Way to go, Northern California! Of the seven new members of the Court of the Master Sommeliers, five of them are from NorCal. Local honorees include Yoon Ha of Benu, Gillian Ballance of Murray Circle Restaurant at Cavallo Point, Ian Cauble of the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, Sur Lucero of Oenotri in Napa (a Krug Cup winner—he passed on his first try!), and Desmond Echavarrie of the French Laundry. Former San Franciscan John Ragan, now with Union Square Hospitality Group in New York, was another inductee, as was Chris Miller (Spago, Beverly Hills).
There are 197 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam.