Tasting Alley

Eight International Winemakers

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Alexander Zahel

Owner and Winemaker, Zahel

Alexander Zahel is the fourth generation winemaker and general manager of Winery Zahel, located in Vienna, Austria. Since joining his uncle in the business in 2005, Alex has focused his efforts on transitioning the winery toward organic production, a process which will be complete with full certification as of the 2017 vintage. Though his winemaking focus lies firmly in traditional Austrian varietals and the quintessential Viennese field blend, or “Gemischter Satz,” he also draws inspiration from his extensive travels in France and time working on vineyards in Australia and New Zealand.

Brent Shortridge

Owner, Waterstone Wine Group

Brent Shortridge has extensive hands-on experience in virtually every aspect of the wine industry, from the cellar to the boardroom. He got his start with the harvest of 1984, where he worked alongside legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff. In 2000, he co-founded Waterstone in California’s Napa Valley, which he took full ownership of in early 2017. Today, the Waterstone Wine Group produces a portfolio of brands including Waterstone, Mandolin, Z-52 and Estrada Creek; each brand is rooted in appellations of California spanning from the Central Coast to Napa Valley.

Cesare Coda Nunziante

Owner at Colognole

Cesare owns and runs this small winery in the hills north of Florence with his brother and mother, the Contessa Gabriella Spaletti. The family purchased the land in 1892 and is in the fifth generation of making wine. There are just 25 wineries in Rufina, and almost 40% of total production is made by the large Frescobaldi company, which means that the best wines of Rufina are rarely able to be enjoyed by those outside of Italy.

Claudio Fenocchio

Owner and Winemaker at Giacomo Fenocchio

Claudio is the fifth generation in his family to make wine in the Barolo region of Italy. In this region that has modernized and changed its style of wine to suite the American wine market, Claudio is a “radical traditionalist”. He prefers to make Barolo the way his forefathers made it with long slow fermentations and no use of new oak barrels. All of his fermentations are completely natural, without added yeasts or temperature control. He makes wine to last the test of time.

Jared Sattock

Vice-President Sales, North America at Kingston Estate Wines

Wine has always been part of Jared’s DNA, after completing a bachelor of Wine Marketing he ventured to McLaren Vale for several years before joining Hardy’s in a marketing role. Here Jared managed a number of global brands before a calling to sales beckoned and this resulted in relocating to Queensland and then onto Sydney. Now back in Adelaide, Jared joined Kingston in 2015 and is responsible for the key markets of the US and Canada. While not on a plane he spends time at his beach house with his wife and 2 boys enjoying a glass or two of Coonawarra Cabernet.

Leon Karatsalos

Owner, GAIA Wines

Leon is an agronomist by training. While on a skiing holiday, he and fellow skier Yiannis Paraskevopoulos decided to start making wines. Their first wine, Gaia Thalassitis, from the Assyrtiko grape on the island of Santorini, became a landmark label for the Greek winemaking, being one of the first to achieve success on the international stage. Leon and Yiannis built a winery in Koutsi, on the Peloponnese peninsula and another on Santorini. Together, Leon and Yiannis lead the modernization of the Greek wine industry.

Luigi Cappellini

Owner, Castello di Verrazzano

Luigi is owner of the Castello di Verrazzano, a 7th Century castle just south of Florence> The castle was once a fortification in the Tuscan hills and its main claim to fame was being the birthplace of Giovanni da Verrazzano, Giovanni da Verrazzano was the explorer who first discovered New York Bay and drew up the first map of the East Coast of the United States of America. Luigi’s father purchased the castle in 1958, and Luigi has restored it to its former glory. This estate is a fitting place to make Chianti Classico of great distinction.

Victor Boyer

Import Director, DIVA SUD Diva Sud: A beautiful collection of Rhône Valley, Languedoc Roussillon and Provence wines

Founded in 1999 by Bruno Lafon (from Comte Lafon family in Meursault), DIVA Sud offers a large portfolio of family estate wines from the south of France. From top names to the next rising stars all wines are carefully sourced in Rhône, Provence and Languedoc & Roussillon. Freshly arrived in NYC, Victor Boyer (native from Languedoc) is the new North America area business developer, willing to share these great wines.