Congratulations to the winners of the Villa Sandi Houston Sommelier Competition!
Above, center from left: Tony Elsinga (1st prize), Mark Fusco (2nd), and Carlos Rosas (3rd). Well done and well deserved! And thank you to everyone who competed! It was a great event.
Candidates in the competition underwent a series of exams: Theory (arguably the most challenging), blind tasting, and service.
The winner of this year’s gathering, Tony Elsinga, was awarded a $750 stipend and a all-expenses-paid trip to Vinitaly, the annual Italian wine trade fair held in Verona next month.
The second runner up, Mark Fusco, received a $750 stipend while the third runner up, Carlos Rosas, received a $500 stipend.
All three winners received a 3-liter bottle of Villa Sandi Prosecco Valdobbiadene DOCG.
Even for those candidates who didn’t place in the competition, all agreed it was a formidable learning experience and an opportunity to hone their skills with the guidance of their colleagues.
The organizers would like to share their special thanks with the Villa Sandi winery and estate for the generous support that made this year’s competition possible