Born in Bordeaux to a family of négociants, Louis has grown in a wine environment from his first steps. The Kressmann family established a wine négociant in 1870 which soon became a leader in Bordeaux and abroad. Louis, with his successful Bachelor’s degrees both in Biology (University of Bordeaux) and Business (Bordeaux Business School BEM), had the opportunity to do a one-year internship with an wine importer in NYC (Baron Francois Ltd.) in 2000. Quickly falling in love with the city, Louis decided to pursue his career in NYC. Since then, he has worked for major wine importers, such as, Marie Brizard (where he met his partner in this project), Baron Philippe de Rothschild, and Dreyfus Ashby & Co, where he holds the position of Regional Manager for the NY area. Louis has been importing wines from all over the world for more than 10 years but Bordeaux still remains first in his heart.
Trained as Chef Patissier in her native California, Valerie worked alongside highly skilled chefs and sommeliers cultivating an interest of the world of fine wines. Under the tutelage of these sommelier as well as Dennis Overstreet, her knowledge and appreciation of fine wines grew, complementing her passion for flavor, presentation and precision. This dedicated interest led Valerie to NYC in pursuit of furthering her formal education in Wines and Spirits with the WSET. Here she gained experience in wine sales, as sommelier, producing private wine events, and overseeing and supporting operations of Wineberry, a NYC based fine wine importing & distributing company. Valerie fell in love with Bordeaux the moment she set foot there, discovering the region’s culture, history, people, and of course, the wines.
After working for several years in the fine wine retail industry in NYC, Eric learned about the import business while working for Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits USA and Boisset America. In 2004, he founded Wineberry America LLC, a New York-based importer and distributor of fine wines, selling to some of the most discerning clients in more than 10 states. While Wineberry imports fine wines from practically every region of France (as well as Italy, Spain & Argentina), it is deeply rooted in Bordeaux, Eric’s birthplace, and in the trade of Bordeaux’s classified growths. Eric Dubourg founded BurdiGala with Louis Kressmann in 2012.
Natsuko Perromat du Marais
Natsuko is a true foodie, wine lover and expert in the restaurant field. She worked 10 years for Alain Ducasse, opening restaurants in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and then 4 years for a private investor in Monaco, developing projects involving high profile chefs such as Joël Robuchon and Anne-Sophie Pic.
She is now dedicating herself in a personal project and co-founded Clarette, set to open in spring 2017. Clarette will be a chic, refined and stylish wine bar, located in an iconic townhouse of Marylebone, in the heart of London and set to shake up the capital’s wine scene.
Natsuko is also strongly attached to both Bordeaux and New York, as she met her husband in New York who is from an old winemaker family in Bordeaux!
Mr. Khan is an ardent wine lover and collector, as well as a peripatetic global culinary enthusiast, who loves to rekindle the spirit of the original Symposia – where heady drink mingled with heady dialogue to enhance both.
He is the founder of The International Business and Wine Society, co-founded with George Sape, and which operates in New York, London, Hong Kong, where business leaders exchange ideas, expand their knowledge of wine, and bond over memorable gastronomy. IB&WS is expanding to other hubs of wine connoisseurship and appreciation around the world. He is an officer of the Commanderie de Bordeaux in New York, Vice-Conseiller Gastronomique of the New York Bailliage of La Chaine des Rotisseurs, a Grand Echanson de la Cave of the French Consulate in New York, founder of the wine appreciation group “Rarities”, and curates and facilitates annually, numerous historic wine evenings in New York, London, Geneva, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore and around the world drawn from rare cellars and personal collections.
He is the author of 5 books, and his writings have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States and Europe.
Mr. Sape is a respected oenophile who has assembled an extensive and enviable cellar. He believes that wine and food are meant for sharing with friends and for the enhancement of life.
Past Maître of the Commanderie de Bordeaux, Officier of The Chevaliers du Tastevin, Officier, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, Les Amis de la Table, The Commanderie du Bontemps de Médoc et Graves, The Hospitaliers de Pomerol, The Jurade de St. Emilion, and The Commanderie des Costes du Rhône. He is also Membre d’Honneur of L’Académie du Vin de Bordeaux (one of only five Americans), and Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite.
In addition, Mr. Sape was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the government of France. He is also former Chairman of the James Beard Foundation. Active in philanthropic activities, he serves on the boards of numerous cultural organizations, including the French Heritage Society. Most recently, he was named the President of the American Friends of the Cite des Civilisations et du Vin, a major project underway in the City of Bordeaux to establish a world-wide center for wine.