American Wine Society Honors Certified Wine Judge Class of 2019

San Diego Winemaker Represents Southern California

 November 19, 2019                                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

San Diego CA – November 19, 2019 – The American Wine Society (AWS) recently honored the Certified Wine Judge Class of 2019 at its national conference in St. Pete Beach, FL. Among the eight graduates, only San Diego winemaker Keith Rolle of Gianni Buonomo Vintners is from Southern California.

The AWS boasts a membership of over 7000 wine enthusiasts who participate in tasting events at 180 local chapters throughout the United States. According to its Executive Director David Falchek, the AWS is the only national organization that certifies wine judges. There are only 86 Certified Wine Judges in the entire country.

The comprehensive three year Wine Judge Certification Program (WJCP) trains students to make educated, objective evaluations of wines and to be able to articulate their findings. They must demonstrate competency in evaluating not only vinifera wines, but also hybrid, native American and fruit wines.

“The biggest challenge for me was developing a flavor profile for wines that I had never heard of before, let alone tasted,” explained newly Certified Wine Judge Rolle.  “ I bought a number of cold weather wines from upstate New York that I thought I might be tested on.  Wines like Diamond, Seyval Blanc, Baco Noir and Frontenac provided me with a whole new appreciation for hybrid wines.”

Citing California as the largest wine producing state with the largest number of wine consumers in the country, Rolle was asked why there are only two Certified Wine Judges in that state.

“A major obstacle for Californians is that many of these obscure, regional varietals just aren’t available in local wine stores. They must be brought in from out of state. Then, to be successful, you really need to work with someone who has experience evaluating these wines objectively.  There just aren’t a lot of those people around.”

The certificate will allow Rolle to judge in wine competitions domestically and abroad. But Rolle also thinks that his training will impact him as a vintner. “By objectively evaluating all these different wines and wine styles, it’s going to  help me better recognize the characteristics in my own wine and further develop my skills as a winemaker.”

ADDITIONAL INFO                           www.GBVintners.com

CONTACT                                          Al Dorvinen        wineclub@gbvintners.com  (562.458.9477)


Recently named Best San Diego Winery by San Diego Magazine,  Gianni Buonomo Vintners has earned critical acclaim by earning double-gold medals in domestic and international competitions from coast to coast. Just steps from the Pacific surf in the heart of Ocean Beach, Gianni Buonomo sources super-premium grapes from both El Dorado County, California and Washington state. Grapes are brought to the beach winery to vinify, barrel age, blend, bottle and serve in a line-up of truly exceptional, award- winning wines.