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Meet Ashley Lewis of The Social Grapes in San Diego County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Lewis.

Ashley, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I got started long before I knew it. Wine has always been a part of my adult life. In college, my roommates and I would sip wine on Wednesdays. When I was home from college in the summer my sister and I would stay up binge-watching our favorite shows while sharing a bottle of Pinot. Wine has always reminded me of people and places I love. It was a prerequisite that I married someone with the same level of enthusiasm towards wine.

My husband and I have shared hundreds of bottles together and it’s taken us to some epic places. We started traveling for wine a few years ago. We’ve crossed some UNESCO World Heritage vineyard sites off our bucket list while also tasting our way through classic old world regions. I got this idea to launch a blog dedicated to wine and become a WSET student while we were tasting Riesling in Wachau Valley.

Has it been a smooth road?
The process has been empowering… but in no way, shape, or form has it been easy – especially trying to balance it all. My full-time job is very demanding, so adding a part-time wine hustle on the side while powering through WSET programs has been taxing. It’s made me realize how important self-care is. I’ve also found a new appreciation for self-growth and embracing every phase of this journey: the highs, the lows, and the lulls.

Please tell us about The Social Grapes.
The Social Grapes is a blog dedicated to wine reviews, winery highlights, regional insight, and all things wine education. We’ve worked with wineries and local restaurants to promote experiences. I’m excited to share that this year, we also launched a wine tasting service. Our tastings are fun! We aim to keep wine approachable and modern – one example is pairing wines with gourmet macrons (shout-out to Night Owls Baking Co)!

As far as media goes, I think our followers are drawn to our creative delivery when communicating about wine. We try to keep every post witty and educational. It’s also my goal to show off my personality through every feed and story post. I want our followers to really feel like they can reach out any time with questions – knowledge sharing and encouraging others to drink more wine is what it’s all about for us!

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Oh yes, I definitely foresee some new trends! I think blends will become even more common as temperatures shift around the world. As this becomes a regularity, it will grow in popularity as will the demand. Perhaps this will lead to EU laws permitting the growth of varieties outside of their designation of origin.

From a social standpoint, I’m excited for the future of wine. Based on my experience in the industry so far, millennials love wine! We love the culture, history, and story behind each bottle. Drinking wine is a chance to slow down – even if only for a glass – and in our fast-paced life, this is exactly what we need. I look forward to seeing diversity grow in the industry and to seeing more women rise to the top!

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