Hilary How Rivera
My passions, my joie de vivre: Connecting with people from all over the world and teaching them about wine!”
Growing up among the vines in Sonoma County, California, Hilary has an extensive background in the wine industry and in wine education. Upon graduating from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, she spent an intensive year earning her Wine Industry Certificate from Cal Poly University, as well as taking some wine classes at UC Davis. She worked in the tasting room at Firestone Vineyard in Santa Ynez (Santa Barbara County) educating visitors and conducting group tastings. She also worked with the Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association in Somoma County planning events focused on wine education. Hilary moved to Aix-en-Provence, France in 2006 to immerse herself in the French language, culture, and especially, the wine. She travels regularly around Provence and other parts of France on wine tasting excursions, most recently to explore the regions of Champagne and Burgundy.
Her favorite wines are reds from Clos des Papes in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and rosés from Château Crémade in Provence.
I love showing people that wine does not need to be intimidating but can be fun and enjoyable!
A native of Seattle, Brian became passionate about all things French in college. Inspired by a professor, Brian began studying the French language and culture. His enthusiasm for wine began while working in high-end restaurants in the States and continued with a summer working out in the vineyards at a winery in Abingdon, Virginia. In 2006, Brian moved to Aix-en-Provence, France to work as an English teacher in a French lycée. Between teaching days, he would explore the region and all it has to offer. With his sense of adventure, Brian is always on the lookout for new and exciting things to do in and around Provence. His favorite experience to date was a two week bike tour around Provence discovering new wineries and getting to know the small villages in the Luberon. The highlight of his tour was the day spent biking and wine tasting in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region near Avignon. “I only had enough room in my bag for one bottle of wine, so I spent the day searching for that one bottle. It was a great time spent tasting some fantastic wines, meeting some incredible people, and seeing the charming villages. And yes, I did find that one bottle.”
Brian’s favorite wine is from Château Pibarnon in Bandol.
Bernadette Van Rensburg
I love helping make French wine and culture accessible to our guests from around the world!”
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Bernadette spent the second half of her childhood growing
up on the Sunshine Coast of eastern Australia (near the city of Brisbane). All throughout school
and university she had been an avid learner of the French language, and soon found herself on an
exchange to the university of Aix-en-Provence. Fluent in four languages (French, Afrikaans, Dutch,
and English), Bernadette has recently completed her double bachelor’s degree in Economics and
International Business Management. Key friends and family members had stirred in her a growing
love for wine, and this interest led her to pursue working in the wine industry with Hilary and Brian.
Her favorite wine is Domaine Richeaume’s red Tradition, a winery located at the foot of famous
Mount Sainte Victoire just outside of Aix.
I love entertaining and hosting guests- making sure everyone experiences the unique sides of Provence in the best way possible.”
Maddeline was born and raised in Brisbane, Australia. She moved to Provence in 2009 and that’s when her interest for french food and wine began. She has a passion for hospitality and event planning, which she inherited from her mother and grandmother, and Maddy’s been particularly inspired by her older brother who graduated from the famous culinary school in Paris, Le Cordon Bleu.