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Christina Walther of Jeffrey’s of Austin Named Best Sommelier at 15th Annual Texsom


Three Austin Sommeliers win the 2019 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition

Irving, Texas (August 21, 2019) – TEXSOM co-founders and Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks and James Tidwell today announced at the TEXSOM Grand Tasting that Christina Walther of Jeffrey’s of Austin is the 2019 TEXSOM Best Sommelier. The 2019 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition 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.

Christina topped an impressive field of competitors in a rigorous three-part wine examination involving service, blind tasting and theory knowledge. An elite group of Master Sommelier, Master of Wine, and Master Cicerone judges named Christina the 2019 TEXSOM Best Sommelier at a ceremony on Tuesday evening.  The competition is a traditional 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 or won the competition previously.

“The 15th year of the TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition was certainly one for the record books,” says Tidwell. “It is a testament to the quality and standards of their wine team for these three individuals to place in our competition. We offer wholehearted congratulations to Christina on taking top honors and look forward to following her career. We also want to extend our sincere thanks to the entire TEXSOM team who really took our conference to another level this year.”

In addition to laying claim to the title of “2019 TEXSOM Best Sommelier,” Christina received a scholarship of $2,500 from SOMMFoundation to be used for a Court of Master Sommeliers certification program. Skyler Ring was the runner up and will receive a $1,500 scholarship, and the 3rd place winner Austin Farina will receive a $1,000 scholarship. All three winners are employed by Jeffrey’s of Austin. We applaud their quality of service and training.

Held August 18th to 20th at Four Seasons Resort and Club and co-presented by the not-for-profit organizations GuildSomm, SOMMFoundation, Court of Master Sommeliers – Americas, and Wine & Spirit Education Trust—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), Masters of Wine (MW), Master Cicerones, WSET Diploma Graduates (DipWSET) and other respected industry professionals were integral parts of the conference.

The 2019 TEXSOM conference featured a stellar line-up of speakers, mentors, and competition judges, including:

  • Jesse Becker MS
  • Wayne Belding MS
  • Shayn Bjornholm MS
  • Bree Boskov MW
  • Devon Broglie MS
  • Dilek Caner PhD MW
  • Remy Charest
  • Christy Canterbury MW
  • Elaine Chukan Brown
  • Jim Clarke
  • Craig Collins MS
  • Olga Crawford MW
  • Brian Cronin MS
  • Charles Curtis MW
  • Ian D’Agata
  • Matthew Deller
  • Frederick L. Dame MS
  • Laura DePasquale MS
  • Jeni Dodd
  • Maureen Downey
  • Jessica Dupuy
  • Sarah Jane Evans MW
  • Ganna Federova
  • Klaus Gasser
  • Keith Goldston MS
  • Jamie Goode PhD
  • Mary Gorman-McAdams MW
  • Ian Harris MBE DipWSET
  • Drew Hendricks MS
  • Rich Higgins MC CS
  • Jay James MS
  • Terry Kandylis
  • Geoff Kruth MS
  • Paul Mabray
  • Peter Marks MW
  • Benoit Marsan PhD
  • Jack Mason MS
  • Mary Margaret McCamic MW
  • Andrew McNamara MS
  • Melissa Monosoff MS
  • Sheri Morano MW
  • Antony Moss DipWSET MW
  • Nicholas Paris MW
  • Rajat Parr MS
  • Bronwen Percival
  • Francis Percival
  • Emily Pickral MS
  • Thomas Price MS
  • Kyle Stewart
  • Larry Stone MS
  • Guy Stout MS
  • Chris Tanghe MS
  • Dirceu Vianna Junior MW
  • Kelli White
  • Laura Williamson MS
  • Emily Wines MS
  • David Wrigley DipWSET MW
  • Debbie Zachareas

2019 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.

(Platinum Sponsors) Aqua Panna; Balzac Communications & Marketing; Banville Wine Merchants; Broadbent Selections; Classic Wine Merchants; Fortessa; Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas; ProWein; Ribera y Rueda; San Pellegrino; Silver Oak/Twomey; The Sorting Table; TEXSOM International Wine Awards; Washington State Wine; Wine Australia; Wine Dialogues; Wines from Spain.

(Gold Sponsors) Australia Classic & Rare; Banfi Vintners; Barossa Australia; Classified Wine Imports; Champagne Taittinger; Chappellet Winery; Club Crus Beaujolais; Coravin; Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.; González Byass; GoVino; Harvest Press Cider; Irving Texas Convention & Visitors Bureau; Kistler Vineyards; Loosen Bros. USA; Lux Wines; Mutual Trading Company; Newton Napa Valley; Old Bridge Cellars; Olé & Obrigado; Oregon Wine Board; Ruinart; Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans; Santa Margherita USA; Texas Fine Wine; WhyNot; Wilson Daniels; Wines of Georgia; Wines of South Africa; Wines of Uruguay.

(Silver Sponsors) Ambiente; Austrian Wine; Cape Classics; Champagne Bruno Paillard; Consorzio di Tutela Prosecco Superiore; Crimson Wine Group; Empson USA; Europvin; Food Is Great Britain & N. Ireland; Folio Fine Wine Partners; Gerard Bertrand; Gimblett Gravels Wine Growing District; Graves – Sauternes; Iron Horse Vineyards; Jackson Family Wines; Kobrand Fine Wine and Spirits; Franciacorta; Lake County Winegrape Commission; Larkmead Family Estate; Lodi Wines; Louis Jadot/Zind Humbrecht; Mcpherson/Llano/Fallcreek/Brennan Vineyards; Multicarte Inc.; MundoVino; Napa Valley Vintners; New Zealand Wine; North Berkeley Imports; Pacific Highway Wines & Spirits; Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance; Petaluma Gap Wine Grower’s Alliance; Rías Baixas; Serendipity Wines; Sideshow Wine Freaks Tour; Texas Wine & Grape Grower’s Association; The Cultured Cup; The Wine Group; Terrien; Third Leaf Wines; Uncork Texas Wines; VQA Wines of Ontario; Viña Cobos by Paul Hobbs; Vinho Verde; Willamette Valley Wine; Wines of Argentina; Wines of British Columbia;  Wines of Chile; Wines of Georgia; Wines of Germany; Wines of Greece;  Yarden Inc.

(Bronze Sponsors) Achaval-Ferrer; Adelsheim; Alejandro Fernández Grupo Pesquera; Alexander Valley Vineyards; Almaviva; Arínzano; Athenee Importers & Distributors; Barnett Vineyards; Becker Vineyards; Bellavista; Beronia; Bodega Garzon Uruguay; Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana; Brazos Wine; Bowler; Champagne Collet; Clos du Val; Coast Pinot Noir; Corison; Crown Point Vineyards; Dalla Terra Winery District; Daou Vineyards & Winery; David Milligan Selections; Delectatio; Dessai; Donald Patz Wine Group; Dry Creek Vineyard; Ehlers Estate; Entisquero;  Faustino; Fisher Vineyards; Foley Family Wines; Fredrick Wildman & Sons; Freemark Abbey; Garnacha/Grenache;  Groth Vineyards & Winery; Gruet; Guinness; Gundlach Bundschu;  Hahn Family Wines; Hartford Family Winery; Hundred Acre; Hertelendy Napa Valley;  Joseph Phelps Vineyards; Kerr Cellars; Land of Promise Sonoma;  Lange Twins; Lede Family Wines; Lingua Franca; Lipman; Messina Hof Winery & Resort; Murrieta’s Well; Obsidian Wine Co.; Pasalei; Passopisciaro Tenuta di Trinoro; Patz & Hall; Pedernales Cellars; Ranchos de Ontiveros Santa Maria Valley;  Revana Family Vineyard; Rex Hill; Saint Arnold Brewing Company; Schmitt Sohne Family Wines; Siduri; Sinegal Estate; Ste. Michelle Wine Estates; Symington Family; The Hess Collection; Tinto Negro; Trefethen Family Vineyards; Villa Maria; Vina Don Machor; Vinkara; Vineyard Brands; William & Chris Vineyards; Winesellers LTD; ZD Wines; Zuccardi.


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 1,300 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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