The Talent: Special Guests 2017

Check out the talent! Updated daily.

 ~Previous Years~

Leslie and Eric, Wine MerchantLesley Ponce & Eric Allen
The Wine Merchant Owners, 
WSET Advanced, Combined 67 years in the wine industry
Catch these two moderating the “Stop and Smell the Rosés” Seminar at 3:00pm on Thursday at Cyprus Café and then pouring at The Wine Merchant Table at the Grand Tasting on Saturday.

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Karen BargerKaren Barger
Seasons Rotisserie & Grill Owner, Durango Wine Experience Co-Founder & Board Member
Karen will be hosting the “Have You Met Your Match” wine luncheon on Thursday and the Seasons Rotisserie & Grill Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday. Karen is currently the President of the Durango Wine Experience Board.

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Stefani BurnsStefani Burns
Impatience Rosé Ambassador
Stefani Burns is curiously insatiable and on a rosé mission to bring the spirit of Provence to the US. Stefani along with her family’s rosé importing company, Le Raisin Imports, have created the Impatience Rosé brand, an exclusive rosé blend that they launched in 2012.

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William DavisWilliam Davis
CWE, CSS, CMS Advanced Wilson Daniels

William started in restaurants at the tender age of 15. He realized that wine and spirits was his passion, and when he sat for his Introductory Exam and Course with the Court of Master Sommeliers over 15 years ago. Beyond his certifications listed above, he is studying for the WSET Diploma, is a member of the Guild of Sommeliers, is a 2 time Regional Champion of Central and Great Lakes Regional Winner of TopSOMM. He will be featured at the “Armagnac Attack!” Seminar at The Bookcase & Barber on Thursday at 11:00am.

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Stephen GondaStephen Gonda
Wine Specialist for Spire Collection
Stephen will be featured at the DWE kick-off Wine Dinner “Historic Terrior. Noble Grapes. Exquisite Wines” and Friday’s Seminar “Wine’s with Altitude” at 11:00am at the Ore House Restaurant.

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Matt GuerrieroMatt Guerriero
VinMarket Selections
Matt Guerriero is currently the co-owner of VinMarket Selections, a Denver based boutique wine and spirits wholesale company founded 3 years ago. Matt recently celebrated his 18th year in the wine business including 12 years in New York City, a career that allows him to travel the wine world, work closely with some of the most famous names in the industry and absorb the incredible knowledge and passion from people he considers his true mentors.

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Moose KoonsMoose Koons
Peach Street Distillery Sales Manager
When you really love a particular spirit, you tell your friends about it. When you’re Moose Koons, you get “Colorado Straight Bourbon” tattooed on your arm. Technically, Moose is the mouth of Peach Street. The sales guy. But, Moose doesn’t so much sell the booze as profess his love for it. And in case you’re wondering, Moose was a big baby.

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Brian PattersonBrian Patterson
Brian Patterson comes to Left Coast Cellars with more than 15 years of experience in the beverage industry. Brian has a culinary degree from the New York Institute of Culinary Education and his Sommelier diploma from the International Sommelier Guild (ISG).

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Sissie StroupSissie Strope
Sales Representative for Merryvale Vineyard and Starmont Winery
Sissie will be featured at Thursday’s Wine Seminar “Stop and Smells the Rosés” at 3:00pm at the Cyprus Café.

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Stacey Swetil-RustStacey Swetil-Rust
Constellation Wines
Stacey Swetil-Rust discovered her passion for wine while working in a wine shop and in restaurants in the Aspen area. Moving to the Front Range of Colorado she has held various distributor and supplier positions with a focus on creative selling and education. You will find Stacey hosting the “Have You Met Your Match” wine luncheon at Seasons Rotisserie & Grill at 1:00pm on Thursday.

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WINEMASTER RANDY ULLOMRandy Ullom

Winemaster for Kendall-Jackson Winery
Joined Kendall-Jackson: in 1992  and became their Winemaster in 1997.  Randy oversees the entire Kendall-Jackson Portfolio.
“I look at all of the vineyards we own, and all of the individual lots of wines that we make, and the thousands of barrels we have sitting in our cellar and sometimes I think, you gotta be kidding me! After I’ve sufficiently recovered from my daily panic attack, I take off my coat, dig in my heels and take it one barrel at a time. It’s a rewarding job that I love.”
Hired by Jess Jackson in 1992 as Winemaker for some of our smaller and international vineyards, Randy was handed his most prestigious assignment in 1997 – Winemaster for Kendall-Jackson Winery.
A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Randy became interested in wine during a three-year stay in Chile, while on sabbatical from college in the early 1970s. His stay inspired a cross-country trek through Chile’s vast wine-growing regions. On his return to the United States, he entered Ohio State University to study crop production with a specialty in Viticulture and Enology and received his degree in 1975.
After six years as a vineyard manager and Winemaker in Ohio and upstate New York, Randy moved to California to become associate Winemaker at De Loach Vineyards in Sonoma County. He was promoted to Winemaker and Vice President in 1991. The wines produced during his tenure were consistent gold medal winners at wine competitions.
Randy will be leading the the “Winemaker Dinner” on Friday night at Fifth Street Eatery at 7:30pm and the Master Blending Seminar: “Countours & Climate in Cabernet” at 1:00pm on Saturday in the Oak Room at the Strater Hotel.

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Feeling sentimental? Wanna see the talent from previous years? 

2015 SPECIAL GUESTS

2014 SPECIAL GUESTS

2013 SPECIAL GUESTS

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