Valerie is a fourth generation California native whose heart truly lies in the wine growing regions and Michelin-star kitchens of France. Born into a Mexican-American family of bon vivants and oenophiles, Valerie has relentlessly pursued her keen interests in the world of culinary arts, fine wines, and the exploration of the elements that make life delicious. The first chapter of her career began under the foggy, rolling hills of San Francisco where she studied Culinary Arts at the California Culinary Academy, focusing on pastry, breads, and confections. During the next six years, Valerie worked in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, until she met an experienced Sommelier who began a bartering system with the house’s pastry Chef, Valerie. In exchange for freshly baked madeleine cookies to accompany his ritual espresso break, he would bring her tastes of treasured wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and of course, Champagne. These occasional tastes and lessons in fine wine led Valerie to the next chapter in her career in which she began in her pursuit of WSET accreditation through the International Wine Center in NYC. While living in NYC for nearly 12 years, Valerie gained experience working for NYC Wine Retail landmark establishments, restaurants, and eventually became Managing Partner for a boutique Wine Importer and Distributor. Seeking her next adventure on the wine trail, Valerie moved back west to Venice Beach and represents her favorite Champagne houses, Bollinger and Ayala.