Learn from San Diego’s next big wave of wine makers, artisans, and local craft beers! Meet the makers that are shaping this growing movement.
Certified Sommelier & Certified Cicerone
Fine tune your palate. Learn from master sommelier, Maurice DiMarino, who will guide you through a blind tasting and help you discern the nuances in a wine.
Maurice DiMarino has seen just about everything in his 26 years in the service industry. From his early days as a host for a local San Diego Mexican Restaurant to his current position as wine and beverage manager for the Cohn Restaurant Group, the journey has been a varied and exciting one. However, it was not until he moved to San Francisco in early 1994 that he became passionate about the industry. While in San Francisco he had the opportunity to open several landmark restaurants, including Lou’s Pier 47, Foreign Cinema, Alma and Chez Spencer.
During this time, Maurice was able to work closely with sommeliers and renowned chefs. It was their mentorship and extensive experience that fostered Maurice’s passion for epicurean pursuits. Beyond anything else though, it was travel that inspired the love for wine and viticulture that guides Maurice to this day. More than a home, San Francisco became a hub for Maurice to travel. His free spirit took him to Europe, Canada, Central and South America, Southeast Asia and Australia. It was in these travels that Maurice discovered the varied and sometimes sacred place that wine holds in so many cultures around the world and now brings them to San Diego.
Founder Luke’s Leap Wines
Learn the basics of viticulture, the science, production, and study of grapes, with Luke Bramon, a specialist in vineyard management.
Luke is founder of the international wine brand Luke’s Leap Wines, a premium boutique winery, where wines are hand made, from hand-picked grapes from small batches, and from old vines – some of which are over 45 years old. He is also a member of the Wilson Creek winemaking team, and lecturer at San Diego State University’s Business of Wine program. With more than 15 years of experience in the wine industry, Luke has a broad understanding of all aspects of the trade and has worked as a winemaker, director of wine production, a wine and champagne public relations and marketing manager, as well as a winery and vineyard manager.
His educational background includes a BA in Communications from the University of Southern California, a Master’s degree in Media and Public Relations from the University of Sydney, with an emphasis on wine promotion, and an MBA in Wine Business. He also holds a Level 2 Intermediate Certificate in Wine and Spirits from the International Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET); as well as a Level 1 Certificate from the International Circle of Masters of Sommeliers.
Luke loves wine, enjoys a cold beer, and adheres to the advice: “it takes a lot of beer to make great wine”.
Save the bees and drink mead! Learn about and taste mead, the emerging honey-based wine industry from San Diego meadmaker Mark Oberle.
Mark is one of the owners and meadmakers at Meadiocrity Meadery in Escondido. Meadiocrity crafts unique, modern meads with raw, local honey and produce. A San Diego native, Mark enjoys showcasing the distinct characteristics of San Diego food, wine, and agriculture, which has shaped his wine and meadmaking style. Mark is particularly excited about the growing momentum of the mead industry and the rapidly growing San Diego mead scene.
While having a formal education in System Architecture and Engineering from the University of Southern California, Mark transitioned from technology into agriculture and wine. He received winemaking and wine education courses through San Diego State University and Wilson Creek Winery and earned a Level 1 Sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Mark applies his winemaking background to help craft crisp, modern meads that are already creating a buzz within the local craft beer and wine communities.
While not spreading the joy of mead, Mark can be found flying on the trapeze, beekeeping, raising dairy goats, playing the harp, growing heirloom produce, and more often than not, eating.
Husband & Wife owners, Eric and Lindsey
Pardon My French
Pardon My French brings hearty French-Fusion cuisine and a meticulously crafted boutique wine list to Park Blvd. From the upbeat tunes reminiscent of Hotel Costes in Paris to the vibrant art collection and rich variety of entertainment, Pardon My French Bar and Kitchen, is set to be bustling with locals and Europhiles alike that enjoy, good food and a fabulous time.
Husband and Wife owners, Eric and Lindsey’s most recent endeavor was the popular Pardon My French Art gatherings that brought art collectors and admirers to various hotspots in town where, carefully curated art pieces were enjoyed while networking with like-minded folks. It was innovative, fun and a great way to enjoy art while meeting new people and reconnecting with old acquaintances.
Marina “Nina” Snow
With one foot in San Diego, California and the other in Sardegna, Italy, DOCG Imports has two homes. Both evoke the company’s belief in searching for excellent and currently unknown products and experiences. DOCG Imports only brings the best hand-crafted, small-production, family-made Italian wines to California.
Owner Marina Elettra Snow (aka “Nina”) is a California native from San Diego who has lived in Rome, Sardegna and Venice, Italy for the over 15 years. With Italian family roots in Tuscany, she’s grown up with a love of amazing food and is currently living the dream between California and Italy. With a local’s eye and palette for the Italian lifestyle, she’s discovered wines that are relatively unknown in the U.S. Regional, boutique wines that, until now, are undiscovered in California. And she’s hand-picking her favorites and sharing them with you through DOCG Imports. A FISAR-certified, second-level sommelier education from Federazione Italiana Sommelier – Albergatori Ristoranti. Over 15 years of professional food and beverage management experience in Italy for executive and VIP events and entertainment. Extensive experience with the best restaurants in Rome, Venice, Milan, Florence, Sardegna and Cortina, as well as immediate access to Italy’s amazing wine regions and producers, and best of all, a true foodie’s love for flavors and aromas from the kitchen and vineyard.
winemaker Gianni Buonomo
Before completing his degree in Enology and Viticulture in Washington state, Keith apprenticed at the rock-star winery Long Shadows Vintners. Longshadows is a collective of seven top winemakers from around the world. It was at Long Shadows where Keith was able to rub shoulders and learn from some of the most highly regarded winemakers in the world.
Keith’s undergraduate studies were at the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He went on to graduate school at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Keith studied French at the prestigious Alliance Française in Paris, France and Spanish at the International Spanish Institute in Mexico.
Keith is a member of the San Diego Urban Winery Alliance, the San Diego County Vintners Association, the Guild of Sommeliers and is credentialed through The Court of Master Sommeliers. He is also a member of the San Diego Tourism Authority, Ocean Beach Main Street Association and the Ocean Beach Town Council.
Lorenzi Estate Winery
In the early 1900s Italian families Lorenzi and De Ambrogio planted Zinfandel vines in parts of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. This region, now known as the Cucamonga Valley, still produces grapes from these 100-year-old vines. In 2000 Don Lorenzi’s cousin, Steve De Ambrogio, gave him 20 vines cloned from these original 100-year-old vines. With a little luck, these vines were fruitful and soon Lorenzi was experimenting with small batches of wine for friends.
This passion grew and now, for over 13 years the Lorenzi family has made artisan wines from Temecula grapes. With painstaking attention to detail, Lorenzi Estate makes wine with a passion. Tasting room manager for Lorenzi Estate Winery, Conchetta Houghtaling will guide you through their bold, handcrafted premium wines from Temecula.
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The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Our tax ID# is 20-0857447. Proceeds from this event benefit participating institutions.