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American AgCredit Sweepstake Winemaker Award Winners
The American AgCredit Sweepstake Winemaker Award is awarded to the winemaker that
produces a sweepstake wine award at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.


 

click images to enlarge.

Gilles Martin
Head Winemaker
Sparkling Pointe
2000 North Fork of Long Island, Methode Champenoise

Gilles Martin is an accomplished veteran of the wine industry with 20 years experience of winemaking throughout the world. A native of France, Gilles supplemented his education with extensive internships before arriving in the United States, where he continued to hone his skills at a Virginia winery and increased his awareness of the unique challenges facing a winemaker on the east coast. As assistant winemaker at California’s Roederer Estate, his expertise contributed to the Estate’s reputation for the “best sparkling wines ever made outside the Champagne area”. Today, Gilles dedicates himself to all aspects of winemaking and winery management.

Gilles Martin

Reggie Hammond
Winemaker
Ventana Vineyards
2007 Monterey Riesling, Arroyo Seco

For Reggie Hammond, the art of wine is all in the details. With a background in aeronautics, Reggie first contacted Ventana Vineyards in 1996; since 2005, he has been in charge of the winemaking for Ventana’s 400 acre Estate. Skillfully combines his careful attention to detail with his love and appreciation for the winemaking process. He is responsible for some of the most award winning wines in America, including the 2005 Gold Stripe Chardonnay, which was selected as the best Chardonnay in the 2007 Affairs of the Vine “Chardonnay Shootout”.

Reggie Hammond

Jon McPherson / Javier Flores
Master Winemaker / Winemaker
South Coast Winery
2007 California Grenache Rose

At South Coast Winery, winemaking is more than a passion for Master Winemaker Jon McPherson and Winemaker Javier Flores – it’s a team effort. This talented pair has worked closely for nearly 20 years, and possesses 60 years of experience between them. Raised in Lubbock, Texas, Jon was born into the wine industry and grew up planting grapes with his father at Llano Estacado Winery. In 1985, he earned his BS in Food & Technology from Texas Tech University. Javier followed a similar path, also spending his early years assisting his father at LaCetto Winery in Mexico. He completed his education at Tecnologico de Tijuana in 1986, with a degree as a Biochemist Engineer. Each ultimately moved to Southern California to pursue their winemaking careers, and established a long-lasting friendship through a chance encounter in 1990. The duo has been contributing their award-winning dynamic to South Coast Winery since it’s inception in 2003.

Jon McPherson / Javier Flores
 

Hervé Lescombes
President
Southwest Wines
2007 Mimbres Valley, New Mexico, Cabernet Franc (Limited)

With winemaking experience spanning five generations and three continents, Hervé Lescombes was literally born to create award-winning wines. A native of Algeria, Hervé completed his education at Beaune’s Ecole d’Oenologie, after which he and his brother established the Domaine de Perignon Winery near Chablis. Eventually, Hervé found his way to New Mexico after exploring potential vineyard sites around the globe; it was the high desert, endless blue skies, and beautiful terrain that brought his company and award winning wines to fruition. Today Southwest Wines is the largest winery in New Mexico, and located in the oldest wine-producing region in the United States.

Hervé Lescombes

Carl Bowker
Founder / Winemaker
Caliza Winery
2006 Paso Robles Syrah, Russell Family Vineyards

A relative newcomer to the world of winemaking, Carl Bowker has followed a long, steady path towards the creation of special wines. Born and raised in Hawaii, Carl, like many of his peers, was introduced to the industry at a young age as he frequently tagged along with his father, an irrigation specialist, to local farms. This early interest in soils and agriculture reemerged during a trip to Europe in 2001. With the awareness of the critical role that region plays in the development of a world class wine, Carl proceeded to supplement his degree from the University of Hawaii with the completion of Napa Valley College’s Viticulture and Enology associate program. Carl and his wife, Pam, went on to establish Caliza Winery in 2005.

Carl Bowker

Mick Schroeter
Vice President / Winemaker
Geyser Peak Winery
NV California, Tawny Port

With both his father and uncle employed as winemakers at Australian winery Penfolds, it seems it was Mick Schroeter’s destiny to follow a family legacy of winemaking. Originally employed as an enologist at Kaiser Stuhl, his fate was sealed when Penfolds purchased Kaiser Suhl and ultimately sponsored Mick’s winemaking education at the famed Roseworthy College. During a six-month sabbatical and a trip around the world with his wife, Linda, a fateful stop to work harvest in California resulted in an invitation to join Geyser Peak as a winemaker, which he accepted the following year. Since then, Mick’s many achievements have included back-to-back trophies in 1998 and 1999 as Winemaker of the Year, in addition to Geyser Peak Winery’s win as Winery of the Year in 1998 and Best US Wine Producer in 2003 at the London Wine & Spirit Competition.

Mick Schroeter

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