Shelley Lindgren

Wine Director and Co-Owner at A16 Restaurants

Over the past 30 years, Shelley Lindgren has channeled her deep-seated appreciation for Italy into an award-winning career in wine.
Introduced to the hospitality industry as a young student putting herself through college, Shelley’s attention soon turned to wine. She
earned her sommelier’s certificate while working at San Francisco’s iconic restaurant, Fleur de Lys, and went on to earn a culinary
certificate at the Tante Marie Cooking School, and became a wine instructor for 12 years.

In 2004 A16 opened, a neighborhood restaurant inspired by the cooking of Campania with an emphasis on certified VPN Neapolitan pizza. When
she curated the wine list for A16, Shelley sought to showcase Italian wine beyond the well-known Barolos and Brunellos. A research trip that
began in Naples quickly evolved into an exploration of southern Italy’s rural, family-run wineries that had remained otherwise unknown
outside of the country. Driving from village to village while relying on paper maps, Shelley unearthed lesser-known grapes, such as Fiano di
Avellino and Nerello Mascalese, which she returned with enthusiasm to share stateside. In 2015, Shelley received the James Beard Award for
“Outstanding Wine Program” at A16. A member of Les Dames d’ Escoffier, Shelley’s involvement in the local community extends beyond the walls
of her restaurants, and she serves as a board member of Guild of Sommeliers and Marin’s Slide Ranch. A16 Food + Wine, won “Cookbook of the Year” and
“First Book/The Julia Child Award” at the 2009 IACP Cookbook Awards.

In 2012, she co-authored her second book, SPQR: Modern Italian Food & Wine. Her third book, 'The New Italian Wine', will be released Spring 2021. Shelley’s reputation as an industry pioneer and advocate for the wines of Italy was recognized in 2019, as she was recently knighted by the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco receiving the "Cavaliere dell'Ordine Della Stella Italia" recognition. She is currently co-writing  'The New Italian Wine' with Kate Leahy, their third book together.

A16 is opening in Oakland airport in April 2020.Also recognized as a Culinary Institute of America ambassador, Shelley was named “Best New Sommelier” by Wine & Spirits magazine; “Best Wine Director” by San Francisco magazine; and received Gourmet magazine’s Wine Educator Award and the Golden Goblet Award by the Association of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. Shelley resides in San Francisco with her husband and two sons.


Meet our 2023 Judges

Cami Lehmann

Purchasing, Wine Programs and Marketing at Maggiano’s Little Italy, Dallas, TX

Ryan Pandl

Senior Buyer, Adult Beverages and Beverages at Target

Susan R Lin MW

Master of Wine and Head of Wine Expertise & Business Development at Belmont Wine Exchange