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 ExpoTV.com 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, tennis, golf and skiing.
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 grew up in New Jersey and has remained a proud east-coast girl ever since. Her passion for hospitality and business management was born at The George Washington University and she made the big move to NYC soon after graduating. While at GW, Rachel lived abroad in Seville, Spain, which is, she believes, where her heart still resides. She remains steadfastly obsessed with all things Spanish - food, music, dance - everything. Since the beginning of her diverse career, Rachel has worked in fashion advertising, digital media and even bridal fashion, but her devotion to food, wine and events led her to her Brooklyn Winery family in early 2012. When she's not in the office, Rachel is daydreaming about her next escape abroad with her husband, perfecting her near-perfect baby back rib recipe and teaching her daughter how to dance flamenco and speak Spanish.
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.
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.
A native New Yorker, Marisa grew up in the hospitality industry, more specifically in a bar by the name of Spirits Saloon, which her father owned. After graduating from University of Delaware, Marisa embarked on a career in event production and management, earning her chops at luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre. From there she moved onto the world of caffeine, managing events and sponsorships for Swiss coffee brand Nespresso. Most recently, Marisa produced events for the likes of Google, YouTube, and Spotify and is super psyched to continue her career in hospitality with the Brooklyn Winery team! In her spare time, she has volunteered for Musicians on Call, a national organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of hospital patients. And as a committed music fan, you’re likely to find her at a live show on her nights off. She proudly calls Brooklyn home where she lives with her husband, (adorable) son, and like a million CDs, albums, and MP3s.
Jenn’s lifelong passion for hospitality began at age six on her native Long Island with her Easy Bake Oven. Her traversing of the globe began after graduating SUNY Buffalo when she went packing down under to attend Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia. Upon her return to NYC, she landed the job of a lifetime as Chef de Cuisine at Gourmet Magazine under the guidance of celebrity Chef Sara Moulton. From there, she helmed the kitchens of some industry greats, including Marc Murphy and Charlie Palmer, before deciding to make a big change and step out from the back of house. Jenn loves to combine her two favorite things - Brooklyn and wine - as part of the Brooklyn Winery team, where she can use her expertise in planning every type of event from showers to corporate gatherings to weddings. Outside of the office, Jenn can be found kickboxing, running with her dog in Prospect Park or operating a pop-up bakery and Arnold Palmer stand with her daughter.
Caroline comes from an Italian family and was raised in the suburbs of our nation’s capital. Growing up frequenting DC restaurants with her family, she quickly learned the importance of good food and wine. In her opinion, there is nothing better than gathering loved ones around a table full of food! Always known as the “planner” of the group, she decided at young age that the event industry was where she belonged. While studying hospitality and business at St. John’s University, she broke into the New York City event planning scene, and has loved every minute of it ever since. In her free time, if she’s not at an art gallery or music venue, you can find her laid out at McCarren Park with her dog and a good book. While she enjoys traveling to new cities, she has planted roots in Brooklyn and is thrilled to be a part of the Brooklyn Winery team!
Natalia (AKA, Nat) was born in Puerto Rico, but grew up in Orlando, Florida. It was there that she learned just how far a kind smile can go and the importance of hospitality. After earning her degree from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!), she set off on a career filled with fairy dust and happily ever afters at Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings. She recently made the move to NYC to share her southern hospitality and fulfill her need for seasons and the big city. In her spare time, if she's not at her apartment with her rescue animals, you can find her drinking chai tea or wandering through new places with her wife. With her new roots planted in Brooklyn, she is thrilled to be part of the Brooklyn Winery Team and cannot wait to help you coordinate your big day!