Carla Rza Betts began her career in the service industry fifteen years ago in the best way: as a silverware polisher. After holding virtually every front-of-the-house job imaginable she wrangled the position of Wine Director for April Bloomfield’s The Spotted Pig, The Breslin and The John Dory Oyster Bar in New York City.
Eventually she elected to pursue An Approach To Relaxation, a project making wine with her husband, Richard Rza Betts. They have one red (Sucette) and one white (Nichon), the streamlined goal being to understand each varietal to the absolute fullest. To that extent, they recently purchased one of the oldest Grenache vineyards on the planet (planted between 1860-1880) in the sandy soils of the Vine Vale in the Barossa Valley. These are not your typical Barossan wines; thanks to the elegant sandy soils, these lean more towards the classic expressions of Grenache and Semillon, clearly echoing their French homeland.
Concerning the business of being a Wine Director and Sommelier, Carla has been regularly featured in The Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast, and the New York Times, as well as being dubbed The Queen of Sherry by the Village Voice.
Concerning An Approach To Relaxation, Carla and Richard have been listed as the New Faces of Australia (Wine Spectator, 2017) as well as a Winery to Watch (Wine & Spirits, 2017).
Concerning championing women, she has recently joined voices with her lady colleagues in speaking out on the inequalities in the restaurant workplace in The New York Times, as well as the upcoming SXSW Festival 2018.
Carla and Richard live in Amsterdam.
[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.