Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge
Five panels of five judges each for Saturday, August 11, 2018.
Three panels of five judges each for Sunday, August 12, 2018.
Jonathan Brown, MBA: Lecturer of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality, Michael A. Leven School of Culinary focused on teaching the beverage and operations sector of the hospitality industry, including Exploring the World of Wine, Beer Culture, and Professional Development as well as the Spirits, Beers, and Brew class which presents a global perspective. Brown has worked in the restaurant and hospitality business with Georgia restaurants, and his oenology credentials include Level 1 Sommelier through Court of Master Sommeliers. He also holds several beer certifications. Challenge judge 2017.
Juan Cortés: Sommelier, former sommelier Restaurant Eugene and C. Ellet’s; currently sommelier at Brush Izacaya, Decatur.
Wayne Crawford, CSW: Retired U.S. Army, former COO Harry’s Farmers Market, monthly wine column for “Smoke Signals” in Big Canoe, has written a book on Georgia wines (published 2017), certification as a French Wine Scholar and Champagne Master level certification, French Wine Society; and has judged a number of wine competitions in the South. Challenge Judge 2016, 2017. Chief Judge 2018.
Mark Diehl: Retired orthopedic surgeon, mead judge 2018. An amateur winemaker, Diehl is a member of the American Wine Society, a certified judge, and has wide-ranging judging experience with Southern-focused wine competitions. Challenge judge 2017.
Keith Fiedler: Chief judge mead panel. A UGA Extension agent (Putnam County), Fiedler is an award-winning mead maker specializing in melomels; director, University of Georgia Honey Judge Program; teaches mead judging techniques; close to 20 years’ experience judging mead locally, nationally and internationally. Challenge chief mead judge, 2017.
Jonathan Galaif: Galaif developed and implemented the Reserve Wine membership club for several restaurants in North Atlanta, and has worked as a wine buyer in multiple on- and off-premise retail locations. He recently passed the Court of Master Sommelier’s Introductory Course and Exam (Level 1), and is currently preparing to take the CSW exam.
Marius Girlea: Sommelier – Winetaste Sommelier’s Agency, Romania, 2015, WSET – level II, level III in progress; Romanian Association of Sommeliers, 2015; US: founder and owner, Barrels Hub Inc., oak barrel importer. Romania: Inner Consulting Group SRL, founder and owner; business coordinator for Disney TV Channels; Physician – University of Medicine. Timisoara, Romania, 1992; Pediatrician – 1997; MBA – Open University Business School London, Long Distance Courses, UK, 1997.
David Harris: BS oenology and viticulture, California State University at Fresno, former winery owner, currently in solar panel sales with Radiance Solar. Challenge judge 2016, 2017.
Debbie Jones, CSW: Former wine consultant at Savor Boutique, Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits (Piedmont), Savi Provisions. Currently with CalyRoad Creamery, general manager; wine sales. Challenge judge, 2015, 2016, 2017.
Kristen Lindelow, CWJ, FWS, CSW, CWAS: Court of Master Sommelier, Level 1, 2018; numerous other wine credentials, including French Wine Scholar, French Wine Society, 2013; American Wine Society Judge Certification Program 2013; WEST-Level 2 (with Merit), 2013. AB Georgia State University, cum laude. Currently owner/educator Tennessee Valley Wine Academy and wine educator, Church Street Wine Shoppe. Extensive judging experience.
Jon Mattson, CSW: Resort dining manager, Barnsley Gardens; Level 1with the Court of Master Sommeliers; extensive restaurant management experience; Challenge judge 2017.
Greg McCluney: Wine writer, formerly Atlanta Wine Report, freelance wine, food and travel writer; frequent judge (Atlanta Wine Report panels); Challenge judge 2015, 2016, 2017.
Teresa Meggs: Certified sommelier, investor with Vino Venue, CSW, French Wine Scholar, WSET II. Challenge judge 2016, 2017.
Craig Mitchell: Judge Northwest Wine Summit various years from 2005; tasting with Atlanta-based French sommelier Yves Durand since 1995.
Meg Needle: Architect, Lord Aeck Sargent; occasional wine judge Vino Challenge.
Ron Needle: Former distributor JnK, Bell Italia, an importer (retired) and currently with Atlanta Beverage; Challenge judge 2016.
Wynn Pennington: Pennington has worked in most phases of the wine business, including retail, distribution (Atlanta Wholesale Wine) and now is an importer with his own company (Motovino).
Lori Pocock, CSW: WSET I, II and III, Introductory Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers, Investor and instructor Vino Venue/Atlanta Wine School. Challenge judge 2016.
Scott Ragland: Former wine consultant, former beverage director, Piastra, Marietta; retailer Cumming Beverage Mart. Challenge Judge 2016.
Bill Reynolds: Retired U.S. Army; CSW, WSET Level 3 and FWS (French Wine Scholar) credentials; investor and instructor with Vino Venue/Atlanta Wine School; Challenge judge 2015, 2016, 2017.
Jim Shannon: Former owner, Shannon Vineyards, Sylvania, GA; Challenge judge 2016.
Bill Stack: Attorney, grape grower/vineyard owner, former partner with Tiger Mountain Vineyards, Challenge judge 2015, 2016, 2017.
Beverly Taylor: Wine journalist, former wine columnist with the Birmingham News, photographer and freelance journalist; frequent wine judge Vino Challenge, North West Wine Summit, other competitions. Challenge judge 2015, 2016, 2017.
Brian White: Sommelier, AG, Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, working on certification by the Court of Master Sommeliers, and will soon sit for the Advanced Level exam.