Gretchen grew up learning and studying French and Italian, and was a French tutor for elementary school aged children for many years. She is also passionate about wine and helps others learn about it by conducting wine tastings in both retail and other social environments.
Gretchen loves traveling and seeing new places, as well as learning the history of the places she visits. She kept many journals documenting her time abroad when she lived in France and Italy. She loves learning about other cultures and acquired a passion for wine when working in Tuscany for a year and a half. She also enjoys running, reading, tutoring, and loves being around children, particularly her own two daughters, very much.
Gretchen began her studies at James Madison University in 2002. In her junior year, she studied abroad for one semester through the University of Virginia in Lyon, France, where she attended l'université Lumière Lyon 2 and L'Institut d'études politiques (IEP). She graduated from JMU in 2006 with a Bachelor's Degree in International Affairs and French.
This is an excerpt from Gretchen's journal from when she was a Winery Hostess in Italy. She wrote journals for leisure while she lived and worked abroad. To understand the context of the excerpt, on her one day off each week she would visit a new surrounding area in Tuscany and write about what she discovered.
Gretchen has her own wine tasting business called "Wine With Me". In the excerpt from her Home Page, she provides a brief description of her business, including the main service she offers. She wants to show that she is all inclusive and flexible and notes how her wine tasting services may be geared toward any event the client requests.
Gretchen writes articles for the French Sister-Cities Club she is involved in within her hometown. For this excerpt from her club's newsletter, she translated an article written in French so that she could share the happenings of the French sister-city with the American one.
Gretchen has recently formed a Facebook page for her business, "Wine With Me". She posts on it periodically in order to promote learning about wines from all locations. It is her hope to generate interest from people of all backgrounds and all walks of life. Her intention is to make wine, and she is informative in her writing style yet also light and fun to read.