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Steve Webber appointed Royal Melbourne Wine Show chairman of judges

The Royal Melbourne Wine Show, hosted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, has appointed a new chairman of judges, with DeBortoli Yarra Valley chief winemaker, Steve Webber, taking on the role for the next three years. Webber will have his first opportunity to lead the judges at the 2008 Royal Melbourne Wine Show, which will be held in October.

“In previous years the Royal Melbourne Wine Show has been held in August, but this year the event will be held in October – a time that better meets the schedule of Australian winemakers,” said Mark O’Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria.

Judging for the Royal Melbourne Wine Show will take place at the $108 million redeveloped Melbourne Showgrounds over two sessions in October – with the input of an international judge – and the winners will be announced at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show Exhibitor’s Tasting and Awards Presentation luncheon to be held on Friday, 31 October.

Looking forward to leading the judges through to 2010, Webber – who has been an active contributor to the evolution of the Royal Melbourne Wine Show over the past three years as a member of the RASV’s Wine Show Committee – is more than qualified for the role with his outstanding record as a winemaker, wine judge and wine innovator. Webber’s commitment to the industry resulted in him being named the Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year for 2007.

“The RAS is delighted Steve has accepted our invitation to be Chairman of Judges for the next three years and we look forward to working with him and his team to continue improving the Royal Melbourne Wine Show,” said O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan also thanked retiring Chairman of Judges, Chris Pfeiffer, who dedicated six years to the role. “Chris has been an excellent judge for many years and we are pleased he will continue to serve on the RASV's Wine Show Committee,” said O’Sullivan.

The Royal Melbourne Wine Show Committee comprises industry experts including: Stephen Shelmerdine (Chair), Yarra Valley and Heathcote vigneron; Gary Baldwin, WineNetwork Director and Consultant Winemaker; Tony Royal, Winemaker and Portavin Australia Director; Anabel Shears-Carter, Rutherglen wine-grape grower and Presiding Member of the G.I.C.(Geographical Indications Committee) of the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation; Phil Sexton, Yarra Valley Winemaker; Paul Henry, General Manager Marketing, Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation; Chris Pfeiffer, Rutherglen Winemaker and Chairman of the Rutherglen Wine Show; Stephen Spargo RASV Board member; and new Chairman of Judges, Steve Webber.

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