Wines of the South Regional Wine Competition

2019: Eighteenth Annual Regional Wine Competition October 18 - 19, 2019

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 2018 Judges:

Anick Leclerc

Bill Fish: Bill is an American Wine Society Certified Wine Judge and a member of The American Wine Society, Tasters Guild International and the French Broad Vignerons.  In addition to wine exploration and tastings across the United States, Bill lived in Europe for five years and frequently visited the famous vineyards in Germany, France and Italy. He previously served as the Chief Judge for the Asheville (NC) Wine and Food Festival Wine Competitions and the CiderFest NC cider competition.

Bill regularly judges at the annual Tasters Guild International Wine Judging, Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition, Wines of the South, North Carolina State Fair Wine Competition,  American Wine Society Annual Wine Competitions and the Kentucky Commonwealth Commercial Wine Competition & Commissioner’s Cup.

After a 38 year career with General Motors, Bill is currently working as a consultant in the automotive industry.  He and his wife Jamie reside in Flat Rock, NC.

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.

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.

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.

David Murphy: David has judged four Asheville Food & Wine Competitions, four Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competitions also known as the Dixie Classic and two North Carolina State Fair Competitions. He is a member of the French Broad Vignerions, which helps promote the wine industry in Western NC.

He lived in California for twenty-five year and assisted at the Donatoni Winery, Paso Robles CA.. Since moving to NC area he has assisted at the Mountain Brook Winery, Tryon NC. At both wineries he assisted in the various stages of the wine making process. He was also on the Board of the Chestnut Mountain Winery, Braselton, GA for four years which was merged with a larger winery in the mid 1990's.

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. 

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. 

Jamie Zapata:

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.

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. 

Kieran Hutchinson:

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.

Melissa Bartlett: Melissa is a winery manager, consultant, educator, and enthusiast.  Her passion for wine took her from enthusiast to Certified Sommelier, Certified Wine Judge, and Professional Member of the Society of Wine Educators.  Her time spent managing and working at wineries has enabled her to see the wine industry from vineyard to crush pad, from winemaking to bottling, and from sales to customer service.  She is an active member of the American Wine Society and serves as a Chapter Chair, Presenter.  She also assists with the Continuing Education program for the Wine Judge Certification Program (WJCP). She credits her fellow 2016 WJCP graduates as some of her best companions and the folks that keep her striving for excellence.  Having acquired a taste for all things wine, she plans to continue her certifications and wine education for as long as there are grapes to ferment. 

Her judging experience spans 5 years and includes but isn’t limited to:  AWS Commercial and Amateur Wine Competition, WineMaker’s Magazine, Indy International (Judge-in-Training), Atlantic Seaboard, Lone Star International and many other local and regional events. 

Melody Rose:  University of Tennessee Extension Agent and wine enthusiast with a special interest in the history, heritage, and culture of the vine and wine. International experience in wines in Croatia.  She has judged the Wines of the South competition for three years and is currently seeking certification from the American Wine Society.

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.

Raymond Meyer: is a winemaker from Shepherdsville, KY.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.  Sharyn has been a Wine Director with The Capital Grille since 2007.  She has judged professional and amateur competitions throughout the country since 2010, and is the current National Tasting Project Chairman and  Regional Vice President for the American Wine Society.   Sharyn is 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 a Certified Judge for The American Wine Society (2017) and a Sommelier through the Guild of Sommeliers.

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.

Terri Geiser: a culinary enthusiast, caterer and cooking instructor who appears regularly on WBIR. While staying in South Africa she learned about different foods, herbs, spices and cooking methods. She has been teaching cooking classes and wine and food pairing classes for over 20 years for the Glass Bazaar and previously for William Sonoma. She is currently the Manager of the Culinary Institute Community Cooking Courses at the University of Tennessee. For the past 6 years Terri has served as a wine judge for the Southern Wine Competition and for various amateur wine competitions. Check out Terri’s food blog at