Michael Wangbickler

Celebration of 2018 MICHELIN New York City Guide and Launch of Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Awards

Celebration of 2018 MICHELIN New York City Guide and Launch of
Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Awards
in New York City on 2017, Oct 30.

NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2017 – Michelin and Robert Parker Wine Advocate are pleased to announce that, in conjunction with the release of the 13th edition of the MICHELIN Guide New York City for 2018, the inaugural Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Awards will be introduced honoring the best wineries in USA.

At this occasion a gala dinner will be prepared by some of the most renowned chefs from Michelin starred restaurants around the country.

The MICHELIN Guide, known for its distinct red cover and coveted star designation, provides dining recommendations throughout the world based on the scrupulous reviews done by the “famously anonymous” Michelin inspectors.   The 2018 US editions of the famed guide, which include San Francisco and the Bay Area, Chicago, Washington, DC and New York City, will be released starting in early October and will culminate in the New York City selection, to be announced on Oct. 30.

The gala will be the first collaborative event in the U.S. between Michelin and Robert Parker Wine Advocate, since Michelin’s stake in the highly regarded wine ratings publication in July. The gala will provide guests with an unforgettable dining experience, combining cuisine by chefs from Michelin starred restaurants and wines that have been rated highly by the Robert Parker team.  “The United States is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, and the MICHELIN Guide’s aim is to help travelers as well as locals discover and experience them,” said Michael Ellis, international director of the MICHELIN Guide. “This event will be a great opportunity to recognize the talents of these great chefs, as well as to celebrate the MICHELIN guide New York City 2018”.

In addition, this very special event will also host the Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Awards. This new series of winery awards will highlight the best wineries in the country. Annually, one winery from every major fine wine region of the world will be awarded a Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Award. To be eligible, that region must have at least one winery producing at least one “extraordinary” wine (rated 96-100) within the consideration period. Representatives from nominated wineries will be in attendance.

“Each year our review team travels the wine world seeking out greatness,” commented Robert Parker Wine Advocate Editor-in-Chief, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, “The Extraordinary Winery Awards will bring to the attention of our subscribers those wineries that sit qualitatively above all others within their regions.”

More information about the gala dinner are available on the website:  MichelinGuideGala.com

About the MICHELIN Guide

Thanks to the rigorous MICHELIN Guide selection process that is applied independently and consistently around 28 countries, the MICHELIN Guide has become an international benchmark in fine dining. The selections of all restaurants in the guide are made by Michelin’s famously anonymous inspectors who dine in the areas regularly. These local inspectors are trained to scrupulously apply the same time-tested methods used by Michelin inspectors for many decades throughout the world. This ensures a uniform, international standard of excellence. As a further guarantee of complete objectivity, Michelin inspectors pay all their bills in full, and only the quality of the cuisine is evaluated. To fully assess the quality of a restaurant, the inspectors apply five criteria defined by Michelin: product quality, preparation and flavors, the chef’s personality as revealed through his or her cuisine, value for money, and consistency over time and across the entire menu. These objective criteria are respected by all MICHELIN Guide inspectors, whether in Japan, the United States, China or Europe. They guarantee a consistent selection so that a star restaurant has the same value regardless of whether it is located in Paris, New York or Tokyo.

About Robert Parker Wine Advocate

For more than 39 years, The Wine Advocate, and later RobertParker.com, have been the global leader and independent consumer’s guide to fine wine. The brand was established by the internationally recognized, Robert M. Parker, Jr., the only critic in any field to receive the highest Presidential honor from three countries – France, Italy and Spain. Robert Parker Wine Advocate provides a wealth of information to its subscribers, including a searchable database of more than 300,000 professional wine ratings and reviews, in addition to articles, videos, daily news content, online retail availability and pricing, an active, professionally moderated bulletin board, a mobile app for easy access to the comprehensive online database of reviews and much more. For more information, visit www.RobertParker.com.

CONTACT:

Lauren Davis
Michelin Public Relations
Lauren.davis@michelin.com
864-350-7984

Michael Wangbickler
Balzac Communications & Marketing
mwangbickler@balzac.com
(707) 255-7667
www.balzac.com

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Michael Wangbickler

TEXSOM Announces Prowein Contest Winners

TEXSOM ANNOUNCES PROWEIN CONTEST WINNERS

Sommeliers Amie Hendrickson and Julia Dixon selected to attend ProWein 2018

Irving, Texas (September 11, 2017) –– TEXSOM today announced that Sommeliers Amie Hendrickson and Julia Dixon were selected as winners of the ProWein social media contest that took place during TEXSOM 2017. The two winners will attend ProWein 2018, the world’s leading trade fair for wine and spirits.

Amie Hendrickson is a long-serving volunteer for not only the TEXSOM Conference, but also as part of the sommelier panel at the TEXSOM International Wine Awards. Her wine descriptions have been published in Sommelier, a publication of TEXSOM and the TEXSOM International Wine Awards. Amie currently manages Edmond Wine Shop in Edmond, Oklahoma. In addition to her continuing education and management duties at the shop, Amie served as the 2015 and 2017 Education Coordinator for Oklahoma State University’s Wine Forum of Oklahoma, a biennial wine education event that raises scholarship funds for hospitality students in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration.

“Amie is a driving force in the Oklahoma market,” says James Tidwell MS, co-founder of TEXSOM. “She was instrumental in bringing Oklahomans to TEXSOM and in bringing the Court of Master Sommeliers and Guildsomm to Oklahoma. Not only is she deeply thoughtful, but she also gets things done! That is a very important virtue for a top wine professional.”

Julia Dixon is an active member of the Austin sommelier community, and a former wine buyer and manager at Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar Restaurant of the MMH Group. She is involved in both the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) programs. Julia is an annual volunteer at TEXSOM, a place where she fell in love with the Texas wine community. She recently opened a wine import company, Gravity Imports, which focuses on importing clean, pure wines to the U.S. from all over the world.

“Julia is a rising star on the Austin wine scene,” says Tidwell. “Unwavering dedication to her studies, and to exploring new and interesting wines of the world, make attendance at ProWein the perfect opportunity for her. Like Amie, she is thoughtful and hardworking, producing great results!”

“As a new platinum partner we are delighted that we could also offer the social media contest for sommeliers for the first time. The performance and commitment of the two winners impressed us very much. We are excited to see which topics they will focus on when they will come to Germany next March to visit ProWein in Düsseldorf, ” stated Marius Berlemann, Global Head Wine & Spirits at Messe Düsseldorf.

The contest was open to those individual volunteers who devoted their time and energy to making TEXSOM 2017 a great success. In order to qualify, entrants had to:

  • Follow ProWein (@prowein_tradefair) and TEXSOM (@texsom) on Instagram & Twitter
  • Post a photo on Instagram and/or Twitter showcasing the partnership between ProWein & Texsom
  • Tag ProWein & Texsom
  • Use hashtag #PROWEINxTEXSOM

The two winners were selected from among all entries.

Held August 12 to 14 at the Four Seasons, TEXSOM is the only event of its kind in the United States.  The speakers and judges constitute a who’s who list of the nation’s top wine professionals. Dozens of Master Sommeliers (MS), Certified Wine Educators (CWE), Masters of Wine (MW) and other respected industry professionals continue to be integral parts of the conference. Key not-for-profit educational organizations GuildSomm, SOMMFoundation, Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas, Wine & Spirit Education Trust, and Society of Wine Educators are presenting sponsors.

ProWein is the world’s leading trade fair for wine and spirits, and is the largest industry meeting for professionals from viticulture, production, trade and gastronomy. Professionals from around the world gather to meet at ProWein to conduct business, discuss industry trends, and recognize excellence in the world of wine and spirits. The trade fair is recognized particularly for the quality of the visitors that has given ProWein its reputation of being a unique business platform for the wine and spirits trade.

Information about the TEXSOM Conference, including a conference schedule, list of speakers, list of sponsors, and certification opportunities are available on the website at texsom.com.

ABOUT TEXSOM

Founded in 2005, the TEXSOM conference was started by Master Sommeliers James Tidwell and Drew Hendricks to help promote professional wine service standards, outline paths for further wine education and certification, and raise public awareness about the professional standards and certifications for sommeliers. Today the conference draws more than 1,200 attendees, of whom more than 800 are sommeliers and other beverage industry professionals. In addition to the conference, the group also manages the TEXSOM International Wine Awards, one of the largest, most respected, and longest-running in the United States.

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Michael Wangbickler

Wineries of Santa Clara Valley Host 2017 Fall Passport Weekend

Wines of Santa Clara Valley

Wineries of Santa Clara Valley Host 2017 Fall Passport Weekend

 More than 25 wineries to host guests throughout the Bay Area
with an array of wine, food, music & entertainment

September 6, 2017 (Santa Clara County, CA): The Wineries of Santa Clara Valley will host their 2017 Annual Fall Passport Weekend from Friday, October 13th through Sunday, October 15th. Bay Area wine and food enthusiasts will have a second opportunity this year to enjoy the fun, food and wine at more than two dozen wineries in the Santa Clara Valley wine growing region (AVA). The passport weekend was sold out last March, and had its largest attendance since its inception.

During the 2017 Fall Passport Weekend, Passport Holders will meet the talented winemakers and staff of the Santa Clara Valley’s wineries, and learn how they produce some of the world’s finest wines. Participating wineries will have food and entertainment, pour special select or library wines, offer barrel samples and many will offer attractive discounts over the weekend. Local businesses will also offer special discounts to Passport holders.

A Passport entitles guests to attend all three days beginning on Friday, October 13th from 6-8pm at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center, 17000 Monterey Road, Morgan Hill. Saturday and Sunday, October 14th and 15th from 12-5pm, guests will visit participating wineries located around the Santa Clara Valley.

Throughout the weekend Passport Holders will carry a souvenir glass to each winery where they can expect up to 4 one-ounce pours during each wine tasting. The wineries will use a unique stamp to record a visit in each Passport, much like an entry visa.

Tickets in the form of passports entitle guests to attend all three days of fun, and can be purchased online for $40. Passports may be available the day of the event, if supplies last, for $45. To enter, guests must be 21 years or older.

Dating back to the first plantings at the Santa Clara Mission in 1798, the Santa Clara Valley represents one of the oldest growing traditions in the U.S. The valley is home to over two-dozen wineries, of every size and shape, from long established family operations to relatively small newcomers, working out of their garages. Owners are the winemakers, vineyard managers and general managers who will often personally pour visitors a glass of wine.

Karen Seeker, Owner of Seeker Vineyard and President of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, says “I look forward to connecting with new customers and growing the awareness for the Santa Clara Valley AVA. Folks in the Bay Area are realizing that there is a remarkable selection of wines right here on the San Francisco Peninsula. Visitors really enjoy the beauty of the area, the diversity of the wineries and the wines they pour, and the friendships they make by becoming frequent guests.”

About the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley

The Wineries of Santa Clara Valley is an association representing member wineries that grow and produce wines in one of the oldest wine producing regions of California.

With the first plantings at the Santa Clara Mission in 1798, the region of Santa Clara Valley represents one of the oldest growing traditions in the country. The Santa Clara Valley is now home to over two-dozen wineries, of every size and shape, from long established family operations to relatively small newcomers working out of their garages. On March 28, 1989, the Santa Clara Valley received AVA status; prior to this the region’s wines were typically labeled ‘Central Coast’ or ‘Santa Clara County’.

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Tiffany Van Gorder

Balzac Communications & Marketing Announces Management Changes

Balzac CommunicationsBalzac Communications & Marketing Announces Management Changes

Paul Wagner retires and Michael Wangbickler takes title of President

Napa, CA (August 31, 2017) – Balzac Communications & Marketing, a leading craft food and beverage marketing communications agency, announced today that Paul Wagner has stepped down as President of the company and relinquished the title to current Chief Executive Officer Michael Wangbickler. Wagner will take the title of President Emeritus as he retires from day-to-day operations of the firm.

“Over the past three years, we’ve been a company in transition,” says Wagner. “As I’ve stepped back from the management of the agency, Mike has taken on a greater role in the daily operations of the business. Now it’s time to hand over the reins, and begin a new era for the firm. I’ve been impressed with how quickly Mike has grown into the role, and I have every confidence in his ability to help grow and nurture the company I started more than 25 years ago.”

“I am incredibly grateful to Paul for his guidance throughout my tenure at Balzac,” says Wangbickler. “Paul has built one of the premier marketing communications companies in the food and wine business. I’m looking forward to shepherding the agency into the next phase of its evolution. We have a clear vision in place, and we have the team in place to execute that vision.”

As President Emeritus, Wagner will remain a strategic consultant to the agency, but leave the ongoing management of the company in the hands of Wangbickler. Wangbickler will retire the title of Chief Executive Officer and take the title of President.

Wangbickler has been with the agency since 2004, and has managed the company for the last three years. Throughout his time at the firm, he has worked with a diverse range of clients, from small, family-owned wineries to large wine companies and regions to public works/policy projects. He is recognized as an expert on the topics of food and beverage marketing strategies.

About Balzac Communications & Marketing

Founded in 1991, Balzac Communications & Marketing is a marketing communications agency with a no-nonsense approach to combining the strategies and tactics of marketing, public relations, event management, digital marketing, advertising and creative services to assist the business goals of its clients. The experience, creativity and determination of the staff distinguish Balzac from their competition. They use these assets to develop and execute cost-effective campaigns which have won international communications awards. The agency is in Napa, California, and provides services to companies and organizations throughout the world.

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Michael Wangbickler

Winery Khareba Selects Balzac Communications & Marketing

Winery Khareba Selects Balzac Communications & Marketing
Contracted to Initiate Campaign to Introduce Premium Georgian Wines to U.S. Market

(Napa, California and Tbilisi, Georgia) – Winery Khareba, the leading winery in the country of Georgia, has retained Balzac Communications & Marketing, the leading wine marketing agency in the U.S., to commence a communications campaign to introduce the company’s wines to the U.S. Market. This announcement follows recent news in which the country of Georgia was the focus of international attention due to last week’s visit by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his pledge to the Georgian people of U.S. support.

“We are thrilled to be working with the skilled team at Balzac Communications & Marketing,” said Nika Zautashvili, General Manager for Winery Khareba. “Their expertise in the U.S. wine market was a natural fit for us, as we expand our interests in the country and promote wines from our special country of Georgia.”

“Historically, Georgia and the Caucasus Mountains are the cradle of wine,” said Michael Wangbickler, CEO & Partner at Balzac Communications & Marketing. “Wines from the region have received considerable attention in recent years and we see the great growth potential of Georgian wines in the U.S. It’s a real privilege to be working with the leading winery in this fascinating region… a legitimate candidate for the Garden of Eden.”

About Winery Khareba
Winery Khareba is a modern winery which builds upon ancient traditions. The company combines ancient methods and modern technologies in the growing and production of their wines. The Company owns nearly 2,500 acres of vineyards, cultivating both unique Georgian and European vine species. Wines are made from the Kakheti, Imereti and Racha-Lechkhumi wine regions.

About Balzac Communications & Marketing
Balzac Communications & Marketing is a marketing communications agency with a no-nonsense approach to combining the strategies and tactics of marketing, events, public relations, advertising, and graphic design to achieve the business goals of its clients. The experience, creativity and determination of the staff distinguish Balzac from their competition. They use these assets to develop and execute cost-effective campaigns, which have won international communications awards. The results speak for themselves. The agency is located in Napa, California, and provides services to national and international clients.

Balzac Communications & Marketing founder & Partner Paul Wagner (left) with Winery Khareba Chief Winemaker and Project Director Vladimer Kublashvili (right) in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia.

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Michael Wangbickler

Andres Blanco of Caracol Restaurant Named Best Sommelier At 13th Annual TEXSOM

 

ANDRES BLANCO OF CARACOL RESTAURANT NAMED
BEST SOMMELIER AT 13th ANNUAL TEXSOM

2017 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition Presented by Texas Monthly

Irving, Texas  – TEXSOM co-founders and Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks and James Tidwell today announced at the TEXSOM Grand Tasting presented by ProWein that Andres Blanco of Caracol Restaurant in Houston is the 2017 TEXSOM Best Sommelier. The 2017 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition, presented by Texas Monthly, takes place during TEXSOM, the most prominent and influential wine education conference in the United States, held annually at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.

Blanco topped an impressive field of 26 other competitors in a rigorous three-part wine examination involving service, blind tasting and theory. An elite panel of Master Sommelier judges named Blanco the 2017 TEXSOM Best Sommelier at a ceremony on Monday evening. The competition is a key part of TEXSOM. To participate, candidates must be a current resident of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, or Texas and must not have passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier Examination.

“TEXSOM was founded on an idealistic vision to advance our industry and elevate standards in a constant quest for excellence,” said Tidwell. “The TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition is an opportunity for those individuals who show real promise in these areas to demonstrate their prowess. We offer enthusiastic congratulations to Andres for winning the competition this year. We see a bright future for him and look forward to following his career with interest.”

In addition to laying claim to the title of “2017 TEXSOM Best Sommelier,” Blanco received a scholarship of $2,500 from SommFoundation to be used for a Court of Master Sommeliers certification program. Mandi Nelson of New Waterloo in Austin was the runner up and will receive a $1,500 scholarship, and the 3rd place winner David Donalson of Classified Wines in Dallas will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Held August 11th to 14th at the Four Seasons Resorts and Club and co-presented by the not-for-profit organizations Court of Master Sommeliers-Americas; GuildSomm; SommFoundation; Wine & Spirits Education Trust; and Society of Wine Educators – TEXSOM is the only event of its kind in the United States. The speakers and judges constitute a who’s who list of the nation’s top wine professionals. Dozens of Master Sommeliers (MS), Certified Wine Educators (CWE), Masters of Wine (MW) and other respected industry professionals were integral parts of the conference.

The 2017 TEXSOM conference featured a stellar line-up of speakers and competition judges, including:

• Serafin Alvarado MS
• Gillian Ballance MS
• Christopher Bates MS
• Wayne Belding MS
• Shayn Bjornholm MS
• Bree Boskov MW
• Dilek Caner PhD MW
• Christy Canterbury MW
• Elaine Chukan Brown
• Jim Clarke
• Charles Curtis MW
• Frederick L. Dame MS
• Matt Deller MW
• Laura DePasquale MS
• Mary Ewing Mulligan MW
• Jay Fletcher MS
• Keith Goldston MS
• Jamie Goode PhD
• Mary Gorman-McAdams MW
• Peter Granoff MS
• Nicole Hakli
• Greg Harrington MS
• Ian Harris DipWSET
• Jay James MS
• Geoff Kruth MS
• Pascaline Lepeltier MS
• Shelley Lindgren
• Michael Madrigale
• Mary Margaret McCamic MW
• Andrew McNamara MS
• Sally Mohr MS
• Melissa Monosoff MS
• Antony Moss MW DipWSET
• Peter Neptune MS
• Nicholas Paris MW
• Luis Pato
• Francis Percival
• Josh Raynolds
• Sean Razee MS
• Jean K. Reilly MW
• Laura Rhys MS
• Treve Ring
• Sheri Sauter Morano MW
• Ronan Sayburn MS
• Jane Skilton MW
• George Skouras
• Joseph Spellman MS
• Larry Stone MS
• Guy Noel Stout MS
• Bernard Sun
• Kelli White
• Nigel Wilkinson MS
• Laura Williamson MS
• Debbie Zachareas

2017 Sponsors: The event is made possible by the generous support of many sponsors, with scholarships provided by the SommFoundation.

Sponsors include:

(Presenting Sponsors) Court of Master Sommeliers-Americas; GuildSomm; SommFoundation; Wine & Spirits Education Trust; and Society of Wine Educators.

(Platinum Sponsors) Aqua Panna; Balzac Communications & Marketing; Broadbent Selections; Classic Wine Merchants; Fortessa; Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas; Napa Valley Vintners; ProWein; Republic National Distributing Company; Ribera y Rueda; San Pellegrino; The Sorting Table; Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits; TEXSOM International Wine Awards; Washington State Wine; Wines of Chile; Wines of Spain.

(Gold Sponsors) Australia Classic & Rare; Banfi Vintners; Banville Wine Merchants; Classic Wine Imports; Champagne Taittinger; Chappellet Winery; De Grazia Imports; Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.; E&J Gallo Winery (LUX Wines); GoVino; Irving Texas Convention & Visitors Bureau; Italian Wine Central; Kistler Vineyards; Lake County Winegrape Growers; Loosen Bros. USA; Louis Roederer Champagne; Mutual Trading Company; Old Bridge Cellars; Oregon Wine Board; Rhone Valley Wines; Texas Fine Wine; Vino Nobile di Montepulciano; Wilson Daniels; Wine Ring; Wines of South Africa; The World of Fine Wine.

(Silver Sponsors) Brazos Wine Imports; Cape Classics; DSWS; Domaines Albert Bichot; Empson USA; Esprit du Vin; Europvin USA; Folio Fine Wine Partners; Gerard Bertrand; Iron Horse Vineyards; Jackson Family Wines; Jeroboam; Kobrand Fine Wine and Spirits; Laureate Imports; Les Vins de Graves; Multicarte Inc.; MundoVino; New Zealand Wine; North Berkeley Imports; Old World Vines; Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance; Rioja; Serendipity Wines; Sideshow Wine Freaks Tour; Sogevinus; Terlato Wines; TexasMonthly; The Cultured Cup; Vina Cobos by Paul Hobbs; West Sonoma Coast Vintners; Wine Australia for Australian Wine; Wines of Germany; Wines of Greece; Wines of Portugal; Wine of Uruguay; Vintus; Winesellers, Ltd; Yraden Inc.

(Bronze Sponsors) Achaval Ferrer; Adelsheim; Alexander Valley Vineyards; Almaviva; Ambiente; Araex Brands; Arinzano; Austrian Wine; Avignonesi; Barnett Vineyards; Becker Vineyards; Bellavista; Bending Branch Winery; Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana; Champagne Jacquart; Classic Wines Bonafide Wine Estates; Clos du Val; Compagnie Medocaine des Grands Crus; Constellation Brands; Copain Wines; Cornell Vineyards; Craft + Estate; Crimson Wine Group; Dalla Terra Winery District; Dunstan Wines; Ehlers Estate; Emeritus Vineyards; Fisher Vineyards; Flowers Vineyard & Winery; Fredrick Wildman & Sons; Gonzales Byass; Groth Vineyards & Winery; Hahn Family Wines; Hanzell; Hently Farm; The Hess Collection; Hope Family Wines; Jordan Winery; Joseph Phelps Vineyards; Keenan Napa Valley; Lang & Reed Wine Company; Le Grand Courtage; Leonard Locascio Selections; Lede Family Wines; Left Coast Cellars; Lewis Wines; Llano Estacado; Long Meadow Ranch; Messina Hof Winery & Resort; Meteor Vineyard; Mionetto USA; Ontanon; Pahlmeyer Wayfarer; Patz & Hall; Penfolds; Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance; Premium Port Wines; R & R Selections; Ramey Wine Cellars; Ranchos de Ontiveros; Revana Family Vineyard; Revelry Vintners; Rex Hill; Rodney Strong Vineyards; Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans; SM Wine Group; Spring Mountain Vineyard; Ste. Michelle Wine Estates; St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery; Tabali; Talley Vineyards; Tamber Bey; Trefethen Family Vineyards; Torbreck; Villa Maria; Ventisquero; Vineyard Brands; Vinkara; Vino del Sol; Vintage Point; William Chris Vineyards; ZD Wines; Zuccardi.

ABOUT TEXSOM

Founded in 2005, the TEXSOM conference was started by Master Sommeliers James Tidwell and Drew Hendricks to help promote professional wine service standards, outline paths for further wine education and certification, and raise public awareness about the professional standards and certifications for sommeliers. Today the conference draws more than 1,200 attendees, of whom more than 800 are sommeliers and other beverage industry professionals. In addition to the conference, the group also manages the TEXSOM International Wine Awards, one of the largest, most respected, and longest-running in the United States.

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