Meet Our People

These are the people teaching you about wine. It’s a world-class team of winemakers, chefs, sommeliers, restaurateurs, retailers, educators, vineyard managers, winery owners, journalists, and others who have a specific expertise that helps you better understand and enjoy wine.

Wine Industry Insiders

Wine Industry Insiders

Nick Poletto

Wine Educator

Wine Industry Insiders

Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta

Tenuta San Guido

Wine Industry Insiders

Vitalie Taittinger

Champagne Expert

Wine Industry Insiders

Guillaume Large

Winemaker

Missi Holle

Missi Holle

Wine Educator

Wine Industry Insiders

Katie Madigan

Winemaker

Wine Industry Insiders

Olivier Humbrecht MW

Winemaker

Wine Industry Insiders

Molly Hill

Winemaker

Wine Industry Insiders

Emilia Nardi

Brunello Expert

Wine Industry Insiders

Henry Sidel

Sake Samurai

Wine Industry Insiders

Zak Miller

Winemaker

Wine Industry Insiders

Jake Terrell

Sustainability Expert

Wine Industry Insiders

Chris Louton

Winemaker

picture of Wine365 contributor Kurt Eckert, French wine specialist

Kurt Eckert

French Wine Expert

Jordan Ross, contributor on Wine365

Jordan Ross

Wine Expert

Wine Industry Insiders

Bernie Sun

Sommelier

Wine Industry Insiders

Ron Breitstein

Wine Expert

Nick Poletto

Wine Educator

Nick Poletto, DipWSET,CSS,CSW has an extensive wine background that began in 2002 and includes studying abroad in both Italy and Argentina, working a harvest season at a winery in Martinborough, New Zealand, and teaching the WSET at Johnson and Wales University. Currently the Director of Wine and Spirit Education for Kobrand Corporation, Nick is a “practical only” MW student, meaning he has passed the theory portion of the Master of Wine exam.

Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta

Tenuta San Guido

Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta is co-owner of Tenuta San Guido, the Tuscan winery in Bolgheri famous for Super Tuscan wines Sassicaia and Guidalberto, and is an ambassador for her family business in Italy and abroad. Alongside her father Nicolò, she has devoted her energy to further developing and promoting the wines of Tenuta San Guido’s portfolio and maintaining their tradition of innovation and excellence.

Vitalie Taittinger

Champagne Expert

Vitalie Taittinger is the CEO of Champagne Taittinger, the world-renowned sparkling wine producer from Reims that bears her name. She has a background in design and worked in the gastronomy sector earlier in her career. Vitalie is passionate about using her skills to transform Taittinger’s brand image into one that has a cohesive visual identity.

Guillaume Large

Winemaker

Guillaume Large was born in the heart of the Pouilly Fuissé appellation in 1982. Growing up his grandfather, who was a grower, shared with him his passion for vineyards and wine. Guillaume graduated with an Oenologist’s National Diploma from the Jules Guyot Institute of Dijon. In 2011, Guillaume joined Maison Louis Jadot and became the Assistant Technical Director. In August 2017, he moved to Oregon and joined Résonance as Winemaker, working under the advisement of Jacques Lardière.

Missi Holle

Wine Educator

Missi has 20+ years of experience in the wine/spirits industry from both wholesaler and supplier positions. She is a Certified Wine Educator (CWE), and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS), obtained through The Society of Wine Educators (SWE), and currently serves as President of their Board of Directors.  She has achieved Advanced Level wine certification through the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and has trained through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She is very passionate about teaching and strives to make wine and spirits education easy to understand and, most importantly, fun!

Katie Madigan

Winemaker

Katie Madigan is a winemaker for St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, where she has worked for the past 15 years. Her interest in winemaking grew from her attraction towards science and her passion for creativity. She is responsible for the production of three of St. Francis’ top wines: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and “Old Vines” Zinfandel. Katie has also received substantial recognition for her work: she was awarded “Best Woman Winemaker” by the International Women’s Wine Competition in 2015.

Olivier Humbrecht MW

Winemaker

Olivier Humbrecht is the General Manager and winemaker for Domaine Zind-Humbrecht. Olivier maintains a reputation for being one of the most educated winemakers in the world: he holds degrees from the Ecole Supérieure d’Agriculture de Purpan and Université d’Oenologie de Toulouse in Agriculture and Oenology. He is only the second winemaker in the world to achieve the title of “Master of Wine.”

Molly Hill

Winemaker

Molly Hill is responsible for all winemaking and production for Sequoia Grove Winery. She has experience in crafting wines from all over the world, working at Domaine Carneros and Sea Smoke Cellars in California and later transitioning to Viña Isidro in Chile. Molly’s expertise is in creating rich Cabernet Sauvignons and vibrant Chardonnays.

Emilia Nardi

Brunello Expert

Emilia Nardi is the owner of Tenute Silvio Nardi, a Brunello producer from Montalcino, Italy. She took control of the family business at 30 and holds an executive MBA. Emilia has also made an effort to incorporate forward-thinking scientific practices into her wines, and for this reason, Tenute Silvio Nardi maintains close working relationships with enology universities in Bordeaux and Florence.

Henry Sidel

Sake Samurai

Henry Sidel is the Founder and General Manager of Joto Sake, the sake division of Kobrand Wine and Spirits. Henry started Joto Sake LLC in 2005 with the vision of creating the most selective and respected sake importing company in the U.S. Joto means “highest quality” and this was the guiding principle for Henry and his team. Before starting Joto Sake, Henry held management roles at Belvedere Vodka/Moet Hennessy, Brooklyn Brewery, and Ciao Bella Gelato.

Zak Miller

Winemaker

Zak Miller works as a winemaker for Domaine Carneros, Champagne Taittinger’s sparkling wine house in the U.S. He began his career as a forestry scientist before transitioning into winemaking at Saintsbury Vineyards in Napa. Inquisitive by nature, Zak has traveled to Europe and New Zealand to fine-tune his abilities. Zak is known for his dedication to crafting complex and delicious Pinot Noirs.

Jake Terrell

Sustainability Expert

Jake Terrell is the Director of Vineyards for St. Francis Winery and Vineyards. He has an extensive background in agricultural management, spending time at both E. & J. Gallo Winery and Justin Vineyards & Winery before coming to St. Francis. Jake’s commitment to sustainability and green winemaking is evident in St. Francis’ viticultural practices, which include maintaining a 457-kilowatt solar panel system and ensuring that the majority of its bottles are comprised of at least 50% recycled material.

Chris Louton

Winemaker

Chris Louton is a winemaker for St. Francis Winery & Vineyards. He studied biology and enology at UC Davis, then put his education into practice while working at Schramsberg Vineyards in Calistoga and Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena. At St. Francis, Chris supervises the production of Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and other varietals from Bordeaux.

Kurt Eckert

French Wine Expert

Kurt Eckert has worked as a sommelier in top NYC restaurants, leading the opening team at Jean-Georges and immediately achieving 4-star recognition from the NY Times and 3 stars from the Michelin Guide. In addition to the flagship restaurant, he managed the wine programs at four more NYC restaurants in the group and contributed to still more Jean-Georges projects around the world. While managing these wine programs he created his own boutique label for handcrafted wines, employing classic old-world techniques in the emerging vineyards on the East End of Long Island. After leaving the restaurant scene in 2002 he became US Brand Director for Champagne Krug, and developed an effective strategy for success in the US market for this reference-point, iconic Champagne brand. The next step was as Director of Fine Wines for Frederick Wildman & Sons, with a renewed emphasis upon Burgundy as well as other prestigious French & Italian producers. Eventually in 2009 Marathon Selections was launched with a highly specialized focus upon emerging small domaines in Burgundy. Having built several of these producers to a level where they were ready for larger and more widespread distribution in the US, it became time to move to the next challenge with Kobrand and the venerable Maison Louis Jadot. Here we find the opportunity to work across nearly the entire range of Burgundian terroirs, with viticulture and winemaking skills which are unparalleled. Authenticity and sense of place assume center stage for an on-going conversation about the unique mystery and fascinating diversity within the region, firmly anchored to a centuries-old tradition of quality.

Jordan Ross

Wine Expert

Jordan worked on Wall Street in the early 1980s. To alleviate the suffering from a declining market, he developed an unquenchable interest in wine and, upon leaving the brokerage business in 1985, enrolled at the University of California at Davis School of Enology & Viticulture where he graduated with a degree in Enology in 1989. He complete winemaking internships in Napa, and his academic experience and passion for wine, combined with extensive travels to wine regions throughout Europe and South America, contributed to articles published in Wine Spectator, Wines & Vines, Global Vintage Quarterly, and Practical Winery & Vineyard.

Bernie Sun

Sommelier

Bernie Sun is the Luxury Accounts Manager at Kobrand Corporation. Based in New York, he oversaw the beverage programs for all of Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants globally, from Shanghai to Paris for 10 years. He is the recipient of the 2010 James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Wine Service Award for Restaurant Jean-Georges. His wine knowledge and palate are the result of years of study and work in New York’s top restaurants. Bernie also made wine in Napa, Bergerac, and the Willamette Valley under his III Somms label. He has been quoted and featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits, Beverage Media, GQ, and Food & Wine.

Ron Breitstein

Wine Expert

Ron Breitstein has been in the wine and spirits business in various capacities for more than 25 years. Each week, he explores a different aspect of wine, whether how to best pair it with food or what makes one variety or style best suited for each individual’s taste. Catch him on CBS Chicago.

Food Experts

Mr. Chocolate Chocolatier Jacques Torres

Jacques Torres

Mr. Chocolate

Chiara Carfi, caviar expert

Chiara Carfi

Caviar Expert

Food Experts

Marc Sievers

Cookbook Author

Food Experts

Britny Maureze

Chef

Jacques Torres

Mr. Chocolate

Jacques Torres is the founder of Jacques Torres Chocolate and star of the Netflix cooking show Nailed It! While his expertise is in the area of pastries and desserts, Jacques has also made a concerted effort to demonstrate how wine and confections can go hand in hand. Additionally, Jacques was the driving force behind the establishment of New York City’s first chocolate museum, Choco-Story New York.

Chiara Carfi

Caviar Expert

A native Italian raised between Italy and Central America, Chiara considers herself to be a fortunate citizen of the world. Through fluency in four languages and her strong passion for literature, contemporary art, and travel, she immerses herself in all the opportunities that come her way. Chiara has a professional background in Public Relations and started a consulting business in 2004, offering customized communication strategies to clients in the realms of art, travel, food, and wine. She currently specializes in rare culinary delicacies and luxury lifestyle events.

Marc Sievers

Cookbook Author

Marc Sievers is a cookbook author and entertaining expert who has spent the past decade sharing his expertise for earthy and elegant vegetarian cooking, easy entertaining, and thoughtful but uncomplicated style. No matter the paths taken in his life, the kitchen has always been the one place where he has felt the most comfortable.

Britny Maureze

Chef

Britny Maureze is the Executive Chef for Sequoia Grove Winery. She has a wealth of experience in the culinary industry, holding a degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. Earlier in her career, Britny served as Executive Chef at Signorello Estate in Napa and St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery in Rutherford. Britny is particularly interested in how specific varietals pair with the food they are being served with.

Wine Experts and Journalists

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, the World Wine Guys

Mike and Jeff

The World Wine Guys

Valerie Quintanilla

Valerie Quintanilla

Girl's Gotta Drink!

Sarah Tracey

Sarah Tracey

Sommelier

Astin & Monica

Astin & Monica

The Lunch Break Girls

Giulia Dugo

Giulia Dugo

Travel & Style Expert

Carlos Sarmiento, contributor for Wine365

Carlos Sarmiento

Carlos' Food and Wine

Italian Wine Expert John Fodera

John Fodera

Tuscan Vines

Kristen Knutson

Kristen Knutson

Wine Country Chick

Wanda Mann

Wanda Mann

Wine with Wanda

Wine Experts and Journalists

Marika Vida-Arnold

The Mom Somm

Mike and Jeff

The World Wine Guys

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, also known as the World Wine Guys, are wine, spirits, food, and travel writers, educators, and hosts. They are award winning journalists as well as best-selling and award-winning authors. They have been featured guests on the TODAY Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Better TV, and the CBS, FOX, and NBC networks. They have tasted wines from all around the world, and the most important aspect for them is the feeling of conviviality that surrounds the opening of a bottle of wine.

Valerie Quintanilla

Girl's Gotta Drink!

Valerie Quintanilla is an American expat in Alba, Italy. She designs custom travel / tour programs while moonlighting as a marketing consultant around Europe and North America. Her work has been featured in Wine Enthusiast, Food & Wine Magazine, Open Skies (Emirate Airlines inflight magazine), Italy Magazine, and more. She also writes Italy wine guides for Carpe Travel. Valerie and her toddler, Il ragazzino, are based in the Piedmont region, but she organizes travel and tour programs, specialty events, and destination weddings throughout Italy. In addition to wine and travel, she loves to run, hike, cook, and is desperately trying to find time to read again.

Sarah Tracey

Sommelier

Sarah is a professional sommelier based in Brooklyn who has proudly worked her way up from spit-bucket-emptier to Michelin-starred Wine Director since her very first winery gig in 2011. Certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers, she has taught over 300 wine classes to date. She launched her site The Lush Life in 2014 to deliver fresh lifestyle content featuring wine and cocktails, entertaining how-to’s, and wine news her friends could actually use! She explores wine regions around the world, hosts events & create digital content on behalf of wineries and brands, and produces fun and interactive wine tastings for private groups. Her idea of ‘self-care’ is a solo Beyoncé dance party with a glass of rosé Champagne (try it, you’ll feel better!).

Astin & Monica

The Lunch Break Girls

Astin & Monica met in Los Angeles while working for a women’s apparel designer and became fast friends bonding over lunch breaks. After one of these adventures, they decided to start sharing their love for good food with others, along with a lot of other things they love, too: exploring new cities, new cultures, and of course new cuisine.

Giulia Dugo

Travel & Style Expert

Giulia is a techie by day, and a travel blogger by night. She launched Palm Trees & Pellegrino, her passion project, in 2016. At first Palm Trees & Pellegrino followed her journey as a fashionista in the Tech Industry – think career, blogging, and fashion. Now, it is a collection of stories and travel tips from fellow wanderlusters who love to travel in style.

Carlos Sarmiento

Carlos' Food and Wine

Carlos Sarmiento is an award-winning filmmaker & public relations professional as well as a food & wine aficionado. He first discovered his passion for cooking when he was in his early teens, to the point where he was aspiring to go to culinary arts school and become a chef. Life, however had other plans for him. Carlos ended up studying film-making and pursuing a career in film/TV. After a few years, he made a career change and has since established himself as a seasoned public relations & communications professional. The one constant factor throughout his life’s travels and professional experiences has always been and continues to be his love and appreciation for cultures, cooking, and wine.

John Fodera

Tuscan Vines

John began seriously appreciating wine in 1995 and has been passionate about discovering and exploring it ever since. This passion led to the founding of Tuscan Vines in 2010, a leading authority on Tuscan and Italian wine in the United States. Drawing upon decades of tasting experience including visits to the premier wine regions of Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto, Lazio, Champagne, Alsace, Napa, and Sonoma, John primarily focuses on Italian wine and creating original recipes that honor the Italian culture.

Kristen Knutson

Wine Country Chick

Kristen is a Minnesota-raised, California-based wine lover who can’t live without Cabernet Sauvignon, trips to wine country, and cheese. She’s passionate about sharing her wine adventures, discoveries, and inspirations on a daily basis.

Wanda Mann

Wine with Wanda

Wanda Mann is founder of The Black Dress Traveler and Wine with Wanda. Always on a quest to learn more about wine, in 2015 she earned the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) credential from the Society of Wine Educators and has traveled with her ever-growing collection of little black dresses (and many other colors) to numerous wine regions, including Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, and Argentina. In 2017, Wanda served as a judge at the Napoli Wine Challenge at the Vitigno Italia wine festival in Naples. Also in 2017, Wanda was inducted as a Cavaliere into the il Sovrano e Nobilissimo Ordine dell’Amarone e del Recioto. Wanda’s content was syndicated on The Daily Meal from 2015-2018 and her travel advice has been quoted in the New York Daily News and EBONY Magazine. In 2019, Wanda was inducted as a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. In 2013 Wanda was invited to be a Brand Ambassador for the prestigious Michelin Guides. In January 2013, Wanda was invited to participate as a judge alongside former New York Times restaurant critic Bryan Miller and Chef Suvir Saran at the Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival. In May 2009, Wanda was the first Mistress of Ceremonies for the award-winning Authors & Inns Tour featuring celebrity chefs. Wanda has also provided commentary for ABC News Now on the red carpet fashions worn at the Academy Awards. In 2004, Wanda appeared as a model in an international ad campaign for the World Gold Council. A native New Yorker and Manhattan resident, Wanda enjoys exploring the world of wine in her hometown by attending numerous tastings and classes. As a student, Wanda spent her junior year of high school in Barcelona, Spain with the School Year Abroad program. Her junior year of college was spent in Toledo, Spain studying at the Fundación Ortega y Gassett. She still dreams of living in España for at least 3 months each year. Wanda is a proud graduate of Phillips Academy (Massachusetts) and Pomona College (California) and her taste in wine has improved dramatically since her college days!

Marika Vida-Arnold

The Mom Somm

Marika Vida-Arnold, CSW, Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and the American Sommelier Association and enrolled in the WSET Diploma, has successfully worked in nearly all aspects of the wine business. She started her career in the competitive wine-auction world for the prestigious Sotheby’s and has most recently served as Wine Director of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park. Marika is passionate about enhancing the wine education of consumers and colleagues alike, which has led to the creation of some of the most popular, enjoyable seasonal programs for wine consumers.

Editorial Staff

Wine expert Joe Janish

Joe Janish

Editor-in-Chief

Wine expert Diana Zahuranec

Diana Zahuranec

Managing Editor

Wine expert Elizabeth Gillespie

Elizabeth Gillespie

Executive Editor

Editorial Staff

Jennica Ossi

Writer

Vessie Stoyanova

Vessie Stoyanova

Food Editor

Editorial Staff

Jack Horn

Copy Editor

Editorial Staff

Gabrielle Tapia

Research Strategist and Content Contributor

Editorial Staff

Jillian Lepore

Digital

Joe Janish

Editor-in-Chief

Founder of popular wine blogs Wine Dictator and Wine Weekly and host of Inside Wine Podcast, Joe’s career in the wine industry spans four decades. He is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and holds Level 2 certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET).

Elizabeth Gillespie

Executive Editor

Elizabeth is the Executive Editor for Wine365. She has extensive experience in the wine and spirits industry where she’s been working in Public Relations and Social Media since 2011. Elizabeth is our go-to expert on all things digital and lifestyle.

Vessie Stoyanova

Food Editor

Vesselina Stoyanova attended gastronomy school in Bulgaria before migrating to the United States in the mid-1990s. She has worked in the wine and spirits industry for over 20 years and uses her combined knowledge of wine and food to create extraordinary combinations. Vessie is our go-to expert on perfect pairings providing recipe inspiration and culinary wisdom.

Jack Horn

Copy Editor

Jack works as a copy editor for Wine365. While still a relative novice to the wine industry, over the past year he has been able to interact with some of the most respected winemakers in the world, such as Didier Debono of Alta Vista and Julian Grounds of Craggy Range. Jack has poured wine and provided tasting direction at Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience and James Suckling’s Great Wines of the Andes.

Gabrielle Tapia

Research Strategist and Content Contributor

Gabrielle Tapia comes from a background in marketing and business strategy. She has been an integral part of the market research that has driven this project and developed the framework for Wine365’s content. Gabrielle is a WSET Level 3 and CSW candidate and has a growing knowledge of the wine industry. She continues her role in research analytics as well as providing creative contributions to this website.

Jillian Lepore

Digital

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