RIDGE Somm Session with Tonya Pitts

Blog Post

We hope you were able to join us on October 21st, at 12PM for our Somm Session, hosted by our Senior VP of Vineyard Operations, David Gates, as we chatted with Sommelier Tonya Pitts. If you missed the live version, you can still view the recording on our YouTube page!

Tonya Pitts, Sommelier.

Tonya Pitts is the sommelier and wine director at One Market Restaurant.

An industry changemaker, Tonya Pitts is a wine professional who catapults wineries and winemakers into the mainstream. She is also a leader for diversity and inclusion in the hospitality, food and beverage industries.

Tonya is a certified sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International. Her 30-year career has been shaped by women chefs and restaurant owners. As Sommelier & Wine Director for One Market Restaurant in San Francisco, Tonya curated a wine list with a bold style and flavor profile, including offerings by women, Black and Latino winemakers. Since 2012, Tonya’s wine programs have received Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.

Tonya is an active philanthropist and mentor. She established Women in Wine to improve representation in the industry. She also holds a professorship with the University of San Francisco, working with students on food and wine pairings. And she joined Wine Unify as an ambassador, advisory board member and mentor to people in the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities who are pursuing careers in the industry. Tonya is a core committee member of Batonnage Forum Mentorship Program and she is a board member for United Sommelier Foundation.

Tonya has been a five-time judge for the San Francisco International Wine Competition, a speaker at Culinary Institute of America Summit for Beverage Professionals, and an advisor for the Fine Minds4Fine Wines think tank in Europe. Her media appearances include CBS This Morning, ABC 7 News “Sips with Spencer” (video clip), Daily Beast, Wine & Spirits Magazine, Somm Journal, Tasting Panel, Wine Stream and Wonder Women of Wine.

Our Senior VP of Vineyard Operations and host for the Somm Session, David Gates, grew up on a hundred-and-sixty acre farm in central Minnesota, and decided to escape the cold winters by coming to California for school. His love of plants and agriculture led him to UC Davis, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Viticulture, and met and married his wife, Donna.

After an obligatory stint in Napa Valley he made his way to Ridge in 1989. David’s duties include managing the historic Monte Bello vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Whitton Ranch at Geyserville, and the Lytton Estate vineyards at Healdsburg, as well as monitoring and helping all Ridge growers in Sonoma, Napa, Santa Clara, and San Luis Obispo Counties.


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