Society of Wine Educators 41st Annual Conference

Society of Wine Educators 41st Annual Conference


Serafin Alvarado, MS
Serafin Alvarado turned his passion for wine into a successful career, working in positions in wine service, wine sales, and, most recently, wine education for Southern Wine and Spirits of Illinois. Serafin achieved the distinction Master Sommelier (M.S.) in 2005. Additionally, in 2005 Serafin also received the Bill of Rice distinguished Sommelier of the Year Award for his contribution to the culture of food and wine in the city of Chicago. Serafin has also been included on Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” in the Chicago area list.
Bob Bath, MS
A third generation Californian, Bob Bath was born and raised in Davis, a small, college town, sixty miles east of the Napa Valley. His interest in wine was sparked at the age of 19 while attending college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and working summers in fine dining restaurants. Bob also played baseball at Cal Poly, alongside St. Louis Cardinal legend and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ozzie Smith.

Bob passed the Master Sommelier exam in 1993, becoming one of the first twenty five Master Sommeliers in the United States. Over the last thirty years, he has worked in virtually every aspect of the restaurant and wine industry. Bob spent almost eight years as the National Sales Manager for the prestigious Napa Valley winery, Shafer Vineyards. In February of 2000, Bob started his own company, Robert Bath MS – Wine Education and Consultation. Since then, he has worked with over thirty high profile companies including The French Laundry, Duckhorn Vineyards, Charles Krug, Crystal Cruise Lines, Taj Hotels, Kendall Jackson and Uptown Network.

Bob joined the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley as an adjunct professor in 2004. He took a full time position in 2010 and has been a key part of the Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate program, a ground breaking, nine month, college graduate level wine and beverage program and the new Sommelier Summit. Bob also finds time to write regularly for Somm Journal, Tasting Panel and Clever Root magazines.
Doug Beckett
When Doug and Nancy Beckett, a couple of school teachers looking for a better life, moved to Paso Robles in 1982 with their two sons, Joshua and Jacob, they never knew the life they would lead. Today, Peachy Canyon Winery is distributed in 49 states and select international destinations. The winery is still headed by founding vintners Doug and Nancy, as well as the families second generation. After years away from home, both Josh and Jake returned to Paso Robles and Peachy Canyon to work for the family business.
Arthur Black, CSS, CSW
Arthur Black is the Corporate Wine and Spirits Sales Manager for RNDC, a leading national wholesaler of fine wine and spirits. In addition to his role at RNDC, Arthur is a member of the Society of Wine Educators, a Certified Specialist of Wine, a Certified Spanish Wine Educator, a Certified French Wine Educator, a Certified Sake Specialist, Certified Spirits Specialist, Advanced Sommelier, Level 1 Cicerone, a wine, beer and spirits writer, and has lectured and taught at copious venues and several universities. Arthur is also the founder of the non-profit, Indiana Craft Beverage Association, an educational and promotional body dedicated to driving quality beverage programming in trade in Indiana and the Mid-West. Arthur is the organizer and founder of Mixture – Indianapolis Cocktail Tour. As an active educator in the American sommelier community, Arthur has competed in many sommelier competitions, winning the honorable Best Young Sommelier in America Championship. Whether it’s wines around the world, sake in Japan, tequila-mezcal in Mexico, or whiskies in the UK and USA, Arthur’s professional life has been devoted to spreading the gospel of gastronomy to the remotely curious as well as those more intimately familiar with playground of the human palette.
Roger Bohmrich, MW
Roger is happy to return this year after presentations at SWE Conferences in recent years. He has enjoyed a fulfilling career in the wine trade and is currently an independent consultant, educator, writer and competition judge. He has worked for two national importers, last as Senior VP-Marketing of Frederick Wildman & Sons. More recently, he was Managing Partner of Millesima USA, the U.S. affiliate of Europe’s leader in direct sales of fine wines to consumers. Roger became one of the first U.S. Masters of Wine in 1993 and led the formation of the Institute of Masters of Wine (No. America), where he served as its first President. He has appeared often as a speaker at wine festivals and conferences, and his articles and writings have been published in the Journal of Wine Research, Wine Business Monthly, Santé, and Wines & Vines as well as other publications. An article based on his presentation about minerality at the 2016 Conference was released in early 2017. Roger has traveled extensively around the world of wine, and in recent years he has judged competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China.
Maxine Borcherding FWS, SWS
After over 30 years in catering and in hospitality education, Maxine Borcherding chose to focus entirely on wine education and tourism. Maxine is a graduate of the International Sommelier Guild Sommelier Diploma Program, and holds the additional certifications of French Wine Scholar , Spanish Wine Educator, and Wine Location Specialist. Maxine is co-founder of Taste and Compare Academy of Wine, Spirits and Food where she teaches wine classes to consumers and industry staff. In addition, Maxine also consults on wine lists for hotels and restaurants, and leads food, wine, and culture tours to the great wine producing regions of France.
Raffaele Boscaini
After studying land surveying, Raffaele earned an advanced degree from the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust in Great Britain. Before entering the family business, Raffaele gained on- and off-premise wine experience in the U.K. working at Berkmann's Wine Cellars and Oddbins, the well-known wine & spirits retail chain.For several years, Raffaele has been general coordinator of the Masi Technical Group, a team of wine professionals representing a variety of disciplines including enology, agronomy, and marketing. The technical advances and high quality of Masi wines can be attributed to the ongoing efforts of the Masi Technical Group. Raffaele has recently been named marketing director at Masi. Along with father Sandro and sister Alessandra, Raffaele is a global brand ambassador for Masi who covers the markets of North and South America and Europe. He has also been a speaker at the annual Society of Wine Educators conference. Since 2003, he has been a member of the Super Jury for the International Wine Challenge in London. With an Evolving Executive Profile, Raffaele was a board member for the young businessmen’s association, the Gruppo Giovani Imprenditori di Confindustria di Verona, from 2007-2010. In 2011, he became President of the food business association, the Raggruppamento Agroalimentare di Confindustria Veneto. In addition, Raffaele is a board member of Unione Italiana Vini, part of the committee that oversees the impartiality of Siquria (the Italian organization that monitors the quality and traceability of foodstuffs), and part of the Seminario Permanente Luigi Veronelli.
Valerie Caruso, CWE, CSW, FWS
Valerie retired from a 25-year military career and moved to Italy for a year-long wine studies program in 2009. Her interest in wine studies stemmed from a wine curiosity that blossomed while living in Northern California 10 years earlier, but she never dreamed her love for wine would turn into an academic and professional quest. She went on to study for a brief time in France before returning to the states to pursue a relentless study of wine. She now owns her own wine education and media business and holds WSET's level 4 diploma in Wine & Spirits, the Certified Wine Educator (CWE) and French Wine Scholar certifications, as well as the Wine Scholar Guild's Champagne Master-Level Certificate. She also was elected to the Board of Directors in 2016. You can find Val in SWEbinars as well as serving up some wine "edutainment" in her weekly podcast, Wine Two Five, with her co-host & fellow CWE Stephanie Davis, on iTunes and iHeart Radio.
Jim Clarke
Jim Clarke is the U.S. Marketing for Wines of South Africa (WOSA), a levy-supported organization devoted to promoting South African wine exports. Previous to joining WOSA, Jim was a sommelier in New York City where he ran the wine programs at Megu New York for five years and then the Armani Ristorante for two. In addition, he writes about wine, beer, and spirits for a number of publications both trade and consumer; his pieces have appeared in the World of Fine Wine, Details, the San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. Jim has spoken or lectured at a number of events including TexSom and the American Wine Society Conference.
Mike Cohen, CWE
Mike Cohen is a retired orthopedic surgeon who discovered his love of wine during his medical school studies. It turned out his study group of 14 requested that he buy the wines for their weekly study 'brunch', which brought him exposure to a wide variety of wines. Several Napa Valley and Burgundy trips later, he pursued advanced studies in wine and obtained certifications from the American Sommelier Association and the Society of Wine Educators, culminating in his recent certification as a Certified Wine Educator. Mike has been teaching wine, beer, and spirit to seniors at the College of Charleston for the last 6 years. He lectures in the business school and the chemistry department about the nuances of wine, and in 2017 was successful in creating a new class that culminated in a week long Napa Valley immersion symposium. Mike has been in the wine retail business for over a decade setting up a wine and cheese venture in Asbury Park, NJ and Charleston, SC. The experience brought him many close friends in the wine industry around the world.
Rob Davis
Rob Davis holds the rare distinction in California of serving as winemaker at one winery for more than 40 years. His tremendous technical background, empirical wisdom, desire for discovery, and meticulous quality standards remain a guiding force in the vineyards and cellars at Jordan. Upon graduation from University of California at Davis in 1976, Rob began working hand-in-hand with famed winemaker André Tchelistcheff to craft the inaugural vintage of Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. When John Jordan took the reins from his father in 2005, Rob was thrilled to accept the challenge to elevate quality even higher. Changes in fruit sourcing, precision farming, barrel selection and bottling technology were amongst the first major projects. Thanks to his unwavering commitment to the timeless qualities of balance and elegance in winemaking, Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon has been defined by balance, enduring elegance and remarkable consistency for four decades.
Diego Del Pino WSET Diploma, CWE, CSW, CSS, CS
Diego Del Pino is first and foremost an unrepentant Champagne lover. For the past six years, Mr. Del Pino has worked in wine and spirits sales for Moët Hennessy, managing their portfolio in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He's currently the Business Development Manager for Dom Pérignon and Ruinart Champagne in New York. Mr. Del Pino holds a degree in Economics and History from Torcuato DiTella University from his native Buenos Aires. His industry credentials include: WSET Diploma, CWE, CSW, CSS & Certified Sommelier.
Carl Etcheverry, CSW
Since 2010, Carl has been the Wine Director and Sommelier of the Union League of Philadelphia, which was voted Best Private City Club in the US for the past four years. Prior to joining the Union League, Carl was the Wine and Spirits Manager of the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa near Pittsburgh, PA. He also served as Sommelier of its Five Star/Five Diamond Lautrec Restaurant. In April 2016, in Philadelphia, Carl hosted a vertical tasting of Gruner Veltliner for the wine trade on behalf of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board. And within the past three years, he has twice served as a judge for the Global Travel “Wings of Wine” competition, determining which airline has the best wine list for its business- and first-class passengers. Carl is a CSW and a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers.
Kathy Falbo, CSW
Kathy grew up on Long Island and worked in the dental industry before her passion for wine led her to change careers. She is now one of the top wholesale reps for Nassau and Western Suffolk County at Paumanok Vineyards, one of the leading wineries in the Long Island Wine Region. Kathy credits her passion for wine, her devotion to her customers and her strong work ethic for her success. She loves educating anyone she can about the wonderful world of wine, but has a special enthusiasm to educate customers and consumers on the growing superior quality and age-worthiness of Long Island wines in particular.
Nora Favelukes
Nora Z. Favelukes launched in 1995 QW Wine Experts, an international consulting company based in the United States dedicated to brand building, strategic marketing and public relations of imported fine wines. For the past seven years, QWWE is responsible of the Wines of Argentina branding account.

Since 1994 she teaches on South American and Iberian Peninsula wines at New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn, NY.

Ms. Favelukes holds the Advanced Certificate on Wine Studies issued by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, London, England.

In 2006, she received the “Outstanding Industry Professional Award” by New York City College of Technology.

Inducted as a member of the NY Chapter for Les Dames d’ Escoffier - 2007

Member of the Sommelier Program Advisory Committee for the International Culinary Center - 2011

Judge at the Tempranillos del Mundo Competition in Toledo, Spain – 2013

Society of Wine Educators’ Board of Directors Member - August 2014

Author –Tasted Magazine (Bordeaux based):
-“The Argentine Revolution”
-“My Dream Trip to the Masters in Argentina”
-“Confessions of a Wine Consultant”
Chris Forbes
Chris Forbes was born in Yorkshire, England in 1973. Through his family he was introduced to the business of luxury products in both the textile and gourmet food industries. Educated in England and Paris, Chris graduated from University of Hull in 1995 with a BA (Hons) in Marketing and languages.

After University he went to work in the City of London for very competitive positions in two high profile Investment banks, Singer & Friedlander and then Investec Asset Management, running the marketing departments of both retail and institutional asset classes.He moved to Portugal just over ten years ago with his Portuguese wife and three children to explore a new avenue in life and execute a burning desire to work with wine.

At Fladgate Partnership, Chris was initially responsible for the management of all Special Marketing projects across the company’s three main brands. Since then he has taken on the role of Global Ambassador for the brands while developing and maintaining the company’s brand strategy. In addition to his contributions on the business side, Chris is thirsty for wine knowledge. He has earned a WSET Level 3 certification, with distinction, and is currently studying for WSET Level 4.

Chris is now responsible for the USA and Irish markets from a sales role and for special marketing projects within the Fladgate Partnership working within the domain of over 82 countries globally.
Richard Foss
Richard Foss has been writing professionally since 1986 when he started reviewing restaurants for the Los Angeles Reader newspaper. Since then, he has contributed to over twenty different publications, including the Encyclopedia of World Food Cultures and the Oxford Companion to Sweets. He taught "500 Years of American Food” and “American Fermented: History of Alcohol in America" at Osher Institute/UCLA Extension, is on the board of the Culinary Historians of Southern California, and is the California Curator for the Museum of the American Cocktail and Pacific Food & Beverage Museum. His book on the history of rum was released by Reaktion Books in April of 2012. “Food in the Air and Space; the surprising history of food and drink in the skies,” was released in December 2014.
Tim Gaiser, MS
Tim Gaiser is an internationally renowned wine expert and lecturer. He is one of 175 individuals worldwide to ever attain the elite Master Sommelier wine title and is currently the Director of Education for the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas. He is also an adjunct professor for the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley.

Over his 25-plus year career, Tim has taught thousands of students in wines and spirits classes at every level as well as developing wine education programs for restaurants, winery schools and wine distributors. He has experience in all phases of the wine industry - online, wholesale, retail, winery, and restaurant - including stints at Heitz Wine Cellars in the Napa Valley and Bix and Cypress Club restaurants in San Francisco, and Virtual Vineyards/the original His client list includes Fosters Global Wines, Diageo, American Express, Evian, Pepsico International, Fiduciary Trust, Franklin-Templeton, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.

Tim has written for a number of publications including Fine Cooking Magazine and Sommelier Journal. He also writes for numerous wine and spirits clients including Champagne Perrier Jöuet, Wines of Germany and the Portuguese Cork Quality Association. Gaiser has served as the author and lead judge for the Best Young Sommelier Competition and the TopSomm Competition, the two major American sommelier competitions. Considered one of the leading wine tasters and educators, Gaiser was recently featured in the Think like a Genius Wine Master training product, created by the Everyday Genius Institute.
Tom Gerrie
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tom Gerrie arrived in the Willamette Valley at the age of 8 after his parents, Cristom founders Paul and Eileen Gerrie, decided to move the family west. Through the generosity of Paul and Eileen, Tom was able to travel and learn about the culture of wine and food from a young age, and study European wine-making methods and traditions. As a child, his summers were spent working at the Cristom estate, tying and watering young vines in the newly established vineyards, not yet understanding the true importance of what his parents had established. After graduating from the University of Washington, Tom went on to work harvests at several wineries that have inspired and influenced him, including: Bethel Heights Vineyard in the Willamette Valley; Domaine François Mikulski in Meursault in the Côte de Beaune in Burgundy, France; Brian Croser’s Tappanappa Wines in the Adelaide Hills of Australia; and Medhurst Wines in the Yarra Valley, Australia.

Tom joined the Cristom Vineyards production team full-time in 2007, was promoted to General Manager of the company in 2010, became majority owner at the end of 2012, and now presides as Owner and Winegrower, overseeing all aspects of production. Tom has worked alongside Cristom’s winemaker Steve Doerner and vineyard manager Mark Feltz for nearly a decade, learning to grow and craft wines in the house style, ensuring their legacy will be preserved for decades to come. He brings energy and enthusiasm for life, and is passionate about the work he does.

Tom and his wife Nicole married at the Cristom Estate in 2012, and recently welcomed their first son, Benjamin Paul. When not at the winery, you can find Tom spending time with his family at the beach, or fly fishing with his dad.
David Glancy, MS, CWE, CSS, FWS
David Glancy is one of only 12 people in the world to pass both the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Master Exam (MS) and the Society of Wine Educators’ Certified Wine Educator exam (CWE). Glancy has also passed the Certified Specialist of Spirits exam (CSS) and French Wine Scholar exam (FWS). He launched the San Francisco Wine School in May 2011. The school provides professional wine studies including French Wine Scholar (FWS), Society of Wine Educators’ programs (SWE), California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) and much more.
Tres Goetting
Tres Goetting is a 30 year veteran Napa Valley enologist and viticulturalist who has already made his mark and fine reputation at a few Napa Valley wineries but looks to Biale as his career moment in the spotlight.
Tres first paid his dues as a teenaged “cellar rat” in 1987. Then following college and armed with a razor-sharp palate, took steady steps to move up – hand-crafting wines at three touted Napa Valley grower/producers. Now he has stepped up again to find his ideal niche at Biale.
Susannah Gold, CSW, CSS, DWS
Susannah has combined her communication skills with her interest in wine for almost two decades. Susannah has worked with some of the biggest consortium, institutions, importers, producers, and retailers, and is a recognized authority on Italian wines. She has worked with Italian, French, Spanish, Chilean, and South African wineries and wine makers. She has worked on all aspects of the communications chain with producers and institutions to bring wine and food products to the U.S. market as well as to help them find importers and distributors. Susannah is among a handful of non-Italians in the Associazione Italiana dei Sommeliers (AIS). She has twice represented the Prosecco DOC consortium on the Vinitaly US Tour as a spokesperson, has earned the Diploma in Wines & Spirits (DWS) from the WSET, holds the CSW and CSS credentials from the Society of Wine Educators, and a certification from the Spanish Wine Academy. She is currently enrolled in the French Wine Scholar program (FWS). Susannah teaches wine classes, and has written for media such as The Financial Times, Gourmet Retailer, Food, Food & Beverage Business,, the Organic Wine Journal, the Sommelier Journal, and GDO Week. She has also penned a wine blog on wines from around the world called for the last six years.

Fluent in Italian and French, Susannah also speaks advanced Spanish.She has a Master’s degree in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Affairs (SAIS). She received her undergraduate degree in French and English from Colgate University, which she completed with Magna Cum Laude honors. Susannah is also a member of the prestigious honors society, Phi Beta Kappa.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW, DWS
Based in New York, Mary Gorman-McAdams is the Bordeaux Wine Council’s market adviser for the US and Canadian markets, responsible for over-seeing the marketing and educational programs for Bordeaux Wines. Mary became a Master of Wine in 2011, a distinguished title held only by 319 people worldwide. She was also awarded the Vina Errazuriz Award for excellence in the Business of Wine exam paper. During the course of her MW studies, she was the recipient of both the Trinity Champagne Scholarship and the Constellation Brands Award - an international award for MW candidates.In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L'Ordre des Côteaux de Champagne.

Mary has a BA (Honors) in Languages and International Marketing from Dublin City University, and an MBS in International Marketing (First Class Honors) from the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business (University College Dublin), where she was awarded both the Dean's List Award & the Sir Charles Harvey Award for academic excellence in post-graduate studies.

As a Master of Wine and one of the leading wine educators (WSET certified educator) in the United States, Mary is highly regarded within the North American wine industry and community. She is a regular conference and seminar panelist and speaker. Mary is a member of the North American Education committee for the Institute of Masters of Wine.
Allyson Gorsuch
After years of running wine programs for restaurants, Allyson Gorsuch recently transitioned into publishing as Deputy Editor for The Somm Journal and The Tasting Panel magazines. Hailing originally from St. Louis., Allyson traveled extensively, working in international and domestic markets. Most recently she held the position of Estate Wine Director at The Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. She is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and holds the WSET Level Three. New to Los Angeles, Allyson looks forward to exploring the expansive city, and she is always planning her next trip abroad.
Jacob Grier
Jacob Grier is the author of 'Cocktails on Tap: The Art of Mixing Spirits and Beer' and is the founder of Aquavit Week, an annual celebration of Scandinavian spirits. He tends bar in Portland, Oregon, most recently at Wayfinder Beer and The Multnomah Whiskey Library. His writing has appeared at The Atlantic, Slate, Reason, Mixology, Eater, and various other publications, including his own long-running weblog, Liquidity Preference ( He also accepts credit and/or blame for popularizing the bone luge.
Gilian Handelman
With a career that began as an assistant sommelier in 1987 in the 35,000 bottle cellar of Pierce’s restaurant in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Gilian Handelman couldn’t resist the call of the cellar. She quickly moved into wine production in 1988 in Washington State for six harvests in three different wineries. Handelman was hired in 1994 by Kendall-Jackson as an Enologist, where she produced experimental wine, yeast, and barrel trials and tracked the 1,500-plus lots of wine made by the winery each year. In 1996, she was tapped to create a comprehensive education program for the winery where she developed training for KJ’s sales force as well as wine and food education and seminars for trade and consumers.

In 2000, Paige Poulos Communications recruited Gilian as Director of Wine Communications where she developed PR and education plans for winery and industry clients. It was here that the diversity of her skill set was brought together, combining sensory evaluation, wine making and culinary education with marketing strategy and presentation acumen. In 2002 Gilian was hired by Wine & Spirits Magazine. As their Director of Marketing and Education, she created their lauded “Top 100” event, developed the “Best New Sommelier” concept, and coordinated and taught scores of classes at culinary and hospitality schools around the United States.

Propelled by a strong desire to return to the winery world, she was lured back to Jackson Family Wines in 2008, where she currently directs enterprise education for the family’s 50 wineries and labels around the globe. Gilian lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.
Hoke Harden, CSE, CSW
An enthusiastic lover of wine and spirits, Mr. Harden left a career in academia to follow his other muse for the last 27 years where he has been trekking around the world to the great producing regions. Recently referred to as a veritable walking omnibus of wine and spirits knowledge, he has experienced every possible facet of the world of wine and spirits as a retailer, restaurateur, bartender, buyer, wholesaler, supplier, marketer, critic, writer, competition judge, and educator. He is currently with Elixir Vitae Wine & Spirits Consultants, a member of the Society of Wine Educators, Wine & Spirits Instructor at Mt. Hood Community College, and a Master Instructor with the French Wine Academy.
Eric Hemer, CWE, MS, MW
Eric Hemer began his career at Southern Wine & Spirits (SWS) in 1988 as an On-Premise Wine Consultant in Palm Beach County, Florida. He went into management in 1990 and held various positions over the years, culminating in General Manager for American Wine and Spirits of Florida. In 1998, as similar positions were created around the country at SWS, he was appointed Educational Director for SWS of Florida, a return to his original interest in fine wine. Hemer passed the Certified Wine Educator examination in 1999, the Master Sommelier examination in 2003 and the Master of Wine examination in 2013. In 2014, he was promoted to his current position of Senior Vice-President, Corporate Director of Wine Education for SWS of America and today oversees wine educational endeavors in 46 markets across the US and Canada with the new company, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of America.

Eric is actively involved in wine education with numerous affiliated organizations as well, teaching at The Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University in Miami, acting as consulting sommelier and speaker for Chef Jean-Pierre’s Culinary School in Ft. Lauderdale, and is deeply involved in courses, lectures and examinations around the country with the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Institute of Masters of Wine, the Society of Wine Educators, and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. He resides in Lake Worth, Florida with wife Marianne and daughter Julia.
Suzanne Hoffman
Suzanne Hoffman has a diverse international background as an engineer, attorney, entrepreneur, and writer. Born and raised in south Louisiana, Suzanne was a long-time permanent resident of Switzerland before moving to Eagle County, Colorado where she works as a journalist and author.

Suzanne is a wine family expert who has captured behind-the-label stories, some centuries old, and combined them with over 200 captivating photographs and genealogies to give the first-of-its-kind look into the world of Piemonte’s familial wine industry in her first book, Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte. When not immersed in her labor of love of writing, Suzanne delights in alpine skiing, snowshoeing, biking, hiking, and exploring the enchanted world of wine with her husband, Dani.
Lorraine Hems, CWE, CSS, CS with CMS, WSET Level 3, CWJ
Lorraine’s been in the wine and spirits industry at retail, wholesale and educational levels for over 30 years. She’s a full-time lecturer of beverage courses in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. She teaches WSET courses at RIT, the New York Wine & Culinary Center and for Constellation Brands, and is simultaneously completing her WSET Diploma. She’s a Certified Bordeaux Educator with L’Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux/SOPEXA. Lorraine enjoys various roles with SWE, Women for WineSense, and American Wine Society that have included volunteering, presenting, and teaching at local events and national conferences. In 2012, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the WWS. Checking different wine regions off her “spit bucket” list by traveling, presenting, and judging at wine and spirits competitions in both hemispheres is great fun, but the Finger Lakes will always be her home.
Caroline Hermann
Based in Washington DC, Caroline Hermann is TTB's program manager for imported products, including wine, beer, distilled spirits, and tobacco. She has also taught wine industry professionals since 2010, and has worked in many aspects of the industry, including wineries and retail sales.
Paul Hobbs
Raised on a family farm in upstate New York, Paul learned early on about the importance of nurturing the land to produce fruit, indicative of place. After receiving his degree in chemistry from Notre Dame, Paul moved to California to attend UC Davis in 1978 where he earned his master’s degree in viticulture and enology. His forward-thinking thesis on French vs. American oak persuaded Robert Mondavi to enlist him on his enology team in 1979. From there, Paul’s career led him to roles with Opus One and Simi Winery, and by 1989, he emerged as a global wine consultant with his historic efforts behind developing malbec from Argentina. Nearly twenty-five years later, Paul Hobbs continues to spend his time in the vineyard and winery, setting the global bar for viticulture and the wine-making process to craft highly-regarded, site-specific wines from a range of varieties, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon along with indigenous varieties from appellations in Spain, France, Armenia and Hungary.
Thom Horsey, CSW
Thom Horsey, National Wine Educator for St Michelle Wine Estates, is a 35 year veteran of the wine industry having begun his career in a retail wine shop in Maryland in 1978. He is a member of the Society of Wine Educators and is Certified Specialist in Wine and is pursuing his Certified Wine Educator certification. Since getting the wine bug at 19 years old, Thom's efforts were focused on a career in the wine industry. While getting a BS in Business Management at Virginia Tech, he taught wine classes to the student population through the university short course program and has also made a wine in the University's Food Science & Technology Department's Wines & Vines class.

Thom’s has spent the last 25 with Robert Mondavi Winery, Constellation Brands and Rodney Strong Wine Estates before joining Ste Michelle Wine Estates as National Wine Educator in 2013. He has conducted over 2000 seminars on all aspects of wine for consumers, trade and distributors. Thom teaches at the University of Richmond’s Culinary Arts Center and founded the Ladybug Wine Event in Richmond, Virginia, which helps raise money for and serves children with Special Needs.
Michael Jordan MS, CWE
Veteran Restaurateur and “Sommelier for the People,” Michael Jordan is Director of Global Key Accounts for Jackson Family Fine Wines. Michael travels the globe to work with key decision makers and hospitality industry leaders specializing in education and training sommeliers and service teams. Jordan also hosts a weekly radio show, What’s Cookin’ with Wine, on many AM radio markets across the country and podcast on CRN Digital Talk Radio. With over forty years in the hospitality and restaurant business, Michael worked his way up to executive chef, and later roles as GM and Sommelier of several world class restaurants. Jordan now represents the Jackson Family and their many wineries. Passionate and friendly, Michael demystifies the world of wines as an “Ambassador of Flavor” for wine lovers across the globe.

-Jordan was Global Manager of Wine for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts® Worldwide;

-President of The Beachcomber Restaurant Group; -VP of F&B for Anaheim’s THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon (Zagat 28-29-28)

;-Michael opened and operaed the world famous Napa Rose Restaurant at Disneyland Resort.

-Jordan opened and managed both the “AAA Five Diamond” rated Pavilion Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Newport Beach and the award winning Pinot Provence Restaurant.
Martin Kaiser
Born in Mendoza, Argentina into a family with along-standing Viticulture tradition, his father and grandfather were his role models to follow and made him love the world of wine since he was a child.

Academic Background:
University Degree: Agronomist, 1999 (with a special award for having the highest final average mark), Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina. Master´s Degree of Science in Viticulture and Enology:École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Montpellier, France, 2001.

Professional background:·
Vineyard Manager and Consultant for di erent grapegrowers in Argentina and Paraguay between 1999 and 2004. He was in charge of developing new projects and areas of cultivation. Vineyard Manager at MASI Argentina (a branch of MASIItaly) between 2005 and 2006.· Researcher and Teacher at the Department of Physiologyof the Agricultural Science Faculty (Universidad Nacionalde Cuyo) between 2001 and 2009.· Vineyard Manager at Doña Paula since 2006. Nowadays, he lives in the Uco Valley, Mendoza, from where he takes care of Doña Paula's vineyards.
Carrie Kalscheuer, CWE
Carrie joined A to Z Wineworks in 2010 after a decade in the wine industry focusing on wine education. She initially managed direct sales for the boutique REX HILL label where she developed a knowledgeable hospitality staff while growing sales by a full 50%. Carrie now supports both direct and national sales, and offers her enthusiasm and knowledge to teach about Oregon wines and A to Z’s brands around the country.

In addition to a degree in Philosophy, Carrie has earned multiple certifications, including Certified Wine Educator through the Society of Wine Educators, Level 2, Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, and Level 3, Advanced Certification with Distinction through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
Eugenia Keegan
Eugenia has held many top positions during her forty years in the wine business. She began her career with Joseph Swan Vineyards as a cellar/vineyard worker in 1976. This was followed by internships in Burgundy at prestigious producers Pousse d’Or in Volnay and Etienne Sauzet in Puligny Montrachet. She accepted the position of Business Manager at Bouchaine Vineyards in 1982 and was promoted to President & CEO in 1984. In 1994, she started her own winery, Keegan Cellars, in the famed Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, specializing in handcrafted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Her travels took her to Oregon in 2003, where she ventured into the world of distribution and wholesale as the Founder and co-owner of Tsarina Wines, a small fine wine distributor based in Portland, Oregon. The company was sold in 2009 leaving Eugenia free to pursue a lifelong dream of owning vineyards and making wine in France. In April of 2014, she joined Jackson Family Wines as General Manager and Winemaker at Gran Moraine Winery. With the growth of Jackson Family in Oregon, she is now the Oregon General Manager with oversight of Oregon production and facilities.
Russ Kempton, CSS
Russ Kempton, CSS, has been in the alcoholic beverage industry for 35 years having held multiple sales, marketing, and management positions. Today he is the owner of Speaking of Grapes and Grains. Russ has participated in close to 1,800 seminars, training's, tastings, events, and dinners (private, consumers, customers, and charities) related to distilled spirits and wine throughout the United States. As an example; he has an excellent understanding and expertise of Single Malt and Blended Scotch, having traveled on five separate occasions to distilleries throughout Scotland. Russ also he has the Certificate of Expertise in the Sales & Service of Scotch Whisky in Edinburgh Scotland. Furthermore, in the past, Russ was the Texas Brand Ambassador for two leading Scottish distilleries- Glenmorangie and Ardbeg. Lastly, on numerous occasions, Russ has traveled to distilleries in the United States, Caribbean and Mexico. In addition, he has the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico Certification for Tequila expertise.

Besides his seminars, training's, and events, Russ has written many articles and blogs on the subject, and has a unique comprehension and knowledge of the world's prestigious and upcoming distilleries. For the past 16 years, he has been a visiting instructor in Survey of Beverage Alcohol classes (Hotel / Restaurant Management) at The University of North Texas. Russ has presented during The Society of Wine Educators Conference on Scotch whisky in 2010-2013 and again in 2015. Additionally, Russ has conducted two SWE webinars on Scotch whisky during 2015. Russ has also written extensively on distilled spirits during his career, including updating the Society of Wine Educators whiskies chapter for their Certified Specialist of Spirits study guide. Finally, during 2013-2015 Russ spoke at the annual National Association of Catering and Events (NACE) conference on Scotch whisky, Tequila and American whiskey and is invited to speak again this summer.
Don Kinnan, CSS, CWE, CSW
After serving 20 years in the US Army, Mr. Kinnan has been active as a retailer, supplier, and educator in the wine industry for the past 30 years. Until his retirement in 2011, Kinnan conducted 40 multi-day distributor wine seminars annually. He was the founding president of the Society for American Wines in Canada, is the lead instructor for the French Wine Society’s Master Burgundy Certificate program, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Wine Educators.
Edward Korry CHE, CWE, CSS
Edward Korry is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Beverage & Dining Service Department in the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. Edward is a Certified Hospitality Educator, Certified Wine Educator, a Certified Specialist of Spirits, a registered tutor of the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, a Formador Homologado del Vino de Jérèz (Certified Sherry Wine Educator), and a certified Bordeaux Wine Educator. In addition, Edward served as President of the Society of Wine Educators 2014-2016, and as an executive board member of the US Bartenders Guild Master Accreditation program. He also leads the judging for the prestigious industry food & beverage VIBE Vista Awards, and is a wine judge at international competitions. He teaches and has developed classes that specialize in wine, beer, spirits, mixology, coffee, tea, and restaurant management. He championed the development and implementation of beverage and sommelier concentrations/minors at Johnson & Wales University. Edward lectures at national and international conferences,and writes beverage articles at home and abroad. He worked and managed in the hotel/restaurant industry prior to joining Johnson & Wales in 1983 as Food & Beverage Director for several of the university’s practicum properties.
Jim Laughren, CWE
Jim Laughren, CWE, the founder of WineHead Consulting in Chicago, has been buying, selling, drinking, trading, collecting, sourcing, importing, distributing, studying, consulting, and writing about wine for most of his life. He is the author of 'A Beer Drinker’s Guide To Knowing & Enjoying Fine Wine,' a Kirkus ‘Indie Book of the Year’ in 2013, and has a second book, '50 Ways To Love Wine More,' scheduled for release this year. He travels frequently to wine regions around the world and greatly enjoys expanding wine’s “customer base” by introducing new drinkers to the pleasures of the fermented juice.
Linda Lawry, DWS, CWE
Linda Lawry is the Director of the International Wine Center in New York, where she is the primary instructor for the Wine and Spirits Education Trust Advanced Certificate, and lecturer for the WSET Diploma. She began her career at the International Wine Center in 1985.  

She was a member of the faculty of New York University from 1997 until 2016 in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, where she taught a wine and spirits course.

Linda earned the WSET Diploma in 1997. She is a Certified Wine Educator and a Certified Specialist of Spirits of the Society of Wine Educators and a trained chef, having earned a Certificate with Honors from the New York Restaurant School.  

Professional associations include serving on the Board of Directors Society of Wine Educators, and as President of Les Dames d’Escoffier New York Chapter.
Clare Lurton
Although born into a wine family, Claire never imagined that one day she would be at the head of 4 prestigious Bordeaux Châteaux. As a young student, Claire studied chemistry and archaeology and moved to Paris to prepare her thesis on the restoration of ancient documents. Her life as a student in Paris was short-lived, however, when in 1992 she was summoned back to Bordeaux to take over her family’s estates from her mother Bernadette Villars. In a world often dominated by men, Claire’s mother broke the mold with an enthusiasm and passion for wine that remains evident in her daughter today. There was even a time, when Bernadette first took the reigns of the estates, that the old-guard cellar master refused her entry into his domain, citing that the presence of a woman would spoil the wine. In short order, she proved that under her careful guidance and certainly amid her larger than life presence, the wine was better than ever and the properties excelled.

And so, it was in her early 20’s that Claire was passed this torch that burned so brightly. She thrust herself wholeheartedly into the world of wine and, like her mother before her, quickly found her rightful place aside the most prominent men of the industry. She learned the art of wine-making and the science of viticulture both in the classroom at the Faculté d’Oenologie de Bordeaux and alongside her grandfather, Jacques Merlaut. Her rigorous hands-on training with her grandfather allowed her to understand many nuances of the trade and helped prepare her for a life in the vines and cellars of France’s greatest treasures. Claire was immediately tasked with managing and maintaining a high standard of excellence in the beloved family jewels of Châteaux Chasse-Spleen and La Gurgue, as well as the more recently acquired Grand Crus: Ferrière and Haut-Bages Libéral.

Later joined by her sister Céline, the family decided that it would be better to split the responsibilities. Unfazed by the high expectations of running a classified estate, Claire took on the challenge of bringing back the two Grand Cru Classé Châteaux of Ferrière and Haut-Bages Libéral to their former glories. Over the years, Claire has dedicated herself to reinstating these properties to their rightful place among the world’s finest wines. Continual effort has been made in the vineyards with extensive soil surveys and a dedicated replanting program.
Gonzague Lurton
It is not always easy to live up to a family name, especially one as ubiquitous as the Lurtons in the wine world, but Gonzague is more than up to the challenge. The Lurton family has been a major player in the Bordeaux wine trade for over three generations with a handful of classified Châteaux and dozens of other fine properties to their name. Lucien Lurton, Gonzague’s father, spent his entire career acquiring properties throughout the Left Bank of Bordeaux, often saving these precious pieces of land and history from ruin. By 1992 Lucien had accumulated 12 different wine-making estates and decided it was time to pass them on to the next generation.The dream of a life in California actually started with Lucien when in 1952, as a young wine professional, he set out to explore the world and ended up working at the famed Wente Vineyards in the Livermore Valley.

Forty years later, after ceding his numerous Châteaux and life’s work to his children, Lucien set out once again to recapture the adventures of his youth. It was during this epic journey around the globe, that Gonzague received a call from his father beckoning him to Sonoma. Recognizing the immense potential to make wines that could rival his beloved Bordeaux, Lucien instilled in Gonzague a desire to make this dream a reality.

Before being thrust to the head of a renowned Château, Gonzague had studied economics and worked in finance. He used his keen business sense to reinsert life back into the under performing property. After a decade of intensive geological surveys in the vineyards and a heavy investment in the wine-making facilities, Durfort-Vivens has enjoyed a certain renaissance. Gonzague also presides over the community of growers in Margaux, the Syndicat Viticole de Margaux, which shows his willingness to get his hands dirty. He is also the founder and president of the family-owned wine merchant business, La Passion des Terroirs, which has become one of the most important “negociants” in the region and export Bordeaux wine all over the world.
Bob Madill, AWS and WSET
Following a decade in the wine industry in Ontario, Canada, Bob Madill became a founding Partner of Sheldrake Point Winery in the Finger Lakes in New York in 1997. He is the Brand Ambassador for the three Glenora associated wineries – Glenora, Knapp, & Chateau LaFayette Reneau. Bob is Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, a member of the Board of the International Riesling Foundation, and co-chair of the Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes. Bob received the New York Wine & Grape Foundation’s Unity Award in 2009. Being AWS and WSET certified (Level 3 with Distinction), he judges at US and international wine competitions and is an instructor for the AWS Wine Judge Training Program. Bob’s international travels include ProWein, the London & Hong Hong International Wine Fairs, International Riesling conferences and presiding over wine-growing study tours in Europe for winery professionals.
António Maçanita
Portuguese winemaker, António Maçanita, has his roots in Alentejo (mainland) and the Azores, and has had a solid wine-making career of more than 12 years. He became well-known for the Fita Preta’s project that he developed in Alentejo, and together with more recent projects in Douro “Maçanita – Brothers & Winemakers” and in the Azores. Antonio Maçanita is also a wine consultant to 15 projects all over Portugal.
Dani Martinez
May Matta-Aliah, ASA, CWE, DWS
May Matta-Aliah is a New York-based wine educator and president of In the Grape (, an organization dedicated to making wine and spirits education accessible to everyone from the curious appreciator to the wine trade professional. May is an instructor for the WSET Level 2 Intermediate class, as well as a specialist instructor for the WSET Level 3 Advanced Course and WSET Level 4 Diploma classes at the prestigious International Wine Center in NYC. She has been a frequent presenter at Astor Center, and was a guest wine instructor at Schiller International University, a culinary school in Switzerland for a summer program. As of April 2009, May has been the Armagnac Ambassador to New York and has been training retailers, restaurant wait-staff, and bartenders on the diverse pleasures of France’s oldest spirit. May has also worked with the Champagne region, the Port Wine Region as well as the Wines of Alsace in a similar educational ambassador capacity. May has worked at New York City’s largest retail store, Astor Wines & Spirits, and has experienced firsthand the practical aspects of wine-making through time spent working the harvest at Lenz Winery, on the North Fork of Long Island as well as assisting with cellar work in the Tokaji region of Hungary.

Prior to her involvement in the wine world, May was a creative director with over 15 years of experience in the field of design and promotions aimed primarily at the wine trade. May holds numerous regional certificates as well as the Wine & Spirit Education Trust® Advanced Certificate with Distinction and the WSET® Diploma, which she earned in 2000. She also holds the American Sommelier Association (ASA) Certificate, and is a Certified Wine Educator through the Society of Wine Educators, for which she was also the Banfi Award Recipient for 2001.
Sharron McCarthy, CSW
Sharron is a past president of the Society of Wine Educators. Affectionately known as “America’s First Lady of Wine Ed.,” she has introduced Americans from all walks of life to a finer, more nuanced appreciated for the fruit of the vine. From Fortune 500 companies to hospitality and grad students at America’s premier centers of learning, to staff at wine stores and restaurants, Sharron is in constant demand as one of the wine industry’s most effective speakers. A native to Long Island, Sharron McCarthy’s wine business career began in 1978 at Banfi Vintners - a leading name in imported fine wines. In 1986, she formed her own consulting agency. Her partnership with the Italian Trade Commission is widely credited with helping to propel Italy to its current status as America’s leading source of imported wines. She returned to Banfi Vintners in the mid 1990’s to pursue a new role focused exclusively on developing wine education.
Richard Mendelson
Richard Mendelson brings a unique background and perspective to “Appellation Napa Valley.” A native Floridian, Mendelson went to Harvard and then fell in love with wine while doing post-graduate work at Oxford. From there, he immersed himself in Old World wine culture and history during a year-long apprenticeship at one of the most prestigious wineries in Burgundy. Fascinated by the crucial intersection of wine and law, Mendelson earned his law degree from Stanford and then headed for the exciting new frontier for American wine and food: the Napa Valley.

Mendelson joined Napa’s leading law firm, Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty, and over the next three decades he helped vintners, grape-growers, and policy makers evolve a New World system of appellations - one that promotes Napa’s emerging wine industry and at the same time builds and protects the valley’s agricultural and cultural wealth. In the process, he earned a reputation as one of the preeminent wine lawyers in America. Mendelson has also published two seminal books on wine law: “From Demon to Darling: A Legal History of Wine in America,” published by University of California Press in 2009, and “Wine in America: Law and Policy,” published by Wolters Kluwer in 2011. Mendelson continues to practice law and directs the program on Wine Law and Policy at UC Berkeley Law School. He and his wife Marilyn live in Napa.
Shane Moore
Born and raised on a third-generation farm in the open plains of Idaho, Shane Moore left Coeur d’Alene in 2004 to build an academic foundation for his favorite agricultural pursuit: wine. He graduated from Washington State University with a BS in Horticulture and a focus on Enology and Viticulture in 2008. A cellar rat throughout his college years, Shane learned the rhythms of the winery from the seat of a forklift while deepening his natural affinity for the land and the vine. Armed with a love of music and wine, a lot of wanderlust, three chords and a guitar, Shane left the Pacific Northwest to explore the wider world.

For three years, Shane gained valuable experience working in wineries around the globe—in Canada, in Western Australia, and in Israel’s Golan Heights. Shane met his future wife, Claire, while working harvest in Margaret River in 2010, and the pair soon returned to her native Sonoma County in California. Shane joined the Jackson Family Wines team in 2011 as an enologist specializing in Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, and in 2013 he returned to the Pacific Northwest to assume the role of Winemaker for Zena Crown. A winemaker, musician, and North Face-wearing lover of the outdoors, Shane is right at home in the granola-meets-Portlandia-meets-grape culture of the Willamette Valley. Shane loves to ski, fish, bake bread and hunt mushrooms—the latter activity, performed at an “undisclosed location” back in Idaho, which typically yields a careful of morels best sautéed in butter and washed down with Pinot Noir. He can nowadays rattle off a pretty mean bluegrass lick or two, even though (he admits) the fermenting wines prefer reggae. Shane lives in McMinnville with his wife and a growing menagerie of heritage bread yeasts, down the street from a haunted hotel.
Jeffrey Morgenthaler
Tania Oliveira
Tania Oliveira is the PR and Communications Director for Sogevinus Fine Wines, whose collection of rare Colheita Ports is the most extensive in the world. Combining the resources of Kopke, Burmester, Calem, and Barros, the cellars hold a seemingly endless inventory of rare ports that range from the quite recent to several vintages from the 1800’s.

Before joining Sogevinus, Ms. Oliveira served as the communications director for VIniPortugal, where she was responsible for promoting the Wines of Portugal on the international wine stage. Fluent in four languages, Tania’s passion for wine, and particularly for Tawny Ports, is dangerously infectious, especially when coupled with a wine library of more than a century of examples.
Mario Pablo Silva
Mario Pablo Silva’s mission is to produce only top quality wines at his family’s winery Casa Silva. He joined the winery as General Director in 1997 and has focused on identifying, understanding and optimizing the best locations for his family’s vineyards. He has pioneered new terroirs for Casa Silva in all corners of the ColchaguaValley, including Los Lingues and Lolol in 1997, and Colchagua's first coastal vineyards in Paredones in 2006. More recently he planted Chile’s most southerly vines at his family ranch at Ranco Lake, 350 kilometres south of BíoBío.

Widely recognized for his passion and determination to push boundaries, Mario Pablo has transformed Casa Silva into one of Chile's most awarded winery in the 21st century. Thecompany is one of the driving forces behind the New Chile: experts in understanding Chilean terroir and specialists in the production of premium wines, particularly from Carmenère. Mario Pablo has also been instrumental in developing Colchagua Valley's reputation as one of the most diverse regions in Chile with outstanding potential for premium wine production. In 1999 he became the inaugural President of Viñas de Colchagua, a post he held for eight out of the following 10 years representing the interests of member producers and driving the creation of the Colchagua Valley Wine Route. Under his guidance, Colchagua Valley was the first region in Chile to promote its own appellation and actively encourage wine tourism. He led the way at Casa Silva opening an on-site boutique hotel, restaurant, and wine bar, and developed the family's equestrian heritage to offer tourists a unique insight into the traditions and passions of both the family and the region. Mario Pablo has consistently supported the promotion of Chilean wines. He was the youngest ever Director of ChileVid in 1998 and a key figure behind the launch of Wines of Chile. He is also on the Board of the recently created "University of Wine' in Colchagua, the only institution 100% dedicated to Chile's wine industry. Most recently he has been President of the Commission revising the Chilean appellation system to create new longitudinal denominations that identify whether wines are produced in the foothills of the Andes, between the mountains, or in the coastal areas of Chile. He was also the president of VINNOVA, the National Consortium for Technological Innovation in Wine.
Rich Parducci
Rich Parducci is a fourth‐generation winemaker. His great-grandfather, Adolph Parducci, founded Parducci Winery in 1932. He entered the industry at age 12 and has worked in almost every facet of the industry from bottling, vineyard, laboratory to cellar. A 1992 graduate of California State University Fresnoin Enology, Rich brings a cutting edge approach which compliments his heritage and the previous generation’s traditional wine-making style. An award‐winning winemaker, Rich makes wines in his own unique style and finds a way to honor his grandfather’s history at the same time. Rich lives in Ukiah with his wife Melinda and their three children.
Paul Poux, CSW
Paul Poux, CSW, finds joy in combining food, wine, and travel. Paul provides wine education ‘experiences’ to Millennials, and to the rest of us, for wine brands and regions. Paul also does marketing and sponsor management for food and wine festivals around the country. Paul's favorite wines are Amarone and Muscadet. Tell him yours at
John Rielly, CSS, CSW, CS
John Currently works as Prestige Wine Manager for Terlato Wines International on the West Coast of the US. John’s main focus is selling premium brands like Gaja, Il Poggione, Duval Leroy, Rochioli, and Chapoutier among others primarily in California, Nevada, and Colorado. He formerly was with the premier Distributor Southern Wine and Spirits for 5 years in San Diego and Orange County. Before that John worked in many premium restaurants and hotels in Colorado and California, including Zuni Café in San Francisco and was last in service at IVY/Andaz Hotel in San Diego as Director of Private Dining. In 2008 John passed the Certified Sommelier exam in New York and in 2010 he passed the Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits Certificates in San Diego. John lives in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego and enjoys golf, skiing, and travelling the world. He is currently studying for the Certified Wine Educator Certificate test in August in Portland Oregon.
Filipe Rocha
Born in S. Miguel Island, where he lived until the age of 18, Filipe, graduated at Economics Lisbon. At the end of 1999, Filipe Rocha was back to the Island to start his career. Between 2004 and the end of October 2016 he became the Executive Director of the Hospitality and Tourism School in Azores, dedicating himself more to restaurant and hotel business, giving special attention and contributing to transforming training in the region, and projecting Azorean wines and gastronomy not only in Portugal but also abroad.
Glenn Salva
Glenn C. Salva is responsible for all winegrowing activities for ANTICA NAPA VALLEY, the Antinori Family’s Napa Valley, California wine estate. Glenn assumed the role of Wine Estate Manager in December 2002. In addition to his Napa Valley responsibilities, Glenn also provides assistance to other Antinori wine ventures located in the New World. In Washington State, Antinori along with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates produces Col Solare. Antinori and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates together manage and produce the wines of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars also located in Napa Valley. Glenn earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in 1976 where he majored in Viticulture. Glenn brings 30 years of Napa Valley winegrowing experience to his responsibilities at Antica Napa Valley.
Michael Schafer Esq., CSW, CCTP
Michael Schafer Esq. known as The Wine Counselor®, is an adjunct professor at The Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College. He teaches at Oakland Community College, created the beverage program at Dorsey Schools Michigan and taught at The International Culinary School of the Art Institute of Michigan. Consumer classes on wine and spirits are also part of his repertoire. Michael is a CSW, CCTP and Sommelier who entertains while educating. His humorous and fun approach is reflected in his trademark phrase “I taste bad wine so you don’t have to”®. He is a regular contributor to numerous publications and writes quarterly articles for the Tasters Guild Journal and the Journal of the American Wine Society. Schafer is on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Wine Organization, a charitable organization over 6,000 strong that is dedicated to funding charities through entertaining education. Laugh, learn and have fun as The Wine Counselor® "edutains" you about the wonders of Alsace.
Sam Schmitt, CSW, CS, CSS, CWE
Sam Schmitt, CS, CSS, CWE, is the Director of Consumer Direct Sales at Adelsheim Vineyard in Newberg, Oregon. Sam’s 15 years of experience in the wine industry started with the founding of a Wine Bar in Scottsdale, Arizona, which eventually led him to become a Certified Wine Educator. He joined Adelsheim Vineyard in May of 2016 as Director of Consumer Direct Sales where, as part of the Executive Management team, he oversees Adelsheim’s Tasting Room, Wine Club, E-Commerce Business, and Visitor Education Programs. Sam earned his CSW in October of 2014, his CWE in August of 2015, and is a regular presenter for the Society of Wine Educator’s annual SWebinar and CWE Summit series.
Domenico Scimone
Domenico Scimone is the General Manager of Carpenè Malvolti, a position he’s held since September 2012. With more than thirty years of business experience, Scimone developed beverage expertise from positions in several multinational food and beverage markets. Prior to joining Carpenè Malvolti, Scimone directed sales and marketing teams for three of the world’s leading beverage companies, demonstrating his leadership and entrepreneurial spirit as it applied to international marketing, trade marketing strategy, and international sales management. Through his success in working with a range of international companies and products, Scimone has been recognized as a master interpreter of the world of food and beverage.
Mark Sievers
Mark received his BS in engineering from the US Air Force Academy and his MBA in finance from the University of California, Berkeley. He continues to be active in his financial business and as a director for a regional health care and hospital system. His role in the olive oil business is as owner, master miller and CFO. Of course the primary goal now is to produce international award winning olive oil, provide healthy food from their olive farm, and care for over 2,700 olive trees.
Mark’s favorite use of olive oil is single varietal Leccino on fresh, warm pasta with lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Simple, luxurious, and easy!
Michael Silacci
Michael Silacci joined Opus One in March 2001 as director of viticulture and enology and became winemaker in January of 2004, taking on responsibility for all aspects of viticulture and wine-making. Prior to his appointment at Opus One, Mr. Silacci spent 6 years as winemaker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, one year as winemaker at King Estate in Oregon, and 6 years at Beaulieu Vineyard. He has also made wine in France and Chile. Mr. Silacci holds a master’s degree in viticulture from the University of California, Davis in addition to undergraduate degrees in enology from the University of California, Davis and the Institut d’Oenologie at the Université de Bordeaux.

Advancing a holistic vision of wine growing as the ultimate expression of terroir, Mr. Silacci ensures that the connection between viticulture and wine-making at Opus One is seamless, reflecting the philosophy of founders Baron Philippine de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi. Mr. Silacci seeks to enhance tradition and maintain innovation. His wines express time and place. Opus One produces luxury wines at its Napa Valley winery in Oakville, California. The 2013 vintage is now distributed in all 50 U.S. States and 68 countries worldwide.
Marco Simonit
For the past 25 years, Marco Simonit & Pierpaolo Sirch have established themselves as experts in vineyard management with a focus on reflecting terroir through the grapevines and grapes utilizing their revolutionary pruning techniques. Marco Simonit & Pierpaolo Sirch are agronomists, both born in 1966 into families of farmers and winemakers. They grew up as friends and together have developed the Simonit & Sirch Pruning Method, which codified the rules of vine pruning. Together, they attended the Agriculture College in Cividale del Friuli and, after several years of research and experiments in many vineyards across Europe, founded the Preparatori d’Uva Srl in 2003, the only European school accredited in training workers on the manual pruning of vineyards. This Italian School of Vine Pruning has 12 offices in major Italian wine regions and they also created Next in Wine, a prize for young winemakers.

Their counsel and knowledge is sought out by leading companies throughout Italy and the most important wine regions in Europe. Currently Preparatori d’Uva Srl collaborates with more than 130 companies in 11 countries. They currently have a team of 20 technicians engaged in training today’s generation of winegrowers. As a group they are committed to recreating the idea of pruning as one where craftsmanship plays a true role. They believe their pruning method is ideal for training old and new pruners. They have had great success with these techniques and are often called the “super-pruners.”

The pair and their teams have worked in the most prestigious vineyards around the world, including Chateaux La Tour Ausone, and Y’quem and Roederer to numerous wineries in Italy and in California with their innovative techniques. The pair decided to partner with the Terlato family to further promote Pinot Grigio and Friulano from their specific area. While they travel the world, the two are committed to their home region of Friuli and the families and growers there. This opportunity with Terlato excites them both as they can finally realize a dream they had. In partnership with Bill Terlato, the two are finally bringing high quality Pinot Grigio to the U.S. that from Friuli. Together with Terlato Vineyards, they are squarely aimed at changing perceptions of this noble variety, and setting a new standard for quality.
Pierpaolo Sirch
For the past 25 years, Marco Simonit & Pierpaolo Sirch have established themselves as experts in vineyard management with a focus on reflecting terroir through the grapevines and grapes utilizing their revolutionary pruning techniques. Marco Simonit & Pierpaolo Sirch are agronomists, both born in 1966 into families of farmers and winemakers. They grew up as friends and together have developed the Simonit & Sirch Pruning Method, which codified the rules of vine pruning. Together, they attended the Agriculture College in Cividale del Friuli and, after several years of research and experiments in many vineyards across Europe, founded the Preparatori d’Uva Srl in 2003, the only European school accredited in training workers on the manual pruning of vineyards. This Italian School of Vine Pruning has 12 offices in major Italian wine regions and they also created Next in Wine, a prize for young winemakers.

Their counsel and knowledge is sought out by leading companies throughout Italy and the most important wine regions in Europe. Currently Preparatori d’Uva Srl collaborates with more than 130 companies in 11 countries. They currently have a team of 20 technicians engaged in training today’s generation of winegrowers. As a group they are committed to recreating the idea of pruning as one where craftsmanship plays a true role. They believe their pruning method is ideal for training old and new pruners. They have had great success with these techniques and are often called the “super-pruners.”

The pair and their teams have worked in the most prestigious vineyards around the world, including Chateaux La Tour Ausone, and Y’quem and Roederer to numerous wineries in Italy and in California with their innovative techniques. The pair decided to partner with the Terlato family to further promote Pinot Grigio and Friulano from their specific area. While they travel the world, the two are committed to their home region of Friuli and the families and growers there. This opportunity with Terlato excites them both as they can finally realize a dream they had. In partnership with Bill Terlato, the two are finally bringing high quality Pinot Grigio to the U.S. that from Friuli. Together with Terlato Vineyards, they are squarely aimed at changing perceptions of this noble variety, and setting a new standard for quality.
Stuart Spencer
Stuart has served as the Program Manager for the Lodi Winegrape Commission since 1999, where he has worked to raise the awareness of the Lodi wines and grapes. Stuart is also the winemaker for his family’s winery, St.Amant Winery, a small premium winery producing distinctive wines in the Lodi appellation. Stuart’s parents founded St.Amant Winery in 1981 focusing on producing hand-crafted wines of superb quality. Stuart is one of the founding winemakers of the “Lodi Native” group that is dedicated to crafting distinctive wines from Lodi’s historic old Zinfandel vineyards.
Guy Stout, CSS, CWE, MS
Guy Stout is a Master Sommelier and a Certified Wine Educator as well as a former President of the SWE Board of Directors. Guy has also been recognized as a Houston icon for his contribution to the wine and food industry of Texas and Honorary Alumnus of University of Houston Hilton School.

He is the Corporate Director of Beverage Education for The Glazer’s Family of Companies, covering 12 states. Guy has been the guest featured “wine expert” on the PBS cooking series Cucina Amore with Damian Mandola and Johnny Carrabba, founders of the Carrabba’s Restaurant Chain. He has appeared on a number of radio and television talk shows covering wine and food. He was a featured speaker at the Smithsonian Institute Folk Life Festival in Washington D.C. lecturing on the Texas wine industry’s current boom and the historical development of Texas wine.

Guy is a member of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. He is also an owner, with wife Kimberly, of Stout Vineyards in the Texas Hill Country AVA, producing Syrah grapes. He is an active wine judge for a variety of national competitions including the L.A. County Fair, Dallas Morning News, Jefferson Cup, Texas Open, and the Houston Rodeo Wine Competition. He is also a graduate of the Wine and Spirits Management Institute at the University of Houston Hilton School for Hotel and Restaurant Management. Guy is a member of the Houston Food and Beverage Managers Association, and an active spokesman for the adult beverage industry.
David Strada
David Strada is a self-employed, San Francisco-based consultant to the wine, food, and hospitality industries. He has represented the New Zealand Winegrowers throughout their unparalleled success across the US since 1998. In that capacity he is responsible for educational and promotional programs, media and public relations, and market development.
Alan Tardi
Alan Tardi, former NYC chef and restaurateur, has long worked as a freelance journalist authoring articles about wine and food for numerous publications including The New York Times, Wine & Spirits Magazine, The Wine Spectator, Decanter, Sommelier Journal, and Food Arts. In 2003, Alan moved to the village of Castiglione Falletto in the heart of the Barolo region in Piemonte, Italy, where he spent several years working in the surrounding vineyards and wineries through all phases of the growing and production process, an experience which completely changed his perspective on wine. In 2009 Alan began frequenting the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco winegrowing area and, after successive visits during which he developed a rapport with many local farmers and producers, as well as principals of the governing Consortium, was named first ever US Ambassador of Conegliano Valdobbiadene in January 2015. His first book, 'Romancing the Vine: Life, Love and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo' (St Martins Press, 2006) won a James Beard Award for Best Wine and Spirits Book of 2006. And a new book, “Champagne, Uncorked: The House of Krug and the Timeless Allure of the World’s Most Celebrated Drink” (Hachette/PublicAffairs 2016) recently won a Gourmand Best in the World Award in the French Wine category.
Steve Thomson
A native of the Chicago area and a graduate of the University of Illinois, Steve has 27 years of wine industry experience, which followed a successful 12-year career as a Restaurateur and Hotel Company Food & Beverage Director. For 17 years Steve was with Oregon’s King Estate Winery, from 2007 as Executive Vice President. Prior to that he was a General Sales Manager and Regional Director for two of America’s leading wholesalers based in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri.
Appointed to the Oregon Wine Board in 2012 by Governor John Kitzhaber, Steve serves as Chairman of the Oregon Wine Board and President of the Oregon Winegrower’s Association. He chairs the Marketing and Export Committees for the Oregon Wine Board and is Vice President of the Northwest Wine Coalition. He was also on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Wineries from 2006 to 2016. In 2012, he had the honor of testifying before the US Senate Finance Committee on behalf of the US wine industry on the topic of Global Competitiveness.

Steve has studied at UC Davis and Wharton and has been a Senior Adviser for one of the wine industry’s premier consulting firms. In his spare time he is a grape-grower in Walla Walla as an owner of the ‘Octave’ Vineyard, where each year he and his family produce a highly regarded small lot Walla Walla, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Toshio Ueno, CSW, FWS
Toshio is the only one in the world to hold Master of Sake (酒匠), Master Sake Sommelier (日本酒学講師), and WSET Sake Educator diploma. Born in Japan where his family has grown Japanese wine grape, Koshu, for generations, Toshio grew up helping the business from a young age. Following his college education in the US and employment at an international trading company in Tokyo, Toshio joined Chateraise, a pastry and wine company as Director of Sales. There, he was put in charge of overseeing the personal wine collection of the company's president, which intrigued him to enter the world of wine stewardship and research. Toshio joined Mutual Trading Company in 2002, where he is Manger of the Business Development Department in marketing Japanese foods, Jizake, and Shochu to the mainstream American trade. With his passion and expertise in Jizake, Shochu, and Wine, Toshio aims to further promote Japanese food and Sake cultures to new, international audiences. Since 2010, he has been Vice President & Executive Instructor at Sake School of America.
Paul Wagner
Paul Wagner studied sociology and education at U. C. Santa Cruz and classical guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Seville, Spain. After several positions in Public Relations and Marketing in the wine industry in Napa Valley, Mr. Wagner formed Balzac Communications & Marketing on April 1, 1991. Current clients include Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Wagner Family of Wines, Wente Vineyards, Mendocino Wine Company, Simply Italian, Sogevinus of Portugal, Bodegas Salentein, Villa Trasqua, Miner Wines, Rioja Alavesa, and a host of other wine and food specialists. He has been an instructor for Napa Valley College's Viticulture and Enology department for the past twenty-one years. In addition, he teaches at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, is a guest lecturer at many universities, and has spoken at more than eighty conferences throughout the world on wine business, communications, wine tourism, public affairs, wine, and wine marketing.

With Liz Thach and Janeen Olsen, he authored a book: 'Wine Marketing & Sales, Strategies for a Saturated Market by The Wine Appreciation Guild,' which won the Gourmand International Award in 2008 for the best wine book of the year for professionals. A second edition of that work was published in 2011, and a third edition is underway.

He was also a columnist for Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine for ten years, contributes to in the field of wine and food, and served on the board of directors of the Society of Wine Educators for many years. With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, he hosts “Bottle Talk” at, a weekly conversation about wine. Paul Wagner has judged many international wine competitions, is a founding member of the Academy of Wine Communications, a member of the nominations committee of the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintner’s Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Spadarini della Castellania di Soave in 2005. In 2009 he was honored with a “Life Dedicated to Wine” award at the Feria Nacional del Vino (FENAVIN) in Spain.
Michael Wangbickler DWS, CWE
Michael holds a Level 4 Diploma from London-based Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). He is recognized as a WSET Certified Educator and a Certified Wine Educator (CWE) by the Society of Wine Educators. In addition, he holds a WSET Level 3 Award in Sake. Mike has been teaching about wine, sake and spirits for more than ten years, and most recently with the Discover Wine & Spirits Academy (DWSA), where he is Lead Instructor. He also leads several seminars and workshops on wine and wine marketing throughout the world.

Mike feels passionately about wine and believes that everybody can benefit from some level of education on the subject. His ultimate goal is to give every one of his students the tools they need to appreciate, market, and sell wine with confidence. In addition, Mike currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer and Partner at Balzac Communications and Marketing in Napa, California.
Barry Wiss CWE, CSS
At age 15, his hospitality career formally began with a position as busboy in a small restaurant. At age 18, while working as a restaurant manager, he entered the newly formed Hotel Restaurant Program at the University of New Orleans. After this, Barry’s first hotel position was Assistant Executive Steward for the 1500 room Sheraton New Orleans. Upon gaining experience in back and front of the house operations, Barry was promoted to Food and Beverage Director and transferred to a new Sheraton property in Southern California. In 1993, Barry became Hospitality Director at Schramsberg Vineyards, where he worked closely with the late Jack and Jamie Davies and was responsible for designing their hospitality program. In 1995, Barry became Senior Director of Hospitality and Education for Trinchero Family Estates Winery. Presently, Barry is Vice President of Trade Relations for Trinchero, and responsible for establishing one of the industry’s most creative and innovative culinary and wine education programs, Vine to Dine®. Barry is also the creator of the World Wine Challenge® App.

Barry and his wife, Kim, are one of the lead wine hosts for AMA Waterways River Cruises. He is a Certified Wine Educator, Certified Sommelier, and Certified Specialist of Spirits. Barry has also been awarded Advanced Level Certification with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and serves as the President of the Society of Wine Educators.
Michael Wray, Ph.D., MCFE, CCI, CWS
Dr. Michael Wray is a Professor of Restaurant Management at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Dr. Wray has been at Metro State since 2000 and has fostered many community and industry relationships that has led to much growth in beverage courses in wine, beer and spirits. The beverage courses at Metro State have grown from a single course when Michael arrived to more than 15 unique beverage courses in high quality and inspiring labs, much of which Michael designed, raised funding for, and inspired partners with a passion for beverage knowledge. Prior to coming to Metro State, Michael worked as a food and beverage director with corporate hotels, private clubs, and resorts. Michael is a highly credentialed restaurant and culinary professor. He is a Certified Culinary Instructor, holds a Sommelier Diploma, Certified Specialist of Wine, and Master Certified Food Service Executive credentials. Previous to his Ph.D. in Education, he obtained a BS in Nutrition and Foods from Virginia Tech, and an MBA from Salisbury University.

At Metro State, Dr. Wray’s courses are some of the most popular on campus. He has created an extensive coursework in culinary and beverage classes. His course, Beer and Spirits, has been featured in over 400 media outlets nationally with guest appearances on CNN, NBC National News, the Paul Harvey Show, Headline news, and most of the local media including the Denver Post, Wine Life Radio, and Colorado Public Radio. Recently he has fostered a campus partnership with the Tivoli Brewing company (Colorado’s oldest) to return the brewery to its ancestral home on campus, and is now the world’s largest brewery on a college campus. He worked diligently to bring together industry partners to participate in program and curriculum development. Last year, two new beer industry degrees started with innovative new courses in cooking with beer, Cicerone certification, brewing science, brewery operations, fermentation, quality analysis, and sales and marketing of beverage. The program success is due much to Dr. Wray’s vision of the beer industry and brewing programs as being vital to the future of not only hospitality students, but also for those seeking a career in the thriving Colorado beverage industry.
Elaine Chukan Brown
Based in Sonoma, California, Elaine Chukan Brown serves as the American Specialist for, is a contributing writer to Wine & Spirits, and a columnist for Wine Business Monthly. Her work has also been featured in The World of Fine Wine, The Robb Report, Decanter,, San Francisco Magazine, among others, and appears on her own website, Elaine is known for having created illustrated tasting notes, which have been described by @KermitLynchWine as “a new standard in wine reviews.” Prior to her career in wine, Elaine served as a philosophy professor at Northern Arizona University. She was Dartmouth College’s Charles A. Eastman Fellow, and a Tomlinson Fellow at McGill University, where she did her doctoral work. Prior to her career in philosophy, Elaine was a commercial salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where the rest of her family still operate their businesses.
Elisabeth Sievers
Elisabeth has a background in flute performance and Italian & French language & literature. In 2012 she moved to Piedmont, Italy, to pursue a masters in Food, Culture, & Communication: Food, Place, Identity at the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche in Pollenzo, Italy, aka the Slow Food University. Following her studies, Elisabeth remained in Piedmont to work as a translator and collaborator for Slow Food International, Slow Food Editore, and Slow Wine. She is a current contributor to the forthcoming Slow Wine guide on California wineries, bringing her back to Northern California. She grew up in Suisun Valley, where her family has an olive grove, farm, and tasting room and produces award winning extra virgin olive oil.