Chappy Cottrell

Chappy Cottrell is the man behind the mic at Cru Podcast. Listening to Chappy’s interviews was a source of inspiration for The Road to Wine Expert Summit. After all, here was someone seeking out wine stories of industry folk.

Chappy Cottrell is someone who I got to meet in real life when I made my first trip to Sonoma, California in July 2018. We got coffee, shared some laughs and some vino. An all around great time.

I’m thrilled to see his continued success with his podcast and his wine career.

But let’s take a step back before we go forward. To hear how Chappy started in the wine industry, listen to his podcast episode below.

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Hillary Zio

Hillary Zio doesn’t just have an Instagram account that leaves you inspired and envious. She is a wine educator and consultant.

Her book, The Unfiltered Guide to Working in Wine, is a roadmap that outlines her career path and documents the ins and outs of different jobs in the wine industry.

Upon reading, I decided to double up and take the WSET Level 2 and the Introductory Sommelier Course and Exam at the same time. I registered and then passed both in 6 weeks.

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Yannick Benjamin

You might know Yannick Benjamin from his years of stellar service in the New York restaurant scene.

Or maybe, you know him from the TV series Uncorked.

Have you been to one of his amazing wine events in support of his non-proft, Wheeling Forward?

Yannick Benjamin is a master of the art of the hustle. He’s an inspiring figure in the wine world, and every time I talk to him I feel blessed and motivated.

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Chel Petras

I’m continually impressed by Chel Petras and the wine knowledge she’s gained in the past two years.

One of the most rewarding parts of looking back on these interviews is to witnessing the continued growth of many of the speakers from the summit.

When I listen back to this interview compared to my recent conversations, Chel seems like a different person. And I mean that in the most positive sense.

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Cal Fussman

I first encountered Cal Fussman on The Tim Ferriss Show. As an avid listener and Tim Ferriss devotee (after all, he saved me life), Cal’s interview is still one of my all-time favorite podcasts*.

In his chat with Tim, Cal briefly talked about his wine experience for his column in Esquire Magazine. Exploring the show notes, I read Cocktails Before the Collapse, the article in which Cal writes about his time as Sommelier at Windows on the World.

That piece is cornerstone to my leaving the corporate 9-to-5 in order to chase this crazy wine dream. Some might be wondering, “A magazine article changed your life?”

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The Road Ahead in 2019

2018 didn’t go according to plan.

It started in London accepting a wine award for Outstanding Achievement on my WSET Level 2 exam.

Upon return to states, Emily, my wife, and I moved from Chicago to Kansas City.

The wine opportunities in Kansas City were slim, but I made it work with freelancing for different wine businesses including DTC companies to wine product inventors.

Originally, I had planned to relaunch the Road to Wine Expert Summit in April. But life happened.

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