Kentucky Wine Competition


2019 KCCWC & Commissioner’s Cup Judges

Bill Fish: Bill is an American Wine Society Certified Wine Judge and a member of The American Wine Society, Tasters Guild International and the French Broad Vignerons.  In addition to wine exploration and tastings across the United States, Bill lived in Europe for five years and frequently visited the famous vineyards in Germany, France and Italy.

Bill is the Chief Judge for the Asheville (NC) Wine and Food Festival Wine Competitions and the CiderFest NC cider competition.

Bill regularly judges at the annual Tasters Guild International Wine Judging, Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition, Wines of the South and more recently at the North Carolina State Fair Wine Competition, the American Wine Society Annual Wine Competitions and the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.

After a 38 year career with General Motors, Bill is currently the Senior Vice President of Operations for Rinehart Racing in Asheville, NC.  He and his wife Jamie reside in Flat Rock, NC.

Dennis Fraley DipWSET: Dennis is originally from Pittsburgh, PA where he obtained a B.A. in Chemistry from Washington and Jefferson College.  He has resided in Florence, SC for the last 15 years where he works at a local hospital as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

His interest in wine led him to seek further education via the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. He completed his Advanced level in Charleston, SC where he graduated with distinction.  In September, 2015 Dennis successfully completed the WSET Diploma of Wine and Spirits through the Neal Ewing School of Wine in Philadelphia, PA.

Dennis taught wine classes for a local college, performs guided educational tastings, works with chefs performing food and wine pairing events, assists with restaurant wine flight and wine menu development and writes a monthly wine column, “Bottle Talk,” for the Florence Morning News.

Carole Hackett:  The journey of the love of wine takes you to many places and forms wonderful relationships.

With a background in Healthcare, Carole’s undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry has been valuable in her wine studies.  Her interest in wine has led her to seek further education.  Carole is a member of the American Wine Society, a Certified Wine Judge student and is enrolled in Wine Spirits and Education Trust curriculum.  She enjoys judging amateur and commercial competitions with recent opportunities in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Missouri.  Currently, Carole presides as Chapter Chair of the AWS chapter in Frankfort KY.

Kristen Lindelow: Kristen is an American Wine Society (AWS) certified wine judge and has been judging wine competitions across the U.S. for a number of years, including the Denver International Wine Competition, Kentucky CCWC & Commissioner’s Cup, Indy International, Wines of the South, and more.  Kristen is a founding director of Alabama Wine, Inc., a non-profit corporation whose mission is to promote Alabama wines, and has been Chief Judge for Alabama Wine’s annual commercial wine competition since its inception.

She is currently a Regional Vice President for the AWS, a Trustee for the AWS-Educational Foundation, and is owner/educator of Tennessee Valley Wine Academy in North Alabama.  Kristen is also employed by Church Street Wine Shoppe as Wine Educator.  Kristen holds the wine certifications:  Certified Specialist of Wine, French Wine Scholar, California Wine Appellation Specialist, and WSETII.

Kristen continues to pursue her wine education and is presently studying to receive the designations of Bourgogne Master and Italian Wine Specialist.  She and her very supportive husband live in Huntsville, Alabama where they enjoy as many wine dinners with friends as time allows.

Aaron Mandel: Aaron is a wine instructor as well as a long-time student of wine. He is a Certified Wine Judge through the American Wine Society and, in 2012, commenced running that program as its director. Aaron is also currently the Director of Education for the American Wine Society. In 2015, he earned his Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.  In addition to teaching wine judging, Aaron has also taught classes for students interested in earning certificates through WSET, SWE and CMS. He has judged in numerous competitions in the United States and is a regular judge in the International Wine Challenge in the UK. Aaron is a Masters of Wine candidate in Stage 2 of the program.

Dave & Frances Miller: Dave and Frances have been making wine as a team since the late 90’s while obtaining specialized training in the field of wine evaluation from the University of Louisville and Bellarmine University as well as attending the Heartland Wine School for Commercial Winemakers. Much experience was obtained visiting wineries throughout the U.S.

The Millers have been the superintendents of the Kentucky State Fair amateur wine competition since 2010 after being judges prior to this time. They were also in the same role at the Kentucky Wine and Vine Amateur Competition since its inception in 2004. Dave and Frances have judged commercial wines at the Kentucky Derby Festival from its beginning.

Rachel Peake: Owner, Capital Cellars Wine and Spirits Cafe Market in Frankfort, Kentucky, Certified Wine Judge, Former Wine Chemist and Regional Sales Manager for a wine import company.

Jaime Zapata: Jaime is an American Wine Society (AWS) certified wine judge and a certified Italian Wine Specialist and California Wine Appellation Specials.  Several of his wine judging experiences include the Kentucky Heartland Wine Competition, Alabama Commercial Wine Competition, Alabama Wineries and Grape Growers Association’s Amateur Wine Competition and Tennessee Viticultural and Oenological Society Amateur Competitions.  Early this year he had the opportunity to judged at the Indianapolis International Commercial Wine Competition as a judge in training.  Jaime is passionate about living a rich wine tasting experiences and his interest in boutique wines has taken him through wineries in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee, Virginia, Italy, Malta and Spain.

Currently, Jaime is the Program Director for the North Alabama AWS chapter and member of the Downtown Huntsville AWS Chapter and the Friends of Spanish Wines Club  Wine

Jaime is a native of Puerto Rico working for the Army as an Air Defense Testing Engineer and is a resident of Madison, Alabama since 1987.