We are excited to travel to South Australia and invite you to follow along!
Follow Us to South Australia!
Paul Ozbirn, Advanced Sommelier, and Mark Rashap, CWE, are on their way to South Australia for an intensive submersion program, involving some time in Adelaide as well as the opportunity to get out to a number of key regions – Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, the Coonawarra and the Barossa. This exciting program will provide Paul, Mark and other wine industry professionals from around the world with in-depth knowledge of the South Australian wine industry including its history, wine regions and varietals as well as the individual personalities and experiences that is the real South Australian story.
Our partnership with South Australia Wines has provided us with the opportunity to send these two incredible wine professionals to this unique region to gather knowledge that they will share with us all through teaching and writing when they return. These opportunities allow us to enrich our educational programming for all of our members and supporters with the experience and knowledge that is gained when we expand our horizons through conversation, travel, and tasting.
Let Paul and Mark take you along on this unique journey! Follow The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, Paul, and Mark on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for all the behind-the-scenes experiences!
PAUL OZBIRN, ADVANCED SOMMELIER
Paul has served as Manager at both Paggi House and Olive & June. After a year managing Olive & June, Paul was promoted to Beverage Director of Shawn Cirkiel’s Parkside Projects.
Paul has been recognized with multiple Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence for both the Parkside and Olive & June beverage programs along with a feature article in the lauded Somm Journal magazine. He succeeded in passin the Advanced Exam on his first try in 2015, all while opening two consecutive restaurants: Chavez and Bullfight.
He has since left Parkside Projects to focus on completing his journey to becoming a Master Sommelier while also participating more deeply in the local Austin somm community. Paul is now a limited partner in Vino Vino, an 11 year old wine bar located in Austin’s historic Hyde Park neighborhood. Having spent countless hours at Vino Vino over the last few years, his intentions as partner are simple: carry on the tradition of Austin’s second oldest wine bar (second only to Wink) by offering an outstanding selection of the world’s finest beverages and maintain exceptional service standards in an environment that’s both casual and welcoming.
Paul has given his time and talent to support the success of The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas for many years including volunteering multiple times for the Rare & Fine Wine Auction and, most recently, speaking at Austin Wine Experience.
MARK RASHAP, CWE
Mark Rashap is a Certified Wine Educator (CWE), serves as Director of Wine Education for The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas, and hosts the radio show and podcast, Another Bottle Down on KOOP 91.7FM. Additionally, he consults and teaches privately for various distributors, brokers, and restaurant chains.
Coming from a varied background, starting in Argentina studying wine business, Mark moved to making and brokering wine in Washington State and working as a staff educator for a large Texas retailer. Most recently, he worked for the certifying body, The Society of Wine Educators. Continuously writing, giving classes and webinars, and having his finger on the pulse of the international wine scene, he believes that teaching the curious and thirsty public is the most gratifying aspect of the industry.
Mark has helped adapt the work of The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas in Austin. In addition to teaching WFFT's monthly educational wine tastings, he was instrumental in the creation of the inaugural Austin Wine Experience, connecting WFFT with expert and dynamic speakers for each session and shaping the curriculum for an afternoon of spectacular wine education for our members and guests.
Click here to learn more about Mark’s background.