Les is the National Sales Manager for one of the USA’s most important wineries, Terre Rouge/Easton. He is incredibly knowledgeable on every aspect of this historic winery’s vineyards and winemaking techniques. He will share his love of these incredible and highly rated wines!
TERRE ROUGE and EASTON Wines is in California on the West Slope of the Sierra Nevada in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley. It is an artisan winery established in 1986 by winemaker Bill Easton and Jane O’Riordan. The non-Rhone varietals are under Bill’s family name, Easton, and are crafted from varietals that have traditionally worked the best in Amador County and the Sierra Foothills: ancient and old-vine Zinfandel, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc. TERRE ROUGE means “Red Earth”. This vermillion-colored soil is one of the hallmarks of our region. The Terre Rouge vineyards are in soils that are largely granite and volcanic-based. The TERRE ROUGE portfolio is composed of wines made from Rhône varietals grown in the rugged and varying terroirs of this region: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne. High elevation sites up to 3200’ contribute to the complexity of the wines. All wines are sustainably produced. Under the two labels, they make over thirty different wines, many of which are small production (100 – 500cs). They are all unique and site specific, with a sense of place all their own. In 2016 The Rhone Rangers gave Bill Easton their 4th ever lifetime achievement award to recognize the significant contributions made by an individual to the American Rhône wine movement.
Mike Murray – Roche Mere Selections
Kansas and Loire Valley
Roche Mere Selections is a premier source for fine French wines. The folks at Roche Mere have put many miles on the road in France, visiting wineries and vineyards to create trade relationships with the high quality, small family producers that would otherwise never make it to the US market.
Mike was born and raised in Kansas and exposed to food (and wine) at a fairly early age by his Italian grandparents. Sunday mornings were spent making pasta, gnocchi, etc for ‘Sunday Supper’. After college, Mike soon realized his true passion was the world of wine. In 2008 he helped form a wine division for a big beer distributor by hand-selecting some the best domestic wineries and import portfolios. After 6 years he decided to make the jump to the supplier side and went to work as a regional sales manager for a small import company on the East Coast, and spent the next few years developing territories in the Midwest and West Coast. Mike joined Roche-Mere Wine Selections as a partner in 2017 and is excited to help shape the next chapter of the company.
Sotiris Bafitis – Verity Wine Partners
New York City
Sotiris Bafitis will be showing a selection of incredible, well made and delicious wines from his home country, Greece. He is a veteran of over 20 years in the wine/food industry and currently is the national brand/sales manager for Verity wine Partners. He was born in Washington DC and raised in a small village outside Patra Greece, where he lived for the majority of his childhood into his late teenage years. It is during this stage in his life where he was exposed to the vast culinary treasures of Greece.
Returning to the US he attended University of Maryland College Park and started to work in the DC restaurant scene where he was exposed to other gastronomies of the world. It is here where he was drawn into fine wine. Since these early years Sotiris has worked in every aspect of the food and wine world. Through these experiences, he started to get a clear understanding of what his calling was, and while working in the US embassy in Athens Greece he decided to make the career change in order follow his true passion of becoming an importer of wines. Combining his love for Greece, his passion for wine, and his understanding of the US market he started to import Greek wines. His goal was to change the stereotypical ethnic image of Greek wines and help them get the recognition they so rightfully deserved. Over the years Sotiris has managed to break many barriers and taboos that Greek wines were known for, and place them in top retailers and restaurants across the US.
Louis Cinelli – McLean Wine Outlet
The McLean Wine Outlet was founded in 2002 with the goal of making it easy to find the perfect bottle for any occasion. There are so many options in the world of wine and food that it often becomes a chore to sort through all the various selections that are on the shelves of large retail operations and chain stores. Many people merely fall back on the common wine “brands” when faced with these vast confusing caverns of wine and food. At The McLean Wine Outlet, Louis Cinelli and his staff believe that it is important to sort out the fodder, be well connected to the best producers, and focus on products with great value.
Gray Mosby – Salveto Distributing
Tysons Rotary Member Gray Mosby is a leading local wine distributor and importer with many years of experience in the wine industry. He got his start with Sutton Place Gourmet (now Balducci’s) and moved on to distribution where he now is the Owner of of Salveto Distributing. Salveto focuses on small, family owned vineyards and wineries. As the son of a successful winemaker and vineyard owner, he knows wine – from the vine to the bottle.