The SOMM Journal

October / November 2016

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4 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } OCTOBER/NOVEMBER { letter from the publisher } selected contributors Jiles Halling is an Englishman whose career in marketing and sales for major international wines and spirits brands took him to the USA, Japan and England before he came to live and work in the heart of the Champagne region in France. He has a wealth of knowledge about Champagne and is particularly interested in the lesser-known, independently-made champagnes known as grower Champagnes. For more, see Wendy Thies Sell pairs a California wine country lifestyle with Wisconsin "cheesehead" roots. The four-time Emmy-winning former broadcast journalist has covered the Central Coast's wine industry for nearly 20 years. Based in Santa Barbara County, she is a regular emcee and moderator for organizations such as Hospice du Rhône, Santa Barbara Vintners, SLO Wine Country and the Central Coast Writers Conference. She has contributed articles to Wine Enthusiast, Santa Barbara Seasons, and Edible magazines. You may follow her @wendythies. Contributing French pho- tographer Eric Vandenbossche has background both in economic development and fine arts. Shooting mainly for the wine industry, some black and white film rolls or drawing pencils are never far away for more personal works. He lives in downtown Reims, at the heart of the Champagne region. Christine Havens is a wine writer and former winemaker who has become a Vivino power user with nearly 30,000 followers largely thanks to her wine ratings. In addition to her reviews, she frequently contributes to Vivino, and is a Network Advisory Ambassador for Christine has deep roots in the Washington state wine industry. Having worked as a professional winemaker or nearly a decade in Southeastern Washington, she's sourced fruit from some of the most distinctive AVAs in the state, including Walla Walla Valley, Snipes Mountain and Yakima Valley. Of note, she was the first winemaker to have cre- ated a private label for Washington State University. WE LIKE TO DIG IN HERE AT THE SOMM JOURNAL. We thrive on it because the more detail we can get, the more of you we meet and share information with, the more we all grow. Our signature seminar series, "Digging In to Unique Terroir," is on a roll. We kicked it off at last year's SOMM Con in San Diego and have since played to packed houses at Napa Valley Wine Academy, hosted by Peter Marks, MW, and at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Las Vegas moderated by Will Costello, MS (read the story starting on page 88). We hit Somm Con in San Diego on November 17 with host Eric Hemer, MW/MS, and the series is already in the works for next year with dates at the Seattle Somm Summit (July), the Society of Wine Educators (August in Portland) and in Bozeman, MT, at Vine & Dine with Fred Dame, MS (August 17–20). Dig in to this issue and find yourself in Tokaj, Tuscany, Paso Robles and Oregon, and traipse along with our Somm Campers in Santa Barbara County wine country. We also explore a small-production bourbon with Bib & Tucker, learn about perfecting Mother Nature with Cork Supply's products and dig in to our "Variety Show" spotlights on global Riesling, Gewurztraminer from southern Oregon, Garnacha from Cariñena and Viognier from Condrieu. You may not get your hands dirty by digging in (although we can't make promises about ink stains), but you will certainly become entrenched in the biz behind the scenes with us. Happy reading! Meridith May with Will Costello, MS, at The Somm Journal's signature seminar series, "Digging In to Unique Terroir," at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas. Digging In PHOTO: MONA SHIELD PAYNE

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