Paula de Pano


Years of Participation


Paula de Pano is the founder and owner of Rocks + Acid, the mission-based wine shop and tasting room in Chapel Hill, NC. Named for the terroir and acid-focused wines that she will feature, Rocks + Acid is based on a set of core principles, which de Pano refers to as “basic human kindness,” and will have a strong focus on wine education.

The award-winning sommelier, wine educator and one of the leading wine professionals of the South, recognized by Wine Enthusiast as one of the country’s “Five Filipino and Filipino-American Sommeliers helping to change the narrative in the United States, is the former Beverage Director for the Five Diamond, Relais & Chateaux Fearrington House Inn and Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, NC.

In addition to her nine years at Fearrington House Inn (2010-2014; 2016-2021), she spent two-years (2014-2016) as Senior Sommelier at Eleven Madison Park, New York City’s prestigious, three Michelin star restaurant and “Best Restaurant in the World,” during which time the restaurant received the “Outstanding Service” award from the James Beard Foundation.

Originally from Manila, De Pano attended the Culinary Institute of America and holds the Advanced Sommelier title from The Court of Master Sommeliers Americas, the second-highest sommelier ranking, following Master Sommelier.