Since he ran away at the sound of gunfire at a soccer match and hid in an empty wine barrel Charlie Arturaola has been a wine lover. When he put his nose to the wood he smelled wine, the wine to become his life long passion.
As a world-renowned sommelier, Charlie has one of the ten best palates in the world according to the American Wine Association. One sip and he can tell you the history of the wine, the soil the grapes grew in, the wood of the casket, the amount of sun the grapes enjoyed, and how long it was fermented.
It’s a rare gift and has served him well as he went from Santo Domingo to the Cunard Lines to Wine Director of the Boca Raton Resort and Club. Now Charlie is the president of Grappolo Blu, and speaks about, judges and assesses wine for clients around the globe. Sipping and spitting from New York to Napa, from Vienna to Beijing, Charlie informs, educates and entertains wine lovers in five languages, winning countless hearts and awards, including the Chevalier by the Ordre des Coteauz de Champagnes, and in 2012 the International Wine and Spirits Communicator of the Year .
Charlie loves working with young people and mentored students of hospitality in the fine points of wine at Johnson & Wales University and Lynn University. He is also a member of the Society of Wine Educators, American Sommelier Association, Associazione dei Sommeglierie Italianne, and the American Society of Appraisers. He is on the board of directors for Toast to Humanity.
Knowledgeable, convivial, and with a large following, Charlie was one of the founders and chairmen of the Mendoza Wine Festival. There he was discovered and, along with his wife, Pandora, became a movie star in a “fictional documentary,” El Camino del Vino.