Trending Articles

Friends of SOAR

For great posts about the business of art, check out The Artsy Shark HERE! reviews competitions and appeals seeking creative content, listing those that respect your copyrights and highlighting those that don't. Art Matters! publishes calls to artists, and not all of them may be compliant with ABoR's standards. Visit their site to learn more.
We support the Embedded Metadata Manifesto.  Metadata is information such as copyright notice and contact info you can embed in your images to protect your intellectual property, save time when uploading to social sites and promote your art. Click to visit the site and learn more.


The Southern Oregon World of Wine is the premier wine event for Southern Oregon and now it is also the premier fundraising event in support of local medical care at Asante. New this year the funds raised during the Southern Oregon World of Wine will go to Children’s Miracle Network and other programs supported by Asante Foundation to help ensure when your family needs them Asante will be there with the finest medical care in a compassionate manner. The goal is to build the Southern Oregon World of Wine into a destination event celebrating the wine industry and highlighting the culinary, hospitality, natural beauty, cultural and outdoor activities of Southern Oregon.This year’s Southern Oregon World of Wine is set for August 19 – 23 at the historic Bigham Knoll Campus at 525 Bigham Knoll Drive in Jacksonville. The event boasts wines from 50 southern Oregon wineries and offers attendees a rare opportunity to meet the faces of the area’s wine makers.The Wine Competition will feature some of the best wines from participating wineries that will be tasted and judged by a panel of renowned judges, who traveled from all over the country to participate. Blind tastings are done on Thursday and Friday of the event. The winning wines will be showcased at the Medal Dinner and Auction on Friday.

The Southern Oregon Wine Region is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world. The AVA, which was made official in 2004, offers one of the largest collections of handcrafted wineries in the country. Its eclectic and cutting edge winemakers offer old and new world styles of winemaking. Vintners and winemakers will showcase more than 200 of their wines with a variety of classic and traditional varietals including: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. More exotic varietals will include Tempranillo, Viognier and Albarino. The Southern Oregon World of Wine Festival has been one of the Southern Oregon’s premier events for the past 11 years.

Visit for more info.


Check out a video from last year’s event

Sensory Classes

Thirsty for more than just a sip? Delve into the ‘World of Wine’ the week of the event with wine sensory, evaluation and education classes scheduled for Wednesday, August 20 through Friday, August 22.

Here’s a list of planned classes, each hosted by a wine expert in the field: Sensory Classes

Medal Dinner

Friday August 22, 6pm

Please join us for an enchanted evening under the stars where the Gold Medal/Best of Show Wines from the World of Wine will be paired with culinary delights. This evening is sure to be the Rogue Valley’s most magical dining experience of the year! Featuring:

Seated five-course Winemaker’s Dinner:

  • Live Auction
  • Silent Auction
  • Wine Barrel Art
  • Raffles

Awards Dinner

Grand Tasting

Saturday August 23, 6pm

Enjoy a fine culinary and wine experience as you sample wines and indulge in a succulent array of tasty treats prepared by local master chefs designed to stimulate and satisfy your palate. The popular Grand Tasting offers a rare opportunity to meet the faces of the Southern Oregon wine industry all in one place! Winemakers and owners from 60-plus wineries will showcase more than 100 of the best wines unique to the region. Enjoy musical entertainment and a silent auction.

Grand Tasting & Silent Auction

***A Taste of Ashland & AGA May Exhibits***

Poster for the 2014 Taste of Ashland Festival A Taste of Ashland is this Weekend!

Get your tickets before they sell out again this year!!

Art ~ Food ~ Wine Festival

April 26 & 27

12 noon – 4 PM

For more information and to purchase tickets visit:


To view a larger version of this year’s Taste of Ashland poster picture to the right, just click the image! —>

To print and share the 2014 Taste Poster, click here to download a printable pdf file



Ashland Gallery Association Spotlight Galleries

May 2014


Come out for the AGA First Friday Art Walk, May 2nd, from 5 to 8 pm! Stroll the galleries in downtown Ashland and the Historic Railroad District. Enjoy this free community event filled with spectacular artwork, live music, artist demonstrations, refreshments and conversation with other art enthusiasts!

Pick up a Gallery Tour Map at any member gallery, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, or download off of our website:

Most exhibits run throughout the month of May!

Visit our website for more information about all of the exhibits:

Hanson Howard Gallery


Sculpture by Robin and John Gumaelius

Gumaelius and Anne Kristine

Collaborating artists and husband and wife, Robin and John Gumaelius incorporate ceramic, steel and wood to create animated human and birdlike sculptures. Their works are comical, bizarre and highly inventive. Robin says, “Radio stories, history books, biking adventures, gardening notes, neighbors spied, strangers watched in stores and parks and cars jangle together in our heads and come so freely to our fingers that when we see the pieces finished we are often delighted – as if we are not their creators; they just come to talk with us for a while and then leave again”. In their unique working relationship, Robin and John combine both skill and imagination together as an artistic team to build a singularly unusual world out of clay and mixed media.
The couple and their four young children live in a wooded environment
near the coast in Washington. While starting with a tree house, they have also built their own home, studio, barn and lush garden.
The May exhibit also includes Paintings by Anne Kristine who is a recent and welcome addition to our gallery stable.




Photographers Gallery


Photograph by David Sherman

David Sherman Photos of Greece

On September 18th, 2004, I was married in Lithia Park, Ashland. On the next morning, we jumped on a plane, and travelled to a place I hadn’t been to in 20 years. I found my beloved Greece the same. Blue waters with white washed homes, fresh breeze. I took about 5000 pictures in just two weeks; here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!

The Photographers’ Gallery features Fine Art Photography by Southern Oregon’s Finest.  Located at the Ashland Art Center, the Photographers’ Gallery is the only one of its kind between Portland and San Francisco. The gallery features work by eleven photographers ranging from nationally recognized to emerging artists. A wide variety of styles are represented including: black & white, landscape, street, travel and abstract photography.




Eric Christenson, “Wine Country Artist”


“Passion for Pinot” by Eric Christenson

Eric Christensen began painting professionally in 1992.  Since that time he has enjoyed amazing success and a growing reputation as a celebrated Wine Country Artist. Self-taught, he invented a watercolor technique that allows him to create images of vibrant color that go beyond the look and depth of a high quality photograph. Christensen is truly unique in his field and is considered to be the country’s premier watercolor artist capable of hyperrealism through the use of standard watercolor.
Christensen began to develop his interest in painting, along with botany, classical music, and gourmet cooking as a child in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over time he has acquired a commanding knowledge in each of these fields, which have blended to make him the preeminent artist of today. In addition to his interests, Christensen also derives inspiration from the wine country surrounding his home, which is invariably portrayed in his paintings. As Christensen asserts, “it’s about the lifestyle – and the art of Fine Living!”

Join us at the Gallery in Nimbus to enjoy the artwork of Eric Christensen. You must see in person to appreciate his talent and artistry.  His art will be available to enjoy throughout the summer of 2014.  Wine and cheese served on First Fridays. Smiles everyday.



Hilltop Gallery

Squaring Off


By Richard Newman

“Squaring Off,” a two-person exhibit by Richard and Rochelle Newman of Ashland opens on April 26 for the “Taste of Ashland” and runs till June 2nd, 2014.

“In this exhibit, the artists’ long-term partnership allows for sparring back and forth and the bouncing of ideas between overlapping, but distinct, sensibilities.  They have chosen to use the square and its incarnations as the departure point for their interplay and exhibition parameters.

The square is a diva, the generator of families of important rectangles that provide both variety and consistency. Despite her stability and uniformity, she is not a bore. Contrary to some opinions concerning her high symmetry, she provides infinite variety through a change in size, color, scale and distortion. She gives a constant length for measure, a constant square for area, and a constant cube for space. Her sub-divisions can be both playful and austere.

This exhibit provides a variety of media in both two and three dimensions for the viewer to play hide and seek by recognizing the compositional use of the square.”

Richard and Rochelle Newman
Artists and Curators



A Sweet Afternoon :: Honey Tasting, Book Signing & Wine Tasting


Special Invitation - header for Anna Elkins book signing announcemnet
Painting by Anna Elkins
Terra Firma Jacksonville Gift Emporium
A Sweet AFternoon book signing title
Join us at TERRA FIRMA GIFT on Saturday, 12 October for “A Sweet Afternoon” featuring honey tastings with Bee Girl Sarah Red-Laird, mead tasting from Honeywood Winery and a book signing of The Honeylicker Angel with Jacksonville author Anna Elkins.
Get Directions
12 October, 2013, 2-5 pm
bee-girl-logoThe Honeylicker angel, by Anna ElkinsHoneywood Mead Winery logo
Honey Tasting
Bee Girl Sarah Red-Laird will give tastings of her local honey while also sharing information about how to preserve our vital honey bees.
Book Signing
Jacksonville author Anna Elkins will be signing her novel, The Honeylicker Angel.
The story brims with beekeeping, honey, mead, and fear transformed to love.
Wine Tasting
“Smooth as honey… aged in wood” was the line that inspired the name of this Oregon winery. Taste its delightful honey mead and enjoy the sweet goodness.
Terra Firma Jacksonville Address

Welcome Oregon’s Newest AVA, Elkton!

Elkton Oregon became the state’s newest American Viticultural Area after receiving approval from the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau this week. The new Elkton Oregon AVA is entirely contained within the Umpqua Valley AVA, which is entirely within the Southern Oregon AVA. Oregon has a total of 17 AVAs.

By gaining AVA status, winegrowers and winemakers within the Elkton Oregon AVA can better describe the origin of their wines and consumers can better identify wines they may purchase. The TTB ruling is effective March 7, 2013. The AVA may be referred to as Elkton Oregon or Elkton OR.

The newest Oregon AVA is the fulfillment of wine pioneer Ken Thomason’s dream of growing world class cool climate Pinot noir and white grapes near the small town of Elkton, which has a population of 170. Thomason began planting grapes in 1972 on a west facing bench two miles east of Elkton at a site now owned by Mike and Vonnie Landt of Rivers Edge Winery.

The climate in Elkton is quite different from the prevailing perceptions of the surrounding areas. Southern Oregon is most often thought of as warmer and drier than winegrowing areas farther north in the Willamette Valley.

Due to its location on the Umpqua River and only 36 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the geography allows for a strong marine influence with daily sea breezes and fog penetrating into the Umpqua River Valley. This gives Elkton its unique climate – cool, maritime and temperate – which is ideal for the varieties that Thomason originally planted.

The local group which mounted the effort for the AVA’s approval called out Greg Jones of Southern Oregon University for his efforts in preparing and submitting the successful petition for AVA status to TTB.

Troon Vineyard Named One of the Top 10 Hottest Wine Brands by Wine Business Monthly

Troon Vineyard has been named one of the “Top 10 Hot Brands” in America. The well respected industry publication Wine Business Monthly announced the list in its February 2013 issue. This prestigious award is perhaps the most impressive accolade this 41 year old boutique winery has received. Other past Oregon winery recipients include Willamette Valley Vineyards, Domain Drouhin, Abacela Winery, A to Z Wineworks, Willakenzie Estate and Wine by Joe. 

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. A celebration was held in conjunction with the annual Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento, California on Tuesday, January 29th to reveal the top ten list. Cyril Penn, Editor of Wine Business Monthly, took some time to comment on the meaning and thought behind this award. “The award was started to recognize high growth small brands (under 100,000 cases annual production), but has transitioned into recognizing interesting winery leaders in a region.”

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Vermentino Bottle ShotHe went on to comment specifically that Troon Vineyard’s inclusion was based on:
  • Being a pioneer in an up-and-coming wine region
  • Focusing on an unknown varietal for the American market [Vermentino]
  • Being subjected to an editors’ tasting panel
Chris Martin, who is entering his 10th year of ownership of this now 41 year old vineyard, said “We couldn’t be more excited. This is the culmination of the hard work and countless hours that our team has put in over the last couple years and most importantly a validation of Mr. Troon’s decision to plant vines on our site over 40 years ago.” He went on to say, “It has been my job and honor to continue the legacy of pioneering new and interesting programs and varietals in the Applegate Valley and in Southern Oregon.  We look forward to this being a spring board to even greater things as we look to introduce our wine in more new market in 2013 and beyond.”

Mr. Martin decided to plant Vementino in 2007 after discovering it on a trip through Italy years ago. “I loved it for its freshness, low alcohol and food friendliness” said Martin. “At first, people discouraged me from planting it, but I really felt after tasting some nice releases from the Paso Robles area, that it could work well here. To me it is most exciting to have the opportunity to create the benchmark wine for a varietal. That is our goal with Vermentino.”

Wine Spectator Recognition

Harvey Steiman, the Oregon reviewer for the Wine Spectator recently wrote these highly encouraging words about the Southern Oregon wine region.

From a regional standpoint, Southern Oregon’s rapidly advancing wine growing region also received recognition from Steiman. He said producers from the south are starting to push the traditional boundaries of Oregon’s primarily Pinot noir culture. He noted that the wines from Southern Oregon “hold true to the same style that Oregon Pinot noirs have established: relatively light, lively with acidity and focused on clarity of flavor. Someday these Rogue Valley releases might even challenge Pinot noir for prominence in the state.”

Southern Oregon Wineries Producing Powerful Tempranillo and Malbec — Signature Grapes of the Future?

From this morning’s Wine Business daily report

Southern Oregon Wineries Producing Powerful Tempranillo and Malbec — Signature Grapes of the Future?

by Dr. Liz Thach, MW

Though most people think “pinot noir” when asked to name an Oregon grape varietal, in the hotter and sunnier southern half of the state, wineries are producing powerful tempranillos, malbecs and other big reds. They are also grappling with the issue of whether or not they should proclaim a signature grape or two – much like their northern wine neighbors in the Willamette Valley have done with chardonnay and pinot noir.

The AVA’s of Southern Oregon

Southern Oregon ( is home to 70 – 80 wineries including virtual wine brands. Part of the issue is that the region includes 3 diverse AVA’s which produce 26 different grape varietals, ranging from gewürztraminer and riesling in the slightly cooler Umpqua Valley AVA near the town of Roseburg and massive syrahs and malbecs in the warmer Rogue and Applegate Valley AVA’s near Medford. There is also a possibility of a fourth AVA in the cooler Illinois Valley near Grant’s Pass.

The Pros and Cons of Identifying Regional Signature Grapes

When I visited Southern Oregon last week to participate in the judging of over 180 wines in their World of Wine Festival, I encountered much controversy over identifying a signature grape. “We enjoy being diverse,” said one winemaker. “We don’t want to be known for just producing one or two key varietals. We don’t want to be ‘fenced’ in.”

However, others disagreed. “I think we need some signature grapes to help differentiate ourselves as a region.” And “We make some massive red wines, and are getting some good press on our tempranillo. I think tempranillo should be one of our signature grapes.”

From a wine judging perspective, tempranillo does have a good shot at becoming a signature grape for this region. Not only did it win “Best of Show Red” this year, but in previous years as well. The tempranillos we tasted were massive with huge chalky tannins, dark fruit, complex spice notes, and a very long finish. Definitely not the medium-bodied fruity “crianzas” coming out of Spain, but a different wine altogether. And with summer temperatures hovering near 100 for up to three weeks at a time, it makes sense that Southern Oregon is able to ripen Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petite Syrah, and Malbec to such impressive lengths.

In terms of white wines, Rhone varietals are doing well with some excellent blends of viognier, roussanne, and marsanne. At the same time, an albarino won the “Best of Show White” this year, causing some people to wonder out loud: “Perhaps we should focus on Spanish varietals as our signature grapes.” Interestingly, both of the Best of Show wines came from the same small producer, Schmidt Family Vineyards ( located in the Applegate Valley.

From a wine marketing strategy, it is recommended that wine regions focus on what they do well, and therefore should select one to three signature grapes. This is usually heavily dictated by terroir and what Mother Nature will allow them to grow well. The benefits are the region becomes known for producing exceptional wines in a specific category, versus a wide variety of wines that may just be average or mediocre – the danger of following a muddled strategy. However, once wine critics, sommeliers, and tourists start flocking to a region to sample its famous signature varietals, there is no reason that a smart and creative winemaker can’t also pull out some unique varietals and wow them with something different.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Liz Thach, MW is the Korbel Scholar and a wine business professor at Sonoma State University in California. She can be reached at

Southern Oregon Hosts at Wine Bloggers’ Conference

It was a weekend of tweeting, facebook-ing, blogging… and drinking as 370 participants flocked to Portland, Oregon this past weekend for the fifth annual Wine Bloggers’ Conference. While the attendees had packed daytime itineraries with vineyard tours, wine luncheons, barrel tasting and other VIP treatments around the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon left its mark by hosting an “unofficial” after-hours party from 10 pm – LATE (as in 2 & 4 am!) Friday and Saturday evenings.

Representatives from Folin Cellars, Troon Vineyard, Cliff Creek Cellars, Del Rio Vineyards and Valley View Winery pulled nearly all-nighters to educate the bloggers on the region and pour wines from the Umpqua, Rogue and Applegate Valleys. For many, this was their first glimpse of Southern Oregon and by the looks of twitter they were very impressed with their discoveries.

If you were to judge the success of a party based on empty bottles, and a noise compliant from the floor above, then I say it was a hit. – Me, Christine Collier, who had to sign the noise compliant :)

Here are some pictures from night one of the party:

On each night we poured for 25-45 bloggers & wine writers

Blogger technique- take photos of labels to remember the 100s you tried each day!

Selection of Syrah & Tempranillo poured on Friday

Portland Monthly Magazine: 5 Questions for God King Slave Wines

Chris & Christine of God King Slave Wines

Here is an excerpt from Portland Monthly Magazine’s recent feature: 

5 Questions for God King Slave Wines’ Christine Collier

One of Southern Oregon’s freshest stars shares how young winemakers are carving their place into Oregon’s wine industry one vintage at a time.
As Oregon’s wine industry grows, innovation comes from all directions. Winemakers with decades of experience shake things up with new production techniques or new varietals, assistant winemakers at successful wineries branch off to create their own labels, and young winemakers bring a new level of commitment to taking our state’s industry in new, exciting directions.

2012 World of Wine Festival Wine Competition Results

2012 Southern Oregon World of Wine Festival Wine Competition
 There were a record 19 GOLD medals and 82 SILVER medals awarded this year.
Best of Show – White Wine
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2011 Albariño
Best of Show – Red Wine
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2009 Tempranillo
Best of Show – Other Wine
Quady North 2011 Rosé
Abacela Winery 2009 Estate Grown Port
Brandborg Vineyard and Winery 2011 Gewürtztraminer
Ledger David 2010 Orion’s Nebula
Pebblestone Cellars 2008 Syrah
Pebblestone Cellars 2011 Pinot Gris
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2011 Albariño
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2009 Tempranillo
Quady North 2011 Rosé
Quady North 2009 Arsenal
Abacela Winery 2009 Estate Grown Malbec
Abacela Winery 2011 Estate Grown Grenache Rosé
Bridgeview Vineyard and Winery 2010 Black Beauty Tempranillo
Cuckoo’s Nest Cellars 2011 Aromatíque
Del Rio Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Delfino Vineyards 2010 Tempranillo
Foris Vineyards and Winery 2008 Cabernet Franc – Siskiyou Terrace
Kriselle Cellars 2009 Tempranillo
Pebblestone Cellars 2011 Viognier
Slagle Creek Vineyard 2008 Syrah

Abacela Winery 2007 Reserve Tempranillo
Agate Ridge Vineyard 2008 Estate Bottled Petite Sirah
Agate Ridge Vineyard 2009 Estate Bottled Syrah
Agate Ridge Vineyard 2011 Weeknight White
Brandborg Vineyard and Winery 2008 Love Puppets Pinot Noir
Brandborg Vineyard and Winery 2009 Riesling
Bridgeview Vineyard and Winery 2009 Blue Moon Pinot Noir
Bridgeview Vineyard and Winery 2009 Black Beauty Syrah
Caprice Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Carpenter Hill Vineyard 2009 Petite Sirah
Cliff Creek Cellars 2006 Claret
Cliff Creek Cellars 2008 Merlot
Cliff Creek Cellars 2006 Estate Grown Syrah
Cuckoo’s Nest Cellars 2011 Pinot Gris
Cuckoo’s Nest Cellars 2009 Two Birds
Daisy Creek Vineyard 2009 Malbec
Del Rio Vineyards 2010 Claret
Delfino Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Delfino Vineyards 2010 Syrah
Folin Cellars 2008 Syrah
Foris Vineyards and Winery 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Foris Vineyards and Winery 2010 Pinot Blanc
Grizzly Peak Winery & Vineyards 2010 Malbec
Henry Estate Winery 2010 Müller Thurgau
Kriselle Cellars 2009 Cabernet Franc
Kriselle Cellars 2010 Viognier
LaBrasseur Vineyard 2010 Ethan Cole
LaBrasseur Vineyard 2011 Riesling
LaBrasseur Vineyard 2010 Syrah
Ledger David 2010 Chardonnay
Ledger David 2010 Sangiovese
Fly High and Longsword Vineyards 2010 Invitation Chardonnay
Misty Oaks Vineyard 2011 Julio’s Hill Pinot Gris
Misty Oaks Vineyard 2009 Stuckagain Heights Pinot Noir
Misty Oaks Vineyard 2008 Gobblers Knob Red Blend
Belle Fiore Winery 2009 Monte Fiore Cabernet Franc
Belle Fiore Winery 2009 Monte Fiore Syrah
Pebblestone Cellars 2008 Cabernet Franc
Pebblestone Cellars 2008 Merlot
Plaisance Ranch 2010 Ranch Red
Pyrenees Vineyard & Cellars 2011 Sémillon
Quady North 2008 Syrah – Steelhead Run Vineyard
Quady North 2009 Syrah – Mae’s Vineyard
Quady North 2011 Pistoleta
Red Lily Vineyards 2007 Tempranillo
Rocky Knoll Vineyard 2008 Dunbar Red
RoxyAnn Winery 2009 Cabernet Franc
RoxyAnn Winery 2011 Pinot Gris
RoxyAnn Winery 2009 Sky Hill Red
RoxyAnn Winery 2009 Syrah
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2009 Malbec
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2009 Merlot
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2009 Mighty Mac Red
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2009 Syrah
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2011 Viognier
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2011 Roussanne
Schultz Wines 2010 BlessedMerlot
Serra Vineyards 2007 Bendock Estate
Serra Vineyards 2011 Rosa Marie Rosé
Slagle Creek Vineyard 2009 Estate Merlot
Slagle Creek Vineyard 2008 Estate Reserve Red
Slagle Creek Vineyard 2009 Pini Tempranillo
Slagle Creek Vineyard 2010 Clover
Soloro Vineyard 2010 Blood Stain
Soloro Vineyard 2007 Grenache
Soloro Vineyard 2010 Syrah
Soloro Vineyard 2010 Thunderegg Cut
South Stage Cellars 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
South Stage Cellars 2009 Grenache
South Stage Cellars 2008 Alchemy
Spangler Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Spangler Vineyards 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve
Spangler Vineyards 2010 Petite Sirah
Tesóaria Vineyard & Winery 2010 Éponyme
Tesóaria Vineyard & Winery 2011 Dolcetto
Trium Wines 2007 Growers’ Cuvée
Troon Vineyard 2009 Old Vine Meritage
Troon Vineyard 2010 Chardonnay
Troon Vineyard 2010 Insomnia Port
Troon Vineyard 2008 Syrah Reserve
Troon Vineyard 2011 Foundation ’72 Vermentino
Troon Vineyard 2010 Kubli Bench Zinfandel

2012 World of Wine Judges Panel

Traci Dutton serves as the Sommelier in the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America. With the goal of creating The Ultimate California Wine Cellar to be housed in the former Christian Brothers winery, the wine list has won awards and gathered national recognition for the extensive representation of wines from throughout the state, with a special emphasis on Greystone’s Napa neighbors. Ms. Dutton worked in New York City for 14 years and came to California with vast experience in fine dining beverage service and international wine buying. She specialized in Italian wines with her first Sommelier position at Andiamo! and then immersed herself in French wines (though unfortunately, not literally) by joining the top notch service team at the 3 star Montrachet, under the direction of Daniel Johnnes. Ms. Dutton worked as a consultant for several other restaurants in New York at various times specializing in mixology, beer, organic wines and the wines of the northeastern United States. In addition to her work at the CIA, Traci has judged the Dallas Morning New Wine Competition and the LA County Fair “Wines of the World” Competition, two of the largest competitions in the country. She has spoken on marketing at UC Davis, Sonoma State University and the Wine Industry Financial Symposium. Her special interest is in passing on the belief that most wine should be for everyday drinking and to continue to find places which produce “labors of love” that speak to a need for day to day civilized living.
Shery MoranoSheri Sauter Morano, MW found her interest in wine initially sparked during a trip to Italy when she was 17. She began her formal wine education at the International Wine Center in New York City in 1997 following graduation from Duke University, where she majored in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Classical Studies. At the IWC, where she later became an instructor, Sheri completed the Intermediate Certificate in 1998 and the Advanced Certificate in 1999. In October of 2000, she became one of the youngest Americans to complete the Diploma and the following year passed the Certified Wine Educator (CWE) exam designed by the Society of Wine Educators to promote higher standards among wine educators in the United States. In November 2003, Sheri earned the title Master of Wine. Sheri is an independent wine educator, writer and judge, as well as a consultant with Strategic Insights, a full-service marketing research firm. From 2004 through 2011, Sheri also served as the spokesperson for the Wines of France campaign in the United States. She is currently in the process of establishing the Triangle Wine School in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area in order to offer the Wine and Spirits Education Trust certifications to local trade professionals. An experienced wine judge, Sheri has judged at competitions in the US, the UK and Argentina. Sheri resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with her husband, son, and an assortment of cats and dogs. In her spare time she enjoys running, gardening, traveling and cooking.
Liz ThachDr. Liz Thach, MW (pronounced “tosh”) is a management and wine business professor at Sonoma State University in the Wine Business Institute where she teaches in both the undergraduate and Wine MBA programs. In addition, she has 15 years of executive and management level experience at Fortune 500 companies and has done consulting and research projects for more than 30 different wineries. Liz’s passion is wine, and she has visited most of the major wine regions of the world and more than 25 countries. In addition, she has published over 90 articles and 5 wine textbooks, including Wine – A Global Business and Wine Marketing & Sales. A fifth generation Californian, Liz finished her Ph.D. at Texas A&M and now lives on Sonoma Mountain where she tends a small hobby vineyard and makes garagiste wine. She also works as a wine judge in various competitions, and has served on many non-profit wine boards. Liz obtained the distinction of Master of Wine (MW) in May of 2011.