For over 20 years, Julie DeFriend has been the gracious and talented manager and sommelier who has delighted in overseeing some of the most recognized dining rooms in Louisville, KY. After a successful tenure as Wine Director of the Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel, DeFriend brought her talents as General Manager and Sommelier of 8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen, Louisville’s popular – and first – roof-top bar and restaurant. 8UP garnered numerous kudos, including being named “best new bar,” under DeFriend’s stewardship. Most recently DeFriend is expanding into wine distribution and manages the Louisville territory with some of the most coveted brands in her wine bag. She is renowned for her passion for wine and her love of enlightening anyone who will give her an ear. DeFriend was voted Rising Star Sommelier for KY and TN in 2013, is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators, and is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. She will sit for her Master exam this year.