Winemaker, Dry Creek Vineyard | Healdsburg, CA
Tim Bell, Winemaker at Dry Creek Vineyard, has worked with a wide range of grape varieties and wine styles over his 25-year career in Napa Valley, Sonoma, and the Central Coast; still wine, sparkling, dessert, even Kosher. Tim graduated with honors in winemaking at University of California, Davis, learning the intricacies of wine chemistry and microbiology that would inform his stylistic choices in creating complex and nuanced blends. Hands-on cellar work at premium California wineries led Bell to the historic Freemark Abbey Winery for 10 years, and later to Kunde Family Estate. He joined Dry Creek Vineyard in 2011 and has elevated the winery’s robust program of award-winning Dry Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Meritage blends, as well as a portfolio of single vineyard selections.
Director of Wine Education, Sales & Marketing, Sigel’s Fine Wines and Great Spirits | Dallas, TX
In a wine career that has spanned over 30 years, Jasper Russo has worked in every tier of the wine trade throughout Texas and Louisiana, ranging from Sommelier (Atlantic Café, San Simeon), Retail (Marty’s Food & Wine, Sigel’s) Wholesale (Tarrant Distributors, Sigel’s) and Importing (Wilson Daniels). Jasper has over 20 years’ experience judging wine events, including The Dallas Morning News Wine Competition and TexSom International Wine Awards. Follow Jasper on Twitter and Facebook as sigelswinebuyer.
Sales Manager, Alcohol, Safeway | Pleasanton, CA
Elsie Wolfe has 27 years’ experience within the Supermarket Industry. She currently manages the strategy and sales for total alcohol—wine, spirits and beer for Safeway Northern California Division, the largest division of Albertson’s Companies. As a California native, Elsie is passionate about leveraging local partnerships and inspired to bring wine history to life in her stores. She has participated in the New York Wine Spectator Experience for the past several years as well as the Women of the Vine Symposium. Prior to her current role, Elsie was the Vice President of Meals & Ingredients for the entire enterprise of Safeway consisting of 8 divisions before the merger with Albertson’s Companies. Elsie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Santa Clara University and an MBA from St. Mary’s College of California. She was recognized in 2014 by Progressive Grocer as one of the Top Women in Grocery.
Master Sommelier and VP of Prestige Accounts, American Wine & Spirits | San Francisco, CA
Frederick L. Dame, Master Sommelier brings an impressive blend of experience, expertise and enthusiasm to the world of wine and cuisine. He is the first American to have served as President of the Court of Master Sommeliers Worldwide and assists restaurateurs and hoteliers in developing their wine programs in his role as Vice-President of Prestige Accounts, American Wine & Spirits of California. He is currently the President of the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation. He holds Honorary Professorships at Purdue University and The University of South Carolina. Dame's ability to transmit his passionate interest in wine make him a natural teacher. One of just seventy-three Americans to have passed the Master Sommelier Examination, Dame was the first to successfully pass all three parts in a single year. This feat and his high score won him the coveted Krug Cup of the British Guild of Sommeliers in 1984. Dame founded the American Branch of The Court of Master Sommeliers in 1986 and has played an active role in the expansion of the Master Sommelier program throughout America since that time. Dame is also an active member of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, serving as the current Vice Conseiller Culinaire of the Monterey Peninsula Bailliage. He has been awarded Officier Commandeur in recognitiion of his 30 year membership with La Chaîne and is the recipient of the Bronze Star of Excellence, awarded for outstanding service by a Bailli.