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Michael Kennedy

BA 2010, French

Owner & Founder, Component Wine Company, San Francisco, CA

After graduating from Purdue University, with a degree in French Language and Literature, from the College of Liberal Arts, Michael started working for a small family-owned winery. His role at the winery began as a part-time tasting room employee, with basic wine knowledge, and grew over three years until he reached the position of Director of Wine. Along the way, he passed his Sommelier certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers.

After leaving the winery, Michael took on the Sommelier role with luxury hotel chain, The Ritz-Carlton, where he worked in Washington DC and the Cayman Islands. In the Cayman Islands, Michael managed the wine programs for their 8 restaurants including Blue by Eric Ripert, sister restaurant to three star Michelin Le Bernardin in New York. The list while he was Head Sommelier received the honor of “Top 100 Wine List in the World” two consecutive years.

During his time with Chef Ripert, he worked alongside the world’s most famous chefs who have included Anthony Bourdain, Daniel Boulud, Emeril Lagasse, José Andrés, Daniel Humm, and Tom Colicchio.

Always yearning to return to the winery side of the wine world, Michael and his wife Rachel decided in 2016 to found Component Wine Company in Napa Valley. His new winery has become an instant sensation, receiving fantastic critical acclaim. In 2017, Michael was awarded the honor of Forbes 30 Under 30 by Forbes Magazine. This year he has also been featured in Bloomberg, Vogue, Business Insider and Barron's among others.