Former Judges

Virginie Boone

Virginie Boone
Contributing Editor,
Wine Enthusiast

John Giannini

John Giannini
Winemaker and Enology Lecturer

Christopher Sawyer

Christopher Sawyer
Wine Writer and "Sommelier to the Stars"

Jim Gordon

Jim Gordon
Contributing Editor,
Wine Enthusiast

Dan Kaiser - Wine Judge

Dan Kaiser
General Manager and Sommelier,
JoLe Restaurant, Calistoga

Richard (Dick) Mercer

Richard (Dick) Mercer
Owner / President, Experience Italy,
Sacramento, CA

Sue Straight

Sue Straight
Freelance Writer and Wine Judge

Catherine Fallis

Catherine Fallis
Master Sommelier
a.k.a. grape goddess®

Don Neel

Don Neel
Editor,
Practical Winery & Vineyard



Ray Johnson Ray Johnson
Former Director of Professional Judging
Lake County Wine Awards Competition

Ray Johnson is the Director of Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute, one of only three universities in the world to offer a master’s degree in wine business.

He continues to serve as the Assistant Director of the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest professional judging of American wine in the world.

His company TasteWine has consulted and created events and seminars for a Who’s Who of organizations, including Four Season’s Hotels, GE Capital, LexisNexis, Siemens, Visa and Wells Fargo.

Johnson earned his Master’s in Wine Business from the University of Adelaide in South Australia. His publications have spanned three platforms: academia, with papers published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, the Journal of Wine Research, and the International Journal of Wine Business Research; the industry’s trade journals with articles in Practical Winery & Vineyard and Vineyard & Winery Management; and publications for consumers with wine reviews on his blog TasteWine and an introduction to tasting through this primer The Good Life Guide to Enjoying Wine.

2014 LCWA Judges
2014 Lake County Wine Awards Judges   (photo by Davis Palmer)

2013 LCWA Judges
2013 Lake County Wine Awards Judges

2011 LCWA Judges
2011 Lake County Wine Awards Judges

Lee Reinsimar

Lee Reinsimar (l)
Buyer,
Dean and Deluca Wine and Spirits

Joel Riddel

Joel Riddel
Host and Executive Producer,
Dining Around with Joel Riddell

Bob Ecker

Bob Ecker
Wine Writer/ Freelance Photographer,
Napa, CA

Michele Fano

Michele Fano
Wine Consultant,
Advanced Sommelier