Kentucky Wine Competition


2016 KCCWC & Commissioner’s Cup Judges

Glenn Bardgett: From his days of wine study at the University of Hawaii, Glenn has worked in the retail side of the wine business for 30 years, beginning at 905 Stores in St. Louis in the mid-70s.  He co-owned the Wine Cellar for nearly 12 years, and then spent four years supervising the wine program at the Brown Derby Wine Cellar in Town & Country, MO.  In 2001, Glenn made the move to expand his experience by entering the restaurant service area of wine with his move to Annie Gunn’s and Smokehouse Market.

Glenn taught wine appreciation courses at Florissant Valley Community College, and Meramec Community College for over 15 years and as well as the Kemper Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  He has been a member of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board for over 25 years, as well as Marketing Chairman for the Board.  He has been an experienced wine judge in local, national and international competitions for many years.  He is a member of many wine organizations and has written for several publications.  He hosted a weekly wine chat on America Online for eight years.

Glenn has been awarded the designation “Certified Sommelier” by the Court of Master Sommeliers and “Certified Specialist of Wine” by the Society of Wine Educators.  He was one of only 40 in the United States to receive the “Passionate Wine Service Award” from the Trefethen Winery in Napa Valley.  Glenn was a contributor to the Kelly Twins TV series, “Twice Baked” on Charter Communications Network.  Glenn also writes a monthly column,  “Drink This” for Sauce Magazine in St. Louis.  Most recently, he was given the Pioneer Award by the Missouri Grape and Wine Board.  This is the highest honor given by the board.

Glenn was a James Beard Award semi-finalist for the 2011 Wine Service Award. He is also well known for his pants.

Bradley Beam: Bradley Beam has served as the Illinois Enologist since 2006.  As Enologist, he works with the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association to fulfill the educational needs of the Illinois Grape and Wine Industry.  He is the primary education coordinator for the IGGVA Annual Conference, runs the Illinois State Fair Wine Competition, and conducts/coordinates regional workshops to help improve grape and wine quality in Illinois.  He also serves as the winemaking consultant to the entire Illinois wine industry.

He has an educational background in grape production, earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in horticulture, and a graduate degree from Southern Illinois University in viticulture, where his research focused on frost avoidance techniques via dormant vegetable oil application in 1999-2000.

Prior to returning to Illinois in 2006, he served as the research winemaker as part of the University of Minnesota grape breeding project, specifically contributing to the release of ‘Marquette’ during his four years at UMN.  He has also been a part-time commercial winemaker, grape grower, teacher, architect, designer, blogger, web guy, and life coach.

He strongly believes that there is no limit to the potential of grapes and wines in the Midwest, and is committed to helping producers achieve their goal of world-class quality wines in the heart of America.

Renee Saunier Brewer: Wine + Market and Enoteca owner and Lexington native, Renee Saunier Brewer has worked extensively in the wine industry for several years .  Renee graduated from the University of Kentucky where she studied Agricultural Economics and French, and was also involved in Kentucky wine industry marketing research. After graduating, Renee worked briefly at Kentucky winery, Equus Run Vineyards (where she met her husband,Seth) before moving to Paris to begin an intensive masters course in international wine marketing and management with an inter-governmental organization called the O.I.V. Through this program Renee traveled to the world’s leading and emerging wine markets to study their industry structure by visiting private and public industry businesses and taking specialized wine courses in finance, marketing, law, viticulture, enology and sensorial analysis.  To complete her OIV practicum, Renee moved to California to work a harvest at  the Napa winery, Blankiet, under acclaimed winemaker Helen Turley.  At the end of the harvest season Renee took a job at wine marketing firm Balzac. In 2006 Renee moved back home to Kentucky and worked for the boutique wine distribution company Bacchus Wine & Spirits as a central Kentucky sales manager for several years before working at Wine + Market. On November 1st 2011, Renee purchased  Wine + Market and has developed the wine program there offering a great value boutique wine selection, wine club of the month, hosts private wine events, and teaches wine classes.  In July of 2013, Renee and Seth Brewer opened Enoteca – a wine and tapas bar.  The carefully curated beverage list features wines from around the world, as well as craft beers and an extensive bourbon selection . Both businesses are on the corner of Jefferson and Second Streets in downtown Lexington.  Renee is also a Certified Sommelier (CS) and a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW).

Luca Conte: Luca has been a Wine Judge for 15 years. A graduate of the American Wine Society’s Wine Judge Training Program, he has judged in multiple wine events throughout the region, including: The Kentucky State Fair (Commercial and Amateur Competitions), Kentucky Wine & Vine Fest, Indy International Wine Competition, American Wine Society Commercial and Amateur Competitions, Kentucky Derbyfest Wine Competition and the WineMaker Magazine International Wine & Spirits Competition.

In addition to being an award winning Home winemaker, Luca has served as the Chief Judge for the Derbyfest Wine Competition for the past 10 years, and is a Regional Vice President of the American Wine Society.  His interest in wine has taken him to numerous wine regions around the world, where he continues to sample the every diversifying and complex world of wine.

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.

Jason Heiligenberg: Jason has been crafting wines and spirits at Huber Winery for 15 years. His current position of Head Winemaker/Distiller could just as easily be titled Chief Tank Cleaner/Yeast Wrangler. He is blessed, however, to be able to create a diverse portfolio of products and work with many outstanding people.

Any reference to outstanding people would certainly be incomplete without mentioning his loving family. His three children; Nikolaus 16, Caleb 12, and Margaux 9, remind him each day that not all whines are made the same. His patient and caring wife, Christine, just reminds him to bring a bottle to the dinner table.

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.

Lee Payette: Lee has been in the wine and spirits industry since the early 80’s and is the Vice President, Director of Sales and Marketing for Beverage Control Inc., Knoxville, TN.

Lee’s passion for the wine Industry steered his career path towards product distribution and education and he has always stayed true to his early roots growing up in the South focusing working in the southeast for National Distributing Co, the E&J Gallo Winery and Diageo North America.

Beverage Control has proven to be an ideal place work – a company extremely passionate about its suppliers, employees and customers. Knoxville is also the perfect town for Lee to raise his family – two beautiful children: Logan 17, Gabby 15 and Donna, his beautiful, patient, supportive and compassionate wife of 23 years.

This is an outdoors family that thoroughly enjoys attending all UT sporting venues but found the waters of East TN to be just what the doctor ordered…cruising the waterways of Eastern Tennessee couldn’t get any better for this family.

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.