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Paula de Pano

Fearrington's Beverage & Service Director

Paula de Pano’s exposure to wine started in 2007 as the Marketing & Public Relations Manager of Cav Wine Shop – Café, one of the few wine bars in the Philippines. In 2008, she left the workforce and moved to the Hudson Valley in New York to study at the Culinary Institute of America – Hyde Park. As a student of James Beard Award-winning wine writer and educator Michael Weiss, he introduced her to the Court of Master Sommeliers’ program.

After graduating from the CIA in 2010, she joined The Fearrington House Restaurant as an assistant sommelier to former Wine Director Maximilian Kast, MS. Under his mentorship, Paula became a Certified Sommelier in 2011. She passed her Advanced Sommelier distinction with the CMS in 2013, making the Fearrington House the only restaurant in North Carolina to have two Advanced Sommeliers serving their guests. In that same year, she was awarded the Advanced Sommelier Level III with the Wines and Spirits Educational Trust.

In 2014, she moved to New York City to be part of the sommelier team of fellow Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef Daniel Humm’s Restaurant, Eleven Madison Park. The restaurant was voted Best Restaurant in North America and the #3 Restaurant in the World in 2016 by The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Committee. During her time at Eleven Madison Park, she was also part of the service team that was re-awarded four stars by the New York Times, the inaugural 50 Best Ferrari Trento Art of Hospitality Award, and the only restaurant which has won Outstanding Restaurant Service by the James Beard Foundation twice. In 2017, Paula was one of five finalists for The Court of Master Sommeliers’ nationwide Ruinart Challenge.

It was her exposure to the flawless execution of service and continued pursuance of excellence headed by industry leader and Eleven Madison Park’s co-owner, Will Guidara, that inspired her desire to impart the same style of effortless hospitality at The Fearrington House Restaurant. In mid-2016, after two years in the Big Apple, she returned to the place that cultivated her love of all things hospitality.

Paula currently helms the multi-awarded wine list at The Fearrington House Restaurant, which has held the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator since 2004, as well the Jury Prize by The World of Fine Wine Awards in 2017.