Meet Our People

These are the people teaching you about wine. It’s a world-class team of winemakers, chefs, sommeliers, restaurateurs, retailers, educators, vineyard managers, winery owners, journalists, and others who have a specific expertise that helps you better understand and enjoy wine.

Wine Industry Insiders

Wine Industry Insiders

Nick Poletto

Wine Educator

Wine Industry Insiders

Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta

Tenuta San Guido

Wine Industry Insiders

Vitalie Taittinger

Champagne Expert

Wine Industry Insiders

Guillaume Large

Winemaker

Missi Holle

Missi Holle

Wine Educator

Katie Madigan, winemaker for St. Francis

Katie Madigan

Winemaker

Wine Industry Insiders

Olivier Humbrecht MW

Winemaker

Wine Industry Insiders

Molly Hill

Winemaker

Wine Industry Insiders

Emilia Nardi

Brunello Expert

Wine Industry Insiders

Henry Sidel

Sake Samurai

Wine Industry Insiders

Zak Miller

Winemaker

Wine Industry Insiders

Jake Terrell

Sustainability Expert

Wine Industry Insiders

Chris Louton

Winemaker

picture of Wine365 contributor Kurt Eckert, French wine specialist

Kurt Eckert

French Wine Expert

Jordan Ross, contributor on Wine365

Jordan Ross

Wine Expert

Wine Industry Insiders

Bernie Sun

Sommelier

Wine Industry Insiders

Ron Breitstein

Wine Expert

Nick Poletto

Wine Educator

Nick Poletto, DipWSET,CSS,CSW has an extensive wine background that began in 2002 and includes studying abroad in both Italy and Argentina, working a harvest season at a winery in Martinborough, New Zealand, and teaching the WSET at Johnson and Wales University. Currently the Director of Wine and Spirit Education for Kobrand Corporation, Nick is a “practical only” MW student, meaning he has passed the theory portion of the Master of Wine exam.

Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta

Tenuta San Guido

Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta is co-owner of Tenuta San Guido, the Tuscan winery in Bolgheri famous for Super Tuscan wines Sassicaia and Guidalberto, and is an ambassador for her family business in Italy and abroad. Alongside her father Nicolò, she has devoted her energy to further developing and promoting the wines of Tenuta San Guido’s portfolio and maintaining their tradition of innovation and excellence.

Vitalie Taittinger

Champagne Expert

Vitalie Taittinger is the CEO of Champagne Taittinger, the world-renowned sparkling wine producer from Reims that bears her name. She has a background in design and worked in the gastronomy sector earlier in her career. Vitalie is passionate about using her skills to transform Taittinger’s brand image into one that has a cohesive visual identity.

Guillaume Large

Winemaker

Guillaume Large was born in the heart of the Pouilly Fuissé appellation in 1982. Growing up his grandfather, who was a grower, shared with him his passion for vineyards and wine. Guillaume graduated with an Oenologist’s National Diploma from the Jules Guyot Institute of Dijon. In 2011, Guillaume joined Maison Louis Jadot and became the Assistant Technical Director. In August 2017, he moved to Oregon and joined Résonance as Winemaker, working under the advisement of Jacques Lardière.

Missi Holle

Wine Educator

Missi has over 20 years of experience in the wine/spirits industry from both wholesaler and supplier positions. She is a Certified Wine Educator (CWE), and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS), obtained through The Society of Wine Educators (SWE), and currently serves as President of their Board of Directors.  She has achieved Advanced Level wine certification through the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and has trained through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She is very passionate about teaching and strives to make wine and spirits education easy to understand and, most importantly, fun!

Katie Madigan

Winemaker

Katie Madigan is a winemaker for St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, where she has worked for the past 15 years. Her interest in winemaking grew from her attraction towards science and her passion for creativity. She is responsible for the production of three of St. Francis’ top wines: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and “Old Vines” Zinfandel. Katie has also received substantial recognition for her work: she was awarded “Best Woman Winemaker” by the International Women’s Wine Competition in 2015.

Olivier Humbrecht MW

Winemaker

Olivier Humbrecht is the General Manager and winemaker for Domaine Zind-Humbrecht. Olivier maintains a reputation for being one of the most educated winemakers in the world: he holds degrees from the Ecole Supérieure d’Agriculture de Purpan and Université d’Oenologie de Toulouse in Agriculture and Oenology. He is only the second winemaker in the world to achieve the title of “Master of Wine.”

Molly Hill

Winemaker

Molly Hill is responsible for all winemaking and production for Sequoia Grove Winery. She has experience in crafting wines from all over the world, working at Domaine Carneros and Sea Smoke Cellars in California and later transitioning to Viña Isidro in Chile. Molly’s expertise is in creating rich Cabernet Sauvignons and vibrant Chardonnays.

Emilia Nardi

Brunello Expert

Emilia Nardi is the owner of Tenute Silvio Nardi, a Brunello producer from Montalcino, Italy. She took control of the family business at 30 and holds an executive MBA. Emilia has also made an effort to incorporate forward-thinking scientific practices into her wines, and for this reason, Tenute Silvio Nardi maintains close working relationships with enology universities in Bordeaux and Florence.

Henry Sidel

Sake Samurai

Henry Sidel is the Founder and General Manager of Joto Sake, the sake division of Kobrand Wine and Spirits. Henry started Joto Sake LLC in 2005 with the vision of creating the most selective and respected sake importing company in the U.S. Joto means “highest quality” and this was the guiding principle for Henry and his team. Before starting Joto Sake, Henry held management roles at Belvedere Vodka/Moet Hennessy, Brooklyn Brewery, and Ciao Bella Gelato.

Zak Miller

Winemaker

Zak Miller works as a winemaker for Domaine Carneros, Champagne Taittinger’s sparkling wine house in the U.S. He began his career as a forestry scientist before transitioning into winemaking at Saintsbury Vineyards in Napa. Inquisitive by nature, Zak has traveled to Europe and New Zealand to fine-tune his abilities. Zak is known for his dedication to crafting complex and delicious Pinot Noirs.

Jake Terrell

Sustainability Expert

Jake Terrell is the Director of Vineyards for St. Francis Winery and Vineyards. He has an extensive background in agricultural management, spending time at both E. & J. Gallo Winery and Justin Vineyards & Winery before coming to St. Francis. Jake’s commitment to sustainability and green winemaking is evident in St. Francis’ viticultural practices, which include maintaining a 457-kilowatt solar panel system and ensuring that the majority of its bottles are comprised of at least 50% recycled material.

Chris Louton

Winemaker

Chris Louton is a winemaker for St. Francis Winery & Vineyards. He studied biology and enology at UC Davis, then put his education into practice while working at Schramsberg Vineyards in Calistoga and Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena. At St. Francis, Chris supervises the production of Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and other varietals from Bordeaux.

Kurt Eckert

French Wine Expert

Kurt Eckert has worked as a sommelier in top NYC restaurants, leading the opening team at Jean-Georges and immediately achieving 4-star recognition from the NY Times and 3 stars from the Michelin Guide. In addition to the flagship restaurant, he managed the wine programs at four more NYC restaurants in the group and contributed to still more Jean-Georges projects around the world. While managing these wine programs he created his own boutique label for handcrafted wines, employing classic old-world techniques in the emerging vineyards on the East End of Long Island. After leaving the restaurant scene in 2002 he became US Brand Director for Champagne Krug, and developed an effective strategy for success in the US market for this reference-point, iconic Champagne brand. The next step was as Director of Fine Wines for Frederick Wildman & Sons, with a renewed emphasis upon Burgundy as well as other prestigious French & Italian producers. Eventually in 2009 Marathon Selections was launched with a highly specialized focus upon emerging small domaines in Burgundy. Having built several of these producers to a level where they were ready for larger and more widespread distribution in the US, it became time to move to the next challenge with Kobrand and the venerable Maison Louis Jadot. Here we find the opportunity to work across nearly the entire range of Burgundian terroirs, with viticulture and winemaking skills which are unparalleled. Authenticity and sense of place assume center stage for an on-going conversation about the unique mystery and fascinating diversity within the region, firmly anchored to a centuries-old tradition of quality.

Jordan Ross

Wine Expert

Jordan worked on Wall Street in the early 1980s. To alleviate the suffering from a declining market, he developed an unquenchable interest in wine and, upon leaving the brokerage business in 1985, enrolled at the University of California at Davis School of Enology & Viticulture where he graduated with a degree in Enology in 1989. He complete winemaking internships in Napa, and his academic experience and passion for wine, combined with extensive travels to wine regions throughout Europe and South America, contributed to articles published in Wine Spectator, Wines & Vines, Global Vintage Quarterly, and Practical Winery & Vineyard.

Bernie Sun

Sommelier

Bernie Sun is the Luxury Accounts Manager at Kobrand Corporation. Based in New York, he oversaw the beverage programs for all of Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants globally, from Shanghai to Paris for 10 years. He is the recipient of the 2010 James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Wine Service Award for Restaurant Jean-Georges. His wine knowledge and palate are the result of years of study and work in New York’s top restaurants. Bernie also made wine in Napa, Bergerac, and the Willamette Valley under his III Somms label. He has been quoted and featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits, Beverage Media, GQ, and Food & Wine.

Ron Breitstein

Wine Expert

Ron has over 30 years of experience in the fine wine and spirits industry as a retailer, wholesaler and consultant.  Ron is the co-author of Wine & Dine:  California Fine Wines Matched with Gourmet Recipes, a book on wine and food pairing.  Ron has been a frequent contributor to Wine Spectator and Market Watch magazines, and penned articles for Restaurant Marketing Magazine.  Ron  has made numerous television and radio appearances on the subject of fine wine and food pairing, most recently on CBS-2 Chicago Morning News as a contributor.  Ron has also been a guest speaker for the Kendall College Wine Course and the UCLA Wine Course.

Food Experts

Andrea Maranville

Andrea Maranville

Pastry Chef

Cynthia Ruff, contributor for Wine365

Cynthia Ruff

Wine and Entertaining

Mr. Chocolate Chocolatier Jacques Torres

Jacques Torres

Mr. Chocolate

Chiara Carfi, caviar expert

Chiara Carfi

Caviar Expert

Food Experts

Marc Sievers

Cookbook Author

Food Experts

Britny Maureze

Chef

Andrea Maranville

Pastry Chef

Andrea Maranville is a self-taught baker who took her passion for being in the kitchen at home and turned it into a business. Andrea launched the Sweet Life of a Baker blog as a way to share her favorite recipes with the goal of inspiring others to pick up a whisk and pursue their own goals and dreams in the kitchen. Now a TV personality, bakery owner, and pastry chef, Andrea shares her experiences in the kitchen, relatable stories, and real-life tips she has learned over the years via video how-tos and recipes, providing inspiration and real life recipes for every home cook. Andrea currently stars on the 2020 Food Network reality series, “Summer Rush,” placed as runner-up on the ABC 2018 season of “The Great American Baking Show – Holiday Edition,” and continues to make TV appearances doing live cooking and baking demonstrations.

Cynthia Ruff

Wine and Entertaining

Cynthia is the creator of the blog Darling Down South, and is a California native relocated to Atlanta, Georgia who has spent most of her life figuring out whether she was Southern or Californian. She non-ironically uses y’all now, so believes it is safe to say she is southern. Her blog captures navigating modern life with a southern-ish twist. Darling Down South began in 2015 as a southern life well-explored, whether that is seasonal and fresh recipes, a new travel destination, or reinventing personal style through home and fashion.

Jacques Torres

Mr. Chocolate

Jacques Torres is the founder of Jacques Torres Chocolate and star of the Netflix cooking show Nailed It! While his expertise is in the area of pastries and desserts, Jacques has also made a concerted effort to demonstrate how wine and confections can go hand in hand. Additionally, Jacques was the driving force behind the establishment of New York City’s first chocolate museum, Choco-Story New York.

Chiara Carfi

Caviar Expert

A native Italian raised between Italy and Central America, Chiara considers herself to be a fortunate citizen of the world. Through fluency in four languages and her strong passion for literature, contemporary art, and travel, she immerses herself in all the opportunities that come her way. Chiara has a professional background in Public Relations and started a consulting business in 2004, offering customized communication strategies to clients in the realms of art, travel, food, and wine. She currently specializes in rare culinary delicacies and luxury lifestyle events.

Marc Sievers

Cookbook Author

Marc Sievers is a cookbook author and entertaining expert who has spent the past decade sharing his expertise for earthy and elegant vegetarian cooking, easy entertaining, and thoughtful but uncomplicated style. No matter the paths taken in his life, the kitchen has always been the one place where he has felt the most comfortable.

Britny Maureze

Chef

Britny Maureze is the Executive Chef for Sequoia Grove Winery. She has a wealth of experience in the culinary industry, holding a degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. Earlier in her career, Britny served as Executive Chef at Signorello Estate in Napa and St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery in Rutherford. Britny is particularly interested in how specific varietals pair with the food they are being served with.

Wine Experts and Journalists

Astin & Monica

Astin & Monica

The Lunch Break Girls

Sheri de Borchgrave, contributor to Wine365 and author

Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave

Wine Writer

Carlos Sarmiento, contributor for Wine365

Carlos Sarmiento

Carlos' Food and Wine

Cas Herwaldt, contributor to Wine365

Casleah Herwaldt

Sommelier

Ciro Pirone

Ciro Pirone

Italian Wines Expert

Giulia Dugo

Giulia Dugo

Travel & Style Expert

Italian Wine Expert John Fodera

John Fodera

Tuscan Vines

Katie Melchior, writer for Wine365 and French Wine Tutor

Katie Melchior

French Wine Tutor

Kevin Zraly, contributor to Wine365.com

Kevin Zraly

Wine Educator

Kristen Knutson

Kristen Knutson

Wine Country Chick

Wine Experts and Journalists

Marika Vida-Arnold

The Mom Somm

Marisa D'Vari

Marisa D'Vari

Wine Writer

Wine Experts and Journalists

Mikayla Tencer

Wine Lifestyle Guru

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, the World Wine Guys

Mike and Jeff

The World Wine Guys

Molly Thompson

Molly Thompson

Wine Writer

Natalie Migliarini, contributor for Wine365, blogger, writer, Beautiful Booze

Natalie Migliarini

Cocktail Expert

Samantha Capaldi

Samantha Capaldi

Sommelier

Sarah Tracey

Sarah Tracey

Sommelier

Valerie Quintanilla

Valerie Quintanilla

Girl's Gotta Drink!

Wanda Mann

Wanda Mann

Wine with Wanda

Astin & Monica

The Lunch Break Girls

Astin & Monica met in Los Angeles while working for a women’s apparel designer and became fast friends bonding over lunch breaks. After one of these adventures, they decided to start sharing their love for good food with others, along with a lot of other things they love, too: exploring new cities, new cultures, and of course new cuisine.

Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave

Wine Writer

Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave is an author and writer who writes the Wine & Dine & Spirits column for three C&G Publications (New York, the Hamptons, and Connecticut). She has contributed travel articles to Robb Report, Islands, Four Seasons, and Brides. Previous to becoming a freelance writer, Sheri worked in-house at Conde Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair, and GQ. She’s a graduate of Barnard College. To research stories for her wine columns during the past ten years, Sheri has traveled extensively to the world’s wine regions, including New Zealand, Argentina, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, and more. Sheri is also the author of the memoir, A Dangerous Liaison (Dutton), about her romance and marriage to a Belgian baron and what goes on behind castle walls.

Carlos Sarmiento

Carlos' Food and Wine

Carlos Sarmiento is an award-winning filmmaker & public relations professional as well as a food & wine aficionado. He first discovered his passion for cooking when he was in his early teens, to the point where he was aspiring to go to culinary arts school and become a chef. Life, however had other plans for him. Carlos ended up studying film-making and pursuing a career in film/TV. After a few years, he made a career change and has since established himself as a seasoned public relations & communications professional. The one constant factor throughout his life’s travels and professional experiences has always been and continues to be his love and appreciation for cultures, cooking, and wine.

Casleah Herwaldt

Sommelier

Cas is a Certified Sommelier with 4+ years experience in the wine industry. This includes being a floor sommelier for a Michelin Star chef, hosting sold out events throughout Napa Valley, and Brand Ambassador for a New Zealand winery. She strives to make wine fun, approachable, and exciting, and she is always on the look out for new winery discoveries and the latest trends in the wine world! She loves planning wine events and presenting private in-home and virtual wine tastings. She has received top scoring and a scholarship while completing her sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommelier (CMS), Level 3 of Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and plans to begin the WSET Diploma program soon.

Ciro Pirone

Italian Wines Expert

Ciro Pirone, Director of Italian Wines for Horizon Beverage Company, is a graduate of the Istituto Alberghiero (Hotel and Restaurant Management school) of Salerno, Italy and a Vinitaly Wine Ambassador. Traveling and working in Italy, England, and the US, Ciro developed an incredible passion for wine, food, and culture. After all, growing up in Italy, wine was always a very important part of his family’s lifestyle and traditions. In 1999, Ciro moved to the US permanently. He landed in Boston, where he continued his wine studies at Boston University, the International Sommelier Guild, and the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET), among other associations and organizations. Ciro is happy to share his passion for Italian wine and culture in an effort to give the American wine consumer a better understanding and appreciation for Italian wine!

Giulia Dugo

Travel & Style Expert

Giulia is a techie by day, and a travel blogger by night. She launched Palm Trees & Pellegrino, her passion project, in 2016. At first Palm Trees & Pellegrino followed her journey as a fashionista in the Tech Industry – think career, blogging, and fashion. Now, it is a collection of stories and travel tips from fellow wanderlusters who love to travel in style.

John Fodera

Tuscan Vines

John began seriously appreciating wine in 1995 and has been passionate about discovering and exploring it ever since. This passion led to the founding of Tuscan Vines in 2010, a leading authority on Tuscan and Italian wine in the United States. Drawing upon decades of tasting experience including visits to the premier wine regions of Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto, Lazio, Champagne, Alsace, Napa, and Sonoma, John primarily focuses on Italian wine and creating original recipes that honor the Italian culture.

Katie Melchior

French Wine Tutor

An American by birth, but French every way else, Katie started learning the language at the age of 11 and has spent her career working for French wine brands, translating marketing strategies from French to English for the American market. She’s lived in France many times and has always had a sincere appreciation for the food and culture she fell in love with as a child. With 6+ years experience in social media strategy, she launched a successful Instagram brand, French Wine Tutor, in 2019 to help educate and debunk myths about French language, pronunciation, and wine. She has a WSET 2 and currently works full time with VIVANT & Château de Pommard as Social Media Lead.

Kevin Zraly

Wine Educator

Kevin Zraly is an award-winning wine writer and one of the world’s foremost wine educators. He has written eight books about wine and food, including his annually updated Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, which has sold more than four million copies, making it the number one wine book in the United States. He also co-authored the definitive book about red wine – aptly named Red Wine – with The World Wine Guys, Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen. Kevin is the youngest person to receive the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award (2011), recognized for his commitment to making the study of wine accessible and fun to all as well as for his monumental contributions to the world of food and wine. He is one of only three people from the world of wine to receive this recognition – the other two being Robert Mondavi and Ernest Gallo. Kevin has shared his passion for the enjoyment of wine through his books, appearances on major television networks, and through features in The New York Times, People, The Wall Street Journal, GQ Magazine and many others. He continues to teach and entertain through his virtual wine classes, dinners and events for corporations and individuals.

Kristen Knutson

Wine Country Chick

Kristen is a Minnesota-raised, California-based wine lover who can’t live without Cabernet Sauvignon, trips to wine country, and cheese. She’s passionate about sharing her wine adventures, discoveries, and inspirations on a daily basis.

Marika Vida-Arnold

The Mom Somm

Marika Vida-Arnold, CSW, Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and the American Sommelier Association and enrolled in the WSET Diploma, has successfully worked in nearly all aspects of the wine business. She started her career in the competitive wine-auction world for the prestigious Sotheby’s and has most recently served as Wine Director of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park. Marika is passionate about enhancing the wine education of consumers and colleagues alike, which has led to the creation of some of the most popular, enjoyable seasonal programs for wine consumers.

Marisa D'Vari

Wine Writer

Marisa D’Vari discovered wine and food pairing with Julia Child as the program director of Boston’s American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF). An interview with Robert Mondavi motivated her to achieve the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust Diploma (WSET), Certified Sommelier designation from the Court of Master Sommeliers, and Certified Wine Educator certification from the Association of Wine Educators. Since receiving her diploma in Winemaking from UC Davis, D’Vari is pursuing her Masters of Science in Wine Management from the OIV. D’Vari judges for London’s International Wine and Spirits Competition, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, and others. She writes for several prestigious publications including Wine Enthusiast, London’s FT, San Francisco Chronicle, Decanter, and her online magazine AWineStory.com.

Mikayla Tencer

Wine Lifestyle Guru

Mikayla is California-born and North Carolina-raised with a passion for wine and style. She has worked in wine in California ever since graduating college. Her blog aims to inspire readers to step out of their wine and style comfort zones to try something new and affordable!

Mike and Jeff

The World Wine Guys

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, also known as the World Wine Guys, are wine, spirits, food, and travel writers, educators, and hosts. They are award winning journalists as well as best-selling and award-winning authors. They have been featured guests on the TODAY Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Better TV, and the CBS, FOX, and NBC networks. They have tasted wines from all around the world, and the most important aspect for them is the feeling of conviviality that surrounds the opening of a bottle of wine.

Molly Thompson

Wine Writer

Molly began her hospitality career as a host at a small café where she realized her passion for the industry. She majored in Travel Industry Management with an emphasis in hospitality from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she fell in love with food and had her first encounter with wine pairings. In March 2020, she passed the CMS Certified Sommelier exam, days before the Covid-19 shutdown. With newfound free time, she started an Instagram account sharing wine knowledge, with the intention of making wine approachable and easy to understand. She recently launched the corresponding blog and hopes to share wine travel experiences soon.

Natalie Migliarini

Cocktail Expert

Beautiful Booze’s Natalie Migliarini is passionate about cocktails, education, empowerment, and sharing her journey with others through her drinkable moments around the world on her Instagram @BeautifulBooze. She has a particular aptitude for discovering unique and inventive approaches to conceiving exceptional concoctions and occasions. She began her journey as a home bartender, yet has advanced over the years and developed additional specializations, including cocktail styling, journalism, social media consultation, event bartending, and more. Natalie made the decision to leave her comfortable career in 2013 to pursue her passion for cocktails full time. It all started while she was hosting dinners and parties at home: she was developing creative cocktails for her friends and family, and her guests kept inquiring about the recipes. Just like that, Natalie started Beautiful Booze, for her friends to easily access her recipes and re-create their favorites. She is also the author of “Beautiful Booze: Stylish Cocktails to Make at Home.”

Samantha Capaldi

Sommelier

Sam is a Phoenix-based sommelier, influencer, TV personality, and online wine and social media consultant. She found her wine passion early, launching her in-home wine tasting business, Samantha Sommelier, at the age of 23. A California native, she found her way to wine while studying at U of A when participating in a social media and marketing internship in London. After graduation, she moved to Phoenix, where a blog she did on food and wine for fun morphed into organizing wine tastings for friends, then a realization that she wanted to steer her career in that direction. Sam attended an intensified sommelier training program at the International Culinary Center of California, where she received Level 2 certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Back in Phoenix, she works with private clients in their homes, zeroing in on millennials with an easygoing approach to guiding guests through wine tastings. Her mission is to make wine fun and approachable for any level of wine enthusiast!

Sarah Tracey

Sommelier

Sarah is a professional sommelier based in Brooklyn who has proudly worked her way up from spit-bucket-emptier to Michelin-starred Wine Director since her very first winery gig in 2011. Certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers, she has taught over 300 wine classes to date. She launched her site The Lush Life in 2014 to deliver fresh lifestyle content featuring wine and cocktails, entertaining how-to’s, and wine news her friends could actually use! She explores wine regions around the world, hosts events & create digital content on behalf of wineries and brands, and produces fun and interactive wine tastings for private groups. Her idea of ‘self-care’ is a solo Beyoncé dance party with a glass of rosé Champagne (try it, you’ll feel better!).

Valerie Quintanilla

Girl's Gotta Drink!

Valerie Quintanilla is an American expat in Alba, Italy. She designs custom travel / tour programs while moonlighting as a marketing consultant around Europe and North America. Her work has been featured in Wine Enthusiast, Food & Wine Magazine, Open Skies (Emirate Airlines inflight magazine), Italy Magazine, and more. She also writes Italy wine guides for Carpe Travel. Valerie and her toddler, Il ragazzino, are based in the Piedmont region, but she organizes travel and tour programs, specialty events, and destination weddings throughout Italy. In addition to wine and travel, she loves to run, hike, cook, and is desperately trying to find time to read again.

Wanda Mann

Wine with Wanda

Wanda Mann is founder of The Black Dress Traveler and Wine with Wanda. Always on a quest to learn more about wine, in 2015 she earned the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) credential from the Society of Wine Educators and has traveled with her ever-growing collection of little black dresses (and many other colors) to numerous wine regions, including Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, and Argentina. In 2017, Wanda served as a judge at the Napoli Wine Challenge at the Vitigno Italia wine festival in Naples. Also in 2017, Wanda was inducted as a Cavaliere into the il Sovrano e Nobilissimo Ordine dell’Amarone e del Recioto. Wanda’s content was syndicated on The Daily Meal from 2015-2018 and her travel advice has been quoted in the New York Daily News and EBONY Magazine. In 2019, Wanda was inducted as a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. In 2013 Wanda was invited to be a Brand Ambassador for the prestigious Michelin Guides. In January 2013, Wanda was invited to participate as a judge alongside former New York Times restaurant critic Bryan Miller and Chef Suvir Saran at the Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival. In May 2009, Wanda was the first Mistress of Ceremonies for the award-winning Authors & Inns Tour featuring celebrity chefs. Wanda has also provided commentary for ABC News Now on the red carpet fashions worn at the Academy Awards. In 2004, Wanda appeared as a model in an international ad campaign for the World Gold Council. A native New Yorker and Manhattan resident, Wanda enjoys exploring the world of wine in her hometown by attending numerous tastings and classes. As a student, Wanda spent her junior year of high school in Barcelona, Spain with the School Year Abroad program. Her junior year of college was spent in Toledo, Spain studying at the Fundación Ortega y Gassett. She still dreams of living in España for at least 3 months each year. Wanda is a proud graduate of Phillips Academy (Massachusetts) and Pomona College (California) and her taste in wine has improved dramatically since her college days!

Editorial Staff

Wine expert Joe Janish

Joe Janish

Editor-in-Chief

Wine expert Diana Zahuranec

Diana Zahuranec

Managing Editor

Wine expert Elizabeth Gillespie

Elizabeth Gillespie

Executive Editor

Editorial Staff

Jennica Ossi

Writer

Vessie Stoyanova

Vessie Stoyanova

Food Editor

Editorial Staff

Jack Horn

Copy Editor

Editorial Staff

Gabrielle Tapia

Research Strategist and Content Contributor

Editorial Staff

Jillian Lepore

Digital Content Contributor

Diana Zahuranec

Managing Editor

Diana studied Anthropology at Penn State and Food Culture & Communications at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. After living la bella vita in Italy for six years, she returned to the U.S. and landed in NYC. She has been working in wine since 2012 and holds WSET 2. Loves Nebbiolo and amaro. Talk to her about Italy.

Elizabeth Gillespie

Executive Editor

Elizabeth is the Executive Editor for Wine365. She has extensive experience in the wine and spirits industry where she’s been working in Public Relations and Social Media since 2011. Elizabeth is our go-to expert on all things digital and lifestyle.

Gabrielle Tapia

Research Strategist and Content Contributor

Gabrielle Tapia comes from a background in marketing and business strategy. She has been an integral part of the market research that has driven this project and developed the framework for Wine365’s content. Gabrielle is a CSW, WSET 2 and has a growing knowledge of the wine industry. She continues her role in research analytics as well as providing creative contributions to this website.

Jillian Lepore

Digital Content Contributor

Jillian Lepore has been working in the wine industry for one year now. She is eager to learn more about the wine world and is excited for you to be a part of her journey! Born and raised in New York, Jillian is a graduate from Fairfield University. She has a passion for wine and for creating and curating content for wine brands’ social media pages. She is a contributor to Wine365’s social media accounts and newsletters. Be sure to follow and subscribe!

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