Written By: Rachel Voorhees, Director of Wine Education
For the past four years, we have been the proud sponsors of the Guild of Sommeliers Top|Somm competition. The Top|Somm and TopNewSomm are competitions for wine service professionals administered under the framework of the Guild of Sommeliers. Each competition affords wine service professionals the opportunity to fine-tune their skills and compete for the title of Top|Somm (open to competitors 30 years of age and older) and TopNewSomm (open to competitors 21-29 years of age). These competitions recognize excellence and encourage mastery of wine and spirit knowledge and service.
The important role of wine education and service is something we here at Rodney Strong recognize and support in our efforts to bring fine Sonoma County wine across the country. We are pleased to sponsor Top|Somm and together with our sponsorship of the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sommelier Stars program, and our support of the Alexander Valley Cabernet Academy, we continue to invest in wine education because we believe it truly benefits our industry and ultimately people who enjoy fine food and wine.
This year, the competition took place in Sonoma County April 23 through the 25. We started the three days with a welcome dinner prepared by our winery chef, Tara Wachtel, on our Terrace. The competitors competed in the competition on Sunday, April 24th at the Hilton in Santa Rosa. We then celebrated the success of all the competitors with an awards dinner at Franchetti’s. On Monday, we did an educational vertical tasting up at our Rockaway Vineyard.
Congratulations to Allegra Angelo from San Francisco on her big Top|Somm win and to Vincent
Morrow, also from San Francisco, on his big TopNewSomm win!!!
Congratulations to this year’s Top|Somm and TopNewSomm competitors!
Martin Sheehan-Stross (Michael Mina, San Francisco, CA )
James Bube (Heritage Wine Cellars, Niles, IL )
Mia Van de Water (North End Grill, New York, NY)
Scott Ota (Arro Restaurant, Austin, TX)
Lauren Daddona (L’Espalier in Boston, MA)
Jackson Rohrbaugh (Canlis, Seattle, WA)
Allegra Angelo (Mercer Restaurant Group, San Francisco, CA)
Ryan Brazell (Proof Wine and Spirits, Durham, NC)
Vincent Morrow (Benu, San Francisco, CA)
Alex Ring (Spiaggia in Chicago, IL)
Andrea Morris (Nix, New York, NY)
Jacob Gragg (Cru Artisan Wines, Atlanta, GA)