Laura DePasquale, MS
Vice President/General Manager Art Fine Wine Florida, A Division of Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits
"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 Artisanal Fine Wine 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. She is the first female VP/GM in the SGWS network.
Prior to joining SGWS Florida, DePasquale lead a rapid turn around and expansion of Stacole Fine Wines in Florida, Quality Wines in Georgia and The Country Vintner in South Carolina. DePasquale was recruited by The Country Vintner 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.
Laura DePasquale is also a popular and engaging wine educator, speaker, examiner and judge in regular demand conducting seminars and tastings at numerous high-profile events such as TexSom, South Beach Food and Wine Festival, New York Food & Wine, Aspen Food & Wine Classic, Vino Italia and Simply Italy. DePasquale is a regular lecturer and examiner for the Court of Master Sommeliers at all levels. She is a wine judge and panel chair 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. Currently she is the USA Board Member for the AgriWEB of Collisioni based in Piedmont headed by the renowned author and Italian wine expert, Dr. Ian D’Agata and a Certified Italian Wine Expert.