Dave Barber is a long-term member of the American Wine Society (AWS), and was selected as the 'Outstanding Member for 2011'. He is a certified judge through the AWS Wine Judge Certification Program and is also an instructor with the training courses. He has given numerous wine lectures, leads tastings throughout the country and is considered to be a well-rounded wine educator. He is also Vice President of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association and co-chairs their annual wine competition, as well as a member of the Nation's Capital Chapter of the Knights of the Vine. He travels the world, visiting selected wine regions and is also a member of various wine brotherhoods in Europe. He has judged in numerous wine competitions over the years.
Patrick Barrelet lives in Bedford, Quebec. He studied enology at the University of Dijon and viticulture in Beaune, France. Patrick worked seven years as winemaker and vineyard manager in the Dunham area in Quebec. After meeting Harrison Lebowitz, they started Snow Farm Vineyards, where he is now part owner, winemaker and vineyard manager. Over the years Patrick produced many award winning wines ranging from light dry whites, red wines, to more sophisticated dessert wines. Patrick also does consultation work for people starting in the business.
Michael Blake is the AWS Regional Vice President for Eastern MA, Chapter Chair and Certified Wine Judge. He pours for several wine marketing companies and was enrolled with International Culinary Center Intensive Sommelier in California. While in California, Michael had the opportunity to work at Charles Krug tasting room, has CSW from Society of Wine Educators and WSET Advanced Certificate.
Carol Gagliardi has been making wine for over 20 years and has medaled at the American Wine Society Amateur Wine Competition. She is a member of the American Wine Society and grew up in a Greek family of winemakers. Carol attended wine judging classes through the New York State Wine and Culinary Center and was a judge at the Golden Nose Wine Competition for the last two years. Last year she judged for the number one Riesling in New York State along with Peter Bell from Fox Run Winery. Carol grows her own grapes in upstate New York and has assisted Altamont Winery and Vineyards with harvest and tasting events.
Nick Boulas has been making wine for over 20 years and has medaled at the American Wine Society Amateur Wine Competition. Nick is a member of the American Wine Society and grew up in a Greek family of winemakers. He attended wine judging classes through the New York State Wine and Culinary Center and was a judge at the Golden Nose Wine Competition for the last two years. Last year Nick judged for the number one Riesling in New York State along with Peter Bell from Fox Run Winery. He grows his own grapes in upstate New York and has assisted Altamont Winery and Vineyards with harvest and tasting events. Nick has spent most of his professional career as a Food and Beverage Director in the hospitality industry and holds the designation of Certified Food and Beverage Executive, as well as, Certified Hotel Administrator through the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Nick is currently employed by BBL Hospitality where he is a General Manager and lead trainer for "At Your Service" guest service training, encompassing 12 hotels and 14 restaurants.
Christian Brouillette began his experience with wine as an amateur winemaker 13 years ago. After joining the winemaker club in Quebec (AVAQ), Christian became the president of the club and has been part of the Wine Judges of Canada since 2009. This is Christian's third participation in WineMaker magazine's competition.
Peter has been a American Wine Society (AWS) member for the last 17 years, serving the last eight years in the capacity of Director of Educational Services and Acting Wine Judge Training Program Coordinator.
He has created and taught courses in Wine Appreciation, Viticulture, Food and Wine Dynamics, The History of Beer, and Food and Wine Tourism at the University of New Haven/ Naugatuck Valley Community College. Peter has been an active wine judge for the past 15 years and have judged both commercial and amateur competitions. He created the CT Wine Symposium, a day of seminars covering a variety of Viticulture and enological issues and was bestowed the honor of ‘Connecticut Wine Person of the Year’, for 2005 by Amenti del Vino (The Wine Society).
Joann DeGaglia is a specialist of wine, certified sommelier USSA Certified Specialist of Italian wine. Joann works at America's oldest winery, Brotherhood, in Washington, NY and as a sommelier in the Tarry Lodge in Port Chester.
For over 25 years Dave has been part of the Ontario Wine Industry. Currently he is the LCBO Sales Manager for Vineland Estates Winery in which he is responsible for Vineland's sales activity in the United States. Dave has worked for RJ Grape Products and was involved with the sales, marketing and distribution of their award winning line of wine kits throughout North America. He has been an active member, session presenter and educator with the American Wine Society.
Robert Herold, a past American Wine Society Director of Education Services, currently grows grapes and makes wine from his private vineyard and winery in Connecticut. He has competed successfully in AWS and other national competitions, and recently retired as an adjunct instructor at Naugatuck Valley Community College, at M&M Family of Wine, and at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, teaching both viticulture and winemaking. Robert was named Connecticut Wine Person of the Year in 2003 by Amenti del Vino and has served as the Supporting Member Liaison to the Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association. He is a veteran judge participating in amateur and commercial wine competitions over the last two decades.
Rayona Hobbs is currently co-chapter chair of the eastern Connecticut chapter of the American Wine Society. She started her wine education by taking classes at Manchester Community College of Connecticut, in which she also teaches wine classes at, as well as Three Rivers Community College. and has been continuing her education an volunteering at wine competitions ever since. She has traveled extensively across the country visiting as many wine regions as possible. Rayona has been a judge at the WineMaker competition for several years, and continues to seek out wine educational opportunities.
Dr. Larry Jackson has extensive winemaking experience, 33 years amateur and 4 years professional as one of the founders of a new winery. He is retired from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was a Senior Research Scientist. He is an American Wine Society certified wine judge and an International Wine Guild certified sommelier. He also has a small "estate bottlings" vineyard at his home since 1998.
Mary Jane Lamelin
Mary Jane Lamelin is a member of Amenti del Vino and the American Wine Society. Her wine tasting experience includes winery tours and visits in France, Italy, the Napa, Sonoma, and Temecula regions of California, Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia. She is constantly improving her skills by attending wine education courses at Manchester Community College of Connecticut. Mary Jane has over a decade of wine judging experience at the international level.
Micheal Lamelin is a member of Amenti del Vino and the American Wine Society. His wine tasting experience includes winery tours and visits in France, Italy, the Napa, Sonoma, and Temecula regions of California, Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia. He is constantly improving his skills by attending wine education courses at Manchester Community College of Connecticut. He has over a decade of wine judging experience at the international level.
Renée Lewis is a member of the American Wine Society and a Second Year Wine Judge student. She currently lives in Huntington, CT.
Maureen Macdonald is a University of Vermont graduate who studied viticulture and oenological science at UCONN and Naugatuck Valley Community College. Her professional career began as a corporate cocktail designer for a large Boston based restaurant group and she now currently holds the position of winemaker for Cassidy Hill Vineyard in Coventry CT. She is an active member of AWS and has received medals from the Amenti del Vino International Competition and Big E Wine Competition on behalf of Cassidy Hill.
Ron Natalie is in the third year of the American Wine Society Wine Judges program. He holds an Advanced Certificate from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and recognized as a Connoisseur of Wine by Robert Parker and Kevin Zraly. Ron is a member of the International Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine and life member of the American Wine Society. Ron is the founding co-chair of the Catawba (NC) chapter of the AWS.
Josh Niebling is the owner of One Main Tap & Grill with his wife. Josh has been judging at the WineMaker competition for two years.
Joseph Paparella has been an amateur winemaker for 16 years. He has been a member of the American Wine Society for 6 years and is in his third year of the American Wine Society certified wine judge program. Joseph is currently the Chapter Chair of the Worcester Chapter of the American Wine Society.
Holly Rochefort has started a new direct to consumer wine educational product and has been working on small-batch private wines for local collectors and restaurants. Holly's first year with WineMaker competition judging was 2015!
Barry St. Pierre
Barry St. Pierre considers winemaking to be a passion of his and has received many awards from amateur winemaking competitions, including Best in Show awards. Barry has completed an intensive three years of training from the AWS to be certified as a wine judge and is trained on the utilization of the AWS 20-point scale utilized at the WineMaker Competition. He is a member of the American Wine Society, and a Regional Vice President for the American Wine Society.
Jason Phelps is an avid small-batch winemaker, home brewer and occasional contributor to WineMaker Magazine. He currently lives in southern New Hampshire.
Mark Simakaski is co-owner and meadmaker at Artesano Meadery of Groton, Vermont. He produces several varieties of mead along with his wife, Nichole. Mark and Nichole left the corporate world, joined the Peace Corps and served in Paraguay teaching beekeeping in a rural community. It was during this time that they make their first bottle of mead in a gallon jug. Upon their return, they moved to central Vermont to start a small boutique winery that uses local honey and fruit.
Kathy Webb is an American Wine Society certified wine judge. She was a judge for WineMaker magazine in 2011. Kathy has judged for the Indy International wine competition 2011-2013 and is a food and wine writer for 'Wine in Georgia'.
Leanne Wheeler is a member of the American Wine Society where she is in the third year of the Wine Judge Certification Program. This is Leanne's third year judging at the Winemaker Magazine Competition.
Anne Whyte has been a homebrewer for over 20 years making beer, cider and wine. She is a Nationally ranked BJCP beer judge and has also entered competitions. Anne has operated Vermont Homebrew Supply with her husband and partner, Matt, for 18 years.