People

MICHAEL HILL KENNEDY II

Founder & President

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Michael’s love of food & wine began at a somewhat early age, growing up in St. Louis. His 7th grade French teacher from Bordeaux taught him about food, wine and culture. In fact, his first PowerPoint was on the Champagne region of France. Since then, he was hooked.

After graduating from Purdue University, with a degree in French Language and Literature, Michael started working for a small family-owned winery. His role at the winery began as a part-time tasting room employee, with very little wine knowledge, and grew over three years until he reached the position of Director of Wine. Along the way, he passed his Sommelier certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers.

After leaving the winery, Michael took on the Sommelier role with luxury hotel chain, The Ritz-Carlton, where he worked in Washington DC and the Cayman Islands. In the Cayman Islands, Michael managed the wine programs for their 8 restaurants including Blue by Eric Ripert, sister restaurant to three star Michelin Le Bernardin in New York. The list while he was Head Sommelier received the honor of “Top 100 Wine List in the World” two consecutive years.

During his time with Chef Ripert, he planned the annual Food & Wine Festival in the Cayman Islands, “Cayman Cookout” working alongside the world’s most famous chefs who have included Anthony Bourdain, Daniel Boulud, Emeril Lagasse, José Andrés, Daniel Humm, and Tom Colicchio.

Always yearning to return to the winery side of the wine world, Michael and his wife Rachel decided in 2016 to found Component Wine Company. Shortly after, an unexpected blessing happened in January of 2017, when Michael was named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list. Michael’s greatest joy throughout this process, however, has been seeing his wines grace the tables of incredible people who choose to celebrate life’s special moments with Component.

Soli Deo Gloria.