About us

The New Zealand Sommeliers & Wine Professionals Association (NZSWP)  is registered an incorporated society and is not for profit. 

Our organisation is a not for profit incorporated society and its primary goal is to create a community of people from around New Zealand working with wine, beverages, wine and beverage sales, marketing within the sectors of hospitality, wine, wine tourism, wine education, wine marketing and sales.

The New Zealand Sommelier and Wine Professionals Association is uniquely poised to help develop the knowledge and skills of people working with wine and other beverages. Our focus is on people who work in cafés and restaurants, hotels and lodges, cellar doors and in wine sales and marketing. These are primarily customer service roles across hospitality, tourism and wine businesses. 

Being curious to learn more about the products that you work with not only stimulates the employee and leads to greater job satisfaction but also helps enhance the visitor/customer experience and may result in higher sales and profitability for the business.

Summary of our goals

  • To create a community of people from around New Zealandworking with wine, beverages, wine and beverage sales, marketing within the sectors of hospitality, wine, wine tourism, wine education, wine marketing and sales.
  • To foster and encourage the role of sommeliers and wine professionals and raise service standards, ethics and professionalism.
  • To foster education of wine and other beverages.
  • To assist, and where possible offer guidance to, those wanting to develop career pathwaysas a sommelier and/or wine professional.
  • To raise funds for the purpose of assisting members to attend eventsthrough membership levies, donations, sponsorships and various fundraising activities for the purposedof assisting members and others.
  • To support international cooperation and build links to related international organisations, competitions and events.
  • To organise and conduct conferences, events and activitieswhich promote the objects and purposes of the Association.
  • The Association is not for profitand registered under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.

Constitution

Read our constitution to discover why we were formed and how we operate.

Meet the Committee

Celia Hay

Celia Hay

Celia is the director of New Zealand School of Food and Wine and was chef-patron of Hay's Restaurant for 17 years and holds the WSET Diploma. She is author of the New Zealand Wine Guide (2014, 2019 2nd ed)  and How to Grow your hospitality business (3rd ed. 2017). Celia is the founding director of the NZ School of Food & Wine. In 2018, Celia was appointed to the ASI Education Committee.

Karen Fistonich

Karen Fistonich

Karen is the former chair of Villa Maria Wines and has served on the Board of Directors for nearly 20 years following a successful career in international banking with ANZ. Karen showed a keen interest in her family's business as a teenager and worked in the Villa Maria wine shop while studying towards her BA in Psychology at the University of Auckland.

Jeremy Ellis

Jeremy Ellis

Jeremy Ellis is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and obtained the top mark for New Zealand in 2009. He currently works as a business consultant with previous experience as Group Sommelier for Robertson Lodges (Farm at Kidnappers, Kauri Cliffs and Matakauri lodges) and Skycity, Venue Manager Botswana Butchery. 

Nick Hewitt

Nick Hewitt

Nick is an experienced sales professional with strong leadership, business development and relationship-building skills. He is currently the General Manager of Beverage Bureau Distributors. Nick is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and holds the WSET Level 2.

Tori Haysom

Tori Haysom

Victoria "Tori" Haysom trained as a chef and then moved into the world of wine. Tori holds the WSET Level 3 and is currently studying the WSET Diploma of Wine. Tori is the Senior Account Manager for Dhall & Nash Fine Wines.

Wayne Shennen

Wayne Shennen

Wayne is the sommelier-patron of Rangitoto Tokyo, New Zealand Wine and Craft Sake Bar. Wayne holds CMS Certified Sommelier, Spanish Wine Scholar Award, 2nd in NZ Sommelier of the Year 2017. He holds the Advanced Level of Certified Sake Professionals and is author of the e-book Demystifying Sakè.

Marek Przyborek

Marek is an internationally acclaimed sommelier currently employed as Head Sommelier and Cellar Manager by Amisfield Restaurant and Winery, near Queenstown. Marek was born in Poland holds the CMS Advanced Sommelier and WSET Awards. He won Poland Best Sommelier 2017 and moved to NZ that year to become Head Sommelier at Sky City. In 2019, he won NZ Best Sommelier of the Year.

Andrea Martinisi

Andrea was born in Italy and worked in the UK for Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck and legendary sommelier Gerard Basset MS, MW. Andrea holds the CMS Advanced Sommelier and won NZ Best Sommelier in 2021 and again in 2022. He was placed 14th in the ASI Best Sommelier of the Year 2019. Andrea is General Manager of The Grove Restaurant, Auckland.

 

 

Past Committee Members

Cameron Douglas MS

Cameron Douglas MS

Cameron is academically in charge of the Wine and Beverage Programme at AUT University in Auckland and ‘out in the field’, consulting for the Wine, Hospitality and Tourism sector, and the interested public. He was the Patron of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association and consulted to a variety of establishments, taking care of their winelists, wine and food pairing, and staff training matters.

Stefan Loetscher

Stefan Loetscher

Stefan Loetscher trained as a chef in Switzerland. After moving to New Zealand, Stefan and his wife established Pure restaurant in Ponsonby. In 2017, he relocated with his family to Hawkes Bay to establish a boutique vineyard. Today Stefan is viticulturist and chef of Oak Estate. Stefan holds the WSET Level 3.

Maciej Zimny

Maciej Zimny

Maciej, originally from Poland, has vast experience in hospitality working in restaurants and hotels around the world. In 2015, he won the New Zealand Sommelier of the Year and represented NZ at the ASI Asia Oceania Competition in Hong Kong. In 2018, he represented NZ at the Ningxia Wine Challenge. Maciej holds the WSET Diploma and is co-founder of leading Wellington wine bar,  Noble Rot Wine Bar.

Alexis Robin

Alexis Robin

Alexis, originally from France, was the first winner of the New Zealand Young Wine Professional of the Year in 2014. He currently works as an account manager for Delegat based in Dunedin. Alexis holds a M.Com from Paris-Sorbonne and is the founder of a number of wine experience concepts including the Central Otago Wine Club and The Wine Host in Dunedin.