Ones to Watch 2020 // Alejandra Fallows
Alejandra Fallows, Chandler Hill Vineyards bar manager
Age // 25
Why Watch Her // She's creating a culture we want to be a part of.
Alejandra Fallows is sick of hearing “What did you expect?” when someone she knows is harassed at work. She’s tired of people laughing at the idea that the hospitality industry can change – especially because she’s going to change it.
“Big picture, I’d like to own my own business and create jobs for people and create a very ethical and healthy work environment in an industry that tends to be a little bit behind,” she said. And when Fallows decides to do something, she does it.
In the two years since she resolved to pursue a career in the industry while working at Bar Italia, Fallows has achieved the top score on her certified sommelier exam (earning her the Walter Clore Scholarship), attained the first level of cicerone certification, taken business classes online and become proficient behind the bar at one of St. Louis’ best cocktail spots, Taste.
These accomplishments aren’t finish lines. They’re tools to help her open her own wine bar – “a space where everyone who looks different can feel like they belong in that room to appreciate wine for what it is and listen to good music” – and for that, she wants a lot of tools.
“Being a good manager with good leadership is another skill I want to have, which is why I went to Chris Kelling,” Fallows said. She worked for Elmwood’s co-owner behind the bar after she’d already started at Chandler Hill Vineyards.
Along with running the tasting room at Chandler Hill, Fallows manages its wine club, is responsible for a kegged cocktails program, got seriously involved with the recent Perennial Artisan Ales partnership – hence the beer server certification – and trains staff on beer and wine.
But it’s not just Fallows’ work ethic that makes her one to watch. There are a lot of high-powered sommeliers out there who know how to hustle. Fallows has the quality of good service that feels more like a personality than a skill. She is poised – exceedingly professional – without ever sacrificing her natural warmth and candor.
“It makes me really happy to see other people happy,” she said. “It’s not about pushing my inventory. It’s not about selling a baller bottle of wine. It’s all about finding the quickest way to get something on the table for people so they can start making memories.”
When she opens her dream wine bar – and she will – we will be the first ones in the door.
Heather Hughes Huff is managing editor at Sauce Magazine.
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