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Sisi Berry

Crafting Connections Through Wine and Music at Driftwood Golf and Ranch Club

Wine, a beverage that has captivated hearts and palates for centuries, holds within it a world of stories, flavors and experiences. For sommelier Sisi Berry, wine is more than just a drink; it’s a journey of discovery and connection. With a background as diverse and vibrant as the wines she curates, Sisi shares her remarkable transformation from pre-med student to musician and accomplished sommelier, and how she channels her passion and creativity at Driftwood Golf and Ranch Club.

Born in New Orleans to a Venezuelan mother and Texan father, Sisi and her five siblings first came to Texas when her military family was stationed in San Antonio. Although she started in pre-med studies at Texas A&M University, her true calling led her down a different path. As her passion for helping people achieve their health goals intertwined with her interest in viticulture, she immersed herself in the science of wine, aiming to debunk its misconceptions.

After completing her science studies at A&M, Sisi’s thirst for exploring wine led her to Spain, where she refined her skills as a sommelier while working in vineyards. Meanwhile her love of music and songwriting remained a constant throughout her life. Sisi played guitar and wrote songs as a therapeutic outlet. “It has always been a way to help me digest my life,” says Sisi. She played guitar in her church, but it wasn’t until college that she first began singing and sharing her own songs. 

Her sister’s invitation brought her from Mallorca to Austin, where she delved into both the wine and music scenes. She joined a band playing rock ’n’ roll and soul music, meanwhile working with influential figures like Rae Wilson of Wine for the People, overseeing wine production, managing the company’s wine club, and curating restaurant wine lists. She also engaged in wine distribution with Pioneer, offered independent wine list consulting across the city, owned a business providing private sommelier classes and wine education events with paired chef-prepared courses. Most recently, she was the wine director at Rancho Pillow.

At Driftwood Golf and Ranch Club, Sisi’s journey reached a new destination. Drawn by Executive Chef Jim Tripi’s vision and the allure of shaping a developing property, she embraced her role as wine director. Her philosophy revolves around creating relationships, shaping experiences, and making wine accessible to all. At the club, Sisi hosts weekly wine tasting happy hours, curates wine dinners in collaboration with the culinary team, and orchestrates events like the annual Smokin’ Barrels festival, celebrating local cuisine and Texas wines.

As a wine director, Sisi expertly crafts wine lists that harmonize with the club’s diverse cuisines and atmospheres. Her approach focuses on mood pairing and inviting members into the tasting experience. She prioritizes personal palate preferences and flavor balance over ratings and prices.

Sisi’s journey through the wine world showcases curiosity, passion and perseverance. With her diverse background, she enriches Driftwood Golf and Ranch Club, providing an environment for members to explore, savor and connect with wines that resonate with them. Her dedication to creating memorable wine moments and opening people’s minds and hearts to trying new things makes her a true wine world ambassador.

One thing Sisi loves about working at Driftwood is that she doesn’t have to choose between her passion for wine or her love of music. “The leadership is open to all parts of you as a person. They’ve nurtured that creative side of me so that I haven’t had to compartmentalize. I feel so welcomed here.”

Sisi is now the lead singer and guitarist of her own band, Sisi. Sisi will perform at Austin City Limits October 15 and release her self-titled album in early November.

Follow Sisi’s music career on Instagram @_ohsisi. To discover more about Driftwood Golf and Ranch Club, visit DriftwoodGolfClub.com.
 

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