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The People of NYC Wine Class

Andrew Harwood, Founder

Andrew Harwood has worked in nearly every facet of the wine industry over the last ten years. His love of wine started while working in a number of the country's best dining rooms. Yet his true passion was discovered while making wine in Hungary, France, and California.

After spending two years as the Assistant Wine Director at Picholine in Manhattan, he decided he wanted to experience the production end of the industry. He spent 1997 in the vineyards of Tokaj, Hungary and then went on to earn his Master of Management in Hospitality from Cornell University. During his first year he served as the Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Beverage Department under Professor Mutkoski. His second year of study was spent working at Chateau Lynch-Bages in Bordeaux, France and studying in Paris, France at L'Essec Ecole du Commerce. Following graduation, he went to work as the Assistant Winemaker at Limerick Lane Cellars in Sonoma County, California.

Limerick Lane has a total staff of two, so his work there was varied and diverse. In addition to making wine, he was involved in sales & marketing and obtained intimate knowledge of the workings of a small winery. Through this he was able to better understand what really goes into a bottle of wine and how the "Marketing Machine" of many bigger wineries really drives the direction of the wine trade.

He has been written up in Newsweek Magazine (October 6, 1997) for his work in Hungary and was featured in The Wall Street Journal (April 11, 2000) for his plan to convert tobacco fields to vineyards in Southside Virginia. His teaching experience includes Cornell University, City College of San Francisco, and Mercyhurst College, yet he has logged most of his hours as an educator as the founder of NYC Wine Class, a company he started in April 2002 that continues to make wine accesible to people by teaching them to get in touch with their own palate.

Jennifer Traul, Chef

Jennifer Traul came to NYC Wine Class in December 2002. With her she brought a degree in geology from Vanderbilt University,, a culinary degree, her tenure in the kitchen at Chanterelle, and an indefatigable love of food and wine.

It was during her time as Garde Manger at the New York Times 3-star restaurant, Chanterelle, that she discovered wine and cheese and how together they can achieve the heights of marital bliss.

Eventually, her new found interest in wine led her to leave the commercial kitchen to join NYC Wine Class. Jennifer immediately began integrating her work as a chef into the food and wine aspect of the classes. Yet when the wine bug really grabs hold, the itch to work a harvest is undeniable. So in August 2003, she decided to get dirty and see what it's all about while working at Quivira Vineyards in Sonoma, California.

Now back working with Andrew, Jennifer is once again in the kitchen and in the cheese shops. Amidst the bounty that New York City has to offer, she is continuously in search of anything that stands out from the crowd, and when she finds it, one can be sure to find it on the plate at the next NYC Wine Class event.

Adrian Murcia, Frequent Guest Speaker

Adrian Murcia has been the Fromager at Chanterelle Restaurant for the past two years and is also Cellar Assistant to Master Sommelier Roger Dagorn. Before joining the Chanterelle dining room staff in 2000, he worked for three years at Picholine, where he developed a passion for all things fermented under the tutelage of Maitre Fromager Max McCalman.

Upon receiving his Sommelier accreditation from the American Sommelier Association (ASA) in 2001, he was one of thirty sommeliers from around the country to participate in the ASA's Best Sommelier in America Competition, held in November 2002. He placed 1st in the "Harmony of Wine and Food" component, and 13th overall.

In 2000, he was a awarded a travel grant from the London-based Geoffrey Roberts Foundation (whose selection committee was chaired by Jancis Robinson MW). This enabled him to spend a month in southwestern Spain visiting producers of the celebrated Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, the ultra-premium Spanish ham made from free-ranging, acorn-fattened Iberian pigs.

Since 2002 he has been a wine instructor for NYC Wine Class, most recently creating his own seminar series that was kicked off with "The Undiscovered Wonders of Spain," based on his September 2003 tour of Catalunya, Navarra, and País Vasco. Through these seminars as well as through his role as Fromager at Chanterelle, Adrian has an outlet to share with others his love of food, wine, and the people who create these amazing products.