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The Panel

This Month’s Panel


Every month we showcase a different group of individuals that have dedicated their lives to the world of wine and food.  These aficionados graciously lend us their palates and expertise and blind taste through several uniquely excellent wines.  The highest rated wines from the blind tastings are then chosen to be shared with our club members.  

Please check out their other endeavors. They are truly allstars in their areas of expertise.    A huge thank you, and cheers!

Click here to see past panel members.

 

Brandon Montalvo – Certified Sommelier & Wine Enthusiast

Brandon Montalvo – Certified Sommelier & Wine Enthusiast

Brandon is a Sonoma State University alum for the Wine Business Strategies Bachelors program. We attended Napa Valley Wine Academy for WSET certifications and then became a certified sommelier at Santé in the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, where Brandon spent three years at a Wine Spectator Double Glass Award of Excellence wine list, until joining the sales team at The Donum Estate very recently. He is “a young wine enthusiast looking to make big splashes in the wine industry.”

Thomas Roberts – Certified Sommelier & Wine Enthusiast

Thomas Roberts – Certified Sommelier & Wine Enthusiast

Born and raised in Orlando Florida, Thomas packed up and moved to San Francisco to learn about wine. His passion for food and wine led him to work with wine programs at various Michelin rated restaurants in Washington D.C. and Sonoma. During his time in restaurants, he fell in love with photographing food, wine and vineyard landscapes. Thomas is currently studying for his CMS Advanced Sommelier exam and continues to photograph the beauty of wine country.

Alex Brown – Viticulturalist and Certified Master Sommelier (CMS)

Alex Brown – Viticulturalist and Certified Master Sommelier (CMS)

While Alex’s wine knowledge and background in wine is through the Court of Master Sommeliers, he initially moved out to California, to be in the viticulture world because of his passion for the farming side of the wine business.  He started as a technical viticulture intern for Treasury Wine Estates.  He also worked at The Donum Estate as a Wine Educator.  Alex now works as the viticulturist at Nicholson Ranch.

Felipe Herrarte – Tasting Room Manager at The Donum Estate

Felipe Herrarte – Tasting Room Manager at The Donum Estate

Felipe, who was born and raised in Germany, moved to California and landed in Sonoma in 2007, because his family is in the wine industry. He then moved to San Diego, where he attended college.  After completing his degree, he decided to leave Southern California to dive head-first into the wine industry, here in wine country. Felipe returned to Sonoma and started working for The Donum Estate three years ago.