Louis Villard has spent the best part of his life traipsing through the vineyards and wineries of Europe and California. Starting in his hometown of Santa Barbara he worked as a cellar rat at Rusack Vineyards. He then moved to the Languedoc region of France where he was assistant winemaker at Domaine La Sauvageonne. England then called and Villard went on to work as a sommelier for several years, culminating in a position at London's Savoy Grill for Gordon Ramsay. Somewhere n that time, he acquired a bachelor of science degree in oenology and became a certified sommelier. Now back in California, he contributes regularly to the Santa Barbara News-Press and Edible Santa Barbara. He also writes for Decanter Magazine, Imbibe and www.CataVino.net, among other wine and food magazines and websites.