Dear Sommeliers Australia Members,

Many of you will be aware of the article recently published by the New York Times, highlighting the grossly inappropriate actions of some individual Master Sommeliers associated with the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas chapter.

While Sommeliers Australia has no direct partnership with the Court of Master Sommeliers organisation, we as an industry association work alongside the Court of Master Sommeliers Oceania to enhance and further develop the sommelier profession in Australia.

CMS Oceania operates under the auspices of Court of Master Sommeliers Europe, and all Australian Master Sommeliers achieved their MS Diploma via CMS Europe.

Through our professional connections, we call CMS graduates across all qualifications our colleagues, peers and friends, and know how hard each one of them has worked to gain their qualification.

However, in light of the damning allegations stemming from within CMS Americas, the Sommeliers Australia National Executive Committee expresses its shock and disappointment at the actions of the perpetrators involved, and acknowledge the shame that we feel through our professional ‘association’ with these people. We cannot condone any such behaviour as being appropriate, and hope that the allegations are thoroughly investigated and justice is served.

We would like to take this opportunity to advise our members – and the wider hospitality and wine industries – that Sommeliers Australia adopts a zero-tolerance stance against harassment or inequality of any nature.

Sommeliers Australia has a comprehensive Code of Conduct in place which its Committee members nationally, and Sommeliers Australia members representing the association, are bound by.

Over the coming months we will review the current Code of Conduct and look at implementing the acceptance of the association’s Code as a requirement of membership.

If any Sommeliers Australia member feels they need to raise a concern regarding inappropriate behaviour experienced during any Sommeliers Australia activity we urge them to contact our Executive Officer, Ms Imbi Knappstein, to bring the issue to our attention. All concerns will be handled confidentially.

We will continue to monitor the situation involving CMS Americas closely, and respond accordingly.



Sarah Andrew and Chris Crawford
Sommeliers Australia Co-Presidents


Reporting a Concern
If you have a concern about a member representing Sommeliers Australia please contact our Executive Officer, Ms Imbi Knappstein, via:

All concerns will be handled confidentially.