LARKSPOUR, CA. – 18. March 2021. – Rat Spiegle, head of corporate sales of wine and spirits at O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, is one of ten new awardees of the Masters of Wine Institute. This honorary award has only been given to 493 Masters of Wine (MW) worldwide, and Speegle joins the ranks of those recognized for their outstanding expertise in all aspects of wine.

With a long career in the wine industry and years of experience, Mr. Speegle’s path to becoming a Master of Wine has been one of the most challenging in the industry. It also coincided with their desire to be part of the global image of the wine industry.

I love the wine world, says Spigle. This achievement was an opportunity for me to build relationships in the wine industry around the world, to consolidate a deeper knowledge of the wine business and wine tasting, and to make a professional contribution to the O’Neill organization sponsoring this trip.

Ms. Spiegl’s extensive experience in the wine industry helped her complete the demanding MW course. Speegle worked at O’Neill Vintners & Distillers for ten years, from 2011 to 2014 as winemaker and then from 2014 to 2017 as director of winemaking. He has overseen the production of over 20 million litres of wine, led a team of young winemakers and consistently produced the highest quality wines for the O’Neill brands. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, she joined O’Neill Sales & Education in her current role, where she distributes California wines and spirits worldwide, identifies new business opportunities and works with national and exclusive brands.

Prior to joining O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, Ms. Speegle earned a master’s degree from UC Davis in 2002 and was enology and laboratory manager at Ravenswood Winery from 2003 to 2006. In addition to her extensive knowledge of the wine industry, Ms. Spigle was an assistant winemaker at Kenwood Vineyards from 2006-2011 and a winemaker at Lake Sonoma Wine from 2009-2011. In addition to his current position, Mr. Spigle is an instructor at the Napa Valley Wine Academy, where he teaches the WSET program and develops and delivers custom courses.

The Institute of Master Winemakers published its first exam in 1953. Since then, 493 individuals have been awarded the title of Master of Wine, including a total of 149 women. Recognized worldwide for its high standards and rigorous testing, the MW test consists of three integrated components: Theoretical and mock exams followed by a research project. Dr. Spiegle’s research paper was titled What factors influenced the presence of American wines on American wine lists between 1900 and 1950?

About O’Neill Winemakers and Distillers

O’Neill Vintners & Distillers was founded in 2004 by industry veteran and entrepreneur Jeff O’Neill. This vertically integrated winery is one of the fastest growing in California and has a reputation for producing high quality wines on the North and Central coasts and in the Central Valley. With extensive vineyards and state-of-the-art production facilities, O’Neill offers the industry world-class winemaking services and a growing portfolio of national brands. The company’s portfolio of national brands includes Line 39, Robert Hall, Harken, Exitus, Day Owl Rosé, Austerity, Rabble and Charles Woodson’s Intercept. For more information, please visit www.ONeillWine.com.

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