2015 Special Guests

Check out the talent! Updated daily.

 ~ Eric Allen   ~Joshua Arnold  ~Karen Barger  ~Doug Chisom ~Durango Chefs ~William Davis  ~ Leah A. Deane  ~Kimberly Faye ~Patrick Jose ~Patrick Laguens ~Ken Martin  ~Jamie Osborn ~Susie Mayr ~Lesley Ponce ~Doug Reed ~Carley Snider ~Stacey Swetil-Rust ~Let’s Toast Mobile Lounge
~Previous Years~

Lesley Ponce & Eric Allen,
Wine Merchant

Leslie and Eric, Wine Merchant
Catch these two presenting the “V” is for Vermouth blind seminar on Thursday at the Rochester Hotel and then pouring at the Wine Merchant table at the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
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Joshua Arnold
Wines of the San Juan
J.ArnoldRaised in Durango, Colorado, the Southwest is in Joshua Arnold’s soul. You can find the inspiration of the region reflected in his wines, where he showcases his desire to be true to the terroir of the area.
Joshua will be featured at the wine dinner at Eolus Bar & Dining on April 24th at 7:30pm, and will be present at the Wines of the San Juan table at the Grand Tasting on Saturday.

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Karen Barger
Seasons Rotisserie & Grill
Karen BargerDurango Wine Experience
Co-Founder & Board Member
Karen will be hosting the “Tour de France” wine dinner on Thursday night and the Seasons Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
Karen will be running around and helping out at every single event the weekend has to offer!
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William Davis, CWE, CSS, CMS Advanced
Wilson Daniels

William DavisWilliam will be featured at the “French Influence on Vietnamese Cuisine” seminar at Guidos at 11am on Friday and also at the 2nd annual “Corvina on the Catwalk” fashion show and wine dinner at Guido’s on Friday night at 7:30pm.

Leah A. Deane, WSET Advanced
Durango Wine Experience Event Director;
Republic National Distributing Company & Grand Vin District Manager; Champagne and Bacon Specialist
Leah A DeaneLeah will be hitting the runway at the “2nd Annual Italian Wine & Fashion Show” wine dinner at Guido’s and running around in high heels, coordinating all of the events and making sure you enjoy your “experience!”

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Kimberly Faye
Wine Life Radio
Inspirational Speaker, Radio Host of the FIND YOUR SHINE: Where Uniqueness Meets Purpose and Author of, “Memoir of a Broken Brain: Falling Down and Getting Up Gracefully.” She has been featured find-youron TV, radio, magazines, and newspaper interviews. Kimberly is an expert at overcoming the obstacle of tragedy and casting vision for new beginnings. Her experience and training inspired her to create FIND YOUR SHINE, a service designed to assist others in finding their own uniqueness. She resides in Colorado Springs where she enjoys hiking and outdoor activities. Kimberly is on a quest to pack the perfect picnic!
Read more about Kimberly
Patrick Jose
Carver’s Brewing

Head Brewer, Certified Cicerone
Patrick will be featured at the How Beer is Made Seminar on Thursday & the  Carver Brewing Beer table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
Patrick Laguens
Wine Geek, Food Freak
Patrick WineAs an award winning Chef and Sommelier Patrick Laguens brings a dual perspective to the Steak Cuts and Red Wine Component Tasting. Born and raised in New Orleans Louisiana, Patrick first cut his teeth in the local restaurant scene before apprenticing in Naples Italy for Master Chef Antonio Race where he also began his life long love affair with wine. Mr. Laguens then owned several of his own restaurants, wine bars, boutique wine shops and even produced his own line of designer wines in Sonoma County. Patrick was named “Wine Educator of the Year” in Colorado’s northern Front Range for three years in a row, he has published over 50 articles on wine and food, written countless restaurant food menus and wine lists, conducted hundreds of wine and food pairing seminars, and has seven Wine Spectator “Awards of Excellence”. He also has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and two great kids; Jupiter and Justus!
“Every culture in the whole world celebrates the significant events in their lives around the table. I get to take part in these events every day. I basically celebrate for a living.” – Patrick Laguens
Patrick will be featured at the “Steak and Red Wine Component Tasting” Seminar on Friday at the Ore House.
Ken Martin
Steamworks Brewing Co.
Lead Brewer & Director of Brewing Operations
Ken Martin
You will find Ken at Thursday’s VIP Welcome Reception, pouring at the Walk-About Durango on Friday and at the Steamworks Grand Tasting Beer table on Saturday.
Susie Mayr
Susie’s interest in wine began when she starting writing restaurant wines lists as a restaurant manager. She has been in the wine S. Mayr Photoindustry for 20 years, starting her career in 1995 at Republic National Distributing Company. She has spent the last 15 years working as a winery representative for Robert Mondavi, Folio Fine Wine Partners, and Via Wines, a Chilean company. She is currently the Colorado District Manager for Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits. She has a passion for wine education and taught two sessions of the wine education program as part of the professional culinary arts program at Cook St. School of Culinary Arts in Denver. She is a CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine), a member of the Society of Wine Educators and has passed the Introductory Sommelier Course through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She plans on continuing to further her education through the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) in the fall of 2015. She has traveled extensively in such wine producing countries as Austria, Spain, Italy, Chile and of course, the U.S. She spends as much of her free time as possible enjoying the outdoors in Colorado with her family. Susie will be hosting the “Taste of Italy” wine dinner Thursday night at the Kennebec Restaurant.
Jamie Osborn
X-Rock 105.3

You can listen to Jamie on X-Rock Radio 105.3 and will find Jamie Jamie Osborn 1rocking the tent during the Grand Tasting at the X-Rock Radio Booth!
Doug Reed
Riedel Stemware

Riedel, the world’s premier wine glass maker, knows that the pleasure of consuming wine starts with the glass.  Doug ReedSample the difference in the taste, bouquet and flavor of wine between regular glassware and varietal Riedel stemware under the tutelage of Doug Reed, Riedel regional manager. Doug will be featured at the Riedel Stemware Seminar at the Strater Hotel Oak Room on Saturday at 11:00 am and Showcasing Riedel Glassware during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
Carley Snider,
Animas Chocolate Company
Carley Felton Carley will be displaying her chocolates at the VIP Welcome reception on Thursday.
Stacey Swetil-Rust,
Constellation Wines

Stacey Swetil-RustStacey Swetil-Rust discovered her passion for wine while working in a wine shop and in restaurants in the Aspen area. Moving to the Front Range of Colorado she has held various distributor and supplier positions with a focus on creative selling and education.  “You learn something new every day and let’s face it is there anything better than selling wine for a living? You will find Stacey hosting the “Robert Mondavi Winery” dinner at the Mahogany Grille at 7:30pm on Friday.
Let’s Toast Mobile Lounge
Lets ToastLet’s Toast is an eco-mobile pub box that travels to your event. We specialize in making your event a unique experience with bartending and entertainment.
You will find Constellation Brands pouring wine and spirits from the Let’s Toast Mobile Lounge located in the West Tent.

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Feeling sentimental? Wanna see the talent from previous years?