<?xml version="1.0"?>\n<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2013\/05\/000005970-JimBudd_justinetrickett_5753.jpg"><h2>Jim Budd DWWA 2013 Regional Chair<\/h2>Jim Budd moved from education to wine in 1988 and has contributed to <em>Decanter<\/em> since 1989. He is editor of <em>Circle Update<\/em>, the newsletter of the Circle of Wine Writers. He continues to expose the dangers of drinks investment on his award-winning website <a href="http:\/\/www.investdrinks.org" target="_blank">investdrinks.org<\/a>, which now has a complementary blog, <a href="http:\/\/investdrinksblog.blogspot.com" target="_blank">investdrinksblog.blogspot.com<\/a> and in May he launched a code for wine investment. His other blog is the award-winning Jim\u00e2\u0080\u0099s Loire, and he is one of the five members of <em>Les 5 du Vin<\/em> blog. He also contributes to <em>Hugh Johnson\u00e2\u0080\u0099s Pocket Wine Book<\/em> and is a keen photographer, especially in the Loire.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2013\/05\/000005916-RichardKelleyMW_justinetrickett_5314.jpg"><h2>Richard Kelley MW DWWA 2013 Judge<\/h2>Richard Kelley MW grew up in Leicester with tee-total parents and did not envisage a career in wine until he tasted the 1969 Gaston Huet Vouvray in 1981. The next six years saw Richard on a tour of vinous self-discovery, which included taking the WSET Diploma while working in wine sales for Grants of St James\u00e2\u0080\u0099s. Richard commenced his MW studies in 1993, the year in which the dissertation was introduced and, as a result, ended up in South Africa working the vintage as part of his studies on the importance of temperature in red wine making. He moved back to South Africa in 1995 to develop international markets for Vinimark, the country\u00e2\u0080\u0099s largest independent wine wholesaler, and after seven years of promoting Chenin Blanc, Richard returned to the UK to work with Richards Walford until 2011. Despite his relationship with the South African wine industry, Richard is a devout Francophile and has been passionate about the Loire ever since his tasting of the 1969 Gaston Huet Vouvray.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2013\/05\/000005888-ChrisKissack_justinetrickett_5746.jpg"><h2>Chris Kissack DWWA 2013 Judge<\/h2>Chris Kissack is the author of <a href="http:\/\/www.TheWinedoctor.com" target="_blank">TheWinedoctor.com<\/a>, which he has been publishing for more than 12 years. He has focused on the Loire and Bordeaux for many years, and has been a frequent visitor to both regions since 1993. In the Loire, Chris visits domaines, experiences the vineyards first hand, meets the winemakers and reports on their wines from the annual Salon des Vins de Loire. In Bordeaux, Chris is a regular reporter from the annual en primeur tastings, as well as a reviewer of the wines in bottle at two and four years of age, and into maturity. In 2012 Chris published his first book, a <em>Pocket Guide to the Wines of Bordeaux<\/em>.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2013\/05\/000005937-VeroniqueRivest_justinetrickett_5705.jpg"><h2>Veronique Rivest DWWA 2013 Judge<\/h2>Veronique Rivest is an award-winning sommelier with over 20 years\u00e2\u0080\u0099 experience in the restaurant industry. Also a talented speaker and writer, she contributes to wine and food magazines, and is involved with television programs and radio. In March this year, Veronique represented Canada at the World\u00e2\u0080\u0099s Best Sommelier Competition in Tokyo, where she came second. Her other accolades include: Best Sommelier of Canada 2006 and 2012, Best Sommelier of the Americas 2012 and Professional Wine Woman 2007 (Wine Women Awards).<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2013\/05\/000005904-NigelWilkinson_justinetrickett_5745.jpg"><h2>Nigel Wilkinson DWWA 2013 Judge<\/h2>Nigel Wilkinson has run London\u00e2\u0080\u0099s RSJ restaurant for 30 years. The restaurant\u00e2\u0080\u0099s wine list focuses on the Loire, boasting more than 300 wines from the region. Nigel began travelling to the Loire 25 years ago and is a regular visitor.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2013\/05\/000005887-ChrisHardy_justinetrickett_5713.jpg"><h2>Chris Hardy DWWA 2013 Judge<\/h2>Chris Hardy joined Majestic as a Trainee Manager in July 1994, and moved into the Buying Department in June 1995. Initially responsible for Fine Wine purchases and putting together Majestic's first ever En Primeur campaign, Chris gradually took on the buying responsibility for most of France as well as Australia, South Africa and North America. Over the past 18 years he has bought from most of the wine regions of the world but, being a true Francophile, he has more recently focused on France. Chris is passionate about all the classic regions but is particularly interested in both the Loire and the Languedoc, due to the diversity of wine styles produced in both regions.