Bartholomew Broadbent is the owner of Broadbent Selections, one of America’s finest wine importing and national wine distribution companies. He produces Broadbent Vinho Verde, Port and Madeira. He is ranked 48th on IntoWine’s list of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the U.S. Wine Industry". In June 1997, Decanter magazine named Bartholomew one of the “fifty most influential in the wine world…the faces to watch in the new millennium”. Bartholomew moved to America in 1985 to start a Port importing company for leading Port brands, spending the next ten years educating Americans on Port and Madeira. In 1988, Bartholomew was responsible for reintroducing Madeira to the US, which had faced extinction during and since Prohibition. He has expanded from his pivotal role in the breathtaking growth of Port and Madeira to “exert a profound influence on the US wine market” says Decanter. Profiled by Wine Spectator , Market Watch “The Pioneer of Port” , American Fine Wine Magazine  and Forbes.com , son of Michael Broadbent MW, Bartholomew was also named by Wine&Spirits  as one of ten in the world to be “driving the most revolutionary changes in wine”. Bartholomew founded Broadbent Selections in 1996 to continue promoting Port and Madeira and, today, among the 39 wineries he represents, Broadbent is especially known for importing the finest of the finest wines from South Africa, Lebanon, New Zealand and Portugal. Bartholomew has been a wine speaker for most of the major cruise lines and wine festivals. He lives in Richmond, Virginia and has a very strong passion for Virginia’s wineries. Bartholomew can be followed on Twitter, Facebook and at www.broadbent.com
Bill Curtis is one of the most experienced wine tasters in the industry, with a career that started in the late 60s. In 1981, Curtis started the Wine Club of Charlottesville which has met continuously for more than 30 years. He has judged at numerous wine competitions, and tastes nearly 100 wines each week for his wine program.
George C. Davis graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1975, and immediately put that degree to work as the Manager of Fine Wine and Gourmet at Bacchus & Bread in Richmond VA. Davis has been the Senior Judge for the Virginia State Fair Wine Competition since 1999. George C. Davis is a Certified Wine Specialist from the Society of Wine Educators.
Maria E. Denton, CSS CSW CWE, works as a Field Sales Manager and Certified Training Coach with Breakthru Beverage in Washington, DC. She brings over 25 years of experience to this role, having started her wines and spirits career in the restaurant industry in 1989. Along with her husband, David, Maria has been trusted as lead event sommelier in several international conferences such WineFuture 2009 & 2011, Vinoble 2010, and each Society of Wine Educators Annual Conference from 2007 to 2015. She served on the Society of Wine Educators Board of Directors from 2008 to 2014, teaches classes on wines and spirits, and mentors DC-area sommeliers on the art of deductive tasting, a crucial part of most beverage certifications.
Michael Franz is a wine writer, educator and consultant. He is editor of Wine Review Online as well as Sommelier magazine. Franz worked as the regular wine columnist for The Washington Post from 1994 through 2005 before leaving to help found Wine Review Online. Franz tastes approximately 9,000 wines each year and regularly judges wine competitions around the world.
Caroline Hermann is a highly respected wine lecturer, having taught wine industry professionals since 2010 at the Capital Wine School in Washington DC. She has worked in many aspects of the industry, including wineries and retail sales. She has studied viticulture, winemaking, and tasting analysis at the University of Bordeaux and Plumpton College, and is a recipient of the AXA Millesimes Scholarship. Caroline holds a Diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, and is in the final stage of completing the Master of Wine certification.
Gus Kalaris is the founder and owner of Constantine Wines, Inc a thirty year old wine distribution and import company that has enjoyed a great reputation for premium offerings. Gus is responsible for all purchasing, sales and marketing. Under his leadership, Constantine Wines has enjoyed decades of uninterrupted growth. Kalaris also has extensive experience building wine brands that compete in all ranges. Prior to starting Constantine, he held consulting positions with Mar-Salle Imports and Washington Wholesalers. Gus is a very outgoing and seasoned professional. In addition to his ownership responsibilities at Constantine, Kalaris founded AXIOS, super premium Napa Valley wine brand in 1999 to much acclaim. The success of Axios has spawned the WORTHY, TRUTH, and KALARIS FAMILY brands. Gus, a Greek American, born in Washington, DC is fluent in the Greek language and dedicated to his heritage. Kalaris has received numerous awards and national recognition for his charitable endeavors and serves on many charitable and philanthropic boards including Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Cal Ripken Sr Foundation. His proudest achievement is the raising of his family. He, his wife and their two children reside in Maryland.
Those familiar with Brent and his approachable, sophisticated style, obvious passion and knowledge of wine, will recognize his influence at Maxwell, where he works as a full-time employee.
Prior to opening his Shaw DC wine bar, Kroll designed the wine program of the newly re-opened Iron Gate, a historic landmark that was once the longest operating restaurant in D.C. In 2015, Iron Gate was awarded Wine Program of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and Top Wine Program in the D.C. region by DC Modern Luxury, as well as being recognized as one of the Best Wine Restaurants in America by Wine Enthusiast. Kroll also wrote the wine list for other local restaurants such as Hazel and the Partisan.
Kroll brings a depth of knowledge and restaurant experience to his current position. Before coming on the scene in D.C., Kroll worked with Michael Mina Group at Saltwater at the MGM Grand in Detroit, the Fairmont Turnberry Country Club in Miami, and Casa Tua in South Beach. Kroll arrived in the nation’s capital in 2008 and quickly made a name for himself with renowned restaurateur Ashok Bajaj. Kroll oversaw the wine program at Ardeo/Bardeo and later at the Oval Room, where he also created the cocktail menu. In 2010, Kroll accepted the position of wine director at Adour by Alain Ducasse at The St. Regis Hotel. Prior to opening Maxwell, Kroll accepted the position of GM at Proof to prepare himself for running his own bar.
Brent has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Washingtonian, The Washington Post, Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, and more. In 2014, he was named a Rising Star by StarChefs.com.
Richard Leahy is a wine professional based in Charlottesville, Virginia and coordinates the conference program for the Eastern Winery Exposition, the largest wine industry trade show east of the Rockies. He has been writing about wines of Virginia and the East since1986, and in May 2012 his book Beyond Jefferson’s Vines was published to high praise from reviewers. Due to the many changes on the Virginia wine scene, he published a second, expanded edition in 2014. In 2007 he organized the Virginia Wine Experience in London which brought the top 64 Virginia wines there for leading British wine media and trade to taste. He was a regional editor for Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide, and was Mid-Atlantic and Southern Editor for the Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America. He is a member of the American Wine Society and the Circle of Wine Writers, and also has a website and blog focused on wines of the East at www.richardleahy.com.
Dave McIntyre has been The Washington Post's weekly wine columnist since October 2008. His writings have also appeared in Wine Enthusiast, the San Francisco Chronicle, Sommelier Journal, Vineyard & Winery Management, Wines & Vines, Washingtonian, Flavor and other publications. Meininger's Wine Business International magazine listed him as one of the most influential wine writers in the United States in its July 2012 issue. In August 2013, he achieved the Certified Sommelier rank in the Court of Master Sommeliers. Dave started his award-winning blog, Dave McIntyre's WineLine, as an email newsletter in 1999. He is co-creator of Drink Local Wine, an organization that highlights the growth of local wine industries around the United States. He was honored by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association in 2010 for his support of the regional wine industry. Dave has participated in and moderated wine presentations for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, and contributed to the museum's new exhibit, "Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000." His charitable work supports the American Heart Association and So Others Might Eat, an organization that helps feed the homeless.
Ray O’Mara is a hospitality and wine professional, with over 35 years of experience.
A long standing member and supporter of the Society of Wine Educators and the French Wine Society, Ray holds the accreditation of “Certified Wine Educator” and “French Wine Scholar”. He has judged in numberous wine competitions across the United States, including the Dallas Morning News International wine competition, the Sonoma County Fair and the Virginia Governor’s Cup.
Ray is currently the treasurer of the Society of Wine Educators and an Instructor at the Capital Wine School in Washington, D.C.
A business economist, author, and retired AF colonel with advanced degrees from and teaching experience at FSU and Harvard with a long-time love of wines during his careers in the private and public sectors. He has judged and worked with the Virginia Governor’s wine competition the past five years, has moderated panels for the Eastern Winery Exposition, and is a senior wine and spirits instructor at the Capital Wine School and for Adventure Wine. He holds the Diploma in Wine and Spirits (DWS) from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and is an Associate Member of the Institute of Wines & Spirits (AIWS). In addition to the WSET Diploma, he has wine teaching certifications from the Society of Wine Educators, Italian Wine Central (Italian Wine Professional), the French Wine Society, Burgundy, Provence, and Spain, and is also a BNIC-Accredited Cognac Educator who presents at Cognac Day for Cognac’s US sister city near Miami and conducts Master-level Cognac seminars at institutions such as the Miami Culinary Institute. He is a co-founder of a Spanish-American wine importing concern and was on the board of Spirits Acquisitions, an incubator company for developing emerging wine and spirits brands; its Clyde May’s whiskey has doubled sales for four consecutive years. He works with marketing and strategic business issues in the wine and spirits industry, and instructs and lectures on wine topics in a variety of venues.
Kasia Tomecka DWS has loved wine since she studied abroad in France, at which point she was exposed to the ""best wines in the world"" according to her host family: French wine! Luckily, she already had some experience in the restaurant world, and upon her return to the states, she continued to grow and develop as a wine enthusiast and wine professional. In the more recent years, she managed a winery in the developing wine region of Virginia, worked as a Sommelier of a high end resort, and continued to spend her free time learning about (and teaching about) wine through the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) at the Capital Wine School. She is a WSET Certified Educator and a Diploma (Level 4) Graduate.
"I love wine, love learning about wine, and love teaching people why wine is worth loving!"
Douglas Zerbst is the Director of Fine Wine for Republic National Distributing Co. of Virginia. He has many years of experience in restaurants, kitchens and hotels as a chef, food and beverage manager and sommelier.
David is the only American faculty member of the Wine Academy of Spain in Madrid and is a sommelier at Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington, DC. He holds all three certifications from the Society of Wine Educators–the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), the Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS), and the Certified Wine Educator (CWE), and holds the Official Sherry Educator title from the Consejo Regulador of Sherry. In addition, David has passed the Advanced Sommelier exam held by the Court of Master Sommeliers and is a Certified Bordeaux Educator through the L’Ecole du Vin Bordeaux. He is the head sommelier for many prestigious events including Robert Parker’s master tasting in Logrono, Spain; Staglin Family Vineyards’ annual Music Festival in Napa Valley; the Society of Wine Educators’ annual conferences in Monterey, CA, Washington, DC, New Orleans, LA, and Sacramento, CA; and the Vinoble Fortified and Dessert Wine Festival in Jerez, Spain; among others. He resides in Arlington, VA, with his wife Maria.
Molly Finnegan joined Ole Imports as Mid-Atlantic Key Account Manager in January of 2018. Molly came to Ole from MundoVino, a member of The Winebow Group, where she worked for more than thirteen years. As MundoVino's U.S. Iberian Portfolio Sales Manager, she was responsible for building 29 brands with 225 SKUs. For the past three years, she has overseen the U.S. market working with integrated and external distributor networks, producers and public relations functions to ensure sales goals are obtained. Earlier, while serving as a sales rep in Washington, D.C. for Winebow, Molly was named the organization’s Sales Person of Year three times.
Prior to moving to Washington, Molly resided in Northern California where she spent three years at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in Napa as assistant manager for its visitor center. In this role, she managed and trained visitor center representatives to share the winery’s history, provide first-class accommodation, identify customer’s ideal wine, and give a comprehensive explanation of the winemaking process. Following her time at Stag's Leap, she made to transition to sales at Alexia Moore Wine Marketing, where she brokered several California and New Zealand Properties. Before moving to Napa, Molly began her career in the wine industry at Jefferson Vineyards in Charlottesville, VA.
Molly attained first level certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, earned the Wine & Spirits Education Trust Advanced Certificate, and received Certification as a Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators. She earned a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia and an A.S. in Wine Sales and Marketing from Napa Valley College. A native of Baltimore, Molly lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Chris, and 2 year-old son, Charlie.
Just some of the roles Steven Spurrier has taken on and excelled at over his wine career have been those of critic, journalist, buyer, entrepreneur, wine guide, vintner, visionary, mentor, restaurateur, author, educator, judge, communicator and consultant.
After school at Rugby and university at the London School of Economics, he joined Christopher’s in St James’s in 1964, then the poshest of London carriage-trade merchants. Soon afterwards he did the Grand Tour of Europe’s vineyards. He worked a vintage in Burgundy and spent another six months in Bordeaux, the Rhône, Alsace, Champagne, Germany and Spain.
It was in the 1970s that Spurrier first came to fame as a wine merchant in Paris, with his store Les Caves de la Madeleine. Later he would start the first consumer wine school of its kind, L’Académie du Vin. He is currently the President of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and was just named 2017 Decanter Man of the Year.
Neal Wavra is proprietor of Field & Main Restaurant in Marshall, VA. He also provides consulting services, creates customized wine and food events and presents about hospitality, wine and food through his company FABLE Hospitality. Wavra was the host and sommelier at The Riverstead, a sixteen-seat restaurant located in Chilhowie, Virginia run by Michelin starred chefs John Shields and Karen Urie. Wavra was the former General Manager and Sommelier for The Ashby Inn & Restaurant in Paris, VA. In addition, Wavra is the present director for the Loudoun County Wine Competition. He participates as a final round judge for the Virginia Governor’s Cup competition.
Prior to working in Virginia, Wavra was the Dining Room Manager at Charlie Trotters in Chicago and the Dining Room and Farmstead Manager at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN. He holds degrees from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington; the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California; and the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Wavra is the recipient of the Commanderie de Bordeaux Wine Scholarship and the Kopf Foundation Wine Excellence Scholarship.