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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.

Sparkling Sweepstake

Paul Ahvenainen
Director of Winemaking
Korbel Champagne Cellars
Guerneville, CA

Paul began his career at Korbel Champagne Cellars in 1985, shortly after his graduation from the University of California at Davis with a degree in Enology, and two years of experience working as a distiller for a subsidiary of French Cognac producer Remy Martin. Having gained extensive experience working in the laboratory, cellar, with grower relations and as winemaker, Paul’s responsibilities have grown tremendously. He was named Director of Winemaking in 2003 and in 2010 added the management of Grower Relations to his responsibilities. He currently serves as Director of Winemaking for Korbel Champagne Cellars as well as its Brandy Master Distiller.

Paul Ahvenainen

White Sweepstake

August Deimel
Winemaker
Keuka Spring Vineyards
Finger Lakes, NY

August Deimel came to winemaking the usual way: accidentally. After taking a job at a wine shop, his passion for wine quickly took him on a whirlwind tour of the wine industry, selling wine for a distributor in Washington, DC and working a harvest for Goldeneye Winery in Philo, CA. He later received his Master’s in Enology at Cornell University and took up the position of winemaker at Adams County Winery in Orrtanna, PA. To develop his skills further, he took up the winemaking duties at Keuka Spring Vineyards where, under the dedicated leadership of the Wiltberger family, he strives to create the benchmark wines for America’s next great wine region.
 

August Deimel

Pink Sweepstake

Mike Scott
Owner and Winemaker
Sorelle Winery
Lodi, CA

Mike began making wine more than 40 years ago as a hobby that later turned into his passion for the art of wine making. In 2007, his family purchased the historical “Dodge Estate”, a 4-acre lot where as a teenager, Mike would drive by everyday. He began planting vines on the property and started to build the Sorelle Winery, meaning “sisters” in Italian, and named it after his two daughters. Prior to finishing the Sorelle winery in 2010, Mike had already captured a Gold Medal for the 2009 Sorelle Sangiovese and a Bronze for the Sorelle Primitivo, a rare feat for newcomers to the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Mike Scott


Red Sweepstake

Bryan Parker
Winemaker
Terlato Family Vineyards
Russian River Valley, CA

Bryan Parker is part of an elite team of winemakers for Terlato Family Vineyards. After earning his B.A. and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at Rutgers and the University of Illinois, respectively, he studied viticulture and enology at UC Davis. Bryan has over 25 years of experience in the industry and has developed from an intern at Hartford Court Winery to a research enologist at Beringer Vineyards. After two years as an assistant winemaker at Pine Ridge Winery, he joined the Terlato Family Vineyards in 2003 where has taken responsibility for the Syrah and Pinot Grigio varietals.

Bryan Parker


Red Sweepstake

Diane Wilson
Executive Director and Winemaker
Wilson Winery
Dry Creek Valley, CA

Diane first started winemaking in 1994, learning the art by hands-on training in Dry Creek Valley, and since then, has shot to the forefront of the Sonoma County wine industry by winning unprecedented back-to-back Sonoma County Harvest Fair Sweepstakes in 2005 and 2006, and then again in 2011. Honored as Woman Winemaker of the Year in 2008 and 2011 at the International Women’s Winemaker Competition, Diane has had a strong track record as an outstanding winemaker, capturing dozens of 90+ scores and over 100 Gold Medals. In addition to being the Executive Director and winemaker for Wilson Winery, she also makes wine for deLorimier, Matrix and Soda Rock wineries.
 

Diane Wilson


Dessert / Specialty Sweepstake

Brooks Painter
Director of Winemaking
Castello di Amorosa
Walnut Creek, CA

Brooks Painter has been a winemaker for over 30 years. He has experience making ultra-premium varietal wines from throughout the many different grape-growing regions of California. After receiving his B.A. degree in Chemistry and Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz, he discovered his passion for wine. In 1995, he became an Assistant Winemaker at Stag Leap Wine Cellars, and was a Winemaking Operations and Technical Manager for the Robert Mondavi Winery. He currently serves as the Director of Winemaking for Castello di Amorosa. Aside from being actively involved in the Napa Valley community, Brooks has been published numerous times and is a member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture.

Brooks Painter

Label Award Winner Sweepstake

Rae Huestis
Owner
Rae Huestis Design
Walnut Creek, CA

Rae Huestis Design is an award winning design studio based in Walnut Creek. With over 20 years of experience in New York and California, Rae’s work has focused on creating distinctive branding and packaging. Recent awards include SF Chronicle’s Label Sweepstakes winner with Brenda Lynch of Mutt Lynch Winery, for two years in a row - 2012 with “Out of Reach” and 2013 with “MBF” (Man’s Best Friend). Other awards include Double Gold at the SF International Wine Competition 2004, for Mutt Lunch Winery’s “Portrait of a Mutt”. Her education includes Honors BFA from York University, Canada and studies at Parsons, the New School for Design, NYC.

Rae Huestis

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