Mindy’s passion for wine started quite unexpectedly during a trip to Burgundy when she realized that all the French wines she had seen in bottle stores in the US were actually towns and villages that she could visit. This discover led her to start “collecting” wine regions by traveling to wineries in the USA, France, Spain, Argentina, New Zealand and Italy.
Professionally, Mindy is a marketer through and through. After a solid grounding managing marketing at Tourism New Zealand in Los Angeles, the ambitious New Zealander decided it was time to conquer New York. She landed on her feet in Manhattan working for travel deal publisher, Travelzoo. Here she had an intensive five years managing marketing; however a nice office overlooking Central Park could not keep her in one place. The same day she resigned at Travelzoo she enrolled in the International Wine Center’s WSET classes – and started her own marketing consultancy, Sugarfly.
Consulting seemed like the perfect way to merge her two loves, wine and travel – and gave her the opportunity to spread her wings into luxury marketing, social media strategies, events and public relations. Since then, Mindy has worked with clients such as American Express Digital, Alaska.org, BuyWithMe (sold to Gilt Groupe), Napa Valley Festival del Sole, San Sebastián Food, Villa Maria New Zealand and Wines of Bordeaux.
Mindy took a year off consulting in 2011 when she was “discovered” by Lot18, flash sales site for wine. Merging her love of wine and travel again, this time she launched an e-commerce category selling winery tastings and travel packages to wine regions.
Not to be outdone by Robert Parker Jr. and other wine critics, Mindy firmly believes that the world needs a “winery critic”. In 2011 she founded WineryCritic; where she reviews and rates winery experiences.
Although she is a fan California wines, she quietly admits her true love is French wines: Champagnes, Bordeaux, Côtes du Rhônes, and Rosés from Provence. Her visit to Bordeaux in 2013 spurred a blog post that ended up winning the 2014 Great Wine Capitals Blogger Contest. She was also named a judge for Wines of Bordeaux’s “100 wines under $55” in 2013. Mindy will be completing her a WSET Diploma of Wine & Spirits in 2015.
When Mindy is not in the office or driving around wineries, she is working from “Château Mindy”, a farmhouse on a vineyard near Healdsburg.