Brian Donegan

Brian Donegan


Born and raised in a small town 20 minutes north of New York City Brian first learned how food & dining can be an integral part of people’s lives. His wine education and passion began when moving to San Diego in 2000 where he helped open Royale Brasserie & Bar in the Gaslamp Quarter, and then AR Valentein at The Lodge Torrey Pines.

After a short stint at the renowned Zachy’s Wine & Spirits in Scarsdale, NY, Brian moved to Australia, traversing the wine growing regions there. Returning to San Diego in 2004 he took the reigns of the wine program at Bradley Ogden’s Arterra Restaurant.

In 2006 Brian left Arterra after 2 years to work with Chef/Owner, and multiple time James Beard Award Semi-Finalist, Carl Schroeder to build the wine program at Schroeder’s new endeavor: Market Restaurant + Bar in Del Mar. Market is still considered one of the top restaurants in the San Diego area. He then designed built and the beverage program and, as part owner, helped launch Schroeder’s next project in San Diego: Banker’s Hill Bar & Restaurant. Brian also works as a Restaurant & Wine Consultant with projects around the San Diego area.

Having successfully passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Exam, Brian is currently working with Truly Fine Wine, a boutique German wine import company in San Diego. He is simultaneously studying for the rigorous Master Sommelier Diploma and is helping to mentor students and peers for the Advanced and Master Sommelier exams.

  • Title: Advanced Sommelier, Truly Fine Wine
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Years in Industry: 16