Who on earth are we?
Brief bio of Jancis
Described by Decanter magazine as 'the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world', Jancis Robinson writes daily for JancisRobinson.com (voted first-ever Wine Website of the Year in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards 2010), weekly for The Financial Times, and bi-monthly for a column that is syndicated around the world. She is also editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine, co-author with Hugh Johnson of The World Atlas of Wine and co-author of Wine Grapes - A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavours, each of these books recognised as a standard reference worldwide.
An award-winning TV presenter, she travels all over the world to conduct wine events and act as a wine judge. In 1984 she was the first person outside the wine trade to pass the rigorous Master of Wine exams and in 2003 she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen, on whose cellar she now advises.
She loves and lives for wine in all its glorious diversity, generally favouring balance and subtlety over sheer mass.
See Jancis Robinson - the long version for more detail.
See Where to find us for details of current events, publications and broadcasts.
See Site history for details of the evolution of JancisRobinson.com
The rest of the team
Julia Harding MW is Jancis's full-time assistant and crucial to maintaining the high editorial standards of this site. See here for full details of her glorious career. As a relatively recent top pass in the punishing Master of Wine exams (she took them in 2003 and passed first time with flying colours, and gained a distinction for her dissertation in 2004), she is particularly up to speed on oenological and viticultural matters and is also prepared to tackle the complexities of wine legislation head on. In 2009 she won a Special Award in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards, she was Portuguese Wine Writer of the Year in 2012 and is co-author, with José Vouillamoz and Jancis, of the multi award-winning Wine Grapes - a complete guide to 1,368 grape varieties including their origins and flavours. She is much in demand as a mentor for Master of Wine students.
Our Italian specialist Walter Speller has worked with Italian wine for many years, including a stint as buyer at the Michelin-starred Le Pont de la Tour in London. Walter has written for us since 2008, and is based in southeast London and Padova in Italy. He also provides a consultancy service to several wine estates, about which you can read on his website.
Our German specialist is Michael Schmidt, who commutes between southern England and the Ahr Valley in Germany. He is an experienced wine judge and educator, and also contributes to the German sections of The World Atlas of Wine and Sotheby's Wine Encyclopaedia.
Ferran Centelles is our Spanish specialist, who was the sommelier at the world-renowned El Bulli for 13 years until its closure. He is also a judge at international wine competitions, he teaches wine at the Barcelona Wine School and has even dabbled in making it himself, on a very small scale.
Alder Yarrow joined the team in October 2011 to provide a regular column on what is currently preoccupying wine-loving Americans. By day he runs a design and strategy consulting firm while by night he is responsible for Vinography.com, the most awarded wine blog anywhere since its inception in 2004. Alder was educated at Stanford and Oxford and lives in San Francisco with his wife and young daughter.
In February 2012 we added another monthly columnist, Alex Hunt MW, renowned for his tasting skills and the principal wine buyer for Berkmann Wine Cellars in London. He contributes a column with a philosophical bent under the title Alex on taste.You can read more about him in Introducing Alex. By coincidence, he was Richard Hemming's mentor when he successfully retook the practical half of the Master of Wine exam, Julia having mentored him through the theory exams.
Our third columnist joined us in August 2013, writing monthly about matters Australian. Max Allen is a highly garlanded writer based in Melbourne, author of several very successful books and regular contributor to a number of print titles, include The Weekend Australian. He has a particular sympathy for organic and biodynamic production and is an accomplished mandolin player to boot.
Other contributors have included Melanie Jones MW of quaffersoffers.co.uk and, in 2008, Victoria Daskal, who reported from around the world while completing her Master's degree under the auspices of the OIV, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine. Luis Guttiérez was our Spanish correspondent until early 2013 and more recently, WSET Diploma graduate Young Shi, who commutes between Shanghai and London, has helped us out with Chinese translations and with some fine tasting.
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