About us

The Grapevine Experience Staff includes field experts, AIS sommeliers and trained teachers. The Grapevine Experience is a full service provider with a focus on Italian culture, food & wine. We believe in living an authentic experience and learning from direct tasting.

Suzanne Branciforte

Suzanne is a wine communicator who works with prestigious Italian wineries in regions throughout Italy. She is a Food&Wine blogger and created the Italian Grapevine, a blog for Italophiles, foodies, and wine-lovers everywhere. She is on-site in Italy wining and dining, meeting and greeting chefs and winemakers, the movers and shakers of the Food & Wine sector. Suzanne has visited over 200 wineries in Italy.
She is a Certified Sommelier (Italian Association of Sommeliers – AIS) and member of the Association Le Donne del Vino. She graduated from Harvard and got her MA and PhD from UCLA. Author of the best-selling Italian language program Parliamo italiano! (John Wiley & Sons, 5th edition), she is the founder of the school Study in Italy with branches in Siena and Genoa.
Suzanne is director of Grapevine Experience, which she founded so that more people could enjoy the inimitable dolce vita Italian lifestyle and have fun while learning. Born in New York and a resident of Italy for the past two decades, she has lived extensively in California, France and Italy and knows that good wine doesn’t grow in ugly places.

Zoë Burgard

Zoë has been in love with the sights (and tastes!) of Italy since she first arrived in Genoa to study Italian with Suzanne four years ago. Now, after completing an undergraduate degree at Harvard and a Master’s degree at the Humboldt University in Berlin, she has returned with more languages under her belt to join the Grapevine Experience team. Originally from Boston, she has adopted Italy as her chosen home, living the dolce vita dream. She is passionate about health and wellness, and cares deeply about the fact that the Mediterranean diet doesn’t place great food and fantastic wine at odds with a healthy lifestyle.

She helps design new food and wine courses, always seeking to educate more people about the fundamental principle about the Mediterranean diet: health shouldn’t be about restriction, but rather about experiencing the joy of fresh ingredients, wonderfully prepared.

Desirée Barbarossa

Desirée is a native of Genoa, la Superba. After completing a degree in Communication Sciences at the University of Genoa, where she specialized in web marketing and social media, she joined the Grapevine Experience team to help introduce more of the world to la dolce vita. Raised in a family of wine experts, and planning to start her sommelier training soon, Desirée uses her social media skills to open up the world of Italian wine to everyone who longs to experience it.

Her passion for communication, great wine, and teaching drives her commitment to the Grapevine Experience project, and brings her great joy in vineyards, kitchens, and classrooms alike!

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