Diana Hawkins

is a Certified Sommelier with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College; a Publishing Arts Certificate from Antioch University; and a Master of Science in Wine Science with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland where she studied microbial terroir.

In 2012, she quit her technical sales job to pursue a career in the wine industry and has never looked back. During her time as a sommelier in Chicago, she developed wine and beverage programs for James Beard award winning and Michelin star restaurants and worked the floor at the only three Michelin star establishment in the city. She also bested 63 other Chicago sommeliers to win the inaugural SommMadness blind tasting competition. In 2017, she traded in her wine key for a pair of work boots and moved to Aotearoa New Zealand to pursue a winemaking career. There, she worked 4 vintages, including as an assistant winemaker for a small boutique winery and the McBride Sisters. Diana also worked the 2019 vintage in Sonoma for a medium size producer.

Her unique background allows her to see wine from a variety of perspectives and effectively communicate complex topics to a wide array of audiences. She is based in Aotearoa New Zealand and currently works as a winemaking consultant and wine writer. She is also in the process of developing her own wine brand, Responsible Hedonist. Always hungry for more wine knowledge, she is pursuing the WSET Level 3 Award in Wine and dreams of becoming a Master of Wine.

Diana is a Roots Fund and Women of the Vine and Spirits Trust Scholar and has been featured in SevenFifty Daily, Plate Magazine, Chicagoist, The Chicago Tribune, among others. She has written articles for VinePair and regional wine guides for WineCentral.

When not exploring the wine world, Diana is listening to music, kayaking around Waiheke Island, and practicing yoga.

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