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Court of Master Sommeliers Welcomes Four New Masters to its Ranks

Christopher Bates, Carlton McCoy, Emily Pickral-Papach and Christopher Tanghe Named Master Sommelier
May 22, 2013

ASPEN, CO—(May 22, 2013) – The Court of Master Sommeliers welcomed four new members to the prestigious organization: Christopher Bates (Hotel Fauchere, Milford, PA), Carlton McCoy (The Little Nell, Aspen, CO), Emily Pickral-Papach (Chappellet Winery, Napa, CA) and Christopher Tanghe (RN74, Seattle, WA).

The Master Sommelier Diploma is considered the highest distinction a professional can attain in the fine wine and beverage industry, and to achieve the title of Master Sommelier is no easy feat. Candidates must have successfully passed the other three stages of the Court’s educational programs: the Introductory, Certified and Advanced Exams. As the final stage, the invitation-only Master Sommelier Diploma Exam consists of three sections, including a theory examination, blind tasting and practical service component, and candidates must receive passing scores in each category in order to earn the highly coveted title of Master Sommelier.

Held at the Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado and sponsored by the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas, the by-invitation exam was attempted by 63 individuals from 19 states and three countries.

“On behalf of the entire Court, I would like to congratulate all four candidates for reaching the final stage of the examination process, and heartily welcome Christopher Bates, Carlton McCoy, Emily Pickral-Papach and Christopher Tanghe to our organization,” said Greg Harrington, Chairman of the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers. “They truly represent the best of the best and we look forward to their future contributions to the Court and the wine industry as a whole.”

About the Court of Master Sommeliers

The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam to be held in the United States was in 1987. The title Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities, and professionalism in the hospitality trade. Education was then, and remains today, the Court’s charter. There are four stages involved in attaining the top qualifications of Master Sommelier: 1) Introductory Sommelier Course; 2) Certified Sommelier Exam; 3) Advanced Sommelier Course; and 4) Master Sommelier Diploma. There are 133 professionals who have earned the title of Master Sommelier as part of the Americas chapter since the organization’s inception. Of those, 114 are men and 19 are women. There are 201 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam. For more information, visit

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