DEBRA DEL FIORENTINO
"The Rosé Advisor", Sommelier, Founder & Owner of Spirited magazine
International Wine Judge, Sommelier, Certified Wine Professional and Certified Specialist of Wine, Debra Del Fiorentino is a consummate wine professional who brings a dynamic energy and expertise to every endeavor she undertakes. Debra is a familiar face at numerous prestigious wine competitions. She currently holds the esteemed position of Director of Wine Competitions for Wine Competitions Management + Productions, a producer of wine competitions for eight unique craft beverage competitions. Born and raised in San Francisco, Debra is a second generation Italian from a large family that originally settled in the Napa Valley. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the University of California at Berkeley, Debra opened two gourmet food stores in Marin before venturing into the wine industry. Debra also serves as an independent wine educator and partner at Russian River Vineyards.
Sommelier, Wine Judge and Manager - Public Wine and Beverage Studies, CIA
Traci Dutton is a sommelier, a wine judge, and the manager of public wine and beverage studies at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. She joined the CIA in 1998 as beverage manager and sommelier for the college’s Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant. Over the course of more than 30 years in the wine world, Ms. Dutton has worked in high-end establishments such as Montrachet, The Striped Bass, and 231 Ellsworth, and has served luminaries as varied as Oprah Winfrey, Kevin Bacon, and Chef Paul Bocuse. She has studied and tasted great wines at vineyards around the world, from Portugal and Austria to Argentina and the United States. Her writing on wines and beverages has appeared in Kitchen & Cook, the St. Helena Star, iSanté.com, and many other publications. In 2011, she was named one of the top wine country sommeliers by Tasting Panel magazine.
Owner & Winemaker, Kokomo Winery
Originally from Kokomo, Indiana, Erik had always dreamed of moving west. After graduating from Purdue University in 1999, with a degree in Organizational, Leadership, and Supervision, he set his sights on Sonoma County in order to pursue his dreams. "I traded in the soybeans and cornfields for the brighter skies, rolling hills and vineyards", Erik said. "With my Midwestern values, I approached the new territory with a promise to always treat the farmers and business the same - with respect."
Erik had his first opportunity to make an impression as a wine professional while working crush at Belvedere Winery in the Russian River Valley. Starting at ground level as a cellar worker, there was an immediate connection to the industry. After working that first harvest, Erik decided to enroll at U.C. Davis to study Oenology and learn from the best in the field.
While handling his duties in the cellar, Erik began Kokomo Winery with a 2004 single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Dry Creek Valley. In naming his new venture, the winemaker decided to pay homage to his Indiana hometown. After the 2006 harvest, Kokomo Winery moved into its own facility at Timber Crest Farms in Dry Creek Valley. In 2008 Erik brought on his partner in the winery, Randy Peters, who is a fourth generation farmer in Dry Creek Valley. "Having a partner who grows in three appellations in Sonoma County really completed the loop for us and ensures consistency in quality and terrior". Erik’s wife, Kimia, joined him at the winery in 2014 to help shoulder the administrative and sales duties, allowing Erik to place more of his focus on winemaking. When not tending to the day to day of the winery the two enjoy spending time with their sons, Milo and Oden.
Wine Educator and Advisor
David has been in various parts of the wine and alcohol business for over 25 years, from retail in tasting rooms to production and compliance. He has judged at competitions throughout the country, including the California State Fair, Finger Lakes International, International Wine Challenge (UK), and many others. At College of Marin he teaches classes on tasting, regions, and production, and he also gives lectures through the Wine Business program at Sonoma State University.
Owner, Peak Fermentation Consulting
Bob holds a degree in Chemistry, is a certified judge of beer and wine, an award-winning home brewer. He makes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay yearly. As General Manager at Vinquiry, was trained on the Davis 20-point wine judging scale and approved for TCA cork sensory analysis. Now retired from ownership of The Beverage People in Santa Rosa, he is an independent consultant and teacher regarding fermentation of cider, wine, beer, charcuterie, cheese, and more.
Wine Director, Bottle Barn Liquors
Barry has more than three decades of experience in the wine industry, ranging from sommelier and wine shop owner to high-level retail and private cellar acquisitions. He was raised in Southern California, where he earned his stripes in some of LA’s most celebrated restaurants, among them Chinois on Main and Osteria Angelini. Most recently, Barry was General Manager of the Rare Wine Company in Sonoma, as well as working with Soutirage and Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Spirits in Napa Valley. Currently, he is the wine buyer for Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA, a 15,000 square foot superstore and arguably has the largest and finest selection of fine wines north of San Francisco. Barry blames a bottle of 1980 Jayer Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux for having sent him down the rabbit hole many years ago. Today, he lives in Petaluma, CA with his wife, two children and Australian Shepherd, Elvis, to whom he happily dedicates every spare moment outside of work.