2007 New York Rising Star Sommelier Stephane Colling was raised in a small Alsatian village near Strasbourg, France, where the seeds of his future passion for wine were planted early on by his grape-loving parents. Educated at Centre Europeen de Formation Professionnel Part Alternance (CEFPPA) d’Illkirch-Graffenstaden in Alsace, Colling completed both his Restaurant and Cuisine certifications, and in 1994 he earned a bachelor’s degree, Baccalaureat Profesionel de Restauration, while working at the three-star restaurant Au Crocodile. From 1995-1996, he fulfilled his military duty by serving as the Sommelier for the Minister of Defense.
In 1998, Colling studied at Oxford University while working at the Michelin three-star Waterside Inn in Bray, England. The next year he moved to the United States and became the head sommelier at The Castle in Tarrytown, New York, where he designed and built the wine cellar that garnered acclaim from the James Beard Foundation and Wine Spectator, among others. In 2002, he was named Wine Director at Compass in New York City, where under his leadership the restaurant earned the Wine Spectator “Best of” Award of Excellence. Eventually, Colling went to work as Assistant Head Sommelier of Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, where the wine program won the Wine Spectator Grand Award.
In 2004, Stephane joined the opening team of The Modern as Wine Director. He has created a list of over 1300 wines to complement the menu of Chef Gabriel Kreuther, a fellow Alsatian. In 2006, The Modern earned the Wine Spectator “Best of” Award of Excellence. Colling has been published several times in the Guide des Sommeliers. After stints as General Manager at Bar Boulud and L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, he moved to Santa Barbara as Sommelier of San Ysidro Ranch, a Rosewood Resort.