Dux of the 2016 Len Evans Tutorial is Stuart Hordern

Senior Winemaker at Brokenwood Wines duxes week long Tutorial

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Stuart Hordern, Len Evans Tutorial Dux

Stuart Hordern, Len Evans Tutorial Dux

Len Evans Tutorial Scholars 2016
The late Len Evans, one of Australia's greatest wine ambassadors


The Len Evans Tutorial Dux for 2016 is Stuart Hordern, Senior Winemaker at Brokenwood Wines in the Hunter Valley.

The Len Evans Tutorial itself is also this year’s recipient of the McWilliam’s Maurice O’Shea Award. This prestigious biennial award, first presented in 1990, acknowledges the significant contribution of an individual or company to the Australian Wine Industry. A fitting tribute to mark the 10th anniversary of the passing of Tutorial Founder, Len Evans AO OBE, in 2006.

Stuart becomes only the second Hunter Valley based attendee to dux the week-long Tutorial, following Liz Silkman (nee Jackson) in 2006.

As Dux of the 2016 course, Stuart has now been guaranteed judging positions at two of Australia’s most premier wine shows, the Sydney Royal Wine Show and the National Wine Show in Canberra.

Len Evans Tutorial Trustee, James Halliday noted that Stuart judged exceedingly well across the four varietal sections and was the highest placed scholar on the Shiraz Dissertation.

Stuart will be flown business class to Europe with invitations to the greatest wine houses.

Many of the rarest, oldest, and greatest wines were opened in one extraordinary week when 12 young(ish) Australian wine personnel were put through the sternest and most rewarding tastings of their lives.

Len Evans Tutorial Convener and Tutor, Iain Riggs said: “The Trustees recognise the ongoing need for high calibre Australian wine show judges, and agree that the industry needs, now more than ever, highly-trained professionals to take the premium Australian wine message to a greater audience.

“These are the people at the forefront of grape growing, winemaking and selling premium wine. The dramatic increase in sales of imported wine shows a sophisticated consumer. A better awareness of premium Australian wine and where it sits in relation to imported wine, is essential to the industry getting its message out to the world.”

Scholars from past Tutorials are now gracing the judging benches at all major wine shows across Australia. In the year 2016/17; Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne will all be Chaired by Len Evans Tutorial scholars, who will also lead a number of state and regional wine shows.

Scholars come from the fields of winemaking, viticulture, liquor retailing, restaurant, marketing and journalism.

Twelve fully paid scholarships are offered, each with wine, food and accommodation valued at $10,000. The only cost incurred by the scholars is physically getting to the Hunter Valley.

The Tutors for the 2016 Len Evans Tutorial were: James Halliday, Ian McKenzie, Iain Riggs, Gary Steel, Vanya Cullen, Tom Carson, Tyson Stelzer and Michael Hill Smith.

The 2016 Len Evans Tutorial was held in the Hunter Valley from 31 October to 4 November.


  • Handpicked Wines
  • Sydney Royal Wine Show
  • Brokenwood Wines
  • Leeuwin Estate
  • Australian Vintage Ltd.
  • McWilliam’s Wines
  • Petaluma
  • Shaw and Smith
  • Tahbilk
  • Tyrrell’s Vineyards
  • Tarrawarra Estate
  • Yalumba Wine Company
  • Basil Sellers – Sellers Group
  • Melbourne Wine Awards
  • Dan Murphy’s National Wine Show
  • Riedel The Wine Glass Company
  • Tulloch Wines
  • Torbreck Wines
  • Pepper Tree wines

About the Len Evans Tutorial

In the late Len Evans own words in 2006:

The idea was to seek out, each year, twelve gifted palates who could be further trained as show judges. There was to be no distinction between genders, no limit to age as long as trainees would have a useful show life ahead of them, no allocation to states and no preference given to candidates of the sponsors.

Quite simply, the idea is to further develop the wine-judging skills of the scholars, and by showing them the greatest wines in the world, encourage them to aspire to the development and support of such greatness in Australia. People overseas may not realise that we tend to keep our best wines to ourselves, especially those of small makers. We need to have a much greater culture of site, varietal and clonal selection to do better than we are.

What is most pleasing to me is the discovery of such a well of talent, obsession, knowledge, thirst (for more knowledge) and passion for quality. At the first tutorial I said, rather patronisingly, ‘Though we expect to teach you, I’m sure we will learn a great deal from you’.

How prophetic my words were. How good most of them are. If these people represent the future of the industry, then Australia will develop even further as a great wine nation.

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November 23rd, 2016
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