9TH BIWCF 2020
28-30 MAY, BELGRADE
BALKAN WINE COMPETITION

11-13 JUNE, SOFIA
BALKAN WINE FESTIVAL
NDK, OPEN AIR FESTIVAL
9TH BIWCF 2020
28-30 MAY, BELGRADE
BALKAN WINE COMPETITION

11-13 JUNE, SOFIA
BALKAN WINE FESTIVAL
NDK, OPEN AIR FESTIVAL

// Judges 2020

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Konstantinos Lazarakis MW

BIWC Chairman, Greece
Konstantinos Lazarakis MW

After studying jazz guitar and mechanical engineering on the National & Technical University of Athens, I became Sommelier of Jajazzo Restaurant in Athens - the first restaurant in Greece to hire a full time sommelier and the first to be awarded a Michelin star.
Now I work as an Imports Manager and Wine Buyer in AIOLOS ltd and the Managing Director of Wine and Spirits Professional Consultants that run WSET courses in Greece.
In the last two years I have been involved in wine writing and wine journalism and I now write for four Greek publications as well as having 'Wines of Greece' published as a part of the Mitchell Beazley Classic Wine Library in Sept. 2005. In addition, I consult for wine producers, hotels and restaurants.

Count John Salvi MW

United Kingdom/ France
Count John Salvi MW

Count John Salvi is an English Master of Wine who has lived for the last 35 years in Bordeaux.  He is also an oenologist who studied under the famous Professor Peynaud at Bordeaux University.

After 40 years in the wine trade as negociant, shipper, wine-maker and professional taster, he now devotes his time to sharing his great knowledge with wine-lovers.  Apart from travelling extensively to the many vineyard areas of the world, where he is much in demand as judge, consultant and taster, he accompanies and guides the wine-tours of his wife Nellie Salvi’s company Vino Fino.  John lives in Margaux, in the Medoc, not five minutes from Chateau Margaux, and was involved with Chateau Palmer for 40 years.

he is a professional wine-writer and journalist, a member of the British Circle of Wine Writers, founder and committee member of the Federation Internationale des Journalistes et Ecrivains de Vin (Brussels), member of the Association Francaise des Jounalistes et Ecrivains de Vin (Paris), member of the Senior Livery of the Worshipful Company of Vintners (Great Britain), member of the Institute of Masters of Wine (London), and represents Great Britain at the International Union of Oenologists.

Passionate about food and wine, especially the marriage of food and wine without snobbery or mysticism, he is also a member of the French Institute of Gastronomy, The Association Française pour la Gastronomie et le Tourisme (Paris), and the Association des Informateurs et Chroniqueurs dans le Domaine de la Gastronomie et du Vin (APCIG, Paris).

Andreas Wickhoff MW

Austria
Andreas Wickhoff MW

Commencing with vintage 2016, Andreas Wickhoff MW has been General Manager at Weingut Bründlmayer in Austria's Kamptal and oversees, along with Willi Bründlmayer, all operations for the estate. Before that, he was for many years managing director for a group of premium wineries from Austria. Ahead of establishing the association in 2004, he worked as a sommelier and wine buyer in Corsica, France and Vail, CO, USA. Andreas is a graduate of the College of Tourism and Hotel Management in Bad Gleichenberg, Austria, and completed a degree in Food & Hospitality Management at Martin College in Brisbane, AUS. Upon receiving his Master of Wine title in 2012, Andreas won four awards for excellence in particular areas of the exam.

Horia Hasnas

Romania
Horia Hasnas

Journalist starting with 1993, Horia has worked in a variety of roles, mainly in newspapers but also in television, as a reporter, editor, columnist and commentator. His journey through the wine world started in a natural manner: as wine lover and collector. His love for written stories and also for fine wines led him to the decision of starting a wine blog named “Vindinpresa” but the decisive step was made in January 2011 when he got his break as a wine writer - editor of “Vinul.Ro” magazine, which is the main publication in Romania dedicated to wine, wine producers and wine-savvy readers. Playing the editorial role by pairing suggestions and culinary trends, showcasing wine as an indispensable companion at the table, probing interviews and critical reviews he gain an extensive expertise by regularly participating in wine-tasting, national and international wine fairs and festivals and being member of wine-juries.

Evangelos Beris, Ph.D.

Greece
Evangelos Beris, Ph.D.

Evangelos Beris holds a Ph.D. in Viticulture, M.Sc. in Biology and WSET Advanced. Since 2014, he is teaching as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Oenology & Beverage Technology of Athens University of Applied Sciences (TEI of Athens), both at the Under-graduate course (B.Sc., in Oenology & Beverage Technology) and the Post-graduate programme (M.Sc., in Wine and Beer Science).

He is the Director of the study programme: “Viticulture & Oenology” at IEK Praxis in Athens. Moreover, he has been working for several years as a Seminar Instructor and a Consultant of Viticulture, Wine Production and Wine Tourism. He has recently been consulting and collaborating with Estate Argyros (Santorini - Greece).

Ivana Simjanovska

North Macedonia
Ivana Simjanovska

Ivana has been part of the wine trade since 2007, beginning as one of the co-founders and members of the board of the first Macedonian Wine Club, organizing wine tasting events and promoting wine culture in Macedonia, followed by co-authoring and publishing of the first Macedonian Wine Guide 2011 along with Dave Vlam and the second edition of MWG 2014 with Paul Caputo.

Today, Ivana is an international wine writer, critic and wine judge, having participated at some of the most prestigious wine competitions in Europe. She has also lectured on specialised subjects promoting Macedonian wines at numerous wine festivals and fairs throughout Europe.

Along with contributing to several magazines and wine publications she is also editor-in-chief of www.vino.mk, Macedonia's first online wine magazine, is a #winelover ambassador and works as Wine Tourism Specialist at Macedonia Experience. Ivana maintains a personal blog www.ivanasimjanovska.com and as of 2013 has been pursuing her Masters Degree in Enology at the Insitute of Agriculture in Skopje.

Dashamir Elezi

Albania
Dashamir Elezi

Dashamir Elezi holds a Master in Civil and Trade Right. He is a Master Sommelier since 2003 and President of Albanian Sommeliers Association. Member of International Jury of contest ‘’Best Italian Sommelier ASPI’’ - Milano November 2017, Member of Jury of the Albanian Wine Contest 2014, Member of International Jury of European Sommeliers Contest organized to Sanremo-Montecarlo 2013, Member of International Jury in the World Contest of Sommeliers - Tokio 2013. Since 2015 he is cofounder and CEO of Wine shpk company. 

Dashamir holds a license from Ministry of Work and Social Affair for professional training for sommeliers and winemakers.

Joel Rochard

France
Joel Rochard

Joël Rochard is an agricultural engineer and oenologist. In parallel to his research activity, he is also a winegrower in Champagne. After working for the Champagne Committee, he created in 1997 the national sustainable development centre of the Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin (French Vine and Wine Institute). As an expert for the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), he regularly gives lectures in many wine-producing countries and participates in various international training courses.

A specialist in sparkling wines, he has published several books on winemaking and tasting. He has also published several books on terroirs, landscapes and the application of sustainable development in the world. He is a regular contributor as a journalist to various technical journals, particularly on themes related to sustainable development: biodiversity, climate change adaptation, greenhouse effect reduction, eco-design of cellars and the heritage of the wine sector. He regularly participates in various international wine tasting competitions. 

Tomislav Ivanovic

Serbia
Tomislav Ivanovic

Tomislav Ivanovic is a WSET3 certified wine writer, wine critic and contributor to selected printed and online wine magazines. Author and editor-in-chief of website www.vinopedia.rs. Juror in national and international wine competitions. Lecturing about wines of Serbia and the Balkans. Local partner of Wine Mosaic organization. Co-founder of International Prokupac Day. Winner of Millesima Blog Award 2016, finalist of Born Digital Blog Award 2018, Wine Personality of the Year 2016 in Serbia.  

Đurđa Katić

Serbia
Đurđa Katić

Đurđa Katić has a PhD in Viticulture and Wine. She is a graduate in Marketing and Management in Marketing from Cambridge Business Academy.

She is an advanced level sommelier with numbers of  prizes from various Sommelier Championships and a member of the Marketing Board of ASI (World Sommelier Association). From 2013 to 2017 she has worked as a consultant in Plantaze 13 jul. - Montenegro, Imperator and Aleksic – Serbia.

Founder and manager in WineLady Co. – wine trade and consulting. Judge at numerous international wine competitions.

Martin Smid

Czech Republic
Martin Smid

For the past eighteen years Martin has been working as a Head Sommelier and lately Business manager for Znovín Znojmo winery in the Czech Republic, located in the Znojmo wine region. 

He graduated at the high school of  Technology in the field of beer, wine and spirit production (Czech Republic).

He finished WSET ( Wine and Spirit Education Trust, London ) on the level  “Diploma in wines and spirits” and gained the “Weinakademiker“ grade at Weinakademie Österreich in Austria. He is a holder of International taster certificate (ISO) and an experienced wine-taster. Martin took part in competitions in the Czech Republic as well as International competitions,

Bartolomeo Roberto Lepori

Italia
Bartolomeo Roberto Lepori

Bartolomeo Roberto Lepori is a Food and wine journalist for various trade magazines and TV-Network.

Sommelier Masterclass from the Italian Sommelier Association. 

International Wine Judge. Member of Enoclub Siena and speaker of the "Sangiovese Purosangue Event”. Relator at the "Inycon Wine Festival" - Menfi (Sicily). 

Wine Educator and Food and Wine Specialist Communicator in various International Conferences and Wine Ceremonies. Editor of the "Wines from Extreme Lands" guide;

Vesna Marash

Montenegro
Vesna Marash

Prof. dr Vesna Maras finished her doctoral dissertation entitled "Ampelographic characteristics of the variety of the grapevine cultivar in Montenegro" at the Faculty of Agriculture in Belgrade in 2000 and completed her postdoctoral studies in the field of viticulture in 2017 (ICVV, Logroño, La Rioha, Spain). From 1992 to 2004 she was working at the Agricultural Institute in Podgorica, today's Biotechnical Faculty (University of Montenegro). She has published about 100 scientific and professional papers in international and national journals. She has directed and participated in numerous national and international projects. She was one of the organiser of the First International Conference on Vranac and other Montenegrin autochthonous varieties in 2017 in Podgorica. 

Since 2004, she has been the Director of Development in the company 13. Jul Plantaze, the leader in grape and wine production in Montenegro but in region also. Authorized wine taster on the list of wine tasters of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro, judge at prestigious wine competitions.

Mehmet Emin Türkat

Turkey
Mehmet Emin Türkat

Mehmet Emin Türkat DipWSET is a wine merchant in Turkey. He is running his own wholesale company, Matara Wine Cellar, since 2012. Matara market and sell wines of the prominent Turkish wineries as well as import fine wines throughout the Aegean Region of Turkey.

He is the founder of the Aegean Wine & Spirits Ademy, an institution to study wine. Mehmet is engaged in wine educations, trainings, wine tastings and event management in the academy.

Together with his enthusiastic friends, he is also one of the founding members of the Turkish Society of Wine Experts & Educators. In addition to these occupations, he is a full time judge in the International Wine Challenge and judged twice in the Thessaloniki International Wine Competition as well.