Wine Experts for Cayman Cookout 2014 included:
Given Claude Blankiet's proclivity for excellence and his wife Katherine's love of antiques, it isn't surprising that their search for an ideal site on which to build a world-class winery and residence took almost a decade. In 1996 the Blankiets purchased undeveloped land on the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains and slowly transformed it into their Paradise Hills Vineyard with a state of the art winery and deep underground caves. Blankiet Estate wines were first produced in 1999. Although they only make about 300 to 400 cases each of their proprietary red wines a year, they do everything it takes to get these wines near perfection.
Chris Carpenter is a man with an inquisitive drive and a thirst for knowledge. He is the winemaker for some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wineries, including Cardinale, Lokoya, La Jota and Mt. Brave — where wines are made from the mountains. Chris has earned a reputation for taming Napa mountain tannins and creating legendary Cabernet Sauvignon, including four perfect 100 point wines. He believes in maximum attention in the vineyards and minimal intervention in the winery to create the purest expression of place.
Curious and passionate about wine, Luc entered the wine industry in 1987 with ‘Vins Philippe Dandurand, a Quebec wine agent. In 1991, he was appointed Sales & Marketing Director of Maison Remy & Associés soon earning the title of Vice President Quebec. Under his management, Maison Remy was ranked Quebec’s #1 wine & spirit agency. In 1999, following an international merger, Maison Remy became Maison Maxxium and Luc assumed the role of National Duty Free Manager for Maxxium Canada. Luc Desroches left Maxxium group in 2001 to join Masi Agricola as Commercial Director for the Americas. In 2006, he was appointed Global Sales & Marketing Director for Masi Agricola.
Ray Isle is the executive wine editor of FOOD & WINE, the sophisticated trend-spotting and talent-seeking epicurean brand. In addition to overseeing the magazine’s wine department, Ray writes the monthly column Tasting Room and directs all spirits coverage.
Ray’s articles about wine, food and spirits have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Wine & Spirits, The Washington Post, Martha Stewart Living and Gastronomica. He has been nominated for a James Beard Award. Ray regularly conducts wine-tasting seminars at epicurean events throughout the country and abroad and appears as a wine and spirits expert on national television, including NBC’s “Today”, “CBS This Morning” and CNBC.
Kristian Netis was born a Greek citizen of Germany–places renowned for food and drink. He worked in such restaurants as the 3-starred Michelin rated restaurant, Juan Amador in Frankfurt and the Ente restaurant located in Wiesbaden. He joined the Blue by Eric Ripert family in 2008 as Sommelier and now oversees the wine programme for The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Blue by Eric Ripert is the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in the Caribbean and has been awarded Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence since 2008 much in part due to Kristian's dedication and passion to the world of wine.
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