SOM MEL YA ALL
[ som-mol-yol ]
A Distinctly Southern Wine Professional with formal training in all aspects of wine education, wine and food pairings, and wine storage;
A wine expert from the South, Y'all!
nance donaldson, CSW
Certified Specialist of Wine
Wine & Spirit Education Trust, Level III
Spanish Wine Scholar Designation
After studying in the vineyards of Australia, Italy, Austria, France, New Zealand, California and the North Georgia Mountains, Nance began her formal training with L’Ecole du Vin and holds the Certified Specialist of Wine designation by the Society of Wine Educators.
She recently received the Advanced Level III Certificate from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, passing with merit and distinction upon completion of studies at The Atlanta Wine School. In August 2011, Nance blended her passion for wines with her extensive 22-year experience in commercial real estate to form her new company, It’s About Wine. In 2023, she rebranded and launched her sommelier business as Sommel Y'all.
When she's not teaching the art of wine tasting, she is out helping clients find the best locations for their wine-related industries whether it’s a wine shop, wine bar, wine storage facility or distribution warehouse.
How it Started
Nance Donaldson is a first-rate wine educator bringing a fun and creative approach to learning about wine.
When Nance visited the up-and-coming wine country of Australia, where vineyards were replacing grazing land by the hectare at the time, she discovered her palate for wine. As a member of the “ANZ Bank Women's Wine Club” she sampled wines from all over Australia. This is where she developed her palate, by participating in club tastings in brown bag blind format, hiding the bottle’s label and grape variety. When she returned to Atlanta to launch her career in commercial real estate, Nance brought her passion for brown bag blind tasting to her friends and business associates. Guests would bring a bagged bottle, and through her proprietary rating system, the wine with the most points that night would receive a special prize.
These tastings led to building a wine cellar in her basement to age a few wines, which quickly grew into a 1500+ collection of wines from around the world. After getting caught drinking wine before its time, she decided to get a more formal wine education and enrolled at the Atlanta Wine School. Nance passed her CSW certification on the first attempt, and her sommelier business was born.