Brittney Abell

Brittney Abell

Wine Director

Current Wine Director at the Grape Collective Upper Montclair location, Brittney spends her days at the shop helping customers find their perfect bottle.  Formerly the Wine Director for Skopos Hospitality, She has spent over a decade in the hospitality industry and the NJ wine scene educating staff and consumers on the practices of growing grapes and making wine sustainably.  Her passion stems from her love of literature and the desire to walk a mile in other’s shoes. Opening a bottle helps her experience the love and passion others worked so hard to produce. 

  1. Keeping Sicilian Tradition and Resurrecting Forgotten Varietals with Massimo Padova of Riofavara

    Keeping Sicilian Tradition and Resurrecting Forgotten Varietals with Massimo Padova of Riofavara

    Turning on to the drive leading up to the Riofavara Vineyards in Val di Noto, the first thing you notice is all the plant and animal life thriving around you. The biodiversity on the vineyard is evident from the gate, butterflies abundant and flora in full bloom. Massimo Padova and his family have been growing vines for generations but only began bottling their own juice in 1993.

  2. The Eyrie Vineyards: Pioneers of Dueling Pinots

    The Eyrie Vineyards: Pioneers of Dueling Pinots

    Founder, David Lett, began Eyrie Vineyards on a hunch and a dream. Destined for dentistry, David followed a different path after visiting a few California wineries while stationed in San Francisco for the Coast Guard. He was the first to plant Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in the Willamette Valley, becoming a benchmark to rival some of the best Burgundy.

  3. Austin Winery: American Winemakers in an Urban City

    Austin Winery: American Winemakers in an Urban City

    The fellas at Austin Winery are anything but traditional winemakers. Cooper Anderson and Ross McLauchlan are navigating the wine world by following their own north star, as neither come to winemaking natively. It’s a path chosen rather than given, self taught, these gentlemen have encompassed in ten years what takes some wineries generations to obtain. Mastering first ‘conventional’ winemaking, then rolling the dice and taking a chance on a more natural, terroir driven approach. As proof by their wine portfolio, they are creating fun and interesting wines by interpreting others' winemaking styles in their own way and giving them a proper Texas twist by sourcing all their organic fruit within state lines.

    They’re on their way to prestige and taking their tribe with them along the way, emboldening their team to try their own hands at creating the good juice under the Austin Winery Umbrella, with a ‘what is good for them, is good for us’ philosophy and even displaying their friend’s artwork on th...

  4. A Guide to Beer and Cheese Pairing

    A Guide to Beer and Cheese Pairing

    In the 1970s, both the artisan cheese movement and local craft breweries had a revival and began their momentum to become what we know today. Now, at their pinnacle, they can be enjoyed and even enhance each other. They compete with their long-standing European mates. These rules apply to all cheeses and beers regardless of where they hail. When it comes to bringing them both together, there are a few main key points to remember.

  5. Barbara Gross of Cooper Mountain Vineyards: Talking Oregon Organics and the Future of Communication in the Wine Industry

    Barbara Gross of Cooper Mountain Vineyards: Talking Oregon Organics and the Future of Communication in the Wine Industry

    Cooper Mountain Vineyards is a winery ahead of the curve in the Willamette Valley, being certified organic since the early '90s.  Barbara Gross, co-owner and operator, sat down to speak with me about growing up on a Willamette vineyard, finding her place among the vines, and maintaining the spirit of the vineyard through the good times and the bad. 

  6. A Guide To Wine and Cheese Pairing

    A Guide To Wine and Cheese Pairing

    Some things in the culinary world were just meant to be together, like bread and butter or tomato and basil. But the most rewarding and complex pair of them all is wine and cheese. A marriage of flavors and textures that will eternally complement...

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