Our fearless leader Tom Nuijens aka "The Nooge" gives props to his famous nephew

Christopher Bates (34) - Master Sommelier & James Beard Acclaimed Chef, owner of Element Winery and now co-owner with wife Isabel of The FLX Wienery, a gourmet craft sausage & burger restaurant, both in the Finger Lakes region of NY state, will be the star feature in May 2015's issue of The Wine Spectator magazine, the go-to publication for oenophiles (that's wine lovers, duh).

In 2012 for the second year in a row, Chris brought home the gold as the winner of the 6th Concours International des Jeunes Sommeliers (International Young Sommeliers Competition) sponsored by the International Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and held in Cape Town, South Africa. To compete at the international level, he not only had to win in the U.S. at his regional level (Mid-Atlantic Region) but also had to defeat representatives of nine other regions to become the National "Best Young Sommelier 2012" at the U.S. competition. It was held in May in Napa Valley by the Société Mondiale du Vin USA, the wine section of the U.S. Chaîne. In 2010, Chris vied for honors at the First Annual Somm Slam at the StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress in New York and won the Wines of South Africa World Cup of Wine competition.

Chris has also mentored "The Nooge" on product development at The Bay on occasion, helping him avoid disastrous product launches, and advising on the latest flavor-profile trends...what can we say except it's "All in the Family!"

Element Winery: http://elementwinery.com/
FLX Wienery: http://www.flxwienery.com/
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