Wine Leaders to Take Active Part in Competition

The Finger Lakes International Wine Competition (FLIWC) cannot be a success without the help of knowledgeable leaders in the wine community.  This year, two local leaders: Lorraine Hems and Teresa Knapp are taking on key responsibilities in the FLIWC.

Lorraine Hems is going to be this year’s Head Judge. She will oversee all of the judges at the competition.lorrainehemsheadshot

Lorraine Hems has been in the wine and culinary field since 1981. She started teaching wine courses at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2001 following a career in the retail and wholesale arenas. A fulltime lecturer in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department since 2005, she later received her Masters of Service Leadership and Innovation there. She loves involving her students with various events that have included this competition.

Lorraine has been judging in competitions for over 20 years and was there at the beginning of the FLIWC. She assisted in the backroom for the first year and, since then, has judged 14 out of 15 subsequent competitions. Lorraine also served on FLIWC committees, has been in charge of the “Candy Store” of wines for the Camp’s dinner auction and has been part of several auction items.  She was also given a Teddi Award from Camp Good Days in 2011. Lorraine has also chaired other local wine competitions.

Lorraine’s a Certified Wine Judge through the American Wine Society, a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, and is working on finishing her Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma. Lorraine became a Certified Wine Educator and Certified Specialist of Spirits through the Society of Wine Educators’ certification programs and was elected to their Board of Directors and Secretary to the Executive Committee. She also teaches WSET and industry training courses at the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua, NY and other locations.

Lorraine has had many opportunities to travel, present, and judge globally.  A local girl, she’s really enjoyed working with the great people in the New York State wine industry; an internationally-recognized quality wine producing region. She received the Women for WineSense’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation’s Consumer Award in 2016 for promotion and education about the wines of New York. She is currently working on the 2nd edition of her course textbook, Passport to the World of Wines.

“I have been involved in the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition since it began,” Lorriane said, “so I am honored to be asked to be the Head Judge in its 17th year! Over these years, I’ve witnessed many judges crying when they’ve witnessed the impact Camp has on the lives of the campers and how they’re able, through judging at the competition, raise money for more campers to attend. It’s very exciting to be a part of this globally recognized competition that benefits Camp Good Days and Special Times.”

Teresa Knapp is going to be this year’s Flighting and Tabulation Manager.  She will oversee the selections of wine and the scoring of the wines being tasted.


Teresa Knapp has been in the grape and wine industry all of her life. As a 4th generation grape growing member of the Stamp Family, Teresa is a partner of Lakewood Vineyards in Watkins Glen, NY.  Spending time working in the vineyards made Teresa appreciate all of the hard work that goes into a fine bottle of wine. Upon graduating from Cornell University, her love of the industry brought her to the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.

As Project Manager of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, Teresa has been the Competition Director of the New York Wine & Food Classic for the last 17 years.  Other competition experience includes: The Golden Nose, International Eastern Wine Competition and she is a founding partner of the Makers & Masters Classic. Teresa lives in Canandaigua, New York with her very supportive husband, Randy, and three children.

 “This will be my first year of involvement with the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition,” Teresa said. “I am looking forward to putting my experience with the New York Wine & Food Classic to use in such a great way. I am excited to work on an international competition while supporting Camp Good Days and Special Times and all they do.”