Meet the Brooklyn Winery Team

Brian is one of Brooklyn Winery's founding fathers and has done everything from raising capital to selling weddings to installing a sheet rock ceiling (2 layers thick!)—in the Parlor room, if you want to check out his handiwork! Before embarking in the winery world, Brian spent countless hours making Excel models and PowerPoint presentations at McKinsey and Co. before joining and helping a cool tech startup. He also started an awesome water business at his alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis, which still exists today! In his spare time, of which there isn't much, Brian enjoys drinking wine (obviously), running in Brooklyn, tennis, golf and of course spending time with his wonderful fiancée Teona and his cute and cuddly pup Reese. 

John hails from world-renowned Glendale, California but made NYC his home more than a decade ago after running approximately one billion miles for the University of California - Santa Barbara cross country team. Once settled in the big city, he interned for a landscape architect, worked at a fish store (aquariums...not a seafood store), waited tables, and worked his way up the creative services ladder at Marvel with guys like Spider-Man and The Hulk. Needing a change, John then found himself in online product management at, where he and some co-workers did some extracurricular winemaking. Always an idea guy, he wanted to be his own boss—so he's now co-owner of Brooklyn Winery. In his spare time (not that he has much), John likes to run (very short distances), maintain his amazing 55-gallon coral aquarium, and pet his furry friend Walter, probably the best cat in the world.
Conor McCormack was born in Ireland and raised in Northern California, where he got his start in the wine industry in 2003 working for a Vineyard Negociant who focused on sourcing premium grapes from some of the best vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties. Since moving to Brooklyn in 2010, Conor has been focused on producing fine wines from multiple and distinct growing regions in a wide range of styles, with the linking factor for all, first and foremost, being the quality of the vineyard. “I strive to make elegant yet intense wines that showcase a particular site from a particular year. I want to highlight each region for what it can do best, while also pushing the boundaries of what is often expected.” Conor brings a strong combination of technical training and hands-on experience to Brooklyn Winery, specializing in boutique premium wines.

Born and raised in the NY burbs, Mike found his Zen majoring in Chinese philosophy and poetry at Wesleyan University with a minor in roast pork lo mein.

His passion for food and wine, which started at his family’s knee, led him, post college, to the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) where he collected intelligence (but nothing covert) and honed the Zen, establishing his philosophy of freshness of ingredients and purity in flavor and finesse. Post culinary school, he landed in Prospect Heights, cycling down to Duane Street to work at renowned Restaurant Bouley. Then he pedaled over the bridge where, once again, he put his yin and yang on food as fine dining and banquet chef at the Mandarin Oriental. Now that he should be biking more often from East Side Manhattan to Williamsburg to compensate for his after-hours love of take-out from “Chow Fat” the bike is rarely leaving the rack. He resolves to get pedaling again in short order.

Mike’s passion for reading everything from Sci Fi to his worldwide menu collection inspires his precise, meticulous, and uncompromising attention to prepare and present food that heightens every taster’s experience.

Rachel moved to the big city many years ago from the exotic New Jersey, where she adamantly spreads the gospel that there’s a distinct difference between being a Jersey girl and being, simply, from New Jersey. A proud east-coast girl, she graduated from George Washington University where she became passionate about their undefeated football team and studying hospitality. While at GW, Rachel lived abroad in Seville, Spain, which is, she believes, where her heart still resides. Since entering the workforce, Rachel has worked in fashion and media, covering everything from wedding gowns to footwear to technology products. Brooklyn Winery was a natural next step, giving Rachel the ability to combine her sales and marketing experience with her passion for food, wine, and events. In her spare time, Rachel uses every last penny she has to try any and every restaurant in the five boroughs, travel as much as possible, and convert strangers into Zumba fanatics.
Chuck was born on a cold, blustery February morning in the Bronx, NY. His formative years were spent upstate in the apple picking mecca of Warwick, NY. After moving to San Francisco, CA. in 2004 he bounced around several restaurant jobs before landing a gig at Crushpad SF, where he learned the art of urban wine making. Longing for home, Chuck eventually returned to the east coast where he met up with his old pal Conor McCormack for the 2011 harvest at Brooklyn Winery. When he's not in the cellar, Chuck enjoys playing loud and fast rock n' roll with his band, watching bad horror movies and spending all his money on good beer, fancy restaurants and vinyl records.

Virginia was raised in Long Island on home cooked Sunday dinners which reflected her Polish and Italian backgrounds. After studying graphic design and physics at NYU, she began a decade of work in some of New York City's best kitchens including Blue Hill, al di la, and The Vanderbilt. Most recently she spent three years at The Institute of Culinary Education running student enrichment classes and helping to shape the next generation of chefs. She has appeared on television in morning show cooking segments, as a Chopped contestant, and even selling blenders. As a newlywed herself, she is thrilled to bring Brooklyn Winery's beautiful, seasonal dishes to hundreds of weddings, saving happy brides and grooms from rubbery chicken marsala once and for all. When she is not in the kitchen, she can be found enjoying a bitter IPA or a crisp rosé in Brooklyn with her husband and two cats, planning adventures to anywhere from Thailand to Burning Man. 

Jessica Petti came from a land of rainbows, unicorns and sunshine, also known as Colorado. She moved to New York to become a famous actress. Jessica decided to leave the fame and fortune for other passions and has been working in the hospitality industry for almost 10 years, most recently at Uva Winebar. She fell in love with wine while working as a captain at Felidia Restaurant. The Sommeliers took her under their wings and snuck her sips of amazing vintages of Amarone and Barolo. This is also where she met her husband; this girl loves food and wine so much she went ahead and married a chef! She also recently completed the Viticulture and Vinification course at American Sommelier Association. Jessica is thrilled to be involved at Brooklyn Winery where she combines her two favorite things: event planning and winemaking. She is excited to continue coordinating beautiful weddings and events, and loves every second of it!
Kara comes from the rugged, wet, and world-renowned Pinot Noir region of the great Pacific Northwest. Considering herself a native Oregonian (even though she lived in five other states before the age of 10), Kara was raised at the table with a mother who stalks eBay for Julia Child first edition cookbooks, a sister who used to work for Alice Waters, and a father who annually roasts a pig in the front yard. In an attempt to escape the rain (and because one of the dorms had a pool), she attended Santa Clara University and spent her collegiate days playing lacrosse, discovering box wine while abroad in Australia, and writing various newspaper stories (including an article on the secret life of performing clowns). Hoping to fully understand the East Coast/West Coast hip-hop rivalry and to pursue a career in book publishing, Kara moved to New York City in 2008. After working for several years in various marketing publishing departments and reading her own weight in books many times over, Kara decided it was time for a change. Enter Brooklyn Winery: a place where she can talk all day on the phone, take field trips to the Long Island wine country, and help people discover everything Brooklyn Winery has to offer. When she's not making event dreams come true, you can find Kara taste-testing hot wings, training for her first marathon, spending way too much money trying new restaurants, or tending to her herb garden.
Jesi grew up in Maplewood, NJ, (a town recently called "Brooklyn of New Jersey" by the New York Times) learning to chiffonade, prep mis en place, and "whip things up" in the kitchen with her mom. Her love for weddings, wine, and food grew feverishly while living in Charleston, SC for college. She left the most romantic and beautiful city in the south (in her opinion) to come to NYC, where her love for food and wine has grown, while enjoying a successful sales career working with small businesses across the country. In her free time she likes to be on the yoga mat (preferably in child's pose), drinking delicious wines and craft beers, and ending the day with a run by the water. She is training for her fourth half marathon and will be the first to tell you that brunch afterward is always the best part.
A native New Yorker, Daniel was born and raised in the blue collar suburbs of Long Island. Home cooked meals were always the center of the MacKenzie household growing up. He credits his mother, father, and grandmother as his inspiration for developing his intense passion for cooking at a young age. Daniel got his first kitchen position at 16 years old and has never earned a dollar doing anything else. Cooking beautiful food is all he knows and he wouldn't have it any other way. Daniel has worked at some of the most prestigious restaurants in New York City, including Eleven Madison Park, Dovetail, and most recently was Sous Chef at Aquavit. When he's not in the kitchen you can find Daniel at a dive bar in Bushwick, drinking cheap beer and watching the game, rooting for the Knicks or Giants. He isn't hard to find: just look for the guy with all the "Joker" tattoos.
Emily hails from the heart of the Finger Lakes, where she grew up directly between Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake, which means she obviously frequented both! She likes to spend her summers sitting by the water, tasting some local wine, and enjoying the most beautiful views on earth. She got her degree from the University of Edinburgh, where she learned the value of a nice scotch on a rainy day. She decided to dry off and warm up in Provence for a year and still misses the four Euro glasses of Rosé. After years of travelling to and from the Finger Lakes, she decided to compromise and move to Brooklyn where she could have the excitement of the city without having to fit her life into two suitcases that she could barely lift. (Taxi drivers all over the world give thanks). She is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Brooklyn Winery team, where she can combine her love of wine with her wedding planning past. In her spare time she can be found reading a good book, exploring new places, and trying to convince people to let her walk their dogs.
Raised next to the best skiing on the west coast (in the U.S., at least), Bruce’s upbringing in Bend, OR was definitely idyllic. But he relinquished the beauty of pine trees and mountains for palm trees and traffic by heading down to Santa Clara University to study Theatre. During his tenure in CA, he did take a short break to return to his mountainous roots by getting his M.A. (in the always marketable Performance Theory and Criticism) from the University of Montana. He also spent a couple years touring with Missoula Children’s Theatre, where he’d teach, direct and perform shows with anywhere from 20 to 75 kids (in new towns) each week. He left the Bay Area for good and headed out to NYC in ‘99 to pursue directing opportunities. In 2002, he and a partner founded Manhattan Children’s Theatre (yes, MCT is a favorite abbreviation). Before, after, and even during his residence at the children’s theatre, he helped manage various offices & projects for such companies as Silver Lining Productions and Fresh before joining the Brooklyn Winery team, which he’s very excited to be a part of!
Pam's responsibilities at the Winery are numerous and varied, from paying the bills to account management to "Printer Whisperer" and everything in between. She is a native New Yorker and a beach bum at heart, but has lived all over and done a little bit of everything and has all the crazy stories (and photos) to prove it.