Meet the Team
Jane Skilton Master of Wine, DipWSET
Founder and Lead Educator
Jane began her wine career in London over 35 years ago and completed the WSET ® Level 4 Diploma in 1988, gaining both the Frescobaldi and College du Cognac scholarships. She passed her Master of Wine examination in 1993 and now takes an active role in MW activities.
She moved to New Zealand in 2000 and founded the NZ School of Wines and Spirits, teaching Wine and Spirit Education Trust qualifications and general wine courses to trade and consumers. She is a WSET Certified Educator and whilst most of her time is spent delivering WSET courses around New Zealand, she travels internationally to teach too.
Jane has visited vineyards in Alsace, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Cognac, Jerez, Rioja, Douro, Austria, Alto Adige, Tuscany, Sicily, California, Oregon, Washington State, Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, NSW and China. Not forgetting England. And of course New Zealand.
Jane enjoys judging both national and international wine shows and has been a guest international judge in Rutherglen, Brisbane, Margaret River, Limestone Coast, Cowra, Hobart, Shanghai, Chengdu, Beijing, and London.
She is the co-editor of the Independent Wine Monthly and contributes to a number of other wine publications both in New Zealand and overseas.
Ronald Wortel DipWSET
Diploma Level 4 Tutor
Ronald has a BA in Hotel Management, MA in Leisure and Tourism Studies and passed the WSET Level 4 Diploma with Merit. Originally from the Netherlands, where he owned a small wine import company specialising in Portuguese wines and Port, Ronald spent 6 years in the Middle East before moving to New Plymouth in 2014. From early 2015 he provided WSET Level 1 and Level 2 courses in New Plymouth, flying to Auckland to lecture NZSWS Diploma students. Ronald writes about New Zealand wine for the leading Dutch wine magazine PersWijn. Ronald is currently posted to Oman from where he runs the NZSWS Diploma online teaching programme.
“I’ve found Ronald to very beneficial and understanding. I don’t think I was alone in sending him panicked emails leading into the exam. He has helped me enormously”
Josh Pointon DipWSET
Lead Tutor Wellington
Having passed the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wine & Spirits through NZSWS in 2014, Josh now spearheads the NZSWS Wellington programme. He has been in the hospitality industry for over 15 years working in both Wellington & Sydney and has owned and operated his own hospitality venues in Wellington since 2010. His current business, Noble Rot Wine Bar, in which he is a co-founder & owner, has been awarded the Negociants New Zealand Best Wine Experience Award in the Cuisine Food Awards for the past two years and is recognised as one of the best places to enjoy wine in New Zealand. Josh has an interest in all wine with a particular love for New Zealand & Spain.
“Josh was absolutely a brilliant teacher. He was professional and warm and really engaged the class. He was great imparting his wine knowledge and I would definitely take another class with him.”
Meg Abbot-Walker DipWSET
Lead Tutor Auckland
Meg has over ten years experience working in the hospitality industry in Wellington, Auckland and Melbourne and is a sought-after public speaker, sommelier, and wine consultant. She was awarded the Negociants Outstanding Wine Service Professional Award at the 2015 Lewisham Awards. She holds the WSET Level 4 Diploma and has recently dipped her toes into the world of the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Her specialist areas are the wines of Italy and Australia, and Spirits.
Ben Leggett, Elemental Distillers
Lead Tutor Spirits
Born to the lush vineyards of Marlborough in New Zealand, Ben spent 14 years working in the UK spirits sector from cocktail bartender to Brand Ambassador, drinks writer and freelance Brand Consultant representing some of the world’s biggest names in liquor. Returning to his roots, Ben has brought his love of the industry with him launching an award-winning range of aromatic cocktail bitters, building a new craft distillery and launching a premium gin all while learning to become a father for the first time.
WSET Certified Sake Tutor
Fuminobu (Fumi) Nakatani is the first and only New Zealand based professional to hold the WSET’s Level 3 Award in Sake (Distinction). Having been accepted into the WSET Sake Educator Programme, Fumi travelled to Japan in January 2018 and successfully gained this additional qualification. Fumi is the manager of award-winning Japanese Robata restaurant and bar MASU by Nic Watt at SKYCITY Auckland.
“Please pass on my thanks to Fumi for being an excellent teacher. The course was fun and well taught.”