Babich-Wines-100-stories-95

Sip, swirl, spit, judge, take note

At just 20 years of age, Joe Babich fell into wine-judging accidentally.

One of the judges pulled out of the 1961 Royal Easter Show at the last minute, and Joe stepped up to take his place. Although young, Joe’s hands-on experience with Josip had given him quite a sophisticated palate and many of his assessments matched up with the more experienced judges. From that early start, judging became an important part of Joe’s career for 35 years. He went on to be Chairman of Judges at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards on six occasions. What Joe loved most about judging was seeing the quality of New Zealand wine improve – and picking up some good ideas for his own wines along the way.

Return to 100 Stories