2014 Luminary of the Year
Every year the Nantucket Wine Festival plays host to some of the most acclaimed leaders in the food and wine world. We pay tribute to these Luminaries for their commitment to tradition, passion for their trade, and continuous pursuit of perfection.
This year we honor Paul Draper from Ridge Vineyards as the 2014 Luminary of the Year. As one of the foremost winemakers in the world, Draper represents the best of what California has to offer. His accomplishments at Ridge Vineyards include making some of the most ageable worthy wines in California. Ridge’s Montebello Cabernet placed 5th at the legendary 1976 Tasting of Paris and has proven its worth every year.
Brian Alberg, Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage at The Red Lion Inn, is a staunch supporter of the local food movement in the Berkshires and Hudson Valley. He is President of Berkshire Grown, an organization dedicated to promoting the support of local farming and strengthening the relationships between local farmers and restaurants. In the past eight years at the Red Lion Inn, Alberg has established strong relationships with regional farmers and food producers and purchased more than $500K in local foods annually, a compelling contribution to the Berkshire-Hudson economy.
James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein is a recently named Chef Ambassador of Ruinart. Beyond successful restaurants, Michy’s and Crumb on Parchment, and her own family, Bernstein dedicates time to Common Threads an after-school program for underprivileged kids and regularly appears on an array of national TV shows, from Top Chef to Good Morning America. In addition, she is part of the Lexus Culinary Masters, a brand ambassador for Crisco, and is a member of the Macy’s Culinary Council and the LEAN CUISINE® Culinary Roundtable.
Tom Berry is the Chef/Partner of The Proprietors.
Tom began his professional career as Chef Ming Tsai's right hand with the opening of Blue Ginger. After five years he left Blue Ginger for his first Executive Chef position at Bambara in Cambridge. It was there that he was named “Best Up & Coming Chef” by the Improper Bostonian. In 2005 Tom spent a season on Nantucket as Executive Chef at Straight Wharf, before returning to Boston as Executive Chef at Temple Bar.
Most recently Executive Chef at The Great Harbor Yacht Club, Tom has had an impressive career with stints in both BOS and ACK.
Fred Bisaillon’s first job on Nantucket was the position of Sauté Cook at the former Regatta restaurant at the White Elephant. For three years Bisaillon spent his summers on Nantucket at the Regatta while working seasonally in Martha’s Vineyard and Colorado. Bisaillon was part of the original team during the opening of the Brant Point Grill in 1997 under chefs Michel Nischan and Pat Trama.
Since his return to the island in 2009, Chef Fred, the Brant Point Grill, and the White Elephant have enjoyed accolades from N Magazine, Yesterdays Island, the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror, and USA Today.
Chef Robert Boslow attended Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island, graduating with an Associates in Culinary Arts in 1988, and a BA in Foodservice Managment in 1990. He's worked at Orient Express Hotels in Vail, Colorado and in Eleuthera, Bahamas; Carefree Resorts in Arizona and California; and various Nantucket Island restaurants including The White Elephant, The West Creek Cafe, Dough Hook Artisan Breads, and Pazzo, Lola, and Lola Burger.
Christopher Brooks, a native of London, England, joined the GHYC team as Executive Chef in April 2013. He completed a classical European apprenticeship in one of England's finest Country House Hotels, Chewton Glen a Relais & Chateaux property. He completed a culinary degree at Bournemouth & Poole College in the U.K.Christopher moved to the states in 1995 to become sous chef at another Relais & Chateaux property, the Hotel Blantyre, in Lenox, Massachusetts - in 2000 he became the Executive Chef. The Hotel went on to become a Mobil Five Star property in 2003.
In 2000, Joanne opened Flour, a bakery and café, in Boston’s South End. Flour features breakfast pastries, breads, cakes, cookies and tarts as well as sandwiches, soups and salads. In 2007 she opened a second branch of Flour in the Fort Point Channel area and in 2010 a third branch in Cambridge. The fourth Flour location opened up in Boston’s Back bay in January of 2013.
Flour has been featured in Gourmet, Food&Wine, Bon Appetit, the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Lucky Magazine, Inc. Magazine, and Boston Magazine and has received numerous Best of Boston awards.
James Beard Award-winning Chef Tim Cushman is Chef Owner of o ya.
o ya was named by New York Times as the #1 new restaurant in the U.S. in 2008 and was awarded a rare food score of “29” in the 2011/12 Zagat Guide. In 2008 Food & Wine magazine selected Cushman as a Best New Chef and selected o ya as one of the top 10 new restaurants in the world. Bon Appetit and Details magazines have recognized o ya as one of the top 10 sushi restaurants in the U.S. and Eater has recognized o ya as one of nine exceptional omakase menus across the U.S.
In 2007, Mary became the executive chef of Harvest in Cambridge, Massachusetts—a restaurant in the heart of Harvard Square, near Harvard University celebrating farm-to-fork New England cuisine long before it became the trend. Mary has brought the food to a new level of creativity and innovation. Her secret ingredient in the Harvest kitchen is not only all the local produce but all the herbs she grows in her own kitchen garden. Mary is known for having a keen respect for local farmers and fishermen, plus a passion for food preservation, and creating intricate dishes with a skilled hand.
Jeff Fournier blends his artistic and culinary creativity when developing his innovative and inspired, locally-sourced creations for his diners at 51 Lincoln in Newton. His signature dish—watermelon steak—is just one of the many examples of the carefully chosen blend of ingredients Fournier uses for his Latin inspired culinary creations.
Gabriel Frasca, a veteran of haunts such as Hamersley's Bistro, Danube, Radius and Spire, and Lydon, formerly of Truc, Upstairs on the Square, and Ten Tables, has taken over Nantucket's own Straight Wharf Restaurant. The menu at Straight Wharf focuses on seasonal, sustainable ingredients, with an emphasis on New England seafood, island-grown produce and herbs from the restaurant's own waterfront garden.
Chef Freeman brings to Oran Mor years of culinary expertise cultivated at the world's top rated resort inns. Chef Freeman has been repeatedly honored as Nantucket’s highest rated chef for food by ZAGAT Survey and has earned accolades from food critics nationwide and abroad. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Chris has been featured numerous times at the James Beard House in New York City and has received critical praise from Zagat, Bon Appetit, Coastal Living, Town & Country, Gourmet, National Geographic Traveler and Travel & Leisure.
Neil Ferguson is the Executive Chef of Galley Beach restaurant.
Originally from southern England, Neil spent 14 years cooking at many of the top restaurants in London. This was followed with two years in France at 3 Michelin starred restaurants in Burgundy and in Paris.
Next Ferguson was appointed Executive Chef of Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel and moved to New York in 2006 to oversee the opening there. This was followed by his roles at Allen and Delancey where he earned a Michelin star, was awarded Best New Restaurant by Time Out New York and named Rising Star Chef 2008 by Starchefs.com.
Michael Getter is chef/owner of Dune. At the age of 24 he became executive chef of the acclaimed 21 Federal on Nantucket. He then moved into the chef/owner position of Nantucket's famed American Seasons Restaurant. His work has been published in Bon Appetite, Gourmet Magazine, New York Times, and the Boston Globe.
Will Gilson’s farm-to-table cooking is rooted in his work at The Herb Lyceum at Gilson’s, the restaurant on his family’s farm in Groton, MA. Gilson was 17 when he began cooking there, and the experience served as inspiration for his current restaurant, Puritan & Company–a refined yet rustic neighborhood eatery in Cambridge’s Inman Square featuring farmers’ market fare. Gilson began making a name for himself in the Boston area in 2007, when he opened the Garden at the Cellar in Cambridge. He left in 2011 to launch a series of successful restaurant ventures, including Eat at Adrian’s, Cape Cod.
Maitre Cuisiniers de France and Award-winning Chef Bernard Guillas joined La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Inc. as executive chef in June 1994. Right at home in La Jolla, Guillas’ affinity for the coastal lifestyle reminded him of his home in Brittany. Guillas is responsible for directing the resort’s three restaurants and all catering operations for the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, the Shores Restaurant at the La Jolla Shores Hotel, and the landmark Marine Room restaurant.
Recently, Guillas has self published his first cookbook, Flying Pans with chef de cuisine of the Marine Room, Ron Oliver.
E.J. Harvey has been a chef on Nantucket for over 25 years. He is an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America (class of '75) and has had continental and traditional training. In 1992, E.J. and his wife Robin opened the SeaGrille. Over the past 15 years, the SeaGrille has earned a reputation as one of the island's finest restaurants, consistently offering outstanding cuisine and warm hospitality.
Chef Steven Haverson’s Executive Chef background began at The Inn at Longshore in Westport, CT, where he was Corporate Executive Chef for 22 Crown Plaza Hotels. Next he moved to the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Central Park in New York City, becoming the Exec after his initial role as Executive Sous. After three years he made my way to working in seven private clubs in NY, CT, AND MA.
Haverson currently resides at the Nantucket Hotel, helping to build their future with wholesome, simple, quality food using the freshest ingredients and offering a variety of dishes that are both comforting and healthy.
Working his way up through various kitchens in Detroit, Flint, and Syracuse, Seth moved to New York city and joined the Todd English group as a sous chef. When opportunities to travel arose, Seth jumped at the chance, helping to launch and helm projects in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and South Florida. In 2010 Todd tapped Seth to lead the kitchens of The Summer House of Nantucket for the season.
After two years in Philadelphia, Seth returned to The Summer House to cook his Mediterranean informed New England coastal cuisine, emphasizing the bounty of the island and the region’s fishing industry.
Executive Chef at Bartlett’s Farm, Neil Patrick Hudson has excelled as a local farm to table chef, nurturing a chef’s need for fresh and local ingredients and applying his techniques to the organic culinary direction of Bartlett’s farm.
Chef Hudson has made his mark on the Nantucket culinary world over the past decade, earning top accolades from the Zagat Survey, Nantucket Today, In Style Magazine, N Magazine, and Cape Cod Life.
Andy Husbands is the Chef/Owner of Tremont 647. Chef Husbands has been praised both locally and nationally for his bold flavors, commitment to using the best ingredients and seasonality, receiving nods from countless publications, from the Boston Globe and Boston Magazine to Wine Spectator and Star Chefs. Chef Husbands competed in the 6th season of Fox Television Network's "Hell's Kitchen" hosted by Gordon Ramsay.
He has published three books: The Fearless Chef, Wicked Good Barbeque, and Wicked Good Burgers with co-authors Chris Hart of the IQUE BBQ team and Andrea Pyenson of the Boston Globe.
Celebrating over 13 years of Food & Wine at Fifty-Six Union. Peter's Global Cuisine is paired with Wendy's Extensive Wine List.
Many who dine at Chef All Kovalencik’s restaurant, The Company of the Cauldron, contend Chef All and his team have perfected the recipe for classic, elegant fare and maintaining a high standard of food, service, and quality. The restaurant has always been committed to local purveyors, ensuring the freshest ingredients, and often herbs and foods are grown or gathered by hand before being transformed to plate.
As chef-owner of The Company of the Cauldron, guided with the help of his wife, the pair have been able to create one of the not-to-be-missed experiences of refined dining on Nantucket.
Catalyst Restaurant’s Chef/Owner William Kovel’s interest in food “sparked” at an early age. A native of West Hartford, Connecticut, William Kovel cooked in a variety of cities and countries before settling back down in New England. Kovel received his degree in Culinary and Hospitality Studies at Southern New Hampshire University prior to moving out West to San Francisco where he was able to broaden his knowledge of cuisine and technique beyond the East Coast. Kovel’s culinary career has brought him overseas to London and across the United States before he decided to settle in Boston.
Michael LaScola began as a prep cook at American Seasons two days after graduating from high school. He continued his education at New York’s famed Culinary Institute of America, yet returned to Nantucket every summer to work at American Seasons. Upon graduation, he became the restaurant’s sous chef.
In 2004, Michael and his wife, Orla Murphy-LaScola, bought the restaurant. Under Michael’s direction, the American Season’s menu of seasonal food from four distinct culinary regions of the United States continues to delight guests with specialty dishes infused with versatility and whimsy.
Geoff Lazlo has cooked in some of the world's most celebrated kitchens, including Chez Panisse, Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Blue Hill (New York) as well as in Bordeaux, France where he helped to teach and lead culinary tours of the region for Two Bordelaise.
Most recently, Geoff was a sous chef at Gramercy Tavern, NYC. While Geoff was at Gramercy Tavern, the team was awarded the Outstanding Restaurant Award in 2008 and Best Chef/New York in 2012 by the James Beard Foundation.
Geoff is committed to using seasonal ingredients, partnering with local farmers, and helping to support the community.
In November of 1997 Anthony took a position at the Park Avenue Cafe in Manhattan, New York, and quickly made Sous Chef. During that time, Anthony worked with Executive Chef David Burke and Chef de Cuisine Neil Murphy.
In April of 2003, Anthony made his way to the island of Nantucket and since then has worked in the kitchens of Oran Mor, The Westmoor Club, and now as the Executive Chef at Le Languedoc Bistro.
The Boarding House, The Pearl & Corazon del Mar proprietors Angela Raynor and her husband, executive-chef Seth Carter Raynor, have cultivated an impressive national following and collection of awards including New England Travel & Life Best Seafood Restaurant in New England, Conde Nast Traveler Best of the World Awards, Boston Magazine Best Restaurant General Excellence, and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 15 times. This Nantucket couple and their team showcase the harvest from local farms and fishermen paired with craft beers, small production wines and unique cocktails.
As Executive Chef of The Langham, Boston, Chef Sapienza hones his skills and wealth of knowledge directing three dining venues and numerous banquet events. His culinary creations, primarily made with in-season New England ingredients, span a number of cuisines such as New American, Italian and French. In BOND Restaurant | Lounge Chef Sapienza’s menu pairs with a chic, metropolitan atmosphere while the menu in the recently opened Reserve features fare that pairs with champagne, wine and good conversation. Café Fleuri features The Langham’s famous Saturday Chocolate Bar and Sunday City Brunch.
Robert Sisca is the executive chef of Bistro du Midi, in Boston’s Back Bay. Sisca was most recently a sous chef at Le Bernardin, where he helped the restaurant earn a coveted three stars from Michelin and four stars from the New York Times. A graduate of Johnson & Wales, Sisca worked his way through New England, including Gracie’s in Providence and Bosun’s in Nantucket.
At Bistro du Midi Sisca celebrates the food of Provence, also known as the Midi Region. The menu reflects authentic Provençal style cuisine, ingredient-driven and complemented by tradition and technique.
Joshua Smith has recently opened Moody’s Delicatessen and Provisions in Waltham, MA. Moody’s is where meat meets the street. Joshua has created a stunning Old World style deli where he serves artisanal, hand-cured meats produced by his company New England Charcuterie. His signature sandwiches and European style prepared foods are already drawing a crowd. He is also offering pop-up dinners, often collaborating with chefs from around the country, and he continues his full service private catering.
In 2011 Stanton brought his passion for local food to the ultimate level by opening The Meat Market. Central to Stanton’s culinary practices and his philosophy about food in general, is the importance of raising awareness about locally grown agricultural products. He believes we all need to embrace the contributions to flavor, healthful living and stewardship of the land that follow when we support local farms and farmers. His commitment to opening a retail butcher shop dedicated to locally raised meats speaks to his personal convictions about the importance of supporting local agriculture.
When dell’anima opened in 2007, Thompson took the reigns as executive chef, taking a lifetime of lessons in the kitchen–from selecting vegetables in his grandfather’s garden to making bucatini with Mario. In 2008, Thompson opened L’Artusi, which features a larger space for him to offer a more expansive menu. And at Anfora, a wine bar just two doors down from dell’anima, Thompson offers guests a selection of snacks to pair with partner Joe Campanale’s wine selections. L’Apicio, the newest addition to the family, brings his food to the East Village, furthering his accomplishments in the kitchen.
A record 32 years with the company, Brooke Vosika is the most tenured Four Seasons Chef. Currently Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Boston, Vosika oversees the hotel’s food and beverage outlets including the bustling Bristol Lounge, heralded as “Boston’s living room,” as well as banquet functions and In-Room Dining. Collectively, these outlets serve well over a half a million guests annually. Vosika’s career has brought him around the world and delivered awards from the Improper Bostonian Magazine and Boston Magazine, in addition to the prestigious Bocuse d’Or and James Beard Foundation.
In 1998 Kevin Williamson opened Ranch 616, a South Texas-style icehouse reminiscent of his many years hunting and fishing in South Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. It was at these ice houses where Williamson was served his finest meals, inspiring him to create a spot similar for local Austinites. At Ranch 616, Williamson combines the flavors of the Gulf Coast with the spices of the border towns of Texas.
Ranch 616 and Chef Williamson have won numerous awards, from his sugar cure rub to his legendary fried oysters voted Southern Living Magazine’s “Best in the South” for three consecutive years.
Tim loved the concept of the Summer Shack, where “Food Is Love” and all the food was prepared simply, from scratch, using the best quality of fresh seafood and local produce. He flourished in this environment and after starting as a grill cook, he worked his way to sous chef of the shack at Mohegan Sun. Today, after moving to the Boston area a couple years ago, Tim is the Executive Chef of the original Summer Shack in Cambridge, MA., where he oversees the food operations for both the restaurant and their growing catering division.
Jeff Worster is the executive chef of The Chanticleer and Black Eyed Susan's restaurants. Having trained in classical French and Italian cuisine, he has successfully created a unique dining experience at Black Eyed Susan’s. Now, with the highly anticipated re-opening of The Chanticleer with his partner, Susan Handy, Jeff returns to French cuisine, infused with his creative interpretation of the classics.
Kyle Zachary is the executive chef of TOPPER'S.
A graduate of the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, Zachary honed his skills in restaurants including Alinea in Chicago, Wheatleigh in Lenox, the Winnetu Inn on Martha's Vineyard, and TOPPER’s as sous chef in 2005. Most recently Kyle was the sous chef at the Intercontinental in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Erin Zircher is the executive chef and a partner at Cru, a premier waterfront oyster bar located on the visually stunning setting of Nantucket Harbor. Erin’s cuisine is simple and innovative, influenced by her classical French training and Mediterranean sensibilities, presenting a fresh interpretation of New England seafood classics.
Eric Asimov is the chief wine critic of The New York Times and the author of “How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto.” His weekly column appears in the Dining section of The Times, and he contributes to the Diner’s Journal blog on The Times’s web site.
Before he started writing full-time about wine in 2004, Asimov wrote primarily about restaurants and food. He is a co-author of five editions of The New York Times Guide to Restaurants, and published four editions of “$25 and Under: A Guide to the Best Inexpensive Restaurants in New York.’’
Upon graduating from Boston College in ‘92, Jack Bittner headed for the Napa Valley. He’s been there ever since. He first worked at a pair of fine Napa Valley boutique vintners, Clos Pegase and St. Supéry Vineyards&Winery. From there he moved to Silverado Vineyards, where he played a key role in the winery’s marketing and sales efforts.
As President of Cliff Lede Vineyards, Bittner brings strong relationships throughout the industry, the vision and experience to develop Cliff Lede into a world-class brand and the management skills that have enabled him to engage his staff in reaching shared goals.
Jean-Louis Carbonnier has worked with Château Palmer since 2003, providing the cru with strategic assistance on the public relations and communications fronts in the U.S. In 2012 Carbonnier joined the Château team as North America manager. In 2013 Carbonnier became Château Palmer's Director for the Americas.
Jean-Louis Carbonnier is a native of Reims, France. Prior to joining Château Palmer, Carbonnier worked for the Champagne AOC organization, CIVC, and ran Carbonnier Communications, a boutique communications and marketing company specializing in terroir-driven wine, spirits and cheese.
Educated in winemaking and viticulture at the University of Reims and the University of Bordeaux, Paul went on to acquire his practical knowledge of wine at Château Margaux, making wine at the side of one of the great masters in œnology, Emile Peynaud, and later with Louis Latour in Burgundy.
After acquiring a wealth of experience working for some of the greatest names in the wine world, Paul is the National Fine Wine Director at Shaw-Ross International Importers. He works with Sacha Lichine and Patrick Léon in the development of the 4 unique rosés from the Château D'Esclans estate.
After Nancy Cushman’s first sake experience, she became fascinated with it and made studying the beverage her mission. She left her career as an advertising executive, completed the Sake Professional Course in Japan, and opened o ya, a contemporary Japanese restaurant, with her husband Tim Cushman.
o ya has received numerous awards, including being named by the New York Times’ Frank Bruni as the #1 new restaurant in the U.S. outside of New York and the top Zagat rated restaurant in Boston in 2012. In 2012, Nancy travelled back to Japan to complete the Advanced Sake Professional Course.
Joe Donelan, founder of Donelan Family Wines, began his journey of wine discovery in the 1980s, led by an inspired sommelier at Toppers Restaurant on Nantucket. With a vision for creating superior-quality, terroir-driven Syrah and Rhone-varietals, Joe established relationships with unique Sonoma County vineyards and brought together a production team to found Donelan Family Wines. With his family’s name stamped on the each bottle and two sons involved in the day-to-day operations of the business, Donelan Family Wines is a true family venture for Joe.
Laurent Drouhin followed his father to the vineyards at a tender age, roller-skated in the cellars and played in the cuverie. His fondest memory (a la Marcel Proust) is the smell of the macerating must.
Today, Laurent is the Maison Joseph Drouhin ambassador to the United States and the Caribbean. Besides his commercial responsibilities, he is also involved in communication and other public relation activities such as tastings and wine dinners. He has lived in New York since 2005.
Born in England, Hallam showed early artistic talent when he won a scholarship to London University's Central College of Art. After a formal art education under British master painters Leslie Cole, Patrick Heron, and Hans Tinsdale, he completed his military service in the prestigious Gurkha brigade in Hong Kong and Malaya. Hallam's talent was further acknowledged when he was selected for inclusion in Britain's Royal Society of Artists in Watercolour. We are honored each year - to have Kerry Hallam create our Nantucket Wine Festival image - used for our annual poster and all festival graphics.
Robert “Bobby” Kacher began his relationship with France’s fine wine producers in 1985. His goal was to seek out small, independent, artisanal growers and producers who shared his philosophy and sought to make wines expressive of their region, full of personality and terroir driven.
Today, Bobby Kacher’s portfolio is a benchmark portfolio. Each wine is a pure expression of its appellation. For the wine lover, these wines offer a tutorial of some of the most sought-after appellations in France. The growers are true to their own personal vision and expression of their regions.
Puri Mancebo is originally from Valladolid in Spain, main town in the Ribera del Duero wine region. Her link to wine was originally a hobby, visiting wineries while studying abroad and tasting wines with friends. Her first job in the wine business was as an export manager in the group Tokaj Oremus in Hungary. Puri lived in Hungary for a year helping with the exports in Europe. Next she joined the team in Spain and became export Manager at Vega Sicilia, which is where she currently resides.
Carissa Mondavi plays a key role in the Communications and Hospitality at Continuum. She has worked in the vineyards, in the cellar, and as a Senior Wine Educator, and just prior to Continuum, in the Cultural Affairs Department at Robert Mondavi Winery.
Keen on liberating people's experience with wine, she is thrilled to be sharing her family story with others and contributing to the realization of her father's vision. In her free time Carissa enjoys music composition, yoga, hiking, cooking, and dreaming of travel yet to come.
Philippe Newlin runs Duclot La Vinicole USA, a top Bordeaux wine-importing house owned by the Moueix family of Petrus fame. He is a long-time wine educator with wine-course teaching responsibilities at Columbia Business School, Yale’s School of Management, The Wharton School, and HBS. Philippe started in the wine trade as the Tasting Director of Wine & Spirits Magazine before moving into wine importing. He holds the Diploma degree of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust of London, the highest professional accreditation of this trade-oriented body. This is Philippe’s fourth year conducting tastings and seminars on island with the NWF.
A winemaker by training, Janet Pagano has a B.S. in Fermentation Science from U.C. Davis. She is currently the Managing Partner of Ovid Napa Valley. Janet is a past Chairman of the Napa Valley Wine Auction and has served on the Boards of the Wine Institute and Napa Valley Vintners. She was President of the St. Helena Family Center and former Chairman of the Napa Valley Community Foundation. Her husband and two children keep her busy sailing, fishing, cooking, hiking and traveling.
Co-owner Suzanne Pride Bryan and her husband, Stuart Bryan, Pride’s National Sales Manager, work with Suzanne’s brother Steve Pride, co-owner and GM to carry-on the tradition of intense, extracted mountain grown wines at Pride Mountain Vineyards.
Celebrating nearly 20 years since its founding in 1990, Pride Mountain Vineyards has been named one of the “world’s best wine estates” by Robert Parker, Jr. joining just 156 other wineries from around the world for this distinction. The Wine Spectator has placed Pride’s wines on their Top100 Wines of the World list five times since the year 2000.
Born in 1980, Thomas Schlumberger grew up in Guebwiller (Alsace, France) surrounded by the family vineyard, in an environment rich of History and traditions.
Finishing his BA in Business Administration and Chemistry in Charleston, SC (USA), he came back to France and worked in the Perfume Industry.
Part of the 7th generation, Thomas recently joined his uncle Alain and sister Severine to look after their exceptional estate. For 3 years, he has been working as the Export Director of Domaines Schlumberger.
In 1984, Jean Trimbach spent nine months in the United States studying all aspects of the U.S. wine business, first working for six months with his importer, Seagram Chateau & Estate Wines Company in New York, then a three month stint in California working the crush at Gundlach-Bundschu in Sonoma and at Sterling Vineyards in Napa. On his return to France, Jean spent three months at Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux.
Jean Trimbach joined the Trimbach company in 1985 and since that date he has been involved in the export business travelling extensively throughout the world.
After winning Best Young Sommelier in America (2011), Christopher Bates was named Best Young Sommelier in the world (2012). He went on to win TopSomm 2013, America’s most important sommelier competition, before passing his Master Sommelier Exam, making him the 199th person in the world to do so, and the first to ever pass as a working Executive Chef.
Christopher is the General Manager & Executive Chef of Hotel Fauchère, Relais & Chateaux, and runs Element Winery, a small winery in the Finger Lakes of New York.
John Blazon is the former wine director for Walt Disney World. During his tenure, John was responsible for the development of wine concepts and standards, including product selection, service and training for 55 restaurants, 20 lounges, 18 resorts, 3 theme parks and Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival.
Following a 13 year career at Disney, John joined the Jackson Family Enterprises to work within their premium wine division, The Spire Collection. As VP of Sales, John works with a talented team of sommeliers selling luxury wines from the esteemed portfolio to AAA accounts throughout the country.
Lauren Collins, Wine Director at L’Espalier, is a certified Advanced Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She began studying with the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2009 and passed the Level 2 Certified Sommelier exam in 2010. Lauren also has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Boston Sommelier Society.
Lauren’s undying passion for wine goes hand in hand with her interest in culture, languages, history and gastronomy. The wine list at L’Espalier is celebrated for offering high quality, distinctive varietals and Lauren maintains this status by continuously searching the globe for new treasures to add to list.
Wine classes through the American Sommelier Association led to Gannon’s first sommelier job at Rothmann’s Steakhouse in midtown Manhattan. In 2011 he left Rothmann’s and now splits time between Nashville and New York, as well as traveling extensively throughout New England working for the Spire Collection of fine wines representing Jackson Family Estates. He writes a wine column for the Nashville paper -The Tennessean and holds the Advanced Certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers. On occasion he is the special event sommelier for private Italian gun club, Tiro a Segno.
Jamison has reinvented the face of The American Restaurant. The 250-seat, fine-dining institution has been named by The Robb Report and Wine Spectator. The 1,000-label wine list has received nods from Wine Spectator.
Jamison is approachable, affable, creative, ready to take patrons of his Forbes Travel Guide Four Star/AAA Four Diamond restaurant on a heady adventure. His educated palate for sniffing out the best of the best complements sublime dishes from the verdant imagination of James Beard award-winning Executive Chef Debbie Gold, a diminutive powerhouse of culinary magic.
A native of The Berkshires, Errol has ardently directed the award winning wine program at Tosca Restaurant in scenic Hingham Harbor for the past twelve years. Errol is a long time contributor to the wine festival and additionally offers Private Sommelier & Cellar Services in the Greater Boston area. He is a Certified Sommelier within the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers and is currently an Advanced Sommelier Candidate. Prior to settling on the South Shore, Errol worked at establishments in California and Boston, as well as Nantucket’s own White Elephant Resort.
Todd Lipman’s wine program at Bistro du Midi has been granted Wine Spectator’s Best of Excellence Award and his wine list has been dubbed “one of the city’s most formidable” by Bon Appetit Magazine. He was individually recognized and awarded the title of Boston’s Best Sommelier by Improper Bostonian 2011. He is the all-time winner of the SommSmack competition held by Gordon’s Fine Wines and Liquors in Waltham, where two Sommeliers battle each other under time constraints to pair wines with a surprise menu. He is also known to serve as a guest lecturer and wine writer for blogs and magazines.
Chef Sommelier is Chef Sommelier at Casa Lever on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Born in Rome, Gaetano came to America when he was twenty-two years old. Always passionate about food as a child, as he grew older, he became just as passionate about wine. Although predominately an Italian wine list, Casa Lever also offers a wide variety of French and California wines.
Matt Ryan began his career in wine as a food-runner for a fine-dining restaurant in Boston. From there, he made the transition to server at fast-paced restaurants, refining his knowledge of the world of wines. Matt became a Certified Sommelier in 2011 while working in a large retail store, where he was a manager in the wine department until 2013. He credits the exposure to such a wide variety of wines as an exceptional learning tool. Matt currently works as the General Manager for Beaver Brook Bottles in Waltham, MA, focusing on small-production fine wine and a wide selection of craft beer.
Clint Sloan was a semifinalist in the Southeast Region Young Sommelier Competition in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009. From 2009 to 2011 he was voted “Best Sommelier” by the city of Charleston in Charleston City Paper’s “Best of Charleston” awards. He passed his Court of Master Sommelier’s Advanced Course in 2010. In 2011 he was recognized by Food & Wine magazine as one of the top sommeliers in the country. Now he currently represents Terry Theise and Michael Skurnik’s national portfolio.
Aviram Turgeman is the Chef Sommelier of Restaurant Nice Matin on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The famous wine program features 2,500 selections, highlighting mature wines, mostly from Bordeaux and Provence, alongside the rest of France, Classic Europe, and California. The restaurant owns wine collections such as JFK's that features pre-phylloxera historical vintages, the famed Restaurant Chanterelle collection, among others.
In addition, Aviram is the beverage director of the "Chef Driven Group" that consists of the Tour de France restaurant group, Barbounia, as well the 5 Napkin Burger group.
In 2008 at 5 Star/5 Diamond restaurant Montagna, Dustin was named 'Best New Sommelier' in Wine and Spirits Magazine, won the prestigious Chaine des Rotisseures Jeaune Sommelier competition for the Southwest Division and went on to take 3rd at the U.S. In 2010 he won the Inaugural TopSomm competition for the Southwest Region of the U.S. and was a finalist in the first ever TopSomm National competition. In 2011 he became the 107th person to pass the rigorous Master Sommelier exam. In October of that year, Dustin made the move to New York to become the Wine Director of Eleven Madison Park.
Known as masters of Nuits-Saint-Georges, the Ambroise’s farm premier crus, les Vaucrains, En Rue Chaux, and les Terres Blanches (in white), and two village wines (including an old-vine bottling)—although that is only to name a few.
Certified in organic farming by ECOCERT, they prune to limit yields to as much as 20 percent below appellation norms. The wines are harvested by hand only once they have achieved the perfect maturity. If ripeness is the goal in the vineyards, freshness is the goal in the cellar.
Kale Anderson is the director of winemaking at Pahlmeyer Winery. As a California native, his interest in the wine industry led him to earn a B.S. in Viticulture and Enology from U.C. Davis in 2002. Since then he has held positions at Colgin Cellar’s Pritchard Hill Estate, Terra Valentine, Cliff Lede Vineyards, and finally Pahlmeyer Winery. His passion for producing wines is 10 years strong, and far from finished.
Craig Becker, a Southern California native, is a founding member of Somerston Wine Company.
Becker oversees all of Somerston’s winemaking and vineyard operations. He has a tremendous thirst for knowledge about each element of winery and vineyard operations and is constantly developing new ideas for improvement. Becker’s management style encourages innovation and entrepreneurship by allowing employees to take ownership of, and improve, their positions, the vineyards, and the winery. He maintains strong relationships with vineyard workers, many of whom live on-site, having worked the property for decades before Becker knew it existed.
Andrew Will Winery was started in 1989 by Chris Camarda. The winery is named for his son Will and nephew Andrew. As Chris developed his style of winemaking over the years, he chose to focus on the primacy of the vineyard over variety. He has been in the forefront among Washington vintners to make single estate blends; each wine a different makeup of the Bordeaux varietals. He has been named as one of the 50 Most Influential Winemakers in the World by Wine & Spirits Magazine.
For three generations, wine has been a part of Yves Cuilleron’s family history. His grandfather established Cave Yves Cuilleron in 1920 - by 1947, the wine was being sold bottles. In 1960, Yves uncle became the estate manager. In 1987, Yves took over the company. Since then a new cellar has been built, and a major extension programme has taken place. Everything has been redesigned – the buildings for vinification, maturating, storage and reception. "Without a rigorous approach, passion is not enough. And so I wanted to control everything… That’s the price you pay for quality."
Roberto Damonte is the principal winemaker of the Azienda Agricola Malvirà. Known for its award-winning nebbiolos and arneis, Malvirà is the preeminent winery of the Roero winemaking zone in Piedmont, Italy. Roberto inherited the winery—along with his passion for winemaking—from his father, Giuseppe Damonte, who began producing wine under the Malvirà label in the 1950s.
Deputy Cellar Master Dominique Demarville was selected by Cellar Master Jacques Péters to join Veuve Clicquot in July 2006.
Dominique developed a true passion for champagne viniculture and viticulture after his first harvest in Champagne in 1985. He obtained a technical degree in Oenology and Viticulture at Lycée Viticole de la Champagne in Avize, followed by a specialized two-year degree in oenology at the University of Burgundy, Dijon. During his studies, he experienced winemaking in several complementary regions such as Alsace, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Champagne in Aÿ and Rilly-la-Montagne.
Paul Draper grew up on an eighty-acre farm near the Chicago suburb of Barrington. In the mid-sixties, having studied traditional winemaking practices in both Italy and France, he set up a small winery in the coast range of Chile and produced several vintages of old vine cabernet sauvignon. Draper joined Ridge Vineyards in 1969 and is known for the fine cabernets and chardonnays of the Monte Bello estate vineyards. He is recognized as a pioneer in the production of long-lived, complex zinfandels, in particular those from the Geyserville and Lytton Springs vineyards.
Tom Eddy completed his oenology degree at UC Davis, part of the Class of ’74, a group of winemakers often credited for the meteoric rise in the quality of wine in California in the last 30 years. Before starting the family wine company in 1989, Tom had been winemaker for some of the largest and smallest wineries in California. A published author and recognized winery expert, Tom’s personal stamp of winemaking and winery construction has influenced much of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, with a broad consulting client base extending from California to Texas and from Washington State to South America.
Domaine du Pégau was created in 1987 when Laurence was back from her first step of Oenology School and second step of Trading Wine and Spirits School in Paris. Laurence and her father, Paul Féraud, decided it was time to leave Paul’s parent’s winery to build one of their own, and to develop their brand Pégau. Together they were able to produce the same traditional Châteauneuf du Pape style of the Féraud family.
Valter Fissore was born in 1965 in Bra Piedmont into a family who owned several vineyards in Roero. In 1985 Valter began working at Azienda Cogno-Marcarini, a winery that was started by his wife’s father, Elvio. For the next two years he not only allowed himself to be taught by Elvio the many tasks of the wine business, but he also became absorbed in the passion of wine that he continues to carry out today. The rest is history.
Flanagan wines started in 1999. Planting began in 2001 and included Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah. In 2011, Flanagan acquired the 29 acre 3 Starrs Vineyard in the heart of the Russian River Valley, producing ripe, balanced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that are classic Russian River Valley wines. Flanagan is becoming known for stunning Syrah and elegant, site-driven expressions of Bordeaux varietals.
Eric, Kit and their 3 daughters (Riley, Lola, and Ruby) make their home at the 3 Starrs Vineyard along with 3 dogs, 4 ducks, 6 Dwarf Nigerian goats, 2 geese, and 1 mule (also named Ruby).
Over the last twenty years, Don Hartford has been immersed in winemaking and winery management. In the process, Don has returned to one of his first loves-the land and farming. In addition, he owns and farms a small vineyard behind his home. As President and part owner of Hartford Family Wines (with Jennifer), Don works "hands on" at all levels of the business, including work in the vineyards, winery, marketing, hospitality and sales.
Christopher Howell has dedicated more than twenty years to Cain Vineyard & Winery. His commitment to Cain stems from a realization that one can only learn from one vintage to the next, and that depth of knowledge of a single vineyard takes years to acquire. His focus is on fine winegrowing—following the process from vineyard into the winery and finally into the glass. There are just two essential prerequisites for doing this—knowing wine and loving wine. In both of these, he remains a perpetual student.
Sean Larkin is the owner/winemaker of Larkin Wines. Since the first vintage in 1999, Larkin has been on a roll. Crafting serious wines culled from a short list of Napa Valley vineyards, he has managed to quickly capture the eye of critics and connoisseurs alike for his lusty brand of brawny reds. Sean produces 500 cases annually.
Born in Bordeaux and educated in America, Sacha Lichine began working at his family’s former property, Château Prieure Lichine, during his youth. Sacha’s first enterprise was organizing luxury wine tours in France which helped facilitate the establishment of Sacha Lichine Estate Selections for wines from the Rhone.
A pivotal moment for Sacha was his 2006 acquisition of Château D’Esclans in Provence. In keeping with his uncanny sense of innovation, Sacha felt that Rosé had strong developmental opportunities to become more serious from a production standpoint in addition to being served and consumed more broadly. Working with Patrick Léon, they created 4 unique rosés from the Château D'Esclans estate.
Ernst Loosen was born into a great tradition of German winemaking. Since he took over Dr. Loosen, they have received countless awards and reviews in the wine press. The estate has become a member of the VDP, Germany’s association of top-rated wine estates, and has been named one of the 10 best estates in Germany by nearly every wine publication worldwide. Ernst was named Germany’s Winemaker of the Year in the 2001 edition of Gault Millau’s Weinguide Deutschland and Decanter magazine’s Man of the Year in 2005. He was also the International WINE Challenge’s White Winemaker of the Year in 2005.
After almost 10 years in Argentina, where Manuel Louzada had the opportunity to elaborate high quality sparkling and still wines for Bodegas Chandon, he was offered a new challenge within Estates & Wines: Manuel has been involved in the 2008 harvest at Bodega Numanthia in the heart of the Toro region and he fully took over the management of the winery in May 2009.
Today, within Estates & Wines, Manuel coordinates the global transversal environmental policy. Throughout the last three years he has been responsible for the wine quality standards of their different wineries around the world.
Peter and Diana Merriam are the owners of Merriam Vineyards.
Peter's knowledge of wine and his many years of experience as a successful wine retailer in Massachusetts made owning a vineyard and making wine under the Merriam label the next logical step in a long relationship with grapes and wine. Peter works very closely with the Merriam Vineyards winemaker and vineyard manager to maintain the quality that has come to be expected from the Merriam Vineyards grapes and award-winning wines.
Born and raised in Chicago, Dave Miner lived for a number of years in southern California before staking his claim in Napa Valley.
Miner began his journey in the wine business in 1993 as President of Oakville Ranch Vineyards, following a number of years spent working in the software industry. He launched his own label beginning with the 1996 vintage to critical acclaim that quickly solidified his position as a serious new vintner in Oakville.
After spending 11 years in Canada, Christian MOREAU came back to Chablis in 1972, with his wife Christine and their 3 children. Christian started working with his father, the 4th generation of the founder Jean-Joseph Moreau who started the wine business back in 1814. And since that time there has always been a family member involve in the wine trade.
Christian’s son Fabien, after completed a Master Degree in wine management and commercial administration at the University of Bordeaux, is now in charge with his father of all the vineyards and vinification of Domaine Christian MOREAU Père et Fils.
Joe completed the Michigan State winemaking program at an accelerated rate and received a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture, after which he spent a year with a Michigan winery before pursuing his winemaking dreams in California. At Donelan Family Wines, you’ll find Joe with his hands in all aspect of the winemaking process, from analyzing wine samples in the lab to managing the racking and bottling of the cellar.
Frédéric Panaïotis graduated from the Institute National Agronomique Paris-Grignon in Viticulture & Oenology, and earned the Diplome National d’Oenologue of the Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique in Montpellier in 1988.
Panaïotis joined Champagne Ruinart in 2007 as Chef de Caves. In this position, he has the responsibility of creating the blends, from the non vintages Blanc de Blancs and Rosé to the prestige cuvees of Ruinart, Dom Ruinart and Dom Ruinart Rosé. He also plays a significant role in the communication efforts of Champagne Ruinart, travelling extensively to international markets.
Nicki Pruss dove into the world of wine in 1998 as an intern at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars; in 2005 she was named Winemaker. For over a decade Nicki was responsible for crafting the three highly regarded Estate wines: CASK23, S.L.V., FAY; the ARTEMIS Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and the white wine portfolio.
In 2013, after fifteen harvests at SLWC, Nicki left to nurture her own Napa Valley brand, Nicolette Christopher. With her partner, Christopher Demetre, they continue on in the classic tradition to craft wines with balance, elegance and restraint.
Rob Sinskey believes that the goals of making luxuriously elegant wines and farming with earth friendly methods are not mutually exclusive. Rather, he has found that caring for the land and conscientious business practices have helped to define the well-crafted wines of RSV. Over the past twenty-five years, Sinskey has grown his 100% organic and Biodynamic certified winegrowing operation to over 200 acres of premium vineyards in the Carneros and Stags Leap districts of Napa and Sonoma Valleys. He holds true to the philosophy that “Wine is not an athletic event.” Wine should not be a “quick study,” but rather, sneak up on you, seduce you, and evolve in the glass and in the bottle.
Jay spent 11 years making J. Christopher at the Holloran facility in the Willamette Valley before he joined the Dr. Loosen winery in Germany’s Mosel Valley. After many years and many bottles of wine, Jay and Ernst Loosen decided to began making a collaborative Oregon Pinot called Appassionata. In 2010, they formalized their partnership, bought a 40-acre property on Chehalem Mountain in Newberg, Oregon, and began building a new J. Christopher winery. Today, Jay continues as the winemaker for the partnership, while Ernie provides Old World expertise and financial support.
In 1988, François Villard started his professional training at the agricultural college in Davaye (Burgundy). He planted his first vines in 1989. From there he set up his own business and harvest in Chayanay Village, building his winery in Saint Michel sur Rhône.
His first production was made up of 400 bottles of Condrieu. He now makes over 225,000 bottles a year.
His next project is an extension of the HIW Winery and wine production of Crozes.