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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.

 

Gordana Josovic – Wine Educator & Sommelier

Gordana Josovic – Wine Educator & Sommelier

Gordana is the Instructor and the Wine Director at San Francisco Wine School. She had been a part of the San Francisco restaurant industry for years and participated in numerous highly-acclaimed wine competitions. Born and raised in Serbia, she traveled extensively to many of the world’s greatest wine regions and learned from the top wine professionals from around the globe. Gordana holds the French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar credentials, and the Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. She is currently preparing for her Master Sommelier Exam.  

San Francisco Wine School               Instagram

Charles Illgen – Winemaker Extraordinaire

Charles Illgen – Winemaker Extraordinaire

Charles has had a long career in wine:  Starting at Fillipelli Ranch, then as the first vineyardist in the Carneros for Moet – Charles then worked for Chateau St Jean as their fourth employee.  After some local wine education, he became the assistant winemaker at Donna Maria Vineyards, before he became the winemaker at Chalk Hill, where he produced their first gold medal wines, achieving silver or better medals for every varietal he fermented.  Wildcat Wines (his double gold award winning label) was a natural evolution that lead Charles to a place where he could practice his craft and help others with consultation to develop their own vineyards, wines and labels. 

Michelle Michelbook – Sommelier, Wine Blogger, Brand Ambassador

Michelle Michelbook – Sommelier, Wine Blogger, Brand Ambassador

Michelle is a fresh, new Sommelier in the San Francisco Bay Area. Having just passed her CMS Sommelier Certification exam in March, she’s already planting her roots and reaching her tendrils. She’s the Tasting Room Manager for Bacchus & Venus in Sausalito and the author of the wine blog The Merlot Down. Today, she is very proud to be the new Chief of Public Relations and Brand Ambassador for Cru9 Wines led by the incredible Faythe Stone-Brocka and to be a part of her “She Army,” advocating for survivors and drinking the wine, Cru9 style. 

      The Merlot Down       Cru9 Wines        Instagram       Twitter

Leo Hummer – Winemaker

Leo Hummer – Winemaker

After growing up in San Diego and enjoying the beaches of southern California, Leo moved to France in 1974 to learn how to make (that fabulous beverage) WINE! He worked for Paul Jaboulet in Hermitage in the Rhone Valley.  In late 1975, he moved to the beautiful Sonoma Valley and worked in production at Buena Vista winery for 28 years, and then went to the Michael Mondavi winery in Napa. He and his wife Nicole are very happy, to have raised two children in the Sonoma Valley!