Lelañea Fulton has always taken an interest in viticulture since the age of 14 when she
discovered the first edition of Hugh Johnsons ‘World Atlas of Wine’ at a yard sale. Originally from the moonshining country of West Virginia, Lelañea moved to Europe at the age of 18 while
modeling for Wilhelmina Models – through her career she traveled to vineyards in Italy, France, and Germany.
While living in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region of Germany, she was exposed to some of the
toughest vineyard growing terrains that produces some of the most spectacular and complex wines in the world. Following this experience, Lelañea further developed a passion and true
understanding of wine and wine connoisseurs alike.
After returning to the US, Lelañea moved to Florida and worked with the Columbia Group, which housed more than 750 wines and had an inventory of over 50,000 bottles consisting of Spanish wines. Following her time at The Columbia Group, Lelañea relocated to New York City where she worked at restaurants such as David Burke and Donatella’s, Jeffrey Zakarian’s Town at the Chambers Hotel, and eventually became the Sake & Wine Sommelier at Megu and THOR; She transitioned to the role of Wine & Sake Director at Ono shortly after. To supplement her career growth, Lelañea also studied at the International Wine Center and The American Sommelier Association in conjunction with a Brand Ambassador position to Pommery-Vranken Champagne
within the Metro New York area.
In November 2011, Lelañea joined Crown Group Hospitality working for The Lion and Crown in preparation to become the Wine Director for Bill’s Food & Drink, which opened in November of 2012. Lelañea is proud of the wine offerings found at Bill’s Food & Drink stating that the wine list is “predominately old world wines with some American cult wines that cater to the nostalgia of the pre-phylloxera era, pre-prohibition wines/producers and old vines that date back to late 1800s-1930s.”
After her time with The Crown Group, Lelañea joined Poulakakos Hospitality as a sommelier for the historical Harry’s at Hanover. Responsible for reinventing the wine 2400 bottle wine list and maintaining a deep Burgundy, Bordeaux & California Cabernet collection purchased directly from producers since the early 1970s at an estimated 1.8 million dollar inventory. After earning Wine Spectators 2014 Best of Award of Excellence she then went on to write the 1800 bottle list for the company’s newest restaurant Bacchanal, joining forces with Chef Scott Bryan of the infamous Veritas.
In 2014 Lelañea joined The Major Food Group, hired to write an all-French list for Dirty French restaurant at Sean McPherson’s newest boutique hotel, The Ludlow. Lelañea is recognized for creating & operating a highly respectful program that recognizes the smaller less-known wine regions that demonstrate high-quality wines. She prides herself on the proper temperatures at which her wines are stored & served and has been openly praised for her work via the New York Times, The New York Magazine and Eater. Her list comprises of 720 selections and a By The Glass program of 27 seasonal offerings.
The wine list at Dirty French has been awarded the 2015 Best of Award of Excellence. Alongside her career in wine, Lelañea has also fostered a career as a freelance fashion photographer, digital
retoucher and digital technician in the New York fashion industry. Her work, published in prominent New York magazines has allowed her the ability to communicate and create a rapport with the many different demographics in her market. With a background in botany, Lelañea spends much of her time foraging and seeking education on the medicinal properties of plants native to North America.
In 2016 Lelañea was invited to sit on the New York Times Wine Tasting Panel with Eric Asimov to explore the wines of cru Beaujolais and in 2017 her Sommelière services were selected to be gifted to the Oscar winners in Hollywood allowing her house calls to some of the industries most talented wine consumers.
Lelañea considers it a privilege to interact with people (and wine) in an environment of growth.
You will explore a world that will change your perception of wine regardless of how little or much you know.
You will learn a language that feels empowering when speaking about wine in social
You will educate your palate in making stronger decisions on wine and
never feel shy or discouraged again when reaching for the wine list at your favorite restaurant.