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

Honorary Chair: Joel Peterson, Founder and Winemaker, Ravenswood; Senior Vice President, Constellation Brands; and Founder, Once & Future

  • Gary Eberle, Owner, Eberle Winery
  • Maayan Koschitzky, Director of Winemaking, Atelier Melka
  • Adam LaZarre, Owner, LaZarre Wines; Winemaker, Cycles Gladiator and Sea Monster
  • Jeff Mangahas, Winemaker, Williams Selyem
  • Rob McNeill, Director of Operations and Supply Chain North America, Accolade Wines
  • Macario Montoya, Assistant Winemaker, Piña Napa Valley
  • Craig Roemer, Winemaking and Vineyard Consultant, Craig Roemer Wines
  • Christian Roguenant, Vice President, Winemaking, Niven Family Wine Estate
  • Joe Shebl, Director of Winemaking, Renwood
  • Thomas K. Stutz, Winemaker, La Rochelle Winery
  • Mike Sullivan, Winemaker, GM, and Partner, Benovia Winery
  • Bob Swain, Winemaker, Mendocino Wine Company
  • Alicia Ysais, Director of Winemaking, Delicato Family Vineyards
  • Meghan Zobeck, Associate Winemaker, Atelier Melka

Honorary Chair: Sara Schneider, Wine Editor, Sunset Magazine

  • Dan Berger, Author, Vintage Experiences; Founder & Owner, Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition
  • Randy Caparoso, Bottom Line Editor, Sommelier Journal
  • Katherine Cole, Author, Rosé All Day; Wine Writer and Host, The Four Top, Oregon Public Broadcasting
  • Laurie Daniel, Wine Writer, Bay Area News Group and Wines & Vines
  • Mike Dunne, Wine Columnist, Sacramento Bee; Publisher, A Year in Wine
  • Ziggy “The Wine Gal” Eschliman, radio and TV personality, rock ‘n’ roll sommelier, and spirits and cocktail expert
  • Linda Murphy, Co-Author, American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of the United States; Wine Writer, Vineyard & Winery Management and Decanter magazines
  • Cyril Penn, Editor, Wine Business Monthly
  • Leslie Sbrocco, Author, Wine for Women; Host, Check, Please! (KQED); TV personality, Good Morning, America and more
  • Tim Teichgraeber, Wine and Spirits Writer, Opus Vino, San Francisco Chronicle, Cooking Club, and City Pages
  • Robert Whitley, Wine Columnist, Creators Syndicate, and Publisher,
  • David Wilson, Host, Grape Encounters Radio Show


  • Bob Bath, Master Sommelier, Wine and Beverage Instructor, Culinary Institute of America at Greystone
  • Jim Blumling, VP of Alcohol and Tobacco, Safeway and Albertsons
  • Katie Ballou Calhoun, President, Calhoun & Company Communications
  • Mark Chandler, Certified Specialist of Wine; Owner, Chandler & Company; Mayor, Lodi
  • Kimberly Charles, Diploma in Wine and Spirits, and Founder and Owner, Charles Communications Associates
  • Traci Dutton, Beverage Manager and Sommelier, Culinary Institute of America
  • Gilian Handelman, Education Director, Jackson Family Wines
  • Michelle Heston, Regional Director of Public Relations, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
  • Kathryn House, Founder, House of Wine
  • Eugenio Jardim, US Ambassador, Wines of Portugal; Partner, Esprit de Champagne; Director of Wine Studies, San Francisco Cooking School
  • Shelley Lindgren, Sommelier and Owner, SPQR and A16 Restaurants
  • Peter Marks, Master of Wine, Vice President of Education, Constellation Academy of Wine
  • Elaine Marshall, Advanced Certified Wine Professional; Wine Educator, Culinary Institute of America; and Owner, Marshall Wine Company
  • Tim Marson, Master of Wine, California Wine Buyer,
  • Tim McDonald, Founder, Wine Spoken Here
  • Sally Mohr, Master Sommelier
  • Peter Molnar, GM, Obsidian Ridge and Poseidon’s Vineyards; Partner, Tricycle Wine Co.; Partner, Kádár Hungary Cooperage
  • Christopher O’Gorman, Director of Communications, Rodney Strong Wine Estates
  • Rob Renteria, Sommelier, La Folie restaurant
  • Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier and Wine Consultant, Sawyer Sommelier Consulting
  • David Stevens, Senior Consultant, Davon International
  • Liz Thach, Ph.D., Master of Wine, Distinguished Professor of Wine & Management, Sonoma State University Steve Young, WSET, French Wine Scholar Certificate
  • Paul Wagner, Founder, Balzac Communications
  • Michael Wangbickler, Partner and CEO, Balzac Communications
  • 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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