New Zealand Winegrowers and Sommeliers Australia are pleased to announce the three successful Australian sommeliers chosen to participate in the 2019 New Zealand Winegrowers International Sommelier Scholarship.

Congratulations to:

  • Ashlyn Foster, Quay (NSW)
  • Bhatia Dheeraj, Est. (NSW)
  • Wiremu Andrews, Pt. Leo Estate & Laura Restaurants (VIC)


Ashlyn, Bhatia and Wiremu will be joined by 11 international sommeliers, from Asia, Canada, Europe, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the USA.

Hosted by Master of Wine Stephen Wong, and Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas, Sommit™ 2019 will be held in Northland, the country’s northernmost, and most spectacularly coastal, wine region. 2019 also marks the 200 year anniversary of the first planting of grapevines in New Zealand. Reverend Samuel Marsden records 25 September 1819 as the day he planted a vine in the rich grounds of the Stone Store, Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands.

Sommit™ Northland will take place on the two days immediately prior to the anniversary, on 23 and 24 September, and will be an incredibly special Sommit™, exploring the regions, varieties, landscapes and personalities that make New Zealand wine extraordinary, 200 years on.

The experience remains 100% sommelier-exclusive, with the full day masterclass being a closed-door session. The discussion on the day will be informed organically, by what is tasted in the glass. The sommelier guests will then head to Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, and finally, Central Otago.

“Sommit™ is like no other experience for a sommelier,” says New Zealand Winegrowers’ Market Implementation & Education Manager, Felicity Turner. “It is an opportunity to taste amongst international peers, in the most astonishing New Zealand surrounds, and completely closed door. No winemakers, no wine marketers, just on-premise industry professionals tasting, discussing and debating without agenda. It’s a truly unique experience for our guests.”


The 14 successful international sommeliers are:


  • Delphin Duan, Edition Hotels (China)
  • Toshimichi Okamura, The Ritz-Carlton (Japan)


  • Ashlyn Foster, Quay (NSW)
  • Bhatia Dheeraj, est. (NSW)
  • Wiremu Andrews, Pt. Leo Estate & Laura Restaurants (VIC)


  • Brad Royale, Brad Royale Consulting (Alberta & BC)

UK & Europe

  • Jacqueline Doucette, Geranium (Denmark)
  • Julia Sewell, Hide (England)
  • Philip Dunne, The Westbury Hotel (Ireland)

United Arab Emirates

  • Amit Chavan, Hakkasan


  • Andrew Pettingell, Otium (Los Angeles)
  • Chris Struck, Union Square Café (New York)
  • Ezra Wicks, Bar Ferdinand (Seattle)
  • Jonathan Lopez, The Milling Room (New York)


To date, the programme has hosted six Sommit™ events, for 97 Sommiteers, from 16 countries.