top of page

2013 Speakers

Anna Beninger Headshot.jpg

Anna Beninger, Catalyst


In March 2012 Anna Beninger joined Catalyst, a nonprofit organization with a mission to expand opportunities for women and business. She is part of the research team conducting a global longitudinal study of highpotential employees and is taking a lead role in extending this research to Mexico and other emerging markets.


Mary Melton, P.F. Chang’s


As Director of Beverage for P.F. Chang’s, Mary Melton brings more than 25 years of industry experience to her role. She is responsible for the overall strategy of the beverage program across 210 restaurants and manages the creation of beverage menus, the wine program, drink innovation and development, wine education and bartender training.


Linda Milagros Violago, Contra Restaurant


Linda has worked in restaurants for over 25 years. She recently relocated to New York City to build the wine program at Contra, a new restaurant soon to open on the Lower East Side, after her one-year stint as Head Sommelier at Geranium, in Copenhagen, Denmark — the tenth country where she has lived and worked.


Kristie Petrullo, Petrullo Wine Consulting


Kristie Petrullo is the founder of Petrullo Wine Consulting. Prior to starting PWC, she held the position of Chef Sommelier at Jean-Georges Restaurant in New York City. During this time, Ms. Petrullo was the only female to hold that title at a Michelin three-star rated restaurant in the United States, France, Italy, and Germany. Before joining Jean-Georges, she was the Beverage Director at Tom Colicchio’s flagship restaurant Craft (NYC), Sommelier at Daniele Restaurant (NYC) and Eleven Madison Park (NYC), and Wine Director at Market Restaurant (Napa Valley, CA).

Pascaline HeadShot2.jpg

Pascaline Lepeltier, Rouge Tomate


Within a year, Pascaline accomplished the remarkable feat of being named both Best Loire Valley Young Sommelier and Best Brittany Sommelier. While working as Beverage Director at Rouge Tomate in Brussels, she decided to train for the 2008 Best French Sommelier competition, which paid off with a second-runner-up finish: the best result ever achieved by a woman. She again placed as the second-runner-up in 2010 and 2012. Currently Beverage Director of Rouge Tomate NYC, she was named one of the five best new sommeliers of 2011 by Wine & Spirits magazine and was called one of the “New Wine Prophets” by Time Out New York.

Virginia Philip.jpeg

Virginia Philips, M.S., Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy, The Breakers Palm Beach


In 2002, Philip became the 11th woman in the world to earn the extraordinary accreditation of Master Sommelier. She has won the national title of “Best Sommelier of the United States” from the American Sommelier Association and in 2012, received a coveted James Beard Award nomination for Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional.As Master Sommelier for the iconic The Breakers Palm Beach, Philip leads the beverage department for nine restaurants and bars (including the runaway hit HMF) and 14 wine lists, including the resort’s prized 1,600‐ selection list, which has won Wine Spectator’s Grand Award every year since its inception in 1981.

Jill Robers Photo.jpg

Jill Roberts, The Marrow


Jill has enjoyed over 15 years in the New York City wine community. As a member of the opening team at Eleven Madison Park in 1998 and now the Beverage Director at The Marrow restaurant, her journey in between has taken her to many different corners of the wine industry. To highlight a few, she was the Wine Director at The Harrison Restaurant, Portfolio Manager for P.J.Valckenberg German Wines, and for five years, Jill was the On Premise Manager and Hotel Specialist for Moët Hennessy USA.


Debbie Zachareas, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant


Debbie Zachareas is the Proprietor and Managing Partner at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant in San Francisco’s restored Ferry Building, and at the Oxbow Wine & Cheese Merch ant in downtown Napa. Both locations offer an international wine selection with an emphasis on small-production and sustainably farmed wines.


Roberta Ceretto, Public Relations & Communications, Ceretto

Guided Wine Tasting

Roberta’s responsibilities at Ceretto include marketing, communication, and maintaining relationships with special customers and journalists for the Ceretto wineries, the Relanghe hazelnut factory, and for the two family restaurants in Alba, La Piola and Piazza Duomo. She also oversees the organization of the visitor center at the Monsordo Bernardina estate.


Julie Johnson, Owner/Winemaker, Tres Sabores

Guided Wine Tasting

Julie Johnson is the winemaker and owner at Tres Sabores, located on the western Rutherford bench of the Napa Valley. Founded in 1999 to explore the “three savory tastes in every glass,” those of the vine, the terroir, and the “good company gathered around the table,” Tres Sabores grows grapes and produces close to 3,500 cases of wine. Julie is the mother of six children and step-children, and is married to winemaker, Jon Engelskirger.

Silvia Imparato.jpg

Silvia Imparato, Owner, Montevetrano

Guided Wine Tasting

One night in 1985, inspired by a tasting of prestigious Bordeaux wines, Silvia decided to produce wine in her family’s property in the “deep South” of Italy, in Montevetrano in Campania. In the beginning, Silvia and a group of like-minded wine-passionate friends, including Riccardo Cotarella, planted two hectares (5 acres) of Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. In 1991, the very first bottles of Montevetrano were produced just for friends, and then they slowly entered the market. Silvia sent three bottles of the early vintages to Robert Parker, and boom, Montevetrano became known as the “Sassicaia of the South.”


Marta Santander Martínez Bujanda, Export Manager,Viña Bujanda, Finca Valpiedra and Finca Antigua

Guided Wine Tasting

Marta Santander Martínez Bujanda belongs to the fifth generation of the Familia Martínez Bujanda, a family business dedicated to viticulture and winemaking since 1889. Marta was born in 1977 and throughout her childhood was immersed in the family business, working harvests and helping out at the winery. From a young age, she has had a particular interest in the commercial side of the business, wanting to help promote the family’s wines in other countries.

Sandra Tavares photo sept 6 2013.jpg

Sandra Tavares Da Silva, Owner/Winemaker, Wine & Soul

Guided Wine Tasting

Sandra was invited by her parents to help at the family vineyard, Quinta de Chocapalha, in the Estremadura region of southern Portugal. The family previously sold their fruit to other winemakers, but with Sandra’s involvement, the Tavares da Silvas decided to build their own winery. That same year, Sandra met her future husband and winemaking partner, Jorge Serôdio Borges. Married in 2001, Sandra and Jorge embarked on their own winemaking adventure and created Wine & Soul, completely from the ground up.

bottom of page