Suhayl Ramirez learned the language of flavor and palate development during eight years of working for Taza Chocolate in Somerville, Massachusetts, but she traces her love for wine back to a much earlier time in her life. Visiting her family in the Dominican Republic, her first taste of wine was snuck from backyard parties during summers with her grandparents. Caballo Blanco was a sweet red wine that was always served over ice to combat the sweltering heat. Her tastes have evolved from that first syrupy sip, but that swirl of magic and joy shared amongst friends and family stayed with her and inspired her to continue seeking knowledge around all aspects of wine. Her natural curiosity for food culture and knowledge, enthusiasm for wine, extensive experience in consumer retail and marketing led her to apply for the Urban Grape Wine Studies Award for Students of Color in 2020. As the inaugural recipient of the award, she engaged in a year-long program of wine study alongside internships in three facets of the wine industry – hospitality, distribution, and retail. This experience led her to Napa, California where Suhayl is currently the Director of Consumer Engagement and Communications at Trois Noix, a woman-owned winery based in Napa Valley.