Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has announced that Laura DePasquale has been promoted to the role of Senior Vice President, Sales & Commercial Operations, Artisanal Wine Division, effective immediately.
In this role — reporting directly to Cindy Leonard, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Fine Wine — DePasquale is responsible for overseeing the company’s new national artisanal wine selling division as part of Southern Glazer’s SG+ enhanced customer service, fine wine, and craft spirits strategy. Her responsibilities include building and managing support functions and sales leaders essential to optimizing productivity across the Artisanal Wine commercial organization.
“Laura has always set the bar the highest imaginable,” says Leonard. “Southern Glazer’s is extremely proud to have such a brilliant Master Sommelier and demonstrated leader among its ranks. Her level of knowledge and experience in the artisanal wine category is unmatched, and I know her expertise will bring great value to our suppliers and customers in this space.”
Prior to her promotion, DePasquale was the Vice President and General Manger of the Artisanal Fine Wine Division at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits – Florida. Before joining Southern Glazer’s in 2015, she led a rapid turnaround and expansion of Stacole Fine Wines in Florida, Quality Wines in Georgia, and The Country Vintner in South Carolina.
DePasquale was recruited by The Country Vintner from Palm Bay International, where she was Vice President of Fine Wine Development. She began her 10-year career at Palm Bay as the Florida State Fine Wine Specialist in 2001, was promoted to head of the newly formed Fine Wine Division in 2003 and named National Sales Director Fine Wine in 2004.
DePasquale holds a Master Sommelier Diploma and is the 13th woman to achieve the title since the examinations were first set in 1969. She is a wine educator, speaker, examiner, and judge, conducting seminars and tastings at numerous high-profile events such as TEXSOM, The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One and its sister festival in New York, FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, as well as International Event & Exhibition Management’s (I.E.E.M.) Vino Italia and Simply Italian Great Wines Americas Tour.
DePasquale is a regular lecturer and examiner for the Court of Master Sommeliers at all levels, and she is also a wine judge and panel chair at blind competitions, such as Decanter World Wine Awards, 5StarWines, Vinitaly, The Jefferson Cup Invitational, and TEXSOM International Wine Awards.
DePasquale was elected to the Board of Directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2010 and served as the first female Vice-Chair for three years and a Board Member for five years. Currently, she is the USA Board Member for the Wine Educational Board’s Collisioni Food Project based in Piedmont, a Certified Italian Wine Expert, a member of the Board of Directors for Best USA Sommelier Association’s (BUSA) Competition, and a contributing writer for Terroir Sense Wine Review.