Kelly McConnell



Kelly McConnell has been involved in the wine industry for over forty years. A self-proclaimed wine enthusiast, Kelly has studied and worked in a broad range of roles within the industry from grape trellising to the crush pad, from cellar to bottling, and even distribution to table service.



His passion for winemaking (and wine consumption) has taken him across the US and Europe. Most memorable are his trips to Italy where he savored everything from commonplace lambruscos and proseccos to high end offerings of Vinsanto and Brunello di Montalcino.


Kelly delights in the discovery of new wines, typically obscure varietals unknown to the masses. His passion extends to collecting, with thousands of bottles in his care.  


His insatiable thirst for knowledge in all things relating to wine led him to Clark Smith, whose bold, distinctive take on winemaking proved to be of great interest. Together they lead classes and tastings, expanding traditional concepts of winemaking and consumption into new and exciting avenues largely unexplored.

Kelly firmly believes that tasting wine is what teaches you - each bottle bringing new discoveries for everyone involved. He looks forward to opening up many bottles with Grape Craft Wine Academy, and hopes you will join him for a glass.