“My hospitality career began as a teenager, working for a fast food chain –I quickly moved to Fine Dining after I couldn’t get the greasy French fry smell out of my hair!” is how Laura DePasquale, with characteristic wit and understatement, attributes the drive and initiative that have propelled her on the way to becoming one the most accomplished and influential women in the U.S. wine industry today.
Laura DePasquale, MS is the VP/General Manager for the newly formed Artisanal Fine Wine & Spirit Division for Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits – Florida. ART is an innovative and new concept in wholesale for SGWS dedicated to small wineries, new trends and brand development combining a smaller lighter approach to the market with educational events and consultative selling. DePasquale joined SGWS-Florida in 2015.
Prior to joining SGWS Florida, DePasquale lead a rapid turn around and expansion of Stacole Fine Wines in Florida. DePasquale was recruited by The Country Vintner specifically as VP/General Manager to turn around Stacole Fine Wines beginning in October 2011 from Palm Bay International where she was Vice President of Fine Wine Development. DePasquale began her 10 year career at Palm Bay as the Florida State Fine Wine Specialist in 2001 and was quickly promoted to head of the newly formed Fine Wine Division in 2003. Soon after DePasquale passed the rigorous series of exams that earned her the right to add the initials MS (Master Sommelier) after her name and DePasquale was named National Sales Director Fine Wine in 2004 for Palm Bay. In the process she joined an elite group of Master Sommeliers worldwide, becoming the 13th woman to achieve the title since the examinations were first set in 1969.
Originally from NYC, DePasquale’s first serious introduction to wine dates back to the 1990’s in New York City, where she was the beverage director at the Royalton Hotel. In the mid 1990s, she moved to Miami, where she still currently resides. DePasquale worked as an award-winning sommelier at the renowned Miami restaurant, Norman’s until she was recruited by Palm Bay.
Laura DePasquale is also a popular and engaging wine educator, examiner and judge in regular demand conducting seminars and tastings at numerous high-profile events such as the Boston Wine Expo, South Beach Food and Wine Festival, New York Food & Wine, Aspen Food & Wine Classic, TexSom, Vino Italia and Simply Italy. DePasquale is a regular lecturer and examiner for the Court of Master Sommeliers at all levels. She has been a wine judge in blind competitions that include Decanter Wine Awards, 5-Star Premium Wines, Vin Italy, The Jefferson Cup and TexSom International Wine Awards.
DePasquale was elected to the Board of Directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2010 and served as the first female Vice-Chair for three years and a Board Member for 5 years.
In addition to her highly successful wine industry career, and her role as a leading wine educator, DePasquale is an accomplished artist whose work has appeared at galleries in Philadelphia and New York.
©2013 - 2017 Savannah Food & Wine Festival
November 6-12, 2017
The Savannah Food & Wine Festival is presented by the Tourism Leadership Council, a 501-(c) 6 organization, with proceeds benefiting the TLC Scholarship Fund, with educational opportunities for hospitality program students in colleges and universities in the Coastal Empire and many local charitable organizations.