The eighth annual Sunset International Wine Competition’s judging panel includes these notable winemakers, buyers, journalists, and wine educators

Sunset International Wine Competition 2019 Judges
Voting for favorite bottles


Jean-Charles Boisset


Greg La Follette

David Coventry, Talbott/Gallo

Joe Barton, Grey Wolf Paso Robles

Kristen Barnhisel, J.Lohr

Marta Kraftzek, Scheid

Katie Madigan, St Francis

Linda Trotta, Jamieson Ranch, Winemaker of the Year

Bob Swain, Mendocino Wine Company

Alicia Ysais, Director of Winemaking, Delicato Family Vineyards

Stephanie Trotter, Trotter 1/16

Erik Miller, Kokomo Winery

Joe Shebl, Director of Winemaking, Renwood

John Alba, Director of Winemaking, Bronco

Diane Wilson, Wilson Artisan Wines


Mike Dunne, Wine Columnist, Sacramento Bee; Publisher, A Year in Wine

Ziggy “The Wine Gal” Eschliman, Radio and TV Personality

Linda Murphy, Co-Author, American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of the United States; Wine Writer, Decanter, Sonoma, Spirited magazines

Laura Ness, Wine Writer, Spirited, Silicon Valley Modern Luxury, Wine Industry Advisor, Wine Business Monthly, Somm Journal

Debra Parker-Wong, Global Wine Editor, Somm Journal, The Tasting Panel & Clever Root, Spirited


Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier and Wine Consultant

Mark Chandler, CSW, Owner Chandler & Company

Kimberley Charles, Diploma in Wine and Spirits, Founder and Owner Charles Communications

Traci Dutton, Beverage Manager and Sommelier, Culinary Institute of America

Liz Thach, Ph.D., Master of Wine, Distinguished Professor of Wine & Management Sonoma State, WSET, French Wine Scholar Certificate

James Caudill, Marketing Communications, Windborne Farm

Debbie Zachareas, Partner, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and Oxbow Wine and Cheese Merchant

Renata Franzia, Bronco

Larry Van Aalst, Sommelier, Host of the Sonoma Wine Report CRN Digital Talk Radio

Ellen Landis, Wine Journalist, C.S., CSW

Bob Foster, Assistant Editor, California Grapevine

Barry Herbst, Wine Director, Bottle Barn Liquors

Mary Melton, Director of Beverage, P.F.Changs

Elsie Wolfe, Sales Manager, Alcohol, Safeway

Dan Schette, Director, H.E.B.

Chris O’Gorman, Director of Communications, Rodney Strong Wine Estates


The list of 2019 judges is subject to change.