Peter Marks is one of only 38 Masters of Wine residing in the U.S. In 1995, he passed the rigorous MW exam and became the first American to garner the Madame Bollinger Foundation Award which is bestowed to the MW candidate with the highest blind tasting score. Peter graduated from UC Davis in 1976 with a BS degree with highest honors in Food Service Management and became interested in wine while attending a number of viticulture and enology classes. He has held the positions of Director of Wine at the upscale Draeger’s Supermarkets, Chief Wine Merchant at the on-line wine retailer Wine.com, and Senior Vice President of Wine at COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts. Peter is also a member of the Society of Wine Educators; Education Tasting Coordinator for the Institute of Masters of Wine in the US; and judges many international wine competitions.
As Master of Wine for Constellation Brands, Mark presents fine wine educational programs to consumers and wine trade audiences around the world. A native of Oxford, England, Mark began his early interest in wine while studying history at Oxford University.
Graduating from Oxford with a growing interest in wine, Mark worked as an account manager for Oddbins, a dynamic UK retail and wholesale wine company specializing in an international selection of wines. During his three years with Oddbins, Mark gained considerable experience in all aspects of the wine trade and studied for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, successfully completing his certificate, higher certificate and diploma examinations.
In 1994 Mark became a candidate for the Institute of Masters of Wine, recognized as the most prestigious international wine education organization in the world. In 1997, Mark successfully completed the four-day examination. He is one of only 38 Masters of Wine residing in the U.S.
Mark lives in the Napa Valley and since 1997, has continued his adventures in wine with Robert Mondavi and the Constellation Academy of Wine, learning, training and educating. He is also North American Education Director for the Institute of Masters of Wine. He participates as a judge at wine competitions internationally.
Karen Wetzel found her love of wine and enthusiasm to teach others as a corporate beverage trainer working in the restaurant industry in California. Returning to Ohio in 1988, she put her passion to work for a highly reputed fine wine & spirits distributor. With over 25 years in the wine industry she has broad-ranged experience in most every aspect of the business. In 2006 Karen came to Constellation as Director of On-Premise for several mid-western states. In 2011 she joined The Constellation Academy of Wine Team as a Director of Education. Karen has her WSET Level 3 Advanced Certification in Wine & Spirits, passing with distinction and is currently pursuing her WSET Diploma. She brings her experience to life through the Constellation Academy of Wine in a way that is engaging, effective and entertaining.
Brianne Guist began working in the wine business while pursuing a graduate degree at Boston University. She worked part time in a retail shop before deciding to leave her graduate program and work full time selling wine. Brianne soon returned to her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio where she spent nearly ten years working for a large wholesale distributor, starting out as an On-Premise sales representative and finally as the Fine Wine Sales Manager, supervising a team of 15 sales people and 2 managers that called on Northeastern Ohio’s top fine wine accounts. Brianne applied her love of academia and writing to pursue successive certifications from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and, after a total of 5 years of study, completed their Diploma level certification in January of 2012. She joined the Constellation Academy of Wine team as the Director of Wine Education for the eastern United States in 2014. Her favorite area of study is Burgundy and her favorite wines include great Pinot Noir, traditional method sparkling wine and new world Cabernet Sauvignon.
A self-described wine & food lover and extrovert, Megan loves to get people excited and engaged with wine. As a continual learner with 12 years of experience in the wine industry, and someone that feels that wine should be accessible to all, she loves when wine information can be transformed into something people can easily understand and get excited about.
Besides wine & food, Megan is passionate about learning about other cultures, with a major in Global Studies and minor in Political Science, she is fascinated by the world we live in. And with this passion comes her for love for travel; she believes travelling enriches your life and opens your eyes to other cultures. Ask her sometime about one of her many adventures, she’d be happy to share.
Megan is currently finishing her final exam for the WSET Level 4 Diploma.
Katie grew up in San Diego, California where she developed a love for water sports. She swam competitively and played water polo through high school and college. Teaching and coaching became her passion and Katie pursued her teaching credential soon after college.
While pursuing her credential, Katie gained experience with event and project management as Marketing Coordinator at The Marcus Buckingham Company in Los Angeles. Upon relocating to the Napa Valley, Katie pursued a position at Constellation Brands first as Education Coordinator and then Associate Manager, Online Education for the Academy of Wine. As Associate Manager, Katie is responsible for all online training, delivery and websites for the Constellation Academy of Wine. She is WSET Level 2 Certified with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis.
In the role of Specialist, Wine Education she manages the daily operations of the Wine & Spirits Education Trust®, facilitates the CAOW logistical responsibilities for the SALUTE! & NSMM events, manages the CAOW mobile profile site, supports the training programs and the daily activities of the CAOW. Previously she worked at Memorial Hospice in Santa Rosa and North County Hospice in Healdsburg where she was the Event Coordinator and Fundraising Associate. In this position she was responsible for the coordination of fundraising events, activities, sponsorships and managed the hospice website. Prior to her role at Memorial Hospice and North County Hospice she was the Wine Programs Manager at Copia the American Center for Wine Food & the Arts in Napa. She was responsible for the coordination of the large public winetastings and festivals in addition to the administration of the London based Wine Spirits Education Trust® program that was offered at Copia. She is WSET Level 2 Certified received a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University of Chico and Master of Science degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.