Brian Sypher is Soter Vineyards' General Manager and is also a Principal Partner in North Valley Vineyards. With a lifelong passion for the natural sciences - Biology and Zoology in particular, which he studied in college - he eventually earned his B.A. in Philosophy from SUNY Oswego in frigid upstate New York. While thus fully capable of “talking with the animals”, and having decided to not pursue a career in law, he ended up continuing his work in the fast lane restaurant world of New York City, working his way into management. During this time, while working at Michael’s Restaurant, he became fully immersed in the fine wine world as part of his duties, and never turned back. After later stints in the San Francisco area, where he opened and managed multiple cafes and developed teams for companies like Boudin Bakery and Starbucks, he jumped into fine wine retail sales at the Napa Valley Wine Exchange, while preparing to enroll himself at U.C. Davis to study viticulture and enology. But instead of heading to Davis, he serendipitously met Michael & Harmon Skurnik at a wine tasting in San Francisco, and they successfully persuaded him to move back to Manhattan to become their first American Wines Portfolio Manager. Busily building and managing their California, Oregon and Washington book (which included both Soter Vineyards and Etude wineries), Brian was eventually promoted to Vice President and General Sales Manager of Skurnik Wines, rounding out a ten year history with the country’s greatest fine wine distributor. Then, after some life changing trips visiting the Willamette Valley, which included a privileged opportunity to act as a panelist at Oregon Pinot Camp one summer, he was later thrilled to accept an opportunity to realize his dream of becoming an integral part of a boutique winery operation, and joined Soter Vineyards in 2010 as Director of Sales & Marketing. When Brian isn’t busy being a silly Wine Geek, you’ll find him enjoying travel and exploring nature with his wife Melissa, cooking, reading, writing, and practicing Japanese martial arts.