Originally from New England, I am an Entrepreneur, Mother, Wife, Traveler, trained Chef, Sommelier and Philanthropist. I have worked in hotels and restaurants obtaining a Master of Science in Hospitality Administration in 1996 from Johnson & Wales University. Upon earning the Grande Diplome de Cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu Paris in 2000, I worked as a Chef owning Fat Cat Catering in Boston and Newport, RI for almost 10 years.
Having sold Sage Cellars, Inc., my second business in wine & spirits distribution June 2019, we represented wineries and vendors from around the world with California wine making up over 50% of our portfolio. Hendry Ranch Winery (George Hendry), La Sirena (Heidi Barrett), Smith Madrone Vineyards (Stu and Charles Smith), Retro Cellars (Mike Dunn), Summit Lake Vineyards (Bob Brakesman), Titus Vineyards (Eric Titus), Truchard Vineyards (Anthony Truchard), most importantly Refugio Ranch (Max Marschak) are a few of the California wineries we distributed.
My undergraduate, University of Utah 1992 Baccalaureate of Science degree is in Sociology and Psychology. Hiking, camping and skiing the Wasatch and Unita Mountains is were my love for the west deepened, going on to living in Colorado for a number of years. Our family always spoke of living in California, especially since we traveled here so often. We finally made the move this year and are happily situated in Solvang with old oak trees surrounding our home.
In final, I attended the HEG/DUGGAT graduate program at the University of Reims, France in October 2019 completing my thesis in October of 2020 and receiving the highest level degree in gastronomy March 2021, my thesis was on Natural Wine coming around again focusing on the differences and similarities between the movement in France and views of health in the United States.
My business partner/husband and I are fortunate to have friends who are wine makers from all over the globe. With this exposure, I have engaged in many political and economic based conversations regarding the wine industry and state of farming facing realities of global warming, changing growing/harvest seasons in differing regions, increased competition and political influences. Maintaining the integrity of winemaking in California is of great importance to me, this incredibly dynamic living organism in the bottle is the history of our state’s agriculture as much as any fruit and vegetable and the people behind the label are equally valuable.