Find out about our Decanter World Wine Awards 2014 Greece & Cyprus judging panel with biographies of the Regional Chair Nico Manessis plus Elvis Ziakos, Steve Daniel and Theresa Paopao.
Regional chair: Nico Manessis
Manessis is an expert on the wines of his native Greece and the author of three wine books. He spends several months each year in the Greek vineyards, which he documents at Greekwineworld.com. He recently co-produced the award-winning documentary Pelican’s Watch, on Santorini’s unique vineyard. Manessis teaches at the Swiss Ecole du Vin de Changins, and at the Université du Vin in Suze la Rousse, France. He is a member of the Académie Internationale du Vin and is writing a book on Santorini’s terroir and produce with chef Vassilis Zacharakis.
Elvis Ziakos is assistant head sommelier at The Greenhouse restaurant in London. Starting his career in his native Greece, Ziakos completed sommelier studies at the Le Monde Institute in Athens and worked as head sommelier at Kohylia restaurant at the Grand Resort Lagonissi from 2002 to 2007. He then spent five years working at the Michelin-starred Spondi restaurant as their head sommelier, before moving to London in 2012 to join the team at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley. Ziakos has won many awards as a sommelier, including representing Greece at the Best Sommelier of the World competition in 2007.
Steve Daniel has been buying director of Novum Wines, a specialist importer focusing on restaurants, and now part of Hallgarten Druitt, since 2003. He previously worked at Oddbins, where he was buying and marketing director, and during his time with the company Steve championed Greek wines, as well as being largely responsible for increasing Oddbins’ profile in the UK.
Theresa Paopao hails from the small town of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. She left island life to pursue a graduate degree at the Yale School of Drama in New Haven, and then moved to Boston where she fell in love with the restaurant business and the world of wine. On joining the Oleana in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Paopao became serious about a career in hospitality and beverages, and after working as manager, she went on to be their wine director and general manager. In 2010, she joined the New York Momofuku team as wine director, a role which took her to Ontario to open their new spaces in Toronto in 2012, and Paopao is now back in Boston where she is the beverage director and general manager of Ribelle which earned four stars from the Boston Globe shortly after it opened last summer.
Written by John Abbott