The Academy of Wine has grown tremendously from its beginnings in the early 1990s when Steve Hosmer, Director Wine Education West Coast, travelled the country offering wine education seminars. He was joined by Luis Torres, Director of Wine Education East Coast, in 2000 and together they formally created the "University of Wine” and offered education for key accounts and distributors.

In 2002, the Wine Alliance Company was purchased and the "Academy of Wine” was introduced as the new banner for the education team. From 2003 through 2013, the Academy of Wine has enlightened more than 10,000 students annually. Today The Academy of Wine is brought to you by Constellation Wines US.


Luis Torres

Wine Expert: Luis Torres

South American-born, Chicago-raised Luis Torres lends his extensive background in wine supply, distribution, and on-premise roles to the Academy. He studied Food Science and Technology before spending 15 years in the restaurant industry. His experience includes an apprenticeship at Charlie Trotter’s with Master Sommelier Larry Stone, studies with the Court of Master Sommeliers, The Wine and Spirits Education Trust and management and wine buying responsibilities for all of Hilton’s Chicago star properties.

As a manufacturer’s representative Luis represented a portfolio of worldwide high prestige wines. Luis’ expertise in the education arena quickly became apparent. In 2001 he was promoted to his current role directing the Academy’s Central, and East Coast education programs.  His commitment to his students is evidenced through a highly interactive and comprehensive teaching style.  Just a few of Luis’ clients include: Back Bay Restaurants, Bravo Brio Group, Bobby Flay Carrabba’s, Kroger, Hilton Hotels, Interfood Brazil, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, JW. Marriott, Marriott Marquis NY, Omni Hotels, Pinehurst Resorts, Publix Corporation, Ritz Carlton Chicago, Florida and Puerto Rico, Ruby Tuesday, Stansfeld-Scott, Sofitel Hotels, Target Corporation, The World President’s and Young Presidents Organization.


Recent Achievements and Memberships:

  • He is now on the studying at the Diploma Level with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust 2013
  • He was assigned to Direct Education initiatives for the Academy of Wine in the Carribbean, Mexico and Latin America 2011 to Present
  • Completing Organizational Leadership Program Roosevelt University,  Chicago in August 2011
  • Passed with Distinction (Top 25% in the World): The Wine and Spirits Education Trust Advanced level February 19, 2010
  • Certified Instructor for The Wine and Spirits Education Trust  March 2010
  • Received Mastery in Communication from Atlanta based S.E. Communications in 2008.
  • Member: American Society of Training and Development, and Society of Wine Educators.
  • Luis and his Family are Active in World Taekwondo Federation since 2006.

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