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New York

Our Team

NEW YORK RETAIL

Victor Rabot 
Fine Wine Buyer 
victor.rabot@sothebys.com

A French citizen who grew up in Agen (in southwest France), Victor has lived in Hong Kong since 2011, when he began working for Jebsen Fine Wines in their private/corporate division. He joined Sotheby’s in July 2016. Victor’s passion for wine started in 2005 after visiting domaines in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, meeting the people and learning the story behind their wine. “It was something very special,” Victor says. “Since that time, my passion has never stopped.” After high school, he spent two years studying winemaking and viticulture in Saint-Emilion. Victor has a bachelor’s degree and an MBA in Wine Marketing and Management from Bordeaux International Wine Institute (part of INSEEC Group). His studies allowed him to work in various wine regions of France, from Bordeaux (at Chateau Pape-Clement) to Bandol.

“What is enjoyable with wine is that it brings people together, but it’s also about discovery because each wine is different,” he says. “When I am not working with wine, I read about it to learn more.” Victor is always open to new producers and regions, but his favourite is the Rhone Valley. He also enjoys film photography, watching movies, trying new restaurants, going to the beach and surfing.

 

Sara Sparks
Fine Wine Sales
sara.sparks@sothebys.com

Sara Sparks has been intrigued by wine since she was of legal drinking age. While attending college at the University of Virginia, vineyard trips were a weekend staple in the Monticello AVA – and good local wine was everywhere. A few years later she chose to formally pursue a career in wine while working in NYC restaurants.

Sara cut her teeth in the beverage industry as a sales manager at Astor Wines & Spirits, a retail store for wine, spirits and saké in Manhattan. In September 2018, Sara accepted her current role in Fine Wine Sales where she interacts with clients and places their orders. “I like getting to know our new and long-time clients personally. Then I can intelligently ask, ‘Did you know this new cuvée is available from your favorite producer?’” she says. 

Sara is a CMS Certified Sommelier, passed WSET Level 3 with Merit and is working toward the WSET Diploma. In her spare time, Sara enjoys farmers’ markets in NYC, cooking and baking, biking, and gardening in her tiny Brooklyn backyard. “And, of course, I love trying new wines, spirits, sakés, beers, meads and ciders, and visiting wineries and distilleries whenever I travel.”

Graham Tucker 
Store Manager
graham.tucker@sothebys.com

Graham’s primary focus as New York store manager is to provide an effective, tailored, dynamic experience for Sotheby’s Wine clients. From inventory management and ensuring store aesthetics and atmosphere, to fulfilling orders and maintaining service levels, his position is holistic.

“The store, like any retail environment, can have stretches of high volume and traffic, making the environment rather fast paced,” Graham says. “Our clients tend to be smart and well-informed and are more curious than the typical consumer.” 

Graham has achieved WSET Level 3 with Merit, inspired by his father who has been a student of wine for more than 30 years. “He sparked my curiosity for the subject,” Graham says. “My father taught me that wine is a conversation starter that brings people together. Wine is not an end in itself; the greater cause is its insight into culture, geography, terroir, history and more.”

Always active, Graham is an avid runner and enjoys going to upstate New York to explore the outdoors and hike. When indoors, he likes to read memoirs and autobiographies. During the baseball season, much of his time is spent cheering on the New York Yankees.

Katie Montgomery 
Shipping Manager
katherine.montgomery@sothebys.com


Katie initially became interested in wine while studying cooking. “I love the history and complexity of wine,” she says. “It’s a subject that one can study for an entire lifetime. I also like that it’s a topic everyone – even people outside the industry – really enjoy. It’s easy to talk about and everyone seems to want to listen!”

Katie attended the Culinary Institute of America where she earned an undergraduate degree in Wine and Beverage Management. She is a CMS certified Sommelier and completed WSET Level 3 with merit.                
 

NEW YORK AUCTION

 

Paul Tortora
Head of Auction Sales
paul.tortora@sothebys.com

In 2016, Paul Tortora joined Sotheby’s after working for nearly five years directly with the founder of one of America’s premier wine importers, The Rare Wine Co. In that position, he represented some of Europe’s most historic estates. Since his arrival at Sotheby’s, Paul has been involved in some of the most momentous sales, including the Wines from the Cellar of William I. KochThe Don Stott Cellar: 50 Years of Collecting, Part III and Magnificent Wines from the Cellars of Park B. Smith.

Paul works with clients both domestically and abroad, most recently playing a significant role in bringing to auction the São Paulo-based collection, “A Distinguished Cellar Benefitting Instituto Solidare.” Paul has a degree in the humanities from Wesleyan University and speaks Italian.

 

 

WORLDWIDE

Jamie Ritchie
Worldwide Head
jamie.ritchie@sothebys.com

Jamie’s claret obsession has kept him at Sotheby’s since first joining in London in 1990 (that’s 50% of his life!). “I still remember the chateau name and vintage of some wines that my father served the family when I was a teenager, so there was obviously an early interest. At 18, I was buying wines that I liked by the case,” Jamie says.

“Long ago, I calculated that if I lived until I was 70 and drank a bottle of wine every day, I would have 20,000 great experiences. I was pretty sure I would drink those 20,000 bottles, so I decided that I had better learn something about it. There are two ways to enjoy wine: work in the business or earn enough money to buy it. I chose the former.”

Jamie launched the first Sotheby's wine auction in New York in 1994, and loved the U.S. so much that he made it his permanent home. Today he is Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine, leading both the retail and auction business. The best place to find him is on a plane, traveling the world for Sotheby’s Wine. He regularly attends tastings and client dinners, visits wineries and conducts auctions for countless benefits. Jamie earned the WSET Diploma in 1988.

In his spare time, Jamie stays in shape by playing tennis, golf and hiking, likes to spend time with his family and travel with them.

Serena Sutcliffe, MW
Honorary Chairman

Serena is the Honorary Chairman of Sotheby's Wine, having previously been Worldwide Head for twenty-five years, from 1990 to 2015. She is a Master of Wine, passing the exam at her first attempt, and is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on wine.  A former Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, Serena was made a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 1988.  She was elected to the Académie Internationale du Vin in 1993 and, in 2002, she received the New York Institute of Technology’s Professional Excellence Award.  In 2006, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Society of Bacchus America. Also in 2006, Serena was awarded the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur for her seminal work in promoting and selling French wines.  She is the first person in the British Wine Trade to receive this honour. 

Serena is an internationally recognised wine writer and renowned taster, and writes regularly for many international publications.  She is a regular lecturer and broadcaster in Europe, the United States and Asia.