May 9, 2020 |
Meet the Team, Part Three
Director of Trade Sales
and Lingua Franca’s first intern, who assisted Thomas and the winemaking team during our first vintage in 2015.
An interest in food and hospitality motivated Lingua Franca's Director of Trade Sales, Josh Wludyka, to take an entry level position at Charlie Trotter's eponymous restaurant in Chicago, IL as he completed his degree in Economics. With this first step into the world of fine dining and hospitality he was hooked. Eventually, he worked his way up to the wine team working closely with Larry Stone for the first time and also oversaw Charlie's exclusive Chef's Kitchen Table experience. Although he says he had limited knowledge of wine when he met Larry, it quickly grew into a passion and led him to develop a deep curiosity into the business of wine and wine production.
Following Charlie Trotter's retirement and the closing of his restaurant, Josh moved to the Cayman Islands where he opened a cocktail bar and became one of Diageo’s Top 100 Bartenders in the world. Later, he captured the crown as Food & Wine’s Cayman Cookout Champion - TWICE! In late 2017, at Larry’s urging, Josh joined the Lingua Franca team and now oversees Lingua Franca's national and international distribution activities.
"I love to cook, and I love to make pizza. A great friend of the winery, Junichi Fujita, gave me a piece of his sourdough starter which he brought from the great Jura winemaker, Pierre Overnoy. I've been making all types of breads and pizza doughs lately.”
What is your favorite go-to wine accessory at home?
"I'm kind of hardcore, so I actually think Larry's go to wine key, the Cartailler-Deluc Super Professional Model 92 corkscrew we use at Lingua Franca, is really the only tool you need. I don't really believe in many fancy gadgets, just a well-built wine key with a sharp blade. I also like to collect decanters, so I think everyone should have a cool one — wine looks so beautiful in a vintage decanter on a candle-lit table."
What do you like doing when you aren’t at Lingua Franca?
"I love to cook, and I love to make pizza. A great friend of the winery, Junichi Fujita, gave me a piece of his sourdough starter which he brought from the great Jura winemaker, Pierre Overnoy. I've been making all types of breads and pizza doughs lately. I travel a lot for work, so in this COVID time I picked up a keyboard. I really love Chopin. I played when I was a kid, but I haven't touched a piano since I was old enough to rebel against my parents. I've also been quite enjoying taking hikes with my girlfriend Christina and our golden doodle, Nala."