Wine Director, Nerano, Beverly Hills
Emily Johnston grew up in Ojai, California. Attending Scripps College of the Claremont Colleges she specialized in languages and is now fluent in both Italian and French.
Interestingly Emily’s real love in life seems to have grown with the vines. Her early career found her interning at Brander Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley leading her to selling wine for a small Italian wine import company in Santa Barbara. Thoroughly inspired, Johnston left for Italy to study as a sommelier at ALMA Scuola Internazionale di Cucina’s Wine Academy. Not only did she receive the highest academic honors in her class, a feat in itself, but challenged her fluency as well, as it was taught only in Italian. She became a Certified Sommelier with the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers (AIS) in 2011 while working alongside AIS Master Sommelier, Roberto Jacquemod Pane. Emily became a Certified Advanced Level Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2016.
Johnston is now Wine Director/Sommelier for the Toscana Restaurant Group overseeing the wine programs at four operations – Toscana, Bar Toscana, S.Y. Kitchen and Nerano. Her vision in her words; “I appreciate that the world of wine is vast and I want to make that world seem smaller with a concise wine program featuring my favorite Italian wines and local gems from my native Santa Barbara County. I want my selections to be both familiar and new to illustrate the inspiring nature of well-crafted wine.”