Christopher Barnes entered the wine industry in 1987 when he graduated with honours from Roseworthy Agricultural College in Wine Marketing.
After Graduation he became Marketing Manager for Tyrrell’s Vineyards in the Hunter Valley. Moving back to Melbourne in 1989 Chris took up a position as consultant to Nick’s Wine Merchants. Chris had responsibility as wine buyer for the group. Expanding his experience, Chris worked in winemaking at Domaine Chandon for the 1990 vintage. A trip to France and the UK working with Yates Brothers followed.
On return to Australia Chris established Australian Wine Education & Training Co. AWET is a wine education consultancy business for the trade and industry as well as providing specialist advice on wine to corporate customers. AWET provides educational and technical wine assessment services to Australian Wine Selectors, Melbourne University, Stuart Co Wines and Crown Ltd as well as many other corporate and wine industry clients.
Chris is a Foundation Member of the Australian Society of Wine Education. He is currently a practising Professional Member of the Society and serves on a number of committees as well as being a guest lecturer for the Wolf Blass wine education program at each Wine Australia from 1996 to 2004.
Chris is technical editor for the Australian wine text, ”What is Wine”. Chris is a regular contributor for lead articles in the Selector magazine, which is the highest circulating wine and lifestyle publication in Australia.
Chris is a visiting lecturer in Wine Studies to undergraduates and post graduates at the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences. the bulk of this teaching takes place at Dookie Campus (the old Agricultural College) near Benalla in the North East of the State. here Chris not only teaches the theory of wine, but with students produces about 80 dozen bottles of Shiraz each year know as “Many Hands” Shiraz, after the many hands of that get into the winemaking.
Since 2000 Chris has judged at the International Wine and Spirit Challenge in London, the largest wine show in the world. In 2003 and 2004 he was a Panel Chairman. Chris is also a senior judge at the Cool Climate Wine Show, the Yarra Valley Wine Show in 2006 and has Chaired the Daylesford Show, as well as serving on numerous wine selection panels across Australia and New Zealand.
Chris is also pursuing a serious hobby; Scotch! Since 2006 he has been the Marketing Director of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Australia. This involves hosting tastings of some of the finest and rarest Single Malts in the world. See www.smws.com.au for more details.
Sought after as a corporate speaker, Chris has entertained and educated thousands of wine (and now Scotch!) drinkers across the country.