Originally from California’s Sonoma County, one of the state’s major wine regions, Debra has always had a passion for wines. She has worked harvest in Chile, pruned vines in Bordeaux, worked as a cellar-hand in New York, and taught as a wine professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. Finally, she embarked on a rigorous journey that would test her dedication to the field, but which would award her with the highest accolade in the wine profession, Master of Wine. Few successfully complete the courses, examinations, dissertations, and interviews required in the process, resulting in only 270 people in the world, and until recently, none in Asia, with the title.
Her hard work was well worth it, however, as she has become one of the most sought after wine experts in Asia. She currently writes a popular wine column for the South China Morning Post and is a contributing editor to the Asian Tatler Magazines. In 2007 she was voted “Most Influential Wine Journalist in Hong Kong” by 500 members of the wine trade. Debra has spoken to audiences on five continents, to students such as Asia’s finance ministers, cabinet members, and key business and political figures.
More recently, Debra has been producing an online video series named Meet the Winemaker, a charming access-all-areas look at the wine industry. Another media project, Debra’s one-minute wine tips, are played in taxis across China. Debra is currently working on a television show for Discovery Channel, in which she brings her quirky brand of edutainment to some of the world’s most prominent wine regions.