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Registration Open for Wine Location Specialist Exam

The Center for Wine Origins Wine Location Specialist Certificate Program, developed by Master of Wine, Sandy Block, has announced testing dates for the Fall of 2011 and Spring of 2012. Registration is open to approved sommeliers, chefs, wine educators, beverage directors and retail beverage directors. There is no registration fee to take this exam, however all registrants must be approved by the Center for Wine Origins.

The Wine Location Specialist Certificate Program is collaboration between the Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) and the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto (IVDP) with financial support from the European Union and its member states of France and Portugal.

Visit the Center for Wine Origins HERE to learn more and register.

Testing Dates:

  • September 23 – 25, 2011
  • January 6-8, 2012

For more information, please email

Current Certified Wine Location Specialists Include

  • Luiz Alberto, The Wine Hub, New Jersey
  • Emily Adams, Student,  Mississippi
  • Richard Auffrey, The Passionate Foodie, Massachusetts
  • Kathryn Barnett, Michael David Vineyards, California
  • Michael Cheatham, Coup du Vigne Wine Club, California
  • Sandra Crittenden-Merovitch, Wine Consultant, Texas
  • Carson Demmond, Wine & Spirits Magazine, New York
  • Carolyn Dougharty, Whole Foods Market, California
  • Joan Fedus, Wine Educator, New Jersey
  • John Patrick Fetherston, Columbia Room, Washington, D.C.
  • Tom Firth, Wine Access Magazine, Calgary
  • Alicia Towns Franken, wine consultant, Massachusetts
  • Annette Hanami, Wine Muse, California
  • Beth Hickey, El Gaucho, Seattle
  • Gabriel Key,, Virginia
  • James King, The Texas Wine School, Texas
  • Michael Maletta, Wine With Mike, Florida
  • Lance Mayhew, Oregon Culinary Institute, Oregon
  • Katie Nelson, Columbia Room, Washington, D.C.
  • Victor Orozco, Wine Master, California
  • Gary Pelvis, Rutgers University Professor, New Jersey
  • Kerri Robinson, Indie Cellars, Oregon
  • Aileen Sevier, Terlato Wines International, Illinois
  • Yashar Shayan, Seastar Restaurant, Washington
  • David Speer, Red Slate Wine Co., Oregon
  • Eugene Tang, 1515 restaurant, Owner, G.M., Sommelier, Colorado
  • John Wilkinson, Oceana Restaurant, New York
  • Megan Yelenosky, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, California
  • Frank Aquilino, Wine All The Time Tours, New Jersey
  • Alexandra Bookless, The Passenger, Washington D.C.
  • Bill Elsey, Duchman Family Winery, Texas
  • Fritz Reese, Wine Sense, Nevada
  • Rebecca Rochester, Wine Consultant, Oregon

Wine Location Specialists (with Distinction)

  • Paul Ashe, Student, University of Westminster, United Kingdom
  • Maxine Borcherding, Oregon Culinary Institute, Oregon
  • Joanna Breslin, Bridge2Worlds Wine Agency, California
  • Lynn Krielow Chamberlain, iWineRadio, North Carolina
  • Christine Collier, Cipher Cellars, Oregon
  • Summer Haines, Quarter Kitchen/Andaz, San Diego
  • Beth Hickey, El Gaucho, Seattle
  • Katherine Little, Little Paradiso, Italy
  • May Matta Aliah, In the Grape, New York
  • Suzanne McGrath, The Curious Grape, Virginia
  • Joseph Roberts, Wine Writer, Pennsylvania
  • Yoko Sawyer, Winestone, Massachusetts
  • Rick Schofield, Schofield Wine, New York
  • Mark Shipway, International Culinary School, Vancouver
  • Glen Siegel, Sommelier and Wine Educator, Ontario
  • Brandon Tebbe, Summit at the Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado
  • Jennifer Westra, Mountain Dome Winery/Hayden Lake Country Club, Washington
  • Scott Zoccolillo, Hotel Dupont, Delaware.
  • Marco Avigo, The Inn at Penn-Hilton Hotel, Pennsylvania
  • Mary Cressler, Vindulge Wine Education & Consulting, Connecticut
  • John Dickinson, Student, California
  • Brian Freedman, Wine Educator, Philadelphia
  • Julia Hurst, The Passenger, Washington D.C.
  • Paul McKeever, Davio’s, Massachusetts
  • Sally Mohr, Mohr on More, Colorado
  • Ryan Reichert, Wine Educator, Oregon
  • Kyle Schlachter, Colorado Wine Industry Development board, Colorado
  • Mitch Sargent, Hyatt, California
  • Kent Benson, Swirl Wine School, Minnesota

About The Center for Wine Origins

The Center for Wine Origins was established in 2005 to promote the importance of location and better protect geographic names in the U.S. market. The Center is headquartered in Washington, DC and is involved in a wide array of activities aimed at educating consumers, policymakers and the media about the importance of wine origins and providing better resources for consumers to make informed choices. The wine-making regions involved in the campaign are regulated by the European System of Appellations, designed to ensure authenticity and quality for consumers.

Center for Wine Origins Celebrates the Addition of Four New Ambassadors to National Program

Jul 7, 2011
Posted in Media Center, News Releases, Spotlight

(Washington, D.C.) – In a continued effort to educate American consumers on the importance of wine name protection, the Center for Wine Origins is pleased to announce the addition of four members to its Ambassador Program. Established in June 2010, the Ambassador Program spans across ten US cities and boasts some of the leading sommeliers, beverage directors, wine experts and consultants in the industry. Our newest ambassadors have already begun planning and executing media and consumer focused events to educate individuals about the Champagne region and the Douro Valley, two unique wine regions which are often misrepresented here in the United States.

“Our ambassadors have become an important part to the success of our U.S. campaign,” remarked Sam Heitner, Director of the Center for Wine Origins. “We are excited about the diverse range of talent and interests our new ambassadors bring to the team. Our ambassadors have been extremely successful in educating U.S. consumers about the importance of protecting wine name place names.”

Joining existing Ambassadors Robert Smith (Las Vegas), Bonnie Graves (Southern California), Alicia Towns Franken (Boston) and Christie Default (San Diego) are:

  • Brian Freedman (Philadelphia) Food and wine writer, wine educator and food and wine consultant in Philadelphia. He is a contributing writer for John Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet, Philadelphia Where magazine,  Affluent magazine, Sommelier India,  and wine specialist and resident blogger at and for Wine Chateau, one of the largest online wine retailers in the world.
  • Suzanne McGrath (Washington D.C.) Proprietor of the Curious Grape, a specialty food and wine shop located in Arlington, VA. Suzanne has held countless wine seminars and tastings which are lauded by Washingtonian magazine and The Washington Post.
  • May Matta-Aliah (New York) Wine educator, and President of In the Grape, an organization dedicated to making wine and spirits education accessible to everyone from the curious appreciator to the wine trade professional.
  • Lyn Farmer (South Florida) Widely published and James Beard Foundation Award-winning writer on wine and food. As Senior Editor of The Wine News magazine Lyn writes extensively on the world’s major wine regions with a special emphasis on Champagne and Port.

The Ambassadors will continue to host programs in their cities to educate consumers, restaurateurs and retailers about the importance of location and correctly recognizing wines from designated regions.  They will host wine seminars and dinners at restaurants, conduct tastings at retail stores and hold comparative Port and Champagne tastings sponsored by the Center for Wine Origins.

Center for Wine Origins to Host the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival

wine food festival san diego bay vintage banner

Save the date for the 2011 San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival coming November 16-20, 2011! The Center for Wine Origins is a gold sponsor this year so join us and 9,000 tastemakers including legendary winemakers, celebrity chefs and others with great taste (just like you!). You won’t want to miss the four-day wine and food extravaganza featuring 170 world-class wineries and & producers, 70 of San Diego’s award-winning fine dining restaurants,, gourmet foods, celebrity chefs, wine dinners, cooking classes, wine tasting classes, live and silent auctions, personalities, wine tastings, and unlimited food samples! CLICK HERE for more details and let us know if you plan to be in San Diego!

2009 Vintage Port: A Tale of Two Shippers – The Wall Street Journal

May 20, 2011
Posted in Media Center, News Coverage, News Releases

The English have always appreciated the charms of vintage port. As I wrote in February it was two young wine merchants from Liverpool who accidentally discovered a beverage high in alcohol and sweetness while exporting wines from the northern Portuguese city of Lamego.

Like fine red Bordeaux or vintage Champagne, these are hand-made wines, crafted on the steep-sided slopes of the Douro, that in terms of longevity are unrivalled. Given their quality and the resources that go into making them they are not prohibitively expensive either.


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