Our seminars are as delicious as educational, and often explore somewhat controversial topics of the day. Our moderators are not only knowledgeable and industry experts, but skilled at keeping our panelists and audience on track and on time!
Burgundy Seminar & Lunch - La Cote D’Or - Vintage Does Make A Difference – Saturday Morning
Donald P. Kinnan, CSS, CWE
After serving 20 years in the US Army, Mr. Kinnan has been active as a retailer, supplier, and educator in the wine industry for the past 35 years. For twenty years, until his retirement in 2011, Kinnan conducted 40 multi-day distributor wine seminars annually. He was recognized by the United States government for his contributions as the founding president of the Society for American Wines in Canada. In 2016, Kinnan was also awarded the Merite Agricole by the French government. He is currently the lead instructor for the Wine Scholar Guild’s Master Burgundy Certificate program, and serves as their Burgundy Specialist. He is also a board member of the Society of Wine Educators and holds that organization’s highest certification, Certified Wine Educator (CWE).
Sparkling Brunch – Saturday Morning
Allyson Gorsuch of SOMM Journal
After years of running wine programs for restaurants, Allyson Gorsuch recently transitioned into publishing as Deputy Editor for The Somm Journal and The Tasting Panel magazines. Hailing originally from St. Louis., Allyson traveled extensively, working in international and domestic markets. Most recently she held the position of Estate Wine Director at The Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. She is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and holds the WSET Level Three. New to Los Angeles, Allyson looks forward to exploring the expansive city, and she is always planning her next trip abroad.
Pinot & Pâté – Saturday Afternoon
Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann is senior editor of The Santa Barbara Independent, where he's covered the emergence of Santa Barbara wine country alongside most every other topic since 1999, and a contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine, reviewing the wines and covering the culture of California's Central and South Coasts. He's also written about wine, food, and other topics for the New York Times (since 2011), Time Magazine (since 2004), Smithsonian (since 2007), Sunset (2006-2012), Wine Spectator (2005-2013), and other magazines. He co-founded the New Noise Santa Barbara Music Conference and Festival in 2009 (which just celebrated its sixth annual event in October), co-wrote a feature-length nature documentary about California condors, and is making four different barrels of his own wine right now.
Maison Louis Latour Seminar
Michael Apstein is a columnist and wine reviewer for WineReviewOnLine.com. As a free-lance writer, he wrote over 300 wine columns for The Boston Globe newspaper. His writing has also appeared in a variety of US and UK publications, including Decanter, The San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Magazine, Wine and Spirits, and The Wine News. He received a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award in 2000 and was nominated again in 2004 and 2006. In 2008, he won the Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne Press Trophy for an article about Pouilly-Fuissé. In 2010, he was nominated for the prestigious Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards in the best drinks journalist category.
Dr. Apstein judges frequently at national and international wine competitions, including the Decanter World Wine Awards (2014, Burgundy Panel), the Left Bank Bordeaux Competition held at Château Lafite Rothschild (2013) and the Coupe des Cru Bourgeois du Médoc held in Bordeaux (2013). In 2012 he was the Chief Judge at the Challenge Millésime Bio (The Organic Wine Competition) held in Montpellier, France. He is a regular judge at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the Critics Challenge Wine Competition, and the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition. He has judged at the LA County Fair, The Riverside (California) International Wine Competition, The Old Ebbitt Grill International Wine for Oysters Competition, and the Concours St. Marc in Châteauneuf du Pape.
He has been a regular guest commentator on Whitley on Wine, a radio show based in San Diego and broadcast nationally. He is a well-respected wine educator who taught at the Boston Center for Adult Education for 20 years. Bon Appetit magazine chose him as one of five instructors nationwide whose “focused classes closely examine a specific wine producing region or wine style.” He has conducted numerous tastings and seminars for organizations, including the Radisson Cruise Line, the Boston Wine Festival, the Nantucket Wine Festival, The Boston Wine Expo, The Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center at Boston University, The Providence Wine Festival, and the Society of Wine Educators.
Dr. Apstein is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He lectures and writes frequently about wine and health.
His wine columns and reviews can be found on ApsteinOnWine.com. He can be followed on Twitter @MichaelApstein.
Christopher Sawyer, Wine Writer and “Sommelier to the Stars”
An internationally-renowned sommelier, wine journalist, wine judge, consultant, and public speaker, Christopher Sawyer travels the world following trends in wine and participating as a judge in international wine competitions, and has been featured in a wide array of national media, including USAToday, MSN, NBC, ABC, CNN, Redbook, Maxim, National Geographic Traveler, Esquire and The Hollywood Reporter.
In 2014, 2015 and 2016, Sawyer was named the Best Sommelier of Sonoma County by Bohemian Magazine, and is the recipient of many more prestigious awards and industry honors. In addition to serving as the Head Sommelier at the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, Sawyer worked as Wine Director for both Flavor! Napa Valley and the Telluride Wine Festival in 2016.
He also writes for a variety of journals including industry magazines; Tasting Panel, Wine Business Monthly, Vineyard & Winery Management; as well as The Clever Root and Napa Sonoma Magazine.
To follow his journeys through the world of wine, visit www.SawyerSomm.com.