Meet The 2016 Judges:
Dave Barber: Dave is a long term member of the American Wine Society (AWS) and is a graduate and Certified Wine Judge from the AWS Wine Judge Training Program, within which he also instructs, mentors students, and administers the final examination. The AWS has also recognized Dave as its Outstanding Member in 2011. Dave is on the Board of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association where he has co-chaired their annual Wine Competition for over ten years. Dave has presented innumerable wine seminars or various topics and has judged in many wine competitions, as well as having written many articles that have been published in various wine magazines. He currently works with various Virginia wineries in their tasting rooms and also at various festivals. Dave also enjoys travelling and has visited numerous wine areas on three continents and has been inducted into several wine brotherhoods in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Serbia, Switzerland, and Hungary as well as being a Master Knight within the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine of America where he also serves as the Provost General of the Northeastern United States.
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.
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
Brenda Cockrell: Brenda has more than 25 years experience in wine. American Wine Society certified wine judge (2012). She has judged and/or participated in numerous international, national and regional amateur and commercial competitions held in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington/Oregon. She has completed the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) advanced certificate (Level 3) and has her certification from the Society of Wine Educators as a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) . She currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Bill Fish: American Wine Society (AWS) Certified Wine Judge. Member French Broad Vignerons (Secretary), American Wine Society and Tasters Guild International.
Mark Diehl: Ten years of experience as an amateur winemaker has given Mark an appreciation of the effort and talent it takes to make a great wine and how easily a wine can become flawed. Mark is founder, winemaker and President of Due West Cellars, an award winning amateur winemaking center. He is a member of the American Wine Society, Chairman of the AWS Greater Atlanta Chapter and an AWS Certified Wine Judge. He is a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international wine and food enthusiast group.
His judging experience includes the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, The Houston Rodeo and International Wine Competition, The Heartland Wine Competition, The TVOS Amateur Wine Competition, The AWS Amateur Wine Experience and other local competitions. He has travelled and researched wine and winemaking in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, California, Italy and France.
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.
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.
Sandy Diehl: Sandi is a member of the American Wine Society (AWS) and is a Certified Wine Judge from the AWS Wine Judge Certification Program. She comes from a family of home winemakers, and has experience in amateur winemaking since 2007. Sandi is a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international wine and food enthusiast group. Her judging experience includes the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, the Heartland Wine Competition, the TVOS Amateur Wine Competition, the Houston International Wine Competition, the AWS Amateur Wine Experience and other local competitions. She loves to travel and learn about wine in different regions, and has traveled extensively in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, California, and Georgia where she currently resides.
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.
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 winetasteathome.com, 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, winetasteathome.com. She resides in Jonesborough TN.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Raymond Meyer: is a winemaker from Shepherdsville, KY.
Scott Montgomery: a graduate of the American Wine Society’s Wine Judge Certification Program. He has judged at 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 Wineries 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.
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.