Instructor Bios

Instructor Bios




Pascaline Lepeltier MS, MOF


• Operating partner in Racines NYC, overseeing a 2500+ wine list.
• Completed the Master Sommelier in 2014.
• Awarded laureate of “Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France – Classe Sommellerie” in 2018.
• Winner of the “Best French Sommelier” competition in 2018.
• Named “Personality of the Year” by La Revue du Vin de France in 2019.
• Instructor with the Wine Scholar Guild, the Court of Master Sommeliers, the International Culinary Center in Manhattan, and the Wine Education Council. 
• Co-author, with Alice Feiring, of The Dirty Guide to Wine.



Andrew Jefford


• Wine writer since 1988.
• Author of The New France, Whisky Island, Andrew Jefford's Wine Course.
• Academic Advisor with the Wine Scholar Guild.
• Contributing Editor and columnist for Decanter and World of Fine Wine.
• Winner of 8 Glenfiddich Awards and Roederer Awards 
• French resident (Montpellier) since 2010.



Chris Kissack


• Publisher of the
• Member of the Loire tasting panel for Decanter magazine.
• Judge of the Loire category in the Decanter World Wine Awards.
• Regular contributor to international publications including, Harpers Wine & Spirit News and The Merchant Wine Magazine.
• Explores the Loire Valley from his house near Chinon.



Jo Landron


 • Born in the Muscadet region, and always lived on the family estate in La Haie-Fouassière in the heart of Muscadet, helping from a very young age in the vineyards.
• Took over the estate in 1979
• Winemaker of the Year by the Revue du Vin de France, 1996
• Converted the estate to organic then biodynamic farming, 1999-2008




Jim Budd


• Regular contributor to international publications including Decanter.
• Past chair of the Circle of Wine Writers.
• Loire Regional panel chair at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
• Blogs at Jim’s Loire.
• Author of the Loire entry in Hugh Johnson Pocket Wine Book and the Loire and Portuguese entries in the Wine Behind the Label
• Founding member of Les 5 du Vin – a co-operative wine blog. 
• Winner of a Champagne Lanson Award for his investigative work.



Damien Delecheneau


• 3rd generation owner and winemaker at Grange Tiphaine in Amboise, where he is joined by his wife Coralie.
• President of the Montlouis appellation and the ODG Montlouis-sur-Loire.
• Studied oenology and viticulture in Bordeaux.
• Teacher at the Lycée Viticole (Viticultural School) in Amboise.
• Worked at wineries in California and South Africa, before returning to the Loire.



Benoit Roumet


• Economist and graduate of the OIV Master of Science in Wine Management program.
• Director with BIVC (Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins du Centre) from 1994 to 2019.
• Co-creator of the Loire Valley Wine program for hotelier schools in France and Belgium. 
• International wine judge (IWC, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles).
• Promoter of Loire Valley wines through his work with the Salon des Vins de Loire and Wine Paris.
• Sancerre resident for 26 years.



Véronique Rivest


• Canada’s Best Sommelier in 2006 and 2012.
• Best Sommelier of the Americas in 2012.
• Placed 2nd in the World’s Best Sommelier ASI Competition in 2013, becoming the first woman to make the podium.
• Owner of SOIF Wine Bar in Gatineau, Quebec.
• Wine columnist for La Presse.
• Sommelier for Air Canada.



Nicolas Joly


• Owner of the legendary Coulée de Serrant, where he takes the title “Nature Assistant” rather than winemaker.
• Early and tireless champion of biodynamics, starting the conversion process in 1980 and achieving Demeter certification in 1984.
• Author of Le Vin du ciel à la terre (translated as Wine From Sky To Earth), and Le Vin, la Vigne et la Biodynamie (What is Biodynamic wine? in the UK and Biodynamic Wine Demystified in the US).
• MBA in finance at Columbia University.
• Worked at JP Morgan in NY and London. 



Alice Feiring


• Internationally recognized champion of natural wines.
• Award-winning journalist for top publications from The New York Times to The World of Fine Wine.
• Author of The Battle for Wine and Love: Or How I Saved the World From Parkerization (2008), Naked Wine (2011), For the Love of Wine, my odyssey through the world’s most ancient wine culture (2016), The Dirty Guide to Wine (2017), and Natural Wine For the People (2019). 

Sign up to receive our latest updates