Originally from Castleton, Vermont, Eli started his career in music, studying opera at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He performed throughout the country for five years after graduating in 2008. Like many in the arts world, when not performing, he worked in the restaurant business, eventually landing at Balthazar in lower Manhattan. Eli and his wife Shelly relocated to Seattle in 2013, where his professional interest in the wine business blossomed. He worked for Heavy Restaurant Group as a server, bartender, sommelier and later Assistant General Manager at Purple Café and Wine Bar. He then worked as a roaming manager for the entire company and this spring, helped open Claret Wine Bar in Wallingford. He passed the Advanced Sommelier certification on the first try last year and will continue to work towards his Master Sommelier certification. And in the fine tradition of most of our team at Avennia, Eli was our harvest intern for crush in 2017. When he’s not selling wine or studying flashcards, you can find him walking around the parks of West Seattle, cooking with his wife, or practicing piano, just in case Marty asks him to play some jazz music.