The Oregon Wine Competition provides an excellent opportunity for Oregon winemakers to have a panel of internationally renowned experts assess their wine. The Competition has been open statewide since 2016, and since that time, five Master Sommeliers, 12 wine writers and 19 Masters of Wine have joined us to taste and evaluate the very best wines across Oregon.
How it works
Judging panels, each comprised of an experienced wine writer, a Master Sommelier and a Master of Wine, evaluate wines individually, single-blind over the course of the two days. Wines are NOT scored comparatively.
- All bottles are securely covered from delivery to completion to ensure impartiality
- Flights are composed and spaced to ensure palate longevity for our judges
- Wines are served to the judges at proper temperature and equivalent aeration
The Oregon Wine Competition took place July 15-16, 2023.
Wayne Belding, MS
Wayne Belding, MS is a geologist turned oenophile. He has written about wine for over 35 years for local and national publications. In 1990, he became the 13th American to pass the Master Sommelier Diploma examination, passing all three parts of the exam on his first attempt. Since that time, he has been active in teaching and examining at all levels of the Master Sommelier program. He has served as Education Director and Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers – Americas.
Over the years, he has taught thousands of sommeliers and industry professionals, many of whom have risen to significant positions in the trade. After decades as a successful retail owner, he now teaches consumer and professional wine classes. He is a frequent wine reviewer, competition judge and speaker at wine events. He is a partner at Preferabli, the leading AI-driven, personalization software for the wine and spirits industry – changing the way people discover, evaluate, buy and share wine. He is also the author of “Diving Into Wine”, a guide for wine consumers.
Mike Dunne, Wine journalist
Mike Dunne is a freelance wine writer based in Sacramento, California. He has been writing of wine for 50 years, concentrating on California but also through travels to other states, South America, Europe and Asia. As an outgrowth of his focus on the wine trade in the greater Sacramento area, he recently published the book “The Signature Wines of Superior California: 50 Wines that Define the Sierra Foothills, the Delta, Yolo and Lodi.” His book is centered on 50 wines of character, quality and value that represent pivotal developments in grape growing and winemaking in appellations about Sacramento, but it also amounts to a handy guide for wine enthusiasts drawn to the region and a textbook on the region’s viticultural and enological history.
When he isn’t travelling, writing or lounging at a second home he and his wife Martha have in San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico, Mike is a frequent judge on the wine-competition circuit, joining up to 23 competitions in a single year. Aside from judging wines at competitions, Mike’s tasting notes on best-of-class wines at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition each year are posted online and published by the newspaper, and he contributes articles on top wines for the California State Fair Wine Competition publication “Best of California.”
For 30 years, Mike was a staff writer in the features department of The Sacramento Bee. When he retired, he was food editor, restaurant critic and wine columnist.
Ellen Landis, CS, CSW, Wine journalist and educator
Ellen is a published Wine Writer, Certified Sommelier, Certified Wine Specialist, Wine Educator and Professional Wine Judge. She is the author of the blog EllenOnWine.com and writes for the AWS Wine Journal magazine (AmericanWineSociety.org), Great Northwest Wine, (www.greatnorthwestwine.com), Michigan Uncorked, and The Slow Wine Guide (www.slowwineusa.com), among other publications.
Ellen is a moderator for the highly acclaimed Vintners’ Holidays annual event at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, the American Wine Society annual conferences, and participates as a key speaker, moderator and panelist at various other wine events. For eighteen years, she and husband Ken built and co-owned award-winning Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn (Half Moon Bay, CA) where Ellen served as Wine Director and Sommelier. They sold their Inn to devote more time to the world of wine. Ellen was also a Ritz Carlton Sommelier for several years.
In addition to an MBA, Ellen’s wine education includes UC Davis viticulture course work, achieved CSW certification from the Society of Wine Educators program, and the credential of Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Ellen serves as a judge at numerous national and international wine competitions.
Adam Lapierre, MW
Adam Lapierre became a Master of Wine in 2013, and is the President of Vinfolio, one of the country’s leading merchants in the collectible fine wine space. In addition to being one of fewer than 60 Masters of Wine in the US, Lapierre has an impressive background playing various industry roles both, as a supplier and a buyer. Adam also serves on the Education Committee for the Institute of Masters of Wine and regularly judges at top wine competitions around the world.
Clare Tooley, MW
Clare lives in Napa and is the VP of Guest Experience for the Boisset Collection. She was born in Spain, to greatly loved British parents whose career took them to Paris. She spent the first seven years of her life in France thereby sealing her fate to love the country, its wines and its food, forever more.
Clare began her wine life in London with John Armit Wines in 1995 after a degree in French and Spanish at Cambridge University. She joined Direct Wines Ltd in 2000, as a buyer responsible for Burgundy (her first love), Bordeaux (a close second), Champagne, and South African portfolios. Wanting to give her two young sons the same privilege she had been gifted as a child, that of living abroad and specifically France, Clare moved to Bordeaux in 2006 to direct the group’s winemaking facility and establish an international wholesale division which took her all over the world in a sales capacity. She was inducted into the Commanderie du Bontemps in Bordeaux and l’Ordre des Coteaux in Champagne. She moved to California in 2014 to work as the Director of Wine Development for Lionstone International, sourcing the US wine range for multiple national wine clubs.
Since becoming a Master of Wine in 2021, Clare has been the California correspondent for Decanter Magazine, contributed two chapters to the Academie du Vin’s 2021 book ‘On California’ and continues to write for Tim Atkin MW’s website. In 2022 and 2023 she gave seminars at the World of Pinot Noir, Texsom, the Napa Valley Wine Academy, and UC Davis. Clare was inducted by Jean-Charles Boisset as a Chevalier du Tastevin at the Chateau de Clos de Vougeot in 2001. Twenty-one years later, she joined him and his extraordinary team, to lead all elements of the Boisset Family’s US DTC businesses.
Vincent Morrow, MS
Vincent Morrow has earned a long list of accolades – In 2022 alone, he was named the Michelin Guide California’s Sommelier of the Year, VinePair’s Next Wave Sommelier of the Year, and the Iconoclast Dinner Experience Wine Honoree. Vincent has been shepherding the largest collection of Napa Valley wines in the world as Wine Director at PRESS Restaurant, helping the wine program earn its first Wine Spectator Grand Award in 2022.
A Master Sommelier before the age of 31, he studied for the exam while working as a sommelier at two Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurants concurrently – one-starred Gary Danko and three-starred Benu. His résumé also includes time at ONE65 in San Francisco and Chef Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry in Yountville.
He entered the 2017 Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Jeunes Sommeliers Compétition, winning the USA Championship and placing 3rd overall in the world. As Chairperson of the Diversity Committee of the Court of Master Sommeliers, he has been a member of a leadership team that has inspired industry change both internally in the organization and externally in the wine & hospitality industries.
Byanca Godwin, FWS, CSW (alternate judge)
Byanca Godwin is a wine educator based in Los Angeles, California. She is a French Wine Scholar (FWS) certified by the Wine Scholar Guild. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) through the Society of Wine Educators. She is also certified by the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust (WSET) in levels 1, 2, and 3 and is currently in the final stage of earning her WSET Diploma accreditation.
Byanca’s global travel experience and wine education has led her to become a competitive blind taster. In years 2018 and 2021 she was a member of Team USA at La Revue du Vin de France’s annual World Blind Wine Tasting Competition.
She is a proud alumna of Loyola Marymount University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts. When not teaching Ms. Godwin enjoys traveling the world where she further explores her absolute passion for expressive wines, culinary traditions and the performing arts.
Learn the stories of 10 Oregon wineries, what the Oregon Wine Competition means to them and the wines they entered to be evaluated by world-renowned judges in 2023.