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Our team

Our team of highly respected wine experts have gained their skills both here in Australia and in countries around the globe.
They draw from their experience as wine makers, wine authors, wine judges, sommeliers and entrepreneurs to deliver engaging, inspiring and rewarding learning experiences.  They are excited to share their knowledge with those who have a passion for wine and the wine industry.

Clive Hartley DipWSET

Wine educator, sommelier and wine writer

A seasoned author, wine writer, sommelier, wine judge and professional wine educator, Clive Hartley has been instrumental in the development of wine education at the Northern Sydney Institute.

A member of the Australian Wine Communicators and honorary member of the Australian Sommeliers Association, Clive has specialised in Australian and Italian wines educating both sommeliers and consumers, as well as advising retailers on importing wines.

Clive successfully developed the Introductory and Advanced Italian Wine Courses and in 2007 established the Sydney Wine Academy and introduced Wine and Spirit Education Courses (WSET) at TAFE NSW Ryde.

Clive also has a regular column 'Wine Tutor' in Australia's Winestate Magazine and he is the author of the Australian Wine Guide. He boasts extensive experience judging wine shows, including the Verona International Wine Competition, the NSW Wine Awards, Australian and New Zealand Organic Wine Show and Griffith Wine Show. He has travelled to numerous wine regions across the globe.

Clive holds the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits and both a Diploma and Degree in Education. He was also nominated for the Drinks Trade Magazine most influential liquor identities of the past 21 years. 

Philip Reedman M.W.

Master of Wine, consultant in international wine marketing

Philip Reedman began his wine trade career working as a wine waiter at a busy Nottingham restaurant. Wanting to learn more about wine he joined Vintage Wines in Nottingham as a general trainee during which he passed the WSET Higher Certificate. Keen to continue learning about wine Phil undertook working a series of vintages; 1986 in Alsace with Hugel, 1987 at Saltram in the Barossa Valley and finally the 1988 vintage at Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas in the Douro. In 1990 Phil passed the WSET Diploma with honours and was the winner of both the Burgundy and the Vinho Verde scholarships.

Inspired by the WSET courses Phil continued to study wine joining the Master of Wine program in 1991. While studying Phil worked for Australian Wine Agencies in London, a pioneer importer of premium Australian wines from small and medium sized wineries across Australia.

In 1998 Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer recruited Phil as Senior Product Development Manager to be based in Australia sourcing wines from Australia and New Zealand. During the nine years Phil was with Tesco he also sourced wines from California and South America, producing many medal and trophy winning wines for Tesco’s own-label program.

In 2007 Phil established his own business working with wineries, brand owners and importers with the mission “Helping you sell more wine”. As well as teaching WSET Diploma at The Sydney Wine Academy Phil maintains his education links with the Masters of Wine in his role as mentor to aspiring MWs. Phil is a regular wine show judge at shows in Australia and overseas and a contributor to various wine industry publications in Australia and New Zealand.  

Alison Eisermann Ctercteko M.W.

Master of Wine, wine maker, wine judge and wine educator

For the past 10 years Alison has been making wine for a range of clients as well as managing a large commercial vineyard and judging wine throughout Australia. Alison has also had experience judging at the International Wine Challenge in London and has recently returned from the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Alison is an approved WSET internal assessor for the Sydney Wine Academy. Alison also has tertiary qualifications in winemaking, viticulture, biochemistry, microbiology, workplace assessment and is an experienced trainer and educator.

In 2013 Alison became Australia's 19th Master of Wine. The title of Alison’s successful dissertation was ‘Monitoring the incidence and nature of screwcap closure damage, its effect on aromatic wine quality and the implications for storage and handling: an investigation of Sauvignon Blanc.’

Michael Palij M.W

Teacher, an author, an entrepreneur, and the world’s leading specialist on emerging Italian fine wines

A Canadian, Michael emigrated to the UK in 1989 after reading English and Philosophy at the University of Toronto and began his career in the British wine trade. His first position with the legendary retailer, Oddbins, kindled an interest that would see him admitted to the Institute of Masters of Wine in 1995 at the age of just 29. Soon after Michael was appointed buyer for a chain of independent shops and made his first visit to Italy the same year. He promptly fell in love with both the country and its wines and in 1997 established the independent import agency, Winetraders which continues to import exclusively Italian wines from more than a dozen regions.

Michael’s detailed knowledge of what is arguably the wine world’s most complicated producer combined with his passionate and humorous style led to requests for tastings from wine societies, wine schools and corporations around the world. Such was demand that in 1999 Michael established his own wine school, Winematters, which continues to operate from Oxford and is fully accredited with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Michael is published through Dorling Kindersley and contributes the Italian section to many of their publications. In 2008 the WSET itself commissioned Michael to contribute to its textbooks.

A member of Who’s Who, Michael was recently appointed Fund Manager for the Institute of Masters of Wine Endowment Fund. He is a keen cyclist, runner and mountaineer. He lives in Oxford and Hong Kong with his wife and son.

Annette Lacey DipWSET

Award winning sommelier and experienced WSET trainer

The former head sommelier at Sydney’s Banc restaurant and sommelier at the three hat awarded Marque restaurant, Annette Lacey is an accomplished sommelier with a specialist background in fine dining.

Experiencing great success in her early career, Annette was a finalist in the Rosemount Sommelier of the Year competition and Devaux Young Sommelier of the Year (2000 & 2001), and in 2001 qualified to attend the Len Evans Tutorial. She has recently gained experience in one of Australia’s leading independent fine wine retailers and now consults to restaurants.

Annette has completed the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits, Associate Diploma in Hotel and Catering Management and a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment.

Annette has been with The Sydney Wine Academy since 2007 and is an approved WSET assessor and trainer for WSET foundation, intermediate and advanced courses. She also acts as the Academy's Cellar Master.

In 2014 Annette won the Professional section of the Vin de Champagne Award in Australia. She is currently studying to become a Master of Wine.

Karen Macalister-Hohnen, DipWSET

Professional educator and wine industry icon

With more than 30 years of experience in wholesaling, hospitality and retailing Karen is a well-respected member of the Australian wine industry as a professional wine educator and commentator.

1979 saw Karen as one of the very first female wine consultants in Australia, which spurred her on to complete many Australian and international qualifications and participate as an Associate Judge at regional and national wine shows. She is a graduate of TAFE NSW Ryde Campus with a Diploma in Hospitality Management as well as a WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits through the Sydney Wine Academy.

Karen is a WSET Approved Programme Educator and holds a TAE10 Certificate IV in Training & Education. She is the NSW Chapter Chair of Wine Communicators of Australia and was a NSW finalist of the Vin de Champagne Award in 2012.

Ian Bailey DipWSET

Professional educator and author

Ian Bailey has 30 years experience in sales and marketing for the food and liquor industry. In addition to this he has amassed 22 years in training and workplace assessment, primarily in wine, beer and spirit education. In 1985 he became self-employed and has remained independent since that time.

Ian is a graduate of the Sydney Wine Academy holding a WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits. He is also co-author of the book: A Top Drop, Everything You Need to Know About Buying Australian Wine.

Helena Edgerton DipWSET

Wine Educator and Research Assistant

Wine Educator and Research Assistant, 14 year career in the wine trade

Whilst studying for her Masters Degree in French and Spanish, Helena Edgerton spent an unforgettable three months as an intern at Moët et Chandon in Epernay. Once she had completed her graduate training with Tesco UK, Helena decided to pursue a career in wine and worked for the UK's leading wine tours company, Arblaster & Clarke. 

Helena organised and accompanied wine tours around Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Rhone and Provence, as well as Rioja, Ribera del Duero and South Africa.   
Following a move to Sydney, Helena had a successful sales career with leading wine distributor Fine Wine Partners for six years, primarily in off-premise and key accounts. 

Three years back in the UK gave Helena the opportunity to study for and complete her WSET Diploma, whilst working for an independent fine wine and spirit merchant in Edinburgh. Now back in Sydney, Helena is enjoying her new role at Sydney Wine Academy. proud to be associated with the Australian Patisserie Academy.