Most wine professionals who achieve the incredibly difficult pinnacle of wine expertise by becoming a Master of Wine (via the Wine & Spirits Education Trust) or Master Sommelier (via the Court of Master Sommeliers) go on to sell or write, teach or speak about wine. But a few are drawn so strongly to the root of what they love that they go to work in the cellar, crafting the beverage they spent years, sometimes decades, studying. Here are two sommeliers who have done just that, and are turning out some pretty spectacular wines in the process.
Master Sommelier Greg Harrington is the founder and winemaker at the much-lauded Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington. He focuses on Rhone and Bordeaux varietals, crafting his wines with a minimalist approach to intervention. He shared a few of his favorite fall wines with us:
Master of Wine Bob Betz founded Betz Family Winery in 1997 in Columbia Valley, Washington. Focusing on Rhone varietals, Betz uses his viticultural expertise (he won the Villa Maria Award for best viticultural paper the year he earned his MW) to craft the wines in the vineyard, and gently guide them through the winemaking process into award-winning wines. He doesn’t drink only Rhone varietal wines though—check out Bob Betz’s list of favorite fall wines below:
WILLI BRUNDLMEYER Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben 2010 (Kamptal, Austria) $40
MARCHESI ANTINORI Tignanello 2010 (Tuscany) $80
EMILIO LUSTAU Palo Cortado Vides Almacenista Sherry non-vintage (Jerez) $35
BETZ FAMILY WINERY Syrah La Cote Patriarche 2012 (Yakima Valley, Washington) $55
Do you have a favorite winemaker-sommelier? Share yours below.
Photo Credit: Gramercy Cellars