Robin Daniel Lail, founder of Lail Vineyards and longtime Napa Valley vintner, is part of one of the greatest family legacies in Napa Valley. Lail’s accomplishments include co-founding Dominus Winery with Christian Moueix in 1982 and co-founding Maryville vineyards with Bill Harlan in 1983, where she served as president for twelve years. Selling both ventures in the 1990s, she began creating her own extraordinary wines when she, along with her two daughters, Erin and Shannon, started Lail Vineyards in 1995. Her lengthy legacy in Napa includes co-founding the valley’s primary fundraising event, Auction Napa Valley. Today, the venture carries forth the stories of more than 135 years of winemaking in the Napa Valley. Lail continues her family’s exciting legacy and her passionate quest to produce world-class wines.
As one of 144 Master Sommeliers in the United States and 6 in Chicago, Ken Fredrickson is an acclaimed judge of many wine competitions. He is a member of the elite international Court of Master Sommeliers and reached the ranks of Master Sommelier in 2000 following critical acclaim for his wine programs alongside world-renowned chefs Charlie Trotter at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and Wolfgang Puck in Las Vegas, at Spago and Chinois. Fredrickson currently operates Tenzing, an artisanal wine and spirits importer and wholesaler in Chicago, and holds stake in Brewer – Clifton Winery located in Santa Barbara County California. The winery is 100% Estate with 65 acres under vine concentrating on just Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
As a fourth generation winegrower and chairman of the board at Wente Vineyards, Eric Wente oversees his family’s operations, which include nearly 3,000 acres of vineyards, an award-winning restaurant, a Greg Norman-designed championship golf course and a vineyard development company. Wente is also responsible for Wente Vineyards’ dynamic expansion into worldwide export markets. The vineyard now exports to more than 70 countries worldwide and is considered a leader in the export of ultra-premium wines. From 2005 to 2006, Eric served as chairman of the board of directors for the Wine Institute, the public policy advocacy association of California wineries. Additionally, he served as chairman of the Wine Institute’s International Policy Committee, a position which he held for many years.
Distinguished as the first female to hold the Master Blender title in the world, Joy Spence is responsible for blending Appleton Estate Jamaica Rums. Joy blends her considerable organoleptic talent, her chemistry knowledge, and her deep love of the product and Jamaica in every bottle. Joy’s skill and passion for her craft and her wonderful warm and spirited personality, shine through in every bottle! Premium rums, such as Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, have a rich flavour profile that enhances cocktails and are perfect to be paired with meals.