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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 and is expected to complete WSET Level 3 in May. 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

Connor Kriegel
Head of Auction Sales
connor.kriegel@sothebys.com

Connor Kriegel joined Sotheby’s Wine in 2010 after working at Evening Land Vineyards near Santa Barbara, California. Prior to that, he worked at the National Football League in Corporate Sponsorship. Since his arrival, he has been involved with Sotheby’s most important sales including the Ultimate Cellar in 2010, the El Bulli Cellar in 2013 and The Don Stott Cellar: 50 Years of Collecting Parts I-III in 2015 and 2017. Connor also led the team that inspected, catalogued and sold the Cellar of William I Koch in 2016, the most successful wine auction in history.

He leads a team of wine specialists in New York and California and travels the country and globe meeting clients, inventorying and packing some of the world’s great wine collections. Connor has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, and is regularly quoted in Decanter and the Drinks Business.

Paul Tortora
Senior Specialist
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.

Jack Kauffman
Specialist
jack.kauffman@sothebys.com
 

Jack studied wine at IAU College in Aix-en-Provence, France, in 2015 and became a CMS Certified Sommelier in 2016. Passionate about all areas of wine, he produced, directed and edited the award-winning documentary, “Uncorked Potential,” focusing on the Finger Lakes wine region, which made its global premiere in 2017. That same year, he was named a Certified Sherry Wine Specialist, appointed by the House of Lustau and the Jerez, Spain, governing body. Not one to rest on his laurels, he worked a grape harvest with the biodynamic producer Samsara Wines in Ronda, Spain, in 2018 while concurrently employed as the Wine Director at a wine bar and shop in Charleston, South Carolina.
Jack also placed third at the 2018 Charleston Top Sommelier blind-tasting competition.

He joined Sotheby’s in 2019 as a Wine Specialist based in the New York headquarters location.

Jack says, “I'm a passionate sommelier and filmmaker, always looking to improve my craft and discover unique wines.”

Jackie Perrota
Administrator
Jackie.perrota@sothebys.com

COLLECTION MANAGEMENT & ADVISORY

 Julia Gilbert
Senior Wine Advisor
julia.gilbert@sothebys.com

Julia Gilbert joined Sotheby’s in 2017 to develop the Wine Advisory and Storage businesses at Sotheby’s Wine. She brings to Sotheby’s over 14 years of experience with fine wine auctions. At Sotheby’s Julia has been an instrumental part of two of 2019’s groundbreaking single owner sales, playing a leading role in bringing to auction Tran-scend-ent Wines, which set a record for the largest privately owned collection ever sold at $30m, and The Ultimate Whisky Collection, the most important collection of spirits ever to appear at auction and Sotheby’s first dedicated spirits sale. 

Julia’s first love was Italy, where she discovered wine while studying in Rome and Venice to pursue concentrations in Classical Studies and Italian Studies at Colgate University. She is a dedicated yogi and avid hiker, and enjoys visits to the mountains and coasts of the Carolinas with her family.  


    Yassmin Dever
    Associate Wine Advisor
    yassmin.dever@sothebys.com

Like many others who have caught the bug, Yassmin’s love affair with wine started with travel when she visited a winery in Tuscany for the first time while on a road trip. At the time, Yassmin was on track for an illustrious career on Wall Street and she developed over 6 years of experience at Citigroup as Vice President in Foreign Exchange Sales. In that capacity, Yassmin managed relationships with and delivered currency advisory and execution services to Institutional Clients in Latin America. During her free time, she satisfied her thirst for wine knowledge by attaining certifications with the American Sommelier Association and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, and later teaching recreational classes at a boutique wine shop in New York City

Ultimately, Yassmin decided to make a career change and joined the Sotheby’s Wine team in 2016. She has since been involved in a number of special projects, including working with the Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine to develop a cohesive growth strategy for the global wine business, conducting due diligence and analysis on a number of new business initiatives, and creating the Sotheby’s Wine Market Report, a widely distributed annual publication which analyzes our results and illustrates relevant trends for the fine wine and spirits market. She has also developed experience in the auction process and was involved in a number of high-profile sales including The Don Stott Cellar: 50 Years of Collecting, Part III, Magnificent Wines from the Cellars of Park B. Smith, and The Cellar from the Estate of Jerry Perenchio.

Yassmin graduated from Middlebury College with a major in Economics and a minor in French; she also speaks Spanish and Farsi. In addition to being an oenophile, Yassmin is an ardent foodie and is especially passionate about food and wine related travel. She is currently a candidate for the WSET Diploma in Wine & Spirits.

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.