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Internationally Renowned Panel of 9 Judges Set for Rosé Today, the 2016 Competition


Competition to be held June 15 Hosted by Wilson Artisan Wineries at Soda Rock Winery, Healdsburg. Competition Results to Be Announced at June 16 Trade Showcase and Media Event

Rose TodayHealdsburg, CA – Thursday, May 19, 2016 —A distinguished panel of nine internationally recognized judges has been named by Bob Ecker, Wine Director of Rosé Today, The 2016 Competition to be held Wednesday, June 15, 2016 hosted by Wilson Artisan Wineries at the Soda Rock Winery, Healdsburg, CA.

“We are so grateful to have such a distinguished and renowned panel of judges for our Competition,” said Ecker. “Their personal interest to participate certainly underscores the extraordinary burgeoning demand for these wonderful Rosé wines in their infinite varieties and styles. We have expanded the categories this year to include domestic, international and sparkling,” Ecker explained, “so we know they will have a globe-circling array of wonderful entries to experience.”

The judges include Sean Brosnihan, Jordan Winery; Debra Del Fiorentino, Director of Wine Competitions for Vineyard and Winery Management; Rick Fraga, Wine Educator for Wilson Winery; Denise Gill, Alexander Valley Vineyards; Teejay Lowe, winegrower; Sara Preiser, The Preiser Key; Christopher Sawyer, internationally heralded sommelier; Bill Smart, Lambert Bridge Winery; Deborah Parker Wong, The Tasting Panel.

The scope of The 2016 Competition, Ecker explains, will expand to welcome entries in three categories: Domestic, International and Sparkling wines. Each category will have a “Dry” or “Sweeter Side” component. “We anticipate receiving 200 plus wines from around the world,” said Competition Coordinator Colleen Ecker. To submit entries, producers must enter at: www.rosetoday.brownpapertickets.com. Entry fee for each submission is $60 (plus service charge). Entries must be received by June 10th. For information, call Bob Ecker at (707) 421-1701, or email at bob@rosewinetoday.com.

All winners in The 2016 Competition will be announced Thursday, June 16, at an invitational Media Event and Showcase for Trade, 10am to noon. Trade and Media guests will be treated to a tasting of Gold and Double Gold winners; selected producers of these award-winning wines are invited to be on hand.

Sean Brosnihan. After fifteen years in the restaurant industry, Sean relocated to Sonoma County from his native New England to pursue his passion for wine. Sean has been with Jordan Winery in the Alexander Valley for the last eight years, operating the Guest Services Department. Sean oversees direct to consumer sales and the visitor experience for all guests at Jordan Winery.

Debra Del Fiorentino: International Wine Judge, Sommelier, Certified Wine Professional and Certified Specialist of Wine. She currently holds the esteemed position of Director of Wine Competitions for Vineyard & Winery Management, a producer of wine competitions for nearly 40 years with eight unique wine judgings.

Rick Fraga: Currently is the Wine Educator for Wilson Winery. Additionally he is a professional Wine Judge most recently judging the San Francisco Chronicle and Lake County Wine Competitions. In recent years Rick has served as a member of the AgBusiness/Wine Studies Advisory Committee at Santa Rosa Junior College, as well as a guest lecturer for classes at the college.

Denise Gill: Denise Gill has a broad wine industry background spanning over 22 years and currently at Alexander Valley Vineyards. She held prior key positions at Ancient Oak Cellars, Hop Kiln, White Oak, Blackstone and Fritz Wineries. She has also served as Director of Wine at Mayacama Golf Club and has judged over the last 10 years professional wine competitions including California State Fair, El Dorado and San Francisco Chronicle.
Teejay Lowe. A developer, grower, retailer and consultant in the industry, these roles have given him a multi-faceted perspective that serves the ultimate critics of our industry, the consumer. As a Russian River Winegrowers Association member and grower of premium Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel in the renowned Russian River Valley, his experience with terroir and the wines resulting from unique terroir have inspired his journey to seek out wines true to the nature of the fruit and land from which they are created.

Sara Preiser: Writing about wines for over 25 years, the Preisers publish the world’s most comprehensive guide to Napa and southeast Sonoma County wineries and restaurants titled, appropriately, The Preiser Key (circulation 300,000). Sara has served as a wine columnist and wine editor for the Boca Raton News, the South Florida Business Journal, Coastal Carolina Life, Living on the Suncoast, BOCA Magazine, and numerous other trade publications. She is regularly published by Wine-On-Line-International. Sara also co-writes a periodic international wine column that is taken by over 10,000 people on the Web, and reprinted by many blogs.

Christopher Sawyer: Internationally-renowned sommelier, wine journalist, wine judge, consultant, and public speaker, Christopher Sawyer travels the world following trends in wine and participating as a judge in international wine competitions, and has been featured in a wide array of national media, including USAToday, MSN, NBC, ABC, CNN, Redbook, Maxim, National Geographic Traveler, Esquire and The Hollywood Reporter. Already legendary in the industry for his encyclopedic wine knowledge and rich wine world relationships around the globe, Sawyer has been a personal sommelier for an array of luminaries and aficionados, from the Getty Family to the Gorbachevs, as well as for Oscar-winning director and chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, John Lasseter. In 2014, Sawyer was named the Best Sommelier of Sonoma County by Bohemian Magazine, and is the recipient of many more prestigious awards and industry honors. In addition to serving as the Head Sommelier at the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction this weekend; Sawyer will be the exclusive Artisan Series Sommelier at Food Network in Concert held in Chicago on September 20th.

Bill Smart. Vice President and General Manager, Lambert Bridge Winery. A passionate wine industry leader, Bill’s love for the Dry Creek Valley and the local community makes him the perfect fit to guide this family owned estate.

Deborah Parker Wong: Educator, journalist, author and consultant, Deborah Parker Wong, AIWS is Northern California editor for The Tasting Panel magazine and Senior Industry Editor for SOMM Journal where she reports on the global wine and spirits industries. In addition, she contributes features on business and production technology to Vineyard & Winery Management magazine and writes several online drinks columns. Deborah co-authored “1000 Great Everyday Wines” published by Dorling Kindersley in 2011. As a sensory consultant to companies in the beverage and technology industries, Deborah provides guidance in quality assessment and product development. She holds the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma and teaches wine as an adjunct professor at Cabrillo College and WSET certification courses. She serves as a professional wine judge for several regional, national and international wine competitions.

Bob Ecker, Wine Director
Based in Napa, California, Bob Ecker is a longtime wine writer and wine judge providing domestic as well as international magazines, newspapers and websites with compelling wine coverage, wine travel content, destination travel, culinary, and feature content. His work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, South China Morning Post, Toronto Globe & Mail, Dallas Morning News, Decanter, Wine Business Monthly and Wine Enthusiast among other publications. Ecker has been judging wines for many years at The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Lake County Wine Competition and Amador County Wine Competition among others, and created the inaugural Rose Competition in 2013, the very first dedicated Rose Wine Competition in the United States.

The Rosé Competition
After judging in numerous wine competitions, in 2013 Bob Ecker created the very first ever Rosé Wine Competition in the United States. Held at Napa’s Meritage Resort & Spa, he invited rosé producers from California and received 89 entries. In 2015 he produced a larger Rosé Competition inviting rosé wine producers from across the United States. There were two categories, “Dry” and “A Little Sweet.” Although the majority of submitted wines were from California, 192 total entries came in from 20 different states. Besides California, rosé wines were sent from: Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Prominent wine judges for The Rosé Competition included Christopher Sawyer, Denise Gill, Debra Del Fiorentino, Sue Straight, Debra Parker Wong, Rick Fraga and Ray Johnson.

Wilson Artisan Wineries
Diane and Ken are devoted to things they value most—family and friends—and are committed to the stewardship and sustainable farming of their 600 plus vineyard acres. Diane, a native Californian, cherishes her high-energy lifestyle that includes raising children, making wine at the Wilson Artisan Wineries and taking an active role in the community.  Ken, born and raised in Ontario, Canada, is robust and passionate about his vineyards and wineries. It was Ken’s wisdom and vision that created the diversity of vineyard sources over the years. These vineyards provide the premium quality fruit that has brought notable recognition to the Wilson Artisan Wineries. Diane and Ken also own Healdsburg’s historic Grape Leaf Inn and Calderwood Inn in addition to their ten wine brands: Wilson Winery, Mazzocco Winery, deLorimier Winery, Soda Rock Winery, Matrix Winery, Jaxon Keys Winery & Distillery, Pezzi King Vineyards, Mosaic Winery, St. Anne’s Crossing Winery and Greenwood Ridge Vineyards.



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