Reed started homebrewing in the 1980s and is a founding member of the Saratoga Thoroughbrews, his local homebrew club. As a certified mead and beer judge (E0539) he has helped over the years to run beer competitions and has had his own homebrew shop for the past 10 years. Reed has taught his customers how to make country wine, wine from grapes and juice, and using wine ingredient kits.
Alexa is a WSET 3 graduate, and a 3rd year student in the AWS Wine Judging Program.
Dave is a long term member of the American Wine Society (American Wine Society) and is a graduate and Certified Wine Judge from the American Wine Society Wine Judge Training Program, within which he also instructs, mentors students, and administers the final examination. The American Wine Society has also recognized Dave as its ‘Outstanding Member’ in 2011. He is on the Board of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association where he has chaired their annual Wine Competition for over ten years and has presented innumerable wine seminars or various topics Dave 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.
Melissa’s passion for wine led her to seek to a career at Pearmund Cellars in Virginia. She worked as one of the winery managers and as the winery sommelier. She is a long-term member of the American Wine Society and served for three years as Chapter Chair for the John Marshall chapter in Virginia. Melissa is a Certified Judge through the American Wine Society Wine Judge Certification Program and a Certified Sommelier through the International Wine Guild. Melissa is a freelance wine consultant and educator. Melissa is a wine appreciation educator, consultant, winery manager and devotee. Her passion for wine took her from enthusiast to winery employee, Certified Sommelier and Certified Wine Judge to talented instructor. Her time spent managing and working in wineries made it possible for her to see the industry from vineyard to crush pad, winemaking to bottling, and from sales to public relations. She is a long-term and active member of the American Wine Society serving as a Chapter Chair, conference presenter, AWS Amateur Wine Competition Chair and Continuing Education Instructor. The judging experiences shared with colleagues and the desire to continually learn 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. Melissa’s judging experience spans 9 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, Bottle Shock, Wines of the South, The Northeast Gold Wine, Cider and Perry, and many other local and regional competitions.
Nicole is a WSET 3 graduate and a 3rd year student in the AWS wine judging program.
With the American Wine Society (AWS) for 17 years and an amateur winemaker for over 16 years, Therise has participated in several judging events all around the country, including the AWS Wine Judging Program to get her started. Therise is a member of the Alabama Winemakers and Grape Growers Association for over 16 years and proprietor of Creekside at Colliers End, a five-acre vineyard selling grapes to various wineries.
After decades of interest in promoting recognition of the development of top quality wines on the East Coast including several years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, Grant Crandall became First Vice President of the ASWA in 2013 and then President in 2016. He has been active in a number of wine organizations and has given a large number of presentations on a wide range of topics on wine nationally and internationally. After participation in the Wine Judge Training Program of the American Wine Society, he judges in a number of wine competitions. A former Rhodes Scholar, he retired after more than forty years as an attorney, having been the managing partner of a regional law firm and then General Counsel of the United Mine Workers of America. He is fortunate enough to have a wonderful wife, Angela, who actively supports their wine interests including work with the ASWA.
JoAnn is a Certified Specialist of Wine as well as a Certified Advanced Sommelier earning both an American and Italian Wine Specialist Degree from the North American Sommelier Association with honors. As a Certificated Wine Judge she judges at numerous international, local and commercial competitions. Her experience in the Wine industry is vast as once a portfolio manager for Haro Imports, Wine Educator at the Westchester Wine School and began her Sommelier career working at the Tarry Lodge in Port Chester N.Y. Today she works part time at two of the Hudson Valley’s great wine destinations, the Wine Spectator’s award-winning Glenmere Mansion as the Head Sommelier in Chester New York and Brotherhood Americas Oldest Winery. She is a Regional Vice President for the Hudson Valley promoting the merits of wine appreciation and education for the AWS.
Jane Duralia has been a member of the American Wine Society (AWS) since 1992 and has judged at various competitions around the country, annually; AWS Commercial and Amateur, Tasters’ Guild International, INDY International, Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, New York State Fair, NC State Fair, Wines of the South, and Mid-Atlantic Region Competition to name a few. Jane is currently a wine consultant for the Lake Hickory Country Club, Hickory NC and provided wine descriptors and food pairing for the Double Gold recipients at the Tasters’ Guild Competition 2018.
Rege has been a member of the American Wine Society (AWS) since 1992. His judging career began in 2002 on Hilton Head Island for the Annual Wine Festival Judging. Joining the Tasters Guild, also in 2002 provided judging events that brought exposure to many wines from different growing and winemaking regions for Rege. He has visited wine growing regions of the world such as California, Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, Virginia, New York Finger Lakes, Ohio, Michigan, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Hungary, Croatia, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand and Australia, expanding his horizon of wine knowledge. Rege became a Certified Wine Judge in 2007 by successfully completing a three-year course offered by the American Wine Society and was re-certified in 2012 and 2018. He is also a wine consultant for the Lake Hickory Country Club, Hickory, NC.
Arielle graduated from Northeastern University in 2015, where she received a B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in Business. She got her feet wet in the wine world as a harvest intern at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, CA in 2014, and joined Balderdash Cellars in Richmond, MA as the Assistant Winemaker after graduating from the University. She has since taken on the role of Winemaker at Balderdash Cellars, and spent the 2017 Harvest at La Segreta, a small winery in Umbria, Italy, to expand her winemaking experience. Additionally, Arielle is a member of the Women Winemakers of New England and enjoys judging several wine competitions throughout New England.
Dennis resides in Florence, SC and works as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) by day and wine and spirits resource by night. Through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, Dennis completed the WSET Diploma of Wine and Spirits also gaining the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) designation, French Wine Scholar (FWS), and Sherry Wine Specialist (CSWS). He is currently working with The American Wine Society to become a Certified Wine Judge. His new venture is The Bottle Talk website (www.thebottletalk.com) and social media presence (@thebottletalk).
Laurent Gills has participated in several wine Judging events in the last four years such as the TVSO in Tennessee, The Alabama Amateur wine event, the Kentucky State Fair Amateurs’ wine event and the Indy International Wine at Perdue University. He also one of the the only two Third-Year Students to be invited at the Finger Lakes to assist with judging.
David Gimbel has a 35 year career in the Ontario VQA wine and wine kit industry. In addition to working at a number of well-known Ontario craft wineries, he was part of the team that launched the line of RJ Grape products award-winning wine kits across Canada and the United States.
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 seek further education. Carole is a certified wine judge with the American Wine Society. She stays active working with students from the Wine Judge Certification Program. Carole has completed Level 3 of WSET program with Merit. She is a member of the Society of Wine Educators. Carole serves as the Regional Vice President for Eastern Kentucky for the American Wine Society as well as Chapter Chair of the local chapter in Frankfort KY. Her nine years of judging experience have taken her through much of the USA. She enjoys judging county fairs, regional festival events, state fair amateur competitions and international competitions.
In 1993 Sharyn was awarded one of the top five wine professionals for her Wine List by the International Fine Food and Beverage Organization. Over the past 10 years Sharyn has been the Wine Director for The Capital Grille in Philadelphia, PA and moved to the Cherry Hill, NJ location, earning the Wine Spectator “Best of” Award for both locations each year. Sharyn is also a member of the Dionysian Wine Society, The American Wine Society, and is a wine judge for professional and amateur competitions in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. She is in The American Wine Society Judging Program and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) advanced level 3 and Diploma Program. Sharyn is also a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) for the Society of Wine Educators and a Level 1 Sommelier for the Guild of Sommeliers.
Since 2018, Gary Lum has been the Chair and Founder, AOC East Bay Chapter, American Wine Society and is currently enrolled in the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 4 Diploma Program, WSET’s highest level of certification. In addition to achieving the Certified Sherry Wine Specialist Intermediate Course, Gary has judged at different competitions since 2019. From 1999-2001, Gary Lum completed courses in Small Vineyard Management, Wine Analysis and Winemaking at UC-Davis and is currently the Regional VP of Northern California, with his role to oversee and to provide support for the AWS Chapters in the region. In 2018, he founded the local Chapter of the American Wine Society and in addition to participating in several judging opportunities, Gary conducts monthly wine tasting events with a strong emphasis on wine education and evaluation.
Angel, WSET II, has been the chapter chair for the local American Wine Society (AWS) Meadowlands chapter since 2015 and offers wine education and participates as a wine judge at various events such as: New York State fair: Syracuse, NY, New Jersey State Fair: Sussex County fairgrounds, and Corrado’s Amateur Wine competition: Clifton, NJ. He’s also judged American Wine Society Commercial and Amateur wine competitions in Pennsylvania and Florida.
Donna Moore lives in Connecticut, previously from California and is the co-owner of Sunset Hill Vineyard in Lyme, Ct. She is also a partner in Bodega Wine Bar in California. Donna’s love of wine started in 1991 while living in Australia.
Timothy Morse is a highly knowledgeable wine professional with regional expertise and hands-on vineyard management, winemaking, and wine-judging experiences. Since 2007, Tim provides structured wine tastings for small group oenophiles and enthusiasts in the Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia area as a chef educator, facilitating wine tastings and educational seminars. In 2019, he became the founder and educator for the AWS Skyline Uncorked Chapter in Virginia. In 2018 he completed the UC-Davis Winemaking Certificate program and also became a certified sommelier in 2017. Tim earned his WSET Level 4 diploma in 2012 and has designed, planted and managed a personal 300 vine lieu-dit vineyard.
Ron Natalie is a graduate of the American Wine Society Wine Judge Certification Program and holds certifications from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and the Parker/Zraly Wine Academy. He is currently serving as the Secretary of the American Wine Society and lives in North Carolina with his equally wine-loving wife.
Kevin Norris has been a certified wine judge for the AWS since 2018 and earned his WSET Award in Wine Level 2 July 2021. In addition to judging in the states of Washington, Alabama, Vermont and Tennessee, Tim has been a speaker for different wine clubs and festivals. Since 2017, he is currently the chapter chair for the AWS Downtown Huntsville Chapter.
Terry O’Connor works for Connecticut Distributors as a Fine Wine and Spirits Specialist. He is an AWS Certified Wine Judge and has his WSET Level 2 in wine and spirits.
Kevin Ostrowski is a Certified Wine Judge with the American Wine Society (AWS), a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and WSET level 3 (with merit) certified. He is a wine judge instructor as part of the AWS Wine judge program. Additionally, Kevin has completed the Champagne Master Level with the Wine Scholar Guild and also the Introductory Sommelier level with the Court of Master Sommeliers. He has judged several local and regional wine competitions. Kevin resides in Beaver, PA.
Gary Pickard passed his WSET Level 3 in Wine with Merit, and earning both his Executive Bourbon Steward title from Stave & Thief Society and his Certified Spirits Educator (CSE) certification from the Society of Wine Educators, Gary centers his career on wine and spirits education. He is currently working for Brown-Forman as both their Emerging Brands Market Manager for the state of New Jersey and as the national lead of their Old & Rare release committee. Gary has been a wine and spirits judge for the past seven years, judging for publications and competitions such as The Fifty Best, New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, WineMaker Magazine, and others.
Phil Plummer has been professionally making wine in New York’s Finger Lakes region for over the last ten years, spending the last eight at Montezuma Winery where he has served as head winemaker since 2013. In his time at Montezuma, Phil has taken a lead role in the development and production of a wide-ranging portfolio of wines made from grapes, fruit, and honey, and was instrumental in the launch of Montezuma’s sister wineries, Idol Ridge and Fossenvue.
Walt Rachele is 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, his wine knowledge grows from communication with the graduate students being awarded scholarships. Walt has completed WSET2 with Distinction, and Wines of Portugal Level 3-Advanced. Elected to the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, Board of Directors (2016), Walt now has an excuse to visit more wineries, and is active with the Vintage Virginia Wine Festival. 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, Wines of the South, the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, Georgia Trustee Wine & Spirits Competition, and several local events. He has traveled extensively to increase his wine knowledge visiting many states (43), and countries including Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, France, England, Hungary, Italy, Germany, North Macedonia, South Africa, and Serbia. He currently resides in Loudoun County, Virginia home to over 45 wineries.
Ivan Riggle is a certified wine judge and part of the American Wine Society with 14 years judging experience both local, regional, national and international commercial and amateur wine competitions. Ivan is very familiar with the “back room” activities of wine competitions, as well as being a past Co-Instructor for wine judge training classes. Ivan is currently active as a wine presenter at wine dinners and coordinator for a local wine competition and numerous wine events. A home winemaker, Ivan has won awards locally, regionally and nationally. He has presented classes on wine judging to local American Wine Society members as well.
Mary Agnes Riggle
Mary Agnes Riggle is a certified wine judge and part of the American Wine Society with 14 years judging experience both local, regional, national and international commercial and amateur wine competitions. She is the past chairperson of the AWS National Amateur Competition and Wine Experience. Mary is very familiar with the “back room” activities of wine competitions, as well as being the past Co-Instructor for wine judge training classes. She is currently active as a wine presenter at wine dinners and coordinator for a local wine competition and numerous wine events. Mary is the chapter chair for Laurel Highlands American Wine Society chapter and a home wine and meadmaker, winning awards locally, regionally and nationally. She has presented classes on wine judging to local American Wine Society members as well.
Susan Whisenhunt cultivated her interest in wine throughout her adult years taking many trips that involved wineries. She moved to Asheville, North Caorolina in 2010 and met several people who were members of the American Wine Society, and pursued a more in-depth study of wine. Currently, Susan lives in the mountains of eastern Tennessee with her husband and together they make cider as part of their educational pursuits as well as a way to use some of the fruit they grow.
Vincent Williams is an American Wine Society Certified Judge and as a wine educator, Mr. Williams enjoys sharing wine knowledge with retail customers and students. He holds certifications from the Society of Wine Educators and the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust. Additionally, he has completed the certificate program in winemaking from University of California-Davis, in an effort to improve his suggestions to winemakers.