The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2011

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Page 86 of 124

THE TASTING PANEL celebrates and salutes the talented palates of our industry in these pages every month, but in this issue, we're taking note of a special group of somms, buyers and educators who work in Northern California's wine coun- try to craft some of the most innovative programs and wine lists in the nation. Through their work, they celebrate the best that California has to offer, and for their dedication to their jobs and communities, we honor them as 2011 Top Wine Country photos by John Curley iving in California, we are a lucky bunch: With rolling hills, ocean breezes, views to die for and (oh yeah) world-class wines, the Golden State is golden indeed. As if we weren't spoiled enough, we've also got some of the top wine industry professionals calling this state home, and for whom wine is an experiential part of their daily lives. Livermore, CA's Wente Family Estates honors the tradition of California winemaking by push- ing the boundaries of modern and sustainable vineyard practices and winemaking, so the winery's wonderful Restaurant at Wente Vineyards was an ideal choice when THE TASTING PANEL honored 11 of the top Northern California Wine Country industry professionals in mid-July. These are the faces of our industry that will continue to lead the way in California's wine country and beyond, and for that, we salute them. Cheers! L Somms Benjamin Musolf from Livermore's Campo di Bocce holds up his award: an etched magnum of Wente Vineyards 2008 Charles Wetmore Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. 86 / the tasting panel / september 201 1

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