Wines of the South Regional Wine Competition

2018: Seventeenth Annual Regional Wine Competition October 12 - 13, 2018

Wines of the South is an annual regional wine competition designed to promote and celebrate the great tastes of Southern vintages. Wineries in 14 southern states are invited to submit wines for the competition from Texas to West Virginia and all the way down to Florida. The Wines of the South event is hosted by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville's Food Science Department and takes place in October of every year. In 2018, the 17th annual competition will take place in Knoxville, TN and we hope for your continued or new involvement with the Wines of the South Competition this year!

Meet The 2017 Judges:

Renée Brewer: Renée Saunier Brewer, CS, CSW owns two wine businesses in downtown Lexington, Ky.  Wine + Market is a specialty wine, beer, liquor and cheese shop and Enoteca is a wine and tapas bar.

JoAnn DeGaglia:  a Certified Specialist of Wine and a member of the Society of Wine Educators as well as a Certified Adv. Sommelier earning both an American and Italian Wine Specialist Degree from the North American Sommelier Assn with honors. She is a popular Wine Educator and Associate Instructor at the Westchester Wine School in New York and the North American Sommelier Assn. Earning her Wine Judge Certification from the American Wine Society she has judged at competitions all over the country.  She works part time at two of the Hudson Valleys great wine destinations, Brotherhood Americas Oldest Winery and the Wine Spectators award winning Glenmere Mansion in Chester New York.

Jane Duralia: National AWS President, AWS Certified Judge. Judges annually at Tasters’ Guild International Competition, Atlantic Seaboard Competition, and Dixie Classic. Judge at INDY International Wine Competition. Well traveled in wine exploration and tastings across the US, Canada, and Europe.

Rege Duralia: American Wine Society (AWS) Certified Wine Judge. Chairman- Annual AWS National Tasting Project. Judges annually at Tasters’ Guild International Competition, Dixie Classic Competition and AWS Amateur and Commercial Competition. Well traveled in wine exploration and tastings across the US, Canada, and Europe

Terri Geiser: Culinary and wine enthusiast, consultant and cooking instructor who has a special interest in food and wine pairing. She teaches food and wine pairing and cooking classes at the Glass Bazaar and the University of Tennessee.

Carole Hackett: With a background in healthcare, Carole’s undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry has been valuable in her wine studies. Her interest in wine has led her to see further education. Carole is a certified wine Judge with the American Wine Society. Carole has completed Level 2 of WSET program with merit. She is a member of the Society of Wine Educators and enrolled in the Certified Wine Specialist program.

Carole enjoys judging amateur and commercial competitions. Her five years of judging experience have taker her through Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, New York, Missouri and Texas. She has judged county fairs, regional festival events, state fairs amateur competition and international competitions. Currently, Carole presides as the Chapter Chair of the AWS chapter in Frankfort KY.

Rick Jelovsek: Rick is a member of the American Wine Society, the Society of Wine Educators, the French Wine Society, the French Broad Vignerons and the Guild of Sommeliers. He is a Certified Specialist of Wine, CSW, a Certified Wine Educator (CWE), a French Wine Scholar (FWS), an Introductory Sommelier and a Certified Wine Judge (CWJ) from the American Wine Society. He grows grapes in an experimental vineyard with over 1000 vinifera, native and hybrid grape vines. Rick is also the author of “Wine Service for Wait Staff and Wine Lovers” and manages, an educational website for beginning wine enthusiasts. He resides in Jonesborough TN.

Sandy Jelovsek:  Sandy is a member of the American Wine Society, the French Broad Vignerons, and the French Wine Society. She is a Certified Wine Judge from the American Wine Society. She also is an Introductory Sommelier and member of the Guild of Sommeliers as well as an editor for the educational web site, She resides in Jonesborough TN.

Sharyn Kervyn Sharyn Kervyn has been involved in the restaurant and wine industry for over 30 years, opening and operating several restaurants, including opening The Getty Center in Los Angeles as their catering director in 1997. She has won “Best of” Wine Spectator awards for her Wine Lists throughout her career. Since 2010 Sharyn has judged professional and amateur competitions throughout the country, and is the National Tasting Project Chairman and Regional Vice President for the American Wine Society. Sharyn is also a member of the Dionysian Wine Society, a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) with The Society of Wine Educators and is in the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Graduate Diploma Program (level 4). Sharyn is also in The American Wine Society Judging Program and a Sommelier through the Guild of Sommeliers.

Jacob Lahne:  Assistant Professor in the Food Science and Technology department at Virginia Tech. He is particularly interested in craft and artisan food production, which broadly includes small producers, traditional practices and home and restaurant cooking. He is currently working on a number of research projects, including: the development of a measurement tool for individuals’ capacity for food-preparation; the flavor profiling and consumer liking for American whiskeys; and the perception of foods in vivo within real meal-contexts. 

Roxanne Langer:  Currently, the director of sales and marketing for Moraga Bel Air, a private winery in the hills of Bel Air, Los Angeles, Roxanne Langer has been an intricate part of the global wine industry. Previous positions include working in international sales, marketing, and management for wineries such as Rutherford Hill Winery, Concannon and Grgich Hills.

In addition, Roxanne acted as the executive director for the Northwest Wine Coalition, an export promotional body, as well as marketing director for the Napa Valley Vintners. Directly prior to Moraga, Langer operated her own company, WineFUNdamentals, a luxury direct-to-corporation and consumer wine events and education firm.

A two-time graduate of the University of the Pacific (B.A & M.A.) Langer wrote her Master’s Thesis on wine. She attended the University of California at Davis Community Education Wine Program and has studied under WSET in the UK, is a sommelier and an international wine judge.

Langer resides with her two children in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angles and enjoys skiing, hiking and water sports but is most often found in her free time traveling the country and abroad with wine glass in hand.

Kristen Lindelow A graduate of the American Wine Society Wine Judge Certification Program, Kristen has been judging wine competitions across the U.S. for a number of years, including the Denver International Wine Competition, Indy International, and Wines of the South. Kristen holds the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), French Wine Scholar (FWS), WSETII, and California Wine Appellation Specialist certifications. She is currently studying for the Italian Wine Specialist exam, and working towards her Bourgogne Master level designation. Kristen is Regional Vice President for the American Wine Society and is owner/educator of Tennessee Valley Wine Academy in Huntsville, AL where she lives with her family.

Dave Lockwood: Fruit & Nut Crops Extension Specialist at The University of Tennessee for 41 years.  Member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) and the Eastern Region for ASEV.  International experience in grapes and wines in France & Croatia.  Ten years as co-instructor for the 4 week international studies course: Grapes and Wines of the Mediterranean Region in Cortona, Italy.

Raymond Meyer: is a winemaker from Shepherdsville, KY.

Scott Montgomery: Scott Montgomery is a graduate of the American Wine Society’s Wine Judge Certification Program and an Italian Wine Specialist. He has judged at the American Wine Society Commercial and Amateur Wine Competitions, the Wines of the South Wine Competition, the Tennessee Viticultural and Oenological Society amateur wine competition, the Alabama Commercial Wine Competition and the Heartland Wine Competition. He is also the judging coordinator for the Alabama Winemakers and Grape Growers Association amateur wine competition. Scott has won numerous medals for his own homemade wines over the last thirty years. A third-generation Oregonian, Scott and his wife now reside in Birmingham, Alabama.

John Mount:  Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Tennessee, Food Science & Technology Department, Knoxville, TN.  He has judged the Wines of the South competition for 14 years. Part of his research program at UT included research on Tennessee wines and Tennessee grown grapes. 

Dr. Mickey Parish:  is a Sr. Advisor FDA/CFSAN/OFS.  He is  a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science American Society for Enology and Viticulture and an active wine Judge for: the Florida State Fair / Florida Grape Growers Assn, Wines of the South,  Maryland Governor's Cup,  Maryland Winemasters Choice.  He conducted his Ph.D. research at NCSU where he studied the fermentation of muscadine and hybrid grape wines. 

Lee Payette: Lee has been in the wine and spirits industry since the early 80’s and is the Vice President, Director of Wine and Beer Sales for Beverage Control Inc., Knoxville, TN. Lee’s passion for the wine Industry steered his career path towards product distribution and education and he has always stayed true to his early roots growing up in the South focusing working in the southeast for National Distributing Co, the E&J Gallo Winery and Diageo North America. Beverage Control has proven to be a ideal place work – a company extremely passionate about its suppliers, employees and customers. Knoxville is also the perfect town for Lee to raise his family - two beautiful children: Logan 17, Gabby 15 and Donna, his beautiful, patient, supportive and compassionate wife of 23 years.
This is an outdoors family that thoroughly enjoys attending all UT sporting venues but found the waters of East TN to be just what the doctor ordered…cruising the waterways of Eastern Tennessee couldn’t get any better for this family.

Rachael Peake:  Owner, Capital Cellars Wine and Spirits Cafe Market in Frankfort, Kentucky, Certified Wine Judge, Former Wine Chemist and Regional Sales Manager for a wine import company.

Walt Rachele: a founding member (1988) of the Nation’s Capital Chapter of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine, an international wine organization with chapters in the United States. A long standing member of the American Wine Society (1984), he graduated from the Wine Judge Certification Program (1994) and remains active as an instructor. Walt served on the AWS Board of Directors as Treasurer.  Currently, a board member of the AWS Educational Foundation as treasurer his wine knowledge grows from communication with the graduate students being awarded scholarships.  Recently elected to the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, Board of Directors, Walt now has an excuse to visit more wineries.  He has participated as a judge in many competitions such as MD, NJ and PA Governor’s Cup, Winemaker Amateur Competition, AWS Amateur and Commercial Competitions, the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and several local county festivals. He has traveled extensively to increase his wine knowledge visiting Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, France, England, Hungary and Serbia. He currently resides in Northern Virginia.

Cindy and Jack Sproehnle:   Cindy (2015) and Jack (1996) are graduates of the American Wine Society’s Wine Judge Certification Program.  Together they are amateur wine makers with twelve years of experience making a variety of award winning vinifera, French hybrid, Native American and fruit wines.  Cindy is active in the Venice Wine Tasters AWS chapter and coordinates monthly wine tastings for the Venice Newcomers Club.  Jack has judged both commercial and amateur wine competitions for over twenty years throughout the United States, and is a long time member of the Cincinnati Vintner’s Club. Jack retired in 2015 from a 33 year retail career and Cindy is a retired educator having taught 36 years in public schools in Kentucky.  They currently reside in Venice, Florida.

Mike Wassenberg:  belongs to several chapters of the American Wine Society (AWS), German Wine Society and Knights of the Vine.  As an AWS certified wine judge he enjoys judging in several of the local, regional and National competitions as well as co-chairing the annual AWS Commercial Wine Competition.   He is a partner in 5 Virginia, North Carolina and Kansas wineries where he enjoys winemaking and the wine business. He is a candidate for the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust (WSET) Diploma as well as a graduate of the German Wine Academy where he was able indulge his love of Rieslings.  He and his wife live in northern Virginia. They travel the extensively and enjoy presenting and tasting wines around the world.

Steve Young: Steve Young is actively engaged in wine in several capacities. He has been an active member of the American Wine Society for many years where he has served as Director of the North Alabama Chapter. Steve graduated from the Wine Judge Certification Program in 2013 and also completed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 2 with distinction. Steve is currently taking the French Wine Scholar Study and Certification program. He has participated as a judge in several competitions across the country, from the Long Beach Grand Cru to Wines of the South, Steve has also worked with several local restaurants in designing wine lists and planning wine tastings and wine dinners. He currently resides in Huntsville Alabama and enjoys traveling to wine regions to increase his wine knowledge.