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Wine Competition Judges

Meet the 2017 Judges!


Nick Boulas, Schenectady, NY CHA/CFBE

Nick Boulas has been making wine for the past 22 years and has several medals from the American Wine Society Amateur Wine Competition, the Amenti del Vino Amateur Wine Competition in Connecticut and most recently a Gold Medal in the Musto Amateur Wine Competition for his 2015 Apple Cyzer. Nick is a 1984 graduate of Niagara University’s prestigious Travel, Tourism and Transportation Program with a BS in Hotel/Restaurant management. He attended wine judging classes through the New York State Wine and Culinary Center and was a judge at the Golden Nose Wine Competition in 2011 and 2012. In 2012 Nick judged on a panel at the Golden Nose, for the number one Riesling in New York State along with Peter Bell from Fox Run Winery. For the last 5 years Nick has been a judge at the Winemaker Magazine Amateur Wine Competition in Burlington, Vermont. This will be his 3 year judging at the Big E Northeast Gold Wine Competition. He grows his own grapes in upstate New York and has assisted Altamont Winery and Vineyards with harvest and tasting events. Nick has spent most of his professional career as a Food and Beverage Director in the hospitality industry and holds the designation of Certified Food and Beverage Executive, Certified Hotel Administrator and most recently Certified Hospitality Trainer through the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Nick is currently employed by BBL Hospitality where, for the last 10 years, he has been the General Manager at the Hilton Garden Inn Albany Medical Center, as well as, lead trainer for the “At Your Service” guest service training program, encompassing 12 hotels and 14 restaurants.

Craig Fleming, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

Craig is a member of the Wine Judges of Canada and past winner of "The Wine Tasting Challenge." Craig shares his passion of wine through the creation and presentation of wine education seminars, including Kosher Wines & he has led several seminars at the "Gourmet Wine & Food Show" in Toronto. Craig has judged amateur and commercial wine competitions in Canada and United States. He has achieved the Advanced Certificate from Wine and Spirit Education Trust, is an amateur winemaker and is the former "Director of Events for the Ontario Wine Society."

Carol Gagliardi, Schenectady, NY

Carol Gagliardi has been assisting her fiancée, Nick Boulas, with making wine for 14 years. She attended wine judging classes through the New York State Wine and Culinary Center. She judged the Golden Nose Wine Competition for two years in a row and judged for the number one Riesling in New York State alongside Peter Bell from Fox Run Winery. Carol also judged for the Wine Maker Magazine amateur wine judging competition for the past five years. Carol has assisted Altamont Winery and Vineyards with harvest and tasting events.

Bob Madill, Geneva, NY

Following a decade in Niagara (Canada) working in vineyards, making and selling wine, Bob Madill became a founding Partner of Sheldrake Point Winery, Finger Lakes, NY in late 1996.He managed the winery as Winegrower and GM for over a decade.

Bob is the Wine Director for Kindred Fare farm-to-table Restaurant, Geneva, NY and the Brand Ambassador for the three Glenora associated wineries – Glenora, Knapp & Chateau LaFayette Reneau.He is responsible for Wine Industry Liaison for the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, is on the Boards of the International Riesling Foundation and the Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes.He is a frequent speaker at industry meetings including the American Wine Society and Society of Wine Educators.

Bob received the New York Wine & Grape Foundation’s prestigious Unity Award in 2009.Being AWS and WSET certified (Level 3) he judges at US and international wine competitions (Alsace, Switzerland, Quebec) and is an AWS Wine Judge instructor.

Bob is a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers (Sept 2016).


Carol Hackett, Frankfort, KY

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 Certified Wine Judge with the American Wine Society. Carole has completed Level 2 of the WSET program with Merit. She is a member of the Society of Wine Educators and enrolled in the Certified Specialist in Wine program.

She enjoys judging amateur and commercial competitions. Her five years of judging experience has taken her through Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri and Texas. Carole enjoys judging county fairs, regional festival events, state fairs, amateur competitions and international competitions. Currently, Carole presides as Chapter Chair of the AWS chapter in Frankfort, KY.


JoAnn DeGaglia, Garnerville, NY

JoAnn is a Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators as well as a Certified Sommelier earning an American and Italian Wine Specialist Degree from the North American Sommelier Assn. She is an Educator and Associate Instructor for the Westchester Wine School in New York and earned her Wine Judge Certification from the American Wine Society. She works part time at two of the Hudson Valleys great wine destinations.Brotherhood Americas Oldest Winery and the Wine Spectators award winning Glenmere Mansion in Chester New York.


Lorraine Hems, Rochester, NY

Lorraine Hems has been involved in retail, wholesale and education within the beverage industry for over 35 years. She’s a lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management in Rochester, NY as well as an instructor at the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua, NY. She also teaches Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses.

Lorraine’s industry certifications include Certified Sommelier with The Court of Master Sommeliers and Certified Wine Educator and Certified Specialist of Spirits through the Society of Wine Educators. She is on the SWE’s Board of Directors too. As a Certified Wine Judge through American Wine Society she also teaches in their judge certification program. Involved with Finger Lakes International Wine Competition since it started in 2000, she served as Head Judge in March 2017. She co-founded a Rochester chapter of Women for WineSense and was recognized nationally with their WWS Lifetime Achievement award in 2012. Lorraine’s “free time”, she enjoys checking different wine regions off her “spit bucket” list by traveling, presenting and judging at wine and spirits competitions in both hemispheres.


Mark Diehl, Kennesaw, GA

Ten years of experience as an amateur winemaker has given Mark an appreciation of the effort and talent it takes to make a great wine and how easily a wine can become flawed. Mark is founder, winemaker and President of Due West Cellars, an award winning amateur winemaking center.He is a member of the American Wine Society, Chairman of the AWS Greater Atlanta Chapter and an AWS Certified Wine Judge. He is a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international wine and food enthusiast group.

Mark is an AWS Certified Wine Judge in 2016. His judging experience includes the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, The Houston Rodeo and International Wine Competition, The Heartland Wine Competition, The TVOS Amateur Wine Competition, The AWS Amateur Wine Experience and other local competitions. He has travelled and researched wine and winemaking in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, California, Italy and France.

Richard Kaish, Buzzards Bay, MA

He is a Certified Wine Judge AWS, that graduated in 2012.Richard got his BBA in Marketing from Baruch College CUNY. He is also a 25 year member of the American Wine Society and a 20 year member of the Society of Wine Educators. He is the Eastern United Sales Executive of ARS Enterprises, which is involved with cleaning and sanitation equipment for wineries, breweries and distilleries. Furthermore, Richard is the artist and owner of Cornucopia Gallery Inc and The Grape Motif Collection specializing in grape and wine related jewelry and accessories.

Wine Competitions: New Jersey Competition 2013, Winemaker Magazine Wine Competition 2014, New York State Fair Wine Competition 2013, 2014 & 2015, American Wine Society Wine Competition 2013, 2014 & 2016.


Sandi Diehl, Kennesaw, GA

Sandi is a member of the American Wine Society (AWS) and is Certified Wine Judge from the AWS Wine Judge Certification Program. She comes from a family of home winemakers, and has experience in amateur winemaking since 2007. Sandi is a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international wine and food enthusiast group. Her judging experience includes the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, the Heartland Wine Competition, the TVOS Amateur Wine Competition, the Houston International Wine Competition, the AWS Amateur Wine Experience and other local competitions. She loves to travel and learn about wine in different regions, and has traveled extensively in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, California, and Georgia where she currently resides.


Jane Murray, Carolina Beach, NC

Jane S. Murray hails from a lifelong journey in agriculture, working as a Research Assistant at Cornell University's Long Island Research and Extension Center, growing and studying several clones and varietals for New York applications. Jane complemented her vineyard work with operations management in Long Island and Finger Lakes tasting rooms, in distribution as Key Account Manager for Southern Wine & Spirits' Wine On-Premise division, Beverage Director at Cornell's Statler Hotel, and currently as a Wine Specialist for Tryon Distributing in North Carolina.


Michael Quinlan, Northampton, MA

Michael's career at Table & Vine began in 1996 when he was hired as a part-time wine associate. Over the course of the past decade, Michael was quickly promoted to full-time sales floor captain, sales manager, wine sales manager and as of January 2008 became the corporate wine sales manager.

Michael is responsible for Table & Vine's wine selection, purchasing and merchandising. He oversees the Table & Vine inventory within the Greenfield, Northampton and Wilbraham Big Y World Class Markets. Michael also works closely with marketing to ensure Table & Vine's image is always creative and unique and that people understand that Table & Vine is a lifestyle destination.

Michael has traveled to many vineyards around the world including Chile, Argentina, Italy, Austria and Canada's Ontario region. He has also traveled extensively in France and Spain having visited every major wine region. Michael believes it is this kind of knowledge and experience that makes Table & Vine stand out above the rest. He also attends countless trade events, wine fairs and wine tastings. Because of his tireless pursuit of knowledge and excellence, Michael personally tastes over 5,000 each year. His ability to identify up-and-coming wine regions, excellent wine values and his exceptional knowledge of the wine industry as a whole has made Table & Vine a unique destination for wine connoisseurs' nation-wide.

Michael always shares his travel experiences with the staff at Table & Vine and loves to pop open a bottle of his newest discoveries and older favorites in order to educate the staff. Michael can honestly boast that the staff at Table & Vine is second to none.

Michael serves as the Chief judge of the Eastern States Exposition Northeast Gold Wine Competition.

Michael's favorite types of wine include Spanish, Red Burgundy and both German and Austrian wines.

David Garaventa, Madison, CT

David Garaventa is a Certified Wine Educator and Restaurant and Service professional with over a decade of experience in the wine industry. David spent ten years as a Senior Core Faculty member at New England Culinary Institute (NECI) in Montpelier, Vermont where he taught a variety of Beverage, Service and Management classes in all of NECI's programs. David was also the lead wine educator for the Dedalus wine group in Burlington, VT, is a contributing author of the texts About Wine and A Master Class cookbook, in addition to holding a Masters in Business Administration from Champlain College, he has an undergraduate degree in Education and Psychology from St. Michael's College in Colchester, VT. In 2004 he was awarded NECI's Teacher of the Year award and is 2010 he received the Cutting Edge award for quality of his instruction and faculty mentoring. David recently relocated to the Connecticut shoreline where he founded Garaventa Wine Consulting - an independent company that provides personalized wine education, private tastings and consulting.



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