Co-Founder and Executive Director
Born and raised into a winemaking family in Burgundy, Pauline has been working in the wine sector for the last 15 years both in Europe and Internationally, in the market research department of the Burgundy wine office and the French Embassy, before creating her own corporate wine events and education company in Lille, France. She moved to London in 2015 to spearhead the Wine Library of the unique and acclaimed Clerkenwell London, a multi-space design destination, before developing the concept of Fine Minds 4 Fine Wines with Nicole Rolet that led to the creation of Areni Global.
Pauline now directs all Areni’s activities, when she is not studying for the Master of Wine exam or playing ultimate frisbee.
Felicity Carter is the Executive Editor of The Drop at Pix, the wine discovery platform. Previously she worked for Meininger Verlag, Europe’s biggest wine and spirits publisher, where she built Meininger’s Wine Business International into the world’s premier wine business magazine, with correspondents from 30 countries and subscribers in 38. Her work has also appeared in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers in Australia, and in The Guardian USA, among others. She is an international wine judge and speaker.
Sarah Phillips McCartan
Head of Membership
After studying at universities in Scotland and New Zealand, Sarah joined the wine trade in 2014 to work for Liv-ex in London. She spent seven years in a range of marketing roles, covering various areas such as market analysis, PR, and product development. She relocated to Miami in 2019. Later that year, she won Jancis Robinson’s wine writing competition for her article, Miami for Wine Lovers. Sarah’s role for ARENI involves developing the membership program, so you’re welcome to contact her with any questions. When not working for ARENI, Sarah is busy teaching, writing, and hosting events focused on wine – as well as studying for the Master of Wine exam. She also enjoys kayaking, running, and days at the beach.
Social Media Manager
Tanisha Townsend is Chief Wine Officer and founder of Girl Meets Glass, a wine lifestyle and education agency based in Paris. Originally from the US, Tanisha creates wine experiences for expats and tourists alike. Passionate about tourism and education, Tanisha also teaches courses and seminars on the business of wine and oenotourisme. Tanisha has furthered her educational efforts with clients by developing e-books and guides around French wine tourism. Her passion has also led her into podcasting where she introduces audiences to people behind the scenes in the wine industry in Wine School Dropout and educates you on new regions and hot wine topics in The Wine Hour.
Sherry holds the Diploma of Wine Studies from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, a BS from Cornell University in Communications and an MBA from London Business School. She first fell in love with wine while living abroad for a month in Torino, Italy during university and immediately enrolled in an intro to wines course when she returned to school. While she began her career in global financial services, she spent her nights and weekends working in wine retail shops. In 2010, Sherry relocated from New York to Napa Valley to join the wine industry full-time. From London to New York to Napa, Sherry has held various roles ranging from PR, retail sales, marketing, event management, teaching and freelance writing. She currently edits our podcast and manages events for Hedonism Wines, along with some other exciting business plans on the way.
When she is not spearheading all ARENI’s events with an incredible attention to details, a never-ending smile and a “there is always a solution” attitude, Marlene lives her passion for Grenache leading the International Grenache Association since 2010, and has been key to the grape variety’s international recognition.
After an intense career in International Politics, Finance and Think Tanks, Nicole embarked on the adventure of a lifetime: together with husband Xavier and family, she undertook the restoration of an abandoned medieval priory in Provence and its derelict wild vineyard. With the help of her family she spent over a decade nursing the vineyard back to health, crafting the first cuvées in 2006, launching the eco-couture wine label Chêne Bleu in 2010. In 2017, Nicole Rolet saw the need for a collaborative approach to change. She held the first Fine Minds 4 Fine Wines event along with Pauline Vicard in the Rhone Valley that same year. It created a space where major issues could be addressed by key experts from all walk-of-life, with a focus on drafting a collective vision for the future of fine wine. The think tank is now part of ARENI programming, and an annual invitation-only event.
Polly Hammond is a self-described black sheep marketer who spends her days desperately trying to drag traditional wine language, communication, and branding into the digital age. Her agency, 5forests, works with wineries around the world to help them embrace the profitable way to transform to digital, from strategy to social media to online sales. She also writes The Must Read, a widely read, mildly irreverent weekly newsletter about digital wine marketing. Polly has a deep and abiding love affair with Behavioural Economics, and her wine work is based on insights into all the crazy and irrational reasons consumers engage with brands.
Her insights and advice have been instrumental in building ARENI’s presence and growth over the years and her forward thinking sense of creativity has allowed ARENI’s research to achieve its full potential.
Steven Spurrier served as Honorary President to ARENI. Spurrier was an example of passion and dedication to Fine Wine, shaping conversations and championing talents. His journey to Fine Wine – beginning in 1964 when he joined the London School of Economics wine club – brought him through successful ventures, and has helped to define Fine Wine as we know it today. His most famous adventure of all was the organisation of the Judgement of Paris in 1976, disrupting the international fine wine balance. We are grateful for Steven Spurrier’s deep contribution to the fine wine world, as well as the guidance and support that he provided to ARENI during its formative years.