Image Courtesy of Melody Fuller
Nicknamed “The Mayor of Napa Valley,” Melody Fuller has brought forth incredible change in the wine industry. She’s worked for the last four decades as a wine, food and travel writer, and is the founder and president of the Oakland Wine Festival and The Exceptional Vine.
Her first introduction to wine was in 1979. A sophomore at Mills College in Oakland, California, Fuller would often drive to Sonoma County to learn more about wine. She credits the generosity and knowledge shared by those vintners for inspiring her love for wine, which led her to photograph and write about wine at home and abroad. Ever since, she has focused on learning everything she can about the land, the grapes and the business, all the while building lifelong relationships and friendships throughout Napa Valley.
Currently, Fuller serves as the Director of Fellowships and Admissions at The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley.
“As a writer, this industry requires me to keep my hiking boots, running shoes, and integrity side-by-side with my yellow legal pad, pen and laser focus,” she says. “Sometimes, I need my hiking boots to wade through counterfactual narratives. And sometimes, I need my running shoes, so I can take the miles ahead of me, one step at a time, towards global and local industry wide integration. Without my integrity, I am nothing.”