Meet Pascaline Lepeltier, MOF and 2018 Best French Sommelier - New York City.

Updated: Oct 20

First woman Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) Sommelier Lauréate, Meilleur Sommelier de France 2018 and Chefs for Impact Member of the Board.

Pascaline Lepeltier, who grew up in the Loire Valley, is passionate about sustainable agriculture, hospitality, winemaking practices that reflect human care, biodynamic principles, and organic farming.

Photo credit: Cédric Angeles

By Pascaline Lepeltier as told to Chefs for Impact

Interviewed by Olivia Chessé

Where does your passion for wine come from?

Wine came as a savior at a critical time in my life, after a burnout following intense studies in philosophy. One day, when I was 23 years old and I was holding that glass of wine in a special environment with a specific person, it appeared as evidence. I felt both a real organoleptic pleasure as well as an intellectual satisfaction of having found something that could satiate my curiosity about the world. I like the complexity of wine, its connection to nature and people. It allows me to address deep environmental reflections and also to satisfy this idea that we have an ethical commitment and a professional responsibility of being a citizen of the world.

What drives you?

I have no interest in working for the 1%. Wine is a product that fascinates me. There is such an awareness of the need to change consumption habits that all my professional choices are dictated by how I can further this cause. I use wine to satisfy this need for awareness, education, and sharing. It is being able to make an impact in these areas through wine that drives me.

Has your current approach to natural wines always been your philosophy?