Julie Defriend

Louisville, KY
Vintner Select

For over 20 years, Julie DeFriend has been the gracious and talented manager and sommelier who has delighted in overseeing some the most recognized dining rooms in Louisville, KY. After a successful tenure as Wine Director of the Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel, in 2015 Julie was tapped for the position as General Manager and Sommelier of 8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen, Louisville’s popular – and first – roof-top bar and restaurant. 8UP has gained numerous kudos, including being named “best new bar,” under her stewardship. She is renowned for her passion for wine. Julie 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.

Accolades & Publications

  • StarChefs.com Kentucky – Rising Stars Sommelier Award (2014)
  • The Court of Master Sommeliers – Advanced Sommelier (2013)
  • Society of Wine Educators – Certified Specialist of Wine (2011)


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