The fifth annual Sunset International Wine Competition's judging panel includes these notable winemakers, journalists, and wine educators

Honorary Chair: Joel Peterson, Founder and Winemaker, Ravenswood, and Senior Vice President, Constellation Brands

  • Neil Bernardi, Vice President for Winemaking, Duckhorn Wine Company
  • Bob Betz, Master of Wine, and Founder and Winemaker, Betz Family Winery
  • Gary Eberle, Owner, Eberle Winery
  • Wes Hagen, Consulting Winemaker and Brand Ambassador, J. Wilkes Wines
  • Adam LaZarre, Winemaker, Wine Hooligans; Owner and Winemaker, LaZarre Wines
  • Steve Lohr, Chairman and CEO, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
  • Rob McNeill, Director of Winemaking, Don Sebastiani & SonsKimberlee Nicholls, Winemaker, Markham Vineyards
  • Marcus Notaro, Winemaker, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
  • Erik Olsen, VP, Chief Winemaker, Constellation Wines U.S.
  • Craig Roemer, Winemaking and Vineyard Consultant, Craig Roemer Wines
  • Christian Roguenant, Vice President for Winemaking, Niven Family Wine Estate
  • Thomas K. Stutz, Winemaker, La Rochelle Winery
  • Mike Sullivan, Winemaker, General Manager, and Partner, Benovia Winery
  • Bob Swain, Winemaker, Mendocino Wine Company

Honorary Chair: Sara Schneider, Wine Editor, Sunset Magazine

  • Virginie Boone, California Reviewer, Wine Enthusiast
  • Randy Caparoso, Bottom Line Editor, Sommelier Journal
  • Tina Caputo, Columnist, Wine Review Online
  • Mike Dunne, Wine Columnist and Former Restaurant Critic and Food Editor, Sacramento Bee; Publisher, A Year in Wine
  • Ziggy Eschliman, Radio Host, TV Personality, and Rock-n-Roll Sommelier
  • Linda Murphy, Executive Editor, Sonoma magazine, and Co-Author, American Wine
  • Cyril Penn, Editor, Wine Business Monthly
  • Andy Perdue, Editor, Wine Press Northwest
  • Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier for, Wine Writer and Consultant
  • Leslie Sbrocco, Founder, Thirsty Girl; Author, Wine for Women; and KQED TV Host, Check, Please!
  • Tim Teichgraeber, Wine and Spirits Writer, Opus Vino, San Francisco Chronicle, Cooking Club, and City Pages
  • Robert Whitley, Wine Columnist, Creators Syndicate, and Publisher, Wine Review
  • David Wilson, Host, Grape Encounters Radio


  • Jim Blumling, VP of Alcohol and Tobacco, Safeway, Inc.
  • Mark Chandler, Certified Specialist of Wine; Owner, Chandler & Company; Mayor, Lodi
  • Kimberly Charles, Diploma in Wine and Spirits and Founder, Charles Communications Associates, LLC
  • Mark Davidson, Education Director, Wine Australia
  • Patrick D. Dodd, Certified Sommelier, Certified Wine Educator, and Senior Director, E. & J. Gallo Winery
  • Kathryn House, Founder, House of Wine
  • Alex Joerger, Director & Division Merchandise Manager, Wine, Beer & Spirits, Cost Plus World Market
  • Elaine Marshall, Advanced Certified Wine Professional; Wine Educator, Culinary Institute of America; and Owner, Marshall Wine Company
  • Tim Marson, MW, Buyer, Global Wine Company
  • Sally Mohr, Master Sommelier
  • Christopher O’Gorman, Director of Communications, Rodney Strong Wine Estates
  • Bob Paulinski, Master of Wine, Senior Vice President of Wine, BevMo!
  • Jean Arnold Sessions, Executive Director, Sonoma County Vintners
  • Dawn Smith, Sommelier
  • David Stevens, Senior Consultant, Davon International
  • Emily Wines, Master Sommelier and Wine Director, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants
  • Debbie Zachareas, Partner, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and Oxbow Wine & Cheese Merchant

LOGISTICS MANAGER: Rebecca Murphy, Founder, Dallas Morning News & TexSom International Wine Competition

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