Mariya Kovacheva

Master Sommelier Scholarship Award Winner

While grape growing and winemaking were a part of Mariya Kovacheva’s family life, it wasn’t until she moved to the USA that her passion for wine truly took flight. She came to America to pursue her dream of graduating from a solid Master in Business Administration Program. She began working in restaurants while applying to Business school, and acquired valuable experience, learning from some of the “industry’s best”. The US wine industry fascinated her and she dived into the world of wine. Soon after, she began taking wine exams and landed her first Sommelier job. Within five years along her family life and demanding job, she managed to achieve wine certifications as the Advanced Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust. Soon after, she made her vision come true and completed her MBA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan- Flagler Business School. Today Mariya is the Pernod Ricard’s Wine Brand Account Manager South US. Furthermore, she has just accomplished the prestigious Master Sommelier title. Mariya is a firm believer of the Eleanor Roosevelt’s, “The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

"I am very grateful to the Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation and the E. & J. Gallo Winery for awarding me a “Women Behind the Wine” scholarship. This assistance is going to be essential in elevating the financial stress related to my preparation for the Master Sommelier Exam. Furthermore, it is going to fuel my aim to deepen my wine studies, work on my writing skills and travel to unvisited wine regions. Ultimately, all this is going to enrich me professionally and personally, and help me become the guidance I want to be for the men and women making their ways in the wine industry.”

Mariya Kovacheva

Meet the women

Learn more about Barbara Widmer
Barbara Widmer, Winemaker
Learn more about Brenae Royal
Brenae Royal, Vineyard Manager
Learn more about Claudia Manetta
Claudia Manetta, Export Manager
Learn more about Gina Gallo
Gina Gallo, Winemaker
Learn more about Katie Vogt
Katie Vogt, Assistant Winemaker
Learn more about K'Sondra Fredrickson
K'Sondra Fredrickson, Enologist
Learn more about Lauren McCabe
Lauren McCabe, Operations Manager
Learn more about Liz Comte-Monk
Liz Comte-Monk, Export Manager
Learn more about Nicole Hitchcock
Nicole Hitchcock, Winemaker
Learn more about Sue White
Sue White, Proprietor