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Greg O’Byrne

Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta and the Taos Winter Wine Festival
Executive Director

Born in Chicago the fifth of ten children of an Irish/Italian Catholic family, O’Byrne learned at an early age the joys of sharing a meal at large gatherings. While living in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late-seventies, O’Byrne initiated his young wine palate with Joseph Phelps Riesling sipped from bota bags at Grateful Dead and Santana concerts.

After graduating UC Berkeley in 1982 with a degree in Computer Science, O’Byrne developed software in San Francisco for two years and then moved to Paris in 1984. While living and working in Paris as a software engineer, O’Byrne discovered the triumph of Cote du Provence Rosé with Vietnamese spring rolls and the sublime pleasure of a slightly chilled Cru Beaujolais with duck confit and baby peas. Realizing there was more to his future than computer coding, O’Byrne left Paris on his bicycle and rode through the wine regions of France, Switzerland, Greece, Italy and Spain before moving back to San Francisco to pursue a career in the restaurant business.

Since 1987, O’Byrne has been a steady presence in the Santa Fe restaurant scene as restaurant manager, event director, wine writer and wine educator. As the Executive Director of the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta and the Taos Winter Wine Festival the past twenty-three years, O’Byrne has created and directed more than 200 wine seminars. In addition to teaching wine courses to restaurant students for the past 20 years, O’Byrne is a Certified Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers program. In 2004, O’Byrne helped start Santa Fe’s Slow Food chapter with Deborah Madison. When not producing his own wine events, O’Byrne is regular guest sommelier at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine and the LA Food & Wine events.

An avid cyclist, O’Byrne has ridden Michael Chiarello’s Botega Napa Valley Gran Fondo each of the past three years and with the help of Matthew Accarrino of SPQR in San Francisco, O’Byrne started the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta Gran Fondo in 2014. His most recent bike trip was a 10-day loop around Sicily, stopping and visiting the island’s prominent wine regions.

O’Byrne believes in wine with dinner every night, that the best wine is always the wine in your glass and that it’s not what you drink but who you drink it with that counts. His passion for wine includes the wines of Oregon, Sicily, Piedmont, Tuscany and German Riesling, which reminds him of a bota bag and the high notes of Carlos Santana’s guitar.

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