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Darby Mae

Writer | Wine Specialist | Artist Manager

Location icon United States

Darby Mae is a creative thinker, writer, and producer with a successful track record of translating abstract ideas into cogent and imaginative content and vernacular.

With a particular proclivity for the quixotic, she relishes the antediluvian practice of letter writing and deeply values meaningful connections. Knowing brevity as well as detail, she writes to share, to expose, to inspire and to inform. The art of persuasion is a language she speaks, too. As a content creator for three years and counting, Darby has learned to assiduously tailor her clients' needs to a body of work that reflects them in a uniquely marketable fashion. From ideation to publication, her efficient and detail-oriented work ethic is on par with her interpersonal communication.

Her personal writing is at once obscure and deeply introspective, writing in a multitude of styles from poetry and music reviews to non-fictional narratives and portrait essays. Before moving back to the US in October of 2018, Darby was co-editor of France-based culture webzine, Slow Culture, and periodically contributed to the budget travel site, EuroCheapo.

Darby is also a seasoned music enthusiast, periodic artist/band manager, and (aspiring) vinyl collector. Her network of artists, bands and solo musicians, as well as music & film industry personnel, extends across four continents and multiple generations. In 2015, she earned a B.A. in Arts Management with a concentration in Music Industry Studies, as well as a French minor, from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Darby's ensuing trajectories led her to France, where she stayed for three years becoming fully fluent in French. An adventurous soul with an enterprising mind, Darby's global experiences has imparted her with the desire to help companies build conscious brands that spark positive interaction and catalyze continual growth. Darby strives for excellence, not perfection, originality, not safety.

In the spring of 2019, Darby moved to New York City, marking a significant pivot in her career from the spheres of marketing and branding to the vibrant world of wine; nevertheless, her writing continued.

It was mid June of 2019 when she began working part-time at a neighborhood wine shop in the heart of Williamsburg. By the end of July, everything in her life pointed her towards this new path, one that would synthesize and magnify more than the sum of wines parts. In due time, Darby became exposed to the renegades and heralds and arbiters of the "cultural insurrection" (as Jonathan Nossitor calls it) as seen through the mushrooming natural wine community across the globe; galvanizing her studies and ensuing explorations. By October of 2019, she had experienced her first wine fair, Wines of Spain; revived and began co-curating the wine club for the vanguard UES natural wine shop, Vinyl Wine; and later that month, traveled to the Loire Valley where she would meet producers like Nicolas Réau, Catherine and Pierre Breton and Olivier Cousin.

To say she was smitten after this trip is an understatement; she returned just in time for New York's RAW Wine and by the end of this, there was simply no point of return.

In December of 2019, Darby earned her WSET Level 2 in Wines with Distinction from NYC's International Wine Center. Later, in September of 2020, Darby traveled to Oregon's prized Willamette Valley to experience her first wine harvest under French winemaker, Gilles de Domingo, of the Demeter certified Cooper Mountain Vineyards just 30 minutes west of Portland.

With the ides of 2020 in the past, Darby is back in New York City and working on new projects both individually and with Vinyl Wine. She hopes to expand her writing to new audiences and continue her edification of all sides of the industry, both experientially and through research.

With a strong belief and penchant for building off of a previous experiences, Darby intends to eventually combine her skills, experiences, and passions (food & wine, music & travel, and community & education) to become a trusted consultant for individuals, small businesses and organizations rooted in forward-thinking, anti-racist and environmentally-conscious initiatives.

October Vinyl Wine Club 2020
Oregon's Willamette Valley

Looking out from Cooper Mountain Vineyards amidst September's wildfires.

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