Special Guests

Steve Lewis
Giuliana Imports |

Steve Lewis founded Giuliana Imports in 1996. Starting exclusively with small, family estates from the Italian region of Piedmont, specifically the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Today the Giuliana portfolio includes wineries from over fifty appellations in Italy, Spain and…

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Damon Ornowski
Veraison Bevereage Distributors | Denver

1988-1997 Sommelier: Pinons Restaurant/Aspen Colorado Current Occupation: Vin Divino (importer): Portfolio: Italy , Austria, Chile , Spain, Napa Title : National Sales and Key Accts 1996 Master Sommelier 1997-2002 Rudd Winery and Vineyards Job description: Vineyard development, production and sales…

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MS Larry Stone
Linqua Franca | Willamette Valley

Within a few months of becoming the ninth Master Sommelier in the United States, Larry Stone became the first American to win the prestigious Grand Prix de Sopexa for the title of the Best International Sommelier in French Wines in…

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Chefs

Executive Chef Kevin Erving
Sebastian/Leonora | Vail

Kevin grew up in the Pacific Northwest and started his culinary career in Seattle, Washington over 30 years ago. He landed a job with The Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts at the age of 19 as a Cook III shucking…

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Kevin Webber
Carboy Winery | Denver

"Colorado's fastest growing winery making award-winning wines from Colorado's Grand Valley AVA! In 2015 we embarked on an endeavor to bring an exceptional & innovative wine experience to the Denver area. Initially a négociant winery, we began working with winemakers…

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Chef/Owner Orlando Benavidez
Bits and Pieces | Denver

Being the chef/ ceo/ owner/ operator/ media director/ event planner.... well you get the idea, of food truck, and retail/ wholesale company takes more than just brawn, it takes hustle, brains and helluva lot of patience. Orlando Benavidez and his…

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Wineries

Craig Becker, Winemaker
PriestRanch | Yountville

Craig Becker, a Southern California native, is a founding member of Somerston Estate. A strong love of the outdoors attracted Becker to winemaking. This attraction, combined with innate talent, led him to the helm of Somerston – an expansive project…

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Nora Comee
Vineyard 29 | St Helena

Vice President of National Sales

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Brett de Leuze President/Partner
ZD Wines | Napa

ZD Wines President Brett deLeuze is a lifetime veteran of the wine business. He was only four years old when ZD Wines was founded in 1969. He grew up immersed in the excitement surrounding the founding of a new winery.…

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Gary Lipp President/Owner
Coho Wine | Napa

After five years living to ski in Steamboat Springs, Gary learned that though you can never have too much fun, you might need to pursue it in a new environment. The wine was calling and it said to move to…

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Winemaker Michael D. Etzel
Beux Freres | Newberg

"We aim to preserve the character of our terroir, the personality of the vintage, and the quality of the wine. It's in this process that we truly capture the essence of the vineyard." – Michael D. Etzel, Winemaker Mikey Etzel's…

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Taylor Pfaff (Owner & CEO)
Left Coast Estate | RICKREALL

Taylor Pfaff, of family ownership, stepped into the CEO position the summer of 2016 after 6 harvests in the cellar under the excellent mentorship of Winemaker Joe Wright. In his thirteenth year at Left Coast and lover of all things…

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Zachary Smith
Barlow Vineyards | Calistoga

3rd generation grape grower Zachary Barlow Smith wears many hats from working in the vineyard laborer, to in markets sales and everything in between.

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Managing Partner Adam Fox
Canard Vineyard | Calistoga

Adam Fox is the Managing Partner at Canard Vineyard in Napa Valley, CA. Originally from Denver, Colorado, his family moved to Los Angeles in the early 70's. From a young age, Adam was passionate about creating art. Over the years…

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Assistant Winemaker Alana Fontaine
St Innocent Winery | Jefferson

Alana discovered her passion for wine while doing a study abroad in France in 2005. During the summer of 2009, she moved from Connecticut in order to pursue a career in the wine industry. Having completed the WSET Intermediate and…

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Founding Partner German Bistue
BISTUE cellars | Davis

German Bistue is a Founding Partner at Wine Bridge Imports and assistant winemaker at Bistue Cellars winery in California. Growing up in Mendoza, Argentina, German has always been involved in the wine industry. After graduating from college, he managed a…

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Dave Guffy
Hess Persson Estates | Napa

Dave Guffy has created wines expressive of Napa Valley land and terroir with The Hess Collection for over two decades. In 1999, Founder Donald Hess hired Guffy, where he began learning about the nuances of mountain Cabernet Sauvignon while continuing…

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Tim Colla
Saintsbury | Napa

A leading producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Saintsbury produces site specific wines with balanced fruit and classic structure. An original winery that helped establish the Carneros AVA, Saintsbury was founded in 1981 and remains family owned and operated.

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Gary Bulger
Saintsbury | Napa

A California native, Gary grew up at the beach near the Los Angeles/Orange County border in Southern California. During a four year stint in the ski industry, he started working evenings in restaurants; waiting tables and tending bar. Eventually, promoted…

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Matthew Regan
VGS Chateau Potelle | St. Helena

Matthew Regan is the Vice President/Brand Ambassador of VGS Chateau Potelle Winery in the Napa Valley. Matthew joined Chateau Potelle in 2000, and now manages all aspects of the VGS experience. Prior to his appointment at VGS Chateau Potelle, Matthew…

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Olivier Tonnerre
Champagne Canard Duchene | Ludes

Olivier will impress you from his 6'8" frame and charm you with his kind & friendly attitude. From Brittany, he moved to the US in 1994. He started working in the wine industry in 2001 and joined the Thienot USA…

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Sommelier Ali Hill
Wine Bridge Imports | Davis

Ali Hill is a certified Sommelier who discovered her passion for wine while bussing in a French restaurant at 19 years old. Residing in Denver, she covers the Southwest and New England regions for Wine Bridge Imports and enjoys sharing…

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Sean Capiaux
Capiaux Cellars | Angwin

Sean Capiaux has an established and notable career at prominent wineries around the world which include: Jordan, Pine Ridge, and Peter Michael in California; Macari, Jamesport and Schneider in Long Island, NY; and Houghton's in Australia. In 1994 Sean launched…

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Brian Parker
Willamette Valley Vineyards | Turner

Brian Parker began his journey with Willamette Valley Vineyards in 2017 after studying biology and business at the University of Puget Sound. He now oversees Colorado and the Midwest, and is a wine enthusiast shareholder in the company.

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Rebecca Thompson
Champagne Henriot | 51100 REIMS

Rebecca Thompson is the Regional Market Manager in Southern California & the Southwest for MDHA, the importer of Champagne Henriot.

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ERIC MALINSKI
Piattelli Vinyards | SALTA

Owner and President of Piattelli Vineyards and Artel Brands, Eric has wine in his blood and business in his brain.

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Izzy Driscoll
Huia Vineyards | Marlborough

Izzy has been a part of the Huia family for over 25 years. She is in charge of all sales and distribution in the US and Canada. Her passion for Huia and NZ shines through in all she does to…

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Janet Puchot
Maison Mirabeau | Cotignac

Janet Pouchot has held positions in the wine business over a decade including as a sommelier for Restaurant DANIEL, with retailer Sherry-Lehmann, with the New Zealand government, and now as Sales Director for Mirabeau where she also is a partner.…

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Kevin Webber
Carboy Winery | Denver

"Colorado's fastest growing winery making award-winning wines from Colorado's Grand Valley AVA! In 2015 we embarked on an endeavor to bring an exceptional & innovative wine experience to the Denver area. Initially a négociant winery, we began working with winemakers…

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Allen Papp
Darioush | Napa

“Through all of my years presenting Darioush wines, I’m continually impressed by the intense interest to hear about the personal details of the man, family and team behind Darioush. Darioush has accomplished so much but remains humbly within reach to…

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Joe Wright (Winemaking & Viticulture Director)
Left Coast Estate | RICKREALL

Taylor Pfaff, of family ownership, stepped into the CEO position the summer of 2016 after 6 harvests in the cellar under the excellent mentorship of Winemaker Joe Wright. In his thirteenth year at Left Coast and lover of all things…

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Mike Steffel
Miner Wines | Napa

Mike Steffel is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Miner Family Wines. Mike has been with Miner for 5 years, but has been a long time fan and friend of Miner Family Wines for over 20 years. Starting…

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Greg Burger
Yamhill Valley Vineyards | MCMINNVILLE

Greg Burger is a family owner of Yamhill Valley Vineyards and National Sales Manager

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Stu Devine
DevineWine | Landstuhl

Te Awanga wine in Hawkes Bay and Borthwick Vineyard in Wairarapa offer a different style of wine from New Zealand, coastal Hawkes Bay Sauv blanc and terraced old river bed Pinot noir from Wairarapa

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Sebastian Bistue
Bistue Cellars | Napa

We carefully select our vineyards based on the ideal location for each grape varietal and the style of wine that we want to achieve. - Carolina Bistué, Winemaker -

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Clay Fritz
Fritz Underground Winery | Cloverdale

Clayton Fritz and his family run the winery with the same dedication and enthusiasm to the core values started by his father, Jay Fritz. The Fritz terroir provides the ideal growing condition for exceptional wines.

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Ryan Locke
Canon Wine Imports | France

Canon Wine Imports has been bringing family owned wineries to Colorado for over 25 years. We are focused on fine French and Italian wineries.

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John Gibson
Salexis Wines | Napa

My name is John Gibson and I am the owner and winemaker of Salexis Wines which we established in 1998.

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Pat McClaskey
Pine Ridge Vineyards | Napa

Since our founding in 1978, Pine Ridge Vineyards has become known for elegant Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the heart of Stags Leap District in Napa Valley. Since then, the winery has acquired 160 acres across five Napa Valley appellations: Stags…

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Luca Zanin
Bennett Valley Cellars | Sonoma

Luca Zanin was born in Flushing, New York in 1970. Given his passion for Wine, Luca followed in his father’s footsteps and purchased a 40 Acre Vineyard in the heart of the Bennett Valley, later renaming it “Simpatico Ranch”. As…

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Julianne Holmes
The Duckhorn Portfolio | SAINT HELEN

Underpinning our success is a relentless focus on quality that has been ingrained in our culture ever since the inaugural harvest of our iconic Three Palms Vineyard in 1978. The Duckhorn Portfolio has consistently received stellar reviews across varietals, geographies…

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Eric Misiewicz
Van Duzer Vineyards | Dallas

WINEMAKER. Eric was raised in New Hampshire and spent his summers working on a vegetable production farm as a teenager. These summers spurred and interest in agriculture lead him to study at Cornell University where he got a degree in…

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Brandy Robinson
Premium Port Wines | Alijó

Brandy has always had a passion for wine and has now worked in the industry for almost 20 years. Starting with domestic, then imported wines, the world of Port sparked her interest as one of the more mystical wine regions…

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Jessica Neal, WSET3
Neal Family Vineyards | Angwin

Jessica is Mark Neal’s eldest and leads the charge as the third generation working at Neal Family Vineyards. She grew up on the Neal Family Estate and Winery and has walked the rows and worked alongside her father since she…

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Jeremy Briese
ISRAEL WINE PRODUCING ASSOCIATION (IWPA) | ISRAEL

IWPA was established to unify the leading quality Israeli wineries in a concerted effort to promote Israel as a ‘fine wine growing region’. IWPA positions these fine Israeli wines as an essential category to be included in all better wine…

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Larry Stone, MS
Lingua Franca | Salem

Within a few months of becoming the ninth Master Sommelier in the United States, Larry Stone became the first American to win the prestigious Best International Sommelier in French Wines competition in Paris. His career spans 30 years as a…

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Rebecka Deike (Senior Winemaker)
Ferrari-Carano | Healdsburg

Rebecka joined Ferrari-Carano in 2004 as an Enologist, but it all began at Humboldt State University where Rebecka studied Cellular and Molecular Biology with the plan to become an optometrist. After graduating in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree,…

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Adam Fox
Canard Vineyard | Napa

In 2010, Adam met Rich Czapleski, one of the last true gentleman farmers in Napa Valley. The two shared a common desire to create wines rooted in integrity that focused on quality over quantity and artistry over commercialization. Over the…

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Taste of Vail Team

Tom Armstrong - Board of Directors
Chris Chantler - Board of Directors
Kevin Delonay - Board of Directors
Kipper Dorn - Board of Directors
Jordan Harrill - Board of Directors
Zachary Lewison - Board of Directors
Greg Moffet - Board of Directors
Heather Price - Board of Directors
Pierson Shields - Board of Directors

Angela Mueller - Executive Director

Lisa Benscheidt - Operation Coordinator

Amy Oberley - Event Coordinator: Tasting on Street
Karen Conklin - Event Coordinator: Debut of Rose
Sue Terbush - Event Coordinator: Mountaintop Tasting
Karen Conklin - Event Coordinator: Grand Tasting
Zachary Lewison/Heather Price - Event Coordinator: Seminars
Scotty Moises - Event Coordinator: Operations
Stefan Creaser - Event Coordinator: Operations
Karen Conklin - Volunteer Coordinator: Operations
Lynda VanNorman - Wine Room Coordinator: Operations

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