Michael’s favorite food and wine pairing is truffle and egg pasta with butter, olive oil, and grated cheese—paired with an interesting Nebbiolo. Yes, you are correct, he is indeed of Italian decent.
Michael started working with customers at the age of ten at his family’s grocery store, so you could say he has some experience getting to know people. As for wine, well that was as common on his family’s dinner table as salt and pepper. Combine his love of helping people with the traditions of enjoying wine over family dinner and conversation, and Michael was the perfect choice as Williams Selyem Hospitality Manager. Michael graduated from USC with a degree in Business Marketing and is also a Level 1 Certification, Court of Master Sommelier. He brings a global perspective to our events here at the winery, through his years visiting family in Italy (Michael’s favorite region is the Piedmont), and various trips leading wine tours throughout France and Italy.
Away from the world of wine, Michael’s swam with sharks in Tahiti, was the proud owner of a 1970 Camaro he inherited from his mom, and he has a cousin related to his great-grandmother on his father’s side who was related to Frank Sinatra. Mike was born in 1973, a year when the Pinot’s were described as having a “vivacious bouquet” accented by “orange zest, flowers, earth, and mineral tones”.
Sonoma County Single Malt Society:
Simply, this Society was created by Michael Traverso and Fred Thumhart after years of conducting educational spirits tastings for Traverso's Gourmet Foods, Wines & Spirits. When Traverso's closed in November 2011, a void was left. This Society is the bridge to fill that void and for Michael and Fred to continue to share their passion for spirits with the wonderful people of Sonoma County.
Michael Traverso is currently the Hospitality Manager for Williams Selyem Winery in the beautiful Russian River Valley. With almost 15 years of experience in the wine and spirits industry as a owner and buyer for Traverso's, Michael as also traveled extensively in Scotland and has established great relationships with many distilleries. Fred Thumhart is currently a Wine Specialist at Oliver's Market on Montecito in Santa Rosa. Fred loves to share his passion for wines and spirits with customers new and old. With a love of research and desire to always learn more, Fred has also established great contacts in the Spirits Industry.