“The CIA had such a big impact on my career. It does an amazing job of getting people ready for the industry.”
Major: Wine and Beverage (AWBP)
Job Title: Co-Owner, Graft Wine Shop
Location: Charleston, SC
Miles White’s hospitality career started at a young age thanks to his mother, caterer Callie White, and his sister, Carrie Morey, owner of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits in their home town of Charleston, SC. He attended Cornell University then transferred to the College of Charleston, where an advisor told Miles about a new exchange program with the César Ritz School in Switzerland. He spent one semester at their campus in Brig studying hospitality business management before returning home to finish college. “When I graduated, I wanted to continue my education. I love cooking but I didn’t want to be a chef. I wanted to dive more deeply into the subject of wine,” says Miles, certified sommelier and co-owner of Graft Wine Shop.
Miles’ research led him to the CIA. “The CIA had the best wine and beverage program in terms of curriculum and time,” he says. “Nine months was perfect for me. I was ready to commit myself to study and went all in. Every class is intensely interesting. Bob Bath and Christie Dufault are incredible teachers. The classes are small and you’re surrounded by people who are passionate about wine from all different backgrounds. For me, the courses were taught in a manner really conducive to my learning style. You had equal parts text book, hands-on experience, tasting presentations, and field trips to local wineries.”
It was Christie Dufault who recommended Miles contact Antica Terra, a cult winery located in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. “Harvest was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done,” says Miles. “Antica Terra is a small winery that takes great care in the winemaking process. Maggie Harrison, the incredibly talented winemaker, forever changed the way I look at wine.” His next stop was western Australia, where he worked for a large winery producing massive volumes of wine. “Going from a cult winery to a massive tank farm was eye-opening. It helped me hone in on what I wanted to do in the future—find small producers of exceptional wine and share those wines with customers.”
After a short stint in New York City at The Modern, Miles returned home to Charleston where he met up with good friend, Femi Oyediran. Both men had pursued educations in wine and realized that Charleston did not have a boutique wine shop. With the help of family and friends, Graft Wine Shop opened in March 2018. “The CIA had such a big impact on my career. It does an amazing job of getting people ready for the industry,” say Miles.