WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition Results:
The results of the 2017 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition are in!
Mary Adams is a member of the Hudson Chapter of the American Wine Society. She was a judge in the 2015 and 2016 American Wine Socity's Amateur Wine Competition and is a third year wine certification student.
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 free-lance wine consultant and educator.
Christian Brouillette began his experience with wine as an amateur winemaker about 13 years ago. He got in touch with the winemaker club, AVAQ, in Quebe, when he then became the president, where he became involved in judging by assisting and organizing competitions for the club. Christian enrolled in the Wine Judges of Canada training program in 2009 and is now part of that organization.
Grant Crandall is the President of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, which among other activities, conducts the largest wine competition in the country focused exclusively on East Coast wines. In addition to wine judging, he has for many years presented wine seminars and tastings on a wide range of topics. His educational background includes a Ph.D. in Political Science from Oxford University in England where he was a Rhodes Scholar and a J.D. (law) degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. He resides in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife, Angela. He has two sons, Jesse and Andrew, and two grandsons, Nevin and Aiden.
Mark Diehl has ten years of experience as an amateur winemaker. 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. Mark has worked in the vineyards, winery and tasting room with local North Georgia winemakers and is a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international wine and food enthusiast group. Mark has judged at the Wines of the South Regional Wine Competition, The Heartland Wine Competition, The TVOS Amateur Wine Competition, The AWS Amateur Wine Experience, The Lone Star International Wine Competition, The Big “E” Wine Competition and other local competitions. Mark has also been a Student/Guest Judge at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and The Houston Rodeo and International Wine Competition and has traveled and researched wine and winemaking in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, California, Italy and France. Mark is currently studying for his CSW exam.
Sandi is a member of the American Wine Society (AWS) and is 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 has worked in vineyards in Georgia and in Italy and is a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international wine and food enthusiast group. She has judged in the Wines of the South Regional Wine Competition, The TVOS Amateur Wine Competition, The Heartland Wine Competition, the AWS Amateur Wine Experience, The Lone Star International Wine Competition, The Big “E” Wine Competition and other local competitions. Sandi has been a Student/Guest Judge at The Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and the Houston International Wine Competition. Sandi is studying for her CSW exam this year.
JoAnn DeGaglia is a Certified Specialist of Wine as well as a Certified Sommelier and a Wine Educator. She works part time as a Sommelier at the Tarry Lodge in New York and Brotherhood Americas Oldest Winery. JoAnn is a Fifth Year Wine Judge Candidate of the American Wine Society.
Arielle Fabiano fell in love with wine after a trip to Italy in 2012 and several glasses of excellent Brunello di Montalcino. She studied biochemistry at Northeastern University and connected with the science behind winemaking. After an internship in Napa Valley as a lab tech at Charles Krug in 2014, she graduated from Northeastern in 2015 and reconnected with owner/winemaker of Balderdash Cellars, Christian Hanson. Fate would have it that he needed a new assistant winemaker and she needed a job, and they've been a dynamic winemaking duo ever since.
Michael Fairbrother, Founder & Head Mead Maker at Moonlight Meadery, Londonderry, New Hampshire, has been perfecting his craft for over 22 years, proven to be one of the best mead makers in the world, having earned medals at dozens of International Mead Competitions over the past 22 years. His meads are distributed nationwide in the United States, Australia, and has recently started exporting to Canada. Michael fermentation skills go far beyond just mead making, as proven with the success with his cider, and the numerous collaborations with breweries. Michael is a world renowned expert on mead making having taught and helped develop the Mead Making course at The Honey and Pollination Center at The Robert Mondavi Institute at UC Davis, and at several brewing conferences.
Robert Garay has judged the Alabama Commercial wine competition, the Tennessee TVOS amateur wine competition, the New Jersey State Fair Wine Competition; and at the AWGGA Amateur Competition in Alabama. He is in my third year of the AWS Wine Judge Certification Program and past President of the Northern AL chapter if the AWS. Robert is a current member if AWS in Northern Virginia.
For over 25 years Dave has been part of the Ontario Wine Industry. Currently he is the LCBO Sales Manager for Vineland Estates Winery and is responsible for Vineland’s sales activity in the United States. Dave 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.
Rayona has been a life long lover of everything wine. Starting many years ago with an opportunity to live in Germany and to travel throughout Europe, she has a particular interest in the way that foods and wines compliment each other. She also has a keen interest in evaluating the aromas and bouquet of wine and how that influences ones expectation of the flavors in the glass. She has traveled throughout the USA with regional and locals wines being a primary enjoyment of those journeys. She judges wines through events sponsored by the American Wine Society and teaches wine classes through the University of Connecticut continuing education system.
After owning a successful restaurant and catering business for twenty three years, Dorothy has become the Chairman of the Culinary Arts Department, City Campus at Erie Community College in Buffalo,NY. She is a Certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Educator, and a member of the American Academy of Chefs. She is a Graduate Judge with the AWS. A Certified Specialist of Wine and level two, Court of Master Sommiliers, a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs and l'Order du MondialDenyelle James.
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.
Pepe Kubon started making wine in 1996 from kits and then started working with grapes in 2002, when he joined the Vancouver Amateur Winemakers Association (VAWA). He has over 100 medals for his wines from club, provincial, and national level (Canada) competitions. Soon after joining VAWA, Pepe became a member of the BC Guild of Wine Judges and has been regularly judging home winemaking competitions on all levels - club, provincial, and national. He completed the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Wine and Spirits with Distinction (the highest of the 3 Pass levels) and regularly attends wine trade events in Vancouver and Seattle to taste and evaluate commercial wines.
Ron is a retired software company executive. He's an American Wine Society certified wine judge. He also holds an Advanced Certificate from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (with distinction) and recognized as a Connoisseur of Wine by Robert Parker and Kevin Zraly. He is a member of the International Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine and life member of the American Wine Society. He is a founding co-chair of the Catawba (NC) chapter of the American Wine Society. He has produced two vintages of wine at the Vint Hill Winery. He resides in North Carolina.
Kevin Ostrowski is the current chair of the Beaver County Chapter of the American Wine Society (American Wine Society), and has been a member of the society since 2010. He has been a home winemaker since 2001. He is a certified wine judge with the American Wine society and has participated as a student judge at INDY and the Finger Lakes International Wine competitions. He is also a member of the Wine Scholar Guild and Society of Wine Educators. He resides in Beaver, PA.
Scott Prom is the owner of Shelburne Vineyard located in Shelburne, Vermont. He has consistently won awards at local state fairs, including Best of Show for a 1992 Lemberger. Scott’s passion has been slightly more in the winemaking side than the vineyard and now views each bottle as a work of art – reflecting the winemaker and his style. Scott lives in Shelburne, VT, just a short walk through the woods from the new winery with his wife LynnAnn, daughter Erin and son Riley.
After a 17 year career as a managing consultant in the IT industry, Holly moved to Vermont with her husband in 2005. A lifelong wine lover, she decided a career change was in order and began studying wine at Boston University’s Elizabeth Bishop School. With a background rooted in engineering, Holly found that the blend of science and art that comprised winemaking was what called to her. She is a graduate of the UC Davis Winemaking program and is also a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators. Holly was the Assistant then Head Winemaker at East Shore Vineyard in Vermont from 2009 until 2015. She now runs The Elements of Wine where she is a private winemaking consultant and works on direct to consumer wine education.
Barry St. Pierre
Barry St. Pierre has been growing grapes and making wine for several years at his home in Connecticut. His vineyard includes a variety of vinifera and hybrid grapes with his award-winning wines made from her own grapes as well as carefully selected grapes from California and Chile. Barry is a certified wine judge and he and his wife Sissy both participate at many state, regional, and national commercial and amateur competitions. Barry has been an instructor for the American Wine Society Wine Judge Certification Program for the last several years and serves as a Regional Vice President of the American Wine Society.
Sissy St. Pierre
Sissy St. Pierre has been growing grapes and making wine for several years at her home in Connecticut. Her vineyard includes a variety of vinifera and hybrid grapes with her award-winning wines made from her own grapes as well as carefully selected grapes from California and Chile. Sissy participates at many state, regional, and national commercial and amateur competitions.
Mark Simakaski is co-owner and meadmaker at Artesano Meadery of Groton, VT. He produces several varieties of mead along with his wife, Nichole. Mark and Nichole left the corporate world and 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 to transform nature's sweetest gift into fine honey wine.
Karen Taylor is a member of the American Wine Society, President of the Raritan Valley Chapter New Jersey and in the Wine Judge Certification Program. Karen has completed the Wine and Spirits Education Trust Level 2 Certification in Wines and Spirits and has been judging since 2016 in both amateur and commercial competitions in New Jersey.
Amy has been a wine enthusiast for seven years and an active member of the American Wine Society, Worcester chapter for four years. She participated as a judge and table captain in the 2016 American Wine Society Amateur Wine Experience and currently is in the second year of the American Wine Society wine judge certification program.
Paul Tonacci is a certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and a certified Wine Judge through the American Wine Society. Additionally, he participates as a Cider and Perry judge (in addition to wine) in competitions throughout the U.S. Paul has opened up his own wine bar and boutique wine shop in Atlantic City, NJ, worked as a wine broker and importer while finding time to freelance as a wine writer for the Wine Industry Network and other local publications covering grape growing and wine-making in the mid-Atlantic region of the country. Presently, he is a member of the Dionysian Society International, Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine and a board member of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association.
Berniece Van Der Berg
Berniece Van Der Berg is the Vice President Marketing/Board Member for Moonlight Meadery, Londonderry, New Hampshire, joined Moonlight Meadery as one of the company’s first employees. Originally from South Africa, Berniece laid the groundwork for sales and marketing for Moonlight Meadery and pioneered the company’s journey into global distribution and has served on the board for NHWA (New Hampshire Winery Association.) Berniece won a silver medal for Je’Taime, the first commercial mead she ever made, partnering with Michael Fairbrother, to make a mead for their wedding.
Vince Williams, a certified judge for the American Wine Society has been judging since 2014. He has earned a Level 3 in Wine (with Merit) in 2017 with the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust and Wine and with the Spirits Educational Trust Level 2 in Wine and Spirits (with Distinction) for 2015.
THANK YOU FOR ENTERING YOUR BEST HOMEMADE WINES IN THE WORLD'S LARGEST COMPETITION FOR HOBBY WINEMAKERS!
CLICK HERE FOR THE 2018 RESULTS!
Year after year the WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition is the largest of its kind in the world. Entries were received from 48 American states, 5 Canadian provinces and as far away as the Philippines and Turkey represented for the 2018 competition resulting in a total of 2,299 wines entered. Send us your best wines by March 15, 2019 to get valuable feedback from our experienced judges and see how your wines stack up against your fellow winemakers. All entrants will receive their judging notes back. And you might even win a medal or two!
Here are some key competition dates for 2019:
Winemakers compete for more than ribbons. Get valuable feedback to improve your wine.
Three American Wine Society judges discuss entering wine competitions.
Meet the Grand Champion of the 2010 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition —
The Grand Champion at the 2015 WineMaker Magazine Amateur Wine Competition talks about his winning Cabernet Sauvignon.
Each year WineMaker's offices are flooded with entries for our amateur wine competition. Since its launch in 2002, the competition has been the largest gathering of amateur wines anywhere in the world.
Below are links to the winners from this year's and past competitions
- 2017 Competition Winners
- 2016 Competition Winners
- 2015 Competition Winners
- 2014 Competition Winners
- 2013 Competition Winners
- 2012 Competition Winners
- 2011 Competition Winners
- 2010 Competition Winners
- 2009 Competition Winners
- 2008 Competition Winners
- 2007 Competition Winners
- 2006 Competition Winners
- 2005 Competition Winners
- 2003 Competition Winners
- 2002 Competition Winners
A total of 4,474 amateur wines were judged over three days in April at this year's competition!