Tara Empson interviewed by Geralyn Brostrom

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In this episode, Tara shares her enjoyment in baking and cake decorations with Geralyn. She presents a marvelously designed Vinitaly cake, and explains how it is done. She shares her inspiration for baking, and tips on how to make beautifully crafted cakes. And most importantly, she shares tips on how to pair cakes with wines.

Tara Empson has long been integrated into the family’s dynamic wine export and import businesses (Empson & Co., est. 1972 and Empson USA, est. 1991, respectively). She is the daughter of Neil and Maria Empson—early advocates for fine Italian wine imports in the U.S. In 2006, Tara began her career at Empson & Co. In 2018, Tara succeeded Neil Empson and was appointed CEO of Empson & Co., and will be appointed to CEO of Empson USA effective April 1, 2019. Today, at 34, Tara leads an impressive portfolio of suppliers currently exported in 32 countries worldwide. Championing Italy’s indigenous and single varietal wines, Tara is eager to shine a light on the lesser-known varieties hailed from Italy’s most well-known regions, including Verdicchio from Marche; world-class Malvasia on the island of Salina in Sicily, and Grignolino and Malvasia in Piedmont. In her spare time, Tara enjoys the company of her two dogs, baking and cooking exotic cuisines and, of course, great wine.

Geralyn Brostrom is VIA's Italian Wine Expert. She also holds other professional credentials including, Certified Wine Educator from SWE, and WSET Level 3. After 20 years in multiple wine industry channels, from wineries to retail to import, Geralyn’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and she started Italian Wine Central. The development of the Italian Wine Professional program represents the synergy between two of her passions: helping others learn and the allure of Italy. And as an Italian citizen, explaining to others the sheer diversity that Italy has to offer is a continuing mission. Her goal: to clear up the common misperception that Italian wine is just too complicated to learn—complex, yes, but completely manageable. When not focusing on things Italian, she lectures on wine business topics in the Wine MBA program at Sonoma State University and is pursuing her Doctor of Business Administration at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

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