Neal Wavra presents and writes about wine and food. He is recognized as one of the leading experts on the burgeoning Virginia wine industry. Wavra also is the host and sommelier at The Riverstead, a twelve seat restaurant located in Chilhowie, Virginia run by renowned chefs John Shields and Karen Urie. He was the former Innkeeper and Sommelier for The Ashby Inn & Restaurant in Paris, VA where the wine list was recognized by various publications for its vast and careful selections, with particular focus paid to the wines of Virginia. In addition, Wavra is a wine competition judge.
Prior to working in Virginia, Wavra was the Dining Room Manager for Charlie Trotter in Chicago and the Dining Room and Farmstead Manager at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN. He holds degrees fromWhitman College in Walla Walla, Washington; the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California; and the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Wavra is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and is the recipient of the Commanderie de Bordeaux Wine Scholarship and the Kopf Foundation Wine Excellence Scholarship.