanter World Wine Awards in London. He has also judged wines in a number of other competitions, such as the Berlin Wine Trophy and Mundus Vini in Germany, the Asia Wine Trophy in South Korea,Concours Mondial de Bruxelles,Vinistra in Croatia and the Austrian Wine Challenge in Vienna.He is also member of the wine jury for Gault & Millau, Austria.Darrelholds wine tastings and presentations for wine clubs, wine schools, businesses and private clients throughout Europe. He is the member of the Circle of Wine Writers in the United Kingdom.

 

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Angela Muir, Great Britain 

Angela Muir has been in the wine business since 1970. During that time she has sold and marketed wine, bought it for a major national UK wholesaler and retailer, and helped her clients throughout Europe and South America make, select and export it. She passed her Master of Wine examinations in 1980 and has since helped many other elite students to follow the same course. For 14 years she was chairman of the judges for Central and Eastern Europe and Croatia for Decanter Wine Magazine and has also served on the jury of Croatia’s own national wine competition. She continues to take an interest in the development of the wine Industry throughout central and Eastern Europe and has a particularly soft spot for the countries of former Yugoslavia which she believes have enormous quality potential.

 

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Aleksandar Noršić, Croatia

Aleksandar Noršić is a development manager of Restaurant, Wine & Bar operations with an outstanding record and experience in top award winning companies such as Grand Circle Travel, Celebrity Cruises and Valamar Hotels & Resorts. He has expertise in leadership coaching and mentoring, training and development, financial management in a continuously changing environment, public speaking and total guest satisfaction. He is a wine educator certified by the United States Association Wine School, where he obtained his Intermediate and Advanced certificates. He is co-owner of Otto & Frank Bar and the consultancy company Tom Tom Gornji Grad in Zagreb. He currently works as the Corporate Manager of F&B Operations at the Apollo Group. 

 

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Tihomir Prusina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tihomir Prusina was born on July 23, 1960 in Hamzići, Municipality of Čitluk, Bosnia and
Herzegovina. He graduated in 1985 from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of
Zagreb. After obtaining his Masters degree in 2004, he defended his doctoral dissertation
“Influence of autochthonous Saccharomyces cervisiae strains on the quality of the Žilavka
wine in 2011 at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Zagreb. He has worked full-time
in the Čitluk Winery d.d. since 1985 where he is currently the production manager and the
main enologist. He is the member of the Croatian Society of Enologists. For more than 20
years he has participated in national and international wine competitions. Since the academic
year 1997/1998, Tihomir has been teaching several courses at the Faculty of Agricultural
Sciences in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (such as Winemaking, Wine Technology, etc.)
first as the teaching assistant and today as assistant professor. He has published several
research articles dealing with autochthonous cultivars Žilavka and Blatina.

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Quentin Sadler, Great Britain

Quentin Sadler is a wine educator and consultant. He is a member of The Association of Wine Educators, The Circle of Wine Writers, FIJEV (Fédération Internationale des Journalistes et Écrivains des Vins et Spiritueaux), and an Associate of The Institute of Wines and Spirits. Amongst many other things, he writes for the Quentin Sadlers Wine Page and Catavino.net. He is a regular judge at international wine competitions.

He also teaches and trains, presents to all sectors of the UK trade, at WSET courses, organises and leads courses and tastings for interested consumers and is much in demand as a speaker.

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Jean Smullen, Ireland

Jean is a wine journalist and broadcaster and her work includes TV:  RTE 4 Live;  Radio: Newstalk (Moncrieff). Publications: ITrade: Retail Newsand Licencing World; National press:  Sunday World (Ireland’s biggest selling Sunday newspaper).  In the UK,  Jean writes for Chef magazine and is also a Member of the Circle of Wine Writers. Jean has been working in the wine industry in Ireland for 27 years and has comprehensive commercial experience.  She began her wine career in 1991 with the Wine Development Board where she was instrumental in the development of a countrywide wine education programme.  Since 1999 she has been working in a freelance capacity offering a unique consultancy service to the wine trade. Her client list includes: C.I.V.B. (Counseil Inter-professionnel du Vin de Bordeaux); Cru Classes de Graves;  EXCAL (Exportaciones de Castilla y Leon, SA);  Family of 12 (New Zealand);  Le Sud (Wineries from the South of France); I.C.E.X. (Spain); InterBeaujolais; Italian Trade Commission;  Instituto de Formento Region of Murcia (I.N.T.O.);  Provins Valais (Swiss Wines);  New Zealand Wines;  Wine Australia; Wines of Argentina; Wines of Chile, Wines of Luxembourg;  Wines of South Africa,  Syndicate de Cru Bourgeois du Medoc;  Wines of Uruguay and Viniportugal.

As well as her work in Ireland, Jean has been judging international wine competitions since 2006.

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Željko Suhadolnik, Croatia

Željko Suhadolnik was born in October 1946 in Zagreb. Željko likes to call himself a “late harvest, Spätlese, vendemmia tardiva, vendange tardive kind of person.”He lives in Zagreb and is a journalist by profession. He studied Italian and French in Zagreb, where he graduated from the University of Humanities and Social Sciences. He is proficient in English, Italian, French and German. He started his career as a journalist in the 1960’s, as an associate at Izbor magazine, a publication issued by Vjesnik.He was later an associate for the Studio weekly magazine, and worked in Vjesnik Press Agency. In 1975 he started working for the popular weekly magazine Vikend, where he contributed articles for the tourism and wine column. He was the editor of Vikend magazine until the end of 1991. In 1992, together with his colleague and friend Mladen Horić, he founded a magazine for wine, gastronomy and tourism called Svijet u čaši (World in a Glass). He is still editor-in-chief of this magazine. He has participated several times as a wine taster and judge at various wine-related events and competition such as Vinistra, Zagreb County Wine Competition, Vino competition in Ljubljana and Vinitaly in Verona. He regularly participates at Dubrovnik FestiWine, Portugieser du Monde in Pecs, Emozioni dal Mondo: Merlot e Cabernet insieme in Bergamo, Vinitaly in Verona, Mundus Vini in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, and Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.

 

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Mira Šemić, Slovenia

Mira Šemić is a distinguished sommelier from Slovenia who found her passion for wine thirty years ago. Throughout her long career, she has visited all the leading wine regions of the world. In 1995 she opened the prestigious Monroe restaurant in the heart of Ljubljana, which at the time constituted a breakthrough in the gastronomy of Slovenia. In 2003, in addition to organizing a number of presentations and workshops at the wine shop 'Gallery of art and wine', she collaborated with many artists and musicians.
She is very familiar with the wines of Australia and New Zealand. Mira graduated from WSET (Wine and Spirit Educational Trust) in London, one of the most famous international wine programs. She runs the 'Little wine school' in Ljubljana, has organized several workshops and education programs throughout the world, and is an associate for various Slovenian newspapers. Also, Mira provides consultancy services for various food and beverage establishments regarding wine selections and staff education.

 

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Lars Torstenston, Sweden

Lars Torstenson was born in Sweden. He studied journalism and pursued this career for some years. He moved to France in 1988 to become a winemaker. He worked as winemaker and manager of the Domaine Rabiega/Clos Dière estate in the period 1988-2005, as winemaker at Château d’Esclans in the period 1995-2003, and as manager and winemaker at Rabiega Negociant (1995-2005). Since 2016 he has worked as a consultant for the wine market and continues to work for a number of winemakers in France, Spain, Italy, US, Argentina, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and even Sweden. Lars is the recipient of the “Vigneron de l’année” Award by Gault&Millau as well as three prestigious stars by Betanne&Dessauve for the Domaine Rabiega wine estate. He has been awarded many other prizes in France and other countries as well. He authored several wine books and guides, which were published in Sweden and Denmark.

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Dominique Vrigneau, Great Britain

Dominique Vrigneau joined Majestic on a work experience placement in 1986 after completing a five-year PhD in agriculture and oenology in France. He was soon promoted to the position of buying manager, and in 1991 he joined Thierry’s Wine Services after a chance encounter with founder Thierry Cabanne. He became the company’s buying director and worked extensively with French, Argentinian, Chilean, South African and Austrian producers for over 20 years. In November 2012 Vrigneau moved to a new venture, Watermill Wines, and now combines his buying capabilities with selling to key accounts. Vrigneau is a Chevalier du Tastevin and has judged in international competitions for many years.

 

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DID YOU KNOW?

That dubrovačka malvasija is mentioned in the decision of the Grand Chamber from 1383.
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