April 12, 2019


wait staff pouring a glass of champagne

Wine and brew masters celebrated at annual festival



Tiffini Gallant, Alumni/Foundation Marketing Coordinator at MSU Billings Foundation, (406) 657-2252, tiffini.gallant@msubillings.edu


MSU BILLINGS FOUNDATION NEWS—From Montana to Australia, the 2019 Wine & Food Festival brings beverage experts to Billings in a celebration of wine and beer. This year’s featured winemasters are Ewan Proctor of Penfolds in South Australia, and John and Lane Giguiere of Matchbook Wine Company in Zamora, California. Zach Nelson, the 2019 brewmaster, is from closer to home at KettleHouse Brewing Company in Missoula. Each brings with them a mastery of fine wine and craft beer that’s sure to tantalize taste buds during the week-long festival of events in May.

Proctor is the Penfolds brand ambassador and head of luxury education for Treasury Wine Estates America. Recently, he spent three years in Asia, during which he was pivotal to the phenomenal success and growth of the iconic Australian winemaker. An experienced sommelier, Proctor joined Penfolds after a decorated career in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.

John and Lane Giguiere are a husband-and-wife team who have been in the wine business since the early 1980s. The two, along with John’s brother Karl, founded R.H. Phillips Winery in the Dunnigan Hills region of California in 1983. Starting as a small, family-owned vineyard and winery operation, the company grew into a 750,000-case producer on a 2,500-acre plot of land. Lane retired from R.H. Phillips in 2004 to start Crew Wine Company, now Matchbook Wine Company, and John joined her the following year.

Nelson is a lead brewer at KettleHouse Brewing Company, where he has worked his way up the ranks from cleaning kegs in 2012. Nelson now oversees the brewing and production operations in the company’s three facilities. The Missoulian brewery is known for matching quality beers to the quality of the Montana outdoor experience, and they’re the makers of award-winning Cold Smoke Scotch Ale.

All of the wine and brew masters will be present during the Wine and Food Pairings under the “Grand” Tent event on Friday, May 17. The event features food and beverage samples from dozens of vendors, a silent auction, and an on-site wine store in the “grand” white tent at MSU Billings. The featured presenters will also share their expertise during Brewmaster Symposium and Winemaster Symposium events earlier that week. Tickets to the Friday night pairing event, along with other Wine & Food Festival events, are on sale now at msubfoundation.com/shop.     

For more event information about the MSU Billings Foundation’s annual Wine & Food Festival, contact Jeanne Moller at (406) 657-1623 or jmoller@msubillings.edu.