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2021 Cathay HK IWSC Kicks off in Hong Kong, joined by VIP-At-Large, Cleighten Cornelius

The 13th annual Cathay Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition Judging Week in Hong Kong has officially kicked off, opened by Master of Wine Debra Meiburg and Guest International VIP-At-Large, Cleighten Cornelius, Senior Winemaker, Mud House. Judging lasts three days and will see 40+ judges sip, swirl and spit their way through

Taking advantage of the current “zero COVID” situation and increased vaccination rate in Hong Kong, judges will once again judge  altogether as a group in a ballroom setting - as has been the case for the 11 out of the last 12 years – albeit with robust safety measures and proper social distancing measures in place.

While each year the competition invites a Guest International VIP Judge, 2021 has a “first” for the competition, with Senior Winemaker for iconic New Zealand winery Mud House, Cleighten Cornelius, joining via zoom as Guest International VIP Judge At-Large. He kicked off proceedings with Meiburg, as well as leading the calibration tastings for the day.

Cornelius completed his Bachelor in Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University in 2003 and set off to the northern hemisphere to work vintages in France (Chambolle-Musigny), Germany (Rheingau) and Cyprus.

Returning to his hometown of Marlborough, with world-class experience under his belt, Cornelius joined the Mud House team in 2012.   Master of Wine, Debra Meiburg, founding Director of the Cathay HK IWSC said, “We are delighted to have Cleighten join the 2021 competition. New Zealand has such a strong reputation in the Asian markets, and with Mud House such a highly-respected, widely-available and award-winning brand, it is a wonderful opportunity for our experienced Asian judging team to connect with this renowned winemaker and gain the benefit of his experience as we launch into the 2021 judging week.

“We look forward to welcoming him in person as soon as borders open to meet all the judges in person as well.”

 Results will be available in Nopvember. More information can be found at

2021 Cathay HK IWSC Kicks off in Hong Kong, joined by VIP-At-Large, Cleighten Cornelius

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