Over ten years ago, Mark took a passion for wine to a professional level by studying wine management in a University of California-Davis extension course in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The program focused on the business of wine, from winery budgeting and supply chain management, to world consumption trends and marketing.
He then went on to work as assistant winemaker at :Nota Bene Cellars in Washington state for four years. In addition to his responsibilities in the winery, he started a wine brokerage and promotions company specializing in distributing artisan Washington wineries to a few select US markets.
Moving to Austin in 2009, Mark decided his knowledge and experience is better suited to educating wine consumers through private and public classes and tastings. He worked several years for the retailer Spec’s as a wine educator for the staff and public. Meanwhile, Mark continues to serve as a panel judge for the Texas Wine Journal, rating hundreds of Texas wines in an attempt to understand and pass on commentary for the Texas wine industry to grow and improve.
In August 2015, Mark joined the team of the Society of Wine Educators as Marketing Coordinator to foster wine education across the country, through teaching webinars and writing for the SWE blog. In 2017, many projects were calling, and Mark became an independent educator teaching various classes around Austin and webinars for students around the US, as well as creating digital media content, videos and podcasts, for private clients in the wine industry. Additionally, he serves as Director of Wine Education of the Wine and Food Foundation of TX teaching classes, designing large educational events, and writing for their blog.
Mark is a true believer that wine empowers us to appreciate different cultures, celebrate friendship and good food, relive a sense of history, and connect ourselves with the earth. That is what it’s all about.
The concept of innovative wine tasting has been something that Mark has been working on for close to 10 years. It is well understood that “comparative” tasting, or tasting one wine against another, allows certain characteristics to pop and become obvious, speeding up the learning curve for wine appreciation. Taken one step further, innovative tasting involves a carefully curated progression of wines and taste experiences that are truly unique and illuminating. In essence, it is the entire art exhibit instead of the individual works of art. This is the philosophy with which Mark puts together all of his public and private classes.