Below are the judges for the 2015 Wine Blog Awards. We will update this list for 2016 soon. These accomplished individuals had the task of determining the finalists in each awards category, narrowing them down from hundreds to just a few. It is a daunting task and we were lucky and pleased to have these individuals on board to carry it out.

Italian wine blogger and Wine Communication specialist – www.chiarasfoodandwineguide.com

chiara giorleoItalian wine blogger and Wine Communication specialist who runs her own international blog in English (and Italian). Freelance wine journalist with collaborations and publications in Italy (i.e. Gambero Rosso, Wineverse) as well as in California (i.e. Wine Connoisseur, Wine Business Monthly) and in London (i.e. she has been staff member of Decanter World Wine Awards). Member of national and international judging panels such as IWC – International Wine Challenge (London).

Partnerships & Creative Development, Delectable.com

JuliaWeinbergAs the “resident wine geek” for the wine app Delectable, Julia Weinberg brings wine-savviness, and dedication to wine culture and community to the platform. She currently leads creative development and industry relations at Delectable. Julia’s work at Delectable brings together the elements from her eclectic past (a common story for many a wine folk) including winemaking apprenticeships with White Rock Vineyards and The Scholium Project, media production in radio and publishing, a few years in San Francisco kitchens, and even a brief stint as a private investigator. Julia has continued her winemaking adventures through her small project Mossik Cellars to be released Summer 2015.

Vice President at PadillaCRT – Booze Bin

CRT-headshot_finalCommunications executive with over 15 years of communications experience in public relations, marketing, social media and sales promotion in food, beverage and nutrition, specializing in gourmet food and beverage alcohol. Read her “Booze Bin” and branding musings on the BuzzBin.


VP of Marketing at WineDirect

7181040097_aae9a28f6e_zSheri Hebbeln is VP of Marketing at WineDirect, the leading platform for selling wine Direct-to-Consumer. In her role there, she’s responsible for building WineDirect’s brand and establishing its reputation as an authority on direct sales. In addition to authoring numerous white papers, infographics, and videos, she manages an active industry blog which provides tips and best practices for anyone selling wine through DTC channels. In 2014, she published the WineDirect Culture Code, a popular inside look at the company’s values and philosophy.
An entrepreneur at heart, she’s been involved in the wine community for many years; she founded an ecommerce company in the late 90’s and was a founding member of one of the wine industry’s leading tech companies. Sheri began her career on Wall Street and holds an MBA from Duke University


Co-founder and Chief Strategist at VinTank, of the wine industry’s most innovative consultancies, Paul Mabray is a familiar and influential member of the American wine industry. Prior to founding VinTank in 2009, Paul worked in the wine industry in a variety of capacities including founding Inertia Beverage Group, where he created and founded one of the largest and most popular e-commerce platforms for the wine industry. At VinTank, Paul has been a champion of digital innovation in the wine industry working with numerous clients across the globe to help them develop effective tools to brand and market their goods and services. Mabray is regularly sought out as a speaker and panelist at industry conferences and seminars across the world where he speaks to the promise and possibilities of new tools for wine education and marketing.

Director of Earned Media at W2O Group

253a7afRyan Flinn is a communications expert at W2O Group in San Francisco, and a former journalist with more than a decade of experience writing for newspapers, newswires and trade publications including The New York Times, Bloomberg News and Businessweek. He covered the wine industry for many years, writing about the business of wine, wine reviews and moderating panels and public forums on trending topics.


Professor, Management & Wine Business at Sonoma State University

liz-thachDr. Liz Thach, MW (pronounced “tosh”) is a management and wine business professor at Sonoma State University in the Wine Business Institute where she teaches in both the undergraduate and Wine MBA programs. Liz’s passion is wine, and she has visited most of the major wine regions of the world and more than 35 countries. In addition, she has published over 90 articles and 5 wine textbooks, including Wine – A Global Business and Wine Marketing & Sales. A fifth generation Californian, Liz finished her Ph.D. at Texas A&M and now lives on Sonoma Mountain where she tends a small hobby vineyard and makes garagiste wine. She also works as a wine judge in various competitions, and has served on many non-profit wine boards. Liz obtained the distinction of Master of Wine (MW) in May of 2011.