April 20, 2016 9:00 AM CT Austin, Texas
Youngest Wine Sommelier in the United States Certified by the International Wine & Spirits Guild
On February 26, 2016, seventeen (17) year old Erika Fritz of Austin, Texas, became the youngest person in the United States to receive the International Wine & Spirits Guild Certification of Wine Sommelier.
“I have grown up in the family vineyards and wineries and that is where my passion is.” says Erika. Her place in the wine world is well deserved. At age eight, she was planting vines and helping in the vineyards, and by twelve she was working in the winery as a “cellar rat”. Over the past four (4) years, Erika has balanced her time between Europe, the Winery, and Westlake High School where she is Captain of the Girls 6A Texas State Champion Swim team. In the Fall, Erika will study International business at University in Texas and in Italy. She continues to work at the winery. However, over the last year she has taken on the role of Promotion Liaison and is heavily involved in speaking engagements, wine presentation, and the complicated area of International wine relations.
Those who know and work with her agree that Erika is at ease in the world of fine wine “it is an exciting time to be part of the industry,” states Erika’s mother, Barbara. “Young people with dedication and focus are the future of connoisseur level wines and Erika is in the thick of it.”
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Erika speaking at the NCA conference