On Sunday 18 August, the Top 3 Finalists of the 2019 Sommeliers Australia Education Scholarship – Bridget Raffal, Mirko Scanu, Penelope Vine – were put to the test in front of a live audience of sommeliers and wine industry professionals at the Gala.

This final test would reveal which one of these talented young sommeliers would take home the title of 2019 Education Scholarship Dux.

During the course of the Education Scholarship, held on 12-14 August, Bridget, Mirko and Penelope each displayed excellent communication skill with a focus on how their understanding of wine allowed them to better tend to the needs of consumers. This was again evident during the final, where they were asked to taste and assess two wines served blind.

Each of the candidates was given 6 minutes to assess the two wines, and were then asked to present their findings to the 80 guests gathered. Sommeliers Australia’s Scholarship Tutors Sarah Andrew, Chris Crawford, Matt Brooke and Liam O’Brien then compared notes and triple checked the final scores. It was a close competition, so this was not an easy task!

Congratulations to Mirko Scanu for being awarded 2019 Sommeliers Australia Education Scholarship Dux!

Mirko’s consistent tasting and wine assessment skill, and his willingness to risk naming varieties, vintages and regions saw him take home the Dux award, $2,000 towards an international wine education trip and a limited edition Amadeo Menta Decanter, thanks to Scholarship Partner RIEDEL.

In addition to the Education Scholarship Dux being announced at the Gala, Sommeliers Australia Co-Presidents Sarah Andrew and Chris Crawford also announced that five lucky Scholars had been offered positions on Wine Australia’s 2020 Sommelier Immersion Programme.

Mirko Scanu, Bridget Raffal, Penelope Vine, Hannah Day and Michela Lubbers have each been awarded the opportunity to take part in this amazing immersion visit programme, with thanks to Education Scholarship Major Partner, Wine Australia.

Sommeliers Australia and our Education Scholarship Partners extend their congratulations to the prize winners, and to each of the Scholars who took part in the challenging Education Scholarship programme. We look forward to seeing these 12 young sommeliers continuing to achieve great things in the world of wine.

Sommeliers Australia would also like to extend its gratitude to our 2019 Education Scholarship Partners, whose contributions have made the 2019 Scholarship programme possible. Without their support we would not have been able to deliver such a diverse tasting programme. Thank you.


Education Scholarship Dux Supporting Partner
Mirko Scanu * One Penny Red Jackson Family Wines
Runners Up    
Bridget Raffal * Sixpenny Restaurant Fesq & Company
Penelope Vine * Cutler & Co. Halliday Wine Companion
Christian Blair Annata Australia’s First Families of Wine
Mark Law Aria De Bortoli
Michela Lubbers * Merivale St Hugo
Marcell Kustos Penfolds Magill Estate
Stan Zheng Frogmore Creek Australia’s First Families of Wine
Alexander Gribble Attica Torbreck
Ellie Ash The Recreation Bistro
& Bottleshop
Jackson Family Wines
Hannah Day * Rosetta Ristorante Australian Women in Wine
Pierre-Marie Caillaud Rockpool Bar & Grill
St Hugo

* Awarded a position on the Wine Australia 2020 Sommelier Immersion Programme


Relaxing before the Finals… Bridget Raffal, Mirko Scanu and Penelope Vine