Faculty & Staff
Our instructors are highly-qualified, well known and respected wine industry veterans who bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the classroom, ensuring that students are well-prepared to enter the job market after graduation or progress in their current careers.
Wine Production Instructor, Wine Maker
Tracey LaPierre was born and raised in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. While in college for botany, she took a winemaking course, which sparked her interest in wine. She began working as the laboratory manager at the prestigious Heron Hill Vineyards, under winemaker Thomas Laszlo. The focus at Heron Hill was terroir driven, small-lot Riesling. After six years at Heron Hill, life took her to southern California, where she spent one vintage as a consultant winemaker for Camarillo Custom Crush. There, she produced micro-lot wines, mainly Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals.From Southern California, she moved to the Sonoma area to work with Mark Lyon, as his laboratory manager, at Sonoma’s historic Sebastiani Vineyards producing mostly small-lot, artisan wines. In 2011, Tracey moved to Washington state and worked with first, DiStefano Winery and then with Mark Ryan Winery over a period of six years.
Tracey is now the owner and enologist for Seattle Wine Lab and Consulting Services, offering a full-service lab for home or commercial wineries in Seattle and the surrounding areas. Her lab is focused on comprehensive, accurate, and rapid results that provide a clear, unbiased and a practical approach to winemaking.
In addition to her 18 years of production experience, Tracey holds the Wine and Spirits Education Trust Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits. This is WSET’s flagship qualification, providing in-depth knowledge and understanding of wines, spirits and the global industry.
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Tanya Morning Star Darling
Tanya has been working in the wine industry; in restaurants, retail and education for nearly two decades. Tanya was first exposed to fine food and wine as a young woman during her studies in France, & New York City; where she became fascinated by the interplay between wine, food, history, and cultural identity. A stalwart traveller, Tanya has visited many of the great wine regions of Western and Eastern Europe as well as those of the United States; she holds a Bachelor or Fine Arts from New York University, and studied wine formally at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), completing the Diploma level. Tanya is also certified by the Society of Wine Educators, and the Wine Scholar Guild. Tanya is proud to be faculty at the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College, where she teaches Wine History, Introduction to Wines of the World, and Advanced Wines of the World courses (including both the Wine Scholar Guild’s French and Italian Wine Scholar certifications). Tanya also teaches WSET coursework.
Most recently Tanya was named a Bourgogne Ambassador by the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne – Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB).
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Jennifer Hurley grew up in Alaska and moved to Seattle in 2012 after stops in Chicago and Cincinnati. Jen has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. After moving to the Pacific Northwest, Jen began exploring the wine industry by taking classes at the Northwest Wine Academy, and completed her Certificate in Wine Making in 2015. Jen has worked harvests at both NWWA and Chateau Ste. Michelle. In her free time, Jen loves to travel with her husband and always checks out regional wineries; her favorite trips include New Zealand, South Africa and Spain.
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Food & Wine Instructor
A restaurateur, wine steward, consultant and educator with almost 30 years of industry experience, Leonard Redé has a unique blend of culinary and wine expertise. He is currently the European Wine Specialist at Esquin Wine Merchants. Prior to that, he was Operations Manager at Wine World working alongside David LeClaire helping to create the largest wine store in Washington State. He has worked as a Wine Steward for Metropolitan Market and is a well regarded in the wine industry for his knowledge of wine history and gastronomy. As instructor in the Wine Technology Program at South Seattle College, he wrote the curriculum for the Associate of Arts Degree in Food and Wine Pairing, the first college level program of its kind. He is a an award winning chef and he was nominated for educator of the year while Chef Instructor at the world renowned Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
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Program Coordinator, Wine Business Instructor
Jane Rockhold is the Program Coordinator at Northwest Wine Academy and teaches Wine Business. Jane went through the Wine Technology program in 2007/2008 and received one of the first certificates offered by NWWA. She holds a Masters of Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, with a specialization in Agribusiness. Her business background includes roles in international sales and product development as well as financial control and inventory management. Additionally, she is registered as a Certified Professional in Supply Management by the Institute of Supply Management. Beyond her interest in the wine industry, she has also worked with Doctors Without Borders as a Project Administrative Manager responsible for finance and human resource functions of emergency projects overseas.
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Linn Scott, a Seattle native, teaches Viticulture and Wine Science classes at the Northwest Wine Academy. He has a Masters of Science in Viticulture and Enology from the Vinifera Euromaster Consortium. He studied and conducted research at Montpellier SupAgro in Montpellier, France and at the Forschungsanstalt Geisenheim in Germany. He completed a thesis on the viticultural and enological practices that are used in farming and making Riesling in Washington State. Aside from teaching, Linn is the winemaker at Sparkman Cellars in Woodinville.
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Sommelier, Service and Beverage Management Instructor
Ezra’s love of good wine and authentic Italian cuisine began at an early age when his family began traveling to Europe each summer. During these many travels, Ezra enjoyed sampling the various flavor profiles from different regions throughout Italy and beyond. During a four-month tour of southern Europe in 2010, his passion peaked for aperitivi cocktails and indigenous Italian varietal wines.
Ezra is a Certified Sommelier and enjoys sharing his knowledge and favorite old world wines with his Osteria la Spiga guests. He has also mastered the art of craft cocktails, using a range of ingredients to create interesting concoctions. His current personal favorite on la Spiga’s craft cocktail list is the Caipiroska Della Passione; passion fruit puree muddled with fresh lime and house chili-infused vodka. Salute!
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Todd Threlkeld grew up in the Seattle area and took the plunge to winemaking after careers in teaching and woodworking. Creative impulses combined with living in one of the worlds’s great viticultural regions led Todd to winemaking. He and wife Anne started winemaking in 2011 and began taking classes here in 2013. Todd is completing his certificate in Winemaking at Northwest Wine Academy while helping Peter Bos guide students through the Production series. Along with his second NWWA harvest, 2016 is the first commercial harvest for Todd and Anne’s T2 Cellar. Todd enjoys cycling, hiking, as well as cooking and wine travel with Anne.
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To schedule an appointment with a Student Advisor, contact:
Dieny Aras, Student Success Specialist
Office: RSB 11
Phone: (206) 934-5394
Email Contact: SouthProfTech@seattlecolleges.edu
To schedule an appointment with an internship/career specialist, contact:
James Brown, Embedded Career Specialist
Phone: (206) 934-7962
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