Josh Ruse and Jake Ruse (Founders)
We were raised in Houston and found our way to the Austin area in 2005.
While attending Texas State University, we fell in love with central Texas and never looked back. For the past 5 years we have been involved in the real estate industry as Real Estate Expert Advisors and marketing consultants. We created The Austin Texas Wine society to connect and create magical moments with other wine enthusiast in the Austin Texas Area.
We wanted to create a society filled with wine enthusiast who love wine as much as we do and employ a movement that attracts all wine lovers in the Austin area.
Our goal is for The Austin Texas Wine Society to be one of the biggest influential wine society’s in Austin Texas!
We welcome you to the movement and hope you enjoy all of what The Austin Texas Wine Society has to offer!!!
Richard Arebalo (Founder)
J. Richard Arebalo – Texas born and raised – BBA, University of Texas at Austin, works for Dutch multi-national NXP inc., Traveled extensively for work and food. ISG Level 2 Somm Training, Features Editor for OTL Golf Magazine specializing in restaurants and fine wine, co-founder of Austin Texas Wine Society, co-founder of the Austin Art Deco Society
Sammy Angel Lam (High Table Member)
Sammy (The Wine Cowboy) Lam is a native Texan who in college studied abroad on semester at sea, where he discovered his passion for wine and travel. He has since traveled to 65+ countries, completed the OIV Masters of Science in Wine Management, worked n more than 5 wineries, received the WSET Level 3 and ISG Advanced Sommelier Certifications, and is currently in the process of opening Wanderlust Wine Company. It is Sammy's goal to promote the appreciation and culture of wine to Texans, and is excited to partner with Austin Texas Wine Society to achieve this! Cheers! Check out his winery at WanderLustWine.com
Alicia Verastegui (High Table Member)
Alicia is a tremendous wine enthusiast. She has a BBA in Accounting from St. Edwards University. She is a member of various clubs (wine and non-wine related) and local support groups. In her spare time, when she’s not drinking wine or reading, you may find her salsa dancing.
As a passionate wine enthusiast, Alicia has refined her taste in wine by attending educational wine events and trying out wines from different regions. She likes to travel and find the “must eat here” restaurant and local wineries in every place.
Fun fact: Alicia rates restaurants by their wine list. Give her a restaurant name and she’ll tell you about their wine menu. Plus she enjoys sharing her wine passion with others!
Karl Enriquez (High Table Member)
Born and raised in Houston, TX. I earned a BBA from University of North Texas, and an EMBA from Texas Christian University. I am a sales professional in Consumer Package Goods, with 1 and a half years in Metrics Analytics and ~9 years in beverage sales.
In 2015, I became a big wine enthusiast, and took a part time job at a wine shop called Lush Wine and Spirits, while living in Chicago. I learned about the difference between new world and old world wines, how to pair them with different tapas and snacks and fell in love with Champagne.
My wife Britney and I are newly weds as of May 2019, and recently relocated to the Austin, TX area from Dallas/Ft. Worth. We love discovering new wine dives to visit and indulging in a great charcuterie boards.
Tal Bendor (High Table Member)
Born and raised in Israel, my work in the industry brought me to this great state
As the US Market director of Tulip winery- the biggest and most special boutique winery in Israel, I get to interact with wine professionals and enthusiasts alike throughout the entire country.
When I'm not away for work, I'm the General manager of Mendelbaum Cellars- a Texas based winery that specialize in both 100% Texas and 100% Israeli wines. You can visit us MendelbaumCellars.com
I hold multiple certifications from different esteemed organizations, currently perusing my WSET Diploma.
Judging panel member at the Texas International wine competition and a passionate wine collector.
Since wine is an endless field I started to experiment in viticulture and winemaking with my estate vineyard in The Hill country AVA.
Ashley Ferrell (High Table Member)
Ashley is a born and raised Texan. She started her degree at the University of North Texas and finished her degree at the University of West Florida in public relations and marketing. Right after college, her path led her to Atlanta, GA, where she worked at a wine bar that sparked her knowledge and appreciation of world-class wines.
Now, Ashley has worked in the hospitality industry as an incentive, conference, and meeting planning professional for over ten years. She has a passion for detail and executing unique events that bring people together to connect. Her worldwide travels to Africa, Asia, Europe, and all over the U.S. have given her a passion for being an explorer and an adventurous foodie who loves nothing more than to enjoy a meaningful conversation over a glass of wine.
Ashley is excited to grow her passion for wine and share memorable event experiences in Austin, TX, where the options for amazing food and beverage experiences are endless! In her free time, sheenjoys spending it exploring the local hiking trails with Dutchess, her Jack Russell Terrier, attending live concerts, reading a book with a glass of wine, and traveling the world.
Margaret Deal (High Table Member)
Margaret is a South Carolina native where she attended the University of South Carolina. After graduating from USC, she moved to Charleston, South Carolina, one of the largest meccas of hospitality in America. She was hired to work for a catering & event design firm that has been officially recognized as one of the Leading Caterers of America (LCA). Margaret currently works for a destination management company in Austin as an operations manager where her day to day task include but are not limited to maneuvering a horse and trick roper through a hotel, coordinating keeping a marching band completely silent to surprise conference attendees, and sometimes actually sitting down at her computer to respond to emails.
As a planner by nature, she takes great pleasure in researching, creating, and executing a vision. Margaret is passionate about all food properly seasoned, a bold red wine, bringing people together and the experience around a dinner table.
In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the ever-evolving Austin culinary scene, being out on the water and cheering on her South Carolina Gamecocks!”